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The Unforgettable Pork Chop AKA How to Hack Your Behaviour in 1 Simple Step

Hey Folks!

This is a little bit long, but well worth the read.  Wouldn’t YOU want to know how to hack your behaviour in a SINGLE step???

The Backstory:

I overcooked some pork chops on the barbeque (grilling in the dark is not my forte) and since tough, charred pork chops are not the most appetizing thing in the world, we ended up throwing the worst victims in the trash.

I usually put the garbage out the night before, and this week was no different. As we know “wild” animals like to find their treats in the trash, and I imagine a cat or raccoon discovered, though did not eat them. The garbage wasn’t completely destroyed, and I just re-bagged it, as aside from a partially eaten pork chop, the rest was easy to gather into a new bag in the morning. This was on a Friday morning.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning and Lucky and I are going for one of our longer walks (we take long walks on Tuesdays and Thursdays). While walking by the rock in front of our house, Lucky is very interested in smelling the ground, and I like to indulge his canine instincts, so I wait. After glancing away, I look back to see Lucky being very secretive about the prize he’s found. He tries to play it cool and continue walking as though he doesn’t have anything with him, but I inspect his maw to find… a tough, charred, even more partially eaten pork chop. He’s a great guy so he let’s me have it with minor coaxing. I throw it back into a pile of leaves near where he found it, and we continue our walk.

This guy likes his treats...

This guy likes his treats…

The Result:

Every walk I have taken Lucky on since that day (in early SEPTEMBER) he returns to the spot where the pork chop was to look for other treasures.

It isn’t just elephants that never forget.

The Conclusion:

You don’t need to be addicted to something (through repetitive use) for the reward centres in your brain to hack your behaviors.



and, The Discussion:

We spend a lot of time and money learning what we need to do in order to establish healthy habits and reduce our unhealthy habits (but more time spend on how to make those changes would be nice, right?). Sometimes this involves adding new (positive, hopefully) behaviours, and sometimes it involves removing old (negative, hopefully) behaviours. There is no intense, complex, or secret way to change your behaviour from wanting to go home to de-stress on the couch, to wanting to go to the gym to de-stress in the squat rack. Completely simplified, you need to derive MORE pleasure from the squat rack than you do the couch. You need to derive more pleasure from driving to the gym than you do your house. You need to derive more pleasure from the atmosphere, including smells, sights, sounds and feelings associated with going to the gym than you do from going home. And then you need to do it again and again.

Sometimes, it only takes one time. Those times need to involve very memorable experiences. Lucky remembers the deliciousness of that pork chop, and even though it was only there 1 out of the 100+ times we’ve walked by that spot, it was awesome enough an experience to warrant checking that spot again (100+ times) just in case.

I genuinely love doing CrossFit. When I was first introduced to it, I met new, friendly people, I worked harder than I had in a LONG time, and I felt like I had accomplished something when I was finished. I get that feeling every time, even if I don’t break my previous record, or if I feel as though I could have worked a little harder.

Kristin and I tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding while we were on a leisurely drive through the muskoka area. A sunny, warm day on calm waters and a shared board meant lots of funny falls, beautiful landscapes and no deadlines. We had a blast and we immediately began shopping for stand up boards of our own when we got home. Contrast that to convincing ourselves it was a good idea to try paddleboarding on Lake Ramsey during a very windy day, with whitecaps on the water, during May (AKA ~60 degree water) and we experienced an hour to 2 hours of stressful paddling. Had that been my first experience with the paddleboard I can’t say whether or not I’d be as enthusiastic about doing it as I am now.


Enough stories…

The next time you want to add or remove a behavior from your life, keep this “hack” in mind. An open mind, a smile, and paying attention to your atmosphere, and what you really enjoy about it can make a BIG difference in helping you choose that option in the future. Because then you aren’t choosing between being 1% closer to having abs or not, your choosing between feeling productive, catching up with friends, and improving your energy levels, or not.

That’s all for today, Folks. As always, Stay Healthy! 🙂

Dr. Adam Ball

p.s. If you know some “hacks” or even have a story about something you tried once and were hooked since, share it in the comments or on your own “wall” on the facebook.


Article from Scientific American, explaining Operant Conditioning, by Jason G. Goldman:  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/what-is-operant-conditioning-and-how-does-it-explain-driving-dogs/

Dopamine Neurons Encoding Long-Term Memory of Object Value for Habitual Behavior  Kim, Hyoung F. et al.  Cell , Volume 163 , Issue 5 , 1165 – 1175  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26590420

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CrossFit Sudbury – Update – November 23, 2015

Hey Folks!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are stoked/excited to train this week! This week we’re heading into the last few Deadlift sessions – so they’ll be heavy. DIAL that low back IN. No messy or sloppy deadlifts allowed. Remember, it only takes one crappy rep to ruin your day (or week[s]). So make sure you’re doing them well – perfect practice makes perfect. If you find them really difficult, make sure you’re resting enough between sets. We’re deadlifting again on Friday, and the weight will be going up. We’ll also be Front Squatting this week – we’re just at the beginning of cycling them a bunch as our next strength focus. Same deal, make sure they’re solid, sexy front squats. Elbows up high, knees tracking over toes, weight in the heels and abs as tight as you can possibly get them.


The Christmas Party was an awesome time! The WOD was just as deceptively difficult as I remember it, the Stack was cool, the Tap House had some good food and Marc and Julie were awesome hosts to any of the hooligans able to make it to their place for the “after party” (thanks again guys!). We’ll be working on getting more frequent hang outs (though likely less elaborate) scheduled so that we can spend more time with you awesome Folks!

Laurentian Hybrid Weightlifting meet – James and Alicia lifted some things up and put them back down! They did really well – James (94kg) snatched 100 and Clean and Jerked 130 (narrowly missing the jerk on 142 though!) for a total of 230, while Alicia (58kg) snatched 46 (power snatched, more accurately, haha) and clean and jerked 61 (a 1lb PR!) for a total of 107. We’re super proud of them and stoked to see them in future meets! There is another meet at LU on February 21st – it’s a low key, low pressure environment to get your first weightlifting meet in and would be great for keeping folks focused with their training until then! Let your coach know if you’re interested!


LuluLemon was a hit this weekend! WOW was it every busy on Saturday, and Sunday was steady with shoppers too. I hope anyone that wanted to make it out did, and got some Christmas shopping (or whatever you were shopping for) in! We’ll be having them back again in February sometime – final date to be determined in the near future.

Here is the Strength Focus for the up towards the end of January – We’re going to be doing some Deadlifting, some Front Squatting and then some Squat Cleaning, among everything else, though those will be our focuses.  Dig it!


We’re thinking about doing an event in the winter sometime – not sure exactly what to develop it around, but we’d like your feedback! Please fill in the form below and let us know what you think 🙂 Ideas – CF comp, Curling Bonspiel, Snow football game, games night, other cool option?

What should the next event be?

3 + 5 = ?

Last bit before I sign off – I want to ensure you’re all taking care of yourselves. The holiday season is usually a busy one, and ensuring we’re doing what we need to get/stay healthy is important for keeping stress levels to an appropriate level, and ensuring we don’t reach New Years Eve feeling like we need to make lots of bold promises to ourselves about “next year”. I’ll put some easy suggestions in bullet form:

  • Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night (8-10 would be better)
  • Prioritize food prep so that you’re less likely to make poor eating decisions. Set aside an hour or two on Sunday or another day of the week and make some dishes with leftovers, as well as cleaning and cutting other veggies/fruit for the week.
  • Get into the gym 3 or more times a week – be generally active the other days – getting some walks in, hikes, mobility work, yoga, swimming, etc.
  • Take your fish oil (1-4g of combined EPA+DHA/day), or ask us about picking some up if you don’t have any. The price and quality of our fish oil can’t be beat; believe me, I look every year or so for better or cheaper options and they don’t exist.
  • Take your vitamin D (1000-5000IU/day) – This is a cheap supplement that can make a big difference for you. Depending on how your summer went and how long you’ve been taking it, you may not need an overly large dose.
  • There are lots of other things you can do to help yourself, though this is a good start. Pick 1 or 2 (or all, if you’re ambitious) and commit to doing them for a week or two. You don’t have to commit to doing it forever – commit to whatever is easy to agree to and re-evaluate later.

That’s it for now! Keep up the great work in the gym guys! And as always, don’t hesitate to ask myself, or the other coaches if you want more info!

Stay Healthy, Friends!


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CrossFitter of the Month – October 2015

Hey Folks!

This month we couldn’t decide on one person (again) and got stuck choosing two.  They’ve been a big part of the community in our awesome little gym, and have been putting in hard work and the results of their efforts show in their performances.  They’re awesome role models, both for their own children and for the other folks in the gym, giving us a good example of finding balance between work, parenting, and also having the time for yourself that you need to maintain your health and happiness.  This month we recognize…

CF team


Marc & Julie!

Here are there questions to our questions:

Name: Marc and Julie L.

Age: 33

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

Marc: Growing up I played basketball from morning till night. Then I went to University put on the Freshman 30lbs and had a pretty sedentary lifestyle for a few years. I later developed a mountain biking obsession joined the Walden Mountain Bike club, helped build some of the best trails in Ontario and started racing my bike every weekend at different levels and races from 2 hours long to 3 days. I’ve done several sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and ½ marathons. I was an aerobic endurance athlete and did absolutely no weight/ strength training.

Julie: I figure skated and did gymnastics my whole childhood. In high school I was a competitive gymnast and spent several years coaching. Life got busy and fitness took a back seat. I tried getting into running, mountain biking and triathlons with Marc but it just wasn’t my thing.


How long have you been doing crossfit and why do you choose to crossfit?

Marc: I did a few months at the beginning of 2014 to gain strength for the upcoming mtb season. I came back Jan 2015 for the same reason but never left. Crossfit is very manageable with our busy schedule compare to 3 hour mtb / running training.

Julie: It took Marc a few months of convincing me to join and I finally started in March 2015. I can’t imagine not having Crossfit as part of my weekly routine.

What is your favorite part about crossfit?

Marc: The workouts are fast and fun. I still get the feeling comparable to a bike race. The community is great. I have always been private and not very social but I really enjoy my new fitness friends. I get really excited when I see either of the 3 Lancers in the parking lot.

Julie: The People. Enough said….

What are the accomplishments you are proud of? (Crossfit or non crossfit related)

Marc : I have a sense of accomplishment every time I leave the gym. Getting my first muscle up was a proud moment.   But my proudest moment so far was joining the 300+ back squat club because I put in the time, listened to the coaches and followed a great program. Thanks James, gaining 10lbs is almost worth it. I am proud of every member of my family especially Julie who finally beat me on a WOD today.


Julie: I am proud every day I leave the gym. I never thought I could push myself in the way Crossfit does. I can squat my body weight, almost lift my body weight over head and am getting close to my first muscle-up. I am also proud to be a strong role model for my daughter who is crushing “Crossfit Kids” and growing strong.

Favorite workout or lift?

Marc: I’m not a heavy lifter but enjoy squat cleans. Favourite workout by far is Lisa’s deck of cards. I repeat it often and recently did it in sub 45 min. I enjoy the longer WOD’s that make you dig deep.

Julie: Overhead squats. NOT. Clean and Jerk. I like anything 10 to 1.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free    

We want to thank the Crossfit Sudbury team. You guys are really doing something special and our City really needs it. Second most obese City in Canada, so proud. We can’t wait to see how this thing grows.   Adam and Kristin dream big, build it and they will come.


Thanks Guys!  You’re always a pleasure to coach in the gym and fun to hang out with outside it too!  Keep up the great work.


CrossFit Sudbury – 16112015

Hey Folks!

Hope you all had an awesome weekend and are stoked to squat with some solid percentages moving forward!  It was nice and busy in the gym this weekend and everyone crushed a bunch of heavy deadlifts, snatches, and some kettlebell swings and push ups (among other things)

Today is the first (technically second) day of the new programming.  Health folks, don’t freak out, you’re deadlifting today haha 🙂 It should be a blast and a nice new challenge.  Let’s embrace it for a couple weeks before making a full opinion on it and see what happens.  Who knows, we might be getting way more fit by accident.


Hip Mobility
2 Rounds:
10 dislocates, 10 Spiderman Lunges w/ Twist, 10 inch worms w/ push up, Squat therapy (check ankles out, hips out, press spine into extension, etc.)



5 X 1

Use about 85%, if you can. Superset the deadlifts with the pull ups.


Weighted Pull Up
Use a band and some kettlebells, plates, dumbbells, etc to add weight to your pull up. NO kipping at all.

5 X 3

Same weight for each set.


Clubber Lang
7 minute AMRAP (As many rounds as possible)
8 hang power cleans (Performance: 95lbs, Health*: 63lbs, Health: 35lbs)
16 wall ball (Performance: 20, Health*: 14, Health: 10)
24 double unders* (Health: 48 single unders)

*Women’s “As Prescribed” weights and reps (Rx)
Scaling Guide: 3-6 rounds.

Coaching Tips: Use your hips, not your arms for the Cleans! The wall balls will be the hardest part for most people, so plan on sprinting through the power cleans and the double unders so that you have more time to drop the ball a few times each round. Also, using more hip drive (and less shoulders) during the wall ball will keep your arms more fresh for double unders.


Stretch – Hamstrings, Calves, Quads
LaX Ball – Glutes, Traps


Cash Out – KB/Burpees
2 Rounds for total reps:
1 Minute Russian Swings
1 Minute Burpees
See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team
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New Programming – Fitness all up in your grill!

Hey Folks!

A friend of mine is taking over the programming for a little while, which puts us on the same programming as some pretty successful CrossFitters (The San Francisco Fire in the NPGL, and 39 unique individuals who made a total of 85 appearances at Regionals and the Games, including multiple teams from Diablo, Alessandra Pichelli, etc.), as well as some great progressions and scales that will help with the development of those just interested in having fun and staying healthy (most of us).  The structure is pretty similar to what we’ve been doing over the years, though with a couple subtle changes to verbiage.  Here’s the structure:

Mobility: This may also appear as the typical “Warm Up”.  That’s what it is 🙂 DO what’s on the whiteboard, or add/sub in what you know will help prep you for the days movements.

Skill Practice Warm Up:  This is whichever skills we’re working on for the day – usually weightlifting or gymnastics movements.

Strength: Our focus for the ~6 weeks.  We’re about to start in towards the end of a deadlift cycle and then move into a front squat cycle.  The cycles blend into each other a bit too, which is nice as we’ll constantly be improving and PRing different lifts/movements.  There will also be some nomenclature to let you know where we’re at in the cycle (i.e. tomorrow is “5×1 deadlift – 10 of 14.”)

Super Set: Pretty much the same as when we do an alternating EMOM, just called a “super set” (old school!).  So the next week or two has weighted pull ups with the deadlifts, so we’ll deadlift, then do our weighted pull up, then rest.  Rinse and repeat.

Metabolic Conditioning: Same as usual 🙂 JJ names the WODs, so that he can recall them easier, I’m cool with that.  He usually posts “compare to”, though we won’t have done most of them yet, but eventually this will help.


There will be usually 3 weights or options for many things.  It’s best to think of it as written (performance/athletic*/health), though if you’re concerned about being “RX’d”, then the * on athletic denotes the “womens Rx’d weight”, and the performance would usually correlate to the Men’s weight.  MORE importantly though, would be to check the scaling guide.  If you aren’t within the guide, then you went too heavy/light.  Some WODs will be obvious, others will be a bit of a guess, which is OK.

Scaling Guide: This will let you know what to expect, score-wise on the WOD.  This should help with knowing which weights to use or movements to scale down/up.

Compare to: If we’ve done the WOD before, the date will show up here 🙂

Coaching Tips: This is also going to help with strategy for the WOD, and to help with knowing how to scale up/down and target stimulus.  Sometimes this is just what JJ has written, though other times I’ve added in my own advice/opinion.

Optional ‘Cash Out’: This is for Folks that feel like they need a little extra fitness on any given day.  They’re usually added in on days with shorter metcons, and don’t require a tonne of equipment or strategy.  These are typically either skill practice or just redline testing.  So practice the quality movement asked of it, or stomp that gas pedal to the ground.

Mobility:  As usual – do your mobility!

Not every day will have each thing (it has to fit in an hour haha), but there will be a constantly varied amount of functional movements, and it’s up to us to put in the high intensity efforts.  It’ll be good.

This will also combine “Health” and “Longevity” for now.  It should work out just fine 🙂 But as with everything ever, we’ll constantly evaluate (that’s where communication from you guys comes in!) and decide how things are going and where we want to go next 🙂

This should give us a solid platform to crush extreme from.  I’ve spoken with JJ at length about the programming and he’s gone over all his programming with me from the last 10+ years, it’s cool to see the parallels between us and it’s a bit of a view into where I would be in ~5 years, so why bother reinventing the wheel when there’s a great guy that is willing to help out and provide professional programming for us.


If you’re interested in full on competitors programming, and you want to approach CrossFit as your sport – let me know.  It takes a solid commitment, but approaching it intelligently is the difference between just beating yourself up, and making solid progress while minimizing risk for repetitive strains or injury.

See you in the gym!


CrossFit Sudbury – Squat Program Day 29 – 13112015

Hey Folks!

Friday the 13th!  bum bum bum!  You guys are in troooouuuble!  hahah, juuuust kidding.  Hope you guys have had a fun and great week.  The weekend might be the last one before the seriously cold weather works it’s way in eh?


Clean Warm Up
2 Rounds:
10 dislocates + weighted dislocates
10 hops + 10 Tuck jumps
10 russian KB swings (snappy hips!)


Health – Power Clean 5×3
Power Clean
5 sets of 3 reps

*Add 5 pounds each session.

Health – Chin Ups – 3 Sets Of Max Reps
3 sets of max reps – Chin ups (hands facing towards you)

Rest as needed between sets.


Hang Clean
From above the knee and landing in a squat, perform a clean. Keep the bar close, violent hips, quick elbows and stay tight!

5 X 2

Every 2 Minutes for 10 Minutes:
2 Hang Cleans @65-75%


21-15-9 Rep rounds of:
Thrusters (95/65)
Pull ups

*Scale as needed, this should be a 6 Minute or less workout. Get a good warm up in and recover from the strength work.


MOAR Mobility!
Stretch – Glutes, Quads (standing), Psoas (not on wall)
LaX Ball – Glutes (against wall), Rhomboids (between shoulder blade & spine)

See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team


CrossFit Sudbury – Squat Program Day 28 – 12112015

Hey Folks!

Front Squat PR day is HERE!  If you usually do, belt up, knees sleeve up, strap those oly shoes on and PR the hell out of that front squat! 🙂  You guys have been putting in the hard work and it’s all going to pay off.  Make sure you let James know your old and new PR’s – as a coach it’s always cool to see how your programming as paid off.

Just over a week until Lulu Lemon is coming back to town – if you know anyone who would be interested – let them know they’ll be in the front of the building (essentially the clinic area) on both Saturday and Sunday.


Warm Up For Front Squats, Etc.
2 Rounds:
10 Reverse Dislocates + weighted
10 Goblet squats + 10 Russian KB swings
10 Pull aparts


Health – Back Squats 3×5
Back Squats
*same weight for 3 sets. Add 5 pounds to last sessions squats**
**Keep track of your squats. Once you fail you’ll reduce the weight 15 pounds and continue again.

Health – Press – 3×5
Press 3×5
*Same weight for all sets – add 2.5 pounds (total) each session**
**Keep track – once you fail, go back 7.5 pounds


Front Squat
With the bar in the front rack position, perform a squat to depth and back up. Elbows up, knees out, heels down.

1 X 1


Squat Program Chipper
For time:
50 Box Jumps (14″/20”)
40 Pull Ups
30 Front Squats (95/63)
20 Burpees
10 Thrusters (95/63)


Mobility – For Real
Foam Roll – T-spine, IT bands
Stretch – Shoulders (band on elbow), Pecs, Quads (standing heel to butt stretch)
See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team

CrossFit Sudbury – Squat Program Day 27 – 11112015

Hey Folks!

Happy Remembrance day – not sure if that’s how you’re supposed to say it, as it isn’t necessarily a happy day.  Though I’m happy and thankful for being able to live the life we live – as without the sacrifice of those before us, there’s no knowing what kind of life we’d be leading now.  HUGE thank you to all who have served our country in the past, and to those who continue to serve – We’re forever in your debt.


Overhead Warm Up
2 Rounds:
10 dislocates + 10 weighted
10 ring rows + 10 push up plus
10 spiderman lunges
10 tuck jumps



Lieutenant Andrew Richard Nuttall, 30, from the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI), based in Edmonton, Alberta, serving as a member of the 1 PPCLI Battle Group was killed by an improvised explosive device that detonated during a joint foot patrol near the village of Nakhonay in Panjwaii District, about 25 km southwest of Kandahar City on December 23, 2009. He is survived by his parents, Richard and Ethel Jane Nuttall.

For time:
10 Handstand push-ups
250 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
25 Box jumps, 30 inch box
50 Pull-ups
100 Wallball shots, 20 pounds, 10′
200 Double-unders
Run 400 meters with a 45lb plate


Squat GPP Cool Down
Foam Roll – Calves, Quads, Adductors, T-Spine
Stretch – Pecs, calves, Quads
See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team

CrossFit Sudbury – Squat Program Day 26 – 10112015

Hey Folks!

Sooooo, how were your Squat PRs?  James requested that you guys mark down your original squat weight and then if you PR’d, but how much, or if you didn’t how much you did end up lifting.  He’s going to “crunch the numbers” and who knows, maybe send the info in to a journal or something 🙂

Keep it up, get recovered and do your mobility – We’re maxing out our Front Squats on Thursday!


Hinge Warm Up
2 Rounds not for time:
10 dislocates + weight,
10 toe touches + 5 inch worm push ups,
10 KB swings + 5 Goblet squats,
10 pull aparts


Max Pull Ups – 3 Sets
3 sets of of max pull ups.

*Do them all strict, please, aim for 5-10 reps each set (i.e. don’t use two purple bands and get 45 reps each time haha)

Health – Deadlift – 1×5
Warm up to a single heavy set of 5 reps.

*Add 5 pounds to last sessions deadlifts.


High Hang Snatch
From the power position, with an upright torso, use your violent hip extension to elevate the bar while you aggressively pull yourself underneath it. You should land in the bottom of an overhead squat (or the receiving position of the snatch).

10 X 2

Every Minute for 10 Minutes:
2 High Hang Squat Snatches at 65-75%


Run/KBS/Burpee AMRAP
12 Minute AMRAP:
200m Run
10 Kettlebell Snatch*
15 Burpees

*scale to single arm KB swings if needed 🙂


Hinge-Centric Cool Down
Foam Roll – Hamstrings, Calves, T-Spine, Glutes
Stretch – Hamstrings, Calves, Pecs, Forearms
See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team

CrossFit Sudbury – Squat Program Day 25 – 09112015

Hey Folks!

Great weekend – Just so you guys know – Lulu Lemon is coming to our place again!  November 21st and 22nd!  details on exact hours will be up soon, but thought I’d let you know now so you can plan ahead or tell your friends.  There will be a Facebook “event” for it that we’ll try to share around as much as we can beforehand too.


Back Squat Warm Up
10 spiderman lunges
10 toes touches
10 goblet squats w/ 3 second pause in the bottom*
10 pull aparts

*pause in bottom, heels down, elbows push knees out, squeeze your chest up tall.


Health – Back Squats 3×5
Back Squats
*same weight for 3 sets. Add 5 pounds to last sessions squats**
**Keep track of your squats. Once you fail you’ll reduce the weight 15 pounds and continue again.

Health – Bench Press 3×5
Bench Press – 3 sets of 5 reps

*Add 2.5 pounds each session for this lift.



1 X 1

20 Minute Clock to establish a new 1RM Back Squat! Get in there, grit your teeth and crush extreme!


10-1 Wall Ball/C2B
10-1 for time of:
Wall Ball (20/14)
Chest to Bar Pull ups


Squat GPP Cool Down
Foam Roll – Calves, Quads, Adductors, T-Spine
Stretch – Pecs, calves, Quads
See you in the gym!
The CrossFit Sudbury Team