All posts by crossfithale

Why NFL Linemen have the best job

Watched a little football with my daughter yesterday.

I used to play a little, but I have to say I enjoy watching it a LOT more than playing nowadays

The game (Vikings/Seahawks) was 20 degrees below zero! Everyone was bundled up and could see their breath.

On the field, almost everyone looked miserable, and during the breaks, they were covering their hands and huddling up at the heaters. I gotta imagine the ball felt like a brick and the ground felt like concrete.nfl_g_chargers_bengals_580

But one group of guys looked like it was just a normal day…The dudes on the offensive and defensive lines.

You know, the biggest guys…the ones that have to get in the three point stance and slam into each other on every play….A lot of them weren’t even wearing sleeves to keep warm!!

I think their toughness comes from the fact that their job kinda sucks.

You are locking horns with the guy across from you every play…getting poked, pulled, jabbed, and slammed around…and you never score a touchdown.

You learn to embrace the suckiness of the job, so what difference does a little cold weather make?

It’s kinda like the feeling when you’re doing a long workout.

When you are in the middle of it and realize you have more work in front of you than behind…you have a choice…

Either complain to yourself about how many rounds or reps there are to go, how much you hate the coach, how insane you are for doing this, or just flat out quit.

Or you embrace the fact that it sucks, and just focus on one step or one rep at a time until it’s done.

Those are the best workouts…

Those NFL lineman LOVE the cold days, because the ones who embrace it the most usually have the biggest impact on the outcome of the game.

And despite the outcome, they’ll always remember it because they played as hard as they could in the worst conditions.

Sometimes you have to face some big adversity to get to your goal…in fact, if you DON’T face adversity at some point, the goal will seem hollow if you reach it.

It’s going to be hard, don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy!

Luckily you have access to 120+ people who know what it’s like to do that on a daily basis, and can help you when you want to quit.

Click here to get started at Hale –

Coach “embrace the suck” Jay

PS – Reminder our prices go up 20% at the end of Jan, get in before it’s too late!

PPS – Groundbreaking on showers and changing rooms starts tomorrow!

Announcements: Note that due to upcoming construction, the changing room and kids room will be unavailable for the month of January. When it’s done, it will be super amazingly awesome, but we do have to deal with this temporary inconvenience. Please plan accordingly.

Workout of the Day:

Skills: Back squat, air squat

Workout of the Day:
Back Squats

7 – 7 – 7

warm up to 110% of last week’s 10 and do

5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5


10 min squat test

Coaches Notes:
Use last week’s 5 x 10 as your guide for today.

10 min squat test is simple. Get down to the bottom of an air squat and hold it


Big Week!

Bunch of things kicking off this week.

Hale kids (5-7) starts today at 3:30.

MissFit at 10am and 7:30pm.

Nutrition coaching initial meetings.

And next week, we start Hale barbell for the last time before Tina goes on maternity (click here to sign up).

Also note that we will kick off construction of our new showers and changing rooms this week. Starting Tuesday, you may not have access to the bathroom and kids room for a few weeks. More details tomorrow, but plan on making other arrangements if you need to.

Workout of the Day:

Kipping practice

Workout of the Day:
4 rounds for time of:

10 deadlifts 275/165
10 chest to bar pull ups

Coaches’ notes:

See if you can beat your time from last week’s workout.

If you don’t have chest to bar, do regular kipping pull ups or scale to strict ring rows like last week


What counting cards taught me about life.

I used to love games of chance: the energy I got from winning a big bet, and the despair I got from losing one.

Blackjack was my game because I felt I had some measure of control. I even learned how to count cards.

That all changed when I decided to get in shape.

Weird connection, I know. Stick with me.

I gambled that spending five times more on a CrossFit membership (rather than a cheap Gold’s Gym membership) and committing to CrossFit everyday, despite being the fattest and slowest person in the gym, would get me results.

Once I started seeing results, it encouraged me to keep making bets on myself, such as investing in cooking equipment and buying better quality food. I felt this was a game I could control and win (and I eventually lost 100lbs—WIN!).

When I opened CrossFit Thames (and later CrossFit Hale), it was a gamble of money, time, and our ability to figure out how to run a business enough to keep the doors open.

When I controlled the outcome, I was willing to do whatever it took to win those bets…

After doing that, blackjack was never the same.

Not enough control over the next card…pokerchips

counting gives you an educated guess, but it only gets you to 51% odds of winning.

When you gamble on yourself or people you believe in, you get to influence the outcome….

and you win a LOT more often than you lose.

This year, we are making a ton of bets on you…

>> Rolling out new programs like Nutrition coaching, Hale Kids, and an expanded MissFit

>> Developing our coaches, and training new coaches to help expand the schedule.

>> Hosting bigger and better events like the 12 days, the Hale Throwdown, and even smaller guest events like this weekend’s Barbells and Brunch.

>> Reaching out to get feedback, share wins, and give you better information through social, the new website (coming this weekend), daily emails, and the podcast.

>> Breaking ground on a $50k project next week to build you showers, changing rooms, a treatment room, and new equipment.


Because we are betting that you will be MORE committed to your health and the health of those around you when you have everything you need to be successful.

Are you gambling on yourself?

Are you willing to put the time, effort, and money to get fit, strong, and feel more energy?

Book yourself in for a “no sweat” intro here and find out if we are worth the gamble –

Or simply reply and ask me a question.

Coach “double down” Jay

PS – Prices for new members go up 20% on Jan 31st, so if you’ve been on the fence, now’s your chance to get in before they go up!

Free workout this Saturday at 9am for guests. Barbells and brunch! Bring your favorite, easy breakfast dish and a friend, and enjoy a workout and some coffee with friends!

Workout of the Day:

burpee pull ups
clapping push ups

Workout of the Day:
In pairs:

4 rounds for time of:
400m run
20 burpee pull ups
30 partner clapping push ups

One person works at a time, both run together

Advanced, go solo

Coaches Notes:
Both of you run together. Split up the work any way you like for the burpee pull ups. For the partner clapping push ups, you should both go down and up together and clap hands at the top.

You can scale to burpee ring rows or knee push ups as necessary.

How’d You Do?

Ok, the holiday season is over.

You’re back to work.

You’ve answered your emails.

Now you’re and faced with the aftermath of whatever happened the last two weeks.

How’d you do?

What are you planning for the new year?

Let me know!

Coach “Loving 2016 so far” Jay

PS – This isn’t a “new year, new you” post. I’m just checking in on ya!

Free workout this Saturday at 9am for guests. Barbells and brunch! Bring your favorite, easy breakfast dish and a friend, and enjoy a workout and some coffee with friends!

Workout of the Day:

front rack lunge w/kb
ring dips
rope climbs

Workout of the day:
With a partner:
3000 meters of Rowing
300 Feet of KB Front Rack Walking Lunge (53/35 lb kb)
60 Ring Dips
6 Legless Rope Climbs

One person works at a time

Coaches Notes:
Find a partner at your level and split up the work!

Scale the ring dips to dips or ring push ups or push ups as necessary.

Scale to regular rope climbs as necessary, or pulls from the floor.

My friend said I wouldn’t like CrossFit

“My friend told me I wouldn’t like CrossFit”

Had a “no-sweat intro” with a 58 year old woman on Monday, and these were the first words out of her mouth.

Not a great start.

After asking her a few questions about her goals (to get stronger and fitter), and background (group aerobics classes), I gave her a tour of the gym and told her a little bit about what we do.

She heard the story about Grace, at 75 years old who recently did 75 full push ups in a workout…and Nancy at 64, who deadlifted 200 lbs last weekend…both older than her, but fitter.

She scoffed:

“I’m not interested in lifting anything close to that much weight”

As we walked by the pull up rig, she continued:

“I’m not going to do any of the pulling or gymnastics, what other stuff do you do?”

I said, “well, we run, row, do kettle bells, bodyweight stuff, etc.”

“Run??? outside? you’ll get carbon monoxide poisoning from the freeway!!!”

I was dumbfounded…

“I think your friend was right” I said…”this isn’t something you’re going to like. You have to actually DO stuff if you want to get stronger and fitter”

Not really what she wanted to hear…she hopped in her car and left.

Crisis averted…

This happens in some form once every two weeks

Seriously, do people think this is a flipping message studio?

Why would you walk into a CrossFit gym and not expect to exercise????

I bet you’ve heard some of this too…

Does this sound like some of the comments you get from people when you tell them about your workout?

“you ran HOW many miles? and did HOW many push ups?”
“How much weight?”
“That’s way too intense, it sounds dangerous!”

Everyone has an opinion about “fitness”.

It can get you down and make you doubt yourself.

question whether you’re doing the right thing.

But the ONLY thing that matters?




See, Ms. “I’m not running, lifting, or pulling” has no idea about training, movement, or proper human function…and neither do the people who have opinions about your workout!

And those ladies she scoffed about?

They would crush 90% of the 25 year olds on the elliptical at a typical 24 hour fitness …or at a spin class, or pilates, or barre….or 90% of the women on a typical street for that matter.

…and both of them started CrossFit at 58 or older!

Don’t believe me?

check it out for yourself!

Screenshot 2016-01-06 02.20.38

So yeah…as you can see…

Too intense, dangerous, and you’re probably gonna die if you step foot inside Hale…..

Poor lady…..A little more of an open mind and we could have helped her….


Wanna learn the steps these ladies took to get so awesome?

Schedule yourself in for a “No sweat intro” –

Coach “poisoning you with fitness” Jay

PS – I almost forgot, we messed up on the dates for Hale Barbell that we announced yesterday.

We said it was going to start the 13th, but it’s actually starting the 20th (one extra week),

It will be the last one for a while as coach Tina is going on maternity…

If you’re interested, go here for details and to sign up –

PPS – Hale Kids is now sold out for January.

if you missed your chance, but are still interested, reply and let me know!!

We are considering opening another time slot if there are enough kids interested.

Free workout this Saturday at 9am. Barbells and brunch! Bring your favorite dish and a friend, and enjoy a workout and some coffee with friends!

Workout of the Day:

Power cleans
Toes to bar
wall ball

Workout of the day:

Open workout 11.3

As Many Reps as Possible in 20 minutes
5 Power Cleans (145/105 lbs)
10 Toes-To-Bars
15 Wall Balls (20/14 lbs) (10 ft)

Coaches Notes:

Try to go as prescribed if you can. If you struggle with the weight on power cleans, select something you can do for 3 reps.

For toes to bar, NO KNEES TO ELBOWS OR CHEST allowed today if you need to scale. Lay down and bring your toes to the post or a bar instead

What if you started Hale as a Kid?

The best thing about being a little kid is a lack of self-consciousness.

They’ll say anything that pops into their head. My 4 year old, the other day tells me…

“Daddy, your hair is white, you’re getting old!”

Yep..nothing like the truth.

They’ll also try anything that looks fun without thinking much of it…especially if they see Mommy and Daddy do it.

Cooking, dancing, bike riding, reading…anything we do, they want to do.

Every day after class, one of the little ones runs out onto the floor and swings from the rings or ropes.

“Mommy and Daddy are doing it…I wanna do it!”

Now they can!

Next week we are officially kicking off Hale kids for the new year!

Wouldn’t it have been amazing if you had started doing CrossFit when you were a kid? You’d be so strong! Think of how many pull ups you’d be able to do now!!! 😃

At the least, You’d have learned the value of exercise, developed healthy habits, and learn how to move safely and properly at an earlier age.

Now’s your chance to give your kids that gift.kidsjumping

Check out Hale kids! It’s a four week program open to kids from 5-11 that gives them a great introduction to fitness, healthy habits, and proper exercise technique.

The 30-45 min sessions improve fitness, confidence, self discipline, and social skills.

Most importantly, the kids will have fun.

The program is after school, and limited to 6 kids per session, divided by age group.

Check out this page for the times, details, and a link to sign up. –

Coach “white hair” Jay

PS – This starts next week, and there are only 6 spots per session, so check it out now if you’re interested.

Workout of the Day:

Skills: Back Squat

Workout of the day:
Back Squat

10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10

Coaches Notes:
Go heavy, but not to failure. If you do fail, do not count the set if you are failing at less than 6 reps.

Should be 60-80% of last week’s 1 rm depending on how hard you went.

Stories from the East Coast

My new favorite book is “Humans of New York : Stories”

Picked it up from the library yesterday…3 hours later I’d read the whole thing and turned to page one to read it again.

It’s photos of people in the streets of NY and quotes or stories taken from interviews that give you a little insight into their lives.humansofnewyork

When I wasn’t identifying with them directly (fathers and their daughters really hit the warm and fuzzies for me), I was relating them to people I knew.

A scrappy young man reminded me of Imani…A strong older woman reminded me of Grace…A couple juggling three kids reminded me of Karen, Priti or Hector & Cecilia…A crazy homeless guy reminds me of some of our local neighbors.

The faces in the pictures take on different meanings when you read their quotes.

They tell you about past tragedies or triumphs in their lives….the “why” that helped define them and how they ended up there.

The people you end up rooting for the most are the ones who expressed some personal power and control over their lives.

Despite any tragedy or hardship, they weren’t acting out of guilt or victimhood, they were taking things day by day and owning their choices and life.

When you look back at the picture after reading the quote…those are also the people with the most genuine smiles.

At Hale, we make it our business to avoid people who blame circumstances (their boss, their parents, the world), for the fact that they aren’t getting what they want in life….

The type of people you surround yourself with here take responsiblity for EVERYTHING that happens to them.

They know the results they get don’t happen by accident…

They know hard times are out of their control, but their reaction to them is.

As a part of Hale you are surrounded by people like this…and as the saying goes, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with.

Go here if you want in –

Coach “Human of the East Bay” Jay

PS – Check out the Humans of NY book and blog here –

PPS – One spot left in nutrition coaching that starts next week…it’s CLOSED after this. Reply and say “I’m in” if you want in.

PPPS – Someone do a West Coast version of this, please!!!

I hate giving anything from NY this much credit….


Workout of the Day:

double unders

Workout of the day:
12 min AMRAP
10 burpees
25 double unders

Coaches’ notes:
Sub 15 attempts for doubles if you don’t have them. If you’re still working on singles, sub 50 singles for doubles.

Go as hard as possible and don’t stop!


One simple thing

No more 2015.

What is one awesome thing you did last year?

Got one? Ok here’s a super quick tip that will make you happier in 2016

Do yourself a favor.

1) Write your awesome thing down on a small piece of paper or post it

2) Find a mason jar, if you don’t have one, start with a bowl

3) Put your note in the jar.

4) Keep blank paper or post it’s next to the jar and write a new one every time anything cool happens to you (big or small)

5) Sit down this time next year and read through them all.

It’s called a “Jar of Awesome”, and it is a really easy way to learn how to appreciate the small wins in your daily life.

The practice (gratitude) is scientifically proven to make you happier!

NONE of the goals on your 2016 list will have as big an impact as a daily gratitude IMG_6513practice on your level of happiness.

This is a great one you can share with the whole family. Label the jar and encourage everyone to put something in there. At the end of the year, review it together!

Started ours today!

Make your 2016 awesome. Have a Happy New Year!

Coach “Auld Lang Sine” Jay

PS – Only 2 spots left for nutrition coaching…get on it! Reply and say “I’m in!” if you want in.


Workout of the Day:

Strict pull ups
Good mornings

Workout of the day:
4 rounds for time of:
10 good mornings (135/95)
10 Strict Pull ups (scale up to L-sit pull ups if necessary)

Coaches Notes:

NO KIPPING ALLOWED. If you don’t have strict pull ups, try strict ring rows with feet on a box. If you can bang out 10 strict pull ups in 10 seconds, scale up to L-sit pull ups

For good mornings, keep back perfectly straight for each rep, and bend at the hips, with the knees slightly bent. Weight is meant to feel medium heavy, and will be picked up off the floor

15 min cut off


Living Better Podcast – Ep 9 – How to overcome fear

This episode tackles something we all deal with

How do you overcome fear?

At some point, we’re all afraid of something. Load up enough weight on a back squat, stack up to a high enough box, or try a new skill (like a muscle up), and there it is. It’s the feeling “this might not go well for me”, “I might get hurt”, or “maybe I should play it safe”. Fear is always at play when you’re training hard, whether it’s on day one or year 7. If you’ve never felt it, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.jonnylog

The thing is, you need that fear. That fear breaks you out of your comfort zone and gets you to the next level of your training. Nothing worth having in life doesn’t have some sort of fear attached to it. The key is figuring out how to get past it.

We talk to Jonny again in today’s episode. It’s all the strategies and tips we’ve used with our athletes and ourselves to overcome fear and continue to make progress.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What “the fear” is, and when we start to feel it
  • Why “man the f*** up” is not always the best way to overcome fear
  • How to mitigate the “worst case scenario”
  • What Jonny learned after passing out in front of an entire class
  • How breaking movements down and warming up properly builds confidence
  • Why training partners are so important
  • Why most lifts are made/missed before you touch the bar
  • How to lean on your coach to help you overcome fear
  • Why practice is the only way to truly overcome fear forever

Links and Resources for this Episode

  • Sean Lind instagram page – click here
  • The power of purposeful practice – click here
  • How to fail at almost everything (the book by the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams) – Click here

Thank you for listening

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Do you have a burning question you want answered? Let us know!

Subscribe via iTunes – Click here.

Subscribe via Stitcher Click here.


Workout of the Day:

Box Squat
Back Squat

Workout of the Day:
A: Box squat 5 – 5 – 5 – 5
B: Back Squat – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
Coaches’ notes:
Go as hard and as heavy as you can. You’ll have plenty of time to get this done, so plan on hitting it!

Today is all about strength


Workout of the Day:
3 rounds for time of:
400m run
21 kb swings (53/35)
12 pull ups

beginners, use 44/26 lbs for kb swings, and do ring rows or jumping pull ups

Coaches notes:
Just one workout today. If you have something you need to make up from this week, you can do it today after class.

See you there!

This week, you are assessing your abilities, show up on time and be ready to move. To pass the assessment, you’ll have to pass 12 of the 15 skills presented during the week, and 2 of the 4 workouts. To pass from beginner to intermediate, you’ll have to pass the items on the beginner list. To pass from intermediate to advanced, you’ll have to pass the items on the intermediate list, etc. All the standards to pass are located on our site –