Category Archives: Crossfit

Welcome back: CrossFit

That’s right, after three months, and no real financial change, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter how much money I need to spend, I need to go back to crossFit for both my health and my sanity. 

CrossFit is more than just a gym, or a sport. It’s a community, a hard as F workout with a coach that’s monitoring your movements so that you don’t get hurt and so you get stronger. I love the variation, the camaraderie, and the challenge. I’ve spent the last few months really missing the members and the gym(box) as well as feeling a sense of deep seated anger that my husband didn’t give up his gym membership but I did so that we had some extra money – and nothing really changed in the way of finances, so clearly crossfit wasn’t the reason we had been struggling. 

Anyway.. I digress…

My first week back has been a doozy! 

On Monday the workout was literally 160+ lunges… So. Many. Lunges. And the assault bike which if you’ve ever rode on that thing you know that it would feel better to stick cleavers into your quads (too dramatic?). There were so many lunges on Monday that I still couldn’t walk right on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was able to walk better! 

Thursday I went back in and what was written on the board was a cruel joke .. It had to be… 1 mile run, 2000m row, 1 mile run…. πŸ˜‘ …. I’m not a huge fan of running, mostly because I am not very good at it. But, I got through the workout and felt better about it at the end. I woke up in quite a crappy mood on Thursday morning so the second mile was hard mentally, it was difficult to get my head in the game and run for more than a few steps at a time. I finished the workout in 32:42 with a time cap of 35 minutes. I had planned to run the miles in around 10 minutes and the row in about 8:30 which didn’t workout but I was only about 4 minutes off. My first mile was 9:40, the row was about 9 minutes, and the rest of the 12 minutes was the mental mile that I barely ran. 

Overall I’m glad to be back, and plan to go tomorrow morning! The Festivus games are coming up in only a month and a half and it’s important I continue to get stronger and eat healthfully so that I can bring in my best for the comp! 

My ankle really hasn’t bothered me much this week which is great, although tonight I can’t say it’s been feeling great. Tomorrow I’m going to start stretching it after my workouts; doing specific stretches to help with mobility so I can squat better and take some pressure off this leg.

If anyone is wondering as a quick update more on this later  : I’m still gluten free and (mostly) paleo and feeling really good! 

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Turning point

In my experience people tend to write about their successes most – of course they do, who wants to hear about their failures? I’ve been doing a whole lot of personal development/soul searching lately, reading a lot, and listening to motivational podcasts to and from work on my hour drive. During this time I’ve heard a lot of stories of triumph – most of which started by some series of events that was a turning point. I’ve come to realize that successful people tend not to harp on their failures but appreciate them as a step towards their success. 

But what about those moments where you’re deep in the throws of the failure? What about when you’re in the middle of that turning point where you have to make a decision – to stay the same, or to go down the road of success. 

For people with an eating disorder it’s not as cut and dry – and this goes for other mental disorders as well, but for me the eating disorder is the biggest thing that holds me back in my personal life. I feel that I’m in the middle of a turning point – I could continue down the path I’m in and gain back all of which I lost, or I could start now making small choices to slowly lose that of which I’ve already gained back before it becomes so much that it’s overwhelming. 

No one talks about this moment because it’s not always happy. The lowest of the low points are hard, but the only way to get through them is to take a really honest look at what’s been going on. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve been eating well, hitting the gym the way I’d like to, and really doing everything I could to be healthy. A real look at what’s been going on would be quite the opposite. So why have I fallen back into some really bad habits? 

I’ve allowed my eating disorder to be an excuse – “I have trouble losing weight because I have issues with eating.” My stressful job situation was also an easy excuse – “I am always on the go so I have no time for a break, and by the time I do i’m starving so i binge” well, I changed jobs so that can no longer be an excuse. 

I really feel that my jobs stress was weighing me down and although I wasn’t staying accountable for my own actions, and I was allowing excuses to reign over my life, I had a valid reason. But now that I’ve transferred, despite being changed to a hospital that seems to always have cake – I’m in a less stressful work environment and I can finally get a handle on my nutrition. 

So, I’m embarking on a change – a new one for me – a lifestyle change that I plan to do slowly – no quick fix plans allowed – and if you catch me doing something like that please call me out. The plan is to start with small and easy changes. The reason for this is because nothing I’ve ever done before has lasted for very long. Sure, 5 years ago I lost over 100lbs, but I was unable to sustain it. 

I’m going to document this journey on multiple social media platforms – here, on Instagram (@suz_rice) and (@pugs_and_pushups) and I may also restart my YouTube channel. 

Stay tuned. And if you want to join me, help keep me accountable – I need to change – I need to feel better, look better, and stop teaching health without living it. I’m done allowing my eating disorder control me – it’s time to be in control! 

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Happy New Year!

  
All of us here at Pugsandpushups.com would like to wish all of our followers a very happy and healthy New Year! We hope that 2016 brings you all of the things you hope for and that you will continue to work on becoming the best version of you! Thank you for following along our crazy story and look forward to continue to grow this blog! 

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I’ve decided not to compete

Over the summer I wrote about my road to recovery with my ankle fracture, but the reality is that I haven’t given it much time to recover. I probably took a week off after my injury, and then went back to training – pretty much back to normal. I spent about a month in the last 6 months with little to no pain in my ankle but over the last 6 weeks (coinciding with my powerlifting training) my ankle has gotten to the point of pain where now both my knee and hip are giving me issues during simple movements. I’ve also found it harder to warm up enough to get to a point of no pain and I feel that I’m compensating and using my right leg more to lift up for most squat lifts. 

The problem with all of this is that if I continue this way one of two things will happen – I will either get injured to the point that I can’t do anything, or I will inevitably cause enough damage that I won’t ever be able to reach my potential. 

So, with my teeth clenched, and my heart heavy, I have decided not to compete in what was to be my first powerlifting meet in January. 

This in no way means my dreams of competition are over – but just on hold for a bit.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m competitive and always trying to do more – but this time I need to be realistic and take note that there will be more powerlifting meet opportunities and more opportunities to master a craft such as powerlifting. I feel that if I give my ankle more time to actually heal (I’m going back to the doctor for a second opinion and will actually ask for an MRI this time) and do a bit more research to get a plan and coach that will help me reach a potential rather than trying to be a know it all and figuring it out on my own …. I will be more successful in the future.

Have you ever had to put a dream on hold due to injury? How did you cope with your decision to step away? 


Thanks for stopping by and all of your support! ❀️

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Diet & workout plan

In an effort to be completely transparent, I want to share with you my plan for the next 7 weeks. My powerlifting comp is approaching a bit faster than I thought and my weight has been pretty stagnant – mostly because I have yet to really do the plan I set up. (Funny how that works 😜).
Since I have been working some weird hours, my diet has been less than ideal – so this week I have set into place an easy to follow plan that allows me to pick and choose what I want for the most part as long as it fits the description. This diet will bring me in around 1500 calories, with a plan to get to 1350 at my max defecit (rest days) and 1800 cals on super heavy days. I’ve started with two days of 20 minutes of fasted cardio with the option to increase if after a week or two my weight stagnates. 
The plan is as follows:

  
 

With my workout schedule looking something like this:

  
  

I may have a Chobani flips instead of a protein shake (because they are yummy), or 1/2 portion protein and veggies in that place just because I literally can’t stand drinking protein shakes, but I will make an effort for this to be the plan at least for week 1 and then plan to increase or decrease depending on how I feel. As far as my workout schedule, I know it’s a bit much, but my body is used to this kind of volume, and when I decrease the volume I start to gain – so I will have to just do what feels good and take an extra day off here and there depending on how I feel. If I feel good I will go straight through. As long as Monday, Wednesday, Friday continue to be my 5×5 squat, chest, DL (deadlift), then the rest will depend completely on how I feel! 
Stay tuned as I update ya’ll on progress! Ps- I have 4 days left of my cleanse – so don’t worry I’ll post an update once it’s done! It’s taken a few extra days because I’ve worked some overnights which wind up making me eat weird and take supplements at weird times so it spread out the cleanse a bit πŸ’ͺ🏼❀️
 

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Crossfit to PowerliftingΒ 

What I’ve learned in the last 6 months of crossfit can be summarized in one sentence: as long as you’re always working hard, you will crush your goals! 

There’s no denying that my fitness goals are always evolving, I started 6 years ago with the couch to 5k program and over the last few years have run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, Spartans, completed a woman’s only bootcamp, became a group fitness instructor, and began crossfit. To continue the evolution of my fitness journey I venture into the world of powerlifting. To say I know what I’m getting myself into would be a bit of a stretch, but I have a lifting plan (a basic 5×5 powerlifting plan) and a macro based diet plan to get me to my goal. 

I am scheduled to compete in the Northeast Iron Beast Winter Classic in Latham, NY on January 23rd and 24th. I’ve signed up for the complete meet which means I will be competing in squat, bench, and deadlift. I will have three attempts at each lift. I am not planning to go in and win anything, I am using this meet as a base point – a place to start, to see where I can get better, to learn from those around me, and to network.

After this competition I will shift gears in my training to include more running as my first Spartan is in April. I plan to run 3 trifectas in 2016 – that’s 9 races total – and do at least two powerlifting competitions. I will continue to go to crossfit as it allows me to be an all around athlete and work on other lifts. 

As the meet gets closer I will post more about my training and diet – for now I just ask for your advice!

If you had any advice for a first time powerlifter what would it be?! 

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A New Direction…

As a group fitness instructor I’m asked almost daily the same simple question – what should I eat? My answer is usually something like this: In general to eat healthy – eat mostly vegetables, berries and fruit, more veggies than berries and more berries than fruit – healthy fats and protein like salmon, avocado, coconut oils, and hard pressed veggie oils (I.e. Extra Virgin), grass fed beef and bison, cage free organic eggs, and poultry; make sure your carbohydrate source is from sweet potatoes, quinoa, or rice (in other words not processed) and stay away from or limit processed sugars and carbohydrates from a box such as cereal, bars, candy… The processing is the main factor that affects long term health…. 
The problem I’ve encountered with this advice is that I’m not following it. The majority of the time I preface this conversation with a brief sentence explaining that “honestly, with an eating disorder it’s hard for me to answer this question but… ” and then I continue with the prior paragraph.

So, after a lot of different diet attempts, and lifestyle types, I’m going to try to take it back to basics. I want to follow my own advice and once I’m comfortable eating by choosing the healthiest options – concentrating on organic, grass fed, and where my food comes from – taking away as much dairy and processed foods as I can – I will dial it down to work with whatever macronutrient profile works best for me (after some trial and error) for my activity level — but my goal here is to really go back to a basic paleo-ish  eating style with emphasis on vegetables and eating whole, clean foods.

What is your favorite meal? How can you make this meal healthier? Can you add vegetables to your current diet? What would that look like for you?   

 

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Barbells For Boobs

Yesterday I participated in the Barbells for Boobs fundraiser at the crossfit box affiliate that I have been going to since May. I was super excited about this fundraiser as the barbells for boobs organization uses the money that they receive to help in the prevention of breast cancer. Breast cancer affects so many people and anything that we can do to help in the prevention is totally worth it.

  
My gym, Crossfit Westchester Pelham, and our brother gym, Crossfit Westchester White Plains, got together yesterday to complete Amazing “Grace” which is a crossfit benchmark workout that consists of 30 clean and jerks for time. Men are to use 135lbs and women 95lbs and we are instructed to scale according to abilities. Being fairly new to this, I had never completed this specific workout nor had I done it with 95lbs, but my fellow members believed I could do it so I went for it – knowing the worst that could happen is I fail reps and have to strip the weight. 

Well, I completed Grace, using the Rx (prescribed) weight of 95lbs in 5min and 20 seconds and it felt incredible! I also raised 176$ towards the prevention of breast cancer – the two gyms combined raised over 8600$!! 

Donations will continue to be accepted through the end of the year even though the fundraising event is over – breast cancer doesn’t stop just because we did our workout! If you’d like to donate please head over to my donation page by clicking here! 

Such a fun event, with great people and I really can’t wait for next year!! 

If you’d like to see a video overview that’s literally 6 minutes (4of which are of me lol) with no special effects… Head over to my YouTube channel by clicking here and don’t forget while you’re there to subscribe!! 

In honor of those who donated, I promised to do 1 burpee for ever $1 donated to my page.. Well, I received $176 in donations (50$ was cash that I still have to actually post on my page but I counted it since it was handed to me prior to yesterday). So today I completed my promised burpees after I taught BodyPump. 176 burpees in 14min 51seconds.. And boy am I tired!! 

I will be posting a YouTube video to thank those who donated and showcase my 176 burpees! 

  

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What I’ve learned since ankle injury

If you’ve been following my posts, (sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted) you know that a few months ago I severely sprained and avulsion fractured my left ankle. It’s been a tough road to recovery and I’m still not fully recovered, but I’m finally feeling a bit better. I’m finally able to complete the workouts I set out to do without having to do too much modification. 
Injury is never easy – for anyone – but in my opinion it’s even harder for someone who is as active as I am. Typically I workout 7 days a week – crossfit 5-6 days, and Les mills BodyPump 2-3x per week. Occasionally I will do both in one day, or I’ll add a traditional bodybuilder type workout – usually legs or shoulders – to my week. When I injured my ankle I had to scale my workouts back and at one point I was going to crossfit 1x per week and teaching BodyPump 1x per week. Once my boot came off I had to scale every workout but slowly but surely I started to feel better. 

Then I “ran” the Spartan – Killington Beast, against the advice of my doctor. I will write more about this in the near future, but I managed to complete the nearly 17mile race (13-14miles as per the map but 17-18miles as per the GPS) with a taped and wrapped up ankle that was clearly not stable. When I finished the race and headed back to crossfit the following day, I decided then and there that I would focus on my recovery and strengthening my ankle. I also decided that I would stop telling myself that I couldn’t do something – and realize that in 10.5hours I completed one of the hardest things I have ever completed – and no future workout would be even close to that day. 

Since the race I’ve paid much more attention to stretching and spending the time on mobility in my left ankle. I’ve been able to do many of the workouts using Rx weight – mostly because I have taken the time to pay attention to how my ankle feels, and how each movement feels. 

I’ve also changed my diet to a low carb, high fat – ketogenic diet. This has seemed to be the main contributor to my quick recoveries and energy. I have also spent a lot of time talking myself out of coming out of the gate too fast… Something I noticed was before my injury I would try to be the fastest and would wind up in last place – but once I slowed down – paced myself – I was able to not only complete the workouts but I was able to complete them with Rx weight and much faster than ever before – even when there is running involved (which continues to be an area for improvement because of my ankle). 

So, overall my injury has taught me:

  • Slow down, take the time to recover
  • Slow down, stop trying to be the fastest person – go at your own pace
  • You won’t die – you’ve done harder, so give it all you have 
  • If it feels good, go for it – even if your doctor doesn’t advise it (ok this one might not have been the best idea lol)

  

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Road to Trifecta, Road to Recovery

Palmerton, PA. Saturday July 11th. Picture this, looking up at a mountain, knowing that only a few minutes are left before you face one of the hardest challenges of your life…   The Spartan Super, 8+ miles, and 32 obstacles, up and down a mountain with a total elevation gain of over 3000ft. Hydration pack, gels, salt pills, GOAT tape, and green/blue hair – I was ready. I trained for this.  

At 9:30, my heat started, the first hill was a doozy, and really set the tone for the entire race. Obstacle after obstacle, steep climb after steep decline, the race was starting off the be amazing! I made it to the sandbag carry in less than an hour and I was feeling high on life after completing the uneven monkey bars with ease! I doubted myself but had an amazing volunteer who cheered me on and gave me the extra confidence that I needed and I crushed it!   Right before mile marker #3 there was a slight decline in a grassy area, most people were walking but I felt like I could jog it, so off I went – a little trot, not picking up too much speed but just enough to make some ground and then… It happened. My ankle snapped – it was one of those feelings that can only be explained with a feeling. I heard it and felt it in my throat simultaneously. I immediately thought I was done. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish, I thought they’d pull me off the course. They called for a medic, a few racers stayed with me, I appreciated the support but I surely didn’t act like it. I was screaming profanities, punching the ground – it felt like all the work, all the hours of preparation were for nothing. I couldn’t move my foot. I had to stop, I had to breathe, I had to think. One racer tried to take my shoe off – I yelled at her to stop. I remembered that my mom had busted her foot once and continued to walk home, when she took her shoe off her foot blew up like a balloon. I knew the moment my shoe was removed I had no chance of finishing the race.  When the volunteer came over, I realized I could move my toes. I HAD to try and stand. If I could stand – I could limp, if I could limp, I could finish. I told him I needed to try, even if I had to walk, I had to try to finish. I got up, grabbed my GOAT tape from my bag and began wrapping my ankle. I figured a little extra support would help me get through. The rest of the race was nothing short of a disaster, but I kept telling myself to keep going, one foot in front of the other. I kept telling myself that this was temporary.    

 After 6 hours and 20 minutes, I finished. As I jumped over the fire tears began to flow… 

 I was proud, I was in pain, I was scared for what I would have to deal with as I tended to my ankle, I couldn’t believe I had made it another 5+ miles and only failed 4 obstacles (3 after the injury – one of which was a voluntary fail as I decided it wasn’t worth it to climb the rope and fall – although I did get to the top knot again, but this time I chose to descend slowly rather than have my hand slip and possibly hurt my ankle even more). I failed the spear throw (before my injury), the Z wall (got very close but fell off on the last wall), the rope climb, and the multi rig (got to about the 6th ring when I had too much swing and my hands slipped off of the rings).      
Now the biggest obstacle begins…

The Road to Recovery. 

After the race, my husband carried me to the medic tent where they evaluated my ankle. The man who helped us was very nice, he said it looks like a severe sprain but it may be fractured – he unfortunately left his X-ray glasses at home lol. So, we drove home to NY and went to the hospital. The X-rays showed a slight avulsion fracture, and since it was late they wanted me to follow up on Monday with an orthopedist. They gave me crutches and an air cast and sent me on my way with 600mg of ibprofin.

The orthopedist took more X-rays and evaluated my ankle.  Although he did note two very small chips of bone on the medial aspect of my ankle (inside) he said there was a lot of inflammation and mostly looked like a very severe sprain. He fitted me for a walking boot, and said that I should be able to walk without it in about 2-3 weeks. He said overall it may be 3-6 months before it’s fully healed but we will recheck in 3 weeks to see if there’s progress.  

 Within an hour of getting the boot I was able to walk without crutches (thank goodness), and by the next morning I was feeling much more stable. 

It’s going to be a long road ahead of me, but I’m confident that I will be ready for the Killington Beast in September to complete my first Trifecta! 

The doctor said I could still workout as long as it is modified to the point that I am not putting any pressure on my leg… I will focus on upper body and grip strength work and once I can be more mobile with my leg, I will begin training for the next race.

 

 

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