Movement of the Week || Toes To Bar – Part 3

Check out our final segment of the toes to bar series as we prep for the Open (Feb 25). Make sure to tune back in on Tuesday for our next series: Chest to Bar.  #toestobar #crossfit #intheopen #crossfitopen2016 #strict #upperbody #activeshoulders Straight Arm Strength In our final video of the toes to bar series, we focus on straight arm strength. Improving straight arm strength will make the kip swing more powerful and increase strength endurance for all “hanging” gymnastics movement.  These exercise are shown in order of least difficult to most difficult, and can be performed concurrently with the kip swing and core drills in previous videos. 1. Band Straight Arm Press Downs This can be done with the band set up you see in the video or with an old school cable pulley system if found at globo gyms and hotel/apt. gyms. Keep the arms straight as you press the bar to chest level. Maintain a tight core, and glutes similar to the hollow position. Only move up in band tension or weight when you can successfully complete 12 reps without breaking at the core. 2. Ring Fall outs This exercise integrates core stability and straight arm strength. The goal is to maintain a hollow body position throughout all phases of the movement. The tendency will be to allow the back to overextend, if this is happens shorten the length you extend the arms away from the body at the bottom. Work perfect set of 3-5 reps until you can hold your arms in line with your ears in a perfect hollow position at the bottom for 5 reps. 3. Strict Knees to elbow and Toes to bar These variations simply remove the swing and any momentum it creates from the full movement to force the arms, shoulders, and core to do more work. If you’re not strong enough to do these variations, use a spotter to help get your knees to your chest and toes to the bar. Then, slowly lower your legs for 3-5 seconds. The straighter the legs are the more demanding the exercise will be. Athletes of all ability levels benefit from increasing strength and strength endurance in the “strict” variations of bodyweight movements. Goal here is to develop the ability to complete 3 sets of 5 strict toes to bar with straight

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Movement of the Week || Toes To Bar – Part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of the toes 2 bar series, aimed at helping you prep for the Open. Enjoy! #toes2bar #t2b #open #core #hollowbody #intheopen #CrossFitGames #CrossFit #2016CrossFitOpen Compression / Core Drills In the first series we focused on the swing and how to maintain a compact rhythmic kip swing to string TTBs together. Our second series we’ll focus on developing the ability to flex and compress at the hips while strengthening the core abdominal muscles. 1. Hollow Hold (Tuck to Long) This is the fundamental position for all gymnastic movements. Being strong in the hollow position allows for better control of the kip swing and stronger transfer of power from hips to the upper body. Start by keeping the knees tucked and the arms straight by your side. The low back should be in contact with the floor, with the hips and shoulder off the floor. To make the position more difficult move the hands overhead and straighten your legs. Try to develop the ability to hold this for a solid 60 continuous seconds in the tuck version, and then do the same in the “long” version. 2. Hands Flat Knee Raises Focus on using the core to pull the hips off the ground, and keep the knees tucked as close to your body as possible. Return the hips and feet slowly back to the ground so you can feel the core working. 3. KB Knee Raises Similar to the previous drill, with the hands straight overhead holding a kettlebell or dumbbell. Focus on using the core to pull your hips off the ground, and keep the knee tucked as close to your body as possible. Return your hips and feet slowly back to the ground so you can feel the core working. 4. Toes to KB Focus on using the core to pull your hips off the ground, and keep your knees tucked as close to your body as possible, at the last second extend the feet to the handle of the KB. Return your hips and feet slowly back to the ground with straight legs so you can feel the core working. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps of these drills to develop adequate core strength for the toes to bar.

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Movement of the Week || Toes To Bar

Our first #Open #movement post includes one of the most notorious bad boys in the #crossfit world…duh duh duh…#toestobar…eeeekkk Check out Coach @txtim3 as he walks you through some skill building #exercises and #progressions of the swing portion of the movement: Swing Progression 1. Arch / Hollow Kip Swing A tight compact kip swing is important to correctly perform dynamic gymnastics movements. The swing should be initiated with the shoulders, the elbows must remain locked out, keep the belly tight in both the arch and hollow position, and keep the heels together and toes pointed. 2. Kipping Knee Raise Small Swing Initiate the movement with a tight compact arch/hollow kip swing. On your back swing (hollow) drive hard against the bar with straight arms and pull your knees up above your waist.  Practice connecting knee raises until you can successfully connect 8-10 reps consistently. This will help you learn the rhythm of connecting kip TTBs 3. Kipping Knee to Chest Initiate the movement with a tight compact arch/hollow kip swing. On your back swing (hollow) drive hard against the bar with straight arms and pull your knees up as high as possible. Work mastering singles and doubles of the knee to chest before trying to string more together. Once you can consistently connect 2-3 reps getting your knees to your chest you’re ready to start focusing on TTBs. 4. Kipping TTB Initiate the movement with a tight compact arch/hollow kip swing. On your back swing (hollow) drive hard against the bar with straight arms, pull your knees up as high as possible and kick your toes to the bar. Initially, focus on being consistent with singles then work to set of 2-3 at a time. The key to connecting TTBs is a great arch/hollow kip swing, so continue to practice kip swings and kip knee raises even once you accomplished your first TTB.

A video posted by CrossFit Austin (@crossfitaustin) on

February Athlete of The Month: Lee Perry!

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 February Athlete of the Month is Lee Perry! Lee is celebrating his 1 Year Anniversary with CrossFit Austin today! He’s now training under the CFA competition programming so you’ll most likely catch him in the evenings. Lee is one of the most giving people we’ve ever met and he’s always there to help anyone who needs it. He works hard and is always focused on his goals, but tell him yours and he’ll help you get there too!  Outside of the gym, Lee is always along for the ride at our social events and is part of the “Unofficial CFA Welcoming Committee.” We’re so happy to have Lee in our community and proud to announce him as this month’s Athlete of the Month. Congratulations Lee and thanks for all you do!


State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Words to live by?

What is your fitness background?
Played football, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and wrestled through High School. While in the Army we stayed fit. Furthermore, I coached all levels of various athletics (team sports) through 2013. Though while coaching… my personal fitness was a fail. I have a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Certification.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
First day in a CrossFit Box was July 1, 2013. (2 ½ years)

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel?
Embarrassed, nervous, ridiculous and mad as F*@k that I allowed myself to be in such bad shape… both physically and emotionally.

PLEASE NOTE: All of those feelings rapidly faded as I tried to find my breath after the “warm-up” for elements class.  Nothing else mattered but trying to find air at that point. It was horrible, but at the same time it was a reminder of why I needed to be there. Seriously opened my eyes, but not my lungs, in fact I’m pretty sure my lungs collapsed that day.  I could not breathe. Needless to say, the next day I could not move either. I had no choice but to love it.

How do you compare it to workouts today?
Today I crave and look forward to getting into the gym as much as possible. So much so that I built one in my garage so that I can train any time I’d like. I enjoy lifting and volume the most. Now if I cannot breathe or I become sore, I know I am doing something good for myself.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
Community… Though for me that is a combination of athletes, coaches, staff, programming and equipment. Frankly, one does not go without the other.  CFA checks all the boxes!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
It’s always to become stronger across the board. There is no substitute for strength in my opinion.  Though to become stronger functionally there are many areas that need to be addressed besides just slinging weight. For example form on the lifts and gymnastic skills. I’d like to pull a 585# Deadlift this year (currently @ 520#).

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit? lee2
JUST KEEP GOING! Trust the process, it is proven. It does work. If you want testimony of that come find me and we can talk.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Let me dazzle you with my creativity here, PIZZA!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Anytime I see improvement. Proud that I have competed in CrossFit numerous times (love that) and ran a Super Spartan.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
You can call it “Lee” if you want, but I call it “Dead Row”

EMOM for 30 Minutes
Even Minute: 2 Deadlifts @ 405 (30 reps total)
Odd Minute: 10 Cal Row (150 calories total)

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I’ll try just about anything. To relax I draw horribly. I truly enjoy coaching others as well.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I weighed 450+ lbs when I began CrossFit 2 ½ years ago.

Longhorns or Aggies?
HORNS! Sorry Wes. HOOK’EM!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…Lee3
Help the new or the struggling. It was you once, and you will struggle at some point.

As necessary I try to help the new athlete. I cannot express in words exactly what it feels like to be new in a CrossFit Box without any experience.  It just sucks and feels awkward. So any assistance I received early on was always welcomed.  It’s the simple things that baffle the newer folks… like how to put wrist wraps on, turning on a rower, where are the damn bar clips, what are all those damn acronyms etc…

Because I felt like I was new for a really long time (still do at times), I try to ensure my fellow (new) athletes are relaxed and can enjoy what they are doing for themselves. That’s not say that I won’t assist the seasoned vets (who likely need the most help). It’s just that “my goal” is to get as many people moving as possible. Ensuring the new folks are comfortable goes a long way in their sustainability in the gym.

Lastly, I have stolen this from another CFA Athlete, but it’s a good one… “Be kind to yourself.”



TOMORROW starts The Fittest Games! We want to wish our folks the very best of luck as they go out to compete this weekend. Austin Coover, Isaiah Rosario, and Matt Milldrum will be competing as Individuals and Team CrossFit Austin will have Stacey Magnesio, Leigh LeGare, Josh Harris, and Tim Garland. Go get ’em guys!

Below is the schedule for Friday and Saturday. Let’s get out there and show them some love!


8:00 – 8:20 /Team CFA / Pad 2, Gym Dense
8:20 – 8:50 /Austin Coover/ Pad 3, OHS Ladder
10:00 – 10:20 /Team CFA/ Pad 1, Cardio Density
10:50 – 11:00 /Isaiah Rosario/ Pad 2, Gym Dense

12:05 – 12:15 PM /Matt Milldrum/ Pad 2. Gym Density
12:30 – 1:10 PM /Team CFA / Pad 3, OHS
1:03 – 1:33 PM /Austin Coover/ Pad 1, Cardio Density
2:20 – 2:30 PM /Matt Milldrum/ Pad 3, OHS
3:30 – 3:40 PM /Austin Coover/ Pad 2, Gym Density
3:40 – 4:10 PM /Isaiah Rosario/ Pad 3, OHS

8:50 – 9:10 /Isaiah Rosario/ Pad 1, Double Fugly
9:17 – 9:25 /Austin Coover/ Pad 2, Kong 2.0
10:30 – 10:50 /Matt Milldrum/ Pad 1, Double Fugly
11:20 – 11:40 /Team CFA/ Pad 2, Fattly Gymnasty

12:53 – 1:01 PM /Isaiah Rosario Pad 2, Kong 2.0
1:48 – 2:06 PM /Matt Milldrum/ Pad 2, Kong 2.0
2:30 – 5:00 PM /All/ Finals

The CrossFit Open Is Coming For You || What To Expect This Cycle

Much to my dismay we are almost through our first full month of 2016, which means we are getting dangerously close to the CrossFit Open. This first full training cycle of the new year is designed to prepare us for the upcoming CrossFit Open, and I’ve included several past Open workouts in our initial test week. We’d also like to encourage all of our athletes new and old to sign up for and participate in the Open.  The Open is a great “benchmark” for athletes, it provides accountability, a goal and a schedule to work towards through the following year. It also forces athlete’s out of their comfort zone that allows them to push through self imposed limitations.  Most importantly Open Saturday’s at CFA are a ton of fun and it’s a great way to enjoy the community and the great people that it’s comprised of.


To register for the open:

  • Login or Create an account here:
  • Follow the instructions to register as an athlete.
  • Choose “CrossFit Austin” as your affiliate and “Team CrossFit Austin 1” as your team


That said here are a few specifics on how this cycle will shake out. It will be a bit different from our normal format since we have the open in the middle of it!


Here is how we will run our training cycle through the open :

Week 1: Test Week (1/18-1/23)

Week 2-6: Base Training Block (1/25 – 2/19)

Week 7-11: CrossFit Open In Season Training (2/21-3/26)
*I’ll include some specific of how our training schedule will look as we get closer to this

Weeks 12 & 13: Transition weeks

My overarching goals for this training cycle are:

  • Improve barbell cycling ability at moderate to heavy loads
  • Improve absolute strength in the Front Squat
  • Improve skill, rhythm, and strength endurance ability in CTB Pull-ups, & TTB
  • Get lots of touches on traditional CrossFit couplets, triplets and chipper to improve workout management strategies, and mental fortitude  

Some specifics you can expect in the base phase:

The days and times you see things will be a bit less predictable this cycle but you can count on  the following

  • CTB / TTB work 3-4 times / week
  • Barbell Cycling work 3-4 times / week
  • Absolute strength work  1-2 times / week
  • CrossFit Daily

A Note on Muscle-ups

We know that muscle-ups will show up in the open and I haven’t left them out of the program totally. In my experience to have a legitimate chance to
achieve a muscle-up you need somewhere in the range of 5 low strict ring dips, 5-7 kip chest to bar pull-ups, and 2-3 strict chest to bar pull-ups. So the plan is to include daily extra credit work that will help folks get to the pre requisites for for muscle-up or help you move towards a muscle-up if you have the listed prerequisite abilities.  

Looking forward to seeing all of our athletes surpass expectations this Open season. Lets get to work!

-Coach Wes

Presenting: Push Up Man & Woman of the Year 2015|| Jose Gonzalez & Mer O’Brien!

If you missed the CFA Holiday/7th Anniversary Party, you might not have heard about our 2015 Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year! We offer our sincerest congratulations to Mer O’Brien & Jose Gonzalez for their outstanding actions that lead to being the recipients of our Push Up Man and Push Up Woman of the Year awards. We are honored to present to you look into the lives of these two special folks.

“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!”


joserowWhen did you join the CFA community?
So I joined about back in 2013

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
So, My most memorable moment was feeling incredibly sore after my first week! Back when my buddy Ed was at CFA I would complain to him how much my body hurt haha. So, my rookie mistake was when I was doing some box jumps, and I was an idiot thinking i didn’t need to reset myself before my next jump, and just like a rookie I totally missed my jump andjoseleg ripped my shins! Erica was coaching and saw me walking away, and she thought I was just quitting the workout, and started calling me out for it, but then she saw my shins, and her attitude changed lol, just look at her awesome tape job!


What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
I love the people! if it wasn’t for every one there then I wouldn’t be waking up early each day! and I don’t have to be at work till 1245pm! So, that 630 am crew are some awesome people, but it must also be Mr. T’s jokes haha. There’s nothing better than CFA, or at least that’s how i feel. I use to run, like a lot! or I would go to Golds gym or planet fitness, which are horrible! But the programming at CFA always challenges and pushes me to do better. Working out at those other places didn’t give me the motive to do better, and since I really didn’t know what I was doing; it got old real fast.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
I would of told myself to get oly shoes! lol it took me 2 years to finally buy some.

beforeafterHow did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
Well, at first it was just trying to beat Ed in everything lol, but now its because I look back at where I was and how I never wanna be there again, and how i dont wanna be stuck in a certain lifestyle. So to overcome the urge to drink when I’m stressed, or bored and just wanna eat something; I look at the workout and set a goal for myself, and that helps me keep away from bad habits.

What keeps you motivated? What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?

You mean what keeps me coming 6 days a week!! lol, its the people! It  just seems a bit better knowing im not the only one who hates life after Fran, or whatever crazy workout Wes likes to put together!

Recent PRs?
One of my recent PRs was during pre-test week when i hit 345lbs! on my deadlift!!!joseanded

Current training goals?
Is to eat and drink healthy after the holidays, and do another competition! O and to improve my form, so Erica can stop yelling at me in Oly class lol

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I always have to deal with negative thoughts on I can’t do this or I can’t do that. I’m probably my own worst critic, but I always shut that out by pushing myself harder, and showing up.

What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?
It really means a lot to me! This is honestly my first trophy, and it helps remind me that changing my life 10 years ago was totally worth it!

Thoughts upon winning the title?
I’m still in shock that I was picked, and when hearing Wes give the speech about the reward, I kept thinking, “Man I should be nicer to people, and to stop complaining about the workouts!”

How will you use your new found Push Up Man glory?
I’ll use it as a reminder that all the sweat, blood, and tears was worth every second, and as a way for me to help those who might be in that same spot that I was in, and to let them know they can do anything if they set their mind to it.

What is your cheat meal go to?
Pizza and a 6 pack of lonestar!

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
Thanks again to all the coaches and members who has helped me push myself everyday! and for just being awesome people!



When did you join the CFA community?
I joined CFA on October 5, 2011.

What is one of your most memorable moments from your early days at CFA? Any ‘newbie’ stories you’d like to share?
I loved the competition I did with LV in which we dressed up like Olivia Newton John on psychedelics. I remember that I had walking pneumonia during that event and had to lie down in the parking lot afterwards for something like twenty minutes. But I recall there was a great, fun energy to that event.

As a Newbie, I had the hardest time getting straight the difference between a snatch grip and a clean grip – not sure why. Oh, and there was the one and only time I wore makeup/mascara to the gym. Apparently it was not sweat-proof and ended up all over my face, black lines streaming down, and no one told me! When I got home, my husband thought I had bruises on my face, and that I had gotten beaten up at the gym.

What is it about CFA that you love or that is different from other sports/programs you’ve tried?
There is vulnerability inherent in doing/trying things outside of one’s comfort zone, and being privy to that vulnerability in myself and in others is something I find very touching, and feel very privileged to experience.

mer jumpWhat advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to when you first started CrossFit?
I wish I had been able to pay attention to my own work and my own progress, and to not compare myself to others in the gym. It’s okay to run the slowest mile — we all have our strengths. I now find it most useful to look at struggles as motivators.

How did you create long term fitness/CrossFit success for yourself?
I’ve always loved sports and exercise, but as far as Crossfit success, I think it’s about making it a habit to show up.

What keeps you motivated? What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
I love being with the CFA community, so knowing that I will get to spend time with people I enjoy makes coming to the gym easy. I also really like challenges, so the fact that every workout offers that opportunity keeps me motivated to try harder than the day before (most of the time 🙂 ).

Huh? When are you going to start being open on Sundays?

Recent PRs?
I’m starting to be able to string together TTB. (I found my bicycle 😉 )

Current training goals?
I have a few things, but mostly I’d like to lose the red band once and for all, and push harder during runs.

Tell us about an obstacle you have had to work through in your training. How did you work through it?
I could not get double unders for the longest time. I would come into open gym every week and work and work and all I’d end up with were red marks on my legs. Finally, I was able to hold my arms and wrists properly, and not try to hurdle a horse on every jump. Now I really love doing double unders. Mostly the secret for me to DU’s is to relax and enjoy them.merfamily

What does the Push Up Man title mean to you?Displaying IMG_2003.JPG

The Push Up Woman title means the golden rule wins. I always tell my kids that kindness will take them a long way. And keeping a positive attitude is key.

In order to really answer this question I would have to open my heart and dump it out in front of you. I feel this honor very deeply. I am in awe of the people at CFA, and to be singled out is incredibly humbling. To stand beside Jose, whom I admire so much as an athlete and as a kind and gracious person, is the most humbling part of all.

Honestly, it’s hard to use any sort of glory that I still can’t quite believe exists! This award makes me know that the tougher times were worth it – the times I would cry from frustration early on after workouts, or those times I felt I couldn’t do one more squat clean. But I have to say, I will always hate Turkish getups and will continue to have the urge to sandbag those reps whenever possible.

What is your cheat meal go to?
I love warm bread and butter.

Leave the fine folks of CFA with some parting wisdom.
I think wisdom comes from curiosity. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store tomorrow, and the next day, and on and on. Thank you so much to the entire Crossfit Austin family for making my cheeks hurt from smiling – you guys are quite bunch.