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Open Phase Training Overview

Tomorrow starts our next training phase.  This phase will take us through the CrossFit Open which starts this week and runs for 5 weeks.  During these 5 weeks our training is going to be focused on making sure everyone can crush the Open workouts on Friday nights (or whenever you decide to do it if you can’t party with us on Friday, but you should really party)

Here is a simple breakdown of what you can expect over the next 5 weeks:

Monday and Tuesday: “Open” style training sessions, one long, one short and intense

Wednesday: Strength work and core conditioning

Thursday: Aerobic style interval training designed to make you all sweaty and tired but not beat down with included mobility work


Saturday: a team WOD or girl style workout (the workout may change based on what Dave Castro throws at us for the Open

Sunday: Aerobic/Muscular Endurance longer workout


The goal is to allow you to train any day and not be beat up coming into Friday.  I train 5 days/week, Monday-Friday, and take the weekends off.  I will be training Thursdays and doing the Open Friday nights so I don’t want anyone to think that they have to take Thursday off in order to do well.  You can take rest days anytime you want during the week and still be ready to go on Friday.  Thursdays session will be a good workout but it won’t have a huge negative impact on your body.  You should leave covered in sweat and feeling good.

Good Luck everyone and I’ll see you out there!

We’ve Got to Educate Ourselves

The other day some of us got into a great discussion about fish oil, how buying the cheapest is not necessarily cost effective and that the labels can be misleading. It’s hard to resist the fish oil that is less than $10 until you realize that you’ll need to take an excessive amount per day and that the bottle will only actually last about 2 weeks. In order to help explain the label’s SFH provided a great little sheet. You may have looked it over, but chances are you weren’t able to really take in all the info. Lucky for you, I’m going to post it below. It’s definitively worth taking a look at. Even if you are never going to take fish oil, you can relate it to other supplements and start to think about just how important it is to do your research before you buy.

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If you would like more information on the SFH products you can go to their website at SFH.com be sure to check out their education page.

Valentines Day Workout

Working out is so much more fun when you do it together!

Tuesday is Valentines Day *cough* guys, in case you forgot *cough*.  We are going to be doing a partner workout and would like you all to bring your friends, partners, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, the random girl you met in stop and shop, whoever!  Bring a friend and make the workout that much more fun.

Here is a preview of the festivities…

Valentines Day Partner Workout
Part A. “The Break Up”
Every 30s climb the ladder:
1 Wall Ball
1 Burpee Box Jump
3,3 etc
*Partner A will go in the first 30s then partner B will try and match them in the 2nd 30s. Each partner will go every other round or once per minute. Play this like a game of horse until 1 partner cannot match the other one.

Part B.
“The Make Up”
6 Rounds working with your partner, 1 person working at a time alternate who does each movement
15 KBS
20 Walking Lunges
10 Cal Row/AD

Why "I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead" is Dead Wrong

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Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. 

~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom


“I’ll sleep when I’m dead” has been in songs, the title of movies, and quoted by many, but if you live by this quote you just might end up slashing years off your life, not to mention the extended list of side effects that you will have to deal with on a daily basis; impaired immune system, obesity, memory decline, moody, mental health, inflammation, and recovery.

What are the benefits of getting enough sleep?

  • Initiates the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
  • Enhances memory/problem solving skills
  • Boost athletics performance
  • Increase immune system
  • More resilient to daily stress
  • Helps you age better

Starvation vs. Sleep Deprivation

We all know that starvation can lead to death, but what about sleep deprivation? Although research is limited it is thought that you would actually die faster from not sleeping than from starvation. Think about that for a second; what that means for the importance of sleep to our bodies.

Prioritizing Sleep (7-8 hours)

We know it’s important, we know we need more of it, but how can we fit it into our daily lives? And how do we get QUALITY sleep.

Let’s start by how NOT to get sleep…sleeping pills. These are a quick fix, a band aid covering the true problem, but not solving it. They fall into the same boat as taking medications for a multitude of different health issues when the solution is proper nutrition and exercise. Sleeping pills may allow you to sleep tonight but have risks such as; dependence, drowsiness, insomnia, memory loss, sleep walking, & constipation to name a few.

Reduce your exposure to artificial light (blue light)

  • Exposure to this light suppresses production of melatonin (responsible for your sleep/wake cycles).
    • Wear amber goggles  at night (you’ll look cool) plus they block out the blue light from your TV, Computer, Phone, etc.
    • Download f.lux adapts the color of your computer screen to the time of day automatically!
    • Limit your exposure to technology before bed. Ideally, you would want to eliminate any exposure to blue light after dark, but that is nearly impossible for most people. Limiting blue light exposure 1-2 hours before bed will also be beneficial.


  • Make it as dark as possible; the glow from your alarm clock, the street lights, or your neighbors light that they refuse to turn off and it blasts through your window like little laser beams straight into your eyes (I’m not bitter) they all cause disruption in sleep.  Try using Black out shades a cheaper alternative a sleep mask.

Choose Sleep

  • Some days you will need to choose sleep over getting other things in your life accomplished; trust me the unfolded laundry will still be there when you get up.
  • If you are sleep deprived it may be more beneficial to stay in bed rather than workout. Do not confuse this with being lazy. Waking up thinking its cold and dark and there’s overhead squats in the WOD and I really hate overhead squats is not a reason to skip a workout. But if you only have a few hours of sleep and you’ll have no time for a nap; sleeping in might just be the best thing.

Scaling…It’s not about making it easier

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This video from Pat Barber (CF games competitor & member of the CF L1 training staff) talks about why we scale. It’s not because your not strong enough or to make the workout easy, it’s to allow you to work at a level of intensity that is going to produce results while allowing you to do the movements properly.


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If you are like most people you will probably be pretty sore after starting a CrossFit training program.  Don’t worry this is completely normal.  One thing that you can do to help you recover from workouts and to decrease soreness is to drink plenty of water.

Health professionals recommend that you consume at least half your body-weight in ounces of pure water each day. Note: This goal is for general health & wellness not for those who exercise.  Since you are now training regularly you should be shooting for an additional 20 ounces on top of the 1/2 of your body weight recommendation.

I also wanted to take a minute and talk to you about soreness and what it does and does not mean.  Being sore is your body’s response to a new stimulus or a more intense stimulus than it is used to.  It has nothing to do with the quality of your workout so I don’t want you to determine how good of a training session you had based on how sore you are.  In all actuality soreness is a hindrance to training.  If you are too sore you will not be able to perform at your best in later training sessions.

Just because you are not sore does not mean you did not get a good work out.  The only way to determine the quality of your training is by tracking everything in your training notebook and comparing your results.  If you are getting stronger, faster and acquiring more skills than your program is working.


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Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly are supplements?

According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) a dietary supplement “contains a “dietary ingredient” intended to supplement the diet. The “dietary ingredients” in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites”.

What is the purpose for taking a supplement?

The function of a supplement is to “supplement” your diet; simply add in what your diet is missing. They will not however give you super powers. On that same note supplements should be a secondary thought; first you need to focus on your diet. If your diet is full of processed foods, fast foods, alcohol, and other “non-food” items there are no magic supplements that are going to undo the bad habits.

Do you really need supplements?

Even when you have your nutrition mastered it is difficult to not be deficient in certain areas.  Take for instance Vitamin D; a 2010 study in the Nutrition Journal found that 42 percent of the U.S. adults were deficient in Vitamin D.

For us, living in the northeast it is incredibly difficult to get enough vitamin D from the most powerful natural source, the sun.  The length of time you need in the sun varies on skin pigment. If your paler than pale (such as myself) you don’t need to spend a great deal of time in the sun, but since sunscreen blocks the absorption of UVB rays you’ll need to go out unprotected; which probable means you’ll end up looking like a lobster.  The darker your skin pigment the more exposure you’ll need and in the winter the UVB rays are less intense not to mention less of your skin is exposed.

For me supplementing Vitamin D is a no-brainer. The negative effects of sun exposure; WRINKLES, age spots, and of course more serious things like skin cancer are easily outweighed by the convenience of taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

So Vitamin D is definitely a go to supplement and probably should be for most people.  It’s also really easy to add a vitamin D test to the blood work you get for your yearly physical.  This will let you know if you are low.

The other supplement that I think is a go-to is Fish Oil.  The health benefits of fish oil are vast and it seems like it helps with everything.  I am not going to go into it in this post as we have lots of posts on the subject.  But suffice it to say if you are not taking fish oil you should be.  It will help with you recovery from intense workouts, decrease joint pain and just make you more sexy (that last part is based on personal experience only)

Stronger Faster Healthier makes my favorite fish oil, I prefer the orange flavor and I also get it with vitamin D included.  So I take 1 supplement in the morning that contains the big 2 in a single dose.

So if you are looking into supplements I would recommend starting with a good clean diet and adding in those 2.  They will give you the best bang for your buck health and performance wise.

Food “Porn”

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I know it’s happened to you; your scrolling through facebook, wandering around the internet, or watching you favorite show when BAM! a photo of something terrible and delicious pop’s up. Prior to this you had no craving for (insert naughty food here), but now that you have seen the photo you are immediately craving it and you can’t get the image out of your head. You even start to imagine how delicious it would taste.

I know this all to well as I have a slight problem stalking many “Paleo” food bloggers looking for the next best recipe. The worst part is that even though these are “Paleo” foodie sites and than leads us to believe that everything they post would be of optimal nutrition…it’s not. It doesn’t matter which lifestyle diet you choose, it can easily be derailed by over consumption.

The first step to overcoming the over stimulating food porn is to know yourself. What type of person are you, how do you react to different stimuli and what solutions work best for you. I personally know that I am an “out of site, out of mind” type of girl. Knowing this I try to make sure that nothing tempting ends up in my house (easier said then done). If I am craving something, I make sure to only buy a small amount, enough to satisfy the craving for now,but not too much that I have leftovers.

Check out this article from Precision Nutrition on their take of Food Porn. How it effects people differently and some solutions that may help you avoid getting sucked in.

Does CrossFit Work?


Does CrossFit work? I get asked this question a lot.  Usually by someone who is interested in our gym.  You would think the answer was a simple “Yes!” but actually it’s not.

CrossFit is not something concrete, it’s not set in stone.  It is an idea.  The definition of CrossFit is to “perform constantly varied, functional movements at a high intensity.”  If you are doing that it’s CrossFit.  However just doing that type of exercise alone is usually not enough.  You need to do the movements correctly, both for safety and to get the proper training effect.  You need to do them with the appropriate intensity at the appropriate time.  You need to take rest days, at least after every 3 training sessions.  You need to eat the correct foods and the correct amounts of them for your lifestyle and training volume.

CrossFit alone may not get you the results you are looking for.  Your diet, what you eat on a daily basis, is the main factor which will determine your success.  At CrossFit True we like to think of the diet as the base of the pyramid.  Without a solid foundation (healthy diet) you will never reach your true potential at the top of the pyramid.

In addition to our CrossFit programs we also offer nutrition coaching.  Our 3 phase nutrition program is the key to getting the results you want.  Everyone who has gone through the program has seen nothing but improvement.  Once they tweak a few things in their diet their exercise performance goes through the roof, they feel better and have more energy.

Read what one of our members Lisa K had to say about her nutrition coaching:

“I recently had the opportunity to meet with Coach Dan for Phase I of a nutritional consult & I wanted to take a minute to share my extremely positive experience with everyone. In all honesty I first went into this thinking, what else could Dan possibly tell me that I haven’t already heard before? Needless to say, lots. Dan took the time to analyze a food log that consisted of everything I ate for a week & then sat down with me to go over his detailed report.

The breakdown was complete with metrics of what I should be eating for my bodyweight and activity level, implementation/ changes to make and recommendations of better food choices. In the end, I found out that I wasn’t eating nearly as many carbs as I should be which was causing fatigue, poor performance & slower recovery. Over the past couple of weeks I made a few minor adjustments and I’m not going to lie…I’ve noticed some major differences! The biggest changes being that I haven’t been nearly as sore as I’ve been in the past (even after all the crazy WODS we’ve been doing lately) and the added bonus of no more after lunch “crash.””

The nutrition coaching in combination with the Crossfit program is truly potent.  We have several clients who have lost over 60lbs. in 6 months or less.

Share your experiences with us.  How has your body changed since joining CrossFit True?

Mental Strength


“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves—to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.” – Unknown


Hitting a new PR (personal record) is an amazing feeling. It’s a big moment when all the training (strength, movement patterns, mental) come together and bring you to the next level, but hitting a new PR every time is unrealistic


Here are 2 categories (I’m sure I could come up with a lot more, like the gravitational pull was much greater, but let’s keep it simple) of why you may not have hit a new PR, the first group is a little easier to absorb mentally; with the last being harder to swallow.


In the first group we have those who are either new or unprepared, if you find yourself in this category the changes you need to make are simple and you will be hitting PR’s soon. It may be that you have never done the work before so you have nothing to compare it to, but now having completed the work you have your starting point and there is nowhere to go but up.


Then we have those who are just unprepared and by this I mean they don’t have a tracking system in place for the workouts or they track their workouts poorly. There is really no excuse for this. Buy a notebook or get an App on your phone and use it faithfully. Keep track of all your workouts, weights, sets, tempos, times, and PR’s. I dedicate the last few pages of my notebook to PR’s and other benchmark workouts that way I know instantly the weight I should be using and the goal I am trying to reach. If you are ever confused on how to track your workouts please ask, we love showing our tracking methods.


The second category can be a frustrating place, but don’t worry you won’t be here forever. Being here is annoying; you’ve been training hard, eating good, and allowing your body to recover, but that new PR is just out of reach. This is when you need to dig deep for the mental strength to keep you motivated and pushing through your plateau. I wish there was an easy answer, do X, Y, & Z and you will get that PR, but it’s just not that simple. For some it may take a month to see a new PR for others a year, but while we are in this zone we need mental strength; instead of focusing on that 1 small part of our training we need to look at the big picture.


Maybe you aren’t getting a new 1-rep max, but how are you feeling doing multiple reps at a lighter weight? Your 500m row has been stagnant, but you’re able to hold on to your pace longer in your 1000m row. You’ve been stuck doing the same size box jumps, but how much better are you getting a cycling them? There is more to it than just PR’s; yes PR’s are magnificent, but don’t let your mental side take over and tell you that you have not made progress just because you didn’t hit a PR.

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