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How I Prepare for the CrossFit Open: Chad Mackay, the Newbie & the Veteran

CrossFit Open Tips

Guy: With the CrossFit Open underway, we asked three varied competitors perspectives on preparation, recovery and diet over the next 5 weeks. Whether you are CrossFit Regionals competitor or a complete beginner, there’s some great tips here for everyone.

Over to the ‘Unit’, the newbie and the veteran…

Chad Mackay CrossFitThe Unit: Chad Mackay – Crossfit Active

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?

Training and recovery, believe it or not, same deal. I train most days with Patrick Fitzsimmon and he is a good training partner for me as we have different strengths and weaknesses. I tend to do well in the strength/heavy workouts and Pat does well in anything bodyweight related. I think this is a great tip for anyone looking for a training partner, don’t just go looking for someone of the similar body shape / strengths as you – find someone that will challenge you. If I change anything during the Open different to day-to-day training its recovery. If the Open WOD is something overly taxing on the body i’ll spend some extra time recovering, even if the WOD isn’t heavy or even a heap of reps, the exertion that you put your body through in competition is at another level and that sometimes means an extra session for massage, chiro or yoga.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?

To be honest I try not to change anything all year round. I’ll give myself a treat post Games season with some pizza and ice cream but I feel better when eating clean and tend to keep to that all year round. My diet doesn’t change much day-to-day, read my food diary here it is very similar to what I’ll do most days.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?

Same with my supplements, I stick to my 180 nutrition as my post WOD protein and occasional use for meal replacement if I’m on the run, my PurePharma Fish Oil and I’ve been trying Cell Charge for the past few months which I’m finding to have good results. Just like the diet, I won’t change this through the Open and wouldn’t encourage any athletes to change what they do in training especially for competition. Your body is used to what it goes through during your training, changing something in competition is likely to have adverse affects.

Renee Lynch CrossFit BondiThe Newbie: Renee Lynch - Crossfit Bondi

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I’m no professional so I treat the Open workouts like any other workout that pops up throughout the week. You never know what they are going to throw at you, that’s the (exciting?) part. Like any other day if I am sore I will rest the next day or work on my mobility pre and post WOD. A swim in the ocean after training also does the trick.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?
My diet remains the same all the time. You could label it low-carb high-fat, paleo-ish, sugar-free but for me what it’s really about is eating real food. I make everything from scratch and never go hungry. I have three solid meals a day and don’t really snack. I won’t be changing this during the Open.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I generally take magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D. I go through stages of taking Curcumin (turmeric) tablets. You could say it’s a fairly anti-inflammatory concoction I take which is great for when those muscles get sore. I also have two canisters of gelatin, one which mixes straight into a glass of water or a smoothie and one that makes me delicious berry jellies. Gelatin (as I’m sure everyone knows), is so good for joint health and recovery, sleep quality, great source of dietary collagen and helps aid digestion.

Ewan Seaford CrossFit BondiThe Veteran: Ewan Seaford – Crossfit Bare

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I started my specific ‘open’ training towards the end of January, I’ve stopped doing the super heavy sessions and swapped them for more metabolic conditioning and skill sessions. I’ve also moved from 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off, to 3 on 1 off. My percentage strength gains each year are small, realistically I’m not going to add anything to my max back squat over the next few weeks, whereas by focusing on a weakness I’ll hopefully be able to improve my efficiency of that movement.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open.
Inspired by some of the 180 podcasts you have broadcasted recently, I’ve seriously upped my fat intake. I’m feeling fantastic for it. Other than that the diet is mainly primal. Lots of vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and some dairy.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I won’t be doing anything differently for the open. Now isn’t the time to try something new. The supplements I take are 180 nutrition. The PurePharma range of fish oil and minerals and glutamine. All the supplements in the world won’t help a bad diet. I’ll be paying extra attention to the back of any label to make sure it isn’t supplemented with any nasties.

Guy – Ewan covers more of his lifestyle and training regime here.

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5 Shocking ‘Health’ Foods I Would Never Touch

5 shocking "health" foods


By Lynda Griparic

Anyone who knows me, knows I enjoy eating well. I get extreme pleasure from preparing and eating good food for others and myself, especially when I know it will nourish, make us feel good and provide the energy needed to make the most of this fabulous life.

Even though I was exposed to a wide variety of foods growing up in a very European household, there are simply some foods I would not touch with a barge pole. I have selected five to discuss, leaving out some others you may already know about such as vegetable oils, margarine and commercially prepared salad dressings.

1. Skim/Low Fat Milk

health food skim milkQuite frankly I do not see the point of skim milk. The name suits this liquid perfectly. Skim is to remove, be superficial, skirt over. Enough said really. Skim milk is a food lacking many nutrients. Many people believe that by removing the fat we have a healthier substance which provides the same flavour. Sadly aside from the tasteless aspect and uninviting texture of skim milk, skim milk can actually contribute to weight gain and has minimal health benefits other than a false sense of belief that you are making a better choice for your health goals.

To start with, many skim milks are sweetened to help with palatability. Would you believe that low fat milk can have as much as 13g of sugar per cup?

Furthermore many essential vitamins found in whole milk such as Vitamin D, E and A are fat soluble and need fat to be transported and distributed throughout the body. Low fat milks therefore lack the vehicle our bodies and minds need to absorb and make use of these nutrients.

The healthy “good” fats such as those found in whole milk, are essential for the production of a hormone called Cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is the fella responsible for the feeling of fullness. It makes sense then that low fat or skim milk can often leave you feeling unsatisfied, and inclined to reach for more food shortly after eating to fill the void. Good fats also slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat.

Tip #1 If you drink milk, have unhomogenised full fat milk instead of skimmed.

 

2. Muesli Bars & Commercially Prepared Muesli

health food museliMuesli is often touted as an amazingly healthy and convenient meal and is marketed to the health conscious crowd. It is no surprise that people choose muesli and muesli bars for breakfast in preference to packaged cereals high in sugar or savoury meals such as egg and bacon.

It may shock you to know that most muesli bars and muesli’s readily available in supermarkets and health-food stores contain an alarmingly high amount of sugar, processed carbohydrates and often harmful vegetable oils! These can have detrimental affects on your overall health and weight loss goals.

If the idea of giving up on muesli is far too much to bear, consider making your own simple, yet delicious, sugar and grain free muesli that will not cause a huge blood sugar spike.

An example could be combining seeds (sunflower, pepitas, chia, sesame) with roughly chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, macadamias, , hazelnuts, almonds) and shredded unsweetened coconut. You could mix these with coconut oil, cinnamon powder and vanilla and bake in the oven until lightly toasted. Serve it up with coconut milk, full cream cow or goat milk or homemade almond milk.

Also the 180 protein bars are a great natural alternative to your muesli bars if you are looking for a convenient snack.

Tip #2 If you are going to eat muesli, make your own.

 

3. Sports Drinks

health food sports drinksCommercially prepared sports drinks otherwise known as “energy drinks” are often consumed by people who want to obtain an energy lift, improve their sports performance or those who believe that this is a better alternative to soft drinks.

Unfortunately most sports drinks are far from healthy, in fact most have no real health benefit at all and can negatively effect your health. They are high in sugar and contain many chemicals such as preservatives, dyes and a well known brand contains brominated vegetable oil, a flavour and colour enhancer. Vegetable Oils….need I say more?

If its vitamins, minerals and energy that you are after you are better off consuming real, whole foods, beverages and supplements such as healthy fats, quality, clean protein, antioxidant rich fruit (berries), fibrous vegetables, nuts, seeds, water, herbal teas and yes even a cup of good quality coffee without the sugar and skim milk thanks.

Tip #3 Try making your own sports drink for recovery; a pinch of himalayan rock salt & a squeezed lemon with water.

 

4. Fruit Juices

health food fruit juicesBecause its fruit it’s a healthy beverage right? This is a BIG misconception. If you thought that fruit juice was a healthy alternative to sugar sweetened drinks, you would be wrong. Fruit juice actually contains a similar amount of sugar as a sugar-sweetened beverage. Not to mention a heavy “cocktail” of fruit flavoured chemicals.

To put it in perspective, fruit juice can contain more sugar than a can of coca cola. Up to 12 tsp per glass. Its an ugly thought isn’t it and not a habit we want to get into if optimal health and weight control is your goal.

I would even err on the side of caution with those beverages labelled 100% fruit juice. Whilst they may contain “only” fruit they are without the fibre found when we eat the real thing. In essence you are getting a big dose of fruit sugar (fructose), which messes with your blood sugar levels and leaves you feeling ungrounded, hungry and anxious. Not to mention fruit juice does nothing for your waist line because as we know excessive sugar is converted into fat, compounded also by the fact that fruit juice will leave you feeling hungry and thus more inclined to unnecessarily reach for more food.

Sadly most manufacturers add additional sugar to these already naturally sweet beverages. The danger here aside from the blood sugar spike is that we develop a taste for sweet foods and our cravings and consumption grows. At the end of the day when all we want for ourselves is great health and happiness we need to be aware of the excessive often “hidden” sugars found in our food and beverages.

You are better off eating a piece of fresh fruit as one glass of fruit juice contains much more sugar than the whole fruit and you are loosing much of the fibre which helps to keep the digestive and elimination systems working well. The fibre found in a piece of fruit such as an apple slows down the absorption and protects us from the effects of fruit sugar. Strip away the fibre and cram multiple fruits into a bottle and what you get is a sugary drink which absorbs quickly and leaves you feeling hungry. Do you really need more convincing?

Tip #4 Eat a piece of fruit instead, or make your own 80% veggie juice with 20% fruit.

 

5. Weight Loss Shakes & Poor Quality Protein Powders

health food weightloss shakesWhilst my first preference would be to eat real, whole food, I do believe that there are many instances that warrant supplementation with a protein based powder. Such as athletic performance, illness, convalescence (recovery from ill health) and dietary deficiencies where consumption of whole food is affected.

There are many commercial protein powders and weight loss shakes on the market containing concerning amounts of heavy metal toxins such as cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic. In addition to this most are artificially sweetened and treated with heat and acid which again affects the quality and renders them useless to your health.

Needless to say that I avoid most commercially prepared powders like the plague. For myself and for patients. Having said that good quality, highly nutritious protein based powders exist you just need to do some simple research (I recommend 180 Natural Protein to my clients).

I would start with establishing where the source of whey is from and how it’s processed.You might also want to consider how many ingredients it contains. Do you recognise any of these? Is it artificially sweetened? Does it contain fibre? An important question if you are using it to replace a meal. We want to make sure the bowels are happy and kept regular.

In a nutshell, I lean toward protein based powders that contain grass fed whey, that is low allergy (e.g without gluten) and one that has had minimal processing. Of course there are many who can not tolerate dairy at all. In this instance I would use non whey based protein powders such as pea protein, using the same questions above for your detective work.

In essence, protein powders can be worthy of shelf space in your cupboards provided you choose good quality, minimally processed varieties like 180nutrition protein powder. Simply avoid the commercially prepared varieties that will do nothing to positively impact your health.

Tip #5 Choose high quality protein powders with ingredients you recognise with minimal processing.

 

Conclusion

As you can see all of my top five fall into the processed, distant relative to whole food category. Put simply, if you suspect a “health-food” might not be that healthy, keep it simple and opt for food close to its natural form and a minimal ingredient list with items you recognise.

Thats what the body thrives on and deserves so please don’t throw complex stuff into it that it may not know what to do with.

What would your top 5 be? Do you agree? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Lynda Griparic NaturopathLynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.

Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Spring into Fitness Competition

180 nutrition spring competition

Angela: To celebrate the start of spring we’re running a awesome competition with goodies from all of 180 Nutrition Ambassadors Chad Mackay’s sponsors. The prize pack is ridiculous and has something for everyone:

  • 180 Nutrition: 1.5kg bag of 180 Superfood + a box of WOD Bars
  • Athletics8: A pair of skins (male or female A8)
  • PurePharma: A bottle of O3 fish oil (top quality stuff)
  • The Brave: A lightweight, breathable and durable T-shirt (style subject to stock)

Learn more about the prizes below:

spring competition 180 nutrition180 Natural Protein Superfood is a fuss-free way to have a quick snack without sugar or processed ingredients. It’s loaded with fibre, protein and good fats and helps you eliminate bad food, trim down or recover after exercise if that’s your thing.

Find out more about the goodness here.

 

spring competition athletics8Athletics8 is an innovative range of medical grade sports compression wearThe Athletics8 range will meet your needs no matter what sport you play or activity you do. All garments are suitable to wear both during and post exercise. You can even swim in your garment!

Find out more about Athletics8 here.

 

spring competition purepharmaPurepharma O3 Ultra pure fish oil, great for heart, brain, eyes, and so much more. Each PurePharma fish oil batch is tested by the most reputable and stringent third party testing lab, IFOS, to ensure the highest purity, safety, cleanliness, concentration and stability.

Find out more about PurePharma here.

 

spring competition thebrave

TheBrave is not a tee shirt, or a pair of shorts with a logo printed on it. TheBrave is a belief – a lifestyle! Courage, determination and passion sum up a Brave believer. They make amazing lightweight, supremely breathable apparel and have an awesome T-shirt up for grabs.

Find out more about TheBrave here.

So how do you enter this awesome competition?

It’s a two step process:

  1. Like or share this on Facebook here 
  2. Then click the big orange button below, enter your details and you to go into the draw to win. Good luck :)

Click here to enter

The competition closes at 12pm Sydney time on September the 22nd 2014 and the winner will be notified by email. (Open to Australian residents only).

Note: We seriously hate spam mail, and have the upmost respect for your email. If you feel that we ever cross the line with this we will happily send you all of our home addresses so you can send the mob around to take care of it, or simply unsubscribe. Cheers… 180 Nutrition

 

180 Superfood & WOD Bars

natural protein bars

REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF CHEMICALS YOU EAT TODAY

Let’s face it – the majority of snack/sports bars available today suffer from the same problems as their powdered counterparts – low grade ingredients, artificial additives, preservatives and a list of chemicals that you need a PhD to understand – Guy

What are the benefits of our natural protein bars:

  • Quickly and effectively refuel ‘on-the-fly‘ after a workout
  • Avoid bad food choices when the mid-afternoon craving hits
  • Enjoy 100% natural and gluten free ingredients
  • Boost your energy with real food
  • Enjoy a snack that isn’t packed with chemicals

180 nutrition protein bars

Our natural protein bars use the same amazing ingredients below and come in two sizes - 60g WOD Bars (best for exercise) and 45g Superfood Bars (best for snacks):

  • Cocoa

    Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate

    The body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply. Protein helps prevent muscle tissue break down after exercise and aids growth and repair. Learn more about our whey protein isolate here.

  • Flaxseed

    Flaxseed

    180 contains a perfectly balanced quantity of Flaxseed in it’s formula. Flaxseeds are a great source of fibre, lignans, protein, omega 3, vitamins, and minerals. The importance of these nutrients to exercise & body building is paramount.

  • Almonds

    Almond Meal

    The delicately flavoured and versatile almond is a great source of good fats, high in protein, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and B. Helps sugar metabolism, energy production, nervous system function, skin health.

  • Sunflower Kernels

    Sunflower Kernels

    Are rich in Omega 6 fatty acids. Health benefits include anti-inflammatory properties and aid cardiovascular health from its vitamin E content. Also contains magnesium and selenium, a trace mineral that is of fundamental importance to human health.

  • Shredded Coconut

    Coconut Flour

    Made from certified organic coconut flesh. It is very high in natural fibre, and has a delicious sweet taste. High in protein, gluten free and zero cholesterol. Making it the perfect ingredient for flavouring.

  • Cocoa beans

    Cocoa (Chocolate flavour only)

    Not only does Cocoa taste rich and delicious, evidence points to the use of raw cocoa in a medicinal capacity for over two thousand years, including treatment of fatigue, fever, heart pain, shortness of breath, kidney & bowel complaints.

  • Chia Seeds

    Were originally farmed by the Aztecs over 3500 years ago. They have been ‘rediscovered’ and modern medicine has acknowledged Chia seeds as an excellent source of protein and that is jam-packed with amino-acids, Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants.

  • Pepita

    Pepita (Pumpkin seeds)

    Pepitas are an excellent source of minerals, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, protein, monounsaturated fat, and zinc. They are a celebrated food of the Native American Indians who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties.

  • Sesame Seeds

    Sesame Seeds

    Sesame Seeds are packed full of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamin B1 & vitamin E. They contain high levels of phytochemical antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, which have been implicated in development of cancer.

  • Psyllium Husk

    Psyllium Husks

    Rich in fibre, Psyllium Seeds and their husks have long been enlisted for great digestive function, which aids regular bowel movement.

  • inactive brewers yeast

    Inactive Brewers Yeast

    Not to be confused with Bakers Yeast, Inactive Brewers Yeast is extremely rich in B-complex vitamins which support your body’s metabolism and energy production. The Amino Acids in inactive brewer’s yeast are essential to support the building and repair of tissues, bones, muscles and cartilage.

  • stevia

    Stevia

    This natural herb from South America is used as a sweetener, with the added benefit that it has zero calories, negligible effect on blood sugar and none of the nasty side effects of the artificial sweeteners used in some of the leading nutritional supplements.

  • Almonds

    Almond Paste

    Long been declared as a ‘Super Food’, almonds are an incredible source vitamin B6, riboflavin, dietary fibre, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc.

  • Sesame Seeds

    Tahini Paste

    Made from ground sesame seeds and contains virtually zero measurable trans-fat or cholesterol, tahini is a great high source of vitamin A, magnesium, folate and calcium, and is especially abundant in phosphorus and potassium.

  • Organic Rice Malt

    Organic Rice Malt

    A natural binding ingredient where the low GI carbohydrate from the brown rice releases energy over a longer period of time. Contains no fat or cholesterol of any type and is 100% fructose free.

natural protein bar options

Our bars come in options for everyone:

  • Starter packs (2 x 45g bars, one of each flavour)
  • Box of 12 x 45g Superfood Bars
  • Box of 10 x 60g WOD Bars

A few words from a Naturopath

tania flack naturopath“Helping patients balance their protein to carbohydrate intake makes a big difference in their health as does the extra boost in nutrients, essentials fatty acids and natural fibre that 180 Nutrition provides. I would recommend 180 Nutrition to anyone who is interested in maintaining a balanced diet and achieving optimal health.”
Tania Flack – Naturopath, Sydney

 

Nutritional Information – WOD Bars

Servings size: 60g
Servings per pack: 10
Average qty per serve Average qty per 100gm
Energy kj 1008 1681
Dietary Fibre gm 4.2 7.0
Protein gm 14.5 24.2
Fat, Total gm 9.4 15.8
Saturated gm 1.5 2.5
Carbohydrate gm 25.2 42
Sugars gm 12.2 20.4
Sodium mg 26.8 44.8

 

Nutritional Information – Superfood Bars

Servings size: 45g
Servings per pack: 12
Average qty per serve Average qty per 100gm
Energy kj 756 1261
Dietary Fibre gm 3.2 5.3
Protein gm 10.9 18.2
Fat, Total gm 7.1 11.9
Saturated gm 1.1 1.9
Carbohydrate gm 18.9 31.5
Sugars gm 9.2 15.3
Sodium mg 20.1 33.6

 

money back guaranteeLove them or send them back, no questions asked.

We believe so strongly in our products that we offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied for any reason with your purchase of 180 Natural Protein Superfood, contact us and we will arrange for a 100% refund.

 

Learn The Sure Fire Way to Find Time For Exercise Daily & Never Miss a Workout.

exercise for time poor


Guy: After working as a fitness trainer for almost 10 years and sitting down with thousands of clients, I always used to hear these two things:

  1. I don’t know what to eat
  2. I don’t have enough time

After hearing these two statements over and over again my most effective response became this; Would you like the chocolate coated fluffy answer that’s as useful as a solar-panelled torch, or do you want the hard facts that will help you overcome these problems? I’ll let you decide which kind of post this is :) But it’s well worth 5 minutes of your time.

This an awesome guest post by Shaun O’Gorman. A Police Officer for 13 years, he performed duty in the Covert & Surveillance Unit.  Over to Shaun…

HOW TO BEAT “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE”

How many times have you heard or said this?

You may have heard that “I don’t have time to exercise” is the adult equivalent of “The dog ate my homework”. With all due respect I say “BULLS*#T”

What I prefer you say is “I don’t make myself enough of a priority in my life to create time to exercise.”

We all have to find the time to exercise and eat healthy etc to be the healthiest version of ourselves we can be. It is a constant challenge that we all deal with day to day in different ways. IT IS NOT EASY.

I lead a very busy life with 2 beautiful daughters, a full time career that has me travelling quite a lot and a relationship, family, friends etc to find time for in my life. Unfortunately often this doesn’t seem to fit in the 24 hours a day I have to squeeze it into. The way I find the time is I go to bed at 8.30pm at night and get up at 4.30am to train at 5am prior to my day starting. If I don’t train then it seems to become less of a priority and more often than not something gets in the way that stops me training later in the day.

Let me tell you I am not the most thrilled person in the world when I am going to bed at 8.30pm as it is usually after making school lunches or doing some work or cleaning the house or blah blah blah. I am equally unexcited about waking up in the dark at 4.30am to go to training when the rest of the world seems to be asleep. BUT IT IS WORTH IT.

You only have a limited amount of time in your day so you need to prioritise what is important for you. We all have responsibilities that are non negotiable BUT there are a lot of things we don’t WANT to give up. There is a massive difference between what we CAN’T give up and what we WON’T give up. I didn’t want to give up watching my favourite TV shows at night to “unwind” but I can’t do this and have the time to wake up to train. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE.

Now we come to what is the real issue here – it’s not about time, it’s about how much you value yourself and what you are prepared to do to make yourself and your health & fitness a priority.

You have things you have to do, but I bet you that making yourself a priority is not on that list.

If you do not make yourself a priority in your life, it will lead to you being unhappy and unhealthy

 
It is super easy to put everyone else first in your life, we all like to be the martyr. It is really convenient to eat “Fast Food” that’s how they get you by making it so convenient and cheap, But it’s not really food. We have all been conditioned to think alcohol is a great way to de-stress but it’s not, it actually makes you feel worse the next day due to sugar spikes etc and then you need more that night to “feel better”.

What YOU need to do is PUT YOURSELF FIRST FOR 30 MINS PER DAY, get some exercise, eat healthy and be a happier and more productive person who sets an amazing example to everyone else around them, including, kids, friends and family.

It will not be easy, but you can do it!

 
If you need to get up at 4am to do 50 burpees or a 20 minute yoga routine Monday, Wednesday and Friday THEN DO IT.

If you need to do 5 rounds of 15 Air squats, 10 sit-ups and 5 push ups after the kids go to bed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday then that is what you need to do.

It is a simple example of:

Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to make the time for yourself, health and exercise?

I can hear all the excuses and anger already. It’s not that easy, BUT it can be that simple. I am telling you that it is absolutely that simple.

But it’s not easy.

You might have to give up your favourite TV show, or surfing the net for an hour before bed, or having a glass of wine and relaxing for an hour after the kids are in bed.

The question is:

Are you worth the effort to create the time to train and be healthy?

With the amount of online fitness courses that are available now there are no excuses. You can train at home with no equipment, it costs you nothing, and all you need is 30 minutes a day.

Always remember this:

Make the time to exercise and look after your health… YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Guy: So what’s the conclusion? The reality is we all have 24 hours in a day, but we just need to decide how we prioritise them. There’s a great saying, ‘ask a busy person if you want to get things done’. I totally agree with this! So get busy and make it happen because just like Shaun says… You are worth it.

Help us inspire others! Have you overcome poor time excuses? Or you still struggling to change a few things? We’d love to hear them in the comments below…

Sean Focus WOD O'GormanAbout Shaun O’Gorman: Owner and founder of Focus WOD, a company that passionately helps people on their health & fitness journey along with crossfit.

Shaun was a Police K9 Handler for 9 years and also performed duty in the Covert & Surveillance Unit working on large organized crime syndicates. He has been extremely fortunate to encounter a broad range of experiences in his life and all of these have given him the knowledge and experience to take you to the next level and beyond on your Health & Fitness journey. To contact Shaun, Click HERE.

Free Health Pack

How to Crush Bad Habits & Create Change Forever

create change forever

Stu: If someone asks me what’s the one thing they should focus on for amazing health, my first response is to always work on that grey matter between your ears! Ultimately, our thoughts drive our actions and I feel it’s super important to work on our mindset a little each day.

That’s why I was keen to invite Shaun O’Gorman onto our blog. A Police Officer for 13 years, he performed duty in the Covert & Surveillance Unit and he’s a crossfit lover! So he’s just the man to talk all about mindset and how we think, so we can crush those bad habits and create long lasting change forever. Over to Shaun…

How to Create Long Lasting Change

Bad habits can be hard to break. What is your top tip for clients that are struggling to make the changes they need to, to achieve their health goals?

Shaun: Simply create new habits. That sounds so simple and glib doesn’t it? Stick with me because creating the new habits that make huge changes in your life are easy, the reasons why you don’t want to change can be a bit harder to swallow.

We all live our lives based on what we have learned and experienced in the past and what most of us have learned is “LIFE IS HARD AND TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE IS EVEN HARDER”.

It is true, life can be hard but only when we choose it to be. S@$T HAPPENS in your life, it is how you react to it and what choices you make that determines the real outcome.

If you WANT different RESULTS, you need to take different action!

The guys here at 180 Nutrition can give you the best products, the best education and the best advice, BUT if you’re not REALLY ready to be different, it’s not going to make a difference to you.

Here’s the bad news, only YOU can change your life.

Now here’s the good news, only YOU can change your life.

We make decisions and choices in our lives based on Pain Aversion. What this means is we usually take the least painful route when it comes to making decisions and choices. When you go to the refrigerator and are choosing between chocolate cake or fruit, the least painful choice will ultimately win out. If you perceive NOT eating the cake as more painful than eating it, you will eat it. Later on that choice may be more painful but it’s too late then, this is called REGRET ☹.

Don’t Live With Regret

The key to creating new habits and therefore to achieving your health and wellness goals is decide what is more painful and keep reminding yourself of it. If the pain of seeing yourself in the mirror, or the pain you feel stepping on the scales or the pain you feel when you’ve eaten crap is bad enough, you will remember it when it comes to making the choices next time.

The key to creating long-term change in your health and happiness is to make every choice contribute to your long-term goal and plan. Another example, if you go to eat crap food be honest with yourself and admit it is taking you away from your long term goal for being healthy. If you’re still OK with it then go for it,but DO NOT COMPLAIN the next time you look in the mirror or step on the scales etc.

Your goals are achieved through hundreds of small & consistent choices everyday.

How do you make the best choices? That is based on how much you think you deserve to reach your goals and have the health and fitness you want. I can tell you from personal experience that when my alarm goes off at 4.30am for training it is far more painful to get my ass out of bed and go training then it is to go back to sleep. HOWEVER the pain of regret I suffer for the rest of the day if I make that choice means getting up and training IS THE EASY CHOICE.

Get it? IT’S A CASE OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION VS LONG TERM SATISFACTION. Which one will you choose?

If you are happy taking the EASY options every time you will end up with the life that no effort and commitment delivers. I suggest that’s probably not what you want. That may even be where you are right now.

GOOD NEWS, the minute you start to make the decisions based on your “LONG TERM” goals of health and wellbeing you are on the journey and have already achieved great results. One decision to eat fruit instead of cake is a victory to be celebrated. As you string these all together you will be amazed at how quickly you get what you want.

Guy: Help us inspire others! Have you crushed any bad habits and created long lasting change? Or you still struggling to change a few things? We’d love to hear them in the comments below…

Sean Focus WOD O'GormanAbout Shaun O’Gorman: Owner and founder of Focus WOD, a company that passionately helps people on their health & fitness journey along with crossfit.

Shaun was a Police K9 Handler for 9 years and also performed duty in the Covert & Surveillance Unit working on large organized crime syndicates. He has been extremely fortunate to encounter a broad range of experiences in his life and all of these have given him the knowledge and experience to take you to the next level and beyond on your Health & Fitness journey. To contact Shaun, Click HERE.

Guy: Help us inspire others! Have you crushed any bad habits and created long lasting change? Or you still struggling to change a few things? We’d love to hear them in the comments below…

Protein Bars for Nutrition

180 nutrition wod barsBy 180 Nutrition

Protein bars can serve many useful purposes, such as starting the day with a healthy source of protein, carbohydrates and fat, fighting junk food cravings during the day and refuelling after a hard workout.

A wide variety of protein bars are available, and when shopping for a protein bar, one must consider not only price but also quality and nutrition content. For those who put quality and nutrition first, 180 Nutrition has developed a line of products that fit into virtually any healthy diet, including whole foods, plant-based, diabetic and gluten-free diets.

180 Nutrition protein bars include the Superfood Bar and the WOD (CrossFit Workout of the Day) Bar. The main differences between the Superfood Bar and the WOD Bar are the size of the bars and the ratio of carbs to protein. While both protein bars contain a mix of nuts, nut butters, seeds, shredded coconut and stevia for sweetness, the 45-gram Superfood Bar contains 20 grams of carbohydrate and 11 of protein for a roughly 2:1 carb-protein ratio, and the 60-gram WOD Bar contains 25 grams of carbs and 15 of protein for a 5:3 ratio. In a nutshell, the WOD Bar is bigger and delivers a higher proportion of protein, although both are high in protein compared to the total number of calories.

180 Nutrition customers find a great deal to like about the Superfood and WOD Bars. The RX Review, an international website for CrossFit and related health and fitness news, has mostly positive things to say about 180 Nutrition products and about the WOD Bar in particular. Since many CrossFitters adhere to the Paleo diet, the WOD Bar – like all their other products – is gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. The downsides identified by consumers have less to do with the products themselves than with actually getting them. At $5 per 60-gram bar, the cost may seem a bit steep compared to many other products on the market, but the difference in price is largely owing to the superior quality and freshness of the ingredients. 180 Nutrition products are only available for purchase online in Australia and in select CrossFit gyms around the world at present, although they are expected to become available in the United States in late 2013.

Whether you are looking for a protein bar that will help you recover after a hard workout or a healthy snack that will help you reach your weight loss goals, the 180 Nutrition protein bars may be exactly what you need.

Ruth Anderson Horrell: Food diary of a CrossFit athlete

Ruth-Anderson-Horrell

By Guy Lawrence

Guy: Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, there are great clues here to what one should and shouldn’t be eating to feel awesome and be at your best fighting weight!

We asked 180 Ambassador and Crossfit athlete Ruth Anderson Horrell what a typical day of eating looks like and to take some pics (there are a few questions in there that I was curious about too). You won’t find any wheat, gluten, processed sugar or packaged food here. But do note how much good fats she eats! Over to Ruth… More

How to stay fit, eat healthy & be street smart whilst on the road

eating healthy travelling

By Guy Lawrence

Guy: There’s definitely an art to healthy eating whilst on the road. As 180 Nutrition continues to grow, Stu & I find ourselves on the road and  interstate more often than not. As enjoyable as this may be, eating healthy & keeping fit can be a pain and requires a few tactics and being a little street-smart!

Who better to ask than 180 Nutrition Ambassador singer/songwriter Barry Southgate.  He’s opened for Brian McKnight and Craig David, performed in the box office hit The Sapphires, travels the world constantly and I’m always seeing his Facebook updates featuring pics of him with celebrities in another foreign country! To top it off he’s cut like a diamond, super fit and one the best advocates of health (and nicest blokes) I know!

So Barry has taken some pics of the food he eats along with some of the tips he uses to stay in shape whilst on the road. Over to Barry… More

Chad Mackay (CrossFit Athlete): How I Eat, Train & Recover

chad_mackayFor those of you that CrossFit, Australian legend Chad Mackay needs no introduction. For those that don’t, I would best describe him as one of the finest athletes in the country!

It was an awesome pleasure to be able to have an in-depth interview with him. So no matter what sport or discipline you are into, there’s so much to learn from the big man.

- You can follow Chad Mackay on Facebook here.

- If you are interested in being coached at Chad’s gyms click here.

chad mackay
 

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In this weeks episode:-

  • Who is Chad Mackay & what is CrossFit
  • What a typical day looks like for Chad
  • What he eats, including pre/post training
  • The hurdles people face when starting CrossFit for the first time
  • Why mobility is important (learn more about mobility here)
  • The fine line between training and over training
  • and much more…

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Post Workout Recovery for CrossFit Here

Chad Mackay Transcript

Welcome to The Health Sessions podcast. Each episode we cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.

Stuart Cooke: I hope Guy hasn’t been boring you, Chad.

Chad Mackay: No. No. No, buddy. He just told me that you must have been perming your hair or something like that.

Stuart Cooke: Mate, you know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been working out on a trigger-point grid.

Chad Mackay: All right!

Stuart Cooke: Are you proud of me? I’m rolling out. That’s what I’m doing. I’m getting back to 100 percent.

Guy Lawrence: He’s getting there. I’m still in shock that he’s got a blue t-shirt on like last time. We interviewed Christine the other week and we ended up; but I got in theme today, see? I’ve got my CrossFit t-shirt on.

Stuart Cooke: All right. OK. That’s really good.

Guy Lawrence: Fair enough. All right, so, we might as well start. Anyone listening to this, I’m Guy Lawrence. We’ve got Stuart Cooke and a very special guest, Mr. Chad Mckay.
Chad, welcome. Thanks for dropping in and joining us, mate.

Chad Mackay: Cheers, guys. Very excited.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, so, what we thought we’d do was, obviously, you don’t need any introduction within CrossFit, you know, but we have a lot of listeners as well; a lot of non-CrossFitters as well. And we were kind of just chatting yesterday about how we can, because, as far as I’m concerned, you’re one of the best athletes in the country.

You know, you’re a coach as well and there’s so much more to get from you than just CrossFit. So, we thought we’d divide it up into two parts. So, we’ll chat a bit more broader first and then we’ll delve into WODs and Fran times and all that kind of stuff afterwards, because people are wondering what the hell we’re on about.

Chad Mackay: Sure. Sounds good.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. So, mate, just to start, then, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself for the people that have no idea what CrossFit is or what you do?

Chad Mackay: Yeah, sure, sure. So, CrossFit’s basically a combination of kind of gymnastics movements, Olympic weightlifting, and strength and conditioning and also kind of hybrid movements using different kind of apparatus: kettle bells; stuff like that. And we put them in workouts and we try and use those different elements to try and pretty much become competent across a whole broad range of exercises and movements.

And yet, it first started off over in the States back in 1996 and it was basically started by a guy called Greg Glassman, and he was a gymnast and then he got a couple of serious injuries and he wanted to start his own kind of athletic performance gym and that’s how, kind of, CrossFit came about. He started training clients and athletes in his own garage back in LA and it’s kind of grown from there.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right. I didn’t realize it went that far back: ’96.
Chad Mackay: It’s been around for a few years, and it’s slowly evolved over time and, obviously, sponsors and the like have been involved over the last couple of years and the sport’s just taken off.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, OK. Because, like, we’ve been involved probably, I think Homebush was probably our first real experience of it, which was, I think, three regionals ago.

And we’ve seen that growth unbelievable, you know, just within that time. It’s quite a; it’s a unique thing because when we turned up, like, I knew CrossFitters before that but I’d never been to a regional competition, and it’s really hard to describe for your first experience if you ever see it, you know. We kind of talked about it like being WODstock.

Chad Mackay: Yes!

Guy Lawrence: Or Woodstock, but now it’s WODstock. So, we had all these sort of interesting characters looking around that are absolute fine specimens eating whole chickens and the only thing that was missing was the music festival at the same time, you know?

Chad Mackay: Yeah, absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: So, you coach as well, don’t you, outside?

Chad Mackay: I’ve got a couple of gyms over on north shore of Sydney. One’s in Waverton and the other is in Artarmon. And there’s myself and a couple of other business partners.

And we take care of most of the coaching classes there, so, you know, the class is broken up pretty much into, like a general warm-up for the class and every round there will be either one or two coaches on in the class and we’ll have somewhere between five and 15 to 20 people. We’ll get through the general warm-up, some mobility, normally some kind of skill, and then we’ll do a strength component and then a conditioning piece as well. So, that’s what a lot of people mainly know CrossFit and kind of the generalization is we only really do a hard workout and it’s like a circuit-style training, but there’s a lot more involved than just the WOD, so to speak, or the Workout Of the Day.

So, the athletes get a little bit more exposure to a whole bunch of different movements rather than just a conditioning piece in the workout.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. I mean, the one thing I just want to say as well is that, because you’re a competitive athlete, you know. You go into the World Games. That achievement in itself is gynormous. And so, what I’m interested in is, what does your typical day look like, because, A, you’re a professional athlete, even though it’s probably not recognized as a professional sport. You know, you’re doing all this coaching, it’s a full-time gig, like, what’s a typical day for you?

Chad Mackay: A typical day would be, let’s take yesterday, for example. I started work at 6 a.m., so the alarm was set for 18 minutes past 5. And then I’ve got 12 minutes to quickly have a shake, get out the door, get dressed, get to work by 5:45, coach two classes in the morning, and then I’ve got admin work to do until about 11 o’clock.

And then I train from 11 until about 1 o’clock, so a two-hour session. And that session goes pretty much back-to-back, going through a similar structure to our classes, kind of like general warm-ups and skill, some Olympic lifting, and some strength.

And then I had clients from 1:30 until 4:30. And then I coached three classes and then I had another client at 7:30 and then home by about 9 o’clock.

Guy Lawrence: Wow. I’m tired listening to you.

Stuart Cooke: Straight to bed.

I’m interested about your clients, Chad. Tell about their diversity, because I have seen, just within a CrossFit-type gym, youngsters to the elderly as well, which wouldn’t be your typical, kind of, gym junkie.

Chad Mackay: Absolutely. My clients that I train one-on-one range from, I’ve got a Paralympic swimmer that I train; his name’s Matt Levy. So, I train him a couple of times a week. I train Lynne Knapman. She is a master’s competitor who has competed in the last three CrossFit Games in the category of 50 to 55. So, she’s doing really well. And then I’ve got just some athletes that just want to try and improve their general strength; they may be fairly new to CrossFit.
So, there’s just a broad spectrum of, kind of, ages and abilities there. But regardless of who I’m training, everyone just really has the same kind of consensus of: Let’s try and improve and see what our body is capable of doing and you see those small little improvements and I think that’s why people kind of really find that CrossFit and the kind of strength and conditioning that we do at the gym is really beneficial to people’s bodies.

So, it’s not only the people who are training, whether it’s an elite athlete going to the Olympics or the CrossFit Games, but we have the normal Joe Blow off the street who just wants to improve their flexibility, so to speak. They might sit at a desk for eight hours a day and they’ve got really tight upper body; thoracic. So, yeah, just some general, super-general flexibility issues that we can kind of address during classes or whether they come to see one of the coaches for a one-on-one session.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. What are the most common issues you’d see with clients when they first start training? Do they come there for, like, weight loss or muscle gain and then they’re opened up to CrossFit and their mindset will completely change around it, or. . .

Chad Mackay: Oh, there’s a whole; it’s probably more along the lines of: People hear about CrossFit and it’s normally from a friend or they’ve heard about the community and what’s involved in the community at the gym. So, it’s a lot of word-of-mouth. But the general issues that we have coming to the gym is people sit down at a desk all day and they’re in a flexed position where the hip’s closed off, the shoulders are closed off, and they’ve got a really forward head tilt. So, they’re the main issues.

So, we may get a fairly strong person that comes in that can’t overhead squat a broomstick just because their body is holding them back from being able to hold a bar overhead and do a simple movement like an overhead squat.

Guy Lawrence: We got a question here about mobility, so we’ll touch on that first while we are on it.

Chad MacKay: Sure.

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Guy Lawrence: The first time I ever, because remember I mentioned I used to work with Lynne, who you know as well, and she was fabulous CrossFitter. And I’ll never forget the day about, it must have been about four years ago where she was overhead squatting in the gym I was working at. And I went down, I started chatting, and it was 60 kilos, I think.

And it was the first time I was exposed to an overhead squat and she’s like, “Yeah, go on. Let’s see you do it.” And I’m there, you know, all ego, throw the bar above my head, and I move about two inches and I couldn’t do it. And that was my first exposure to mobility, and probably CrossFit as well.

And I think mobility is something that’s overlooked by everyone, and only CrossFit seems to embrace it. Like, I remember working in a gym. You know, you traditionally warm up, you might do a bit of a stretch, and then you get into your exercise. But you walk into a CrossFit gym, you’ve got people who almost look like they’re grinding the floor because they’re rolling out in something.

Stuart Cooke: It is a bizarre sight; I’ll give you that.

Guy Lawrence: It’s amazing. And so, could you just tell us a little bit more about, I guess, mobility, the importance of it, and why so many people suffer from it? You know, I think it’s so untouched outside the. . .

Chad Mckay: Absolutely. The main issue is when people sit down, it obviously closes off the front of the hip and over time you will find yourself sitting at a computer, and, like I said before, that forward head-tilt, that decrease in kind of range of movement at the shoulder joint, everything’s pretty much facing forward and there is no real posterior chain, so. . .

Posterior chain is everything pretty much at the back of your body, so glutes, hamstrings, and kind of the rectus. And when you’re setting down on a chair, it just promotes you to sit forward and use everything in the frontal plane and, over time, eight hours sitting in that position, and then people normally go to the gym and they’ll normally train what’s at the front, so: chest, biceps.

So, how CrossFit differs from that, it pretty much tries to tell you to pretty much work everything in that posterior chain. Dead lifting, squatting, and doing things like pull-ups and overhead squats is going to develop that posterior chain, and over time, hopefully, get people into a more of an extended position; a more upright body posture and shape.

Stuart Cooke: Do you think there would be anything that we could do at home, outside of a gym environment, that would just help loosen us up? You know: stand up straight, shoulders back, anything along those kind of lines?

Chad Mackay: Well, there’s some simple things where you can lay flat on the floor and there’s just a basic movement called a glute bridge where it opens the hip up and it gets the butt and the hamstrings nice and strong. And that’s just a simple hip raise up off the floor.

Also, another very simple exercise is just stretching out in front of the sides of the neck and also possibly laying on the floor again and just pulling the chin down to the floor to kind of lengthen out the back of the neck. Just some really simple things to kind of loosen up and not let the body get in this position. So, yeah. The glute bridge, the side of the neck stretch, and then the kind of back-of-the-neck stretch on the floor.

Guy Lawrence: Do you mobilize every day, Chad?

Chad Mackay: Pretty much every day.

Stuart Cooke: Every minute, I think, Guy. Not every day.

Guy Lawrence: I still keep coming back to the fact that you can snatch 130 kilos. Mobility must have, you know, played a big part in being able to do that.

Chad Mackay: Man, absolutely. If I go to the movies with my girlfriend, I’ll take a small little golf ball and put that golf ball on the ground and I’ll just get some release on the bottom of my feet. So, I’ll spend 45 minutes on each foot and it does make a big difference. It’s like going for a massage. I had a massage this morning and my body feels like it’s already improved a little bit and I can feel the difference already. So, if I can get 45 minutes on each foot while I’m going to the movies, buddy, that’s perfect.

Stuart Cooke: That’s a top tip.

I’ve got a question about your diet. You know, you do a huge amount throughout your day. What does your typical daily look like? What are you eating and how much do you eat?

Chad Mackay: Well, in the off season I’ll tend to eat a little bit more. During the season, I try and weigh and measure most of my meals. Otherwise, I just feel like I can overeat quite easily. So, I just need to be quite strict on what I do eat and at what times.

A general day would be five meals, and those meals would be spaced about four hours apart. Breakfast will be about a quarter past 5 in the morning where I’ll have a shake, a banana, and a handful of nuts. About an hour before training in the morning I’ll have just a really small snack, kind of pre-workout, and then post-workout I’ll try and have a full meal, whether that will be chicken or lamb. So, some type of flesh. And then a big salad, sweet potato, and that will be kind of drenched in olive oil and avocado. And I’ll have a piece of fruit after I work out.

My meals are basically the same for the rest of the day, so brekkie and post-workout meal and then that post-workout meal is the same for the next three meals throughout the day.

Guy Lawrence: Where do you get your carbs from? So, mainly sweet potato and fruit and veggies?

Chad Mackay: Sweet potato and fruit and veggies.

Guy Lawrence: Do you eat any grains?

Chad Mackay: No grains at all.

Guy Lawrence: Good man.

Chad Mackay: No grains at all.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, because I only raise it as well because there’s a common myth that you need, traditionally, if you’re a high-end athlete that grains are one of the main sources of energy.

Stuart Cooke: Hmm. When did you eliminate your grains, Chad? And, I guess, why?

Chad Mackay: I personally eliminated grains, it would have been around about five years ago. I looked into, when I first started CrossFit, I looked into a diet called the Zone Diet and that’s basically portion control and how much protein, carbohydrate, and fat we should have at every meal. But with the Zone Diet, that’s structured a little bit differently where, if you want to have a Big Mac for a meal, you just need to take the top of the bun off and eat kind of the bottom layer of the bun and the ingredients through the middle and that will keep your blood sugars at a certain level so you don’t have a spike in insulin.

And that didn’t really sit well with me, so I decided to stick with the kind of favorable carbohydrates and the kind of clean meats and veggies. So I stuck to that, pretty much religiously, for about three months, and I went from being 116 kilos and I dropped down to about 105 kilos in three months.

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Stuart Cooke: Wow.
Chad Mackay: The initial two weeks I lost probably three or four kilos in that initial two weeks and then I slowly tapered off after that. And then I kind of got introduced to the Paleo Diet, which is basically anything that had a face, you can eat, and anything that falls off a tree or grew in the ground you can have; it’s also known as the caveman diet. So, the last couple of years I’ve been doing that.

Guy Lawrence: When you first made your adjustments and, you know, you dropped down 10 kilos, did you performance and strength remain the same?

Chad Mackay: Well, as I transitioned between kind of bodybuilding style and kind of CrossFit movements, so I couldn’t really gauge the feeling of performance or strength. I think my strength actually dropped back a little bit initially, just because I was having that transition to a new sport.

But definitely energy levels and also a feeling of kind of being sustained throughout the day. I used to have quite large meals, so “quite large meals” would be four or five sandwiches for lunch, a liter of milk. Also, bread, rice, and pasta at pretty much every meal. And unless I felt like I was full I didn’t really feel sustained or didn’t feel like I had much energy.

So, my stomach definitely isn’t as bloated anymore and that’s probably one of the biggest things that I found is that I didn’t have that bloated feeling.

Guy Lawrence: Do you have dairy in your diet, or much, or little, or?

Chad Mackay: A little bit of dairy; not too much. Like, at the moment, I’ve cut most of the dairy out. I might have a little bit of milk in a coffee in the mornings. But when I’m trying to drop back in weight for the season, I’ll try and cut out milk. But in the off season I will add a little bit of milk occasionally.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough.

And; go ahead, Stewie.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. So, just getting back to your season and your training, how do you turn into the fine line between optimum training and overtraining?

Chad Mackay: For me? Hard question for me. Because I’ve been doing it for a few years now, I just need to listen to my body. There’s a couple of young guys that train at the gym and are kind of coming through the sport in their early 20s and. . .

Stuart Cooke: Gung-ho.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, absolutely. I think if I was in my early 20s I would probably just be going 100 percent and just going flat-out every session, trying to have the thinking that, you know, more is more. For me, at the moment, I need to listen to my body. I’m a little bit older than most of the guys. If I’m feeling tired and a little bit lethargic, I’ll make sure my nutrition and sleep is spot-on. And if I’m feeling good one day, I might train for a couple of hours and do kind of two or three conditioning pieces in a day.

But at the moment I just need to listen to the little needles and just take it nice and easy when I need to. So, overtraining for me doesn’t really come into play. I’m pretty smart when it comes to that type of thing.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, fair enough.

Guy Lawrence: Talking about your training, I saw that little Facebook post the other day and I just glanced at it and there was something about you walking around like a Michelin Man. What was that about?

Chad Mackay: I’ve heard whispers that at the CrossFit Games there’s going to be a weighted vest run, and it could be a longer-style run. We got some new, weighted vests. They weigh 20 pounds each. So, I put all three vests on. I did a 400-meter sprint, came back into the gym, took one vest off, did another 400 sprint, took the other vest off, so I was left with a 20-pound vest on, ran 400. And I went through that three times. So then I would come back in, load the three weights back on, and then away I would go. So, by the end I was more like a power walker; a little shuffle. So. . .

Guy Lawrence: Carrying 60 pounds on you! Fair enough. Good one.

What I thought we’d do as well, because obviously we put out the Facebook questions as well, and your response was enormous, by the way. I don’t know if you’ve checked them all out. And there’s some funny ones in there, too. So, we thought we’d go through some anyway.
So, we got a question from Paul Hilton. “If you hadn’t found CrossFit, what do you think you would be doing now?”

Chad Mackay: I still think I would be training in a gym, doing some kind of strength and conditioning in the gym. Be surfing a little bit more. I grew up, kind of, surfing, and whatever sport that I did play or that I was involved in I’d pretty much engross myself in that sport and try and get as good as I can. So, whether it be training in the gym, trying to push myself in the weights room, or whether I was down at the beach surfing or running the soft sand down at Bondi, I’d kind of always be looking at the clock or. . .

Guy Lawrence: That competitive nature.

Chad Mackay: It’s always been there. I think it’s one of those things that’s in the blood and evolves over time. So, whatever it would be, I would just be trying to do it the best that I can.

Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. Harrison Matra wants to know what you think of the CrossFit drug-testing model. Should it be more frequently tested in local comps to hopefully find athletes who are cycling throughout the year?

Guy Lawrence: That’s assuming if they are, I guess.

Stuart Cooke: If they are, of course.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, sure, sure. Look, I think that, regarding the local comps, those local comps are more about people wanting to have fun and get involved in the community. Those local comps are my favorite days, just to go there and see the people that have been doing CrossFit for six months and they go to a local comp.

I remember my first local comp, and it was just the most fun I’ve ever had. Driving home, the buzz that I had, you guys have experienced the same thing, you know. And if we start to get too serious about things and drug-testing people to go in those local comps, I think that’s a little bit over the top. But when it comes to the open regionals and the CrossFit games, I think if you’re going to go into the open, you should be held responsible for, obviously, if you’ve taken any performance-enhancing drugs, because it is a worldwide contest, I think that things need to be looked at a little bit more seriously there. But regarding those local comps, just get out there and have a bit of fun.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough, mate. Yeah, we remember our first local comp very well, up in Hornsby. And it was almost like, it was bizarre, because it was almost like when we first arrived it was like a scene from Fight Club or something, because we were in this underground car park and there was no one above and as soon as you go down it was just hundreds of people screaming, you know.

Yeah, the camaraderie and the buzz from it is amazing. Like, it was a lot of fun.

Chad Mackay: I had the hill sprint; I had the hill sprint in that comp.

Stuart Cooke: Yes. I remember I did.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, it was a 600-meter run up the hill and back and there was a 10-minute time clock and whatever time you had left was burpees. I remember just thinking, “You’re kidding me.”

Chad Mackay: How many burpees did you get out?

Guy Lawrence: I got out 98, I think.

Stuart Cooke: I got 115 and that was my first exposure to burpees.

Guy Lawrence: I’m ashamed.

Stuart Cooke: Thanks for taking me back there, Guy.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, no worries, man. No worries.

All right. Next question. Katrina Stewart says, “I loved watching you come out of the water last year. Do you train in the water much at all? If so, how often does your program look like?”

So, I’m assuming she’s talking about the Pendalay, is it?

Chad Mackay: The Pendleton, yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Pendleton, sorry, yeah.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, I’ve been in and out of the water since I was 5 or 6 years old, whether it be surfing down the beach with my dad and then I had a couple of buddies that were competitive swimmers, so I would jump in on the occasional swim session with those guys and get a little bit more advice on, kind of, technical help and stuff like that.

Buy, yeah, growing up in the surf really helped with that and just being confident in the water. And kind of always competing in school events. You know, I always had a bit of help and technique advice from their coaches.

And then I worked in a leisure center up on the Central Coast as a pool lifeguard, so I’ve always kind of been around the water. And regarding how much I do it in training, because I know I can swim quite well, I kind of focus my energy on other things; more weak areas. So, I might jump in the water once a fortnight, just to do a few laps and I’ll normally go down to Bronte and swim in the ocean bars down there.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, it’s beautiful down there, isn’t it?

Just for those that are listening, can you explain what the Pendleton was? Because you crushed it like the swim. You were out and gone.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, it was; we had to firstly start off with a 700-meter soft sand run and then there was an 800-meter ocean swim. And the transition onto a bike and there was an 8-kilometer trail bike ride and then an 11-kilometer trail run. So, the trail run, for me it was more like a power walk up the hills and then sprint down the hills. And it was a two-hour event.

Stuart Cooke: I think that shook a few people up, didn’t it, as a first event? Because historically I think, you know, everyone’s thinking of heavy lifts and gym movements. But to throw in something completely out of the ordinary, almost triathlon-style, really shook the boat a little bit.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, absolutely. The event after the triathlon was an obstacle course; an army-style obstacle course. There were guys that were kind of left on the balance beams or any kind of apparatus that were cramping up, just because they either hadn’t eaten food or didn’t supplement properly throughout the event. And they were suffering pretty bad from cramps, so, yeah, it absolutely shook a lot of the athletes up. And the soreness that was going to develop from that two-hour event was felt for the rest of the Games for the next three days. So, it was good one to kick us up.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. You never know. Shake it up, I guess, is the way to go. It’s the true test.

Thinking about those, the very nature of training in the games, I’ve got a question from Matt Gray, who asks that, “When you’re exhausted, where does your mind go when you need to dig real deep to find that extra strength and keep pushing through the pain?”

Chad Mackay: There’s a few different things that I think about. I’ve normally got a game plan to a workout and I’ll try to stick to that game plan. And then if things start to really hurt, I’ll just take my mind back to other times that I’ve hurt much worse. There was a time in the Games in 2010 where there was a rope climb at the end and I was struggling pretty bad. It was the last event. We have probably three or four minutes to climb a rope and then move back across and jump over a wall. And it was just kind of as many rounds as you could do that in the last piece. And I climbed the rope once, came down, got back down about halfway, and my grip just went and I slid pretty much from the top of the rope to the bottom and tore every single finger pad on my hand off on both hands.

Every time I start to hurt, I take myself back to there. It was 45 degrees and I had no skin left on the pads of my fingers. I always think back to that and just tell myself nothing can kind of compare to that.

And the other thing I think about a lot is I think about my family when it starts to hurt, and rather than kind of doing it for myself and trying to block out the pain, I think about them and that’s a big motivator for me as well. Just to think about family and how much support they give me and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. So, my mind wanders to my family when I start to hurt as well.

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Guy Lawrence: That’s awesome, man. A question that just occurred: When you’re out there, do you think it’s the mindset things that differentiate a lot of the outcome? Because, like, when we looked at the open, just for the regionals, and even the regionals it was so tightly contested, it’s incredible, you know? And do you think that’s a factor about that point; being able to overcome that?

Chad Mackay: Yeah, absolutely. Like, there’s the 10 domains of fitness in CrossFit, so you need to be competent across all those 10 domains. But I think there’s definitely an element where the mental aspect of the sport is where it’s really at as well, and if you see an athlete lose it out on the floor, and they kind of lose that focus, it’s pretty hard for them to get that back. So, definitely that mental component is what kind of develops over time as well.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. Wow. All right.
Well, next question. We’ve got Doug Evans. We touched on it a little bit earlier, I think: pre-workout and post-workout meals. What do they consist of? Would they be crucial meals?
So I guess; do you just generally eat the same or do you eat something specific before and after?

Chad Mackay: Normally something specific before, pre-workout will be normally banana. And I’ll probably have about a third of a banana before; exactly an hour beforehand. And then I’ll have about probably 40 grams of weighed protein, so that’ll be chicken or lamb or beef.

And then, post-workout will be a shake, a 180 shake, and then a piece of fruit as well and a whole meal. So, that’ll be straightaway. I’ll normally still be breathing pretty heavy to get that meal in.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, OK. Fair enough. That’s a good point, actually.

Stuart Cooke: So, another question from Lach Mac, again, on food: “When the mood hits you, what, if anything, is your go-to cheat meal?”

Chad Mackay: I think the last time I would have had a cheat meal would have been after the Games last year. And I’ll normally go for pizza or ice cream for me. Normally, when I’m at home I’m quite good. I won’t have a cheat meal every week or every month. It’ll be pretty much after the CrossFit Games I’ll go out and let my hair down.

Last year, we finished off in Vegas and they’ve got these incredible buffets in Vegas and, yeah, I went to town.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I think they’d be in trouble if you went to town on a buffet. It’s like I’ve seen on The Simpsons.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, they didn’t make any money off me, that’s for sure.

Stuart Cooke: Fantastic.

Guy Lawrence: How did you feel? Like, we eat pretty clean. If I eat something that’s cheap meal it knocks me for six. I mean, it’s not the easier thing, even though it sounds great, you know?

Chad Mackay: I get a; after the Games, we have a fair bit of time to relax, so I had friends send over some ice cream and the ice cream was just waiting for us in the room when we got there. And so we polished off maybe a tub of ice cream that night, or that evening. And then the next morning up I woke up and it’s like you’ve got a sugar hangover, and, you know, you’re a little bit cloudy in the morning and it takes a bit of time to get going. But, yeah. . .

It’s not something I look forward to anymore, definitely. I much more look forward to, like, it sounds quite boring, but like a chicken salad. A chicken salad for dinner every night is perfect rather than a big bowl of ice cream.

Guy Lawrence: That’s fair enough. I mean, they say 70 to 80 percent of performance is nutrition, and if you want to perform at the top, you’ve got to fuel yourself the right way. Otherwise, forget about it.

Stuart Cooke: Unless, of course, you’re in an ice cream eating competition. That would be a little different.

Chad Mackay: You’d do that, Stewie, right?
Stuart Cooke: I’d give it a go. I’d give it my best shot.

Guy Lawrence: All right. We’ve got Dean Glendall-Jones. “What is your favorite thing to do on a rest day?”

Chad Mackay: A rest day; I kind of don’t really take rest days. If I’m on a rest day, I like to go to yoga, go surfing, spend time with friends and family. Do some mobility roll-out. Still trying to improve on a rest day. Even if it’s something light, I know there will be some kind of improvement there. So, on a rest day, it’s mainly spent by still doing active. . .

Guy Lawrence: An active rest day.

Chad Mackay: Absolutely. Yeah. An active rest day, for sure.

Guy Lawrence: Does that go right through the whole year, pretty much, or would you, after the games you stop for a month or do you just keep chipping away or?

Chad Mackay: I think I took about a week off after the Games last year, and that was just total rest. And I’ll probably do that again.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, right. Amazing.

Stuart Cooke: So, we’ve got a couple of short questions left. This one has been getting quite a lot of press: Jared Smith is very interest in how big your calves are in centimetres.

Chad Mackay: So, Jared’s a good buddy of mine, so he calls me “Calves,” actually, so he’ll send me a text or an email and it will be, “Hey, Calves, how are you doing?” So, he’s a character. He’s a really good athlete as well. Jared, I’m not too sure how big my calves are. They’re definitely bigger than your biceps, buddy.

Guy Lawrence: And do you know who Gary Cousins is?

Chad Mackay: I know Gary Cousins.

Guy Lawrence: He said: Do you have a man-crush on him?

Chad Mackay: He’s a serial pest, Gary Cousins. He’s a lovely bloke. His son trains at our gym, and he’s actually in the team that’s gonna go over and represent Active at the games this year. So, Dean’s a really good athlete and he’s keeping goals in training at the moment. But Gary’s a really good guy.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. The Active support at the regionals was hilarious. Like, it was awesome to see everyone in orange jumpsuits, pretty much.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, that’s right. The orange men in the crowd.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, that was great to see. And I think the CrossFit headquarters was calling us the “Orange Army,” which was pretty cool.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I just remember walking in one day and they have the rowing competition that was going on outside for the fastest 500 meters and all I saw was this guy completely head-to-toe in orange. Even his face was covered, and he was just going for it.

Chad Mackay: Yeah, it’s great to have the support, you know? For all the gyms, even CrossFit Bay. They were getting behind; all the Active guys were out on the floor as well, which was fantastic.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, awesome. Awesome.

Well, that’s pretty much all the questions we sort of wanted to cover, you know. Just to wrap it up, I know you’re a busy guy. You run a couple of CrossFit gyms on the North Shore of Sydney, so if people are interested in coming to check out your CrossFit gym and what you guys are about, where’s the best place to go?

Chad Mackay: Just jump onto the website and you can; just jump onto info@crossfitactive.com.au. And get in touch with Patty and see how you can get started at the gym. We’ve also got a free trial class on every Saturday at our Waverton location. So, jump online, check that out, and we’ll hopefully see you around down there shortly.

Guy Lawrence: We can put the appropriate links up, anyway, on the blog.

Awesome. Chad, thank you for your time.

Stuart Cooke: Thank you, Chad. As always, fantastic, again. And for anybody out there that’s at the cinema, keep an eye on the guy wearing the Whites vest rolling a couple of golf balls. And say hi.

Chad Mackay: Awesome to see you. Thanks, guys. See you,

Guy; thanks, buddy.

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