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Looking Back: Year One (plus some)

Recently we celebrated our “One Year at the Bunker” and were again reminded (not that we don’t have daily reminders) that CrossFit is all about community.  Even with the “hazardous weather” (apparently Maryland has a very loose definition of this) we still had a great turnout, and it was so great to celebrate the PR’s and progress you all have made and how far our little community has come!

We started here…

Moved in here…

Spent months cleaning and preparing (this place used to be storage for a boat and motorcycle!)…

And we know that we still have a long way to go!  But we have a plan, and you will see it slowly unfold as 2014 gets underway… and we think you will love it!

But before we get too excited about the decor (and don’t worry, our plans do NOT involve mirrors on the walls, thankfully)

Let’s be real… A gym is more than four walls and some bumper plates.

It’s about the people.

So shout out to our original 20 that came from the garage!  Though a few have moved away, the vast majority are still putting in work with us almost daily!  (And one even opened their own gym in Bahrain!)

And shout out to that first class of Fundamentals in December 2012!  Recognize these folks?  Yup, nearly every one of them is still puttin’ in the work too!  That is a whole year of hard work now and more to come…

And to all of you that have joined us in 2013- Team PAX thanks you for supporting our mission to make our little town much healthier and more fit so we can go back into our homes, workplaces, communities, churches, and wherever life may take us ready to make a difference with more energy and stamina for the every day tasks.

Because if you can lift 10,000 lbs over your head in a few minutes (or even 1,000!), how much easier will EVERYTHING else be?!  If you are eating real food designed to fuel your body, how much extra energy will you have for the things that really matter in life?

So get ready, CrossFit PAX!  2014 is going to bring it… we’re kicking it off with 60 days that will change your habits and help you keep the hope that the best is yet to come!  Some of you extra motivated folks we will see you at the Bunker tonight to bring in the New Year!  The rest of you we will see over the first few days of January.  Please have fun and be safe tonight and standby for our plan to help you make 2014 your year to conquer laziness, change your habits, and reach your goals.

4 Jan 2014

Warm Up:
200m run
20 overhead squat with PVC
10 pull ups
10 burpees
20 sit ups
Samson Stretch

No rest between events

1) Sled Push 100yd

L1: choose weight
L2: 135/90
L3: 180/135

2) 3 Rope Climbs

3) 21-15-9
Row for Calorie
Toes to Bar

Cool Down/Mobility:
10 min squat test

3 Jan 2013

Warm Up
Junkyard Dog
Samson Stretch
Burgener Warm Up
4 sets of 5 Sotts Press with PVC/Bar

5 sets of 3 Squat Snatch

5 RFT of
5 Deadlift

L1: 75% 1RM
L2: 315/165
L3: 405/205


2 Jan 2014

Warm Up
500m row
30 sit ups
30 air squats
15 parallete shoot throughs
15 push ups
Samson Stretch

1) EMOM 7 mins
10 strict pullups on even minutes
max sit ups on odd minutes

L3: weighted pull ups 53/35#

2) EMOM (starts at 7:00, ends at 20:00)
Odd Mins: 15 KBS
Even Mins: 8 pistols

L1: As written
L2: 53/35# KB,
L3: 53/35# KB, 20 KBS

Thoracic Spine
Hip Flexors

1 Jan 2014

Warm Up
2 mins double unders
10 toes to bar
10 pull ups
10 ring dips
Samson Stretch

Push Press 10 sets of 1 (variation: ~ 90% 1RM + chains, 5 sets of 3)

Partner WOD
8 min AMRAP
2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12…etc (alternating)
Ring Dip
Pull Up

L3: Muscle Ups instead of Ring Dips/Pull ups

Accessory Work
2-4 sets of 10 back extension
2-4 sets of 30 sec plank hold

Lumbar Spine/Hips

31 Dec 2013

Warm Up
500m row
15 thruster with bar/pvc
15 SDHP with bar/pvc
15 push press with bar/pvc
15 knees to elbows
Samson Stretch

“Fight Gone Bad”
Three rounds of one minute each (continuous running clock):
Wall-ball, 20/14# 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75/55# (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 75/55# (Reps)
Row (Calories)

L1: choose weights
L2: As written
L3: 800m sprint for time after rest on third round

Accessory Work-
100 sit ups for time
20 glute bridge with <65#


30 Dec 2013

Warm Up
15 burpees
20 front squat (pvc or bar)- (3:1:1)
15 ring or parallete dips
1-3 max sets of strict pull ups
Samson Stretch

Front Squat 8 sets of 1

(variation option: box squat)

WOD (same for all Levels)
10 min EMOM
100m sprint for time

IT Band

Jeff Smith “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated”

Jeff in an unassisted ring support- this has been one of his many accomplishments and like so many skills he is learning and developing, there is always another step to be achieved.  We never let our athletes “rest” on their accomplishments!  Now he is working on keeping his arms externally rotated and holding the position for longer periods of time.  Of all of his other accomplishments, Jeff’s mobility and core strength have been the most noticeable improvements in the gym and these aspects of CrossFit training carry over to all of life’s activities! See what Jeff has to say about being pain free and feeling years younger…

“To modify a quote from John Wayne ‘Getting old is hard and getting old when you are out of shape is even harder!’  I have always looked forward to retirement, when every day will be a Saturday.  Now that I’m getting close to it, however, I’m realizing that it now takes 6 days to do what I could do in one Saturday.  During the past ten years I have been living the good life and it has taken a toll on my body!  I was out of shape, with high everything: blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol.  My quality of life was not where I wanted it to be and I had to change!

For the last two years, I have been living with a CrossFit fan(atic)- my wonderful daughter Allison.  For two years, Allison bombarded us with the benefits of doing CrossFit, and I’m being nice with using the word bombarded.  My wife, Colleen, and I bet her $100 dollars that she could not go ONE HOUR without talking about CrossFit, and she lost!  However, Allison told us that one of the goals of CrossFit was to keep us out of the nursing home.  I guess that comment sealed the deal for us and we decided to give it a try.

So, we started on our journey in March 2013 at CrossFit PAX to a better life, and we have never looked back!  Some of it has been fun, but some of it has been tough.  For example, lifting a total of 10000 lbs over my head in one workout, or the 800 meters of lunges- who comes up with this stuff?!  But, we always have the quality coaching and the community to help us get it done safely and effectively!

I’m very familiar working out in a gym, having played football for 13 years; but CrossFit is like no other workout that I have done.  Attending a workout at CrossFit PAX is like have a personal trainer, and every day is different- different workout, different muscle groups, different time, different equipment… to say this another way, for the last 8 months I have been sore… heck I’m sore right now!  But, its working and working well.  Here is a short list of the benefits I have reaped in only a few months:

I can run again without my knees hurting,

I have lost thirty pounds

I have lost 3 inches off my waist line,

I have lowered my blood pressure,

I have reduced my cholesterol by 70 points and

I have gained a significant amount of muscle mass.

This month I will get my blood work done again and I will be off the cholesterol medicine!

And all of this in less than nine months, with only a few hours a week in the gym and a few diet changes!

There is more than a good workout required to keep a gym open and operating.  As a retired Marine, I love working out in a gym run by Marines, (call me biased, but I know what I like!)  What everyone sees at CrossFit PAX is the great teamwork from the Coaches and Patrons.  Like any organization this has to come down from the top.  No one feels left out and everyone is kind and helpful, no egos!  I truly believe that anyone can do CrossFit!

I have made tremendous progress but my journey is no way complete.  I still can’t do a muscle up or string more than 2 double unders together, but I am choosing to continue setting and tackling my goals and being thankful for what I CAN do!  What I can do is: run, bend over and tie my shoes without my gut getting in the way, squat to pick up my grandchildren, ride my horse longer, pick up my 50 lb. German Shepard puppy, wear all of the clothes in my closet without worrying about how they fit.

So, I am thankful to my wonderful daughter Allison and for loving me enough to get me in the door at CrossFit PAX.   to quote Borg from Star Trek “resistance is futile, you will be assimilated”… and I guess I have been, and that is okay with me!

Thanks to all of the Coaches, Workout buddies, and Jade and JD for making this possible.”

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jeff, what an encouragement this is to us that you’ve seen such progress.  We are proud of you for taking such a leap of faith, swallowing your pride, and changing your life for the better.  We are so glad to know you and your family and consider ourselves blessed to be a part of this journey.

There aren’t too many grandpa’s that hang out in gyms, but Jeff is one of a few at CrossFit PAX and is leading from the front!  He is one cool grandpa, too, and we are glad to have him around!

As our lives and times change, so do our battles.  Stay in the fight, Marine, we are all right there with you!

Semper Fi!

Jeff with his beautiful wife, Colleen, and CrossFit fanatic daughter Allison last June, right after Jeff started his journey to better health with CrossFit PAX!  

Megan Bibbins “I’d give up my cable TV for CrossFit!”

Megan after her half marathon in November

Megan is not the same gal who showed up for her first day of Fundamentals last March.  She was pretty quiet on day one- I would even say she was nearly silent.  She was wary, maybe even a little skeptical of this strange ‘cult thing’ they call CrossFit, but clearly curious and willing to give it a shot.  However, less than nine months after that first class, Megan has not only changed her life, but she has been an inspiration to her peers and coaches.  She gave it a fair shot and kept coming back.  She kept doing better than she did the day before.  She kept getting stronger. faster.  more flexible.  tougher.  more focused.  And then her husband, Will, showed up and it turned into a family affair.  At that point we knew she had given in, and despite her timid start was now a leader of the pack, ambitious, and wholly committed.

Then, in November, she ran a half marathon!  Don’t mistake her sweetness for weakness- this girl knows her stuff and she is tough as nails!  Nine short months from that first class, she is looking like she has a lifetime of fitness experience under her belt.  Curious about what got her in the door and kept her going, we asked her to tell us what she was thinking that first day and how she feels now about how far she has come.

Megan says, “When I first looked up what CrossFit was, the first thought that entered my head was there was no way I could do that!  I couldn’t even do a push up or run a minute without wanting to stop. I have never been a active person.  I was the one who did as little as possible in gym class and was always trying to find a way out of it.”

Luckily, Megan decided to give it a shot!  Who knew she was such a natural athlete?  The movements came relatively easily to her and we found ourselves watching, catching the other coaches eye and saying, “Did you see that?  Pretty impressive?!”  I guess she surprised us all.  Megan learns quickly, moves efficiently, and has good mobility, which made the transition to the high intensity workouts relatively smooth. (although I’m not sure if she saw it that way)

“This was one of the best decisions I’ve made,” Megan says, “I love CrossFit.  I love how encouraging the coaches and groups are. There have been so many times I am just ready to throw in the towel, then one of the coaches or someone from the group comes over to cheer me on and I know I can finish- and I do.”

Of all the things she has accomplished in the gym in over 125 classes, she is most proud of sticking with it. “I’ve never stuck with anything in my life,” Megan says, “I always gave up when it got tough or when I got bored. This is where CrossFit is different to me.  It’s tough, don’t get me wrong, but I find I enjoy the challenge, and each day is totally different.”

Megan is also proud of being able to string a few double unders together now, and she says her next goal is to be able to do pull ups without a band.  Then, Megan said something that really shows her mental fortitude.  “I know I will do it.”  There is power in that statement- that type of determination shows that there is much more to this lady than we know.  Simple statement, but it is rare to hear people say that.  Megan, you’ve got it in the bag.  Eat well.  Sleep well.  Show up and put in work.  Give it your all.

“When it comes down to it, I’d give up my cable TV before I gave up crossfit!”  She tells us.

Inspiring, Megan!  You’re a great athlete with a lot of natural talent.  Even more than that, you are mentally tough, committed, and have a great attitude.  Keep smiling, and keep up that intensity, and we are sure you’ll continue to surprise us with your strength and fortitude.

28 Dec 2013

Warm Up:
Junkyard Dog
Skill Transfer Drills-Clean
Samson Stretch

Snatch 8 sets of 2

Overhead Squat
Ring Dips

L1: choose weight (60% 1RM)
L2: 95/65
L3: 135/95

*may not use rack

Cool Down/Accessory Work:
2-4 sets of 10 back extension
2 sets of 10 glute bridge
Stretch with Coach