Monday, May 22

I’ve been reading and listening to some things about feedback – how to give it and how to receive it. Giving and receiving feedback in an office environment is something many of us have had to navigate in our careers. It can be challenging and complicated to give or get constructive criticism without someone’s feelings getting hurt.

However, in the gym we are accustomed to getting feedback without our feelings getting hurt. We are accepting of the coach athlete relationships and are usually seeking feedback and many times asking for more feedback on our movement to help us get better.

So why don’t we apply that attitude to other parts of our lives? What if we thought of our boss as a coach of sorts? What if we asked our superiors how we can improve at our jobs?

I think we can learn a lot from CrossFit and sports in general that can help us improve other aspects of our lives. Team sports have helped shape our social skills for years and I think we should continue to look for ways to apply what we learn in the gym to other areas.

Think about how you accept or give feedback at your job. Are you a good “coach” or “athlete” in the office? Can you hear the feedback and apply it to make yourself a better employee?

If you’re interested in this subject you should check out Radical Candor and listen to their podcast. Improving your communication in and out of the gym could make life a lot better!

Workout for Monday, May 22
Strict Press
Build to a Heavy 1 Rep, then using that weight:
2X5 @ 70% to 80%
2X10 @ 60% to 65%
1X Max Effort Reps @ 50%

15 min AMRAP
Run 1 Lap (220m)
Max Effort Unbroken T2B
*Every time you drop off the bar, Run 1 Lap (220m)
**Scale T2B with Kipping High Knees and Toes to Rig

Friday, May 19

Weekly Roundup!

1. Here’s a CrossFit HQ post from the other day that fits nicely into my theory from yesterday about the programming at this year’s Regionals. Read the caption on this one too!

2. Are you a brick or a twinkie?

“I don’t need to tell you that weightlifting involves dealing with some pain. And this blog would be about six lines long if I applied the old “just suck it up and deal with it” mentality to the whole issue. We could just blurt out that mantra and be done with it.

But here’s the thing, brothers and sisters… It’s not always as simple as “just suck it up and deal with it.” There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you decide to use the amazingly unintelligent strategy of handling every situation the same way.”

Read Your Pain Tolerance, And Your Creamy Filling: Types of Weightlifters from Catalyst Athletics.

3. And now the greatest case to ever be made for training with odd objects and getting out of the gym!

Workout for Friday, May 19
For Time:
100 Pull Ups
100 Push Ups
100 Sit Ups
100 Air Squats
*You must finish all 100 reps of each before moving to the next

Thursday, May 18

I am writing this post with full knowledge that today’s workout involves a lot of barbell work, but I think we’re seeing a shift in CrossFit training and fitness in general. Or maybe we are seeing some balance come back to the sport of CrossFit that had gone a little too far in the weightlifting direction.

Everyone was up in arms about the CrossFit Regional events being sans barbell, including myself. I thought this dumbbell thing from the Open was over and we could move back to the barbell we all know and love. However, after listening to a lot of other people discuss this and thinking more about it, I can see why CrossFit decided to go barbell free for the Regionals.

I think, and many others do too, that CrossFit had shifted hard in the last few years towards weightlifting. We haven’t seen one major CrossFit event that didn’t feature some sort of max snatch or clean and jerk. It seemed like all we were seeing on social media was big lifts and barbell work.

Now, it’s probably our (CrossFit’s) own fault because athletes in the sport of CrossFit will train for what they think is coming in competition. Then those things inevitably trickle into the day-to-day classes at every affiliate. But if you look at the original intent of CrossFit and Greg Glassman’s “World Class Fitness in 100 Words” you’ll see that it was a fitness program, not a sport, that was meant to prepare you for everything that could come at you in life.

• Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
• Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly,
master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to
handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
• Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns
as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
• Regularly learn and play new sports.

It looks like CrossFit HQ decided to right the course with the programming in this year’s Regionals. And, like usual, there’s no easing into it with HQ. They took the barbell away and said let’s see how well you can move your body and other objects that aren’t so standard.

If CrossFit truly is a fitness program that is supposed to prepare us the best way possible for everyday life, then we need to be lifting things other than barbells. We need to have better control of our own body (gymnastics) and we need to be able to run and jump and throw. Read the last line of “World Class Fitness” again – “Regularly learn and play new sports.” When was the last time any of us did that?

Look, I love the sport of weighlifting and CrossFit. And I believe weighltifting is an important skill we should all work on to get stronger, faster, and more athletic. However, we never want to shift too far in one direction. CrossFit is defined as constantly varied, functional movement done at high intensity. So don’t forget to vary the things you’re picking up.

I’m excited to see what happens this weekend as Regionals kicks off. I’m sure the top athletes will be fine, but these workouts will show who has a well-rounded fitness and who has been focusing too much on the barbell.

Workout for Thursday, May 18
Front Squats
2X2 @ 80%
2X1 @ 85%
3X1 @ 90% to 95%

9 min AMRAP
1-2-3-4…Continue Increasing By 1 Rep Each Round
Thrusters (135/95)
10-20-30-40…Continue Increasing By 10 Reps Each Round
Double Unders (scale with Hurdle Hops)

Wednesday, May 17

There are a few spots left for the next round of Fueling Activity, but you have to sign up by this Friday! The sign up sheet is on the front whiteboard. If you need help getting your diet on track or you just want to learn more about getting the right nutrition for your lifestyle, this group is for you.

Also, there’s been a change to the track and field meet on June 10. Now it is just a field meet and will be held at Cannonsburg.

We were having trouble getting information from the school on track rental and insurance and rather than wait until the last minute, we’ve decided to move to a new location and have some different fun outside.

The workout will begin at 9:30 am and we will be done by 11:30 am. We will still have weightlifting, but class that day will being at 8 am so we can get to Cannonsburg by 9:30. No sign ups necessary, just show up!

Workout for Wednesday, May 17
25 min Not For Time
15 Hand Over Hand 50′ Sled Pulls – Standing
Accumulate 3 minutes of L-Sit Holds on Parallettes
Accumulate 5 minutes of Tall Side Planks (2:30 each side)
5X10 Plank Position DB Rows Alternating Arms

For Time:
100 Burpees
100/70 Calories on Rower
*Partition Reps However You Choose

Tuesday, May 16

Many of you know that we started a Sports Performance program a little while ago and have been coaching some teens later in the evening to prepare them for their specific sports and to help make them better athletes overall. Our head coach in this program is Josh Tomaszewski. He is an amazing coach and a great person.

Recently Josh was diagnosed with mouth cancer and is scheduled for surgery Tuesday in Ann Arbor. He is having the tumor removed surgically and will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatment as soon as he can after surgery.

He is undergoing some pretty intense procedures and treatment because of the type of cancer and how aggressive it can be, but Josh is as strong and determined as anyone I know and he is prepare to fight this thing head on.

Josh has been a part of the CrossFit 616 family for a long time and even though many of you may not know him personally, we know you will support him just the same. Please keep Josh and his family in your thoughts over the next few weeks and months.

We are working on a specific plan to help him through this and will get you details as soon as we can. Thank you for everything we know you will do and what you already have done to make this community what it is.

Workout for Tuesday, May 16
Every 2 min for 20 min
5 Hang Power Cleans
Build Up with Successful Sets of 5

9 min AMRAP
15 Sit Ups
15/11 Cal Bike

Monday, May 15

I got the chance to go watch the USA Weightlifting National Championship this weekend in Chicago and it was a blast. I was surrounded by the top weightlifters and a lot of top CrossFitters all day. And since weightlifting is still a relatively small sport in the US, we had unprecedented access to the athletes and coaches. I couldn’t keep track of the the number of times a national champion or a top coach just casually sat down next to me in the crowd. And, everyone was happy to say hi and chat with us too!

If you ever get the chance to go watch the top athletes in any sport perform in person, do it. Seeing these athletes do their thing in person gives you a whole new appreciation for the sport and for how much hard work it takes to get to the top.

CrossFit Regionals start this weekend and I know some of you are headed to Nashville in a few weeks. While you are watching, take a moment to appreciate what you are seeing. Remember, many of these athletes have trained for years to make it to this one moment.

Saturday night was capped off with two prime-time sessions, including another record setting performance from Mattie Rogers. She took the last lift of the night – a clean and jerk at 134 kg/295 lbs. – to set a new American record and set the crowd on fire. I gotta be honest, I didn’t think she was going to stand that clean up, but the best never give up and never stop pushing.

Check out video of her lift below!

Workout for Monday, May 15
Back Squats
2X2 @ 80%
2X1 @ 85%
3X1 @ 90% to 95%

4 Rounds for time:
10 Wall Balls (30# to 10′ / 20# to 9′)
10 Box Jumps (24/20)
Run 100m

Friday, May 12

Weekly Roundup!

1. Watch this! Get those shoulder blades moving the right way and make them stable!

Workout for May, 12
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats

Thursday, May 11

We practiced kipping last week and now we are going to carry that over into kipping toes to bar. Lat strength and being able to close the shoulder make a huge difference in being able to get toes to bar and being able to connect them.

Check out the video below that demonstrates going from an open shoulder to a closed shoulder during the kipping swing. There’s one cue she uses that might help to – pull the bar to your toes rather than bringing your toes to the bar. This will help you control from the shoulder and get those lats engaged.

Workout for Thursday, May 11
T2B Practice
Working on Kipping Swing to generate power for T2B

7 Rounds For Time:
Bike 10/7 Cal
7 Power Cleans (135/95)
Run 100m
9 T2B

Wednesday, May 10

A new round of Fueling Activity will begin Friday, May 19th and will run through Friday, June 19th. Sign Up will be on the whiteboard up front and is limited to 8 people! Fueling Activity is open to CrossFit 616 members AND anyone else who is looking for help on fueling their performance the best way possible.

We had a hugely successful group last month. Sarah had this to say:
“I’ve been a long distance runner for about 12 years. I joined 616 five months ago. I had healthy habits. I ate healthy foods. I signed up for Fueling Activity and realized that I still had so much to learn! The benefit that caught me off guard was the stress relief! I was always questioning- Am I eating too much? Not enough? How can I swap something processed for something real? I found the plan easy to follow. I had little trouble turning down temptations because I wasn’t hungry. Signing up for the advanced plan was very worthwhile. It helped me learn more about why we were doing what we were doing. I am so grateful for this program. It is helping me become the athlete I want to be. I can’t imagine going back to my old ways of eating.”

The Basic Plan is $75 for the month and the Upgraded Plan is $100 for the month. Both include information packets weekly (including the meal plan, recipes, and grocery lists), access to the FaceBook Group, answers to specific questions and guidance towards your individual goals. The Upgraded Plan includes a one-on-one meeting at the beginning of the plan to discuss goals along with a group wrap up meeting at the end of the plan to get you on the right path to be successful going forward.
If you have questions or would like to sign up, please email:
Or sign up at the gym!

Workout for Wednesday, May 10
Pull Up Progressions

Heavy Object Squats
2 Sec Pause in Bottom Under Tension

Tempo Back Squats
2X3 @ 70% to 75%
3 Sec Descent + 2 Sec Pause + Stand + 1 sec Pause at Top
Regular Tempo
1X1 @ 80%
1X1 @ 85%
3X1 @ 90% to 95%
Do not Max out!

Tuesday, May 9

We will have weightlifting class this week on Thursday and Saturday. It will be very light and will be a recovery week after maxing out last week. Saw some awesome PRs at the end of the cycle and we’re looking forward to starting the next cycle officially on May 18.

Also, coming up this weekend is USA Weightlifting Nationals in Chicago. It’s close enough to drive over if you’re interested in watching the best of the best in the US. Head over to the USAW website for more info on the event.

If you don’t want to drive over there will be a live webcast of the event, which you can find on the USAW site.

Workout for Tuesday, May 9
20 min of Power Snatch Practice
Focus on Making Good Single Lifts, NO PRESS OUTS!
Go Down in Weight if:
If you catch a lift in anything but your best position possible.

7 min AMRAP
Row 250m
15 Sit Ups
6 Hang Power Snatches (95/65)