Author Archives: Nadia Shatila

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Workout: Test a Benchmark Workout or make up a missed workout

CrossFit Options:
Filthy Fifty
NancyNasty Girls
1 Rep Max Lifts or Runs/Rows



The 2015 CrossFit LiftOff


CrossFit Belltown will be participating in the CrossFit LiftOff this week. Sponsored by Rogue Fitness, this three-event, online competition allows participants to go for personal bests and compete for prizes, bragging rights or just for fun.


Similar to the CrossFit Games Open, the CrossFit LiftOff will be held in participating CrossFit affiliates around the world. Athletes can snatch, clean and jerk, and work out in front of a judge and get their scores validated by the affiliate manager. The competition will be divided into two days:

Day One: Thursday Nov 5th at CFBT (7:30pm OLY Class ONLY) ~ Max Snatch and Clean & Jerk

Day Two: Friday Nov 6th at CFBT (all classes) ~ Conditioning workout (TBD)

NOTE: You must register at if you wish to participate (the cost is $10 to sign up). Please keep in mind you do not need to register for the competition if you only wish to attend our regular ar group classes. However in either case, you must still register for class via MindBody.



Unlike any other CrossFit competition, the CrossFit Liftoff will  include weight classes!!!

Men – 135/150/165/180/195/210/225/226+

Women – 110/120/130/140/150/160/170/171+

NOTE: The weights are in pounds. A woman who weighs 131lb., for example, would be in the 140lb. weight class. Athletes will have their body weight verified and recorded prior to each event. Body weight will be recorded in whole pounds only (no decimals). These weight classes will not determine the winners of the larger prizes above, but instead are intended as a tool for athletes to see how their scores compare to other athletes of a similar body weight. There are prizes for each weight class, though, too. The three largest overall totals in each weight class in the Open Division will receive a custom leather Rogue weight belt.

*You will need to weigh in at CrossFit Belltown prior to each event.

(Photo Credit: Lincoln Brigham)

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Workout: Back Squat: 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 reps

Accessory: Accumulate a 3 minute Superman Hold on GHD


Fitness Myths: Walking The Line

We’ve all come to the gym at least once and asked ourselves… “Do I want to lift weights or would I rather sweat and suffer through a barrage of push-ups, kettlebell swings, box jumps and burpees?” And we’ve also hear the little voice in our heard that tells us “Cardio is more important for fat loss than weightlifting… and besides, lifting weights will make you bulky.” Sound familiar?

Listen, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to sweat. And even though we would never admit it, we all enjoy suffering to a certain extent. However the lie we tell ourselves that Cardio is more important for fat loss than weightlifting is a derivative of the thought that if we want to lose fat, we simply need to do more work; lending credence to the idea that more is better. Well… not exactly. cardio is great for health reasons and we WILL burn calories while doing it. However our biggest concern when we are trying to lose weight is muscle loss. Or more appropriately, if we lose fat -and- lose muscle along with it, we have made our future ability to keep the weight off, harder.

So why weightlifting? Understand that muscle accounts for about a third of an average human’s bodyweight, so it has a profound effect on ones metabolism. Specifically, that effect is to burn extra calories, because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. In English: Muscle chews up calories even when you’re not in the gym. Replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle and you’ll burn an additional 25-50 calories a day without even trying.

“But won’t I get Bulky?” Sure… only if you intend to take steroids or become a professional bodybuilder. By comparison, the average male produces 10 times the amount of testosterone than the average female. To be truly bulky and “manly” you will need a lot of testosterone. Without it, you simply cannot be bulky; females in general simply do not possess the hormonal profile to support that level of muscular growth outside of bodybuilding realm. So if you’re concerned about your arms being too big, lose more fat. Don’t be afraid of gaining more muscle.

So the next time the little voice in your head tries to convince you that 150 burpees will better serve your moreover 30 clean and jerks for time,  you’ll now be able to make a more informed decision, “What line will I walk today?”

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Workout: “Partner Heavy Grace”

In teams of two alternate back and forth 1 rep for 1 rep, completing 60 Clean and Jerks. (155,105)


Building Character… One Burpee At A Time

No matter what your goals are, burpees can have a positive effect on your fitness not just physically but mentally. The constant repetition and frustration of the movement helps to build character and perseverance. It teaches us to keep going, even during the toughest of times. Get knocked down? Get back up! Get knocked down 150 times? Get back up 151 times!

Burpees are the perfect analogy for life -you get knocked down by a challenge -you will find a way to get back up and continue moving forward. Because of this, burpees are a perfect character-building tool.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Workout: “Cindy”
Complete as many rounds as possible is twenty minutes of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

push up

Scaling The Push-up

One of the best things about CrossFit is that we are constantly striving to get better; settling for average isn’t really an option for us. Over time we develop different progressions to offer multiple stimuli for our bodies. This enables us to not plateau as quickly if at all, while making it exceedingly more likely that we will continue to improve our fitness and overall quality of life. That said, everything we do can be scaled down or scaled up in both load and/or reps so that we may continue to grow.

Piggy-backing onto Tuesday’s post regarding the finer points of how we can better our push-up technique, there’s still the issue of whether or not we possess the strength in being able to push ourselves up from the floor. This is where we can employ the use of a band to assist us in being able to push ourselves up from the floor vs. defaulting to our knees as a ‘scale’ for the movement.

Now don’t get us wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing a push-up ‘on your knees’ if that’s what you are most comfortable doing. However what you may not realize is the moment your knees are in touch with the ground as a set-up position for the push-up, your glutes (i.e., booty muscles) have a tendency to turn off. Now that may not sound like a very big deal… but have you ever tried back-squatting without using your glutes? No… didn’t think so.

So what does back-squatting have to do with push-ups… and why should I care whether or not my glutes are firing? Good question. Both movements demand the involvement of the glutes so as to help provide you with a strong and stable midline ~Executing a push-up that employs full use of the glutes better prepares your midline for the rigors of being asked to execute a back squat with a strong and stable midline. And it also allows you to say that push-ups give you a more shapely bum’! All in all, not a bad deal.

How To Scale Down Push-Ups

Place a band around two J-Hooks, just like the ones you use to rack the barbell. The J-Hooks will need to be set about the height of your hips. Overall the height and thickness (of the band) will determine the level of difficulty for the movement. Next, simply drop down to your knees and place the band  across your sternum. Finally, get into push-up position and start cranking out reps! It’s just that easy. And NOW you have an opportunity to demonstrate a perfectly planked position that also involves the use of your gluts to help keep you stable. More muscles activated = More gains in the long run.

Incidentally, if you’re looking to make your push-ups harder, put the band as low as you can, climb underneath it and allow the band to press down on you as you press up.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Workout: Shoulder Press: 3-3-3-3-3-3-3 reps

Accessory: Accumulate 50 Strict Pull-ups


Throwback Thursday

CFBT pre-construction, January 2013

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Workout: 3 Rounds for time of:
500 meter Row
21 Burpees
12 Thrusters (95,65)


Cool Contemplation

We captured this special moment Last night just as the 530p class was wrapping up -Alex C., putting in a little quality time with some of the equipment he used to attack last night’s workout.

If we had to venture, we’d say he’s either envisioning a highball of his favorite bourbon to cap off his efforts, or wondering what life would be like if we were only allowed to look up.  Probably, both.

We appreciate everyone’s badassery. 

No one’s efforts go unnoticed.

Keep your head(s) up!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sumo deadlift 5-5-5-5-5 reps
Bench press 5-5-5-5-5 reps

Accessory: Accumulate 30-50 GHD Sit-ups or ABmat Sit-ups

meg push up

Want Stronger Push-ups?

Push-ups are one of the purest, most powerful tools in your training arsenal. That is, provided you know how to use it! Done incorrectly, the push-up will leave you with a tremendous amount of joint stress and little to no muscular recruitment: the very thing we need to become stronger, not broken.

Now, you already know that sagging your head or hips toward the floor is a mistake, so we’ll assume these items are being properly kept intact. Our focus here is on maximizing strength and minimizing joint stress.

 Fault: Arm Angle

The longer the lever arm, the less leverage you have. And visa versa. When applying this to the push-up, in order to maximize your ability to create force and better your leverage on each rep, keep your elbows close to your body instead of flaring them out at a 90-degree angle, which is typical of how most people do push-ups. Keeping your elbows close to your body will also bring more of your tricep(s) into the movement, whereas moving your elbows away from the midline will turn them off (literally). Keeping your elbows closer to your sides will immediately give you a better mechanical advantage over the movement.

Okay, so how do we fix it?

Fix: Elbow Positioning & Hand Positioning

Many of us allow our elbows to move past our wrists, either behind or out to the side of the wrists. This not only places unwanted stress through the elbow joint, it also makes the push-up less effective. Instead, keep your elbows above your wrists through the entire range of motion; stay stacked from the wrist to the elbow. Your elbows should form a 90-degree angle at the bottom of every push-up. In so doing, that will help bring your arms in closer to the body without you having to make a conscious effort to do so.

Also, if your hands are pointed slightly inward, it usually encourages people to flare out their arms and elbows from their sides, leading to less tricep recruitment and places an extraordinary amount of stress on the elbow (and shoulder) joint. In short, better hand placement encourages better elbow alignment and shoulder positioning. This can be done by simply turning the hands slightly outward, away from your body at roughly a 45-degree angle. Doing this will help keep your elbows and arm in a better position for maximizing strength and minimizing unwanted joint stress.

Now get to pushin’!

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Name: ‘Ben’

DOB: January 9, 1978

Occupation: Security Director, City of Seattle

CrossFitting Since: February 8, 2011

First Memorable CrossFit Experience: My first day, back in 2011, when Crossfit had not fully reached the mainstream. I joined based on the recommendation of a friend, not really knowing what I was getting into. Prior, I had been a member at every globo gym imaginable and was used to that format. When I arrived at CFBT (the old location) I took stock of my surroundings. The welcome desk looked like it was fashioned after a WWII nazi-killin’ bunker, and the decorations included Eric’s hand-skin motif that really made the place feel homey in a “Silence of the Lambs” kind of way. Nearby sat an antiquated wheelbarrow stacked with hundreds of pounds of dumbbells used for workouts. Other than some barbells and bumper plates, that was about it. After surveying the equipment, I was suspicious that this wasn’t going to be the predictable 20-minute elliptical ride followed by 155 minutes of curls and bench press that I was used to at the local Fitness Emporium. Turns out I was right. The scaled 5-minute, green-band-assisted version of “Cindy” that we did nearly killed my ass. I loved it. I may have even bragged to a few friends about this hard-core workout I crushed at Crossfit. I think I also met Nadia for the first time that day. I was trying to stretch a hamstring and had my foot propped up against the wall. I happened to look over and saw Nadia standing across the gym. Her gaze met mine and suddenly she gave me a look that made my soul turn black. I quickly turned away in fear, and that is when I noticed the sign. The one that explicitly stated to keep your feet off the wall. I learned a valuable lesson that day. One that I will now share with new members: CFBT takes a lot of pride in their gym. Do not f**k with the aesthetic. Seriously. Nadia will cut you. To that end, many agree that CFBT is the most beautiful gym they’ve ever seen, and it has been a pleasure watching Nadia and Eric’s vision be realized over the last several years. But I must say, even if the classes were held by the dumpster out back, I would still show up. The programming is incredibly smart, and the coaching is informative and motivating.

Favorite WOD: I have a bizarre, sadistic affinity for “Grindy”.

Favorite Lift: Tie: Back Squat / Deadlift, I believe they will have the best functional-movement ROI over the course of a lifetime.

Least Favorite WOD: If given the option to do 150 wall balls for time, I.E. “Karen,” or give birth to a porcupine that is on fire, I will take the latter, less painful option.

Favorite CrossFit Movement: I’m a reasonably competent pull-upper. So, that.

Why You Do CrossFit: I like the “fitness on demand” aspect of this training… Wanna run a 5K? No problemo. Grandma needs help moving a couch? Got it. Zombies attacking? I’ll be the one pulling myself up onto the shed while everyone below gets eaten.

Favorite Cheat Meal: I’m like a culinary polygamist; I love it all. It’s difficult to imagine cheating on food with other food, so let’s just say red wine & Honduran cigars and move forward…

CrossFit Secret: My favorite workout secret is actually from Coach Joe. A few months ago we had a WOD comprised of several movements that included large sets of burpees. Joe, always helpful, explained that we should consider the burpees “a rest period” before moving on to the other exercises… “a rest period,” he says. It’s an interesting concept. But in my experience I usually get about 6½ burpees in and start planning reasonable sounding injuries I can fake to get out of the workout… Hmmm, I wonder if I can “accidentally” impale myself on that barbell over there… things like that. So, next time you see Joe cycling through 35 burpees a minute just know that he is “resting”. See how that makes you feel about your fitness.

What Do You Do On Rest Days: Typically I am too sore to do non-Crossfit-related activities in my free-time. Thanks, Crossfit.

What Can’t You Live Without: I spend 90% of my day complaining about oblivious people in my way or walking too slow because they are mesmerized by their cell phones. The other 10% of my day is spent hyperventilating because I’m terrified I accidentally left my phone at home or back in the office.

Favorite Vacation Spot: My family owns a beachfront on the Chesapeake Bay in a sleepy Virginia town that is a pretty idyllic getaway. It’s like something out of a Nicholas Sparks book. From what I’ve been told, by other people (not me), who read Nicholas Sparks books.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Workout: For time:

10 Box Jumps (30″)
10 Bar Muscle-ups
20 Kettlebell Snatches (55,35)
20 One-legged squats, alternating
30 Toes-to-bars
30 Overhead Squats (75,55)
40 GHD Sit-ups
40 Medicine-Ball Cleans (20,14)
50 Burpees
50 Triple-Unders


DropDead Fred Is Back!

It’s only been two months now, but as Fred will tell you, that’s too long!

Having taken a work-related hiatus in August, it would appear that all roads lead back to CrossFit Belltown. That means the Noon Platoon is back in business… and we all get to see more of Fred’s classic face-down ‘Victory Dance’.

Welcome back, Fred!


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Saturday, October 24, 2015



All Classes Cancelled Today In Observance of CrossFit Endurance Seminar

Today some of our coaching staff will be attending a seminar all weekend at CFBT and therefore unavailable to gather everyone at the track or park for our occasionally scheduled park or track workout. That said, we encourage you to go outside and put your hard-earned Fitness to work. And whatever that may be (with exception of sitting on the couch ‘for time’), we’d love to be a part of it -Please feel free to snap a photo and post it on your Instagram with the  #CrossFitBelltown and #GetOutsideTheGym. Our most favorite photo will receive a very special gift.

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