Dropping In: A How-to Guide

Something on my to do list every time I travel, is to check out the local boxes and drop in while I am there. It wasn’t always this way. I was usually nervous. I didn’t know what to expect from a different box. What if it wasn’t like home? The great news is that almost every box I have been to likes hosting drop ins, but almost everyone has a different process for dropping in too. I am going to offer a few tips that have helped me along the way with having great experiences!

  1. Check the website for the gym. Look at pictures or their Facebook page to see what the culture of the box is like. I typically pick a box that matches how I feel we are at DCF. Friendly. Approachable. Funny T-shirts. Group photos and smiles are key for me.
  2. I look on the webpage for their drop in policy. Sometimes they want an email explaining how long you have doing CrossFit. (Tip: they usually want to know if you know how to scale yourself, love getting feedback and like to learn)
  3. I will try to arrive at least 15 min early for the class if I can’t reserve a spot online. That way I can see the space, hit the restroom, fill out the waiver, buy a T-shirt, pay the drop in fee, etc. 
  4. Be yourself. We have some of the friendliest people at our gym. So smile. Introduce yourself to the coach. Say hi to a few people and hand out some high fives. 

I hope you check out other boxes. If you are thinking about a particular place, it is possible one of our members or coaches have been there! We are part of a giant CrossFit community all over the world and we love seeing you out using your skills while you are away from us. Post your pictures while you are away and even tag us at @destinationcrossfitww so we can cheer you on from afar.

If you have other tips for dropping in feel free to comment and post! Also there was a great post in the CrossFit journal about dropping in. Here it is!

-Coach Nikki Sharp

Why Team Up?

This will be my fourth year doing the CrossFit team series. This year I am partnered up with Bryan Martin. We are team Shartin. He has kept me smiling in tough times and been the most loyal friend while I have been distracted. He reaches out to me to keep me laughing and believes I can do anything even when I fall short of my expectations.

The team series used to consist of 4 person teams and my first two years I had the same teammates. Over the course of four weeks I had a consistent time where I was pushing myself and my members of my team to go a little harder than usual. Our team didn't always get through every wod. Some of us (me) got stuck on muscle ups and without shame or blame my team constantly supported me in my attempts to get one for over 7 minutes. 

By doing the team series you may surprise yourself on wods. Two years ago, I lifted my max snatch weight multiple times in an effort to get as many done as possible in one of the workouts. Last year Coach Shane and I found that we sync up pretty well on pull-ups and burpees. Know yourself friends. As a cautionary tale please check yourself before you wreck yourself. I have had years where I have pushed myself, sometimes to injury. We would rather have you injury free than spending months recovering from an injury.

Here at DCF I have seen members on our Saturday partner day push themselves just that extra bit because they cared about their team doing well together. I have seen members check their ego and do the wod at a different level to make sure that everyone had an opportunity to join a wod. A wod calling for a team of 2 invited a third person without a pause. 

On September 9th we had a synchronized workout to represent that all of us have someone who we can reach out to when we need. I was moved when I saw people paired up with a new connection. Even members who usually work out on their own joined forces. It was awesome to see everyone working together and when they finished they wrote about what gives them strength.

I challenge you to do the team series. You all have that homie who you love to see when you come to class. That person who knows your goals and wants to help you get there. That friend you don't talk to as often as you used to. Reach out to them and ask for them to be your team mate. One of our primary values at DCF is about the connection to each other. Showing up just as you are. Where you are. 

Our plan is to put out the list of judges who can judge your wods this week. Wednesday is when the wods will be announced and we can do some more game planning that day depending on how many workouts we need to fit in. The next two weekends will be set up like our Friday night lights series and we also have partner wods on Saturdays. 

If you don't decide to do the team series you can show your support by cheering, maybe complete the judge course online, bring a treat to Friday night lights and encourage folks who participate along the way.

To register visit: https://games.crossfit.com/teamseries

-Coach Nikki Sharp

CrossFit Outside the Box

Why did we pick the name Destination CrossFit? Each of us on our team will have different answers and for good reason. Each of us have had different journeys that led us to CrossFit. Mine is varied. I have always loved group events. I loved going for a run with a friend or signing up for a bike ride. I also loved a challenge and walking into my first CrossFit home was indeed just that. 

Ask any of our members and you would all have a unique story of how you got into the door in the first place and took that first step. The investment in myself has transferred to my job satisfaction. My mindset has changed. Got a project? Give me a 9 minute amrap! Need to unplug after a stressful day? Get into the box shake off the day and get a good night sleep after. Need a hug of encouragement? It is there.  I have always seen CrossFit as a catalyst to my other endeavors and outside of the box activities. 

How has CrossFit helped you be different outside of the box?

-Coach Nikki Sharp

Know Thyself - Scaling Intensity


CrossFit: constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity. Intensity is one of the best things about CrossFit, taking us through the “Pain Cave” and out the other side, and bonding us to each other as we lay on the floor after a tough workout. As coaches, we try to push our athletes to higher levels of intensity. We talk quite a lot about scaling movements so that we can retain the stimulus that was intended in the WOD. But what about scaling intensity? “WHAT?!” you may be thinking, “Intensity equals results! The entire point of CrossFit is to be as intense as possible!” While this is true, I believe there are specific times when scaling intensity can be incredibly valuable for those who might be injured, sick, exhausted, or have chronic illnesses that flare up from time to time.

For example, I have Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disorder where my body doesn’t produce insulin. Because of that, my blood sugar is pretty difficult to manage. I plan my food intake and give myself insulin multiple times a day to keep my levels as stable as possible. But another thing that affects blood sugar and is much harder to calculate is stress, including the body’s stress response from an intense workout. Sometimes I start a WOD, and within 15 minutes my blood sugar skyrockets, leaving me lethargic, dehydrated, and groggy. Other days I come into the box and my blood sugar is already 2 or 3 times above normal. At these times I have a choice: I can throw in the towel and go home, or I can really listen to my body and scale my intensity accordingly. I like to say, “stress is stress,” whether it’s from problems at work, going on a trip, nerves before a competition, getting too little sleep, or doing an intense workout, and I have to manage my stress levels responsibly in order to take care of my mind and body.

There are other conditions that are affected by stress as well, such as thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, mental health issues and more. If you have any issues like this, I implore you to PAY ATTENTION to yourself, and scale accordingly. If your body is already operating on a high level of stress, I suggest that you still come to the box, move your body, and get that endorphin rush that comes with working out and hanging out with our great DCF members, but take ownership of yourself and let your coach know what’s going on. This may be one of the hardest and most humbling practices you do at CrossFit, to quiet your ego when everyone around you is blazing through a workout, and you’re taking it “easy,” but I’d rather have you healthier in the long run than at the top of the leaderboard today.

Obviously there is a fine line between taking it too easy and going too hard, and you’ve got to find your balance there. We coaches WANT intensity for our athletes, it is truly what builds positive results. We might keep yelling at you to push harder or to pick up that barbell, but I want each of you to remember that YOU are responsible for YOU, nobody else is. Own yourself, protect yourself, and empower yourself. If your body or mind needs it, scale your intensity. I’m in this for the long haul, and I want you to be too.

-Coach Sonja Rootvik



A habit, in which I haven’t reflected upon once in my relationship with my husband, has been subtly present in a big way since the beginning of our sweaty-palmed-and-awkward-first-kiss relationship. I recently was asked “what is it like to work out with your partner?” Seeing as this isn’t very arduous nor should the answer be too ornate, I figured I could bust this out in a matter of an hour. It’s been two weeks. Day 9 and this is as far as I’ve gotten. So, like most things that frustrate me (like the grocery store) I made a list. Then, unlike my grocery list, I organized it into some budding and immature looking outline. Rehearsed it to myself, trying to find main points and captivating information within the content. And threw it away.  Now I am writing this, hoping that I can accurately tell you just how amazing it really is (already using poor grammar…”amazing?” a cannoli is “amazing”...) to work out with my husband, Gavin. 

Gavin is an aristocrat that contributes principle to my life:

  • He is humbling.
  • He is also an incredible athlete. (AKA competitive)
  • I like to beat him. (which I do….at body weight things)
  • He challenges most everything I say or think.
  • He makes me feel incredibly confident about myself and question my purpose in life, all in the same simple sentence.

These are attributes of a WOD:

  • WOD’s are humbling.
  • They are incredibly challenging.
  • I like beating them.
  • They challenge my thoughts.
  • They make me incredibly confident and question my purpose in life all in the same WOD.

I like combining CrossFit and my relationship with Gavin because doing CrossFit was the first time that Gavin saw me be truly vulnerable in our relationship. Our first workout (a few days before our first date) I was tomato-faced, dry-heaving, sweat drenched and tired. I was finally weak, tired, and felt inadequate in front of him. Insecurity flooded my thoughts and he met me with nothing but kindness and encouragement. Fast-forward 2 years and I’m pursuing a very intentional path in CrossFit; helping Gavin program and phase his workouts, coaching him through some of the more difficult tasks or movements and getting him through his goals.

Our journey to make fitness a lifestyle set off our relationship in a bond that involved much more companionship than it did just “appeal.” That’s not to say that if either of us got sick or hurt that we would leave the other in the dust or our relationship would crumble. More so, we both see what exercise, eating well and pursuing our “best selves” has done to each of us on an emotional, physical and psychological scale. Having a partner as intimate and invested in my life and well-being as Gavin has kept me true to my performance and principles, and offers a level of encouragement that comes from being a partner and a trustworthy coach in this journey that sometimes “sucks really, really badly.”

Sometimes I feel like we are “that couple.” We get all suited up in our knee sleeves and belts and wodies or whatever they’re called. We always have a propane tank of a water bottle, we time our meals perfectly according to our WOD times. We do too long of warm ups sometimes in preparation for about an hour of our time. We make the homemade protein bars that have the macros calculated out of them. We get weirdly disciplined about our sleep sometimes and commonly talk about how much we need to mobilize. Ultimately, it comes from having passion. Before you go agreeing and pointing fingers, I know many of you are weird like this too! If you’re alone, I applaud you, because being “CrossFit weird” is ten times easier when you have the social support of a partner or husband.

If working out with your partner has taught me anything, it’s to accept challenges in my marriage and not cower at the endless possibilities of catastrophe. Working out with Gavin has taught me to appreciate the growing pains and to know that they will make you better versions of what you already have or already are today. 

-Coach Lindsey Guard

Lindsey and Gavin will be moving away next month to start new adventures outside the Walla Walla Valley. The DCF coaches and members will miss them, their spirit, and their contributions to our box greatly. We wish them the best of luck, and if you'd like to follow them on their journey, be sure to follow their blog, On Guard.

The Lowdown on Open Gym


We at DCF are passionate about coaching and being on your team. We love our group classes and are constantly working to help cover all of the health and fitness "bases" but some of our athletes still want more, and that is why Open Gym was created!

Posted Open Gym hours are weekdays from 6:30pm-7:30pm and Saturday morning from 9:00am-10:30am.  We want to make sure all of our members have the space and time to pursue and tackle weaknesses. Open Gym is a time for us to come together and support each other as we do that.

We have been adding equipment and now have a designated space for Open Gym, because we want you to be able to train for your next competition, get stronger and work on technique. Open Gym members will need to sign in to class as usual please. Take the time to speak with the coach of the hour and communicate the skill or program you are working on so they are able to assist in any way. 

Open Gym is flexible in regards to begin and end times, but the coach may have to actively coordinate your training a bit in the interest of using the space well. The regularly scheduled group CrossFit classes will always take precedence in regards to equipment and space usage, so please be conscientious of that in your planning.


  1. Open Gym members may work out in the designated area during any class times as space and equipment permits, or during posted open gym hours.
  2. If the class is large, please choose a different time or a different workout to adjust to needs of the group class.
  3. If you are working out during a class please be respectful of the coach on duty and their class. Do not drop barbells or make noise that would distract members or interfere with coaches while they are teaching movements, explaining workouts, etc.
  4. Open gym is not a coached session but there will be a coach on the premises at all times.
  5. Please respect our gym closing times.  Our coach’s time is valuable, just like yours.
  6. Coaches always have priority to use of the stereo, clock and equipment for their classes.
  7. The coach on duty has the right to stop any activity at any time.
  8. Practice clear and kind communication to members and coaches at all times. The coach's rule is law so please be respectful of that.
  9. Please keep the area clean and organized, and put away your equipment before you leave.

A Day in Macros

What are macros anyway? Many of you have probably heard about them, especially in the fitness world. There are 3 macronutrients (macros) that make up most of our food: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. Some people keep track of their macro intake in grams to reach certain body composition goals, to improve their knowledge of portion size, or to make sure they are getting the right balance of foods in their diet for optimum health and performance. Macronutrients affect many processes in our body including the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients, hormone production, immune system health, cell structure and function, body composition, metabolic function, energy levels and much more.[1]  Each meal you consume should include a balance of the 3 macronutrients, whether you are tracking or not, because they all work in conjunction with one another! The ideal ratio (% or grams) of each macro will depend on your body type, weight, genetics, activity level and food preferences.

Why count macros?  Well, if you find that your body composition isn’t where you want it to be, or your progress is stagnant no matter how much you work out, then maybe your macro balance is off, and a simple adjustment or awareness to what you are fueling your body with could help!  I started counting macros because I wanted to see how it would affect my training, energy levels, injury prevention and recovery time after workouts.  Counting macros is definitely not for everyone. It requires a ton of work, dedication, patience, preparation, and math, but it works for me and I have seen many benefits from doing it.  Counting macros opened my eyes to much more than just the types of foods I am eating.  It showed me proper portion sizes, mindfulness, preparation skills and flexibility with my food choices.  It also brought an awareness to what foods I was overeating or under eating.  Coming from a strict paleo diet (which I still think has many great principles) I found that I was missing important food groups that are high in fiber and help with digestion, like whole grains, and the vitamins and probiotics found in some dairy.  I was overeating fats by huge quantities because I assumed that if they were healthy foods I could consume as much as I wanted – nuts, nut butters, and paleo 'treats' were my biggest pitfall – they were just so delicious. Over consumption of any one thing, even healthy or natural foods, can contribute to a nutritional imbalance, and a lack of ideal body composition and progress.

Now that I have a better understanding of foods and macro balance, I am much more flexible with my diet, and I do not have to exclude any specific food groups.  There is no more guilt associated with eating certain foods that were previously ‘off limits’.  Now I can enjoy my dad’s Italian risotto, have oatmeal for my pre-workout, or enjoy pancakes on the weekends...because pancakes!! 

The majority of my meals include lean proteins (chicken, turkey, white fish, prawns, eggs) non-starchy vegetables, fruits, minimally processed and mostly gluten-free grains, healthy fats, and a little bit of dairy.  I cook most of my meals at home so I know exactly what is in them, which eliminates the guessing game, but I make sure to go out occasionally and have date nights with my boyfriend or brunch with my friends, because you have to enjoy life too!   I make room for dessert most nights because I have a sweet tooth and I know that making it fit my macros is better than restricting and then ultimately losing control and overeating some day because of the deprivation I created.  If someone were to tell me I had to go the rest of my life without eating a cookie from the Colville Street Patisserie or a cinnamon roll from Bacon & Eggs, I know I wouldn’t be able to sustain that, so a diet recommendation like that would never work for me in the long run and I would fail. Nobody likes the feeling of failure and it can create a vicious cycle that negatively impacts your health and mindset.  To make sure I have a plan I can stick to, succeed with, and follow indefinitely, I am not going to deprive myself of those things; I just work them in a few times each month and am satisfied and happy.  It’s all about creating a balance that works for you, but the focus is still on eating mostly nutritious, whole, and unprocessed foods.  This method of creating balance without excluding specific foods is also known as ‘flexible dieting’. I read something in a book called The Lean Muscle Diet recently that made sense to me regarding balancing foods.  “A quality diet looks like this: 80% whole and minimally processed foods you like, 10% whole and minimally processed foods you don’t necessarily like, but don’t hate, and 10% whatever you want –pure junky goodness.”[2]

Since I get asked so often what I eat and how I make it all fit, I thought it would be fun to show everyone a typical day in macros for me, using photos.  I talk a little bit about each meal in the notes, and what substitutions or products I use to get it to work for my numbers.  I chose a day that used mostly simple meals rather than some of the elaborate meal prepping recipes I make, to show how you can take what you may have in your fridge or pantry and create something exciting and tasty.  If you are eating plain chicken and plain veggies every day, you are going to get bored really quick. Keeping things varied and interesting is the key to success, just like in our CrossFit workouts!  Another key to success in any nutrition plan is consistency, not perfection.

And now for the food...enjoy!  Coach Amy Locati

From largest photo clockwise: Breakfast, Mid-morning snack, Lunch, Pre-Workout snack, Dinner, Dessert.

From largest photo clockwise: Breakfast, Mid-morning snack, Lunch, Pre-Workout snack, Dinner, Dessert.

Current Daily Macros – 115P, 165C, 48F  25g Fiber                                          

Breakfast 7:00-8:00am 15.5P, 17.9C, 5.2F

Egg white scramble with red and green bell peppers, sweet onions, green onions, fresh parsley and salsa verde.  Beverages include a coconut-lime kombucha and black coffee. 

A decent amount of protein is good after your nightly fast (sleeping) to get your metabolism going and keep you full and satiated until your next meal, so I usually make a scramble each morning. Since I work out in the evenings I add non-starchy Carbs like colorful veggies so that I can place my starchier Carbs closer to my workout times to get the most out of them.

snack 11:00-11:30am 14.1P, 15.7C, 0.3F

Siggi’s Dairy Vanilla Bean Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) with raspberries. 

I like Siggi’s brand yogurt because it is high in protein and doesn’t contain any weird ingredients or refined sugars. I choose raspberries most often because they are one of the highest in fiber content per serving as far as fruit goes.  Occasionally I will sprinkle Kashi Go Lean cereal on the top for added crunch and fiber content. I try to rotate my fruits so I am not always eating the same things, but berries are what I focus on because of all the great anti-oxidants.

Lunch 1:00-1:30pm 35.9P, 30.3C, 12.1F  

Slow Cooker Adobo Chicken from SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow Cookbook

I meal prep a lot of recipes from the SkinnyTaste cookbooks and blog because all the nutritional information and macros are listed, so I can flip through and find what meals work for me.  I added a side of brown rice with cilantro, and some pan roasted Brussel sprouts to ensure I have a nice balance of Protein, Carb, and Fat.

Pre-workout 3:30-4:00pm 10.3P, 34.2C, 10.1F  

Gluten Free Quick Oats with PB2, Banana, Pecans and Cinnamon

I use PB2 (powdered peanut butter) because it has about 85% less fat than regular nut butters, that way I can still enjoy one of my favorite things without blowing all my fats in one meal. The banana and oats give me great energy for my workout and are slow digesting, keeping me full until dinner time.  Pecans are high in Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, and cinnamon adds a nice spice and contains great anti-inflammatory properties.

Dinner 7:30-8:00pm 30P, 29.9C, 7.3F

Wild-caught Atlantic Cod, Sautéed Sweet Potato, and Roasted Beet Salad with red onions, oranges, baby kale, blue cheese and lemon squeezed over the top.    

Wild-Caught fish is a great lean protein and a healthy source of Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins such as B-12. Some cod can have high levels of sodium, so always look for wild-caught, and read your nutritional labels if buying frozen.  Yams or sweet potatoes are a good starchy Carb to eat post workout to replace muscle glycogen and enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into cells.[3] The salad gives a nice balance of micronutrients. Each vegetable and fruit brings different nutrients with it, so variety (and color) is key to ensuring all types of vitamins and minerals are consumed.

Dessert 9:00pm 13.1P, 36.7C, 11.8F

Homemade Black Bean Brownie, PB2 and Vanilla Bean Halo Top Ice Cream

The black bean brownies are from a recipe I adapted from a blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. She creates some healthier versions of treats and lists out the nutritional information for each recipe online, but I often still modify the recipes a bit to make them work for me.  I try to consume any sweets or treats at the end of the day so I have something to look forward to, and only if I earned them (worked out). This also helps me from caving in to other temptations throughout the day because I know it is waiting for me later. I like Halo Top ice cream because it has a higher protein/lower fat/lower sugar content than most ice creams, but I am mindful to stick to 1 serving of 66g (about a half cup). Treats should always be consumed in moderation and only after getting the most nutritious foods in first.

Want to learn more about proper nutrition or how to use it to reach your goals?  Check out our nutrition coaching program here!

Disclaimer:  My macro numbers are individualized based on my body type, weight, goals and activity level.  They will likely not be suitable for anyone else. My macro numbers have been revised 5-6 times in the past 6 months by my coach (yes I have a coach too!) as my body, weight and training have evolved and changed. I mention this just to show that there is no single method or number that always works indefinitely – change is constant. I aim for +/- 5g of Protein and Carb and +/- 2g Fat when trying to hit my numbers each day.

[1] Berardi, John M. The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Second ed. N.p., 2016. Print.

[2] Schuler, Lou, and Alan Aragon. The Lean Muscle Diet. New York: Rodale, 2015. Print.

[3] Berardi, John M. "All About Post-Workout Nutrition." Precision Nutrition. N.p., 05 July 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017. <http://www.precisionnutrition.com/about-post-workout-nutrition>.



The F Word !?!

I’d like to weigh in on a word and certainly an emotion in which we can all readily identify….

FEAR – As defined by Webster’s dictionary; An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain. I would like to share a little bit of perspective on fear. I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about fear during my struggles with substance abuse, PTSD from my time in the Marine Corps, competing in MMA as well as my time spent in CrossFit. I began to ponder whether fear itself was real. Why do we have fear? Why is it so crippling and yet can be the motivating factor to the very freedom in which we are seeking?

Is fear real? The short answer is no. Fear is a response in our body to a perceived danger in our environment. However, danger is real. Fear primes you to react in the most efficient way possible for survival. Most who struggle with pervasive fear have encountered a dangerous or near-lethal event(s) in which fear saved their life. In this context, is it any wonder that people lean towards cautious trepidation when sensing danger? Absolutely not, and I would tell you that your experience is valid, understandable and pretty normal. You can, however, get stuck behind the “what if ” wall; What if I go to the gym and people make fun of me? What if I start going to school and end up having to drop out? What if I run in this race and everybody is faster than me? What if I get knocked out, what if I fail, what if I fall, what if they beat me? These are examples of a few of mine, believe me, the list is much longer than this. Letting fear run your life may lead to further disappointment, isolation, loneliness and disconnection. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. The saying, “those who believe they can and those who believe they can’t are usually right” is spot on.  So then the question becomes, how do we overcome fear and how do we use it to become the truest, best form of who we can be?

What does it take to begin breaking the cycle? While everyone is different, a great place to start is to make up your mind. Just decide. Make a public or private declaration. Whatever it is you want to do, your goals, your dreams, your life and your passion, commit to that action. You can figure out the details along the way because there will never be that perfect moment to act. Once you decide, you need to understand that you are going to fail at times. This doesn’t make you a failure, this gives you experience. Nobody ever achieved great feats in their life and did it without fear or failure. Don’t be afraid to fail, you can’t always win but you must engage in your life and take the good with the bad; use that to build upon yourself. When you decide to say yes to your life, you need a positive support system. This can come from anywhere, but a practical place to start is most certainly CrossFit.

CrossFit teaches many life lessons. It presents friends, knowledge, and challenges in a safe environment, in which you can become the best version of yourselves. I’ve seen countless people use the gym, myself included, to begin applying the principles of CrossFit to life. Stepping up to that bar, knowing you may fail, but if you do, that’s your current limit and now you can begin fighting to expand that capacity. Looking over at your friend during a workout but continuing on because you know if they can keep going, so can you. Putting in for that new job, knowing you may not get it this time but still having the confidence to put yourself in the arena. In those moments when you achieve the goals you set, whether inside the gym or out, they become beautiful moments in the pursuit to establish your foundation of a better, more fulfilled life.

Maybe you’ve signed up for The CrossFit Games Open, maybe you haven’t.  Maybe you want to switch your career or take that next step into the unknown. Whatever it is, decide, declare your intention and allow your friends and family to help support your goals in any way possible. Don’t let fear stand in your way. You will learn as much from your failures as you will in your successes.

Last, I would encourage everyone to build a social, emotional and physical support system. Life can be scary and less fulfilling when living it alone or in isolation. Destination CrossFit isn’t just a gym, it is a family that supports, loves and pushes one another to be the very best versions of themselves. The women here are among the strongest I’ve ever seen, always willing to build one another up, same goes for the men. We always welcome and encourage everyone to join our family. You can count on us to push you and be there through the good times and the bad, it’s what we do and we most certainly love what we do!  

I will end with this quote from Marianne Williamson - “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. It is not just in some of us it is in all of us. When we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others the permission to do the same. We are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Coach Brandon Spangler

Maximizing your Potential in the CrossFit Open

It’s that time of year again. What every CrossFitter trains and prepares all year for; the CrossFit Open. It’s the ultimate and most universal test of fitness and should be regarded as a useful tool for us athletes to track our progress.

Here are some ways in which you can make the most out of your 2017 CrossFit Open experience. Take some time to review these topics and implement them into your quest to conquer the Open.

Recovery is Paramount

It is likely that you’ll reach new levels of mental and physical distress when completing these workouts. As you may know, sleep has numerous acute and long-term effects. If you want to prepare yourself for the Open workouts and recover quick enough to hit it a second time, then you need to prioritize sleep. That means at least 8 hours. If your body says it needs 10, then give it 10. I know most people have a full-time job and kids, so power naps (15-30 minutes) can prove effective also. Look at your sleep hygiene as well to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sleep.

What other aspects of recovery should we as athletes be considering? Of course, I believe mobilizing before and after your workouts is always an effective habit to practice. Prepare your tissues and joints before your workout by utilizing some active distracted stretches. Target the movements and areas that are specific to the workout. After your workout, use some soft-tissue manipulation to address those taxed muscles and fascial elements.

“What does this all mean Gavin?” Good question! Let’s take the 16.1 Open Workout for example: 20 min AMRAP of 25 ft. walking overhead lunge, 8 barbell facing burpees, 25 ft. walking overhead lunge, 8 chest-to-bar. Before this workout, I would prioritize my overhead position, using some distracted overhead stretches to prepare my shoulders. I might add in some stability drills such as bottom-up kettlebell presses to target the rotator cuff muscles supporting my shoulder joint. After my workout, my glutes have probably been to hell and back. Accordingly, I might focus on some soft-tissue work on my high hamstrings and low glutes as well as some active distracted posterior chain stretches. As always, I invite you to come to our mobility classes to learn more about these techniques.

Nonetheless, make sure you do a 10-minute cool down after your workout. Don’t be that guy/gal that lies on the ground for 5 minutes tossing and turning in agony. Get up and walk around, get on the bike, row for a little while in order to flush your body of all those metabolic toxins that built up during the workout.


As always, you can’t reach peak performance without proper nutrition. There is a reason that nutrition is at the base of the pyramid for CrossFit performance. Greg Glassman (the founder and CEO of CrossFit) knew that nutrition was vital for athletic performance. Check out the Zone Diet protocol if you don’t know where to start of consult with Coach Amy to get a better understanding of nutrition’s impact on your performance and what you can do to optimize your athletic potential.

Planning Your Training Week

Here is how I would plan my week for the next five weeks during the CrossFit Open season.

I would try to perform the Open Workout during the time I usually workout. If I usually workout at 5:30 pm and try to do the Open workout at 6:30 am, my central nervous system (CNS) is not going to be primed nor ready for optimal performance.

The workouts get announced Thursday evening and scores have to be submitted Monday evening. The CrossFit Open is like the in-season competition for the majority of us. Therefore, I would recommend changing your training week accordingly.

On Thursday, I would perform a workout that is general and won’t cause any soreness. Something like rowing and bodyweight movements would be perfect for this type of workout. On Friday, I would hit the workout with everything you have, assuming you’re not going to do it again to try to get a better score. Subsequently, Saturday becomes an active recovery day and/or skills and drills day where you practice on those movements of the workout that need some refinement. Monday you can try the workout again. Tuesday is a full rest day and is followed by a normal training day on Wednesday. This completes the full weekly cycle.

Some More Tips:

Don’t be cold! You should be shooting for at least a 30-minute warmup consisting of some mobility/ dynamic stretches, general warm up, specific warmup, and skill work.

Drink up! You should be drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water per day (e.g. if I weight 200 lbs., then I will drink 100 ounces of water per day). Check out hydration methods here to learn more.

Get tough! CrossFit forges not only elite performance but also mental toughness. These workouts will test your ability to grind it out. Prepare yourself by taking some time to meditate. Visualize yourself completing the workout; realizing the physical pain you will be in but picture yourself giving your 110% until the buzzer sounds off.

Reach new heights by implementing some of these strategies. Give it everything you have and realize your goals and potential this year in the 2017 CrossFit Open.

By Coach Gavin Guard


Works Cited
Fullagar, Hugh HK, et al. "Sleep and athletic performance: the effects of sleep loss on exercise performance, and physiological and cognitive responses to exercise." Sports medicine 45.2 (2015): 161-186.
Takahashi, Masaya. "The role of prescribed napping in sleep medicine." Sleep medicine reviews 7.3 (2003): 227-235.

Goal Setting: How to set yourself up for success!

Did you know that people who write down their goals are 5 to 10 times more likely to achieve them? 

A new month is approaching, so grab a piece of paper or a journal and write down some goals for the month of February. Create your own monthly challenge! Your goals can be anything you want them to be: a new CrossFit PR, a change in your nutrition, something to improve your quality of life or peace of mind; maybe a combination of all those things. 

Here's what to do:

1. Choose a few goals for the month.

2. Make sure your goals are specific and measurable.

3. Write down why you want to make this happen. Knowing your ‘why’ or the driving force behind choosing those goals will make them more clear and specific. 

4. Write down 3-5 action steps you will make towards reaching those goals. What is something you can start today? What is something you can work up to for next week? What are the things you will not let stand in your way? 

Revisit the things you wrote down each day this month and hold yourself accountable to making them happen. You are welcome to share them with us too if it helps you with accountability. Good luck!

By Coach Amy Locati