Back lever progressions and practice
10 rounds for time of the following:
The push-up: Why is this so hard?
RIP, Smokin’ Joe
Tiny potatoes roasted in parchment paper with garlic, rosemary, and thyme
Longevity through CrossFit
McRibonomics / Honey laundering / Why the cheapest maple syrup tastes best
Recently member Reis Baron celebrated his one-year anniversary at CFNYC. I asked him if he’d do a Q&A to share with us the tremendous changes he’s made in this past year. Enjoy.
Tell us what if anything you did to lose weight or get fit before you jumped into crossfit. Hadn’t you already lost some weight via paleo? I started Paleo around the same time I started Crossfitting last year, so that’s definitely just a part of this whole new experience I’ve had. Bikram Yoga was the one healthy practice I did before Crossfit, and even though my practice ended 5-6 years prior, I was able to keep a lot of the flexibility that I gained through yoga and it has helped my progress tremendously. While I don’t do many exercises well yet, I’m most confident in my squat. I don’t think I’d be looking to break 400# nearly as soon on my back squat if I didn’t have huge flexibility to count on. Before yoga I did some aggressive and unhealthy yo-yo dieting that either took off or eventually put back on around 80 pounds at a time. Rough stuff…
When you were new to CFNYC, did you ever consider quitting after a particularly tough workout? Or has it always been smooth sailing as far as your long term commitment. There’s no way I was ever quitting. My arrival at Crossfit was toward the end of the most intense experience of my life. My wife Melissa and I faced several years of hardcore stress as we helped our son Jacob through a rare blood and immune disease, LCH (Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis). He was on chemotherapy for the first three years of his life, and we basically lived in and out of hospitals during that time. We’ve thankfully put the most difficult parts of that journey behind us, and Jacob is an amazing, healthy 4-year old with an unimaginable amount of energy. So after pouring our souls into Jacob’s recovery, we came out of a very sedentary period where we neglected our own health in spending every waking moment by Jacob’s bedside. In my case the results were pretty bad…I weighed around 335# the day I walked into Elements. And with turning 40 right around the corner, I came to the decision that there was no room for laziness, shitty diet and everything else that would ensure health problems, depression, Diabetes etc. It’s simply not just my life anymore. I need to do everything I can to be there for my wife and son 20+ years from now. A year ago I couldn’t honestly tell you if I’d be there for Jacob’s graduations, wedding, etc. It feels amazing to take such huge control over my health. Now I know I’m doing everything I can to be there for my family, and to be strong…physically and emotionally. So when it comes to quitting, it’s not an option. My only DNF came during a WOD that ran late, and I had to get to work on time that day no matter what. Despite the circumstances I still felt awful about not finishing. I’ve grown a bit ill when it comes to my Crossfit addiction. My wife is equally consumed by a newfound kickboxing practice. So she’s on her own amazing path to gaining strength and staying healthy.
What do you notice more, your weight loss or your new-found crossfitting abilities? That’s a pretty easy one, since I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of months. Last I stepped on a scale I gained 12 pounds, even though my waist was getting smaller. So I realized how pointless that number is going to be as I get my body to a more stable state of strength and body fat percentage. Even having gained that weight, I was around 50 pounds lighter at that point than when I started. But honestly the pant size is far more rewarding than the weight loss. Progress in WODs has been exciting. While I’m still toward the back of the pack on most days, it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Jeez I feel like last winter it was every other WOD when Tim Broder or Anthony Holland (or both!) did my last round with me after they had already finished. And it seems every single person in the morning crew has taken a serious interest in getting me through my WODs. I’m so thankful for that. The community has really been there for me time and again. It makes such a huge difference in my experience. And my appreciation for Sara’s coaching is beyond words. She’s been a true Sensei for me. Just last week she told me she’d punch me in the face if I reset my hands during my burpees. There’s a real warmth in her coaching style that I’ve come to depend on…
What are your current goals? Getting my Crossfit Total over 1000#. Since my last Total in May was 895#, I feel like I’m pretty close. In a vacuum my max singles for press and deadlift have come up 20% and 15% respectively, but back squat singles have eluded me in the past six months. If (and I know it’s a big if) I can do the Total and tie my PRs on press and deadlift (175# & 425#, respectively) I would need to come up 25# on my May 13th back squat to hit 1000#. Aside from that I really feel like I need to push myself on getting real-deal pull-ups and increasing the depth on my handstand pushups. I think the next six months are going to be pretty damn productive if I can keep the same level of consistency.
How has crossfit changed the rest of your life? It’s changed everything for the better. I shoveled my driveway today unbroken after 18” of snow fell and I’m feeling no pain, when in past years my back would be in rough shape after that task. My newfound strength translates to every single thing I do. My focus, energy level, progress at work… It’s pretty amazing. I’m also consumed by all things Crossfit. I spend 20 hours a week on the train, so when I’m not catching up on sleep I’m checking out videos on the Crossfit Journal, surfing Crossfit-related links off Twitter…and oh yeah some of you might have noticed I check out the CFNYC blog comments from time to time ;-).
What would you tell someone who is where you were at the start of your journey who is scared to try crossfit and change their diet? I could be the standard guy on the commercial saying “if I can do it you can do it”. But I’d be lying. The reality is that Crossfit takes an exceptional amount of mental strength and commitment. My experience here involves as much work and physical pain as most anything I’ve experienced. I walked into Crossfit NYC physically weak and morbidly obese, but my life circumstances put me in a position where I would not accept obstacles. So I would say that you need to be just open enough to show us that you’re ready for the intensity, and we’ll help you get yourself through it. I think we all get collectively stronger with each other’s help. Just be willing to grab the bar for dear life and not let go. Be ready to pull the strength back into your body and push the weakness out, and when the smoke clears you’ll find a friend who’s been down that road and can share in the glory with you.
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Here’s what’s on tap for Saturday’s WOD classes:
Clean 21 reps
Run 800 meters
Clean 15 reps
Run 800 meters
Clean 9 reps
Run 800 meters
Same load for all three clean sets.
Post load (pounds), time (seconds), and score (pounds/second) to comments.