03 Sep 2014
Coach Pat’s Pistol Program!
That’s right CFB! It’s September! One of my favorite months of the year. Students are back in town and everyone at the gym is looking forward to crushing some goats this fall. At least I hope you are!
Every Thursday this month I’ll be posting some extra programming for you to do before or after class to improve your pistol. As the weeks go by you’ll be able to progress through the program based on your ability in the pistol. Today’s programming is below. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Set a clock for 20 minutes and work through all letters. After progressing through all letters, perform a pistol Test. How many pistols can you do? If you can do more than one, repeat all letters with more weight and a lower target. If you still can’t do a pistol, repeat all of the letters at level I. Continue this process until 20 minutes is up.
A. Over Head Squat w/ dowel or bar 3×5
B. Good Morning w/ Dowel 3×15
C. Hollow Body 3×10 3″ Hold
D. Seated Pistol on Bench 3×5
Next week I’ll reveal level two, so get after it today and be ready to work for Level 2 next week.
Post how many pistols you get today or where you’re at in regards to your pistol!
Hey CFB! Well done attacking training this week. It has been a solid Summer and I’m pumped for the Fall. Every time Labor Day rolls around I like to reflect on the fun times of Summer and set a couple of goals for the Fall. This year we saw some sick numbers in the Strength Challenge. Alex and I got to watch some ball at Fenway. CFB had the most fun out of all teams in the BSSC Softball League. People hit the beach with some muscles! And we saw a moose hiking. A MOOSE!
Last week I mentioned we’ll be breaking out a new focus on skill work outside of class in September. What skill will you fight to improve next week? That’s right, September is here!!! My goal in addition to getting 10 strict pull ups is to get a strict handstand push up. Not easy for a tall guy like me, but I’m game for some hard work. I mean what’s the point of doing something if it’s easy right?
What did you enjoy this Summer and what challenges are you looking to attack this Fall?
20 Aug 2014
Howdy CFB! How’s your training going? When’s the last time you mastered a skill? Have you done a strict Handstand Push Up or Double Under yet? Have you dreamed of doing Pistols? Well this September it’s time to make those dreams a reality! You’re coaches will be rolling out extra skill programming to be done before and/or after classes. In order to improve and continually progress we must challenge ourselves, and that means working on our goats on a consistent basis.
I’ll be helping everyone master Pistols!
Before we get going I’d like you all to read an article on why your squat may be different then someone else’s. This way we’re on the same page and can begin working on why you don’t have a pistol yet. We need to figure out your optimal stance for the squat and then consider how this might affect your setup for the pistol and what you need to improve. As you read this article you’ll discover why some people can squat narrow and some people have to squat wide. Should everyone strive to squat with their butt to their heels? You shall find out.
The Best Kept Secret Why People Have to Squat Differently! (from themovementfix.com)
After checking out this article and video, comment here with your ideal squat stance and why you think that is.
13 Aug 2014
06 Aug 2014
Congrats to all the people that performed the CrossFit Total last week and hit some new PR’s! Lot’s of hard work paying off and it’s awesome to see. Keep up the hard work and let’s keep crushing it as we head into the Fall.
As a coach I hope to continually teach you new things and give you tools to improve yourselves. Over the past week if you’ve been taking the noon class with me you may have experienced a new warmup that improves your mobility and gets you ready to move with the barbell. That warmup is a variation on the morning warmup I learned from The Movement Fix. I’ve been giving it to a number of my private training clients as well and it seems like it really helps everyone loosen up and move a lot smoother.
If you workout in the morning or don’t want to sit around all day getting tight before the evening classes, then you should give the warmup in the video above a try, every morning for the next week. Let me know how it goes. If you’re unclear about some of the movements let me know and I’ll get you fixed up.
If you’d like to see the improvement this makes be sure to test and re-test with a couple of air squats before and after.
Here’s the routine:
10 shoulder rotations
10 prayer stretches
10 crab walk rocks
10 ankle moves
10 hip rotations
10 straight leg raises
10 hip extensions
repeat on other leg
spine 10 cat camels (don’t push the ranges of motion)
30 Jul 2014
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.
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
23 Jul 2014
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
08 Jul 2014
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.