Sunday, July 16, 2006

Crossfitting Faster

My eyes were pasted shut when the alarm went off on Saturday morning. I usually hit snooze, but the alarm never got another chance. My mind started buzzing with Again Faster ideas, and I jumped out of bed.

1.22 miles away, Sammy's dented Ford Focus held one AF bar, 50 T-shirts, three jumpropes, and a pair of focus pads. I was going on a mission.

I strapped on the Mizunos and downed a cup of Folgers. I threw my rock gear over my shoulder, and set off for the car in that half-walk/jog that people do when they're in a hurry but don't want to look like it.

Halfway down the block, I was running. I never was good at pretending to be slow.

At the garage, I stripped off my load and threw it in reverse. 45 minutes later, I exited I-95 at exit 50, speeding toward the home of Crossfit Topsfield. Two weeks ago, I'd promised Dawn a brand-new Again Faster Bar, and I was about to make good on my promise.

She pulled into the parking lot about 30 seconds after I did. I was holding 70 pounds of chain, two lashing straps, and the heart of the AF bar.

"Is that for me?"

She lit up like Molotov Cocktail. I love watching people get excited about new toys, but Dawn brings it to a whole new level. As I headed through the front door with the chains on my shoulder, she looked slightly jealous of my burden.

I outfitted Dawn and Dave with a couple of Again Faster t-shirts, and we buckled down for a go at "Barbara".

5 rounds for time:
20 pullups
30 pushups
40 situps
50 squats

I'd done Barbara once, back in February. She hasn't gotten any nicer since then.

Dawn finished her last round while the rest of us were still in the grips of round 4. Barbara requires substantial work capacity and loads of fast-twitch muscle fiber, and Dawn has both in spades. She's so quick, we can't get her on film.

Barbara was a good warm-up for the work yet to come. After a few deep breaths, I loaded up the convoy for the grand opening of Crossfit MetroWest. With Brandon hot on my tail, we sped over to Murphy Field in Natick.

Will Tagye brought together the whole Crossfit Crew for his MetroWest debut. Folks were there representing Crossfit Boston, Crossfit Topsfield, Kettlebell Boston, the United States Army, and of course, Again Faster.

It was an explosive combination of too much energy, 20 or so athletes, and a bunch of over-used fitness equipment. I felt bad for the equipment.

Mandla Nkosi led the group through kettlebell progressions, teaching the proper swing from the ground up. With a mix of hardened veterans and wet-behind-the-ears newbies, he did an excellent job tailoring his lesson to the audience.

As a walking poster-child for fitness, everyone listened closely to what Mandla had to say.

They lined up in drill formation and practiced the swing, one after another. Despite the fact that most people would call that the workout, we called it the warm-up.

Will had something a little more difficult in store for this group.

3 rounds for time:
20 Thrusters
20 KB Swings
20 Box Jumps
20 Goblet Squats

A goblet squat is like a regular squat, only harder. Cradling a dumbbell in his/her palms, the athlete does an ass-to-ankles squat. The weight gets real heavy real quick. I already knew that, so I let the other kids have their fun with this one. An hour after Barbara, I wasn't about to throw myself back into the Crossfit Crucible.

Yeah, right. With the first workout over, Will and Neal immediately set their sights on creating another heart-pounding circuit. It was team race time, and I'm no good at saying no to a race.

Before my better instincts kicked in, I found myself at one end of Murphy Field, staring at dumbells, boxes, kettlebells, and Dynamax balls. Dave, Josh, Brandon, Carolyn, and I were pitted against Will, Tara, Toby, Erik, and Catie in a two-round race to the finish.

MetroWest Mayhem

2 rounds, to the finish:

Sprint to the dumbells, 10 dumbbell thrusters
Walking lunge to the boxes, 10 box jumps
Bear crawl to the kettlebells, 10 swings
Broad jump to the Dyna Balls, 5 vertical throws
Sprint back to the start

Only one person from each team was on course at any one time, and there was a whole lot of yelling. There was also a little bit of psychological warfare. I heard "Four!, Four!, Four!" during my thrusters, but I could've sworn I was on number eight.

I don't think those guys were on my team.

Despite our best effort, Will's platoon beat us to the finish, taking home bragging rights and the first-ever MetroWest team title. For the second time in one day, I'd been beaten by a Crossfit Topsfield trainer. Thankfully, Tara didn't rub it in too much.

Despite her upbeat attitude, I plotted my revenge.

On Sunday morning, we met at Jamaica Pond for "Fight Gone Faster". The morning heat was beginning to burn the moisture out of the air as Sammy and I set up make-shift cones to mark the stations. The core Again Faster crew assembled in the shade to warm-up and go over the rules.

Fight Gone Faster

3 rounds, 5 stations, 1:00 at Station One, 1:15 to sprint to the next station(s) and bang out as many reps as possible, 1:00 rest between rounds.

Station 1: Jumprope
Station 2: Punching
Station 3: Burpees
Station 4: Push-ups
Station 5: Pull-ups

One rep counted for one point, and the score was aggregated over all three rounds. These athletes proved their mettle, turning in fantastic scores less that 24 hours after the MetroWest chipper.

Dawn: 1124
Dave: 943
Tara: 999
Toby: 1019
Thor: 840
Erica: 514
Nigel: 728
Polly: 787

Thanks for representing guys. These athletes were so intense that a Navy recruiter stopped by to see if he could pull any of them into service. It was a great testament to the level of fitness all of these athletes have achieved using sound principals and good nutrition, and I loved every second of it.

Once again, we attracted a bunch of interest from the public (and the government), and we had a great time doing it. If you'd like to become a part of the Again Faster family, just drop me a line using the "Contact Again Faster" link in the right-hand sidebar, or stop by Jamaica Pond any Sunday at 8:00 a.m.

We welcome new members! Fitness at this level is not achieved overnight, but it is attainable for every adult out there. If you have the desire to work hard with a great community of quality athletes, come check us out.

Go faster!


Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

Thanks for another great weekend, guys. Again Faster and the Crossfit community are a huge part of my life, and I appreciate every second of the experience.

Thanks for all the support over the last few weeks. I hope everyone rocks their Again Faster gear with pride! This crew embodies our motto at every workout: Speed, Strength, Power, and Progress.

I'll see some of you tomorrow morning for another quality workout over at Crossfit Boston.

For the rest of you: What are you waiting for? Drop me a line, and get involved today.

7/16/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today was not just another walk in the park! It was a mean workout made nicer by the great athletes surrounding me and the trainers pushing us through. Thanks Jon and Sam!!! Never a dull moment with you two.

Also thanks Jon for driving all the way north to deliver my AF Bar..looking very forward to playing with it on Monday. I love toys, can't wait to see what you come up with next.

I am wondering if you can tell me what happens to my fast twitch muscles when I am doing laundry or cleaning the bathroom? Glad nobody keeps track of my time for that.

Thanks for the fun, the motivation and for being exactly who you are, and knowing it.


7/16/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really enjoyed FGF this morning and hope to participate in more Again Faster work-outs. What a beautiful way to start out the day! Now if only I could get past my embarassing score and unflattering photos:)
Seriously, congratulations, thank you, and good luck.


7/16/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and my *embarrassing* spelling


7/16/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing: correction to the winning relay team list from yesterday in Natick: mad props go out to Erik (not me, Erica) :)

7/16/2006 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank, Jon, for setting things up, and for being the prime motivator. Thanks also to everyone who participated for the positive vibe. I'm very fortunate to have such a great group to work out with. AgainFaster and CrossFit workouts are always a welcome challenge, and this morning's love fest was no exception. Let's keep it going.


7/17/2006 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to Jon and Sam for another kickass Again Faster workout! After yesterday's two workouts, when the alarm went off this morning I thought.. no way am I getting out of bed. But my bladder had other plans. Once I got up, Dave followed and so we headed to Boston to accept the punishing revenge Jon had planned for us. Flew through the first round only to realize, I had to complete two more before passing off to my partner. That sucked! But thanks to my six year old competitive attitude, no way was I going to stop! Thanks to Toby for pushing me every step of the way! And to Jon and Sam cheering me on to keep me going! Can't wait to come back again to what will be, I'm sure, another punishing workout! Jon and Sam, you two rock!


7/17/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Picardy said...

All I have to say is thanks for another kick ass workout and I am sore as hell! Have a great week everyone.

Work hard

Dave Picardy

7/17/2006 01:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

Sorry about the omission/mistake Erik! Erik is about to embark on a 6000 mile bike ride, mostly because he's crazy, but also to promote youth literacy.

I'll be posting all the details really soon--it's a great cause led by a dedicated guy. Please be on the watch for this article, and seriously consider donating to Erik's effort if it's within your means.

As for Erik in MetroWest Mayhem--great job. I thought Carolyn had you there for a second...

7/17/2006 03:03:00 AM  
Blogger Will T said...

Thanks for the write up. Sorry i couldn't make it for FGF, the adventure that is getting to Logan airport followed by watching a 3yr old all after Saturday's fitness fun made for a long sleep in on Sunday. Sounds like you had fun. Congrats to you and everyone else who played.

7/17/2006 08:23:00 PM  

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