Night of Champions || May 5

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Night of Champions CINCO DE MAYO!
Are you a champion? Show us your stuff!

Teams of 2 – Male/Male or Female/Female
Rx & Scaled Divisions available!
Night of Champions will consist of 2 WODs
WOD 1 – A Lifting Event
WOD 2 – A Partner WOD
Details to come!
6:30 pm – Athlete Check-In
7:00 pm – WOD 1 Start Time

$50 per Team (includes registration for both team mates) Come show us how much of a champ you are!

(Only 1 registration per team – We’ll send an email to get division and partner name)


A Gym’s Mission

When we opened CrossFit Austin over 8 years ago, our purpose was never about producing elite athletes to compete at the CrossFit Games. Over the years we’ve dabbled in the competitive exercise game, and had moderate success. Through all the years we’ve realized that still isn’t our mission here at CFA.  Yes, we want you improving your fitness and hitting PRs regularly, but our mission is much bigger than that.

Our intention has, and always will be, to help others achieve lifelong fitness and have a lot of fun doing it.  The motto we preach to our coaches is everyone should have a great experience. Your hour in the gym should be the best hour of your day.

Our gym is where relationships are made. Whether its a mentor relationship with a coach, a new best friend, or maybe your future spouse, the community of CFA is forged through iron-clad relationships. This is the unknown secret ingredient people from the outside looking in don’t grasp until they’re immersed in it.

Finally, we strive to provide results relative to people’s goals. This is why we are such strong advocates of the hybrid (PT + Group Class) model of training. It allows us to work with people and push them towards achieving the goals they have for themselves, not put people in a box and demand they achieve a preset standard for what fitness should be.  

In the end it’s simple:  Experience. Relationship. Results.

Ultimately we don’t really care how much you clean and jerk, per se; but care if you’re falling in love with fitness and doing it with a lot of great people that you love around you.   Because one day we’ll all be that 40 year old dad who still wants to mix it up on the basketball court with his teenage kids, or that 65 year old grandmother that needs the stamina and strength to hike a mountain with her grandkids. That’s what we’re about, the long game, the love of the game, and loving the ones we’re playing the game with.  

Fitness Fundamentals: Weightlifting

This is the fourth article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, so far we’ve addressed Nutrition, conditioning, and gymnastics.. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.

Today we discuss “Weightlifting”. Much like the “gymnastics” we teach and perform in the gym, the weightlifting we are referring to is basic strength training, and an emulation of the traits that competitive Olympic Weightlifters possess. Strength training is one of the most important aspects of any training because it not only contributes to all aspect of fitness, it is one of the single biggest factors in health and longevity. However strength can not exist in a vacuum and over emphasizing strength at the expense of all other fitness qualities is neither productive or healthy.  Below we’ll discuss some ways to get the most out of the all important “strength work” in our program.



The best way to get stronger is to consistently train for strength.  We recommend folks include a strength element to their training a minimum of twice a week. This not only allows the body to adapt sustainably overtime, but also allows for consistent practice that improves the body’s neurological ability to perform movements under load. Along with this comes the consistency of the actual weights used. Instead of striving to constantly hit new heavier weights, our goal is mastering the load you are at, improve form and make it feel easier before you move on to the next weight.

Quality over Quantity

One of the biggest mistakes people make with lifting weights is being focused on lifting heavier and heavier weights. When strength training is done properly it will create physical resilience in a person that will prevent injuries.  However many times strength training is associated with injury in the gym because folks are either training with poor movement quality, and / or to much weight.  So it is imperative to set aside your ego and commit to mastering the quality of your movements before you make big jumps in the quantity of weight lifted.

Action step:
Commit to strength training twice a week, and use consistent loads and movements for six weeks. This will help you master the movements to begin with.  If you only introduce two new movements every 6 weeks for a year you will have laid a great foundation in 16 different movements.

Thanks for stopping in! Our final installment we will discuss the concept of sport and how it applies to getting fit!




April Athlete of The Month – Shaelyn Stone!!

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 April Athlete of the Month is Shaelyn Stone! Shaelyn started sweating with CFA back in February of 2016. You’ll usually catch her with the 6:30 am or the 4:30 pm crew.  It’s been really exciting to see the progress that Shaelyn has made here, especially recently! She has a great drive and solid focus in her training. All that work has certainly paid off in her time here! We’ve enjoyed Shaelyn’s positive attitude and watching her continuous growth and we’re excited to see her continue to progress for many more years! Shaelyn, we are proud to have you as our April Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Thanks for all your hard work! Congratulations!  


State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Shaelyn. Or just Shae.

Words to live by?
“See, winners embrace hard work.” –Lou Holtz

What is your fitness background?
I played a lot of basketball and volleyball before I got to college. Now I just play them for leisure.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
A year and three months. And I’ve loved every second of it!

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Haha, ok, so this is a funny story. My first day of CrossFit, I dropped into a class on a day when they were doing only mobility stuff. I had dragged three of my friends with me because I was terrified to go alone, but by the end of class we all walked out with our heads held high, scoffing at those who’d warned us about the painful trials of CrossFit.
Then day two came…and we died. All I remember was a crap load of heavy deadlifts and jumping pull-ups. It felt like every muscle in my body was torn and trying to mesh itself back together. But I LOVED it! It hooked me, and here I am today! The daily soreness is still just as bad, but my performance is so much better.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The people, no doubt! The coaches, the other members, everyone. And the programming. I love the programming.

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Currently I’m working on getting strict pull-ups and some HSPUs. Just two weeks ago, I got hand stand kick-ups down, and during the Open this year (which was my first Open ever, by the way) I was able to string together a few kipping pull-ups!

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
It took me a while to learn to leave my extremely competitive nature against others at the big bay doors. But I think that’s helped me most. The only one you should be concerned with competing against is yourself! Like anything else that’s worthwhile and rewarding, this is gonna take time and it’s gonna be hard. But it’s also gonna be a ton of fun!

What is your cheat meal go to?
Chicken and waffles drenched in maple syrup! Oh my gosh, nothing on this earth makes me as happy!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
That’d probably be during 17.2, when I got those kipping pull-ups! That was a big moment, lots of adrenaline, surrounded by awesome people.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
I love double-unders, so I would just steal “Annie” and instead name it… I don’t know, the “Shae-nay-nay?” Gosh, that sounds awful, haha.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I love anything to do with the outdoors! Hunting, hiking, camping, kayaking, cave crawling, horseback riding, you name it. I also LOVE to shop and to read books!

As for talents, I speak pretty good French. And I’m expert with a long-range rifle.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Not to brag (well kind of), but I’m actually a fantastic singer! I was classically trained in Opera for most of my life, but I sing just about any genre! Except Screamo.

Longhorns or Aggies?
Aggies? Is that some kind of disease?! Nah, I’d have to go with my beloved burnt orange all the way!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
Oh my gosh, I’m really blessed to be a part of this community! Y’all are the highlights of my semesters, and I’m super excited to keep working out with y’all and learning from y’all! I think we all know that every time we come to CFA, it’s not just about going to a gym, it’s about being fit for life and taking part in an awesome community!

Welcome New Coach || Aaron Garza!

A word from Wes: 

Aaron has been an active member of our community for the last several years. Over the past year he’s put in a ton of work immersing himself in education
around coaching and improving his own and others fitness. We’re excited to add him to our AM coaching staff and are confident in his ability to lead within our community. Above all else Aaron is a humble, hardworking, great person (just like every other member of our staff) and we’re excited to see him grow and display those qualities as a coach with CFA!

About Aaron:

Aaron Garza graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. As a lifelong athlete with an engineering background, Aaron has a passion for problem solving, especially when it comes to human movement and performance. He began competing in the endurance space throughout college which ultimately led to the completion of the 2012 Dallas White Rock Marathon. However, In June of 2013, while training for the Austin 70.3 Ironman, a cycling accident landed him in the ER with a broken tibia. It was during the injury rehabilitation process that he discovered Crossfit. After immersing himself in the world of Crossfit for nearly 3 years, he received his Crossfit Level 1 Trainer Certification.

A Message from Aaron:

“My knee injury was a tough time for me. I went from working out 6 days a week to non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. During my rehab, Crossfit provided me the opportunity to address my limited range of motion and mobility with healthy, strength specific training. I instantly fell in love with Crossfit and always knew that one day I’d give back and serve the same community that did so much for me. I am beyond excited to be a part of this team and eager to help others improve their general health and wellness in a way that’s positive and fun.”

Fitness Fundamentals || Gymnastics

This is the third article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, so far we’ve addressed Nutrition, and conditioning. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.


Today we address “Gymnastics” basically learning how to to control and move our own bodies through space. It’s important to distinguish between competitive gymnastics  and gymnastic as it pertains to fitness training. For most the high level skills displayed in competitive gymnastics are not necessary for fitness, however we do want to emulate the physical qualities competitive gymnasts have perfected.  We’ll define those qualities as flexibility, body control, and upper body strength.



You’ll hear flexibility called many names in fitness circles (mobility, increased range of motion, etc.) but we simply want people to maintain the ability to freely move your joints and muscles without significant limitation. For most their current work environment is actively reducing their flexibility and ability to correctly perform simple natural movements like squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, and pulling. A consistent routine of stretching and performing the above movements.

Action step:
Maintain and developing flexibility is best done with day to day consistency. The best source we’ve found for this is call ROMWOD. They offer a short 15-20 minute flexibility session daily.  


Body Control  

Not only should we be able to move our muscles and joints freely we also need to be able to control those movements to ensure they’re effective and safe. Body control is simply the ability of your of your body to do exactly what your brain tell is to do. The way gymnast obtain this skill is with load of tempo and isometric work. In layman’s terms that means moving in and out of positions slowly and holding positions for extended periods of time.  Tempo work can be applied to any of the above mentioned movement patterns (squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, and pulling) to develop effective body control. Additionally using core exercises such as hollow holds and hollow rocks help one develop the ability to coordinate the upper body and lower body to work well together.

Action step:
Next time you’re training try adding a 3 second descent and 3 second pause at the bottom or top of your movements.  Notice the increase in difficulty and intensity that a little extra “control” adds to any given movement.


Upper Body Strength

Lastly let’s talk quickly about the importance of upper body strength. Most men spend years of their youth focusing on bench press numbers at the cost of developing adequate pulling and pressing strength. Meanwhile many female gym goers shy away from upper body work in fear of looking bulky. Utilizing fundamental gymnastic movements helps create well balanced upper body strength as well as an aesthetically pleasing upper back physique.

Action step
Here’s a quick upper body training with the goal of achieving 1 strict pull-up.

Day 1 –
3 sets of 8-12 banded pull-ups (enough band tension to do 8 but no more than 12)
2 sets of 10-15 RIng Rows or Horizontal pull-ups

Day 2 –  Rest

Day 3 –
3 sets of 3 Negative Pull-ups: Jump your chin up above the bar and lower yourself for 5 seconds.


Day 4 – Rest

Day 5 –
6 sets of 3 banded pull-ups (less band tension than day 1)
3 set of :10-30 Hang from the Pull-up bar.
Thanks for stopping in! Our next installment we will discuss weightlifting and barbell training!

Fitness Fundamentals: Conditioning

This is the second article in our “Fitness Fundamentals” series, last week in part one we addressed Nutrition. These articles are for those just starting a health and fitness journey who need simple actionable advice to start improving right away. For those whom fitness is already an active part of their lives, fundamentals are something that should be revisited consistently to make sure the foundation of our hard work remains solid in support of our goals.


Today we address “Metabolic conditioning” or just “conditioning”. This type of exercise goes by many names but I like to think of it as exercise that is limited or regulated by your ability to breath or control your heart rate. Most new to fitness will recognize this as “Cardio”.


Crawl before you walk…

And more importantly walk before you run.  Walking is one of the most beneficial types of exercise most of us tend to neglect.  Walking improves aerobic capacity, aids in recovery, provides mental stress relief, and is just generally good for your soul. For folks who are just getting back into training (or starting for the first time) walking is a great way to prepare and progress your feet into higher impact movements like running.   

Action step:
Add a 60-90 minute walk 3 days a week to your routine. Preferably find a great park or some nature to make it an even more enjoyable cathartic experience. For those just beginning this is a very important first step into actual exercise that should not be downplayed. For those of you currently training hard, walking provides mental and physical recovery from the higher intensity work you’re used to.


Variety is the spice of life

Despite what conventional wisdom suggest there are far more injuries involved in distance running than weightlifting. Why is it that throwing 300 lbs over your head is statistically safer than going for a jog? The short answer is because distance running imposes repetitive stress on the same muscle groups, ligaments, and tendons over and over again that is absent in competitive weightlifting.  The key point is doing the same thing all the time eventually breaks down specific areas of your body’s structure. This can be avoided by learning and applying a wide variety of movements into your training program.

Action step:
If running or jogging represent your entire conditioning training take the time you normally run and do a different movement. If you have access to equipment you could row, bike, or swim in lieu of running. You can also sub a simple bodyweight exercise like burpees.  For my hard charging CrossFitters sometimes what looks like variety can also become repetitive stress.  I challenge you to take a week to do the opposite. Only run, bike, swim, or row the times prescribed (or average time of completion) of the WOD and see how it differs from your normal training.


Go Slow and Fast
Finally the importance of varying intensities is important as well. Most inexperienced trainees have the “more is better” mentality so ingrained,  that junk miles and slowish work dominates they’re conditioning training. The goal should be a balance of short fast sprint type work, medium to moderate effort work at a challenging pace, and longer slower work.  

Action step:
Here is a weekly template that can be utilized today by anybody at any skill level:

20 Rounds
:10 Sprint @ 100% effort
:50 Rest

5 Rounds
5:00 of work @ at challenging, but sustainable effort (hit the same distance / total work each round)

7:00 Rest

20-30 minutes @ steady state / pace


4 Rounds
2:00 work @ As fast as possible
Rest until you feel 100% (typically 5-10 minutes)

20-30 minutes @ steady state / pace



**Walk 60-90 minute 2-3 times a week either on rest days or after training”
**Any type of exercise can be used for this but rowing, running, biking, or swimming will yield the best results.  Running is not suggested for someone brand new to training, or who is overweight.


Thanks for stopping in! Our next installment we will discuss gymnastics and bodyweight only training.