Monday, April 30, 2012

Azadeh Bouramond: Dominated South Central Region

Azadeh Bouramond - picture from
Azadeh Boroumand. You likely didn't know of this name before the first weekend of CrossFit Regional competition, and even if you did, it's probably because you're related to her, work out with her, or somehow remembered her from a few videos she was in. That's actually how I recognized the name, but I won't act all high and mighty and tell you I knew all of her stats. Here's some background that I found on the interwebs.

Boroumand is not a stranger to competition with her background in volleyball. She went to U. of Pittsburgh for it, but after college, wasn't sure where she was headed. She ended up at Get Lifted, a gym in El Paso, TX run by Paul Smith (who incidentally placed 4th in the men's division at the South Central Regionals) Boroumand was on the team for the Affiliate Cup at the 2010 Games and then placed 6th as an individual during the 2011 South Central Regionals. This year, she placed 45th in the world during the Open, but it was her performance at Regionals that really convinced people of her dominance.

One of the regions to kick off the season this past weekend was South Central where Azadeh Boroumand (first name pronounced AH-zah-deh) absolutely crushed the competition. She placed 2nd in the first event ("Diane") and didn't look back after that, placing 1st in every other event. Where else did we see this extremely rare occurrance? You got it, Iceland Annie's regional performance last year. And oh yeah, Annie went on to win the 2011 CrossFit Games.

At 26 years of age, Boroumand stands at 5ft. 10in. and 155lbs. and is a great example that you can be a lean, feminine woman and STILL be a badass that is strong/agile/fast/etc.  At the South Central region she blazed through the row/pistol/hang clean workout in just over 12 minutes, (beating her competition by over a minute and a half) and then proceeded to snatch 170#. What?! She even elected to not go on to the 175# bar since she already clinched first place for that workout. Going into the 6th and final event, she literally could have come in last and still would have maintained 1st place and gone to the Games. Staying consistent though, Azadeh came in 1st for that workout, securing her spot in the 2012 CrossFit Games. (note: both men and women had to complete the first mini-workout of Event 6 which included muscle ups and heavy deads in order to go to the Games) Out of the 6 workouts she did, she currently holds 4 of the best times/results out of the three regions that competed (South Central, South East, Canada West)

If you hop on the Boroumand Bandwagon, I don't blame you. She'll be a force at the Games, and clearly has the tools necessary to stand up to past winners Kristan Clever and Annie Thorisdottir.
picture from Get Lifted

Friday, April 27, 2012

CrossFit Regionals Start Today

The CrossFit Regionals are spread out over 5 weekends, the first of which begins today! South West, South Central, and Canada West regionals kick off the Regionals season. Hit the picture below to learn how to follow the action. Seems like the Games site will have a ton of video feeds and social media updates going on throughout the competition.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Visit to CrossFit Reykjavik and Iceland Annie

This is me finally catching up on some blog posts. 

While in Iceland, Ditty and I had a great time hiking and seeing a ton of natural beauty: waterfalls, mountains, volcanos, and landscapes from a picture book. (see the Flickr album in the post below) But it wouldn't have been a vacation without visiting a CrossFit box. And not just any box, but the one that Iceland Annie trains in, CrossFit Reykjavik. In case you didn't know "Iceland" Annie Thorisdottir, she won the 2011 CrossFit Games (and a cool $250,000) Annie also came in 2nd at the 2010 Games and 11th in the 2009 Games. 

in case you forgot your Inov-8s, you can buy them!

CrossFit Reykjavik had some seriously big space and equipment. They need it because we were told they had 800 members! The class structure was different to accommodate that many people. All day they run open gym, where you warm up in one room, do the workout in another, and cool down on the side. Workouts start every 10 minutes and there are coaches in each room to supervise each part. 

warm up room...the size of most boxes
plenty of equipment, that's for sure
cool down/mobility area
hot tub anyone? extra lifting shoes? laundry??
there were four full racks of Rogue bars...I wonder if Annie donated them from her quarter mil
a room full of road and tri bikes...for people to use for workouts??
Ditty and I warmed up and did the daily WOD which was: 
5 rounds for time of:
400m run
10 pull ups
30 box jumps, 60cm/50cm (24"/20")
10 pull ups

main workout room

I finished in a little over 20 minutes. After this gasser of a workout, we were told by the owner, Evert, that Annie would be arriving in an hour to train their Reykjavik team which placed 1st in the Europe region and 10th in the world. Evert said I was more than welcome to stay and train with them. After almost leaving to eat dinner, Ditty convinced me to stay and train with them. That's what wives are for, right?

Ditty on pull ups

Annie arrived and got us started right away. It was awesome to hear her speak Icelandic to the team and recognize some of the words simply because there wasn't a translation. We worked up to a heavy clean and jerk, focusing on form. They even had extra oly shoes for me! 

Annie warming us up...she didn't let us put the bar down for the whole time, ouch

After the C+J's, we did 2008 CF Games' final workout: 30 squat clean and jerks at 155# (105# for ladies). Between the daily WOD and not hydrating properly, I definitely felt those C+J's! 10:00 flat, just made it under the cap that Annie set. Afterwards we worked on some muscle ups, but I was so dehydrated that when I jumped up for the rings, my calves cramped up BAD. Oof. Time to stand off to the side and talk to Annie. 

workin' the jerk

Annie was really personable and easy to talk to. She mentioned that she is good friends with Rich Froning (men's winner of the 2011 Games) and frequently checks in to see how workouts are going. She also said she was hoping that Josh Bridges and Mikko Salo could sneak into the 2012 Games because Josh will be in the States for the birth of his new baby and Mikko should be healed from knee surgery earlier this year. (this is purely speculation and not based on anything so don't go spreading rumors) It was interesting to hear that she doesn't really talk to a lot of the girls, mostly because she gets along with guys better (most of the guys out there are nodding their heads wishing they were those guys). I won't give away all of her secrets, but it was very cool to talk with her.

finishing up the clean and jerks

I asked Annie about her training (she had just gotten back from Phoenix filming something for Reebok with Carl Paoli) and she said she's glad to have a break before Regionals and the Games. Although her training had not gone backwards, she said it also wasn't going forwards. While traveling, she's been able to maintain her strength and skills, but she's looking forward to spending time in Iceland progressing on everything. 

chatting it up with Annie

Ditty and I had a great time at CF Reykjavik and highly recommend anyone to drop in and do a workout. Evert and Hronn are awesome and very welcoming and if you get the chance to meet Annie, she is equally cool. 

a great time at CF Reykjavik with Evert and Annie!

Stay tuned for my next post, "Why Icelanders are Ridiculous Athletes"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Iceland Pictures - First Set

Here are some pictures I took in Iceland. I've only gone through about a third of my photos, so here is the first set. Enjoy!

4/26/12 UPDATE: I added another set of 50, even though this looks the same, they are there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vacation, Muscle Ups, Rope Climbs, and Fat

As you know, I went to Iceland for a week in the beginning of April. I'll save it for another post, but I did get to meet Iceland Annie and do a couple of workouts at CF Reykjavik. One of those workouts involved pull ups that left me with "butt arm." This is where your arms suddenly become like T-Rex's and can't full extend without excruciating pain. 

Anyway, over the course of that week, that was the only day we really worked out unless you count hiking all day to see awesome waterfalls (I do). 

muscle up to ring handstand push up. 30 muscle ups should be easy, right? 
The Monday I got back, one of the team training workouts involved 30 muscle ups. We had three people on our team that could do muscle ups, so we figured it would take 6-8 minutes total to get them done, figuring for muscle failure and whatnot. What we didn't figure for was complete and utter FAILURE. It ended up taking us 22 minutes+ to do 30 muscle ups. For two of us, that's longer than our 30 muscle up time by OURSELVES. Not too long ago, I could do an L-sit strict muscle up. (not the prettiest b/c I lean forward, but technically did it) We kept doing ring pull ups and couldn't transition over into the dip. Silliness. Pure silliness.

A few days later, we had another workout that was essentially the Games workout from this past summer involving a ladder of rope climbs and clean and jerks. Again, I failed on the rope, something that as a smaller, lighter guy I should be at least decent at. When I got home, I tried to do 5 muscle ups. It took me over a half hour to do 3. I admit that I quit on the 4th and 5th (even though I genuinely meant to go back after "rest"). What the heck was going on? Was a week off really that detrimental? Was butt arm really that disastrous? Will Justin Bieber ever return my phone calls?

From these two workouts and much contemplation, I concluded two things. One is that yelling and cursing LOUDER doesn't make you suddenly get a muscle up. The other is that I needed to eat more fat. 

Ignoring the first conclusion, let's focus on the fat. In Iceland and even when we got back, I probably ate less calories than I should have been, considering the high energy expenditure of hiking all day. On top of that, if we did eat, it was jerky and dried fruit. The only fat came in the form of grass fed butter at dinner and nuts in the Paleo Kits we had. Barely adequate and hardly above and beyond. The Monday we got back, my meals were steak and sweet potatoes for breakfast, chili for lunch, and some meat and vegetable for dinner. Rinse and repeat. Some fat, but not a lot. And for someone like me who is fairly lean and working out, I needed to eat more. 

From the nutrition blogging that I've done and read, there was a gap in my diet. Fat. So this is what I concluded when those two workouts kicked the crap out of me. Eat more fat. So I did. 

After the rope climb workout, I drank a couple tablespoons of olive oil. The next morning when I made my coffee, I added in a tablespoon of coconut oil. When I had my second cup, I did it again. I had nuts and seeds throughout the day. Dinner was normal meat and veggies, but I poured more olive oil on and grass-fed butter. 

Guess what?

A few days later, we did another team workout, but beforehand, worked on handstand push ups and muscle ups. And I strung 5 no sweat. Rested a little and did another 3. Did an L-sit strict muscle up like in the "old days." Tonight, we did "Nate" which involves muscle ups, handstand push ups, and heavy kb swings. I beat my old PR by 150% with 12 rounds. Whaaatt?
my savior
So yes, perhaps it was because I hadn't done muscle ups in a couple of weeks. But that doesn't explain why I felt so HEAVY and WEAK. What does explain it is my nutrition. I simply wasn't getting enough calories in the form of fat. 

Why fat? Because as a lean person who doesn't consume too many carbohydrates, my body prefers fat as fuel. It can turn it over more quickly than an obese person whose system prefers carbohydrates like pasta and bread and soda as straight up glucose. That is why the same diet doesn't work for everyone. You need to consider where you are NOW and what kind of work you do. 

So as we continue to train for Regionals, one thing for sure is that I'll be eating more fat.

If you are looking to buy coconut oil, head over to my Amazon store for Nutiva's 15oz. jars (2 pack) or the more economical 54oz. jars (2pack). (same price as normal, I just get a few cents for each one)

Monday, April 16, 2012

"You Lift Like a Girl" from California Strength - Debunking the Myth about Women and Lifting Heavy

First, sorry for the lack of postings. Getting back from Iceland, I had a ton of work at work to prepare for (imagine that) and my computer has been on the fritz, so I've been frantically backing everything up. (for the computer saavy, yes I have been backing up to both an external and web albums, but just not as recently)

The topic of lifting heavy for women is also a touchy one because novices think it's going to lead to "big muscles" and "butch" looks. I talked about this in "Skinny-Fat, Cortisol, and Why Cardio Doesn't Work," but if you still have friends that don't believe you, show them this video first and then ask them what they think. Some of these girls are still in college and lifting more than a lot of guys out there. Plus you'd think they're on their way to the next frat party if you saw them in the street, not olympic weightlifters. No, lifting heavy weights does not make you bulky. It makes you STRONG.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Catching Up on Some Light Reading

Yesterday, Ditty and I just got back from Iceland. It was an awesome place with a ton of outdoor sights: volcanoes, geysers, and waterfalls galore. Pictures are coming. While we were away, I didn't do any of my usual blog reading, so here are a few things that I'll need to catch up on. Check them out if you haven't already.

(this post was inspired by Kurt Harris' post)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog has moved, searching new blog...