FREE RAFFLE this Sat at Town Hall

We’re having a FREE RAFFLE this Saturday, July 20 at our Town Hall Meeting! All you have to do is show up for the meeting, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a One-Hour Private Session with Coach Kara.

Don’t think you need or want a private sessions?! Consider this…

Private Sessions are NOT what we may typically think of. They are NOT for rich people only. They are NOT for elite athletes only. They are NOT for competitive athletes only. They are NOT over-the-top extreme intensity-filled mess-you-up kind of sessions.

They ARE for anyone and everyone, any age, any stage of life.

Whether you’re coming back from a shoulder surgery, starting off brand new to CrossFit, or have been doing CrossFit for 10 years, there is ALWAYS something we can work on in a private session. They ARE a great investment in yourself and your goals and needs. They ARE the best way to breakdown a movement and really learn how to do something correctly. They ARE invaluable and can give you specific tools and focus for your specific stage of life.

Coach Kara has worked one-on-one with clients for over 10 years, and specifically her last two years of owning an affiliate in California were executed with a “Coach For Life” focus, meaning every single member had ongoing private sessions with Kara, in addition to regular Unlimited classes. Some members did once a week ongoing, others did every other week, some once a month, and a few were every 2 or 3-months, but there was always communication and collaboration. Some members focused more on Olympic lifts with Coach Kara, others focused on getting their first pull up or muscle up, some wanted to start local competitions, and others wanted to lose weight, focus on nutrition, lower their cholesterol, or beat their Diabetes Type II. She’s worked with pregnant and postpartum moms, senior citizens trying to maintain independence, and heavy lifters preparing for a Strongman event.

So… If you get to be the lucky winner of our RAFFLE this Saturday at the end of our Town Hall Meeting, you’ll get a small taste of what can level you up in your life! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Town Hall this Sat, July 20

Come One, Come All

Cadre Town Hall Meeting

Saturday, July 20 @ 9:15am

We have a lot of great news to share, and we want to do it in person!
For those of you who cannot attend, we will also have it Facebook Live!

We strongly encourage all of you to attend who are able to (even if you don’t workout), as we have some big topics to discuss and we are super excited to get them all out to you! :-)

For all those who attend, you will automatically be entered into a RAFFLE to win a FREE Private Session with Coach Kara! The winner will be picked at the end of the Town Hall meeting! :-)

We will still have class @ 8:30am, but it will finish 15 minutes early for the Town Hall Meeting.

Then, immediately following the end of the meeting we will have another class. Depending on how long the discussion takes, the next class will start around 9:45-ish.

Please save the date and we look forward to seeing you all there!

Kara PurvesComment
Try It Like a Baby

I just sat here with my 10-month old and watched her try to crawl over a small pillow on the floor of our living room. She got her arms over it, no problem, but then when she tried to get her right leg over, her cute chunky thigh didn’t make it. Her right leg kept trying, over and over again. It was like watching an Instagram Boomerang video.

She probably tried to get that leg over that pillow at least 20 times until she stopped and tried again with the left leg. Still no success. Again, she probably tried at least 20 times until she stopped. She reassessed. She then backed up and brought her arms back to the other side and sat up. She stared at the little pillow for a moment, and then suddenly she grabbed it and tossed it aside, out of her way. Then, she crawled in the direction she was trying to go in the first place, this time with no pillow in her way.

I was amazed and entertained. Not only did my daughter problem-solve her situation, but she did so calmly and without any discouragement. The fact that she tried a bunch of times each leg, with just as much enthusiasm and energy, and then instead of crying for me, she just re-set herself and fixed the problem at-hand, it blows my mind.

It’s also a reminder to all of us adults that babies and kids actually got it right, and we have it wrong.

Imagine if we tried to learn how to Snatch with the same level of unfazed willingness as my 10-month old.

Let’s be honest - As we get older, we get harder and harder to coach and learn new things. Not intentionally, of course, but we get set in our ways, and after many, many scars throughout life, we learn to also protect ourselves.

So, pay attention to yourself in class. Are you going in with a baby’s unabashed enthusiasm?! Or, an old, dusty attitude?!

Try it like a baby. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Crock Pot Bacon Kalua Pork with Cabbage

I made this yesterday for dinner, and it was amazing! Definitely a keeper in my kitchen! :-)


Pork Shoulder
Liquid Smoke
Cauliflower Rice
Salt & Pepper


For best results, start this in the morning so you can let this slow cook on low or 10-12 hours! However, you can do this on high for 6 hours, and it’s still delicious, but not as “peel-apart” amazing as a 12 hour cook!

Chop up bacon into desired bits. I did bacon cubes - Stack of 4 slices, and cut one inch blocks. Cover the entire base of the crockpot with the bacon pieces. Then, place pork shoulder on top of the bacon. Dice fresh garlic and spread over the pork. I love garlic, so I did a lot, but you can do as much or as little as you’d like. Drizzle the liquid smoke over the pork, about one to two tablespoons. Add salt and pepper as desired. Seal and allow to slow cook.

About two hours before the finish time, I add in chopped up cabbage.

For the cauliflower rice, I use about one tablespoon of ghee on the pan, then about 6 cups of cauliflower chopped up into a rice-like texture. I also add fresh garlic, salt, and pepper. Pay attention and don’t leave this on the stove - Constant movement on the pan so it doesn’t burn. Just keep cooking until the “rice” is at your desired texture - I like mine super soft like steamed rice. Usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Once everything is done, plate the pork, bacon, cabbage, and rice together and ENJOY! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Keep Your Routine

First, here’s the recipe for my Frittata that I made yesterday, and enjoyed this morning:

You can use any ingredients you want in yours. I did sweet potatoes, bacon, red onion, and spinach. Nom!!

So, today I showed up to the 9:00am Class, and although I did NOT workout with class or do any sort of workout, I DID show up. I gently rode the AirDyne for about 10 minutes, and then I stretched and moved around a bit.

It felt good walking into the gym, even though I knew I couldn’t workout. Just seeing everyone’s happy, familiar smiles was comforting. I swear the gym has a breath of fresh air that can’t be described in words. With one inhale, I felt better. I was glad I showed up today. And, I’m going to keep showing up.

There’s something magical about keeping your routines that are important to you while you recover. Whether it’s recovery from an injury, surgery, divorce, loss of a loved one, break up, lost job, or the like.

Life will always throw us curveballs and grenades. But, it will also reward us if we keep going.

The gym is my sanctuary. My sanity. My routine self-care.

And, after many, many years, I have learned to get out of my own way at times, and I know that no matter what is going on in my life, I can always go to the gym. Even with my hurt back.

I won’t be able to workout, per se, but I can still show up and be a part of my team, and keep my routine going. Part of the reason why I’ve fluctuated so much in the past is because events like this used to derail me completely. I’d stop showing up to the gym. First, it was to recover. But, then one week became two. Two weeks became one month. One month became a year…

Sometimes, life can really suck. And, that’s okay. We can still show up to the gym.

You can totally sit with us! Anytime!

Show up. Use whatever you have right now, in whatever capacity you can. It’s good enough. You are good enough.

Keep your routine. Keep your life going.

Kara PurvesComment
Eat Me

So, given my current situation with my low-back, I am focusing on my nutrition and “cleaning it up.” Admittedly, I have slipped down the slippery slope of parenthood in which I have allowed my children to lead the eating habits, and therefore I’ve been surviving on mini pancakes, spaghetti, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, smiley face taters, chicken Top Ramen, hot dogs, watermelon, and Otter pops.

I am constantly tired and worn out, and I believe a big part of that is my current “kids” diet that I am allowing to take over in our household.

So, since I can’t workout right now, I have to put my energy towards something else. And, because I don’t want to gain any weight and lose any of my hard work, I need to make my diet ON-POINT!!! ;-)

Today, I started the “Whole30” which is very similar to “Paleo.” In a nutshell, the Whole30 requires you to eliminate ALL foods that typically trigger food sensitivities, cravings, disrupted hormones, poor sleep, mood swings, and so on. You can eat all meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and oils. You canNOT have any dairy, sugars, alcohol, legumes, additives, grains, and desserts of any kind (even Paleo-approved).

It’s not meant to punish or torture you, even though it can feel that way. Haha! It IS meant to give yourself a “restart,” if you will. A “clean slate,” and then slowly, one by one, you can reintroduce the restricted items to see how your body reacts to it.

Because I’ve done these things before, though, I am doing my own version of Whole30 and Paleo-ish.

I’m giving up my coffee, even though it’s allowed in Whole30 and Paleo. I want to see how caffeine effects me, though. Instead of eliminating, though, I am replacing with mint and chamomile teas. I’m focusing on a lot more vegetables and lean meats, and more variety, too. I’m drinking A LOT more water! And, no more pastas, breads, rice, and fried foods of any kind (This has been the biggest issue for me).

Tonight, I made a “Garlic Lime Shrimp with Cauliflower Puree” but I was lazy with the cauliflower.

Here’s the recipe:

I bought cauliflower already chopped up into bits for cauliflower rice and just kept it as such. The dish was still delicious, but the texture was off with the cauliflower rice - It would have been much better had I pureed it into a mashed potato-like consistency. Mental note taken! ;-)

I have an awesome Frittata waiting for me in the fridge for tomorrow morning!

I’ll share the recipe tomorrow. :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Just Keep Swimming

My lower back gave out yesterday during the warm up. I was doing burpees. What a twisted sense of humor life has sometimes.

I’m super mad because it was so out of the blue and for no good reason.

It just… happened.

And, it’s irritatingly inconvenient as a mother of three and a coach. I ate my feelings last night, too. I had a ginormous helping of chocolate cake with crushed Heath bar bits and whipped cream. Like, enough to feed four people. I also had about 12 pieces of Dove chocolates ranging from caramel to dark. And, I washed it all down with a Pepsi.

And, you know what, I don’t feel sorry or guilty for it. Nor do I feel like I now have to “get back on track.” I also don’t feel like I need to make any sort of “comeback” from my back injury. But, I’m also NOT going to make a habit out of it, either. I’m not having big desserts and over-eating my feelings everyday now. No, I just get that one day. I get to be human, and I don’t have to beat myself up over it.

From this point on, I am challenging our popular thinking. And, I am going to use this situation as an opportunity to be more present and accepting of the entire experience.

Injuries suck. They are frustrating. And, they can feel unfair. What’s worse, we are expected to be positive and grateful through the whole thing. If we aren’t, then we’re an a**hole. We’re expected to eat healthy all the time, otherwise if we don’t then it’s considered “cheating.” We’re expected to make gainz and progress all the time, otherwise we’re not “being better than yesterday.” We’re expected to “comeback better and stronger” than before the setback, otherwise we “failed.”

So, here I am tonight, writing this blog while super annoyed at my current situation, knowing that I won’t be able to coach this week, let alone workout, and I can’t even pick up my 9-month old baby. I’m frustrated at my level of inability, and angry every time my back spasms and I feel shooting pain. But, I also realize it could have been a lot worse, and I am fortunate to have help from my husband and in-laws.

I can be angry and grateful at the same time.

I can be frustrated and happy at the same time.

I can pout and do my stretches at the same time.

I can also eat cake and drink water while taking my vitamins and Fish oil at the same time.

Point is, folks, we can be multiple things at the same time, even when they contradict one another, and that’s okay!

My road to recovery does not have to be motivating or inspiring, nor does it have to be super positive. I’m not going to try to make any sort of comeback, either. I didn’t fall off any wagons or tracks. I don’t need to start over.

I am simply moving forward. I am CONTINUING on my ongoing journey.

Moving forward is choosing to continue to take action WHILE being in the presence of frustration, anger, happiness, gratitude, bitterness, fear, and depression. I don’t have to be happy all the time. I don’t have to be grateful every second. And, I don’t have to be positive all day about my recovery. BUUUT, I still need to move forward, even with all of my anger and irritations.

And, I think that’s the missing link for many - We can still DO something even when we are angry, sad, frustrated, or indifferent. You can even hate it, but still do it. I hate stretching because I think it’s super boring! But, I also know the value of it and how it will help my lower back, so I still do them as I roll my eyes like a teenager.

Yes, you can still do something good for yourself while not necessarily being happy and positive about it. We don’t have to have the “right conditions” for something to work. And, we don’t have to have the “right attitude” to be able to do it. Sometimes, we just gotta do it.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is… as Dory says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” :-)

Kara PurvesComment

In case you were wondering what tomorrow’s 4th of July WOD is, here it is! Please remember that we will only have 8:30 & 9:30am Classes, and then will be CLOSED the remainder of the day.


On a 35-minute clock with a partner:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
30 double-unders
15 pull-ups
15 push-ups
100-meter sprint

Then, 5 minutes to find a 1-rep-max partner deadlift

For the AMRAP, have one partner work while the other rests, switching after a full round is completed. If you're performing without a partner, rest 60 seconds between each round, and find a regular 1-rep-max deadlift.



Sergeant Scott Lunger was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop near the intersection of Myrtle and Lyon Streets at approximately 3:15 am.

Sergeant Lunger observed a vehicle being operated erratically. He conducted a vehicle stop with the assistance of a second unit. As Sergeant Lunger and the officer approached the vehicle, an occupant opened fire, killing the Sergeant. The other officer on scene returned fire as the vehicle fled. The subject vehicle was found abandoned a short time later. The wounded subject was located and taken into custody.

Sergeant Lunger had served with the Hayward Police Department for 15 years. He is survived by his two daughters.

Sgt. Lunger was born in Hayward, CA, and raised in Dublin. He graduated from Dublin High and continued his studies, playing football at both Diablo Valley College and Chico State University. He followed in the footsteps of his father and brother by completing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595’s apprenticeship program and worked his way up to general foreman to become a partner in the family’s electrical business.

In 2000, Lunger fulfilled a longtime desire to serve in law enforcement when he was hired by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department. Following his graduation from the 109th Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Class of 2000, Lunger accepted a position with the Hayward Police Department in May 2001.

He had found his true calling as a police officer, where he served in many capacities including: Special Duty, the Gang Task Force, SWAT and as a Field Training Officer.

Kara PurvesComment
Live & Learn

No Jedi Master can replace the invaluable lessons we learn through EXPERIENCE herself.

Experience is the best teacher.

In CrossFit, we must give ourselves the opportunity to experience something new each and every WOD. Only through trial and error can we really get to know ourselves and how to properly scale the workouts to meet the demands and expectations of each day’s intentions.

So, what does this look like? Let’s use “Johnny” as our example - Johnny has been CrossFitting for about two years now, does most workouts “Rx,” and is your everyday, full-time job, and daddy of three guy. Although he can do most of the WOD’s “Rx,” he doesn’t hit the target time domains very often. His “Fran” time is currently 12:46, and his “Murph” time is 1:03:34. His coach sat down with him and asked Johnny to consider scaling the workouts for the next few months and focus on hitting the targets, whether it’s for rounds and reps, or for time.

Johnny did not like this idea, and understandably so, but the coach was able to convince him to try it out for the first week, and then they could reassess.

So, lo and behold, on the Monday the workout just happened to be “Fran.” Now, although Johnny can technically do this workout “Rx,” his coach encouraged him to try it today @ 75# thrusters, but go for unbroken sets or cut it in half (11-10, 8-7, and 5-4). Johnny normally does the thrusters in sets of 3’s. The coach also suggested Johnny do the first 21 pull ups as 21 unbroken ring rows, and then the 15 and 9 he can do pull ups. This is because Johnny cannot do large volume of pull ups quickly, and his coach wants him to feel what it’s like to go big and unbroken in a workout (Johnny is used to doing everything in small sets with a lot of rest).

Johnny, admittedly, is not excited, and is very nervous and outside his comfort zone. He doesn’t quite know what to expect of himself.

The WOD happens.

Johnny ends up doing the first 21 thrusters unbroken, and he was completely surprised by himself. Filled with a newfound excitement, he did all 21 ring rows unbroken, and was shocked to see the time at only 1:36. Although he was breathing heavier than he was used to, he did try to pick up the barbell and do the next 15 unbroken. However, at the 9th rep, his body quit on him and he had to drop it. The coach yelled out to take three deep breaths and then go. Johnny obeyed, and was able to get the last 6 reps done. Now for the pull ups. Johnny has never really done more than 5 at a time. Today, though, he knew he had to TRY. So, he just went for it to see how far he could go, and he ended up getting 14 before having to drop, but then got the last rep. By now, Johnny was heaving hard and hating all of his decisions today. He stood over his bar, not wanting to pick it up. His coach came over and started yelling in his ear. Begrudgingly, Johnny picked up the barbell and decided to try all 9 reps just so he could be done with it. He got through 4 reps, and then dumped it. He was hurting everywhere. The coach counted him down, and then Johnny went again. Two more reps done. Johnny was deep in that tunnel. One more rep. He wondered why he couldn’t do more than one rep. One more rep done. Just one more to go. Johnny held the barbell in the front rack position, took a deep breath, and then did the last rep. He knew he couldn’t do 9 pull ups unbroken, let alone one right now. So, instead, he walked over to the rings and did 5, then 4 reps to finish, and fell to the ground.


Johnny now realized what his coach was talking about. This was definitely THE HARDEST workout he’s ever done in the two years he’s been here.

Each day, Johnny discussed with his coach how they best think he should tackle the workout to hit the target intensity and score range. And, each day, Johnny learned something else new about himself and where his holes were in his training.

There were a lot of misses in the beginning of this new adventure. Many days, he miscalculated something and either had to take weight off in the middle of the workout, or went too fast and realized he could have gone heavier.

After about 5 months, though, Johnny was really dialed into himself, and most workouts were scaled appropriately for himself.

A year later, after the initial start to this adventure, Johnny re-tested his “Fran,” and went “Rx.”

Johnny was happy to report that he went unbroken in all sets, and nailed a time of 3:45.

Live and learn, folks.

Be like Johnny.

Scale it back and really try to hit the target for the day. If you’re not sure how, ASK THE COACH! ;-)

Scaling is NOT cheating, and it definitely is NOT making anything “easier.” Scaling is how ALL OF US, including us coaches and competitors, adapt the day’s workout to meet our own needs and abilities so that we can achieve the day’s intentions and outcomes.



Kara PurvesComment
Thursday, July 4th

Friendly reminder, folks, that THIS THURSDAY, July 4th we will only have 8:30am & 9:30am Classes.

Wear your best red, white, and blue, and get ready to sweat! ;-)

We will be CLOSED the rest of the day in observance of the 4th of July!

Friday, July 5th, will be normal schedule!

Kara PurvesComment
Fork It Friday: Pre & Post Eating Habits

A very common, and very debatable topic, is when, what, and how much to eat before and after a workout.

However, just like everything else in health & fitness, it is completely individual, and YOU have to do the grunt work to figure out what works best for you and your needs.

Sorry, I do not have the magic pill, or the cookie-cutter answer tonight. ;-)

Example - I can eat literally right before a workout and be totally fine, and I actually do better with food in my belly, even if it’s still digesting, as opposed to an empty stomach, I have to eat before my workout! Often, I’ll eat 2-3 eggs with one slice of avocado toast, and sometimes even 2-3 slices of bacon! I am also starving and need replenishment immediately after my workout. I can chug my protein shake and eat an entire hamburger with sweet potato fries within 10 minutes post-WOD. And, if I don’t get something in my belly within 30 minutes, I am HANGRY!

Now, on the flipside, my husband cannot stomach anything before and after a workout, not even a protein shake or a little banana. He actually gets sick to his stomach if he eats something right before the workout. He has to eat at least one to two hours beforehand. And, after the workout, he’s not hungry for at least a couple of hours. His stomach and body just do not perform well with food before and after a workout. He actually feels better and performs better on an empty stomach.

Different strokes for different folks.

Now, we’ve heard the studies that say you should ideally eat or drink something within 45 minutes post-workout, and sure, that would be probably good for most of us. But, my husband is one of those exceptions, and that’s okay. He knows what works well for him. And, he’s tried to force himself to, “do what the experts say,” but his body hated him for doing it.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best, and you need to listen to your body.

I once had a coach that insisted I used whey protein for my post-wod shakes. Well, I’m lactose-intolerant, folks. But, my coach said the benefits far outweighed the cons. He meant well. I obliged for a couple of weeks and found myself bloated, heavy-feeling, and super gassy. I started to fear heavy squats! I didn’t care how many “gainz” I was gonna get from whey protein, I threw that bucket away and found a better alternative for MY body. I now only use beef-isolate protein, or egg white protein.

So, trial and error, keep a journal if that helps, and figure out what works best for YOU and YOUR body. If you need professional guidance, ask a coach, or even better yet, find an awesome professional nutritionist who can work with you for an extended period of time.

Stop looking for the “answer” or the “secret,” and start paying attention to yourself. Really get to know yourself and figure out your best dietary regime for training.

Happy Fueling!

Kara PurvesComment
The Day That Counts The Most

Consistency is obviously key to success and results. We already know this.

But, there are some days that are even more important than any other days to show up to the gym.

One of those more important days is THE DAY YOU DON’T WANT TO SHOW UP. The day you hate yourself, hate life, hate others, hate everything. The day you’re too tired, too depressed, too fed up, too annoyed.

The day you want to quit.

That is the day you NEED to show up most.

Even if you end up just biking an easy 5k during the class, then so be it. You still showed up.

And, here’s the thing, folks. You are NOT showing up for the others. You’re NOT showing up for your coach. You’re NOT showing up for your BFF. You’re not even showing up for your significant other, your kids, or any other family members or closest friends.

Nope. You are showing up for YOU!

You are telling yourself that you are worth fighting for.

You’re telling yourself that you still believe in yourself, even at your lowest low.

You’re saying, “I love you” to yourself.

You are being your own hero.

Show up for yourself, especially when you need it most.

Just show up.

Kara PurvesComment
Are You Following Us on Social Media?!

Did you know that we have a Facebook and Instagram page?! ;-)

We also have a Private Facebook Group specifically for Cadre members where we discuss all things health and fitness, share resources and ideas, give shout outs, post pictures, etc. If you’re not a part of it, let us know and we’ll add you in!

On our Facebook and Instagram pages, we post a lot of content, mostly motivational and shout outs, but also a lot of quick tips, coaching cues, upcoming events, and helpful resources. Be sure to “Like” us and Follow for all of our great posts, and always be in the know! ;-)

Aaaaaaand, don’t forget about Coach JonMichael & Coach Phil’s “Improvement Imminent” Instagram page and Podcast that they post every Sunday and Wednesday!

So much fitness to share! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
6-Week Pull Up Progression

This article is from CrossFit 611, and you can find the original post here:


No sense in me re-inventing the wheel when these guys said everything I would have said myself, and this progression is a great one to try, even if you can already do pull ups. I would bet that many of you still can’t do consistent STRICT pull ups, and THAT is what will transfer over into chest-to-bar and muscle ups!

So, check out this article, and give the progression a try - a REAL, HONEST effort.

Also, keep in mind this is just ONE of many great pull up progressions out there, and you can certainly scale and modify this program as needed, And, as always, talk to one of us coaches about it, and we can definitely help you along the way! ;-)


Written by CrossFit 611 on April 10, 2016

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the 6 Weeks of Pull-Up accessory work, we would be doing ourselves a disservice by not looking at a few facts. As CrossFitters and Functional Fitness Athletes we seem to have milestones that we want to achieve. The most elusive of which is probably the Muscle-Up. Even though this may be the “I just want to be able to do one MU” dream for some of us, we need to think about physics and biology. While the kip and hip thrust can be a very powerful and effective movement, our upper body needs to be able to support the weight we are trying to toss up over the bar or onto the rings.

Building this base of upper body strength is not only a method of progression to achieve these more advanced movements, but it’s also essential knowledge for any athlete to know how to prevent injury. For most of us, injury prevention is not just something the physical therapist talks to us about but it should be a way of life. If we get injured, we are out of commission for fitness right? It depends; if we ignore the lesson to be learned and don’t take the time to build up to our advanced movements we run the risk of being injured again. We should take these steps in order to increase the longevity of our fitness journey, which will allow us to live a more abundant life as we age.

So enough of the why, let’s talk about the what! We have, at the least, two concepts we need to consider when we talk about Pull-Ups, which is the base of the Muscle-Up. Many will argue (usually not the coach) that you don’t need a strict pull-up in order to jump into kipping and butterfly Pull-Ups. While you may physically be able to jump right into butterflies and stringing kipping Pull-Ups together in a WOD, this doesn’t mean you are free and clear of tearing any number of things in your shoulder, arm, back or chest. It is important to take the time, in my opinion, to string 3-5 strict Pull-Ups before going into the kip.

Another thing of note as we get closer to discussing the details of the 6 Week Program is weight to strength ratio. I can tell you that I am 210lbs and even though I can Shoulder Press the same amount of weight as the guy standing next to me, this does not translate well because the guy next to me only weighs 150lbs. So even though we are both lifting 150lb barbell over our head, he is lifting his body-weight, I’m not even close. Also think about doing a Pull-Up with a weight vest on, even if it’s only a 15lb vest, this could easily make the difference between getting 5 strict Pull-Ups and not being able to get half way up the bar with the added weight. So as we work on these progressions, consider cutting some of those extra inches  that you would like to get rid of anyway. CrossFit Invictus suggests that guys should try to be below 18% bodyfat and ladies should strive for less than 25% bodyfat in order to maximize your success with any body weight exercise.

So now that we have knowledge portion of this program out of the way, let’s discuss our Six Week Progression. We have proven methods with a phase for each level of athlete. We will break down each phase requirement and ultimately you can start with phase one and progress the entire way through phase 5 which will incorporate butterfly chest-to-bar Pull-Ups. The intent is to build you up with a proper base and add onto your existing ability.


The KEY:

  1. Stick with the plan. Consistency is king here.

  2. Take care of those hands. Ripped hands will keep you from being consistent. Shave your calluses or use a stone in the shower. Also, the more chalk you use, the more likely you are to rip from friction. A “VERY” light dusting goes a long way.

  3. Warm up. Cold muscles during any workout is like having cold tires during a motorcycle race.


This is a progression modified from Chris Stroud’s pull up progression for CrossFit ( – Chris Stroud is a CrossFit Trainer at CrossFit One World in Union City, CA).



Current Ability: 0 strict pull ups

Goal: 1 strict pull up

Objective: Strengthening muscles involved in completing a pull up. Primarily the lats, biceps, rhomboids, and various muscles in the shoulder.*

Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.

Move to Phase 2 once you can complete 3 strict pull ups in 1 minute.

Weeks 1/3/5:

Day 1

3 sets of 5 jumping negatives. Jump up to position with chin over the bar and SLOWLY lower to full extension. Step back on box and repeat.

Day 2

5 sets of 15 second active hang on bar, then 5 challenging ring rows. Hold 2 count at the top.

Day 3

3 sets of 5 vertical hanging ring rows. If you are able to do more than 5 reps, then scale up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps. A vertical ring row consists of arms and back hanging straight down from the rings with palms facing out. Pull up with heels “dragging” the floor. If you struggle to get 5 reps in this position, step back until 5 reps can be completed.

Day 4

8 Struggle Ups Struggle Downs. Begin hanging on the bar. Pull yourself up by activating your lats and shoulders as much as you possibly can. Struggle for 5 seconds. At that point, step on a box to do a jumping pull up. Once chin has cleared the bar, perform a slow negative pull up. Slowly lower yourself to full extension. Attempt to do so for a 10 count (10 second lower).

Day 5-7

If you have time, motivation, etc. to perform pull up practice and exercise more than 4 days a week, perform 5 sets of 3 challenging reps on days between.


Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

3 sets of 5 jumping negatives. Jump up to position with chin over the bar and SLOWLY lower to full extension. Step back on box and repeat.

Day 2

Accumulate 25 challenging ring rows. If you can string together 10 or more, they are not challenging enough. Make them more challenging by moving your body more parallel with the floor.

Day 3

3 sets of 5 vertical hanging ring rows. If you are able to do more than 5 reps, then scale up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Day 4

3 sets of max hang from pull up bar with 1 minute rest between sets. Cash out: 5 reps 7 second struggle up.



Current Ability: 1 strict pull up at any time consistently

Goal: 5 strict pull ups in a row with no kip

Objectives: Every week do more pull ups than the last. Develop a good technique for kipping. Become stronger in the hollow rock position.

Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.

Move to Phase 3 when you can do 3 sets of 5 strict pull ups in 3 minutes.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

5 minute EMOM 2-5 strict pull ups (increase up to 5 strict pull ups per minute)

Day 2

Tabata kipping rocks (4 minutes, 20 sec work, 10 seconds rest). Try to stay consistent within rounds. If you can perform a solid kipping pullup, do these instead.

Day 3

Tabata hollow rocks/hollow hold. Then accumulate 30 challenging ring rows. Have body as parallel to ground as possible.

Day 4

As many strict pull ups as possible in 4 minutes.

Day 5-7

Focus on kipping form and kipping practice


Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1 (lengthen EMOM by 2 minutes each week)

Day 2

Same as week 1 (increase amount of pull ups per tabata round)

Day 3

5 sets of 2 negative pull ups. Pull up until chin passes over bar, then lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible.

Day 4

4 sets of 10 challenging ring rows, followed by 45 second hollow hold (increase for week 4).



Current Ability: set of 5 strict pull ups at any time consistently

Goal: Men – 10 strict and 20 kipping pull ups in a row, Women – 7 strict and 15 kipping pull ups in a row

*Phase 3 challenge – both men/women able to string together a few butterflys

Objectives: Develop stamina for higher reps

Do at least 3-4 workouts a week.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

5 minute EMOM 2-5 strict pull ups (each week add 2 minutes to EMOM)

Day 2

3 sets max rep kipping or butterfly pull ups with 2 minutes rest between sets

Day 3

4 sets max strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets

Day 4

As many kipping/butterfly pull ups in 5 minutes


Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

20 kipping/butterfly pull ups as fast as possible in least amount of sets as possible.

Day 2

Accumulate 40 challenging (parallel body) ring rows (add 10 more for week 4) 1 minute hollow hold each time you break

Day 3

Same as week 1 (try to beat score)

Day 4

5 sets of 5 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up, then lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible

Day 5-7

If you have time and energy, do butterfly work and practice.



Current Ability: Men – 10 strict and 20 kipping pull ups unbroken. Women – 7 strict and 15 kipping pull ups unbroken. Both men/women able to string together a few butterfly pull ups.

Goal: Men – 40 butterfly pull ups. Women – 30 butterfly pull ups

Objectives: Build pull up capacity.

Do at least 3-4 workouts per week

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

4 minute EMOM of 20 seconds unbroken kipping/butterfly pull ups (if you are proficient at butterfly by this time, you should be shooting for 18-22 reps for at least the first set) – increase EMOM to 6 minutes in week 3.

Day 2

3 sets of 5 weighted strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets. (increase #2.5-5 in week 3)

Day 3

60 pull ups as fast as possible (increase to 75 in week 3).

Day 4

Tabata hollow rock/hold, 5 minutes butterfly work


Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1 (increase to 5 minute EMOM)

Day 2

Accumulate 50 ring rows (increase to 60 in week 4). 1 minute hollow hold any time you break.

Day 3

Same as Week 1 Day 2 (increase weight if possible)

Day 4

5 sets of 10 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up and lower yourself down on a 10 count if possible.

Day 5-7

If you have time and energy, do extra core and butterfly work.



Current Ability: Men – 40 unbroken butterfly pull ups. Women – 30 unbroken butterfly pull ups.

Goal: Men – 100 pull ups in under 4 minutes. Women – 100 pull ups in under 5 minutes.

Objectives: Capacity, volume, efficiency, and consistency

Do at least 3-4 workouts per week.

Weeks 1/3/5

Day 1

Tabata kipping/butterfly chest to bar pull ups. Count lowest score. Try to increase each week.

Day 2

5 sets of 5 weighted strict pull ups. Rest 2 minutes between sets. Increase #2.5-5 per week.

Day 3

5 sets of max unbroken pull ups (do not go over 20 pull ups per set – the goal is 5 sets of 20 pull ups unbroken). Rest 1 minute between sets.

Day 4

Accumulate 75 challenging (parallel body) ring rows. 1 minute hollow hold any time you break.


Weeks 2/4/6

Day 1

Same as week 1

Day 2

Same as week 1

Day 3

5 sets of 10 negative pull ups. Do a strict pull up, then lower yourself down on a 10 count.

Day 4

100 kipping/butterfly pull ups for time.

Day 5-7

If you have the time and energy, perform extra core and butterfly/kipping work.

Kara PurvesComment
4th of July Schedule

Hey Cadre CommUNITY,

Just a heads up that Thursday, July 4th will be 8:30 & 9:30am Classes only, and we will be CLOSED the rest of the day in observance of the holiday!

And, of course it will be an epic workout, so be ready to sweat red, white, and blue! ;-)

Friday, the 5th, will be NORMAL schedule.

Kara PurvesComment
Fork It Friday: Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is my all-time favorite meal of the day! It’s also a super important meal of the day. And, it doesn’t have to be fancy or take up a lot of time making. There are a lot of ways to get something in your belly, especially if it has to be super early, or last-minute.

One of my favorites, especially during the winter season, is “Paleo Oatmeal” with nuts and berries. Simply mash up one banana in a bowl with a fork, mix with 1/2 cup of almond milk, heat in the microwave for about 30-60 sec, and then add some nuts and/or berries. I like to use either almonds or walnuts, and blueberries.

A classic Paleo breakfast meal prep idea is Egg Cups. Using a cupcake pan, crack one egg in each cupcake section. Some people like to line each cup with a slice of bacon, too! Add whatever fixin’s you want. Chopped veggies, sliced ham, herbs and spices. Anything really goes. It’s also up to you whether or not you want to scramble the egg, or leave it as is, but most people scramble it. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Personally, I like to do the bacon slice as the cupcake holder, and then scramble the egg with spinach, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. I then eat it int eh morning with salsa or guacamole.

If you need something extra easy and quick (and maybe you just can’t stomach too much food in the morning), here are some other ideas:

  • Hard boiled eggs & Fruit - Grab & Go!

  • Smoothie - You can actually pre-make your smoothies! Simply put all the ingredients you want in your smoothie into a Ziploc freezer bag (minus the liquids), and then in the morning plop them into your blender with your choice of liquid(s) and blend! Here’s 50 ideas:

  • Breakfast, Paleo, or Granola Bars. Here’s some ideas:

  • Nut Butter on Toast. Maybe even slice up a banana on top!

  • Avocado Toast. I’m super lazy, and I actually use guacamole on my toast for a quick fix.

  • Yogurt Mason Jars - Premake with Greek Yogurt (or whatever works for you), oatmeal, and whatever fixin’s you’d like, maybe nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, berries, etc.

  • Egg in a Coffee Cup - You can actually make your breakfast in a cup! Crack an egg in a coffee mug, add whatever ingredients you want, and then microwave for about 45 seconds, stir and mix as needed, then microwave for another 45 seconds. Quick and easy!


Kara PurvesComment
Celebrate Yourself

I was thinking today as I was suffering through my own birthday workout that, like, this needs to be more a thing we all do for ourselves! ;-)

Every year, I program my own birthday workout as an AMRAP with 10 of my favorite movements at the reps of my age. So, this year was a 39 min AMRAP with 39 reps of each movement, from power cleans to pull ups, double unders to sit ups. That’s my birthday tradition, and I’ll continue to do it until the day I die.

I encourage all of you to celebrate your special day with a birthday workout. It could either be your favorite benchmark, maybe it’s a Hero or Girl WOD, or a specific workout from the gym.

Or, maybe you want to program your own workout - Maybe you like “For Time,” or an EMOM, an AMRAP, or maybe even Intervals… Or, maybe a “Death By.” Heck, you could even make it a heavy lifting day! Sooo many options!

Then, put in your favorite movements - The ones you love, the ones you can do well, the ones that bring you joy!

Lastly, recruit some friends to sweat and celebrate with you! ;-)

Celebrate YOU! Let’s make this a thing!

Happy Birthday to youuuuu - I can’t wait to see what your birthday WOD will be…

Kara PurvesComment
Mind Games

When the going gets tough in a WOD, which is pretty much every workout, there is a mind game you can learn to play to get you through it.

Let’s first get one thing out in the open and upfront - If you’re doing it right, at some point in the workout you are going to reach a point where it hurts. And, I don’t mean the bad kind of pain that signals injury. I mean the good kind of pain that really sucks, but we also know that it’s making us stronger.

The funny thing about pain, though, is that only about 10% is actually physical, and the other 90% is in how you perceive that pain and how you choose to move on with it. A few of us are actually able to just ignore it. Some of us can bear it. Others can bear some of it. And, others of us get consumed by it.

If you focus on the pain and keep thinking about it and how much it sucks, your body will respond accordingly. It truly is mind over matter.

Most of us can’t ignore the pain, though, so what can we do instead?!

REPLACE the negative thought with a task. Also known as a distraction. So, here’s what you do…

I’ll use today’s workout as an example:

800m Run
20 DB Power Cleans
50 ft DB Front Rack Walking Lunges
20 DB Push Press
50ft FRWL

During the first 400m Run, I was fine, but then starting the second lap, I felt my legs getting heavy, and my lungs starting to heave. Lo and behold, as I focused on the fast approaching pain, my body started to slow down in the run. That’s when I had to block my thoughts and put on my coaching hat - I started coaching myself in the run, reminding myself to strike mid-foot and then kick back, and lean forward slightly like in Pose Running. I kept tweaking my form, nit-picking my movement patterns, and before I knew it, I was already done with the run.

I had to break up the 20 DB Power Cleans into sets of 5 because I had a heavier weight today. The first two sets were fine, but then I didn’t want to pick up the DBs again for the third set. I was already tired, and it was super humid in the gym. I kept allowing myself to rest, and then I finally had to tell myself to shut up, and I started to recite the steps on how to set up for the DB Power Clean. Feet underneath my hips, hands on the DBs, chest up, tension in the hamstrings, stand and squeeze the butt while shrugging, and then catch. I kept repeating to myself to keep my chest up and shrug my shoulders, and it got me through my last two sets quickly.

Then, again, everything hurt and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. And, again, I had to shut off my negative (yet completely normal) response to the pain, and keep shouting in my head coaching commands. Pick up the DBs, hold in front rack, step forward keeping front foot flat, don’t let the knee collapse in, keep chest up, stay engaged…

Okay, so you get the point -

When the going gets tough, turn off the “crybaby” and turn on your inner “coach.”

For lack of a better way to explain it, when done effectively, you’ll find yourself in an almost indifferent state of mind. Being in this indifferent state allows you to really push your body as far as it can actually go physically, and NOT be held back by your mindset and any negative beliefs you may have about yourself and your abilities.

We really are our own worst enemy when it comes to the workouts.

BUT, we can also be our own best friend and coach. We just have to train it. Just as we have to train our muscles, we gotta train our minds.

So… In your next workout, when it starts to get tough and painful, flip the switch and start coaching yourself through the movement. Don’t worry about how many reps you have left. Don’t worry about the clock. Don’t worry about where everyone else is in the workout. Don’t even worry about the next rep.

FOCUS on the task at hand, right in front of you, and coach yourself through it. Focus on what needs to be done in the moment (ex. Put your hands on the barbell, set your feet, chest up, and so on).

And, it takes practice, guys, so don’t get discouraged the first few times you try this. You most likely will fail and get frustrated, and that is totally normal. It’s just like Double Unders - You’ll get whipped a few times before you get it right. ;-)

Just keep trying, and you’ll get better and better at it, and eventually it will become your new default and auto-pilot.

Turn your pain into your coach! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
How Many Days a Week Should You CrossFit?

While many probably want a definitive answer, this simple yet important question is actually individualized just like everything else we do here!

Depending on the coach, and depending on the athlete, you’ll get varying opinions on the matter, too. It’s all very well-intended, of course, but at the end of the day, you need to figure out what works best for you and your current lifestyle.

We’ve all heard the saying, “What you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.”

Whether you are brand new to CrossFit, or a veteran athlete, going 3-5 days a week is the most common attendance rate!

In general, most should go a minimum of 3 days a week, and no more than 5 days in a row. There should ALWAYS be a minimum of one day a week that is a true REST day to allow for proper recovery.

Recovery is just as important as your workouts! Don’t skip rest day!

Don’t overthink it, folks. It ain’t rocket science, nor is it a matter of qualifying for the CF Games or not. ;-)

Show up as much as you can, give what you can in the workouts, and be sure to listen to your body and rest at least once or twice a week!

And, on a sidenote - Just as you take vacations from work and school, be sure to take a vacation from the gym about once a year. Yes, for real. When I used to train for Regionals every year, I always took an entire week off right after the Open. I did not go to the gym at all, I did not workout at all, and I didn’t even talk about CrossFit during that week. It was a major deload that I needed every year to prevent burnout.

Today, since I am no longer training to compete, I use our family vacations as my breaks from CrossFit.

If you really need to figure out a training regime, though, sit down with your coach and talk about:

A) What are your current fitness goals and why?

B) What are your current strengths and weaknesses, and how are you going to address them this year?

C) How much time a week can you really commit to consistently, without jeopardizing the other areas of your life and relationships?

Kara PurvesComment
Performance Focused

Remember when Mom used to tell us to stop looking for love, and then love will finally find us? Remember the Professor who kept telling you to stop looking for the answers, look for the right questions, and then the answers will come? And, remember the Mentor who said that there is no way to happiness, but rather happiness IS the way?

Well… it’s the same thing for fitness and aesthetics.

While I hate to admit it, aesthetics is a big part of health and fitness. And, I say that simply because as a coach, it’s really, really, really, REALLY f***ing hard to help people who have been conditioned for years to “lose weight” and “look” a certain way.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again - The Health & Fitness Industry is broken!

We need to fix it.

We’ve been preyed upon by the industry through our deepest insecurities, and trained to believe that health and fitness is about losing weight fast and LOOKING a certain way.

Okay, so here’s the thing - We are all human, and even I admittedly care about my aesthetics. I don’t think a little bit of vanity is a bad thing. BUT - When aesthetics becomes the main focus, or even THE only focus of health and fitness, it then becomes a very stressful, very difficult, and sometimes even a very dangerous situation.

The trick is finding the right balance between hard work and dedication, while also enjoying a quality of life that makes us happy, and enjoy a few indulgences along the way. It’s finding a lifestyle that is SUSTAINABLE, while at the same time bringing real results.

I’ve tried to find the “magic pill” and the “quick fix.” Many, many times. I’ve wasted so much money and time over the years. But, what’s worse is that I put myself in unhealthy and unsafe situations trying for the perfect body.

It wasn’t until my 6th year into CrossFit that I realized the real “secret” to the “perfect body.”

Your perfect body is whatever your body sculpts into while doing the things you love, training with intention, eating for fuel and nourishment, and loving yourself unconditionally.

Read that again. And again. And again. Until it’s permanently engraved into your mind and heart.

And how do we achieve that?! By focusing on PERFORMANCE.

Yes, focusing solely and exclusively on performance. And I do NOT mean trying to do workouts “Rx” and over-training with 1,000 push ups for time, and then comparing your time to the others in class. No, no, NO!

What I mean by focusing on performance is moving with intent, with purpose, and with quality. Learning, practicing, and truly mastering the movements. Technique and form first. Strict before kip. Gradually increasing load and intensity over extended periods of time. Focusing on your squat, your body position, your breathing, and your range of motion. Fixing the weaknesses, and building upon the strengths. Finding your current 1 RM, and then adjusting your workouts based on your percentages.

In my 6th year of CrossFit, I started training seriously for Regionals. I was doing 3-4 hrs a day and eating about 90% Paleo, 10% whatever. I was so focused on my lifts and workouts, that by the end of that year I suddenly realized I had abs (Which, I had never had before in my lifetime). I had not stepped on a scale that entire year, either, and when I finally did that same day, I also learned that I was about 5 pounds less and about 5% more muscle mass. It was the last 5 pounds that I used to obsess about, cry about, and get angry over. Now, I could have cared less about those 5 pounds, nor did I even realize at the time that they had left my body!

It was the first time in my life that I understood all of those sayings. When you stop looking for “it,” when you stop obsessing about it, when you stop letting it control your life and focus on the things that matter, the rest will take care of itself naturally.

When you focus on the right performance, the aesthetics will take care of themselves. I promise!

Now, what I can’t promise is what those aesthetics will be, because we are all uniquely built. We come from different genetics. We are at different ages and stages of life. We all have our own eating habits, sleep habits, work habits, and life habits. Our hormone levels are different. We all have our own variables that we are working with and fighting against, so your aesthetics will be different from mine, and hers, and his, and even theirs.

For my first 28 years of life, I hated my thick thighs so much. Hated. As a teenager, I would cry at night wishing I had chicken legs like the other cheerleaders. I hated my muscular thighs more than my pimples and Algebra II combined. But then when I found CrossFit, I had women actually envying and complimenting my legs. I never thought I’d live to see the day… And today, I LOVE my legs, and am so grateful for all of the things they can do! I still can’t, and never will be able to wear skinny jeans without my muscular thighs bulging out, and I’m okay with that. That is my body type. Those are my Korean thighs from my biological parents. ;-)

Now, just as I had women admiring my thighs, I also had women disgusted by them, and even women afraid of “catching” my thighs if they started lifting weights. Bottom line is, folks - There will always be people out there who think you are too fat, too skinny, too bulky, too manly, too scrawny, too dark, too light, too tall, too short… Opinions are like butt holes, everyone has one…

The one and only opinion that should matter to you is YOUR OWN OPINION of yourself.

Okay, okay… I digress…

Bottom line - I just want y’all to LOVE YOURSELF. “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you!” ;-) But, in all seriousness, if there is only one thing I can do while being able to coach in the health & fitness industry, it would be to help others love themselves through a sustainable lifestyle!

Love yourself. Love your body. The rest will take care of itself.

Stop looking for skinny or abs. Start performing. Perform at life.

Kara PurvesComment