23 Jan / 2015
Fire It Up! Fire It Up!
First congratulations to Kathryn and Matt on their new marriage! We are happy for the two of you and may you have many years of bliss! An additional congratulations to CrossFit Southie owners Chris and Amy with the birth of their baby boy Bradley.
How are you feeling this week? Strong? Sore? What has been your favorite workout this week? This month?
As was discussed in the Town Hall Meeting, we are continually working out the kinks and getting the gym to where we want it to be. The leaderboards are up along with the New Athlete Level Skills. Look for a blog post next week on how to use those.
This weekend we have the Renegade Rowing Cup race at 8am. All are welcome to participate. Contact Coach Pat for details.
All of the workouts are updated in our ZenPlanner workout tracking. You can download the app on your smartphone by uploading crossfitboston.sites.zenplanner.com to your web browser. It will then ask you to if you want to add the app to your home screen. From there, your log in is your email that you use with us and if you don’t know your password you can request a new one.
This app will also allow you to update contact information, handle payments, etc. So, get back to tracking all of your workouts. If you are not journaling you are not training.
Deliberate practice makes perfect, but sometimes you need to get out of your garage or out of your box to gain more knowledge and improve your skills. This is one of many posts I’ll be offering up to the world that will highlight amazing opportunities to get out of your normal routine, learn something new, and have some fun.
On January 31st at 1pm, Mt. Strength CrossFit in Winchester, MA will be hosting a two-hour Renegade Rowing Workshop. Head Coach Patrick Larcom will be at Mt. Strength CrossFit to give everyone the knowledge they need to improve their rowing and performance in competition.
Checkout some highlights of what you’ll be learning above and don’t forget to register below!
21 Jan / 2015
I know a bunch of people in the gym are either doing the Whole Life Challenge or a variation of cleaner eating to kick off the new year. While this is all good news, it can also lead to some pitfalls. One of these, as I’ve mentioned in Paleo posts before, is carb intake and bonking. What is bonking? It’s basically hitting the wall in a workout. It’s not fun.
Why Do We Bonk?
Bonking generally results from not having enough energy to finish your workout (or feeling that way). When you are eating your “standard” non-challenge diet, you’re likely eating some grains, potatoes, etc. Your carb intake is definitely higher than it is when you’re in challenge mode unless you eat a lot of bananas and sweet potatoes. Your body is used to working out at that higher carb intake, and can take a while to adjust. And when you start a paleo or clean eating challenge, your diet usually ends up being low carb (at least at first) even if you don’t mean it to be. The change can be especially drastic coming off of holiday food and cookies. Your body will adapt to the lower carb intake over the next few weeks as the sugar withdrawals subside and blood sugar levels normalize. But still, keeping up a consistent carbohydrate intake is important if you want to get the most out of your workouts. I’m not saying you need to eat 60% of your calories in carbs, I”m just saying you need to get enough for YOU to feel good during workouts and have energy throughout the day.
Tips To Avoid It
- Make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates throughout the day. Unless you’re into doing ketosis, you need roughly 130-150 grams of carbohydrates a day for basic brain function. Obviously you need more than that if you’re coming into the gym regularly.
- Time carbs to the workouts, and bring backup. While your body adapts, it helps to consume more carbohydrates around your workouts. If say, you have a banana for breakfast and still feel like you hit the wall, bring some juice (I would imagine 100% juice with no sugar added in very small amounts is OK, but I have not double checked the rules), coconut water, or dried fruit to nibble on between the strength and WOD part of the workout. You could also eat a Fuel For Fire (again, if compliant). A little bit of glucose here will go a long way.
- Get a good night’s sleep. I’ve already said a lot about sleep during the last challenge so I won’t bore you further.
How’s The Whole Life Coming?
Sometimes eating clean with no cheats for a long period can get rough. Here are a few recipes I like, as well as where to get a good lunch in downtown Boston.
Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato, and Pear Stew. A friend made this but added cumin, which sounds awesome.
Fig and Apple Butter. Modified from Pale-OMG (I used no sugar in mine). Great for a pre/mid workout boost.
Grain Free Spaghetti With Bison Meat Sauce . Adapted from my granddad’s meat sauce.
Any favorite recipes to share?
19 Jan / 2015
One of our members, Ollie C. (aka Pencilneck Jr.) was recently featured in the Globe! Read the article about how he approaches diving and then watch his focus as he prepares for and executes a beautiful dive.
Next, watch this 14-minute video on why it exercise may be harder for some than for others:
If you skipped ahead without watching the video, one of the speaker’s central points is that focusing on the exercise at hand makes it easier to accomplish more in less time. On the days that your mind is wandering at the gym, doesn’t it always feel as though the weights are heavier and it’s harder to maintain proper form? On the days that you’re dialed in, doesn’t it always feel as though the weights are a little lighter and it’s easier to keep the midline tight? For the rest of the month, I’d like everyone to focus on the work at hand for the hour that you are in the gym. Let’s see if Dr. Balcetis is right or wrong!
Peace and bacon grease,
P.S. Afternoon Tea will be next held on Sunday, February 1st at 3 PM. This earlier time is sponsored by SuperBowl XLIX.
P.P.S. Here are the two of the WODs that we will be doing at the throwdown on January 31st from 10AM-1PM:
WOD #1: But I Haven’t Been Practicing My Double-Unders!
Buy-In: Unbroken double-unders each partner 30 Rx/5 scaled
Burpee-box jumps 20″ Rx/step-ups permitted scaled
1. Athletes may work at the same time on the double-unders but may not progress on to the burpee-box jumps until both partners have completed their double-unders
2. Double-unders nested within single-unders ARE permitted
3. Both athletes must complete their double-unders UNBROKEN (for scaled, if rope stops, rep is broken) before moving on to burpee-box-jumps
4. One athlete works at a time
5. Score will be number of burpee-box jumps performed
Partition reps as desired, one partner works at a time.
5 Power cleans (145lbs / 100lbs) (89 lbs / 55 lbs)
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls (20lbs to 10’ target / 15 lbs to a 9’ target)
15 Jan / 2015
The weekend is upon us. It’s Friday baby and time to Fire It Up! Tonight will be our Town Hall Meeting. I am looking forward to seeing everyone that is able to make it and answer questions you have. But that is for later.
Big week! We worked up to a few 3RM’s and 5RM’s, a little thing called the “Beep Test.” Now these are not necessarily going to be personal bests but because you all sweat F*ckin’ Liquid Awesome I know that many did indeed hit new personal records. Who hit it? Who was able to ring the bell? Don’t be shy, this is your time to say look at me instead of saving it for the dreaded beast known as Facebook! HA!
Speaking of Liquid Awesome…watch this video of Matt E from the 6am class on Wednesday. He hit 8 full rounds of the “Beep Test”. It was quite fun to watch that level of performance.
INDOMITABLE – impossible to subdue or defeat. Unconquerable. Unbeatable. Unstoppable.
“Unstoppable” (Nov, 2010) Essay By Lisbeth Darsh Live Like That
You can beat me. But not defeat me.
I will dial myself in. I will focus.
You can run faster than me. But you cannot run truer.
I will learn to sprint. And to slow my pace for recovery.
You can post higher PR numbers than me on every whiteboard that exists in this world. But your weights really only mean something to you, not to me. You can lift more than me. In rubber or iron. Today.
But not in life. I am my own yardstick.
I will breathe deep and take this burden from the ground to my shoulders. And then over my head. But I will put it back down and walk away from it. It does not own me.
Although we pen our efforts for everyone to see, I was never competing with you to begin with. I am trying to be a better version of me, every single workout and every single day. You only help me to get there. Thank you. I hope my efforts drive you harder too.
But make no mistake, you can never defeat me.
It’s simply not possible.
I am unstoppable
I LOVE this essay by Lisbeth. This should be your thoughts each and every time you walk through the doors. I believe in it so much that I had shirts made. I am going to get it put on the wall in the gym. I want it to be a daily reminder to those that need it.
A very small quantity is available for purchase at $25 per shirt. We have XS – XL. Let me know if you would like one for your closet.
It will be $20 and you will be splitting a four-person platter from Soul Fire. If you would like in, please bring $20 cash and email me at mickeyg [at] crossfitboston [dot] com. Thanks!
15 Jan / 2015
Howdy CFB! Hope you guys have been staying warm and having fun in the new space. I know the Olympic Lifters are pumped and ready to go for their meet this weekend. I’ll be competing for the first time and I’m excited to put all of our hard work to the test. Speaking of the Olympic Lifters, who’s pushing you right now? Are you ready for the Whole Life Challenge? Have you registered and are you coming to the benchmark workout this Saturday at 8am? Do you have a team or group of people that is going to hold you accountable and help you improve?
Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with. Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you. Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you. Recognize your team. Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better. That’s why I’m doing the Whole Life Challenge and I would love to see you join us.
2015 is here. Set a goal, whether it’s a competition or a benchmark, and let’s get after it. Here is a little video of the Renegade Rowing Team. After 8 weeks of training, they learned to row together and push themselves at the Rumble on the River. If you’d like to attack your goals and have an awesome team to help you get there, come check out the Whole Life Challenge at the gym this Saturday at 8am. Be sure to register and join the CrossFit Boston Team before hand! Click here to sign up and make it happen.
14 Jan / 2015
Superfoods are still all the rage these days (at least according to those I follow on Twitter). But are they really so super?
What is a super food?
Entering “super foods” into a Google search provides a variety of definitions. According to Wikipedia, super foods contain “essential nutrients with proven health benefits and few properties considered negative”, and per the Oxford dictionary they are “food considered especially nutritious or otherwise beneficial to health and well-being”. Basically, they are foods that are nutrient dense and have known health benefits while producing no adverse effects to the consumer. Below I’ll discuss the health claims and research surrounding a few of the more well known”super foods”.
Bananas are a good source of fiber, carbohydrates and energy, potassium, and vitamin B6. Potassium is an electrolyte, important for maintaining electrolyte balanc
e and normal heart and muscle function and preventing muscle cramps. Vitamin B6 is involved in a number of reactions, mostly with protein metabolism, and has in some cases been associated with lower risk for certain cancers and improved sleep. One study showed that bananas were just as good as sports drinks for maintaining performance while providing healthier sugars and more vitamins and antioxidants in endurance cyclists. Bananas are a great source of carbs and energy for athletes, and make a great pre or post workout snack.
Acai Berries were popularized several years ago by reality TV star Lauren Conrad and is regularly marketed as a weight loss supplement in a variety of forms including juices and tablets. The acai is a dark purple berry found on acai palms, which are native to South and Central America. Claims about acai are numerous and include weight loss, help fighting heart disease, cancer prevention, improved digestion, and overall health. However, little evidence supports these claims, and in 2009 the Center for Science in the Public Interest actually issued a warning to consumers regarding internet acai berry supplement scams. In 2011, a small pilot study found that the acai berry may help improve choleterol and triglyceride levels in healthy adults, but more studies are needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Garlic has been claimed to have a variety of health benefits including lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and raising HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind), lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of blood clots, and helping the body fight infections. There is some evidence to support these claims but it is limited at best. In addition, there is little evidence supporting the use of garlic as a supplement, and taking garlic supplements or eating large amounts of garlic can interfere with certain heart disease medications, namely blood thinners like aspirin, and increase risk of bleeding. Garlic supplements may also decrease the effectiveness of certain immuno-suppressants and birth control.
Kale is a cruciferous green vegetable thought to be high in antioxiants, play a role in lowering cholesterol, help fight cancer, and reduce inflammation. According to a 2009 review, green vegetables like kale contain glucosinolates, which have been associated with a reduction of risk for some cancers. Kale is a healthful, nutrient packed vegetable, low in calories but high in vitamin K which reduce blot clotting, and vitamin A which helps maintain eye health, promotes cell formation and is needed for the normal forming and maintaining of heart, lung, kidney, and other organ tissues. It is also a good source of fiber, calcium, and potassium.
Tart Cherries have been up and coming in the sports nutrition world as a recovery supplement. In fact, when I was in college we used to drink a Tart Cherry Juice with added protein after every weight lifting practice, and currently several collegiate athletic teams use tart cherry juice as a recovery beverage. Benefits are thought to come from anthocyanins, the pigment responsible for the dark red color of cherries. Research has associated anthocyanins with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and tart cherries have the highest concentration of the anthocyanins known to reduce inflammation. There is evidence that drinking tart cherry juice post workout can reduce inflammation and improve muscle recovery. In addition, one study found that drinking tart cherry concentrate may increase levels of melatonin, a hormone that helps maintain normal sleep rhythms, and improve sleep in healthy adults.
It is difficult to find in the average grocery store, although you can find dried tart cherries, which make a great addition to salad or trail mix.
Red Wine is everyone’s favorite “health food”. OK it’s not really a health food. But ever since the first large scale observational study, the Framingham study, found that people who drank moderately, 1-2 glasses of red wince per day, had a lower risk of heart disease, there has been interest. Specifically, a polyphenol called Resveratrol, found in the skins of grapes, has been isolated as the potential key compound in red wine that protects the heart. Some studies have been promising, but more research is needed to definitively conclude that resveratrol is the protective agent. In addition, the alcohol is also beneficial. Research has shown that moderate drinking of any type of alcohol (including beer and hard liquor) can help raise HDL cholesterol and reduce blood clotting. You can get resveratrol from red grapes, but there has been no study to determine if the health benefits are comparable to drinking red wine.
All of the foods (including the wine, in moderation) mentioned above are good for you of course, and will provide a nutritious addition to any healthful diet. Eating an adequate amount of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables has long been associated with lower cancer risk, although researchers have yet to successfully replicate that effect by supplementing individual nutrients. One study isolating beta carotene actually increased risk of cancer among the supplement group. To make a mid 90′s cartoon reference (or two), diet is much more like Captain Planet than Superman. There is no one “super” food, but the powers of quality protein, healthy fats, and plenty of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables combined will provide numerous health benefits, give you more energy, and make you a better athlete.
What is the Acai Berry and Are There Health Benefits?http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/yjada/article/S0002-8223%2809%2901606-X/fulltext
Effects of Açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) berry preparation on metabolic parameters in a healthy overweight population: a pilot study.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569436
The impact of garlic on lipid parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19555517
E Med TV: Garlic Drug Interactions http://heart-disease.emedtv.com/garlic/garlic-drug-interactions.html
Vegetables, fruits and phytoestrogens in the prevention of diseases.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15235216
Cherry Health and Cherry Nutrition http://www.choosecherries.com/health/main.aspx
Anthocyanins – More Than Just Nature’s Colorshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082903/
Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497
The Mayo Clinic: Resveratrol: Good for your heart? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089/
12 Jan / 2015
Just a quick hit for tonight to share Tuesday’s WOD and a note from member, Natalie K., who has a great idea to help support our Whole Life Challenge efforts. Also, be sure to attend the WLC kickoff this Saturday at 8 AM! From what I understand, there WILL BE regularly scheduled classes with the WLC prelim WODs starting at 8 AM, with heats of 12 athletes performing every 15 minutes. Speaking of food, there has been a request to have Soul Fire delivered to the gym this Friday for the townhall meeting. We will be getting the “Serves 4 Souls” combos and it will cost $20 per person, tax and tip included. Please comment below if you want in on this action and please bring cash!
WOD for Tuesday, January 11th 2015
1. DU’s – 5 min
2. Back Squat 3RM
3a. Back Squat 3×3 @ 90%
3b. Glute Ham Raises 3×8-10
4. 6 Rounds for time
1 min ME WB’s (20/14#)
Peace and bacon grease,
From Natalie K.:
Hi guys!If you will be participating in the whole life challenge and are interested in a weekly potluck get-together to share food, recipes and be social without going out to a restaurant, let me know. We are thinking that 3 or 4 people could volunteer each week to cook dinner and share with the rest of us. That way we rotate cooking responsibilities and get to try some new dishes. Depending on how many people are interested, we could take turns hosting or do it in the lounge room at CFB. So far, people have shown interest in Sunday night dinners.If this is something you want to do, please email me (Natalie) at nkallwass [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know what day(s) work for you.Looking forward to dining with you!Nat