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Sunday, July 21, 2013

22JUL13 - Week of Programming

You Will Overhead Squat..and You Will Like It

This cycle our lower body movement will be the overhead squat and upper body movement will be the split jerk. These are most advanced movements in the macro cycle (close to year's worth of programming). Go ahead and take 2 minutes to get your bitching over with about the overhead squat..we know it's not your favorite and we know you don't like it...and we know you have (insert any excuse here) why you "can't" do them. We don't're gonna do them anyways.

The good news is that you'll have 6 weeks to practice them and get better on them. It's important that you get in on Monday/Wednesday to get your training maxes established. Of course you can skip every Monday if you want. Then again you're the one who has to live with yourself ...just saying.

The biggest problems you don't like the overhead squat is your lack of mobility (especially in the thoracic/hip areas). We'll be teaching you all mobility drills to get these areas prepped for lifting. So stay with it and spend the necessary time getting prepped and warmed up. This cycle you'll have the opportunity to see HUGE increase in your PR with this movement if you stick to it.

And now for this week's of programming:

Find training max for OH squat

Finisher: 12 min amrap
6 oh squats ( 75/115)
12 push ups
15 box jumps

5 strict pull ups / muscle ups
3  heavy thrusters
20 min cap to achieve maximum weight and rounds

Finisher: Do heats if necessary. 10 min cap

21 15 9
Deadlifts (155/225)
Oly option: 5x2 full squat snatch


Find training max: split jerk

Finisher: 30/30/30 x4
Mountain climbers on rings/rock hold
Goblet squat/ wall sit
Push press/ oh hold or handstand hold
Flutter kicks/ flutter kick holds

Oly. Option 5x2 full squat clean plus 1 jerk

Parter up: 7 rounds of
3 reps bench
3 deadlift
3 kb front squat
* increase weight each round

Finisher: relays of
8 x100 m lane of pain sprints

Gate sprint
100 DU
100 sit ups
80 DU
80 push ups
60 DU
60 step ups
40 t2b or k2e
Gate sprint

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweat is the Glue that Bonds Best

This photo is what we're all about...bonds forged through sustained effort and intensity. Each drop of sweat is like another link in the chain. This is what I loved about the Army, the friendships and bonded formed under the most stressful of situations.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

CrossFit offers a similar format.  Communal suffering is an incredible relationship builder. If played organized sports you can relate, and that's the best way to describe it..a team atmosphere, all year long. You grow and suffer day in and day out together.

In addition to the team building atmosphere we offer, it's an amazing stress reliever. It might just be the only period of the day where you shut off your phone, disconnect from the "world", and focus on yourself. It has a very focused meditative effect where it's just you and the task at hand.

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure to meet and learn from Dr. Theresa Larson DPT.  "Doc" is awesome and incredibly helpful. In a quick weekend, she taught me a crap ton about mobility, helped me with my low back, and made time for my endless questions.
The Doc

Here's a quick list of why Doc is so awesome:
1) She's a former Marine
2) She's close to 8 ft tall..not really but she's pretty tall.
3) A former pro softball player
4) Worked and studied under Kelly Starrett of mobilitywod 
5) Loves to help veterans through Team RWB

She recently published an article detailing the psychological benefits of CrossFit and it speaks a lot to the incredible stress relieving benefits that is can offer. Be sure to check her website out and on Facebook. She's an amazing resource.

Speaking of amazing..check out Sass's 200lb clean!

Videos are awesome and that's why our latest obsession is Instagram's ability to offer video clips. We will try to post short lil clips everyday of what is going down in the gym. So be sure to follow pskc_crossfit on Instagram to check in on the action. You'll be sure to get great actions pictures and videos like this:

Great work this week, the end of another strength cycle and the numbers show you guys put in the effort.

We'll finish it out strong on Friday and of course an epic Pain Clinic on Saturday. See you guys at the gym!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Developing an Unbeatable Mind

Coach Ash with CMDR Mark Divine of SealFit

For over the last year and a half I've completed and participated in an online program called "Unbeatable Mind Academy". This program has been developed and led by Mark Divine, the founder of SealFit, a former US Navy SEAL who has gained a lot of success within the CrossFit and Special Operations community for his approach to developing mental toughness and cultivating the warrior spirit.

CrossFit has the ability to give and teach you many things about yourself. There is no better program for developing your personal physical fitness. Clean and jerks, muscle ups, deadlifting, double unders, box jumps...doing physical things you once thought were impossible. That's just the physical realm...the real break throughs occur mentally. That's also where all your personal failures occur as well....the mind.

It's impressive to watch someone string together multiple muscle ups, lifting massive amounts of weights, but to me the most impressive thing to watch is to witness someone make the decision they are going to do something. To watch them fail, fail, and fail again...becoming a victim of self doubt....of fear. Then something clicks...something made the connection mentally to commit..then it happens...victory. Imagine if we could harness that belief daily? That's where UMA comes into play. It teaches you the fundamentals of developing mental fitness and toughness.

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
-Sun Tzu

There are many tenets I've been fortunate enough to experience through this program. The military was my best teacher and I was blessed to have been taught by truly the "best of the best". As a young officer I was fortunate enough to have landed an assignment with the best and brightest minds the Army has to offer. Men forged with a physical tenacity only matched by their intelligence. Many of the lessons I was too young to fully appreciate and absorb. But through the UMA, CMDR Divine has been able to bring those lessons to the general populace.

The biggest lessons I try to utilize in my daily practice are
Developing breath control
Interdicting negative thought patterns (Fear Wolf/Courage Wolf)
Developing powerful positive visualizations
Focused Mediation

Here's a clip of those mental toughness practices in action during a 45 minute plank hold.

Here's another clip of CMDR Divine explaning the Unbeatable Mind Program:

If you'd like to learn more about the program, click HERE. If you don't want to enroll in the program, I highly encourage you to spend some time and get signed up for their free program.

Now here's what is in store for you this week. You'll have plenty of opportunities to harness mental toughness this week as we've picked some team WODs and some other tough ones where you'll have plenty of opportunities to really focus on being present and decide if you'll feed negative or positive energy to your mind and body. We will also be testing out your new maxes for the power clean and bench press. You've worked hard over the last 6 weeks, now it's time to let it show.

10 minutes to establish 1RM Power Clean
Teams of 4 (only one rowing/airdyning at a time)
300 cal AirDyne Race
*non-working teammates must hold barbell (135/95) overhead. Up to team to strategize. (15 minute cap)
rest 3 minutes
3000m Row Race
*non-working teammates must hold 4 x (53/35) KBs in Rack position. Up to team to strategize. (15 minute cap)

10 minutes to Establish 1RM Thruster:
10 min to establish 1RM Squat Clean

5 rounds
5 Deadlifts(275/155#)
10 lateral bar burpees

Max Bench:
“Minute to Win It”
60 seconds max calories on AirDyne
Rest 1:30
60 seconds max burpee pullups
Rest 1:30
60 seconds max Goblet Squats (70/53)
Rest 1:30
60 seconds max Double Unders
Rest 1:30
60 seconds max burpee box jumps

With a continuously running clock perform 1 strict pullup on mintue 1, 2 pullups on minute 2, etc until you cannot perform the pullups in the allotted minute (10 minute cap)
rest 2 minutes...
Then perform the same for STRICT HSPU
10 minutes to work up to a heavy hang squat Snatch (during pull up portion), then follow same rep scheme on the minute as class strict HSPU section with 75% of the highest successful hang snatch (1 on minute 1, 2 on minute 2 etc.)

Teams of 3 – “Frianabeth” from the Validus Games
Fran – 21-15-9 Thrusters (95/65) & Pullups
Diane – 21-15-9 Deadlifts (225/155) & HSPU
Elizabeth -  21-15-9 Power Cleans (135/95) & Ring Dips
(15 minute cap)
Only one athlete working at a time, must switch out every 30 seconds until all workouts are completed.

Stoplight Run with 20lb med ball
20 kb swings (53/35)
7 kb thruster each arm
5 rounds

Friday, July 5, 2013


on the corner of Court & 3rd St. 

She’s officially ours! Over 6000sq ft of CrossFit awesomeness. Our members deserve the best we can give them and the new building will do just exactly that. We’ve come a long way in under 3 years. You all have invested so much into us, it’s time we return the favor. We’re here for the long haul. Gone are the days of wondering if we’d have enough people to cover the rent.

We’ve been blessed with growth and we are stepping on top of one another at the current gym.
We’re moving down the road to the historic Boneyfiddle district and we’re gonna reinvest in downtown Portsmouth. Just has CrossFit has given so much renewed energy to each of us, our goal is to spread that same infectious energy into downtown Portsmouth.
the crew enjoying a great 4th of July WOD
Our goal is to have a world class CrossFit facility right here in Portsmouth, Ohio. We are beyond excited at the endless possibilities the new building will offer. Here’s what we’re planning on having:

  • 40 feet of rig and racks
  • Olympic Lifting area
  • Beginners area
  • More Airdynes! (just kidding..well maybe not)
  • WIDE OPEN SPACE , plenty of height for rope climbs and plenty of width for rope climbs.
  • Competition Program
  • CrossFit Kids
  • More classes..

As far as perks go:
There will be showers, kitchen area, kids, area, lounge, wifi, and other great stuff.

Speaking of perks, we are now an official retailer/distributor for Reebok CrossFit gear! We’ve worked a special deal to get PSKC members a discount on anything Reebok CrossFit offers. Here’s what we gotta do. In order to get this going the gym needs to make a pretty big first order. At the gym, we have a couple catalogs floating around so you can see what you want. The biggest thing people are wanting are the Nanos, including the brand new Nano 3.0. Take a look at whatever want and remember you’ll receive your member's discount off the MSRP, PLUS you don’t have to pay shipping/handling!

You will need to write down your order and pay BEFORE the order can be made. Once we hit the designated amount, the gym will make the big order and your gear can be on the way. We’re setting the deadline to have your order in by Monday, July 8th. After we make the initial order then you can order whatever you want/whenever you want. If you have any questions, email

Exciting things are coming! There will be a lot of hard work that needs to be done, but the good thing is that we’re not scared of hard work. We will be leaning on you guys heavily during the next couple months as we’ll be getting things together, so thank you in advance. From day one, we've said this is your gym and because of each and every one of you guys..your gym is gonna be awesome.

Don't forget this Saturday is bring a friend Saturday! Bring a buddy for a free workout, just show up at 845am to sign the waivers and get ready for a great one!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Get to Know a Member: Ninjy aka Kendra

In the second installment of "get to know a member" we feature Kendra aka Ninjy. Kendra is an amazing example of true female strength. Not just the strength measured in pounds lifted, but strength of personality, of kindness, character, and determination. 

She wasn't born that way though, an athlete through high school and college, she struggled to find her place when sports was over. Clearly she needed to get skinny, after all that's what all the magazines and TV tell our young women today. 

The first day Kendra walked into PSKC she struggled with the 18lb kettlebells. She was so programmed to dancing while "working out" it was almost as if she needed to be on beat to do swings and presses. That quickly ended and she realized there's no "rhythm" to 330lb deadlifts and 250lb front squats. 

She's had an amazing journey from fancy outfits and choreographed routines to 1st place finishes and 250lb front squats. 

A longtime friend of mine recently approached me and told me "man, Kendra is amazing..she's the reason and inspiration I started CrossFit". So I figured there would be more people out there who would benefit from hearing a little more about "Ninjy".

Beauty does not lie in the weight on the scale, beauty lies in the weight you're capable of lifting and moving. Being is strong and capable is beautiful. This is the lesson our daughters need to start hearing. If I ever have a daughter, I'd be proud of two things:
1) I'd want her to be taught by "Ms. Massie"
2) I'd want to lift and CrossFit like "Ninjy".

Here's a little more about Kendra in her own words, I hope it's something our girls can learn from.

"Coming from an athletic background of being a three sport athlete in high school and a college athlete, I was always pretty active. Yet, I was never the smallest and never have been the one with the most confidence. In high school and college, I was made fun of every once and while for the way I looked. I either was overweight or even “manly.” Yes, I said it, “manly.” This was always a confidence issue as well as worrying about it constantly.  After one year of college, I caught myself drowning away sorrows quite frequently due to many personal issues I was going through and dieting (what was that?). This went on for a few years until I woke up one day hating myself. I hated the way I looked and the person I had become. Here I was, graduating college with a degree in education and I was a complete DISASTER. My life was a mess and I needed to fix it.  I decided to pick up running and take part in different fitness classes. I ended up losing close to thirty pounds and still looked like a disaster. Exercising was a part of my life for a couple years, but it was beginning to become a chore because the constant thought and torture of having to be skinny and I gained some of the weight back.

Two friends (Brandon Coleman and Shaye Berry) mentioned a place named, “PSKC.” They were positive that I would love it. After being hounded for weeks, I decided to set up an intro. Not to mention, that Sara tried to get me to come a year prior and I wasn’t interested. I walked in the first day intimidated and had my intro with Ann in the storage room. I constantly was thinking, “what in the world am I doing?”while swinging around this kettlebell thing and seeing the members of this place pounding out mountain climbers and weighted sit-ups. I remember thinking, “YES! I am going to be skinny!” Come to find out the values I would learn from these people were life changing.

A few weeks went by and I became an addict. I saw coach Mo “burpeeing” herself to death, Ash doing an extreme amount of pull-ups, and Dale’s will to conquer anything that was thrown his way. This was awesome and I wanted to be exactly like them! One of the most memorable things that Dale has said that I apply to everyday life is his speech about the dogs: The fear dog and courage dog. After this speech, I knew that this was the right place to be. It was after this speech that I began to conquer my issues that were weighing me down for years. Partying way too much, worrying about things that didn't matter, past experiences I needed to forget and move on are just some examples. I needed to get my life together. PSKC has really helped me find myself and I have accomplished things that I NEVER THOUGHT would be possible (like be happy). I also know that anything that comes up in my life can be conquered as long as I turn my brain off and go!

Everyone starts out the same. It is all about making yourself better and supporting the gym family. Everyone begins with 18Ib kettle bells and works their way up. Everyone uses bands when they first start pull ups and ring dips. We have all been there. Stick with it and you will surprise yourself. My love is heavy weight and when I first started I was scared to lift heavy. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to be skinny!  I remember Mo making me use heavier kettle bells and I thought, “no way, you are crazy.” A few months went by and I started to change. I actually care about what I eat and watch what I eat (which is still a work in progress because I love wings and pizza). I started focusing on what I was able to do and what I could do to get better. You improve when you do not even know you do. Most importantly, I learned how awesome it was to be strong.

   It was freaking awesome seeing moms like D ,Ann, and Ash going through brutal workouts, Sara being one strong PREGNANT momma, Mo pounding out close to 100 burpees in 7 minutes, and Boo Boo deadlifting over 300 pounds. These are the ladies that convinced me it was awesome to get stronger.  It was ok to be strong and defininetly a better feeling then worrying about how skinny I was. Being able to have fun with my kiddies in first grade and being able to carry everything to my classroom in one trip is a good feeling too!
Over the past two years, I have not lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any either. I have lost a little over 10 percent body fat, gotten stronger, and gained my fun life back. I have many friends through the gym and I love each and every one of you. It’s not about who is the best, who can lift the most, or who can be the fastest. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.  It is simply the fact of watching people do their first pull up, pushing themselves toward personal records, or even just finishing a workout. At a time when I was at my lowest, PSKC lifted me up and still is lifting me up. I love that place. Ladies, “strong is the new skinny” no matter what people say and surely not manly. If anyone says that, it is their own stupidity and they are jealous you can lift more than them. Thank you Dale, Mo, Zak, Ash, Ann, and Sara for all the time and effort you put in to make me better and believing in me."