Mark’s Notes: Creatine

Schedule Adjustments

* Monday, Sept. 1 at 900a ONLY (Labor Day) Special workout on this day. No need to sign up.

CrossFit Kids Program

Have your kids been interested in doing CrossFit too?  Well they can!  Our kids program has three training times.  The kids (ages 5-9) train each Tuesday and Thursday from 430p-515p and on Saturdays from 900a-945a.  The teens (ages 10-17) train on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 515p-600p and on Saturdays from 1015-1100a.  We added the Saturday times to allow for other activities during the week and spaced out the time slots for those parents who have kids participating in both age groups.  We are hoping to accommodate for both groups!  If you have a child or children interested in the CrossFit Kids program, please contact Chennelle via email at  Parents do not have to be Raleigh CrossFit athletes to have their kids participate!  We will be announcing a special day where the kids and teens can bring a friend, so stay tuned for more information.


Please note that Saturday classes for Kids and Teens will begin the week of Sept. 2.


Rob prepares for a lift.

Rob prepares for a lift.


For our final installment of the four week series on nutritional supplementation we will focus on creatine.  Of all the topics we have covered during this series, creatine has the most “bro-science” associated with it.  I am here to stop the rumors and inaccurate facts about creatine and what it does to your body, and share with you what creatine really is and the positive impacts that using it can have on your athletic performance for both men and women.


Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid found within vertebrates.  It is derived from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine.  Creatine is synthesized naturally within the liver, kidneys and pancreas, although to a lesser extent.  Creatine is also found in certain foods; both meat and fish are good sources of creatine.  It can also be manufactured in a laboratory.  Nearly 95% of the body’s creatine is stored within skeletal muscles and is converted to ATP, a major source of energy in the human body, during high-intensity exercise, such as our benchmark workouts Grace and Isabel that we completed earlier this week.  Many of you have heard negative facts concerning the use of creatine, however the reality of it is, creatine is something that your body is already making and that you are already consuming in food.


Supplementing with creatine is important because it increases the body’s creatine stores.  As a result, your body has a greater availability to make and replenish ATP that is used during high-intensity, short duration workouts.  This allows you to fight off mental and physical fatigue, and maintain a greater intensity during your workout.  Creatine not only improves athletic performance but has also been shown to be effective in treating congestive heart failure, depression, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, high cholesterol and diseases of the muscles and nerves.


One of the myths associated with creatine is that it must be consumed with a carbohydrate rich or sugary drink in order to effectively enter your body and have the desired effect.  Although scientific research still supports this as an effective way to quickly introduce creatine into your body, it is not the only way to do it.  The only difference is that creatine will not be absorbed into the bloodstream as quickly and thus will be introduced into your body at a slower pace.


Perhaps the greatest myth, and a concern that we hear mainly from our female population is that creatine will make you “bulky.”  This cannot be further from the truth.  One of the reasons that this belief is out there is due to the fact that many creatine supplements contain impurities that cause bloating.  This is one of the reasons that we choose products from Stronger Faster Healthier, they do not add artificial or unnecessary ingredients into their supplements.  Creatine will have the same affect on women, increasing their ability to maintain physical and mental acuteness throughout the duration of the workout.  Being able to have increased energy throughout the duration of a workout is going to allow your body to increase the amount of muscle mass.  Increased muscle is going to allow you to complete more work during the workout and thus burn more calories, consequently causing a decrease in fat mass.


Creatine is contained within SFH’s Recovery Protein.  It is a great way to make sure that you are refueling your creatine levels and thus energy reserves after a hard strenuous workout.  SFH does not contain any of the impurities of other creatine supplements, and thus will not give you a bloated, full feeling.  Recovery Protein is best taken within 30 minutes following your workouts so you can quickly replenish the amino acids and vitamins that you body lost.


Like all nutritional supplements I encourage you all to do the research or ask coaches about them.  We cannot always believe what our friends tell us regarding supplements, as they may not know all of the information as well.  There are many scientific research articles published concerning all supplements and their affects.  If you have any questions about the nutritional supplements we have covered over the past four (4) weeks please feel free to ask me or any of coaching staff and we will be happy to provide you with information.



Mark’s Notes: BCAA’s

 Schedule Adjustments

* Monday, Sept. 1 at 900a ONLY (Labor Day)

* Carolina Clash for Sept. 13-14 has been cancelled

* Regular training hours have resumed for Sept. 12-14.


BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS: What Are They and Why are They Important?

The past two weeks we have focused on two (2) nutritional supplements that I’m sure many of you were already aware of.  The next two (2) weeks we will focus on some supplements that you are probably less aware of.  The first is branched chain amino acids (or BCAA’s for short), and next week I will delve into creatine, and quell some of the rumors that are associated with it.


Many of you have asked, or wondered out loud what is in my gallon water container that looks like dish soap, anti-freeze, or a variety of other things that I’ve heard it compared to, let me stop the rumors and let you know it is powdered BCAA’s.  BCAA’s are essential nutrients that the body can only obtain from foods or supplementation.  Branch chain amino acids received their name due to the chemical structure of these specific amino acids.


BCAA’s are extremely important to us as athletes due to the fact that they improve exercise performance and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise.  BCAA’s are different from many other types of amino acids due to the fact that they are not broken down in the liver.  Instead they bypass the liver and are transported directly to the muscle.  Once in the muscle, BCAA’s not only provide a significant role in protein synthesis, but they also help provide extra energy during an intense training session, help reduce muscle breakdown, and fight the mental drain that occurs throughout the course of a workout.  Additionally BCAA’s can be broken down by the muscles to be used as an energy source, thus allowing you to perform at a high level longer.


There are three (3) essential amino acids that belong in the BCAA group, they are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and they are obtained from meats, dairy, legumes and supplementation.  Leucine is quickly gaining recognition as the most important amino acid for the generation of muscle.  Additionally it can help decrease fatigue and lower muscle stress.  Leucine has the potential to not only stimulate muscle protein synthesis but also decrease muscle degradation.  BCAA’s help reduce muscle loss by stimulating the body to release insulin.  Research that has been published in the Journal of the International Society of Sport Nutrition has shown that insulin provides an important role in preventing the breakdown of muscle mass following the physical stress that is associated with weight lifting, running and exercise in general.


BCAA’s can assist in pushing through the mental and physical fatigue that your body perceives during an intense workout.  BCAA’s are competing with another amino acid, Tryptophan, for entry into the brain.  When in Tryptophan enters the brain it can be converted into serotonin.  While serotonin is good, during an intense workout it increases perception of fatigue and tiredness within your body.  BCAA’s lower the amount of Tryptophan that enters your brain and therefore decreases the amount of serotonin produced by your body during the workout, thus allowing you to maintain high energy output longer.


BCAA’s can be taken anytime throughout the day, however for the most benefit they should be taken before or after workouts and preferably on an empty stomach to avoid absorption competition with other amino acids.  Both SFH Fortified and SFH Recovery protein contain BCAA’s already within their powder.  If you take either of these proteins you are already receiving the benefits of BCAA’s, however if you are not, this may be something that you want to seriously consider incorporating into your diet.


If you have any questions about BCAA’s or any other supplements please ask any member of the coaching staff and we will be happy to provide you information or show you where to do the research.

Coming up next week we have our final installment on nutritional supplements, Creatine.


Courtesy of Iowa State.

Courtesy of Iowa State.


Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

Mark’s Notes: Protein

 Schedule Adjustments

* Monday, Sept. 1 at 900a ONLY (Labor Day)

* Carolina Clash has been cancelled.


Learning About Protein

By Coach Mark

It is time for our second installment concerning supplements and their effects.  Last week the blog post focused on fish oil, however this week we are going to focus on something that many of you are more familiar with, protein.  Most, if not all of us, take some sort of protein powder, but how many of you know why we should be taking it?  I am going to share with you why you should be taking protein powder, as well as information about the different varieties we carry at Raleigh CrossFit.


Before I get into what consumption of protein does for your body, I want to answer a question that many of you frequently ask: When should you take your protein shake, pre or post workout?  Although you can find articles that support both thought processes, there is more supporting research that post-workout is the best time to take your shake.  According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the first hour following a strenuous workout is the optimal time to consume your protein shake because it allows for optimal protein synthesis (protein synthesis is when you body aligns amino acids into proteins) by the body.  This is not to say that if you have been taking your protein shake pre-workout that you are wrong; it still helps your body begin protein synthesis and provides important BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids), which we will discuss in more detail next week, for your body.


Protein consists of one or more long chains of amino acids, they differ from one another in the configuration of the amino acid chains.  Protein is one of the primary building blocks that our body needs.  It is required to promote growth, repair damaged cells and tissue, synthesize hormones, and for a variety of metabolic activities.  Numerous studies have been conducted that show a positive correlation between increased lean muscle mass and increased muscular strength with the consumption of protein supplements.  During a workout your body is breaking down muscle and simultaneously increasing protein synthesis to rebuild and repair that muscle.  In order for your body to continue to build muscle, your protein intake must exceed the amount of protein that is synthesized.  If this doesn’t happen, the result will be the loss of muscle.


There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different brands of protein supplements on the market today, but don’t be fooled, all protein is not created equally.  At RCF we carry Stronger, Faster, Healthier protein.  We feel that this is one of the best protein supplement products on the market for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, SFH protein concentrate is non-denatured.  What exactly does this mean, and why is this such a big deal you?  Non-denatured whey protein has the highest biological value of any protein. It is a complete protein, unlike soy, and provides all the essential amino acids in the correct balance.  Additionally, the fact that SFH protein is non-denatured means it is absorbed quickly, thus making it less likely to be excreted by the body in waste products.  This is in comparison to many other proteins on the market which contain protein isolates, which have undergone extensive purification to get to that form.  Preparation of proteins to the isolate form strips away many of the natural nutrients and fats, rendering it a more concentrated but less digestible product.  The harder it is to digest, the more likely the body is to excrete it in waste form.

Additionally SFH protein is made only from free range cows that have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics.  Cows that have been treated this way are less likely to harbor antibiotic resistant diseases.   SFH also uses only A2 dairy herds.  A2 dairy cows contain only the A2 type of beta-casein protein rather than the more prevalent A1 protein.  It is believed that A2 milk contains less antigen proteins.   An antigen protein is one that you body treats as an invader and produces an immune response to go and fight, thus weakening your immune system.  If we are sick, we can’t train!

RCF carries a variety of different types of SFH protein, including Fuel, Pure, Recovery and Fortified.  Take a look at the SFH chart that explains the differences between the different SFH protein “formulas”.  Pure is exactly as its name says- it 82-84% pure whey protein, with only stevia added for flavor.  Fuel is geared towards providing you energy throughout the day, and it combines protein, coconut fat and apple pectin (a carbohydrate) for a long lasting energy push.  Recovery is best taken within the hour following your workout, and is geared towards helping your body recover the energy that it lost during exercise.  Recovery contains many vitamins, including glucosamine which helps to reduce inflammation caused by workouts, and carnitine which helps restore the body’s energy.  Fortified is centered around the building of muscle and enhancing muscle protein synthesis.  It contains amino acids including phenylalanine and isoleucine that trigger muscle growth.

  • Fuel – Is endurance based and can be used not only pre or post workout but anytime throughout the day.  It is a great between meal protein supplement.  Excellent for those who are training multiple times a day, or for long endurance events such as marathons.
  • Recovery – Ideal for post workout.  The goal of this product is to increase ATP (energy) levels that you have lost during the WOD or other workout.  For ideal absorption and effects it is best if used within an hour of completing your workout.
  • Pure – Can be taken anything throughout the day.  Designed to add protein directly to your diet.  Great for those days when you are traveling or just unable to get in all of your meals and thus not able to consume enough protein for the day.
  • Fortified – For those who are looking to increase lean muscle mass.  Contains many vitamins and amino acids that are an integral part of the muscle growing process.

Protein is one of the building blocks of healthy diet and lifestyle.  We spend hours in the gym working out and preparing our body to encounter any and all obstacles that we may encounter in life, but we need to make sure that we provide it with the right fuel so that we may live up to our potential.


Reference Sources

National Strength and Conditioning Association


Protein products from Stronger Faster Healthier that we carry at RCF.

Protein products from Stronger Faster Healthier that we carry at RCF.

Fish Oil: What You Should Know

Schedule Reminders

* 31 Heroes WOD on Saturday, Aug. 9. Heats start at 900a and will run every 35 minutes.  Please register to participate. This will be the WOD for the day. Athletes should prepare to have a partner and be warmed up for a heat time. Your registration will provide a better idea about what your heat time will be.  REGISTER

* Monday, Sept. 1 – 900a ONLY. Closed the reminder of the day. Regular training times resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

* Training notes: 10 week squat/press cycle (began the week of Aug. 22). Back squats on Mondays, front squats on Wednesdays, pressing (strict, push, jerks, bench) on Tuesdays. Olympic lifting 2-3 days per week, as part of separate of concurrent training for that day. Conditioning WODs daily, some long, some short. Some heavy, some light. Gymnastics training (pull-ups, burpees, push-ups, handstands, etc., to be a part of daily training.


Fish Oil: Why You Should Know About it


Written by: Coach Mark


As a coaching staff we have received many questions about supplements, specifically what affect they have on your body/performance, as well as the differences between brands and why Raleigh CrossFit chooses to carry SFH (Stronger. Faster. Healthier.) versus other brands.  To help quell any misconceptions as well, as educate you about supplements, I will be doing a four-part series on nutritional supplements.  This first week I will talk to you about Fish Oil, Vitamin D, followed by protein, BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) and creatine.


First of all, you may be wondering what is so important about fish oil and why we are taking an entire blog post to write about it.  Fish oil is important due to the main ingredient in it, Omega-3 fatty acids.  Unlike the supplements we will explore in the following weeks, your body CANNOT make Omega-3 fatty acids; it must get them through food or supplementation.  There are a variety of foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically fatty fish including: mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon.  Walnuts and flax seed are also good sources.  However because of health risks associated with consuming large amounts of these fish, fish oil supplementation has become a popular and safe way to make sure the body receives the Omega-3 fatty acids that it needs.


The positive health effects of omega-3 fatty acids are wide ranging, which is why it is one of our most important supplements.  Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and are known to play a crucial role in brain function, specifically memory and performance.  However they have recently become popular because it is also believed that they help reduce the risk of heart disease, and lower bad cholesterol and high blood pressure in individuals.  Now if all of these health benefits aren’t enough to convince you that omega-3 fatty acids are important to incorporate into your diet/supplementation routine, then as athletes at Raleigh CrossFit, the next benefit should be.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation.  Without getting into the technical aspect of it, that soreness that you feel in your body after a grueling workout, perhaps Fran or Karen (150 wall balls for time) is really inflammation of your muscles.  Studies have shown that individuals who consume Omega-3 fatty acids have decreased muscle inflammation or muscle soreness.  This does not mean that you are no longer going to be sore after a particularly tough workout, or ache a little after a heavy squat day.  What it does mean is that fish oil assists your body in helping control the pain associated with breaking down and rebuilding muscle.


Fish oil gel caps in water.

Fish oil gel caps in water.


Much like there are benefits to using fish oil, there are benefits to using SFH Fish Oil over other brands.  First and foremost, SFH Fish Oil comes in a liquid, which separates it from most other brands which generally come in a gel capsule form.  Liquid fish oil is able to be absorbed by the body more quickly than gel caps.  If you are currently taking a gel capsule or tablet form of fish oil, I challenge you to test how quickly it actually takes for it to be released into your body.  The way to simulate this is to put a capsule or two (depending on serving size) into a clear glass and fill it with water.  Although not an exact measurement, this is the best way to simulate the length of time it will take for the gel caps or tablets to dissolve once you ingest them.  I think you will be surprised by how long it actually takes to break down!  Often times it takes longer for the tablet or get cap to break down than it does for it to pass through your system.  Due to this you never receive the actual benefits of the fish oil capsule that you take.  Another major difference between SFH Fish Oil and other brands is the amount of active fats that can be found in it.  The active fats found in fish oil can be seen on the Supplement Label and are listed EPA and DHA (the difference between the sum of EPA & DHA and total fish oil are inactive fats).  SFH Fish Oil contains 2,071 mg Omega-3 EPA and 1,173 mg of Omega-3 DHA.  These values are far superior to the amounts contained by other brands, and in many cases you would have to consume 10-12 tablets per serving to receive the same amounts of EPA and DHA that is in just one small teaspoon of SFH Fish Oil.

For those of you wondering what exactly EPA and DHA are I will give you a short summary of both.  EPA and DHA are both omega-3 fatty acids.  DHA is the primary structural component for the brain.  It helps to promote mental development as well as the development of the retina and nerve tissues.  EPA on the other hand is used for high blood pressure in high-risk pregnancies (eclampsia), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), heart disease, schizophrenia, personality disorder, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and diabetes.  Together these two fatty acids work together and are the primary ingredients in most fish oils on the market today.


EPA and DHA also help facilitate the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.  A big addition to nearly all fish oils is Vitamin D.  Vitamin D can be absorbed by all people from sunlight.  However due to the change in working environments over the last century many of us are no longer working outside where we have sun exposure throughout the day, but rather in office building where out sunlight is limited.  This is leading to a population that is Vitamin D deficient.  Supplementing Vitamin D, is a great way to make sure your body is receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, increase bone density and reduces the risk of soft, weak bones, as well as bone fractures. It also helps with the body’s bone development and muscle function, helps keep the immune system healthy, and helps keep insulin, calcium and phosphorus levels in balance.


As far as supplements out there, fish oil is one that everyone should add to their diet.  It has health benefits that extend far outside the gym and ultimately will lead to a happy, healthier life.  If you have any questions or want more details about fish oil or SFH brands feel free to ask me or one of the other coaches, and we will be happy to help you out or point you in the right direction if you want to do research of your own.  Additionally more information can be viewed on SFH website concerning fish oil facts.


1. SFH FAQ’s and Product Information


3. Wikipedia

4. National Center for Biotechnology Information

5. University of Maryland Medical Center

Lesson Learned

As you all know, I like to do my part in self-educating, so that I can pass along my experiences in the hopes that you all can benefit.  Here is a bit about my experience with fish oil.


Fish oil?  I never imagined I would want to take fish oil.  Before I started really focusing on my training and diet, I had not heard of fish oil.  A few years back the use of fish oil as a daily supplement starting making its way into the vernacular of doctors and athletes and I started to take notice.


Like most people who are just learning about a product via the media, I just sort of took what the media sources told me – “take fish oil.” and went with it.  What they said was pretty much all I knew. I had no idea exactly why, how much, what was in the oil, where it came from, what kind of oil to take, flavors or levels of DHA and EPA.  Looking back on that, I realize I made some critical errors in judgment.  While I knew that taking fish oil would be beneficial, I wasn’t really dedicating myself to gaining more knowledge about what the best options would be and why I should add this to my supplement intake, rather than “just because”.  Again, this was back before I was the affiliate owner of Raleigh CrossFit and just starting my CrossFit training career. Since then, I am proud to say I have educated myself on fish oil via research and tried many different kinds. I am a believer in Stronger Faster Healthier Fish Oil, which is why I sell its fish oil at Raleigh CrossFit.  They say, “don’t believe the hype.” Well, fish oil isn’t hype.  However, I wouldn’t just take my word for it either.  Do your own research.


I will help you out with that.  Here are some facts about fish oil.


Did you know that even if you “eat clean” a few times a month, your food choices can still cause inflammatory responses and therefore, even the awesome anti-inflammatory powers of fish oil can’t entirely erase such poor nutritional choices? You can’t just expect fish oil to be the cure-all.  Do your part as well.


Not sure what your Omega-3 level is?  I took the Stronger Faster Healthier Assay test to see exactly where my level was.   Unfortunately I had not been consistently taking my fish oil a month out from taking the test. There is no excuse for this, as I don’t like to offer any.  However, I got my act together and started taking it again and did so consistently for 3 weeks before taking the assay test.  I always take it in the morning when my stomach is empty, as suggested by SFH.  I like the mint the best. And, may I add, because of the high quality and processing that SFH puts its fish oil through, I never get “fish burps.” Sadly, I endured these burps for too long when I used to take other brands, capsules and liquids.  I have not once had an uncomfortable fish burp since taking SFH fish oil.


I learned from the Assay test that my percentage of Omega-3s within my cells was low, below where it should be.  So, I have to do some work.  Taking into account my nutritional habits, volume of training and daily intake levels of the fish oil, where can I improve?  No doubt, I can clean up my nutrition and also add a bit more fish oil.  Based on the volume of training I was doing prior to the test, I know that my body was working overtime in order to combat inflammation.  We were training very hard in order to prepare for the CrossFit Games Open.

To date, the Open is nearly finished and I am happy with my results.  Thankfully I was consistent with my intake of fish oil throughout the Open, which kept my soreness minimal and my recovery time pretty good.  Yes there was soreness, but for the most part, I could feel 100% after a rest day.  I am a believer that fish oil, and particularly the high-potency and quality of the SFH fish oil aided in my performance and daily training.


Now, with all that being said, I clean up my diet, maintain my training volume and stay consistent with my fish oil intake and then I will have placed myself in a good position to retake the assay test to see if I improved the Omega-3 levels.


By the way, the test is really easy.  It comes in a box that includes a blood test kit and a pre-stamped envelope for the user to return the blood test. The test is sent to a laboratory, analyzed and then the lab emails the recipient the test results with suggestions on how to either improve their Omega-3s or how to maintain their current levels.


Why would I want to do that?

According to WebMd: There are many health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows strong evidence that the omega-3s EPA and DHA can boost heart health and lower triglycerides. And there are studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may help with other conditions — rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and many more.

Just what are omega-3 fatty acids exactly? How much do you need? And what do all those abbreviations — EPA, DHA, and ALA — really mean? Here’s a rundown of the essential omega-3 facts you need to know.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. We need them for our bodies to work normally. Because essential fatty acids (ALA,DHA,EPA) are not made in the body or are inefficiently converted from ALA to EPA and DHA, we need to get them from our diet.
  • Omega-3s have a number of health benefits. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body — in the blood vessels, the joints, and elsewhere. However, omega-3 supplements (EPA/DHA) may cause the blood to thin and cause excess bleeding, particularly in people taking anticoagulant drugs.
  • There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids. Two crucial ones — EPA and DHA — are primarily found in certain fish. Plants like flax contain ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is partially converted into DHA and EPA in the body. Algae oil often provides only DHA.
  • Experts say that DHA and EPA — from fish and fish oil — have better established health benefits than ALA. DHA and EPA are found together only in fatty fish and algae. DHA can also be found on its own in algae, while flaxseed and plant sources of omega-3s provide ALA — a precursor to EPA and DHA, and a source of energy.

Before buying any fish oil product take a look at the EPA and DHA levels. You may be taking way too many capsules and spending more money that you need to. For example, the capsule bottle may read that you take 3 capsules.  Well, in 3 capsules you are only getting 300mg of EPA/DHA, when you actually need 3000mg/day.  Doing the quick math, that’s 10 capsules to swallow.  No thank you.  With SFH, I get my daily recommendation in 1 teaspoon.

Look at the ingredients.  It should read cold-pressed.  Anything else uses a chemical process to remove the oil from the fish.  Why would you want to ingest chemicals knowingly… if you can help it? Also, what else is in the oil gel capsules or liquid?

SFH also puts its product against many others.  It isn’t afraid to compare its product and let you, the consumer, decide.  I respect that.

Seems pretty much like a no-brainer.  I want to stay happy, healthy and strong – for a long time. SFH Fish Oil is an excellent way to aid in my healthy lifestyle.

Thanks to Stronger Faster Healthier for always making product quality a priority.

Read this about how much fish oil to take.


Raleigh CrossFit Happenings


Olympic Lifting Barbell Group 

For those of you who missed our first barbell Olympic Lifting group, this is your pre-registration announcement for session 2.  If you participated in session 1, you may also participate in session 2.


Every Tuesday and Sunday

Begins Tuesday, May 28

Ends Sunday, July 28


Tuesday classes run from 600-730p; Sunday classes run from 1000-1130a.

Price is $200 for the eight weeks of two classes per week.


What we want from you during these training sessions:

1. Have fun.

2. Learn a lot about the two Olympic Lifts.

3. Listen

4. Take good notes in your journals.

5. Set PRs.

6. Make friends.

7. Hustle hard.

8. Be proud.

9. Become more mobile.

10. Demonstrate your snatch and clean and jerk at parties over the summer.


What we will provide for you:

1. Complete attention, giving intensive feedback on your lifts and progressions.

2. Guarantee that your Olympic lifting will improve.

3. Teach you how to critique your own movements.

4. Teach you how to take your lifting to the next level.

5. Get you even more excited about the power of Olympic Lifting.

6. Have fun.

7. Smile a lot.

8. Give verbal and non-verbal discretionary cues related to your performance.

9. Teach you how to be self-confidence in the lifts.

10. Continually improve our knowledge base on how to best to teach and coach you.


Open Gym

You have asked for it to return and so it shall be.

Beginning Sunday, April 7, Raleigh CrossFit will have an Open Gym time.  This will be each Sunday from 1000-1100a.

Athletes may come in to work on skills, perform a workout or make up a missed workout. There will not be any specific programming for this training session time.  A coach will be available.  However, athletes are responsible for performing their own warm-up and cool-down.



Starting next Tuesday, April 9, we will have yoga every Tuesday from 730-830p. Cost is $10 per person. Bring a friend! Become mobile together!


Body Composition Testing – Phase 2 – Still a few spots left. The tests begin tonight.

$10 per person

Sign up for 1 time slot. Sign up sheets are at the Tank.

Assessments take approximately 10-15 mins.

Monday, April 1 (Every 30 mins. from 530p – 700p)

Tuesday, April 2 (Every 30 mins. from 430p – 700p)

Wednesday, April 3 (Every 30 mins. from 600p – 700p)


What it is:

Analysis for: % fat, fat weight, fat free weight, ideal weight

Track your progress

Use results to guide your training and/or diet


Have the SAME TRAINED and EXPERIENCED professional perform all of your assessments.  The assessments take 10 minutes.  You will need to wear a t-shirt and shorts.


The assessments will be done by Chris Eschbach, Ph.D., CSCS, HFS

Director, The Human Performance Laboratory

Thousands of body comp analyses performed since 2001 and he is the same person who perfomed the first phase of assessments in February.


Special Events

Festivus Games 

At Triangle CrossFit

Saturday, April 13

900a until ?


If you are enjoying the CrossFit open or wanted to participate in the Open and didn’t, there is a local competition specifically geared towards those who are newer to the sport of CrossFit. It’s called The Festivus Games. It will be Saturday, April 13, starting at 900a, in Raleigh at Triangle CrossFit. The fee is $50. Kim and I will be there as judges and to help coach you through the events. To register or learn more about the event, follow the link. If you have questions, please let me know.


RCF Picnic – Saturday, April 6

– This will be the last workout for the 2013 CrossFit Open.

– All Raleigh CrossFit athletes are invited to join us for post-workout eats and drinks.  We will have a BBQ to celebrate our achievements during the Open, but also to celebrate as a CrossFit family for all of the hard work we do each day to achieve our goals.

– We will have this at the gym.  Bring a dish to share and any beverages you like.  It will likely start at around 1100a, but this will be solidified as the day draws closer, based on what the workout is. The workout will be announced on the preceding Wednesday.


Run For Our Heroes – Last day to submit money and registration for the discounted rate is Wednesday, April 3.

5k Road Race in Downtown Raleigh

Saturday, April 27, 2013 – 900a

$20 for a t-shirt and registration.

Register here.  We are also waiting to learn how we can save some $ if we register as a group. So, stand by.  See Chennelle for registration information. We have applications.

Our HEROES live forever! This is the 5th year that have held this road race to honor the fallen sister and brothers’ memories. It is not how they died that made them HEROES, it is how they lived.

The race benefits the Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation.

Raleigh CrossFit has represented in this race every year since its inception.


Last day to submit money and registration for the discounted rate is Wednesday, April 3.  Several of you asked to get in on the discount so I waited a few days.


Memorial Day Murph – Special Hours

– Monday, May 27; Two classes (900a and 1030a)

– Murph – Hero WOD

Run 1 mile

100 Pull-Ups

200 Push-Ups

300 Air Squats

Run 1 mile

Divide movements as need to complete. Must complete 1 mile before and 1 mile after.


Carolina’s Capital City Clash

– At Raleigh CrossFit

– Saturday-Sunday, June 22-23.

If you aren’t planning to participate, we would really appreciate your help.  We are looking for judges and volunteers for the Carolina’s Capital City Clash.  We are working on plenty of free swag for your assistance!


Register as a judge and volunteer here.




Update on Stronger Faster Healthier Products

Hello Raleigh CrossFitters,

I wanted to let you know about the upcoming additions and changes to the Stronger Faster Healthier products we are carrying.


Please see below and let me know if you have any questions.


Item                                            Cost for Athlete

10 oz. Fish Oil                             60 (if the bottle is labeled 50, it is still $50. We do have tangerine, lemon, vanilla and mint.)

10 oz. Fish Oil + D                     60

Endurance In-Race 2 lb.          50

Fortified 2 lb. Bag                     50

Pump                                             2

Recovery 2 lb.                             65

Pure Whey 2 lb.                         40

Shaker Bottle                               8



Why The Addition of Pure Whey?

Pure Whey has twice as much protein per serving as the Recovery. However, it does not contain Creatine, Ribose, Glucosamine Sulfate, Chondroitin, Co-Enzyme Q10, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Glutamine or Taurine.

  • Multi-component mixture of co-enzyme Q10, ribose and carnitine increases mitochondria productivity and maximizes cell energy.
  • Amino acids build muscles naturally.
  • Creatine boosts energy.
  • Glutamine helps with muscle recovery and maintenance.
  • Glucosamine sulfate* and chondroitin sulfate helps maintain joint health and flexibility.
  • Carnitine facilitates the transport of fats into mitochrondria for oxidation and ATP generation.
  • Leucine and isoleucine may promote muscle strength, volume and synthesis.
  • Ribose increases ATP synthesis/cellular energy.
  • Taurine may prevent muscle fatigue and atrophy.


Do I Need More Protein Than I was Taking With the Recovery?

No, this is your choice based on where you want your protein sources to come from.

Both the Pure Whey and Recovery will aid in your recovery.  There are just some additional supplements included within the Recovery that you may want.


Endurance Products

Endurance In-Race – Comes in Coconut or Lime Flavors, we have single packs so you can try it, $3.

Designed for prolonged energy generation.

When this product is used after using Endurance Daily on a regular basis and Endurance Pre-Race, it may allow your body to burn 4 fuels simultaneously:  Glycogen, long fats from our fat depots, medium chain fats from coconut fat and sugar generated internally from amino acids digested from whey via glucose re-synthesis (gluconeogenesis).

This product increases endurance and stamina and may protect your muscles from degradation during an endurance event.

Use every 30 minutes during the race.  Make a dilute solution for optimal absorption. Take at room temperature for optimal absorption.

These are the added ingredients and what they do:

  • Fast absorbing whey protein: helps protect from muscle breakdown and stimulates the synthesis of sugar via gluconeogenisis.
  • 20% MCT’s (coconut fat): as a high energy non insulin spiking fuel.

Contains: Milk and coconut.

Take frequently during race (every 30 to 60 minutes) in your favorite hydrating solution. Do not take with a product that contains large amounts of sugar or high glycemic carbohydrates.


Endurance Pre-Race Single Packets – Designed to be taken before any CrossFit workout as an energy source, or any endurance event.

Endurance Pre Race is designed to initiate and facilitate high energy fat oxidation from our body’s fat depots and from coconut fat.  Maintain muscle buffering capacity to prevent muscle acidification.

Optimize fuel use, generate energy, and prevent fatigue.

These are the added ingredients and what they do:

  • Quick absorbing amino acids from whey protein: help prevent muscle degradation and enhance gluconeogenesis. Establishes biochemistry conditions where fats, glycogen and sugar are simultaneously burned for energy.
  • Carnitine: facilitates the transport of fats into mitochrondria for oxidation and ATP generation.
  • Aspartate: may enhance oxidation / reduction mechanisms leading to efficient energy generation.
  • Beta-Alanine: maintains muscle buffer capacity.
  • MCT’s (coconut fat): a medium chain triglyceride that is completely oxidized (not stored) to generate ATP and ketone bodies (a secondary energy source for heart and brain)

Contains: Milk and coconut.


Why the Cost Increase?

From SFH:

“We are launching a new and improved Fish Oil, Fish Oil + vit. D and Pet Fish Oil + MCT. The new Fish Oil will provide 3.2 grams EPA: DHA per teaspoon. Just about a 20% increase in potency. There will be a price difference relative to dose (I believe $59.99 for a 10oz bottle and $39.99 for a 6oz bottle). The +vit. D will be an option but not come with a higher price. We suggest minimally 3 grams EPA:DHA per day for general health and 4-6 grams EPA:DHA per day for the more physically active athletes. Our current Fish Oil provides 2.7 grams EPA:DHA per teaspoon and a lot of people are taking more than they need to. Many of the heavier athletes are taking a tablespoon, which is three teaspoons, and provides 8.1 grams EPA:DHA. At the new potency, the user can dial back to one to two teaspoons, providing an appropriate 3.2 or 6.4 grams per day. Ideally, a bottle should last longer at our recommended dose of 1-2 teaspoons a day while providing a more accurate dosage per serving.

Our 100% Grass Fed Whey and many of the Natural Additive costs have gone up which we need to reconcile. That announcement should also come on Tuesday, February 5th. Again, I don’t yet have all the details but it might be a good time to buy at the current price as they will be going up in some measure. No changes are being made to the protein formulas.

A reminder of what separates us from other proteins… SFH whey proteins are a highly bioavailable, non-denatured whey concentrate derived from A2 milk from grass fed cow herds: not treated with hormones or antibiotics. Calved once a year, yielding whey with high content CLA, high amounts of glutathione precursors, low estrogens, and low omega-6 fats. SFH proteins are gluten free and do not contain artificial fillers, binders, sweeteners, colors, added sugar, GMO products like soy lecithin, cardiac stimulants and are not chemically modified. SFH proteins are free from high glycemic carbohydrates that spike the release of insulin, shut down fat metabolism and induce inflammation. SFH is also only one scoop per serving, not two which most people are familiar with.

Nutrition Challenge Information Released

Nutritional Challenge

Start: Monday, April 30, 2012

Completed: Friday, June 29, 2012

Park Picnic to be held Saturday, June 30, 2012



  • $10 buy-in due on Monday, April 30. Overall winner will get 50% of the money pot and there are two runners-up, 1 male, 1 female. They will split the remaining 50%. Additional rewards noted below.
  • This is not a weight loss competition. Which is why we will be taking body measurements, not body weight.
  • Body Measurements taken before challenge and immediately after.
  • Bicep, Quad, Calf, Hip, Waist, Chest
  • Changes in measurements will be based on percentage of change overall.
  • We want you to learn from the experience and become stronger and healthier.  If this is your first time making these nutritional changes, you will be happy you did.

Two months of a nutritional commitment to the following:

  • No sugars – none. This means no white sugar, cane sugar, agave, no honey, no truvia, no stevia, no artificial sweeteners of any kind, no evaporated cane syrup, tapioca syrup, any kind of syrup.  Your dessert is fruit.
  • No grains of any kind. No quinoa, oats, wheat germ, no grains period.
  • No dairy products. No milk, cheese, butter (grass-fed butter/ghee is acceptable, but it must be grass-fed butter or ghee – in which the lactose and casein products have been removed.
  • No vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil.  Yes to olive oil, coconut oil.
  • No soy products. Tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, all out.
  • Yes, to fresh vegetables (no potatoes are not vegetables, sweet potatoes are fine.)
  • Yes to fresh fruit (no more than 3 servings per day). Canned fruit is a no-no. Dried fruit will count double servings. So 1 serving of raisins is equal to 2 fruit servings. Dried fruit is much higher in sugar.
  • Yes to meats such as beef, chicken, duck, fish, seafood, pork, eggs.  Choose nitrate-free bacon if you are going to choose to eat bacon (if you can find any that doesn’t have any sugar at all added to it.) Try as much as possible to choose free-range chickens, grass-fed cuts of meat, wild fish and seafood.  Challenge: buy one steak that is not grass-fed and the same cut that is grass-fed. Cook both. One will be taste remarkably better.
  • Seeds and nuts are fine – except peanuts.
  • Minimal sea salt.
  • No alcohol. None. Not even wine or agave nectar – tequila. Save this for your picnic celebration on June 30.
  • Black coffee and tea are ok… no added dairy cream or sugar.
  • You will be required to keep track of your eating in a Nutrition log.  This can be done however you want and is not going to be submitted. This is an honor system.  Each Monday, you will post your point total for the week.  Scoring begins on Monday, April 30. The first day of reported scoring will be Monday, May 7.  From this log, you will give a daily score of 0-10 based on your compliance with the Paleo Diet.  A score of 10 would represent a day of….
  • 10 points: eating like a true hunter gatherer; nothing but meat, chicken, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds.
    ~ 1 point off for every serving of: Deli meats, bacon (yes bacon), sausage, beans, hummus, peanuts, agave, honey, salt, peas, dried fruit, most salad dressings.
    ~ 2 points off for every serving of: Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, butter – see above), soy products,
    ~ 3 points off for every serving of: Cereal, grains, wheat, oats, corn, tortilla chips, bread, rice, pasta, noodles, hot dogs.
    ~ 4 points off for every serving of:  Soda, juice, sports drinks, potato, fried food, most restaurant appetizers, pizza, cookies, baked goods, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweets, pancakes, ketchup, processed marinades, BBQ sauce, sugar added dried fruit, beer, wine and ALL alcoholic drinks. And if you think those coconut ice creams are safe – you are wrong. Check the labels. If you really need dessert, you better get creative.
    There is a potential for 3 extra bonus points per day.

i.     1 extra bonus point for every day you participate in a CrossFit workout.  (only 1 per day, max of 5)  The benefits of Paleo are magnified when combined with CrossFit.  You can do a home WOD, but it must be documented. What it was, weights used and how long it took.

ii.     1 extra bonus point for everyday you consume at least 6 grams of Fish oil. Fish oil reduces Silent inflammation, which doesn’t generate the pain associated with classic inflammation and therefore goes untreated for years or even decades. Virtually every type of chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s) has a significant inflammatory component as its underlying cause.  Silent Inflammation is the first sign that your body is out of balance and no longer well. You can’t feel it, but it is grinding down your heart, your brain and your immune system.  Your weight and health are greatly determined by how well you control the inflammatory process.

iii.     1 extra bonus point for every night that you sleep more than 8 hours.

Post Workout:
Post workout is the one time we will allow a slight deviation from Paleo.  If you are unable to stomach solid foods after training, a protein drink is a great alternative.  For fast and complete recovery we suggest a post workout protein shake. Progenex is agreeable.  If you just finished “Murph”, “Eva”, “Badger” or other 30+ minute intense workouts, go higher on the starches (sweet potatoes may be added) to replace glycogen.  You will train better the next day if you recover properly with post-wod stretching, replacement of glycogen stores and hydration.


Rewards: First, the reward will be in how awesome you feel and how much healthier and stronger you will be.  However, there will be one overall winner and one best in category (male/female). The overall winner will receive: A 60-minute massage from Vannity Salon, A Steve’s paleo gift pack ($50 value), 1 bag of Progenex Recovery ($60 value) and a Rogue Bearing Speed Rope ($22 value).

Best in category will receive: A 30-minute massage from Active Chiropractic, A Steve’s Paleo Sampler ($25 value), a Rogue Bearing Speed Rope ($22 value) and a pair of Rogue Wrist Wraps ($12 value).


Guidelines, not approved by the FDA.


Down on the Farm – Sign Up for Local Produce, Meat, Poultry and Eggs

Raleigh CrossFit is about to be your one-stop shop for local produce, grass-fed beef, poultry, eggs and more.  Not only are contributing to the success and economic growth of your local farmer’s, but you as a consumer will know exactly where your produce, meat, etc. will come from.  And, you won’t have to go to the store to purchase it.  You order it online and it will be available for you to pick up at Raleigh CrossFit.  Sounds pretty good to us!



Information provided by Harland’s Creek Farm:

The Mid-Chatham Farmers Alliance CSA is offering to have Raleigh CrossFit as one of its drop-off locations.  MCFA CSA is one of the best and most varied CSAs in the Triangle area because it is a collaboration among several small scale famers and because it includes detailed information on how to prepare the food.


There are four Chatham County Farms: Harland’s Creek Farm [Judy Lessler], Wiseacre Farm [Laurie Heise} Cohen Farm [Esta Cohen], and Roberson Creek Farm [Vicki and Bobby Roberson] who work together to provide vegetables, herbs, meat, chicken and eggs.  They also collaborate with a few non-Chatham farmers for specialty products: Chapel Hill Creamery for cheese [Portia McKnight], Clayton Orchard for peaches, grapes, and melons [Andy Clayton], and Pine Knot Farms for strawberries and sweet potatoes [Stanley Hughes].  Most of the produce is organic and some is sustainably grown.  All meat, chicken, and eggs are raised on pasture.


One of the best things about the CSA is that it comes with a cookbook, meal plans, and shopping lists so that it is easy to use the contents of the box to make healthy meals for your family.  Also for those of you who follow a Paleo Diet, you can choose from a wide variety of options so that most of your food would be delivered to our site.  Options include:


·        Produce: vegetables, herbs, and a few melons and berries

·        Dairy: Eggs and cheese

·        Fruit: Strawberries, peaches, watermelon, and grapes

·        Protein: Meat and chicken


  • We offer DISCOUNTS for pre-paid accounts.  The discount is 8 percent less than that posted on the web and 3 percent less than the cash price at the market.
  • CREATE an ACCOUNT: To create and account you can mail a check or pay online to Harland’s Creek Farm. In addition you will need to fill out the registration form that asks for your name, e-mail, telephone number, and city and state.  Make sure your clearly indicate your e-mail address because that is what identifies you in the system at Harland Farms.  Form is located at the link below. 


You can sign up  by printing out and completing the pamphlet/form, choose Raleigh CrossFit as your drop off/pick up location, and then send your form with payment to Harland Creek Farms.  You will then be able to place future orders online.  You can place your payment online as well.  Raleigh CrossFit will not be responsible for your payment. However, we are happy to serve as your pick up location.  We want you all to be as healthy as possible and eating food that is fresh and local is a pretty great start!


Check out this pamphlet for more information and be sure to register online as a member at Harland Creek Farm.  The produce season is coming quickly.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to crunch down on a farm-fresh carrot or bite into a tomato fresh from the sun, you are missing out on something special.


In order for Raleigh CrossFit to serve as a drop-off/pick-up, we need at least 10 people to participate.  I know Kim and I are in!  We can spend more time training and less time at the store :). Great training, complimented by high-quality food.  Bring on the burpees and grill!


The form/pamphlet.


You can fill out the form and mail it with payment to Harland Creek Farms.  Be sure to choose “Raleigh CrossFit” as your “PICK UP SITE”.


Rain … sunshine … rain … sunshine!


Nutrition Nugget: Blood (Glucose) Sugar Level and Hormones


Blood Glucose: is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal.  It is regulated with two hormones: glucagon and insulin. It is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells, and blood lipids (in the form of fats and oils) are primarily a compact energy store. Glucose is transported from the intestines or liver to body cells via the bloodstream, and is made available for cell absorption via the hormone insulin, produced by the body primarily in the pancreas.

If the pancrease is not able to produce enough insulin or glucagon, diabetes results.

Hormones: The body’s homeostatic mechanism keeps blood glucose levels within a narrow range (to feel good). It is composed of several interacting systems, of which hormone regulation is the most important.

There are two types of mutually antagonistic metabolic hormones affecting blood glucose levels:

1. Catabolic hormones (such as glucagon, cortisol and catecholamines) which increase blood glucose

2. Anabolic hormones (insulin), which decreases blood glucose.


How we keep homeostasis:

– When blood sugar levels become too high, insulin is released from the pancreas in order to lower blood glucose levels.

– When blood sugar levels become too low, glucagon is released. It promotes the release of glycogen, converted back into glucose. This increases blood sugar levels.


Maintaining blood glucose levels is very important. When the body realizes there is not enough blood sugar (glucose), the body releases one of its own internal drugs (known as a “catabolic” hormone) to turn on the glucose creating internal mechanisms to restore the blood sugar to a more favorable level. When the body senses that the blood sugar level is too high, it will release another hormone (“anabolic”) to turn on the glucose storing internal mechanisms to store the excess ‘energy’. The excess glucose will be absorbed by the liver, muscles and the fat cells of the body. When this happens, more fat is produced. This will lower the circulating concentration in the blood stream.

Too much sugar, means a release of more anabolic hormones to decrease the blood sugar levels.  When that happens, you store it.

Releasing of the hormones into the blood stream affects other tissues and cells as well.  This is why the hormonal influences that occur primarily in response to the blood sugar levels are complicated. These hormones will influence many things at one time. These influences actually serve to drive the body’s metabolism to either turn on overall or to slow down overall.


Want to learn more?

Check out these resources.


Video and Text: Your Brain and Food

Video: Food and Hormonal Response


The Zone Diet


The Paleo Diet (Cordain)

The Paleo Solution (Wolf)

Fish Oil