Los Angeles’s air pollution is among the worst in the United States, both for PM2.5 and ozone. PM2.5 It is widely regarded as one of the most harmful pollutants to human health for its prevalence at dangerous levels. Exposure to PM2.5 has been linked to health effects such as heart disease, respiratory illness, and premature death.

 

For PM2.5, the greater Los Angeles county contains 9 of the 15 most polluted cities in the United States, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report. According to the 2019 State of the Air report, which compared data across 229 metropolitan areas, Los Angeles has the worst ozone air pollution in the United States. Ozone is a gas pollutant formed when sunlight reacts with nitrogen oxides and organic substances. Vehicle exhaust contains both the nitrogen oxides and reactive organic substances needed to form ozone, so traffic is frequently identified as a leading source. Like PM2.5, ozone can cause health effects ranging from respiratory infections and inflammation to premature death.

 

Together, PM2.5 and ozone form the smog that Los Angeles is often known for. The summer months of June, July, and August tend to be more polluted than other months. This is because of drier conditions, less rainfall, higher temperatures, and a higher frequency of wind-blown dust and wildfires.

 

The air quality has been extremely bad the last 10 days. We need to understand that climate change is real and we as a community are directly exposed to these negative changes. I really want us all to work for healthier and cleaner air. What are some things we can do as a business to work for a better climate? What do you do to make a change? Please let us know and also reflect on your own behaviour. 

 

Be safe and breath through that nose of yours! 

Coach Char 

 

Thursday’s Workout 

Gym Peeps – “The 300”

For Time:

25 Pull Ups

50 Deadlifts (135/95)

50 Push Ups

50 Box Jumps

50 Floor Wipers

50 Alt. KB Clean & Presses
25 Pull Ups

If you haven’t yet seen the documentary “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix, PLEASE DO SO. 

That social media can be addictive and creepy isn’t a revelation to anyone who uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. But in Jeff Orlowski’s documentary “The Social Dilemma,” conscientious defectors from these companies explain that the perniciousness of social networking platforms is a feature, not a bug. 

 It is creepy to learn about this. And it gives me anxiety regarding my children and their future. Please watch it, reflect and do something about it. Thank God I am not on facebook, twitter or Tiktok. Next step will be BYE BYE Instagram. 

 

Thursday’s Workout 

EMOM 30

Minute 1: 7/5 Cal AB

Minute 2: 7 Deadlifts – You choose load!

Minute 3: 7 Box Jump Overs (30″/24″)

Do you guys know what the BOLT test is? BOLT stands for Body Oxygen Level Test. 

It is a very simple test that you take (preferably in the morning) when you wake up. You breathe in through your nose, then breathe out through your nose, pinch your nose and hold until you feel the first definite desire to breathe. Then breathe. Measure the time on your watch or phone in seconds. Relax into your body and at some point your brain will send the signal to breathe and you will take a breath in. 

 

What does the BOLT score mean? It is a measurement of functional breathing. The objective is to have the BOLT score ABOVE 25 seconds. BOLT scores under 25 seconds means lots of room for improvement. Functional breathing is important for functional movement. Athletes with low BOLT scores tends to show stronger chemo-sensitivity to CO2 and will not perform to their ability due to this. Cardio vascular fitness is not an indicator of functional breathing but functional breathing will improve cardio vascular fitness! We also tend to see a strong correlation between students with asthma/anxiety and low BOLT score. We also see that the cognitive function of the brain is affected by a low BOLT score. 

 

As the BOLT score improves, the better you can tolerate carbon dioxide and the better oxygen delivery to your tissues/organs/muscles. In other words, the fitter and healthier you you will become. So do me a favour, test your BOLT score every morning for a week. BOLT score of 25 seconds means functional breathing. Anything below that is dysfunctional breathing.  (Remember it is not a test in how long you can hold your breath but the first desire to breathe). Talk to your coach if your BOLT is below 25. It will effect your training and every day life. 

 

Best,

Coach Char

 

Ps. I started Medical School/Dr of Physical Therapy school yesterday!! 3 years of school ahead.. Wish me luck. I am super nervous but very motivated! 

 

Thursday’s Workout

GYM PEEPS BUILD YOUR ENDURANCE!!!!

AMRAP 8

ME Cal AB

-1 Minute Rest-

AMRAP 8

ME Cal Row

-1 Minute Rest-

 

AMRAP 6

ME Cal AB

-:45 Rest-

AMRAP 6

ME Cal Row

-:45 Rest-

 

AMRAP 4

ME Cal AB

-:30 Rest-

AMRAP 4

ME Cal Row

 

CONTEXT… Posture & Breathing Mechanics is your foundation… – Practice: Treat today as a true ‘Active Recovery Day.’ Focus on your breathing (nasal only) and your technique on the assault bike/rower. – Mental Toughness: Nasal breathing the entire workout. Including rest intervals. – Competion: Total score of as many calories as you can while holding true to Mental Toughness.

 

 

I am going to tell you about how you can increase your ventilation and train your body’s reaction to the buildup of CO2. The better tolerance to CO2, the better anaerobic capacity you will receive. Hopefully you will implement this into your physical practice when you are training and take to the breath training we are exposing you to in class.  On Tuesday I had all my classes go through hypoxic and hypercapnic breath work during our warmup on the assault bike. Hypoxic means low oxygen, hypercapnia means high carbon dioxide. I asked all my students to breath through their nose for 60 seconds on the assault bike, then come off the bike and exhale all the air through the mouth and then try to do 10 air squats on one single exhale hold. Of all 24 students – only three was able to squat ten times on an exhale hold after one minute on the bike. 

 

Why is that you may ask yourself? Looks like a pretty simple task if you ask me. But it is not if your body cannot tolerate the buildup of carbon dioxide. This is what happens: 

The body is very sensitive to the buildup of CO2 (Carbon dioxide). If CO2 increases by 3-5mm of mercury, ventilation doubles! Pretty significant number. During physical exercise you produce carbon dioxide. The more you move your muscles the more CO2 you will produce.  If you got a strong response of the buildup of CO2 you breathing is going got be excessive. If your breathing is excessive you are going to cause fatigue to the breathing muscles and you will immediately feel more fatigued and breathless than you should be.  We want to train the brains reaction to the buildup of carbon dioxide so it can tolerate higher amounts of carbon dioxide. The better your body can tolerate carbon dioxide the better your breathing will be. The better your breathing is, the more oxygen will be delivered to the tissue, muscles and organs. Oxygenated tissue will last longer and be less fatigue. In other words, your performance will improve.

 

If you were in the group that did not make the 10 air squats on one exhale hold, that is an indicator that you need to improve your breathing efficiency and work on your BOLT score. To get through tomorrows context of competition and mental toughness you do need to have supporting and functional breathing mechanics. If you cannot – you should be training with the context of practice day. 

 

Best,

Coach Char 

 

Thursdays Workout: 

Assault Bike “30-30-30”

30 Minutes :30 Work :30 Recovery

*Practice: Posture and breathing mechanics.

*Mental Toughness: – Nasal Breathing the entire 30 minutes. – Keep your hands on the handles the entire time.

*Competition: As many calories as you can get while still holding true to “Practice & Mental Toughness”

Thursday’s Workout 

DEATH BY…ROW!!

EMOM 20

Row 200m – Level 4

Row 175m – Level 3

Row 150m – Level 2

Row 125m – Level 1

 

**Choose one level and stick with it! Challenge yourself. You should be doing about :40 seconds of work, leaving you with a whopping :20 seconds of rest.

Thor Eskil Kane

8/8 is a very meaningful and special day for me. It is a day that changed my life forever five years ago. On Aug 8th, 2015 my son Thor was born in a hospital in Stockholm, surrounded by the best squad team of midwives. Thor turned 5 years old a few days ago and this blog post will be dedicated to him. 

 

I was in labour for two days before he was born. Going through labour is a remarkable experience. It is a time when you leave your own self, this world and everything around you to only focus on the one thing that matters the most. Your baby’s entry into this world. Nothing else matters. Everything you thought you knew about this world, everything you thought you knew about love, everything you thought you knew about fear and anxiety – immediately will be put into perspective. When Thor came out he was exhausted and didn’t have much energy after fighting to get out for a long time. But as the midwife pulled him up, Thor looked at me and in that moment I knew something within had changed. I know it may sound silly as you read this but that look caused a wave of emotions I had never felt before. Total unconditional love for a new little person. Total fear of how to protect a new little life and the total chock of feeling a connection I had never felt before. I knew those eyes  – I had seen them before. I knew that soul, I had felt it before. 

 

Since that hot summer day Aug 8th, 2015 – my life priorities and world view changed. And to navigate my now 5 year old through a very rough world is challenging. I have reflected a lot the last six months as the pandemic have all hit us hard. Where and how do I want to raise my children? How do I teach him to stand up for himself? What life values are important? How do I make sure he has healthy food on the dinner table? What do I tell him and how do I explain Covid and face masks? How do I talk to him about anxiety and racism? How can I make sure he gets to laugh and enjoy his childhood? What happens if Kenny and/or I pass too early? Tough life reflections, I am aware. 

 

As unknown as the world feels now – I must say – I have never been more confident in our choice to set children into this world. They are my light and my purpose.  And I will do everything in my power to keep them safe and happy. Thor is amazing. So is his brother Maxi. Thor is a boy that is very stubborn and emotional, has the best laugh, stands up for himself and his friends, loves nature, sticks and rocks and to build stuff. Is currently interested in dinosaurs, mermaids, treasure hunts and space. Has great imagination, loves birthday cakes (who doesn’t?), adores his teacher Miss Ninette, has dual citizenship and speaks two languages fluently. He can write his name and is convinced he is a great dancer!

 

Happy Birthday TO MY FOREVER biggest love, Thor! 

Love,

MAMMA

 

 

Tomorrow’s Workout: 

GYM PEEPS

AMRAP 15

18/15 Cal Row

10 RDL

20 BW Step Ups

Rest 5 Minutes

AMRAP 15

15/12 Cal AB

10 DB Side Bends (Each side)

20 Russian KBS

 

ZOOM PEEPS

AMRAP 15

15 1/4 Jumping Squats

5 Single Leg Deadlifts (Each side)

20 Walking Lunges

5 Minute Rest

AMRAP 15

50 Double Unders

10 DB Side Bends (Each side)

20 Russian Weighted Swings

 

 

 

 

I am going to write about a subject that has brought a lot of attention to me lately. Today you will learn about mercury toxicity.  The more I read and learn about it, the more upset I get. Why? Because it is preventable. 

 

Mercury is one of the most toxic metals, worse than lead. The poison is found in our soil, water and food supply. It is also found in sewage sludge, fungicides and pesticides. there are grains that are treated with methyl mercury chlorine bleaches, which seep into our food supply and daily intake. Because methyl mercury contaminates our waters – large amounts are found in fish, especially fish farther up in the food chain. approximately one third of America’s lakes contain fish that will be contained with mercury. Mercury is also present in product that we as humans use and are exposed to everyday, such as cosmetics (women downscale on your cosmetics or use natural body care and make up!), dental fillings, fabric softeners (skip fabric softeners for your clothes moving forward, not worth it), batteries, inks used by tattooists, latex (don’t wear “Covid gloves” when you’re working out), plastics (we seriously need to do something about plastic cups, straws, etc..), nail polishes, wood preservatives and many more things that I could mention. 

 

When it comes to your dental fillings. Please remove your mercury fillings!

This is a big topic and an important one that is beyond the scope of this blog post. If you have your mercury fillings removed, it is imperative that you use a biological dentist who has the necessary tools to remove mercury correctly. If you don’t, you could be exposing yourself to more mercury. Many dentists and even the FDA will tell you that mercury fillings are safe. They’ll tell you that “there is no evidence that mercury amalgam fillings are harmful to your health.” The truth is that they don’t know because there is no proof that mercury exposure through fillings over time is safe. But what we do know for sure is that mercury is toxic and we don’t want it in our mouths. So talk to your dentist. 

 

Mercury is a cumulative poison. Meaning that there is no barrier for it reaching your brain cells. Mercury is retained in the pain center or the brain and in the central nervous system. its presence can prevent both the normal entry of nutrients to the  cells and the removal of waste from the cells. It can bind to immune cells and interfere with normal immune responses. this may be one factor and reason behind autoimmune diseases. it can lead to arthritis, depression, dermatitis, fatigue, nausea, hair loss, insomnia, muscle weakness and the list goes on. high levels can also lead to blindness, healthy eye function and paralysis. many food allergies are directly attributable to mercury poisoning. mercury exposer in pregnant women can lead to neurological damage, for example lowered intelligence and delayed development in infants and toddlers. 

 

People get most of their mercury from eating fish. The next step is therefor to reduce our intake of fish that contain mercury. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain trace amounts of mercury but it “bioaccumulates” or builds up in larger fish. Even albacore tuna, which you see in most supermarkets, is something you should not have more than once a week, and children should have it even less.

EAT LESS

  • ahi tuna
  • albacore tuna
  • bigeye tuna
  • bluefish
  • king mackerel
  • opah
  • swordfish

EAT MORE

  • flounder
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • oysters
  • salmon
  • sardines
  • scallops

You should consume fish in moderation and always broil it. By broiling the fish and draining the juices you will get rid of the fat, in which the mercury primarily stores, but you will receive the benefit from alkylglycerols. rarely eat high mercury fish!! Eat organically grown foods, especially beans and onions and garlic, which helps protect the body against toxic substances. 

 

If you suspect mercury toxicity, have a hair analysis  performed. this will tell you and detect toxic levels of mercury. A urine test can also give you solid information.

 

Thursday’s Workout

EMOM 10

1: 20 DB Snatch – You choose the load!!

Min 2: 35 DoubleUnders

 

Also – pay attention! Starting on the 15th of Aug we will have FOUR WEEKEND EVENTS coming up. Super fun and challenging test workouts. First out the Squat Battle! How durable are you under load? Keep your eyes open for more info! 

 

AND do something about that mercury toxicity in your life! 

 

Much love,

Coach Char 

 

 

What is inflammation? And how does it manifest in your body? 

Inflammation is a natural reaction to either injury or infection. the affected tissues swell, become warm, redden and may be painful. proteins called cytokines will attack the threatening germ and repair damaged tissue. Too much inflammation can damage the body, resulting gin immobility, weight loss, eroding muscle tissue and the power to fight disease. disorders that involve inflammation include, bursitis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, tendinitis – just to name a few. cardiovascular disease may also be a result of inflammation in the linings of the arteries. 

 

What can trigger inflammation? To mention a few, inflammation can be a result of a diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids, exposure to environmental toxins, drugs, free radical damage, infections, injury, trauma, bacterial – fungal or viral infection. 

 

Any organ or tissue can become inflamed. Internal inflammation can be caused by a bacterial infection or caused by disorders such as anaemia, arthritis, autoimmune disease, allergies, Crohn’s disease, osteoarthritis, peptic ulcer disease or colitis. External inflammation is often the result of injury. 

 

What can you do to reduce inflammation? 

Make sure your nutrient intake consist of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B complex plus extra vitamin B12, vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Alfalfa is a good source of minerals. Aloe vera juice is helpful for inflammation, turmeric, ginger, yucca, echinacea  will also help reduce inflammation. Eat a diet composed of mainly raw foods and drinks plenty of herbal tea and juice. You can also consume foods which are powerful antioxidants and useful for inflammation reduction. Spinach and blueberries are great sources. Cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel are rich sources of fatty acids and good for you. Limit your intake of salt, sugar and junk foods. 

 

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you feel that you suffer from inflammation – talk to your Doctor and/or Your Coach.

– Coach Char 

 

Thursday’s Workout

Gym & Zoom Workout:

AMRAP 12

10 DB Snatch (50/35)

10 Lateral Burpees*

10 Mountain Climbers

 

*Gym Peeps: Use parallette to jump over. Zoom Peeps: I miss seeing your face in person and stuff.

 

 

I wanted to write about diabetes. My hope is that you will learn more about the disease and what you can do to prevent yourself from getting it or help someone in your family/friend that has been diagnosed with it. 

 

Diabetes is a disease in which the body in which the body either does not produce or cannot properly use the pancreatic hormone insulin. insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and the specific rate at which glucose is absorbed into the cells in your body. cells need glucose to produce energy. also, the brain’s only food is glucose, hence the need for proper amounts of glucose in your system for the brain to function normally. after eating a meal that contains carbohydrates or protein, the blood sugar normally rises to between 120 and 130 milligrams per decaliter (mg/DL). This rise in blood sugar, triggers a release of insulin in the pancreas. the insulin opens the door s of cells, allowing glucose to enter them. as glucose enters all the cells in your body, the blood sugar level falls back down to normal levels and the release of insulin slows down or ends. its important to understand that every day, every hour the blood sugar levels vary. This is true for people without diabetes. If blood sugar falls too low, also called hypoglycaemia, a person’s ability to reason can become impaired. if blood sugar levels are too high, also called hyperglycaemia, the person has diabetes. in people diagnosed with diabetes, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to hyperglycaemia.  Diabetes can if not being controlled and taken care of, lead to kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, deem, infections in the mouth, lungs, gums, skin, feet and bladder. skin sores may also develop and fail to heal properly. 

 

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), there are 23.6 million (!!!!) people just in the US diagnosed with diabetes. Holy moly. That is not good. And about 57 million (!!!) people have impaired fasting glucose (IFG) levels, meaning that they are pre-diabetic. If you have read this far, please pause for a second and think through this numbers. How is that even possible? We have the best healthcare we have ever had, we have more knowledge than ever about the importance of movement and physical training. Yet we are more sick than ever in our human history. Diabetes is the leading cause to Covid-19 deaths, it is also the seventh leading death in general in the United States and the primary cause  of new cases of blindness in people between twenty and seventy four. 

 

There are two major types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. 

Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent diabetes and Tupe 2 diabetes is a non-insulin -dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects about 5 to 10% of people with diabetes and usually starts at an early age. It is classified as an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes and affects about 95% of the overall diabetes cases. In type 2 diabetes – the pancreas actually produces insulin but not enough to fuel the cells. 

 

Known risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include: overweight, obesity, having a parent with diabetes, having had gestational diabetes, having given birth to a baby over nine pounds, blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, abnormal cholesterol levels, inactivity – defined as exercising fewer than three times a week, showing impaired fasting glucose tolerance (IGT) and a history of heart disease. 

 

What is IGT you may ask yourself? It is a condition, also called Pre-diabetes, in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis. The only way to prevent Type 2 diabetes to develop is through rigorous changes of lifestyle with weight loss and daily exercise, this includes weightlifting, intense training and healthy nutrition. The major danger with diabetes is not the disease itself but the complications that can arise if insulin levels are not maintained. It can over time lead to, kidney failure, blindness, limb amputations, nerve damage and heart disease.  

 

Opinions may vary as to the optimal ratio of dietary carbohydrates, proteins and fats for prevention and treatment of diabetes. However it is safe to say that carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin. the more carbohydrates you consume the more insulin is produced. In other words, avoid carbohydrates and avoid sugar. Eat a low-fat (unless good fat), high fibre diet including plenty of raw vegetables and fruits as well as vegetable juices. This reduces the need for insulin and lowers the levels of fats in the blood. Fibre helps to reduce blood sugar surges. For snacks – choose a healthy protein or rice bran crackers with nut butter or cheese. Legumes, root veggies and whole grains can also be good. The types of carbohydrates consumed are at least as important as the total carb loading. Hugh-glycemic foods such as white rice, white flour products, starchy veggies, and processed foods are quickly converted into blood sugar during digestion causing insulin levels to go up. Carbohydrates found in low-glycemic foods such as asparagus, broccoli, low starch veggies are converted into blood sugar much more slowly, hence better. Avoiding white foods is good. You can supplement your diet with spirulina. It helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. Other good foods/supplements are berries, brewers yeast, dairy products, egg yolks, fish, garlic sauerkraut, veggies and soybeans. Get your main protein from vegetables and fish and healthy dairy products. Avoid saturated fats and trans fat, avoid tobacco, avoid large amounts of vitamin B1 and B3. Exercise regularly! Good thing is that you know where to find us 😉 

 

Please take a look at the video below about our space and hope you learned something today reading this blog post. 

 

Cheers, 

Coach Char 

 

 

 

Thursday’s Workout 

For Time:

50 Back Squats (115/75)

1 Mile Run or 2000m Row

50 Back Squats

 

If you haven’t met Nancy Yaeger, or heard of her – I would like to introduce her to all of you who reads and/or follow this blog and Oak Park. Miss Nancy is an incredible person and a true hero. Her life story is unique and she keeps inspiring and challenge me as a coach and all our students. She has been part of our community for about three years and was nominated and won the Marion award for her outstanding physical journey and performance. 

 

I am going to give you a short scope of who she is and her life journey. Nancy is the youngest of three sisters and grew up in Northern California and spent a lot of time in Hawaii during her teenage years.  She is a mother of two – Thomas and Caroline – and she is married to Tom Yaeger, also a student at Oak Park. She runs her own business – making incredible dresses and she is a math genius! Always correcting my math when I am trying to add up pounds on the barbell or describe percentages or degrees of angels in geometry. She is a heck of a skier and she is the nicest person you’ll ever bump into!

 

Nancy has always been an incredible athlete and she still is. In her mid twenties she was diagnosed with MS (Multiple sclerosis). For those of you who don’t know what MS is; MS affects the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). With MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves. Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms. Despite her diagnosis and physical deterioration she decided to behave and act with an open and positive mindset. She came up with the idea and motto of “Yes you can” and for years she produced and directed exercise videos for people within the MS community to help improve physical health. 

 

Three years ago she walked into our crossfitbox and I will argue that her personal fitness journey took off. When Nancy came to us, she could hardly walk without support. Getting in and out of a car or stepping off a curb was very challenging. But she had made up her mind that she was going to try and learn how to crossfit.  I have never seen a person so dedicated, loyal and stubborn as Nancy Yaeger. Three times a week she trains with me, and she goes to two/three crossfit classes in addition to our personal sessions… And she swims in the afternoons. She has done tremendous progress since she started and she has crushed all her personal fitness goals. This year we are working on strict pull-ups without support and how to jump in and out of a burpee.  Yesterday I witnessed her doing 60(!!) burpees for her 60th birthday. And she freaking nailed it. Ask me in a year and I guarantee that she will be doing kipping pull-ups at the age of 61. 

 

Happy Birthday Nancy.

– Coach Char 

 

                 

 

Thursday’s Workout

35 Double Unders

50 AKB

65 Burpees 

80 Stepups (50/35) 20”

Time Cap: 15min