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Boulder CrossFit: Gym Etiquette

The intention behind this post is to make sure everyone who enters our gym in Boulder, understands and is on the same page with one another when it comes to gym etiquette. These simple rules will go a long way to making our gym the best in town so please be sure to refer to them if there’s any confusion.

1: Show up on time to class. This means if class starts at 5pm and you routinely stroll in around 5:05pm then you are late. Not only will you miss important introductions on the workout but you’re literally cutting yourself short. Our classes and coaches plan around a full 60 minutes and you should too. We understand work/life may happen every once in a while but if you do show up late every week, then please just wait until the next class to attend.

2: Wait till EVERYONE is finished with the workout to start putting your equipment away. We get it. You happened to finish your workout 5 minutes before everyone else. Great job! But please wait till the whole class is done to clean up. It can be very distracting and demoralizing when you are on your last round and you see people cleaning up and getting ready to leave.

3: Clean up after yourself. This means wiping down barbells or rigs that you may have left bloody. Putting away ALL your equipment and not leaving stuff out for our coaches to pick up after you.

3: Chalk stays in the BUCKET! Yes, this means you will have to walk an extra 10 feet to chalk up your hands but this keeps our gym clean and looking nice. Chalk should never be put on the floor or used to write on the rig. Even if you bring your own chalk, please keep it in a bag and off the ground. Chalk is one of the hardest things to get off our mats so be sure to be mindful when using it.

4: Load and unload the barbell correctly. Most of us know that we should never drop empty barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells from overhead but we often don’t think about the loading/unloading part of barbells. When taking off a weight from one side of the barbell, please don’t let it just drop to the ground. Will this break the barbell? No, but doing it every single day, dozens of times a day by 100 plus members will make the barbells fall apart over time.

5: Don’t walk in front of someone lifting. Not only is this dangerous but can be very distracting to the person lifting.

6: Trust and listen to your coach. We are here because we want the best for you. If this means we suggest taking down the weight or scaling back to hit the stimulus of the WOD then it’s probably best you listen to avoid injury.

While most of these points may seem like common sense to us, you’d be surprised at how many times we have to remind people. If you find yourself doing any of the above things, just remind yourself that at the end of the day, they are here to make BCF the best overall gym experience in town!


Strength Cycles at Boulder CrossFit

Several times a year we do strength cycles at our gym in Boulder. Normally we do them in the Winter, Fall, and Spring. We will be ending 2022 with a bang before the upcoming holidays. Please check your email with details on the dates/exact schedule for next month.

At Boulder CrossFit, we follow a version of the Wendler Cycle. This cycle is based on 90% of your one rep max lift (also called your training max). When you see a 5×5 at 65% that number is based on 90% of your 1rm, not 100%. Yes, a little math is involved here.

We follow this cycle because we want to keep the lifting simple, easy to follow, and effective. A strength cycle is only as good as the person following it. Not to say the Wendler cycle is the absolute best of them all but we follow it for those reasons. We are a CrossFit gym and at the end of the day, we still want to hit those fun metcons we are accustomed to.

These 3 main functional lifts, (squat, deadlift, and press) are vital to everything we do in and out of the gym. Want to get better at Olympic lifting? Better start working those legs and shoulders. Want to just move pain-free and build a better foundation that can be replicated outside of the gym? Squatting, picking weight up off the ground, and pressing load overhead is a great place to start.

We get it. Sometimes strength cycles can be boring/repetitive. Our advice is simple. Trust the process, stick to your percentages, and don’t push yourself past the prescribed lifts each week (even if you feel great). And as always try to find some fun in the process and not be so focused on getting to the end goal so fast.

Hopefully, at the end of the 5 weeks, we will all be high-fiving each other after some HUGE pr’s.

Happy lifting!


Prioritizing Health and Fitness Summer 2022

We’re finally in full swing into the Summer of 2022. It’s been 3 years since we’ve felt a somewhat normal summer experience as we learn to navigate the post-Covid era. People are back to traveling, businesses are open for events, and were doing social gatherings once again. Sounds great so you tell yourself you will pause your gym membership for several months and pick up right where you left off in the Fall. Until you don’t.

Health and fitness aren’t seasonal. We need to take care of our bodies and minds 365 days of the year. Of course, we all need breaks and resets but to put your health on the backburner during busy months such as traveling, work, or social events, is doing more harm than good. Boulder CrossFit is open practically every day of the year in hopes you come in, have fun, get fit, and make it the best hour of your day. We don’t pause or close our gym because life gets too crazy or hectic. Imagine if we closed for 2-3 months each year because they were our “slow” months. If that was the case, there may not be a BCF to return to.

The point we’re making here is that you need to prioritize your fitness even during the months of the year when it doesn’t work with your schedule. If you can’t physically make it into Boulder CrossFit on a consistent basis, make sure you get some sort of fitness outside of the gym. And please, don’t pause your membership every-time you go on vacation or are busy at work. Our gym has always and will always be open for you. We just ask you all to return the favor.

-Zach T.


Memorial Day Murph 2022

It’s that time of the year again! Every May Boulder CrossFit preps its members for our annual Murph workout. You may be asking yourself, what is Murph, and more importantly why the heck would anyone put themselves through that workout?

The Murph in CrossFit is what we call a “chipper”. It’s a long aerobic workout normally consisting of different movements and high reps. The exact workout is listed above.

Over the years, we’ve heard all the excuses on why NOT to do this workout. Were not focusing on the why not in this post but rather the why. This is a hero WOD designed to honor the life of Navy Seal, Lt. Michael Murphy who died in combat. Sometimes you put yourselves through workouts that are bigger than just fitness. And this is one of them. We do Murph each year to put ourselves in the shoes of people like Michael Murphy. The workout is NOT easy and meant to be mentally and physically grinding.

The best part of Murph is when our whole community comes together and crushes the workout with no complaints or excuses. Just remember, when you’re on your last mile run and wanting to give up, that we are all doing this together.

Can’t wait to see you all on Saturday!


2022 CrossFit Open: A Celebration of Fitness

Phew. We did it! We’re all done with the 2022 CrossFit Open. Whether it was your first time competing or your tenth, I’m sure we all found something to celebrate. Our in-house competition was super fun. We ended up having over 50 members participate each donating $20. That means we were able to raise $400 for this awesome non-profit that brings fitness to under-represented youth. After 3 hard weeks, team GREEN came out on top.

1st Place: Team Green 1,683 points

2nd Place: Team Purple 1660 points

3rd Place: Team Black 1394

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated, participated and gave it their all each week. The Open has always been a time to celebrate our own fitness journey while cheering on our fellow gym-mates. This year was especially great due to the pandemic life we’ve all been living the past 2 years. You all made it a special competition and I cant’ wait to see what March 2023 will bring us all.


Redlining in CrossFit

I thought I would write some thoughts on this topic since I’ve personally seen members, coaches and myself struggle with this over the years.

In simple terms redlining in a workout (not just CrossFit) is when you push it too hard past the point of recovery where there are diminishing returns aka hyper-ventilating, puking, dizziness, shakiness, etc. A perfect example is when you hop on the Rogue Echo bike for an all-out 50 cal sprint and when you get off your legs are so shaky you can’t imagine doing anything else after. A classic CrossFit workout where most people redline is “Fran”. 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pullups. Meant to be done in less than 7 minutes this is a sprint where you are going close to if not past your 100% threshold. Sounds great, right?

The Morning Chalk Up recently wrote an article named, “If you’re redlining, you’re kind of doing it wrong”. When I started CrossFit 10 years ago in 2012, it was frowned upon if you didn’t go ALL out every single WOD. There were no training percentages or EMOMS or relative recovery days. It felt almost like every day was a redline day. The article argues that if you’re doing CrossFit like that, then you’re doing it all wrong. In some aspects, I agree but in others, I could also see the benefit of redlining in your CrossFit training.

To me, redlining is all relative to a person’s baseline fitness level. My all-out 100% is quite different than someone who is coming off the street with no background in high-intensity CrossFit training. And the same goes for elite games level athletes. Their redline threshold is absolutely way higher than mine. The point here is that if you never go to that dark area, how will you know what to base your training intensity on? If you always cruise around going nice and slow, how will you ever get comfortable being uncomfortable? If I were to guess, elite-level CrossFit athletes probably redline a few times a week in their training. For the rest of us, I would argue it’s productive to find that redline area about 1x every few months. That way you know when to push it, for how long and how hard during your workouts.

However, just like in the article, I would argue that redlining probably does more harm than good in the grand scheme of CrossFit training. As a coach for over 10 years, I’ve honestly pushed clients way past their relative fitness levels a few times where I probably shouldn’t have. To make CrossFit more applicable to the everyday person, it needs to be consistently scaled back on a weekly basis to fit your long-term health goals. At Boulder CrossFit, we never want someone to be so wrecked that they can’t walk the next day, thus not getting back into the gym on a regular basis. As a gym we want people to feel good about their bodies. Not day in and day out beat them up. That’s why we program Thursdays as active recovery days where you can move at your own pace. That’s why we offer percentages of training maxes in most WODS. If you push yourself to or close to redlining every day, it will eventually lead to burnout and hatred for CrossFit training. I’ve seen it in coaches, members, and myself over the years.

At the end of the day, I approach my fitness training as follows. I push it in the WODS and my lifting on a daily and weekly basis at about 75-80% of my all-out max. Once every few weeks, I will push it past that so I can see how it feels being uncomfortable and moving at that level. And then once every few months, I will go ALL out and redline so hard where I can’t get off the ground for a solid 5-10 minutes post WOD. That way I can adjust my effort accordingly based on that redline level. My goal is to continue doing this for the next 40 years and to be able to move well outside the gym, pain-free, for as long as my body and brain allow.

-Zach T.


CrossFit Open 2022: FAQ’S

What is the CrossFit Open?
Click here for more information. The Open is essentially a worldwide competition where, for 3 weeks, all CrossFit gyms around the world do the exact same workout programmed by CrossFit HQ. On another level it’s a time to celebrate all wins no matter how small or big. It’s a time to come together as a gym and push your teammates to new levels. It’s a time to embrace the fun and competitiveness within us all. And it’s a time to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

When is the CrossFit Open and when will Boulder CrossFit do the workouts?
Each Thursday night for 3 weeks CrossFit HQ releases the workout starting February 24th then March 3rd and finally ending on March 10th. As a gym ALL classes will do the workout the following day on Friday whether you are officially signed up or not.

Why should I sign up?
Every year we hear the same excuses on why people don’t officially sign up. We hear things like , “I don’t care about my scores. I’m hurt or I don’t care about competitions”. Or, “I’m intimidated by the workouts and can’t do most of the movements as prescribed so what’s the point”? Here’s the point. You will never grow as a person inside or outside of the gym unless you push all those doubts and questions aside and get outside your comfort zone. At the end of the competition you will feel better about yourself when you see how much your hard work has paid off all the whole doing it with your fellow teammates.

How is Boulder CrossFit running the competition?
Similar to last year, we will put each registered person onto a team with a team captain. There will be a random drawing a week before the comp to pick the teams. Each week as an individual and team you can earn points for various things like top score, attendance, and any PRs. If you are registered, you will get a judge for each workout who will keep track of your score that week.  If you can’t do the workout on Friday we will have makeups during the following time slots. Please communicate with your team captions and Zach for any make ups.
Saturday anytime before 12pm.
Monday anytime between 9:30-11:30am

I’m convinced. How can I sign up?
The cost of this event is $20/person (paid to Boulder CrossFit through Wodify). Part of your fee will go towards one of our favorite non-profits, Forging Youth Resilience. You can sign up by putting your name on the whiteboard at the gym no later than Friday, Feb 18th. If you care about inputting your scores to see what your friends got at other CrossFit gyms then you can also register through CrossFit HQ. However this not a requirement to enter our in house competition. The team with the most accumulated points at the end of the 3 weeks will be the winner and will get custom 2022 Boulder CrossFit Open Champs t-shirts. 

We’re looking forward to this 3-week competition. Thanks! 

-Zach T. 


New Years Resolutions 2022: Yea or Nay?

We’re here! January 2022. A symbolic day/month for people to proclaim their New Years Resolutions. A fresh start. A new outlook. And the start of a better version of yourself. The problem is, I haven’t made a new years resolution…ever! And heres why.

I have no problem with resolutions. The problem lies in how we frame them. More often than not, I’ve seen countless people make unrealistic resolutions only to break them by mid-February. Don’t get me wrong, goals are great. We all need and should have them to continue to grow both personally and professionally. But the story often goes something like this. “I want to become a happier, healthier version of myself. To do that I’m going to workout 7 days a week at 6am, eat no carbs, cut out all alcohol and get 8-9 hours a sleep a night”. Sounds great on paper but in practice this isn’t sustainable in the long term for most of us. Why not reframe our goals for something more attainable that fits our lifestyle? Let’s rework the story to be this. “I want to become a happier, healthier version of myself. To do that I’m going workout 4-5 times a week at a consistent time that allows me to feel well rested and recovered for the next day. I’m going to cut back my drinking and carb intake to 1x a week in moderation”. This sounds like something we can do for the long term, right?

If the goal is to ultimately become a happier, healthier version of ourselves both mentally and physically, (which it is for a lot people who come into Boulder CrossFit), why not set ourselves up for success? The worst thing we can do, is proclaim some unattainable new years resolution on January 1st just to go back to our old habits come Spring. Trust me, I want us all to hit our goals this year both inside and out of the gym. Theres nothing wrong with having huge aspirations and big goals but we need to reframe how we are going to achieve them in the long run. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Trust and enjoy the process. If we can all consistently do the small things day in and day out, our bodies and minds will thank us this time next year!