Uncategorized Archives - Strongpoint CrossFit

6695 Colray Court, Unit 303, Jacksonville, FL 32258

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Blog Archive

1.  What made you decide to start CrossFit? – I had a number of friends across the country who were doing CrossFit and loving it.  My curiosity was piqued but I wasn’t ready to make the jump since I didn’t know anything about the local boxes or anyone who was a member.  When Maria Petow joined Strongpoint, stopped working out with us at boot camp and couldn’t stop talking about it, I knew I had to give it a try.  I waited until the summer challenge was being offered and took the plunge.  It’s been 10 months and I haven’t looked back.


2.  What results have you seen or goals have you achieved? – My core has gotten stronger and my overall strength has increased.  I have steadily gained personal records in many of my lifts.  Back in February, I challenged myself to work on double unders for 5 minutes per day since I could only get one at a time.  By the end of the month, I could do 10-15 at a time.


3.  What do you like best about the gym? – I love the camaraderie and the feeling of acceptance.  No matter your shape, age, level of fitness, everyone is welcomed with a “You can do it” attitude.  Everyone roots everyone else on.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the first or last to finish or if you Rx-ed or scaled the WOD.  You showed up, challenged yourself and moved forward on your quest for health and fitness.  


4.  What is your favorite exercise or WOD? –  My favorites are those exercises I can do as prescribed: box jumps, toes to bar, double unders, and yes, burpees.  But I also like working towards achieving PRs in weightlifting, especially back squats and clean and jerks.


5.  What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? –   Karen is an absolute killer.  I don’t like to use the word hate.  I abhor Karen.


6.  What motivates you to show up day after day? –  The accomplishment I feel after I have finished at Strongpoint carries me through the day. I am proud of myself for giving it my all and leaving my ego at the door.  I have never felt better about my level of fitness or my health.  I want my two daughters to know the importance of exercise and commitment and that strong women should be applauded.


7.  What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? –  CrossFit has helped with many of my negative thoughts but the devil on my shoulder still pops out at times.  My age is a big one, immediately thinking I can’t do something because of the number of years I’ve lived on this Earth.  At times, I also doubt myself when going for a PR.  I think someone needs to load the bar for me next time so I don’t have a number stuck in my head with a negative thought attached to it.


8.  What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? –   I have a few!  1. The first time I Rx-ed a WOD with Toes to Bar.  2. When 14.2 came up in the open, I was freaking out because I had only been able to Overhead Squat 50#. I tried once on Friday and couldn’t get down to below parallel and back up once.  Determined not to get a zero, I came back on Monday and was able to squeak out three at 65#. 3. Completing 14.5 and all 168 reps of thrusters and bar facing burpees.  I surprised myself that day with my determination and now know I can get through almost anything after completing that WOD.


9.  What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  – Times of self-doubt are hardest.  I may have been able to complete a skill or WOD if I had only believed in myself more.


10.  What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?  – Before I moved to Florida 4 years ago, I worked full time and lived a pretty sedentary life.  Running a mile with some of my 4th and 5th grade students was difficult for me.  Going from a full time teacher to a stay-at-home mom, I was determined to make myself a priority and get in shape.  I lost 30+ pounds, started running and playing tennis and eventually found boot camp which led to CrossFit. And the rest is history…


11.  What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit? – The only one I can remember is “Thumb up your butt, you’re good!”  Not sure why it sticks with me.


12.  What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year? –  I’m working on strict pull-ups and hand-stand pushups as often as I can.  I also want to increase my back squat, clean and deadlift numbers.  And I’d like my rowing to become more efficient.  When I participate in the 2015 open, I’d love to end up higher in the standings than this year, even though I’ll be a year older.  


13.  What advice would you give to someone who just started out? – Be positive and be proud of yourself for just showing up and doing the work.  Listen to your coaches.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else is the gym; it’s a losing battle. And above all, celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small.


14.  What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting? – Give it a try, especially at Strongpoint CrossFit.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain: a positive attitude about yourself, your body, your mind and your health.  You will have so much fun, you won’t think about the sweat pouring down your brow or the ache in your muscles the next day.  You will find a home away from home.


Coach’s Comments: Michelle has become a mainstay in our morning classes.  She has demonstrated above average determination and work ethic since her early days in the gym, but has really picked up her intensity in 2014 and the results truly speak for themselves as we have seen substantial improvements in her strength and skill.  She regularly participates in the monthly challenges, nutrition challenges, meticulously logs every workout, and constantly seeks self-improvement.  Not only does she ask how to improve, she implements what her coaches tell her to work on… sometimes that very day!  Michelle has rededicated herself to improving her mobility and the work has transferred directly over into better movement.  We are very excited to see what she can do next year with another year of training under her belt!  Michelle is a strong community builder and has taken several new members under her wing and helped them along as they were starting out.  Plus she makes some amazing Paleo treats!  For all these reasons and more, it is our pleasure to name Michelle Penson as our Spotlight Athlete for June.


PS: This is our first Spotlight Athlete that was referred in by a previous Spotlight Athlete.  Thanks to Maria Petow for sending such a great member our way!

I joined Strongpoint to help me train for a Tough Mudder. My initial perception of CrossFit was that it was too extreme and hard on the body. After a few weeks, I realized it wasn’t anything like I thought, just a different way to condition in a competitive atmosphere.  That was a little over a year ago and I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been thanks to CrossFit. I have also created a lot of friendships. Maybe it’s because we’ve suffered through multiple WODs together.

1.     What made you decide to start CrossFit? I started because I signed up for a Tough Mudder and I thought CrossFit would be a great way to train for it.

2.     What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?  Incredible gains in endurance and strength.

3.     What do you like best about the gym?  The community is great.  Everyone is encouraging to others and rarely leave until everyone is finished with the WOD.

4.     What is your favorite exercise or WOD?  Workouts that are in the 10min-25min range.

5.     What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? If you know me at all, you know I will never do pistols Rx.

6.     What motivates you to show up day after day?  The competitive aspect of it and seeing yourself get better whether it be from a PR or secretly comparing yourself to someone else in the gym.

7.     What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?  I try not to think negatively. There’s no reason to.

8.     What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  It has to be my first muscle up.  It took me about a year to get it.  I worked with “the ring thing” for a while.  As I became more and more comfortable with the false grip, I would add weight on a vest.  Eventually, the false grip became second nature and I was able to get a muscle up.  It felt really good to get on top of those rings.

9.     What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? I did the Filthy 50 the first week I joined. That was beyond miserable.

10.  What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?  I’m one of the most strategic and competitive people I know, It may be because I grew up with all brothers but I hate to lose more than I’ll ever enjoy winning. But I like to think I’m realistic in my expectations to win.

11.   What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?  You get some pretty good ones on bring-a-friend day. My friend told me he was going to go home and pee blood after Tabata.

12.   What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?  Snatch 225lbs, Clean 280lbs.

13.   What advice would you give to someone who just started out? Nothing is easy starting out, but when you find yourself bent over with your hands on your knees, realize you’re going to make yourself better when you keep going.

14.   What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting?  No one likes change.  Change is inevitable though. Commit to changing the way you work out for one month and you’ll find you have your own answers to all these questions.

Coach’s Comments: “Dr.” Rhett started in January of 2013 as an already reasonably fit individual.  He started slowly creeping up the leaderboard within the first few months of joining the gym and is now routinely toward the top of the gym on any given workout. While he had just joined Strongpoint, he jumped right into the 2013 CrossFit Open and performed well.  This served as good experience for the 2014 Open when Rhett finished in the top five men on each workout including a gym high score on 14.2.  His work ethic is perhaps his greatest attribute.  Rhett routinely attends open gym sessions to work on skills and improve his weaknesses.  Beyond that, he referred in his wife, Ashley, who has become an awesome member in her own right, and the two of them have referred in three other current and former members.  Rhett has contributed a pair of articles to the gym newsletter and was generous enough to provide free adjustments as prizes for the winners of the 5K Gone Bad competition the gym hosted in December of 2013.  Additionally, he can be seen around the gym on a regular basis providing health advice, Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work for many of the other members.  He has been a pleasure to coach and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future!  

*Photo credit to Laura Davie for snapping the shot and Donald Floresca for photobombing it!

What made you decide to start CrossFit? 

I had heard about CrossFit for a couple of years.  My cousin is a volleyball coach for Southern Wesleyan University and has her girls do CrossFit workouts.  In April of 201,  I went for an on ramp class at another local box, but did not feel like I belonged or was even remembering movements from one day to the next.  I came across a Living Social deal in May and thought, it’s now or never! I decided to start in June, as school would be ending and would be a perfect time to focus on myself.  That first workout I thought I might die, yet I couldn’t wait to come back. I knew I was hooked!

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Thanks to Ryan I can no longer fit into most jeans, especially skinny jeans! But I could not be more proud of the strength in my legs.  I grew up playing volleyball from the age of five and admired most of the Notre Dame volleyball team, their hamstrings, their calves, their overall strength.  I am happy to finally have the strength and physically fit body I had admired so many years ago.

What do you like best about the gym?

I love the atmosphere and family of friends.  No matter what day or time I am there someone is saying hello, congratulating me on an accomplishment, or encouraging me to push harder or dig deeper.   You can’t just walk into any gym and feel that kind of love and support, even from day one.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I love Saturday’s when we do team or partner WODs especially if something is programmed that I think is the skill I will never be able to finish.  I also like any WODs with handstand pushups, simply because the first time I didn’t have the shoulder strength to do even one.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? 

Any WOD with burpees, wall balls, or running!  Killer when they were all once programmed in the same WOD!  Although they are not my favorite, I never skip those days as I know it will only make me better in the long run.

What motivates you to show up day after day? 

The people in our box and the experience each day.  I know no matter what kind of day I had at work, I can walk in the box and my focus is immediately shifted to the strength skill or WOD for that day.  Nothing else seems to matter at the point and just being there is a little daily therapy.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? 

During summer challenge in June I would look at the WOD and think, there is no way!  I would have a negative dialogue in my head on continuous playback. “You are too weak.”  “You will never be able to lift that weight.”  “You are not meant to be a runner.”  The list goes on and on.  But I would finish and shock myself at my accomplishments.  Then one day in August it clicked, I keep saying I can’t but yet I overcome it each time!  I trained myself to stop thinking that way and think no matter what it is, I CAN!

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

Just this past week during 14.1 workout getting DU for the first time.  It was also my February challenge to myself to get 10 unbroken, proud that I finished what I thought was never going to happen!  Also the time Ryan was demonstrating wall balls and said he could throw it so high it was possible to do a burpee before having to catch it.  So I dared him to do it! Needless to say that did not turn out well, but I got a good laugh out of it.  The 5K Gone Bad was also a great experience and chance to get to know some awesome women at our box!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

I really can’t say I have one.  Maybe hitting the box during box jumps, but we all have to go through that rite of passage!

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I was born with a congenital birth defect which did not allow me to digest food properly.  My mom fought for years, going to doctors and specialist throughout the state, to get answers and the help I needed.  The condition I had was so rare, that it took five years to diagnose.  The doctors had given my mom little to no hope that I was going to live more than a few months when I was at my worst. Due to the malnutrition of not being able to digest food properly my heart and other major organs were beginning to be compromised.  I was finally able to have surgery and make a full recovery after two weeks.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit? 

For kettlebell swings, “Thumb up your butt, you’re good” Isn’t that how it goes?!

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I have yet to complete a WOD with tire flips, so that is one my list.  Overall, I want to continue to build my endurance, strength, and become more lean.  My diet is a big focus for me this year so far.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

To not give up on yourself, the process, and our coaches.  Keep coming back and getting plugged in with the people at our box because they want to see you succeed! 

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

You never know until you try!  Don’t think you have to already be in the best shape of your life before you try CrossFit.  Doing CrossFit will get you in the best shape of your life. 

Coach’s Comments: Liz came from a very humble beginning in CrossFit…. I distinctly remember that she missed the Summer Challenge Kickoff and then was late to her first class the next week.  Her comment above about negative self-talk makes complete sense in hindsight.  She did not seem to have a lot of confidence in her ability initially, but stuck with it and we have seen marked improvements in all facets of her fitness and most importantly, her attitude and confidence since that time.  She participated on a team during 5K Gone Bad, just ran her first half marathon (The Donna), and immediately turned around and registered for the CrossFit Open.  This is a person that would not run 400m without an inhaler 9 months ago and,  oh by the way,  she ran that half marathon (her first ever) on CrossFit alone!  She has also participated and seen results in each of our last three nutrition challenges and goes out of her way to help along new members.  Liz is a prime example of CrossFit empowering someone to do more than they ever thought possible.  It is for these reasons that she was an easy choice for our March Spotlight Athlete!


Strength – In 15 minutes, work to a heavy set of 2 Power Cleans + 1 Power Jerk.  Conditioning – 9 Muscle Ups, 9 Power Clean, 400m run, 7 Muscle Ups, 7 Power Cleans, 400m run, 5 Muscle Ups, 5 Power Cleans, 400m run.  *Mod with 2 Ring Dips per muscle up.

Strength – Back Squat 5×[email protected]% of 1 RM. (This is a deload week. Focus on perfect technique and speed on all sets and do not go over prescribed weight. We are maxing Back Squat next week). Conditioning – CrossFit Open Workout 11.2 – In 12 minutes, complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible of 9 Deadlifts, 12 Push Ups, 15 Box Jumps. Men up to 54 155#/24″, Men 55+ 145#/20″, Women up to 54 100#/20″, Women 55+ 90#/20″. *This is just a reminder that Five Star Physical Therapy will be on deck during evening classes tomorrow for movement screening and mobility advice.


I (Denise) had been a “runner” for awhile and Kevin would run with me as much as his schedule would allow.  We were both looking for something different.  I had run 3 marathons between 2009 -2012 so by the end of December 2012, I felt “done” with long distance running – I realized I wasn’t ENJOYING running anymore. Kevin ran several half marathons with me and realized (after 2 knee surgeries!) that maybe long distance running wasn’t the best thing for him either and he really needed to improve his overall fitness.  We have a Nautilus set at home that we would use biweekly but we still felt like we needed some motivation and a different challenge.    We really believe physical fitness should be something you enjoy and makes you feel good so when we started to dread it and not look forward to it, we knew it was time for a change!

We found Strongpoint through a member friend. (We bid on a 1 month trial at a benefit/charity event in December 2013 and “won” it – must have been telling us something!)  We started Strongpoint in January 2013 and immediately were hooked.  We loved the “community” aspect, the coaches, and how everyone encourages everyone to succeed at their own level and pace.  We love the constant challenge and how we are sore in different muscle areas everyday (this is a good sign!) The coaches are always instructive and encouraging people to do their best.  We love how other members encourage each other and are happy when other succeed and do their best.


1. What made you decide to start CrossFit?

D:  I needed a change!  I wanted something that would challenge me but that I would also enjoy.

K:  After surgery on both knees and knowing my lack of overall strength and fitness was a factor, I knew I needed to do something that would capture my attention and provide results…CrossFit has definitely done that.

2. What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

D: I obviously feel “stronger” overall than with just running!  I am motivated when I am capable of doing things that I didn’t think I would be able to do.

K: I have seen a big transformation in my physique and feel like an athlete again.

3. What do you like best about the gym?

D: Every day I don’t know what workout to expect.  Some WODs I am awesome at (!) – others – I suck!  But, I can realize my strengths and weaknesses which help me understand what I need to work on!

K: I love the challenge that every day brings. No workout is the same and they all change me to bring my very best. The competition aspect really motivates me. Also.…the coaching. Best group of motivators I have ever been around! (Thanks, Ryan, LD, Petey, Devon, Mike, Cassie, Ian, Amanda, and Andrew)

4. What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

D: Running, slam balls, boxjumps, kettlebell swings, wall balls – anything that is lower weight – higher reps!

K: Filthy Fifty; 12 Days of Christmas, or most any WOD that kicks my butt for 30 minutes+. Wall Balls, Kettle Bell Swings and Thrusters are also a favorite…real full body workout!

5. What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

D:  Pull ups, handstand pushups….Anything with high weight, low reps!  I need to continue to work on upper body strength!

K: Overhead Sq uat, Burpees, and Double-unders. Suck at first two…can’t do the last.

6. What motivates you to show up day after day?

D: I love that every day I go, my muscles are sore the next day!  I love feeling sore muscles – it means I worked them! My goal is to Rx most if not all workouts eventually!

K: Competing, pushing myself to be better than yesterday, and feeling stronger and healthier every day.

7. What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

D: When I feel like I can’t lift the “heavy” weights…

K: Feeling like I don’t have the right mechanics learned and that keeps me from pushing myself to my potential.

8. What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

D: When I was able to do a WOD that had 3 rounds of 3 rope climbs and I did it Rx!  Anytime I can do Rx I feel proud!

K: The second time I completed my baseline after my intro and I went from a 7:45 (and throwing up on the way home) to under five minutes. More than a 2:30 improvement in 6 months…great feeling!

9. What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

D: When I feel like I could have done better but I didn’t.  Regretting that I didn’t try a heavier weight; or anytime I doubted myself and didn’t try Rx.

K: Any time I feel like I could have pushed myself harder…and trying to get damn Double-Unders!

10. What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

D: I never worked out – at all – anything – until sometime in my mid 20s L

K: I am a former golf pro (and caddied for Arnold Palmer) with 4 kids – two are in college – one in high school, and one in Kindergarten!  It’s important to prioritize fitness as a role model for your kids!

11. What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

D: I remember reading something about a can of biscuits that popped open – I never want to feel like that!

K: “Get that up in the scrotchular region…” LD

12. What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

D: I would love to do every workout Rx even if my time is slow!

K: Continue to improve continually and set PR’s every chance I get. Getting a Muscle-up is must!

13. What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

D: Don’t give up – modify it for YOU – you have your strengths and weaknesses – embrace your strengths but continue to work on your weaknesses!

K: Stick with it and keep challenging yourself. Mod when you have to but stick with it and never let the WOD win!

14. What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

D:  It is empowering to feel strong!  Strong is the new skinny girls!
K: Give it a real chance and it will change your life…

Coach’s Comments: Denise and Kevin just hit their one-year anniversary and they have become mainstays in our evening classes.  They have easily become two of our most consistent members and the coaching staff has seen dramatic improvement in the strength and overall fitness level in that year.  Kevin also immediately referred in a co-worker, Jeff Watters, who just hit his first year and I think CrossFit has been a life-changing experience for all three!  Beyond training, the Perrigos also organized a community event in the fall that took us off-site for a round of golf and everyone that attended had a great time.  It is for these reasons that Perrigos were an easy choice for our February Co-Spotlight Athletes!

Skill/Strength – In 15 minutes, work to a heavy single of Snatch with 2 sec pause 2″ above floor, 2 sec pause above knees, 2 sec pause in Power Position, High Hang Snatch. Conditioning – 10 rounds for time of 3 Muscle Ups, 6 Hand Release Push Ups, 6 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5). Mod 1 – 3 Jumping Muscle Ups or 6 Ring Dips, Weight. Mod 2 – 7 rounds.

Happy 50th Birthday Mike Cummings! Filthy 50: 50 Box jump (24/20), 50 Jumping pull-ups, 50 Kettlebell swings (35/25), 50 Walking Lunges, 50 Knees to elbows, 50 Push press (45/35), 50 Back extensions, 50 Wall ball shots (20/14), 50 Burpees, 50 Double unders, done.

Strength/Skill – Power Snatch + Overhead Squat + Snatch complex (2 second pause in bottom of OHS & Snatch).  Conditioning – Four rounds for time of 400m run, 12 Power Snatch (95/65).

I started CrossFit at Strongpoint in March 2013. I had moved to Jacksonville just a few weeks earlier and was looking for a fun way to stay in shape and meet people in the area. I actually assumed I was in fairly decent shape but was bored with running and going to the gym sporadically. It was love at first sight! I fell in love with the high energy, motivational, and challenging atmosphere that CrossFit offers. The coaches were so encouraging and never made me feel stupid for asking questions (or for not paying attention, Mike). I figured out pretty quickly that I was not in as good of shape as I thought I was…

Crossfit allows me to burn off stress after a long day at work as well as makes me feel more confident about my body and capabilities. I love competing with myself and pushing myself to beat other scores on the board. There are some pretty amazing people at Strongpoint that always keep a smile on my face throughout the WOD. And a smile is so much better than the alternative of vomiting. Without a doubt, I am in the best shape of my life, which will keep me coming back day after day.

1. What is your favorite exercise or WOD? TABATA!!! Especially with slam ball.

2. What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? Any WOD with wall balls. They are torture for someone so vertically challenged.

3. What motivates you to show up day after day? My husband really motivates me to show up. When I am thinking about skipping the day he always pushes me to go and is interested in all the details of how I did on the WOD.

4. What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? I used to be negative by thinking that I would NEVER be able to do certain lifts or movements. However, the more I overcome the less negative thoughts I have. With each new accomplishment my optimism and confidence grows.

5. What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? The day I did my first Rx WOD with pull ups. I was the last to finish but I sure was proud. And sore.

6. What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? I had to quit Fran after just a few reps because of shoulder pain. There is nothing I hate more than quitting.

7. What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you? I am terrified of birds.

8. What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit? “UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP! UP!”- LD.

9. What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year? So many things! My main goaI is to be able to do all WODs Rx. Of course this means being able to master things like handstand push ups, double unders and muscle ups. I would also really like to participate in a competition.

Coach’s Comments: Caitlin has quickly developed into one of the more dedicated members of the gym.  She initially came to us with a relatively solid fitness baseline from her career in the Navy, but we have seen her overall strength and ability grow by leaps and bounds since joining in the late winter of this year!  She is knocking out more and more workouts as prescribed with competitive scores and is quickly closing in on a 200# squat.  After all, she’s got to be strong to fend off those darn birds….  Additionally, Caitlin always has a positive attitude and seems to go out of her way to make new members feel welcome.  It is for these reasons that we are proud to present Caitlin “Lil Hoov” Hoover as our Spotlight Athlete for December!