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Assuming you’re training with consistency, the next three things I want you to lock down on is the amount of sleep you’re getting, the amount and quality of food you’re eating, and the amount of water you’re drinking every day.

1. Sleep

It would be hard to say which is more important on this list, because without any of them, for long enough, you’d die. That being said, I believe sleep to be the most critical, due to it’s unique and specific effects on brain chemistry. Sleep is a critical component of both physical health and cognitive function.

A few of the benefits of getting adequate sleep are:

  • the brain is “washed” clean during sleep.
  • the body repairs itself during sleep.
  • working memory is improved during sleep.

Many of the problems that arise with sleep deprivation are:

  • aching muscles
  • confusion, memory lapse or loss
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • headaches
  • confusion, memory lapses or loss
  • obesity
  • seizures

For more info on sleep and sleep deprivation, visit these Wikipedia pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_deprivation

Additionally, the following video offer an entertaining snapshot of the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVQlcxiQlzI

Though there is no one-size-fits-all amount of sleep a person needs, it appears that six to eight hours captures the range for what is considered optimal for human performance and health.

2. Food

What you eat, is as important as how much you eat. If you eat the wrong amount of the wrong foods, you’re not going to achieve the health results you’re after.

Though it’s almost cliche, Hippocrates (c. 460-370 BC), the father of modern medicine, nailed it when he said “let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be thy food.”

When talking about food, we’re considering both the quality of food, and the quantity of food we’re eating. Eat too much, and you’re going to get sick and miserable. Eat the right amount for your size and activity level, and you’ll kick more ass in all aspects of your life. Eat the wrong types of food for your biology, and again, you’ll fail. Learn what foods are toxic to your gut and which foods are medicine, and you’ll thrive!

Where to begin? Anywhere. Learning how and what you’re supposed to eat is a process. Do your research. Talk to people – nutritionists, coaches and trainers, and your doctor. Read – books and articles. Then change your diet, and control what you’re eating. Test different protocols on yourself to find the diet that’s right for you.

Here are four worthwhile books to get you started:

  1. The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That’s Destroying Our Health (The Zone)
  2. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health
  3. The Elimination Diet: Discover the Foods That Are Making You Sick and Tired–and Feel Better Fast
  4. Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It

3. Water

Water, as you know, is critical to your health. But how much are you supposed to drink?

You don’t want too little, because “Under relatively mild levels of dehydration, individuals engaging in rigorous physical activity will experience decrements in performance related to reduced endurance, increased fatigue, altered thermoregulatory capability, reduced motivation, and increased perceived effort.”

On the other end of the spectrum, drinking too much water can have deleterious affects on your health, the worst being hyponatremia (low sodium and electrolyte balance).

A fantastic book on the topic of excessive water consumption is Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports

Though there are numerous variables affecting the amount of moisture your body loses in a day – such as activity level, climate, and elevation – a good starting point for anyone is to drink 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight a day. Then start to experiment from there to find your sweet spot.

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Tuesday 160531

Memorial Day Murph Challenge 2016

Memorial Day Murph Challenge 2016

For max load:
Snatch, 1 rep
Clean & Jerk, 1 rep

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Monday 160530

The Murph Challenge 2015

Participants of the 2015 Murph Challenge.

Memorial Day Murph Challenge and Potluck schedule:

0900 hrs  Be here, get changed, put food away, write your name on the board, introduce friends and family, chit-chat.

0925 hrs  Open floor. Got something to say, someone to thank, to remember. If there’s someone you’d like to dedicate your effort to, now’s the time.

0930 hrs  Selected reading from “Lone Survivor,” Chapter 8 – The Final Battle For Murphy’s Ridge.

0935 hrs  Two-minutes of silence.

0937 hrs  Playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

0940 hrs  Warm-up for the “Murph”.

1000 hrs  “Murph”

1130 hrs  Potluck social

Murph
Run 1 mile
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile
In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

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Friday 160527

Steph single arm snatches during the 0530 group WOD.

Steph single arm snatches during the 0530 group WOD.

Five rounds for time:
Row 500 m
Recover 5 minutes

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Could This Ketosis-Based Elixir Hold The Key To Weight Loss, World Record Performances, Brain Healing and More?

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Thursday 160526

Scott from Stoneway CrossFit pulls some big weight during a Saturday drop in.

Scott, owner of Stoneway CrossFit, pulls some big weight during a Saturday visit.

“Tom”
Complete as many rounds as possible in 25 minutes:
7 muscle-ups
11 thrusters, 70 kg
14 toes-to-bar
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Wednesday 160525

Kate and Rob bring little Grady to meet the 0530 group.

Proud parents, Kate and Rob, bring little Grady to meet the 0530 group.

For max load:
Turkish get-up, 1-1-1-1-1 reps (left and right)

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History on Fire Podcast: EPISODE 7 Crazy Horse (Part 1)

History on Fire Podcast: EPISODE 8 Crazy Horse (Part 2)

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Tuesday 160524

Laura pulling renegade rows while the rest of the team gets after it during the 0530 group WOD.

Laura pulls renegade rows while the rest of the team gets after it during the 0530 group WOD.

For time:
20 split cleans, two 45 lb dumbbells
10 L pull-ups
16 split cleans, two 45 lb dumbbells
8 L pull-ups
12 split cleans, two 45 lb dumbbells
6 L pull-ups
8 split cleans, two 45 lb dumbbells
4 L pull-ups

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Lessons from War, Tribal Societies, and a Non-Fiction Life (Sebastian Junger)
“If you want a better understanding of warriors, tribal societies, human nature, and what we can learn from it all, this is for you.”

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Monday 160523

Hillary overhead squats during the 0530 group WOD.

Hillary overhead squats during the 0530 group WOD.

For max load:
Turkish get-up, 1-1-1 reps with both left and right hands

Then, three rounds for time:
100 double-unders
30 kettlebell swings, 28 kg
30 push-ups

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The Fallen of World War II [Vimeo]
An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second World War and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.

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Friday 160520

Jenny, Robby, Dave, and Nick get to work during the 0530 group WOD.

0530 get to work with double-unders, toes to bar, and kettlebell snatches during the group WOD.

“RJ”
Five rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
5 rope ascents, 15 ft
50 Push-ups

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Venezuela’s Slow Motion Apocalypse: Food, Medicine, Toilet Paper, and Electricity Are Vanishing

 

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Thursday 160519

Sara single arm snatches during the 0630 group WOD.

Sara single arm snatches during the 0630 group WOD.

For max load:
Dips, 3-3-3-3-3 reps

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Jocko Podcast 23: The Art of War “Sun Tzu”, Dealing w/ Betrayal, Sport VS Self-defense BJJ, Campaign for Change

 

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