Anniversary Party Details and Workout 

Back Squat
rest 5 minutes

Laurie getting it done.

Laurie getting it done.

Anniversary Party Details and Workout

We’re turning 5!  The Anniversary festivities kick off Friday and go through Sunday!

All classes will do the annual Anniversary workout The Chief.  This is the workout Roots did at its grand opening (about 20 people showed up, most of them were our friends).  Don’t miss out.  This is an awesome workout and such a fun yearly benchmark.

Meet Eric and Nicole at the shop at 9am for a great workout and fun kick off to the celebration to come.  Sign-up on MBO.

Then, we invite you to the annual Anniversary Party and Family Picnic at 11am at North Boulder Park.  Evites were sent to all member emails.  If you did not receive an Evite, please email Stefanie. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

We’ll provide the meat (from FATE Brewing Company and its amazing smoker).  Please RSVP to the Evite so we can ensure we have enough food.

Please bring one of the following sides to share (Paleo or gluten-free options much appreciated):
Chips and Dip

BYOB.  We’ll have waters.  Please, no glass.

We’ll have live music!  If you play a musical instrument and would like to join in, please bring your instrument.

Get ready for kickball!  If you have an outdoor sports game or activity you’d like to bring, please do!

Fall Schedule Updates! 

Double Grace

For time:
135-lb. clean and jerk, 60 reps

The GHD makes you happy.

The GHD makes you happy.

Fall Schedule Updates!

As the summer cools down and becomes fall and the kids go back to school, we will shift back to a lot of the regular Fall-Spring class schedule times.

Beginning next week, you’ll see the following shifts to the schedule as well as some classes at new times!

1. Midmorning classes will shift back to a 7:30/8:30/9:30am start times
2. After it was much requested in the survey, we will offer a 6:30am Oly class with Ryan on Fridays
3. Due to very low attendance, we have taken the 3pm class on Fridays off the schedule.  We have replaced it with extended Open Shop hours on Fridays from 1:30-4pm.
4. Olympic Weightlifting for CrossFit has been added at 4pm on Thursdays 
5. Olympic Weightlifting for CrossFit at 7pm on Tuesdays

Anniversary Party in One Week! 

Midline March

3 rounds for time of:
25 GHD sit-ups
50-foot handstand walk
50-foot overhead walking lunge, 155 lb.

Rich Froning completed the midline march in 5:25 at the 2014 CrossFit Games.

Rich Froning completed the midline march in 5:25 at the 2014 CrossFit Games.

Anniversary Party in One Week!

Don’t forget!  The Anniversary Party and Family Picnic is SUNDAY, AUGUST 17TH AT 11AM at North Boulder Park!

Please RSVP to the Evite this week.  Additional details this week!


Important Posts From the Past Week! 

5 sets of:

7 rounds of the sequence:
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press

Rest as needed between each of the five sets.  Add weight each set as you would a lifting set.  Record load for each of the five sets (35 reps per set).  Setting the bar down is or resting on the ground is considered a failed set.  Athletes can combine movements as long as the full range of motion is completed for each lift.  The front squat and push press may be combined into a thruster; however, the power clean not be turned into a squat clean and lead directly into the thruster.

Important Posts From the Past Week!

We dropped a ton of information this week on programming, results tracking and logging, plans for the fall, and the 2015 Competitor Program interest meeting.

Take a moment to read over the following posts this weekend:

A (Perfect) Storm is Brewing
Programming, coach observations, and where (as a shop) we’re headed come September.

Programming – Innovate or Die
A history of programming at Roots and an overview of the programming changes for the fall.

Planned Benchmarks for the Year 
Specific benchmark testing calendar and workouts.

Log Your Workouts or Bust – SugarWOD What?!
Overview of the workout logging application SugarWOD and our decision to move all athletes onto one platform.

2015 Competitor Program Interest Meeting
Details on the program interest meeting, date/time, and overview of what will be covered.


2015 Season Competitor Meeting 

Every minute on the minute for 15 minutes:
10 kettlebell swings (24/16)
5 chest-to-bar pull-ups

CrossFit Roots finished 7th in 2014 at the Southwest Regionals.  A continued commitment could land them in one of the top 3 spots in 2015.

CrossFit Roots finished 7th in 2014 at the Southwest Regionals. A continued commitment could land six team members in one of the top 3 spots in 2015.

2015 Season Competitor Interest Meeting

Roots will hold the 2015 Competitor Program interest meeting on Wednesday, August 13th at 7pm.  This meeting is mandatory for anyone who would like to be a part of the program this season.  

The meeting will cover an overview of the 2015 season, training protocols and programming, training schedule, expectations, and goals.

If you are at all curious about the possibility of competing in CrossFit at The Open through to the Regional level – come to this meeting.

There is no set skill or ability level for the Competitor Program – we require only 100% dedication to the program and a commitment to improve.

Log Your Workouts or Bust – SugarWOD What?! 

1/2 Triple 3
For time:
Row 1500 meters
150 double-unders
Run 1.5 miles

A peak at the SugarWOD app!

A peak at the SugarWOD app!

Log Your Workouts or Bust – SugarWOD What?!

Over the past three days we’ve laid out a lot of information.  We talked about the history of programming at Roots, changes we’ll make  to the programming beginning in September, and a planned structure to test and retest benchmark workouts.

If you haven’t had a chance to read through the blog this week, please take a moment to read through the past three days.  You won’t regret it!

A (Perfect) Storm is Brewing
Programming – Innovate or Die
Planned Benchmarks for the Year

Now, all of the changes to the programming and plans for benchmark workout tests and retests are great but they will be COMPLETELY WORTHLESS if you don’t track your workouts.

And the chosen method to track your workouts – CrossFit Roots proudly presents to you – SugarWOD!

SugarWOD is a phone app that allows you to log your workouts, track your progress, compare you results to fellow gym members (or set your privacy settings so that only you and your coaches can see your results), and so much more.  SugarWOD is used by more than 20,000 athletes and in over 100 shops around the world.  It’s already used by over 200 Roots athletes (although a number of you don’t post consistently, more on that in another post:).  AND as an added cool and awesome bonus – SugarWOD was created by our very own Roots athletes Drew and Shayna Larsen (you can catch them at the 8 or 9 am workouts most days).

Eric and I consider it a privilege and honor to have conversed with Drew and Shayna over the past year about ideas, gym owner needs, analysis tools, and athlete use as they developed and improved their app.  They have listened to everything we suggested and incorporated our comments and ideas with the utmost desire to create an app that is valuable to the athlete and coach alike.

As we transition to SugarWOD, there are a few things we want you to know.

First, as of September 1st, SugarWOD will be the sole application we (Roots and the coaches) use to analyze and evaluate programming and athlete progress.  This means that other workout tracking applications we have used in the past (Beyond the WhiteBoard and CFWhiteboard) will not be available through CrossFit Roots or on our website.  Data is a very important component to us and the ability to have it in one place is invaluable.

You can download the app here on the iTunes Store.  On Android?  Don’t fret!  The Android app is coming August 22nd.

The AWESOME news is that SugarWOD has a handy application to transfer ALL of your data to the app.  If you have used Beyond the Whiteboard and want get a head start and transfer your data now, CLICK HERE.

Finally, we welcome Drew and Shayna to the Cool Cruel Summer August to help athletes get set-up with the new app – iPhone and Android!  Come do the workout, download the app, learn how to use it, and log your workout!

Questions?  Post to comments. 

Planned Benchmarks for the Year 

Front Squat

Slam Ball (30/20)
Burpee Sit-up

Benchmark workout retest schedule.

Benchmark workout retest schedule.

Planned Benchmarks for the Year

So far this week we’ve dropped a lot of information on the blog about our plans for programming and workout logging starting in September.  If you’ve missed the information so far this week, be sure to go back and read these two posts:

A (Perfect) Storm is Brewing
Programming – Innovate or Die

Yesterday, we described in detail, our plans to evolve the programming at Roots beginning in September.  The goal of the changes is to get even better results from the time you spend at the shop and help athletes get more out of the goal of CrossFit – “increased workout capacity across broad time and modal domains.”

Because of the constantly varied nature and black box concept of CrossFit programming, one must build in a method to test the programming in relation to the goal.  Benchmark testing has long been a part of CrossFit but one that can sometimes get overlooked if not specifically scheduled.  

If testing progress is not a part of your programming, there is no way to evaluate the success or failure of your programming.

We have selected 12 benchmark Girls and Heros, four lifts, and four skill benchmark workouts to help us continuously evaluate our progress over the next year.  Together, the 21 workouts will test an athlete’s capacity in all the CrossFit time domains, movements, and ten general physical skills.  We will use these workouts on a continuos basis to help us evaluate whether our programming is developing athletes in all areas, not just one or two, and to keep athletes focused on continuous improvement and consistency in the shop.

To take full advantage of the upcoming year it will be imperative that you log your workouts.  More on that tomorrow!

Programming – Innovate or Die 

Be sure to read yesterday’s post before today’s post!

5 rounds for time of:
225-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
20 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball


Programming – Innovate or Die

When I was in grad school my professor Tom Daniels hammered into the minds of his students the phrase “innovate or die.”  As a coach, athlete, and business owner, I have relied on that phrase time and time again.  Innovate or die is not a schizophrenic search for th next best thing – it’s a calculated approach to making the decision of when to stay the course and when to evolve.  I have always said that if Roots and its coaching staff is doing the exact same thing it did three years ago – we’re doing something wrong.

As we move into fall, I know it’s time to evolve our programming.

Over the years, we have tried a number of different methods to program at the shop – we’ve programmed from other gyms, done programming ourselves, and followed the mainsite - – all with the intent and goal of “increasing work capacity across broad time and modal domains” (the goal of CrossFit).  We want our athletes to be good at CrossFit and the ten general physical skills so that they have a  general, physical, preparedness that enables them to do well at any sport or task life throws their way now, and long into the future.  

This is a big goal and a big responsibility – and one we have never taken lightly.  Shane and I have crafted spreadsheets – that would make your eyes glaze over – so that we can tally information on the next two weeks of programming – total reps, total time under tension, time domains, number of times below parallel, light, moderate, heavy, partial hip extension vs. full range of motion, power lifts, Olympic lifts, movements, and relative intensity, to name a few.

After a number of years and analyses, we settled on the mainsite as our primary method of programming over two years ago.  We believe in the mainsite and we know it works.  We also know it helps keep us honest in our pursuit to deliver a broad, general, and inclusive style of fitness.  It’s easy for a person’s own biases to come out in their programming.  For example, the complexity of a movement can lead to program biases.  It takes a skilled coach to be able to teach a muscle-up and a snatch in the same workout, and provide a scaled option for all within a one hour time frame.  It would be much easier at 5am to say, “eh, let’s just do pull-ups instead of muscle-ups today.”  Rather than simply not programming those workouts or movements, we went another route and demanded it of our coaches to develop as trainers.

Now many of your know that the mainsite programs three days on and one day off.  We fill in on mainsite rest days with our own programming to  make for a seven days per week schedule.

As a quick aside, and to clear up a few shop misconceptions about our programming:
- we do not bias one area of development over another (we don’t do more strength workouts than long ones, we don’t think having a bigger clean and jerk is more important than your ability to walk on your hands)
- we don’t avoid any CrossFit movements
- we don’t program specific kinds of workouts on specific days (for example, Wednesdays are not always “long”)

Now with all of that as a starting point, we have noticed that as the shop has grown older, our athletes have matured, physically and mentally, and our coaches have matured in regard to their ability to coach and teach.  Faster transition times between class segments, better understanding of movements and technique, and athletes working together, have allowed us to pack more and more into the hour – we have done a strength workout and a metcon in the same hour and we have incorporated an aggressive skill work segment into class four days a week.

A year and a half ago, we started to incorporate a strength and metcon workout four days a week.  While the shop made some strength gains, we found that as a whole – both veteran and novice athletes at the shop – began to move poorly…like really poorly.  Folks that had been beautiful movers started to shy their squat depth and round their backs in deadlifts.  At first, the coaches were really frustrated – “they know how to do it right but they’re just not doing it!”  After thinking through it with the coaching staff we figured out that the class time for technique and barbell skill/drill work had suffered with the “double” workout and therefore our movement quality had taken a hit.

While many athletes loved the strength/metcon element of class, part of being a good coach is being able to say no when it’s not in the best interest of the athlete – even if they are impressed with it.  Athletes are often impressed with volume – and not impressed with drill, practice, and technique.  We want you to love your workouts (well, most of them) but we also want you to understand the value of doing the workouts you don’t like and drilling the movements with PVC pipe to learn to move better (and prevent the possibility for injury).  The work done with PVC is not a punishment to get to the workout, it’s the foundation of movement quality and potential.  There is a “PVC pipe” in every sport and the best athletes in the world give 100% during that time of their practice – and reap the benefits. 

We then swung the pendulum the other direction and decided to incorporate gymnastics skill work into four sessions a week.  We selected The Open skills that come up every year and have hit those skills each week.

Recently, Shane and I came to the conclusion that while these were all good programs – they were all operating in the extreme (yea…we’re extreme).  “Double” workouts went from zero to four days a week and then skill work went into overdrive.

With the goal of bringing more to the class hour while maintaining our constant pursuit of solid form and technique for all athletes, in September, we’ll evolve our programming to incorporate the following:

1. Sixteen benchmark workouts and five skill benchmarks programmed on a rotating 3 month cycle
2. Consistent retest of benchmarks
3. The incorporation of a strength and metcon into one hour 1-2x per week
4. Gymnastics skill work 3 times per week with a focus on testing these skills

We’ll still follow the mainsite on a 2-week delay and we will still scale for every athlete at the shop.  Classes during the week will continue to be capped at 12 athletes as this type of programming demands a smaller environment of athletes.  Every athlete, both veteran and newbie, can do this programming.

The workouts performed at the shop are a reflection of the athletes we hope to create.  They are not biased toward one of the ten general physical skills – they work all of them.  While other gyms or blogs may promote the importance or development of one of the ten general physical skills over others (say for example, strength), we will not.  We will continue to stay true to CrossFit, its goal, and the creation of athletes who can move as well as they can fast ensuring that injury does not derail their pursuit of fitness.

We’re just going to evolve and do it better.

Hold on tight, we take off in September.

A (Perfect) Storm is Brewing 

AMRAP 15 minutes:
5 thrusters (115/75)
10 bar facing burpees
15 toes-to-bar

If you read this caption and think "Well that statement is crazy," you're missing the point!

If you read this caption and think “Well that statement is crazy,” you’re missing the point!

A (Perfect) Storm is Brewing

One of the reasons I have always liked CrossFit is because I feel that I’m at home with my people.  The people I workout with in class and on the road understand me and my approach to health and fitness.  I like being around these people because I gain momentum, support, and encouragement to fuel my fitness and nutrition goals.

I feel this at Roots every time I workout.  I’m immersed in the CrossFit cult (yes, I said cult), I feed off of other’s successes and PRs and that motivates me toward my own goals, and I’m reminded to embrace the fanatical side of my journey to better my health and fitness.

Lately I’ve heard how a number of Roots athletes have become embarassed by their fanatical approach to fitness and therefore it has waned – and their results and goals have suffered because of it.  A friend or colleague took a jab at your tupperware Paleo lunch, someone made fun of your pursuit to get a strict pull-up, or they saw the CrossFit Games and commented to you, “well you’ll never be able to do that, you know.”  Their comments struck a chord with you and in turn, you backed off of your goals – the ones that meant something to you.

You know what – screw those people.

While the rest of the world may tell you you’re crazy, we invite you to embrace the part of you who wants more out of life through CrossFit.  You want a faster Fran time for no other reason that you just want it – awesome!  You want to PR your back squat so it’s double your bodyweight – great.  You want to get a strict handstand push-up so bad you dream about it – well then let’s do this.  Or you dream of a day when you could eat Paleo consistently for 30 days straight – yes, you can do it.

And that’s what September is all about.

Over the past few months, a perfect storm of coaching experiences, research, and events happened at Roots that has led to a new and exciting path going into the fall. 

The coaches have collaborated and learned from each other in a variety of new ways.  We’ve talked about what has worked and what hasn’t.  Individually, each coach has explored and researched different elements of CrossFit and strength and conditioning.  And we’ve seen first hand the strengths and weaknesses of our gym’s athleticism as a whole play out over the summer through Cool Cruel Summers, workouts, and benchmarks.

The product of this is a September you won’t want to miss.

In the month of September, we want you to get fanatical about logging your workouts.  We want you to crave the knowledge to know if your workouts, benchmarks, lifting numbers, and skills are getting better.  This is how you begin to achieve your goals in and outside the gym.

Over the next four days we’ll lay the foundation of the following month.  We’ll cover:

- Updates and a revamp of weekly programming at the shop
- Results logging and tracking 
- Progress analysis through planned benchmark and skill benchmark retest
- A method to log and track your workouts

Be sure to read the blog this week.  

Commercials at the 2014 CrossFit Games 

In teams of three, with only one partner working at each station at a time and in a set rotation:
Complete five rounds for time of:
Row 300m
10 burpee box jumps (20″)
15 slam balls (30/20)
All partners complete five rounds of the above working in a follow the leader rotation.

Commercials at the 2014 CrossFit Games

CrossFit has its own commercials?  Yes!  And so do many of the companies that serve the CrossFit community.

The commercials show up online during Games coverage as well as on ESPN’s television coverage.  Have you seen a Rogue commercial on ESPN before?

CrossFit put together a YouTube channel of all of the CrossFit Games commericals.  Check them all out here!