Crossfitters on steroids

The ritual sacrifice of human energy , argues classics scholar David Sansone , is the bedrock definition of sport, and the genesis of sport. When paleolithic hunter-gatherers sacrificed animals to their gods, they were also sacrificing the energy it took to hunt those animals. When those hunters became farmers, they continued to sacrifice animals. But because the animals were domesticated, there was no way to sacrifice the energy it would have taken to hunt that animal. This is when athletic rituals – foot races and field games – became part of religious practice. Freed from the constraints of a literal hunt, that ritual sacrifice of human energy could take a thousand forms, from Native American lacrosse to Meso-American ball games, tribal competitions in Africa and the Olympic Games, in honor of the ancient Greek’s pre-eminent god. The winner of the Olympic foot race was given a torch, and carried that torch up the steps to light the burnt offering to Zeus.

“It’s a product of pushing well past your limits,” says Vijay Jotwani, MD, a primary care sports medicine physician at Houston Methodist who serves as a team consultant for the Houston Astros. “You’re working hard, feeling the burn and go that next step—and another step, pushing far past the point of pain. Later, you have extreme muscle pain and swelling—much worse than delayed muscle soreness . You may also have dark colored urine. That’s because the [protein] myoglobin from your muscles has flooded into your bloodstream and your kidneys are overwhelmed.”

I watch the final workout from the stands. The athletes are as gorgeous as ever, but it’s clear that Wodapalooza bodies aren’t instruments of pleasure; they’re gleaming, covetous participation awards. This place is illogical. No cheap-beer day-drinking. No back-alley steroids. No people missing workouts because they were banging in a port-a-potty. This place is as impressive as you would expect and as pure as you wouldn’t. Nevertheless, for all its wholesome familial emphasis, it’s impossible to shake the feeling that non-believers don’t belong here.

Thanks, Jan! If you’re still making strength gains you can be confident that you’re moving in the right direction, except you’re right—if your weight is staying the same and your strength is only very slowly increasing you’ll be heading there very very slowly (and at some point you’ll need to gain weight). A protein shake might cut it! Depends how close to a surplus you are, and how large that protein shake is. If it causes your weight to move up on the scale each week, perfect, but if not you’ll need more calories. Maybe that means mixing a couple scoops of whey with milk instead of water, blending up a fruit smoothie instead, having a handful of nuts, etc.

Crossfitters on steroids

crossfitters on steroids

Thanks, Jan! If you’re still making strength gains you can be confident that you’re moving in the right direction, except you’re right—if your weight is staying the same and your strength is only very slowly increasing you’ll be heading there very very slowly (and at some point you’ll need to gain weight). A protein shake might cut it! Depends how close to a surplus you are, and how large that protein shake is. If it causes your weight to move up on the scale each week, perfect, but if not you’ll need more calories. Maybe that means mixing a couple scoops of whey with milk instead of water, blending up a fruit smoothie instead, having a handful of nuts, etc.

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