Nothing is worse than a summer flu. Everyone else is out enjoying the sun and warm weather. You’re trapped in your house. Your joints hurt and seem swollen. You don’t have an appetite? And the headache? Oh good grief, the headache. It hurts to breathe. You’ve got both a fever and chills. And it lingers. Maybe it’s just that bug that went around at the office?

Maybe it’s Lyme disease? Nah, you don’t have a bulls-eye rash.

We’re often told about the bulls-eye rash being THE symptom of Lyme disease but actual bulls-eye rashes only present in about half the known cases. Usually, a rash will occur near the bite and expand outwards. It becomes a “bulls-eye” only if it starts to heal. The rash may or may not heal in that pattern or at all by the time you’ve found it. Another symptom of a Lyme infection is facial paralysis, like Bell’s Palsy.

Can’t be Lyme, you haven’t been outside in weeks!
Symptoms of Lyme may present days or weeks after the infected tick has bitten you.

So what do you do? If you suspect you may have Lymes or at least want to rule it out, you can head to your doctor or for non-emergency services appointment. Tell them your symptoms and if you had a rash, make sure you tell them of the rash. They’ll do a blood draw. They’ll also likely start you on antibiotics right away while they wait for your test results.

New England is a hotbed of Lyme-related infections. Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and even Rhode Island, Connecticut and as far south as Pennsylvania are leading the reports, which are tracked by the CDC.

The best defense is a good offense. Ticks don’t jump like fleas. They either drop down onto their targets or climb on via contact. You can reduce the chance of contact by staying in the middle of walking paths, avoiding walking through bushes or other vegetation. Ticks will climb your clothing until they find skin. You can tape or tuck clothing to reduce skin access.

One you’ve finished your day out, throw your clothes into a dryer on high heat setting for about ten minutes. This will kill any ticks on your clothing. While showering, look for any unusual spots that may look like bits of dirt, freckles or moles. If you feel any little bumps, make sure you check those too: especially good hiding places for ticks on the body are the armpits, hairline, groin, and behind the ears and the navel.

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When you first walk into CrossFit MASS, you might think someone is going to hand you a two hundred pound barbell and tell you to ‘get after it!’, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The first thing we have everyone do is sit with a coach for a few minutes and chat.

We want to know where you’re coming from, what your past workout history is like and if you have anything going on that needs to be taken into account before we begin down the path towards your goals.

Next, (this might even be another day) we start moving. Working one on one with a coach you’ll begin by learning the basic body weight exercises that comprise our workouts. Movements like the squat, push-up and sit-up. These may seem simple on the surface, but doing them correctly, in the beginning, will help you avoid injury and lay the foundation for long-term success.

Not only will your coach show you how to perform theses safely and efficiently, but they’ll take the time to explain the benefits of each movement, and why each needs to be executed in a particular manner.

About 40 minutes in you’ll have covered five core movement patterns. Your coach will then take three of these exercises and combine them into a ten-minute, self-paced workout that will not only challenge you but reinforce the new movement patterns you and your coach have just created.

After you’ve completed the workout, it’s time for a cool down.
Every class at CrossFit MASS finishes with some stretching and mobility, and your first session no exception.

For most people, this format will repeat for another five meetings, which will include integration into the main class or more personal training if they wish to continue working one on one with a coach.

Have questions? Email me at joe@crossfitmass.com or sign up for a No Sweat Intro with a Coach today.

 

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The 2017 CrossFit Opens season has come and gone. The Thursday night excitement over Dave Castro slowly piecing together these challenging workouts are done. We saw dumbbells for the first time along with classic movements that recur every year. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

But wait!
With the workouts still fresh in your mind, ask yourself – which ones did you like the most or the least? What movement held you back and which movement were you completely prepared for?

If you want to improve for the 2018 season, the time to start is now. Just like our ’test week’, the Opens is a way you put your training to the test and see how you perform with a worldwide community. Some movements are a staple during this season, but we also know at least one workout is repeated from the year before to see how your performance has changed. This could be an increase in reps or a better time.

Now is a time for reflection on this experience.
Were you prepared for that one or couple movements because you have been working on it all year?

Write down your experience and efforts throughout the five workouts. What you lifted for weights and scaling, what tripped you up or you flew through, and how you were feeling. All of this is data you can use to your advantage to increase performance a better mental space.

Once you have journaled your experience, you can use that to help you set a goal, short term or long term for the next season. Some goals may require you to go through a progression, but through that, you will see results in you taking one step closer to accomplishing what you set out for.

Talk to a coach today on how you can get started for 2018.
Pay close attention to your workout data as well!
Click here on why it’s important to track your numbers and log workouts.

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In the last article, we talk about G.A.S and how properly managed stress leads to adaptation. We also touch on how if you have too much stress without the proper recovery it can lead to exhaustion.

We want to avoid exhaustion in training whenever possible. Prolonged time in this state can cause strength to stagnate or even decline. Worst, it can lead a breakdown or injury.

So how do we know if we’re overtraining? Here are a few ways people have found over the years.

HRV – heart-rate variability
HRV is a measure of the time gap between individual heart beats while your body is at rest. The heart speeds up when you inhale, and slows down when you exhale. This difference is known as HRV. A healthy, well-rested body will produce a larger gap, and higher HRV than a stressed-out, overtrained body. I use the ithlete app with a Polar H7 monitor.

Resting Heart Rate
As soon as you wake up in the morning, find your pulse. Using a watch, count the number of times your heart beats in 20 seconds. Multiply this number by three and you have your resting heart rate (RHR) in beats per minute (bpm). Record this for a few weeks to find a baseline average number.

Now after three to four weeks or so of regular activity check your resting morning heart rate in the two or three days after a hard workout. If the number has significantly elevated from its normal average (7 or more beats per minute), that’s a sign that you haven’t fully recovered from the workout. Remember, there is going to be some variability in your daily heart rate regardless of your recovery level, don’t be concerned if you’re 3 to 4 bpm over your normal average on a given day.

smileyfaces
Smiley faces.

Yup. Perhaps the simplest most useful measure of how you’re recovering is how you feel. Keep a notebook by your bedside. As soon as you wake, draw a ‘smiley face’ that best suits your current mood. If you consistently find yourself creating one’s and two’s (see above) it’s time to back off the workload and focus on the subject of our next article.

Next up: Enhanced recovery.