Monthly Archives: June 2012

Important Throwdown Information

With the CrossFit Merge Summer Throwdown just one day away, here are some important details:

1.  Food – There will be a taco caterer on site grilling up some tasty chow.  $8 gets you a plate of Carne Asada (steak), al Pastor (pork), and/or chicken tacos served with rice and beans.  Plus, there will be grilled veggies if you’re looking for a vegetarian option.

The caterer will have enough food for just 40 people, so purchase your ‘ticket’ early (CrossFit Merge members can pay with their credit cards on file).

If you are competing on Saturday and want something a little lighter to snack on between workouts, then I recommend bringing some berries, sweet potatoes, or some hard-boiled eggs for good recovery.

2.  Parking – We are going to be using the parking lot for the first workout, so please park on the street.

3.  Chairs – Feel free to bring a lawn chair or camp stool to take in all the action as your fellow CrossFitters throwdown.

4.  Athlete Orientation – Please arrive by 10am on Saturday if you are competing.  We will be giving an athlete orientation, brief the timeline of events, issue competitor numbers, and brief the movements and standards for the first workout.

5.  Throwdown Essential Gear -Don’t forget your workout gear: long socks for deadlifts, tape or gloves to protect your hands, sunglasses, and your own j-rope if you’ve got one.

6.  Be sure to bring your friends and family because you’ll want them to take pictures of you.

Here are the heat assignments for the first workout.

Workout 1 Heat Assignments

Who’s effing pumped?  I know I am.

Thursday’s Skill:

Pistol practice

Max box jumps in 1 minute for 2 sets.  Practice on the rebounding at the bottom.

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 burpees

7 goblet squats (70# for men/44# for women)

9 sumo deadlift high pulls

11 kettlebell swings

Red rover, red rover?  



Muscle Recovery

A lot of you have been asking about muscle recovery, post wod nutrition, ice baths, etc.  Here are a few excellent tips from Confessions of a CrossFit Coach on the topic.  Let us know if you do any of these and how they have helped you 🙂

I’m going to hit on a few very basic tips on optimizing recovery:

 Get Some.  Get LOTS


I can’t even begin to place enough emphasis on this; there’s a reason sleep is #1 on every single recovery list  from guys like Dan John to Robb Wolf to James Fitzgerald to John Berardi.  If sleep is not adequate, nothing, and I mean NOTHING else you do will matter.  No amount of supplementation, nutrition, or bizarre techniques will take the place of sleep.  Why does it matter so much?

   The actually process of sleep and athletic recovery goes far beyond both my understanding and the scope of this article,  but it involves far more than “just rest”.  Hormonal regulation and secretion of cortisol, melatonin, serotonin, dopamine, testosterone and growth hormone, to name just a few, are all dependent on quality sleep.  Many studies have been done on sleep deprivation, and from 15 years of personal experience, I can tell you the effects are acute and drastic.  Couple HIIT-type training + sleep debt, and you massively and chronically spike your cortisol levels;this leads to an accelerated phase of over-reaching, possibly overtraining (there’s a difference), and potential

adrenal fatigue. How do we fix this?  Get your 8 hours.  In fact, shoot for 9.  One of the best books I’ve ever read on the importance of sleep is called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival by T.S Wiley. Treat your sleep just like your Paleo diet: Think caveman. Where you sleep should be as dark and cool as a cave. Get black-out blinds. Get to bed BEFORE 10pm.  TV is shit, and whatever porn you’re surfing on the computer will be there tomorrow.  Lower the temperature. Turn your clock away from your face.  Our DNA still thinks it’s 2 million B.C.  When that sun goes down, our bodies are programmed to shut down, too.  If you’re smart, you eat like a caveman.  Shouldn’t you sleep like one, too?

PWO Carbs:  Earned, and Enjoyed.

2) PWO Nutrition

In any nutrition lecture I do, I always place a huge emphasis on PWO (post-workout) nutrition.  Why?  Because, besides sleep, there is nothing else as important for recovery.  And we can 100% control this.  In the PWO state, a multitude of things are going on, and our body is already frantically trying to return to homeostasis; two of these are increased protein synthesis to repair muscle damage, and increased insulin receptor sensitivity to enhance the speed of glycogen repletion.  Simplified?  Our body wants to fix damage and top up the gas tanks, ASAP.  And we can help this process by giving it what it needs:  Carbs and Protein!

I’ve always been a big fan of PWO protein shakes; they are fast, easy to make, easy to chug down, and offer both simple carbs and fast-digesting whey.  While everyone is different, a LOT of folks have a hard time crushing a 10 oz steak with a side of sweet potato and a spinach salad; HIIT (high-intensity interval training) tends to crank the sympathetic system up for quite a while, and this causes a drop in appetite.  Solution?  Blender time, baby.  I’ve talked about this before here.

Now any of you out there that listen to Robb Wolf’s Paleolithic Solution podcast know that he pretty much demonizes “liquid food”—and with good measure, but you have to understand the context.  Jane Smith, soccer mom of 3, with goals of improving body comp and general functional work capacity, DOES NOT require a PWO shake.  Johnny Rocket, 21, 7% body fat at 180lbs, soon to be the next local MMA title holder, DOES require a PWO shake.  It’s about goals.  James Fitzgerald of Optimum Performance Training has a simple kick-ass lil’ formula that he uses for PWO pro and carb, based on your BF%…which is basically how carbohydrate tolerant you are:

post wod fuel male:
above 12% – 30g prot/10g carb
8-12% – 30g prot/25g carb
below 8% – 30g prot/40g carb
post wod fuel – female:
above 16% – 20g prot/10g carb
12-14% – 20g prot/20g carb
below 12% – 20g prot/30g carb
eat a balanced PFC meal 45-60 min after post wod fuel for everyone (P=protein, F=fat, C=carb)

Can’t argue with anything at all in that formula; there’s enough pro and carb to kick-start repair, and a solid whole food meal an hour after.

John Berardi has a similar take, albeit in larger quantities: 0.4g protein per kilogram of BW, and 0.8g/kg carbohydrate PWO.  If you take an easy round number like 75kg (165lbs), that’s 30g pro and 60g carb PWO.  His protein recommendations line up with OPT’s, and while his carb recommendation is higher, it’s not off by much.

My advice?  Find a formula you like, try it out, and base it on how you feel and how you recover.

Of note: If you’re thinking that post-workout insulin spike from the shake will be the death of your health, think again:  Insulin attenuates cortisol release.  Hard training?  Causes a huge cortisol spike, as would any form of extreme stress (I think Crossfit applies well here).  Sleep + Feed  = Low Stress, therefore low cortisol.  Half the battle is already done with these two.

Pre. Post. 24/7. 
3) Hydration

I’m not going to spend and whole lot of time here on hydration, other than to recap a post I did a while back on it:

Half your BW (pounds) in ounces of water.  I LIKE this equation.  Why?  It works, it’s EASY, and it’s not overboard.  So, for me, 165lbs BW * 0.5 = 82.5 ounces; so, if 1 US fluid ounce = 29.5735296 ml, then I’m drinking roughly 2400mL a day.  Yup, 2.4L

Obvious stuff:  PWO, you are 1) dehydrated, and 2) have metabolic waste from protein breakdown to H+ (acid) accumulation floating around ye’ old body.  Replacing lost fluids is paramount to recovery, especially to stave off any symptoms of excess soreness of swelling, which could be the beginning of rhabdomyolysis.  Chances are you’ve probably dabbled in this and didn’t even know it.

And it doesn’t stop in the PWO period.  Come to the gym WATERED, like any cute flower would.  Dehydrated?  You’ll take a major hit in performance, and you’ll feel even crappier after.

Foam Rolling is HAWT recovery.
4) Back-off/Periodization/Active Recovery

I’m going to lump these all together, because essentially, they are all related: it’s about doing less, so we can do more…not NOW, but LATER.

  • Back-Off Period: Everyone likes to hit the WODS with 100% intensity, 100% of the time, on a perfect 3-on, 1-off, right?  Right.  Is this feasible, from a health/power output/longevity point of view?  Hell No!  One thing that you WON’T see in standard Crossfit-esque programming is a back off period.  YOU, as the client, have to insert this time period appropriately.  LISTEN to your body.  LOOK at your numbers.  See how you FEEL when you wake/sleep/preWOD/postWOD.  These are keys telling you when to back off.  And when I mean back off, I mean lower either the frequency of your workouts, the intensity, or both.
  • Periodization: One thing that, unfortunately, Dot-Com programming completely lacks is periodization; This concept is neither new nor revolutionary, as the Eastern Bloc countries like Russia, East Germany, and Poland among others have been doing this since the early 50’s.  What is it?  In simple terms, it’s focusing your training on one aspect for a set amount of time, and then shifting that focus elsewhere at the end of that time frame.  It can get either as simple (like the aforementioned) or as complex as one wants, involving meso, macro, and microcycles.  An example would be Wendler’s 5-3-1 powerlifting cycle—which we are incorporating right now at CFLA, albeit a simplified version.  My whole point here?  Have focus, and change it up.  It prevents stagnation and enhances long-term recovery.
  • Active Recovery: Recovery doesn’t mean just sitting on your butt pounding back PWO shakes.  Getting that blood flowing, even at extremely low levels of intensity, can enhances and speed recovery, and even eliminate DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Ever hit a WOD hard, then jump in your car are drive 5 hours?  Remember how sore you were?  Active recovery can eliminate that.  This can entail anything from therapeutic massage to foam rolling to an easy 2k row.  And for some pure fire breathing beasts, like Mikko Salo, 2009 Crossfit Games winner, well, he runs 5-6km on his days off.  I don’t advise this, but you get the point:  Move, even a little, for better recovery.
Don’t be This Guy.  Supplement Wisely.
5) Smart Supplementation

While I’m hesitant to actually recommend supplementation, I would be negligent not to discuss it, as there are potential pros (and cons) to supplementation.  If you ever caught a nutrition lecture from me (be it formal, or an off-the-cuff, foaming-at-the-mouth type rant), you may have seen a version of the nutrition pyramid.  Supplements?  Right at the very top, in writing so little you can barely read it.  Yup, not that important, in the grand scheme of things.  But there’s a few I consider helpful:

  • ZMA – In a nutshell, this is zinc and magnesium with some B6 thrown in.  Why do I recommend it?  It hits recovery from a number of angles.  First, because of the crappy produce available and dietary habits of most folks, we get neither enough Zn or Mg.  Secondly, due to physical exertion, athletes exacerbate this deficiency.  Thirdly, Zn is involved in immunity and testosterone production.  Fourthly, Mg is involved in pretty much every cellular activity you can think of, from oxygen uptake to ATP production to skeletal muscle contraction.  Fifthly, Mg dosing causes deep tendon muscle relaxation.  Add a sprinkle of B6? Enhanced conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin.  Take it at night?  Better sleep.  ‘Nuff said.
  • Fish Oil – Oh, I’ve talked about this before.  If you come to me asking for advice on supplements, but you’re NOT taking fish oil, I may just strangle you like Homer Simpson does to Bart, just to see your eyes bug out.  Read, Buy, Take.  Rinse, Repeat, and Reap the Benefits.
  • Vitamin D – While it’s the prom-princess celebrity flavor of the month as far as supplements go(and with SOLID science backing it), one might initially miss the reasons why I’ve included it in recovery.  Lets just say this:  Increased power output, optimal testosterone levels, and enhanced immunity, anyone?  I’ve been meaning to do a lengthy post on everything about Vitamin D, but honestly, it’s a massively overwhelming topic, and new stuff pops up everyday.  The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 2000iu, but that’s still pathetically low for us pasty-white northerners.  For reference, Dr J. Cannell, vitamin D researcher, recommends 1000iu per 25lbs BW.  Yup, it’s lots.  Find a dose in between, of at least 2000iu D3 daily.  I’ll post more about this in the future.
Pros do it.  So can we.

6) Contrast Showers/Cryotherapy

Studies on cryotherapy and contrast therapy (using alternating hot and cold) once again go back to the Eastern Bloc countries; there’s some crazy interesting studies and modalities of use in Supertraining by Siff and Verkhoshansky and Science of Sports Training by Kurz.  Without actually undertaking the insane training of a Bulgarian Oly lifter, a weekend warrior athlete can still reap the benefits from this.

Cryotherapy, aka cold therapy, utilizes the anti-inflammatory action of cold application, coupled with vasoconstriction.  In the PWO state, our muscles and tissues are highly inflamed secondary to microtrauma and acidosis.  Cryotherapy reduces the inflammation, which while essential, also causes secondary cell hypoxia, leading to increased cellular death—a secondary theory in DOMS.  The vasoconstriction is hypothesized to cause a “flushing” action, reducing the amount of metabolic waste and H+ ions (acid).  Also of note, a “restoration” of CNS (central nervous system) fatigue is purported to occur, but this is really, really hard to quantify.  But who am I to argue with a Soviet exercise physiologist?  Plunging oneself into an ice bath, like the way-too happy NFL football players above, is one method of doing this.

Now, not everyone, not even your favorite Crossfit coach (not the short fat guy using big words, the tall skinny guy using big words), has access to a ice bath post-work out.  Enter contrast showers:

Contrast showers are a much more accessible (and humane!) way to incorporate cryotherapy; also, in my opinion, it doesn’t exacerbate the cortisol spike that ice baths can potentially do.

Contrast Showers, simplified, is the alternating of cold and hot for varying lengths of time.  The theory behind alternating cycles is a vasoconstriction-vasodilation action—much like the “flushing” action of cryotherapy, enhanced with the dilation of heat.  Think of it like a whole body treatment of a hot, then cold, compress for a soft tissue injury at hour 72.  There’s a ton of different regimes outlined in Kurz’ book, but I prefer a 30s cold, 60s hot x 5 cycles.  Depending on when I train makes the difference of what temp I end on….if I train at night (rarely), I end with hot.  Any other time, cold; this is only for the single reason that cold will stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (to a degree), so I’d rather not do that before I try and sleep.  In the afternoon it’s a helluva good way to re-vibe after a killer WOD.

Post your thoughts, questions, and other modalities to comments.

All classes skill:
Back squat
1 – 10 – 1 – 20
Build to a heavy 1 rep, not necessarily a 1 rep max.  10 reps should be 75% of 1 rep.  Do another heavy 1 rep, maybe lighter, then do 20 reps at 65% of previous 1 rep.
Intermediate Workout of the Day (WOD):
4 rounds of:
Run the short block
10 dumbbell clean and jerks (50# for men/30# for women)
Beginner Class Workout of the Day (WOD):
12 minute AMRAP of: 

100 meter run
10 dumbbell push presses
Power Hour
Back squats
1 – 10 – 1 – 20 – 1 – 30
Same percentages as above, but use 55% for the set of 30 reps.
Linked sit-ups

Push Presses!

Post times to comments

The WODs are Here!

Okay, here we go.  Here are the long awaited workouts for our Summer Throwdown on Saturday:

Workout #1

Complete for time:

30 burpees

Then 3 rounds of:

10 deadlifts (Rx: 205# for men/123# for women, Almost Rx: 155# for men/93# for women)

Run the short block (~330 meters)

Then finish with 30 wall ball shots (Rx: 20# ball to 11′ target/14# ball to 9′ target, Almost Rx: 20# ball to 9′ target/10# ball to 9′ target)

Workout #2

Thruster Ladder

Athletes will have 50 seconds to complete 20 double-unders (Rx division) or 20 single-unders (Almost Rx) then 1 thruster.  If the athlete completes the jump rope portion and the thruster, he/she will move on to a heavier weight.  Athletes will have 10 seconds to move to the next bar.  

If the athlete fails to thruster the barbell, then the athlete can perform additional double-unders or single-unders to earn additional points.  For example:

Athlete A successfully thrusters 155#.  He then completes 20 double-unders but fails to thruster 165#.  In the remaining time, Athlete A performs 25 double-unders.  His final workout score is 155.25.  The additional double-unders allow him to separate himself from someone else that also lifts 155# but fails at the next weight of 165#.

After you complete the jump rope portion you have multiple attempts to lift the weight.

The thruster must be a continuous movement with no pausing with the weight on the shoulders during the upward portion of the lift.  It is not a clean and jerk.  

A squat clean to thruster is acceptable.  

Men’s Rx opening weight will be 105# and increase by 10# for every lift.

Women’s Rx opening weight will be 55# and increase by 10# for every lift.

Men’s Almost Rx opening weight will be 75# and increase by 10# for every lift.

Women’s Almost Rx opening weight will be 33# and increase by 10# for every lift.  

Workout #3

Rx Division

12 minute AMRAP of:

15 calories on the rower (any damper setting is acceptable)

12 box jumps (28″ for men/24″ for women)

9 ground to overhead anyhow (95# for men/63# for women)

6 pull-ups

Almost Rx Division

12 minute AMRAP of:

12 calories on the rower (any damper setting is acceptable)

9 burpee box jumps (24″ for men/20″ for women)

6 ground to overhead anyhow (75# for men/53# for women)

Ground to overhead can be any variation of the snatch, clean and jerk, or thruster so long as the bar starts on the ground and finishes overhead.


Scoring will be an ordinal ranking system.  One point will be given for a first place finish, two points for a second place finish, etc.

The lowest combined score in all three events will determine the winner.  

In the event of a tie, there will be a tiebreaker WOD to determine the winner.

Movement standards will be briefed before the workout on Saturday.

Tuesday’s Skill:

5 – 10 – 5 yard shuttle drill

Workout of the Day:


20 minute AMRAP of:

Run 400 meters

Max pull-ups

These women are throwdown ready and are going to bring it.

Tight Shoulders?

Are your shoulders tight?

Written by Dave Lipson – CrossFit Invictus

Shoulder mobility is an essential component of good human movement and effective training programs. If we are training the upper body to pull and push in multiple planes through a full range of motion, shoulder mobility is a necessity. Too many times I have walked into CrossFit gyms and watched tight shoulders muscle through compromised range of motion. There are lots of unstable spinal positions and open rib cages working in an effort to steal movement for tight shoulders, lots of pressing in front of the head, and grinding kipping pull-ups. For many people it is not a matter of if, but rather when they will injure a shoulder. Before we start adding load and intensity to those overhead exercises, let’s look at the ability to stabilize the spine while opening the shoulder in an overhead support known as the active shoulder position.
What is Active Shoulder Support?
Active shoulder refers to a position of the body at which the bones of the upper extremities stack up evenly over each other to provide structural support overhead, while the midline (spine) of the body stays braced and locked down by the rib cage. It is indicated by the following:

  • Elbows locked out and shoulders shrugged up
  • Actively and continually applying upward pressure
  • Braced belly with a closed rib cage
  • Shoulder angle open with arms directly above the mid foot. bi-secting the hip and knee in the frontal plane

Self Shoulder Assesment# 1
Preparation: Raise one arm, bend elbow, and reach down across back, with palm facing upper back. Position opposite arm down behind back and reach up across back with back of hand against back.  (As shown in photos above.)
Execution: With fingers extended, try to cross fingers, upper hand over lower hand. Repeat with arms in opposite position.
Measurement: Measure distance from finger tip to finger tip. If fingers overlap, score as a plus. If fingers fail to meet, score as a minus.

Shoulder assessment #2
Preparation: Lay on the ground in a supine position (belly up) with a dowel in an overhead position, hands slightly outside of shoulders.
Execution: Go into a hollow position (feet and shoulder blades off the ground 1-2″) belly tight and rib cage closed, lumbar spine pressed into the ground. With arms locked out, keep the hollow and try to pull the bar back towards the ground.
Measurement: Measure the distance from the ground to the dowel in inches.
Bar on ground = excellent
1-2″ = good
3-4″ = fair
5″ or more = poor

Where to go from here?
So the point here isn’t to make anyone feel bad or inadequate. Tight shoulders don’t make you a bad person, a bad crossfitter, or un-fit. We just want you to have a long, fruitful, and injury free experience with CrossFit and in life, as well as allow you to reach your highest athletic potential. Here are some methods, taught to us by Kelly Starrett – performance guru and founder of MobilityWOD, to work on and maintain good shoulder mobility:

  • Banded Shoulder Distraction – place superband on rack 2” above head, face into rack and hold band supported on the back of the wrist, go into lunge and allow band to pull arm up and forward, palm up to the sky, drive chest towards knee.
  • Lacrosse Ball Posterior Capsule Release – lay supine on your back, lacrosse ball on the back of shoulder, roll over onto ball and work into the back of the shoulder
  • Lacrosse Ball Subscap Release – Lay supine with ball along the edge of the shoulder blade proximal to the spine, take straight arm thumb down to the opposite hip, move diagonal across body to an overhead position thumb into ground, perform 5 reps slowly, adjust ball up edge of scapula, rinse and repeat in 3 different positions.
  • Partner Posterior Cuff Stretch – lay supine, bent knees, soles of feet on the ground, go into a hip bridge, hips high, femur congruent with torso angle, place the back of the hands on the lower back, have partner hold down shoulders as you slowly lower hip to the ground, rinse and repeat.
  • Kneeling Shoulder Stretch – on knees facing 24’’ plyobox, approximately 3 feet away, place palms on box and drive chest down, brace abdomen and relax with straight arms.
  • Reach, Roll, Lift – lay in a prone position face down, make a fist and place thumb on forehead, with opposite arm reach and pull arm overhead out of retraction crawling with fingertips, when you can’t go any farther turn thumb up and lift arm for 1 sec., rinse and repeat on both arms.

The following video demonstrates these techniques, and for a more comprehensive guide to all things related to shoulder mobility, please check out MobilityWOD’s “shoulder” mobility posts.

Test and Re-Test
Test and assess your shoulder mobility. These stretches and exercises are great preparation for overhead or upper-body intensive workouts. They are also great ways to cool down and make substantial gains post workout, when the tissues and tendons are hot and malleable. I would encourage you to test your mobility, go through some mobility work, and then test again to assess which protocols work best for you.

Intermediate Skill:
Complete 4 sets of the complex:
3 power snatches
3 snatch grip push presses (behind the neck)
3 overhead squats
Increase the weight for each set.
Workout of the Day (WOD):
5 rounds of:
5 overhead squats (135# for men/93# for women)
15 hand release push-ups
30 double-unders

All Levels Skill:
Front squat
5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 3
5 rounds of:
5 front squats (70% of skill weight)
15 hand release push-ups
30 double-unders
Post times to comments

New Schedule and Fine Print

Okay, here’s the class schedule that is going to begin on Monday, July 2nd:

This is based on your feedback to have more intermediate classes during the evening and to keep Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday classes starting on the half hour.  I know the time changes might be a little confusing at first, but I’m sure you will make the adjustment fairly quickly.  

Capped Classes Fine Print

Remember too, that this expanded schedule also has a capped class policy of 14 athletes.  We want to keep the coach-to-athlete ratio small to ensure you get the quality coaching you deserve and pay for.  

How will capped class policy work you might ask?  Answer: there will be a sign up sheet in the office, and the first 14 to show up and sign in will be guaranteed a spot in the class.  Depending on the WOD and time of class, we will make exceptions and allow more people into the class.  We’ll usually make exceptions on weekend classes and the last class of the day, but don’t assume that will work every time.  If you show up 10 minutes early, you should be fine.

Remember, this new schedule is going to start on a trial basis to see what works and what can work better.  

We are rolling out several new events in the next few months that are going to be very exciting.  We also have a huge announcement coming very soon!  Stay tuned and thanks for your patience and feedback.   

Because They’re So Cool…

…the muscle-ups, that is.  Probably the hardest bodyweight movement we do in CrossFit, the muscle-up is an awesome combination of strength and technicality.  Let’s watch and learn.

So who’s going to get their first one today?

Thursday’s Skill:


3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 burpees

10 air squats

1 deadlift (use 65% of skill weight)

5 burpees

10 air squats

2 deadlifts

5 burpees

10 air squats

3 deadlifts…keep adding 1 additional deadlift every round.

Recipe Time – Paleo Cupcakes!

So you’ve been pretty good with your diet, you’ve been sticking to your new healthy habits, but you’re craving something sweet.  Well, here’s a recipe for Paleo cupcakes that are super yummy and easy to make!


2 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup pitted dates
3 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
3/4 cups walnuts

Optional: you can also add blueberries and/or apple if you want. I always add an apple diced up nicely.

In a small bowl combine almond flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a food processor combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend dry mixture to wet mixture. Add in carrots and walnuts.
Bake 350 for 25 minutes….

A couple of pointers:

-The pitted dates can be a bit of a hassle.  Try slicing them apart and removing the pits. Then cut them up into pieces as small as you can. They’re sticky and gooey so they don’t chop up and mix too well in a food processor.

-If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. If you don’t have either you can do it all by hand. I’ve tried it all 3 ways.

-It’s hard to mess this recipe up…it’s pretty forgiving. No two batches I’ve made ever look the same.


Now do some muscle ups! 😉



100 meter sprints x4 – record the fastest and slowest times.

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 thrusters (135# for men/93# for women)
50 double-unders
8 thrusters
40 double-unders
6 thrusters
30 double-unders
4 thrusters
20 double-unders
2 thrusters
10 double-unders

*3:1 singles




Workout Of the Day (WOD):

12 minute AMRAP of:

5 thrusters (use 60% of skill weight)
60 single-unders or 20 double-unders

Power Hour

Pause front squats

60% of 1 rm – 5, 1 second pause squats
65% of 1 rm – 4, 2 second pause squats
70% of 1 rm – 3, 3 second pause squats
75% of 1 rm – 2, 4 second pause squats
80% of 1 rm – 1, 5 second pause squat


Run 400 meters backwards


30 KB Swings – (70# for men/53# for women)

*You have 1 minute to get 30 KB swings. If you do not get 30 KB swings in 1 minute, count a penalty of 15 burpees.

*Perform this workout one minute on and one minute off. Total time is 8 minutes.


Happy Wednesday, Mergers!

Ask and You Shall Receive

Because you asked for it, we’ve added a few new items to our pro shop recently.  In addition to our t-shirts/tank tops (more on order and coming soon), and jump ropes, we also have some other new items.  Check it out.

Mueller Tape

Got a hand tear or think you’re about to get one?  Tape it up first and save yourself a nasty, bloody, rip on your hand.  

Lacrosse Balls

Like a honey badger chewing on all your tight and knotted up muscles, the lacrosse ball loves to make you hurt so bad.  

Wrist Wraps

Feel that pressure on the wrists when you go overhead or when you front squat or clean heavy, these will certainly help.  Our first order sold out fast, so more are coming soon.

What else are you interested in having available at the gym?  Coconut water, protein powder, fish oil, Reebok shoes?  Let us know what you want and we’ll see if we can make it happen.  

Tuesday’s Skill


3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Workout of the Day (WOD):

16 min team AMRAP:

In teams of 3 or 4, one person working for max reps/calories at each station for 1 minute:

1 minute of wall ball shots (20/14)
1 minute of burpees
1 minute of row for calories
1 minute of rest

Great job and team work from everyone on this one.

Another action packed, high intensity day at CrossFit Merge.

Athlete Spotlight – Andrew & Zenda

Let me introduce to you guys Andrew and Zenda.  



These two awesome athletes are regulars of the evening class and are strong, determined, and such a cute couple!  I remember the first time I met Zenda, she rocked the death by sprints and Andrew is one of the strongest guys at Merge.  These guys are awesome to have in class, they are hardworking and consistent.  Its awesome to see couples work out together! You know what they say… couples that work together stay together 🙂

And enough of my rambling, here’s Andrew and Zen

How long have you guys been doing CrossFit?

Andrew: I’ve been doing crossfit for over 4 months
Zenda: close to 2 month

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

Andrew: I yelped crossfit and I picked the logo and name I liked the most. That is also how I pick bottles of wine.
Zenda: I wanted to try a new workout and Andrew said I would like Merge because it’s tough and there are no douchebags.

What was your first CrossFit Merge WOD experience like?

Andrew: Bryce tried talking to me afterwards, and I couldn’t comprehend anything he was saying.
Zenda: I remember feeling really nervous before class and already feeling sore on the car ride home.

What is something that not a lot of people know about you (collectively and/or individually) but you guys WISH more people COULD know?

Andrew: Zenda is a proud Navajo half breed.
Zenda: Andrew is more Oriental than he looks.
Andrew: We can joke this way because it’s true.

What is your greatest CrossFit Merge accomplishment thus far?

Andrew: Sadly, jumping rope more than 10 times unbroken
Zenda: Graduating to 20-inch box jumps

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Andrew: Anything with heavy lifting so I can feel good about myself.
Zenda: Anything with running and kettlebells. I love cardio.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Andrew: Anything containing 400m or large block because I’ll finish five minutes after everyone else is done and there’s a good chance I’ll have a calf cramp.
Zenda: Anything with wall ball shots or overhead squats because my squats suck.

What advice would you give a new member?

Zenda: The soreness won’t last forever, but it will last about a month.
Andrew: “Git some!”, “Don’t phone it in.” and other workout cliches.

How has CrossFit affected you as a couple?

Andrew: It’s nice to have something new to talk about after four years.
Zenda: Working out on Friday is our new date night. Thanks for nothing, Bryce. 🙂

How did you guys meet?

Zenda: Andrew is the first person I met at my dorm.
Andrew: I didn’t actually go to her college. I was just wandering the halls after helping a friend move in.
Zenda: It only took him eight years to ask me out.
Andrew: It takes a long time to trick someone into liking you.
Zenda: I didn’t even know his name was Andrew until right before we started dating. I thought it was Boon Boonkrong.
Andrew: Boon is my alter ego.

If you could be any superhero who would you be? Why?

Andrew: Zenda is already the Hulk, so she doesn’t need to answer this. It would have to be someone strong enough to square off with the Hulk. The Red Hulk is the only way to go.
Zenda: Nerd alert: He read up on the Red Hulk for 20 minutes.

Where do you see yourself in 1 year?

Andrew: Super buff and tan.
Zenda: Traveling through Europe.
Andrew: Super buff and tan in Europe.

Andrew and Zenda, thanks for being part of our box.  We enjoy your fun spirit and dedication!  Make sure you send us a postcard from Europe.  Andrew, will you please make us mixed tape?! 😉



Squat snatches

Every minute on the minute for 12 minutes, perform 1 squat snatch.  Try increasing the weight each minute.

Workout Of the Day (WOD):

15-12-9-12-15 reps of:

Squat snatches (75# for men/53# for women)
Box jumps (24” for men/20” for women)

All Levels/Beginner


In 2:30, run 400 meters, then AMRAP of: hand release push-ups.  Rest 30 seconds, repeat for a total of 3 rounds.  Score total push-ups.

Workout Of the Day (WOD):

15-12-9-12-15 reps of:

Sumo Deadlift High Pull or Squat Snatches (75# for men/53# for women)
Burpee Box Jumps (24” for men/20” for women)

Squat snatches!

Post times to comments

The Throwdown…Rx’d or Not?

Several of you have asked about whether or not to do the Throwdown in the Rx’d division or the Almost Rx’d division.  First off, great job in just stepping up and committing to this awesome event.  I commend you for that.  It’s a terrific experience and one you definitely won’t regret.  

So, here are movements and weights you should be able to do if competing in the Rx’d division:

Deadlifts for several reps (205# for men/123# for women)

Box jumps (28″ for men/24″ for women)


Pull-ups (at least 5 at a time or darn close to it)

Wall ball shots (20# for men to a 10′ target/14# for women to a 9′ target)

Ground to overhead for several reps (95# for men/63# for women)

If you look at the above movements and weights and feel confident in your ability to perform them, then you should enter into the Rx’d category.  Keep in mind, the movements and weights may change, but this should give you a good indication of what is expected in the Rx’d division.  

Miles is giving the Throwdown a shot.  Why aren’t you?