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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The Open, Apex Combine Recap, and Inspiration

Last Chance to Sign Up for the Open!

The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open starts on Wednesday! If you have not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?!? We have received a few inquiries from individuals regarding schedule conflicts. Due to the level of participation we will be running the open workouts for those who cannot come in on Saturday mornings on Thursdays at 6AM and 6:30PM. If you absolutely cannot make it on Saturday morning we will arrange to have a coach judge and score your workouts at this time. We are still encouraging everyone to try their best to complete the workout on Saturday – this will foster the best competitive environment for everyone. If for some reason you are out of town for the entire week or cannot attend Thursday or Saturday’s workouts please see Micah and we will handle it on a case by case basis. PLEASE DO NOT show up to a class expecting to do the workout officially without letting someone know in advance. All scores must be posted and validated by 8PM Sunday and you MUST post a score for all five workouts for any of your scores to count. For a more detailed outline of the rulebook, please see the PDF here.

CrossFit Apex Combine

As some of you may or may not know, five of our athletes and coaches traveled to CrossFit Apex to compete in their 2012 Winter Combine. Please join me in congratulating Morgan Russo, Jeff King, Anthony Masicieri, Carlos Gibson and Kyle George on their achievements this past weekend. This was the first individual competition for Jeff and Anthony and they represented CrossFit215 in fine fashion. Full results and a breakdown of the workouts can be found on CrossFit Apex’s site here.

CrossFit215 Athlete Inspiration

As the CrossFit Games Open rapidly approaches it is easy to get caught up in all of the hoopla surrounding “The Games.”I know many of us, including myself, tend to look for inspiration from the elite Games competitors who have graced the podium over the past few years. The CrossFit Games website is filled with stories of how many veteran firebreathers are preparing for the competitive season. These athlete’s impressive feats of strength and seemingly superhuman stats are enough motivation to get anyone fired up. But sometimes the most inspirational athletes are the ones standing right next to you in your own gym. With that being said, I would like to take the time to highlight the achievements of Morgan Russo this past weekend. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to see it in person, but I was extremely impressed and proud to hear that she pulled 255# on the deadlift ladder workout – a huge PR! For those of you who may not know Morgan well, she is one of the most entertaining and positive people I have ever met. Anytime I see Morgan I am always greeted with a smile. I even had the pleasure of competing alongside her back in November during the OTG competition. This was Morgan’s first individual competition and she was extremely nervous. One thing you may not know about Morgan is that she suffers from a severe anxiety disorder that creates an extreme physiological response when she has a panic attack. If she becomes too overwhelmed, usually when surrounded by lots of people in a claustrophobic setting, her entire body freezes completely leaving her unable to move or speak. These attacks have created ER visits in the past, therefore she forewarned us during the OTG competition that this might happen. Her bravery to even attempt to compete under these circumstances literally floored me. All I could think was, “wow this girl has got guts.” Luckily, Morgan did not have any severe panic attacks that day. She faced her demons and persevered through every workout. Since then Morgan has participated in two additional individual competitions. Speaking with Morgan before each one of them I recognized her attitude was always the same. She mentally prepared herself going into them not to worry about anyone else, but just do her best. I cannot tell you how much I admire this characteristic because it is something I struggle with often.  Morgan’s positive attitude is a great testament to the fact that even though it is easy to get caught up in your own insecurities, if you can learn to set aside your fears, you will experience great success.

Morgan is great example of how the athlete who might appear to be very unassuming on the outside, is actually way stronger than one might perceive both internally and externally. If you compared Morgan next to 2011 CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir you may conclude very quickly that Annie is obviously the superior athlete. But external assumptions only go so far. The misconception of what some people may define as a great athlete can be compared to the fallacies of how some view the definition of being well educated.  Being well educated doesn’t necessarily mean you had to have great SAT scores, an above average IQ, and a degree with an Ivy League stamp. The word educate is derived from the latin word “educo,” meaning to educe, to draw out, to develop from within. It isn’t about how much knowledge you can absorb and regurgitate, it is about how you organize and use that knowledge after you acquire it. The same goes for how we can distinguish the characteristics of a good athlete. You don’t necessarily have to be the strongest or win every competition you enter. More importantly, what separates the good athletes from the rest of the pack are the following attributes: confidence, a teachable spirit, pride, accountability, competitive perseverance, and discipline. Morgan is a great representation of all of these qualities. She celebrates her own accomplishments but doesn’t gloat. She has drive and determination to constantly improve her weaknesses. She embraces constructive criticism and exhibits eagerness to learn. She acknowledges her mistakes, but turns that into motivation to improve next time. Lastly and most importantly, she does not give up – ever.

I continue to discover that you can learn a lesson from every person you encounter throughout your lifetime. Often, those influences will come from the least likely sources and slip in the back door. Morgan has now become one of my main influences. Despite the fact that I have been doing CrossFit longer then her, Morgan has  participated in 3X as many competitions as I have. Additionally, she has a better deadlift, she leaves me in the dust on the ERG, and most recently I discovered that she can whoop my butt in the water.  She may not be the most accomplished CrossFit athlete in the world, but she represents all of the qualities every athlete should strive to have and embodies everything we stand for at CrossFit215. Morgan has inspired me to stay humble and appreciate every individual victory I achieve. Her influence has reminded me if we do not take the time to look back and celebrate our victories we will never realize all of the hard work we put in.  I wish I were able to witness Morgan’s most recent accomplishments this past weekend at the CrossFit Apex Combine, but luckily I will not have to wait very long to see the next competition on her agenda. The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open starts on Wednesday and this time we will both be competing side by side.

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And the winners are…

Saturday Competition

Congratulations to everyone that came out and competed this Saturday!! It was a fun battle that came down to the last heat for the men. Tune in later in the week for the highlight video….

Our regular competition was nothing compared to the Dragon Ladies, they were FIERCE!!!

Hope to see everyone else next time around!

Dragon Boat Competition

1st – Joyce
2nd – Judy 6.7
3rd – Alice

RX Division
1st – Meredith (not shown here)
2nd – Alli
3rd – Kelly

In-House Competition

Women’s Division
1st – Amy (not shown here)
2nd – Rachel
3rd – Morgan

Men’s Division
1st – Beryl
2nd – Jeff
3rd – Mather

Reebok CrossFit open

The open starts next week and we have a good size group signed up already but we wan more – we want everyone! No matter your skill level, you will benefit from participation in this, I promise. we have people from all different skill and ability levels signed up already. Also, most of you have done lifts at weights and movements beyond what will be asked of you for the upcoming workouts. Again, if you have not signed up and are not going to please talk with one of the coaches, help us understand why you have decided not to. If scheduling is an issue as far as making it here on Saturdays, don;t worry each week we will have people making up the workout at different times and you can also do the workout some where else if you will be out of town.

Nutrition Challenge – Winners Announced!

We have two winners for the challenge both of which were perfect for the 30 days. Melissa and Christa (seen below) both scored 56 points each week. For Christa, as well as losing 10 lbs and who knows how much in pants sizes, she also “has more energy, better recovery, and all around just feels better.” Congrats to both of them!

Another nutrition post – careful, touchy subject for some…

Schedule Change / Test

We are beta testing a new class time this week, Thursday at 8:30am. In situations like this we will start with this class time one time a week and if picks up any steam we will leave it on the schedule and possibly add that time to other days in the week.

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Compete for Yourself

~a message from one of your coaches, Perrin Behr

I wrote an article back in November titled “Why Competition Brings Out the Best In Us” as a reflection of my personal experiences in a CrossFit competition. As the 2012 CrossFit Games Open approaches, I want to re-address the topic of competition in an effort to motivate those of you who may be “on the fence” to sign up and join your fellow 215ers in what will surely be a fun and memorable experience for our community. I want to clarify, the number one reason we are asking for everyone to compete in the open is to benefit YOU. It does not matter if you are a newbie, veteran or coach – you should compete.


The Open was designed to give all athletes from every level an opportunity to compete and realize their hard work on a large scale. This is your chance to see where you measure up against the world. I cannot stress enough how strongly I believe that competition is an integral part of your development as an athlete, and most importantly as a person. The coaches and staff at CrossFit215 dedicate our lives to helping you become stronger, faster and healthier. We want you to set goals and help you achieve them. The reason the workouts are timed and scored is to produce measurable results. In order to truly know if you are improving, it needs to be measurable. Whether you are competing against an old PR, or somebody else’s score on the whiteboard, competition is already ingrained in our community. Even outside the gym, you may not even realize how many competitive life situations you encounter on a daily basis. Whether it is competing for a big job promotion, applying for grad school, or competing in sports, our entire lives are surrounded by competition. Competition brings out character and pushes us to do our best. It is the motivating force behind that extra rep. It is the incentive to study for an extra hour. It drives you to get closer to reaching your own goals. We want you to compete in the Open so you don’t squander the opportunity to surround yourself with people who can cheer for you, push you, and inspire you. Competition is healthy and necessary and makes us better people.

Excuses are like armpits…some are large and some are small but they all stink

Some of the excuses I have heard include, “I won’t do well,” “I’m not ready yet,” “I’m not good enough to compete.” These statements are silly. First of all, if you walk into the gym with that kind of mentality you are already dooming yourself. Don’t believe the lies. Everyone has to start somewhere. Rest assured you will be surrounded by your friends and fellow athletes who will stand beside you for every rep. One of the best things about CrossFitters in general is we are united in our goals – to become better people. Your best efforts will be admired and respected. Win or lose, the journey is what truly matters.

What You Should Expect

If you decide to take the plunge, you should expect your experience to include a supportive community cheering you on from the start of 3…2…1…GO! right until the clock stops. You will witness inspired performances from experienced athletes who blaze the trail with top scores and quickly become your goal to beat. The Open may be your eye opener in regards to where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Just as we have been revisiting all of the open workouts from last year, these will be the new benchmark to ultimately help you create new goals for the rest of the year.

So come join us for the Open. Compete for your team. Compete against your friends. Most importantly, do it for yourself.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

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