Today's nutrition landscape is filled with advice; things you should eat, things you shouldn't, what's good, and what's not-so-good. There are reasons to advocate for and against certain ideals and all are backed by different studies and arguments. But one of the main elements of the nutrition discussion is simply: education.

Today, one of our 12L Nutrition Coaches aims to educate you on two hot topics: Probiotics and Antioxidants. Gain a basic understanding of what these things do, and why we need them.


Our whole lives we are told to make healthy habits a priority. We are encouraged to develop a lifestyle that promotes longevity and activity. But somewhere along the lines, life happens- we find reasons to not make health the priority.

It could be work or family obligations, or a mixture of both that can seemingly cause men and women to neglect one of the most beneficial pieces of equipment we own: our own bodies.

Since 12 Labours opened nearly 10 years ago (BWI location), we have introduced fitness to all ages and ability levels. But we also understand that there are still some intimidating factors of CrossFit that may keep you from trying. Which is what prompted an OG member and coach, Shannon Smiechowski, and a member-turned-coach, Aimee Sirmon to develop the 12L SHE program.

This 12-Week fitness and lifestyle primer will not only introduce women to healthy living, it will prime you with the knowledge and confidence you need to continue even after the program concludes.

We are currently accepting members for this program that...


The training methodology of CrossFit is one reason why members continually join and stick with their regimen. But many athletes may also find that their best friends, and strongest bonds, are forged with those who workout right beside them.

The concept shines light onto CrossFits military ties but also to the community and camaraderie that surrounds the sport. When CrossFit ReVamped and 12 Labours Columbia opened their doors five years ago- they were neighboring businesses. Fast-forward to 2017 and the two gyms are no longer neighbors, but have managed to build up the Columbia, Maryland CrossFit community with impressively fit athletes with a loyal local and global following.

Both gyms have sent individual (ReVamped) and team (12 Labours) athletes to the CrossFit Games in the past. This year, both facilities are sending a team of six athletes to the CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.

To celebrate this feat, we have decided to join forces as a collective CrossFit community- the foundation of this sport.


We're feeling funky fresh and ready for the Summer... and even more ready for the CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.

Every year, we design a new limited-edition apparel line to commemorate the occasion. This not only gives you the opportunity to get some different 12L gear, it gives you a way to stand out during the Games season- while repping your team.

This year, we're throwing it back to the glory days of MTV. We're rooted in our obsession with bright colors, fun times, and a perfect playlist for every workout. While the Games competition is fierce, we still are enjoying every bit of this journey. Join us in celebrating this season and supporting your crew!

T-shirts and tank tops are available for the men. Tank tops and crop tops are available for the women.


From the moment team 12L stepped off the podium at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games, they were anxiously awaiting preparation for 2017. This is not to say that their efforts were not appreciated and celebrated, but it is a testament to the agreed work ethic of the group.

17.5 Open strategy

The fifth and final workout of the 2017 CrossFit Games Open IS HERE. It's a painfully elegant (as Pat Sherwood would say) of thrusters and double unders. We've got your workout information and tips from around the web to help you finish this years Open strong.


The repeat Open workout is here! 17.4 is indeed a repeat from 2016: 16.4.

In 13 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of:

55 Deadlifts

55 Wall Balls

55 Calorie Row

55 Handstand Pushups

This is a great opportunity to directly test your progress from last year. Most importantly, if you have already completed this workout, you will be able to improve upon last years strategy. We've put together our favorite bits of advice from around the internet.

If you're looking for some last-minute skill reminders for handstand pushups and rowing efficiency, head over to our YouTube station.

17.3 prep

We have had two dumbbell workouts in this open season and there is finally.... A BARBELL. In typical CrossFit fashion, however, there is also a gymnastics movement: pullups. We've put together our favorite reference pieces from around the web so that you can properly prepare for this workout.


The CrossFit Games director, Dave Castro has spoken for the second week: and for the second week in a row, we will be using dumbbells for the Open workout.

WOD 17.2 is a mix of dumbbell lunges, toes to bar, dumbbell cleans, and bar muscle ups. More gymnastics and strategy will go into this workout than the previous week; and we're here with your list of links to help you prepare best for when you test it.

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Registration is now open for the newest 12L Barbell Strength cycle. If you’re looking for a program outside of the usual workouts involving more lifting, look no further than 12 Labours Barbell.

This program is geared towards individuals who enjoy the strength progressions during regular classes but want more. It is also a great tool for those who want to learn better movement and more efficiency with the core power movements.

The program runs at BWI. We've included all the information here for those who are interested in starting this program. The first strength cycle of 2017 will kick off on March 14th.


It's that time of year again. For many, this may be familiar; but for anyone new to CrossFit, this will be your first experience with the Open.

In short, this is the largest CrossFit event of the year and it starts with each and every one of you. This competition is unlike any other in many ways. It is a chance for you personally to test yourself and to experience it all with your fellow gym-mates.

The CrossFit Open is a five-week test of fitness aimed to challenge athletes of all levels. For some, it's simply a set of workouts to test again in the future. For others, it's the first step into qualifying for Regionals and the CrossFit Games. But for everyone, it's a time to enjoy the community that surrounds this sport.


2016 has come and gone and while we are extremely excited for yet another year, we are also proud at what 2016 has produced. It's time to continue moving forward and build on the progress we have all made.

January brings a month full of valuable events from goal-setting, nutrition challenge, the Resolution Games, and finally; the 2017 CrossFit Games Open.

More information about each particular event will be released soon, but mark your calendars now.

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If you're in town for the holidays to visit, or just want to make sure you can get your holiday fitness in, this will hold the answers!

Because the holidays fall on weekends this year, most of our schedule will remain the same. Included below is also a link to the regularly scheduled classes at our Columbia, Annapolis, and BWI locations.

If you are an experienced CrossFitter and would like to drop in to a class, please contact to let us know. We kindly ask that you arrive early to your class to talk with the coaches and fill out all required paperwork.

The holiday schedule for Christmas and New Years can be found below:


If you’re looking for a program outside of the usual workouts involving more lifting, look no further than 12 Labours Barbell. One branch of 12 Labours Barbell is the Strength program.

This program is geared towards individuals who enjoy the strength progressions during regular classes but want more. It is also a great tool for those who want to learn better movement and more efficiency with the core power movements.

The program runs at BWI. We've included all the information here for those who are interested in starting this program!


The night of July 30, 2016 started as a typical Saturday evening but ended like no one could have possibly predicted.

That night, an "off the charts" flash flood absolutely devastated historic Ellicott City. Residential areas and businesses were all affected and continue to rebuild from the nearly 6" rainfall accumulated over a swift two hours.

While the initial shock of the events has since subsided, many families and businesses are still working to regain normalcy to their lives. As soon as the flood damage was known, the CrossFit community was already looking for ways to help others. If anything, we all know that we're capable of picking things up, putting them down, and using that ability for good.

Some took to the streets to help clean up old EC, and the 12 Labours crew looked for a way that we could directly help. After talking with Mark, the owner of Phoenix Emporium of Old EC, we knew this is how we wanted to...

Coaches Update: Programming

While the idea of CrossFit is constantly varied, functional fitness, the 12 Labours class programming follows a little more structure to help you reach your goals.

The basic concept is that we follow a yearly cycle broken down in to four main parts. Half of this time is considered the "off season" where we have strategic goals during each time period.

  • Part 1: September to December - This is our strength and skill portion of the year.
  • Part 2: January to April - This is the Open prep cycle, getting those lungs ready for the burners that Castro throws at us.
  • Part 3: May to July - This is considered our Season for the year, starts with the Open and continues through the CrossFit Games.
  • Part 4: August - This is our testing phase, testing our year of training, and developing new benchmarks for the year to come.

The question that typically arises is, "What if I am not a CrossFit Games Athlete or even do the Open?"

And our answer is simple, we treat...


CrossFit just got a lot stronger.

It's time for another strength cycle with 12 Labours Barbell. This cycle kicks of on September 29th and is focused on athletes who want to continue CrossFitting and increase strength.

The cycle is 2x/week.

The current strength group meets on Tuesday/Thursdays and will be doing the same for this next cycle.

Learn more! Contact

Gameday Attire

How to watch/follow along and what we know.

We've been seeing a lot of teal from the 12 Labours crew, and a lot of nothing from the Games director, Dave Castro- but that only can lead us to believe that this year is going to be pretty exciting.

Until there is more known about Friday-Sunday's festivities, here are a few spots to look, some places we want you to be for entertainment, and some helpful hints we have for you as the 2016 CrossFit Games get underway.

As you read this article, the individuals are finishing one of their events at The Ranch in Aromas, California.... yeah that was a surprise.

Event 1 was a 7k trail run. Event 2 is a Deadlift ladder that runs less than 20 minutes after the run finishes.


We're excited to watch the 12 Labours Lions represent the gym and throwdown with some of the top athletes in the world during the CrossFit Games.

The Games are July 19-24 in Carson, California. We will be updating our Instagram and Facebook regarding the 12L Lions competition schedule so make sure you are following us on those outlets.

As for classes at each location, we will run a slightly altered schedule from July 18-25th


While many kids look forward to a weekend of relaxation, a group of Columbia, Maryland athletes look forward to prowler pushes and tire flips to kick off their Saturday morning. And these CrossFit Kids, or Little Lions as we call them, got an extra treat recently as they were coached by CrossFit Games athletes themselves, the Little Lions counterparts; ‘big’ 12 Labours Lions.

The workout included burpees, situps, running, and they learned wall balls for the daily skill. And while working out with such athletes is exciting to many young CrossFit athletes, the team and CrossFit kids coaches hope to impart more than just new skills.

“It’s about encouraging the kids to be healthy and find a passion for fitness,” Coach Heather Dexter explained to the Baltimore Sun, “but also having them encourage each other. We teach them about teamwork and supporting each other.”

Teresa Luz, who grew up competing in various sports, didn’t find CrossFit until she was over 30 years old. And...


Not only is strength one of the 10 Components of Fitness, it also plays a large role in progress with CrossFit. If you're looking to take your fitness to the next level this year, incorporating the 12L Strength program to your regular CrossFit programming can benefit your overall fitness.

The cycle is starting June 28th and is designed for athletes who want to continue CrossFitting and increase strength.

The cycle is 2x/week.

The current strength group meets on Tuesday/Thursdays at 12L BWI and will be doing the same for this next cycle. The class is from 5-7PM.

Learn more! Contact

The Strength Program is a 16-week progression focusing on:

· Squat

· Bench Press

· Deadlift

· Strict Press

Each cycle is dedicated to perfecting movements and core strength in each lift. While we include muscle building through accessory work and isolated training for overall strength, class members will be able to and encouraged to attend some group WODs for additional conditioning. This strength...


Whether you walk through the doors of 12 Labours CrossFit as a former athlete, a habitual gym-goer, or are completely new to fitness; our goal since day-one has been simple: optimize human performance.

The 12 Labours competitors approach their training with that mentality as well, to the enth degree. They strive to redefine what is possible. But this does not come by simply wishing for the best, it comes from continuous effort on a daily basis. That effort can at times seem extremely taxing mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not to mention the sacrifices that are made on behalf of the goal. But big dreams require an even larger commitment to oneself and to the team. And as three years of commitment have shown, the payoff is big for these athletes. Team 12 Labours is heading back to Carson, California to represent Maryland Affiliates in the 2016 CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup.

Whether you’ve trained head to head with the team members, taken one of their classes, or simply support this group; there is a mutual...


The workout is familiar:

1 mile run

100 pull-ups

200 push-ups

300 squats

1 mile run

But the meaning behind it continues to hold weight.

While CrossFit is heavily rooted in the power and importance of the military, Hero workouts remind us that some sacrifice everything to ensure the safety of people they don't know and may never meet. It is a constant example of the fragility of life; and the importance in enjoying, celebrating, and experiencing everything we can during our time.


We are excited to see Team 12 Labours Lions take the floor in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend for the 2016 Atlantic Regional. They have their eyes on the podium, and their goals set for their third consecutive trip to the CrossFit Games.

Look out this week for more information on the team members and information on how to watch the regional competition. Take a look at the updated class schedule for the following 12 Labours locations. The schedule is also updated on the Front Desk HQ schedule.


As warmer weather approaches, water consumption is typically a hot topic. While we always preach adequate hydration throughout the day, there are many benefits to getting enough water:

  • Great skin

  • healthy digestive system

  • decreased ear, nose, and throat conditions,

  • effective use of nutrients in food

The effects of hydration are great, but how much water should you drink? The old adage of 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day may be easy to remember, but doesn’t reflect true hydration needs.

The Institute of Medicine has determined that men need roughly 3 liters of fluid, and women need roughly 2 liters per day. This increases by 1 to 2 cups per hour of exercise, or if you are ill or breastfeeding.

Notice the term fluid.

Remember, if you are drinking coffee (yes, coffee!), tea, or other beverages, you can count those toward your fluid intake. Also those who are following a high vegetable and fruit diet are getting some...

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In a tradition that spans many CrossFit gyms around the U.S. and beyond, we are taking part in the Memorial Day Murph challenge. This years event will be held at 12 Labours Annapolis.

The event is free to all members, and is open to non-members as well. The workout is in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". It is now referred to as "Murph" in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Memorial day is one out of the year to solely honor those who have been on the front lines for their country, but every time we take part in a hero workout, we are honoring those who fought and continue the fight.

Join us on Monday, May 30 from 10AM-12PM

@ 12 Labours...

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With the arrival of more sunshine, longer days, and warmer weather means a couple things: more outdoor activities, and the relaunch of the 12 Labours Endurance program.

We are beginning "Sunday Runday" meet-ups for any interested 12 Labours members starting this Sunday, April 17th at Howard High School Track. We'll begin around 8AM with some warmups and drills, and then enjoy a run. All levels are welcome.

12 Labours Endurance is dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. We strive to educate our clients on the basic mechanics of running, race nutrition, injury prevention, and programming information. Our goal is quality of training, not quantity of miles.

Weekly group running sessions are taught by certified CF Endurance coaches, Rebecca Koch and Tierra Duncan utilizing CF Endurance protocols.

Want to learn more? Contact us with any questions.


It's that time of year again...

After the Open but before Regionals, 12 Labours CrossFit hosts one of the premiere fitness challenges in the Mid-Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge (MAAC) is April 9-10, 2016 and we're very excited for this competition's fifth year!


The 2016 Open has officially come and gone. And with that, we're presented with another new "season" to begin. It's time to refocus our training, and continue pressing forward.

We had a blast working out with everyone each Saturday and are continually inspired by your dedication and enthusiasm. This does, however, bring us a new form of appreciation for knowing everyday's workout on Sunday night- instead of waiting on Thursday night!

We've put together a custom 12L Leaderboard for you to see where you stack up with other members. The following leaderboards are:

1. Overall 12 Labours (men and women)

2. Men

3. Women

.... Enjoy some bragging rights, but also remember- preparation for 2017 has already started. Keep moving forward!


We knew that thrusters would be in the Open, and we knew that there would have to be a repeat workout from a previous year, but not many of us thought that 16.5 would:

1. Be 14.5

2. Have a second workout with bar facing burpees in it.

Alas, Dave Castro and the CrossFit Games staff is always surprising in that way. The 2016 Open has been quite brilliantly programmed thus far and a test/retest element is always exciting for athletes for a few reasons. This conversation has come up multiple times with 12 Labours athletes so we are going to take a minute to discuss this before going in to the weekly link guide of tips and pointers.


Another week and we're ready for a nice little chipper. Deadlifts, wall balls, rowing, and pushups. It's time for a chipper- and a workout that we simply work through to the best of our ability. We've compiled a list of pointers to help you prepare for 16.4.

We'll be kicking off our 12L community open at 11 AM at our BWI location. Progenex and Power Supply will be on-site for the fun.

Make sure to check out our YouTube station as well for more information on the workout standards, and more detailed rowing, deadlift, and handstand pushup technique breakdowns.


The 20 min. WOD is a thing of the past (or 16.1 and possible 16.2) and now it's time to test your engine. The 16.3 workout is:

7-min. AMRAP:

10 power snatches (75/55 lbs)

3 bar muscle-ups

Scales include:

lighter snatches

jumping chest to bar pullups.

Watch the workout description here.

We've put together our list of our favorite tips for this workout. There isn't nearly as much strategy behind this one, as it is designed to be a quick and fast workout. But we're including more valuable information to help you with your bar muscle ups.

NEW THIS WEEK: Check out our YouTube Channel for the "2016 Open Prep" playlist with our suggested videos. Hit...


We're excited to host another Rx Smart Gear clinic this April at 12 Labours CrossFit Columbia.

Join us on Sunday April 3, 2016 from 10AM-12PM.

Rx Smart Gear offers industry-leading clinics on teaching crossfitters how to efficiently master double unders as well as understand and work the basics of jump roping all together.

The Rx Method is the world’s first jump rope training program geared toward the functional athlete. Its progression-based approach has proven to be the most effective training method for single unders, double unders and triple unders across the broadest skill levels from beginner to elite athlete.

Topics covered are:


    Ready to Register? Click on the photo or follow this link


Another week of more fitness.

16.2 is another potential 20 minute workout, but has some obstacles to get to that. Find the details and standards for 16.2 here.

The workout starts with:

4 min. increment + bonus time (if completed)

25 Toes to Bar (Hanging knee raises)

50 Double Unders (50 Single Unders)

15 Squat Cleans (135/85RX)(95/55Scaled)

If completed, the squat clean weight increases and reps decrease. There is a toes to bar and jump rope buy-in to each round of squat cleans.

We've included our favorite links that help you prepare and recover from this workout below. A reminder that this weeks open will begin at 11AM at BWI.


For the next five weeks, we look forward to Thursday nights a little more than we normally do, because: The Open announcements.

Last night, 16.1 was announced. Some have already done the workout, while others have yet to complete it. Each week, we will bring you our favorite breakdowns of these workouts to help you prepare. You can spend some time watching, listening, reading, and strategizing as you see fit. Your coaches will be available to help you as well.

Watch and view the movement standards here.


It was a dark and cold night in February 2014. Chris Owens walked into 12 Labours CrossFit Annapolis not sure what to expect. Little did he know, he was taking the first step of a fitness journey unlike any other; a journey that would change his perception of health, wellness, and overall belief in what is truly possible.


Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.

Not only is strength one of the 10 Components of Fitness, it also plays a large role in progress with CrossFit. If you're looking to take your fitness to the next level this year, incorporating the 12L Strength program to your regular CrossFit programming can benefit your workouts and... your preparedness for the 2016 CrossFit Games Open.

The cycle is starting February 16th and is designed for athletes who want to continue CrossFitting and increase strength.

We're excited to host Juggernaut Training Systems founder, Chad Wesley Smith for a Juggernaut Seminar this Sunday at BWI as a perfect start to the next strength cycle. Learn more about Chad here.

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We are a one week away from the third annual Resolution Games at 12 Labours CrossFit. This time, teams will take on a series of three workouts to test strength, speed, and strategy.

dfSee the below WOD descriptions below.

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The 12 Labours 28-Day “Path to the Open” is focused on preparation. For the open, for the week, for your goals, for life.

This isn’t a strict “insert-popular-diet-name-here” challenge, this is a “make-healthy-choices” challenge that focuses on nutrition education, food selection, and overall wellness. We are focused on building your personal health template to encourage healthy food choices beyond the 28-day program and empower you to better understand your own diet.

How it works

You make the commitment. We’ll help you hold to your word. Once you register for the 12L28, we’ll arm you with information.

Member Registration

Non-Member Registration

The beginning: “Food 101” lecture: Here, our Nutrition Coaches Emily Schelberg and Erin Ferner, will walk you through the basics of nutrition. Their approach is real...


The CrossFit Games season is one of the main pillars of the 12 Labours CrossFit programming. From fitness enthusiasts to Regional and Games level athletes, our programming follows a regimen from January to August that leads up to the competition in Carson.

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From January 15-17, a few 12 Labours Athletes and Coaches are embarking on a trip to Miami, FL to compete in the Wodapalooza Fitness Competition. Two elite teams, and two individuals will be represented.

With this, comes a couple schedule updates for you for Columbia and BWI locations. The updates are:

Thursday Jan. 14 @ Columbia:


4:15-5PM- OPEN GYM

5, 6, and 7 PM classes will run as scheduled.

Saturday, Jan. 16 @ BWI

12L Sweat - CANCELED


Since the beginning of time, people have wondered about the world; what is in it, and what is outside of it. Philosophers all agreed that the world was round but explorers had the innate curiosity to want more. So they set out on a journey to fulfill those questions.

Many of the first maps and globes hold the phrase “HIC SVNT LEONES” (hic sunt leones) literally translating to “here be lions.” The phrase was a classic among ancient Roman and Medieval cartographers denoting unknown territories.

Unknown. Unknowable.

(see: CrossFit)

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There are 387,000 search results for “domino stacking,” and over 100,000 more for other domino combination terms. Within the results there are board games and YouTube videos highlighting some impressive- some even Guinness World Record- feats. The games and videos all take time to plan and execute. It is a practice in precision and patience; which bears a strong similarity between life, goals, and accomplishment. This is further explained by the domino effect.

The domino effect was originally used to illustrate the succession of communism in the 1950’s. Today, this concept explains how an intricately designed plan can increase power as it is executed.


The holidays can be a time of reflection and intention for the new year, but remember that it is still a time to train. While 12 Labours will have a modified schedule during this time, remember that you can always be active and use your fitness outside of the gym.

>>> Stay Warm! Make sure to order your 12 Labours Hoodie by December 29th. Ordering details here <<<<

That being said, we are gearing up for an eventful and productive month ahead.

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Parties and fitness: sounds like a perfect combination for this time of year. Join us for one, or both through the new year.


One of our members and coaches-in-training, Tierra D. discussed her experience at 12 Labours for the last 365 days and it rings true for many athletes.

Take a minute to read her perspective on goals, hard work, and what we learn along the way.


"As I am coming up on my 1 year mark at 12L I have been thinking about what 'the process' means to me. I may have started CrossFit 2.5 years ago to simply get into shape, but what I got was a transformation of the body and of the soul. It's easy to focus on the physical growth, but what means more to me is that I have evolved in so many other ways. By being in environment that encourages constant challenge and community I have been able to increase my mental strength, self-esteem, empathy, and I even discovered that I have a true passion for learning and wanting to help others with their fitness goals.



Whether you’ve been personally affected, or have a friend or family member who has battled cancer; it’s tougher than any WOD we’ll ever do. Through early detection, treatment and support, many are able to fight valiantly in the face of this illness. “Barbells for Boobs” is dedicated to promoting early detection of breast cancer while also helping individuals gain access to testing and treatment centers.

Join the 12 Labours Barbells for Boobs Team

According to the Barbells for Boobs website, nearly 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer within their lifetime and nearly 7% of them will be under 40 years old.

The grant program within Barbells for Boobs provides funding to breast centers nationally as a resource for thousands of men and women who do not qualify for government funding or other charitable resources in the detection of breast cancer.

And with any sort of detection program, the earlier, the better- more treatment options and lower chances for a more...

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We're operating with a slightly modified schedule November 25-November 29th.

Please take note of the hours for all locations this weekend.

Dropping in from out of town? We look forward to seeing you! Please arrive early to meet the coaches and sign a waiver.

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This past weekend three 12 Labours athletes competed in the USAPL Maryland State meet. This competition was the summation of months of work focused on powerlifting under the watchful eye of Coach Jared.

At the competition, athletes are separated by weight class and must establish a heavy 1-rep in:

  • Bench Press
  • Deadlift
  • Back Squat

Athletes have three chances per lift to reach their heaviest rep. (9 lifts total)

12 Labours results are listed below:


As mentioned in our programming blog post, your weekly workouts are written with certain goals. We look to learn from the results each week to continue helping every 12 Labours athlete fulfill his or her highest potential. We tweak our goals based on the results, and provide our coaches with the best insight and skill guidelines possible to ensure you’re armed with the knowledge and instruction you need to keep moving.

That being said, this is an important week. We’re half way through the squat cycle, are moving up percentages on weightlifting Wednesdays, and simply need a deload week. There will be a heavier focus on mobility instead of heavy barbells. It is designed to be a little lighter; to get you and all 12 Labours athletes in working order and ready to pick up next week.

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Whether you're looking to incorporate running into you CrossFit routine, or simply learn how to reduce pain or injuries associated with running- the 12L Running Workshop is for you.

Join us on Saturday November 21 from 11AM-1PM.

Coaches Erin Ferner and Rebecca Koch provide athletes with a basic understanding of proper running technique and training. The bulk of the workshop will be running drills breaking down foot strike, strides, and pacing. The workshop will culminate with a final workout.

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It's that time of year again! Halloween is fast approaching. Maybe you've already planned out your costume, maybe you're waiting for the PERFECT bit of inspiration.

Wherever you are in the planning process, 12 Labours CrossFit is here to help with some Halloween Inspiration. Browse through some costumes that have appeared at the gym in the recent years.

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Jared Reece and Melissa Copeland competed in the USAPL Raw Nationals this past weekend. There were ups and downs, like any competition, but the overall consensus from both athletes is that the field of lifters continues to improve, as they are also getting better. The outlook for the powerlifting community is definitely strong, literally and figuratively. Jared was able to put this weekend into words that resonate with any competitor. Here are his thoughts:


This weekend I competed at the USAPL 2015 Raw Nationals.

First, let's talk results:

  • TOTAL: PR 1,502lbs. (from 1449lbs)
  • Squat PR 617lbs (from 578lbs)
  • Deadlifted a PR 550lbs (from 518lbs)
  • Bench went AWOL so we'll see how that goes next time

While I would like to say I did great this weekend, there are many who did much better than I! Having said that, I always compete against myself. I push myself to be better than the last meet, to push the limits more, to be the best I can. This training cycle was one...

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You’ve all heard various claims about fish oil in the media, online, and even from your coaches or your doctors. What you may not know is that fish oil-specifically Omega 3 Fatty Acids in the form of fish oil, is one of THE MOST studied supplements available on the market. Research from as far back as the 1980’s shows how this particular fat may play a vital role in decreasing cardiovascular disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis as well as many other inflammatory processes.


Hurricane Joaquin didn't rain on these 12 Labours athletes this weekend! Two competitions: The Leader of the Pack and the Charm City Throwdown brought out athletes from all three 12 Labours locations. They were tested on their strength, endurance, and overall fitness during the event. We want to send out a big 12L congrats to them and also remind everyone the key factors of competing.

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We're launching a new program at 12 Labours CrossFit BWI geared toward those who are short on time, but not-so-short on motivation to move:

12L Sweat.

This 45-minute high-intensity class combines interval and strength training to give you a total-body workout without the time commitment. Each week is a little different than before, keeping your body guessing and your workout interesting.

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As summer winds down and the season begins to change, it's time to reevaluate our goals and where we are vs. where we want to be. One element of that is your nutrition. We're bringing the 12 Labours Nutrition Challenge back this fall with some exciting updates to the program. You'll still be responsible for following certain stipulations, and recording your results, but we've revamped the system.

We bring you: The 12 Labours Nutrition Challenge.

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CrossFit's main goal is to prepare you for the "unknown and unknowable," but the concept of practical training is much more strategic than drawing movements and workouts out of a hopper. I want to give you a glimpse into the year of planning that we have for 12 Labours athletes.

As some of you might have noticed, the last month has been a lot of testing. Not only were we testing how our last year of programming went, but were getting numbers as benchmarks for the next year as well.

Think of our year as broken down into 4 main parts, with the off season being half of that time.

  • Part 1: September to December - This is our strength and skill portion of the year.
  • Part 2: January to April - This is the Open prep cycle, getting those lungs ready for the burners that Castro throws at us.
  • Part 3: May to July - This is considered our Season for the year, starts with the Open and continues through the CrossFit Games.
  • Part 4: August - This is our testing phase, testing our...
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Cancer: a term that everyone knows and no one wants to hear. While the face of cancer spans genders, ages, and lifetimes, many ban together to fight this disease in every form.

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As the sport of fitness continues to grow, we continue to shape our classes and coaching to help athletes understand fitness at the most basic element; which is "constantly varied functional fitness performed at a high intensity." This includes an understanding of the fundamental movement patterns, modal domains, that pervade every WOD: squats, deadlifts, pushups, etc.

While all new members used to complete a separate Foundations Class, we now mix the class with new and existing members, Elements. Whether you're brand new to CrossFit or a seasoned vet, re-learning the basics can only help in your fitness journey.

We offer Clinics and Workshops for the same reason we have an all-levels Elements class; an understanding of movement basics can dramatically improve your overall fitness. Proper movement is the base, strength, agility, endurance, all benefit.

The idea of 12 Labours comes from an understanding that fitness is a...


The world of food has changed drastically in the last 40 years. The '80s, '90s, and early '00s were about convenience. But as the health implications of nutrient-poor, calorie dense foods catch up to the masses, some argue that it's time to get back to the basics.

The Forbes article, "How Did We Get So Fat and Is There Hope," hits on some crucial points. The title of the article is blunt, yes, but it fits right in to CrossFit's M.O.

While many health-conscious individuals have made a point to just eat real food (JERF), the fitness world is sometimes in a bubble of wellness. Here, the author Jeanne Teshler breaks down the evolution of health and addresses recent changes in the food industry and the effect it has had on the population. The different sections are:

1. The first shift in diet

2. Food advertising

3. Medicine

4. Hope for the future

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The team has been back in Maryland for about a week, the dust has settled, and most of us are unpacked and back into the regular swing of things. But we are all forever affected by the 2015 Games experience. Here are the last few things we learned while on the other Coast. It doesn't have much to do with the team on the field, but with the supporters in the stands and scattered around the world.

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It has been four days in California and there has been a lot happening since we first landed on Sunday. The strength of this team is represented on the field but is also experienced as we all live together for one week. Spending all of your time with teammates and friends brings out the best in all of us... and also helps us learn about each other in ways we probably didn't plan.

Here are the top 12 things we've learned:

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12 Labours CrossFit Annapolis first opened its doors in 2010 and has been building strong athletes ever since.

We've had countless memories and PR's within those walls but sometimes it's time for a change. We are extremely excited to announce the new location of 12 Labours CrossFit Annapolis!

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July 21-26 is an exciting time for the CrossFit community and for team 12 Labours. The team is taking on their second CrossFit Games in Carson California. Because a large number of the coaches will be competing or spectating, we have some schedule updates for the week of July 20-28.


One year ago, team 12 Labours set out on a mission to compete. We weren’t entirely sure of the outcome but we committed to the team and to the community. Long training days, traveling, while also balancing our lives outside of the gym were all part of the sacrifice.

But with great sacrifice comes great rewards. We were elated at the 2014 Regionals, but nothing is comparable to stepping foot on the field in Carson, California. And we knew we would do everything in our power to get back to the CrossFit Games in 2015. We believe that, "Preparation separates the lost and the victorious," and with that- we got to work.

Regionals this year was a reminder that no goal worth having comes without challenges. As the team struggled, the community prevailed and we prevailed. You inspired everyone to #keepmoving. The team may be strong together, but there is something about the crew behind us that makes us feel unstoppable.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for us and we would be nowhere without all of you. The...

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Fall Out Boy has been a fixture in the music industry since the early 2000's. The band has come a long way from their Chicago beginnings to become Grammy-nominated, Billboard topping, full-fledged rock stars.

Andy Hurley, the bands drummer, has made his way into the CrossFit world and is concurrently going on a tour-de-fitness during the "Boys of Zummer" tour.

While Andy was in Columbia, Maryland for a show, he hit a workout with the Saturday morning classes and hung out with the competitors crew.

We had the chance to chat with Hurley about music, CrossFit favorites, and more. Learn about the musician and the athlete who is extremely talented and driven by progress.


Women’s sports are absolutely winning right now. The US Women’s National Team cinched their third World Cup title, the Williams sisters continue to demonstrate their dominance at the 2015 Wimbledon, and the “strength is beauty” campaign is stronger than ever (pun intended). The face of athletics, of women’s empowerment, and women’s body image is on the brink of redefinition. How can we continue the upward momentum while bypassing the continuous photoshop fiascos? Athletics may be the answer.


We've completed the official 12 Labours WOD, got our official Games tee's and tanks, and there are still chances to contribute to the 12 Labours Team on their trip back to the CrossFit Games. There are still three ways to support these athletes:


CrossFit has very strong ties to the military/first responders. The training style and methodology is utilized in many instances. This relationship also comes with the unfortunate consequence: loss.

Many service men and women give their lives for a cause that is bigger than themselves: for their country and for their comrades. Hero WODs were created to honor these fallen individuals.

There is nothing glamorous about the workouts. These WODs are usually longer, heavier, and grittier than many others done on a day-to-day basis. But there is something different about them. It's more than just a WOD- it's a living memorial, to many, for a complete stranger. But the connection is simple: he or she believed in our freedom, and our safety. These hero's made the ultimate sacrifice. How can we even come close to thanking them?

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It was a busy weekend for many 12 Labours CrossFit athletes! Saturday and Sunday, 12 Labours athletes competed and pushed themselves to new heights.

All three districts had teams at the Vekter Games on Saturday at CrossFit ReVamped. Two teams competed in the scaled division while the others went up against some stiff competition in the RX division.

"Cleans for Chianti" had an exciting 4th place finish. "Camel Toes to Bar" finished 16th while "Blood, sweat, and beers" finished 10th in their respective divisions.

The workouts were definitely challenging; testing two-rep touch and go cleans, overhead movements, rope climbs, and more. It's always fun to do partner workouts. The added teamwork element makes some workouts less intimating and helps athletes split up work based on strengths and weaknesses. Plus, who doesn't want to workout with friends on a Saturday!? Fantastic job to all athletes who competed!

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The CrossFit Games is a test of fitness that far exceeds the challenges on the field. Years are spent preparing and sacrificing for a chance to represent the community on the biggest stage. But sometimes, as we found at the 2015 Atlantic Regionals, strength is also represented outside the competition floor.


The heat is here! With that, brings a slew of new challenges for athletes. From apparel, hydration, and additional reminders; we've compiled a list of our top five summer essentials to get you through the warmest months.


He's a coach and an athlete who strives for progress. He has recently had quite a bit of success with power lifting- including meet PR's and awesome training days. We sat down with Coach Jared to talk about his training and improvement this season. Most importantly, he notes the positive effect of training with others. HINT: it's more than just beard power.


It’s a battle scar for CrossFitters and possibly an eye-sore for someone who doesn’t (or hasn’t tried) CrossFit: the hand rip.

Mangled flesh juxtaposed with a smiling face, or just a close-up of the rip is enough to jog old memories of your own. Sure, that rip is a sign of a “WOD well-done,” but no one mentions the absolute brutal feeling of showering or hand washing for the following two weeks. One bad rip is usually reason enough to prevent it from happening again.

There are many steps you can take to maintain your hand health. Here is a list of the tips and tricks to consider:


Asking a CrossFitter their Fran time is similar to asking a lifter their max bench press. Maybe the workout is so well known because it is one of the first workouts developed by Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit. But one thing is for certain- Fran is very difficult to forget.

The workout is a classic CrossFit couplet- two movements performed consecutively: thrusters and pullups, to a rep scheme: 21-15-9.

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In CrossFit, we talk a lot about programming, training, and consistency- all summed up in one phrase: the process. When athletes embark on their fitness journey, we don’t talk in terms of a starting point and an ending point, we talk in terms of a starting point and a checkpoint because fitness is an evolving process that never actually ends…. at least if we have anything to do with it.

These checkpoints are known as benchmarks. Benchmark defined is simply: a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.

These points in CrossFit can take the form of workouts and lifts. The standard CrossFit Benchmark WOD’s are known as “The Girls.”

But the term benchmark is a point of reference. So anything that you do more than once is essentially a benchmark- a way to track your progress from where you started to where you are now. Wodify does a great job of noting your progress, whether it’s a gold star by...


We're excited to send off Team 12 Labours to Atlanta for the 2015 CrossFit Games Atlantic Regional Competition

With that, comes a bit of schedule changes for all locations. Most class times will remain the same, you may just have a different coach- all 12L coaches will make your class enjoyable.

These schedule changes are in effect for Thursday May 14- Saturday May 16. BWI and Annapolis will have regularly scheduled yoga and WOD classes on Sunday May, 17.


The late fashion icon, Coco Chanel once said, “Before leaving the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

For CrossFit’s sake, we’ll refer to this as the “Chanel rule of moderation.” But what exactly does Chanel have to do with CrossFit? We will focus on the purpose of accesories in CrossFit and the importance of proper movement patterns.

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You might see some coaches using big boots at all 12 Labours locations. We’re bringing you some technology to aid in your recovery. The NormaTec system utilizes compression technology to help you recover faster between workouts.

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CrossFit just got a lot stronger. (Donuts may or may not be included)

It's time for another strength cycle with 12 Labours Barbell. This cycle kicks of on May 5th and is focused on athletes who want to continue CrossFitting and get stronger.

Until now, all strength programs were 3x/week. This next cycle will be 2x/week with an optional 3rd day of open gym.


The growing sport of functional fitness continues to make waves throughout the fitness community. 2014 saw the rise of a new sport in this realm called The National Pro GRID league, NPGL or "The GRID" for short. This consists of teams of athletes going head-to-head in matches.

The GRID differs from other functional fitness competitions because although the team is one entity, different players are responsible for different things- just like a basketball team works together while athletes hold specific positions. This sport is also a great opportunity for many high-level athletes to specialize in whichever area of fitness they excel- which is very different from the concept of the CrossFit Games.

12 Labours had five athletes take the stage on the GRID Pro Days that were held the last couple months. Three of these athletes were called back for the NPGL Combine, which is this weekend. We caught up with athletes Luke Espe, Christa Giordano, and Christen Wagner, to see how they feel about this weekend:


Is your back sore after deadlifts?

Any number of things can cause back pain with deadlifts. In the time I have spent at 12 Labours CrossFit, I've found some similarities between the athletes.

The biggest issue I've found is: low hamstring mobility relative to high low-back mobility during deadlifts.

We're going to look at a couple tests you can do on yourself to see if this applies to you. I'll break down some techniques to help you fix this lift in the short and long term.

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It's the best time of the year outside of the Open, and we're so happy that the two are so close together!

It's time for the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge hosted by 12 Labours! Most coaches and athletes will be working the event, competing, or spectating- so we've made a couple changes to the usual weekend schedule at BWI and Columbia.


Protein + Supplements = Questions.

Coaches and nutrition experts alike preach the importance or proper nutrition throughout your daily life and especially to aid recovery after rigorous physical activity. Not only do protein supplements help support your recovery process, they also have added nutrition that may be hard to find in a regular post-workout meal.

Our 12 Labours Nutrition lead, Emily Schelberg is here to make your protein search a little easier. Here are her suggestions:

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We're constantly striving to make fitness more accessible for you. That means we want to make sure that the times you want to WOD, we're available. We've found a couple times that just aren't popular so we're taking those off of the schedule and working to revamp the class times to fit your life.

You can view the current class schedule for each location by selecting the "Locations" tab on this website.

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Whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while or are new to the game, one question pops up frequently: what shoes do I need?

If you look at the coaches, they’ll mostly be wearing the answer. Anyone who trains strictly CrossFit more than two times a week has usually invested in footwear to do the job. Or, if you’re crazy about sneakers- you probably got a pair before even starting CrossFit.

There are a couple guidelines that we use when choosing a CrossFit shoe, so before we even delve into the brands and their specific details, here’s what you need to consider:

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Many of you may have noticed the new guy hanging around the gym for the last month – that’s TJ. He’s a physical therapist who specializes in working to prevent injuries before they even happen, and we’ve brought him on board to work with all of you.

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From February 28- March 28, a celebration is in order. It's time to celebrate goals. To celebrate our fitness. To celebrate CrossFit. To celebrate 12 Labours. And to celebrate what we've achieved this year and what is soon to come.

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The countdown is almost over! One more day until the 2015 Resolution Games. The 12L crew is excited for this event and we're ready to see you all push yourselves outside of classes.

You can find the first two workouts listed below. Also included is details for volunteers and athletes.

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Goals are dreams with deadlines. 12 Labours CrossFIt member Andrea Kibalo made a goal to do a CrossFIt competition by the end of 2015. By the end of February, she will have competed in two. From the serendipitous involvement in the Battle of Baltimore, to her upcoming competition in the Resolution Games, she’s sharing her initial lessons and advice for anyone new to fitness competitions.



It's baaaack! The inter-gym competition between all 12 Labours Locations is back for a second year, this time bigger and better. RX and Scaled individual divisions for men and women are available. This is a great way to compete amongst friends and see what it's like to do a competition whether you're brand new or a seasoned vet.

Judging opportunities available as well!

Challenge yourself and your workout buddies from all locations. This is a LIVE way to see how you stack up outside of the Wodify coachboard and is also a great way to gear up for The Open! Fun prizes, t-shirts, and cool tables are all perks of this community event exclusive to 12 Labours members.

Register HERE


This past weekend, multiple 12 Labours athletes set out to prove to others and themselves what they were capable of, the results: they’re pretty freaking strong. Some athletes competed in the 2014 American Open, other strength athletes retested their totals. A summary of their accomplishments is listed below.

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CrossFit is a major pillar for promoting and preaching a healthy lifestyle. We workout on a daily basis, stress proper nutrition, and are passionate about living a balanced life. There are, however chances of problems along the way. Injury and illness are the most major. One form of ailment, cancer, is known all too well for many.

Whether you’ve been personally affected, or have a friend or family member who has battled cancer; it’s tougher than any WOD we’ll ever do. Through early detection, treatment and support, many are able to fight valiantly in the face of this illness. “Barbells for Boobs” is dedicated to promoting early detection of breast cancer while also helping individuals gain access to testing and treatment centers.

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In the CrossFit world, the muscle up is as recognizable a skill as double unders or butterfly pullups. These movements require a bit of gymnastics understanding and body awareness. This past Saturday, August 9, 2014- Coach Brad Weiss led BWI District, Annapolis District, Columbia District and members of surrounding CrossFit affiliates through the 12 Labours Muscle Up Clinic. Participants learned various elements of this movement and attempted the new skill.


After hitting his weight loss goal through long distance running, Scott Cole stepped into the 12 Labours- Columbia District, then CrossFit Syndicate, looking to gain more strength and structure to his workouts.

“I wanted to build muscle and get stronger,” he explains, “but I’m not a gym rat and wasn’t looking for the usual gym experience- which is why I wanted to start CrossFit.”

When he first started with his free intro with Coach Jess, he knew it was something he’d enjoy. There was a group atmosphere that wasn’t matched with usual gyms or the solitude of strictly running. And while the lifts and form cues are difficult to learn at first, it didn’t take Scott long to come into his own as an athlete at 12 Labours.

He even won the Whole Life Challenge, a nutrition and lifestyle challenge, last spring. The challenge showed his diligence with a strict diet- losing inches and gaining muscle- while also staying committed to getting stronger during each workout.


As the first heat of athletes started running, it was evident that the 12 Labours WOD was not an easy feat. But that didn’t matter. Over 100 athletes, 12 Labours members, non-members, and all-around badasses completed all 12 tasks like champions. 400 meter runs, prowler pushes, muscle ups, handstand pushups, Assault biking and other events kept everyone interested throughout the workout. The best part? That’s debatable. The worst part? That’s also debatable. But the consensus is that coming together for a good cause is worth a lot of sweat (and some cool prizes).


Unstoppable together. That phrase was an echoing reminder for all 8 members of team CrossFIt Syndicate (12 Labours) during the MidAtlantic Regionals in May. Their teamwork and consistency helped secure a second place finish and advance them to The CrossFit Games. The Games are July 25-27 in Carson, California.

While the team continues to train, we are also coming together to support their efforts. What better way to do that than to workout too? The 12 Labours Fundraiser is this weekend at the BWI District. The official 12 Labours WOD will be released, groups will workout, and we'll all be working to raise money to help Team Syndicate (12 Labours) get to Cali.


Summer is here, which means two things....Sunshine and CrossFit Competitions. We had plenty of both this weekend as we had multiple teams and individuals compete in numerous CrossFit events in the Baltimore/DC area.

First up is Flex on the Mall, an event held in the shadow of the Washington Monument! We had 4 teams with representation of the 12 Labours community. For the Annapolis District we had two teams.


It is finally here...the 12 Labours Launch PARTY!

The 12 Labours is a concept derived from greek mythology brought to life for the fitness community. We're celebrating the launch of this new brand and recognizing all of the amazing members of our community who have gotten us to this point. Columbia, BWI and Annapolis are all invited to enjoy an evening of entertainment.

Music provided by DJ Kopec, drink specials will be available, and hors d'oeuvres provided.


This Saturday, June 7th at Nobles Bar and Grill, starting at 7pm.

Nobles Bar and Grill

1024 S Charles St

Baltimore, MD 21230


There is a public parking garage behind Mothers Grille (1113 S Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230). Parking also available behind Shoufers (down the street from Nobles) which is $5 for the evening.

RSVP with the link below


Please note if you have a +1 for the event.

**cocktail attire**

This is going to be...


So its been about 2 years since I wrote the original article on Bulletproof Coffee on CrossFit BWI’s blog. In those two years I have still been drinking Bulletproof Coffee, not really sure I could ever go back to drinking normal coffee. I thought everyone knew about it and it was mainstream by now, but it has been brought to my attention that is not the case. So here we go, prepare to have your mind blown by knowledge and science.

The man behind this incredible beverage is Dave Asprey, basically a mad scientist with his own body, constantly testing and experimenting for the sake of humans becoming more awesome.

So what is Bulletproof Coffee?

Essentially it is a concoction that sets us up to rage for the rest of the day. Remember our nutrition lecture about avoiding sugar and carbs in the morning? Dave and I have the same thoughts about what you should include in your morning nutrition cause were both effing geniuses, duh.


A story about why the Many are more powerful than a Few.


It came to a head when presented with a small challenge.

The challenge was to raise money for Wades Army a CrossFit Football fundraiser for a pediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma . Our gym crushed that challenge and raised a total of $5,271 which was the leading fundraising gym in the world. The fundraiser reached the far edges of the world including gyms from the US, Germany and New Zealand. And CFS stepped up and led the charge!


When we talk about the longevity of health, there is a vast difference between volume in training and intensity, and more isn’t always better.

The template in which we see the best results are the two routines below.

  1. 3 DAYS ON, 1 DAY OFF, 2 DAYS ON , 1 DAY OFF

But why? What can’t you just go 5 days in a row? Bi’s and Tri’s, Back and Shoulders, Legs and Abs, and repeat! Wrong program guys !


Kipping pullups and torn up hands go to together like square dancin’ and handguns, or campin’ trips and head lice, or suits of armor and electrical storms.


Sadly this is not the first time I have written about this, nor will it be my last…

Are you hurt or are you injured? The ultimate question you need to ask yourself everyday. Whats the difference you ask?

If any of you remember this radical movie about college football “The Program”, then you’ll remember Latimer bashing his head into cars for making starting defense while yelling ”Starting defense, place at the table!!!!” What you might not remember is James Caan explaining this very topic of hurt or injured. Injured means youre out, go get an MRI, talk to the doc, etc. Hurt means something is sore, or doesn’t feel 100%, or you need to work something out.

Let me just preface this by saying, if I only trained when everything felt 100% then I would have had exactly 2 training sessions completed since 2003.

Now am I saying to just go out and rip it every training session and push through all the pain? NO! I am saying the exact opposite. I am saying to start realizing the difference between being hurt and being injured. “If I keep going, am I guna fuck myself...


The weather is finally starting to get nicer, which means its that time of the year. Yup you guessed it…shoe shopping season.

There’s a ton of different options out there for the everyday CrossFitter when it comes to CrossFit Shoes, which I will explain and give MY recomendation. Remember this doesnt mean that a particular shoe isnt good if its not on here, these are just my favorites.

Let’s start off with all around everyday CrossFit kicks. My absolute favorite shoe so far has to be the Reebok Nano 2.0.


I have been meaning to write an article on Gut Health since we started WLC, but just havent been able to get to it yet. Thankfully, my friends Ross and Joelle across the pond at B32 Athletics in Australia wrote an incredible article on the topic.

I met these two at an OPT Certification a few years back and they are awesome, check their website out and put their blog on your favorites cause it is definitely something you will want to come back to.


Friday my friends....the most epic WOD of all time (at least in my eyes) will go down at all locations.

And no this is not Planet Fitness and it is not Pizza Friday…don’t even get me started on that disaster.