Archive | April, 2014

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My stand on the NPFL

The Signature Heard ‘Round the World: CrossFit vs. the NPFL


There are plenty of respected CrossFit athletes that plan on over-lapping between CrossFit and signing with the NPFL. It’s an opportunity to display strengths, specialized talent, and perform in an organized season of events that can be easily followed by fans.  This is not only a chance for athletes to make a living from competing, but it’s rare an Individual CrossFit Games athlete would get to have the accountability of a team at their side.

In my defense at the end of the article, (whoops!) I explained it as a “Professional spectator league for CrossFit” in a blog I wrote for my fans, and for my people! They follow my path, and they want my perspective of my experiences. I’m not the most politically correct, but I’m spreading awareness. To say we are doing “functional fitness” and not “CrossFit” at the NPFL would have just been silly and confusing.

I love this fresh and exciting advancement of our sport, and whether I get drafted and play in it, or attend events to watch my favorite athletes compete, I will be hoping for it’s success.

NPFL excitement of Days 1 & 2


Remember field day from elementary school? That’s basically what I’ve been doing all weekend, but field day for strong, fast grown-ups. Getting to pick strengths to “show off” and perform when we’re ready is completely different then at a competition where we’re on a scheduled time, and exposing weaknesses with a group! Because of such a relaxed atmosphere, it seemed like the “PR FRIDAY” chant we spread around caught like wildfire, and eventually revealed everyone’s best. The day flew by, as we entertained ourselves with fun races, events and challenges.

Here’s one of my first events, where CrossFit Games athlete Becca Voigt (who later ended up deadlifting 395 lbs!) and I Handstand walked against each other so we could get a competitive distance in 60 seconds. We went all the way across the field and back, and were only beat by Kristen Clever!

I love this video because it showed the ENERGY of the day. Notice a few things: Kris, Courtney and Pam sneaking up behind me during my interview… being clowns. The video showed my OHS PR, and on my missed jerk I was fine, it didn’t even sting! Even though it might look a little shocking. My favorite was the max gymnastics events in 90 seconds where I won the 15″ rope climbs and also the muscle ups.

The second day was intense, because the boys’ field was going to be cut in half after all the coaches made their selection in who was going to be invited back for Sunday. The final day was going to be a showcase of teamwork talent, guided by certain coaches, to see who is able to best deliver and serve their team. One of the standout performances I remember that were really fun to watch were Ronnie Teasdale and Pat Burke (both my old and new training partners) tying to win the rope climbs. Noah Olsen stringing together 22 muscle ups in a row, it was truly amazing the way he didn’t even need to catch himself in the dip. My friend Wayne Willette got 345 lb Clean and Jerk, while still being able to do 50 HSPU in 90 seconds.

The professionals signed athletes of the LA Reign were flown out to socialize and hang out with everyone and watch their lifts. It was a surprise to me that a few had already signed, because it was kept secret until they showed up today all wearing their team gear. Lindsey Valenzuela, Tommy Hackenbruck, Kenny Leverich, Becky Conzelman, and Elizabeth Akinwale are all signed by coach, Dusty Highland, so it was great to see everyone!

What’s the National Pro Fitness League?

National Pro Fitness League
NPFL Combine

I flew to Los Angeles this weekend to participate in the first of the National Pro Fitness League’s Combines. The National Pro Fitness League is made up of five teams with 14 athletes each, picked from all over the nation. Some athletes are already signed and many more are trying out at the combines in Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Boston. We had to register, and then be invited to participate, and the athletes that make it past the Friday/Saturday tests make it to the finals and perform on Sunday. Eventually, the signed athletes will join teams and will battle other teams in the league. It will be a live spectator sport built for the off-season of CrossFit. I love team workouts, as that’s how I first made it to the Games in 2011, so I’m thoroughly excited about working together and having accountability and support from teammates from all over the place!

Attending a combine and trying out in front of coaches takes me back to running Track & Field in high school and looking to get picked up by colleges. Using all of our hard work in training for years to add up to this one moment and test of our fitness. We can’t “get stronger” now, we can’t “get faster” now, this is not training; we’re all here for the test. I’m trying to stay positive and remind myself I’m here to have FUN, and no matter what, I know it will be a great training opportunity

It makes me even more nervous because it’s not a competition. It’s based on a coaches perception of what our potential is, based on the performance of one day. There will be no winner, or competing with each other, it’s instead a huge venue packed in with people that are testing their skills “whenever they want” over the course of 8 hours, knowing their scores will be analyzed. Another thing they’re looking for is if we would be good teammates. There’s a lot of compromising and strategizing on teams, and it takes a special athlete to mesh well with team competitions.

My training partner, Pat Burke and I flew out to Los Angeles to go to the first combine for a few reasons. Who doesn’t like California and it’s gorgeous weather? As we were pulling away at the airport we were looking out the window at all the snow everywhere and I said, “Wait, are you sure? You sure you don’t want to go back to the gym and train in this?” We were ready for some sun! Another reason I wanted to come to this one is because of all my friends that are trying out too. I miss my communities in downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, and Lawndale, and even though I won’t be able to visit the gyms, it will be nice just to be around my friends. This state is such a big part of who I am, it feels so good to be here.

Pat’s a 5x CrossFit Games athlete, and has been in the Marines and competed at the highest levels of our sport year after year. He’s what we call an “OG” an original gangster, meaning his experience level is pretty decorated. I’ve learned so much from him since I moved back to Colorado in December, so getting a chance to compete with him will be new and exciting. I hope if this all goes well and we end up signing with teams that we make the same team, but anything could happen in the draft. If not, it’ll just make our daily training sessions that much more competitive!

These are the workouts:
Max Lifts:
OverHead Squat
Front Squat
Clean and Jerk
5 Rounds for time:
12 Power Clean (155/105)
6 Push Press (155/105)
7 min AMRAP
20 thrusters
20 bar facing burpees
Max Reps in 60 sec
farmer’s carry
handstand walking
Max Reps in 90 sec
muscle up
box jump
chest to bar pullup
double unders