WODs & News
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Come and join the CFR ladies for a WOD and some wine! All are welcome. Feel free to bring a friend.
NEW THIS LADIES NIGHT: Athletic Clothing Swap!! Please bring your GUC or EUC athletic clothing and after the WOD we will have a clothing swap. Bring at least one item or 100. All items will be up for grabs by anyone - so only bring items you are willing to part with! Any left over items can be reclaimed or we will donate them to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Please click here to register.
Good news!! Resilience will be running a 7 week program for the Kids this summer. Here are the details:
If you have questions or would like to register please send Jamie Weeden an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Managing the Battle Between Good Inflammation and Inflammation… Cortisone and NSAIDs
By Dan Osuch (Orthopedics New England in Natick)
(To see Dan's introduction video please click here...)
What follows is not necessarily a full and thorough medical review, but instead a useful synopsis of how I think about musculoskeletal pain, and how/when non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs, e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) and cortisone injections are useful.
Inflammation can be our friend, and it can be our foe. In the setting of normal muscular training/post exercise soreness, or post injury, our body initiates the inflammatory cascade to facilitate healing. This inflammation may cause swelling and pain, cues to the body that it needs time to heal (from an evolutionary perspective, this is actually useful). These are examples of “good inflammation”, and I generally recommend against NSAID use and cortisone in these situations, as stopping this inflammation may actually be counterproductive. However, at some point, good inflammation, can become chronic and “bad”, causing pain without really fixing the underlying problem. I most commonly see this in the setting of arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. In these settings, it may make more sense to use NSAIDs and/or cortisone to decrease the bad inflammation and alleviate pain. Sometimes it is difficult to figure the difference between good and bad inflammation/pain, and that is where the help of a professional (physical therapist, sports medicine doc, etc.) can be helpful. The causation of the inflammation is also important to explore, to get a better understanding of how to achieve a more long-standing solution.
NSAIDs and cortisone are generally pretty safe, but are not completely medically benign. Chronic NSAID use has been linked to gastrointestinal ulcers, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Repetitive and nonselective cortisone injection can cause tissue deterioration and impact/delay the normal healing response. Therefore, as with anything in life, I consider these medicines useful in selected situations and in moderation. They should also be used in conjunction with things that are considered to be safer interventions (rest, ice, compression, elevation, activity modification, physical therapy, etc.). Furthermore, I often tell people in the office that NSAIDs and/or cortisone are the short term solution, but we also need to understand the underlying causes of the problem to make changes for the long term solution. Often, the problem stems from overtraining and/or poor movement patterns, which is where rest, activity modification, and physical therapy are very important to helping fix the problem. If someone has a true anatomic problem (e.g. a rotator cuff tear), then surgery is an option as well, though I prefer to leave that as a “last resort”.
With all of that as a background, here is my general philosophy on NSAIDs and cortisone: If a problem appears to be more of the bad inflammation category, rest, ice, gentle stretching/mobility work, and modified training are the foundation to recovery. NSAIDs are an important part of the treatment program provided they are used with consistency at reasonable dosing for a relatively short period of time (7-10 days). I usually recommend people try naproxen 220mg tablets, 1-2 tablets twice a day, always with food in your stomach, for 7-10 days. This is easiest to do after breakfast and after dinner to minimize stomach ulcer risks. Putting the pill bottle behind the sink is a great way to remember too (assuming you clean up your own dishes of course…). The consistency is key to decrease the inflammation more thoroughly, as intermittent NSAID use is less likely to be effective. If someone has performed this NSAID trial and the problem still persists, that’s when cortisone may be an option. Cortisone is a potent, locally delivered (i.e. injected with a needle ideally where it’s needed) way to decrease inflammation. Cortisone injections can be both diagnostic (any response helps to localize the source of the pain) and therapeutic (they provide long standing relief). It is generally safe to repeat cortisone in the same location after 4-6 months, although if people are in need of the injection with some regularity, it is my opinion that we need to take a harder look at the underlying problem or diagnosis.
There are also a number of interventions thought to promote “good inflammation”, but that is a topic for another post.
CFR APPAREL is closing on 5/16 so be sure to get place your orders today. Don't be the only kid on the block without the cool new swag.
- Here is the link to the store with the Masters Shirts
- Here is the link to the store with other CFR Shirts
CFR has decided to sponsor a Trail Race & CrossFit Challenge on Saturday 6/3 that is very unique and extremely exciting. We've created a series of CrossFit workouts that will go at the end of a 5k-trail race in Ashland State Park. The CrossFit workouts are exclusively for CFR members.
You can click here to see details about the trail, the event, and the charity to which all money will go (Boston Children's Hospital League).
To see the awesome CFR WOD's please click here.
Participants will run the 5k trail race and then will complete the WOD's as a team of 3. This is not a race!! This a community field trip for CFR members (of all experience levels) that will be an unforgettable experience.
CFR’s 2017 Nutrition Challenge Update – 1.9.17
Are you looking for all of the Nutrition Challenge information?
99% of what you need to know should be found on this web page, so please check it out:
The challenge officially starts on Monday, January 9th! Here we go!
What you should have done by now, or be doing within the next couple of days?
TRAVEL WODs FOR PEOPLE
SOME DIETARY GUIDELINE CHOICES
How do I use the tracking sheet?
Olympic Lifting Clinic: 8-Week Program
Are you new to Olympic lifting but would love to learn the basics?
Do you already do Olympic lifting but really want to elevate your game?
In either case, we have an 8-week program that will be ideal for you. We’ve hired Carly Mauch to run an 8-week Olympic Lifting clinic from 1/18 through 3/12. Carly is truly one of the most effective coaches that you'll ever work with and she is still the US Collegiate record holder for the C&J.
This clinic is ideal for athletes of all experience levels.
Here are the details:
Limited space is available so please act quickly.
As I mentioned in my latest Brooks’s Bite on Facebook, I will make sure to distribute the monthly programming preview descriptions that Jason Brown gives me. These will help those who are interested in following along with our mad scientist minds. It will also give you all a better sense of what you should be focusing on during the various phases.
CLICK HERE to see my notes for you all! You’ll notice I “let slip” the Month 4 description as well…so that you can see we will be re-testing some things we performed in Month 1…so hopefully you’ve all been keeping diligent logbooks with your results so we can compare and gather some gym-wide data.
Let’s stay focused on the long-term goals by tackling the short-term ones!
(Dog-Shit Day Workouts)
Objective: These workouts have been developed for athletes who are feeling a little run down and are trying to still get a good workout. These workouts were designed to be much easier on the joints so that fitness levels can be maintained while recovery takes place. These are great workouts to do during Open Gyms. We hope you like them!
Workout #1: Row and Burpees
Workout #2: 450 Cal Cardio
Workout #3: 30 Lengths of Pain
Workout #4: So Many Things
(Very easy to sub strength movements if any particular body part is too sore. Good full body workout, which combines strength and cardio)
Workout #5: Deadly Sprints
Workout #6: Tabata Town
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
After this past Saturday’s class I talked for about 10 minutes on Mental Toughness. If you missed it no need to be bummed out. I will go over exactly what I talked about below! It is a bit long but
Firstly, I talked about The Path of Least Resistance. Now, this can relate to a lot of things, however what I am referring to speaks to human nature. It is built into our minds to follow the path of least resistance whenever possible to conserve energy. When we need to pick something off the floor say a pencil or pen, we do send our down and back, slightly bend our knees, send our shoulders forward while maintain a braced core and intact lumber curve. We just round our backs and pick it up. In workouts however, the path of least resistance could be not sending your hips back to catch a power clean, or coming off your heels during the dip of a STO, or letting your elbows drop during a front squat. During all of these actions your body, is following the path of least resistance. It’s trying to expend the least amount of energy to accomplish the task. Ironically it is failing. When we follow the path of least resistance we become drastically less efficient, and in the long run slows us down.
When we are less efficient it can lead to the second topic I talked about: False Rest. What is false rest you ask? False rest for example is when you stop to rest at the top of a box jump when your legs aren’t really tired, when you drop a light hang power clean when your grip isn’t that tired, when you start to walk in a 400m run when you know you could still jog. False Rest is when your mind wants the path of least resistance aka the easy way out and tells you to rest. More times than not, you could have kept going. On Saturday I used the thrusters as an example. I asked a couple folks in the crowd “what is your 1 RM thruster?”. A couple men answered with numbers both higher than 200. The Rx weight in that workout was 75/55. How many times did people put their hands on the thighs or stare at the bar during their ~2:00 rounds? That’s a false rest. Between a rock and a hard place everyone could probably do 30 reps unbroken at the weight they chose on Saturday. False rest just gives you a fake sense of security and holds you back from your true physical potential.
What keeps false rest occurring is the negative voice in your head. The voice telling you, this is too hard, I need to stop, I can’t do this etc. All this is, is food for one of two wolves in your head:the negative wolf. The negative wolf is fed through your own disbelief in yourself, and all the negative talk, all of the false rest you take. If you constantly feed it, it will devour the other wolf:the positive wolf. The positive wolf feeds of confidence, will, and self-efficacy. We have all been in workouts, that we lost mentally. Those instances are where the negative wolf won. How do you insure the positive wolf wins in workouts and in life?
Positive self-talk is the pep talk you give yourself in your head constantly. Ben Bergeron puts it simply, “Turn your have to’s into Get to’s”. Turn, I have to do three more rounds into I get to do three more rounds and get fitter. “I have to run into today’s workout. Ugh I hate running”. That should be “I get to go run into today’s workout. Good, time to get better”. This can apply to life as well I have to go to work, no you get to go to work. I have to pick my kids up, no you get to go to work. “It’s only ten thrusters you got this” would be a great example for Saturdays workout. Or “I get to rest after this, push hard through.”
Using simple phrases is all it takes. Having a self-mantra should be your ace in the hole. It’s a small phrase or word that has significant emotional importance and motivates you. Mine is “still breathing”. The story behind “still breathing” comes from my freshman year in college. I almost passed away. I went into anaphylactic shock after taking a medicine and didn’t breathe for over four minutes. I spent the next six days in the ICU recovering and getting tests run. I remember so desperately wanting air in the back of the ambulance, trying to inhale with all my might but to no avail. I remember thinking “this is it”. Fortunately, I lived almost right next to a hospital and am still here to tell you about it. Whenever I’m in WODs and my lungs feel like they are filling with battery acid, my heart is pounding out of my chest, my muscles feel like they are on fire, I tell myself “Still breathing”. I’m still here and I can keep going. Find a self-mantra and use it as fuel.
So this next week and the following ones in and out of the gym. Refuse to follow the path of least resistance, don’t take false rests, feed the positive wolf not the negative one, use positive self-talk, and create your own self-mantra. These simple tasks will help improve your state of mind and also your fitness.
Onward & Upward
Well if you haven’t seen after a few weeks the leaderboard is finally updated! Through a small issue with Zen and the Carnival this task took us longer than we had hoped. However, the hard work and dedication has paid off and the PR’s have proved it. As a gym, in the past 4-5 weeks, we have been focusing a bit more on Olympic lifting than usual, and I must say as a coaching staff we are impressed with all the improvement we have been seeing! Along with honing in on the small technical aspects of Olympic lifting, you all have been maintaining and even building on your pulling strength from the floor and tempo front squats (everyone’s favorite).
Moving onward into our next phase of the year, you will see a decrease in positional work with tempos and a return to classic style squatting, pulling, and pressing. That being said, although CFR will not be on a specific strength program (Smolov, Conjugate, Hatch, etc.). You will still be gaining strength and progressing towards your goals. Using a classical CrossFit training methodology along with the consistent development of movement mechanics will allow us to broaden your skill set and expand your fitness to new lengths. CrossFit is and will remain the backbone of our programming here at CFR.
When this phase is all said and done we will be trying something new when it comes to testing. We are restructuring the way we assess and test benchmarks. Instead of having a two week regimented period of testing filled with specifics, we will broaden the time domain in which you are all tested. Coaches and Programmers will have a general idea of when the benchmarks will appear and the dates will be chosen to maximize your potential to succeed. This isn’t something that will be announced, however it is not something that is random.
To sign off this short letter to you all I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit: “The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community.” The coaching staff and I are looking forward to getting down to business and we hope you all are too!
If there is one major misconception regarding nutrition that the world should stop believing it is that you need to starve yourself and severely restrict calories in order to lose weight. There tends to be a belief that in order to lose weight and see muscle definition, a diet of a few hundred calories a day is required. However, I can happily assure you that this could not be further from the truth. In order to keep a healthy metabolism, a caloric deficit (i.e. expending more calories in a day than you are taking in) should not be sustained for a long period of time. Your body needs the chance to recover from being deprived of the calories it takes in order to sustain your body weight. After a prolonged period of “dieting” and eating at a restricted caloric intake (we’re talking more than 12 weeks) many people actually find it harder and harder to lose weight as the time passes. We refer this as a stagnant metabolism. Your body starts to go into protection mode from being calorically deprived and therefore slows down body functions, including your metabolism. In order to maintain a healthy weight, it is of the utmost importance to keep one’s metabolism running at a healthy rate.
As opposed to so severely restricting calories so as to potentially cause metabolic damage in the long run, it makes much more sense to only restrict calories enough to where someone is safely, but consistently, losing a small amount of weight each week for no longer than 12 weeks at a time. For example, if a person’s base calories required to sustain his current body weight is 2000cal a day, it makes much more sense to only cut out a few hundred calories a day to ensure smart weight loss as opposed to cutting these calories in half. Why should this person suffer more than he has to? Now, instead of this person being miserable throughout the duration of his diet because he is trying to function on a tiny number of calories, he is happily eating enough to feel mostly satiated, keeping his metabolism safe and steadily losing weight to accomplish the goal of weightloss.
As a practical example, looking at many of our higher-level athletes at CFR who are leaner and more muscular, if they are not working out they can most likely be found eating! On the contrary, many of our athletes here who have complained they have a hard time losing weight are admittedly eating only a couple times a day and taking in only a few hundred calories, thus keeping themselves in a deprived state that does not allow for optimal metabolic function or workout performance. In the words of CrossFit HQ Intensity (work/time) = results. Therefore, any pestilence that will hamper our intensity must be shunned like a repeat of 16.5.
In conclusion, if you have been trying for quite some time to lose weight and your weightloss seems to be stagnating, it’s probably time to get a hard look at how many calories you are eating and where or not that is actually a sustainable number for you and your metabolism.
If you have any questions regarding nutrition or would like to learn more, please email Nicole at email@example.com!
As of this past testing week CFR has been in business of making mere mortals superhuman for 3 years. In that time we have had plenty of time to observe trends in training, what works and what doesn’t, which skills come easier and which can be a grind, and what factors can influence progress. From this we try and get a feel for what training focus areas will result in the greatest fitness gain for the greatest number. So lets take a look at some recent trends, and also at what our next block of programming will entail.
“The Heavy stuff”
Over the summer and the past few months we were in a fairly mixed modal “pure crossfit” phase. I purposely chose to omit most truly heavy lifting (lifts @ > 90% 1 RM) in favor of an increased volume of lifting done at ~80%
This was done consciously to see what effect sub maximal lifting at higher volumes would have on maximal strength. I would say the results are definitely favorable. Granted its now incredibly difficult to macro view our population since we now have a huge variety of “training ages” and skill levels, but on average the norm was a modest improvement or at least maintenance in 1-3RM strength. Whats cool about this finding, is that it puts some backing behind the theory that higher frequency lifting at 75-80% will result in positive adaptations, which from our standpoint is great because we can stay in the game longer by minimizing the risk and joint strain of true maximal lifting.
“The ole fashion PE exercises”
Within this “pure crossfit” phase there was also a big emphasis on bodyweight pressing movements, namely pushups and that family of exercises. I am of the firm belief that a pushup tells A LOT about the body, and performance. While with our diverse population it is difficult to speak in absolutes, there was a big improvement in the performance of pushups in testing, as well as in class. I still maintain that if an athlete is unable to complete perfect pushups, that should become the #1 training priority, because it is such a universal indicator. On the pulling side of things pull-ups remain a challenge for a great number, but for those who put in the work the improvement shows. I forecast a focus on eccentric and isometric pulling work to hopefully help activate pulling musculature that may lay dormant.
“Barbell Gymnastics (oly lifting)”
On the side of olympic lifting technique there has been a huge improvement in the ability to cycle a barbell in a met con setting (think touch and go hang cleans etc.) this is really cool because more people are now getting a greater benefit from WODs with a barbell component. Heavy oly lifting is steadily improving, but to make serious gains in this area a more dedicated focus is needed. To this end the clinics we have added with the wonderful Ms. Carly have filled a much needed void. We will still continue to olympic lift for those who are able and willing in class, but those desiring high level olympic lifting gains would be well served to check out the clinics.
“Hows the engine?”
One thing I would really like to see improve over the current status is our collective ability to be absolute monsters going 110MPH (while still safe and in control). I see a great ability of many to sustain an effort steadily, find a pace, stay in a groove, and operate in a “happy place.” I think we need to improve our ability to handle large uncomfortable UB sets, short aggressive workouts, and doing things in a very fatigued state. That said, EVERYONE can ALWAYS improve this area, its not a new thing by any means. Its also not something you can train everyday, or you risk some serious burnout. But i think 2-3x a week or so, we need to challenge ourselves to delve deep into “the suck” and take up residence. Buckle up.
Whats on the horizon?…
-A decent volume of lifting between 75-85% (a bit here and there between 85-95)
-Pullup work on the regular, with oodles of holds and negatives
-A variety of Hero workouts/partner workouts/and longer met cons on saturday
-A high amount of work on “burners” in which we want to push ourselves to and through the breaking points
-The mix of fitness beauty we have all come to know and love that leads to the extermination of weak and average
What do you think? Questions comments concerns, speak up and post below!
Those two infamous letters in CrossFit “Rx”
To some these two letters can literally define self worth, to others it is something so far from them they couldn’t possibly care any less. Like so many other things in life the optimal mindset and answer lies somewhere in between the two.
To the person who views “Rx” as the indicator of whether they deserve to breathe that day… Remember in the grand scheme of crossfit what is most important above all else: Movement quality. If movement quality is anything less than perfect, there is a problem, and scaling something to fit that perfect movement criteria is NEVER BAD. So instead of feeling as useless as a scuba suit in the sahara, realize that from time to time your “optimal” may not be Rx.
An aside to that…If there is extra work assigned to a workout if one is not Rx, that is only to preserve the best stimulus of the workout, not to “punish” anyone who isn’t an Rx athlete. The only exception to that are the “alternatives” to double unders… Keep practicing those 😉
To those who view Rx as a leopard spotted unicorn that simply will never exist in their world, I have a challenge for you as well. While you may never reach the Rx level on all workouts (which is fine!), the process of working towards it will still result in immense progress across many areas. By working on areas our fitness is deficient, the gaps in our game shrink and we become fitter as a whole. Constantly striving to improve your movements, lifts, conditioning, and making progress closer and closer towards the Rx level, is what we should all keep thinking about during our daily fitness mission.
Without going into too much detail here are a few things that you could add in, taking less than 10 minutes each that could help you close up a fitness hole.
Difficulty BW pressing (Pushups, HSPU, etc.)- 100 Reps triceps extensions for time + 25 Eccentric Pushups each taking 5-10 seconds
Difficulty BW Pulling (Pullups, T2B)- diet+body comp focus first, 50 Super strict ring rows w/ elevated feet + 3×6-8 DB Rows
Always winded (gas tank goes to E quick)- OTM x 10 even: 30 seconds max burpees, odd: 30 seconds max cals on bike
Sub Par squat pattern (drunk bambi on ice skates squat)- 5 min in bottom of a squat w/ KB, Rolling calfs achilles daily, tempo goblet squats x 50 reps
My arms are supposed to reach over my head??!! – Wall or floor slides x 2 mins straight, pec/trap rollout, external rotations (any variation) x 50/ea, active + passive range of motion (continually using light leverage to push the edges of our ROM, while being conscious of core positioning)
Of course we could go into more detail on all of these avenues of work, but we all know the longer the list gets the less that actually gets done.
Keep working, keep improving, and remember leave the mental flatulence to the couch dwelling, dorito hoarders than populate the ubiquitous world of the underwhelming.
We all work so hard each week crushing WODs and sacrificing sweat to create the strongest version of ourselves possible. Sometimes we feel a bit stagnant and need that jump start to reignite progress. Here are ten things you can do TODAY to fire up the gain train!
1) Start a food log– Be accountable to yourself and understand what you put in your body will dictate what you are able to get out of it. (my favorite is ‘myfitnesspal’)
2) Make sure you focus each meal around an animal protein source– Because no one ever said… ” I’ve striving to build the body of a vegan”
3) Eat more vegetables than you currently do. As great and tasty as perfectly cooked animals are.. Our body still needs the fiber and micro nutrition found in plant food. The greener the better! (A good test is usually… the more it grosses out a little kid the better it is for you)
4) Prepare 75% of your meals ahead of time- Getting the bulk cooking out of the way (cooking a ton of meat, rice, sweet potatoes, steaming veggies etc.) will allow you to turn daily cooking into mere “meal assembly.” Meal assembly that takes 5 minutes is a sure fire way to make sure you opt for the right choice.
5) Know that if a food is in your house you will eventually eat it- Simple fact here….Very few people will pass up nutritious foods and make a specific trip for junk, make it hard for yourself to eat poorly.
6) If you have been eating the right foods for a long time( READ: NOT been gorging on weekends and/or drinking like a college freshman) and still not seeing any fat loss, it may be time to monitor calories- Go back to point 1 on the food log and track yourself for 2 weeks, see if any patterns emerge of being either too low or too high calorically. (A good starting point is 12-14 calories/ Lb BW for someone aiming to lose body fat) Aim to make adjustments of 250 cals a day and adjust based on results every 2 weeks or so.
7) Have the will power to resist social situations- We ALL get put in situations where the easy thing to do would be to eat junk and have a few drinks, realize you have chosen a different path and have refused the hedonistic weakness of the masses… Ignore the momentary pain of social isolation for the eternal glory that comes with unrelenting fitness. Be a higher class of human.
8) Make magnesium a part of your daily routine- Awesome for insulin sensitivity, muscle building and sleep quality. Dan’s pick for nutrient unsung hero. Health experts recommend 10mg/kg BW per day (i.e. 100kg man needs 1000mg) spread out during the latter half of the day.
9) Coffee + Coconut oil = Pre-workout bliss – Try an energizing mix of dark roast coffee and coconut oil pre-workout. These two wonderful things combined will help give you a pre-workout kick without over stressing your system and filling you with other lack luster ingredients like the leading pre-workout drink.
10) Find a “fat loss accountability” buddy- Spouse, friend, workout partner, it can be anyone! Someone who is going to help motivate you, keep you honest, and be that voice of support when that carton of frozen love handles or sleeve of salty sweet muffin top calls your name.