Happy Motivation Monday – The Most Dangerous Workout Ever Seen

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Please do not try to attempt this unless you’re highly skilled

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We’re still Lost in Translation – Scarlett Johansson (Throwback)

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Scarlett Johansson (High School Photos)

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No Woman (Or Man), No Cry (Relationship Philosophy) – Don’t Let Me Down

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Leader of the Pack – (Business Philosophy) You have to be a little crazy…

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How can you spot a Crossfitter? Just look at their hands – Tips on treating Calluses on your hands

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CrossFitters often revel in the fact that our workouts have bloodied our hands. “We’re such badasses! We’re SO hardcore!” But let’s call a spade a spade:  IT IS NOT “COOL” TO HAVE CHUNKS OF OUR SKIN RIPPED FROM OUR HANDS.

Flayed skin is not a badge of bad-assery. It does not mean that you are tougher or better at working out. And it most definitely does not mean that CrossFit, lifting and/or gymnastics should be avoided because of the possibility that the skin on your hands might get torn.

All it means is that:

  • You’re a soft-handed newbie who hasn’t yet had the chance to build up thicker skin on your fingers and palms to protect them from tearing, or 
  1. You’re not giving your hands the T.L.C. they need to keep from getting shredded. 

Torn skin is painful and annoying, and may put you out of commission for a spell. And THAT is unequivocally un-hardcore.

My first encounter with shredded hands occurred shortly after starting CrossFit, back when the roughest activity my hands saw was an occasional difficult-to-open jar of spaghetti sauce. And my latest (and greatest) rip was during yesterday’s Mary WOD, after neglecting proper hand care for weeks. Over the past year, I’ve experienced minor tears and major ones. In this post, I’m going to discuss what I could (and should) have done to prevent bloody hand, and what treatment options are available to those of us unfortunate enough to gash open our hands doing high-rep pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and the like.

Hand Grooming 

Those who are new to gymnastics, weightlifting or CrossFit in general often start with soft, callus-free hands. Ideally, to reduce the likelihood of hand tears, beginners should try to gradually build up calluses (through — what else? — handling bars) to the point where the skin on their palms and fingers are tough and thick — but smooth. Once some skin-thickening is achieved, the goal is to keep any calluses filed down. The goal is have a consistent, smooth palm surface, without noticeable ridges or fluctuating thicknesses of skin. A raised, rough callus will eventually blister and tear away from the surrounding skin, ripping open your hands and making a bloody mess. A general rule of thumb: If you can pinch a raised edge of the callus, it needs to be filed down. Constant vigilance and regular hand care is key to preventing tears.

You can use a number of different tools to keep your calluses in check, including:

  • A nail file; 
  • A callus/corn shaver;
  • Cuticle scissors; 
  • A pumice stone; 
  • A dull razor blade; 
  • Sandpaper; 
  • A butter knife; or A Dremel tool(!)

Grip & Technique  

A lot of CrossFitters rip open their hands doing high-rep bar movements: kipping pull-ups, clean-and-jerks, snatches. But there are ways to tweak your technique to reduce the chances of a nasty tear.

First, use the right grip.

When working with a barbell, some folks are inclined to grip the bar across the middle of their palms. This, unfortunately, squishes the fleshy pad below the base of your fingers against the bar, causing discomfort, added friction, blisters, and worse. A better way to go is to grip the barbell across the base of your fingers — where the metacarpals meet the proximal phalanges.

Treatment

I’m using Neosporin, but there are, of course, lots of other remedies that people swear by, including:

Credit FitBomb

Happy Motivation Monday!!! – Beast Mode

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Train, Eat, Rest, Repeat – Pre-Workout Meal

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Do you feel that you must eat carbs in your pre-workout meal?!

The optimal pre-workout meal should be to fuel your brain for best gym performance, not feeding your muscles “for performance”. Carbs are therefore secondary to protein, for optimal nitrogen balance whilst training, and fats, and if carbs calm you down, as they do many people, do you really think they should be in your pre-workout meal?!

Check out this video from Ultimate Performance on their thoughts about Pre-Workout Meals

Is there something in my teeth? – Mistakes You Make Brushing Your Teeth

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Brushing your teeth: It’s something you (should) do twice a day, every day. But it’s not as a simple as just scrubbing and rinsing.Timothy Chase, D.M.D., a New York City-based cosmetic dentist, says these are the flubs most people make:

 1. Using the wrong toothbrush


All toothbrush bristles have a rating — hard, medium, soft, and extra soft. Just ignore the medium and hard bristles altogether, says Chase. “I see a tremendous amount of [gum and tooth] damage from brushes that are not soft enough. Imagine you have a broom and you’re trying to get dust out of a corner. If you had a really stiff broom, you’d wind up scuffing up the wall. A soft broom would take the shape of a corner and remove the dust easily,” he says. The same goes for your toothbrush.



2. Using an old brush 



You should buy a new toothbrush or, if you use an electric toothbrush, replace the head every three months. If you forget, pay attention to the bristles. When they begin to feel soft and lose their original shape, it’s time to pitch it (or at least retire it to the cleaning cabinet).



3. Not going in circles



Every dentist will say it: The correct way to brush your teeth is in small circular movements. Remember that the only thing you should be removing is leftover food debris — not brushing so hard that you ruin your enamel. “Most people use a sawing motion back and forth, which can cause damage to the gums and tooth abrasion. This can lead to root exposure and sensitivity,” Chase says.



4. Using whitening toothpaste



“You don’t get a great result from whitening toothpaste,” warns Chase. “Instead, use a cavity-fighting toothpaste, and then use trays or white strips independent of brushing.” Another tip: Only squeeze out a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. “A good rule of thumb is half the brushing surface,” he says.

5. Forgetting your tongue


There is a lot of bacteria on your tongue, which can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. As you’re brushing your teeth, remember to scrape the surface of your tongue in a forward motion. This will pull all of that bacteria forward before you finish.



6. Not flossing


“Flossing is 40% of the job,” says Chase. You need to floss daily. The American Dental Association says that flossing before or after brushing is fine, but if you floss before, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a better chance of reaching in between teeth.



7. Using the wrong mouthwash




You only need to use a mouthwash if you like it, and if you’re going to use it, stick with an alcohol-free variety. (Chase likes Listerine Zero.) Your mouth needs saliva in order to clean itself, and alcohol can dry out your mouth. And before making your kids rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, check with your pediatric dentist. “Don’t just automatically assume your kids should use one,” says Chase.



8. Not brushing for long enough



Chase recommends that his patients spend a full two minutes brushing. There are some electronic toothbrushes that will automatically stop after two minutes, or simply use a timer until you get the timing down.



9. Not considering an electric toothbrush


It’s worth it to invest in a quality electric toothbrush, says Chase. It does all of the work for you and doesn’t overpower your teeth. But don’t be persuaded by the disposable electric toothbrush. “Some of the disposal electric toothbrushes cheap out on the most important part, which is the bristle,” he says. “Generally the bristles are so hard that you cause a lot of damage.”


Age is just a Number – The Deadlifting (Great, Great) Grandma

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Three years ago, Jean Stewart began to feel old. A proud woman, she realized she needed to make a change in her life to improve her long-term health.

“I see people who are stooped over and old, in their 60s and 70s,” Stewart says. “I don’t want to be that way. I was losing function for everyday living, stooped over and lifting things improperly. I just wanted to live my life (and be) healthy.”

As a retired physical education teacher, she’s always had a passion for fitness, but became bored in physical therapy-type exercise classes. Worst of all, she was tired of being treated like an old person who was incapable of physical activity. So, at the age of 83, Stewart decided to reinvent herself.

“She came walking into the gym with our newspaper ad folded under her arm and handed it to us,” remembers Cheryl Cohen, founder, owner and head trainer of Desert CrossFit in Palm Desert, Calif. “I asked her what she wanted from CrossFit and she said, ‘Well, I would like an easier time in the garden, getting down and getting back up again. I’d like to be able to move the 20-lb. bag of potting soil.’”

Unsure of the environment she’d entered, Stewart figured she had nothing to lose. Cohen assured her she could thrive at Desert CrossFit.

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Credit: Huntersville Crossfit

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?‏ (Science is Awesome)

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Genes in sperm may determine why female mammals live longer than males, according to a Japanese study published on Wednesday in Human Reproduction, a European journal.

Tokyo University professor Tomohiro Kono and Manabu Kawahara of Saga University found that female mice produced from genetic material from two mothers, but not from a father, lived significantly longer than mice with the normal mix of maternal and paternal genes.

The “bi-maternal” mice were created by manipulating DNA in mouse eggs, so that the genes behaved like those in sperm.
 Once modified, this material was implanted into unfertilized adult female mice eggs to create embryos.



These mice lived 841.5 days on average — 186 days longer than in control mice born with a normal genetic mix, whose lifespan was 655.5 days.
The longest-lived “bi-maternal” mouse lived for 1,045 days, while the oldest control mouse expired after 996 days.

Another intriguing finding was that the “bi-maternal” mice were lighter and smaller than control mice and seemed to have a stronger immune system.

The big difference could lie in a gene called Rasgrf1, the researchers believe.

The gene, located on Chromosome 9, is associated with post-natal growth. It normally expresses from the paternally inherited chromosome.
“The study may give an answer to the fundamental questions: that is, whether longevity in mammals is controlled by the genome of only one or both parents and, just maybe, why women are an advantage over men with regard to the lifespan,” Kono said.

One theory about longevity is that males have bigger bodies in order to win out in the race for breeding opportunities and thus scatter their genes.

The price for this, though, is a shorter lifespan.
Females, though, do not have to engage in this genetically costly beauty show, and instead optimize their reproductive output by conserving energy for delivering their offspring, nurturing it, foraging for food and avoiding predators.



Credit: Discovery