2-1-11 CrossFit Mental Strength

6 Overhead Squats (95#/65#)
9 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
12 Push Ups

Many people use Crossfit for the great physical workout. They see the way their bodies change when they are dedicated to completing their WODs. You firm up, you feel good, you lift your loved ones into the air without a problem. Maybe you stand in front of the mirror and flex a little (in secret so people do know how much you really love yourself now). You are proud of how far you’ve come. But many people don’t give their mind the recognition that it deserves. How does your body find the strength to push through what seems to be the most difficult of WODs? Being mentally strong is one of the things that separates the ones who complete the WODs from the ones who don’t. Imagine you’re running a race. You see the finish line, can barely see it but you know it’s there. You feel like your legs might collapse or your lungs will burst but you are so close to the finish you can taste it. What is it that to keep you going? What is it that brings you across that finish line? You tell yourself to finish, it’s just beyond those trees, then to that pole, then the through to the finish line. ”Then I can lay down, then I can breathe, then I can stop running.” So you finish. Sound familiar? Our mental workout is one of the most intense workouts we get in Crossfit. Our minds says “just push through, it’s just thrusters, it’s easy, it’s light, I can do this. Just finish and then I can lay down, then I can breath”. It takes all we have but we finish. Then again, sometimes our minds fail us. Our inner voice gets the best of us and we give up. Our bodies are fatigued and our mind says the weights too heavy. ”I can’t” plays in our minds like a bad song. How can we come back from this? Training your mind to be just as strong as your body will help you complete your goals and exceed all your own expectations. Some ways to help train your brain is to become more self aware of the things you are telling yourself. Pay attention to what they are thinking during a workout. What works for you? Find what works and the next time you are telling yourself to give up or sandbag a workout play that positive talk in your mind. Honestly, it won’t work every single time. You won’t Rx all the time or have a three minute Fran time, but the chances are that you will feel better about your performance knowing that you gave all your body AND your mind had to give. It also helps to recognize the negative talk. Find the things you tell yourself when you aren’t feeling like you are at the top of your game. Recognize them so you know when you need to start your positive self-talk. Each workout can be a battle with your brain so begin at the beginning. Set a small goal. ” I’ll go unbroken on the push ups, I can do that.” Then begin again, check in when you feel the fatigue of you muscles. Then when you round toward the end give yourself another little pep talk. I think that when it comes right down to Crossfit WODs it’s okay to lie to yourself. ”This is easy, it doesn’t hurt.” Work on clearing your head and letting your positive voice be the only one heard. Even if all you have to run on is a little white lie. Find another reason to finish. Need more motivation? Find a small reward to think about when you finish. Whether it be the idea of how good you will feel when you’re done or how hot you want to look, find something that motivates you. I like to think about the sweet taste of chocolate milk for my post WOD recovery. Nothing gets me through a workout like the promise of something chocolaty. Finally have fun. It’s Crossfit. It’s fun, sometimes challenging and should be enjoyed.


1-31-11 – No Rep Yourself

36-Walking Lunge
24-Sit Ups
12-Wall Balls (20#/14#)

Article of the Day: “No Rep Yourself” by CrossFit Fenway. I especially loved this quote from the article; “When you cheat range of motion you’re only cheating yourself.” It’s a fast read, take 2 min and check it out.

Determination is what keeps you going when things get hard. And it’s going to get hard sometimes, don’t kid yourself.  But it’s better to keep going than to quit. Obstacles are a reality, but it’s your decision whether you go over, under, around or through.

Athlete Profile – Dustin Elleman

To start, I would like to just send a thanks to Paul for what he does and his ability to help change the lives of so many people.

Hi, I’m Dustin Elleman. I live in Smithfield and have a wonderful wife Shauna and two children, 16 year old Trever and 14 year old Ashley. I turn 42 in May and am originally from Blackfoot Idaho where I grew up on a potato farm. After graduation, I attended Utah State University where I obtained a associates degree in farm management. I then attended the Bridgerland Police Academy in 1994. I have worked in the law enforcement career for 16 years.

I started with Logan City Police Department in 1996. I was a member of the Logan City SWAT team for 12 years and have been in K-9 for 9 years. I am the current Logan City Police Department head K-9 trainer and am certified as a judge and trainer through Vohne Liche Kennels out of Indiana.

When not out chasing speeders or bad guys, I train police dogs. I have trained several dogs, some of these dogs are located in Afghanistan, Iraq and several states in the US. For relaxation time, I jeep, snow board, water ski and boat. I love to hunt and go on trips with my family.

One word that would describe me is determined. I use this only in the fact that I know what I want and have the determination to do the work in order to get to my goals.

I have always wanted to go scuba diving at Cancun. I am lucky enough to be headed to Cancun area so I will have to think of a new goal. I would love to train a police K-9 that would take me to the K-9 Olympics and place in the top three.

Something that I think no one would guess about me is that I like musicals. My favorite musical is Oklahoma and seven brides for seven brothers. I know, it’s strange but there ya have it.

My favorite physical activity outside if CrossFit is to catch patrol dogs. This is called decoying. It’s a great workout in the fact that you have a 60-90 pound dog biting onto a part of your body and you fight it in an attempt to train it to bite hard and fast. Hope Paul turns this into a workout? If my wish comes true, I would love to have the workout be named after my first police K-9 and be called the Tino workout.

The three things you would find in my fridge are milk, turkey burger and eggs. On the counter you would find chocolate chip cookies. That’s what the milk is for. The one person that I would have over for dinner is my mother. I lost her 13 years ago to cancer. I would love to be able to introduce her to my wonderful children. I know she would love them and that she would be a great grandma.

My greatest accomplishment is being lucky enough to be part of the great family that I have been blessed with. My six month goal is to get my son Trever to be an accomplished driver so he can obtain his driver’s license and not be a danger to everyone on the roadway. GOOD LUCK RIGHT!!!!! My CrossFit goal is to continue to progress and be able to do double-unders and those pull ups.

The songs that get me pumped up is bring me to life by Evenescence and pour some sugar on my by Deaf Leopard. Any metal music for the 80’s, 90’s works great.

I was introduced to CrossFit by several of my co-workers that have joined. They told me it was great. I guess I caught them in another lie. Just kidding. My favorite workout so far has been the 300. That workout lets you know just how hard you can push yourself and I’m sure it shows ever one that does it just how far you have come. Plus, man it makes me hurt. The least favorite workout is any that have push ups in it. Hate those things.

Again thanks to all of you who let me work out with you. You motivate me to do my best. To my wife, thanks for keeping me around and I love you. –Dustin

As you can see Dustin is a great guy. It’s always a great to chat with him about the things he encounters at work. Dustin was really sceptical when i told him what his first workout would be. He came in on a day that we where doing Tabata This. As I explained the wod I could see the look on his face that said “I can handle this” and handle it he did. he told me later that he was shocked at how sore he was after that wod. Dustin has made some great progress and I know that more than a few of us are looking forward to the “DOG WOD”! Thanks Dustin for all you do for our community as you serve and protect!! – Coach Paul


Saturdays are always entertaining and we look forward to seeing you at 7:30 am!

10 Tips for Success for the CrossFit Newbie

Stepping into a CrossFit gym for the first time can be a bit overwhelming and possibly intimidating.  You might see a few things that you’re not use to seeing at your local gym.  The music may be loud, people are grunting, sweating, weights dropping, and flopping on the ground after just 10 minuets of working out.  Then you’ll peak in a bit further to see someone doing a kipping or butterfly pull-up and you might ask yourself, “Is that person having a seizure or doing pull-ups? What’s with all the Chuck Taylors? Do they get a group rate? Fear not newbie; these people won’t bite. They’re actually pretty darn friendly and overly supportive once you get to know them. It can be a lot to take in at first glance, especially if you’ve had limited exposure to CrossFit prior to stepping into a box. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. The following are 10 things to keep in mind as you begin your CrossFit journey. (These are also some really great reminders for some of you seasoned vets as well.)

1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others

When it comes time to throw down in a wod, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d (as prescribed) or be able to complete 20 rounds of Cindy right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts.  Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 as you struggle with the 45# bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to my next point…

2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale

Sing it with me now:

Ain’t too proud to scale, sweet darling.
Please don’t leave the wod. Don’t you go.
Ain’t too proud to scale, baby baby.
Please don’t leave the wod. Don’t you go.

Tony Budding (of Crossfit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.

3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift

Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer, Pretentious Jerk Diet; just eat clean. If you’re eating as clean as possible, you don’t even need to worry about the quantity. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?

4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over and OVER Again
It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

5.) Crossfit Isn’t Everything
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be AWESOME at it.

6.) It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less

The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough.  All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability. Soon, you’ll come to love the beat-downs. Much like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, you’ll be screaming, “Thank you sir! May I have another?” Well, maybe not. But you get the point.

7.) You Won’t PR Every Day

Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? That’s fine; scale the weights and/or rounds or time domain back. Something is better than nothing.

8.) Have Fun

Let’s face it, some of the workouts are not fun. Frankly, some of them just plain suck. I’m looking at you, HERO wods. But when it’s over, you feel a sense of accomplishment and maybe a little queasy. You shouldn’t be upset that you didn’t get as many reps as the person next to you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile. Laugh. Introduce yourself to people you don’t know. If you’re not having fun, why are you here?  Do you enjoy your overall time spent at the gym? Do you enjoy the people, the community, the knowledge and support that it provides? If so, then don’t be too concerned with your competitive nature until you have a strong grasp on the 9 Foundational Movements.

The things you’ll learn in a Crossfit gym are fun: gymnastics, olympic lifts, muscle soreness in places you didn’t even know you had muscles… You can’t do this stuff in a globo gym. The attitude is different too; no one is going to get in your face and cheer you on as you knock out those last five minutes on the elliptical. And the feeling you’ll have the first time you get an unassisted dead hang pull-up or full squat snatch is an amazing sense of power and accomplishment.

9.) You Are All Firebreathers
The term “Firebreather” comes from Crossfit legend Greg Amundson, and he defines it as such:

Firebreather –Fie-r-bre’-th-er: (n) 1. One who faces the triumphs and tribulations of great physical opposition with an indomitable spirit. 2. An optimistic energy associated with the heart of an athlete.

You don’t have to be an “elite” Crossfitter to embody the essence of a true Firebreather. It’s not your Fran time, it’s the spirit you bring to Fran that makes you a Firebreather. Don’t forget that!!

10.) Respect Rest and Recovery

Too many newbies (and even those of us who have been doing this a while) get caught up in over-training. Don’t be afraid to schedule in a deload day once per week, or a deload week every 4-6 weeks where you cut the weight, rounds, and intensity in half. You have to think about this from a longevity standpoint. If you’re killing yourself every time you step foot in the gym, week after week, month after month, year after year, you’re going to eventually break down. You need to respect your time outside of the gym. There’s an old weightlifting adage that goes something like: “You don’t get bigger and stronger from lifting weights, you get bigger and stronger from recovering from lifting weights.”

Proper nutrition, hydration and sleep all play their part in recovery, but you also need to listen to your body. If you continuously beat yourself down, you’re going to get hurt, injured or worse. Stay on top of your mobility work. If you haven’t done so yet, pay a daily visit to Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD. The information there is invaluable and don’t forget Coach Paul was the first CrossFit Mobility Certified Trainer in Cache Valley and encourages continued work on the foam rollers, lacrosse balls and stretch bands.

So, what now? Drop in for a WOD (workout of the day) and see what we’re all about.  Be ready to expand your vocabulary to include interesting and amazing words like burpee, double under, thruster, and squat clean. Welcome to CrossFit IoTA.

adapted from a post by CrossFit Delaware Valley.

1-28-11 Elizabeth

21-15-9 reps of:
Clean (135#/95#)
Ring Dips

Our standard on this WOD for the clean will be the squat clean.

CFI Elizabeth Scorecard

NOTE: As ring dips is a movement that is going to be new to most everyone, please be aware that we will have a scaled version of this workout available. Additionally the weight to be scaled and appropriate to your ability so that you can get a feel for this movement.

Here is a video of Lance Cantu and Travis Holley, who are both members of CrossFit Central in Texas doing today’s WOD – video [wmv] [mov]

In this video Tony Budding, the director of CrossFit HQ programing, reviews a few of the main site WOD’s, in which he discusses Elizabeth. – video [wmv] [mov]


Happy Birthday to Mindy Anderson and Lane Olsen!!

Bottom-to-Bottom Tabata Squats (8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
2 min max rep sit-ups
Tabata Walking Lunge
2 min max rep SDHP
2 min max rep Double unders
1 min rest between movements

Note: On the bottom-to-bottom squats – (Durring the 10 second rest period between 20 sec work intervals, you must remain in the bottom of your squat.)

Are you a dedicated CrossFitter and Endurance athlete?

While CrossFit may not be your sport, you’ve seen the benefits of this training modality (CrossFit) in your level of fitness and ability to perform. As the competitive endurance season approaches are you thinking “I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained here at the box when I go to train for my specific sport (which is more often than not a lot of long slow distance or oxidative training)!”

You may have experienced some time away from CrossFit and realized how much it does make a difference and how hard it can be when coming back in the doors to hit a WOD at the same pace you once did. While everyone comes to the box for different reasons there are many of us who train to compete in other sports like biathlons, triathlons, cycling, running 5k, 10k, half or full marathons, ragnar and other similar distance spots or events. Are you thinking “How do I keep CrossFiting and still get the sport specific training I need?” We have the answer!!

Saturday February 12th at 8:30 am at CrossFit IoTA in Smithfield, Paul Whitteker the owner, coach and most experienced CrossFit Endurance coach in Cache Valley will be answering just that question. We will discuss topics like the skill of your sport, CrossFit is the foundation of and not a supplement to your training, dialing in training that works for you, blending CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance training into your schedule and trusting in your training. There will also be an question and answer time where you can openly discuss and ask any questions you may have. The main focus will be to show you how CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance can prepare you to compete at your best at your sport without spending countless hours training.  This is a free class that is open to the public, so if you have friends or family that are interested you are welcome to bring them too.

If you will not settle for anything less than the best, you will be amazed at what you can acomplish in your lives. – Vince Lombardi


10 Push Press (115#/85#)
20 Burpees
Coaches Challenge – 4 Rounds

Christina and Kolett rockin the push press!!

Just incase you missed it the first time, here is the video of Tod doing burpees. It was featured today on the CrossFit HQ Facebook Page.

STANDARDS Often we are asked why we adhere to certain standards for movements. Most of the time the standards that we uphold have to do with maintaining a complete range of motion (this is where you will get the best results) and sometimes these standards have to do with safety (ie box jumps, landing on the box and not letting your heel hang over, thus avoiding a possible achilles injury) and other times standards can be used for judging purposes (ie the CrossFit Games or our local event Fitness Elevated).

I always appreciate it when you are thinking about what we are doing, ask pertinent questions and then formulate opinions. CrossFit is a fitness that requires and is made better if you are thinking about what you are doing and not just mindlessly going through the motions.  To truly get the greatest benefit from CrossFit it is best to first understand what it is we are asking you to do.  If you are able to maintain proper form and technique then it is time to increase the load or intensity.

Just as I shared a few days ago about squatting from, think about the form you use in each of our movements.  if you are doing your best then this is all we ask.  When we see you letting your form slide and we know you have better, we encourage you to do better because we care.  At the end of the day if you don’t get to full depth or full lock out on a push up will your time be better? Yes, but will you see the best results? No.

This is not about the day-to-day score on the whiteboard, though admittedly it’s fun to look and see how you did, this is truly about you improving who you are.  You will be the best, strongest and fastest that you can be, if you are striving to maintain the standards of the movements that are set.  Do your best and let the rest take care of its self.

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character.”

– Theodore Roosevelt