25 May / 2014

Memorial Day Murph!

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Tomorrow at 9am we will participate in the Memorial Day “Murph”. While you are putting forth your best effort, remember his, this excerpt is from the website

On June 28, 2005, Lt. Murphy was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wing tasked with finding key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters.

A fierce gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.

Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire.  This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy.  While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point, he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in.  Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

As a result of Murphy’s call, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent in as part of the QRF to extract the four embattled SEALs. As the Chinook drew nearer to the fight, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter, causing it to crash and killing all 16 men aboard.

On the ground and nearly out of ammunition, the four SEALs, continued to fight.  By the end of a two-hour gunfight that careened through the hills and over cliffs, Murphy, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson had fallen. An estimated 35 Taliban were also dead.  The fourth SEAL, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell, was blasted over a ridge by a rocket-propelled grenade and knocked unconscious. Though severely wounded, the fourth SEAL and sole survivor, Luttrell, was able to evade the enemy for nearly a day; after which local nationals came to his aide, carrying him to a nearby village where they kept him for three more days. Luttrell was rescued by U.S. Forces on July 2, 2005.

By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle.

The plan is to also screen Murph: The Protector on the TV while cranking out the WOD. See you all there!


How was your training this week? What did you pin your ears back and attack like Meatball with a new rubber toy and what left you sitting back and just trying to get through?

For me the 50 unbroken thrusters was crippling. I really wanted 40# but I could never get my mind past the burn of lactic acid in all of my muscles. I had to finally settle for 30# after failing twice in the 20′s. I wasn’t the only one that struggled with that one. I witnessed Audrey looking perfectly content on hers until rep 39 and then it was as if a sniper shot her in the A$$ and she stopped cold. Crazy!

Shawn and John getting in an aerobic warm up before mobilizing.

Shawn and John getting in an aerobic warm up before mobilizing.


On Monday we will be completing Memorial Day Murph. The class will be at 9am. The WOD will begin by 9:15 SHARP. Afterwards, all are welcome to Hoyt Field in Cambridge, near Whole Foods on River St, for some softball. It is sure to be a good time.


Saturday 5/24

For time/weight/reps

Max Double Unders for 2 minutes
Ten STRICT handstand push-ups
Max Double Unders for 2 minutes

Clean high pull @ no less than for 1/2 your body weight for 12-10-8-6 and 4 reps. Use same load for each set.

Max Double Unders for 2 minutes
50 Dips, as many sets as required. If able use rings.
Max Double Unders for 2 minutes.

Post your total time to complete the WOD, the amount of DU’s for each interval, weight used for clean high pull, and number of sets to finish 50 dips to comments. Can you beat 20 minutes?

Sunday 5/25


2 Rope Climb
25 Wall-ball, 20#/14# 10′/9′ target
15 Muscle Snatch, catch overhead at full hip extension, not in squat, @ 1/2 body weight
Box Jump, 20 reps 20” box

Monday Memorial Day Murph

Run 1 mile
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
Run 1 mile

Wear a 20# vest if you have it

Tuesday 5/27

Complete the following circuit 5 times for reps. The clock is running continuously and the only rest time is the transition between the movements.

1:00 Wall-Ball, 20#/14# to a 10′/9′ target
Rest :30
1:00 Pull-ups
Rest :30

rest 10 minutes

Complete the following circuit 5 times for reps. The clock is running continuously and the only rest time is the transition between the movements.

1:00 Burpees
Rest :30
1:00 Thruster, 45#/35#

Wednesday 5/28

1. For time

Row 1,000 meters
Hollow Rock 90 seconds

Three sets of…
20 Dumbell thruster to a 10″ box, 40#/25#
3 rope climbs

Hollow Rock 90 seconds
Row 1,000 meters

2. Overhead squat

Quickly work up to a heavy weight and perform 3 sets of 3 reps at the same weight.

Thursday 5/29

1. For time
Row 1k
Run 800m

rest 10 minutes

2. For time

Tabata Squats (no less than 15 squats per interval)
50 Sit-ups
10 Muscle ups
50 Sit-ups
Tabata Squats (no less than 15 squats per interval)

Friday 5/30 (Day 1 of Regionals)

1. Clean and Jerk

2. AMRAP 15

Lunge with 1/4 your body weight in dumbbells, 20 steps, alternating legs.
20 Push-ups, as few sets as possible.
20 Pull-ups, as few sets as possible.
20 V-ups

Saturday 5/31 (Day 2 of Regionals)

For Time:

Row 500 meters (max effort after warm-up).
Hang from bar and slowly bring knees to elbows 15 reps (no kipping).
Powerclean 15 reps (max load).
Hang from bar and slowly bring knees to elbows 15 reps (again, controlled).
Row 500 meters (all out!).
Powerclean 15 reps (same load as before)

Sunday 6/1 (Day 3 of Regionals)

Partner “FRELEN” for time

Run 400m
21 Thruster, 95#/65#
21 KB Swings, 24kg/16kg
21 Pull-ups
Run 400m
15 Thruster, 95#/65#
15 KB Swings, 24kg/16kg
15 Pull-ups
Run 400m
9 Thruster, 95#/65#
9 KB Swings, 24kg/16kg
9 Pull-ups

20 May / 2014

Tuesday Tip

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The Back Extension (Much too often confused with Hip Extension)

We have programmed the back extension quite frequently as of late due to the arising need to increase the strength of the erectors for each athlete. This movement is often confused with hip extension. Here is a breakdown:

  1. Set up so that the pelvis is trapped on the pads.
  2. Without any movement in the hip, extend and flex at the trunk only.
  3. Range of motion will differ between athletes based on mobility of spine.
pic courtesy of

pic courtesy of

The hamstrings and glute muscles are working to isometrically stabilize the pelvis. When you are under a load while trying to lift heavy or to complete as fast as possible, not being able to maintain stability of the midline will result in inefficient movement at best and injury at worst.

If we are trying to isometrically hold the spine then why train a movement that emphasizes trunk flexion and extension? Building up the muscles while developing the “hardware” of the CNS to activate those muscles are going to enhance your ability to keep the spine neutral while under load.

If you are in the gym on a day that there are not back extensions programmed, then hit 2-3 sets in your warm up before class. Try to build up to 25 super strict and slow reps. Before long, your lower back muscles will look and feel like steel cables and be bombproof!


19 May / 2014

The “New” Whiteboard

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I have had some conversations with a few of you and a consistent remark has been that you miss seeing the whiteboard of everyone’s results for the day on Wodify.

Pocket Coach does not currently have this feature and it may be developed for it either. He is the thing; this is about you and your progress and benchmarking your loads, volume, etc off of another is NOT ideal. You may be creating a glass ceiling for yourself or you may be biting off more than you can chew.

You need to be in tune with your body and its abilities. Know ahead of time what you think you can do. Then as you are warming up make the decision if you can do more or less.

As you read this you are probably thinking to yourself, “Ok, great Neal but what about seeing everyone’s scores.” So we are bringing back the old school! Post your results daily to the blog for the day. This is how we get everyone doing it. If you train in the AM and want to see what the PM did, post your results and others will begin doing so as well. 

If you have a comment about the training for the day or questions, post them to comments. This will help us understand what topics you are interested in reading about and make the blog more robust for you, The Community!

Go Post! Now Greg Williams!

Here was 7am getting after it this morning.

16 May / 2014


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Boom! It’s another PR Friday and it is time to FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!

Get after the deadlift today and rip that sh*t off of the floor. BEAST MODE. WARRIOR MODEBe sure to post your results to comments here. This blog is going to become the de facto whiteboard for everyone so you can see each other results. 

What Are You Training For?

Speaking of posting results…If you have not been getting into Pocket Coach and tracking your daily training then you are not really training. You’re just working out. That is ok if you have nothing to train for but if you are here for one of the following: improve performance, lose weight, gain muscle and strength, or for any other purpose beyond get a sweat; then you have no idea how to follow what is going on if you are not journaling the process on Pocket Coach. Get in there, play around with it and become comfortable with it. Don’t use excuses, hold yourself accountable. Your coach will then check in periodically to provide feedback and guidance.


What’s On Tap

Saturday 5/17

1. Dumbbell Thrusters from 10″ box
15 – 12 – 9 reps AHAP

2. AMRAP 10
Push-ups 25
Pull-ups 7
Glute-ham raise 7

Sunday 5/18

1. Back Squat – 6, 4, 2

2. “Tailpipe”
With a partner perform three rounds each for time

250m Row
Front Rack Hold, 140#/95#

Monday 5/19

1. For time.
Row 1000 meters @ a 2:00(2:20)/500 meter pace or greater
Sumo deadlift/high pull @ 1/2 body weight X 21 reps
Row 500 meters @ a 1:45(2:05)/500 meter pace or greater
Powerclean (from ground) @1/2 body weight X 21 reps
Row 250 meters @ a 1:30(1:50)/500 meter pace or greater
Front Squat, 1/2 body weight X 21 reps

Tuesday 5/20

1. Run 6 minutes out/6 minutes back @ your chosen pace (no measure)

2. 3 RFT
Dips, max reps
Lunge 20 Steps
Push-press max reps @ 1/3 bodyweight
Lunge 20 Steps
HS Push-ups max reps
Lunge 20 Steps

Score is time and post reps for dips/PP/hspu to comments.

Wednesday 5/21

1. Run 1 mile

2. Perform 5 rounds, rest as little as possible.

15 Back extensions
15 Knee to elbows

3. For time as heavy as possible:

50 Unbroken Thrusters from 10″ box with dumbbells.
Don’t stop or pause; pump them out.

Thursday 5/22

1. Snatch – 6, 4, 2, 2

2. For time (rest only during transition for the weights, have all weights out already)

15 Squat clean and jerk @ 50% BW
Deadlift @ BW, max reps
15 Squat clean and jerk @ 50% BW
Back squat @ BW max reps
15 Squat clean and jerk @ 50% BW

Friday 5/23

1. Bench press – 5, 3, 1

perform 30 band pull aparts in between each round.

2. Lunge 50 alternating steps with DB’s @ 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 bodyweight and no stopping.

3. Push Press – 5,3, 1

perform 30 band pull aparts in between each round.

4. Glute Ham raise – 15, 12, 9

Hey CFB!

TBT - Coach Pat getting after the Warrior Pose!

TBT – Coach Pat getting after the Warrior Pose!


Way to attack every WOD this week.  Everyone has been pushing hard to make themselves better before, during, and after class.  It’s amazing to watch.  Keep it up!


Here is another opportunity to make yourself better.  The CFB Yoga Class will help you recover from this hard week of training and prepare you for next week.  It will take place on Sunday morning at 8:30am.  Please arrive a little early to be ready to start right at 8:30am.  In order to participate, all you have to do is sign up below.  Right now we have two people signed up and we need at least six people to make it a go, so please sign up as soon as you can.  If you have any questions please shoot me an email – [email protected]


CFB Yoga – Sunday, May 18th @8:30am – Sign Up Here!


14 May / 2014

Are There “Better Sugars”?

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This past Sunday, Mother’s Day, I was relaxing and watching the Today Show, when I saw something that made me do this:




Let me explain: they had a segment on cooking Mother’s Day brunch featuring Mary J. Blige’s personal chef. She was making a bunch of delicious looking stuff and making it healthy. One item was granola, using mostly nuts, dried fruit, and palm sugar. And as she’s describing the granola she keeps talking about palm sugar as “a better sugar” and a healthier sugar. Now you see why the face palm?


I see this on a lot of Paleo blogs too; they’ll use honey instead of sucrose, and almond or coconut meal instead of flour and proclaim it a healthy item.  So now seems like a good time to tackle the “better sugar” question.


The Glycemic Index


Let’s start here with a quick review. The glycemic index is a measure of how a particular food or beverage affects your blood sugar compared to 50 grams of white bread. Low glycemic foods have a glycemic index (GI) below 55, and high glycemic foods are above 70.  High glycemic foods cause a larger spike in your blood sugar, resulting in more insulin production and usually followed by a drop off. This cycle occurring over and over again can lead to insulin resistance, and ultimately diabetes. Lower glycemic foods tend to hit the blood sugar more slowly, resulting in less insulin release and a more stable curve. This graph illustrates it well (hint: you want to be closer to the blue line).

Image c/o

Image c/o


Now here is where a few common sugars fall on the glycemic index:


Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 9.50.52 AM

Data from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Coconut Palm Sugar 




It would stand to reason that lower glycemic sugars like palm sugar and agave would be good for you compared to sucrose, right?  Not so fast. Sugar its still sugar. All forms of sugar are calorically equivalent at 4 calories per gram, and are still a source of calories that provides zero nutritional quality (no fiber, no vitamins, no minerals, no other nutrients). Agave is highly processed, and coconut palm sugar production may well be unsustainable.


It’s kind of like what I said about high fructose corn syrup and sucrose: just because one thing might be similar or slightly better than another thing, doesn’t mean both are good for you. If you’re pursuing a healthy diet, finding the healthiest type of sugar is like finding the healthiest version of Frosted Corn Cereal – one may be better than another but neither are all that great for you. If you are making something that requires sugar, think about how you can cut back on the sweetness. Maybe add a banana instead of some of the butter in cookies or bread, which will maintain consistency and add more natural sweetness. Or check out Stevia. I haven’t done any research personally (meaning I haven’t used it a bunch yet), but I’ve heard great reviews.


What are your thoughts on sugar? Do you have a go-to type of sweetener?

13 May / 2014

Don’t Tear!

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We have addressed this topic in the past but now may be a great time to address it again.

In CrossFit we perform a great deal of volume with barbells, pull up bars, rings, and kettlebells. It is important to establish a plan on how to prevent rips and tears as well as how to care for them if they do occur.

First, allow me to say this, a hand tear is an injury. It is not a badge of honor of how BAD ASS you are. If you tear your hand, you may be derailing your ability to train for the next few days. Oh, your significant other is not going to allow you to put your hands on him/her either so now you are really out of luck!

pic courtesy of crossfitavon

pic courtesy of crossfitavon

Prevention is Key

First, go to your local pharmacy and pick up either a pumice stone or a callus shaver in the foot care section. I personally prefer the callus shaver as it slices those babies down really quick and easy. You may prefer both to smooth over any edges left by the callus shaver. Take the shaver or stone and cut down any built up calluses as needed. Once per week does the trick for me. Others need heavier maintenance.

Beyond, keeping the calluses down you can also be sure to apply lotion to your hands to ensure that your skin does not become too dry with cracks. This will lead to rips and tears as well. I am not a big lotion guy. In fact the only time I use lotion is when I am rubbing some on my wife’s feet and legs. But hey, maybe you like the stuff!

Friction is The Enemy

The reason the calluses build up and ultimately tear is due to friction. If your skin is constantly being rubbed along a surface it is going to be build to protect itself until it finally tears because it is too big. How can we minimize this? The first is obvious with using chalk.

There is such a thing as TOO MUCH CHALK. The substance is not supposed to be caked on your hands. If you are an excessive sweater then you need to have a towel to dry off your hands and forearms before applying additional small dosages of chalk to your hands. Don’t be a chalk whore. I have also heard of applying body glide to your hands and then a little chalk on your hands before hitting the pull up bar or barbell. I have not personally tried this yet but it makes sense. Marathoners and distance events use body glide all the time to prevent chafing brought on by friction.

Gloves are another option. Wait, gloves? That is being a sissy right? Set aside your macho ego. If you tear and tear regularly, get a pair of gloves. Buy the smallest size of batting gloves you fit into, they will stretch, and practice your grip. It will be different and you may have to make some small adjustments.

Build up your grip strength. This is a huge reason for rips and tears. Though we don’t want to have a death grip on the pull up bar when we need to finish 100 pull ups, we also don’t want our forearms and grip to crap the bed after 15-20 reps. Look for another post coming soon to address grip strength and programs to follow that can easily be applied 2-3 times per week at the end of your workouts.

In the Heat of the Battle

While you begin following the guidance written above, what about today? Tomorrow? Here is one basic rule I follow. Don’t go to failure on any set of pull ups, high volume snatches, or cleans. Once your grip begins to fail, you WILL rip your hand. Work smaller doses of sub maximal effort. Though it may seem counter intuitive, you will actually be able to finish your WOD faster due to less no reps and needing to take extra time for the muscles to recover. As you apply the grip strength work and continue training the number of reps you can complete will increase.

One last thing. If the WOD calls for 100 pull-ups and you know that the volume is too much for you, don’t “suck it up” and go after it. Build up your capacity over time. Scale it down. Know your limits, work to the very fringe of them to keep pushing further, but be smart. Then you will be able to continue training and improving your fitness instead of sitting on the sideline and having to go to sleep with latex gloves and moisturizer.

12 May / 2014

When should you mobilize?

By There are no tags 2 comments

‘Sup peeps! I just wanted to get something off my chest.


While I love that you all come in an make mobility a part of your normal everyday routine, I would like to try to help you make the most of the time you spend mobilizing. Many of you roll in, change, and roll-out before class. Don’t roll in and roll out! Your body needs to be warm… and I mean WARM before you start. And don’t think that foam rolling is the cure for your tight hamstrings. 


You should be getting hot & sweaty before your workout, then opening up joint capsules (banded distractions) then if you have a very sticky/tight spot, try spending 2 minutes doing some trigger point work on that spot, only if you’ve already gotten nice and warm and gone through some dynamic warm-up (yes, you can do this on your own before class too guys/girls). 


In the cool down period following the workout you would effectively be doing an “active-cooldown.” Instead of laying on the ground, towelling off and heading out the door, spend some quality time moving and mobilizing as your body temperature returns to normal. This is where you will be addressing areas that us coaches have been telling you that you need to work on to increase you ROM. Some of that may be more trigger point or for those of you who can’t get enough of it, foam rolling work, to “unlock” areas that have knotted up during the workout. This will also assist in pushing blood through what you’ve just worked aiding in your recovery.


You can look at your mobility work as a planned session that is separate from group classes. Whatever you do, please… PLEASE don’t roll in to roll out. 


Thinking of your future,


09 May / 2014


By There are no tags 1 comments

Yeah! It’s Friday baby and that means it’s time to FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP! The week has been fun and different. All week has been training for todays testing day. Yesterday was a bit of a sampler with the 1k row and many crushed it! I have enjoyed seeing you all respond to the slightly different programming and being open to going after it. 

What has been your favorite part of the week? What did you enjoy the least? Please give your feedback in comments. In fact, as a challenge, I would appreciate if you began commenting daily on your results in the comments section of the blog. We will be looking each day for your results and feedback on the WOD. Your participation will provide great insight.


  1. No 8am Track Practice this week – Coach Voci is away this weekend and there is quite a bit going on inside the gym. It will resume next weekend weather permitting.

  2. The Strength Challenge begins and Hydrostatic Weighing is this weekend. The CrossFit Total is being programmed for the entire gym whether you are participating in the challenge or not. Expect to be in the gym for 1.25 to 1.5 hours as the Total always is a bit longer. Classes will start on the hour. The back squat and press will be completed within the hour and then members will move to the platforms to complete the deadlift.
  3. CustomFit Meals – I would like some feedback from those that have ordered. Either drop me a line or just post to comments.
  4. If you signed up for the Challenge or for Hydrostatic Weighing. You will receive and email to remind you of your scheduled time. Please be on time.


This week we are continuing with classic CrossFit programming. Monday and Tuesday are particularly challenging in that they are back to back. Be sure that you are doing what is necessary to recover from Monday to Tuesday if you are training back to back days. 

Sunday 5/11

1. Pull-ups – 5 x max. Strict-Kipping-Strict-Kipping-Strict.

2. Complete the following circuit 5 times. It contains three elements and is a powerful whole body workout. Each element is 45 seconds with a 15 second rotation (not one second more or you start over).

Wall Ball, 20#/14# to a 10′/9′ target (reps)
Hollow Rock (reps)
Sumo Deadlift High Pull, 75#/55# (reps)

Monday 5/12

1. Powerclean 10-10-10

Rest 5-10 minutes

2. AMRAP 20
Rope climb
15 Sit-ups
10 Thrusters off 10″ box with dumbbells totaling 30% of your weight
15 Back extensions

Tuesday 5/13

1. Wall-Ball – 20#/14# to a 10′/9′ target
30 seconds – max reps
Rest 30 seconds
60 seconds – max reps
Rest 60 seconds
90 seconds – max reps
Rest 90 seconds
120 seconds – max reps
Rest 120 seconds

Beat 15 throws in 30s, 30 in 60s, 40 in 90s, and 50 in 120s Total exercise 8 minutes.
Submit total throws for all efforts and bodyweight.

2. AMRAP 20
15 Pull-ups
Lunge ten steps each leg, alternating
Clean & Jerk, 50% bodyweight X 10 reps

Wednesday 5/14

1. Bike/Row – 3 x 2 minute max effort (calories)
Rest 5 minutes between efforts.

2. 4 rounds for time of:

15 GHD sit ups
5 Handstand push-ups
10 Back Squats @ 2/3 of bodyweight

Bar for Back squats must be taken from the ground each rep.

Thursday 5/15

1. Push Press – 8-6-4

2. AMRAP 15
3 L-sit pull-ups
1 minute max double unders

Post rounds completed and total double unders completed.

Friday 5/16

1. Deadlift 3-2-1-2-3

2. 3 Rounds for time
400m Run
15 Toe2Bar (strict and slow)
20 Med ball cleans, 20#/14#

1 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 30