My rest and recovery..

So many of you have asked me about how I train and recover.. I decided to post about this today considering that I am extremely sore and resting! What works for me might not work for you… Every body is different, every one recovers differently.. You should just test what works with you..

  1. PurePharma supplements

My number 1 source of recovery has to be Omega 3. I do take a good amount of omega’s in my foods but I do need extra because I train so many hours in the day and put a great deal of stress on my muscles. PurePharma Omega 3 is easy to get in any Crossfit box in the UAE. I take 3 a day but if I need a little extra dosage I take 3 more.

2. CryoHealth

I have been using CryoHealth for over a year now, whenever I am feeling beat up, sore and tired, I pass by CryoHealth (Emirates Towers or Dubai Ladies Club) to freeze myself for 3 minutes. It helps boost your immune response, eases chronic pain, heals nerve damage, recovers muscle soreness and even improve sporting performance.

3. DISC: Diversified Integrated Sports Clinic

I visit Dr. Tamara and Nermeen every month to get my body adjusted, massaged and needled. With heavy lifting, sudden movement in Crossfit, and moving around in my sleep, every one is in need of an adjustment with a chiropractor. It is important even for people that do not train in Crossfit to see a chiropractor because we all have bad habits of slouching or sitting in an awkward position which consequently displaces our bones and causes cramps and muscle sprains.

And finally….. my favorite!

4. ROMWOD

RomWod is just a new fancy word for Yoga within the Crossfit community, everybody is doing it! We all forget to stretch, breathe while stretch and how long to stretch for. RomWod is a website you can subscribe to and get access to demonstrating videos of stretches for any parts of the body. You can choose to warm up, recover or increase mobility for certain areas and videos can start from 10 minutes up to an hour.

Because I train up to 5-6 times a week, if on my rest day I feel great I would do a recovery workout, maybe light gymnastics moving around the gym, stretching, a row or a swim. If however, I am extremely sore and beat up I would just do RomWod and get enough lazy couch time as possible!

Also please check out:

How anti-inflammatory foods help you recover faster

Top 10 foods that reduce muscle soreness

Another reason why I had to sign up for Nourishing Dubai was to help me recover better, faster and better my performance.

Stay fit, healthy and blessed x

The Crossfit Open 2015 and setting goals

I started Crossfit in early 2013, I wasn’t confident enough to join the Crossfit Open back then being that I started a month before. And in 2014 after a nasty car accident, I couldn’t do explosive movements or go below parallel in any squat movement, so it was a chance for me to work on my upper body strength until my knee was back to normal.

It was only recently that I started to gain confidence in my knee and trust that it is back to normal. In the passed two Opens, I couldn’t do a lot of movements because they were still skill that I was working on like, chest to bar pull ups, toe to bar and handstand push ups.

Even with a lot of practice, stringing them into continuous reps in a wod was extremely tough for me, the only time I’ve tried RX hspu was in Diane, and 15 reps in, I had to place the abmat because of fatigue. With toe 2 bar and chest to bar pull ups, my grip was an issue, I would fry my forearms with the first set, even after breaking it up. And mentally, I suck at mental challenges, I would just break down. I’m still learning on how to shut my brain off and fight threshold.

I started my squat program exactly 4 weeks ago, with the start of the Crossfit Open, it wasn’t easy, my legs were tight and sore every day. My squat program consisted of front squats and back squats:

Sunday: Heavy front squat (heaviest:85kg)
Monday: Heavy back squat (heaviest:90kg)
Tuesday: Moderate front squat (heaviest 77.5kg)
Wednesday: Moderate back squat (heaviest 85kg)

I also started training Olympic Lifting with my coach Natalia. Of course the first week felt ok, I was energetic and excited to learn technique and get more reps, more weights, get stronger.. Little did I know how sore, painful and exhausting it was! Of course, because I am a beginner learning the movement from the beginning, starting position, first pull, second pull, all that jazz, even holding the starting position I would feel my legs shake.

My performance in the open wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but I really do need to consider the change in my program, I was now focusing more into weightlifting and not just Crossfit. Hence the reason why I didn’t do 15.5, everyone I know was sore for days and I had to prioritize lifting over the Open this year.

Setting goals means sacrifice, and with a squatting program I need to follow religiously, I couldn’t risk burning myself out with one workout over some gains for next years open!

Setting my goals:

Last year, my goal was to get chest to bar pull ups, this year I got my chest to bar kipping pull ups and with a lot of strict work, I also got weighted chest to bar chin ups.

Handstand push ups were my goal for 2013 and yes I got them but I was still working on skill work and kipping technique.

After my knee surgery, my squats were not going anywhere until I trusted my knee 100%. After shockwave therapy, I tested my front squat and it increased by 5 kilos after resting it for 3 weeks, same with my back squat. Before my surgery my front squat was around 75 kilos, and back squat was a barely 85kg.

My goal for 2014 was 85kg front squat and 95kg back squat, and even though I was held back and couldn’t achieve my goal in time, I couldn’t be happier with an easy 85kg front squat and 95kg back squat.

This years goals:

*Strict Muscle Up
*Strict handstand pushup (I can barely get one, I’m aiming for up to 5)
*Butterfly pull ups
*Front squat 100kg
*Back squat 110-120kg
*Clean & Jerk 80kg
*Snatch 60kg

Silver lining, we all start from somewhere, and with the hype of the open it is okay not to get your first muscle up, it’s okay if you still don’t have your toe to bar, it’s okay if you’re still learning, and it’s also okay if you have all of those but did not perform as well as you expect. We all have goals in life, in fitness, in crossfit, we just have to set focus on what is important and do it often, then you will achieve what your set your mind to.

Believe in yourself! God bless you all xoxo

Kiki

What I eat, what supplements I take and what I avoid the most..

With the Crossfit Open season starting, my training program will be changing and I would need better nutrition and better recovery.

So for almost 8 weeks I have been following the Ketogenic diet, not so dedicated in the last week, but I have noticed very good change but not so dramatic.

In the first 4 weeks I was training 5-6 times a week, however in the next 4 weeks I wasn’t training as much due to my busy schedule, driving back and forth Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and sometimes Ajman! It has been a crazy month, and it flew by so quickly, and now it’s time to get down to business!

I was requested time and time again about my nutrition and supplement intake, so here it goes.. What I take might not suit everyone. Some may find other products work for them better than these so it is all about trial and error to see what works best for you.

My food consists of high fat, protein and little carb. My fat intake mostly comes from avocado, nuts (mostly brazil nuts, macadamia, walnuts and almonds), Avocados are also high in fibre which helps break down protein and eases digestion. I also eat nut butters, coconut butter, coconut oil and grass fed butter. Most importantly, I eat animal meats with its fats, bacon, fatty steaks, salmon with its skin, and full chicken with the skin. You will be surprised how much nutritional benefits you can get from animal fats, skins and organs (ew I know). I do have my occasional chicken liver and bone marrow and here is why;

Benefits of..

Chicken liver: Although high in cholesterol, chicken liver is rich in protein, high in Vitamin A and B12.

Bone marrow: Rich in Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Manganese and Vitamin A. Strengthens the immune system, improves memory, sleep, mood and cardiovascular and renal system (urinary system).

Basically that is my diet, good fats, protein and little carb. (See:Keto)

Supplements that I take and why?

PurePharma

PurePharma offers a great range of products, Omega 3 fish oil, Vitamin D and Mineral (Zinc + Magnesium)

  • Omega3: Consistent supplementation of Omega3 helps with reducing inflammation and which consequently helps with muscle recovery by reducing muscle soreness and swelling and improves oxygen delivery.
  • Vitamin D: Important for healthier bones, improves the immune system and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. It is recommended that you take Omega 3 with the Vitamin D as it helps the absorption of Vitamin D.
  • Mineral: Zinc and Magnesium two minerals that are important for muscle recovery and improves muscle function. ZMA Minerals aid in reducing muscle spasms, helps with deeper sleep, reduces fatigue and just like Omega3 it improves oxygen delivery.

When taking PurePharma supplements, I would recommend taking all 3 at once, all three compliment the other by helping the body absorb the supplements more efficiently.

Animal Flex

Since Crossfit and heavy lifting has a cumulative effect on joints, ligaments and connective tissue, not much nutrition can be consumed and absorbed to support your training. I’ve only just began taking Animal Flex for a week, so I cannot give you much feedback or review on it, however I can explain it’s contents and benefits.

Basically, Animal Flex has a pack that you take once daily, each daily pack contains:

  • Joint construction complex to help repair connective tissue (Contains Glucosamine and MSM)
  • Lubrication complex to help cushion joints from lifting (Contains Flaxeed Oil and Hyaluronic acid)
  • Support complex that reduces soreness (Contains Ginger root and Tumeric Curcumin)
  • Vitamin and mineral blend for joint health (Contains Vitamin C, E, Zinc, Manganese and Selenium)

BSN Amino X and Cellmass

Finally, these two products were recommended to me by two weightlifters that have seen a difference in muscle recovery and soreness using these two products. And since I have only just taken it twice, it wouldn’t be fair for me to review it since I need to continue consumption for at least a month or two to see results. However I will explain the general benefits.

As you know, Amino and BCAA’s are taken for various reasons, mainly muscle recovery post training. Amino X contains a blend of essential amino acids, BCAA, L-Alanine, Taurine, L-Citrulline and Vitamin D. If you suffer from any effects of Taurine (Also in Redbull) I do not recommend using BSN products since both Amino X and Cellmass contain Taurine.

Cellmass is a concentrated post workout recovery supplement that contains creatine, glutamine, amino acids and hydrolyzed whey protein. I take one scoop of Cellmass right after workout, and Amino X throughout my workout and sometimes mix in both and take it post workout.

Post-workout supplementation is essential after intensive workouts, to strengthen and protect your muscles, connective tissues, joints and tendons. There are other brands that you might find more suitable to you if you are sensitive to any of these supplements. In the mean time I am not taking any protein supplement, I eat lunch after my workout, just waiting to receive the PurePharma Pr3 to add to my supplement list!

What I avoid the most is easy, sugar sugar and sugar! I would have some carbs and it wouldn’t make a difference but I avoid sugar as much as possible. I have noticed after cutting out sugar I sleep better, I perform better and recover better. Whenever I have sugar, processed foods or junk food (which I rarely do) I feel bloated, heavy, sick, and not sleep well. So I suggest to those looking to fix their diet, it’s okay to eat out, to eat carbs, you can cut down but the most important thing to avoid is sugar, sugary drinks, cereals, desserts and foods.

Again if you have any questions or requests don’t hesitate to email or leave a comment! Enjoy the rest of your week! God bless, much love!

xoxo,

Kiki

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die”

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone that took time to visit my link, after I posted on instagram I got a huge spike in viewing from countries all around the world! You guys won’t be disappointed I have so much in store for you, articles from doctors, advice from personal trainers from all over the UAE, talks about life and experiences. I’m very excited to start this chapter in my life to share with you all what I have learnt from Crossfit, training, recovery, coaching and from all the great people I have met in the passed two years and also topics about life, positivity, food, nutrition, social identity and much much more.

I came across this post on instagram and the song attached to a video of some snatches was “Awake My Soul” by Mumford & Sons, and I thought of the perfect title for my next post.

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life”

Pretty much sums up my life. After 8 years of on and off gym, body building, circuit training and boxing, I was introduced to Crossfit and my love for it in undeniable. You are blessed with a functional body from God, isn’t it the right thing to do to treat it well? For in these bodies we will live and we will die. I started Crossfit in March 2013 when I had a job working in Jebel Ali. I had a job for 6 months, and it was exhausting, driving an hour back and forth and sitting on my desk for hours a day. I started training in Fitness First until Marwan Al Marri contacted me through facebook and we were talking about training and he mentioned Crossfit. I’m not going to lie, I had the same reaction as every other person. The moment I googled it all I read was “injury” related articles and comments. But the more I read about what Crossfit is, how it started, how it grew, I wanted to be a part of it.

But unlike most people, I wanted to build a base of good technique and strength before getting into it. So I contacted Inger, and started taking personal training sessions 3 times a week, and other days I would do circuit and body building. After a month under her wing, I signed up at The Burn Room, where most of you guys know Kim Beso (my current Coach) used to coach there. I remember doing my first air squat in front of him, and he told me I need work on “form” and I thought to myself come on, I can squat! But little did I know there’s more to a squat than just dropping down A2G and standing up!

For a whole year, I took some courses, learnt some things, trained with the greatest trainers and coaches in the country and I couldn’t be more blessed. The number one thing I took away from training with my coaches, is that mobility is essential. Mobility means “the ability of move freely” and some people would associate flexibility with mobility but we’re talking about mobility with good form, I could easily drop in a squat but my chest and back would be slouching, I wouldn’t engage my core or maybe I would get on my toes. I learnt mobility drills and exercises from YouTube videos, my coach friends and Crossfit Trainer Courses, and I can share some links in the end of this post.

Second most important, is form and technique before anything. Time and time again I would let athletes know you got to leave that ego at the door. You could be the strongest guy/girl in the box, but hey without form you ain’t going no where! I constantly teach my athletes to drop weights, work on correct form, then gradually increase the weights to when you’re comfortable. Now I’m not saying you should stay in that bubble forever, I’m saying stick to good form until your biomechanics switch on and it’s an automatic reaction to set up before every lift or movement. Don’t try to RX the WOD when your power cleans are terrible! That will only lead you to injury, and we wouldn’t want that!

“Where you invest your love, you invest your life”

I became a coach for my love of Crossfit, community and my eagerness to help people. I invested what I love, I invested my life in Crossfit for the girl who gets her 80kg back squat, for the girls who get the unbroken double unders, for the girl who gets her first kipping pull up after struggling for months. Seeing girls get stronger and more confident has made me stronger and more confident. I feel a sense of pride in myself, being able to change lives with something as simple as Sport or through my videos on instagram, or through my blog. I am finally in a state of peace and happiness within myself and with my life through Crossfit and it is truly rewarding with each person that I work with.

God bless you all,

Have an awesome weekend!

Kiki