BadAssChickLove – Featuring Jessica Camacho

BadAssChickLove began as a weekly recognition on twitter of the women out there who do some amazing things in the world of functional fitness and nutrition. While it will continue on Twitter, each month I will feature someone worthy of BadAssChickLove on the blog.

For the very first feature I bring you Jessica Camacho. Jessica is both the brains and braun behind the popular blog Girl Walks Into A Bar(bell). She embodies what it is to be functionally fit, working out and using that fitness to make the world her playground.

Tell us about your workouts for a typical week.

I structure my workouts according to the season. Sort of. In summer, I mountain bike and (try to) climb. In winter, I snowboard… provided I’m not nursing a sprained ankle from back tuck practice on a trampoline, like I’m currently doing right now! Despite the season, one thing is consistent: I powerlift on the regular. I like the structure of a dedicated strength program so I squat, bench, deadlift, and press once a week in that order. Wendler’s 5/3/1 works well for me, mentally, so I gravitate towards his programming. My accessory strength exercises vary according to the sport I’m playing that season. For example, during climbing months, I’ll “accessorize” with pullups or grip exercises. During riding months, my accessory work is legtastic with barbell good mornings and lunges. After strength, I’ll do a CrossFit type of metabolic conditioning but I’ll usually cap it at 10-15 minutes. That being said, I like my workouts to relate to my sports so if a movement doesn’t correlate to anything I’d use in the outdoors I tend to sub it out… like kipping pullups. ūüôā I sub those out for strict pullups.

 What motivates you to work out?

I just FEEL GOOD after a heavy lifting session! Everything from the way I sit, to the way I carry groceries up a set of stairs just feels better when I work out. I also have a lengthy family history of diabetes and heart disease so living a healthy lifestyle is one way I’ve tried to inspire my family while metaphorically flipping amputations and cataracts the bird, if you know what I mean.

 Have you always been athletic?

Uhh… NO.¬† I could never clear the high jump or serve the volleyball over the net. And this one time, in 6th grade, I tried to catch a softball but it ended up hitting me in the face and breaking my glasses. My parents were like, “Give it here! We’ll just solder it fixed.” So, no.¬†I was a total nerd growing up. But I was able to skip college-level math classes because of it so things even out, I guess!

 Tell us about your nutrition.

I would say 90% Paleo. I mean, we cook and eat Paleo, drink our coffee black, make my own shampoo, and one day I’ll have backyard chickens. But, I do save room for Mom’s homemade cultural foods or some aged cheese sprinkled on my stuffed 3-egg omelet every once in a while.

 What athletic activities do you participate in other than a typical work out?

Mountain biking, trail running, sometimes climbing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, hiking, and my husband and I just got a whole split board setup so I guess I’ll be trying to pick that up this season, too!

 Do you have any specific goals set for yourself ?

I love setting goals! I want to learn Orienteering and do an Adventure Race in 2013, snowboard Silverton with my husband by 2014-2015, and learn to surf in Costa Rica!

¬†What’s one thing that everyone should know about you?

I work hard and I play nice.

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A Taste Of My Combatives World…

GORUCK SCAVENGER – Austin, TX

I recently completed the GORUCK SCAVENGER in Austin, TX. Scavenger pits teams of GRT (GORUCK TOUGH. You must finish a GORUCK Challenge to be eligible to participate) against each other in a hunt to locate places, items and complete tasks. You’ll log many miles, get the chance to use your head and have a great time seeing the city that you are in. You’ll leave the event having done some stupid GRT tricks and with new friends. As always, teamwork is key and it pays to be a winner!

If you have completed a GORUCK Challenge, I highly recommend getting together with some like minded people, have some fun, some A.C.R.T., and go check out a city that’s new to you. I’ll certainly be getting together with some fellow GRT’s in the near future to explore more cities. Haven’t done a GORUCK Challenge yet? It’s the toughest thing you’ll ever love. Go see what you’re made of!

Keeping A Training Log

Keeping a training log is an important part of making improvements and reaching your goals. Many of you already do this. Some of you are saying ” I don’t want to add paperwork to my workout. I do this for enjoyment!” Point noted. I would prefer not to mix work with pleasure but let’s face it, we already do that. Our pleasure is very hard work and think of this as preferential to adding 20 burpees to the end of your WOD. Comparably, writing it down is a lot less work.

Here is why you need to keep a log:

1. Tracking heavy lifts not only helps you to progress but also gives you a range to know where you are so that you are not attempting jumps that may injure you. We are doing this to improve our health not harm it.

2. Trends. Take a look at what you are getting better at and what areas might be slipping so that you can address any movements that need attention in your training.

3. Historical Value. We must learn from our history or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. Learn what is working and what is not. It’s also nice to be able to look back on all of the hard work that you’ve done.

4. If you monitor all of your training you are less likely to over train.

 

WHAT ARE YOU TRAINING FOR?


The other day I began to ask myself this question. I’ve been doing 2-a-days and really pushing myself to get better. The question is, what is it I’m trying to get better for? I’m approaching 40 and am not competing in any crossfit events. The truth is, I have nothing on the horizon to train for other than life. I recently trained for and completed The GORUCK Challenge and now feel that I can do any adventure race at a moments notice and even drink while doing it. Why am I training? Hell, I enjoy it for one. There are many other reasons including health, camaraderie and challenge.

¬†I took a hard look at my training and realized that I’m now doing it for health and longevity. Is blitzing my body with 2-a-days the way ¬†to health and longevity? Hell no. In reality, I should be doing 3-4 metcons a week mixed in with a heavy day, yoga, walking and sprints. It’s enough to keep the competitive side of me happy and the perfect combination to keep me in good functional shape.

It’s easy to get caught up in crossfit type training and lose sight of why you are doing it. Hell, it’s fun right? I know many that have specific reasons as they compete in crossfit events, high school sports, MMA and other athletic endeavours. Some come in to lose weight and of course there seems to be a new wave of women doing it now to meet men (You know who you are, sporting Victoria¬†Secret t-shirts and wearing all your jewelry to WOD). Yet others simply started it and are addicted.

What¬†are YOU training for? Just trying to look better naked or perhaps you want to make it to the Crossfit Games next year? Train accordingly. Remember, if you are training for something skill specific such as tennis or MMA, make sure that you spend lots of time training those skills. There is no substitute for that. Look at your age, workload and ask yourself if what you are doing is sustainable over the long haul. If it isn’t, are you training for something? Do you have a set training period for the upcoming event? Do you have a set active recovery period after? Are you allowing enough time to train the specific skills that you will need to be successful in the event?

Each person is different. Your goals may not be mine. Know what your goals are and train properly to reach them.

A SAD DAY


Today the world of functional fitness became a bit more disfuctional. Beastmodaldomains went offline today under pressure from crossfit HQ, who apparently saw merit to the posts on beastmodaldomains.com .

The good news РT-Shirts are still availible through the weekend. Check out 

http://beastmodaldomains.spreadshirt.com/

to get yours.

I got me a new one cause I couldn’t resist!

Weight Vest Training

One month prior to the GORUCK Challenge, I began training with a weight vest to prepare myself for carrying a heavy ruck over a long distance. My weight vest loads up to 40 lbs by inserting small sandbags into the pockets. I began at ¬†20lbs and did all of my WODs at crossfit with the vest, increasing the weight each week until I was at 35lbs. Here’s what I got out of it:

My Stregth Increased 

My Stamina Increased 

Everything I Did, From Pullups to Push Ups to Running Became Easy Without the Vest

The downside to vest training is that prolonged use of the vest while running, box jumping and other impact work can take a tool on the joints. That being said, I had no issues with that during my month of training.

In the future, I plan to throw in the vest maybe for 2 weeks every 2 months and see if I experience continued benefits. I’ll let you know.

 

 

 

The Quick Fix

“5 minutes on this machine is ¬†like working out for 30 minutes!”, I overheard someone say last week. My son and I looked at each other and I said to him, ¬†” You know what’s like working out for 30 minutes?” ¬†He replied, ” Working out for 30 minutes!”¬†

Quick fixes are everywhere you turn. There are pills, diets, surgery and on and on. Well I’m going to let you in on a health and fitness secret. Now if I told you to cover your screen and not tell anyone, that this was top-secret and I’m only charging you 5 installments of $19.95 for this information and for the next 10 minutes I’ll throw in some super secret fat melting pills developed by NASA scientists for a secret mission to Mars…well, you’d already be entering your credit card information. however, pay no attention to my advice because it’s based on proven science and results and I’m giving it away for free. THERE ARE NO SHORT CUTS OR QUICK FIXES. You get out what you put in.¬†

Here are 5 simple truths:

 

1. It does really start with food (Insert credit to WHOLE9 here).  See the paleo way of eating. It works, period. 

2. Exercise. Move around a lot at a normal pace. Lift heavy things. Get some intense interval training or sprinting.

3. Stress. Get proper rest. Manage stress through exercise and  meditation or yoga. Adopt a positive mental attitude. 

4. All of the above are LIFESTYLE CHANGES. You can’t expect to put in temporary effort and get permanent results.

5. If you put as much effort into the above that you do trying to find a way around them then you will achieve the results that you want.

*This is the truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth!  

The GORUCK Challenge: A Review


go¬∑ruck [verb go + verb ruck] noun ruck is short for rucksack (aka backpack), it’s also a verb: to ruck is to move with a rucksack, and implies action, energy, and purpose.

On June 1, 2012, some friends and I lined up to participate in the GORUCK challenge in San Francisco. Little did I know that this event would be a life changer for me. The event is described by GORUCK, LLC. as “8-10 HOURS. 15-20 MILES. GOOD LIVIN’.” If you look at most of the reviews, they are vague, shrouding the event in secrecy. I’m not going to spoil it for you either. There are many rumors out there. Some true some not. I can neither confirm or deny them. Here is what I will tell you.¬†

GORUCK is made up of Spec Ops personnel. Originally , they put the challenge together for the purpose of testing the high quality ruck sacks that they manufacture in Bozeman, Montana. It has turned into a challenge like no other available to civilians. 

Here is the GORUCK challenge in short:

You complete a 15-20 mile adventure with a group of like minded individuals led by experienced cadre (a nucleus or core group especially of trained personnel able to assume control and to train others). Along the way you are challenged mentally and physically to accomplished goals that can only be achieved by team work. 

Is it hard? HELL YES! Can you do it? HELL YES!

I trained as I normally do at Crossfit but doing all of my WODs with a weight vest that started out at 20lbs and increased to 35 lbs. Physically preparing is a necessity. They say it’s 90% mental and I tend to agree but am still sorting through that in my mind. What I can tell you for certain is that finishing and earning the GORUCK Tough patch and becoming part of the GRT family is 100% worth it! I’m proud to have been a part of class 177.¬†