Category Archives: CrossFit

CrossFit Endurance & WellnessFX Series: Part 2

credit: Instagram @terryesteve

Are you satisfied with your athletic performance? Do you find yourself worrying about your athletic potential as you age? Many athletes don’t notice the affects of nutrition on performance until later in life and spend years dodging their true potential. By focusing on the factors that differentiate top end athleticism between the 1 and 3%, individuals can eliminate holes in their game before they even appear.

In last week’s discussionCrossFit Endurance founder Brian MacKenzie and WellnessFX  CEO Jim Kean touched on how athletes can push towards peak performance. In the second part of our CrossFit Endurance & WellnessFX series, Dr. Justin Mager walks Brian through our body’s fuel system and why the traditional American diet is not optimal for athletic training.

In a nut shell, the body’s fuel system works as such:

  • Fuel in the form of carbs, proteins, or fats are used to produce acetyl-CoA, an important coenzyme involved in metabolism
  • Acetyl-CoA moves into the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell
  • Mitochondria use acetyl-CoA to generate ATP, the body’s ‘unit of currency’ for energy transfer

We’ve been told time and time again that high-carb diets are the best way to feed this fuel system due to its role in aerobic activity. Surprisingly enough, however, fat is the fuel of choice when the body is in the oxidative state experienced during endurance exercise. Because it takes longer to process, fat as fuel puts ‘stress’ on the system, but the overall energy output is greater. Much like athletic training itself, this stress is a good thing! More mitochondria are generated to deal with the ‘stress’ and the body becomes more efficient at turning all types of fuel into energy. When the system is instead bombarded with carbs, the ‘easy’ fuel source, mitochondria levels decrease and the efficiency of the entire system drops. Come performance time, it’s obvious which system will come out on top!

As Brian can attest to, high carbohydrate diets can be adequate for endurance training. But why settle for adequate, when you can have optimal?

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

CrossFit Endurance & WellnessFX Series: Part 1

As the popularity of The Crossfit Games increases, so does the competition. Teams were baffled to find that, despite improving 10-20% over winning performances last year, they weren’t even placing! Four or five years ago athletes could get by on raw athletic talent, even with holes in their abilities. The Games expanded, became more structured, and the margin for these ‘holes’ decreased. Players found themselves walking the edge of their athletic potential just to stay in the running. They were fighting for that 1 or 2% increase, and soon had to look beyond training to find a way. It’s not a situation exclusive to CrossFit. Any athlete who’s been training for a long time soon finds him or herself facing the same question: how to push further?

CrossFit Endurance founder Brian MacKenzie came by the WellnessFX offices to chat with our CEO Jim Kean and Dr. Justin Mager for a series of conversations about the evolution of the CrossFit Games, why athletes are becoming pre-diabetic and how to turn on your “athletic gene” with nutrition. In the first video below, Brian talks about diet and its importance in reaching athletic potential.

The problem begins with younger athletes. Many have the luxury of being able to ignore nutrition and get away with it. When we’re young, hormone levels are high and  everything we eat essentially goes towards growth and development. With age, internal conditions become less ideal for optimal performance. Factors outside of training become more and more relevant. Did you sleep last night? What did you have for breakfast? What does your nutritional plan look like? When Brian MacKenzie first started his training program, he began to ask these questions. His workout program evolved from solely high-volume, long-distance endurance exercises to skill-based training with incorporation of a Paleo-based diet. His athletes experienced considerable improvement. So why can’t you?

To see the culmination of Brian MacKenzie’s quest for a perfect mix of training and nutrition, check out 3Fuel, a supplement for performance and recovery.  Learn more about 3Fuel at the official website, 3fu3l.com, or purchase from the CrossFit Endurance Store.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Fat Burning Man Interviews Jim Kean

Abel James, the Fat Burning Man

Our CEO, Jim Kean, was recently invited to speak on Abel James’ Fat-Burning Man Show, the #2 most popular health podcast in the United States. Not only do Jim and Abel share their health crusader mission, but they are also fellow Dartmouth grads.

Abel and Jim chatted about robots, quantified health and hiking from Mexico to Canada, among other topics. Check out the podcast (especially Abel’s fantastic voice) and learn more about Jim and WellnessFX here.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Gymnastics WOD – Coach Carl & WellnessFX

At WellnessFX, we are lucky to work with some of the leaders in the athletic and fitness industry. One of our favorite folks, noted CrossFit coach and former gymnast, Carl Paoli, came by for his WellnessFX blood draw to kick off his series highlighting the power of biometrics and preventative health to optimize his health. Or, as we’re fans of saying, making his insides as fit as his outsides.

Check out the video below and follow Gymnastics WOD for the coming videos in the series with WellnessFX.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Fit Inside & Out – WellnessFX at the CrossFit Games

Sometimes, life throws curve balls. You know – food poisoning, the flu, all nighters at work…or, if you are a CrossFit Games athlete – Pendleton. A brutal mini-triathlon involving an ocean swim with fins, mountain bike ride through sand and rough terrain (bike as backpack?) and a trail run at elevation.  All two days in advance of the scheduled start date for the Games. Ouch.

At WellnessFX, we believe that fitter, healthier bodies are better able to cope with the stressors of everyday life, as well as the challenges of elite competition. We take CrossFit’s evidence based methodology internal – giving you a clear picture of your biomarkers and a plan for improvement.

The better you know yourself, inside and out, the better prepared you will be to respond take on the unknown…

Jim Kean, WellnessFX CEO, and Kelly Starrett, MobilityWOD

Join us at the CrossFit Mobility booth at the CrossFit Games where we will provide paleo snacks, t-shirts, and a chance to win a free Baseline package. Founder Jim Kean will be on hand to answer questions and explain the WellnessFX approach in detail.

Learn about how CrossFit boxes like TJ’s Gym, CrossFit Portland and CrossFit LA are partnering with WellnessFX to make their athletes fitter and healthier, by measuring, tracking, and optimizing internal biomarkers.

Not going to the Games? Find more information about out how to bring WellnessFX to your box and members here.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Travel & Maintaining Healthy Habits

Planning a getaway can often be a stressful endeavor that requires a lot of time and careful coordination. While piecing together the logistics of travel is one thing, we worry that taking a trip also means taking a break but from our normal, healthy routines. Sometimes we find that when we take time off from our day-to-day lives, the “vacation” mentality takes over completely: we eat too much, we drink too much, and we potentially let our healthy habits slide.  However, taking the time to travel and break routines is necessary, and can be done without the added stress of disrupting your healthy lifestyle.

Next time you’re traveling, try these simple tricks to help stay on track:

Plan ahead: Nothing revives the mind, body, and soul like getting in touch with nature. Outdoor activities are often readily available and tend to be either free or low cost. Do some research about the terrain you will be on and contact your hotel’s concierge to arrange travel options to and from your activities. If working out outside is not an option where you are going, call a local gym and ask about their visitation policies. If you have everything figured out before you arrive, you’ll be much more likely to actually DO something once you get there.

Eat smarter: Make reservations ahead of time at restaurants that cater to your dietary needs. Once you have it on your itinerary, you can plan your day around it and not risk eating badly because of poor planning. Confirm with the hotel that there will be a refrigerator in the room, then commit to having the first stop on your trip be to the grocery store or local market. If you do not have access to a refrigerator, no excuses! Prepare for the busy day ahead by purchasing food to take with you each morning. Healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts will prevent that low-sugar crash and will carry you through to your next healthy meal.

Hydrate: Dehydration can lead to low energy and feelings of hunger, both of which will hinder your ability to stay on a focused regimen. You are going to get busy and you are going to be out of your element, but this does not mean you have to be thirsty. Bring a reusable bottle with you wherever you go and get into the habit of keeping it filled. Drink a glass of water as soon as you sit down at your table for a meal. Staying hydrated makes all the difference when it comes to healthy living, so there is never a reasonable excuse to let it slide just because you’re on vacation.

Let someone else do it for you: Whether your passion is ocean kayaking or mountain retreats, there are many organizations around the world that offer group trips. Spending a little extra cash to join a group activity takes some of the “thinking” out of it, and might be just what you need to guarantee a successful trip. With someone to guide you, you are sure to come back better, faster, and stronger than before you left.

Most importantly, allow yourself to have fun. Making the extra effort to prepare for your trip will go a long way. With a solid plan in place, you’ll feel healthy, energized and ready to take full advantage of your well-deserved vacation!

Ty Texidor is a San Francisco based CrossFit competitor and personal trainer, specializing in rehabilitation, sports specificity, and CrossFit style programming. She graduated with honors in 2001 with a degree in Sports Medicine, and carries numerous certifications in the field.  In 2012, she and her partner founded Destino Retreats, a company that provides hassle-free CrossFit style vacations in various locations around the world. 

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.