Finding Balance During the Holidays || Coach Wes Kimball

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Its officially holiday time. Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are now 10 days deep into December.  This also marks the time of year when the internet starts to tell you how to “Survive the Holidays.”  Basically there are a few schools of thought on how to manage holiday season.


  1. Go ape shit crazy, you deserve it! YOLO!
  2. Go against the grain and start your New Year’s Resolution today. Firebomb this holiday season with discipline and self-righteousness.  
  3. Find a balance that allows you to enjoy important time with friends and family with out completely undercutting your fitness goals.


As you can a imagine we’re going to make a case for number three. As I’ve stated here before many obstacles in life and fitness can be overcome by creating awareness around the things that are actually holding us back and devising a plan to overcome that obstacle. In my experience there are 3 main obstacles encountered over holidays that can negatively affect our health and fitness goals.


Social outings

While your social life always seems to be competing with you fitness goals, the shear volume of social events increases seemingly exponentially during the month of December.  Office parties, and Christmas parties with friends and/or family all squeeze themselves on to the calendar in December. Generally these parties include free booze and plenty of poor nutritional options.



If you don’t have to spend significant time in an airport or on the road  in December, consider yourself lucky.  Let me just tell you there are very few “healthy” options in between Wichita Falls and Amarillo and even less in the Amarillo airport. Couple that with the fact that you are away from the gym and normal training routine and we have potential holiday landmines here.

Big Family Meals

Finally, we all love our Mom’s delicious home cooking. Unfortunately that 5 lbs of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pie isn’t going to help our six pack, or shave a minute off our mile time.

So what’s the answer? Well first of all I’m of the opinion that you should enjoy and maybe even indulge in all of the “problems” above. Why? Because they are all part of interacting with and participating in the lives of people that are important to us. We as humans are by nature social creatures, and the effects of isolation and loneliness can be just as detrimental to our health as lack of physical activity or poor nutrition.  Establishing and maintaining personal relationships is incredibly important and why the holidays should be enjoyed not stressed over.  So below are some ways to mitigate the damage done by the above obstacles while still enjoying and being thankful for the time we have with our friends and family.


Exercise Consistently

This is priority number one. One thing the holidays do bring is some extra time off from work, so commit to exercise 30-60 minutes 5-6 days a week. Trust me you have time. If you’re on the road go for a run, do one of our travel workouts , drop in to a CrossFit box, or even just help pops shovel snow for an hour. Exercise is the one thing you can have 100% control of during the holidays. Heck, you can even throw in some double days with Zone 1 work when you’re off from work.


Plan Workouts before and after big meals and social events

This is a simple, yet underutilized way to offset damage done by parties and big holiday meals. The post workout state simply put, allows the body to find productive uses for the calories we take in and mitigates the likelihood those calories will just be stored as fat (for a more detailed explanation of this check this article out). You should always train the day after (preferably in the morning) a big social outing or meal. While this doesn’t sound or feel appealing after a late night at the office Christmas party, it helps you mentally deal with “being uncomfortable” and not allowing that state of uncomfort to affect your training schedule. It also ensures that your training consistency is not negatively affected by social outings, and eliminates excuses from your vocabulary.


Reduce Calories outside of  big meals, and parties

Counting calories has a bad a wrap and rightfully so, but it does have some advantages especially this time of the year. The important thing to remember is that calorie counting on a micro level (per meal) is largely inaccurate. So stressing about the exact number of calories you take in per meal is counter productive. However, having an idea of how many calories you’re taking in over the course of the day has benefit to overall fat loss.  So on the days that you know you will take in a good amount of calories, reduce your intake by eating smaller meals earlier in the day or doing some intermittent fasting.


So there you have it! How to enjoy yourself over the holidays and not go completely off the rails! Enjoy yourself and your loved ones this month, and hopefully these tips will help you stay consistent with your training!

-Wes Kimball

WOD 12/20

A. 14:00 EMOM
Min 1 – 1 Squat Clean @ 70-80%
Min 2 – 3-4 Strict Handstand Push-ups or Progression
*Sets across on both movements

B.5 Rounds
12 burpees
6 DB clusters (aka squat clean thrusters) @ 40-50 / 20-30 / 15
*Time recorded

Optional ‘Cash Out’:
4 Rounds
10 toes to bar
20 cal row,

Scaling Guide:
– 3 – 5 rounds,
– Scale Up: 53/35lb kb

HUGE CONGRATS  to our Push up man and Push up woman of the year, Leah Alter and Michael Page (pictured via face time 😉 )
We are so honored to have you guys representing our community. 

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling

WOD 12/18

A. 10:00 E202
5 sets
3 ‘ring outs’ w/ :03 Pause
*(think of an ‘ab wheel’ on the rings).

B. 5 Rounds
4 ‘heavy’ jerks @155lb /  95lb* / 65lb
8 goblet squat @ 32k/24K/ 16K
12 ‘heavy’ Russian KBS @ 32k/24K/ 16K
200m Run
1:00 Rest
*20 minute time cap.
*Time recorded

Optional ‘Cash Out’:
Tabata row for total max calories

Scaling Guide:
– Goal  11 – 17 min, about 3:30 per round including rest
– Scale Up: 185/115lb jerks, and 20 reps Russian kb swings per round.

What an amazing weekend! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us and thank you to ALL of CFA for making this community so amazing!


WOD 12/16

CFA will be closed today from 1-5 for management meetings. Thank you for your understanding!


4 rounds for time
400m run* (Health: 200m run)
20 wall ball @  20lb/10ft, 14lb/9ft, 10lb/8ft
15 burpees
10/ hand  DB Power Snatch (from floor) @ 40-50 / 20-30 / 15
5 overhead squats @ 95 / 65 / 35
Row @ 400m / 300m / 200m
*40:00 time cap.

Scaling Guide:
– 25 – 38 minutes, about 7:00 per round. – Scale Up: 5 rounds, 53/35 KB snatch, & 135/93 for the OHS for an extra challenge).

Join us tomorrow for our ((8th)) Anniversary and Holiday Party!


WOD 12/15

A. In 30:00
Build to a 1 RM Front Squat
1 RM Strict Pull-up
*rest as needed between set
*use  7-10 Build up sets to get to your max weights

B. 8:00 AMRAP
8 Left / 8 Right one-arm ‘Russian” kettlebell swings @  24K / 16K /  12K
8 Push Press @ 95 / 65 / 35
8 Front Squats (same as PP)
Chest-to-bar pull-ups @ 8 reps / 4 reps / 4 reps w/ smallest band possible
*reps + rounds recorded

Scaling Guide: Goal 3 – 5 rounds.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt



WOD 12/14

600m Run
30 Overhead Squats @  95 / 55 / 35
30 / leg Plate OVHD Lunge @ 45 / 25 / 10
30 Push-ups
30 Box Jumps @ 24” / : 20” / 12”
60 American Kettlebell Swings @ 16K / 12K / 8K
600m Run
*Time Recorded
*Time Cap 25:00

Scaling Guide:

– Goal time 18-22 minutes.
– 30 HSPU  / 50 box jumps / 53lb kettlebell swing

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw


WOD 12/13

A. On a 15:00 Clock
In 10 minutes quickly work up to a challenging Power snatch + OHS or full squat snatch single (80-90%)

In 5:00
Plan on hitting the above weight for 2-3 more sets.

B. 5 rounds (Health: 4 rounds)
4 Power snatch 135lb / 85lb / 55lb
8 Power clean and jerk (same)
10 Supine Ring row
12 Lateral Burpee over bar
1:00 rest
*total time recorded

Don’t miss Coach Tim’s article on mobility for the deadlift!
Check it out


Prep To Move: Deadlift

Hey all! Last week we talked about the movement of the deadlift and a few focal points to maintain a great position.  Here, we will touch on a few things you can do to to get yourself aligned and primed before beginning the lift. We can think about this preparation in 3 phases;

1)Soft tissue work


3)activate and tie together

Soft Tissuescreen-shot-2016-12-12-at-6-42-03-pm

We can begin our prep with some soft tissue work, targeting several key areas. We can spend a minute or
two per hip on the foam roller, as well as the hamstrings. If you’re like me, it may be somewhat difficult to set yourself up and find an effective position for those hammies on the foam roller. An alternative that I like to use, requires you to place the bar on the J-hooks with the hooks set around the upper ⅓ of your thigh. Looping one leg over the bar, place the belly of the muscle on the bar. You can manipulate how much pressure you need, simply by bending your grounded leg and/or bending your arms. Settling over the bar, you can gently extend/flex the leg or “tac and floss” by rolling the leg side to side.  Again, we don’t really need to spend long bouts of time here, :60-:90 should suffice. However, it can prove helpful to come back to these soft tissue drills in between sets as we warm up and build our bar.  

2)Quick Stretchscreen-shot-2016-12-12-at-6-42-14-pm

Since the deadlift requires us to hinge from the hip, unlocking the hips and ensuring that the femur can move properly within the hip capsule is a must. One stretch that allows us to do this is the pigeon stretch, or a variation thereof. We perform this stretch by placing one leg in front of us at roughly 90 degrees, placing weight into the “grounded” hip.  Variations of this stretch can be done off of a box or using a band to help assist in un-impinge the hip.


Waking up the core is also a crucial component of movement prep for the deadlift. Completing 1-3 short rounds of this circuit is one way to achieve this;

5 Iron Cross/side

5 scorpions/side

15 hollow rocks or :15-:20 hollow hold

There are multiple approaches for preparing for this lift. If you have been missing movement prep as part of your practice or have been in a rut with your current practice, give these a try!

-Coach Tim