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So I’m back to blogging regularly, and I want to address some things that have been both bothering me and causing me to reconsider my training. I’m hoping that you can learn from my experiences and not go down the same, winding road that I’ve taken. Let me start by saying that I’m beginning to realize that as I get older there are some things that need to change. And that’s precisely what this series is going to be about; things to consider as you age in regards to your fitness. 

 

This first post is relevant to EVERYONE who walks into a gym, not just the aging athlete. I’d like to re-address an issue that I see all too often that simply needs to change. Every single one of you are competitive to some degree. That’s part of what enticed you to try CrossFit. While competition is great, it’s not really the point of what we do here, or this post. But that internal motivation and drive is what makes us strive to be better than that other, less-fit/less-healthy version of ourselves. With that being said, I see a lot of potential and opportunity left at the door. Let me explain.

 

All too often athletes and beginners alike, roll in the door, sign-in (RIGHT?!), walk up to the whiteboard and wait for class to start. If they didn’t plan correctly, they might be about 3-4 minutes early. They then wander around until class starts picking up a jump rope for 1-2 minutes, play with a kettle-bell for a minute or two, or lay on a foam roller without much thought as to what they are doing. Some might even go for the good ol’ super front-rack or banded overhead distraction because they have been doing it for the past 2 years and they think that it constitutes pre-class mobility. Let me ask you a question: Do you have a plan for improving mobility so that you can finally get into a legitimate back squat or front-rack position? How about those Overhead Squats? Those are fun huh? For most people, achieving these take some dedicated mobility. Not just 3-4 minutes of “hoping” your mobility improves. 

 

Without a plan to improve mobility (let’s face it, almost everyone could stand to improve mobility in some way) you aren’t doing yourself justice. You are leaving potential and opportunity at the door. This is the biggest and greatest benefit you can afford yourself and your training. It is the most attributable factor to improved fitness and all those new PR’s you’ll be seeing. Get a mobility plan and aggressively attack your weaknesses and limiting ROM. 

 

This shouldn’t have to even be said, but as we age, appropriate warm-up/mobility can make or break your day in the gym. I am able to attribute “good days” in the gym to adequate/proper mobility and warmup, and “bad days” to times when I just don’t have the time to get in the necessary mobility. This wasn’t always the case though. I used to be able to walk into the gym and jump right into a working set of bench (because I abhorred back squat in the not too distant past). Was that the right move then even? Hell no! I would be in a much better place now if I had spent even a little bit of time on movement prep. I now try for at least a half hour of mobility/movement prep before even thinking about picking up a barbell. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back on track.

 

YES, mobility is necessary. Vital. Imperative even. Every person has areas that are specific to them that need to be addressed, so I can’t say “Do this” or “Do that.” But I know of a couple of coaches that might be able to help you out on that front. Jen has a mobility class 2x/week now. You have options. Exercise those options people! Here’s what I can do for you though. I can promise, no matter your age, you NEED to work on mobility. Give mobility a chance guys. It’s not going to hurt (too bad). But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t be the guy/girl who walks in and jumps right into class. You can’t do that, and expect to have a good day in the gym. See what a legitimate mobility session pre-WOD can do for your training. It will open the doors to new PR’s all over. I promise. 

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Alex ringing the bell with his tickets after a 2k PR on Wednesday!

Alex ringing the bell with his tickets after a 2k PR on Wednesday!

How’s it going CFB!  Who’s ready for the weekend?  Let’s Fire it Up!!!

It’s been another solid week of training and congrats to those that PR’ed their 2k on Wednesday.  How was that Usher concert?  I hear Neal was giving out tickets to those Athletes that were really getting after it.

2 quick announcements, mobility and rowing!

1. Coach Jen has decided to offer her mobility class on Saturday mornings at 8am from now on!  If you’re banged up from getting after it this week be sure to get to her class at 8am and work out those kinks.

2. If you’d like to retest your 2k and try to better your performance throughout the winter, consider signing up and competing in the Renegade Rowing League!  The first race is next Saturday, November 22nd at 8am.  We’ll hook up 10 Ergs to a computer and projector and you can race head to head with the people next to you.  It’s a great way to stay motivated in your training and continually gauge your fitness throughout the Winter.  We’ll be hosting a 2k race like this every month.  Check out more info here and sign up on the Whiteboard!

Ok, now it’s time.  What’s in store for next week?  Before you take a look, I’d like you to think about the word POWER.  What does it mean?  How is it defined?  What variables are involved?  What does it look like?  Last week we saw power snatches at %60 of your 1Rm.  That is light for many people in the gym and it sounds like some of you felt you needed to go heavier.  This week you’ll have an opportunity to find a heavy power snatch, but then you’ll be asked to take some weight off and work at 80% of that weight.  One reason I’ve programmed the power snatches at 60% last week and %80 this week is to help you find more POWER!  (envision Neal doing an Arnold impression – We Need More Power!)  Power = Force x Distance / Time.  By fixing the Force and the Distance in the programming, I’m asking you to move the bar faster.  Get more Speed.  Be sharper in your movement.  Have a better setup.  Keep the bar in a straighter path.  Stick that landing deliberately with some gusto.  Leave no doubt to your coaches that you own the movement and are moving that bar as fast as humanly possible through the middle.  Alright, enough of that for now.  Move the bar faster and get after it!  Here’s the programming for the week.  Have Fun and Attack It!

11/15

1. Thruster

15min to find Heavy 3

 2. AMRAP15

50m Crab Walk

10 K2E

5 KB Snatch Each Arm (1.5/1)

5 Pistols Each Leg (Alternating)

*Rx+ (Pistol w/ KB)

*Scaling (Single Arm KB Swing, Reverse Lunge w/ KB)

 

11/16

Partner “Regatta Gone Mad”

(1 Person works at a time)

(Split up work as you see fit)

Complete For Time …

75 Deadlifts (95/65 lbs)

2k Row

50 Power Cleans (95/65 lbs)

2k Row

75 Push Ups

 

11/17

1. Power Clean

Work up to a 1 RM

 2. EMOM8

2 Power Cleans @80% (Touch and Go)

4 Barbell Roll Outs from Knees

*If you miss a round, complete 5 Burpees and rest until next round

 

11/18

1. 6RFT

8 Overhead Squats (95/65)

4 OH Walking Lunges (95/65)

200m Run

 2. 20 Strict Toes-2-Bar

*Every time you drop off the bar do 20 Double Unders

 

11/19

PR Wednesday

1. 12min to find 1RM Shoulder Press

 2. “Cindy“


AMRAP20

5 Pull-ups


10 Push-ups


15 Squats

OR

Mary“


AMRAP20

5 Handstand Push-ups


10 One legged squats, alternating


15 Pull-ups

 

11/20

1. 5 Sets to work up to something heavy of …

1a. 3 Power Snatch, 1:30 Rest

1b. 3 Thrusters @same weight, 1:30 Rest

2. AMRAP3

3 Power Snatch @80% of above weight

3 Push Ups

2min Rest 

AMRAP3

3 Thrusters

3 Pull Ups

2min Rest

AMRAP3

3 Power Snatch

3 Burpees Over The Bar

2min Rest

AMRAP3

3 Thrusters

3 Pull Ups

 

11/21

1. Push Press

5 reps @ 75%

1.1.1 strict muscle-ups, rest 1:00

3 reps @ 85%

1.1.1 strict muscle-ups, rest 1:00

1+ reps @ 95%

1.1.1 strict muscle-ups

2. 6RFT

6 Push Press @75%

200m Run

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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?

I haven’t found a better way to completely fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon quite like traveling. Whether for work or vacation, extended time in an airport and hotels, and away from your kitchen and gym, provides numerous challenges to staying on track. This post outlines a few tips for keeping it together on the road.

1. Always be prepared with snacks. Pack nuts, trail mix, jerky, Lara bars, and other snacks to have in the airport, between work meetings (or sightseeing), and for late night cravings. Pack more than you think you’ll need, as healthy snacks can be hard to find in hotels and airports. 

2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Breakfast). Unless you fork over $20 for the sit down breakfast, most hotels offer a continental breakfast comprised of cold eggs, processed bacon, pastures, bagels, cereal, and canned fruit cocktail. If you’re lucky, the eggs will be hot and there will be fresh fruit. Either way, the safest bet is often having something in your room you can eat, saving you money and keeping you on track. When I’m traveling I like to have a banana with peanut butter or oatmeal (you can usually find hot water) with dried fruit and nuts or nut butter. In a pinch, oatmeal from Starbucks isn’t the worst, and hard boiled eggs are becoming easier to find.

3. Do your homework. Look up restaurants that are near where you are traveling, and read over their menus before you go. Most places will offer some sort of meat/potatoes dish, or salmon and green vegetable. If you read up ahead of time, you can identify a few places you know you can find a healthy meal, and a few meals at each place. I find that having my mind made up before I get there helps me avoid the temptation to order something less nutritious. 

4. Talk to your coworkers/travel mates. In the year 2014, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t at least one other person in your group who is trying to pay attention to health. I would say you are more likely to find other healthy eaters on a work trip, simply because on vacation people tend to care a little less about staying on the wagon (let’s just say when I traveled to Italy I was not worried about the pasta and gelato). For example, at my company there are at least 3-5 other people who are paleo or gluten free. I like going to eat with these people because I know they’ll be ordering something healthy, which encourages me to do the same. 

5. Keep up the exercise. Sometime when you’re traveling, there’s not getting around a less than desirable meal. Your salmon comes with more sauce than you thought. There’s no other food available in the meeting besides pasta salad and sandwiches. Et cetera, et cetera. (And I haven’t even mentioned the booze yet…). Exercise can not only negate some of that damage, it can also give you more energy and motivate you to stay on track while you’re away. I travel to California every year for work, and try to take advantage of the time difference to get up and go running at least one morning. I’m also lucky enough to work for the fitness industry, so our work trip includes morning group classes (last year I went to a Piloxing class, and I was more sore after than I care to admit). If running outside or group classes aren’t an option, take advantage of what is. Use the pool in your gym to swim some laps. Look up hotel CrossFit workouts (or ask a coach for some ideas). Try deck of cards WOD (via the, app, or an actual deck of cards) in your hotel room. There are lots of creative ways to get 20-30 minutes of movement in during some part of your day. If there’s really not, try walking or taking the stairs as much as possible. 

6. Go easy on the booze. Whether for work or play, traveling always seems to include healthy doses of adult beverages. When I travel for work, it’s cocktail hours with wine or open bar. When I travel it’s the booze of the land (bier in Germany, red wine in Italy…). Either way, try to aim for no more than one drink an hour, and mix in plenty of water between. Try to stick to one type of drink – wine, gin, beer, whatever. You can also order a vodka/gin and tonic for the first one, and quietly refill with just tonic or club soda the rest of the night. It’s important (at least at my work meetings) to appear social and participate in festivities, but I also need to have energy to get up and workout in the morning, so I aim for 1-2 drinks over the course of a five hour evening. 

Any great ideas I missed?

Photo c/o Nicolas Raymond

11 Nov / 2014

Baby Otters are Adorbs

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YidBK

11 Nov / 2014

CFB T-Shirt Design Contest!

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Hey Party People!

 

For the first time at CFB, we’ve got a t-shirt design contest and we want YOUR submissions! There are posts all over the gym with specific details, but in a nutshell, the designs must:

1. Feature CFB, CFBOS, CFB05, or CrossFit Boston

2. Be creative yet appropriate for public consumption

3. Be awesome!

The winning design will net the designer a free t-shirt AND a pair of tickets to KISS 108’s Jingle Ball, featuring lots of awesome bands, including 5 Seconds of Summer, OneRepublic, Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, Magic!, Meghan Trainor, Charli XCX, Jessie J, Rixton, Kiesza, and Shawn Mendes!

This is going to be one bad-ass concert, so enter the contest!

That is all this week. I’ll likely be bad next week with some musings about politics, religion, and abortion…

 

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey

10 Nov / 2014

Class time

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Hey Guys! 

 

SO…some exciting news! I will be offering a 8am class on Sats! Woo! BUT, here is the situation. I may be dropping Wed., and only have class on Sat. I will see how it goes, the next couple weeks. 

 

The class will be added to Zen Planner, so for there to be a Mobility class there has to be people signed up! I will keep you posted!

 

Remember BRING A LACROSSE BALL!! 

 

Always re-set your position, walking, standing, sitting, and never forget to always SMILE! 

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Howdy CFB!

Ricky and John getting after the 10RM Overhead Squat on Thursday!

Ricky and John getting after the 10RM Overhead Squat on Thursday!

Welcome to Friday!  Let’s Fire It Up!

Congrats on an epic first week of November.  I’ve seen you all getting after it and crushing everything from Handstands and Pistols, to Growling Bear Crawls, to Overhead Squats.  Thanks for your continued hard work and feedback on the programming.  I know the 7am class especially liked those Plate Burpees yesterday!  At noon we named our plates the likes of “My Lil’ Punkin” and “Bertha”.  I heard 7am had some other good names 😉  Keep up the fun and hard work!

Also, Congrats to all those that PR’ed on Wednesday with “Helen” and the Jerk.  This week we have some more solid work lined up.  On Wednesday we will be testing our Front Squat and 2k Row.  Bring your A Game and dig deep for some new PR’s!

Mobility tomorrow at 8am!

Coach Jen is going to be offering her Yoga/Mobility Class tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 8am for anyone interested in getting loose and having fun.  If you had trouble with those Overhead Squats or have any nagging tweaks you should definitely go.  She will change your life!

Indian Food Sunday at 11am!

Raegan hit a solid PR of 133# in her Jerk on Wednesday!

Raegan hit a solid PR of 133# in her Jerk on Wednesday!

A group of our crew is going to get together at the gym on Sunday morning at 11am and then carpool to one of Vijay’s favorite Indian Food Restaurants .  It’s sure to be a deliciously good time, so anyone looking for a solid Sunday should hit up the 9:30 Class and then plan on heading out with everyone to get some food.  If you have any questions get in touch with Coach Mickey or Vijay.

That’s all I’ve got for now, so here is what we have planned for the coming week!

11/8

1. Shoulder Press

5 reps @ 75%

3.3.3.3.3 Strict pull-ups, rest 2 minutes

3 reps @ 85%

2.2.2.2.2 Strict pull-ups (ahap), rest 2 minutes

1+ reps @ 95%

3.3.3.3.3 Strict pull-ups (ahap)

 2. 21-15-9

Wall Ball Shots (20/15)

200m Run

 

11/9 (Teams of 3)

1.“The Rowing Farmers”

3 RFT (Everyone Rows Once)

1k Row

500m Farmer Carry (Average Body Weight of Team)

*Split up weight however you want between the two farmers

**Farmer’s Carry while third partner rows

2. Max Plank Hold – Best Combined Time Wins

 

11/10

1. EMOM12

4 Push Ups

2 Snatch @70%

 

2. 20 Strict Toes-2-Bar

*Every time you drop off the bar run 200m

 

11/11

1. AMRAP5

21-15-9

Abmat Sit Ups

Push Press (95/65)

5min Rest – Walk 500m

 2. Complete For Time … (10min Cap)

10 Strict Pull Ups

500m Run, 50 Double Unders

400m Run, 40 Double Unders

200m Run, 20 Double Unders

10 Kipping Pull Ups

5min Rest – Walk 500m

 3. AMRAP5

9-15-21

Push Press (95/65)

Air Squats

 

11/12

PR Wednesday

1. Front Squat

5 reps @ 75%

Ring Push-ups, 6-12 reps @ a 31×2 tempo, rest 3 minutes

3 reps @ 85%

Ring Push-ups, 6-12 reps @ a 31×2 tempo, rest 3 minutes

1+ reps @ 95%

Ring Push-ups, 6-12 reps @ a 31×2 tempo, rest 3 minutes

 2. Row 2k

 

11/13

1. Bench Press

5 reps @ 75%

3.3.3 Skin the cats, rest 3 minutes

3 reps @ 85%

3.3.3 Skin the cats, rest 3 minutes

1+ reps @ 95%

3.3.3 Skin the cats

 2. Complete For Time … (7min Cap)

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Box Jump (24/20)

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Burpee

 

11/14

1. 4RFT

400m Run

30 Wall Balls (20/15)

20 Double Unders

10 Deadlifts (275/185)

 2. Max Handstand Hold (Free Handstand or Feet Off Wall)

3 Attempts

 

Let me know if you have any questions and get Fired Up for the second week of November!

06 Nov / 2014

What’s Your Purpose?

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If you were to leave this world today, what would you like your epitaph to read? What would have been your purpose? Think about that for a second. Now, what have you done today to move towards that purpose? Or, did you get caught up in the agenda of others?

The Guy In The Glass
by Peter Dale Wimbrow 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 your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

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 difficult, dangerous 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.

Elon ringing the PR Bell!

Elon ringing the PR Bell!

Above is a picture of my private client Elon. This picture was taken on Wednesday. I had Elon work up to a 6RM in the deadlift. The most weight I had programmed for him was 83 pounds within a Met-Con. On Wednesday he performed 6 reps with 160 pounds! After I told him how much was on the bar he was shocked! His form was still dead on and the speed of the bar was great so I know he has more in him but I decided to end the session at that weight for the day. Elon is 68 years old and before starting with me 1 year ago, he had never participated in a weight training program. He had run but that was about it.

I am sharing this because we all are capable of far more than we think we are. More on that next week.

I started out writing about good calories vs. bad calories, until realizing that most of my blogs over the past year have had at least a little to do with weight loss. In the US, we’re so used to focusing on obesity and weight we sometimes forget there are other things to write about when it comes to nutrition and health. But I don’t want to be part of that problem, mainly because sometimes I’d like to read a Women’s Health article without having to select between “I’d like a FREE 20 week weight loss plan” and “I already have a bikini body”.  So, this time I’m going a different direction, and addressing a question I’ve gotten from a couple of people: how to gain weight. Below are a couple of simple tips for gaining weight healthfully.

1. Add some fat (the good kind)

Fat is the most dense macronutrient at 9 calories per gram. Of course, fat is more filling, so too much of it can be counter productive. Still, try to up your fat content where you can. Whole or 2% instead of skim milk (organic/grass-fed, of course), nuts, nut butters, a little extra olive soil, avocados, some salmon, etc. The salmon (and other omega-3’s) have the added bonus of helping to counteract some of the inflammation from training. 

2. Embrace the starchy carbs. 

This one is going to be the key. Nobody puts on weight eating paleo unless putting on weight is something they do fairly easily. A lot of people have cut out or reduced grains in order to lose weight and improve their health but guess what? If you want gains, you should do the opposite! Grains like rice and pasta will add calories to your meals without being too filling, and more calories generally = more weight gain. Keep in mind that you still want to avoid junk like overly processed bread, cookies, crackers, etc. And of course, it’s still good to keep up variety and shoot for whole grains the majority of the time. There are lots of great ancient grains to try too, like farro, quinoa, and wild rices. See the end of the post for a great farro recipe I just made this week.

3. Pair your starch with protein, fiber, and fat.

Starchy, higher carbohydrate foods can lead to blood sugar highs and lows, which are associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. Paring starches like rice with meat, nuts, vegetables, or healthy fats is a good way to keep your blood sugar stable. 

4. Keep eating your vegetables.

Putting on some extra weight shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of long term health. Keep adding green, purple, orange, and red things to your foods. Vegetables are great sources of all sorts of vitamins and minerals your body needs. 

Farro With Squash and Kale Recipe

I can thank Pinterest for this one. Courtesy of Love and Olive Oil

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.28.11 AM

Photo c/o Paola Kizette Cimenti


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