CrossFit Somerville April Newsletter

JT Scott | 04/03/2015 |

Hey CrossFit Somerville! Spring is here and 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.


    • Holiday Schedule
    • Ragnar Trail Relay
    • New coach in training
    • Personal Training and Nutrition Counseling

    • JT’s Goals: 2014 Recap and 2015 Targets


    • CrossFit Open Recap

    • Lifestyle and Nutrition Challenge Results

    • Yoga at CFSV!

    • Urban Ag Spring Update

    • Get Involved!




Holiday Schedule

CrossFit Somerville will be closed on Monday, April 20 for Patriot’s Day.  Stay tuned to the website and Facebook for any further adjustments or open gym times on those days.

Ragnar Trail Relay

Abigail Russo is assembling a team of eight nutcakes for the New England Ragnar Trail Relay on June 26th and 27th, an overnight relay race at Northfield Mountain in Western Mass. We’ll camp out, run through the night, eat s’mores, etc. etc. Each team member ends up running a total of 15 miles, split into three different legs. I’ve heard great things from friends who’ve done it in the past.

If you’re interested or have questions, email  Game on!

Independence: post-WOD recovery

Independence: post-WOD recovery

New Coach in training

You may see Independence accompanying JT around the facility, working on her functional movements. (Here she is pictured after a recent sandbag WOD.) She arrived on staff January 9, 2015.


Personal Training and Nutrition Counseling

Your goals are intensely personal. We’re all honored when you choose to share your goals with us and enlist us in the process to reach those goals. We’re happy to chat with you some after class about these goals and help guide you forward with some information and resources.

If you’d like even more help, we’re glad to do so with some personal coaching. It’s not something we advertise often, but your coaches are available for 1-on-1 personal training time. This can include specialized programming, technique work, lifting critique, skills and drills, or even nutritional counseling and life coaching with followup meetings to ensure accountability.

Personal training is $75/hour to work on anything you want with any of our coaches (JT, Nick, Chris, Kirstie, or Brian).  Just send us a note to to request the coach of your preference and set up a time to meet!

JT’s Goals: 2014 Recap

My goals for 2014 were multiple: I wanted to really have CrossFit Somerville blossom into the kind of neighborhood- and community-focused box that it can be. I wanted to improve our programming and coaching quality overall, and had a few internal housekeeping items to improve. I also wanted to reduce our injury rates and increase our emphasis on movement quality and overall quality of life for our members.

The Urban Ag Project and other community projects you built in 2014 are things I’m immensely proud of – and they’re the product of your desires and your energy. I cannot say enough about you and your efforts.

The entire coaching staff meets twice weekly now to discuss your progress as athletes, craft the programming together, work out as a team, and discuss how we want to approach scaling and instruction in a uniform manner. The result has been more consistent and improved coaching with much fewer injuries. Overall, I’m pleased with our progress and successes for 2014… but there’s more that we can do.

As we move into 2015, I’m proud of you – our diverse, welcoming, supportive, and engaged community. I’m proud of our coaching staff and the quality of experience that we offer every day to you. And I’m proud of the advancements we made on the facility itself in this year, including upgrading the lighting and increasing the janitorial frequency.

JT’s Goals: 2015 Targets

For 2015, we’re in the process of setting our new goals for the facility and the community. I’ve got a few already:

  • Further support our coaches’ education and growth – and opportunities for members as well. We already work together to get better, and I subsidize Continuing Education by paying 50% of costs for certification classes our coaches take. I want to push forward this year by bringing specialized educators to the coaches for weekday training, and specialized sessions to the membership in the form of special weekend classes and seminars.
  • Further support for our members’ passions.
  • Expand our membership to secure our financial future. Right now we run incredibly lean. I spend almost our entire income on paying our coaches 50% above the Somerville Living Wage and paying our mortgage/utilities/taxes. (This is why I fix the toilets myself, and made less money last year than any of the other coaches.) Getting more members is the only way to ensure that CrossFit Somerville can be our sustainable home for the long term. I have a goal to get 40 more members on board by August.

In order to make these goals happen, I need your help! I need your ideas, and I need your energy.

What kind of special seminars would you like to see on some weekend? What kind of projects would you like us to take on outside of the box? And most importantly, how can we spread the word to our neighbors about what a wonderful and welcoming place CFSV is? How can we get more of our neighbors into classes and working alongside us?

As always, I’m open to hearing from you in class or at


CrossFit Open After Action Report

The 2015 CrossFit Open is now complete after 5 weeks of workouts completed by hundreds of thousands of athletes across the globe.  The addition of a scaled division this year allowed the Open Programmers to include a few more complex movements in the Rx workouts, including muscle ups and handstand push ups.  While this was beyond the reach of some of our athletes who chose to do the scaled version for some workouts, it also gave other athletes a necessary push to attempt (and often complete!) a movement that they didn’t think they were capable of.

Hillary Holloway did her first Toes to Bar in a workout.  Dan Saragnese did his first handstand pushup and also PR’d his clean!  Both Niki Brown and Ben Pender-Cudlip got their first muscle ups in 15.3.  Many other amazing feats were accomplished over the course of the 5 weeks, including making conscious choices to push ourselves to get better.  The most important accomplishment was the community and encouragement displayed at every single workout; we’re so proud to have been a part of this with all of you.

Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed this year, and many thanks to Brian Hack who spent so much time organizing and coordinating our Saturdays!  I hope by now you have celebrated the completion of the event and rewarded yourselves appropriately.  We’ll see you back out there in 2016!

Lifestyle and Nutrition Challenge Results

Congrats to the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Winners! Christina Balkaran, Leyla Isik, Nelly Oliver, Lydia Thompson and Joanna Vanden all completed the 40 Day challenge and gained healthier habits. And they did it despite an especially challenging 40 Days that included epic blizzards calling for all the sugary hot cocoa.

Christina kept up a long stretch of Whole 30 she’d been doing since the New Year, plus she rocked eating meals without screen-distractions and more sleep.  Leyla impressively took to drinking tea when at the bar with friends during blizzards and cooked many healthy meals, racking up a lot of points of healthy living choices.  Nelly also stretched out her Whole 30 from the New Year, adding many delicious recipes and cooking healthy for her whole family – and then even kept to her plan (mostly) while on vacation.  Lydia cleaned up her eating and rediscovered how good healthy habits can feel – with a vacation in the middle to underscore just how good it can feel to get back healthy choices again.  Joanna went from eating out most of the time to cooking and eating clean for almost every single meal during the whole challenge. Her wisdom about nourishing herself and scaling appropriately is what we’re all looking for when we embark on healthy new choices, whether that’s starting CrossFit, training for a new race, or doing a Challenge like this.

Great work, and congrats to all who participated!


Yoga is an excellent way to complement the work that we do with our bodies at CFSV on a weekly basis.  Through yoga, we can gain more strength, flexibility and awareness with the way we move.  It also teaches us the importance of moving with breath, which can help us relax during a long WOD or even long work week.

We recently posted a sign up sheet on the the whiteboard to see if you all would be interested in having a yoga program at CrossFit Somerville, and the response was very positive!  We are starting to organize the program and coordinating with local yoga instructors to figure out the schedule and logistics.  We will keep you posted as details are finalized.

Urban Ag Spring Update

Well folks, we did it!  We made it through the winter with all of our chickens alive, and the bees on the roof looking healthy and strong.  With the daylight hours increasing, the chickens have started laying again, and we gave the bees some supplemental sugar to see them through the next couple of months.

Spring has got us excited about the upcoming season of Urban Agriculture, and we’ve started a few seedlings in anticipation.  Our plan for this growing season is to really focus on lots of greens, get a great crop of tomatoes and basil and learn as much as we can about successful vegetable gardening.

We will be kicking off 2015 with a potluck after the Saturday morning class on April 11 to get people excited, brainstorm about the upcoming season and invite new members who might be interested in getting involved this year.  Our major work party this year will be on Saturday May 2, also starting at 11am after the morning class.  We will implement some of the brainstorm ideas from the potluck and get our vegetables started in the ground.  If you are interested in learning more about the Urban Agriculture project at CrossFit Somerville and want to attend the potluck and/or the work party, please email .

For those interested, here are a few “What We’re Reading in Urban Agriculture” bonus articles:

A New England Food Vision describes a future in which New England produces at least half of the region’s food—and no one goes hungry. It looks ahead to 2060 and sees farming and fishing as important regional economic forces; soils, forests, and waterways cared for sustainably; healthy diets as a norm; and access to food valued as a basic human right.

Get Involved!

As you can probably tell, we do a lot! As we move into spring and summer, there will be even more opportunities for everyone to get involved in friendly competitions and other community events.

One of our established programs for getting involved at CFSV is the Urban Agriculture Project, which you read about above.  Another program is Community Cooks, in which a group of CrossFit Somerville members cook a monthly meal for a local Union Square homeless shelter.  If you are interested in becoming involved in either of these programs, email
Crossfit Somerville is a place where community members are empowered to 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!


A handful of interesting, insightful or thought-provoking articles curated just for you!


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.