Resources, Nutrition and Mobility

What’s Natural Beef Flavoring?

More and more of the food and drinks we have consumed over the years have been concocted in a laboratory – which we don’t think is a big shocker to anyone. Check out this great information on natural flavors from

But, exactly how are “natural flavors” made and labeled? And are they lurking in your food?

The American flavor industry is expected to earn an estimated $15.1 billion annually by 2020, an unsurprising number given that at this point, almost all processed foods (and many non-processed foods) include flavor additives. But the term “flavor additives” is deliberately vague. Companies are not required to disclose the ingredients of flavor additives if all components are considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — and most manufacturers decline to get into specifics. If you think of flavorings as the proverbial secret sauce, it makes sense: You would be handing competitors the keys to the tasty kingdom.

Read more from our friends at!

Photo courtesy of Lightspring/Shutterstock.

Barbells for Boobs 2015



Please join us Saturday, October 24 for a workout and community event benefiting a worthy cause.


Sign up for a heat between 8:30-11:30 a.m., and then stick around as our chili cook-off contestants go head-to-head in a fierce competition from 11-1 p.m.!

Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m.: New to CrossFit/101/CF312 Young Athlete Heat * warm-up included
9:30 a.m.: CrossFit Heat *athletes should be warmed up by  heat start time
10:30 a.m.: CrossFit Heat * athletes should be warmed up by  heat start time
11:00 a.m.: Chili Cook-off, Tailgate & Raffle

About Barbells for Boobs

Barbells for Boobs is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women under the age of 40 and men.  Every $80 they raise provides a mammogram for someone who was previously unable to access one.

Limited Edition Apparel

CrossFit 312 will be donating all proceeds from the limited edition Barbells for Boobs t-shirts and tanks which will be on sale during the event.

Chili Cook-off and Raffle

If you would like to participate in our Chili Cook-off or would like to donate an item to our raffle, please contact for more information.

Coconut Cashew Milk: Just 6 Ingredients!

Many of us grew up consuming dairy products, which means it is extremely difficult to reverse the trend. Check out this great coconut cashew milk from our friends at Eater. 6 ingredients and a blender is all you need to create your own at home!

Coconut Cashew Milk
Makes 32 ounces

14 ounces filtered water
14 ounces organic coconut water
1 cup raw organic cashews
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
squeeze of raw local honey (or other sweetener) to taste

Add all ingredients to high power blender and process for two minutes or until milk is silky and thoroughly combined. Serve.

See the full recipe from



Coach’s Spotlight – Jessica Denst


Meet our coach, Jessica Denst!


Favorite CrossFit movement:

Favorite Workout Song:
Jock Jams on Pandora – I currently get super excited over Technotronic – Move This

Favorite Hero/Benchmark WOD:
Jackie! She was my first benchmark WOD so I think I have some special feelings for her.

Favorite Food:
It’s a tie between burritos and donuts! They both hit my menu at least twice a week.

What inspired you to become a CrossFit coach?
During the time I’ve been crossfitting I have had specific coaches that I would say have inspired, pushed and molded me into a better crossfitter and overall person. They’ve helped change my life and I want to give back to others what they’ve done for me!

What has been your best coaching experience so far?
I’ve coached many classes where the athlete is coming in to try CF for the first time. Oftentimes I hear someone say they will never be able to do a pullup or a pushup but by the end of the class they are surprised and excited when they were able to do that pullup or pushup. I always tell people there is no “I can’t” because there is always a way to modify or scale anything in CrossFit.

If you could give someone new to CrossFit just one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ask questions! When I first started CF I was too scared to ask anything. If I didn’t know what a movement was I would look around the room to see what others were doing which wasn’t helping me at all. Coaches love to answer questions and it makes us better athletes when we ask! When I started asking more questions I found myself not only becoming a better athlete but enjoying CrossFit much more!

Would you share with us your favorite tip or cue that we might find useful to use in our training?
Don’t cherry pick WOD’s! If there are specific movements you dislike those are the WOD’s that should be done! I’ll be the first to admit that when I see wallballs I suddenly get “ill”! But, I always make myself do the WOD and it not only helps to increase my mental toughness but I feel awesome for pushing through!

If “YOUR NAME” was a WOD, what would it be?
The “JMarie” would be a low rep WOD consisting of double-unders, t2b, hang power cleans (not too heavy) and pistols. It also would be no longer than 10 minutes.

What movement challenges you most and what are you doing to improve?
As much as I love the snatch it is also the movement that challenges me the most. We have a love/hate relationship and I’ve spent almost a year working to improve my technique.

What CrossFit athlete do you aspire to be most like?
Valerie Volborio – When I think of big name CF athletes I think of the ones who have dedicated their lives to training daily. Oftentimes these athletes are spending hours in the gym doing multiple workouts. Valerie is a full time teacher and a mother so she only has 90 minutes a day to dedicate to CrossFit. To me that’s inspiring and motivating!

Battle on the Yard – 2015 In-House Competition



We are excited to announce more details on our upcoming in-house team competition, the 2015 Battle on the Yard! This should be a fun day to compete and challenge yourself with, and against, your friends. Here’s everything you need to know:

Saturday, October 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (estimated, but please plan for the whole day)

CrossFit 312

You and two other 312 friends of the same gender (3 athletes per team)


RX Male
RX Female
Scaled/Choose Weight Male
Scaled/Choose Weight Female

Why compete?
It’s a great way to challenge yourself and to have fun with your fellow 312 members!

How do I sign up?
We’ll have a whiteboard at the gym for team registration, or register online here.

Please register by Saturday, September 26th.

How do I know which division to sign-up for?
All skill and experience levels are welcome! The weights and movements below may not be a part of the competition, however, they can be used as a general guide to determine what division is best for you. These are working weights, not one rep maxes. (These are guidelines, not strict rules, so use your best judgement.)

Thruster (95/65)
Clean and Jerk (135/95)
Toes to Bar
Unassisted Kipping-Pull Ups
Deadlift (185/135)

Thruster (75/45)
Clean and Jerk (95/65)
Jumping Pull-Ups / Ring Rows
Deadlift (135/95)

What if I don’t have a team but still want to participate?
We’ll have a Free Agent sign-up section on the whiteboard and online. Sign up, and the CF 312 staff will help you pull together a team.

What should I plan for on the day of the event?
Plan on arriving early on that Saturday. Athlete briefing will start promptly at 8 a.m. and events will follow immediately after. Bring plenty of snacks and fluids.

Should our team make t-shirts?
Yes! Coordinating your outfits, fun team names and other friendly gamesmanship is strongly encouraged.

What if I don’t want to compete but want to judge or volunteer?
We’d love to have you help! Please email for more information.

Coach’s Spotlight – Matt Szenda

mattszendaFavorite CrossFit movement:
Clean and Jerk

Favorite Workout Song:
Right Above It – Lil Wayne

Favorite Hero/Benchmark WOD:
Cindy or Linda (first benchmark WOD I did)

Favorite Food:

What inspired you to become a CrossFit coach? 
It had to be the community and “team” feel of CrossFit that inspired me to become a coach. Everybody is in it together and rooting for each other to do well, it reminds me of the camaraderie when I was playing hockey. I wanted to be a part of the CrossFit family.

What has been your best coaching experience so far? 
My best coaching experience is every time someone hits a PR or new movement they have not done before in one of my classes. I love seeing people succeed in the gym and accomplish something they may have never thought they could before.

If you could give someone new to CrossFit just one piece of advice, what would it be? 
My advice would be to just go for it. Every workout have that mindset that you will just go for it no matter how difficult the WOD might be, no matter how nervous or scared you might be, because that feeling you get when it’s over and you finish it is an indescribable feeling of accomplishment. It makes it all worth it.

Would you share with us your favorite tip or cue that we might find useful to use in our training?
Recovery is just as important as the training. A lot of us forget this from time to time, myself included and believe me I have learned the hard way. Sleep, food, and hydration are critical to getting optimal results everyday in the gym no matter what your goal is.

If “YOUR NAME” was a WOD, what would it be?
I think the “Matt” would have heavy thrusters and T2B in it and would be a sprint style workout. Under 10 minutes, for sure.

What movement challenges you the most and what are you doing to improve?
The bar muscle-up and snatch challenge me the most. I have been working on scap and midline strength. I have been working a lot with strict pull-ups and doing more scap retraction exercises.

What CrossFit athlete do you aspire to be most like? 
Dan Bailey. He has been a consistent competitor at the games over the years, and won the Spirit of the Games award this year. He always seems to be really enjoying himself with a friendly demeanor.

SAVE THE DATE: 2015 Battle on the Yard

Yes, you read that right. We’re competing for fun!

We couldn’t end the summer without a friendly, in-house competition with our members. We’re still putting the finishing details in to place, but here’s what you should expect from this year’s competition:

October 3, 2015

You don’t have to be a CrossFit expert to compete. We’re hosting two separate competitions for males and females. Choose between Rx, scaled or ‘choose your own adventure.’

Create your own teams of 3 females or 3 males.

3-5 events.

$0 – all active members are invited to participate as part of their membership!

Specifics on team registration, events and time slots will be sent after Labor Day. We look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Battle on the Yard.


Ups and Downs of Training


IMG_2624By Mike Zemanski, CrossFit 312 Owner and Coach

“The weight room is a place where the trials never end. It is the place where we test ourselves continuously – we struggle to reach one goal, and, as soon as we reach it, there is another and more difficult one to meet.”

In yoga, there is common refrain throughout the practice to “honor your body.” Meaning, respect what your body can perform at that moment. No more, no less.

In CrossFit, the same principle can be applied to your training. You’re not always going to feel like you can move as fast as you want, or that the weight is going to fly through the ceiling. We’ve all had great training days when we’re weightless and the metcon isn’t trying to kill us. For every great day of training though, there’s usually days we just don’t have it. Weight you lifted before feels heavier, burpees are slower and that voice in your head is louder.

You have to embrace both sides of the process. Understand that not every day is going to be a day you PR. Paying attention to the minutia, the small ebbs and flows associated with daily training, can distract us from the long term benefits of CrossFit.

There are times when we question our training and the process. Want to blame outside variables for our performance. This is inevitable. It’s how you respond to that mentality that defines you. You have to embrace the tendency to question “Why didn’t I perform well today?” Understand that not every training day can be effortless, and remain positive.

There’s a variety of factors that may contribute to you not performing to your expectations. Your strength and conditioning is just a small piece of the puzzle. Sometimes the best cure for a plateau or back slide in your training is to look outside the gym and at the rest of your life. Your nutrition, sleep and overall stress level deeply impact your performance.

Get in the gym, work hard, eat right, sleep, record your data and observe the results over the long run. Respect your body, give your best effort, and have fun.

The key is to embrace the results, regardless of what they are, and know you put it all out there. Hopefully, when you look back over 6, 12 or even 18 months – you are fitter and healthier than you once were.

Summer Workout Tips

Hello, Summer. We’ve Missed You.

We all know that it’s officially summer — although some days have felt more like it than others. And as you’ve probably noticed as the temperatures and humidity rise, so does the temperature of the gym. While we will continue to do our best to keep everyone comfortable during these periods of heat, we thought we’d offer up a couple tips to keep you safe and active this summer.

1. Drink plenty of water. There is plenty of water at all time in our coolers, but we encourage you to bring your water bottles and hydrate before, during and after class. Dr. Hoesley (and all of our other fitness experts) recommends drinking your body weight in ounces each day – it’s easy to remember and will keep your muscles, joints and other body systems happy.

2. Let the staff know if you’re not feeling right. While we will do everything we can to keep the gym temperature below 80 degrees and as comfortable as possible, it’s important you scale workouts and listen to your body. If you’re feeling like you are over heating or pushing your body too far, let a coach know right away. Take a seat, drink some water and resume activity when you feel comfortable or ask the coach on duty for additional assistance/care. You’re health is our top priority, not your PR.

3. Don’t forget to fuel your body. Increased body temperatures typically mean increased metabolism. Make sure you are properly adjusting for the extra calories your body will burn as it heats up. Pre-workout/post-workout meals and protein are important every day, but especially on those hot ones! We have plenty of high-quality, paleo options and individual protein packets if you forget to bring your own.

4. Dress appropriately. This is probably a given, but wearing light, breathable apparel is key to keeping you cool during your workout. Although, lets be honest, we don’t mind if need to set your shirt aside to keep cool… and show off your hard work once in a while.

We’re looking forward to a summer full of amazing workouts, great community events and lots of fun. If there is anything we can do to make your experience better, let us know!

Happy Summer,

Stephen Hoesley

$%#! you’ve been eating.

Here’s an eye opening look at what Big Food is changing.

While the Paleo diet is part of the CrossFit culture, we don’t always talk about the underlying issue at hand — the quality of the ingredients and food we are eating. And lets be honest, we are all human — we all splurge on a guilty pleasure now and again. But this recent CNN article has us rethinking some of those splurges.

A number of major fast-food chains and food companies have recently announced healthier practices, moving to all-natural ingredients and ending the use of downright strange and sometimes hard-to-pronounce additives — a trend that experts say is having meaningful impact on our food supply.

The ever-lengthening list includes:

1. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (YUM): Announced on Tuesday they were going all natural, removing all artificial colors and flavors. Among other things, Taco Bell said it will switch from artificial black pepper toactual black pepper (but wouldn’t reveal what was in the artificial version.)

2. Panera (PNRA): Made a similar promise earlier this month, saying that it will no longer put things like “Tert-Butyl-Hydroquinone” in your sandwich.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN): Dropping titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar donuts to make the powder appear brighter. It is also used in sunscreen and paints.

4. Kraft (KRFT): Nixing the signature artificial yellow dye from its macaroni and cheese. The new dye will use spices like paprika, annatto and turmeric — and the company promises the mac and cheese will taste the same.

5. Tyson Foods (TSN): Eliminating antibiotics from its chickens over concerns that widespread use is leading to an increase in drug-resistant bacteria in both animals and people.

6. McDonald’s (MCD): Made a similar announcement in March.

7. Chipotle (CMG): Moving away from genetically modified food, with the co-CEO saying, “They say these ingredients are safe, but I think we all know we’d rather have food that doesn’t contain them.”

8. Coke (KO): Eliminated brominated vegetable oil, which is used as a flame retardant in plastics, upholstered furniture, and clothing for children. Coke had used it in Fanta and Fresca, among others.

To read the full CNNMoney article, click here.