Tag Archives: workouts

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 38 – How Sarah Palmer DeFrank Rewrote Her Story

Sarah Palmer DeFrank has been many things: Single mom. Broke graduate student. Chef. Overweight. Unhealthy. Unhappy. Listen and learn how she used CrossFit to rewrite her story.

How Sarah Palmer DeFrank Rewrote Her Story

Sarah used to cry at her kitchen table after workouts. She thought she was no good, and couldn’t understand how it seemed so easy for everyone else.

That was more than three years ago, and today, Sarah is proud of what her body can do—she’s lost 60 lb. and gained 7 lb. of muscle, along with toes-to-bars and double-unders.

But the road hasn’t always been smooth.

In Episode 38 of the Living Better Podcast, Sarah shares how she changed the narrative of her life from depressed, overweight and unsatisfied to thriving physically, mentally and professionally—and how CrossFit helped along the way.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About Sarah’s tough past and depression after her mother’s death.
  • Her struggles with inadequacy when she first started training.
  • How she rewrote her story, lost 60 lb. and found happiness.

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The Twinkie Diet

In 2010, Mark Haub, a nutrition professor, ran an experiment to see if he could eat 1800 calories a day—with Twinkies and snack foods as the staple of his diet—and lose weight.

Turns out he lost 27 lb., and all of his key health indicators showed that he was getting healthier.

So, for July, we’re announcing the Twinkie diet challen—

Kidding.

Haub was almost apologetic it worked. He really doesn’t want people going out and trying the Twinkie diet.

But it just proves a basic hypothesis that doctors have been telling us for years.

Excess body fat leads to health issues, and to lose body fat, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns.

Haub found that his cholesterol and other blood markers improved just by losing the weight, even though he was eating TWINKIES every day.

Eventually, he stopped because eating Twinkies 3 times a day sucks. It also takes a lot more discipline to limit yourself when your diet consists of snack foods.

But the bottom line is that it WORKS.

If your goal is to lose fat and get healthier, ANY diet will work!

Rule No. 1 of dieting is to eat fewer calories than you consume.

Rule No. 2 is to do it consistently.

Rule No. 2 is where things get hairy … 

It’s really hard to stick with a diet long-term.

Nutrition comes down to habits and behavior, so we come up with little tricks to help us stay on track.

Maybe you can get healthy if you …

Eat ONLY veggies.

Eat ONLY meat.

Eat ONLY between 12-8 p.m.

Eliminate gluten and dairy.

Have a green smoothie every morning.

People try these things, get results for themselves and a few friends, then they write books about their new diet revolution.

These diets become religion when tons of other people try it, then write blogs or show up on talk shows claiming their diet can solve all of the world’s problems.

But they’re not wrong …

Their diets DO work!

But if you understand the REASON they work, you can save yourself a lot of time …

Nutrition is all about behavior.

Your goal is to pick a plan that takes you forward toward your goals and is easy to follow for a long time.

Avoid the debates, keep it simple—just find something that works for you and stick with it consistently.

Coach Jay

PS – Obviously, everyone’s situation is different. We all have different goals, backgrounds, and health issues. We encourage you to find a plan that fits YOUR particular needs …

But ultimately, it always comes back to consistency. The perfect diet is useless if you cheat on it.

If you need help choosing your dietary weapon, Coach Wendy and Coach Tina are experts in behavior change. Email them at nutrition@crossfithale.com for a free consult to help you sift through the noise to find something that works for you.


Announcements

Summer of Skills!

Our first rowing clinic was a hit! I saw many of you pick up some new cues and skills to help. Hopefully it made Thursday’s workout a little more fun!

Our next few skills sessions will be:

6/19: Improve Your Handstand Skills with Cullen
6/26: Improve Your Ring Skills with Wendy
7/3: (off for Hero Challenge)

Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to heidi@crossfithale.com.

Mark Freeman (of Freeman Technique, Cirque du Soleil, and Cal Gymnastics fame) will be running his clinics on Wednesdays at 5:45 a.m., starting JUNE 19. Cost is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Our regular 5:45-a.m. Group Coaching class will run alongside.

Stay tuned: In the coming weeks we will have specialty courses on endurance, Olympic lifting, strongman, basic gymnastics, and more.

Hero Challenge: July 1-4

We’ll complete 4 Hero workouts in 4 days. It’ll be like the 12 Days of CrossFit, but shorter, sunnier, and perhaps a little heavier!

You’ll continue to see some Hero WODs sprinkled throughout the programming to get you prepped. This would be a great time to start working on some key skills—you may see some chest-to-bar pull-ups and other high-skill gymnastics, so get a jump on it!

Guest Day at Hale: Saturday, July 6

All athletes welcome, no CrossFit experience required. Classes at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. FREE!

Workouts for the Week

Monday—TRAIN

A. Overhead squat for load:
5 x 3

Work up to a heavy 3 for today. You’re only as good as your positions on this one–full foot on the ground and strong shoulders will transfer over better to other movements, like the snatch. Stay tight, sit back, and hold on.

B. For time:
100 wall balls (20/14)

EMOM: 4 burpees

MissFit: 14/10

Breathe, and take BIG SETS on this one. Shoot for at least 20 reps in each of your first three minutes … get past halfway, and you can figure it out from there.

Tuesday—TRAIN

18-min AMRAP:
30 double-unders
10 front-rack lunges (75/55)
10 shoulder-to-overhead (press, push press, push jerk)

MissFit:
60 single-unders
Front-rack lunge 65/40
S2OH 65/40

The pump on this one should be pretty solid–try to keep the barbell work unbroken for each movement. Take a little extra rest before picking the bar up for shoulder-to-OH.

Wednesday—RECOVER

A. Warm-up

5 rounds:
45/35-lb. plate push
5 T push-ups/side
10 hanging shifts on bar

B. 15-min alt. EMOM:
Min 1: AMRAP strict pull-ups
Min 2: 10 HIGH box jumps (30/24)
Min 3: 250-m row

Score is the number of strict pull-ups. Aim for at least one big set each round, then hit singles as needed.

MissFit: Elevated ring rows

Good day to work on some higher-skill/strength movements. Stick those box landings and keep a reasonable pace. You’ll have to hustle on the row to have any time before the pull-ups, but don’t go TOO hard.

Choose a pull-up scaling you can do 5 of when fresh, but not 10. If you can hit 10 strict pull-ups, hold a weight between your feet.

C. Barbell arm smash:
2 mins/side biceps
2 mins/side forearm
2 mins/side triceps

Thursday—TRAIN

A. “Warm-Up Gone Bad”

3 rounds, 1 min each:
Bear crawl
Plate hops
Strict hanging leg raises
Bar pass-throughs
Burpees
Rest

By rounds 2 and 3, you should be hitting this at a good clip, but not going SO HARD. We’ll get you sweaty, but your primary focus today is learning and practicing the sumo deadlift.

B. Sumo deadlift for load:
5-5-5-5-5

5 sets of 5, all pulled as singles and CONTROLLED down to the ground. This means you REALLY have to get comfortable in the set-up. You’re not looking for a 5-RM. Just nail down the skill and find something heavy-ish.

Friday—TRAIN

3 rounds for time:
800-m run
30 KB box step-overs (53/35)
30 KB swings

MissFit:
KB box step-overs (35/26)
KB swings (35/26)

This one is a little bit of stamina, a little bit of endurance. Aim for a steady pace on your 800-m run and hopefully something you can maintain. The step-overs and KB swings are enough reps that you’ll need a breathing strategy. Keep moving!

Saturday—PERFORM

“David Markland”

5 rounds for time:
5 clean and jerks (135/95)
20 pull-ups
30 push-ups
40 sit-ups
50 air squats

MissFit:
Clean and jerk (95/65)
Ring rows

The clean and jerks should be the quick part! If weight is easy for you, go unbroken. This would be a good day to Rx the weight if you know you can do at least one. To scale: Complete in pairs.

Dedicated to Warrant Officer Class 2 David Markland from 36 Engineer Regiment who died in an IED blast in Afghanistan on February 8, 2010. This was WO2 Markland’s eighth operational tour of duty during his distinguished 20-year service.

Sunday—TRAIN

3 rounds for time:
15 power cleans (135/95)
15 thrusters
1000-m row

Again, a Larry special! This one is manageable as (but heavy, YES) prescribed for many of you. Scale down weight so that you can do the thrusters in 2 sets when fresh. Today is intended to be heavy, but if you just need to move and recover, scale back as much as you need.

 

(Header image: By Evan-Amos – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14735063)

 

The Happy Game

Whenever we get down on ourselves, my kids and I play the Happy Game.

The rules are simple: You take turns asking each other,

“What are you happy about?”

The best is when they ask me, completely unprompted,

“Daddy, what are you happy about?”

My answer will be something like,

“I’m happy it’s Friday and we get to hang out tomorrow.”

My 7-year-old daughter, Evie, will say something like, “I’m happy I finished my project at sewing class today,”

My 3-year-old son, Tiger, is the best at this game. His answer is something like, “I’m happy for seeing a firetruck.”

We go around the circle two or three times or until Tiger gets distracted by another firetruck or school bus.

By the end, we’re all happier, no matter how crappy we felt at the beginning.

The first time my wife and I played this game, we thought it was some high-minded concept the kids wouldn’t understand.

We went back and forth a few times, then Evie chimed in, “My turn! I’m happy we went to grandma’s,” then said, “Tiger’s turn!”

We laughed and said, “Tiger, what are you happy about?”

“I’m happy about my blanket,” he said while holding it up.

Our minds were blown!

How did they even know what we were talking about?

Turns out, kids practice gratitude and being happy ALL … THE … TIME!

Remember being a kid, and how excited you got about new toys, new trips to different places, new activities at school?

You hadn’t “done enough” or “seen enough” to be jaded, and you appreciated everything life threw at you.

At some point, we lose that and get lost in the vicissitudes of life.

But when you play the Happy Game, all that melts away.

Try it! Next time you’re in the car with your kids or having coffee with a friend, ask them, “What are you happy about?”

Whatever they say, respond and tell THEM what you’re happy about. Then ask again … and do it at least three times.

By the end, you’re both going to be MUCH happier.

Coach “happy dad” Jay


Announcements

Outdoor Guest Day: Saturday, June 15

Friends and family welcome. No prior CrossFit experience required. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to sign a waiver if this is your first time! Classes start at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. sharp. We’ll give more details on where to meet next week.

Summer of Skills!

Our first rowing clinic was a hit! I saw many of you pick up some new cues and skills to help. Hopefully it made Thursday’s workout a little more fun!

Our next few skills sessions will be:

6/12: Fix Yo’ Squat (mobility) with Heidi
6/19: Improve Your Handstand Skills with Cullen
6/26: Improve Your Ring Skills with Wendy
7/3: (off for Hero Challenge)

Please click here to RSVP for next week’s mobility session. There’s no cap on the number of athletes, but I would like to know what you struggle with MOST.

Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to heidi@crossfithale.com.

Mark Freeman (of Freeman Technique, Cirque du Soleil, and Cal Gymnastics fame) will be running his clinics on Wednesdays at 5:45 a.m., starting JUNE 19. Cost is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Our regular 5:45-a.m. Group Coaching class will run alongside.

Stay tuned: In the coming weeks we will have specialty courses on endurance, Olympic lifting, strongman, basic gymnastics, and more.

Hero Challenge: July 1-4

We’ll complete 4 Hero workouts in 4 days. It’ll be like the 12 Days of CrossFit, but shorter, sunnier, and perhaps a little heavier!

You’ll continue to see some Hero WODs sprinkled throughout the programming to get you prepped. This would be a great time to start working on some key skills—you may see some chest-to-bar pull-ups and other high-skill gymnastics, so get a jump on it!


Workouts for the Week

Monday—TRAIN

4 rounds for time:
4 power cleans (155/115)
4 front squats
4 shoulder-to-overhead (press, push press, push jerk)

MissFit: 6 Rounds: (95/65)

Rx+: 205/145

This should be HEAVY. Like how DT is heavy—but HEAVIER.

Basically, you should be able to do the squats unbroken, but be uncertain whether you can make the rest without putting the bar down for multiple rounds. This one will feel scary. Have a strategy and hit it methodically.

If you’re uncomfortable with the movements, find a moderate weight and hit 6 rounds.

8-minute cap.

Ideally:

First round unbroken, MAYBE.

Then,

Fast 3 single power cleans
1 power clean + 4 squats + one S-to-OH
3 S-to-OH

Tuesday—TRAIN

For time:
800-m run
8 toes-to-bars/pull-ups (1 T2B + 1 PU =1)
8 rolling pistols/side
600-m run
6 T2B/PU
6 rolling pistols/side
400-m run
4 T2B/PU
4 rolling pistols/side
200-m run
2 T2B/PU
2 rolling pistols/side
100-m run
1 T2B/PU
1 rolling pistol/side

Have fun with the gymnastics skills today. The T2B/Pull-Up is ONE OF EACH and a big test of coordination in your kip. If you’re not there yet with one of those movements, you’ll work on the cadence of linking toes-to-bars, or mixing in knees-to-chest with a straight leg raise.

With all of these items DESCENDING, each round should feel lighter and brighter. Push the pace on the run as you keep going … accelerate! Long one today. Shoot for 20-25 mins. Hard cap at 30.

Scaling:
Straight leg raise/K2C (working coordination in the kip)
Candlestick roll to squat (use plate or mat assist as needed)

Wednesday—RECOVER

A. In teams of 3-4 as a relay:
3 burpee + shuttle run
Seal walk—> jog back
Lunge —> tiptoe back
Crab walk —> skip back
Wheelbarrow —> switch partners

“Sally”

B. 15 min AMRAP:
20-s handstand hold
15 kettlebell swings
15 AbMat sit-ups

Scale HS hold to 1-2 good attempts and something challenging
-wall walk
-HS kick up
-pulling feet from wall
-shoulders against box
-freestanding (w/or w/out wall)
-HS walk

Choose a weight for KB swings that feels fairly easy. Just heavy enough to get your heart rate up. The goal is to PRACTICE handstands today.

C. 2 mins/side superfriend calf smash
2 mins gut smash

Thursday—TRAIN

A. Bench press: 5 x 7

Add weight as you go and find a heavy set of 7 for today.

B. In pairs:
3 rounds for total reps:

2-min AMRAP:
Partner 1 rows for calories
Partner 2 AMRAP:
3 push-ups
6 DB snatch (40/25)
9 air squats

-1 min rest-

2-min AMRAP:
Partner 2 rows for calories
Partner 1 AMRAP
3 push-ups
6 DB snatches (40/25)
9 air squats

-1 min rest-

Score is total number of reps, cals + AMRAP (AMRAP = 18 reps/round)

Today is a solid training day—your challenge is to maintain an aggressive but not all-out pace on the row and keep moving quickly through the AMRAP. When rowing this time domain for calories, aim for efficiency. 1 calorie per 1-2 strokes would be ideal (3 cals every 4-5 strokes is usually my aim).

To do this: Keep stroke rate manageable (under 30 is the goal), and push HARD through your legs. If you blow up your heart rate too quickly, your pace will suffer more in future rounds.

Friday—PERFORM

“Omar”

For time:
10 thrusters (95/65)
15 bar-facing burpees
20 thrusters
25 bar-facing burpees
30 thrusters
35 bar-facing burpees

This one will be a test of strategy, composure, and mental toughness.

How to win:
1. thrusters in 1-2-3 sets
10 is unbroken
In your 20s, do NOT put down the bar before 12 reps. Leave a second, smaller set if not UB.
In your 30s, 12-10-8 or similar. Again, leave fewer reps for the end.

2. Stay composed on the burpees. Smooth and steady wins over fast and choppy every time.

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Omar Vazquez, 25, of Hamilton, New Jersey, assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Hood, Texas, died of wounds suffered April 22, 2011, when insurgents in Numaniyah, Iraq, attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his parents Maria and Pablo, sister Marisel, and brothers Pablo and Javier.

Saturday—TRAIN—Guest Day @ Beach!

20-min AMRAP:
100′ run with log
50′ walking lunge
50′ run
50′ broad jump
50′ run
20 log squats

Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty! Guests, family, and friends welcome. We’ll meet at the beach near the condos in Marina Bay (see map at Hale) at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Leave an extra 10 minutes to walk to site from car.

Sunday—TRAIN

“The Mule”

21-15-9 reps for time of:
Deadlifts (225/155)
Burpee pull-ups

Rx insano: 315/225

This is a quick, heavy workout Larry’s been eyeing from the Rogue Invitational (one of the CrossFit Games qualifiers).

NOW, that said, if you’ve trained hard this week, scale back. Plan 10 reps + at your deadlift weight. The burpees will blow up your forearms and grip a bit.

If you know what you’re getting yourself into and you’re here to THROW DOWN, get after it, but keep it cute. Take your time to set up for heavy deadlifts and stay composed.