midtown crossfit

Get to know Coach Amy

Amy coaches the Wed 12n & Fri 4, 5 & 6p classes.
Name: Amy Rakestraw
Age: Shame, shame. You never ask a lady her age
How long coaching CrossFit: I started with CFM in March 2013…it’s almost my 1 year anniversary!!!
Other coaching certifications: Russian Kettlebell (RKC/SFG), Certified personal trainer, Yoga, TRX
Athletic background/achievements: I used to be a gymnast and dancer in my younger years (I would choreograph dances with the neighborhood kids on my back porch to Debbie Gibson), I was in color guard and a cheerleader in HS. And then I became a slug until I found BURPEES!
“Day job”: This. Yes, it is awesome. And I love it.
Favorite CrossFit movement: I love to deadlift. I’m not great at it, but I really want to be.
Favorite workout or movement to coach: Double unders. I consider myself the double under whisperer.
In my spare time I enjoy doing: I really like to run. Which is good because I also really like to sit on a patio with a good margarita and some chips and salsa! Apparently I get really good at riddles after a margarita. Or two.
Favorite quote: I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being – Hafiz
Advice to new CrossFitters: Form first! Own the movement and then add weight.

imageCoach Amy

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Michael
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Michael
8a: Open Gym- Michael
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Kelly
1:45p: College CrossFit- Kelly
4p: Open Gym- Lis
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Kelly
6:30p: Group Intro- Lis
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Kelly
8p: Open Gym- Kelly

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Overhead squat: build to a tough single in 12 minutes
B. 30-20-10 for time:
Overhead squat- 50% of Bodyweight (mod as needed)
Ring dips

And coming tomorrow…

A. Deadlift: 5×3 workups
B. 5 rounds for time:
15x burpees
50x double unders (sub 150 singles)

TUES 02.25.14 Coach Spotlight: Amy Read More »

Don’t confuse simple with easy

Saturday I spent the day at CrossFit North Alpharetta learning from Ben Bergeron, founder/owner of CrossFit New England (one of the most successful affiliates in the world).
Ben is well-known in the CrossFit world for being a brilliant programmer & coach. CFNE has sent a team to compete at EVERY CrossFit Games, making the podium several times. Ben also does distance coaching for CF superstars like Chris Spealler & Becca Voight.
And now, he’s a business coach too.
I learned a lot at the seminar, but nothing terribly technical or complicated.
Ben encouraged us to keep our businesses simple: Do the right thing. Be good to people. Set a routine. Work hard. Take time to train yourself. Treat your team like family. Spend time getting to know your members. Read.
It never surprises me when a successful business ninja tells me to read more.
Duh. That’s simple, right?
So why don’t we do more of the simple stuff to make us happier & more successful?
Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.
This week I challenge you to take 10 minutes each day to do something simple YOU KNOW is good for you… Read, meditate, start a gratitude journal, do something nice for someone else.
What will you do?

imageCongrats to everyone who attacked Friday’s tough workout, especially Tiff who powered through it solo as the only student in the 8a class. Get it, girl!

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Rebecca
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Rebecca
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
6:30p: Group Intro- Lis
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Cassie
8p: Beginner CrossFit- Cassie

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A1. Weighted pull ups:A2. Bench press: 3×5 workups
B. 3 rounds for time:
10 Box jumps
20 OH walking lunges
400m run rest 2 min

And coming tomorrow

A. Snatch:
15 min to a heavy double
B. Time trial: 500m row

MON 10.6.13 Keep it simple Read More »

My goals for the CFMakeover

By Coach Beka
My goal for the challenge isn’t as black & white as just gaining muscle or leaning out. It’s a little of both. I’m excited about this challenge because it’s unlike any of the ones I’ve done in the past…it’s not just nutrition and we aren’t all doing the exact same thing. This is where we get to choose what WE want out of it and how disciplined we will be to get there.
My goals are: Eat mostly paleo: very clean, non-processed food. I’ve done strict paleo before and leaned out more than I wanted. I’m a borderline hard gainer. There will occasionally be a piece of gluten-free bread or white potatoes in my meal.
Limit “open meals” to twice a week: Even in those I will stay gluten-free and dairy-free.
CrossFit 5x per week & yoga at least 1x a week
Limit alcohol to one day a week: No sugary mixers, no shots. Liquor with soda water or wine.
Eight hours of sleep a night: Coaching most of the morning classes makes this a challenge, but I will do my best to be asleep at 9:15 the night before coaching.
Increase back squat max, deadlift max and max strict ring dips.
Get into a regular supplement routine: Take nighttime recovery, fish oil and post-workout protein.

I want to feel better, look better, sleep better & eat better…not just for October, but on a maintainable level. #LBN

cfm_helen (6 of 17)Coach Beka during the Summer 2013 To Helen Back Challenge.

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Cassie
8p: Beginner CrossFit – Cassie
8:15p: Yoga – Samantha

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Deadlift: 3×5 work-ups
B. 4 rounds for reps: :30 work, :30 rest- 1. Rope climbs 2. Wall balls 3. KB/DB russian twists 4. Row for max calories

And coming tomorrow…FRIDAY FUN!

Buy in: 200m run
THEN: 50-40-30-20-10 reps of:
Lateral hops (over parallette)
Walking Lunges
Sit Ups
Double Unders
THEN: 20-15-10-5
American kettlebell swings 53/35#
Lateral box jumps 24/20
THEN cash out: 200m run

THURS 10.3.13 Beka’s CFMakeover Goals Read More »

Accountability Ideas

By Coach Beka
At CFM we have weekly staff meetings, and every Monday we share our positive focus and critical tasks for the week. I’ve realized when it comes to my personal tasks (preparing meals at home, sticking to my workout routine, etc), there’s always something that lingers around for a while without getting accomplished.
PROCRASTINATION at its finest.
From now on when I realize that I’m putting a task off to the side, work or personal, I’m going to come up with something to hold myself accountable to…aka, something I would HATE having to do if I don’t get that task done by the deadline. Thanks to Lis for sharing this blog post containing tips, phone apps and programs to keep us accountable to our goals.
I will definitely be putting some of these to work during our CFMakeover Challenge next month!

photo-7Hans making tuck jumps look easy!

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Cassie
8p: Beginner CrossFit – Cassie
8:15p: Yoga – Samantha

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Weighted pull ups: 4×4 workups
B.As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:
3 Power Cleans @ 55% of 1 RM
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats or 1 round of “Cindy”

And coming tomorrow

A. 10 min mobility work
B. 10 min POSE skillwork
C. “Nancy”
5 rounds for time:
400m run
15 overhead squats 95/65

THURS 9.19.13 Accountability for Procrastinators Read More »

Eat Locally!

By Coach Beka
How much thought do you put into where your food comes from? There are many benefits to eating locally, like supporting local farms & fresher (better tasting!) food.
Here is some great info on the benefits of eating locally, along with information on joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) group.
It’s much easier to find local food than you may think! Here’s a list of our Atlanta Farmers Markets…we’re lucky to have options several days a week:
Tuesdays: -Emory (569 Asbury Circle), 12-5p
Wednesdays: -Decatur (March-Oct), 4-7p
Thursdays:-East Atlanta (561 Flat Shoals Ave.), 4-8p
-Green Market at Peachtree Center (225 Peachtree St. NE), 11:30a-2:30p
-Old Five Points Drive-Thru Farmers Market (2140 Johnson Ferry Road), 3-8p
Saturdays:-Green Market at Piedmont Park (12th St Gate), 9a-1:30p
-Morningside (1393 North Highland Ave), 7:30-11:30a
-Brookhaven (1441 Dresden Drive), 9a-1p
-Peachtree Road Farmers Market (2744 Peachtree Rd), 8:30a-12p
Sundays: -Grant Park (800 Cherokee Ave), 9:30a-1:30p

And Whole Foods Market is having a one-day sale this Friday on local grass-fed ground beef – just $4.99 a pound!
imageStreets Alive bike parade. Thanks to all who came out to play yesterday.

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
6:30p: Group Intro- Lis
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Cassie
8p: Beginner CrossFit- Cassie

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Deadlift: 4×4 workups
B. 7 rounds for time:
7 kettlebell snatch R
7 kettlebell snatch L
7 strict pull ups

And coming tomorrow…

A. Power clean: 3×3
B. “The Chief”
Max rounds in 3 minutes of:
3 Power cleans 135/95
6 Push-ups
9 Squats
Rest 1 minute. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles.

MON 9.9.13 Eat Locally Read More »

Labor Day schedule

CFM will have regularly scheduled classes on Saturday, August 31 & Sunday, September 1. On Monday, September 2nd, in observance of Labor Day there will be only one class, at 12n.
IMG_7960Tirzah at To Helen Back finals.

Today’s schedule

6a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
7a: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
12n: All Levels CrossFit- Beka
5p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
6p: All Levels CrossFit- Ben
7p: All Levels CrossFit- Lis
8p: Beginner CrossFit- Lis

Workout of the Day (WOD)

A. Bench press: 5-5-5+
B. Every min on the min for 16 mins:
Odd: 2 rope climbs
Even: 10 kettlebell swings

And coming tomorrow…

A. Overhead squat: 5-5-3-3-1-1-1
B. Every min on the min for 10 mins:
3-position snatch @ 60% snatch 1RM
C. 2:00 hollow rock test

MON 8.26.13 Labor Day schedule Read More »

This month’s O-lifting focus

In case you didn’t already know it, TUESDAY IS OLYMPIC LIFTING DAY. Every Tuesday, the programming features some version of the snatch or clean & jerk. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD…
For the month of May, we’re focusing on the snatch. Today, we’ll do several sets of two reps each of the full snatch. Power snatch if you must, but you should also know, this month’s programming ALSO features a focus on overhead squats. Coincidence? NOPE. It’s time to work on our overhead squats in order to clean up those snatches. There. I said it.
Next week we’ll do hang snatches, the following week we’ll break it down further into some high-hang snatches, and on the final Tuesday of the month we’ll do a three-position snatch (each set will include a snatch rep pulling from the high-hang, the hang and the floor positions).
Some CFM students tell me they avoid Tuesdays because “I hate snatches.” or “I’m so bad at that stuff.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re all adults. It’s up to you to decide which workouts you want to come in for, and which you want to avoid. BUT if you asked me for ONE discipline/sport/area to work on, within CrossFit, that would positively impact and improve ALLLLLL the rest of your CrossFit game & skills… I would say it’s Olympic Lifting. Keep at it. Be patient. Listen to your coaches and push through the frustrating times. Eventually, after LOTS of reps, things will start to click. Trust me.


We’ll hold ONE WOD Saturday at 10am over at the Piedmont Park Active Oval. So come for that OR PLEASE join us for the entire Field Day, Saturday morning from 9a-12noon. All proceeds benefit Strong4Life. Email Tirzah if you’d like to volunteer or if you still want to register a team.


Here’s why you should come:
Someone’s tongue might get stuck to this thing!

Today’s snatch motivation:

Check it out as Elisabeth Akinwale (8th at last year’s CrossFit Games) PRs her snatch at 190#

Ninja Training is tonight at 7 with Lindsay!

Meet at CFM at 7p OR at the Piedmont Park Active Oval at 7:15 (meet them on the edge of the Oval, at the stairs closest to the 14th St gate). Don’t be late! These ninjas only stay in the Active Oval for warm-up… some days, they slither* off to other parts of the park by 7:25, so catch them before they enter stealth mode.
*Do ninjas slither? Traipse? Galivant?

Workout of the Day

A. Snatch: 2-2-2-2-2
Rest 2-3 minutes between sets. DO 1-2 WARM UP SETS. Use 80-85% of your 1 rep max from last week.
B. For time: 20 rounds
10 double unders or 20 singles
10 abmat situps

And coming tomorrow…

20 min to find 1-rep max bench press THEN…
2 min to find max standing broad jump THEN…
2 rounds:
1 min max plyo push ups
1 min max overhead lunges 45#/25#

No rest between movements/rounds.

ALSO WEDNESDAY: Yoga with Beth at 12n & Rowing with Uran at 7p!

TUES 05.07.13 Snatchy snatch snatch Read More »

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 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)

MON 02.25.13 Big events coming! Read More »

Showing Up

by Instructor Training Program member Ur&aacuten
Are you ever intimidated by the WOD when you see the blog posted? Have you ever taken one look at the words “handstand push up”, “pistols” or “rope climbs” and decided to take an impromptu rest day? Or maybe your last WOD left you feeling a little defeated and hesitant to come back in again. If you ever feel this way, you’re not alone.
It’s no surprise that CrossFit is challenging. It’s designed to be tough and to test you, both mentally and physically. And for most of us, that’s what draws us to it in the first place. But if you find yourself getting caught up wondering how you’re going to make it through a particular workout, or talking yourself out of coming in that day, I ask you to just show up. Just walk into the gym, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.
NOTHING in CrossFit Midtown’s programming is designed to exclude anyone. From the true beginner to the most advanced athlete, there are ways to modify everything to either make it easier or more difficult. And that’s the beauty of it. Challenge yourself on an individual level, but still have the motivation of doing the workout in a group setting. Remember that we’re in this together, so come in and sweat with us!

Halloween WOD

Wednesday, 10/31 – 8pm – GLOW STICK WOD! Join the 8pm class for a Halloween WOD in the dark with GLOOOOOOW STICKS! This class will not be capped and visitors are welcome if they RSVP by emailing us.
Welcome Lindsey to CrossFit Midtown!

Workout of the Day

A1. 3 sets: 1 Power Clean, 2min rest
A2. 3 sets: 1 Jerk, 2min rest
B. For time:
30 Clean and Jerks at 60% of A2

TUES 10.30.12 Read More »

Welcome to Christine, Jared and Ricky!

Competition Meeting Thursday at 8

Some of you got a taste of competition this weekend and you’re ready for more! Others were unable to join us this weekend, but still want to compete down the road. Regardless of where you fall, if you’d like to consider competing again, and potentially join Team CFM for the CrossFit Games Open season (starting in February), join us Thursday at 8pm in the box for a meeting to discuss plans, brainstorm some ideas/schedule options, and get organized for upcoming competitions.

Yoga tonight & tomorrow

CFMers, get your yoga on! Join Monica tonight at 8:15 for yoga, suitable for all experience levels. Bring your yoga mat if you have one. Otherwise, we have a few spares for you to use. Beth’s class also continues Wednesdays at 1:15pm. Class attendance for CFM students counts as one of your weekly visits. OR CFM students and visitors are also welcome to join yoga classes for a $15 drop-in fee.

Hydrostatic body composition testing

Body composition testing has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 17 from 4 to 7pm. Tests are $30. Sign up for your time slot at the box or by emailing Courtney. Bali has offered a complimentary test to those who were scheduled on the original day.


Just in time for the amazing fall weather, we’re ordering hoodies this Friday… $45 for American Apparel navy blue front-zip hoodie. The design is below. We’ll be taking pre-orders for these, and only ordering a limited quantity beyond that. If you wish to order a hoodie, please email us with PAYMENT METHOD (CC on file, or bring cash or check to the box) AND SIZE (unisex XS-2XL… extra charge may apply for 2XL) by Friday at 2pm.

Chicken Legs & Midtown Get-Downs: Richie, Vabs, Woody, Courtney, Don, Dan, Carlos & Lis

Workout of the Day

A. 5 sets: 1 Power Clean, 1 Push Press, 3 Push Jerk (do not drop bar between reps). Rest 2 min
B. Deadlift:6-5-4-3, 3min rest
C. Row or Run: Row 500m or Run 400m, rest 90sec, then Row 500m or Run 400m again (don’t mix it up…row & row or run & run ONLY)

TUES 10.09.12 Read More »

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