02 Jun 2013
Sometimes, motivation can be in scarce supply. Consider these questions honestly: are you the kind of athlete who doesn’t spend time working on mobility because you’re content with your squats being half-depth? Or who doesn’t bother working on improving your upper body pulling strength because you’re content to use the same band for assistance every time you do pull ups? You’re settling for mediocrity, and you should treat yourself better.
There can be a large gap between a person’s desire to be better and his/her motivation to do things that will make him/her better. When push comes to shove, even people who sincerely desire to get better at something will often find it easier to do nothing rather than take steps to effect change. The good news is there are a number of things you can do to structure your life in such a way that you do not have to be entirely reliant on internal motivation.
The easiest, and often most effective, thing to do is use people around you for motivation. Pay attention to your environment: who has what you want? Who works really hard? Who do you admire, who do you want to emulate? Find people who are better than you, and start trying to be like them instead of settling for your current level (of fitness or anything else). Just as boats rise with the tide, intentionally surrounding yourself with people who work really hard will lift you up to a higher level.
Building in accountability is also incredibly helpful. Tell people in advance what workouts you are planning to do in the next few days, which movements you need to work on; find a training partner; enlist one of the coaches for support.
Ultimately, it comes down to your community. If you surround yourself with motivated people who work hard, they will help inspire you to put in the work that will make you better. CrossFit is great for this because no one works out alone; you’re surrounded by people of all levels, many of whom are likely better than you at something. We can provide the community, but you have to actively engage with it. Don’t sell yourself short and settle for mediocrity. Strive to make yourself better, even if it’s just at one thing. Don’t use a lack of motivation as an excuse; go out and enlist other people to help you find some!
27 May 2013
The following is a recount of the events that occurred on June 28, 2005.
Operation Red Wings
Lt. Murphy led the four-man reconnaissance team on a mission to kill or capture a top Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah, who commanded a group of insurgents known as the “Mountain Tigers, west of Asadabad. The group was dropped off by helicopter in a remote, mountainous area east of Asadabad in Kunar Province, near the Pakistan border.
After an initially successful infiltration, local goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs’ hiding place. Unable to verify any hostile intent from the herders, Murphy asked the team what should be done with them. decided the herders should be set free. Hostile locals, possibly the goat herders they let pass, alerted nearby Taliban forces, who surrounded and attacked the small group.
Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire and knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. He provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element and then returned to his position to continue fighting until he died from his wounds on June 28, 2005.
After Murphy called for help, an MH-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with reinforcements was dispatched to rescue the team, but was shot down with an RPG, killing all 16 personnel aboard; eight SEALs and eight service members from the 160th SOAR.
Courtesy of Michael P. Murphy’s wikipedia page.
26 May 2013
Like many CrossFit boxes around the country, CFB traditionally does “Murph” on Memorial Day. “Murph” is a Hero WOD named in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan in June, 2005.
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
The pull ups, push ups, and air squats can be divided into whatever rep scheme the athlete chooses. Many do 20 rounds of “Cindy”: 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. And no, we’re not going to make DTXers run 8 laps of the 200m loop.
DTX will run TWO classes tomorrow, at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The class size for both is capped at 15; as of 3pm on Sunday, there are still a few spots left in the 10:30 class. If you want to attend either of them, check availability frequently, as people may cancel between now and tomorrow morning. If they’re all full, sleep in a little later and come to Allston in the afternoon instead! CFB Iron & Grit in Allston will run ONE class, at 2:00 p.m., which will NOT be capped. The more, the merrier! Bring food and drink, and we’ll hang out after the WOD! If you’re a DTXer, this is a great chance for cross-box pollination. Heck, why not come do “Murph” at DTX in the morning, then hang out in Allston in the afternoon? Best of both worlds.
Don’t be scared off by the volume! As with everything we do, “Murph” is scalable. You can do recline row Murph, 1/2 Murph (50-100-150 instead of 100-200-300), 1/4 Murph; heck, even a rowing Murph if you can’t run — it all counts, and it’ll all be a blast.
If you are a DTX member and want to go to Allston (either for the WOD or for the after-party) but aren’t sure how to get there, post to comments or send me an email at [email protected], and we’ll make sure you can get there!
I hope to see many of you tomorrow!!
-Coach Monica O.
24 May 2013
Another week is in the books. The energy in the gyms this week has been great and I have seen some real improvements in people’s skills and fitness. Enjoy it, celebrate it! Now just don’t sit on it. Get back in and keep working on areas that you need to pay more attention to.
Couple of announcements and schedule changes everyone needs to be aware:
MEMORIAL DAY – 133 Federal Street (Downtown) will be open for 11:30AM class only
114 Western Ave (Allston) will be open for a 2pm class
All are welcome at either location, there will not be a cap on class size. In Allston, members are encouraged to bring some grub and beverages and hang out after for as long as they like. We are not permitted to grill on the premises due to fire regulations but if everyone brings a little something along with them…
See you all on the flip side and…
FIRE IT UP! FIRE IT UP!
20 May 2013
The Regionals are Behind Us!
A ton of CFB members came down to watch the action in Canton, MA this weekend. Some avoided a vicious sunburn, others didn’t. At the end of it all, the victors were crowned and punched their ticket to the games. They are as follows.
1st: Austin Malleolo
2nd: Daniel Tyminski
3rd: Eric McGee
1st: Danielle Horan
2nd: Amanda Goodman
3rd: Kaleena Ladeairous
1st: CrossFit Dynamix
2nd: CFNE team A
3rd: CrossFit King of Island Park
If you weren’t inspired by the end of the weekend, you weren’t in Canton!
Some of the workouts that these athletes performed under heavy fatigue of a long weekend in the sun, were outrageous. People continue to push the envelope of human performance year after year. These maniacs attacked everyone workout with such a reckless pace, their finish times bordered on unbelievable.
Some of the coaches have begun signing up for some summer throwdowns to get their competitive blood pumping. If you are interested in getting involved with any of these throwdowns ask a coach! The soonest one is in Vermont, which always provides for an interesting road trip. Even if you have no idea what to expect from yourself and a competition, taking the plunge and signing up and committing for it, is never a bad idea.
19 May 2013
After three days and seven events, the CrossFit Games North East Regionals competition has officially ended. I am surely not alone in saying that watching these top athletes compete in both the team and individual events renewed my focus for training!
By the end of the three days, I definitely had some favorites among the athletes. One thing I think is neat about CrossFit, though I realize this might not be exclusive to CrossFit, is that you can find top competitors of all different shapes and sizes. Yes, they’re all jacked; but from the short, stockier Amanda Goodman (1st place individual female) to the tall, lean Kaleena Ladeairous (3rd place individual female), no one body type is the undisputed template for a CrossFit champion. Each height and body type carries different benefits and disadvantages. The same holds true for men. I was reminded this weekend how happy I am to be part of a sport and subculture that celebrates people for their capabilities instead of their appearances. Whether you’re a shorty or a tallie, a biggie or a smallie, CrossFit can be for you!
Another really cool thing was the support of the crowd and fellow athletes for all the competitors, not just the winners. In almost every heat, competitors who had already finished rallied around those who were struggling to finish their reps. And some of the loudest cheering from the stands was reserved for athletes who, after failing rep after rep, finally got that heavy clean and were able to move on in the event.
I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym tomorrow, for my training and yours. I’m expecting to see lots of screaming in each other’s faces as you all cheer your fellow class mates through the benchmark WOD “Helen” on Monday!
-Coach Monica O.
17 May 2013
This is the theoretical hierarchy pyramid produced by Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit. We are a CrossFit gym and believe in the methodologies and principles passed on by CrossFit HQ. In following that vision it guides everything that we do in relation to fitness.
Why am I writing about this? Well, we have always attempted to pass on the knowledge we have gained so that we are enabling our community to be better able to hold themselves accountable. You know, ‘give a man a fish and he has a meal. Teach him how to fish and he will never go hungry again.’
How did the pyramid come about? After many, many years of trial and error with thousands of training sessions with athletes in the original CrossFit in Santa Cruz, CA. MAny of you reading this may not realize that CrossFit has been around much longer than the CrossFit Games as seen on TV in recent years. In fact it started way back in the 80′s and 90′s and first went live on the internet back in 2001. So, the history is rich.
Back on track with the pyramid. It all begins with Nutrition. We harp on this every day in the gym. If you are eating shitty, you are going to get shitty results. Simple. Very few can eat fluff regularly out of the jar and still perform at a level that achieves a great degree of fitness. Without getting too complicated – eat meat and vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch and no sugar. Eat only enough to support exercise but not to add body fat.
The second level is metabolic conditioning. This is the essence of CrossFit when it is written about training for work capacity across broad TIME domains. Be able to perform in short, moderate, and long duration activities. If you are not training in all of them then your fitness will be limited. So, if you skip out on certain workouts because you its too long or too short, then you are blunting your improvement.
Level 3 is gymnastics. Being able to control your own body in space and time and being able to perform in the necessary ranges of motion. This is why we emphasize the mobility and skill work. If this groundwork is not given proper attention then movements end up having to be substituted for for safety concerns. Progressions are delayed and improved fitness opportunities are lost.
Weightlifing. This is the step that everyone wants to jump to so quickly. I get it. Lifting barbells and continuously adding more load to bars is exciting and rewarding as you get immediate feedback of progress. Far faster than in the nutrition, metabolic conditioning, and gymnastics components as those require more discipline. Its important to understand that if you have not gained some mastery of your own body (gymnastics) and that you have not developed some aerobic and anaerobic capacity (metabolic conditioning) then your gains in fitness will once again be blunted.
Sport. Right now we are in the middle of the CrossFit Games season. The NorthEast Regionals are this weekend in Canton, Ma and many of us will be attending as spectators. On display will be our regions best at applying the first 4 principles and the will be competing to earn a trip to LA for the CrossFit Games Championships. Most persons that walk in the doors of any CrossFit gym do not have the goal of competing in The Games. But it can still be appreciated the discipline, time, sacrifice necessary to successfully reach that level. For most, it takes many years of training, eating right, getting plenty of rest and recovery, etc to qualify for Regionals and The Games. It is only rare circumstances where an individual can be CrossFitting for less than one year and immediately be competitive. These cases typically are athletes that have an older training age and have been exposed to the 4 previous principles in some manner though not formally through CrossFit.
If you wish to aspire to the sport of CrossFit, then you must have a realistic idea of what it entails and know the road ahead is a long one. It is important to lay the foundation with a solid nutrition plan. You have to train all of the metabolic pathways and not allow biases to cloud your judgement. Learn how to move your body through many skills and progressions while continuing to improve your mobility. Attack the weightlifting and continue to make gains in strength so that loads used in conditioning become a smaller percentage of your work capacity. If any of the principles are out of place, you will blunt your longterm health and fitness.
15 May 2013
Those of you at the Allston Gym are lucky enough to now partake in the pain of the Airdyne…
On our bikes, I would say the goal is 400-450 Calories in 10 minutes… First to 400 wins… and then 450 wins more.
The race to 450 is on…
13 May 2013
Lets Face It, Life Throws You Curve Balls
Between injuries, getting sick, emergencies, work, weather, peer pressure and other outside influences, training isn’t easy. No matter how good your plan is, someone is always throwing a bone into it. How you work around those dark times and how you let it affect you mentally is very important. If you are willing to give up a training day over a little bit of rain, what else are you willing to give up? This is obviously an extreme example, but I would say the most annoying things to work around are injuries. You have to be able to listen to your body and find other weaknesses to train until your body is healthy. Knowing the difference between an injury and soreness is very critical. Your body is always communicating to you, are you listening? I never let sore quads keep me from a squat day. Your warm up time is always an opportunity to learn about whats working and what isn’t, then decide if training is possible. Is your knee bothering you? Not the end of the world, work on that bench press that you always avoid. Also the opposite, are your hands torn to shreds? Good thing you don’t need your hands to squat. You can ALWAYS work on something. If you have these kinds of nagging injuries and you still want to do class, we are always very accommodating about working around those injuries until you are healthy again. I’ve had people with broken wrists, recent ACL surgeries and many other serious things still take a class.
When I think about mental toughness, I think of a story about Steve Prefontaine. If you haven’t heard it, it is astounding. He ripped his toe open on a diving board, then went on to destroy a 5k in record time. Should you destroy your body when its injured? No definitely not. This is an athlete who knew what was going on and worked so hard to get where he was that he wasn’t going to let a little pain on his toe keep him from what he does best. The closer you get to your goals and the harder you work in the gym, the more you will also find yourself, walking through blizzards and hurricanes to get into the gym to train. Its just a matter if you are willing to do it…
12 May 2013
Before diving into the meat of this post, a brief yet important note about the CROSSFIT NORTH EAST REGIONALS COMPETITION, which will be held this coming Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, at Reebok Headquarters, 1895 JW Foster Blvd. in Canton, MA. Please come out to support our regional CrossFitters and get crazy motivation for your training this year!!! If you want to see elite CrossFitters crushing WODs, this is the place to be. Click here for a full list of events the athletes will be tackling over the course of the three day competition, and buy your ticket(s) or three-day pass(es) here. Our DTX location will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, so put all the energy you would have put into your weekend WODs into yelling your faces off and getting stoked about the sport of fitness!!
Now, about Pollyanna. I’ve been thinking a lot in the last day or so about the various responses we can take when something happens to us that we don’t like. Essentially, there are three options. First, you can wallow in the suck, so to speak – just sit in your unhappiness, roll around in it, and enjoy feeling sorry for yourself. We’ve all been there; sometimes it feels better (certainly easier, and sometimes more satisfying) to stay miserable than to step outside your current state of mind and conjure up a different train of thought. The second option is to try to change the situation. Thirdly, you can choose to find something positive in the situation, even if it’s not one you would have initially chosen for yourself.
Let’s say my T-spine mobility sucks, so it’s impossible for me to overhead squat properly. Following the first option, I can complain incessantly that I have bad mobility, do nothing about it, and continue to use it as an excuse to avoid getting better at overhead squatting. Following the second option, I can ask coaches about things I can do to improve my mobility, then work my ass off to make that happen.
Of course, we all know that just because you sincerely want to make a situation better and try really hard to make that happen does not necessarily mean the situation will actually improve. Many things in life do not so readily respond to treatment as do mobility issues in relation to overhead squatting. However, all is not lost. We still have option three: to find something good about the situation we have been dealt.
Why wallow in unhappiness when it is so much easier and more pleasant to look on the bright side? Admittedly, I have been accused many times of being an incorrigible Pollyanna. The accusation is pretty much spot on. While I am not 100% happy 100% of the time, you can bet your ass that if there is any positive spin that can be put on a negative situation, I will very quickly dig it out of whatever hole it’s hiding in and focus on that instead of on the negatives. Some situations take more effort than others, but I would rather do the extra work and end up happier. Why live life any other way? Some people say this is delusional thinking: if a situation is bad, why pretend it is good? Unsurprisingly, I think that’s a little too pessimistic. Few things are purely good, just as few things are purely bad. Maybe you have gotten a lot better at running, but your pull ups are still very weak. If we program a WOD that is 4RFT of a 400m run and 30 pull ups, you might crush the runs but not do well overall because the pull ups will be quite difficult. You can either focus on the fact that your pull ups are bad, feel discouraged, and let it ruin your day; or you can acknowledge that your pull ups still need more work, but be stoked because your runs were so much faster than they would have been a few months ago, and isn’t improvement awesome?! Same facts, but you can choose to highlight one over the other. You can still honestly acknowledge that a situation is not ideal without letting it get you down; and just because a situation is less than ideal does not mean there is absolutely nothing positive you can take from it.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies”? I think the same thing is true for chronic frustration or habitual annoyance at petty things (and important things!). The primary person who gets hurt if I’m a chronic grump is me. All the little things add up. With the notable exception of chemical imbalances, for the most part on a daily basis we can choose to be happy, or we can choose to be sad. The enjoyment we get out of life is more a function of our attitude toward it than of the specific daily events that happen to us. None of our lives are perfect. But whatever your situation, maybe you have an opportunity to find joy in unexpected places. Maybe you’re getting great practice at perseverance, or patience, or at finding compassion for people you don’t necessarily think deserve it. Or maybe there really is nothing redeeming about your bad situation, but hey, maybe you have great friends, or you know how to read so you’re able to get into a really good book that helps you escape for a few hours, or at least you have a place you can come after work to slam bars and get out some frustration.
Don’t wait for big, momentous events to make you happy. Choose to find happiness in everyday things, even in circumstances where it seems hard to find. Emotional well-being is just as much in our control as is physical well-being and fitness. Don’t shortchange yourself by allowing the vagaries of life to determine your mood. Seize happiness, kick gloominess to the curb, and embrace your inner Pollyanna. And come cheer with us at Regionals next weekend!
-Coach Monica O.