Thursday, February 26, 2015


Some workouts need no introduction or build up. They are better served cold and then digested slowly. At first glance none of these pieces looks particularly troubling. Let it simmer just a little while and you will inevitably realize just how hard this will prove to be. As always scale and modify as needed. Enjoy!!

At 0:00 Begin with

For Time
20 Deadlifts 315/205
20 Front Squats 205/135
20 Squat Snatch 135/95

Rest until the clock hits 20:00, then complete

For Time:
3 Rounds
30 KB Swings 1.5/1
30 Box Jumps 24/20

Rest Until the clock hits 40:00, then finish with

For Time:
75 Handstand Push Ups
*every time you come off the wall you must perform 5 Clean and Jerks with 135/95


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Although it may not feel like it at the moment, Spring is just around the corner. As I sit and write this I am pleasantly reminded that within the next 23 days we will see some rather pleasant changes in things. First we will turn the clocks forward on March 8th, adding one more hour of sunshine to our days. The air temperatures will gradually increase and the snow will melt. Finally, on March 20th we will celebrate the arrival of the Spring Equinox. 

These changes will also coincide with an end to the winter "bulking" phase many of us may have been following. While some may have already switched gears and made a conscious effort to clean up their diet others have been enjoying theses last few weeks of indulgences. Either way, all good things must come to an end.

You will never feel every agonizing tick of the clock quite like you do when you are trying to lose bodyfat. It’s like the world stops turning as you wait for your body to transform. Results never seem to come as quickly as we want them to.

Even though some people will progress at lightning speed, they still frequently ask how they can speed up the already sped up. Seems fairly natural, after all, we live in a time where instant gratification is the name of the game. We want everything faster and quicker, and physique change is no different.

However, changing our body composition needs to be regarded as the exception to this now-now-now mentality. We can only push on the gas so hard until things go haywire, ruining our body and our metabolism, and rendering our fat loss completely unsustainable.

Everybody is searching for the magical missing link that will shift fat loss into overdrive and send us careening into Shredsville practically overnight. Crazy supplements that nearly send you into cardiac arrest, eating five grapefruits per day, drinking gallons of lemon water… the list goes on and on.  Sadly, these so-called fat-blasting “secrets” never deliver the results that they tout.

There is no way to skirt around the truth. The keys to losing body fat (and keeping it off) aren’t glamorous or exciting. Regardless of what that 2:00am informercial tells you, there are no magic beans, nifty workout gizmos, or fat-melting creams you can slather onto yourself to accelerate things.

The truth is actually rather simple:


1) Nutrition
2) Movement
3) Sleep
4) Stress control

Assuming that your metabolism is functioning the way it should be, and that you don’t have any health problems that you are dealing with, you will need to be in a deficit in order to lose weight. Do not necessarily look at counting calories here so much as tweaking your intake to meet your needs and demands without the excesses that will add to body fat. While these may sound like one in the same, they are quite different. No two calories are equal and the way in which our body uses the calories we consume is somewhat individual. While we must track what we eat and how much, more importantly we must track how our body responds to what we eat.

You should be eating plenty of protein, heaps of vegetables, and then filling in the gaps with dietary fat, fruit, and starch. Eat whole, nutrient dense foods most of the time. Indulge sometimes. Limit your alcohol intake. Makes sense right? Unfortunately it is not always so easy to put into action.

How do you iron out macros, timing, and the other details? It's simple, you must experiment. Make one small change at a time, monitor the results, and tweak things as needed. Have you heard of Tim Ferris? He came to fame with his "Four Hour Work Week" concept and has since followed this with the "Four Hour Body" and the "Four Hour Chef." Ferris has become the ultimate guinea pig and basically spends the vast majority of his time experimenting on himself. His goal is to find the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) of a given stimulus that is required to produce changes. This concept should be understood and applied as often as possible.


It doesn’t matter what is working for Cathy at the ‘Y’, or what Timmy told you at the coffee shop. The right way is always whatever is best for you. Period.

Everybody needs to move their body in some way on a daily basis. This could be in the form of traditional exercise at the gym, a game of basketball, an outdoor circuit, or good old fashioned walking. Whatever it is, move your body. Expend some energy. Get your heart rate up a little, or a lot, depending on what you need that day.

The gym is not the end-all-be-all of fat loss. Far from it. Movement can happen anywhere. Please know that frequent attendance at the gym is not a prerequisite for results or, more importantly, a healthier body.

Workout hard and get your sweat on a few times a week, and walk on all other days for at least 20 – 30 minutes. If you are blessed to have two healthy legs, you have access to walking. Open your front door, and go. Take your kids. Grab the dog. Yes, it’s chilly right now for many of us, but you can bundle up. No excuses.

The benefits of walking are vast, ranging from basic energy expenditure to reducing cortisol, enhancing recovery, and reducing stress levels, just to name a few. Walk daily.

If only I had a dollar for every person that told me that they don’t need more than six hours of sleep per night. Ironically, it’s these same people that are the ones that tell me about their crazy sugar cravings, afternoon energy slumps, and forgetfulness.

Look, we are all busy. Between job(s), kids, after-school activities, the gym, cooking dinner, and showering, it’s all many people can do to melt into the couch at 10pm for a few hours of television to unwind each night.

Nothing will fire up cravings for carbohydrates and sugar, and hinder your gym performance and recovery, quite like a chronic sleep deficit. A consistent lack of shut-eye is a progress killer, plain and simple. You may be able to get away with it for awhile, but if you notice your results starting to plateau, the first thing I advise clients to do is to take a couple of weeks and focus on getting more high-quality sleep before we change their nutrition or exercise plans. 90% of the time, we see improvement once we prioritize rest.

It’s tough to get into bed at a decent time each night, because it’s tempting to linger on the computer, the phone, or in front of the tube, but you need to give yourself a little talking-to. “Do I want to make tomorrow more difficult on myself than it needs to be?” Of course you don’t. Go to bed. Nothing that the Kardashians are doing is important as your precious restoration time.

Turn off electronics a couple hours before bed, and this includes your phone! Dim the lights. Take a bath or hot shower. Then go to bed. You’ll thank me in the morning when you are bouncing off the walls with energy. Sugar-covered-what? No, thanks.

Of all the things we have discussed so far, this is admittedly the toughest for many of us. Some stress is not only good, but necessary. However, it’s the constant mind-racing, nerve-frazzling, heart-palpitation-having kind of stress that is problematic. Since it’s unlikely that you can eliminate all of the triggers from your life completely, the best thing we can do is slow our roll a bit, and do a few simple things each day that can center us and bring us some peace.

Perhaps one of the best things you can do is meditate for 10 – 20 minutes per day. Shut the office door or slip away to a private and quiet place, lay down on the floor, or kick back in your chair and put your feet on the desk, close your eyes, and breathe. It’s truly that simple.

If you have a monkey mind that keeps wandering on you, there are a few things you can do:

Develop a mantra, which is something you will silently say to yourself over and over again. It can be something as simple as “inhale” (while you inhale, obviously), and “exhale” (you got it – while you exhale). Other ones that I like are “surrender”, “relax”, and “let go”. Use whatever is appropriate for yourself that day. Maybe it’s “patience”, perhaps it’s “melt”. Go with what comes naturally. (“I want to strangle my boss” is probably not a good choice.)

Another idea is to count your breath cycles. Each inhale and exhale is one breath cycle.

If neither of those things suits your fancy, try counting during each inhalation, and then making your exhalation just a touch longer. I like to count to five during the inhale, and to seven during the exhale. Again, do what feels right for you.

Mediation doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged, with your fingers in a mudra. Just get comfortable, close your eyes, and breathe. You’ll be amazed at what just 5 – 10 minutes per day can do for you.

Slow and steady may be hard to deal with with, but it is the approach that provides sustainable results. Think about everybody that you know that has suddenly dropped a swift amount of weight in an alarmingly quick time period. I’d bet my bottom dollar that they have gained that weight back, and probably some more. These “Lose weight fast!” scams neglect to tell you that the results that they provide are temporary.

Stay consistent with the four items mentioned above, and be patient. Find peace in the fact that you are doing your best, and these things take time. Find ways to enjoy the process!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Ok without getting bogged down in a lengthy introduction to this week's workout, let's just say it seemed like a good time to throw a wrench in the works so to speak. As always have fun and embrace the suck before the suck embraces you!

Part #1


  • 15 Clean and Jerk
  • Rest as needed
  • 12 Clean and Jerk
  • Rest as needed
  • 9 Clean and Jerk

    *This portion is done for maximal load.  Reps must be unbroken. You can rest overhead, in the rack, or at the hang, but not on the ground.

    Part #2

    Done with a partner relay style:

    • 12 Rounds (each or 24 total)
      • 500 Meter Row
      • 50 Double Unders
    *No explanation needed for this part...right?!

    “PERFECT FORM” Does not exist in nature.

    That is the cold hard truth. We can debate it all we want but perfection is something not found in science. While it is common to suggest we strive for perfection we must recognize the fallacy of the notion that we will ever achieve it. Rather we should strive to be the best we can be while recognizing our individual limitations and constraints.

    The key to understanding this notion is to first ask a key question: “why are we trying to find a perfect form to begin with?”

    It would seem likely that this grew out of the assumptions the modern (as opposed to postmodern) world is built on. Everything is knowable. With the great, omniscient tool of Science, we can understand the workings of any system to determine how to optimize its function. The universe and everything in it works just like clockwork, so all we have to do is figure out how all the pieces of each clock function, and we’ll know how to make it work perfectly. This is the type of thinking that leads people to ask questions like, “what’s the best diet?” or “what’s the best program?” or “what is perfect form?” Questions that can drive a person crazy after a while.

    This type of thinking was discarded in just about every branch of science and philosophy by the 1920s (perhaps retained as an ideal, but not as something actually attainable in the vast majority of cases), but it’s still alive and well in our common cultural consciousness. Especially in biology – like when we’re talking about us and our bodies – statements involving words like “perfect,” “optimal,” and “universal” have no place whatsoever, unless they’re used as a shorthand for an idea along the lines of “pretty good,” or, “the best we can do with what we know now.” Along those lines, we’re pretty good at being able to make statements of “better” and “worse” in a lot of general cases, but even such judgements in those general cases can’t be mapped directly onto all specific cases. Even if we could know the truth about perfect form for an exercise for the theoretical average person, you couldn’t treat that as applicable in all cases.

    With that philosophical rambling out of the way, I want to show you some reasons why this is the case. I’ll use the squat to illustrate.

    Leonardo Di Vinci’s Vitruvian Man may have had idealized “average” proportions, but odds are that you don’t. In a population, there are characteristic average lengths for each bone in relation to your total height. However, your segment lengths may differ by a few percents, throwing off the goal of finding “optimal” mechanics.

    Take, for example, the torso and femur. The femur is, on average, about 24% of the total height of the body. The trunk is about 29.5%. How long your femurs are in relation to your torso will largely determine how far forward to have to lean at the bottom of a squat. Someone with shorter femurs and a longer torso, relatively, will be able to stay fairly upright and have a strong bottom position with almost any squat form. Someone with longer femurs and a shorter torso will have to lean quite a bit farther forward.

    What may be “optimal” for the average person with 24/29.5 proportions will be increasingly less appropriate as someone’s segment lengths get further and further from average relative lengths.

    For the squat, hip anatomy alters how you’ll best be able to squat to depth, and it can alter how much tension is on each muscle that flexes, extends, or causes rotation at the hips. Some people have hips that let them squat below parallel with a really wide stance, but that stop them well above parallel with a narrow stance. Others have hips that let them drop their butt onto their ankles with their heels touching, but that limit depth as soon as they get barely outside shoulder width.

    Factors such as where the hip socket is placed on the pelvis, the shape of the pelvis itself, the angle and rotation of the femoral neck, and the depth of the hip socket all influence what types of squat forms will be better or worse for each individual.

    Furthermore, there are variations in knee anatomy that influence proper knee tracking. Some people have femoral condyles that are about the same length, while for others the medial condyle is quite a bit longer (the condyle is the round prominence at the end of a bone, most often part of a joint - an articulation with another bone). This influences how the joint will move and how much stress will be on the menisci and ligaments with various degrees of knee flexion, hip abduction, and femoral rotation.

    Let’s say you want to squat the most weight humanly possible to just below parallel for the sport of powerlifting. A slightly wider stance that allows you to use your hips more and that will stop you just below parallel due to a powerful stretch reflex is probably your best bet.

    Let’s say you want to grow some mammoth quads for the bodybuilding stage, or increase your leg strength for weightlifting. Since quad activation increases with squat depth, the technique that allows you to squat as deep and upright as possible will be more appropriate.

    Even if you COULD determine the “perfect” way to squat, such a declaration would still have to be placed in the context of what, exactly, you were trying to ACCOMPLISH by squatting since different techniques are more or less appropriate for different purposes.

    Different people have different strengths and weaknesses that determine what positions they’ll be stronger in. If you have an absurdly strong posterior chain, the flat-soled, incredibly hip-dominant squat may be the best way for you to move the most weight. If you’ve got Tom Platz’s quads, a purposefully hip-dominant squat takes your greatest asset out of play.

    Furthermore, what if you have a injury to your knee, or an ankle mobility restriction? For you, the “best” squat form would be the one that allows you to train around your restrictions pain-free, “optimal” mechanics be damned.


    Stop trying to cram yourself into a restrictive box, or waste your time seeking out “perfect” form. Embrace your individuality and differences.

    You may see that most great powerlifters squat a certain way. Is that because it’s the universal best way to squat for powerlifting, or because most great squatters have similar physical characteristics that cause a certain range of techniques to give them the best results?

    You may see that most great weightlifters squat a certain way. Is that because it’s the universal best way to squat for weightlifting, or because most great weightlifters have similar characteristics that allow them to excel in their sport? I’m talking primarily about depth in this instance – the best weightlifters are the best, among other things, because they’re the ones who can get the lowest. They may all be able to squat ass-to-grass, but that doesn’t mean everyone can.

    Instead of chasing perfection, chase “better.”

    Instead of trying to find “optimal” technique, learn how to troubleshoot.


    Play with your stance width, your footwear, how much you point your toes, how much you abduct your hips, how far forward your knees track, your bar position, whether you break at the hips or knees first, etc. If you try something, it feels better for you, and it lets you (depending on the reason you’re squatting) move more weight or train the squat harder, then that’s better. It may or may not be better for most people, but that’s irrelevant. It’s better for you, and that’s what matters. And better is the best you’re going to do.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015


    After last week's Bro Session it seemed only appropriate to put together something a little shorter on the agenda for this week. So here we go!

    Part #1 (30 minutes)

    Find your heaviest of the following complex:

    • High Hang Squat Clean
    • Hang Squat Clean
    • Ground Squat Clean
    • Push Press
    • High Hang Squat Clean
    • Hang Squat Clean
    • Ground Squat Clean
    • Push Jerk
    • High Hang Squat Clean
    • Hang Squat Clean
    • Ground Squat Clean
    • Split Jerk

    **Once you start the complex the bar can NOT be dropped until the completion of the split jerk. No resting on the ground.
    **Take plenty of time and increase the weight in small increments so you gets lots of reps under your belt. Look to practice technique and position on this part.


    Part #2 (No Time Cap)
    • 25-20-15-10-5-5-10-15-20-25 Thrusters 95#/65#
    • 50-40-30-20-10-10-20-30-40-50 Double Unders


    CrossFit is one of the truest tests of personal integrity in action.

    Integrity: Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

    There are really only 2 types of Athletes when it comes to Integrity; those who have it and those who don’t. Yes, I believe that you fit in to 1 of 2 categories… But remember, you can always change…The first step is admitting you have a problem.

    There will be CrossFitters who cut corners, go through the motions, and are okay with not fully completing a task. There will be those that might lie just a little and only some of the time. Big cheating, small cheating, big lies, little lies, cutting some corners or just one, missing a lot of reps or a few reps…IT IS ALL THE SAME.

    This topic has been discussed lots of times throughout the CrossFit Community and people often say ‘who really cares, because that person is just cheating themselves and their results’. But maybe, just maybe, this article will help some individuals recognize what type of athlete they are, and the type of athlete they want to become.

    When I am watching athletes or coaching it is VERY easy to tell what type of person I would want to surround myself with, who I would trust, and which athlete I would want on my team. What type of athlete are you? Are you okay with it?

    Type I Athletes: Fully commit to whatever the WOD is for them for that day, whether it is ramping up, Rx, SRx, foundational technique work or a warm-up.
    Type II “Athletes”: Try to skip the ramp-up and technique learning period while not scaling their WOD according to advice rendered by their coach.

    Type I Athletes: Complete an extra couple of double-unders, pull-ups or wall balls when they have lost count or think they may have missed a couple of full reps.
    Type II “Athletes”: Think that when they mess up on the last double under, it is ‘good enough’ & move to the next exercise before finishing the last rep, or are okay with not getting their chin over the bar on the final hard rep.

    Type I Athletes: Work up to the buzzer, even if it means they will only get 20 meters of the next 200m distance because there is only 10 seconds left.
    Type II “Athletes”: Finish the round they are currently on and lay down with a little time remaining on the clock.

    Type I Athletes: Never ever would consider inflating their performance, not even 1 single rep when the coach asks “how many did you get” before writing the score on the whiteboard.
    Type II “Athletes”: Justify inflating their performance that they got an extra rep, an extra round or lifted a few more pounds because they think “they could have, or should have” or don’t want to look bad.

    Type I Athletes: Ask their coach to closely judge them, give them pointers and makes necessary adjustments when given a ‘no rep’ call for not getting full depth on a squat.
    Type II “Athletes”: Roll their eyes at a coach for correctly judging them, scoring them, or giving pointers on how to get full reps. They try to ignore the coach, hide from the view of a coach and continue to ‘sneak’ through bad reps.

    Okay, okay, you get the point. It is easy to cut corners…we all get tired. Someone is beating you, the class is waiting for you to finish, you are sick of doing burpees, your elbows got close enough to full extension, or you forgot what number you were on.

    THE LIST GOES ON & ON PEOPLE. It is plain and simple it takes a great deal of INTEGRITY to be a Type I Athlete, the reward is also plain & simple…deeply fulfilling, gratifying, humbling & satisfying. Not to mention the physical reward of becoming a faster, stronger, more dominating badass.

    My Own Personal Promise of Integrity: I remember in 2005, when I did my first CrossFit WOD on my own with no one watching. I felt like I was going to die and I remember very distinctly how easy it would have been to cheat, stop or do a few less box jumps. Right then and there, I had my first ‘ah ha’ moment about this sport. It was always going to be easy to cut the corners. I said a personal promise to myself right then & there, upon that realization.
    • “I will never cheat reps, cut corners or finish early…no matter how bad I may want to, I deserve better than that”. 
    Commit today to your coach, your workout buddies, your box and yourself. Those of you who are already Type I Athletes… keep rocking on. 

    Thursday, February 5, 2015


    If you are planning on running the NYC Marathon with us this November please keep in mind that you must apply for the lottery drawing by February 15th. If you are not chosen in the lottery then you can pursue a fundraising option which will subsequently get you in. That being said you must have been in the lottery and not been chosen before you can pursue the fundraising route so please get registered today. The cost of applying is $11. Click the link below to go to the registration page:

    Now that we have that out of the way we can get down to this week's workout announcement. This will be another partner based workout, but as always it can be scaled to be done as an individual.

    Part #1

    • Front Squat 6 sets of 2 reps
    • Snatch + Overhead Squat for 7 sets of 1 + 1

    Part #2 (all done with a partner)

    12 Rounds of:
    • 7 Deadlifts (355#/225#)
    • 7 Wall Walks

    12 Rounds
    • 21 Wall Balls (20#/14#)
    • 21 Sit-ups
    Partner Carry 200m (each partner must be carried the full 200m before you can switch)
    120 Burpees Over The Box
    Partner Carry 200m (same as above)
    12 Strict Pull-ups + 12 Strict Dips (rings or fixed handles)

    Rest 10 minutes

    • Russian KBS (32kg/24kg)
    • Burpees

    The Theoretical Hierarchy of Fitness

    We have all heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, correct? If so then this picture succinctly explains the very rationale behind our programming here at CFTR. In October 2002 CrossFit offered what has amounted to the first comprehensive and quantifiable definition of fitness. In nutshell CrossFit believes that fitness should be broad, general and inclusive. It should develop one's competency in the 10 key physiological domains:

    1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance- ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
    2.  Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
    3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
    4. Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint
    5. Power – the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
    6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
    7. Coordination- The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
    8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement patter to another.
    9. Balance – the ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base
    10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
    Finally, a comprehensive fitness can only be achieved through a program that incorporates Constantly Varied exercises delivered at a relatively High Intensity and is based on Functional Movements (the ones based in our DNA). In essence we are looking at the definition of average power or the ability to move large loads over long distances quickly. Does that all make sense so far? One of the greatest elements CrossFit has brought to the health and fitness community is a common sensical approach delivered in simple language so that everyone can better understand what they are doing and why.

    So let's break down the picture at the top of the page shall we. This will help all of us better understand the training philosophy and ideology behind what goes on at CFTR.

    This is the first level of fitness and in essence serves as the foundation for everything we accomplish inside and outside of the gym. We have talked about this previously in the context of bulking, the mad dog diet, supplementation and why grains are killing us. Whether you eat Paleo, follow a Zone Diet plan or follow another routine you need to know what you are eating, when you are eating it and how much of it you need to be eating. Your diet lays the molecular foundations for fitness and health.
    Managing issues of blood glucose control, proper macronutrient proportion, and caloric restriction are the three pillars of sound nutrition whether your concern is athletic performance, disease prevention and longevity, or body composition. Unfortunately this level is largely up to the individual and accountability has to come from within. Coaches can educate and inform you and we can certainly point you in the right direction but at the end of the day we cannot prepare your food for you or pick out your meal from a menu or keep you from indulging. You must be virtuous in your dietary practices just as you must be in practicing a new exercise or skill.

    Biking, running, swimming, rowing, jumping rope, speed skating, and cross-country skiing are collectively known as “metabolic conditioning.” In the common vernacular they are referred to as “cardio.” When one enters a traditional gym setting they think of cardio as being the deck full of machines like ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes. In CrossFit we try and avoid these devices unless otherwise necessary because at the end of the day nothing gets you in shape like going outside and moving the earth around.

    The key to developing the cardiovascular system without sacrificing strength, speed, and power is interval training. Interval training mixes bouts of work and rest in timed intervals. We can control the dominant metabolic pathway conditioned by varying the duration of the work and rest interval and number of repetitions. While it is definitely necessary once in a while to go long, the bulk of metabolic training should be interval training. This is where we develop one's engine so to speak. Whether you are looking for general fitness or performance outcomes you must first develop your capacity across all time domains. This is the fitness everyone needs and the level that has the greatest impact on ones overall health and wellness. This is why we do our Metcon work first. There is a method to our madness and a well thought out one at that.

    Keep in mind, for the casual consumer of fitness, interval training need not be structured or formal. One example would be to sprint between one set of telephone poles and jog between the next set alternating in this manner for the duration of a run. It's truly that simple, but yet not enough people seem to appreciate the full benefits of this type of training. It may take some time before the prevailing paradigm fully shifts to accept this methodology but we will continue to promote this information until it does.

    The use of the term “gymnastics” not only includes the traditional competitive sport that we’ve seen on TV but all activities like climbing, yoga, calisthenics, and dance where the aim is body control. It is within this realm of activities that we can develop extraordinary strength (especially upper body and trunk), flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy. In fact, the traditional gymnast has no peer in terms of development of these skills.

    CrossFit uses short parallel bars, mats, still rings, pull-up and dip bars, and a climbing rope to implement our gymnastics training. The starting place for gymnastic competency lies with the well-known calisthenic movements: pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and rope climb. These movements need to form the core of your upper body strength work. While nothing in the pyramid is mutually exclusive it would be otherwise inappropriate to focus on weight training or "lifting" without first ensuring that your gymnastic capabilities are sufficiently mature. Doing otherwise will likely be a prescription for injury.

    Here is where we often introduce core work into the programming. Core work is essential and it is largely based on body weight movements, perhaps with some moderate loading. Core movements help us better understand and harness the power of core to extremity power and force production. Without sounding redundant, every movement should originate from within our core whether its walking or performing a kettlebell swing. Unfortunately what was intrinsic in our youth has been lost as we age. The emphasis on core work allows us to reprogram our motor patterns to ensure that we always initiate activity from our hips, pelvis and abdominal region. Once we have done this the quality of subsequent movement patterns will automatically and necessarily improve.

    Core exercises can be incorporated into your warm-up, your cool down or can serve as a stand alone component to your workout. Generally these exercises are best done prior to any sort of weight training as they will prepare your muscles to be challenged with heavier loads. Core exercises can serve as a gateway to the weightlifting and throwing portion of the pyramid.

    Another good place to work on your gymnastics is during your Movement Preparation time (a.k.a the warm-up) and / or your Cool Down. These can be 5-10 minute windows where you work on a piece related to the workout that day or you can get some extra practice time on a skill that is yet underdeveloped.

    “Weightlifting” as opposed to “weight lifting”, two words, and “weight training” refers to the Olympic sport, which includes the “clean and jerk” and the “snatch.” Olympic weightlifting, as it is often referred to, develops strength (especially in the hips), speed, and power like no other training modality. It is little known that successful weightlifting requires substantial flexibility. Olympic weightlifters are as flexible as any athletes.

    The benefits of Olympic weightlifting don’t end with strength, speed, power, and flexibility. The clean and jerk and the snatch both develop coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance and to no small degree. Both of these lifts are as nuanced and challenging as any movement in all of sport. Moderate competency in the Olympic lifts confers added prowess to any sport.

    The Olympic lifts are based on the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk. These movements are the starting point for any serious weight-training program.

    Why the deadlift, clean, squat, and jerk? Because these movements elicit a profound neurodendocrine response. That is, they alter you hormonally and neurologically. The changes that occur through these movements are essential to athletic development. Most of the development that occurs as a result of exercise is systemic and a direct result of hormonal and neurological changes.

    As many of you already know we work very closely with the brilliant minds at Athlete Cell (where else do you get to talking training with NASA engineers?). Through this collaboration we have been bringing the very best programming the to strength portion of our daily workouts. This being said we also recognize that not everyone is after the benefits gleaned from this portion of the program. We also fully appreciate that each individual needs to put in the time to practice and develop the competency and proficiency needed to excel at these movements. That is why we program this in a sort of Open Gym format. The Open Gym format allows each individual to tailor the post Metcon environment to meet their individual specific wants and needs. 

    At the end of the day what we put out as the workout of the day is in essence an ingredient list from which any number of recipes can be concocted. What becomes of the final product is up to each individual. We can lead you to water but we will never force you to drink it. We will encourage you to put your all into each session and as long as you leave feeling better than when you walked in then it should be considered a successful workout. The benefits will accumulate over time and the fitness you will accomplish will be well worth the effort.

    Sport plays a wonderful role in fitness. Sport is the application of fitness in a fantastic atmosphere of competition and mastery. Training efforts typically include relatively predictable repetitive movements and provide limited opportunity for the essential combination of our ten general physical skills. It is, after all, the combined expression, or application, of the ten general skills that is our motivation for their development in the first place. Sports and games like soccer, martial arts, baseball, and basketball in contrast to our training workouts have more varied and less predictable movements.

    However, where sports develop and require all ten general skills simultaneously, they do so slowly compared to our strength and conditioning regimen. Sport is better, in our view, at expression and testing of skills than it is at developing these same skills. Both expression and development are crucial to our fitness. Sport in many respects more closely mimics the demands of nature than does our training. We encourage and expect our athletes to engage in regular sports efforts in addition to all of their strength and conditioning work.

    To a certain extent this is the goal of the Beards, Bulking, Bros, Bras and Boarding experiment. We will train together at least once a week as a group. We will embark on new and varied challenges outside the gym (think running races, biathlons, triathlons, tough mudders, Spartan races and even snowboarding/skiing). Some of us will even run the NYC Marathon on November 1st of this year. In the end we will grow together, bond along the way and enjoy the journey regardless of where we go with it or what we do in the end.

    So there you have the rationale behind what we put on the whiteboard every day. We realize our formula is not necessarily the traditional approach but we think that is ok. We are trying to create value for each and every individual that walks in our doors and that value will potentially be different for each person. We do not believe in a cookie cutter approach to fitness, let alone CrossFit or any other methodology. As a collective we bring a wealth of experience from numerous backgrounds in health and fitness. Our daily programming is a reflection of these varied backgrounds and expertise and we endeavor to bring the best most comprehensive solution to the table each and every day. If you should ever have any questions regarding our programming please let us know so that we may further explain the methods behind what we do.