Archives for September 2015

A Gas Guzzler!

IMG_3857CrossFit WOD – “Hummer”
3 Rounds:
50 Double Unders
25 Toes to Bar
10 Clean and Jerks (135# M/95# W)

12-15 min. time domain

1. Only DU and attempts are counted reps – no single unders counted.  Decrease reps if this is going to slow the time down significantly.
2.  a. Knees-to-Elbows or Toes through Rings  b. Toes to Beam above a high line  c. Ins and Outs
IMG_38583. Load
4. Volume – 30 – 15 – 10

Strength Focus
5×50′ Front Rack Walking Lunge
Increase weight each time

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Knowing when to scale a workout is an important aspect of CrossFit training. We all want to be able to do every WOD as prescribed (or as it is written on the board), but we must also be smart about our workouts, and make sure that we are getting the intended effect from each WOD. Doing so will allow us to get the most out of each workout and ultimately progress safer and faster.

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Within CrossFit, workouts vary in order to challenge our bodies in different ways. Long chippers or endurance workouts push our aerobic capacity, where short/ heavy workouts challenge our anaerobic system. This ultimately leads to the formation of the “balanced athlete”- someone who is both fast and strong; someone who has endurance and power. When a WOD is not properly scaled, however, what’s meant to be a quick and heavy workout can become a 30 minute endurance session. In the long term, this works against the CrossFit goal of becoming more athletic all-around and can even negatively impact our strength gains.

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We most commonly see people lose the intended effect of a workout when it comes to WODS that are intended to be short and heavy. Many people will push themselves to do the RX weight, even if it means drastically increasing the time spent on a workout. Consider the classic CrossFit workout “Fran” as an example. This WOD consists of Thrusters (95# men/ 65# women) and Pullups performed at a rep scheme of  21-15-9 for time. Fran is a workout that is meant to be short but very intense. Average times on this WOD for CrossFit Games athletes are easily sub 2 or 3 minutes! However if a beginner or fairly new Crossfitter attempts this workout as prescribed, it could easily take 10 to 15 minutes or more. The longer the workout takes, the more taxing the workout becomes in terms of endurance (not the intent of this WOD).

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So how do we know when to scale a CrossFit WOD? In this example, if 95/65 is a very heavy (but do-able) weight for you when it comes to thrusters, don’t just load up the bar for the sake of trying a “girl WOD” as prescribed.  Instead, scale the load to a weight that you find challenging, but think you can still do mostly unbroken for 21 reps. The same rule should be be applied to pullups and substituting a proper modification to finish the WOD in a comparable amount of time. Instead of spending 8 minutes on your 21 pullups, talk to the coach about lowering the rep scheme or performing ring rows instead.

When it comes to scaling its all about choosing a weight and movement-difficulty level that you feel challenged but comfortable with at the same time. This should be a weight or a movement that you believe you can do consistently throughout the WOD while maintaining proper form. At the same time, scaling doesn’t mean it should be “easy,” you still want to get a good workout in. Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind when it comes to scaling future WODs:

* RX weights and times provide a baseline, they are not set in stone. We want to be able to work up to these loads but it takes time, so be patient.

* Scale to increase work capacity- this means if you have to go lighter, or do a modified version of a movement to finish the work in a decent amount of time, go ahead and do so. Don’t spend 15 minutes on 10 handstand push ups just to do them as RX’d. Higher work capacity at a scaled version of a movement can actually build more strength than one or two reps as prescribed. The strength transfer of ring rows to pullups is a great example.

* Form comes first-  Is your form being compromised? Especially when lifting heavy load. This is a great time to scale and choose a load where you can complete the workout with good form.

* Make sure you are still getting a good workout– a WOD should never be “oh, too easy”.

IMG_3823* On the flip side of the coin we must also feel comfortable scaling up if we can do so and still get the desired effect of the WOD. If your Fran time is 7:15, scaling up wouldn’t make sense. On the other hand, though, if you’ve been using the 25 pound kettle bell for the past year and you choose that weight every time only because you have gotten really good at it and comfortable with it …it’s time to go heavier my friend! You’ve mastered the movement at that weight, your back is strong and you are ready. Sure you might not be as fast the first several WODs you complete with a heavier kettle bell, but you are definitely going to have bigger gains in the long run.

*The most important thing is to challenge yourself but don’t stress yourself out. We are all working to be better, stronger and fitter. We all come from different athletic backgrounds and we all have different body types, strengths/weaknesses, and abilities. At the end of the day, you’re working to improve upon your own personal bests, not simply write “RX” next to your time. Keep your workouts logged, be diligent in your routine and get the most out of each workout.
Thank you CrossFit 915!!

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Welcome to our visitors –Juliet from CF Unveiled (Denver), and Linda from Sedona!

Med Ball Fun

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Cookies and Cream and CrossFit Legends

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Teams of 2
60 Calorie Row,  60 Kettlebell Swings (1.5 pood/1 pood)
50 Calorie Row, 50 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
40 Calorie Row, 40 Burpees
30 Calorie Row, 30 Wallballs (20# for both, M to 11′, women to 10′)
20 Calorie Row, 200 Meter Run

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Around lunch time today we got word that Dave Castro would be stopping by the gym to say hello.

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A few others pulled up on their motorcycles and were kind enough to pose for some photos. Thank You Dan Bailey, Rich Froning, Josh Bridges, James Hobart Tyson Oldroid and Dave Castro for taking the time to stop in to CrossFit Flagstaff and say hello!

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Going Overhead

IMG_3694IMG_3697CrossFit WOD – “Weightlifting Monday”
A) Build to a heavy set of 3 Push Press
B) Build to a heavy set of 2 Push Jerk
C) Build to a heavy single Split Jerk

Strength Focus
50′ Overhead Carry – with bands and Kettle bells
5×50′ , increase weight each time

The classic article, “What is Fitness?” by Greg Glassman is a staple of CrossFit theory and practice.  One of the models that helps us illustrate and present the definition of fitness establishes that Fitness is a measure of our health.

What is Fitness, really?  From the view of sickness/wellness, Fitness is just an advanced state of wellness, and a hedge against sickness. Sickness is the absence of fitness. It is the ability to function with a high quality of life and independence.  This doesn’t apply as much to sniffles as it does to degenerative diseases. In essence, it’s difficult for grandma to break her hip if she’s got the bone density and connective tissue strength of Conan the Barbarian from three decades of weight training.  It can also apply to catastrophes. Fitness is a hedge against sickness and catastrophes.  Check out Miranda Oldroyd’s story, coming back from a broken neck.


Foundations class working on foot position, mechanics, body position for the Jerk. On their way to establishing greater Fitness – a hedge against Sickness, and even the commonality of “Wellness”.

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Dylan can tell us a thing or 2 about creating a strong hedge against sickness. His fitness has given him an incredible edge in his life. Strong work, Dylan! You’re an inspiration every day!!!!

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Welcome to Caitlin, joining our community as she moves here from Phoenix.  She is a Level 1 CrossFit trainer as well!

Applicable life musings from a friend….thank you Darrel White (aka Bingo)!

3 D’s. For the past 3 days I have been spending the daylight hours with Grampbingo as he struggles to recover from a life-threatening illness. It has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least. One of my take-homes is that Coach Glassman is right: the battle is against decrepitude, because that is the only one of the 3 D’s of aging over which we truly have any control.

Dementia, delirium, and decrepitude. This is the kind of 3-D no one wants. Dementia is the disease in which some progressive trauma is inflicted on the brain and results in physical changes that alter brain function. Delirium is the brain’s response to these traumas, the creation of a narrative to explain any event that is the least bit confusing or new. Decrepitude, as we know, is the end-result of dis-use of our physical body resulting in the inability to perform the functional movements of daily life.

Delirium may or may not be permanent; it is, after all, an adaptive reaction which, although negative, demonstrates the plasticity of the brain. The best one can do with Dementia is hope for a full stop, hope for the cessation of whatever insults are hurled at the brain. There is little one can do over a lifetime, at least little that we know, to steel oneself against the ravages of Dementia and Delirium.

But Decrepitude, ah now that’s a different story altogether. The battle against decrepitude starts as soon as you start to move in a purposeful, planned manner to train your body. To build strength, power, and endurance. These may actually be the magic elixir that pushes against Dementia and Delirium, but we know for certain that if we are more able physically we will be better able to persevere. Imagine how much more is the psychic trauma of Delirium if you cannot raise yourself up, cannot walk away. It’s frightening to watch when the realization that you are unable to help yourself becomes the only thing that you know is real.

In the end I hope that I know where I am, what I am doing, and where I am going, though I realize I may have nothing but hope to offer in this regard. But I’ll be able to do and to go because I fight decrepitude here, chez CrossFit. The fight against Decrepitude starts today.

If you can lift the bar through the movements you did today, you are well on your way to maintaining freedom.  Freedom from decrepitude because you can do things for yourself, live in your own home, and function a highly rewarding and independent life well into older age.

Keep lifting! Keep DOING functional movement!  The quality and longevity of your life will increase exponentially.

Heavy Thruster

Skill: 15 minutes to work up to a Heavy Thurster

WOD: One Minute at each station



Kettlebell swings

Box Jumps



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Sugar Daddy

CrossFit WOD – IMG_3630
“Sugar Daddy”
21 – 15 – 9
     Deadlifts (M 225 lbs./W 155 lbs.)
     400 Meter Run


Compare to:  September 2014,  June 2014 


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Snake Bite

CrossFit WOD – IMG_3469
“Snake Bite”
21 – 15 – 9
Squat Snatch (95/65)
Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

Compare to: Sept 2014  

Strength WOD-
Overhead Squats
        Work up to a heavy set of 5 


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Thursday MakeUp Day

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2015 Master’s Chipper

Team 10 K Row

Front Squats

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Young Athletes Conquering New Heights – Max Height Box Jump

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Front Squats


5 Reasons You Should be Front Squatting
Written by Bryan Miller

You should know by now that the squat is the king of all exercises; along the same line, some might argue that the front squat is the king of the squats. I’ll leave that up to you all to debate, but here are five reasons you should never miss a front squat day. Just like you wouldn’t dare miss out on your granny’s Christmas cookies (gluten free right?).

1. Posture
No one wants to look like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Front squatting recruits the muscles of the upper back and forces thoracic extension in order to hold the bar on the shoulders; therefore, it can help prevent kyphosis in the thoracic spine if elbows are kept as high as possible throughout the movement. Too bad nobody showed Quasimodo how to front squat.

2. Flexibility
Practicing the front squat will help develop great flexibility! What’s not to love about a lift that allows you to get strong while getting supple? If you haven’t front squatted before, you might even identify some tight areas while trying it for the first time. While in the bottom position of the front squat, the ankles, shoulders, wrists and hips will be pushed to their mobility limits, which is not always the case with a back squat as lifters will often cut the squat short.

3. Safety
The very nature of the front squat requires the load to be place on the front of the body, resting on the shoulders (don’t choke yourself, but close); any forward torso lean and the bar will fall to the floor. This upright torso places less of a shear force on the spine and therefore makes it a better option for those with back issues.

4. Measure of Strength
You could argue that the front squat is a better measure of strength than a back squat because you cannot “cheat” a front squat by turning it into a good morning. Many people will find that when tested, the ratio between their front squat and back squat are off; for a balanced athlete, that ratio should be around 85%. The front squat recruits more quadriceps and the back squat is a more posterior dominant movement; if your front squat is below 85% of your back squat then you probably need more front squats (and quads) in your life. :)

5. For the CrossFit Athlete
The front squat is very useful for the CrossFit athlete of any ability. Think of all the movements that require the bar on the shoulders; the stronger that position is, the easier many exercises become. Think power cleans, cleans, push press, push jerk, split jerk, etc. If you’ve ever gotten bruises on your sternum or collarbones, then this could be a weakness in the upper back from dropping elbows when cleaning or going overhead.