Self Defense Workshop at North!

Hey CFK!

Next Saturday, February 8th our very own CFK athlete Jeff Cravens will be hosting a self defense seminar at the North location! Here’s everything you need to know:


  • When: Saturday, February 8, 11:30 a.m. (duration: 75 minutes)
  • Where: CFK North
  • Cost: $15
  • How to register: email Rick
  • Prerequisites required: NONE!
  • Attire: Normal workout gear you can move around in

Who it’s for:

This workshop is for anyone who….

  • Wants to feel more prepared in protecting themselves and their loved ones in the case of a bad situation
  • Wants to learn “situational avoidance” (i.e. how to minimize your chances of encountering a bad situation)
  • Wants to feel more capable in life!
  • Wants to get a great workout while learning how to deliver powerful punches and kicks!

About the Course

Introductory self-defense seminars are intended to improve situational awareness and provide self-defense skills that are simple and safe to learn and are immediately usable by virtually anyone. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art that adapts natural body movements to self-defense situations. Far less artistic than it is brutal, Krav Maga is considered by many experts to be the most effective self-defense system in the world.

During this seminar, participants will learn basic combatives such as palm strikes, groin kicks, and hammer fists, as well as crucial self defense skills like wrist grabs, hair grabs, and hand chokes. Also covered will be the importance of situational awareness, self defense vs. self protection, and defending against random attacks.


About the Instructor


In addition to being a regular CFK 5:30 am’er, Jeff is a black belt in Krav Maga and also studies Muay Thai kick boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is an instructor at the National Academy of Martial Arts in Oak Ridge, and previously served 5 years in the Tennessee State Guard.

Hot to Trot 2019 – Volunteers needed!

Splashing (err… handing out water to) thirsty runners is a CFK Thanksgiving Day Tradition!

We’re approaching 10 years of handing out water and cheering folks on as they run and walk down Parkside Drive at the crack of dawn to welcome in the holiday. Please join us either by participating in the race (see below for discount code), or helping out at the water table!

There are thousands of runners/walkers each year, and they’re all thirsty! We need plenty of helping hands so if you’d like to help, please see the info below to sign-up.

*If volunteering at the water table, make sure to wear rain boots as the water can get chilly when it spills.. Coffee will be provided!

Volunteer Info:

  • Meet at 7:00 am at Steak ‘n Shake parking lot in Turkey Creek to get the table set-up by 7:30 am
  • The race starts at 7:30 am, and usually ends around 9:30 am
  • Check the weather and wear warm clothes and rain boots for water spills
  • Coffee will be provided, as well as copious amounts of high fives, fist bumps, and warm hugs!

CF Squared: CrossFit for Cystic Fibrosis 2019

2019 will be our 5th annual CF Squared event! Check out all of the details below, and read coach Johnny’s testimonial on what the event means to us at CFK.


Team format: 2-person teams (any sex)

Divisions: Rx, Rx-ish, Beginner

Cost: $40/athlete (includes event t-shirt!)

Date & Time: Saturday, May 4, 2019 @ 10:30 a.m.

Location: Crossfit Knoxville (West Location)

T-shirt Design: 

Event Sign-up Link:


The Workout:


In teams of 2, complete the following for time:


3 Rounds:

500m Simultaneous Row

21 Alternating Thrusters, each

*5 Burpee penalty for setting the bar down


Thruster weights: Rx (95/65), Rx-ish (65/45), Beginner (45/25)


Get your partners now and register at the link above or below, or sign up and show up, and we’ll pair you up when you arrive! (Or, Johnny will be your partner)

“As some of you may know, when I was 4 years old my 4-month-old sister was taken from my parents by Cystic Fibrosis. It was a terrible experience for them and obviously changed their lives forever. When I was young, Cystic Fibrosis wasn’t something people survived but with advancements in treatments, procedures, and medications; people are living longer and more fruitful lives with CF. All your donations will go towards finding an actual cure. Adding Tomorrows and Living Today!


I’m Signed up and willing to do the scaled version with as many people as necessary so everyone has a partner! Our 5th annual CF Squared Fundraiser event page is up and running. Click the link below and please come sweat/hang out with us on May 4 to raise money and awareness for the East TN Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”


– Johnny



2019 CrossFit Open & CFK Games

On February 21, hundreds of thousands of CrossFitters worldwide will tune in and gear up for 5 weeks of friendly competition. Think about that for a second. What other event brings so many people together to celebrate something so positive and meaningful as our health and fitness? If you’re on the fence and wondering whether the CrossFit Open is for you, let me make that easy for you.



At CFK, we will have an Rx, Scaled and Beginner division, so whether you’re in your 10th year, or 10th day, sign-up and join us.

Note: The online competition will not have a beginner division, but we will here at CFK


“But I don’t like to compete, I just want to get fit and have fun.”


Great! Do the Open. You don’t have to compete with anybody if you don’t wish to, but I guarantee that through participating in the Open with us, you’ll:


  1. Push yourself harder than you have all year, likely setting a PR or doing a movement you’ve never been able to before. I can’t recall a year where at least a handful of CFK’ers get their first pull-up, toes-to-bar, muscle-up, or set a weightlifting PR.
  2. Learn that you can go to places of discomfort that you weren’t sure of before (and that it will be o.k.) thus setting you up for a more successful year of training in 2019.
  3. Have an absolute blast tuning in and hanging out each week with all of your CFK buddies, cheering each other on, high fiving, chest bumping, and ringing PR bells.


No matter your motivation, the Open offers something for everyone. If you enjoy competing with your friends, this is the mecca of fitness competitions! If you only want to compete with yourself, this is the perfect yearly benchmark. If this is your first year, go have a blast and set the bar for years to come. If you’re not into competing but you’re here for improved fitness and long-term health and wellness, then come have fun doing some tough WODs and learn something new about yourself in the process.

Are you Ready to get started? Here’s all you need to know about the Open schedule, and what we’ll be doing to celebrate it at CFK:


19.1 – 19.4 – Saturday Showdown @ each location (2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16)

Saturday mornings, in place of the regularly scheduled CF class (8:30 – 10:30 a.m.), we’ll run heats at each location during weeks 1-4. This is your time to shine! We will also be tracking participation rates at each location, and the winning gym will host…


19.5 – Friday Night Lights! (Friday, March 22)

The final Open WOD. The gym with the most athletes, per capita, to complete 18.1-18.4 will play host to 18.5 WOD and after party!


The 2019 CFK Games (Saturday, April 6 @ CFK West)

Our annual 1-day inner-gym competition to crown the fittest in the gym! We’ll have Rx, Scaled, and Beginner, and Masters divisions.


Here’s how to register:

  1. Sign-up for the CrossFit Open HERE.
  2. Register for the CFK Games HERE (Please note your desired division Rx, Scaled, Beginner)

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I’m not sure if I should (or, am ready to) do the Open, should I?

A: Yes.


Q: What exactly is the “CFK Games”??

A: As stated above, our annual inter-gym competition! We get together on the 2nd Saturday following the Open, do a few workouts, cheer each other on, high five, and hand out some medals. Anyone can participate whether you do the Open or not, however, your finishing position in the Open compared to the rest of your division counts as your first score at the CFK Games. This means that it usually weighs between 15-20% of your total CFK Games Score.


Q: Which division should I compete in?

A: You don’t need to designate it right this moment. See what the first workout is, view the scaling options, and then decide.


Q: I really want to try the Rx workouts, but I’d like to compete in the scaled division at the CFK Games. Can I do that?

A: Yes, but your CFK Games score might suffer. Your Open performance weighs intro your CFK Games scoring (about 1/5 of your total score), and we have to be able to compare athlete-to-athlete in each division. Therefore, you can either choose to do each Open workout twice (once as Rx and once as scaled for CFK Games scoring), or choose to only perform the Rx workouts, but you’ll begin the CFK Games at a slight deficit.


Q: How do I register for a heat time on Saturdays?

A: We will have a heat schedule posted in Wodify under the “CFK Games” program on Friday. Simply open the class schedule, filter to the “CFK Games” program, and reserve your spot in a heat!


Q: What if I can’t make Saturdays for the Open throwdowns?

A: We’ll do our very best to program the Open WODs on Mondays during CrossFit class. However, if logistics do not allow us to do so, you’ll need to perform the Open WODs during Open gym.


Q: What is the deadline for submitting scores?

A: For the CrossFit Open (online), you’ll need to submit prior to Monday at 8 p.m. EST. For the CFK Games, you’ll need to submit your score prior to the next Open WOD being released.


Q: How do I submit my scores?

A: For the online competition, submit at For the CFK Games, your score will be recorded if you complete the workout on Saturdays or Mondays during class. If performing on your own, submit scores via email (photo of scoresheet) to [email protected].


Q: Is there a beginner division?

A: Yes, in the CFK Games. Not in the CrossFit Open online competition. We will have a beginner version of each Open workout posted in Wodify!


4-Part Self Defense Series

At CFK, we talk often about the benefits of functional movement and functional training.  These are buzzwords, but it boils down to training for real-life situations so we’re ready for anything life throws at us.


We’re constantly bombarded with stories in the news about situations in which we hope to never find ourselves. The unfortunate reality is, we might encounter people in this life who intend to harm us or harm those we’re with. Just as we train in class to be prepared for life, we have to also train to be prepared to defend ourselves.


Enter our 4-part self-defense series with Jeff Cravens! Outside of dominating 5:30 a.m. classes at West, Jeff is a black belt in Krav Maga and instructor at National Martial Arts.


“Introductory self-defense seminars are intended to improve situational awareness and provide self-defense skills that are simple and safe to learn and are immediately usable by virtually anyone. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art that adapts natural body movements to self-defense situations. Far less artistic than it is brutal, Krav Maga is considered by many experts to be the most effective self-defense system in the world.” -Jeff Cravens


Whether you can make all 4 workshops, or just one or two, this series will help you develop the skills to recognize and avoid potentially bad situations and defend yourself should you need to.

Price: $15/session ($40 for the entire series if paid up front)


How to Register:

Email Coach Rick

*Be sure to let us know whether you’d like to sign up for all 4 in advance



Part 1 – Wednesday, February 6 (5:30 – 7:00 p.m.)

Part 2 – Saturday, February 9 (11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

Part 3 – Wednesday, February 13 (5:30 – 7 p.m.)

Part 4 – Saturday, February 16 (11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)



CFK West



Anyone. No prerequisites or prior knowledge necessary. This course is meant to prepare anyone to know how to recognize the signs of a potentially bad situation, and give them some tools to use to get out of it.

Course Outline

Part 1:

Mindset – Paranoid vs. Prepared, Self Protection vs. Self Defense, Importance of Training

Combatives: Straight punches/palm strikes/eye strikes

Self-Defense Techniques: Wrist grabs, Chokes (front, side), Escape mount and get up


Part 2:

Combatives: Hooks, Overhands, Elbows

Self-Defense Techniques: Hair grabs, Chokes with push/pull, chokes against the wall


Part 3:

Combatives: Upper Cut, Hammer Fist, Mouth of Hand

Self-Defense Techniques: Carotid choke, Rear naked choke, Bear hugs


Part 4:

Combatives: Groin kicks, Front kicks, Clinch/knees

Self-Defense Techniques: Side headlock, Guillotine, Full Nelson

13.1 and CFK

13.1: That’s the number of miles you’ll run around East Tennessee to complete the Covenant Health Knoxville half-marathon.If the thought crossed your mind but you weren’t sure you could do it, or maybe you’re no stranger to racing and you’re ready to reach for a new PR; this is for you. Fitness comes in many forms and training at CFK prepares us to perform better in daily life, as that’s the goal.  It also helps us to set and achieve goals or take on new challenges. Take the challenge today and come train with us for the Covenant 1/2!


When training for a race as a CFK athlete, there’s often confusion about what to do on which days and many times people end up over or undertraining and getting hurt. The goal is to build an aerobic base, improve running technique, increase speed, and promote the overall flexibility necessary to stay healthy as a runner without sacrificing the strength and power needed for everyday life. Trying to do both on your own can become overwhelming.  A customized program from a coach who’s walked the walk is critical to success.


The CFK Endurance Half-Marathon program is unique because we blend the strength and conditioning components that exist at Crossfit Knoxville with a traditional running program to complement not take away. This isn’t a cookie cutter training program. While you’ll be training in a group, each athlete will be focused on his or her individual needs. The CFK Endurance “Team” aspect and support from your training partners is an added critical bonus. Who doesn’t need a little extra accountability and motivation when things get tough, right?


Your weekly schedules will be designed around individual training needs, based on the current Crossfit class programming (scaling provided for each day you will be expected to attend), and fully customized to your individual requirements.  Whatever your goals, we can help you get to work. 


If you’re still on the fence and have a few questions, shoot me an email and let me help. Training starts in January and I’d love to see you there!

Upcoming 1/2 Marathon Training Program

Cost: $360 +tax ($30/week for the 12-week program)

Non-CFK Members: $600 +tax ($50/week includes 12-week CrossFit membership)

Duration: 12 weeks

How to register: Email coach Mary

(Not currently a CFK Member? Fill out This Form)


What you get:

  • Bi-weekly group training sessions with coach Mary
    • Training sessions will mix short interval, long interval, and time trial efforts
    • Athletes will receive instruction & coaching on running technique, pacing & strategy, mental approach, and mobility necessary to perform their best on race day (see below)
  • Weekly custom scaling for your Crossfit WODs
    • Integrate mixed-modal training with your running in order to maintain and build core strength for faster finish times!
    • Find balance between disciplines to help you become a more healthy and durable athlete
  • Race-Day coaching
    • Everyone needs a helping hand on race day! Mary will be on the course to help you pace, get you water, and cheer you on to the finish!


**If you’re up for the full marathon, please contact Mary directly for an individualized training program sure to propel you to that PR!


Why Technique? 

The way you run directly correlates to how fast you run. Why is this? It’s all boils down to efficiency. The most efficient runners exert the most power with the least effort. If there’s a flaw in your gait, no matter how small, it’s going to compound over the thousands of strides taken in a race, leading to lost power and speed or worse, injury.


Why Mobility?

Mobility and recovery work keep your body healthy and ready for the next training session. Many overuse injuries (plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis) and acute injuries (pulled calves, hamstrings, hip flexors) can be avoided with properly executed mobility and recovery work. These things aren’t “sexy” or “fun” so few runners will take the time to perform on their own. A coach who holds you accountable in taking care of your body will keep you healthy and strong going into race day.


Why Pacing/strategy/mental approach?

Ever come out too fast on race day trying to “keep up with the crowd”, only to crash and burn during the last few miles? This was likely because you didn’t either:


a. have a plan, or..

b. stick to your plan


If you didn’t have a plan, the first step is developing one. A pacing strategy that will keep you consistent throughout the race with the energy to push the last few miles is hard to dial in. Coach Mary will work with you individually to make sure you’ve got the right plan.


Sticking to your plan is all about mental toughness, which needs to be practiced just like anything else. Sticking to your plan regardless of external circumstances, and knowing how to get back to your plan if you get derailed during the race are tricky skills to develop, but lead to huge success when mastered.


If you’re interested in learning more about our approach to endurance training and other programs offered, click here!

Girls on the Run December 5k

The Girls on the Run mission is “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”


We love what this organization stands for and what they do for young girls here in Knoxville, which is why we’re always excited to partner with them for their 5k event!


This season’s 5k is this Saturday, December 8. If you’d like to run in the race, click this link to register:


If you’d like to register to be a volunteer at the water table, click here:


*If volunteering at the water table, please arrive at the parking lot at 9:15 to help set up!

Safety City Park
2200 Safety City Way
Knoxville, TN 37919


If you’d like more information on how to get involved further with this wonderful organization, click here:


Or, email Terry Keltner at [email protected]


We hope to see you there!

Holiday Hours 2018

Class closings and schedule changes for the 2018 holiday season:


Wednesday, October 31, 2018 (Halloween)

Limited Hours:

West – Last class 6:30 p.m.

North – Last class 6 p.m.


Thursday, November 22, 2018 (Thanksgiving)



Friday, November 23, 2018 (Black Friday)

Limited Hours:

West – 9:30am, Noon, 3:30pm, 4:30pm

North – 9am, Noon, 4pm, 5pm


Friday, December 21, 2018 (12-days of Christmas WOD)

Limited Hours

Both Locations – 6:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., noon, 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Normal Class Schedule


Monday, December 24, 2018 (Christmas Eve)



Tuesday, December 25, 2018 (Christmas Day)



Wednesday, December 26, 2018 (Boxing Day)

Limited Hours

West – 9:30am, noon, 3:30pm, 4:30pm

North – 9am, noon, 4pm, 5pm


Monday, December 31, 2018 (New Year’s Eve)

Limited Hours

West – last class 5:30 p.m. 

North – last class 5 p.m.


Monday, January 1, 2019 (NYD)

ONE WOD – both locations 10am

Secret City 1/2 Marathon Training Program

Are you a runner, looking to take your fitness to the next level?  Are you a seasoned road racer, looking for a half-marathon PR?  Or, maybe you just do-a-lott-o’ CrossFit, but are looking to crush that first half! CFK Endurance can help you meet your goals.


Have you ever noticed how much of CrossFit relies on running or endurance, aka aerobic capacity, to perform well?  Here’s your chance to specifically train that aerobic energy system to help propel you to new heights in your WODs, as well as complete a kick-ass milestone… the half-marathon!


East Tennessee is blessed with some of the best places to race and train.  The Secret City ½ Marathon in Oak Ridge offers a fast course, that winds along a waterfront and through neighborhoods and the course is easily accessible to spectators, friends, and family. 


Ready to hit the roads with us?  Contact Coach Mary to talk about your goals and/or sign-up for the training program!

Secret City Half-Marathon

12-Week Half Marathon Training Program: September 1 – November 17, 2018


Cost: $250

Race Day: November 17, 2018

How to register: Email coach Mary


First class: Saturday, September 1st, 2018 at 7 am (programming starts Monday, August 27)

Weekly Endurance class options: (you’ll have the option of meeting in AM at North or PM at West)

                Tuesday: 6 am at CFK North

                Tuesday: 6:30 pm at CFK West

                Saturday: 7 am at location TBD



  • Bi-weekly group training sessions with coach Mary
    • Training sessions will mix short interval, long interval, and time trial efforts
    • Athletes will receive instruction & coaching on running technique, pacing & strategy, mental approach, and mobility necessary to perform their best on race day
  • Weekly training schedule
    • Integrate mixed-modal training with your running workouts in order to maintain and build core strength for faster finish times!
    • Find balance between disciplines to help you become a more healthy and durable athlete
  • FinalSurge account login
    • Track your training and collaborate with your coach via the app to maximize your training minutes!
  • Race-Day coaching
    • Everyone needs a helping hand on race day! Mary will be on the course to help you pace, get you water, and cheer you on to the finish!

About Coach Mary


“Set a goal and if it’s easy to achieve, then we’ll set a bigger one,” words endurance coach, Mary Cates says often. Her goal is to build faster, stronger and healthier athletes and help them on the road to success.


Mary started running track in middle school and ran competitively through high school and college, but it wasn’t until she graduated that she understood the need for balance as an athlete. “I’d only focused on running. Putting up as many miles as I could, and over time, my body was starting to rebel against me a little.”


A few years later, Mary faced a different challenge, battling cancer and again, trying to find that balance of staying active while keeping her body as healthy as possible in order to fight her disease. It was during that time that Mary tried her very first Crossfit class. “It was so intimidating but there were so many things I struggled with, that I knew I really needed to stick with it.” And she did. She ran her first ultramarathon a few months after starting at CFK and fell in love with making the two sports work together.


Now Mary’s goal is to help other people run efficiently, build endurance and gain strength, but one of the things she’s most proud of is the CFK Endurance community. “We’ve become like a little family within an already amazing family. We go to each other’s races, no matter how far away, and we’re out there giving support and pacing to help people get to the finish. Our motto is that no one runs alone.”


When Mary’s not coaching athletes, you can find her spending time in the mountains or racing anything from the 5k to 100milers!


SOGO 2018: Bonus Points-A-Plenty!

Here are all of the ways you can earn bonus points during #SOGO2018! To register for any of our amazing workshop opportunities, email [email protected]. To register for any of the upcoming races, click the link in the description below. See you out there!

Girls on the Run 5k


What: 5k race for a great organization! Be a running buddy for one of the girls, or run on your own and support Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville!

When: Saturday, May 5

Where: West High School | 3300 Sutherland Ave | Knoxville, TN 37919

5k Starts: 10 am

After the race: Be sure to stick around for Happy Hair, face painting, and finish line photos!


Mudders Day Madness 5k 


What: 5k Mud Run to support the Harmony Family Center. Join the CFK Team during registration, or run on your own!

When: Saturday, May 12

Where: Montvale | 4910 Montvale Road | Maryville, TN 37803

Race Starts: 10 am


Crossover Symmetry Workshops with Coach Cameron

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Improved shoulder stability and strength for improved posture, performance, and long-term shoulder health.

When & Where: Saturday, May 5 @ 10 am (CFK North); Saturday, May 12 @ 11 am (CFK West)


Running Workshop With Coach Mary

Registration: email [email protected]

What: In-depth coaching from the best running coach around, our very own Mary Cates! We’ll talk technique, pacing strategy, proper warm-up and cool down for improved performance, and run some 400’s!

When & Where: Tuesday, May 8 @ 6:30 pm (Tom Black Track, UT Campus)


Kettlebell Workshop with Coach Jonathan

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Everything you could ever hope to know about one of the best strength and conditioning tools out there, the kettlebell!

When & Where: Wednesday, May 9 @ 6 pm (CFK North)


Muscle-up Workshop with Coach Johnny

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Improve your muscle-up capacity, or learn to do your first ever! Skills and drills to help you master the rings.

When & Where: Saturday, May 19 @ 11:30 am (CFK West)


Baseline Nutrition with Coach Sara

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Just what it sounds like. Low hanging fruit to help jump start your nutrition. We talk carbs, proteins, and fats, how much to consume, when to get them in, and how to do it.

When & Where: Saturday, May 19 @ 9 am (CFK West)


Grocery Shopping with Coach Sara

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Grocery shopping trip with our nutrition coach! She’ll show you how to navigate the aisles, read and interpret food labels,  and which foods to buy organic and which not.

When & Where: Sunday, May 20 @ 9 am (Whole Foods)


Digestion Workshop with Coach Sara

Registration: email [email protected]

What: Everything you need to know about your digestive tract. You can eat the right foods in the right quantities, but if your gut isn’t healthy, you won’t absord those nutrients! There are simple ways to create a healthy gut, and coach Sara will show you how!

When & Where: Saturday, May 26 @ 8 am (CFK North)