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Different seasons mean different things to everyone: fall is college football, summer is beach season, and winter is marked by the Holidays (or if you’re a Floridian in Boston, by infinite cold and misery with skiing mixed in). Food used to be the same way. Have you ever noticed that Strawberries are best in the summer, that all of a sudden come September there are about 10 more varieties of apples available in the super market, and that there are tons of fun and weird looking gourds from October through February? Nowadays you can get most fruits and vegetables year round, imported from almost anywhere in the world, but once upon a time different seasons meant different fruits and vegetables, and if you wanted Strawberries in December, you had to can them. Here are a few reasons why the old way was better, why eating seasonal produce, preferably locally grown, is better for both you and the environment.

  • Nutritional value - Fruits and vegetables have the most nutritional value (i.e. vitamins and minerals) when they are ripened on the stem and then picked. However, when they come from places far away, they are picked before ripeness and ripen along the way. So while they may gain color and size, they won’t gain nutritional value. This is one reason many people argue that fruits and vegetables don’t have the same nutritional content as they did 50 or 100 years ago.
  • Cost - Seasonal produce is often cheaper for two reasons. For one, it grows more naturally in season and so requires less labor intensive care. Second, it often comes from a source closer to home. It’s easy to find USA produced strawberries and cherries in the summer for instance, but in February they all come from Mexico or Chile, which also adds the cost of transportation and gas to your grocery bill.
  • Flavor and Taste  – Fruits and vegetables taste better when they ripen on the stem versus in the back of a refrigerated truck. Buying seasonal produce means you get the most flavorful and tasty produce.
  • Sustainability - This is a big buzz-word lately. But buying local, seasonal produce cuts down on the environmental impact of shipping food several thousand miles. It will also support your local farmer, keeping him in business to continue producing delicious fruit and vegetables.

275671257_6a411b439d_oWhat’s in Season Now? Right now it’s fall, so that means apples, squash, cherries,
broccoli, endive, cauliflower, garlic, pear, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, butter lettuce, grapes, and turnips. Visit the Fruits and Veggies: More Matters website for a complete list of spring, summer, fall, winter, and year round vegetables and fruits.

Find a Farmer’s Market! Nearly every city and town in America now has a farmer’s market. In Boston, there’s one at Copley Square Tuesdays and Fridays, one at South Station on Thursdays, one in Allston Village on Saturdays, SOWA on Sundays in the South End, and one right at the corner of Western and North Harvard ave on Friday afternoons. 

Or, you can do a Google search or visit the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Marketing Service Web Page for a searchable directory of farmer’s markets. Just enter your zip code and search! Markets in Boston should be open another few weeks, usually until November 1.

Photo 1 c/o Chris Jagaers Photo 2 c/o Wally Gobetz

07 Oct / 2014

New Events Page!

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In lieu of my regularly-scheduled blog programming, I would like to direct your attention our our new events section. You can find it by navigating to: http://crossfitboston.com/events/

There, you will discover a whole bunch of fun, informative, and intoxicating events that will help you make your time at CrossFit Boston more productive and stumble-y.

Want to know how best to fuel for your CrossFit WODs? Go to http://crossfitboston.com/events/ and check out Coach Alex’s nutrition seminar.

Want to learn how to double-under with the pros? Go to: http://crossfitboston.com/events/ and check out the jump rope workshop.

Want to find out the dress code is for our Halloween party that is happening on Friday, October 31st? Go to http://crossfitboston.com/events/ and check out the details for our ultra-spooky shindig!

Want to know when we’re scheduled to move? Go to http://crossfitboston.com/events/ and see our anticipated move date!

Want to know when you’ll get a chance to see the ladies and gentlemen of CFB all fancied up? Yup: http://crossfitboston.com/events/

Want to know when our next THROWDOWN will be? You’ll probably find the answer at: http://crossfitboston.com/events/

Want to know how  you can hear a billion erg flywheels all spinning at once? Hmm… Maybe here? http://crossfitboston.com/events/

Want to buy an awesome cast-iron skillet at an awesome price? RIGHT HERE.

Get the point? If you’re in the market for some extracurricular actives at CFB, your first thought should be our new events page! Finally, if you have any events that you would like us to publicize, please feel free to email me (mickeyg@crossfitboston) a quick blurb about the event and an amusing photo that I can include in the event listing, and I’ll do it to the extreme.

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey

P.S. If you participated in the throwdown and would like a panda-themed temporary tattoo, hunt me down the next time you see me in the gym.

06 Oct / 2014

Basic Premises

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Basic Premises

Focus your attention within the body. While you are going on with your day, focus on your body, the movements of walking, standing, and sitting.

Be aware of your breathing. Think about it, its quiet yes but its calm and you think nothing of it. 

Your foundations within your body. What are they? While you are standing think of, and analyze the muscles that are active in how you are standing. Think outside the box, your foundation is in more depth than just being your feet, and your legs.

 

These are a few things to be cautious of during the day, think about it, and try to really feel how you treat your body day in and day out. We all know how to do olympic lifting, but do we all know, or think of how within our daily duties, how we treat our bodies?

Rolling out your muscles is very important, but do you think opening your joints and really understanding your body isn’t important? If you are not scared of challenges when it comes to CrossFit, why are you against challenges in performing human movements that are difficult? Human movements, where your joints are given a lot of attention, and your posture is being trained to be naturally aligned? 

Here are a few poses that are modifications to the Camel pose. Both of these poses are opening your spine, it is within relaxation to really feel your body opening. So please do this AFTER working out. If you are not flexible you can place something under your head, like a pillow or if you are in the gym, a bag or roll up a hoodie/Jacket.  

Lay on a small dynamic ball, placed directly under the lumbar region it is relaxing to the lower back IF it is healthy! If you can not relax you abs or thighs, then you have lower back issues.

Lay on a small dynamic ball, placed directly under the lumbar region it is relaxing to the lower back IF it is healthy! If you can not relax you abs or thighs, then you have lower back issues. SO DONT DO IT!

The ball is placed under the mid-chest (females bra strap), prevent the pelvis to drop to the floor, and mobilizes many joints through your spine, and ribs.

The ball is placed under the mid-chest (females bra strap), prevent the pelvis to drop to the floor, and this will mobilize many joints through your spine, and ribs.

 

06 Oct / 2014

What Are You Waiting For?

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Do you recognize yourself as any of these????

REGISTER HERE!

03 Oct / 2014

100314 – Fire It Up Friday!

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FIRE IT UP! 

It’s the first Friday of the month. Wednesday was a parade of bells ringing! Some great improvements in Tabata Squats. Even after hitting back squats prior. This is a pure increase in work capacity. Think about it, if last time you hit 8 reps across all eight intervals, you completed 64 reps. Up that mark to 12 reps each round, you have now completed 96 reps! A 50% improvement. This is exactly what Yeshil did! Great work! Gabby went from 16 reps in June to 18 reps on Wednesday. Thats 144 reps from 128 reps, a 12.5% improvement. Though this may seem small, it is really difficult to make double digit improvements once you are completing 15+ reps on Tabata squats. Pretty awesome.

Gabby blasting out some thrusters post tabata squats.

Gabby blasting out some thrusters post tabata squats.

BEAT THE STREETS

Just a reminder that tomorrow we are running the qualifying WODs for the Beat The Streets fundraiser with 3Point Foundation and Tina Ramos. 

9am will be WOD #1
10am will be WOD #2
11am will be WOD #3

You can read more about the event here.

COACH TOMMY T!

If you have been attending my 5:30pm classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays you already know that Tom T has been assisting and leading portions of the training. Tom joined us from Trident CrossFit (awesome community/coaches/etc) where he assisted in coaching duties for a year there. After settling into Boston, he is now excited to get back in the mix and helping others reach their goals!

Here’s Tom’s bio:

Great extension on the snatch!

Great extension on the snatch!

I found Crossfit in the fall of 2011 at Crossfit Dewitt, in Syracuse, NY. I was looking to increase my overall fitness and wanted to drop some weight after jockeying a desk for a few years post college. My butt was immediately kicked and I was hooked. In 2012, I took a new job and moved to Alexandria, VA and was lucky enough to find Trident Crossfit. I was blown away at the coaches, community and the facilities there and as my fitness improved, I wanted to know more about Crossfit and fitness so I took my Level 1 at Trident. Chriss and Andrea Smith, the co-owners of Trident, approached me and asked if I was interested in interning at the gym. I never considered myself a coach, but accepted their offer to learn from the best coaches and most fun people I knew. 

The reason I keep Crossfitting is because I am a weekend warrior. I’ve been a lifelong athlete and like to dip my toe into a bunch of different sports – skiing, swimming, windsurfing, lacrosse and running. Crossfit keeps me fit, fast and strong and allows me to meet and hang out with great people. 

PROGRAMMING – WHAT’S ON TAP

Sunday 10/5

Complete with a partner for time, work can be split however the team prefers:

 

800m run
50 Back squats, 45/35
1000m row
50 STO, 45/35
300 Double Unders
50 Pull-ups
50 Burpees
50 GH Sit-ups

 

then both team members must run another 800m.

 

Monday 10/6

1. Deadlift
5 reps @ 65%, rest 1:00
Ring Dips (AHAP), 4-8, rest 1:00
5 reps @ 75%, rest 1:00
Ring Dips (AHAP), 4-8, rest 2:00
5+ reps @ 85%, rest 1:00
Ring Dips (AHAP), 4-8

2. 3 Rounds for time
20 OH walking lunges, 45/25
15 OH Squats, 135/95
20 Unbroken Double Unders

Tuesday 10/7

Warm-up: 2k row

1. Row – 10 x 200m @ 85%, rest 1:00 between

2. AMRAP 8
15 KTE
15 Front Squat, 95/65

Wednesday 10/8

1. Snatch – work up to a max single (17 minutes)

2. Complete for time
30 Snatches @ 50% of above
20 Push Jerk (same weight)
15 Burpee box jumps
20 Push Jerk
30 Snatches

Thursday 10/9

1. Push Press
5 reps @ 65%
Bent over barbell rows (strict – no momentum), 8-10 reps, rest 2:00
5 reps @ 75%
Bent over barbell rows (strict – no momentum), 8-10 reps, rest 2:00
5+ reps @ 85%
Bent over barbell rows (strict – no momentum), 8-10 reps

2. Every 2 minutes for 16 minutes perform (8 rounds)
10 Burpees
3 Split Jerks @ 60% of best clean and jerk

Friday 10/10

1a. 5 Skin the cats x 3 sets
1b. 3 rope climbs x 3 sets, rest 2:00

2. Complete 6 rounds for time
12 Pull-ups
200m run

Saturday 10/11

1. Back squat – 3 x 10 reps @ 72%

2. AMRAP 15
100m Farmer Carry, 55/35 each hand
100m Front Rack carry, 55/35 each hand
100m Overhead carry, 55/35 each hand

Renegade Rowing League is coming!  Who's In?

Renegade Rowing League is coming! Who’s In?

It’s been said that Rowing Is Passion!  Rowing as a sport has been exploding over the last couple of years.  You’ve seen it here in our very own gym.  Do you know any other CrossFit gym that has 16 ergs at its disposal?  I’ve been in touch with many followers of the Renegade Rowing WOD as well as athletes and gym owners who have started their own rowing clubs.  They all have found passion in the hard work, power, and grace that it takes to row.  Have you thought about joining the Renegade Rowing Club?  We will be starting it up again this November and training for CRASH-B’s – The Indoor Rowing World Championships held here in Boston every February.

 

How do you incorporate rowing into your everyday training and what makes you passionate about this amazing sport?

One of the more popular food tips out there these days is “shop the perimeter of the grocery store”. This makes sense on some level – most of the meat, vegetables, and dairy are on the perimeter of the store, while the not so great stuff like Cheez-Its, Oreos, boxed rice, canned soup, and additive riddled salad dressing are all in the aisles. But if you’ve read this blog before, you know nothing irritates me more than a nutrition platitude (like “drink 8 glasses of water a day” or “only eat the most colorful foods”, but I can go into why those are wrong another time), so I’m going to go ahead and debunk this one for two reasons:

1. There’s healthy stuff in the aisles

Now, I realize that the aisles are full of junk, and really the intended benefit of the “shop the perimeter” advice is to help shoppers get what they need without being tempted by what they don’t. But you can get to a lot of good stuff on the inside without walking past 18 flavors of Doritos and 10 different Oreo variations. Why? Well, usually the healthy stuff is down slightly less tempting aisles than the cookie/cracker and chip aisle. For example, coffee, tea, and nut butters are in the cereal aisle. Canned tuna is near the condiments and pickles. Olive oil is in the aisle with pasta and sauce. Beans are with canned vegetables. Usually last minute grab purchases are on the snack aisles (I have never passed a box of Barilla penne, canned string beans, or mayonnaise and thought “OOH that looks delicious I must buy it right now!” as I have done with Stacy’s Pita Chips or Ginger Snaps, or those sneaky chocolate covered everythings at Trader Joe’s). The point is, there is convenient, healthy stuff on the inside if you know where to find it.

2. There’s unhealthy stuff in the perimeter

Now, if you compared all things perimeter to all things aisle you’d probably win. But if I shop the perimeter at my local Star Market (the one in Porter Square), I can still buy:

  • Fried chicken2369726343_483ab16539_z
  • White baguette 
  • Tortilla chips
  • French onion dip
  • Flavored dairy creamer
  • Cranberry cheese log
  • Caramel dip for fruit

And, if we were in a state that doesn’t have silly laws about selling beer in the grocer store (or frequent Trader Joe’s), you’d also find beer on the perimeter. Now, I don’t remember this always being the case, so my guess is the food industry caught on to this little trend and started trying to tempt you out in the perimeter too. Either way, my point is this: sticking to the perimeter doesn’t remove temptation. And it’s not guaranteed that everything there is better for you.

My Advice

The hands down BEST way to walk into the grocery store and walk out with bags full of healthy loot is to do the following:

1. Plan ahead – think of what you’d like to eat for the meals and snacks in the days between this and the next grocery shopping day. 

2. Make a list of everything you need. Now, it’s fine if you just write “fruit” or “salad greens” and decide which kind at the store. It’s unlikely you’ll be standing in the produce section and find an unhealthy type of salad green. But if you just write “snacks” and wander down the snack aisle…well that’s another story.

3. Start with the stuff that takes deciding. For me this is usually the produce and anything that requires label reading. I find that patience runs low by the end of the grocery trip, and I like to just knock the last row of items off my list quickly without having to read 8 salad dressing labels (before deciding to google a recipe and make my own anyway). If you’re losing patience and have to read a lot of labels, it’s more likely you just pick up the first thing that looks good.

4. When you list is done, don’t think. Go pay the cashier and get out!

What’s your grocery shopping strategy? 

 

Image c/o I-5 Design Image 2 c/o Sea Turtle

30 Sep / 2014

In-House Throwdown Results!

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In-House Throwdown Complete!

How much fun was Saturday morning? When we first discussed the idea of having an in-house team throwdown, my goals were twofold: (1) to make sure no one died and (2) to end on time. So far as I know, there were some minor scrapes and bruises suffered on Saturday morning but everyone is still living. And… we also finished up well before our projected 1 PM finish! There are a couple of cool videos posted here and here (video credits to Joseph D. and Tom T.).

In any case, I had a blast and have to make sure to thank all of our sponsors and judges once again. The morning could not have gone more smoothly, thanks to the organizational/judging efforts of Audrey H., Jo B., Angry B., Kari T., CJ J., Rebecca S., Jen B., John Z., and anyone else who I may have left out.

Our sponsors, Via Privé, Progenex, and Race-Pak were also gracious in supplying us with gift certificates, free samples, and fancy wooden boxes filled with goodies! Thanks to Ries, Dan, and Russ for contributing to our fun little event.

In terms of our athletes, I like to joke that this is the throwdown that split up marriages, as many of our members were competing against, rather than with, their wives/husbands! We may have had as many as fifteen first-time CrossFit competitors, which is mind-blowing! Everyone did a great job pushing themselves and their team mates to glory! We had one of our newest members, Daniela C., who had been a member for all of two days battling against Nigel C., who has been a member for at least two decades…

Here are the results, broken down by WOD:

WOD #1 Squat Cleans Place Points
Jess T. & Neal T. 61 1 100
Cissy Y. & Tolly T. 61 1 100
Courtney S. & Crosby B. 55 3 84
Daniela C. & Omri. 51 4 78
Shannon F. & Mike G. 50 5 72
Ali H. & Martin B. 49 6 66
Amanda L. & Joseph D. 47 7 60
Cori B. & Ron W. 44 8 54
Shadi & Megan L. 43 9 48
Fernanda N. & Tim B. 41 10 42
Sarah W. & Erik B. 41 10 42
Carolyn B. & Juan Carlos S. 40 12 36
Linh N. & Bob E. 40 12 36
Natalie K. & Nigel C. 40 12 36
Judith D. & Denis T. 39 15 18
Candy S. & Mark P. 36 16 12

 

WOD #2 Reps Place Points
Cissy Y. & Tolly T. 608 1 100
Amanda L. & Joseph D. 590 2 90
Natalie K. & Nigel C. 585 3 84
Sarah W. & Erik B. 556 4 78
Judith D. & Denis T. 534 5 72
Fernanda N. & Tim B. 531 6 66
Shannon F. & Mike G. 516 7 60
Daniela C. & Omri. 501 8 54
Shadi & Megan L. 489 9 48
Candy S. & Mark P. 467 10 42
Jess T. & Neal T. 462 11 36
Carolyn B. & Juan Carlos S. 441 12 30
Cori B. & Ron W. 430 13 24
Linh N. & Bob E. 378 14 18
Ali H. & Martin B. 370 15 12
Courtney S. & Crosby B. 346 16 6

 

WOD #3 Total Reps
Jess T., Neal T., Carolyn B., Dan (RacePak) 1380
Shannon F., Mike G., Ali H., Martin B. 1373
Daniela C., Omri L., Cori B., Ron W. 1310
Natalie K., Nigel C., Judith D., Denis T. 1252
Courtney S., Crosby B., Sarah W., Erik B. 1218
Amanda L., Joseph D., Candy S., Mark P. 1043
Fernanda N., Tim B., Shadi R., Angry B. 951
Cissy Y., Tolly T., Linh N., Bob E. 845

 

As you can see, the results were all very close, which was one of the desired outcomes! We’ll definitely do this again some time soon, and I’m eyeing January 31st, 2015 as a possible date for our festivities. Regardless of the outcomes, I hope everyone had a good time. Congratulations to everyone who competed and thanks again to every one who helped make this event happen!

By the way, RSVP for our HALLOWEEN PARTY on Friday, October 31st at 7:30 PM.

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey

28 Sep / 2014

“Be a powerful athlete”

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Investing in your fitness though WODS is not enough. Without mobility, every WOD or Olympic lifting tightens you up muscles by muscle you start feeling aches an pains. Your joints do not have the flexibility, strength and balance they need to perform at a higher rate. Don’t sit there, shake your head thinking “BS”, and stay away from something because it is not easy to do. You have the desire and drive for Crossfit so find it within, so commit yourself to Mobility. This is the method to achieving the best your body can attain. I want you to join me, so I can help you reach the next level of fitness through mobility and yoga. 

‘I am very passionate for what I bring to the table; for my knowledge, power, and confidence that I can teach. Mobility/Yoga has helped me gain strength in many ways, mentally, physically, and has brought me to a high level of fitness. Trust me when I say, I don’t just believe, I have proven through experience.” 

Wed. night class @ 7:30 – free of charge.

“Touch up” – 30 min session for $25. ONE on ONE to go through basic movements to understand my cues within class. If you haven’t done the basic vinyasa yoga movements, I would highly recommend choosing this option so you are more comfortable in group setting. 

45min session - $75, ONE on ONE to go through your own specially designed class. I will talk though your particular mobility goals, assist every movement, and truly understand what you want to accomplish during class.

SMALL group session - 3 cap, 60min for $115 Split coast between the class.

 

You do not have to be a member at CFB. If you have friends or family that you like to attend the small group training, they are more than welcome. If you would like to bring a nonmember to classes the cost is $20 a class (for your guest). The sessions can be booked anytime, for what works best for our schedules. If you are interested, please don’t be shy. email me! 

Give your body some love, and your mind power to overcome every challenge!

28 Sep / 2014

Mobility

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Looking at work outs this week, here is my suggestions on Mobility work before classes. 

Everyone that as been coming to Mobility, you better be doing what we have done in classes!! 

You need to do active stretching! DO NOT be doing any deep stretching or holding a stretch with a band or something on like ‘pigeon’. Please listen to me, consistently performing a movement that your body does not have flexibility, flexible rotation in your joints or proper alignment is doing nothing for you. 

Movements after Warm up:

5 Piece Squat: 

This should not be done in a fast pace, you want to go though with a flow of movement, like a tempo.

1. Touch Toes with fingers under your shoes.

2. Pull your feet hard, “Boot Strap” Your ARMS are on the INSIDE of your knees with a FULL extension, and NO BENDING YOUR ELBOWS. Press FIRMLY towards your knees, spine is neutral really get your back flat and press your chest forward. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

3. Raise ONE arm over head so your hand in directly over your shoulder, and bicep in next to your ear.

4. Do the same with the other arm. You wan to feel like you are reaching to the sky, and pushing you knees outward. Hold this for about 15 seconds.

5. Stand.

Inclined Plane: Head back, lift hips high, knees straight, feet flat to the floor, and press shoulder blades together.  

1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight, feet flexed, and your hands behind you. Allow your head to drop back.

2. Inhale as you press your hips as high as you can. Hold this for about 10 seconds, keep your knees straight, exhale and lower back to the floor. 

 

 

 

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