Ow, guys. Ow.
Will every one of my posts start with talking about how much pain my poor wobbly muscles are in? They just might.
Last night was our 2nd Crossfit Elements class and workout. Knowing that the learning part of the night would be covering diet – and knowing that would probably mean being preached to about the benefits of Paleo – we decided to pre-game at our favorite brewery with some beers and a pizza (in case you are unfamiliar with Paleo, both of those things are blatantly non-Paleo). I’m not gonna lie, I may have been just a tiny bit buzzed when I walked in for our workout. Not the best plan ever.
Our teacher and trainer for the night, Cheez (not TJ from Monday), spent about 40 minutes going over the benefits of eating Paleo. The concept behind the Paleo diet is to mimic, as closely as possible, the diets of our pre-agricultural hunter/gatherer ancestors. In a nutshell, you eat lots of lean, grass-fed meats, lots of bright colored and leafy green veggies, some nuts and seeds, a little bit of fruit, and NO sugar, dairy, or grains. Dairy and grains are obviously a new-ish addition to the human diet with the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, and the Paleo diet argues that our bodies have not sufficiently evolved to process these foods without serious damage to the lining of our gut. Sugar is bad because it causes your insulin levels to spike, which in turn inhibits your body’s production of glucagon, which is the chemical that allows your body to release fat to be used as fuel. At their most basic levels, carbs, alcohol, and lactose are sugars.
Just as my pizza and beer began to harden in my gut from all the talk about the evils of gluten, dairy, and alcohol, we moved onto our movement clinic. Using the lightweight PVC pipes again, we learned Shoulder Presses (standing, start holding the bar against your collarbone with your elbows sticking out in front of you – move your head out of the way as you lift the bar over your head to keep the bar from being moved out and then up – end with your arms locked over your head), some other kind of Press I don’t remember the name of (same as the Shoulder Press, but start by slightly dipping your knees and then popping back up to give yourself a little more power for the Press), and then Thrusters. With a Thruster, you start in the same position, then drop down into a squat and pop all the way up, not so much standing up as jumping up, ending with the bar over your head.
Onto the workout. A 400 m jog to warm up, followed by 3 sets of Thrusters and Push-Ups, doing 21 reps in the first set, 15 in the second, and 9 in the third. If you are familiar with Crossfit, this is a modified version of the “Fran” workout, with Push-Ups instead of Pull-Ups. Some people can complete this entire workout in under 2 minutes. It took me 7 minutes and 22 seconds. I was the last to finish in our group.
The drive home was brutal – I grunted and groaned as I turned the steering wheel and my arms shook as I tried to unlock the front door. I tried to get on the computer, but suspending my forearms above a keyboard was way more than I could handle. Today everything from my armpits to my hamstrings are sore. And all morning I’ve been wondering, Do I need to eat Paleo in order to fully commit to Crossfit? I can’t decide. But I will tell you this: I am really craving some nachos right now.
Coming Soon: A discussion with my boyfriend (who literally needs about 3000 calories a day to survive) about Paleo, and “Before” pictures