Alex Is St. Louis Bound

RALEIGH, NC — Raleigh CrossFit is proud to announce that Alex Augustine will be representing Raleigh CrossFit and Raleigh Strength and Conditioning at the 2015 USA Weightlifting Regional Championship One. The event is slated for April 30-May 2 in St. Louis, Mo.


Alex is no stranger to weightlifting meets, but this one will be her first experience on a regional level. She will be competing against lifters from around the region in an event hosted by USA Weightlifting. She, along with Coach Chennelle, will be traveling to the event.


About the Event
The competition is classified as the final Pan American Games qualification event, and it will also allow athletes the opportunity to qualify for August’s USA Weightlifting National Championships in Dallas.

Athletes who are not yet able to meet qualifying standards for USA Weightlifting’s national events can take this opportunity to lift alongside the best in the nation.  For more information visit USA Weightlifting.


Alex qualified for this event based on the results from her last three weightlifting competitions. All athletes who are participating in this event received special invitations and needed to meet certain standards in terms of lifting totals for the snatch and clean and jerk at USA sanctioned weightlifting events.


To learn more about Alex’s journey to this event, please read the Q and A below.


Tell Us About This Competition


The competition I am attending is the 2015 USA Weightlifting Regional Championship One.  Over the last few years the sport of weightlifting has grown exponentially. In response to that growth, USAW has added Regional Competitions in addition to the American Open and National Championships. The qualifying process is similar to that of the American Open or Nationals, you have to meet a certain total in a given time period to participate in the event.  



Did you expect to be attending?


I didn’t expect to be attending at all.


I had received an email stating that USAW would be having a Regional Championships this year, but I misread the time in which they took qualifying totals.  I thought that you had to post a qualifying total in the time frame of January 2015 – April 2015.  I haven’t competed yet this year, so I thought I was out of the running.  


It turns out that you actually had to have posted a qualifying total anywhere in March 2014 – March 2015. The total from my last meet at the MDUSA Fall Open qualified me to compete in the USAW Regional Championship.


How did you feel when you received the invitation?


The timing of the invitation was pretty great.  I had just finished up the first day of a weekend long weightlifting seminar and checked my email.  The subject read “Congratulations, You Qualified”.  My first thought was “I wonder why my spam filter didn’t catch this?” Then I saw who it was from, USAW.  Ok, now they have my attention.  


What was your immediate reaction?


My immediate reaction was “No Way!” and then directly to “This is awesome! I have to sit down and work out the logistics to see if I can go.” I took a minute to wrap my head around it all and immediately thought of who I could share this with that might appreciate it, or at least understand my excitement.


Who was the first person you told?


I contacted Coach Chennelle.  I told her I was thinking about going. I was pretty excited to have qualified to compete in an event like this. I often joke that Chennelle “created this monster”, as it was her and Raleigh CrossFit that introduced me to the world of weightlifting.


What did you do to prepare for this?


Well, I didn’t consciously do anything to prepare for this event specifically. What I did was what I have been doing every day, what I love to do, lifting.  

I spent last year competing in several meets just to gain a feeling for competing in a meet. I was focusing on trying to beat my total from my previous meet.  I was in competition with myself mainly, as well as learning what it takes to get up in front of spectators and lift heavy.  It’s a different type of mental challenge, and you only get three chances.

Mostly, I have been dedicated to lifting, finding ways to improve my lifting, working on gaining strength, and gaining a better understanding of technique. I have been consulting multiple resources, attending multiple clinics and certifications, trying to learn as much as I can, and then turning around and taking what I have learned and sharing it with other people.  One of the best ways to solidify what you have learned is to share it with another person.  

It’s safe to say every day that I have spent in “my corner” lifting and grinding day in and day out was all in preparation for this.  So, in a way, I am still preparing.


What events did you do in order to qualify to participate?


The events I competed in last year:

Out of Step Barbell Open 2 – May 2014 

2014 Summer Lift Off – June 2014 

Bull City Barbell Open – August 2014*

Training Valley Open – August 2014*

MDUSA Fall Open – September 2014*

*The totals from the last three meets listed were high enough to qualify.


What are you most looking forward to with this competition?


What I am looking forward most is the experience of competing in a high level competition.  I look forward to lifting with some of the best lifters in the US. This competition is filled with “heavy hitters”, and it will be amazing to watch and meet some of them. Overall, I’m excited to be there, to take it all in, and leave it all on the floor as usual.


What are your goals with this competition?


For this competition, I want to hit all my lifts, improve my overall total and have fun.  I also want to learn as much as I can while I am there.



Bio Information




Weight Class



Total (and Splits)

Highest competition total: 132kg / Snatch 55kg / C&J 77kg

Highest training total: 137kg / Snatch 58kg / C&J 79kg


Where did you grow up?

A few places

FL, NE, MN, and NC

I claim Raleigh, NC because it is the place I have stayed the longest.


When did you start with Raleigh CrossFit?


I started CrossFit at Raleigh CrossFit March 24, 2012.



When did you start focusing on Olympic lifting?


I made the switch to focusing solely on Olympic Weightlifting February 2014.



What goals did you have when you first started?


My goals when I first start CrossFit were to just get in shape and get stronger.



How have they changed?


My goals have evolved so much. They started as to get in shape and get healthier. After that, I wanted to test my limits -how hard or how long could I go and could I push myself further? Then I started to get interested in competitive CrossFit.  Then that evolved into a focus on Weightlifting, and it’s been full steam ahead.  Though my goals have changed over time one thing remains consistent, and that is no matter what I am doing, I do it with passion and put everything I have into it. 



The event will be webcast LIVE at


From the Coach: My First Open

Each of your coaches has participated in the Open, whether it is one year or 5 years (since 2011), each one of them has a first memory. We’ve reached out to them all to share their first CrossFit Games Open. This week is Coach Rebecca sharing her first memory.
“The first Open I did was in 2013.  My two CrossFit BFFs and I were trying to eat clean throughout the Open, so each week we had dinner together on Friday nights to make sure we ate well and went to bed early.  Then, after we did the workouts on Saturday and watched all of our friends go, we would go for a beer and a cheat meal before getting back on the “paleo/clean-eating” wagon.
Last year, every Thursday night we got together with friends to have a healthy dinner and watch the Open announcement live.
The Open workouts can be pretty miserable, but the Open itself can be a lot of fun if you make it a social event and embrace the community aspect of it by sticking around to cheer on your fellow athletes and celebrate a little bit.”
Each Saturday we do the Open Workouts.  You do not have to be a registered athlete with the Open to participate. Please join us. There are three workouts remaining.  Arrive at 830a or 1000a to participate. Heats begin sharply at 900a and 1030a.  You are responsible for warming up on your own upon arrival. We run heats as quickly as possible based on the judges available, time domain for the workout and equipment needs.
As Rebecca said, a big part of her CrossFit Open memories are the fun experiences with doing the challenging workouts with friends. Be sure to make memories of your own this year!
Coach Rebecca performing a clean and jerk in the Open event 15.1A.

Coach Rebecca performing a clean and jerk in the Open event 15.1A.


From Coach Atti – St. Paddy’s 8k Race


“Just wanted to give a shout out to everyone who joined us at the table during the St. Paddy’s Day run this past weekend.  I feel the day was a great opportunity to show Raleigh a little bit about CrossFit and our community.  Thank you Brian, Jennifer, Rosa, and Steve for making time to do some lifting outside, and participate in a short WOD in the park.  It was amazing to see how people stopped to watch you all in aww.  Very fun moment for me.  This event also allowed me to connect with the Carolina RailHawks soccer team and Fleet Feet.  Both organizations were very eager to connect with us for some exciting events to come.”


Raleigh CrossFit Bootcamps Starting April 6!

The Raleigh CrossFit Outdoor Bootcamps are back in action starting Monday, April 6! We will hold a 1-hour session with Coach Beth from 930-1030a at Fletcher Park. Email us today to sign up!

This is a no-contract bootcamp.  Each month you may decide to continue to the next month.


Register HERE!

– Click on “ONLINE STORE”


The Raleigh CrossFit Bootcamp has arrived because you all asked for it.

Did you know that Raleigh CrossFit was voted by the Raleigh community and beyond as “Best of in the Triangle” and “Best of North Carolina” by Endurance Magazine?  The same coaches that coach the athletes of Raleigh CrossFit are now moving outside for a special bootcamp geared towards athletes who want to train hard outside and have fun without a barbell.

The Raleigh CrossFit Bootcamp is a fitness program, designed and coached by the certified staff of Raleigh CrossFit.


The bootcamp is a no-contract training program. This means you pay for your month and then can decide to continue on a month-to-month basis.


Blogs By Bex: What Have You Learned?

Continuing this week with our “What Have You Learned?” series, I spoke with Alex Green. Alex will celebrate his one-year anniversary at Raleigh CrossFit this week- congratulations! He originally joined Raleigh CrossFit to improve his tennis game.

I play on multiple city tennis leagues throughout the year (played 70+ league matches and won 2 tournaments in 2014) and my goal was to be in better shape than anyone I face.

I remember my first workout like it was yesterday because I couldn’t move or breathe, was dead last, and very humbled.  Like a lot of us, I love competition!  I asked the guy next to me how long it takes before it gets easier and he laughed and said, “Um, it doesn’t!”  Uh oh!  What had I gotten myself into?  I wasn’t sure if I liked that or not, but something was different here.  I saw a group of people giving it their all no matter their strength, every time.  Now, I had been on the gym schedule over the years – you know, the January to February resolution schedule and then fallen off the wagon, but I never could figure out why. 

A year later, I now understand that it’s the competition and camaraderie we have that keeps us going.  I can walk in after a long day at the office and not have to think.  Sometimes that’s apparent and the coaches let me know to get those freaking elbows up!  (Mark, I’m working on it.) 

I used to think double unders were the coaches’ way of punishing me because I end up with gladiator style whip marks.  At the end of the day, it’s that feeling you get when you finally learn how to kip or double under, then you finally RX.  CrossFit has also made me better outside the box.  My other love is tennis and I have seen so much improvement on the tennis court. 

I have learned that patience, humility, and the ability to laugh at yourself goes a long way.  And you know what??  I finally got double unders, but I still can’t keep those freaking elbows up.  Always something! 

So true, Alex! It doesn’t matter how long you have been doing it, there is always something to work on! Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!



Alex uses his training at Raleigh CrossFit to prepare him for tennis.

Alex uses his training at Raleigh CrossFit to prepare him for tennis.





Saturday, Feb. 7 – We are hosting the 2015 Valentine’s Partner Event. The event begins at 1000a and will go until completed.  There will be a class from 900-1000a if you are not participating in the event.

Saturday, Feb. 14 – Krispy Kreme Run – Coaches Chad, Graham, Chennelle and Kim will be running, along with several Raleigh CrossFit athletes.


Raleigh CrossFit Barbell Club 

The first Olympic Lifting course of the 2015 season is upon us!  It began on Tuesday, Jan. 5. This course is full, but if you are interested, we will be holding our first powerlifting/olympic lifting course in the Spring!   This course will combine the powerlifts (Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Press) with additional focus on the Olympic Lifts (Snatch and Clean and Jerk). Equal time will be spent on both and you will learn how to really hone in your technique for all five lifts, which are maintstays within the Raleigh CrossFit programming.  This course will run for 20 sessions, versus 16 sessions as the Olympic lifting course typically runs.  The course cost will be $225.  Based on previous speed at which these courses fill up, I wouldn’t wait.

The course will run from Tuesday, March 31 until June 6 every Tuesday from 615-745p and Saturday from 900a-1030a.

If you are interested in securing a place in this course (I can tell you that the Winter Olympic Lifting Course sold out in a week), please email me at or message me on Facebook.

Also, this course completion will fulfill a prerequisite to participate in our newly established Raleigh CrossFit Barbell Club.  This club is just starting and requirements  of participation include completing an Olympic Lifting Course with Raleigh CrossFit or completing a test out of the movements required to perform the programming (squats, deadlift, bench press, snatch and clean and jerk). This programming is entirely separate from the main Raleigh CrossFit programming.  We are launching it do the the requests of our athletes to have a class that specifically involves “LIFTING HEAVY”!

The RCF Barbell Club will officially launch in February, but if you are interested, please reach out to Chennelle via email at or via Facebook messenger for more information. There is also a link on our website.



Join us for our annual Valentine's Day Partner WOD!

Join us for our annual Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

2015 Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

Get ready! This workout has been a Raleigh CrossFit tradition since 2012!

Date: Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Time: 1000a-100p

Registration: Closed

Information: 2-person, partner workout. The workout will be modifiable/scalable for all levels.  Find your favorite partner!

Rowing and Swag

Sign up for our free rowing clinic - beginner and experienced.

Sign up for our free rowing clinic – beginner and experienced.

Rowing Clinics Coming This Saturday and Next

Sign up at the front desk for a FREE, FREE, FREE rowing clinic.  There are a few spots remaining. We will have a beginner class for those who wish to learn the basics. This is Saturday, Jan. 24 from 1000-1100a.  For those that have taken a rowing clinic previously, we have an experienced class on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 1000-1100a. There are a few spots left in that class as well.  Take advantage of these FREE clinics!  Whether it’s rowing or otherwise.  These are additional opportunities to become better at what you already love to do. Why not love it more?


Valentine’s Partner WOD

We extended the registration deadline to Friday. If you want to participate, please register via the link below.  Additionally, our friends from Runologie and Inov-8 will be on-site to answer questions about their store, running programs and Inov-8 shoes.  Athletes will have a chance to wear the shoes during their events on Saturday, Feb. 7. If you want a t-shirt but your partner does not, register for “no shirt” and email me with your shirt request.  There is not fee to participate, only if you want a special shirt, so don’t let that keep you from having an awesome time with fellow CrossFit friends from CrossFit Sanford and Forged Fitness. This event is entirely scalable for all levels. It is not a competition. It is a partner workout event and intended to be no-stress, just fun with fellow athletes.


Door prizes as well!  Perhaps some gift cards from local restaurants!


Join us for our annual Valentine's Day Partner WOD!

Join us for our annual Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

2015 Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

Get ready! This workout has been a Raleigh CrossFit tradition since 2012!

Date: Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Time: 1000a-100p

Registration: For more information follow this link.

Information: 2-person, partner workout. The workout will be modifiable/scalable for all levels.  Find your favorite partner!

T-Shirts: Will be available for pre-sale ($25). When you register, you can choose to register with a shirt or without.


2015 Valentine's Partner WOD. Saturday, Feb. ,7, 2014.

2015 Valentine’s Partner WOD. Saturday, Feb. ,7, 2014.

Pre-Order Women’s T-Shirts

There will be a pre-order form for those wanting to purchase a women’s t-shirt in our next, limited batch edition shirts. These shirts will be envy green, women’s cut, tri-blend.

The women's cut is available in S, M, L, XL, XXL. Taking Pre-Orders only.

The women’s cut is available in S, M, L, XL, XXL. Taking Pre-Orders only.

New Unisex Shirts Arriving February 2015

These will be available in unisex sizes only, like we always have. Tri-blend fabric. Two color options: Heather Gray and Envy green.  Arriving in February 2015.   You do not need to pre-order these, although if you want to reserve one, that’s not a bad idea. They go fast, as you all know.



Unisex sizes available in S, M, L, XL, XXL. No pre-order needed for these.

Unisex sizes available in S, M, L, XL, XXL. No pre-order needed for these.



A big congratulations goes out to Marcie “Sheeza” and Alex for their third place finish out of 107 teams at the 2015 War of the WODs event in Greensboro this past weekend.  This is the second podium finish in major competitions for Raleigh CrossFit. Additionally, Coach Chad and RCF athlete Danon finished 9th of 67 teams, a very challenging group to compete against. There were numerous teams participating and many athletes competing for the first time.  Way to grab the bull by the horns and put your fitness to the test.  So proud of Raleigh CrossFit any time we represent ourselves in the community. We are always remembered as friendly, competitive, strong, community-focused athletes.  We are humble winners and competitors. We let the actions speak for our abilities and our presence represent who we are as people and athletes.  Thank you everyone for always being committed to doing so and this goes for the athletes and spectators!


RCF Athlete Profile: Jason P.

Special Hours For This Week

* Two classes on Wednesday, Dec. 24: 900a and 1000a. – Special 12 Days of Christmas workout. Wear your ugly sweater or your favorite holiday colors!

* CLOSED Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25 (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)

* Two classes on Friday, Dec. 26: 900a and 1000a


This week’s athlete profile: Jason P.


Name:  Jason Pounds

Hometown: Jackson, MS

Occupation: Youth Minister

Hobbies: Reading (a lot!) Mostly non-fiction with the occasional novel thrown in every now and again


Jason in a recent training session, uses CrossFit training to improve his overall fitness and to be a part of a positive community.

Jason in a recent training session, uses CrossFit training to improve his overall fitness and to be a part of a positive community.

Jason joined Raleigh CrossFit in May 2013 and usually joins us four times per week. That may seem pretty typical until you consider that Jason is also a dad to two children, a husband, a youth minister, and until very recently, a full-time Master’s student! With so much going on, you have to wonder why in the world he would get started in CrossFit and add one more thing to his plate.

I have played sports my since I was a kid. Growing up I played baseball, basketball, and soccer. But soccer became the sport that I stuck with. I played for competitive travel teams all through middle school and high school, as well as for my high school varsity soccer team.

I had hit a point in my life where I really wanted to get back into shape. I juggle a lot of things in my life- husband, dad, youth minister, and full-time master’s student. As a result, my fitness had been place on the back burner. CrossFit was the perfect way for me to get back into shape. Because of my competitive athletic background, the intensity of the WOD appealed my competitive nature, as well as the team/community atmosphere.

I chose Raleigh because of the coaches. I did my research on the Boxes in the area, and I was impressed with credentials of the coaches. They clearly knew their stuff, and I felt that was exceedingly important because of the type of movements used in CrossFit.

Jason mentioned that he was excited not only about the intensity and competitiveness of CrossFit, but also the community. He has definitely found all three of those at RCF.

The first time I came to the box I was with my three-month-old son, and I watched a WOD. I knew from the very start my butt was going to be kicked every time I came into the box, but that appealed to me. I knew that was what I needed to stay motivated. I also felt welcomed. Chennelle was the first coach I met and from the start she made me feel welcome.

My butt is still being kicked all the time, and I feel more welcomed now than ever. The coaches are genuine and really desire to know what is going on in your life outside of Raleigh CrossFit. That is why Raleigh CrossFit is about more than fitness; it is about a community of people working together to live better lives.

Through his dedication as an athlete, Jason has seen a drastic improvement in his overall fitness levels, as well as in his strength, which has led to some great PRs and personal accomplishments!

I love push press and push jerks. I feel like I am efficient with those movements, and because of that, I have seen several PR’s.

It is hard to narrow it down to one achievement, but what I can say is I love seeing my strength numbers go up. I recently hit a 215lb push press, and I felt great about that.

At first, my goal was to just get fitter, but now my goals have become more specific. Like hitting a 300lb back squat.

Jason even listed double-unders as a favorite movement now that he has gotten good at them. I think we all know how much time, energy and practice it takes to make that statement! This makes you wonder how he juggles all of his different responsibilities.

From his wife Erica: Jason has been a part of Raleigh CrossFit since summer of 2013. He has always enjoyed working out, but CrossFit takes it to a whole other level! Everyday he comes home and tells me all about whatever workout he just went through– and I pretend to understand all the crazy CrossFit jargon I’ve seen him set goals and attain them over and over again and it always puts a smile on my face to see how excited he is after those workouts! But the one thing Jason tells me about the most is the wonderful sense of community at Raleigh CrossFit! It’s like no other and I’m thankful that he not only has a great place to work out, but also that he’s got great people to work out alongside!

I am constantly reevaluating my priorities. When I sit down to study in the morning, I make a list of what has to be accomplished that day and what can wait. I then set out to tackle it, but I keep in mind that I am not Superman. If some things don’t get accomplished, I try not to be too hard on myself. Most of all, I have a great support system around me. My wife Erica is my biggest fan. She is always there rooting me on and there for me to fall back on when I fail.

From Erica: Jason is absolutely one of the most driven people I know. We’ve been together since we were 15 years old and his drive and ambition are evident in all aspects of his life. Whether it was his athletic drive on the soccer field in high school and college, academically in pursuing his bachelors and masters degrees, or most importantly his walk with the Lord, Jason strives to give his all. As a husband and father to our two little guys, he is so devoted and we feel so loved by him everyday! 


Jason, pictured here with his wife and two sons.

Jason, pictured here with his wife and two sons.

CrossFit has made me even more motivated in life. The same mentality that I have in CrossFit I have when tackling a task in life. I know that even when I want to quit, I can push just a little bit further and a little bit longer. Also, I am healthier and that is really helpful when you have a two year old in the house. He is full throttle all day, and because of CrossFit, I have the energy and stamina to keep up with him.

Jason has just recently finished his Master’s degree, which means he is hoping to soon be at Raleigh CrossFit five days per week. The coaches and fellow athletes that Jason trains with are always anticipating the progress that he continues to make. Thanks for sharing, Jason!

Holiday Hours and Special Announcements

Special Hours For This Week

* Two classes on Wednesday, Dec. 24: 900a and 1000a. – Special 12 Days of Christmas workout. Wear your ugly sweater or your favorite holiday colors!

* CLOSED Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25 (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)

* Two classes on Friday, Dec. 26: 900a and 1000a



Raleigh CrossFit Gift Certificates

Need a last minute gift idea? How about a Raleigh CrossFit Gift Certificate?  You can purchase any denomination to be used towards Foundations, membership or Raleigh CrossFit gear.  Just ask a coach for a special Raleigh CrossFit gift certificate. Your friend or family member will receive the gift of health and fun and you will be thanked every day for the next year!

Give us a call if you can’t make it into the gym to purchase one. It can be emailed too! Ph. 919-229-4075




Why Are We Closed on Dec. 25?

Family is number 1 in our books.  We have traditionally closed on Christmas Day since we opened our doors in December 2010.  We believe that it is important to take a day away from the gym, whether you spend that time catching up with family and friends or catching up on some books, take 24 hours to decompress. We take the pressure away from you “not wanting to miss a training session.” Additionally, we will have our traditional “Ugly Sweater” 12 Days of Christmas workout on Dec. 24. There are two class time options: 900a-1000a and 1000a-1100a.

If you opt to not wear a special Christmas sweater, t-shirt or sweatshirt, get creative and rock some holiday colors!


“12 Days of Christmas”

1 Clean (115/75)

2 Lateral Barbell Burpees

3 Air Squats

4 Thrusters (115/75)

5 HR Push-Ups

6 Double Unders

7 Box Jumps (24/20)

8 Push Press (115/75)

9 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)

10 Cal Row

11 Sit-Ups

12 Overhead Squats (115/75)

It works just like the song. Complete 1 clean, then 2 lateral barbell burpees and 1 clean. Then 3 air squats, 2 lateral barbell burpees and 1 clean….continue until you have reached 12 overhead squats and then work your way back down the list until you finish with 1 clean.


During the holiday season, visitors from out of town who CrossFit at other locations may join us. Our drop-in rate is $15/day.  Please arrive early to meet and complete a participation waiver.


Merry Christmas!


Raleigh CrossFitters continue to get stronger, which is awesome and it also means we need more weight!  How about four new sets of training plates?


More weight to lift heavy things.

More weight to lift heavy things.



Schedule Notes

* Two classes on Wednesday, Dec. 24: 900a and 1000a. – Special 12 Days of Christmas workout. Wear your ugly sweater or your favorite holiday colors!

* CLOSED Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25 (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)

* Two classes on Friday, Dec. 26: 900a and 1000a

* New Year’s Eve, Wed., Dec. 31 – last class at 400p

* New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1 – 2 classes; 900a and 10a ONLY. CrossFit Kids and Teens will train together at 1000-1100a.


Join us for our annual Valentine's Day Partner WOD!

Join us for our annual Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

2015 Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

Get ready! This workout has been a Raleigh CrossFit tradition since 2012!

Date: Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015

Time: 1000a-100p

Registration: For more information follow this link.

Information: 2-person, partner workout. The workout will be modifiable/scalable for all levels.  Find your favorite partner!

T-Shirts: Will be available for pre-sale ($25). When you register, you can choose to register with a shirt or without.


2015 Valentine's Partner WOD. Saturday, Feb. ,7, 2014.

2015 Valentine’s Partner WOD. Saturday, Feb. ,7, 2014.

Mark’s Notes: Athlete Profile on Dawn W.

We just finished an amazing holiday party this weekend, and it was great seeing everyone outside the gym. Many of you look SO different in real clothes, compared to gym clothes! As coaches we see all of the athletes no matter what time they train, however as athletes many of you approached the coaches and wanted to know who someone was. This week we will help you get to know one of our athletes who you have probably seen around, Dawn Wilkinson. Dawn started training with Raleigh CrossFit, casually, with a punch card in August 2013, and converted to an unlimited membership approximately 1 year later in July 2014. She realized doing the training at Raleigh CrossFit was what she was looking for in terms of her exercise regimen.

Hometown: East Lansdowne, PA, moved to Raleigh in 1994 and threw away my snow shovel upon arrival.

Occupation: Regional Sales Manager, CCSS a division of HelpSystems. This means I sit in an office on the phone 8 hours a day. It’s not as glamorous as the title sounds.

As many athletes at Raleigh CrossFit, Dawn was not a college athlete, but rather someone who realized her athletic potential a little later in life.

I like to describe myself as one of those late-bloomers when it comes to being an “athlete”. I didn’t play any sports unless chasing down the ice cream truck counts, with the exception of a bit of softball in elementary school but nothing organized. Sports required extra cash, which was limited in our working class family. As kids we played outside – roller skates, tag, jump rope. When I graduated college I joined the “ladies only” fitness club my Mom attended. I was an intermittent exerciser until my early 30’s when exercise became like inexpensive therapy sessions and my ‘exercise enthusiast’ side was exposed. Then I met Kim Shaw and Holly (Fling) Austin and my real “inner athlete” started to break through. Because of these two Goddesses, I ran my first 5K, 8K, half-marathon and now can push jerk 100# over my head.

Dawn, fell into Raleigh CrossFit because of her friends and current RCF athletes Kim Shaw and Holly Austin.

One of my besties, Kim, started CrossFit back around 2012 and she would talk about the workouts with a mix of enthusiasm and frustration because they were giving her a great workout but were constantly challenging her. Then Holly started working out at RCF too, so I figured if I was going to have hang time with these two, then I needed to check this out too.

Having coached Dawn since April I have seen a huge change, not only her ability to perform the workouts, but her attitude as well. She is a positive influence on other athletes and is always encouraging others to push themselves beyond their current boundaries. Although Dawn didn’t start off as much of a goal-setter, her outlook has changed as she continues to better herself in her Olympic lifts and metabolic conditioning sessions.

I can honestly say I wasn’t a goal-setter and hadn’t been trained to think that way. Maybe it’s my age, combined with my upbringing, and all those years of parochial school, but I wasn’t a historian like others are. No journals, diaries, log books kept, but now I find myself writing things down, keeping track of my performance and enjoying a huge sense of personal pride when I realize that I just had a new PR (personal record). I look forward to what it will be like to a CrossFit athlete when I turn 50. I’ve got a few years until then but not many, so this is a real experiment in action.


Dawn, seen here doing a front squat, as friend and WOD partner, Kim looks on.

Dawn, seen here doing a front squat, as friend and WOD partner, Kim looks on.


With goal setting comes achievements, and those moments where we surprise ourselves. Dawn’s biggest achievement so far:

Rope climb x1. I may never attempt it again so as not to sully the memory, and I am completely okay with that. This is a double bonus of achievement because I have a crippling fear of heights – or at least used to. I might just need to consider that trapeze class after all.

Another of Dawn’s great achievements that she did not mention is her ability to do box jumps. Dawn, like many of our athletes, did not enjoy the idea of jumping on a box and instead chose to do step ups. Dawn however was determined to conquer this fear, and as a coach I watched her continue to persevere and gradually work her way up to completing rebounding box jumps with the 20” box!!

Outside of CrossFit Dawn enjoys spending time with her fur children as well as her friends. Not only that, but she is apparently a very good cook (I for one am more than willing to try anything she cooks to verify this!!!)

I am a hardcore animal lovah. We have 2 dogs, a 14 YO fawn-colored Chihuahua named Basil and a 10 YO black and white, terrier mix named Gemma. Both are rescues – Basil came to live with us when he was 8 YO the day after Christmas, and Gemma was rescued from the Wake County Animal Shelter in 2005. They add lots of joy, love, noise and fur balls to our house. Also I am a faux-Auntie to lots of my friends’ children. This is somewhat self-serving as I am hopeful that I will have someone to check on me in my old age in the event I fall and can’t back up after “Fran”. I’m rather solid in the kitchen and can cook up some tasty meals however I am NOT a baker since that is a precise science and I am more likely to need to substitute some ingredient in a recipe, which just doesn’t work with baking. Gardening is something I try to do but struggle with as it takes a good bit of time and energy and both of those are in limited quantities even without children.

Although initially Dawn was apprehensive and nervous about CrossFit, she has come to embrace the difficult workouts and meets them head on. Dawn never quits and continues to push herself to reach new milestones.

CrossFit? Where do I start? Raleigh CrossFit is a huge part of my life because it gives me so many opportunities to challenge myself mentally and physically. RCF has make me realize I can do all kinds of things I would NEVER have otherwise imagined or considered trying on my own. And the friends I’ve made through RCF are just the icing on the paleo-cake. These folks are generous, encouraging, gracious, hard working, enthusiastic, and just genuinely kind to the core. They all want the other athletes to do well – how can you not L-O-V-E being surrounded by this kind of great energy?!  

Dawn, like many of our athletes, is recognized by her employer for her healthy lifestyle, specifically being a member of Raleigh CrossFit, and the challenges and joys that CrossFit has given her.

One of the “positive culture” activities in place at my current employer involves each staff member being provided a professional “hobby shot” that hangs as an 18″x24″ photo on the “Wall of Stars” at our MN corporate HQ. There are hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, motorcycle riders, and a Justin Bieber groupie. When I had to decide what I wanted my photo to be, I knew it had to be some about working out because this what I do with the majority of my free time. When my hobby shot was taken in late Spring 2014, I was only getting in about 2x per-week on punch-card status but I still thought of RCF as a way I defined myself and my hobby shot has me repping a RCF t-shirt. I am really proud of that photo, and am thrilled that every day when dozens of my colleagues walk down that hall, I can plant the marketing seed so they know where they should go should they come to NC!


The hobby shot of Dawn at the headquarters of HelpSystems.

The hobby shot of Dawn at the headquarters of HelpSystems.


Note: Perhaps you receive work incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle of frequenting a gym. Just ask a Raleigh CrossFit coach and we will be happy to provide verification records to your employer about your visits to RCF. If you have any questions about this you can reach out to Chennelle or the rest of the coaching staff and we can assist you in whatever your employer needs.

One of the best ways that I know to learn more about someone is to talk to those who they are close with. Holly and Kim are extremely close to Dawn and when asked were more than happy to provide share some details about Dawn to help us all learn more about her.

Kim: Dawn and I have been working out together for several years now. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better training partner. She always encourages me and pushes me to “up my game” every time I step into the gym. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for life is infectious and I’m sure is noticed by others at the gym. It’s so fun to watch her get stronger and more comfortable with every workout, especially since Holly and I had to do some serious arm-twisting to get her to join RCF. Now I think she averages more workouts per week than me.

Holly: First let me tell you that if Raleigh Crossfit were to give out the “most improved award” she would get my vote! Dawn will be the first to tell you that she has not had much experience with this level of training but she has taken this on without hesitation, with great effort and a smile on her face.


Holly: Dawn and I have been casually working out together for years – in 2010 she offered to come on part of my training run for an endurance event. I was so excited at the offer I planned to swing by her house to pick her up and she could join me for 5 miles in the middle of the workout. I neglected to tell her that we were running 5 miles and it never crossed my mind to ask her how far she wanted to go. But despite my negligence, Dawn did great! She ran the whole time with a smile on her face. It wasn’t until I saw her husband later that day that I learned she had NEVER run 5 miles before! Just two years later in 2012, Dawn ran her own half marathon and shortly after that she joined me and Kim Shaw to try out RCF – she has not looked back since.


Not only does Dawn deserve the most improved award, but she should be in contention for Coaches Award since she gives 110% everyday and welcomes every Raleigh CrossFit athlete – new and veteran, with a smile.

Dawn is an amazing woman, you have probably heard her cheer and encourage you as you push through a WOD, or seen her continue to perceiver no matter how difficult a workout can be. I encourage all of you to introduce yourself to Dawn next time you see her and get to know more about her for yourself.



Holiday Party Recap

What a year Raleigh CrossFit!  We celebrated one another and made a few new friends as athletes who train at various times were able to mingle without sweating! The event at Clouds Brewing was pretty amazing. Thank you to everyone who came out!  As a thank you to you for being awesome athletes and people in general, Raleigh CrossFit has a special “beanie” waiting for you. If you did not snag one at the party, please stop by the front desk so that your beautiful heads can stay warm this winter! Congratulations to Erica for her “best” Ugly Sweater. Very creative and thoughtful Erica.






The 2014 Raleigh CrossFit Holiday Party!

The 2014 Raleigh CrossFit Holiday Party!


Pictured: Dawn, Michele, Marcie, Erica and Heidi.

Pictured: Dawn L., Michele, Marcie, Erica and Heidi.

Welcome Terri to the Coaching Ranks and Black Friday Deal

Hello Raleigh CrossFitters!

As we continue to add programs at Raleigh CrossFit, we also want to bring in solid coaches to support those programs.  We aim to have a balanced and driven coaching staff that seeks out continuous opportunities for personal growth in the coaching arena.

Coach Chad and Coach Rebecca have recently registered for the gymnastics course, to be held in February. This would bring 5 gymnastics certified coaches to the current Raleigh CrossFit coaching staff.

With that being said, as we strive to always raise the bar, we are adding another gymnastics coach to our staff, not to mention, a former collegiate powerlifter and cheerleader.


I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce a new coach to the ranks of our experienced and knowledgeable coaching staff. As athletes at Raleigh CrossFit, you may know Terri Sevits. She relocated from Ohio to Raleigh in 2012 and joined Raleigh CrossFit, first as an athlete in August 2013 to get back into gymnastics and back into competition. Her training background, not only includes CrossFit, but also 15 years of gymnastics and powerlifting.


We are excited to have Terri’s gymnastics and lifting experience added to our coaching staff. Terri will begin the coaching mentorship program in December. For more information about Terri and the mentorship program, please continue reading below. 


Terri Sevits

From: Mentor, Ohio



BA in Business Management

Ashland University (2011)

-Powerlifting team (2008-09)

-Cheerleading team (2008-11, captain in 2010-11)


Gymnastics Background

  • Participated in gymnastics from the age of 5-18
  • 2003-2007 Riverside High School Gymnastics team
  • 2004 I competed in the United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs (USAIG) Nationals in Orlando, Fla. receiving the Gold medal in Bars, Beam and All Around
  • Advanced to Ohio High School Athletic Association District level on Bars in 2006 and 2007.
  • Coached gymnastics from 2004-2008, which included pre-k through competition levels 3-4 at Lake Erie Gymnastics School in Mentor, Ohio


Powerlifting Background

  • Member of Ashland University Powerlifting Team from 2008-09.
  • Competed in the Battle of the Great Lakes Powerlifting Competition
  • Top 100 Powerlifting Performances for the Women’s 114 Weight Class



CrossFit Background

  • Since August 2013
  • Multiple CrossFit competitions
  • Level 1 Coaching Certificate (Dec. 6-7, 2014)


Q and A with Coach Terri


Name three aspects of coaching that you enjoy and why. To me the best part of coaching is being a part of an athlete’s accomplishment of a new skill. The moment they master a new skill, the coach is able to share the excitement of all their hard work paying off. Another very exciting part of coaching for me is encouraging an athlete to eliminate self-doubt. An athlete may say “I can’t” and with your encouragement and assessment they complete the movement successfully.  Taking that doubt out of an athlete’s mind is so fulfilling to me. When growing up, gymnastics was my life and my coaches were my family. I would like to establish that relationship with the athletes at Raleigh CrossFit. I love that coming to Raleigh Crossfit can be someone’s “safe zone” where they can be themselves.


Name three characteristics people would say about you: Positive, encouraging, approachable


Describe why you have pursued coaching as a way to be involved with CrossFit. 

I have two main reasons I wanted to become a CrossFit coach at Raleigh CrossFit. I have been passionate about fitness my whole life and would be so lucky if I could focus my whole career to it.  I consider Raleigh CrossFit my family. I have learned so much as an athlete and after having been a gymnastics coach before I moved down here in 2012, I want to blend my powerlifting and gymnastics background with my CrossFit training background. I look forward to the opportunity to share my experience as a coach and as an athlete in all three areas with the athletes at Raleigh CrossFit.


What do you do to improve your skills as a coach?

I have spent a considerable amount of time researching and reading. I am constantly watching the other coaches interact with athletes at Raleigh CrossFit, since the first day I started here. I also regularly watch coaching videos from HookGrip,, Cathletics, USAW and others. I want to be able to accurately pass along what I have learned as an athlete, as I become a coach. I know I have a lot to learn as a new coach, but as with every goal I set, I will do whatever I have to in order to earn coaching respect. And I know that only comes through knowledge and experience. My personal time investment on improving my knowledge base can never be capped. I love it!


From Coach Chennelle

“Terri has proven her ability to set goals, not only as an athlete, but in life. She has an extremely positive perspective in every area of life and strives to do her best at all times. Her experience with gymnastics, powerlifting and being a competitor in both of those areas, as well as having a solid coaching background in gymnastics, will strengthen our coaching staff at Raleigh CrossFit.”



About the Coaching Mentorship Program

All persons who express interest to become a coach at Raleigh CrossFit must first go through an interview process. They are then assigned to the coaching mentorship program, which involves over 100 hours of assessment, shadowing regular classes, foundations, trials and more, along with working alongside Raleigh CrossFit Owner Chennelle, as well as our veteran coaches prior to taking a class as the lead coach. Additionally, this mentorship program includes shadowing current coaches, observing, assessing, warm-ups, cool-downs, instruction of the foundations courses and gradual participation as lead coaches under the guidance of our current full-time coaching staff. Our coaching staff at Raleigh CrossFit is built on various disciplines of skill, experience, communication skills, attitude, professionalism and a strong history in the ability to both set goals and achieve them.

Please welcome Terri Sevits to the coaching mentorship program at Raleigh CrossFit.


A few notes about the upcoming schedule:






Black Friday Sale at Raleigh CrossFit!

Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

900a – 1100a ONLY – In person purchases only

Bring in your friend or family member to train with us also at the 900a or 1000a class! And there is no cost for them! Just arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. What’s the workout? Well, you will just have to wait and see!


Here’s what the deal includes: 

  • $100 Gift Certificates for $10
  • Raleigh CrossFit Gear 10% off
  • Stronger Faster Healthier Products 10% off


On Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 from 9:00am to 11:00am we will be offering a limited quantity of $100 gift certificates for ONLY $10!  If a friend or family member has been talking about trying Raleigh CrossFit or joining, this would make a great gift!  The $100 gift certificate can be used towards a foundations course ($185) or a first month’s membership.

Pair it with an official Raleigh CrossFit blender bottle or a T-shirt and it’s a great stocking stuffer!


New to Raleigh CrossFit? Want to take advantage of the deal? Come join us for the workout on Friday at 900a or 1000a and purchase a gift certificate to be used towards Foundations or your first month’s membership (if you have previous CrossFit experience). You must be present from 9-1100a to purchase.


We’ll also discount all in-stock “Raleigh CrossFit” gear and regularly sized bags of Stronger Faster Healthier protein or Push and Fish Oil by 10%.
These are all awesome gift ideas for Raleigh CrossFit athletes who want to give the gift of fitness to a friend or family member!


Have your friend or family member join us for a workout on Friday at 9:00am or 10:00a as well! The Black Friday workout is free for everyone!  So bring a friend and let them try us out!

FINE PRINT: Gift Certificates redeemable by new members only and with a 6-month or 1-year contract. New member is defined as “never having trained at Raleigh CrossFit previously”. Certificates may not to be combined with any other discounts. One certificate may be redeemed per person. Certificates are not redeemable for punch cards, kids/teen program or cash. If using certificate towards foundations, must sign a minimum 6-month membership. Certificates must be purchased in person on Friday, Nov. 28 between the hours of 900a-1100a. Certificates expire on Jan. 31, 2015.


Raleigh CrossFit Gear (In-stock only)




Wrist wraps

Blender Bottles


Tank tops

*No limits, only until gone


Stronger Faster Healthier (In-stock only)

2 lb. bags of protein (Pure, Fuel, Fortified, Push, Recovery)

Fish Oil

*No limits, only until gone


All purchases must be made in person.


Note these special hours on your calendars for the upcoming holiday season.


*2014 RALEIGH CROSSFIT HOLIDAY PARTY: Saturday, Dec. 13; 7-10p. If you did not receive an email invitation, please let me know. Email me at


* Last class on Wednesday, Nov. 26 is 6-700p. There will be no class from 700-800p.

* CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27. (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)

* Two classes on Friday, Nov. 28: 900a and 1000a; regular schedule resumes on Saturday, Nov. 29 (900a, 1030a)

* Two classes on Wednesday, Dec. 24: 900a and 1000a.

* CLOSED Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25 (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)

* Two classes on Friday, Dec. 26: 900a and 1000a

* No CrossFit Kids/Teens, Saturday, Dec. 27

* New Year’s Eve, Wed., Dec. 31 – last class at 400p

* New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1 – 2 classes; 900a and 10a ONLY. CrossFit Kids and Teens will train together at 1000-1100a.




2014 Ridgewood Turkey Trot!

Join the Raleigh CrossFit group as we run or jog the 2014 Ridgewood Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 27.  Meet at the bank at 730 for a group photo.




2015 Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!

Get ready! This workout has been a Raleigh CrossFit tradition since 2012!

Date: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2015

Time: 1000a-100p

Registration: Details to come

Information: 2-person, partner workout. The workout will be modifiable/scalable for all levels.  Find your favorite partner!

T-Shirts: Will be available for pre-sale ($25). These will be revealed soon!


2015 Krispy Kreme Challenge

2015 Krispy Kreme Challenge

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015

Did you know that you do not have to eat any donuts? You can run the race for fun!  Join the Raleigh CrossFit team!




RCF Athlete(s) Profile: Tyler and Terri


Terri and Tyler



Name(s): Tyler Barefoot and Terri Sevits

Hometown(s): Dunn, NC/ Mentor, OH

School(s): Wake Forest University/ Ashland University

Occupation(s): Sales & Marketing for SiteLine/ Bodily Injury Claims Adjuster at Nationwide Insurance


Tyler and Terri are one of our many “CrossFit Couples” at Raleigh CrossFit. These two lovebirds started as an office romance, and have been together for almost a year now, though Tyler says it seems much longer! Both come from athletic backgrounds to varying degrees.

Tyler: I played organized sports through high school, organized drinking through college, then the occasional golf outing after that. Until CrossFit I was working out at a regular gym and just couldn’t seem to find a continuous routine that really worked for me.

Terri: I did gymnastics for 15 years at Lake Erie Gymnastics School, and cheerleading for 8 years- 4 of those at Riverside High School 4 of those at Ashland University.



Terri joined Raleigh CrossFit in August of last year to get back into gymnastics and back into competition. After hearing so many good things about RCF from her friend Tracy Dunlap, Terri says she didn’t even consider trying another box! After much badgering from Terri, Tyler joined in August of this year (although he also says RCF’s reputation for knowledgeable coaching and a good community didn’t hurt).

Tyler: My first impression was “What have I gotten myself into?” followed by “Costco sells bulk Ibuprofen right?” I quickly realized that there was a whole new level of fitness that I was just finding out about. Now, I’m excited each day about getting into the gym to see what new challenges await, and what progress I have made from the last time I was there.

Terri: When I did my free trial my anxiety level was through the roof! Once I started to work out it all went away. I was so impressed with how much attention I got from the coaches even though I was doing a free trial. A year later I feel like Raleigh CrossFit is my second family. Chad picks on me like a little sister and I can ask Chennelle questions that are probably considered “TMI”. Raleigh CrossFit has been a huge help with making Raleigh feel like home since I moved here in 2012.


In their time at RCF, both Tyler and Terri have worked toward their goals and hit some major milestones along the way.

Tyler: My biggest achievement so far has been participating in the “31 Heroes” Hero WOD with Terri. It was my first Hero WOD, first partner WOD, and supporting a great cause all at one time.

Terri: I have two proud achievements. One is getting my muscle up and the other one is competing on the Rx team for the Triangle Invitational.


Both of these two have shown such great dedication as athletes since they started, it is not surprising to hear what their advice would be to someone who is new to CrossFit.

Tyler: If you’re just starting I would say strap in, don’t give up, and listen to your coaches. CrossFit will push you in ways you’re probably not used to, but with the support of your fellow CrossFitters and the knowledge and support of you coaches, you may just surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.

Terri: My advice to someone starting CrossFit would be PLEASE DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS! It was my biggest obstacle when starting CrossFit. I almost felt embarrassed at my WOD time or my squat number. I had to keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. I quickly learned that not only does everyone else’s time not matter, but no one else really cares how much you can squat or your WOD time. All the other athletes encourage and motivate during the WODs, they do not judge. When I talk to people about CrossFit the reaction I get sometimes is “you’re crazy” or “don’t hurt yourself”. I combat the skeptics by explaining the Foundations class and how knowledgeable the coaches are.


And of course, I had to ask these two to answer some questions about one another!


What is his/her favorite movement?

Tyler: Muscle-Ups and anything gymnastics based.

Terri: Tyler loves rowing, wall balls and cleans and most of all dead lifts. (All of the tall people favorites)

What is his/her least favorite movement?

Tyler: Wall balls I think, because she’s a tiny human and has much further to throw the ball than most.

Terri: Actually not positive but I would guess double-unders.

How has he/she changed since starting CrossFit?

Tyler: For the good, she is more driven, more physically fit, and sleeps better at night. On the downside, she talks like a sailor, always going on about “snatches” and “thrusters” when she’s at the “box”, it’s quite unnerving.

Terri: Tyler has lost weight since starting CrossFit, but more importantly he has gained confidence in himself. He also has joined me in talking about CrossFit all the time… not making fun of me for talking about it non-stop.

Is there something you are especially proud of him/her for?

Tyler: The fact that she’s never quite satisfied no matter how well she does. Even if she meets a goal, it’s already replaced with a new one as she is constantly looking to improve

Terri: I am especially proud of Tyler’s determination while completing the WODs. Tyler has never given up during a workout, no matter how long it takes him- even if it’s 15 minutes after everyone else. I have also been very proud of Tyler because he doesn’t accept having a weakness. When he first started CrossFit, the clean was a struggle. Instead of accepting that he wasn’t good at them, he stayed after class until he improved. Now the clean is one of his favorites.

Do you like working together in team WODs? Why or why not?

Tyler: Yes, she can do body weight workouts much faster than me, and she’s a great motivator and personal coach. She pushes me to try and do more than I think I’m capable of doing, and most of the time she’s right.

Terri: We have only been able to do one work out together which was 31 Heroes. This was a great experience because it played on our weaknesses and strengths. I found myself trying harder on the run because I didn’t want Tyler to be mad I left him inside doing the workout too long. Of course he wasn’t mad and encouraged me through the hard times.

And finally, a few closing thoughts from Tyler and Terri on their experience at Raleigh CrossFit:

Tyler: Joining Raleigh CrossFit has been a very positive experience in my life, and I really enjoy the great group of athletes that I get to train with.

Terri: I would like to thank Chennelle, Kim, Chad, Amber, Mark, Rebecca, Beth, Zach and Mike. None of us would be at this level without you. Trust the programming and don’t ever give up.


Thank you Tyler and Terri for sharing your story! We wish you many partner WODS of happiness!

Mark’s Notes: The Importance of Strength Training


Lynde hitting depth on her back squat.

Lynde hitting depth on her back squat.

As we continue through our 7th week of the squat cycle, I think that it’s important to answer one of the main questions associated with squatting and strength training, why do we strength train? I know many of you love the metabolic conditioning workouts that we do at Raleigh CrossFit, however strength training is an extremely important part of our training.

Strength training is a major component in increasing muscle mass, decreasing body fat, and increasing the amount of calories that you burn on a daily basis. As we all get older we naturally lose muscle mass, in order to prevent this, we must continue to maintain and enhance our current muscle mass in our body, this is done through strength training.

Additionally, individuals who have more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate. Muscle is active tissue and consumes more calories, conversely, stored fat, uses very little energy. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate (both resting and while active), which is helpful not only for weight loss, but long term weight control.

However, strength training has benefits that go well beyond gaining muscle mass and metabolic efficiency. Strength training helps you improve your balance and coordination, as well as improve your posture. In addition to safety, this is one of the reasons that the coaching staff at RCF makes sure that you have the correct form on all of your movements. While balance and coordination may not seem quite as important to you while you are younger, as you age, this becomes increasing important in reducing your risk of falling. It is one of the reasons that the strength training is increasingly important as you age.

Strength training has many benefits for women as they age. Women can lose as much as 1-2% of their bone mass annually as they age. However by stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and greatly reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

So, how do we strength train? One of the most effective ways is to squat. It is one of the most natural movements our bodies can perform. Sadly, one of the biggest myths that is out there concerning strength training is that squatting is bad for your joints. Let me tell you now, this is incorrect! In order to help you understand more about this I’m going to give a short anatomy lesson about your joints and how they work.

Although there are various types of joints throughout the body, all joints have the same basic anatomy and function. Joints connect one bone to another and give us to ability to bend and twist. Within the joint there is the connective tissue (the ligament) which serves as a bridge from one bone to another via your muscles. Also within your joints is cartilage. Cartilage is an elastic tissue that is the cushioning material in your joints. Its purpose is to serve as the shock absorber, preventing bones from grinding on other bones. Osteoarthritis is what appears when we start to lose the cartilage and ligaments within our joints. One of the most important ways to maintain cartilage and ligament strength is through strength training. Strength training helps to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that surround the joints, thus protecting them from damage. The muscles in the upper and lower leg stabilize the knee joint and absorb some of the stress that otherwise go through cartilage.  This allows the muscles to absorb the pounding of daily life rather than the joint itself, protecting cartilage and the ligaments within.

These are just a few of the benefits to continued strength training throughout one’s life. Although you may love how you feel after a particularly taxing metabolic conditioning workout, it is important to know and understand that the benefits that you are receiving through strength training are equally important. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the benefits please ask one of the Raleigh CrossFit coaches and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.




Mayo Clinic

Center for Disease Prevention and Control

Men’s Journal

CNN Health