CFSV Nov/Dec Newsletter

JT Scott | 11/21/2014 | 1

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.  Keep reading to learn all about it!




Holiday Schedule

Ebola Fundraiser WOD

BARCC Fundraiser WOD

3 Year Anniversary and Holiday Party!!

‘Wiggling With Nick’ Classes


A Note on Transparency and CFSV Finances

Upcoming Programming Cycle


Competition Recap: Southie Showdown

Urban Agriculture Update and Survey

Boston Medical Center Book Donation

Your Input: Community Involvement




Holiday Schedule

The Holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, but we know that you all still need your CFSV fix to keep your sanity.  We’re going to be running holiday schedules a little differently this year, with fewer out-right days of being closed, and more reduced schedule days.  Check out the list below for all of our holiday schedule changes, and stay tuned on the blog and Facebook about extra hours and open gym times.

These schedules may also be a model for how we handle Christmas and New Years as well, if they’re popular – so if you like these better (or worse) than us just being closed for two days for the holidays let us know your feedback!

Wednesday, November 26 Day Before Thanksgiving Reduced Schedule: Closing Early (No evening classes, open gym 5-6:30pm, morning and noon classes still on)
Thursday, November 27 Thanksgiving Closed
Friday, November 28 Day After Thanksgiving Reduced Schedule: Open Late (No morning classes, noon and evening classes still on)


Ebola Fundraiser WOD

Our friends at CrossFit Fenway are hosting a very special Last Mile WOD to fight Ebola in Liberia on November 22. Last Mile Health is a local non-profit in Boston that operates on the ground in Liberia fighting the Ebola epidemic. (We’re using Crowdrise to help raise funds for them.) How can you participate? Come on down and have a good time with the team from CFF and CFSV tomorrow and chip in a small donation! Or, just go to JT’s fundraising page and make a donation to the cause.



Also at CrossFit Fenway, we’ll be hosting a WOD on December 6 to support the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (located right down the street in Central Square). BARCC does incredible work helping rape and sexual assault survivors through direct counseling and offering services to help them reclaim their lives, as well as increasing awareness about this issue. JT’s a big supporter of the work they do, and this is a chance for us to help them do it. Suggested donation $10+, and a chance to meet other CrossFitters doing good things for Boston.

We also have an online donation page set up that can be shared on social media – click here to give or link it online to encourage friends and family to get involved!


Anniversary and Holiday Party!!

This month marks the 3-Year Anniversary of the opening of CrossFit Somerville!  That, plus the holiday spirit got us thinking that a get-together might be in order.  Join us on Friday, December 5, at the Independent Bar in Union Square for some drinks after the evening classes.

While I’m at it, I also want to thank and congratulate the members who have been with us since the start! If you know these people, you know they form the backbone and heart of our community – and are some of the most active and friendly members too! This is the roster of current members who signed up during our first full year of operation:

  • Nick DeTar-Koch
  • William Martin
  • Erin Baumgartner
  • Amos Worth
  • Brian Hack
  • David Stark
  • Hillary Halloway
  • Damien Angelos
  • Robert Buchanan
  • Jeffery Vautour
  • Liz Anastasi
  • Niki Brown
  • Christine Liu
  • Kyle Rose
  • Renee Polcaro
  • Nick Iwaskow
  • Rebecca Cottam
  • Olivia Leitermann
  • Mark Rosedale
  • Rich Dion
  • Ben Cudlip
  • Alex Caplan
  • Justin Francos
  • Olivia Peters
  • Lydia Thompson
  • Kirstie Young
  • Tamara Halkina

THANK YOU for your presence, effort, and support for these past 3 years! We’ve built something amazing here; I’m grateful for all you do and thrilled to know all of you.


‘Wiggling With Nick’ Classes

Nick’s a big wiggler. He’s hosted a few sessions on Saturday morning before the WOD and some Sunday’s during open gym to help people stretch and explore their bodies, as well as experience what a bit more time playing with movement can do for their athletic performance! If you’ve gotten to attend, let us know what you thought. We will probably be hosting more of these sessions, and we think they’re a great way to get a bit more coaching input in a lower-intensity setting and some time spent getting to know our bodies better.



JT’s Note on Transparency

We have three guiding principles that shape how we do business here at CFSV: Consistency, Integrity, and Transparency. These are big things for me personally, and all of us take them into account in how we set policies in the box, how we treat each of you in class, and how I work with the other employees here.

Transparency means that everything that we do has to be something that we are unafraid to share. This is much like our bi-monthly notes on programming: we aren’t forcing you to hear the rationale behind our workouts, but if you are curious we are glad to tell you. Nor do we think that all of you care about why we raise chickens or engage in community service or even what kind of toilet paper we buy… but if you do care, we’re glad to explain what we’re doing and why.

Transparency, at its heart, means that we make decisions in a way that can and will be explained: both what is happening, and why it’s happening. CrossFit Somerville is an open book, and that includes our finances. I am the sole owner, and I employ people who live in the neighborhood. The employees here are paid over 50% above the Living Wage standard for Somerville, and I’m proud of that. We charge what we feel is a fair price for excellent service, and we make all of our business decisions together – guided by the principles of Consistency, Integrity, and Transparency. As the owner, I don’t pay myself for classes coached or toilets fixed – I just get what’s left over after the mortgage, utilities, taxes, and everyone else gets paid.

From time to time, I get queries about our finances. If you are curious about where your membership fees go, I’m glad to tell you. A summary of our finances for 2013 – including what I earned personally – are currently posted on a whiteboard up by the front desk, and you are welcome to take a look when you’re in the box for a WOD. I’m also more than willing to answer questions about it, and will gladly do so over email or schedule a time to meet with you, chat about it in person, or even dive directly into the accounting software for a detailed breakout. (I do plan to update the whiteboard when our 2014 finances are finalized.)

Those of you who have been with us for a long time know that CrossFit Somerville is about more than your push-ups and pull-ups: it’s about building a strong community, and creating an example of how we believe the world could be better. If you have ideas about what we could do better, or just want to help ensure that CFSV is a sustainable and successful presence in the neighborhood for years to come, I invite you to take a look at our finances and join me and Nick and the rest of us in working to make that happen.

Some people just want to come in and do some CrossFit… and that’s great! We’re here for you, too. Not everyone reads the newsletter, but we know that those of you who do tend to care more about what’s happening here than just getting in and doing your WOD. This is my way of reminding you that you are a big part of everything we do, and you can get as informed and involved as you’d like. Thanks!


Upcoming Programming Cycle

Say goodbye to the tempo-pullup/pushup warmup! Today is the last day of that cycle, and we’re wrapping it up with a bang and a test to measure our progress. Next week starts our new cycle: Girls.

The CrossFit “Girls” WODs are classic benchmarks that every CrossFitter comes to know: Grace, Christine, Helen, Cindy, and yes… FRAN. We’ll be doing a selection of these benchmark workouts over the next 6 weeks, and for those of you who have been with us for 7 months it will be a chance to measure your progress since the last time we visited these classics.

Our strength for this cycle will use some of the fun technical aspects that you may have noticed over the past month, emphasizing lower rep counts and big, punchy lifts that are intended to put some high metabolic demand on your system and produce big benefits hormonally and histologically. (In short, they’ll help you get stronger and faster.)

During the next 6 weeks, we’ll also be sticking with our standard “strength + metcon” style of programming, with a bit more time for mobility and dynamic warmup now that we’re moving on from our mandatory gymnastic strength-building. With that said though, we do encourage you to keep up the good work with pushup and pullup work done before and after class. We’ve seen great improvements in many of you due to this work, and would love for you to continue seeing progress!


Competition Recap: Southie Showdown

Babz Clough is a recent arrival to CrossFit Somerville, transplanted from her original home at CrossFit Southie. She arrived 6 months ago, after several years at CF Southie, with a warning for JT: “I love Southie, and you’ll never be as good as they are, but maybe you’ll be good enough that I can come here and spare myself the traffic of getting across town and back.”

While we know from our regular surveys that many of you are not excited by competition, it’s a big part of the CrossFit experience for some people. Babz is one of those: she had competed last year in the Southie Showdown, their big annual competition. This year, she wanted to go back and see her old friends and use it to check on her progress. Her goal: don’t finish dead last.

She came to talk to JT about the event, and he encouraged her to give it a shot! JT met with her several times in the 6 weeks leading up to the event, and gave her special programming to do during Open Gym, and homework that (no surprise here) included lots of mobility drills.

Two weeks ago the event was finally here, and Babz crushed it! Her hard work in preparation really paid off, as she surprised herself with big progress in her Power Snatch and Overhead Squat, ran faster than she suspected possible in the Mile, and generally put on an impressive display of progress across all domains.

6 months later, I think it’s safe to say that Babz loves it here at CrossFit Somerville, and we’re thrilled she’s here with us.

If you’re interested in entering a competition – even just to see what it’s like – let us know! We’ll be glad to help you make a plan for your competition preparation, and give you direction to filling the holes in your game. We recognize that it’s a great motivator and can help you get a clear view of where you are with your fitness and where you may want to improve. We certainly know how to prepare for one and are excited to help you get ready!


Urban Agriculture Update and Survey

Well folks, like it or not, winter is fast approaching, and while we’re sealing shut our windows with plastic wrap and cranking on the heat, we’ve done similar things to the homes of our chickens and bees to help them stay warm and dry for the next 4 months of dreary Boston weather.

In order to keep the wind and snow out of the chicken run, we’ve wrapped the bottom 3’ of the coop with plastic wrap, creating a warm, insulated space for our hens to spend their days.  All of the doors and vents on the coop itself have also been insulated with foam weather stripping to help keep the drafts out.  At this point of the season, all of the doors and vents should remain closed most of the time; if we get some unseasonably warm weather we can open a vent to give them some fresh air.  The chickens spent the fall growing in new feathers to help keep them warm, and they are hearty enough to make it through even the coldest Boston weather.  When the overnight temperature is going to drop well below freezing, we will close the door from their coop into the run to give them a fully enclosed space in which to stay warm.

The bees on the roof have also received a few home-modifications to keep them warm over the winter.  We wrapped the hive with black roofing paper in order to provide a wind barrier and also to aid in heating by absorbing with the black material whatever sunshine is available.  Straw bales are placed a few feet away from the opening to keep the wind and snow from pummeling the hive.  The bees have spent all summer and fall building up honey reserves and filling all of the gaps in their hive to prevent drafts and we want to give them the best possible chance to survive the winter.  They can be very sensitive to the cold and so to that end we will not be opening the hive again until the spring.

Finally, we would like to know your thoughts on the Urban Agriculture Project in its first year at CrossFit Somerville.  If you have 5-10 minutes to spare, please fill out the survey to let us know what you thought went well with the project, and areas that we can improve.  We hope that 2015 will be an even better and more fruitful experience!

Link to Urban Agriculture Survey:


Boston Medical Center Book Donation

A note from Abigail Russo:

The Boston Medical Center (the hospital associated with my workplace, the BU School of Medicine) is constantly seeking donations of books and magazines for its waiting rooms. If you want to get rid of books you don’t need (non-academic, please – nobody wants to read your program evaluation textbook) or relatively recent magazines (less than four months old), feel free to give them to me to pass along! There’s an 85% chance that I’ll donate them and not keep them for myself.

We will set up a drop-off spot in one of the cubbies at CFSV with a sign if you want to bring in books and magazines that you would like to donate.


Your Input: Community Involvement
As you can probably tell, we do a lot! As the summer starts up, there will be even more opportunities for us to get involved in friendly competitions and other community events.

Crossfit Somerville is a place where community members 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 us to offer? Do you have ideas for volunteering opportunities, projects, group trips, or social events?

If you are passionate about making something happen, we will work with you to find the resources to make it a reality.  Contact to start making the most of your CFSV experience!



  • Lessons about fitness to take to heart: 6 Truths About Exercise – we love CrossFit, and we pay attention to things like this when we write the WOD and Strength for you.
  • Forget about macros, carb-cycling and zone blocks, check out what The “Real” Paleo Diet looks like.
  • The illusion of free will in a culture of unnecessaries and A Lifestyle of Consumption – is more making us all happier?
  • Why do we focus so much on Squatting?: The Original Squat
  • On the Importance of Breathing, the “Magic Exercise” – and a reason that sometimes the best thing for you in the WOD may be to scale down the weight and slow down a bit.
  • What are you doing with your 23 hours outside of the gym?
  • What’s happening in your neighborhood? The Union Square Neighbors have a mailing list that keeps us informed and is a great way for you to know about public meetings and things your neighbors are doing to shape the future of the neighborhood!



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.

1 comment for “CFSV Nov/Dec Newsletter

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