Neal Thompson is the founder of CrossFit Boston. He has been involved in coaching people in health and fitness for more than 2 decades. Neal found his passion in physical culture as a young teenager when he first began wrestling in his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The need to get in shape for his first season led Neal to the weight room and his path was set. Neal eventually went on to become a collegiate football player and spent quite a bit of his free time in the gym! While in college Neal attended the USA Weightlifting Club Coach Certification being taught by Leo Totten, a well known Sr. International Coach of Team USA, and thus began his journey as a coach working with some female athletes while at Bucknell on the lifts. Neal works with fitness beginners to hardcore enthusiasts and designs his programs to be scalable to all individuals and their needs. He believes that strength is the foundation of all athleticism. Outside of CrossFit, Neal is a family man that spends his time with his beautiful wife and daughter. Their time is often spent outdoors hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, or skiing.

Before I opened CrossFit Boston I was working as a personal trainer at one Boston’s local gyms. I enjoyed the work but I felt that something was missing. I realized that same thing could be said for my own workouts. Being an athlete since a young age I always had something to work for, I had goals, a purpose. Upon graduating from college I had found it difficult to stay motivated. The structure was missing as was the intensity. I could tell that my clients were feeling the same way. So I began searching. I was first led to bootcamp style workouts. I realized I was on to something here because it created the TEAM atmosphere. Collectively it is much easier to work harder in a group of individuals with common goals. This was true with the bootcamp classes. My clients were achieving good results, had a community, and really enjoyed the workouts. BUT there still was something missing. It was about this time that one of my clients approached me asking if I had heard about CrossFit. I hadn’t. He handed me the “What is Fitness?” article from the CrossFit Journal and I was impressed with what I read. I had to see more so I went to the website and the “Workout of the Day” was “Diane”, reps of 21-15-9 for time of: 225 pound deadlift and handstand push ups. I had never done handstand push ups before nor had combined bodyweight movements with weight lifting as a timed exercise. Let’s just say 20 minutes later I had my head in the trash can and I was hooked! The holy grail of intensity had been bestowed upon me. Two weeks later I was attending my first CrossFit Certification. When I came back to Boston and began implementing CrossFit’s methodology and principles my clients and I saw results in our fitness far surpassing previous efforts. I cannot imagine a program better suited to meet the needs of my clients.

CrossFit Boston was the first CrossFit Affiliate in all of New England and the 21st affiliate to open its doors. Our growth has led us to move or expanded 3 times in the 5 years that our doors have been opened. 5 affiliates have been opened from our membership and we are regularly consulted on to assist CrossFit Affiliates and Athletes across the country.

Neal has over 15 years of experience as both an athlete and coach. His clientele has ranged from professional athletes to soccer moms and all sorts and likes between. Neal received a B.S. in Business Administration from Bucknell University, graduating in 1999. While attending the University, he competed on the football team and was named a tri-Captain his Senior year.


  • CrossFit Level III Underground Strength Coach
  • CrossFit Barbell CrossFit Football
  • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Nutrition
  • CrossFit Running and Endurance Coach
  • CrossFit Science of Exercise
  • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting
  • CrossFit Rowing
  • USA Weightlifting Club Coach



Patrick Larcom is an ambassador for the Sport of Rowing and Fitness. He rowed for the University of Vermont and has been coaching competitive juniors and adults for the last four years. Patrick has combined rowing and fitness by offering rowing workshops and instruction to members and coaches at CrossFit Morristown and CrossFit Boston. In June Patrick graduated from the Institute for Rowing Leadership, a masters level program for rowing coaches. By day Patrick is the Head Coach of Renegade Rowing and a coach at CrossFit Boston. By night Patrick programs the Rowing WODs for the CrossFit Rowing Facebook Page. He’s a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer and US Rowing Level III Certified Coach. Patrick dreams of the day when racing on the water makes it to the CrossFit Games and every athlete has experienced the power and grace of flying across the water.

Michael Gillete


I have been involved in sports from as young as I can remember. I have played baseball, soccer, basketball, football, tennis and golf, and done road races of varying lengths as well as triathlons. I served 6 years in the Navy and moved to Boston without a plan. Using my Navy training, I worked in the semi-conductor industry for a couple of years before realizing the type of work wasn’t for me. Before joining the Navy, I studied Kinesiology at Michigan State University, and have been intrigued ever since. This ultimately let me to a strongman and powerlifting competition where I met Neal. We talked for a while and he convinced me to come in and check out CrossFit Boston. From that day forward, I never looked back.

CrossFit appealed to me because of its ability to improve all areas of fitness. I was able to get stronger and faster at the same time, whereas before it was one or the other. The longer I do CrossFit, the better I feel and healthier I get.

I love taking what I know and love, and helping people realize how to get their first pull-up, handstand pushup, new front squat PR, or simply doing a WOD as prescribed for the first time.


  • CrossFit Level 1 Certification
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach



I’ve been CrossFitting since November 2009. Earlier that year, I met former CrossFit Boston member, Josh Stahl, at a stair climb event and started up at CFB a few months later.

Early on, Helen was one of my favorite WODs. There is something about that triplet of running, pull-ups, and kettle bell swings that really appealed to me. I’m also a big fan of DT and Annie, two WODs that could not be more different! My least favorite WOD is 14.5. That was gross, but I’m already looking forward to tackling it again sometime after someone puts the fire out in my triceps.

When I’m not at the gym, I also get people moving on the dance floor as a DJ. After years of rocking house parties, weddings, and other special events, I was granted a weekly residency at a downtown bar this past fall. I’m an excellent driver and I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career.

Why coach at CFB? The people, obviously! The community here is awesome and I’ve forged some elite friendships on the way to forging semi-elite fitness. I think one strength I have as a trainer is the fact that I was never an athlete growing up and that many of these movements were (and continue to be) pretty foreign. In addition to receiving excellent coaching from the staff at CFB, I also have spent considerable time nerding out, reading as many articles as possible on form and technique of these various movements. I’m excited to be starting up at CFB — see you all in the gym!

Jen Burtt


I am a Certified Personal Trainer through the NGA (National Gym Association) and I am CPR Certified. I graduated from the National Personal Training Institute in October of 2011, which is approved by the Commonwealth of MA Dept. of Secondary Education. In addition to my NGA certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1); I hold a CrossFit Endurance Certification and a CrossFit Mobility Certification. Additionally, I attended a two hundred hour yoga teacher certification for Empowered Yoga in spring of 2013.

Athletics has played a significant role throughout my life. As a 3-sport Varsity athlete, I was able to demonstrate leadership ability as Captain of my high school field hockey, basketball and softball teams. I received the “Contributed Most to Athletics Award” my senior year, 2004. I played ASA softball for 7 consecutive seasons and as Captain my team qualified and competed in National Championship tournaments in Atlanta, GA (1999) and Midland, TX (2002).

I thrive on pushing myself to achieve my personal best, which is what I encourage those around me to do every day. I’ve competed in two CrossFit competitions: the first was in June 2011 in the scaled division, placing 20th out of 59 women; the second was in September, 2012, where I placed 36th out of 100 in the RX women division in The Garage Games at CFNE. I plan to continue competing.

Prior to joining the CrossFit family, I worked in the cosmetology profession for 5 years as a Board Certified Hair Stylist and Nail Technician in the State of MA. In July of 2010, I experienced a life-changing event. I was a passenger in a multi-rollover auto accident in which I sustained life-threatening injuries. Through the grace of God, I survived. My faith and willingness to overcome the mental and physical obstacles that I suffered gave me the drive and determination I needed to recover. After months of rehabilitation and physical therapy, I joined CrossFit. It is through CrossFit that I was able to regain my core and full-body strength as well as my athleticism.

When asked about the accident I always have to pause so that those asking will understand my response. To make a long story short, I am blessed. I was saved by God and by all of the wonderful people who kept me alive in my most delicate hours. I was told so many times by my family, friends and doctor the details surrounding my accident and recovery; yet, I have no actual memory of any of it. All I have are the scars on my body and the ever-lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury. It’s strange because I don’t feel like it even happened to me but the evidence is there. That’s how I know I was blessed, because now I am physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than before. I took every opportunity I had to gain the strength I needed to become who I am today and what I am meant to be. My mother and father could tell stories of my recovery – how from the moment I was awake and aware of my situation that I was driven more than ever to recover, how I listened to my doctors’ advice but listened to my body more.

While in the midst of my recovery I decided I no longer wanted to be a hairstylist. I always had a passion for physical fitness so naturally it seemed to be the best path to follow. I became re-energized about my future and made the decision to become a personal trainer. I have more passion for this career because I feel like my personal experience inspires others to be better, to be healthier and to appreciate life.

After a whirlwind of battles, I’m on the journey to travel again, to pick my spirit back up, to work hard every day and to not worry about tomorrow. I’m seeking positive thoughts, positive people and a place to go that I can call home, the CrossFit community. I love what I do so for all the love that I have I give all that I can and then some.

I am where I am today because I knew that the only way I could take back my life was to focus on improving the quality of my life. After being in a wheelchair, not being able to walk, I made the decision to get up and put my feet on the floor. I made myself walk, run, sprint harder and further. Now I am stronger and wiser than I ever was before. This accident was life changing, because if not for it I would not have had the courage to follow my heart. I can tell you this: it was not easy and it was heart breaking at some points but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

I truly mean what I say. I can honestly say now that not working or training consistently in a CrossFit gym recently has changed the quality of my life. With that being said, I am very happy with the steps I have taken to be where I am right now. I know that getting my feet back into the CrossFit community will help my overall happiness and sanity. It balances my inner strength mentally, soulfully and physically. I do live my life through my heart and soul. I live for the best for all, for everyone, not just myself. It makes me happy to give the joy that I have and feel everyday. I give my entire heart to what I really want. Whether it is a competitive time for Fran, or building strength for a Clean & Jerk or a Power Snatch; whatever it is my heart thrives for, I just give it all I have and I will achieve it. It might not happen tomorrow, next week or maybe next month but it will happen. What you give is what you get. 

That is how I live and that is what I give. I believe within and know that this community will never leave us stranded. It is a strong, powerful, and passionate family.

I never want to be satisfied with my achievements. I never want my family, friends or the CrossFit community to be satisfied either.

I love what I do. Mark my words, you will see.

Alex Black


I am an RD and Licensed Nutritionist specializing in public health and sports nutrition. I have a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida and a Masters in Public Health from Boston University. I’ve been interested in nutrition and fitness from an early age, competing in gymnastics for over seven years before moving on to pole vaulting. In high school I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which only increased my interest in studying nutrition and becoming a dietitian. I competed NCAA division I Track and Field as a pole vaulter at the University of Florida, and while at Florida was part of the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship team.

PV09During graduate school I worked as a clinical dietitian in a hospital, but the clinical setting wasn’t for me. Currently I am the Health Promotion Manager at the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), where I’m essentially a physical activity advocate. In my spare time I run, do CrossFit, try to learn golf, skiing, and any other sport that sounds fun (windsurfing, you’re next), and blog about nutrition and health for CrossFit Boston and Wicked Good Nutrition.



Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist through the Commission on Dietetic Registration

Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist in the state of Massachusetts

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA)



CFB Weightlifting Coach

I was always active in water sports growing up and stayed fairly fit through an active lifestyle of wakeboarding, windsurfing, and scuba diving. When I started my career I spent less time on the water and more time working and gradually got to where I could not run a mile without sucking wind. I started very low calorie diets and running distances to get back into shape and I hated every minute of it. I struggled with frustration because I never really saw results. A friend suggested Crossfit and I instantly fell in love with it. I loved how it challenged me in every way physically and mentally. I had a pull-up bar in my garage after my first month and went to class early and stayed late. Crossfit was life changing for me. I was surrounded by supportive healthy people who truly cared about me, held me to high standards and pushed me to excel at my weaknesses. I believe it has truly helped me outside of the gym as much as inside with the way I treat people and deal with challenges. I live eat and breathe Olympic lifting technique and strength training. I love passing it forward and helping people get that first pull-up, Snatch PR, ring dip, or just doing more work than they ever thought was possible.


  • Crossfit Level 1 Certification
  • Crossfit Running and Endurance Certification
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Certification
  • 2011 Pan American Masters Silver Medalist
  • Olympic Lifting Coaching Seminar with Wilkes Weightlifting
  • Will Kuenzuel Power lifting Seminar
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • BS Environmental Science and Chemistry, UNCW

Kari Tannenbaum

Coming Soon…



I grew up surrounded by music and competitive athletics and was encouraged by my parents to pursue both to whatever end they each provided. I was a starter or “first-teamer” for every soccer, basketball, tennis, baseball and golf team of which I was a member through high school and traveled with Northwestern University’s Club Ultimate A team through college. Despite choosing classical music performance as my career path, fitness and athletic competition have always been a close second (I nearly chose golf over music in my teens). When I finished my masters in 2008, I was faced with both unemployment and no athletic outlet. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that I was introduced to CrossFit by one of my good friends from high school and by that point I was, well….a part-time employee of Club Treadmill. “Bro, check out how many Lat Pull-Downs I can do…ON LEVEL 7!” “Daaaaang Bro. Let’s hit up Subway so we can eat fresh.” Needless to say, I was more than humbled by my first CrossFit workout, a fairly standard baseline workout consisting of running, push-ups, sit-ups and air squats. The whole wheat cold cut I’d eaten to “fuel my body” searched eagerly for a way out after my last 400m run. Fast forward through countless PRs, a substantial diet change and three and a half years and you have the stronger, smarter, fitter, leaner, HAPPIER Tito to which you’ve become accustomed in class each day. I love CrossFit, our community, both at CFB and boxes around the world, and can’t wait to see where we as a fitness community are headed next. I only hope there’s bacon.

30th birthday goals (8/9/15):

405# back squat

315# front squat

300# clean and jerk

225# snatch

Sub 3:30 Fran

Beat Neal, Hitch, Gee, Shatty, Tapply and/or Tully in something.