August Athlete of The Month: Darien Nuckols!!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our August Athlete of the Month is Darien Nuckols! Darien joined our family with fundamentals in August last year. She’s primarily an early bird with either the 5:30 or 6:30 am classes. Not only is Darien a great example of how drive and determination can guide you, she’s also an amazing member of this community. She’s had an incredible transformation since her inception at CFA. Darien’s lost close to 40 pounds and is down 4 sizes in her clothes.

It’s not all about the aesthetic measurements, but she has worked so hard for those results and in addition to looking great, she’s stronger than ever! We’ve enjoyed Darien’s positive attitude and infectious smile in class. Darien, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our August Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Darien / D

Words to live by?

“My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but better than I used to be.”- Wayne W. Dyer

What is your fitness background?

Grew up playing water polo and surfing

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I started classes last year. I think it was in October 2016?

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?

After my shoulder surgery I had not been able to work out so I was a bit intimidated but, I knew CrossFit was something I had to do (or at least try).  I thought I was going to die during my first group workout. Once I finished I was surprised how proud and accomplished I felt. I remember asking if CrossFit got easier with time. The answer was no, (not the answer I was looking for) but they told me that I would start to get used to the hard workouts and really start to love it. Ha! I totally understand now, its so true! I still fell like I’m dyeing during a workout but I love it, my day doesn’t feel complete without it. I am also stronger, healthier, have way more energy and confidence now!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

The amazing people! From the coaches to the members, everyone of you guys are so unique, It really makes CrossFit Austin a great place to be!
Oh and shout out to the morning crew, thanks guys for all the support.

Current Training Goals/PRs?

My main goal is to be consistent with my workouts, listen to my body and really make an effort to keep track of my max weights and progress.
I have also been working on my handstands!

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?

Whenever in doubt go to the work out. I’ve never gone to a workout and regretted going after!

What is your cheat meal go to?

Anything from Gourdoughs

How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?

I love hiking and swimming. Also lifting puppies (see picture for details). Haha

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.

The first time I RX’d a workout I definitely felt like a badass.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?

The Dino-Sore…..
100 singles
50 step ups (25 each leg)
40 butterfly sit ups
30 Russian catelbell swings
20 deadlifts
10 toes to bar
1 rope climb

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

I’m a big art nerd, I do lots of studio art and could spent a whole day in a museums. I also really enjoying learning, getting out of my comfort zone and traveling.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I could swim (float and go under the water) before I was walking!

Longhorns or Aggies?


Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

You guys are all super inspirational! Keep up the hard work!

August 2017 Programming Overview

Let me be the first to congratulate you on surviving the dog days of summer (so far). While there’s no immediate relief from this heat coming, we can at least rejoice that football returns this month. Also a new treat for functional fitness fans, the CrossFit Games makes its August debut this weekend.  I’ll be tagging along with my wife to the games this weekend, and I’m hoping to get an Adventure Series video in beautiful Madison, WI this weekend. Meanwhile a new month means a new programing update! As always a brief rundown of our general structure….

  • Strength and skill focuses run on a 6 week calendar, and are coupled together to maximize the time we have in class.  The goal is to get consistent touches at light, medium, and heavy loads in each lift and skill to create a level of mastery we can’t achieve by putting these movements in the programming randomly and sporadically.
  • Skills focuses throughout the year are designed to build on top of one another and safeguard against injury. What this looks like in practice is a simple to complex movement progression, and single limb to double limb progressions in most cases. An example is: doing single arm ring rows and single arm presses to eventually progress into strict pull-ups and handstand push-ups.
  • The conditioning work we do progresses from longer work when the strength progression is in a lighter phase, and shorter more intense workouts when we’re lifting heavier in the progression. If you prefer one side of the coin more than the other just be patient it will show back up after a few weeks.
  • We also include conditioning “tests” every other week or so. These tests will be retested in the future.  I will keep folks apprised of when a test or retest is happening and whether it falls into the category of long, light, heavy, bodyweight, or team focused.
  • Finally there will be other elements including cashouts, skill warm-ups, and additional strength / skill work peppered in to round out the program. However the above represents the core work that will keep folks moving forward over the long term (2+ years).

Strength & Skill Focus for August

We are deep in the heart of our front box squat cycle. Things have and will continue to get heavier over the next three weeks.  That said remember percentages are not absolute rules, if you need to hang back at a lower percentage to perform the reps with the proper mechanics that’s perfectly alright. Additionally don’t let your strict pull-ups be an afterthought. All your reps should be performed with a nice tight hollow body, and no chicken necking! Don’t add weight or reduce your band tension unless you’re accomplishing these things!

We close the book on this front box squat cycle at the end of the month and turn the page to snatches and dips.  Both of these movements benefit tremendously from mobile ankles, shoulders, and thorax (upper back).  Do yourself a favor and get ahead of the game by work on your mobility in those areas now, before you start tossing a barbell over your head. If you’re not sure  how to attack it, contact your CFL and they will get you setup with a game plan!

Conditioning Test in July

Below is the tentative schedule for conditioning tests for August.  Some may shift by a day or two as the weeks get put together, but all of these test will be seen in the coming weeks.

Monday August 7th
“Open WOD 11.3”
Max reps in 5:00
Squat Clean & Jerk
@ 165lb / 110 / 75
*last tested 1/18/2016

Thursday, August 17th
5 rounds for time.
12 Deadlifts @ 155 / 105 / 75
9 Hang power clean (same)
6 Push jerk (same)
*last test on January 17, 2017

Thursday, August 10th
100 Burpees

Saturday, August 19th
5 rounds
20 deadlifts @ 225 / 155 / 75
(one person works at a time)
20 DB push press @ 45-55 / 25-35 / 15
(one person works at a time)
10 Synchro Bar Facing burpees
(in unison over one bar)
400m run
(run together)
*Two Person Team

Tuesday, August 25th
Open WOD 14.5 /16.5
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Here’s to a great August at CFA! Don’t forget we also have free Weightlifting classes all month! Stay tuned for some great community events, and get those summer adventures in before school starts back again!

Introducing Coach Dylan Wall

Sports and the weight room have always been a huge part of Dylan’s life. He started lifting and competing at the age of 10 in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting under the tutelage of  USA Senior International coach Tim Swords. By the age of 13 Dylan was competing at the national level and gained his USAW Level 1 coaching certification. Since then he’s had the opportunity to coach many athletes at local and national level competitions. In 2012 Dylan received an internship opportunity with the Olympic sport strength and conditioning program at Texas State University under Leo Seitz. He’s now currently the head Graduate Assistant for the Strength and Conditioning program under coach Seitz,  and is pursuing his degree in exercise and sport science.

Dylan leads the Strength and Olympic Weightlifting Program at CFA

A Message from Dylan:

Lifting, competing, sports, the weight room have all been in my life as long as I can remember. Through the process I have found a passion for coaching that far surpasses my love for even lifting! I didn’t achieve all what I dreamed of in Weightlifting but my love for it has allowed me to turn that passion into helping others achieve their dreams. Nothing is better than seeing someone else succeed because of my help. I want to help others. I want to see good posture/technique. I want to help create explosive athletes. I believe in it, I believe for it, and I know that it is so.


WOD 7/22

For time:
3 rounds

15 partner deadlifts @ 185 / 125 / 95
30 partner wall ball -each ‘shot’ to the target is one rep- (Health:10lb/8ft, Athletic*: 14lb/9ft, Performance: 20lb/10ft)
30 American kettlebell swings -one partner at a time- @ 24K / 16K / 12K
30 burpees over partner
800m run together

Scaling Guide:
– 24 – 32 minutes, about 9 min per round. – Scale Up: 155/225 bar. Partner planks while burpees are being done over them

WOD 7/21

A. 12:00 EMOM
Min 1 – 2 Front Box Squat @ 60-70%
Min 2 – 4 Strict Pull-ups (add weight or bands as needed)

*Sets across for both exercises

B. For Time:
12 shoulder presses @ 95 / 55 / 35
400m run
12 push presses (same)
200m run
12 push jerks [or shoulder to overhead anyhow] (same weight)
100m run

*time recorded

Scaling Guide:
– 4 – 7 minutes.
– Scale Up: barbell weight 75/115lb

Optional ‘Cash Out’:
5:00 AMRAP
30s plank
25 cal row

WOD 7/20

A. Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8-10 minutes working up to a challenging (80-90%) power clean

B. “The Chief”
Repeat for a total of 5 cycles (five, 3 minute AMRAPs):

Max rounds in 3 minutes of:
3 Power Cleans @ 135 / 95 / 55
6 Push-ups
9 Squats
Rest 1 minute
*For each cycle start where you left off. Log total rounds
*Total rounds + Reps recorded
*PreTest, Light
*Compare to 12/4/2013

About “Chief”:
Each year in the United States Navy, a highly qualified and elite cadre of Sailors are selected and promoted to the join the ranks of Chief Petty Officer. Since 1893, “The Chiefs” have been relied upon by subordinates and superiors alike for their personal example, technical expertise and above all, their unique leadership capabilities. As the induction process for newly selected Chief Petty Officers is now underway throughout the US Navy, we thought it appropriate to inaugurate “The Chief” in honor and recognition of all past and present CPOs. Thanks to them and their families for their self-sacrifice, ability to adapt, tireless dedication to mission and devotion to country.

Scaling Guide:
– 16-28 rounds, about 4-5 rounds per 3 minute ‘cycle’.

WOD 7/19

A. Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on snatch balance and snatch balance progressions.

B. 14:00 E202
2 Squat Snatch or Muscle/power snatch to overhead squat
*weight recorded

C. In 7 minutes.
500m Row then max rounds:
8 dumbbell ground to overhead – two dbs – @ 45 / 30 / 15
Ring dips @ 6 / 4 / 6 ring push-ups

Scaling Guide:
– 3 – 6 rounds, about 1:20 per round after the row.

– Scale Up: 4/2 ring muscle ups instead of ring dips.

Compare to: June 16, 2016  

Optional ‘Cash Out’:
5:00 AMRAP
5 pull ups
12 lunge steps
100m run

WOD 7/18

A. Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes or more working on a pause squat clean (pause 3s at the knee) x 2 reps build up to  80-90% effort.

B.20:00 AMRAP
400 M Run
100 Single Unders
500 M Row
20 Step-ups / leg @ 20/12/6
*rounds recorded

Optional ‘Cash Out’:

4 Round
8 toes to bar
8 Burpees

WOD 7/17

A.Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on weighted pistols or pistol progressions. Perform sets of 5 per leg.

B. 14:00 EMOM
Min 1 – 1 Front Box Squat  @ 60-70%
Min 2 – 3 Strict Pull-ups (add weight or bands as needed)

*Sets across for both exercises

C. 8 minute AMRAP
Chest-to-Bar Pull-up @ 12 / 8 / 8 Ring row
12 Front squat @ 135 / 85 / 55
40′ bear crawl
*Rounds  recorded
*Compare to: February 9, 2017

Scaling Guide:
– 3 – 6 rounds, about 1:45 per round.
– Scale up: 15 c2b, 20′ hs walk instead of bear crawl.

Optional ‘Cash Out’:
4:00 AMRAP
10 push-ups
15 Russian Kb swings

WOD 7/15

30 minute AMRAP

Teams of 3
400m Bumper Plate run
– 2 Plates shared, runs together-  @ 45s / 25s /15s
60 Wall balls @ 20lb/10ft,14lb/9ft,10lb/8ft
60 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups
60 ring push-ups
60 dumbbell thrusters @ 45 / 30 / 15
60 DB snatches @ 45 / 30 /15
60 Bumper Plate Burpees @ 45s / 25s /15s (2 people can work at a time)
*all movements are done one person working at a time except runs and bumper plate burpees.
*round + reps recorded

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