Wednesday, December 19

Remember we have just one class this Saturday at 9 am to do the 12 Days of Christmas workout! No weightlifting or elements classes.

As we approach the end of the year it’s always good to assess your 2018 goals and start thinking about 2019.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to this year? I know I didn’t, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I am happy with a lot of things, but there are plenty of things I will continue to work on next year.

It’s great to set goals, hopefully behavioral ones that you can actually control, but you never know what might happen in a year. Some of you had kids, some got new jobs, and some of you realized that thing that seemed so important in January isn’t that important to you right now.

Making goals gives you something to work towards, but circumstances change all of the time. And while it’s convenient to assess yourself at the end of the year, you can make goals and change things all of the time.

So, how was your 2018? Anything you want to keep working on in 2019? Any new goals? Tell people about them to help keep you accountable. Don’t get down if you don’t hit a goal at a specific time. And keep pushing towards whatever it is you want to achieve, even if it takes longer than you planned!

Workout for Wednesday, December 19
15 minutes to Build to Heavy Set
1 Snatch + 1 Overhead Squat

Buy in with 100 Double Unders / 200 Single Unders
5 Rounds for Time
9 Overhead Squats (95/65)
11 T2B
Cash Out with 100 Double Unders / 200 Single Unders

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, December 18

Here’s something cool from Scotland! Doctors are starting to prescribe “nature” to their patients.

Doctors in Shetland “will be authorised by the archipelago’s health board, NHS Shetland, to issue “nature prescriptions” to patients to help treat mental illness, diabetes, heart disease, stress and other conditions.”

These nature prescriptions won’t replace traditional medicine, but they will supplement it. The goal is to get people more involved in their own health, and research clearly shows that getting outside is good for us.

Makena Lohr, a spokeswoman for the centre, said she was not aware of any other NHS trusts or boards formally prescribing nature and exercise in this way. “The physical and mental benefits of connecting with nature have been very well evidenced by numerous studies,” she said. “It’s high time that the healthcare sector became aware of that.”

I hope that this catches on and that more doctors around the world start prescribing things other than medicine when it’s appropriate. Of course, then the patient has to take responsibility to fill the prescription, and that may be the hardest part.

Read the full article here: Scottish GPs to begin prescribing rambling and birdwatching

Workout for Tuesday, December 18
25 min Not For Time
Heavy Object Hold - Accumulate 5 minutes of
Plate Twists - 5 Sets of 10 Slow and Controlled
L-Sit Hold - Accumulate 3 minutes
Single Arm Farmers Carry - 5 Lengths (75') Each Arm

6 min AMRAP
2-4-6-8...Continue Increasing by 2 Reps
Burpees to Target 6" Out of Reach
Plank Position DB Rows Alternating Arms

CrossFit 616
Monday, December 17

Remember that we have an adjusted schedule for Christmas starting this Saturday.
Saturday, Dec. 22 - One class at 9 am - 12 Days of Christmas WOD
Monday, Dec. 24 - Closed
Tuesday, Dec. 25 - Closed
Wednesday, Dec. 26 - Full Schedule

Amber G. alerted me to this cool story last week: Her CrossFit PR is Walking Without a Cane

“Jessica Gomez has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for thirteen years and walks using the assistance a cane.” But she made a deal with her coach a while back that the CrossFit gym would be a cane-free zone. She started getting around the gym without her cane, and one day her coach suggested she leave the cane at the gym for a day.

Jessica left the cane, lived her life outside the gym without it, and hasn’t picked it back up yet. It’s been two weeks.

No one is saying CrossFit cures anything or works miracles, but I will say that CrossFit gyms all over the world are providing environments that allow ANYONE willing to put in work a safe place to change their lives.

Back squat PRs and fast WOD times are nice, but people improving their lives is what it’s all about.

If you know a good story like this, or maybe you have a similar story, let us know so we can celebrate with you!

Thanks, Amber!

Workout for Monday, December 17
Pause Front Squats
4X2 @ 60% to 70%

4 Rounds for Time:
14 DB Lunges Alternating Legs (50/35)
14 Pull Ups
*DBs in Front Rack for Lunges*

CrossFit 616
Friday, December 14

Remember we close early Friday at 6 pm to get to the Griffins game that starts at 7 pm. Doors open at 6 if you want to get there early. We do have wait service at our seats and that begins at 6 as well. There are $2 beers and hot dogs until 8 pm if you are interested in those. Looking forward to seeing you all outside the gym!

And since we’re headed to a hockey game, here’s a cool story of a professional hockey player using CrossFit to keep him in shape and moving well as he gets older and closer to the end of his career.

Workout for Friday, December 14
For Time:
150 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')

CrossFit 616
Thursday, December 13

I was listening to The Active Life podcast and the guest was the father of modern mobility Dr. Kelly Starrett. They discussed their different approaches to mobility and treatment, and agreed that you can have different approaches and solutions to the same problem.

Starrett was the first person to come into the CrossFit scene that really placed an importance on mobility, stability, correct movement patterns or whatever else you want to call it. He made us all start paying attention to why we can’t get into the right position, and gave us options to try to fix it. The Mobility WOD was born and it’s motto was, “All humans should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.”

It was a great discussion and at one point, Starrett referenced a quote from the book Dune. (Now we’re really nerding out!) Dune is a science fiction tale about sustainability and ecology, and while that’s not my area of expertise, we can certainly apply it to our own bodies. We are a system just like the environment. We have basic functions and needs and if one piece collapses, a whole host of problems can arise.

“The thing the ecologically illiterate don’t realize about an ecosystem is that it’s a system. A system! A system maintains a certain fluid stability that can be destroyed by a misstep in just one niche. A system has order, a flowing from point to point. If something dams the flow, order collapses. The untrained might miss that collapse until it was too late. That’s why the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.”

Starrett pointed out the last sentence in the quote - that ecologists understand the consequences. He said that’s exactly what good coaches and teachers do too. We understand the consequences. I’m sure if you are a parent you can relate.

We harp on quality movement because we understand the consequences of not moving well. It’s not just about avoiding injury either. We should feel good, not have chronic back pain, not have to wear special gear to hold us in the right position, and on and on.

There’s no overnight fix if you have a movement restriction or mobility issue. We need to put in the work to fix it, but we can’t just slam through it day after day and then wonder why our shoulder still hurts when we move it a certain way.

This is hard. It is sooooo hard to take a step back, slow down, and work on these issues. I struggle with this as much as anyone. I just want to do it RX! My ego gets in the way. And I’m one of those coaches that knows the consequences.

Maybe I am writing this blog for myself or maybe it hits home with you too. Even if you don’t experience pain, are you always trying to move as perfectly as possible? Are you moving like you care?

Better movement will help keep you pain and injury free and it will make you stronger and faster. Quality movement equals efficient movement and efficient movement means more PRs and less pain. Don’t we all want that?

Workout for Thursday, December 13
5 Rounds
5 min Row or Ride @ 150 BPM Heart Rate
1 min Max Reps Burpees
Rest 1 min
*Score is lowest round of Burpees

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, December 12

Tuesday’s workout was a challenge. It was difficult to keep getting all of the reps in one minute. Most people had to scale at some point. And that is ok.

Sometimes we will write a workout that we know is nearly impossible to finish as prescribed, and there are a couple of reasons for this. One, we want to challenge everyone at the gym, including the fittest person in the room. Two, sometimes we don’t know what we are capable of unless we try something we previously thought we couldn’t do.

That’s what it is all about! Looking at a workout, or any situation, and saying “Challenge accepted!”

It’s about your mindset. Do you see the challenge as an opportunity to improve and/or learn something about yourself? Or do you see it as something to avoid because you “know” you’re not good at it?

As coaches, all we want is for you to try. Try something new, try a little more weight, try going a little harder. At some point, we are all going to fail. We’re not going to make the time cap or get all the reps in.

So what!?

We learn so much more in trying and failing than we ever could by avoiding the situation all together.

Keep working that growth mindset for everything you do. Approach a challenge with gusto and be ok with failing because you know you are learning and improving from it.

What’s the other option? Avoiding everything in life because it might be hard at times? I choose to grow and learn, and hopefully you do to.

Workout for Wednesday, December 12
25 Minutes to Build to Heavy Complex
2 Cleans
2 Push Press
1 Clean
1 Push Jerk

*Does NOT have to be Touch and Go.
*Complete at least 5 working sets in 25 min.

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, December 11

Remember that the Griffins Hockey Game outing is this Friday! The game starts at 7 pm, and we are closing one hour earlier to be able to get there on time. Last class is at 5 pm and we close at 6 pm this Friday, December 14. Full schedule Saturday morning.

If you are trying to count calories or macros, you need to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. There are lots of protein sources besides meat, but most of those other sources carry carbs and/or fats with them. And that means extra calories outside of the ones for just the protein.

Check out the picture below and you’ll see what I mean. Sure, you CAN get 35 grams of protein from peanut butter, but it takes about a thousand calories to do it because peanut butter is mostly fat. Same goes for beans, quinoa or other seeds, grains and vegetables. These foods all have protein in them, but they’re mostly carbs or fats so you have to make sure you are getting the right balance.

So, if you are getting your protein from sources other than meat, make sure you are paying attention to how much fat and carbs you’re taking in too. It’s all about balance and knowing exactly what you are eating.

Workout for Tuesday, December 11
6 T2B
30 Double Unders or 60 Single Unders

- Rest 2 min -

6 C2B Pull Ups
10 DB Hang Snatch Alternating Arms

- Rest 2 min -

6 Cal Bike
6 Burpees

CrossFit 616
Monday, December 10

Fear is an important feeling we have as humans. There are certain things we need to fear that could cause us bodily harm. That feeling of fear causes our adrenaline to start pumping and pushes into the fight or flight state that may just save our lives if needed.

But, there’s another type of fear that we developed thousands of years ago, that if we weren’t pulling our weight in the tribe, or if we were somehow different, we would be kicked out, forced to live alone and fend for ourselves. And living this way in the wild is not great for survival.

We don’t live in that type of society anymore, but we still carry the fear of being rejected with us. We need to turn that around.

In fact, now we live in a society that rewards the outliers and the people willing to go out on their own to try new things. We need to embrace that in ourselves.

In the gym we see fear creep up all the time, whether it’s the fear of attempting a heavy PR lift or the fear of not performing well on a workout. All of us have the thoughts of, “If I don’t do well on this workout or if I don’t beat so and so on this workout does that mean I don’t have value? Will people laugh at me if I finish last? Will I be ostracized?”

Even though we rationally know it’s not true, or we can’t even put a finger on what we’re feeling, we all suffer from these thoughts from time to time. It’s time to take charge of the situation and change the feeling of fear into a feeling of motivation. Use that adrenaline and fight or flight response to your advantage. Your body is amping you up for the situation - use it!

And, as Ben Bergeron points out in the video, these fears are irrational because no one else cares if you scale a workout or finish last, mainly because we are all wrapped up in our own performance, but also because the gym is filled with people that care about you and that you are doing what’s best for you.

Workout for Monday, December 10
Handstand and HSPU Practice

12 min AMRAP
Power Cleans (155/105)
Back Squats

*Max Effort Burpees in Remaining Time
*Scale HSPU w/ Hand Release Push Up

CrossFit 616
Friday, December 7

Weekly Roundup!

Here’s some interesting stuff I saw this week:

1 .Here’s a good story on how CrossFit is attracting more and more busy moms. I know we have our share, and I’m glad the news is telling this story!

2. The 2019 CrossFit Open schedule has been announced!
Week 1 – Thursday, Feb. 21st – Monday, Feb. 25th
Week 2 – Thursday, Feb. 28th – Monday, Mar. 4th
Week 3 – Thursday, Mar. 7th – Monday, Mar. 11th
Week 4 – Thursday, Mar. 14h – Monday, Mar. 18th
Week 5 – Thursday, Mar. 21st – Monday, Mar. 25th

We will let you know when registration begins!

3. Also, the first CrossFit Games qualifier is next week at the Dubai CrossFit Championships. If you follow the sport of CrossFit at all the entire Games season and process has changed, so Dubai is now the first chance people have to make it to the Games. Win and you’re in! It will be live streamed on Youtube I think.

Dubai CrossFit Championship

Workout for Friday, December 7
For Time:
100 Pull Ups (7 min cap)
100 Push Ups (15 min cap)
100 Sit Ups (21 min cap)
100 Air Squats

*You must finish all 100 reps of each before moving to the next
Time Cap 25 min

CrossFit 616
Thursday, December 6

I posted a nutrition video the other day from CrossFit and in it they walked through the CrossFit prescription for what to eat - meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. We know that the modern American diet gets this backward - lots of starch and sugar.

So, what about “everything in moderation?” What would that look like if you were trying to stick with a healthy diet?

According to researchers that would be about 12 french fries or 140 calories. Unfortunately a large serving of fries from McDonald’s is about 4 times that at 510 calories.

This article from the New York Times explains how french fries and potatoes are a staple of the American diet, much more so than other countries. And potatoes are vegetables, right? So they can’t be that bad for you? Wrong - especially when we’re deep frying them and covering them in salt, cheese, gravy, and chili.

Potatoes rank near the bottom of healthful vegetables and lack the compounds and nutrients found in green leafy vegetables, he said. If you take a potato, remove its skin (where at least some nutrients are found), cut it, deep fry the pieces in oil and top it all off with salt, cheese, chili or gravy, that starch bomb can be turned into a weapon of dietary destruction.

My point is that you need to understand what and how much you are eating. Foods like french fries, potato chips, and other processed snacks are engineered to keep you eating them long after you have consumed a normal portion size.

Eat slowly and assess how you feel as you are eating. Do you really need more? Can you make a better decision when ordering? It’s easy to fall into Big Food’s trap. As always, the more information you have, the better choices you can make!

You Don’t Want Fries With That

Workout for Thursday, December 6
For Time, Partition However You Choose:
100 Cal Bike
100 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')
100 Cal Row
*Just get the work fast as possible*

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, December 5

Here’s the upcoming holiday schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 22 - One class at 9 am - 12 Days of Christmas WOD
Monday, Dec. 24 - Closed
Tuesday, Dec. 25 - Closed
Wednesday, Dec. 26 - Full Schedule
Monday, Dec. 31 - Close at 6 pm, last class starts at 5 pm
Tuesday, Jan. 1 - Closed

If a day is not listed on this schedule that means we have a normal schedule on that date. Please put these in your calendar now and let us know if you have any questions!

Thank you and happy holidays!

Workout for Wednesday, December 5
Front Squat
4X5 @ 60% to 70%

For Time:
Power Snatches (75/55)

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, December 4

Here’s a super simple way to think about what and how much to eat. CrossFit prescription for nutrition is to eat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.

In the video below, Leah Polaski walks through this prescription and how macronutrients (protein, fat, carb) fall into it.

You can take this list and build every meal around it. Find a quality meat or protein source, load up on veggies then round it out with healthy fats (nuts and seeds, e.g.) and maybe have some fruit and a little starch from time to time. Of course, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll need to remove the meat and make sure you are getting enough protein from other sources, but this list still works.

The modern western diet seems to go the opposite direction, with everything built around processed carbohydrates and sugar. No sugar means no added sugar. You’ll get plenty of sugar and carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits and a little bit of starch.

I’m a big believer that keeping it simple early on is extremely important to succeeding on a new nutrition plan. Some people enjoy weighing and measuring everything they eat and like that control, but some people just need to eat real food and not too much.

You’ll have to find what works for you, and hopefully this helps you understand it all a little better.

Workout for Tuesday, December 4
Pull Up Progressions

13 min AMRAP
6 Deadlifts (185/125)
3 Hang Power Cleans (185/125)
60 Double Unders or 120 Single Unders

CrossFit 616
Monday, December 3

I’m not sure we’ve done a good enough job explaining this concept. Hopefully it at least sounds familiar to you all, but all of us need a reminder from time to time.

Technique vs. Intensity

You can only add intensity once the technique is sound.

To be honest, the reason I’m writing this blog is because I heard (and saw myself) from all of the coaches after Thursday’s workout that people’s technique really suffered during the high intensity workout.

We’ve all been guilty of this, including every single one of our coaching staff, and we correct each other. As a staff, we are doing our best to keep you safe and get you as fit as possible, but if we let movement quality slide, we’re not doing our job.

I don’t want this to sound like we’re reprimanding you either, we are taking full ownership here, but trying to make sure we communicate this more clearly and more often as we go forward.

We can only add intensity once the technique is sound.

That means you may need to slow down or take weight off the bar from time to time. And I get it, the message gets confusing. We are saying go hard and push yourself one minute and slow down or scale back the next. What do you want me to do?!

Tom posted this video on his Facebook page last week and I think it explains this more clearly and concisely than I could write here, so please watch it. It’s only 2.5 minutes, and hopefully it will explain how we can push hard and make sure technique is sound.

And as always, please let us know if this doesn’t make sense or if you have questions!

Workout for Monday, December 3
Bench Press
Build Up to Heavy Set of 7

For Time:
DB Snatches Alternating Arms (50/35)

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 30

I love this post from Brad Schoenfeld, PhD below. He is a leading researcher on exercise and muscle growth and we have learned a lot from his research over the years. But guess what, he’s not always right and neither are we!

Like his caption says, if you consider yourself a true scientist, you can not be afraid to admit you are wrong.

I’m not a scientist in the technical sense, but I think we are all amatuer scientists in some respect. Every day we are experimenting with new workouts, new foods, new Netflix shows. We try something, decide if it works for us and move on.

And we all rely on research to some degree. Remember when fat made you fat? Remember when Coca-Cola was medicine (and full of cocaine)? Remember when the Earth was flat?

Yes, I realize some people believe all of these are still true, but for the rest of us, we have moved on. We can only make decisions based on the information we currently know. And sometimes, that info changes.

We shouldn’t be ashamed that we used to believe other things, we were doing our best with what we knew then. As science evolves and we have more and more information we should learn that some things are no longer true. I’d be scared if we didn’t.

So while we are always trying to do our best, things may change over the years. What we told people when we opened the gym seven years ago may not be the exact things we tell people today. We are constantly learning and evolving too.

Hopefully you are always seeking the newest and best information on whatever you are interested in. And don’t judge anyone else for not knowing the latest info. If we all share what we know it will help everyone catch up and we can be a more informed society. And that can only lead to good things.

Like he says below, “Always be curious. Always be skeptical. Always have an open mind.”

Workout for Friday, November 30
15 minutes to Build to Heavy Power Snatch for Today

30 Snatches for Time (135/95)

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 29

The In-House Competition is Saturday, January 26! This is a competition only for members of CrossFit 616! It is a partner (male/female) comp and there is just one division - no RX or scaled. The workouts will be doable for everyone and if you need to scale something it can be done the day of the event.

This is a great competition for anyone that has never competed before. If you are interested in this sort of thing, this will be a no pressure, fun event.

If you want to do this and can’t find a partner, let us know so we can help!

There is limited space, so find a partner and get signed up today! Register your team here.

Also, that evening we will have our annual holiday party at in the Stadium Club at Fifth Third Ballpark!

Workout for Thursday, November 29
8 Rds, Each Round is 4 Min
Ride 0.7 km + 2 Rounds of Cindy
*Rest Remainder of Each Round*
*Must get at least 1 minute of rest. Each round is a sprint!*

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, November 28

It’s Wednesday FriendsDay! Bring a friend to any CrossFit class throughout the day to try CrossFit for the first time!

Remember, if you have a friend that wants to try CrossFit, the last Wednesday of each month is always FriendsDay. If they can’t make it that day, please check with us and we can find another day that is suitable for a first-time CrossFit workout.

Also, here’s a video that shows our community and what we do here. Please share this video with anyone that would like to know more about CrossFit 616!

Workout for Wednesday, November 28
Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts
*KB in each hand

14 min AMRAP
14 Sit Ups
7 Burpees
7 Single Arm DB Push Press Right Arm
7 Single Arm DB Push Press Left Arm

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, November 27

I was coaching class last week sometime and as I watched people push through a workout, this thought came into my head, “You have to enjoy suffering a bit to do CrossFit.”

I’ve had the same conversation with people WOD after WOD about how terrible that was, but then we all show up again the next day. What is that?

I think that is what sets CrossFitters apart from a lot of average gym goers. There’s something in us that enjoys the pain, the discomfort, the suffering.

And the best part is that those things are what give us results. That “pain” you feel during a workout is the good kind of pain. It’s you telling you body to get faster, stronger, better. If I can quote my favorite t-shirt brand No Fear, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” (ugh, sorry about that)

This all goes back to intensity - which I’ve written about a ton before - and intensity is what causes your body to make a change. You have to push yourself.

I wish I could do this for you. I wish I could get in your head on the days when you just don’t feel it and motivate you. I wish I could magically give everyone Coach Tom’s pre-workout energy!

But it has to come from you. It has to come from inside. Not the music, not the inspirational poster, but deep within you. You need to believe in yourself and know that you are worth it.

I promise that we as coaches will keep pushing and motivating the best we can, but at some point, it has to come down to you. I believe it is in all of you, now it’s time for you to believe it too.

Workout for Tuesday, November 27
Min 1: Max Unbroken Strict Pull Ups or Bar Rows
Min 2: 45 sec Hollow Rock or Hold
Min 3: 45 sec KB or DB Suitcase Hold (both hands)
Min 4: 45 sec Plank Position Shoulder Touches
Min 5: Row Max Calories
Min 6: Rest

CrossFit 616
Monday, November 26

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend and got to spend some quality time with the important people in your life. Of course, you are all important to us, so we’re ready to get you back in the gym!

Remember to sign up for the Griffins hockey game outing by this Thursday so we can get the reservation in. The game is Friday, December 14 at 7 pm. We will not have a 6 pm class that day.

I saw this article over the weekend that covers a study on how lifelong exercise helps keep us younger. To most of us, this probably seems like common sense, but the study showed that people in their 70s had similar muscle tissue to active 20 year olds!

The study also showed that these people had much better aerobic capacity than people the same age that did not exercise throughout their lives.

There is definitely more to learn here, but it’s reassuring to know that the hard work we are putting in now will pay off 30, 40, or 50 years down the road.

The muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable in many ways from those of healthy 25-year-olds, according to an uplifting new study of a group of active septuagenarians.

These men and women also had much higher aerobic capacities than most people their age, the study showed, making them biologically about 30 years younger than their chronological ages, the study’s authors concluded.

Read the full article here: Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years ‘Younger’

Workout for Monday, November 26
Back Squat
4X5 @ 65% to 75%

For Time:
Thrusters (135/95)
30 Double Unders (or 60 Single Unders)

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 23

One class today at 9 am. Hope you ate to your heart’s content and have plenty of fuel for Murph today. We will be running outside, so dress appropriately.

Full schedule Saturday morning, but we no longer have Extra Credit. If you’d like to do extra work, come at 9:30 am and use the new gym space. No kids classes for a little while.

Workout for Friday, November 23
Run 1 mile
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
Run 1 mile

Partition as needed. If you have a weight vest, wear it.

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 22

We’re closed today for Thanksgiving. Hope you have a great holiday. Just one class Friday morning at 9 am - see you there! Full schedule on Saturday.

CrossFit 616