Monday 05.05.14

Happy Birthday to our very own teenage Firebreather Maya!

Happy Birthday to our very own teenage Firebreather Maya!

Filthy Fifty
For time:
50 Box jump (24″)
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings (35, 25#)
50 Walking Lunge steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press (45, 35#)
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots (20, 14#)
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

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Speaking of Firebreather...your April Firebreather of the Month is...

Speaking of Firebreather…your April Firebreather of the Month is…


Andrew Sutton

Andrew Sutton

1. How did you get started with CrossFIt?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a romantic story about WODs spent over rusty barbells with strangers in public places. Quite the contrary, my CrossFit initiation story is one of dismissal, skepticism, and ultimately disdain. I initially dismissed CrossFit in 2005, when a college football buddy told me to check out a burgeoning workout program and online community at I was skeptical of CrossFit in 2009 when I heard about the CrossFit Games and questioned why anyone would focus on power and oly lifts if they weren’t training for a contact sport. I was filled with utter disdain in 2013 when a co-worker claimed to be doing CrossFit at his globo gym. Eight years after I first learned about CrossFit, it was the disdain that got me in the door.

Prior to CrossFit, I self-trained many of the exercises that comprise the CrossFitter’s repertoire. I was an AAU power lifter in high school, a D3 college football player, an avid runner, and an avid cyclist, at one time or another. In high school I geeked out on strength training: I had elite numbers on the big lifts and I hit the gym hard almost every day. I was that high school kid at the local gym (literally next door to CFNE) teaching himself to hang power clean, push press, split jerk, squat below parallel and Romanian deadlift – with metal plates. I learned first hand how difficult programing for ones self could be and read everything about strength training I could find (this was pre internet era). In college, I was introduced to bumpers and platforms and lots more concussions on the football field. Eventually, concussions forced an early retirement from Football and I decided to stop lifting heavy. When CrossFit hit my radar in 2005, I felt like that type of exercise was in my past because football was in my past.

Fast forward to summer 2013, I had just relocated to the suburbs, my wife was pregnant with our first child, and I was very overweight. At time I was standing on top of a mountain of weight gain that was the culmination of years battling with inner food demons and many weight loss and weight gain cycles. I vividly recall the exact moment I decide to commit to CFNE. A co-worker touted his recent “globo gym” “cross fit” regimen at a staff meeting. I remember thinking, if he can do it, I can do it. I had nothing to lose. I walked out of the meeting, went to the CFNE website and e-mailed coach Ali Leblanc. I set up elements and the rest is history. Really, it seems I’ve come full circle, literally and figuratively.

2. What is your favorite workout?

Murph. I really think that CFNE does the hero workouts right and my favorite CFNE experience to date was Murph on Patriots day. I thought it was amazing how everyone came together in a massive suffer fest to pay tribute to an amazing individual who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. The workout is a great mental toughness builder since the moves are natural but coupled with high intensity and long duration. There is no limit cap on mental toughness. You can always dig deeper.

3. What is your favorite movement?

The hang power clean. I love how it feels when you nail the hang clean: the snap of the hips, the quickness of the movement, elbows coming through, the sound that the collars make when the bar spins. When you hit the move right, it all coalesces in an elegant seemingly effortless movement. If it had a sound, the sound would be BAM!

4. What are the biggest differences between your life before and after CrossFit?

New perspective, renewed patience, more energy

Training with a community that also trains hard adds invaluable perspective to an athlete’s tool kit. The CFNE community gives me an opportunity to look at other athletes and understand what it takes to be where they are. For example, look at the CFNE masters: guys and gals who are incredibly fit and absolutely rebuke current physical norms in the United States. Functional fitness at any age. This perspective has helped me to reevaluate my fitness goals for the rest of my life. Simply put, I now have the perspective that it is possible to achieve and maintain high level of fitness as one ages. Prior to CrossFit, I trained hard, but I trained alone, fraught with loneliness, boredom, and often frustrated. At CFNE I found the ability to gain consistency in my training and the ability to pursue long term fitness goals.

This is where the patience comes in. I have more patience with my fitness and diet after CFNE because I have amazing support for my goals. The Community at CFNE is incredibly valuable for support, education, and motivation. CFNE’s Community is so well developed it transcends the box via social media and social interaction. The community seems to follow me wherever I go and is there when I need it. Night and day compared to fitness prior to CFNE.

Finally, it goes without saying that the amount of energy I have has significantly increased because of CrossFit. Working out hard and losing weight will do that for you.

5. You can only pick one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what is it?

Water. But if we’re talking food only, I think it has to be beef. I’m a meat and potatoes guy and I could eat steak every night and be happy. If we’re talking splurge or cheat meal it’s Antonio’s buffalo blue cheese pizza.

6. Here’s a little game called dinner, carpool, slumber party. From this list who would you have dinner with, carpool with, and have a slumber party with and why. Beethoven (the dog), Hulk Hogan, and Christian Bale.

Dinner – Beethoven
Dinner with Beethoven would be lots of fun because I really like to give treats to animals and I think Beethoven would be ok with eating steak for the rest of our lives. I also think it would be hilarious to dress Beethoven up in a dinner tuxedo and have a fancy dinner with him at a long table with English butlers like Downton Abbey. I’m sure he would tuck the table cloth into his collar and end up pulling it off of the table (obviously the plates would stay on the table) – hilarity is sure to follow.

Carpool – Christian Bale
Christian Bale would be an excellent car pool buddy because he could come as a different character for each ride. One day you’re riding with Patrick Bateman and the next day with Bruce Wayne! It would never get boring.

Slumber Party – Hulk Hogan
Hulk would be a great slumber party guest because of his wrestling prowess. If I had a tough time sleeping, I’d ask hulk to dial up a sleeper hold and it would be lights out.

7. Rumor has it you have a pretty sweet home gym, do you have a cool name for it? Something like the Bro-Palace or Swoll City?

Despite epic options such as the “fortress of Swollitude”, the “island of Dr. More Row”, and the “Brocopolis”, I generally call my home gym the “Spruce” because of the many spruce trees in our neighborhood. My wife likes to call it “the biggest waste of money ever.”

8. Who is your favorite super hero? Why? What would you pick for your super power? Why?

My favorite super hero is Batman. Batman is tragic character who straddles the line between hero and vigilante. I like how
Batman has no super powers and relies on his strength, stamina, and endurance. Batman seeks justice while physically and emotionally vulnerable. To some extent Batman is an amplification of that voice inside everyone that says, “we deserve better.” Batman also has the coolest toys.

If I had a super power I would want be able to fly. I hate traffic. It’s that simple.

9. What’s in your gym bag?

1. Custom black and red reebok nano 3’s
2. Rx Rope
3. Toiletries kit
4. Rehband knee supports
5. Water bottle
6. Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy Orange Flavor
7. lightweight lifting belt
8. Deadlift belt
9. Voodoo Floss
10. Nike Romanelos II oly weight lifting sneakers

10. If you were a fruit or vegetable what you be and why?

I would be an avocado because despite appearances I’m filled with good stuff.