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This is Why

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by Taylor Gerlach

CrossFit’s annual Open season is almost upon us. 

For three weeks in March, we will push harder, cheer louder, and celebrate fitness with a global community of athletes all taking ice baths, wondering if it’s worth redoing the workout minutes before scores are due Monday night, and counting down the minutes to the next workout announcement every Thursday.

If you’re new around here and wondering what everyone is talking about, The Open is the first stage of the annual CrossFit Games competition. Anyone can compete from anywhere in the world and log their scores virtually to measure up against others in their age group or track personal progress from year to year. 

For most of us, we know we’re not going to the Games. So then why do the Open? 

Test yourself

“I want to do the open because it seems like a great 1 year at CrossFit check-in. I’ve only heard positive things from everyone at CFL, and surprisingly I’ve seen myself getting a lot better at it within the last few months, so I want to use the Open as a gauge for myself.” – Gigi Sani 

“I like to compete against others, but more importantly, I like to compete against myself.” – Jack Green

Having an annual benchmark is a great way to test your fitness each year. If you’re new to CrossFit, it will be fun to look back next year and see how far you’ve come. If you’ve been around for a while, the Open is a fun check-in. With the extra hype and excitement, you might even find yourself setting new records or getting new movements for the first time. 

Celebrate your fitness

“I think of the Open as a celebratory tradition! Each year my excitement levels vary based on my self-confidence. But regardless it’s a must! Crossfit is HARD; so is LIFE. What better way to celebrate my determination, commitment, and dedication to personal fitness. Have fun and stretch yourself!” – Brandon Moreno

“I’m doing the Open this year because I’m in the best shape of my life. I can do handstand pushups and I am excited to possibly get to do them. This is my last year in the under 40 age group so I’m looking forward to seeing how I do from this year to next.” – Devin Craig

More than being a competition, the Open is a celebration. It’s a time when the whole CrossFit community does a set of workouts together, cheering each other on and celebrating personal victories, big and small.

Compete together

“I’m doing the Open because I want to check my fitness level and see how much I have improved in the past year. Also because it’s super fun to compete with friends and get to support each other.” – Gleicy Cavalcante

“For me, it’s the competition and the community! I love the people that I work out with on a daily basis and to have the chance to compete with/against them gets me really excited!” – Josh Bridwell

“I do the Open because I love to challenge myself to do things I didn’t think I could. Every year I surprise myself and do something I thought was impossible. I also do the Open because I like to compete with everyone, not only at the gym but also my friends that live in other cities!” – Lane Corum

One of the most special aspects of the Open is its ability to inspire community. While we won’t be all together having watch parties in the same way as normal this year, the Open is still something we will all be doing together at the same time. Suffer and celebrate with your friends, and make some new ones along the way. 

Have fun (and maybe trash talk a little)

“One of the reasons I show up to a CrossFit workout is the friendly competition. The work becomes a game. Playing the game gives me goals to reach, opportunities to celebrate progress, and a chance to talk trash with friends. The Open just amplifies that. You get to play a game with the whole world. And, of course, aim to do better than last year.” – Dylan Clark

The Open is fun! Like recess for adults, the Open is just one big, worldwide game. Whether you’re playing against yourself, athletes from your home country, or the whole world, let fitness be fun. 

Sign up via this link –

Fitness Resources

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by coach Kelly Moates

Consuming content seems important and necessary these days. We need to be educating ourselves, staying up to date on current events, and the changes in our world. When it comes to consuming fitness content, we here at CFL feel an obligation to bring attention to those producing quality material and to make ourselves available for questions.

For example, your CFL coaches have been working to create a positive culture. We recently read the book titled “Chasing Excellence” by Coach Ben Bergeron. The premise of the book is to consistently and persistently seek positive outlets. Whether it is our general health, work-life, family life, or anything else, positivity can be a powerful tool.

Our hope, as your local affiliate, is to provide you with as many resources to further your fitness as possible. Fitness means more than a one-hour workout a few times a week. For instance, our very own, Coach Leslie and Rob Gordon have started their own podcast titled “Getting Swolder” to address and ultimately encourage those in the fitness community that find themselves aging (in the sense that things ache that did not previously ache…) while simultaneously chasing new fitness goals.

Here are some other resources that we feel could add value to your day and overall content consumption.

Getting Swolder (podcast)
Talking Elite Fitness (podcast)
Iron Roots Athlete (Instagram)
Thephysiofix (Instagram)
Squat University (Instagram)

When it comes to finding credible resources for your health journey we hope that you feel comfortable asking us for help. With there being so many avenues for content, our goal is to be a guide if you need it. In the same manner, as you have favorite voices in the fitness community please share them! We are all in this thing together so do not ever assume that we are aware of someone or something.

Hero WODs

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by Coach Kelly Moates

This year, more so than previously, we have more to be thankful for. I know I have more perspective when it comes to freedom and rights, and to what we have access. With a worldwide pandemic, things have been hectic, to say the least. I also think, now more than ever, we have a better idea of what real fear can look like. I know I have a greater appreciation for the things I have and the freedom I enjoy being in the United States of America. For me, recognizing and acknowledging that my comfort is a gift from other people has been critical these last few months. Our communities have rallied around those serving on the front lines. There are heroes among us.

So, how does the CrossFit community pay homage to these people? Especially those that have lost their lives? By participating in Hero WODs. Doing ridiculously hard workouts in memory of those lost. It is a way of respecting the nature of their work and service to us. We have the ability because others gave us the ability. The workouts are intentionally harder than most because we need to feel the reminder that life is not always easy. In fact, rarely is it easy. We need to sweat harder, push further, and become more connected as a result of these hero WODs. They are not a game but a reminder. 

This year, and every year, we celebrate with one of the most famous workouts on a day of remembering, Memorial Day. Murph is the workout and it’s performed for a man named Michael Murphy who died serving this country. My encouragement is that you do this workout not only for Mike but also for those that have been working tirelessly for months trying to protect us from an overwhelming pandemic. I’m sure you know a nurse, police officer, military personnel, firefighter, doctor, etc. Do this workout for them.

As the word hero has embodied more faces and professions, I hope that you will incorporate more hero WODs into your programming. Take them seriously and make them the big deal that they are.  

Just Keep Moving

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by Coach Kelly Moates

Cooped up? Feeling restless? It’s normal considering the amount of abnormality we’ve seen lately.  The days are increasingly strange and weird. How is it affecting you – emotionally, mentally, physically?

Personally, I have an increased desire to cook good food. Not necessarily always healthy, but good and cooked by me. It took me a solid week and a half before I realized that this eating and general house projects were not going to be sustainable. I needed more intentional movement. I needed my brain and body to get on the same page. With so much that we cannot control, I knew that my physical movement was still one thing I could control.

Just keep moving.

That is the theme of this short read. The importance of movement, in general, but especially, now.

How do we move, stay physically fit and active without our gym? I have come up with a few solutions for you.

The easiest and quickest is to follow the daily (twice/day) workouts and/or yoga that CFL provides. This is not an advertisement, it is reality! CrossFit classes at 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week. Yoga at 10am on Wednesdays and 2pm on Sundays. Both on Zoom and Instagram Live. The more I researched this topic the more I found that article after article was citing some fitness routine or video to watch, to track down every day. We, as members of CFL, are fortunate enough to have programming (lots of it) sent to us every day. More than that, we still get encouragement from a coach that cares. These things do matter and if you’re like me, you took it for granted. Take advantage of the fitness community and support that is readily available.

Lastly, just keep moving in your home doing odd tasks like laundry, cooking, watching tv, playing with a pet. I read an article that suggested you do side lunges while flipping clothes in the wash. Try it out! What do you have to lose? Crazier things are literally happening right this second in the world. Be crazy with your creativity.

Movement matters for more reasons than I can articulate in a short post like this. You know that it matters for your emotional and mental health. You know that it affects things like your mood and patience and overall energy level. We need all of those things right now as we spend our days in this endless virus loop.

Focus on your health, stay at home, and just keep moving!!

Intensity vs. Volume

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by Coach Kelly Moates

“Be impressed by intensity, not volume.” Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, is quoted as saying as early as 2002.

When it comes to the Intensity vs. Volume debate, this is the response. There are layers to it, which we will discuss, but this is the most basic answer to the question, “What’s more important? Intensity or Volume?”.

Often, we find ourselves wondering if we should work out more than the one hour CrossFit class per day. Or more days per week than we are used to. This, to some extent, goes back to the question of what are your goals? If you want to compete in the sport of CrossFit then yes, intensity and volume are equally important. If, however, you want to be the healthiest version of yourself in your life outside the gym, intensity matters far more than volume. 

Each workout has a very specific intent – called a ‘stimulus’. CrossFit workouts are also designed to be done at 100% effort (which includes appropriate pacing).

Can we all be honest for a second? Could it be true that you are leaving some amount of fitness on the table because of your effort level? Are some of you attributing that missing fitness to a lack of volume instead of intensity? 

Kelly’s very personal (only pertaining to  myself) answer would be: YES

Effort is a choice. Our goal should be to give max effort to each one hour block we are in the box. This is how we get the results we want. Your intensity is what determines your results. Intensity is what takes people from sick to well to fit.

Now, intensity is relative to the athlete and it is our job as coaches to make each workout is intense for each individual athlete. This is where modifying (scaling) comes into play. Read the post on scaling here for more insights. 

Intensity also matters because most of us do not have the time or energy to add volume to our schedule, and we don’t need to. We need to increase our intensity; pushing our bodies and expanding our fitness through effort. You can control your intensity by making smart weight and movement substitution choices during the warmup and movement prep leading up to your workout and by giving 100% effort to each and every workout. 

Cheers to intensity, and to fitness!

Help us, help you

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by coach Kelly Moates

You may have noticed our recent coaching evaluations and our new coaches in general. The gym is growing but we, the coaches, want to make sure that you, the athlete, are getting the best care and attention possible. It has been a focal point for us the last several months. We have asked ourselves questions like these: 

Where can I get better in my coaching?
Am I communicating well with my class?
What are the ways we can enhance each hour of class? 

Our goal as coaches is to create the best hour of your day. It takes effort, more than simply showing up and telling you what to do. Each class requires a certain level of preparation and attentiveness. With that being said, we want your feedback and input. Who better to give that feedback than the athletes we coach. 

Every athlete is different, therefore, all of you have your own unique way of being motivated. Some like to be yelled at as a form of encouragement and some of you cringe at the thought of that type of motivation. Some of you like when we simply come by and give little coaching cues and some like a full-fledged one on one diagnosis. Some of you want to tell your coach about your day and others are there to get a workout in and go home. All of these are okay and right but in order for us to better serve you, it would be helpful to know your motivations. 

Help us, as coaches, help you, as an athlete. How can we make your experience better? Teach us about you and what motivates you. We want to know how to unlock your best effort each time you are in class. Just like you get better at certain movements with our feedback, we too can get better at coaching you with your feedback. 

Find some time in the next few weeks and let your coaches know how you like to be coached. I’m not talking about some big long plan of action, but some small tips on what to do or not to do that will make your CFL hour the best of the day. One thing I will add is that we appreciate affirmation as much as you do. When we do something right, let us know! 

If you ever have questions about why we do certain things don’t hesitate to ask. Know this, we are not made of glass. We can handle critical feedback. Our job is to make you healthier and we do not take that lightly. So, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.


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by coach Kelly Moates

The word routine does not necessarily equate to a positive outcome. Routines can be negative and lead to negative outcomes. For us, we should define the routines that we currently have in place and plan for ones we want to create going forward.

January is a prime month for routines to be established, but is it really established if February is not marked by January’s work? How do we create a routine? After doing some reading, I have come up with two words that seem to carry the theme: clarity and consistency.

Clarity refers to the action itself and the desired outcomes. In order to create a positive routine we have to plan for it. We have to know what it looks like day in and day out.

For example
I want to be fitter in 2020 vs 2019. That’s broad but does lend itself to easier planning strategies. I could look back at Sugarwod and see the frequency of my workouts and work from there, while also looking at individual workouts and using them as a base for measurement. If the goal is to be fitter, what does the routine look like? Let’s gain some clarity.
I want to work out an average of four times per week, up from an average of three times per week in 2019. I plan to attend the 6:30 am class twice per week and the 7:00 pm class twice. If I miss one of my planned weekdays I will make it up on Saturday or Sunday. This is a very simple plan and when done with consistency it will become routine.

Consistency is critical. Doing something new is always challenging and if you’re like me you tend to set stretch goals. Being consistent is the only way to ensure a routine is established. You have to keep showing up. Keep doing the work.

Does this all feel a little too black and white? Not so fun? Let me release the tension, this process of creating a new routine HAS to be fun. It rarely works without fun or rewards attached. Celebrate two weeks of solid work. Take a yoga class as one of your four workouts. Mix it up and share with those around you. Shoutout to all our members working on and dialing in new routines right this very second.

How will you define your routines in 2020? Do you have clarity and consistency?

Enjoy the Holidays!

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by Coach Kelly Moates

It’s the holiday season (Andy Williams style). The place where health and wellness go to die. Let’s talk about some of the feelings you may experience. There’s shame, guilt, hatred (for yourself and the person that brought the food you can’t pass up), stress and anxiety, and all the things. This stems from a lack of control, either real or perceived. You and I struggle with the same things – we can’t pass up the holiday feast. We struggle to get a workout in when we’re traveling. And then the inevitable happens, we enter that internal, often negative, dialogue with ourselves that is beyond unhealthy.

It doesn’t make the holidays sound enjoyable or a season we want to enter but let me offer some tips as we dive into the turkey and fixins’. We are average, and I mean that in the best way. We workout to stay fit, be healthy, move well, feel good, etc.

Our Staff RD Sara Sheridan wrote an awesome blog, posted a couple weeks back, about how to approach eating this season so I’ll only focus on the movement piece. Some movement is always better than none. Doing said movement before the eating commences is also a much better strategy than thinking you’ll get it done after. It does not have to be a lot and it doesn’t have to be everyday but you do need to plan ahead. Try not to lose control of your time. Missing a few days will NOT be the end but you’ll certainly feel better sneaking in a quick workout when time permits.

Just as Sara outlined our relationship with food, we want to form a healthy relationship with our workouts. Don’t despise them or feel anxious about getting it done. When time permits and the mood strikes, get your sweat on! The end of this post includes some convenient and zero-equipment workouts to try while you’re at home or traveling.

Lastly, drop the negativity this year. Embrace the energy of the holiday season. According to a Harvard Health study, your longevity and emotional well-being are linked to feelings of celebration. These next six weeks are fun and exciting and stressing yourself out about eating too much or working out too little is piling on to the already unhealthy atmosphere. Review the previous blog posts, as some will be relevant to this time of year. Find a reasonable goal and stick with it this year. Something that allows for both indulgences and healthy routine. It’s been a good year, you’ve earned it.



EMOM style- 10-20 min
Movement one (air squats)
Movement two (push ups)
Movement three (situps)
Each minute you will perform either a set number of reps or decide to work for a set time frame. Similar to our classes, be done with your work with at least fifteen seconds of rest each minute.

AMRAP style- 10-20 min
This is very similar but instead of a new movement each minute you just need to define a set number of reps and move continuously for the selected time frame. Much like the workout “Cindy”
Ex. 5 push ups, 10 squats, 15 sit ups for 12 minutes.

If you are visiting a new place, try going for a run and make it more about sight seeing than heart rate. Just keep moving.

Named Wods

Wod #1
Ten rounds of 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, 10 air squats

Wod #2
100 burpees for time

Wod #3
4 rounds for time of 400m run + 50 air squats

Holiday Eating

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Written By Staff RD Sara Sheridan

At 12:00 AM on November 1st, a number of things happen. Stores dump Halloween decor for evergreen wreaths, tinsel, ornaments, stockings, and other Christmas decorations. Mariah Carey wakes from her 10-month hibernation to sing “All I Want for Christmas” on repeat in every retail store. Black Friday sales commercials and ads bombard cable television and the Internet. And with all of the holiday madness comes strategies for navigating holiday meals. Timeless holiday headlines include: “Take larger portions of simply prepared foods such as baked sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, and skinless turkey breast”, the ever-so-familiar “Buddy up with someone who is also trying to keep his or her weight in check”, and my personal favorite: “modify dessert recipes by using applesauce or pumpkin puree in place of butter”, “skip seconds”.

These tips will certainly aid in weight loss or maintaining weight, but how do they impact our relationship with food? All of these tips “taboo-ize” holiday food, or make them seem more forbidden in our minds. When we think of foods as forbidden, we give them power over our thoughts and experiences. Evelyn Tribole, one of the originators of Intuitive Eating, calls this the “Last Supper” mentality: “Upon eating a forbidden food, if you truly believe that you will never eat that food again – it can easily turn into a farewell to food feast, a Last Supper.” Because the holiday season only happens once a year, we tend to tell ourselves that November and December are the only times we can eat our traditional holiday fare. Although the holidays are a special time with family and friends, at the end of the day, holiday meals are another breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We can literally have any of the foods we eat at holiday meals at any other time of the year. When you reframe holiday meals as “just another dinner” and internalize the year around availability of these foods, you neutralize these foods, which, according to Tribole, takes away the urgency and thrill of eating them.

One thing that can fuel “Last Supper” mentality is seeing a buffet spread of holiday foods. Rather than eating portions of every food offered as fast as possible, take a second to take in all of the foods available and try to identify what you’re craving in that moment. Remember that you can always go back for seconds (and thirds) if you don’t feel satisfied after your first helping. Remember that there will likely be leftovers to eat the next day. When you remind yourself of these things and eat what you’re really craving, you’re more likely to enjoy the meal and move on with your day. On the other hand, when you deny yourself what you’re craving, you’ll probably remain fixated on those foods until you “cave” and eat them, most likely with guilt attached to the experience. According to Tribole, this is the paradox of food permission – “when you truly know you can eat a food, you can really ask yourself – do I really want it right now? If I eat it now, will I enjoy it?” I think of this as eating intentionally, or making informed decisions about what you eat based on your nutrition goals and your cravings. This is especially applicable during the holidays, and goes hand-in-hand with the idea of neutralizing food. 

All of this is easier said than done. Challenging your thoughts about food and making small changes over time can help neutralize food. Over the next few months, remind yourself of these things: 1. Holiday meals are just another breakfast, lunch, or dinner; 2. Any of the foods you eat over the next couple of months are available to you the other 10 months of the year; 3. Eating outside of your normal routine for a few days won’t negate months of consistency in your diet and exercise; 4. Food is food! Yes, it is fuel, but it is also meant to be enjoyed. It should not be a source of guilt; 5. Identify what you’re craving, eat that food while acknowledging how it fits in with your nutrition goals, and move on with your day.

Priorities Matter

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by coach Kelly Moates

The Open gives a unique opportunity to evaluate your priorities.

For those doing the Open, you get four days and some change to complete the workout. Why does this matter? If you don’t make completing the workout each week a priority, there’s a good chance that life will get in the way and you’ll be struggling to just get a score.

Here’s a personal confession. I have been extremely inconsistent in my workouts over the last two months. Working out has not been a high priority for me. I wish I were going more but having a new puppy reorders the priority list. Maybe things in your life have pushed fitness down the totem pole as they have for me. I want to be a positive voice here. One, we as coaches are not perfect nor do we try to be. I struggle to get to the gym, probably more than our average athlete. So, maybe you’re like me and have been going less than you’d like. Don’t feel bad about it, just make some adjustments. What are the priorities in your life and where does fitness rank? It always needs to be high. We always need to make time for fitness even when life gets a bit hectic.

The question then becomes how quickly can you get back to it? The sooner you realize that your frequency has slipped the sooner you can reevaluate and reorder. I’m currently in the reevaluate stage and the thing I want to convey here is this, take your time. Make it sustainable. This is a light-hearted blog but fitness should, ultimately, be taken very seriously. Your health matters and you deserve to have fitness at the top of your list.

So, whether you’re in the Open or not use the next four weeks of Crossfit excitement to find a new rhythm or strengthen the current one. Evaluate your current priorities and make sure fitness is among the top. The holidays are coming and we’re all going to need our best selves when it comes to pie, mac n cheese, turkey, etc. Now is the time to establish a strong base and rely on it as family trips arise and schedules are thrown all out of whack. We’re all in this together which means we need to be graceful encouragers with those around our community.

Go get em!