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CrossFit Newton Team Throwdown



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The CFN team Throwdown is all filled up. It filled up in about a week.

There are 18 affiliates competing with a total of 24 teams. 

Here they are:

1. North Shore CrossFit

2. CrossFit Woburn

3. CrossFit Fenway

4. CrossFit Somerville

5. CrossFit Hingham

6. Choose The Wrench (CFNewton/CFNewEngland hybrid)

7. CrossFit Wicked/CrossFit Newengland hybrid

8. CrossFit Boston

9. CrossFit Southie

10. CrossFit Craic

11. Vagabond CrossFit

12. CrossFit Bridgewater

13. CrossFit Newton

14. Champlain valley CrossFit

15. Charles River CrossFit

16. CrossFit Garden City

17. CrossFit 321

18. CrossFit Providence

There will be 3 WODs which will be released a week before the comp. and a fourth Qualifier that will be released the day of, after the qualifying teams are announced.

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Quiting is not an option



Jodie and her teammates Geoff, Ali and Daigle

Team CTW was sitting in 7th after the first WOD this morning.  The next WOD was the one Jodie has been dreading( More than overhead squats) The Pistol.

Team run 800 m

30 front squats 155/105

30 toes 2 bars 

30 pistols (15 EACH leg)

Team run 800m and no one starts running until EACH member does all of the above!!!

Each movement was OK, until the pistols.  Between her legs being tired from the 800 meter run and the front squats and her hip flexors tight from the toes to bar, she was in for a tough thirty reps. After seven failed attempts on her right leg (The one with most of the issues) almost breaking her.  She didn’t give up and finished the pistols on the buzzer.

This movement is probably one of the hardest things for Jodie to do, considering her ankle issues. She practiced and practiced, until she got em’ good enough to compete. They still need a lot of work, but she completed all thirty pistols.

Quitting was not an option. Quitting is never an option. You are all capable.

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Hand Maintenance



This videos kind of long, but it’s worth watching. Here, Donny Shankle talks about hand maintenance .

If you’re looking for a glove to wear during pull-ups, try batting gloves.

Just incase you were wondering about Donny Shankle

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A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit



The trained bicyclists thought they had ridden as fast as they possibly could. But Kevin Thompson, head of sport and exercise  science at Northumbrian University in England, wondered if they go could even faster.  So, in an unusual experiment, he tricked them.

In their laboratory, Dr. Thompson and his assistant Mark Stone had had the cyclists pedal as hard as they could on a stationary bicycle for the equivalent of 4,000 meters, about 2.5 miles. After they had done this on several occasions, the cyclists thought they knew what their limits were.

Then Dr. Thompson asked the cyclists to race against an avatar, a figure of a cyclist on a computer screen in front them. Each rider was shown two avatars. One was himself, moving along a virtual course at the rate he was actually pedaling the stationary bicycle. The other figure was moving at the pace of the cyclist’s own best effort — or so the cyclists were told.

In fact, the second avatar was programmed to ride faster than the cyclist ever had — using 2 percent more power, which translates into a 1 percent increase in speed.

Told to race against what they thought was their own best time, the cyclists ended up matching their avatars on their virtual rides, going significantly faster than they ever had gone before.

While a 2 percent increase in power might seem small, it is enough to make a big difference in a competitive event that lasts four to five minutes, like cycling for 4,000 meters. At the elite level in sports, a 1 percent increase in speed can determine whether an athlete places in a race or comes in somewhere farther back in the pack.

The improved times observed in his experiment, said Dr. Thompson, are “not just day-to-day variability, but a true change in performance.” And they give rise to some perplexing questions.

What limits how fast a person can run or swim or cycle or row? Is it just the body — do fatigued muscles just give out at a certain point? Or is the limit set by a mysterious “central governor” in the brain, as Timothy Noakes, professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, has called it, that determines pacing and effort and, ultimately, performance?

Until recently, exercise physiologists have mostly focused on the muscles, hearts and lungs of athletes, asking whether fatigue comes because the body has reached its limit.

But athletes themselves have long insisted that mental factors are paramount. Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the four-minute mile, once said: “It is the brain, not the heart or lungs that is the critical organ. It’s the brain.”

Now researchers like Dr. Thompson are designing studies to learn more about the brain’s influence over athletic performance.

For example, Jo Corbett, a senior lecturer in applied exercise physiology at the University of Portsmouth in England, wondered how much competition can affect an athlete’s speed. To find out, he asked cyclists to ride as hard and as fast as they could on a stationary bicycle for the equivalent of 2,000 meters. As he rode, each rider was shown an on-screen figure representing the cyclist riding the course.

Then Dr. Corbett and his colleagues told each athlete that he would be racing against another rider hidden behind a screen. The researchers projected two figures on the screen, one the outline of the rider and the other the outline of the competitor.

In fact, the competitor on the screen was a computer-generated image of the athlete himself in his own best attempt to ride those 2,000 meters.

The cyclists rode furiously through the on-screen race. And, as happened in Dr. Thompson’s experiments, the cyclists beat their best times, finishing with a burst of speed that carried them to virtual victory by a significant length.

Dr. Corbett said the extra effort, above and beyond what the athletes had previously demonstrated, seems to come from the anaerobic energy system, one that is limited by the amount of fuel stored in muscle. The brain appears to conserve the body’s limited fuel to a certain degree, not allowing athletes to work too hard.  Click here Read More…

Do you agree with this?

Post your thoughts to comments

A version of this article appeared in print on September 20, 2011, on page D5 of the New York edition with the headline: A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes to the Limit.

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Games Competition




               Starting next week I will start posting some extra work after each daily WOD for those who are interested in competing at the games individually or on our team.  If you can’t complete the work after the WOD, try to do it at some point that day.   The open starts earlier this year so we really need to get after it.  We were close last year, I don’t want close this year.  I want an affiliate team there representing CFN.  We can do it!!!! We have a lot of talented athletes here and I want as many of you fighting to get there as possible.

                The Games season will begin with the Open, a worldwide online competition with one workout per week. The Open will run for five weeks, from February 22 to March 25. Anyone can compete in the Open, regardless of fitness level or experience. More than 26,000 athletes from around the world took part in the 2011 season, and 2012 promises to be even larger.

                 Please email me A.S.A.P and let me know by the end of the week if you are in. I’m going to schedule a meeting with all athletes who are interested for next week. Come Monday, you will all start your fight.  3.2.1…..GO!!!!

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Athlete of the Month



We are going to start something new at CrossFit Newton.  Each month we will spotlight a different athlete.  I chose Jodie to be the test subject to show everyone what it will look like.  To choose the athlete I will put all the names in a bowl and pick a name randomly.  After the name is chosen I will keep that name out of the bowl.  So don’t worry, your name will be picked sooner or later.  Once your name is chosen I will be taking some video of you in class to showcase your skills.  No, i’m not going to put up a video of you screwing up.  I’ll make you look AWESOME!!!! So here’s Jodie, Octobers athlete of the month.

October 2011

When did you start CrossFit? January of ’08

Why did you start CrossFit? Gained 55lb while pregnant with Olivia. I wanted to lose the weight quickly, but didn’t have a lot of time to do hours of cardio. CrossFit made it possible to work out, lose weight, and still have a life.

Why do you love CrossFit? Two reasons. The first is because I a seeing improvement constantly and second, i’m in the best shape of my life.

Favorite movement? Deadlift and the snatch.

Least favorite? Thrusters, front squats, and heavy squat cleans.

Favorite WOD? FGB and most long domain WOD’s

Least favorite? Elizabeth. I hate squat cleans!!!

What are you most proud of? Being able to do muscle-ups and being able to do an overhead squat(I have worked so hard on it and spent so much time with mobility)

What are your goals? 150lb overhead squat and 5 rounds of “Nate”

Nutrition? I’m Zone/Paleo. I eat Paleo foods and weigh and measure everything.

How many time a week do you CrossFit? 3 days on/One day off/ Two days on/One day yoga.

What do you do for a living? High school teacher/Mother of 2

Interesting fact? I used to own a knitting store in Brookline village named Sheeps Corner. 

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Flexibility vs. Mobility



There seems to be a bit of confusion around the concepts of flexibility and mobility. So let’s begin with a couple of definitions. Flexibility is the ability to flex, extend, or circumduct a joint through its intended full range of motion. So we’re talking about the length of the tissues here, nothing more.

Mobility, or joint mobility, is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion, with control. So mobility is based on active movement while flexibility involves static holds, and is dependent upon gravity or passive forces. Mobility also requires strength to produce full-range movement, whereas flexibility is passive, and does not require any strength.

Many individuals prepare for their training by performing routine stretches prior to their workout. And while stretching helps to improve static (non-moving) flexibility, it’s important to remember that it may not do such a good job at preparing your body to move quickly and efficiently. That’s why I recommend mobility exercises before the workout. Dynamic mobility exercises prepare your body for the vigorous movements that make up the more demanding part of the workout.

Joint mobility exercises work by circulating the synovial fluid in the bursa, which “washes” the joint. Since the joints have no direct blood supply, they are nourished by this synovial fluid, which simultaneously removes waste products. Joint salts, or calcium deposits, are also dissolved with the gentle, high-repetition movement patterns of the exercises.

When performed correctly, joint mobility exercises can restore complete freedom of movement to the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, spine, neck, elbows, wrists and fingers. If there was ever such a thing as the fountain of youth, joint mobility exercises would have to be one of the best ways to achieve it!

So use mobility exercises as your warm-up and do flexibility work after the workout as part of the cool-down to restore tissue length and prevent long term injury. Static exercises help bring the body back to a state of rest and recovery and allow you to focus on relaxing and lengthening the muscles that you had put under stress while you were working out.

Enter Kelly Starrett and the MOBILITY WOD.

To say K-Star is a genius is an understatement. Kelly has one of the most creative minds i have ever seen or heard of.

You all need to go to Kelly’s blog  immediately(if you haven’t yet) and begin from day one.

Start here at the faq page . Then go to the blog and start from day 1. 

This can change your life. You will become more mobile, more flexible. Your strength will go up and your Performance will sky rocket. Most of all you will be less prone to injury and you will be able to recover quicker.

There is no reason whatsoever for you to not be MWodding every day.

Again, start from day one and do one each day. Once you get more comfortable you may do more.

You all need this!!!!Start NOW!!!

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Paleo Challenge winners



Here are the paleo challenge winners!!!

In first place:

Joe Lind

Joe says “the thing that has stood out is the support of
everyone in the gym. It was difficult to change habits. Knowing that I
was a part of a whole gym doing the same thing helped me avoid
cheating many times. The paleo challenge helped me meet many goals: I
am no longer obese, I can do a kipping pull up, and I get compliments
almost daily. Beyond the paleo challenge, I’m working on figuring out
what my next goals are: more weight loss, multiple pull ups, double
unders, and a 775 cross fit total–all within the next year.
Thank you for creating an environment that encourages us to keep
pushing ourselves in a way that is very enjoyable.


The two runner ups:

Heather Donnelly

Heather says,”Here are some things I am super happy with because of the challenge:
Dropped at least two pants sizes.
Rx’d Fran
Huge overall improvement on wod scores
huge strength increase
feeling healthier than I ever have
I wish I could add “muscle up” to this list, but sadly it was not
meant to be yet. 😉

Thanks guys!!!!

~Heather Donnelly

Since the challenge Heather has been PR’ing like crazy

Joel Robbins

Overall, I went from 184.9lbs. to 168 exactly – a 9% decrease in my
weight. I believe my BF went from 20.9 to 17ish (exact numbers are in
my journal). This BF # is a little weird though. The scale I have uses
a few different settings (fitness levels). At fitness level 2 i wish
17ish, but at fitness level 3, last Friday I was 11.7%. Nonetheless, I
dropped close to 4% body fat, representing about an 18% decrease in my
body fat.Here are a few of my
benchmark workouts:
Body Weight Back Squat – 28% increase in reps.
May 2 – 29 reps        July 26th –  37 reps
Dead Hang Pull-ups – 50% increase in reps.
May 5 – 8 reps    July 26th – 12 reps
Sectional WOD – 33% increase in total reps.
May 4th – 6rds, 10reps – 226 reps total    July 25th – 8rds., 12 reps
– 300 reps total.
Overall I feel so much more healthy and cognizant of what I am putting
into my body. My numbers may not have been that great (ok for just
having a baby and starting a new job!), but even if I had a bad meal
that negated all of my points for the day, the meals were not too
terrible and most of my other meals were pretty close to paleo
guidelines. I’ve lost a good amount of weight, but I don’t feel like
it has compromised my strength in anyway, which was important.
Additionally, I now eat fruit and berries, somehting that I did very
little of before.
I’ve had so much fun doing this and I love to make my way to the gym –
even though it might be at 5:30 in the morning these days!
Thanks for putting on the challenge and for putting together great
workouts – I cant wait to see what I feel and look like after a year!


Congrats to the three of you. You all worked hard and had many obstacles to conquer.

Thanks you for sticking with it and trusting us. I am proud of all of you.

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Amazing Grace sign up is open


1 Comment

Go to to register NOW!!!

Search for CrossFit Newton,  click register now, click view cart, then choose your registration and donation, and continue to registration page.

Register NOW!!!! You get a cool t-shirt 🙂

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AWESOME email from someone in NY



Here’s the email:

hello I just wanted to send my sincere compliments regarding your book…it is a perfect addition to the list of eBooks and other books on plaeo nutrition that I own..the book is easy to follow and easy to understand and the recipes look easy and delicious

as I will begin my CrossFit journey on tues with the foundations class this is a welcome investment and the fact that you guys are CrossFit coaches/owners are a welcome I thank you for writing the book and I will be using the recipes soon.

p.s I’ve been to your site and I’ve seen pictures of how fit and trim your athletes look..I guess it’s from the info you give out in the book 🙂

Kept the name out for privacy

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