180615 - FYF - Hero WOD "Wes"


For Time
800 meter Run (with 25/15 lb Plate)
14 Rounds of:
5 Pull-Ups
4 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20 in)
3 Cleans (185/135 lb)
800 meter Run (with 25/15 lb Plate)

Time Cap: 35 minutes


U.S. Navy Lt. J. Wesley “Wes” Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, North Carolina, died on Jan. 8, 2014, of injuries sustained in a helicopter crash off the coast of Virginia. He was a member of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia.

Van Dorn was a well-rounded and skilled athlete. According to his friends, he "prided himself on his ability to lift huge weight with the big guys and run with the smaller ones.“

Van Dorn is survived by his wife, Nicole; sons, Jaxton and Maddox; parents, Mark and Susan; brother, Max; and sister, Cara. 

(From CrossFit.com )

180614 - Throwback Thursday - Coaching VS. Babysitting (Edited)


With a bunch of new athletes both new to CrossFit and new to Choice City, I'd like to take a moment to reiterate what you can expect from me and my coaching staff. 

As your coaches, you have hired us as local, experienced subject matter experts in a range of specialties: Nutrition, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Programming, Gymnastics, Endurance, Sprint and Speed work. We are not THE subject matter experts and when we don't know something we will defer to those accomplished people that are: Robb WolfJim WendlerMark RippetoeGreg Everett, the Ma Strength team, CJ Martin,  Ben Bergeron, CrossFit Gymnastics, the Military/Mountain Athlete team, Chris HinshawDr. Nicolas Romanov, RP Strength and Dr. Mike Israetel, James FitzGerald and the OPEX team, the CrossFit HQ team et al. In doing so, we use the best information available to make programming decisions and steer you in what we feel is the right direction for your goals. We value your input and ask leading questions about your goals so we can approach it as a team

Our #1 job is to ensure your safety. This is accomplished by teaching the most efficient and biomechanically correct form possible and asking you to repeat that form ad nauseum. Mechanics first.
Your #1 job is to learn and repeat that most efficient and biomechanically correct form over and over until it becomes second nature, then and only then should you increase load, distance, or try to shorten the cycle time of the movement. 
That's what you're paying us to cultivate and then to expect from you. 

Your coaching team absolutely love to coach. We want to coach. Hell, I (Michael) would rather coach than do most other things to include taking care of myself.

You'll notice that we present things in a interrogative manner, trying to lead you to the right answer. We ask you to recall those lessons you've learned over time to reinforce that learning and give you wide-ranging analogies so it all sticks. If It comes down to making on-the-spot corrections in the middle of a workout, We'll do it twice then STFU, because we don't want to nag. 
We will give you drills, progressions and suggestions all day, every day to make you a better person, athlete and CrossFitter. We will stay late and come early if we are allowed to coach.

If we cue you and you nod your head and do not make the correction, then we will correct you. If you then ignore us, we are not acting as your coaches, We are babysitters. 

I absolutely hate being a babysitter, and babysitting comes with a few realities:

One, expect to get THE LOOK when you do something we've tried to coach you out of.
Two, expect to be told in the most tactful way we can muster at the time how and why you are f-ing it up. 
Three, If you fail to improve because you just don't listen, realize that you are in control of the situation and try as you may to blame us, it won't stick. 

Our time is valuable and limited to the hour we have with you every day. We spread ourselves through all the athletes we have and give everyone who listens 100%. Take advantage of that. Use our collective knowledge, approaches and experience for good and the good of your health and fitness!

Pull Up/Muscle Up Progressions

Oly Drills (Clean and Jerk) 

WOD - EMOM 9: 
4 DB Thrusters
4 DB Bent Over Row
4 Push Ups
4 Squats
(Rx+ Either 45/35 OR 6 of each) 

180613 - Quote of the Week Wednesday


Put in the work and see the success! What does it take to be successful? We know exactly what it takes...effort, time, dedication, sleep, nutrition, focus, good coaching, recovery, water, and HARD WORK! The answers are easy for the most part, we just have to figure out realistic ways to use them in our daily lives. Create a lifestyle where the work comes first and the success WILL follow.


SKILL - Rope Climbs
(Wear tall socks!) 

WOD - AMRAP 20: 
100 Double Under BUY-IN
1 Rope Climb
21 Ab Mat Sit Ups
15 Kettlebell Swings
9 Burpees

180612 - Tips Tuesday - Engaged Shoulders


Engaged shoulders are a MUST when it comes to pull-ups! If your lats and traps aren't activated, there's a potential for injuries on the initiation of the pull. If you struggle with knowing the difference, look below. The one on the left is a dead hang with no shoulder engagement where as the right is total engagement of the shoulders. If this is difficult for you as a skill, "hanging shrugs" (as seen in the video below) are the perfect drill to improve you shoulder activation! 


Pull Up and Muscle Up Progressions
Only Lifting Drills - Snatches

WOD - Shoulder to Overhead Medley
(from the floor) - Athlete will make a max attempt at each weight. 


180610 - Motivation Monday - Mission Statement


What is a mission statement? 

  1. a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

Every major company in the world has one of these! It helps guide decisions and bring actions back to their purpose. Last week I challenged you to focus on what was important. This week, I CHALLENGE YOU to write a mission statement. Dig deep and find your "aims and values" then put pen to paper. Write it down and then get after it! Put it somewhere you can see so you never forget what you are reaching for and working for! 


STRENGTH - Split Squats 15/leg x 4

WOD - 
Run to the 50m
Jog/Walk back to the gym
Run to the 100m
Jog/Walk to the 400m
Run back to the gym
(For 3 rounds with a 2 minute rest between) 

(We are working on running hard today! Wear those running shoes if you need to! And don't cherry pick just because you don't like running! This will make you better, so don't avoid it!) 

180607 - Soapbox Thursday


What is CrossFit? 
The organization's own definition is: Constantly Varied, Functional Movement at High Intensity. 
Let's look at how you're applying yourself to your workout and see if you're meeting the criteria. 
Constantly Varied: we take care of that for you. We give you movements, lifts, skills and drills that change daily, weekly and yearly. Check!
Functional Movement: we also take care of that for you. The exceptions to this are movements that are specific to competitive CrossFit like muscle-ups, handstand walking (although they meet the gymnastic requirements of CrossFit's 10 General Physical Skills) and cardio equipment like the ski erg (unless you're a skier) rower (unless you're a rower) and the airdyne (unless you're a masochist). We use the cardio equipment to help broaden your range of Stamina and Cardiorespiratory and Cardiovascular Endurance, also in the list of 10 General Physical Skills. All those exceptions fit into the model, just not as neatly as some others. Olympic weightlifting is another non-transferable skill, despite you learning how to use your hips for something other than flossing

backpack kid.gif

The critical point is High Intensity. Do not conflate this idea with volume. Unless you are a competitive CrossFit athlete expected to perform at a high level over the course of one to three days (or for some, 5) volume isn't where you should invest your limited energy. Intensity is. 

Intensity in this context is not grunting, yelling, getting red-faced, slamming the bar, doing a 1 rep max or struggling through your first muscle-up. 
Intensity is the output of power over time. The longer you go, the less power you can put out. That's why most of our workouts are sub 12 minutes. Not because we're lazy, but quite the opposite. Because we want you to crush the workout. If you choose weights or skills that prevent you from crushing the workout, you're not doing it right

AMRAPs are great for building intensity, EMOMs not so much. E30s absolutely. 20 rep maxes, for sure. All out sprints, ascending and descending pyramids of movements that you can do for a long time like Russian kettlebell swings, abmat sit-ups, air squats etc. If you can have a conversation in the middle of the workout, you're not doing it right

Bottom line, you have to put in what you want to get out. We do most of the hard part, all you have to bring is the heart. 

SKILL - MU/PU or Catalyst C&J

WOD - 
5 Burpee Pull-Ups
5 Pull-Ups
10 Heavy Deadlifts (60% of 1RM) 
Rest 2: 
5 Burpee Pull-Ups
5 Pull-Ups
10 Heavy Deadlifts (60% of 1RM) 

180606 - Quote of the Week Wednesday


When I started CrossFit, I could barely get my toes up to the bar. It was a STRUGGLE! (See tiny video clip below - LEFT 4 years ago and RIGHT today) Everyday, I'd hop up there and work on it. Then I asked Coach what more I could do and I did what I was told. I tried my best in workouts to slow down and just do it right instead of rushing though. It was and still is a slow process but I trusted it! Today, toes to bar are my favorite move and I will never stop working on them because there's always room for improvement! 

Partner WOD - 
As much weight as possible:
       Ground to Overhead (4 minutes)
As many meters as possible: 
       Rowing (4 minutes) 
As much weight as possible
       Shoulder to Overhead (4 minutes) 

[Only one can work at a time. 
You can choose the weight.
Partners can use different weights.
Each one is scored separately]

180605 - Tip Tuesday - Skill AND Olympic Lifting WORK this MONTH!


In the month of June, we are going to take two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) for 20 minutes per class to do specialized pull-up/muscle-up progressions OR Olympic Lifting work. We want to give you focused time to work on these skills! We will do shorter workouts on these days to accommodate this time! Today will be our first look at what these days will look like! 

ON FRIDAY, we are doing a benchmark workout called 50-50-30, we will retest this two more times and hopefully see lots of progress! 

{Pull Up Progressions}
Max attempt at Dead Hang
Every 30 sec. for 5 minutes - 10 Bar Rows
Accumulate 10 MOST difficult pull-up or ring row
(This should be one at a time with least amount of assistance/bands) 

{Muscle Up Progressions}
Max attempt at Dead Hang
Every 30 sec. for 5 minutes - 6 False Grip Ring Rows or Ring Pull-Ups
Accumulate 20 Seated Band Ring MU

{Snatch Work}
Coach led Burgner PVC Warm-Up
Snatch Pulls 3, 3, 3
Snatch Push Press with Overhead Squat 1+2, 1+2, 1+2

WOD - 
8 Rounds for Time
4 Jump Squats
4 Plate Plyo Push-Ups

180604 - Motivation Monday - Where should your focus be?


Here we go...
Write 10 things on a piece of paper that are important to you and your happiness! 
I'll wait...
GOOD! Now I have to take away 2 of those things, cross off the 2 things you'd be willing to give away to me (even if it's an intangible thing). 
OK, now I'm going to need 3 more so pick another 3 to cross off, leaving only the most important stuff untouched. 
SO NOW, you've got 5 things left. Order those from most important to least important. Your focus should be on these 5 things remaining on the list. These are things you weren't willing to give up. IN NO WAY AM I SAYING the other stuff didn't matter, you originally put them on your list for a reason, you can still show those things lots of love BUT sometimes we diversify and spread out our focus so much that nothing gets enough of our attention, investment, or dedication. For this week, try giving more to those top 5! :) 


SKILL - Handstand Push-Ups! 

WOD - AMRAP 14: 
20 DB Box Step Ups
10 Handstand Push-Ups
20 Single Arm DB Snatches
100m Run

180530 - Quote of the Week Wednesday


We've all felt it. Whether it was physical or mental, we've all gone through a little hell. No need to compare yourself to others here, you've suffered before and now you've come out on the other side. If you feel like you are going through hell...don't stay there...go through it and keep going until you're no longer there. 


Skill Work - T2B

21 Double Unders
15 Jump Lunges
9 Toes to Bar

180529 - Tips Tuesday - Pomodoro Productivity Technique

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Pomodoro (Spanish word for "tomato") was the named coined for those cute little red timers that became very popular in kitchens everywhere and was made even more famous by Francesco Cirillo! In the early 90s he created "The Pomodoro Technique" for enhanced productivity!  

He did his research in human attention spans and concentration which led him to the conclusion that to maximize productivity in most projects, especially long daunting tasks, will increase if it is split into cyclical short sprints with short breaks followed by longer breaks. 


  • Create a task list for the project at hand and choose a specific task to work on
  • Set the timer (preferably a cute little Pomodoro) for 15-25 minutes
  • When the timer goes off, check off/take notes to what you've completed
  • Take a 5 minute break
  • Repeat this cycle 3-4 times with a 15-30 minute break if the cycle continues beyond that point

    It's simple. It's easy. Give it a try today at work or this weekend with a house project! I bet you'll find that sweet tiny tomato will help you more than you think! 

WOD - For Time
Wallballs 20/14
KB Sumo Deadlift High Pull 55/35
Wallballs 20/14
KB Sumo Deadlift High Pull 55/35

180528 - Memorial Day

If you're not doing the Bolder Boulder with us, you can do a much shorter running workout that also happens to be a hero WOD. Remember, the gym is closed today. WE'll see you bright and early on Tuesday!

 In honor of USAF SSgt Travis L. Griffin, 28, who was killed April 3, 2008 in the Rasheed district of Baghdad by an IED strike to his vehicle. Travis is survived by his son Elijah.

In honor of USAF SSgt Travis L. Griffin, 28, who was killed April 3, 2008 in the Rasheed district of Baghdad by an IED strike to his vehicle. Travis is survived by his son Elijah.


For time:
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards
Run 800 meters
Run 400 meters backwards

180524 - Soapbox Thursday - Eudaimonia

Eudaimonia is an Ancient Greek word, particularly emphasised (sic) by the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, that deserves wider currency because it corrects the shortfalls in one of the most central, governing but insufficient terms in our contemporary idiom: happiness.

When we nowadays try to articulate the purpose of our lives, it is to the word happiness we commonly have recourse. We tell ourselves and others that the ultimate rationale for our jobs, our relationships and the conduct of our day to day lives is the pursuit of happiness. It sounds like an innocent enough idea, but excessive reliance on the term means that we are frequently unfairly tempted to exit or at least heavily question a great many testing but worthwhile situations.

The Ancient Greeks resolutely did not believe that the purpose of life was to be happy; they proposed that it was to achieve Eudaimonia, a word which has been best translated as ‘fulfilment’.

What distinguishes happiness from fulfilment is pain. It is eminently possible to be fulfilled and – at the same time – under pressure, suffering physically or mentally, overburdened and, quite frequently, in a tetchy mood. This is a psychological nuance that the word happiness makes it hard to capture; for it is tricky to speak of being happy yet unhappy or happy yet suffering. However, such a combination is readily accommodated within the dignified and noble-sounding letters of Eudaimonia.
— The Book of Life


WOD - (w/ a partner) 
2k Row - Split up by 500m
50 Burpees - Split up by 5's
2k Row - Split up by 250m

180523 - Quote of the Week Wednesday -


The road can be rocky my friends. Don't let bumps and potholes be your downfall. You have three choices
1 - you can keep going to weather those tough spots
2 - you can get out to fill/fix/repair what is stopping you
3 - you can give up and turn around in which case you may never make it to your goal destination! Which option will you choose when things get rough? 


Snatch Prep and Work

10 Squat Snatches 95/65
10 Overhead Squats
10 Backsquat
10 Snatch Balance

180522 - Tips Tuesday - How to "MURPH"


ON SATURDAY, we take on the workout "MURPH" named after Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was KIA in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of the favorites for Lt. Murphy but he used to call it "Body Armor". Now this WOD is one of the most popular to honor the fallen and was featured several times in the Crossfit games.
The actual workout itself is:
1 Mile Run
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run
While wearing a weighted vest 20/14

We will run people at 8am and 10am! Please RSVP on Zen Planner!

Here's some tips on how to get through this awesome WOD:
1) Follow the progression properly!
Normally, we recommend that people do it partitioned first AND even multiple times before trying to do it unpartitioned. This means that you will break it up into smaller chunks of work instead of going straight through. (Example: 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats). Once you've done it this way a few times, then move on to unbroken/straight through, THEN move on to partitioned with the weight vest, and finally....Rx.

4) Find a good pace!
Especially on the first run, don't go all out! You've still got a lot to do, so keep it to a good pace but don't go so hard that it takes you minutes to recover and get on that bar. Once you get to the bar, find a pace that you can keep up and be steady with. Even when it's unpartitioned, break the work up into manageable sets! (And don't forget chips for counters....) 

3) Prep your body!
Make sure you are hydrating, eating plenty of good food fuel, and sleeping on Friday! This will matter when you body digs down deep in the tank during this long endurance workout. 

4) Remember why you're doing it!
When you feel like stopping or thoughts of how difficult this is creep into your mind, remember the WHY of this workout. Lt. Michael Murphy gave the ultimate sacrifice along with so many others, this workout is to honor him so let that be your motivator!


20 minutes to find your Bench Press 1 REP MAX
20 minutes to find your Back Squat 1 REP MAX

180521 - Motivation Monday - 1RM Week!


Today and tomorrow we are retesting our ONE REP MAXES with our Wendler lifts
If your lifts do not increase, please don't despair! 

5/3/1 is a program made to build raw and pure strength NOT necessarily increase the amount you can lift one time. If your squat goes from 225 x 6 to 225 x 9, you've gotten stronger.

Wendler himself even said, "5/3/1 is set up to allow you to break a variety of repetition records throughout the year. Notice that it's "rep records" and not "one-rep max." Most people live and die by their one-rep max. To me, this is foolish and short sighted."

So remember that this week as we retest! IF you increase your max, CONGRATS! You've grown more comfortable with the lifts, your form has improved, and you have gotten stronger....IF you don't you've still gotten all of those things too! 


20 minutes to find your Strict Press 1 REP MAX
20 minutes to find your Deadlift 1 REP MAX