New At the Box


Tuesday, April 10th, 2018




What is the most you can do right now to maximize your potential?

Throughout the year we should have checkpoints: times that we address and re-address our short-termgoals and long-term goals. Short-term goals give us motivation for a long-term vision.

For instance, Coach Sam has a goal to string together five muscle-ups by the start of the third quarter.  Most of us would grab a marker and write up “get 5 muscle-ups” on the goal board and hit the muscle-up work really hard when it is programmed in the WOD. We may even tell ourselves that we’ll work on them in open gym on a Thursday or Saturday each week.
In reality, that is extremely vague and unfocused goal and easy to stray away from. Yes, she has a long-term goal of getting five unbroken muscle ups but her short-term goals are really the accomplishments she needs in order to achieve her long-term goal.

Sam knows that there are three short-term objectives she can improve upon and accomplish to help get her goal achieved.  She needs to:

  1. get her body weight down (read: diet in check, lose approx 8-10 pounds of bodyfat),
  2. get her ring dips stronger, both strict and kipping, and more specifically 7-10 unbroken ring dips (strict),  and
  3. improve her muscle up swing efficiency (she knows I’m telling you this stuff, by the way!)

She has laid out a plan to bring her diet in check that includes meal prep, knowing her macros and adding in some solutions to the most common obstacles that keep her from adhering to her diet (a buddy system would be good and a replacement for high calories snacking that happen in the afternoons). She has a way to measure this (bodyweight and body composition) and an estimated time it should take to achieve the goal without losing too much weight too fast, which would affect her strength and overall performance …no bueno!

While she is working on her body weight she will also be implementing more dips in her warm-ups. She will be aiming for 20 dips three times a week for 4 weeks then progress to 30 dips three times a week for 4 weeks and the progression increases. Sam has a plan to work on her swing and only her swing (versus practicing the swing INTO a muscle up) until she feels it is good enough to move in the actual muscle up. She will practice just swinging before her workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays. After her swing is looking and feeling better, which includes grip strength, she will migrate that into how to flow from one muscle up to the next. She is even as detail as to what month she wants to have completed each progression of her swing (short-term goals.)

This is a focused athlete. Someone who is willing to set out goals and accomplish them. Her check-in is her coaching team…honesty is the best policy and when you know your workout buddies care, the truth doesn’t hurt, it helps.

How Can You Be Focused?

We all get distracted throughout the year. You come in to train on Thursday for Open Gym and you want to work on your double unders (since it is a goal of yours) but the class is doing your favorite WOD. It is easy to put off the things you are bad at to throw down in the class WOD with some friends. It is easy to just say screw it and do something fun instead. It’s even easier AND more fun to do things you’re good at and you love…but that leaves your weakness as weaknesses and leaves your goals unmet.   So what matters more to you? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have that victory when those double under come up in a WOD and you can do them because of the hard days? The days when the WOD was enticing but you said no and did your grunt work to reach your goal?

“Hiding from your weaknesses is a recipe for incapacity and error.”                                                                ~Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder and CEO

Focused means taking action every chance you can to benefit your long-term goal. Each step you take ask your self, “is this step towards or away from my goals?

Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals

Let’s do a little boring education.  It’ll make you better!  Make sure you set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Below is an example of how Sam’s example above can be laid out as a  S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Specific:I want to achieve 5 unbroken Muscle Ups.Target a specific area for improvement and make sure its….(see Measurable).

Measurable: I will set up a WEEKLY ring dip template to perform X amount of reps each week and increasing reps by X every fourth week.You need quanitites or indicators that can be measured.

Attainable: I can currently do the number of repetitions I set for dip goals, so doing three sets of them regularly will be build strength so I can up that repetition number in four weeks! Achievable! Is it possible (or safe or smart?) to lose 10lbs in 1 week?  Make your goals realistic and doable. This way you won’t be defeated if you chose a ridiculously unreachable goal.

Relevant: Having better dips makes it easier to press out of the muscle up from the catch position.  Does your short-term goal affect your long-term goal?

Time-bound: After the first two months I’ll reassess and tie the swing into the full movement.  My body weight will make it easier to swing and press out of the dip.  Can you physically achieve your goal in the amount of time you have set?

Committing & Putting Your Plan In Place

Here’s that fun little NY Times article: How to Start Working Out.  AND, it lists CrossFit!!

And here’s Goal Setting Part 1 if you missed it.

Get your goals on the board and make them known to us so we can help guide you!


Are you doing the most you can right now to maximize your potential?


Monday, April 9th, 2018




What does it mean to be an “athlete?”

I could give you what Webster defines it as but what matters most is your perception of what it means.
We are so blessed to have found a form of exercise that promotes leaving the gym feeling not only accomplished but utterly hungry to do better at the movements you just performed. How many times have you finished a WOD and said to yourself or other athletes, I could have gone faster on [insert movement here] or I should have done a bigger set, or I could have gone heavier.
To me, THAT is what makes you an athlete.
The pursuit of excellence and the will to challenge yourself to move better is what makes someone athletic.  When you move better, you are “athletic”. Humans were designed to be athletic – whether you believe in evolution or creation…we roamed, sprinted, lifted, carried…it’s in our DNA to move well.

Each year, as the CrossFit Games Open season finishes and you either wish you would have done it or you wish you would have done a little better in it, a new opportunity arises for us to dig deep and set goals for ourselves. And it’s a good thing to self-evaluate and make plans to improve… do not be embarrassed. We all do it!

The month of April, after the Open has concluded, is the most popular time of year for us to be fired up to train harder for next year.
Each year I have a talk with myself (Coach Paul here) and here is how it goes:

You are gonna train harder this year and be better prepared for next year’s Open.

I’ll tell you what, it works… but it doesn’t work well enough. About two or three months into this training-harder phase I get burned out. I tell myself  “Let’s get real Pauly (only I can call me that FYI)…you’re not going to Regionals, you have a full-time job, everyone is training just as hard but putting more time in so let’s just have fun with training and where you land in the Open is good enough.
There you go, now you know what goes on inside my head throughout the year.
What happens next? Well I continue training and I put a lot of effort into my WODs and when the Open comes, sure, I’m fitter than last year… BUT! It isn’t good enough for me. I am hungrier for more. I get fired up again and KNOW that I can perform better; I can be fitter.

Let’s get real. I am 100% aware that it is still statistically highly unlikely to make it to Regionals and to be frank with you, that is not my goal. I am going to keep my mind set on one thing this year…my focus. But enough about me…

Your Focus

How focused are YOU throughout the year? How quickly does your enthusiasm wane?  Do you just come in and hit the workout every day? It is what it is and I’m going to give it my best and what happens, happens?
This is a detrimental way of thinking.

Your training year needs FOCUS! And then it needs re-focus, regularly.

Here at CrossFit Rebels, we follow a few templates.  One is a blend of what CFHQ says is the best way to ensure we hit everything we need to without overtraining, and the other is our annual plan where we cycle in heavy power lifts, technique, Olympic lifts, high reps, “engine work”.  We have developed this over the years in order to ensure we use our year most efficiently.  I know CrossFit is constantly varied and ever-changing, but not having a structure is lazy and ineffective.

Each year after the Open we slow down the volume of crazy metcons and start pushing a lot more strict strength – barbell and gymnastics.
You are either the athlete sitting there rolling your eyes like, “Oh no! We’re losing our soul-crushing WODs?”, or you’re the athlete who is like, “Hell yeah! No more hard WODs and lots of lifting!”  It brings me 100% happiness in my heart to inform you that you both are wrong =-)

Soon, our programming will reflect a lot more strict gymnastics work and a ton more lifting.
Everyone (who knows what they are doing) slows down the high-volume metcons after the open. We train you guys to peak leading into the Open. Now is the time to get a crap ton stronger, better at your skills, better at Olympic lifting and strict gymnastics. Yes, you’ll still “metcon”, but our priority is no longer your engine, which is what it takes to do well in the Open WODs when we’ve run out of time in the year to “get those movements” or “make you stronger”, like February and March.  I’m almost positive you have a goal lying somewhere in at least one of those categories.

This is the perfect time to start goal setting and working towards achieving your small term goals to lead up to your long-term vision.


Motivation To Get Started

Here’s a fun quick read from the NY Times: “How to Start Working Out“.  It’s a good starter and covers goal setting!

Stay tuned for Goal Setting Part 2!



Ed and Janice made it!

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

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The word is out! Janice and Coach Ed made it to the next level in the Road to the CF Games!  

Each had to finish in the top 200 in the world in their respective age groups.
Ed finished 161st/4,520 male athletes in the 55-59 age division,
and Janice finished 70th/2,086 female athletes in the 60+ age division.
Congratulations to them both! We are all so very proud!

So what’s next?  The qualifier for the Masters’ age divisions (starting at 35 years old) is an “online qualifier”.  There will be four (4) workouts released on Thursday, April 19th.  We will stage a second round of Open-Like competition on the following days and times at the box:

Friday, 4/20 @ 7 pm
Saturday, 4/21 @ 10 am
Sunday 4/22 @ 9 or 10 am (posted at the box) and then again at 1 or 2 pm (also posted at the box)
Monday we’ll use for any re-do’s Ed and Janice want to take on.

We will post our event schedule at the box and you’ll probably see a FB event soon!

Please help us in congratulating them. This shows what a very structured and methodical approach to training can do (while still holding a full-time job, having a family and a life – somewhat:). Both athletes stuck with their training programs (Janice in the main WOD and Ed with CompTrain Masters).

Janice used private sessions with Coach Paul to identify areas she should spend her Open Gym time on…and did just that! If you’ve ever seen her on those days, she has a notebook, a plan, and she gets to work. She doesn’t spend tons of time on the things she’s already good at, as she gets to practice and works on those things in the WOD. She hits her weaknesses hard, and this year, her progress showed through!

Ed never veered from his schedule. Last year, many of you knew, we were sidelined with a business glitch that he backed out of the open to help with that. This year, his standing is 40 some spots better than two years ago…and yes, he’s getting older too (older and fitter!).  He sticks to his training plan veering only when his body tells him to.

Both athletes have dialed in their nutrition this year – Janice working on more protein and more carbs, and just generally eating more with her busy practice schedule, and Ed focused on increasing carbs and fat.  Both know the key to a higher level performance is a solid nutritional foundation.

Stay tuned to our blog and our FB page for more information!

Sharing Our CE Experience

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

So a few weeks, Coaches Nicole, Paul, Phil and Sam all went to a continuing education course together. We all need between 40 and 50 continuing education hours every year for our training certifications and we like to broaden our horizons outside just the CrossFit world at times.  Plus, CEU’s are often expensive so it’s nice to find a lower cost 8-hour course every once in a while.

Our course was entitled “The Pharmacy in Your Kitchen” and was put on by a board certified Psychiatric Pharmacist named Angelo Pezzote. You know we loved this course concept because we’re all in the “Let Food Be Thy Medicine” camp whenever possible.

Some of the course objectives were to be able to identify the effectiveness of selected medical foods and medicinal foods for treating chronic or recurrent disorders of:

  • attention and cognition
  • osteoarthritis, backache, headache or neuropathic pain,
  • low grade, chronic inflammation
  • cardio-metabolic factors underlying type 2 diabetes., coronary artery disease and stroke,
  • initiating or maintaining sleep

We were excited because you’d be surprised how many of our athletes arrive with many of these conditions. We know exercise will help them* but maybe we’ll learn some cool new food-stuff that will assist as well!

*Did you know that exercise beats drugs in depression therapy?  But you know where I’m going….try to get a depressed person to exercise! Right?!


After (post) exercise in a setting like CrossFit, not only do endorphins rise, but that unconditional community feeling settles in. We hug each other all swollen and sweaty. We sit and chat about things that make us happy. We are not just healthy…but have lower stress and a greater social support system.

Some sobering stats from the course:


On weight loss

From the National Weight Control Registry, of 10,000 people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it  off for 5+ years:

  • 98% modified foot intake (lowering calories overall)
  • 78% ate breakfast every day
  • 94% increased physical activity
  • 62% watched less than 10 hours of TV per week
  • 75% weighted themselves every day

There are some things you can’t “fancy away”…and by that I mean to think that there’s a magic bullet that will last.  Sure, sometimes we all need a kickstart, but it can be a healthy one. While macronutrients do play a role in health (and weight loss, of course), if you truly understand diet, multiply out your macros and see how many calories you are eating. Increasing or decreasing this is the cause of your weight loss, not “just lowering starch”, cutting carbs altogether, going vegan or trying to exercise off additional calories.

Eating breakfast every day is a good idea. The quality and quantity of the food we eat fuels our cells and our bodies to be able to perform all the functions we don’t think about every day: heart beating, digestion in progress, liver detoxifying, kidneys filtering, lungs exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide…who thinks about these things during the day, right?   But eating for high nutrient density allows these functions to occur at a higher level, more effectively than fueling your body with processed crap.

More time outside, “moving”, exercising, playing and less time sitting in front of the tube or the computer should be a no-brainer.

And finally, I know people who “won’t get on the scale”. It’s not a matter of obsessing, but be an adult and face the facts. If you’re looking to put on weight or lose weight…as Ed always says: “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”.

Just some good tips from the NWCR.


Post workout euphoria causes grown men to hijack the box-camera and stage selfies. Adult men carrying on like kids lowers stress and creates some fun aftermath!



Hippocrates said:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, also created the Hippocratic from which physicians guide their practice.


On Sleep

We learned some interesting stuff here.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this…and my GP (when I had one) said it was OK.  How many of you have taken Benedryl to sleep? Or some type of diphenhydramine?  Just 50 mg, the average dose, disrupts sleep architecture and prevents stage 3 and 4 sleep. Sure, it knocks you out, but it doesn’t allow restorative sleep. Oopsie!

There are many natural and lifestyle hacks to assist with sleep – unfortunately, they’re so easy and simple that people often dismiss them and go straight for meds.  General sleep hygiene and some supplements that we know that help are:

  • Limiting screen time before bed. If you must be on a device, consider an app like f.lux or blue blocking glasses.
    • Better yet, move back to books. They don’t mess your brain the way a device screen does.
  • Consider reading before bed. Reading, as opposed to video gaming or watching television not only makes you smarter but will help induce sleep versus prevent it.
  • Have a little starch with dinner. Starchy carbohydrates help the body produce serotonin which can help calm you down and set you up for a good slumber
  • Create a very dark room with white, pink or brown noise. Get rid of your tech devices – store then in another room.
  • Take a hot/warm bath or shower. It will raise your body temperature so that as you cool down it triggers your body to fall asleep (remember – your body temp drops when you sleep).
  • Foods/Supplements that can help induce sleep are Green Tea (containing L-Theanine), Valerian, GABA, and Melatonin.
  • And there was also mention of CBD oil but we’ll not go there right now 🙂



On How Drugs Function in the Brain

And here’s where a bunch of CF Coaches and Trainers might have spaced off, and spent too much time poking fun things that were happening in the room versus listening to the speaker! (It happens!)  We enjoyed a cursory review of the brain and it’s communication system, specifically focused on the synapse and how mood altering drigs work within the synapse. It was refreshing to hear a pharmacists perspective on how the overall health of a person, their diet and lifestly quality which affect the gut biome (because gut bacteria manufacture some neurotransmitters such as serotonin), can and should be the focus when initially dealing with depression and anxiety. For those who don’t believe there’s a connection between diet and brain health – you should look this guy up. Someone in the medical community vying for lifestyle changes over drugs…especially someone in the pharmaceutical industry…it was compelling.

Without trying to purport I really comprehend the extent of the amino acids as precursors to the neurotransmitters and how that whole process can be messed up with “too many” drugs, I’ll just say this:  Start with diet. Clean it up to the max! Fix your lifestyle if it’s broken: stress, sleep, “enjoyment”, family, etc.  And if all of those efforts truly fail, THEN seek medicinal help.

….and speaking of medicinal help, we were introduced to a new industry (one we’d not been aware of) called “Medical Foods”. Where this gets interesting is as we learn that for  the more common medications for inflammation (NSAIDs), sleep, and even cognitive impairment, there is a bridge between supplements and drugs called Medical Foods.  They’re prescribed by a physican and and are showing good outcomes consistent with drugs.

Of note are Limbrel (Flavocoxid), which has shown equal or better results when compared to Celebrex and other NSAIDs for osteoarthritis. (Note: There is a medscape alert that Flavocoxid has produced severe reactions and physicians are being asked to stop prescribing it. Flavocoxid’s primary ingredients are Polyphenols, Acacia Catechu (catechin – found in green tea) and Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap) which has been used for years for inflammation).

Axona, for Alzheimer’s disease, and whose primary ingredient is carpylic triclycrides (MCT’s) – many of us will connect that with Bulletproof coffee and the brain buzz we get after ingesting it.

And finally Theramine for pain.  Its primary ingredients are amino acids that are precursors for the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are involved in the regulation of pain signals.


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So we trudge on, in hopes that those around us are influenced by our passion for nutrition is the foundation of our training, and our health, for that matter.  You are what you eat…and you are what your food eats!  Quality, quantity, and macronutrient composition all matter. Diversity matters.  I’m not saying be a food Nazi because friends and “outings” matter too.  That beer or cocktail with your friend or that greasy spoon your family always congregates at…don’t be a jerk and avoid it because it’s not in your plan. The stress of being a social outcast can have deleterious effects on your health the same way living on PopTarts, McDonald’s, CheezeIts and Dairy Queen can!

All in all, for most of us, it was a refresher and reminder of how important a quality diet is for a healthy life.

~Coach Sam, out!



Strength Cycles: The Proof is in the Pudding!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Our First Strength Cycle of 2018 is complete and we saw fantastic improvements!


We had a small group of 6 athletes complete the program this cycle, some with years of Crossfit experience, some with only a few months. Asking athletes to commit to the Strength Program during the Open is….well….always a challenge as we’re pushing athletes to do the Open at the same time. The Open requires us to prioritize your “engine” and the Strength Program requires us to prioritize your strength. It’s hard to do both at the same time!

Also, as you may or may not know, strength gains accumulate faster when you’re new to lifting.  Progress is faster and quicker if you’re not a veteran power or Olympic lifter.  So we saw results for both new lifters and veteran lifters in this cycle.

We recommend our athletes do at least one Strength Cycle a year. At Rebels, we’ve been offering this as a part of an athletes membership for several years now. It’s strategically planned throughout the year so that everyone has the same opportunity to opt in or out. Check out our summary page HERE.

To commit to a 10-week lifting program is a lot to ask.  Life often gets in the way of training consistently but the Magnificent 6 persevered and came out way stronger.

We followed a tried and true Wendler 5-3-1 Program and mixed in plenty of BSG (Boring Strict Gymnastics) for accessory work. Strict Gymnastics is often overlooked because it is…well…boring. Oh Great, 3×8 of strict pull-ups(eyeroll emoji). Consistent work on strict gymnastics builds body awareness and stresses your body in ways a barbell or dumbbells cannot. Strict gymnastics is important and I’m proud of the athletes for sticking to the program. We worked Low Bar Back Squat, Press, and Deadlift. Three essential lifts for a healthy body. We all need to sit on the toilet, push overhead and pick stuff up from the ground.

Alright, let’s do some numbers!

Back Squats: We saw an average of 13% improvement on Back Squats. These numbers range in improvements averaging 22-pound increases, with the highest at a 35 pound increase!

Deadlift:  Three of the six were unable to test the DL at the end of the program due to a schedule conflict or the desire not to re-test*.  The other three saw an average of an 8% or 20-pound increase with the largest at 30 pounds!  (*We don’t push masters athletes to 1 rep max if they’re not “feeling it”. At a certain age the risk versus reward for pushing maximal loads becomes one of less necessity than more time under tension). 

Press:  Shoulder presses are one of the slowest lifts (Google it!) to progress.  Improvements are slow and small.  But on avearge, we saw an overall 10% increase with a 20-pound increase being the highest!

We also saw tremendous improvement in the  Power Snatch and Power Clean – two lifts that we worked only moderately by comparison to the power lifts and yet, we saw incredible numbers. The Power Snatch improved by 12% (top increase was 25 pounds), and the Power Clean went up an astonishing 18% (top increase was 45 pounds).  Large increases typically occur with the strength program when technique is on the rise….which may have been some of the reason here.

So what’s next? The Magnificent 6 are stronger and back in regular class, time for them to get their metabolic conditioning back – it is all but impossible to stay metabolically conditioned while packing on muscle. We’ll be starting another Strength Program in late April. The next cycle will be 8 weeks and focus on building your beach body just in time for Summer. Our sets will be focused on hypertrophy (muscle size). You’ll get stronger of course but the gains will be visible. You’ll look a bit bigger in all the right places. Just time for beach season.

~Coach Phiz


All of the athletes improved by at least 5% per lift, which may not sound like much until you break it down.

If my press is 100lbs and it goes up to 105 after only 8 weeks, that is phenomenal. Take it a bit further, a 15lbs increase on your Deadlift sounds like a reason to celebrate!


Special notes:  Why the “pudding” reference in the title? Like any program where you aim to increase performance (strength, cardirespiratory capacity, and even mobility (we can argue that poorly fed or overly medicated your tendons and ligaments won’t be as supple and your joints won’t be as mobile due to inflammation to allow for increased range of motion)), if you are not properly fed – mainly if you are underfed, but quality matters – you’ll not reach your maximal potential.

What Now?

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Copy of PULL-UPS


After 18.1 and 18.2 presented with some pretty elementary movements (OK, T2B can be tough), an engine and some good solid foundational strength were all that was needed to Rx those two WODs.  If you’re new to CrossFit, scaling those WODs gave you the opportunity to move hard and fast – where the magic of CrossFit happens (in the pain cave!).  If you Rx’d them, you found you were among a very, very large group of CrossFitters who could also Rx the movements but maybe they moved faster than you? Or maybe you kept up. Either way, 18.1 and 18.2 were pretty inclusive.

Enter 18.3.  Not only are double unders still the bane of many, a moderately loaded overhead squat posed a challenge to some, and then the elusive muscle ups furthered that challenge. We had athletes who had solid chest to bar pull ups and dips, but hadn’t been on the rings in a while for various reasons, and it would have been irresponsible of us as coaches to push that with a higher potential for injury in those untrained on the rings. So for some, scaled was easy (with a big motor!) but the right decision.

Whether you chose to Rx 18.3 or scale it, if you chose the right option, you entered a world of wonder!

If you scaled it, you were breezing through single unders to a light overhead squat and right into pull ups.  If you had them, your goal was to get into and through round 2.  If you didn’t have them, MANY of you got your first, second…some got up to 18 “first pullups”!

If you Rx’d it, your challenge was either the ring or bar muscle ups, or both. There were “first time” and “first time in a long time” muscle ups…all met with screams and cheers, and there were multiple beautiful muscle ups (bar and ring) where the challenge was truly how far can you get.

18.3 was a lot of fun!

So, if you are in the camp of “firsts”, what now? This is the most important question you can ask yourself right now, and below are the keys to not losing your momentum!

  1. Commit to PRACTICING your new skill every day you walk in the box.  EVERY DAY. Use the momentum and the excitement of what you have done and keep that with you.
  2. Use the principles of S.A.I.D to guide your volume. You see, your body is pretty amazing. You have to continue to vary and challenge your training load and volume so your body doesn’t adapt to the stimulus you impose on it.  (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands).
    • If you now have pull ups 1 at a time (singles), commit for the next week or two to do at least 10 in your warm ups.  In between, work on your beat swing and strength it.
      • In subsequent weeks, add about 5-10% to your volume every two weeks in reps, and continue to work your beat swing. Start trying to string multiples together.
      • Once you can do two a time, begin doing two at a time for, say, 20 reps total for a few weeks. Continue to work your beat swing.
      • Continue to work strict pull-ups and progressions into it that your Open Gym time. Work parallel ring rows (pulling from a different angle).
      • The next thing you know you’ll be stringing multiples together, at which time, because of how pull ups are programmed in the WODs, you’re now on your way and you’re Rx’ing the pull up WODs!
      • The next step: chest to bar pull ups in the same manner.
      • The next step: work dips for muscle ups…..
  3. Get off track? Use the GOAL Board to document your goals so we (your coaches) can keep track of all your dreams and secret desires.  It makes us happy to contribute!

Three simple things…yes, it’s that simple.  There are so many things we want in CrossFit….take your one or two most important and work them in this manner and you’ll reach your goals in no time!

Athlete of the Quarter: LYSHIA “LOLITIA JENKINS” DELRIO!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

We are pleased to announce that Lyshia Del Rio is our first Athlete of the Quarter for 2018!! She always brings a smile and a laugh in everyday she comes to Rebels. It’s obvious she loves it here. Lyshia is one of our busy moms – always on the run, always doing something and yet, every day she comes in smiling. Lately she’s become an accidental leader on our Rebels on Paleoish FB group. She’s been asking people how they’re doing and holding them accountable. She says she loves it because it helps her stay accountable herself. Lyshia is always focused on family and relationships, she’s one of the most loving women we have ever met.


What is your favorite WOD?  Cindy – Because I finally have Rx pull-ups!

What is your least favorite WOD? Anything with Box Jumps or Burpees.

What do you like most about CrossFit?  The camaraderie and friendships that hold me accountable every day.

What has been the hardest/most difficult skill or movement to learn? Snatch, but really the most difficult thing is taking a break from Crossfit and then re-starting. It’s so hard coming back.

How has CrossFit changed your life? When I started 4 years ago I was at a pretty low point in my life. The biggest thing that’s changed is my self-confidence. Crossfit has also brought my whole family closer.


Battle of the Sexes 2018

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Battle of the Sexes 2018 is IN THE BOOKS!

battle of the sexes logoSaturday, Feb 10th,  2018, like so many years past, the girls of CF Rebels took on the guys of CF Rebels in a full day of WODs, adventures and games. And once again, like so many years past, the guys reign as supreme sex.  Congratulations to the men!

And also this year, our Battle fell on a very special day: Coach Moana’s 48th Birthday! If you have a facebook account, check out Moana’s Birthday kicking off the Battle.

So, this is Sam, recapping the day after conferring with Ed on our  our “home runs” (positives), our  “base hits” that could have been doubles, triples and home runs” (things we did well  but could have done better) and our “strike outs” (negatives).

We do this once a year. It’s a big deal to have something for the community that’s fun, somewhat competitive and that brings us all together. Our Head/Lead Coaching Team gelled on this event considering we’re always pushed back by something important and tend to pull these things together with very little time. Nicole, Paul, Phil, Jaida, Jenn…really owned their respective responsibilities for the event and executed superbly! I don’t think they all realize the impact they have allowing everyone to push hard for the sake of fun!

The Home Runs:

  • Coach Nicole – everything she touched for this event turned to gold.
    • She and Trish organized babysitting for the parents who wanted to participate in the battle but would have had to find (or didn’t have) childcare. Nicole and Trish orchestrated a group a volunteers who cared for at least 8-10 kiddos for the entire event! That’s a long time to keep kids occupied and happy. We’re so grateful for this new addition the box and owe it all to Coach Nic and Trish.
    • Nicole was at the box even before Ed and I and got right to the things we’d yet completed. She stayed on task judging and organizing during the vent and working the kids room.  And of course, she was one of the last ones to leave, helping to button things up in the end. She really deserves some major kudos – she worked harder than anyone.
  • Yoga Coach Tiffany – adding a new twist to the event this year, and proving we all need more flexibility! This will definitely be an event returning next year!
  • The Reams (Oreo & Uno (Nicole & Kyle)) made a surprise visit to us driving all the way from Atlanta to join the fun. We hope to have them back in our Rebels Fam soon!IMG_4355
  • Strokers provided the food and beer, and just like last year, it was a huge hit! Many thanks to Jose for delivering!
  • This years’ captains: Stephanie (aka “wife”) and Justin.  Seriously calm cucumbers under all the pressure – possibly proving that having attorneys as captains is a good idea? Yea, I think so too.

The Base Hits:

  • The new structure with the AMRAP Scavenger hunt (which can most definitely be improved dramatically next year), the Team WOD events and the occasional breaks for food and drink. We will continue to innovate and keep things fresh!
  • The Nerf Gun in the drinking game…next year better timing of the event so we can have a longer AMRAP!
  • I truly appreciated the constructive feedback from some of you on how we could make this event better next year.  That feedback included scoring the scavenger hunt differently, putting the benchmark girls near the end of the event, and figuring out how to have “competitive events” and “non-competitive events” so that those who want to “compete” can and those who want to have a good time also can. And I need to mention again – it was constructive and appreciated!  With events like these we can’t please everyone.  This is a fun event – hearing athletes bludgeon the coaches who are running the event  because they felt something was “off” or unfair…not constructive. We’re all adults..just saying I appreciated the adult feedback 😉

The Strike Outs:

  • Our timing – laying out the WODs and events so we stayed on time was difficult because we didn’t have everyone signed up for events in advance…but we still finished around 3pm – close to our target. This is always a challenge!
  • Sign ups!  Next year I think we’ll have a draft!
  • We forgot to get a group photo

The fact that in the end, after another exceptionally long attempt at busting the piñata, no one even asked who won. Y’all were making plans to go out and celebrate the day, Moana’s birthday, the Reams…Coach Nic needed a drink, etc.  It does us good to see the box gel like that.

There are a few extra shirts we ordered to ensure we could swap sizes that will be for sale Monday if anyone wants one.

Thank you again to everyone who worked the event, participated in the event, helped clean up, and gave us all great memories that will last until…Battle 2019!




Chalk Etiquette

Thursday, January 18th, 2018


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It’s one of the fun parts of CrossFit. Make you feel like a bad ass, right? The slow saunter over to the bucket – you’re feeling a little John Wayne meets Gangster gunslinger.  The silky feel of the chalk on your hand that are about to grip and rip a new snatch PR…oh you can taste it, right?

Well, with every accessory in our gym comes responsibility. Whether it’s your jump rope, your knee wraps, or yes, your use of chalk, be prepared to be asked to have some knowledge of “chalk etiquette”.

  1. Our Box Rules include chalk etiquette: Rule #9: Use chalk over bucket.  In other works, put your hands in the bucket, rub chalk between your hand IN THE BUCKET, and then clap them together IN THE BUCKET.  Easy enough right?
  2. Do not take chalk blocks out of the bucket to your “station” or workout area. Blocks remain in the buckets at all times.
  3. Weightlifting Chalk is different than blackboard chalk, and baby powder talc. Don’t try to mix it up!
  4. A fine layer of chalk between your hands and the barbell helps you achieve a stronger grip by soaking up any of perspiration from your hands.
  5. Chalk buckets…they’re not yours! We “share” chalk bucket in the box. The kids area has one, the adult area has four. Please don’t consider this “your” personal chalk bucket for your class.
  6. Sweaters. No, not Christmas sweater, but people who sweat – a lot. We live in Florida, folks!  It’s hot and you’re going to sweat. If you’re pouring out sweat and doing pull ups or high rep cleans, no amount of chalk is going to keep the sweat from running down your arms to your palms.  Consider sweat bands, as corny as that might sound.  Excessive chalk + excessive sweat = paste, and this defeats the purpose of chalk.
  7. Chalking hands is typically for pulling: DL, Cleans, Snatches, and pull up bar or ring work.  Chalking your hands for pushups and presses…kind of makes you look like a goof.
  8. Clean up your chalk mess after the WOD: barbells, handprints on the floor, whatever. Cleaning up your mess after a WOD is a part of your job. Do it!
  9. Try not to use a trip to the chalk bucket like a trip to the water fountain during a WOD: as a rest break.  Others may legitimately need the chalk bucket – use it only when needed.
  10. If there is chalk in a bucket – use it. There doesn’t have to be a chalk block in the bucket to be effective. Chalk blocks break down into fine chalk silt. That is fine – if the chalk bucket is empty, please ask a coach and he/she will get you more chalk.

We’re lucky. Many gyms won’t let athletes use chalk because it creates a mess.  We understand the value of chalk but also need your help in controlling the mess it creates.




Sunday, December 31st, 2017


Happy New Year Rebels!  Sam here.  And this is our New Year’s Post!

The new hip thing is to say you don’t have or don’t do resolutions or goals…but why? Why not commit (openly to others and to ourselves) to try to be a little better this year than last? Why not? Because of the everyone gets a trophy era where if we resolve to be better at “X” and we fail, we can’t accept that we failed and need to try again? Because we don’t know how to measure and identify if we’re getting better or not? I’m always stumped at this.

Well this year, at Rebels, we are “resolving” to be better this year…in several ways.  Join us in this bit of commitment and let us help you, as your community…as your family…achieve your goals!


As coaches, we never cease to be amazed by the athletes in our community. Their passions, their professions, their ginormous hearts!  Get to know your fellow athletes because we have one of the most exceptional communities out there!

Three of our exceptional athletes come to mind as I write this.

Luke Bernard was brought to us in July of 2015 by his sister, Faith.  Luke was a little fragile from a tragic car accident and subsequent surgeries.  I recall discussing with Faith how to keep him safe, especially considering things like Handstand Pushups and swinging from the bar.  Fast forward to today, and Luke is an accomplished screen writer and actor, and consistently finds himself Rx’ing CrossFit workouts and continuing to improve his mobility, strength and fitness.  If you’ve never trained with Luke then you’ve never had the privilege of his laughter and animation…something you should experience in 2018!

John Templeton is easily one of Rebels most loved athletes.  His easy going mannerisms, his humble approach to the WOD combined with his high level performance, and his “Mr. Congeniality” presence puts him front and center as the guy you want to set up next to for tomorrow’s WOD! We’ve had the privilege of training John and his sister Maggie in the past several years.  What you may not know about John is his exceptional character, evidenced at age 19 when turned his life around and began a path that would forever be in the service of others.  Check it out. We’re honored to train someone like John, and consider him friend and family – such a positive force in the community!

Elin Gottschalk is one of our Legends athletes.  At 80 years old, she shows up every day, and regardless of the health challenges life throws at her, she gives it her all (and sometimes we think more than she actually has to give!), and continues to persevere.  She squats below parallel (when she wants to), always wants the heavier bar always does a few more reps than we tell her to. Elin, unlike most of us, has had a very challenging upbringing and seems to have used her past as a source of strength today and in planning her future.  On days we feel the world is against us, whether it’s because our day has gone to crap, we missed our workout or we jumped head first off the diet wagon, we can always look at Elin’s past and her positive attitude when she walks through the door and find inspiration to make today a better day.


I know…I’m always harping on your diet. But without a solid diet, you just won’t have the CrossFit career you truly want. You probably also won’t have the body composition, strength or recovery you want.

CrossFit’s “prescription” or Rx for diet has always been this: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.”  Pretty simple right? Well, it is…but you probably have to change a few things about you view food.  Choose protein in it’s most natural state from grass-fed, pastured and wild animals.  The word protein by it’s very definition in the mid 19th century from French protéine, German Protein, from Greek prōteios ‘primary,’ from prōtos‘first.’ tells us it’s of primal importance and should be prioritized in our diets.   Carbohydrates should come from non-starchy, highly nutrient dense sources like broccoli, carrots, peppers, greens, fruit, etc.; also from (safe) starchy sources like white rice, potatoes and some (safe) grains. Your levels of  starch should be commensurate with our activity and level of your training. Fats should come from varied sources and round out your diet.  Animal fats, some fruits (olives, avocados), nuts and seeds…all great sources of fat.  

If you have never done a strict 30 day reset, you owe it to yourself to educate yourself on what foods may affect you poorly. This is the easiest way to find out and often provides some eye opening results!

If improving your diet is something you aspire to accomplish, let us help. We can meet with you and help you lay it out or tweak where you are to move you in the right direction. Just remember: you cannot out-train a crappy diet.


Your WODs are strategically periodized and planned to ensure you hit heavy, medium and light loads, short, medium and long durations on the WODs, all of the various movements, skill practice and time to work on the things you need extra time to become competent in and with. Use your coaches, the “Spiderweb” drill in the Skill Crate to help you design your work days on Thursdays (Open Gym) and Saturdays (8am Open Gym). Two days a week you have the ability to hone your skills, work your weaknesses and utilize the skills of your coaches to bust through barriers. Have a plan and employ it!


Your muscle get stronger, and your body heals during rest days and when you sleep. Bragging that you train 7 days a week never impresses your coaches. It makes us wonder if you are being guided by magazines and poor examples that float around the interwebs.  Trust us: if you are full on CrossFitting, you need two days of a break in your week. That doesn’t mean you don’t come to the box, but work on mobility, love up to a lacrosse ball and a foam roller, and maybe hit a slow recovery row.  But for heaven’s sake: honor your body and rest!

Also, get a handle on your sleep. Lack of sleep and high, unmanaged stress levels, are two things that will sideline your recovery. Ask for help!


CrossFit is your sport, but have a life! “Regularly learn and play new sports”: the last line of World Class Fitness in 100 Words. Golf, cycling, KanJam, recreational sports ….have fun doing things CrossFit keeps you fit and healthy to try!

Read, experiment and find things in the community to join in and do.  TBO.COM


Studies show that by continuing to learn we not only improve the quality of our lives, but we also ward off mental illness and keep our spark for life high, even as we age. In this age of technology, there is no excuse for lack of learning. I have stacks of text books and journals just waiting for time to dig in.  Find something you’re passionate about and start diving in! TED Talks are great sources of education in all areas and great place to start. They’re free and easy to access.  EdX offers free online university courses from some of the best higher education sources out there.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Happy New Year to our Rebel Family!  We’re proud and honored that you choose us to provide your training program and facility.  We have big plans for 2018 that include providing more variety in your training, more services (child care for one) to make getting your training in easier and with our best coaching team ever, and upstanding year ahead of health and fitness!