24 Oct / 2013
CrossFit Boston, I want to introduce you to one of our newest athletes—Elvon. He is a student from Brighton High School and taking part in our Fundamentals Program. Elvon is part of a pilot program started for Brighton High School students who have cognitive disabilities. About a month ago I received a call from an adaptive teacher from the Boston Public Schools, his name is Jason Meade. I was so impressed with the level of commitment he has for his student that I couldn’t say no.
What really hooked me is that Mr. Meade was previously a football coach and left that prestigious job to work with students like Elvon. I asked him if he didn’t prefer to work in a job with more status and his reply made me smile for days. “I use to think like that, but then I met these kids. When they turn 19 they have less and less activities available to them. Do you think you can help Elvon?”
The question isn’t can I help, it’s how do we make this work. I decided it was best for Elvon to have private training for at least the first 15 sessions. All it costs is my time and I figured that I could find 1-2 more hours a week for Elvon. If I can help him learn the movements and become acclimated to the gym environment he will be ready for group training. In August we switched our point of entry for all athletes to our Fundamentals Program. I’ve seen how well this has worked for the newest members and I thought I would give this a try with Elvon. It’s working!!
Just three weeks in he has already been welcomed by many of the CrossFit Boston athletes. He smiles all the time and when I ask him if he liked the training he says a resounding, “yes, I like a lot.” Elvon arrived in our country two years ago and doesn’t have strong verbal skills but I know that he is absorbing everything going on around him. In our first session I was trying to teach him the concept of full range of motion. He got it with the push-ups and proved to be balanced and strong. On the pull-ups however he couldn’t understand why I was telling him they didn’t count if he didn’t fully extend his arms. He never gets frustrated but I was wondering how to best communicate what I meant. Using complicated sentences and long explanations isn’t an option. I emailed his teacher, Mr. Meade, the weekly report and explained the situation. On Saturday when we went to work on pull ups Elvon smiled and said “Coach tell me to go full down.” Yes! He got it and he was proud that he understood what I was trying to explain. Next on the list, start to teach him to kip.
We are moving into the power movements next. I’m a little worried I won’t be able to correctly explain how to explode the hips open. We have language differences and I don’t even know his cultural background. Not sure which words will trigger an understanding but I think with patience Elvon will be performing a power clean in 4 more weeks. He was able to perform the deadlift and shoulder press with few cue words and tactical cuing.
I became a coach to help kids like Elvon. I can picture him someday taking Olympic lifting with Coach Julie. I can’t help it, I like to dream BIG!
23 Oct / 2013
The Head of the Charles took place last weekend in Boston. A lot of rowers used the Head to get motivated by setting goals to place in the top 20, top 10, or top 3. If you got a chance to check it out please share your thoughts and pictures. Did witnessing one of the most awesome rowing events in the world get you motivated to commit to your own goals or an upcoming event?
I’m looking forward to getting the Renegade Rowing Club up and running for the winter and training for CRASH-B’s. More details on the Renegade Rowing Club and the Renegade Rowing League will be out next Thursday, so keep a look out!
Below is an excerpt from a great blog on motivation by Alex Black of Wicked Good Nutrition. Check it out and tell us how you’re getting motivated this Winter!
The Land of Motivation
Motivation can be tough. It can be hard to find your way to Motivation-land, and once you get there, it can be even harder to stay. It takes at least a month to turn a behavior into a habit, and that month will typically be rife with challenges. Because, you know, the minute you decide to give up sugar or beer the next three social outings your friends plan are a baking pot luck and outing to your favorite craft beer bar…
On top of that, some research suggests it can take up to 3 years to reset your body’s homeostasis (sense of balance) at a new weight. What this means is, if you lose 20 pounds, it can take 3 years before you body recognizes this as its new and healthy weight.
But all that aside, there are a few tricks you can use to help you get motivated and stay motivated. These include:
23 Oct / 2013
Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the 6am and 7am crew this morning. The gym was rocking and you guys crushed it. Even with that cold run. If you’re coming in later today take a look at the OH Walking Lunges in the video above. Make sure we’re not letting the chest/torso fall forward. Try to keep your torso upright and focus on active shoulders. If you have to stop and reset, do it. Keep everything locked out and stacked for every step. Today is a great opportunity to perfect form on all of the movements. Be honest with yourself and push it!
Can anyone guess what a Spider Worm is? We used it in todays warmup and I believe the 6am class came up with an interesting acronym.
Also, check out today’s main blog post by Alex Black! Great post on how to cure the common cold with good nutrition!
Have a great day!
22 Oct / 2013
It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season is just around the corner! Since the cold (rhinovirus) and the flu (influenza) are both viruses, they can’t be cured by antibiotics. And common cold medicines like Nyquil don’t actually fight the virus, they just mask the symptoms that occur when your body fights the virus. So, the best way to prevent and treat the cold or flu is to keep your immune system in tip top shape. Here’s a few things you can do:
18 Oct / 2013
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
This is one of the biggest weekends of the year here in the Boston area as The Head of the Charles is taking place. It is the most revered regatta in the world! One of our own, Coach Pat aka “Coach Sunshine” is racing in a scull this Sunday at 8am! A group of us will be meeting to cheer him on at the Western Ave bridge before the Sunday class. Try and join us!
How did your week of training go? Did you hit any new PR’s? I witnessed a few bell rings during the classes. Speak up and share it with the group!
How about any breakthroughs? We worked on skin the cats this week. They are a great movement to develop shoulder strength and develop some greater awareness of your body when its upside down and not on the ground. It’s no secret that with all of the overhead movements with CrossFit: presses, jerks, snatches, pull-ups, etc. That the shoulder can take a pounding IF you are not proactive. So, don’t stop incorporating this movement into your warm-up and mobility.
As you are aware, we are re-organizing the gym. Along with adding some shelves, creating space, etc, we are also putting some fresh paint on the walls. Our goal is to make CrossFit Boston Iron & Grit a place that you want as members enjoying being. More than just during your one hour workout but to hang out after and sit with friends while drinking your favorite protein shake or vita coco or an adult beverage at the end of the day.
Why is this important to us? Well, its not a secret that the more frequently you are here with us, the more what we do will become a fully integrated piece of your life. Our goal is to help lead you down the path of being “Wicked Fit For Life”. Not just for today or the next day. Not even for the next year, but for life.
What’s On Tap
This week’s programming is going to have an emphasis on interval training in the MetCon. Both Tuesday and Thursday will feature this. The movements are low skill and the objective is to work at a really high intensity and then recover in between before repeating. Monday and Wednesday will be classic CrossFit MetCons.
There will NOT be any squat days programmed in strength during the week so it will be ESSENTIAL that you get 1-2 heavy squat days in on your own either before or after class. On Saturday 10/26 the CrossFit Total is programmed so we will be testing the 1RM in the back squat, press, and deadlift.
There is no programmed skill focus. Instead we will spend a week hammering the midline assistance work.
Sunday – 10/20
1. Complete as a TEAM of 2 (1 M, 1 F)
10 minutes to find 2 rep max – Front Squat
score is sum of lifts
2. Team Chipper (Same TEAM)
For time (14 minute cap)
30 gh sit ups
30 deadlift 225/155
30 double unders
30 overhead squats 95/65
30 pull ups
Men start first, then women. Athletes can’t advance stations until station in front is clear.
Monday – 10/21
1. 4 rounds for time
9 handstand push ups
12 power cleans 155/105
15 box jumps, 24″,20″
2. Snatch – 5×2
3. Midline assistance
Tuesday – 10/22
1. 5xAMRAP 3 minutes
10 Overhead Swings, 24kg/16kg
rest 1:00, add :15 to rest each round
2. Push press – 3×5
Wednesday – 10/23
1. For time
30 OH walking lunges, 45/25
30 Push ups
30 Pull ups
Run 1 mile
30 Pull ups
30 Push ups
30 OH walking lunges, 45/25
2. Midline assistance work
Thursday – 10/24
1. 5xAMRAP 4minutes
10 Knee to elbows
10 Thruster, 75/55
rest 1:00 between rounds
2. 2 Hang power snatch + 2 Tall squat snatch – 7 sets
Friday – 10/25
1. Overhead Squat – 5×5
2. TEST – 1000m row
3. Midline assistance work
Saturday – 10/26
1. CrossFit Total
Back Squat – 1RM
Shoulder Press – 1RM
Deadlift – 1RM
15 minutes to find 1RM of each lift
17 Oct / 2013
Today’s WOD includes the sumo deadlift high pull. This movement can easily be performed incorrectly. Here are some cues to take into consideration while you are busting out your reps:
- Hand placement should be such that your elbows are kissing your knees when the bar is on the ground. If the grip is too wide then it is very difficult to move through the full range of motion. If it is too narrow then you will have a difficult time balancing the bar.
- Shoulder blades should be neutral at all times. At the bottom the shoulders will be depressed or “packed down” and elevated or “active” at the top. This allows the upper arm to move freely through the ROM without impingement.
- Full hip extension on the deadlift before the arms begin to bend AND full arm extension on the return before the hips begin to flex.
Here is a quick video showing what we are looking for:
16 Oct / 2013
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?
Renegade Rowing was lucky enough to be interviewed by Alexa Pozniak of Boston.com for a video and article on why rowing can be such a great fitness tool and how local rowers are training for the Head of the Charles. Having the opportunity to spread my knowledge and passion for the sport with the athletes of Wayland-Weston Crew, Boston College Men’s Crew, CrossFit Boston, and followers of Renegade Rowing is what I live for. Seeing all of you improve and find passion in rowing is what it’s all about. Please checkout and share this video and article with your friends and get in touch with me, [email protected], if you’re interested in the Renegade Rowing Club.
15 Oct / 2013
Leaving the house on Monday morning without any food prepared and trying to eat healthy can be like walking into the desert with no water. As you well know, the American food environment isn’t exactly the best at facilitating healthy eating. So the best way to fuel your body for success is to…. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME!
Where do I start?
Before you get started, you’ll want to consider a few things, including:
- What your week looks like. How much time falls between now and thenext time you’ll have time to go grocery shopping and prepare a fewquality meals?
- What you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks between now and then. Plan meals and snacks based on your work/workout schedule, i.e. make sure you have a snack for before you train and a meal/snack after you train. For more about what to eat before a workout, go here.
- Storage and reheating logistics. Will you be at an office with a fridge and a microwave? On the road with nothing but a cooler?
Decide What to Make
Depending on where you’ll be and what you’ll have access to, start planning your meals. Below are some good healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas – both paleo and non-paleo – for each of the situations I mentioned above. To help you quickly find an idea for your diet of choice, (P) stands for paleo, (R) stand for primal (paleo + grass fed dairy), and (V) stands for vegetarian.
If you’re on the road
- Green smoothie w/ 1 cup milk, 1-2 cups greens, ½-1 cup frozen manog chunks (R) (V)
- Apple and almond butter (P) (R) (V)
- 4+ ounces quality deli meat, raw vegetables w/ guacamole, fruit or cold mashed sweet potato with cinnamon (P) (R)
- Salad w/ greens, veggies, nuts, and dried fruit. (V) Add chicken (P) Add chicken and feta cheese (R)
- Beef jerky (P) (R)
- Trail mix of nuts and/or nuts and dried fruit (P) (R) (V)
If you’re in an office
Any idea above plus
- Hard boiled eggs with reheated paleo style collard greens and fruit (P) (R)
- Paleo carrot banana muffins w/ almond butter and fruit (P) (R) (V)
- Irish oatmeal w/ milk, slivered almonds, and fresh or dried berries (V)
- Tuna avocado bowls (R)
- Fresh soup from your local supermarket, reheated and eaten with aside
of fruit. Whole Foods “Mom’s Chicken Soup” or Minestrone are goodexamples. Just check the label to make sure there are no preservatives or funky ingredients, and avoid generic canned soup like Campbells or Progressive, which a. won’t provide sufficient calories and b. are sure to have preservatives and/or added sugars and likely to contain MSG.
- Reheated leftovers, such as this Paleo “Spaghetti”, crock pot Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato, & Pear Stew, or Chicken Scaloppini. (P) (R)
- Fruit with or without almond or other nut butter (P) (R) (V)
- Greek yogurt with berries and nuts (R) (V)
- Steve’s “Paleo Kits” (P) (R)
- Steve’s Paleo Krunch (warning – does not last long in the average pantry due to extreme deliciousness) (P) (R)
If you’re at home or anywhere else with a full kitchen
Any ideas above plus
- Scrambled eggs with veggies and/or cheese and avocado (R) (V)
- Western omelet with fruit and avocado (P)
- Fried eggs w/ bacon and fruit (P) (R)
- Fajitia Chicken salad (P) (R)
- Leftover, reheated meat w/ side of Kale and Dried Apples or other sautéed green/vegetable.
Any idea above plus
- Baked apple chips – core and slice apples, bake at 250 degrees until crispy, usually around 2 hours.
- Frozen grapes
Plan a head, but not too much – sometimes, leftovers get old. It’s great if you can save time by cooking an entire week’s worth of stir fry on Sunday, but not if you get sick of it by Wednesday and decide to get Burger King instead. Think about what you might want that week, and plan in some variety.
Pack more than you need – one of the top reasons people have trouble sticking to a healthy diet is HUNGER. And when you’re eating clean, it can be hard to go out and grab a healthy snack. So pack a little extra. It’s always better to leave a bag of trail mix or dried fruit at work for next week than down a bag of pretzels because you couldn’t find a healthier option at your nearest gas station.
Be aware of food safety – any meat or previously cooked items should be kept cold (in the fridge or a cooler). Any of those items left out at room temperature for over 2 hours should be discarded.