Wednesday, June 17, 2009

National Champions, AGAIN!

This past weekend, the Junior National Rowing Championships were held in the middle of the country for all high school age teams. We are very proud to announce that the Marin Rowing Association's Varsity Women's 8+, won the National Championship by almost five seconds (open water) for the second straight year in a row. A five second gap is slightly freakish, but so are the work capacities of these talented young women.

This is the third year SFCF has been providing the strength and conditioning for these girls, and many of the seniors on the team have been with us that long.

Balancing a competitive rowing schedule and a couple of weekly Crossfit sessions is no joke. Many of our young Marin Rowers have the potential to be some of the best athletes around. Early last fall, these athletes made a commitment to out work their competition and win back to back national titles with many new athletes in the boat. Clearly they did.

Kudos to Coaches Carl Paoli and Angel Orozco who took over coaching responsibilities this spring. The Marin athletes were greatly relieved to have two additional new coaches to hate.

--Coach K-Star

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Finisher Part 2

Recall the Original...

Now let's talk about application to the individual.

In Powerlifting, it is not uncommon to hear a coach remark to one of his athletes that "you've got a 500lb ass, but 300lb hammies", or something similar. Far from being a tactic to rile the ire of a lifter before smashing some weight, these types of remarks are simply coarse reminders that the lifter's weak spots are holding them back from their potential; they are only as capable as the weakest link in the chain.

The same can be said of your general physical preparation.

Once you've established your weaknesses, the finisher can be an excellent time to continue to work on these areas of difficulty. The ideas you formulate do not have to be exact here. The doing is what's important.

Say, you have a weak upper body? Time to break out the deadhang/weighted pullups or some sort of press. A few bouts of feet-free rope climbs are great too.

Not enough wind in the sails? Rally for one or two short sprints after your workout or one mid-distance sprint (think 500m Row or 400m Run).

Worried you're not as explosive as you'd like to be? A few sprint-starts or max vert/broad jumps oughtta help out.

Pick one or two of the things you need attention on and add an appropriate finisher for a few weeks. When progress starts to falter with your given exercise, change it just enough so you can continue to move forward, but so much that it becomes something completely different. Soon enough you'll have full access to that 500lb ass.

-Adrian "Weaknesses?-I-had-weaknesses..." Bozman

Monday, June 01, 2009

Get Off The Ibuprofen Peoples!

Hey Kelly,

At the seminar you said no more ibuprofen, so I stopped. But what should I take when the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is bad? I foam roll, tennis/lacrosse ball roll, etc... But it only goes so far. Crushing the fish oil as well. ASA (an NSAID by the way) or acetaminophen or just suck it up? (all parentheses are mine)




All right, let's set the record straight about this stuff.

The Disclaimer: Medicine is serious busines. Always follow the advice of your doctor.


Ok. Ibuprofen has no place in the life of the athlete obsessed with chasing performance.

Taking an anti-inflammatory drug of any kind makes tendons and ligaments weaker, and stops muscles from getting stronger.

Is this clear enough? Yes, we used to call it Vitamin I. Yes, we used to say that RICE should have a second "I" in it (Rest, Ice, Ibuprofen, Compression, Elevation).
We used to also do "21's" on back and bi's day too. It's not ok.

Here's the low down. Ibuprofen is an NSAID (Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory-Drug) which is believed to work through the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX), thus inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins, are like hormones in that they act as chemical messengers, but do not move to other sites, but work right within the cells where they are synthesized. Prostaglandins are vital mediators of the inflammatory cascade. The swelling and subsequent prostaglandin production signals all of the important cells circulating in your body to come and fix/reinforce the challenged tissues. That's right, all that soreness you feel after Fran is the resultant swelling from all the micro-damage you've done to your muscles. It's this very inflammatory response that is responsible for making you a BETTER ATHLETE. The Worst thing you can do is to go through a horrible workout like Fran and then not reap the resultant gains from the training stimulus.

No good coach should allow their athletes to take ibuprofen at anytime. Even if they are hung over..


NSAIDs have been shown to delay and hamper the healing in all the soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Anti-inflammatories can delay healing and delay it significantly, even in muscles with their tremendous blood supply. In one study on muscle strains, Piroxicam (an NSAID) essentially wiped out the entire inflammatory proliferative phase of healing (days 0-4). At day two there were essentially no macrophages (cells that clean up the area) in the area and by day four after the muscle strain, there was very little muscle regeneration compared to the normal healing process. (Greene, J. Cost-conscious prescribing of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for adults with arthritis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1992; 152:1995-2002.)

Long term NSAID use is hard on your tissues and directly responsible from some pretty gnarly chronic body issues.

So how do we treat acute inflammatory/inflammation pain?

You know the answer.

Ice. (Maybe a little Tylenol if you really, really need it, it's not an NSAID after all)

But remember, Acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined and is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Even recommended doses especially combined with even small amounts of alcohol (Yes you Crossfitters) have caused irreversible liver failure. Don't be so cavalier about treating your muscle soreness with drugs. Taking pain meds of any kind is serious.

Can you see the difference between treating pain and treating inflammation? Control swelling and Pain with Ice as seen below, it won't short circuit the way your body actually heals itself and becomes stronger. (Hell, the Ice bath might make you a little stronger too.)

Bask in your soreness!Brag about it at work as your friends help you get up off the toliet. And above all, practice all the recovery tricks you know! These include: Proper nutrition, fluid intake, ice bath, fish oil, active recovery, stretching, massage, etc.

Hell, you can even sneak in another quick workout the next day before the 48 hour soreness beat down really kicks in! Quick, let's do Fight Gone Bad before you get too sore from yesterday's double fran! For example.

Seriously. Knock it off. Get off the Vitamin I.