009 || Diaries of a Coach – 5 Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel

Considering we live in a city of transplants and unicorns, I’m assuming most of you, like me, have some degree of traveling to do this holiday season. When I think about the two trips I have planned, whatever routine, whatever consistency I’ve developed in regard to my workouts, seems highly threatened. Anyone else?

Well here I come in my red cape to save the day! Tips for surviving holiday travel without losing precious ground toward your fitness goals.

*I feel like it’s also worth mentioning here, it’s going to be ok. If you drop the ball on these things for a week, all. is. not. lost. Promise. Alright boo, here we go.

1) Get creative.

I recently moved to an old ranch house in the middle of no where. Seriously, it’s the epitome of country living. Like, we have coyotes. Need I say more? Anyways, one of my roommates introduced me to what she calls “driveway sprints”. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Sprint out, walk back. Sprint out, walk back. DOESN’T THAT SOUND FUN?!?! Ok, no, but all you need is a driveway, a road, a stretch of sidewalk or even some stairs. This is essentially interval training, in it’s simplest form, alternating between work intervals where your heart rate is between 70-90% of you max heart rate (which is 220 – your age), and rest intervals where the heart rate comes down to 60-65% of your max heart rate. HIIT training is a great way to burn fat, build endurance, and leave you feeling accomplished after any degree of sedentary traveling. Win!

My point is this, get creative with what you have. Maybe there’s a nearby park, AMRAP your little heart out with pull ups, push ups, squats and sprints. If you have to goblet squat a kid, do it. Your fitness goals are on the line! I’m kidding, please don’t harm a child.

2) Hydrate.

Did you know traveling can dehydrate you? Particularly if you are flying, the lack of humidity in the air on a plane can easily cause dehydration, fatigue and increased risk for airborne sickness. So sip on some water folks. Not only will this help decrease the risks involved with travel but it will help your body with digestion and nutrient absorption, body temperature and blood circulation, and joint and muscle movement, all important for muscle growth and recovery. Hydrating will also cleanse the body and rehydrate if (or maybe when) food and alcohol consumption are slightly elevated. (That was a nice way to put it, right? Read: When you eat like shit and are drunk off your ass.)

3) Plan good nutritional choices.

Traveling usually lends itself to the most inconsistent of diets. Eating out, eating late, eating too much or too little. When I’m traveling I usually try to abide by my “make more good choices than bad” rule. This allows me the room to enjoy life but to feel good at the end of the day, mentally and physically, about my nutrition.

Two ideas (one I’m pretty good at, the other, not so much):

Pack healthy snack options for travel days and you’ll save time and money trying to find them in an airport or on the road. I will admit, I’m a sucker for travel snacks. It’s part of the experience, right?!? But here’s my promise to you CFA, I’m going to pack my snacks this year! Hold me to it.

This one I actually enjoy and do pretty well. When eating out, look at menus ahead of time. Find a healthy option and decide what you’re going to order, that way, the decision is made when you get there and you don’t even have to look! Enjoy your time and the people you’re with instead!

4) Find a gym.

Not sure where you may be headed but for me, going home always reminds me how fortunate I am to live in a city so centered around activity with such easy access to multitudes of fitness outlets. A lot of cities just don’t have many options, so this is a huge struggle for me. Luckily, after multiple trips and attempts, I did find a great CrossFit gym near my sister’s. So keep looking, do some research ahead of time and make sure you are aware of drop-in protocol. Post in our members group and see if anyone has been to your destination and found an exceptional gym or ask a coach about an affiliate gym in our business network.

If you’re staying in a hotel, use the gym or fitness center there! Don’t be a CrossFit snob, get your butt in there and get some resistance training/accessory work or cardio knocked out. Find a coach and get some suggestions that will help you make specific progress where you need it.

5) Take some gear. 

This one may or may not be possible depending on your travel mode and destination. Bring some equipment that will not only make workouts possible, but remind you to do it! Bring a foam roller or lacrosse ball, do some mobility and soft tissue work. Bring a jump rope to get in some cardio or skill work on those dreaded double unders. Resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, all very transportable if you’re location is within driving distance.

Ultimately, move. Planned and unplanned, programmed and unprogrammed, structured and unstructured. Enjoy life and the capability you have to be active. Explore new places, try new activities, have FUN and MOVE with friends and family this holiday season! Good luck out there!

-Coach E

Travel WOD:

Pyramid Workout

Complete 10 rounds, decreasing reps each round (10-9-8-7…etc.)
Each round will end with a timed sprint or sprint for distance (30 sec. or about 100m)

Squats (weighted if possible)
Glute Bridge (weighted if possible) or Kettlebell Swing
Sprint out/walk back (return trip is your rest/recovery)

The Open Season || Coach Tim Garland


Howdy CFA! As I write this, the weather is changing….and so is our ‘season’ in the gym. Having some general ‘themes’ or ‘seasons’ throughout the year helps keep things interesting while preserving the primary stimulus of building better humans. The past several months have been focused on building a solid foundation with lots of barbell work. While we won’t be putting up the barbells, those of you who are consistent with 3-5 days a week training might notice a subtle shift in focus. The shifts in the programming will be hard to notice for the average member. They are ‘shades of grey’ instead of ‘black and white’. We still want to preserve the main goal of getting people generally fit for life, but we don’t want people to be forced into a regimen that isn’t aligned with their goals.


So…stepping out of our ‘Barbell’ season and into our ‘Open’ season, what can we expect? Here are some highlights of our ‘Open’ season:

-Focus on barbell lifts that will likely play an important role in the Open

-Increase in skill work for movements that are common the the Open

-Metcons will include more volume, as well as develop volume in higher skill movements

-More frequent posts of previous Open workouts


During this season, you’ll also have a few opportunities to work on some of these skills in a setting devoted only to certain movements. The first of which is this Friday from 6:30-8p, where Coach David Henderson will be working with us on a few of these high skill movements. (REGISTER HERE) We will sprinkle in a few extra ‘skills’ classes here and there on Saturday afternoons and Tuesday or Thursday evenings…so be on the lookout for those dates and what movements will be covered during each class!


I’d like to make a few reminders as we progress our way into this season. An increase in volume also needs to be matched and accompanied by a few things outside of class. A focus on recovery should always be present, but if you increase workload….make sure you’re getting all the goodies that will help you achieve your goals. Having an appropriate intake of nutrients is preached, understood and practiced by many. If you are unsure of the best route on the nutrition path for you, talk with a coach. Also, starting in January, Coach Ben will put his Nutrition degree into practice and will be doing nutritional consults to help you step your game up! You can set-up a consult with him via email at ben@crossfitaustin.com  Another component you’ll need to stay on top of is your SLEEP! People are beginning to catch on, but in this fast-paced, I need to accomplish everything today world that we live in…many are foregoing this wonderful aid in recovery.

In our New Year Whole Life Challenge, we’ll be addressing and setting goals for these things as well. You can join our team HERE!

-Coach Tim

December Athlete of the Month – Heidi Childers Jones!!

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 December Athlete of the Month is Heidi Childers Jones! Heidi came to us from the Windy City back in May of 2016 and has established a solid place for herself with our 7:30 am coffee crew. Her cool energy and amazing work ethic is such a bright spot in the mornings and we have absolutely loved getting to know her and all the cools things she’s dabbled in! Heidi exemplifies so many of the qualities we look for in an AOM and is a great example for her two gorgeous girls at home. We have loved watching her progress and getting to know her friendly spirit along the way. Heidi, the CFA Team is proud to honor you as our December   Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for your all your hard work and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the years to come! Congratulations!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Heidi Roxanne Childers Jones. What a mouthful! They used to call me “Rox” at my old box, but it just feels funny to be back at home in Texas going by anything other than “Heidi.” 😉

Words to live by?

“Never stop learning,” and “Do you.” Out of all the poetic motivational quotes I’ve loved over the years, I always come back to these basic, no-frills pieces of advice. The former keeps you growing and challenging yourself. The latter keeps you out of everyone else’s business and keeps you firmly in the driver’s seat of your own life.

What is your fitness background?
I actually spent most of my life terribly insecure about my body and my abilities, so I didn’t get into fitness until I was an adult. I danced throughout high school and continued to dance for a company in my early 20s. I started working out in a gym to lose my stubborn Freshman 50 (yes, you read that right: 50, not 15) that stuck around well after I’d graduated from college. That eventually led me to pursue an MS in Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology and a part-time career as a personal trainer in big-box gyms and boutique gyms. Eventually, I earned my license in Clinical Massage Therapy and studied Thai Massage and Bodywork, and I continue to work with clients from my home in South Austin.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been working out at a Crossfit gym since 2013, but didn’t really do WODs until I joined CFA in spring of 2016.
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Truthfully, I was a little hesitant. I spent many years as an outspoken Crossfit critic because I’d had so many clients come train with me after hurting themselves in poorly programmed or poorly coached Crossfit workouts. I knew I was in responsible hands at CFA, but I was extra careful not to go too hard too soon. It was — and still is — so hard! There’s a huge difference between training solo and training with like-minded friends. It’s refreshing and motivating, which means the workouts never get any easier; you just get faster and stronger. 🙂
What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The late-morning tribe. Shout-out to the 7:30am crew and coaches!
Current Training Goals/PRs?
I constantly joke that I simply want to “suck less,” but honestly I just want to build a stronger upper body and get comfy being upside down.
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Don’t get caught up in the hype and let your ego get the best of you. Focus on technique, greasing the groove, and do you. There is absolutely no shame in scaling and listening to your body. We’re not all here to go to the Games!
What is your cheat meal go to?
Ice cream or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I can make a case for the utility and nutrient value in most meals, but let’s face it: sweets are pretty much just delicious sugar-bombs that I can’t defend!
How do you use your fitness outside of the gym?
I try to showcase badassery around my kids at all times in any fashion, whether that’s having cartwheel competitions in the backyard or running around with them and our dog. I’m also getting into yoga, and I’ve been known to be an easy-sell when it comes to competitions/events. I think I’ve already gotten talked into a triathlon and another Spartan race in 2018… Whoops.
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
It feels awesome anytime I surprise myself, and it’s usually because a coach talks me into trying something harder than I think I can handle. Most recently, it’s been a progression on a HSPU. Thanks Coach Ben and Coach Gen! 🙂
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
“Rox” would have to be something tough right? I honestly don’t know what torture it would entail, but I can tell you there’d be absolutely no running or burpees involved. Other than that, let’s throw some weight around!
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Yoga, reading, travel, massage, and working on a business plan are taking up most of my time these days. Oh, and shamelessly obsessing about my dog on social media.
Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I’m a pretty open book, but it’s only recently come out that I’m a massage therapist, so CFA, holler at your girl.
Longhorns or Aggies?
Longhorns for life. HOOK EM!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Never stop learning. And, of course, do you. *high five*

008 || Diaries of a Coach – Say Yes!

A little over a year ago, I moved to Austin from Fort Worth (Happy Austi-versary to me!). I had taken a new job and was ready for something new, which turned out to be a whole lot more new than I expected. I had started CrossFit in Fort Worth and my coach recommended a couple of gyms in the Austin area. I was nervous, but eager to give them a try. CrossFit Austin was first on the list.

My first class was a bit of a blur, probably because it was at 5:30 am. I just remember there being burpees and a girl that keep yelling, “Go! You can breathe later!” It was hard, but it was exactly what I needed, and I knew it. I was in.

The next few weeks, as I got settled in to a new house, a new job and a new city, I found my place at CrossFit Austin. I had tried a few different class times, but settled on the noon class and before I really had the chance to meet a lot of people, let alone make friends, the CFA Christmas party was happening. This was my chance, my first social event as a member, to meet new people and make new friends. Maybe I could be friends with the “breathe later” girl!

I had to work that morning, but I was hoping to finish up early and head to the party fashionably late. My last appointment was a consultation that hadn’t confirmed so I was secretly hoping for a no-show and a quick escape. Of course they showed up, and of course there was traffic at noon on a Saturday (which was a surprise to an Austin newbie, I now know better). As I sat in traffic on I-35 I texted coach Gen, was it even worth it to show up so late? I didn’t know anyone anyways. Maybe I should just skip it, better luck next time. But Gen insisted, and for that I am grateful.

I got to the party and saw exactly zero familiar faces. I soon found the coaches I did know, who happened to be huddled together at the time. They quickly greeted me, but I knew I needed to fend for myself and mingle, work the crowd. My first few attempts quickly shattered any ounce of confidence I had mustered up. I even tried saying hi to the “breathe later” girl. After debating on giving it another shot or just heading out, I saw a few girls huddled at a table, one that looked familiar. I went for it.

It was at that table that I met Dylan. Our conversation lead to a question that I will never forget. A question that immediately solidified this new friendship. It was this question, at the 2016 CrossFit Austin Christmas Party, that meant more to me that day, in that season of life, than I can even say.

“Do you want to go get queso?”

Yes, Dylan, yes I do.

And we did. That afternoon, I ate queso with two strangers that quickly became good friends. And a year later, one of them is one of my favorite WOD partners and the other is one of my best friends and my new roommate. I proceeded to spend the rest of the day with Dylan. She invited me to a concert that night, and even gave me a dress to wear (see photo. yes, we went out in public like that!).


So here’s my challenge. This was not only my promise to myself that day, as I entered last year’s CFA Christmas Party, it was also my motto when I moved to Austin and started life in a strange new city. Say yes. Say yes to exciting and unusual adventures. To things that are unknown or unsure at best. To things you would normally fear. And say yes to this year’s Christmas party. Celebrate the year that’s behind and the one that’s ahead with us! Meet some people, who knows, they might end up being some of the greatest friends you’ll ever have!

See you there!
Coach E

Whole Life Challenge 2018 || Team CrossFit Austin

 “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” -Zig Ziglar


Change can be challenging. Yet, without a challenge, there can’t be change. With 2018 right around the corner, the new year brings new opportunity for new starts, new goals, new challenges… new change.


In the New Year, we like to offer a challenge to kickstart the goal setting in fitness and nutrition for all those up for it. 2018 will be our 3rd year hosting a team for The Whole Life Challenge. Last time, we saw some awesome results and had great time working through the challenges & celebrating our weekly wins with our teammates. We hope you’ll consider joining us on this journey again!


Whole Life Challenge is part fitness, part nutritional and body composition, and part accountability challenges. Our goals for each 2018 Whole Life Challenger are:

  • Mental + emotional preparation for the longevity of a healthy lifestyle {awareness + action}
  • Individual fitness gains
  • Creation of lasting habitsfor individualized nutritional and body composition success
  • Physical & nutritional preparation for the 2016 CrossFit Open


You + Whole Life Challenge = Team CrossFit Austin

Challenge = Change // Goals = Gains


{What is it?}

While everyone wants to look and feel better, it can be a challenge to know how or where to start. The Whole Life Challenge focuses you on the key areas of your life that produce real, life-long changes. Playing together with your friends and family in a fun and motivating daily game, you’ll create new healthy habits that last long after it ends.

The Whole Life Challenge focuses on 7 daily habits that you will learn and create for yourself as you journey through.

These 7 Daily Habits are:

    • Nutrition. Your food choices have the single greatest impact on your health, well-being, and community. When you make choices that keep you healthy, you give yourself the fuel to fulfill all of who you are. There are 3 levels to choose from that allow you to start making changes in a realistic and attainable way.  {Choose the level that is right for you}
    • Exercise. Humans are designed to move daily. Whether through workouts, activity, or simply enjoying the full use of your body, daily movement keeps you healthy and vital. You’re already moving regularly with us!
    • Mobility. In a sedentary world, our bodies get stuck. Daily mobility and stretching helps you move the way nature intended and continue enjoying freedom of movement into your later years.
    • Sleep. Modern schedules tend to dictate how many hours of sleep we’re entitled to. A practice of increasing that time, even by a little bit, can make big strides in robust health. You set the sleep goals that are right for you.
    • Hydration. More than anything, your body is made of water. This habit ensures that your body gets enough of its most basic resources for life.
    • Lifestyle Practice. The {WLC weekly lifestyle practices}turn a life into your life. Learn to step back, take stock, connect, and turn your attention to what is really important to you.
    • Reflection. Looking back, looking inward, or looking forward, daily reflection draws your awareness to what is working and what needs your attention today.


{How Do I Play?}

The {Challenge} begins with taking your preliminary measurements and completing a scalable workout that will be repeated at the end.

Throughout the 42 day challenge you will post your scores in the 7 categories listed above. The Challenge is designed in a way that we can work as a team to check in with and support each other on a daily basis.

To close out the Whole Life Challenge, you will repeat the preliminary measurements and workout to gauge how far you’ve come! But, it doesn’t end there! The Whole Life Challenge is designed to help you make healthy lifestyle changes that last.

{How Do I Register?}

You can register and join Team CrossFit Austin through the Whole Life Challenge {website}. Make sure you do join our team to participate with the community!

CHALLENGE BEGINS January 20, 2018
CHALLENGE ENDS March 2, 2018


Early Return Player Registration
November 16 – January 3
Price: $29.00 (save $20.00)


Early Player Registration
November 25 – January 3
Price: $39.00 (save $10.00)


Regular Registration
January 4 – January 31
Price: $49.00



{What’s New This Year?}


Well, for one, the challenge is a little shorter. What used to be an 8 week challenge is now a 6 week challenge, but regardless, the goal is still the same. We’re here to create long-lasting, healthy habits to

We have partnered with {Body Analytics USA} to offer fast, accurate body composition testing. Their Hydrostatic Testing method uses a three component model which separates the body into 3 areas:


  • Bone, muscle and organs, along with connective tissue, collectively known as lean mass, sinks (is more dense than water)
  • Body fat floats (is less dense than water)
  • Total body water which is neutrally buoyant, but must be removed from your actual weight

By obtaining your dry weight and water weight, based on buoyancy, our specialized computer program can scientifically calculate your body fat as a percentage of your total weight. The ordinary scale cannot tell you if weight loss is muscle or fat while testing with Body Analytics will tell you exactly what took place with your body during your weight loss regimen.


This will be an additional service offered at CrossFit Austin on Monday, January 8th from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. We’ll set up a retest day for after the challenge so you can test your pre and post composition numbers.


Single test – $49
Pre & Post-test – $89 (save $10)







007 || Diaries of a Coach – Your Holiday Buying Guide!


In honor of the fine holiday we refer to as “Black Friday” your loyal and trustworthy coach (that’s me… yourstruly) has put together a list of fitness gear, health and wellness products and more to up your game in the gym, and in life, this Holiday season! I’ve done some research, talked to your CFA coaches, and stalked the Black Friday sales… and here it is, all in one place! So use this post as a shopping guide for yourself (my typical buying method is “something for you, something for me”) or send it to that family member that could use some subtle hinting. Happy shopping/gifting friends!


10: SFH Protein
If you’re looking for a great, clean protein, look no further. Couple options here, a pure whey protein or a recovery blend. We believe in this one so much that you can actually grab some at CFA. Just grab a bag and fill out the sales sheet. Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

9: Yogi Calming Tea
Anything with a calming effect is probably a good idea post-Thanksgiving dinner and pre-Black Friday mania. Ease the stress from dealing with family drama and get a good night’s sleep before shopping begins! This option has a naturally sweet flavor with tons of benefits! Might be a good idea to have this on hand throughout the Holiday season.

8: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix (with Lion’s Mane)
This is a delicious coffee option that mixes high quality organic coffee and mushroom extract, which sounds pretty weird but actually reduces jitters and that dreaded caffeine crash without an even weirder mushroom taste (promise, it just tastes like coffee and Gen and Tim live by this!) The Lion’s Mane mushroom also increases focus and productivity. You can find it on Amazon, hooray!

7: Buddha’s Brew Kombucha
You’ve probably seen a few of your coaches with this in hand. I won’t drop any names here but some are drinking it for the health benefits and some are drinking it just because it tastes so darn good (AND it’s local)! Kombucha is made from the fermentation of live cultures (healthy bacteria and beneficial yeast) with organic sugar and tea. This process produces beneficial acids, enzymes and aminos. This is a local brand made with organic ingredients and fair trade tea, with tons of yummy flavor options. If you’re needing a little fuel for your Black Friday endeavors, grab a Buddha’s Brew. We recommend Basil Honey Ginger, Blueberry and Pineapple Super Greens.

6: Reebok Nano 7
Ok I have to admit, I’m a Nike girl at heart. My loyalty to Nike MetCons is usually solid and unwavering. However, Reebok had a sale for trainers recently so I decided no time like the present to try out my first pair of Nanos. Y’all, I’m a fan. (Am I cheating on Nike?!?) Not only are they FRESH AF (black with the gum bottoms deserves ALL the heart eyes emojis), but they provide a solid base for lifting and are lightweight for conditioning. Plus Alyson Bentley wears them and she’s a bad ass, so that means something!

5: Speed Ropes: RPM and Momentum Gear
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the absurd amount of double under-ing in the workouts lately? If you’re ready to invest and are officially in the market for a good rope, here ya go! RPM and Momentum Gear are a couple of coach picks.

RPM is doing 20% off sitewide for Black Friday and free shipping on order of $75. Plus, they have some CA-UUUTE handle options (which I know you gents are all about), or you can custom design your own! http://rpmtraining.com/ropes/speed-rope-3-0-super-bloom-1075/ (Whoops, did I just post the link for the one I want? I guess I did…)

4: Puori Fish Oil (previously Pure Pharma)
Ok, I know this probably isn’t what you expected on a top 10 list but hear me out. This is a necessity. Fish oils are the richest source of essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Essential means you need them for functions including muscle repair and protein synthesis, hence essential, but your bod can’t produce them on it’s own, wah wah. (#fail) Because most of us aren’t consuming adequate amounts of omega-3s on our own, we need a hero. Here it is. Bottom line, Fish oils aid in recovery, building lean muscle mass, burning fat, and maintaining health and longevity. (#win) Let me tell you, I’ve been taking these daily for a few months now and have seen a drastic difference in regards to inflammation and muscle recovery. I even said bye bye to my dependency on my knee sleeves and all the credit goes here! This one is also available at CFA!

3: Rogue Strength Wraps
Maybe wrist issues are contagious (or maybe it’s because we just finished a strength cycle with power cleans) because I’ve heard multiple athletes express a need for some wrist support. Here you go! These cloth wraps from Rogue are a coach fav. Bonus, Rogue is having a Black Friday sale with deals on products and shipping.

2: Rehband Knee Sleeves
If you’re looking for some knee support, learn from my knee sleeve experience and go with Rehbands. I tested another brand and was completely unsatisfied with the quality. It was traumatic! Ok, not really. But I love the Rehbands I have now! You can order these on Amazon or directly from Rehband’s website. Rogue also carries multiple Rehband products so keep an eye out on their BF sale and grab some wrist and knee support in one fell swoop!

1: Lululemon: Wunder Under (High Waisted)
Sorry guys, this one’s for my ladies out there. Gen and I are firm believers in these little babies. Not only do they pass the bend over test (you know what I’m talking about) but the high waist is a dream come true. Don’t worry, I called the Austin store for you and they will have significant markdowns storewide as well as extra stock on bras and bottoms on Black Friday. You. Are. Welcome.

*Guys, try the Intent Pant from Lulu. Tim highly recommends!

And there you have it folks! Wishing you all the success as holiday shopping season commences. Be safe and win big!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Coach E