Month: February 2013

March challenge: cut down the clutter

This month, I challenge you to cut down on stuff… clutter… junk. Whether it be virtual clutter in the form of an overflowing email inbox, or just cleaning out your closet, let’s cut down on clutter in our lives. You’d be surprised what peace of mind it gives you to simplify your life. I just sorted/deleted/archived and have almost conquered my email inbox (100 more in the archives to sort) and the past week has been much more productive because of it.
See if you can get rid of something every day this month. What will you tackle first?

Bring-a-Friend Days next week

Every quarter, we invite your friends to join us for three special days of workouts planned specially to give everyone of every fitness level a great workout. It’s a chance for your friends to see what the CrossFit fuss is all about!
Next Thursday, Friday & Saturday (3/7-3/9), we’re ready to host 20 students per class (14 CFM students & 6 guests). Please help spread the word!
Guests can reserve a space in class by emailing FRIENDS@crossfitmidtown.com. We’ll email back to confirm which class they can join.
Along with kicking off our first CrossFit Open ever, with WOD 13.1 next Saturday at noon, AND the Olympic Lifting seminar next Sunday, it’s bound to be an amazing weekend. Don’t miss it!

CROSSFIT OPEN ATHLETE COUNT: 22!

Get in on the action…A little birdie told me Tirzah & Lynn will be joining Team CFM today!

To any of your friends doubting they can do CrossFit, show them this picture of my 67-year-old mother doing yesterday’s WOD. With a positive attitude, ANYONE, of any age, ability, fitness level, etc, can do CrossFit. We will scale next week’s workouts as necessary for our guests.

Workout of the Day (WOD) – BENCHMARK FRIDAY!

“Angie”
For time:
100 pull ups
100 push ups
100 sit ups
100 squats

Rx: do all reps of one movement before moving on. Beginners: COACHES WILL HELP YOU SCALE REPS & MOVEMENTS!

And coming tomorrow…Team workout:

In teams of 3:
60sec of single unders (EVEN IF YOU CAN DOUBLE…do faster singles)
60sec of kb swings
60sec of sit-ups
alternate movements
x12 total min

Team score= total reps of all singles, swings and sit-ups done by everyone

Facing Fears

by Uran
In addition to my effort to find balance in my life this year, I’m also trying to face more of my fears.
Last week, I went indoor rock climbing. Now, I’m not afraid of heights per se, but the idea of hanging on that artificial rock face has always made me really nervous. In spite of that, I still really wanted to try it, so I put on my big girl harness and showed up.
I’m really glad I did. It was downright terrifying, and I didn’t make it all the way to the top of the wall on any of my attempts, but I did get up there. For me, that’s all that mattered. It was a huge step, and it gave me the confidence to try it again sometime.
I’ve also signed up for the Olympic Weightlifting Seminar to get over my intimidation of going heavy on snatch, and I’m planning to take swim lessons (again) this summer to get over my crippling fear of water.
Is there anything you want to do, but are too scared or intimidated to try?
Maybe it’s the Crossfit Open? I’ve heard a lot of concerns about not being able to do all the workouts Rx’ed (Rx is CrossFit-speak for as prescribed, or as written/without modifications).
That’s ok! I’m certainly not going to be doing everything as prescribed, but I know I can still get a score (aka do as many reps as possible Rx) and then do the rest of my workout scaled. Plus, you get the opportunity to compete alongside your friends and coaches in a supportive and encouraging environment. All for the low low price of $20!
If you’ve been considering doing something that scares you, don’t let your fear of trying hold you back.

Note from Lis: Uran’s post reminded me of this awesome and very short (and FREE!) ebook I read once called THE FLINCH:
“The idea is simple: your flinch mechanism can save your life. It short-circuits the conscious mind and allows you to pull back and avoid danger faster than you can even imagine it’s there. But what if danger is exactly what you need? What if facing the flinch is the one best way to get what you want?”
Check it out.

CROSSFIT OPEN ATHLETE COUNT: 22!

Get in on the action.

Roll Out.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Mobility work!
B. GOAT WORK: A “goat” is something you’re bad at (baaaaa-d at?). Choose a skill to work on for 10 minutes. Poor goats get a bad rap.
C. As many rounds & reps as possible in 15 minutes:
9 dumbbell/kettlebell push press
12 supine ring rows OR pull ups (do pull ups only if you plan on taking Friday off ;))
300m row OR 250m run OR 40 double unders OR AirDyne 15 cals (your choice)

And coming tomorrow…BENCHMARK FRIDAY

“Angie”For time:
100 pull ups
100 push ups
100 sit ups
100 squats

Rx: do all reps of one movement before moving on. Beginners: COACHES WILL HELP YOU SCALE REPS & MOVEMENTS!

Healthy Choice is not a healthy choice

I used to think it was. Throughout my 20s, my freezer was regularly stocked with “healthy” frozen meals like Healthy Choice, Smart Ones, Lean Cuisine, and Lean Pockets. Have you ever read the ingredients in these “food-ish” items? I say food-ish because this stuff only resembles food. There’s hardly any actual REAL, WHOLE food in those meals.
So I was shocked when a CFM student told me this week that he’d like to lose some belly fat, but has been eating well and is still stalling. After asking a few questions, I discovered that his version of “eating well” was stocking the freezer each week with those convenient frozen meals featuring clever marketing & labeling, designed to make you THINK you’re eating well.
I tell everyone who does an intro session at CFM that we offer basic paleo nutrition counseling (email us to take advantage!) by reviewing a food log for you once a month. I also emphasize that I don’t expect everyone to embrace both the CrossFit AND Paleo lifestyles all at once. CrossFit is intimidating enough. Eventually though, you’ll need to make some dietary adjustments to see the phenomenal results you want. Not to mention, you will also FEEL & PERFORM better (during WODs and during LIFE).
So start by eating REAL FOOD. Read labels. If you can’t pronounce, have never heard of, or are disgusted by something you read, DON’T EAT IT!
And if you’re not a great cook, or prefer the convenience of those foodish freezer meals mentioned above, why not invest in a few weeks of a paleo meal delivery service?

Edesia Meals is a new company run by trained chef AND CrossFit coach AND good friend of CFM, Veronica Case. Her meals range from $10-12 each, you can order a la carte (10% discount for orders over $55) AND they are delicious. She brought me a sample today of a Middle Eastern-style turkey burger with a spicy tomato jam that was the FREAKING BOMB. Get your orders in Sunday for Tuesday delivery to CFM.

Urban Pl8 is a restaurant on the Westside that offers 3- & 5-day meal plans for about $8-10 per meal. Orders are due by Sunday at 5 for delivery to CFM the next day (Monday).

AND, my friends (and ELITE CrossFit athletes) Amber & Emily have teamed up with Whole Foods (Ponce location only) for a Paleo meal service. It costs $120 for five days of food. You pick up at Whole Foods twice a week (first on Sun night/Mon morning, then again Wed night/Thurs morning). Order by Friday at noon for the following week.
If you try one out, please let us know what you think!

CROSSFIT OPEN ATHLETE COUNT: 18!

Get in on the action.

My buddy Meesh (center) visited our 8pm Thurs night class a few weeks ago. Bring your friends to enjoy a CrossFit WOD with you next week: Thurs, Fri & Sat, March 8-10th for Bring-A-Friend Days. Have your guests email FRIENDS@crossfitmidtown.com to reserve their spot in class!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Barbell Lunge Squat: 4 sets of 12-15 reps @3010 tempo, every 3min
B. For time:
15-12-9
Power Clean 115#/75#
Bar-facing burpees

And coming tomorrow…

A. Mobility work!
B. GOAT WORK: A “goat” is something you’re bad at. Choose a skill to work on for 10 minutes. Poor goats.
15 minute amrap:
9 dumbbell or kettlebell push press
12 pull ups
300m row OR 250m run OR 40 double unders

CFM has 16 athletes in the Open already!

So why is this a big deal? Because a year ago, no one had ever heard of CrossFit Midtown. We weren’t open yet. We were still looking for a gym space in Midtown, HOPING this neighborhood would become our home. And look at us now! We have an amazing community of athletes who are working hard and improving in the gym EVERY DAY.
And now, our first Games season is upon us. Will we send athletes to the CrossFit Games in July? As competitors? Probably not. As spectators? Absolutely.
So why, if we don’t have any big contenders to make it all the way to the Games, should you front the $20 to participate in the Open? Because you’ll get to join the fun every Saturday at noon throughout the Open, to compete alongside your gym-mates. And just think, in a few years when we ARE sending athletes to Regionals… and the Games… you can say you competed in that first Open here at CFM.
Can I tell you a secret? Last month, I said I wasn’t doing the Open. I haven’t trained consistently since CFM opened, and I can be really hard on myself during workouts. So I’d only be setting myself up for frustration and disappointment.
And then it dawned on me. WHO CARES how well I do on the Open WODs? I’m not going to win the Open (unless it’s all made up of silly warm-up moves, sarcasm and heavy squats). But I AM going to enjoy the atmosphere of TEAM CFM’s first Open. I AM going to have a blast competing alongside Shay & Adam & Amanda & Matt/REX & Tiernan & Jason L & D Cap & Lee M & Uran & Dyer & Vabs & Arielle & Ellen & Chris H & Beefy Levy … and who else??? Let’s get 30+ athletes on the team!
And oh, if you’re still undecided, perhaps a lil T-SHIRT DISCOUNT can convince you? They’re putting finishing touches on the design now, but I will tell you there is a pterodactyl. And a barbell. And a quote from the very wise Lynn R: GIVE THE CROWD WHAT THEY WANT! Preview coming soon.
The Open starts in nine days. Get in on the action.
And if you can’t make the Saturday noon Open WODs, we’ll offer an alternate time (IF scheduled w Lis ahead of time!).

Saturday AM fun w Vabs, Chuck, Dozier, Amanda & Calin.

Rowing class with Uran tonight at 7!

Class is limited to five students, so RSVP online to ensure you get a spot!
Tonight’s workout: 6 x 4:00 segments of rowing for meters. Recovery row (light pressure) 2:00 between each segment.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Deadlifts: 6 sets of 10, every 90 seconds
B. Hang Power Snatch clusters: 5 sets of 3.2.1, every 3 minutes. For each cluster, the period denotes 10 seconds rest. So for each set, complete 3 reps, rest 10 seconds, 2 reps, rest 10 seconds, and 1 rep.
C. 30 Barbell Roll-outs (modify with 3 minutes front-leaning rest on rings or floor)

And coming tomorrow…

A. Barbell Lunge Squat: 4 sets of 12-15 reps @3010 tempo, every 3min
B. For time:
15-12-9
Power Clean 115#/75#
Bar-facing burpees

Two weeks away from three big events!

The weekend of March 7-10th will be a busy one at CFM. Please participate however you can – Bring-A-Friend Days, the FIRST Open WOD, and the Olympic Lifting Seminar are all coming up!
March 7 8 & 9 Bring-A-Friend Days: Share CFM with your friends on March 7, 8 & 9. All our classes are open to guests (RSVP required by emailing FRIENDS@crossfitmidtown.com. CFM students: don’t fret! We still have 14 spots in each class reserved for you! Get all the details here.
March 9 the CF OPEN begins! Kick off CFM’s first Games season with the first CrossFit Open workout, Saturday, March 9 at 12noon. Register now! If you’re unable to commit to every Saturday, we’ll also be scheduling makeup WODs (so don’t let that scare you off!).
March 10 Olympic Lifting Seminar: Travis Cooper teaches a six-hour seminar (9a-4p with an hour break for lunch) to teach us the finer points of the snatch and clean & jerk. Register now! This seminar is limited to 24 athletes. Athletes and coaches of all levels will benefit from this course. Visit the FB event page for the seminar timeline and more info about Travis.

CFM representing in NOLA! Lee, Lis, Bridget & Krystol showing off their guns at Jasmine & Jeff’s wedding. Congrats to the Johnsons!

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Back squats:3-3-3-3-3, every 3min
B. 7 rounds for time:
7 handstand push ups
10 pull ups

And coming tomorrow…

A. Deadlifts: 6 sets of 10, every 90 seconds
B. Hang Power Snatch clusters: 5 sets of 3.2.1, every 3 minutes. For each cluster, the period denotes 10 seconds rest. So for each set, complete 3 reps, rest 10 seconds, 2 reps, rest 10 seconds, and 1 rep.
C. 30 Barbell Roll-outs (modify with 3 minutes front-leaning rest on rings or floor)

How’s your February going?

Yes, it’s almost the end of the month. But this is not the time to write February off and begin planning for your awesome March/Spring.
YES, we’re all looking forward to Spring. I’m writing this from New Orleans where the high is 70 today. HOORAY SPRING! So YES, begin planning for March. But ALSO take the last seven days of February to CRUSH THIS MONTH!
Goals not going the way you’d planned? What can you do in seven days to change that? Plenty.
Did you hope to train more or eat better or save more this month? Well you’ve still got a week. Get to the gym. Cook some healthy meals. Save a few bucks.
Or are you already CRUSHING your goals this month? Sweet. Don’t derail now. Be extraordinary.
Make this your best month ever. And then make March even better. 🙂

Are you succeeding at the THINK POSITIVE February challenge? Post in the comments with any tools that have helped you be positive this month.

Workout of the Day (WOD) – BENCHMARK FRIDAY

A. Push Press: 5-5-5, every 2min
B. “Jackie”
1000m row
50 thrusters 45/35#
30 pull ups

And coming tomorrow…TEAM WOD

Complete three rounds with your team:
P1. 100 singles or 40 double unders
P2. 40 wall balls
P3. 40 kb swings
P4. 40 walking lunges

Each partner must finish their task before anyone rotates. All partners rotate through all stations three times. If you finish first, ENJOY the rest until your partners finish.

Practice Practice Practice

By Uran

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
-Aristotle

This is not new information, but it bears repeating: practice makes perfect.

More often than not, you’re not instantly great at something the first time you try it. When you tried your first Olympic lift, rope climb, or pull up, it probably needed some work. Hell, when you first learned to walk, you probably fell down a lot. As a toddler, there was no question of getting back up to try, try, again until you mastered it.

But in the adult world of emotions, egos, and competition, not being awesome at something can seem a lot more daunting. In the gym, it can even lead to something called “cherry picking”, where you start looking at the programming and avoiding the stuff you’re worst at. I’m not judging. I’ve done it before, too.

Deep down, we all know that without practice we won’t get any better at the skills we struggle to perform. So why let the fear of “screwing up” hold you back? Why not channel your inner toddler and decide that continuing to try is a given? You might be surprised what a shift in your attitude can do for your training.


Don’t take on this attitude. Give your all as you PRACTICE your CrossFit skills every day, and you will improve. Don’t just save it for testing days (or games, like our boy AI here).

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Barbell Weighted Lunge: 3 sets of 12-15 reps @3010 tempo, every 3min
B. 5 rounds for time:
10 Overhead Squats 115#/75#
30 sit-ups

And coming tomorrow…BENCHMARK FRIDAY

A. Push Press: 5-5-5, every 2min
B. “Jackie”
1000m row
50 thrusters 45/35#
30 pull ups

Olympic Lifting Seminar with Travis Cooper

Sunday, March 10th, Travis Cooper will be joining us for a six-hour seminar (9a-4p with an hour break for lunch) to teach us the finer points of the snatch and clean & jerk. Travis has competed and coached at the national & world levels. He is now a member of Team MDUSA and aspires to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
Register now! This seminar is limited to 24 athletes. Athletes and coaches of all levels will benefit from this course.

$75.00 – CFM Members
$85.00 – CFM Guests

Visit the FB event page for the seminar timeline and more info about Travis.

What’s everyone doing for St. Pat’s Day?

Discount code for A Social Mess’s Lepre*CON eventMy friends at A Social Mess have set up a discount code for CFM students who want to attend their party at Park Tavern on Saturday, March 16th. Click here for tickets, and enter discount code: CFM for a $3 discount (it’s not much, but at least it covers the service charges!)

Congrats to newly-certified Coach Don! Don and his main squeeze Nina are nice enough to host the next big CFM social, Saturday, April 6th as we celebrate the end of the CrossFit Open. More details coming soon…

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Barbell complex:
5 sets of 1 press & 3 push press, every 3 minutes
B. Nicole:
As many rounds & reps as possible in 20 minutes of
400m run
AMRAP pullups
*Run 400m, then come inside and do as many pull ups as possible. Once you drop from the bar, your round is over. Back out the door for another 400m run. Repeat until time expires. Score is total pull ups completed.

And coming tomorrow…

A. Barbell Weighted Lunge: 3 sets of 12-15 reps @3010 tempo, every 3min
B. 5 rounds for time:
10 Overhead Squats 115#/75#
30 sit-ups

LADIES! Get your “I ♥ Squats” tanks now for $25 in the Pro Shop.

Become Your Best Athlete: Learn How to Eat Well, Move Well, and Think Well

Free class next Tuesday at Cohen Chiropractic. Here’s a note from Dr. Cohen (AKA Austin, our Fran record-holder here in the box!)

Have you hit a plateau?
Did your times/lifts improve like crazy during your first few months of CrossFit, but now the gains have slowed down?
Are you great at bodyweight movements but weak at the lifts?
Do you find yourself missing workouts because you’re too sore or achy to move?
Do you want to be a competitive CrossFitter?
Do you want to live a great life?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions then pay attention: Great athletes take GREAT care of themselves!

Nutrition, mobility and positive thinking ALL play an integral role in how you develop as an athlete. Even if your vision is not to compete at a CrossFit competition there is still a different level of care you have to provide for yourself in order to keep up and do this for the long haul.

Our chiropractic practice is made up of about 60 CrossFitters from all over Atlanta. One comment I hear regularly is “Crossfit can hurt you.” This statement could not be further from the truth. The people who get hurt are the ones who sit in front of computers all day, travel for work, sleep in hotel beds regularly, sleep on their stomach, etc, etc, and do NOTHING to care for their body besides work out.

The people who eat well, move well, and think well before and during CrossFit are the ones who seldom get hurt or hit plateaus, and can sustain this lifestyle for the long haul.

I have been an avid CrossFitter for over three years and every time I hit a plateau I think “What could I do next to improve my performance and make me a better athlete?”

I’ve increased my back squat from 200 lbs when I started up to 350 lbs to today. My Fran time has gone from 9:00 minutes to 3:26. I share this not to boast, but to put into reality what is possible when you fully commit to something. To really take your health and life to the next level takes adapting other things (nutrition, mobility, thinking) that many of us know as the “CrossFit Lifestyle”.

HOW CAN I DO THAT, DOC?

Great question! Attend our free class next Tuesday. Space is limited, so please RSVP on Facebook to reserve your spot and join us next week!

I’ll show you how eating well, moving well, and thinking well will set you apart from the rest of your competition and what needs to happen in order for you to move forward as an athlete. You’ll leave this workshop inspired and motivated to take the steps necessary to not only improve your workouts but improve your LIFE.

Lindsay’s mom and cousin Butch warm up for their first CrossFit workout.

Rowing class is tonight at 7:

Reserve your spot in advance (class is capped at five students)! After a warm-up and some technique work, Uran will put you through this workout:
15 Rounds of:
Row for 1:40
Rest for 0:20

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Squat clean:
2 every minute on the minute for 15 minutes
B. Front squat: In 10 minutes, find 1 rep max
C. Accumulate 5 minutes front leaning rest on rings. Scale down from rings to plank on hands.

And coming tomorrow…

A. Barbell complex:
5 sets of 1 press & 3 push press, every 3 minutes
B. Nicole:
As many rounds & reps as possible in 20 minutes of
400m run
AMRAP pullups
*Run 400m, then come inside and do as many pull ups as possible. Once you drop from the bar, your round is over. Back out the door for another 400m run. Repeat until time expires. Score is total pull ups completed.

Garage Games One & the CrossFit Open

Yesterday I spent the day at the Garage Games One team competition, cheering on & coaching some friends who competed on the all-women’s team: Nasty Girls from CrossFit Rx. They came in 2nd place overall!

These girls are amazing athletes. I am so inspired by their performance. Thanks to Em F, Em B, Sonia and Ali for allowing me to be a small part of your success yesterday. I can’t wait to see how these athletes perform in the CrossFit Games qualifying rounds…

Which, my friends, is what we call in the business… a segue…

The road to the CrossFit Games begins in a few weeks with the CrossFit Open, a five-week online competition that WE ALL CAN PARTICIPATE in. Every Saturday, March 9th through April 6th, we’ll host a mini-competition at CFM at noon, when all Open competitors will complete that week’s competition workout and have their scores verified. Join the fun and see how you stack up against CrossFit athletes around the world!

If you think you might be interested in competing at CrossFit EVER, this is a great way to test the waters in familiar territory, right at home at CFM. Not sure you can do it? CrossFit HQ designs the Open workouts to be INCLUSIVE, so even CrossFit newcomers can do some reps.

Can you do:
one burpee?
one double-under?
one snatch at 75/55# (male/female)?
one deadlift at 135/95#?
one thruster at 95/65#
one wall ball at 20/14#?

If you answered yes to these questions, you can score a 1 (probably more) on many of the past CrossFit Open workouts.

I watched some amazing teams compete yesterday and fully expect CrossFit Midtown to be competing for top spots in similar competitions (and someday the CROSSFIT GAMES!) in the future. That starts with getting competition experience. It’s CFM’s first Open. Be a part of it.

So register. It’s only $20. Only $20 to do a competition in your home box at CFM. Only $20 to work out with your friends every Saturday for five weeks and hang out for some fun afterward. I smell a weekly cookout in the works…

PS- if you think you’re “too old” to compete, stop it. There are Masters divisions for athletes over 40. And some of the most amazing athletes I saw at last year’s CrossFit Games were over 60.

Posing with the Nasty Girls following the Garage Games One team finals.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Deadlifts: 4 rounds of 15 reps, every 2 minutes
B. For time:
21-15-9
Burpees
Kettlebell swings 70/53
C1. Powell Raise: 4 rounds of 8-10, rest :30
C2. Dumbbell External Rotation: 4 rounds of 8-10, rest :60

And coming tomorrow…

A. Squat clean:
2 every minute on the minute for 15 minutes
B. Front squat: In 10 minutes, find 1 rep max
C. Accumulate 5 minutes front leaning rest on rings. Scale down from rings to plank on hands.