Author: Mike

3 for 204: The Open

By Mike

I recall the first time Crystal did the CrossFit Games Open. It as 2011.

We didn’t have a gym back then, though CrossFit 204 had been an affiliate since 2010. The Berry Street location only opened July 1, 2011.

If I recall correctly, Crystal did the first workout in 2011 at a gym that no longer exists (and a second time somewhere else after a scoring error), the second one at the Assiniboine Athletic Club with contractors walking through the video, the third one at Focus Fitness, the fifth one at PCF’s first location and the sixth one in Dale’s actual garage. I can’t for the life of me recall where she did the fourth one. Probably Dale’s garage.

Interestingly, I actually judged an unmarried and less tattooed Junior in the first workout. Little did I know he’d soon be a member of our gym and destined for our coaching staff.

That year we had an Open team of one. This year we have about 70. That mirrors the global growth of the sport: about 26,000 people did the Open in 2011 compared to about 325,000 in 2016.

Isn’t it cool to be part of that? See you tomorrow for 17.1!

I remember the first time someone told me you could squat with a bar overhead.

The guy was a CrossFit dabbler at a traditional gym I worked out at. It was about 2008, and we were in the power cage. I might have been doing curls or waiting to bench.

“You should try squatting with a bar overhead. Even 95 pounds is really hard,” he said.

I tried it with an empty bar, and a whole new world beyond the bench press opened before me.

Mind blown.

Few things are better than seeing athletes smile and cheer for each other. I’ve seen it a thousand times at the gym, and it’s still heartwarming every time.

Today’s holiday workout was another fantastic opportunity to reflect on how a community motivates and supports its members to do great things.

During today’s three-round workout, I heard a loud cheer from small group of three women as a fourth dropped her bar.

“Is she finished?” I asked.

“No. She just completed a round.”

And that’s why we train together.

We had a great time on our archery field trip today.

You’ll note that one sentence of Greg Glassman’s Word-Class Fitness in 100 Words encourages athletes to take their fitness outside the gym and apply it to new pursuits. Doing so is a two-way street: You express your fitness in sports and become better at the activity, and you pick up new movement patterns and skills that make you fitter inside the gym.

Watching our athletes learning how to shoot a bow and arrow today made it pretty obvious that CrossFit produces competent people–people who can get stuff done. Give them any physical task and they’ll figure it out. Even if they aren’t great at stuff right away, they have the tenacity to figure it out, and they’re coachable, which makes them able to learn.

So build your fitness inside our gym, then use it outside the gym to make your life better.

I’d wager that people do more damage to health and fitness on Saturdays than on any other day of the week.

Many people think a day of excess doesn’t derail the overall plan, but think about this: What if you only smoked one day a week, but you smoked two packs on that day? It’s similar with nutrition.

Instead of ripping into a weekend of insanity, what if you accounted for a few treats during the week as part of a healthy overall diet? Then the weekend wouldn’t be a time to cut loose but rather just another day of sound nutrition.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. I’m saying that you should enjoy yourself regularly in moderation while keeping yourself on track for health and wellness.

We can show you how: 204 Lifestyle.

3 for 204: Dumbbells

By Mike

We know dumbbells are coming in the Open, but we’ve been collecting them over the years, and the Open just gave us a chance to add a few more to the rack.

Dumbbells are great training tools. When starting a gym, barbells are a better investment, and they’re also better for many exercises. For example, you could use dumbbells to train for strength, but it’s impractical to get a set of 250-lb. dumbbells for our strongest athletes to use on deadlift day. Similarly, snatches and clean and jerks and squats are easier to do with barbells.

But that’s an important word: easier. The real world isn’t easy, and squatting, snatching or deadlifting a dumbbell requires adjustments–just like to have to adjust for the awkward object you want to put in your trunk. Dumbbells also force you to control two objects instead of one, making them much tougher to use.

Overall, using dumbbells from time to time will make you fitter, so expect to see them in workouts.

3 for 204: The Open

By Mike

Some of you who have been around for a while might wonder about why we’re emphasizing the Open in the gym this year. The reason: It’s a great chance to celebrate both our 204 community and the global CrossFit community.

It’s going to be really cool to do the same workout as about 400,000 other people around the world this year, but more than that it’s fantastic to see our members connecting, generating team spirit and getting to know each other.

In previous years, the competition aspect overwhelmed the fun aspect, and through the help of some friends we realized what’s really important: spirit. So thank you to everyone who’s participating, and to our great team captains who have filled the gym with energy that hasn’t been seen at this time of year before. Hail to Maegan, Michelle, Paul and Shawn–and to their teams!