16 Jun / 2014

For The Win

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Sun’s Out Guns Out for the win! The CrossFit Boston softball team finally got their first win of the season. It took us 4 games to finally figure it out, but we worked it out. Why did I decide to write about this today? Well, I guess I’m proud of what we’ve all done and how far we’ve come. What follows is my version of how we got to our first win.


The first game of the season, we had literally NO idea what we were doing. No one knew what positions they were going to play or what was going to win us games. And it was obvious. The other team capitalized on this and annihilated us. So bad that the mercy rule came into play. That was the beginning of our journey to learning how to win. Many lessons were learned… and taught clearly. 


The second game we found out who were our positional players and how to rotate players through positions. We had a little bit of batting practice afterwards (which may or may not have included a post-loss consolation cider… come on guys, beer isn’t paleo) that finally gave some people some time behind the bat that they needed. 


The third game we thought we were going to be alright, but then something fell apart. Not sure what it was, but the wheels came off. It was kind of a frantic game. We played with the lineup, which actually taught us that we needed to play with the lineup again :-) 

This game was kind of a mess from the beginning too. We had 3 players who didn’t have a glove, so we had to ask some players from the other team if they wanted to join our team… which to be honest, we needed extra players since we barely had enough players to even play the game. (AAAAAHEEEEMMMMMM!) We had some ups and downs during the game. We were up by 7 or 8 points and all of the sudden, they came back and scored 11 runs in a single inning. We were moderately crushed. But we had another full inning to go, and only needed a couple of runs to tie it up. Batters up! We did it! We ended the inning up by 2 and only needed to hold out one last time in the field. It was a tough inning (mentally and emotionally), but we eded the inning without allowing a score. 


So back to the question I asked earlier. Why did I decide to write about this? Because we all learned something. That is something everyone can take back to the gym. Every time we do something we should be thinking about how we can make that lift or movement easier. Learning how to make movements easier means that we have a better bar path or are using our hips in the most efficient manner. The more you do this, the more consistent you will be which just might get you that PR. 


So take a lesson from our season thus far and learn something to make your time in the gym more effective. 


This week has been a test in and of itself. If you were in more than 3 times during the week, your body is probably feeling tired. You know, in that good way when you know you have physically put yourself through some tough sh*t and will become better because of it. 

Yesterday was a plethora of new personal bests in max pull-ups. It was great to see as I know many of you had been working so hard to improve them for quite some time. Congratulations to those that made the leader board: Rachael (we will miss you), Stacey E (look how far you have come – Ray for the orange and the blue!), Alex B (awesome Coach to Be), Russ (VPX), Nigel (Pencilnecks UNITE), and Lapidus (#dadstrong). You all have raised the bar for others to strive for. Great work!


When: Saturday at 5pm

Where: Mark and Kari’s – 20 Taylor Rd, Belmont

What: Food & Drink – $10 to cover cost of food and drink. You can bring a dish two if you like.

RSVP: [email protected]


The gym is closed this weekend while we host the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. Meet Saturday at the Harvard Track (9am) to complete a WOD on your own with the membership (no coach will be present). Meet Sunday (9am) at the Harvard Stadium, again, this will not be instructor led.


Saturday 6/14 – Harvard Track

1. 8x100m sprints with 45 sec rest between efforts

2. 4 rounds for time
400m run
50 Air Squats

Sunday 6/15 – Harvard Stadium

Run as many stadium sections as you can in 20 minutes.

Monday 6/16

For time:

2000m row or 1600m run
21 Deadlift, 145/100
21 Ring dips
2000m row or 1600m run
15 Deadlift, 145/100
15 Ring dips
2000m row or 1600m run
9 Deadlift, 145/100
9 Ring Dips

Tuesday 6/17

1. Dumbell “Tabata” Thrusters (front squat/push-press, interval: 20 sec’s on/10 sec’s off X 8) Use 10″ box.

challenge is 10 reps while holding at least 50% of your BW in DB’s.

rest 8 minutes

2. 3 rounds for time
15 over the box jumps
15 power cleans, 115/75

Wednesday 6/18

1. Back Squat – 8RM (20 minutes)

2. 3 rounds for time
15 knee to elbow
5 muscle ups
15 knee to elbow
rest 2 minutes

If you can’t muscle-up substitute 25 pull-ups and 25 dips at each round,and…. get the muscle-up soon. Power through this workout.

Thursday 6/19

1. Jerk from behind the neck – 1RM (20 min)

2. Complete 3 circuits:
Box Jump twenty-five jumps in sixty seconds, then immediately
Powerclean 15 reps.
Rest sixty seconds.

No rest during jumps or powercleans. Each round is about three minutes including rests.

Intermediate: 20″ box and 50% bodyweight powerclean
Advanced: 26″; box and 75% bodyweight powerclean
Elite: 32″ box and 100% bodyweight powerclean

Friday 6/20

1. Power Clean – 1RM

2. “The Bear”
Without stopping or dropping the bar, complete the following sequence, seven times:

Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press (have bar land behind head, in rear-rack position)
Back Squat
Push-Press (have bar land on chest, in front-rack position)

Once you’ve completed the sequence seven times consecutively without stopping, drop the bar. Add weight, attempt another sequence of 7. Repeat for a total of five rounds.


1. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THE DEMO VIDEO It will help clarify things immensely.
2. There is no time limit for this progression. Athletes may take as much time or as little time as needed between rounds.
3. Once a sequence of seven has been started it can’t be stopped. If you need to rest, you must do so with the bar on your back or on your chest – it may not rest on the ground.
4. Athletes are to START LIGHT, and add weight after each completed sequence of seven.

Saturday 6/21


5 rounds for time
400m run
30 Box Jumps
30 Wallball shots

Here’s the RRT on Monday finding some rhythm in the Quad…


Do you have what it takes to Race?


RRT Boat PressHave you ever seen an eight racing at top speed?  Are you interested in experiencing that for yourself?  Can you follow?  Can you push yourself?  Can you push others?  Do you have discipline? Will you work hard and find a way to push on even when pain and that little voice inside your head tells you to stop?


Then you should tryout for the Renegade Rowing Team.


We’ll be training twice a week starting mid July and racing in September.  More details are on their way.


Comment if you’re ready!  Tryouts in July!

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Before your regularly scheduled blog post, a quick announcement:


SHOW TUNES WOD: Tomorrow morning, the 7 am class will WOD to a show tunes medley playlist, courtesy of long time member and local food expert Audrey. This WOD will also be a chance to say goodbye to running coach Rachel Weiker, who is moving to DC for work. Show tunes are non-negotiable but singing/dancing are optional.


10560910_397e2544d8_zI always encourage paying attention to what you eat. Read the labels on all 7 BBQ sauce bottles in the grocery store before you choose the best one. Ask the butcher if the meat is grass-fed or not, or if he knows where it came from. I even wrote about how it is OK to be a pain in the butt about your diet. But I also know that the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has recently written about “orthorexia nervosa”, a new type of disordered eating (but not yet an eating disorder) . Essentially, orthorexia is the obsession with eating otherwise healthy foods, or a “fixation on righteous eating” (according to an article on NEDA’s website). You might consider someone who brings a tupperware of eggs, bacon and vegetables to brunch at a restaurant with friends, or someone who will not eat if they are hungry because there is nothing healthy enough around, or someone who refuses to join friend socially because they will be tempted to eat/drink something unhealthy, as orthorexic. You might also consider this person “dedicated to achieving their goals”. It seems like it’s a fine line between “a fixation on righteous eating” and simply paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. It’s important to pay attention, of course. It’s also important not to abandon all social interaction and beat yourself up over a cookie every now and again. 


What do you guys think? Is “orthorexia” a real problem, or should we all be a little more obsessive when it comes to our food?


Photo c/o Alaina Browne

09 Jun / 2014

Monday Motivation

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“Never be afraid to act. You never know how far away you are from your goal — sometimes just reaching out and putting in a little bit of effort can be enough. And, even if it’s not — you tried, and that’s far better than just sitting and waiting for a chance to present itself. If you want to achieve something you have to act, you have to take risks and you have to believe in yourself.”

– Author Unknown

That is such a powerful quote. There are millions of people that sit and do nothing each and every day. They dream about the life they want. The job they want. The house they want. Yet, they still never do anything to get there.

What are you looking to achieve? Do you want to get your first muscle up? Have you been researching online how to do so and then developing the skills and strength necessary to perform one? Daily? How bad do you want it?

Maybe there is a position open at work that will be promotion and opportunity to challenge yourself and bring in reward. Are you studying the craft necessary to win the job and be wildly successful at it? Why not?

Her first successful muscle up! The crowd of 4000+ was louder than at any other time. She didn't win the 2009 Games but she won the hearts of all because she put in so much effort.

Her first successful muscle up! The crowd of 4000+ was louder than at any other time. She didn’t win the 2009 Games but she won the hearts of all because she put in so much effort.

Annie Thorisdottir continuously failing her attempts to perform her first muscle up

Annie Thorisdottir continuously failing her attempts to perform her first muscle up

06 Jun / 2014


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I was lucky enough to take a couple of days off this week and head down to Newport, RI with my family. Jessica had a conference during the days so I was able to spend some Daddy time with my girls. A good vacation is when you can get some great rest and be in bed by 9pm. It is rare that I am able to get the same type of rest when I am home.

As athletes, we often overlook the importance of nutrition and sleep for performance. Too often we focus solely on the time we spend while in the gym. Pushing our bodies farther than before to squeeze out every last drop of energy. Now that we have Alex on board, weekly blogging about nutrition, and have held multiple nutrition challenges, everyone understands that you CAN’T OUTWORK A SH*TTY DIET.

So, that leaves us with sleep. How many hours a night do you routinely sleep? There is a ton of research out there suggesting 7-10 hours is the optimal range. The number does truly vary by many factors: age, gender, region to name a few. What is most important is the hours required routinely and any accumulated sleep debt.

For example, lets say I normally sleep for 7 hours but there is this deadline at work and I pull a couple of nights with only 3 hours of sleep. I have accumulated 8 hours of sleep debt and it will have an impact on my functions. The body is going to yearn to get back to homeostasis and your performance will suffer until it does.

Beyond just day to day performance, habitual sleep deprivation can contribute to the following:

  • increased risk of obesity
  • increased risk of heart problems and diabetes
  • increased risk for depression and substance abuse
  • decreased mental acuity

Make sleep a priority just the same as you make your training a priority. Schedule it in and don’t allow it to simply be a go to task after everything else is complete. Stop whatever you are doing and get to bed!


Saturday 6/7

For Time

Row 250m
21 Push Press, 95#/65#
Row 500m
15 PP
Row 750m
9 PP


Deadlift – 3RM (20 min)
Work up to a max set of 3 for the day

Sunday 6/8

Teams of 2 (same gender) Relay Style

For Time:
Row 500m
21 Pull-ups
15 Overhead swings, 24kg/16kg
Run 400m
21 Dips
15 Power Snatch, 75#/55#
30 Burpees
21 Squats, 95#/65#
Row 500m

Monday 6/9

This is the CrossFit Challenge done as a circuit rather than prioritized. We refer to this as the “Vertical Tabata Challenge.”

Perform each of the following for only twenty seconds. Rest for ten seconds while quickly transitioning to next movement.

Rest for 1 minute after each round and repeat seven times for a total of eight rounds. Total your weakest output from each exercise from all eight rounds. This time your rowing score is in calories.


Tuesday 6/10

1. Front Squat – 3RM

2. Perform 2 rounds of this circuit:

Box Jumps, 20″ in 2 minutes
Lunge 2 minutes, record steps
Row 2 minutes for distance
Squat 2 minutes, record reps

Rest 5 minutes between circuits

Wednesday 6/11

For time & load:

Run 400m
15 Back squat, 15 rep max weight
10 Handstand Push Ups
10 Back squat, 10 rep max weight
8 Handstand Push ups
5 Back squat, 5 rep max weight
6 Handstand Push ups
Run 400m

Thursday 6/12

1. Max Pull-ups – TEST

2. Power Clean max weight for 15 reps
Tabata Squats, total reps as your score
Power Clean max weight for 15 reps
Tabata Squat, total reps 

Friday 6/13

1. Max Dips – TEST

2. AMRAP 20
Run 400m
Max reps L Pull-ups

Saturday 6/14

Gym Closed for CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. Meet at Harvard Track at 9AM.

Sunday 6/15

Gym Closed for CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. Meet at Harvard Stadium at 9AM.

Carla Event 6Hey CFB!  I hope you all had fun cheering on Carla at Regionals last weekend.  It was a blast watching her crush the rowing in event six!  Carla you are Awesome!


As new members join the gym I will be throwing out a bit of info on them.  Be sure to welcome them and challenge them to burpees or something fun like that!  Last week Brianna graduated from private training by crushing Fight Gone Bad.  She’s excited to throw down with you guys, so keep an eye out for her!



Who are you and what are you about?
I’m Brianna, I also go by Bre. I am from Jersey and moved to Boston to complete my MSN. I am currently a psych nurse and finishing classes. I am new to CrossFit and over the last month have become obsessed with it.
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
I joined CrossFit because I want to get stronger and get in shape. I wanted an all encompassing workout and CrossFit was exactly what I was looking for.
BriannaWhat are some of your goals for this year?
In September I am participating in a Mudderella, it is a smaller version of Tough Mudder, and I would like to be able to finish that race without stopping. I am still trying to figure out a good time to shoot for. My general goals for class is to work on my form and really improve throughout the summer.
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
I am looking forward to group classes and becoming part of the CrossFit Boston family. I am excited to see how much I can improve and learn from everyone in classes.
Bre Nicole liked this post



In a lot of science journalism, there is a lot of jumping to conclusions without really digging into the science. This week we saw headlines screaming about how diet soda can help you lose weight! So you should start drinking diet soda to beat those sugar cravings, right?


Not so fast my friend. There are a few things wrong with this study.

  1. The study only lasted 12 weeks, which is fairly short in terms of weight loss. Quite frankly, I don’t care how much weight you can lose in 3 months, I care how much weight you can lose in 3 years. Speaking of which,
  2. Several long term findings have contradicted this study, including the San Antonio Heart study, which found that every diet soda per day was linked to a 65% increase in the likelihood of overweight and a 41% chance of obesity over a 7-8 year period, and the Framingham Heart Study, which found that people who drank diet soda were still at risk for metabolic syndrome and high blood sugar.
  3. The study was funded by the soda industry. Now, not all studies funded by the man produce results that benefit the man, but most do.


Of course, correlation does not equal causation (unless you think the declining divorce rate in Maine caused the drop in margarine consumption nationwide), so associations between diet soda and weight gain don’t mean diet soda causes people to gain weight. But it means we should think about these associations, and what could be influencing them, before throwing a few 12 packs of diet coke in our carts. Because chemistry and biology aren’t the only things influencing weight gain, a lot of it is psychological and even economic (I addressed this a little bit in an earlier post on high fructose corn syrup). For example, some people swap regular soda for diet soda, and figure that justifies an extra cookie after dinner. Other people struggle with emotional eating, and swapping Pepsi for Pepsi One isn’t going to address that problem. On top of all that, diet soda is full of artificial sweeteners of questionable safety (especially in high doses). The point is, there’s a lot more that goes into health and weight loss than swapping one thing for another, and all of these things should be considered. 


What are your thoughts on diet soda and the beverage industry’s contribution to the fight against the obesity crisis?*


*The second part of this question brought to you by the fact that I have started reading Salt Sugar Fat and am curious to hear others thoughts on the topic.



02 Jun / 2014


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“The greatest adaptation in CrossFit is of the mind.” -Greg Glassman

CrossFit is so physical. We push our bodies to the limit. Everyday we ask more of ourselves. We hit the WOD, some strength before or after, practice some skills, then mobilize and feed our bodies so we can come back in and do it all over again. This is what CrossFit is between 3-6 days per week.

Read that quote again by CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman. How powerful and true it is. He first made that statement while he was still running the CrossFit Level 1 Seminars around 2004. He and Greg Amundson (CrossFit Amundson, CrossFit Goal Setting, and Santa Cruz Original Firebreather) were observing seminar participants attempt muscle ups. Two males went up for the first attempt ever. Male 1 nailed it. He came down and his buddies were all congratulating him. He responded with humility I knew that I could do it. Meanwhile, Male 2 failed and as his buddies came to offer condolences, he stated that it was ok and that he knew he wouldn’t do it.

You see, you will achieve what you believe. Of course you need to have the appropriate skills and strength. That being a given, your mind will determine the rest.


Carla B at Event 6 at Reebok CrossFit Games North East Regionals.

Carla B at Event 6 at Reebok CrossFit Games North East Regionals.

Carla is about to raise the fire today in Canton, MA. In our conversations this week, she feels as though she is poised to provide her best performances this weekend. This is a victory already in and of itself. In these competitions the only part that can be controlled is your own performance. Give it all! Leave it on the floor. Each and every time.

Give ’em Hell Carla! We are all proud of you.


We will be running normal classes this weekend. There will NOT be any open gym after the 11AM class ends at 12. The doors will close immediately so that I can head down to Canton. Please plan accordingly, showers will not be available.


As you may have noticed the programming has veered slightly from the normal continual effort of just 21-15-9 for time or AMRAP 15. There has been more High Intensity Intervals programmed and some strict movements as well. Why? 

Intervals are one of the most effective ways of increasing work capacity. The magic of CrossFit occurs when you are training at your margins. This is 90-95% of your max effort. This is HARD to do and near impossible to put forth in an extended effort. As time increases, intensity drops. These short repeated efforts with rest between are going to allow some recovery and a sustained high effort.

The strict movements are to strengthen certain muscle groups so they can last longer in the traditional WOD’s. Stay true to them. The boxes/med balls are being used as targets to hammer in consistency of range of motion. These next few weeks will get back to squatting 2x per week and an upper body strength lift in addition to the met cons.


Sunday 6/1

1. Squat snatch – 1RM (20 minutes)

2. Run as far as possible in 8 minutes with a partner. Alternate every 500m.

While one person is running the other is performing squats while holding a 45#/25# plate against their chest.

Score distance and total combined reps as a team.

Monday 6/2

1. Squat Clean 2RM (20 minutes)

2. 50 Sit-ups.
2 minute sprint on airdyne/rower (calories)
Push-press, 1/3 body weight 21 reps.
2 minute sprint on airdyne/rower (calories)
Push-press, 1/3 body weight 15 reps.
2 minute sprint on airdyne/rower (calories)
Push-press, 1/3 body weight 9 reps.
50 Sit-ups.

Tuesday 6/3

Knee to elbows, 15-12 and 9 reps.
20 Dips
Run 400 meters, max effort.

With no rest between deadlift and pull-ups with only 60 seconds rest between superset:
Deadlift 15 reps (body weight)/Pull-ups 15 reps
Deadlift 12 reps (body weight)/Pull-ups 12 reps
Deadlift 9 reps (body weight)/Pull-ups 9 reps

Run 400 meters, max effort.
20 Dips
Hang form bar and touch knees to elbows, 15-12 and 9 reps. 

Wednesday 6/4

Row 500 meters
Clean and Jerk 15 reps (Choose a weight that is at least 60% of your bodyweight)

Rest 3 minutes

Row 500 meters
Clean and Jerk 15 reps

Rest 3 minutes

Row 500 meters
Clean and Jerk 15 reps

Time each couplet and total time to complete all 3 circuits including 6 minutes of rest.

Thursday 6/5

1. Back Squat 5RM (20 minutes)

2. Repeat this circuit three times with a 60 second break between rounds.

Max reps double unders for two minutes
Max reps Pull-ups
Max reps Floor-press, body weight

Friday 6/6

1. Shoulder Press 2RM (20 minutes)

2. 3 rounds for time
Sit-ups, 25
Thrusters (off 10″ box), 25 reps (~25 RM load)
Rope Climb X 5


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