Author Archives: Nadia Shatila

Member Spotlight: Jason Piper


Name: Jason Piper aka “Piper”

DOB: July 27, 1979

Occupation: Regional Director for an Investment Management Firm (fancy way of saying “Sales”)

CrossFitting Since: December 2009

First Memorable CrossFit Experience: I had a couple of friends who were always talking about “CrossFit”, and since they did the same job that I do(I.e. lots of travel, eating out, happy hours, and things that generally unhealthy) I thought I’d look into it. It so happened that the first affiliate on the planet was right across the Ballard bridge (I lived in Magnolia), so I had to check it out. After a guy named Dave Werner put me through a grueling 4-minute workout, I was hooked. I figured that if I can be in that much pain in 4 minutes, an hour must get you into great shape quick. I’ve been showing up ever since!

Favorite WOD: Definitely, without question, Helen. I love the mix of movements (plus I like to run), I love the kettle bell swings (Dave Werner’s answer to most problems in life was a kettle bell), and there are just enough pull-ups to make it really uncomfortable. And, it’s one of the few workouts where a tall gangly guy like me can actually have an advantage.

Favorite Lift: Squats. I have gained more physical benefit from squats that from anything else. I also received a compliment from a girlfriend several years ago on my “posterior chain development”, and I believe I may still be riding the high from that.

Why Do You CrossFit: I have always been active; when I was young I did tons of manual labor, I ran track and played basketball, I’ve done triathlons and ran road races. When I found CrossFit, I found a way to run and lift and climb but also learn and grow; I love the fact that I still have so much to learn about the body, movement, food, etc. I also love that I’m still excited to show up to class after 6+ years of CrossFitting, the people and CFBT make it something I look forward to.

Favorite Cheat Meal: My food vices include: pizza, maple bars, dark chocolate, and bourbon. This list is nowhere near exhaustive.

CrossFit Secret: In two words: Commitment and Consistency. It’s more than a workout, it’s a process. If you show up consistently, commit to the process, and are open to learning, you will reap tremendous rewards. Oh, and if you take more than two weeks off, it REALLY hurts getting back into it!!

On Rest Days: I love wandering the city with my wife and 3-year old daughter, I love to fish, and I love woodworking. So if I have time, I’m usually doing one of those three things.

What Can’t You Live Without: My family and friends, my kitchen, and my workshop.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Europe, with an emphasis on the coast of Croatia. My wife is from Bosnia, so I have tour guide to take me around and show me the Adriatic. It’s fantastic.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Workout: “Diane”

21-15-9 Reps For Time Of:

Deadlift (225, 155)

Handstand Push-Ups

Accessory: 4×25 Banded Leg Extensions


Flexibility Got You Down?

The pursuit of perfection in CrossFit is a never-ending journey. Growth in CrossFit is controlled not by your total or greatest strengths, but rather by your greatest weakness. And since the majority of athletes have multiple areas in their ‘game’ that needs improving, it’s not enough to simply know your weaknesses — You must attack and improve them!

Take the overhead squat for example. This is a notoriously difficult movement to execute, requiring an enormous level of stability, flexibility, balance and strength — all in multiple areas of the body. But did you know the amount of dorsiflexion you have in your ankle is directly linked to your efficiency in performing all variety of squats, however you may have never considered it to be your TRUE limiting factor. You must take the time to go beyond that initial assessment of, “Yep… I have poor mobility in the squat” to realize that’s the case. Otherwise, you run the very real risk of spending countless hours trying to tackle multiple areas of the body when there is really only ONE pressing area that needs your attention — your ankles.

Fixing poor ankle mobility can help your squat in more ways than increasing flexibility in all other joints combined, which means it will help your thruster, clean, snatch, wall ball — as well as your running, rowing and leaping abilities. Now, it might be the case that you have poor ankle, hip AND shoulder mobility. The solution is to again perform an honest assessment of which joint is the least mobile (…which is usually and unknowingly the ankle), and attacking that first before moving on to the next tight spot.

So, yes… foam roll, lacrosse ball and/or barbell the hell out of your calves –all the way from behind your knee, down to your heel… and do NOT skip your achilles. This is a harder area to roll, but this is where a lot of your movement restriction is hiding. Remember to roll your leg side-to-side and flex/extend your foot up and down at the ankle for more aggressive results. Also, here’s an incredibly effective mobilization drill using a band.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016


‘2010 NorthWest Regionals Event 1’

Three Rounds For Time Of:

10 Overhead Squat (135#, 95#)

50 Double-Under


Accumulate 100 hollow-rocks


Variance Is The Gateway To Greater Strength – Narrow vs. Wide Squat Stance

The back squat is known in many circles to be the most universal strength training exercise. But with any exercise, we can get comfortable and complacent in always choosing to adopt and keep either a narrow or wide stance squat. Conversely, by altering your squat stance from time to time, not only can your fix weak areas (in your squat), you can open the door to improved strength in other lifts, such as the deadlift and multiple positions in both the clean and snatch. Stance variation can also allow for more muscular balance, which can help keep injuries down as well.

On a wide-stance squat, the weight is further back on the foot and there is more hamstring engagement on the descent, whereas in the close-stance counterpart, the weight is on the mid-foot and the knees go slightly further forward, incorporating more quads into the movement.

Much of how you choose to alter your squat stance comes down to what your are doing in your current training. We are not suggesting that you completely change from one style to another. We are simply saying there is value in adding some variation in a small percentage of your training sessions. At the end of the day, it is important to realize that no matter where you are in your training experience, there is value in the occasional stance adjustment. Whether it is to bring up weak points or to keep your body healthy and in balance, varying stance can and will add an element to your training that most of the training world is missing. Get some!

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Friday, November 25, 2016


Front Squat: 1-10-1-20-1-30 reps


100 reps of lying (face-down) banded hamstring curl


Last Chance To RSVP!

Today is your last opportunity to RSVP for our upcoming Holiday Party, scheduled to take place the evening of Thursday December 15th (between 7p-10p) at CrossFit Belltown. Please email to secure an invitation.

NOTE: CrossFit Belltown is on a revised schedule today in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday -We will only be hosting one class today (Friday) from 12pm-1pm. All athletes are welcome to attend. ‘Open Gym’ will also be available from 12pm-1pm.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Workout: For time:

30 Handstand Push-Ups

50 Hip Extensions

30 Knees-to-Elbows

30 Deadlifts (225,155)

30 Dumbbell Push Press, (35, 20)

50 Kettlebell Swings, (55, 35)

Row 20 calories

10 Muscle-Ups



We are in the final stretch of finalizing our dinner-menu for our upcoming Holiday Party (at CrossFit Belltown from 7p-10p, December 15th).

Should you still wish to attend the festivities (and be fed), we must hear back from you by 7pm this Friday.

This year’s gathering will be catered by none other than ‘NorthWest FitMeals‘ and ‘Shake Bartenders’. Dinner is on us. Drinks are on you (cash bar).

Email info@crossfitbelltown ASAP to secure your RSVP (and please be sure to mention whether or not you’ll be bringing a guest).

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Workout: Power Snatch: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Accessory: 8×3 Tall Box Jumps


Mind Over Matter — Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

You are about to attempt a heavy lift. Your mind is racing… “Keep my elbows up, make sure my knees are out, squeeze my butt, stay tight…”. As you brace for the lift, your mind is racing as you continue to rehearse the lift in your head — You walk up to the bar: ready, set, lift… and, fail. Now your mind is filled with disappointment. “How did I fail? I knew everything I needed to do…”.

Now obviously, we’ve all experienced this moment, and it sucks! So how can we avoid it? First we must realize that we basically have two selves. Self-one is our mind — our subconscious — and Self-two is our body, actually performing the movement. Our mind is saying over and over what we have to do because it does not trust our body will do all of the things it need to do in order to succeed. The key in this case is to improve our relationship with Self-one and Self-two by quieting the mind; less thinking, calculating, judging, fearing, hoping, trying, regretting, controlling, or jittering.

But how can we quiet the mind and trust our body to do the right thing?

Try this: Next time you step up to the bar, stop your mind right there. ‘Be’ in a thoughtless state. Stop judging yourself. As you start to think about the lift, do not just think of the lift positioning, but instead visualize your body doing it. Tell yourself, “this bar is light”. Make that your mantra, and see where it takes you. You will likely discover the governor of your body’s capacity is your mind, not your muscles.

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Gobble Gobble — Thanksgiving Holiday Hours


Our class hours for the week of Thanksgiving are as follows:

Monday Nov 21st — Regular class schedule

Tuesday Nov 22nd — Regular class schedule

Wednesday Nov 23rd [Holiday Hours]  6am, 7am, 12pm only (all evening classes are cancelled)

Thursday Nov 24th [Holiday Hours] Gym closed (all classes cancelled)

Friday Nov 25th  [Holiday Hours] 12pm only (all morning and evening classes cancelled)

IMPORTANT: Please still be sure to register for class.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Workout: Seven Rounds For Time Of:

12 Thrusters (75, 55)

9 Toes-To-Bar

Accessory: 3×15 Abmat Sit-Ups


Gobble Gobble — Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

Our class hours for the week of Thanksgiving are as follows:

Monday Nov 21st — Regular class schedule

Tuesday Nov 22nd — Regular class schedule

Wednesday Nov 23rd [Holiday Hours]  6am, 7am, 12pm only (all evening classes are cancelled)

Thursday Nov 24th [Holiday Hours] Gym closed (all classes cancelled)

Friday Nov 25th  [Holiday Hours] 12pm only (all morning and evening classes cancelled)

IMPORTANT: Please still be sure to register for class.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016


Schedule Revision for Saturday, November 19

In observance of the CrossFit Aerobic Capacity Seminar at CFBT this Saturday, we will not be hosting our normal schedule of classes on Saturday morning. Instead, we will be hosting Open Gym hours from 5:00pm to 6:30pm, and all athletes are welcome to attend. In addition, Coach Lincoln will be in to lead Olympic Lifting during those hours. Please still be sure to register online if you wish to attend.

Please also note that should you arrive to the gym before 5:00pm, you will kindly be asked to wait outside until the seminar ends.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Workout: 2 Rounds For Time Of:

50 Pull-Ups

75 Sit-Ups

50 Overhead Squats (75, 55)

75 Double-Unders


Chalk Talk — Callus Rips And Bloody Hands

Calluses. Sure, we treat them like trophies, in a way… to get a blister-rip or a callus-tear from pull-ups is almost like a rite of passage in CrossFit. Yes, they’re bound to happen. But should they be happening every time you get on the pull-up bar? No way. That’s ridiculous, in fact.

So what are you doing wrong? Well, first of all nothing. Second of all… Everything!

We are built as human beings to develop resistance to movement on our skin in the form of calluses. A callus is an area of thick skin… the thickening forms at points where there is a lot of repeated movement for a period of time — such as your hours spent on the pull-up bar.

Hand-tears are very, very common. In fact, they’re the most common ‘injury’ we see at the gym. On any given day of pull-ups or toes-to-bar/knees-to-elbows, we’ll have someone tear their hands. It’s painful, and momentarily debilitating. But, there are ways to keep from tearing, or at the very least, prolong the time before a callus tears away.

One major contribution to blisters and calluses is chalk. Yes, CHALK! A lot of you — A LOT — use way too much chalk. In fact, chalk actually causes rips more than it prevents them from occurring. Yes, chalk helps keep the hands dry. But it also increases the friction between your skin and the bar. Therefore we usually only recommend a quick dab to remove any moisture from the hands that could make for a slippery interaction between your hands and whatever it is you’re grabbing. In that case, a little chalk can go a long way.

Hand-care has been well-chronicled in CrossFit and also in the gymnastics world. There are good ways to grip the pull-up bar, as explained here. Also, here’s a 4-part series on how to take care of your hands. All are worth a read, for the sake of your hand health… and overall gym health.

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