171113 - Motivation Monday - It's Science!


3 Scientifically Proven Ways to Stay Motivated to Get to the Gym:
#1) Reward System
In the book titled, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, he describes a neurological cycle called a "habit loop." This begins with a cue such as setting out your gym clothes the night before or changing into your workout clothes at work. Then, the routine of getting to the gym and getting through the WOD. Finally, the extrinsic reward that only follows if all of the previous actions were completed. This reward could be simple like special creamer in your coffee, a dollar in a jar to save for something good, or watching an episode of your favorite show. The extrinsic reward will solidify your brain's connection to the more difficult behavior and promote it in the future to make it a real habit! 

#2) Positive Thinking
Happy thoughts alone won't kick your butt into gear. According to Gabriele Oettingen, PhD, psychologist at New York University and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, we need to attach realistic problem solving to our positive thinking in order to produce the outcome we are wanting. This is called "mental contrasting." So, imagine how much you love going to the gym but imagine also what might keep you from going. Combine those two thoughts to create a plan for how to make the positivity possible! 

#3) Cost Analysis
Let's talk dollars and cents! A recent study from the Bureau of Economic Research found that even when a gym paid their members with gift card incentives for coming in to workout, the members claim to have no further motivation and did not increase their attendance. GymPact is an app where the users are the ones that promise money as a consequence for not meeting fitness or health goals. The app was created by two Harvard grads who used their knowledge from their studies in behavioral economics to build fitness motivation. It claims a success rate of 92 percent, because apparently it's easier to eat a giant plate of unwanted broccoli than to fork over $5! 


3 position clean and jerk (below the knee, above the knee, mid thigh)
1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Clean and front squat (one clean, 5 front squats and yes you can squat clean rep #1)
5, 5, 5

1 heavy DL (75-85% 1RM)
10 toes to bars
20 double-unders
30 Russian KB swings 55/35


170518 - CrossFit - Throwback Thursday

ON THURSDAYS, we are going to bring back some of Coach Michael's older articles since they were SO GOOD!!! Here's one that is short but very applicable to our "fun" time last Friday!!!

I walked with just about every team that had to push the sleds on Friday, in addition to pushing it myself on Sunday. It was terrible, for everyone involved. But afterwards, I heard many people remark how fun it was. Fun? Hard, painful, slogging work doesn't seem like fun. More like the opposite. 

They were not being facetious; they surmounted a seemingly impossible challenge.  Those folks that did the sled pulls, many for the first time ever, were challenged in ways they couldn't have imagined before CrossFit and CCCF. 

Coach Glassman said once "It doesn't have to be fun to be fun." And sure enough he's right. 

3 rounds
20 Double-unders (60 singles)
10 Squats with 20 sec. Squat Hold
10 Hanging Knee Raises with 20 sec. Dead Hang
10 Hand-release Push-ups with 20 sec. Push-up Plank hold

Deep Squat and uses elbows to push your knees out
PVC Pass-thrus/Around the Worlds

Percentages are based off of last week's modified 1RM (old 1RM plus 10#)
10@ EB or <40%

20 Double-unders (40 singles)
20 Wall-balls 20# to 10'/14# to 9'
20 Toes to Bars

170516 - Tip Tuesday - Front Rack Position

Let's talk about the "FRONT RACK"! This position is used during the clean, the front squat, and BB front rack lunges/step ups. Ideally, your chest is up, shoulders are back, and elbows are high! The bar should be resting on your delts/shoulders so that the full impact of the weight isn't crashing down or pushing down on your wrist.

Imagine for me, that your elbows have lazers in them and you want to shoot some bad guy standing on the horizon, oh and did I mention it's a quick draw too! Get him before he gets you! BANG! Once you're in the happy high elbow position, if you're doing multiple lunges or squats, release a few fingers from the bar to relieve some tension on your wrist and give yourself a better chance of keeping those elbows up! 

Mike is demonstrating SAD LOW ELBOWS for us. The bar isn't able to rest on his chest and the bulk of the weight is sitting in his hands causing his to have discomfort in his wrist and adjust his lunge slightly to accommodate the bar being further forward than it should be. When Mike is doing the HAPPY HIGH ELBOWS, he can take most of the weight onto shoulders and his wrists aren't suffering from the position. 

Try thinking about Happy Elbows next time you're in the "Front Rack" position! 

If you're saying to yourself...BUT I can't get my elbows into that position! Check out this tutorial video from the Movement Fix with Dr. Ryan DeBell for some mobility tips to make that Front Rack easier for you!

3 rounds
15 cal Row/Bike
15 KB Swings (light!)
15 Squat Hops
5 Pull-ups (scaled to how you’re going to do them during the WOD)

Good Mornings
Prayer Stretch

Percentages are based off of last week's modified 1RM (old 1RM plus 10#)

Frantasia (Compare to 170418)
Thrusters 75/55
Banded Pull-Ups

Thrusters 96/65

Thrusters 135/95
Weighted Pull-Ups 25 Vest/15 Vest

Front Squat, Pause, Press 95/65
Strict Pull-Ups

170515 - CrossFit - Motivation Monday "GRIT"

What is GRIT?
"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out. Not just for the week, not just for the month but for years and working really hard to make it a reality. Grit is living life as a marathon and not a sprint." 

Recently I watched a TED Talk video featuring Physiologist Angela Lee Duckworth. In her recent book, "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance," she discusses her research into the characteristics of successful people. She argues that innate talent is less important to success than the willingness to persevere for long term goals despite difficulty and initial failure. Her research was rooted in student success in schools then progressed to adult achievement in upper education and in the workplace. What a perfect concept to apply to CROSSFIT! 

In the video,  Duckworth said people with grit, "Don't believe that failure is a permanent condition." Last week, I went to do some light Snatch work and I was almost brought to tears by how terrible it felt and looked. Coach Michael told me that "Tomorrow is another day!" and I did my best to leave those failures behind. Three days later, I PR'd my snatch by 10lbs! Big goals in benchmark WODs, lifts, movements, and skills are inevitable if you work on them, but it requires long-term effort and resilience. It doesn't matter what you look like, how much money you have, how educated you are, or how much natural talent you possess...nothing will win out over being downright GRITTY in your pursuit of success!!!

Get out there and get gritty today people!!!
<3 Coach Lauren :)

2 rounds
100m Jog out
100m Run back
10 Hand-release Push-ups
100m Butt Kickers out
100m High Knees back
10 Plyo Push-ups

Shoulders, Chest and Quads

Percentages are based off of last week's modified 1RM (old 1RM plus 5#)

5 Rounds
400m run
15 Front Rack Stepping Lunges 75#/55#

160805 - FYF CrossFit Partner WOD

2000m partner row
Switch as necessary, partner must hold 2x dumbbells or kettlebells in the front rack position while their partner rows 35/25


10-1 KB swing Partner 20m burpee broad jump
10 kb swings while partner 20m burpee broad jump
then partner 10 kb swings while partner 20m burpee broad jump and so on...

160803 - CrossFit | Last Wednesdays with Hannah P. post :(

The Level of Perfection

Something I realized recently is that there is no invisible line of time or effort that differentiates beginner athletes from intermediate athletes from advanced athletes. Sure, there are general time frames that can give you a rough estimate of approximately what skill/strength/speed level you might be at after a certain period of time dedicated to CrossFit. We are all so individual and there are so many other factors at play- how often do you CrossFit, what do you do on your non-CrossFit days, what is your background in fitness, what is your lifestyle like?

This non-existent line between levels of athlete ability doesn’t differentiate who can do a strict pull-up from who can’t. It doesn’t show who can run a X:00 mile. It doesn’t determine who can do a handstand and who can’t. It doesn’t determine who can deadlift X pounds and who can’t. There are so many different skills involved in CrossFit. Some athletes can run a X:00 mile and do a strict pull-up, but can’t deadlift X pounds or can’t do a handstand. Others can do all of those things. Some athletes may have been CrossFitting consistently for years and still haven’t mastered a skill an athlete with less time spent CrossFitting is accomplishing.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at other athletes and judging them and their fitness based on a particular workout, or a particular skill you may see them performing, or even their body type or muscle definition. Just like thin doesn’t mean healthy, a particular ability doesn’t equate to fitness either. 

Give yourself credit for what you can do, and for what you can do now that you couldn’t when you first started. You are your only standard. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do every single WOD Rx’ed, or if you can’t do a particular skill that you feel like you “should” be able to. Don’t “should” on yourself.

Dumbbell/Barbell complex 35/95 25/65
6 deadlift
6 bent over rows
6 hang power cleans
6 push press
then down and back bear crawl

Post workout HSPU progression

160729 - CrossFit | FYF

Fun Warm-up
Kettlebell plank drag races

AMRAP 12: 
5 deadlifts 225/155
1 rope climb

400m burden carry:
Male options: 2x55lb KBs, 2x35lb plates pinch grip, 115 barbell (any way), 80lb sandbag
Female options: 2x35lb KBs, 2x25lb plates pinch grip, 65 barbell (any way), 55lb sandbag

160727 - CrossFit | Wednesdays with Hannah P.

A Different Angle

Have you been struggling with a particular skill for a while? Feeling stuck in a rut, like you haven’t made much progress? Don’t get down on yourself. Maybe there’s another angle you can try! If you have a goal you are working towards and you are putting in the time and effort, but just not getting where you would like to, talk to one of our excellent coaches!

Some of you have probably seen me at Choice City on Saturdays, putting in some extra time after lifting during Open Gym. I’ll drag out a gymnastics mat and ab mat and line them up against the wall. I’ve been doing this probably since January. At first, I couldn’t even get a headstand against the wall. I don’t remember if/when I was last inverted when I first started trying for a headstand. After a couple of weeks (or at least that’s what it feels like) and a lot of help from athletes and Coach Michael, I was finally able to get a headstand. I started getting better and more consistent with headstands. Then I started trying for handstands. I made some progress, little by little but was getting stalled out. I kept trying and trying, but I wasn’t progressing to where I could kick my hips up over my head. I got many tips from our excellent coaches, but nothing quite clicked for me. This past weekend, Coach Lauren was coaching on Saturday and gave me some awesome advice on another angle I hadn’t tried yet to work up to a handstand against the wall. Instead of trying to kick up from the ground, she suggested I take a step in from standing, plant my hands and then kick up. I tried for quite some time and didn’t get into a handstand, but I got a lot closer than with the previous approach. We also put a box near the wall so that I could practice holding my full body weight on my shoulders and try straightening my legs to see what it feels like having my hips above my head. We also tried some flexibility drills to see if that was the issue. I made a ton of progress with Coach Lauren’s help, and although I had tried other approaches previously, this particular instance and particular situation worked out well for me! I’m still coming for the handstand against the wall, but it feels good to continue to make progress towards that goal, instead of being stuck!

Sometimes all it takes is to take a different angle. Maybe your goal is losing weight, or getting stronger, or a particular skill (like mine is). Sometimes time and effort isn’t enough, if you aren’t heading in the right direction. Sometimes you just need a different angle or way of thinking of things to get things to click for you! Not to say that there is anything wrong with your current approach, but sometimes it is not a matter of better or worse, simply different

4 sets of :30 work :30 rest for each of the following:
Push press 75/55, rest is in the overhead position
Ring row, rest is in the up position
Push-up, rest is in the front-leaning rest position (the up position)
Squat, rest is in the supported bottom of the squat
Score is reps of each movement with a point subtracted for each break and 2 point for breaks longer than 5 seconds. 

160726 - CrossFit | Tabata Tuesday

Tabata (8 rounds :20 work, :10 rest each)
Hand-release push-ups
Hollow rocks (or hollow hold) 
Back extensions
Burpees to plate 45/25

Post workout pull-up:

Level 1 Day 2, Week 4

  1. 5 sets of 10 self-assist pull-ups in rack
  2. 3 sets of 15 curls 35/45

Level 2 Day 2, Week 4

  1. Tabata kipping pull-ups
  2. Accumulate 40 band pulls

Level 3 Day 2, Week 4

  1. 5 sets max kipping pull-ups (mix butterfly and gymnastic) 

160725 - CrossFit | Aerobic Capacity

2 rounds
800m run
rest 3:
400m run
rest 1:30
200m run
rest :45

Level 1 Day 1, Week 4

  1. 3 sets of 12-15 banded pullups
  2. Accumulate 35 ring rows
  3. Accumulate 35 band pulls

Level 2 Day 1, Week 4

  1. EMOM 5: 5-10 strict pull-ups
  2. Kipping practice
  3. Max set strict pull-ups
  4. Accumulate 30 hollow rocks
  5. Max set strict pull-ups

Level 3 Day 1, Week 4

  1. EMOM 5: 5-10 strict pull-ups
  2. Butterfly kipping practice
  3. max set strict pull-ups
  4. Accumulate 25 butterfly pull-ups as fast as possible

160720 - CrossFit | Wednesdays with Hannah P.

“Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.” -Marcus Aurelius

You can do anything you put your mind to. You can accomplish any fitness benchmark you want- a dead hang pull-up, pistol squat, bar muscle up, and more! You can achieve any level of fitness you desire, with enough work and dedication. However, that also comes with sacrifices. The more you want to progress, the more important a clean diet based in whole foods and getting sufficient sleep every night become. You’ll probably have to give up some nights out with friends to get to bed early, and you’ll sacrifice a lot of your free time to get in your workouts. But if you truly want something, it is within your reach.

Just because you can’t do something today, does not mean that you won’t be able to do it one day. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

In terms of words of wisdom, there’s something else I want to share. It’s not quite fitness related (although it can be). If you only ever remember one thing that I say, I want it to be this: You are enough exactly the way you are. You don’t have to change anything at all. You, just you, are enough. I’m afraid you may never hear this, and I think it’s something that everyone should hear and know is true.

If you want to change and grow, you certainly can. But anything that you want to do should be because you want to. Not because someone else thinks you should, or society thinks you should, or your family or your significant other, or some stranger or magazine thinks you should. You are your own person, and you are enough exactly the way you are. And at Choice City, we love you just the way you are!

-Hannah P.

5 power snatch 95/65
5 burpee box jumps 24/20
10 power snatch
10 box jumps
15 power snatch
15 burpee box jumps
20 power snatch
20 box jumps

Pull-up progression Day 2

160718 - CrossFit

Aerobic Capacity workout
4 rounds
400m jog
300m sprint
50m jog
50m walk

Post workout:
Pull-up progressions
Level 1 (no pull-ups) Day 1
3 sets of 8-12 banded pull-ups then
Accumulate 25 ring rows then
Accumulate 25 band face pulls

Level 2 (some pull-ups) Day 1
EMOM 5: 1-3 strict pull-ups then
20 hollow rocks
20 back extensions
Max unbroken set kipping pullups (do not come off bar) x2

Level 3 (kipping pull-ups) Day 1
EMOM 5: 1-3 strict pull-ups then0 hollow rocks
20 back extensions
Max unbroken set butterfly pullups (do not come off bar) x2

160714 - CrossFit | Wednesdays with Hannah P. on a Thursday (my bad!)

After you have been CrossFitting for a while, you might hit a plateau. It might seem difficult to make any progress. What should you do?

Progress can mean so many different things. Today I’m going to focus on progress regarding small incremental changes. The bottom line is that if you want to make progress, you will have to start with small changes over time. Some examples could include going from always doing 7 strict pushups in a set of ten, to doing 8 out of 10 strict, or adding half a pound more to the barbell for push press then what you think you can do. Why must your weight be divisible by 5- there’s no rule for that! When it comes down to it, a small change is still a change, and small changes add up over time. At first, that half a pound more or one extra strict push up is going to be very difficult. But over time, you won’t even think about that little change any more. You’ll know for sure that you can push press that heavier weight. That’s when it is time to make another small change.

A willingness to continue to push your boundaries and limits will allow you to continue to progress as an athlete. Consistency in incremental changes will provide long term changes.

On the other hand, pushing too much or too many changes at once may not be the best set up for success. Some people do great with lots of changes at once, but for many of us, one tiny step at a time is how we will continue to improve.

The key to progress is in the consistency with small, every day ways you challenge yourself in your workout.

10 sumo deadlift high pull 115/75
10 lateral burpees