Archives for May 2012

Memorial Make-up


JJ or Murph

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                          Welcome Scott, to your new gym!


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Amy's boyfriend, Peter, will be visiting us whenever he is in town (from CF Insanity, CA).

Goodmorning Squats and Shoulder Press

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Or work on your skills testing for the Nutrition Challenge!




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A Good Reminder For EVERYONE

10 Tips For Success For The CrossFit Newbie

By larry palazzolo, CrossFit Delaware Valley
Stepping into a CrossFit gym for the first time can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. You might see a bunch of half-naked hard bodies showing off their ink and abs, ripping out butterfly kip after butterfly kip. You might ask yourself, “Is that person having a seizure or doing pull-ups? What’s with all the Chuck Taylors? Do they get a group rate? What’s with the guy in the corner wearing only sweatpants, shirt off, all tatted up and muttering to himself? Is he on a work-release program?” Fear not newbie; these people won’t bite. They’re actually pretty darn friendly and overly supportive once you get to know them. It can be a lot to take in at first glance, especially if you’ve had limited exposure to CrossFit prior to stepping into a box. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. The following are 10 things to keep in mind as you begin your CrossFit journey.

1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others

When it comes time to throw down in a WOD, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d or be able to complete 20 rounds of Cindy right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts.  Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 lb. as you struggle with the bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to my next point…

2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale

Sing it with me now:

Ain’t too proud to scale, sweet darling.
Please don’t leave the WOD. Don’t you go.
Ain’t too proud to scale, baby baby.
Please don’t leave the WOD. Don’t you go.

Tony Budding (of Crossfit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.

3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift

Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer, Pretentious D-Bag Diet; just eat clean. If you’re eating as clean as possible, you don’t even need to worry about the quantity. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?


4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again
It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

5.) CrossFit Isn’t Everything
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.

6.) It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less

The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough.  All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability. Soon, you’ll come to love the beatdowns. Much like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, you’ll be screaming, “Thank you sir! May I have another?” Well, maybe not. But you get the point.

7.) You Won’t PR Every Day

Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? That’s fine; scale the weights and/or rounds or time domain back. Something is better than nothing.


8.) Have Fun
Let’s face it, some of the workouts are not fun. Frankly, some of them just plain suck. I’m looking at you, Hero WODs. But when it’s over, you feel a sense of accomplishment and maybe a little queasy. You shouldn’t be pissed that you didn’t get as many reps as the person next to you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile. Laugh. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know. If you’re not having fun, why are you here?  Do you enjoy your overall time spent at the gym? Do you enjoy the people, the community, the knowledge and support that it provides? If so, then don’t be too concerned with your competitive nature until you have a strong grasp on the 9 Foundational Movements.

The things you’ll learn in a CrossFit gym are fun: gymnastics, Olympic lifts, new swear words (see: Mary Martin). You can’t do this stuff in a globo gym. The attitude is different too; no one is going to get in your face and cheer you on as you knock out those last five minutes on the elliptical. And the feeling you’ll have the first time you get an unassisted dead hang pull-up or full squat snatch is an amazing sense of power and accomplishment.


9.) You Are All Firebreathers
The term “Firebreather” comes from CrossFit legend and bad ass Greg Amundson, and he defines it as such:

Firebreather –Fie-r-bre’-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete.

You don’t have to be an “elite” CrossFitter to embody the essence of a true Firebreather. It’s not your Fran time, it’s the spirit you bring to Fran that makes you a Firebreather. Don’t forget that.

10.) Respect Rest and Recovery

Too many newbies (and even those of us who have been doing this a while) get caught up in overtraining. Don’t be afraid to schedule in a deload day once per week, or a deload week every 4-6 weeks where you cut the weight, rounds, and intensity in half. You have to think about this from a longevity standpoint. If you’re killing yourself every time you step foot in the gym, week after week, month after month, year after year, you’re going to eventually break down. You need to respect your time outside of the gym. There’s an old weightlifting adage that goes something like: “You don’t get bigger and stronger from lifting weights, you get bigger and stronger from recovering from lifting weights.”

Proper nutrition, hydration and sleep all play their part in recovery, but you also need to listen to your body. If you continuously beat yourself down, you’re going to get hurt, injured or worse. Stay on top of your mobility work. If you haven’t done so yet, pay a daily visit to Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD. The information there is invaluable.

GOod MOrning!


Westside lift: Goodmorning Squats
8 sets of 3 reps

Combo between a good morning and a squat. You begin the motion as a good morning. At the bottom position of the good morning you squat down, then squat the bar back to a standing position.  Perform as many different variations of squats and goodmornings as you can. This keeps the body guessing and getting stronger.


Shoulder Press 
5-5-5-5-5 rep sets @ 80-85% of 1RM

Compare to May 2007

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Aaaaand…. HApPy BiRtHdAy, MATT SHAW!!!

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Food On the Go

What’s in YOUR cooler?

derived from

We’ve UPDATED our famous “pack a cooler” for those gearing up for their summer vacation plans. The post originated last summer, when Dallas and I spent three months (and drove 15,000 miles) across the US and Canada, while completing the Whole30. We faced plenty of challenges staying Whole30-compliant while on the road – the same challenges our readers face when life requires lots of travel, socializing or just a super-hectic schedule.  

So today, we’ve updated the contents of our theoretical Whole9 cooler – what’s in it, what’s in the travel bag next to it, and how we put things together to make delicious, Whole30-approved meals and snacks while traveling. We’ll break it down by food groups, and hope by passing these along to our readers, you’ll have an easier time Eating Good Food under any circumstance, whether at home or on the road.

What’s in the Whole9 Cooler


  • Deli turkey/chicken/roast beef.  Look for versions where the only ingredients are organic meat, water and salt.
  • Canned or foil packs of Albacore tuna.  Brands that contain only tuna and water – no soy!
  • Hard boiled eggs.  We always have a dozen of these on hand.
  • Smoked, canned, or foil packed salmon.  Wild-caught Alaskan (never farm raised).
  • Shrimp. Buy pre-cooked wild-caught shrimp (or cook and peel them yourself) – portable and delicious served cold.
  • Your local market’s brand of pre-cooked “simple” chicken breast or salmon, where the only ingredients are chicken/salmon, salt and pepper.
  • Jerky, Primal Pacs, or Steve’s Club Paleo Kits makes Whole30-approved jerky snacks. Buy the whole snack kit, or just the protein.


  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Sugar snap peas and snow peas
  • Pepper slices (red, green, yellow and orange)
  • Tomatoes (usually the small grape variety)
  • Sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, broccoli, sweet pea shoots)
  • Baby spinach, arugula or other leafy green (for on-the-road salads)
  • Jicama  (peel, slice into thin strips and munch)
  • Kale chips – we like Kaia Foods. Again, read your ingredients.
  • Sea Snax (or some other form of seaweed snack). Read your ingredients – no soy!
  • Fresh salsa.  Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh salsa with 100% approved ingredients.
  • Canned sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash (where the only ingredient is the vegetable)
  • Baby food! Sweet potato, butternut squash or other vegetable varieties in squeeze packs (where the only ingredient is the vegetable) – perfect for post-workout!


  • Whatever is fresh, local, in-season and not too expensive
  • Unsweetened applesauce (we like Santa Cruz Organic brand, or make your own)
  • Larabars (a dried fruit/nut combination, used only in food emergencies)


  • Olives, where the only ingredients are olives, water and sea salt.
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).  We bring a bottle everywhere, and pour over veggies, salads, meat, whatever.
  • Avocado
  • Fresh guacamole.  Whole Foods and other stores sell fresh guac with 100% approved ingredients.
  • Coconut milk (full fat, in the can)
  • Shredded coconut, unsweetened.
  • Coconut butter (sometimes called “creamed coconut”)
  • Coconut oil (sold at CrossFit Flagstaff)
  • Macadamia, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts (no peanuts)
  • Other nuts and seeds (to be eaten in moderation)
  • Sunflower seed sbutter or other nut butters (to be eaten in moderation)
  • Stronger Faster Healthier or Barleans fish oil (both are sold at CrossFit Flagstaff)


  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (for sweet potato, pumpkin, etc.)
  • Salt, pepper
  • Fresh chopped basil and cilantro

Kitchen Tools

  • Sharp paring knife
  • Flexible cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Portable silverware and dishes
  • One glass container, for microwaving on the go

Tips, tricks and adding variety to your Road Trip Food

  • Protein is going to be the hardest to get in good amounts.  Plan ahead and stock up – cook chicken or salmon the night before you travel, boil a dozen eggs, find deli meat and tuna packets that meet criteria.
  • Smoked salmon is often overlooked, but the wild caught stuff is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein.  Slice, roll around chunks of honeydew melon or mango, secure with a toothpick and go.
  • Fruit is way too easy to overdo when traveling, so swap some of that fruit for portable vegetable sources.  The flexible cutting board, sharp knife and plastic silverware help you branch out from just carrots and celery.
  • Fresh salsa and guacamole are life-savers.  Roll deli turkey around pepper slices, secure with toothpick and top with salsa and guac – delicious and totally portable.
  • Frozen root veggies may also be a good idea, especially if you’re training on the go.  Sweet potato and squash varieties from the can or jar are just as good hot or cold.
  • Nuts are also easy to crack out on when traveling.  Try olives instead!  They’re portable, don’t need refrigeration and you can eat an awful lot for the same amount of fat as an ounce of nuts.
  • Spices and herbs are an easy way to add flavor and variety to your meals, and don’t take up a lot of room in your bag/cooler.
  • Planning and preparation are key!  Take time to purchase, prepare and pack your cooler before a trip and you’ll have good, Whole30-approved meals and snacks at the ready.

We hope this peek inside our cooler (and, below, our hotel fridge!) helps to give you fresh ideas and inspiration for your own travels.  Got a road-trip-worthy snack, meal or food idea?  Post to comments!

A peek inside our hotel fridge. (We stick the fish oil in the door.)


A peek inside our hotel fridge. (We stick the fish oil in the door.)



Westside lift:  DE Deadlifts with bands
8 sets of 2 reps at each weight:

35%-40%-45%-45% + 5 sec. hold at top of 2nd rep
50%-50% + 5 sec. hold at top of 2nd rep
55%-55%+ 5 sec. hold at top of 2nd rep

Stand-on-the-band Deadlifts

Then, CrossFit Hero WOD – "Manion"

7 rounds for time of:

  • Run 400m
  • 29 reps Back Squat – 135# M/95# W


First Lieutenant Travis Manion, 26, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, California, was killed by sniper fire on April 29, 2007 while fighting against an enemy ambush in Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Colonel Tom Manion, mother Janet Manion, and sister Ryan Borek.

WOD Demo with Dave Leys – video [wmv] [mov] [HD mov]

Click for information about The Travis Manion Foundation.

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Thanks for visiting from CF Verve (Denver), Jordan! Hugs to our good friends at Verve on your return home!

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Welcome to CrossFit, Jen!  Great to have you join us!

Memorial Day Heros

Hero WOD Choices to honor the heros who have fallen for this country and our freedoms…

IMG_5754"Memorial Day Murph" Fundraiser

For time:

1 mile Run
   100 Pullups
   200 Pushups
   300 Squats
1 mile Run

Partition the pullups, pushups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a 20 lb. weight vest, wear it.                                               Compare to Jan 2012


In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. Lt. Michael Murphy Awarded Medal of Honor

This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". From here on it will be referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.



For time:
1 rep Squat Clean -185# M/130# W
   10 Parallette Handstand Pushups
2 reps Squat Clean
   9 Parallette Handstand Pushups
3 reps Squat Clean
   8 Parallette Handstand Pushups
4 reps Squat Clean
   7 Parallette Handstand Pushups
5 reps Squat Clean
   6 Parallette Handstand PushupsHero_LCplJustinJWilson_th
 6 reps Squat Clean
   5 Parallette Handstand Pushups
 7 reps Squat Clean
   4 Parallette Handstand Pushups
8 reps Squat Clean
   3 Parallette Handstand Pushups
9 reps Squat Clean
   2 Parallette Handstand Pushups
10 reps Squat Clean
   1 Parallette Handstand Pushups

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Justin James "JJ" Wilson, 24, of Palm City, Florida, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was killed on March 22, 2010, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife Hannah McVeigh, parents Lance and Frances, brother Christopher, and sister Jamie-Ella.

WOD Demo with Trident CrossFit – video [wmv] [mov]

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WHAAAT?? Is that squat below parallel??  Sshhh!

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Boogie Squattin' Jane!

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Question: For those who have done "Murph" before, has anyone ever done it straight through the reps, all 100 Pullups, then all 200 Pushups, then all 300 Squats, or do you always break them up? If so, how has it compared and what is your favorite combination of reps?

Freeform Sunday Birthdays

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Post caption to comments.

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Happy Birthday to Gavin and Zach W.!

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Farewell to Casey – But NOT Goodbye!

Casey is moving to Phoenix to go to school to become a paramedic, but he'll be back up to the high country to visit and hopefully he'll move back here once he's finished!

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Casey, you have been a huge part of CrossFit Flagstaff since August 7, 2008, helping build it's history, and have left your imprint on this place and in our lives.  You'll always have a home here, waiting for your return! 

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We miss you already, and you're hardly down the road…  Thank you for all you have given to this community.  Your heart and generosity are the gifts you leave in our memories.

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A comment exchange from Casey and another gym member on the website post of "Accountability".

"Accountabilty-hell ya!oh ya!i fall short of every goal i have ever set!but i still set,i still strive,i still dig,i still fail,i still cry.then i set,i strive,i DIG,I FAIL,I CRY,I SET,I STRIVE,I DIG,I FAIL,I CRY!ITS AWESOME!I love it!in the meantime i try to help the people around me who are setting goals,striving,digging,failing,or crying!!!"  -Casey

The response and a sentiment that expresses how we all feel…
"Thank GOD for Casey! That just looks like a healthy life pattern of pushing through the hard stuff, to get to the good stuff. Casey, you are the good stuff."  -I

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"Its nice to wake up with a passion.
Hit the gym,a few friends,a few smiles.the music starts-
Weights clashing,teeth gnashing,egos smashing.
Blood pumping,bass line thumping,
we're running,lifting,then jumping!
Lisa's,"come on,your almost done!"
Muscles failing,adrenaline sailing.
Encouragement from all around.clock stops-
hit the ground!
A few friends,a few smiles,maybe some flirtin'.
And a ,"be back tomorrow?"
For certain!
thanks Lis"
-Casey Rose, Dec. 2008

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Thank you, Casey.  Good luck in all you do!  We'll see you soon.

Nutrition Challenge Approved Wraps!



Curry: Coconut Meat, Coconut Water, Himalayan Salt, Organic Curry Powder

Original: Coconut Meat, Coconut Water, Himalayan Salt

Product Information

Size: 1.98oz / 56g / 0.2lb

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Alkaline

Improv’eat avoids using many popular procedures and/or ingredients (which include major food allergens) that could subtract from the health of our customers.

For nutritional and safety reasons, we do not use the following:

– Artificial sweeteners or refined sugar including NutraSweet® (Aspartame), Sweet N Low® (Saccharin), Splenda® (Sucralose) or High Fructose Corn Syrup among others
– Trans-fatty acids (Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils)
– Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
– Canola, Soybean, Cottonseed, Corn, Peanut or Synthetic Oils
– MSG or MSG-like substances, preservatives, artificial colors or "natural flavors"
– Wheat, rye, barley or other gluten containing derivatives
– Unfermented soy or any pasteurized food
– Microwaves or other detrimental heating procedures

Bench, Hip Thrusts, and Straps – Tools of the Trade


Bench Press 3-3-3-3-3 (80-85%)

Accessory work:

  • Hip Thrusts – 3 sets of 12
  • Heavy/Fast Sled Pull 50m after each set of Hip Thrusts

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Welcome to Lee, visiting us from CF Maui Extreme!

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Foot positions:  1.) Heels slightly behind knees pressed firmly down.  2.) Toes directly under hips, firmly pressed down. Both positions are tensioning into quads, tight glutes, and grounding the scapular platform into the bench.

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There are a lot of videos out there about Hip Thrusts, but this guy was too sweet to resist posting.

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