Make Up Day – Are You Ready For the Open?

 Is the Open for Me?

Almost a year has passed since Open Workout 17.2, but Theresa Grandel still clearly remembers the moment she unexpectedly found herself on top of the bar.

“I was so happy. Just so happy. It was super amazing, and I had this big smile on my face because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it,” Grandel said of performing her first bar muscle-up. She accomplished the feat at the age of 41 during the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open….

Every year, the Open is full of moments in which ordinary people find themselves achieving things they thought were impossible. Such moments are hard to create on a regular training day.

“The spirit of the Open is amazing, and it helps you do things you never thought you could do,” she said. “Every year, I’m always able to do so much more than I think I can.”

Colin Farrell, a coach at Potomac CrossFit in Arlington, Virginia, said watching people exceed their expectations is one of the most rewarding parts of the Open.

“Athletes are forced to go a little harder or attempt things they never would. Sometimes newer athletes are intimidated to give (the workout) a go. … But during the Open, they make the jump and are often really surprised how strong, fast and capable they are,” Farrell said.

People rise up, no matter what level they’re at or how old they are.

“The body is often much stronger than the mind will allow, so having a group of friends cheer and motivate you through a grueling workout somehow unlocks some hidden capacity,” he said.

Copus said confronting her fears and overcoming a challenge makes the Open particularly rewarding.

“I want to throw up before every Open workout. I really do. It’s scary, and you absolutely do have to find the courage to dig deep. But it’s the best feeling in the world to be courageous and know you’re pushing through. I always know I’m going to be so proud of myself at the end. That’s an indescribable feeling,” she said.

Read the entire article HERE, for more inspiration.

Sign up HERE for the OPEN and be part of your CFF Team!

Crossfit WOD – “Water Works”

Push Press
5 Sets of 3 – climbing

For Time:
50/35 Calorie Row
40 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
30 Push Press (115/80)
40 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
50/35 Calorie Row


Full Elizabeth!

Pausing Front Squat
1 Rep On the Minute x 10
2 Second Pause in Bottom

CrossFit Benchmark WOD – “Elizabeth”
Squat Cleans (135/95)
Ring Dips

Compare to:
December 2015,  November 2015January 2014,  April 2013December 2012,
January 2012

“Elizabeth,” one of CrossFit’s original six “Girls” WODs. It was first posted on as the workout of the day for Friday, September 12, 2003 (030912).

Squat cleans are the original prescribed (Rx) movement for “Elizabeth.” One popular scaled variant of the WOD, “Power Elizabeth,” calls for power cleans instead of squat cleans.

A September 2013 CrossFit Journal article stated: “not only does [“Elizabeth,” “Diane” and “Fran”] combine weightlifting and a calisthenic element but is a powerful whole body workout containing functional hip, pushing, and pulling movements.

But the crushing charm of these ladies lies in their magnificent capacity to root out weaknesses and humiliate you with them. For many athletes the high rep deadlifts at 225 pounds, cleans at 135 pounds, and thrusters at 95 pounds are easy. For these same ahletes handstand push-ups, ring dips, and pull-ups are very likely deficiencies. Typically, these athletes are larger. Similarly, those athletes for whom handstand push-ups, pull-ups, and ring dips are a breeze are nearly certain to bristle at these loads and high reps in the weightlifting. Typically, these athletes are smaller. Do these workouts favor middleweights? It doesn’t seem so. The middleweights seem to suffer at both ends.”

Big kudos go out to these people today!  Andy had a 5 minute PR on “Elizabeth” today!  WOW!  He had magic shoes and a whole lot of practicing good form in his squat over the last couple of years to push him to a new PR.  Tom has also been more diligent in his stretching and squat form practice and it really showed.  Some of the best squats we have seen right there!  MARIJA!  Marija has made leaps and bounds over the past month, changing her stance, focusing on her knee position, and learning to really keep her heels down.  Her depth, back position, and ability to drive her torso straight up out of the bottom of the squat has changed dramatically from all her hard work in perfecting her position.

Just can’t say enough how proud I am of you guys!!!!  DOIN’ IT!

Saturday Team WOD Day!

CrossFit WOD – “Ride or Die”

Teams of 3 complete
 AMRAP in 25 min:
275/190 Cal Row (240/170 Calorie Assault Bike)
 120 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
 60 Clean and Jerks (115/80)
50 Clean and Jerks (135/95)
40 Clean and Jerks (155/105)
30 Clean and Jerks (185/135)
20 Clean and Jerks (205/145)

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team,” ~ Phil Jackson.

5 ways teamwork can improve your physical performance 

#1- Teamwork for better health

Health is the basis of efficient and successful physical performance.

Although fitness is about making your body fitter and healthier, the biggest benefits of our sport come from the community. Community and teamwork fill the basic human need – socialising.

Research has proven social connections (networking and nurturing empathic relationships) improve physical health and  mental and emotional well-being. Studies have even suggested good relations can lead up to a 50% increase of longevity and strengthens your immune system.

On the other hand, the lack of social connection might be a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.

#2- Teamwork makes you feel confident 

Especially in sport where comparison and competitiveness are quick to derail your focus, having confidence in your ability is crucial for successful performance.

Athletes who feel connected to their teammates are supposed to have a higher self-esteem and a greater empathy for others. They are able to cope better with disappointments, mood swings and failure.

Knowing you have a team behind your back contributes to greater confidence on and off the field. The sense of mutual support speeds up recovery when injured and improves problem solving skills of each member.


#3- Harmonized teamwork creates a healthy competition environment 

Popular gyms offer safe but inspiring environment to train where coaches are able to spike a little bit of healthy competitiveness among their members. Coherent teamwork supports healthy competition where athletes make each other push harder but also understands the negative effects of egoistic behaviour.

Healthy competition means going hard in the workout while still respecting the effort of your teammates and the ability of your body. It could be explained as the energy among members which makes you perform better without the unnecessary risk of getting injured.

#4- While sport reveals the character, teamwork can change it 

In sport egos are quick to stop your progress or even end your career.

Hard workouts often reveal the athlete’s character: how well is a person able to cope with pressure, unknown situations and exhaustion. In order to be successful the athletes’ attitude needs to be adjusted in a way that it allows them to learn, work and progress. The unwritten laws of the teamwork are the best way to learn the humble behaviour needed for improving your physical performance.

To join a team and work as a coherent unit your character needs to follow the rules established among the members. You have to learn how to think with your own head but still listen and understand the ideas of other people.

Chip Shot

CrossFit WOD – “Chip Shot”

AMRAP 13 min:
70 Dumbbell Snatches (50/35)
60 Wallballs (20/14)
50/35 Calorie Row
40 Handstand Push-ups

Goal/Rx’d qualification: get into HSPU at minimum.  Reduce reps by 10 each exercise to accomplish the intent of the workout.

New DB Snatch standard: Athlete must bring the dumbbell below eye level before switching their hands in-between reps.

Slap Happy

CrossFit WOD – “Slap Happy”
In a 5:00 Window…
100 Double-Under Buy-In, followed by AMRAP:
12 Front Squats (95/65)
4 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)

Rest 5:00

In a 5:00 Window…
100 Double-Under Buy-In, followed by AMRAP:
8 Front Squats (115/80)
4 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)

Rest 5:00

In a 5:00 Window…
100 Double-Under Buy-In, followed by AMRAP:
4 Front Squats (135/95)
4 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)

*Goal is at least 3 rounds per interval
Stimulus:  we are looking to clear the double-unders by the 2:00 mark of each interval, and for FS reps to be unbroken.

New 2018 Movement Standards – Burpee

So long single steppers. This standard requires that you may only step forward or back with one leg if you are doing the workout scaled. Rx’d athletes must hop back into the burpee and hop forward with both legs at the same time to count the rep.

CrossFit is in the box, not the stadium; it’s in the communities, not the crowds; and further, it’s in the every-day person, not the athlete. 99% of the CrossFit community is there to better themselves for tomorrow, not just to prove themselves today. And at it’s core, that is where the spirit of functional fitness across broad time and modal domains really lives and breathes.

Just Start

So elegant. So simple. So effective.

“Success is the moment you get off of the couch and do 10 squats when yesterday you did none. It’s going to the refrigerator to have a low-glycemic meal…like eating some turkey breast, broccoli, and cashews. That’s it. The hyperglycemic nightmare is broken, you’ve lowered your blood sugar and you’ve started exercising…With 10 squats and one meal, you have eliminated the root cause of chronic disease.

Isn’t that simple? You know what they call it when you eliminate the root cause of disease? It is a cure. So you’ve cured chronic disease. You’re not better yet, but you’ve removed the underlying cause and it doesn’t come back until the next shitty meal…We [CrossFit] are the only ones teaching this. We are the only ones addressing, both, the chronic disease problem AND the solution.

All of this is yours, the CrossFit trainers and affiliate owners. Take it, run with it, and you will do amazing things.” @nicole.carroll

Adapted from @crossfit Journal video, “The World’s Most Vexing Problem” by Greg Glassman @cfceo @crossfittraining#crossfit

First WOD of 2018!

Welcome to 2018!!  Let’s just get started and DIG IN with this workout!

“First Degree”

27-21-15-9 rep rounds for time:
 Wallballs (20/14)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (75/55)
Box Jumps (24/20)
Push Presses (75/55)
Calorie Row

Top 25 New Year’s Resolutions for CrossFitters

January of course marks ‘resolution time’ for the majority of the country—particularly within the realm of health and fitness.

The CrossFit culture itself breeds a ton of motivated individuals—eager to change their lives and strive for greatness on a daily basis (inside and outside the gym).

Here’s our list of the TOP 25 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CROSSFITTERS that we’ve seen over the past 11 years that we’ve been playing a part in building a fit community, both here in Flagstaff and around the globe.

  1. Drop it like it’s hot under a new 1-rep-max backsquat (and stand it back up)
  2. Try that ‘caveman thing’ (ie. Paleo, ie. ‘eating real food’)
  3. Wake up earlier to hit a 5:30 or 6:30 a.m. class on a regular basis
  4. Shave 1-minute off your Fran time
  5. Stop cherry-picking workouts—show up on the days I don’t like the workout on the whiteboard
  6. ‘Get’ my pull-ups
  7. ‘Get’ a muscle-up or handstand pushup
  8. Handstand walk X-amount of feet
  9. Look good naked.
  10. ‘Go RX’ on a WOD
  11. Push X-amount of weight overhead
  12. Join the ‘200 club’ (for girls)- squats or deadlifts; Join the ‘300’ or ‘400’ club (for guys)
  13. Stop comparing myself—it’s me vs. me
  14. Cut out added sugar
  15. Gain some muscle
  16. Shed some body fat
  17. Participate in the Open
  18. Sign up for a local competition
  19. Take a podium spot in a competition
  20. Get a friend or family member to try CrossFit out
  21. Get my ‘Level I’ (or Level II, now) Certification
  22. Start a bootcamp or CrossFit-style workout for teachers, kids, inner-city neighborhoods, etc.
  23. PR an old Open workout, Benchmark or Hero WOD
  24. Increase my 400-meter run or 500-meter row split
  25. Learn to swim

Happy New Year!

Thank you for a GREAT 2017, CrossFit Flagstaff!  We look forward to a new year ahead, striving to help you meet your goals, realize your true potential, and give you strength, happiness, and confidence to live your life more fully!

Happy New Year from Mike, Lisa, and Tara!

We are looking forward to helping you reach your goals in 2018!

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

Final 2017 WOD


Teams of 3:
100 Calorie Row
100 DB Snatches (50/35)
100 Lateral Barbell Burpees
100 Thrusters (115/80)
100 Lateral Barbell Burpees
100 DB Snatches (50/35)
100 Calorie Row

One person works at a time. 30-35 min intent. 40 Minute cap.

Scale to 75 reps of each movement for newer athlete teams and to keep under the time cap.

A Letter to RX Athletes from a Scaler

…as a Crossfit Athlete, I find myself between a scaler and an RX’er: do I RX the workout and be slower or do I scale the weight and move faster? Bar muscle-ups, yeah no. Chest-to-bars, ok, I can do those. Overhead plate lunges, Burpees, and Double-Unders today? Check the RX block for THAT workout, baby! 80LBS thrusters and the assault bike? Um…I’ll do as many rounds as I can at 80LBS, then check that scaled block, because this girl is doing 65LBS!”

I find myself between a scaler and an RX’er: do I RX the workout and be slower or do I scale the weight and move faster?

So, when it comes to partner workouts, I’m suddenly that awkward kid at a middle school dance. It’s nerve racking. I don’t want to ask the RX’er to be my partner. I don’t want to slow them down, but at the same time, I want to push myself to go harder to try to keep up. I want to be better. I just don’t want to ask.

…“Awesome!  I’m sorry in advance for holding you back. I know I’m going to be slow at those clean and jerks and it will probably hurt your time. Are you sure you want to be my partner?”

She stood there for a moment, then looked at me and said: If anyone has a bad partner workout, it’s their own fault. The time at the end doesn’t matter. It’s about pushing each other, picking up a few extra reps on the things you’re good at if your partner needs a rest, and getting through the workout together. Of course I still want to be your partner. Now, add the 10’s, we’re doing this at 95LBS.”

And you know what? I absolutely did slow us down. The 95LBs Clean and Jerks were really hard. For every one I could do, she did two to three…. But that experience with an athlete I look up to in her level of fitness and capabilities gave me the confidence to continue to partner with other RX athletes at the gym. And with every request, I’ve found their responses to be the same: “Of course I’ll be your partner. Stop apologizing for making us slower. I’m proud of you for the accomplishments you’ve made”.

To the RX athletes who partner with us scalers, thank you. Are we going to hesitate to ask you? Probably. Are we going to apologize to you for slowing you down or holding you back? Most likely. But partnering with you makes us push harder and makes us better.  So, thanks for taking less rounds or more seconds to your final score and for picking up the slack and doing more reps. You’re making us better athletes, not just as a role model for your capabilities, but for taking your time to push and support us in our capabilities and what we’ve accomplished.

And we, the scalers, thank you for that.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Cheers to all the great fitness we have in store for you in the new year to come!