Fire in the hole!

Bottom to Bottom Tabata Squats: 

Complete 8 rounds of air squats performing 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 4 minutes. Rest period should be in the bottom of the squat position. Post total number of squats completed and also the reps per round. Score the lowest round amount for your tabata score.

After complete for time:

21 Burpees
42 AbMat Sit-ups
15 Burpees
30 AbMat Sit-ups
9 Burpees
18 AbMat Sit-ups


View this photo 

Day 45 of the Burpee Challenge and Christmas came early (or late). Today’s burpees counted! If you didn’t get in today then make sure to knock our your 45 burpees. It would suck to have to do 91 tomorrow.


Bottom-to-bottom rest position air squats are a different and sadistic take on tabata squats. Resting “in the hole” doesn’t give you much of a break. It makes your legs feel like they are on fire that you almost look forward to the 20 seconds of squats! They are also a great muscular endurance and leg conditioning drill. Which I am sure everyone was thinking of for those four minutes. We focused this week on the air squat in our “back to basics” warm-ups and this was the culmination of all the reinforcement this week. Next week will be a different basic movement.

For those trying to learn muscle-ups, here’s an old video with extremely loud tunes that has some good cues for how to develop one and how to hold a false grip. The false grip is vital as is the proper movement pattern that the rings must take as you pull up and punch the head through. If you don’t have a minimum of 5 ring dips and 5 solid pull-ups then practice those while also working in ring muscle-up progressions with your feet on the ground. We’ll show you but you have to commit to practicing the basics, and we will blast really loud music for you.


Affiliate team training at 9am. 10am class has 6 people so far. 2 more can sign up by posting to comments. 11am is 4 people so there is plenty of room there. 

Oly lifting coaching session (see yesterday’s post for details) has 5 open spots. Cost is $75 for 1/16 at 3:30pm at Thrush Sports Performance Center. Post to comments if you want to go.

CrossFit got some good local press on Fox news. Thanks to Nan for sending this link. Click here to read the article and watch the video below of the news reporter that dropped into Northwest CrossFit.



For Time:

1000m Row 
50 Thrusters (45#/33#)
30 Pull-ups


View this photo

Day 44 of the Burpee Challenge. As I type this I realized that I forgot to finish them at the gym. Be right back…

…and done! Whew! Only 6 days to go.

The night crew getting really serious about this WOD:

Pre WOD Preparation

Goof Offs

Who likes Jackie? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller? This one looks easy to some before trying it that first time and then you get off the rower and realize right then that the Earth isn’t flat and the moon isn’t made of cheese. The forearm burn from this one is similar to Fran and even Bridget got the dreaded “Fran cough” afterwards. Which also reminds me that Jim C. sent something he found on the forum regarding the cough that was pretty interesting. To counter that post super-intense WOD cough, try to continue right after the WOD to move and work at a mild intensity to decrease the effect. Do some sit-ups or squats or jog a 200m if you can summon the willpower. I’ll try it next time so I don’t hack like a smoker.

Here’s a video on “Jackie” of some of the CrossFit HQ Training Staff vs. Greg Amundson AKA the “Original CrossFitter”:

[wmv] [mov]

Oh and if you think you need a rest day, then you probably need a rest day. That’s a future topic to address but rest and recovery is as important as intense training and nutrition. Overtraining will get you nowhere fast.


Post to comments if you are attending the 10am or 11am Saturday class. First 8 fills the 10am. For the Affiliate team plan to come Saturday at 9am.

Do you want to get better at Olympic Lifting? We are able to get 12 people into a hour and half session at Thrush Sports Performance Center in Sumner WA on January 16th at 3:30pm. TSPC is a first class Olympic Lifting gym that has hosted basic clinics for CrossFitters on ways to improve their O Lifts. The session will be led by John Thrush and his staff and focus on the various cleans, front squat, jerk and snatch and correcting form. Both Michelle and I have been able to attend and felt the instruction was beneficial and translated to better technique. Cost is $75 per person payable to them. There are only 6 spots left so post to comments if you are attending. Six spots have been filled by our affiliate team already (Lucy, Lorri, Travis, Curtis, Jeremy, and Jim C.) so let us know if you want in for sure.

Shirts are in so if you ordered them come get them. If you want one and missed out we will be submitting an order for more shirts with the Brutal Fun design and including hoodies and thermals. We also have some extra “Squatch Swing” shirts from this order.

Bonnie has volunteered to be our Affiliate Team “Mom” or “Pit Crew” for the upcoming sectionals. She will be using my spectator spot. If you are planning to compete be sure to thank her for being willing to put up with all of us b*tching and moaning about two days of WOD’s! Also if you are registered but are not using your free spectator spot please let us know.

Happy New Year! Now write your goals!

Day 38 of the Burpee Challenge. Happy New Year!

Do your burpees and then stretch.


New Year’s Resolutions:

It’s that time. The start of a new year. The time when most of us vow to do something we have put off, something we have always wanted to do or talked about doing. It’s that time when hope is eternal and the possibilities of the coming year are filling our minds of ideas and goals we want to achieve. It’s the time of the resolution. I have to say I personally am not one for New Year’s resolutions as I think when its time to set a goal you should set it and start marching towards it rather than waiting year after year. 3-2-1 Go or Just Do It seem to make much more sense to me. However not everything in today’s world is instant, most things take time, a plan, and a path. They take commitment and hard work and dedication. For that I say the New Year’s Resolution is perfect. 

So what are your goals for the gym? Is it losing weight, changing your nutrition habits, running a race, getting a muscle-up or pull-up, or competing in an event? Is it completing a WOD as RX’d, setting a PR, lifting a certain weight or learning that long sought after movement or technique? Maybe you want to get on the Leaderboard, or best a time in something you did before or learn a new sport or get better in one you play now. Well, now is the time to commit to it. Write it (or them) down. Either in your book at the gym or on the goals board. Writing your goals down means you have to either start to work towards them, erase them, or stare at them all year. Take the first step and write them down, no matter how ambitious, then make sure you keep coming in and let’s get you closer to crossing each one off. 

Here are some of mine for this year: get out on a snowboard, run a half, PR a 5k, compete in the Sectionals, field and compete with our team for the Regionals, get 30 muscle-ups for time in under 5:29, beat Michelle in max consecutive double-unders, get a CF Gymnastics certification, break a 1000 for my CrossFit Total, PR my deadlift, and most importantly continue to grow our box, have fun and watch this community get fitter and fitter. Now its your turn, if you have any you want to declare then post to comments. 


Here is a CF Journal preview video of Mikko Salo documentary where he is training and completing Chest to Bar “Fran”. This workout was one of the 2008 Games WOD’s. It was 95# thrusters and chest to bar pull-ups (21-15-9 reps each). He does this in a mind blowing time that is faster than most of the fastest Fran times (which is normally regular pull-ups). Note how clean his reps are and how consistent his form is. What’s more amazing is at the end he not only doesn’t seem winded, but two of the reps were not counted and he had to repeat them. I can truly understand how he won the 2009 Games. He exudes willpower.

[wmv] [mov]

Cleaning Crew

Strength WOD:  
Power Clean

Immediately after perform the following couplet.

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) in 10 minutes of:
5 Power Clean (95#/65#)
50m Sprints


View this photo

Day 2 of the Burpee Challenge!

Power = Moving a large load over a set distance fast. The power clean is a speed, power, flexibility and strength movement. The faster, stretchier (is that a word?), and stronger you are the more you will pull. Remember the three pulls: the 1st pull of the ground (deadlift), the 2nd pull up and back (up shrug close to the body with full hip extension), and the 3rd pull under the bar (fast elbows and rip yourself underneath). Lots of improvement today and fast and flexible elbows are showing up. Think big shrug and aggressive pull. Check out the Flickr album for some good pics from today.

Jim C. attempting 235# and then dumping with authority:

Jim C_235# PC Attempt
Dumping with Style

Flickr Album of today’s WOD:


Here’s a good video on The Power Clean by Again Faster. It has an alternate take on the set position. I am okay if you use that more upright and deeper setup but realize it will require more hamstring flexibility. If you can do it let’s try and see if it works better. For those who will be training as our Affiliate Cup Team consider this video part of your homework. Pay particular attention to the shrug and elbows portion.  

Last pic (cause its my fave of the day) is Fran feeling the pride of reaching a PR (Personal Record). It’s satisfying when you accomplish something you either set a goal for, or had not thought that you would be able to do. While we do accomplish these frequently in CrossFit, no matter how big or small every PR feels great. So here is my challenge to you. Pick a goal. Big or small, write it in your notebooks or grab a marker and write it on the Goals Whiteboard on the door. Put a date next to it. Then work on it. If you work hard enough it will happen, and you’ll get that same feeling.

Fran post PR

Evidence Based Fitness: Before and After

Today’s post is simply to show the evidence of CrossFit. Several of you have asked us if we ever used to be less fit or out of shape. Both Michelle and I have always been up front and honest that prior to CrossFit we had never been as fit, certainly never as lean, and definitely never as strong. 

Here are some “before CF” and “after CF” pictures of us:

2003 (CrossFat!):

Michelle Maui 09-03 Me Maui 09-03

2007 (6 months into CF):

M Sac Visit 07-07 Me Sac Visit 07-07

CrossFit Kauai 02-08
2009 (CrossFit and Paleo influenced diet):

Cabo M_08-09 copy Deadlift and Box Jump AMRAP - 09

At various times throughout my life I have been in different stages of what I termed “in shape” and “out of shape”. The funny thing is I used to think “in shape” was merely defined by striving to look like I could be in a Men’s Fitness magazine. I never achieved it. I would spend hours in the gym or out running, cycle through various ups and downs in my diet and still have little to show for it. My intensity was low, my consistency of mixing it up was non-existent, and my diet was what the “experts” said was healthy. I went through the same routine week in and week out. I would focus on bodybuilding goals to measure myself like how much I could bench or curl. I was consumed with “burning calories” and certainly never consistently stopped to really consider quality of food over quantity. I would gauge my fitness both in the Army and post-Army life by how many push-ups I could do or how fast I could run 2 miles. When I ran I would look at my watch for the magic “20 minute mark” and think “now I am burning fat!”.  To mix it up I would occasionally run longer, do a different machine or take a spin class. I thought I was on the path to fitness. How wrong I was. 

When we were introduced to CrossFit over two years ago, we really had no clue how fundamentally life changing it would be for both of us. It turned our definition of “fitness” upside down. It made us throw the term “in shape” out of our vocabulary and allowed us to realize that we could be “fit” in the truest sense of the word. Over this time we both have not only lost weight, but have gained in all areas of strength, stamina, speed, power, balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, accuracy and cardio-respiratory endurance. We have gone from wanting to be fit to having a passion for fitness. We have finally begun to realize the impacts that proper nutrition, rest, and intense exercise has on the body, health, mind, and family. Both of us are now stronger physically and mentally than we were prior to CrossFit. The purpose of fitness is beyond fitting into smaller jeans or looking good for the beach, its purpose is to allow you to be ready for any physical challenge, sport or unknown, to be there for your kids, to enjoy life more fully, and to postpone the old folks home. 

We have learned a lot along the way, but most importantly for us is that you have to have frequency, consistency AND intensity. 

  • Frequency is the intervals of showing up for the workout or how often you eat right. Day after day, week in and week out. 
  • Consistency is how firm or steadfast you are with putting out the effort. How consistently you mix it up, or train your weaknesses to get better. Do you show up for the WOD and give it all you got or do you mail it in? Do you consistently stick with the right food choices or do you realize that every other meal you get lax and eat and drink the wrong things and negate the effort you put in? Do you consistently get out of your comfort zone and focus on your weaknesses? Be it strength, cardio, agility or flexibility, are you willing to train those aspects you are deficient in? 
  • Intensity is defined as extreme power, force or feeling. Everyone has their own level of it. The bottom line though is for results, you have to bring it. You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Each WOD you will experience this. Over time you can continue to dial it up and thus your fitness will improve.

CrossFit has changed our lives. It redefined “going to gym”, got us in the best shape we have ever been in, opened up a new community to us, made nutrition a lifestyle and not a fad, and brought us closer together. Will we ever truly forge “elite” fitness? Maybe or maybe not, but I know it’s out there if we want it. As long as we are willing to train hard, eat right, and do it with frequency, consistency, and intensity. Simply put, it works for us. 

We are thankful that you allow us to share it with you.


Here’s a thought provoking video from the CF Journal on the keys to the importance of regulating insulin in your blood and how diet plays a role:

Hyperinsulinism and Diet with Robb Wolf – CrossFit Journal 

Project Runway

For Time:

Load truck with 98 pavers and 7 40lb. sandbags
Race home
Unload truck
Race back to Lowe’s to avoid extra rental charges

Then in teams of 2-3:
Dig up plants and 100 square feet of dirt
Level with sand and dirt
Place 98 Pavers
Drink Corona
Have Michelle look and decide they need to be adjusted
Re-Place half of above pavers
Yell and scream
Call it good
Clean up
Call time

Our “Runway” is 99% complete. We will finish in time for class on Monday. Enjoy the sun and warm weather! (Special thanks to Justin, Jim, and Curtis for their help today)

Project Runway

I recently coached a client on Pose running technique as she was beginning her training program last month for her first half marathon. In a little over an hour we went from heel striking, slow short runs and ankle pain to a forward lean, forefoot strike, better form and faster runs. This video shows some slow motion highlights from her session:



"Jump Up, Jump Up, and Get Down"

3 Rounds for Time:

50 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
40 Kettlebell Swing (53#/35#)
30 AbMat Sit-ups
400m Run


Take your turn Leigh and Deb Swing
No we weren’t mad at you! Oh and it wasn’t just my idea to do this WOD. Despite Michelle telling you all it was my idea. Seriously this WOD was designed purposefully to train at high intensity in a longer time zone. They can’t all focus in that short sub 15 min. range. Think constantly varied. The other interesting thing we found is each of you had a different answer today on what was the toughest part of this WOD.
The 2:57 Fran video of Heather Keenan yesterday was pretty inspiring. It also helped one of you better visualize the kip. Well how about kipping 100 in a row? Sound insane? Impossible? Think again.
Watch Chris Spealler in the video: The Quest for 100 Pull-ups
Zach and Eli completed Elements this week and will be joining you all for classes. Make sure you welcome them and avoid the burpee penalty…

LuLuLemon Athletica Classes!
We will be the CrossFit “studio of the month” gym that will be holding free introductory CF workouts each Sunday in September for the Bellevue Square lululemon location! WOD’s will be on Sunday 9:30am every Sunday for September only and free to all. Please come support us! (Location will be the park across the street from the mall). We will post more details.

Mats and more equipment are on order! We will be outfitting the new space starting this weekend and next week to get ready for the big move.

Pose Method Running

Pose Method: Defined on as efficient, injury-free movement taught through poses. Use this technique to prevent injury and to dramatically improve athletic performance.
I have taken a Pose Running seminar before by Michael Collins. It drastically helped illustrate the effect of “heel striking” while you run and the toll it takes on the body. It also helped point out that the majority of running shoes on the market promote heel striking. Heck look at most running magazine pictures and they almost always are about to land heel way out front ahead of the body. Why is this important? What does this have to do with CrossFit?
In CrossFit we emphasize efficient movement that generates the most power. We want to produce as much work in as little time but do it so that we are leveraging technique, form, and intensity for greater output. If every time we take off on a 400m, 800m or longer run we strike the ground with our front foot in a position that acts as a “brake” on our body we are being inefficient. We are fighting our own momentum and potentially going to cause injury. 
Pose method running is a technique that emphasizes a few key points. 
  1. Proper body position (i.e. forward lean).
  2. Pulling the foot up at the heel under the hip, not kicking back or a big push off.
  3. Ball of your foot should land directly under your center of mass with each strike. 
Think of it as “falling forward” and taking advantage of gravity. Each foot lands under the hip and the steps are short and quick. Don’t land on your toes, land on the ball of your foot. Arms are tight and shoulders are loose. “Pose” as if you are in a controlled fall. When you run think of “pulling” your foot off the ground each time, not “pushing” your foot and body forward. Read more about Pose technique on the CrossFit Journal.
Ever notice when you run barefoot you really have no choice but to use this method? Give it a shot each time you run. We may also incorporate some drills into our movement prep. It will take some getting used to but it will make you a more efficient runner.
Typical running magazine photo on the left, Pose running on the right:
RunnersWorld_HeelStrike No heel strike
Nike Running Camp: If CrossFit makes this their running cert would you go? 


Be Careful What You Wish For…

because you just might get it.

For Time:
400m Run
50 Wallball (20#/14#)
25 Pull-ups
50 Kettlebell Swing (53#/36#)
25 Dumbbell Clean and Jerk (40#/25#)
50 Walking Lunges
25 Knees to Elbows
400m Run


So Deb S. has been asking for a “chipper” style WOD since we did the “Dirty Thirty”. Every time she comes in and sees the WOD it’s like “awww no chipper”. Some people like to just git ‘er done and move on. Deb is one of those people. So for Deb, we put this together. Hope ya liked it. If not, now you know who to blame…

Curtis mastering Knees to Elbows:
Curt K2E

A few milestones worth mentioning today:
Neil moved up to 20# wallballs, 44# kettlebells, and banded pull-ups.
Deb and Adriana moved to banded pull-ups.
Curtis back-to-back RX WOD’s.
Jim, Jana, and Lorri are more than halfway through Elements.
Our CF Games video the other day on Josh Everett deadlifting was strange timing. Today on the CrossFit Journal Games site they posted this video. Better quality, different perspective. Login, Watch and enjoy.

Monday nights are growing crowded! We may need to run two waves but we can accommodate. As for parking, please try to park a little further down from normal on the street at the 400m turnaround (the court where there are no houses built). This will proactively avoid any neighbor complaints if we have too many cars stacked outside our place. Run up to the gym and get your warm-up started early. 

    Membership Information Request

    Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Phone Number