“PUMPKIN SPICE?!?! Come on...it’s Labor Day!”

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It’s about that time, folks. The temperatures are dropping, the ads for Back to School are in full swing, and pumpkin is the new black.

So how do we maintain our healthy habits as the days become shorter and our desire to get up and out of the house diminishes? Autumn is a busy time - the kids are back to school, Fall sports are in session and Halloween is just around the corner. Before you know it, it’s Thanksgiving and you haven’t even started your Christmas shopping.  Who really has the time to prioritize their own health and fitness? At this point, you might as well just call it a wash and skip the gym, eat all of the holiday treats and start fresh in January, right? 

Well...what if we didn’t do that? What if we didn’t fall into that predictable cycle?

What if we saw this seasonal switch as a fresh start? A chance to establish a routine that’ll help us reach our health and fitness goals? 

JSA’s 6 week Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge might be just the ticket. 

With the change in season comes a natural shift in our daily activities and food choices. We go from salads to stews, from barbecues to braises, from melon to Mac and cheese. We trade in our swimsuits for sweaters and find ourselves being drawn to comfort food and cozy nights in.  It is all too easy to fall into a different (less healthy) rhythm.  So why not join an awesome group of people and challenge yourself to rise above it?  

JSA’s Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge will:

  • Arm you with a plan of attack—a personalized approach to your nutrition that fits your unique needs and lifestyle.

  • Offer unlimited Training in ANY of our Fitness programs (CrossFit, Indoor Rowing or Martial Arts).

  • Hold you accountable to your individual plan.

  • Provide motivational fitness and nutrition coaching along the way.

  • Offer an incredible support network to help keep you on track.

  • Give you access to nutritious shopping lists and recipes via a private Facebook group.

  • Provide 2 full body scans to monitor your progress from the start of the challenge to the end of those 6 weeks.

Come Halloween, you’ll be feeling fit and fearless. You’ll be ready to take on the holidays with a balanced, mindful approach and you’ll have the energy to enjoy them to the fullest. 

And hey — if a 6 week challenge isn’t your style, you can still embrace the onset of Fall with a fresh start in mind. Now is the time to stay committed and even turn it up a notch. Here are some simple ways to do that:

  • Make time for your fitness by setting it as a recurring appointment on your calendar.

  • Schedule workouts with a friend to help hold you accountable.

  • Plan ahead and food prep on Sundays so that you have nutritious meals at the ready during your busy week.

  • Go for a 20 minute stroll after dinner.

  • Park your car farther away so that you have to walk those extra steps (everything adds up!)

Small changes here and there will have a BIG impact over time.

Set a goal for yourself and commit to it. Take action. Take charge. You CAN do this. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, no worries....JSA is here to help. We’ve got you!

So go ahead, order that pumpkin spice latte and get excited about the Fall. Because you’re about to embark on something awesome: investing in your health, fitness, and happiness. Let’s DO this!

February’s Athlete of the Month - Cassie Blomquist


1. How long have you been training in CrossFit and did you exercise prior to joining JSACF?

I've been training for more than a year. I joined back in September of 2016 because I’ve always wanted to join the marines but since they don’t accept any deaf people, CrossFit became my loophole.

2. What changes have you made to make your life healthier since starting CrossFit?

In the winter, I hibernate which means I eat a lot and stay inside. CrossFit helped me beat that by helping me make better decisions about my fitness and wellbeing.

3. Tell us about what you do outside of the box?

I love to travel to new places, meet new people, photography, hiking and water sports.

For work, I work at NAVSUP as a Logistics Management Specialists.

4. Since you have been at JSACF, we have witnessed your growth as an athlete. Brag a little. I have been noticing my arms are stronger and I'm more flexible overall.

5. What is a goal you set for yourself in the next 6 months? The next year?

To able to do toes to bar. It’s my weakness. I also want to be able to climb up a rope.

6. If there was a WOD named after you, what would it consist of?

21-14-7 reps of box jump burpees and kettlebell swings.

7. Do you have any favorite moments in the gym that you’d like to tell us about?

My favorite moment was when I was able to do a handstand. It a was great feeling!

8. What advice would you give to a new person starting CrossFit?

Don’t compare yourself to others, just focus on yourself and have fun!

9. Please share a quote that strikes you as important in your life?

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

January’s Member of the Month - Brian Higgins


Member of the Month

Brian Higgins

Q. How long have you been training in CrossFit and did you exercise prior to joining JSA?

A. I have been training at JSA for almost 2 years.  I have worked out at other gyms over the years, but nothing has ever stuck.


Q. What changes have you made to make your life healthier since starting CrossFit?

A. I am definitely more conscious of my diet due to my commitment to CrossFit.  Though I may not be ready for Paige's nutrition challenge, I am more likely to skip a happy hour.


Q. Tell us about what you do outside of the box!

A. Outside of the box, I spend most of my time working or spending time with my family.  My son plays travel sports and my daughter surfs on the high school surf team. Sporting events take up a lot of our time. We also try to make the most out of the outdoors in the warmer months.


Q. Since you have been at JSA, we have witnessed your growth as an athlete.  Brag a little.

A. Mostly my confidence, CrossFit was pretty intimidating at first. I didn't know how to do most of the work outs. I had to scale and/or modify everything. Skip and the other coaches could not have been any better at making me feel comfortable. Now I can do most of the workouts and even Rx sometimes, which feels pretty good! The competitive aspect facilitates my growth in the gym. 


Q. If you could listen to one song on repeat in the gym, what would it be?

A. That's a tough one. I like a little bit of heavy rock  to motivate me during weight lifting. I like Motorhead, so I am going to choose "On Parole" by Motorhead. Sometimes "Ace of Spades" comes on the JSACF mix. I like that too!


Q. What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months? The next year?

A. Well there are a few things. 1.  I would like to improve my endurance. During the WODS I feel like I start out strong but then the wheels come off pretty quickly.  I have been recently taking Row-Fit on Fridays.  Coach Dave keeps it pretty fun and because it’s new for me, I hope it will enhance my endurance. I am also going to try MOTOR. 2.  Another struggle is TTB. I can't seem get the kipping right, in order to string them together.  3. I know it seems to be a JSACF milestone to be able to do a muscle up.  Honestly, I would be just as happy to not have to do a muscle up progression.  4. My Clean has been stuck at 165 lbs. for a year, so I would like a new Clean PR.


Q. If there was a WOD named after you, what would it consist of?

0."BUCKY" for my brother in the Coast Guard

5 rounds

10 shoulder press

3 rope climbs


100 meter penalty run for unbroken sets

Is that too much shoulders?


Q. Do you have any favorite moments in the gym that you’d like to tell us about?

A. The upside of coming in last place as much as I do during WODS is that I get a lot of people cheering me on.  There are definitely times I would not have finished without the support of the 4 PM-ers.


Q. What advice would you give to a new person starting CrossFit?

A. You have to step out of your comfort zone. I wanted to do CrossFit for years, before I finally drummed up the courage to try it. I regret not starting sooner.


Q. Please share a quote that strikes you as important in your life.

A. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”  MLK

December's Athlete of the Month - Alice Wood


Alice Wood

Q. How long have you been training in CrossFit and did you exercise prior to joining JSACF?  

A. I have been training for about 5 years, but, I became more serious during this past year.  I made a commitment to get to class at least 4 times per week,  and have gotten back into running the boardwalk once during the week as well.  I did belong to a gym prior to JSA, but I had no idea how to use the weights so I just stuck to the cardio equipment.  I also trained at World Karate, (Joe Gregory's school) where I have earned my first and second degree black belt.

Q. What changes have you made to make your life healthier since starting CrossFit?

A. Last year I wasn't feeling so well. I thought I ate pretty well and worked out all of the time, so why was I still not losing weight? I went to my doctor and had blood work done.  Turns out, my thyroid was not working. Then my doctor (also my friend) sat down with me and asked about my eating habits.  I was eating way too many carbs, and my portions were out of control! My sugar was higher than it should have been and my cholesterol was high.  She suggested the Keto diet. High fat and low carbs.  It was definitely a challenge, but a year and a half later I'm down 30 pounds (and still losing) and all of my levels are where they should be! Moral of the story:  You only get one body and one shot at life. Make the changes you need to make. Don't procrastinate, do it now!


Q. Since you have been at JSACF, we have witnessed your growth as an athlete.  Brag a little. 

A. My son, Robbie, who also belongs to JSA, bought me one of the log books at the front desk to keep track of all of our workouts and also my personal records.  I am getting stronger every day and have hit a few personal goals this year that I am very proud of.

Q. If you could listen to one song on repeat in the gym, what would it be? 

A. Song choice is dependent on what we are doing. I don't have a particular song that I like to listen too.  Anything loud and up beat keeps me motivated.

Q. What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months? The next year?

A. I had set 3 goals to achieve in 2017.  Climb the rope, double-unders, and pull-ups.  I have climbed the rope twice, and I can do some double-unders, but haven't done an unassisted pull-up yet.  That is what I will be working on next.

Q. If there was a WOD named after you, what would it consist of?

A. Honestly, there isn't anything I haven't liked in the workouts.  My favorite things are the cardio modalities because I usually don’t have to scale them. Running, box jumps, kettlebell swings and back squats!

Q. Do you have any favorite moments in the gym that you’d like to tell us about?

A. I love the people; no one is judgmental; only encouraging. I can ask any question even multiple times when I don't understand. I have laughed with the 9 am class to the point of tears! It's just fun! Nancy Balunis and I have picked our spot on the floor that we are going to die in! And we made a pact that if either of us are not in that spot when we are dying, we will drag the other to that spot! Let's face it...how many of us would do something for exercise that wasn't fun?

Q. What advice would you give to a new person starting CrossFit?

A. Stay with it.  Every day is different.  Sometimes I do awesome and other days I suck!  Frustration levels can be high on some days and PR's run rapid on others.  There is always something that you can do; even if you can't do the work out the way it's written, you can tailor the WOD to suit you! You work in a group but you always work on yourself. For me, CrossFit is a lifestyle that I can't live without!

Q. Please share a quote that strikes you as important in your life.

A. “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”

November's Athlete of the Month - Michelle Williams

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Michelle Williams - November's Athlete of the Month!

Q: How long have you been training in CrossFit and did you exercise prior to joining JSACF?

A:  Before JSA, I did CrossFit for about 10 months at another box and stopped about 2 months before I had Clover.  Kyle and I started JSA when Clover was just 7 months old, so we have been here for a little over 2 years.

Q: What changes have you made to make your life healthier since starting CrossFit?  

A: I have definitely been more aware of proper nutrition. I used to have the mentality of eating whatever I want because I work out. Once I started eating a little healthier, I realized I had to eat way more to keep up with what my body was burning.  Healthy food is great fuel for what we put our body through.

Q: Tell us about what you do outside of the box! 

A: Outside of the gym, I am a full time hair stylist at Le Palais Hair Lounge in Brielle. I have been there for 9 1/2 years and love every minute of it. I am also kept very busy with every day life of a 3 year old, Clover, and my wonderful husband Coach Kyle.

Q: Since you have been at JSACF, we have witnessed your growth as an athlete.  Brag a little. 

A: Being here with the wonderful team and coaching staff, I have definitely improved not only my movements and strength, but also my attitude towards trying and failing. Joining the comp team this year has also helped me grow as a stronger athlete and teammate.

Q: If you could listen to one song on repeat in the gym, what would it be? 

A: Song choice is dependent on what we are doing. For a shorter more cardio intense workout, something fun and club like. For a 1 RM or heavy day, heavy music.

Q: What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months? The next year? 

A: In the next 6 months I would love to start RX the majority of the workouts. The Open is right around the corner and I would love to do as well as I can for them. In the next year I would hope to actually finish the workouts I try to do RX. And a bar/ring muscle up wouldn't be so bad. Haha.

Q: If there was a WOD named after you, what would it consist of? 

A: A WOD named after me would have cleans, kettle bell swings, and squats.

Q: Do you have any favorite moments in the gym that you’d like to tell us about?

A: Hitting a PR is always a good day, but my favorite/most memorable day was actually one of my worst days. I was so stressed out at home and having a terrible "mom moment" and was visibly upset. Two fellow moms, you know who you are, helped me out tremendously just by talking with me and sharing their moments with me. What people don't understand is that we are family here, sharing good and bad moments, all supporting each other.

Q: What advice would you give to a new person starting CrossFit? 

A: For anyone starting out, there isn't anything you can't do. Make it work for you, don't get upset with yourself, do the best you can. There is always room to grow and everyone here is supporting you.

Q: Please share a quote that strikes you as important in your life. 

A: "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward" - Martin Luther King Jr.

October’s Athlete of the Month - Ryan Duella

Athlete of the Month

Ryan Duella


Q. How long have you been training in CrossFit and did you exercise prior to joining JSACF?

A. I have been at JSACF for a 1 year and 2 months. Prior to JSA I had a “globo gym” membership that I would attend, and walk around from machine to machine. My friend Brett Nielsen would not stop talking about CrossFit to me, and challenged me to try it out.

Q. What changes have you made to make your life healthier since starting CrossFit?

A. Since I have joined JSA I have started living a healthier life style, and have kept to a consistent training schedule. I have started to at clean, and cut out all sugars. I still have a long way to go, but I am on the right track. I have also became a more relaxed positive person, and preach PMA!

Q. Tell us about what you do outside of the box!

A. When I am not at the box I am a career firefighter in Westfield (Union County), and the Fire Marshal of Belmar and Lake Como. When I am not at either job my fiancé Meghan, and I enjoy spoiling our rescue dog Piper. We also enjoy exploring craft breweries all over, and enjoy working on home improvement projects. as

Q. Since you have been at JSACF, we have witnessed your growth as an athlete. Brag a little.

A. When I finally gave in to Brett’s sales pitch I immediately became addicted to going to the box. I have definitely become stronger and my overall conditioning has improved dramatically (still a lot of improvement room). All the coaches have all been great and had a ton of patience. One thing I have improved on is my positivity, and consistency I tell myself daily “You either get better or you get worse; you never stay the same”.

Q. If you could listen to one song on repeat in the gym, what would it be?

A. Enter Sandman (Metallica); or Down With The Sickness (Disturbed)

Q. What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months? The next year?

A. My goal for the next 6 months is to keep improving every single day in every aspect of an athlete. I am looking to continue my battle with the jump rope/ rope climb, and the gymnastic type movements. (I will not let them beat me!)

Q. If there was a WOD named after you, what would it consist of?

A.”Man Bear”

500 Meter Row

21 Power Cleans -135 LB

10 Wall Balls

3 Rounds

Q. Do you have any favorite moments in the gym that you’d like to tell us about?

A. I would have to say that my favorite thing about the gym is that when I enter the through that garage door that nothing else matters other than getting through that workout. I could have had the worst day, and when I lace my shoes up the only thing that matters to me is bettering myself.

As a group, my favorite thing is the energy and positivity everyone has for every athlete. I feel that really pushes everyone to accomplish so much more.

My personal favorite moment was surprisingly placing third place in the scaled division in the in-house throw down.

Q. What advice would you give to a new person starting CrossFit?

A. No matter what your athletic history is listen to what the coaches have to say. They don’t speak to hear themselves talk. They are talking to help you improve to prevent injury and to make you be the best. Learn to be patient. Skills & movements take time. Just keep getting better and don’t get frustrated. Also, when you work out do not worry, or care about what anyone else is doing. The only competition is against yourself. The only way to find out what you’re really made of is to go beyond your comfort zone. Always remember keep going, and never quit.

Q. Please share a quote that strikes you as important in your life.

A. This is probably my favorite question. I am a huge quote person.

“Everyone comes to a point in their life when they want to quit. But its what you do at that moment that determines who you are.” David Goggins

I would like to close this by thanking everyone at JSA for creating such a positive fun environment. Skip & Paige, thank you for all the guidance, and continued support at the box, and outside the box!

I Don't Know What to Do With My Hands?

Other than posting a disgustingly cool Instagram photo, there are no positives to ripping your hands. Anyone who has done “Cindy” knows ripped hands are a pain in your behind. That first shower after the workout will leave you screaming and questioning every life decision that you have ever made. For all those who have shared this experience with me, I am here to say, “There is hope.” With just a few steps you can reduce your chance of ripping substantially. This will lead to less pain, and more importantly better performances at the gym.  Please read below about tips that you can use before, during, and after you work out to avoid ripping your hands as well as hand care techniques you can use to help ease the pain after you rip. 


Preventing Rips

You rip your hands for two reasons: you either have soft hands with little or no callus build-up, or you have too much callus build-up that makes ridges and bumps on your hands. As with most things you need to find a good medium. The goal is to have smooth and supple calluses that will protect your hands but remain intact when you put in the work. 


1. Before your Workout


Pumice StoneYou can find these at most convenience stores and they are your first step to filing down your calluses. I am not a big fan of these for consistent maintenance, but this is an easy tool to carry around and use in a bind. 

DremelThis is by far the most effective tool I have used for filing down calluses. Some people are scared to use power tools to file their hands down. I stress that this is the quickest and most effective way to file your hands down. Here is a link to the Dremel I use. It is less powerful than others and it works well.  If you decide on this option to file down your calluses (which I highly recommend) use the SLOW SPEED setting.

Cuticle ClipperThis is my last attempt to sooth some painful calluses and the blisters that pop up underneath them. If my calluses hurt to the touch I cut them off and start all over. Be warned that the first few days at the gym after you cut your calluses will hurt as your hands develop calluses again, but after 1-2 workouts they should be back to normal and feel good. 

Misc- Other tools I have heard of people using are knifes, razors, and scissors. Yup, shaving your calluses can look like a scene from “Dexter.”


You should shave down your hands daily, especially after a workout where you are on the rig for an extended period of time. The best time to do this is right after your shower when your skin is nice and soft. After you shave your hands (and throughout the day) you should put moisturizer on your hands. Keeping your hands hydrated and soft will allow them to mend more and rip less.  

Expert tips about Moisturizer

    1. Put moisturizer on when your hands are still damp. This way the moisturizer is trapping the moisture still on your skin. Skin shouldn’t be soaking wet so pat yourself dry with a towel to get rid of excess water before applying. 
    2. Avoid moisturizers with perfumes and alcohols. Buy a mild moisturizer – the cheaper stuff is usually better than the high-end products. 
    3. Use a heavier moisturizer before bed so the moisturizer will penetrate the top layer of your skin as you sleep. 

A general rule of thumb that I follow is to take your nail and run it over your callus. If your nail gets stuck you need to file your callus down more. 

2. During the Workout


 Take a moment and actually think about how you are gripping the bar. What hurts? Are you gripping the bar in your palm or on your fingertips? Take a look at this video on how to grip the bar properly.  Instead of gripping the bar in the middle or your palm try and grip the bar across the base of your fingers, and remember to use a HOOK GRIP.  When grabbing the pull-up bar you should also grab the bar in a false grip using a gymnastics hook grip, which simply means putting your thumb over your fingers. Please see parts one and two of this video that breaks down how to grip the bar to save your shoulders and your hands. 


Chalk can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to your hands. Small amounts keep your hands dry and help your grip because you will be less likely to hold the bar too tightly. On the other hand, too much chalk creates more friction and excess drying which will quickly lead to ripped hands. Unless my hands are dripping with sweat I try and avoid using chalk when I am on the rig because I find it leads to ripping very easily. BOTTOM LINE: USE CHALK SPARINGLY. 

Be Patient

Your hands are going to rip when you first start out. No matter how careful you are you will still rip. Be patient. Your hands will continue to toughen up. Keep these steps in mind and take care of your hands. Go easy on the chalk. Don’t walk into the gym with mounds of chalk on your palms and you will be able to get away with a lot of work before you rip. Remember ripped hands mean less training and less results. Sacrifice a few likes on Instagram and take care of your hands for better performance.  

3. Ripped, Now What?

Wash It Out 

The first thing you should do when your hand rips is clean it well. It’s going to burn, but you need to wash it with warm water and soap. After washing your hands try to use a moisturizer to add moisture back to your skin and replace the natural oils that you have removed. 

Trim Excess Skin

If the skin is torn in a way that it is going to catch and rip further, use sterilized scissor or a cuticle clipper to trim the excess skin away. If the tear is small, or a burst blister, leave the skin to protect the healthy flesh underneath. 

Bandage, Keep Moist, and Cover it Overnight

The key to promote quick healing and minimize pain is to keep the area moist. Use a product with Vitamin E, especially Neosporin. Keeping the rip moist will prevent it from drying and tearing further. Cover the wound with a small bandage or tape. This will allow the balm (Neosporin) to do its job overnight to keep the area moist and prevent infection. 

4. Training With Ripped Hands

Gloves or Leather Straps

I personally don’t like gloves. I feel they obstruct my grip on the rig or the bar. The excess movement of my hand within the glove actually causes my hands to rip more easily. Having said that, for a bad rip, gloves will feel a lot better than a cold steel bar. 

New Skin

Applying New Skin will create a tough layer over your rip. I have tried this and it worked well for a little, but it rips off after excessive pull ups or bar work.  It also burns when you apply it. 


If you can master the technique of properly taping your hand, this is probably your best bet. Here is a link on how to properly tape your hands after you rip. This method will use a lot of tape so please bring and use your own tape. The video basically shows these steps:

1.  Measure out a piece of athletic tape from the end of your finger past the base of your hand (longer is fine; too short and you’ll have to start over) and then double that length before cutting it. 

2. Fold the tape in half, length-wise. 

3. Fold this piece back on itself to make a loop large enough for your finger to fit through. 

4.  Cut a second piece of tape to secure the seam between the folded tape, still leaving the loop exposed. 

 5. Place your finger through the loop and lay the strap across the palm of your hand (covering the rip); secure the strap to your wrist with more tape. The grip itself should be loose across your hand.

Suck it Up

The best approach is to take all the steps possible to prevent ripping. This means filing down your calluses, keeping your hands moisturized, focusing on grip, and using less chalk. If you feel like you are about to rip get off the bar. Next time you grab the bar change your grip slightly. Even with all this preparation you will still rip at times. Sometimes the only thing we can do is get through the workout, or shower, the best we can. Hit the Wod as hard as you can with no equipment, and just deal with it until it heals.  Just remember if you have an open wound you need to clean anything you touch, and the cut, after you work out. Fighting through terrible Wods, and terrible rips, is a great way to build mental strength and help create an inevitable BAD ASS. 

Still Intrigued? Please read more below. Feel free to Comment Below. Share any Tips that work for you, or advice you would like to share. 

 How to Treat Hand Rips – Tabata Times

Treating Rips - Breaking Muscles

How to Take Care of Your Hands - Tabata Times

How to Not Rip Your Hands - Breaking MuscleHand Maintence - Crossfit Invictus

Crossfit Hand Care

Shared Personality Traits of CrossFit Athletes - By Dave Melillo

People of all demographics have come together under the banner of CrossFit to develop a community that is unparalleled in strength, scope and size. The numerous individuals that make up the CrossFit community are obviously drawn to the program for the promise of physical endowment and the camaraderie forged on the floor, but in my short time as part of the community I’ve noticed there are certain intrinsic personality traits that draw people to CrossFit. Some may be perceived as positive traits and others negative, but they all contribute to the personality profile of a CrossFit athlete.
Although the adjective has mainly negative connotations, the fruit bore by neurosis can be extremely beneficial for CrossFit athletes at large. We all know a guy at our gym that takes an excessive amount of time to set up for an Olympic lift, re-gripping the bar several times and twerking in the same fashion before each rep. We all know the girl who goes for the chalk bucket in between every broken set of pull ups. And we all have experienced some type of anxiety or neurosis when we miss multiple days of training. However, when this neurosis is coupled with the right training techniques it forms habits that build elite athletes. 
Events like Barbells for Boobs, organizations like CrossFit for Hope and numerous hero workouts honoring fallen soldiers and servicemen put philanthropy at the core of the CrossFit community. Although athletes can be perceived as selfish in many ways, their contributions to the community as a whole cannot be ignored. The philanthropic spirit of CrossFit athletes has transformed boxes into centers for universal benevolence. 
Most athletes are fiercely dedicated not only to their own training, but to the gyms and fellow athletes that support their training. Boxes become symbols of identity for frequent athletes, and friendships made at the gym extend far beyond training sessions. There are few conglomerates that have inspired the level of dedication to an idea, purpose and place that CrossFit has. 
The emergence of CrossFit has represented a paradigm shift in the world of fitness. After decades of domination by globo-gyms, home exercise videos and isolation training methods, CrossFit has brought the concept of functional fitness to the masses. Even though CrossFit has now become a much more prevalent fitness model, its athletes still embody the sense of rebellion and counter culture that the program was initially built on. Some of the most popular and successful athletes from the CrossFit games are proof of the presence of counter culture in the CrossFit fabric, whether it be undersized athletes such as Chris Spealler, tattoo clad athletes such as Matt Chan or even the unassuming king of fitness, Rich Froning.  

There is no better trait that CrossFit athletes share than compassion. The compassion wielded by gym members is the main reason why CrossFit has grown at an exponential rate and has made boxes more than just a place to work out. Newcomers are commonly greeted with open arms, making CrossFit gyms a sanctuary where anyone can be accepted despite their past or present form. This compassion and altruism creates an environment that not only supports physical gains, but also emotional growth.  
The stubbornness displayed by many CrossFit patrons is both a strength and weakness. It is strength in the sense that athletes are able to push themselves beyond the boundaries of normal human comprehension. They refuse to accept perceived physical limitations and are often rewarded with an array of positive results. However, this obstinacy is also a contributor to injuries that have tarnished the program’s reputation. Many people have argued that CrossFit is inherently dangerous, but fail to recognize that every athlete has a choice when they enter a box. They can scale workouts until they have developed the mobility, nutrition and techniques needed to perform as prescribed, or they can chose to put themselves at risk by picking up weight they can’t handle properly and performing movements they have not taken the time to master. Most injuries happen because stubborn athletes fail to adhere to a standard, develop a technique properly or listen to their bodies when feeling sore or injured. 
CrossFit athletes are complicated. We come in different shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, needing something new on a daily basis. Despite all of these differences, we have found common ground in a sport that delivers a succinct message; we are all the same inside. Though our ages, range of mobility and athletic ability may vary, we all are striving towards creating a better version of ourselves and a better version of the world we see around us. Although these traits can, and have, been portrayed in a negative light, I choose to see them as a cocktail that can been used to inject positivity and success into our everyday lives.  

“Crossfit Makes Girls Bulky” and Other Nasty Rumors. - By Ashley Holden-Klimik

“Crossfit Makes Girls Bulky” and Other Nasty Rumors.

By Ashley Holden-Klimik

We have all heard the rumors, and the endless chatter from those Crossfit “haters,” things like, “Crossfit is dangerous,” “Crossfit’s a cult,” and my personal favorite, “Crossfit makes girls bulky.”

Now keep in mind that I am just one person, and everyone’s experience is different. However, I wanted to share some thoughts about what I have discovered to be true about Crossfit, despite what the haters think.

  1. Crossfit makes you strong.  Like really, really strong. I’m not just talking about PRs (personal records) and the fact that I can lift more than my body weight. I’m talking about functionally strong. Two years ago when my family’s home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, I had only been Crossfitting for 4 months. However, at that time, I was able to lift furniture, tree limbs, boxes, pieces of debris and everything else the storm dredged up. I was also able to move boxes over head that only 6 months before, required two people to lift.  Thanks to Crossfit, I was capable of literally and figuratively carrying more weight.  Oh and by the way, the only two people in my family that could physically move these items were both Crossfitters.  
  2. Crossfit teaches you to eat like a human.  Before starting Crossfit, I considered myself a healthy eater. However, I looked for low-fat, no-fat, calorie free (is that even food?), and opted for processed versions of real food because it offered fewer grams of carbs.  Since joining Crossfit, I have learned to look at food differently. I see what I eat as fuel for my body and think about what I eat for how it will best help my performance, not for how it will make my butt look. In that, I have learned to eat REAL food. Fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, seeds, and lots and lots of fat.  I eat a lot of it too, and that is the best part.  I think of nutrition in terms of fuel for my body, and it has completely changed my relationship with food.
  3. Crossfit helps you develop really, really good friendships.  I’m not talking about, “sometimes we text or go out for drinks” friendships (although we do that too), I’m talking about people you can laugh with, cry with, celebrate successes, and vent about frustrations with.  Not just for missed lifts or benchmark PRs, but I have found my Crossfit friends to be staples in my everyday life too. Some of the people at my box are the best kind of people, and ones I consider to have life-long friend potential.
  4. Crossfit gives you confidence.  I think this one is especially important.  When you set a goal, put in the work, and watch yourself achieve it, there is no better feeling.  Over and over again in Crossfit we smash personal records and watch ourselves grow and transform in ways that we didn’t imagine possible.  We get physically stronger and mentally tougher.  And this is not just in the box, but in life too. 
  5. Crossfit teaches you to love and respect your body.  This is especially true for women. Society teaches us we have to look a certain way (thigh gap anyone) to be attractive and/or valued.  Yet Crossfit crushes that conception.  Instead of looking in the mirror and obsessing over cellulite and pudge, Crossfit helps you to appreciate your body for the work it can perform.  
  6. Crossfit allows you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Some may call it a cult, I call it a community.  In Crossfit, not only are we a community in our own individual boxes, but in our regions, and in the world. You can watch professional Crossfitters do the same workouts you do in the Open or the Games, and marvel about how Crossfit has connected us all.  Not only that, but it provides a forum to raise money for great causes, like with Barbells for Boobs, and to honor extraordinary heroes, like Memorial Day Murph.  Not only do you get a killer workout, but many times, it’s for a great cause.

Now I know there will always be people who talk bad about things they don’t really understand, but for me, Crossfit will always be something life-changing and something I hope to continue to do until old age.  I am certainly glad every day that I found JSA and the community it provides.  Crossfit may not be for everyone, but you will never know until you try. 


Barbell hipster - by Dave Melillo

Barbell hipster

At the crux of every athlete is the hip. It is part of every functional movement we perform at the gym and throughout the day; it controls our balance, pelvic inclination and posture, but still remains a source of untapped potential for most.  This capped potential is not due to a physical gap, but rather a lack of understanding or appreciation for what the hip’s true mechanism is capable of. What I have come to understand from my research and experience is that the force generated by the vicious, full extension of the hip joint allows an athlete to express the true breadth of their power and training.

The supernatural strength produced by a developed understanding of hip drive is overtly appreciated in the Olympic weightlifting community.  Different styles of Olympic weightlifting have been developed based on the use of the hip and whether it makes contact with the bar or not. Some suggest the brush method
where the bar barely makes contact with the body, while others champion intentional hip contact with the bar in order to aid elevation. Just like different styles of martial arts, both lifting styles can be debated and defended ad nauseam, but if an entire sport can split into two factions based on the hip, then its role in the expression of our strength is non-debatable.

The importance of hip drive is baked into the core of CrossFit, and as CrossFit athletes we understand the importance of the hip, as its status routinely serves as our standard.  An open or closed hip can mean the difference between a rep and a no-rep, a muted hip in the middle of a clean or snatch can be the difference between hitting a PR and hitting a wall, and hip drive is essential to master the advanced gymnastics
modalities we see in many work outs. The casual weekend warrior and sports fan may not consciously give the hip the love it deserves, but we are all innately drawn to its power. Homeruns in baseball, dunks in basketball, and depth defying receptions in football all owe their excitement to the power generated by the hip.

Below is an infamous dunk by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers beside a 122kg (268lbs) snatch by Spanish weightlifter Lydia Valentin. In frame two of Griffin’s dunk and frame three of Valentin’s lift we see both athletes in almost identical positions at the final moment of hip flexion. The proceeding frames show each athlete’s hip going into full extension, releasing the massive amount of energy gathered during the setup. The last frames highlight the focus and accuracy of each athlete as the force generated by their violent hip extension dissipates and they are forced to maintain control of the movement.  Both samples are shining examples of how hip drive not only generates superior strength but also excitement. The Griffin dunk won him the 2011 NBA slam dunk contest and Lydia’s 122kg snatch at 75kg bodyweight is only 13kg below the world record set by Natalia Zabolontnaya.

At my L1 our instructors explained that we develop hip drive through programming in part because it fuels most of our favorite sports moments. Hip drive is the most efficient way to move loads, allows us to express our strength in the most comprehensive manner and turns heads for the right reasons. So the next time someone tells you to open your hip during a workout remember that they may not be doing it just to adhere to a standard, but also to make you stronger.

Optimize Your Diet to Reach Your Fitness and Nutrition Goals - by Justin Sarubbi

Optimize Your Diet to Reach Your Fitness and Nutrition Goals. 


Before I get started I just want to emphasize I am not a nutritional expert by any means. I just try and do what I think is best for me and am willing to share my story and experiences, hoping that it can help somebody else. The best piece of advice I can think of is to find what works for you. Do your own research and self-experiments, see what nutrition plan best suits your needs. The purpose of this article is to shed some light of some diets that other people from the gym and me follow. 


Paleo and Fat Loss

For most people at the gym the best approach seems to be a Paleo-ish plan. The Paleo diet as most people know it is, “Eat plenty of Vegetables, Meat, Nuts and Seeds, Little starch, and No Sugar”. This approach works great if your main objective is to lose weight. From personal experience I can say this diet helped me lose over 30 pounds and really improved my general health.  I used to prescribe to the 80 -20 Rule of 80% Diet and 20% Cheat. I do Crossfit because I am trying to improve my overall health, and I believe a strong diet is the most fundamental way of achieving this health. I also know that mental health is just as important. Constantly worrying about what you eat can cause a damper on life and will lead to unnecessary stress. That’s why I allowed myself a 20% cheat buffer where I can indulge on my favorite vices (ice-cream, pizza, beer). After following this approach for a while, I found I gave a little too much leeway and that number seemed to hover around the 65-70% range, and my performance and weight slipped up. I now like to prescribe to the 90-10% rule with trying to get in a few really healthy days of eating before I cheat. 


According to fitness expert Robb Wolf, he believes following a Basic Paleo Plan is an effective approach that will lead to lifelong Fat Loss. Here is an excerpt from his blog where he breaks down the basic plan:


Majority of meals look like this:

  • 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.
  • Then add several servings of multicolored vegetables, either raw, steamed or lightly cooked.
  • Finally, round out the meal with good fats from Avocado, olive oil or a handful of un-salted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts.


Make sure to have 3-4 meals like this each day. Give it 30 days and then let us know how quick and easy it is to lose unwanted body fat, all without hunger and cravings. Until you reach your desired level of leanness, we recommend you keep your fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day and make these choices mainly from berries and melons. Keep in mind, you will be eating plenty of nutritious fresh vegetables, we just want you to see the fastest, most effective results you can. This is why we limit your fruit in the beginning to help you change your metabolic engines to a mode of “fat burning”.  Read More: Robb Wolf Meal Plan Blog


The Basic Paleo worked great when I needed to kick start my weight loss and metabolism. I lost more weight than I thought was obtainable, and was happy about the way I was looking. As I felt better and better about my body, I also was noticing my times in the workouts were also improving. I decided it was time to see what Crossfit competitions were like and I started competing.  With all the added work I knew I needed to change my diet to help aid in recovery and optimize my performance. After researching and executing a few diet plans I saw that most professionals around the Crossfit scene were talking about similar approaches with the basic idea below. 


The Basics to Optimizing Performance

  • Take the Basic Paleo Plan and Add additional Carbs that should be eaten only at Optimal Times
  • Break food into Macronutrients (Carbs, Fats, and Proteins), Adjust Food intake on your size, level of physical work, and body composition goals. 
  • Eat carbs around all your workouts. 
    • The goal is to fuel up before your workout 
    • Use carbs to recover after your workout.
      • Consuming Carbs within 30 min post workout will help optimize repair of muscle tissue and to ensure muscle glycogen is optimally replenished
    • transition between fats and carbohydrates so you can burn more fat when you're not exercising 
  • Two diet Examples provided below are the Flexible Dieting and Eat to Perform



Before we get into the Diets let’s take a step back and discuss the Macronutrients that are used to fuel performance: Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein. Nutrients are the substances that living organisms require to live, function, and thrive. Macronutrients are simply nutrients required in large quantities, which the body uses for energy. 


  • Protein – amino acids the body requires for a wide variety of functions. It is one of the building blocks of the body and is crucial for muscle growth and muscular repair.
    • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Eggs, Dairy (except butter & cream).
    • Supplements: Protein Powder
  • Fat- the body uses Fat as a secondary source of energy; it maintains cell membranes, absorbs fat-soluble vitamins, provides cushioning for our organs and joints, and promotes healthy skin and hair. Essential fatty acids can’t be synthesized by the human body so they must be ingested by way of food. 
    • Red Meat, Pork, Fish, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, MCT Oil, Other Oils, Nuts, seeds, Avocados, Full Fat Dairy (milk,cheese,yogurt, BUTTER, cream), Ghee, and egg yolk.
    • Supplements: Fish Oil, Putting Butter in Coffee
  • Carbohydrates- Provides energy for activities that demand energy.  The body uses this macronutrient most easily, so in order to perform well, you need ample amounts. Carbs are also used to fuel our brain. Leftover carbs get stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, and then used later when energy is needed.  Carbs can be broken down into Simple and Complex. 
    • Simple Carbs – fast digesting and easily broken down for immediate energy. More commonly known as sugar.
    • Complex Carbs- substantially more difficult for our bodies to digest. Broken down gradually and released into bloodstream slower, these include fiber. 
    • Found in starchy foods (oats, quinoa, rice, yams, potatoes, corn, etc.), fruit, and veggies. My favorites are Sweet Potatoes, White Rice, and Quinoa. 
    • Supplements: Vitargo, Maltodextrin, Waxy Maize, Dextrose. 


Even though I don’t think weighing and measuring every meal is a good idea. I do believe understanding a general target goal for your nutrition, and monitoring your intake of food for a day or two to see what your Macros and diet looks like. One great tool for this is the My Fitness Pal App (more below) which can be downloaded for free onto your phone.  I am a dork and like to write down my workouts and food so I can look back on the data and see if I can find any patterns. 


  1. Flexible Dieting -This plan will work best for athletes who Wod around 4+ times a week who are looking quantify their results. 
    1. Cutting/Maintaining
      1. Calories- Multiply Weight X 11-14(depending on level of activity throughout the day). If you have less Body Fat you can eat more towards the higher number and visa-versa. 
      2. Protein- 1g per 1 Pound of Target weight (want to weigh 195 eat 195 grams of Protein)
      3. Carbs-1-1.5g  per 1 Pound of Target weight
      4. Fat- take Grams of Protein + Carbs then X by 4 (4 cals in a gram of P and C). Take that number subtract from total calories then divide that number by 9 (4 cals in a gram of Fat)
        1. Example: Target Weight 195: 195 + 243.75 (195*1.25)=438.75  X 4=1755

2730 (195X14) – 1755 = 975 / 9 = 108.33

    1. Bulking 
      1. Calories- Multiply Weight X 11-14 (more towards 14)
      2. Protein- 1g per 1 Pound of Target weight (want to weigh 220 eat 220 grams of Protein)
      3. Carbs-1.5g  per 1 Pound of Target weight
      4. Fat- take Grams of Protein + Carbs then X by 4. Take that number subtract from total calories then divide that number by 9. 
    2. Justin Sarubbi’s Macro’s
      1. Calories (Total Daily Energy Expenditure): 2730
      2. Protein: Grams 195 / Calories 780 (28%)
      3. Carbs: Grams 243.75/ Calories 975 (36%)
      4. Fat: Gram 108.33 / Calories 975 (36%)



  1. Eat to Perform - For the Athlete who Wods 4-5 times a week and does additional exercise on top of that workload. Ideal for Athletes looking to compete and train for crossfit competitions or other events. ETP makes it easy to calculate your recommended daily amount of Calories and Macro’s.  Just fill out info regarding Height, Weight, Age, Activity Level, on link below and they will give you your numbers:
  2. ETP Calculator
    1. Justin Sarubbi’s Macro’s: 
      1. Calories (Total Daily Energy Expenditure): 3,312
      2. Protein: Grams 195 / Calories 780 (24%)
      3. Carbs: Grams 352/ Calories 1,407 (42%)
      4. Fat: Gram 125 / Calories 1,125 (34%)

As you can see by these two diet plans that they are both very similar but as your workload increases you want to add more Carbs. This is shown by adding almost 108.25 grams of carbs to compensate for additional workload.  Just remember that these numbers are just a baseline not an exact target. Play with the amounts and see which works for you. Keep a journal and log different days and see how you felt and performed in the workout, given your food intake. 





 I base the timing of my meals by how I feel. If I wake up and I am hungry I eat, if I am not hungry I don’t eat, it’s that simple. Meal timing for me is not important, what is important is Macro timing. It is optimal to consume your carbs around your training time. Proper Macro distribution is detrimental to success. 

  1. Flexible Dieting Plan
    1. Protein – try to distribute evenly between however many meals you choose to consume on a daily basis. For example if eat 150 g’s of protein and 5 meals a day eat 30 grams per meal. This doesn’t have to be exact but don’t eat 150 grams of protein in one sitting. 
    2. Carbs/Fat- Consume around training time. Pre and Post workout meals should be carb heavy. 
      1. PM Training- Carbs at night, start day with Protein and Fats then taper in protein and carbs right before you train. Continue eating carbs post workout until you hit your macros. (If you train at 7 eat carbs at 5 until bedtime).
      2. AM Training- Eat Carbs and Protein right before and right after your workout and taper it into protein and fats as the day goes on. 


  1. Eat to Perform
    1. The same premise as the Flexible Diet Plan. Use both fat and carbohydrates for fuel.
      1. High Intensity Workout Fuel with Carbs (Crossift, Olympic Lifting, running)
      2. Low Intensity Workout Fuel with Fat (walking, moving around doing you daily job)
    2. Rev up Carbs and Calories on Days you work out and scale them back on days you are resting
    3. This diet differs from Flexible Diet Plan because it uses the previous day to help you fuel for next day’s activities. 
      1. AM Training- Eat carbs around workouts. Optimally eat carbs the Night before to ensure that you’re fueled for your AM workout. 
        1. If rest day save carbs for Night to fuel for next morning. 
        2. If workout AM and next day is Rest Day taper off you Carbs as the day goes on, eating on Fat and Protein at night. 
      2. PM Training- Eat carbs around workouts. Optimally start eating carbs late afternoon and evening to fuel for PM workout. Then eat until you reach Macros or go to bed. 

Regardless of which diet, or any diet, you choose to partake in; the timing of your Macros can be a great tool to control your body composition and fuel for your workouts. If you want to read more about these diets, and the research behind them, you can find them at the links below:

Flexible Dieting

Eat to Perform 



Regardless of what diet you choose to pursue, here are a few tips that will help you achieve your goals. 

  1. Start Now - Don’t tell yourself I will start on Monday, next month, or the next day. Everything you put in your body serves a purpose, if you want to make a commitment for better health start right away. 
  2. Ease into It - You don’t have to go full Paleo. You don’t have to jump from 1200 Calories a day to 3000 (unless you want to). Try adding a little more to eat each day and see how you feel. Or try ditching some less optimal food each day until you are happy with your diet. Nothing has to be immediate, but know that little changes can add up and make a huge difference. 
  3. Record Data - Crossfit’s greatest trait is the ability to measure your fitness level. People can easily see what their old times, or lifts, were compared to their current. Recording data is a great way to measure your progress, and your nutrition should be no different. 
    1. Take a Before Photo - Take a photo before you start your diet and continue to take photos as you progress with your diet. If you think you look better, continue what you are doing. If you think you look worse, take a look back at your diet and try and change aspects, or find a new plan. 
    2. Log you Food Intake - When you first start a diet it is very important to monitor you daily food intake to get a baseline of what your average day looks like. I use the app My Fitness Pal (you will see my results below), it is a great tool to journal your daily diet. It will break down you daily food intake into daily nutrients so you can see what exactly you are consuming. I would also keep a notebook to jog down how you feel after eating certain foods, compared to others. If you feel good after you eat a meal, continue eating that food. If you feel bloated, or gassy stop eating it. 
    3. Create a Cookbook - If you like a certain meal, save the recipe. Having a list of go to easy meals at your disposal will save a bunch of time when you are looking for a quick meal. There are a bunch of good Note taking apps available for your phone, I use Evernote.  You have a limitless supply of recipes online, if you find one you like copy it and paste it into a Notebook, it literally takes 3 seconds. My general rule of thumb is to google what ingredients I have to cook with, then type “Paleo”.  Here is an example of my google search when I searched “Grassfed Beef, Kale Paleo”. You can see to the right that the first result gave me a list of 26 healthy dishes that contain Ground Beef. It is not a perfect system but it will get you results if you follow it. 
  4. Meal Prep - Life is the worst thing that could happen to our diet. We have so little free time that eating healthy gets shoved farther and farther down the priority list. Having meals prepared is a great resource to use when life throws you a curveball. Pick a day where you have the most time and take 1-2 hours to create meals for the week. So when that meeting runs an extra hour you don’t have to pull into a Drive Thru at your local fast food chain, you can just microwave some leftover chicken, broccoli and white rice, or whatever meal you choose. Prepping your food is a guaranteed way for you to meet your daily diet needs. 
  5. Don’t Stress Out - Committing to your diet is a gigantic step in the right direction. You are actively trying to better your health and yourself, and you should feel proud of that decision. If you don’t eat perfect one day, or binge eat some junk food, don’t beat yourself up over it, just make sure your next few meals are healthy and continue choosing quality foods, and you will be fine. I cheat every week, every week I have some Beer, Pizza, Candy, or Ice-cream.  I never eat perfectly any given week and I rarely feel guilty about it. Why? Because I know I work my ass off trying to eat healthy, and workout hard throughout the week, so I know I can get away with a few cheat meals and continue to achieve my goals.  Click on this link to read more about “Not Stressing Out.” 

I hope you found this article helpful, Please see below for some examples of Daily Food Intake for a few athletes at the gym. 








Justin Sarubbi- Competing Athlete trying to Maintain.

  1. Workload: Little Less Intense Training Day. 6PM Wod followed by  1 hour of Gymnastics Work
  2. Calories (Total Daily Energy Expenditure): 2,994 (3,312)
  3. Fat: Gram 135 (125)
  4. Carbs: Grams 291 (352)
  5. Protein: Grams 192 (195)
  6. Diet
    1. 8AM-11AM: Breakfast: 375 Cal, 29.6g F, 44g C , 5g P 
  7. Bullet Proof Coffee (Coffee with Butter, MCT Oil, and Butter): 228 Cal, 29.6g F
      1. Fresh Juice (Carrot, Celery, Beet, Apple, Lemon): 143 Cal., 44g C, 5g P 
    1. 3:00 PM: Lunch from Whole Foods: 837 Cal, 42.4g F, 54.9g C, 68.9g P
      1. Kale and Mixed Green Salad w/ Balsamic Vinegar: 156 Cal, 26g C, 8g P
      2. Sautéed Spinach w/ Garlic: 86  Cal, 4.4g F, 8.6g C,6.4g P
      3. Fajita Skirt Steak: 420, Cal, 28g F, 10g C, 42g P
      4. Mediterranean Chicken Salad: 175 Cal, 10g F, 10g C, 12.5g P
    2. 4:30 PM: Snack 1: 358 Cal, 8.2g F, 66g C, .5g P
      1. Fermented Coconut Water: 35 Cal, 7g C, .5g P
      2. Japanese Yam with Grassfed Butter: 303 Cal, 8.2g F, 54g C
      3. Muscle Fuel Pre Workout : 20 Cals, 5g C
    3. 7:15PM: Post Workout Shake/Snack: 130 Cal, 1g F, 22g C, 10g P
      1. Fuel for Fire Squeeze Gel
    4. 9:30PM:  Dinner: 897 Cal,35.5g F, 54.1g C, 82.9g P
      1. Tbone Steak: 560 Cals, 25g F, 77g P
      2. Cucumber and Tomato Salad: 119, 8.9g F, 8.3g C, 1.4g P
      3. Brown Rice: 218 Cal, 1.6g F, 45.8g C, 4.5g P
    5. 10:30:  Snack 2: 420 Cal, 18.6g F, 50.6g C, 20.1g P,
      1. Smoothie (Orange, Cranberry, Blueberry, Kefir, Almont Butter, Cocao Powder)


Analysis: You can see that my Calories, Carbs, and Protein are a little lower than the recommended value. I am completely fine with that, I didn’t work out as hard as I normally do so I ate a little less. I consumed 99grams of carbs from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. I had a little too much Carbs for breakfast than normal but I couldn’t turn down a fresh squeezed Juice. At 4:30 PM it was time to fuel for my workout so I ate a Yam and continued eating carbs the rest of the night. I added a Smoothie with some Fruit before bed to help get closer to my Macros. I ate 192.9 grams of carbs from 4:30PM to 10:30PM, so as you can see I try to keep most of my carbs around my workouts. 




Female Competing Athlete: Bulking

  1. Workload: Double Training Day
  2. Calories: 2,671
  3. Fat: Grams 69
  4. Carbs: Grams 292
  5. Protein: Grams 191
  6. Diet
  7. Breakfast: 645 Cals
    1. 3 Eggs, 3 Slices of Turkey Bacon, .5 Avocado, 1.5 cup of Broccoli, 1 Sweet Potato
  8. Lunch: 534 Cals
    1. 4 oz Grilled Chicken breast, 3 cups of Mixed Greens, 2 tbsp Blush Wine Vinaigrette, Nectarine
  9. Snack 1: 300 Cals
    1. Perfect Foods Bar
  10. Pre-Workout: 391 Cals
    1. Vitargo 
  11. Post-Workout: 260 Cals
    1. Recovery Protein Powders, Fuel for Fire 
  12. Dinner: 542 Cals
    1. 4 oz grilled Sirloin steak, Sweet Corn, 1.5 cup of Sautéed Spinach, 12 Almonds


Male Competing Athlete 1: Bulking

  1. Workload: Double Training Day: AM and PM
  2. Calories: 4,880
  3. Fat: Grams 170
  4. Carbs: Grams 374
  5. Protein: Grams 202
  6. Diet
  7. Breakfast:1,462 Cals
    1. 5 Eggs, 8oz Lean Ground Turkey, 1 sweet Potato (small), 2 cups White Rice, Coffee w/ Coconut Oil 
  8. Pre-Workout: 110 Cals
    1. Banana
  9. Lunch: 600 Cals
    1. 8oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Almond Milk with Chocolate Syrup, Protein, and Waxy Maize. 
  10. Post-Workout: 380 Cals
    1. Met Rx Chocolate Chip Cookie Protein Bar
  11. Dinner: 1,278 Cals
    1. 8oz Lean Ground Turkey, 8 oz Kielbasa, 2 Sweet Potatoes (small), 1 tbs Coconut Oil
  12. Snack: 450 Cals
    1. Natural Granola, Almond Milk







Male Competing Athlete 2: Bulking

  1. Workload: Double Training Day PM
  2. Calories: 3,724
  3. Fat: Grams 130
  4. Carbs: Grams 410
  5. Protein: Grams 240
  6. Diet
  7. Breakfast:574 Cals
    1. 2 Eggs, 3 slices Bacon, Bagel 
  8. Lunch: 1000 Cals
    1. Tuna Club
  9. Pre-Workout: 200 Cals
    1. Energy Gel
  10. Post-Workout: 1150 Cals
    1. Protein Progenix Flow , 4 scoops Vitargo, 2 eggs, Greek Yogurt
  11. Dinner: 800 Cals
    1. Chipotle Double Chicken Burrito Bowl w/ Guac

Hydration - by Ashley Holden-Klimik

Now that we are in the heart of summer, it has become more important than ever to be properly hydrated.  Muscle tissue is about 75% water. So it is not hard to see how important proper hydration is to muscle growth.  Further, the main way the body loses fluids during exercise is through sweat. Anyone who’s been to the box so far this summer will tell you that there is not a dry brow or t-shirt in the house. We have all left our share of DNA on the bar or the floor. Since its not getting any cooler, it is time to get smart about proper hydration practices!

Everyone has heard the age-old “8 glasses of water a day” recommendation, but is that enough? What about when it’s hot and you are leaving sweat angels all over the box? What about for athletes who work out multiple times a day? 

The amount of fluid you need depends on the intensity and duration of the activity as well as the environmental conditions (such as humidity). So here are some tips for proper hydration to keep you peeing all day long!

  1. One of the best ways to keep from becoming dehydrated is to be hydrated before you begin your workout. To ensure proper hydration, you should drink 17-20 ounces 2 to 3 hours before exercise and 7 to 10 oz more about 10 to 20 minutes before exercise.  I like to drink water and use a pre-workout drink such as Progenex Force or Vitargo for added carbohydrates.
  2. During the workout it is recommended that you drink 7 to 10 oz. every 10 to 20 minutes. This is assuming you are already well hydrated when you start your workout. Since it may be challenging to drink that much during a WOD, you can try drinking smaller amounts more frequently. Also, our workouts are rarely longer than 25 minutes and generally consist of multiple components, so think about drinking when you are transitioning (e.g., between intensity and strength etc.) 
  3. Post exercise hydration should aim to correct any fluid loss. This should ideally occur within two hours and should include water to restore hydration status, carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, and electrolytes to speed rehydration.  
  4. Water is good, but after sweating, the body also needs to replace sodium, potassium and chloride.  Consider a natural drink such as coconut water to replace these nutrients.
  5. During exercising, there is an increased breakdown of protein. Adding protein to your post workout routine will minimize muscle protein breakdown and speed up recovery. I like a scoop of protein powder with almond milk or coconut water post WOD for a blend of protein and carbs. 
  6. If you supplement with creatine, you will need to add extra water to your regimen while supplementing (Creatine works by drawing more water into the muscle cells).
  7. If you are having trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, mark your bottle with time goals you must reach (e.g., 8 ounces by 9am, 16 oz by 12 etc.).
  8. Stay away from energy drinks. These are bad news in terms of staying hydrated.
  9. Cool beverages are recommended over very cold or room temperature.

Warning signs of dehydration:

  1. Thirst is a big one. Unfortunately, if you are thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated.
  2. Keep an eye on the color of your urine. Dark colored urine or low volume are both signs of trouble. If you have 2 nearly clear urinations a day, chances are you are properly hydrated. 
  3. Heat cramps: symptoms such as excessive sweating, fatigue, thirst and cramps (usually in the stomach arms and legs). Can usually be treated by drinking water or fluids containing electrolytes.
  4. Heat exhaustion occurs when you don’t act on the signs of heat cramps and your condition worsens.  Symptoms include headache, dizziness, light- headedness, and muscle cramps. Can also be treated by drinking fluids. 

Now that you are more aware of proper hydration, I expect to see you in the box sipping away or waiting in line for the bathroom!


For more detailed information about proper hydration check out the National Athletic Trainers’ Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes