03/06/2012 Paleo Meatloaf, 2 a Day CrossFit, Fixing Back Squat

Paleo Cooking

A few weeks back I ordered a couple of Paleo Cookbooks from Amazon, Sarah Fragoso’s
“Everyday Paleo”, and Melissa Joulwan’s “Well Fed”.  I have yet to cook anything out of “Well Fed”, but have cooked several of the recipes in “Everyday Paleo”. 

Sarah’s recipes are simple to prepare, and pack quite a bit of flavor.  I use her “Roasted Root Veggies” recipe on a regular basis.  It’s a simple concoction of parsnips, carrots, beets, onion, garlic, with some coconut oil, and some basil, placed in a roasting pan then baked in the oven for about an hour.  I like to cook some version of this once a week, and will use it as a go to source of starch. 

Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Meatloaf, or Disc

Everyday-paleo-book
Another recipe from Fragoso’s book that I’ve only recently tried is her Everyday Meatloaf.  My girlfriend who is for the most part a “FOB” (fresh off the boat, implying that she tends towards her Asianness over her Americanessess), lived with her uncle for a few years when she first moved here to the US.  Her uncle is a silly white man, who prepared mostly American meals.  Her uncle’s mother lived in the same household for a few years, and used to cook meatloaf as an occasional treat, which is ironic because my childhood food memories are tied to Korean meals go figure.

So my Super Asian girlfriend, who somehow thinks that Capri pants are fashionable for heterosexual men (which somehow Korean men in Korean think is cool), loves meatloaf, which is why last week when she saw the recipe in the cookbook, it was commanded that I prepare this meatloaf (yes I not only suck at CrossFit, but I am abused by a 5’6” 118 lbs Asian woman).

Sarah Fragoso’s recipe calls for the following:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

I added:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Mushroom Truffle Hunt
  • ½-3/4 teaspoon cayenne

The cooking steps are as follows:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place the mixture into a baking dish and shape into a loaf, ball, disc, or box, change name of recipe accordingly “Everyday Meat___”.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until the meatloaf is no longer pink in the middle.

Photo(8)
When we pulled it out it smelled like a hump of meaty goodness, the only thing missing I realized was some type of ketchup or sauce to go over the top.  Even without the ketchup, the meatloaf tasted fantastic. 

Workout Recap

Tuesday is the first day I had a two a day of CrossFit.  I attended the 5:30 AM WoD at Patriot, then went to the CrossFit Endurance WoD at 7 pm. 

The 5:30 session started with the usual warm-up, and moved right into back squats.  The programming has changed a bit at Patriot to accommodate the Thursday CrossFit Games Open WoD.  In the past we would have power-lifts on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with the other days alternating between longer Metcons, or skill days coupled with a medium length Metcon.

In the end it doesn’t matter to me, but my OCD can’t handle the change. 

Back Squats

The work prescribed for the day was to do 3 sets of 5 reps of back squats at 65-75% of your 1 rep maximum, and a Metcon which resembled Fight Gone Bad.  It was three rounds of work, with 1 minute breaks between rounds of 1 minute of rowing; 1 minute of dumbbell hang squat cleans with 45 lbs, and 1 minute of push presses with 95 lbs.

I warmed up my back squats doing sets of 5 with the bar, 135 lbs, 155 lbs, and 185 lbs.  My hips are extremely sore and as much as I try to foam roll them out, and stretch, they get tight again from all the work.  During the last month an half I haven’t done much heavy squatting, partially because I am reestablishing my form, and mostly because my hips are so tight that I feel I’m not quite in the proper position at the bottom, so I’ve chosen weights I can hold a second at the bottom.

Yesterday was the first day I did weight that was challenging to me, my 1 rep maximum which I learned was 275 lbs back in November.  So that would put 75 % at 206.5, I ended up doing all of my work at 205 lbs.  I’m not at all emasculated by the fact the fact that Ericka did the work at the same level, I long ago resolved myself to the fact that she could kick my ass.

 

After watching video of my squats I’ve realized that my wider foot position is changing how my muscles work, so I need to work on developing flexibility in my groin to reach the bottom of the squat just past parallel.  During most of my worksets, I’m sure my bottom position of the squat was at or just above parallel.  In my final set I asked Big Cat to watch to make sure I was getting low enough, he said I was good, which tells me that as I went on my muscles had no choice but to submit to the load, and reach the proper position.

I also notice something that JayPCF was doing, which I saw Rybear do a few weeks back.  As an uneducated observer it looks like they are pumping their hips before they squat, it almost looks like they are prepping to enter some big booty striper contest.  When they get under the bar they push their hips under their torso, then push them back before they squat.

I asked ZachPCF what this all about, and he told me it’s a way to engage the posterior chain in your squat, I am going to have to try this during a warm-up because sometimes I feel like my squat starts with my quads. 

I found this video on youtube where Mark Rippetoe, makes changes to an athlete in his squat.  It’s a relatively subtle difference, but to me watching Ryan, and Jay squat like this has looked like two guys ready to strip.  I think it also explains what I’ve been observing. 

 

This is video of James at 6:30 PM.  Best comment ever by Big Cat, "I wish that looked harder for you." <—Fist Bump.

 

Metcon

  • 1 Minute Row for Calories
  • 1 Minute Hang Squat Clean 45 lbs dumbbells
  • 1 minute Push Press
  • 1 Minute rest

I love Metcons like this, where it’s a defined period of time, and the goal is to pump out as much as you can, because there is no pacing.  I find in the WoDs where the rep scheme is defined that I either burnout by going out to fast, or pace myself and end working at less than my highest intensity level.

For a person like me where breaking my pain thresholds is part of the reason I continue to workout, I find when the work is defined by time, I can push myself harder. 

This is video from the final round of work from the WoD.

  

I scaled down my dumbbells from 45 lbs to 35 lbs, because I didn’t feel I’d be able to squat with 45 lbs dumbbells, but also that I would swing the dumbbells and not get the proper clean technique. 

During the rows I worked on the technique that Rower Kourtney helped me with last week.  As a result I was able to row more calories with what felt like less effort.  I used the onboard computer to help monitor my temp, 2 second return, 1 second pull.  It has changed the rhythm of my stroke.

My work broke down as follows:

  • Row 22-23-23 = 68
  • DBHSC 11-12-11 = 34
  • PP 24-27-24 = 75
  • Total Score 177

I realized that I should have tried the 45 lbs dumbbells, because even if I had only been able to get 4-5 around I would still have finished with a solid score.

CrossFit Endurance

After work I picked up my dog, ate a quick snack, and went to Patriot.  I’ve been anxious about starting CFE because I hate running. 

Running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, running sucks, I’m retyping this and not cut and pasting, running sucks, running sucks, trying to exercise the demons, running sucks, would rather have hairs plucked off my scrotum, running sucks…okay it’s not working.

Day 1 of CrossFit Endurance involved a baseline time trial.  The prescribed work was 1-3 miles depending on your goals, and running experience.  I asked the same question 1000x to Tes about how far I should run, and essentially she told me that my effort level should feel like death, and that whatever distance I can do at that pace is the right one.

1 mile for this guy…I finished with a 7:09 mile.  It’s the fastest mile I’ve run since I was 18-19 years old.  When you add the fact that one year ago today it would take me an hour to walk my dog 1.5-2 miles I think it’s progress.

I am interested to see how the actual work will be on Thursday.

 A busy day at work, and CrossFit, I’m glad today Wednesday I can take off from everything.

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