Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yea for the 5K!

Crossfitters have mixed emotions about running. Some love it, some hate it. We don't run too much at Works. The usual 400 & 800m, and you might get an occasional mile here & there. So when the 5K comes up I always get excited. This is a big milestone! Yesterday at the 9am we had two people who never ran a 5K before. The furthest Kim had ever ran was two miles, and although Karen had probably gone that far, she never did an official 5K. They did it, an they did amazing! Josh and Jamie set the pace and everyone finished within 5min of each other.
Awesome job everyone! Kim, I'm looking forward to your first 5K race!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What a great class!

Just wanted to say thanks to Mateo's 6pm Wednesday class. I had a great time filling in for him. Let me tell you all of the interesting things that were going on in that class:

1. We had 18 people. My biggest class ever!
2. We had two traveling visitors from another CrossFit- Dan and Claire. Thanks for choosing CrossFitWorks!
3. We had a first time crossfitter, Nicole, a friend of Steve and Midori. Welcome!
4. The She-devils football players and their coach joined the class. Great work guys!
5. It was the first time I subbed for Mateo at 6pm.
6. They normally do mobility work on Wednesdays but were nice enough to let me program something different for them. The workout was a farmer's carry competition, and then a 20 min AMRAP that included bear crawls, mt. climbers, crab walks, tablemakers, farmer's carry and weighted step-ups! They were amazing.
7. Since I train at 9am, I don't always get to meet everyone that comes in the evening. I met six new people!

What fun! I love CrossFit.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I first just wanted to thank Jen and Lisanne for putting on a spectacular Paleo dinner on Saturday night. What amazing food! Who says parties can't be paleo? Jen also gave an informative talk about the movie and nutrition. We had such a great turnout as well! Good food, good movie, good people. Awesome.

Now I want to take some time to tell you why we are so fortunate.

We are fortunate because we have owners who care. How many gym owners care how your day was, or know you on a first name basis, or care what food you eat? Not many!
We are fortunate to have an owner who is a "Paleo Master." That should be a real title, don't you think? After she signs her name she should write P.M. :) Not only is she a paleo master, but she knows A TON about food and nutrition. The good, the bad and the ugly! Jen didn't just start doing this a few months ago. This has been her life's work, her livelihood and her passion.
We are fortunate to have a diverse group of trainers. Jen, Carl , Bryon, Kate, Andres, Mateo and our new trainer Kevin are all very knowledgeable people that come from different fitness back rounds. Each person has something different to offer and we can all learn from them.
We are fortunate because we have a BIG gym. We have a huge space to work with. I don't know if you guys have been to many CrossFit gyms but some are even as small as a two car garage! Ours is definitely one of the bigger ones.
We are fortunate because there are AWESOME people at our gym. This encompasses everyone. Owners, trainers and clients. Everyone that comes to Works is drawn here for a reason. Although those reasons might be different, we all love it here. The people are friendly and compassionate. Competitive, yet humble. We encourage each other and we have fun. Everyone here is passionate about CrossFit.

There are many other great things about CrossFitWorks, but those are the big ones. What else can you think of? How do you feel fortunate?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You're never too young!

This is Remington (Remi for short), daughter of Angie. They train at the 9am class. If you haven't met Angie, well, she's built like a gymnast but never was one. You wouldn't know it though, by the way she busts out push-ups and LEGIT HSPU's! It was probably only my second or third time training them when Remi came in with her OWN workout journal. She showed me what she planned on doing in case she didn't like the workout we had programmed for that day. She had created her own workout with possible substitutions and tips for herself. I think they had only been doing CrossFit for about a month at this point. Adorable and impressive at the same time! When she's here she's doing the exercises, watching her Mom and having fun. Your kids are so impressionable, they want to be like you and they are never too young to start CrossFit. CrossFit is functional movements and we start doing functional movement when we can crawl. Actually kids usually have better form and flexibility than we do! I mentioned this topic in an earlier post about Larry and his daughter. It's fun for them, it's not a "workout" it's a game. Lead by example. Obviously Angie and her husband have been excellent role models for their fit, healthy, energetic young daughter. Great job guys!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Abs are made in the kitchen."

Summer’s here and everyone wants to look good in a swimsuit. The area most people want to flaunt? The “6-pack!” If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me for ab exercises I’d probably have about five to six bucks! Ok, I wouldn’t be rich but you get the point. That’s still over a hundred people! The good news is, we all have a set of 6-pack abs. The not so good news is that some of us have more fat covering them than others. No amount of exercises or machines will magically reveal your abs. The ONLY way to reveal your abs is to lose the layer of fat covering them. How do we do that? Proper food. Yes exercise is important, but if you're not eating right you'll never see that 6-pack!

"Abs are made in the kitchen." Have you heard that quote before? Well, it's true. I think for the most part people totally agree. However, emotionally it does not click. I know this because when I used to go to LA Fitness or even at the stations, I see people doing marathon abdominal work. They do four or five different exercises. They think the more they do, the more defined their abs will become. They try to target the upper, lower, inner and outer, left, right, etc. They do tons of weighted side bends trying to get rid of the love handles. Guess what? It won't work. You cannot spot reduce! What I mean by this is that you can't pick and choose the areas that you would like to lose the fat and do exercises that work those areas expecting the fat to just magically disappear. Your body does not work that way. The only way to decrease the amount of fat in certain key areas is by lowering your total body fat levels. As you lose fat, it will come off all over your body, not just in specific areas.

It's kind of interesting to watch sometimes. They have the right motivation, but they are misdirected. If they expended 1/2 the energy on their diet as they do doing rep after rep of crunches, machines and hanging leg raises, they would already have their 6-pack. In general, your body fat percentage needs to be below 10% for a man and 14% for a woman to begin to see your 6-pack. Combine this with the fact that you cannot out-train a bad diet, and it becomes clear that what you eat is going to be the primary factor in getting your core summer-ready.

The CrossFit way of eating is to follow the Paleo diet. We know this. However, there are specific foods higher in fiber that will help a little more with fat loss. Foods high in fiber normalize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer. Some of the best sources for dietary fiber include:
•Collard greens
•Swiss chard

Another important thing is drinking enough water. Besides the fact that staying hydrated will help you feel full, water actually helps the body metabolize stored fat by keeping our kidney's functioning properly. Drinking water is also the best treatment for fluid retention(as is monitoring sodium intake).

One last tip is to be prepared. Ok, granted, this isn't really a "nutrition" rule, but it's extremely important. We're an on-the-go society which is why fast food chains are so popular to begin with. However, if you're looking for that 6-pack, you're going to have to find alternatives to even the "healthy", sodium laden food choices found in restaurants and fast food chains. With a little planning, this isn't all that difficult. Always keep healthy snacks on hand such as nuts & seeds, fruit, pre-cut veggies & jerky. If you're someone who spends all day Sunday preparing the week's meals, this probably isn't a problem for you. But if you're like me who typically goes day by day, spend one day just preparing snacks for the week. A little prep work goes a long way.

Even though we focused on nutrition, it is still extremely important to strengthen your core. Not for aesthetic reasons either. The core is where all movement originates. Your core muscles are actually the center of your bodies strength. Having a strong core will make you more physically powerful, improve posture, help prevent back injuries and maintain equilibrium and stability for exercising, physical activity and LIFE. Remember, it's not just "ab" exercises either. Strengthening the entire core(abs, lower back, pelvic and hip muscles)is what we need to focus on.

Here's to a strong core and a nice 6-pack(both kinds)! HAPPY SUMMER!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dr. Stephen "The Man" Haessler

Just wanted to give some well deserved props to Dr. H. Steve has impressed all of us on a regular basis, but especially this month. All of us know that Steve competed in the first ever Master's division of the CrossFit Games. It takes a lot of guts to compete as an individual, and even more so when you have know idea what to expect! Not only that, but Steve is "59 and almost 1/2" (his words :)! He was going against some guys that were almost ten years younger than him. You wouldn't have been able to tell though. He blew me away over there. In the first workout what impressed me the most was that Steve never hit a wall, like most of the competitors. He was going all out and kept pace the whole time. He came so close to finishing too! Great work. The second workout out was just amazing. Twenty pound PR on his thruster...need I say more? Day two was tougher. Steve had a fair, but strict judge that made him do, I don't know, a thousand chest to bar pull-ups? What a good show you put on Steve. What I like most about Steve is his great attitude. After each workout he would say "Boy that was fun!" or "What a blast!" I thought he was just oxygen deprived or a bit crazy, but no, that's how Steve is. Let me also mention that he probably wouldn't have been able to accomplish what he did without the support of a lovely young lady named Midori. Right by his side, cheering him on the whole way. She was actually WAY more nervous than Steve was, but I guess all of us were. Steve and Midori have been such a joy to know and train. CrossFit has really become a way of life for the two of them. Did I mention he just passed his Level 1 CrossFit certification (along with Daniel :) last weekend? Thank you guys for coming to CrossFitWorks. It's been a pleasure getting to know you. Steve, one last question. When are you going to start training me?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stretching and YOGA!!!

There's a reason we do dynamic stretching before the workout and static after. The old presumption that static stretching primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It may actually weaken them. Static stretching before a workout can decrease muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. The muscle becomes less responsive and stays weakened for up to 30 minutes after stretching, which is not how an athlete wants to begin a workout. A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow. Warm muscles and dilated blood vessels pull oxygen from the bloodstream more efficiently and use stored muscle fuel more effectively. They also withstand loads better. The correct dynamic warm-up should then do two things: loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and literally warm up the body.
Although static stretching isn't recommended before the workout, it's still very important and has it's place. Static stretching after a workout helps reduce post-workout muscle fatigue, and soreness. It also increases flexibility and is useful in relieving spasms in muscles that are healing after an injury. Incorporating dynamic AND static stretching into your workout will benefit you the most and produce the best results.
Here are the definitions of the four main types of stretching:
Dynamic stretching is a slow, controlled movement of a muscle. Consisting of arm and leg swings it also incorporates movements that mimic a specific sport or exercise in an exaggerated yet controlled manner. They are often performed during the warm-up or in preparation for a sports event.
The static technique involves passively stretching a muscle to the point of mild discomfort by holding it in a maximal stretch for an extended period.
PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) techniques involve a partner actively stretching the participant by some combination of altering contraction and relaxation of both agonist and antagonist muscles. Some of the different PNF techniques used include slow reversal hold, contract relax, and hold relax. PNF stretching usually involves a 10 second push phase followed by a 10 second relaxation phase, typically repeated a few times. PNF stretching is capable of producing greater improvement in flexibility compared to other techniques. Its disadvantage is that it typically requires a partner, although stretching with a partner may have some motivational advantage for some individuals.
The oldest technique is the ballistic stretch which makes use of repetitive bouncing movements. It has been virtually abandoned by almost all experts in the field due to safety concerns.

Since we're on the topic of stretching, I just wanted to give a little reminder about the free YOGA class that Briar teaches. It's every Thursday morning at 7am & it's open to the public, not just members. If I'm not working at the fire station I'm at Briar's class. She does an excellent job and works with all skill levels, especially the inflexible! You'll be amazed how much yoga can improve your workouts. There are many other benefits as well: Increases flexibility, lubricates the joints, ligaments and tendons, massages the organs of the body, detoxifies, tones the muscles, and increases strength & posture just to name a few. Stop by Thurday mornings, you'll thank yourself!
(Info from this post came from- Stretching: The Truth By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Only a few more days...

I was thirteen years old when Terminator 2: Judgement Day came out. I'll never forget one of the opening scenes when Sarah Connor (a.k.a. Linda Hamilton) was cranking out the pull-ups. I remember thinking, "Now that's a bad-ass chick." I wanted to be her, I wanted to crank out those pull-ups. She made me realize that women can really be strong. Well guess what? Now it's you turn. It's your turn to crank out those pull-ups, push-ups, squats and sit-ups. The Women's Get Some Challenge is this Saturday. Are you ready? I know you are. I will be there to encourage, push and cheer you on. I know a lot of you have put in some hard work and it's gonna pay off, it already has. Really look at all the gains you've made. Give yourself a big pat on the back for all you're sweat and determination! I'm so proud of all of you. Best of luck to everyone, give it all you got!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Healing Power of the Mind, Positive Thinking and Visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words. We've heard that saying before. This phrase is certainly true in the case of visualization. Visualization, a form of self-hypnosis, is a tool anyone can used to help foster healing or create things they want. By providing positive pictures (creative imagery) and self-suggestion, visualization can change emotions that subsequently have a physical effect on the body. Through patterns of repetition and its associated rewards and punishment we learn to create our own perception of reality. In essence, we therefore become what we think. Repetitive use of positive visualization allows access to the mind-body connection. This lets the mind and body work together to foster the healing process or create what we want on a physical level. What is the mind-body connection and how does it work? When we have an emotion it generates a feeling that turns into a physical sensation. For example: You are watching a horror movie, you feel frightened and then get a chill up your spine. In this case you were getting a negative suggestion through your sensory perception (sight and sound), that produced an emotion of fear which turned into the physical sensation of chills up your spine. Visualization uses positive images to produce positive emotions that manifest into positive physical sensations in the body. Sounds simple, but does it work? Can what we think actually have an effect on our body? Bodies do react to the thoughts you make. Our psychological/emotional state affects the endocrine system. For example, the emotion of fear is related to adrenaline. If no feeling of fear exists there is no adrenaline and the same applies in reverse- no adrenaline, no fear. They work in relationship to each other. Wherever a thought goes there is a body chemical reaction. The hypothalamus, the emotional center of the brain, transforms emotions into physical response. The receptor of neuropeptides, the hypothalamus also controls the body's appetite, blood sugar levels, body temperature, adrenal and pituitary glands, heart, lung, digestive and circulatory systems. Neuropeptides, the chemical messenger hormones, carry emotions back and forth between the mind and body. They link perception in the brain to the body via organs, hormones and cellular activity. Neuropeptides influence every major section of the immune system, so the body and mind do work together as one unit. The brain is a highly efficient system that is connected to every cell in your body by billions of connections. It is divided into two sides- the left, logical side (words, logic, rational thought) and the right creative side (imagination and intuition). Day to day circumstances usually are met in a logical, left brain mode; however by yielding to the right, creative side of the brain we actually restore balance in the brain. This allows access to the mind-body connection to achieve what you want. The right side of the brain automatically steers you to your goal. It totally accepts what you want to accomplish without giving an opinion and acts upon it without judgement. That is why visualization targets the right, creative side of the brain and not the left, logical side. Positive thought is essential to producing positive results. Negative thoughts and emotions lower the immune system, while positive thought and emotions actually boost the immune system. To maximize success of visualization, the following suggestions are offered:

Define Your Specific Intention- Visualization puts your intention of what you want to work. The more specific the intention, the more specific the results. Remember whatever you believe is what your body will do. So when you are thinking of your intention make sure it is:
*You feel, know and trust it is being accomplished.
Take Responsibility-Trying to do visualization without taking responsibility will prove to be futile experience. To accomplish what you want you must take action and responsibility. Visualization usually takes about 6 weeks to work. It is done once in the morning and before bedtime. Some people do see or feel results the very first time but remember every one's body and mind are different and so is the way they process information so have patience. Responsibility is:
*Be accountable to and for yourself.
*Make a commitment.
*Do visualization regularly.
*Be persistent and patient.
*Keep positive.
Get Mentally Relaxed- A relaxed state allows you direct access to your subconscious mind. Here are some steps to help you relax:
*Find a quiet place.
*Relax in a favorite chair or lie down.
*Get comfortable and loosen clothing .
*Uncross your arms and legs.
*Get centered by focusing on the breath and breathing (this activates the vagus nerve which is the major quieting nerve in the body).
*Totally relax your body and mind.
Visualize- Visualization is a simple process. Once you are relaxed the next step is to actualize your visualization.
*Think of or speak your intention out loud.
*Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the healing process or as you want to be.
*Watch as your body heals you.
*Feel the healing taking place.
*Know the healing is being accomplished.

If you have difficulty you may want to try one or more of these methods:
*Use creative imagery like seeing the cells in your body healing you; your immune system fighting off invaders; your pain being taken away by healing mud; your cells creating the body you want.
*Imagine yourself in a very beautiful place whole, healthy and happy.
*Try reading scripts from a visualization or self-hypnosis book.
*Try making your own tape in your own voice.

Visualization works to help boost your body back to health and create what you want. Don't just work on the body, add the mind to maximize your potential with visualization.
(Info from today's post comes from The Healing Power of the Mind and Visualization by-)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nature's pharmacy & We'll miss you Mike!

Are you taking prescription medication? If so, how many? When your doctor told you you needed medication did you try all possible alternatives before agreeing to take them? Here's my point- I believe that our country is EXTREMELY over-medicated, especially children. Doctors are so willing to prescribe medication for any sort of ailment. Don't get me wrong, I believe in certain types of medication. I just think they should be a last resort after you've exhausted all other resources, specifically, food. While modern medicine is marvelous for some medical problems, it does not address the body's ability to heal itself. God, Buddha, Mother Earth, whoever or whatever you believe in, gave us nature's pharmacy. What chemists are desperately seeking, Mother Nature often already has in stock. Some of the most powerful preventatives for ailments are not located in prescription drugs but in fruits and vegetables and common herbs found in your kitchen or local health food store. Plants have been our healers for centuries, and are still the best way to get to the "root" of the problem. Unlike conventional drugs which often mask the problem; nature is more thorough. All I'm saying is next time you go to fill that prescription, check in with yourself. Have you thoroughly researched your "problem?" Have you tried all or any of the natural alternatives? Have you done everything you can holistically to heal yourself? Believe me, your body will thank you.
To change the subject, I wanted to talk a little bit about Mike Heinz. For those of you who haven't heard, Mike is going to be leaving us for a while. He has decided to further his career with the Fire Department by attending Captain Certification classes and then testing for Captain. This is a long, rigorous process that will require all of his extra attention. I am sad to be losing Mike from CrossFitWorks but at the same time grateful that he was here. Mike is so knowledgeable and has been a great partner with me for the 9am class. Mike excels at CrossFit while being one of the most humble guys I know. Please join us this Wednesday March 24th, at the 9am class to say good-bye to Mike. If you haven't met Mateo yet, he will be taking Mike's place and will be there as well. He's got some big shoes to fill but I know he will do great! Best of luck Mike, we'll miss you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Congrats Theresa!!!

Theresa Lambert got her first kipping pull-up today! But let me clarify, not only did she get one, she busted out three. And not only did she get one set of three, but several! Way to go Theresa! I didn't have a good picture of her, but I just happen to find one that looks similar to what I saw this afternoon...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Practice makes perfect...

Our thought for the day comes from Matt Furey, author of such books as "Combat Conditioning" and "Combat Abs." In my opinion he is the king of body weight exercises. I have learned a lot from him over the years. Today I'm posting a little story Matt tells about practicing...
Last weekend my son struck out the side in a Little League baseball game. On Sunday a friend came over to work out with me. He asked how the game went and I gave him the scoop about how my youngin' whiffed three batters in a row. He then turns to my son and says, "You're a natural." I immediately recoiled and said, "He's a natural at knowing he better practice if he's going to be good." There are two extremes when it comes to coaching kids - or adults, for that matter. One is to criticize severely and never offer anything positive. The other is to flatter and praise too early and too often, which can and often does cause the person being stroked to lose interest. After all, if you're being coddled before victory, what's the point in striving to succeed? I prefer the middle path. It's called teaching those you love and those you coach to practice, practice, practice. Regardless of who praises you and for what-you practice. Regardless of who criticizes you and for what- you practice. I believe in praising others for that which deserves praise and can be duplicated. Telling someone he's a natural is not one of those situations. It's feedback that does nothing to move you along the path. It makes you stop and think, "Am I really?" instead of thinking, "What can I DO to get even better?" Earlier in my life I was told I was a natural writer. Later on I was told I was a natural speaker. Neither statement led to anything positive. Neither statement helped me grow in either field. Neither helped me succeed in the slightest. "You're a natural," someone says. "So what?" I reply. Show me how you practice- and later still, how you play- and even more so, how you react to victory- as well as defeat- then we'll see how 'natural' you are. When you are at your best, when you're most natural at what you do- that's the day when you know you've put in your time and paid your dues via the power of repetition. That's the moment in time when you know what it really feels like to be UNBEATABLE.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Member Spotlight: KAREN BAILEY

This month marks the one year anniversary for Karen here at CrossFitWorks. I thought it would be fitting to highlight her, and let everyone know a little more about Karen Bailey.
One day last February, after picking up her dogs from the groomers, she noticed the CrossFit Gym sign out front. She knew of CrossFit, and had checked out the website before, so she peeked inside. The first person Karen saw was Mike Heinz who she recognized from their work as medics. They talked a little bit, she picked up a flyer and the rest is history! When Karen came to us she'd already lost 10 lbs but wanted to lose 15 more. She knew she wanted to get in better shape, and had been pretty successful doing so with her own workouts and following the "3 apple a day diet." However, Karen knew she needed something more, and CrossFit was the answer. After fine tuning her eating, where she now is 85-90% paleo and an eyeballing zoner, Karen has lost those last 15 pounds and is ready to put on a little more muscle. Karen is part of the 9am class and has been a blast to train. She always gives it her all, even if she just came from an overnight shift! Introduce yourself to Karen next time you see her, you'll be glad to know her.

Here are some more interesting facts about Karen...

Age: 43, will be 44 in April, what?!?!

Occupation: Flight medic with Arizona Lifeline for 5 years. Medic for 10 years. Staying lean is crucial in her line of work. Weight is a very important issue when you are flying in a helicopter!

Favorite lift: Shoulder press

Least favorite lift: Deadlift (I should clarify, she likes all the lifts, this one's just the most challenging)

Favorite WOD: Christine- 13:24, she holds the top spot on the record board!

Least Favorite WOD: Karen- 8:41, how ironic.

Goals: Start adding on more muscle, and like everybody-getting stronger!

Hobbies/Interests: Competing, loves to work out. Playing and watching sports, walking the dogs, traveling and hanging with friends. "Before CrossFit I didn't have the energy to do all the stuff I love, and now I do! I'm also sleeping better when I'm eating right and working out." -Karen Bailey

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Choppin' Broccoli

Aspects Of The Mediterranean Diet

Today I decided to highlight my favorite vegetable- BROCCOLI! I haven't mentioned food at all because Jen is a genius in that subject, and does an AMAZING job at it in her blog- http://www.huntitgatheritworkit.blogspot.com/. Today however, I'm going to delve into the subject and talk a little bit about broccoli. Broccoli is the superhero of the vegetable kingdom. Looking for a vitamin C fix? Make a beeline for the broccoli. Are your potassium stores low? Partner up with broccoli. Is fiber on your shopping list? Bring home the broccoli. Need an iron boost? Look no further than broccoli. This hearty, tasty vegetable is rich in dozens of nutrients. In fact, it packs the most nutritional punch of any vegetable. Broccoli's noteworthy nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber. Because of its impressive nutritional profile that includes phytochemicals, (specifically indoles and aromatic isothiocynates) broccoli may be responsible for boosting certain enzymes that help to detoxify the body. These enzymes help to prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Remember to always eat the WHOLE broccoli, the leaves and the stalk have just as much nutrients in them as the florets. Actually, most of the fiber in broccoli is found in the stalk! In closing, I thought Dana Carvey could tell you about one way to prepare this tasty veggie. Happy eating!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Being a great trainer

During this "Women's Get Some Challenge" it reminds me to be the best trainer I can for you guys. Please use me for anything. If you have any questions, want training/nutrition advice or just want to talk about your progress. This goes for anyone, anytime, challenge or no challenge. We are here for you. As you can see in this clip, trainers really care. If only I could be as good as Craig one day. At least I have something to strive for!...(The Spanish subtitles for our non-English speaking folks :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Geocaching...have you done it?

Staying on the theme of family fun, let's talk Geocaching! Heard of it? Here's an explanation from the website: "Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment." What you do is go on the website, http://www.geocaching.com/ , put in a zip code and see where the hidden caches are in that area. They are in almost every city all over the world. There are hundreds in Tucson. In order to find the caches, you need a GPS to get the coordinates or your laptop to look at the map. Once you get close, you just start looking around. Sometimes there are clues online or pictures to help you find them. There are different difficulty levels and sizes. They range in size from an ammo container, to the size of a pencil eraser. Some have trinkets in them to trade, if you take something you have to leave something. Once you've found it, you record your name (can be initials or a code word) and date on the log. Remember to bring a pen cause some are too small to hold anything but the log. This a fun and addicting activity the whole family can enjoy. Depending on the area you go, it can be quite a workout as well. Many are hidden in the mountains or along hiking trails. There's actually caches placed along the whole route of the Tour de Tucson! Pictured here is my boyfriend Brian and his two kids looking for a cache. This one was in a wash fairly close to our house so it was a nice walk/bike ride before dinner! The cache was pretty hard to find though. The person who hid it glued dirt to the top of the container and covered it with sand at the base of the tree. Took us about 25-30 minutes to find. Hope you check out this fun activity, we love it! Happy Geocaching!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Family fun!

Your kids are so impressionable. They really just want to be like you. At least until they're about 10-12! :) I had so much fun watching Larry and his daughter Darian the other day at the 9AM. She had perfect form in the exercises, just by watching her Daddy. Darian was doing the front squat, overhead lunge and burpee! Of course the camera was too slow to get her at just the right time but I think you get the idea. The overhead lunge was the best. She walked over, got the appropriate sized weight and just started lunging! It was awesome. Make CrossFit a family affair, you're kids will love it! I also wanted to congratulate everyone who competed in the Open on Saturday (Sarah, Larry & Ellie from the 9AM). I am so proud of all of you. It was so much fun. Hope all are inspired to compete next time! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010


Here you have the fearless women of the 9AM class gearing up for the Women's Get Some Challenge! What a great picture! However, this isn't all of them. I know Kathy is signing up and there might be a few more. Very proud of the 9AMers! They were really kicking some bootay at toes to bar in today's workout. I hope all the CrossFitWorks women consider signing up for the challenge. It'll be a lot of fun and great motivation to improve your strength. Let's do it women....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A visitor at my "other" job

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving Ellie, Pancho & a couple kiddos a tour of our new fire station. It was so nice of them to come visit and check out my "second" home. The kids had a great time! It's always fun having friends over to the station. Ellie, thanks again for the salad and cookies. The guys devoured the cookies before I came back upstairs! They were very happy :)

It's really nice that firefighting and CrossFit go hand in hand. Obviously it's very important for firefighters to stay in shape. However, it's one thing to run and lift weights, and a totally different thing to do CrossFit. CrossFit has gotten me in much better shape for the job. The workouts are more functional, fun and a lot shorter! :) The thing that's most important to me though, is that CrossFit has gotten me in better shape for LIVING. I've seen improvements in all aspects of my life. I'm very fortunate to be a firefighter and I'm even more fortunate to be a firefighter who does CrossFit!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you need motivation...

You know those days when you're in a funk or you just don't "feel" like working out? We all get those days. If that happens to me and I need motivation, I like to watch this video-It's one of my favorite stories. It's a little long but well worth it. So next time you don't want to run that last 400, think of Dick and Rick Hoyt and I guarantee you'll get through it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First 9AM class of 2010!

Happy New Year! Just wanted to give a big shout out to the first 9am class of the year. This is the first week of the closed class system and we had a great turnout- 13 people! Mike and I will be teaching the 9am & sometime in the near future there could be a couple other firefighters joining us. I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone a lot better. This means you as a person & your strengths & weaknesses. We are going to have a ball! Representing the 9am is Mike, Matt, Keith, Bob, Karen, Kathy, Sarah, Me, Andrea, Elizabeth, Carolyn, Ellie, Julie, Maureen & Sonia.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Hello & thanks for checking out my blog! My name is Jenny LaCoss & I'm going to give you a brief glimpse at who I am & how I've gotten to this point in my life. I grew up involved in sports: volleyball, soccer, cross-country and mostly softball. Freshman year in high school I signed up for a weightlifting class. The teacher was the varsity football coach so most of what we did was bench, dead lift and squat. It definitely gave me a good foundation. Between the class and reading Muscle & Fitness magazine, I learned how to lift weights. About that same time a firefighter from the Tucson Fire Department came to our school to talk about the Cadet program. At this point in my life I had yet to choose a career path. I considered medicine, but also really enjoyed athletics. However, this Cadet program sounded really interesting to me. The summer of my freshman year I went through the TFD Cadet program & I was hooked! I knew I wanted to become a firefighter. I spent the rest of my high school years playing softball, working out & summers in the Cadet program. I ended up getting on the Fire Department when I was 19. I spent the next eight or so years staying in shape for the job with weights & cardio. I did the typical Monday- chest & tris, Tuesday- back & bis, Wednesday- legs etc...etc. Then would do 30-60min of cardio. During this time I also competed in power lifting and bodybuilding competitions. After over ten years of this my body was feeling it. I started spending less time in the “gym” and began doing more body weight exercises. In 2004 the Fire Dept. wanted to certify about 20 firefighters as personal trainers to help other firefighters stay in the best shape they can. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of these Peer Fitness Trainers or "PFT's". Another responsibility of a PFT was to organize & run P.T. for recruits & firefighters that were off shift in different certification classes. I really enjoyed being a trainer & organizing group workouts so I decided to also start training people on the side. In Sept of 08 the Fire Department decided to send two PFT's to the Level 1 CrossFit certification in Mesa. I was really excited because I had been doing CrossFit on my own for about six months. Mike Heinz & I were chosen to attend. We didn't realize at the time how lucky we were to be at this particular cert. There were probably 60-70 people in the class & they break you up into groups of about 8-10 to learn the exercises. Unless someone goes out of their way to talk to every person, more than likely you'll only get to know a few people. In my group was a lady by the name of Jennifer Higgins. At one point during the classroom portion she mentioned that she was opening an affiliate in Tucson. That was exciting because at this point there weren't any affiliates in Tucson. It wasn't till class was over on the second day did I first speak to Jen. I ran into her in the bathroom and asked her about her affiliate. We talked for a few minutes, exchanged numbers & parted ways. About a month later I got a call from Jen saying she was looking for trainers and the rest is history! I've been at CrossFitWorks over a year now & I couldn't be happier. It was meant to be that Mike and I were in that cert with Jen. CrossFitWorks is an amazing place to work & workout! Jen & Carl have created an affiliate that has the most positive, supportive & uplifting energy. I've never worked with better trainers or clients. I'm very fortunate to be where I am right now in my life & I look forward to sharing more of it with you!