The Women’s Program is up and rollin’. Every Tuesday and Thursday 9am at the gym and every Wednesday at 9am in the park for core, cardio and body weight strength in general. When I ask women what their number #1 goal is when it comes to fitness, the answer that comes back is “I want to be able to do a pull-up”. Why is it so hard for women to pull themselves up with their chin over the bar? Something I have thought about a lot. The confidence of not believing in yourself and that you can do it? Or the competence of not knowing how to do it? The lack of exposure? The lack of knowledge in understanding the value of actually pull yourself up. The lack of understanding value of grip strength and how it can translate into other areas of life, like carrying your groceries or picking up your kid. All of it is probably true.

 

Many women believe you’ll get bulky by strength training or working upper body. That is complete bullshit. I do strength training weekly, including pull-ups and I am not bulky and  my body weight is stabile around 125lbs. I work with over 40 women weekly, both in group classes and privately. My women do strength training weekly and I would argue that the strength training has only improved their quality of life. But still most women (and men too) lack the ability to do one single pull-up. If you have been a student at the gym – for more than a year, and been consistent in your training, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do a pull-up. In other words: you should absolutely do a pull-up or the progression on how to do a pull-up hasn’t been delivered to you by the coach. Let’s change that. I promise to work my butt off for you if you show up for me. And we will work on your confidence and competence and nail that pull-up by the end of this year.  

 

Great job to all the women and girls that came to our outdoor class today! It was awesome! 

– Coach Charlotte

 

Thursday’s Workout:

EMOM 12

Minute 1: 3-5 Squat Cleans

Minute 2: 10-12 Bar Facing Burpees

What are carbohydrates?  Do you know what they do and how much you need  to reach your goals? There is a lot to learn and if you need more guidance and help on this subject, please reach out to us coaches. Dr. Andy Galpin spoke about this on his youtube channel and podcast and I would also recommend you listen to what he has to say. 

So what are carbs? Typically three major categories:

i) Sugar – fruit, added sugar, dairy, some vegetables like beets or potatoes.

ii) Fiber – grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts that the body can’t break down.

iii) Starch – beans, plants etc. 

So what does carbohydrates do to your body? This is what Dr. Andy Galpin stated: 

“Things that make you gain weight.

Things that give you dementia.

The reason for Covid-19!”

 

Please reflect upon this and be safe. 

– Coach Char 

 

Thursday’s Workout: 

A) Booty Pop Time

3 Rounds Not For Time:

5 Glute Bridges w/2sec. Pause

5 Single Leg Glute Bridges w/2sec. Pause (L+ R) 

5 3 Point Glute Leg Lifts

 

B) AMRAP 20

20 Double Unders

20 RKB Swings

20 Goblet Squats

20 Sit Ups

 

 

 

 

 

 I am really looking forward to running the women’s program and continuing to develop the endurance program. I am happy to announce that we will have a women’s only outdoor class starting up next week and an endurance fitness base camp program that will start in two weeks. This in addition to all other classes on zoom and at the gym. 

 

Please reach out to me directly, email or give me a call.  

Much Love,

Coach Char 

char@oakparkla.com 

 

Thursday’s Workout 

On A Running Clock…

0-5 min 

1-2-3-4-5-6-7, etc.

Strict Pull Ups Strict

Bar Dips

5-10 min

Max Effort Clean & Jerks – You choose load!

10-15 min

Max Effort Ski Cals

June 17th. That is my birthday. Oh boy what year a year it has been.

 Wild fires and evacuation.

Covid-19, a global pandemic and strict quarantine for three months. 

A forced shutdown of our business, a global economy that is nose diving, 50 million people have lost their jobs. 

Sickness, vandalism and racism. 

 

I am not going to lie – its been the toughest year in my life. On so many levels. BUT something good will follow. It always does. I wish people that experienced and survived the Spanish flu back in 1918-1919 could share with us their life experience. Maybe they would tell us to not to worry because scientist will find a vaccine for Covid -19, they same way that the first penicillin was discovered back in 1928. Maybe they would tell us the civil rights movement (BLM) that is growing strong  among us all, will lead to real change in society, the same way the suffragettes fought for women’s right back in the early 1900 that made it possible for me as a woman today to vote. Maybe will the wild fires, air pollution and the direct correlation to covid-19 sickness and the dying economy, force a change of behaviour among us and for us. 

 

I believe we have good things ahead of us. The decade of 2020-2030 will follow and positive change with that. But with a lot of work. We need to try everyday. And for you who read this, there will always be excuses not to do the hard thing. To instead, choose the easy way out. But what good will it serve you and society?  

 

I refuse to let this crappy and mentally tough year bring me down. I am not going to lay down on my sofa – feeling sorry for myself because the hardships my family and the world are experiencing and in protest quit everything because it feels overwhelming.  I promised myself to get up every morning, do my physical training, take care of my kids, work hard to support my children’s and parents future. Work hard for the community. I am going to travel less, bike more and donate time and money to non profit organisations that I believe in. Life is unfair and horrible and dark. But to think about that is not going to help me make the rational choices and changes that will be necessary to move forward. I refuse to end up with those thoughts.. So cheers to another year!

 

Best,

Birthday Girl  

 

Thursday’s Workout

4 RFT

200m Run

15 T2B

15 Pull Ups

**16 Minute Cap**

 

I want to clarify something very important: 

  1. We do NOT stand for any racism. Black lives matter. All lives matter. Fact.
  2. We do NOT agree with Greg Glassman’s statement. Fact.
  3. Crossfit has brought a community together. Our Community. We stand for equality. We stand BLM. We stand for women’s rights.  We stand for openness. We stand for love. Fact.
  4. Crossfit has brought us together. Not Glassman. Also Fact. 

Our community, Kenny and I – will never tolerate racism. If this isn’t or has not been clear to you. Let it be now.

 

Thursday’s Workout:

5 Rounds

AMRAP 3

10 DB Snatch

10 Squats

1 Minute Rest

 

When the world feels heavy, dark, overwhelming and uncertain – lean into what you can control. Your own behaviour. 

 

The last couple of days we have been told so many different things.

The last couple of days I believe we all have felt defeated. 

The last couple of days I believe we have all felt overwhelmed. 

The last couple of days I believe we have all felt anger. 

 

In the next coming days I believe you will reflect.

In the next coming days I believe you want to do and say the right thing. 

In the next coming days you will realise that you cannot please everybody because there is a lot of noise out there. 

 

But I believe you can do something, starting as early as tomorrow.

You can start with yourself and you can start small.

The most important work you will ever do will be the work within the walls of your home.

 

Char

 

 

Thursday’s Workout 

20 RFT:

5 Goblet Squats

5 HSPU

5 V-Up

 

 

 

 

“No myth about women’s health has existed for so long as the belief that women should stop exercising during pregnancy”. (John D Ratey MD, SPARK, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain p. 197).

 

One of the most common questions people ask me is if they can exercise during pregnancy? The answer is: YES. You should. Here is why:

 

In 2002 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) began recommending exercise for pregnant and postpartum mothers. It is not that long ago in other words. Today ACOG actually recommend women to begin exercising when they become pregnant. The reason being is to counter high blood pressure, diabetes, preeclampsia and other harmful states that can develop during gestation, which can lead to harm both for the mother and the child. 

 

As a Coach who works with pregnant women on a daily basis – I meet expectant mothers who don’t have a clear idea of what they can do or what they should do. Most women think in terms of avoiding exercise rather than engaging in it. The truth is, if they knew or understood the benefits of exercise during pregnancy – not only in reducing pregnancy risks but also in helping them with their mental and physical health INCLUDING their babies –  I am certain more women would feel more comfortable being active. 

 

Did you know that estrogen and progesterone levels remain much higher than normal during pregnancy? And in many cases this means it can stabilise women’s mood help reduce anxiety and depression. Research also show that some women with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are able to sit still and read when pregnant. In other words pregnancy can spark hormones for the better. 

 

It is also well established that mothers state of mind can alter her baby development. Anxiety, stress and depression can have a powerful impact on pregnancy and result in miscarriage, low with weight, birth defects of the baby and in extreme cases death. Babies born to unhappy mothers are fussier, harder to soothe, less responsive and unpredictable sleeping patterns. More so, these babies and children are more likely to suffer cognitive impairments and to be hyperactive. This is disturbing information that is not discussed, neither informed by doctors to expectant mothers or women going through postpartum. Information that is absolutely crucial. Especially since we know there is help to get and something we can do about it. I believe it isn’t talked about because of the stigma it creates. People (doctors) are afraid of speaking the truth and are worried that society will blame mothers for their babies mental and physical state. Exercise can prevent anxiety, stress and depression. It can also prevent a lot of unnecessary complications. And help women cope with their mental and physical state. That is fact and it has been clinically proven over and over again. Despite the fact – many women are still leery of exercising while pregnant and research show that up to 60 percent (!!) remain inactive.

 

Most studies show that exercise reduces nausea, muscle pain and fatigue. More important – it reduces fat accumulation. Training while pregnant cuts in half the risk of developing abnormal glucose levels, something that can lead to gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes  is a condition that results in overweight babies. High glucose levels are also an indicator to develop type 2 diabetes in both the mother and the baby. The good news is that regardless of how active a woman was before pregnancy, exercise still helps during pregnancy. One study showed that walking at a higher tempo five hours a week reduces the risk of gestational diabetes by 75 percent! 

 

Another motivator could be to understand the positive effects exercise during pregnancy have on the baby. (James Clapp, Exercising through Your Pregnancy 2002). Clapp proved that with exercise, the fuel line between the mother and baby grows, to ensure the fetus gets the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Other studies from Clapp show that newborns of active women are much leaner, are more responsive to stimuli and better able to quiet themselves. Clapp suggests that infants of exercising mothers are more neurologically developed than their counterparts from non exercising mothers.  It does not stop there. Studies also show significant differences in IQ and oral language skills by the age of five. The children of exercisers performed a lot higher on cognitive tests and observations suggest that years later their academic performance is better than kids whose mothers were inactive during pregnancy.

 

Holy macaroni – these findings are AMAZING. So let’s start the conversation and spread the word. If you read this and know of someone that is pregnant, do me a favor – forward them this blog/information. You can help a struggling mother who deals with anxiety/depression/health issues and you can help her unborn child. 

 

Thank you,

Coach Char 

 

 

Thursdays Workout 

“Full Body Recovery Workout’

AMRAP 24

6 Single Leg Deadlift (R/L)

30ft Toe Walk 30 Second

Side Plank (R/L)

8 Reverse Lunge (each)

**Courtesy of Active Life RX**

 

Fridays Workout

I Am Serious… And Don’t Call Me Shirley.”

For Time:

100-80-60-40-20

Double Unders

V-Ups

24-20-16-12-8

 

 

 

Not often enough we openly discuss women’s health, hormones and the correlation of physical exercise for well being. This is a topic that people have very little knowledge about. Hormones have a very powerful influence on how our brains, feelings and behaviours develop throughout life. Did you know that hormone levels remain steady in men after adolescence, but for women they fluctuate on a daily basis? Exercise is extremely important for women especially because it helps stabilize the negative consequences of hormonal changes and it enhances the positive. 

 

I recently learned that women on average has four to five hundred menstrual cycles in her lifetime (!!).. Holy crap that adds up to more than nine years.  A very long time if you as a woman suffer from PMS (Premenstrual syndrome). About 75% of women do experience some type of premenstrual distress. They can be both physical and emotional, for example: trouble sleeping at night, night sweats, constipation, aggression, swelling of belly and ankles, rashes… and the list goes on. Not a very charming list if in my opinion.

 

Researches don’t know to this day what exactly causes PMS, but we do know that sex hormones are powerful and travel throughout the bloodstream and they influence the brain in many ways.   We know that the hypothalamus sends signals to the pituitary gland to secrete hormones that travel to the ovaries and trigger the mass production of estrogen and progesterone. Two hormones that play a key role in regulating neurotransmitters.  Estrogen and progesterone create more receptors for dopamine and serotonin and increase its effectiveness. That itself has an impact on mood and overall brain function. 

 

So what can we do to help  balance and restore our hormone balance and brain chemistry? Exercise. Yes. Exercise. Of course there might be other solutions too if you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above but physical training can help you balance your brain chemistry and reduce the symptoms dramatically. And what might be even more important to mention; avoid hormonal treatment and medication. 

 

What happens when you exercise you might ask yourself after reading this. I will give you a short summary. Physical activity increases levels of tryptophan in the bloodstream and concentration of serotonin in the brain. It also levels out dopamine, norepinephrine and mediators such as BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor). Exercise stabilize that broad number of variable and helps tone down fluctuations of shifting hormones. Exercise also restores the balance between opposing forces of activity in the brain and fine-tunes the HPA axis. What that means is that exercise can put a break on mood changes, aggression and anxiety and improve a woman’s ability to cope with stress.  

 

I would argue with all the research known to this day, that exercise can and should replace  drugs prescribed to women today for PMS, menopause or postpartum depression (of course there are cases where drugs are very much a necessity). The most common reason women seek treatment is too alleviate the physical symptoms of PMS or menopause. But it is forgotten that exercise can work wonders and has the same hormonal effect as drugs. What also gets lost in many conversations is that exercise also guards against heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline. 

 

Girls, women, ladies – let’s get up and move together. You will feel better and be happier. And if you as a man read this and know of anyone (woman) that needs a coach to get started, well you know where to find us 😉  

 

Next week I will address and write about exercise during pregnancy. 

Cheers,

Coach Char 

 

Announcement: 

Memorial Day MURPH! We have an amazing speaker lined up this year again. Speech will be live on Zoom starting at 9am followed by the workout. Talk to your coach about scaling options and location. 

 

 

Thursday’s Workout:

“Everybody Love Everybody”

5 Rounds on the 4:00

400m Run or 200 High Knees

15 Deadlifts

20 Weighted Pull Throughs

 

 

Did you know that exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimise your brain function? 

 

The last two months we have been studying neuroscience and the correlation between physical movement and its impact on the brain. I am going to present some fascinating information that hopefully will help you better understand the benefits on exercise and optimal brain function. 

 

Did you know that the brain grows new nerve cells throughout life? Yes it is true. Your brain does not stop evolve by the age of 25. The best way to grow new nerve cells is through exercising and staying mentally and socially engaged in activities that challenges you. So what happens when you exercise you might ask yourself? One of the many positive effects of exercising are an increased level of neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, new capillaries in the brain and synaptic plasticity. In other words, exercise cause neurons to sprout new branches.

 

Research show that the better your fitness level, the better your brain works!   Researcher Charles Hillman have proved that fit children score better than unfit children on cognitive tests; researcher Arthur Kramer have proved that getting in shape increases brain volume of older adults and thousands of other studies have shown that higher levels of fitness and health directly relate to lower levels of stress and anxiety and elevated positive mood. (Ratey J. MD, Hagerman E. Spark the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain; p. 247)

 

So how should we train and how much exercise do we need to healthy brain function? If I had the perfect answer to that, I would be a millionaire today. Truth of the matter is that how much exercise you need will vary from person to person. But research show that the more fit you are the more resilient your brain becomes both cognitively, emotionally and psychologically. If you get your body in shape, your brain will follow. 

 

Research also shows that moderate – intensity to high intensity exercise is very good for you. Why?

First, your body shifts from burning fat alone to burning glucose and a s a result the muscle tissue develops microtears due to the stress. The result is that your muscles get stronger.

Secondly, your body will be in higher demand and in need of a better oxygen delivery system when you train at higher intensity. Therefore the muscles release growth factor (VEGF and FGF-2) creating new cells and tissue for more blood vessels – the capillaries that I mentioned above. Researchers have shown that VEGF and FGF-2 will activate cells to produce more blood vessels within a few hours after exposure / exercise. This also happens in your brain.

Third, moderate intensity to high intensity exercise relaxes adrenaline into the bloodstream. This elevates your hormone levels and is necessary for stabilising them. But too much intensity training can on the other hand create a chronic toxic stress on the cellular levels ( by too much cortisol being pumped out into the blood stream), which is not good. Therefore it is important to have a good balance of hard high intensity training and restorative training. Because restorative training (BDNF = brain derived neurotropic factor)  will counterbalance the HPA axis. 

Fourth, your immune system becomes stronger and better prepared to fight of colds, viruses (like Covid -19) and cancer. 

Fifth, if you actually can train yourself and get into the high intensity zone (close to maximum heart rate/anaerobic range) the pituitary glands will release human growth factor (HGH). This my friends is what will keep you and your brain mentally sharp and young! HGH is the boys master craftsman, burning belly fat, increasing strong muscle fiber and pumping up brain volume and your cognitive adaptability. A recent study show that sprinting or interval training generates a sixfold increase in HGH! Which also peaked two hours after the workout session. (Ratey J. MD, Hagerman E. Spark the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain; p. 257).

This is also why we program interval training at the gym, Franklin hill sprints and workouts like Fran. To push you guys into that energy domain. It can be painful, but it is good for you and your brain. And you know it because you feel it. You feel better and happier after doing it. Now you know a little bit more why you feel the way you do and why we program the way we do. 

 

Next week I will write about how training can prevent ageing and Dementia/Alzhemiers that affects so many people in the US.

 

Coach Char

 

 

Thursday’s Workout

‘Spicy Tuna Roll’

5 RFQ:

50 Double Unders (100 Singles)

‘Durante Core’

 

 

 

Believe it or not but we will eventually see each other in person again. Yep you heard me. Like actually see real live time faces! Not just over a computer screen. There will be a day again when we coach classes at the gym. When we work out together. When we yoga together. We will be doing hard stuff together and push each other to become better humans. There will be a day for hugs, laughter and physical contact. Promise. Not yet. But hopefully in the near future. Hang tight. 

 

 

http://

Oak Park Next Steps Final from Oak Park Los Angeles on Vimeo.

 

Thursday’s Workout

For Time:

15 – 12 – 9 – 12 – 15

DB Power Cleans

DB Push Press

 

Coming Friday 

“Brodie”

British Hero WOD

AMRAP 20

11 Pistols

11 Renegade Rows (30/20 lb)

3 Burpees

20 AbMat Sit-Ups