9 years in the making!

Happy St. Patty’s day everyone!

17.4 is here and we’re pumped about hosting SML tomorrow, but did you know that today has way more significance than just the Open and drinking to your Irish heritage?

Eight years ago CFK held it’s first workout in Cedar Bluff.  The former location was across the street from the current West gym, where there is now Tandy Leather.  At that time the gym only occupied half of the space, and the other half was a Radio Shack.

Before that, CrossFit Knoxville was established in October 2008 in Johnny Davis’s garage gym.  This is how the majority of CrossFit gym originally started:  the home gym.  Communities would build, expand, and over the years have turned into what we have today.

So today we’re celebrating 8 years in the Cedar Bluff Shopping Center and looking on some old times!  Check out some of these GREAT pictures and videos from back in the day.  You may even see a few familiar faces!

The OG crew

Hanging out in the garage gym.

Running in the streets!

Hanging around before and after class.  Some things never change!

Our fearless leader in with some of the OGs of CrossFit at his CF Level 1 Cert.  Zoom in and see which CrossFit celebrities you can spot.  HINT:  One of them writes our programming and one of them is on the live broadcasts of the Open workout releases.

Johnny’s neighbors probably had enough of him filling up the streets with all his friends.  Time to move to a new location!

First workout at the new place!  Check out those polished kettlebells!

Empty space to start.

Next to Radio Shack.  They would come to love loud music and barbells slamming.

Filling it out!  Rig, rings, squat stands, platforms, rowers, boxes, and of course, kettlebells.

For even more flashbacks, check out the following videos provided by our favorite gym juggler:

Benchmark WOD Angie

Doing dumbbell snatches WAY before they were cool and in the Open

Grace on Christmas Eve.  Listen and the beginning for some good coaching.

And finally, as the Open draws to an end, we look to the CFK Games.  Here’s a flashback to the original CFK Games!

-Coach Scott

Open Rest Days

How’s it going, guys and gals?

The Open has almost come and gone!  As you know, we’re hosting Saturday Morning Lights this weekend and we’re really excited about it!

We’ve seen a lot of attendance up this month for the Open, which is awesome, but during competition season it’s easy to forget when to take rest days!  Rest days are a normal part of our training and that shouldn’t change during the Open.

Many athletes normally rest Thursday and Sunday as it is, which is great and allows a 3-1-2-1 work/rest pattern.  This is what is prescribed by CrossFit HQ and is a very effective dose.

Our problem arises when we get into the Open and we may still rest Thursday, do the workout Friday, then also workout Saturday morning and REPEAT the workout on Sunday.  Then we go about the normal week of working out Monday-Wednesday and only taking 1 day off on Thursday.  Or maybe you normally come 5-6 days a week but now there is a Sunday option and you’re getting into the gym 7 days a week for some really hard workouts!

It’s easy to magically end up training every day for 4-5 weeks and your body will feel it.  LISTEN to your body.  Rearrange your rest days.  Monday might look like a really cool workout, but your body may just need a break.

If you’ve got questions about your competition and rest cycle, as always, talk to a coach!  We’re here to answer any of your questions.  Now get to resting, foam rolling, and let’s crush 17.4!

-Coach Scott

March 2017 Newsletter

Greetings all!

Week-to-week you all see the Week In Preview (WIP) with updates about what has happened the previous week, what’s coming up, and everyone’s favorite:  a preview of the workouts to come.

Here we have something a little different.  Many of you have known we have a monthly newsletter for years, but many of you may have never seen it come out!  Here we will share news of upcoming events over the next few months, athlete accomplishments, athletes of the month, and also some bits of information regarding CrossFit, weightlifting, gymnastics, mobility, and many other things.

So let’s start off with those athletes who exemplify our community and devotion to changing their lifestyle to be healthy and happy through CrossFit.

Continue reading “March 2017 Newsletter”

Week In Preview – March 13th, 2017

What a week in the Open!  We had difficult gymnastics and heavy weights for EVERYONE this week.  We saw more PRs this week both in getting chest to bar pull-ups and snatch weights both in Rx and Scaled.  Great work everyone!

Looking forward in this week we want to go ahead and mention


CFK is hosting week 4 of the Open along with our co-hosts Scruffy City CrossFit, CrossFit Farragut, and Progenex!  We will also have our very own Alison Oakes there with Naked Foods.

Again, it’s Saturday Morning Lights, so we’ll be starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday and going until about 3 p.m.

And we need volunteers!  E-mail Coach Rick or sign up on the sheet at the gym!

We won’t just be doing the Open workout either!  We will have side competitions for some sweet prizes!

Let’s see what’s in store for week 4 of the Open!

Monday – Thruster Buster

There’s a lot of work to be done today!  Take 7 minutes to build to a heavy single on your thruster.  Doesn’t have to be a 1 RM, just heavy, because following that we’re doing Jackie!  1k Row, 50 thrusters (45/35), and 30 pull-ups.  We may be starting a pool to see if we get thrusters in 17.4….

Tuesday – Pi Day!

Today will be a short and fast day.  In the warm-up and accessory work, focus on precise movements and perfecting patterns.  The workout will be 3 rounds of double unders, push-ups and hang power cleans.  If you wanna stay super paleo for pie day, check out this paleo shepherd’s pie recipe for the crockpot!

Wednesday – Shoulder Pump

Break out the Tank Tops on Wednesday, guys and gals!  Get warmed up with some handstand work, followed up with Push Jerks and Split jerks.  We’ll come out of the rack, but this won’t be your normal max.  Without putting the bar back, perform 3 push jerks + 1 split jerk!  If you get done early, drop down and do a few sets at a lighter weight.

Thursday – Leg Day

No squats, but our friend from 17.2 shows back up with the weighted lunge.  Everyone is doing 50 feet of weighted walking lunges, followed by KB Swings, and a 400 m run.

Friday – NOT 17.4, but Partner Day!

This one is called “Tail Pipe”.  3 rounds of rowing 250 meters with a partner.  Only one partner is rowing, while the other holds 2 kettlebells (53/35) in the front rack position WITH handles touching.  Any time they are not there, the other partner cannot row.  That’s only Part 1!  Part 2, 1 minute after completing Tail Pipe, will be a 400 meter farmer’s carry with your same kettlebells or heavier.  One partner carries at a time, switch off when you need to.

Saturday – Saturday Morning Lights!

SML is here!  No classes at either location, but head to the West gym at 11 a.m. for food, fun, and lots of CrossFit!

Looking forward to a great week ahead!

This week we have a recipe from one of our own, Gary Phillips!  He found this gem on halfbakedharvest.com and shared it with us.  It’s an alternative to normal potato skins!  Follow that link and try them for yourself!

Keep your eye out for the newsletter tomorrow with our athletes of the month and athlete accomplishments for February!  Stay tuned!

See you on the floor!

-Coach Scott

Keep Your Sickness To Yourself!

It’s been a beautiful winter; almost spring-like!  But even though we may not have experience a bunch of cold and snow, we have experienced a lot of the normal sickness associate with wintertime.

Knox County and several other school districts have even closed down due to how bad it’s been!  Many may have wondered:  Is this the opening scene to an apocalyptic movie?

Regular exercise can help build your immune system as it is because your body is used to rebuilding and healing.  During the winter time a great way to boost your immune system is to add in Vitamin D and Probiotics.

And while no one wants to get sick, most of us do get sick!

In the gym environment there is a lot of sweating, a lot of high fiving, and even hugging.  When you’re sick, that can pass a LOT of germs around.  We do have hand sanitizer, we encourage wiping down your sweaty equipment and mats with the sanitizing wipes, but most of all, if you’re sick, we encourage you to stay home and get well fast.

Yes, we know you may feel like you need to sweat it out and get through it, but we have many fellow athletes who have compromised immune systems and any little germ can make a drastic difference in their lives, including hospitalization.

Please, if you are sick, think of the others in the gym.  They probably won’t advertise it, but it can be very scary for them to come in contact with germs.  Think of the cancer patient undergoing treatment; the person struggling with lupus.  You may not realize it, but they’re fighting to be as healthy as they can be already.

If you really want to sweat it out, check out our travel wods!  Most can be done at home or at a park.

Thanks for the consideration, and stay healthy!

Week In Preview – February 27th, 2017

Week one of the Open is in the books!  We hope you all enjoyed the experience of the Open workout whether it was your first time or if you’ve done it several times before.  We’re looking forward to all the surprises in the next 4 weeks!

Thanks again to everyone who brought in some extra dumbbells for us to use!  They were a huge help!

Please be sure to submit your scores online, or if you’re just participating in the CFK Games, e-mail coach Rick.

Monday – Heavy Cleans!

Looking for a 1 RM squat clean today!  Get excited!  Focus on technique and speed under the bar.  If you’re looking for the Lean version, we’ve got cleans and running!  If you did the Open workout on Sunday, consider resting or scaling.

Tuesday – Squat::Pull::Jump

4 rounds of overhead squats, chest to bar pullups, and box jumps.  Should be fast and sub 10 minutes.  Make sure to warm up those shoulders and roll out after class.

Wednesday – Handstand day!

We’ve got a lot of shoulder warm-up and strengthening at the beginning of class.  Follow that with a fast push and pull:  Calorie row and handstand pushups!

Thursday – Long Conditioning

We’ve got a 25 min AMRAP with Running, Toes to Bar, Double Unders, and heavy deadlifts.  Shoot for 3 rounds in today’s workout!

Friday – 17.2!

Be sure to tune into games.crossfit.com on Thursday evening to see your Friday workout!

Saturday – Partner WOD!

5 rounds each of strict pull-ups, kettlebell front rack carries, and calories on the rower or bike.  One partner does a full round, the then other does a full round.

Sunday – 17.2 Makeup!

If you don’t do Friday’s workout or FNL, stop by on Sunday to get in your Open workout!  It was a blast this week.

We know you probably had a great time doing the Open WOD this week, but we know it beat a lot of people up with new movements.  Foam roll, stretch, keep moving, and talk to a coach about recovery!  We have a lot of supplements that help speed recovery including fish oil, magnesium, Xendurance, and protein by Progenex and SFH.

Nutrition Seminar Series

Coach Cassidy is back with another round of nutrition knowledge! Next week she’ll be at both locations to kick off her 3 part on making sustainable, healthy nutritional habits part of your life!


We’re limiting this series to 15 participants at each location West/North, and it’s first come first reserve. To register, email coach Cassidy with your name and location!


Part 1: Prioritizing nutrition & Quantity Control (hand method)

Part 2: Meal prep & meal planning

Part 3: Supplements, hydration, sleep, and how to eat for your body type!



Part 1: Tuesday, February 28 @ 6:00 pm

Part 2: Tuesday, March 7 @ 6:00 pm

Part 3: Tuesday, March 14 @ 6:00 pm


Part 1: Thursday, March 2 @ 6:30 pm

Part 2: Thursday, March 9 @ 6:30 pm

Part 3: Thursday, March 16 @ 6:30 pm


Week In Preview – February 20th, 2017

The first week of the Open has arrived!  If you have any questions about what the Open and CFK Games really is, check out our post at this link.

We need judges for the Open!  If you are signed up for the Open, please go to the games website and take the judge’s course.  It’s pretty short, you’ll learn a lot as an athlete, and you’ll be able to help your friends out at the gym who need judges.

We will also have special edition FNL Red shirts for our athletes only!  Only $10 and only 1 per athlete.  See a coach for more details.

During the Open you’re going to probably feel beat down and need to recover your best.  See a coach about Xendurance, Omega 3s, and some protein options to make sure you are up to your best.

Check out your week ahead!

Monday – Unilaterals and Double Unders

Preparing for the unknown and unknowable, we’ve got some new movements!  Single arm dumbbell snatches, single arm overhead walking lunges, then traditional double unders.  Focus on keeping the midline stable and arm locked out.

Tuesday – Double Open Style

3 rounds of ground to overhead, chest to bar pull-ups, and wall balls.  Fast and dirty, because at the 10 minute mark 3 more rounds of work, this time muscle-ups, deadlifts, and burpees over the bar.  This is meant to all be done very quickly with a short recovery period in between.

Wednesday – Strength and Skill

A wave of heavy thrusters.  3-2-1-3-2-1, working your way up.  Get in some tall box jumps in between each set to focus on being explosive in the legs.  Afterward there will be toes to bar skill work.

Thursday – Track Day

25 min AMRAP of 400 m runs, rest 1:1.  This is meant to be tough running to develop endurance.  Lots of conditioning headed your way over the next few weeks!

Friday – Open Workout 17.1!

The first workout of the Open will be announced Thursday evening at 8 p.m. Eastern Time at games.crossfit.com!  Watch live and get ready for the workout the next day!

Satruday – Partner Calories and Push Jerks

Each partner will complete a full round before you move on.  Start with 40-30-20 of calories on the rower or bike, followed by 15-10-5 of push jerks.  Hard, gut busting intervals on the rower or bike, then heavy overhead.

The week ahead is super fun!  It’s the start of an amazing 5 weeks of training during the Open.

Remember, check out our post about the Open and CFK Games if you are still unclear about what is going on.

If you are participating in the Open you can do your workout Friday during classes at CFK (get a class buddy for a judge!), at Friday Night Lights around town, or on Sunday at CFK.

If you are doing the Open, PLEASE head over to the Games website and take the judge’s course!  It’s a really cool learning opportunity and you’ll be able to help your friends out by being a judge.  If you have any other questions please e-mail Coaches Rick or Scott.

See you on the floor!

-Coach Scott

The CrossFit Open and CFK Games!

The CFK Games are Coming! What does it all mean?


The Open is back, which of course means that so are the CFK Games!! What are the CFK Games you ask? Check it out:


Starting next Thursday, February 23, the Open begins! Each week for 5 weeks there will be 1 workout, released to the public on Thursday night to be completed by Monday evening. Athletes will be ranked in their respective division based on their workout score. If you’d like to participate in the Open as a registered athlete, register here. If you’d like to participate as an unregistered athlete, simply email Rick!


On Saturday, April 8 the CFK Games will be held at the West location for all Open participants! This is a one day competition to crown the 2017 CFK Champs! Athletes can expect to perform 3-4 “WOD’s”, aimed to test all aspects of their fitness.


Divisions for the CFK Games are:

Rx (male/female)

Scaled (male/female)

Masters (40-49) (male/female)

Masters Scaled (40-49) (male/female)

Masters 50+ (male/female)

Masters Scaled 50+ (male/female)


Please see FAQ’s below, and email Rick to register! Deadline to register is Wednesday, February 22!




Q: What is the difference between a registered athlete and an unregistered athlete?


A: A registered athlete has registered online to participate in the worldwide Open. An unregistered athlete wishes to participate in the CFK Games, but doesn’t wish to pay $20 to register worldwide, so they emailed Rick.


Q: I’m still newer to Crossfit, and I certainly don’t have pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand walks, etc.. This makes me nervous, should I participate?


A: Hell yes! Just do the scaled division! It’s a great opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and test yourself. It’s a ton of fun, it will give you something to train for, and you can look back in a year and see how much progress you’ve made! Plus, anything that makes you a little nervous is DEFINITELY something you should do.


Q: I want to participate in the CFK Games, but I don’t want to register online for the worldwide Open.  Is this possible?


A: Yes! However, you still must complete the 5 weekly workouts during the Open in order to participate in the CFK Games (your finishing ranking in the Open, compared to other CFK athletes in your division, will determine a percentage of your final score in the CFK Games!). Simply email Rick, let him know that you plan to participate in the Open, just not as a registered athlete, and he’ll give you all the details you need to participate!


Q: So wait, are the CFK Games a 1-day competition or the 5-week Open?


A: Both! CFK Games participants will complete the 5-week Open (either as a registered athlete by registering online or as a non-registered athlete by emailing Rick), then compete in the 1-day competition on April 8.


Q: 4 WOD’s in 1 day? Is that even possible?


A: Sure is! It will be a tough day, no doubt. All WOD’s will test different aspects of fitness and different energy systems, so while the CFK Games will present a challenge, you’ll be able to walk the next day, promise 🙂


Q: What if I can’t perform one of the weekly WOD’s by Monday due to travel or illness?


A: No problem! Everyone gets 1 opportunity to make-up a WOD during the 5-week Open. Requests to make-up a WOD must be submitted to Rick ahead of time and the WOD must be made-up before the next WOD is released the following Thursday. Note: If you’re participating as a registered athlete online, your make-up WOD will not count online. It will still count for the CFK Games.

Alternatively, the Open takes place worldwide!  If you’re traveling, contact a local gym and see if they are doing the Open workout there.  Make sure you have a judge and you can still submit your score online, then also e-mail it to Rick.


Q: Okay, I think I’m ready to register!  But I’m on the cusp of Rx!  I probably won’t have muscle-ups, but I can probably do all the other WOD’s.  How do I register?

A:  For the worldwide Open:  You can do whatever you want week-to-week!  You can do scaled one week and Rx the next, but you can only submit one score for each.  You don’t have to make a final decision up front.

For the CFK Games:  You will have to declare your division (Scaled or Rx) when you register with Rick.  You can still do multiple versions of the workouts, but if you are going to compete in Scaled at the CFK Games you MUST complete all 5 scaled workouts.  If you are going to compete in Rx at the CFK Games you MUST complete all 5 Rx workouts.


Please comment if you have any questions and share this with your friends!  See you in the Open!









CFK Open Prep Course

The Open is upon us, and we’ve been talking a lot about it.  It’s a great opportunity for all skill levels to test themselves out and have a good time, but we know that some of you want to take it to the next level and really see how well you can do in the actual sport of CrossFit.

We want to help you achieve your goals.  Killing it every day in class is great, and you get the most of your training for sure, but when it comes to the actual game there are nuances that don’t always get addressed.

In the sport of CrossFit there are a handful of fundamental skills and techniques that will help you progress in each workout, but there is also strategy for how to approach each workout and crush it, or what to do if you’re mid workout and your plan falls apart.

For whom is this clinic designed? Intermediate to advanced athletes.  You have most of the skills down, but need to fine tune them and your strategies.  You can get a few double unders or a few kipping pull-ups.  Maybe a muscle up or two, or maybe you’re really close.  You can do most of the workouts, but you want to do them better.

When is it?  Sunday February 19th, 10 a.m.

What will you receive?  Elite level, personalize coaching during the seminar and throughout the Open from Coach Scott and Coach Ian.  During the seminar we will cover:

  • Maximizing your performance with the fitness you have.
  • Racing Strategy
  • Proper Pacing
  • What to do if things go wrong
  • Technique of common open movements
  • Barbell cycling
  • Tips and Tricks

During the Open you will also get coaching week-to-week as the workouts come out from either Ian or Scott about how to warm-up, how to approach the workout, how to plan your racing strategy, plus more.

Price: $50

Limited to first 10 who respond to [email protected]


Coach Scott has a heavy focus on skill development and emphasis on technique for all CrossFit movements.  He has made the journey from couch to CrossFit and been through the ringer of learning each skill and movement from the beginning.  He will pass this knowledge and practice on to you by breaking down each movement into its individual parts and teaching you how to develop lasting technique.

Coach Ian has been a long time competitor in many sports.  In the sport of CrossFit he has competed at the regional level himself both as an individual and on a team, as well as coaching several athletes to regionals and even to the CrossFit Games.  A master of strategy, he will teach you how to get every last rep out of a workout.