Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Thursday, November 15, 2018

"Be Like Mike" - Movati Mike

Last week, we made a visit to our good customer, Movati Athletic in Burlington.  As always, when I get a chance to visit, I had to fit a workout in - I love their facilities.  As I am still in bike mode and chasing 13,000 km this calendar year, I spent an hour on the Matrix stationary bike doing the rolling hills workout.  While riding, I was already thinking about the great shower and steam room! After 60 min. of hard work, I headed down to the change room.

I had a quick shower (you cannot imagine the luxury of a Movati shower - you’ve just got to try it for yourself) and then went into the steam room.  After a few minutes, this fellow entered and we struck up a great conversation. Mike shared with me that he works out every other day; exercise is part of his way of life – a fit 71-year-old. I love seeing that. I have this saying: You have to keep moving to keep moving.  Mike exemplifies this perfectly - you see, if you keep moving and working those muscles, you kind of earn the right to do it again tomorrow, no matter your age.  I was surprised to learn that Mike had had a triple bypass surgery 19 years ago and is equipped with a pacemaker. Mike is a lucky one, a smart one. I remember that I saw a sobering stat in the documentary, Forks Over Knives, I believe: the most common symptom of heart disease is sudden death. Obviously, Mike had a warning shot across the bow and lived to make the necessary changes.

Darcy speaking with Mike at Movati Burlington

I asked Mike what lifestyle changes he had made following his surgery (I assumed correctly that his heart disease was attributed to a poor diet and lack of exercise).  At the time of his surgery he was 240 pounds, and today there he sat almost 20 years later, below 200 pounds (a reasonable weight for his large frame). Turns out Mike was a shot putter and discus thrower for Canada in the 60’s and 70’s. In those days,  he was a muscular 270 pounds. Mike told me that he switched his diet up and he started a regular exercise regime. He also mentioned that the best thing he ever did was join Movati Athletic in Burlington last January. He is a fixture there and it shows. I just love seeing this. No matter your age, you can make a change. We found this out in the study we supported under the direction of Dr. Stu Phillips where men with a mean average age of 73 showed increase muscle mass with a multi-ingredient protein supplement and omega 3 when combined with routine light resistance training. See resistance training study here.

Mike mentioned a friend of his who suffered a severe heart attack at around the same time. He also had bypass surgery, but sadly, unlike Mike, he made no lifestyle changes, and unfortunately, he passed some years ago.

Mike asked me what I do; I let him know about Infinit Nutrition Canada and if he had ever tried any of our products sold right there at Movati. He hadn’t, so I told him to come see me in the Café and I would buy him our protein/coffee drink: Cold Brew. He asked me about our brand, “Can you buy it at GNC or Popeye’s?” I said, “ No - really Mike, I think we would be lost in stores like that. A lot of products use a lot of marketing hype and it’s hard to compete with that.  We offer the best protein period – comes from Fonterra in New Zealand. Honestly, it’s not for everyone, but those who use our products, love us.”

I was happy to see Mike come over to the Nutritional Café and I fulfilled my promise and bought him an Infinit Cold Brew – he chose to have it on the rocks.  He couldn’t believe a protein could taste like that – 21 g and in a coffee. He was an instant fan, and he made my day. Mike also went on to say that this would be perfect for his wife; she struggles to get enough protein in and he thought this would be a perfect solution:  something she gets to have, instead of has to drink.

This is why I do what I do - I absolutely love seeing people living their life to their fullest potential.

Be like Mike – either get moving or keep moving: this way you earn the right to keep moving!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Riding Long: Creemore Classic 401 km in 24 hrs

This past weekend I completed my first 400 km Brevet.  I had previously participated in 2 other Randonneuring rides: a 384 km Fleche ride and a 200 km Brevet.  This by far was the toughest, as expected.

Local riders participating were Rick Meloche, Brenda Wiechers, Tim O'Callahan and myself.  Luckily we had two friends/cyclists come to support the 24 hr journey: Steve Tymczak and Geoff Owen (invaluable!).  This time around we headed to Port Elgin late Friday afternoon - arrived in time to have dinner with the group, plus the organizer of the Creemore Classic: Carey Chappelle, and his wife Donna.

After a good sleep at the Chappelle's we got up at 4:30, went down to the local Tim Horton's,  and got our card verified (has to be signed at each of the 7 control points).  A total of 7 of us left at 5:30 a.m, right on schedule (Carey, Matthew, Paul, Brenda, Tim, Rick and I).  Geoff joined us for the first 100 km, and then assisted us for the next 20 hrs at the control points.

We knew the forecast wasn't the greatest - we pretty much assumed we would be wet for most of the ride, and we weren't far off.  We started in  a light drizzle - the only fairly flat section was mostly dry from Port Elgin to Owen Sound, following the shoreline the whole time - beautiful area. I'd never traced the coastline like that before.  Funny when your mind is prepared for a 24 hr effort just how quick a 100 km ride can feel.  Seemed like no time and we were having coffee at our first stop: Frog Pond Cafe. A quick drink and we were set to take off again.  Tackling a ride like this is all about conserving energy, nourishing your body and staying hydrated - doing that well, makes it doable.  Oh also, heavy use of Chamois Butt'r makes sitting on a saddle for 24 hours manageable (I didn't say enjoyable); I am not sure why it works - just does!

So as we headed out of Owen Sound, we hit a sharp climb that was like a smack in the head. It turned out that this is what the rest of the day was: climb, descend, climb, descend... repeat.  It was also the time the rain hit - really hard at times, like when descending down Bowles Downhill: wow - 64 km/h in pouring rain was a bit tense (glad this was in the daylight).  Of course when you go down, you can expect to go up - Cat 4 climb up to Eugenia and our 2nd Control. I have to tell you this wasn't nearly as pleasant as the first.   Even though we would have generated a ton of heat climbing, we were all pretty chilled, as soon as we stopped.  At this stop, I had some hot mac and cheese, and mixed another two bottles of Infinit Power. I drank a serving per hour all the way through the day.  I was looking to stay reasonably hydrated, keeping electrolytes in check and have some calories (when I know that the pace is down and I will be consuming lots of real food on stops, Power is my choice).  I was really happy to head out of Eugenia - and was hoping for clearer skies!

Headed from Eugenia, and already at 400 m elevation, we only had another 100 m before we descended one of my favourite roads in the county - Grey Road 19.  By now the rain had stopped so we had a no brake descent - not pushing it (getting aero) I managed to get to 70+ km/h. It was fun cruising down behind Tim.
After collecting, we headed into town for our next stop - The Georgian Bowl.  Yes, I said bowl. As in bowling. While it's not normal to bowl while riding, it is for the Creemore Classic. We swapped the bike shoes for bowling shoes and went after the big trophy.  I came up a few pins short - Rick took those honours.  Immediately after, we were on to Creemore. I had been looking forward to the fish dinner all day. No beer for me on this day, but on another day, I will add a Lot 9.  The ride to Creemore was made up of rolling hills - nothing crazy. Luckily, it was dry but we did have a heavy head wind.  Everyone's spirits were still high - we were approaching 250 km, and knew we had a big stop ahead - we had all preordered.  Steve and Geoff had a table waiting, so we had time to get into a new bike kit and then dinner was on the table.
By the time we left, darkness was upon us, so it was back to the reflective clothing and lights.  We had a few bigger climbs on our way back to the Villages, our last control point before it got real... everyone was thinking of the Scenic Cave Road climb.  It was an uneventful ride into the control point: more Infinit Power and Jimmy Bar (protein bar - one of the best I have had) before we headed out for the last 112 km of the journey.  Starting with the big climb: 200 m, 9% average grade.

As it turned out, Scenic Caves wasn't as hard as we had all built it up to be.  Earlier in July - I got up the main climb in 11:49. On this night, with 300 km into my legs, I kept the pedals moving all the way up for a respectable16:13 - I was happy with this!  Tim was right behind and we figured we might have a bit of a wait for the others.  5-10 minutes later, everyone was up. Awesome!
From here it got 'dark!'  We had a big descent but, unfortunately it was during a downpour and heavy winds - we were all a bit pensive.  Once down, we had another big climb up Grey Road 40. By this time, after the climb (I think it was around 2:30 a.m.), I still had lots of power, but I was getting crazy sleepy, just like that feeling when you are driving a car and you are trying not to nod off.  I told the group, so we put a foot down at the next stop sign. Tim gave me his 'magic glasses' (green glow)  and I used them for 5 minutes, eating 3 chocolate covered coffee beans along with it.  It was enough to get to me to Chatsworth, the last control point before the finish.  This was supposed to be a 24 hr coffee shop. Well,  despite what the sign said, it was not hot coffee now. Ugh - it would have been great as we had just travelled 62 km in heavy rain, wind and even fog.  We stopped anyway for about 20 minutes, had an Infinit Cold Brew,  a bagel with peanut butter and fresh jam (thanks, Brenda), and of course, mixed up my last two bottles of Infinit Power.
Still smiling - 50 km to go!!!
All 6 of us left together, but by this time we were riding different paces.  Rick, Tim, Brenda and I rode as a group - really, it was uneventful. Of course we were all tired and feeling it, but we were buoyed by the fact that we were less then 2 hrs from the end.
It was a steady ride in to the Tim's where it all started 24 hrs ago.  In total we covered 401 km in just a hair over 24 hrs, with 16:40 of moving time.  We had our cards signed at our last control point and we were official - under the 27 hr time limit.  Back to Carey and Donna's house, quick shower and then I slipped into a deep sleep.  Loved the ride, loved riding with Tim, Rick, Brenda, Matt and Paul - you really get to know someone over 24 hrs on a bike.  This was the second time I had the pleasure of doing a long one -  last time, Tim and Brenda were there.  Special and immense thanks to Geoff and Steve. At every control point they took care of us, filling bottles, making sure we had everything we needed.  

Creemore Classic - 410 km, 2700 m elevation
I am certain this is not for everyone, but what I would encourage you to do is pick a goal/challenge that seems ridiculous and scares you.  I thought of this ride for months. It lead to completing lots of rides to prepare. I visualized when I went to sleep at night - not afraid - just looking forward to what would be.  I feel so grateful that am I physically able to do stuff like this and have the time and support to take these crazy challenges on.  Makes you feel alive!

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Road to Ironman: Flavour Fatigue & Hitting Nutrition Goals

We're welcoming back Andrew from STAC Zero for the 3rd Installment of Road to Ironman. Have you missed the first two posts in the series? Catch up here:

Flavour fatigue sounds simple enough -- and a bit trivial, actually -- but it is something very serious when it comes to performing at your best.  If you're in the middle of a race, your body reacts differently to flavours than you might imagine, and the nutrition which you know that you desperately need might seem unappealing, making it impossible to follow your plan.  I've heard of this happening to even the pros, and recently experienced it myself due to some of my own mistakes.  

With the weather warming up, my training has progressed outdoors from my self imposed training prison -- and this has led to me needing to carry 100% of my required nutrition on my rides.  No more sneaking up to the kitchen to mix up another bottle of Infinit if I felt like I was lacking some energy.  Although the individual flavours are excellent on their own (my own preference being the fruit punch, which is curious given my typical aversion to overly sweet sports drinks), but due to poor planning, I had run out of all but the orange flavour.  Mixing up 4 bottles of a single flavour, I headed out on my planned 4 hour ride.

The first 3 hours felt great -- I was right on my power target with an exertion that felt relatively easy.  I had noticed that I was actually feeling so good that I didn't keep up with my nutrition targets.  Then it started to hit me -- I could feel the bonk coming.  But, at this stage, I had already drank so much volume of a single flavour that I was really fighting being able to finish my nutrition.  I knew that I would feel better once I drank it, but just struggled to get it down.  Flavour fatigue had hit me.  I had heard about this countless times, but never experienced it so acutely until now.  It's amazing how something you previously enjoyed can become so difficult to palate when you're pushing your endurance limits during long training sessions!

Having stopped, I was able to compose myself and eventually finish off another bottle.  I started feeling much better right away -- the best part, after only a few minutes, I was able to continue the ride, eventually finishing more or less on schedule and on pace!

Having learned my lesson this time, I now make sure to always pack all 3 of the flavours on any long ride or even indoor training session.  Being able to quickly and easily go back and forth between the Infinit flavours is a sure way to be able to avoid any of the issues coming along with flavour fatigue.  I would highly recommend this to anyone -- if you're investing in adapting to a proper nutrition strategy, giving yourself multiple options is the only way to go.  Seeing that I manage to go through the bags of the custom blend fairly quickly, it only made sense to have all 3 flavours on hand at the same time ,meaning that I could switch flavours depending on my preference that day -- or even better, give myself the option for long rides where I don't know what I'll have a taste for!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bike Windsor Essex - Creating a Bike-Friendly City

We recently had the opportunity to connect with Oliver and the team from Bike Windsor Essex; a non-profit organization in Windsor, ON that is focused on getting more people out cycling. They are advocates for safer cycling infrastructure, and public and government acceptance and support for cycling as a legitimate means of transportation.

"We believe cycling is an important aspect of forward thinking regions. We believe that supporting cycling can improve the health, economy, and environment of our local community."

Through a number of yearly initiatives, Bike Windsor Essex is focused on creating a safer city for cyclists, and encouraging the general public to get out and ride by offering bike clinics, cycling-based events, a bike-repair shop, and more.

Bike Windsor Essex hub in downtown Windsor. Photo courtesy of Jenn Escott. 
Bike Windsor Essex is located in downtown Windsor, ON, on the corner of University Ave and Pelissier St. Their HQ is home to their Bike Kitchen, as well as their Wrench Up program and cycling courses. The Bike Kitchen provides a unique opportunity for avid and amateur cyclists alike to learn to maintain, repair and build their own bicycles. The staff accept donated bikes in any shape, refurbish them, provide use of tools and work stations to the public, provide cycle safety and bike repair education to schools and cyclists, and more.

Through their refurbishment program, Bike Windsor Essex has created the Earn-A-Bike program, which allows low-income youth and New Canadians the opportunity to refurbish a donated bike, which then becomes their own once it is in safe, working condition.

The non-profit also offers the Wrench-Up program, which offers maintenance and repair classes for beginners and experienced cyclists. These are monthly classes that allow students to learn how to maintain your bike yourself, or brush up on your repair skills. The course content will cover the basics of your bicycle, how to recognize if it's not working properly, fixing flat tires, roadside repair, an intro to bicycle adjustments, and basic fitting. 

Bike Windsor Essex Bike Kitchen. Photo Cred: Jenn Escott
Additional programs offered at Bike Windsor Essex include educational seminars, which are ideal for schools, cycling classes including an introduction to cycling, and CAN-BIKE Certifications, as well as community rides and bike rentals

So how can you get involved? Bike Windsor-Essex offers a series of membership opportunities that give you exclusive access to their bike kitchen, Wrench Up program, and discounts at local Windsor hot spots. You can also join in on their initiatives and become a volunteer, or donate old bikes to their refurbishing program. The Board meets the first Tuesday of every month, and the community is encouraged to talk about current campaigns, road challenges, and upcoming cycling events. 

Bike Windsor Essex also offers a series of events throughout the year, with their keynote event being Bike to Work Day on May 28/2018. Bike to Work Day exists to encourage people to leave their cars behind and get out and ride to work, bringing the community together to educate on the benefits of cycling. All of us at Infinit are participating, and we would love to have you join us! Stay tuned for a follow up blog post on Bike to Work Day, but in the meantime, register to participate in this years ride here

For more information on the Bike Windsor Essex initiatives, or to get involved, visit their website at

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Paris To Ancaster - What a Blast!!!

From the Paris To Ancaster site here is a description of the race: For over a century the roads of northern Europe have been home to the toughest bicycle races in the world. The most famous of these, Paris to Roubaix, takes place each spring over brutal cobblestone roads that have been preserved in their historic condition for over 100 years. Inspired by this classic race, the Paris to Ancaster has taken place for the past twenty four years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads we can find. Combined with unpredictable spring weather and the largest field of riders assembled in Canada, it has become a classic race experience for everyone from average riders to Canadian Olympians.

After hearing how great this race was and seeing a roll call from Geno (East Side Riders Cycling Club) just after New Year's I thought, I have to do this.  With no arm twisting at all, Steve Tymczak was in.  I had a strong training base going into the ride ~4000 km, but how do you prepare for this race?  Think you just get to the line, then grin and bear it. 

Dinner with some of the Windsor-Essex Gang - 30 more behind!
Geno had made everything super easy for the newbies - we dropped the car off at the Ancaster arena, picked up our race plates and then we had a bus back to the hotel.  Most of the Windsor Essex crew were all staying at Arlington, then dinner at Stillwaters - great group, few beers and some good stories from past races.  Weather for the race was looking quite favourable from previous years - was going to be dry from the skies, cool at the start, and of course there would be muddy sloppy sections, just because that's the nature of the beast at P2A.

Race morning we had a short 3 km spin to the start - one of the best, most chill starts I have ever been involved with.  Steve and I were in wave 3 which started at 10:20 am.  There was a good energy at the start - not a nervous energy that you sometimes get in larger races.  Steve Fleck as always, making things interesting with race announcing (@stevefleck ) all through the day; counts us down to the guns firing.  Quick climb up the road, sharp right and a nice steep climb to get things going, then soon after it was a 6 km rail trail to space things out.  

Every surface you can imagine we seemed to ride on, including the thickest, stickiest mud I have ever encountered.  The last "mud shoot" was crazy long and deep.  I started in wave 3 - so by the time I made it there - I was surrounded by wave 1 and 2 folks - quite busy, so trudging through on foot was the my best option.  The mud was so thick, I feared I was going to lose my shoes and by the end I honestly thought my bike was being held down by something, something other than gravity and the extra 20 pounds of mud!  After the final mud shoot it was a few trails and then the famed climb, after 70+ km of up and down, windy sections and sloppy terrain it was a challenge, I did manage to pedal all the way up.  I was really proud to finish 387th overall, with field of 1452 completing the 70km race.

How did I fuel?  Out of convenience when riding my mountain bike I use a camelbak - I find that I am able to drink more and I have grown accustomed to having the pack on my back. I like the convenience for tools and to stuff any layers that I take off during the race.  My main custom blend right now is: Darcy's Road Blend - 290 cals, 4 g protein, 68 carbs and 379 mg of sodium.  I am a fairly heavy sweater - I took in 3.5 servings (2100 ml 3.5 servings) during the 2:57 race.  Took on some Repair as soon as I could - I was feeling pretty good today!

Talked to so many riders this weekend, most have completed this race year over year, and now I understand why.  Great to have an early season race to train for.  I am certain I will be back for my 2nd next year.  For now I need to rest up, this Saturday - I am riding a 375 km (24 hr) Fleche Randonneur ride.

Happy Riding!

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada

Friday, April 20, 2018

Road to Ironman: Beginning the Journey

Andrew Buckrell is back with the second installment to the Road to Ironman series! Before you begin reading, catch up with the first post of the series here:

"To start off my training "journey", coach Alex VanderLinden from Healthy Results had prescribed an easy ramp up in volume, focusing on building a lower intensity aerobic base, rather than my "all or nothing" training style I had followed for shorter distance events.  Seeing as my progress had somewhat plateaued and I was no longer making significant running or cycling gains, I knew it was time for a change, and welcomed the external input.  For full disclosure, I should note that previous training sessions were purely based on making myself hurt -- regular intervals of very high intensity repeated over and over, with no macro scale periodization or general training philosophy.

Following the recommendations of Darcy from my initial phone consultation, I used a spreadsheet that he had developed for measuring and quantifying sweat rate.  It was no real surprise to find out that I'm well above the average sweat rate (1.8-2.0 L/h of sweat -- gross!).  This provides an excellent baseline for the amount of fluid that I'll be losing during exercise.  Knowing that it's impossible to replace everything, both Darcy and Alex independently recommended taking in about 1 bottle per hour, and 300 calories -- bang on a single serving of the Infinit Custom Blend.  This will make sure that I keep well hydrated throughout the course of long workouts and competition, provided I manage to stay on track.

I ordered up my first few batches of the custom blend, the composition of which was shaped by a conversation with Darcy.  Not really knowing what to expect, I was surprised by the lack of overpowering sweetness that you usually associate with sports drinks.  This was a bit of a shock to me -- given the carbohydrate concentration, I was anticipating something overly sweet.  I'm very happy to confirm that you quickly get used to this, and I will continue to want to dial back the flavour concentration as I further adapt to the flavour.

I've always been adamant that you need to race like you train.  Nutrition is no exception.  I've been extremely regimented in following the race hydration plan with training sessions.  I'll admit that the first few sessions involved some mild GI distress -- my body just wasn't used to taking on this kind of nutrition in liquid form.  This is why you should never try something for the first time in a race!!!  Had I been racing, it would have been a disaster.  However, I fortunately experienced this in training at home, and after doing a few workouts with "race-day nutrition", I've adapted, and can now easily take on quite a number of bottles of Infinit during a long workout.

The next stage of my training (and guest blog post) deals with flavour fatigue and dialling in the proper nutrition for a longer workout."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Darcy Tackles the 2018 CrossFit Open

Let me start by saying I am an endurance guy. I have done bunch of Ironman's, a few Ultra-marathon's; I just love the endurance side of things.  With that said I am not the strongest, not even close to being so, as compared to the other athletes in our box at CrossFit WHL.  I have been working out with Bobby Tran and the WHL crew since late 2014, shortly after we started selling our Infinit Strength Blends there. After dropping off product to their gym, I was intrigued and felt like it would really help with my limiters - strength and flexibility. It has helped with both. I hadn't been consistently going to the box for 6 months; lots of traveling and biking, it was gnawing at me every time I would leave work, I felt guilty.  You see in late 2016 CrossFit WHL moved right next door to Infinit - hard to hide!  Part of setting up a great 2018, I reached out to a few friends and got them to commit to joining me daily at 5:00 pm.  Right now we are 3X a week, moving to 5 days a week soon.  It has been great being back routinely.

I wasn't sure I was ready to sign up for the CrossFit Open this year, but decided to do it and face the music.  Of course as a 50 year old athlete and one that hasn't developed all the gymnastics moves and strength (YET), I needed to sign up for the Scaled division. For those outside the CrossFit world, the Open consists of 5 weeks, each week on Thursday night the workouts get announced - the RX version of the workouts and also the scaled versions.  Anxious moments, what will the workout be?  They are always tough, but will they expose my limiters or not.  You have from Thursday to Monday at 8 pm to complete the workout. The workouts are judged by one of the certified coaches and your score is entered on the CrossFit Leaderboard.  Here is how my open went; tough, humbling and rewarding.  My goal was to finish in the top half (a stretch would be top third) of the 32,000 athletes from around the world that signed up for the scaled version of the open.

Open Week 1

Workout 18.1: 20 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of 8 knees to chest, 10 Hang Clean and Jerks (35 lb dumbbell) and 14 Calories on the Rower.

I was happy to see this workout.  I am decent at knees to chest, the 35 dumbbell would be heavy - but I should be able to keep moving through each set of 10 and I am a good rower.  Since I do my long rides Saturday mornings I chose to do the workout each week on Friday after work.

So I jump right in - Justin gets me all set up, gym is quiet with only about 10 people there and I am doing the workout alone, which is fine.  The hanging knee raises were quick and doable, the real meat of the workout for me was taking the 35lb dumbbell from my side up to my shoulder and then pressing over my head.  My first set was rough - didn't quite have the technique optimized, but it would get better.  The row - I managed to average 1350 cal/hr which is a good pace without gassing myself.  So now just keep cycling through these 3 movements for 20 minutes.  I vividly remember looking at the clock and realizing I was only 5 minutes in and thought to myself "this is going to hurt."

The 8 knees to chest remained uneventful, other then tearing my skin on one of my fingers ~ this movement requires a lot of gripping.  The dumbbell work is where I really needed to focus and force myself to keep moving - if you get the technique wrong, you tend to muscle it up and waste too much energy.  The row was the row - every time I sat down, I was in my happy place (endurance junkie, remember?).  I finished with a total of 345 reps - and gave it all I had!  I was 3420th out of 32000 athletes so I was pretty happy!

Open Week 2

Workout 18.2: Broken into 2 components with a combined 12 minute time cap.

Workout 18.2a: 35 lb dumbbell squats and bar-facing burpees, ascending ladder 1-2-3-4.....10 as quickly as possible.

Workout 18.2b: Max clean in the time you have remaining from the start of 18a and the 12 min mark.

This workout was met with mixed emotions - decent at cycling through squats and burpees, but my strength and technique on the hang cleans is going to hurt me.

So another Friday and I take on the workout.  This time got to do the workout with Matt - a fellow Workhorse.  So you hop into it.. 1 squat, 1 burpee, 2 squats, 2 burpees....5 squats, 5 burpees....this is feeling all right.  Then round 7 comes, and it hits you! I have a fused wrist and my grip strength on the dumbbells was failing which forced me to break up the sets of 8, 9 and 10 and lose precious time.  Finish the round of 10 at 9:37.  Now I have a couple of minutes to do my max clean - I surprised myself with 122lb - a personal best for me at the time, but I know I can do better!  So the next day was at the In-House Open workout when the majority of the CrossFit WHL crew complete their sessions - we were actually sampling our Cold Brew.  Watching 60 or so athletes I was able to observe some of the different techniques on the squats - a bunch of folks had the weight of the dumbbell supported on the shoulder - when I saw this I was happy but sour as I knew I would have to repeat the workout (once was enough!). During my first attempt, I held the dumbbells in front of my chest - more taxing on the grip and your arms in general.

I completed my second attempt Monday morning - without grip strength being an issue I was able to go unbroken through all of the squats. My time for 18a improved to 7:15, placing me at 3150 overall - thrilled!  But now the ying and yang - my improved clean of 127 placed me at 20280 overall, better than originally, but not where I want to be - I know now I have to pay a little more attention to the Olympic Lifts.

Open Week 3:

Workout 18.3: 2 rounds for time of 100 single under skips, 20 reps of 45 lb overhead squats, 100 skips, 12 pull-ups, 100 skips, 20 alternating 35 lb dumbbell snatches, 12 pull-ups, with a 14 minute time cap.

Oh crap!  I have never done a pull up without a band.  I had done a few chin-ups, palms facing in, but never unassisted chin over bar pull-ups.  The rest of the movements were fine - man I was in trouble.

As expected I get through the 100 skips, 20 overhead squats and then a 100 more skips fine.  Now to the bar - I have never done one and now I have a set of 12.  To my surprise I can do one.  I rested and did another, and repeated that.  I got through the round of 12 - crazy.  Got the skips, snatches done and then back to the bar - ! was able to get another 3 in before the 14 minutes were up.  Both humbling yet exciting to know that I can do a pull-up! That's what the open is about - pushing yourself to do things you wouldn't otherwise try.

The Open really lets you know what your limiters are - ironically while I am completing my pull-ups, Coach Johnny is working with two athletes on gymnastic movements. They are focusing on optimizing their kip (swinging your body to assist with the "pull" movement a fluidity) - would have been a smart idea to learn that movement!  I knew that 455 reps would not place me well on that leaderboard, but I was crazy excited that I completed 15 pull-ups.  I placed 21,243.  Overall I was just about 10,500th out of the 32,000 - hanging on to top third.

Open Week 4:

Workout 18.4: 21 deadlifts (135 lb), 21 hand release push-ups, 15 deadlifts (135 lb), 15 hand release
push-ups, 9 deadlifts (135 lb), 9 hand release push-ups, 21 deadlifts (185 lb), 50 ft bear crawl, 15 deadlifts (185 lb), 50 ft bear crawl, 9 deadlifts (185 lb), 50 ft bear crawl.  9 min time cap.

Well again this is scary!  My personal best a bit ago when I was consistent in the box was245 lb deadlift - I am long way from that. In the last few weeks we had been cycling through deadlifts at 135 lb, so I knew I was ok with them, but the 185 would be a big jump.

At the start of the workout again on Friday night - I asked Coach Justin: "What have others done, how have they approached the sets - as far as breaking them up?"  He encouraged me to break things up with the 135's as the step up in weight under fatigue is tough. I did just that. I broke the first set up into two, the second the same and completed the 9 unbroken.  Ok first section done - then reality hits - I get over the bar at 185 and lift it - a lot different, only 50 extra pounds, but man it felt so much different. I believe I was breaking things up in 5-6 for the round of 21, did the bear crawl which was ok, but I am gassed!  Get over the bar for my round of 15 at a little over 7 min into the workout. I get 3-4 reps done and then break. I try to get right back down to the bar   but I feel the raw juice I drank an hour ago creeping up so I have to pause.  I manage to get done the 15 at 8:30 but now the bear crawl - I have to finish those - I need the reps!  I finish in a heap right at the 9 min mark.  Again I gave this everything I had and I learned more about what limits me.  Finished with a 146 reps, which placed me 10840th worldwide on in the scaled division, still hanging on for top third.

Open Week 5

Workout 18.5: Complete as many reps as possible in 7 min.  3 barbell thrusters (65 lb) - 3 jumping chin over bar pull-ups, 6 & 6, 9&9, 12&12.....up by 3 each time.

A relief that it was jumping chin over bar pull-ups; thrusters are a tough movement for me.  But overall it is an engine type of event.

Did the workout with Matt - he went first and was steady throughout - he kept moving the whole time, broke the sets of thrusters up after the round of 9.  He finished with an impressive 105 and I thought I would be right there with him after watching.  So I am off - whoa thrusters - after one Justin tells me to widen stance, that helps.  3 done and on to the jumping chin over bars, those as expected are just endurance - think the scaled athletes got a big break!  Cycle through the sixes and then to the nine - get them out, but you can really feel how this is creeping up on you.  Can't recall exact timing, but thought I had loads of time and am going to get far...yeah right.  On the 12's and 15's I have to break-up quite a bit, was gruelling.  I did get back to the bar for the round of 18 - managed to get the bar overhead 14 times - finished at 104 and was happy about my result.  Most happy with the way I felt and kept moving, gave it all I had; again I hope this was enough to keep me in the top third.  Wasn't about to repeat this one!

Tuesday was the first I looked at the leaderboard and I saw that I was 9381th for the workout, which put me at 8728th overall - will finish in top third.

Overall experience?  This was the first time that I signed up and competed.  When I signed up I wondered did I just spend $20 for no reason.  There was great value in signing up.  Each workout really mattered, seeing my name amongst the other athletes around the world and then thinking, what if I..... Knowing my results were going up and affected my overall placing was the reason I repeated 18.2 - I saw there was a better technique that could be used and had to try.  If I wasn't signed up I probably wouldn't have done 18.3, it has pull ups, I can't do those. However, in the heat of it I found out that I could a few, getting to 15 during the workout.  The Open really lets you know what your barriers or limiters are, and it already has me doing the weightlifting sessions, not just opting for the strength and metcons.

I can't say that I will ever compete in the Rx divisions, but being able to complete in the Scaled class was a blast - certainly appeals to my competitive nature, if top third this year, what can I do next year with continued work on weaknesses?

If you haven't checked out CrossFit - there will be a box near where you reside - check them out.  I go because I am an endurance junkie, the 3 - 5 times a weeks helps my strength, core-strength and my flexibility - these all make me stronger cyclist.  If you join and are at a CrossFit gym - sign up - worth every penny for me.

Suggested fuel for Crossfit/Strength athletes: Infinit X-CiteInfinit RescueInfinit Raw

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Road to IRONMAN: Pre-Training and Preparation

We are thrilled to welcome guest blogger, Andrew Buckrell, of STAC Performance, to the Team Infinit Blog. Andrew has his sights set on an Ironman in September - his first race at this distance. We will be taking you along his journey over the coming months so you can have an inside look at what preparation goes into becoming Ironman ready!


I've always been interested in pushing myself to the limits, but after a near catastrophic (and very disappointing) first attempt at a 70.3 race, I had resigned myself to shorter race distances -- primarily sprint and olympic distance triathlons.  I made all kinds of excuses: I sweat too much, I overheat too easily, and so on.  While the allure of pushing yourself right to the ragged edge for a relatively short event is attractive, I still feel like I'm missing out on some of the magic of completing an IRONMAN length event.

My mind was essentially made up for me while watching friend and professional triathlete Alex VanderLinden compete at the Mont-Tremblant Ironman last summer.  Seeing the effort and dedication these athletes put into the event, not to mention the production and spectacle that WTC puts on, it elevated the race in my mind to a "life experience" status, rather than just another race.  I was hooked on the idea.

After convincing friends and family that it was, indeed, a good idea, and not just another crazy notion of mine, I realized that I needed to prepare my body in every way possible.  I reached out to Alex VanderLinden for coaching duties, seeing as he was initially "responsible" for my ambitions, and at the same time I reached out to Darcy, CEO of Infinit Canada, for help with nutrition.

After an initial phone consultation with Darcy, he educated me on the theories behind proper nutrition.  This was, in no small part, responsible for my earlier 70.3 race failure.  After helping me come up with a custom nutrition formulation, I was ready to start my training.

I've always been a huge proponent of training exactly how you race, I knew that integrating proper nutrition into my training regimen was going to be a key to my IRONMAN success.

Andrew Buckrell
STAC Performance

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Racing for Heart and Stroke

We are excited to introduce you to Holger Bohm, and Infinit customer that is doing something pretty spectacular. Over the past few years, Holger and his family have been greatly influenced by two serious stroke incidents. First, his grandfather suffered a stroke that has now tied him to a wheelchair. A year later, when Holger's father was assisting with his dad's care, he himself suffered a stroke that caused both Holger's father and grandfather to fall to the floor, unable to seek or call for help. Unfortunately, his father did not survive the stroke.

His father was always a great supporter of Holger's athletic endeavours, introducing him to the sport of triathlon and competing in many races with his son. It was always their lifelong dream to race at Ironman Kona together. Holger plans to carry out their dream in 2018, vying to earn his spot in Kona in the fall, all while raising money for Heart and Stroke Research.

"Not only do I plan on realizing a dream, but I am also planning to reach a fundraising goal in partnership with the Heart and Stoke Foundation, for research to help discover the correlation of stroke-incidence in endurance sport."

For those of you who are outside the triathlon world, "the Kona district in Hawaii is the birthplace of Ironman long-distance triathlon, and serves as the annual World Championship, bringing in thousands of international participants to race the world’s toughest course. The race consists of a 3.8km wild ocean swim, followed by a 180km bike ride across lava fields and desert-like wind-swept conditions, and ends with a 42km marathon run, all in the blistering, relentless heat. Participating in this event is the dream of almost every long-distance triathlete, but the qualification process for this race is extremely challenging. Candidates must compete in a qualifying Ironman event and place in the top 3 of one’s age group, in an increasingly competitive field." (Endurance Loop - Holger's official site!)

Holger's journey to Ironman Kona is comprised of 3 stages, with 2 stages down and 1 to go! 

2016: "I represented Canada in the Olympic distance World Championship in Cozumel, Mexico. I also competed in the Wasa Triathlon, finishing 4th overall and 1st in my age group, and came in 3rd at the BC Championships in Kelowna. By the end of the racing season, I had raised $1200 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation; donations came mostly from friends and colleagues."

Holger's father, Ronald, during a bike our in the European Alps.
2017: "I failed to qualify for the Half Ironman (70.3) distance World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, instead I battled a self inflicted Achilles injury and had my own run in with heart issues which made this journey even more important to me."

2018: "I am back with a vengeance and aim to compete at the Ironman Hawaii long-distance World Championship in October!" 

We encourage you to browse Holger's website and follow along on his journey! Of course, no challenge is complete without support! If you wish to donate towards Holger's mission and contribute to his $20,000 goal, follow this link

Good luck, Holger! The Infinit Team is rooting for you.