“May you live all the days of your life.”- Jonathan Swift
Would you Pass CrossFit’s Drug Test?
Of course I would pass the CrossFit drug test. All I take is beta-alanine, a pre-workout with caffeine and protein powder. And they’re produced in GMP facilities…
…Thought many a CrossFit athlete who signs up for the CrossFit Open.
But according to Andy Homes—the Business Development Manager at the international anti-doping lab Informed Sport—just because a supplement is produced in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility doesn’t mean it’s safe. In fact, if it’s not third party tested, there’s a 10 percent chance that your beta-alanine isn’t clean, Holmes said.
According to Holmes, eighty percent of the industry produces their products in a GMP facility, yet one in 10 products he and his team take off the shelves for random testing (that aren’t third party tested) always seem to test positive for some kind of a banned substance.
“Every now and then we’ll go into countries and we’ll take a bunch of crap off the shelves and we’ll test it. Whether it’s Australia, Europe, the United States, wherever we’re going, it’s always one in 10. We’ll (test) like 100 supplements, and 10 of them will pop hot,” Holmes said.
Every single time.
A Little More About Informed Sport
Informed Sport has been around for 57 years and is the largest anti-doping lab in the world when it comes to testing banned substances under the WADA list. The company offers two certifications for clean products: Informed Sport and Informed Choice.
The Informed Sport label means every single production run put out on the market has been tested and approved, whereas Informed Choice is a monitoring program, where one production run per month gets tested.
Three Tips to Stay Clean
Third Party Testing The biggest thing any athlete should look for when it comes to supplements is that the supplement has been third-party tested, such as by an agency like Informed Sport, Holmes said.This ensures it has been through the highest level of scrutiny, including GMP verification, label verification, as well as testing for banned substances, heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants.So while GMP is certainly “an essential part” of the process, “when you talk about banned substance testing, we’re testing for things about 50,000 times more sensitive than GMP testing,” Holmes said.
Reach out to the Company If in doubt, Holmes suggests reaching out to the supplement company and “asking the hard questions.”“Ask these people, ‘Hey can you send me lab results?’ Because the thing is, it’s your money. You’re the customer. If you’re going to spend money on the product, they should be able to provide you with that kind of information,” Holmes said.Because even if it’s a company you think you trust, because, for example, “your buddy owns the company,” this doesn’t mean that it’s clean.
Work with a Nutrition Coach Holmes also recommends working with a dietician or sports nutritionists to help steer you in terms of what you actually even need to be taking.Performance isn’t just about taking supplements, Holmes explained.“It’s the fuel you’re putting into your body,” so oftentimes it’s your nutrition, rather than supplements, you need to be focusing on to improve your performance, sleep, energy levels or digestion. So start there, Holmes suggested.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to supplements, be vigilant.
For Holmes this means, “If it’s not third party tested, I wouldn’t take it because you just don’t know,” he said.
“It’s very easy to get into this space. There are a lot of companies that come in and make a lot of money, and they’ll say whatever to make money, so do your homework.”
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The Open is here!: The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open is right around the corner, 16 days and counting, and we’ve got you covered. Keep an eye on our newsletter, website and social media for insights, analysis and breakdowns of everything in the lead up, and during the workout announcements themselves.
In for it: OUT in the OPEN 2023 from The OUT Foundation will kick off February 16th until March 13th! The inclusive leaderboard for the LGBTQIA2+ community and allies is on its way back for The CrossFit Open.
Comp update: Athletes looking to compete individually at METCON Rush August 26-27 will need to participate in the 2023 CrossFit Open.
HQ update: A total of five CrossFit athletes have now received competition region exemption for the 2023 season and the latest is Luke Tweddell who moves from Europe to Asia.
Run the test: New video series from CrossFit HQ and the first episode features none other than Adrian Bozman, who is set to program his first Open, talking about Shuttle to Overhead.
Very cool: Relentless Method is offering kids under the age of 18 free access to their training app, Relentless Trainer, after learning that 70% of all kids stop moving and playing at the age of 11.
Local love: Great little piece from WTOC11 about CrossFit Savannah in Georgia and how CrossFit is in fact, for everyone.
More local love: Another great piece, this time in The Bedford Citizen about CrossFit 600 expanding their CrossFit space in Bedford, Massachusetts.
23 Questions with Fee Saghafi: Bagels, Marc Anthony, Jessica Alba and Turquoise
Along with Alexis Raptis and Christine Kolenbrander, Fee (Feeroozeh) Saghafi made up one of the fan favorite teams at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza with “The Girls.” The trio ended a strong weekend with a fifth place finish and once again Saghafi wowed the crowd with her Mighty Mouse personality.
The 28-year-old American who calls CrossFit Mentality home is also looking to up her game this season after coming in 7th at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Last Chance Qualifier. But who is the lady behind the endless infectiously positive personality that beams outward constantly? We caught up with Saghafi for 23 questions (in honor of the year) to find some answers to the very most important questions.
How Many Events Should CrossFit Competitions Program?
The off-season competitions these past several months have been packed full of fitness. For elite athletes, the Rogue Invitational included 10 events, the Dubai Fitness Challenge with eight, and most recently, TYR Wodapalooza with nine. While all three majors had similar volume, Rogue and Dubai spread the workouts over four days, whereas WZA, just two days.
Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Chase Ingraham and CrossFit Games competitor Tim Paulson to discuss whether there were actually too many tests for a two-day competition, or if it was necessary for a more well-rounded test. The three looked at other competition formats, the pros and cons of each system and how taking away some fitness could be better for a spectator experience.
Chris Hinshaw Teams Up with Adidas for Free 10km Running Program
World-renowned endurance coach Chris Hinshaw was selected by Adidas to head PROJECT PB, a 10-km run training program that provides the regular running enthusiast access to elite-level, individualized coaching for free, all the while giving them “the feeling of what it’s like to be an Olympic athlete,” Hinshaw said.
Remind me: Hinshaw, a 10-time Ironman competitor, is the founder of the brand Aerobic Capacity. Through the years, he has worked with dozens of CrossFit Games athletes—Mat Fraser, Rich Froning, Justin Medeiros, Tia-Clair Toomey and Katrin Davidsdottir to name a few—always focusing on highly individualized training plans to improve their aerobic capacity and endurance.
The details: PROJECT PB, which was released in December 2022, runs until April 29.
In recent months, Hinshaw has been working with 400 captain coaches in 70-plus countries around the world, providing them with “guidance and support,” he explained, in the art and science of designing effective individualized running programs to prepare participants for a 10km run.
Those who sign up for PROJECT PB will receive a 12-week running program developed by Hinshaw, which is broken into three phases.
The first two-week phase is designed to get the runner familiar with both how Hinshaw writes programs and with interval training, while the second two-week phase introduces the concept of rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and prepares the runner for a one mile test.
Once the one mile test is complete, the runner then receives an eight-week, individualized program designed by their designated Adidas coach, as well as weekly tips and progress check-ins.
You can sign up for PROJECT PB through Adidas, where you will be given an Adidas coach, or at aerobiccapacity.com, where Hinshaw will become your coach; however, he will be releasing just 2,000 spots, which are first come, first served.
Why individualization matters: Currently, the average runner might follow a training program that focuses on general preparation for an upcoming event. While better than nothing, Hinshaw is adamant that for best results, there needs to be a certain amount of individualization.
“An individualized training plan considers the event distance, but (also) focuses on the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses. Athlete-centered training plans, versus event-centered ones, are vastly more effective at creating performance improvements with significantly less risk of injury,” he said.
The big picture: Beyond helping athletes improve their 10km run times, the overarching goal of PROJECT PB is to provide everyday fitness enthusiasts with access and opportunity. In other words, to provide people with the opportunity to win.
Before Hinshaw was selected to head the project, he was asked about what winning meant to him. He explained that, from his experience, winning breeds more winning, because when you win, new opportunities come your way. You might be offered money, or equipment, or clothing that will help you perform better, or elite coaching, which only makes winning again easier.
“Champions get access to the best products and best coaching,” Hinshaw said. In this sense, winning is essentially about gaining “accessibility and opportunity,” he added.
These concepts became the heart of PROJECT PB.
In light of this, Hinshaw’s ultimate hope is for all participants to, not just become better runners, but more importantly for PROJECT PB to “create awareness as well as equal opportunity for all athletes.”
Why Your Nutrition Coach Wants You to Eat So Much Protein
Have you found yourself at the kitchen counter at night shoving chicken breast down your throat wondering why your nutrition coach hates you? Well, they actually love you.
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