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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

 

 

 

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.

 

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
Want to be your best?
 
If you want to be your best you’ll need others to push you and help you be your best in training.  Competitors and Teammates alike motivate us to raise our game and be the best versions of ourselves.  Surround yourself with good people and the possibilities are endless.
 
Who wants to join Chau in a Sprint Tri?

Who wants to join Chau in a Sprint Tri?

Have you met Chau?
 
Hi CrossFit Boston folks!  
 
I’m doing the Dam sprint triathlon on Saturday July 12 in Amesbury.  I’m looking for a buddy to do this race with me because it’s more fun that way.  
 
 
Thanks!
Chau
 
The DAM Triathlon in its 4th year in existence is a sprint distance triathlon to be held on Saturday July 12, 2014 at Lake Gardner in Amesbury, MA.  This sprint distance tri, just 45 minutes North of Boston is the perfect race for any triathlete, beginner to elite alike. This 1/2 mile lake swim is very newbie friendly with a lot of support out there including paddle boarders, kayakers, and lifeguards. After the swim leg is complete, athletes will transition to a 13 mile scenic rolling bike course that travels through some beautiful New England farm country in Amesbury and crossed into Newton New Hampshire. The 3.1 mile run is a quick with a turn around at Woodsom Farm, the course will lead you right back into Lake Gardner where you will cross the finish line.  Cost: $65/person $185/relay team
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Carla dialing in her transitions!  Bring on the Open!

Carla dialing in her transitions! Bring on the Open!

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! 

RRC CRASH-B PrepWe have six members of Renegade Rowing and CrossFit Boston competing at CRASH-B’s, The World Indoor Rowing Championships, this Sunday.  If you’ve never seen an indoor rowing event it’s pretty epic.  Come check it out and cheer on our athletes.  The competition is held at the Boston University Agganis Arena throughout the day.  Below is a list of our competitors and the times they’re racing.  I’ll be on the floor helping push them to new PR’s.  Bring a friend and cheer them on!

 

Bob Ezzell 9:50am

Thor Helgason 10:05am

David Porter 2:45pm

Terese Holm 3:00pm

Nick Anderson 3:15pm

Andrew Morrissey 3:15pm

 

Good Luck All!  Have Fun!

-Coach Pat


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Athlete of the Month

  • David Kemp

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    Let’s start with a regret. I wish I had gotten off my ass and joined CrossFit Boston a year ago. Fitness-wise, it had been a rough year since I got out of the Marines and started at HBS (Harvard Business School). Not that I wasn’t working out at all, but what I was doing wasn’t […]

Kid Athlete of the Month

  • ASHLEY SCAFETTA

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    CrossFit is a sport I believe everyone can participate in. I especially see this in the kid athletes of CrossFit Boston. Every new kid I have the opportunity to coach brings to our community a new perspective. Ashley is a young lady who at 10 years old is already competing in triathlons and is a […]

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