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The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Ashley Stewart

This week we take a moment to review the late mobility tool from MobilityWOD: the “Mushy” Supernova:

Item: “Mushy” Supernova
$29.99 USD 

Retailer: MobilityWod

Kelly Starrett, the genius founder of Mobility WOD, has been working in the fitness industry since 2005. In San Francisco, he opened one of the first thirty CrossFit gyms in the world, and soon noticed how uneducated athletes were when it came to the mechanics of movement.

In 2008, he launched the Movement and Mobility Trainer Course, training coaches and athletes alike on movement pattern deficiencies and how to treat them. The company has since flourished and grown into what it is today – an all-inclusive resource utilized by athletes all over the world to correct deficiencies and improve performance. Since then, the company’s name has changed to MobilityWOD and they have put out some great products – their newest being the “Mushy” Supernova.

The Mushy Supernova is different to MobilityWOD’s original Supernova released several years ago. As the name suggests, this one is a lot more softer and ‘mushier’ than the original.

After using this tool for the past few weeks, I am...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, John Michael Bric

This week we take a moment to review Kre-Alkalyn Hypertrophy: A Kre-Alkalyn Creatine by Elivate Nutrition:

Item: Hypertrophy: Kre-Alkalyn Creatine
$54.99 USD (300 grams)

Retailer: Elivate Nutrition

The supplement Creatine has been used by athletes in the fitness industry for decades. In most cases its use has reaped decent rewards for this using it with many noticing improvements in performance and muscle mass. Several studies have also supported this with recent trails on American athletes finding significant increases in muscle strength and weights performance when using creatine.

However, with so many different types of creatine from so many different brands, finding the ‘right’ creatine supplement can be tough.

Personally, I have been using Creatine Monohydrate on and off during my training and have had positive results.  I’ve also had decent results with Micronized Creatine during my time. However, I had never used Kre-Alkalyn Creatine until I was introduced to Elivate Nutrition’s Hypertrophy.

Elivate Nutrition’s Hypertrophy is a Kre-Alkalyn Creatine designed specifically to improve performance in athletes in all forms of sports and training.

So, what is Kre-Alkalyn Creatine? According to Elivate Nutrition’s website:

“Kre-Alkalyn is a patented pH-corrected form of creatine. Kre-Alkalyn was created to address the negative side...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

As functional fitness continues its exponential growth in the fitness industry, there are still many taboos and myths about the regime. Often we hear of beginners being intimidating to walk into a CrossFit gym. Or others who have heard stories that have put them off training.

With that in mind, this article aims to address some of the most common ones and hopefully help you to break and debunk them.

Taboo 1 – CrossFit will injure you and that’s to be expected

While it’s normal to feel tired, uncomfortable and have somewhat sore muscles after an intense workout at a CrossFit ‘box’, it’s not normal to suffer injury and pain. If that happens then something has gone wrong. This is a real taboo that needs to be broken as it is one that is putting people at risk. It’s fine to speak up and tell your coach that something doesn’t feel right and to stop doing it. You can also help prevent injury by investing in some decent CrossFit shoes and other gear such as knee supports.

Taboo 2 – You will end up with huge bulky muscles from CrossFit

This one is a complete myth and a main one which puts women off joining CrossFit. So let’s break it today. Building up muscle takes a...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Ashley Stewart

This week we take a moment to review a pair of NOBULL Superfabric Trainers.

Item: NOBULL Superfabric Trainers
$129 USD 

Retailer: NOBULL

NOBULL is a relatively new company in the CrossFit world. Launched in 2015, they’ve only been around for three years compared to some of the bigger brands like Reebok and Nike that have been established for decades. I must admit, I am a diehard fan of the Reebok Nanos, especially the Nano 6s. But of course, new brands always intrigue me and NOBULL has made quite an impression on athletes, so I was excited to try them out.

NOBULL’s success is largely due to their simplicity. Simple designs and technologies are what draw athletes to this brand. They don’t believe in gimmicks, they only promise to produce a solid, reliable shoe to keep up with hard working athletes. The features built into the shoe to accomplish this are impressive on paper and in practice:

  • A one-piece, seamless upper made of SuperFabric® – a durable, breathable, and abrasion resistant material
  • High carbon lateral and medial guards for added protection on sidewalls
  • Medial rope grip for extra secure footing on rope climbs
  • Outsole lug pattern designed for...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Sponsored Article

Trigger thumb is a common condition affecting approximately 200,000 people in the United States. It is characterized by a popping or clicking sound felt and heard when the affected finger is straightened, some degree of stiffness, and a bent or crooked position of the affected thumb.

Understanding trigger thumb

Under normal conditions, the tendons (which connect your muscles to the bone) glide easily through the sheath (the tissue that covers the tendon) with every movement. However, with trigger thumb, the tendons become inflamed, affecting the gliding motion and impairing the thumb’s range of motion.

Prolonged irritation can result in thickening of the tendon and even lump formation. The bending motion pulls the swollen tendon through a narrowed sheath which is why it pops or clicks upon movement.

Trigger thumb may be painful for some patients and painless for others but in most cases, the symptoms are worst in the morning. There’s also a catching sensation which worsens with rest and relieved with regular movement.

Common causes of trigger thumb

While the exact cause of this condition is unknown, there are certain instances that might lead to trigger thumb such as:

  • Pre-existing inflammatory conditions like gout and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repeated firm and strong gripping (e.g. grasping vibrating power tools)
  • Forceful use of the thumb
  • Any activity that adds strain to your hand like playing the guitar...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

Back pain is a growing health concern with over 31 million Americans experiencing it regularly. Back pain, mostly lower back pain, contributes to missed days at work and has become one of the primary reasons for disability among workers globally.

Difference of Back Pain Between Men and Women

Most back pain in men and women is caused by underlying health conditions, doing regular and repetitive activities, performing high-intensity exercises, or involvement in accidents and injuries. Experts have learned, however, that back-related health problems are more prevalent in women than in men, according to a CDC study that spanned 16 years.

Pain, in general, affects men and women differently because the male and female hormones impact the tolerance of pain differently as well. The male anatomy also differs from the female anatomy, which in turn affects a man or a woman’s mechanism for pain management.

This doesn’t mean, however, that men won’t experience back pain as debilitatingly as women. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, it’s actually the men, rather than the women, who report back problems more often to their doctors or healthcare providers as it affects their work and day-to-day...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

It’s fair to say there is no shortage of interval training programs doing the rounds in the fitness industry. Every year, we are exposed to more and more programs claiming to have the very best ‘work’ to ‘rest’ interval ratio. Some even go as far as to claim theirs is the ‘only’ right one. However, the truth is, there isn’t a perfect/best/ultimate interval length.

There are some guidelines pertaining to these bursts of intense exercise that will affect their overall efficiency. But, the only ‘golden rule’ of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is to keep it at the rate that will fit your personal needs best.

Why Does the Duration of the Interval Matter?

The duration of an interval in HIIT matters because it determines how intense the interval will be. If you train for 30-seconds bursts, you can pack more action into the interval than you would with five minutes. Similarly, the shorter is the rest interval, the more intense your workout session would be overall.

This means that you should set your intervals depending on your personal goals and current fitness level.

High-intensity interval training is incredible. It helps you burn off excess calories more efficiently than most other exercise. In addition, it makes your heart and blood vessels healthier while helping...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

People young and old struggle with lower back pain on a daily basis. The discomfort and soreness that is often associated with this kind of injury can affect even the simplest of actions, such as getting out of bed, bending over, and walking.

One of the most common causes of pain in the lower back is a torn or pulled muscle or ligament. Tears and pulls often occur when an individual carries something that is too heavy. Or when they use their back instead of their legs to lift objects. Other causes of lower back pain include poor posture, sports, and repetitive movements.

Most Americans (eight out of 10) will experience back pain at some point in their lives, although each case will be unique and require specific treatment. Unfortunately, nine out of 10 of these individuals cannot pinpoint the cause of their pain, and therefore often struggle with avoiding the problem in the future. Desk workers and backaches go hand in hand, with 54 percent of Americans attributing their discomfort to a poor stature at their desk. If you’re not sure what is causing your back pain, consider keeping track of your daily activities. It’s important to note when your pain is most aggressive to pinpoint some connections.

The following...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Sponsored Article

Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced in the testes (and to a lesser extent the adrenal glands) and is largely responsible for muscle hypertrophy and increasing strength, as well as regulating bone density, red blood cell count, libido and many other processes related to health and fitness. Testosterone is not exclusive to men and women also produce the hormone in their ovaries and adrenal glands, although at somewhat lower levels.

Factors affecting Testosterone

Unfortunately, production of testosterone decreases with age. It’s often see with an onset around 25-30 years associated with a 1% decrease per year resulting in decreased muscle tissue synthesis, lower fertility and increased fat mass. There are multiple other factors which may decrease testosterone production prematurely, including weight gain, poor diet, stress levels and sleep. Sleep has a significant impact on Testosterone levels. Getting only 5 hours of sleep a day results in a decrease of up to 15%. Stress also negatively affects testosterone production. When under stress, the body produces another hormone known as cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels result in a subsequent decrease in testosterone. The impact on mood can also lead to the...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

The 2018 CrossFit Games season is set to get underway later this month, with the first workout of the CrossFit Open to be announced on February 22.

Over the past few years we have seen several Games and Regional athletes have been caught using banned substances and consequently suspended from competing.

This year, CrossFit HQ has made several changes to its Drug Testing Program to ensure the 2018 season has a level and fair playing field for all athletes.

Here is a look at the updated drugs policy and what it means for athletes:

Any athlete can be tested

As a condition of participation in CrossFit sanctioned events, each competing athlete agrees to undergo drug testing in accordance with this policy. Anyone signing up to the Open could be tested, at any time during the season.

Refusal to consent to, or comply with, the requirements of this policy prohibits an athlete from participating in a CrossFit-sanctioned event.

Regional and Games athlete will be tested All podium finishers at the Regional events will be drug tested. In addition, athletes will again be tested at the CrossFit Games later in the year. Championships Drug Testing: may occur on site at ANY CrossFit-sanctioned competition. All athletes at Regionals and the Games are subject to...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Sponsored Article

A TENS unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is an alternative way to relieve acute or chronic pain. The battery-operated portable device for pain management has been gaining popularity in the functional fitness world in recent times as a home treatment for athletes and coaches. The TENS unit is usually recommended for temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain after engaging in sports and recreational activities. This makes it an ideal recovery tool for CrossFit and functional fitness entuhusiasts.

Although many doctors and patients swear by it, there’s still some controversy on whether it actually works or is mainly the result of a placebo effect.

The TENS Unit is also similar to another popular recovery item called the Compex. However, the two do differ from each other. The TENS Unit is used at the sensory level and does not cause muscle contraction. The Compex is  used more for strength training by sending signals to the motor nerve of the muscle causing it to contract and build muscle mass.

An intense TENS treatment has been as effective in treating neck pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders. Stimulation intensity and severity of symptoms are some of the factors that greatly contribute to the effectiveness of TENS...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, John Michael Bric

The schedule for the 2018 CrossFit Games season has been announced by HQ this week, with the dates and locations finalised for this year.

The first stage of the season, the CrossFit Games Open, commences February 22, 2018. The ‘Open’ is then followed by the CrossFit Regionals, before the pinnacle of the season, the CrossFit Games, takes place in August.

Here is a closer look at the dates and venues for the 2018 CrossFit Games season:

1. The ‘Open’ 5 Weeks of Workouts
  • 18.1- Feb. 22-26
  • 18.2- March 1-5
  • 18.3- March 8-12
  • 18.4- March 15-19
  • 18.5- March 22-26

The CrossFit Games Open is the first stage of the CrossFit Games season. The online global competition is the stepping stone for athletes, with only the top qualifiers advancing to the next stage: the ‘Regionals’. Workouts for the Open are generally released on Thursdays at 5 PM PST. Athletes then usually have four days to complete them before the Monday 5 PM PST deadline.

2. Online Qualifier (Teen & Masters) April 19th-23rd

This online qualifier is held for the top 200 Teenage and Masters level athletes from each division. At the end of the four-day competition, the top 20 athletes from each division will earn a spot to compete at the...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Sponsored Article

For humans, the neck is one of the most vital areas of the body and it is also one of the most vulnerable. The neck supports the full weight of the head which can make an injury to the neck immensely painful. Injury in this area can cause stiffness and immobility in all or part of the neck. It is also common to have some discomfort and/or tension in the neck due to spending long periods of time leaning over or exhibiting poor posture. However, there are many different treatments for stiff neck and its associated soreness, as well as practices to prevent them or reduce their overall length and severity.

Common Causes of a Stiff Neck

Issues with the neck are never pleasant to deal with. Since there are so many different potential causes for a stiff neck that it can sometimes be very difficult to determine the precise cause of the irritation. Unless the discomfort begins right after an incident such as an auto accident, a fall, or first thing after you wake up then pinpointing the exact cause will be more difficult.

The more universal causes of neck immobility or strain will usually heal within a few days due to the...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

Once upon a time, it was thought that activities like resistance training or weightlifting were out of the question for expectant mothers. In actuality, maintaining a fitness program throughout your pregnancy comes attached to many benefits. You just need to make a few modifications, and you’re good to go.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of continuing to focus on core and strength training, even while you’re expecting. We’ll give you some suggestions as to where to start and what exercises are best as well.

Why Strength Train While Pregnant?

As any mother can tell you, pregnancy is an incredibly exciting time in your life. However, it can be challenging for a number of reasons. Strength training can help ensure both your pregnancy and your soon-to-be life as a new parent go as smoothly as possible.

  • Mild strength training makes it easier to keep excessive weight gain at bay during pregnancy.
  • You’ll also be better suited to lift and carry your new baby, plus lots of baby equipment as well.
  • Your state of mind and overall sense of well-being will receive a much-needed boost.
  • You’ll be better equipped to deal with the stress of pregnancy and life as a new mom.
  • Strength training will drastically increase your chances of sidestepping common...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, John Michael Bric

This week we take a moment to review the Herculin Extreme Pre-Workout supplement by EBN Sports Nutrition.

Item: Herculin Extreme Pre-Workout
$54 USD (450 grams)

Retailer: EBN Sports Nutrition

The current supplement market is flooded with hundreds of different pre-workout products. Many of which claim to offer the best performance enhancement solutions, when all they really do is provide you with some generic amino acids and caffeine.

My point it, finding ‘the right’ pre-workout formula can be a complete raffle these days.

One of the many products i’ve tested in recent months is the Herculin Extreme Pre-Workout by EBN Sports Nutrition. Unlike many other items on the market, Herculin Extreme has a small point of difference. By using specific ingredient blends, it aims to provide three targeted areas of improvement. They are:

  • HEAT Activator Matrix – This blend is designed to induce serious thermogenic properties and boost your energy levels. It contains taurine, green tea extract, and N-Acetyl Tyrosine.
  • Anabolic Activator Matrix – This blend contains testosterone boosting ingredients such as tri-creatine citrate as well as Carnosyn and different chain amino-acids.
  • Vascular Igniter Matrix – This comes with magnesium phosphate, L-arginine...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Sponsored Article

Functional fitness training can be a transformative experience, especially for someone who goes from being overweight and never exercising, to someone who is fit, active, stronger and healthier than ever before. It’s the high intensity and versatility of the training regime that makes it so accessible to people, but it is also those qualities which can potentially increase risk of injury.

There are a handful of common injuries to watch out for while functional fitness training. Knowing them can help you be proactive about protecting your own body:

Lumbar Spine Strain

The lumbar region of the spine, or lower back, is so often the location of back pain because it is connected to so much of the body. Problematic mechanics with the feet, knees, and hips can intensify low back strain. So too can poor posture and bad habits like “text neck” (craning your neck and head past your shoulders when looking down at your smartphone).

When it comes to Olympic lifting, however, it’s the potential hyperextension of the lumbar spine region when deadlifting or squatting that pulls and strains low back muscles. Combined with a weak core, tight hip flexors, and a lack of dynamic warm-up prior to lifting and you have a recipe for muscle strain, inflammation, and pain. The more your lower back muscles have to...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

The popularity of CrossFit has been on a steady rise over the last decade. As more and more people learn about the benefits of the fitness program, the more and more we see functional fitness included into regular gym/fitness regimes.

I have been a fitness trainer for a long time, and I have seen many trends come and go. But I can tell you with confident that CrossFit is not a ‘fad’, and is here to stay. However, just like any other training program, it comes with many challenges, and this is more so for beginners. I have seen people start, only to give up after a couple of weeks. I have also seen others train for months with little progress

If done correctly CrossFit is one of the best training programs. In my many years of experience, there are certain mistakes I often see beginners make. These simple mistakes can not only hinder progress, but can also put yourself at risk of injury.

Here are some of these common mistakes CrossFit beginners should try to avoid.

#1 Doing Things Too Fast

Many people walk into a CrossFit box for the first time with a strong background of lifting weights or other gym workout...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

A paleo recipe gives you the flexibility you need in your kitchen to experiment with different methods of preparation. There are different dinner options that will be ideal for all types of people, and this does not mean you will need to spend a lot of time preparing the meal. Learning about different paleo dinners you will appreciate the beauty of simplicity while deriving the ultimate pleasure of culinary mastery.

This week we give you a recipe from leading paleo chef D. Scott Carruthers, a professional whose career has revolved around foods.

Here is his recipe for the delicious, and healthy, spicy tuna and tomato burgers:

Spicy Tuna & Tomato Paleo Burgers

Ingredients and Method:

  • Tuna – 1 cup
  • Finely chopped Spanish onion
  • Finely chopped small red chilli
  • Crushed garlic clove
  • One egg
  • Tomato paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Coconut flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Extra chilli
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Fresh coriander

With your oven preheated to 350 F, line you baking tray with parchment pepper and place it aside.

Put all the burger ingredients in a medium size bowl then stir to form a uniform combination.

Use your hands to carefully roll to flatten the tuna mixture so you can make six uniform-sized burger patties, which you will put into the preheated baking tray.

You can then place in your oven to cook for...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, Contributor

Is a perfect diet plan for weight loss just a myth?

A stern ‘No’ is the right answer from the professionals. Some people may not agree with this answer because they may have spent a lot of time, money, efforts to find the perfect plan for weight loss, but with a little or no success. However, one of the most important things for a diet plan is to start eating what is right and remove the misconception of eating less. For example, when you stick to the basics you will realize that the most efficient health foods have been right there in your kitchen all the time. So what goes wrong here? Well, from the many things that most people fail to consider, let us take a look at some of the most important things that you should never miss out in your diet plans.

What is involved in weight loss?

Weight loss and gain are two different things that rely on one important factor; consumption and expenditure of calories. If you want to lose weight, you will need to take in fewer calories compared to your regular intake and try to burn more calories. It is best to have a calorie budget so to speak, and always helpful to eat within this set budget. The...

The Rx Review: Reporting on Fitness and CrossFit News, John Michael Bric

The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games have come to a close with the “Fittest Man and Woman on Earth” crowned for another year.

In the men’s half, American Mat Fraser claimed back to back titles finishing well ahead of his nearest opponent in Brent Fikowski. While it was a thrilling finish to the women’s division with Tia-Clair Toomey narrowly edging out fellow Australian Kara Webb to claim the crown.

This was the first time the CrossFit Games had been held outside of California, and Madison, Wisconsin sure didn’t disappoint. The new arena and backdrop proved a big hit for spectators, with the ‘fan experience’ improving yet again.

Heading into the fourth and final day of competition, Fraser had all but already secured the title in the men’s half. However, the four-time podium finisher was taking his foot off the accelerator finishing 3rd, 1st and 2nd respectively in the final three events.

With Fraser well ahead the competition turned to the remaining two podium finishes. With three top five finishes in the final Events, Fikowski managed to claim the runner-up crown, while Australian Games debutant Ricky Garard (brother of Ben Garard) held on to claim third.

Familiar names Noah Ohlsen, Scott Panchik and 2015 Games champion Ben...