MtB is nearly  one year old. These are our highlights from 2017…


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I launched MtB back in January of this year not knowing if anyone would read MtB or quite what the content would be. My first few posts were about the ‘Best UK Comps for Masters’ and a round-up of online articles and podcasts that were by or related to Masters. It wasn’t until the end of January that the ‘Meet the Masters’ interviews started with Rob Walker. It was after that first interview that I realised what MtB was about – our shared experience as Masters, learning from each other, connecting and reaffirming our love of CrossFit. “By Masters, for Masters”.


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Since Rob, I’ve interviewed around 100 Masters (mainly in the UK but a fair few from Europe and around the World). I feel hugely privileged to get to read what they’ve written first. I’ve barely scratched the surface and the invite process has been pretty random, so I’m looking forward to meeting even more of you in 2018.

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A few of our “Meet the Masters” interviews

Every single interview has been a great read and I won’t try to list them all here (that’s why we’ve got an A-Z). Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

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At the end of January, I wrote about the lessons I learned from Tim Ferris’ book Tool of Titans in one of the most read posts so far – “Did taking a cold shower every day for a month turn me into a CrossFit Titan?” (Spoiler alert – No).

The interviews were soon adding up and led to the series “Listen to your Elders…” – covering the key messages about recovery, advice for new Crossfitters, supplements to swear by and things we should stop / start.

By the end of February the Open was in full swing and I realised that whilst it was hard enough finding my own leaderboard position, it was nearly impossible to get an overview of UK Masters. The weekly round-ups proved highly popular as did the ensuing controversies and debates (“Is the Masters Open Broken?”).


Up until this point, I had only interviewed UK and European Masters but was thrilled to start adding Masters from around the World. US Master, Pete Mongeau was a great place to start and he was unlucky not to make the Games this year after injury struck.


At the start of March we launched our weekly round-up e-mail, The Sunday Supplement. It has run ever since and contains a round-up of blog content, the best of the web, UK and European competition news alongside anything else that tickled our fancy.


(If you’ve signed up and aren’t receiving, please check your spam folder!).

Our European coverage started with ‘Euro-Masters’ and we’ve been lucky enough to interview some incredible Masters (helped by our Euro-Advisor and interviewee Antonio Alves). It was great to see Giulio Silvino go all the way to the Games (and win the Liftoff) alongside Eirik Solen.

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We continued coverage of the Open into the Age Group Online Qualifiers and started a Roll of Honour in which I try to capture as many of the achievements of UK masters as I can.

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It was great to see so many UK Masters making a mark on the world scene. A few were within touching distance of a place in Madison but we were thrilled to see Cathy Wilson, Len Dandridge and Patrick Murray (the interviewee who got away!) make it all the way. Check out the Roll of Honour and let us know what we’ve missed!


Miroslav Loncarevic introduced us to the CrossFit scene in Serbia, starting a series of interviews with Serbian Masters before blogging about his epic journey around the boxes of Serbia.

On April 1st (no April Fool here, though!), we interviewed CrossFit legend Sam “The Engine” Briggs as she turned 35 and joined the newly created 35+ Masters category.


It was a pleasure to introduce you to the CFOBG (Crossfit Old Boys and Girls) who are a group of like-minded Masters who train together in boxes around the Reading area and have raised a load of money for charity along the way.


Lots of Masters use online programming and we weighed up the pros and cons whilst looking at some of the most popular ones in ‘Beyond the Whiteboard: A Masters Guide to Online Programming.’

In May we had a week looking at the mental side of CrossFit. We wrote about ‘Winning the Mental game’ and Justine Howlett shared her experience.

We’ve written a few posts on nutrition and posted a few recipes, so we put them in one easy to find place – ‘Master Chef: An A-Z of Nutrition Blog Posts.’

We’re always up for guest posts and were happy to oblige when Maz Glover offered to do a piece on the impact of the menopause on Masters. It turned out to be one of our most-read blog posts of all time! If you have an idea for a post, let us know.

MtB readers suggested their favourite reads for our summer reading list. Some cracking books that are just as good in winter. One of our favourite books of the year was Ben Bergeron’s ‘Chasing Excellence’. We read it and summarised for your enjoyment in another popular post.


We added our calendar of events in August. It was a bit empty then but it’s packed full of opportunities to throwdown in 2018 now! have you chosen your comps yet?

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Reece Mitchell kicked off our new ‘Meet the Teens’ series in October and, whilst we’re still focusing on Masters, we’ve added a sprinkle of teens since then. You can check out the A-Z here and expect to see them from time to time on the blog.


By November we started looking ahead to the Open in 2018 and Del Lafountain published a blog post outlining how best to ‘prep for the Open’. It’s a great read and not too late to read and take on board!


Inspired by Tim Ferris’ ‘5-Bullet Friday’ we added our own – a 5-Bullet list of CF related stuff we’re enjoying or pondering here at MtB. The best way of getting it is by signing up to our e-mail list. If you’re not receiving our e-mails and have signed up, check your spam folder… even our own copies seem to be finding their way there!

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In December, we interviewed two US games athletes. The previously mentioned Del Lafountain and Pamela Gagnon of the CF Gymnastics staff.

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Finally, we were wowed by UK Masters in the Liftoff –  one worldwide winner (Patrick Murray) and one runner-up (Kelly Friel)! Giulio Silvino (a Euro-Master interviewee) and David Hippensteel (Games Winner 60+ and also past interviewee) each won their categories worldwide; as did UK Teen sensation and interviewee, Murtaza Nadeem.


Through it all, I’ve posted updates, news and celebrated Masters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Are you following?


It’s been a hectic first year, but I’ve loved it. Thanks for everyone’s support. The blog really is ‘By masters, for Masters’, so let me know your thoughts and ideas for 2018. What have you enjoyed? What do you want to see more of? What should I write about / cover? Who should I interview?

Want to contribute ? Let me know.

Have a fantastic 2018 from Mastering the Box!

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed MtB this year and you’ve got a minute head over to facebook and give us a review! It would mean a lot.

The store is taking pre-orders only until 27th January. No orders will be shipped before 5th February 2018. Dismiss

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