New Programming Layers

Greetings 215 athletes!
As many of you already know, we are rolling out multiple layers of programming starting today. I wanted to take a minute to fully explain this. Although I have had conversations with most of you, I’m hoping this post will give everyone a little more clarity as to why we are doing this and more over why this is an inevitable evolution of a facility or community such as this.

As we have grown in size, the spectrum of goals and inherent abilities has become vast. In the end, there is no longer one line of programming, that even scaled, is one size fits all. In an attempt to maintain strength gains and intensity in conditioning workouts, programming needs to cater to each person’s goals and abilities. The three layers are designed to group you as individuals as best we can. For example, as early lifters, more time needs to be spent under tension in each set for lifts to strengthen the “supporting cast”.  To maintain intensity, athletes need to be using movements that allow them to move as such.  An example of this would be not trying to work on double unders in a workout but rather specific skill sessions. To explain this further, below is summary of the goals for each layer and assumptions made in both abilities and knowledge for for each.

This layer is designed for those athletes who are simply looking to improve overall fitness by using basic strength protocols and high intensity conditioning, including but not limited to some energy system work . High intensity movements will consist of those that allow you to move quickly that have movement patterns you already know, as oppose to ones you are still trying to learn. Skill work time will be allocated to improve those movements that will be necessary in order adopt them within the conditioning portion of your training.

While many people may stay on this layer indefinitely, the underlying goal of this program will be to give you the necessary skills and capacities to be successful on Performance Level. Even if you are just out of on-ramp and know you want to do Performance training at some point, we encourage you stay on Fitness for a while until your body, mind, and skill set reaches such levels.

Prerequisites – completion of CrossFit 215’s On Ramp Program

This layer is designed for those athletes looking to train with a focus on improving their performance. Within this programming you will see some heavier weights in the conditioning component, as well as some more precision with percentages in the strength lifts. Some of the assumptions being made within the this cycle is that your gymnastics ability is a little stronger, and you have the ability to do most movements without the assistance of bands. In addition, you should the difference that you will feel when doing an 85% compared to a 90% intensity within a conditioning workout. Here you will see more specific work within the energy system training in an attempt to close the gaps on their specific parts, i.e. Anerobic Lactic Power vs Anerobic Lactic Endurance.

Both Fitness and Performance training will have very similar characteristics as far as the same primary lifts most days with some variance in the auxiliary movements from time to time. Conditioning components will have similar structures as well while changing some parts in an attempt to elicit the targeted dose response.

This will be our highest level of programming. Some of, but not all, of the assumptions here are that you have mastered all the gymnastics movements; including but limited to Muscle Ups, HSPU, high rep Double Unders, etc… These workouts will also usually take athletes closer to 90 minutes to complete, and are also on a specific training schedule as not to allow for over training. Competition training will take more out of you and ask more of you from a recovery standpoint. I am asking that you follow the protocol specifically within fitting it into your individual schedules. Those of you that want to do this training please speak to me individually.

In the end of the day, this is your training and you are free to do whatever you want to do here but I encourage you talk with a coach if you are unsure where to start. The goal at 215 has always been to give you an individual experience that maximizes your success given your goals. Training outside of your capacity and abilities will simply take away from that. The longer amount of time you spend within a specific layer, the stronger you will get, the greater your capacity will be in specif domains, and the more successful you will be once you move on to the next layer of training in 215.

The LAST thing I want to leave you with is if you feel the desire to talk more about your goals, because maybe they have shifted, or it is only know that you feel you have the basis to clearly define them, please schedule on a one-on-one with me and we can discuss this further.


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Regionals Are HERE!

Armageddon is upon us!

Your team is heading down to Maryland this weekend, and they will do you proud. We are hoping to see a bunch of people this weekend down there for support. If you still have questions about logistics let me know. We will be doing dinner Saturday night, so let me know if you have any questions or if you plan to attend.

Schedule Changes for the Week

Most of your coaches will be at Regionals this upcoming weekend, and we will be leaving Thursday night. As a result of this unfortunately there will be some schedule cancellations later in the week. We are still working on coverage but please stay close to MINDBody (MB) and any class that IS NOT cancelled will show up on the schedule and any class that is CANCELLED will be crossed out on MB. Days to look for are Thursday PM, and Friday ALL day. Everything should be updated by tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

Schedule Changes going forward

As we grow and evolve, I have always said we will try new things and do our best to accommodate everyone. Recently we added an 8:30am class on Mondays and Thursdays. It has shown some mixed attendance. The Thursday class seems to be doing OK but Monday not so much… Starting next week there will be a 8:30am class on Tuesday instead of Mondays.



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Training updates

Rowing Series

Our rowing series starts next Tuesday night the 17th. This will be a great opportunity to add intensity to your workouts as Jana helps you gain more proficiency on the Erg. The Kinetic sequence of rowing on the Erg will also lend itself to helping with body awareness and control in other movements.  Once this series starts, no additional attendees will be able to join. If you are thinking about doing it or unsure if this is something that you need right now please feel free to contact me. The short answer is EVERYONE in here has room for improvement on the Erg. Some of you may be unaware of how inefficiently you are pulling on the Erg. An opportunity to work with an instructor of this caliber is something that no other CrossFit facility can offer in this area. Don’t miss out, you will regret this as this may be the only time we run this workshop.

Sign up Here!

so you can row half as good as this stud…

Strength CyClE

Next week we will be starting a new Strength Cycle (STC) . We are currently in what could be deemed as our off-season and so it’s time to “pick up heavy shit!” In order to be successful during this STC we need to do some testing first. This week will be testing of various strength lifts plus some benchmark workouts as well. Thursday and Saturday will be make up days and then the gym will be closed on Sunday. Make sure to get in this week and do you individual prep in addition to the group warm-up in order to prepare for Max Efforts (ME). It’s extremely important that you document all of your lifts and workouts so that we can look back on them after the 12 weeks for comparison. You will also need these numbers each week as your lifts will all be based on percentages of MEs. Again, if you have any questions feel free to ask one of the coaches during class this week.

Test Schedule for the week…
Monday – Back Squat 1RM, Front Squat 1RM, Helen
Tuesday – Snatch, Clean 1RM, Grace
Wednesday – Bench, 1 Lap Sprint, Max Reps Pullups, Max Reps BW Bench
Thursday – Make Up / Rest Day
Friday – Deadlift, Press, 2K Row
Saturday – Benchmark (TBD)
Sunday – Make Up / Rest Day

This weekend… Come support your Competition Team

CrossFit BWI ‘s Competition is this weekend. We are all hoping to see some good support from the 215 family for our competition team as we gear up for regionals.

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Regionals Are On The Horizon…

Most may of heard that CrossFit 215 has qualified for REGIONALS! The Mid Atlantic Regionals will be held May 4th-6th in Landover, Maryland. It was quite a ride over those five weeks but we managed to do just enough to earn ourselves the last spot out of 30 teams. Despite our finish, don’t count out the 215 team as many teams who qualified higher will be losing people to the individual competition. Absolutely expect to see 215 make a good run at regionals and we would LOVE to have your support.

I wanted to take second to again thank everyone for their support and  participation throughout the open. We could not have done what we did without pulling together as a team and a community. What made the experience so special for me was that we were not a facility who had the same six people post scores every week, it varied week to week and we were constantly motivated by each other to surpass our limitations. I don’t have one favorite moment from those five weeks. Instead the accumulation of every individual accomplishment by all of you who participated made this experience extremely rewarding.  All of you who got your first _____! whether it was a muscle up, TTB, or chest(or other)-to-bar was incredible to watch. To all of you, your efforts were nothing short of inspiring. I encourage everyone to come down to Maryland and witness what we did all this for – it is definitely something to see.

Without further adieu,  I wanted to take a second and announce the team that will represent  Team CrossFit 215 in the Mid Atlantic Region. All of these individuals had numerous scores post each  of the weeks during the open and they are all deserving of their spots.

I also wanted to acknowledge all of the guys that finished 4th, 5th, 6th, etc… each week. I know personally that I would not have have gotten the score I did on 12.5 if I was not staring at Jeff King’s score. He was sitting 3rd for 215 and I thought “I want that spot”, and I went after it. Thanks Jeff!

Accommodations for Regionals

We have booked hotels for the weekend and I have booked an extra room for anyone that wants to use it. Please let us know asap if you plan on coming down so we can reserve more rooms and have a plan. Help us rep the 215 and make our presence known down there. If you want to make your own reservations please check the event calendar for details about the event. WE WANT EVERYONE down there and WE NEED EVERYONE down there!!

Rowing Series

Starting this Tuesday at 6pm, the long awaited 215 Rowing series begins. This series will be taught by 215’s own Jana Heere. Are you having problems with the erg…? Let’s get it fixed! Many of you – yes, I am talking to you – don’t even realize how inefficient your rowing technique even is. This chica can fix it. When we were down at OTG recently, there was a noticeable difference in our rowing from other athletes and gyms… Come find out why!

The series will consist of 5 sessions of 60-90 minutes and a maximum of 8 people per series. This is a package so individual classes are not available. The program will run for 5 weeks, meeting once a week on Tuesday at 6pm.

This series goes on sale today, Friday, at 1:30PM and is first come first serve. It will definitely sell out so reserve your spot fast!

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The End of the Open

After five weeks of competition, the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open has finally come to an end. We would like to congratulate each and every athlete and spectator who dedicated their time to make the experience possible. The performances that took place during the past five weeks were nothing less then inspirational. From all of the coaching staff at CrossFit215, you made us truly proud!

There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can. – Henry Ford

Leading up to week five our team was sitting in 32nd place in the Mid Atlantic Conference, two spots shy of making it into the top 30 teams who will compete at regionals. On Wednesday, workout 12.5 was announced. A repeat from last year’s 11.6, this wod would soon become a milestone for many of us. Rachel S. walked into the gym on Saturday without ever having done a chest to bar pull up in a workout and proceeded to do 18 of them for a score of 70. It was a similar story for Meg, Jess and Jana who all found a way to grind through all seven minutes to complete the pull ups as prescribed in a workout for the first time. It was a valiant effort put forth by all who participated and demonstrated strength of will to push through one of the toughest workouts of the open.

On Sunday, after many of the scores were posted we determined we needed to make up some major ground on workout 12.5. A few of us collectively decided to gather together in the evening to attempt another go. For some, this was their fourth time attempting the workout since it was announced, with the third attempt being mere hours prior (Carlos…you crazy).  A few of us stepped up big time and bested previous performances by staggering measures. Micah improved by 14 reps (94 to 108), Carlos by 8 reps (100 to 108) and Jana by 1 rep (104 to 105) which put our team in a position to make it into the top 30. Both Carlos and Micah had worked out earlier in the morning and it was evident by their performances they left everything they had on the floor. The sheer determination to do anything and everything possible to squeeze out extra reps left us all incredibly inspired and proud to call ourselves members of team CrossFit215.

After the scores were recalculated we were sitting in 29th place, but as time passed and the rest of the region’s scores were validated, we were bumped into 31st place, one place short of qualifying for regionals. Although this was a disappointing finish for our team, I know on behalf of all of the coaches and staff, we cannot convey enough how proud we are of what we accomplished over these past five weeks. The Open brought our community together. There were countless personal records shattered, huge goals achieved and enormous displays of strength and determination performed. As we move forward, we hope everyone is able to take these experiences and use them as the driving motivation to continue to improve as athletes and individuals.

Please congratulate Jana Heere for finishing 50th in the Mid Atlantic Region! Jana’s consistency throughout all five workouts have earned her a qualifying spot as an individual. Way to go Jana!


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“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Thoughts From the Weekend

This weekend was packed full of intensity, ferocity, excitement, frustration for some, and huge successes for others. What are you going to take away from it…? As a whole it was definitely a success for 215. We still remain a contender for the regional level although we do have some work left to do. Hopefully you still maintain the belief that your limits are greater then you think. At the same time we all must continue to understand what it takes in order to push those limits further. Our goals as athletes are to be constantly evolving, improving on what needs improvement and to keep attacking our weaknesses. The sum of your accomplishments within these four walls can be easily expressed by our goals.  Is the snatch a weakness for you…? Lets get after that then!

As we begin a new week, I want everyone to take only the positive from the weekend. If you hit your goal, as some of you did, use that momentum and carry it forward into week three. If you came up short, use that as motivation to fuel the fire. The most successful athletes, or people in general, have selective short term memory. If your performance was not what you wanted it to be, if you had an off day, let it go, and don’t hold on to it. At the same time, strip away the positives because that will be the fuel you need down the road. Don’t let the bad weigh you down. Remember that we are what we repeatedly do and you all repeatedly get back up when you fall down. You continue to walk in these doors and chase elite health, elite wellness and choose to train as performance athletes. For that I salute your efforts.


Here is the video from the In-House Competition. Stay tuned for our next one.

Upcoming Events…

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As we undertake workout 12.2, remember that your limits only exist in a permanent state in your minds. All physical limits are temporary as we soldier on towards new strengths and new achievements. So today, you are limitless, don’t let your mind prevent you from doing what your body is cable of performing.

Today we will start warm ups for the workout at 9:30am so we can start the first heat at 10am. Strategy and technique will be covered before we start. Although we want you to be fierce as usual, we also want you to be smart. We will complete tomorrow as a team with no injuries and make smart decisions about our movements. Please pay attention to coaches as you attempt your lifts.

Some great scores have been posted already within 215, I DARE YOU to do better!

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Reaching High 215, Keep it UP!

Round one down, four more to go… What an amazing job done by all. For those of you for whom this is your first time in a competitive environment, you were nothing less than fierce and certainly rose to your potentials. Hopefully now you see how much can be achieved when the right workout is thrown at you. Your limits are far greater in your own minds than they exist on that rubber floor and beyond the walls of this facility. When these five weeks are over I hope you will be able to ascertain that belief beyond any other numerical achievements.

We had a couple athletes who have only been with us for a couple months, and in some cases  mere weeks, and finished in our top five or six. Big shout outs to Alli and Sally for stepping up and finishing right up there in our top six women. An “ada boy” to Tim W. as well for finishing in our top three and helping propel our team to a great position after week one. If you are unaware of where we stand, check it out… Here you will see us 4th in our region and 47th overall in the world. We have two athletes (Jana and Carlos) in the top 25 for our region and Kevin rounding out the top 33 men.

We are far from done but lets stay focused on what we are more than capable and prepared to do – get our team to Regionals. Remember to talk to me if you have any scheduling conflicts regarding this Saturday. Week one was a very unique workout that did not require much from a judging standpoint so you can expect week two to be a little more challenging from an overseer position.

On the Horizon
We have a few calendar items to mention that will be coming up shortly after the RCF Open ends. First, 215 is excited to offer a rowing series for those of you who are looking to take your rowing proficiency to the next level. This series will be a 5 part clinic designed to take you from whatever level you are at now and help to develop a faster, more efficient stroke on the erg. Details are still unraveling but it will take place on Tuesday nights and the cost will be a flat fee for the entire series. If you sign up you will have to commit to all 5 sessions, no make up sessions will be available. Keep checking the event calendar to stay updated on the launch date because space is extremely limited.  There will only 8 spots available for this first clinic. Sign up will be through MindBody. Saving the best details for last, this clinic will be taught by 215’s own Jana Heere. Stay Tuned…!

We will also be holding 3 separate Olympic Lifting Clinics, targeting the Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. These clinics will take place on the weekends, details TBD.

Additionally, we are promoting a bunch of adventure races throughout the upcoming year. These races will all be on our event calendar so if you see one that interest you feel free to let us know and I’ll be sure to get them up there to help coordinate participation.

Our next OR starts in a couple weeks, email us today to reserve your spot. Looking to offset your membership cost? Don’t forget if you refer a friend for March you will receive  a credit towards your following month!

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7 Minutes in Heaven – Get 'Er Done!

First, a few logistical issues regarding tomorrow (Saturday). The first heat will go off at 10am sharp, so please be here by 9:30am to start warming up. Heats will be assigned at 10, so if you need to be in the first heat please let Kevin know as soon as you get here. Everyone tomorrow will be both judging and working out, so if you have not done so already, please check out the games site and get familiar with the standards for this workout. Click Here! The standards will also be discussed tomorrow morning before go time.

I’m going to leave alone my comments on the what I think about this workout and just say to those that love to bitch and moan… shut up and burpee! So lets talk strategy….

This is a total gut check, that’s all burpees ever are. There are some subtle things we can talk about as far as not pausing or de-loading your muscles in the bottom of the movement, but at the end of the day it’s a mental battle. It’s week one and anyone can step up and represent 215 as one of our top three highest men or women. There are a few things I do want to discuss as far as pacing.

Your goal here should not be to pace yourself for the full 7 minutes, but rather think of this as a six minute event with a one minute overtime. As far as maximizing your output, I think this is best described in a 100m rowing piece. If your goal was to travel the most amount of meters in one minute it would look like this: First 15 seconds you would come out hard but conservative as to allow your muscles to adapt to your movement, The second 15 you would pick it up a bit, your legs starting to burn from the lactic acid, and you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, The third 15 seconds you would start to turn it on pulling hard envisioning the finish at the end of your 15 seconds, this will feel awful but youre ok, and then the last piece… you simply hang on and dig in with anything you can muster up as this will take you into your reserve tank. This reserve tank is something you dip into only in a testing situation, not training. That’s what this is, a test, we are testing your 7 minute capacity one time and one time only. So as it pertains to this 7 minutes, we slightly modify this strategy due to the longer time domain. Find a pace with these burpees that allows you to move at a constant pace for 6 minutes (be aggressive with this, this should not be comfortable). Then once that 60/50 sec countdown hits hang on and dig in. Don’t worry, when you’re done someone will be there to help you stand up or roll you out of the way so we can start the next heat.

Some of you may be thinking about doing a work-rest situation, not a good idea. Let’s use running as an example, if your goal was to run one mile in seven minutes, would you sprint rest, sprint rest, etc…? No, you would find an aggressive steady state (ST) that would allow you to maintain for a goodmportion of the race and sprint at the end. Also, in checking out some other sites such as Outlaw, Starret, and Paoli I came across a few things I thought would be helpful. Change up the type of burpee to relieve stress on your joints and muscles. Alternate between stepping up and hopping back and make sure to stay loaded while dropping down to the floor. Like any other lift do not de-load, as you will then have to generate new tension before you start to move again. Here is a good video by Carl Paoli of Naka Athletics breaking down the movement. Click Here!

Finally, many of you may feel like you are not capable of being one of our top three, that you are the underdog so why push too hard..? Here’s what I think about underdogs…


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