The Open is Almost Here

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Many of you have been around for the CrossFit Games Open in years past, but there are also a lot of new folks who have yet to give this series a shot. Sooooo, here are some basics on what you can expect in the coming month and a half as we make our way through this famed exercise monstrosity.

The Open is the 5-week, all-levels-friendy qualifying process for the annual CrossFit Games (which just so happen to be taking place in Madison, WI this year!) You might be thinking that “all-levels” and “CrossFit Games” have no place in the same sentence, but this series of workouts is truly available to people of all experience levels and fitness abilities.

Beginning February 23, a workout is released each Thursday evening. We will be scheduling this workout as our WOD for each Friday throughout the Open so everyone gets a chance to do battle with what is sent our way. Once completed, you then have until Monday evening at 5:00pm to submit your score on the Games site (so, you can retry the workout as many times as your heart desires before submitting your score).

We’ve been taking on many of the previous year’s workouts over the past couple months, but you can check out the complete history here. Don’t let the thought of the competition scare you away though. The idea behind this process is that if you’ve been doing CrossFit, you’re prepared to take this challenge on. There is an RX, scaled, and several age group break-downs available for both men and women, and we’ve had people of all levels compete in past years.

What do you need to do to compete?
Show up to class each Friday from 2/24-3/24 and take the workout on with us. If you’re looking to see where you stand in the world (trust us, you do – you’re going to beat thousands of people!) you can sign up on the Games site and see where you stand after you enter your score each week.

I’ll be straight up with you that taking the Open on can be an intimidating feat. But, as anyone who has participated in the past will tell you, there’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes with stepping up and giving these workouts some hell.

We need your support just like you’ll need ours. So, take a step into the uncomfortable and sign up for this thing!

A few schedule changes throughout the Open:
Our Friday morning classes (5:30, 6:30 and 11:00 am) will remain as they are now, but the evening will be run as a series of heats, as opposed to a traditional class format. Heats begin at 4:30 pm and we’ll have the gym open by 4:00 so you can show up early to get warm.

We’ll be hanging out at the gym each week after the workout to talk about how hard CrossFit is, strategize with the brave souls who are looking to retry the workout, and enjoy celebratory beverages and food. Come hang out!

In the twisted way that we all “enjoy” the workouts we put ourselves through each week, the Open really is a lot of fun. Get in touch with me or any of our other staff if you’re on the fence, or have questions about the process. We’d love to help you make this happen so you can look back on your experience the same way we do.

2016 Memorial Day “Murph”

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Each year on Memorial Day, CrossFit gyms across the country take on the workout “Murph” as a way of paying tribute to the men and women who lost their lives while serving our nation. The workout is named after Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a Navy SEAL who was killed in an unimaginable battle in Afghanistan in 2005 (a story made famous by the book and movieLone Survivor).

Here’s the workout:
For time:
1 Mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run
*pull-ups, push-ups and squats can be partitioned however you choose

We will continue this tradition of honoring our fallen service members at TwinTown Fitness on Monday, May 30.

We will run the workout in five, hour-long heats beginning at 8:30 Memorial Day morning. Heat time reservation and “Murph” t-shirts (available on a pre-order basis only) will both be handled on sign up sheets at the gym. Grab a spot in a heat and order a t-shirt the next time you’re in the gym!

Remember, we have a complete training program laid out to prepare you for the workout. Check out the details here.

We will also have a BBQ/potluck in our parking lot throughout the morning and afternoon. This will begin after the first couple heats have finished. We’ll have a grill going and will be providing some food, snacks and beverages, but feel free to bring something to share!

There is no charge to participate in the event, but we are accepting donations ($25, suggested) for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. Donations can be handled the day of the event and charged to your Wodify account, or you may donate with cash or check.

This Memorial Day, it’s on! Rain or shine, come sweat it out with us and the rest of your TwinTown people.

Start Preparing for “Murph” 2016

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Each Memorial Day, we take on “Murph.”

For time:
Run 1 mile
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile

Seems straightforward, right? Well, there are multiple ways to slay this dragon. You are allowed to break up the 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 squats however you wish. Usually, people use the strategy of five pull-ups, ten pushups and fifteen squats at a time, to break the workout down into more manageable sets. I’m not saying this is what you have to do, but I wouldn’t recommend doing all of the reps for each movement at once.

This workout is a beast, and we will release all sorts of information about the event as we get closer, but for now we have a few plans of attack to help you prepare for “Murph.” For the running and squatting portions of the workout, just show up to class regularly. As we get closer to Memorial Day, we will ramp up running and squatting in our programming.

We have devised a plan for the pull-ups and pushups to have you peaking when “Murph” comes along eight weeks from now. Follow this link, “Murph” Prep, where we have broken down to the day how many pull-ups and pushups you should do to get yourself ready for May 30.

Before you get started on your weekly regimen, you will see a few “Initial Tests” on the spreadsheet. For pull-ups, if you are using any kind of resistance bands right now, do a set of five at the lowest level of resistance possible and write it down to see how much you improve over the next eight weeks. If you are doing bodyweight pull-ups, then do one max set of strict bodyweight pull-ups and write down your number so you can compare later.

For pushups, you will do something similar. If you are using ab mats for your pushups, start off by doing a set of ten in a row with the least amount of ab mats possible. Record the amount of ab mats you used. If you are not using ab mats, then do a max set of pushups and record your number.

For the weekly programming, most of you will do your pull-ups at the gym, unless you have access to a pull-up bar away from TwinTown. So, follow the “Murph” prep program everyday that you come to the gym. Each Monday, start at Day 1 on the spreadsheet. The next day that same week you come to the gym, do the required sets for Day 2. And so on.

Most of you may only get through Day 3 of the pull-up programming each week. This is fine. For those of you that come more than three times per week, you will get some additional work. All of you could come to open gym at 11:00am on Sundays to get another day of work in each week!

You can do the pushup programming everyday on your own at your home or office. Begin each week on Monday Day 1 of the programming, and end each week on Sunday Day 7 of the programming.

To summarize: do your pull-ups at the gym on days you come in. Do your pushups everyday on your own.

The point is, this is volume work. The more reps you do, the better. But every day you commit to working on your pull-ups and pushups will help you on May 30.

We will have spreadsheets posted around the gym for you to reference, or you could also print them off to keep with you. We will post weekly reminders on the whiteboard at the gym of which week of the programming we are currently on throughout the next eight weeks. If you have any questions, please ask one of us when you see us.

This is your year to crush “Murph!” Let’s prepare to take down this monster together.

“The Sisters” WOD

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We will be canceling classes at the gym this Saturday so we can participate in a benefit for the family of one of our members. In 2012, Matt Erickson lost both his mother, and his aunt to cancer. Now their family is facing even more challenge as one of Matt’s cousins is currently looking at her second round of chemotherapy.

To help Matt, his family, and as many other families as possible, we are asking you to join us in a fundraiser at CrossFit My Town this Saturday at 9:00. The entry fee is a donation to the charity, so we are looking to get as many of our people out to the event as possible.

We brought a group out last year to take on “The Sisters”, and it was an absolute blast. You can do the workout as an individual, or with a partner and there will also be plenty of scaling options available, so all ability levels are welcome. Here’s the workout:

“The Sisters”
For Time:
2 Rounds of
57 Sit Ups
100 yard walking lunge
58 Pull Ups
1000 meter Run

More info about Saturday can be found on the event Facebook page, or you can contact Matt directly at matthew.erickson@gmail.com. Heats will be starting every 20 minutes beginning at 9:00, so we will be leaving from TwinTown at 8:15 to give us time to get out there and get warm. Meet at the gym before then if you would like to go with the group, otherwise you are welcome to meet us out there.

Come out and support Matt and his family with us this weekend!

8 Week Pull-Up/Push-up Program

10430456_938849396133257_2568539751138169983_nDo you remember what your 2015 fitness goals are? How are they going? Have you made progress? Have you started to work towards conquering them?

Out of everyone who submitted there goals, “strict pull-ups” where the top goal with 50% of you wanting to improve them, or in most cases to be able to do them without any assistance.

Another 25% of you hope to be able to improve on your pushups or to ditch those abmats for good.

Instead of running clinics on these movements like we are doing for most, if not all of the rest of people’s goals, starting March 1st we will be rolling out a Pull-up/Pushup Program.

No events available...

Even of you did not submit a goal on either of these elements, and just want to get better at them, you are ALL welcome to participate.

The cost of this program will only be the time that you need to put in to get the results you want, which in turn will be the results you deserve.

The program will run for 8 weeks, with different requirements depending where your initial test results are.

The initial test for pull-ups will be: 1) Set of 5 with the least amount of band resistance. 2) If you can do pull-ups without band assistance, then you will record a max effort set of strict pull-ups.

The initial test for pushups will be: 1) Set of 10 with the least amount of abmats possible. 2) If you are already doing chest-to-deck pushups, then you will record a max effort set of chest-to-deck pushups.

After you record your initial test results the program will look like:

-Pull-ups- You will do 3×3 with the least resistance that you can or, if you are not using resistance you will do 3×5 for the entire first week every time that you come into the gym (either before of after workouts)

-Pushups- You will do 3×10 with the least amount of abmats that you can or, if you are not using abmats you will also do 3×10 EVERYDAY at home or when you are at the gym.

So to recap, Pullups will take place at the gym when you come to workout (the more days you come, the more practice/the better you will get at them). Pushups will take place EVERYDAY regardless of where you do them.

You are allowed to take as much rest as needed between sets. If you are doing your pull-ups before or after class, you must stay out of the way of the class. If they are using the pull-up bars, then you will have to wait.

The full 8 week schedule will be sent to all participants, and will also be posted around the gym so you know what to do at all times.

If you would like to be part of this let us know, email goals@twintownfitness.com and let us know what your initial test results are for both pull-ups and pushups. Also, indicate what type of assistance you used. We will be discussing this further in our daily announcements and all coaches will be able to answer questions you have.

Last but not least, this program will conclude on April 25th, where we will retest both of these elements. Coincidentally, April 25th is exactly one month before Memorial Day (March, 25th) this year, where we will be participating in the workout “Murph”!

Spoiler alert, there will be a pull-up kipping clinic between the end of this program and “Murph” to really hone in your skills, so that you can PR or participate for the first time in this event.

Why I Eat Rice

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I can’t help but laugh as I write this. It’s ok if you’re laughing too. Let’s face it. Asian people eat a lot of rice.

But for me it was not always thus. When I first discovered the Paleolithic nutrition plan, I was neurotically strict.

No grains means no grains, right? I was so strict that I would discard the rice bowl at the Korean BBQ. I was that guy.

But something always bugged me about the eliminationist aspect of Paleo. Ethnic differences are a matter of evolutionary forces. I don’t look like other people. Maybe I shouldn’t eat like other people?

It’s not so far-fetched. Geneticists know that most Asians lack the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol. (Which explains the red, puffy faces you see at the karaoke bar) If most Asians don’t tolerate alcohol is it so unreasonable to think that most Asians do tolerate rice?

My theory was put to the test the first time I visited my mom after going Paleo. In my mother’s house you do not refuse food. So I ate the rice she put in front of me, convinced that I would be convulsed and retching into the toilet within minutes.

Lo and behold, I was fine. I did not get a headache and drive my car into a tree. My butt didn’t explode. Cool.

In the ensuing months I learned something very important. Rice doesn’t make me sick but it does make me fat. I eat rice sparingly now, primarily in the context of a recovery meal, when I am very motivated to get my insulin levels up.

The main point I want to make here is that I only made this discovery because I started from a clean slate. I knew what it felt like to be on a clean diet so I had a point of reference when I started to introduce a questionable food.

If you want to learn how to thrive; if you are sick of one-size-fits-all diets, join us in our Eat Well challenge. The challenge is six weeks long. The first four weeks will be a reset where we rid our diets of foods that are known to be problematic (think processed foods). During the final two weeks we will systematically reintroduce the foods we eliminated to see how our bodies react to them.

It’s going to be awesome. Register here.

Crushing “Fight Gone Bad”

IMG_9685On Saturday, members of TwinTown Fitness took on the beast known as “Fight Gone Bad”, and you kicked some serious butt. It was awesome to see so many people give this workout everything they had from start to finish. A lot of you achieved personal bests, and a lot of you threw your hat into the ring for the first time. Great job accepting the challenge and rising to the occasion.

Beyond the tremendous athletic achievements of the day, something else stood out to me: all of you, whether before or after your heat, stood on the sidelines supporting your buddies. You cheered one another on and helped each other push through the pain. This show of support reinforced my belief that our community is truly special. We have a group of dedicated athletes who work their tails off and help each other push themselves to be their best. I could not be more proud of all of you.

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As coaches, we are truly fortunate to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people. For me, it makes this a dream job because it’s like being on a team again. Camaraderie like this is special because it is rare.

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I appreciate each one of you more than I could ever express here in words. You are an awesome group and I can’t wait to see you dominate our next challenge.

Lumberjack 20 Event

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What are you doing on Saturday September 6th? I’m not going to tell you how to run your life, but if you’re smart, you’ll be hanging out with me at TwinTown and throwing down with a bunch of other people on this gnarly workout called the Lumberjack 20! It’s been a couple months since our last event and we need to take advantage of the beautiful weather while we can.

We are charging $20 to participate and will be donating all proceeds to the family of our brother Terry Clapp who passed away last Spring. 9 person heats will be starting every 45 minutes beginning at 9:00, and there are 3 divisions available so scaling to any ability level will be no big deal. We will be accommodating for everyone, so if you have specific concerns on how to scale please ask your coach what the best modifications are. Here’s how the workout and scaling levels break down…

20 Deadlifts (275/225/185#) (185/155/105#)
Run 400m
20 KB swings (70/53/35#) (53/35/26#)
Run 400m
20 Overhead Squats (115/85/45#) (85/65/35#)
Run 400m
20 Burpees
Run 400m
20 Pullups (C2B/Pull-up/Ring Row)
Run 400m
20 Box jumps (24/20/20”) (24/20/16”)
Run 400m
20 DB Squat Cleans (45/35/25#) (35/25/15#)
Run 400m

You will need to sign up on Zen Planner in advance, so please head over there and get yourself signed up! There will be a warm-up written for you before you start, but the time that you sign up for is when you begin the workout. Plan to be there at least a half hour before your start time to get through a thorough warm-up. As always, friends and family are more than welcome to come cheer you on, so feel free to invite people to the event. Saturday the 6th, it’s on. See you then!

CrossFit Games “Triple 3″

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Tomorrow, we’re going to be taking on one of the workouts from the 2014 CrossFit Games. “Triple 3″ is as follows:

Row 3k
300 Double Unders
Run 3 miles

CrossFit training prepares its athletes for the “unknown and unknowable”. This means that sometimes you need to be able to push yourself for longer than might be comfortable. Triple 3 will be uncomfortable.

There are two versions of this workout available on Beyond The Whiteboard (what is listed above for the Sport Track, and a half for the Fitness), but since both are sure to take some time, we are not going to be able to run our classes as we normally would. There will be a short group warm-up before the workout, but we are also asking that you take the time to go through the warm-up that is programmed on BTWB before class begins. There is also a cool down listed and it is important that you take adequate time to let your body ease back to a moderate pace after the workout is done.

The Games athletes are going to be completing this workout on Friday and since you’ll have a point of reference for what it feels like to get through it, I would encourage you to make some time to watch the elites take it on! The Games are running from Wednesday through Sunday and you can find out how to watch all the events here.

Even if you’re intimidated by the thought of this workout, I would really encourage you to welcome the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and see what you’re capable of. Challenge yourself, help the others that you’re working with, and have fun getting after it!

Murph / Terry

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The annual tradition of honoring our veterans by doing the infamous workout “Murph” on Memorial Day has been a long-standing one at CrossFit gyms around the world. This year, we will be using this day to honor our brother Terry Clapp, who passed away earlier this month.

Instead of our usual class schedule, on Memorial Day, we will be running heats of Murph throughout the morning at the Uptown gym, starting at 9:00, 10:00, and 11:00. The registration for the event is $25, and we will be donating all of the money raised to Terry’s family. The heats are up on Zen Planner now, so if you know that there is a time you would prefer to participate, you can sign up as soon as you would like.

The workout is on the longer side, but is scalable to any ability level by cutting the quantity in half and/or substituting the modifications that we use in class. Murph is as follows:

Run 1 mile
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
(pull-ups, push-ups and squats may be broken down however you choose)
Run 1 mile

There will be a BBQ following the event, at 3:00 in Kenwood Park (off Logan Ave and Franklin), so you can go home and get cleaned up after the workout is over. Please bring some food to share!

We only do this workout once a year and it is an experience you will surely remember. Please join us on Memorial day in celebrating the life of our friend, Terry, and honoring all of the other veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.