Blog Archive

The 20 Girls in 30 Days Challenge!

What is it?
A Challenge to complete all twenty named girl workouts during the month of November!  Angie, Annie, Barbara, Cindy, Christine, Diane, Elizabeth, Fran, Grace, Helen, Isabel, Jackie, Karen, Kelly, Linda, Lynne, Mary, Nancy, Nicole, Reagan.  Whew!

How could I possibly do that?
We are going to be holding ‘Open Gym’ hours throughout the week, and you are free to come early to class or stay after class to hit one of the girls up.  Be aware, however, that each class gets equipment and space priority.  You’ll probably be out in the alley during class times.

When is Open Gym?
Open gym will be somewhat random.  Jason and Kevin will update the class schedule, but when we have business to do on the spur of the moment, we will give a shoutout on Twitter and on Facebook.  So follow us there and you ‘ll know when we are going to the gym to do private coaching or paperwork.  Then drop by, hit a wod, and record your results!

Where do I record my results?
We will post a results board with all twenty girls and all participants so when you finish a girl, you can post your result.

But I can’t do these workouts Rx’d.  Am I out of luck?
No!  This is CrossFit!  The rule for this month is that you will do each wod as if it came up in class.  If you normally go rx’d, that’s how you have to do each wod.  If you normally scale 20#’s, that’s how you do each wod.  Consult with the coaches to come up with a plan for each wod.  While we want everyone to be able to complete each wod, we DO NOT want everyone making each workout so easy that this isn’t a challenge.  We want your best effort!

Why would I do this?
Great question!  This is going to be a quick, focused challenge prior to the holiday party circuit!  We know discipline and consistency can suffer in December, so we want you to have some positive momentum going into the month.

Secondly, each participant who completes ten of the girl workouts in the month will get a free t-shirt designed by Carolina specifically for this challenge!

Thirdly, each participant who completes all twenty girl workouts during November will get one month of free, unlimited CrossFit at Cactus!!

Finally, we will have a raffle at the end of the month (Technically, Friday, December 3rd) for a free Apple iPad (described on their website as ‘magical’ and ‘revolutionary’)!!

Sweet Moses!  How do we get raffle tickets for the iPad?
You will get a raffle ticket for each girl workout you complete during November PLUS each Four Square Check in you have that links to your Facebook page.  So, when you complete all the girls, you will have twenty raffle tickets, and if you check in on Four Square 20 times, you will have twenty MORE raffle tickets for a total of 40 chances to win the iPad!

However!  You MUST complete all 20 girls to be eligible for the raffle! This is a kick butt prize, and it is going to require an awesome effort over the course of a month!  You will earn it!

Four Square is a completely free app that you can access from your phone or your pc, and it basically tells your friends on four square and FB that you are at Cactus CrossFit.  Just one way to let people know that you are serious about Fitness!  Ask Kevin for help if it is confusing!

Anything else I should know?
You cannot call and ask a coach to open the gym.  Strategize to find out which wods you can sneak in, and which ones you’ll need to have a dedicated open gym for.

We will be programming some of the girls into our classes this month, but that schedule has not been set yet.

Jason and Kevin will be participating, but are not eligible for prizes.

This is a great opportunity to get some of the benchmarks down and to set a baseline for 2011 as we repeat these workouts throughout the year.  We hope this will be fun and kick up some excitement this month.

We already have 10 signups from the 9am class alone, so email us to register and we will get you started!

One More Thing!
Barbells for Boobs is Saturday, 10/30, and the workout is Grace.  If you participate, we will count that towards your 20 girls.  Even if you don’t want to do the wod, it is going to be quite the scene down at East Valley CrossFit in Chandler, so check it out!

Workout of the Day
Three sets of:
Front Squat x 5-6 reps @ 30X1
Rest 2 minutes
Toes to Bar x 10-15 reps @ 2010
Rest 2 minutes;
and then,
In teams of three, with only one partner working at a time, complete the following for time:
300 Wall Ball Shots
Rest exactly 3 minutes
300 Box Jumps

We’ve got 15 folks signed up for the Mad Mud Run, so we’ve gotten a discount on every one’s entry fees!  Bring in a check or cash for $45 and we’ll fill out our teams for the November 20th race!

Any last minute runners are free to join us, it was a great time last year, and I’m sure it will be again!


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27 Oct 2010

Testing Day

TESTING DAY – Weighted Pull-Ups
Please report your scores for your 1-RM Weighted Pull-Up and compare results to September 8, 2010

In six attempts or less, find your 1-RM Weighted Pull-Up
Rest at least 3-4 minutes between attempts, and spend that time working on hip mobility, glute activation and foam rolling;
and then,
As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
Pull-Up Complex (2 Strict + 4 Chest-to-Bar + 6 Kipping)
Run 200 Meters

Jenna and Amanda took a chance and went out to CrossFit Fury last Saturday where they competed in the annual Furious Fundraiser.  They didn’t know what the workouts would be or if they would be able to complete them, but they drove out together (along with Taylor!) and gave it a shot.

Taylor won the kids division for the 5km road race, and Amanda and Jenna took 11th and 13th respectively in the competition, making the cutoff for the final wod!  I’m really proud of their willingness to compete and from all accounts they had a great time.   These competitions are coming hot and heavy now, with Barbells for Boobs this Saturday (“Grace”) and a competition at CF Flagstaff on December 4th, a Saturday.  We are looking for more Cacti to join us Saturday and to get a group to come up North to Flagstaff for fun and competition.

My personal belief is that no matter what your fitness level, challenges and competitions are a great way to stay motivated and hit the next level.  Some competitions are better than others (Both B4B and the CF Flagstaff competition allow for scaling) but everyone can benefit from participating or even just attending and watching.  I’ve never had a negative experience with CrossFitters and I’ve always left inspired.  Come join us Saturday at 4pm at East Valley CrossFit for our next competition.


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Can you tell we are in competition season yet?  You may not have heard of Barbells for Boobs. Though if you had, you wouldn’t have forgotten it with a name like that, right? B4B is a fundraiser for mammograms for women who can’t afford them, and East Valley CrossFit is doing “Grace” this Saturday at 4pm in Chandler as a fundraiser.  “Grace” is 30 reps of clean and jerk with 135/95 for time.  August, the owner of EVCF has done a ton of work and gotten a lot of free stuff from sponsors who want to support this cause.

It’s going to be a great event, for $35 donated to B4B (register under East Valley CrossFit) you get to compete and you’ll get a t-shirt.  I expect lots of people to show up and compete from around the state, I know you’ll see some studs there and I expect to have a good turnout for Cactus as well!  I’ll be there (fo’ sho’!) and I haven’t done Grace in over a year.  My time was over 4 minutes last time, so I’m hoping to cut that in half!  Come down and let’s support one another and this great fundraiser.


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There is a great article in the CrossFit Journal on proper grip during pullups to help with tearing your hands up.  We link to that one and many others that deal with fitness and nutrition on our Facebook Page.  Become a Fan!

Workout of the Day
Five sets of:
Overhead Squat x 1-2 reps
Rest 3-4 minutes between sets;
and then,
“Three-Man Rowing Challenge”
In teams of three, complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Row 300 Meters
Rest 20 seconds
(Switch team members every 300 meters. Your Concept 2 erg should be set to “Intervals: Distance,” with a 20-second rest period between each 300 meter interval.)

Overhead Squat Record stands at 205 for Johnny and 113 for the Houser Twins.  Will they fall?

Remember, no classes this afternoon, we are holding the Charles Staley Olympic Lifting Seminar from 5pm onward.

Here’s a good breakfast recipe from a blog I found, Greg Carver, which has a heavy Paleo influence.

Pear & Kale Omelet

Whole eggs are a staple of the paleo diet. I love them, and rarely get bored of fixing or eating them.  I’ll eat them boiled, fried, baked, scrambled, poached and even raw. A great source of inexpensive protein, they also contain all the carbs, fat and micronutrients necessary to nourish developing chicks – meaning they’re nature’s perfect food.

If you’re struggling to find new ways to prepare eggs in the morning, try this simple kale and pear omelette.

Pear & Kale Omelette

  • several kale leaves, finely chopped (washed and patted dry, tough stems removed)
  • 1 sugar pear, finely diced
  • 1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 2 T organic virgin coconut oil (for frying)
  • 2 oz coconut milk (for whipping eggs)
  • black pepper

Heat a skillet to medium and add the coconut oil to melt. Beat the eggs in a bowl with an ounce or two of coconut milk to make them fluffy. Finely chop the kale, dice the pear into small pieces and peel the ginger.

Add the kale and then the pear to the skillet, and cook for about 2 minutes. The kale should wilt a bit, but retain its colour. Grate the ginger into the pan and season with some freshly ground black pepper.

Whip the eggs one more time and add them to the skillet, pouring them over the kale, pear and ginger mixture. Immediately lower the heat, and use a spatula if necessary to lift the sides of the egg mixture to avoid sticking. Cover the skillet and allow the mixture to gently set over low heat.

This omelette does not require flipping, but can be folded prior to serving. I had mine with local black kale and Ontario sugar pears.


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Don’t forget, we will not have any afternoon classes tomorrow!  We are hosting an Olympic Lifting Seminar with Charles Staley which I encourage everyone to take advantage of.  It is 5 hours of Oly Lifting and there is no experience necessary, just a desire to get better and to improve your understanding of these lifts!  The cost is $100 and you get your member discount on top of that!

Check this article on mental toughness and the usefullness of ‘association’.  Do you associate during CrossFit workouts, or disassociate?


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Reagan practices walking

Reagan is 14 months now, and so we’ve been excited to watch her progress from laying down, to sitting up, to crawling, to standing, to walking.  Each step has been a fit of starts and stops.  The one constant has been her natural desire to continue.  She doesn’t stop and just say “Standing is too hard.  Crawling and sitting get me where I want to go faster than standing and walking.”

Right now, if Reagan is trying to get somewhere fast, crawling will get her there in the shortest period of time.  But everyone (else) knows that crawling can’t help her go as fast as when she learns to run.  Everyone who can run can run faster than they can crawl.  But when you are learning to stand, and walk, and run, you won’t get there as fast as if you just crawled over there.

In this case, we know the work she puts in now, though less effective in the short term, is the right decision for the long term.  She sacrifices results today for results tomorrow.

It can be the same way with CrossFit.  Whether we are talking about double unders, handstand pushups, kipping pullups, a proper rack position, or anything else, we all want to do our best today, even if the best long term play is to practice our skill and get better at what we’ll need tomorrow for maximum intensity over the long term.

So if you are in the same developmental stage as Reagan in regards to some skill in CrossFit, don’t be blue!  Stay persistent, work on your skill every day, and enjoy the small victories that take place over a day and a week.

Email [email protected] to register for our Oly Seminar Thursday using the contact form at the bottom!


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Don’t forget; this Thursday we are hosting an Olympic Lifting seminar by Charles Staley, so we won’t have any afternoon classes.  Check the schedule, and plan your weekly workouts around that time. On Ramp this week will be Tuesday/Friday/Saturday at our normal times.

This is a great opportunity to get a lot of quality time under the bar, and to hear another perspective on the Olympic Lifts.  Your Olympic Lifts and the mindset for them will be improved dramatically if you attend this seminar.  We start at 5pm, so email to register.  $100 and your membership discounts apply.

Workout of the Day
Five sets of:
Weighted Pull-Ups x 2-3 reps
Rest 30 seconds
Pistols/Single-Leg Squats x 4-6 reps per leg
Rest 60 seconds;
and then,
For maximum load successfully lifted:
3 Thrusters on the minute, every minute, for 15 minutes
(score sum of all completed reps – you can use different loads in different rounds if you choose)


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