Categorized as: Featured_Athlete

WEDNESDAY WINS JO-AN B.!

WEDNESDAY WINS JO-AN B.!

 

 

We are thrilled to announce we are bringing back Wednesday Wins and even more excited to celebrate Jo-An B. as our first featured athlete in 2020! No one works harder than this amazing woman.  She rises at an ungodly hour to find that one hour for herself  — she’s a registered nurse who loves her career choice and a mom to three-year-old daughter Adaline. So between caring for family and others at work, time for her own self-care is at a premium.

“Growing up I wasn’t really into sports. I played some JV teams in high school but I was more of the typical nerdy Asian who was always studying for the next test. As the oldest child in the family to parents who emigrated to the US to have a better life for our family,  the pressure was there to excel in my studies; therefore, physical activity was on the bottom of the list of things to do. I started running after college just because it was something easy to take up. At one point, I got serious and joined a running group and finished my one (& only) half-marathon in my 20’s. But my typical exercise routine was pretty much- going to the gym, running, and working out on circuit machines. I’m pretty  introverted- so I was happy doing things on my own.”
One of her co-workers was really fit & into CrossFit and it sparked an interest for her “A lot of times when I worked with her, she would mention how sore she was from her workout. One time, I remember thinking to myself, ‘It’s been a LONG time since I was sore from exercising… I miss that.’  I Googled CrossFit gyms in the area and saw a free intro class at the Cove and it was only 2.6 miles from where I live?!… **ding, ding** I thought ‘OK, let’s see what this is all about.’  I was SO intimidated by the class structure, the loud music, the yelling, and the number of people in the class. I did NOT like being in a class — where people can watch you — but got over that pretty quickly (since there was no other choice :)”
While it’s not always easy to rise before dawn, she’s one of our most loyal 5:30a athletes. I remember coming to my first 5:30a class and it was Coach Katie teaching. I remember her saying: ‘Hey. Good morning, Jo-An!’ and all I thought was ‘OMG… she knows my name!’ It felt so nice to have that personalization when I was new. Thanks Coach Katie! Of course, ALL the morning coaches are awesome as well!”

 

 

She not only takes class almost daily but wraps each session with accessory work to further her fitness.  “Becoming a mom was a bit of a rude awakening to me. It. Is. So. Hard. Coming to the 5:30a class is hard, but I cherish it because it’s MY sliver of time and mine alone. I’m not X’s mom or X’s wife… I’m Jo-An. The gains there are mine and I worked hard for them. I started staying after class to work on skills… like, all of them. There were SO many things I wanted to be able to do during the WODs but I just wasn’t strong enough. So I knew I had a lot of ‘catching up’ to do. There is still so much I want to be able to do, but in retrospect, I’ve been at the Cove a little over a year and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. From scaling the scales, to now being able to go ~5-10lbs over the FX recs (on certain movements). This is the first time I’ve been able to quantify my progress and it’s so exciting & motivating to see it! Also, summers at the Cove with a super sweaty WOD means you burned some serious calories.”
While her gains have been extraordinary across the board, sometimes it’s just ONE thing that sticks with you and reminds you what you’re truly capable of.  For her, it was doing her first handstand kick-up. “It was both a physical and MENTAL challenge for me. I was SO convinced my head would go straight into the ground & I was going to break my neck. But once I conquered that skill & got over the fear (I literally shouted out in joy), it became the gateway to many more PR’s & accomplishments for me at the Cove.  I love our 5:30a crew and love to see them make their own personal progress with PR’s too!”
She’s learned so much about herself in her last year here. “There are so many things, but I’ve learned with self-discipline & consistency, I can achieve results. I’ve also learned body-awareness/perception.  That is, knowing what are my limits are and when I can push myself just a little more.”.  But it’s not just inside the gym where she’s seeing change.  “CrossFit skills have spilled over to my mom-life — hip-hinging to pick up my 3-year old safely, deadlifting a box of groceries from Costco, engaging my core to move patients at work, etc.  Now, if I could just string some double-unders….argh!”
We asked her what advice she’d give to a newbie at the Cove.  “Keep coming!  Even if you think the WOD is impossible or scary. You can scale down the scales or just adjust the numbers! It IS possible! Once you get the flow of things, it’s fun and exciting to see your progress!”
Yep, she’s got the flow and is the progress is blinding.  Throw a fist pump her way when you see her. She’s put in the work and earned every bit of her success!

WEDNESDAY WINS!

WEDNESDAY WINS JO-AN B.!

 

 

We are thrilled to announce we are bringing back Wednesday Wins and even more excited to celebrate Jo-An B. as our first featured athlete in 2020! No one works harder than this amazing woman.  She rises at an ungodly hour to find that one hour for herself  — she’s a registered nurse who loves her career choice and a mom to three year old daughter Adaline. So between caring for family and others at work, time for her own self-care is at a premium.

“Growing up I wasn’t really into sports. I played some JV teams in high school but I was more of the typical nerdy Asian who was always studying for the next test. As the oldest child in the family to parents who emigrated to the US to have a better life for  our family,  the pressure was there to excel in my studies; therefore, physical activity was on the bottom of list of things to do. I started running after college just because it was something easy to take up. At one point, I got serious and joined a running group and finished my one (& only) half-marathon in my 20’s. But my typical exercise routine was pretty much- going to the gym, running, and working out on circuit machines. I’m pretty  introverted- so I was happy doing things on my own.”

 

 

One of her co-workers was really fit & into CrossFit and it sparked an interest for her “A lot of times when I worked with her, she would mention how sore she was from her workout. One time, I remember thinking to myself, ‘It’s been a LONG time since I was sore from exercising… I miss that.’  I Googled CrossFit gyms in the area and saw a free intro class at the Cove and it was only 2.6 miles from where I live?!… **ding, ding** I thought ‘OK, let’s see what this is all about.’  I was SO intimidated by the class structure, the loud music, the yelling, and the number of people in the class. I did NOT like being in a class — where people can watch you — but got over that pretty quickly (since there was no other choice :)”
While it’s not always easy to rise before dawn, she’s one of our most loyal 5:30a athletes. I remember coming to my first 5:30a class and it was Coach Katie teaching. I remember her saying: ‘Hey. Good morning, Jo-An!’ and all I thought was ‘OMG… she knows my name!’ It felt so nice to have that personalization when I was new. Thanks Coach Katie! Of course, ALL the morning coaches are awesome as well!”

 

 

She not only takes class almost daily, but wraps each session with accessory work to further her fitness.  “Becoming a mom was a bit of a rude awakening to me. It. Is. So. Hard. Coming to the 5:30a class is hard, but I cherish it because it’s MY sliver of time and mine alone. I’m not X’s mom or X’s wife… I’m Jo-An. The gains there are mine and I worked hard for them. I started staying after class to work on skills… like, all of them. There were SO many things I wanted to be able to do during the WODs but I just wasn’t strong enough. So I knew I had a lot of ‘catching up’ to do. There is still so much I want to be able to do, but in retrospect, I’ve been at the Cove a little over a year and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. From scaling the scales, to now being able to go ~5-10lbs over the FX reccs (on certain movements). This is the first time I’ve been able to quantify my progress and it’s so exciting & motivating to see it! Also, summers at the Cove with a super sweaty WOD means you burned some serious calories.”

 

While her gains have been extraordinary across the board, sometimes it’s just ONE thing that sticks with you and reminds you what you’re truly capable of.  For her, it was doing her first handstand kick-up. “It was both a physical and MENTAL challenge for me. I was SO convinced my head would go straight into the ground & I was going to break my neck. But once I conquered that skill & got over the fear (I literally shouted out in joy), it became the gateway to many more PR’s & accomplishments for me at the Cove.  I love our 5:30a crew and love to see them make their own personal progress with PR’s too!”

 

She’s learned so much about herself in her last year here. “There are so many things, but I’ve learned with self-discipline & consistency, I can achieve results. I’ve also learned body-awareness/perception.  That is, knowing what are my limits are and when I can push myself just a little more.”.  But it’s not just inside the gym where she’s seeing change.  “CrossFit skills have spilled over to my mom-life — hip-hinging to pick up my 3-year old safely, deadlifting a box of groceries from Costco, engaging my core to move patients at work, etc.  Now, if I could just string some double-unders….argh!”

 

We asked her what advice she’d give to a newbie at the Cove.  “Keep coming!  Even if you think the WOD is impossible or scary. You can scale down the scales or just adjust the numbers! It IS possible! Once you get the flow of things, it’s fun and exciting to see your progress!”

 

Yep, she’s got the flow and is the progress is blinding.  Throw a fist pump her way when you see her. She’s put in the work and earned every bit of her success!

 

 

WOD

 

For time:

21-15-9 reps of-

Bar MU (reps divided by 3)

Deadlifts

DU (reps x 3)

 

Time Cap: 14 min

 

Fx: J-Hook Row (keep reps at 21-15-9), 135/95, SU (reps x 6)

P: 185/125

O: 225/155

 

ACCESSORY

 

4 rounds-

15 Glute Ham Bridges

12 GHD Situps

Scale: 24 Regular Situps

 

Coach Alea’s Tips: For the Metcon, make sure to be patient on the muscle up pull to avoid the chicken wing. Focus on keeping your glutes engaged during the deadlifts. Pick a weight that you don’t have to break up more than 3 times per set. During the accessory work give the GHDs a try! Even if you don’t do all the reps, at least try a few.

 

Jo-An sneaking some time (and some space) for accessory work after class, per usual…

Tuesday 1/7/2020

BARBELL CLUB

Our next barbell club cycle starts today at 7:30 PM. We have two spots remaining if anyone is interested in joining the group. The classes will be Tuesday at 7:30 PM and Saturday’s at noon.

COVE 2020 NEWS AND NOTES

 

Starting the New Year often begins with self-reflection and goal setting for the coming year.  And here at the Cove, we’re doing a lot of that!  Over the last several weeks we have delved deep into the gym and coaching surveys and have had multiple meetings (with all our coaches, many athletes and each other) to set a game plan for the coming year. 

We are excited to that we are building from such a strong base.  Your enthusiasm for this place, its coaches and the programming is wonderful — and while we celebrate and revel in that for a moment, our job is to keep making things better.  We take “the best hour of your day starts now” to heart and want to deliver that to perfection time each time you pass through that threshold.

We’ve already started implementing some things based of the feedback but wanted to share some of the top-line commentary and what we are doing to address it.  Before we dive in we have some news about some life changes for some of our coaches we want to share.  As most of you know, Coach Josh got a new job (and starts tomorrow!).  And as Josh sorts out his schedule, he’ll still will be the large presence he always is. but it might not be at the same times or as often for now.  But once he finds his groove with his new gig, he’ll be back full force!

The other big news is that Coach John is taking a full time job as an administrative assistant to project management at a company called WE Bowers.  John will continue with a significant amount of coaching hours here at the Cove, so the impact you all will feel should be nominal. Even though titles may change, him being core to this place will not.

Behind the scenes, however, we will be re-balancing his workload and ideally finding a longer-term solution for his role. Again, you should not feel any real changes during this transition (except maybe seeing Marina and Brian coaching on the floor more often)!

Getting back to some other exciting changes ahead, here are highlights of things we are focusing on over the next weeks and months.  We will expand on these in much more detail over the coming days and weeks, but here’s a sense what we heard and what’s to come!

PROGRAMMING:  The overwhelming sentiment is that the programming feels fresh, exciting and challenging.  Coach Daniel has been an incredible partner to us and we love that you feel the difference from a year ago.    We will be adding more training cycles (i.e. strength, conditioning, skill, etc.) and will be sharing more on intended stimulus and how to attack the workouts. The Coach’s Tips seem to be a hit, but it’s clear you want more!  We will also be adding several specialty clinics to the schedule so there will be even more ways to get those gains!

NUTRITION:  Eating to perform is such an important part of finding success here.  We will be adding more nutritional content to the blog, Cove Club posts and more.  It’s clear you crave more information about how to eat well and we promise to serve it up (yes, pun intended).

CLASS TIMES:  We’ve had requests for additional class times (primarily adding more 3:30 classes) and this is something we are taking under consideration.  We make crucial class and coaching decisions based on attendance as recorded by Wodify, so PLEASE sign into class EVERY TIME.  Even if you don’t submit a score please just sign into the hour you attend so we can weigh all factors as we adjust schedules!

EQUIPMENT: We always love adding new toys to the box and we continue to do so.  We added several new plates, D-Balls, barbells, rings, dumbbells, clips (a crowd favorite!) and there’s more to come (insert evil laugh here).

CLASS STRUCTURE:  The great news is that most of you are happy with the overall structure of the class, but there are certainly areas to improve upon.  Warm ups and cool downs continue to be a priority for most of you and we will do our best to ensure the most thorough experience for your safety and athletic growth.

MORE BLOG CONTENT:  In addition to the expanding the Coach’s Tips and Nutrition content, we are working on using the blog to connect us more through sharing news, events and stories.  We’ll be bringing back Wednesday Wins as a way to highlight our athlete’s success and keep us all inspired to do more.

The above is only a highlight of what’s to come and again, we’ll be sharing updates and changes as we have them. The great news is we are starting with a solid foundation. And we can’t wait to continue to build an amazing place for you to call home!

 

STRENGTH

 

Strict Press

5-5-5-5-5

*Increase weight every set, so choose weight wisely

 

Time Cap: 13 min

 

WOD

 

AMRAP in 14 min:

10 Push Press

35 DU

9/7 cal bike

 

Fx: 75/55, 2:1 Singles

P: 95/65

O: 115/75

 

Coach Madison’s Tips: 

Strength: Strict press jump from simple to impossible very quickly, so take small jumps and legitimate rests between sets. Don’t fully relax or disengage your core/muscular tension at the bottom of each rep or it will be difficult to finish a heavy 5.

Metcon: Classic breather- Pick a weight that you can do 10 unbroken, make sure to center your breathing and mind before you start the dubs, and hold the bike at a moderate pace. Time your first round and try to keep each round consistent.

LOOKING FORWARD TO A GREAT 2020!

COVE 2020 NEWS AND NOTES

 

Starting the New Year often begins with self reflection and goal setting for the coming year.  And here at the Cove, we’re doing a lot of that!  Over the last several weeks we have delved deep into the gym and coaching surveys and have had multiple meetings (with all our coaches, many athletes and each other) to set a game plan for the coming year. 

We are excited to that we are building from such a strong base.  Your enthusiasm for this place, its coaches and the programming is wonderful — and while we celebrate and revel in that for a moment, our job is to keep making things better.  We take “the best hour of your day starts now” to heart and want to deliver that to perfection time each time you pass through that threshold.

We’ve already started implementing some things based of the feedback, but wanted to share some of the top-line commentary and what we are doing to address it.  Before we dive in we have some news about some life changes for some of our coaches we want to share.  As most of you know, Coach Josh got a new job (and starts tomorrow!).  And as Josh sorts out his schedule, he’ll still will be the large presence he always is. but it might not be at the same times or as often for now.  But once he finds his groove with his new gig, he’ll be back full force!

The other big news is that Coach John is taking a full time job as an administrative assistant to project management at a company called WE Bowers.  John will continue with a significant amount of coaching hours here at the Cove, so the impact you all will feel should be nominal. Even though titles may change, him being core to this place will not.

Behind the scenes, however, we will be re-balancing his workload and ideally finding a longer-term solution for his role. Again, you should not feel any real changes during this transition (except maybe seeing Marina and Brian coaching on the floor more often)!

Getting back to some other exciting changes ahead, here are highlights of things we are focusing on over the next weeks and months.  We will expand on these in much more detail over the coming days and weeks, but here’s a sense what we heard and what’s to come!

PROGRAMMING:  The overwhelming sentiment is that the programming feels fresh, exciting and challenging.  Coach Daniel has been an incredible partner to us and we love that you feel the difference from a year ago.    We will be adding more training cycles (i.e. strength, conditioning, skill, etc.) and will be sharing more on intended stimulus and how to attack the workouts. The Coach’s Tips seem to be a hit, but it’s clear you want more!  We will also be adding several specialty clinics to the schedule so there will be even more ways to get those gains!

NUTRITION:  Eating to perform is such an important part of finding success here.  We will be adding more nutritional content to the blog, Cove Club posts and more.  It’s clear you crave more information about how to eat well and we promise to serve it up (yes, pun intended).

CLASS TIMES:  We’ve had requests for additional class times (primarily adding more 3:30 classes) and this is something we are taking under consideration.  We make crucial class and coaching decisions based on attendance as recorded by Wodify, so PLEASE sign into class EVERY TIME.  Even if you don’t submit a score please just sign into the hour you attend so we can weigh all factors as we adjust schedules!

EQUIPMENT: We always love adding new toys to the box and we continue to do so.  We added several new plates, D-Balls, barbells, rings, dumbbells, clips (a crowd favorite!) and there’s more to come (insert evil laugh here).

CLASS STRUCTURE:  The great news is that most of you are happy with the overall structure of the class, but there are certainly areas to improve upon.  Warm ups and cool downs continue to be a priority for most of you and we will do our best to ensure the most thorough experience for your safety and athletic growth.

MORE BLOG CONTENT:  In addition to the expanding the Coach’s Tips and Nutrition content, we are working on using the blog to connect us more through sharing news, events and stories.  We’ll be bringing back Wednesday Wins as a way to highlight our athlete’s success and keep us all inspired to do more.

The above is only a highlight of what’s to come and again, we’ll be sharing updates and changes as we have them. The great news is we are starting with a solid foundation. And we can’t wait to continue to build an amazing place for you to call home!

 

STRENGTH

 

Establish a heavy single Back Squat

Cap: 16 min

 

WOD

 

3 rounds-

30 Wall Ball

20 KB Swings

10 Burpee Pullup

 

Time Cap: 14 min

 

Fx: 14/10, 35/25, Burpee to a target

P: 20/14, 53/35

O: 20/14, 70/53

 

Coach Daniel’s Tip & Stimulus:  

Strength: Work up to as heavy as possible but also don’t feel bad if you don’t PR today because that’s not necessarily the goal for the workout.

MetCon: Don’t ever get to the point where you are redlining and be in control of your heart rate by using smaller manageable sets but minimize the length of your rest time.

Nothing like a good partner row!

OPEN 20.5!

OPEN 20.5 

 

It’s hard to believe we are in the final week of the Open already! Let’s close it out with some great performances — and of course,  a celebration to wrap it up!  Here’s the plan for the final week!

 

THURSDAY @ 8PM WORKOUT ONE WILL BE ANNOUNCED on games.crossfit.com. We will also post the workout on our blog/website as soon as it is released,  so continue your habit of reading this post regardless!

 

FRIDAY’S WORKOUT WILL BE THE OPEN WORKOUT.  As you now know, our Friday partner WOD will be replaced with 20.5. We’ll resume our normal Friday fun next week!
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE WILL BE AN ‘ACTIVE RECOVERY’ CHALLENGE. You can keep it simple but recovery focused — that means 30 minutes of “active” recovery. Run, walk, row, swim, bike, rollerblade, ice skate.  Each day you do it you get one point.  Get out of the gym and use your fitness!
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS KICKS OFF AT 5:30PM WITH THE TEAM “FACE OFF’! This week TWO representatives of each team will kick off the night with an epic throw down.  This Friday’s event will call for one RX and one SCALED athlete from each team to represent in a mixed gender heat.  You can nominate any guy or gal from your roster; we just need one athlete willing to go RX and one to go Scaled (ideally it will be a new face on the floor, but if someone wants to hit it again, that’s fine too).  If it’s time, lowest combined time wins. If it’s reps, most combined reps wins.  And just like last Friday, it will be an exciting way to kick off the night and get everyone energized.  We will run rolling heats after that until we are all done!
AFTER PARTY AT COLUMBIA ALE HOUSE.  Round four went to the Allie Cats and they decided for are after-party celebration will be just around the corner at FRISCO’S again.  It was how we kicked off the Open and it’s how we’ll end it!
Friends and family are of course welcome.

 

WORKOUT 20.5
For time, partitioned any way:
40 muscle-ups
80-cal. row
120 wall-ball shots
♀ 14-lb. ball to 9 ft.
♂ 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.
Time cap: 20 minutes
WORKOUT VARIATIONS
Rx’d (Ages 16-54) ♀14-lb. ball to 9 ft. ♂20-lb. ball to 10 ft.
Scaled (Ages 16-54) ♀chin-over-bar pull-ups, 10-lb. ball to 9 ft. ♂chin-over-bar pull-ups, 14-lb. ball to 10 ft.
Teenagers 14-15 ♀10-lb. ball to 9 ft. ♂14-lb. ball to 9 ft.
Scaled Teenagers 14-15 ♀chin-over-bar pull-ups, 10-lb. ball to 9 ft. ♂ chin-over-bar pull-ups, 14-lb. ball to 9 ft.
Masters 55+ ♀chest-to-bar pull-ups, 10-lb. ball to 9 ft. ♂chest-to-bar pull-ups, 20-lb. ball to 9 ft.
Scaled Masters 55+ ♀jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups, 10-lb. ball to 8 ft. ♂jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups, 14-lb. ball to 8 ft.

WEDNESDAY WINS! STEF M.!

WEDNESDAY WINS! STEF M.!

Today we highlight the one of the most amazing athletes and genuinely wonderful people we know — Stef M.  She’s a data analyst by day and Super Woman by night.  She comes regularly, works hard, listens to the coaches and is so darn humble. Coach Josh agrees “she a great community person and always having fun — always smiling.

She’s been at the Cove for two years and the the results of her approach are beyond extraordinary.  She comes consistently 4-5 days a week (Saturdays are out because “I need to sleep in at least one day”. It’s really just been about consistency for me. I just want to keep getting better.  I play sports outside of here.  I play football and soccer.  And for me it’s really helped.”

“Before I came here I was doing the same old stuff at the gym.  Lifting, running. But I was like ‘I want more than this’.  There wasn’t a lot of improvement happening. Then I joined here and I’ve seen more improvements that I ever have in my life.  In two years, I’m better, stronger and faster.  And I’ve been active my whole life.  It’s been amazing.” 

Yes, her time at the Cove has helped her endeavors outside the gym, but what happens inside the walls of Cove are nothing short of remarkable.  She’s become the rabbit (sorry ladies, but she’s Coach Katie’s favorite rabbit to chase). And even when we tell her this, she almost doesn’t believe it.  “I’m still the one chasing people. I love that environment.” 

CrossFit and her sports are also her way of staying connected to people and provide her community of support.  “I’ve always been competitive.  With sports I play with a lot of people I went to college with; it’s how we keep in touch.  And at the Cove, It really helps to have a score and an environment where I can thrive.”  She got bestie Joey F. to join the Cove. “I pulled Joey in almost a year later.  He looks miserable, but inside he loves it.  I’m like, ‘you’ve got to push’. I push him hard.”  As Coach John said, “Her presence pushed everybody to do better, especially Joey….poor Joey.”

“I’ve always played sports.  I love the team thing.  And when I’m here in my head I’m competing with myself and everyone else in class.  I just love the community.  You’re not alone. You’re dying together and we secretly love it.  And I totally appreciate that.”

And although you’ll see amazing benchmarks set by her each evening, she still finds motivation from those around her.  Even the ones she’s doesn’t really know.  “The 5:30am women I see on Wodify are amazing. Every day I see their scores and think ‘oh my gosh, they’ve already been to class and crushed it’.  They’re my virtual rabbits. I’ve spoken to some of them a handful of times, but they have no idea that I’m watching what they do.  I’m so glad they are in the morning so I can see what they’ve done.”

Some of her biggest breakthroughs came at the Open this year.  She got her first strict handstand push ups AND first bar muscle ups.  The handstand push-ups came first in 19.3. “That was crazy. I didn’t know where that came from.  I did singles, but had no idea I’d get through six. I can’t even tell you the last time I even tried to do one.  I didn’t know I was strong enough. Sometimes I just need that extra nudge.  But I tried it and it worked.”

Next came her first bar-muscle ups in 19.4. “I was so excited.  I got up there and was like, ‘whoa, where did that come from?’.  So I went back up and tried again. I got three.  I think the first thing I said when I got down was ‘that was weird! It’s such a different view from up there!’” 

She credits adrenaline as well, but we think she’d do just as well in a quiet Open Gym.  It’s a simple but powerful formula she has nailed.  When we asked how she’d sum it up for someone new or trying to get to get better she said “ Just show up.  Trust the programming.  You’ll see the changes.  But showing up is the biggest thing. It’s about consistency.”

She’s caught the competition bug too.  She’s done three competitions and is signed up for “Flex on the Mall” this Spring.  Her friends and family are fully supportive of her efforts even though “they still can’t believe I do this all the time.”  She had a huge crew at the Battle of Baltimore — almost like her personal paparazzi crew.  “They come to support me fully.  They might make fun of me for doing it before hand, but they always are there to support me.

She’s also taking her passion for fitness to another level outside the gym.  “I’m taking my Fitness Nutrition Specialist certification class now.  I just started it.  I took my Personal training certificate last August.” While it’s a passion project for now, we can’t wait to see where she goes with it.

Shorter term, what’s next on her list?  “Ring muscle ups.  The rings just seem so different from the bar.  It’s gonna be a while but I’d like to get one.” We’re guessing she has it in her.  Just like all her other victories, she just has to try it.

 

A ‘vintage’ shot of Stef from two years ago.  Yup, always smiling!

WEDNESDAY WINS! STEF M.!

WEDNESDAY WINS! STEF M.!

Today we highlight the one of the most amazing athletes and genuinely wonderful people we know — Stef M.  She’s a data analyst by day and Super Woman by night.  She comes regularly, works hard, listens to the coaches and is so darn humble. Coach Josh agrees “she a great community person and always having fun — always smiling.

She’s been at the Cove for two years and the the results of her approach are beyond extraordinary.  She comes consistently 4-5 days a week (Saturdays are out because “I need to sleep in at least one day”. It’s really just been about consistency for me. I just want to keep getting better.  I play sports outside of here.  I play football and soccer.  And for me it’s really helped.”

“Before I came here I was doing the same old stuff at the gym.  Lifting, running. But I was like ‘I want more than this’.  There wasn’t a lot of improvement happening. Then I joined here and I’ve seen more improvements that I ever have in my life.  In two years, I’m better, stronger and faster.  And I’ve been active my whole life.  It’s been amazing.” 

Yes, her time at the Cove has helped her endeavors outside the gym, but what happens inside the walls of Cove are nothing short of remarkable.  She’s become the rabbit (sorry ladies, but she’s Coach Katie’s favorite rabbit to chase). And even when we tell her this, she almost doesn’t believe it.  “I’m still the one chasing people. I love that environment.” 

CrossFit and her sports are also her way of staying connected to people and provide her community of support.  “I’ve always been competitive.  With sports I play with a lot of people I went to college with; it’s how we keep in touch.  And at the Cove, It really helps to have a score and an environment where I can thrive.”  She got bestie Joey F. to join the Cove. “I pulled Joey in almost a year later.  He looks miserable, but inside he loves it.  I’m like, ‘you’ve got to push’. I push him hard.”  As Coach John said, “Her presence pushed everybody to do better, especially Joey….poor Joey.”

“I’ve always played sports.  I love the team thing.  And when I’m here in my head I’m competing with myself and everyone else in class.  I just love the community.  You’re not alone. You’re dying together and we secretly love it.  And I totally appreciate that.”

And although you’ll see amazing benchmarks set by her each evening, she still finds motivation from those around her.  Even the ones she’s doesn’t really know.  “The 5:30am women I see on Wodify are amazing. Every day I see their scores and think ‘oh my gosh, they’ve already been to class and crushed it’.  They’re my virtual rabbits. I’ve spoken to some of them a handful of times, but they have no idea that I’m watching what they do.  I’m so glad they are in the morning so I can see what they’ve done.”

Some of her biggest breakthroughs came at the Open this year.  She got her first strict handstand push ups AND first bar muscle ups.  The handstand push-ups came first in 19.3. “That was crazy. I didn’t know where that came from.  I did singles, but had no idea I’d get through six. I can’t even tell you the last time I even tried to do one.  I didn’t know I was strong enough. Sometimes I just need that extra nudge.  But I tried it and it worked.”

Next came her first bar-muscle ups in 19.4. “I was so excited.  I got up there and was like, ‘whoa, where did that come from?’.  So I went back up and tried again. I got three.  I think the first thing I said when I got down was ‘that was weird! It’s such a different view from up there!’” 

She credits adrenaline as well, but we think she’d do just as well in a quiet Open Gym.  It’s a simple but powerful formula she has nailed.  When we asked how she’d sum it up for someone new or trying to get to get better she said “ Just show up.  Trust the programming.  You’ll see the changes.  But showing up is the biggest thing. It’s about consistency.”

She’s caught the competition bug too.  She’s done three competitions and is signed up for “Flex on the Mall” this Spring.  Her friends and family are fully supportive of her efforts even though “they still can’t believe I do this all the time.”  She had a huge crew at the Battle of Baltimore — almost like her personal paparazzi crew.  “They come to support me fully.  They might make fun of me for doing it before hand, but they always are there to support me.

She’s also taking her passion for fitness to another level outside the gym.  “I’m taking my Fitness Nutrition Specialist certification class now.  I just started it.  I took my Personal training certificate last August.” While it’s a passion project for now, we can’t wait to see where she goes with it.

Shorter term, what’s next on her list?  “Ring muscle ups.  The rings just seem so different from the bar.  It’s gonna be a while but I’d like to get one.” We’re guessing she has it in her.  Just like all her other victories, she just has to try it.

 

WOD

 

“DP”

Until you can no longer fit in the work in a minute anymore

EMOM until failure:

__ Burpees

 

Fx: 10

P/O: 15

 

Time cap: 20 minutes

 

WOD

 

“Full Speed Ahead”

__ Cal row

30 Alt. DB Snatch

30 Box Jumpovers

 

Time Cap: 10 min

 

Fx: 18/14 cal, 18/12″, 35/25 DB

P/O: 25/20 cal, 24/20″, 50/35 DB

 

Coach’s Tip:  Find a pace of the first metcon that you keep up with for at least 5 rounds.  The second metcon is a sprint.  No real pacing but make sure your legs are good to go when jumping up on the first Box Jumpover.

 

A ‘vintage’ shot of Stef from two years ago.  Yup, always smiling!

WEDNESDAY WINS! KATHY L.!

WEDNESDAY WINS!  KATHY L.!

Today we highlight one of our favorite athletes — the amazing and inspiring Kathy L.  She turns 70 this fall, but her energy, enthusiasm and ability rival that of people half her age (or even a quarter of her age!).  She’s proven that age is just a number and her approach to fitness is something people of any life-stage should strive for!

“In my past I’ve had poor luck with physical fitness. I kept hurting myself trying to do it on my own.  I have a shelf full of fitness books that failed me.  Then I pried open my wallet and hired a trainer one day.  I really enjoyed working with a personal trainer, but it got really expensive working out twice a week.  I’m kind of a cheapskate and hated spending all that money.”

I joined my county gym and I was looking for a class setting with guidance so I wouldn’t hurt myself.  I thought I’d get the benefits to help keep me improving but also keep me safe — and I could save a little money too.  But the classes were hard to get in to. They’re crowded and you need to sign up.  And sometimes I couldn’t even get in because I got shut out and I didn’t get the personal attention I needed.”  So that’s when she decided to give the Cove a try.

She’s been at the Cove just over a year and a half and continues to just get faster, stronger and more agile. She credits the coaches, the environment and her fellow athletes for her successes here.  “One of the first sessions I couldn’t do a single burpee, box jump or jump rope. The coaches are all so awesome. Everyone is so patient. I am learning something new every day and I keep seeing improvements.” 

Oh, and she’s been injury-free.  “No aches and pains.  Not a one. The only ‘injury’ I’ve had is sciatica from my desk job!  I honestly feel it’s because of the guidance of the coaches.  I know I’m responsible for myself as well, so I’m really careful.  There’s personal responsibility there, but they are amazing.”  She also loves the fact that we properly prepare her for the workouts.  “I really love the warm ups.  It’s something I’ve never had the discipline to do on my own. Some are really grueling for me.  But it’s part of the reason why I think I haven’t been injured.”

Besides staying injury-free, her biggest overall goal is just to see continued improvement. “I think for me it’s notable that I can actually expect to continue to improve at my age.  Even starting this so late, I think I can continue to see improvements for at least the next 10 years until I’m 80.”

She also has specific and measurable goals, and she’s ticking them off quickly.  “One of the goals I put on the goal wall was to be able to do a box jump.  And I just did my first 12” jump today.  Maybe I’ll try to put a plate on it soon to make it higher, but for now I’m just happy I can do it”.  She also has a goal of doing a full push up.  “I haven’t done one since I was in my 20’s.  Holden has really been working with me on it.  I can do a plank for a full minute now so I know it’s not my core strength, it’s my upper body that needs to get stronger.  I’m confident I’ll get here. I do a tiny bit every day”.

“Everyone is so wonderful and friendly. And like I said, the coaches are just all awesome. And I’m inspired by everything these amazing athletes do. It’s so thrilling to see the young fellas lift so much weight the bar is gong to break.  And these women — they do a chin up and then keep going.  Those (muscle ups) are amazing.  I love watching it all.   I know I can’t compete with those great athletes, so mentally I strive for 2/3rds of the RX.  I scale myself to finish in the middle of the pack and I get a FANTASTIC workout.”

And she’s seeing and feeling the results outside the gym too.  She just came back from a skiing trip to Utah where she claims much more stamina and strength on the mountain than she’s felt in a long time.  “I hike more.  I do the things I love like golf and enjoy generally staying active.” 

As we age, things like protecting bone density and performing simple movements like getting up and down off the floor are really important.  Strength and power output are key elements to living a long and productive life and she’s increasing hers daily.  “My friends are really struggling — with degenerative diseases and age related things.  I’m kind of an outlier now. “ Actually, we’d prefer to say she’s exceptional.

So exceptional that all of the things she could do when she came in, she can now. “I can’t believe I can jump on a 12” box.  I can’t believe I can jump rope 40 or 50 times unbroken.  In our first classes I couldn’t do a single one.  I can even do burpees now.  I was away and saw Brian’s note about “out of town workouts”.  And there was one that said “100 burpees for time”. I didn’t do 100 — I did 70 — and it took me a long time, but I did them.

And best of all, she’s so intelligent about all of it.  She doesn’t over-reach, but she also doesn’t go soft.  She comes out sweaty, more fit… and safe too.  We think it’s the ultimate win-win relationship. She is inspired by the athletes around her and they are inspired by what she is doing.  When you see her, please give her a huge high five and tell her job well done!

 

WOD

“Hypoxia”

 

AMRAP in 7 min:

8 Burpees

8/7 Calorie Bike

30 DU

*Rest 1 minute

 

AMRAP in 7 min:

8 Burpees

8/7 Calorie Bike

30 DU

*Rest 1 minute

 

AMRAP in 7 min:

8 Burpees

8/7 Calorie Bike

30 DU

*Each round you pick it back up from where you ended from in the last AMRAP

 

P/PP Mod

-Modify Burpees: Up-downs or incline / box burpees

-Mod cals if necessary

-Sub 25 light & fast russian KB swings

 

ACCESSORY

 

Tabata Style

4 rounds straight – Handstand/Inverted Hold

4 rounds straight – Jumping Air Squats

4 rounds straight – Purpees (Pushup first + Burpee)

 

P/PP Mod

Tabata Style

-Can opt for legs up the wall if it’s comfortable being on your back – if not going upside down, L-sit DB hold (holding DBs in OH position)

-Omit jump in Air Squats

-Sub wall, box or knee push ups

 

Coach’s Tip: Bodyweight bananza today for the Cove.  If you are working on DUs, today would be a good dy to stick with them.

 

Hassan shows us how it’s done!

WEDNESDAY WINS!!! WES K.!

WEDNESDAY WINS!  WES K!

   

Today we highlight one of the greatest and friendliest faces at the Cove, Wes K.  Since joining the Cove he has lost over 40 pounds and his body fat percentage has dropped from 30% to 19% in his most recent InBody Scan. We really don’t need the numbers though, the progress is obvious and inspiring. Sometimes losing weight actually means gaining so much more.

You may know Wes from being awarded “Best Male Transformation” at the most recent Cove Anniversary Party, but what this award didn’t showcase was all the effort that went into it.  Wes’s story isn’t about a quick fix, but rather was a steady climb over 10 months of intelligent training coupled with a new understanding of nutrition.

Wes came to us looking to lose weight and reclaim his body. As a younger man he was a swimmer and tirelessly spent hours in the pool. He loved it growing up but the grind of constant practices took its toll for his passion for the sport. Fitness became a chore that involved a pair of headphones, a bench press, some curls, and a desire to sweat as little as possible. Living a young mans lifestyle of drinking and it poorly led to him slowly gaining pounds year after year.  Again, it wasn’t an instant transformation.  It was a slow burn.

Wes realized what he was doing was not serving him and he needed to make a change. CrossFit came onto his radar as he saw the changes it made in people around him, but he was intimidated. Wes found the Cove online and it seemed “friendly and something I could do”. He saw that we offered FREE CrossFit 101 classes but he was afraid even to walk in the door.

“I am naturally a shy person and with all those movements and people being involved it seemed a bit overwhelming. If I ended paying a little money for the sessions I knew I would attend. It helped me follow through. I went through those three classes and it really helped me understand the movements and gave me confidence that I could do this.”

But now he actually had to take it to his first class. “Brian told me to take the Friday class so I did what I was told. I was super nervous for the class experience and he forgot to mention that it’s a partner workout. Not only that but it had like 300 wall balls and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was really feeling for my partner but he was awesome and so supportive.  I survived that day.”

And from that first official workout of wall balls thus started Wes’s consistent attendance to CrossFit classes. “Coach John and Coach Brian kept introducing me to people and I started to make connections.” Those connection led to him to not just enjoying classes, but learning he was not alone in his journey.

After finding consistency in attendance he then moved on to the next target in his fitness journey, his nutrition.  One step at a time was his simple, yet smart, approach.  “I had the get the workouts down before I moved on to nutrition. I ended up buying portioned meals through Territory foods and that made things simple for me.  The great thing that happened with changing my diet was that I was recovering better from workouts. I was starting to make classes 4 days a week and I realized that I really wanted to come to classes. I liked being there. I was eating so I could spend time doing something I really enjoyed.”

This is where Wes really started to realize the next benefit of his fitness transformation. Improving his physical body was also transforming his outlook on life and his relationship with people. “Lots of my friends were getting married and having kids and they just weren’t around to hang out anymore. I never realized it but I was isolating myself from others and the Cove brought me out of my shell (pun intended). I hadn’t really thought about it at the time, but depression runs in my family but I know that this place takes care of that for me. I am just happy here.”

And despite his initial hesitancy around crowds and his nervousness about that first Friday class, it has become something he really looks forward to. “ Partner workouts are my favorite night. It’s a day I feel like I can slack the most. I might be as popular a partner anymore after this article. I just love Marcus, Sara, Paul, John, and everyone at the Cove. Things have change so much for me over the past 10 months.”

We couldn’t be more proud of Wes and his amazing accomplishments.  Give him a fist bump or high five when you see him and tell him to keep up the great work!

 

STRENGTH

 

Establish 1 Rep Power Clean

Time Cap: 14 minutes

 

P/PP Mod

If belly impedes bar path: opt for DB cleans – can go from hang.

Alternate 1 minute assault bike

+ 6 hanging DB power cleans for 14 minutes

 

WOD

 

“Lucky number 7”

AMRAP in 7 min:

7 Power Clean

7 Burpees over the Bar

 

– rest 1 minute –

 

AMRAP in 7 min:

7 Power Clean

7 Burpees

 

Fx: 115/75 part 1, 95/65 part 2

P: 155/105 part 1, 115/75 part 2

O: 185/125 part 1, 135/95 part 2

 

P/PP Mod

Sub DB hang power cleans

Sub elevated (box) burpees OR up-down + air squat

 

Coach’s Tip: Let’s get the HEAVY weights rolling.  As always, form over weight but better form leads to bigger weight!  Weight for the metcon should be something done in 1-2 reps or very quick singles.

 

Coach Josh just being Coach Josh…

WEDNESDAY WINS! COURTNEY K.!

WEDNESDAY WINS! COURTNEY K.!

 

Today we celebrate the successes of the amazing Courtney K. She’s one of the kindest souls we know and after hearing her story, you’ll agree that she’s also one of the bravest and most inspiring.

“My life has been a real roller coaster. I came from an upbringing where my family life was always great, but I was always the rebel.  I didn’t play the rebel role to be rebellious per se; I just loved it. I loved the whole scene. I dressed so “Goth”. I listened to heavy metal, shaved my head and wore leather pants and Doc Martins. Preppy cheerleader just wasn’t my thing.”

 

Her Dad was a huge influence on everything she did. “He was a real big hippie. He was a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He was awesome. He’s the reason I am who I Am.”. While she expressed her identity through clothes and lifestyle in her younger years, she REALLY had to rethink EVERYTHING in her 20s.

“I grew up in Florida. My Dad was the guy to go to in Broward County if you needed help. He ran several halfway houses. He stood up for the guys who needed help and then stood by them as they got it. “ He changed lives, helped get people sober and on their feet again — and the family got to be a part of all the amazing change he created. “Through all of this he still made time for us. It was never a burden.” That is, until it went very wrong.

“My dad passed away when I was 23. It was just tragic. He was clean and sober 17 years and had helped so many people. It ended up that one of the people he was actually trying help killed him.” A man who gave so much of himself to change lives was stricken of his own.

“I had a really hard time after my dad died. I started doing bad things. I drank and did drugs. I tried to hide it from everyone. I felt horrible because I was his daughter and I was now in that position (of the people he tried to help)”. I didn’t want special treatment or attention because I was “Richard’s daughter”.

She knew she had to make changes. “I moved out of the area, but didn’t go too far – From Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa. I wasn’t particularly religious. But I tried to find God again.”

It was there she met her now husband. “He was back from his second tour in Iraq. It turns out he lived just a few blocks from me and we moved there the same month. I remember he was totally unique.   We danced to Sinatra the first night in his apartment.” They’ve been together ever since.

“His family lives here (Maryland) so basically a work contract and family brought him here. We spent the next two years getting to know each other.   We didn’t get serious until I had visited him a few times. I knew I wanted out of Florida and wanted something new. I just wanted to keep moving forward. I eventually moved here and after eight months he got a deployment for six months on a civilian contract. He was gone for almost a year shortly after I moved here. It was ok, though. I was always independent.”

“We didn’t talk much about his religion until he was deployed. When he was gone, I really knew I wanted to make my way back to finding faith. I see people so happy when they have God in their lives. When I told him that, he began to share a lot about his background. So, I actually discovered Islam while I was by myself when he was away. It broadened my horizons and perspectives – and I converted. I didn’t even tell him until after it was done. “

“I actually met his family for the first time while he was overseas and got to know them as a friend of their son. I knocked on the door and they welcomed me in. Every Friday I was invited over. His dad even invited me to a religious retreat. I dove in and tried all ways to express different types of religion. I like to soak it all in and then decide what’s right for me. I mean, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I get more educated? I mean, I had never met a Muslim before! I didn’t even know what Islam was when I was in Florida.”

“They were just amazing. There was always a big group and they were always there to help other people. Ultimately we knew eventually we would be together married, but didn’t know we were going to find ourselves within the process. One day I told his mom ‘I’m in love with your son and I think I want to marry him.’ And I got her blessing.”

“I love the religion and think there are so many misconceptions. Muslim men truly love their wives. Yes, the man makes a lot of decisions, but the woman holds it all together and the husbands are so appreciative. It hurts when people say we cover our hair because our husbands tell us to.  It’s a commitment to god, nothing else. It makes me feel almost born again — it makes me feel really good!” 

With a new relationship with God, she then focused on a new and healthy lifestyle. “I never played sports. I never exercised. Okay, maybe I did ONCE. I twirled a baton in a parade when I was kid. But that’s it. I’ve been in gyms before, but was so turned off by the sales process and the trainers and I could never make it stick. I didn’t know what to do with the machines. It was awful.”

“Two years ago we decided to try for a baby. I wanted to prepare myself for running around with a child. It’s then that I found CrossFit. It just changed my life and perspective on fitness. It keeps me eating healthy and on track. I don’t want to ruin the momentum I’ve created and that makes me want to keep everything in my life healthy. When he first came home I was working as a medical surgical tech for plastics (plastic surgery) and life was crazy. He then started a job that required odd hours so I’m basically a homemaker now.  It’s great because he’ll come home and I’ll have healthy meals prepped and dinner ready.”

“It’s so funny. I always tell my husband I’d be a good soldier. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. That’s what I love about CrossFit. It’s organized. I’m told what to do. Go! And it’s all balls to the wall. Scale if you need to. Rest if you need to. That keeps the longevity for me.”

“And I love the small successes along the way. Even changing colors on the kettle bells lets me really feel like I’ve come so far. I used to have a problem with finishing things. It took me a long time to finish high school. But I’d work my butt off to get there. And I love the fact that I am making things happen. Things are not getting in my way anymore. I’m fearless now. I used to give myself a hard time all the time… about everything. But this keeps me grounded and on track.”

Sure, there are times she does fall off track (like most of us). “I sometimes consider myself a binge eater. I’m really good most of the week and then I have a cheat day. But it’s often a BAD cheat day. Like a cheeseburger and a big slice pie. Or a whole pie!”.

But those cheats are happening less and less and her attendance at the Cove is becoming more and more. She’s happy. She’s confident. She’s down 25 pounds. She strives for all organic. She’s got energy levels most of us dream of. She’s setting a great example for all of us.

“It’s a life-changer for me mentally and physically. I’m clear. My head is clear. The Cove has opened my mind too. The people here are really great and I love that there are people from all walks of life. The coaches we have are so great and I love it so much.”

You’ve opened our minds too. You make this a better place. And we love you too. More than you’ll ever know.

 

 

 

 

STRENGTH

 

Every 90 Seconds for 15 minutes:

1 Snatch Lift Off w/ a pause (pull bar to the knee and pause) + 1 Snatch + 1 Hang Snatch

*Power or Squat

 

P/PP Mods

Alternate:

1 minute assault bike (rest 30 seconds)

14 DB side step ups

 

WOD

 

4 Rounds for Time:

15 Power Snatch

10 Burpees

 

*12 min time cap

 

Fitness: 45/35

Performance: 75/55

Open: 95/65

 

P/PP Mods

Sub DB snatch

Box / Modified burpees

 

Coach’s Tip:  Skill work with the Snatch right into a fast metcon utilizing that skill work.  Try to keep the intensity up during the metcon without hitting a “redline”.  Great form with the Snatches is going to help your time.

 

Jennifer F. takes flight!