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The second week of the 2023 CrossFit Games Open is here and for the first time ever in this stage of the competition, we’ll be running!

Why are we running and doing burpees, you ask? Because at my gym I programmed shuttle sprints two days ago and burpees today. (ha!)

In Colorado, this winter has been *FREEZING* so not a lot of people have been running. The fact that runs are only 25ft will encourage a lot of athletes start running way too fast, but remember that you need to run TWENTY intervals at a time. The requirement of touching the ground also means that athletes are going to be bending and standing a lot. Try your best not to twist every time and instead square up your hips and shoulders prior to pushing off and heading in the other direction. Make sure your shoulders stay loose during the run, since a lot of people shrug when they run tired.

For Burpee Pull-Ups, ask yourself which variation will allow you to keep moving for as long as possible. If the jump back + jump up Burpee plus a powerful vertical jump right into a Pull-Up works when you’re fresh, are you going to need to change that technique drastically once you start to fatigue? This is not going to be a 15-minute sprint for most people so don’t start off sprinting if you’ll have 8 minutes of suffering on the back end.

I encourage athletes to build up to a heavy, but not 1RM Thruster during warm-up to use as a gauge on where you hope to get during Part B. View this like an Olympic Weightlifting meet where you only expect to get THREE attempts. The first weight should be one that you KNOW you can hit when you’re tired and out of breath to “get on the board.” The second attempt can be a challenging weight that you’re confident you can still hit after that first attempt. Based on how much time is left, gear up for a really challenging final attempt that you take with less than 15 seconds left.

My strategy video is below and I hope it helps some of you! Thank you all for tuning in for another year of these videos!

***GOOD NEWS! With the programming we’ve seen these first two weeks, it means that we likely won’t see Rowing, Thrusters, Burpees, OR Pull-Ups for the final week!***

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

Please let me know if this helps and I’ll see you back here next week!

The final week of the 2021 CrossFit Games Open is already here and the worldwide competition is going to end with TWO separately scored workouts. Take a look at them below and wrap your brain around the madness that is workouts 21.3 and 21.4!

First, let’s talk about 21.3:

Athletes will be looking to complete 45 reps of both front squats AND thrusters. That’s 90 reps of squatting with a moderate weight in the front rack position, which is a lot of reps! That’s without even taking into account the required work on the pull-up rig! Being asked to do 30 TTB, in a workout is a lot for some. Thirty chest-to-bar pull-ups is a lot of others. And truthfully, only the very competitive CrossFit athlete will be able to come close to complete 30 bar muscle-ups, specifically at the end of a piece like this. (As your grip and upper body fatigue more and more, the movement on the rig becomes more and more challenging. That’s a brutal combo!) Keep your heart rate under control through steady barbell work and keep yourself moving through short and consistent sets on the rig. That will be the best approach for most athletes!

Now, let’s address 21.4:

I think most athletes should give themselves at LEAST 1-2 minutes of actual rest after 21.3 before even considering taking their first attempt at this complex. View this as if it were an olympic weightlifting meet. Your first attempt should be one that you KNOW you’re able to hit. Keep in mind, very few athletes have ever completed a heavy 4 rep complex after a 15 minute workout with 90 squats and 90 reps from the pull-up rig. Be more conservative than you think on your first attempt, then build up from there. BE AGGRESSIVE on those reps. POWERFUL hip drive UP! AGGRESSIVE pull UNDER the bar! TIGHT CORE as your legs drive to a full stand. SPEEDY punch UNDER the bar for the jerk. Believe you CAN make the lift before you even approach the bar.

My strategy video is below, and I really hope it helps some of you our there! Thank you tuning in for another year of them.

As always: Good Luck, Have Fun, I Believe In You!

“Open Gym”, the part of my blog where I get to share my real thoughts on all things gym. I haven’t always been brutally honest with how I feel about things for fear of “offending” people, but I’m in a place now where I can speak as freely as I’d like… and it feels good!

When I started CrossFit almost NINE years ago (this August), I immediately adopted the mindset that this fitness “fad” was all about community. Sure, a person can get insanely fit by doing it, but more than the PRs, this was a medium through which communities could be formed and sustained on love and support alone. I LOVED that from Day 1.

The best way that a stranger could have seen this first-hand would have been to walk into nearly any gym on any given day. The clock counts down, the coach yells, “3, 2, 1… GO!”, the athletes get after it…. and then everyone finishes the workout at the same time. Well, not really, but when the fastest people would finish they’d do their own patented CrossFit “My-Life-Is-Over/I-Cant-Believe-I-Made-It” flop onto the ground, they’d roll around for a few seconds, and then something amazing would happen – They’d pick themselves up off of the floor and go over to support the remaining athletes in the class.

It was never taught. Coaches never needed to ASK the class to cheer each other on. It just happened. Why? Because CrossFit was all about embracing the suck. It didn’t matter if you lifted 200lbs more than the person next to you, completed 8 more rounds than them during that 12 minute AMRAP, or whether your last rep was done 6 minutes before theirs. You had all done the same thing, something that any practitioner of this “sport” could relate to, and you never wanted to leave a teammate behind.

That didn’t mean there needed to be fanfare or a loud cheering section for the last person every day. In fact, some people don’t like being the center of attention at all. That wasn’t the point, though. Dragging your butt over to their side of the gym and leaning back against the wall to help them finish those last 20 reps of Wall Balls meant a lot. It showed that your beer at happy hour with friends could wait another 5 minutes. And most of all, it meant that the person who was still working could feel just as important as the gym’s resident “fire breather.” Because they are just as important.

Too often now, in too many gyms, I see people finish their workouts, put away their stuff, log their scores, and bounce. 

It’s true that there are some INCREDIBLE and inspiring athletes all over the world, but they’re not always the ones topping the leaderboard each day. As someone who feels he got into the CrossFit game fairly early, a second-generation “OG” if you will, I can say that if you don’t know the names of the people in your class, or care to learn them, that you should try to change that. I’m not asking introverts to become extroverts. I’m not suggesting that everyone in the gym needs to be best friends. What I am saying is that feeling like you’re a part of a family when you go to the gym makes every single part of the community more meaningful.

Next time you’re in-between sets during strength, or as people awkwardly shuffle around to put their clips and weights back after class, take a few seconds and introduce yourself to someone new. Ask what they thought sucked the most during that WOD. If you do know everyone in the class, discuss the pacing strategy a friend used for that chipper workout you just finished. Or if nothing else, at least offer that friendly and supportive fist bump, high five, or bro-hug.

I can promise most people that your life will be better by being “that person” who genuinely starts to care about others in the best way possible. If you give it a shot, I would love to hear how it goes for you. Do you notice a difference in any aspect of your gym life? Life outside of the gym?

Remember, everyone… it’s just fitness.

But also, it’s so much more than just fitness.


At my age, people either LOVE sports, or don’t really care for them. That said, I believe most of us can agree that playing sports during childhood can have an incredibly positive impact on a person’s life. Just as activities such as learning to play an instrument or studying a language can teach discipline, attention to detail, and the value of consistency in practice, many sports can also teach invaluable skills like teamwork and effective communication (among many other things).

Why is that relevant? A few nights ago while I was watching an NHL Playoff game (that’s hockey for those of you who don’t know), I had kind of an epiphany. My favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was playing their bitter rivals in Game 3 of a best-of-seven series. They were down 2 goals with only 2 minutes left to play in the game. For a lot of folks, that deficit simply seemed too much to overcome in such a small amount of time. You could see some people getting up and leaving their seats to try and beat the rush, assuming the game was over and we had lost. Lo and behold, the Penguins put on an incredible offensive display and scored TWO goals in under two minutes. The crowd that remained was electrified, I was screaming at the TV, and they managed to push the game into Overtime! Unfortunately the Penguins lost in OT, but that’s not the point!

The parallel to this game that I immediately made to our every day lives is this:

Fairly often, we might feel that we’re in a slump in life (personally, professionally, spiritually,… anything, really), or that our hard work isn’t paying off as we’d like. Most of the time I find it important to remember the next breakthrough could literally be around the corner. I’ve experienced this with friendships, fitness, and many other areas of life. Frustrated with squats? Stick to your 12 week program, rest and fuel appropriately, and let the results speak for themselves.

Positive change doesn’t happen when you want it to happen, positive change happens when you put in the appropriate amount of work. Instead of basing your “success” on the end result alone, try your best to enjoy the PROCESS. In retrospect, the process will be the most rewarding part anyways!

Be patient and stay the course! You can do it.

The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

For me, Meal Prep doesn’t always need to include large volumes of meals that will be eaten throughout the week. This week’s video was just a quick dinner I made for myself while visiting Pittsburgh for a few days.

Boneless Pork Chops, especially ones this thin, don’t take very long to cook at all. This entire meal took me 15-20 minutes which included prep time! The original recipe that inspired me to cook called for the chops to be dipped in flour, but I didn’t want to do that. I did, however, keep the butter it called for in the original.

The pecans and honey were a new touch that I had never used to make a “sauce” with before, so that was fun. Feel free to replace the butter with an oil of your choice, and add in additional veggies, but this sounded delicious to me, so that’s how I made it.

What do you think? How does it look?

The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

Quick post today for my week’s Meal Prep from Sunday! Since most meals were already done (thanks, Em!), I decided to share a snack that I haven’t made in some time. A few years ago, a friend suggested making this dish, and I was hooked!

Shrimp. Grape Tomatoes. Avocado. That’s it! Check out how easy it is to make this meal, and give it a shot for yourself. It is delicious!

Note: Shrimp can be fairly expensive, and some folks don’t love it. That’s fine, you can still make a meal this quick and easy with any other protein of your choice. If not shrimp, I’d probably suggest a lean ground beef or turkey. Just by seasoning it to your liking and adding tomatoes, then topping it off with some diced avocados, you’re ready to go.

Enjoy, friends!

The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

This week, the meal I made for my Meal Prep video was some Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps (with lettuce from the garden)! The audio isn’t great, but I’m still working on trying to find the best angle/camera placement. You’ll still get the gist, though.

This week’s video has three main highlights:
1- Getting to meet two of my kitchen helpers, Bacon and Hugo

2- It’s the first time I’ve ever picked vegetables from the garden here at home to use for a meal

3- There’s a good 15 seconds in the video that I simply cannot find the salsa jar I was holding in my hands 47 seconds prior to filming that clip. Typical.

Feel free to add in any additional veggies you might want for this meal, tomatoes would probably be a fairly common choice. I prefer salsa versus whole tomatoes, though. If you eat tortillas, that would also be a common choice in place of, or in addition to, the lettuce!

Let me know what you guys think of this week’s meal prep, and if you have any questions, comments, or other feedback, let me know! Have a great week, friends.

The thoughts featured in the post and video are mine and mine alone!

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to make myself cook new things to keep Meal Prep interesting. This is the first week, however, that I actually video-taped an experimental dish for the blog. The first victim:  A Breakfast Quiche!

The ingredients for this are simple- Pie Crust (gluten free this week!), eggs, elk and pork bratwurst, spinach, some sweet peppers, and a little bit of salt and pepper

I’m aware that eggs are a solid protein source, but by now, most of you know that I usually eat a lot of protein with my meals. To make this particular dish lower protein and/or higher carb, a few very simple changes could be made. First, instead of whole eggs, use egg whites only! Also, when cooking eggs, don’t be afraid to add a little water while whisking. It can add quite a bit of “fluff” to the eggs you do have! Also, there is no need to add any additional bratwurst, like I did. I just got suckered into buying them while walking around in Costco (free samples)! Finally, quiche are awesome to make because you can basically add any number of items. For this one in particular, I could see adding in onions or mushrooms for a higher veggie/carb count!

I’m not quite sure what the next experimental dish is going to be, but I am open to suggestions! Hopefully this post was helpful, and I’ll chat with you guys next time.

AND – Congrats to CrossFit Omnia for qualifying for the 2016 CrossFit Games by finishing in Third Place for the South Region! We’re so proud of you guys!

Moment of Awesomeness: 2/23/16

Posted: February 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’ve featured Danny MacAskill on my blog before. The things he does on his bike are absolutely insane to me. In the latest video he was featured in from GoPro, he takes us on a journey across the rooftops of Gran Canaria.

The ending to the video gave me so much anxiety, but looks like it would be SO much fun! Hey guys, don’t try this at home.

And since it’s “Two-fer Tuesday”, here is the most “fun” video of his that I used to love watching!

Thought of the Day: 2/12/16

Posted: February 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

The CrossFit Games Open is almost here! It’s so weird to sit back and realize that I’ve done this little online competition every year since it started, and it’s fascinating to think about how much it’s grown in that time. Here’s a picture of me completing the first workout of the 2011 Sectionals.


Check out that hair!

While looking back through this blog and seeing some of the previous posts I’ve made on the Open, I came across this little gem. It was from three years ago, (when I was working at another gym), and I recorded a video explaining why I think people should sign up. I have changed as an athlete and as a coach in the last three years,  but so many of the same exact thoughts run through my mind as to why partaking in a 5-week online worldwide competition can be a positive experience for almost anyone!

Why do I do the Open:

  • It’s fun and challenging
  • It gives me the chance to do the same workouts as other friends who CrossFit from all over the US and the world
  • Every year brings moments where people accomplish things they never thought possible. That energy is ELECTRIC and inspiring!
  • It heightens the sense of community in the CrossFit world for a few weeks
  • The gym is going to do the workouts on Fridays anyways!

Here is a little video that CrossFit put together explaining why some of the world’s top athletes enjoy the Open. Strangely enough, people who have never competed in anything in their lives, often say many of the same things. The Open is for you, it’s for me, it’s for all of us!

Time to get signed up, and pumped up! Simply CLICK HERE and go to the “Register/Log-In” button on the right of the screen to get started.