Exercise trends tend to come and go. In the U.S. the exercise and nutrition market generates billions of dollars per year with ‘new’ and ‘better’ diets, exercise routines, and supplements. But most of these new and improved products don’t last. CrossFit is attempting to break that mold.
For those that don’t know, CrossFit focuses on creating a group environment that provides support and motivation to it’s participants. This helps them to not only achieve new goals and PBs (personal bests), but creates a structure of motivation that keeps people coming back week after week, and year after year.
CrossFit was developed and founded by Greg Glassman in 2000. Since then it has exploded in popularity across the country and around the world.
Rather than referring to it as the gym, each training facility is called a ‘box’. But it doesn’t look anything like what you’re used to seeing in a standard gym. Gone are the rows and rows of isolation machines that have you focus on individual muscle groups. You won’t see stair climbers or elliptical machines either.
Instead you’ll see rows of pull-up bars, olympic rings, boxes, and weight bars. These weight bars are used for exercises such as the snatch, the jerk, and deadlifts. The boxes are used for box jumps and other plyometric exercises. Rings are used for muscle ups.
Each daily routine, or WOD (workout of the day) is predetermined. Many are named after women or soldiers that have been killed in foreign wars. They combine heavy strength training and endurance. The idea is to push your body to new levels of performance each and every day.
The benefits of CrossFit are many. Training our bodies as groups of muscles rather than as individual muscles is a much more efficient and effective way of training. Here are a few of the most notable benefits.
1. Confidence – group workouts are a powerful source of motivation. Participants often site a dramatic increase in confidence due not only to enhanced performance, but in physical well-being. Training develops the body symmetrically causing improved performance in everyday tasks and life in general.
2. Strength – because CrossFit focuses on increasing strength rather than toning, participants commonly become stronger than they have ever been. WODs are designed to improve the whole body, not just individual parts. This is the most effective way to achieve strength gains.
3. Posture – the exercises that form the backbone of CrossFit are the core muscle groups. This includes the back, the glutes, hamstrings, chest and arms. Training all of these muscles together causes them to work together. This has a great effect on posture. Walk into any CrossFit facility and you will immediately notice that participants have extremely good posture.
4. Diet & Nutrition – the Paleo Diet goes hand in hand with many CrossFit boxes. This particular diet gets it’s name from the foods humans ate during the Paleolithic era. It focuses on meats, vegetables, fats, and a small amount of fruits. It can have huge benefits for those that choose to follow it. There are even some enterprising young companies such as Gourmet Paleo, that are developing treats and cookies for those that follow the diet. You can also find their paleo chocolate chip cookies on Amazon.com
These are just a few of the benefits of CrossFit. For more information on CrossFit including exercises, diet, and gear, go to www.efficientgains.com. Here you can find more information to help you determine if this exercise regimen is for you.
It might seem like a contradiction, but a sharp knife is a safe knife. Let’s take a look at why and how you should keep your kitchen knives as sharp as possible.
First the Why
So why would a sharp kitchen knife be safer than a dull knife? Let’s take a look. If you were to pull the dullest knife in your kitchen out of the drawer and attempt to cut yourself with it, you would probably succeed. Even though it’s not sharp enough to effectively cut vegetables or other foods, it’s still capable of causing damage to your fingers.
When you cut with a sharp knife the blade travels in a predictable motion, namely the direction in which you are cutting. So if you are slicing an onion with an up and down motion, a sharp blade will travel up and down with little or no motion from side to side. This is not the case with a dull knife. When a dull knife encounters resistance, it wants to jump to the path of least resistance. Unfortunately this can often be one of the cooks appendages. For obvious reasons, this is not what you want to accomplish. No one wants bits of finger in their food.
So long as you have a proper cutting technique and a sharp blade you can maintain the safety of your hands and fingers.
And Now the How
So how do you keep your knives in top shape and sharp enough to cut through anything?
First and foremost you must take proper care of your knives. This starts with your cutting board.
A good cutting board should be made of either wood or plastic. The softer the material the better. This is because with each downward motion, the blade makes contact with the cutting board. Over time this can dull the blade. The best wood cutting boards are made with the end grains of wood. This part of the wood is the softest, allowing the blade to pass through with very little damage. The next best option is plastic. Plastics are soft, easy to clean, and very durable. They are also less expensive than wood cutting boards.
Stone and glass make poor cutting boards. They may be very pretty in your kitchen, but they are terrible for your knives. And in addition they tend to be loud as hell. Avoid them at all costs.
Proper care of your knife is also key. After using a knife, be sure to quickly wash the blade and set it out to dry. Food materials can become hardened on the blade, making it difficult to clean. Certain foods can even eat into the metal of the blade. This sort of damage is difficult to repair even with the best knife sharpener.
Sharpening Your Blade
Eventually every knife is going to become dull. But don’t worry, every knife, no matter how dull can be brought back to an ideal level of sharpness. You simply need the proper tool and technique. There are lot’s of resources online for how to use both manual and electric knife sharpeners.
Wesbsites such as www.foodnetwork.com have all sorts of information on choosing and using kitchen tools such as a knife sharpener. There are also resources such as www.thebestknifesharpener.org, that detail the differences between sharpeners available on the market.
Using proper technique is important, so make sure you read the instructions for your sharpener. Otherwise you could actually make your knife worse.
For me there is nothing better than college football Saturdays. In the thick of the season, there’s nothing better than spending the entire day glued to the big screen watching one game after the next. College football has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. And in my new man cave, it’s even better.
The TV of which I speak is a 110″ projection screen system I recently had installed. Although the projector is quite bright, I still get some washout from light coming in some of the basement windows. This is easily fixed with a set of room darkening shades that are remotely controlled through my Savant automation system.
Not only does this system control the shades, TV, and music. It’s also integrated into the lighting, HVAC, and security system of the house. From my iPad I can monitor practically every system in my house. This means I rarely have to leave the comfort of my recliner on game days.
Of course no man cave would be complete without a well-stocked bar. I’ve got both a whiskey and scotch bar, but also a few taps of some local Oregon brews. It’s a pain having to bring the kegs into the basement. But man is it worth it. Nothing like pulling some fresh draft beer straight from the tap.
Amazingly enough, almost my entire home automation system is wireless. The drapes are completely wireless and are battery powered. This enabled me to control them without having to pay for expensive electrical work and drywall repair. In the old days before wireless technology was available, this project would have taken a lot longer, and would’ve cost a hell of a lot more money.
But since I didn’t have to spend all that money on expensive repairs, I was able to spend a bit more on the sound system. And it’s pretty bad ass. B&W 803′s for my front left and right speakers. Their 800 series center channel handles all the dialog, and the 800 series surrounds complete the package. While B&W makes some great speakers, the subwoofer is a Velodyne. These guys make a rocking sub.
A Rotel surround pre-amp and separate amplifier round out the package.
All in a a pretty sweet deal. And all I had to promise my wife was a lifetimes supply of makeup. She’s a nut over that stuff. Anything from lipstick or eye shadows. She knows all about base, and skin tones. And she swears she’s found the best under eye concealer. I have no idea. But whatever, I digress.
Hope you enjoyed this tour of my man cave.
As there is no consensus on how to define or measure the effectiveness of health care providers. Related medical health practitioners can not abandon the practice, but they can practice in a different setting. If ObamaCare had addressed this issue in the beginning, it would have gone a long way to helping the Affordable Health Act succeed in this mission. “Medicare spending per beneficiary” is only the latest reminder that with ObamaCare, the new “quality” of health care is not cheap-as-possible health care. ObamaCare is all about rationing of health and wealth redistribution. From what we have learned from our leaders and legislators, we can say that Obamacare is not a bill to reform health care. Companies that employee 50 employees or more and do not offer them healthcare would be required to pay a fine.
The evidence continues to mount that critics of ObamaCare were right: Obama “reform” is an utter disaster. It relies entirely upon the intelligence and ingenuity of a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats to redesign 20% of the economy in the way they see fit. Never mind that EVERY single attempt liberals have made in the past to direct any portion of the economy no matter how small has ended in complete failure. We need to pay trillions of dollars over the coming decades to try again
Obama is a hypocrite every time he opens his mouth to reassure us that the quality of health care in its “reform” will not change. Doctors Coburn and Barrasso were right about the monstrosity of Obamacare. Certainly, the cost of health care will continue to increase and the cost of premiums will also. I would say that it is not too late, we could add a bill against malpractice in the Act affordable health care and only would substantially reduce costs. ObamaCare does not solve any real problems in our existing health care system. We will pass by some estimates more than a trillion dollars to make your health more expensive. It does not reduce the costs of health care, and there is no affordable health care for American either.
American Women should also be aware of the governments vision to create a plan throughout life for them. The amount of the costs of health insurance has increased to the point where the government has realized that it was not viable, and that the whole program would be bankrupt. The government gives the work belonged to physicians and their patients employers and insurers. As indicated in the life of Julia, the plan is really to give the Secretary of HHS authority over the government and a larger role. “In addition, it provides 16% of the market economy under government control ineffective. As defined and responsible government efficiency is at the heart based on cost, cold and ugly ObamaCare. We dummies let the government ruin our Constitution and take the last of our freedom.
We missed a golden opportunity to bring these costs in line, but I still believe it is not too late. Obama and “efficiency” is all about money – by skimping on patient care to reduce costs, all hospitals etc. can earn “rewards” or avoid penalties. Most insurers and employers may not accept collect costs and therefore the consumer will have no choice but to pay through premiums heftier. The purpose of the PPACA is to ensure that all Americans have access to quality care and affordable health care and contain the rising costs of health care. “This is a new measure of performance that reward hospitals that hold costs while penalizing others” whose patients prove most expensive.
Additionally, ObamaCare raising taxes and could dramatically effect salary levels for practicing professionals. At X Ray Tech Salary Guide you can find ways of insuring that your take home pay is not diminished due to the implementation of this new law. But there will be a push to use fewer and fewer specialists, and rely more heavily upon primary care physicians.
After the results of the election last month, there are many people left wondering what direction the country will now ultimately take. For 200 years this has been a country of people dedicated to making their own way. Hell the allure of the U.S. to so many was that it was the land of opportunity.
So what exactly does opportunity mean? It means that everyone has the same chance of making a success of their life as anyone else. It means a level playing field. Whether you come from money or from nothing makes no difference. Once you recognize the truth that hard work, determination, and perseverance will eventually bring you success in this country then you will have become the American dream. You can find more on this at www.shopmessengerbagsformen.com
It would seem that things are now changing though. For so many in the recent generations of Americans opportunity has come to mean entitlement. Everyone wants everything, and they want it now. Hard work and determination have become anathema. It’s now about voting for the politician that is going to give you the most.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the black community. The history of blacks in our country is an awful story. Obviously slavery was wrong, and the founders knew it to be so. They even saw it as a possible reason for the eventual break up of the Union of states. But they saw that Union as the more important issue AT THAT TIME. So few people speak of this time within the context of events that were transpiring.
Slavery already existed and had been a way of life for generations. Of course it wasn’t compatible with the rights outlined in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, but the most important issue of the time was a united stand against Great Britain for our independence. This couldn’t have happened piecemeal.
After the civil war, blacks were treated far worse than any other race for decades. And up until the civil rights movement of the 60′s they were considered second class citizens. And then something changed.
While some black leaders at the time fought for equal opportunity, others pandered for support by telling them that they needed help because of so many years of slavery and oppression. For generations, blacks have been told that they don’t compete on a level playing field. They need special assistance from the government to succeed. ’Leaders’ such as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson have done more to hold back the progress of blacks than any hate-filled, spiteful, white-supremesist could ever hope to achieve.
By lying to their supporters for decades about how blacks need these leaders and the government to survive, they have created generations of people that are incapable of providing for themselves. They destroyed the black family with welfare. They’ve destroyed entire cities with their entitlement programs. All while making themselves out to be the saviors.
It is a sad story. And one that is unlikely to change now that we have a second term with Barrack Obama. He cares as little for real progress for blacks as any of the other black ‘leaders’. He sees them as a tool for re-election.
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Over the last four years, we have experienced if not the worst, then certainly one of the top contenders for the worst presidencies in the history of our great country. The Obama administration has taken every opportunity to erode and emasculate the laws and principles upon which our great nation was founded.
Only during the Great Depression have we seen such an erosion of the wealth of this country. The middle class is getting smaller and smaller as more families struggle to support themselves during the recent economic slowdown. And because people are making less money they have less left over to invest. Fewer and fewer people are maxing out their 2012 IRA contribution limits.
And if that wasn’t enough, Obama is talking about raising the capital gains tax rate. This means even less investing as people look to shelter their income from higher and higher taxes. Even if you manage to invest in the best dividend ETF out there, you’ll still be giving up a significant portion of your profits to taxes. And for what? More entitlement programs? For as much as this administration talks about having a strong middle class, they do absolutely nothing from a policy perspective to promote it.
And now we get a steady stream of information on how much more expensive Obamacare is going to be. It’s just one screw up after another. Republicans fought long and hard to get health savings accounts. Now most people can’t afford to contribute anywhere near the HSA contribution limits. But they won’t have to bother soon since the benevolent Obama is going to provide every man, woman, and child in this country with “free” healthcare. Never mind that it will bankrupt the country and cause a dramatic decline in the quality of medical care. It’s more important that everyone have access to it, even if it sucks.
And what happened to all of the promises for the most transparent government in the history of the U.S.? This administration attempts to hide every single one of their attacks on our Constitution. Rather than attempting to pass laws through Congress, Obama uses executive orders and other shady tactics to implement policies he knows would have no chance in hell of passing otherwise. He has used the EPA to pass standards that hamstring the entire energy industry. All without the approval of congress.
And these standards are responsible for a dramatic increase in the cost of energy. Thankfully fuels such as natural gas have been at all time lows. This has helped to alleviate some pain in certain parts of the country. Just taking a look at a natural gas ETF list shows how much of a decline it has experienced over the last couple years. And despite the Presidents attempts to shut down oil drilling, oil prices have remained relatively stable. At times you could even make money with a short oil ETF as the price has declined based on market conditions outside of the administrations control. But this isn’t what they want. Oddly enough, investing in gold is another way to preserve wealth right now. But you had better make sure it’s physical gold.
These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when you go to the ballot box this November. Mitt Romney may not be your ideal choice, but our country can’t afford another four years of this blathering idiot we have now. Just take a look at the results of his outreach to the world’s muslim population. Sure, being President isn’t easy, but anyone could do a better job that the lot we have now. So let’s throw him out. Just like replacing garage door springs, it’s just something that needs to be done on occasion.