Month: February 2016


Sports have always been a huge part of Craig’s life. School papers primarily revolved around the Eagles or Phillies, draft day has been a holiday since age 7 & every Sunday Craig and his dad went to church…aka the VET / LINC. Athletically, Craig tried his hand at virtually every sport throughout his life; however, his 6’ 4” 140lb string bean physique wasn’t always conducive to on field domination. While the baseball diamond afforded Craig the most success, he always preferred playing the sport to the perceived boredom of the gym. The competitive team angle entertained and engaged Craig much more so than the solitary confinement of early morning barbell or track sessions.

Fast forward to college where the allure of, well college, superceded any inclination to wake up for practices at 5 AM.  It was at this point that Craig started to notice the GAINs he’d always strived for materializing in all of the wrong ways. Carb overload padded the ole gut and facial regions, yet the arms luckily retained their otherworldly lack of tone, definition and muscle. It was at this point that Craig decided a visit to the gym wouldn’t be the worst idea & moved forward with a rigorous regimen of treadmill and bicep curls.  Not surprisingly, the impact was marginal and the excitement / dedication to the process even less so. With age and life starting to get real over the next few years (he turned 30) Craig was quickly coming to the realization that the globo-gym misery was not sustainable nor desirable over the long haul. While recognition is the ever important first step, it’s often much easier than the next – change.

Cue March, 2015 when Vinny’s little Sister, Kelli, returned from a year abroad….in New York City. While she’d often mentioned her brother’s gym, Craig only knew of the injury riddled conversation dominating misconceptions associated with CrossFit. Trying to convince himself that he was comfortable with being uncomfortably bored at the gym, Craig had zero intention of changing his ways until Kel forced him to drop her off at Thermal one fateful afternoon. Upon entry, he was immediately approached by Coach P asking if he had workout clothes and compared to another tall member, Pavan. While Craig abruptly declined that initial invitation for fear of failure, he did stick around long enough to observe the high energy vibe emanating from the daily workout. After a month of persistent nagging, make that convincing, Craig decided to swallow his pride and humbly walked into Karen’s 150 wall balls. Despite the initial OH SHIT moment, the sweat (this is what happens after a real workout), comradery and “friendly” encouragement from the likes of Drew and Sam, kept him coming back for more.

9 months later and the progress has been slow but meaningful for Craig. Coming in without an Olympic lifting, or really any lifting background & questionable coordination made even the most basic CrossFit movements a daily struggle. Overhead squatting for the first time is something Craig will never forget. After clumsily getting the empty barbell overhead and shaking about like a wet noodle, Sam quickly noticed the ‘I’m going to drop this on my head’ look of sheer terror on Craig’s face and frantically motioned for Craig to put the bar down. Needless to say, the PVC & lady’s bar were a prevalent part of initial WODS for this newcomer.

Craig’s come a long way since those early days. Still pretty damn lanky, he’s starting to add some muscle to those limbs and laying waste to that closet of hipster, skinny jeans. While the RX button is no longer a mere pipe dream, the excitement of checking out the next day’s WOD, hanging with the 6:30 crew & catching a daily Vinny-ism has not lost its luster.

Looking forward, Craig is counting down the days till Club Endure like Pitcher’s and Catcher’s strive for the warm sunshine of spring training and maintains the undying dream of butterfly pullups, handstand pushups and performing any Oly Lift with actual “grown man” weight on the barbell. CrossFit Thermal, the coaches and members, has pushed Craig to new limits and completely changed his outlook towards exercise. While the form is still a work in progress & Craig’s “Break Game” remains a bit too strong, his commitment and energy towards improvement is unwavering.

This workout is done in the same fashion as “12 Days of Christmas.” You’ll start by doing 1 rope climb. Then you’ll do 2 box jumps and 1 rope climb. Then 3 burpees, 2 box jumps, 1 rope climb. Then 4 toes-to-bar, 3 burpees, 2 box jumps, and 1 rope climb. etc.

“11 Days of Craig”
1 rope climb
2 box jumps, 24/20″
3 burpees
4 toes-to-bar
5 hang power cleans, 95/65#
6 wall balls, 20/14#
7 sit-ups
8 pull-ups
9 double unders
10 KB swings, 53/35#
11 front squats, 95/65#


We’re starting the week off with some solid strength work in the back squat. Today, build up to a heavy set of 5. After that get ready to get under the bar on snatches and burn out the quads with some moderately long sets of wall balls.


Back Squat



AMRAP in 10 minutes:
5 hang (squat) snatches, 115/75#
15 push-ups
15 wall balls, 20/14#


Take 20 or so minutes and find a 1RM deadlift in a sumo stance. This is a wider stance with feet outside of your grip width. You’ll be in a more upright position compared with a conventional stance which puts less strain on the lower back.
For the metcon, do a full Tabata (8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) for each movement. Count total reps across all three movements for one final score.


1RM Sumo deadlift


box jumps, 24/20″
double unders


This workout is all about pacing. For most intermediate to high level athletes, there is no particular movement which will determine the outcome. Instead, the key is finding a challenging but sustainable pace and gritting it out.

Controlling transitions and rest periods is crucial in this event. There are four transitions per round, so keeping them fast can be the difference between a mediocre effort and a top performance. – TZSTRENGTH

Reebok CrossFit Games Open 16.1

AMRAP in 20 minutes:
25 ft. overhead walking lunge, 95/65#
8 burpees facing bar
25 ft. lunges
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups



Take 20 Minutes to establish a 5RM Bench Press


 3 Rounds with full recovery between each

500M Row

15 Kettlebell Swings (55/35)


For strength, find the heaviest weight you can do for the complex. Focus on form and getting in the right positions before each movement. The jerk may be a push jerk or split jerk, your preference.
The metcon is a straight-forward couplet of hang power cleans and handstand push-ups. HSPUs may be strict or kipping. Scale to pike box HSPUs or stink bugs if you need to.


Take 20 minutes to build up to a heavy complex of

Hang power clean + power clean + jerk


5 rounds for time:
8 hang power cleans, 135/95#


For strength, alternate between back squats and toes-to-bar. Find a heavy weight that you can do for two reps on the squats and stay around that weight.
Setup for the metcon at one end of the gym. Get into groups of about 3 people where you will all use the same weight. (Although this isn’t a team workout, it will help logistics) The first person will do 10 thrusters and then a suicide sprint. They rest as the other 2 or 3 people go. These thrusters should be strung together, so pick an appropriate weight.  Record your slowest round.


4×2 back squats (heavy)
4×10 toes-to-bar


4 rounds:
10 UB thrusters, 95/65#
1 suicide sprint


This workout begins with the Athlete holding their jump rope with the barbell loaded to the appropriate weight. After 30 double-unders are completed the athlete will move to the barbell to perform power snatches. For the power snatch to count, the barbell will move from the ground (or below the knee if the barbell is unloaded) to the overhead position with the knees, hips and shoulders extended in one line. The athlete may use any ground-to-overhead technique (power snatch or clean and jerk) After the 15 reps, they will move back to the jump rope and begin the next round.
Every rep counts in this workout. Credit will be given for partially completed rounds. You will enter your result by the total number of reps completed.


1RM Snatch

CrossFit Open WOD 11.1 and 14.1:
AMRAP in 10 minutes:
30 double unders
15 power snatches, 75/55#

Masters: 65/45#

Thursday Night Open Announcements At Thermal

We all know that the CrossFit Open is coming and its going to be a great event and community experience for us here at Thermal.  We also like to make an event out of the WOD announcement every Thursday night during the Open.  CrossFit HQ, goes to a different city and a different box each week and holds an official announcement of  the weeks workout.  The announcement concludes with two of CrossFit’s best athletes going head to head in the workout.  Its a  great way to see what we’re in store for.  Sometimes we’ll have some athletes go right for it and tackle the workout immediately after its released.  We encourage everyone to join us Thursday evenings after the 6:30 WOD for the live announcement of the 2016 Open workouts.



Strength today is a 5 rep max thruster – you’ll need to clean it from the ground – if you squat clean, then that may count as your first thruster as long as you get below parallel. If not, you may also power clean and then start your 5 thrusters.
The metcon is an ascending ladder of power cleans and chest-to-bar pull-ups. The power cleans increase by 1 rep each round and the pull-ups increase by two each round. Scoring for this will be simple with rounds and reps (e.g. if you finished the 6/12 round and got 3 thrusters into the 7’s, you will score it as 6+3.


5RM Thruster


AMRAP in 12 minutes:
1 power clean, 155/105#
2 chest-to-bar pull-up
2 power cleans
4 chest-to-bar pull-ups


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