Wednesday 140924


For time:
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats

Post time to comments and BTW.

Compare to 121104.

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Sarah after the Fun/Suck cycle Monday.

This Thursday, September 25th, Verve is hosting approximately 40 out of town guests for a special WOD at 6:30am. The workout during this class time will be different from the posted WOD. The hour is still open to all Verve athletes, we will have additional trainers on hand for the large group. Come join in the fun bright and early.

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The picture above is a throwback to ol’ Verve member Ben Freedman who moved across the country and we miss dearly.  His theory of CrossFit was this Fun/Suck Cycle and I love it!  Some workouts spend more time on one end or the other, but every WOD is an opportunity to work through the cycle.  Sometimes you see a workout filled with your favorite movements and say “woohoo, it’s gonna be awesome.”  Other times it may seem all “suck.”

The good news is CrossFit lets us practice suffering.  Not working through an injury or anything of that nature, but practicing being uncomfortable for a time and know that we will live through it.  That intensity and practice is what gets our intended results both in our bodies and in our mental/emotional state.  We learn that even though our brain may say, “Stop!” our bodies can keep going farther than we think.  Verve is a safe place with coaches who know your body and capabilities, we can practice pushing those limits.  Every WOD is an opportunity to trust in our training and test our bodies while building some mental toughness.  

I also look at it like an opportunity to find the Fun part, which sometimes is a challenge in itself.  Maybe it’s a movement or part of the WOD (no, not just the END!)  Or I often say, “Okay, how can I scale or modify this workout to make sure I’m aligning the results with my intended goals for fitness?”  That may mean a goal is unbroken sets on something, or certain pacing on a row/run.  Logging workouts and walking through the doors mean I get the opportunity to test out a previous gameplan  and improve on it.  Today’s benchmark WOD is a perfect opportunity for this theory.  

Seek out the fun, and work through the suck.  
What is your fun and suck part of the cycle today?

Tuesday 140922

5 Rounds for time of
5 Power cleans 135#(95#)
5 Push jerk 135#(95#)
30 Double unders

Post time to BTWB

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Lamar getting the mental game ready before the physical starts.

When you hear testosterone what comes to mind?  Probably old school weightlifting videos or maybe that after school movie that Ben Affleck was in.  Remember that one?  He was taking steroids as a high school student.  It was a little over the top but it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I hear testosterone.  Well I wanted to do more research on the topic and came across a great article that gave me more insight into testosterone, what it’s good for, and how to balance it naturally.

If you are a man or a woman testosterone is one of the important hormones for good body composition. You need to have it in balance with other hormones such as cortisol  and insulin of course.  So how do we do this?  

Three nutrients you want to make sure you are not deficient in are; Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc.

Low Vitamin D levels can lead to more body fat, less strength, risk of bone fracture, low testosterone levels and many more problems.  Take advantage of the sun folks, Vitamin D for free!

Magnesium deficiency is another item linked to low testosterone levels.  Magnesium helps vitamin D activity, improves sleep, and aids in proper insulin health.  Magnesium is important to us in the gyms as well as it is used for muscle contractions.

Zinc deficiency leads to aromatization of testosterone into estrogen.  It’s also a potent antioxidant that helps protect your organs and help them function normally.  

Once you have these in order focus on reducing stress.  High levels of stress can lead to high levels of cortisol.  Cortisol and testosterone are enemies and counter act each other.  Sleep is also important.  Make sure you are sleep deprived as lack of sleep can lead to low testosterone, high cortisol, and bad insulin health.

Diet is another important item to improve balance in hormones.  Eat a high protein, high fat diet with a meal frequency that doesn’t leave you feeling hungry.  If your blood sugar is elevated your testosterone levels will be temporarily reduced. Repeated spikes in blood sugar will lead to low testosterone levels.  In a study of males with normal insulin levels, they had a 25 percent decrease in testosterone after consuming a drink containing sugar and their testosterone levels remained low for up to 2 hours.  

Supporting testosterone levels isn’t difficult.  Make sure you have all the above in line and your health and body composition will improve!

Check out the link HERE for references to the study mentioned as well as the full story the above is referenced from. 

This Thursday, September 25th, Verve is hosting approximately 40 out of town guests for a special WOD at 6:30am. The workout during this class time will be different from the posted WOD. The hour is still open to all Verve athletes, we will have additional trainers on hand for the large group. Come join in the fun bright and early.

Our friends at CrossFit Roots are hosting a competition; The 2014 CrossFit Roots Harvest Hoedown October 11th, 2014

This competition will be kept to 1 day.  Bring your best opposite sex workout partner because this will be a partner competition (1 male and 1 female).  And lastly, we want to crown the most well-rounded CrossFit Coed Pair so be prepared to be tested in all 10 of the general physical skills in 3 different wods. Click HERE for movement list and more information about the competition.  

Monday 140922

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
Row 300 Meters
10 Burpees over the rower
15 Kettlebell sumo deadlift high pull 24kg(16kg)

Post score to BTW.

lee zink Monday 140922

More rowing coming your way!

I’ve heard it said that the biggest adaptation from CrossFit occurs in the mind. You can interpret this in any number of ways, but to me the mental adaptations go deeper than just developing the strength of pushing through the temporary pain of a WOD. I think of developing confidence and gaining the ability to change your thoughts and your emotions, thus having a better relationship with your “self”. That lasts beyond the short term pain of  a workout. That lasts for a lifetime.

Click the link below to read how CrossFit impacted the life of Jennifer Charles.

My favorite quote?

“The sport of CrossFit has brought powerful awareness to the importance of strength, nutrition and body-image. Through that awareness, I have made my own life changing choices. The next time you start to credit CrossFit with your success, just remember to give yourself some credit too.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

*** This Thursday, September 25th, Verve is hosting approximately 40 out of town guests for a special WOD at 6:30am. The workout during this class time will be different from the posted WOD. The hour is still open to all Verve athletes, we will have additional trainers on hand for the large group. Come join in the fun bright and early.

Sunday 140921

For time:
10 – 8 – 6 – 4 – 2 Handstand push ups (parallette)
2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10 Squat clean, 185# (125#)

Post score to BTW.

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Delicious Sweet Potato Chili

The crock pot has to be one of the top gadgets that mankind has come up with (right up there with the automobile and the internet, if you ask me). It takes minimal effort to prepare and cook delicious and healthy meals. Like this Sweet Potato Chili from Born Fitness – quick to prepare, simple and delicious. All you really need is a bit of foresight to get things rocking. 

Check out the original recipe by clicking here.

NOTE: I modified the recipe slightly for convenience and personal preference. Check it out:


  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 2 diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 packets of chili seasoning
  • Optional: avocado


  1. Chop up all the vegetables. (Boring but necessary)
  2. Place everything in a slow cooker.
  3. Add in two 14.5 ounce cans of water (use the can from the beans). Use less water if you like a thicker chili.
  4. Cook on high for 6 hours.
  5. Go be productive and look forward to a bowl of delicious chili when you get home.
  6. If you want, slice up some avocado and place on top.
  7. Eat and be satisfied.

Pro-tip: If you eliminate the beans and tomato sauce, this is a Paleo meal!

Saturday 140920

Free Community WOD at 8AM.

Team Karabel

In teams of two, 20 rounds for time:

3 Power snatch, 135# (95#)
15 Wall balls, 20# (14#)

One partner works at time, partners alternate rounds.

Post time to comments and BTW.

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Colby owning the fat bar on his way to 4th place last weekend at the Lumberyard Throwdown.


Good luck to all our Verve athletes competing this weekend in the Front Range CF Masters Competition, we know you all will do awesome! Send us your pics to post.

  • Eric Kiker (55-59 age group) competes at 9:40AM, 12:20PM and 3:40PM.
  • Jim Duwve (50-54 age group) competes at 9:50AM, 12:40PM and 3:50PM.

Upcoming  Events This Week:

  • Gymnastics Skills Clinic with Zink, Thursday Sept 25 at 5PM.  Sign up on MBO.
  • New Foundations Program begins Monday, September 22. Email to get signed up or for questions.
  • Verve Ladies Happy Hour at Infinite Monkey Theorem, Friday, September 26 at 5:30PM.  Join us for post WOD drinks!
  • Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Chris Hinshaw is Saturday September 27th, 9am-5pm. Register at
  • Track WODs off-site next Saturday, September 27 at 9AM and 10AM.  


Friday 140919

3 rounds for time:

32 Deadlifts, 185# (125#)
32 Hanging hip touches, alternating arms
Run 800m, odd object carry, 30# (20#)

For information about this hero Kevin Ebbert, go HERE
For movement demo, go HERE

Post time to comments or BTW


 Friday 140919

Handstands!! When walking on your feet isn’t good enough!


We all need it! Some of us have a great routine, some of us think about it more than we do it.  Either way, mobility is a HUGE part of making progress in CrossFit.  There are so many options and variations for mobilizing that we can get ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.  The next several Friday posts will be a series revolving around mobilization of the different areas of the body.  I challenge you to spend time each week performing some of the mobility tips and finding which ones you enjoy the most and incorporate them into a daily routine.  We will start with ANKLES and work our way up the body.

ANKLES - Tight, inflexible ankles can lead to poor squatting form, painful running, and tight calves.  Here are some great mobility drills to help get those supple ankles you have always wished for:

#1 – LOOSEN UP YOUR FEET – Simply grab a lacrosse ball, take off you shoes and, while standing, roll the ball around the entire bottom of your foot for :90 each foot.  PUT YOUR BACK IN TO IT, use some force.  You can also do this with a kettle bell.  Sit on your butt and use the bottom of the kettlebell in a twisting motion on the bottom of your foot for the same time period.

#2 – LOOSEN UP YOUR HEEL CORD – Watch the following video with Kelly Starrett regarding tight heel cords.

#3 – HEEL PUMPS – Here is a video from our very own Dan Pope.  They include several ideas, including the heel pump.  Line your toe up about 5 inches from a wall.  While keeping your heel on the ground, pump your knee forward, trying to touch your knee to the wall.  Do 15-20 pumps on each side. (Great background music Dan!)

#4 – HEEL PUMPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL – Attach a band low on the pull-up rig and place a box about 2ft to 3ft in front of it. Hook the band LOW on your ankle and put your whole foot on top of the box.  Keeping you heel down, now do some knee pumps, same rep scheme.

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You may say to yourself “These are nothing new, I have seen these before!”, but do you do them on a regular basis?  Take one week and do these daily to see if you can feel a difference.  Next week: CALVES!! Get excited!


 – Hinshaw Seminar – September 27th 9a – 5p
          Follow this link if you are interested in signing up.  Talk to Roby, Anna, or Joylyn if you have questions about why this is one of the best seminars you will ever go to.  If you are currently in or are thinking about joining the Comp Crew, this seminar helps you to better understand the Stamina work in the program.

-VERVE LADIES NIGHT – September 26th starting @ 5:30pm @ at Infinite Monkey Theorem right across the street.  Be there, or be……. left out:(

- GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF THE VERVE ATHLETES COMPETING IN THE COLORADO OPEN MASTERS at Front Range CrossFit.  If you have time this weekend, go show them some support at Front Range CrossFit.

Thursday 140918

On a 3 minute running clock:
80 Double unders
Then, as many burpees to plate as possible

Rest 1 minute, then repeat for 5 total rounds

Post reps to comments and BTWB


IMG 0209 475x712 Thursday 140918

Lisa and Scotty enjoying yesterday’s muscle-up extravaganza.


I’m a little Crossfitted out, #whatsupwiththat By Courtney Shepherd (and William Imbo of Boxlife Magazine)

I have been in a funk, a CrossFit funk. I haven’t felt my normal motivation to workout and when I do workout I haven’t felt my normal strong. I’m a little CrossFitted out. It happens, I’m not worried, this isn’t my first CrossFit funk. Some of you may sympathize greatly with me and some of you will be like “Say what girl? You crazy. I’ll never be sick of CrossFit.” Yes you will. At some point or another in our CrossFit career we will run into “the funk”, and not the kind produced by George Clinton. We’ve pushed ourselves a little too hard for a little too long. We haven’t taken enough rest days and made ourselves take a few too many double days. We compare our own progress to that of others. Whatever the combination of factors, eventually they take their toll, and we hit a wall. Sometimes that wall lasts a few days but it can go on longer, weeks, months.

The real danger comes about when you stop enjoying CrossFit altogether, and that’s a big problem. You pour a lot of time, money and effort into CrossFit, if you’re not enjoying it, then all those things are going to waste—and you’re development as an athlete will suffer alongside it.” Says William Imbo of Boxlife Magazine in an article titled “Burnt out? How to enjoy CrossFit again.” (click here for full article)

It’s okay to feel the funk, take a break to check yourself before you wreck yourself, and then return fresh and new. But if you simply feel like you no longer find enjoyment in CrossFit that’s a problem. The previously mentioned article provides several tips to rekindling your passion for CrossFit.

1) Avoid overtraining

Overtraining might be the most obvious factor in your decreasing enthusiasm for working out. As I mentioned, CrossFit is tough. It can be hard to keep up that level of motivation and intensity to tackle WODs day in and day out, leading to an eventual burnout. This can be both physical (putting you more susceptible to illness and injury, restless sleep) and mental (loss of desire, poor workout performance leading to added frustration, etc.). Fortunately, there is an easy cure for this one—take a day off, maybe even two! A day of active recovery or complete rest gives your body and mind time to heal and strengthen, and is key for your enjoyment and progress within CrossFit.

2) Focus on yourself, not others

When you focus too much on the performance of others, you lose track of your own development as an athlete. What happens if they start to consistently outperform you? If they are doing a WOD RX, surely you have to as well, right? If they’re working on their handstands during free practice, you better get upside down too, surely? Wrong. While comparing yourself to someone who is always ahead of you may give you a goal to reach for, it’s not exactly your goal, is it? You are a unique individual and a unique athlete. You should view your CrossFit experience accordingly. As such, you should remember that while you may struggle with certain movements and weights, you’ll excel at others. If it makes no sense to go RX, don’t do for the sake of saying you did the same work as someone else—that’s a surefire way to get frustrated, or worse, get injured. Focus on elements of your ‘game’ that need work, and make each WOD about bettering yourself, not comparing your performance to those around you. It can be tough to keep that mentality, but it might be one of the reasons why you’re getting frustrated with CrossFit.

3) Stop training by yourself

This doesn’t just mean going to the box and working out alone. It also means making an effort not to be the guy/gal in the corner of the class keeping to themselves while everyone else is partnering up for strength work or preparing for a metcon. CrossFit is a social sport! By working out by yourself (in either context) you are depriving yourself of some of the great benefits it has to offer, such as support, instruction and friendship.

4) Don’t avoid your weaknesses

No one likes to feel inadequate, and being forced to confront your (exercise) fears has a not-so-funny way of humbling you quickly. Of course, part of CrossFit is accepting the fact that you are going to suck at something (or a lot of things). But part of that acceptance is acknowledging that if you want to get better at CrossFit, you have to work to develop your weaknesses—not avoid them.

5) Remember how far you’ve come from day 1

This is just another reason why you should keep track of your numbers. In the early stages of your CrossFit career, you’ll likely experience significant progress in your lifts, the amount of weight you can move, and how fast you can perform. Such is the beauty of CrossFit. However, it’s equally common for athletes to plateau, and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself fighting for every 5lbs on your back squat when you are use to seeing jumps of 10lbs or even 20lbs each time you step up to the bar. As soon as you start questioning your performance and get angry with a movement that you thought you ‘had’, you’re in trouble. Take a trip down memory lane and remember the days of overhead squatting with a PVC pipe because anything heavier was simply too challenging. Or how about all those bands you needed to sling over the bar in order to complete some pull-ups? Hopefully, you can look back on where you once were and smile in the fact that you have come so far. We often get caught up in the constant quest for improvement, and we forget to enjoy the journey instead. The journey is what CrossFit is all about.

6) Don’t forget why you started

I would argue that there is one underlying reason we all started CrossFit: to become fitter, healthier people. Within that main goal you might have sub-objectives, such as losing 20lbs or becoming a better athlete for a specific sport. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important that you never forget why you signed up for CrossFit in the first place. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers, WODs and fancy gear and forget this simple fact. Once you realize that you are actively pursuing that goal each time you step foot in the box, I’m sure your outlook on the sport will change for the better. CrossFit doesn’t need to be a stressful burden. When you start to feel burnt out, maybe you’ve overwhelmed yourself with too many goals and forgot to simply enjoy CrossFit. With the right perspective, you’ll see that it’s a great tool for achieving the simplest of goals—making you a happier athlete in the process.

My funk stems from a little over training, too many goals, and a feeling of not achieving them. The truth is I’ve achieved a lot but just like the article stated, that’s not where my focus is. My focus is what I didn’t do, didn’t accomplish. So tonight I plan to sit down with my logbook and go for a little walk back in time. I’m going to look at all my accomplishments and PRs. I’m also going to re-evaluate my goals, rather than focus on a goal for next year I’m going to make a goal for next month. CrossFit is a huge part of my life, I will make the effort to re-ignite the flame. I will fight the funk. #whymustichasethecat #nothingbutthedoginme

*Aerobic Capacity Seminar with Chris Hinshaw is Saturday September 27th, 9am-5pm. Register at

Wednesday 140917

For as long as you can continue, up to 30 minutes:

1 Muscle-up every 15 seconds
10 Pull-ups and 10 dips every minute

Post reps to comments and BTW.

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Ange and Ross enjoying teamwork at the Lumberyard Throwdown.

Wednesday, Sept 17th at 8:30AM come join us for a brief informational session regarding the next mesocycle for the Verve Competition Crew.  Questions about it or want to get signed up?  Email

Like nearly all of us, I have a love/hate relationship with the barbell.  When I think back to all the years past that I never used it–it’s kind of a bummer–but all I can do is thank CrossFit for introducing me to it and the love part of the relationship!  I somehow got pretty strong through the years before CrossFit by simply picking people up . . . ALOT of people over my years of EMT/Paramedic and as a Firefighter.  Carrying around all my gear and equipment, picking it all up often and fast, and especially picking up other people either as part of training or just part of the job–it translated into a lot of strength when I finally got proper coaching with barbell lifts and olympic lifting.  Weird huh?  How those functional movements in my job translated into useful strength all those years, it’s like CrossFit knows what it’s doing.  Now . . . gymnastics for me . . . sheesh, that’s a whole other story on the other end of the spectrum, definitely a little bit more toward the “still working on loving it side of things!”

Anyhow, I love the lifts.  But ever since coming back from having my daughter, my mobility has suffered, and never is this more apparent than in overhead lifts.  Whether overhead squats, snatching, jerks, or even handstand push-ups and muscle-ups, my mobility is often a limiting factor = frustration point.  I know I’m not the only one in this boat.  Whether you sit in an office all day, you have your arms forward all day doing hair, or you are carrying around kiddos too . . . it has to be a daily fight back against the tight shoulders, backs, necks that over time will add up and wreak havoc on us.

We are lucky enough to have some amazing resident experts at Verve and one of them who is extremely helpful in this mobility arena is Dan Pope.  Not only is Dan an amazing trainer (you most often see him on Tuesday PM’s) but he’s an athlete with amazing work ethic (he was part of our most recent Regional team) and he loves to improve people’s health and fitness via movement.  His busy day job is a Physical Therapist and he practices what he preaches.  Check out this great 5 minute Overhead Mobility video he made and posted on his blog with some easy exercises to do and improve your overhead positions and strength.  Pick 3 to do each day, only 5 minutes/day can make a big difference and is necessary to combat our daily demands.  One of the last ones on his video I do every morning while making my coffee.  If you like Dan’s style, you can follow his blog here at and sign up for his weekly newsletter there as well.

Tuesday 140916

Back Squat
1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1

Then, on the 2:00 for five sets
Five back squats at 60% 1RM, + five chest slapping push-ups

Compare to 130408

Post weights to BTWBIMG 00141 Tuesday 140916

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Steve taking care of some L Rope climbs.

Everyone of us has goals.  Whether it’s related to our profession, relationship, or even in the gym for CrossFit.  What if we set too many goals though?  I’m speaking specifically about our CrossFit related goals, but the principle can relate to goals set in other aspects of your life too.  I read an article that made a lot of sense to me with regard to goals and I wanted to share the key points here.

Setting too many goals can be a hindrance to actually reaching said goals.  Let’s say we set a goal to perform 100 double unders unbroken.  Well in order to reach this goal, you’ll have to practice, a lot.  If we have 5 other goals that also require our attention then we may not be able to allocate the time needed to our first goal, double unders, because we are also focused on attaining other goals and therefore spreading our time, what little extra there may be, on too many things.  Logically it would make more sense to pick a goal, focus on it for a while until you’re happy with the result and then move on to another goal.  Practice double unders until you have them down and then use your extra time for the next goal on the list.  

Sometime when we have a list of goals, we choose to focus our attention on the easiest one and put off the goals that require the most attention.  Now this might make sense to focus on the goal that requires the least amount of work and effort, but perhaps spending the extra time achieving the harder to reach goals will provide you with extra drive and satisfaction once you’ve accomplished the most difficult goal you’ve set.  Make a list, decide which goal requires the most attention and then plan a course of action.  

Reaching goals sometimes requires you to start over at the beginning.  Let’s use the double under example. When we have double unders in a workout we always work on the them in the skill session before the workout.  We try to focus on using the correct form and making the movement as efficient as possible.  Once we hear 3-2-1..go, all the attention to form may get thrown out the window because we’re in the heat of a workout.  Take a step back, scale the reps accordingly so you can work on your form and technique so that down the line, you’ll have all the correct mechanics in place to perform the movement with ease.  Taking a step back to move forward is a great way to achieve goals.

Check out the full article the above was referenced from HERE.  Post your thoughts or ideas to comments so others can read your thoughts on the subject. 

Competitors Class Information and Upcoming Events:

Next CHALK TALK – Friday, September 19th @ 7:15
We will discuss competition prep, planning, and gaming. Come with your questions. If you have recently done a comp and feel like you had opportunities you may have missed out on bring those questions. If you have an upcoming competition, think of some of the questions you may have and bring those too!

DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THIS MESOCYCLE AND THE NEXT MESOCYCLE of Comp Crew Tuesday, September 16th @ 6pm OR Wednesday, September 17th @ 8:30am.  All are welcome!


Monday 140915

For time:
10 Muscle-ups
20 Calorie row
30 Toes to bar
40 Hip extensions
50 Dumbbell thrusters, 40# (25#)
40 GHD sit-ups
30 Second freestanding handstand hold
20 Calorie row
10 Muscle-ups

Post times to comments or BTW.

Aerobic Capacity Seminar Flyer2 at CrossFit Verve 475x618 Monday 140915

Reminder – Aerobic Capacity Seminar w/ Coach Chris Hinshaw on Sept 27th! Check out the Events page for more information.

The 4 Un-debatable Fundamentals of Training

I came across a great article over the weekend and wanted to share it with you. Regardless of your “flavor” of training, here are the four things that ALL effective programs/methods/styles have in common. In my mind, this is undebatable. If you lose one, you lose the effectiveness of the program. CrossFit does an amazing job of developing competency in all of these domains, which is one reason it’s such an effective program.

  1. Movement – because moving is better than not moving. Regardless of ‘how’ you choose to move (Zumba, CrossFit, Endurance Training), movement IS the most important thing we can do with our bodies.
  2. Strength – because who doesn’t want to be able to physically dominate their environment? Maybe that’s a touch aggressive, but being strong is better than being weak. I’ve yet to be proven wrong.
  3. Conditioning (or Work Capacity) – often misunderstood, work capacity is your bodies ability to do work (regardless of time, intensity or modality). The more work capacity you have, the more efficent and effective you become in your chosen activity.
  4. Technique – because injuring yourself SUCKS (and for the record, a lot of injuries in CrossFit can be eliminated with good technique!). This means taking a joint through a full range of motion, using the correct muscles in the correct sequence. Good technique leads to good form, and good form leads to optimal function.

And let’s be honest – strong and fit humans are harder to kill and generally more useful. Kaboom.

Check out the original article by clicking here.