Wednesday, December 13

We have the Upper Body Mobility Clinic this Saturday at 10:30 am. We WILL NOT have Extra Credit this Saturday.

If you are signed up for the clinic you will be receiving an email soon with some details, but I'll tell you that you will not want to work out prior to the clinic. If you're already fatigued you won't be able to work as hard on the drills and you won't get the same benefits. I just went through it as a test subject and I'm having a hard time typing right now.

Also, If you're a member of the gym, but you haven't been added to the Facebook group, please let us know. We've gotten a lot of new people recently and it's hard to keep up! We post about upcoming events there and it's a great spot to "meet" people and join in the conversation of the gym.

Workout for Wednesday, December 13
Aerobic Capacity
5 Rounds
Row 5 min
30 sec Max Hang Power Cleans (115/85)

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, December 12

We always start with the PVC pipe. Learning the positions without worrying about loading is absolutely necessary to develop fundamentals.

If you watch the short video above, he talks about the importance of getting into the positions that may not be comfortable for you. Spending time in those positions gives you awareness of what's going on in your body.

Are your knees caving in? What do I need to work to keep them out? Are your shoulders tight or are you just being lazy at the bottom? 

Spending time in the right positions will give you great body awareness, and it let's your brain know that it's ok to be there. Then you can start to develop strength in the position and you can experience a neurological release of "tight" muscles. 

So, don't be in such a hurry to add weight and plow through. Get comfortable in the necessary positions first so you'll have a long, injury-free training life.

Workout for Tuesday, December 12
Back Squat
3X3 @ 80%
3X2 @ 85% to 90%

3 Rounds for time:
15 Thrusters (105/75)
15 T2B

CrossFit 616
Monday, December 11

It's that time of year - snow! Please remember to bring a change of shoes so we don't track snow and salt on to the gym floor. Thank you!

"It’s easy to complete one workout or eat clean for a day. It’s also simple to skip a day or trash your diet for a day. But it’s all the good choices, day after day, that are steps toward goals. It’s simple, but it’s incredibly hard."

This is a quote from the CrossFit Journal article Overweight? You Need to Read This by Kai Rainey. Kai weighed more than 300 pounds at the age of 42 and she had tried every diet out there with the typical yo-yo results. Nothing had worked, until she found CrossFit. 

She dedicated herself to the training first, then, as she adapted to the workouts, she started working on her nutrition. She took it one step and one day at a time. 

Sure, the exercise routine could have been something other than CrossFit, but I truly believe the community support found in most CrossFit gyms is something special and not often replicated. And I believe it's that support system that helps people stay on track and reach their goals without being judged.

Her story is amazing and you should read the article as well as her blog My Last Fat Summer. You can also learn more about her in the CrossFit podcast video below. 

It's important for everyone to understand the journey of weight loss for an obese person. It's important for all of us to understand what anyone different than us goes through so we can know how best to support that journey. 

I think her story is valuable for all of us, and if you or anyone you know is looking for a place to make a change, please know that 616 is there for you.


Workout for Monday, January 11
KB Romanian Deadlifts

5X5 with Pause in Bottom Position Each Rep


12 minute AMRAP

40 Double Unders

7 Burpees

14 Dumbbell Snatches (alternating Arms)

CrossFit 616
Friday, December 8

Guest Blog! I've been thinking about doing this for a while and finally got around to asking someone. So, if you've ever had some thoughts you'd like to share in the future, please let me know. 

This week's guest blog is from Dave Van Slooten. Thanks, Dave!

“It comes down to a simple choice, really; get busy living or get busy dying.”  
-Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption”

I left my job in the corporate world at 44 years old to do comedy full-time.  I got into motorcycling when I was 45.  Started doing CrossFit at 46 and now, at 49, I’m training to become a Paid On-Call Firefighter.  Who knows what kind of cockamamie idea I’ll come up with next year when I turn 50.  I’ve chosen to get busy living and my life is much better for it.

My father passed away at 68 from a disease that took his body, but not his mind.  When he was diagnosed 8 years prior to his passing, he made the decision to start living his life the way he wished he had all along.  He travelled, spent time with close friends and family, learned new things, and was the happiest he’d ever been even though he knew his time was limited.  Witnessing his approach to the world during his final years made a lasting impression on me.

Shortly after he died, I made the decision to pursue life the same way he had and as long as I’m physically and mentally capable, I’ll never stop.  CrossFit is a big part of that and, subsequently, a big part of my life.

I hit the gym 5 or 6 days a week, because, first of all, I love the being part of the community at 616 and, secondly, I enjoy seeing how hard I can push myself towards my potential.  It’s flattering to watch younger members up their pace as time winds down on an AMRAP because you know they’re thinking, “I can’t let this old man beat me.”  Don’t let me beat you.

I often tell my daughters, who are 22 and 19, “Don’t wait for life to happen, make it happen.”  Try something you’ve never done before.  Taste something you never thought you’d like.  Go up and introduce yourself to someone who looks like they need a friend.  Make that first step because, truth be told, most other people won’t.

We waste an incredible amount of time on worthless emotions like jealousy, worry, and guilt. I encourage all of you to put those on the shelf and get busy living.  There are so many wonderful things this life has to offer, so many interesting people to meet, and incredible places to see that if you just stay inside your bubble where it’s comfy and warm, you’re going to miss it.  Get uncomfortable and allow yourself to get cold…you’ll have a great story to tell.

 Workout for Friday, January 8
Pull Up Progressions

Snatch Practice
EMOM for 5 min
4 Touch n Go Power Snatches
Rest 1 min, Increase Weight
EMOM for 5 min
3 Touch n Go Power Snatches
Rest 1 min, Increase Weight
EMOM for 5 min
2 Touch n Go Power Snatches

Overhead Squat
Work from Rack
Build to Heavy 5 Reps with Good Depth and Position

CrossFit 616
Thursday, December 7

Here are some of the great lifts from the IWF World Championships this past week. 

We saw the Americans finally make the medal stand after long droughts on both the men's and women's sides. 

Lot's of American records were broken and a few world records too.

Here's a few videos from the week you can enjoy and appreciate the talent of these athletes.

Workout for Thursday, January 7
5 Rounds, 5 min Each Round
25 Sit Ups
Row 700m
*Each round is max effort, rest remainder of round.

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, December 6

"That's just the way I am." This is a convenient excuse for most of us to not change our behavior even when we know it may be detrimental to our health or social circumstances.

But is it true? Are we born with all of our traits with no ability to change? 

It looks like the answer is no. We DO have the power to change. We can get smarter, happier, or whatever we want by modifying our behavior and surroundings.

Yes, we are born with a particular set of DNA, but our behavior - nutrition and exercise for example - can determine which genes are expressed. We have the power to turn bad genes off and turn good genes on.

"Some traits, such as those for eye color, are entirely determined by the genes inherited from your parents. However, the expression of most genes, such as those associated with chronic diseases, including diabetes and cancer, is much more complicated."

The quote above is from a CrossFit Journal article called Epigenetics: How to Turn off Bad Genes and Stay Healthy. And while the science of Epigenetics is young, we know we have some power over our genes.

Even just changing our mindset can help us approach life differently and not accept our lot in life as final. Having a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset means you know who and where you are and you realize you're just at one point in your journey towards your goals, not stuck there forever.

I challenge you to take control of your life and not accept the things you're unhappy with. Change your mindset and look at the bad things as challenges that make you stronger. Eat the right foods and exercise to keep the good genes on. With this attitude, we should all be happier, healthier people for a very long time.

Workout for Wednesday, January 6
6 HSPU + 6 Deadlifts (225/155)

5 Rounds for Time:
9 Thrusters (105/75)
9 C2B Pull Ups

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, December 5

We have some core work today in the not-for-time work including hollow rocks or holds. If you don't understand the importance of the hollow body, then you're missing a key component to a lot of the movements we do.

We use the term gymnastics to refer to all of the bodyweight movements we do in CrossFit. Push ups, pull ups, muscle ups, handstand pushups and more all fall into this category and all of them use some form of the hollow body position.

Check out the CrossFit Gymnastics post below so you can see the different types of hollow holds and body shapes used in gymnastics. Look how easily their bodies move through space when everything is held tightly together.

Your ability to hold shapes will make everything you do easier in the gymnastics movements and the big lifts like squatting or deadlifting. 

Don't take this work lightly - it's the little things that can make a huge difference in mastering that next skill or lifting more weight.


Workout for Tuesday, December 5
15 min NFT
5X10 Banded Rotations on Rig (each side)
Accumulate 4 min of Hollow Rocks or Hold
Complete 5 Single Arm Farmer's Carries (25' down R + 25' back L)

For Time:
Row 2K
EMOM 5 Burpees

CrossFit 616
Monday, December 4

I get asked all the time about which podcasts I listen to so I thought I'd link to the ones I listen to regularly about CrossFit, weightlifting, and fitness.

1. The WODcast Podcast - You might not learn a ton from this one, but it can be pretty entertaining and they get really interesting guests from the CrossFit world. (lots of dirty language and topics in this one)

2. Scale as Needed - from the Floelite team, they talk fitness and then usually move into TV and movie talk halfway through. Right up my alley.

3. Weightlifting Life - two of the best weightlifting coaches in the US answer questions and rant about the sport. Great advice from Greg Everett and Ursula Garza.

4. Icon Athlete - Chris Spealler's podcast. It's usually pretty entertaining as they discuss some of the unwritten rules of CrossFit and how to approach training for different individuals.

5. Barbell Shrugged - I don't listen as often as I used to, but definitely tune in when they have a guest I want to know more about. And they get some really good guests at times.

6. The Body of Knowledge - Not an ongoing podcast week to week, but check out the series if you want to understand the science of training, nutrition and more. The host, Dr. Andy Galpin is currently my favorite resource for all sciency fitness things.

Hope this list gives you some things to try. Most of these will have some rough language, but if you can get past that you'll hopefully learn some stuff or at least be entertained a bit.

And if you have some good ones that aren't on this list, please send them my way!

Workout for Monday, December 4
Strict Press
3X10 - Build to Heavy Set of 10
2 Sets of Max Effort Reps at 80% of 10 rep Max

13 min AMRAP
25 T2B
50 Double Unders
8 Squat Cleans (185/125)

CrossFit 616
Friday, December 1

I may have posted this video a while ago, but even if I did I think it's worth reposting. This is the hardest part of the year for many of us when it comes to nutrition, but we shouldn't overcomplicate it. Eat real food, not too much and get most of it from plants. That's what Ben Bergeron says in the video below and there's really not much more to it. 

We like to think it's super-complicated and technical, and that may be true if you're trying to reach a very specific goal, but for the vast majority of us, it's pretty simple.

Making it seem complicated just makes us feel better about making bad choices. It gives us an excuse to eat something that's not good for us and blame it on "I didn't know better." 

We know what's good for us. No one eats a pizza and thinks that it's healthy and nutritious. So let's stop fooling ourselves and start making the right choices on a daily basis. Eat real food, not too much and get most of it from plants.

Workout for Friday, December 1
Mullet Squats - 6 Sets @ 80-90% Front Squat Max
1 Set = 1 Front Squat + 3 Back Squats

8 min AMRAP
Squat Clean Thrusters (115/85)
Bar Hop Burpees X2


CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 30

We've got some accessory work then a long row for time today. When you get to the row, technique should be high on your priority list.

If you just try to row fast with no regard for position and technique, you will suffer on this row. 

Here's a great video from Dark Horse Rowing on the catch position and how important it is to get the most out of your stroke. I'd recommend watching a lot of these videos if you're new to rowing.

Just like a clean or a snatch, technique makes a huge difference so as you get tired on the long row, try to reset your technique occasionally. 

Workout for Thursday, November 30
20 min Not For Time
5 min of Heavy Object Holds
5X5 Single Arm DB Presses
5 min of Double Under Practice or 5 sets of ME UB Double Unders
*Do not exceed 100 reps in any set!

Row 5K for Time

Coaching Note: If 16 or more in class, half can row first.

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, November 29

Today is Wednesday FriendsDay! Bring a friend to any class today to try CrossFit for the first time!

The In-House competition is Saturday, January 27 and tickets are now on sale! This year's In-House will be a male/female partner competition so find your workout buddy and get signed up.

There are 32 tickets (one per team) available and they are $60.

Click here to get your tickets now!

And don't forget, the Holiday Party is later that evening at Fifth Third Ballpark!

Workout for Wednesday, November 29
Odd: 7 T2B + 7 Ball Slams
Even: 10/7 Cal Bike + 3 Burpees

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, November 28

The World Weightlifting Championships begin today in Anaheim, Ca., and with many countries banned this year due to doping, the US has a shot at the podium in a few weight classes. 

ESPN 3 will be streaming the event in the US, which says a lot for the growth of the sport in this country. The competition goes through the weekend and like most meets, starts with the lightest bodyweight categories and moves up as it progresses.

Check out the schedule, links to the live stream and more information here.

Team USA Competition Times (all times Pacific)

  • Wednesday, 11/29 – 56kg A – Brian REISENAUER (Phoenix, AZ), Lifting 1:55 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 11/29 – 48kg A – Alyssa RITCHEY (Fort Collins, CO), Lifting 5:25 p.m.
  • Thursday, 11/30 – 53kg A – Caitlin HOGAN (Long Beach, CA), Lifting 5:25 p.m.
  • Friday, 12/01 – 77kg B – Angelo BIANCO (Las Vegas, NV), Lifting 1:55 p.m.
  • Friday, 12/01 – 63kg A – Jessica LUCERO (Tustin, CA), Lifting 5:25 p.m.
  • Friday, 12/01 – 69kg A – CJ CUMMINGS (Beaufort, SC), Lifting 7:55 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12/02 – 77kg A – Harrison MAURUS (Auburn, WA), Lifting 11:55 a.m.
  • Saturday, 12/02 – 69kg A – Mattie ROGERS (Orlando, FL), Lifting 3:25 p.m.
  • Sunday, 12/03 – 94kg B – Nathan DAMRON (Clemmons, NC), Lifting 8:55 a.m.
  • Sunday, 12/03 – 94kg A – Colin BURNS (Monument, CO), Lifting 3:25 p.m.
  • Sunday, 12/03 – 75kg A – Jenny ARTHUR (Colorado Springs, CO), Lifting 5:55 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/04 – 105kg A – Wes KITTS (Livermore, CA), Lifting 5:25 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/04 – 105kg A – Ian WILSON (Berkeley, CA), Lifting 5:25 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/04 – 90kg A – Marissa KLINGSEIS (St. Joseph, MO), Lifting 7:55 p.m.
  • Monday, 12/04 – 90kg A – Ali LUDWIG (Gardena, CA), Lifting 7:55 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 12/05 - +90kg A – Sarah ROBLES (Houston, TX), Lifting 1:55 p.m.

Workout for Tuesday, November 28
1 Rep Max Deadlift
25 min to Find 1 Rep Max
*Technical Max, When position is lost you are done increasing weight

9 min AMRAP
30 Double Unders
9 Russian KB Swings
9 Push Ups

CrossFit 616
Monday, November 27

CrossFit 616 News!

The In-House competition will be Saturday, January 27th and the Holiday Party will be that evening. We've done these events together the last few years and it's been a ton of fun hanging out with you all day. More details to come - the competition will have a little different look this year!

Also, new West Michigan Barbell gear is coming soon! We will take pre-orders soon so you can represent our USA Weightlifting club.


Workout for Monday, November 27
For Time
Wall Balls (30# to 10' / 20# to 9')
Pull Ups

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 24

9am Class ONLY today! 

Hopefully you didn't get too crazy with the eating yesterday, but if you did, Murph will be a great way to burn off some extra calories.

It's about six months from Memorial Day, so it's a great time to test your endurance with this workout. If you've never done it, it's a great test of fitness and it will be scaled to your current fitness level. 

Workout for Friday, November 24
Run 1 Mile
100 Pull ups
200 Push ups
300 Squats
Run 1 mile

Partition pull ups, push ups and squats as needed.

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 23

The gym is closed today. Enjoy the holiday and we will see you tomorrow - one class at 9 am!



Workout for Thursday, November 23
Run 5 kilometers/3.1 miles

Push the pace - use this as a test of how fast you can run a 5k

CrossFit 616
Wednesday, November 22

Remember, our last class today is at 5 pm! Gym closes at 6 pm and we are closed on Thursday. Please be safe if you're travelling!

If you're looking for any gear, there are going to be some good deals for Black Friday, and some of those sales have already started. 

Check out this page from As Many Reviews as Possible that links to all of the CrossFit related Black Friday deals. 

I know Rogue has already started their sale and there are some good deals depending on what you're looking for. 

And our friends at Rep Fitness have some great deals going!

And of course, CrossFit gifts make the best gifts, so get your shopping done early!

Workout for Wednesday, November 22
40 min AMRAP
Row 500m
15 Russian KB Swings (70/53)
15 Box Jumps
15 Wall Balls (20# to 10' / 14# to 9')

CrossFit 616
Tuesday, November 21

Thanksgiving is almost here and it seems like people look forward to eating more than spending time with family or giving thanks for anything. 

It's easy to fall into the holiday binging and spiral out of control until January, but let's not let that happen. Enjoy some foods you may not normally eat. Eat a little more than normal for a day, but don't let that day turn into two, which turns into a long weekend, which turns into a month. 

Make a conscious decision to enjoy the holiday without overdoing it. Control your portions. Eat a slice of pie rather than the whole pie. Making the decision beforehand makes controlling yourself much easier when the food is in front of you.

Workout for Tuesday, November 21
2X3 @ 60% to 70%
3X2 @ 75% to 85%
2X1 @ 85% to 90%

For Time:
Sit Ups
*Scale HSPU with Hand Release Push Ups*

CrossFit 616
Monday, November 20

A quick reminder of the schedule this week:

Wednesday, November 22: Full schedule through 5 pm class, gym closes at 6 pm
Thursday, November 23: Closed
Friday, November 24: 9 am only
Saturday, November 25: 8:15 Elements and Weightlifting, 9:30 CrossFit, NO EXTRA CREDIT

We're approaching the end of the year and soon we'll all be thinking about our goals for 2018. But don't forget about those 2017 goals just yet! 

Take some time over the holiday to think about your progress over the year. Did you put in the work you planned to? Did you accomplish your goals?

Sometimes life gets in the way of the things we want to do. Sometimes, life happens and our goals completely change. No matter what happens, there's always a community of people here that will support and love you.

If you have time, check out Ben Bergeron's podcast on goal setting. His ideas on setting and reaching goals has evolved over the years and he has some good tips on getting to where you want to be.

Workout for Monday, November 20
Front Squat
4X2 @ 80%
3X2 @ 85% to 90%

7 min AMRAP
10 Power Snatches (75/55)
3 Bar Muscle Ups
Rest 2 min
5 min AMRAP
10 Overhead Squats (75/55)
30 Double Unders (Scale with 60 singles)

CrossFit 616
Friday, November 17

Weekly Roundup!

Cara posted this on the Facebook group and I wanted to share it here too. Please check it out and support this event if you can!

Here's her post: 
Hey CrossFit family! November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and CFSL will be supporting this cause with a Climbing Event. As some of you know, my mom is currently battling pancreatic cancer, so this cause really hits home. My sister and I will be there November 30, and I hope to see some of you there too!!



You know who you are!


Workout for Friday, November 17
Every Two Minutes for 20 min
1 Squat Clean
1 Hang Squat Clean
1 Push Jerk
Build Up in Weight With Good Reps

8 min AMRAP
7 Front Squats (135/95)
5 Shoulder to Overhead
7 Bar Hop Burpees

CrossFit 616
Thursday, November 16

I think we all learned a little something from Tuesday's not-for-time work, mainly, that most of us need some upper back/shoulder mobility help.  

Well guess what, we're going to make that happen. That's right, we holding an upper back/shoulder mobility seminar on Saturday, December 16!

Our upper body mobility clinic will focus on upper back, shoulder blade, and shoulder joint mobility. This will be an intense session aiming to teach the necessary techniques to improve range of motion in the deepest tissues. We will utilize the MOBI mobility tool along with Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) drills to assess and work on range of motion under tension in problem areas. If you have trouble with overhead mobility or just want to get stronger and in better positions overhead this is the class for you! 

Tom attended the FRC certification in Denver earlier this year and has had great results using these techniques in personal training sessions. Now he's ready to present it in a group format. 

The class will be limited to 12 people and will cost $50. You will leave with a clear understanding of what you can do to work on your upper-body mobility.  

We're looking forward to putting this knowledge to use in this setting and seeing performance improve in the gym. 

Let us know if you have questions and sign up today! 

Workout for Thursday, November 16
Engine Building
5 rounds
20 sec sprint on bike
40 sec easy on bike
after last 20/40
5 min row at 150 BPM
5 total rounds

CrossFit 616