23 Jul 2013
Clean sport. Athletes doing accomplishing amazing things with hard work and a solid, healthy diet. Or as baseball fans like to say about Babe Ruth “hitting home runs on beer and hot dogs” . But the past few years I feel like there is just one doping scandal after another. For every athlete like Ray Lewis or Ray Allen using a healthy diet to get the edge, there are athletes using the latest performance enhancing drugs/substances. The drug tests are getting more sophisticated and rules are getting tighter – as a college athlete I remember about taking an average of 3-5 times random drug tests per year. Drug tests are super fun and basically involve waking up at 5 am and walking/scootering to the Stadium so a compliance official could watch me pee in a cup. But hey, at least I wasn’t a pro athlete, so nobody ever showed up on my doorstep unannounced to watch me pee in a cup. But I digress.
This year alone we’ve seen a couple of scandals, including
- Lance Armstrong finally admit to doping, stripped of all 7 Tour de France titles, and sued a LOT
- ARod and several other MLB players suspended for illegal substances in connection with the Biogenesis lab in South Florida, most recently Ryan Braun of Milwaulkee
- Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell – for those who don’t follow Track & Field, these men are the 2nd and 4th fastest 100 m sprinters – tested positive for PEDs less than a month before the world championships
There are a lot of arguments for both sides. Some say we’re fighting an uphill battle and should just allow PEDs in professional sports. Others say technology is getting better and we should keep fighting to preserve clean, drug free sport. But it isn’t necessarily that black and white. Some things I tend to think about in this “gray area”:
1. I am a purist and I think all sport should be clean. I’ve been competing in something since I was 8 years old and never once did I consider taking something illegal. Then again, there isn’t a lot of pressure among gymnasts and women pole vaulters to take PEDs, and I never had the carrot of a multi million dollar contract on the line.
2. Anabolic steroids can cause health problems later on. We know they’re bad. But there are a lot of other “banned substances”, deemed illegal because they may enhance performance just a little too much. Olympic pole vaulter Brad Walker makes a great point about this here.
3. In 1994 the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) essentially deregulated the supplement industry, meaning athletes need to be extremely careful about what they buy. Supplements we think nothing of buying at CVS like fish oil, enzymes, or even cough medicine could contain a banned substance. As you notice, some of these are nutrition supplements, so it’s a Catch-22. As a dietitian I may recommend a fish oil supplement or BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) to reduce the stress competitive athletics puts on your body, but many of these supplements may contain a banned substance.
*If you’re curious, here is a list of banned substances from the WADA.
So, what do you think? Should we pursue clean sport, or legalize PEDs? What about CrossFit? Do you think there are people using PEDs in CrossFit, and if so, do you think they should undergo the same testing and regulation as other sports?
22 Jul 2013
Finally! Finally we have some tolerable weather. The past couple of weeks have been brutally hot and humid as everyone can attest to. I think we all owe Neal a little gratitude for not programming too many long running WOD’s during that time… although, I am expecting more of those to show up here pretty soon. Also, thankfully the last “Wanna Throwdown” event was inside. Friday was the epitome of hot and humid.
Thanks again for the showing on Friday night. I think everyone knew going into Friday that there would be rowing involved for the event. The WOD looked sorta simple on paper, but I must say that after completing it, I thought I was going to pass out. Those short and fast WOD’s always get me. Here are the results from Friday:
- Dave Y.
- Dennis T.
- Chris S.
- Sharon L.
- Katie L.
- Cori B.
- Lukas K
- Kevin W.
- Vadim S.
- Sophie H.
- Isle B.
- Jessie O.
Awesome work everyone. Here are the top 3 overall standings with points going into the last event:
- Dennis T. 7
- Keith C. 8
- Dave Y. 10
- Cori B. 5
- Anli J. 11
- Lukas K 12
- Vadim S. 16
- S. Bob 21
- Sophie H. 7
- Isle B. 9
- Meg A. 17
As you can see there is still some room to make position changes. What’s in store for this Friday? It could be just what you need to take the top spot. Any given… Friday.
19 Jul 2013
Here we go! It’s another Friday AND tonight is the 3rd event of the “Wanna Throwdown” Series. Each week the energy has gotten higher as we get closer to the final event. More on the standings later.
Week in Review
This week’s programming incorporated some strength accessory work and interval training. It was a great shake up from pure CrossFit style training of “For Time” or and “AMRAP” so that time domains and movements that normally may be neglected can get some attention too.
I know that many of you enjoyed the training with odd objects. Though these parts of the workouts were not being measured, they do play a role is developing greater fitness and performance. Keep an open mind with them and have fun.
This has been a really warm summer. I cannot tell you how great it is to have the air conditioning so that we can keep the training intense and not have to worry about if the floor is soaking wet from sweat and humidity. When we were in the old space on Terrace Street, I would have to alter the programming just on account of safety. Audrey has reminded me every time she comes into the gym.
Tonight is the 3rd event of the “Wanna Throwdown” Series. This event will also be the tryouts for Coach Pat’s Renegade Rowing Team. Thus far the standings are shaking out as follows:
Sophie H – 6 points
Isle B – 7 points
Lukas K – 11 points
Vadim S – 13 points
Shirtless Bob – 16 points
Cori B – 2 points
Anli J – 7 points
Keith C – 4 points
Dennis T – 5 points
Sean T – 11 points
Jose R – 13 points
The race for first is tight in all of the divisions. At this point it’s still any person’s race. I expect the competition to get more fierce.
What’s on Tap
Here is this upcoming weeks programming:
1. Heaving snatch balance – 6×3
perform 5 L-sit pull-ups between sets
2. Tabata Push Press, 75/55
rest 1 minute
1. Thruster – 45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/max reps and then back down
2. AMRAP6 – Complete as many reps in 6 minutes – Power Clean, 135/95
3. 10 minutes of midline work
1. Complete every minute on the minute for 30 minutes
5 chest to bar pull-ups
2. 12 minutes of handstand practice
1. 3 Touch and Go Cleans – build up to a 3 rep max
2. Run 3 x 200m – 1 minute cap
1. Push press – 45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/max reps and then back down
2. Complete 3 rounds for time…
20 Front rack barbell lunges, 95/65
15 Unbroken overhead swings, 32kg/24kg
1a. Bent over row – 6×6 (go heavier than 7/16 or as heavy as possible)
1b. Handstand push ups – 6×3 (greatest range of motion possible)
2. Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of this ascending ladder
5 unbroken double unders
2 chest to bar pull-up
10 unbroken double unders
4 chest to bar pull-ups
15 unbroken double unders
6 chest to bar pull-ups
20 unbroken double unders
8 chest to bar pull-ups
40 unbroken double unders
16 chest to bar pull-ups
Rx – double unders must be unbroken
Partner WOD – Complete for time
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24″/20″
While partner 1 performs 10 burpee box jumps, partner 2 begins the 5k row. Once the 10 BBJ’s are finished the partners switch. Partner 2 then performs 10 burpee box jumps and partner 1 continues on the 5k row.
Continue switching back and forth until the 5k is complete for time.
Get after it! Be sure to be hydrating. During these hot days its not a bad idea to weigh yourself before class and again after to see how much weight loss occurred due to sweat. Then consume approximately 16 ounces for every pound lost. This will keep you feeling great and your performance high.
FIRE IT UP BABY!
17 Jul 2013
What is Organic?
“Organic” means the food was produced with agricultural methods that facilitate cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and maintain biodiversity. Organic production does NOT involve pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, or genetic engineering.
There are a few ways organic foods can be labeled. Foods that are made with all organic ingredients can use the USDA Certified Organic Seal And can claim “100% organic” on the front label. Foods made with 95% of organic ingredients – by weight, excluding water and salt – can use the claim “organic” and also display this seal. Foods that are labeled “made with organic ingredients” contain at least 70% organic ingredients. The can be listed on the font label and in the ingredients list but the organic seal cannot be displayed on the product. The below image provides a quick glance at organic labeling.
According to a review conducted in Brazil, some organic foods had slightly better nutritional content and durability, but more studies are needed to determine whether or not they are actually superior. (Sousa AA, Azevedo Ed, Lima EE, Silva AP. Organic foods and human health: a study of controversies. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2012 Jun;31(6):513-7.)
Another review, this time looking at the safety of organic versus conventional foods, found that there is not strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious compared to conventional ones, but they may reduce the exposure to pesticides and antibiotic resistant bacteria. (Smith-Spangler C, et al. Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66)
I also found a review conducted in Germany that focused on organic versus conventional dairy. The study added data from the last three years to an existing pool of data and found that organic dairy products are higher in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and have a higher omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio than those of conventional types. Typically, the Western diet is high in omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fats, but a higher omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is thought to reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease. The authors suspect that these results are due to the differences in the way organic and conventional dairy cows are fed. (Palupi E, Jayanegara A, Ploeger A, Kahl J. Comparison of nutritional quality between conventional and organic dairy products: a meta-analysis. J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Mar 19. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5639. [Epub ahead of print])
A study on the environmental impact of organic farming found that organic systems had lower nutrient losses and energy requirements but had higher nitrous oxide emissions and required more land than conventional farming. Most studies did show less environmental impact from organic farming than conventional farming.(Tuomisto HL, Hodge ID, Riordan P, Macdonald DW. Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research. J Environ Manage. 2012 Sep 1;112C:309-320. [Epub ahead of print)
And finally, there is the now infamous Stanford Study. Published a few weeks ago, this review of studies on conventional versus organic fruits and vegetables found that organic produce wasn’t overall any more nutritious or any less of a health risk than conventional produce, although it did lower the risk of pesticide exposure.(Smith-Spangler C, Brandeau ML, Hunter GE, Bavinger JC, Pearson M, Eschbach PJ, Sundaram V, Liu H, Schirmer P, Stave C, Olkin I, Bravata DM. Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66.)
Basically, what all this tells me is that organic produce has its benefits – like that it is more sustainable, better for the environment, and contains less pesticide residue. But this doesn’t mean eating conventionally grown foods are bad for you. While a conventional apple may have more pesticide residue than an organic one, it is still far below the level that the Environmental Protection Agency deems unsafe.
Focus on eating more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables overall, no matter how they are grown. If you can afford to buy every single item organic, and are inclined to do so, then obviously this is ideal. BUT, if you’re on a tight budget, don’t lose sleep over it. The health benefits of eating more fruits and veggies far outweighs the risks brought on by the amount of pesticide or bacteria on the item. Especially if you wash it well.
Now, if you want to start buying some organic foods, I suggest starting with milk and dairy, since research HAS shown organic dairy to be nutritionally superior. Next, move on to the fruits and vegetables known as the “dirty dozen”, which are basically items with either thin or edible skins that are most likely to transmit any pesticides on to you. These are:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Finally, I’d like to make one last point about organic foods. A lot of people associate the word “organic” with “healthy”, but this is NOT always the case. For example, organic cane sugar is no better for you than normal cane sugar, and a brownie made with organic sugars and nuts will add just as many calories and sugars as a brownie made with conventional items. When you choose an organic item, except for dairy, it should be because you want to choose something produced with a lower environmental impact and less pesticides, not because you are looking for a “healthier” or “more nutritious” food.
What’s your take on organic foods? Must have, or waste of money?
17 Jul 2013
Wow! How do you guys like all this grip work? Yesterday we did some farmers carries, and then on Friday we did some more farmers carries. You must hate what’s going on with your forearms right now. Speaking of last Friday, that was a pretty awesome showing from all of you guys. We had 23 athletes going head-to-head, and everybody put up some great scores.
Here are the top three from last Friday:
- Isle B.
- Sophie H.
- Meg A.
- Cori B.
- Anli J.
… and that’s it for Rx women!
- Lukas K
- Kevin D.
- James P.
- Dennis T.
- Keith C.
- Jason W.
Great job everybody. I don’t have the cumulative scores from Week 1 and 2 yet, but I’ll have them for this Friday’s throwdown. don’t forget that even though you have missed a WOD in the series doesn’t mean that you can’t compete in any of the upcoming WOD’s. It’s a great time, and a great way to go test what you’re really capable of. A competitive atmosphere will bring out your best! So I’d love to see more of you out there. Just remember that it’s not over ’til it’s over. Holla
11 Jul 2013
Are you ready? It’s Friday baby and it’s time to Fire It Up! My wife likes to tease me that my favorite word is “excited” and that I say it all of the time. She may be correct but it is an accurate description of how I feel each and every day coming into the gym. Friday’s even more so.
Don’t forget that tonight there is no 6:30pm class. We will be kicking off round 2 of the Wanna Throwdown series at CFBIG. It is sure to be a fun one start your weekend on the right foot! No spoilers here, you have to be there at 6:30 if you want to get the news.
All of us coaches were discussing yesterday how much fun this week has been. Y’all have been hitting the WODS with some extra intensity and its been great coaching such full classes. Keep up the hard work it will continue to pay off dividends.
This next week is not going to get easier. Be sure to be hitting your mobility as hard as you are your training. You can watch some great tips from the Supple Leopard himself to prep for next week here.
What’s on Tap
Jerk – work up to 80%/2(3)
Complete reps of 20-15-10-5 for time…
Sumo deadlift high pull, 135#/95#
Hand release push ups
Complete 5 rounds of the following AMRAP 5
Rest 3 minutes between rounds
Complete 5 rounds for time…
5 Deadlift, 275#/185#
25 AbMat sit-ups
1a. Good mornings – 4×6 (AHAP)
1b. Hanging leg raises – 4xMax
Complete every minute on the minute for 20 minutes…
2 clean + 1 jerk @ 75%
Perform 3 rounds for max reps of each round
1:00 Box Jumps, 24″/20″
1:00 Row (Cal)
1:00 Double unders
Bench press – 50%/5, 60%/3, 70%/3, 80%/max reps and then back down
1a. Bent over row – 4×6 (AHAP)
1b. Dips – 4×6 (AHAP)
2. 2 x 500m weight carry 45#/25#
Rest 10 minutes
Complete for time…
75 Double Unders
45 Calories on the air dyne
Complete every minute on the minute for 15 minutes…
2 snatch @ 72%
2 rounds for time…
200m Overhead walking lunges 45#/25#
150′ hand over hand weight pull
Back squat – 50%/5, 60%/3, 70%/3, 80%/max reps and then back down
3 rounds, each for time…
50 Wallball shots, 20#/14#
10 Jul 2013
Up until this year I was not the biggest fan of kale. But since it started showing up in my CSA every week, I figured out what to do with it. Here are 3 of my favorite kale recipes. How do you prepare/cook kale?
1. Kale with dried apples
1 Bunch fresh, raw kale
1 TB olive oil
1/3 cup 100% pineapple juice
1/2 cup dried apple rings, chopped
Wash and chop kale, remove and discard the large stem from the center. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute kale until wilted. Add pineapple juice and dried apples. Simmer 2-5 minutes.
Kale is a nutrient rich green vegetable, and makes a great side dish for your chicken, beef, or fish. Raw kale can be on the more bitter side (depending on whether or not you’re a bitter taster), which is why it’s often added to smoothies and juices, although some enjoy it as part of a salad. This recipe adds a little sweetness and makes 2-3 servings.
2. Kale and fruit smoothie
This smoothie will be bright green and delicious.
1 cup raw kale
3/4 cup milk (I used 1% organic cow’s milk)
16 chunks Trader Joe’s frozen mango
Blend milk and kale first until completely liquid. Add frozen mango and mix until blended.
3. Collard greens style
I originally made this recipe using collards, but since then I’ve used Trader Joe’s Southern Greens, beet leaves, and kale and it’s turned out great every time.
1 large bunch of raw greens
4 slices uncured bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Remove the leafy part of the greens from the hard stem in the center, and shred into 2 inch pieces. Cook the bacon over medium heat until done, remove and set aside. Discard or set aside all but 1 TB of bacon grease. Cook onion and garlic in bacon fat until onions are translucent. Add greens and stir in until cooked down. Then add spices, broth, and bacon chopped into bite size pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add cider vinegar and simmer another 3-5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
09 Jul 2013
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. Long weekends usually bring a lot of travel along with plenty of rest and relaxation. Look at these breaks from the gym as a form of recovery, whether it be physical or mental or both. I have been seeing a lot you coming in and giving it your all 4,5 and 6 days a week. Allowing your body to recover from this stress is paramount, so don’t feel bad about missing a few days of working out. After all, it is long-term fitness we are looking for right?
With that said, this Friday is the return of the “Wanna Throwd0wn” throwdown. We had a great showing for the first event, and had a lot of people hit some awesome PR’s on their cleans… which is especially awesome after that first brutal 6 min WOD. This week’s WOD won’t see any PR’s, but I can definitely promise you that is going to be spicy!
Last week, we didn’t ask participants to denote whether they were competing in the scaled or Rx’d division, but this week you will need to make that decision. That’s not to say that you can’t compete with those that are going prescribed, but from here on out everyone will be working with different weights.
The top 3 place standings after the first event are as follows: Men’s 1) Dave Young 2) Kieth Craig 3) Nick Ditto Women’s 1) Cori Bernardi 2) Alex Black 3) Hannah Woodstock. Congratulations everyone! Just remember that there are 3 more events, so keep up the hard work. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at this Friday’s event. If you weren’t able to make the first throwdown, don’t fret. You are still able to compete this Friday and the following Fridays as well. If you have some free time, please come help cheer on everyone competing this Friday and enjoy some tasty beverages afterwards.
05 Jul 2013
Fire It Up Baby! The grill that is.
The celebration of this great country’s independence has come and gone. Yesterday was a blast with more than 50 members, friends, and guests honoring departed CrossFit Boston member Glen Doherty. Many stayed for quite a few hours afterwards to partake in some good food and drink and even better conversations. I really enjoy spending time with members in this environment as it often one of the few times where no one is rushing to work or other responsibilities. If you couldn’t make it this time, I hope you block out time for our next one!
CrossFit Hope for Cures
Tomorrow we will be running multiple heats for the CrossFit Hope for Cures fundraiser. Classes will begin at 9am and finish at noon. Show up at that top of the hour you wish to attend and Coach G2 will assign you to a heat. There will be a computer designated for any contributions members and guest may want to make on behalf of CrossFit Boston! We appreciate everyone’s efforts in working to make a difference.
What’s on Tap
This upcoming Friday, July 12, is going to be the second WOD of our “Wanna Throwdown” series. It is going to be a good one so look for the link to register for your heat in Monday’s post.
We are continuing on our strength cycle with max reps, pushing higher percentages this month. It has been great seeing members getting after those max rep sets and raising the bar. Keep it up.
Conditioning will continue to be constantly varied with a slight bias towards some additional aerobic endurance work. We will also be posting some homework to be completed outside of class time if and when you have the chance. The gymnastic focus this month will be on pulling movements and you will see it emphasized in skill work as well as in the warm-ups. Try to arrive 5-10 minutes before class to mobilize so you don’t miss out on all of the good stuff.
Here is the upcoming week of programming:
Sunday July 7
Strength: Overhead Squat – 40%/5, 50%/5, 60%/3, 70%/max reps then go back down
Metcon: 5 Rounds for time
15 Overhead squats, 155#/115#
15 Knee to elbows
Monday July 8
Metcon: Complete each round for time
rest 3 minutes
Row 1k @ 2k pace -:05
rest 3 minutes
Row 500m @ 2k pace -:10
Strength Accessory: 1a. Weighted strict pull-ups 6×3 (AHAP)
1b. Glute ham raises 3×15
Tuesday July 9
Strength: Deadlift – 50%/5, 60%/3, 70%/3, 80%/max reps and then back down
Metcon: Complete reps of 21-15-9 for time of…
Deadlift @ 40%
Wednesday July 10
Strength: Front squat – 45%/5, 55%/5, 65%/3, 75%/max reps and then back down
Metcon: “Fran” – Reps of 21-15-9 for time of…
Thursday July 11
Metcon: Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 25 minutes…
20 Swings, 24kg/16kg
15 Ball Slams
10 Glute ham sit-ups
Metcon: Complete 5 rounds
Friday July 12
Strength: Jerk – 45%/3, 55%/3, 65%/3, 75%/3, 80%/2(3)
Metcon: Complete reps of 20-15-10-5 for time…
Sumo deadlift high pull, 135#/95#
Hand release push-ups
**6:30PM – Throwdown WOD #2**
04 Jul 2013
Glen Anthony Doherty
July 10, 1970 – September 12, 2012
Glen Doherty was one of four Americans killed in a terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. Glen died in the attack against the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 12th, 2012. Although the attack began on September 11th, Glen fought hard throughout the night and saved many before succumbing to a mortar attack in the early hours of September 12th. Glen died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved. He is an American Hero to those who did not know him; but for those who did he is a best friend who leaves behind a giant hole in our hearts.
~courtesy of The Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation
I had the pleasure of knowing Glen. I was lucky to call him my friend. Glen was a member here at CrossFit Boston back in the days when we were in Roxbury Crossing. See the smile in that picture? That was the same smile Glen brought with him every day to the gym. I can still recall one day when he came in and we had just finished “Nancy” with a mid day class. Glen was grinning his grin and made a comment that he was tired. I poked at him that the WOD wasn’t really all that bad. He replied, very casually, it was a long night and explained that he had just returned from saving some “important people” that were in trouble in foreign lands.
That was Glen. He performed a job that very few could perform and he was one of the best. He didn’t seek glory or fame. It was just what he believed in. As his time with us in Boston was coming to an end I remember him stopping into my office and presenting me with a present. It was a framed quote from Teddy Roosevelt. It read:
“It’s not the critic who counts. It’s not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled. Credit belongs to the man who really was in the arena, his face marred by dust, sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs to come short and short again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. It is the man who actually strives to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasm and knows the great devotion, who spends himself on a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievement. And, who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and cruel souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
I still hold dear this quote as it has guided me in challenging times. I like to think that Glen knew it would be a staple in my years to come.
Today we honor Glen with the workout that CrossFit has produced in his name. I have completed it once previously, with less than stellar results. I am looking forward to tomorrow and putting it all on the line once again for Glen. For what he believed in. For my friend.
4th of July
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4.
~courtesy of wikipedia