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Joe Z. OHSHey CFB!  How was that snow yesterday?  Ridiculous!  Anyways, props to the morning crew who had to do burpees instead of running due to the flood on the street and winter conditions.

 

Who’s ready to setup a Free Private Training Session?  I’ve already heard from a few of you and I can’t wait to help everyone set some goals and start attacking them.  Remember, you can join any coaches team in the gym.  It’s up to you if you’d like more personalized feedback and help in reaching your goals.  All you have to do is schedule a one-on-one session with a coach and you are on his team.   Let me know how I can help you and let’s get after it! – email me at [email protected] to setup a session to join the CFB Renegades.

 

Speaking of Renegades!  Welcome Joe Z. to group classes!  Joe is completing his graduation WOD, Fight Gone Bad, this week and he can’t wait to mix it up with all of you.  Here’s a little bit about him and why he’s joining CFB!

 

Joe Z. Foam RollWho are you and what are you about? My name is Joe Zarrella, and I’m a senior at Harvard College. I was a Varsity Diver for 4 years until finishing up my career in March, but I have been a lifelong athlete. I’m studying Government, and I’m excited to be joining the Teach For America corps for the next two years in Denver, CO as an elementary school teacher.
 
Why did you join CrossFit Boston? After I finished my final collegiate season in March, I immediately wanted to get back into the gym. I’m motivated by nature, but CrossFit’s philosophy was especially appealing to me. Not only do I want to work out, but I want to know how to work out most efficiently and effectively. I was looking for something that I can continue to do the rest of my life, and that’s why CrossFit Boston was a great fit for me.
 
What are you getting out of the Private Training? In Private Training, I have learned a number of movements that were completely new to me. But more importantly, I really was able to hone in on the movements I was familiar with but have to work on and improve. I’ve noticed that a lot of the movements I’ve learned apply to everyday activities outside the gym. The Private Training has really pushed me to find my limits, and I’m excited to graduate to group classes!
 
What are some of your goals for this year? Because I’m moving to Denver, my goals are to become acclimated to the Crossfit gym in Colorado. I want to attend workouts regularly and really start to build up my stamina and strength as an athlete. Another goal is to improve my nutrition and be more aware of what I’m putting into my body so that I can get the most out of my hard work.
 
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes? As a lifelong athlete, I love team environments. I’m really looking forward to being in the gym with a group of athletes all pushing each other and working towards the same universal goals of CrossFit!
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16 Apr / 2014

It’s OK To Be Sally

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2401995347_e23469cd13_qIn case you haven’t seen the epic pie order in When Harry Met Sally, watch now for context. While I don’t advise ordering complicated desserts as a great way to stick to a clean diet, I’ve got a point to make.  

When I say “it’s OK to be Sally”, I mean that it’s OK to be a huge, pain in the butt when you order at a restaurant. Go ahead, be all “Can you please cook my vegetables in olive oil or steamed instead of in butter, unless the butter happens to be grass-fed” and all “Do you have any BBQ sauce made with just molasses and honey, with no cane sugar or corn syrup?”, and “can you grill that instead of frying it, please?”. It’s OK to complain when you ask for a side of vegetables instead of some other processed carbohydrate and receive a quarter cup of sad looking veggies smothered in butter/oil. 

 

It’s OK for you to ask the Butcher or Fish Peddler to cut your meat to just the right amount. It’s OK to ask for grass fed beef or bison, and if they don’t have it ask them to go check or maybe even order some. It’s OK to ask for wild caught salmon and decide to go elsewhere if they don’t have it.

 

It’s OK to be honest with your friends and coworkers about what you eat. If someone is grilling Bubba Burgers, it’s OK for you to ask them to throw on a piece of chicken or bison for you. Hell, vegetarians do it all the time with their Kween-o burgers (see this ad if you don’t get the joke). It’s OK to ask that your coworkers don’t get you cupcakes on your birthday because you’re trying to avoid sugar. It’s OK to ask for the gluten free option at catered work lunches (although be advised, this isn’t always healthier per se). 

 

I know this is a fine line. It is obviously not OK to go to your friends house for dinner and look upon the white rice, rolls, or cheese platter and condescendingly inform them “I don’t eat that”. But I feel like we have spent too much time waiting on old fashioned economics of supply and demand to produce heather products, and the movement has been slow.  ‘Cause the food industry is way behind. Remember how we thought egg yolks were bad for us from like the mid 1980′s until the end of the 1990′s? Want to guess when McDonalds came out with an egg white option? THIS YEAR. While we appreciate your effort guys, it’s not the yolk we have a problem with, and we haven’t for over fifteen years. Other companies are better at picking up on trends, but not necessarily to our benefit. I mean, thanks for the gluten free wanter, peanuts, and yogurt I guess… And shout out to Dunkin Donuts for the turkey sausage and turkey bacon offerings, which are really not any healthier for you than regular bacon and taste way worse.

 

So my point is this: If you want a healthier, better food product, ask for it. Loudly and often. Because right now the food industry is making lots of money based on the assumption (and their efforts to keep it so) that everyone just can’t get enough soda, snacks, and processed convenience dinners. That we don’t care what’s in the food as long as it sounds “healthy” or is low calorie/low carb/low fat, etc. If we want better food, we have to demand it. And nothing speaks louder with food industry than your wallet. 

 

What do you think about this?

 

Photo 1

** A little context on the Flickr donut: when I searched “demanding” on flickr for a nice illustrative image, I stumbled upon a protest demanding Flickr give out free donuts. I think this makes asking for better food sound a little less ridiculous. I was also greatly amused, thus explaining the inclusion of this image.

 

 

I was planning on starting a weekly member blog, but had no idea my first blog would be describing an experience with the infamous Rhabdomyolysis. I’m sure everyone is somewhat familiar with Rhabdo. Fortunately it is rare enough that it doesn’t happen often. However, most people know of someone, or a friend of a friend who finds themselves at the mercy of Rhabdo.

 

I am trying to piece together what made last week different and why the conditioning or my behavior outside of CFB could have contributed to the onset of Rhabdo. So far I only have a few ideas.

 

I CrossFit about 4 to 5 days a week, and last week I completed WODS Monday- Thursday. My quads were tight, and sore but nothing that seemed out of the norm. On Friday I was planning on doing the 4:30 WOD, and I was foam rolling and stretching which is something I am adamant about doing before every class.

 

As I went to get up from mobility, I felt a sharp pain down my left quad and quickly sat back down, feeling light headed, and weak, I thought I had pulled a muscle and decided against working out that afternoon instead opting for continuing mobility. I went home iced my leg, took Tylenol and continued on with my Friday.

 

I awoke on Saturday experiencing the same pain and I was having a hard time putting any weight on my leg. I posted on the CFB BS board asking for advice and immediately members mentioned Rhabdo. I started Web- Mding, which is not advised, but I was experiencing some of the symptoms. My leg was tender to touch, swollen, and feeling warm.

 

With a lot of encouragement from the CFB community, I decided Sunday it was time to head to the ER. I was lucky because Krista picked me up, and she was working in the ER at Brigham and I received the VIP treatment.

 

At first the nurses didn’t think it was Rhabdo, because I was not acting like a Rhabdo patient. After multiple people looked at my leg, noticing the swelling, redness, bruising, and warmth they concluded it probably was more than a simple strain. They were concerned with Rhabdo as well as compartment syndrome, which was an even more terrifying possibility. I was started on fluids while my blood was sent to the lab for tests. After a couple of hours it was confirmed that my CK levels were elevated and I indeed had Rhabdo. I had caught the Rhabdo early enough so my course of treatment was simply fluids and rest; fortunately there is no apparent kidney damage. I was discharged in the morning with instructions to continue hydrating, resting and no crossfitting for a couple of weeks. As far as what caused it, its possible I was not drinking enough water throughout the week or I simply just over did it, I will never really know. I probably was experiencing Rhabdo for a few days and Friday when my muscles were in a vulnerable state any amount of strain was just too much. I am still feeling pretty weak, and sore but I am definitely on the mend!

 

My take away from this whole experience is positive. I am thankful for the CrossFit community in that they are informed of the symptoms and their insistence that I went to the ER. I think if anyone ever feels even slightly concerned that they could be experiencing Rhabdo they should head to the doctor. It is not something you want to mess around with, but if caught early the treatment is rather simple. In the end I think this experience will make me a more cautious, and aware Crossfitter and hopefully down the road a knowledgeable CrossFit coach!

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Tonight at 6:30PM is the Town Hall Meeting for all of our members. We will not be having a 6:30PM class. The meeting will be no longer than an hour and there will be refreshments provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

“You cannot drive your car looking at the rear view mirror. Focus on going forward.”

- Steve Harvey

I like this quote. It is important to learn from the past but it is not productive to obsess over it. Focus on how to make improvements. Apply this to your training. Your nutrition. Your life in general. It’s not easy but the faster you can move forward the sooner you will arrive where it is you want to go.

WHAT’S ON TAP

Saturday 4/12

8am – Track WOD meet at Harvard Track and be ready to START at 8:00AM

1. Deadlift – work up to a 5RM

2. AMRAP10
10 Deadlift @ 60% of 5RM
10 One Arm DB Push Press, 65#/45#

3. 3 x 10-15 GHD sit ups

Sunday 4/13

TEAM WOD – Relay Race

For Time
500m run
25 CTB Pull ups
20 Pistols (10 each leg)
15 Power Cleans, 185#/125#
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24″/20″
5 Strict Handstand Push ups (wall climbs scaled version)

TEAMS of 3. First person completes the 500m while other 2 rest. Once the CTB pull ups are started then person 2 can begin the 500m run. 2nd person cannot begin CTB pull ups until person one finishes, etc. 3rd person begins 500m run when the 2nd person finishes but cannot begin CTB pull ups until 2nd person is finished.

Monday 4/14

1. Clean and Jerk – work up to a 2RM

2. AMRAP 6
6 Strict Dips
6 Strict Pull ups

rest 2 minutes

AMRAP 6
Row 10 Calories
10 Push ups

rest 2 minutes

3. For time
75 Wallball shots, 20#/14#

Tuesday 4/15

1. 3 x 500m row with 1 minute rest

2. EMOM 12 – 1 Power Clean + 4 Front Squats (AHAP)

3. Back Work – Good Mornings 3 x 8-10

Wednesday 4/16

1. Bench Press – work up to 3RM

2. 3 rounds for time
Run 400m
10 Deadlift at 60% of your 1RM
10 KTE

3. Glute Ham raises – 3 x 8-15

Thursday 4/17

1. Back Squat – work up to a 5RM

2. Complete for time
75 Power Snatches, 115#/75#

Friday 4/18

1. Baseline – For time
Row 500m
40 Squats
30 Sit ups
20 Push ups
10 Pull ups

2a. Practice hand balancing and hand walking for 20 minutes
2b. Abs – Accumulate 100 hollow rocks

Jonathan Ozek liked this post

Who’s ready for the Town Hall Meeting tomorrow at 6:30pm?Bob and Coach Pat at CRASH-B 2014

 

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to new member Bob E. for making the CRI Comp Team!  Bob has been working hard all winter and has been loving every class at CrossFit Boston.  You’ll usually catch him at 6am or 7am on Tuesday and Thursday, because he is now officially rowing on the Men’s Comp. Team at CRI on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Keep up the awesome work Bob and represent!

 

A big thing that Bob has learned and started to focus on to make improvements in his rowing and lifting is mobility!  If you’re in need of more mobility knowledge and practice, come join us for Mobility Wednesdays every week at 6:30pm.  Kapil took everyone through hamstring mobility for deadlifts yesterday.  Who’s joining us next week?

 

 

RR Workshop at NAVSTA NewportLast but not least, I wanted to share some pictures from the Rowing Workshop that I put on for the Newport Naval Base yesterday.  You didn’t see me in the gym because I traveled down to Newport, RI to host a Renegade Rowing Workshop for members of the NAVSTA Newport Gym.  We had a blast learning to squat, row, and race with a Partner 2k Relay.  If you’re interested in rowing on the water with the Renegade Rowing Team - sign up here and shoot me an email – [email protected]

 

See you in the Gym!

Coach PatRR Workshop at Newport Navy Base

Katherine Wood liked this post
09 Apr / 2014

R.I.C.E.?

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Many of us here have been an athlete at some point in our lives even if we don’t consider ourselves “athletes” (you are, you just need to find your inner “athlete”). Anywho, before I get off on a tangent, we have all heard the acronym R.I.C.E. in reference to an injury. It has become “common-knowledge” that for an athletic injury we employ Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation to help alleviate soreness and pain.

But the very same physician who coined the term R.I.C.E. has come out saying that Ice and complete Rest might not be the answer to helping us heal faster.  

Read on here for more on this… 

09 Apr / 2014

Familiar Place With a New Face…

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or 5. Well actually only one of the faces is new but should be far less by now.

I am happy to introduce our new Interns/Coaches in learning. Most you will already know and some pretty well. Others this may be the first time you are meeting them and the first thing you will learn about them. Either way, take a moment to welcome them. You will be seeing them more frequently on the coaching floor; shadowing, assisting, leading portions of class, and eventually leading entire classes.

As a company, I have always believed in the idea of bringing a member up into coaching ranks as the first source of talent as opposed to hiring from outside of the organization. These individuals understand our culture and community. Know our members and usually have a smoother transition into the coaching ranks. There are exceptions to this rule and one of our new interns is such an exception.  

Each intern is going through and extensive learning process behind the scenes and is learning the craft of becoming an excellent coach. The maturation process doesn’t end.

Without further delay…

MICKEY GROUSE (aka Mike Tsung)

MickeyGrouse

I’ve been CrossFitting since November 2009. Earlier that year, I met former CrossFit Boston member, Josh Stahl, at a stair climb event and started up at CFB a few months later.

Early on, Helen was one of my favorite WODs. There is something about that triplet of running, pull-ups, and kettle bell swings that really appealed to me. I’m also a big fan of DT and Annie, two WODs that could not be more different! My least favorite WOD is 14.5. That was gross, but I’m already looking forward to tackling it again sometime after someone puts the fire out in my triceps.

When I’m not at the gym, I also get people moving on the dance floor as a DJ. After years of rocking house parties, weddings, and other special events, I was granted a weekly residency at a downtown bar this past fall. I’m an excellent driver and I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career.

Why coach at CFB? The people, obviously! The community here is awesome and I’ve forged some elite friendships on the way to forging semi-elite fitness. I think one strength I have as a coach is the fact that I was never an athlete growing up and that many of these movements were (and continue to be) pretty foreign. In addition to receiving excellent coaching from the staff at CFB, I also have spent considerable time nerding out, reading as many articles as possible on form and technique of these various movements. I’m excited to be starting up at CFB — see you all in the gym!

ALEX BLACK – Wicked Good Nutrition

photo 1-1

I started CrossFit when I joined CFB in early 2011, but I did very similar training to CrossFit in college. We did a lot of functional movement, Oly lifts, and gymnastics, workouts were just called “power circuits” instead of “WODs”. 

Murph is definitely one of my favorites – I love how the community comes together for that one and I love chippers. Least favorite is Fran and anything with lots of rowing.

Running, playing tennis, skiing, shopping, and watching college football (go gators). Anything that gets me out of the house and doing something fun with other people. 

I became an RD because I want to help people achieve a healthy, active, and happy life, and my reasons for becoming a CrossFit coach are the same. I want to help people see themselves as strong, capable athletes — not just dieters and exercisers. I’m also excited about learning the ins and outs of good coaching from Neal and other experienced coaches. 

My nutrition and gymnastics background and an ability to connect with people and explain difficult concepts in a way that makes sense.

COUGER “CJ” JARAMILLO – “The Golden Archer”

CJ

I started crossfit spring of 2013 at CFB and my favorite WOD is a toss-up between Diane and Annie. My least favorite is Angie (it’s just miserable the entire time).

When I’m not in the gym or class, I like going to movies with friends, playing pickup soccer, and reading (pretty much equal volumes of Russian literature and comic books). And whenever I’m in a city with an archery range, there’s a 10:1 chance you’ll find me there at any given time of day. 

I want to become a coach because CrossFit has become one of the best parts of my day and I want to take a more active role in making that true for everyone who walks into CFB. 

I’m currently studying physiology and biomechanics and am up to date on a lot of the recent literature -this gives me a unique perspective on CrossFit. Also, as a person who learned most of the CrossFit movements only recently, it’s very easy for me to relate to newcomers to the sport and the problems they may have early on.

MARTIN BREU – Mobility King

martinb

I started CrossFit about 4 years ago when in college. I was looking for something to do after retiring from ski racing, and a friend of mine introduced me to CF

My favorite wow is an EMOM with anything heavy. My least favorite is anything with muscle ups or other stuff that I can’t do. Goats, I gotta work on those goats!

If I’m not in the gym, I am most likely at the office working on some sweet spreadsheets. I do enjoy cooking when I get the time.

I have always wanted to be a coach and to pass on my (limited) knowledge and experiences. This community has given me so much help, I want to be a part of that for the next person.
 
What I bring to CrossFit Boston that’s unique is my vast knowledge of mobility because of a MAN-crush I have on Kelly Starrett. Also, I have been training and programming for training for years in multiple sports.

ZACK MCWADE – THE Gentle Giant

zack m

I’ve been doing CrossFit for 2.5 years now. John Zimmer introduced me to it while working at Gentle Giant. I am not sure if mentioning John Z brings me legitimacy or if it immediately discredits me.

My favorite WOD is the Filthy Fifty, my least favorite is Fran.

In my free time I enjoy live music, movies, comic books, and I am a huge Patriots fan. I also play flag football and softball.

I wanted to be a coach because CrossFit has changed my life for the better and I wanted to share that with others. I’ve coached youth sports in the past and I love to teach. Becoming a CrossFit coach is something I’ve wanted for a while now.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was more if a couch potato. I had played sports before in high school, but I was far from an active lifestyle. Now after a few years of CrossFit I can’t imagine my life without it. I know that many people out there are afraid of CrossFit and are hesitant to try it because they think its too hard or they need to be in shape before starting. I think, using my own experiences, I can help people who are new to fitness find that same motivation and interest that has made me a lifer.

04 Apr / 2014

FIRE IT UP! April 4, 2014

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FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!

The Open is complete! Everyone gave great efforts and as coaches we saw some significant improvements across the board. Congrats to everyone that participated.

Carla B has qualified, still awaiting the official announcement, for the NorthEast Regionals as an individual competitor. She finished 32nd in the Region. Get ready to head down to Canton, MA on May 30-June 1 at the Reebok World Headquarters to cheer her on!

Carla rocking out 14.5.

Carla rocking out 14.5.

HONORING BFD

Beginning this weekend we will have a collection jar for donations for the family of recently fallen Lt. Ed Walsh of the BFD. Lt. Walsh left behind a wife with 3 children under the age of 10 when he and FF Kennedy perished in the 9 Alarm Fire in Back Bay last week.

Tomorrow’s 11am class will perform the Hero WOD Mike “Dork” Kennedy:

For time
33 Back Squat, 225/155
15 Burpees
33 Deadlift, 225/155
15 Burpees
33 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
15 Burpees

FF Kennedy was a member of the CrossFit community and had trained/coached at CrossFit Craic, CrossFit Together, and CrossFit Florian.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday 4/11 – Town Hall Meeting – 6:30pm at the GYM

Sat/Sun 4/19-4/20 – CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Gym Closed (Meet at Harvard Track)

Monday – 4/21 Patriots Day – Marathon Monday (1 WOD at the gym and then Potluck after)

Saturday 4/26 – Hydrostatic Weighing with Metro Fitness Wave

TOWN HALL MEETING
Join us at the gym next Friday at 6:30pm. The staff and I will be on hand to breakdown the some of the changes that have occurred within the gym and the continued improvements and how exactly they will benefit you all as current members. It will be exciting to discuss so try to make it!

CROSSFIT LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION
On Saturday 4/19 & Sunday 4/20 we are hosting a CrossFit Level 1 Cert. The gym will be closed so members should meet each morning over at the Harvard University Track for an outdoor workout. It will be FUN.

PATRIOT DAY – MARATHON MONDAY
Join us at the gym for 1 WOD at 10am and a potluck after. Food, drink, and good conversations. We will stream the marathon on the TV screens. Bring your favorite foods to share!

HYDROSTATIC WEIGHING
Keith from Metro Fitness Wave will be back here at CFB on Saturday 4/26 to perform hydrostatic measurements. If you missed out on the last round or you wish to retest, this will be your chance. Monday of next week we will have a link on the website to register, schedule, and pay for your spot. You can learn more about the service here.

PROGRAMMING

Saturday 4/5

1. Bench Press – work up to a 5RM for the day

2. 21-15-9 for time
Front Rack Lunges, 135/95
Ring Dips

11am ONLY – Hero WOD Mike “Dork” Kennedy:

For time
33 Back Squat, 225/155
15 Burpees
33 Deadlift, 225/155
15 Burpees
33 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
15 Burpees

Sunday 4/6

1. Row 1k – TEST

2. With a Partner Complete AMRAP 20
5 Pull ups
10 Burpees
15 Deadlift, 225/155

Only one person working on the AMRAP at a time. The second person will be rowing for max distance on the rower. The partners switch when a full round is complete.

Score rounds + reps and total combined distance rowed by the team.

Monday 4/7

1. Push Press – work up to a 3RM for the day

2. 4 x 200m repeats
rest 2x the time it took to complete the sprint

3. Abs – Accumulate 100 total reps from the following movements: GHD sit ups, T2B, KTE, strict back extensions

Tuesday 4/8

1. “Zimmerman”
AMRAP 25
11 CTB Pull ups
2 Deadlift, 315/220
10 HSPU

2. 10 x 30 sec L-sit holds

Wednesday 4/9

1. Front Squat – work up to a 2RM

2. For time
75 Wallball shots
25 Double unders
50 Wallball shots
50 Double Unders
25 Wallball shots
75 Double Unders

3. Grip work

Thursday 4/10

1. EMOM 15 – 2 Power Snatch AHAP + 1 MU

2. AMRAP 5
15 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
15 Burpees

rest 5 minutes

AMRAP 5
15 Burpees
15 Step ups, 20″

Friday 4/11

1. TEST 1 mile run

2. “Angie”
100 Pull ups
100 Push ups
100 Sit ups
100 Air squats

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Kapil demoing Test/Retest

Kapil demoing Test/Retest

How’s the week going?  Excited to be over the hump?

 

I hope you all enjoyed that last wod of the Open.  I usually look forward to burpees, but I can’t say I ever want to do burpees and thrusters ever again.  Congrats to Carla for crushing “14.5″ and showing us all the Geriatric Burpee.  If you want to learn, just challenge her to some burpees!  She’s going to need all of our support in preparation for Regionals!  Let’s keep hitting it hard and push each other to get better.

 

Speaking of making yourself better… the CrossFit Boston Renegades hosted a Mobility Session with HBS Member Kapil Khimdas on Saturday.  We had a blast learning about the proper way to use mobility in relation to every day class as well as using a partner to inflict the right amount of pain.  Here’s a quick recap of what we learned:

 

Chris hitting a Posterior Chain Floss

Chris hitting a Posterior Chain Floss

1. Test and Retest – Use a friend to test the range of motion at a joint or try a couple of squats, deadlifts, or presses.  How tight are you?  Is there any pinching?  Does the movement feel junky or smooth?  Was there an improvement?

 

2. Range of Motion Mobility – We worked on the posterior chain floss and it was epic.  Use range of motion work before class to prep for the movements we’ll be using.  Keep it dynamic and work the contract/relax cycle of the stretch.

 

3. Foam Rolling – Can be used during class to help with tweaks, but post class it’s the best to make a change permanent and help with recovery.  If it’s not painful you’re not smashing hard enough according to Kapil.

 

4. Tack and Floss – Pin a knotted muscle and then work through flexion and extension or side to side to improve function of the muscle and range of motion.  Doing this post class will help with recovery and improving flexibility long term.

 

Nigel smashing my quad!

Nigel smashing my quad!

Mobility Wednesdays at CFB!

 

Kapil and the CFB Renegades will be hosting Mobility Wednesdays from now on at CFB.  Every Wednesday night at 6:30pm we’ll be helping each other smash, stretch, and improve.  It started last night and If you’d like to join in, just show up and get after it.  Kapil and I will be helping you guys run through a mobility routine and we’ll work on a different area of the body each week.  Drinks are welcome!

 

Shoot me an email if you have any questions! – [email protected]

 

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No, this is not a belated April Fool’s, although I am now kicking myself for not asking to blog a day early. I could have had a lot of fun with that one. 

There’s been a lot of hate going around in the media for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and fructose. Some “nutritionists” may even tell you to cut back on fruit because fructose is so dangerous. But is this all true?

 

What We Know

hfcs obesity

 

We know in studies of mice, feeding them diets upwards of 40-50% of their diet from HFCS leads to development of cancer, obesity, and other side effects.  We can also see a graph (right) of  obesity rising significantly in the 30+ years after HFCS was introduced to the food supply in the 1970′s. Meanwhile other studies are finding there are no significant negative effects attributed to HFCS.

 Now, it’s become a fierce debate. One camp blasting the many ways HFCS will kill you and the other defending it’s honor, proclaiming that HFCS is perfectly safe.

 

The Truth

 

The line industry and the FDA has settled on is “HFCS is no more harmful to your health than sucrose (table sugar)”. 

 

1601546_10104604919720781_2037852626_nThe thing is, I agree with this. But that doesn’t mean HFCS is OK. It means the FDA and industry are missing the forest for the trees, and hoping you will too. To say HFCS is no more harmful to your health than table sugar is like saying gin is no more harmful to your health than bourbon. Would you really argue that drinking gin is fine but bourbon is not or vice versa? Of course not. You recognize that both in moderation can be enjoyed, but in excess BOTH will produce harm (in this example, in the form of liver cirrhosis and alcoholism). 

 

I will however, agree that HFCS can cause obesity, although not directly on it’s own. After all, HFCS isn’t even that “high” in fructose – only about 5% higher than sucrose. What happened was, HFCS made sugar SO CHEAP that the industry could put it in everything, even things that never had sugar before. They could manipulate sweetness to further addict you to foods, to produce larger serving sizes for basically nothing. HFCS doesn’t chemically cause obesity, but it set the stage for the environment that would.

 

My Advice

 

  • Don’t eat a lot of HFCS. Anything it’s in is usually cheaply made. Personally, I prefer the taste of barbecue sauce made with molasses and honey over HFCS, but if you treat your self to something that has it every now and then you will not give yourself cancer immediately. 
  • Don’t fool yourself – a cookie with HFCS is just as bad for your waistline and health as a cookie made with “organic evaporated cane juice” (which is just fancy speak for sucrose). 
  • Keep your intake of added sugar -a ALL sugars – to a minimum. Get your carbs from complex carbs and satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit.
  • Don’t avoid fruit – drinking straight fructose may be a bad idea, but eating fructose in the presence of fiber and other vitamins and minerals is the way nature intended. I mean, don’t eat 10 bananas in a day, but if you’re stressing about eating a second piece of fruit because you’re afraid it will harm your health and impact your weight loss, just stop it right now.

*There are some people for which avoiding fructose (and most other carbohydrates) at all or some parts of the day will be appropriate, including body builders on a cutting diet or women with Gestational Diabetes. 


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Athlete of the Month

  • David Kemp

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    Let’s start with a regret. I wish I had gotten off my ass and joined CrossFit Boston a year ago. Fitness-wise, it had been a rough year since I got out of the Marines and started at HBS (Harvard Business School). Not that I wasn’t working out at all, but what I was doing wasn’t […]

Kid Athlete of the Month

  • ASHLEY SCAFETTA

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    CrossFit is a sport I believe everyone can participate in. I especially see this in the kid athletes of CrossFit Boston. Every new kid I have the opportunity to coach brings to our community a new perspective. Ashley is a young lady who at 10 years old is already competing in triathlons and is a […]

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