Wow!  What a month.  Have you looked at the Personal Best Board recently?  A lot of Empower members are levelling up and just in time for the 2024 CrossFit Open!

A week ago several members got their first kick up to a handstand in Motor’s Sunday class.  This is a huge breakthrough because the kick up is really the most difficult piece required to unlock handstand push ups and handstand walking.  Yes, there may still be months or years of practice required to master those skills but once you know how to kick up, the rest is just straightforward practice until you develop the required strength, balance and proprioception.

Wednesday we saw The Heat (10+ rounds) and Sable (7+ rounds) dominate the very challenging air bike sprints.  Hammer deserves a shout out too as members marveled at his incredible work capacity on the bike outscoring many members, including myself, who are a decade or two his junior! 

Equally impressive to me was how many members stepped up and challenged themselves to do the Rx 12/15 calories.  Even if you only successfully completed the first minute, you really achieved the intent of the workout which was to dig deep into that max effort zone.  Kudos to all of you!

Thursday we saw The Touch Rx the heavy push jerks, his first set of 3 at 225lbs looked technically clean and almost effortless. 

Lean machine Daredevil was all over the ring muscle ups on Saturday.  It’s very exciting to see him reclaim this skill just in time for the Open!

Last week we saw dozens of deadlift personal bests!

There have been so many other bests this month – too many to count.  Go take a look at the Best Board before the end of the month so you can see for yourself how much progress has been made.

This brings me to the question du jour: Should you compete in the Open?  I’m not a big fan of should.  If it calls to you, do it.  There is no reason why you “should” do the Open but, if a part of you is competition curious, there is also no reason why you shouldn’t.  Just as with any workout we do in class, everything can be modified to accommodate your current capabilities.  In fact, you will be doing the Open workouts in group classes anyhow.  So, if you want to make it official, register to compete.  There is no should/should not.   BTW: Silk and Motor assure us that this year’s judging course is far less frustrating than years past.

This year Motor and Shades are bringing us Friday Night Lights March 1st, 8th and 15th starting at Empower at 4pm every Friday afternoon.  Worldwide this is a common CrossFit Open tradition.  Yes, you can do the Open workouts earlier in the day at the regular group class times but after 4pm we will be letting our hair down, pumping up the spirit and hitting the workouts competition style! 

Intramural Team captains will be announced soon and we will be drafting participants for the teams.  Whether you compete or not, the Intramural teams which are scored largely on spirit and participation are a super fun way to participate in the competition season.  You do not want to miss out on the community fun or the awards gala that will inevitably follow.

You may have noticed more video capture than usual during your workouts.  Our team is working hard to capture the training of our 18 Celebrating Heroes documentary participants as they prepare for the 2024 CrossFit Open.  We look forward to screening it with you in April at our annual Awards Gala!

February 3rd is the first rucking event of Shades’ WinterFit program.  It is great timing if you are gearing up for the Open or if you are recovering from holiday indulgences.  HeeHee and I are keen to participate though I will miss the first week’s ruck.

We have our 2024 Unstoppable Challengers declared: KMT, Smash, Dauntless, HHH and The Assassin.  If you wish to join them please let me know ASAP.

OG’s FamilyFit program is starting soon.  Want a fun way to workout with family?  Register now, space is limited!   

Next weekend Motor and I are off to Burnaby to attend a two day Barbell Rehab certification course and we are excited to bring our learning back to the gym to help you correct knee, hip, back, shoulder and other problems!

In the spring, Shaft, Motor and Savitar will join The Touch in Chicago to represent Empower at the annual Two-Brain Summit.  Last year Shades and OG attended and I hear great things!

This past weekend DQ hosted a birthday party for a group of friends at Empower.  HeeHee and I took them through the Filthy 46.  Among them was a surgeon friend of Bruiser, and a hockey friend of Brick’s.  Peril and Dangers’ friends Semi-Pro and his wife were in attendance.  Back in 2013 before their twins were born, they completed their CrossFit beginner curriculum in a small group with Brick.  The fourth member of their quartet was a 6am group class original The Spyder.  Sadly we learned from Semi-Pro that The Spyder passed away several years ago from cancer.  I know some of our original morning crew will remember him fondly and mourn him as we do!

Also at the party was old guard CrossFit competitor, boxer and CrossFit coach Jason Noel.  We trained together at CrossFit Vancouver back in the day.  Jason has coached at CrossFit Westside with Jennika, at CrossFit OPT with my friend Popeye, at Studio 55 downtown and since moving to Squamish 5 years ago he has continued to coach one class per week with Jessie at Squamish Barbell (formerly CrossFit Squamish).  

Speaking of Squamish Barbell, the 6am Empower original, Music Man is getting back into action.  I recently reached out to Jessie to provide Music Man’s group class bonafides.  He is going to fit right in with all Jessie’s strongman training!

Next month Big Boss will be hosting a private 3 Bars of Death party at Empower for his company.  We are looking forward to it!  If you want to host an event at Empower, please reach out to Auto [email protected] to make a booking.

This weekend our Empower coaches gathered for our first quarterly team training of 2024 and to welcome our newest Empower team member, Coach Conor.  Next week The Touch and I expect to conduct final interviews for an additional candidate.  With all the programs and events we have scheduled we are continuing to search for top notch candidates to help us serve our Empower community better!

Great job to everyone in getting the year started off strong with incredible attendance and fantastic performances!  Keep the momentum going as the CrossFit Open is only a few short weeks away!

Question of the week: Which former Empower member is returning to group classes next month?

Today we take on a CrossFit Open workout from 2013.  Still wondering what a competition workout looks and feels like?  Wonder no more.  To capture that authentic competition feeling we are going to run the class in heats with each of you taking turns scoring for your partner.  We will carefully go over movement standards and what constitutes a good rep so you can keep your partner on track and vice versa. 

Warm Up
2x 2 min Rounds:

2 min Barbell Complex
5 Front Squat
5 S2OH
5 Back Squat
1. 1 min Forward Box Step Overs
    1 min Lateral Box Step Overs
2. 1 min Forward Box Jump Overs
    1 min Lateral Box Jumps Overs

Movement standards:
Shoulder to Overhead
Box Jump

CF Open WOD 13.2
10 min AMRAP
5 S2OH
10 Deadlift
15 Box Jumps