CrossFit Level 1 Seminar!

The Level 1 Certificate Course is CrossFit’s cornerstone seminar, which has allowed thousands to begin their careers as CrossFit trainers.  CrossFit Flagstaff had the privilege of hosting one of those seminars this weekend with the even greater honor of having half of the participants attending from our very own community.  Whether the goal is to become a trainer or to just learn more about the sport they love doing every day, there is so much to gain from attending this course and learning the broad brush strokes concepts methodology of CrossFit, expanding the margins of one’s experience.

Coach Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, on the Level 1:

As the principal architect of the CrossFit L1 Training Certificate I’m sure I have a bias when asked to weigh in on its merits. That bias includes launching this course with the stated aims of producing the most effective and important physical training program on earth and likely asserts itself again when I tell you that we’ve knocked it out of the park with those aims.

The curriculum is the essence of what is needed to safely and effectively maximize the potential adaptation of the certificate holder’s prospective clients. The goal from the beginning was to translate the physiological model that is CF theory into a weekend long introduction to that material.

The L1 kernel is the most important thing a human being could learn in one weekend. It’s also the only place you can go to learn the truth about salient lifestyle choices that optimize quality of life.

This sixteen hour exposure to our world of constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement, fueled by meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar has transformed the health of participants around the world. Application of the L1 kernel has flensed nearly a hundred million pounds of fat and added a similar amount of denser bone and muscle to CrossFit training clients globally. An unprecedented 115,000 people have taken a course that will allow them to avoid obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, autoimmune disorder, osteoporosis, end stage kidney disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and early check-in at the convalescent hospital while teaching them how to motivate, demonstrate, and achieve the same in others.


The L1 kernel produced a cohort of teenage girls at the Games this year completing workouts that no man on earth could have completed in the same time 12 years ago. The L1 kernel is the technology manifest in that advancement in human capacity. We are in sole possession of a technology of human performance. The L1 kernel is that technology. This certificate course has fueled the global explosion of 13,000 CF gyms and motivated 273,000 CF’ers to throw their hats into the ring in this years Games. In the darkening storm that has 100,000,000 Americans slated for type 2 diabetes, CF and it’s adherents, because of the L1 kernel and certificate offering, constitute the only bright spot on the horizon.

Our competitors offering provides no trainer training, just a test. It’s not even a test of training knowledge and human movement/performance, but a test of anatomy and physiology. The NSCA and ACSM tests are measure of one’s willingness to accept their sponsors view of healthy living. It’s an unconscionable deficiency that motivated our seminar’s creation. (The first L1 conducted was done so at the insistence of training agents from the US DOJ. That relationship continues to this day. The US Military is our biggest customer by far.) Our competitors are financially committed to their high-carb, low fat, machine based fare by a combination of woefully lacking science acumen coupled with complete dependence on Coca-Cola and Pepsi for money. Our competitors, the NSCA and the ACSM, and their big soda backers have created the exact mess that CF Inc., 13,000 CF Affiliates, and 115,000 CF trainers are successfully reversing. 100,000,000 Americans will get diabetes because of the ACSM’s lording over exercise science since 1954. Their commitment to hiding their sponsors’ devastating impact on the nation’s health is job number one at the ACSM. The ACSM/Gatorade essential role in the rash of exercise associated hyponatremia deaths is appalling and needs congressional investigation. All that’s wrong at the ACSM is probably worse at the NSCA. When you think NSCA – think Pepsi. When you think ACSM – think Coca-Cola. It’ll help you understand their utter betrayal of charter and how it is that these collaborations have proven to be so deadly and will continue to remain deadly. There’s no greater threat to American’s health than the ACSM’s backing Coca-Cola’s massive intrusion into the training space.

Licensure is a hail mary effort to achieve exactly what can no longer be achieved in the marketplace – keep the truth about diet and exercise hidden. The L1 kernel and certificate course are that truth.

Thank you and congratulations to all who attended, learned, refined, and pushed themselves in a new way!

Lauriel and Make Up Day

Thursday’s are Make UP day, do the Core workout, or work on skill work of a weakness or something you want to develop.  Today, we also offer “Lauriel” as a workout option.  Today is Lauriel’s birthday and we honor her memory and positive impact on our lives and the AZ CrossFit community with her workout.  

2011 AC^2 Honor WOD – “Lauriel”   

For Time:  (20 minute cap)
23 Deadlifts
23 Handstand Pushups
23 Back Squats (no rack)
23 Burpees
23 Ground-to-Overhead

RX’D – 155# M/105# W
Scaled – 135# M/95# W

Compare to June 2016

During her treatments after surgery, in her blog, Lauriel talks about the regimen of 5 days chemo, 23 days no chemo… Fitness Beyond Ordinary

I met with the neuro-oncologist who explained what would happen over the next year.  During radiation, I would take oral chemotherapy drugs every day, for 6 weeks, even on days I did not receive radiation.  After radiation concluded, I would take a 23 day break, and then start a regimen of 5 days of chemo, 23 days no chemo.  From a CrossFit perspective, I look at this as “5 days on/23 days rest”.  I did not know what I know now, that my chemo dose would increase each cycle until I hit the prescribed dose.”  

So, with this in mind CFF came up with her own benchmark WOD relating to the “5 on/23 off” of 5 movements, 23 reps each.

What workout did you miss this week?  If you did them all, congratulations!  Rest your body and do a little core work or skill development!


The gym will be closed this coming Saturday and Sunday!


You can still sign up at


Don’t forget the Gymnastics course coming to our gym in September.  If you register by June 1 (TOMORROW), you get a discount!
  • Early-Bird Discount Code: Athletes may use code “FLAGSTAFF” now through June 1, 2018 to save 10%.


Got Abs?

CrossFit WOD

EMOM 20:00
Minute 1- 3 Shoulder press
Minute 2- 10 Strict Dips (rings or parallel bars)
Minute 3- 20/15 calorie Row or bike
Minute 4- Rest

Then,….Accessory Work!

Do I have abs yet? (Looking down at belly) Hmmm… Not yet? Then don’t skip the accessory work.

Half Tabata (4 Intervals)
0:20 High Plank
0:10 Low Plank

0:30 UpDog
0:30 R/0:30 L Arm to the side pec/front delt stretch
0:30 Down Dog

Half Tabata (4 Intervals)
0:20 Hollow Hold (scale hands at sides)
0:10 Rest

0:30 Updog
0:30 R/0:30 L Lying rear delt stretch
0:30 Down Dog

7 Ways to Improve Your Shoulder Press Weight

1. Get Your Abs Involved

You cannot be successful at an overhead lift without having a tight core.

The strict press is considered to be an “accessory lift” meaning it’s really a building block for other lifts — think clean and jerks and push presses. However, you will always struggle to hold even minute amounts of weight overhead if you do not have a locked in, tight core. You can do this by focusing on closing your rib cage in and squeezing your glutes before attempting to press overhead.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Do Accessory Work

Sometimes, it’s going to take a little work outside of your regular rotation for you to see gains in your overhead press. The overhead press engages your core, your shoulders and your back primarily, so incorporate accessory work that targets those areas.

One great thing to practice is strict handstand pushups, strict ring dips, or hand stand holds. You can also incorporate seated dumbbell presses, barbell rows and push ups each week to build strength.

3. Keep a Narrow (just outside shoulders) Grip

People tend to use a wide grip when doing strict press. This is a common error — a wider grip means the bar has less space to travel before your arms are locked out and the lift is completed. Should make things simpler, right?

However, a narrower grip translates into a stronger, more stable grip with this lift. Keep your hands close together in a normal power clean grip and watch the magic happen.

4. Do Lots of Reps

Remember, the strict press is an accessory lift, so an easy way to build is to do more reps at a lower weight as opposed to trying to max out every time you get the opportunity. There are different programming options online or you can talk to the coach at your box about programming a daily strict press routine to add some weight to your lift total.

5. Make Sure Your Elbows Aren’t Too Far Up or Too Far Down

Many people make the mistake of lifting their elbows into the front squat rack position when attempting a strict press. Although it definitely looks like you know what you’re doing, this actually incorrect form.  Alternatively, many other lower their elbows behind the bar.  This puts the bar over the forearms rather than over the top of the shoulder, supported by the torso.

Instead, keep your elbows so they are just in front of the bar and tuck them in at your chest to maximize your lat and back engagement and add more strength to the lift. You’ll see an improvement on your shoulder press ability immediately by placing your elbows in this position and keeping your back, shoulder and core muscles engaged.

6. Get Your Face Out of the Way

One sneaky way you may be sabotaging your own shoulder press is by wasting time and energy pushing the barbell out around your face — anyone who’s ever smashed themselves in the nose or chin knows what I’m talking about.

Instead of losing strength and energy by pushing the barbell up and around your face, be sure to squish your face in and push the barbell upward on a direct, straight path. Don’t be shy with the bar — just make sure you’re moving quickly to get safely out of the way!

7. Do Some Mobility Work

One big culprit behind struggling with the strict press is lack of shoulder mobility. If this is the case, you can try some shoulder-specific mobility exercises like the bully extension bias or the super front rack or by following a daily mobility program such as ROMWOD.

Once you gain more flexibility in your shoulders, you’ll see that it’s easier to perform the strict press with more weight. You heard me right — it might not be a strength issue, but a flexibility issue.

Max Effort Sprint Intervals

Every 3 Minutes for 5 rounds:

10 Hang Power Cleans 165/115#

200 meter run

*Record the slowest Interval*







1. Every 1:30 seconds x 7 sets:
3 Position snatch

For time:
30 Squat Snatches (135lbs/95lbs)


Going WAAAAY Back!  The OG’s of CrossFit do Isabel as it was originally intended!


Faces of “Isabel”

Row, Jump, and Press

CrossFit WOD
Row 1000 meters
100 Double unders
50 Push Press (95lbs/65lbs)
100 Double unders

When You Never Rx Anything

By Kai Rainey

The timer beeps, signaling the end of your workout.

You normally feel pretty exhilarated after it’s over, but this was one of those workouts. One where there wasn’t a single movement you could come close to performing.

The rest of the athletes had hung from the rig, doing variations of toes-to-bars and hanging leg raises. Unable even to hang, you were on the floor with a medicine ball between your knees, trying to raise it to your chest.

When the coach saw your frustration with single-unders and quickly switched you to calf raises, you swore the whiz of all the double-unders in the room was even louder than the Metallica blaring overhead.

Shaking arms perched on the edge of a box, your performed “dips” that were barely perceptible. Across the room, your classmates looked far steadier as they moved up and down between the wooden rings.

Trudging toward the wall, you dread the novel you will write to describe your modifications when you log your workout.

All the fist bumps don’t change that feeling. That feeling that you’ll never get “there.” That it’s taking too long to see any improvement. That maybe you are actually in over your head.

I had more than a few of those days early on. A lot of it was due to my own unrealistic expectations.

I had been trapped in the binge-diet cycle and thought anything could change drastically in 30 or 60 days. Even though I started CrossFit morbidly obese, I initially imagined I’d have things like pull-ups and double-unders in a few short months if I came three times a week.

Of course, I quickly realized my imagination had to do some negotiating with reality.

That didn’t mean days like the one described above didn’t sting. After one particularly trying day, I seriously considered asking the owner if he could please, please make sure there was at least one thing I could actually do in each workout. I just couldn’t muster up the boldness to admit how crushing it was to me to modify a workout to the point it was unrecognizable from my perspective.

The first time I heard the phrase “leave your ego at the door,” I didn’t apply it to myself. I assumed that advice was for the strapping bodybuilder who just suffered through Nancy for the first time or the spin instructor who paid tribute to DT.

But the phrase was absolutely meant for me. And it’s also meant for you.

It was during one of those early pity-fests that I found myself reading the words below on the wall at Cross Fixx, and they can probably be found somewhere in your box, too:

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance. Stamina. Strength. Flexibility. Power. Speed. Coordination. Agility. Balance. Accuracy.

I’d seen those words for weeks, and it finally dawned on me that the list didn’t include muscle-ups, pull-ups, double-unders and handstand push-ups. It didn’t say a thing about Fran, Cindy, Angie or Jackie. Those movements and workouts provide the constant variation that produces fitness and the benchmarks that test it, but mastering a movement or workout isn’t truly the end goal.

We want to live longer, avoid chronic disease and be able to thrive when faced with a challenge. In the gym, that challenge might be Fight Gone Bad. In real life, it might be racing to get help or pulling someone to safety. It could be as profoundly simple as setting an example that keeps your children from becoming obese or makes your aging parents rethink what a healthy meal looks like.

After this realization, things changed dramatically for me. CrossFit had already educated me on the importance of record keeping so I could identify any and all metrics that were improving. I just needed a personal set of benchmarks to record and—hopefully—crush on a regular basis.

Endurance improvements were easy to measure: Row or run/walk for a set period of time and try to go further each week. Or I could run or row a set distance and then re-test to see if I could complete it faster. Sound familiar? These are your basic AMRAP and for-time workouts.

For accuracy, I would see how many wall-ball reps I could complete in a row before a no-rep appeared. When I increased the height of the wall-ball shot, that was a strength PR for me.

For stamina, I would regularly multiply the total reps completed in a WOD by the weight I was using, then divide it by the total minutes to get a weight-per-minute number to try and beat. Yeah, I’m a numbers geek, but seeing the upward trend was motivating and made me care less and less about being able to click the Rx button.

This CrossFit Kennesaw athlete lost about 100 lb., and this lift is a PR. (Courtesy of Kelly Johnson/CrossFit Kennesaw)

Five months into CrossFit, I did get to click the Rx button.

I remember being almost dismissive of the accomplishment initially: “Of course you Rx’d this. It’s an easy one.”

It was 10-minute AMRAP of 10 kettlebell snatches at 26 lb. and a 10-calorie row. That day it was easy. Five months prior, I hadn’t been able to strap myself into the rower because my belly blocked me and I lacked flexibility. I hadn’t been able to squat below parallel. In May 2014, when I walked in the door of CrossFit Fixx, there was no way I could have squatted down and pulled a 26-lb. kettlebell to my side. Never mind using the power of my hips to throw it overhead 50 times.

I felt like a freaking rock star.

You will, too—as soon as you realize that you only need to compare yourself to the person in the mirror. No one else. It’s not that hard to become a little better every single day. A little stronger, a smidge faster, slightly more coordinated.

You can only build the body of your dreams with thousands of good nutritional decisions and hundreds of workouts that make you utter phrases such as “pain cave.” There is nothing fast or easy about the process. But it’s not hard, either. Hard is living obese. Getting fit gradually is glorious compared to that. And living fit? I maintain that an entire year of working out and eating clean is easier than any single day of living in the obese body I had for over a decade.

Instead of focusing on all the things you can’t do today, start celebrating the ones you can. Start challenging yourself to add to that list every week until all the can’ts are in the rearview mirror.

Team Power Prowler!

CrossFit WOD – Team Power Prowler

Teams of 3 Complete 5 intervals each, each for time (2:00 or less time domain per rd).
1 partner works through a full interval at a time while the others rest. At appropriate pace and loading, should give a 1:2 work to rest ratio.

10 Shoulder-to-Overhead – 165/110#
100m Prowler Push (moderate weight that can be done without stopping and performed at a jogging pace)

GREAT to have so many visitors join our teams today!  Thankful to have the new athletes and the greater CrossFit communities from all over the world be part of the local CrossFit community and share the same love for CrossFit – suffering together!

5 Benefits of the Prowler Push

(Click on the title link to the article and scroll down to the 3rd video.  You might recognize some of our Steve’s Club and CFF athletes and coaches featured in the article!)

1. Leg and Core Hypertrophy

Increased muscle hypertrophy is a primary benefit from doing long duration (45-90 seconds) prowler pushes. By pushing the sled at the above angles (described in the video by Mark Rippetoe), you challenge the quads, glutes, abdominals, erectors,and upper body to stay rigid and contract for prolonged periods of time, which has been shown (time under tension training) to increase muscle growth. This is a great way for lifters who have injuries and/or are trying to limit spinal loading yet looking to add quality muscle mass and training volume within their training programs.

2. Active Recovery

Prowler pushes and sled training is a great way to increase blood flow to active tissues for recovery purposes (when done at lower intensities). Prowler pushes involve concentric muscle contractions, meaning that they do not induce eccentric strains upon the muscles (which have been linked to delayed onset muscle soreness). IN doing so, you limit muscle soreness all while helping to increase blood flow to damaged muscle tissues (from previous training to ultimately increase the recovery process of the body.

3. Work Capacity / Conditioning

The prowler push is a great modality for low impact conditioning and work capacity training for nearly every athlete. Whether you goals are power, strength, muscle endurance, or weight loss, the prowler push can be modified (based on loading, time intervals, rest periods, etc) to fit the needs and exercise physiology of the sport.

4. Sprint Mechanics

When angles are changed so that they are similar hip and knee angles found in sprint mechanics, the prowler can be a great way to increase leg drive and force output (unilaterally). By doing so, you can increase the force output and ground reaction forces of the lower body during running, sprinting, and other athletic movements, helping to create faster, stronger strides.

5. Functional and Sport Training

Pushing the prowler, cars, opponents, and handling loads in dynamic ways is a key skill and foundational movement pattern that many humans should have within their skill set. Throughout most sports, human interactions, or daily life, the ability to contract the core, upper body, and carry/pull/push heavy loads can come in handy. Doing this safely by learning proper hip angles, leverages, core stability, and developing enough muscle mass are all benefits of the prowler push and can have a drastic impact on one’s athleticism and functional fitness and strength.

Squat and Run

CrossFit WOD
For time:
30 Back Squats (225lbs/155lbs)
1-mile Run

Improvement comes from consistency.

Without consistency we just have… mediocre. I don’t know of anyone at our gym that has the personality to wake up and say, “today I am going to be mediocre.” Consistency needs to present in everything we do and every day we do it.

First, we need to make it to the gym consistently. If we come 5 times one week and then “get busy” for the next 3 weeks then we are really just making our selves into a hamster on a hamster wheel. We will never go anywhere. We will get frustrated with our progress and ultimately give up.

Secondly, we need consistent effort. If you show up with the expectations of giving it your 50% then you are going to get 50% of the results. Coach Glassman says, “impress me with intensity, not volume.” Consistent effort on a high level is where we will find our best results.

The truth is you can have whatever you want if you are consistent. If we replace “maybe later” with “never” would it change the way we act? Generally, when we put something off we don’t have an opportunity to make it up. It’s now or never. Life doesn’t leave too many opportunities for maybe later.

If we are true to ourselves and consistent then we can all be epic. Let’s choose to be epic. Epic in our own right. Don’t look at what everyone else is doing and think that you can’t do that. Look at where you have come from and realize that your journey is epic.