Jenny L. Is The April Member Of The Month

Over the past year, it has been a ton of fun to watch Jenny go from the girl who was al because she had been to a couple other CrossFit gyms and didn’t really like them to the girl that asked for Olympic Lifting in the AM classes because she couldn’t make the evenings. She sometimes comes to the gym twice in a day to do some extra credit work.

She has been a fantastic addition to our community with her quick-witted personality and her evolution as an athlete in a year has been impressive to watch. Her dog Leo has also become a regular, always by her side.

Congratulations Jenny, this acknowledgement of all your hard work is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
I wasn’t sure so looked back at emails and I believe May 5th was the 1-year anniversary of my “no sweat intro”.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I have always been active but hit a lull in late 2016 early 2017. I would find excuses for everything, so I knew I had to find a place that felt like a second home. I tried multiple CrossFit places, HIT places, etc and couldn’t find a fit. In the middle of last year, I finally started looking at places close to my home (to limit my excuse factor), saw Cróga on yelp and decided I should check you it out. Dave’s loud ass “JENNNNNNNNNYYYYY” was a lot first thing in the morning, but I knew right then it could be a second home 😉

What was your first workout?
Hmmm, not sure I remember. I think a baseline type of workout.

First reaction to your first workout?
These people must think I haven’t worked out a day in my life.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
#1 – How I feel. When I workout with people I enjoy being around I am just happier and as Adam (my husband) would say, I am a lot more pleasant to be around 😉

#2 – Performance – CrossFit is humbling. I am the most uncoordinated person EVER!!!!! I have always been active but I had never enjoyed CrossFit because coaches were never patient enough to help coach me through the movements until I started coming to Cróga. I still struggle with a lot of movements but I feel much more confident and know that the coaches are there to help.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I started with a 3x a week membership and moved it to Unlimited because I started waking up wanting to go to the gym. Typically I go 4 – 6x a week @ 6 am or 7 am but this past month I have gone to a few 5 am and a few 3:30 pm classes as well!

What’s your favorite WOD?
I don’t know if I have a favorite WOD, but I love back squats & box jumps – probably because it’s what I am most confident in. I also really love a WOD with a strong focus on core, glute and some running – not too much running 😉

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Lately, anything overhead because of my lame ass shoulder.

“The Jenny” WOD! What would it be?
Not sure but these are my favorite things:

  • Box Jumps
  • Core
  • Burpees
  • Run
  • Back Squat

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Putting my shit away and getting my Rubel Roasting coffee at home!!! I am trying to get better about staying a few minutes and stretching/rolling out, especially with my shoulder. Not my favorite but has helped the most – having someone put a 45lb weight on my shoulder.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The family/community aspect. I think we all have days we don’t want to workout but I know I enjoy seeing everyone at Cróga and always feel amazing once I finish my workout….especially if Leo is there!

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Not sure its considered culinary, but Rubel Roasting!!!! Adam and I are hooked.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I can list a million things but at the end of the day I just want to feel good and keep enjoying working out. However, dropping a few lbs and gaining strength never hurt either 😉

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Laugh. Enjoy the company and check your ego at the door. If you workout for you and don’t focus on anyone else you will LOVE it. Don’t give up when you feel defeated, utilize the coaches!!

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
If someone is new to Cróga and starts to feel defeated, DON’T look at the WOD’s the night before!! I realized I would try making excuses for myself if there was something I thought I couldn’t do, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and have coaches adjust the workout, etc…. DON’T LOOK and go enjoy the workout!

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Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

Cróga PSA: For the Ten-Thousandth Time…Lifting Weights DOES NOT make you “bulky”

Before we get started, I must warn you, hearing someone say “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky, I just want to be toned” is probably the number one thing that makes my skin crawl when chatting with people about fitness.

So, with that said, don’t be surprised if I’m a tad animated in my post below.

For months now I’ve followed a guy named Ben Bruno on Instagram, you can check out his account here: @benbrunotraining

I’m not exactly sure how I started following him, but if you sift through his profile you’ll see that he trains some professional athletes.

The thing that might stand out to you though, and how he relates to this blog post, is that he is a bit of a “celebrity trainer” and he works with a few ladies you might recognize, @kateupton, @barbarafialho1, & @chelseahandler.

What might also stand out to you is that his approach with these ladies is one that we strongly believe in, but is not the norm or what most people would expect. He has them squatting, deadlifting and moving heavy weights.

One of his recent posts is spot on with a conversation we’ve had with prospective and existing clients (male & female) hundreds, if not thousands, of times and we almost always answer the same way as Ben Bruno does.

So, ladies, and gentlemen, please stop falling into the cardio web of lies you’ve been fed for years and lift some weights.

And I’m not talking little tiny weights while sitting on a bike at the end of a spin class, they’re just doing that to trick you into thinking they offer weight training too.

And I’m also not talking about high rep, low weight circuit training thrown into your workout between trips to the treadmill, you’re not getting any stronger or leaner by doing that.

I’m talking about squatting, deadlifting, pressing and pulling things that feel heavy and doing it weekly.

Getting stronger WILL NOT make you bigger or bulkier, just see the girls below who do this if you don’t believe me.

Kate Upton:

Barbara Fialho:

Chelsea Handler:


P.S. If you want to come learn how to lift weights correctly and safely, we’d love to have you at @CrogaCrossFit. If you don’t live here or you don’t want to come to Cróga, please, find someone else to teach you how to move correctly and safely and lift something heavy. For the 1,000,000th time: YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY.

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Richard N. Is The March Member Of The Month

If you ask any of the members at Cróga CrossFit who the most spirited member is 100% of them will respond with Richard. Not only is he the loudest person cheering for his fellow athletes during The Open, but he’s up there in the most improved category as well. Richard is also our most active member in the local community, so I like to call him The Mayor when he’s in class, which always makes him laugh and deny that he’ll be running in the future. I’m still holding out hope. It has been a pleasure to watch Richard improve as an athlete over the last couple years and become an integral piece of our community in the process. Congrats Richard!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined the summer of 2016!

What were you doing before for fitness?
I went to a local gym but was unfocused and unmotivated. I didn’t know many exercises so I just did the little I knew over and over again, which was boring. I also stopped working out whenever I started to sweat.

And that’s if I made it inside. There were multiple times I got dressed to workout, drove to the gym’s parking lot, saw people legit exercising through the window, said “NOOOPE!” and drove back home.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? 
I think my intro class had a combination of rowing, hand-release pushups, sit-ups and band-assisted pull-ups for time.

There was another new member, and I felt determined to finish before him (sometimes I can be competitive), so I really pushed myself. Good news: I accomplished my goal! Bad news: I was dying on the gym floor for the next 25 minutes. At one point, Coach Kelly politely asked me to find another place to lie down, because I was literally in the way of the next class’ warmup.

And I’ve been back ever since.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I try to attend night classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, as well as a weekend session.

What’s your favorite WOD?
The ones in which good 90’s R&B/pop music is playing and none of my least favorite movements are involved. Bonus points if the WOD is a partner-workout.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything involving snatches, cleans, thrusters, barbell front squats, and wall balls.

“The Richard” WOD! What would it be?
Walk to Rite Aid, buy and eat ice-cream, and walk back to Cróga for time!

It’s Coach Preston-approved, so it’s totally a legit WOD.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I love-hate lying on the floor, gasping for air after a hard workout. It’s not physically pleasant, but I love how any stress cluttering my mind clears out because all I can think about is breathing for dear life.

What do you love about CrossFit?
Being part of the Cróga community. The people at Cróga are so supportive and friendly, cheering you on and giving you helpful tips. And I enjoy hanging out and chatting with everyone.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
Winning the Ugly Sweater Rowing competition, so I have another Cróga victory over Steven S. this year.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? 
You get so much more than just a good workout at Cróga. So jump in and experience it for yourself.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
With the hectic-ness of life, Cróga has become an escape of sorts for me. Some days working out at Cróga has been the highlight of my day. So thank you to everyone who makes Cróga awesome.

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Ask the Coaches: How do you Increase Endurance?

Question: How does one increase endurance? I feel like I start AMRAP’s (or even warm-ups) with a good amount of energy but then I get tired shortly thereafter. – Richard N

Coach Dave:

This is a subject that we could spend HOURS talking about and there are countless ideas, concepts, and methodologies used to help with. In fact, a few months ago, Coach Cody and I went to an Aerobic Capacity Certification that was 8 hours on a Saturday and the content felt crammed even in that amount of time.

But, to keep my answer short enough to keep people’s interest I’m going to give three pieces to think about. Read More…

Coach Justin:

Pacing, as Dave said, is key. Here’s a mental-game tip I was given that helps with the mental side of pacing.

There are always three “starts” to a workout. There’s when the clock starts. Read More…

Coach Preston:

Specificity is key to improving on any fitness goal. For metcons, it becomes difficult because CrossFit is very unspecific, but probably the one thing you can work on specifically for this goal is time domain. Endurance is still a general term. Endurance in a 20 min workout is different than endurance in a 60 min workout. If you want to get better in the 12-20 min amraps, you need to spend more time in that time domain and learn how to pace for that time domain. If you approach the beginning of a 20 min workout the same as a 7 min workout, you will burn out. I think any endurance work in the 12-20 min zone will benefit your endurance in that time domain, but the cost to your body will be different. Read More…

Coach Nick:

How to increase endurance is a question that has puzzled scientists since Galileo tried to run to the moon. Every year, new evidence emerges which suggests that running is harder and more boring than previously imagined. Then a tourist will write a book about a tribe of American Indians who ran to work in shitty sandals and running will be cool again. Then people will get infected with a thing called “finger toe shoes” and all of a sudden 1 in 4 Americans have their feet amputated (from diabetes… it’s totally unrelated). This has been the cycle of contradictory silliness that has made coaching people who want to run faster and farther more of an exercise in hypocrisy than an exercise in exercise.

I’m mostly kidding. The point is that endurance as a science has been evolving since 490 BC when a Greek soldier accidentally ran the first marathon and died. His lifeless body had barely settled on the steps of the Acropolis before smug guy in Oregon said, “Yeah, that was a PR but I’d like to see his splits” and took a sip of his nitro latte. Or the early 1900s when a Nobel Prize winner found that lactic acid is the fuel of muscles’ nightmares. Either way, just as scientists get closer to identifying the one thing that regulates all of the others in our bodies (with respect to our capacity to have and increase endurance) another element reveals itself as an equal or more important factor. I’ve been trying to keep up with the developments because I actually do like to run and I’ve found that increased aerobic capacity is positively correlated with (if not the cause of) increased happiness in my life.

If you want to stop reading here, these are the four takeaways: Read More…

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Allie U. Is The February Member Of The Month

Allie, aka Albert, has been a steadfast member of our community for a few years now, but has somehow flown under the radar and eluded recognition as our member of the month. I don’t really know how that is possible with how often we see her at the gym and community events, how great of an athlete she is, and how friendly and welcoming she is to new members. But, as the saying goes, better late than never.

It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Allie as an athlete and a friend over the last few years and Cróga would not be the same without Sparky Bear. If you ask anyone that comes to afternoon classes, they all know who she is and enjoy having her in class. She brings the laughs during the first half of class and the intensity during the WODs, but don’t you dare tell her to run a lap and expect a smile, haha. Enjoy her answers below, I promise they’ll make you giggle.

When did you join Cróga?
I unofficially joined Cróga during The Open in 2015 when Kristi invited me to Friday Night Lights. What she told me about it was probably a better sell than what I heard, which was ” Cróga does The Open on Friday nights, and everyone works out then drinks beer and hangs out afterward”, so of course I was in. After my first FNL, I knew I had to change gyms immediately because what I figured out was that Cróga definitely had the most fun and most welcoming members and coaches of any gym I had been to and that the drinking beer part was actually just a bonus of being a part of it.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Before Crossfit, I was doing my signature college routine of running 2-3 miles a day. If you know me at all, it is probably shocking to hear that I actually used to willingly go on a run…but going to the campus gym was sometimes even worse because it would normally result in me doing nothing other than talking to my friends and not actually really working out.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I used to be every day 5:30-er. Now that there is Ignite, I tend to switch back and forth between that and 5:30. I would not be caught dead at a 5 or 6 am class, and if I do go to a morning class it’s my once-a-month appearance at Saturday class because I’ve decided that I didn’t work out enough that week.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything that is shorter than about 8 minutes and has movements in it that might actually give me a chance at beating Megan or Kristi.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything that is long, has wall balls in it or involves running. And as everyone knows, completing a warm-up as written is definitely not my strong suit.

“The Allie/Albert” WOD! What would it be?
It would probably be something like an 8-minute AMRAP and would definitely include overhead squats and pull-ups since those are my favorite movements. The Open workout from a few years ago that was a ladder of these two movements was I think my favorite workout they have ever and will ever put in The Open – that would probably be the perfect Albert WOD. Power cleans would be good too. NO RUNNING.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
If you ask Mason, he would probably say “lingering”. 🙂 I don’t actually do anything after a workout (even though I know I should) besides hang around and talk to everyone.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The community aspect of CrossFit is by far the best. People being so happy for other people when they do well in a workout, hit a PR, or even beat you is something that I really don’t think can’t be replicated anywhere else. I also love that every workout is different and that you’re never really doing one movement for very long in a given workout. I get bored way too easily, so it’s great that as soon as I’m tired of doing one of the movements I get to move on to the next. One of my other favorite things, of course, is that it’s basically like you get to hang out with your friends while working out.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Of all the CrossFit gyms I have been to and belonged to over the years, there is nowhere that even comes close to Cróga. I have never been to a gym that has such welcoming, helpful, and genuine people. The community that we have at the gym is one-of-a-kind, and the only thing I regret about joining Cróga is that I didn’t change gyms sooner. I am so grateful for the environment and the family that Cróga has created, and that I get to be a part of it. There are so many ways I could say why Cróga is so great and why I love it so much, but the only true way to understand why it is the best is to come and see for yourself. Oh, and GO FIGHTING IRISH!!! (See that, Jose Cong? 😉 )

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Ask the Coaches: How to Deal with Injuries

Question: How do you train around/with Injuries? What are some tips for rehabbing Injuries? — Julia L and Joel S

Rob Noakes PT, DPT, OCS:

How to Train Through Injuries You Ask? Can everyone handle the truth? You sure?

The simple, extremely accurate, most frustrating answer that everyone will hate and no one wants to hear including myself is… DO NOT train through SERIOUS injuries! It just doesn’t work.

*The more fun and complex answer. It depends on the injury and severity*

If it is a moderate to severe injury I want you to ask yourself:
A. Are you Steph Curry and need to play Game 7 of the NBA finals with a bad ankle?
B. Are you about to sign a $30 million a year deal for the Niners and need to complete a workout to sign the deal?
C. Are you Luke Skywalker about to fight Darth Vader for rule of the galaxy?
D. Is a bear about to eat you?
E. Are you trying to beat Jose Cong in something at Croga?
Unless you are in any of these categories, you should not try and push through a workout or strenuous activity with a severe injury (except that last one, Jose will just win anyway, so don’t try it.) Read More

Key Question: Where does strength, fixing muscle imbalances, and retraining movement, come into play? Answer: Take it away Mrs. Noakes

Wendy Noakes PT, DPT, SCS:

Definitely agree with everything Rob wrote, especially the Jose Cong thing, don’t even try.

In addition to mobility for a healthy body, we cannot forget about two other key factors- MOVEMENT and STRENGTH. You can’t have just one piece of the puzzle.

Most of Robs suggestions were about mobility which for a majority of us, especially the men, is definitely what we need more of. However, there are also a handful of Croganites who are plenty flexible and cant feel any of the stretches the coaches make us do (I’m looking at you Chloe). Read More

Coach Preston: 

1. Definitely seek out professional advice from an expert in movement. Coaches can help to an extent with obvious faults in movement, but its almost always best to see a PT with background in the sport you’re trying to get back to (weightlifting, running, etc.) Rarely will you get an injury with just overuse while using proper movement, so having an expert to identify the source of the issue is best. Read More

Coach Justin: 

The first step to training with injuries is mental. I’ve found people fall in one of two categories:

1. “Oh, I’m injured. I need to stop doing anything so I don’t hurt myself more.” This is my default for sure.

2. “Oh, it’s nothing. If I ignore it it will go away.” I know a few members like this at Croga.

The true key is a balanced approach. Read More

Coach Nick: 

Disclaimer: I’ve had two surgeries in the last 2 months and have, at various times, spent 3+ months sidelined due to overtraining injuries in my knees, wrists, shoulders, and chest. I’m guilty of everything I’m advising against. I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic of injuries lately as I’ve been feeling super sorry for the state of my pathetic, broken body. Some of the things I’m going to write might sound like scolding or demotivation but failing to be transparent and honest about why injuries occur would be to ignore the best rehab tip in the galaxy: don’t get injured in the first place! There are experts here who have written much more valuable post-injury advice than I could attempt to fabricate so I’ve taken a slightly different angle. Read More

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CJ V. Is The January Member Of The Month

It’s not often that we see a list of potential member of the month names to choose from and everyone agrees on one specific person because they have blown everyone else out of the water that month. However, this month, that is exactly what happened. CJ signed up for our Uplift Program in December and since then he has been absolutely KILLING IT on the fitness front. He has been attending class or hitting the gym or track 7 days a week, has done all the WODs he can make it to and then does Uplift homework before or after class. He also did his first CrossFit competition in the middle of all of it. When you talk about someone putting their head down and doing the work to accomplish their goals, CJ is a poster child. He always wants more work, he always wants to get better, and he’ll do the grunt work (Assault Bike Intervals/Sprints) and the boring stuff (30-minutes of mobility a day) to get him there. Congrats on an awesome start to 2018, CJ, we are very excited to see what is ahead for you this year.

When did you join Cróga?
I joined in June 2017, but had a business trip immediately after I signed up, so my first real class was in July.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I had been training mostly power lifts on my own a few times a week, but was struggling with consistency in 2017. I also played Ice Hockey once a week or so.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
10RFT: 5 Hang Power Cleans and 5 Push Jerks @ 155 lbs. I remember thinking I should be able to Rx and hang with the class. I did the first two rounds Rx and got completely gassed and had to scale back. Only did 7 rounds by the time the clock stopped I think. VERY humbling, but also impressive to see the kind of shape the regulars were in. I’m pretty sure Coach Danny knew that was going to wipe me out quick but he let me learn the hard way.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’m very slightly leaner, but I am trying to eat more to compensate and keep my weight up (admittedly this is a problem I share with not a single other person). I feel so much better for the rest of the day/night after an hour of intense work at Cróga. My performance in WODs is objectively better – Strength is marginally better (I started with a reasonably good strength base), but my aerobic fitness is so much improved, and my movements are smoother (still working on this). I’m MUCH better at the things I had not been doing prior, and I’ve kept or increased my major lifts (my Deadlift has gone up by 60 lbs this year!).

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I’m a regular at the 7 am class, but I’ve also done 5 am’s (so early!) if I have to be at work early. I typically show up early to Cróga to work on flexibility or skills (Double-Unders FTW!) so the 6 am class knows me pretty well. I also do powerlifting on Wednesdays whenever I can. I come to Cróga just about every day now, sometimes twice a day for PowerLifting, except sometimes I will skip Sunday to run instead. If I didn’t have a demanding job or a wife and dog at home, I would be at Cróga at least two or three times a day.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I tend to like short, heavy, moderate to sprint-pace workouts with two or three movements. “Deads and Dubs” is my current favorite. 😉

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Any of the “chipper” style workouts. Murph, the Christmas WOD, the Caitlyn WOD… all are well outside of my wheelhouse. Anytime when I have to move my own heavy butt (burpees, push-ups, pull-ups, etc) instead of a barbell, I get super tired super fast.

“The CJ” WOD! What would it be?
If I had to program something other than “Deads and Dubs”, it would be something like:
Buy-in of 30 Bench Press @135/95, then 3RFT of 400m run, 75 Double-Unders, 10 Ground to Overhead @ 135/95. The score is total time inc. Bench Press.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Drink a FitAid, Protein Shake, and Coffee, drive to work, shower, and start my work day. Not super exciting, but that’s my routine and it works for me. Also, no protein post-workout clearly equals zero gainz after all that work. Definitely must have two-scoops just to be safe.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love that there is always something to work on, some weakness to improve (Overhead Squats in particular), or some skill to learn. I’ve done really well on some workouts compared to the rest of the class, and I’ve finished dead last in others. My workouts are much more interesting since joining Cróga and starting Crossfit, and I love that our coaches genuinely work to get you better in some way every workout. Crossfit and Fitness are really about what you put in. If you put in the work, if you show up and put in some effort, it pays dividends in a number of ways and that’s what I’m all about.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I’ve been eating like 90% clean for a couple years since I started getting serious about health and fitness, so nothing from Cróga is really new to me since joining. Mostly Meat, Veggies, and some Starch (rice or potatoes) but I have been frequenting Bagel Guys after Saturday/Sunday morning WODs for breakfast sandwiches and I must say I have a weakness for them.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
No specific goals for this year I don’t think. I want to increase my Bench, Squat, Deadlift and Overhead Press, as well as my aerobic capacity, but I’m more focused on the process right now than the numbers. Steady improvement is what I’m all about right now. Maybe OHS more than 65lbs?

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Come for the workout, and stay for the people. There’s really nothing to be intimidated about – everyone scales something, and many people scale or modify all things. People straight up get more fit here, and if you can manage the cost (one of the biggest barriers to joining for myself) it’s totally worth it. ALL of the coaches are great, and everyone is generally very friendly and welcoming, regardless of your fitness level or your goals. Do what you’re comfortable with in the gym and the rest will take care of itself.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
I count joining Cróga last year as one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I have been “into Fitness” for a while now, but didn’t pull the trigger on Cróga or Crossfit until last year, and boy am I glad I did. I have met a lot of great people, gotten a whole lot more fit, and just found this whole other “gear” in life that I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t joined this particular gym. I feel better, I have more energy, I am more focused and productive at work, and I genuinely treasure this community of people. I used to live very close to Cróga, and I’ve since moved about 12 miles away, but I’ve managed to still make Cróga part of my everyday routine so that I can continue to be a part of the amazing place that coach Dave has created. I am unbelievably thankful for this place and all of the people (coaches and athletes) that are part of it.

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Cróga Intramural Open and Friday Night Lights 2018

The 2018 Open Season is upon us and with that means the Cróga Intramural Open and Friday Night Lights! We will have three teams competing against each other for gym supremacy – who’s banner will be raised to the rafters this year?

The CrossFit Open starts on February 22nd and goes through March 26th. It is five weeks and five workouts of camaraderie, fun, and challenging workouts! View Coach Dave’s Video if you need reasons to sign-up or continue reading for more details of the fun we will have!

The Cróga Intramural Open is our way of making the CrossFit Games Open Season more fun and bringing our community closer together. We understand that no one likes checking the worldwide standing and seeing they’re in 132,000th and that’s why we’re going to create our own intramural competition. Your scores on the global leaderboard will still matter, but your participation at Cróga will be more important because it’ll help your team score points to work toward an in-house victory. We will be creating three teams at random with the names of the athletes that have registered for The Open and we will award the winning team with a banner that we will hang from the rafters at Cróga.

To compete in the CrossFit Intramural Open, you MUST be signed up for The CrossFit Games Open. It is how we aggregate and validate scores for each team. Sign-up for the CrossFit Open HERE! Click the Sign-Up button on The CrossFit Games page to start the process. The Affiliate name is Cróga CrossFit. You must be signed up by February 16th, to be eligible for the draft. Anyone who signs up after the draft is a free agent and will be picked up by a Team. Essentially, everyone who signs up for the Open will be on a team.

The draft will consist of us throwing the names of all athletes in a hat and picking them out at random. You’ll see below that most of the points we will award each team will be based on attendance and spirit, so the only advantage a “super team” would really have is with good participation, which is why we decided to draft the teams at random. We also like the idea of having teams of people that aren’t currently close friends so we can get people to get outside their comfort zone and meet/cheer for new friends.

This year, we will again have a few options to complete your workout:

The first option is to complete the workout during normal class hours on Fridays during the Open (we will be programming the workout for every class on Friday). If you elect to do this, you will be responsible for arranging for your own judge, our coach will be responsible for coaching class, NOT judging your workout.

The second option is to come in on Saturday at 7 am during Open Gym to complete the workout. If you elect to do this, you will also be responsible for arranging for your own judge, our coach will be responsible for coaching class, NOT judging your workout.

The third and the most fun option is to attend Friday Night Lights!

Friday Night Lights will start every Friday during the Open at 5:30 pm. We will run heats of athletes every 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the length of workout) until everyone has completed the workout and received a score. We will create a Google Doc on Thursday each week and email/facebook distribute it for you to sign up for a heat time the night before or day of, which will allow you to know what time on Friday you’ll be slated to complete the workout.

As in years past, to get the best and loudest crowd possible, friends and family are welcome and encouraged to attend. Members that do not sign up for The Open are also encouraged to attend (however, we hope to have you all participate).

Your team will compete against the other teams and will be awarded points for the following accomplishments:

Scoring is:
+1 Point – Workouts Completed: every member of a team that completes an Open workout at Cróga CrossFit each week earns one point. Maximum one point per athlete per workout. This goes for Rx AND Scaled competitors!
+1 Point – Top 2 male/female: If a member of your team finishes in the top-2 at Cróga CrossFit in the RX or Scaled division your team will get an extra point.
+3 Points (team) – Friday Night Lights Attendance: The team with the most members in attendance during Friday Night Lights will receive 3 bonus points.
+5 Points (team) – Spirit: The team with the most noise, pride, and PRESENCE each week will receive 5 bonus points. Wear your Team T-shirt (more details soon) on Friday and really represent your team pride!
+1 Point – Challenge Point: To spice things up a bit and add some extra intensity to specific heats, you will have the option to challenge a member of a separate team. If that other member accepts, you will compete in the same heat and whoever wins the matchup will earn 1 extra point for their team.

Important Details

Our Open workouts will take place on Friday during all classes building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday Night Lights is a fun, community building atmosphere and we want it to be the catalyst for light-hearted competition and camaraderie. We work out and hang out to celebrate how fun/horrible the workout is. Friday Night Lights will be about two-three hours in length depending on the workout for that week.

Who will take home the Cróga CrossFit Intramural Championship? Whose banner will be raised? Will it be your team?

Sign-up for The CrossFit Games Open HERE and be the difference for your team!

Here’s to another great Open season!!

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Food For Thought: CrossFit Nutrition Poster

To continue the Poster Series I started last week with the CrossFit Theoretical Hierarchy of Development, this week we’re going to chat about the base of the pyramid, Nutrition, in even more depth.

Nutrition is of paramount importance because it changes us on a molecular level and without proper fuel, the body can only accomplish so much.

The original nutritional prescription laid out by CrossFit Founder, Greg Glassman, in his “Fitness in 100 Words” (seen below) is one that is quite simple, but very hard for many to follow.
It falls in line with what a lot of people would consider a Paleo diet, but I’d say it’s less restrictive and most likely just as effective.
Starting from the top and working your way down we go from the most important pieces to make sure you include at each meal and what should make up the biggest chunk of most meals (Meat & Veggies), to worst for you and what should absolutely be excluded (all processed sugar).
By being focused on eating real, quality foods and not allowing the urge to have too many processed carbs/sweets, most people can get pretty damn close to lean, strong and healthy, which is what will make you live longer.
So, in the interest of one of my favorite acronyms KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
We always encourage our members to eat REAL foods.
Meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and NO sugar.
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Food For Thought: CrossFit Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

If you’ve been in to Cróga in the last week or so, you may have noticed a handful of new posters by the front desk and around the corner by the plates.

With those posters in mind, I’ve decided to do a weekly “poster series” where I chat about the different posters around the gym and their significance to our methodology and instruction.

So, first stop, the CrossFit Theoretical Hierarchy of Development.

When you look at this pyramid, you need to think about how each level depends on the support of the level below it.

So, level one of being happy, healthy and more fit is to eat right.

Nutrition is the foundation for all athletic development.

Poor nutrition will sabotage any amount of training and you will never reach full potential without your diet locked in and consistent.

This does not mean you have to be the guy/gal eating chicken and broccoli at Thanksgiving while everyone else is enjoying Turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, but you do need to keep those bad meals and alcohol consumption to a minimum to make any serious impact on your health.

Level two on the pyramid is metabolic conditioning aka “cardio”.

To keep it simple here, you need to be able to breath well and circulate blood to your muscles well to be able to perform any of the movements above this step of the pyramid in any significant quantity.

You might be able to hit a 1 rep max back squat or do a couple pull-ups without being able to breath well, but if we start asking you to work for more than 30 seconds, you better believe having a aerobic engine will be important.

Level three is gymnastics and this is the one that I think most people don’t pay enough attention to.

Gymnastics movements are ones that involve you moving your own bodyweight or parts and pieces through space.

The better you are at knowing where you are in space, creating tension throughout your body and moving accurately, the better you will be at all other skills.

So, spend the extra time to work on your movement and fine tune the way you move so that you move more efficiently, which will help you last longer in workouts and move yourself and external objects with ease.

Level four is weightlifting & throwing aka moving external objects.

This could be cleans, snatches, wall balls, KB swings, deadlifts, weighted squats, etc. you get the idea.

It should go without saying that moving a barbell is a lot easier if you’re bodily aware and can move efficiently, which is why gymnastics falls below weightlifting and can help so much.

I once heard Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, on a podcast talk about how working on a freestanding handstand will help you snatch more weight at a significantly faster rate than all the barbell accessory work (snatch pulls, drop snatches, hang snatches, etc.) we come up with because it’s more fun.

Level five is sport.

“Sport is the application of fitness in a fantastic atmosphere of competition and mastery.”

It is the pinnacle of the pyramid because sports are your opportunity to express your fitness and excel at a specific task that requires excellence in all the levels of the pyramid below it.

Finally, when you think of the five levels of the pyramid together, you start to get a full picture of what we mean when we say “A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development”.

“This hierarchy largely reflects foundational dependence, skill, and to some degree, time ordering of development.

The logical flow is from molecular foundations, cardiovascular sufficiency, body control, external object control, and ultimately mastery and application.

This model has greatest utility in analyzing athletes’ shortcomings or difficulties.

We don’t deliberately order these components but nature will. If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer.”

I copied that last piece from the What is Fitness? article on the CrossFit Journal because the words are so eloquent and succinct that there is no way I could summarize them and do them justice.

So, with all of that said, I know we joke sometimes about “trust the process” at Cróga, but we’re very serious about that process.

We do breathing work daily, we teach gymnastics progressions or scale gymnastics pieces more than half the week, we move barbells more than half the week, and we encourage all our members to get out there and use their fitness by participating in sports or other athletic endeavors.

So, next time you’re worried about your progress in one of these levels, take a look at yourself and evaluate yourself on the levels below it.

Chances are, you need more work on your nutrition or breathing or gymnastics, not just to move more barbells…

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