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Neuroendocrine refers to interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system. Muscle growth and strength increases largely depend on the neuroendocrine adaptations and acute responses evoked during exercise.
Unfortunately, one of the critical elements missing from isolation ‘weight-training’ movements (ex. bicep curls) is they invoke essentially no Neuroendocrine response.
A vital hormonal response to athletic development is a substantial testosterone increase, along with an insulin-like growth factor and human growth hormone. Exercising with protocols known to elevate these hormones eerily mimics the hormonal changes sought in exogenous hormonal therapy (steroid use). Training Programs that induce a high neuroendocrine response produce top tier athletes. Increased muscle mass and bone density are just two of many adaptive responses to exercises capable of producing a significant Neuro. response.
A starting point recommended for ‘weightlifting’ would be mastering ‘powerlifting’
(the sport of three lifts: the Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift) to be followed later by the more dynamic ‘Clean’, ‘Jerk’, the ‘Clean & Jerk’ and the ‘Snatch’. Being not only demanding of precision and athleticism, these multi-joint compounds elicit a profound Neuroendocrine response, emphasizing constant engagement of midline, working core to extremities.
Simply put, in order to maximize neuroendocrine response focus on working large muscle groups before smaller muscle groups. Use higher volume and moderate to high intensity with shorter rest intervals between sets.
If you are not an avid Olympic Weightlifter, activate a higher Neuro. response, by programming your smaller muscle groups with your largest muscle groups. (ex. Superset your Bicep Curls with DeadLifts, your Tricep Extensions with Bench Press, Shoulder Laterals with Squats). Recruit an even larger response by incorporating Compound movements (ex. a Front Squat with an Overhead Press, a Sumo Deadlift with an Upright Row, a Back Squat with a wide grip Behind the neck Press).
Maximize you Natural Growth Hormone by recruiting more muscle fibers, more quickly and more intensely.

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I had the wonderful opportunity this week to guest coach at ASD CrossFit, Pordenone, Italy with another coach from our gym. This Box has been open for roughly eight months and is full of amazing athletes. With most being relatively new to CrossFit, I was unsure what to expect.
For their skill/strength training, we programmed a Snatch Progression to a 1RM followed with an EMOM. These athletes are coached by an amazing Olympic Lifting coach and it shows!! Their pulls and progressions were extremely precise and their mobility was exceptional!
We programmed for them a 20:00 AMRAP
20 Wall Balls (16#/20#)
20 Box Jump overs (20″/24″)
10 Clean & Jerks (85#/105#)
10 Burpees
Not only were their movements on point, but they WOW’d us with their endurance!!
The determination, drive and discipline of the athletes is absolutely inspiring!! A very welcoming group of people, that even with our language barrier, put us at complete ease:) I recommend to anyone traveling through or a local athlete searching for a Box..give this one a try!!!
To show their gratitude, they invited us out to dinner which was an absolute blast- along with the best Tiramisu I have ever tasted;)
Having this experience just justifies yet again to me the comradery among CrossFit and its athletes.

I am often asked what my typical training week looks like. 
I NEVER have workouts that are the same. Everyday, each week it is something different.
Here is a rundown of this weeks training.

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Monday:
W/U:
800M RUN
-20:00 EMOM
3 STRICT PULL-UPS
-20 RDS- EVERY 30 SECONDS:
1 DEAD HANG PULL UP
AFTERNOON CARDIO:
2 MILE RUN 2 MILE ROW

Tuesday:
W/U:

BB STRICT PRESS X10
BB SQUAT CLEAN X10
SUPERSETS:
STRICT PRESS @70% X10/ @80% X10/ @80% X8
SQUAT CLEAN @50% X5/ @55% X5/ @60% X5 X5
SUPERSETS: 
SQUAT CLEANS @70%
10X2 BACK SQUATS @55% 10X5
SUPERSETS:
SPLIT JERK @77.5% 6X3 POWER CLEAN @92.5% 6X2
END WITH
10 MIN ON THE STAIRS

Wednesday:
Today’s Training was split into three sessions. I was earlier than usual for my 0530 class, so prior to setting up for my class I got in a quick WOD.
5 ROUNDS:
10 OVERHEAD WALKING LUNGES 55#
5 BURPEES
15 MEDICINE BALL SIT UPS 14#
Following class, I finished up with
6 ROUNDS:
30 DOUBLE UNDERS
10 BURPEES
This afternoon I went to the track to tackle todays programmed cardio
TRACK WORK:
1 MILE RUN
5 X 100M SPRINTS
1 MILE RUN

Thursday:
I could tell as soon as my feet hit the ground this morning that my muscles were tired. I gave myself a longer recovery period between rounds than usual, but thats what it took to get it in;)
3 ROUNDS:
500M ROW
T&G SNATCHES @70% 3X5
3 ROUNDS:
T&G SNATCHES @70% 3X5
5 RING DIPS
3 ROUNDS:
T&G SNATCHES @70% 3X5
5 ADVANCED RING ROWS

THURSDAY:
A.M.
WOD:
10 ROUNDS:
5 STRICT PULL-UPS
5 C2G PUSH UPS
5 T2B (STRICT)
FOLLOW WITH:
MUSCLE FOCUS
4 SETS EA:
25 PULL DOWNS
25 BB BACK ROWS
25 DB CURLS
FINISH WITH:
5 MILES AIR DYNE
END WITH:
10:00 ROLL OUT/MOBILITY
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FRIDAY:
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SATURDAY:
WU:
500 M ROW
4 ROUNDS:
16 DB STEP UPS
8 RING DIPS
15 ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS OFF BLOCK
8 ONE LEG DB DEADLIFTS (EA)
4 ROUNDS:
10 DB STIFF DEADLIFTS OFF BLOCK
5 RING PUSH UPS
15 BANDED GOOD MORNINGS
15 ROMANIAN DEADLIFTS OFF BLOCK

SUNDAY: REST DAY 🙂

 

 

I praise God daily for allowing me strength to do what I love. Pushing my body to the limits, overcoming obstacles, each day growing stronger than the last…Physically and Mentally. Milano, Italy- Super Spartan Although this race was no where near my toughest race to date, it was by far the muddiest! Dangerously muddy! I received a much slower time than I would have liked, but finishing the race without a broken ankle or sprain was most important! My legs kept telling my brain to run fast, you can handle it, but I knew better. I busted my ass so many times in this race, on my on and other times due to the person ahead causing a pile up. As with any race though, it was a blast! I will say that the last two obstacles of the race were a test of determination. An incline barbed wire belly crawl with a slippery, quicksand like effect, full of sharp shards of rock, just perfect for slicing and dicing those knees and elbows. The last obstacle, an incline wall with a slippery rope that may have well been lubed with oil, was so caked with wet mud, that when going for my last pull, exerting almost all of my energy, I lost control, sliding all the way back to starting position. After telling myself to breathe and move (my favorite thing to yell at my CF athletes in class:) I reached to the side of the obstacle where laid bundles of hay like grass. Taking some in my palms to hopefully act as somewhat of a grip, I was back up to the top within one more pull, struggling, when I see a hand the size of my head reach down for me to grab. Thank you God, chivalry is not dead:)

 

For far too long, the front squat has served as the least favored of squatting variations.You can’t front squat as much as you can back squat, so you simply discard it- toss it into the pile of lifts less regarded. The front squat engages your quads to a greater degree and, because of the more upright body positioning required, hammers your core to its max. For avid Olympic lifters with interest in improving your Cleans, Jerks and Push Presses, immediate benefits emanate from the front squat. The bar positioning and body posture in the front squat offer the most direct transference to Olympic lifting of any squatting variation.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe pears
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts
  • (optional) yogurt or frozen yogurtDirections:
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet (I cut a sliver off the other end so they sat upright). Using a measuring spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds.

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Ingredients:
2 lbs of wild salmon
8 slices of thick sliced applewood smoked bacon
3 tomatoes, sliced
5 ounces of arugula
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
Salt and Pepper to season

Lemon Caper Vinaigrette:
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 heaping teaspoons of capers
1 shallot, minced
¼ teaspoon of salt

Directions:
For the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette, in a bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, shallot and salt.   Preheat oven to 400 F.  Season salmon with salt and pepper.  Allow an oven proof skillet to heat over high heat for 5 minutes.  Add avocado oil and then salmon to skillet, flesh side down skin side up.  Allow salmon to cook for 5 minutes undisturbed.  Flip salmon and place skillet in the oven for 4 minutes for rare or 6 minutes for well.  Meanwhile, arrange a layer of arugula on plates followed by a tomato slice and two slices of bacon, and repeat the arugula and tomato layers once more.

Top salads with salmon and serve with the Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F
  2. In a bowl toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the cumin, paprika and salt
  3. Lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to your food processor
  5. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the tahini, lemon juice and garlic and blend until smooth
  6. Top with olive oil and paprika and serve with your favorite veggies

Grilled chicken, marinated in Thai spices and grill over charcoal grill.

6-8 boneless chicken thighs or 11/2 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (I do mine 24 hrs or that morning). Grill on barbecue, about 4 minutes a side on medium heat. Discard marinade.

Chili Glaze:
¾ cup rice vinegar
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce (or GF Tamari)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Bring above ingredients to a boil over high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened. 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your pan. Watch it, do not let it burn. Glaze chicken and serve.

Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cucumbers, very finely sliced (see photos)
  • 4 tablespoons minced cilantro, to taste

Instructions

  1. Dice the jalapeno and garlic and add to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to incorporate the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Finely slice the cucumbers. Add the cucumbers to the dressing and stir together.
  4. Finely mince the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Stir to combine. You can either let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours, or serve immediately.

Notes
Make sure that you let the salad sit on the counter for a little while before serving if it’s been in the fridge; the olive oil solidifies slightly when it’s cold.