02 Oct / 2015


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We are into our second day now of what, thus far, has been a relatively smooth transition. Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding as we continue to get the gym into shape. The energy has been awesome and as coaches we have been super excited to meet new faces and see old ones as well.

As a reminder, be sure to reserve your classes and give as much notice as possible if you are not going to be able to make your appointment. By reserving your spots, you allow us as coaches to be better prepared upon your arrival and get the most out of your training time each day.

Finally, there are no classes this upcoming Sunday due to the staff being on the boat for our 10th Anniversary Party.


The primary focus for this current training cycle is to improve the back squat strength as well as improving your aerobic base. The secondary focus is improving the clean and as well as gymnastic strength & endurance of the push-up.

Each week there will be two squat days programmed. The first squat day is going to be ascending intensity each week with decreasing volume. Meaning Week 1, Day 1 looks like 5×5 at 70-75% of your 1RM. It will peak at 10×2 @ 85-90% at the end of the month.

The second day of squats will be building your 20RM. We began on Thursday with 60%. Each week we will build up (as you are able) to as high as 80% of your 1RM for 20 reps.

The programming will have at least one day dedicated to pure aerobic conditioning with either longer rowing pieces or circuits that are to be completed a steady state.

Here is the next week of CrossFit Programming:

Saturday 100315 – PartnerWOD
Each partner completes the following circuit 2 times:
3 rounds of
12 Power Snatch, 115/75
12 Over the Bar Burpees

While one partner is working on the first round of the circuit, the other is rowing for max distance. Partners must switch after three rounds. When both partners have completed 6 rounds of 12 Power Snatch/12 Over the Bar Burpees, the WOD is complete. The score is total distance rowed.


Monday 100515
Strength: Back Squat – warm up sets 30%/5, 40%/5, 50%/5, 60%/5,
working sets 70-75%/5(5)

Work: EMOM12
5 Box Jumps, 30″
5 Pull-ups

Pull-ups may be scaled up to 8 reps each round

Tuesday 100615
Skill: Power Cleans – warm up sets – 30%/2, 40%/2, 50%/2, 60%/2
working sets – 70-80%/2(6)

Work: Aerobic
Complete 2 rounds of the circuit for reps
3 minutes of double unders
3 minutes on rower (calories)
3 minutes of swings
3 minutes of ball slams

Wednesday 100715
Strength: Back Squat – 35%/4-8 reps
55%/4-8 reps
65%/20 reps

Work: EMOM16
Odd: 10-15 Push-ups (choose the number that is appropriate for you)
Even: 10 Toe 2 Bar

Thursday 100815
Strength: Deadlift – warm up sets – 40%/10, 50%/8, 60%/3
working sets – 70-80%/3(6)

Test – 500m row

then row 12 minutes for distance

Friday 100915
Skill: EMOM 10
1 Clean+2 Front squats+1 Jerk

Strength: Push Press – Build to a 2RM for the day

Work: AMRAP 7
15 unbroken wallball shots, 20/14
15 Burpees


Monday & Tuesday
Power Clean – 1RM

EMOM 15 – 1 Power Clean + 1 Push Press + 1 Power Jerk (ascend to AHAP)

200 Midline reps – (AbMAT Sit ups are not permitted)

Wednesday & Thursday
Back Squat – 35% 4-8 reps
55% 4-8 reps
65% 20 reps

RDL’s – 6×5 build to a heavy 5 and then perform 6 sets at that weight

200 Midline reps – 50 must be hip extensions & NO AbMAT sit-ups

Friday & Saturday
Push Press – 1 RM,
then 92.5%/1(3 sets),
then 65%/10(4)

Accumulate: 100 Push-ups
50 Strict Pull-ups


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30 Sep / 2015

Mason Jar Salads: Part 2

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A few months ago I wrote a post about mason jar salads, an easy to transport and quick to assemble lunch solution for the week. I’ve been taking a BBQ chicken mason jar salad to work the past few weeks, and thought maybe since it was so delicious I should share the recipe…

BBQ Chicken Mason Jar Salad


1 lb Chicken breast

~1/3 Cup of The Shed Spice It Up! Mustard BBQ sauce

1 pkg Cherry tomatoes

1 Jar banana peppers (optional)

1 Package of greens (spinach, romaine, etc)

Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Balsamic vinaigrette


Pour the BBQ sauce in a bowl. Dip chicken breast in BBQ sauce and coat, then place on a grill or grill pan (we use a cast iron one) and cook until done. Let cool and chop into bite sized pieces.

To assemble the jars: Place the chicken at the bottom, followed by 5-6 cherry tomatoes. Add lettuce until the jar is tightly packed.

I took the banana peppers, salad dressing, and cheese to work and left them in the fridge. I then assembled the salad by dumping the jar into a bowl, adding 4-5 banana pepper pieces, about a teaspoon of cheese, and a TB of vinaigrette. This recipe goes well with a side of unsweetened apple sauce.

Have a favorite, convenient lunch recipe? Share!

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25 Sep / 2015

FIRE IT UP! 092515

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Fire It Up! Fire It Up! This is the last week of September and its been a great month of training. There are many changes coming with October upon us. This weekend we will begin changing the layout of the gym to accommodate the influx of new members and equipment. The platforms are going to be moved over where the dumbbells are presently kept and the space where they used to be will be repurposed for group and private training. There will continue to be tweaks made to find the most optimal layout. Be patient with us as we begin the transition.

In addition to the physical changes, we are changing the class schedule as well. At first glance, this may appear to be a drastically different schedule but it really is only some minor tweaks. You will see some additional classes that we have not offered in the past or not as frequently: Barbell, Weightlifting and Throwdown.


CFB October Schedule copy

Here is a description of each class:

CrossFit – This one is easy. This class is pure GPP (General Physical Preparedness). It’s a continuum of what we have always done: constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.

Barbell – The Barbell class will focus on the Strength work with the barbell and strict gymnastic strength. Some sessions will include conditioning but not of the WOD variety.

Weightlifting – This class is devoted to improving the classic olympic weightlifting movements: Snatch and Clean & Jerk. One of the lifts will be the focal point each day with accessory work to improve said lift. On Saturdays the open platform will be available to lift Technical Maxes for the day. When in competition season, there will be a more intense focus available for those participating.

Throwdown – The Throwdown class is intended to promote mini competition. There will be a WOD prescribed with parameters and equipment needed. There will not be any instruction by a coach and it will be self led by the group. The prerequisite is that you must know how to scale the work to your abilities.

Beginning October 1, all members must reserve your spot in classes for ALL classes. We will be capping classes at 12 and you don’t want to arrive and be told you will need to wait for the next session.


Saturday 092615
12 Push Press, 135/95
12 CTB Pull-ups
18 Push Press, 135/95
18 CTB Pull-ups
24 Push Press, 135/95
24 CTB Pull-ups
30 Push Press, 135/95
30 CTB Pull-ups
36 Push Press, 135/95
36 CTB Pull-ups
42 Push Press, 135/95
42 CTB Pull-ups

Set up in groups of 3. Share the load evenly and get as far as you can in the 20 minutes.

Sunday 092715
Strength: Sumo Deadlift – 50%/8, 60%/5, 70%/3, 80%/3(3 sets)

Work: EMOM 12
5 Burpees
1 Heavy Squat Clean

Monday 092815
Run 1 lap

2 Rounds of
5 Pull-ups
10 Push ups
15 Squats

Run 2 laps

4 Rounds of
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

Run 3 laps

6 Rounds of
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats


Tuesday 092915
Strength: Thruster 6×2
Take the weight from the rack and ascend to AHAP.

Work: 3 rounds for time
20 Push-ups
10 Power Cleans, 155/105

Wednesday 093015
Warm-up: Row 15 minutes

then without any rest complete AMRAP 15
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 Overhead Lunges
15 Russian Swings

Thursday 100115
Strength: Back Squat: 20 Rep Back Squat
30% of 1RM for 4-8 reps
50% of 1RM for 4-8 reps

rest 3-4 minutes

60% of 1RM for 20 reps

Work: 5 rounds for time
Run 200m
20 Knee to elbows

Friday 100215
Skill: Hang Cleans – 40%/2, 50%/2, 60%/2, 70-75%/2(6 sets)

Work: Complete reps of 21-15-9 for time
Deadlift, 225/155
AbMat Sit-ups


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23 Sep / 2015

The Pope and Oreos

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As I’m sure anyone who has a television or a smart phone knows, the Pope is in the United States as of yesterday. And as anyone who has looked up from their smart phone or television knows, today is the first day of fall and about the third week since the re-emergence of all the pumpkin spiced things for the season. Given this confluence, I thought the best use for today’s blog was to share this amusing Onion article on Pope Francis.

“Pope Francis Reverses Position On Capitalism After Seeing Wide Variety Of American Oreos”

According to the “news” article, the longtime anti-capitalist pontiff has reexamined his philosophies after encountering the astonishing variety of Oreo cookies available in a D.C. supermarket. According to Pope Francis,

“Only a truly exceptional and powerful economic system would be capable of producing so many limited-edition and holiday-themed flavors of a single cookie brand, such as these extraordinary Key Lime Pie Oreos and Candy Corn Oreos. This is not a force of global impoverishment at all, but one of endless enrichment.”

This change of heart was short lived, however. It appears multiple varieties of Slim Jims were too much for him.

At press time, the pontiff had reportedly withdrawn his acceptance of capitalism, calling any system that would unleash a Roadhouse Chili Monster Slim Jim on the public “an unholy abomination.”

You can read the full article in The Onion. There are a few more gems in there.

All Joking Aside…

I would guess that given what he’s said in the past, the Pope would most likely double down on his views of capitalism upon witness the havoc our food system – and the prioritization of profits over health – has wreaked on our waistlines and physical health. I don’t aim to make a political statement here, and I’m certainly not saying capitalism is always, or even most of the time, a bad thing (it did give us Uber, as well as a great deal of the innovation we’ve enjoyed over the course of your nation’s history), but perhaps we should reflect on how we approach it when it comes to food and medicine (see: Pharma Bro).


18 Sep / 2015


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Fire It Up Baby! It’s another Friday and this was a solid week of training with two days of testing in the Front Squat and Fight Gone Bad. My hats off to all the new PR’s! There’s nothing as satisfying in seeing all of the hard work pay off. Keep it up, you all motivate me and the rest of the staff to keep improving.


Many of you have stated that you are coming but have yet to purchase your ticket. Be sure to get your tickets before the price goes up on Wednesday 9/23. Tickets will not be available after 9/25. I hope to see you there.


The weekly programming is back to Fridays. Hey, we try something and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Sunday 092015
Strength: Deadlift – 6 x 3

Novice & Intermediate – build up to a weight that is a hard 3 and perform 6 sets at that weight
Advanced – Ascend to AHAP

Work: HERWOD “Bradley”
Perform 10 rounds for time
Sprint 100m
10 Pull-ups
Sprint 100m
10 Burpees
REST 30 seconds

Monday 092115
Strength: EMOM 12
1 Clean + 2 Front Squats + 1 Jerk (AHAP)

Work: 3 rounds for time
Row 1000m
25 Ring Dips

Tuesday 092215
TEST: 1 Lap

Work: AMRAP12
1o Pull-ups
20 Push-ups
30 Squats

Wednesday 092315
A. Half-kneeling 1 Arm DB Press – 4×8
B. 1 Arm DB Row – 4×8

Complete 30 reps of the following circuit
Power Clean + Front Squat + Push Press + Back Squat + Push Press

Advanced – 135/95
Intermediate – 95/65
Novice – 75/55

Thursday 092415
Skill/Strength: Pistol Progressions then perform 70 Pistols (35 each leg)

A. Bench Press – 5×3* build up to a heavy 3 then perform 5 sets of 3 at that weight
B. Strict Pull-ups – 3 x max reps (performed after BP sets 1, 3, and 5)

*Advanced – Build up to a heavy three and then perform 3 sets of 3 at that weight

Work: AMRAP6
Max Burpees

Friday 092515
Strength: EMOM12
1 Snatch grip Deadlift + 2 Hang Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat

Work: “Nancy”
Complete 5 rounds for time
Run 400m
15 Overhead squats, 95/65

Saturday 092615
TEAMWOD (3 people)
12 Push Press, 135/95
12 CTB Pull-ups
18 Push Press, 135/95
18 CTB Pull-ups
24 Push Press, 135/95
24 CTB Pull-ups
30 Push Press, 135/95
30 CTB Pull-ups
36 Push Press, 135/95
36 CTB Pull-ups

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Food Label History

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating food labels following the passage of the Nutrition Education and Labeling Act in 1990. The first set of rules came out late in 1993 and became effective in 1994. This is the reason all of the food labels on foods look mostly the same. Little changes were made to the regulations, save for the addition of trans fats in 2006.

The original goal of the labeling standard was to” reduce consumer confusion about labels, help consumers make better food choices and encourage innovation by giving manufacturers an incentive to improve the nutrition profiles of foods” (Fact Sheet on New Proposed Nutrition Facts Label).

But now, the FDA has released two proposals for change in order to update the label based on new nutrition and public health findings, and to update serving sizes to more accurately reflect what consumers actually eat.

Key Changes You’ll Notice 

Adding “Added Sugars”– the new label would provide a place to declare added sugars, so consumers of juice, dried fruit, or other similar products would have a clear understanding of what came from the fruit itself, and what was added. For example, on a container of dried cranberries you will now see how much sugar comes fro, the cranberries, and how much comes from the added apple juice or other sugar source.

Ditching “Calories from Fat”– when the food label was first developed in the early 1990’s, the United States was on its big low fat kick. Now that we know total fat is a less important to overall health than diet pattern, it doesn’t make sense to keep it on the label. Research also indicates that removing this information wouldn’t change a consumer’s ability to decide if the food is healthful or not.

New Nutrients  – some nutrients – like calcium – must be stated on the label because they are “nutrients of public health significance”. These are nutrients that have have implications for health but for which most people do not consume enough. Calcium (because of its relationship to bone health) and iron (because low intake is related to iron deficiency anemia) were already required, and now potassium and vitamin D have been added. Vitamin D has an important relationship to bone health and general health, and potassium plays a role in lowering blood pressure. Survey research has indicated that some groups do not get enough of both nutrients.

Serving Size

In addition to changes in what goes on the label, you might also notice that some of the food you’re eating look like they’re higher in calories. This is due to a change in the “serving size” listed usually at the top of the label, or the amount of food for which the calorie information was calculated. The FDA proposes increasing some of these serving sizes to better reflect what people actually eat.

Study after study has shown that Americans are notoriously bad at estimating how much we’re eating, usually tending to underestimate. How many people, while tracking their calories, have eaten a food without measuring it, gone to log it, and figured you probably ate the serving size on the bag or jar? It’s pretty hard, even for those of us basically trained in it, to eyeball the portion size of a food.

A great example of this is ice cream. The listed serving size of ice cream is 1/2 cup. That’s about one rounded scoop, but most people eat 2-3 times that much, but may think they’re not because of the serving size. In the grocery store, a “serving” that is 200-290 calories doesn’t seem that scary. Yeah, it’s added calories, but 200 feels snack sized. No big deal. But if people saw a label saying what they were really eating – 400-600 calories – they might feel differently.

The Controversy 

There tends to be controversy surrounding two of the label proposals: added sugar and serving size.

Added sugar

Some argue that this information is singling out sugar as a “bad” nutrient the way fat mistakenly was in the 1990’s. Others argue that this will do nothing to alleviate confusion among consumers – especially if marketers use it to make juice or dried fruit look healthier than it is. This tweet from the Welch’s dietitian is a great example.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 2.11.49 PM

Serving Size

Those for increasing the serving size make similar arguments to the ones I made above – that people are eating more than they think, and the serving sizes kept low are allowing people to falsely think their calorie intake is lower than it really is. And we all know when it comes to weight loss, ultimately caloric intake is important information. Those against it fear that increasing the listed serving size will increase how much people eat, as many consumers likely see the serving sizes as recommendations rather than values to help them understand the calorie information in context.

I honestly am not sure how consumers will respond to either of these. I personally will find the added sugar information interesting, especially on items like “fruit on the bottom” yogurt, where it will allow me to see what is naturally occurring dairy and fruit sugar and what is added in processing. The serving size information won’t have much impact, as I already pay close attention to it and multiply or divide accordingly (as do most type 1 or insulin dependent diabetics).

What do you guys think of the new labels? Good, bad, or neutral for overall public health?

I first published this post last fall. With so many new faces, I think it is a great one to revisit. The breathing techniques outlined below will carry over outside of the gym. I promise you!


PS – Don’t forget to check in on our FB page when you come to class. #givewater
PPS – Sign up for this weekends Body Composition Testing here.
PPPS – Get your 10th Anniversary Tickets HERE!

It is easy to get caught up in the needs and wants of others. Your boss, family, clients, friends its easy to feel like you are being pulled in a thousand directions at one time. Its surprising that by the end of each day we are not all wanting to be hermits with no social engagement whatsoever. Pure isolation.

How do you manage this? When everything seems to be coming down to you and beginning to overwhelm you, what do you do? Some just stuff it deep down inside themselves until eventually one day it explodes! Not the best option, trust me. Others break down and sob. Not my idea of a good time either.

A practice that I have been working with and have challenged my staff to begin trying is called “Sacred Silence”. This is another drill lesson that Coach Divine uses in the Unbeatable Mind Academy. The beauty of this drill is in its simplicity and it doesn’t require a long commitment. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to practice it. Below I have written out the basic premise of Sacred Silence. Give it a go and post to comments your thoughts.

Sacred Silence

The task is to find a comfortable chair where you will be uninterrupted for 3 minutes. Not a terribly long time at all. Be sure to sit upright. Now close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Employ the box breathing technique: breathe in for 3-5 counts, hold for 3-5 counts, exhale for 3-5 counts, remain deflated for 3-5 counts. As you are breathing begin paying attention to your mind in action: what you hear, smell, and feel. If you a car driving by just repeat to yourself in your head “hearing, hearing”. If you feel something, “feeling, feeling.” If your mind strays, that’s ok. Note it and come back to your senses. This will allow you to help settle down, relax and unwind after a stressful meeting, day, etc.

tranquil water




Day in and day out it is very easy to get caught up in the activities necessary to just get through the day. Sometimes it seems we are operating on automation. Have you ever finished your day and sat for a moment and ask what did I really accomplish?

12 Sep / 2015

“Glen” Memorial WOD

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photo courtesy

photo courtesy

Today marks the 3rd year since losing my friend Glen Doherty when he was killed in the terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Glen was a remarkable person in that he always had a positive attitude and he made those around him better. He was the consummate teammate.

Today we honor Glen with the workout put together by CrossFit HQ back on October 12, 2012. As you push through to finish, remember Glen.

For time:
135 pound Clean and jerk, 30 reps
Run 1 mile
15 foot Rope climb, 10 ascents
Run 1 mile
100 Burpees

photo courtesy astrology

photo courtesy astrology

11 Sep / 2015


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photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Today marks the 14th anniversary of 9-11. There are many ways you can remember the tragedy. I choose to remember how America heroically responded. How many dropped everything to go assist in searching for survivors, my wife included; and how many answered the call of duty and serve this wonderful country.

Never Forget.

08 Sep / 2015

Food Wars: Europe Vs. America

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When I returned from a trip to Germany and Italy a few years ago, I wrote a post on some of the food and lifestyle behaviors Europeans do that Americans probably should. After returning from France, I figured I’d share my old findings and add a few.

Many of you may be familiar with the“French paradox”, by which the French (and other Europeans) eat diets higher in saturated fat and grains, yet are healthier and leaner than Americans. Look at this infographic of obesity prevalence around the world to highlight that point.



This is an old graphic (I think Mexico may be beating us now) but most of it still stands. So, what’s the big difference? I didn’t 100% know when I returned from Italy and Germany, but I think I have a better idea now, and it has a lot to do with how food is viewed. In Europe, it’s something delicious to be enjoyed. In America, it’s a billion plus dollar industry. No one in France would think their city calling on companies to serve reasonable portions of soda constitutes a restriction on their Freedom. Nor would a tax on soda faze them. They don’t drink that much of it from what I saw, and everything else is taxed there anyway. (Note: I don’t actually know if soda is taxed in France. Maybe it already is.)

The below six points are things I noticed from the first trip.

1. Soda costs more than booze, almost everywhere. A 12-ounce can of soda was 2.50 Euro almost everywhere I went. In Germany, you could get a liter of beer for 3.50 Euro. This receipt shows Grappas (a type of Brandy) also costs less than cola. I think we might all agree that reducing the availability and low price point of soda could go a long way in reducing how much of it people drink.



2. In Germany, sausage is a salad. Who needs vegetables when there’s meat? (That’s sarcasm, guys, vegetables are really important).

Note: there were also sausage salads in France.



3. Meat is locally grown. Most of the vegetables are, too. And it’s so fresh! Doesn’t it look delicious? Pretty sure we can again all agree that grass fed, happy, locally grown animals produce better tasting and healthier meat than industrially produced animals. Studies have shown grass fed meat is slightly higher in omega-3 fats than grain fed, and my numerous n=1 experiments have shown that it tastes far better.




4. Their large portion is our extra small. Or in Starbucks speak, “short”. Which I’ve noticed isn’t on the big menu and generally has to be asked for at many locations. Italians still drink lattes and macchiatos, but they don’t drink 30 ounces of them pumped full of pumpkin or caramel syrup.



5. We say “soda”, they say “water”. Apparently, “water” in Germany means seltzer. If you want that liquid we think of as water, you ask for “still water”. And it’s kind of hard to find.

6. There is no such thing as a supermarket. In Florence, our host told us that a few blocks over we’d find a “large supermarket with everything you could want in there”. Turns out it was smaller than the Washington Street Whole Foods and the Central Square CVS. All of the cookies, chips, and snacks were in one small aisle and fresh food was abundant. It had everything  could ever want, but I’m sure some Americans might disagree with me.


A few things to add…

7. Food was not everywhere. At one point I felt a little nauseous and wanted a Ginger ale. It took us 15 minutes to find a place that sold a can of it. In France, food is sold at the grocery store, at bakeries, at convenience stores at the train station, and at restaurants. It is NOT in the pharmacy or in the checkout aisle of the electronics store, and there was not a bodega or convenience store every other block selling food. The European diet may be high in bread and cheese, but they make up for it by not snacking all the time.

8. Specialty stores are abundant. We stayed in a trendy area on Rue Montorgueil, and the main street had a fruit stand, a fish stand, a butcher shop, and a bakery. Instead of going to the grocery store and having to pass by the cookie aisle, you could pick up any time of produce you could possibly want, local meat, and of course baguette on your walk home. I can only wish Harvard square had such a setup.

9. The bread came WITH the meal. This was almost my favorite thing. We’ve all had the experience of going out to eat with a growling stomach, placing your order, and immediately receiving bread. You’re trying so hard to just wait until dinner but that bread is just sitting there… In France, the bread comes at the same time as the meal. No temptation. I would love to know how many calories could be shaved off the average American diet if the Olive Garden breadsticks came WITH the meal, and not before it.

A few non- food related things I noticed…

1. Many have active commutes. In Munich, the bike lane was part of the sidewalk and just as wide. In Florence, cars can only drive in the city with special permit, so biking and walking is a regular form of commuting. And in France, the bus had it’s own driving lane, so cars didn’t have to play leapfrog with the bus. Safe, and convenient. While we’re on active commuting,


2. They get over 21 vacation days per year, NOT including holidays. One Swiss man I met at a beer hall told me he was mad that he only got 24 days instead of 27, and that he felt bad for my paltry 14 days. Hey, maybe those extra vacation days reduce stress and inflammation!

How America Wins

While our food system is a mess,  I think there is one area where we’re ahead of the game.

We are not Chimneys. They seriously smoke like chimneys over there. We had to leave one cafe because the gentleman next to us was on his fourth cigarette pointed right into my face. We all know the risks of cigarettes, and America is way ahead of the game in reducing second hand smoke and helping people quit.

What do you think? Notice anything like this when you travel? Share!

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