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05 Aug / 2014

Active Recovery

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brown_bear_ru

Thanks to everyone for their #PostWOD activity ideas! Of note are four suggestions put forth by Juan Carlos and Rory:

1. #PostWOD recovery shakes at JC’s Cambridge home – Delicious!

2. A weekend trip up to JC’s house in New Hampshire, featuring access to a lake, an indoor pool, and biking/running trails – SIGN ME UP!

3. Eating buffalo wings. I’m SRSLY down for this. I propose we get together at Silvertone this Sunday afternoon at 4 PM to munch on some Buffalo Wings and down some frosty brews. Who’s in? Comment below or email me at [email protected]

4. A flag football team — Could CFB parlay its appearance in the softball playoffs into flag football dominance?!

 

Here is the events roll call for the next few weeks:

• Sunday, August 10th at 4 PM – Buffalo Wings at Silverton (69 Bromfield Street, Beacon Hill)

• Wednesday, August 13th from 6 – 10 PM – Our very own Evan Michael Coniglio will be playing Rat Pack night at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City Series

• Saturday, August 16th – Hike the Whites (email pat@crossfitboston to sign up!)

• Sunday, September 7th at 9 AM- Nigel and Dave’s Filthy Fifty Birthday Celebration

• Saturday, September 13th from 4 to 11 PM – Watch our very own Boston Derby Dame Candy Saunders kick @$$ in a Boston Roller Derby Bout!

• Sunday, September 21st – CrossFit Fenway’s Third Annual Beantown Throwdown

• Saturday, September 27th from 9 AM to 2 PM – Our very own in-house throwdown!

 

Please let me know if you have any other events that you are participating in and I’ll post them here! There have also been a bunch of spontaneous gatherings that have been formed over on our super-secret, yet completely-inclusive Facebook page. If you are not yet a member of this secret group and would like to be, please message me and I’ll get you set up.

04 Aug / 2014

Mobility

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Alright, my first question is, WHO does Mobility/Yoga!? Second question, if your answer is yes, how often!? Every Monday I will be putting up some movements that you should try to do DAILY each week. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me.  

First, rolling out your muscles is very important but it should NOT be the only thing you do. Look at the work outs you have this week. Think of what your body needs, what you feel when you are doing a lift or how you feel the next few days. Choose from there what mobility movement you should do each day, BEFORE and AFTER class. 

If you were in class when I was doing Mobility to warm up, you’ve done these movements already. These movements will open your most important joints and warm up your muscles! After class you should take more time holding each pose for 45 sec to 1 min to help your muscles rest and to prevent them from becoming tight and sore. 

Movements:

Downdawg (hold)

Raise Right or Left, step forward to lunge.

Make your way into spider man. Play with that, hold a little longer where it is tight.

Repeat BOTH legs 4 time. After class do 2 on each side BUT after spiderman make your way into pigeon. Hold the pigeon as long as you can, put more body weight on the  tightness and stiffness you feel. 

 

Inchwarm to Updawg

Inchwarm to plank position

Lower down towards the floor, DONT lay on floor.

Press your chest up, the TOP of your head towards ceiling, LOOK FORWARD!

Hips will drop, THIGHS DO NOT TOUCH THE FLOOR!

Make your way back to a downdawg position, then perform another Inchwarm to Updawg.

Repeat 8 times, before times. 2-4 times after class but holding each position for a longer period of time!

31 Jul / 2014

080114 – FIRE IT UP!

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Hey, this is the beginning of the final month for the summer. Crazy as that sounds it’s true. As a parent all I can think about is that school is starting again soon and normalcy shall return to the land. Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it?

The strength challenge is wrapping up this weekend with the CrossFit Total and Hydrostatic Weighing operated by Keith of MetroWave Fitness. The Saturday classes will be conducting the CFT as well. If you did the test back in May but didn’t participate in the challenge, come in and retest so that we can compare.

CODE

There is a code from CrossFit that was hammered in me when I first started training in its methodologies. It is “MCI” or “Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity”. This is important, you see. Training at high intensities with large volume and high skilled movements, that you see in a program such as CrossFit, can be dangerous and cause injury if you are not intelligent about how you go about things.

Mechanics – First learn the movements correctly. Seek a higher understanding as to why we perform the movements we do and how they benefit you outside of the gym. Practice proper progressions before jumping ahead to more advanced movements. Though you may have the ability to do some of these movements you may not have necessarily laid the foundation to handle the physical stress they bring about.

Meet regularly with your Coach to review mechanics and seek performance improvements. Develop together a plan to attack weaknesses and turn them into strengths. This is a lifelong pursuit of a higher level of fitness so enjoy the ride!

Consistency – Consistently train, week in/week out. If you are training 3-4 times per week you will establish a great level of fitness that will allow you function in almost all activities you wish to. Be consistent in your recovery; be it mobility work, yoga, meditation (very under appreciated by the way), or just taking more naps. Eat quality food and eat consistently enough to support your training. Avoid excess and don’t be a fool and under eat. You are really only hurting yourself and you will miss your goals.

If you are traveling that doesn’t mean your fitness needs to end. Email your Coach and ask him or her to put together a plan for you while you are away. If you are planning to visit a CF Affiliate, contact them ahead of time to make sure that they permit drop ins.

Intensity – Ah, the mecca of fitness! It is not a secret that being able to train with intensity is where the magic is attaining the results for which we are seeking. Intensity = Power = work/time = (force x distance)/time. Lift more and do it faster, longer, and further. Why? Because it creates a hormonal response releasing testosterone and growth hormone into the body. EVERYONE including the ladies wants this as it increases your energy levels, slows the aging process, improves vitality, and improves libido! Yes, you read that last part correctly.

Intensity is what many newcomers try to put first. This is a great error. You must set the foundation or you risk plateaus or worse injuries and burnout. Keep it in check and commit to a lifetime of PR’s and great health! 

FIRE IT UP!

WHAT’S ON TAP – PROGRAMMING

Saturday 8/2

CrossFit Total

1RM Back Squat
1RM Press
1RM Deadlift

3 attempts at each lift

Sunday 8/3

1a. Back Rack forward lunges @ 20×2, 10 x 3 sets (10 each leg), super strict, rest 1:00
1b. Ring Dips – 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 (if you cannot perform 8 unbroken reps then perform clusters of 3.3.3.3 x 3)

2. 3 rounds for time
20 Pull-ups
15 BB Thrusters, 95/65

Monday 8/4

1. Squat Snatch @ 78%, 1.1.1 x 3 sets, rest 3 minutes between sets

2. AMRAP 15
10 Power Snatch, 75/55
15 Toe 2 Bar
10 Box Jumps, 24/20 (step down only) 

Tuesday 8/5

1. 200m repeats x 7, rest 1:30 between efforts

2a. Strict HSPU cluster, 3.3.3. x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between
2b. GHD Back Extensions, 10-15 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between

3. Complete for time
100 double unders
50 wall ball shots

Wednesday 8/6

1. AMRAP 8
10 Pistols (5 each leg)
20 Pull-ups
40 AbMat Sit ups

rest 5 minutes

2. AMRAP 12
50 Squats
25 Push ups (chest to deck)
12 Power Clean, 135/95

Thursday 8/7

1. Deadlift – 4, 4, 2, 2, rest 1:00 between sets, heavier than 7/24

2. Row 10 minutes at Zone 1 (nice and light)
+
15 rounds
Run :30
Walk :30
+
Row 10 minutes at Zone 1 (nice and light)

Friday 8/8

AMRAP 10
Run 200m
7 HPC 95/65
5 Burpees

rest 5 minutes

AMRAP 10
Row 300m
5 Deadlift, 135/95
5 Burpees

rest 5 minutes

AMRAP 10
15 Wall ball shots, 20/14
10 Box Jumps
15 Row Calories

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The video above is from a leader in backs and biomechanics, Dr. Stuart M. McGill.  I first read about Dr. McGill’s work a few years ago and was awakened to it again last month at a movement seminar called The Movement Fix.  Are sit-ups or any movement that put’s your lower back through repeated repetitions of extension and flexion really necessary?

Are Sit Ups Bad For Your Back?

Yes, Sit Ups are bad for your back.  What?  Yes, think of your back, especially your lumbar spine (low back), as a credit card.  You can only bend that credit card forward and backward so many times before eventually it snaps.  Sit Ups put excessive compressive loading on your spinal discs and can easily lead to disc bulge and disc herniation.

Rowers with no posture or core support end up bending from their lower back rather than pivoting from the hips, which leads to all the horror stories of slipped discs in rowing.  This also shows up during any movement that involves a deadlift when athletes aren’t focused on maintaining good posture.  In rowing, different coaches may or may not have you reach from the thoracic spine, but a common theme that any coach will agree with is keeping the lumbar region stiff, supported, and protected.  The muscles that surround and support the spine are made to brace and resist motion, not create it.

Core Stability!

Without core stability it is impossible to transfer the force from your legs to the oar/barbell and move the boat/load at any type of speed.  This idea of core stability and the ability to connect your feet to your hands through the core is a skill needed in life and fitness as well.  There is no way to do an Olympic Lift like the Clean without having a solid core to work from.

After reflecting on this topic for a couple of years, I’ve decided to eliminate sit ups and other similar movements from my training.  Sure I will compete and perform sit ups, but I don’t need them to train day in and day out.  I like my back to much. Instead I’ve been playing around with paleo crawls, planks, bird dogs, and curl ups on a regular basis.

If you’d like to chat about this topic or would like to know what I’ve been doing for core stability let me know.  I hope this sparks some thought and further questions.  Have an awesome end of the week CFB

 

 

 

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30 Jul / 2014

The Problem With “Protein” Foods

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035Usually when I’m talking about protein foods, I mean foods like chicken, beef, eggs, and other foods whose primary macronutrient is protein. But this time, I’m talking about the other “protein” foods. The Cheerios Protein and high protein bread. This trend of adding protein to all sorts of food should be great news, right? I mean, protein is so good for so many reasons – helps build muscles, keeps you satisfied, important part of DNA, aids recovery for athletes… the list goes on. Unfortunately, throwing protein powder into every possible consumable is not the answer, and here’s why.

1. More processing – if you thought cereal and bread weren’t processed before, they sure are now. The best breads involve grinding down wheat and other grains, packaging them up to send to a baker, the baker mixing them with water, yeast, and whatever other ingredients, baking, and packaging. Now you are adding to that process isolating and dehydrating cow’s milk protein (99.9 times out of 100 NOT a grass-fed, humanely raised cow either) or dehulling and defatting soybean meal to create soy protein isolate, and packaging that up too. The macronutrient label may now reflect a more balanced food item, but the ingredients list will tell a different story.

2. What kind of protein is that again? Let me just say that I have minimal faith in the food industry to use quality ingredients. Even the brands that claim to (looking at you, Naked Juice) are owned by brands (like Pepsi) who only give a crap about profit. Even I don’t know where most of the protein powder on the shelf at GNC comes from. 

3. $$$$$$$ –  Adding a trendy component to your product = increased price. To be fair, I have not had time to check a supermarket, so I will stand corrected if someone tells me protein cheerios and protein bread aren’t more expensive than the regular variety. 

4. Raw protein powder tastes like crap – which means to make it palatable, the protein variety requires a  whole bunch more sugar. This is also why there is always some small amount of artificial sweetener in your Progenex. The good thing about artificial sweetener is that because it’s so much sweeter than regular sugar, you only need a small amount of it. Either way, just compare the nutrition label for Cheerios and Cheerio Protein Honey Oat. The regular Cheerios have 1 gram of sugar per cup, while the Protein version has 14 grams per cup and twice the total carbohydrate (42 grams compared to 20 grams). And while we’re being honest, who eats only the serving size? To get 7 grams of protein, you are adding 13 grams of extra sugar. Honestly, I’d rather see you drink a glass of milk, make an egg, or even eat 2 TB of peanut butter. Both of those will provide more actual nutrition (I’m talking the vitamins and minerals here) than processed cereal with protein powder in it. 

Now, this isn’t a knock on protein powder. That has a couple of specific, evidence based uses for somephoto-10 people (you can learn more about that in another blog post). What I’m knocking is taking a food that is OK but not great for you (Cheerios, whole grain bread, etc) and trying to dress it up as the newest health food while actually making it kind of worse. Going back to the Cheerios example, both Banana Nut and Chocolate Cheerios would be a better option than the Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey (fewer ingredients, fewer types of sugar, half the total carbs, a little less sugar), despite the fact that they sound like desserts. 

The bottom line is  your protein should come from natural sources like eggs, grass-fed/pasture raised meat and dairy, and nuts and seeds. If you’re a vegetarian, even Tofu and some protein supplements are leaps and bounds better than adding protein powder to cereal and other grains. And if you’re looking to add convenient sources of protein to your diet, options include jerky, hard boiled eggs, nuts, deli slices, etc.

Have you tried protein enhanced foods? What did you think of them?

29 Jul / 2014

Buffalo Wings Are Really Old

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2012-11-15-wingplate_istockphotoMAINHP

Welcome to my inaugural blog post! Every Tuesday, I’ll be providing updates on what’s happening post-WOD in the gym and today I’ve got two great save-the-dates to share. First, though, did you know that in 2014, Buffalo Wings will turn 50? According to this entry in Mental Floss, they were invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, when the restaurant was faced with an over-supply of chicken wings. Why are we talking about Buffalo Wings? Because like Buffalo Wings, two of our members will also turn fifty this year!

On Sunday, September 7th, we will celebrate the birthdays of members Nigel Costolloe and Dave Lapidus with the Filthy Fifty and there are sure to be some surprises along the way. Come for the great workout, stay for the beers, grub, and good-humored ribbing of the birthday couple about their advanced years.

 
The second event will be CFB’s second in-house throw down of 2014. It will be held in place of classes on Saturday, September 27th and the after-party will stretch until 2 PM. Sign-ups will be up shortly, but in the mean-time, please save the date!
 
Finally, please let me know what kind of activities you might enjoy participating in with folks from the box. There’s been talk about making a trip to an amusement/trampoline/ropes course park, a kayaking/paddle-boarding redux, or a ladies night that I will not be permitted to attend. Drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know!
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29 Jul / 2014

Get Dunked! 8/1 & 8/2

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You still have a few days to sign up for a 15 minute spot to have your body composition tested. Keith will be here on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The list is already getting full but he is willing to stay longer if there is a demand. 

Click here to see what times are available.

As a reminder, the fee is $75 for the single dunk and we can conveniently charge your credit card on file.

dunktank

25 Jul / 2014

072514 – FIRE IT UP FRIDAY!

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Here we are everyone! It’s another Friday and tonight is the In-House Throwdown! So Fire It Up! I am looking forward to seeing everyone since I have been away for the last week. Remember that afterwards we will order in some Soul Fire BBQ and bring whatever you would like to drink.

This time away didn’t permit me to train as much as I would have liked and it wasn’t very active at all. It was a painful reminder of how much our bodies just want and need to move on a daily basis. I am not speaking about getting into the gym and hitting the WOD but just moving. Go for a walk, hike, swim, whatever! Being sedentary is not good for ya! I have been able to train the last 3 days and I feel significantly better because of it. Keep moving!

HYDROSTATIC WEIGHING

Keith from Metrowave Fitness will be with us again next weekend. He will be able to begin weighing on Friday PM and then Saturday AM. If you registered for the first round then you are set for this time as well. There will be a sheet at the front desk this week to sign up for a time slot. 

If you have not previously signed up but would like to participate this time then you can email Neal and sign up on the sheet as well. The cost is $75 for a one time dunk test. $125 if you want to pay for two dunk tests (Keith will return again in the fall at a date TBD).

Why should you participate? Hydrostatic weighing is the 98.5% accurate in determining your body composition. Favorable body composition is one health marker we use in the sick to super fit continuum.  The scale is not a good indicator of fitness as it does not differentiate between muscle and fat. Further, those participating in the dunking receive a handout outlining recommended macronutrient consumption to improve one’s body composition. 

WHAT’S ON TAP

Here is this upcoming week’s programming:

Saturday 7/26

1. Snatch – 1.1.1.1 x 3 sets @ 73%; rest 3:00 between sets

2a. HSPU Cluster 3.3.3.3 x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets
2b. Palms facing you Pull-up cluster 3.3.3.3 x 3 sets AHAP, rest 1:00 between sets

3. 12-9-6 for time
CTB Pull-ups
Box Jumps, 30″/24″

Sunday 7/27

With a partner complete for time (relay style)

21-15-9 reps of

Hang Squat Clean, 95/65
Handstand Push-ups

Then both run 1500m at the same time (both must finish for final time).

Monday 7/28

1. Power Clean – 1.1.1.1 x 3 sets @ 73%, rest 3 min between sets

2a. Ring Dips 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets
2b. Glute Ham Raises (only to parallel) 8-15 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets

3. AMRAP 6
15 Russian Swings, 32kg/24kg
10 Toe 2 Bar

Tuesday 7/29

AMRAP 20

10 Pull-ups
20 Push-ups
30 Deadlifts, 135/95

Wednesday 7/30

1. High Bar Back Squat @ 20×1, 7-9 reps women/70% x 3 reps for men x 5 sets, rest 2:00 between sets

2. “Nancy”

Complete 5 rounds for time
Run 400m
15 Overhead Squats, 95/65

Thursday 7/31

Row 5 min for max calories

rest 4 minutes

Run 5 min for max distance (500m loops)

rest 5 minutes

Row 5 min for max calories

Friday 8/1

1. Shoulder Press – 2RM

2. EMOM 15
5 Over the bar burpees
1 Snatch, 185/125

Hey CFB!  Hope you’re all getting pumped for the Throwdown tomorrow night.  It’s been a solid week of training and it’ll be fun to see where everyone stands.  Also, props to those who gave CrossFit Dodgeball a go on Monday.  That was a lot of fun to coach.  If you’d be interested in a CFB Dodgeball Tourney let me know.  Just saying, could be epic!  Hit us up with your thoughts in the comments or on FB.

This week it’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of our newest members, Lindsay!  When you meet her for the first time be sure to introduce yourself and throw up a high five!  Here’s a little bit about her to get the conversations started…

Who are you and what are you about?

Hi!  I’m Lindsay.  I am an ordained clergy in the christian tradition and an interfaith chaplain in higher education.  I am passionate about interfaith dialogue, human rights, learning, and most importantly drinking red wine with girlfriends.  I am married to an awesome man and have two very lively kiddos (ages 1 and 4) who have taught me more about myself and life than I’ve ever learned in a classroom.

Why did you join CrossFit Boston?

A girlfriend of mine who is in her forties and is in incredible shape challenged me to give CrossFit a try.  She said after 3 months of CrossFit, I would never go back to a conventional gym.  The future has yet to be told, but at this point, CrossFit has been a refreshing change!

What are some of your goals for this year?

I haven’t been consistently active for the past 5 years, so my primary goal is to be active!  And my ultimate goal is to have sustained energy with my kiddos on the playground.  Ironically, some days after training I have a hard time even picking up my kiddos!  But overall, I can already feel a very positive difference.

What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?

I’m terrified to join group classes!  There are some crazy good athletes doing crazy amounts of pull ups in there.  But in spite of that fear – I am most looking forward to the team atmosphere in the group classes. Not to mention that whoever picks the music at our gym actually did an entire class to musical theater… Love it!   Who wouldn’t want to work out to that?!

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.20.34 AMRaise your hand if you haven’t heard at some point in your life that you need 3 servings of dairy (or low fat dairy) to maintain strong bones. Let me guess, no hands.

Now, milk is a pretty decent food. It has calcium and is fortified with vitamin D, both of which are good for your bones. As a bonus, (low fat) dairy consumption has also been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and is associated with lower blood pressure. In addition, milk contains a mix of protein and carbohydrates that make it a good post workout recovery beverage (or part of one that includes added protein). 

But do you need to drink 3 cups (8 oz glasses) of it per day? No, you don’t. So where did that recommendation come from?

A Brief History of Milk In The US

Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, everyone drank whole milk. It went in cereal and accompanied dinner. But somewhere around the 1950’s and early 1960’s, people started hearing that whole milk was bad for your health. That it could increase your risk of heart disease. So people stopped drinking it. In the meantime, the Dairy Industry kept on producing at high numbers, creating a surplus. This lead to the formation of the Dairy Checkoff Program, which according to Dairy Management Inc. works in the following way”

Dairy farmers pay 15 cents and dairy importers pay 7.5 cents for every hundred pounds of milk (or the equivalent thereof) they sell or import into a generic dairy product promotion fund – familiarly called the “dairy checkoff” – that DMI manages along with state and regional promotion groups. That money – with USDA oversight – is used to fund programs aimed at promoting dairy consumption and protecting the good image of dairy farmers, dairy products and the dairy industry.”

So basically, the dairies pay the USDA, and the USDA promotes milk products for them. Totally legit, right? Now to be fair, it is recommended adults consume 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and a cup of milk has 305 mg. So while the 3 cups per day DOES meet those calcium needs, I think framing this in consumption of dairy alone (without more focus on other calcium containing foods) is underhanded. 

Now as educated adults, we might be able to figure this out and recognize that while dairy isn’t bad for us, we also don’t need to consume a gallon of milk a week per person, either. But not everyone knows this information. In addition, according to a new report called Whitewashed: How Industry And Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods:

  • About half of all milk is consumed either as flavored milk, with cereal, or in a drink;
  • Nearly half of the milk supply goes to make about 9 billion pounds of cheese and 1.5 billion gallons of frozen desserts–two-thirds of which is ice cream;
  • 11 percent of all sugar goes into the production of dairy products.

For more see Eat Drink Politics.

So, the government is promoting all this dairy, and much of it is in the form of things like sugary Boston Cream Pie flavored yogurt, strawberry milk, and to accompany fruit loops. 

What Can We Do

My recommendation is to consume dairy as it fits into your life. I eat Nutty Nuggets cereal every morning, and on alternating weeks enjoy it with 2% milk or almond milk. I eat yogurt and cheese every now and again. But I don’t enjoy drinking milk, and I don’t add cheese or milk to most foods. I do, however, use Greek yogurt as a sub for mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salad. However, I know some people (ahem, Martin) drink a lot of milk regularly. And that’s fine too.

Here are my basic tips for dairy:

  • Choose milk that is grass-fed and from humanely raised cows.
  • Choose Whole or 2% milk or plain Greek yogurt. It’s actually pretty hard to have too much on a regular basis if you’re eating rich, plain dairy (at least I find).
  • Avoid ice cream, processed cheese, etc as primary sources of calcium.  The benefit of calcium from a box of Kraft Mac ‘N Cheese is not worth the cost of what else is in the food.
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