02 Apr / 2014
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:
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.
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]
02 Apr / 2014
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
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 line industry and the FDA has settled on is “HFCS is no more harmful to your health than sucrose (table sugar)”.
The 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.
- 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.
02 Apr / 2014
As many of you have seen, the Custom Fit Meals cooler has made its way to CrossFit Boston! Through this service, we now have access to fresh, never frozen meals made from quality ingredients.
Here is what you need to know:
Order at CustomFitMeals.com by the midnight Tuesday deadline for meal pick-ups the following week. There are two pick-ups per week – Mondays during normal business hours and Thursdays during normal business hours.
About Custom Fit Meals:
All meals are prepared in a fully licensed, USDA-certified commercial kitchen by a team of culinary chefs, delivered safely to CrossFit Boston via refrigerated vehicle, and stored on-site in the Custom Fit Meals cooler.
There are no contracts or commitments. All orders are placed week to week.
All meals are made from FRESH, unprocessed ingredients. Gluten-Free, Primal, and Paleo meals are available.
There are 14-15 menu items offered each week and their menus constantly rotate. Meals are currently sold in increments of 5.
The service is based on Custom Fit Meals’ founder Mike Clay’s personal weight-loss journey. He lost 100 pounds using this service and a link to his story is shown below:
For anyone interested in trying out this service, enter the coupon code boston when placing your order to receive a 10% discount.
Custom Fit Meals’ nutritional philosophy is based on eating real food – fresh, natural food like lean meats, vegetables and fruit. Their meals are comprised of foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as opposed to processed foods that have more calories but less nutrition.
Food quality is important to them, as well. They maintain the highest standard in selecting the foods that go into their meals. They use only USDA-certified All Natural chicken, grass-fed beef and bison, all natural turkey, and pastured pork. They source the majority of these proteins and as much of their fresh produce as possible from local sources.
The CFM program is not a “diet”. It’s a lifestyle, based on well-balanced nutrition that gives you what you need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. Each meal they serve contains a lean source of protein, a generous helping of nutrient-dense vegetables and/or fruit, natural sources of quality carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Their meals are designed to help you establish and maintain a healthy metabolism, and allow you to improve your body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life. They also help to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune disorders.
All of their meals are “clean”, relying on a foundation of fresh, natural ingredients. All of their meals are gluten-free, and many of them do not contain other potentially inflammatory ingredients like dairy and legumes. Best of all, while their meals are extremely healthy, they also taste great. This is due to the high-quality ingredients they use, along with the expertise of their chefs in combining flavors and advanced cooking techniques to create meals with a wide variety of unique flavors and textures.
A large number of their menu items take the next major step, from a nutritional standpoint, and fall into the “paleo” category. They believe (and we agree) that paleo is the healthiest, cleanest way we can eat. While eating paleo might not be for everyone, the folks at Custom Fit Meals feel it is an excellent starting point that allows you to truly determine what foods are best suited to you. By eliminating as many potential inflammatory foods from your diet as possible and seeing the effect this has on your body and wellness, then slowly adding them back in under a controlled setting, the CFM program can help you determine which specific types of food truly are good for you.
We’re excited to offer this service and look forward to helping you meet your nutrition goals.
01 Apr / 2014
One of our very own, Tolly Taylor, recently authored an article that was featured on The Business Insider.
In a society where online dating is the norm because it’s so hard to meet people, CrossFit provides a ready-made community of people who share your interest in fitness. Through classes, bit-by-bit, you get to know the people at your gym—that’s not to say you’ll get along with or befriend everyone, but chances are you’ll find a group you like. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself meeting up with people outside of the gym, organizing parties with CrossFit friends, and becoming more and more invested in your gym.
Awesome work Tolly!
31 Mar / 2014
“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course challenges designed to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative obstacles and over one million participants globally to date, Tough Mudder is the premier obstacle course series in the world.”
CrossFit Boston has a TEAM registered for the Tough Mudder Race on Sunday, June 1 at Mount Snow in Vermont. Nigel has created the TEAM under CrossFit Boston and there is NO password. This event is about having fun with a group of people you enjoy hanging around with.
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
This is the final week of the 2104 CrossFit Games Open 14.5. What a great workout to finish it off with. Two low skill movements that just require you to have an engine! I love it! I mean I hate it because I am 6’3″ 240 pounds and that is A LOT of mass to move up and down for 84 reps, but hey it is what it is!
Here is some tips and strategy from Barbell Shrugged:
2014 REEBOK CROSSFIT GAMES REGIONALS
It’s still a little early but our very own Carla B is sitting nicely in 34th for the Northeast Region. She has been busting her butt all year and it is paying off for her. This workout plays to her strengths as she can go and go and go! If you see her in the gym today or over the weekend let her know that you are rooting for her to kill it!
We will be setting up a tent at Regionals for members that wish to head down and cheer. We will keep you posted as the date draws near.
This Saturday, tomorrow, beginning at 6pm is our Spring Fling at Daedalus in Harvard Square. The 2014 Transformation Challenge winner will be announced and it will be an opportunity to kick back, celebrate the end of the Open season, and welcome Spring into Boston. Be sure to come on by!
Strength work continues in our programming along with a continued emphasis on strengthening the midline as well. You will notice in this weeks programming there is AB work to be completed on your own outside of the class. Don’t skip it. It is important and it will help you in the WOD and the rest of your training.
PR Friday is back! Each Friday there will either be a benchmark WOD or we will attempt to PR a lift. Get excited and set your hair on fire!
Saturday – 3/29
1. Run 400m x 5
rest 2:00 between efforts
2. 15-12-9 reps for time
Front squat, 185/125
3. Abs – Post class – 3 x 1 minute plank holds with a load on the back
Sunday – 3/30
1. Partner WOD
10 Handstand push ups
20 Pull ups
60 Double Unders
Both Partners must complete the workout in its entirety. Only one person working at a time and you may alternate in any fashion you wish. Neither partner can move on the next movement until both have completed the preceding movement.
2. Post Class ABS – 20 Ball ups (STRICT)
Monday – 3/31
1. Heaving Snatch Balance – work up to a heavy single, then drop to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets at that weight.
2. EMOM 12
1 Snatch, 165#/115#
3. POST CLASS ABS – 15 STRICT BACK EXTENSIONS (3-1-3) TEMPO
Tuesday – 4/1
1. Shoulder Press – 3 x 3 – work up to a heavy 3 and perform a total of 3 sets at this weight. Do not drop
2. AMRAP 15
Row 30 calories
20 Push Press, 75/55
20 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
20 Box Jumps, 24″/20″
3. POST CLASS ABS – 3X10 GHD SIT UPS
Wednesday – 4/2
1. “FRAN” – TEST DAY
21-15-9 reps for time of
2a. 100 Hollow Rocks
2b. Dip supports (top & bottom)
Thursday – 4/3
1. Clean – work up to a max double for the day (18 minutes)
2. Handbalancing – 5 minutes to practice walking on your hands
3. 30-20-10 reps for time
Knee to elbows
PR Friday – 4/4
1. Back Squat – 4 x 2, work up to a heavy double (attempt a PR if you have it) and then drop down to 90% of that weight and perform 4 sets of 2 reps at that weight.
2. For time
100 Alternating DB Snatch, 60/40
50 Mountain Climbers
25 AbMat sit ups
This month I’m celebrating my third year as a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer. It’s been a solid three years of learning, growing, and experiencing all that this wonderful world of fitness has to offer. Recently I’ve been bringing a good friend Bob through our Private Training Foundations Course and it’s been awesome watching his hard work, focus, and determination to learn things the right way and his fight for perfect technique. Bob’s graduating with “Fight Gone Bad” this week and he’s going to be joining the morning crew on his days off from rowing at CRI. While Bob may not be one of our youngest members he is young at heart and reminds me of how awesome it is to learn and challenge yourself every single day. I have fun learning new things and I hope you do to. Looking forward to another great year as a coach at CFB!
Here’s what Bob is all about!
Who are you and what are you about?
I became interested in “serious” fitness in 2011 when I began to row at Community Rowing. This is where I met Pat. He was coaching the recreational sweeps program as part of the Institute for Rowing Leadership program he was enrolled in.
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
I recognized that only rowing (on water and on the erg) was not providing me a whole body workout focused on strength and conditioning. At CrossFit Boston I like the energy level and attention to proper technique.
What are you getting out of the Private Training?
The private training is teaching me CrossFit fundamentals and the different types of WODs at a pace that I can better comprehend. Since I have mobility issues and my level of fitness is lacking, this is helping me prepare for group classes.
What are some of your goals for this year?
To increase strength and mobility.
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
To (hopefully) keep up with the class and have CrossFit Boston complement my rowing.
25 Mar / 2014
Growing up I learned that fat was bad. Butter, beef, nuts, avocado – all “fattening” (seriously, we never had guacamole in my house growing up for this very reason). Lean meat lean beef lean lean lean has been drilled into us for the past thirty or so years. Even the American Heart Association – trusted resource for all things heart disease – recommends limiting saturated fat to just 5% of daily intake If you eat a 2,000 calorie diet, that leaves you with about 11 grams or less than a tablespoon of coconut oil per day. (Although as a side note I somewhat question AHA’s wisdom after learning they endorsed Subway as a healthy meal option. But I digress.) Heck, I even learned it in college, and told I don’t know how many patients while I was working in the hospital to “choose lean meats and avoid foods high in saturated fat”. There has been questioning of this saturated fat-heart disease link recently, with a lot of it coming from the Paleo camp (Robb Wolf, etc).
Now, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has cleared saturated fat of its charges. The review looked at 21 studies of over 347,000 people with follow up anywhere from 5-23 years. The results found no association between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Basically, there is no evidence to conclude that saturated fat is the devil incarnate.
What Does This Mean?
My general rule about saturated fat remains unchanged (and is essentially supported) by this study. Don’t be afraid of sat fat – there are a lot of food containing saturated fat that provide nutrients we need. Beef for example, is a good source of iron (which is needed to produce hemoglobin, a part of red cells that shuttles oxygen through the body. Not getting enough iron can result in anemia) and zinc (important for wound healing and immune health). But, most if not all of your saturated fat should still come from healthy, whole food sources – meat, milk, eggs, butter, etc and not from fried/processed foods or high sugar foods (like ice cream). Just as with carbohydrates, it’s not about the nutrient itself, it’s about where it comes from and the quality of that source.
The Bottom Line
Don’t be afraid of saturated fat. Just get it from the right place.
24 Mar / 2014
“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our PASSION here at CrossFit Boston is to change the lives of our members in a holistic way. Its more than just a WOD. Its a lifestyle. Its a way of thinking and approaching each and every decision. Taking what you learn in the one hour you spend in the gym and applying it to the other 23 hours outside of the gym.
We believe the physical enables the mental, which enables the emotional, which ultimately enables the spiritual. I am not referring to religion when I refer to spiritual but more so of how one perceives his/her ability’s when they physically train his/herself to the margins.
Knocking down barriers.
Kicking in doors.
Refusing to settle for mediocrity.
One of us has the opportunity to truly follow HER PASSION. Coach Tina will be moving on at the end of this month to train with kids full time. She has the opportunity of her dreams to work with disenfranchised youths within the City of Boston and cannot say no.
If you have spent any time with Coach Tina, it is obvious how much she enjoys training young adults and children. She is great at it and she will do a knockout job in becoming a catalyst of change in the physical culture of our younger generation.
We wish her nothing but the best! Be sure to give her a hug this week while you are in the gym. She will always be a part of CrossFit Boston and welcome to visit as often as her schedule permits.
21 Mar / 2014
FIRE IT UP with CUSTOM FIT MEALS!
There is a ton of great things happening right now. Allow me to start with announcing we have partnered up with Custom Fit Meals. Here is their pledge:
CFM prepares and delivers fresh, delicious meals made from only the highest quality ingredients. We specialize in producing Paleo, Primal and clean meals that fit our Nutritional Philosophy.
We use only USDA-certified All Natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. Our beef is grass-fed Angus, our poultry is cage-free, our pork is pastured, and our produce is sourced locally and organic as often as possible. We only partner with ranchers that treat their animals humanely and feed them correctly.
Our unmatched variety of meal selections allows you to personalize your menu to fit your lifestyle. This gives you the convenience you want, the portion control you need, and the quality of ingredients you deserve – all at an affordable price.
CFM GUARANTEE = Quality, Variety & Service + Prices you can Afford
The relationship between CFB and CFM does require a minimum commitment of 10 members. I have tried a couple of the meals and it was very good. The food had a ton of flavor and the portion was very satisfying. If you are someone that has a very busy schedule or if you find it difficult to make the correct choices, Custom Fit Meals will be perfect for you!
Here is how it works.
CrossFit Games Open 14.4 – The Chipper
Week 4 of the Open is here. The muscle up has finally made it appearance. More appropriately for the majority of CFB members, so has Toe 2 Bars. Dave Castro threw us a curveball with adding the rower to the Open for the very first time in history. I LOVE IT!
As has been the case with every Open workout, pacing will play a critical role. How you feel coming off the rower is going to be more important for those that are still struggling with T2B. Most of you will be able to complete 60 calories within 3 minutes and be ok going into the T2B. Today while warming up be sure to feel the pace of the rower and work on transitioning over to the pull up rig. For the T2B really try to focus on that hollow body position and sub maximal efforts. The more you work towards an effort that results in slipping off the bar, the harder it will be to recover the grip strength.
Moving on to the wall ball, attempt to complete the 40 reps in 1-3 sets. Pacing so you can breathe is critical. Your grip will get a much needed break from the first two movements but your legs are going to be tired. Be sure to be accurate and not miss reps b/c you were too fast and out of control.
Cleans for 30 reps. This is it for the majority of you reading this. Set your back, drive through your heels and try to minimize the rest time between reps. If you still have the energy to perform touch and go reps, you will fare better than if you have to perform a quick rep and drop the bar. The fewer sets the better. To hook grip or not to hook grip? I think this will depend on how efficient you are with the clean. If you are a repeat offender of using your arms, then try to use a hook grip to allow a loose but secure grip. If 135 is not a heavy weight and you can keep a loose grip and not pull with the arms on the clean, then give it a go without the hook grip.
Muscle Ups. If you are lucky enough to get this far and you have the ability to perform muscle ups, be sure to have that kip swing dialed in so the arms have as little action in the movement. Return back to the bottom of the dip and “fall” back into the kip swing to load the hip.
With the exception of Carla B (GO CARLA GO!!) the rest of us understand the CrossFit Games season will end for us with 14.5. Because of this, the programming is going to begin our strength phase of training.
There will be a renewed focus on improving strength across the board for all members while still focusing on skill development in areas still lacking across the gym. There will still be a heavy emphasis on met cons as that is the base of what is CrossFit but you will begin seeing shorter and heavier WODS programmed in addition to the classic style of programming that has been emphasized the last couple of months.
WHAT’S ON TAP
1. Push Press – 7×2
Work up to a heavy set of 2 then back off to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets.
2. AMRAP 8
10 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
10 Pull ups
5 Front squat, 185/125
1. Run 1 mile (Test)
rest 10 minutes
2. 3 rounds for time
20 DB Split Cleans, 55/35
15 Knee to elbows
10 HR push ups
1. Back Squat – 5×3
work up to a heavy set of three and then back off to 90% of that and perform 4 more sets of 3
Calories on the rower
Power Snatch, 135/95
1. 400m Medball Run – TEST
2. Hand balancing & Hollow body- spend 10 minutes practicing hand balancing and accumulate 100 Hollow rocks
3. AMRAP 5
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24″/20″
10 Push Jerks, 155/110
rest 3 minutes
10 Power Clean, 155/110
10 CTB Pull ups
1. Bench Press – work up to a heavy set of 5 (not a max)
2. 5 rounds for time
15 OH squats, 115/75
15 Toe 2 bar
1. Deadlift – 3 x 5 work up to a heavy set of 5. Drop down to 90% of that weight and then perform 3 more sets at that weight.
2. “1/2 Mary” – AMRAP10
5 Handstand push ups
10 Pistols (alternating legs each rep)
15 Pull ups