Friday, November 16

Couple of technique tips this Friday!

1. We did clean and jerks on Wednesday and one of the issues that kept coming up throughout the day is not getting full hip extension in the push jerk. It can be really difficult to feel this as an athlete and sometimes it’s hard to see as a coach. This video does a great job of showing a push jerk with full hip extension and one without. You CAN jump without opening your hips all the way, but you are definitely not getting all of the power your body has to offer. Maybe seeing this from someone else will help you get better at this movement.

2. Rowing technique is something that gets taken for granted, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel when you finish the 1,000 m in Jackie today. Here’s some basic rowing technique that we can all fall back on as we get tired.

Workout for Friday, November 16
For Time:
Row 1,000m
50 Thrusters (45/33)
30 Pull Ups

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 15

Just a reminder that we will be closed next Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving and we will have just one class on Friday, November 23 at 9 am.

Also, put Saturday, January 26 on your calendars now! We will host our in-house competition that day and have the holiday party that evening. We will get more details out soon on both, but please save the date!

Oh, and there’s still time to sign up for the Grand Rapids Griffins game on December 14. The sign up sheet is at the gym and you need to sign up by November 29. And don’t count yourself as a guest. Put your name on the line and the number of other people you are bringing in the guest column.

Workout for Thursday, November 15
Death By Push Ups
1 Push Up Min 1
2 Push Ups Min 2
3 Push Ups Min 3
...Continue adding 1 push up each minute
*Choose a scale that allows 10 Unbroken Push Ups Fresh!

Aerobic Capacity
8 min Row or Bike @ 150 BPM Pace
3 min Max Effort Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)
6 min Row or Bike @ 150 BPM Pace
2 min Max Effort Burpee Box Jump Overs
4 min Row or Bike @ 150 BPM Pace
1 min Max Burpees
2 min Row or Bike @ 150 BPM Pace

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, November 14

This Saturday is the final class for this kids session. Please remember that the Kids Class will be in the North (new) gym space and there will not be space in there for open gym or side workouts.

If you are looking to do your own thing on Saturday please check with us on the time and space. We will be open by 7:45 on Saturday mornings if you want to come early and get some work done. There is usually limited space in the South (original) gym during Elements at 8:15, but please remember that class has priority on space and equipment, and whatever you are doing needs to not distract the Elements class.

This Saturday, and any Saturday when the kids classes are happening, there will not be space for open gym or extra work. We need to keep the North gym empty so the kids can use all of the space and not be distracted by other things going on in there. It’s hard to enough to keep them focused already!

This Saturday, if you’d like to do extra work after the CrossFit class we will be open until 11:30 while the older kids class finishes up. The South gym will be open from 10:30 to 11:30 am this Saturday.

After this Saturday, we will be closing at 10:30 am. That means there is no extra credit time after the 9:30 CrossFit class. However, if you’d like to do your own thing, the North gym will be open from 9:30 to 10:30 am for extra work because the kids session will be done after this week.

Thoroughly confused? Please ask a coach if you want to get in extra work on a Saturday. We can give a quick yes or no if you are unsure.

Also, on Wednesday, November 28 from 6-8 pm we are hosting a BirthFit Postpartum class so that space will not be open during that time.

Thanks for working with us as we try to get different groups in the door and expose them to CrossFit and functional movements!

Workout for Wednesday, November 14
Every 2 min for 20 Min
1 Squat Clean + 1 Front Squat + 1 Push Jerk
*Build Up with Good Sets and Good Lockouts!

Min 1) 10 Jumping Lunges for Height (slow & controlled to floor, explode up)
Min 2) 10 Jumping Air Squats for Height (with pause in bottom of squat)
Min 3) 30 sec Wall Sit
*Land in normal shoulder width stance on Jumping Lunges. Alternate Feet.

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, November 13

This interview took place a couple of years ago, but I just saw this article that pulls out one really interesting part of it.

Greg Glassman, CrossFit CEO, says he regrets teaching the kipping pull up in CrossFit workouts.

I think it’s kind of funny because the kipping pull up is the first thing non-CrossFitters see and make fun of. But as you all know, we train both strict and kipping pull ups and we always value the strict version more than the kipping one.

Also, we have always pushed people to get a few strict pull ups under their belt before adding the kip to keep the shoulder joints healthy and strong.

Glassman’s point is that the kip will happen naturally as you move to bigger and bigger sets of pull ups. This is what happened when he was training as a gymnast and they were building to sets of 60, 80, or 100 pull ups. Those needed to be fast and a full body movement.

However, the kip that evolved from that training is not a true gymnastics kip and it they were already doing very large sets of strict pull ups before that naturally occurred.

The point is, strict strength is important. It is vital to have a strong base of slow controlled strength before we start adding intensity and volume. This is the only method to progress without opening yourself up to potential injury.

You can hear the words right from the founder’s mouth in the clip below, or you can start from the beginning and learn a lot about the man who created CrossFit and the methodologies.

Workout for Tuesday, November 13
Narrow Grip Bench Press
*Build Up with Good Position

12 min AMRAP
50 Double Unders (Scale with 100 Single Unders)
5 Deadlifts (225/155)
70 Double Unders (Scale with 140 Single Unders)
7 Deadlifts (225/155)
90 Double Unders (Scale with 180 Single Unders)
9 Deadlifts (225/155)

CrossFit 616
Monday, November 12

Remember we will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving and we will have one class at 9 am on Friday, November 23.

“The best posture is the one you just moved out of.” - Dr. Andreo Spina

Dr. Spina is the creator of Functional Range Conditioning, which is the mobility and movement certification Tom attended in 2017

If you watch the video below he explains that trying to hold any one position isn’t the ideal. Our bodies are meant to move, so even if you are sitting in the “best” position you can, it’s not as good as moving around.

Of course, there are times when you don’t have a lot of choice. Not everyone can have a standing desk with a treadmill attached. So what do you do?

Some people subscribe to the timer on the desk that tells them to get up and move every 20 minutes, or you can walk to someone’s desk to talk to them in person instead of emailing or calling. There’s no one way, but you should be conscious of how long it has been since you last moved your entire body.

Remember, one hour at the gym can’t make up for 23 hours of not moving every day!

Workout for Monday, November 12
Strict Press
2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 10

7 Rounds for Time
15 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')
10 T2B

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 9

Kids class resumes this Saturday at 9:30 and 10:30 am! Looking forward to seeing you all again.

And adoption specialist Melissa Burke will be here before the 9:30 CrossFit class to provide information and answer questions on how you can help kids in foster care!

Happy Friday everyone! Keep pushing and remember, life is hard, but so are YOU!

Workout for Friday, November 9
1 Power Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat
Rest 1 min, Increase Weight
1 Power Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat
Rest 1 min, Increase Weight
1 Power Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat

Five Rounds For Time:
Run 400m
15 Overhead Squats (95/65)

Optional Bonus Murph Prep
100 Push Ups For Time

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 8

Remember that there is no weightlifting class this week. We wrapped up the latest cycle and have a few people competing in Kalamazoo Sunday. We will begin the new cycle on Thursday, November 15.

We have muscle ups in the workout Thursday and we know that getting a muscle up is a goal for a lot of people. We also know that the path to a muscle up is through building the strength and mobility to get in and hold the correct positions.

Strength building comes from negatives, pull ups, banded pull ups and negatives, bar dips, ring dips, and more.

There is no shortcut to mastering a skill. People that have mastered something make it look easy, but they put in hours and hours of work to get there.

Even the young piano virtuoso didn’t sit down for the first time and play Mozart. Sure, it may take some people less time to develop a skill than others, but there are still countless hours of hard work to get to mastery.

Check out the video below from CrossFit Gymnastics coach Juan Castro. He owns every position in the muscle up and I am sure he makes them look easy when he removes the pauses.

And here’s the caption: “Do you get frustrated watching people ease through more difficult skills? You know what they have behind those skills? You guessed it - a foundation of strength and flexibility!”

If you really want something, you have to be willing to put in the work to get there. There are no shortcuts and you’re going to need to enjoy the process. But, with hard work, you CAN get there. Decide what you want and go after it!

Workout for Thursday, November 8
Weighted Pull Ups
*Scale with Weighted Negatives or Ring Rows

5 Rounds for Time
5 Ring Muscle Ups
3 Man Makers
15 Air Squats

*1 Man-Maker:
1 Push Up on Dumbbells
1 DB Row Right
1 DB Row Left
1 Squat Clean Thruster

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, November 7

I loved this article from the NY Times: Who Says Allie Kieffer Isn’t Thin Enough to Run Marathons?

Allie Kieffer tried for years and years to fit into the accepted model of what a marathon runner should look, eat, and train like, but it wasn’t working. She was constantly battling injury and gave up running for years.

But eventually she missed running and decided to start back up with no goals, just for the enjoyment. “She made friends jogging in Central Park. She joined CrossFit, unheard-of in elite running, a sport whose athletes are not exactly known for their bulging musculature. She began running more miles than ever, she was healthier than ever, and she was happier, too. And then something unexpected happened: She got faster. Much faster.”

And then she took fifth place in the New York City Marathon last year and seventh this year.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, another article proving everyone should do CrossFit.” But trust me, that is not the point. The point is that the old way, the accepted way, the “best” way might not be the right way for everyone. This about doing what you love because you love it and not trying to fit into a mold. This is what Allie did.

“In doing so, Kieffer has given us a powerful example of what can happen when we stop trying to force ourselves to meet preconceived notions of how to achieve success — especially unhealthy, untrue ideas — and go after our goals on our own terms. When we focus less on fixing what we consider to be inadequacies and more on reinforcing our strengths, we can realize potential we didn’t even know we had.

“‘Sometimes, the act of trying takes so much energy that it can prevent you from actually doing the thing you want to do,’ Brad Stulberg, the author of Peak Performance, told me. ‘If it starts to feel like performance shackles, you’re going to want to say screw it, to break out of rigid patterns and rip those shackles off. And only then are you able to really achieve what you were trying for the whole time.’”

It is so easy to get caught up in the trying. If you feel like it is a chore to get to the gym and you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, something is off. And then there’s the “you need to look a certain way to do certain things” argument.

“Kieffer’s story also proves that we can achieve far more when we value all women’s bodies less for how they look, and more for what they can do.”

I' put a lot of quotes from the article in this post because I think this stuff is important and I’m not sure how many of you read the full article, but trust me, this one’s good. Take a couple of minutes to read the whole thing and hopefully you start to think about what is right for you, and you can start enjoying the things you love again.

P.S. Allie would definitely be considered thin in the everyday world, but compared to elite marathoners, she is much bigger.

Workout for Wednesday, November 7
Tabata Strict Press (45/33)
4 Rounds with Rest in Front Rack
Rest 1 minute
4 Rounds with Rest Overhead Locked Out

16 min AMRAP
Knees to Elbows
Calorie Row

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, November 6

Changing your diet can be one of the toughest things to do. Creating new habits, changing your tastebuds, and eating new/different foods is just hard. But if you really need a new nutrition plan here are some tips to help you stick to it.

The article Five Habits of Highly Successful Eaters from the CrossFit Journal gives you five simple tips that can help you stick to your new nutrition plan.

Hopefully you’ll read the full article, but if you don’t, here’s the list without full descriptions.

1. Seek Help
2. Focus on Health and Performance
3. Log Your Intake
4. Make a Long-Term Commitment
5. Find a Community of Support

These are all pretty simple actions to incorporate into your routine. And if you’re a member of 616, you have a few of these right at your fingertips. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help and know that there is always a community of support right here!

Workout for Tuesday, November 6
Pause Front Squat
5X2 @ 65% to 75%

For Time:
Wall Balls (30# to 10' / 20# to 9')
Hang Power Cleans (115/85)

CrossFit 616
Monday, November 5

Are you busy all of the time? Do you feel like you just can’t get it all in and you never catch up? I think a lot of us fall into that category.

But, I have another question for you: Are you busy or are you productive?

It’s easy to fall into a routine of just doing a bunch of things. Sometimes we need to step back and pare down our list of tasks.

It’s not for me or anyone else to tell you whether you’re busy or not, you have to really look at what you do every day and decide if you can remove some things.

What are your priorities? Can you narrow that list down and then determine which things you do each day help you accomplish the things truly important to you?

In the podcast below, Ben Bergeron talks about being productive and gives some great tips and strategies for managing your daily tasks and deciding what you really need to get done every day.

Workout for Monday, November 5
Kipping Pull Up Test and Practice
30 Kipping Pull Ups in as Few Sets as Possible
- Or -
30 Kipping Swings - Everytime the Swing is Broken do 10 Ring Rows

*Rest as needed between sets
*No Butterfly Kipping
*10 min Time Cap

5 Rounds for Time
12 Push Ups
15 Russian KB Swings (70/53)
18 Sit Ups

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 2
Wanted loved chosen adopted.jpg

Did you know November is National Adoption Month? In the state of Michigan there are currently more than 300 youth waiting for their forever family. Could you make the difference for one of those waiting children?

On Saturday, November 10 our very own Melissa Burke - CrossFitter and adoption specialist - will be at the gym to answer questions and provide information on adoption.

Even if you are not able to adopt, you may know someone that is interested or you may be able to help in other ways. Please come out to support this great cause and find out how you can help more children find a forever home in Michigan!

And if you know someone interested, please tell them to stop by. Melissa will be here before the 9:30 am class!

Workout for Friday, November 2
30 Clean and Jerks for Time (135/95)

Back Squat
*Build Up with good sets

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 1

Saw this post from Bret Contreras the other day and knew I needed to share it (possibly for my own sake as much as anyone).

It is soooooo easy to overportion foods like peanut butter, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and other condiments. I know I am guilty of this. My two tablespoons usually looks like a soup ladle and this can be costly when you are trying to count calories or macros.

It’s easy to see in the picture below, but it is shocking how just how many extra calories there are on the right side. And even if you’re not overdoing it by 563 calories like the picture, 100 calories a few times a day adds up.

This is why it is important to weigh and measure food when you are starting a new lifestyle. If you have never measured you may be getting a lot more (or less) than you actually need. Hopefully you don’t have to weigh and measure forever, but it can be very helpful to get started.

Workout for Thursday, November 1
Strict Press
*Build Up to a Heavy 2 Reps w/ Good Position

15 min AMRAP
20 Box Jumps (24/20)
40/30 Cal Row

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, October 31

It’s Wednesday FriendsDay and Halloween! Bring a friend and a costume to workout in!

Here are a couple of schedule updates you need to know:

This Saturday we will close at 10:30 immediately following the CrossFit class so we can head to the trampoline park. If you are meeting there, we will be there by 11 am.

We will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving.

We will have one class on Friday, November 23 at 9 am.

Normal schedule on Saturday, November 24.

There is still time to sign up for the Griffins hockey game on Friday, December 14. The sign up sheet is at the gym. We will close at 6 pm that Friday so we can get to the 7 pm game on time.

Workout for Wednesday, October 31
Plank Position DB Rows
5X10 Alternating Arms

10 min AMRAP
10 Overhead Plate Lunges Alternating Legs
10 Burpees to the Plate
10 Sit Ups

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, October 30

This Wednesday is Wednesday FriendsDay! Bring a friend to any class throughout the day to try CrossFit for the first time!

I love this talk from the CrossFit Level 1 course on proper technique. How do we define technique and why does proper technique matter?

“Minimize the amount of energy, while maximizing the amount of work.” Plus it keeps you moving safely so we reduce the risk for injury.

He goes through an example of how proper technique can make your Fran time faster. Sure, you can have a very fast Fran time, but if you clean up technique, you can do it even faster and feel better when you are done.

My favorite example is the rowing machine. After watching 24 teams row a marathon on Saturday, it’s clear that good technique matters. Sure, all of the teams eventually finished, and you can row and finish with poor technique in your workouts, but wouldn’t you rather it be easier?

Usually with a clean or a snatch, poor technique means you miss the lift. But there are some movements you can get away with poor technique and complete them. Trust me, you are making the movement harder.

It’s not just about speed either. Proper technique keeps you safe, so if you need to slow it down for a little while, do that, then speed it back up once you have mastered the technique.

Workout for Tuesday, October 30
Pull Up Progressions or Muscle Up Practice

17 min AMRAP
8 Deadlifts (225/155)
40 Double Unders (80 Single Unders)
4 Burpee Bar Muscle Ups (8 Pull Ups, 12 Jumping Pull Ups)

CrossFit 616
Monday, October 29

CrossFit shared this article from Undark the other day and I think it’s pretty interesting. We know that corporate America funds studies on food, drugs and everything else, and we know that corporate funding can taint the results of these studies. So what’s a scientist to do?

If you are trying to make a name for yourself and build a career, but there’s no government funding to go around, should you take on a study even if it is funded by a corporation?

There’s not a simple answer of course, but it is always worth knowing who is funding the research.

Indeed, in her soon-to-be-released book — “Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat” — nutrition researcher and New York University emeritus professor Marion Nestle (no relation to the food manufacturer) urges us to “envision a red warning flag flying high in the air,” whenever a report claims that a single food product, ingredient, beverage, or supplement raises or lowers the risk of obesity or disease. For one thing, overall dietary patterns, and not any single factor, are what matter most to our health, she notes. And in many cases, as she details in the book, studies boasting positive health effects are underwritten by corporate manufacturers.

There is no magic food or drink out there that can make you lose weight or cure diseases. Your overall, long-term pattern of eating nutritious food and exercising is what makes a difference. So, next time you see the headlines about “Food X” doing something that seems to good to be true, do your research and figure out who is behind that study before calling it gospel.

Maybe one day our government will not be so heavily influenced by corporate money and they can actually create a system of real, unbiased research that could really make a difference.

Read the full article here: Is It Ethical for Nutrition Scientists to Accept Industry Money?

Workout for Monday, October 29
Snatch Practice
Every 2 minutes for 20 min
1 Snatch from Power Position
1 Snatch from Mid-Knee
1 Snatch from the Floor

7 min AMRAP
7 T2B
11 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')

CrossFit 616
Friday, October 26

Next Wednesday is Wednesday FriendsDay! Bring a friend to any class throughout the day to try CrossFit for the first time!

Oh, and it’s Halloween, so costumes are definitely encouraged!

And guess what? Benchmark Fridays are back! That’s right, we’re starting a new round of benchmark workouts so you can gather more data and test where you are right now in your fitness journey!

Of course, this means you better be tracking your workouts in an app, notebook, scroll, etc… Make sure you record what you do with as much detail as possible so you can look back and measure your progress. Or, you can tell if you are not progressing like you think you should be. Maybe there are other factors at play like not enough sleep or poor nutrition.

When you write down a workout, don’t just include the workout and your time. Write down the weight you used, the scaling option used for pull ups and other movements, how you felt that day, how you slept the night before, how you ate that morning…

All of this info can help you determine if you are on the right track. If one of these factors is off, you can slow your progress or move in the wrong direction (ahem, never getting eight hours of sleep).

Also remember that it’s impossible to be at 100% every day. So if you don’t have a great day and don’t PR your workout, THAT IS OK! The point of tracking is to understand why, not to make you feel bad about yourself. Give it your best on that day and be happy with your effort.

If you aren’t tracking your workouts already, today is a great day to start!

Workout for Friday, October 26
For Time:
Thrusters (95/65)
Pull Ups

Skill Practice - Choose an option and spend time PRACTICING!
Double Unders
Pull Ups or T2B

CrossFit 616
Thursday, October 25

Don’t forget to sign up for the group outings coming up soon! The deadline to sign up for the Altitude Trampoline park outing is this Friday, October 26. The outing is next Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 am. That means we are closing at 10:30 am on that Saturday.

The Griffins game is Friday, December 14 at 7 pm. We will close the gym one hour early that day at 6 pm. Fridays at the Griffins means $2 hot dogs and $2 beers. And we’re getting seats with wait service!

Sign ups for both are at the gym on the main whiteboard. Also, there is a column for guests - do not count yourself as a guest. If you put your name on the line that is how you sign up, then you give us the number of guests if you are bringing any.

Workout for Thursday, October 25
*Building Up in Weight with Good Position.

Min 1) 7 Bent Over Barbell Rows - Supinated Grip
Min 2) 10 Plate Twists (45/25) - Slow and Controlled Tempo
Min 3) 40 Sec Hollow Hold
Min 4) High Plank Hold

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, October 24

Change the narrative.

They way you talk to yourself makes a difference. Do you approach a workout with apprehension or excitement? Do you look forward to challenging yourself with new movements and heavier loads? Or do you fear anything new and think about all of the negative possible outcomes?

How you approach the situation matters AND you can train yourself to have a more positive approach.

Sure, at first you’ll be faking it a bit, but eventually you will start to believe yourself and then it will become second nature.

Check out this short talk from Simon Sinek on changing the narrative from nervous to excited.

Workout for Wednesday, October 24
Pause Back Squat
5X3 @ 60% to 70%
*Pause in Bottom. Focus on Position Driving Up.

Jump Rope Progressions

12 min AMRAP
50 Double Unders or 100 Single Unders
15 Air Squats
10 Single Arm DB Push Press Each Arm

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, October 23

Ok, so someone beat me to it and posted this article in the Facebook group, but I’m going with it anyway!

This article from Time, Not Exercising May Be Worse for Your Health Than Smoking, Study Says, details a study from the Cleveland Clinic that “found a clear connection between a longer, healthier life and high levels of exercise. The report calls for health care professionals to encourage patients to achieve and maintain a robust fitness routine.”

“Although it is widely understood that an active lifestyle can lead to a healthy life, the study concludes that a sedentary lifestyle is the equivalent of having a major disease and the simplest cure is exercise.”

That’s right, not exercising and being sedentary can have the same effect as having a major disease!

You don’t have to do CrossFit and you don’t have to follow a Paleo diet, but please do something. I know most of you reading this are already on board, but this is an article worth sharing with people you love.

If you have a friend or family member that smoked, I bet you have tried to help that person stop more than once. Have you helped your friends and family find an exercise routine they like? Now is the time. Don’t wait until someone is sick, keep spreading the word of health and fitness!

Workout for Tuesday, October 23

Bench Press


*Build Up in Weight with Good Position.

For Time:


Sit Ups


Calories on Rower


CrossFit 616
Monday, October 22

We’ve discussed this on the blog before, but you should always be careful about the supplements you are taking. Supplements are NOT regulated like drugs and can be tainted with all sorts of harmful substances.

“Under a 1994 law, the U.S. government reclassified supplements as food rather than food additives. The law exempts supplements from any of the premarket safety and effectiveness testing the FDA requires for drugs.”

If you are taking a supplement, anything from vitamin C to pre-workout, you need to know and trust the source.

“The Food and Drug Administration has identified hundreds of supplements tainted with pharmaceuticals — from antidepressants and erectile dysfunction remedies to weight-loss drugs — since 2007, a study published Friday shows. Even after FDA tests proved the supplements contained unapproved or recalled medications, many of the products continued to be marketed and sold, the analysis finds.”

So, not only is the government letting pretty much anyone put a supplement on the market - including that guy mixing stuff in his basement and slapping a label on it - they’re not forcing them off the shelves when they know they’re tainted.

Our advice is to eat real food to get the nutrients you need. Don’t rely on pills and powders unless you really need to add something to your diet you can’t get from food. They are called supplements for a reason, so use them to supplement your nutritious diet only as needed. And please make sure you know what you are putting in your body.

Read the full article from NPR here: No Wonder It Works So Well: There May Be Viagra In That Herbal Supplement

Workout for Monday, October 22
5 Rounds For Time:
8 Clean and Jerks (135/95)
10 Pull Ups
12 Pistols Alternating Legs

CrossFit 616