Week In Preview – April 3rd, 2017

Happy April!

Hopefully you all enjoyed the April Fool’s joke we had and didn’t try to cancel your membership for fear of all the burpees!

Keep your eye out for the newsletter and athlete accomplishments for March.  If you didn’t get in your own accomplishment or one for someone else, it’s not too late to send them to [email protected]

While it’s fresh on our minds and before the end of the month, congrats to ALL the racers this weekend!  We had some people do amazing things in completing the relay, half-, and full-marathons this weekend, and even one completing an ultra of over 70 miles.  You guys are all killing it!  Recover this week and let’s kill it again!

This weekend is the CFK Games!  Come throw down to see who is the fittest around!  If you haven’t signed up, e-mail [email protected]

What’s in your week??

Monday – Leg Day No Squats

All legs today, but no heavy squatting!  Three rounds with box jumps, pistols, and moderately heavy deadlifts.  This should be a very fast paced metcon.  We’ll have plenty of scaling options for pistols, so show up and try some out!

Tuesday – Tank Top Tuesday is Back!

Get out those tanks, guys and girls!  We’re working those guns today with some push press, strict pull-ups, and handstand work.  Get ready for a shoulder and lat burn!

Wednesday – All Out Intervals

Two minutes of work and two minutes of rest between double-unders, unbroken wallballs, and then max calorie row.  Get through the first two movements quick and get as many calories as you can before time runs out!

Thursday – Work Fast to PR!

This one is a little different!  We’ll start a 20 minute clock, then go through 5 rounds of power cleans and burpee pull-ups.  The faster you finish the more time you have to build to a 1 RM power clean before the clock runs out!

Friday – RED Friday Liam

Liam begins and ends with an 800 m run with a 45/25-lb plate carry.  In the middle it’s Murph style:  100 T2B, 50 Front Squats at 155/105, and 10 rope climbs, break it up however you want.

Saturday – CFK Games!

Gather at the West gym for the 2017 CFK Games!  It’s going to be a blast with some killer workouts to find out who the fittest of the gym is.

Hope to see you at the CFK Games on Saturday!  After the Open and the races, it’s time to start setting some goals!  Think about what you may want to achieve in the next few months and talk to a coach about it.

See you on the floor.

-Coach Scott

Week In Preview – March 27, 2017

The end of the Open has arrived!  Congrats to everyone who participated in the Open for their first time, or even if you’re a veteran of the competition.  We saw quite a few amazing things happen including first pullups, muscle-ups, PRs on snatches, and breakthroughs in drive and spirit within the competition environment.  From all the coaches, congrats to everyone who participated and thanks for letting us be a part of your journey.

And though the Open may be over, it’s just the beginning for many of us!  CFK Games is going down on Saturday, April 8th!  If you haven’t already e-mailed Coach Rick to get signed up, do so ASAP!  It will be a blast.

Still yet, we have an opportunity for a new start!  Undoubtedly the Open revealed something to all of us about our fitness.  Maybe it revealed a lot of things!  Take a minute to think about one thing from each workout, or one overarching theme from the Open, upon which you would really like to improve.  Maybe you want to get better at gymnastics now, or your engine just killed you in the workouts.  Perhaps you need to get a lot stronger, or maybe just improve mobility so you don’t get no-repped on your squats.  Think about it, then talk to a coach about it!  Set some goals, then make a plan to re-test.

We’ve been wrapped up in the Open season and realized that we have forgotten one of the very cool things at our core:  RED Fridays!  Many of us never forgot, but we did forget to announce them!  We’ve seen you still in red on Fridays, and we’ll be sure to put our fallen heroes back on the board.  Work a little harder.  Complain a little less.  Remember Everyone Deployed.

We have some other exciting news as well!  Our CFK Endurance team is getting ready to run the Covenant Half and Full Marathons this weekend, and we’re going to be out there supporting them!  Check out this blog post to see how we’re setting up an aid station for them next weekend!

Now let’s see your first week post Open!

Monday – Helen

The LAST thing anyone wants to hear after the Open:  classic CrossFit girl WOD Helen.  3 rounds of 400 m runs, 21 American Swings, 12 Pull-ups.  A great test, but be conservative if you did 17.5 on Sunday.

Tuesday – Heavy Front Squats

5 sets of front squats decending in reps.  Start with a heavy 5, add some weight and go down to 4.  Add weight, down to 3.  Go all the way to 1.

Wednesday – This workout is the B’s…

Start off with a little handstand skill work, but then get into the B’s:  Burpees and Box Jumps.  10 rounds of 10 each.

Thursday – Snatch Day!

Don’t skip snatch day!  Technique AND heavy lifting.  Work on snatches plus tempo overhead squats, then some snatches and overhead squats, and finally work up to a heavy single!

Friday – RED Friday Chief!

Wear your red or do some burpees!  We’re doing the Chief today!  5 rounds of 3 minute AMRAPS with 1 minute of rest in between.  The AMRAP will be 3 power cleans, 6 push-ups, and 9 air squats.

Saturday – Partner Row-athon!

Partner up in teams of 2-3 and get your row on!  45 minutes for max distance.  Come up with a good team name and cheer each other on!

That’s it for our week.  No rest for the fit!  Don’t forget to think about some goals and set them for the coming months.  Also, if you haven’t seen the post already, check out what the Endurance crew is doing next week!  We’re looking forward to getting out there and cheering them on and we hope to see you there!

Supporting CFK Runners!

Ever wanted to run a half or full marathon? No? What about showing your support to hundreds of East Tennesseeans, including our own CFK Endurance team? The Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is Sunday, April 2 and we’d love for you to be a part of our official Sequoyah Hills support crew. Last year we went “rogue” and made our own little cheering squad along the route. But we were such a hit, the neighborhood association invited us to be a part of this year’s official group. Sequoyah Hills is one of the toughest but coolest parts of the race and runners will love all the extra TLC coming from our big green tent.

Make signs. Make mimosas. It’s nothing formal but it IS a lot of fun. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details as they come your way.

Row’d Royalty!

Competition season is upon us and we’ve got several performance challenges coming up!  We’re kicking off the new year with Row’d Royalty!  This is a rowing competition much like the CrossFit Open with new workouts released each week on Thursday, and you have until Monday to complete them and post your score.

The competition officially starts on Thursday, January 5th and will conclude on Monday, January 30th.

Entry fee is $20 to post your score online, see where you stack up as an individual AND a team!  We want to see how the whole gym compares to everyone else, but we want to see everyone push it between our two gyms, so we’ll also track the scores internally and see which gym has the highest participation AND who performs the best.

The gym with the most participation will get to host the after party as a celebration.

The gym with the highest performance will host the CFK Games in the spring.

WHHYYYYYYYY would I want to do MORE rowing????

Rowing shows up a lot in workouts week-to-week and the best way to get better at it is to just row more!  It’s a great monostructural form of exercise that is low impact and can easily be varied in intensity.

Test and retest is a great way to see where you are!  It’s a new year anyway, so why not see how your rowing fitness is and try to improve upon it?

Do I have to pay $20 to participate?

No, you don’t have to pay the $20.  We’re not making any money off of this, but we do want to represent the gym well!  If you still want to do the workouts and represent your side of town, just e-mail [email protected] with your scores every week.

Do I have to do the workout at the gym?

No!  We like seeing you at the gym, but you can do these workouts at home on your own rower, or if you’re traveling you can find a rower and do the workout then!

I’m vertically challenged and not well built for rowing!

Row’d Royalty has height divisions!

Okay, I’m in.  Where do I sign up?

Right here.

When do I do it?

Anytime!  But we will also host heats on Sunday mornings at both locations.

Week in Preview – December 19, 2016

Let’s start off with a HUGE congratulations to our Ultra runners, Allie Dorsey, Bridget Smith, Karen Rousseau, and Nathan Alexander!  They didn’t just run 50 miles this weekend, they did it up and down a mountain and all in under 12 hours!  Big thanks to Coach Mary as well for all her hard work with the crew!

If you have thought about running a long distance race, but 50 miles seems TOO long, Coach Mary also runs programs for everything from a 5k to 100 miles and in between.  Training for the Knoxville Half-Marathon will be starting up soon!  Keep an eye out for more details to come!


We hope you all enjoyed meeting Ike from Progenex this week!  We tasted some great stuff and are excited about carrying the products at CFK.  If you have questions about any other products, just ask a coach!


This week we will have our regularly scheduled classes EXCEPT when we throw down with Friday Night Lights!  Remember, we’re running two heats 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.  E-mail [email protected] with your preferred heat time!


Don’t forget the half-time competitions of best bench and handstand walk.  Prizes may be involved!!!!!


Keep the holiday spirit alive and BYOB for the after party following the final heat.


Now for the rest of the week!

Monday – Interval work

Every 5 minutes for 3 sets, try to get your work done in 2 minutes or less.  Starts off alternating hang power snatches and calorie row, then switch to push jerks and shuttle sprints.  Gotta love those 3 touch turns!

Tuesday – Wear long pants!

20 minute AMRAP of 400 meter runs, wall balls, and rope climbs:  Looks like a lot of fun!  Don’t just lie down at the 20 minute mark!  We’ll keep it going until 30 and you have the remaining 10 minutes to build to a heavy 5 rep set on deadlift.  This is not intended to be a 5 RM because you’re in a fatigued state, just feeling a couple heavy sets while you’re tired.

Wednesday – 5 rounds of almost everything

Back squats, double unders, muscle ups, double unders, push jerks, double unders.  Goal is 15-20 minutes, but loads will be relatively heavy.  Back squat ~60% of 8 RM from 11/30, push jerks at least 2 rounds unbroken.

Thursday – Gymnastics and Man Makers

EMOM for 10 min alternate with handstand walks and the dreaded hollow hold + v-up combo.  Don’t let your shoulder touch the floor!  Follow up with E2MOM for 5 sets of 5 dumbell man makers.  Push-up + row + push-up + row + power clean + push press


It’s that time of year!  Just like the song goes:  1, 2-1, 3-2-1, 4-3-2-1, etc.  The number of the movement is the number of reps you perform.  We’ll set up stations, warm-up the movements, then get after it.

1 – Muscle-up
2 – Shoulder-to-Overhead (155/105)

3 – Hang Power Clean (155/105)
4 – Deadlift (155/105)
5 – Burpee
6 – Box Jump (24″/20″)
7 – Toes-to-Bar
8 – Russian KB Swing (53/35)
9 – Double-Under
10 – Wall Ball (20/14)
11 – Pull-up
12 – Power Snatch (155/105)

Saturday – Partner Wheelbarrow

Running, wheelbarrowing, and medball sit-ups.  Alternate so that each partner gets to be the wheelbarrow!

We hope you have a happy holiday and see us next week before the new year hits!  More great workouts coming your way!

If you want to get a jump start on the new year and set up a nutrition plan, contact Coach Cassidy ([email protected]) or me ([email protected]) to discuss a plan for the new year!

See you on the floor!

-Coach Scott

Half and Full Marathon Training

Looking for something a little different in your training?

Want to conquer a milestone?

Want to just get better at running and increase your aerobic capacity?

Then check out Coach Mary’s spring training!

It seems like winter temperatures hit East Tennessee all at once but that’s the perfect time to start thinking about spring – Spring racing season that is.  Knoxville is lucky enough to host its own ½ & full marathon, which also includes a 5k and plenty of relay options for the race, which hits city streets on April 2.

The course isn’t for the faint of heart, with the half marathon rolling through some hilly portions of East Tennessee including Sequoyah Hills and a stretch of streets in the “Fort” just off the Cumberland strip.  The half’ers will then head towards Neyland Stadium for the big finish, while the full folks will continue winding around Old North Knoxville, East Knoxville and eventually making their way to Island Home, which is arguably one of the best spots of the entire race.  Then the course heads back across the Gay Street Bridge, through Market Square and on to Neyland Stadium for a big finish on the 50 yard line. 

If you’re curious about the race or what it takes to train, you can always ask me.  But you can also ask one of dozens of CFK Endurance team members who continue to race it each year.  It’s becoming a tradition and we’d love for you to be a part.  Our 10 week ½ marathon training starts in January but if you’re interested in the full 26.2, shoot me a message and let’s chat.  Be on the lookout for more details over the holidays and what you need to do to get signed up. 

And here’s my final tip – if you’re thinking about racing your first half or full marathon and the opportunity exists in your own backyard, just do it.  There’s something very unique about exploring your own city – on foot. 

Happy Holidays!

Coach Mary. 

Week in Preview – November 21, 2016

It’s Thanksgiving week!

We’d like you all to know how thankful we are to see you every week and to know the commitment you have put to your health.  Our number one goal is to make Knoxville healthier and for you to have the best experience when doing that.


Tag us with things you’re thankful for this week!  It can be anything on any social media!  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we want to celebrate with you!


Remember that we are closed Thanksgiving day, but we will be at the Hot 2 Trot 5k as part of our Holiday 5k Challenge!  We hope to see you there either running or volunteering at our water table.


Black Friday we have limited hours at both Locations:

North – 8:00, 9:00, 12:00, 4:00, 5:00

West – 8:30, 9:30, 12:00, 3:30, 4:30


Monday – Odd Ball

We’ve got a heavy front squat followed by some awkward movements.  Challenging crab walks plus some Kettlebell Headcutters!  Check these out before class, but don’t be afraid!

Tuesday – Track Day

400 m repeats with some rest between.  Your goal is to go hard and then stay within 80-90% for the remaining intervals.  Be intense.  Be consistent.

Wednesday – Weightlifting Cindy

20 rounds of a heavy power snatch and bodyweight movements.  Lots of scaling options!

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving!

Run a 5k!

Friday – Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel E. Scheibener

REMEMBER!  Limited Schedule!

Overhead squats, box jumps, muscleups, with a 1 minute rest between rounds.  You get a break, so we’re looking for speed on rounds.  Pick weights and skill levels to go unbroken.  Don’t run off because we have some core accessory work after class!

Saturday – Partner Saturday

Alternate full rounds with a partner of swings, cleans, deadlifts, and double unders.  Unbroken today!

We hope you have a safe and fun holiday.  Remember, ’tis the season for joy and merriment, but also slacking nutrition and gym attendance!  Set a goal for the holiday season.  Talk to a coach.  Find a battle buddy.  Be accountable and don’t wait for the new year.  We’ve got a nutrition workshop coming up on November 29th at our North location to help!  Let a coach know if you’d like to attend.


See you on the floor!

-Coach Scott

5k Challenge

Are you ready for a challenge?  

The average CrossFitter should posses the fitness necessary to complete a 5k and running distance is very much a part of CrossFit.  However, nobody want’s to show up at the box and run around the parking lot for 3.1 miles.  That’s where the CFK Holiday 5k Challenge comes in.  

The 5k is one of the best ways to test your fitness level and be opened up to the benefits of endurance training.  It’s the perfect distance to push yourself and your conditioning, but not so far that you’ll spend 3 days recovering on the couch.  Are you ready to take the CFK Holiday 5K Challenge and give yourself a goal to stay motivated?

We’ll kick off the holiday season and start with a traditional bench mark 5k on Thanksgiving Day at the annual  Hot to Trot 5k through Turkey Creek where a group of your peers will give you water and cheer you on.  Once you have your “baseline time” Coach Mary will provide an additional running workout each week to add to your current Crossfit training schedule.  Runners will do the additional weekly workout, along with the regular Saturday endurance class to train towards a 5k PR to ring in the New Year.   The Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k will be held on January 1st at Calhoun’s on the River. *Use discount code C5CrossFit for $5 off your Hot to Trot registration!

Hot 2 Trot
When:  November 24th
Where:  Farragut
Cost:  $30 before November 20th, use code C5CrossFit for $5 off

Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k
When:  New year’s day
Where:  Calhoun’s on the River
Cost: $20 before November 30th

CFK Holiday 5k Challenge FAQ’s:

Q-Who’s it for?
Anyone and Everyone.  It’s truly for anyone looking to boost fitness and have a goal to stay active during the holidays or just try a new challenge and have a little fun during the holidays

Q-What if I want to do a different 5k, or I’m traveling for Thanksgiving?
All good!  We are not sponsors and don’t make any money off of these races.  Thanksgiving day 5Ks have become very popular all over the country, so you can find one almost anywhere!

Q-What if I can’t run a full 5k?
That’s perfectly fine. You can run/walk and train through the holidays and hope for a PR on New Year’s Day.

Do I have to do both races?
No, but we can’t see improvement without a baseline time so we highly encourage you to do both!  

Q-What’s the cost to train?
Not a dime to train, though you do have to pay to race.  You’ll get 1 workout each week to add to your current crossfit program and you’ll attend Saturday morning Endurance class at 10am at West.

Q-I’ve never done more than the 600m warmup loop.  How am I supposed to do this?
All good!  That’s how we set benchmarks.  Take a run/walk approach and we’re sure you can finish it.  Talk to a coach or come to Endurance class before the first run to create a plan!

Q-Do I have to go to every Endurance class on Saturday?
It is not required to go to everyone, but it will be excellent training to help you reach your goals.  Try to get in at least one of the additional workouts every week if not both of them.

Q-I still have questions – who can help me?
Email coach Mary at [email protected]

Sweating Through Sickness

A real-life guide to working out with cancer, as a caregiver, or anyone dealing with chronic illness


I’ve been a competitive runner for more than 20 years.  Running and exercise are my passions and the things I do to relieve stress and find joy, but what happens when your body takes a detour and your fitness routine hits a dead end?  You take the “alternate route.”

Many of you know my story so I won’t bore you with many details, but I’m a cancer survivor and I spent months and months in and out of the hospital, in another state, living in a hotel, while I fought.  Fought like hell, with everything I had and while that might sound inspiring, believe me, at times it got ugly.  Physically and emotionally, my life felt like it wasn’t my own and the number one factor in that change – my inability to run and workout.  You see, running was my therapy.  It was honestly like a friend.  I’d suffered loss and even dealt with my diagnosis during runs and now, that part of my life was being put on hold.  BUT notice those two words: on hold.

At first, I managed that void pretty well, but then the weeks of being alone in that Durham hotel, starting taking a toll.  Though I had found a Crossfit gym in Durham and was able to do some things, I wanted and needed to run, but all I had the strength to do was walk.  So, I’d walk.  My dog and I would go up and down this amazing greenway route through the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area.  It was called the American Tobacco Trail and it was a God-send.  It was something small for me, but it was a start.  It gave me an emotional break and I was able to see some hope.  I felt better at treatments but I really looked forward to taking my little dog for our walks.  Then it happened — one day I decided to try… and run.  And I ran.  It was like someone gave me back a literal piece of my soul.  It was so slow, but to me it felt like I was flying.  1 mile.  I ran 1 mile.  I never thought as an ultramarathoner I’d be happy with 1 mile, but on that day, it felt amazing.  Eventually I regained my strength and honestly found my stride in a pretty short amount of time.  So today I have some advice for those of you who might be struggling through sickness, playing the role of caregiver or even having a difficult time finding the motivation to stick to a plan:

1.)    GIVE YOURSELF GRACE:  Especially if you’re struggling with an illness.  Life is so hard already and when your body doesn’t cooperate, it can often feel like it’s just too much.  Give yourself some grace.  Your body needs to rest and repair and sometimes that means missing out on the things you used to do.  It’s ok.  Those things will all be waiting for you when you’re rested and ready to re-enter the world.

2.)    GIVE YOURSELF SPACE:  When you’re battling a disease, you can often feel less than your best and many times your self confidence goes down the drain.  You don’t want the world to see you “at your finest” so you avoid exercise and working out altogether.  Rather than miss what used to be a reward for your body, find some great workouts you can do in your hospital, hotel room or the comforts of your home.  You don’t have to hit your favorite 5:30 class to work up a sweat, and trust me, they’ll still be there when you’re ready to return.

3.)    DO SET A SMALL GOAL: I ran a 5k with a group of friends, during my treatment and the goal was to get to the finish.  It was such a different role for me, but it still gave me a chance to be competitive and remember what it felt like to be back in a race.

4.)    MAKE FITNESS A PART OF YOUR ROUTINE…EVEN IF IT’S A FLEXIBLE ONE:  Just make the commitment to yourself every day.  Get up and do something active if you possibly can.  BUT my number one caveat here is to be flexible for whatever your illness hurls your way.  Set a goal, and know it may change, but having that as part of your daily routine will give you something to remind yourself that you..are still.. you.

5.)    GET PLENTY OF SLEEP: It’s the one thing I still don’t get enough of, but makes the biggest difference in how we feel.  When you’re fighting illness or you’re taking care of someone who is, sleep is the best medicine.  That’s not just a cliché’, that’s a fact.  Adding exercise to any treatment protocol is just going to add extra stress to your body.  But we want it and we need it, we just need sleep even more.

Life doesn’t care what your plans are and most of us are never really prepared for hearing the words, “you’re sick.”  But, if it happens, remember to be patient, find a focused fitness path, and be kind to yourself.  Come to think of it, those are words we should really embrace every day.


Coach Mary