Every so often, we will get a nice email randomly from a client, and it’s one of those emails that tugs at our heart strings (Yes, believe it or not, we mean ol’ coaches actually have some, haha!). It’s why we do what we do!

We share this email from Mike Harman, a 5:00am faithful. Here’s his story:

I completed a mini triathlon yesterday. 250 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 2 mile run.

I sucked at the swim (Need to get back to doing laps) but the bike and run I did great (for me) I could really tell my leg strength was there where it wasn't in the past.

I actually sprinted! I haven't sprinted in a couple of years and out of nowhere I turned on the gas and passed 4 people at the end! One in particular I meant to say in my head but said out loud, "He's Mine!" and I caught him and beat him by a step at the finish line!

It's all I can do to not wear my medal around all day.

My son saw the medal and now my four year old, Jonathan is registered for a 1/2 mile Spartan Race in Pittsburgh on Oct 19th :-)

Thanks for helping me pass fitness on.

Just wanted to say thank you for helping me on my fitness journey and creating CrossFit Cadre as such a great place to be!

Thanks again!

Side note, we got to see that sprint this morning in the last stretch of the workout. It was a whole new side of Mike we hadn’t got to see before, and it was very exciting! Mike has been extremely consistent with his attendance and effort level.

Awesome work, Mike, and thank you so much for sharing your story, and for trusting us to be a part of your fitness journey!

Kara PurvesComment
Rogue Winter Classic

Winter is coming…

The Winter Classic in association with CrossFit is a celebration of fitness, wellness and learning.  Grounded around a team fitness competition for every athlete, this event showcases functional fitness and sound nutrition in an exciting display of interactive exhibits, elite athletes, highly skilled medical professionals, educational sessions, hands-on training courses and more.

The Winter Classic pays tribute to military heroes and benefits the Adam S. Hamilton Foundation.





Rx & Scaled Divisions. Teams MUST consist of 2 men, or 2 women (teams must be same gender). All participants must be the age of 18 or older the day of the event.

You can check out the WODs here: https://www.winter-classic.com/competition

REGISTRATION IS NOW LIVE: https://www.winter-classic.com/register

If you’d like to VOLUNTEER and/or JUDGE, check out the info here: https://www.winter-classic.com/volunteer

The Winter Classic also supports continuing education surrounding health, fitness, and wellness. Bringing like minded athletes and supporters together to open the flow of communication on these topics is as important of a goal for us as hosting the events and raising funds for local charities. There will be a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Seminar, as well as a CrossFit Adaptive Course

Check out the USAW Certification here: https://www.winter-classic.com/usaw-course

Check out the Adaptive Course here: https://www.winter-classic.com/crossfit-adaptive-course

You must sign-up for each individual WOD separately. You can register for just one WOD, or for all events, it’s up to you!

Kara PurvesComment
New Sunday Open Gym Hours

Hey Cadre Crew,

We are excited to let you know that our Sundays will now be OPEN GYM from 9:00am to 12:00pm!!

Our yoga instructor, Amanda, recently received an unexpected job opportunity and she just couldn’t pass it up, and we are super excited for her! Although our Yin Yoga was very short-lived, we wish Amanda well on her new adventure, and if and when another opportunity for us arises to offer quality yoga, then we may bring it back. But, for now, we are looking at this situation as a win-win for everyone. :-)

So, we look forward to seeing y’all on Sundays working on your goals and weaknesses.

Just a friendly reminder to please be considerate of each other, and clean up your equipment, including scrubbing the barbell, wiping down anything covered in chalk and/or sweat, and putting things back in its rightful place. Thank you for keeping Cadre clean together!

For those of you who purchased a yoga punch card, or prepaid for any yoga classes, we will still honor them. We can either fully refund you, or put the credit towards your next month’s membership. Please contact Coach Jason Welch and let him know how you’d like to handle your payment. Thank you for your understanding.

Kara PurvesComment
More Is Not Always Better

I remember back when I was in college and just getting into triathlons, I thought I had to do MORE training than ever before. I figured if I swim, bike, and run for hours on end, then I’ll be ready for the next event. And so, that’s what I did.

I’d swim at least 4,000m a day. I’d bike at least 30-40 miles a day. And, I’d run at least 3-4 miles a day. Now, it should be known that I was only doing Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. On the weekends, I would do the most - Swim 2 miles, then bike 50-75 miles, and run 6-10 miles.

When I decided to do a Half Ironman, I doubled everything. I was literally doing a full-time job, because I thought that was the only way.

Now, here’s the thing - Even though I was putting in well over 50 miles a week of running, they were NOT good runs, meaning, I didn’t push myself, I didn’t sprint any part of it, I didn’t do any hill intervals, nothing. I just jogged at a consistent pace… For long periods of time. Same thing with my bikes and swims. No variation. No sprint intervals. Just constant, mindless movement to put in the distance. And, I did zero weightlifting or any other cross training.

I started having severe low back issues. At any given time, it would suddenly give out, and I’d be trapped on the floor. Other times, it would spasm in the middle of my workout. It was excruciating. And, nothing worked. Ibuprofren, chiropractic, icing, heating, etc. Eventually, after two years of all this, I gave up triathlons and moved on to CrossFit.

I chugged that CrossFit Kool-Aid!!! ;-)

Aaaand, I did the same thing in CrossFit that I did in triathlons.

Too much.

If the WOD had 100m Runs in it, I would do 200m instead. If the WOD called for 55# thrusters, I’d do 75# because I thought I’d “get a better workout” that way. If the WOD was only a 6 min AMRAP, I’d stay after and do another hour or two of random workouts.

More was always better to me. Volume was my drug of choice.

And, it was paying off for me in the first year of CrossFit. I was asked to join the gym’s competitive team, and every weekend we would perform difficult workouts and lifts together. I kept pushing through, adding more and more volume, and eventually I found myself head-to-head with one of my teammates to be on the team headed to THE CrossFit Games!

Guess what I did? Yep, trained MORE.

Well… I didn’t make the team… And, I ended up sidelined and watched my potential place on the team being filled by someone who trained a lot smarter than I did. You see, I had to pull out completely due to a severe shoulder injury and low back pain.

It’s funny how things continue to reappear if you don’t address them. That darn low back.

Naturally, I was pissed and had a major pity-party. I didn’t think any of it was my fault. It was unfair. Waaah! Then, one of my coaches finally called me out on my bullsh**. He used my injury and recovery as an opportunity to start me over. He said we were going to slow down and do things better.

Not gonna lie, I thought he was stupid. I didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. I was being a brat. In my mind, I just needed to continue to do MORE. And, not surprisingly, I continued to have injuries and low back pain. I was the one that was stupid…

Fast forward to today. I’ve grown and matured a lot, both as a coach and an athlete, I’ve learned the hard way, more than once, that QUALITY over quantity is always better and long-lasting.

There IS a time and place for everything, even high volume, BUT with intention, and with proper training and coaching.

1,000 reps will NOT get you fitter or stronger faster.

10 quality strict pull ups will get you to a muscle up faster and better than 1,000 poorly executed kipping pull ups.

Quality over quantity - In friends, desserts, training sessions, coffee talks, and even in advice. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Cadre Kids w/ Coach Robby

Want to have a fun partner workout with your kid AND learn about our *NEW* Cadre Kids Class for ages 4-10?!
Please join us THIS Saturday, Sept 7 @ 9:30 for a super fun partner workout for families! It’s FREE TO EVERYONE!! You do NOT have to be a Cadre member to participate, and kids of all abilities can do it. So, bring your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else with active kids, and bring them to our “Meet & Greet” event this Saturday.
Partners must be a grown up & child combo — Mom&son, dad&daughter, uncle&nephew, grandpa&grandkid, etc!
Following our fun workout, Coach Robby will lead a Q&A Session for any parents who would like to stay and learn more about his Kids Program! 😄 And, don’t worry if you can’t make it this Saturday, you can still sign up your kid(s) for this fun class!

Cadre Kids officially starts on September 16th, and will be the following schedule:

Mondays @ 5:30pm

Wednesdays @ 5:30pm

Saturdays @ 9:30am

The cost is just $75 for the 4-week cycle, and each additional child in your immediate family is 10% off

Kara PurvesComment

As many of you may or may not know, the Open will now be in October instead of Feb/Mar, and this is starting THIS YEAR, so… yeah… NEXT MONTH! ;-)

Because of the new format and given the time of year, we are going to replace our “Friday Night Lights” with “Saturday Morning Showdowns”

To kick off the start of the new Open, we will be doing WOD 19.1 at CrossFit CLE with our extended CrossFit family! Our Co-Owner & Coach Phil is also Co-Owner & Coach of CLE.

WHAT: CrossFit OPEN Kick Off & Potluck Brunch Party

WHO: Fit Fam ~ CrossFit Cadre & CrossFit CLE

WHEN: Saturday, October 12th @ 8:30am
(Gym opens @ 8:00am for check-in & warm up / First Heat will start @ 8:30am)

WHERE: CrossFit CLE, 2218 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114

HOW: CrossFit Cadre will be CLOSED this day, as we will all be at CLE for this fun event! If any of you would like to carpool or caravan together to CLE, please meet us at Cadre @ 7:30am. Please bring something to share for brunch, which will be available to enjoy throughout the entire morning. And, no need to make a ginormous dish, as most people will be bringing something to share, unless you are so inclined. ;-) No need to be Paleo, either. We love donuts just as much as bacon and eggs! Who’s bringing coffee?!

ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9th ~ For Open WOD 19.5, we will host CLE at CrossFit Cadre and will have a fun closing party together to celebrate another year of fitness! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Strictly Business

We’ve talked about it many times, and we all know that we should work on our strict gymnastics movements, but a lot of us don’t know HOW to go about doing it.

Some common misconceptions and approaches athletes make is too much too soon. The whole “more is better” is not appropriate in this setting. We also tend to want to make a timeline or deadline. But, gaining gymnastics strength is NOT the same as finishing your midterm paper on time. While putting a deadline on your midterm paper is necessary and helpful to get it done, putting a deadline on gymnastics goals is stressful, often times unrealistic, and can take away from the quality of the journey itself.

Okay, so HOW do we get that pull up or muscle up, then?!?!

Just like your CrossFit workouts, be sure to VARY the variations you do to work on your gymnastics strength. So, for example, if you’re working on getting your first pull up, instead of doing banded strict pull ups 5 days a week, try doing something like this:

MONDAY: 4 Sets for Quality - 10-20 sec Dead Hang Hold, 5-10 Strict Ring Rows @ your best degree, slow & controlled. Rest as needed between sets.

TUESDAY: 4 Sets for Quality: 5-10 Strict Jackknife Pull ups, slow & controlled, rest as needed, 5-8 Strict One-arm DB Press

WEDNESDAY: 4 Sets of 10 Bent Over Rows with appropriate weight, 10-15 Push ups

THURSDAY: 10 min EMOM - 3-5 Power Cleans @ 65-75%

FRIDAY: Crossover Symmetry & Rowing Intervals

Notice the different PLANES we worked through throughout the week? Just because pull ups are an overhead motion, doesn’t mean we want to ONLY work overhead. We also want to work the front, like rowing and ring rows, and below, like power cleans. The other important piece to remember is to keep a BALANCE of pulling and pushing. A common mistake athletes working on their first pull up make is to do ONLY pulling exercises, and then they wonder why their shoulders hurt and their Push Press is weak.

If you’re working on the muscle up, make sure you’ve mastered the Chest-to-Bar Pull up FIRST. If you can’t do STRICT C2BPUs and STRICT Ring Dips yet, then you’re just not ready yet for Muscle Ups. It’s important to follow the right progressions. If you rush it, it could lead to some pretty nasty injuries, and even worse, to surgery.

Remember, there is NO race or timeline to strength. It has to be built over time. The things I can do today are because of the things I’ve done over the past 10 YEARS!!! Years, my friends! Not weeks, or even months. Years.

But, here’s the awesome thing - Once you put in the time and gain real, long-term strength, you’ll have a solid foundation that will be a lot harder to break! Prime example - After being on bedrest during my last pregnancy, followed by a tough recovery, I was out of CrossFit for almost 6 straight months. And yet, even postpartum and doing the CF Open, I was still able to do Bar Muscle Ups and butterfly C2B Pull ups. That’s NOT luck, folks. That's thanks to YEARS of strict gymnastics work and solid training.

So, strictly speaking, let’s get those strict gymnastics sets goin’! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
02 Recovery Drink

we are excited to offer y’all yet another quality product in our gym to help you with post-WOD recovery. It’s called “O2” and it’s available in our gym fridge now! Here’s the scoop directly from O2’s website:

(Source: https://drinko2.com/)

“What you do after your workout is as important as the workout itself. O2 was born when a CrossFit® trainer and a medical doctor realized that there was no healthy "sports drink" that aided them in the crucial post-workout phase. So they created one themselves! Hello, O2!

It is intended to be consumed right after your daily workout, to help you recover faster. This is NOT an energy drink, or a performance drink. O2 is specifically designed as a sports recovery drink for the after – for when you’ve already crushed it and you’re ready to get back to you.

O2 is different from all of the other drinks out there, because it’s an oxygenated drink (NOT carbonated), which helps your body recover from the stresses of a grueling workout (whatever you might do to get your sweat on) faster. Plus, they’re non-GMO, have caffeine from green coffee beans (if you need that boost), no artificial ingredients, and an electrolyte profile modeled after an IV – so you can feel primed, energized, and actively rejuvenated. The pure oxygen in O2 (7x that of typical water) helps you recover faster by increasing the oxygen saturation of your liver's blood supply, increasing the oxygen flowing through the portal venous system in your stomach. This means your liver has extra power to process and clear toxins.

Here’s the science behind it all:


The science behind O2 isn’t about aiding your athletic performance in the moment – so O2 won’t help you run faster, breathe deeper, or jump higher. It’s about helping you recover faster.

The pure oxygen in O2 (7x that of tap water) helps your body process toxins and recover faster, so you can get back to your best self, even quicker.

In fact, studies have shown up to a 60% increase in the rate you process toxins by consuming oxygenated liquids. That's real recovery for real performance.


Electrolytes help your body absorb water, allowing you to hydrate more effectively – which is why most sports drinks have them. O2 has 2.5x more electrolytes than other sports drinks and is modeled after the electrolyte ratio of an IV drip.

Fun fact: the volume inside a can of O2 is modeled off that same 500cc IV bag, which is roughly equivalent to a 16oz can of O2.

Another fun fact: all this without any of the excess sugar and artificial ingredients of those other drinks. Plus, O2 tastes amazing, so there's that.

CAFFEINE (When You Need It)

Caffeine does more than give you an energy boost: it also offers numerous cardiovascular and nervous system benefits, helping burn fat and recover faster.

O2 uses only natural caffeine from green coffee beans to give you the caffeine kick of about 1.5 cups of coffee, without the spike and the crash associated with synthetic caffeine.

And, if caffeine isn’t for you or you don’t want it after 4pm: we offer caffeine-free flavors as well that are just as good and effective for those evening workouts. 


We believe in clean ingredients without compromises, which starts with what we put in each can of O2. O2 is the only certified Non-GMO sports recovery drink on the market today, which means there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives in anything we make.

We source our ingredients only from the highest quality, most reputable suppliers to ensure we uphold the high expectations that our customers have come to expect of from O2.

Nothing artificial, no gimmicks, no bull. Just clean, refreshing products you can feel good about putting in your body.”

Kara PurvesComment
Hammering Out Suicide

On Saturday, October 5th at The Train Station Fitness in Youngstown, there will be an event to “Hammer Out Suicide” Memorial Workout in association with the “Teegan Kamzelski Humanitarian Initiative’s Strides Against Suicide.”

There will be a PARTNER WOD @ 9:00am
“TEEG” in memory of Teegan Kamzelski
1,000m Row
40 Deadlifts @ 225/135
30 Pull Ups
800m Run
30 Pull ups
40 Deadlifts
1,000m Row

PARTNERS: Male-Male & Female-Female
DIVISIONS: RX, Intermediate & Scaled

FREE T-SHIRT if you register by September 13th!

There will also be a 5K & 10K Run/Walk @ 8:00am
All are welcome. Run, walk, skip, hop, crawl, etc. Just come join us!

Aaand, our one and only Jason Welch has generously donated a Concept 2 Rower to be raffled off at the event!! There will also be a 50/50 Raffle, Basket Raffle, & Bake Sale!
RAFFLE TICKETS ARE SEPARATE & NOT INCLUDED IN REGISTRATION - Please purchase Raffle Tickets at the event. All can participate in the raffles, and can buy as many tickets as possible. Raffle participants do NOT have to participate in the WOD or the Run/Walk events.

All proceeds will go towards:
50% Akron Children’s Hospital - Dept of Psychiatry & Psychology
50% American Suicide Prevention Foundation





I wanted to share with y’all Teegan’s father’s initial post when we started this organization. I think it’s important to share our stories, because at the end of the day, they’re all we have. Please read…

THIS CALL!.... This call right here is the call I hope no one ever has to receive. I recall so vividly the events of that day. I was preparing for our family gathering to celebrate my mother’s birthday and a late Mother’s Day. I was turning a tenderloin on the spit. Was planned to be a great day with all of us together. I get a call from my mother around 2:30 she is worried. Hasn’t heard from Teegan all day. I ease her mind by saying he is probably driving here. Don’t worry. I tell her I will call him. I call Teegan at 2:35pm.... his phone goes to VM. I wait 5 min and text him..... by 2:45 no return text or call. I call him again with no answer. I didn’t know it at that time but as I replay my message to him on his VM in my mind, I myself am now worried. Thinking is he stuck in traffic, forgot his phone, was he in an accident? All kinds of things running through my mind because it wasn’t like him to not answer me. Sometimes a father just knows. I’m becoming increasingly worried at this point . I hear my phone ringing but my hands are full. By the time I picked it up I missed the call. But I remember saying thank you god! He is ok. That was at 3:06pm, I called back at 3:07 but he did not answer. 5 min go by and at 3:12pm he called or .....so I thought he was calling. I picked up the phone and said these exact words “ hey buddy, you are running a little late, are you almost here?”

The voice on Teegan’s phone unfortunately was not his! ........ <LONG PAUSE with A SEA FULL OF TEARS>..... it was the Cuyahoga County coroners office. I remember the officer on the phone asking me my name and if I was Teegan’s father. I believe I went silent in a dazed state because he repeated the same questions twice. I fell to my knees. I felt a wave of disbelief, darkness and the most awful gut wrenching feeling of sadness and doom come over me as the garage went black. I remember hearing the officer tell me that Teegan was found passed away by a group of hikers from a self inflicted gun shot wound at Buttermilk Falls (his self described most peaceful place on earth). For the next few moments I was so distraught between screaming and crying, I kept repeatedly saying NO! NO! NO! Over and over again. It was a tremendously terrible ordeal to wrap my brain around. I was short of breath as if I had just been punched by some unbearable force. The feeling is truly indescribable and one I never want to experience again

The moments spent with Teegan leading up to that night was filled with him and I doing nothing but joking, goofing off and harassing one another. Laughing, working, talking and enjoying life...... telling stories, discussing his goals in life and views on life and I tell you, Teegan was full of energy and loved living life. Which is why I still remain perplexed and in a state of repetitive questioning of why he chose his final path in the manner of suicide. I knew Teegan and his dreams, goals and passions. It is the main reason I keep asking myself why this path Teegan? A question I will never know the answer to.

Why am I opening up and reliving this. ..... so others hopefully do not have to. I have never had the feeling of extreme darkness and sadness to the point where I thought I needed to end my life. I have never had that feeling of being in so much pain or emotional turmoil that I wanted it to end. So I just can’t understand it. If I was ever close, it was at that minute one year ago at 3:12pm on May 28, 2017 but it still just never crossed my mind. Despite the struggle, I have chosen to accept his bad decision with reflection, frequent grieving and periods of just plain good old anger towards him to help comfort my soul. So far it has helped. I hope to have his foundation in full swing soon which will be a blessing for many.

Folks, the only thing suicide does is push the emotional pain one has onto others that love you. It’s not a solution. Please pay attention to details of your loved ones and recognize symptoms that need treatment. Yes, they are sometimes subtle and difficult to detect but remember to talk openly if someone you know is down on their luck or growing increasingly saddened. Please today help keep Teegan’s spirit alive. Join me in celebrating Teegan’s life one year new in Heaven above. Love and peace to all and god bless ❤️.

Cross posted to Instagram and FaceBook page: Teegan Kamzelski Humanitarian Initiative

Teegan, not one minute of one day goes by without having you in my thoughts. I love you son. 
For you Teegan #PBRme @ Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Kara PurvesComment
Labor Day Schedule

Monday, Sept 2nd


8:30 & 9:30am Classes ONLY

We will be CLOSED the rest of the day in observance of Labor Day!

Be safe and enjoy your day! XO

Kara PurvesComment
Self-Talk: How It Effects You & Me

There’s this thing that many of us do before, during, and after the workouts, including me. I want to talk candidly about it so that we can all improve, both for ourselves, and for each other, because when it comes right down to it, all involved are effected by it.

It’s called “negative self-talk” and there are many levels of it.

A little bit at a mild dosage is normal, and can even be motivating in a positive way. It’s the right amount to help us better ourselves. We do need to be a little hard on ourselves in order to learn and grow. It’s the gentle criticisms we give ourselves, like, “Wow, I totally let my back round in those deadlifts. That was dumb of me, I should have gone lighter to focus on form. Next time, I’ll do better.”

Sometimes, though, we can be too hard on ourselves, and too often. Here’s an example:

Betty walks in to class, looks at the whiteboard and says, “Well, sh**, I can’t do pull ups, and I definitely cannot do the Rx weight, so what’s the point? Geez, I suck! What’s the point if I’m never going to be able to do any of these workouts as prescribed?!!”

Then, during warm ups, Betty continues, “My body hurts everywhere. I don’t even want to be here. Do I have to do the warm up? I hate burpees, why do we have to do them in the warm up?”

And then the workout starts, and we hear Betty saying, “WTF?! I can’t even string together more than 3 ring rows. I am so weak! This is hard. Why can’t I do a pull up yet?! OMG, this barbell feels so heavy! Why am I so weak?! This sucks. I suck. I should be better by now.”

And then… everyone else in class is done, and they’ve come to cheer Betty on. Betty gets instantly defensive, and during her last set of thrusters she starts shouting, “This is only 65 pounds, I should be better than this! You guys don’t laugh at me, I have to do these thrusters in sets of 2 or 3! Don’t judge me! I am so freaking slow and weak. Ugh! Wow, I am the worst one in class. I should have done the thrusters at 45 pounds, but that’s way too light.”

Okay… Betty, it’s okay!

I will be the first to admit, I was once Betty back in my early days of CrossFit. And even today, on rare occasions, Betty slips out of me. We have all been guilty of “Betty-ing” at one time or another. We are human, and we are allowed a little bit of leeway.

But, if you’re coming in everyday with that talk, I need to share with you some VERY IMPORTANT perspectives:

  1. No one cares. And, I mean, no cares if you scale or Rx a workout. No one cares if you finish first or last. Seriously. No one cares. Get over yourself. We are not judging you based on your potential (or lack thereof) of being a Games athlete. We ARE judging you on how hard you try, how much heart and soul you put into it, and how much effort you put into being a part of our community. We care about your efforts, not your results.

  2. When you negatively self-talk to yourself, it physically effects your performance. You become a self-fulfilling prophecy, whether you realize that or not. You literally are what you say you are and believe to be. When you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, you’ll never get it, and you suck at that, then you will always perform that way. Our minds have an incredible way of protecting our egos, and when it comes right down to it, we don’t like to be wrong about anything, including the negative things we say about ourselves. So, if you tell everyone that you suck at Double Unders, well, now you have to suck at them to prove to everyone how much you suck. It’s simple psychology. BOTTOM LINE, if you want to change your habits and results, you have to start with the way in which to talk to yourself and about yourself. You have to change the story.

  3. Our negative self-talk can inadvertently negatively effect our teammates. Let me preface this by clearly stating that this portion is NOT, I repeat, NOT a guilt trip. None of us would intentionally effect our teammates in a negative way. But, I need you to be aware of the bigger picture here - It’s not just about you. It’s about ALL of us.

    1. When Betty said, “I should have done 45 pounds for the thrusters, but that’s way too light,” she inadvertently told everyone else that went 45 and below that they went too light, too.

    2. When Betty said, “I suck, I can only do 3 rings rows at a time,” she is inadvertently telling all the others who can do 3 rings rows or less, as well as those who can’t do ring rows yet, that they suck even more than she sucks.

    3. When Betty said, “Don’t laugh at me! Don’t judge me!” she is inadvertently implying to her teammates that they are a**holes.

    4. When Betty says she sucks and should be better than she is, she is inadvertently telling everyone else that they suck and should be better, too.

You see, the thing is, this CrossFit thing we do is a highly social lifestyle, and whether we realize it or not, like it or not, accept it or not, we all influence each other everyday. And, most times, we influence each other in very subtle, unintentional ways, like the negative self-talk.

So, while we certainly do NOT need to walk on egg-shells and zip our mouths, we do need to simply consider our word choices and re-train ourselves in how we talk at the gym.

When we learn better ways to talk to ourselves, we will inadvertently help others to talk kindly to themselves. See how awesome that works?! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
The Hardest Stage of Life

The hardest stage of life is right now.

All too often as we get older, we like to inform the youngsters about how “easy” they have it now, and “just wait until…” and to enjoy today while it lasts because someday you’ll wish for days like today, and the worst one is, “It’s not a big deal. You’ll get over it. When _____ and _____ happens, then you’ll really have something to complain about.”

As coaches, the longer we do this, the more we can fall into this same trap. Telling newer clients to not worry about it, don’t do this, do that, quit your complaining, blah blah blah. We can go off on self-righteous expeditions. Well-intended, of course, but poorly received (And understandably so). Even veteran CrossFitters can do this to other fellow athletes.

We all have to remember that each and every one of us is on a unique and very individual journey.

And, those of us that are older and more experienced need to allow the younger and novice to make the same mistakes we did, to struggle and improve the ways we got to, and to be allowed to process both negatively and positively as they figure themselves out… Just like we got to.

Hindsight is a b**ch, because it makes us actually believe that we can fix the past. Had I known better in high school, had I only found CrossFit back then, I could have… And, as we look longingly at our past trying to correct it, we inevitably and inadvertently project it onto our youth and beginners.

The hardest stage of CrossFit is right now.

Whether it’s your very first day of On-Ramp, your 6th month, or your 6th year, and whether it’s your first day back from vacation, your third week back from shoulder surgery, or your second month back postpartum - All of those stages are challenging. And, even if you’re injury-free, kid-free, and debt-free, you still have your own internal battles and other challenges we know nothing about.

We are all in our hardest stage of life. Right now. And, the reason that right now is the hardest stage is because, well, we are living it right now.

We are enduring the NOW.

Let’s try to allow each other to live our own stage of life and stage of CrossFit by supporting and encouraging one another, as well as sympathizing and just LISTENING. Acknowledgement is an incredibly powerful gift, and often it’s all we need.

Just someone to say, “Yes, I see you, I hear you, and I know that pain, too!” That’s it. Don’t try to fix it for them or compare it to anything else.

I am still working on this skill myself, because naturally as a coach I want to fix everything and help. But, the next time an athlete is struggling with their performance after trying to do it “Rx,” instead of me giving them a lecture about scaling appropriately, maybe the better approach is to acknowledge the stage of fitness they are in right now. I remember when I was finally able to do workouts “Rx” but was still the last person to finish. While I was excited about being able to do it “Rx” I was also frustrated with my inability to do it quickly. Now, though, I realize that I was just in that transitional stage from scaling to Rx’ing, and just as I had to start from the bottom my first day of CrossFit, so too did I need to start at the bottom as a newly “Rx” athlete. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

The hardest stage of life is right now. However, it is also the best stage, because with each fleeting moment, you have the opportunity and choice to be better, to learn, to grow, to evolve.

We like to pretend that we are guaranteed 100 years, but we are guaranteed nothing except death. So, live your stage of life to the fullest, and allow others to live theirs.


Kara PurvesComment
The Beauty (& Torture) of The EMOM

Today, we did “Chelsea,” which is a 30 min EMOM of 5 Pull ups, 10 Push ups & 15 Air Squats. The goal is to complete one round of Chelsea within the one minute each round. So, yeah, 30 rounds total. Yum! ;-)

While a part of me really despises workout like these, I actually love them more!

EMOM’s like “Chelsea” force us to be honest with ourselves and our progress. It shoves that big piece of humble pie in to our faces. There is no hiding.

Today, I was forced to face the hard truth that I have way more pulling power than I do pushing power. This is nothing new to me, though. I’ve always known that. It’s why I LOVE workouts with pull ups and cleans, and absolutely HATE wall balls, push ups, and dips. But, I only hate them because I struggle a lot with them. They are really hard for me to get through.

In other words, I NEED TO WORK ON THEM MORE!!

“Chelsea” reminded me of this today. Thanks, Chelsea… I think…

What I also love about EMOMs is how it exposes our workout habits and pacing methods. When I start to fall apart in push ups, I slow down significantly. However, in an AMRAP-style setting, I slow down even more, mostly because I can. Whereas in an EMOM-style setting, you are forced to finish within the minute, which makes you challenge your previous pacing methods.

I realized today that I probably pace too much in high volume push ups, and while, yes, I struggle, and yes, I have to break them up into small sets, like 2-3’s, and sometimes even singles, I CAN still move relatively quickly. I don’t actually need to rest as much as I do in an AMRAP.

Had “Chelsea” been a 30 min AMRAP, I probably would have done 19 or 20 rounds. But, since I did it EMOM-style, I finished 23 rounds.

So, pay attention to your EMOM’s.

What are they telling you?!

Kara PurvesComment
Crock Pot Balsamic Roast Beef

I looooooooooove the crock pot! It’s so easy, and so darn helpful, especially with busy families! Here’s a delicious crock pot recipe that is one of my personal go-to’s. I hope you enjoy it! :-)


  • 3 lb. beef chuck roast, boneless;

  • 3 chopped chunky sweet potatoes

  • 4 chopped chunky carrots

  • 1 sliced sweet onion

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 ½ cup beef stock

  • 2 tbsp cooking fat

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper


  1. Season the roast beef on all sides with sea salt and black pepper, as desired.

  2. Melt some cooking fat over a medium-high heat in a large skillet, and sear the roast for 2-3 minutes on each side. I personally like to use bacon fat (yum!), or even ghee, but use what you’d like.

  3. Place the meat in the slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, beef stock, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and red wine.

  4. Cover the slow cooker, turn it on low, and cook for 6 hours.

  5. After the 6 hours, add the carrots and sweet potatoes, set the slow cooker to high and cook for about another 3 hours, or until the vegetables are nice and soft and the meat is fork tender.

  6. Remove and discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs (very important step, haha!)

  7. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring to a slow boil over a medium-high heat. Keep it boiling and let it reduce until you get the desired consistency for your sauce.

  8. Pour the sauce back in the slow cooker and serve with the meat and vegetables.

  9. Enjoy!

Kara PurvesComment
Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Beginner

Hindsight can be a b*tch. Especially in things like CrossFit, because now after having done it for over 10 years, and even owning a gym for 7 years, it’s too easy for me to look back and say, “Gosh, had I known what I know now, I would be SO much better at CrossFit right now. Maybe I would have even made it to Regionals or the Games.” Ha!

When I used to share blogs like this - The “What I Wish I Knew” type posts, it always entailed the cliche, “Scale more, shave your calluses, cheer everyone on, and go outside your comfort zone” items. When you Google for similar blogs, they say the same things, too. All great advice, though.

This time, however, I want to try something different.

Here are things I thought I knew, then learned something else, then thought I knew better, but then realized I still don’t know:

  1. CrossFit will always be hard. It never gets easier. It’s not supposed to. So, stop pretending that you’ll reach an end. You’re not supposed to be “done” with CrossFit. You will always be good at some things, and then suck at other things. While your list of skills will gradually increase, there will always be something else waiting for you to learn. IT’S A JOURNEY, not a destination.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner like everyone else. Even those of us with elite backgrounds were still beginners to CrossFit. Give yourself to permission to learn and grow at your own pace, on your own time. There is no race to fitness. Embrace the process, and clap for yourself along the way.

  3. Nutrition is personal and individual, and completely up to your readiness, mindset, and emotional state. While diet fads, monthly challenges, and nutrition coaches can be beneficial, more times than not they only serve as expensive distractions with short-term results. At the end of the day, you need to find something that works for YOU, and is sustainable throughout your daily life. Really, the one and only BEST piece of nutrition advice I can offer you is: FOOD IS FUEL, not punishment or reward. Eat to perform at life (not just CrossFit), and find YOUR quality of life.

  4. Fitness is relative, and should actually complement your daily life and the activities you already enjoy. Don’t let CrossFit take over everything. And, don’t let “Rx” take over your fitness journey. It’s arbitrary. Fitness is fitness, and it’s in the small steps, the tiny accomplishments, that add up over a long period of time. Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all fighting battles daily that the rest of us know nothing about. Focus on your personal growth. Self improvement. Fitness is in YOUR personal achievements.

  5. Remember to live your life. While, yes, CrossFit can be freakin’ awesome, and the community you workout with can be life-changing, and your life can be consumed by if you allow it to be, remember to live your life, too. CrossFit is just one part. Remember to eat the cake, too. Go see a live band, climb Half Dome, zipline through Mexico, skydive over Hawaii, backpack through Europe, cook for your friends, learn the piano, take a woodworking class, and read a good book.

The funny thing about life, and even CrossFit, is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know!

So, be a lifelong learner. A lifelong CrossFitter. A lifelong liver. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
CrossFit Acronyms & Terms To Know

In case any of you needed a cheat sheet for CrossFit acronyms and terms, here ya go:

AMRAP - Stands for “As Many Reps As Possible” within a give time frame, or until failure.

BOX - The name CrossFitters use to refer to the gym, “I’ll see you tomorrow at the Cadre box!”

BJ - Box Jumps

BMU - Bar Muscle Up

BP - Bench Press

BS - Back Squat

BW - Bodyweight

CHIPPER – A WOD that consists of a series of movements that are not repeated. In addition, the athlete must complete all of the reps for the exercise before moving on to the next. One of the classic chippers in CrossFit is the “Filthy Fifty”

C&J - Clean & Jerk

C2B - Chest-to-Bar Pull ups

DL - Deadlift

DU - Double Unders

EMOM - Every Minute, On the Minute / However, most coaches today now use OTM - On The Minute. They both mean the same thing, though. At the top of every minute, you complete the required reps within that minute, and rest in the time remaining.

FIREBREATHER - An extremely fit athlete, “Coach JonMichael is a firebreather!” ;-)

FS - Front Squat

GHD - Glute-Ham Developer

THE GIRLS - Several CF Benchmark WODs are named after women. “Fran” is one of the most popular ones. To familiarize yourself with The Girls better, check this out: https://crossfitrenatus.com/benchmark-girls/

HSPU - Handstand Push Ups

HS - Handstand

HEROES - Just like the Girls WODs, there are several benchmark WODs names after fallen heroes. You can check them out here: https://wodwell.com/wods/?category=7

KBS - Kettlebell Swings

K2E - Knees-to-Elbows

ME - Max Effort

METCON - Short for Metabolic Conditioning, which is a short, high intensity workout

MU - Muscle Up

OHS - Overhead Squats

OHWL - Overhead Walking Lunges

PC - Power Clean

PR - Personal Record - Every time you beat your previous best score.

PS - Power Snatch

PU - Pull up -OR- Push up

RC - Rope Climbs

RX - “As Prescribed” in CrossFit, meaning, you completed the workout as it is written without changing any of the reps or weights

SDLHP - Sumo Deadlift High Pull

S2OH - Shoulder to Overhead

SN - Snatch

SQ - Squat

TABATA - High intensity interval training consisting of 8 Rds of 20 sec max effort, and 10 sec rest

TGU - Turkish Get Up

T2B - Toes-to-Bar

WB - Wall Balls

WOD - “Workout of the Day”

Here’s a great list of common CrossFit movements, too: http://www.fitnesshq.com/crossfit-terms/

Kara PurvesComment
Hand Protectors: How-To & Which Ones

Tonight, I just wanted to share a few different YouTube videos for y’all to check out on your own time. There are many ways to protect your hands during our workouts, especially when it’s high volume gymnastics. You can either make your own hand protectors with athletic tape, or buy the fancy ones out there.

Personally, I don’t use any hand protectors, because I hate not being able to feel the bar, so I have really ugly palms, and I diligently shave my calluses. Hand Modeling days are over… Haha! ;-)

However, those of you who are looking for ways to protect your hands, check out these videos, and hopefully one of them will be of use to you. Happy Training!

How to Make Hand Protectors with Athletic Tape:


Full Hand Protectors:


How to Hook Grip and How to Tape the Thumb:


Hand Protectors Reviews for CrossFitters:


Kara PurvesComment
Don't Forget to Live

As we sweat and work our butts off at Cadre, and while we push through our comfort zones and build healthy habits, I want y’all to remember to LIVE you life, too.

Yes, eating mostly real food, like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, etc are super important, and will do wondrous things for your body and brain, DON’T FORGET TO EAT CAKE.

Have a big slice from time to time. And, heck, once a year, eat an entire cake by yourself. My personal fave is Princess Cake. If you don’t know what it is, check this out: https://www.passionforbaking.com/blog/2017/06/27/a-classic-swedish-princess-cake-klassisk-prinsesstarta/ And, YES, I have eaten an ENTIRE one by myself once before on my birthday! Totally worth it. ;-) But, if cake ain’t your thang, by all means, please enjoy your fave treat on occasion, because life is short and worth celebrating anytime!

And, yes, working out consistently and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is necessary for results, DON’T FORGET TO PLAY (and rest).

Especially the sports and activities you grew up with and enjoy! After doing CrossFit for 5 years, I joined a rec volleyball league for fun (I played in middle and high school), and it was SO fun to get back into an old sport I loved so much. Plus, thanks to CrossFit, I was actually pretty awesome still despite not having had played in over 10 years!

Do other things outside of CrossFit - Put that fitness to LIVING LIFE! ;-)

Aaaaaand, just as important, DON’T FORGET TO REST. When you are on vacation, it IS okay to actually rest and NOT do any CrossFit or Hotel WOD. Trust me, you won’t “lose it all” if you enjoy your vacay!

Lastly, while surrounding ourselves with others of similar lifestyles and fitness regimes (aka our Cadre Community) is important, DON’T FORGET TO SOCIALIZE OUTSIDE OF CROSSFIT.

While 95% of my friends are in fact CrossFitters, I do have some that don’t do it, don’t care, and never will, and it’s actually nice. They remind me that there are a million others things to do and talk about than just CrossFit, nutrition, and fitness in general. They keep me balanced in life.

Bottom line - Work hard, but don’t forget to LIVE YOUR LIFE, because after all, that is WHY we do this stuff called CrossFit. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Yin Yoga Pricing

Just a heads up for y’all about Yin Yoga’s cost. It’s very straightforward, and the great thing is, you can drop-in anytime. There is no need to sign up ahead of time for class, you can show up last minute. And, remember that Yin is for EVERYONE, so bring your friends and family along! You do NOT have to be a Cadre member or even a CrossFitter to take Yin Yoga with us. You also do NOT have to have any experience with Yoga - Amanda can help all ages and abilities!

$13 / Drop-in

$100 / 10-Classes

It’s every Sunday @ 9:00am! We look forward to seeing y’all there!

And, please remember that Open Gym is from 10:30 - 12:00 on Sundays. While Yin Yoga does end at 10:00, we ask that y’all please do NOT show up earlier than 10:30, just in case Yin goes over a little bit. We do not want any disturbances for this relaxing class, and we thank you for understanding and respecting their class setting.

Thanks for being awesome! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Scale UP

Here’s a concept I’d like you to seriously consider in CrossFit, and just fitness in general.

Often when we first learn something, we then see it as just that. When many of us first learned CrossFit (including me) we were immediately told about “Rx,” and it became everyone’s obsession. “Rx” was the goal, the destination, the end all, be all.

But, the thing is… Fitness is a journey. It’s a lifestyle.

A lil’ twist on a stoic quote, “There is no way to fitness, Fitness IS the way.”

“Rx” is not a destination, per se. You are NOT done if and when you achieve the ability to perform workouts as prescribed.

What I see all too often are newbie athletes who try to rush their progress to get to “Rx.” But, on the other end of the spectrum, I also see athletes who stop progressing, who stop pushing themselves, who start coasting in the workouts because now they can do all the WODs “Rx,” so they think they’ve reached the end.

Today’s workout is a great example:

400m Run
40 Bar-facing Burpees
200m Run
20 Deadlifts @ 225/155
400m Run

Now, most people used the suggest percentage of 50-55% of your 1RM Deadlift, which was great. A few people went “Rx” and probably should have gone a bit lighter in their deadlifts, but nonetheless, they got the workout done in a reasonable time.

There were also a few, though, who should have gone heavier than “Rx.” Wait, WHAT?! Heavier, you say?! You mean… Scale UP?!!!

I had one client this morning who warms up with 155. This is NOT meant to make any of us feel bad in any way, so please don’t turn this into that. This is a woman who puts extra hours in consistently to build her strength, so she has earned this ability. Anyway, I knew she’d fly through the 20 deadlifts unbroken without breaking a sweat. It would have been “too easy” for her. I knew it, and she knew it. So… She scaled up today, and she had a great workout, finishing well within the time frame we were looking for. :-)

So, while having “Rx” can be fun and give some of us a focal point, always remember that it is completely arbitrary and really only useful for competitive athletes who want to participant in the Open, in local events, or beyond.

Keep yourself in check.

Just as much as you are chasing those goals, especially those of you focused on “Rx,” remember that you must continue to move forward by scaling up when appropriate - Also known as “Rx+” for those of you who like to label things. :-)

Maybe eventually you’ll even reach “Rx++” ;-)

Bottom line, keep going. Keep leveling up as the time arises throughout your fitness journey!

Kara PurvesComment