Sweat With Your Sweetheart

Looking for something special to do with your Valentine?

Join us for CrossFit Austin’s Annual Sweat with your Sweetheart WOD!

Whether it’s your husband, wife, fiancé, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, best friend, random person you met when you showed up to the gym….doesn’t matter to us! Grab a partner and lets get sweaty!

Saturday, February 10th @ 9:00 am & 10:00 am
Free Class
Limit 1 visitor per member – visitor must be with a member
Capped at 20 and both you and your partner must reserve a spot!


Diaries of a Coach || 014 – R&R

As many of you may know, a few years ago I sustained a training related injury to my back. Unfortunately, as I’ve continued training, there are seasons that just take me out. This is one of those seasons.
What is ridiculous to me, even in the midst of chronic pain and extreme discomfort, is that the hardest element of recovery for me is rest. I’m beginning to think these flair ups are my cue to take an extended period of rest, my body telling me it needs it. But my mental game is so stubborn. I’m out to make progress, gain strength and efficiency, see changes in my body, so any time off seems like a step in the wrong direction. False. Rest is an integral element to training and the element that is most overlooked. Without it, we actually stall progress and risk injury.

So, without further ado, here is a great article from Strength and Conditioning Coach, Bill Starr, on rest. In it, you’ll find a scientific breakdown of this magical one third of our lives, a justification for effectively blaming all our sleep problems on light bulbs and permission to nap on random benches for the sake of our gains. He will also give you some practical sleep tips to make the most out of those precious hours of shut eye! Enjoy!

As always, your coaches are more than happy to help with anything you may be dealing with so hit us up and let us help!


The Intramural Open 2018


Are you doing the Open? We hear, and even ask that question a lot around this time of year. The 2018 CrossFit Open begins on February 22 and we’ve already taken some steps to help get you ready. We’ve been offering weekly skills classes, working past Open WODs into the programming, doing some extra PT sessions… all in hopes of preparing for the next Open. What you don’t know, however, is that this year we have something even more exciting in store!

This year, we are going to do an Intramural Open. This is a first for CFA and we are really excited to give it a go. More details will come soon with specifics on registration and teams, but for now we just wanted to get the word out.

Open to all CFA members of all skill levels.

The Intramural Open experience is a team format take on the CrossFit Games Open (the qualifying stage for the CrossFit Games season). All participants will be placed into a draft and then drafted into 4 different teams managed by your Team Captains.

Points will be earned by things like:

Participating in the Open Workouts
Top performance in the Open Workouts
Team Spirit
Team Outings

And more… To be determined, but will be established before we begin!

Starting on Feb 22nd, one workout will be released from CFHQ each week for 5 weeks on Thursday evenings. We will program the workouts as the normally scheduled training sessions for Fridays. You can come morning, noon or night. Friday nights, however, will be the BIG time for teams to gather and have a fun time together. Special make ups outside of the Friday classes/events may be requested and addressed on a case-by-base basis. The Intramural Open experience will wrap up with the final WOD announced March 22nd and conclude with a closing party on Friday, March 23.

The workouts will be run at the gym on Fridays as part of the normal class sessions and Friday Night Lights events. If you are traveling during this time period, you may also find an affiliate to complete the standard workouts with to earn your participation points.

Because it’s fun and ew believe it’ll make you better in more ways that just improving your health and fitness. Cheering each on other on in this environment gives you an experience that you can’t find anywhere else. The Open is a great way to test to see where your current potential is. I encourage everyone to participate because it’s the path that’s going to allow you to pursue your most positive potential and be able to connect with other fellow CFA family members.

For those that want to submit scores via the CFHQ Open, please feel free to do so, make sure you have a judge for your workout, and we will validate your scores via the CFHQ system accordingly.

Sign up on the sign up sheet at the gym. The registration fee is $30 – Can be charged to your account or cash/check in an envelope with your full name – envelopes are by sign up sheet. This includes your t-shirt, entry fee, and funding for the finals party and winning team’s prizes

In an effort to allow as many people as possible to participate, we will keep registration open until Friday, February 16th. This means shirts will not be ready for week one, but you’ll be guaranteed the correct size.

If you are paying cash or check, place payment in an envelope with your full name on it and give it to a coach.

You DO NOT have to register through CFHQ to register for the intramural open. You ONLY need to register with HQ if you want to submit your scores worldwide.

The top team will earn a GRAND prize. Details released soon!

Our focus is on FUN. We want participation because it will make you fitter, and it will get you high-fives and you’ll be happy and love life more and glow and stuff.

Register at the gym, and let’s start this party!

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or if you have any reservations about any unique challenges, I’m positive we can work it out.

Approaching a New Strength Cycle


Don’t let this be you…. 😉

We recently tested our Deadlift Max to prepare for our next strength focus and there were all kinds of PRs! Great work guys! Very soon you’ll see us working in class on those deadlifts, building to what will hopefully be a new PR at the end of the cycle!

Today, in preparation for the next deadlift cycle, we wanted to re-share an article and video that Coach Tim wrote a while back on proper set up & execution of a deadlift. Check it out, hone your skills, and let’s get some more PRs!

Recap of Some Key Components of the Deadlift

Anyone that has performed the deadlift, knows that it can be an extremely gratifying lift. The picking up of heavy objects can produce a feeling of empowerment. Performed properly, the deadlift is a lift that allows us to maximize our strength potential and physically express that potential. Notice I did say “performed properly”. This is important because while you may get away with sub-par reps every now and again, you will never know your true potential because the injury bug will eventually bite you. Even if maximal strength is not on your radar, these key points should be of note for you, if longevity and living that happy, healthy life are of import.

We can break the deadlift down into 3 critical phases.

  1. Set-up
  2. Execution
  3. Finish

If one of these areas is not up to standards, you probably won’t be training long or you will be chasing your own tail through a pattern of  “every time I get close to a new PR,  my back starts acting up”. So let’s take a closer look at the the aforementioned phases, and some key points for each phase.


The set-up is crucial for all multi-joint lifts. It is the foundation for us to build upon.  The “Frankenstein Monster Set-up”  is a quick, effective way to prepare
yourself for the deadlift. Without exhausting every “trick in the book” or “cues”, we can break this phase down into several key focal points.

  1. Stand with your feet in a comfortable stance, somewhere around hip-width, and shins touching the bar.
  2. Lift your arms in front of you and rotate your thumbs towards the ceiling.
  3. Pull shoulders back and down.
  4. Glutes tight, ribs tucked.

This initial position, even before attempting to grab the bar is important. For the beginner, it helps us recognize or “feel” a solid position. Next…

  1. Send your hips back without surrendering your neutral spine. This is referred to as the “hinging” or “hip hinge”
  2. With a soft bend in the knees, grasp the barbell with one hand, then the opposite hand.
  3. Lifting your chest to remove any slack out of your arms, should consequently remove any slack out of the bar.
  4. Maintain solid grip on the bar, push your butt toward the ceiling
  5. Maintain vertical shins and pull with your hamstrings to ratchet your hips down into your starting position.


Once we have established a proper set-up, we can begin to execute the movement.

  1. Gently screw your feet into the floor.
  2. Maintaining a neutral spine, take a deep inhale.
  3. Squeeze your knees back and drive your hips up.
  4. Once your the barbell clears your knees, keep the bar close to your body  and your hips begin to come forward to meet the bar.


The finishing position is simply standing upright and squeezing your glutes, ensuring that your shoulders are on top of your hips. Finishing with tight glutes can’t be stressed enough. Ithelps us perform the lift properly, but more importantly it helps us perform the lift safely. Athletes that are unable to squeeze the glutes at the top of the lift all too often experience either some acute or chronic low back pain. This pain is experienced  because the athlete moves the fulcrum from the hips (hip hinge) to the low back. Thus the load is shifted to the low back.

A few key takeaways;

*Maintain a neutral, braced midline from set-up to finish.

*Knees back, drive hips up.

*Squeeze glutes to finish lift.

Diaries of a Coach 013 || The Redemption Workout


Some of you may remember my post on Saturday in our Members Only Facebook Group. It was kind, inviting and seemingly well intentioned. It read something like this: “Hey guys, opening up the gym tomorrow from 1-3pm.” All smiles, right? What a nice little coach I am! Well, I have a confession. (Maybe we should rename the blog to, “Confessions of a Coach” this week.) Sunday was a redemption workout. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Workout doesn’t go as planned, maybe the whole day doesn’t go as planned, and you just need a redo. Maybe some of you have been there? Well, that was me.

Last Friday, I walked out on my workout. I have to say, it was a first for me. I’ve cried during a workout (you can fact check with Tim on that one). I’ve gotten angry and frustrated during a workout. I’ve hurt myself in a workout, probably too many times to count. But giving up and walking out? This was a first and honestly, it’s really not like me.

But nothing felt right, in fact, it all felt terribly wrong. Weight felt heavy. I felt slow. Such a bad combination. On top of that, if you’ve talked to me for 2.7 seconds you know I am an extreme perfectionist and my own worst critic. So, as you can imagine, it was the perfect storm for this workout disaster.

Snatches were up first and I swear to you, my pull was just about as slow as me getting under the bar. It was awful. My pride was immediately squashed when I was told to take weight off the bar. I swallowed it as quick as I could and proceeded in all the humility I could muster up. When it was time for my Clean & Jerk build, my upper body just couldn’t deal with putting more than the weight of my hand overhead. (Anyone else feel like last week annihilated your arms? #blameshifting) I was just a few reps in when I threw up a lift and felt a pull in my arm that was my body undeniably telling me to stop. I guess it had tried subtle hinting and my stubbornness had drowned out it’s cries. And that was it. I deloaded the bar, took off my bright pink lifting shoes and I walked right out the door. And when I say I didn’t look back, I mean it literally.

So Sunday was all out mission redemption. And with some encouraging words from a few friends, I was back in business. But not without a few lessons and encouragements to stick in the pocket of my Lulu’s.

You know what, if I’m that mad and frustrated, I stinking care. I really do. I want to get better and stronger and if something stands in my way, I’m going to feel some kind of emotion. That is good. Feeling something is good, it means we are human, we’re invested and our goals are costing us something (like a whole heck of a lot of hard work!).

These days make you stronger, probably more so than days that are smooth sailing. A fellow athlete challenged me a few days later with this very truth. Maybe I should have stayed, because getting through days like that make you who you want to be. Next time I hope I’m not so quick to walk away. But even so, the lessons learned are a crucial part of the journey.

There’s always room for redemption. All was not lost that day. It motivated me to get back in the gym a couple days later and prove to myself and to that dumb bar that I wouldn’t be beat by it. Sometimes it is better to just walk away (rather than risk sloppiness and injury). But don’t let a bad workout have the last word. Take a beat, then get back in there and do the thing!

So maybe you’ve walked out of a workout or maybe not. Maybe your reaction was another extreme. Or maybe you’ve plateaued and workouts aren’t challenging enough to bring out your inner hot head. In that case, maybe it’s time for a push! Wherever you may be today, feel it, let it make you stronger, and in moments where we fail or fall short the first time, always take another shot.

Coach E

Diaries of a Coach || 012 – Be Where You Are

I was going to write a post on accountability with the premise that we have this New Year with new goals and new motivations, but what happens when that motivation runs out? How do we stay in it? How do we confront the busyness and distractions of life head-on and refuse to allow them to keep us from getting where we want to be? Sounds like a great little post, eh? Well sorry, not doing it. Not today anyways.

Instead, a recent conversation sparked some thoughts in me that I’d love to share with you. A little bit different, but it’s all from the heart. Instead of “3 Ways to Stay Motivated” (or whatever it may have been), I don’t want you to DO anything today. I just want you to live and be present where you are. Embrace the beauty in and around you, right now, in this season, whatever it may be for you.

As many of you know, Monday was a big day here at CFA! New lights. Participant meet up for Whole Life Challengers. SFH reppin’. But if you were here, you more than likely saw the Body Analytics trailer posted up out front. Body Analytics conducts hydrostatic body composition testing, the most accurate form of compositional testing to determine lean body mass and body fat mass.

I was talking with one of your fantastic coaches the following day who had this testing done 5 years ago and again on Monday night. Over the course of those few years, from testing to retesting, their body fat increased by 91%. Now, in no way is their current body fat worrisome or even remotely unhealthy. But things have changed circumstantially, and consequently, this test showed it. Here is what got me, instead of being disheartened or discouraged by this, I was so encouraged by the level of acceptance and awareness of this particular coach that it is simply a different season.

Years ago, being in the heat of competitive CrossFit meant rigid training schedules, a rigid nutrition plan to optimize that training, and countless hours of skill work and mental exertion. Stakes were high, focus was narrow and competition was the motivator. It’s no wonder body fat percentage was at an all time low.

Fast forward to a few years later and life and focus have notably shifted. Movement, nutrition and overall health are still very much a priority, but the next competition is no longer knocking at the door. Goals have shifted and people, this is what I need you to hear, THAT IS OK.

All I want to do today is encourage you to really examine where you are in life. Seasons shift and change and sometimes, the focus can and must be different. Yesterday’s goals may not be today’s, embrace that. Revile in that freedom. Let yourself off the hook. Maybe you have new challenges, new responsibilities, new aspirations, prioritize finding balance and embracing all the wild dreams you have in life, not just the ones related to the scale or the next PR.

Simple as that. Be where you are, then dig deep for the next step. It may be small or it may be a giant leap, either way you’re right where you need to be to take it.

2017 Push Up Man & Push Up Woman of the Year || Tariq Baig & Kristy Marsillo

Every year we’ve chosen a male and female that stood out to us and exemplified the things that we look for in members of our community. That is not limited to physical ability alone, although both of these athletes are quite talented in their individual areas. It also encompasses their ability to connect with their fellow CFA members, their continues drive, and they commitment not only to this community, but to their own longevity, health, and overall being.

“The Push-up Man and Woman of the Year exemplify everything that we love about our athletes, our community, and the human spirit. Not only do these people walk through the doors of CFA day in and day out, and work hard to improve themselves; they go out of their way to lift up everyone around them. They make their friends and families a priority over themselves. They lead and encourage by words, actions, and example. They represent the burning spirit of what makes our little South Austin gym unique and special. We at CrossFit Austin can humbly bestow no greater honor and we give our utmost heartfelt thanks that you both have chosen to make our gym, business, family, and lives a better place!”

We are proud to share the interviews of our 2017 PUM & PUW – Tariq Baig and Kristy Marsillo. Congratulations you two! We’re honored to have you on our team.

Tariq “Mr. T” Baig: 

When did you join the CFA community?
Back in the day, let’s say 2011. I really don’t remember.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I did my first “WOD” don’t remember what the workout was, but I puked two times, my legs were wobbly, and I was hooked.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
I love the coaches and people. Also, it’s pretty close to my house.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
No matter what get to the gym. I try and go five days a week – CONSISTENCY

What keeps you motivated?
My fit wife and my son!

What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
That double Whataburger with cheese, bacon, and grilled onions

Recent PRs?
I would say….in all the years in crossfit, I did my first competition. “THE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS” I was pretty pleased with my crossfit total!

Current training goals?
NONE… maybe getting double-unders for 2018

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
Having my first kid in August. Thought I wouldn’t have time to go to the gym, but he likes to go and watch us pump iron!

What is your cheat meal go to?
There’s no such thing as a cheat meal. I eat what I want.

What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?
Coming from 6:30am class, it is frowned upon that you are not AOM or Push-up man/woman of the year. Most all previous winners have come from the “famed” 6:30class. I won it and I really didn’t deserve it. There are way better athletes than me. But now I have bragging rights.

Thoughts upon winning the title?
About damn time!! Where is my parking spot Tim??

How will you use your new found Push Up Man glory?Continue to talk more trash to my minions..

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
Watching by boy grow, getting double-unders and the direction CFA is going!

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
If I can win Push-Up Man of the year, you can too! Just keep doing what you are doing and ask for advice when you need it. The coaches are awesome, the people are awesome, CFA is AWESOME!











Kristy Marsillo:

When did you join the CFA community?
I joined CFA about 3 years ago.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
During one of my first open workouts, I was still not very confident with the amount of weight I could lift.  The workout had squat cleans that went up in weight each round.  I didn’t think I could make it past the second round because I hadn’t lifted that heavy and my form was not that great.  With encouragement from friends at CFA,  I was able to lift into the 3rd round, 11 of the 13 squat cleans, which at that time was more than my max.  It was so empowering!

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
Definitely the community.  I have worked out at many other places.  It is amazing what you can do with the support and encouragement from your peers.  I feel part of a team and I love the strength I gain from others.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit? When you first start you are not going to be able to lift what everyone else can.  Work on your form and your confidence.  Believe in yourself.  When you get these elements together, the weight and speed will come with time.



How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I never tried to be the best.  I tried to be the best for myself.  I pushed hard and practiced longer.  That is where the gains come from.  

What keeps you motivated?
At first it was the weight loss and endurance I achieved from doing CrossFit. Eventually it became each PR.  Each day when I did a little better, it kept me pushing.  Every time I thought I couldn’t, I persevered through and that’s what made me stronger.  Watching others achieve their goals made me want to work harder to get better.




What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
Working out helps me relieve stress and gets me through tough days.  Sometimes it’s just getting to the gym and talking with people that makes me glad to be there.  I couldn’t do it without the friends I have made.  I love when someone asks, “Will I see you tomorrow?”  That is what keeps me coming.  The sense of camaraderie, gives me purpose.


Recent PRs?
I finally hit triple digits on my Push Press and 120 on my Front Squat.  (Thanks Tim!)

Current training goals?
Still trying to string together my double-unders and get a full handstand push up.



Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
Double-unders have been my nemesis for quite some time.  I can get 5-6 in a row but can’t put them all together. I just have to keep trying and not over think it.    

What is your cheat meal go to?
French fries for sure…and wine!!




What does the Push Up Woman title mean to you?
It is so humbling.  I was never a huge athlete in high school or college, but I put my heart and soul into the gym. It feels so amazing to know that although I am not the fastest or the strongest, people recognize the work I am doing.  Everyone needs some encouragement.  It has already caused me to push harder and to be stronger.  I think the Push Up Woman title means being “the best version of ourselves.”

Thoughts upon winning the title?
First of all, thank you to everyone who believed in me and pushed me to become better.  I am so touched to be awarded this title.  I promise I will continue to encompass the philosophy of the gym and I hope to encourage others to do the same.

How will you use your new found Push Up Woman glory?
It is a great confidence booster and it will make me push myself harder. Sometimes I am my toughest critic and it will help me to believe in myself and what I am trying to accomplish.  I don’t need to be the best at the gym as long as I continue to be the best version of myself. I also hope to motivate others and give them confidence to push past their barriers.

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? Gym related and/or personally?
I am so excited for the new management and the courage to work even harder.  I am looking forward to increasing my confidence, both personally and professionally.  I think what we do in the gym translates into our lives. I can’t wait to travel more, eat good food, drink good wine, and continue to enrich my life with the people I surround myself with.



Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
Life is short, travel more, work less.  Love the life you are given.  Do the things you love.  Never stop believing in yourself!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This place has made me into the person I want to be!!