“…At Different Levels of Intensity.”

The quote above, that Sensei John Huntley credits to his wife Geri, inspired my coaching journey which began that day in 1998 when I attended my NCCP level 1 Judo coaching certification led by then NCCP chair, Sensei John Huntley.  Sensei Huntley began Judo in 1959 and ran the Prince George Judo club from 1964 to 1983.  In 1987 he founded the Aberdeen Judo Club in Kamloops.  A 7th degree black belt, Sensei Huntley has produced many national and international competitors but his focus has always been on making Judo a lifelong endeavour for everyone and he is a living example, still training actively to this day.  He has been a mentor to thousands of Judo athletes, instructors and dojo owners over his incredible lifetime!

“Everyone is an athlete at different levels of intensity,” was, for me, a truly groundbreaking, formational quote.  Judo is a competitive, Olympic sport.  Yet most of us who practiced Judo would never reach the national or international level.  We might train alongside carded athletes representing our nation but could we really call ourselves athletes?

Sensei Huntley, one of the most respected figures in Canadian Judo said yes.  It was a very empowering way to frame it.  This quote became the foundational belief upon which my coaching practice developed.  It anchors exactly who we are at Empower.

In the early days CrossFit’s tagline “Forging Elite Fitness” unintentionally made it sound like an exclusive club for elitist fitness snobs rather than an opportunity for everyday people to experience extraordinary fitness transformations.  At many of those early CrossFit affiliates there was a sense of separation between the fire breathers and the folks who just wanted to be healthy.

Empower was born in service to the notion that everyone’s athletic aspirations were equally worthy whether you were training to get to the CrossFit Games or to play hide and seek with your grandchildren.  We are all athletes at different levels of intensity.

What hooked me about the CrossFit ethos is that most times effort is celebrated over achievement.  The first finisher in any given WOD receives little notice, it is the athlete who finishes last who receives all the cheers and support and congratulations because we all appreciate struggle and the will to overcome.  We’re less impressed with the athlete who found the workout easy and much more inspired by the athlete who had to battle through to the finish line.

The CrossFit Open has, over the past several years, done a better job of reflecting the inclusivity at the heart of our phenomenal community.  The Open has become less about your rank on the leaderboard and more about celebrating the spirit of sport and community.  We invite you to participate in this celebration by registering for this year’s 2023 CrossFit Open and joining us for the Empower Intramural Team competition where teams are scored first and foremost on the spirit that they bring to the community!

Wherever you are at, we are all athletes whatever your current level of intensity.  This understanding is what motivated me to become a coach.  It is what drew me to CrossFit.  And it is what inspired Empower.  We are here to Empower everyone at every level from our junior varsity athletes to 90 year old Mamashot!  We’re all athletes at different levels of intensity!

Today we will review pull up and push up movement standards as well as discussing suitable movement modifications.  CrossFit competitors with excellent pistols may practice the movement as written.  Members who are training for functional fitness will be directed to substitute reverse lunges or Bulgarian Split Squats as safer and more applicable single leg strength development exercises.  Please refrain from ridiculous pistol scaling options.

Warm Up
8 mins:
10 Reverse Lunges
10 Ring Rows
5/5 Bulgarian Split Squats
10 Tyson Push Ups
Agility Ladder

C2B movement standards
Push Up Movement Standards
Pistols and Sane Pistol Alternatives

20 min AMRAP
10 C2B Pull Ups
15 Push Ups
20 Alt Pistols
*Every 3 rounds: 400m Run