Full Circle Blog

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CrossFit to Cross-quit to CrossFit-ish

CrossFit to Cross-quit to CrossFit-ish

By Joshua Winn Believe it or not, I started training or “exercising” regularly for the first time in my life about six years ago. I was trying out  ju-jitsu at this place in Mechanicsville where my brother rolled and, while ultimately not for me, I saw a flier on the wall for this gym that had just starting sharing the space. What was this gym? CrossFit Full Circle, of course. I’m not trying to bury the lead here. I’ve always been big. Well, that’s a pretty vague term which can be applied to any number of things, so instead I’ll say that I’ve always been tall, broad shouldered, and a bit bulky. Yeah, that sounds better. I’ll steer clear of one-word descriptors in the future. Most people were genuinely surprised when I told them my weight, and as a result I was introduced to the popular phrase “You carry your weight well!” Ummm, thanks? Regardless of how well I carried my weight, I was constantly dealing with the ramifications of someone who doesn’t take care of themselves: over-eating, low self-esteem, and being completely uncomfortable in my own skin. At this point in my life I was around 270 lbs, four months into being a dad for the first time, and I had just started a new job. Now, you may or may not know this about me, but I’m a quiet person. Outside of work and other types of mandatory socialization, I keep relatively to myself and a small circle of people. I can absolutely be a “people person” when needed, but it gets tiring after awhile. For whatever...
Why the CrossFit Open is Important

Why the CrossFit Open is Important

By Coach James Boatwright “Where Grassroots Meets Greatness.”   These words perfectly describe the experience of the CrossFit Open. It is a way to connect the contemporary iteration of CrossFit with its roots from more than a decade ago. CrossFit wasn’t always the massive, ubiquitous presence that it is today. It started in people’s garages, or in “Globo Gyms” with athletes meeting up to do these crazy workouts together that they found on CrossFit HQ’s website. It was small and underground. It was something you had to seek out instead of happening upon. Back then, the magic wasn’t in having a sexy new pair of lifting shoes or the craziest color of Rogue shirt. It was in the shared experience of pushing through a CrossFit workout with your friends and others in the community who would post their workout times in the comment section on the HQ site. The Open allows us to all reconnect with the original experience of CrossFit. It is the largest shared fitness experience in the world. You get to participate and compete with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of other CrossFit athletes in five workouts across five weeks. Not only that, it allows us to compete with the pros in the same events. What other sport would allow you to do that!? You might be a great soccer player, but it would take a very narrow path in life to let you get on the same field as Cristiano Ronaldo.   If you do well enough in the Open, you qualify for Regionals. If you win there, you get to compete for a spot in the...
The Bigness Project

The Bigness Project

By Jennifer Burns After a few months of breaking a sweat trying to get in and out my favorite jeans, I finally bought a pair a size up this month. It was a pretty exciting milestone for me. Yesterday (Jan. 16) marks one year since starting a six-week Macros workshop at CrossFit Full Circle. The coaches at Full Circle can and do help people lose fat (and/or weight) when that is a person’s goal, but they can also help when that is not your goal. Last New Year’s, I sat down and thought about my fitness goal, breaking it down until I came to two small steps that could lead me there. When I joined Full Circle in 2015, it was with an eye on eventually trying out a CrossFit competition. Physically, I tend toward “jack of all trades, master of none” and CrossFit seemed like it could be a good fit there. Plus, my brain and my knees were tired of focusing on running. So my big secret desire/goal became to compete in a CrossFit competition in the Master’s division when I turn 40. January 16, 2016 (my birthday) marked three years until 40. Thinking through where I was and where I wanted to be, sure, I needed things like double unders and muscle ups, but my biggest weakness is just that. Weakness. Especially weakness related to all things barbell. Strength is something that takes a lot of time and effort, but I thought three years might be enough. From the goal that was three years out, I extrapolated a plan that meant moving from the WOD classes...
What’s Going On With CrossFit Full Circle Programming?

What’s Going On With CrossFit Full Circle Programming?

By Coach Jason Struck Since 2016, Full Circle has experimented with a few approaches to programming the Workout of the Day (WOD). In the early part of the year, we were following the same basic template we have been utilizing pretty continuously since maybe 2012. It served us well as far as balancing the basic demands of CrossFit programming with regular and productive strength training. However, it also meant that each week had certain patterns to it, and some clients were either always missing certain types of training on days they consistently couldn’t attend, or frankly people just didn’t like how predictable certain aspects of the training had become. So we switched it up! Greg, Matt, and I worked together to come up with a new template that met our ongoing needs training wise: regular strength and skill work, development of the energy systems, and more variety, which we all felt was a lot of fun from the client perspective. However, there were drawbacks to that as well. When 2017 rolled around, it afforded me the opportunity to fix some of those drawbacks, while keeping things that were really working for everyone and to apply some of the feedback I had been getting about programming. Before I delve into an explanation of why some things are the way they are today, I think it’s relevant to quickly explain what CrossFit is, and how Full Circle intends to uphold those CrossFit principles in a way most beneficial to our clients. Then with that in mind, I think most readers can understand where I am coming from. What is CrossFit? CrossFit...
Goodbye to Coach Matt

Goodbye to Coach Matt

By Coach Jason Struck  It is with a considerable breadth of emotion that CrossFit Full Circle, and James and I specifically, say goodbye to Matt Bahen. Only a few weeks ago, Matt approached us with the firm commitment that he was ready to move on in the next phase of his life, and that didn’t include being an owner of Full Circle Fitness. We recognize that this message comes quite late, as it corresponds to the last day that he will coach a class with us, and for that we deeply apologize. No party wanted to make any statements until it was clearly decided how his departure would be handled. And that agreement was not finalized until yesterday. So, after 6 years as an owner, 8 years as a member, and countless hundreds of WODs, Matt moves on. He’s looking forward to spending more time with his family, and the freedom that not being a small business owner often provides. He will be competing on January 29th with Mike C. as part of a Master’s team at the SuperFit Championships here in Richmond, and training with us on Saturdays up until then to continue getting ready. We hope you’ll consider going to the event to support him and cheer on our whole crew (currently 8 people, and possibly more...
Refusing to Sit on the Sidelines – Adaptive CrossFitting

Refusing to Sit on the Sidelines – Adaptive CrossFitting

By Sarah Gilbert Growing up, I was always into sports. My passion was in sports, and my identity was in my athleticism. Then at the age of 12, I was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), and when I was 13, I was paralyzed by the very surgery that was supposed to fix me. The thing that hurt the most wasn’t the fact that I was paralyzed; it was knowing that I would never be able to play sports again. It was knowing that I was being forced to sit on the sidelines. For years I knew nothing about adaptive sports, and I assumed that the only exercise for paraplegics was doing physical therapy. Now, here I am, more than 12 years later, and I have played wheelchair basketball, I have done a triathlon, I have skied, I have played lacrosse, I have rowed. I have done so many things that only a few years ago I never thought were possible. I told myself that I would try anything at least once. But after doing all of these things, I still wasn’t fulfilled. I wasn’t being pushed to my full potential. I didn’t feel like I was making any gains in personal strength or endurance. First Sarah (@seg1028) crushed a new back extension set up to solidify that trunk stability. Then she rocked a hang clean + pull up couplet. Another #BetterThanYesterday session. #CrossFit #AdaptiveAthlete #InciteYourRiot A video posted by Matt Bahen (@vmidiver) on Aug 31, 2016 at 6:25pm PDT This past April, I was introduced to adaptive CrossFit through a good friend of mine who I knew...
Mobility Must-Haves: A Full Circle Holiday Gift Guide

Mobility Must-Haves: A Full Circle Holiday Gift Guide

Below are recommendations from some of the coaches at Full Circle on their mobility must-haves. With holidays right around the corner, we thought we’d share what the CrossFitter in your life (probably) can’t live without! Matt Bahen You’re on the road. You’ve been flying or driving FOR HOURS! You’re all bound up, and you KNOW you need to work out some of the kinks (because your coaches HOUND you about this ALL. THE. TIME!) But, you only have like a half hour until you need to meet with Granny and Grampy for gifts. What should you do? What was that “yoga” thing Coach Matt was talking about and doing in the corner that one day? It sure looked like he was taking a nap but in a really weird position. What was it again? ROMWOD! That’s right…Range Of Motion Workout Of the Day! Hands down one of the best things you can add to your “at home/on the road” arsenal to keep you Swole and Flexy or a Supple Leopard… whatever floats your boat… but basically healthy, recovered, and ready to crush tomorrow. Check it out at https://romwod.com/ James Boatwright When it comes to mobility, I’m a big fan of using what you already have in your house to get the job done. (That way you can’t blame not having equipment for not putting in the effort.) So, I love using a couch for things like the couch stretch or external rotation. You can use a doorway for everything from pec stretches to external rotations with the shoulders, etc. The one caveat would be a foam roller. I don’t...
Training for an 8K with CrossFit Full Circle Endurance

Training for an 8K with CrossFit Full Circle Endurance

By Catherine Brigham “Slow runners make fast runners look good. You’re welcome.” I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with running. Mostly hate. Running to me was always just part of training for other sports. Running for the sake of running was a foreign concept. I had to be doing something else, whether it was dribbling a soccer ball or basketball. When I was young and in shape, my fastest mile time was under 7 minutes. Yowzah! Now, my most recent mile test was around 8:30. Not terrible, but definitely not something I could sustain for multiple miles. Plus, I would always get a side cramp, which discouraged me from pursing anything longer than a mile. Since starting CrossFit over a year ago, most of my running took place as part of the WODs. I would occasionally see the Endurance classes in the morning but never took the plunge to sign up for one. Some other time, perhaps. Then over the summer, Full Circle started advertising their Endurance training program for the Richmond Marathon/Half/8K races. Maybe now was the time, and while 26.2 or 13.1 miles were out of the question, the 8K seemed manageable. I had never run that far in my life, but I went for it. The Endurance training program was set up with group workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a long run on your own time over the weekend. The group workouts consisted of short and long interval trainings to help build speed and stamina. While we trained together, each race had a separate program that varied in the number of intervals or distances for...
Strong, Cool & Collected – Virginia’s Strongest Woman Takes on Nationals

Strong, Cool & Collected – Virginia’s Strongest Woman Takes on Nationals

By Crystal Lowery I went to Nationals. And I didn’t cry, puke, or come in last. Yes, those were my actual goals for my first National Strongman contest. Competing is already hard enough, with the intense training leading up to the contest, the day-of nerves that make you want to puke, and the long, exhausting day of actually competing. Now, add in flying halfway across the country (alone, on three different planes, nonetheless), TWO days of competing, and knowing there are THREE badass pros competing in your weight class. This is what I did, and I lived to tell about it. A little background: I started training Strongman two years ago after getting over a pretty bad back injury. Yes, you read that correct; I hurt my back, it healed, and then I started lifting really heavy objects. Yes, many people thought I was crazy, but it was something I really wanted to do. Luckily, I have a great coach who I trust, and I knew that if I showed up and listened, I would get stronger. And I did. I competed in a few shows that year, and I even placed 2nd in my very first show! It was in my last show of that year that I qualified for Nationals. This year I competed in a few more shows and managed to win the title of Virginia’s Strongest Woman. Training for Nationals was tough, and it was heavy. And despite a crazy busy work schedule, I managed to get to most of my training sessions and actually felt really good before leaving for Iowa. (Nationals was held in Iowa,...
Training For and Competing in Partner CrossFit Competitions

Training For and Competing in Partner CrossFit Competitions

By Megan Parker and Jennifer Burns Megan: There was a moment during the Superfit Richmond CrossFit competition when I locked eyes with my partner Bethany and said, “I will never ever do this insanity again,” as I flopped over the bar in an attempt to do a bar-over-burpee. I really felt confident that was true. I hated every minute of that entire day; I couldn’t breathe, I almost vomited – twice, and I couldn’t move for days after! So how did I find myself at a gym in Farmville competing again? I found another awesome partner, and I wanted a do over. Jenn: This summer Megan Parker messaged me, “Soooo what if I found a partner competition and you were my partner?” After a much too wordy response where I felt the need to give her a full history of my thoughts on and abilities in CrossFit, I gave a timid, “I’d love to. But don’t forget I’m old and weak.” She was to be the heavy lifter and I’d take care of any pull ups that were thrown at us. As it turns out there were no pull ups and in the end she handled the pushups in our last work out in such a way that I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to say, “I can’t do pushups.” I bet she can probably do pull ups too. The main reason I was hesitant to agree to compete with her (besides feeling insecure and inadequate… did I mention how strong she is?) is that I haven’t really been doing much CrossFit lately. Right now I’m focusing on building...