CrossFit Pacific Beach Blog

I spent a solid hour on the phone last night with a very good friend of mine, Ryan Fischer.  Many of you know Fischer as one of the top athletes in Southern California.  By all accounts he is a freak of nature athletically.  What you may not know is he also owns CrossFit Chalk in Newport Beach.  Chalk has been open only 3 months and has already amassed over 130 members.  In the gym world, this is pretty impressive.  After telling me the numerous feats of strength he had already completed this week, we got into some high quality business discussions.  It is very rewarding to see my friend, who was once sleeping on a friend’s floor without a job, now, four years later, having in-depth conversations about business development and client needs.

During our discussion, I mentioned the need for CrossFit PB to develop a class that allowed the athletes to have a little flexibility in their training.  We take fitness very seriously, and it is incredibly important to us that the coaches, the blog, programming, nutrition, and facilities are the very best.  However, what I have learned over the last couple month is that sometimes, you just do not want or need all of that.  Yes, we know the quality is what you pay for, but sometimes, you  may just want to come in and get a quick workout without a score on the board or a ton of coaching on Olympic lifting.  We know you love Olympic lifting, squatting, and a quick and dirty conditioning workout, but every once in a while it would be awesome to come to CrossFit PB, get a good workout in, and just Sweat.

Fischer began telling me a story that took place in 2010, when we first met him.  Bryan and I were working two jobs, rarely sleeping, and trying to train for regionals.  We all trained together and it was one of those times when we were all so hungry for respect that there was no mountain high enough.  We would kill for each other to succeed.  Bryan always ran the six AM and we often would not get home from the gym until eleven.  After a couple tough nights and early mornings, intense training was not in the cards.  Fischer and I would look over and Bryan would be in the middle of some terrible 40 minute interval workout and barely breathing.  We would ask him what the hell he was doing and his response always came back, “I can’t lift a ton today.  I really just need to Sweat.”

The saying stuck with Fischer and when he opened CrossFit Chalk, he implemented an interval based conditioning class, and named it “Sweat,” after your lovely head coach Bryan.   The class gives the athlete a voice in their training.  No, you will not get incredibly strong, learn the lifts, or get a better Fran time, but sometimes all you want to do at the gym is “Sweat.”  It also serves as great tool for us to slowly introduce the concepts of intensity and functional movements to new clientele, without the fear of barbells.  Our introductory barbell class, CrossFit Light, can now be shortened with an even more detailed focus on the form and execution of the more challenging lifts, and less on kettlebell swings and wall balls.  As we discussed the class in more depth, the stars aligned.

Without further ado, we are very excited to announce that our newest class, “Sweat,” will begin Tuesday, September 2nd at CrossFit PB North.  Sweat will be a thirty to forty minute interval-based conditioning workout that focuses on simpler, easy to perform movements.  There will be no barbells, nor heavy weights.  We will be focusing on teaching intensity, full body movements, and giving the athlete the freedom to choose what they want to do for the day.  The class will meet Monday – Friday at 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM.  Fortunately, having two gyms within a mile of each other, we are able to adjust the schedule and still offer two fitness classes, seven and eight in the morning, as well as four and five in the afternoon, around the times that the Sweat class will take place.  The first Sweat class will take place on Labor Day at 10 AM.  Bring a friend and we can teach them everything they need to know in the first 10 minutes of class. Come get your sweat on!

Healthy Grilling

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and we are in prime barbeque season.  Pull out the grill, light up the charcoal, and slap some of your favorite grass-fed meats on the heat…but just don’t char it! Why?  Charring meats over an open flame produces cancer-causing substances known as carcinogens.  These can be harmful to your health if you eat them. 

Two types of harmful substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed when muscle meat from beef, poultry, pork , lamb, and fish are cooked by grilling over an open flame or pan frying on high heat (1).   Charred pieces on the edge of the meat are particularly dangerous as these contain HCAs in their purest form.  Researchers have found that HCAs and PAHs can cause harmful changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer. 

While these substances do pose a health risk, you don’t have to pack your grill up just yet.  You can minimize your exposure to these compounds by taking a few simple steps:

  • Keep your grill clean. Clear off charred debris so it can’t stick to the food.
  • Marinate meats with lemon or vinegar before cooking (who doesn’t like a good marinade anyway?)
  • Avoid direct exposure of meat to open flame or hot metal surface
  • Cook with lower heat
  • Reduce cooking time, don’t overcook! Use thinner cuts of meat which take less time to cook.
  • Using a microwave to partially cook meat before grilling (60 seconds for leaner cuts and 90 seconds for thicker, fattier cuts) can reduce exposure time
  • Continuously turning meat when cooking
  • Removed charred portions of meat
  • Try veggies!  Veggies don’t form HCAs/PAHs!  Another good reason to pack in a few more veggies! 

References

1. Cross AJ, Sinha R. Meat-related mutagens/carcinogens in the etiology of colorectal cancer. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 2004; 44(1):44–55

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