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06 Aug 2013

WOD {August 6, 2013}

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  • Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
    Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 25 minutes

    Run 200m
    5 Ground to overhead, 135#/95#
    15 Sit-ups
    Run 400m
    10 Ground to overhead, 135#/95#
    20 Sit-ups
    Run 800m
    15 Ground to overhead, 135#/95#
    25 Sit-ups
    Run 1600m
    20 Ground to overhead, 135#/95#
    30 Sit-ups

    The volume for the run continues to double while the GTO and sit-ups increase by 5.

    Every 100m is = 10 reps

06 Aug 2013


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Note: I had planned on writing an awesome post on creatine for today. But on Tuesday I made the soul crushing discovery that I have misplaced the USB that has all of my research and documents from 2007 to the present, including all of the reports I’ve done on creatine. So, for now, enjoy this post about hydration, and stay tuned for said awesome post on creatine next week, when I either find my USB or have enough time to re-do all my research. 

photo-3-e1372176726929-448x600It’s been hot this summer. While we’re flirting with fall weather this week, the weatherman tells me the heat and humidity will be back by the weekend. Dehydration – when your body does not have enough fluid to function normally – happens when you lose more fluid, usually from sweating, than you are able to take in. You are considered to be in a state of dehydration when you lose 2-3% of your body weight in fluid. At a loss over 3% of your body weight – which for a 150 lb person is 4.5 lbs –  you can begin to see impairment in motor function and mental ability – meaning you will start to feel confused, uncoordinated, and fatigued.

How much water do you need? On average you need about 30 milliliters (ml) of fluid per kilogram (kg) of body weight to maintain hydration. For most people this is around 2 liters, or the commonly suggested “8 glasses a day”. However there are many factors that can increase the amount of fluid you need. These include:

  • Weight – People who weigh more need more water. So while a 120-pound athlete needs just under 7 glasses of water per day, his or her 180 pound coach would need a little over 10 glasses to stay well hydrated.
  • Climate – Dehydration can occur in all types of weather. When it is hot you lose more water to sweat, and in colder weather you may not sweat as much but you will lose more fluid during breathing. Yes, you can lose fluid this way! The average person loses about 500 ml, or 2 cups, of water per day simply breathing. And according to one study, you can lose 42% more water, or almost a cup, when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose.
  • Altitude also increases fluid needs, and experts recommend those exercising at higher altitudes drink 3-4 liters of water per day.


The number you just found is the amount of water you need before accounting for exercise. During exercise, you will need to drink some extra water. For optimal hydration, and give your body time to get rid of any excess fluid, drink 2-3 ml per pound of body weight 4 hours before exercise. Try to drink 8 ounces of water 15 minutes beforehand, and then continue to drink during the workout. A good rule is to drink enough water so that you feel energized and avoid thirst, but don’t drink so much that you feel full. This usually adds up to around 8-16 ounces per 30-60 minutes of exercise. After training you will have lost some fluid and need to replace it. Generally, the recommendation is to weigh yourself before and after practice, and drink 24 ounces of water for every pound you lost. After a few practices you will get an idea of how much you normally lose, and won’t have to do this very often.

Electrolytes also play an important role in hydration. The most common electrolytes are:

Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and maintains the proper function of nervous, muscular, and other systems.

Chloride helps maintain a normal balance of body fluid.

Potassium is responsible for regulating heartbeat and muscle function and is important in neuron function. Extreme high or low potassium levels can cause irregular heartbeat, which can be fatal.

Bicarbonate maintains the right amount of acidity in the blood and bodily fluids. *This is important because muscle cramping is most often related to an accumulation of acid in the muscles.

When you sweat, you lose electrolytes in addition to fluid. Gatorade, and most other recovery drinks, have 100-120 mg of sodium, and the following foods have at least that much, if not more, in a common serving size: salted nuts and seeds, trail mix, deli meat, eggs, most dairy products, canned tuna, humus, olives, pickles, and raw or cooked spinach. Most sports drinks contain about 30-90 mg of potassium, but this electrolyte can be replaced by eating foods such as raw nuts, yogurt, milk (or chocolate milk), fish, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peaches, and melons. Most of the time, unless you are training for an extended period (greater than 90 minutes) or in very hot or humid weather, sports drinks are generally not needed to maintain hydration and electrolyte balance.

But…don’t overdo it! While it is important to maintain fluid balance and avoid dehydration, it is possible to become over hydrated. This happens when you drink significantly more water than is lost with sweat, causing sodium levels to drop. Your body likes things to be in a nice, balanced place, and when things get too high or too low your body will tell you. Low sodium levels usually mimic heat stroke symptoms, and let you know something is up with dizziness, headaches, nausea, irritability, and confusion. Over hydration happens primarily with endurance athletes (marathon runners or cyclists, for example) and as a power athlete your risk for this is not as high. But it is important to keep in mind, especially if you’ve been hydrating well in hot weather and still feel like you might have heat illness. If this happens to you, stop training, and have a sports drink or eat something salty.

05 Aug 2013

WOD {August 5, 2013}

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  • Back Squat (55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/3, 85%/max reps then back down, Weight)
  • Metcon

    1. Complete as many reps as possible in 3 minutes

    rest 6 minutes

    2. 5 rounds for time
    10 Pull-ups
    10 Overhead swings, 32kg/24kg

02 Aug 2013

Fire It Up Friday – August 2

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**Reminder** – CrossFit Boston will be closed this Sunday.  The staff is going to be on site at CrossFit Great Barrington.  All members are welcome to come as well.  Here are the details:

9:00-11:00am: Oly Seminar with Coach Neal

11:00-11:30am: TEAM THROWDOWN between CF Boston and CFGB

11:30am-1:30pm: BBQ and beverages

2:30pm: BSO concert @ Tanglewood
Fire It Up! Fire It Up!

Lot’s of personal records being made this week with “Filthy Fifty” and the strength cycle.  It is great to see the progress being made with a plan and some pure determination.  Your efforts are really paying off.

I know that I can speak for the coaches that you all inspire us to keep training hard ourselves.  Watching everyone push to the limits on the air dyne for tabata intervals on Wednesday was especially motivating.  The “paincycle” can be a really potent conditioning tool and you all stood up to the challenge.  Great work!

When Your Not Training

With all the hard work each of you is putting in, be sure to pay close attention to your recovery and nutrition.  Alex had a great post on Wednesday regarding protein powders.  If you missed it you can read it here.  I am a big believer of using protein shakes immediately post workout to aid in recovery.  I am less sore and can come back and train hard again the next day when I adhere to that plan.  I then follow up with another meal about 1.5 hours after my session to get more fat and protein in my body.

I have been getting more sleep lately too.  This is playing a large role in feeling more refreshed in the mornings and being better prepared to perform in my training sessions.  I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.  On a few occasion I am able to sneak 9+ hours.  That is usually on the nights that it’s my turn to get my daughter to sleep. :-)

If you are not getting at least 7 hours a night, try to block in 15-20 minutes naps during the day.  It will make a difference on how you feel and increase your productivity.  Give a go and let us know how it works for you.

What’s on Tap

Saturday August 3rd
5 rounds for time
Run 400m
30 Box jumps, 24″/20″
30 Wallball shots, 20#/14#

Sunday August 4th

Closed for event at CrossFit Great Barrington

Monday August 5th
Back Squat – 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/3, 85%/max reps and then back down

Complete as many reps as possible in 3 minutes

rest 6 minutes

5 rounds for time
10 Pull-ups
10 Overhead swings, 32kg/24kg

Tuesday August 6th
Complete as many rounds as possible in 25 minutes
Run 200m
5 ground to overhead, 135#/95#
15 sit-ups
Run 400m
10 ground to overhead, 135#/95#
20 sit-ups
Run 800m
15 ground to overhead, 135#/95#
25 sit-ups
Run 1600m
20 ground to overhead, 135#/95#
30 sit-ups

Wednesday August 7th
Bench press – 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/3, 85%/max reps and then back down

Complete 6 rounds for time…
500m row
20 push-ups

Thursday August 8th
Deadlift – 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/3, 85%/max reps and then back down

Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes…
10 Deadlift, 185#/125#
10 Step-ups, 24″/20″

Friday August 9th
Practice muscle ups and double unders for 20 minutes

Complete 7 rounds for time…
200m run
15 Thruster, 115#/75#

Saturday August 10th
Complete every minute on the minute for 15 minutes…
2 snatch @ 75%

Complete 30 reps for time…
135#/95# Snatch

02 Aug 2013

WOD {August 2, 2013}

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  • Weightlifting
  • Split Jerk (15 minutes to work up to a heavy single, Weight)
  • Metcon
  • Metcon (Time)
    Complete 7 rounds for time…

    500m run
    15 toe to bar

01 Aug 2013

WOD {August 1, 2013}

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  • Weightlifting
  • Front Squat (50%/5, 60%/5, 70%/3, 80%/max reps then back down, Weight)
  • Metcon
  • Metcon (Weight)
    Complete every minute on the minute for 15 minutes…

    1 squat clean 185#/125#
    3 over the bar burpees
    Note in comments any missed rounds

Who watched the team competition at the CrossFit Games last weekend?  Did you see the Partner Overhead Squats and the Worm (Log) Lift?  Ever wonder what it would be like to have to execute good form in a functional movement and do it at the same time as someone else?

Well now you can!  Above is a video of the Renegade Rowing team performing their warm up before getting in the boat.  In order to row well everyone in the boat must be moving together and doing the exact same thing at the exact same time.

The Renegade Rowing Membership at CrossFit Boston

As a Renegade Rowing Member at CrossFit Boston you’ll enjoy unlimited group classes like a normal membership.  In addition you’ll also commit to improving your training through Renegade Rowing Classes, One-on-One sessions with Coach Pat, and Individualized Assessment, Goal Setting, and Feedback.  Coach Pat will sit down with you every two months to review your progress, provide feedback, adjust your goals, and give you extra work to keep improving.

Renegade Rowing Classes in September!

One of the best parts of being a Renegade Rowing Member is that everyone will learn to row both in the gym and on the water!

Coach Pat will begin offering regular Renegade Rowing classes the week of September 16th.  Classes will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 6:30pm.  Additional days and times will be added based on demand.  So, if you are interested, sign up now and get Coach Pat to add a class that works for you!  Classes will be held at CrossFit Boston, Community Rowing, the track, and the stadium.  Occasionally we’ll even do a Row-WOD-Row where we row from CRI to CrossFit Boston, do a workout, and then row back to CRI.  Renegades can expect to get teamed up with a training parter for accountability.  Renegades can also expect to see Partner WODs and Team WODs pop up regularly.  It’s going to be Epic!

How do you become a Renegade Rowing Member?

Schedule a free consultation with Coach Pat.  He’ll explain the Renegade Rowing methodology, discuss your goals, and assess your fitness.

30 Jul 2013

Protein Powder Pros and Cons

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Protein powders were once the stuff of pro athletes and ultra meatheads, but have gone mainstream over the past 10 or so years. I first tried it when I was 15. When I told a personal trainer I’d been seeing with my mom that my goal was to get a 6-pack, he recommended I take 2 scoops of muscle milk powder 1-2 times per day. So mom and I dutifully trekked down to GNC and bought the vanilla flavor. And it was AWFUL. I don’t think I took the recommended dose even once, and I certainly never got said 6 pack. I couldn’t get it to dissolve in anything – not water, not milk, not a smoothie. Only now, looking back with educated eyes, do I see how completely ridiculous it was for this bro to tell a 15 year old athlete to take a mostly unregulated supplement! The industry has gotten much better since then in terms of taste and palatability, but it is still mostly unregulated. It’s not all bad, and it can be a good idea for some people. But before you head down to Vitamin Shoppe, weigh the pros and cons first.

On Whey

The most popular form of protein seen in supplements is whey. There are several types, which are:

1. Whey Protein Isolate – this is the most pure form of whey protein and the most available to the body for absorption. It is about 90% protein by weight and tends to be the most expensive kind.

2. Whey Protein Concentrate – this is generally 29% – 89% protein by weight. While more affordable than WPI, it also contains a little more fat and lactose.

3. Hydrolyzed Whey Protein – this type of protein is predigested. While on one hand it is easier to absorb, there is some debate about how effective it is compared to un-hydrolyzed protein, and it’s more expensive.


  1. It can provide a quickly absorbed source of protein. Generally, liquids are digested more quickly than solid foods. So, by “drinking” your protein, your body is absorbing it faster, which is good for rebuilding muscle after a workout. 
  2. It’s convenient. Because it’s much easier to carry around a plastic baggy of powder to mix with water or milk than a tupperware of lean meat and complex carbohydrates (at least I think so).
  3. It’s a source of added calories. This can be a con, too. But if you’re a guy who is always wanting to gain 20 pounds but just can’t eat all the time, a protein supplement with milk can be a quick, not super filling source of additional kcals.


  1. It’s expensive. Depending on how good the stuff is, it cost anywhere from $20 – $30 per pound. 
  2. There can be unpleasant stuff in there. The front label will say 100% whey protein. Cool. Until you read the ingredients label, which can include artificial flavors. xantham gum, soybean or other oils, artificial sweeteners, sugar (hint: anything with “dextrose” on the end is a sugar), and other ingredients that may be healthy or may not but unless you have a PhD in chemistry, who knows!
  3. It’s a source of added calories. I realize this is in the pro section too. Because this is good for some people but not for others. If you are trying to lose weight, you’re better of waiting an extra 20 minutes to get home and make your next meal OR having an apple and some jerky. The food will obviously also have calories, but it’ll make you more full than the protein powder. When you’re trying to lose weight, staving off hunger is a huge help!
  4. It’s not paleo. Because I don’t care how happy and grass fed the cow is, you cannot tell me you object to processed foods but are totally OK with drinking extracted cow’s milk protein with artificial sweetener and other additives in powder form.

My Advice

If you feel protein powder is right for you, I recommend finding a  brand that has a short ingredients list (I think the brand Neal sells only has 3) and take it once per day following a workout. Take enough to equal about 30 grams of protein. Any more than that and your body won’t use it as efficiently. You’re better off taking 30 grams at one time and eating a nice steak and salad an hour or so later than taking 60 grams of protein in one Blender Bottle. Whey protein is generally the best, and I recommend whey protein isolate, as it’s the most available form.

If you don’t want to take protein powder (I personally always felt it was more of a burden), just make sure you’re still recovering. Bring a snack with protein and carbs like jerky and fruit, chocolate milk, or trail mix for after your workout.

30 Jul 2013

CFB Grappling Seminar Friday

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What Do You Do With Your Fitness?

If you have been around CrossFit Boston for some time you have probably noticed that CFBers like to use their fitness for more than just moving the barbell.  We climb, kayak, race, row and everything in between.

When I started CrossFitting at CrossFit Atlanta in 2007 I did so not to be better at CrossFit but to be better at my sport, which at the time was Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Last year CFB introduced a club grappling program which met a couple of times of week to review technique, spar and talk the philosophy/history of combat sport.  The program even produced some competition champions, notably Jo “Big Show” Bernstein who placed 2nd in a local no-gi competition against some sturdy competition.

This fall we will be bringing the grappling program back to CFB.  Days and times are TBD but to kick things off there will be a no-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar (BJJ is traditionally practiced in a heavy jacket) at CFB this Friday August 2nd from 6:30pm until 8ish….  Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of experience level.

Where: CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit 114 Western Ave

Time: 6:30pm

What to wear:  Regular training attire, Relatively tight fitting, Compression Shorts & Rash Guards/ Under Armor Shirts Recommended.

What to Expect:  We will be reviewing a number of basic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu positions, concepts and submissions.

We will also have a special guest attending.   2010 IBJJF Pan American Champion and 2010 American Open Qualifier Jacob Hebeisen.

For more information contact Coach Jason :

[email protected]

29 Jul 2013


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Overhead Squat (45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/max reps then back down)
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
Complete as many rounds in 12 minutes as possible…

3 Snatch 135#/95#
6 Snatch grip deadlift, 135#/95#
18 Wallball shots, 20#/14#

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