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17 Dec / 2013

Lose Hate not Weight

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The holidays are here and I’m sure as you are reading this you are elbow deep in hot chocolate and and Christmas cookies styled to appear as your favorite CrossFit Boston Coach.

Good, enjoy it.

I just read a blog by a very well respected and very well intentioned fitness expert who was equating the individuals lack of ability to maintain their six pack over the holidays to a lack of self-value.

That’s bogus.

CrossFit, health and fitness is a big part of our world but so are our families, friends and traditions. So over the next couple of weeks don’t go out of your way to drink a whole gallon of egg nog in one sitting but let yourself feel okay about knocking back some holiday favorites with your favorite people. The grind will be back soon enough and so will your beach body.

Happy Holidays,
-Jason Gee

FIRE IT UP!  FIRE IT UP!

Whew, lots of 13′s today.  Lucky 13 for sure here at CFB.  Another week of solid effort, kicking ass, and excelling in general.  Way to go and keep it up.  

Some questions came up this week regarding the prescription and how to approach the workouts.  I want to address this for everyone so that all has a better plan.  Keep in mind it is not absolute.  There are many ways to go about this.  What I am offering is ONE way.

First begin with MECHANICS.  You first need to look at how well you move for EACH movement.  Where are there opportunities?  What can you rock out like crazy?  If you have poor thoracic and shoulder mobility, then don’t think about adding heavy weight to a snatch!  You are only going to get yourself injured.  Pushing through with really bad form is NOT being BADASS, its being UNINTELLIGENT.  Remember, this is about long term success.  Bottom line scale back the load you are using to first prioritize moving better.  The same can be said for volume as well.  Reduce the exposure in a stressful environment until you have developed proper mechanics.  While performing 100 pull ups in a WOD may sound really cool, you probably would have gotten a better training effect with 30-40.  This is what you are being taught during Fundamentals Training.  If you joined the gym pre-fundamentals, then set up a time with a coach to go through some private sessions.  You will gain a great deal of insight from the one on one attention.

The second part goes hand in hand with MECHANICS and that is CONSISTENCY.  Once you demonstrate competence in a particular movement, what is the next step?  Becoming consistently better at that movement.  Demonstrate that you have really developed the hardware for the movement pattern.  If you are training in class 3-4 times per week you may not get regular exposure to certain movements that you are struggling with.  This means you need to take it upon yourself and get some extra PRACTICE on your own time.  This could be as simple as 10 minutes before or after class time a couple days during the week.  It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours each and every day.

Last you are finally ready to add INTENSITY.  Weight, volume, speed, etc.  These are all components of intensity and it is where the magic of CrossFit occurs.  Don’t rush to this phase.  You will still be partaking in excellent training and development while you focus on the first two steps while setting the table for a long term path of health and fitness.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

There are quite a few changes to the schedule as we go into the final weeks of 2013.  Please take some time to familiarize yourself with them to avoid confusion and frustration.

Saturday 12/14 – Holiday Throwdown & Holiday Party at Daedulus

There will be NO regular classes.  The throwdown begins at 9am with 30 minute heats with the final heat ending at 12pm.  Later that evening we will be gathering at Daedulus from 6-9.  Come socialize, enjoy some fine drinks, and celebrate another year in the books with the CrossFit Boston Community.  The gathering will continue past 9pm to whatever destinations the crowd chooses.

Sunday 12/15 – Class Canceled

Tuesday 12/24 – 8:30AM – 10AM One WOD with Coach Tito.  Come with your festive spirit and rock it out!  Prize for best costume determined by all in attendance.  Extra consideration for those dressed as elves!

Wednesday 12/25 – CLOSED

Thursday 12/26 – CLOSED

Friday 12/27 – Limited Schedule: 7am, 8am, 4:30pm, 5:30pm  The gym will be closed in between 9am and 4pm.

Saturday 12/28 – Normal schedule

Sunday 12/29 – Normal schedule

Monday 12/30 – Normal schedule

Tuesday 12/31 – Limited Schedule: 6am, 7am, 12pm, & 4:30pm

Wednesday 1/1/14 – CLOSED

Thursday 1/2 – Resume regular schedule with a 7:30pm class

NEXT WEEK’S PROGRAMMING

Saturday – 12/14  
Holiday Throwdown WOD TBA

Sunday – 12/15
Closed

Monday – 12/16
1. Position 1 Clean – 6×2

2. AMRAP 12
30 Double Unders
15 Overhead squats, 95/65
7 Toe 2 bar

Tuesday – 12/17
1. Deadlift – 3×5

2. Tabata – 8×20/10
Push Press 75/55
Air SQT

Alternate the movements, scoring both.

Wednesday – 12/18
1. EMOM 20
ODD – 2 Snatch @ 70%
EVEN – 8 Pull-ups

2. Dip Holds – 8×20/10
ODD – Hold at the top
EVEN – Hold at the bottom

Thursday – 12/19
1. Heaving Snatch Balance – 12 minutes to find your max for the day

2. 3 x AMRAP 3
10 Box jumps, 20″
10 Russian Swings, 32/24

Rest 3 minutes between each AMRAP

Friday – 12/20
1. Push Press – 7×2

2. “Badger”
Three Rounds for time of:  
30 Cleans, 95#  
30 Pull-ups
Run  800 meters

Saturday – 12/21
1. Row 30 Rounds for max distance
:30 Sprint
:30 Active recovery

2a. Strict Pull ups – 3 x max
2b. Dips – 3 x max

Video Review

Renegade Rowing Club warming up on Monday night!  Want a chance to compete against them? Renegade Rowing League Dec. 21st!  Register Here!

Renegade Rowing Club warming up on Monday night! Want a chance to compete against them? Renegade Rowing League Dec. 21st! Register Here!

 

From time to time it can be beneficial to look at yourself on camera.  No we don’t care about the aesthetics or the fashion.  We’re looking to gain feedback and a mental picture.  We’re looking for just one or two cues that might give us a smoother, more powerful stroke.  What’s going right?  What’s going wrong?  What can we do better?

 

You should be asking yourself, “What do I look like now?  How do I move now? What could use some extra focus and improvement next time?”  Don’t dwell on to many things at a time, just find one or two things that might make your life on the erg or in the boat a little better.  Go work on them.  Then reassess in a couple of weeks.

 

The Renegade Rowing Club has agreed to help everyone by taking a look at their strokes. If you’d like feedback similar to this, post a 20 second clip of you rowing to YouTube and share it with us in the comments of this post.  I’ll do my best to give you a couple of things to work on!

 

For each of the following videos I’ll be ranking each rower on their posture, control, and connection.  I’ll use a five point scale where 1 = poor and 5 = perfect.  When dealing with posture we’re looking for the torso to be stacked and strong at all times.  When talking about control we are looking at the smoothness of the recovery and how the seat moves toward the catch.  Does it rush forward for the next stroke?  Is there control in the last few inches of the slide to change direction without pushing the boat backwards?  Last and most important, connection, are the seat and handle connected and moving together into and out of the catch as if connected by a belt.

 

Take a look and share what you might focus on next time you row!

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Nice job getting the body over.  Don’t let the seat stop at the catch.  Be ready to push with the legs the second you hit the catch and keep the seat and hands connected.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 4 – video

 

Feedback: Nice horizontal hands.  Don’t let the handle pause at the finish.  Focus on quicker hands away as if there were opposing magnets on the handle and your chest trying to push those hands away out of the finish.

 

 

____________________

 

Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 3 – video

 

Feedback: Great posture and nice job getting the body over.  Try not to be so rigid and don’t break the elbows as you initiate the drive.  Relax a little on the recovery and make everything smooth.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 2, Connection: 3 – video

 

Feedback: Nice job getting the arms extended and ready for the catch.  Try to not be so robotic and rigid at the finish.  Focus on quick and smooth hands away.  The handle should always be moving.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Good posture and nice horizontal hands.  Don’t let the shoulders and torso reach for more at the catch.  Focus on staying connected as you approach the catch.  See if you can get the body over and find that reach earlier in the recovery, before you get to half slide.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 4, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Great work getting your body over on the recovery and getting prepared by half slide.  Don’t let your posture go as you approach the catch.  Focus on bringing the handle with you as you push the knees down.  The first inch or two of the drive you are shooting the slide, so keep a big chest and solid abs/back as you push.

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Nice power and push on the drive.  Try to keep your hands on one level plain and don’t let them drop coming into the catch.  Focus on pointing the toes as you finish and then getting the proper sequence of arms away first, bodies over, and then knees come up during the recovery.  Everything blends, but that’s the order of firing in terms of sequence.

On Saturday I talked about the nutrition piece of the Transformation Challenge, but if you missed it, here’s a recap.

 

Qualities of a Healthy Diet

 

1. Unprocessed foods. Eat what came from nature – vegetables, fruits, quality meat and dairy (I’ll elaborate on that in #3), nuts and seeds, beans, etc. Avoid things that come in a box like processed wheat, crackers, cookies, chips, sweets, etc. 

 

2. Dominance of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber) but low in calories and mostly low in carbohydrates (except for the starchy ones). That means they are unlikely to cause sharp rises in blood glucose, leaving you with stable energy levels. 

 

For the challenge, all common vegetables are included except for white potatoes – but sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, etc are all OK. We’re keeping white potatoes off the OK list because sometimes it can be easy to eat them in place of green vegetables, and they are higher on the glycemic index. I explain more about white potatoes in this post

 

3. Quality meat and dairy. I’ve said before that you want your food to come from happy cows, chickens, and pigs, not sad ones. A lot of meat in the US is made in factory farms, where animals are fed “all vegetarian diets” (don’t let that fool you – chickens should actually be eating insects too) of corn and soy and pumped full of antibiotics to prevent diseases rampant in the close quarters they’re kept in. Choose organic, grass-fed cows and free range chickens and eggs. Bison is also a good option, as they are naturally grass-fed (thank goodness we haven’t put them in factories yet!). 

 

4. Fat +fiber = fullness. Both fat and fiber keep food in your stomach longer, keeping you full longer. This is an important part of avoiding hunger.

 

5. Avoid “starvation hunger” or “hangry-ness”. Aside from eating fat and fiber regularly, try to eat every 4 hours or so and avoid skipping meals. It’s easier to make healthy decisions when you’re just a little hungry and a packed lunch is in the kitchen ready to be heated up, than when you haven’t eaten in 7 hours and you are dreaming of cheeseburgers and Chipotle burritos. 

 

6. Be prepared and DIY. Making your own food at home is the best way to be assured that it is healthy. In addition, keep snacks on hand in case you need them. Almonds, dried fruit (with no added sugar), fresh fruit that keeps well (apples are good), plain yogurt, etc are all good snacks to keep on hand. If you can’t refrigerate, though, nuts are usually easiest.

 

Transformation Challenge Nutrition Package

 

During the challenge, I am offering some extra help. For $75 you will receive:

 

  • A 3-day meal planning template for 1800, 2300, or 2800 calories to help you plan meals
  • Recipes and quick, easy meal ideas
  • 5 group sessions – nutrition lesson and open discussion (meeting Saturdays throughout the challenge, except 1/18 when myself and others will be competing)
  • Weekly email check ins.

 

In addition, if you’d like to drop in to one of the group sessions without buying the whole package, you can do so for $15.

 

If you’d like to purchase a nutrition package, email me at [email protected]

08 Dec / 2013

What’s UP This Week!

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The year is quickly coming to a close and we still have so much to do!

Keep up the great training…no substitute for training dirty and eating clean.

UnknownSaturday, December 14th is our annual JINGLE ALL THE WAY Throw Down. Sign up soon if you plan on participating. Heats are filling up.
Time: 9-12
No REGULAR CLASSES are scheduled.

Saturday, December 14th HOLIDAY PARTY
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Where: DAEDALUS Restaurant & Bar
If you plan on having dinner at Daedalus please make reservations. Call: 617-349-0071
Champagne Toast & Desserts around 7:30/8 p.m.
Can’t wait to see everyone!

TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE
Friday, December 27th is the deadline to sign up for the Transformation Challenge if you are having hydrostatic measurement. The hydrostatic measurement will take place on January 4th. Please let Tina or Jason know if you are interested. If you can’t make the Saturday, January 4th hydrostatic measurement we can set you up to get tested on Sunday, January 5th.

The Transformation Challenge is a great way to kick off the New Year and start some healthy habits. It’s only 6 weeks and you will have a group of people supporting you while you make some changes to sleeping, hydration, mobilization, nutrition, & better choices!!

 

06 Dec / 2013

Olympic Lifting Saturday

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As you all know Coach Julie will be going to CrossFit Lando to coach CJ in her first throw down. Below is the programming for Olympic Lifting class for those who will be training. Please use common sense and help each other out.

If you get an opportunity to get out to CrossFit Lando in Woburn after training please come cheer on CJ!

Saturdays programming:

Warm-up full snatches 3X3 bar

Hang Snatch + Snatch      Warm up to 75% then 5 Sets @ 75%  Focus on high elbows on 3rd pull

Power Clean + Push Press  

70% 2X2 75% 1X2 80% 1X2 85% 1X1 90% 1X1

Front Squat

70% 1X3 75% 1X2 80% 3X/2

Hypers 3X10

Abs 3X25

Fire It Up!  Fire It Up!

It’s been a great week of training.  Tons of new personal bests in the clean and snatch.  A quick shout out to Sophie with a 20# plus PR on both her clean and snatch.  This after nearly setting the gym record last week in the “Mary” WOD.  She is on fire indeed.

How about you?!  Where did you see improvement?  Post to comments.

Events

This Saturday is the CrossFit Lando competition in Woburn.  CJ is participating in her first competition.  If you have the time and means of travel, go and cheer her on.  She will definitely appreciate it.

Also on Saturday at the gym during the 12pm hour, Coach Jason and Alex B will be discussing the upcoming Transformation Challenge that will begin on Jan 4, 2014.  This is a perfect time to get more details about the challenge and ask any questions you may have.

Next Saturday is The Holiday  Throwdown.  You must sign up in advance for a heat time in the gym.  The WOD will be announced the morning of.  THERE WILL NOT BE NORMAL CLASSES.  Later that evening come out for the holiday social at Daedalus.  

What’s On Tap

This week’s programming will focus on interval training and couplets.  Keep the intensity high!

Saturday – 12/7
1a Handstand push ups – 6×2
1b Pistols – 6×2 each leg

2. AMRAP 12
10 Push Press, 115/75
10 Pull ups

Sunday – 12/8
3 x AMRAP 5
10 DB Snatch (alternate each rep) (AHAP)
20 Double Unders

Rest 5:00 between circuits

Monday – 12/9
1. Jerk – 5×2

2. 5 rounds for time
10 Overhead squats, 145/125
15 Knee to elbows

Tuesday – 12/10
1. Bench Press – 3×5

2. 3 Rounds for max reps
1:00 Airdyne (cal)
1:00 OH Swings, 24/16
1:00 Pull ups
1:00 Push ups
Rest 1:00

Wednesday – 12/11
1a Skin the cats – 3×5
1b L-sit hold – 3xmax

2. EMOM 15
2 clean @ 90% of weight moved last week

Thursday – 12/12
1. Position 1 snatch – 6×3

2. Run 3 x 2:00 (500M)
rest 1:00 between efforts

Friday – 12/13
1. Back Squat – 5×3

2. “Jerry”
For time
Run 1 mile
Row 2k
Run 1 mile

Saturday – 12/14
Holiday Throwdown (sign up in the gym for your heat)

05 Dec / 2013

Couger On Fire!!

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IMG_1935On Saturday CJ will be competing in her fist competition. It’s a tough one for even an experienced CrossFit athlete. It didn’t even faze her when I explained what it was 4 weeks ago. Battle of The Sexes at CrossFit Lando would make a strong man think twice but not CJ!

CJ needs no introduction! She is one awesome athlete who in less then a year has made amazing progress in CrossFit. I remember the first night she showed up at CrossFit Boston. It was last February. We were programmed to do 11 .1 WOD from the open games because we were preparing for the 2013 Open Games.

The WOD: 10 AMRAP ~ 30 Double Unders & 15 Power Snatches #65 Females

First time CJ had been in a CrossFit box. Coach had her go through the power snatch movement and within 20 minutes CJ hit 75# with form that put my 45 pounds to shame. Let’s fast forward to the end of the WOD~ CJ crushed it and asked if she could join. I told her we were preparing for the Open Games and she asked what it was all about. I explained a bit about CrossFit and how in 3 weeks we would all be competing against other boxes across the world. Her eyes lit up and she exclaimed: “I can compete in this.”

And compete she did. What she didn’t know, she struggled through without a complaint.  Over the summer she went home and joined CrossFit Downtown Atlanta to continue her training. Now that school is back in session she’s back here whittling away at the unknowns. I can’t say she has goats because everything that comes her way she tackles with the determination of a champion.

CJ’s a competitor bottom line but what I think is most wonderful about her is her sincerity.  When I first met her last year I didn’t realize how young she was. As the Regional Games were approaching I asked her if she wanted to go with us. Still not knowing the reach of the CrossFit competitions she asked what the Regional games were. I explained and she said, “I definitely want to go but I have to ask my parents.” I asked for clarification and she told me she was 17 and had to go back home for the summer. She would have to ask her parents if she could change her ticket to stay for an extra weekend.

Of course curiosity got the best of me and I couldn’t help but to ask her about her life. She is truly an amazing young lady. In her junior year of high school she was bored so she studied for the SATs and took them. She applied to Harvard and was accepted. I asked her if her guidance counselor helped her and she said, “No, he wouldn’t have let me to apply.” Girls got gumption!

CJ is a pre-med student at Harvard in her second year. Her brother is also a student at Harvard studying neuroscience. She has played a variety of sports and obviously enjoys competition. For 8 years she was ranked in the Junior Olympics in archery. Remember that domain we call accuracy! She’s got that one covered.

It’s her first competition and it doesn’t even matter if she does well. I know she will be putting on a great show of athleticism and poise. I look forward to watching her over the years as she matures into a better athlete and someday a doctor. A role model for all girls~ COUGER!

CrossFit Lando~ Battle Of The Sexes ~ WOBURN!! Competition starts at 9 a.m.

RR Snatch Setup

Olympic Lifting and Rowing?

What do you think about using Olympic Lifting in training to be a Rower or using Rowing to be a better Olympic Lifter?  Both require speed and power and incorporate similar movement patterns.  However, in rowing you sit down and are in contact with three surfaces.  In Olympic Lifting you are only in contact with two.  In Olympic lifting the goal is to transfer forces vertically and in rowing the goal is to transfer forces horizontally.  Where do you see the most benefit in training with both?  Are there downfalls?

 

One skill, concept, and idea that I keep coming back to is Connection.  Coaching people in the gym and on the water allows me to see many different movement patterns and levels of ability.  

Athletes that grasp this idea of connection from one joint to another and one external object to another are able to learn faster, create more power, and transfer skills to other movements.  Learning to connect the hips to the hands as you initiate a movement or connect your feet to your hands at the catch, both in rowing and snatching, is invaluable.  Once this skill is perfected the possibilities are endless.

 

Yesterday morning I introduced the snatch to the BC Men’s Crew Team.  While we only worked with PVC pipes to begin with and 45# bars in the workout, the importance of generating speed through the middle of the drive and being turned on at the catch became apparent.  Those that had explosive hip extension from rowing and knew how to create speed on the oar through the middle of the drive in the boat had a lot more success transferring that skill to the barbell.

 

Using the Clean and the Snatch to generate speed on the drive through good connection is a lot of fun.  Rowers become athletes and are empowered to push harder by learning new movements and finding power they never knew they had.  It’s also a lot of fun seeing olympic lifters and other athletes learn to row because it helps them to find more connection and speed in their lifts.

 

Post your thoughts to comments!  Any experience transferring skills from one sport to another?

03 Dec / 2013

Got Leftover Turkey? Make This

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By Sunday night, I (and probably most of us) had finished up several days of eating and family and now find ourselves with a fridge full of turkey. I find that holiday food gets boring after  a while, so I like to re-purpose it whenever I can. So when I found myself with a pound of smoked turkey, I threw together this soup.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1-2 tsp olive oilphoto 1-2
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 3 cups turkey, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 8 cups chicken broth

 

Directions

 

Heat oil in a large pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and cook about 4 minutes. Add the spices and mix well, then add the turkey and mix again. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cook for 10 minutes.

photo 2

What do you make with leftover holiday food?


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  • David Kemp

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