22 Apr 2014
My CrossFit Kids program is about teaching kids to take care of themselves and value fitness. I also believe in the intrinsic values and qualities sports can teach. Qualities I think are valuable in life and teaching kids and teens what they mean through sport was central to the mission of my fitness business. I come from an education background and I am always curious about the latest in education studies. I am fortunate to have some great connections with educators in the field of pedagogy and one such professor introduced me to the research done by Angela Lee Duckworth on GRIT. Her work in this field affirms what I have always believed, GRIT is a necessary quality for success.
I recently had a set back in my professional career and that experience got me thinking about GRIT again. I’ve always been willing to take risks. I went to college when my high school guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t make it. In fact, he was a little more harsh “girls like you don’t go to college.” I set out to prove him wrong. It took me 7 years to finish college while I worked a full time job. During that time I failed out of college once because I just wasn’t ready for the demands of school. I kept going back when everything kept pointing in the opposite direction. I believed that with enough hard work I could make it. I also had seen that poverty was a life I didn’t want to live.
When I applied to graduate school I didn’t know if I could get in. I didn’t have the best grades and my undergraduate school was by no means a top tier school. Hunter College is part of the CUNY system of New York City and it caters to students on the margins. While I was there I had to take remedial education and learn the basics of high school math. I was in a classroom with other students working full time. There were mothers in the classroom who would bring their babies because they didn’t have anyone else to watch them. I loved it! I understood their story and their drive inspired me.
Dr. Duckworth’s research on GRIT has started important discourse amongst educators and psychologist. She looked at success from a motivational and psychological perspective and what she asked is: Who is successful and why? The quality that kept emerging time after time was GRIT. She noticed that IQ was not the predictor of grades for students and that professionals in sales were most successful if they had long-term passion and perseverance. Adults and kids with mental stamina and the ability “to stick with your future” is what made success because hard work for many years is what makes that “future a reality.” Angela Lee Duckworth
My recent set back got me thinking about my goals for the CrossFit kids program I started 4 years ago. It was reality time for me. I had the next 6 months all planned out and in one phone call everything changed. I was going to take my kids program to another affiliate gym. The new gym had hired me as a consultant for 3 months. I would then leave the kids program behind and move on in the summer to work with inner city kids in another program. Seemed perfect until I got the call that the new home for the kids program was pulling out of the contract. It was the eleventh hour and all I could do was crawl in bed and pull the sheets over my head. “NOT Happening!” I kept saying to myself.
Once I emerged I felt defeated. I called a few trusted people and asked for advice. These are some of their insights:
“Don’t stay in the grey area for to long trying to figure out other peoples motives. Make a new plan and save your kids program.”
“You started this kids program when no one else was doing this in Boston. Keep it going.”
“Never give up your kids program!”
“This is not a failure but perhaps the best blessing you can’t see right now.”
I started to figure out a new plan. I also started to do what I do when life doesn’t make sense. Work out more and read research on education. I looked at Dr. Duckworth’s research on GRIT from a new perspective.
I took Dr. Duckworth’s GRIT test. I thought I would be the grittiest person in Boston. However, a 3.38 on a scale of 1-5 is not so gritty for someone as gritty as me. I’m a survivor for sure but perhaps at this point my gutsy determination was not enough to pull me through the latest set back. Perhaps what’s still missing is the last part of GRIT that I’m in the middle of trying to figure out—working hard over many years to make my future a reality. The future of the kid and teen program I started four years ago is just not finished yet. I was giving it up just as it was getting to the next level.
Dr. Duckworth has noted, people with GRIT don’t look at set backs or failure as a permanent condition. I liked her message, when we fail we have to be able to start over with lessons learned and find a way to be better. I learned a huge lesson~ Never give up my kids program! I was ready to hand it over to other people. Nice people, I’m not even upset that they pulled out at the last minute. I get to redo this and get it right. I get the opportunity to take this program to the next level. I don’t know what the future will bring but I’m not ready to give up.
I have always believed in the power of GRIT. I think it is a quality worth teaching kids and teens through the sport of fitness that we have all come to love. I continue to learn through my own CrossFit training about my strengths and weaknesses as a person. What I value: Honesty, Hard Work, Giving Back to Those Less Fortunate, and Fortitude, to name just a few. And what I would never do: cheating, stealing and cutting corners. The CrossFit community is full of amazing comeback stories of courage and resolve. This is my little story about getting a second chance to get it right.
How about you? Got GRIT? Is CrossFit a valuable tool in helping you become a little more gritty?
Take the GRIT TEST
16 Apr 2014
Who’s ready to setup a Free Private Training Session? I’ve already heard from a few of you and I can’t wait to help everyone set some goals and start attacking them. Remember, you can join any coaches team in the gym. It’s up to you if you’d like more personalized feedback and help in reaching your goals. All you have to do is schedule a one-on-one session with a coach and you are on his team. Let me know how I can help you and let’s get after it! – email me at [email protected] to setup a session to join the CFB Renegades.
Speaking of Renegades! Welcome Joe Z. to group classes! Joe is completing his graduation WOD, Fight Gone Bad, this week and he can’t wait to mix it up with all of you. Here’s a little bit about him and why he’s joining CFB!
04 Apr 2014
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
The Open is complete! Everyone gave great efforts and as coaches we saw some significant improvements across the board. Congrats to everyone that participated.
Carla B has qualified, still awaiting the official announcement, for the NorthEast Regionals as an individual competitor. She finished 32nd in the Region. Get ready to head down to Canton, MA on May 30-June 1 at the Reebok World Headquarters to cheer her on!
Beginning this weekend we will have a collection jar for donations for the family of recently fallen Lt. Ed Walsh of the BFD. Lt. Walsh left behind a wife with 3 children under the age of 10 when he and FF Kennedy perished in the 9 Alarm Fire in Back Bay last week.
Tomorrow’s 11am class will perform the Hero WOD Mike “Dork” Kennedy:
33 Back Squat, 225/155
33 Deadlift, 225/155
33 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
FF Kennedy was a member of the CrossFit community and had trained/coached at CrossFit Craic, CrossFit Together, and CrossFit Florian.
Friday 4/11 – Town Hall Meeting – 6:30pm at the GYM
Sat/Sun 4/19-4/20 – CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Gym Closed (Meet at Harvard Track)
Monday – 4/21 Patriots Day – Marathon Monday (1 WOD at the gym and then Potluck after)
Saturday 4/26 – Hydrostatic Weighing with Metro Fitness Wave
TOWN HALL MEETING
Join us at the gym next Friday at 6:30pm. The staff and I will be on hand to breakdown the some of the changes that have occurred within the gym and the continued improvements and how exactly they will benefit you all as current members. It will be exciting to discuss so try to make it!
CROSSFIT LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION
On Saturday 4/19 & Sunday 4/20 we are hosting a CrossFit Level 1 Cert. The gym will be closed so members should meet each morning over at the Harvard University Track for an outdoor workout. It will be FUN.
PATRIOT DAY – MARATHON MONDAY
Join us at the gym for 1 WOD at 10am and a potluck after. Food, drink, and good conversations. We will stream the marathon on the TV screens. Bring your favorite foods to share!
Keith from Metro Fitness Wave will be back here at CFB on Saturday 4/26 to perform hydrostatic measurements. If you missed out on the last round or you wish to retest, this will be your chance. Monday of next week we will have a link on the website to register, schedule, and pay for your spot. You can learn more about the service here.
1. Bench Press – work up to a 5RM for the day
2. 21-15-9 for time
Front Rack Lunges, 135/95
11am ONLY – Hero WOD Mike “Dork” Kennedy:
33 Back Squat, 225/155
33 Deadlift, 225/155
33 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
1. Row 1k – TEST
2. With a Partner Complete AMRAP 20
5 Pull ups
15 Deadlift, 225/155
Only one person working on the AMRAP at a time. The second person will be rowing for max distance on the rower. The partners switch when a full round is complete.
Score rounds + reps and total combined distance rowed by the team.
1. Push Press – work up to a 3RM for the day
2. 4 x 200m repeats
rest 2x the time it took to complete the sprint
3. Abs – Accumulate 100 total reps from the following movements: GHD sit ups, T2B, KTE, strict back extensions
11 CTB Pull ups
2 Deadlift, 315/220
2. 10 x 30 sec L-sit holds
1. Front Squat – work up to a 2RM
2. For time
75 Wallball shots
25 Double unders
50 Wallball shots
50 Double Unders
25 Wallball shots
75 Double Unders
3. Grip work
1. EMOM 15 – 2 Power Snatch AHAP + 1 MU
2. AMRAP 5
15 OH Swings, 32kg/24kg
rest 5 minutes
15 Step ups, 20″
1. TEST 1 mile run
100 Pull ups
100 Push ups
100 Sit ups
100 Air squats
02 Apr 2014
How’s the week going? Excited to be over the hump?
I hope you all enjoyed that last wod of the Open. I usually look forward to burpees, but I can’t say I ever want to do burpees and thrusters ever again. Congrats to Carla for crushing “14.5” and showing us all the Geriatric Burpee. If you want to learn, just challenge her to some burpees! She’s going to need all of our support in preparation for Regionals! Let’s keep hitting it hard and push each other to get better.
Speaking of making yourself better… the CrossFit Boston Renegades hosted a Mobility Session with HBS Member Kapil Khimdas on Saturday. We had a blast learning about the proper way to use mobility in relation to every day class as well as using a partner to inflict the right amount of pain. Here’s a quick recap of what we learned:
1. Test and Retest – Use a friend to test the range of motion at a joint or try a couple of squats, deadlifts, or presses. How tight are you? Is there any pinching? Does the movement feel junky or smooth? Was there an improvement?
2. Range of Motion Mobility – We worked on the posterior chain floss and it was epic. Use range of motion work before class to prep for the movements we’ll be using. Keep it dynamic and work the contract/relax cycle of the stretch.
3. Foam Rolling – Can be used during class to help with tweaks, but post class it’s the best to make a change permanent and help with recovery. If it’s not painful you’re not smashing hard enough according to Kapil.
4. Tack and Floss – Pin a knotted muscle and then work through flexion and extension or side to side to improve function of the muscle and range of motion. Doing this post class will help with recovery and improving flexibility long term.
Mobility Wednesdays at CFB!
Kapil and the CFB Renegades will be hosting Mobility Wednesdays from now on at CFB. Every Wednesday night at 6:30pm we’ll be helping each other smash, stretch, and improve. It started last night and If you’d like to join in, just show up and get after it. Kapil and I will be helping you guys run through a mobility routine and we’ll work on a different area of the body each week. Drinks are welcome!
Shoot me an email if you have any questions! – [email protected]
31 Mar 2014
“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course challenges designed to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative obstacles and over one million participants globally to date, Tough Mudder is the premier obstacle course series in the world.”
CrossFit Boston has a TEAM registered for the Tough Mudder Race on Sunday, June 1 at Mount Snow in Vermont. Nigel has created the TEAM under CrossFit Boston and there is NO password. This event is about having fun with a group of people you enjoy hanging around with.
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
This is the final week of the 2104 CrossFit Games Open 14.5. What a great workout to finish it off with. Two low skill movements that just require you to have an engine! I love it! I mean I hate it because I am 6’3″ 240 pounds and that is A LOT of mass to move up and down for 84 reps, but hey it is what it is!
Here is some tips and strategy from Barbell Shrugged:
2014 REEBOK CROSSFIT GAMES REGIONALS
It’s still a little early but our very own Carla B is sitting nicely in 34th for the Northeast Region. She has been busting her butt all year and it is paying off for her. This workout plays to her strengths as she can go and go and go! If you see her in the gym today or over the weekend let her know that you are rooting for her to kill it!
We will be setting up a tent at Regionals for members that wish to head down and cheer. We will keep you posted as the date draws near.
This Saturday, tomorrow, beginning at 6pm is our Spring Fling at Daedalus in Harvard Square. The 2014 Transformation Challenge winner will be announced and it will be an opportunity to kick back, celebrate the end of the Open season, and welcome Spring into Boston. Be sure to come on by!
Strength work continues in our programming along with a continued emphasis on strengthening the midline as well. You will notice in this weeks programming there is AB work to be completed on your own outside of the class. Don’t skip it. It is important and it will help you in the WOD and the rest of your training.
PR Friday is back! Each Friday there will either be a benchmark WOD or we will attempt to PR a lift. Get excited and set your hair on fire!
Saturday – 3/29
1. Run 400m x 5
rest 2:00 between efforts
2. 15-12-9 reps for time
Front squat, 185/125
3. Abs – Post class – 3 x 1 minute plank holds with a load on the back
Sunday – 3/30
1. Partner WOD
10 Handstand push ups
20 Pull ups
60 Double Unders
Both Partners must complete the workout in its entirety. Only one person working at a time and you may alternate in any fashion you wish. Neither partner can move on the next movement until both have completed the preceding movement.
2. Post Class ABS – 20 Ball ups (STRICT)
Monday – 3/31
1. Heaving Snatch Balance – work up to a heavy single, then drop to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets at that weight.
2. EMOM 12
1 Snatch, 165#/115#
3. POST CLASS ABS – 15 STRICT BACK EXTENSIONS (3-1-3) TEMPO
Tuesday – 4/1
1. Shoulder Press – 3 x 3 – work up to a heavy 3 and perform a total of 3 sets at this weight. Do not drop
2. AMRAP 15
Row 30 calories
20 Push Press, 75/55
20 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
20 Box Jumps, 24″/20″
3. POST CLASS ABS – 3X10 GHD SIT UPS
Wednesday – 4/2
1. “FRAN” – TEST DAY
21-15-9 reps for time of
2a. 100 Hollow Rocks
2b. Dip supports (top & bottom)
Thursday – 4/3
1. Clean – work up to a max double for the day (18 minutes)
2. Handbalancing – 5 minutes to practice walking on your hands
3. 30-20-10 reps for time
Knee to elbows
PR Friday – 4/4
1. Back Squat – 4 x 2, work up to a heavy double (attempt a PR if you have it) and then drop down to 90% of that weight and perform 4 sets of 2 reps at that weight.
2. For time
100 Alternating DB Snatch, 60/40
50 Mountain Climbers
25 AbMat sit ups
21 Mar 2014
FIRE IT UP with CUSTOM FIT MEALS!
There is a ton of great things happening right now. Allow me to start with announcing we have partnered up with Custom Fit Meals. Here is their pledge:
CFM prepares and delivers fresh, delicious meals made from only the highest quality ingredients. We specialize in producing Paleo, Primal and clean meals that fit our Nutritional Philosophy.
We use only USDA-certified All Natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. Our beef is grass-fed Angus, our poultry is cage-free, our pork is pastured, and our produce is sourced locally and organic as often as possible. We only partner with ranchers that treat their animals humanely and feed them correctly.
Our unmatched variety of meal selections allows you to personalize your menu to fit your lifestyle. This gives you the convenience you want, the portion control you need, and the quality of ingredients you deserve – all at an affordable price.
CFM GUARANTEE = Quality, Variety & Service + Prices you can Afford
The relationship between CFB and CFM does require a minimum commitment of 10 members. I have tried a couple of the meals and it was very good. The food had a ton of flavor and the portion was very satisfying. If you are someone that has a very busy schedule or if you find it difficult to make the correct choices, Custom Fit Meals will be perfect for you!
Here is how it works.
CrossFit Games Open 14.4 – The Chipper
Week 4 of the Open is here. The muscle up has finally made it appearance. More appropriately for the majority of CFB members, so has Toe 2 Bars. Dave Castro threw us a curveball with adding the rower to the Open for the very first time in history. I LOVE IT!
As has been the case with every Open workout, pacing will play a critical role. How you feel coming off the rower is going to be more important for those that are still struggling with T2B. Most of you will be able to complete 60 calories within 3 minutes and be ok going into the T2B. Today while warming up be sure to feel the pace of the rower and work on transitioning over to the pull up rig. For the T2B really try to focus on that hollow body position and sub maximal efforts. The more you work towards an effort that results in slipping off the bar, the harder it will be to recover the grip strength.
Moving on to the wall ball, attempt to complete the 40 reps in 1-3 sets. Pacing so you can breathe is critical. Your grip will get a much needed break from the first two movements but your legs are going to be tired. Be sure to be accurate and not miss reps b/c you were too fast and out of control.
Cleans for 30 reps. This is it for the majority of you reading this. Set your back, drive through your heels and try to minimize the rest time between reps. If you still have the energy to perform touch and go reps, you will fare better than if you have to perform a quick rep and drop the bar. The fewer sets the better. To hook grip or not to hook grip? I think this will depend on how efficient you are with the clean. If you are a repeat offender of using your arms, then try to use a hook grip to allow a loose but secure grip. If 135 is not a heavy weight and you can keep a loose grip and not pull with the arms on the clean, then give it a go without the hook grip.
Muscle Ups. If you are lucky enough to get this far and you have the ability to perform muscle ups, be sure to have that kip swing dialed in so the arms have as little action in the movement. Return back to the bottom of the dip and “fall” back into the kip swing to load the hip.
With the exception of Carla B (GO CARLA GO!!) the rest of us understand the CrossFit Games season will end for us with 14.5. Because of this, the programming is going to begin our strength phase of training.
There will be a renewed focus on improving strength across the board for all members while still focusing on skill development in areas still lacking across the gym. There will still be a heavy emphasis on met cons as that is the base of what is CrossFit but you will begin seeing shorter and heavier WODS programmed in addition to the classic style of programming that has been emphasized the last couple of months.
WHAT’S ON TAP
1. Push Press – 7×2
Work up to a heavy set of 2 then back off to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets.
2. AMRAP 8
10 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
10 Pull ups
5 Front squat, 185/125
1. Run 1 mile (Test)
rest 10 minutes
2. 3 rounds for time
20 DB Split Cleans, 55/35
15 Knee to elbows
10 HR push ups
1. Back Squat – 5×3
work up to a heavy set of three and then back off to 90% of that and perform 4 more sets of 3
Calories on the rower
Power Snatch, 135/95
1. 400m Medball Run – TEST
2. Hand balancing & Hollow body- spend 10 minutes practicing hand balancing and accumulate 100 Hollow rocks
3. AMRAP 5
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24″/20″
10 Push Jerks, 155/110
rest 3 minutes
10 Power Clean, 155/110
10 CTB Pull ups
1. Bench Press – work up to a heavy set of 5 (not a max)
2. 5 rounds for time
15 OH squats, 115/75
15 Toe 2 bar
1. Deadlift – 3 x 5 work up to a heavy set of 5. Drop down to 90% of that weight and then perform 3 more sets at that weight.
2. “1/2 Mary” – AMRAP10
5 Handstand push ups
10 Pistols (alternating legs each rep)
15 Pull ups
19 Mar 2014
On Tuesday night I had the privilege of watching Neal speak to a group of athletes and coaches at Community Rowing Inc.’s monthly Coaching Colloquium. The topic was Cross Training and he was on fire. Seeing the way he gets himself and the whole room fired up about the possibilities of constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity is inspiring. Every time I see Neal tell his story and share his passion with others it reminds me of why I do what I do. Who is on your team and who inspires you?
Who’s on your team?
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.
Inspire Someone Today!
Whether it’s your training partner, friend, family, or complete stranger, find a way to inspire them and fight for their goals. Help drive their passion and pursuit of a better self. Show them what you take pride in and how hard you work for what you believe in. Find a way to motivate them and do what needs to be done.
If you’re looking for a chance to have some fun with your fellow class mates, meet some new members, and learn something new – sign up for the Partner Mobility Seminar at CrossFit Boston March 29th!
Spring is here, set a new goal, attack it, have some fun.
I don’t know about you guys, but my shoulders have been feeling it this week after attacking “14.2”. Congrats to everyone that gave it a go. I saw many retests and PR’s earlier this week and it was a blast seeing everyone break through their previous scores. I hope you’ve taken some extra time to smash and mobilize as we get ready for “14.3”.
If you’re looking for some extra tips on mobilizing those shoulders consider signing up for our Partner Mobility Seminar on Saturday, March 29th!
It will also be a good opportunity to get to know some of our new members. Here are pictures of a few members that crushed “Fight Gone Bad” and graduated to group classes over the past week. Give them a shout if you see them in class!
Have a great weekend and get after “14.3”!
Who are you and what are you about?
My name is John Woodson and I am from Lawton, Oklahoma. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma and love my Oklahoma Sooners and OKC Thunder. I am a pretty big sports fan and I grew up playing baseball and basketball. I moved to Boston in 2012 for grad school and have accepted a job up here once I finish up in May. I have been married to my wife, Whitney, for 3 years this May and we are both super excited to be staying up here in Boston.
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
Like I said earlier, I grew up playing team sports and was always used to working out with my team. But when I went to college and my sports career tapered off, I couldn’t seem to get into a good individual routine. I would always try to start some new workout regimen, but after 2 weeks would just get bored doing the same things all the time by myself. I lived in Houston before coming to Boston, and one of my buddies down there started describing crossfit to me and it sounded like just the thing I needed. But I didn’t take any actions about it. When I moved up to Boston I focused on grad school for a year, but earlier this January looked in the mirror and realized I was about 30 pounds overweight and needed to do something before it got too late. So I called Crossfit Boston and started the 10 session training program.
What are you getting out of the Private Training?
A ton. The private training helps on so many levels. After 8 years without consistent exercise, I struggle through a lot of what we do and have to scale several of the exercises. But having Pat there as my instructor helps me make sure I’m keeping proper form to avoid injury, and he acts as a great coach and motivator. I am able to do more in these sessions than I would have imagined, and I keep improving all the time.
What are some of your goals for this year?
When I started a month ago, I weighed in at 214 pounds and was close to 30% body fat. I now weigh in at 204 and am closer to 26% body fat. I am hoping to get down below 20% and closer to 15% at least by the end of this year.
I used to be able to do 10 pullups no problem back in high school. I can’t do a single one now. Eventually, I would like to be able to hit 10 again.
Overall I just want to feel better. My weight and fitness issues have been an emotional as well as physical drain on me. I want be able to play basketball without needing to take breaks every 5 minutes on the floor. I want to be able to go out and enjoy a nice run in this beautiful city I now call home. Most of all, I want to make habits and build skills that will set me up to stay fit for the rest of my life.
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
Working out with a group again. Having people there so we can all push and encourage each other and getting to know more people at the gym.
Just seeing continued progress on top of the foundation I am building through the private trainings.
26 Feb 2014
How’s it going CFB?
I hope you’ve all had a solid week of training and you’re prepared to take on the first workout of the CrossFit Games Open tomorrow. We will be performing “14.1”, which gets released tonight at 5pm PST. If you haven’t gotten around to registering yet, be sure to register by tomorrow! Here is how to register …
1. Visit the website games.crossfit.com
2. On the Games site, click on the “register here” button. It costs US$20 for athletes from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe, or US$10 for athletes from the rest of the world to register as an individual. Fill out the required information, agree to the terms and policies and enter your payment information. The information you provide will determine your region for the ENTIRE competitive season (Open, Regionals and Games). Once you complete registration you will be taken to your Competition Page where you can select an affiliate, create a team or join a team. Our Team for the gym is CrossFit Boston.
I hope to see everyone crush it tomorrow! Eat well, stay hydrated, get a good sleep, and come ready to throwdown!