Participating in your first CrossFit Games Open is the ultimate learning experience.

 Work hard, have fun, and learn what the Open is all about because you only have one first time.

Here are five ways to make the most of your experience:

1. Ignore the Clock

The fastest way to get discouraged during a workout is to focus on the clock. We’ve all been there: four minutes into a fifteen-minute AMRAP and suddenly we’re questioning how we’re ever going to survive the rest of the WOD.

Wasting your time looking at the clock isn’t doing you any favors. The time melts away at the same speed regardless of how often you check. So stop dilly-dallying and just do the work.

“By shifting your focus away from the clock, you can dedicate 100% of your effort to achieving your goal. If there’s time left once you’re at your target, the rest is gravy.”

The best approach for a beginner to avoid getting overwhelmed is to pick a realistic number of rounds to complete and forget about the time constraint. Just focus on the task at hand and fight to hit your number.

Tip: Ask your judge to let you know when there are two minutes left in the workout so you can make a final push to finish strong.

2. Avoid Playing Games

If this is your first CrossFit Open, you might hear conversations among fellow CrossFitters that go something like this: “Dude, step ups are faster than box jumps. I totally timed it.”

But you know what? Who cares? Go ahead and watch the dozens of strategy videos that inevitably pop up after each workout is announced, but don’t let the hype get to your head. As a first-timer, your main concern should be working hard without regrets, not whether or not you maximized your time by doing three reps per set instead of four.

Worrying about strategy, like focusing on the clock, will just sabotage your confidence – and for a beginner, it’s all about the big picture. At the end of each workout, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you proud of your effort?
  • Did you work as hard as possible on that given day?
  • Did you have fun?

If you answer yes to these, consider the workout a success.

Tip: I’m not advocating going into a workout totally blind. For example, don’t go pedal-to-the-metal at the start of an eighteen-minute AMRAP.  Do your own thing and let other people calculate their work-to-rest ratios.

3. Don’t Hold Yourself Back

Something magical happens during the Open. Fear and doubt go out the window and countless people find themselves transitioning over the rings for their first muscle up or finally whipping a jump rope fast enough for their first double under.

Athletes all over the world achieve feats of strength and athleticism that once seemed impossible. Watching a friend conquer something that he or she was struggling with since that first nervous day at the gym is incredibly rewarding.

Many beginners get stuck in a cycle of always choosing to fall short of what they’re truly capable of doing. But because Open workouts are judged, you’re forced to maintain movement standards and try things you think are out of your reach. Henry Ford said it best: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Tip: Ride the adrenaline wave and see what you can do in the heat of the moment – with safety first, of course. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

4. Embrace Embarrassment

Chances are one of your goats will pop up during the five-week competition. Maybe it’s the elusive muscle up that you’re still a bit away from achieving. Or maybe the prescribed deadlift is a weight you only dream about.

Give the workout your best shot, but know when to bow out. Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t hurt yourself trying to get just one rep. Grinding out a heavy snatch or turning into the Hunchback of Notre Dame for a deadlift isn’t worth the risk of injury. Crazy things can happen in the heat of the moment (see tip number three), but sometimes it’s best to call it a day. Remember, you’re a beginner and your goals are to learn and have fun.

The silver lining in this situation is that the Open will expose your weaknesses and provide a training roadmap for the next year. You might be surprised at how motivated you feel to train harder after failing in an Open workout. Once the competition is over, there are 47 weeks until the next Open. That’s a lot of time to improve strength and skills.

Tip: Hold your head high and vow to come back stronger next year.

5. You’ll Get Better at CrossFit Without Actually Working Out

Yes, you read that right. Each Open workout must be performed in front of a judge (aka, fellow CrossFitter at your gym). Judges are responsible for ensuring each athlete adheres to proper movement standards. If your athlete doesn’t meet these standards, it’s up to the judge to call out a “no rep.”

Judging will make you a better athlete because watching people move is a great way to develop an eye for quality movement. You’ll begin to notice common mistakes that run rampant in CrossFit gyms and you may start to wonder if you’re guilty of the same mistakes. “I hope I don’t look like that when I work out.”

No one wants to “no rep” during a WOD, so do yourself a favor and use this new awareness as motivation to fight for better positions – like maintaining high elbows on front squats or keeping your feet glued together for kipping pull-ups. A little extra effort will go a long way toward building your confidence.

Tip: In the end, remember that your first Open is a learning experience. Have fun, work hard and enjoy the ride

Original Article: Click here

Staying fit is difficult, not only must you maintain a workout regimen but you must constantly watch what you eat. Don’t worry, it gets easier once you identify which foods you should stay away from. Knowing what you can eat is half the battle. Here are 7 foods you should stay away from and their healthy alternatives…

1: Juice

What? Isn’t juice healthy? Unfortunately no, although this drink is heavily promoted towards kids and adults it is both calorie and sugar dense. The reason why fruits are healthy is that they’re filled with fiber. This allows your body efficiently process the sugars you consume in your fruits. Once your fruit is juiced you lose most of the fiber leaving you with a calorie dense drink. Just to put it in perspective an 8oz glass of orange juice has 103 calories vs 92 calories in an 8oz can of cola.


2: Potatoes

Potatoes can be healthy… if you eat them baked without any condiments. The problem is that potatoes usually aren’t eaten plain. The most popular potato dishes include mashed potatoes filled with butter, baked potatoes that are topped with sour cream, butter, and cheese. Lastly, the most popular potato concoction, fries, which are of course deep fried in oils. It’s easier to stay away from this starchy food and replace it with a green vegetable instead.

ALTERNATIVE: Yams, Cauliflower, or Squash

3: Soda

Similar to beer, sodas are high in sugars and have little to no nutrition value. It’s time to drink water and only water. If you’re not a water drinker you will have to get accustomed to the taste. In a society that’s bombarded with sugar-filled drinks water has become an acquired taste. Soda won’t quench your thirst as advertised, but water will so stop relying on these sugary beverages whenever your body needs to be hydrated. Eventually, you’ll crave the refreshing and crisp taste of water.


4: White Starches

White rice, flour, and white bread will quickly deter your efforts for a flatter belly. These foods have a high glycemic index which raises the body’s blood glucose. This results in gained weight and fat deposits that settle in your abdominal region. It is best to stay away from white starches and replace them with healthier options like quinoa, brown rice, and of course vegetables.

ALTERNATIVE: Quinoa or Brown Rice

5: Alcohol

Everybody likes the occasional drink, but unfortunately, all types of alcohol contain a type of sugar that causes you to produce belly fat. The average beer contains 150 calories, and we both know that you’re not sipping on just one beer during each drinking occasion. You don’t want to be getting your calories from alcohol, especially since it supplies almost twice as many calories as protein and carbs. Another side effect of alcohol is increased hunger, so not only will you be getting unnecessary calories from alcohol but you’ll also be adding calories from the munchies. My advice, stick with water, limit your alcohol to a minimum, or do two-a-days 5 times a week.

ALTERNATIVE: Well…Moderation

6: Sausages

You’ll be surprised how many times you eat sausages, in your breakfast, in hot dogs, sporting events, or at BBQs. Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to this food when you’re at BBQ or sporting events so be prepared to bring your own alternative. These foods are not only high in protein but also in fats that are not suitable for a diet. It is better to stick with the fresher meats like turkey, chicken breasts, or fish. Once you realize how this food is made you won’t think twice about picking up another sausage.

ALTERNATIVE: White meat, Fish, Turkey

7: Fast Food

Not surprising right? But why is it that we still find ourselves in a fast food drive through? An average fast food meal contains close to 1,000 calories, that’s half of the recommended daily calorie intake! Look, nothing good ever comes from a fast food place so stop looking for a healthy alternative at the wrong place, we both know why you went there in the first place. Start to cook at home, not only do you use fresher and healthier ingredients but you’ll also learn a thing or two while saving money.

ALTERNATIVE: Home Cooked Meals

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”

Who has our hearts this February, you ask? Let’s hear it for our February 2018 Athlete of the Month, Lavern Curry!! LC is one year into his CrossFit journey and continues to dedicate his focus on improving skills, form, movement patterns, and pushing through grueling WOD’s each and every week!! He consistently shows up at the very LEAST 3x/week. If you don’t believe us check his attendance records. He literally hasn’t missed a week since his first day on Halloween of last year. Mixing it up between our Hardcore Cardio specialty class, CrossFit classes, and Partner Endurance workouts.

LC is a kind soul~ always supportive, encouraging and up for any challenge! He brings positive energy, laughter, and so much more to our 5am crew. We are thankful to have him in our community, and thrilled to celebrate all his greatness and well-deserved Athlete of the Month achievement!!

Quick and Easy Chili

With winter weather in full swing, I get the craving for all things soup, stew or chili. It is important to eat with the seasons and winter calls for warming foods with easy to digest cooked veggies since people would work less in the winter. When preparing foods, think about the season in which it grew and how the food was prepared to last a winter or summer without refrigeration or heat. It is interesting even our meat and eggs are seasonal. Constitutionally, warming foods and ferments are best for cool seasons, fresh veggies and salads and smoothies are best for warm seasons.

I found this recipe in a cooking magazine over 20 years ago, as I changed my health and lifestyle over the years I adapted my original junky recipe to suit what I was doing at the time. I also realized one day I had inadvertently been using tablespoons for spices instead of teaspoons, which was funny. What my chili has now become is a bowl of nutrient-dense ancestral goodness that is both inexpensive and easy to make.

A few key things: use grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for the most nutrients and flavor. Contrary to popular belief red meat isn’t bad for you. It is the way we have industrialized our beef that makes it horrible. A grass-fed beef will be full of vitamins A and E, omega-3 fatty acids (necessary for inflammation management) and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a powerful polyunsaturated acid that boosts the immune system and may be cardio protective). In fact, pastured beef is one of the highest sources of CLA.

Soak your beans. Beans can be hard on the stomach, think about that jungle you heard as a child 😉 They contain anti-nutrients called phytates and lectins. These anti-nutrients are enzyme inhibitors that make grains and legumes difficult to digest. However, traditional cultures around the world knew that grains and beans need to be prepared before they are eaten. Soaking your beans overnight in some apple cider vinegar os the traditional way to do that. Besides, dried beans are so much cheaper than canned anyway and you get to ditch the toxin lined can to boot!

Lastly, give this chili a nutritional punch by using homemade (or now you can buy traditionally prepared, it just cost a lot of $) beef or chicken broth. A homemade broth contains all kinds of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and nutrients that are great for your health. A good stock will contain gelatin which is great for gut healing, joint pain and the immune system. In fact, gelatin as a therapeutic agent dates back hundreds of years. Remember grandmother’s chicken noodle soup for a cold? Campbell’s ruined it :/ Not only is broth super good for you, it provides amazing flavor too. My kids now refuse to eat chili with the boxed junk.



1-2 tbsps healthy fat, I like ghee, tallow or pastured butter or lard

1 large organic yellow onion, diced

1 organic green bell pepper, diced

1-2 jalapenos, diced

1 pound grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef

2 cups, homemade or traditionally prepared chicken or beef broth (I have used both, both are yummy)

8 oz organic tomato sauce

6 oz. organic tomato paste

16 oz dried navy beans, soaked 12-24 hours in filtered water and a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar

I just soak my beans the night before I plan to make chili, don’t get caught up here, it takes 2 mins and I often make my kids do it, it’s so simple.

Interesting fact, did you know white navy beans, lima beans, and lentils are easier to digest than other beans, chickpeas and black beans can be the hardest

3 tbsps chili powder

1 tbsps cumin

Dash sea salt to taste

1-2 tbsps clean hot sauce

Read your labels! Hot sauce is often full of sugar and msg. This brand [link] is my new fave

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

Chop your garlic first and let it stand until you add it to the end. Traditionally allow garlic to stand after cutting allows it to retain nutrients when heated up. Furthermore, add your garlic to soups and stews to retain even more nutrients


In a 5-6 quart pot or dutch oven melt fat and saute onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno until tender about 5-6 minutes

Add ground beef and cook until brown

Stir in remaining ingredients besides garlic, bring to a boil

Reduce heat to low, simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add garlic 5-10 minutes before serving

We serve with fresh sour cream, raw cheese, sauerkraut and pickled jalapenos

This serves about 4-5, I easily double this recipe for my family of 6 big eaters with leftovers. Once I made 8 servings for a fundraiser! This is great if you have a large crowd or want chili for dayz J

If you’re health conscious, you’ve probably heard that you should always pass on the chicken skin; while flavorful, it’s just added fat, which therefore contributes to weight gain, a higher blood pressure, and other risk factors for illness. Like most advice for healthy living, the truth is a little more nuanced than we’ve been led to believe. The short of it is, chicken skin isn’t all bad for your health.

Believe it or not, there are some health benefits from eating chicken skin; this has been researched and proven by health experts from the University of Harvard. According to their studies, the oft-feared chicken skin can actually help your heart.

In the past, any food with a high-fat content was automatically shunned, largely in part to the misinformation that fat=bad. While there is some rationale for this belief, the caveat is that it’s really the type of fat (and the amount of it) that makes a diet healthy or unhealthy. Take, for instance, the avocado- a fatty fruit also once poorly regarded, but now recognized as a staple in healthy diets.

What do the avocado and chicken have in common? Unsaturated fat.

Unsaturated fat is actually beneficial to heart health because it helps to lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol, which decreases the risk of heart disease.

So, chicken skin is actually good for you. What next? If you’re concerned about a huge jump in calories, don’t be. The difference between a skinless serving of chicken compared to one cooked with the skin on is around 50 calories. That’s a pretty small price to pay. Also, consider the flavor chicken skin will add to your meals. You might even take the opportunity to pass on the salt, which has very real negative effects on your body when taken in excess.

With all this talk of cooking chicken skin, you may be thinking of all the grease you’ll be putting into your body. It’s not a pretty picture. Fortunate then, that chicken skin actually works as a barrier. That’s right- the skin prevents excess oil from entering the meat of the chicken by absorbing it before it can soak in. This can actually add extra flavor to the skin.

Even if you aren’t completely convinced, or now even less interested in eating the oily chicken skin, it’s still beneficial to cook chicken with the skin on to absorb excess oil, and then discard it before dining. Either way, if you make sure to cook your chicken in healthy oil, to begin with, you can definitely cut down on potentially harmful substances entering your body. Olive oil is a good choice.

Like everything else, moderation is the key when it comes to chicken skin. It definitely shouldn’t be eaten in excess, but consuming it isn’t all bad either; it provides some omega-3 fats, which benefit the body. It also contains some omega-6, which can have adverse health effects. With that in mind, chicken skin certainly shouldn’t be on the menu every day, but it won’t hurt as part of a balanced diet every so often.

Original Article: Click Here

All Made Simple – by: S.George

Contact: [email protected]

“If you continue to do what you have always done, then you will continue to be who you have always been…you must change to change…”

I had the great pleasure of chatting with CrossFit Games Masters athlete Shellie Edington earlier today. She began her CrossFit journey in 2010 at age 46, not being able to do a push-up. Three short years later, she was at The Games. She has since been to the last five CrossFit Games Masters competitions, going from placing 19th in 2013 to winning it all in 2016 in the Masters Women 50-54 Division. This past year, she earned a 2nd place finish. She is also the founder and operator of Tumblin4Kids in Columbus, Ohio. Last, but certainly not least, she is married to Chris Edington and mother of three daughters.

Talk to me about starting your CrossFit journey and how you went from completely suffering that first time to ‘OK, I want to do this again.’

I actually didn’t want to go back. Nothing like it had made me feel that way. I was never afraid to work out. But this was different. It pissed me off really. And I said to myself, ‘You’re f’ing going back.’ I made myself go back and that was pivotal. There are two pieces to who you are, especially as a woman. First, what society has molded you to be – to look a certain way, a wife, a mother, supportive, all those typical things. And the second thing is what was there when you were born; the beast. That’s what spoke up. I was sick of being told I was too old to do certain things. I wanted to see what my body could do.

How did the hormonal changes affect your training and what adjustments, if any did you make?

Mine really hit after the 2014 Games. I was 49 and placed third, was going to be 50 that October. I went to a Power Monkey Fitness camp and I had the worst cycle I ever had in my life. When I got back home, I went to my doctor and we did some blood work. He’s actually an endocrinologist which is great. Turns out my estrogen and progesterone levels were really low. So he put me on 200 mg of progesterone which worked out really well. But that was after the 2015 Games, so it was about a year later. Before that, I had this sense of loss of well-being, a loss of confidence. Then the hot flashes hit and I didn’t know what was going on. I had a huge anxiety thing hit at the Games in 2015 and I attribute it to that for the most part. There were multiple factors, but just the well-being you loose when you don’t have your progesterone. So going on the progesterone helped but I still was getting hot flashes. That really affected my sleep which went on throughout 2015 and 2016. Then in September of 2017, I got on Prempro, which is the combination of progesterone and estrogen and stopped taking the progesterone. I was a little concerned about taking estrogen and the breast cancer risk, but I was literally getting no sleep. Now, I have no hot flashes and it’s made such a huge difference.

How were able to balance all of this with preparing for the Games?

You know, we’re all going through it. We’re just all at different stages, different levels of it. Some women treat it, some choose not to. I just didn’t like the person I was without the treatments. If you’re active, eat right, hydrate and don’t eat a bunch of garbage, you’re gonna be OK.

It’s January, which is the crunch time with your training, however, I know there has been an injury (knee). How has it affected your training and any decisions needing to be made?

I’m not going to be focusing on the Open now with the knee injury. The reason I started CrossFit was to feel better, move better and have a higher quality of life. However, if I continue to train the way I was training, I will lose my knee; I won’t be able to walk on it properly, I won’t be able to pick up my grandchildren…it will negatively impact my life. So the first goal is to get the knee better and we decided to do stem cell injections and PRP. That will happen in a couple of weeks. The good thing is my coach is helping me get what I want and achieve what I want. And the only thing I ever really wanted was to go to the Games and win. I’ve made the podium three times, been to the Games five times. It’s been an amazing experience. I may try to go back when I’m 55. I have qualified to go to the Masters Weightlifting Championship in Barcelona in August and might just power clean and power snatch and see what I can do in that capacity. I will also continue to take the platform I have been given to help and inspire others to become the very best version of themselves. Specifically help masters athletes believe in themselves, try CrossFit, and understand it’s just exercise. You can be bad ass at 50, you can look great!

Speaking of the Open, what advice do you have for balancing being competitive with having fun?

The Open is a different animal. It goes on for five weeks and it is mentally draining. You’re all excited about the workout coming out on Thursday, you stay up, you watch it, then you try to go to sleep. But you can’t because your brain is constantly running through it telling you all the things you can’t do. It got to the point to where I didn’t watch the announcements. And I did better. I’d also always do them again on Monday, sometimes having better results. But Monday is more of a mental training exercise. You know at a certain point in that workout, you better pour it on for that ten minutes or it will be a complete waste of time. I stopped having fun in 2013 when I was training for the Games. But I was building my body, learning, understanding the fact it was literally no pain no gain and it being a true statement. As a gymnast, it wasn’t like that. It was more technical, more skill and difficulty. So the training pushed me to different mental levels. The bottom line is don’t start to lose your shit during the Open. Do some subconscious training. There’s a book out there called Sports Psychology for Dummies written by my sports psychologist, Dr. Todd Kays. It’s an amazing book on how to develop your subconscious. Even breathing. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths before the 10 seconds goes off. I do that every time, even at the Games. Relaxing as much as possible because your heart rate is about to go through the roof. To make it fun, just don’t care about it. It is what it is. You’re going to go out there and do you best. However, if you have been training, preparing yourself mentally and physically, and feel like you can make the qualifiers, then being kind of hard on yourself is not a bad thing. When I didn’t make it in 2012, I missed it by 10 burpees. I was really upset. But you can’t let it get into your subconscious. Your subconscious will go where you tell it to go. I walked away from my sports psychologist with:

  • You are stronger than you know
  • Relax
  • Breathe
  • Get on it
  • Fight

Very simple and quick things. It’s very liberating and empowering.

As it relates to recovery, I believe you have said if there were three things, it would be a good coach, a good chiropractor, and a good massage therapist, right?

Yep, that’s it. Go to a massage therapist once a month. It makes a difference in your recovery, your longevity, etc. The same with chiropractors. You cannot afford not do it. I’ve taken care of my body and been able to do CrossFit hot and heavy for 7 years. Now I have what is a very typical knee injury (osteoarthritis) most people my age get just from regular life. A great coach, because that is your programming. If you have an idiot doing your programming, you’re going to get hurt. If you have somebody that’s not watching you, not caring about your fitness, don’t work out with them. Have a good olympic weightlifting coach because the great thing about olympic weightlifting is it transfers to everything CrossFit. It’s not a waste of your time.

Any last thoughts?

I hope this helps your athletes and encourages them. Just show up, you’re not done yet, keep trying whatever it takes, and modify as needed. Just because you modify, it doesn’t mean it’s easier. We do in CrossFit, all these different sports what some people spend their entire lives trying to do – olympic weightlifting lifting, running, swimming, gymnastics, rowing, cycling…and then they they throw in cyclocross! You don’t have to be good at everything in CrossFit, just be consistent.

Follow Shellie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter



The RESTART® Program is a simple, powerful way to give your body a vacation from sugar and processed foods. With a 3-week sugar detox built right in, the program focuses on how to use REAL FOOD to boost your energy and cut sugar and carb cravings. You will receive education on HOW the body processes certain foods and how to incorporate healthy food choices in everyday life.  You embark on this real food journey with a small group of like-minded committed individuals under the guidance of a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.


WEEK 1: How to prepare for your REAL FOOD sugar detox. Set your intentions. Get ready mentally and physically.

WEEK 2: Your digestive check-in. Healthy digestion is foundational to optimal health and a vibrant life. Discover how digestion should work and adjustments you can make to ensure your system works smoothly.

WEEK 3: What sugar really does in your body. Learn how your body responds to sugar and the impacts it has on your health. Start the process of getting of that sugar rollercoaster.
WEEK 4: The truth about FATS. Does fat really make you fat? Find out how fats are necessary for optimal health, which fats to include in your diet and which ones it is necessary to avoid.
WEEK 5: How to move forward and celebrate your success! Learn how to integrate a real food lifestyle into everyday life for lasting changes and continued health improvements.


Classes are offered on a quarterly basis, long distance or in person. To maximize the interactive experience, spaces are limited to 12 persons per class. Classes are $150 per person for 5 weeks of 1.5 hour educational/support sessions + personalized support and guidance from a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Next classes begin in person Monday evenings, January 8, 2018 at Crossfit Round Rock in Austin, Texas.

Our first Athlete of the Month for 2018 is….drum roll….Carrie Canova! Carrie has been part of the “crew” for just over a year and in that time she has improved immensely and has dedicated her life to improving her health and fitness.  She regularly attends classes, takes advantage of monthly PT sessions.

Recently she started attending Oly class on Tuesdays to hone in her Olympic lifting technique. If she misses a morning class, you’re damn sure she’ll be there in the evening to make up for it.  Even while traveling, she’ll find a box to drop-in to to stay on track!  Although she may be quiet at times, she’ll crush you in a workout before you even know it.  The dedication is strong with Carrie, so here’s to new heights and new PR’s in 2018!

At home workout by Matt

Accumulate 5 min in plank

*every break do 15 supermans*

push-ups ups for quality


150 Air squats for time

*5 burpees each minute on the minute

*workout starts with burpees and finishes when you complete the squats

“Backyard Fight Gone Bad”

1:00 work for each of 5 different movements (5:00 total).  Rest 1:00.  3 rounds (15:00 total work).

***choose ONE movement in each option group and stick wit the same movement for all 3 rounds


3 rounds, 1:00 each movement:

(1)clapping push up, hand release PU, push up, kneeling PU

(2)split jumps/reverse lunges

(3)jackknife crunches/v-ups/bicycles/AB crunch

(4)squat hops/air squats

(5)planks ups/plank holds

Rest 1:00