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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

 

 

 

Alex Black liked this post

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?!

The CrossFit Boston In-House Throwdown will be next Friday, July 25th at 6:30pm with food and beverages to follow.  So the question is…. Are you ready to compete?  Against yourself?  Against others?  Below are a couple of my thoughts on what it means to be an athlete, and even better, a firsthand athlete.  Read through, reflect on your training and experience in the gym, and share what you think it means to be an athlete.

Stan perfecting the TGU

Stan perfecting the TGU

The Firsthand Athlete

A firsthand athlete has the competence and confidence to rely on personal experiences to prepare for, execute, and learn from a performance both as an individual and as part of a team.  The in-house throwdown at CrossFit Boston is a unique opportunity to test your athleticism because there is no coach calling plays, talking you through the pre-comp warm-up, or cueing you on that one technical or tactical fix during the wod.  

If you can’t make the throwdown because of vacation, you will still need to know what to do to keep up with your training.  When an athlete is away on vacation there is no coach to walk them through a workout.  When an athlete enters the arena on game-day or goes home for vacation it’s up to them to know what to do, what to think about, what to fix, and what to focus on.  The firsthand athlete actively communicates with their body, teammates, and coaches to continually learn and work towards their goals.

Chau crushed a personal record in her triathlon last weekend! Congrats Chau!

Chau crushed a personal record in her triathlon last weekend! Congrats Chau!

The CrossFit Boston Athlete 

One of my main goals as a coach at CrossFit Boston is to develop Firsthand Athletes.  With a class full of Firsthand Athletes, who can work hard together and stay focused on what they must do as individuals to make the rest of the group better, the possibilities are endless.

Have a great Thursday, work hard this week, and see you at the Throwdown next week!

Bre Nicole liked this post

RRT launchingHello CFB!

Hope you had an awesome 4th of July Weekend!  Above is a video that got posted on the CrossFit Main Site just over two years ago when I first became one of your coaches.  I’m getting pumped because it’s that time of year again.  Time for the Renegade Rowing Team to get on the water, learn to row, and come together as a team to hold each other accountable.  Next Thursday we will be holding tryouts at Community Rowing in Brighton.  If you’d like to learn how to row and do it with a bunch of badass CFB members then the time is now.  If you are reading this and you happen to be a CrossFitter from another box, you are welcome to join us, we’d be glad to have you!  Please sign up below.

 

Renegade Rowing Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI

 

Sign Up Here

 

Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following… RRT KSA’s

 

If you are interested, want to know more about the KSA’s, or have a few questions please let me know ASAP so I can get you fired up to get on the water.  I’m working with a couple of people early next week to review basic technique and drills.  Hit me up at [email protected] if you’d like to join in.

 

I would like to introduce Jen Burtt to our coaching ranks. Jen is a new Apprentice Coach here at CrossFit Boston. She has a ton of experience in coaching as she has been in the field for some time now. She holds a CF-L1 certificate as well as specialty certificates in CrossFit Mobility and CrossFit Endurance/Running. In 2011 she graduated from the National Personal Training Institute.

Here is Jen’s Story.

Athletics has played a significant role throughout my life.  As a 3-sport Varsity athlete, I was able to demonstrate leadership ability as Captain of my high school field hockey, basketball and softball teams.  I received the “Contributed Most to Athletics Award” my senior year, 2004.  I played ASA softball for 7 consecutive seasons and as Captain my team qualified and competed in National Championship tournaments in Atlanta, GA (1999) and Midland, TX (2002).

I thrive on pushing myself to achieve my personal best, which is what I encourage those around me to do every day. I’ve competed in two CrossFit competitions:  the first was in June 2011 in the scaled division, placing 20th out of 59 women; the second was in September, 2012, where I placed 36th out of 100 in the RX women division in The Garage Games at CFNE.  I plan to continue competing.

Prior to joining the CrossFit family, I worked in the cosmetology profession for 5 years as a Board Certified Hair Stylist and Nail Technician in the State of MA.  In July of 2010, I experienced a life-changing event. I was a passenger in a multi-rollover auto accident in which I sustained life-threatening injuries.  Through the grace of God, I survived. My faith and willingness to overcome the mental and physical obstacles that I suffered gave me the drive and determination I needed to recover.  After months of rehabilitation and physical therapy, I joined CrossFit.  It is through CrossFit that I was able to regain my core and full-body strength as well as my athleticism.

When asked about the accident I always have to pause so that those asking will understand my response.  To make a long story short, I am blessed.  I was saved by God and by all of the wonderful people who kept me alive in my most delicate hours.  I was told so many times by my family, friends and doctor the details surrounding my accident and recovery; yet, I have no actual memory of any of it.  All I have are the scars on my body and the ever-lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury.  It’s strange because I don’t feel like it even happened to me but the evidence is there.  That’s how I know I was blessed, because now I am physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than before.  I took every opportunity I had to gain the strength I needed to become who I am today and what I am meant to be.  My mother and father could tell stories of my recovery – how from the moment I was awake and aware of my situation that I was driven more than ever to recover, how I listened to my doctors’ advice but listened to my body more.    

While in the midst of my recovery I decided I no longer wanted to be a hairstylist.  I always had a passion for physical fitness so naturally it seemed to be the best path to follow.  I became re-energized about my future and made the decision to become a personal trainer.  I have more passion for this career because I feel like my personal experience inspires others to be better, to be healthier and to appreciate life.

After a whirlwind of battles, I’m on the journey to travel again, to pick my spirit back up, to work hard every day and to not worry about tomorrow. I’m seeking positive thoughts, positive people and a place to go that I can call home, the CrossFit community. I love what I do so for all the love that I have I give all that I can and then some.

I am where I am today because I knew that the only way I could take back my life was to focus on improving the quality of my life. After being in a wheelchair, not being able to walk, I made the decision to get up and put my feet on the floor.  I made myself walk, run, sprint harder and further.  Now I am stronger and wiser than I ever was before.  This accident was life changing, because if not for it I would not have had the courage to follow my heart. I can tell you this:  it was not easy and it was heart breaking at some points but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

I can honestly say now that not working or training consistently in a CrossFit gym recently has changed the quality of my life. With that being said, I am very happy with the steps I have taken to be where I am right now. I know that getting my feet back into the CrossFit community will help my overall happiness and sanity. It balances my inner strength mentally, soulfully and physically. I do live my life through my heart and soul. I live for the best for all, for everyone, not just myself. It makes me happy to give the joy that I have and feel everyday. I give my entire heart to what I really want. Whether it is a competitive time for Fran, or building strength for a Clean & Jerk or a Power Snatch; whatever it is my heart thrives for, I just give it all I have and I will achieve it. It might not happen tomorrow, next week or maybe next month but it will happen. What you give is what you get. 

That is how I live and that is what I give. I believe within and know that this community will never leave us stranded. It is a strong, powerful, and passionate family.

I never want to be satisfied with my achievements. I never want my family, friends or the CrossFit community to be satisfied either.

Mighty Mouse - aka Coach Jen

Mighty Mouse – aka Coach Jen

 

RRT launchingTryout for the Renegade Rowing Team (RRT)

 

I’m reposting the link for tryouts just in case anyone missed last weeks announcement.  The RRT is a 6 week term, rowing in 8’s on the water at CRI every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30am starting Tuesday, July 22nd.  If you’d like to join the team tryouts will be Thursday, July 17th at 5:30am @CRI.  Please sign up below.

 

Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI

 

Sign Up Here

 

Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following… RRT KSA’s

If you’d like to setup a  free consultation with me to go over the KSA’s at CRI please shoot me an email at [email protected]

 

Have you met Dock?

 

Dock is a new member that just graduated with Fight Gone Bad!  Keep an eye out for him and be sure to welcome him to the crew!

 

Who are you and what are you about?
 
I’m Dock, originally from Cape Cod, I’m currently a struggling illustrator and a part time Grocery Clerk. I’m all about exceeding my own expectations and challenging my potential. Ever since conquering obesity and losing over 120 lbs through my own hard work, I carry the mentality of “Anything’s possible, and if it’s not I’ll give it a run for it’s money.” I apply that in everything I do.
 
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
 
I joined Crossfit Boston after seeing a bunch of video’s online of crossfit and it seemed to encompass everything that I need to consistently push my physical potential in an encouraging environment of people with a similar attitude. I did research and after being a bit iffy of the credentials of other nearby crossfit gyms I found Crossfit Boston had their act together and after the initial evaluation I knew I made a good choice.
 
What are some of your goals for this year?
 
My goals are constantly in a flux and I never have anything particularly in mind. As far as fitness is concerned I generally just want to surprise myself. I want to be able to reflect back to the time I was overweight and say “How the hell did I get to the point where I can do something like this, that’s incredible!” If I can say that to myself at least 3 times this year, I will be happy.
 
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
 
I’m looking forward to just being in a group environment of awesome people. As much as I accomplished working out alone, it kind of sucks and I never really Identify with other folks at normal gyms. I want to be around people who want to move around a lot as opposed to being around people doing slow and concentrated lifts for an hour, I don’t have the attention span for that!

RRT Boat PressTryout for the Renegade Rowing Team (RRT)

 

(RRT = 6 week term rowing in 8’s on the water at CRI every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30am starting Tuesday, July 22nd)

 

Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI

 

Sign Up Here

 

Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following…

 

If you would like to learn these KSA’s and prepare for Tryouts please setup a 20min session with Coach Pat to review what you need to know and work on.  Your first 20min session is free and will be on the Dock Box at CRI.  Just email Coach Pat to setup a time – [email protected]

 

Renegade Rowing Team Required KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, and Ability):

 

Equipment:

 

  1. How to carry and setup equipment.
  2. Port, Starboard, Bow, Stern
  3. Port Oar
  4. Starboard Oar
  5. Oarlock
  6. Oar Collar

 

Skills:

 

  1. Posture
  2. Control/Ratio
  3. Connection
  4. Teamwork, Following, Rhythm

 

Stroke Cycle Positions:

 

  1. Catch
  2. Finish
  3. Arms Away
  4. Bodies Over
  5. 1/2 Slide
  6. 3/4 Slide

 

Drills:

 

  1. Feeling Drill
  2. Chop Drill
  3. Release/Catch Placement Drill
  4. Pause Drill (Single, Double, Tripple Pause)
  5. Reverse Pic Drill (Focused on Connection)
  6. Pic Drill (Focused on Swing and Body Preparation)

 

Bladework:

 

  1. Feathered
  2. Squared
  3. Squared and Buried
  4. Check it Hard and Hold Water
  5. 1/2 Square @ 1/2 Slide
  6. Full Square @ 3/4 Slide

Who’s game?

Here’s the RRT on Monday finding some rhythm in the Quad…

 

Do you have what it takes to Race?

 

RRT Boat PressHave you ever seen an eight racing at top speed?  Are you interested in experiencing that for yourself?  Can you follow?  Can you push yourself?  Can you push others?  Do you have discipline? Will you work hard and find a way to push on even when pain and that little voice inside your head tells you to stop?

 

Then you should tryout for the Renegade Rowing Team.

 

We’ll be training twice a week starting mid July and racing in September.  More details are on their way.

 

Comment if you’re ready!  Tryouts in July!

Chrissy Lewis Summers liked this post

Carla Event 6Hey CFB!  I hope you all had fun cheering on Carla at Regionals last weekend.  It was a blast watching her crush the rowing in event six!  Carla you are Awesome!

 

As new members join the gym I will be throwing out a bit of info on them.  Be sure to welcome them and challenge them to burpees or something fun like that!  Last week Brianna graduated from private training by crushing Fight Gone Bad.  She’s excited to throw down with you guys, so keep an eye out for her!

 

 

Who are you and what are you about?
I’m Brianna, I also go by Bre. I am from Jersey and moved to Boston to complete my MSN. I am currently a psych nurse and finishing classes. I am new to CrossFit and over the last month have become obsessed with it.
 
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
 
I joined CrossFit because I want to get stronger and get in shape. I wanted an all encompassing workout and CrossFit was exactly what I was looking for.
 
BriannaWhat are some of your goals for this year?
 
In September I am participating in a Mudderella, it is a smaller version of Tough Mudder, and I would like to be able to finish that race without stopping. I am still trying to figure out a good time to shoot for. My general goals for class is to work on my form and really improve throughout the summer.
 
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
 
I am looking forward to group classes and becoming part of the CrossFit Boston family. I am excited to see how much I can improve and learn from everyone in classes.
Bre Nicole liked this post

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!