Author Archives: Nadia Shatila

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Park WOD

CrossFit Belltown will be hosting class outside today at Olympic Sculpture Park. This will likely be our last park workout of the season. We have every expectation of making this a workout to remember, so go online and register for class ASAP while there’s still room!

Today’s park workout will take place at 9:30am. All other classes are being cancelled; no class will be held at the gym today in observance of a CrossFit Level One Seminar. 

Olympic Sculpture Park entrance is located at the intersecion of Western Avenue and Broad Street. 

All athletes (including CrossFit Basics) are welcome to attend. 

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Workout: Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

5 Thrusters (95, 65)

7 Hang Power Cleans (95, 65)

10 Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls (95, 65)


How Hard Are You Really Working?

Effort — This is something that you have to learn to gauge for yourself, and it’s our job as coaches to tease out every bit of performance you might have… Every workout — assuming the volume is appropriately tailored to each of our physical and psychological tolerances.

A decent litmus test may be: Do you feel like you could do another round with a similar intensity to the last round?

This is something a lot of beginners (and advanced folks) struggle with — Intensity. A general rule of thumb for resting between reps during a workout while still maximizing intensity is to step back, take three big breaths, and step back up to the plate… Or barbell, etc.  If you’re unable to do so, you probably need to scale something, especially if it’s at the beginning of a workout. Also, if the weight is so much that you have to constantly stop to rest, seriously consider scaling back because metabolic conditioning loses much of its efficacy if done piecewise with frequent breaks. There is a zone where you can play around with weights/scaling a bit and still maintain intensity (‘easier’ workouts will just let you go faster — harder workouts will go a little slower.)

Photo above: Pete C., crushed ‘Helton’ in 36:49. Even though 45# dumbbells were a bit on the heavier side for him, Pete knew he’d be able to operate continuously on the burpees. Also, Pete is lightning fast on his feet. The combination of being steady and fast meant that he’d need to challenge himself on the Dumbbells. Challenge accepted!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Workout: Overhead Squat: 3-3-3-3-3 reps

Accessory: 100 Banded Pull-Throughs

Then —

100 Banded Good Mornings


The Calm AFTER The Storm

A most gracious and heartfelt salute to all those who braved Wednesday’s Hero workout — ‘Helton’. It’s not often that our mental strength is put to the ultimate test, when our bodies have all but shut down. We should be so thankful that we have the privilege to do today what others won’t, so we can do tomorrow what others can’t. In so doing, we pay tribute to all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Workout: “Helton”

Three rounds for time of:

800m Run

30 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (45, 30)

30 Burpees

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Become A Student In Your Own Sport

~ The Glassman Chipper ~

When a pegboard showed up in Event-12 of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games, a lot of people were shocked (and oddly offended). That’s a weird reaction by any follower of a sport in which competitors sign up to face the “unknown and unknowable,” but it’s even weirder when you consider CrossFit’s Founder and CEO wrote about pegboards back in 2002.

In the second issue of the CrossFit Journal, Greg Glassman listed and sourced all the equipment a person would need to turn a garage into a “world-class strength and conditioning facility.” The article, “The Garage Gym,” has been sitting in the CrossFit archives since September 2002, and it’s the third-most-popular of the nearly 4,000 pieces of content. Only the “Level 1 Training Guide” and “What Is Fitness?” outrank it.

And what of the recent announcement regarding the strict muscle-ups at regionals? Glassman didn’t mention kipping once in his “The Muscle-Up” article in 2002. He was clearly detailing the strict movement. All this is to say the CrossFit Journal archives are rich with knowledge, but a lot of people are missing out on it.

From a historical perspective, Glassman’s early articles signaled a new era of fitness, just the way the first Nautilus machines changed the fitness industry in the early ’70s, though many would rightfully contend those machines were a step in the wrong direction.  Glassman wrote about topics all but banished by traditional fitness publications. By shedding new light on the disciplines of gymnastics, kettlebell-work, powerlifting, olympic lifting and more—all combined in a constantly varied format—Glassman bent the fitness industry away from selectorized machines and aerobics one Journal article at a time. Beyond that, Glassman’s articles have stood up to scrutiny over the years: They contain the first true definition of fitness, they explain exactly why and how the CrossFit program works, and they detail everything you need to know in order to become very fit. Taken together, they’re like finding the formula for gunpowder.

So, without further ad0, your next workout is a chipper for time… solely bent on challenging your mind. Glassman did, after all, say “The greatest adaptation to CrossFit takes place between the ears.” Below is a collection of Glassman’s earliest CrossFit Journal writings from April 2002 to March 2004—38 articles published over two years. Your challenge is to read or reread them all in order.

Attention spans are short, and it’s far easier to get click-baited into a rabbit hole of top 10’s and celebrity gossip, with ample distractions provided by text messages, facebook notifications and snapchats. Some will definitely ask “why bother…” before hitting Instagram to double-tap hearts onto an ocean of slow-motion snatch videos.

“Foundations,” published April 2002.

“The Garage Gym,” published September 2002.

“What Is Fitness?” published October 2002.

“Strategies for a 7 Minute 2K on the Concept II Rower,” published November 2002.

“The Muscle-Up,” published November 2002.

“Glycemic Index,” published November 2002.

“Squat Clinic,” published December 2002.

“Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts,” published December 2002.

“Fast Food,” published December 2002.

“A Postural Error—A Costly Biomechanical Fault: Muted Hip Function (MHF),” published January 2003.

“The Overhead Lifts,” published January 2003.

“Interview: Coach Greg Glassman,” published January 2003.

“The Odd Lifts,” published January 2003.

“Hooverball,” published February 2003.

“Theoretical Template for CrossFit’s Programming,” published February 2003.

“Seniors and Kids,” published February 2003.

“The Push-Up,” published March 2003.

“Police Training,” published March 2003.

“A Better Warm-Up,” published April 2003.

“How Fit Are You?” published April 2003.

“The Pull-Up,” published April 2003.

“Two Training Aids,” published May 2003.

“Three Important Ab Exercises,” published May 2003.

“Beginners’ Workout,” published May 2003.

“Metabolic Conditioning Glossary,” published June 2003.

“Interval Generator,” published June 2003.

“Metabolic Conditioning,” published June 2003.

“The Clean,” published July 2003.

“Anatomy and Physiology for Jocks,” published August 2003.

“The Deadlift,” published August 2003.

“Functionality and Wall Ball,” published August 2003.

“Benchmark Workouts,” published September 2003.

“Really Cool Homemade Parallettes,” published September 2003.

“Team Workouts,” published October 2003.

“Nutrition: Avoiding Metabolic Derangement,” published November 2003.

“Handstands,” published January 2004.

“Macroclimbing,” published February 2004.

“What Is CrossFit?” published March 2004.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Workout: “Isabel”

30 Power Snatches For Time (135, 95)

Accessory: Accumulate 3 minute GHD Superman Hold


Adult P.E.

Who needs barbells when you have the great outdoors!

Don’t forget, this Saturday will likely be our last park workout, as we will soon transition to our summer season ‘track’ workouts on Saturday mornings (when the gym is closed).  Stay tuned for upcoming dates.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Workout: Back Squat: 5-5-5-5-5

Accessory: 3×12 Back Rack Barbell Step-Ups

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Summer-Bod Post-Wod

Coach Joe, working on his suntan after a heaping helping of 135lb lunchtime thrusters last Friday afternoon.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Workout: Power Snatch: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Accessory: 100 Banded Good Mornings


This Just In: Improving Technique Improves Fitness!

Athletes often form a false assumption between proper form and intensity, assuming that as one increases the other must necessarily decrease.  This idea is a thinly disguised excuse for athletic complacency. Rather than revisit proper technique through lowering one’s intensity, low-excitement skill work, the athlete chooses to pursue personal records with diminished form. The reason: it’s easier on the ego to put up good workout times. Taking a hit to your “Fran” time in order to perform near-perfect thrusters is not going to move you up the records board — at least not right away — and the blow to the ego is usually too much to bear.

In reality, technique and intensity are not mutually exclusive. For the novice, maintaining proper form becomes a cruel joke as intensity increases, leading to the erroneous conclusion that the two cannot coexist.   Advanced athletes believe the opposite.  These athletes recognize that continuous high-intensity work is nearly impossible without strict attention to form.  The advanced athlete knows that proper  form is proper for a reason:  it imparts structural advantages that poor form does not.

Squatting provides a wonderful illustration. The squat utilizes power from the hip to propel the torso through a complete range of motion.  If the spine is rounded and the torso is loose, power is lost and the torso becomes difficult to move.  If the spine is kept in a neutral or arched alignment and the torso is rigid, as proper form dictates, power flows freely and the load is easy to move.  Nonetheless, we’ll often see new athletes blasting through limp, rounded-back squats, completely unaware of the power-draining effect of their substandard form.

Condoning bad form for the resulting intensity ignores the bigger picture.  In doing so, we rob our athletes of their long-term potential, artificially capping their progress in the name of immediate gratification.  An athlete with poor form and an ugly 3-minute “Fran” will always have an ugly 3-minute “Fran”, while a similar athlete with good form will soon find himself pushing the limits of possibility, thus improving their time(s)… over time.

Don’t believe us? Have you seen Pete C, lately!?! He’s strong as an ox (shown in the photo above). Pete has slowly and consistently continued to make gains each and every day, and it shows! His only rule: To lift only what proper technique will allow, regardless of his overall ‘strength’.  In doing so, Pete has come further in one year than most athletes will in six years — and all without having overloaded his joints or by piling on tons of extra ‘work’.

Well done, Pete. Well done.

Photo credit: Lincoln Brigham

Read more here.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Workout: Five rounds for time of:

15 Thrusters (135, 95)

Run 400m


Focus Is Key

A huge congratulations to Scott Mc for PR’ing every one of his deadlift sets on Wednesday ~ his head-game was strong, including a small tweak that was made to how he addressed the bar in the setup position. This combination was enough to land Scott a 370lb liftoff on his last heavy single — a 25lb PR that looked nearly effortless as he stood it up.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Workout: 7 rounds for time of:

10 Pull-Ups

10 Dips

10 Sit-Ups

10 Squats

Time Cap: 22 minutes


Nate The Almighty!

Congratulations to Nate for PR’ing his clean and jerk in Oly class last Thursday evening — a whopping 255lbs! He was so excited after the lift, he decided to pick up the bar again — this time using only two fingers.

Photo Credit: Lincoln Brigham

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Workout: Deadlift: 1-10-1-10-1-10

Accessory: 10×2 Seated Box Jumps


Do You Even Levitate, Bro?

Photo credit: Lincoln Brigham

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