19.3 recap and highlights!

Aaaaand now we’ve all found something to work on for the next year…

This workout, though short, was no joke when it came to muscle fatigue. But as always, we bore witness to some total rockstars doing total rockstar stuff. Check it out!

Peep these highlights:

  • Sadie got ballsy and dove straight into the bear crawls from 50 strict presses and nearly took a tumble, but caught herself ‘cause she is a strong and agile pregnant person.
  • Val Harmon got to the HSPU with like 4 minutes left in the workout, and spent the entire 4 minutes working on a strict scaled HSPU. After many attempts, she finally got one beautiful one. Yay, Val!!
  • Blake Choisnet takes the cake for making the most noise/effort while doing step-ups.
  • McKenzie, Laura, Athena and Jamie got through some of the HSPU RX, and after attempting on Friday and working on them over the weekend, Ashley Hurt also repped some out!
  • Jon Wickes re-did the whole thing and got a whopping 22 more reps!
  • Chloe originally thought she was only going to be able to get 5 scaled HSPU, but then banged out 20 because of course she did.
  • Bryan Payne snagged 4 HSPU out of this workout, despite being no-repped by Hroch, like, 1,000 times. But per usual, he still came out smiling.
  • And last but not least, Jared Crowley, everyone’s favorite cheerleader, got not only his first HSPU — but his first three! With his dad there to cheer him on!


And check out the current standings from 19.3:

RX Men

RX Women

Scaled Men

Scaled Women

Masters Men

Masters Women

For the overall leaderboard, click here

What a great week! For all of you who attempted HSPU, but just couldn’t get them, don’t be discouraged! This is why we encourage people to do The Open: so get comfortable with the uncomfortable, find those areas that need the most improvement, and set personal goals to be better by next year.

19.4 is just around the corner… let’s stay strong as we head into the finish line.  Get to the gym, stretch, eat well, drink water, and let’s get after it for 19.4!

19.2 Highlight Recap!

Week 2: complete! Raise your hand if you thought those squat cleans weren’t going to be as heavy as they were…

*raises hand*

19.2 was, as expected, a total blast! This one was tough for a lot of us because it was hard to decide between RX and scaled. Some of us have a few double unders sometimes, some of us have toes to bar in singles, some of us have a motor and some of us… do not.

For those of us in the sometimes or singles camp, The Open is always this fine line between deciding to push the skills we’ve been working on RX, or choosing to scale to crank our motors and complete a workout. But as the magic of The Open would have it, people got their double unders, people strung toes to bar together, and people lifted more than they thought they could for 5, 10, 15 reps!

Peep some of these magic moments:

  • Alex Morgan did the workout scaled during FNL and finished the ENTIRE five rounds in just over 15 minutes. He also re-did it on Monday RX to test his double under limits and made it to 139 reps!
  • Hroch got into the fourth round RX and really showed his Dad Strength™
  • Laura and Jamie both made it out of the 8:00 cap and made the 145# cleans look some type of way.
  • Kaylin, Michelle Kwan, Val, Jess Guevara, and Shannon blew their previous squat clean PRs outta the water by lifting 5-20lbs more than their previous maxes FOR REPS.
  • Sally, Vasko, Georgia, Frances, and Mike Rondini absolutely crushed it in the masters division!
  • Ashley Hurt managed to crank out 42 toes to bar in 8:00, despite never having done RX toes to bar in a workout! Turns out she does have hip flexors!
  • Ciera finished the scaled workout in ~16:00 and we are not worthy.


And here are the current standings across all leaderboards:

Men’s RX

Women’s RX

Men’s Scaled

Women’s Scaled


What a freakin’ weekend. Great job, y’all. That one was nasty. Now rest those legs and breath easy knowing double unders, rowing, T2B, and wall balls are out of the way, and let’s get ready for this Friday! Also, if you are interested in the worldwide open standings, check out the CrossFit Games leaderboard. Some of these dudes are no joke!


  • Sign up for a heat to compete in this week’s Friday Night Lights, AND sign up for a slot to judge.
  • If you know you can’t make Friday — take your name off the sheet so someone can swipe your spot and sign up for a makeup slot on either Saturday or Monday. If neither of those work then reach out to a coach to coordinate a time to get your WOD on.
  • Show up 15-20 minutes BEFORE your heat start time to adequately warm up. It’s important we stick to the schedule so everyone works out in a timely manner and no one’s competing alone at 8pm like a sad sack.
  • Tag us in your stories on Insta and we’ll share your stuff! @crossfitrenew is the name, funny gifs are our game.

Member Spotlight: Anna Grimes

She’s an 11:30a regular, loves lifting heavy things, is a wonderful photographer, and is pretty new to the Austin area. Please give a warm welcome to: Anna Grimes! This month’s Member Spotlight. 

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what’s your favorite thing about it? 

A: 1.75 years. I joined a box in Maryland in the summer of 2017, and then sought out a Crossfit home in Austin like seven days after moving here last summer because I needed something that felt familiar and would also help me meet people. When I started Crossfit, my favorite thing about it was overcoming fear. I was scared of everything, I didn’t know how to do any of the lifts or gymnastics movements, and I had to face my fears about those things – getting hurt, looking stupid, failing, and not being able to breathe – every time I showed up. Now that I know how to do some of those things better, my two favorite things about Crossfit are the way it helps me listen to my body, and the community – the people at Renew are great and have been the most welcoming crew I’ve ever met!


Q: How did you get into photography and why?

A: In college, I took a film photography class in Italy while I was studying abroad, and I fell in love. I took a few more classes for fun, but I thought I was going to go into a career in music or be a wedding planner, and then instead took a hard left turn and got a job working at Crate&Barrel after college. But I was reading wedding blogs and and learning how to use a digital camera better in my free time, and knew that was something I really wanted to do. So I found jobs working with other photographers, learning from them while I built my own business. And for six years, I got to be part of some incredibly special moments and celebrate love with amazing people. The thing I loved about weddings was the creative energy that went into them, and how for one day, everyone got to bring some kind of dream to life. Now, I want to be able to help more people find ways to bring their creative visions to life, whether that’s by making fun art prints that can live on walls or helping other creative business owners get photos that tell their stories in a fun and fascinating way.

Q: What is one life accomplishment you’re really proud of?

A: I’m proud of saying yes to adventures, even when they seem too big to take on at the outset. Jumping in over my head is something I find myself doing anytime I start feeling safe and comfortable, and that’s lead to a bunch of really cool things I’m proud of, like hiking 80 miles in a week through Scotland and Ireland, completing a 200 hr yoga teacher certification in Mexico in three weeks, doing a photo shoot in a field of flowers, renovating a house, and starting a creative business.

Q: You just got a PUPPY! What’s the best and worst thing about being a new dog mom?

A: Oh man, the puppy happened because I was starting to feel safe and comfortable and we’ve had him for two weeks and even though he’s the cutest little bundle of energy, I’ve reached the place where I’d love to know what past me was thinking!! The hardest thing is self-care, like sleep and showers, when the puppy just wants to be next to me at all hours of the day and barks if he feels left out. The best thing is having this wiggly little joyful being as a companion – I love that he makes me get outside more and is giving me a reason to find new places to love. Last week we took him to Walnut Creek and he had the best time bounding over all the rocks and running through the water. Watching dogs run around and play is just such a happy way to spend an afternoon.

Q: You’re pretty new to Austin…what’s your favorite part about being here so far? What’s been the hardest about moving?

A: The sunshine is hands down my favorite thing. I love being able to lay in a hammock in February and all the vitamin D makes me so happy after trying to escape East Coast winters for years. Also have to say the people here are delightful…I’ve met some of the most genuine, wholehearted people since moving here, and I already know my life is better because they’re in it!

The hardest part of moving was letting go of all the people and places I loved in Maryland – I grew up there and had some deep roots that I didn’t realize I’d have to let go of in order to build a new home somewhere else, and some of the things that got left behind aren’t easily replaceable. There’s a C.S. Lewis quote that has become a mantra for me over the past few months – “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – and so far, I think that’s been true!

Anna, praise sweet baby Jesus for your spontaneity and willingness to try new things, because if it weren’t for that, well, you’d be at some other lame box and we’d never know your joy. We’re so glad you’re here!

The Open: 19.1 Recap

Under the Friday Night LIghts: 19.1 Recap!

We did it! Week one is in the books. Now, we’re not saying it was the most ~lit~ first FNL we’ve ever had, but let’s just say those lights were bright last Friday night. If you missed it, well, you’re the worst, and here’s a quick recap of the action, as well as current standings:


  • Daddy Romano came to watch his pride and joys, Ari and Aiden, compete head-to-head. Without shame, he took many pictures and cheered very loudly and was cheesing the whole time. Formal request for everyone to bring their parents always.
  • Three cheers for Michelle Kwan, Bryan Payne, Lauren Bratcher, and sweet baby angel Georgia Levin — who are competing in FNL for the very first time during the 8am class!! Champs.
  • Qasim, aka this month’s spotlight member, is also in it for the first time and was very nervous going into his heat Friday night — but he didn’t die and totally crushed it.
  • The office transformed into a pretty hazardous jungle gym for all the tiny children.
  • DJ LaRae spun some sick beats and fired off some incredible jokes, per usual.
  • Our pals at Airrosti came to hang with us throughout the night — helping folks both get warm and recover, and even fed us snacks and drinks! We love them.
  • Jess brought her margs. That is all there is to say about that.

And here are the standings:

Women’s RX

Men’s RX

Women’s scaled

Men’s scaled

And now, onto week 2.

Crew, us coaches are so proud of you! We have 4 more weeks of fun, so remember to use your weekly workouts wisely; that is, scale appropriately to avoid injury or overexertion, fuel your body well and often, drink all the water, and stretch, stretch, stretch.

See you on the mats!  

Why our members are #InTheOpen

You’ve heard from our coaches about why they’re doing The Open, and now it’s time to hear from some of our members. Some are new to CrossFit as a whole, and some have participated in The Open for years. Either way, check out their why:

Alex Morgan, Renewb:

I am doing the Open as a way to understand where my fitness ranks among not only Crossfit Renew but the Community as a whole. This is something that attracted me to the sport of Crossfit as it is something that typically is an individual competition where everyone is equally competitive towards one another as they are encouraging. The Open will show me where weaknesses lie and skills that I need to improve, more so than others, before the Open comes around again!

Jared Crowley, Renewb:

I’m doing the open because I like baselines, I like competition, and because it’s a little intimidating. I mean- how do you measure growth if there is no baseline? I’ve got 8 months of Renew under my belt and am ready to take a shot at something serious. Watching the Games gets me so amped- remember when Matty Fraser beat Ben Smith in that sprint in ‘16? The Tia/Kara finish? This is my shot to compete- slower and scaled, sure, but I’m excited! And lastly, I’m old, I’m carrying a few extra pounds, and doing these workouts in front of a crowd is scary. But hey, face your fears right? Renew folks are solid and I know I’ll get a lot of support… So let’s do this bro.

Ciera Schick, Renewb:

The Open is something I’ve always known about but thought it just for the athletes who were a shoe in for the Games. When I found out us regulars could do it too, aside from immediate panic, I thought why not give it a try. Even though there are TONS of skills I can’t do and will likely scale in every workout, I felt like it was a good opportunity to set aside my fears and just do it. Maybe during The Open I’ll finally string more than 3 pull ups together or get toes to bar, maybe I won’t, but I won’t know until I try.

My ultimate goal for The Open is to leave each workout not feeling embarrassed or ashamed that I couldn’t do a skill or finish the fastest, but to remember that everybody started somewhere. I signed up, I started my journey, and in five Opens from now I’ll be thanking myself.

Steve Le, CrossFit Vet:

I’ve done the open every year since 2012, with the exception of 2017.

I do it for myself and the people I work out with. I finish every open with something new to work on and then I get to try it out the next year. This year I’ve been working on c2b efficiency. There not really where I want them to be, but I have made some progress.

But I get the most joy out of helping other people in the open. You do the workout alone, but you’ve got people giving you tips before if your are worried about a skill or a judge keeping you calm as you grind through a long WOD or the rest of the class cheering you on for one more rep. While I’ve been lucky enough to be around people who have made regionals and the games, my favorite open memory is helping a member get her first T2B in an open WOD. She still smiles every time she tells the story of getting it which I think of pretty cool.

Sally Mayo, CrossFit Vet:

I do the open because …

Sadie will harass and haze me if I don’t.

But seriously … I like doing the open because it’s always a challenge — even when doing it scaled, and I like being a part of a larger competition though it’s not the competition part that gets me. It’s the the shared experience of doing a workout that everyone at Renew is doing, in addition to people all over the world.  I do get a charge seeing how I rate among my peers.

The main reason to do the open is the Friday Night Lights experience:  I get to interact with people from Renew that are regulars at other times that I don’t get to see.  I like giving support to the crew and seeing everyone work hard and give their best.

When I get past that initial ‘judging’ thing I can experience the open as an incredibly supportive experience that is unlike I get in any other area of life. Being in a place where individuals are authentically cheering each other and supporting each other is THE BEST.

The Browns, CrossFit Vets:

Dom: I’m doing the Open because it’s a chance to hang out with everyone at Renew and you all are awesome. I’m happy to be a member here and happy to witness all of us push our limits. The Open shows you your weaknesses, but it also shows you how strong you are and how far you’ve come. My goals for this year include: becoming more proficient at double unders and ring dips. I also want to work on my cardio endurance.

I’m looking forward to seeing all my fav faces at Friday Night Lights and hopefully meeting some new folks too!


I enjoyed it last year, and I was excited about the prospect of getting a t-shirt this year!  More the t-shirt, really!

So whether you’re young or old, new or seasoned — the Open is for you. We are so excited to see what this year holds, and we can’t WAIT to see who learns what new skill or slam dunks a new PR. It’s gonna be a good year, people. We can feel it.

See you under the Friday Night Lights!

The CrossFit Open: who, what, when, why, how, help

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: The CrossFit Open is here!

There have been whispers in the gym of things like “Friday Night Lights” and “Dave Castro” and “18.1 wow please never again”, but if you’re unfamiliar, it kind of just seems like one big inside joke that is not fun to be on the outside of. So, allow me to explain:

What is The Open and how does it work?

Every Spring, CrossFitters ‘round the globe come together to compete in the worldwide Open. Yes, it’s a means for certain athletes of certain calibers to achieve certain scores and go to the Games, but for the rest of us normals, it’s an opportunity to come together every week for the sake of fitness.

Over the course of five weeks, five workouts are released (sometimes rather ominously) week by week by Games Director Dave Castro/CrossFit HQ. The same workout is applied to all divisions and adjusted accordingly based on skill level. There’s an RX Men, RX Women, Scaled Men, Scaled Women, Masters, Kids, RX Rescue Animals, Scaled Neighbors, and so forth. The workouts are released on Thursday evenings, and everyone ‘round the Earth has a chance to complete the workout in their respective division before the clock strikes 5pm PST on Mondays. You perform the workout as many times as you want, and then record your score through the Games site. As a gym, we perform the workouts on Friday nights. See the next section: WTF is FNL?


Every Friday, everyone who is registered for the Open comes to our beloved gym between the hours of 4pm and 8pm, sometimes 9pm if the bubbly is flowin’, to do that week’s workout in heats. It’s called Friday Night Lights, and it’s a pretty organized affair; with athlete warm up areas, a microphone, judges with clipboards, recovery pizza, pre-workout beers, and impressive feats of fitness.

This is by far the best time of the year for our gym. There’s so much camaraderie, so much hype, and just generally so much fun. We’re cheering for each other, we’re no-repping each other, and we’re pushing our bodies to the limits — don’t wanna jinx it, but, every year around The Open someone (or some few) nail a movement they’ve been working on all damn year. Chalk it up to adrenaline, or chalk it up to literal chalk, but it’s so awesome to see. Last year we had over five people get their first muscle up. Five!!!

Why should I register?

Because it’s a whole lot of fun and really cool, adrenaline-fueled things happen every year without fail. The end.

How do I register?

Because The Open has shifted a bit, we’ve decided to take to just take things in-house instead of direct you to the Games site. We want The Open to continue to be a place where people push themselves more than they ever have, where they feel encouraged more than they ever have, and where our whole community comes together for the sake of fitness and friendship. So get down to clown with us, and go to this link to register for a spot to compete in Friday Night Lights, and snag your 2019 Open tee. Again: that link will secure your competing slot and order your Open shirt. Be sure to do this by 2/13, so we can get your shirts in on time. Any registrations after 2/13 means you just get your shirt late.

If you’re still on the fence, or are afraid, or don’t think you are capable of doing any sort of fitness-related competition for xyz reason, talk to someone who’s been through the Open ringer. Or talk it out with a coach. Or Google any videos about The Open and be inspired by the 75+ year olds who are still competing as master athletes. Or the person who lost over 300lbs and decided they want to do The Open to mark a milestone in their fitness journey. Or the person who suffered a traumatic injury, whose doctors told them they’d never walk again, but they want to do The Open to prove to the world that they’re still capable of accomplishing the impossible.

They can answer all your questions, ease your nerves, and probably convince you to register.

Also, we want you to. NOW it’s the end.

Member Spotlight: Qasim Burqawi

Qasim Barqawi is a few things:

  1. A Renewb
  2. A walking miracle (ask him about the plate in his head)
  3. Palestinian
  4. The light of our lives

Now that we have your attention, please enjoy this heartfelt, awesome, fun Q&A with one of the nicest, coolest, weirdest dudes you’ll ever meet.  

Q: Why did you decide to start CrossFit? 

A: Because if frightened the shit out of me. The idea of failing in a “classroom” full of people is not this A student’s idea of fun. So, following the words of my therapist, I chose to do more of what scared me and less of what kept me in my comfort zone.However, from a training point of view, I chose CrossFit for the interactive relationship between athlete and coach. I was attracted to the prospect of having someone walk me through every exercise in a healthy manner rather than me doing it the way I see fit since I’ve never stepped foot in a gym before.

Q: Why Renew?

A: Simply, it is a hop, a skip, and a little bit of gas away from my apartment. But why I chose to stay is more important to me; it’s because of the people. It’s easy to blow smoke up every hungry butt at Renew, because they all are such a cooperative community. I was welcomed with open/well-stretched arms into a group of strangers who have had such a phenomenal influence on both my physical, and more importantly, my mental health.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment since being with us? 

A: I quit smoking. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the people at Renew telling me to quit. Ill quote one person in particular who flat out said to me in front of the whole class as we were warming up “Either quit smoking, or quit CrossFit”. I’d like to think I made the right choice. Jury’s still out though.

Q: What is one fun fact about you that we would all be shocked to know? 

I think most people would be very shocked to find out that I in fact love being quiet and can actually go a while without talking. I enjoy a peaceful night with a soft blues record playing, and a nice rich glass of wine.

And even though this is technically two things, you should know I’m a supreme f*cking baker. My dark chocolate cake with white-wine-poached-fruit stuffing is the ultimate desert. In the middle of the kitchen’s ruckus I am my most focused, and though I can’t do a snatch as smooth as the next person, I move in a kitchen like the conductor of the New York orchestra.

*He also has a Nutella cook book containing only recipes using Nutella. Safe to assume Nutella is life for Qasim.

Q: What are 2 CrossFit goals and 2 life goals you’ve made for yourself this year? 

A: CrossFit goals:

  • To RX a WOD
  • To smoothly execute a snatch.


Life goals:

  • To stay as healthy as I could be and strive to find newer ways in which I can bring light into my life.
  • To fight more for causes I care deeply about and to be more active in my community and its betterment.


There you have it. I’m not sure how you can read this and not want to be his best friend..  Qasim, we are so glad to have you as a member of our crew; you are such a joy to have in class. CONGRATULATIONS in kicking a nasty habit, and we’re all looking forward to the day you can snatch as well as you can bake. Keep at it!

Coaches Corner with Hroch: Shiny New Programs

Guys! In case you missed it, there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the new year! I’m sure there are a lot of questions about everything, so I’m going to answer as many of those as I can in this blog.

First up: Bring A Friend Week! (January 7-11)

I’m sure you have lots of friends you’ve talked about CrossFit to, tried to get to join you at a Community WOD, Wodder to Wine, Barbells and Bourbon…etc…and they just haven’t come because “they’re intimidated”.

Well. From January 7th-11th, you are in luck. During this week, workouts will be scaled down (to Community WOD style…but just tell them it’ll be easier) and we want you to bring everyone you know! They will be able to come to any and all classes they want that week.

The goal of this is to introduce our non-CrossFitting friends to this sport that we love so much. We would obviously love for them to come to love it as much as we do and join us forever. The more friends in the gym, the better, right? Send them this link, have them select which class they would like to join, and use the code BAF2019.

Best part about this? Perks for YOU! For every one of your friends that signs up to be a member of Renew, you will get a $50 gift card to the athletic apparel brand of your choice! Nike, Reebok, Lulu, Whatever you’d like!!

So, the more friends you bring, the better chances you have of getting some free dollars. Come one, come all!

Second up: Class Pass (January 21st – February 16th)

You’ve probably heard of “Class Pass” before — you know, that program where you sign up for a monthly membership and get to try a variety of classes and gyms around town.

Well, we’re taking a page out of a similar book and doing our own version within Renew! The Class Pass is your ticket to attend a variety of special classes that focus on developing a variety of skills to help you grow as an athlete. This semester’s classes will laser in on three key areas: gymnastics, aerobic capacity, and mobility. Three suspiciously important aspects of the 2019 CrossFit Open. Here’s what we’ve got this semester:

  • Gymnastics with Coach Becky Wickes: Saturdays @ 10am
  • Flowga with Andi Lozano of The Mobile Athlete: Tuesdays @ 6:30am, Sundays @ 6pm
  • Aerobocap with Coach Justin Hroch: Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm, Saturdays @ 8 am

So, there are multiple classes of each every week, giving you lots of options. So how do you actually attend these? You will pick one of the packages below using this link!

Class Pass Memberships (priced per month)

  • 1x Week – $59
  • 2x Week – $115
  • 3x Week – $169
  • Unlimited – $199

We know Open Gym is hard to get to for everyone, so we really wanted to create an opportunity for more learning and practice in a specific area. We are really excited about these weeks and can’t wait to see everyone’s improvements!

Lastly, Reboot! (January 14th – February 22nd)

We have been wanting to start a bootcamp style class for a while now, and we are finally doing it! Led by our very own Chelsea Montgomery!

This class will be a good middle ground for people who don’t want the intimidation of CrossFit, but are tired of their own boring gym routines. Chelsea is a very seasoned bootcamp trainer for a camp that must not be named, and is going to do an incredible job with this!

If you have any friends that won’t come to CrossFit (or Bring a Friend Week), this is a really great option for them to amp up their fitness. If you know anyone interested, send our way!

That’s it for now! We are all really excited for each of these things! So, get your friends amped for BAF Week, be thinking about how many and which classes to come to for Class Pass, and send anyone interested in Reboot to us!

Member Spotlight: Chelsea Montgomery

What is a Chelsea Montgomery, even? It’s straw hats and arm tats, it’s hugs and coffee mugs,  it was once a Camp Gladiator, now turned CrossFitter, and, perhaps most importantly, it’s this month’s member spotlight. Peep our Q&A with Chels and get to know her a little better!

Q: What brought you to Renew?

  1. Becky’s hungry butt
  2. Sadie threatened to end our friendship if I didn’t join
  3. I heard Hroch was starting Saturday Pour Over Seminars after community wods
  4. I wanted to grow as an athlete and coach

Q: What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?

Being challenged, while simultaneously being humbled.

Q: Does your family fitness too?

Cooper (youngest brother): Yes

Dad: No

Mom: Chases goats on the family ranch

Jordan (younger brother): Beer can curls

Erica: Secretly, and in our garage, despite everyone’s efforts to get her to join

Q: What is your most cherished tattoo and why?

A: Oh, man. What a good, good question.

My grandmother, Goose, was my best friend, and she kept little “treasures” in bell jars in her home. I lived with her my last year at A&M (Whoop!), and shortly after I graduated and moved to Houston, she passed away due to congestive heart failure.

The anatomical heart in the bell jar on my forearm represents her heart; how much of an impact it had on me, and how much of an impact I can have on my family, friends, and the people I coach if I lead the way in taking care of my physical heart in ways she didn’t know how. And that, my friends, is how I got into coaching. #fullcircle

Also tattoo pro-tip/fun fact: if you’re going to get a tattoo, don’t just assume the artist knows everything about what you ask them to create. Before getting what happens to be my first real tattoo because my white girl tattoo doesn’t count, never once did I think to ask the Aboriginal Canadian princess who made this piece if she had actually drawn an ACCURATE anatomical heart. Rookie mistake but I asked all of my nurse friends and WE GOOD, Y’ALL.

Why is your Insta full of farm animals? Please explain.

I grew up on a small ranch west of Austin surrounded by everything but horses. Why no horses? Because horses = expensive. No one lives on the ranch currently, but we still raise livestock, so once a week(ish) I drive out there to feed, put out hay, fix fences, birth goats, castrate calves, drive tractors, chew tobacco, wear wranglers, shoot guns, skin deer… you get the idea. And then I take pictures of all of the (live) animals while I’m there. The goats are really cute, but the cattle are my favorite because they have been a life-long project, and they taste great.

So, basically, we can thank Becky’s hungry butt and Sadie’s threats for giving us Chelsea. Three hugs for Chelsea Montgomery!

Coaches Corner with Becky: WTF is Hungry Butt?

What the heck is a hungry butt and why do my coaches keep yelling that at me?! Well… maybe you know by now, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you: a hungry butt is a butt that is squeezed so tight it gives you a little wedgie. Your butt cheeks are literally eating your pants. So if you don’t got a wedgie, you ain’t tryin’ hard enough.

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve done a lot more hollow body work and things stemming from the hollow body position ever since I attended that lovely gymnastics certification just a few short months ago. And whether I’m coaching your class or working out in your class, I’m probably yelling “knees together, feet together, butt tight!” Is that just because I went to a certification and got really excited about the hollow position? I mean, I am excited and it was an awesome certification but… no!

It’s because I want you to be a better athlete.

We’re doing a lot of hollow body stuff because that creates tension everywhere in your body and requires that you use your core to its fullest potential. Typically, we don’t like to use or develop our core because it’s not exciting or sexy and we would much rather fly to the top of a pull-up bar in a bar muscle-up by thrusting our hips to the sky and chicken winging our way up, or for the majority of people, we’d rather deadlift 1,000 pounds.

But, I want to offer you three reasons why you should do the unsexy, hungry butt stuff instead.

  1. Gymnastics makes your core stronger, and with a stronger, better utilized core, you can improve literally every other thing you do in CrossFit (and life!). This means pull-ups, toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, yeah, but it also means front squats, power cleans, and even those precious deadlifts!
  2. A stronger core also means you’re more than likely being safer. Always complaining about your tweaked shoulder that you’ve been rolling and rolling but it’s not getting better? Or that chronic low back pain? Start using more core and stop relying on your limbs to get the work done and you’ll take some of the burden off those baby shoulders (and also ask your coaches what you should do to make it better and maybe go to Airrosti).
  3. Gymnastics promotes better body awareness. The load you are moving in gymnastics is your own body, which means, you need to know how to move your body through time and space in the most efficient way possible. Better body awareness means better lifts and better times.

As always, everyday you come into the gym is an opportunity to improve. If you come into the gym and you do everything on the whiteboard that day with intentionality, you’re going to see results. I guarantee it. It has been so exciting to hear people say how they have seen “all this hollow body work” improve their gymnastics, their lifts and how they feel it translating to lots of other stuff. Those results are why I do my job, and why I give it everything I’ve got week after week — because I want you guys to always improve and I want you to be excited about your own fitness. Keep up the good work, fam.

All my truest love,

Coach Becky