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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ok - so you're lifting Rx... But are you eating Rx?

Huh?  What's Rx?

In the CrossFit world, Rx refers to the prescribed weights / reps / exercise for a particular WOD (Workout of the Day).  It is set based on some "average" capability of the "average" CrossFit participant.... which is not average at all, i.e. people who do CrossFit are usually a little stronger, faster, more agile than the average gorilla, cheetah or deer.....

Ok, maybe not all, but as I've said before, CrossFit style workouts are not for the faint of heart, mind and body, so they tend to attract a select group of people that enjoy doing really rigorous workouts to achieve uncommon goals.

For example, the Praxis ( WOD Rx for today's workout was as follows:

11 min AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) of the following 3 exercises:

135# for Men /  95# for Women Thrusters for 5 reps
45# for Men / 25# for Women Dumbbell Step-ups with alternate knee up - 10 per side / 20 total
40% of Bodyweight (for me that was a 70# dumbbell) Teapots (Side Bend with Dumbbell from waist to knee) - 15 per side

Now for me, a 53 year old man weighing 175# soaking wet, 135# thrusters are not easy but stepping up on a 20" box with 90# in your hand for 10 reps on each leg is a good recipe for an ass kicking.

But I cussed and fussed and huffed and puffed and stumbled and bumbled through 2 rounds and 7 reps which was kinda pitiful compared to Big Ed's 3 rounds and 13 reps but I did it and I didn't quit.... and I guess that's something.

Afterward, I overheard Ed and our trainer Gary D talking about body weight and body fat and some goals and objectives.

And it got me to thinking about my own experience with working out over the years and what I've learned.

And here's one little gem for you, again, based on my own experience....

You can work out till you blow yourself up or tear yourself apart.... 

You can do Rx performance in the workouts and be at the top of the leader board, but until you bring your eating, nutrition and rest and recuperation up to the same level of discipline and intensity of your workouts, you will not reach your full potential.

In fact, you are handicapping yourself.

I'm even willing to say that most people who workout consistently and intensely could scale back on their workouts but get the diet and nutrition right and they would actually make more, faster and better absolute gains in overall strength, physical fitness and appearance.

Because people tend to focus on their physical workouts and not the intricate but important post-workout regimen of building the body back up better than it was before the last workout.

Their bodies are not able to recover between workouts which is one definition for Overtraining.

From a diet and nutrition perspective, CrossFit style workouts have often been associated with the Paleolithic, aka Paleo or Caveman diet....

In short, a Paleo diet is lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and berries.  It eliminates dairy, wheats, grains, pasta, rice, sugar and processed foods.

It is best characterized as High Protein and Low in Bad Carbs.  It promotes Muscle Growth with Minimum Bodyfat which is what you need for CrossFit style workouts right?  

After all, you can be the biggest, baddest MF'er in the Box on Squats and Deadlifts, but if you're carrying so much mass or bodyfat that you can't do bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, rope climbs and box jumps, then you're too much of one thing and not enough of the other.

Anybody that keeps up with this blog knows I post a lot of pictures of what I eat.  

Why?  Cause I like to take pictures of food?  

No - it's because after 50 years of doing it the wrong way, I finally found the right way and realized how important it is and want to share that knowledge with anybody who will listen.

So after 5 sets of 5 reps of 205# Wide Grip (Snatch grip) deadlifts and the 2 rounds and 7 reps of the WOD noted above, I pedaled my bike back uphill on Agua Fria for 5-1/2 miles to my condo north of the downtown post office and frankly, was feeling the effects of the workout and the 11 mile round trip bike ride in the cool mountain air of Santa Fe.

I knew I had given my body a pretty good beating and needed to get a lot of protein in the pipe to promote as much recovery as I could get as fast as possible.

So here's an Rx meal to follow an Rx workout.

8 oz of lean New York Strip - I found this less than optimum cut of meat at Smith's on sale for $3.99 / lb which beat the hell out of the $9.79 / lb Ribeyes right next to it.... not quite as good a cut of meat but the way I prep it, it doesn't matter.

Here's the way I make it right:
  • Season the meat with a good quality meat tenderizer.
  • Liberally apply salt, pepper and your favorite other seasonings - I use a mix of Hot Madras Curry Powder, Garam Masala (, Cumin, Turmeric. All this together makes an incredible dry rub and there's a lot of positive health effects gained from this exotic mix.  I apply it to both sides and the edges of the meat.
  • I then "Fork" the hell out of both sides of the meat. This serves 2 purposes: It mechanically tenderizes the meat AND it forces the meat tenderizer and other seasonings INTO the meat instead of just coating the outside.
  • Refrigerate a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet to smoking hot..... No I didn't say non-stick teflon pan.  It's got to be a cooking surface that gets really hot because you want to "sear" the outside to create that outside spice coating and to seal off the meat to keep it moist inside while cooking.
  • This meat was almost an inch thick..... the general rule of thumb is 1 minute per 1/4" of thickness for medium and that's exactly what I did on this puppy and it turned out perfect with a moist pink strip in the middle throughout.

I'm a Southern Boy who grew up on slow-cooked grits and although they are not part of a strict Paleo regimen, my body was screaming for them, so I cooked up a batch and topped them with 3 over easy eggs with some fresh jalapeno and basil for garnish AND a bowl of steamed veggies and baked sweet potato on the side with a Fruit Punch Creatine - Chocolate Protein mix booster on the side.

An 8 oz strip steak has about 250 calories and 49 g of protein
Throw in another 200 calories and 18 g of protein for the 3 eggs
200 calories and not much protein for the grits and the little bit of butter I put on them
Not more than 200 calories in the veggies and sweet potato and not much protein.
And another 200 calories and 30 g of protein for the Creatine - Protein combo.

So let's tally that up.....
That's 1050 calories and 97 g of protein.

Probably would've been better to break that up in 2  meals at least 3 hours apart but I was hungry and tired and depleted and I ate it all!

So here's 2 questions for ya that are probably more related than you think:

1.  Are you lifting Rx?
2.  Are you eating Rx?

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