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.


  1. Happy Birthday Maya! Big congrats Andrew, well deserved firebreather of the month! Keep up the good work!

  2. Congratulations, Andrew—great write up.
    Happy Birthday Maya!

  3. KarenH

    Congrats Andrew, and great answers :)

  4. Congrats, Andrew and HBD, Maya!

    Max must be losing his mind over the “Batman is a superhero” notion…

  5. Ronda

    Andrew, u r a true inspiration. I remember seeing u a few months ago for the first time. U should be very proud of your health and fitness progress.

    Maya, I remember doing your hair before Ben and Heather’s wedding. You were just a little girl. You’ve come so far. You have an incredible work ethic , unbelievable physical strength and above all, an endearing modesty. These are some of the most important qualities for any endeavor in life. Regardless, of the task at hand you have the toolkit and you will excel. Smooches!

  6. Christian

    Filthy Fifty – 25:19

    Modifications –

    Regular pull ups instead of jumping
    Abmat sit ups for box jumps
    25 knees to elbow/50 abmat sit ups over 50 K2E
    Abmat sit ups for double unders
    Hand release push ups for burpees

  7. Andy M

    Happy Birthday Maya and Congrats Andrew, great work!

    F50: 26:26 Rx 1:37 off PR, pulled left calf warming up on box jumps. Almost said screw it and walked out but glad I stuck around and did it. Tons of energy at the Mayhem this morning.

  8. Crabbe

    Happy birthday Maya! And way to go Andrew.

    Filthy 50: 24:39 Rx

  9. Colleen (OC)

    Filthy 50: 32:40, Rx. PR of 5:36 (plus last time the ladies used the 20″ box!) So much fun!!

  10. FF: 22:37 Rx (2:38 PR)

    OTM x 7: 7 unbroken C2B

  11. Filthy 50 w/ the 630amers 21:51rx

  12. Filthy 50: 27:52 (10# WB, 20 in. box jumps, K-to-E attempts)

  13. Filthy 50: 28:26 (knee to elbow attempts, the rest Rx)

    4:17 PR from June 2013. Now if I can just get my knees to my elbows I’ll be all good.

  14. Sarah W

    Filthy Fifty: 24:36 Rx. In Dec, 29:52 with 10 # WB.

  15. Happy B-day Maya. Way to go Andrew.
    Filthy 50: 25:03 (100SU) 5:15 PR. Meg: Thanks for the push on the Burpees!

    • Sarah W

      Way to fight through those burpees. I was across from you. Nice PR too.

  16. Tricia D

    Filthy 50: 32:03 (20″ bj, knee tucks, 10# wb, 25 du attempts)

    Slower than last June, but went for the 10ft target this time, used 26kb, and did du attempts v. 2 x su.

  17. Michelene

    Filthy 50: 31:08 (20″BJ, knee tucks, 10#WB & 18#KB) – 2:16 PR with 1 less scale – did the DUs Rx this time – and a mid WOD bathroom break!! I really struggled with this one in December so I was happy for the re-do.

  18. Heather V

    Filthy Fifty: 24:21 Rx

  19. Eugene

    Filthy Fifty – 23:58 Rx

    • You must have been refreshing every two minutes waiting for Vitti to post…

    • Eugene

      Just happened to turn out that way, but yes, it was nice to see that I could post right after. Those few seconds after I posted waiting to see if anyone beat me to the punch was torture.

      • Heather V

        Nice Eugene!!! Suuurreeee it was just coincidental that u JUST happened to post right after me. Great job today… Can’t wait for the next rematch!

  20. Brian L

    24:28rx (3:54pr)

  21. Happy B-day Maya! Thanks for the nice thoughts everyone, really enjoyed answering the questions.

    Nice character building workout today. Lots of mental toughness happening at 6:30 am.

    FF: 27: something; mixed RX/modifications – first time doing 24″ box jumps, got through the first 30 then switched to step ups; Knees to elbows weren’t there, ended up with a 14# wb, single unders. Woof.

    • looks like this was a PR of sorts by 4 minutes plus less mods

      F50: 31:31 mods: 24″ Step up; 14 lb wb 35 reps; Abmat SU; 100 SU

  22. This is one of my favorite CF workouts and I am so sad I can’t make it tonight to do it with the 7.30 pm crew. This work thing is really getting in the way for me.

  23. laura c

    FF: 29:58 1:23 second PR
    20 inch, 12/10# Ball to 9 foot (switched off b/c just lost it), 100 singles

    this wod really gets me… but progress in speed….

  24. Brook R

    Filthy Fifty: 29:28 Rx (4 min PR, and lots of meat on the bone for next time).

  25. Ben Bergeron

    Congrats on the Firebreather of the Month Andrew!

  26. Joe D

    Surfer on Acid-12:58 with 400 m Row

  27. Ashley R

    Filthy Fifty: 29:45 RX plus 35# KB.

    Happy Birthday Maya!

  28. Brien d

    First time doing filthy fifty and have heard ( and seen the shirts)
    31:29. Definitely exposed severall areas of improvement

  29. Filthy 50: 30:00, 20 inch step-ups, 10#wb to 9 ft target, rest Rx

  30. michelle

    Happy Birthday, Maya and congratulations, Andrew!
    Filthy Fifty: 27:11- not rx as I did ttb until 37 – then switched- good catch, Rach!
    no false grip mu work/ 5 rounds of 20 m sled push/follow by max no# reps in 1 min of 20#db strict press- thank you, Rachel!

  31. Big Bri

    Up & down Chipper WOD
    40 Box jump 24″
    40 Abmat situps
    40 Walking lunge
    40 Hip Extension
    40 Ball squat 20#
    Assault bike 10 cals
    40 Ball squat 20#
    40 Hip Extension
    40 Walking lunge
    40 Abmat situps
    40 Box jump 24″

  32. Patti j

    Happy Birthday Maya! Congrats Andrew!
    Filthy fifty 28:20 with 20″ step ups and 2x single unders. Knees to upper arm. 4 minute PR!

  33. Susan Stein

    Happy birthday Maya and congrats to Andrew!
    Filthy 50: 23:06 with many modifications.
    Here they are: 24″ step ups, 35# Russian swings, ab mat sit ups for knees to elbow, 30 ring rows for push press, 8# wall ball, in & out burpees, 100 single unders.

  34. Melinda

    Happy birthday Maya and congrats Andrew!

    Filthy 50: 23:00rx

    Great Nooner crew today, fun!

  35. FF: 28:54
    24″ step ups, 30# kb, 35# pp, 16#wb, subbed sit ups for burpees, 100 singles
    This WOD crushed me this morning. Day 6 for me–not a good WOD to do when already feeling fatigued and sore. Not much energy in the tank. PALEO going well on the scale, but, not so much energy. Optimistic things will improve, with a good 1-2 days off and a week under my belt of eating clean.

  36. Katrina

    26:51rx pr compared to June with the same standards as today pr by 9:20.

  37. Katie C.

    HBD Maya and congrats to Andrew!
    Filthy Fifty 29:21 with modifications
    30# KB swings
    ring rows for push press
    knees to tri
    8lb WB

  38. Stephan

    Congratulations Andrew!
    Filthy 50 31:48 w/ 2X SU, 5:40 PR from June 2013

  39. FF: 32:50 I think. First time. Subbed knee-ups, rest Rx.

    Congrats, Andrew! Happy birthday, Maya!

  40. Sonia

    30:56 scaled. Step ups, 100 singles, sit ups and not GHD’s

  41. FF: 24:20 Rx. (2:20 pr).

    5 rnds of: 10 strict PUs, 10 OHS, 20 DUs.

    EMOM 14
    Odd: Climbing ladder of C&Js (95, 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165)
    Even: ~15 pull ups

    Bench 5×5 up to 205

    • Congrats Andrew….and happy bday Maya. Hope it’s a good one.

  42. 26:30

  43. LEARD

    They call it filthy for a reason: 29:48 or 28:48 RX’d HAWUGE 5:30pm class tonight, strong work all.

  44. Andy L

    FF: 26:28 Rx (2:57 PR) really fun crashing the 530p – great energy tonight!

  45. Ken K

    Filthy Fifty: 25:02 (100 singles)

    So far in May, first run (Saturday)and first box jumps (today) in over a year. Small victories that mean the most!

  46. Kristin B.

    FF: DNF. Back seized up after back extensions. Managed a handful of burpees but chose to stop there.

  47. Rachel E

    Wooo congrats Sumo and happy birthday, Maya!!

    Filthy Fifty: 26:02 (abmat sit-ups for K2E). Even with a bit of a wait for equipment, this is a PR — first time RXing the wallballs in this WOD and maybe the DUs, too. Great 5:30 class!

  48. Filthy Fifty: 27:13 (20″/8#wb/18#kb for 15 reps until the 25# freed up)

  49. Nicole D

    Filthy Fifty: 26:51 Rx except knees to triceps. Can’t seem to figure these out.

    5 minute PR from a year ago with less mods

  50. Filthy Fifty: 23:02 (35# RKBS, ab mat sit ups, 14# WB – but totally spaced and did 9ft target – the last time I did WB was during the OPENS…oops!)


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