Monthly Archives: April 2014

Battleground South Bay Highlights

Congrats to all of our CrossFit Askal Competitors

Congrats to all of our CrossFit Askal Competitors

It has taken me awhile to write about this past Saturday’s competition. Part of me is still recovering physically and mentally and another part of me is still frozen with awe.

On Saturday, April 19th, CrossFit Askal participated in the inaugural Battleground South Bay: Benefitting Train 4 Autism. CrossFit boxes all over the South Bay (and as far as South Gate and Woodland Hills) gathered for this beginner friendly fundraiser competition. Together we raised close to $6,000.

This day was a day of many firsts for me. It was the first time I had helped organize a competition. It was my first time organizing a fundraiser of this magnitude. To top it all off, it was my first time coaching and preparing athletes for a crossfit competition.

Words cannot describe how extremely proud, happy and overwhelming thankful I am to be surrounded by such a talented, hardworking, and supportive community.  I, along with my fellow organizers, could not even believe this event sold out.

To our volunteers, thank you so so much for all of your patience and hard work. Perla and Detrick held down the fort at the athlete/volunteer/heat check in. Alicia and Debbie hustled like crazy to set and reset equipment after each heat and workout. Not to mention the dozens of other volunteers who assisted and judged.

To our competitors:  Gaby, Mayra, Dana, Noemi, Joelle, Christian, Chris, Raul, Nick, Miguel and Ben… I am extremely proud of each and every one of you. For most of you, it was your first competition and I could not be more proud. To have the courage to sign up for your first competition, put in work and go through with it is quite a feat and took courage and hard work.  You, along with the rest of CrossFit Askal, motivate me everyday to be a better athlete, coach, and overall person. Congrats to you all.

A few more highlights:

  • The event was completely sold out with a total of 148 competitors.
  • CrossFit Askal had the most athletes on the podium: Mayra (1st –intermediate), Joelle (2nd -beginner), Gaby (1st -beginner), Chris (2nd -beginner) and Raul (3rd– intermediate).
  • Not only did Gaby PR successfully complete the deadlift ladder, she placed first in the event AND she PR her 3 rep max by 10lbs!
  • Jojo finished second in workout 1.
  • Dana placed third in workout 2.
  • Mayra placed first in BOTH workout 1 and 2.
  • This was Coach Ben’s first competition since his ACL surgery.

We are already looking forward to hosting next year’s event and have already begun planning. If you would like to help coordinate, please contact me at andrea@crossfitaskal.com

If you attended or participated in Battleground South Bay and would like to share your experience, please let us know!

Thank you all again and keep up the hard work!

– Coach A

 

 

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Good Luck Competitors!

Battleground South Bay

Chillin' in tent city

Chillin’ in tent city

CrossFit Askal will have a tent (or two) set up outside the venue. Feel free to put your gym bags, coolers and chairs in our tent, however, we are not responsible for any stolen items so please do not leave any valuables. This will serve as our rest and warm up area and a place for your family and friends to hang out in between workouts.

Food

There will be a food vendor at the event, however, please bring your own drinks, food and snacks just in case food runs out or there’s a long line for food. Bring water.

Spectators

Show your love and support! Wear a CrossFit Askal shirt if you have one or make your own. Make signs and make lots of noise! Please take video and pictures if you can.

Athletes

Early check in is on Friday, April 18 from 7-8pm. We highly recommend taking advantage of this. It will save both you and the event coordinators a lot of time (not to mention less stressful).

Please arrive early to the venue. Make sure you warm up prior to each workout.  We will be bringing foam rollers, PVC pipe, some bands (although not sure if we’ll be able to hang them anywhere), jump ropes and some equipment to help warm you up. If you have any of your items we strongly suggest bringing them. There are 13 athletes competing and we have very little equipment and space.

Coach Sam is off limits as he willl be emceeing the event and Coach Ben is competing. Coach Andrea is part of the event committee but  will try her best to coach as much as she can. Try to address any questions/concerns now and sometime prior to the day of the event.

Post Competition Celebration

TBA

The Scale: Not Worth It’s Weight

By Jen Comas Keck (www.jencomaskeck.com)

The last time I knew what I weighed was November of 2011. 

For about eight months prior to, I, embarrassingly enough, let myself become completely consumed by the number on the scale. This is ridiculous, because I don’t even know what I ultimately hoped it would say. I just knew that I wanted it to be lower, and then lower, and still lower again. 

I would wake up in a fantastic mood, leap out of bed, and stroll into the bathroom feeling like a million bucks. I’d hop on the scale, and then promptly become furious at whatever number popped up, and proceed to completely lose my marbles. 

FYI: declaring an unsubstantiated Defcon One emergency at 6am is a really effective way to ensure an awful day, and it also makes people scared of you. 
 

 

The Official Break-Up

This insane behavior repeated itself for a few months until I finally recognized it for what it was – extremely self-destructive, obsessive, and unhealthy. Something had to go, and it was either going to be my sanity – what was left of it, anyways – or the scale. 
I chose the latter. 

In November of 2011, I tossed the scale into the garbage with gusto, flipped it the bird for good measure, and promised myself to stop acting like a lunatic. 

Part of me was relieved that I was finally free from the mind-controlling aspect of a piddly, insignificant number, but the other part of me was concerned that I needed the scale. How will I know what I weigh?
A couple of weeks later was when the lightbulb turned on that would end up permanently altering the course of my thinking:

Who the hell cares what I weigh? 

Do my friends care what I weigh? My loved ones? The people at the DMV? 
No, no, and no. 
People that love you care about two things: your health, and happiness, neither of which should require a scale to tell you, so why do so many of us put so much emphasis, day in and day out, on what is ultimately an insignificant number? 

The Scale Only Tells You the Weight of Your Body.

The number that comes up on the scale means exactly one thing, and one thing only: how much your body weighs at that particular moment in time. That is it. 
It doesn’t tell you about your sleep quality, stress levels, health markers, muscle mass, nutrition, how your lifts are going, you’re happiness, or anything else that actually matters.
So, basically, it’s nearly pointless.

A woman could weigh a relatively low number on the scale – let’s say 125 pounds – yet be sedentary, lethargic, unhealthy, and carry a higher than normal amount of body fat

 

On the flip side of this, a woman could weigh 180 pounds, be a weight-smashing machine with glowing health and self-confidence, bouncing off the walls with energy, and carry a lower than normal amount of body fat


I can certainly tell you which one I’d rather be, higher number on the scale be damned. 
You can take two women, at the same height and weight, but with different body compositions, and even though the scale reads the same for both of them, their physiques will look very different. 
 

Your friend so-and-so looks smokin’ hot at 145 pounds? Awesome! However, that 145 pounds will look differently on you, depending on how much muscle you have, and where your body stores it’s fat. 

Let’s take a look at how the same person at the same weight can look very different based on different points in their lives. 

 
To help me demonstrate this, I have a few pics of myself, and my friends Kelsea and Molly, who have given me their blessing to share their photos and details with you: 
 
 
185 pounds on the left.
 
Nine years later, more muscle, tons of strength gains, significantly lower body fat
and 183.5 pounds on the right. 
1.5 pound swing, yet a world of difference! 
138 pounds on the left in 2011.
In 2014 on the right, also at 138 pounds,
significantly more muscle (hello, arms!), lower body fat,
and some insanely strong lifts.

 

 Me.
On the left, 158 pounds, and mother-effin’ cardio queen, before I started powerlifting.
158 pounds on the right 3 years later,
with much more muscle, significantly less body fat,
some beefy squat, bench, and deadlift numbers, and brand new quads.

 

We don’t talk about that tattoo. We just don’t.

All three of us have inarguably made some pretty impressive progress over the years, but if we were basing things off of the scale alone, it’d show that we haven’t done much of anything except for maintained, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

She QUIT… all because of the scale.

I have a good friend that has given me her permission to share her story with you.
My friend was battling some big issues. Over the years she had developed some bad eating habits, gained a substantial amount of weight, and because of that was suffering from low energy, health problems, low sex drive, and terrible self-confidence.
After reading one of my posts, she embarked on the Whole30, and she was absolutely killing it. She text me often to let me know how well it was going. After the two week mark, her cravings had nearly subsided, and she went so far as to say it was actually very simple to stay the course. She reported more energy, a boost in confidence, and couldn’t stop saying how excited and optimistic she felt! Woohoo!
About three weeks in, she weighed herself, even though the Whole30 specifically forbids stepping on a scale (and soon you’ll see why).
She had only lost a few pounds, and she was crushed. Even though she had been feeling fantastic, and had made absolutely sweeping changes to her nutrition, eating habits, and was setting herself up for a lifetime of better health, she was discouraged beyond belief because of a number, and she quit.
It was heartbreaking.
All of the potential good that could have come from this, gone, because of the stupid mother-fudging scale.

The Arrival Fallacy

Once I weigh ____, I’ll finally love myself. 
 

We believe that once we arrive at a specific destination, it will bring us abundant joy and happiness. This is the trickery of what is called the Arrival Fallacy. 


Sure, reaching a goal feels good, and improving your body composition will inevitably help your self-confidence to some degree, but your self-love won’t be flipped on like a light switch just because you hit a certain number on the scale. 



Striving relentlessly towards a specific digit gives us tunnel vision, and we convince ourselves that we can’t be happy with our body until we get to that point. 

Additionally, we become so out of tune with how our body actually feels, that we lose sight of all of the things that are going well, because we become so dependent on the scale to tell us whether things are “good” or “bad”. 

There is so much more to improvement that has nothing to do with the scale, or even with measurements, for that matter.


Since I stopped tracking the scale, and really, anything else other than the weight I slap onto the barbell, I have become more in tune with my body than I ever have been. Eliminating the stress of tracking my weight and checking my bodyfat percentage has freed up ample energy and precious brain space to enable me to pay significantly more attention to what is going on inside my body, and what it’s trying to tell me. 


The following are some examples of making progress in health and fitness, that are unrelated (to a degree) to the number on the scale: 

  • Eating more nutrient dense foods, and less junk food. 
  • Learning to listen to hunger cues, rather than appetite.
  • Sleeping better. 
  • Becoming stronger, or faster, or whatever you’re working on for performance.
  • Higher sex drive.
  • Clearer skin.
  • Better digestion. 
  • More energy. 
  • Improved cognition. 
  • Walking up a flight of stairs without gasping for air. 
One of my nutrition clients made this, and gave me her permission to share it:
In 10 weeks, lost 2.4% body fat, gained strength, improved health, and made noticeable physique changes,

yet the silly scale only reflects 2.5lb lost.

The Bottom Line

 
Stepping on the scale can be a much-needed wake-up call for some. Seeing things in a stark black-and-white perspective can be necessary in order to jumpstart change for some people, and I recognize the value of it in those situations. 
 
The scale is also a necessary tool for competitors that are working towards a certain weight class. 
 
Where the scale gets problematic is when you are letting it make or break your days, or when you are determining all of your progress or self-worth by the number that shows up. 
 

 

Let’s redirect our focus to things that really matter!
Work towards health, happiness, and performance; not an irrelevant number on the scale.
Remember, there is so much more to progress than that number.
I have gone 2.5 years without seeing my weight – and I mean not one single time – and what do you know? I’m happier, healthier, stronger, and more confident than I’ve ever been. 
A good friend of mine said something to me about two years ago, and it has echoed in my head ever since: 
 
“Nothing is more beautiful than radiant health and happiness.” 
 
Now, who wants to bring their scales to my house and have a scale burning bonfire?!
Has the scale been helpful or a hindrance to you? 
Could you go a few years without weighing yourself at all? 
There are no wrong answers! 
Let’s chat below! 

Autism, T4A and Battleground South Bay

BGSB

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, many of our athletes are competing this Saturday at Battleground South Bay: Benefitting Train 4 Autism Foundation. Our members have been preparing hard for this competition to show their support for this wonderful cause and we are excited to announce that as of this date, CrossFit Askal has raised $412 and $2,846 as a community.

About Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development and an estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S have been identified with it. Children with Autism have difficulty with (and not limited to) verbal and non-verbal communication, language development and trouble with learning and social interaction. The severity of ASD can range of varying degrees. Autism is difficult to diagnose since there is no medical test (like a blood test), to help diagnose and instead, autism is diagnosed by child’s behavior and development.  There is currently no cure of ASD.

About Train 4 Autism (T4A)

Train 4 Autism is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded by parents of children with Autism. T4A is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research and treatment for those living with Autism and their families through 10ks, 5ks, walks, triathlons, marathons, swimming and cycling events.

About Battleground South Bay

Battleground South Bay (BGSB)  is a friendly, beginner focused crossfit-style competition. BGSB’s mission is to bring together the socially conscious crossfit community of the Los Angeles-South Bay area in an effort to raise awareness and funding for a cause dear to our heart, Autism. This Saturday will be the inaugural event and the first of hopefully many to come. Proceeds from this even benefit Train 4 Autism Foundation and it’s crossfit for special needs projects.

Why CrossFit Askal is involved

Many from our community either have a family member with autism, know someone with autism or work with autistic children through schools, programs and organizations. We have experienced firsthand how these funds help keep our local programs alive and benefit the kids and their families. We hope to continue this effort through the monies raised from Battleground South Bay.

How to Participate

  • Donate. Please consider donating through our fundraising page.
  • Volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering at this Saturday’s event, please contact Andrea at andrea@crossfitaskal.com.
  • Cheer. Come this Saturday and cheer on our athletes and community. For most of our members, this will be their first ever competition. Make signs, bring noise, and go cheer for them like crazy.
  • Share. Spread the word and share this info with your family, friends, coworkers and community.

For more information

Centers of Disease Control (CDC)
National Institutes of Heath (NIH)
Train 4 Autism (T4A)

START YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY TODAY WITH OUR NEW ELEMENTS CLASS

Elements

What is Elements?

This class is designed for anyone new to our Askal Community. Our main focus is to not only take your fitness to the next level but most importantly to make everyday life situations easier whether it is chasing after your kids, carrying groceries, or just simply walking without huffing and puffing. Elements focuses on introducing basic progressions of movements (i.e. squat, deadlift, push ups, pull ups etc) and slowly increasing movement difficulty as well as intensity.

When does Elements take place?

Classes are held Monday through Friday 7-8pm and hope to expand to other times of the day as well as Saturdays as soon as interest and attendance increases.

Who can attend Elements?

ANYONE can join! Whether you have never worked out before, are a seasoned athlete, a soccer mom, or regular Joe, anyone can participate!

How often can I attend Elements?

You can come as often as you wish. We recommend coming in on a consistent basis (at least 3-4 times per week).

What if I want to attend CrossFit classes?

You must attend our Elements classes for a minimum of 4 weeks and show basic understanding of movements before you are able to attend our CrossFit classes.

Cost

$100 $50 for one month of unlimited attendance*

*50% OFF SPECIAL! One purchase per a person and applies only to the first month. Elements membership is $100 per month if you wish to continue attending beyond the first month.  Offer expires 4/30/14.

How do I start Elements?

You may start anytime. You may either call us at 424-271-2924 or sign up online here. We highly recommend coming in 20 minutes early prior to your first class.

Have any questions?

Feel free to give us a call at 424-271-2924 or email us at info@crossfitaskal.com.

Sweet Potato & Purple Yam Chews

A yummy alternative to enjoying sweet potato if you’re tired of having it baked or smashed.

 

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1 large purple yam
1 can coconut milk
coconut oil
cinnamon

Read the rest of this entry

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST CROSSFIT COMPETITION

Perla at her first powerflifting competition.

Perla at her first powerflifting competition.

 

For most of you who are competing at Battleground South Bay, this will be your first CrossFit competition. Perhaps it may even be the first competition ever in your life. We are very excited for you and hope you are just as excited as we are. As we get closer to competition date, here are a few tips on how to prepare for your competition.

  1. Continue working out as you would. If you have developed a game plan and/or training schedule with your coach, follow it.
  1. Taper your workouts as you get closer to the day of the competition. I recommend taking a day or two off prior to the competition and instead focus on mobility and form.
  1. Address any mobility issues.
  1. If the competition workout is pre-released, take advantage of reviewing the workout, standards and any additional details of the competition. Make sure you are prepared for those movements and work on any weaknesses.
  1. Get adequate rest and sleep.
  1. If you haven’t done so, dial in your nutrition. If you need help with this, please see a coach.
  1. Prepare for the impossible and be sure to pack your gym bag. Some items I suggest packing:
  • wrist wraps
  • knee or elbow sleeves
  • weight belt
  • extra hair ties/pins/headbands (for the ladies)
  • mobility tools (lacrosse ball, massage sticks, foam rollers, pvc, etc)
  • athletic tape
  • jump rope (for warm up)
  • extra underwear (hey, you never know!)
  • extra shirts
  • extra shorts
  • deodorant
  • extra shoes
  • extra socks
  • shaker bottle
  1. Prepare food. Food vendors at a competition are not guaranteed and if there are any, there is usually a long line and the food might not be the most beneficial for an athlete. Pack food items your body is already familiar with (do not experiment and eat something new the day before or of the event!) Examples include:
  • plenty of water
  • coconut water (or electrolyte supplement)
  • carbs (baked tubers, Vitargo, fruit, steamed rice, etc)
  • lean protein source (ex grill chicken)
  • roasted veggies
  • nuts or almond butter
  • Food bars (ex. Perfect Foods Bar, Epic Bars, etc)
  • protein powder
  1. Most importantly, be prepared to have fun!

If you have any other advice to add to this list, please share and comment below!

Get ready for some changes!

Ana, age 44, lifting 110lbs for the first time.

Ana, age 44, lifting 110lbs for the first time.

Dear A-Team:

We are dedicated to providing you all with the best possible service we can and we strive for nothing less. We are constantly seeking ways to improve our services, facility and most importantly our community.

One area we are seeking to revamp is our website. While our page goes through a major makeover, we will no longer be posting the workouts on this blog. Instead, we will be posting on a private Facebook forum. If you have not joined the forum yet, please let one of the coaches know and we will gladly add you.

However, you will gradually see more content being published on this site.  We encouraged everyone to contribute in some way… whether it be commenting on a post or  submitting an article, photo or video. Or maybe you simply have an idea or suggestion on what you would like to see. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

If there is anyway we can improve or any suggestions you may have, please feel free to contact us at info@crossfitaskal.com or give us a call!

Get ready for TONS of exciting stuff  yet to come!

 

CrossFit Askal

 

 

Monday 4.7.14

IMG_9415

Strength

Pause Back Squat 5-5-5

5x: 2 BTN Press + 1 Snatch Balance

WOD

For time:

10 Double Unders
60 Wall Ball 20/14
20 Double Unders
40 Wall Ball
30 Double Unders
20 Wall Ball
40 Double Unders