Keep Calm and Row On

Overhead squat
w/3:00 rest

5 rounds of
10 overhead squats
15 toes 2 bar

Do you smell that? That's the sweet smell of us kicking ass at the Midwinter Meltdown!! Our rowing team took home an amazing 11 medals this past Saturday! We've had some decent showings in the past, but to bring home double digit medals? That's pretty spectacular. You guys put in a lot of hard work following the rowing programming, and you definitely showed major improvements. You made us all proud! Next time you see a member of the rowing team, make sure you give them a big hug!

Team…I mean…individual Saturday

Clean & Jerk - build to a heavy single

15:00 AMRAP
1 squat clean & jerk
10 burpees
2 squat c&j
10 burpees
3 squat c&J
10 burpees
4 squat c&j
10 burpees

Last Saturday, these two lovely ladies took the championship belt! I have to give them some MAD PROPS! Both of them are on the wee small side, yet they crushed their competition! It's no small task to make that erg crank for 2500 meters! They're also both on day 5 or 6 of Skinny Hippo...which is what probably gave the the extra oomph. :-)

If you haven't seen our Skinny Hippo meal replacement shakes, we keep them in the freezer at the Fort. They're available in 32 or 64oz sizes, in both chocolate and vanilla. The meal replacement shakes are meant to be used to transition you into a high fat, moderate protein, low carb way of eating. They're fast, easy, and most importantly - delicious. They have to be purchased separately from our pro-shop, but you can leave cash or check in the envelope on the freezer door. If you want more info, just give me a call, or shoot me an email.

Mission Statement

A view of the busy FortI'd like to reach out to my CrossFit Fire family for a little help. Bill and I have been working hard to come up with our gym mission statement. I have half a notebook of scribblings and different thoughts. We have spent hours putting our heads together to try and think of a concise, heartfelt mission statement....and just now something dawned on me. The gym mission statement should be composed of what the gym means TO YOU GUYS.

I'm not sitting in my kitchen trying to think of a mission statement for some imaginary gym that I'm thinking about opening....I ACTUALLY HAVE a gym full of people! You guys are the ones who come to the Fort day in and day out, and put in your hard work. You're the ones who breathe life into the 4 walls, cold steel barbells, and bumper plates. Without you guys...there would be no Fort. It would just be an empty building.

So help me out with this task. What does the Fort mean to you? What keeps you coming back? What is it that we do BEST?

But what if you already have big feet?


20:00 AMRAP
5 weighted pull-ups
10 feet elevated push-ups
15 goblet squats

Yesterday was a FANTASTIC day for me! Know why? I'll give you a's because the blog got so many comments! It was a real treat to read all of your captions for BofA's picture - I giggled all day!

So for our Friday workout, we're partnering a pushing motion with a pulling motion and some squats. If you're still working on unassisted pull-ups, don't let the weighted pull-ups scare you. If you're able to do a few unassisted pull-ups, make sure you're doing them during this WOD! You'll eventually get tired, but make sure you at least start with the few unassisted pull-ups you might have.

This Saturday is the big rowing competition in Madison! It sounds like we have a big group going, and I'm SO EXCITED! If you're interested in tagging along to cheer for your CrossFit Fire Rowing Team, then we'd love to have you!

Hop skip and row


8 rounds of
500m row
1:1 rest
4 rounds of
1:00 double-unders
1:00 rest

We have a sweet little lung burner for our Thursday workout! Whenever I meet people I tell them that the Concept 2 Rower is quite possibly the most diabolical piece of cardio equipment ever. EVER. If you're on the fence about how effective this machine is, this workout outta convince you!

Caption contest! I have to thank you guys for grabbing the camera and taking pictures. The best part about it, is that every time I look at the camera it's a treasure trove of surprises. This picture of BofA is a prime example! Let's caption this photo in the blog comments!

Save the Date!

On February 7th, CrossFit Fire is turning 6 years old! Every year we celebrate with a fun shin dig. Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 15th. We will be celebrating our 6 year anniversary in downtown McHenry at Corkscrew Pointe. I will post more details to the events page as they become available. This is the PERFECT place to take your Valentine, so it'll be a 2-for-1 celebration.

Hope to see you there!


4 sets of
1 front squat
2:00 rest

5 rounds of:
:30 kettlebell swings
:30 rest
:30 double unders
:30 rest
5:00 rest
5 rounds of
:30 knees to elbows
:30 rest
:30 burpees
:30 rest

We all know it's important to breathe, right? There are horrible consequences if we forget. Occasionally your body involuntarily forces you to hold your breath, especially when you're lifting something heavy, or exerting yourself. If you've ever experienced a post workout headache, it's likely due to too much breath holding. There is definitely a time to hold your breath - take the heavy front squats for example. For one heavy rep, you want the inter-abdominal pressure that breath holding can provide. It helps stabilize your spine and keep your core tight. During the WOD, however, if you spend too much time holding your breath, you're gonna get a doozey of a headache.

So there you have it. Your PSA about breathing during your workout. :-)