27 Jul / 2015

Will Power As A Finite Resource

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Will power is often cited as the heavy hitting requirement for success in getting healthier – resisting that Oreo cookie, rejecting the snooze button to make your morning workout, and having the motivation to eat right, exercise, avoid temptation, take any medicine or supplements you require, and reach your goals. We always think of will power as this infinite resource that is either “have” or “have not”. Either you have a lot of will power and are fit, others don’t have any and thus are overweight, unhealthy, etc. I have not thought this was a correct assumption for a while, but something I’ve recently read reminds me it’s a good time to spread the message.

Today I began reading Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Tough by Dan and Chip Heath. I’m only a few chapters in, but this gist is that change is difficult because we have two brains: the emotional brain and the rational brain. The emotional brain wants ice cream, beer, sleep, and Netflix binges while the rational mind wants to have a six pack and low cholesterol. Unfortunately, like Rich Froning at the CrossFit Games, the emotional mind almost always wins. The book discusses the keys to making changes even when they’re hard. It looks like

In addition to this dynamic, one concept that really stuck out for me was this:

What looks like laziness might be exhaustion

There have been a few studies where participants are asked to resist something tempting (like chocolate chip cookies), and then later to complete a difficult task. The example in Switch discusses asking some students to taste chocolate chip cookies and avoid eating radishes (so hard, I know), and some to taste radishes and not eat any of the aromatic chocolate chip cookies beside them. Later, both groups were asked to complete an impossible cognitive test. Those who did not have to resist cookies persevered for 19 minutes before giving up. Those how had to expend will power avoiding cookies lasted only eight.

What this tells us is that will power is an exhaustible resource. It is something you can run out of, just like gas in your car. This is the epitome of the problem with yo-yo diets – if the lifestyle change is unsustainable, you will run out of willpower and go back to old habits.

In order to make lasting changes, the key is to change your environment to make the behavior changes easier, and to create sustainable changes so that your emotional brain and rational brain are both on board. Prepare meals that are healthy AND taste good (credit fauntroy). Find social activities that are also active – tennis with your friends is probably more exciting and rewarding (in the short term) than running by yourself. In short, find the healthy behaviors that you find rewarding in the short term, so that you can continue them long enough to realize the longer term rewards.

Photo c/o Tiz



24 Jul / 2015

FIRE IT UP! July 24, 2015

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Did you see the videos of Papa Grouse and Young Ethan performing their first pull-ups? Papa Grouse hit his first unassisted pull-ups in what may be 50 years! Ethan has his first at the age of 12. Great work and way to FIRE IT UP GUYS!

Keep working on the hand balancing and hand walking everyone. It’s a skill that requires some dedication and regular practice. Competency in both will lead to greater gains in all of your overhead movements. Be sure to “grip” the floor with your fingers too. If you keep ALL of your weight in the heel of the palm it would be the same as walking on your heels only. Stand up from reading this and now go and try to do just that.


I have received a few questions about the events of The Festivus Games. Here is the link with all of the workouts. It explains the requirements and where there is strategy left to the individual. If you are still unsure about a particular event be sure to ask your coach.

Yes, this is a competition…BUT this is about having fun. Testing all of the hard work that you put in week in week out here at the gym. DO NOT Stress out about this. Watch this video put out by the events organizers.

If you are even slightly interested, sign up now to save some $$$$. REGISTER HERE.


Tomorrow’s 9:30am class will double as a farewell WOD for our good friend Shannon (Flahive) Marshak. Come on in, train hard and then raise a glass to say, “goodbye for now” as she and Michael are moving to Boulder, CO.

The WOD is a doozy too. :-)


Its the last week of July already. I am working on August’s programming. Be ready for some extra power work, more single leg strength work, and some grip work.

Friday 072415
A. Shoulder Press – 3×3 @ 90% of 5RM (7/2)
B. Horizontal Body Rows – 3×8 (3121 tempo)

Conditioning: 5 rounds for time
Run 1 lap (1/3 mile)
15 Front Squats, 155/105 (Rx+ 185/125)

Saturday 072515
Warm-up: 2 rounds
Run 2 laps
10 walking lunges
5 Strict Pull-ups
10 Dips
15 Air Squats

Work: Complete 5 rounds for time
15 Pull-ups (Rx+ 15 CTB Pull-ups)
12 Power Cleans, 135/95
9 Handstand Push-ups

Sunday 072615 – HEROWOD
10 rounds for time
10 Thrusters, 95/65
10 Ring Push-ups

Monday 072715
Work: AMRAP 20
Run 1 lap
12 Shoulder to overhead, 115/75
12 Back Rack Lunges (6 each leg)

ABS: A. AbWheel Rollouts – 3×10
B. Back Extension – 3×10-15

Perform A/B as a superset. Rest 2 minutes in between each superset.

Tuesday 072815
Strength: Front Squat – 3×5 add 5-10# compared to 7/16
~perform 3 sets of max ring dips between each working set

Skill: Practice your hand balancing off of the wall for 8 minutes

Work: Row 100 calories for time & distance

Wednesday 072915
Strength: A. DB Bench Press – 4×6 (compare to 7/9)
B. Horizontal Body Rows – 4×6 @ tempo of 2121

Skill: Rope climb x 10

Work: 3 Rounds for time
20 Box jumps, 20″
25 OH Swings, 24/16kg
30 Knee to elbows

Thursday 073015
Skill: Run 100M x 5
These should be about 85% effort. Focus on solid mechanics and jog back to the start.

Power: Box Jumps 5 x 2 @ max height

Work: EMOM 12
3 Power Snatches – ascend to AHAP

Friday 073115
TEST: “Helen”
3 rounds for time
Run 400m
21 Swings, 24/16
12 Pull-ups

Strength: Pistols with weight – 6×3 each leg

ABS: A. AbWheel roll-outs – 3×10
B. Reverse Hypers – 3×10-15

20 Jul / 2015

Eat Ugly

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I have a new favorite Twitter account, and it’s called @UglyFruitAndVeg. In addition to advocating for less food waste, they post hilarious pictures of “ugly” fruits and vegetables – such as thumbs up strawberry and batman kiwi.

About that food waste…. most people know Americans waste a crap ton of food. Be it from restaurants over serving to leftovers forgotten in the back of the fridge to a slightly browned banana being tossed, industrialized nations (the US, Canada, Europe, etc) waste more food than sub-saharan Africa produces each year, according to United Nations Environment Programme. In addition to wasting what we’ve already bought or made, we also waste about 26% of fruits and vegetables produced because they don’t meet the aesthetic standards of the supermarkets. That’s a quarter of the produce grown in our country, unused because Safeway, Stop and shop, and Wegmans think it’s too ugly to sell in their stores.

How Can We Fix It?

A few ways.

  • More people growing their own produce or buying from a farmer’s market. The farmer’s markets are much less finicky about the aesthetics of their produce, and most people won’t throw away a vegetable they’ve grown unless it actually went bad.
  • Copy the French. The video about French grocery chain Intermarche and their initiative “Les Fruits et Legumes Moche” or the “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” made waves on social media last year. If you missed it, essentially the supermarket bought ugly produce that would have been tossed and sold it for 30% cheaper. You can watch a recap of the launch and how it worked on vimeo.
  • Advocate for different policies. End Food Waste has a petition out. If you’re so included, find it here.
  • Choose ugly. Sometimes, I try to choose the ugliest piece at the market because I worry it won’t get chosen by others. Am I the only one who worries about ugly produce being wasted?

I’m pretty excited to head to France in a few weeks, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for the Intermarche supermarket and some of their inglorious produce.

Photo c/o Jitze Couperus 

17 Jul / 2015


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We are hosting our first competition (with others outside of the gym) this October 17th. CFB is proud to partner with The Festivus Games. This competition is specifically geared for the Novices, Intermediates & Masters. NO FIRE BREATHERS ALLOWED!

This is meant to be fun and put yourself a little out of your comfort zone and see how you respond. I would love to see great representation from the gym.

The workouts for the event are already posted here.

You can register HERE for the event!



We are still working on developing your handstand holds and hand walking. Be diligent as this is an elusive skill set. When you establish the muscular coordination to hold the handstand, you will begin seeing an increase in your other overhead lifts because you will have greater muscular activation and have developed the smaller stabilizing muscles of the shoulder girdle.

Saturday 071815
Warm up: Row 5k

Conditioning: Complete 2 rounds each of this relay
20 Deadlift, 250/175
15 Shoulder to Overhead, 155/105
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24/20

Sunday 071915
Complete 5 rounds for time
Run 800m
Rope Climb x 5
50 Push-ups

Monday 072015
A. Front Rack Split Squat – 4×6 add 10# from 7/11
B. Barbell Bent Over Row – 4×6 add 5-10# from 7/11

Conditioning: “Fran”
Reps of 21-15-9 for time
Thruster, 95/65

Tuesday 072115
Warm-up: Run 1 lap (1/3 mile)

A. Handwalking – 4×50′
B. Skin the cat – 4×3 reps
C. 1 Rope Climb

Conditioning: 5 Rounds for time
Row 30 Calories
30 Push-ups (Rx+ 10 HSPU)

Wednesday 072215
A. Back Squat – 5×3@90%
B. Chins – 5×3

Conditioning: AMRAP 12
10 Pistols
6 Snatch, 135/95
3 Muscle ups

Thursday 072315
Warm-up: 2 rounds for quality
50 Swings
10 TGU’s

Skill: Handwalking – 5×50′

Conditioning: AMRAP 10
15 Deadlift, 135/95
15 V-ups
15 Unbroken Double Unders (Rx+ 30 UB DU’s)

Friday 072415
A. Shoulder Press – 3×3 @ 90% of 5RM (7/2)
B. Horizontal Body Rows – 3×8 (3121 tempo)

Conditioning: 5 rounds for time
Run 1 lap (1/3 mile)
15 Front Squats, 155/105 (Rx+ 185/125)

Preface: About two weeks ago, Nick Jonas, CrossFit, and the diabetes community got into a little kerfuffle over a tweet about diabetes. The internet joined in. This blog post is my opinion on the matter.

As some of you may or may not know, I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 11 years. Obviously, I also do/teach CrossFit. Which made things interesting this past few weeks when the internet erupted in a CrossFit versus diabetes community tussle. If you missed it, here’s a recap:

1. Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, isn’t always known for making his point shall we say politely. He tweeted the following image with the line “Pour some out for your dead homies”.


2. Nick Jonas, singer and fellow type 1 diabetic, blasted Coach Glassman for “shaming” diabetics and encouraged him to become educated on the difference between type 1 and type 2. (If you happen to be unfamiliar with the difference, Google it – or visit this easy link to WebMD. I have spent enough of my life explaining this to people and have too much else to say to do it here).

3. Internet shitstorm ensues, as fitness bloggers, the diabetes community, medical professionals, and others chime in. (Yes I know, I’m chiming in now too. Pot, kettle, all that).

Two Sides To The Story

As a diabetic dietitian who CrossFits, I can see a few sides to this story.

Nick Jonas Side

Look, as ridiculous as this all is, I see where he is coming from. I have had friends and family – including some people in healthcare studies – ask me if I was “type 1 or type 2” (seriously if you don’t know the difference LOOK IT UP NOW). I’ve had people ask if I can eat the cookie that is inches from my lips, if I can drink the beer I just finished, and if I am gong to lose a foot one day (yes, really). It is MADDENING the things people assume, all for a disease you had no control over developing and struggle daily to treat –  because you have a few tools to deal with the 27 or more things that can influence your blood sugar. Sometimes it’s high or low for no reason at all, despite the most meticulous of self care.

As an added note, it turns out this weekend a young girl in Canada died from complications of undiagnosed diabetes (because there is also that fun time BEFORE you figure out why you drink more water than a camel at an oasis and feel like you have the flu all the time). I imagine had this tweet emerged a few weeks later the conversation would’ve taken a different turn.

Back to my point – having a disease you couldn’t prevent and struggle to control is maddening, depressing, frustrating, and inconvenient depending on the day. So when a guy who looks like he’s had one too many margaritas tweets something that could imply your daily struggle is your fault, you want to punch your computer. (I mean, in 11 years I’ve gotten a little more zen about it so I didn’t actually want to do that. I just kind of shook my head and thought “well that’s classic Greg Glassman…). But I get it. I get why Jonas was annoyed, and why as a famous person he may have felt the need to stand up for other kids.

Coach Glassman’s Side

Despite all that, I still did not have the visceral reaction to the tweet everyone else seems to have had. Maybe it’s because I think Coca Cola isn’t good for you, and even a slightly obnoxious ad dissuading consumption doesn’t worry me. Maybe it’s because I’m lucky enough to be around a lot of educated medical professionals in Boston who don’t ask me stupid questions. Maybe I’m so sick of reading about people who are offended by everything and anything, and would rather not see my disease corrupted to fuel the fake outrage machine.


Because despite being irreverent, outspoken, and giving 0 fucks, Greg Glassman has a point. I mean, the defenders do too to some extent – scientifically speaking, you can’t say Coke CAUSES diabetes, as there are a number of metabolic pathways and factors that contribute to development of type 2 diabetes. It would be nearly impossible to determine the exact causative power of just one of those many factors. You also can’t say it is caused by genetics or caused by physical inactivity alone. They all contribute, in different ways and to varying degrees depending on a number of individual factors. But I digress.

The real point here is that Coke isn’t so good for you. Sugar sweetened beverages have been linked to higher risk of obesity and diabetes. Centers for Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) advocate in favor of reducing sugary beverage consumption and have advocated for soda taxes. They are also responsible for the “Real Coke Bears” video, which was just as provocative as the Glassman tweet, if not more so (I mean, polar bear amputation with a chainsaw!). And CSPI is not some Food Babe type crank selling organic juice in the right side bar – they accept no industry funding and have been advocating for better health policies for over 40 years.

The worst part of all this for me, though, was seeing diabetes advocates and research organizations DEFENDING COCA COLA. Organizations like JDRF – that I look to for updates on research and policy (and have considered trying to run Boston for should I even get bit by the marathon bug again) – defending a multi million dollar junk food company.


First of all, Coca Cola and the beverage industry do not need your defense. They have spent millions of dollars campaigning against penny per ounce taxes in super liberal cities. They don’t need our help here, OK. Secondly, stating the public and scientifically unopposed fact that sugary beverages increase the risk of diabetes (let me specify type 2, in case a Jonas brother is reading) is not the same thing as shaming someone. Saying “coke causes diabetes” is not shaming, even if technically incorrect. Asking me if I am going to lose a foot one day or if I “can/should be eating that” IS shaming. To claim you are being shamed when you are not takes away from the real instances of shaming and bullying I’m sure some kids do face.

To conclude my novella, in this type 1 diabetic’s opinion, Coach Glassman is right and everyone else needs to just calm the heck down. Because maybe if we can get down off our outrage box for a minute, we might actually do something to educate the public and prevent what I can attest is a pretty crappy disease from spreading more than it already has.


10 Jul / 2015

FIRE IT UP! July 10, 2015

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Fire It Up! Fire It Up!

Boom goes the FIREWORKS! The 4th of July has come and pass. We are officially in summer and that means beaches and BBQ’s and more opportunities for social engagements. It’s awesome, I know. With BBQ’s there are beers, margaritas, and other concoctions. Enjoy them! Hell this is life. Don’t be the person at the party that brings his own food or doesn’t partake in a nice, cold, brew because you’re “training”. Your friends will stop inviting you to hang out. Seriously. Relax and enjoy. Be sure to drink some agua in between and don’t go crazy with the booze. Then be sure to get back to your clean eating and training.


In case you missed it, this month the programming is focusing on the following areas: Front squats & front rack split squats, some light volume/speed work with running, and hand balancing/hand walking.

The front squats are going to be programmed at an increasingly higher intensity (beginning off of the 3RM) and alternated with the split squat to develop more single leg strength. Next month we are going to be training the squats exclusively with single leg movements (Thank G2)!

You will see running at least 3x each week. Either within the WOD or as a stand alone. The distances will vary with the majority in the 200m-500m ranges. It’s not necessary to time each interval when they are programmed but rather put in a strong effort and minimize the rest. We will be testing this in the next month.

All of the handstand balancing and hand walking is a higher level skill and will improve the strength of your shoulder girdle. Thus you will improve your overhead lifts and you should see improvement in your snatch as well.

There you have it. Consider yourself in the know.

Saturday 7/11
A. Front Rack Split Squat – 4×6
B. Barbell Bent over row – 4×6 (add 5-10# from 7/2)

5 skin the cats
10 OH Swings, 32/24
200m run

Sunday 7/12
Skill: Run – 5x200m

Conditioning: “Roy”
5 rounds for time
15 Deadlift, 225/155
20 Box jumps, 24/20
25 Pull-ups

Monday 7/13
Skill: Handstand Holds (off the wall) 6 x 30-60 seconds

Odd: 7 CTB pull-ups
Even: 30 UB Double unders

Odd: 3 Snatch
Even: 30 UB Double unders

Tuesday 7/14
Warm-up: AMRAP 8 “Cindy”
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

A. Deadlift 5×5
B. Push Press 5×8 @ 70% of 1RM

8 KTE’s
8 Push-ups

Wednesday 7/15
Warm-up: Run 1 mile
50 TGU’s
Run 1 mile

Skill: Handwalking 4×50′

ABS: Back extensions 3×15
AbWheel rollouts 3×10

Thursday 7/16
A. Front squat 3×5 (add 5-10# from 7/7)
B. Horizontal Rows (rings or suspension trainers) 3×8

Conditioning: 7 rounds for time
7 Back squats (from the ground), 135/95
7 Handstand push-ups

Friday 7/17
Warm-up: “Grace – Lite”
30 Clean and Jerks (GTO), 95/65

A. Dumbbell shoulder press – 4×8
B. Weighted Step ups 4×8 each leg

Conditioning: 6 rounds for time
20 Lunges each leg with a 45/25 plate overhead
10 Ring Dips
200m run

It’s been getting super hot and sweaty in the gym this past month, so it seems like a good time to chat about hydration. I’ve posted on it before, and obviously the large portion of this blog post is a repost of this one on sports drinks. But, given how often I get asked “is the snatch a power snatch?” it seems like a reminder on hydration and sports drinks can only help :)

The Short Of It

Basically, don’t show up to a summer WOD (or any WOD, really) really really thirsty. Drinking a 17 oz bottle of water in the 1-2 hours leading up to the WOD is usually sufficient to prevent this. Obviously if you show up in the morning, a cup of water before you leave the house is fine. To replace fluid lost, the rule is 24 ounces for every pound of sweat lost. Don’t feel like weighing yourself? Drink another 17 ounce bottle, or as much of it as you can until you don’t feel thirsty anymore.

Quick Thoughts on Sports Drinks?

They have a purpose, but are highly overused. No, your kid doesn’t need a Gatorade after playing 45 total minutes of soccer. Stick to the orange slices. Who needs them? College football players. Lebron James. Marathoners. Unless you’re a really salty sweater, you don’t need one before/during/after the average WOD. Maybe after Murph or Glen, not after Fran. You may find a benefit during a long Oly because of the sugar, but most people will do fine just drinking water.

The Long Answer on Sports Drinks: REPOST from June 2014

If you played sports as a kid, you probably grew up on the delicious, refreshing beverage called Gatorade (or Powerade, although I think Gatorade is better). Originally invented at the University of Florida (Go Gators) to hydrate the football team during hot summer games, Gatorade now produces a regular and low calorie drink, “natural” versions of these beverages, as well as energy chews and nutrition bars. And their marketing has been stellar – watch any Gatorade ad and you’re pretty much convinced that you should drink this stuff because that’s what the badass athletes do (and who doesn’t want to be a badass athlete). They’re all about that inspiring stuff like hard work and determination. Well, at least most kids probably think that. As adults, we’re just trained to crave it. If I go running in sub 75 degree weather for longer than 30 minutes, I come back craving a blue Gatorade (because maybe the flavor is inspired by some fruit, but we just know it by the color. Yellow is a close second for me). Of course, Gatorade has also gotten some negative press surrounding their use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) – which they’ve since discontinued using – because it had been patented as a flame retardant and is banned in Japan and the European Union.  But, is it OK to drink or should you avoid it?

Sports Drink Pros

Sports drinks are great – and have been successful over the past 40 years – because they provide the unique combination of dilute carbohydrate and electrolytes in an easily digestible format. Sports drinks have essentially been formulated by scientists to provide EXACTLY what athletes need during exercise to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The average regular Gatorade has 80 calories, 21 grams of sugar, 160 mg of sodium, and 45 mg of potassium. The G2 series is usually 30 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrate with the same electrolyte content as the original.

Other Gatorade perks:

  • Helps prevent hyponatremia (salt deficiency), which generally happens when athletes over hydrate.
  • The taste generally makes you thirsty, so you drink more. When you’re working out for a long time (over an hour) in very hot conditions, that can be a plus.
  • It tastes good. Sometimes water gets old.

Gatorade Cons

Despite loving Gatorade as a kid/teen just kidding I still love it now, this is the part that always makes me sad: the ingredients list. The Blue G2 flavor (apparently called “Glacier Freeze) that I like so much contains the following: Water (fine), sugar (OK I was expecting that), citric acid (not a big deal), sodium citrate (OK that’s the sodium, just with a different companion than table salt), mono potassium phosphate (potassium source), sucralose (commonly known as Splenda), acesulfame potassium (anOTHER artificial sweetener) and Blue 1 (artificial coloring). So, most of the ingredients are fine, not everything that isn’t 100% natural is going to kill you, although I really try to avoid artificial colors.

In addition, a few other sports drink drawbacks:

  • It often gets misused or overused. Pretty sure Lebron James needed some Gatorade in San Antonio when the AC broke, and it’s very useful during a half marathon or other endurance activity. But a lot of kids, adolescents, and even adults nowadays are drinking it while playing video games or at school. Unless you’re sweating your butt off during a workout, you don’t really need an electrolyte drink.
  • The taste generally makes you thirsty, so you drink more. Yes, I realize this was also a pro. But when I return from a 45 minute run, I could benefit from 8-12 ounces and end up drinking nearly the whole bottle before it occurs to me to put it away. That’s a lot of sugar I probably didn’t need.

So, should you drink Gatorade?

My answer is yes, when it is appropriate and if you prefer it over other options. When is it appropriate?

  • When you’re working out for over 60-90 minutes or in extreme heat conditions
  • When you complete a WOD like last week’s 1K test on the erg and need a little extra sugar before the second WOD. However, in this case you only need a small amount.

What are some other options? Coconut water, diluted juice (full concentrated juice can make you fee sick to your stomach by adding too much sugar – compare 21 grams of carbs in 12 ounces of Gatorade to over 40 grams in the same amount of Naked Juice or OJ).

UPDATE: The Oly lifters have begun using boba tea as an alternative fuel during their lifts. Great idea (as long as you avoid the stuff with lots of milk/non diary creamer (credit fauntroy). Milk in heat is a bad choice. See: Anchorman), and now I have them to thank for the boba tea kick I’m on.

03 Jul / 2015


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The handstand push-up test on Wednesday netted 22 consecutive reps from Matt “MEATON” and 14 reps from Cori B! Great job by the rest making the Gym Record Boards!

Today we are observing the Independence Day of our great nation. To honor her, I have programmed a #HEROWOD that we have not yet performed here at CFB: “Bull”. “Bull” consists of 2 rounds for time of:

200 Double Unders
50 Overhead Squats, 135/95
50 Pull-ups
1 Mile run

It is dedicated to U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brandon “Bull” Barrett, 27, of Marion, IN, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, NC, was killed on May 5, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He is survived by his parents Cindy and Brett Barrett, his sisters Ashley and Taylor Barrett, his brother Brock Barrett, and his grandmother Carmen Johnson.

Put your head down and grind this one out. Share a barbell with a friend to build in the rest on the squats. When you are done, raise a glass!


June is now behind us and we are moving on from our focus with the Snatch, Handstand Push-up, and high volume Back squat. It was obvious that the “laser beam” focus really paid off with the results by you all.

This month we are going to shift focus from the back squat to the front squat AND the front rack split squat. There won’t be high volume but there will be high intensity each time and then testing at the end of the month to see where the new 1RM/3RM falls. These two movements are going to immediately transfer to other lifts: clean, snatch, thruster, pistols.

On the gymnastics front, we are transitioning from the HSPU to hand walking and hand balancing off of the wall. It’s time to break free from our comfort zones and grow.

Last, we are going to improve your work capacity via focusing on running and rowing both within the WOD’s and outside of the WOD with repeats.

Friday – 7/3
“Bull” – 2 rounds for time
200 Double Unders
50 OH Squats, 135/95
50 Pull-ups
Run 1 mile

Saturday – 7/4 OPEN GYM (9-10:30)
Lumberjack 20 or LEVEL 1 TEST

Sunday – 7/5 – LEVEL 1 TEST

Complete 5 rounds of:
1 Strict Pull-up, 1 rep   from full extension to chin over bar, no kip
1 Dip, 1 rep   active shoulders, full lockout at top, greater than 90 degree at elbow
1 Horizontal Ring Row, 1 rep  hands touch chest
3 sec. L-sit, active shoulders, knees above hips, legs almost straight, demonstrate control
1 sec. Handstand, on wall, tight hollow body, demonstrate control

Complete in less than 5 minutes, 2 rounds of:
250 meter row
10 dumbbell snatchs per arm (20 total) 25# women, 35# men
10 x 10″ box jumps

Monday – 7/6
Skill: Run 1600m

A. Dips – 3×3
B. Chins – 3×3

5 rounds for time
Row 250m
25 Thruster, 95/65

Tuesday – 7/7
Strength: Front Squat, 3×5 reps @ 90% of 3RM

Skill: Handwalk 4×50′

Conditioning: AMRAP 7
7 Burpees
7 Double Unders
7 Toe 2 Bar

Wednesday – 7/8
Conditioning: “Diane”
Reps of 21-15-9 for time
Deadlift, 225/155
Handstand Push-ups

Recovery: Row 1k

ABS: Ring/Suspension Plank holds – 5 x 30 sec up to 1:00

Thursday – 7/9
Skill: Run 3x600m

A. DB Bench Press – 4×6
B. Strict Toe 2 Bar – 4×6
C. Handwalk – 4×50′

75 Wallball shots for time
M-20# to a 10′ target
W-15# to a 9′ target

Friday – 7/10
1. Power Clean – 5×3
2. (1 Push Press + 1 Jerk)/2 x 5 sets

Complete reps of 18,15, 12, 9, 6, 3 for time
Burpees to a 45# plate

02 Jul / 2015

What are you focused on?

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No, seriously. What are you focused on achieving? Goals are what drive us to grow and excel. Without them, you don’t have purpose. What’s the point of living without purpose?


We have implemented a new Goal Board here and encourage you to think of some goals for yourself. There are three columns: 1 Month, 3 Months, and End of Year. I encourage you to think of something that you would like to achieve and write it down on the board. This is something to help hold you accountable for your time invested here. Be SMART with your goals though. Be Specific… 100# Press; Measurable… 100# is about as measurable as it gets; Attainable… if your press is 1RM is 65#, it’s very unlikely that you will get to 100# in a month; Realistic… 35# PR in a month might not be very realistic, but it definitely is for one of your End of Year goals; Timely… this is where you get to push your expectations a little… 35# in 6 months is VERY attainable, so maybe you bump that up to 45# and work your butt off to get there… maybe you get it, maybe you don’t, but if you don’t try…


Alright, so now that I’ve given you some advice on HOW to think about a goal, let’s talk about WHAT your goals should be. Many of you have probably never thought about what you should be working towards specifically before. A good idea is to think about a lift you are not particularly good at or would like to hit a certain milestone on and focus on that. If you look at my goals on the board, they are all strength lifts… surprise, surprise, I know… and they are all within grasp with some dedicated time spent working on them. You might even have a Met-Con goal of say Fran is sub 5:00. First thing you need to think about is how far off you are from 5:00, then determine what is holding you back from a faster time.


If you need help working on goals and figuring out what a good plan of action will be for you t0 make improvements, that is what your coach is for. Set up a PT with them and formulate a plan of action. I promise you will feel much better about your achievements when you reach them if it was something you have been putting time and effort into. The feeling of victory stemming from hard work is second to none.


If you still need more inspiration for goals, read Neal’s Fire it Up Friday post tomorrow to help inspire you…



Goal Board

When you walk up the stairs to the lounge, you notice the 5 poster boards hanging on the wall. The poster boards are the original creation of Dave Werner, founder of CrossFit Level IV and they define a limited set of physical skills and set progressive benchmarks in these skills.


Using these benchmarks, you can develop a personalized set of goals for improving your fitness. The purpose of these boards is to help the majority of our members to develop truly well rounded general fitness. A typical daily conversation that I have with members and prospects is the purpose of his/her training. Many times the answer is a generic “get fit”. Well that is exactly what CrossFit was designed for but it can be difficult to know if you are in fact on the best path to achieve just that.

Human nature is to keep working on what we are good at, our strengths, and skip the things we are not good at, our weaknesses. Using the Athlete Skill Levels Charts you can determine where you presently are AND how to make sure that you are working on all aspects to progress forward.

It’s important to understand what each level represents to understand where you are today:

Level I – You can move like a human. You’re not in particularly good shape, but if your town floods, you can get in a rescue boat without a firefighter pulling you in. If you can’t do three pull-ups, and three dips, you don’t have healthy shoulders. If you can’t squat all the way down comfortably, your hips are not healthy. These are basic health problems in the sense that they affect your quality of life. Fixing these problems generates a lot of self-confidence, and sets the stage for further progress.

Level II – You’re not a competitive athlete, but you’re an active, fit person who can tackle whatever you want to do. All of your joints have full range of motion and adequate strength. You know how to create stability and power. You are ready to dive into learning any new physical activity that may interest you. Being this capable is so much fun!

Level III – This is general fitness for a competitive athlete. That’s already pretty rare territory. Most adults don’t need all this, but it can be fun and give you some challenging goals. If you’re not working on Level III – for instance, if you can’t do a few strict dead hang muscle ups – you have no business entering the CrossFit Open and expect to get to Regionals or expect to be in the top 25% globally.  Stop being delusional about what you can do. Treat the problem.

Level IV – The Level IV goals explore the limits of general fitness. They are attainable only through many years of smart consistent training. None of the individual goals are very advanced when compared to a specialist in that field, but the combination of these qualities is very hard to achieve. For many, if not most people, this level of all around fitness is just not practical. Not practical because achieving all of these skills simultaneously means that you have really become a specialist in general fitness. Many, many people can perform some of the skills listed in Level IV, while at the same time they are unable to perform several Level II skills. Perhaps the best use of these levels is when you are able to realize that you are already “good enough” in one area, and can then focus on an area that needs work.


It is Friday baby and its time to Fire It Up! This has been a busy week with a lot of Private training sessions in addition to my classes. It is awesome when you can have provide that one on one attention and you see the Athlete really get it! Whether it is remaining patient on the pull for the snatch or really understanding the connection on the rower and how to be more efficient while using the recovery to better performance to completing your first forward roll. Ever. When an athlete finishes a movement or hits a lift and turns to me and states that it “never made sense to me like that before” then I know that there are going to be some great progressions coming soon. If you haven’t booked a session lately with your Coach, I highly suggest you do. Tell him what you want specifically to work on and you will have a blast.


This Friday is the 4th of July. There will be one class at 10am. The doors will open at 9:30am and we will be firing up the grill afterwards. Bring some food to share for the grill and your favorite side dish. Friends and family are welcome too!


The month of June is coming to a close. How have your handstand push ups improved? Wednesday 7/1 will be our final retest. On Wednesday you saw a glimpse of our next squat focus, the front squat. Next week will be a more thorough breakdown of what we will be working on.

Saturday 6/27
Strength/Skill: (G1) Handstand holds 7 x 1:00 or 7 x max time off the wall

Conditioning: With a partner, complete 100 TnGo Power Cleans for time


Two bars per team with one person working at a time. The partner resting is in active rest holding a Front Rack position with his/her bar. If the Front rack is dropped, then the set must stop and alternate to the other athlete.

Sunday 6/28
30 rounds for time
5 Wallball shots, 20/15
3 Handstand Push-ups
1 Power Clean, 225/155

Monday 6/29
Skill/Strength: (BB2) Power Snatch 10×2 (add more weight than 6/5)

Conditioning: AMRAP 12
10 Alternating DB Snatch
15 Box Jumps, 24/20
15 Knee to elbows

Tuesday 6/30
Strength/Skill: Back Squat 4×12, add 5#+ to the weight you used on 6/18

Conditioning: For time
30 Muscle ups
50 CTB pull-ups
75 Pull-ups

Wednesday 7/1
TEST: Strict Handstand Push-ups

Conditioning: Row 3k for time

ABS: 3×10 AbWheel/BB rollout

Thursday 7/2
Skill/Strength: A. Shoulder Press 5RM
Skill/Strength: B. Bent over BB row, 3×5 with a 3122 tempo

Conditioning: EMOM 20
3 Clean + 1 Jerk, ascending load to AHAP

Friday 7/3 – 4th of July TBA

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