Building Body Armor

Putting in the work today, building a more solid foundation for tomorrow ….

Deload week – Shoulder Press and Deadlift

40% x5
50% x5
60% x5 (no additional reps this week)

CrossFit WOD – Body Armor #4
EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) for 12 min:
Min 1: 12 KB Front Rack Lunges
Min 2: 12 Deficit Pushups
Min 3: 12 DB Box Step-ups
Min 4: 40 second elbow Plank Hold
Repeat cycle, 3 times through.

Great to meet Annika’s mom, Lisa, and have her join us in CrossFit today!

The reverse lunge hits the same major muscle groups as other forms—glutes, quads, hamstrings— but it does so while putting less stress on the knee joints. With forward lunges, deceleration must occur as your front foot lands to stop the forward motion; this can put undue strain on the patella tendon. When the motion is in the opposite direction, as with reverse lunges, the patella tendons are no longer taking the brunt of the decelerating force, which means you can focus more on the muscles you’re training than the achy knees that might otherwise come later for those with knee issues or incorrect tracking/technique.

Box Step-Ups – building a stronger posterior driver for squats and deadlifts, as well as the core strength and balance for pistols.

These are essentially single-leg squats, which help to improve overall balance and proprioception by strengthening some of the smaller stabilizing muscles in the hips and pelvis and the external hip rotators to prevent rotation of the femur and pelvis in a way that doesn’t occur in a bilateral stance.  Single-leg squats and controlled box step-ups allow you to target the legs with greatly reduced shearing force on the spine.  Performed correctly, bodyweight is shifted forward over the top leg and a flexed foot with the bottom leg, bottom foot lightly touching the floor or box for balance only. This is harder than it seems, because you have to resist the urge to use your bottom foot/leg for assistance.  Control the descent and avoid plopping to the floor, further developing the control and transmission forces of the glute and hamstring.


Minutes 0:00 – 5:00:
Handstand Floater Practice (or Free Standing Handstand Practice)

Minutes 5:00 – 10:00:
A) 5 Pausing Ring Rows (3 second pause at the top of row)
B) 3 Pausing Strict Handstand Pushups (1 second pause with head on floor)

Minutes 10:00 – 15:00:
A) 5 Strict Toes to bar
B) 10 Pausing Hip Extensions (1 second pause at the top of each rep)

Minutes 15:00 – 20:00:
A) 3 Inchworms
B) 3 Pausing Ring Dips – 1 second pause at top and bottom of each repetition.

CrossFit Benchmark WOD – “HELEN”
3 Rounds For Time:
400 Meter Run
21 Kettlebell Swings -1.5 pood
12 Pull-Ups

Compare to:
March 2016  , June 2015 , September 2014,  December 2013

Benchmark workouts are used as tests and measurements to see how far you’ve progressed since last performed. If you are improving at the benchmarks, you’re getting fitter and developing athletically across a variety of skills, time domains, and physiological adaptations. So, we use “Helen” as a measure of fitness and as a benchmark that can be monitored over time to record an increase in power in the 10 min time domain using a light weightlifting movement (kettlebell swing), a cyclical monostructural movement (run), and a gymnastics movement (pullup).

Power Wheels


Minutes 0:00 – 5:00
A) 5 Ring Muscle-Up Swing Drill
B) 1-2 Muscle-Ups or 5 Strict Banded MU Drills

Purpose here is to refine our kip swing technique. Confirmation of the technique can occur with a full muscle-up as seen in Part B, but this is not a must by any means. Banded strict muscle-ups will further build our strict pulling strength. No wrong option here.

Minutes 5:00 – 10:00
A) 3 Wall Walks
B) 15 Hip Extensions

Focus on a hallow body on the wall walks – that is, keep the midline on. It is a common fault to relax at the midsection as we climb or descend the wall. Think abs on, or rib cage down as you push through your shoulders in the climb. Slower is harder here.

Minutes 10:00 – 15:00
Ascending Ladder of Strict Ring Dips
10 GHD Sit-Ups, 3 Strict Ring Dips
10 GHD Sit-Ups, 6 Strict Ring Dips
10 GHD Sit-Ups, 9 Strict Ring Dips
… and continue to add (3) strict ring dips per round until the 18:00 mark.

Band as required for the strict ring dips, and choose a band that allows 7-10 repetitions unbroken when fresh. If you are not yet comfortable on the rings, bar dips


CROSSFIT WOD – “Power Wheels”
12/9 Calorie Bike or Row
12 Power Snatch
Rest 3:00
12/9 Calorie Bike or Row
8 Power Snatch ( add 5-15 lbs from part 1)
Rest 3:00
12/9 Calorie Bike or Row
4 Power Snatch (add another 5-15 lbs from part 2)

On the power Snatches, let’s aim to match the stimulus for each barbell below:
Part #1 – A loading that allows for 12+ repetitions unbroken, when fresh.
Part #2 – A loading that allows for 8+ repetitions unbroken, when fresh.
Part #3 – A loading that allows for 5+ repetitions unbroken, when fresh.

Lighter is harder in this workout, as it gets us right back on the bike/rower for another round. What we want to avoid is a loading here that is so heavy that we find ourselves staring at the bar, loosing the conditioning aspect. Let’s make this a breather today, building the engine.

It is tempting to put the pedal down on the bike/row. Our speed on the row/bike is a significant factor, but not as important as the snatches. Make our push there. When we need to break on the barbell, our progress comes to a dead-stop. Push on the barbell even if we need the first few strokes as an absolute recovery.
This is not to be confused with needing to go touch and go on the repetitions – sets are a recommended option for most athletes, unless you are very strong on the barbell.

Focus on one cue word today on the power snatches – punch. Punch hard to the finish of each repetition. With the metabolic response of the bike or rower, our bodies will want to move slower as we get deeper into these rounds. Focus on punching hard to the finish of each rep. Stay fast.

Meal Delivery Guide

Compare Meal Delivery Service Reviews

There are a lot of meal delivery services out there and having tried a couple myself, they are really nice for getting new ideas, motivating me to cook more, adding some variety to our dinners, and having the shopping done for me!  Mostly, I have really enjoyed the time Mike and I spend together making these meals!

This site has some great reviews and information on most of the services out there.  Many of the meal delivery companies have a specific focus, so this is a great site to give you a detailed breakdown in case one might work better for you than another.


Saturday Team Day!

“Partner Playground” – teams of 2 complete for time:
2K Run (Split between 2 people, in 400-800m increments)
42 Kettlebell Swings (split work however you choose)
42 Goblet Squats (same wt as swing)
1K Run(split in 100-400m increments)
30Kettlebell Swings
30 Goblet Squats
800 Meter Run (split in 200m increments)
18 Kettlebell Swings
18 Goblet Squats

20-25 min time intent


Additionally, big kudos go out to Lacy, who completed the 2nd 5k run she has ever done in her life and she set a new personal record!  Super proud of this gal.  She overcomes a lot of odds, pushes herself constantly, and has grown stronger and stronger physically and mentally.  Great job, Lacy!  Nikki was her biggest fan out there today!

EVENT TO ATTEND! Bruce and his daughter Nona have been working hard on this production and it is going to be FABULOUS!!! DON’T miss it!

Be Like George

This week closes out our first cycle of our Wendler program!  On Monday, we will start a new cycle and add weight to your training baseline (the current 90% of your 1RM).  You’ll increase it by 5# if you had and extra 1-5 reps on your week 3 single+ set, you’ll increase it by 10# if you had more than 5 reps in your week 3 single+ set.  After this next Wendler cycle we will re-test!

Week #4 Wendler Bench Press and Deadlift
Remember the %ages below are taken from 90% of your true 1Rep Max .


21 – 15 – 9:
Shoulder to Overhead
Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

This work out is a “SPRINT”! 5-10 minute time domain. (George finished in 4:37!! Be like George!)

Really cool pull-up building progression we used today!  If you typically do ring rows or use a band, throw this in as another alternative to getting strong at pull-ups!

Thursday Make UP and Announcements

Hello CrossFit Flagstaff!

Just some updates and invitations!
#1. 6:30 pm class has been low to zero attendance for quite some time.  We are going to try shifting it to 6:00 pm to see if that helps it grow to being cost effective enough to keep it.  As of next Monday, May 1, the schedule will show 6:00 pm CrossFit WOD and 6:00 pm Foundations at the same time.
#2.  As most of you know Amanda is at Phoenix Children’s Hospital with her daughter, Preston, who is sick with an infection and type 2 heart arrhythmia.  We are all sending her our best thoughts for a speedy recovery.  Laura‘s son also took a spill off of the garden wall outside the gym right on to his head and broke his arm badly, so we had a bit of excitement with the paramedics coming into the gym to take care of him.  He will need surgery, but will be ok, thankfully!  Thank you to everyone for your support, concern, and patience with all of the varied coaches covering Kids and Young Athlete’s classes while these 2 are taking care of their families!  We have a meal train set up in the form of donations to help Amanda and her family with eating out and hotels while they are in Phoenix.  That link is:  There are some dates on her meal train, but we aren’t sure when she will be home.  We will update those dates for actual meals when we know more.  For now, please just use the donations application.
#3.  John has also been hospitalized for his back injury from his car accident a couple weeks ago.  He is now discharged and carefully walking and getting physical therapy.  We have started a meal train and donation train for him for the next couple of weeks to help him limit his need for driving and moving around too much.  Here is the link to sign up for a meal a day, or shooting him some cash for some take-out meals.  You can drop meals by the gym and we will get them to him.
#4.  HUGE thanks and kudos to Sam, who has been interning on her own accord the last couple of months.  With all of our trainer upheaval these past 2 weeks, she has really stepped up to the plate and taken on some classes for us in our time of need!  Talk about being thrown into the deep end!  Sam has put in a lot of time and self-initiated effort into outside education in gymnastics courses, mobility and injury recovery, and observing coaching and learning from many great coaches, without even knowing if she would have a job with us.  She takes the time to create her own clinics to share her knowledge and make herself better, as well as others.  These efforts of taking the initiative to see a need and jump in and take care of it, and her growing technical knowledge in coaching and managing classes has not gone unnoticed.  We will be bringing Sam on to our already awesome team for the Summer!
Thank you to all for your support and understanding!!
Lisa and Tara

Practice and Training

PRACTICE technique and good positions, timing, and awareness of our body in space.
Strict gymnastics The following is not for score. It is for quality.

Minutes 0:00 – 5:00: 1 Wall Walk 3 Pausing Strict Pull-Ups (pause for 3 seconds with chin over bar)
Minutes 5:00 – 10:00: 10 Second Ring Support Hold 5-10 Horizontal Ring Rows (feet on box for those that are able)
Minutes 10:00 – 15:00: 6 Strict Toes to Bar, 3 Inchworms to hollow hold

TRAIN by stressing the body and tissues with good form:
CrossFit WOD – “BOAT RACE”

3 Rounds For Total Time and each Round:
Row 500 Meters
Run 400 Meters
Rest 3:00 between rounds.

High intensity is a crucial component to CrossFit, naturally. The majority of our workouts fall within the mid-range time domain, of 8-15 minutes. Although “Boat Race” will total 15-20 minutes of “work”, it’s potency is in the intensity of each individual round of 3-4 minutes at a time. Let’s bring the intensity today and live inside those windows. Note your total time stops after your third run, but also record the time of each individual round. The 3 minutes rest in between each round is recorded and part of your total time. Aim to keep each individual round with in 5-10 seconds of each other.

Modify distance to 400m Row/250m Run if 500m Row pace is 2:07+/Run pace is 10+ min mile.


Stop Trying to Win


I was a multisport athlete growing up and played four years of Div. I basketball. In all of my years of athletics I never once won a practice. I’ve been trying to find someone who has. I’m still on the hunt for that person. Many of our athletes that are coming in are experiencing their first real exposure to any sort of training regime.  For some athletes CrossFit Rife is their first and only exposure to any sort of physical competition. Not everyone played sports in their youth. Not everyone understands the intent of training and what “practice” means. Admittedly I can understand how the environment you may walk into could pull you in and suddenly have you competing to have the top name on the whiteboard.   Peer pressure is a real thing.

I’m not down playing the value of competition in any way. There is arguably no way to reach your peak potential without some degree of competition. Without it we would undoubtedly fall well short of our best effort. The trick is dialing in when we “compete” and when we “practice”. Competing every day is unsustainable in any sport. There should be a disproportionate amount of practice vs. competition. Too much competition can lead to burnout, CNS and adrenal fatigue or potentially higher rates of injury.

So how do you address this and start teaching yourself to practice?


First and foremost an athlete should determine what the intent of the training session is. Is it technique? Is it to hit certain sets or reps? Or is it just to not think about winning? If you are having difficulty with the concept ask yourself what it is that you are winning? If you aren’t in a league or competing for money then there is no record or prize to compete for. So just be content with training and not having your name at the top of the leaderboard or having the best IG post.

If you are trying to win everyday, you are losing. The best athletes in the world know themselves better than anyone and they target their training sessions to improve the most mundane skills or seemingly simple tasks. They aren’t trying to win practice everyday. They are simply trying to move the needle even the slightest bit.

Here are a few tips to help rid yourself of the desire to “win” everyday:

-Determine what the goal is. Set a quantifiable goal and put a timeframe on it.

-Define what “winning” looks like based on the goal you set.

-Start setting a daily intent for each training session. Don’t try to move the needle too much.

Stop trying to win your practice sessions everyday. Set you sights on winning whatever your game day is.

If you don’t have a specific event to train for or a competition, then pick a day in the gym to compete. Your mindset and intent on that day will look and feel very different than your training days. And it should!

Keep training hard and hit those weaknesses.

Embrace the Suck!  It hurts, but… DID YOU DIE?  No!  You got BETTER today!

Sunday Post-OPEN

Sunday’s are Make-Up days and through the Open season it’s a chance to get in the workout or re-do it for a better score.

Several of our athletes have been taking advantage of the higher levels of oxygen down in the Valley and performing the Open workouts with great success down there!  Big thanks to CrossFit Chaparral and Wildfire CrossFit for welcoming our athletes and helping them reach their goals!

Huge rounds of applause to Tara, Jay, George, and Sam for their stellar performances in these workouts!  They have trained hard, supported each other as well as so many others in the gym, and have shined in their efforts!  Congratulations on an incredible showing in the 2017 Open, representing CrossFit Flagstaff well!

And with 17.5 in the books, the CrossFit Open comes to a close. While we had a GREAT time these past 5 weeks, those DU’s may have left some mental scars…. Many would like Dave Castro to know that their jump rope joined the empty BBQ tins in the trash! 😉

Filthy 50th Birthday

In honor of a long-time friend and athlete of CrossFit Flagstaff – one of the OG’s! – we celebrate 50 years of amazing life with Bruce Hungate!  Happy birthday and best wishes to another 50 years of thriving!

CrossFit Benchmark WOD – “Filthy Fifty” [wmv][mov]
Chipper For Time:  

  • 50 Box Jumps – 24″ Box
  • 50 Jumping Pullups 
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings – 1 pood
  • 50 Walking Lunge Steps 
  • 50 Knees-to-Elbows 
  • 50 Push Press – 45 lb.
  • 50 Hip Extensions 
  • 50 Wall Ball Shots – 20# M/14# W
  • 50 Burpees 
  • 50 Double Unders

Compare to April 2016



Thank you for all who came out and helped Bruce celebrate being alive for half a century – and working out to his choice of classical music! 😉