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Hey CFB!  I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and you’re fired up for getting strong this month!  In the spirit of getting stronger individually and as a community, this month I’m hosting a Toy Drive!  What better way to improve ourselves and our community than to show our support for others, especially those serving our country.  Checkout the details below and show your support by donating a toy at class this Saturday or at the CFB Holiday Party Saturday night!

For every unwrapped toy that gets donated and placed in our toy drive box at the front of the gym by the end of classes on Saturday (11:59am), I will do 10 Burpees.  10 Toys = 100 Burpees.  20 Toys = 200 Burpees.  I made you guys do a lot of burpees in the programming last month, so here is your chance to return the favor and show our support!

If you can’t donate your toy by Saturday at 11:59am, no worries.  Please bring your toys to the Holiday Party at Daedalus in Harvard Square from 6pm – 9pm and I’ll bring them back to the gym for you.

Overview:

Benefitting: Operation Homefront
Powered by: CrossFit Boston and Team Dangerous

Team Dangerous (“TD”) is proud to organize the second annual Toy Drive providing toys to the children of military families during the holiday season. TD is partnering with Operation Homefront to help distribute these toys. Operation Homefront is a charitable organization who provides emergency financial and other assistance to military families and wounded warriors. The toy drive gives the fitness community the opportunity to show the world the true meaning of the word community by coming together as one and provide support to the true unsung heroes of this great nation, our military families.

The 2014 Toy Drive dates will run from approximately November 23rd through December 14th when the toys will be distributed to all the well deserving military families.

Goals for 2014:

    • Donation box placement in 35+ locations

    • Locations: Miami, NYC, Long Island NY, CT, NJ, Boston

    • Donations of 900+ Toys

    • Direct reach to 8,500 individuals

Operation Homefront

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photo 1.PNGCongratulations to Ashley S. for taking first in the 18th Annual RPS Power Challenge: Boston last weekend!  Here is a video of her crushing her opening Deadlift at 330 lbs.  She went 6 for 9 on all of her lifts with a total of 775.  In the Back Squat she hit 275 and in the Bench she hit 170.  After this weekends competition she is now in the top ten lifters on the RPS Leader Board.  Well done committing to your training Ashley and keep up the awesome work!  If you guys see her in the gym give her a pound!

For more information and results on the meet checkout revolutionpowerlifting.com

Renegade Rowing Breakfast – Sunday @10:30am!

If you’re interested in joining the Renegade Rowing Club this year we will be starting in a couple of weeks.  Come by the gym this Sunday (10/19/14) at 10:30am to enjoy some coffee, bagels, and stories of years past.  We will be getting everyone fired up about the upcoming Renegade Rowing League and training for the best 2,000m race of your life at the CRASH-B Indoor Rowing World Championship in February!  Please send me an email – [email protected] – if you’re planning on stopping by or if you’d like to join us this year.  After breakfast and the info session we will all be heading over to the Charles River to cheer on the crews racing in the Head of the Charles Regatta!

Hope to see you all Sunday!

 

BC Men Spinning at the Canoe Kayak Dock - close to the finish line of the HOCR

Hey CFB!  Great work on those rowing intervals on Tuesday.  Everyone really got after it and the form is definitely coming along.  Keep it up!  Speaking of rowing…

Life get’s crazy, especially this time of year as we gear up for fall parties and the holidays – CFB Halloween Party Anyone?  In the Rowing World, the Head of the Charles is known to rowers as Rowing Christmas.  Every year on the third weekend of October, rowers past and present gather to remember the good old days and push themselves to the limit against the best in the world.  If you can get outside today, go for a walk along the Charles River.  You will more than likely see other random people both tall and small looking at the bridges and turns scouting their line for race day.  Keep an eye out for coaching launches filled with coxswains doing the same thing from the water.  The biggest regatta in the world is just over a week away.  Time to get excited!

Bob and Coach Pat at CRASH-B 2014If you’re interested in checking out the Head of the Charles next weekend, October 18-19, I’ll be cheering on our very own Bob E. around 9am on Saturday morning from the Western Ave. Bridge.  He’ll be racing in a single for the first time and I can’t wait to see him get after it.  On sunday you can also check out the Boston College Men’s Crew Team who I’ve been training with Renegade Rowing.  Either way it should be an amazing weekend with lots of fun activities, so get outside and drink it in!  Here’s a spectator’s guide if you’d like more info.

Never seen the Head of the Charles Regatta before?  Try the following today!  Take 15 minutes today to stop.  Breathe.  And go for a walk.  Watch some rowing.  How does the boat move in relation to the body?  What part of the stroke does the boat move the fastest?  How’s the form look compared to your erging on Tuesday?

Box Squats w/ BC Men's Rowing

Box Squats w/ BC Men’s Rowing

If you’re lucky enough to do this please share your thoughts, where you were, and what you saw!

Hey CFB!

Hope you’re having an awesome week of training!  Here’s my second video blog on the Level II Pistol Programming.  If you have any questions please post to comments or catch me in the gym. 

Be sure to scale appropriately for your ability and master whatever level of the program you are on.  If you don’t know you’re ability or what it means to master each movement, come find me and I’ll help you out.

Have a great end of the week!

Coach Pat

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Howdy CFB!

Hope you’re pumped up for Friday and the weekend!  Here is a little video blog I put together to explain the Level I Programming for the Pistol Work you should be doing on Thursdays after class.  If you have any questions or would like some help figuring out the program please get in touch and we’ll get you set up.

Have a great weekend!

Coach Pat

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 launchingTryout for the Renegade Rowing Team (RRT)

 

I’m reposting the link for tryouts just in case anyone missed last weeks announcement.  The RRT is a 6 week term, rowing in 8’s on the water at CRI every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30am starting Tuesday, July 22nd.  If you’d like to join the team tryouts will be Thursday, July 17th at 5:30am @CRI.  Please sign up below.

 

Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI

 

Sign Up Here

 

Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following… RRT KSA’s

If you’d like to setup a  free consultation with me to go over the KSA’s at CRI please shoot me an email at [email protected]

 

Have you met Dock?

 

Dock is a new member that just graduated with Fight Gone Bad!  Keep an eye out for him and be sure to welcome him to the crew!

 

Who are you and what are you about?
 
I’m Dock, originally from Cape Cod, I’m currently a struggling illustrator and a part time Grocery Clerk. I’m all about exceeding my own expectations and challenging my potential. Ever since conquering obesity and losing over 120 lbs through my own hard work, I carry the mentality of “Anything’s possible, and if it’s not I’ll give it a run for it’s money.” I apply that in everything I do.
 
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
 
I joined Crossfit Boston after seeing a bunch of video’s online of crossfit and it seemed to encompass everything that I need to consistently push my physical potential in an encouraging environment of people with a similar attitude. I did research and after being a bit iffy of the credentials of other nearby crossfit gyms I found Crossfit Boston had their act together and after the initial evaluation I knew I made a good choice.
 
What are some of your goals for this year?
 
My goals are constantly in a flux and I never have anything particularly in mind. As far as fitness is concerned I generally just want to surprise myself. I want to be able to reflect back to the time I was overweight and say “How the hell did I get to the point where I can do something like this, that’s incredible!” If I can say that to myself at least 3 times this year, I will be happy.
 
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
 
I’m looking forward to just being in a group environment of awesome people. As much as I accomplished working out alone, it kind of sucks and I never really Identify with other folks at normal gyms. I want to be around people who want to move around a lot as opposed to being around people doing slow and concentrated lifts for an hour, I don’t have the attention span for that!
Renegade Rowing Decal for Competitors at the Renegade Rowing League this Saturday at 11am!

Renegade Rowing Decal for Competitors at the Renegade Rowing League this Saturday at 11am!

Performing an appropriate warmup for the workout that is set out each day can make or break a performance.  Below is the warmup we use fairly consistently in classes at CrossFit Boston and at the Renegade Rowing Club.  It’s a good 10min warmup to focus on control, connection, and recovering to strength.  Checkout how slow the Renegade Rowing Club approaches the catch in the beginning.  Executing this drill with control will allow you to really focus on putting technique changes into effect and hitting that catch with good timing and connection.

 

Please share what you do for a warmup when rowing is involved in the workout.  What is your focus?

 

Renegade Rowing Club Warmup:

1min – 1/2 Legs Only

1min – Full Legs Only

1min – Legs and Body Only

1min – Full Stroke

1min – Pause @1/2 Slide Every Stroke

5min – 10 Strokes On/ 10 Strokes Off, 15 On/15 Off, 20 On/20 Off

Video Review

Renegade Rowing Club warming up on Monday night!  Want a chance to compete against them? Renegade Rowing League Dec. 21st!  Register Here!

Renegade Rowing Club warming up on Monday night! Want a chance to compete against them? Renegade Rowing League Dec. 21st! Register Here!

 

From time to time it can be beneficial to look at yourself on camera.  No we don’t care about the aesthetics or the fashion.  We’re looking to gain feedback and a mental picture.  We’re looking for just one or two cues that might give us a smoother, more powerful stroke.  What’s going right?  What’s going wrong?  What can we do better?

 

You should be asking yourself, “What do I look like now?  How do I move now? What could use some extra focus and improvement next time?”  Don’t dwell on to many things at a time, just find one or two things that might make your life on the erg or in the boat a little better.  Go work on them.  Then reassess in a couple of weeks.

 

The Renegade Rowing Club has agreed to help everyone by taking a look at their strokes. If you’d like feedback similar to this, post a 20 second clip of you rowing to YouTube and share it with us in the comments of this post.  I’ll do my best to give you a couple of things to work on!

 

For each of the following videos I’ll be ranking each rower on their posture, control, and connection.  I’ll use a five point scale where 1 = poor and 5 = perfect.  When dealing with posture we’re looking for the torso to be stacked and strong at all times.  When talking about control we are looking at the smoothness of the recovery and how the seat moves toward the catch.  Does it rush forward for the next stroke?  Is there control in the last few inches of the slide to change direction without pushing the boat backwards?  Last and most important, connection, are the seat and handle connected and moving together into and out of the catch as if connected by a belt.

 

Take a look and share what you might focus on next time you row!

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Nice job getting the body over.  Don’t let the seat stop at the catch.  Be ready to push with the legs the second you hit the catch and keep the seat and hands connected.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 4 – video

 

Feedback: Nice horizontal hands.  Don’t let the handle pause at the finish.  Focus on quicker hands away as if there were opposing magnets on the handle and your chest trying to push those hands away out of the finish.

 

 

____________________

 

Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 3 – video

 

Feedback: Great posture and nice job getting the body over.  Try not to be so rigid and don’t break the elbows as you initiate the drive.  Relax a little on the recovery and make everything smooth.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 2, Connection: 3 – video

 

Feedback: Nice job getting the arms extended and ready for the catch.  Try to not be so robotic and rigid at the finish.  Focus on quick and smooth hands away.  The handle should always be moving.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 4, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Good posture and nice horizontal hands.  Don’t let the shoulders and torso reach for more at the catch.  Focus on staying connected as you approach the catch.  See if you can get the body over and find that reach earlier in the recovery, before you get to half slide.

 

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 4, Connection: 2 – video

 

Feedback: Great work getting your body over on the recovery and getting prepared by half slide.  Don’t let your posture go as you approach the catch.  Focus on bringing the handle with you as you push the knees down.  The first inch or two of the drive you are shooting the slide, so keep a big chest and solid abs/back as you push.

____________________

 

Posture: 3, Control: 3, Connection: 2 – video

 

Nice power and push on the drive.  Try to keep your hands on one level plain and don’t let them drop coming into the catch.  Focus on pointing the toes as you finish and then getting the proper sequence of arms away first, bodies over, and then knees come up during the recovery.  Everything blends, but that’s the order of firing in terms of sequence.

RR Snatch Setup

Olympic Lifting and Rowing?

What do you think about using Olympic Lifting in training to be a Rower or using Rowing to be a better Olympic Lifter?  Both require speed and power and incorporate similar movement patterns.  However, in rowing you sit down and are in contact with three surfaces.  In Olympic Lifting you are only in contact with two.  In Olympic lifting the goal is to transfer forces vertically and in rowing the goal is to transfer forces horizontally.  Where do you see the most benefit in training with both?  Are there downfalls?

 

One skill, concept, and idea that I keep coming back to is Connection.  Coaching people in the gym and on the water allows me to see many different movement patterns and levels of ability.  

Athletes that grasp this idea of connection from one joint to another and one external object to another are able to learn faster, create more power, and transfer skills to other movements.  Learning to connect the hips to the hands as you initiate a movement or connect your feet to your hands at the catch, both in rowing and snatching, is invaluable.  Once this skill is perfected the possibilities are endless.

 

Yesterday morning I introduced the snatch to the BC Men’s Crew Team.  While we only worked with PVC pipes to begin with and 45# bars in the workout, the importance of generating speed through the middle of the drive and being turned on at the catch became apparent.  Those that had explosive hip extension from rowing and knew how to create speed on the oar through the middle of the drive in the boat had a lot more success transferring that skill to the barbell.

 

Using the Clean and the Snatch to generate speed on the drive through good connection is a lot of fun.  Rowers become athletes and are empowered to push harder by learning new movements and finding power they never knew they had.  It’s also a lot of fun seeing olympic lifters and other athletes learn to row because it helps them to find more connection and speed in their lifts.

 

Post your thoughts to comments!  Any experience transferring skills from one sport to another?