Archives for December 2015

And that’s a wrap for 2015!


Big make-up day to get the workouts missed under our belts…..before we go expand our belts with great food and celebrations tonight! Have a good one, and be safe!

IMG_0107 IMG_0112Tabata-style “Kintner

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Run/Lift Intervals with “Red White and Blue Crew

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Climb into and out of “Hendricks” (or do tomorrow’s workout “Harper”)

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Or do Core and Yoga and get your Coordination and Balance ON!

Thank you to all of our community for such a great year!  We have so many faces here that have been with us a long time, which we are so thankful for!  Equally so for all the new faces that have joined us!  We hope all of you reach your goals, grow stronger, and continue to train to not suck at life!  Here’s to another great year ahead!


From us to you…our new year’s eve wish! Love from all your coaches at CrossFit Flagstaff!

Red White and Blue Crew

CrossFit WOD – IMG_0082
“Red White and Blue Crew”
In a 10 Minute Window:
     Run 1 Mile
     Time Remaining: Max Squat Snatches (135/95)
Rest 3:00
In a 7 Minute Window:
     Run 800 Meters
     Time Remaining: Max Squat Cleans (135/95)
IMG_0081Rest 3:00
In a 4 Minute Window:
     Run 400 Meters
     Time Remaining: Max Thrusters (135/95)

Strength WOD –
Find 5 Rep Max Push Jerk

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Have a great New Year’s Eve celebration!  Come on in on New Year’s Day and sweat out your festivities!


Tabata Style
8 Rounds of 20 Seconds On, 10 Seconds Off:
Wallball Shots (20/14)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (95/65)
Row (Calories)
Perform all 8 intervals at the first station before rotating to the next.


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Welcome back (even if only for a week) “OG” Stephanie Carl and her boyfriend Vincent.

January 2nd Free Saturday

YOU can do CrossFit!

Come Try us out. If you sign up on Free Saturday we will extend the 3 month special to you.

3 months (Jan. Feb. Mar.) of CrossFit for $360!

Matt Chan’s 10 Reasons to Try CrossFit by FitReserveNYC

Results – That’s what we’re all after right? Whether you’re after decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, improved triglycerides, or stronger bones, CrossFit produces measurable results that are visible in blood tests and in the mirror.  Who doesn’t want to look good naked?!?

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GPP – CrossFit is a General Physical Preparedness program that prepares you well for life’s demands.  No matter how simple the task, by practicing a wide array of functional movements, you’ll be increasing your longevity and independence.  Gone are the days of “back and bi’s, chest and tri’s.”  Welcome to a world where routine is the enemy and the certainty is change.

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Universal scalability – Whether you’re a professional athlete, out of shape, or a retiree, the CrossFit program is adapted to suit the needs of any individual.  We scale the loads, repetitions, or even the exercises and produce the same fitness. Should Grandma do CrossFit?  Absolutely!  Will it look very different from a CrossFit Games-level athlete? Without a doubt.

Neurological sufficiency – By practicing functional movements that are inescapable in daily life, you’re learning to move safely and efficiently.  For example, though the deadlift might sound dangerous, any time you pick an object off the ground, you’re completing a deadlift.  By practicing the movement, you’re wiring your body to perform the movement well.


Mindset – CrossFitters experience many adaptations to the program, but one of the biggest is the adaptation that occurs between the ears.  CrossFit requires hard work and hard work is uncomfortable.  One of the greatest elements of CrossFit is the mental toughness that it creates and carries into all aspects of life.

Off-season training – There are a lot of sports that people participate in that are seasonal (triathlon, skiing, climbing, football…) and require a sport-specific skillset.  CrossFit is an amazing program for off-season training to improve fitness as a whole by developing cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance. By bringing each of these specific capacities up, athletes perform better in-season.

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Community – Experience a community unlike any other.  CrossFit at an affiliate, such as CrossFit Verve, is more than just exercise.  You’ll celebrate personal records alongside other athletes (all participants are considered athletes no matter what level).  You’ll have the opportunity to experience community events, such as Paleo potlucks, competitions (as a spectator or as an athlete), team events, learning workshops, and subject matter expert lectures.  Or, you can just come in on an active rest day, and mobilize your tired muscles and chat with friends.

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Affordability – A point of contention for many people.  There are several options for getting involved with CrossFit, from personal training ($$$), to small group training at an affiliate ($$), to working out on your own utilizing (free!). The most common route is starting at an affiliate, where you’ll be taught the skills necessary to complete a WOD (workout of the day), be coached through a WOD, and then be cooled down.  Try getting that for $150/month at a “Globo-gym.”

A change of pace – Losing the excitement you used to have for exercise?  Well, keep it going!  Because the workout changes everyday, you’ll find yourself clicking refresh on your affiliate’s WOD blog (a guilty pleasure of all CrossFitters) each night until the new workout is released.  You’ll find yourself getting butterflies in your stomach on the way to the gym and you’ll be rushing with endorphins as you leave.

Fun – CrossFit is making working out fun again.  This is the biggest point for most people.  By combining elements from the list above, CrossFit will leave you sweating, smiling, and wanting more.  Don’t believe me?  Call a buddy and attend a free “intro class” at your local affiliate.  Most allow one or two free drop-ins to get a feel for the culture at the gym.  If you don’t like one, try another!

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“Hendricks”IMG_0005 IMG_0006
50 Calorie Row
40 Walking Lunges Steps
30 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
20 Burpees
10 Bar Muscle-Ups
20 Burpees
30 Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
40 Walking Lunge Steps
50 Calorie Row

Strength Focus: Box Squats 10×2

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Sunday and Goal Setting for 2016

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Tough Love: Goal Setting for the New Year   By Oke CrossFit URSA

Download your SMART Goals Worksheet by clicking here: SMART Goal Worksheet

“New Year’s resolutions are about as effective as a cat covering shit on a tin roof.” That’s an old saying my father used around me quite a bit as I was growing up. Well, actually it was, “That’ll keep you busier than …”—you get the point. Despite how traditionally necessary or incredibly cliché New Year’s resolutions may seem to you, I love them! New Year’s resolutions put people in front of the mirror and force them to ask a terribly hard question, “how can I make myself better next year?” If your answer is not in the form of a SMART goal, chances are you’ll be as close to achieving this year’s resolution as a cat is to covering shit on a tin roof.   Coach’s Note: A tin roof has nothing for a cat to cover shit with. Therefore, it will not get covered. Therefore, the cat is very ineffective, and kept very busy… just like a person without SMART goals.


Your goal must be specific. Don’t’ just say, “I want to be healthier this year.” Say, “I will loose fat.” There are an infinite number of ways one can improve their health, choose one way that means the most to you. Never say what you want or what you wish, say what will happen. Wants and wishes are for those who are accustomed to not achieving; as long as you remain in that mindset you will never be strong enough to command your future.




Your goal must be quantified. If your goal is to improve your flexibility, then you can measure your progress by how close your fingers are to touching the ground when you bend over straight-legged. Here’s a tough goal to measure, and one most Americans can relate to: I will reduce my stress levels. Although it’s nearly impossible for the average person to accurately measure their stress levels on a day-to-day basis, especially since heart rate is the culmination of many factors, it is possible for us to measure factors that directly relate to stress management such as sleep. So, your specific and measureable goal is now: I will get at least 6.5 hours of sleep per night in order to reduce my stress. Goals must be objectively measured. A subjective measurement is taking note of how one “feels”. Although reflection and self-assessment is useful in certain lights, subjective measurements are not useful when it comes to evaluating your goal’s progress and deciphering correlations and impacts from secondary drivers.

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My favorite part of creating your SMART goal is assigning the goal. When it comes to your New Year’s resolution, you need to decide who is going to be assigned to achieve it, and more importantly who will be responsible for all the things attributable to the goal. So ask yourself, “Who is going to be responsible for me eating better this year?” Crickets? I hope not! Listen, one person and one person only is driving this bus and that person is YOU! You will achieve this goal and you are responsible for all factors affecting this goal, that’s why your goal starts with “I will …”. Oh, you couldn’t get out of bed and make it to the 5:30 am class because you were sleepy? Well, you need to plan your evenings better so that you can get to bed on time. Oh, you have a hard time eating healthy because your spouse doesn’t want to give up unhealthy food? Well, get on the internet and find healthy recipes that they DO like. Look, I didn’t say, “chose the goal that is easy for you to obtain,” I said, “choose one way [of improving your health] that means the most to you.” The goal will be very hard to achieve; you will either bask in the glory of achievement or wallow in the despair of failure. Either way, you are 100% responsible. Everyone is capable of finding the river Excuse; very few are willing to search for the bridge Overcome. * CFF Side note  – A is also more often used to stand for attainable/achievable/Action Oriented. Describe your goal with action verbs, and outline the exact smaller steps along the way that will get you to your goal.



Do you want to look good in your bikini/banana hammock? Me too! But, lets get real; we’ve only got 365 days and we’re only willing to go so far. Typically, keeping your goal realistic refers to just that. However, I like to take this a step further by forcing us to decide what things we have control over and what things we have MORE control over. For example, lets say our goal is, “I will lose 52lbs of body-fat.” Although we are in control of losing that fat, we are in more control of managing our nutrition, sleep, and exercise—factors directly causing loss in body fat. Losing fat is the end result, but managing factors is what we have absolute control over. So, our realistic goal can now be changed to: “I will sleep at least 6.5 hours per night, eat clean for 20 out of 21 meals per week, and CrossFit 5 out of 7 days per week in order to lose 52lbs of body fat.” Any dummy can see what kind of goal is realistic or not. But, it takes some real thought in order to weed out what factors one has absolute control over.


Time oriented:

Our goals need to be put on a deadline, or else we will perpetually procrastinate. For example, “I will loose 52lbs of body fat within one year.” Once we add a time component to our goal, it can become scary and at times feel far away. We had a little saying in the Marine Corps, “small victories,”—I told you it was little. Long-term goals need to be divided into short and medium-term goals. For most of us, losing 52lbs of body-fat in one year is a long-term goal. Therefore, a short-term goal can be weekly related and a medium-term goal can be monthly related. Hell, we can even have daily goals. So, now our goal looks like this: “I will sleep at least 6.5 hours every night (daily time oriented), eat clean 20 out of 21 meals per week (short-term oriented), and CrossFit 5 out of 7 days per week (short-term oriented) in order to lose 4.4lbs of body-fat per month (medium-term oriented), 52lbs within one year.” Many people may recognize this way of breaking down a goal as utilizing benchmarks. Including benchmarks within your goal makes your goal all the more specific. With small victories, large wars are won.



Post-Christmas “Quint”

IMG_9902WOD – “Quint”
Teams of 3:
AMRAP 7: Strict Press
50 Reps (95/65)
50 Reps (115/75)
Max Reps (135/85)
-3 Minute Rest-
AMRAP 7: Back SquatIMG_9892
50 Reps (135/95)
50 Reps (185/135)
Max Reps (225/155)
-3 Minute Rest-
AMRAP 7: Power Clean
50 Reps (135/95)
50 Reps (155/105)
Max Reps (185/135)

12 Days of Holiday Cheer!

HAPPY WhAt EvEr HoLiDaY YoU ChOoSe to CeLeBrAtE!!

In any case, the 12 Days of December is a great partner workout we return to each year and have a lot of fun mixing it up together!  Thank you to all who joined us from near and far!

WOD – “Team 12 Days of Holiday Cheer”
Teams of 2 share the work, for time:
1 heavy a** team Clean and Jerk
2 DB Snatch – 70# M/50# W
3 Handstand Pushups
4 Pistols – alternating legs
5 (Golden) Ring Dips
6 Wall Ball shots – 20#/10′
7 Kettlebell Swings – 2 pood M/1.5 pood W
8 Box Jumps – 24″
9 heavy a** team Deadlifts
10 DB Thrusters – 45# M/35# W
11 Pullups
12 Back Squats (6 heavy a** unbroken Squats each)
Plays out like the song: 1, 2-1, 3-2-1,…10-9-8-7-6 thru 1, 11-10-9-8-7- thru 1, 12 all the way through 1 – TIME!

Enjoy the past history of this workout!  Great photos and memories!
Past Christmas’: 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007, December 2011, December 2012, December 2013, December 2014

YEARS of good times at CFF!!

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We love visitors and we had a ton of them today!  Lauren and Cristen from CF CSA (CA), Jenifer, Rafael, and Matt from CF Rave (Phx)!

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Stephanie and Dustin from CF Horsepower (CA) and Justine from CF 7220 (WY)!

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Brandon and Matt from Core CF (Phx), Julian from CF Golden (CO), & Shane from Boise CF (ID)!

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The 6 am crew gave it their best “shot”!  Cheers!


It’s a great day when nearly every piece of equipment in the gym is put to use!

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Couples that play……nice…together…???

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The gym is closed December 25th.  Worried about too much holiday cheer? Then get your butt moving Friday morning!

christmascrossfitHOME WOD

Xmas WOD, For Total Time:

  1. 7 Minute AMRAP:  Max Burpees
    immediately into
  2. 3 Rounds:
    20 Situps
    20 Air Squats
    20 Walking Lunges

Record total burpees and time to comments.

From your coaches at CrossFit Flagstaff, we want to wish everyone and their families a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and hope you are safe and warm with your loved ones. See you Saturday!

1 Rep Heavy OHS and “Hooper”

Overhead Squat day is always one of my favorite days. It is the lift that exposes everything. If you struggle with the overhead squat or you want to learn more about why we do it. Check out the article below. IMG_9719

6 Tips to Develop the Overhead Squat

By William Imbo

The overhead squat (OH squat) is, for many CrossFitters—one of the most vexing movements in the CrossFit repertoire. It exposes weaknesses in flexibility, balance, strength and coordination. For these reasons (and many more) athletes will avoid putting in the countless hours needed to develop the tools required for a strong OH squat. Many an athlete will be content to have a mediocre (or poor) overhead squat, as their back squat, deadlift etc. is strong—and that’s fine, it’s a personal choice. BUT, before you head down that road, or if you’re getting frustrated with how your OH squat is progressing, have a read of what Coach Glassman (Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit) has to say on the movement:

The overhead squat is the ultimate core exercise, the heart of the snatch, and peerless in developing effective athletic movement. This functional gem trains for efficient transfer of energy from large to small body parts – the essence of sport movement. For this reason it is an indispensable tool for developing speed and power. The overhead squat also demands and develops functional flexibility, and similarly develops the squat by amplifying and cruelly punishing faults in squat posture, movement, and stability.”
-Greg Glassman, CrossFit Journal

As Glassman says, the OH squat will expose the deficiencies you have—this is why it is such a valuable tool to work on. Getting better at the OH squat will develop skills that transfer over to several other major movements and lifts (like the snatch) in CrossFit—not to mention being an excellent way to develop effective (athletic) movement in and out of the gym. So, stop neglecting your OH squat training! While your coach will likely show you the fundamentals of the movement, we wanted to give you some extra tips that you may not know about (and if you already do, it’s always good to be reminded!). Read on for 6 tips for developing the OH squat.

1-Identify mobility issues—then work on them
You will have likely heard this countless times before, but if you can’t execute a solid air squat, then there’s no point in trying to progress to an overhead squat. Make sure you have a solid squat foundation first, then try a couple of OH squats with a training bar (not a pvc pipe—I explain why below) as you will likely discover additional mobility issues, namely in your shoulders. The OH squat requires excellent flexibility in the shoulders, hips, hamstrings, glutes and adductors (groin muscle). It’s unlikely that you are highly mobile in all of these areas—which is why the OH squat is avoided by so many. It may be frustrating, but you MUST invest the time into sufficiently mobilizing the afore-mentioned muscle groups in order to externally rotate your hips and become comfortable squatting with a bar overhead.

2-Develop midline stability
The overhead squat demands a high amount of midline stability, and therefore a high amount of core stability. Given that this movement requires you to hold a weighted bar overhead, much of the stability work will go to the core—most predominately the lower back. If you do not have an active midline when performing the OH squat (or any lift where the weight is overhead), you are susceptible to hyper-extending the lower back, resulting in an unfavorable overhead position—not to mention putting yourself at risk of injury. It is therefore imperative that you strengthen your core muscles and mobilize your lower back as often as possible. Every time you do a movement in class, think tight butt, ribcage down—this will help develop a neutral pelvic position instead of an anterior pelvic tilt (i.e. hyper-extension of the lower back).
Midline Stability Drills:
Hip Mobility then
50 Hollow Rocks
50 Sit-ups
50 Single Leg Bridges
25 Strict toes to bar/Knees to elbows

3-Start with the right weight-but NOT a pvc pipe
Wait a second—don’t start training with the trusty pvc pipe? Why not? Well, Tamara Reynolds, a competitive weightlifter, coach and co-founder of Weightlifting Academy, explains why you should learn with a barbell (or training bar) instead:

“Part of the difficulty of an overhead squat is keeping the bar over your base. It’s possible to lock out a PVC pipe in all sorts of places that aren’t correct without even realizing it. You need to be able to feel where the bar should be so that you can ingrain the correct positioning, and using a barbell instead of PVC helps make this possible.”

A lot of CrossFit coaches may disagree with Reynolds, but I must say, what she says make sense. A PVC pipe is so light that you could be developing bad habits and positioning without realizing it. Using a bar that is weighted yet light enough to hold overhead will force you to engage your core (midline stability) and reveal any areas of your body that still require mobility work in order to perform the squat with correct positioning.

4-Press into the bar
When performing the OH squat, you should be thinking about constantly lifting/pushing the weight, and never just ‘holding it’. USA Weightlifting sports performance coach and competitive weightlifter Kat Ricker explains why you want to avoid simply holding the bar:

“One reason the OHS can be so counter intuitive is that the body wants to move as a unit through the dynamics of physics – in this case gravity – which means that as you descend, the muscle groups involved in keeping the bar raised tend to relax, hold, and depress. So the scapular group tries to switch from elevation to depression. The upper traps try to switch from concentric contraction to bigger balance with eccentric, to brace the body to catch the overhead falling weight.”

Needless to say, you do not want your muscles to be relaxed and depressed during the movement—they should be flexed to form a solid base of support for the weight overhead. Next time you are practicing your OH squat try pressing into the bar and see if you feel any improvements.

5-Stabilize in the hole
When you descend into the lowest part of the squat—the hole—it’s important not to rush out of it too soon as you risk losing your form. Instead take a moment to stabilize yourself and the bar. Make sure that you’re flatfooted, weight in your heels and your elbows and shoulders are turned out (armpits facing forwards). Doing this will reduce the risk of losing control of the bar path when you rise out of the squat and keep you moving efficiently—but don’t take to long to stabilize as your muscles may lose tension and you could get stuck down there, which will likely lead to you bailing on the lift. When everything is set and you feel comfortable, go ahead and drive out of the squat, with good form.

6-Train with pause squats
Getting comfortable at the bottom of the squat is probably the trickiest part of the entire movement. To work on this element of the exercise, it’s important to get used to having the bar (and weight) above your head when you’re at the bottom of the squat—the hole. One way to do is by training with pause squats (this exercise can be utilized to develop your front and back squats as well). Pause squats are great for developing power out of the hole, building torso rigidity, taking stress off of the knees and developing confidence and comfort in the lift—to name just a few benefits.

There are a number of variations that you can play around when pause squatting, but one that I have personally found effective utilizes a four-second hold. To do this, start with the bar racked and at a much lighter weight than you would normally use for 3-4 reps. Take the bar off the rack and get into your OH squat position and squat down into the lowest possible position you can achieve (while maintaining good form!). Hold this position for a count of four, then drive out of the hole. Repeat for a total of four reps, five sets, ascending in weight each set. 



Now THAT is a PR smile!!!! Great job, Nikki!