CrossFit Somerville February 2014 Newsletter

JT Scott | 02/16/2014 |

Hey CrossFit Somerville! We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in and around CFSV and the larger community and we want to let you know all about them. The CrossFit Open season is almost upon us, we are getting ready to start building our chicken coop, and new t-shirts are being designed. Keep reading to learn all about these things and more!

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CrossFit Somerville T-Shirts, Designer Desired
We promised this newsletter was a venue to have your voices heard, and we hear that people want new t-shirts! JT has a few designs ready to go, but we would like input from you as well. Do you have an idea for a sweet t-shirt design or slogan? Do you have graphic design skills to help turn a sketch into t-shirt artwork? If you have ideas or skills let us know at

Urban Agriculture Work Party
The first CrossFit Somerville Urban Agriculture work party will be on Sunday, March 9 at 10am. We’re building raised garden beds and a chicken coop! Mark it on your calendar and scroll down to learn more about the Urban Agriculture projects in process at CFSV.

Nick’s Notes

Retest: Posterior Chain Engagement and Sprinting
Friday, 2/21 marks the end of our current cycle when we’ll be retesting our 1RM deadlift and 500m row. Not only should our posterior chain be stronger from all of the deadlifting and other strength work we’ve been doing, but we should also have built a better mind-body connection with our backside. Remember, it’s not just all about making our body stronger – we also need to develop the neurological control of our body to be able to use the right parts in the right ways when it counts. This is also relevant to our sprinting. I’ve seen you all go hard in class, but going hard for 10-15 minutes is a much different challenge than going hard for 2 minutes. Use the self knowledge you’ve gained with our interval workouts to get after this 500 meters with everything you can. Keep your back engaged, drive hard through your heels and let those powerful slabs on your backside do their job.

Next Cycle: Technical Movements and Unilateral Loading
Over the last 8 or so months we’ve covered many important concepts that are necessary to build functional athletes. (Don’t consider yourself an athlete? Do you have a body? Then best train like one. Life is a contact sport). Some of these concepts have been midline stability, core to extremity movement/hip explosiveness, shoulder stability and posterior chain engagement. We’ll be combining all these ideas this cycle engaging our more technical movements and unilateral loading. Our main test/retest for this cycle will be the snatch, arguably the most technical move we regularly engage in (WOD test TBD). The snatch combines ALL of the work we’ve been doing over the last year into a few seconds of beautiful movement. Don’t get me wrong, the snatch takes a lifetime to perfect (and is arguably never “perfect”) but stick with us these next couple of months and I guarantee yours not only improves but feels smoother and maybe even fun (for those of you who might not be a huge fan). The snatch won’t be the only technical movement we engage this cycle, but it will be the cornerstone of the cycle. Even more than usual, focusing on crispness and efficiency in the way we move will be far more important than the load we put on the bar.

Which brings us to “unilateral loading”. Sound confusing? It’s really not. Think of it as anytime the left and right side of your body are doing different things. While there aren’t tons of typical CrossFit movements that engage this, things like pistols, lunges, running, one arm kettlebell/dumbbell work and even walking are all examples of unilateral loading. Hopefully you can see why this is important. Most of our day to day movement involves unilateral movement of some sort, whether it’s just getting yourself where you need to be throughout the day, moving stuff around your house or maybe even playing a sport. As much as we like to stay balanced, life is not symmetrical and only training symmetrically will leave holes in our game. So get ready for some different approaches to movements we see on a regular basis that you’ll hopefully find fun, engaging and useful.

Event Recaps

Barbell Club In Action!
The Barbell Club time on Wednesday night has been running for about a month and it’s good fun. This is time for experienced lifters to use for supplemental strength, speed, and flexibility – structured much as “open studio” time. Nick is present to answer questions, but you’re on your own for programming; Brian has also been showing up and offering some barbell complexes to work on Oly lift technique.

If you’d like to come and you’re an Unlimited member, feel free to reserve space in class and show up. (It helps us track attendance.) If you’re a 2x/week or 3x/week member, you can also come for the low cost of $10 – let us know and we’ll put it on your tab. It’s a cheap way for you to have a little extra time in the facility working on your goats or trying to get stronger.

Not sure if Barbell Club time is right for you? Ask your coaches! We’ll gladly give you an honest opinion on whether or not you’d benefit from more unsupervised time under the bar… and maybe even give you some homework to do during Barbell Club time.

Competitions and Achievements

Crossfit Open
Registration is underway for the CrossFit Open. Nick wrote about it on the blog previously here:
Whether or not you think that you will be in the running for making it to Regionals (the majority of all participants worldwide won’t even come close), the Open is a great way to test yourself against athletes from across the globe. With everyone performing the same set of workouts to the same standards, you can see in a measurable where your fitness is and how it improves from year to year. And if for nothing else, participating in the Open is a fun way to throwdown in some workouts with your fellow athletes from CrossFit Somerville, and our friends across the river at CrossFit Fenway.

The first workout will be hosted at CrossFit Somerville on Saturday, March 1, and will be a CFSV only event. The second workout will be held at CrossFit Fenway on March 8 in a large group format as we have done in past years. Even if you are not participating, come out and cheer on your fellow athletes as they push themselves to their limits and maybe even score some PRs.

Registration for the CrossFit Open can be found here: CF Open Registration

Create an account, join the CrossFit Somerville affiliate. Nick is creating the CrossFit Somerville team soon; we will let you know what it is set up so that athletes can join the team and compare their scores to boxes around the world.

CFSV Community Updates

CFSV Urban Agriculture – Bees
We had a recent conversation with some experienced beekeepers in Somerville about the possibility of keeping an apiary on the CFSV roof. A hive is very low maintenance and would be a source of several gallons of fresh, local honey in the fall, in addition to contributing to the ecosystem of our gardens and gardens all around Union Square. Housing the bees up high on the roof of the building would keep the likelihood low that the bees would ever come down to street level, and honeybees will not sting unless the hive is threatened. That being said, if you have a severe bee allergy or other concerns, please email… and of course, if you’re interested in BEEing part of the process and learning more about bees, drop us a note and we’ll bring you onto the team!

CFSV Urban Agriculture – Chickens
The CrossFit Somerville Urban Agriculture Project is chugging along with several exciting updates! The chicken raising permit we were seeking was granted and we have the two thumbs up from the city to begin coop construction. A budget and supplies list and building plan are being generated for the coop, garden, composting, and water system, and the CFSV Urban Ag T-Shirts are being designed… you are going to want one!

CFSV Urban Agriculture – Work Parties
As we announced above, the first CrossFit Somerville Urban Agriculture work party will be on Sunday, March 9 at 10am. This initial work day will be used to build raised beds and the chicken coop, and do some ground preparation work. A second work day will happen on Saturday, March 22 at 1pm to install the coop and garden beds, load in the compost and begin planting. If you would be willing to help out on either or both of these days, please email, and let us know if you have any experience with building and/or have tools that you can bring with you for the day, or even access to raw building materials (for free or a discount). If you can’t make the work parties but have tools that you would lend to the effort, let us know as well. If all you can do is swing a hammer, WE NEED YOUR HELP TOO!! Come learn skills, contribute to what is sure to be an awesome project and spend time with your CFSV community. Oh, and there’s a good chance we’ll be firing up the grill and opening some beers at the end of the day as well!

Community Cooks: Partiers Wanted
In our last newsletter, we solicited for a group of volunteers to get involved in the Community Cooks program. We had initial interest from 4-5 people, but another 4-5 are needed to complete our cooking group. The commitment is one evening a month to gather in JT’s kitchen and cook a meal for a local shelter for homeless women. (I hear that there might also be wine drinking involved if that’s enticing to you…) Send email to if you’d like to get involved in doing good and having a good time.

Your Input: Community Involvement
We would like for CrossFit Somerville to be a place where community members can come together to do some pretty awesome things. Do you have ideas for ways that CrossFit Somerville can improve? Are there specific programs or seminars that you would like CFSV to offer? Do you have ideas for volunteering opportunities, projects, group trips, or social events? We at CFSV are unable to organize all of the awesome things ourselves, so we are looking to YOU to step up! If you are passionate about making something happen, we will try to work with you give you the opportunity and find the resources to make it a reality. Contact to start making the most of your CFSV experience!

Future Newsletters
Now that you’ve read what we had to tell you about, tell us what YOU would like to read about! In addition to announcements about events happening at CFSV and schedule updates, what would interest you in a monthly update from your Coaches? Tell us what you think and why! Email with ideas and suggestions.