Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Route 116 southbound
0730 02/27/2010

This was the view on rthe way to the gym this morning.

Saturday a Go Despite the Snow, Sunday is a No

So I braved the snowstorm last night and drove from LI to Amherst through the driving wind and snow.

Saturday morning classes are a go, but will be starting 30 minutes late at 7:30 because of the snow.

Sunday class is not on this week as I am headed to NYC for a CF Mobility and Recovery seminar, but folks are encouraged to come in and train together during the scheduled class time if you can.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

By The Grace of God

Today's workout consisted of practicing the Oly lifes: snatch and clean jerk, followed by Grace (135 lb Clean and jerk, 30 reps for time).

Jesse did a great job on Grace and hit 3:57 at 75lbs. I then teed up and hit a new PR by 1:14, for a grand finish of 3:53! That's 3:53 as rx'd. I couldn't believe it, I have been struggling to try to go sub 5, and today i just crushed it and skipped sub-5 and went straight to sub-4! Man that felt good...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Gym

It's starting to look like a real Crossfit gym.
Back squat 3x5

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jesse press

I think Jesse is starting to look like a real Crossfitter . Go jesse!

The Crossfit Canon

Here is a list of books, websites, and other media relevant to Crossfit, starting with the classic Crossfit must reads.

The Crossfit Journal. $25 year. Buy it now. Read every article and watch every video. Seriously. Do it.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore - The seminal general strength training text from the former powerlifting coach for Crossfit HQ that has informed and guided countless crossfitters. This book is a great way to really explore the power lift. It includes an incredible amount of detailed information about the deadlift, squat, press, bench press , and some accessory lifts like power cleans.

Olympic Weightlifting by Greg Everett - Though there has been some beef between Everett and CF HQ, his oly lifting text is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn these cool but challenging lifts.

Enter The Zone - Barry Sears - The Zone can be a practical and effective nutritional planning tool, and it is very much in line with the Crossfit approach of meat veggies nuts seeds some fruit little starch and no sugar.

The Paleo Diet -  Loren Cordain - The book is already ten years old, and some of the paleo approach has changed slightly on some issues, but this book remains a must read for anyone who  is seroius about trying to understand the human body and our evolutionary-genetic-biochemistry.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson - Another great source by the Mark of "Marks Daily Apple". Similar to Paleo, but more on the higher fat, pro saturated fat, low carb, and slightly different stance on things like dairy, eggs and supplements. I describe what I do  as paleo-primal-gourmet, but if I had to choose one adjective it would probably be "primal."

Primal Body Primal Mind By Nora Teresa Gedgaudas. Another well researched and well written primer on primal nutirition and liefstyle, following on the work of Cordain, Sisson, etc.

Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival T.S. Wiley with Bent Formby

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

Building the Gymnastics Body by Coach Christopher Sommers

Protein Power

Stretching Scientiically

Super Joints

More list to follow....

Row row row your boat

Team CFA trains for the 2011 Crash B.

This was actually recorded over at PVCF in Florence a few weeks back.

Check the technique

Mary has great posture and form on the overhead squat, particularly
given the fact that she has been training for less than a year. Way to
go Mary!

$5 Primal Breakfast at WF

This was breakfast at Whole Foods, aka Whole Paycheck. But with some savvy decision making, I got a great breakfast that I would describe as natural-whole-food-paleo-primal-gourmet. Here's what ate:

Bacon and Eggs -Whole foods, in my opinion, makes sdome of the best bacon on earth in their breakfast bar. I'm not exactly sure how they cook it, I think they might bake it. Every once in a while you get a batch that is all over cooked, which I avoid. (When I cook bacon, I ask people: "How do you like your bacon? Delicious or overcooked?" ) But most of the time it is perfectly cooked, and it is about the most wholesome bacon you could get: no nitrates, very little salt, and a miniscule amount of maple syrup.  So I got 4 thick pieces of bacon, probably about 6 oz cooked.

Bacon is a could cost value. The bacon that they use sells for $6.99/lb raw, and it loses as much as 60% of the original weight from cooking, so it works out to over $10/lb, but the breakfast bar is $7.99, so I think its a good deal.

Eggs, while delicious and wholesome are cheap, and such the one the best deals when cooking at home, but probably cost less than $3/lb cooked. So I go for a high bacon-to-egg ratio when rockin it at Whole Paycheck for maximum cost effectiveness.

The bacon eggs take up about a 1/3 of the plate. The other 2/3 is comprised of a salad that is also imo a good value and of a particular blend of salad than i would usually not take the time to make at home.

The salad started with a handful of mixed greens (i used the tongs, not my hands), and handful of baby spinach as a base, and then topped it grated carrots, thin sliced red cabbage, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and few small pieces of beet and sweet potato.

I like this kind of salad for breakfast, and I don't dress it. Instead I use the blend of crunchy, sweet, nutty veggies and nuts which essentially act as dryer, more savory breakfast dish. Some food cutlture, suich as the japanese, like to eat sour and or bitter for breakfast. But i don't kick it like that. The salad really balances the bacon and eggs. Warm, savory, dense, with lite, crunchy, sweet. The little bit of sweet potatoes really tie the whole thing together.

So this bacon egg and crunchy breakfast salad hits the spot and is imo great fuel for my mind and body.

Yum. $4.94. Thats the stuff.

Coming attractions

Some upcoming stuff:

Paleo dinner recipes will be posted later this weekend.

We should also be up and running on Mind Body Online, which will allow you to book training times online.

So far only one person has chosen Option C, everyone else has continued under A+B or A, and I we have received more responses from new people that are interested, so I am now optimistic that things will continue to operate and grow. Please stay tuned for more details and events.

Email  or call if you have any questions.

The Boys Are Back in Town

I'm back in Amherst, Saturday classes are a go. We will be in effect from 7 to 9, please email to let me know when you will be in. Come for two hours if you are able. If some folks can only do one houe, thats fine. Just let me know when to expect you.
Testing mobile blog post

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weds 3pm is a go!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

No Class on Monday

So there will be no classes on Monday.

However, for those of you who have already elected for Option A or A+B, there will be open gym hours from 6 am to 5pm. try a workout on your own, or as a group. See how it goes, and how it feels, and let me know what you think.

Before you workout during the open gym you must first have my permission, then second, send me an email stating that you understand the the waiver of liability and informed consent that you signed when you started is still ineffect and applies to working out your own or in a group without an instructor. By participating in any or all of the activities, you assume all risk and liability for injurt or accident.

If you have not signed a waiver of liability and informed consent form, you are NOT authorized to work out in the gym or participate in our training. I can email or fax you a form if you need one, and you can send it back to me.

Above all else, train safely and effectively. Only do what you know how to do and can do with good form. Build capacity over time and don't bite off more than you can chew. When in doubt, always play it safe.

I am working on lining up the instructor for Tuesday morning 6 am and 9 am. Iwill post more details as they are finalized.

your brother-in-arms

A Now, We Interrupt our Current Program...

to bring you a moment to just chill and admire some skills.

This is a sampler of Mindy Kelly, one of the coolest, baddest EMA tricksters I have seen. She has got the goods. It looks like karate, wushu, capoeira, parkour, gymnastics, contortion, its crrrrrrazzzzzyyyy Check it.

Proposed Schedule

We will probably be doing something like this:

Class times:
Tuesday 6am, 9am
Wednesday 3pm

Saturday 7-9
Sunday 10-12 am

Open Gym Hours: all hours that the AAC is open and there is neither an AAC class of CFA class in the room. I will post the actual time slots soon, but it will be something like 8 hours available each day. It is a lot of Open Gym time.

Option A+B will include a guaranteed spot at one weekday and one weekend class. People can attend additional classes if, and only if, there is room. The classes will be capped at 10 people per class.

We will be using Mind Body Online to schedule our classes and training sessions. Advance scheduling through MBO will be required to guarantee your spot for all classes .

For every five new members that we get, we can add another class session per week in the schedule, filling in the schedule according to people's stated preferred times.

Please email a list of your preferred time slots for both classes and open gym hours, and I will try to factor in everyone's needs as we refine the schedule. Or better yet, send me an email AND post the same info to the comments section of this blog post so that everyone else can see, thus facilitating a group discussion.

A Change is Gonna' Come, or, Metamorphosis

An Open Letter to the Members of Crossfit Amherst

So Folks, there is good news and there’s bad news.

The Bad News first: To be able to bring home the bacon, my architecture and construction will soon be taking me to Long Island on a full-time basis. This means I will not be able to teach classes and personal training sessions on a daily basis as I have been for the past few months.

The Good News: The good news is that there could be a silver lining to this for all of us, and provide many opportunities to increase everyone’s quality and value of their training at Crossfit Amherst.

I have been working hard to lay the ground work to bring in more Crossfit Trainers to do some of the training and instruction.

Many of you responded strongly that you really want to train with me, and viewed the prospect of training with someone else with some apprehension. I am happy that I have done a good enough job that you feel this way. But the trainers we have coming on are people that I know and respect. I will be working with them to continue to provide you with the best possible service and value,  and I want to make sure that it is up to my standards in terms of safe effective training. But I also want to give our trainers wide berth to express their views and have their own particular focus and specialties.

I very much want our new Crossfit Amherst community to continue to grow, and for everyone who is willing and able to be able to train.

So here is what I am offering:

Effective February 15, 2010, the membership and training fee structure will change somewhat. Monthly CFA membership dues will remain $125, but now that will include the following services:

Option A: $75 per month Open Gym Access & Equipment Fee: includes full access to our equipment during open gym hours. There is no trainer on the floor, so you have to know what you are doing and know how to train safely. But many of the best athletes don’t really need me in their face harping on their form. What they need is a space to train in, and the equipment to train with, and the time to do it. This arrangement will make it much more flexible.

Option B: $75 per month Crossfit Instruction, includes:

1 to 2 Group Format class hours per week. The classes will be by appointment only, scheduled in advance. We will still have some morning and afternoon classes, and weekends as well.

1 monthly 3-hour seminar. The seminars will focus in-depth on topics including pose running, gymnastics, olympic weightlifting, powerlifting,  nutrition/food/cooking, CrossPit, mobility and recovery, etc.

Option A+B will be $125, a $25 discount.

People who want to just train on their own can get the basic gym membership for $75. If you want to study with our instructors, and/or have private/small group personal training, you should sign up for the Crossfit Instruction which will total $125.

For people who need or want more time with an instructor or trainer, additional group format and private small group training time can be purchased at the following rates:

$12.50/hr group format (4-6 people per instructor)
$25/hr small group (2 athletes, one trainer)
$50/hr private training (one-on-one)

This change in fee structure achieves several goals:

The open gym feature allows people more flexibility in training times, and the ability to customize their workouts according to their training needs and schedule.

The new class format places an important value on the professional training and instruction, and the real service that we provide. I have been doing this primarily not for the money, but because I love teaching and training people, and have a passion for it. But given my current economic situation, I can no longer afford the time to continue doing that.

This new arrangement makes it possible to keep our monthly membership fees the same and actually be able to afford the trainers to teach the classes.

We will continue to add more class hours during the week as our membership grows.

For the next few months I will be in Amherst on the weekends, and will continue to teach and train people when I am here. I will also be running our monthly seminars, and will continue to be involved in the development and management of our program.

Please know that I am doing all this because I care very deeply about  our community; it is just a little seedling right now, but it has great potential to grow and flourish. And it needs your help.

The success of our affiliate and community depends on your support and dedication.; dedication to yourself, your health, and to each other. I urge each and everyone of you to empower yourself in your Crossfit training and continue to study, learn, and train with me, with our trainers, and also on your own. We only have you in the gym for so many hours per week. If you are serious about being healthy and fit, you need to spend the time and energy outside of class.

This new arrangement maximizes the potential value of both the training with the instructor and training on your own.

And people are welcome to organize their own WODs with their friends and work-out buddies. Just because I’m not there, or another instructor, doesn’t mean that 2 or 3 or 4 of you can’t get together on you own and crank the tunes and get a 3-2-1 GO!

But you must absolutely train safely and effectively at all times! We will teach you how to do this, that’s what the classes and private/small group work is for…

Part of what has made Crossfit so wildly successful is the Open Source approach. I want our gym to more Open Source. Open source means that the organization and practice is dynamically influenced by all of the users, it is constantly being tweaked and revised and made consistently better all the time. It is an inclusive cooperative effort.

So I need everyone to please respond as soon as possible and choose one of the following options:

Option A  $75 Gym and Equipment Access only

Option B  - $75 Crossfit Training (includes 2 classes per week and 1
monthly seminar)

Option A+B - $125 Open Gym Access and Crossfit Training

Option C – This arrangement does not work for me, I will make arrangements to train somewhere else or with someone other than Crossfit Amherst. Please send me a refund for the remainder of this month’s fee.

This arrangement will only work if we have enough people willing to continue training in this manner.

The easiest and safest move for me, purely in terms of a business decision, is to pack it all up and close the door. I don’t want to do that because I care about each and every one of you and want the seed that we have planted to flourish and grow.

I will be following up with everyone individually over the next few days.

I  really, really hope that everyone will pull together on this and make it happen. No matter what happens, Crossfit Amherst will always continue to exist because, as this whole saga has shown me, CFA is really more about the program and instruction, and how we run things. It is a mobile school. It is everywhere I go, and it is everywhere that everyone in our school’s community goes. I will always be doing Crossfit because the essence of the Crossfit philosophy and approach is very much inline with my own personal philosophy and lifestyle.

I am Crossfit. Are you? I went from overweight and out of shape with maybe 2 or 3 deadhang pull-ups and 9:30 mile, to lean, mean and 40 pull-ups,  6:15 mile, sub 4 min Fran time, and 400 lb deadlift. I offer my stats not to brag (it is certainly not elite performance by any means), but as proof of the efficacy of what we do.

Do you want to get a pull-up? A Push-Up? A 100 Pull-ups? Do you want to be as physically and mentally prepared for life’s challenges as you could be? Do you want to train to stay alive? To stay out of a  retirement home? Are you training for a triathlon? Do you want to be able to do a back-flip? A kip-up? An aerial? Do you want to run, jump, lift, throw, roll, sprint, vault, pull, push, kick, punch, slam, flip, spin, twist and MOVE?

IF YOU want to do ANY of the above things, then you should train with Crossfit Amherst. Together, We will build a build a better You.

Crossfit Amherst is Community Based Training for the Mind and Body.

I hope that you will be part of our community.


CEO - Crossfit Amherst
Crossfit Level 1 Certified Trainer
Crossfit Gymnastics
Crossfit Endurance


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday 6am class cancelled

I just went outside and wiped out on the ice. I'm ok but it is really slick, so I am cancelleing the 6am class. The 9am class will be on schedule.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3pm cancelled due to snow/school closings

Sorry, folks, gotta play it safe. No class this afternoon. Enjoy the snow.

Simple Yet Complex

20 Min AMRAP:

02 Power Cleans
10 Front Squat
20 Push Press
10 Thrusters

Do each round as a barbell complex; that is, don't put the barbell down until the entire of the entire round.

Oh, yeahhhhhh....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dead as a Doornail

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1 max effort singles

Learn the technique, practice, know the many fine points and details of the lift and its proper form and mechanics. But at a point, you must overcome the "paralysis by analysis" and "Just pick the f***in' thing up!

10 Min AMRAP of:
2 laps bear crawl
9 Burpees
20 Sit-ups
10 Kettlebell Swings

Paleo in a Nutshell Volumes 1 & 2

Hey Folks

Here are two youtube videos about Paleo/Primal Eating and Exercise. I was first saw these last year when Sean featured them on the PVCF blog.

I think they do a great job of explaining the paleo concept, and make it easy to understand.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday Night Crossfit Nutrition and Cooking Class

Hey Folks,

So we are finally hosting our first Crossfit nutrition and cooking class this Thursday from 6to 9 pm at the common house at the Pioneer Valley Cohousing. The address is 120 Pulpit Hill Road, Amherst.

The class will involve explanation and discussion of the various food and nutritional approaches utilized by Crossfitters, including The Zone Diet, Paleo/Primal eating, and yes, even something for those silly vegetarians (hmmm...vegetarians taste like meat!). We will then look at some basic cooking skills including knife work, kitchen prep, and cooking methods.  We will also talk about meal planning and how to deal with everyday challenges to eating well.

The cost of the event is $10 for CFA member and PVCF members, $20 non-members.

Please RSVP by email by the end of the day Wednesday, and be sure to let me know if you plan on eating, and if so, if you have any food restrictions or allergies that we should know about.

Let's get our eats on!

Girls just wanna have fun


20 min AMRAP
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Snatch Practice
Death by Pull-ups

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Try Harder

Front Squat 5-5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Do It

20 min AMRAP of:
10 Push-ups
10 Box Jumps
10 Sit-ups

Thursday, February 4, 2010

From Russia With Love

Sean Manseau of PVCF cooked up this brutal blend of Karen and Annie:

Anni Karenina:
50-40-30-20-10 reps for time of

Wall balls

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

3pm class cancelled today

this afternoon's class is cancelled. i don't believe anyone emailed me to sign up, but if you were planning on coming, sorry, we will not be there at 3.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't be a Dumba** Like Me

So this morning at he end of the 6 am class, i set up to do the WOD myself.

iIwas kickin' a** and taking names until on the round of 9 I tweaked something in my back bad enough to make me stop the workout.

In retrospect, here is what I did wrong, and you should be sure to avoid these mistakes:

-Insufficient warmup. Given the fact that  my back was tight from doing Grace and then moving a bunch of furniture yesterday, I should have spent way more time warming up.
-Improper form. I didn't have my back sufficiently tight and straight. I was propbably even bouncing the reps on the deadlift, rather than letting the bar come to a full stop and full resetting on each lift. muy muy importante.

So don't be a dumba** like me! warm-up! Use proper form!

What Would Puxatawny Phil Do?

The Groundhog:

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 reps for time of:


Let the Good Times Roll

15 min AMRAP of:

15 front squats
15 sit-ups
15 kbs

Go heavy on this one.

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