Bring them with

by carney on June 5, 2014

Sara rips another single arm dumbbell snatch from the ground to overhead.

We get asked all the time, “what equipment should I get for my home gym?” The minimum equipment every home should have on hand is a quality barbell set (bar, bumpers, change plates, collars, and stand), a pull-up bar, and rings. This entire set-up can be acquired for less than $1,000. And with this equipment alone, you can build and impressive amount of strength and high level of conditioning.

Here is just a sampling of the exercises available to you with the equipment above:

  • pull-ups, toes-to-bar, and hanging L-sits
  • ring push-ups, dips, and muscle-ups
  • deadlifts, squats, and presses
  • snatches, clean & jerks, and Turkish get-ups

And of course:

  • running, jumping, and burpees
  • push-ups, handstands, and planks

With these exercises and their variations, you have infinite workout possibilities. And with the spread of CrossFit around the globe, it is easier than ever to find quality equipment. In fact, just the other day I was in our local Play it Again Sports and they had a full bumper set (25, 35, 45, and 55 lb), and a pretty decent barbell for sale.

The only other must-haves for your home gym are motivation and effort. However, those two things you can not purchase, you have to bring them with you.

Workout of the Day

Complete as many rounds as possible in 3 minutes. Recover 1 minute. Repeat for 5 total intervals.
4 power snatches, 45 kg
8 push-ups
12 squats

Score each interval separately. Begin each new interval with snatches.


Getting up.

by carney on June 4, 2014

Jenny and Steph doing Turkish get-ups as part of their WOD.

Lie on the ground. Now stand up. Lie back down. Stand up. All the while holding a weight in your hand with your arm extended towards the ceiling. The Turkish get-up, for reps or max load, is physically and mentally challenging. It is a lot of work. Part of our lizard brain does not want to lie on the ground and then stand back up. “That’s too hard!” it tries to convince us. But not as hard as life would be if you lost the ability to do it. Just ask anyone who is unable to get up once grounded.

Workout of the Day

Three rounds for time:
Run 400 m
3 rope ascents, 10 ft, legless and start from knees
12 push presses, 50 kg


Summer teen program

by carney on June 3, 2014

Middle ground of the Memorial Day “Murph” Challenge.

CrossFit Missoula (CFM) Teens Summer Programs. CFM Teens is geared and designed for teenagers, who are ages 12 to 15, and their specific developmental needs – neurological, cognitive, and motor. Your teen will learn the fundamentals of weightlifting and body weight training, appropriate for their age and ability, and under direct supervision of a certified CrossFit Kids trainer.

We have two, five week, sessions happening this summer. Each session is $95 ($75 for a sibling). For more information or to register your child, call us at 317-1988.

Session One:
June 16 – July 18
Mon, Wed, Fri
10:00-11:00 AM

Session Two:
July 21 – August 20
Mon, Wed, Fri
10:00-11:00 AM

Workout of the Day

For max load:
Two hand anyhow, 1-1-1-1-1 reps, left and right


Creating variance

by carney on June 2, 2014

Middle ground on the Memorial Day “Murph” Challenge.

One of the three prescriptions of CrossFit is variance (can you name the other two?). Along with the obvious variations in workout parameters (e.g. duration, volume, load), what about other less obvious possibilities. Have you ever trained in a fasted or dehydrated state? Do you always train indoors, or do you take your workouts outdoors? Have you ever trained in your street clothes?

Begin looking at your training with an objective eye. Identify your routines, and seek ways to break those habits with something new and different.

Workout of the Day

“The Bear”
7-7-7-7-7 reps for max load of:
Power clean
Front squat
Push press
Back squat
Push press

Using a barbell, choose your starting weight and complete one rep of each movement in the order listed. Do this seven times without letting go of the bar. Touch and go at the floor only. Increase the weight on the barbell, and complete one rep of each movement in the order listed, seven times. Rest as needed between sets. Attempt to increase the weight through all five sets.


Memorial Day schedule

by carney on May 23, 2014

05:30 rise and grind!

Memorial Day Schedule: All regular Monday, May 26, classes have been cancelled in honor of Memorial Day. However, that doesn’t mean we are going to rest.

CrossFit Missoula will be busy hosting the annual “Murph” Challenge to raise money for the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

We will also be getting in one last celebration with our good friend Second Lieutenant Tysen Moy as he prepares to leave Missoula, Tuesday, May 27, to pursue his career as an officer in the United States Army.

The Memorial Day schedule will be as follows:

09:00 Opening ceremony with Daniel and Tysen
09:20 Open floor – guests are invited to speak
09:30 Heat assignments
09:40 Group warm-up
10:00-12:00 The “Murph”
12:00- Food, drink, and games with friends and family

Workout of the Day

Three rounds for time:
Run 400 m
8 stone cleans, 142 lb
15 burpees


Going overhead

by carney on May 22, 2014

Team 5 in the mix

How much weight can you overhead squat, as a percentage of your high bar back squat? If it is not in the 80% range, congratulations you just discovered a weakness.

Exercises that will help correct your deficiency:
Overhead squat
Snatch push-press
Snatch balance
Sots press
Handstands and handstand walking

Workout of the Day

For max load:
Overhead squat, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps


Powerful practice

by carney on May 21, 2014

Rob catches his clean in a squat.

Once you have your “why,” now what? Assuming you already know “what” (e.g. add ten pounds to your deadlift, run a Spartan Race, compete at the CrossFit Games), you need to establish some supportive practices.

We all have habits. Some habits move us towards our chosen goals, while others can slow, derail, or even pull us away from what we ultimately want.

A habit is any behavioral pattern or routine. Examples include the time you wake up and go to bed; when and what you eat; with who you spend time; and on what you spend your time.

Begin by developing the practice of looking at how you manage your life, as well as the reasons underlying your routines. Many, if not most, of the habits we have are formed subconsciously, and as a reaction to the events of our life.

Gain control of your habits and you harness the power to direct the course of your life!

For further study: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Workout of the Day

“Fight Gone Bad”
Three rounds for reps:
Wall ball, 20 lb, 10 ft, 1 min
Sumo-deadlift high pull, 35 kg, 1 min
Box jump, 20 in, 1 min
Push press, 35 kg, 1 min
Row (calories), 1 min
Recover, 1 min


What’s your “why”?

by carney on May 20, 2014

Chad chalks up while Jacob snatches.

What’s your “why”?

Why do you train four to six days a week, hard? Why do you eat in a way that supports your health and performance? Why do you go to bed on time, and wake up when it is time to get up and get after it! Without your “why,” you are like a ship lost at sea.

Everyone wants to look their best, feel energized, and perform optimally, so why do so many fail to stick with their training and eating plan? Why do people eat those white flour and sugar muffins in the office break room, even though they know they are going to pull them away from their goals?

Why do people go home, instead of to the gym when they get off work, even though they know they will not only sleep better, but will feel better the next day. Why do people choose to sleep that extra hour, when they know that training will improve the productivity and quality of their day more than that extra hour of sleep?

Why do people attempt to convince themselves that planning meals, and weighing and measuring their food with scales and spoons is “too hard”? Really? How hard weighing and measuring food compared to applying for colleges and jobs, mortgaging homes, raising kids, and building your investment portfolio? Exactly! It is not hard, you only do not have a “why”?

Why put forth the effort to schedule when and what you are going to eat? Why weigh and measure? Why wake up an hour early to hit the gym, even when the WOD calls for 150 burpees and you have a long day ahead of you? Why pass up those sugary muffins, that free bread basket, that dessert tray, that second, third, fourth alcoholic drink?

What’s your “why”? Answer that and the only question left is “why didn’t I do that sooner?”

Workout of the Day

For max load:
Single arm barbell snatch, 1-1-1 reps (both right and left)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
4 single arm snatch + Turkish get-up, 30 kg barbell or 65 lb dumbbell
12 toes to bar

For the snatch to get-up, snatch the barbell or dumbbell overhead and then complete one Turkish get-up from the standing position, to lying, then return to standing. That’s one rep. Return the weight to the floor and switch to the other arm for the second rep.


The “Murph” Challenge cometh

by carney on May 19, 2014

Tim does commando pull-ups as Dave snatches a barbell overhead.

Members – only one week until The Murph Challenge, Tysen Moy send off, and Memorial Day Celebration to be held at CrossFit Missoula. Get your name on the appropriate sign-up sheets so we can get an accurate head count.

Regular classes are cancelled, and the schedule for the day will be:

09:00  “Murph” heat assignments
09:30  Group warm-up
10:00  Start first heat. Heats will run every 20 min.
12:00  Memorial Day celebration begins – food, drink, and games – friends and family!

Workout of the Day

For max reps:
Tabata pull-ups
Recover 1 minute
Tabata push-ups
Recover 1 minute
Tabata squats


Student Spotlight – Alaina Abbott

by carney on May 16, 2014

Alaina back squatting 80 kg (176 lb)

Alaina Abbott is originally from Billings, Montana. Alaina was involved in sports throughout her life. She grew up playing softball, from T-ball through high school varsity. Every summer she competed in track at the Big Sky State Games, until she went to middle school. She even trained Tae Kwon Do with her Dad and brother until high school, finishing as a brown belt. Alaina’s first exposure to weight lifting happened in a high school conditioning class.

Alaina first heard about CrossFit from a friend who was training at another CrossFit affiliate. When Alaina met Chad (long time CrossFit Missoula member) he invited her to Guest Days. She had attended several Guest Days before finally taking the leap and giving it a go in April 2013.

Alaina doesn’t remember specifically what her first workout as a member was, but she does recall it having a lot of pull-ups and leaving her arms pretty sore for a few days. She refers to it as her “breaking in” experience.

Alaina’s favorite workout is heavy back squats, specifically our 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 rep scheme, or anything with box jumps and pistols.

Her least favorite workout is anything with muscle-ups because it means scaling with a lot of pull-ups and dips.

** However, since writing this article, Alaina achieved her first muscle-up! So she won’t have to scale muscle-ups in workouts for much longer, if ever!

Since day one, Alaina has been gaining mad strength. According to her, some of her shirts do not fit anymore, “. . . in a good way. My arms are too big!”, she laughs. “The improvement in my strength has made my daily activities easier, like carrying around a backpack full of college textbooks.”

Another benefit Alaina experienced is the realization that everyone excels in some areas and struggles in others. In the gym this shows up as one person being able to lift heavier weights, but might be a slower runner, whereas another might be fast on their feet, but still working on building their absolute strength. The WOD (workout of the day) scores reflect this clearly. Alaina started recognizing this in her life outside the gym, and realized that like in the gym, the competition in the world is most often against one’s self, and that the work is only to become better, every day.

One of Alaina’s favorite moments was when we placed our large, adjustable box jump in the middle of the gym for a couple of weeks. Every few days we would raise the height an inch or so. Along with testing individual abilities, we wanted to see who could jump the highest. Alaina set a personal record with thirty-nine inches!

Our workouts are crafted to be the hardest workouts you will ever do. As a result, many members will continue to feel soreness even after years of continuous training with us. This doesn’t bother Alaina, who trains three to five times a week. In fact, she says “I love having sore muscles every day. I can feel myself getting stronger!”

Alaina believes that anyone can achieve better health through CrossFit, regardless of current condition, and urges people to allow for the initial break in period of muscle soreness before deciding whether CrossFit is for them or not. “The soreness is the worst when you start, but once you’re broken in, it’s a ton of fun, even on the toughest days!”, she says.

Alaina is one of our hardest workers. She shows up and puts in a hundred percent, and her results stand testament to her efforts. But what makes the hardest workout of your life also fun? “It’s the community.” She says. “Whether I go to the morning or evening classes, I am always happy to work out with the people there!”

Workout of the Day

“Quarter Gone Bad”
Five rounds for time:
Barbell thrusters, 60 kg, 15 sec
Rest 45 sec
Weighted pull-ups, 50 lb, 15 sec
Rest 45 sec
Burpees, 15 sec
Rest 45 sec