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Hey! Something that’s been on my mind for some time is best practices for success in your fitness. I have been meaning to put paper to pen but…Here are my TOP 5 best practices to be successful in your fitness. Keep in mind this is not absolute and I make no claims to be a demigod with devout clarity. I am just an aging CrossFit gym owner that loves to sweat and get others in the best shape of their lives.

Is prayer required to be fit?

Is prayer required to be fit?

5. Warm-Up PRE-Mobility – Get the blood flowing before stretching or rolling. This can be a short run/row/bike/jump rope. Mix it up and vary the duration from as little as 5 minutes to as long as 15 minutes depending on what you need for that day. I have gone as far as 20 minutes at really easy pace before mobilizing and hitting a WOD. Of course this will require you to have the ability to show up 10-20 minutes before class. The benefits ARE worth it!

4. Aerobic Base v. Strength Base – If you come from an endurance background or have participated in sports with an endurance base, then you need to prioritize your strength building. For example, someone that played soccer or ran cross country already has a solid CV/CR endurance base and will see the greatest improvement in CrossFit performance by prioritizing strength work.

Just the opposite is true for someone that has a power sport background. Football players, wrestlers, power lifters and weightlifters need to develop a better aerobic base. That means hitting some Long Slow distance work at an easy pace. This is exactly where I fall and I have been spending more and more time on it with great results.

O'Neill row test

O’Neill row test

3. Cut the Sugar – I am referring to any added sugar to food products or cooking that you consume on a daily basis. You will be totally surprised at how much sugar is added to make processed food palatable. I am sure Coach Alex can really go deeper on this topic and outline why it is your best interest to limit/avoid sugar consumption.

2. Sleep, Mobility, Stretch – You spend anywhere from 4 to 12 hours a week in the gym. That leaves at a minimum 156 hours where you are not in the gym training. What you do with this time is just as important if not more so than what you do inside. Sleep is crucial and there is research suggesting timing your sleep to follow the (REM/NREM) stages that last approximately 90 minutes each cycle. This research says that the total duration is not as important as being in alignment with the cycle. So if you tend to sleep less, try to get 3/4.5/6 hours of sleep to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed. Try it and see how it works for you.

The human body is meant to move. Our society has become one that is less and less active. This is not good. When you are not training or not sleeping you need to make sure that you incorporate frequent and brief sessions of movement that include some stretching or mobility. Get up from your desk, hit some upward and downward dogs. Stand instead of sitting while you work. Take the stairs. You will feel better and have more energy.

1. Cook for Yourself or Get Custom Fit Meals – You need to know what you are putting into your body. See #3. From watching the Food Network, it is astonishing to me how many recipes call for SUGAR and other ingredients that are not best for you. The only way to control this is to prepare your own foods or order prepared foods from a company such as Custom Fit Meals.

WHAT’S ON TAP/PROGRAMMING

These next two weeks we are going to be working up to 2RM’s in some of the lifts. The next couple cycles of programming is going to have a lot of percentage work based on these numbers. You will need the following: Back squat (8/18), bench press (8/20), deadlift (8/22), shoulder press (8/1), push press (8/9), power clean (8/25), and front squat (7/25). If you didn’t complete the lifts on the prior dates then you may use a recent (1-3 months) 1-3 Rep Max for any of the lifts.

We need everyone to get numbers for these lifts to allow class to move smoothly. The percentage work will begin on 9/3.

Saturday 8/16

1. Complete reps of 15-12-9 for time of

135/95 Squat Snatch
Dips

2. Handwalking practice. If you cannot walk on your hands, then practice balancing just off a wall.

Sunday 8/17

Run a Partner 5k (Both run/finish together) (Row is 6k)

then AMRAP 12

5 Deadlift, 205/145
10 Pull-ups
15 KTE’s

Monday 8/18

1. Back Squat – 2RM

2. Complete 3 rounds for time
21 Front Squats @ 45% of 2RM
15 Pull-ups
3 Wall-climbs

Tuesday 8/19

1. EMOM 12 – 2 Snatch TNGo
1-4 – 70%
5-8 – 75%
9-12 – 80%

2. AMRAP 8
15 Box Jumps
15 Swings

Wednesday 8/20

1. Bench Press – 2RM

2. “Cindy”
AMRAP 20
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

Thursday 8/21

1. EMOM 20
Odd: 5 Push Press
Even: 10 Burpees

2. Complete for time
Row 1k
30 KTE’s

Friday 8/22

1. Deadlift – 2RM

2. 30-24-18-12-6
Deadlift @ 60% of 2RM
Double unders

Saturday 8/23

1. Power Clean – 2RM

2. 5 rounds for time
15 Squat clean @ 50% of 2RM
20 Sit-ups
20 Calories on the A/D (12 calories on the rower)

 

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14 Aug 2014

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1. Overhead squat – 15RM

2. For time (20 minute cap) 
1 rope climb 
21 ground to overhead, 115/75 
2 rope climb 
18 ground to overhead 
3 rope climb 
15 ground to overhead 
4 rope climb 
12 ground to overhead 
5 rope climb 
9 ground to overhead 
6 rope climb 
6 ground to overhead 
7 rope climb 
3 ground to overhead

The school year is right around the corner and there are new faces graduating from private training with Fight Gone Bad every week.  Who have you met lately?  Be sure to make them feel welcome, challenge them, and have some fun.  This week I had the privilege to coach Lauryn Z. through Fight Gone Bad and graduate her into our group classes.  Watch out 6am crew because she’s coming for you!  Keep an eye out for her tomorrow morning!
 
Lauryn Z. Get Up!Who are you and what are you about?
I am a mom to two kids, ages 3 and 1, and an assistant professor at a local graduate school.  I teach and do research focused on language and cognition in people who have sustained brain injuries.  I have been a distance runner since I was a teenager, and enjoy other endurance sports and pretty much anything that gets me outdoors.
 
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
Two words: my husband.  He joined over a year ago and has loved it, and gotten in the best shape he’s been in in years.  With two kids plus working outside the home, it’s hard to find the time and willpower to work out.  Crossfit sounded really motivating, and some of the activities, like rope climbing and rowing, sounded fun.  I wasn’t that excited about weight lifting, but I’ve learned to appreciate the importance of technique and that makes it more interesting.  Finally, I realized that running alone is not enough to maintain well-rounded fitness as I get older.
 
What are some of your goals for this year?
My main goal is pretty simple: stay committed to going to CrossFit at least twice a week, plus running regularly.  I’m sure once I’m in group classes I’ll come up with some more specific targets for particular workouts or skills.
 
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
I’m looking forward to getting to know other people who regularly attend classes.  It seems like a fun bunch of people.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to occasionally finding someone to watch the kids so my husband and I can go to class together!
13 Aug 2014

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Complete for time

Run 1000m

then 10 rounds of the following circuit

10 Ring Rows (feet on a box) 
20 Push-ups 
30 V-ups

then

Run 1000m

55928950_6a535def18_zI’ve heard a couple of people over the past few years talk about cutting out carbs and sugar to such an extent that even the usually neutral fruit was eliminated. I’ve heard people reference bananas and grapes as “very high in sugar”, and something to be avoided. Now we all know sugar is the opposite of awesome for you and that cutting back on carbs and sugar can produce weight loss. But do you really need to cut the bananas to achieve or keep a healthy body?

 

Fruit vs. The Rest Of ‘Em

There is a fundamental difference between the sugar in fruit from the sugar in grains, baked goods, and sweetened beverages: FIBER. Yep, that fiber – the “gluten free” of the 1990′s. The thing is, fiber (along with protein and fat) modulates the rise in blood sugar following the consumption of sugar. (If you don’t recall the glycemic index, this should refresh your memory). Basically ,eating sugar alongside fiber slows the uptake of sugar by the body, thus lessening the insulin required to deal with it all at once. That burst of insulin needed to deal with the flood of sugar is what leads to insulin resistance. 

There is also the point that the sugar in fruit is 100% natural and not added in or processed in any way.

photo-2The bottom line is, human beings still need carbohydrates to survive (yes, I know some people can function in ketosis. But that’s a lot of work and sounds pretty miserable to me. Right now I am talking to the 99% of people at the gym who want to be healthy without going bananas – pun intended). And whole foods like fruit, starchy vegetables, and the occasional unprocessed whole grain or plain dairy product can be a great source of those needed carbohydrates. Bananas make a pre WOD breakfast, grapes and watermelon are deliciously hydrating after a workout, and I find apple (with a little PB added) to make a satisfying snack. (Side note: I have warned about eating too much fiber before a workout in the past. The beauty of fruit is that while it has some fiber, it doesn’t have as much as green vegetables or fortified cereals or bars, so most people can generally eat some within 30 minutes of a workout and not experience any discomfort). Although, obviously, I wouldn’t recommend eating 10 bananas at the same time. 

So basically – keep eating fruit guilt free. It’s almost peach season. 

What are your thoughts on fruit? 

Photo 1 c/o Chuan Chew

12 Aug 2014

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1. AMRAP 7 – Burpees

2a. Deadlift 6,6,4,4 reps are touch and go and heavier than 7/24, rest 1:00 
between sets 
2b. 2 TGU each side with KB’s, moderate weight, rest 1:00 between sets

3. Double Unders 100 reps x 3 sets

12 Aug 2014

Strength Challenge Winners

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The  Strength Challenge has come to a bittersweet conclusion. Everyone involved enjoyed the programming and absolutely CRUSHED the CrossFit Total. Every. Single. Person PR’d their lifts and increased their Total. I enjoyed working with each and everyone of them and truly look forward to seeing how they respond to the programming with their new strength.

Alright. Alright. You want the results. Well here ya go. 

We had 3 ladies undertake this challenge. They were all completely dedicated to the programming. Ali put 25 pounds on her CFT and gained 7 pounds of muscle! Kristin put 24 pounds on her CFT, which should have been 35 pounds. Damn Deadlift…

Kathy? Oh yeah Kathy. She put 47 pounds on her CFT! What?! She also put on 3 lbs. of muscle and lost 2 lbs. of body fat… not that she really needed to lose any. That is pretty damn impressive for three months! So I am proud to say that Kathy is our winner for the women’s division of the strength challenge! Congratulations Kathy! 

On to the gents. There were initially 5 guys in the running, but one dropped out due to scheduling issues. But the other 4 guys stuck it out… even while traveling abroad for one of them. There were some pretty dramatic changes for the guys in both body composition and CFT numbers. Rory Q. was a monster. He put 6 lbs. of muscle on while dropping 11 lbs. of body fat! What?! I want results like that! He also added 65 lbs to his CFT. Great job Rory! Denis T. was an animal too, adding 7 lbs of muscle and 25 lbs added to his Total.  Atta Boy! Mark Pelofsky. Dude was traveling all the time. California, Seattle, Italy. You know your average weekend getaway. He kept at it though. His dedication truly showed. Mark added 7 lbs of muscle and lost 2 lbs of body fat. He also added 45 lbs to his Total. I’m so happy for Mark. He worked really hard over these past 3 months and it really shows. 

Oh, and there’s this guy Tim. You might have seen him around the gym before. At least you have if you’ve been there these past 3 months. I think he might have been in there as much as me! His numbers? Eh. They were alright. He put on, you know, only 18 lbs of muscle! Get the f@$& outta here! 18 Pounds?! 6 pounds a month? And to add to that, he lost a pound of body fat. Then there’s his Total. He added A. HUNDRED. POUNDS to his Total. A hundo. A Benjamin. You get the point. Unreal. I guess that leaves no doubt who is the winner for the guys. Tim B. I am proud to say that you are the men’s winner!

Kathy and Tim will be receiving a nice little prize package including some Progenex, Pure Pharma, and a gift card to help fuel their workouts from Starbucks. But to be honest, I really think everyone that did this was a winner. They all put up some serious #gains and will be killing it in classes, so watch out! If you see anyone wearing their new Challenge t-shirt in class (not for sale, must be earned), give them a little space because they are going to be going H.A.M. on their workouts from here on out. 

With a bunch of feedback from all the athletes involved, I am contemplating starting a new Strength Challenge starting in September. It will run another 3 months and will be done before December and all the holiday commitments take up your attention. If you are interested, please see me or leave a message below.

 

Congratulations again to Kathy and Tim! 

12 Aug 2014

In-House Throwdown!

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It’s that time of year again where we test our fitness against those that we WOD with every day… Our In-House Throwdown will take place on Saturday, September 27th, so clear those calendars! This is a great opportunity for some friendly competition and lots of fun. We’ll have both scaled and Rx divisions available, so whether you’re a seasoned competitor or a first-timer, this is a great event for everyone to participate in.

 

Our plan is to run heats of the competition from 9am to 1 or 2pm in the afternoon. The exact timeline may change depending on the number of competitors we get to sign up, but we expect to wrap the competition up early in the afternoon so we have time for some fun activities and a cookout afterwards. It is guaranteed to be a fun day, and we hope you all can join us!

 

Don’t want to compete but still want to be involved? Awesome, we need your help! We’ll need lots of judges and volunteers to help the day run smoothly. If you can lend a hand, we’d very much appreciate it.

 

As we get closer to the event, we will release more details and workouts. For now, take a look at the standards below, see which division you fall into, and get signed up! We’re very excited about getting as many people as possible involved this year. Get pumped!

 

 

Throwdown Divisions

Rx Division: Thrusters 95/65, Snatches 115/75, Toes to Bar, Double Unders, Unassisted Pull Ups, Wall Balls 20/14 to a 10′ target
Scaled Division: Thrusters 65/35, Snatches 75/45, AbMat Situps, Single Unders, Blue Band Pull Ups, Wall Balls 14/10 to 10′ target

What: CrossFit Boston In-House Throwdown
When: Saturday, September 27th
Where: Here! CrossFit Boston
Who: Everyone

Announcement of WOD #1

Click Here to Register to Compete or Volunteer/Judge

NB: Most of the content of this post was lovingly borrowed from our friends at CrossFit Southie.

11 Aug 2014

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1a. Strict Ring Dips, 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets 
1b. Strict Toe 2 Bar, 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets

2. EMOM 12 
1 clean and jerk @ 80%

3. O’Neill – 4 minute max distance test on Rower

10 Aug 2014

Get Moving!

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I hope all of you had a GREAT weekend :) 

Now, down to business!

So, all of you guys come into class early, roll out on a foam roller and do static stretching. But, here is my concern, you guys shouldn’t roll out, or do static stretching on rested/cold muscles. Do a little dynamic stretching before, and work with the PVC before you grab a band for mobility movements. If you are trying to stretch muscles, when you are not warm yet, you won’t get anything from it. Give them some love and loosen up! Then you will get a hell of a lot more, rolling out and doing static stretching. 

Lets look at the works outs this week..

Monday: Front Squat AND Fran…oh boy! 

Tuesday: Strict Dips, Strict TTB, and Clean + Jerk.

Wednesday: Burpees, Giddy up! Deadlifts, and Turkish get up!

Thursday: Row, Ring Rows, Push ups, and V-ups.

Friday: Rope Climb and GTOH. 

 

So, for Mobility this week guys, do DYNAMIC stretching before you roll out. PLEASE, do me a favor and try it! Now, you know what your doing for work this week, so get the PVC and do a warm up with the exercises you are doing. PRACTICE FORM. Grab a bar, and do some reps to wake your muscles up! For dips, TTB, Turkish get ups, ring rows, push ups…you know what I am going to say..do 5 reps, 4 reps or 3 reps of each. THEN break into the band, 4 way, rolling out on a foam roller or a lacrosse ball. Mark my words, you will be thankful if you actually try this. So, for the WOD you won’t just be ready to go…you will already be going! 

ONE more thing. Down Dawg, Upward Dawg…DONT forget them, ALWAYS DO THEM! 

 

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