I Am NOT A Victim


Written by CFK’s self-defense coach and PROTECTOR-IN-CHIEF…
Jeff Cravens

 


Thought for the moment: I am not a victim.

 

A defining characteristic of a victim is the loss of control over one’s life. Global pandemic. Mandated closures and lock-downs. Economic upheavals. Easy to feel victimized. But I don’t want to be a victim! So, I’ll be something else.

 

Most of us recognize this picture… it’s Tom Hanks and his buddy, Wilson, from the movie Cast Away.

 

Many may believe Wilson was created simply as a companion to the marooned and lonely Hanks. But the movie writers understood a very important principle in the psychology of survival.

 

Wilson was actually much more significant than just a friend. Wilson couldn’t do anything for himself… he needed help. Wilson NEEDED Tom Hanks. And that need elevated Hanks from victim, to RESCUER.

 

Were you a little surprised by the depth of emotion Hanks showed when Wilson was lost at sea? He hadn’t just lost a friend. In his mind, he had failed his main mission… his reason for surviving: to rescue his friend, Wilson.

 

So, back to you and me. Don’t want to be a victim? Then be a rescuer!

 

Find a way to serve someone. Make a gift for a friend, or mow a neighbor’s yard. Write letters to people you know… or don’t know (many are “trapped” in assisted living facilities).

 

Make someone smile. Get outside yourself.

 

For us “crossfitters” specifically, hit “like” on someone’s workout score… some of us are jazzed by that! Post your WODs or thoughts about your WODs on social media… major props to Diana Koza for that hilarious post-WOD face-plant pic!!

 

There’s one more survival tip from Cast Away I want to point out…

Give yourself a mission.

 

Tom Hanks had that one FedEx package he HAD to take back to the owner, it was his mission. What’s your’s?

 

Could be anything… a fitness goal, the “Twenty Committee” board, a weekly uplifting word to your family/friends… anything that is out in front of you, and requires you to do the next right thing.

 

So, hang in there my friends!! Be a rescuer, and make someone smile today.



self defense coach in Knoxville Tennessee

In addition to being a regular CFK 5:30 am’er, Jeff Cravens 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 Martial Arts in Oak Ridge, and previously served 5 years in the Tennessee State Guard.

Interested in learning self-defense? Shoot us a note HERE and we’ll send you details on our upcoming workshops!

 




Looking for At-Home Fitness?

Choose from one of our…

FIVE UNIQUE PROGRAMMING TRACKS!

Click HERE to schedule a free virtual consult with one of our professional coaches.

Introducing… CFK Go!


It’s GO Time! CFK Go is all about convenience, hard work, and results. In a fitness world where everything is too complicated, we’ve stripped things down to create an easy to use and insanely effective new workout track.

CFK Go doesn’t mess around – we get after it every workout, every day, every week with a training program built around dumbbell-focused, time priority, high-power output workouts. We took everything we love from different disciplines and brought them together in one simple, effective program.

Specifically, CFK Go combines the power of functional movements with the regime of traditional strength and conditioning. Each week of training consists of Full-Body and Push x Pull days through the week, and special weekend focuses of Saturday Squats and Sunday Sweat.

Scroll to the bottom to get a free sample week of workouts!

CFK Go Weeklong Snapshot…

  • MONDAY — Full-Body
  • TUESDAY — Push x Pull
  • WEDNESDAY — Body Pump & Full Body (Grind)
  • THURSDAY — Push x Pull
  • FRIDAY — Full-Body (Sprint)
  • SATURDAY — Saturday Squats
  • SUNDAY — Sunday Sweat

Whatcha Need for CFK Go…

Now, to get started with CFK Go, you can get by with only (1) pair of Dumbbells even if you don’t have a Jump Rope. The Jump Rope is highly recommended, but you can perform most of our CFK Go workouts by making a few easy substitutions.

Without a Jump Rope, you could substitute Mountain Climbers, Running in Place, “Phantom” Jump Rope Hops, Jumping Jacks or Plate Hops. These fast-paced cardio moves will give you a similar stimulus to the Jump Rope.

When choosing your Dumbbells to start CFK Go, we suggest you select your starting pair based on your goals. Are you STRONG, FIT, or CARDIO focused…

CFK Go | Your DB x Your Goals…

This is, of course, relative to each individual, but we can break it down by your individual goals and fitness levels.

If you’re new and just learning the movements, go for a lighter pair (10-20lbs) and shoot for a cardio-focused approach. Otherwise, see below:

  • STRONG — If you’re looking to get stronger and build more muscle, we recommend a pair of DBs between 50lb-35lb.
    • Athletes with this goal should be able to perform 5-7 unbroken reps of most movements with their DBs
  • FIT — If you’re looking to develop amazing fitness and lean muscle, we recommend a pair of DBs between 40lb-20lb.
    • Athletes with this goal should be able to perform 10-12 unbroken reps of most movements with their DBs
  • CARDIO — If you’re looking to get more cardio and burn fat, we recommend a pair of DBs between 25lb-10lb.
    • Athletes with this goal should be able to perform 12+ unbroken reps of most movements with their DBs

A Few Final Points…

What if You’re Just Learning the Movements?

As with any new program (or new movements), it might take some getting used to the weight as you learn the ropes. We always recommend that you focus on moving well and at a pace that you are comfortable with. You are always in control of the intensity in every workout. If you want to push it a little more on some days, go for it. If you want to pull it back a little on other days, it’s all good. Always do you!

What if You Want a Little Bit of Everything?

We love that! Our recommendation would be to have a pair of DBs that are a little bit on the heavier side for you, another pair that’s a little bit on the lighter side for you, and a third pair that is right smack in the middle between heavy and light. This way you can mix up the DBs you choose for each workout depending on your goal!


Get your FREE sample 1-week program!

Just fill out the form below and we’ll send you your first week of workouts!

Your Health, COVID-19, and What We’re Doing


Hi CFK Fam!

In light of recent concerns, we want to share an update on our plans to keep the gym the healthy space you all love.

As you already know, exercise is one of the best ways to keep your immune system strong. Paired with healthy nutritional habits and smart supplementation, regular exercise will help strengthen your resistance to illness of all kind, short and long term. So while the concern over spread of COVID-19 is real and should be taken seriously, please use this as an opportunity to assess your healthy habits across the board.

Yes, we want to wash our hands regularly and do things to mitigate the spread of germs. More importantly, we want to make sure we’re regularly active and eating a wide variety of whole foods, especially colorful veggies, while limiting our inflammatory foods such as sugars & alcohols and many artificial ingredients.

The habits you’ve been practicing over time and continue to practice now will have as high an impact on the state of your health and resistance to disease as the hygienic practices you implement now. Both are important, and should be evaluated.

Here are a few things we’re doing to maintain a clean environment, as well as a few things you can do while you’re in class to help out.

What we’re doing:
  1. CFK has always placed the highest priority on sanitation and cleanliness. Our owner and founder Johnny owned a cleaning company prior to finding CrossFit, and we’ve maintained a top-down approach to cleaning the gym since the beginning. All floors and touched surfaces get cleaned and disinfected daily, as well as a rotating schedule assuring that all equipment gets disinfected on a regular basis.
  2. We’re adding a disinfecting protocol with our coaches that assures all door handles, bathrooms, commonly touched surfaces get disinfected after each “block” of classes.
  3. The blue gymnastics mats get professionally cleaned regularly, and we’re scheduling extra cleanings on them currently. We will also be using disinfecting spray on these daily.
What you can do:
  1. Please wash your hands before and after each class, and give elbows instead of high fives.
  2. Pump-in and Pump out! We have hand sanitizers around the gym, please use a pump on your way in and on your way out each class.
  3. We have disinfecting wipes in each bathroom and buckets on the gym floor. Please take 1 wipe and wipe down your touched surfaces after class. Please be conservative as these have become harder to source. There is no need for more than 1, as the goal is to simply spread the liquid around to let the disinfecting agent do it’s job. One single wipe when used properly can disinfect a kettlebell, barbell, abmat and wall ball before needing another one, so please use wisely and share when appropriate.
  4. If you’re sick, please stay home, as you’ll heal faster that way. Get out for a walk and leave the intense exercise for when you’re healthy. The same goes for your kiddos. We love them, but please keep them home if they are not well.

 

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please reach out to me directly at 865-356-9000 or email me HERE.

 

Eat well, stay active, stay healthy, and we’ll see you out there!

 

-Coach Rick

Week in Preview, February 2nd, 2020


“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Mike Tyson

Supplement Spotlight:

“Go the Distance” with Extreme Endurance

If your looking for a way to increase your capacity for throwing it down in the gym look no further than extreme endurance tablets. You may have seen these products on our shelves recently,  but skipped out on their amazing benefits.  Extreme endurance has created a product that acts as a lactic acid buffer, and helps muscles to recover more than 5 times faster than their regular rate. As we workout we damage muscle fibers that allow blood creatine kinase levels to rise. Creatine kinase is an enzyme created from damaged muscles. The result of high levels of creatine kinase can manifest itself as muscle fatigue, decreased athletic performance, and even injury! Extreme Endurance is also known for its ability to decrease lactic acid production by up to 26%! The answer is clear… if you want to go the distance start with Extreme Endurance Tablets.

Image result for extreme endurance

 


Upcoming Events:

Bring-A-Friend Friday + 2 weeks Free!

This Friday, ALL Classes

Bring ’em out, bring ’em out! This Friday is BAFF, and all guests will receive 2 weeks free! So spread the word, and join us for an awesome sweat to close out week 1 of February! (Please forward your friends this waiver to fill out in advance)

 

Self Defense Seminar

This Saturday, North @ 11:30am ($15/person)

CFK’s very own Jeff Cravens will be holding a seminar for all athletes interested in empowering themselves in unforeseen circumstances.  The focus will be the self defense tactics of Krav Maga. Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art which focuses on natural body movements for protection against any attacker. Prepare for the unknown! In 75 minutes you will learn strikes and chokes that will help you come out on top in any future unforeseen events! Check out all of the details here, and email [email protected] to sign-up.

 

 

 

X-Over Symmetry Workshops

This Saturday, Both Locations @ 8am (Free)

Get those bulletproof shoulders! Learn how to properly use the X-Over bands to both increase shoulder strength & stability, and prevent or recover from injuries. No need to pre-register, just show up!

 


Weekly WODs:

 

Monday – “DO WORK” Field Day

This is a 45-minute calorie burning throw down with 20 stations of various movements. Run, row, tire flip, sledge hit, and kettlebell swing your way through this one. Fast and furious, or slow and steady… it’s your choice. Super fun, super challenging, let’s do this!

Tuesday – The Phoenix

Just as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, so will you in this triple “Death By” challenge – Death by swings, death by box overs, and death by pull-ups!

Wednesday – Squat Day

In our reset week, we take the weights down to 75% and work tempo. Lots of time under tension in this one, as we’ll add in a superset of Strict Press, and finish out with Tabata Abs to blast that core!

Thursday – Death Row

It’s back baby… A 20:00 EMOM that’s an absolute gut check! This one was last performed on 10/2/2019, so add a rep to either the calories or burpees from your previous score, and go for a 1 or 2 rep PR today!

Friday  – Bring-A-Friend Friday

We’ve got a fun and challenging “Double AMRAP” set up for February’s BAFF, so spread the word, bring out your buddies, wear your RED, and let’s tear this one up!

Saturday Community WOD

Welcome to GRIP CITY! We’ll bring the dumbbells out for farmer’s carries + Hang Power Cleans, running and air squats. Hydrate up, this one’s gonna be a sweat fest.

Saturday L2

This one is going to get nasty! Teams of 3, 3:00 at rotating stations with Back Squats (from the floor), Calories on the bike, and Toes-to-Bar. Plus, a GUNZ-OUT finisher that’s sure to fill the sleeves!

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.

Run Your City!


Knoxville Half Marathon Training Program


It’s almost the new year, which means it’s time to start training for the Knoxville half (or full) marathon!

We’re lucky enough to have one of the very best endurance coaches around right here at CFK, in Coach Mary Cates. Whether you’re a seasoned endurance athlete looking for a new PR, or you’re going for your very first half marathon finish, coach Mary’s program will help you crush it!

Check out the details on the Half Marathon program below. If you’re wanting to run the full 26.2, email Coach Mary to set up a free first consultation.


Program Details – Half Marathon

Cost: $360 ($30/week)

Duration: 12-weeks (January 6 – March 29)

Race Day: Sunday, March 29

How to register: email Coach Mary

Included:

  • Bi-Weekly group training sessions with coach Mary
    • Training sessions will mix short-distance, long-distance, 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 custom scaling for your CrossFit WODs
    • Integrate mixed-modal training with your running to maintain and build core strength for better durability on long runs
    • Find balance between disciplines to help you become a more well-rounded athlete
  • Race-Day Coaching
    • Everyone needs a helping hand on race day! Coach Mary will be on the course to help you pace, get you water, and cheer you on to the finish!

Typical Weekly Schedule:

Sunday – Run, programmed by Coach Mary

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – CrossFit (modified and scaled by Coach Mary)

Wednesday – CrossFit (modified and scaled by Coach Mary)

Thursday (2-a-day Training) – Training w/ Coach Mary + CrossFit

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday – Group training run

 

**If you’re up for the full marathon (15-week program), please contact Coach Mary directly for an individualized training program


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.

 

Girls on the Run 5k Water Table


The Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville is holding the fall 5k on Saturday, December 7 and CFK is bringing the water!

We’re honored to continue to be a part of this wonderful event and help an organization that helps young girls in Knoxville develop life skills through fitness and mentorship.

If you’d like to help with the water table, just email Coach Rick or sign-up on the sign-up sheet at the gym. If you’d like to run in the race, just click HERE!

Volunteer Info:

  • Meet at 9:00 am at the entrance to Safety City
  • The race starts at 10:00 am, and usually ends around 11:00 am
  • Check the weather and wear warm clothes and rain boots for water spills

Race Sign-Up: Click HERE

More info on Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville: Click HERE

 

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!

Week In Preview, November 10th, 2019


““We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.”

 

-George Orwell


Supplement Spotlight:

BlackMarket D-Aspartic Acid

You’ve probably seen this supplement on our shelves, and wondered why we vouch for this commonly unheard of supplement. D-Aspartic acid plays a critical role inside the body by increasing testosterone, and overall helps to stimulate the growth of muscle. One study proving these claims showed that 20 out of 23 men taking D-aspartic acid for 3 months had higher testosterone levels after supplementation. Almost all of the participants testosterone levels had grown from 30-60% over that brief 3 month period.

Blackmarket Labs D-ASPARTIC ACID

Even more importantly, D- Aspartic Acid increases the concentration of human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like growth factor. These important hormones allow bones and tissues to grow as well as regulate sugar and fat metabolism. If your ready to bring your libido, muscle mass, and sports performance to the next level try our BlackMarket Labs D- Aspartic Acid.

 

Upcoming Events:

  • Shoulder Stability Workshop

This Saturday, 8am, North location. Come learn how to use the symmetry bands to create BULLETPROOF shoulders! Whether it’s pain reduction, increased range of motion, or a Snatch PR you’re seeking, this is the program that will get you there. Five minutes a day is all you need, but the program must be done correctly. Come learn how this Saturday with coach Derrick!

 


Weekly WODs:

 

Monday – Veteran’s Day

We have a special Veteran’s Day Hero WOD planned for Day 1, as we honor the sacrifices of our veterans with “Donny”. Come ready for some heavy Deadlifts and Burpees!

!

Tuesday – Intervals

A little Turkish Get-up warm-up followed by an interval training Tuesday coming at you with a calorie/run option and single-arm snatches. These are longer intervals, so the focus will be finding a hard but manageable pace. This one is going to hurt a bit!

Wednesday – Squat Day

Week 6 of Squats, then a fun sprint twist to a classic “Girl” benchmark. Two more weeks before test day!

Thursday – Bodyweight

No weights or external objects today, just you and the clock! Push-ups, Lunges, Box Jumps, and Sit-ups await in this long AMRAP. Step it up with deficit push-ups if you’re up for an extra challenge!

RED Friday  – “Helen”

You read that right, we’ve got a RED Friday “girl” benchmark, and it’s a classic. Helen is referred to by many coaches, as the perfect workout. A beautiful blend of running, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups in just the right dosages to force INTENSITY. Can you say, “Gut Check”?!

Saturday –  Free Community WOD at 9 am

‘Round and ’round we go on this 4-station EMOM. Bring your friends and start the weekend with an early morning sweat sesh!

Saturday  – Level 2  at 10:15 am

AAALLLLL the barbells today! Partner chipper with four different barbell movements – Front Squat, Clean & Jerk, Power Snatch, Cluster. Come ready to grip and rip!

Why This Is Your Most Important CrossFit Open Ever


This is it. The big one. And you probably already had it written off. Over the past few weeks you’ve probably heard a few phrases thrown around that resemble something like:

“CrossFit has made too many changes over the years.”

“I wish it was the way it used to be when I had a shot at regionals.”

“Two Open’s in one year, that’s terrible for programming?”

And I have to stop and ask you…”Where’s your spirit man!?”

I just took a look at the CrossFit Open page from 2011 and you know what I saw? Absolute badasses. Lifting in their makeshift garage gyms with whiteboard walls from the Home Depot wearing Reebok Zigtech (remember those?)

I don’t know if we’ve been spoiled too long with the glorified baby food in pouches and lululemon sweats, but somewhere along the way we’ve lost touch with our CrossFit roots. We’ve gotten soft and comfortable. 

 

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

 

You have been in the game for a long time now. You remember the good ole days of box jumps in the park and pullups on the jungle gym. Shredding your hands every year during Murph, because those blisters were a badge of honor. And fighting for every last rep during the open when you had never done a muscle up, but dammit today was going to be the day!

Then the sport grew. The athletes grew. The standards were raised. The sport became mainstream. All of a sudden there was gear, and brands, and sponsors that separated the pro’s from the rest of us. 

And in the midst of it all you let the passion slip. You stopped putting in the extra work. You show up and try hard, but most of the time you don’t feel like going to that dark place where your muscles ache and burn and your eyes sting with sweat. That place that made you fall in love with CrossFit from the start. You say it’s changed, but it hasn’t. 

CrossFit has been there all along.

New members join the gym every day. You see them experience it. You can’t help but smirk when coach mentions burpees and thrusters in the workout and you know the new guy is in for a rude awakening. You can’t wait to cheer them on as they push out the last rep. With a face contorted between relief and anguish as they collapse on the floor.

 

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

 

Because there’s a piece deep inside of you that still burns to be pushed. That you must go through the fire and flame and see if you can come out the other side. That you need to find new purpose in that 7 minute AMRAP, because you know that the biggest enemy you will ever have to face is between your ears. And every time you overcome that little voice telling you to quit something inside of you changes and you feel a pride that can’t be faked. 

 

That’s why this is your most important CrossFit Open ever. 

 

Because of the friends you’ve made in the gym that have changed your life. From the inspiration you’ve gotten from every member who has lost the weight, or quit the job, or said “Never again” to that habit. 

For the community. For your family. And for you. 

Make it happen. Register HERE.