5 Year Alumni: Lissa Markwardt

I don't even know where to begin with this one.  There's so many reasons I love having my mom in every 8am class during the week.  


One: She has been our biggest supporter since day one.  She talked us through all the scary leaps we were taking to make this work.  Without her, none of this would be possible.  

Two: She's a friggin badass.  At ___, she's kicking more ass than most people half her age.  She's an inspiration to me and what I hope to be able to achieve in my future.  Most people are stunned to find out that she is my mom and grandma (sorry mom) to our son.  

Three: She embodies the experience that I want for the people at this gym.  As you'll find out in her answers below, when she started, she actually didn't like it that much.  It was uncomfortable and challenging.  But she stuck with it and realized how much she actually liked that challenge and what it felt like to overcome those obstacles.  She has found that the journey is the way, and that though the obstacles never end, what you find along the path is the important part.  

Four: I get to hang out with my mom everyday and I think that's awesome.  Not everyone has such a great relationship with their parents, so I realize how lucky I am. 


What brought you into CrossFit Sandpoint in the first place? 

Kenny was embarking on a dream career that encompassed so many of his passions and interests. I knew that with his attention to detail in the research he does, the effort he puts forth and the quality he expects, Crossfit would have to be something profound and, because I have a similar "addiction" for the benefits of exercise, I knew Crossfit would be something I would want to experience.  I had been doing the same ho-hum "30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of weight machines" routine for decades. My body never changed because I never really did anything different. So starting Crossfit was a win-win for me...I got to support my son and get in better shape through a more interesting, effective and dynamic workout.

What do you remember about your first experience (class or other)? 

I didn't like it!  Despite the fact that I pretty much have had an exercise routine my entire life, there were so many things in Crossfit that I had never done before... double unders, pull-ups, all the various lifts, box jumps, handstand push-ups, etc. I felt like I had stepped into a foreign arena with people who were significantly younger than me and, therefore, I felt somewhat intimidated. Part of me wanted to go back to my ho-humly predictable workout at SWAC!  But then, within the first week, we were doing pull-ups and ALL of us had a collection of colored bands dangling in front of us! I realized then that it wasn't just me that didn't know how to do everything or have everything mastered. This was particularly significant for me. I used to be a Physical Education teacher and I tested my students for the President's Physical Fitness Award. The test included pull-ups. I had to have my students demonstrate because I could not do even one pull up!   As I continued with Crossfit, I discovered that I could kip over a 100 pull-ups in a single workout. If someone would have told me that when I was teaching in my 20’s, I never would have believed it. 

What’s your favorite memory over the last 5 years? 

The first time I did Murph. It was silently apparent that every single Crossfit athlete in the gym realized how minimal an effort a 1-mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats and another 1-mile run was in comparison to what Lt. Michael Murphy and other fallen soldiers have done us.  And despite the challenge of pounding out that much distance and completing that many reps, the feeling of mutual respect and contribution done in the company of others made it an incredibly rewarding experience.

What are you most proud of over the last 5 years? 

#1…I get to experience this every day I go to Crossfit.  Seeing my son live his dream.  Seeing how his passion for what he does continues to grow and enhance the lives of others in so many ways.  That he couldn't have a better wife to support and compliment what he does.  That their collaborative efforts towards benefiting the Crossfit community allow them to live, and provide my grandson, an ideal life in an amazing town.

# 2…That I came in 14th in the Northwest and 202nd in the world for the 2014 Crossfit Games for my division. Two years prior I was contemplating sitting back down on my stationary bicycle at SWAC to listen to more podcasts and do more of the same boring weight machine workout because I didn't think I could do a pullup.

What keeps you coming back? 

#1…The people.  Every day I get to play in the Crossfit playground with fellow athletes that have become the best of friends, shared light-hearted and heartbreaking moments, become treasured clients, given me game-changing pointers on how to enhance my performance, or balanced a brutal workout with gut-busting laughter. 

#2…I know I can roll out of bed, show up at the gym and get a well-rounded and challenging workout without having to think about what part of my body needs what. I know that is been strategically mapped out for me.  I just have to do the work. 

#3…That each class will be different every single time. My mind and my body love that aspect.  Nothing ho-hum about it.  

What is still on your list of things to achieve?  

Handstand walk for 15 feet, row 500m in less than 2:05 min, stretch 20 min minimum after every single workout.

Anything else miscellaneous you'd like to add?  

I find it amazing how many men and women tell me they could never do Crossfit because it intimidates them.  And although I may have experienced the same concern initially because of what I was telling myself, I have never experienced anything in Crossfit that was not completely counter to that.  There is so much support and connection in what happens here that I think it makes it hard for people to leave. And as much as Kenny will hate to read this, at Crossfit Sandpoint, everybody plays, everybody wins. It is an individual sport that we are all playing together.

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Member Profile: Star Jensen

I love Star's story for a lot of reasons. 

For one, there are a few initial reactions to CrossFit that I've grown accustomed to over the years.  One is, "What about all the injuries?".  Two is, "I can't do that (because of _____)".  Star's story not only debunks those, but also dramatically reinforces the idea that through proper strength and conditioning training injuries can be made better and prevented in the future, and that makes me happy.

For two, watching someone develop from having a hard time doing a shoulder pass-through with a PVC pipe to having no limitations in here is just awesome.  I grew up playing volleyball, so seeing her go from unable to participate fully in the sport that she really loves to being back at it full bore is what this is really all about for me.  CrossFit should prepare us and make us better at the things we love (besides CrossFit).  Star is the embodiment of that. 


Third, Star is just a pleasure to work with.  She is a lifelong athlete, so she has a natural inclination to know when to push and when to back off.  She is also incredibly receptive to coaching, so selfishly, I really love that about her. 

Thanks for being a part of the family Star!

Read here story here:

Crazy it’s been 5 years...although I did take about a 6-7 month hiatus when I was suffering with my hips/spine NOT staying in place and I had that TERRIBLE nerve pain running down my left leg thing and all I did was hot yoga until I finally said fuck it and just came back to CF...after about 3 months my nerve pain was subsiding and after 6 months I was 75% better...it took about a year for my left leg to recover (from the atrophy the muscle had accrued before I was able to even really perform normally again, but I made it!!

It’s AMAZING TO ME that I got through that most terrible (and painful) experience and to this day have not had a relapse...CF literally saved me...I literally couldn’t even walk through the grocery store without having to crouch down to the floor in pain. Jonah was about to dump my ass because all I could do was lay on the couch with ice trying to recover from whatever I had to do during the day...I lived on NSAIDS (which if you know me I have NEVER taken any meds!! I had a natural childbirth in a cabin in the narrows of Priest Lake for Pete’s sake)....I even took a steroidal dose pack at one point...spent thousands of dollars on Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, to absolutely no avail....I am a firm believer that when your muscles are strong they hold your skeleton in place and as we get old we need our skeleton to stay in place because once that starts shifting, we are hurtin’ for certain...

What brought you to CrossFit Sandpoint?

My best girlfriend that I grew up with moved back home after living in California for many years. We started Mt. Biking together. She had been going to CF and told me I should try it. At that time in my life I was inhibited by a shoulder injury and really had only been doing physical activity that didn’t compromise or risk me dislocating it at every turn. (Spinning, Hot Yoga, Mt. Biking, Hiking, Skiing). Volleyball was my favorite sport and I had to completely give it up because I literally just couldn’t serve or hit a ball- that was something that REALLY depressed me and for YEARS I mourned not being able to play...

What do you remember about your first experience/class?

I specifically recall watching people rotate the PVC pipe from the front to the back of their bodies to stretch out their arms/shoulders and I remember cringing and thinking my shoulder was going to dislocate just watching them do that! I remember having ZERO upper body strength and mobility because I had avoided all use of my shoulder for so many years. I remember mentally saying “oh I can’t do that” (to practically everything) and having to scale SOOOO many things in fear of my shoulder....

On a positive note I remember the workouts being very satisfying/gratifying for me. Being a gymnast, playing multiple sports all through school, and being a wildland firefighter in my twenties, I am the type of person who needs full physical gratification when it comes to exercise....I like to push myself to my max both mentally and physically, CrossFit definitely does that...Oh yeah and how I can I ever forget my very first day; we did 150 Wall Balls! I was so sore for days! No matter how good of shape you think you’re in, you get humbled real quick at CF.

What is your favorite memory over the last 5 yrs?

I have a lot of good memories but hands down being able to hit and serve a volleyball again is the best! Being able to play on a fairly competitive level again is something I NEVER thought would happen unless I had surgery (and who has time for that?!) Crossfit was my cure!

Within Crossfit, a big standout was beating Val in a 5k row (ha ha it was only by a few seconds but still)...It’s  Val! I have worked out with/next to her from my first day and not only is she just inspirational because of how incredibly strong and bad ass she is but she was always there to encourage, help, and push me beyond my own mental inhibition and she has helped me reach many milestones. Another standout was being able to RX some of the Ppen workouts a couple years ago. Specifically 55 deadlifts at 155#. Also being able to walk on my hands. That’s just cool! I never thought I would be able to that again at my age....

What are you most proud of over the last 5 yrs?

This is a tough one for me because I tend to be really hard on myself. I feel and am very aware of my own inhibitions and inconsistencies (whether it be with attendance, diet, sleep, work) and I see/feel how those hold me back and make me back slide...I suppose I am proud of myself for working through a couple of really tough injuries (non CrossFit related) over the years and being the strongest I’ve ever been in my adult life.

What keeps you coming back?

Personally for me, a large part of it is what gratifies my body and mind.

I’m busy, I’m a single mom, my work gets crazy busy and if I’m going to spend time doing something, I need it to fulfill me from head to toe. I don’t want to leave a workout and feel like I need to go workout.

I know that it’s an hour of my day. No more, no less and no matter what, I am going blow myself out, get pushed to my max and go about the rest of my day feeling not only satisfied but also proud of what I just accomplished.

The other thing that hands down keeps me coming back is the level of devotion I have seen Kenny (and the other coaches) put into Crossfit Sandpoint through furthering his own education to offer us more opportunities/avenues to better/further advance our physical and mental development as athletes and just simply living healthy balanced lives...When I see the level of passion put into it, I have huge respect for that.

Inspiration is important especially when doing things that are difficult and one of the coolest things about CF is seeing all of the different people who do it and how they function at their age, with their body type and I am just in awe of the differences, the strengths, the weaknesses that we all have....Strategy....I also love the element of strategy that goes into the various workouts.

The different layers that go on within my body and mind during each performance. The cards get dealt and I stack my hand in a way to hopefully maximize my ability without blowing out half way through and finishing the strongest I can...usually for me that centers around breathing and resting (ha ha)...sometimes it works out great for me and other times it’s an epic fail but it’s always a challenge and I love that!

What’s left on your list of things to achieve?

Linking toes 2 bars, becoming a better runner, every year I say I want to be able to RX workouts and every year I work myself up to it and maybe do a few for a while and then my inability to keep consistent bites me in the butt!

Diet: That’s a big one for me...not that I eat unhealthy per se’ but I know for my body type, in order to transform into what I would like it to be, I have to be SUPER diligent and that’s soooo hard for me...

So diligence and consistency are my key things to focus on I think....


CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Spotlight: Aleya Hutchens


To say that Aleya has transformed herself over the last 5 years would be a tremendous understatement.  When she first walked into one of my classes, I remember feeling like she didn't like me, nor did she like what I was asking her to do.  If you would have pulled me aside that morning and said, "over the next 5 years, you'll watch her develop into one of, if not the, best movers in the entire gym" I'd have thought you were crazy.  It wasn't personal at all, it was just definitely something out of her element. 

Yet, through these years, I have watched her do things I imagine she never thought possible.  From gymnastic feats like muscle-ups and huge sets of pull-ups to Weightlifting at a nationally competitive skill level, she continues to grow and achieve.  I'm incredibly proud to be able to say that I'm her coach. 

What are you most proud of over the past 5 years?

Honestly I think I’m most proud of myself for sticking with something for so long. When I first came to CFSP I had only stepped foot in a gym a handful of times. I used to run on occasion, hit up the stair master at the gym in my apartment complex, slide around on the elliptical etc. I’d never laid hands on a barbell, couldn’t do a single push-up, or pull-up. I ran an 10+ minute mile, never heard of the snatch or clean and jerk and could barely lift the 35# barbell over my head. The only thing going for me was my wicked mobility. I think Kenny will attest he thought I was lost the first few times I showed up for class. Now it’s just part of my lifestyle, knowing what it’s like on the other side of fitness and experiencing that shift is one of the greatest feelings ever.

What brought you to CrossFit? What was your first experience like?

My introduction to CrossFit was in November, 2011. The gym was actually not quite a gym yet and wasn’t affiliated with CrossFit or open to the public. It was just this strange “CrossFit style friends gym” in a random building. In need of some positive changes and habits in my life I put my nerves aside and came in one afternoon to workout with Alison. It was the first time I had met her and we were about to do something called the "Filthy 50". I was petrified. Anyone who has done this knows that the Filthy 50 is a very aggressive workout for someone’s first day in the gym. To make a long story short after the first 14 box jumps I desperately wanted to fake my own death and disappear. Over 45 minutes later I finished the damn thing using every scaling option known to man kind. I was dead, out of breath, laying on my back in a pile of sweat, dizzy, sick, tired. This is absolutely bat shit crazy, who does that kind of thing for fun? Well...

What keeps you coming back?

One of many reasons I keep coming back: I have seen so many people positively change their lives here I’m not even sure where to start.... we did a weight loss challenge a few years back and this 14 year year old kid, youngest member at the time (before CrossFit Kids or Teens was around) won the damn thing! He came in wearing his sweet new black and green Rogue shorts he bought with his winnings and a shit eating grin on his face the next week. He was a totally different person then the shy kid who showed up in his SHS gym clothes.

The positivity and encouragement of everyone at the gym just radiates throughout. Being able to see people through their own personal journey is pretty inspiring. It definitely keeps me coming back every day, working hard trying to achieve my own personal goals and hopefully inspiring other people to do the same thing.

What is your favorite memory?

When Kelli first moved to Sandpoint she showed up at the gym one night during the Open. I saw her stretching in the corner and thought something like “oh shit that girl is strong and serious and very intimidating”. I was terrified to talk to her. We finally started chatting and quickly became close friends. We coming into the gym to lift together, workout together, heckle each other etc. One particular Saturday morning we had to come in to work on snatch technique. Both having trouble hitting numbers that normally would not cause a problem we decided it was a good idea to switch things up. By the end of the lifting session Kelli and I had the garage door open, barbells set up head to head, Dance Cardio radio as loud as the stereo would go, shirtless, yelling profanity at each other, calling each other names. We finally managed to start hitting our lifts. Everyone thought we were mad but we just laughed and laughed. Way to many memories to pick one but that one stands out in my mind as one of the best.

Still on my list to achieve?

Linking my ring and bar muscle ups, walking in a straight line on my hands, 130# snatch, 185# back squat, 40 unbroken pull-ups


CrossFit Sandpoint Total Life Challenge

Announcing the CFSP 30 Day Total Life Challenge!

It’s been a really, really long time since we’ve done any type of nutrition challenge here and there’s a reason for that. In past challenges we saw participants lose 20-30 pounds in a month. And while that’s great I didn’t feel good about the likelihood of those participants keeping the weight off in the long term.

While a challenge puts a framework and expectation on duration; sustainable habits and honest introspection (the really important stuff) are much harder to implement. Couple that with the fact that I believe most “diets” that come with a fancy title are largely bullshit ways to sell books, it’s been hard for me to get behind something for 30 days that we could do as a group.

After some brainstorming I’ve come up with challenge I am truly excited about; 30 days of lifestyle and nutrition tweaks that will make you a fitter, trimmer, healthier and better you.

How are we going to do this?

Starting on Tuesday, January 23rd, we’ll meet weekly for one hour on a variety of health and lifestyle topics. We'll have a private Facebook group where each week's presentation will be uploaded that night.

Each week we’ll roll out a new set of habits. You’ll implement those habits and score yourself on how you did.

You’ll record your progress in your scoring journal (that we will provide).

During our weekly meetings we’ll discuss the best ways to approach these habits, why they’re important and we’ll talk about common problems that we see when clients try to tackle them.

For a preview, the first set of habits are:

- Log your food
- Get your workouts in
- Put down your phone.

Three things that have been major talking points for almost anyone I’ve talked to over the last couple of weeks. The theme will follow for the duration of the program.

Each week, we will unveil new habits that will build on the first three.

Oh yeah, and there will be scoring implications for both sugar and alcohol intake, as those seem to be recurring in conversations as well.

Approaching a challenge in this way ensures that by the end of the month, you’re a more awesome you.

Yes, I hope you lose weight if that’s your goal (we’ll be taking measurements and before and after photos), but (even more so) I want you to develop habits that will last far beyond 30 days, habits that you’ll be able to practice for the rest of your life.

And, because we like a bit of friendly competition around here there will be prizes based on the highest scores from the 4 weeks.

To Recap:
- 4 weeks, starting Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30pm
- Before/After Pictures and Measurements
- Weekly Seminars/Discussions
- Weekly Habits and Challenges
- Daily Scoring and Accountability
- Private Facebook Group for Support
- Prizes

Want to join in?

Cost is $50 for members and $60 for non members.
Members can register by commenting, emailing me or signing up on the list that will go up on the board in the next few days.

Non members can register at this link here:

Crabs in a Bucket

Crabs in a Bucket

There’s a fantastic analogy that describes what happens when you put a bunch of live crabs in the bottom of a bucket.  All the crabs are smashed on top of each other, certainly aware, in whatever capacity they are capable, that they are in an unfavorable position.  Some of these crabs have incidentally landed on the top of the pile, where they can reach their legs up and over the top of the bucket, and climb to their freedom. 


Unfortunately for them, the crabs left behind latch themselves onto the aspiring escapee’s lower legs and pull them back down in the pit to suffer with the rest of the group.  Thereby, the whole population of bucket dwellers remain doomed and almost certainly end up in the stomach of something higher up the food chain. 

It screws up the analogy because they’re just crabs, but imagine the possibilities if the crabs on the bottom of the bucket would trust that their newly escaped friends wouldn’t just leave them to die, and instead would offer a claw to help them all up. 

As many people embark on new goals and aspirations, I witness this in humans to a despicable degree.  Especially this time of year. 


Whether it’s a jealous friend, a nervous spouse or a spiteful relative, it seems that there is always someone unhappy that another might succeed, potentially leaving the rest of the world cursed to wallow away in mediocrity.

This seems even more prevalent with the rise of social media.  Scrolling your way through Facebook will certainly give you a window to watch the disturbing trend of negativity towards those who are trying to rise above their current situation.  Even if it’s not a direct shot fired, it rears its ugly head with statements like, “must be nice”, “I could do that if I _____”, or “I heard ____”. 

I’m even guilty of this from time to time.  Seeing someone achieve something that I have not yet usually elicits a knee jerk reaction of jealousy and disdain.

Whether it's CrossFit, fishing, hunting, business, family, or any of the other interests in my life.  My initial response when I see someone doing "better" than I am is to react negatively towards them.  It's not a good look, and it's usually fairly easy to talk myself down off that ledge, but it still exists. 

When others succeed, and we’re not acting as our best versions of ourselves, it’s tough to get slapped in the face with the reality that it is possible to reach for the stars and yank one down.  We just have to accept the fact that we haven't done it yet. 

This is worth acknowledging two-fold.  We need to recognize it in ourselves and our own thoughts.  And we also need to remember how prevalent it is in others.

In ourselves, the feelings of rage or jealousy that we experience are entirely counter productive.  We expend so much energy and time worrying about others that it takes away from our own progress.  Imagine if all of that negative energy could be channeled towards positive.   


When you find yourself experiencing these feelings, try and re frame your internal dialogue to something that is more positive.  Remember that just because they did it doesn’t mean that you cannot.  A scarcity mindset, where others success equals your failure is dangerous and damages our progress as a species.  There are plenty of stars to reach for, even if someone gets theirs first.

In others, when you hear criticism, or you find someone you care about not supporting your ambitions, success or goals, try and examine where they are coming from, and what it feels like to be in that position.  Understand that their initial reaction or lack of support is almost certainly not because they don’t love you or that they really don’t want you to succeed, it’s only that they’re unsatisfied with themselves and their behavior.

I’m certainly not advising you to point this out in the heat of an argument, by the way.  If it’s a contentious discussion, take a step back, calm things down and reflect on what it might look like from their perspectives.  This is especially important if the issue is with someone you care about and want to maintain a relationship with.  Then, try and discuss the matter with them, delicately.  It’s important to not make accusations or make them feel even less personal worth.  Just talk it through.


Or, with those who just routinely try and squash your dreams, climb your ass out of that bucket, shake their grubby little mitts off your destined-for-success self and wave your crabby middle claw at them as you prove to them how awesome you can be.


CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Profile: Valerie Bucholtz

First up in our series of CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Profiles, we have Val Bucholtz. 


Val has been here almost daily since we first opened to the public.  She only misses when she's out of town, and even then seems to find her way into another gym whenever she can. 

I remember the first time I recognized that Val was in here with a slightly different motivation and intent than the rest.  While most others were here for a great workout, she was here to find out what she could do, what she couldn't do and test those in competition.  I remember one day early on where she was the only one who showed up for class.  We got to get really in-depth on rowing technique.  She wanted to know everything she could about improving something she had never really done before.  That really impressed me. 

Over the last 5 years, I've witnessed her progress from total CrossFit newbie to internationally ranked CrossFit Competitor.  More importantly and more impressively, she's been able to take her knowledge and experience and pass that on to others.  This truly shines in competition, where she has a unique ability to help others find that extra gear they didn't know they had.  I've lost count of how many times I've heard people say to her, "I couldn't have done that if you weren't there cheering me on."

Without further ado:

  • What brought you into CrossFit Sandpoint in the first place?  I was looking for a more intense workout.  It seemed that all of the gyms in town focused on the general public, or the beginner.  I wanted to push my limits and feel that "I think I'm going to die" moment.  I found my place.  

  • What do you remember about your first experience (class or other)?  We were a chatty, giggly group of women!  The 3 women I didn't know yet, that were part of our small class that week, have most definitely become forever friends.  Lissa and Jenn were so proud of you, Kenny, and tried so hard not to giggle.  Aleya hung from the pull up bars and did a monkey routine.  Not one of us could do a pull up.  What's not to love!   

  • What’s your favorite memory over the last 5 years?  There are so many, but a couple favorites that come to mind are the first competitions, the one held at Northern Quest and also Fittest in the Park.  We were a great group of athletes, killing it from Sandpoint, both in competition and the fun afterwards!  Team dinner, pull ups in the trees, rainbow glitter sparkling unicorn poop shots, dancing .. We were WOD drunk and loving life.   And, if I may add a few more significant memories, I would include my first legit rope climb, someone telling me it looked like the bar was bending over my back from all the weight I was back squatting, Adam's first muscle up in his snow boots, Chad's first bar muscle up, the first Murph we all did together, rowing a half marathon with Terri, the 12 WODS in 12 hours at Predation CrossFit where I won a giant pack of bacon, and all the adorable babies that have been born into the CrossFit family!   

  • What are you most proud of over the last 5 years?  I am most proud of my 2015 CrossFit Games results.  1st in Idaho, 152nd in the World, and I made it to the Master's Regional Level.  

  • What keeps you coming back?  It seems that I come back day after day for many different reasons.  Fitness, mental health, and friendships top the list.  I like to say that we solve all the world's problems while we lift in the morning.  Overall, I keep coming back because it's 'my gym'.  I belong there.  

  • What is still on your list of things to achieve?  There is always the elusive muscle up, and certainly butterfly pull ups would be great to dial in as well, but I am aware of the work and effort to get there, and for right now, I'm pretty content.  Ask me tomorrow, and I'll probably answer this differently.

  • Anything else miscellaneous you'd like to add?  Five years can sure go by fast.  It's nice to reflect and cherish the memories.  I've laughed, cried, been embarrassed, been jealous, and angry, elated, sad, exhausted, grateful, and proud.  Thank you to Kenny, his family, the coaches and all of the athletes for keeping it alive!  Cheers to another year.  

Open Season 2018!

January is here.  

The Open is 9 weeks away.  


(Timeout) What is the Open?  

The Open is a special time of year in CrossFit.  It’s a 5 week long series of weekly workouts that are performed by the entire CrossFit community.  

Most of you are probably thinking, “well that sounds kind of cool, but I’m not sure what that really has to do with me…”

And you’d be right.  Just like when I play a game of touch football in the backyard during the Summer, I’m not out there competing with Antonio Brown for reception yards.  However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the game played by the pros and have some fun.  

So, what does that look like at CrossFit Sandpoint?  

On one level, it doesn’t look any different than any other week of the year. Show up, workout, kick ass with your friends, do shit you didn’t think you’d ever be able to do, go home.  Repeat.

On another level, you can join up on an Intramural Team and participate with a group.  We’ve done this two years in a row, and if you spend any time reading our Member Spotlights, you’ll recall that a great many of those mention that being on a team for the Open was one of their favorite memories of the year. 


Each of our coaches pick a team of roughly 10-15 people.  These members of their teams score points for their teams by doing the workout, and by wearing their team colors for that workout.  We also award points to the top 5 males and top 5 females.  In other words, if you’re worried about your performance hurting your team, all you have to do is workout and wear a color and you’re doing all your team can ask for.

To make the season more fun, we do these Open workouts on a handful of different days: Thursday Night (right after it’s announced), Friday all day, and Saturday for the morning class. 

Saturday is definitely our most popular version, with 20-30 people doing it that day, all dressed in their team colors.  It’s a silly amount of fun. 


Finally, for the most involved level, you can throw your hat in the ring in the online version of the competition.  You’ll submit your score weekly and be able to compare your score to hundreds of thousands of other competitors.  Few CFSP members do this, but there are some great reasons to do so.  

For one, it is surprisingly interesting (and somewhat discouraging) to compare yourself to the rest of the world.  

For two, it allows you to track your performance year over year.  

Third, depending on your personality, it can be really fun to take things a little more seriously for a few weeks out of the year.  You may just find that it’s something you want to do in the future, and ramp of your training with that in mind. 


So, with the Open coming up, our training will change slightly.  

As with above, for most of you this doesn’t mean anything.  You still just need to show up and be your normal ass kicking self. 

For those of you who like to pay more attention, the next 9 weeks will be more Open focused.  We’ll focus on more skill development, revolving around things that we’ll encounter in the CrossFit Open.  More skills in regards to handstand push-ups, pull-ups, toes to bar, double unders and more. 

These skills will be practiced outside of workouts for the majority of the upcoming future.  This will give you an opportunity to focus on these skills without the pressure of the clock. 

Then, on either Thursdays or Fridays during the week, we’ll do repeat a workout from Open past, to get a little bit of a scrimmage feel, where you’ll get a good glimpse into how these workouts proceed and feel. 

This is all a ton of fun, and I encourage you to view it at such!  

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Kara Berlin

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?


Time, structure, and efficiency. Before joining CrossFit, I was spending upwards of two-three hours per night being a cardio-bunny at another gym. Hopping between different machines, changing my playlist on Spotify five times to find the right track to pump me up before bopping back over to weights... No amount of steps on the StairMaster4000 ever felt enough, even though I was well-aware my time spent was beyond excessive, given my demands elsewhere. Ain't nobody got time for dat. I didn't have an agenda, but a feeling - a feeling of pure, utter, ass-whooped exhaustion - that I was always trying to achieve, but rarely did. Some former co-workers and friends encouraged me to check out CFSP. I don't recall the WOD, but I was certainly served a heaping slice of humble pie, a-la-mode, with a generous amount of ass-whooping. Please, sir, I want some mo'.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

See "humble pie," above.

Really though, my first impression was that it wasn't easy, at all. I came home depleted, but simultaneously so invigorated. This hasn't changed. It still isn't easy and if it ever is, I did something wrong. I love that each and every person can come in, scale appropriately to a healthy level of ability, but always push themselves. There's no glass ceiling, no cap, no limit. I like that.

What was your first success?

Showing up! Truly.

However, I distinctly remember the first time I did a consecutive amount of double-unders, where my limitations were my cardiovascular system, less my coordination. I wouldn't say it was like riding a bike, but it was so much easier to find success in that again after I felt it for the first time.

What are you working on now?

Generally speaking, I am working on improving my overall fitness to have more fun! I want to take advantage of my body and it's youth (how long can I say that?) so I can be my best self as a runner, mountain biker, skier, etc. More specifically however, I've been wanting to work on my upper body strength that is ghastly disproportionate to my lower body. I've gotten a taste of some fluid, linked kipping pull-ups, but I'd like be able to do just as many strict and really ground my strength in the foundations and basics.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Not sure I can answer this with a superlative, but a specific moment in last year's Open always makes me laugh, and feel grateful.

I was leaving town, so I did one of the workouts right upon it being announced on a Thursday night, alongside the best-of-them...the elite! There were spectators cheering everyone on, and the energy in the gym was impossibly palpable. I don't recall the specifics, other than some ghastly amount of reps with the barbell, followed by a row, and then as many HSPU as possible with the time remaining. I had over 1:30 remaining to bust some HSPU out. Had I done one successfully before? No. Did I do one successfully then? Well...no.

I distinctly remember watching the Facebook-LIVE video, slunked on floor of my kitchen once I was home - exhausted, but in good spirits, and the camera footage panning over the gamut of all of us that evening: Kelli busting out those HSPU (with a baby-on-board!), shirtless men either side of her just killing the game - animal-style. Then there was me, far off in the right corner, continually collapsing on my head - and a few times collapsing even further from the head-stand into what I can only call a "full-planked-flat-body-belly-flop", time and time again for a full one minute, thirty seconds. I had a tribe of cheerleaders around me for the whole 1:30. There is so much collective drive in our little gym's community, so much room for improvement, and so much encouragement.

More often than not, the hour at CrossFit is the best hour of my day. It's my me-time. My blood-pumping, head-clearing zen. I don't have to make the decisions, there is energy to feed on, and I always get that slice of "pie" a-la-mode. But best part is the banded team of athletes who hail from different trails, yet show up at the same place at the same time for similar reasons. We celebrate each others successes, we hold one another accountable, and we push each other to be our best selves inside - and outside - of the gym. I am so grateful to have this outlet - and this hour - be a part of my day, (almost) every day.

Gifts for Fitness (Part 2)

If you're interested in giving experiences for gifts, you can read about some of my suggestions in Part 1 .  If you'd like some gear to go with those experiences, or you like having something physical to wrap, read on.

If there is one universal thing about CrossFit athletes, it’s that we’re pretty into our gear.  From jump ropes and shoes to weight belts and wrist wraps, there’s really an endless list of things to get that promise to make our fitness lives better.  I’ll summarize my thoughts on those items, and if you happen to be one of those people who are related to one of us CrossFitters and don’t know what to buy that special someone, you can get some great hints here.


If you hadn’t already figured it out by now, CrossFitters really like it when other people know that they CrossFit.  So, aside from representing that fact with a fit body, wearing clothes that make that statement for you is the next best thing.  New, more comfortable clothes are also proven to improve your performance by 15%.  Seriously though, I do believe that having nice gym clothes does make it more likely that you’ll go to the gym.

Top brands or things to consider:

·         Lululemon: Yeah, their stuff is expensive.  It’s also the most comfortable, stylish and durable gear that I own, by far.  I am lucky enough to wear sweatpants to work everyday, and I have pairs of Lulu sweatpants that I’ve owned and worn multiple times a week for years and years, without them showing any signs of wear.  Good stuff costs money, and if you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll end up saving money in the long run by not having to replace it all the time.  

·         Prana:  Similar to lululemon in style and comfort, but a little less expensive.  They make great stuff and have a more complete line of casual street clothes too.  

·         Reebok: CrossFit and Reebok are almost synonymous now.  I’m fairly certain that CrossFit saved Reebok from extinction, and now that they’ve got some cash behind their development, their gear has gotten better and better every year.  

·         Rogue Fitness: Rogue has a lot of quality clothing that will make that “I’m a CrossFitter” statement for you.  You can get apparel from your favorite athletes, with your favorite sayings or just with “Rogue” across it, which may appeal to your more passive representation of CrossFit, knowing that only those in the know will know.

·         CrossFit Sandpoint (or your local box): We’ve got shirts, hats, sweatshirts, beanies, stickers, patches etc that tell everyone not only that you CrossFit, but also where you CrossFit.   



Wrist Wraps

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Wrist wraps protect and reinforce a particularly vulnerable and complicated joint.  They can significantly help people with their overhead movements and can ease some pain that comes with what is initially a really awkward front rack position.

- Things to consider:

·         There is a velcro and stretch combination and there is a non-stretch, twist design to choose from.  I’m a velcro and stretch fan, but I know a lot of twist fans as well.  I don’t really have an opinion other than you’ll probably get one and stick with it.  

- Where to get them:

·         Rogue Fitness

Hand Protection

There are few things worse in CrossFit than tearing your hands.  They hurt for days, prevent you from training to your full capacity, they don’t look cool, they scar, and they make your hands rougher in the long run (which prevents future tears, but also may make your companions less likely to want to hold them).  Some hands are more prone to tears than others, but a great way to prevent tears altogether is to wear some sort of grip protection.  

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There are a few options here, but most come down to either glove or just palm protection.  I don’t think I know anyone that has stuck with gloves for the long run.  They’re just too awkward, both in appearance and in grip.  Instead, almost everyone I know has preferred the palm style hand protection.  “Wodies” seem to have the biggest following these days, and they seem to last a while.  

Check out your options here:

Rogue Fitness

Lifting Belt


This is a tricky one for me because I’m really not a fan of weightlifting belts in general.  I think they’re dramatically overused and are often a crutch instead of just learning how to brace your midsection when you lift.  That said, they are a great aid on max lifts (but really only then).  

However, a lot of people really like them, will continue to use them and probably won’t die because they do.  

There are two options here, either belt or velcro.  I prefer the non-velcro belt as velcro tends to fail after years of use, and if there is one place you don’t want your equipment to break down, it’s  at the bottom of your new max squat. 

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

Jump Rope

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We do a lot of jump roping in CrossFit, often to the chagrin of athletes.  The disdain for the activity can be prevented or at least assisted with the utilization of a personal jump rope.  Getting used to a rope that is the exact same size, speed and handle shape has transformed a lot of people’s jump rope ability in a matter of days.  I tell everyone that I have a hard time with any rope you just hand me off the wall because it’s not mine.  Adjusting a rope even a few inches can change it a lot.  So, by having your own, you can circumvent all of that mess and know that it’s set perfectly for you.

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

RX Smart Gear

RPM Ropes


This can be a tricky one, as a. 99% of all supplements are total bullshit, b. People have their own tastes and things they like, and c. I don’t find supplements to be the most thoughtful-seeming gift out there.  

That said, a good quality protein powder or a good quality fish oil are both effective and should be utilized by most people to round out their nutrition.  

Where to get them:

Stronger Faster Healthier


Thorne (here at CFSP)


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This may be my favorite thing on the list for someone to get as a gift.  They’re generic enough to know that you aren’t going to get something for someone and they’re going to hate it.  They’re super useful (normal collars slip and slide around slightly during use, the ones I recommend don’t budge), they’re individual enough to know they’re yours.  Best of all, they aren’t insanely expensive.  

I was given a pair as a gift a few years ago and will very, very rarely use a bar without them on it.  

You can find them here:

OSO Barbell Collars

Weight Vest

I’d only recommend this for more advanced CrossFitters, someone who does our Mountain Athlete programming during the summer, or someone who does preparation for long ruck type races on their own.  

In those cases, having your own weight vest is the only way to go.  First of all, I think I’d rather share a pair of underwear with someone than share a weight vest.  Seriously, they’re worn tightly to the body, often without a shirt underneath, during strenuous activities for hours at a time.  And judging from the ones that are left here for storage all year, people don’t wash theirs.  Gross.  

So, if you’re someone who finds themselves wearing a weight vest from time to time, get your own, and what better time to get one than for Christmas.  

I got mine off ebay for like $50 (not used of course), and it’s worked well.  It was the 40# version from ZFO Sports.  It’s worked ok.  I wouldn’t recommend the 40# version unless you’re absolutely sure you want that much weight for a majority of the time.  It is adjustable, but taking the weights out of it kind of messes with the balance and fit.  So, if you’re mostly a 20# vest person, I’d just get a 20# vest.  


They make super fancy tactical ones that are actually bulletproof, just know that the fancier they are, the more expensive they are.  

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

So there you have it.   A fairly comprehensive list of gift ideas for that CrossFitter in your life (or just for you).

The Gift of Fitness (Part 1)

As of this posting, we're in the final countdown to Christmas.  Hopefully, by now, we've got most of our shopping done (but seriously, with Amazon Prime, we've really got a whole week for our final orders, so no hurry!

One of the things we like to do in our family is give the gift of experiences for Christmas.  While oftentimes we are presenting others with objects or things, eventually those get used up or forgotten.  Of course we still do those things as well, but we also like to think that by giving an experience, you allow that person to do something they may not forget quite so soon.  Things like tickets to shows, plane tickets, lessons, trips, overnight stays have been neat to see utilized in a non-traditional way.

For the fitness person in your life, there's plenty of gear to get them excited about smashing that next workout.  Things like apparel, wraps, belts, shoes, jump ropes and other accessories are certainly great ideas (more on those things in Part 2 tomorrow).  But what about an experience in Fitness?


Here at CrossFit Sandpoint, we have ways to enhance or specialize in a more individual way that can dramatically benefit the recipient.  And if you're reading from afar, your local gym likely offers similar.

We have 30 minute and 60 minute Skills Sessions, available for $35 and $60 respectively.  These sessions are a great way to get specific, 1 on 1 attention to your skills here.  The nature of group classes are that every member gets roughly 2-3 minutes of devoted attention each class during skill based work (roughly 10 people/class, roughly 15-20 min for strength/skill work per day).  


Imagine what progress and work can be done with 10-20 times that amount of attention and care during a session.  It allows coaches the opportunity to use video, work through specific drills and assign homework to be done in the future either before, during or after class.  The progress I've seen in these sessions has been dramatic.  Even more, doing one per month has put athletes leaps and bounds ahead of where they might have been without them.

If you're interested in purchasing something like this for the CrossFitter in your life, putting it on your Christmas list, or even introducing a new person to CrossFit (new memberships include 5 half hour sessions in their first month here), you can do so here, or contact us here for more info.

Or, if you're more of a gear type of gift giver, stay tuned for tomorrow's post with my take on your options there.


CFSP Member Spotlight: Nancy Twineham

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place? 

Working out has been a big part of my life for so long and I was sad to leave my gym in So CA.  I was taking a class at that gym called Hard Knocks, which was similar to CF in a small group setting and loved the structure of the class.  I think what I enjoyed most about it was all of the wonderful people I've met and friendships created. 

When we moved to Sandpoint, I joined a local gym but every time I would go workout, no one was there and there definitely wasn't any classes like this.  I was just going through the motions and starting to lose some motivation.  I had seen a flyer about a kids/teen CF camp that was being put on during the summer and wanted my kids to do something other than just sit around all summer.  When I dropped my kids off, I knew I had found what I was looking for and signed up the next week.

What was your first impression? Has that changed? 

My first impression was that it felt like I had come home.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming from the members to every single coach.  I think what stands out the most is that there are no egos.  Everyone is there to help and support you no matter if you've been doing CF for years or it's day one and you don't know what you are doing.  I really enjoy working out with everyone and look forward to going day after day

What was your first success? 

I think my first success would be participating in the Open and doing one of the workouts (17.3, I think) Rx'd.  It was a last minute decision and it felt great!

What are you working on now? 

I've really enjoyed taking Bill's Kung-Fu lifting classes.  I love both those lifts and want to continue getting stronger.  Pull-ups are still my nemesis, as well as linking toes 2 bar and hand stand push-ups.  Overall, I'm working on being a better athlete, trying to improve a little bit each day and to keep my nutrition on track.  

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory? 

There are a couple that stand out....most recently, I got paired with Chad & Val for a team workout of power cleans, thrusters and box jumps.  I so badly wanted to do this workout Rx'd but had to drop down in weight on the thrusters.  It was still more weight than I had ever done in the past. They weren't pretty but I did them and both Chad and Val were supporting me the whole time.  Another recent memory is hitting some PR's in the snatch & clean and jerk!

CFSP Member Spotlight: Steve Sanchez

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Steve Sanchez


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

In September of last year, I was staring down at my 20th HS Reunion.  My old classmates were in the planning stages, and I didn't want to show up 20 years older and overweight.  I was getting slower and loosing motivation for working out and doing the things I love (mountain biking, road biking, hiking, swimming, and triathlons).  I had stuck my head into the Sandpoint CrossFit box once before and was impressed (and intimidated!) by all the fit people, but when I saw Kenny's post that he was opening up 10 spots for his Foundations class last October, I knew that was going to be my best chance to get out of my rut.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

At first, I didn't think I needed a "Foundations" class.  I knew how to do all of the lifts, and (I thought) I had good form, but when I couldn't lift my arms above my head for nearly a week after a scaled pull-up workout, I knew that I needed to calm down and stick to the game plan.  Because of biking, I have always had strong legs (or at least thought I did), but my range of motion was horrible!  Now that the coaches and I have identified some (many!) of my weaknesses, I am working hard to improve and I hope see that in my races next summer! 

What was your first success?

I would have to say my first success is actually sticking with it.  Over the last several years there have been times where I have been everything BUT motivated to workout.  Before CrossFit, I would come up with every excuse you can imagine to avoid a workout, but now that I have made friends and connections at CrossFit, I go not only because I am looking forward to the workout, but because I feel like I have to be there for my friends in the 4:30 class.  People like Travis, Jim, Ryan, Chase, Chrystal, and Terry (and all of the coaches!) inspire and motivate me to go harder and not give up, (and the 5:30 ladies give me crap if they don't see me during their warmup)!  I like to say "The hardest part is just showing up!"

What are you working on now?

Now that I am tracking my progress and getting stronger, I'm working on completing all the Function workouts at RX.  My goal is to be able to complete all of the 2018 CrossFit Open workouts (scaled for my age group) in the allotted time, and I want to finish all of my 2018 races within the top 10% of my age group!    

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

My favorite memory was doing the 4th of July WOD at City Beach with so many other CFers!  That was awesome!

Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

For the next two months, we’re going to have some specific goals to work towards in addition to our normal general fitness development.  With ski season right around the corner (maybe as soon as tomorrow as it looks like with this weather), and with this time of year being somewhat challenging for most to stay focused, we’re going to give you some extra motivation on a couple of things  


For one, pull-ups!  At our coaches meeting the other night, we were discussing what the most common thing that people are looking to improve or achieve.  The unanimous conclusion was pull-ups.  I’ve lost track of the amount of people who sit across from me when they start and admit, “what I’d really love to do someday is a pull-up”.  

So let’s tackle this together.  

Our programming always contains pull-up, chin-up and rowing work, but for the next 8 weeks, it’s going to be very specific and intentional on improving your ability to perform a single pull-up with the greatest amount of weight possible.  

So, how is this going to look?

Well, starting next week, we’re going to designate Monday for testing of 1RM pull-ups.  If you are currently able to do a strict pull-up, you’re going to start to add load to your body via kettlebells attached to a belt.  If you are currently unable to do a pull-up, you are going to find the lightest combination of bands that you need for an assisted pull-up.  

You’re going to write down your weights or combination of bands.  The bands are going to be numbered within their colors so you can keep track of which ones you actually use.  Older bands don’t assist the same as newer bands.  

Then, you just need to keep coming to the gym.  Our weekly programming will continue to be very similar, but we’re going to have some very specific pull-up work for you to do on the days that we have pull-ups programmed.  If you happen to miss a day, you can easily make up that pull-up work from the previous day in the class you attend.

If you’re a pull-up pro or working on kipping, don’t worry, you’ll still have time to work on the more dynamic stuff in your workouts.  Additionally, not to give any secrets away, but starting in January, and as we lead up into the Open, we’ll start another 6-8 week cycle where Performance and Sport will be working on kipping.


In addition to pull-up work, I know that many of us will be skiing this year.  In preparation for that, we’re going to devote a lot more effort to single leg work.  This may be a little less specific than our pull-up work, but you’ll definitely notice more lunges, step ups and split squats in your weekly routines.  If you’re not a skiier, no problem!  I’d hazard a guess that you, like most, could benefit from some extra single leg work.

Questions, comments?  Let me know!

(Oh yeah, and it's Pull-uptober because we came up with it in October, and we haven't come up with anything better).


CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Vicky Graham


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
My husband and his cousin worked with a few hardcore cross fitters who were in great shape. Apparently, they talked about CrossFit a lot on the job because my husband would always tell me about CrossFit and the workouts. After hearing so much about it, I had to go and try it for myself.
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
I was completely overwhelmed and felt like I was in over my head.  I loved the idea of CrossFit but I was so bad at it.  I wasn’t going to throw the towel in though.  Feeling determined, I stuck with it.  I have been Crossfitting religiously for 3 years. I am addicted.
What was your first success?
Box Jumps! My first 20 inch box jump was like winning the lottery. After having my baby, I completely lost my box jump and had to learn it all over again.
What are you working on now?
Double unders. On a good day, I can get 4 in a row.
What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?
Experiencing the Open for the first time at CrossFit Sandpoint. The gym just has a different vibe for those 4 weeks…it’s awesome.

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Spotlight: Crystal Baines

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

Truthfully, I have been interested in CrossFit for years. I just hadn't justified in my head investing that amount of money in myself when I could get a much cheaper gym membership other places. That being said, I was never satisfied long term at other gyms and would slowly loose interest as I never felt like I was truly enjoying it or knew what I was doing. The more I looked into CrossFit, the more I thought it'd be a good fit for me. I finally got to a place where I was ready to invest in me for me. I signed up with a friend who was interested as well and found I loved it just like I thought I would!

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

My first impression was watching the 4:30 class doing all these things that I didn't think I'd be able to do anytime soon. But then I saw these pregnant ladies doing it and thought well crap, if they can do it, so can I! I still get inspired regularly by other members and their accomplishments. I also love the community of it and just how different everyone is who is going here.

What was your first success?

I have had so many already! The most exciting thing for me by far is my asthma improvement. When I first started I could not run more than 250m or I'd have an asthma attack (seriously). Now I can comfortably run (notice I didn't say enjoy) with everyone else and after just 6 months in I am so happy to say that I am rarely using my inhaler anymore! I would also say seeing real proof of success for me was so motivational with my body measurements from when I started to now. Such dramatic differences is what everyone loves to see!

What are you working on now?

My form and pacing myself better.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I don't know that I have a real favorite yet honestly. I just know that I am generally always excited to come workout and feel off when I don't get to due to my crazy schedule. I figure any place that can get me excited to use my rare free time as a single mom to come do burpees and be happy about it is a winning place in my book.

How to Get Your Daily Protein Requirements

How I get to 200g of Protein Everyday



Yeah, 200 grams of Protein.  That’s a bunch.  But, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that for anyone doing any sort of intense or heavy training volume (or for anyone pursuing body composition), 1 gram per day of protein per pound of body weight is a great target to shoot for.  I’m roughly 200 pounds, so I aim for 200 grams of protein per day.  Your body weight probably varies, and therefore so should your daily protein number.  

I’ve beaten the dead horse for way too long now about why protein is awesome and is the most important, yet under-eaten macro nutrient to do it again here.  

When I tell a new client they have to get ___g of Protein per day for their goals, they usually look at me wide eyed and say something like, “___ g! That’s a ton!  I’m only eating 50-60g a day now!” 

You’re right, that is a ton when you’re only eating 50-60 grams and are just barely on this side of the abysmally low Recommended Daily Allowance (which is the minimum suggested to stay alive).  You’re also probably not as lean as you want, don’t recover as well as you want and are likely eating way too much of other, less important macro nutrients that are not helping you towards your goals, so here we are…

This may not be your aspiration, but there are great lessons to be gleaned from figure competitors.

This may not be your aspiration, but there are great lessons to be gleaned from figure competitors.

Our conversation then turns to how in the world is that even possible?  Well it is, and it’s really not that much.  If you’ve ever hung out in the competitive world of body composition or body building (I know, I know, you don’t want to look like one of them*), you’ll know that 1g/pound of bodyweight is child’s play.  They’ll often go towards 2-3g per pound of bodyweight.

*Side note: you won’t, they’ve worked way harder than you’ll ever know to look like that and they’d be incredibly offended if you suggested that by ingesting a protein shake once a day that you’d get even close to their physique.  However, what you should realize is that their entire goal in life is development of muscle and shedding of fat.  They’re good at it, really good at it.  So, just like you might not want to drive a race car around everyday, you should realize that the people who make race cars are pretty damn good at making regular cars.

So, how do I get my protein goals in everyday, and how can you get to yours?

Well first, let’s start with the easy stuff.  Most people eat 3 meals as part of their regular lives.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If you’re not currently eating breakfast because you’re doing the latest en vogue fitness trend and Intermittently Fasting, but you’re not getting your daily protein requirements in, you’re putting the cart way in front of the horse, so forget all that nonsense and get your basics down before you start putting lipstick on your pig.

So with breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are 3 opportunities for you to get in 25-30g of protein by just eating a normal (like the size of your fist) serving of protein (lean meat, chicken, fish or pork).  This is typically what a restaurant will serve you if you’re eating out.  Woo!  We’re already at 65-80g and we haven’t really altered anything!  

*If you’re shooting for 150g or more per day, you’ll probably want to look for 6-8 oz of protein in these meals.  That’s two fist sizes, or a “double protein” request at the restaurant.  This will put you in the 130-160g for the day already. 

The main challenge I see here is breakfast.  Most people aren’t used to making lunch or dinner foods for breakfast, so it’s harder to get that early morning serving up to 25-30g.  Or, a lot of people “just aren’t hungry in the morning”.  Well, you “just aren’t reaching your goals currently” either.

Here’s what I do:

2 egg whites (8g Protein, 0g Carb, 0g Fat)
2 whole eggs (12g Protein, 0g Carb, 10g Fat)
2 slices bacon (6g Protein, 0g Carb, 6g Fat)
A handful of spinach or kale or some kind of green to scramble in.

For a total of: 26g Protein, 0g Carb, 13g Fat

You may have noticed that I do half egg whites and half whole egg.  It’s not that the yolks are bad, or that fat is bad, it’s just that I love bacon, and if I’m going to have bacon for breakfast, I should probably cut some of the overall calories while still getting my protein requirements in.  Only eating the egg white is a great way to do that.  

*Sometimes, depending on what my day looks like, I’ll have a protein shake with breakfast (putting me near 50g protein for breakfast in total).  Especially if I know I won’t get a break between 6am and 1pm with clients, classes and/or meetings.

Feel free to play around as necessary with those options.

Ok, so with breakfast, lunch and dinner we should be somewhere around 75 to 126 grams of protein per day.  (Breakfast as listed above: 26g protein, lunch: 25-50g protein, dinner: 25-50g protein by just eating a normal serving of lean meat instead of peanut butter and jelly).

Filling in the gaps from here is where it can get tricky for some folks.  Snacks are obviously the easy way to get your numbers up, but what snacks?  Most of the current popular snacks are really high in fat or really high in carbohydrates (honestly the amount of nuts you can eat before you’re hit like 1000 calories is offensive).  Neither fat nor carbohydrates are necessarily bad, but they aren’t Protein.  Any other macronutrients should be secondary until you get your protein number in for the day.

So, how do I do it?

I typically will have at least two of the following throughout the day:


- Low Fat Cottage Cheese (13g protein for 1/2 cup): It’s good plain if you buy the good stuff, I don’t care what you say.

- Low Fat or Non-Fat Yogurt (23g protein for 1 cup or ~50g if you add in protein powder):  My favorite is the non-fat, unflavored Wallaby brand with a scoop of chocolate protein powder mixed in, and sometimes a table spoon of peanut butter if it’s being eaten as a dessert or right before bed.


- Protein Shake (~25g protein per scoop): This can include kind of frozen fruit for texture and flavor depending on my other macro goals for the day.

- Hard Boiled Eggs (6g protein per egg): Season these with some sort of salt (truffle salt is the shit), spice or hot sauce and it will make them much more appealing.

- Beef Jerky (7g protein per large piece): Try to go with the best quality stuff you can here.

- Epic Bars (7-12g protein per bar): Though I just recently heard our friends at Thunder’s Catch are doing Salmon Jerky, so I’ll be switching over to those.

- Smoked Salmon (20g protein per 4oz): Sure, it can be kind of expensive when you compare it to a $1.50 Larabar, but it’s damn good, and you can work on it for two snacks instead of one.

- Protein Bar (~20g protein per bar): Most of these are way higher in sugar and carbohydrates than they are protein, so be aware.


- Deli Meat (~25g protein per 4oz):  This is one of my favorites and one of the most overlooked.  A great, quick, cheap snack is some lean deli meat and a bit of cheese.  Make sure this is actually lean.  Think turkey, chicken, etc, not salami.  You can wrap one around the other and bam! adult Lunchable.

So those are my general go-to's.  Is that exhaustive?  Absolutely not.  Play around, find your own solutions.  I honestly think the best way to get used to and embrace this stuff is to check out your local grocery store and start reading labels.  You'll learn a ton!  You'll find that a lot of the foods you thought you knew, you don't really know at all.  I'm sure if you spend the time, you'll find stuff that works for you and help you get to your goals. 

Enjoy your rad new body!

Planning Your Nutrition for a Backcountry Hunt


It’s that time of year again! September is here!  With that means the opportunity for hunters across the nation to head out into the backcountry in search of the most organic, most free range, most rewarding meat possible. 

Many of us will be spending multiple days in the woods, carrying our essentials around on our backs.  This means careful planning in regards to shelter, food, survival and weight. 

As I’m uniquely qualified, for the last few years I’ve done all of the planning and preparation for our group’s hunting trips.  So I thought I’d outline my process here for you to utilize.

Find Your Baseline

Before you do anything, you need to find your baseline Caloric needs, or more simply, what you need to eat to maintain your current bodyweight (heading into the woods is not a great time to start a weight modification plan). 

Assuming you aren’t either gaining or losing weight, you can find out what your daily caloric number and macronutrient profile is currently by using a food tracking app like myfitnesspal.com.  By using that app, you can take a look at what you’re doing on a daily basis and take an average of your calories that you’re eating on non-training days.  


If it is too late, just not an app kind of person, or aren’t interested in taking the time to calculate your daily calories and macronutrients, you can make a reasonable estimation by using the equation below:

Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) -

(4.7 * age in years)

Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 * weight in pounds) + (12.7 * height in inches) -

(6.8 * age in years)


Or, you can enter them into this calculator here.

If those equations look complicated, they are. You can read more about how flawed calorie estimations can be here.  However, it’s a good place to start if you can’t or won’t track to see what your real numbers are. 

Determine What Type of Hunting You’ll be Doing


Once you figure out your baseline number, you’ll want to consider what type of hunting you’ll be doing.  If you’re a 10-15 mile a day, straight up and down type of hunter, you’ll want to multiply the number you figure out above by 1.3-1.5.  If you’re going to be setting up a camp and glassing to ridges from a couple hundred yards outside of camp until you find something, you can probably just leave your number where it is. 

In other words, the harder you’ll be working, the more intense the climbing, the heavier the pack you’ll be wearing, the more calories you’ll need on a daily basis.

Determine your Macronutrients

This is where it’ll get a little more complicated and will again depend a lot on the type of hunting you’ll be doing.  It should be noted that in order of importance, this process will diminish as we go.  In other words, first you need to focus on calories per day, second you’ll need to focus on macronutrients per day, third meal timing per day, fourth food quality per day.   

Intense/Vertical Hunters plans should look something like the following:

  • 80% Bodyweight in grams of protein per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 152g Protein/day)

  • Bodyweight in grams of carbohydrates per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 190g Carb/day)

  • Whatever is left over should be grams of fat* (ex: 190lb man ~ 125g Fat/day)

  • *to find this number, multiply your grams of protein by 4, your carbohydrates by 4 and subtract that number from your daily calorie number.  Then divide this number by 9.  This will give you your daily grams of fat

Less Intense/Hunt from Camp/Flatland Hunters plans should look like the following:

  • 80% Bodyweight in grams of protein per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 152g Protein/day)

  • .75 bodyweight in grams of carbohydrates per day (ex: 190lb man ~ 140g Carb/day)

  • Whatever is leftover in grams of fat* (ex: 190lb man ~ 115g Fat/day)

  • *to find this number, multiply your grams of protein by 4, your carbohydrates by 4 and subtract that number from your daily calorie number.  Then divide this number by 9.  This will give you your daily grams of fat

As you may have gleaned from above, the more intense your days will be, the more carbohydrates (and less fat) you’ll need for fuel.  The less intense your days are, the less carbohydrates (and more fat) you’ll need.  

Build your Days According to Your Calorie and Macronutrient Needs

I use a spreadsheet for this, but you can definitely go pen and paper, or just go shop and plug it all in as you go. 

I’ll generally try and build this out evenly through the day over 4-6 meals (again depending on what this all looks like and what I’m used to).  My current, normal daily nutrition is 3 meals and 2 snacks, so I’ll try and replicate that in the woods.  I also find that mentally, it’s easier for me to stay focused and be able to stay out longer if I have lots of opportunities to eat.  When it gets monotonous, or I get bored or discouraged, having a snack or a meal seems to be very effective in boosting morale. 

So, take however many meals you’ll need and start building like this:

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 10.09.01 AM.png

Don’t worry, you won’t get it perfect, but I bet you’ll learn a lot about the contents of what you’re eating and what you’re planning on eating. 

For nutrition facts, you can either google them.  Using Google Image search usually works well.  Or, myfitnesspal.com has a good stockpile of resources as well. 

After that, you should be ready to do some shopping and put it all together.

Concluding Thoughts

If this is your first time doing using this type of ratio or this percentage of macronutrients, you will almost undoubtedly feel like it’s too much food.  It’s not.  It’s just a lot of protein.  This is a good thing.  While you’re hiking your ass around in the woods, for multiple days at a time, you’re going to want to recover.  Protein will be your best resource for tissue repair and recovery.  It will also help to to fortify your muscles if you end up going for an extended period of time without eating (for example on a long stalk, etc).  When you run out of available nutrients, your metabolism will turn to breaking down and using muscle tissue for fuel (not good).

Remember that the ratios and percentages used for carbohydrates and fat are just estimates and based on intensity.  Most flatland, light hiking is easy while most up and down, heavy hiking is hard.  Most people will fall somewhere in the middle of those two.  So, when you’re playing with your ratios, know that you can probably modify those numbers to suit what foods you are going to want to eat, are easy to pack, not spoil, and you know you digest well.  (I would highly recommend against experimenting with new stuff when you go into the woods.  Spending your trip with the runs will make hunting difficult).


In regard to calories per ounce, Fats will be much more efficient than will be Protein or Carbs.  Fats have 9 calories per gram while Protein and Fat have 4 calories per gram.  So, if you’re looking to save serious weight, look to shift those ratios more towards the fat side of things.  And then, you can make up for the carb difference by bringing a simple, powdered Gatorade type mix to use in your Nalgene bottle on a daily basis to supplement carbohydrates if you’re feeling sapped for energy.

Try and space out your carbohydrates throughout the day, loading them according to your day’s activity as much as possible.  For example, if your day starts out steep and hard, give yourself lots of carbs around that window.  If it starts out easy but will get super tough towards the end, put the majority of your carbs in that window. 

You may notice that my Dinners are Mountain House.  Yes, they are not real high on the food quality list, but they’re super convenient, inexpensive, lightweight, they taste good to me, they agree with me and I’m not eating them every day for every meal for the rest of my life.  If eating a dozen of those through the month of September means all of those things above, I can handle the potential downfalls of eating something highly processed.  (Heather’s Choice is a much more “healthy” choice, but it’s less calories and more expensive by quite a bit).


Lastly, you’ll notice a major lack of vegetables in that list.  Yes, this is a bit of an issue.  You still want your micronutrients while out in the woods.  Unfortunately, most vegetables are going to be hard to keep from spoiling, and are relatively bulky to carry around.  I recommend bringing a Greens Supplement (ziplock bag with as many scoops as you have days) and mixing a scoopful in a morning or evening Nalgene bottle mixed with water.  It won’t taste incredible, but it’s also not that bad.  It’ll be worth it. 

The supplement idea also works with protein powder as well.  A small ziplock back with a scoop of protein powder per day of hunting will provide you with an extra 25-30g of protein per day if you’re finding yourself coming up short.  Plus, it’s damn light and compact for carrying.

Hopefully that helps!  If you have any comments or questions, shoot me an email, I’m happy to help.

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Trina Kennedy


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I was introduced to CrossFit through my son. He plays Lacrosse and started doing the workouts at CrossFit to prepare for the upcoming season. I was merely a spectator. In watching some of the workouts that were happening I began to wonder if I would be able to do any part of the workouts.

To back up a bit, I was in a car crash almost 6 years ago. I sustained a significant head injury (TBI) that has significantly altered my life in many ways. Prior to my accident I was an avid runner… that was my therapy. I still have symptoms that affect me everyday and unfortunately I still haven’t really been able to go back to running. The short list of my symptoms is that I have headaches, neck pain and have the feeling of being on a boat all the time, sometimes those waters are rougher than others (not dizzy or nauseated)... this is the most bothersome thing I deal with daily. Some days are worse than others.

With that brief history, I was very skeptical that I would be able to participate in any workouts at CrossFit. I had multiple conversations with Kenny who offered to work with me one on one to see if I could do any of the exercises. It was tough and not an instant love, but I chose to stick with it. I’m committed now… physically I feel better. It is every bit a physical workout as well as a neurological workout for me. Some days are harder than others for sure.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

Honestly this all seemed very overwhelming to me initially. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and friendly. I felt completely out of place and very awkward. Each coach I worked with in the beginning was really great about listening to my challenges and helping me work through them. Each and every one continues to be so great at helping me alter some exercises to make it a successful experience for me… an awesome group of people! Now, I still feel a bit awkward but not so much out of place anymore. This is all part of my process of finding my new normal I suppose.

What was your first success?

There are many successes I've had from the very beginning. The most significant I remember was jumping up onto some weight plates… I think there was one or two. This was a very difficult task for me! I had to hang onto a PVC pipe and Kenny’s hand. My brain coordinating my body to do a movement that use to be fairly natural is now a real struggle. It is so simple for many of you… this still continues to be one of my biggest challenges. Thanks to Kenny for the help, support and encouragement.

What are you working on now?

I’m trying to increase my intensity during each workout. This is also a huge challenge as there are days that my brain injury just doesn’t allow me to move through anything every quickly. The simplest things like getting up from doing pushups or getting off the rower are a challenge for me and add time to workouts. It’s hard for me to move from one station to another and keep up the intensity at times as I have to let my brain find stability before starting the next station. Let’s just say my boat is on some pretty rough waters sometimes!

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Gotta be the “big runs” (a bit of an inside joke…)

To me a 400m run is huge! I’ve been trying to do short or small runs. Today in class I referred to the 400m run as a big run… apparently more people were listening than I thought. It took on a life of it’s own…use your imagination.

Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Diana Dishong


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

My friend Shawna Erickson told me I should do it, that it would be a great thing for me.  Then, what really motivated me was when people started telling me that it would be too hard for me and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  That really fired me up to join and prove them wrong.


What was your first impression? Has that changed?

My first impression was that I was really scared.  When I started, I literally couldn’t do an air squat.  I had to hold on to the rig to balance and get any range of motion at all.  However, Kenny and Tennille are awesome!  They patiently worked with and encouraged me to keep at it.  Sure enough, over a year later, CrossFit is part of my daily routine.  (And now I can squat, lunge, etc)

 What was your first success?

Honestly, everything has been a bit of a success for me, as it’s almost all been entirely new to me. 

 What are you working on now?

I’m currently working towards getting my first box jump.  I can jump on smaller things, like stacked up plates, but I’d really like to get that box jump.  I’m also working on just challenging myself everyday.  It’s always tough to get going, but I’m always thrilled that I finish.  It’s incredibly satisfying.


What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

I’m not sure I have a specific memory, but I just love the people here.  They are so supportive and helpful.  People I don’t know at all are always telling me “good job”.  It’s just really cool.

Crossfit Sandpoint Member Profile: Melissa Bethel

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
I was trying to find a way to get into shape and lose some weight, so I joined SWAC. I not only felt very uncomfortable but did not know how to use the equipment. Consequently, I just started using the fire station gym (I work at City Hall) on my lunch hour. Eventually one of the firefighters asked why I did not go to CrossFit next door. I about fell off the treadmill laughing. In my mind that was where all the in-shape hard body young, athletic people went. After realizing he was serious, I asked a few more firefighters if they really thought I would be able to do it. I then made an appointment with Kenny and he showed me the facility and assured me I could do the workouts. I will say it took about a year for me to not feel nervous every time I walked in the doors.

What was your first impression?
I was terrified! My first impression was that this place was nothing like I had ever seen. I was totally out of my element and scared…really scared! I honestly believed there was no way I could do it, that I did not have anything in common with anyone, I would be laughed at and fail. But the class setting and coaches were so cool! I was also surprised to see people of all ages and abilities. I think that was the most important thing, people my age (and older) were not only there but doing all that crazy stuff! It was also the hardest I had ever exercised in my whole life.

Has that changed?
CrossFit Sandpoint is still the coolest place and although I am not scared (well most of the time) and I still work harder than ever, the people are still just as friendly and encouraging. I’m not going to lie, at first I thought all those people saying “good job” to me as I was laying on the floor just trying to breathe after a workout was obnoxious, but it grows on you, and before you know it, you have said it back! Because honestly if you make it through a workout you deserve a “good job” from someone! I love that everyone has a genuine interest in celebrating not only their own successes but everyone else’s. I love that it does not matter what background or ability someone has, when we are in class everyone is treated the same. I also love that I don’t have to think about what exercise I should do and that it changes so I don’t get bored!

What was your first success?
Goodness! There have been so many…but probably the first success I had was making it through a full(although scaled) workout. I also remember the first time (and it took a long time) I got to put RX behind my name. It does not happen very often, but when it does, I relish it!

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on several things: consistent 20 inch box jumps and double unders, correct form in lifting, and perfecting my nutrition.

What is your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint Memory?
Again there are so many! I have to preface by saying that even after 3 years, I still look at some of the workouts and truly believe there is no way I can do it…I seem to always get through it, but I truly believe it will never happen.. I’m working on trying to change that mindset. I remember one WOD we had that had timed burpees and I genuinely believed I was not going to complete the number of burpees in the time. Kenny was the coach and he didn’t say, Yes you will, come on you’ll be fine…etc.. He just matter of
fact said, “if you do not make the time I will give you this month free”… I made the time. I have had similar experiences with all the coaches. I loved seeing Emily get her first muscle up!
More recently, Colleen and I were the only ones at 5:30 and the WOD called for KB swings and we decided to try the 52 # KBs! It was ugly, but we did it! It was horrible and fun at the same time.