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21 Jun 2013

Summer is Here!

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Yesterday was officially the first day of summer.  We have had some great weather after living in a mini amazon forest for a little while.  This week was a high volume week and everyone responded very well.  It was great to see so many of you working hard and finishing each WOD with a smile on your face!

Tonight there is the cookout at Mark and Kari’s.  The invite was sent out in the newsletter, if you did not receive the newsletter then shoot an email to [email protected]

Next week we will begin the Throwdown Series, details will be released in our next post on how to sign up and how it will work. Keep up the great work and FIRE IT UP!

What’s On Tap

Here is the next week of programming (bear in mind there may be tweaks along the way based on what we see happening during the week):

Saturday – 062213
Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible…
Row 20 Calories
20 Ball Slams

Rest 3 minutes after 3 rounds

Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible…
20 Box Jumps, 24″/20″
20 Swings, 24kg/16kg

rest 3 minutes after the 3 rounds are complete

Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible…
20 Split squat jumps (10 each leg)
20 Pull-ups

Sunday – 062313
Complete 1 round for time…
Run 2 miles
Row 1600m
Run 1 mile
Row 800m
Run 1/2 mile
Row 400m
Run 1/4 mile

Monday – 062413
Weightlifting – Snatch
Build up to a max 3 rep touch and go snatch

Metcon – Complete as many rounds + reps as possible in 15 minutes of…
7 Power snatch, 135#/95#
21 Glute Ham sit-ups

Tuesday – 062513
Weightlifting – Split Jerk
40%/5, 50%/3, 60%/3, 70%/3(2), 75%/3(3)

Metcon – “Thruster Madness”

With a continuously running clock perform 1 thruster on the first minute, two thrusters on the second minute, three thrusters on the third minute, 4 thrusters on the fourth minute…Continue until you cannot perform the volume with the corresponding minute.

Thruster, 95#/65#

Wednesday – 062613
Test – Max Pull-ups

3 attempts – allow 2/3 minutes rest between attempts

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.  Every minute on the minute perform 5 burpees.

20 Step-ups
20 Push-ups
20 Air squats

Thursday – 062713
Deadlift (45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/max reps then back down)

Metcon – “Erin”
5 rounds for time:
15 DB Split Cleans, 40#
21 Pull-ups

Friday – 062813 NO 6:30PM class Summer Throwdown Series Begins
Bench Press (45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/5, 75%/max reps & then back down)

Metcon – “Tailpipe”
3 Rounds for time with a partner…
250m Row
Static Hold while partner rows

KB Rack hold 2×1.5/1pd
Barbell Front rack hold 95/65
Sandbag hold

19 Jun 2013

Super Foods!

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If you use facebook or twitter – or watch Dr. Oz –  I guarantee you’ve heard one “super food” claim or another. Acai berries, blueberries, pomegranate, garlic, red wine… all have at some point been reported to have magical health benefits above and beyond your average health food.


What is a super food?

Entering “super foods” into a Google search provides a variety of definitions. According to Wikipedia, super foods contain “essential nutrients with proven health benefits and few properties considered negative”, and per the Oxford dictionary they are “food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being”. Basically, they are foods that are nutrient dense and have known health benefits while producing no adverse effects to the consumer. Below I’ll discuss the health claims and research surrounding a few of the more well known”super foods”.

BananasBananas are a good source of fiber, carbohydrates and energy, potassium, and vitamin B6. Potassium is an electrolyte, important for maintaining electrolyte balance and normal heart and muscle function and preventing muscle cramps. Vitamin B6 is involved in a number of reactions, mostly with protein metabolism, and has in some cases been associated with lower risk for certain cancers and improved sleep. One study showed that bananas were just as good as sports drinks for maintaining performance while providing healthier sugars and more vitamins and antioxidants in endurance cyclists. Bananas are a great source of carbs and energy for athletes, and make a great pre or post workout snack.

Garlic  has been claimed to have a variety of health benefits including lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and raising HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of blood clots, and helping the body fight infections. There is some evidence to support these claims but it is limited at best. In addition, there is little evidence supporting the use of garlic as a supplement, and taking garlic supplements or eating large amounts of garlic can interfere with certain heart disease medications, namely blood thinners like aspirin, and increase risk of bleeding. Garlic supplements may also decrease the effectiveness of certain immuno-suppressants and birth control.

KaleKale is a cruciferous green vegetable thought to be high in antioxiants, play a role in lowering cholesterol, help fight cancer, and reduce inflammation. According to a 2009 review, green vegetables like kale contain glucosinolates, which have been associated with a reduction of risk for some cancers. Kale is a healthful, nutrient packed vegetable, low in calories but high in vitamin K which reduce blot clotting, and vitamin A which helps maintain eye health, promotes cell formation and is needed for the normal forming and maintaining of heart, lung, kidney, and other organ tissues. It is also a good source of fiber, calcium, and potassium.

Acai Berries were popularized several years ago by reality TV star Lauren Conrad and is regularly marketed as a weight loss supplement in a variety of forms including juices and tablets.  The acai is a dark purple berry found on acai palms, which are native to South and Central America. Claims about acai are numerous and include weight loss, help fighting heart disease, cancer prevention, improved digestion, and overall health. However, little evidence supports these claims, and in 2009 the Center for Science in the Public Interest actually issued a warning to consumers regarding internet acai berry supplement scams. In 2011, a small pilot study found that the acai berry may help improve choleterol and triglyceride levels in healthy adults, but more studies are needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.

Tart Cherries have been up and coming in the sports nutrition world as a recovery supplement. In fact, when I was in college we used to drink a Tart Cherry Juice with added protein after every weight lifting practice, and currently several collegiate athletic teams use tart cherry juice as a recovery beverage.  Benefits are thought to come from anthocyanins, the pigment responsible for the dark red color of cherries. Research has associated anthocyanins with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and tart cherries have the highest concentration of the anthocyanins known to reduce inflammation. There is evidence that drinking tart cherry juice post workout can reduce inflammation and improve muscle recovery. In addition, one study found that drinking tart cherry concentrate may increase levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps maintain normal sleep rhythms, and improve sleep in healthy adults. It is difficult to find in the average grocery store, although you can find dried tart cherries, which make a great addition to salad or trail mix.

RedWineRed Wine is everyone’s favorite “health food”. OK it’s not really a health food. But ever since the first large scale observational study, the Framingham study, found that people who drank moderately, 1-2 glasses of red wince per day, had a lower risk of heart disease, there has been interest. Specifically, a compound called Resveratrol, found in the skins of grapes, has been isolated as the potential key compound in red wine that protects the heart. Some studies have been promising, but more research is needed to definitively conclude that resveratrol is the protective agent. In addition, the alcohol is also beneficial. Research has shown that moderate drinking of any type of alcohol (including beer and hard liquor) can help raise HDL cholesterol and reduce blood clotting. You can get resveratrol from red grapes, but there has been no study to determine if the health benefits are comparable to drinking red wine.

To Wrap it Up…

Every single food (including the wine, in moderation) mentioned above is good for you and will provide a nutritious addition to any healthful diet. Eating an adequate amount of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables has long been associated with lower cancer risk, although researchers have yet to successfully replicate that effect by supplementing individual nutrients. One study isolating beta carotene actually increased risk of cancer among the supplement group. To make a mid 90′s cartoon reference (or two), diet is much more like Captain Planet than Superman. There is no one “super” food, but the powers of quality protein, healthy fats, and plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables combined will provide numerous health benefits, give you more energy, and make you a better athlete.

What are your thoughts on “super foods”?


What is the Acai Berry and Are There Health Benefits?

Effects of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study.

The impact of garlic on lipid parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

E Med TV: Garlic Drug Interactions

Vegetables, fruits and phytoestrogens in the prevention of diseases.

Cherry Health and Cherry Nutrition

Anthocyanins – More Than Just Nature’s Colors

Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.

The Mayo Clinic: Resveratrol: Good for your heart?

14 Jun 2013


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The Man In The Glass

Peter “Dale” Winbrow Sr


When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day,

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself

And see what that man has to say.


For it isn’t your father or mother or wife

Whose judgment upon you must pass.

The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life

Is the one staring back from the glass.


You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum

And think you’re a wonderful guy.

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.


He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear to the end.

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the man in the glass is your friend.


You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass.

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


At the end of each day, it is up to you.  You  determine if you get better, stay the same, or regressed.  You know the truth.  Did you  give everything you had in this one chapter of your life?  Or, did you cheat yourself out of opportunity?  Don’t be a loser and waste any opportunity for progress.


Tonight we have the Throwdown at 7:30 pm followed by Friday Night Lights (movie night and social time for members).  Everyone from the community is welcome to attend and if you wish to bring a friend along too that is awesome as well.  There will be some adult beverages available but feel free to bring any food or drink that you would like as well.

What’s On Tap

In breaking precedent, here is the upcoming programming for the next 7 days (WARNING, IF YOU DON’T LIKE KNOWING WHAT THE DAILY WOD IS THEN STOP READING THIS NOW):

SWOD – Back Squat – 40%/5,  50%/5,  60%/5,  70%/max reps  and then back down

WOD 2 (Interval Training) – 10x200m sprint (rest 1 minute between efforts)

WOD – Complete reps of 21-15-9 for time
225#/155# Deadlift
Ring Dips

SKILLWOD – 1a. Pull-ups (AHAP) – 6×3
1b. Handstand Push-ups – 6×3

perform mobility work between each superset

BBWOD – EMOM15: 3 touch and go Cleans @ 70%

WOD – 5 rounds for time
Row 250m
20 Burpees

WOD 1 – 5 x 400m (rest 2:00 minutes between sets)

WOD 2 – Complete 3 rounds of:

Box jumps, 24″/20″
OH KB swings, 24kg/16kg

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep.

SWOD – Push Press – 40%/5,  50%/5,  60%/5,  70%/max reps and then back down

WOD – For time
100 Double unders

3 rounds of:
5 Push jerks, 155#/115#
15 Knee to elbows

100 Double unders

SWOD – Front Squat – 40%/5,  50%/5,  60%/5,  70%/max reps and then back down

Run 500m
20 Front Squat, 135#/95#
200m Overhead Weight carry, 45#/25#

WOD – “Baseline” – For time
500m Row
40 Air squats
30 Sit-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups

SKILLWOD – 1a. 2 rope ascents + descents x 10
1b. Pistols 10 x 3 each leg

WOD – Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible
20 Calorie Row
20 Burpees

rest 3 minutes

Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible
20 Box jumps, 30″/24″
20 OH KB Swings, 32kg/24kg

rest 3 minutes

Complete 3 rounds as fast as possible
20 Calories on Air Dyne
20 Overhead walking lunges, 45#/25#

Why am I revealing the next weeks programming?   I want to allow you all to plan your week better so that you can be maximizing your progress.  If you have a deadline at work and you’re not going to make it in on Thursday, I want you to know that we will be hitting the front squat so you can be sure to train the lift on your own and not miss the cycle.  We allow open gym use for strength work, skill work, and to make up the daily programming when you cannot make it in for the class.

See you in the box!

Dedicated to Your Fitness!




07 Jun 2013

Laser Focus

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One Hour.

One hour per day is what the majority of those reading this right now have to devote to his/her training. One hour, that’s it. It’s all about you, baby!

You can forget about that deadline for work that your boss is bugging you about. It’s not the time to think about how the trash at home needs to go out or the that kids (if you are like me and have one or more) need a new outfit for his/her upcoming…you fill in the dots.

One hour, it’s all about you! I don’t care if your goal is to win the CrossFit Games or to fit into the new pair of jeans that you just bought for that hot date you have in a couple of weeks. The focus of being in the present moment is critical.

Don’t tune everyone/everything out. No, you need to listen to the Coach of your class. Every class there may be a helpful tip that can make all the difference in your understanding of a movement. That greater understanding will lead to greater performance which will lead you closer to YOUR goals.

It’s FIRE IT UP FRIDAY BABY! Get after it and I will see you in the gym!

Logo Sign small



03 Jun 2013

Hydration Update

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With the hot weather upon us, you NEED to hydrate.

“Before you even walk into the gym, you should be peeing clear.”

It doesn’t get any simpler than that folks.  DRINK WATER.  You performance and recovery is directly tied to your ability to be sufficiently hydrated.  Our bodies are made up of so much water that if you are even slightly dehydrated you can expect a performance loss of 10% or more.  That may not seem like much, but on a workout you could’ve done 10 rounds on, you just did 9 instead.

Other reasons to hydrate effectively…

1) This will allow you to recover, so you can continue to train hard for days in a row.  Primarily to also avoid doing damage to your body and kidneys from Rhabdo.

2) It will correct issues with your diet.  Often times when you think you are hungry, you are just thirsty and need to drink water.  Learn to know the difference!

3) Will allow you to regulate your body temperature better.

Bed time, hydration timing.

One thing you want to avoid however is drinking too much water right before bed.  Having to wake up constantly all night to goto the bathroom is going to hurt your recovery, so try to get really hydrated maybe within an hour or two of bed, then call it quits till morning.  The next best thing to do in the morning is pop out of bed, fill up a tall class of water and pound it.  Next to a good breakfast it is the best thing you can do.  You cannot expect to get fully hydrated for class after you walked in the door, you wont have enough time to absord all of the water before you need it.

~Coach Serious is serious about drinking water and coffee.


02 Jun 2013

On Motivation

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Sometimes, motivation can be in scarce supply. Consider these questions honestly: are you the kind of athlete who doesn’t spend time working on mobility because you’re content with your squats being half-depth? Or who doesn’t bother working on improving your upper body pulling strength because you’re content to use the same band for assistance every time you do pull ups? You’re settling for mediocrity, and you should treat yourself better.

There can be a large gap between a person’s desire to be better and his/her motivation to do things that will make him/her better. When push comes to shove, even people who sincerely desire to get better at something will often find it easier to do nothing rather than take steps to effect change. The good news is there are a number of things you can do to structure your life in such a way that you do not have to be entirely reliant on internal motivation.

The easiest, and often most effective, thing to do is use people around you for motivation. Pay attention to your environment: who has what you want? Who works really hard? Who do you admire, who do you want to emulate? Find people who are better than you, and start trying to be like them instead of settling for your current level (of fitness or anything else). Just as boats rise with the tide, intentionally surrounding yourself with people who work really hard will lift you up to a higher level.

Building in accountability is also incredibly helpful. Tell people in advance what workouts you are planning to do in the next few days, which movements you need to work on; find a training partner; enlist one of the coaches for support.

Ultimately, it comes down to your community. If you surround yourself with motivated people who work hard, they will help inspire you to put in the work that will make you better. CrossFit is great for this because no one works out alone; you’re surrounded by people of all levels, many of whom are likely better than you at something. We can provide the community, but you have to actively engage with it. Don’t sell yourself short and settle for mediocrity. Strive to make yourself better, even if it’s just at one thing. Don’t use a lack of motivation as an excuse; go out and enlist other people to help you find some!

31 May 2013

What’s On Tap?

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FIRE IT UP BABY!! It’s another Friday and there has been some great excitement in the gyms this week. We finished the cycle of testing lifts and there were a few other tests in there as well. We kicked the week off with some heavy deadlifts on Sunday, Monday we celebrated the life and sacrifice made by Lt. Michael P. Murphy, Tuesday came power snatches, Thursday we tested the broad jump so that we can gauge your speed relative to your body weight and followed it up with “Annie”, and today we finish with the jerk and 2k row.

Whew! It’s a lot, I know. However, everyone has responded very well and I have been impressed with the scores put up by everyone this week. Keep it up! Share your experience this week either here or on the facebook page.

What’s on Tap?

The month of June is going to be spent on improving with work capacity with greater loads. Now that most of you have established new maxes in your lifts we will begin hitting percentages of that max for max reps. What that means is completing as many reps as you can with “great form”. Once the movement becomes bastardized and ceases to look as what it was intended then the set is over.

The intensity (% of max) will continue to increase in a linear progression by 5% each time the movement is programmed.

On the gymnastics side, we will continue to focus on improving on pressing with all planes of movement. That means a healthy dosage of dips, handstand push-ups, and push-ups. It is going to be imperative that you really work on your mobility of the shoulder, pecs, and arms to ensure you can continue to attack the skills and progress.

Our metcons will continue to be constantly varied both in time and modal domains. We will focus on keeping it simple with couplets and triplets while also peppering in some chippers and monostructural WODS too. Basically, classic CrossFit baby!

In addition to our regular programming, starting next weekend (June 9) we are going to do Sunday morning time trials to get some names up on the leaderboard for running. Meet at the Harvard track at 8am to set your new personal best for the following distances and dates:

June 9 – 1 mile TT
June 16 – 3000meter
June 23 – 800m and 400m

Time trial workouts are open to all CFB members-this is your chance to test yourself and set your own personal records to benchmark future workouts and races!

Also, make sure to bring your bike because at 9am after the time trial we’ll hit the road for a social ride. Mileage will range from 25-50 miles and be a nice easy pace (~15mph), a good chance to get used to the saddle and riding the Massachusetts roads. Bring friends, family, anyone with a decent bike who is willing to put in some miles and ride in a group.

So, there is a ton going on right now to get excited about. Look forward to seeing everyone hitting it hard and killing it!


27 May 2013

“Murph” – The Protector

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The following is a recount of the events that occurred on June 28, 2005.

Operation Red Wings

Lt. Murphy led the four-man reconnaissance team on a mission to kill or capture a top Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah, who commanded a group of insurgents known as the “Mountain Tigers, west of Asadabad. The group was dropped off by helicopter in a remote, mountainous area east of Asadabad in Kunar Province, near the Pakistan border.

After an initially successful infiltration, local goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs’ hiding place. Unable to verify any hostile intent from the herders, Murphy asked the team what should be done with them. decided the herders should be set free. Hostile locals, possibly the goat herders they let pass, alerted nearby Taliban forces, who surrounded and attacked the small group.

Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire and knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. He provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element and then returned to his position to continue fighting until he died from his wounds on June 28, 2005.

After Murphy called for help, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with reinforcements was dispatched to rescue the team, but was shot down with an RPG, killing all 16 personnel aboard; eight SEALs and eight service members from the 160th SOAR.

Courtesy of Michael P. Murphy’s wikipedia page.

26 May 2013

Memorial Day “Murph”!

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Like many CrossFit boxes around the country, CFB traditionally does “Murph” on Memorial Day. “Murph” is a Hero WOD named in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in June, 2005.

For time:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

The pull ups, push ups, and air squats can be divided into whatever rep scheme the athlete chooses. Many do 20 rounds of “Cindy”: 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. And no, we’re not going to make DTXers run 8 laps of the 200m loop.

DTX will run TWO classes tomorrow, at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The class size for both is capped at 15; as of 3pm on Sunday, there are still a few spots left in the 10:30 class. If you want to attend either of them, check availability frequently, as people may cancel between now and tomorrow morning. If they’re all full, sleep in a little later and come to Allston in the afternoon instead! CFB Iron & Grit in Allston will run ONE class, at 2:00 p.m., which will NOT be capped. The more, the merrier! Bring food and drink, and we’ll hang out after the WOD! If you’re a DTXer, this is a great chance for cross-box pollination. Heck, why not come do “Murph” at DTX in the morning, then hang out in Allston in the afternoon? Best of both worlds.

Don’t be scared off by the volume! As with everything we do, “Murph” is scalable. You can do recline row Murph, 1/2 Murph (50-100-150 instead of 100-200-300), 1/4 Murph; heck, even a rowing Murph if you can’t run — it all counts, and it’ll all be a blast.

If you are a DTX member and want to go to Allston (either for the WOD or for the after-party) but aren’t sure how to get there, post to comments or send me an email at [email protected], and we’ll make sure you can get there!

I hope to see many of you tomorrow!!

-Coach Monica O.

24 May 2013

Fire It Up Friday – 5/24

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Another week is in the books. The energy in the gyms this week has been great and I have seen some real improvements in people’s skills and fitness. Enjoy it, celebrate it! Now just don’t sit on it. Get back in and keep working on areas that you need to pay more attention to.

Couple of announcements and schedule changes everyone needs to be aware:

MEMORIAL DAY – 133 Federal Street (Downtown) will be open for 11:30AM class only
114 Western Ave (Allston) will be open for a 2pm class

All are welcome at either location, there will not be a cap on class size. In Allston, members are encouraged to bring some grub and beverages and hang out after for as long as they like. We are not permitted to grill on the premises due to fire regulations but if everyone brings a little something along with them…

See you all on the flip side and…



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