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Learning my why: Answers, Questions, and Truths

Hi Folks,

Kristins post about part of her story (stay tuned for the rest!) inspired me to think about my own story, and why I’m here, doing what I do.  Here is what I’ve come up with (though I reserve the right to update this as time passes, haha).

Why do I do it?

To be a source of trustworthy knowledge and actionable steps that people need so that they can improve their lives exactly how they want to and maybe even more.

  • I’ve always wanted to be the person people went to for help.
  • I’ve seen how valuable being that person can be, and being able to provide that to someone fills my soul up.

That was the TLDR version.  Read on for how I got there.  Starting with story time…

When I was young, I was being foolish around a pool table and ended up hitting my face on the side of it, cutting up my gums pretty good/bad.  It was during a family function and one of my uncles, a firefighter, was there to help.  At the moment I was afraid and worried that I had done something that would, a: be a problem permanently (in an aesthetic/health respect), and b: get me in trouble with my parents (I told you I was young, though I think that fear never goes away haha).  Immediately, my uncle took calm control of the situation and helped make a plan that assessed where I was between serious injury, and a bump/bruise (it ended up just being a gnarly flap of skin that tore off my gums with a lot of blood that made it look bad) while he also made it all seem like a team effort to help save me and the evening.  It was inspiring to say the least (and I was fine… just being a wimp).  Onto the next story…

Both times I injured my shoulders (one, a clavicular fracture while snowboarding, the other a dislocated shoulder while playing football.  Different shoulders, years apart), I went to the walk-in clinic/hospital and saw a doctor.  While I didn’t enjoy the wait time (none of us does, but it’s a necessary part of having a non-life threatening injury), I appreciated the focus and methodical approach the doctors that ultimately saw me had, as well as their conclusions and reassurance that in time, I’d be just fine.

I’ve always wanted to be like those people.  I’ve always wanted to be the person that people felt comfortable asking for answers (at least the ones related to health/wellness).  I always wanted to be able to provide measured, calm answers to questions that innately inspire a certain level of fear in people.  Taking away fear, I think, is a pretty valuable skill.

So, my goal from a young age was to be involved in healthcare.  I originally thought I would go “be a doctor”, but as I got into my third and fourth years of university, I learned that for me, being a medical doctor wasn’t going to provide me with the tools I needed to answer the questions I wanted to answer.  So I explored other options (Physiotherapy, Speech and Language pathology, Audiology, Population and Community Ecology, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Naturopathy) for school, and even looked into applying to the fire department (they wouldn’t hire colour-blind folks back then).  It eventually took me to Chiropractic college, where I enrolled in their doctor of chiropractic program, as well as their masters of science in applied clinical nutrition programs.  I attended a lot of lectures and labs, and read and studied a LOT.  I learned a lot.  It was such a great thing to think that if I just read and learned as much as I could – if I read all the literature about all the things within my scope of practice (where I could help people), I would finally have all the answers.

Throughout my quest to learn the answers, I learned some hard truths:

First, the textbooks, and some of the information from lectures, labs and skill work would that I was learning, would be obsolete by the time I was allowed to use it.  Not surprising and somewhat easy to mitigate by always working to continue learning.

Lesson Learned:  You never get to stop learning if you want to be the one providing the answers.

Second, the scientific literature (what I always thought was like gospel, untouchable and un-taintable) was/is biased, unpredictable, and in some cases purposely falsified to serve the needs of those who might benefit from it (sometimes, honestly, as the author wants to see their hypothesis come true, and sometimes in more sinister ways).

Lesson learned:  Scrutinize what you read.  Does it make sense?  Does it fit with everything else we know?  If it doesn’t, WHY?  

Third, most people that DO come to you with questions, will have a somewhat unique and different question than everyone else that has, which makes their answers also unique and different.  It will be very rare that a person presents like they do in the textbooks/classes/exams.

Lesson Learned:  Providing solutions isn’t, and will never be a “recipe book” or “menu”.  You can’t just file people into tidy and neat categories and each and every case needs to be addressed individually, which requires a lot of patience, willpower, and open-mindedness.

So.  Learning that having the answers to the questions people were asking was going to be very difficult, and in most cases, fairly disappointing, has been hard to accept.  But, as difficult as it is to accept it, it’s the truth.  And one of the most important things I’ve learned is that there is something more important than being the person with the answers; and that is working tirelessly to be someone who provides the truth – even if it means revealing that those we would expect to have solid answers on, still don’t.

So why do this?  Why put in thousands upon thousands of hours reading, attending seminars, and learning about manual therapy, modalities, food production, different diets, food allergies, intolerances, dyskinesias, program design, rehabilitative exercises, barbell strength, weightlifting, gymnastics, energy systems, fueling systems, fasting, ketogenic dieting, sleep and recovery, stress relief, belief systems, habit building, time management, and a list of other things, some known and some unknown, that will NEVER end?

To be a source of trustworthy knowledge and actionable steps that people want and/or need so that they can improve their lives exactly how they want to and maybe even more.


Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for providing me with the opportunity to do so.

Your friend,



Originally posted at http://www.reallifehealth.ca/opinion/learning-answers-questions-truths

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CrossFitter of the Month – January 2017

Hey Friends!

It’s that time!  Yesssss – we get to showcase one of our awesome members.  This month we’re excited about showing off someone who has been doing extra work to shore up weaknesses (and it shows), while continuing to build on strengths.  This person has done an amazing job of infusing the gym as part of their routine, and their consistency shows (with PRs and improved movement all the time).  We’re so happy and lucky to recognize January’s “CrossFitter of the Month”…


Caroline!  Thanks for always bringing awesome energy to the gym with you!

Name: Caroline Cropp

Age: 33 

Occupation: Financial advisor 

What was your exercise experience prior to CrossFit?

 I was really sporty growing up – I did most sports at school, but my passion was football (soccer) I played competitively for 20years and also represented my county. 

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

I started Crossfit in 2013 twice a week, when I retired from football in 2014 I started going 4/5 a week. I used to play football with Sam Briggs who took up Crossfit and progressed into the fittest woman on earth in 2013! I played football with Denise Thomas at Leeds united and seeing her promote the sport in the USA and all over the world on her Level 1 courses inspired me to give it a go. I wanted to do something that would challenge me on a daily basis and also still allow me to have a bit of competition too.

What is your favourite part about CrossFit?

It’s all about the people, back in England when I started Crossfit I made some of the best friendships ever and are still going strong even though I am in a different country and moving here I have gained so many new friends. It’s also pushing yourself beyond what you think your capabilities are. It has encouraged me to live a better life. 

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

Moving to a new country! Passing all my financial/retirement planning exams in less than a year, also plenty of football achievements with winning the reserve league cup in my final season. CrossFit related it would be doing the open last year and being able to rx all the wods. Which was major progress from the year before only managing to rx 3 of them. 

Favourite workout or lift?

Love a clean – worked on my technique for the past few months and finally seeing some good results, I also love overhead squats. One of my fave hero wods is whitten. I also like team or partner workouts that are long grinders, as long as there’s not too many gymnastic movements. 

Anything else you would like to share please feel free

even with having a shoulder injury for the last 6ish weeks – the coaches have been amazing keeping me involved in class and helping switch movements up! And Steph and Kristen – Thank you for your time and help with my rehab you guys are fab! 

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Monique Duguay – April 13, 1962 – January 2, 2017

One of the most loving, upbeat, and genuine people you may have had the honour to meet is very sadly, no longer with us.

We are absolutely heartbroken to share the news of the passing of our dear friend, Monique Duguay. Monique was one of the very first people to inquire and sign up for our gym (and dragged her daughter, Mandie, along with her) and has been an integral part and vocal proponent of the gym ever since. Many of you have gotten to know Monique over the years, whether it was during a workout together (with Precious by her side), during any and ALL of our social events, while cheering us on during the Open competitions, or simply sharing a sincere conversation. Monique brought a great sense of style with her to the gym, which was easily admired by her fancy shoes and matching outfits. Monique was always first to ask if we needed help with food, time, or anything else that would help to support the gym.

Monique's strong, inspiring and kind personality will be missed but never forgotten.

The following is the information for the visitation & the funeral:

  • Visitation - Monday January 9th, 2-4pm and 7-9pm @ the Cooperative Funeraire (Lasalle & Notre Dame)
  • Funeral - Tuesday January 10th, at 10:30am @ St-Jean de Brebeuf Church downtown
  • The official obituary can be found here

Our deepest Condolences go out to the Duguay family.

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CrossFitter of the Month – February 2016

Hey Friends!

It’s that time!  We’re going to showcase another of our awesome members.  This particular person was one of the first people I met in Sudbury, and one of the first people to ever train with me.  He’s been a mainstay at the 6am class and manages to make it in 3-5 days a week while also helping to raise 2 small kids.  This person has worked through set backs and even crushed the recent Whole Life Challenge.  For February, we get to recognize a good friend and great guy in general…



Here are his answers to our questions!

Name: Andrew Ilves

Age: 34

Occupation: Sr. Project Engineer at Vale

What was your exercise experience prior to crossfit?

Growing up, and to this day, I have always been the type of person that is always on the move. I have been involved in many different sports my entire life: AAA hockey, competitive soccer, squash, tennis, basketball…pretty much every sport I could get my hands on while growing up, through university and into ‘real life’.

After moving back to Sudbury in 2008, I was looking for a new challenge so I ended up joining a competitive dragon boat team (Team Chiro). This is a team that had just placed 2nd in the World Club Crew championships right before I joined, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I also met some great people including Beau (who I knew from our hockey days), Amy, Marty and Crystal.

My days at ‘Globo Gym’ started somewhere at the beginning of high school as I was trying to add some strength for my budding hockey career (which obviously fell a little short of the NHL). Since then I went from one gym to the next, doing pretty much the same thing for half of my life. I even found myself as a spin instructor at Goodlife for a little while. During all that time, it was hard to keep motivated and committed since, like most of you would agree I’m sure, it is just boring!

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

I have been doing crossfit now for more than two years. I initially started crossfit because I was looking for that next challenge and for something to keep me motivated.   I actually went out for a few of the old school Queen’s Athletic Field WODs before the first gym opened.   It also didn’t hurt that I happen to know the two awesome people who opened CFS, so I was reminded about the gym every time I saw Kristin and Adam.

Once Beau joined the gym though, I knew I couldn’t procrastinate any longer and took the plunge (I knew he wouldn’t stop bugging me until I joined anyway). I think that Crossfit is perfect for my personality as I like seeing how far I can push myself, and then push a little further. It is the challenge I have been looking for!


What is your favorite part about crossfit?

As most people who have answered these questions ahead of me have already said, the community and family feel to the gym is the best part!   I always have that motivation to get my ass out of bed at 5am because I know that the rest of the 6am crew is doing the same. We have a great group in the morning who are not only extremely hard working and dedicated, but they’re also a lot of fun and just fantastic people!

I’m also a big fan of the coaching atmosphere in Crossift. Growing up in competitive sports, I’m used to having a coach provide guidance, pointing out the things I’m doing right/wrong, and pushing me when I want to stop. We have great coaches at CFS, who also happen to have the patience required to put up with our 6am shenanigans, and they really make the gym what it is.

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

Like any father, I’m most proud of my growing family! I have an amazing wife (Krista – who I keep bugging to come out and join the gym because I know she would love it), and two incredible children – Brooke (3) and Jaaks (1). Everything I do is for them, and that includes keeping as fit and healthy as possible. I’m in the best shape of my life, and seem to keep getting fitter as I age (I guess another thing I’m proud of), and I owe a huge part of that to CFS.

I’m also proud of myself for working through the shoulder injury that plagued me for most of 2015. It wasn’t easy staying motivated and focused knowing that I couldn’t do anything overhead, anything that involved pushing…I pretty much felt like I couldn’t do anything! If there is ever a WOD consisting of deadlifts, ring rows and mountain climbers, I would be all over that one! haha DSC_2956

Favorite workout or lift?

My favorite lifts would have to be cleans and deadlifts. The only good thing about my shoulder injury is that both of these lifts improved quite a bit for me last year since they were the only ones I could really do! As for workouts, I enjoy the ‘Girl’ and ‘Hero’ WODs as they are typically very tough mentally, which forces me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Anything else you would like to share please feel free

Thanks to Kristin and Adam for opening the gym and giving all of us like-minded people a place to get together and punish ourselves! Thanks to all of the coaches, you bring a wealth of knowledge and keep us motivated (and of course, put up with us first thing in the morning). A big shout out to the 6am crew, you guys kick ass and keep me pushing to improve! And finally, thanks to everyone at CFS. I haven’t met everyone yet since I’m a morning, or occasional noon, person, but it’s easy to see from the events, get-togethers, pictures, etc. that we have an awesome community that I know will keep growing.


Thanks for being an awesome part of the community Andrew!  We’re lucky to have you!

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Context Coaching – AKA How to best approach the WOD

Hey Friends!

We’re looking at adding a little reminder to each WOD for the best way to approach it.  What does that mean, and why does it matter?  Keep reading to find out more 😉

When most people start CrossFit (myself included), they intuitively assume that the best way to approach every WOD is to attack it with everything they have (Ever watch someone give “70%” on a Ball Run on day one?) – then after a little while, they hopefully learn that strategizing is good, and pacing slowly gets learned as well.  But when is the best time to pace?  When is a good time to rest, strategically?  When should you go WAY TOO FAST?  That’s what we’re aiming to help you with moving forward.

That being said, I don’t really want to write a huge blurb trying to strategize for you before every WOD, because it isn’t really possible.  It’s like approaching a partner workout and saying, “ok so there are 50 thrusters at 135.  I’ll do 25 straight and then you do 25 straight then we’ll be done” – Sounds awesome in writing…

So we’re going to try to be smart about it all – We’re going to provide context to each workout.  That way, you know to approach certain things with the beginner mindset, and others with a more calculated plan, and others still to steel your mind and prepare for the “little hater” inside your head before he or she makes their appearance (likely, during burpees, or wall balls, or thrusters, or halfway through a 1RM front squat, wink wink).  You’ll see this as the “Context” box above the WOD.  So let’s dig into them a little deeper:

“Practice” (60% of the time)

  • “We’re talkin’ bout practice!”
  • This is when you should be striving for perfect form, attempting the more complex version of things, and appreciating “the process” to building strength, skill, etc.
  • This doesn’t mean you aren’t trying hard – it just means you’re putting in a good effort without wrecking yourself.  You don’t drive your car with the pedal on the ground ALL the time (I hope), right?

“Competition” (30% of the time)

  • “Get after it!”
  • This is when you might game things a bit, like expecting to get more box jumps than push presses during fight gone bad, or purposely kicking off the wall before you start failing handstand push ups in a WOD.  This should ultimately lead to a higher power output all together and is a good time to try to improve on old scores or find the edge in a workout.

“Mental Toughness” (10% of the time)

  • “It builds character”
  • This is what you need when maxing out a lift, grinding through big sets in a chipper, or working to PR your 500m Row time.  These are rare, because they require going to that dark place, and then smiling and digging yourself out of that hole!
  • As you can imagine, these should be few and far between because you can’t max out all the time (unless you’re Bulgarian, apparently) or give 100% on every WOD without taking on a certain amount of mental/emotional strife.  So pick those battles wisely 🙂

When you see them on the WOD post or Whiteboard – you’ll just see, “Context:  Practice”, for example.  It’ll let you know what type of mindset might be best when approaching the workout.  The ultimate goal with all this?  To keep you interested, inspired and able to train each and every day, as well as continuously seeing progress, not just for the next 6 weeks, but for the next 6 years (or decades!)  THAT’s a real goal.  Let me know if you have any questions/concerns about it all!

The idea belongs to Kenny Kane – owner of CrossFit LA – He’s been getting people fit for a little while and has some awesome ideas.  You can look him up on google if you’d like – he was on barbell shrugged and has his own stuff going on too.  He and JJ worked together to add the context coaching template into the programming we use.

Here’s the video.  If you can handle the terrible jokes and annoying input from the people that aren’t Kenny, then you are a strong individual.  I have it set to auto-fast forward a good spot in the podcast to listen to.  Don’t feel obliged to watch it if you don’t want to.

Stay Healthy, Friends!

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Post-Christmas info update

Hey Friends!

Merry Christmas/Happy holidays and all the most fun times!  The gym has been nice and busy over the holidays and you folks are all giving your all – which is awesome.  I hope you’re all enjoying a nice little reset from work to energize yourselves, spend a little down time with a book/movie/friend/whatever helps you wind down.  If none of the above have happened yet, get after it – you need to be attacking your recovery just as hard as your training.

Cool stuff worth mentioning:

  • Lulu Lemon is coming out again (as Eric described so cleverly, in case you need to spend more money, haha) on January 2nd from 10am-5pm.  Stop on by!
  • Alicia’s going to Australia to become a lawyer super secret WOD and then food.  Check the whiteboard to see the times and throw your name on there if you’re coming so we can get some decent reservations or something set up.
  • Hours are normal until Thursday (New Years Eve) – where they’re 9am-12noon, and then we’re closed New Years Day and back to normal from there forward.
  • Weightlifting clinic with Coach James on the 12th (of January) for ~90 Minutes – for Free… who knows you may find you really enjoy it and want to partake in the….
  • New cycle for the weightlifting club starts on the 19th (of January) same times as last cycle (Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8pm, Sunday 12pm)
  • Whole Life Challenge – community and accountability in an effort to take on some healthier lifestyle habits!  Food, hydration, mobility, exercise, supplement(s), mindfulness, sleep, etc. all play a part in your quality of life – kickstart your efforts with the whole life challenge!
  • CrossFit Kids – Elementary is starting up again on Monday nights (6pm) and/or Sunday (9am).  It’s an either/or versus the kids coming to both.  Let Mandie know if you haven’t signed up but are interested!
  • I think I’m going to try to find a way to get back into blogging every day on here again instead of just having the WOD on that plug-in thingy.  It just seemed a little more personal.  I do want to figure out a way to do it that won’t eat all my time up though 🙂
  • We’re going to make a new T-shirt order soon!  Let me know if you have any mind-blasting ideas for it!

Front Squat cycle is ending soon (we’re on 10 of 15 sessions) and the Squat Clean cycle is about to start up.  It’s going to be awesome!  Make sure you start working on that front rack position now or you’re going to have sort wrists (and terrible form) through 15 sessions of squat cleans :S  Ask a coach and make the effort to fix your form, using wrist wraps and saying, “oh yeah, my wrists/shoulders don’t do that” is like saying you’re too busy driving to pull over for gas, or putting electrical tape over the “check engine” light.  It might be a work-around for your immediate problem, but you’ll be in trouble later.

As always, Stay Healthy Friends!

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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?

6 + 2 = ?

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.

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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!