26 Jun 2015
When you walk up the stairs to the lounge, you notice the 5 poster boards hanging on the wall. The poster boards are the original creation of Dave Werner, founder of CrossFit Level IV and they define a limited set of physical skills and set progressive benchmarks in these skills.
Using these benchmarks, you can develop a personalized set of goals for improving your fitness. The purpose of these boards is to help the majority of our members to develop truly well rounded general fitness. A typical daily conversation that I have with members and prospects is the purpose of his/her training. Many times the answer is a generic “get fit”. Well that is exactly what CrossFit was designed for but it can be difficult to know if you are in fact on the best path to achieve just that.
Human nature is to keep working on what we are good at, our strengths, and skip the things we are not good at, our weaknesses. Using the Athlete Skill Levels Charts you can determine where you presently are AND how to make sure that you are working on all aspects to progress forward.
It’s important to understand what each level represents to understand where you are today:
Level I – You can move like a human. You’re not in particularly good shape, but if your town floods, you can get in a rescue boat without a firefighter pulling you in. If you can’t do three pull-ups, and three dips, you don’t have healthy shoulders. If you can’t squat all the way down comfortably, your hips are not healthy. These are basic health problems in the sense that they affect your quality of life. Fixing these problems generates a lot of self-confidence, and sets the stage for further progress.
Level II – You’re not a competitive athlete, but you’re an active, fit person who can tackle whatever you want to do. All of your joints have full range of motion and adequate strength. You know how to create stability and power. You are ready to dive into learning any new physical activity that may interest you. Being this capable is so much fun!
Level III – This is general fitness for a competitive athlete. That’s already pretty rare territory. Most adults don’t need all this, but it can be fun and give you some challenging goals. If you’re not working on Level III – for instance, if you can’t do a few strict dead hang muscle ups – you have no business entering the CrossFit Open and expect to get to Regionals or expect to be in the top 25% globally. Stop being delusional about what you can do. Treat the problem.
Level IV – The Level IV goals explore the limits of general fitness. They are attainable only through many years of smart consistent training. None of the individual goals are very advanced when compared to a specialist in that field, but the combination of these qualities is very hard to achieve. For many, if not most people, this level of all around fitness is just not practical. Not practical because achieving all of these skills simultaneously means that you have really become a specialist in general fitness. Many, many people can perform some of the skills listed in Level IV, while at the same time they are unable to perform several Level II skills. Perhaps the best use of these levels is when you are able to realize that you are already “good enough” in one area, and can then focus on an area that needs work.
FIRE IT UP!
It is Friday baby and its time to Fire It Up! This has been a busy week with a lot of Private training sessions in addition to my classes. It is awesome when you can have provide that one on one attention and you see the Athlete really get it! Whether it is remaining patient on the pull for the snatch or really understanding the connection on the rower and how to be more efficient while using the recovery to better performance to completing your first forward roll. Ever. When an athlete finishes a movement or hits a lift and turns to me and states that it “never made sense to me like that before” then I know that there are going to be some great progressions coming soon. If you haven’t booked a session lately with your Coach, I highly suggest you do. Tell him what you want specifically to work on and you will have a blast.
4TH OF JULY
This Friday is the 4th of July. There will be one class at 10am. The doors will open at 9:30am and we will be firing up the grill afterwards. Bring some food to share for the grill and your favorite side dish. Friends and family are welcome too!
The month of June is coming to a close. How have your handstand push ups improved? Wednesday 7/1 will be our final retest. On Wednesday you saw a glimpse of our next squat focus, the front squat. Next week will be a more thorough breakdown of what we will be working on.
Strength/Skill: (G1) Handstand holds 7 x 1:00 or 7 x max time off the wall
Conditioning: With a partner, complete 100 TnGo Power Cleans for time
Two bars per team with one person working at a time. The partner resting is in active rest holding a Front Rack position with his/her bar. If the Front rack is dropped, then the set must stop and alternate to the other athlete.
30 rounds for time
5 Wallball shots, 20/15
3 Handstand Push-ups
1 Power Clean, 225/155
Skill/Strength: (BB2) Power Snatch 10×2 (add more weight than 6/5)
Conditioning: AMRAP 12
10 Alternating DB Snatch
15 Box Jumps, 24/20
15 Knee to elbows
Strength/Skill: Back Squat 4×12, add 5#+ to the weight you used on 6/18
Conditioning: For time
30 Muscle ups
50 CTB pull-ups
TEST: Strict Handstand Push-ups
Conditioning: Row 3k for time
ABS: 3×10 AbWheel/BB rollout
Skill/Strength: A. Shoulder Press 5RM
Skill/Strength: B. Bent over BB row, 3×5 with a 3122 tempo
Conditioning: EMOM 20
3 Clean + 1 Jerk, ascending load to AHAP
Friday 7/3 – 4th of July TBA
08 Jun 2015
“DO WHAT YOU DO SO WELL THAT PEOPLE CAN’T HELP TELLING OTHERS ABOUT YOU.”
I read a fantastic book over the weekend by Keith Lee titled The Happy Customer Handbook: 59 Secrets to Creating Happy Customers Who Come Back Time and Time Again and Enthusiastically Tell Others About You. As you probably could guess from the title it was specifically about customer service.
It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day of delivering our product, Fitness, to you, our Clients/Community, that neglect can occur with other aspects of the gym that are not immediately upfront. This book was a great reminder on how such neglect leads to a slippery slope of decay of the entire product.
I began thinking about CrossFit Boston and how the chapters of the book applied. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became because there is so much opportunity there. Starting with the quote at the top of this blog post by Walt Disney.
As coaches we stress the importance of virtuosity and continual improvement in our physical training. As a business owner the same effort is required in the other aspects of CrossFit Boston and is true for our team members as well.
Thank you for the opportunity!
We had a great turnout for Field Day over at Artesani Park. Thanks to everyone that made it. Coach G2 did a great job organizing the event and it was a fun day. These type of events are an awesome way for our community to get to know each other better. If you missed this one, be sure to make the next one.
This week my schedule is limited due to Jess being away for a work conference making me a “single daddy” responsible for dropping off and picking up my little girls. I will be in on Tuesday and Thursday for my regular evening schedule but I will not be in during the AM classes this week. If you need to reach me directly shoot me an email and I can get you my direct line. Have a great week of training!
I’ve always loved sports, especially when it comes to learning and competing at new sports that I don’t get to play often. Whenever we learn something new it’s far to easy to try and learn a couple of basics and then go full speed. Whether it’s golf, tennis, running, olympic lifting, rowing, or any other sport. The thrill of competition and grace in motion that sports played at full speed creates is amazing. Full speed competition elicits that feeling of joy and excitement that we all live for. However, a couple of problems usually arise at one point or another in our performance at full speed, especially if we take it up to full speed to quickly.
1. We lose form and things get sloppy. Basically the wheels come off.
2. We need more speed to out perform our competition, but it’s just not there.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve experienced this situation with many of the athletes I coach, both on the water rowing and in the gym training. We’re always fighting for more intensity and boat speed, but too often something falls apart and our true potential is never reached.
Personally, I’ve experienced a similar situation while learning the piano. I currently take lessons once a week and have worked up to playing 4 songs and almost all of the scales, but my progress tends to stumble when I go to fast. It seems easy when I play a scale or a song slowly, so why not pick up the speed and just figure out how to not make mistakes playing faster? Well because it just gets sloppy and I never really learn what I’m doing wrong or better yet, what I can be doing better.
After being turned on to two great blog posts on slow motion practice, one from the music world and one from the golf world, I decided to share this idea with the rowing and strength training world that I hope you all partake in.
First, read through the above two blog posts and think about how slow is super slow. To often we think we’re going slow, but we could be going slower. Then, go out and practice super slow motion movements in your warmup. Be mindful, find the points where your focus lapses or you make a mistake, figure out how you can be more efficient, smoother, and more consistent. If you can take at least 20 minutes to practice this I guarantee you will find more boat speed, achieve more power, and perform at a higher level.
Above is Drew performing the Reverse Pic Drill in a single. Think about how many hours of slow motion practice, balance, and boat feel it has taken for him to get to this point. Look at where he slows things down to find better balance, feel, and connection to the boat and water. For him to make this better and go faster at full speed, he will probably need to practice this even slower. Now it’s your turn, get on an erg, setup a barbell, or get in a boat and master your movement skills with super slow motion. It’s harder than you think.
Share your thoughts and experience to comments.
12 Mar 2015
I believe that life is motion and learning. To live and survive, we must be able to move from place to place and interact with the world around us. In this movement and interaction lies an important opportunity, the opportunity to learn through experience. As a coach, teacher, and lifelong learner, I hope to guide people’s movements and interactions so that they may learn by experience and develop into contributing members of teams, communities, and society. This idea of life and learning through experience is the foundation of my ever-evolving coaching beliefs and the Journey that we take together.
Life is a journey, and the time we spend together in our gym is a way for our crew to experience the journey. Our mission is to develop a healthy community of firsthand athletes using general physical preparedness as a guide while allowing for specialization in things like rowing, weightlifting, strength club, obstacle course racing, mobility, or racing up Mt. Washington. As a member of our crew and our community, you get to build general physical preparedness and have fun playing and doing whatever it is that makes you feel alive. Life is more fun when you can continually improve and challenge both yourself and others. If there is anything that I or our crew of coaches can help you with please let us know. We’re here for you and we want nothing but the best for our crew.
Last but definitely not least, congratulations to all of our athletes that trained hard this winter and executed an amazing race at CRASH-B 2015, the World Indoor Rowing Championship. I had a blast coaching you and I can’t wait for next year! Here are some pics of our crew post race.
06 Mar 2015
It’s time to say goodbye to the excuses of why you can’t achieve more.
It’s time to say goodbye to those “friends” that hold you down.
It’s time to say goodbye to the habits that contribute to you being a lesser you.
Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
It’s not complicated, but it’s not easy either. A while back I posted an article about discipline. Discipline is doing the right things daily. It’s doing the common uncommonly well. It’s not very sexy.
I am not suggesting your life should consist solely of waking up, coming to CFB, going to work, eating, and then home to bed. That would be a boring life indeed and we all have commitments. What I am suggesting is leading a life that is more minimal. Discard the excess or trim the fat of what gets in the way of you becoming a better version of you.
Dedicated to YOUR Fitness!
CrossFit Games Open 15.2
Tonight at 6:30pm is week 2 of the CF Games Open workouts. All are invited to come and participate or watch. If you are participating please plan to arrive no later than 5:45 to begin prepping for a 6:30pm start.
Some have asked why we are only running the Open workouts during one class and not in the regular programming. The reason is that many of our members are uninitiated during the Open and we want to provide as great of an environment for those that are initiated to compete in. The weekly 6:30pm slot on Fridays is the stage to shine on and have it be more of an event rather than just another class.
Week 2 March Programming
Here is the next week of programming. See you in class!
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
75/55 pound Power snatch, 12 reps
“Partner Filthy Fifty”
For time, partition any way, partners must use same weights/boxes:
50 Box jump, 24/20 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 OH kettlebell swings, 1.5/1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Double unders
Row 5000 K
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Handstand Push-ups
10 One legged squats, alternating
1. For time: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
75/55 Shoulder to overhead
2. Clean and Jerk 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps
1. Shoulder Press: Work up to a heavy set of five
2. Five rounds for time of:
15 Unbroken Wall Ball Shots
15 GHD sit-ups
Five rounds for time of:
115/75 pound Push-jerk, 15 reps
15 L pull-ups
19 Feb 2015
How’s it going CFB?
Today we’re taking a look at Kevin mid race. This is a video review that I put together to help him and you develop your stroke and find new areas to improve upon. I’ll be posting regular video reviews about once a week, usually on Thursdays. If you’d like feedback on your stroke or would like to see me talk about a certain area of the stroke, please let me know in the comments. If you’d like to be featured in the weekly Video Review please send me a 5 stroke video via email to [email protected]
Also, if you’d like to join in the fun in person, the Renegade Rowing Club practices every Monday morning at 6am and Wednesday evening at 6pm. There will be new days and times starting in March, so keep an eye out. Everyone is welcome, just let me know via email – [email protected], and I can get you the details on how to get started and join the group. Share your thoughts to comments and get fired up for CRASH-B 2015!
12 Feb 2015
I hope everyone is staying warm and finding some place to put all of this snow! I just wanted to shout out to all of those athletes that participated in the Renegade Rowing 2015 Improvement Survey this past week. Thank you for sharing your feedback and interests with me. I will do my best to continue to offer my best coaching and feedback and run programs that you’re passionate about.
15 Jan 2015
The weekend is upon us. It’s Friday baby and time to Fire It Up! Tonight will be our Town Hall Meeting. I am looking forward to seeing everyone that is able to make it and answer questions you have. But that is for later.
Big week! We worked up to a few 3RM’s and 5RM’s, a little thing called the “Beep Test.” Now these are not necessarily going to be personal bests but because you all sweat F*ckin’ Liquid Awesome I know that many did indeed hit new personal records. Who hit it? Who was able to ring the bell? Don’t be shy, this is your time to say look at me instead of saving it for the dreaded beast known as Facebook! HA!
Speaking of Liquid Awesome…watch this video of Matt E from the 6am class on Wednesday. He hit 8 full rounds of the “Beep Test”. It was quite fun to watch that level of performance.
INDOMITABLE – impossible to subdue or defeat. Unconquerable. Unbeatable. Unstoppable.
“Unstoppable” (Nov, 2010) Essay By Lisbeth Darsh Live Like That
You can beat me. But not defeat me.
I will dial myself in. I will focus.
You can run faster than me. But you cannot run truer.
I will learn to sprint. And to slow my pace for recovery.
You can post higher PR numbers than me on every whiteboard that exists in this world. But your weights really only mean something to you, not to me. You can lift more than me. In rubber or iron. Today.
But not in life. I am my own yardstick.
I will breathe deep and take this burden from the ground to my shoulders. And then over my head. But I will put it back down and walk away from it. It does not own me.
Although we pen our efforts for everyone to see, I was never competing with you to begin with. I am trying to be a better version of me, every single workout and every single day. You only help me to get there. Thank you. I hope my efforts drive you harder too.
But make no mistake, you can never defeat me.
It’s simply not possible.
I am unstoppable
I LOVE this essay by Lisbeth. This should be your thoughts each and every time you walk through the doors. I believe in it so much that I had shirts made. I am going to get it put on the wall in the gym. I want it to be a daily reminder to those that need it.
A very small quantity is available for purchase at $25 per shirt. We have XS – XL. Let me know if you would like one for your closet.
15 Jan 2015
Howdy CFB! Hope you guys have been staying warm and having fun in the new space. I know the Olympic Lifters are pumped and ready to go for their meet this weekend. I’ll be competing for the first time and I’m excited to put all of our hard work to the test. Speaking of the Olympic Lifters, who’s pushing you right now? Are you ready for the Whole Life Challenge? Have you registered and are you coming to the benchmark workout this Saturday at 8am? Do you have a team or group of people that is going to hold you accountable and help you improve?
Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with. Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you. Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you. Recognize your team. Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better. That’s why I’m doing the Whole Life Challenge and I would love to see you join us.
2015 is here. Set a goal, whether it’s a competition or a benchmark, and let’s get after it. Here is a little video of the Renegade Rowing Team. After 8 weeks of training, they learned to row together and push themselves at the Rumble on the River. If you’d like to attack your goals and have an awesome team to help you get there, come check out the Whole Life Challenge at the gym this Saturday at 8am. Be sure to register and join the CrossFit Boston Team before hand! Click here to sign up and make it happen.
09 Jan 2015
Today marks the first full week of being in the new space. It’s definitely coming together as we make adjustments to what works best in the configuration. I appreciate everyone’s patience as it is a work in progress. We have some great plans for some adjustments that will take the space to the next level!
FIRE IT UP!
It is Fire It Up Friday! It’s 2015! What are you working on this year? Where can you dial in to get a little bit better? Coach Divine of Unbeatable Mind has a saying that, “Everyday give 100% to becoming 1% better.” Think about that. If you got 1% better each day, what would that look like in three months? A year? Two years?
That being said, Jason “Sager Juice” has rocked out two huge PR’s this week and has been ringing the PR Bell like a boss! Who else has been able to rock the Bell? Post it up to comments.
LIVE LIKE THAT
I would like to highly recommend Live Like That by Lisbeth Darsh. I have Lisbeth since 2006 when she first got into CrossFit and became an affiliate owner in Watertown, CT. Her professional career was first as a writer, which shined through in her many blog posts, Words With Lisbeth. Lisbeth soon moved on from being a gym owner and relocated to Santa Cruz, CA working for CrossFit HQ until last fall.
She next began compiling all of essays and was seeking funding. I am proud to say that, through Kickstarter, I was one of those contributors that helped her publish her first book. I received my copies yesterday in the mail and I have had difficulty putting it down. Allow me to share this one essay with you. It happens to be the very first one from the book.
The Light Up Ahead
I am never convinced that anything I write is more helpful or useful or beautiful than Bruce Springsteen’s simple, “Hold on brother, there’s a light up ahead.”
That’s what we want, isn’t it? Someone to tell us to hang on, to endure, to persevere. That there is a relief coming from whatever battle we have suddenly found ourselves in the midst of, or a break from whatever sadness has wrapped its cloak around us. That somewhere, somehow, life is going to improve in the future.
Or maybe it’s just me. But I want it.
And I think you do too. That’s why you’re reading right now. And that’s why I write it: I need to hear it, again and again and again. It seems every single one of my notebooks over the years has this entry in it: “Hold On.”
Life gets dark sometimes. We lose jobs, we lose friends, we lose loved ones forever. We come in last place, again and again. It’s easy to get angry, sad, to get bitter. Go ahead, get mad…for a little while.
But then, if we are smart, we pick ourselves up and we get better. Because it’s just life, after all — the grand mark that’s been going on since humans first started walking the Earth.
You aren’t the first one ever to lose. And you won’t be the last.
The good news? Hold on brother, there’s a light up ahead.
“If we live long enough in this world, we will have our hearts broken. Do they heal? Well, maybe not fully, completely, ever. But in the cracked and broken pieces, that’s where the light shines through. We walk in the world forever after with more depth, more sensitivity, more compassion. Our love affair with the world begins with a broken heart.” Marilyn Sewell
When I first read this essay, I was floored with how powerful it is. It is remarkable. Read it again. Pass it along to a friend. Who knows when he or she will really need it and it will help them get to the light up ahead.