Laid-back Fitness

Frozen Clam 4.0!

The 4th Annual Dip is less than 4 weeks away!

If someone offered you a full day of warmth and fuzziness for just one minute of discomfort, would you accept?  Join me and a bunch of like-minded and highly-logical folks at Goddard Park on 1/1/15!  Once again we’ve partnered with our friends at Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership (RIMP) and are looking for teams of hearty souls to participate in the 4th Annual Frozen Clam Dip!  Last year, well over 100 people jumped into the frigid water at Goddard Park Beach in Warwick, raising over $5,000 for the RIMP!

This year we are happy to offer an incentive for the team with the most dippers to sign up! The largest team will get to enjoy the comforts of a heated tent at the event, where they can prepare themselves for the dip and dry off afterwards.

Please register here!

We are also looking for sponsors!  Are you or someone you know looking for an excellent year-end charitable contribution opportunity?  Please contact us for more details!

Want a practice dip?  Join me and a few fellow Frozen Clams on 12/14/14 at 12pm at Goddard!




3rd Annual Thanksgiving Festivities!

Our Thanksgiving Tradition is back and better than ever!  This year we’re giving our friends options for celebrating with us!  We’ll have the “Kitchen Sink” Circuit as always, but the Ultimate Frisbee and Plunge events are new!  Read on for more info!

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You get to choose: the inside “Kitchen Sink” circuit with Super Dave or the Inaugural Ultimate Frisbee game with Ryan at the LbF Beach!
  • Whether you’re in or out, meet at the studio at 0930!
  • Semi-optional plunge at Gorton Pond after Frisbee Game!  Peer pressure will be strong but it’s better than our initial idea of making the losing team plunge!
  • Bring non-perishable food!
  • Wear your bathing suit and bring a towel if you’re playing frisbee!
thanksgiving (2)

Whoa That’s A Lot of Stations!



The Water Looks Inviting!


Ninja Strength Block

Alas, another “no-time-for-blogging” introduction.  It’s been a while since I posted anything about my workouts.  As I’ve written before, I work in 4 week “blocks.”  It just works for me physically and mentally.  My goals for this block were to improve my Ninja status and get stronger.  Since this is my “off season,” I’ll be doing less running and more strength work.  This makes sense given the demands of ANW.

I chose Deadlifts, presses, kettlebell squats and weighted “hang complexes” (dead hang, active hang, pullup, slow negative) as my big 4.  Since I’m coming off a wrist injury that prevented me from deadlifting and barbell pressing for 5 months, I started light and easy.  Here goes:

Week #1

A. Strength 

WU: kettlebell arm bars – 16kg x 1ea, 20kg x 1ea.  Rotational swing throw/catch – 30# x 5ea,5ea

Main: DL – 295×5, 275×5.  Press – 105×5, 95×5.

Combo (4 supersets of):

Atlas Stone Lap to Shoulder – 115 x 1ea, 130 x 1 ea, 145 x 1ea, 155 x 1ea

Handstand pushups at wall x 3,3,3,3

Finisher: Row 500m – 1:21

B. Ninja

I participate in our Wednesday Ninja Skills class.  This class is one hour of strength and skills required to conquer the course!  It’s fun, effective, and badass.  Here are the video highlights!

C. Strength

WU: 1-arm dead hangs – 0:20 x 3 ea.  ViPR squat reach – 8kg x 5,5,5

Main: Double Kettlebell Squat – 20kg x 5, 16kg x 5.  Weighted hang complex – 8kg x 5, 6kg x 5

Combo (2 supersets of):

Vert/depth jumps 30″ box x 10,10

Rope climb – 2″ rope x 7′ x 2,2

Finisher: Jump to popup x 5 – I really like this move as it brings a couple of skills together (i.e. jumping and climbing)!

Week #2

A. Strength

WU: kettlebell arm bars – 20kg x 2ea, 24kg x 1ea.  Rotational swing throw/catch – 30# x 5ea,5ea,5ea.

Main: DL – 305×5, 275×5.  Press – 115×5, 105×5.

Combo (4 supersets of):

Atlas Stone Lap to Shoulder – 130 x 1ea, 145 x 1 ea, 155 x 1ea, 175 x 1ea

Wall climber to handstand pushups at wall x 3,3,3,3

Finisher: Row 500m – 1:18.5

B. Ninja Class!

C. Strength

WU: 1-arm hang complex – 3 ea arm.  ViPR walking lunges with halo – 8kg x 50′,50′.

Main: Double Kettlebell Squat – 24kg x 5, 20kg x 5.  Weighted hang complex – 10kg x 5, 8kg x 5.

Combo (2 supersets of):

Broad jumps @7′ x 8,8

Rope climb – 2″ rope x 7′ x 3,3

Finisher: Jump to popup x 5

Week #3

A. Strength

WU: arm bars – 20kg, 24kg, 55# x 1 ea.  Rot swing throw/catch – 30# x 5ea,5ea,5ea

Main: DL – 315×5, 285×5.  Press – 125×5,115×5


Stone-shoulder – 145x1ea,155x1ea,175x1ea

Wall climber to handstand pushup at wall x 3,3,3

Finisher: Row 500m – 1:17.3

B. Ninja Class!

C. Strength

WU: 1-arm hang complex x 3ea.  ViPR walking lunges with halos – 8kg x 50′

Main: Doub KB Squat –  28kgx5, 24kgx5.  Weighted hang comp – 12kg x 5, 10kg x 4+1


swing jumps x 3each direction

rope climb 2″ x 7′ x 3 reps

Jump to popup at tree x 6

Finisher: New Kettlebell complex at 28kg x 5 each arm

Week #4

No strength workouts!

A. Ninja Class!

I love rest week!  I still move but don’t do anything challenging.  I feel that this allows me to heal up and regenerate.  It also gives me a little motivation during week #3 to push myself knowing that I’ll have the next week off.


This was a good way to get back into a regular lifting routine after a pretty long hiatus.  I feel like my #’s will be back in another 2 months or so and eventually I’ll set new PR’s by mid-winter.  Strength + Skill = Proficiency!  Throw in some more grip strength and I’ll be ready for ANW!

Bold r Dash in the Mud – 4th Edition

Wow, how time flies!  Bold r Dash holds a special place in my heart for a couple reasons: it’s in RI and it was the first event for Los Neuty Osos!  I remember being so excited that I forgot my shoes!  Then that started to become a thing…anyway, here are the highlights from an awesome training program at Neuty and an awesome event at Yawgoo!

Back in 2011:

Bold 2011

Neuty Then…More Grass, Less People.

Bold 2011 (2)

Original Osos!


We’ve grown a bit since our inaugural mud run/ocr!

Bold 2014

Solid Crowd at the Summit!

Upgraded Team Shirts!

Upgraded, High Vis Team Shirts!

After 10 weeks of training skills and hills at Neuty, our big green team (aka Los Tootsie Osos) had a blast!  I saw folks tootsie-rolling, shoulder-crawling, chest carrying, tripod transitioning, giving out 8-finger boost baskets, and in general, moving like highly trained humans, which I guess they are!

As always, Bold r Dash does a great job at making their events fun and scaleable!  They added some cool new obstacles; I especially liked the lateral spider traverse, the fireman’s pole, and playing around on the new monkey bar rig!  Of course the Slip n Slide is the highlight!  If you’re not sure how to Slip n Slide, check out our instructional video below:

Here is the 6 minute video recap.  I believe the words “tootsie roll” are used at least a half dozen times!

Thanks to Lynn and the Bold r Dash crew, and my team, Los Tootsie Osos!

How to Slay a Beast!

Spartan Beast was one of the most hardcore badass events I’ve ever done!  If you want to read about how tough it was, check out this gal’s review.

I’m going about this in a different way.  I know I talk about MovNat a lot, but I have to highlight it again.  I saw so many people struggle with obstacles that I found relatively easy; and not just because of strength, but also skill and strategy.

So how do you dominate a super badass hardcore event?  The short answer is learn MovNat!  For a detailed breakdown, keep reading…

I’d argue that to survive an event like this, the most important tool you need is mental grit.  For a primer on that, check out this article.

On the non-physical side, important principles to bring with you are awareness and efficiency.  I bet there were hundreds of sprained ankles on the course (my cousin’s included) from the sketchy terrain.  There were probably thousands of crampy/spasmy muscles from lack of efficiency, improper pacing and/or nutrition strategy.

On the physical side, trail running and hill climbing/descending (often overlooked but a huge part of our Tough Mudder Training) are the most important skills to have.  If you are a mule or a gazelle then you’ll be fine.  If you’re also part monkey, then you’ll get to avoid burpees!  Below is the list of MovNat skills that I used on this EPIC course.  I highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel and practicing these skills!

  • Efficient running uphill and downhill (aka trotting).
  • Perception walking – used in thick mud, or when wading through water to avoid slips, falls, foot entrapment, etc.
  • Hinged walk, stepping over, ducking under – used to deal with fallen trees in the woods.
  • Inverted crawl and tripod transitions – used in the rocky, muddy downhill sections of the trails.
  • Shoulder crawl and push-pull crawl for going under barbed wire/nets/etc.
  • Deadlift, lapping, and shouldering – sets you up for carrying, switching shoulders, and lapping gives your arms a break instead of putting the object on the ground.
  • Chest carry and shoulder carry – it’d be impossible to do “too much carrying” in your training for this event.  Use the interlock grip and wrist grip whenever possible.
  • Side stroke swimming – freestyle/crawling is tough with a hydration pack and doggy-paddling looks silly.
  • Front and lateral swing traverse – when you can’t/don’t need to power through and you have a sold grip (i.e. rings, pipe traverse, tarzan swing).
  • Front and lateral power traverse – used at monkey bars, pipe traverse, and a little on the tarzan swing.
  • Balancing walk and leg swing jumps at balance obstacles
  • Climbup and muscle up – used on the walls and cargo nets
  • Depth jumps – used to land safely from the walls
  • Spear throw
  • Hook traverse – used on the rope over the pond.
  • Backward sprawls are way better than burpees!

Other Skills used:

  • Tootsie rolls (that’s what we call the lateral roll under the barbed wire).
  • Rope climbing – if you have a strong grip, you can get away with a little inefficiency.

Overall, I’m very happy with how I performed at the Beast!  My goal was to have fun and do zero burpees.  I definitely had a blast!  In fact, I’m still high!  Unfortunately I came up short on the 2nd spear throw…burpee total = 35 (5 were mandatory at the Atlas Stone carry).

Here’s what slaying the Beast looks like from a GoPro:





Announcing the Laid-back Forest!

Here is the website for the Laid-back Forest!

Say what? We are working on a one-of-a-kind outdoor obstacle Park in Coventry! Picture Mulligan’s Island meets Tough Mudder/Spartan and American Ninja Warrior! We will have an open obstacle “range”, beginner to advanced “challenge courses”, private lessons, group classes, trail runs, kids parties, adults parties, and so much more!  This place is magical and the sky’s the limit!

As we did last week, we will have Obstacle Tours periodically throughout the Fall/Winter, and will be holding classes there to get ready for our next Tough Mudder and Bold r Dash conquests!  Currently the Forest is not open to the public, but we are available by appointment for group tours and private trainings.  Please contact Ryan for more information.  Also, please like our Facebook Page!

Here’s what it looked like last Saturday!

Pictures of what we have built so far!

Bounding Pads


Vertical Walls

4', 5', 6', 8', 10'

4′, 5′, 6′, 8′, 10′

“A” Frame


Balance Park

From left to right: easy, medium, hard

From left to right: easy, medium, hard.

Reverse Climb

Beautiful and Badass!

Beautiful and Badass!


That's what we're calling it at least...

That’s what we’re calling it at least…

Balls to the Wall

A Favorite at Tough Mudder

A favorite at Tough Mudder!

Rope Traverse Network

Great Place to Hang Out

Great place to hang out!

Wall Traverse Alley

Usable now, but much more to come!

Usable now, but much more to come!  Also, we need a better name for this!

Marine Hurdles


Coming soon – 2 of our own Ninja Warrior Courses!  The “scout” course will feature 5-6 moderate obstacles and the “warrior” course will feature 6-7 hardcore obstacles!  Expect to see these within the next month!  Stay tuned!

Tough Mudder Great Northeast Review

My 11th Tough Mudder experience was definitely the most comfortable and enjoyable one yet!  Our group, Los Neuty Osos, was a little beaten up from a long season on the hill, so we made a group decision to to take our time and enjoy a perfect day in Maine!  Here’s how it went down:

After taking the oath we ran the perimeter of a few par 4s until we hit Kiss of Mud.  I got to untangle my Dad and have a brief conversation about crawling technique:

Mud mile was pretty worn down so the muddy walls weren’t tall but the mud was definitely thick and soupy.  Pitfall and Quagmire were pretty weak.  As an aside; I love Big Mudder, but I feel like she’s getting a little soft…

The Osos showed their strength and skills at Funky Monkey.  The best part of the video is my Dad’s face and frozen upper body after he finishes!

Props goes to Courtney for gutting out 5 miles after her painful dismount at the Monkey Bars.  That definitely hurt, but she kept moving!

Once again we cleared the Berlin Walls like a well-oiled machine!  Thanks to the “flyers” and “basemen” for their help!

Walk the Plank was a little less dramatic than Mount Snow, but just as fun!  After that, Trench Warfare was nice to see back on the course.

We had a blast at Pyramid Scheme as always!  Here’s the after photo:

Muddy and Happy!

Muddy and Happy!

Glory blades and Pole Dancer barely slowed us down.  We all saved our shoulders by activating our lats on the Poles.

I took it easy on the Warrior Carry with my brother, Tom!  As you can see, we hardly look alike:

Piece of Cake

Piece of Cake!

Just as it was getting a little warm, we got to cool off at the Arctic Enema.  The First Laidy and I went together for the dip:

I’m a big fan of Balls to the Wall!  It’s way harder than it looks!

The Great Northeast’s version of Cliffhanger was steep, slick and muddy.  Nice job!

Thank god Everest was back!  It’s definitely my favorite!

It was really cool to have the whole team on top of the platform together!



After a nice time at the Legionnaire’s Loop, we linked up and “got our grips” to hold strong at Electroshock Therapy.  Apparently the Dude doing play-by-play wasn’t there when 38 of us held together at Mount Snow!

This photo captures the moment well:

Clearly a "Little Off!"

Clearly a “Little Off!”

Overall, this was an awesome event as usual!  I do have to admit that they’re getting a bit more user-friendly, but no less enjoyable!  Thanks again to my team, Los Neuty Osos, for a great time on the course and off the course!  The obstacles are fun, but it’s sharing the experience with friends and family that make these events so awesome!

Thanks to The Frog & Turtle for an awesome celebratory meal!

Rock ON!

Rock ON!


Men – 16

Women – 5

1st Timers – 7

Legionnaires – 14

Married couples – 3

McGowans – 5

Oldest – 58

Youngest  – 22

Average age – relatively old

Lifetime memories – unknown!

The “New” LbF Turns 2!

Writing these recaps gives me goosebumps!  A year ago I was so humbled, proud, excited, and a bit exhausted as I wrote about the wild ride that was our first year at the new studio!  I never thought we could top those 365 amazing days!  Well, looking back, I think we’ve done it!  Here are the significant moments of our sophomore season!

  • We changed our logo in August but it wasn’t until the following April that we installed the sign!

New Sign

  • Los Neuty Osos more than doubled in size as 24 badasses conquered Tough Mudder New England together!  Notable statistics for this event:
    • Orange Headbands – 24
    • Ladies – 10
    • Gentlemen – 14
    • Virgins – 14
    • Veterans – 10
    • Married couples – 2
    • Newly engaged couples – 1
    • Pairs of brothers – 1
    • Pairs of sisters – 2
    • Ages 28-59.98
    • Average age 39.08
    • Complaints – 0!
    • Pairs of shoes worn – 23

TM NE 2013 Finish

Although he wasn’t on our team, the Big Man really inspired us!

  • Roughly 1 month later a different pack of Osos represented at Bold r Dash!  I did OK for a minimalist in competing against some local OCR racers.

Bold Before

6 Years Later!

6 Years Later!

  •  The First LbF Wedding was a blast!  We cannot confirm it brought the gift of fertility, but we’d like to think we had an influence as Alison & Chris are expecting in October!

Alison and Chris

  • Our 2nd Annual Free Thanksgiving Class featured the “Kitchen Sink” circuit!  Our clients were extremely generous with their donations to the RI Food Bank!thanksgiving (2)
  • Once again our clients were extremely generous with our 2nd Annual Giving Tree in support of local families!

Giving Tree

  • The Frozen Clam blew up in its 3rd year!  It was the coldest, yet most successful Clam ever, raising $5,000!  Thanks again to our clam dippers and sponsors!
That's a lot of Clams!

That’s a lot of Clams!

  • That was so much fun that we started doing monthly dips!
  • It was our way of showing Winter that we’re not intimidated!
  • We started hosting monthly meetings for the local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter!
  • As a result of these meetings, we became part of Farm Fresh RI’s Market Mobile Program which delivers local food to the studio!
  • After doing our homework we selected a supplement line that is keeping our bodies young, fresh, and (mostly) pain-free!  Ask for a shot of OPC-3 (aka the “purple miracle”) at the bar!
  • Kettlebella joined the party!  Check out her class on Wednesday nights!
  • The First Laidy showed us that women can be beautiful and strong while with child!  It was humbling and inspiring to watch, as she carried her body with such grace and even taught class at 38 weeks!
Welcome to the World!  Now let's get Naked!

Welcome to the World! Now let’s get Naked!


Wait, so you’re responsible for me? I think I just pooped myself!

Record for Crawling Under Lowest Hurdle!

Current record holder for lowest under crawl!

Baby Badass!

Baby Badass!

That's Her!  4 Months Later!

That’s Her! 4 Months Later!



  • Bold r Dash on the Beach was a bunch of fun as always!
  • 2014 Winter Tough Mudder Training was EPIC!  The first half of our 18 week program was in snow!  These badasses took it all in (short, fast) stride.

Osos Sand Dunes


  • The award for most FFabulous day of the year goes to Los Neuty Osos at Tough Mudder New England on 6/1!  We had an “event high” 38 highly trained badasses hold strong and finish together for the greatest accomplishment of our brief, yet storied history.  This brought our Orange headband total to 84.  We will see triple digits next month at Tough Mudder Great Northeast!  Notable statistics for this event:
    • Orange Headbands – 24
    • Other Colored Headbands – 14
    • Ladies – 19
    • Gentlemen – 19
    • Virgins – 24
    • Veterans – 14
    • Married couples – 4
    • Engaged couples – 1
    • Couples who got engaged immediately after finishing – 1
    • Relatives of mine – 2
    • Ages 20-60
    • Average age – pretty old
    • Pounds lost by the biggest loser – 110!
    • Complaints – 0!
    • Regrets – 0!
    • Lifetime memories – unknown.


  • We added some delicious recipes
  • We added lots of sweet new features!

Outside too!

Side Yard!

Side Yard!

Back Yard!

Back Yard!

  • We started posted some challenges for y’all to do on your own!  More to follow (we promise)…
  • The Laid-back Forest is coming folks!  Prepare to be amazed by this unique destination!  Picture Mulligan’s Island meets Tough Mudder/American Ninja Warrior!
Load Testing the Traverse!

Load Testing the Traverse!

Once again, if you are reading this, THANK YOU!  I know you’ve heard it before, but we wouldn’t be able to pull this off without you!  We have never worked harder than we have in the last two years; but you all make it worthwhile!  Much love to you: the badass, loving, generous, positive, and overall high-quality people we call our clients!  We look forward to writing the next chapter with you all!

Moving Around the Block

Once again, my favorite yearly mini-vacation was full of movement and exploration!  Block Island is the perfect place for Active Relaxation!  In fact,! I hope to organize some retreats there next summer!  It’s only 10 miles into the Atlantic yet you feel detached from the real world and can explore your wild side!  Here’s a recap of this trip’s activities:

  • The 1st Annual Blueberry 5k!  This was an impromptu family event led by yours truly after reading about the “high bush blueberries” being in season in July.  The trail was about 1/2 mile long and was about 1 mile away from our house.  I loaded up my camelbak with a couple empty containers and we ran out to the trail with visions of blueberries as far as our eyes could see…and we got just that!  Except, they were probably a week or two from being ripe.  Unfortunately we saw more mating beetles than ripe blueberries.  However, we were grateful for the ones we picked and we did harvest a decent amount of blackberries.  Overall it was a success!  Next year we’ll aim for later in the season…


Solid Crew!

Solid Crew!


  • One lap around the Block, any way, for time (kinda)!  The following day I set out for the big one of the trip.  Every year I look for new areas to explore, but this year I figured I’d try to go all the way around the island.  Plus, I wanted to go for my annual mountain bike ride so I eased my soft undercarriage onto that awful seat and set out from the house on High St.  I took the scenic route via Snake Hole and Block Rock Roads to the Coast Guard House.

After a short run to the beach, and looking both ways, I swam across the channel.  This took 2 minutes but for some reason I lost my cool for a second out there.  I’m blaming it on the fact that it was my first open water swim of 2014.  For some reason I thought I was being pulled by the current, but I ended up right where I hoped.  Oh well, I made it.  In case you didn’t know, open water swimming is definitely mental! After hitting land on the other side I attempted to run the beach but it was way too rocky.  Although I am confident in my “fast feet” technique, I didn’t feel it was worth turning an ankle this early in the adventure, with about 7 miles of beach running to go.  So I walked and took in the scene where I’d never been before, and ran when the beach allowed.  At times, I tried not to touch any sand by balancing on driftwood and jumping from rock to rock: The plan was to swim across Sachem Pond near the end of the Western beaches but I’m pretty sure it was fenced off and there were so many seagulls around the area that I just kept running until I passed the North light.  I came across a make-shift nautical monument and decided to climb: After reaching the top end of the Island I hit pavement for a little while before getting on the Clay Head trail.  On my way to the trail was a decent hill that always seems to take people off their bicycles.  Since I’m no stranger to hills, I ate it up!  Running on sure footing up a steady hill was so easy that I passed a guy on his bike.  “This is a good incline, eh?” he observed.  “Yeah, pretty good.” I didn’t want to make him feel bad and didn’t have the time nor desire to give him directions to Neuty. The Clay Head trail took me to Pots & Kettles beach.  From there I headed South to the Pavilion, about 2 miles of sandy beach running, to my checkpoint at the Town Beach Pavilion.  The 16 mile journey took me 2:25. Round the Block After meeting up with my family and taking Luke into the Atlantic, I got kinda bored and decided to make this a full lap of the Island.  So, after about an hour break, I ran down the rest of the beach before hopping back onto pavement and took it back to the house (about 1.25 miles). Gear for this adventure: vivobarefoot ultra pures (best summer shoes ever!), camelback, mountain bike, goggles, GoPro.  I wore the vivos on the bike, on the really rocky beach sections, and the pavement.  They were perfect for this journey!

  •  Grilling!  We did lots of this activity out there!  Here is the highlight of the meals we prepared:

Swordfish, Tuna, Kale with Onions & Garlic

Swordfish, Tuna, Kale with Onions & Garlic

  • Last day for a swim!  I felt the need to redeem myself from the ugly channel swim and get out there again.  As I did last year, I swam from the breakwater to the Town Beach Pavilion (about 2/3 mi.).  After landing on the beach I ran down to Mansion Beach to meet up with my family (about 1.3mi).  The water was perfect and the swim was redeeming!  The run felt great on my tight ankles and feet from the previous day’s journey.  A great way to cap off a few solid days of activity!

I already miss RI’s own paradise!  Two days later and the only memento is the soreness in my shoulders and tender sits bones from those first swims and rides of the year.  We’ll see you again next year!

Laid-back Birthdays!


Credit Lisa Frechette Photography

We have been having a blast celebrating birthdays with kids of all ages!  Typically these parties are 2 hours of intense play!  Here are the details to consider for your kid’s (or your own) birthday party:

  • Parties are private by appointment.  You will have the entire studio to yourselves!
  • Rate is $100/hr with 1.5 hour minimum.
  • Included in the rate above are tables, chairs, and water.
  • We can provide food from local vendors for an additional cost.
  • We can provide invitations with all pertinent details for an additional cost.
  • Things to bring: proper attire for intense play inside and outside at our side yard obstacle course, any medication your child may need (inhalers, epi pens, etc.).
  • All parents/guardians are required to sign a waiver for their child.
  • All participants receive a free group exercise class!  Check out our schedule!

These parties are also great for field trips, scout groups, sports teams, etc!  Contact Ryan for more info!



Credit Lisa Frechette Photography


Credit Lisa Frechette Photography


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