DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

This week, the meal I made for my Meal Prep video was some Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps (with lettuce from the garden)! The audio isn’t great, but I’m still working on trying to find the best angle/camera placement. You’ll still get the gist, though.

This week’s video has three main highlights:
1- Getting to meet two of my kitchen helpers, Bacon and Hugo

2- It’s the first time I’ve ever picked vegetables from the garden here at home to use for a meal

3- There’s a good 15 seconds in the video that I simply cannot find the salsa jar I was holding in my hands 47 seconds prior to filming that clip. Typical.

Feel free to add in any additional veggies you might want for this meal, tomatoes would probably be a fairly common choice. I prefer salsa versus whole tomatoes, though. If you eat tortillas, that would also be a common choice in place of, or in addition to, the lettuce!

Let me know what you guys think of this week’s meal prep, and if you have any questions, comments, or other feedback, let me know! Have a great week, friends.

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to make myself cook new things to keep Meal Prep interesting. This is the first week, however, that I actually video-taped an experimental dish for the blog. The first victim:  A Breakfast Quiche!

The ingredients for this are simple- Pie Crust (gluten free this week!), eggs, elk and pork bratwurst, spinach, some sweet peppers, and a little bit of salt and pepper

I’m aware that eggs are a solid protein source, but by now, most of you know that I usually eat a lot of protein with my meals. To make this particular dish lower protein and/or higher carb, a few very simple changes could be made. First, instead of whole eggs, use egg whites only! Also, when cooking eggs, don’t be afraid to add a little water while whisking. It can add quite a bit of “fluff” to the eggs you do have! Also, there is no need to add any additional bratwurst, like I did. I just got suckered into buying them while walking around in Costco (free samples)! Finally, quiche are awesome to make because you can basically add any number of items. For this one in particular, I could see adding in onions or mushrooms for a higher veggie/carb count!

I’m not quite sure what the next experimental dish is going to be, but I am open to suggestions! Hopefully this post was helpful, and I’ll chat with you guys next time.

AND – Congrats to CrossFit Omnia for qualifying for the 2016 CrossFit Games by finishing in Third Place for the South Region! We’re so proud of you guys!

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

Usually I post meal prep videos to try and give viewers ideas of healthy and delicious food options that are fairly easy to make. The goal of today’s video, however, is to show you guys the entire process of how long it takes me to make 8 steak salads! The recipe is fairly similar to what I’ve posted in the past, but for the serving portion, I leave the camera running through it all.

The prep phase today ran around 30-40 minutes. Seasoning and grilling the steak took me 10-15 minutes, the hard-boiling and peeling for the eggs took 15-20, and washing and cutting fruit probably took 15 minutes. Some of those tasks were happening at the same time, so I’m just sharing total time figures in case any of you decide to do something similar for yourselves!

As always, feel free to substitute any portion of the meal for food options that are more in-line with your fitness/health/nutritional goals. I just wanted to show that once things are ready to go, it takes less than 4 minutes to combine ingredients and make enough meals to last over half of the week!

To the viewer who challenged me to cook something without peppers…. Boom!:)

Next “Smashby’s Meal Prep” video will feature a meal I’ve never made myself. Get ready for some kitchen shenanigans! I hope you guys like this video. Have a great week, friends.

Smashby’s Meal Prep: 4/24/16

Posted: April 24, 2016 in Nutrition

DISCLAIMER:
The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

Happy Sunday, everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to make a cooking video, and I thought this was the perfect time. One of my favorite meals to make used to be my Breakfast Scramble, and I haven’t made a good one in at least few months.

Today’s scramble featured a lot of the usual suspects, in terms of ingredients:

Red and green peppers, one jalapeno, half of an onion, mushrooms, a pound and a half of chorizo, and eggs

To provide some background, the standard rules that I try to follow when purchasing and preparing food are:

1-  Cook food that I enjoy

2- Aim to use as little processed foods as possible

3- Choose food that compliments my lifestyle and activity level

That said, feel free to adapt my recipes to match your own health and fitness goals. (For today’s meal, for example, the easiest option to make the meals a bit leaner would be to use different protein sources. Ground turkey, turkey sausage, and egg whites are all good options, and could simply be substituted into the same instructions to make just as delicious of a dish.)

What do you guys think? Does this scramble look good? Does it seem as easy and fast to make as it felt?

These videos and posts are here to try and help you, give you more ideas for healthier meal options, and inspire you to try new meals every once and a while!

Happy cooking, friends.

Barf. That was the first thing I thought when #TDC told us that workout 16.5 would be a repeat of workout 16.4. The rep scheme is 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 of Thruster and Bar-Facing Burpee. While most CrossFit Games Open feature a time cap, AMRAP-style, workout, this one requires athletes to go until they finish all the work. So brutal.

The only real advice to give on this one is to PACE it and enjoy the suck. Just because an athlete can go unbroken, doesn’t mean they should. In fact, this is one where I challenge people to be able to turn on the pace at the round of 12 or 9, versus already being too crushed when they get to that point of the workout.

We know this is going to hurt. A lot. Just keep breathing under control, keep a steady rhythm on the Thrusters, and break them into smaller and manageable sets right out of the gate.

GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!

Oh boy. Workout 16.4 of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open is going to be brutal. A true lower-back crusher, it seems.

For those of you who watch these videos prior to completing the workout, I would love to hear your feedback after you’re done as to whether or not these strategies helped you complete the workout more effectively.

Main Strategy Differences here between certain athlete groups:

For stronger athletes WITHOUT a proficiency at HSPU, GO! The tiebreak time after the row will find a lot of athletes fighting for the same score. In that moment, the tiebreak time will be critical to improve rankings.

In the event that an “Rx’d” athlete IS fairly proficient with HSPU, comfortable pacing is going to be important. It will be important that athletes know how hard they can push, while still keeping their heart rate under control. Red-lining any one part of this workout to soon will lead to a notable collapse. Pace, breathe, and be smart.

For the Scaled athletes, this is much more of a sprint. Larger sets of DL and Wall Ball are possible, and the Row can be pushed a little more. When it comes time for Hand-Release Push-Ups, smaller quick sets with short rest will be a better strategy than a few large sets, followed by that feeling of “crashing and burning”. There should be significantly more athletes who make it FAR into the second round in the Scaled division. Enjoy that!

Finally… BE SAFE with your technique! Broken form under large loads (the deadlift in particular for this one) can quickly lead to a fairly major injury. It’s better to rest an additional 10-20 seconds before resetting and picking up that bar again, than rounding your back and hoping for the best. It’s only exercise racing. Don’t get hurt!

Good luck on 16.4, everyone!

It’s the third week of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open, and Workout 16.3 includes Power Snatches and Bar Muscle-Ups! The weight for the Snatches is meant to be fairly light, but that’s the thing that will throw many athletes off going in to the workout. A lot of times when the weight is light, people will throw form out the window and simply muscle the bar up and over their head. In a 7-minute workout like this, very few people will be able to maintain that speed for the entire workout. My suggestion for 16.3 is to find that technique where ideally the bar is being held for all 10 reps in a row, and quick power snatches are used vs maxing out muscle snatches. Hip drive and a quick pull under the bar will be more sustainable than simply pulling the bar overhead using pure muscle.

For the Bar Muscle-Up, if it’s a known skill for an athlete, find the least exhausting way to move through them quickly. Hitting three in a row, but taking 100% effort to do so, will lead to a more elevated heart rate and quicker exhaustion. Instead, stay as slow and steady as possible, which may mean very quick singles out of the gate if linking isn’t a mastered skill. Goal here, try not to miss bar muscle-ups today. For the scaled division, get through those Jumping Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups fast an unbroken every round.

My suggestion for speed on this one is a perceived 85% effort the entire time. When the workout reaches the halfway, still know that there is something in the tank. Many of us know that the workouts that LOOK “not too bad” are typically some of the most challenging ones! Please don’t be fooled and underestimate this one.

Quick and efficient sets of both Snatches and Muscle-Ups from the start v/s red-lining. A maintainable pace will be more important to keep heart rate and focus under control. Crush it this week, everyone! After 16.3 we only have two weeks left!

Week 2 of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open is here! After watching the video for the 16.2 Workout Reveal, I was pretty floored by watching those guys get after it. Obviously most of us know how much of a beast Dan Bailey is after watching him at the Games for the last few years, but even then I never would have expected him to get through the entire thing in 20 minutes! (I know there was the “missed rep” debacle after the live show, but I’m just saying I didn’t think that 275 and 315 pounds would look that light to those guys!)

Strategy on this one, for me, is going to boil down to knowing your own ability level on Toes to Bar and Double-Unders. In my mind, those are two movements where being proficient can be an absolute game changer. Just because an athlete CAN do 25 reps of TTB in row, does NOT mean that they SHOULD do 25 reps in a row. Once your TTB fatigue your grip and/or your core, sets of 10-15+ will very quickly become sets of 2-3 reps. It is not worth crashing and burning that hard for that movement.

For athletes who have controlled kips, and can get through reps smoothly, I think sets of 5-10 will be best to try and maintain throughout the entire workout. Remember, hopping down off of the bar, turning around, chalking up, hopping back up, can all take a MINIMUM of 5-10 seconds every time. The smoother those transitions can be, the easier it will be to make it through to the next round.

I feel the same way about DUs. Just because an athlete CAN do 50 in a row, if it’s going to take so much out of them that on the next round, they mess up every 5-6 jumps because they’re so tired, 50 in a row wasn’t worth it. While in my video I emphasize the importance of getting to that tie-breaker as quickly as possible, unless time in the round is about to expire, I don’t think it should be at the expense of absolutely crushing your pace.

Remember, after all of that jumping rope, you need to pick up a heavy bar, quite a few times. So, if fatigue starts to set in by the 20th or 30th rep of DU, take a short rest, regroup, then finish the set. That will minimize the time needed to feel prepared to attack that next set of cleans.

In my opinion, the longest rest of the round should be taken after completing the final clean, and before the first TTB. If an athlete rushes back to the TTB too soon, they’ll likely get far fewer reps before needing to jump down. Remember, every time you hop off of the bar, it’s probably going to take 5 seconds to get back on. So, sets of 5-7 reps will be far more efficient than having to hop down every 2-3. Take your time, and make sure you’re getting slightly larger sets before having to hop down as long as your kip is solid.

Truthfully, unlike 15.1 last year, I don’t really see this as being a workout where TOO many people will PR and hit a weight for the first time and keep repeating. However, given how the tiebreaker is set up, I do think that the folks who move through the other movements (TTB and DU) as smoothly as possible, will have a big advantage over their counterparts who come out swinging and just can’t hold on.

I feel the breaking point for “regular” people:) on this one will be the round of 225lb squat cleans for men and 145lb for ladies. The athletes who can cycle through consistent singles and keep their breathing under control will pass the folks who get too excited and try to hit 3-5 reps of touch-and-go through the first few sets. Athletes who make it through the round of 225 will have a HUGE advantage. If time is getting close to capping during that 4th round, athletes will be able to go harder with their final sets. Remember, if toes to bar get completed, the reps added to the score due to double-unders at the end are significant! Get to that final tie-break as quickly as possible on the last round!

Have fun, and as always, please let me know if you guys found this helpful!

It’s finally here! They announced the first workout of the 2016 CrossFit Games Open, and it’s a long, slow, grinder.

The 20-minute adventure includes Overhead Walking Lunges, Bar-Facing Burpees over the Bar, and Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups for the Rx’d Division. Scaled athletes will complete the Lunges in the “Front Rack” position, and Jumping Pull-Ups as their two modifications.

Please CLICK HERE to go to the official workout page to read up on all of the details.

In my first video of the 2016 Open Season, for those of you who actually use my videos for strategy and advice on how to attack this thing, please let me know what you think of it! As of the time I’m writing this, I haven’t done it yet, and didn’t get a chance to watch the ladies do it tonight… so I may be way off.

The word for 16.1 in my opinion, however: PACE!

Let this workout be one where when the halfway point hits, athletes still feel pretty good. Very few people will be able to go at a blazing pace for the full 20 minutes, so slow and steady throughout will be the way to go for most of us.

Let me know what you think, and let me know how you do. Good luck, friends!

-Tom

As some of you know, I started this blog a years ago, and have given my thoughts on a lot of topics in that time. When the video below from four years ago popped up in my feed today, I took a few minutes to watch it.

First of all, yes, I’ve always been a huge nerd and watching this video made me laugh. Second, aside from the gym where I work, not much has changed in regards to my feelings on the integrity of athletes who compete in this event. So, instead of writing a huge post on it, I’ll be brief, and then just share my thoughts from 2012 with you guys once again.

My friends and I always joke with each other about how one’s ranking or placement in “The Open” really has no impact on any aspect of practically anyone’s lives (unless you make it to the next level.. then, you’re a better exercise racer than other people… congrats). So, to be 682nd in the Region, and to do so by cheating even though your squats weren’t low enough, or you didn’t lock out your arms, is honestly just kind of sad.

Most people, nearly all in fact, who compete in The Open do so honestly and fairly. Most of us simply enjoy the spirit of competition and the excitement of being pushed out of your comfort zone for a few weeks. Most of us think it’s fun. However, as the next five weeks come and go, and you start seeing names you’ve never heard of before, and scores from people you DO know that jusssst don’t seem right…. my advice is simple:

Don’t worry about it. Smile. Have fun. And enjoy the competition and sense of community that this event brings to the CrossFit world.

Good luck. Have fun. I believe in you guys!