December Athlete of The Month: Sean Cousens!

In an effort to get to know the fine folks of CrossFit Austin, we embark on our Athlete of the Month series.  Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are.  This month we have chosen the always delightful Sean Cousens!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Sean Cousens.  In high school, friends called me ‘Cousinnnnnssss’ but now I’ll pretty much respond to anything.sean1

Words to live by?
Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary….that’s what gets you.

What is your fitness background?
Growing up, I was never much of a fitness guru, but kept active playing soccer, snow skiing and hiking.  After high school, I began jogging regularly and did my first half marathon in San Antonio in 2012.  About two years ago I realized I wanted to do more than just running and I’d heard of CrossFit from a friend so decided to give it a try and here I am still at it today.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I joined CrossFit Austin at the end of May 2013, so about a year and a half.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
No question – the people.  Coaches are great and I really enjoy the comradery with other CrossFit members.

What are your training goals?
I don’t have a particular goal, I really just want to continue to increase strength and mobility.  For me, it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Favorite sport or activity?
Does happy hour count? Football is my favorite sport to watch.  I’m from the Pacific NW so am naturally a Seattle Seahawks fan!  Go HAWKS!
I’ve always been into cars and racing so when F1 came to Austin, I couldn’t have been more excited.  I never miss an opportunity to get out to the track.sean2

Recent adventure you’re planning?
Planning a trip to Montana and Yellowstone for some snowmobiling this February.  Also planning a deep sea fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico this spring/summer.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I used to live in Central Oregon where I as a volunteer firefighter and EMT-B.  When I moved to Austin, I found there weren’t any volunteer fire departments close to where I live so had to give it up.  Would love to get back into it again someday.

Longhorns or Aggies?
I’m a Washington State Cougar Alumni so have to go with WSU!  Between Longhorns and Aggies, definitely Longhorns!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I’ve had a blast getting to know everyone at CrossFit Austin.  The coaches have been great helping me progress in my training and the comradery between CrossFit members is awesome!  I can’t imagine a better place to be a member!  Cheers!

It’s been a hell of a ride…

As of today, I am stepping down from my role with CrossFit Austin and CrossFit Valor. I’ve come to the point with my growing family and the demands of my other full time job, that I can’t devote the time necessary to be at the head of this ship any more, and I want to make sure that the next generation of lil’ Putneys don’t get the short end of the stick. Knowing that I leave what we’ve built in the more than capable hands of Wes, my partner in crime of many years, and the extremely talented management and coaching staff we’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by helps me sleep well at night.

It is unbelievably hard for me to step back. There is no way to fit into words what all of the last 5+ years have meant to me. Getting to know each and every one of you and being able to work side-by-side with you has been priceless. Watching people turn their lives around, get back into shape, get into shape for the first time, relationships blooming, babies being born, competitors being born… it’s made every day of the last few years more rewarding and humbling than I could ever convey.

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. The family and I will still be working out and hanging out at both gyms, and we look forward to being a part of the continued growth of this awesome community, but if you do have any questions/comments/concerns in the future, SEND THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE!!! I’m just here to sweat 🙂 Really, thanks for everything!

With much love,
Boone and the entire Putney Family


Circle Of Awesomeness Challenge 2014 Kick-Off Seminar

2014 is coming… Unleash the Awesomeness

Work hard to play harder; that’s the motto around these parts. There’s nothing like a new year, new goals and a little motivation to get the train headed straight to Awesomeville. So, for the 5th straight year, CrossFit Austin proudly presents The Circle of Awesomeness Challenge.

Look good. Feel good. Play good. Let’s Go.

What is it?

The COA challenge is a trifecta of awesomeness: Part fitness, part nutritional and body composition, and part accountability. Our goals for each 2014 Circle of Awesomeness Challenger are:

  • Mental and emotional preparation for the longevity of a healthy lifestyle
  • Individual fitness gains
  • Physical preparation for the 2014 CrossFit Open
  • Creation of lasting habits for individualized nutritional and body composition success

Fitness Challenges:

Athletes will be tested and retested in 3 different fitness categories. Each category is comprised of 2-3 tests, for a total of 8 tests.

The categories are:

  • Work Capacity
  • Strength
  • Athleticism

**These fitness tests will be the Workout of the Day, as an “All Levels” Group Class during the first and last week of the challenge. Thus, testing will occur during your scheduled WOD. Just like the CrossFit Open, athletes will partner up and judge each other during WOD’s . Athletes and judges will sign off on their score sheets before turning them  into the coach. There will be 3 divisions of the COA Challenge: D1 (Rx), D2 (scaled level 1), D3 (scaled level 2) – all levels of CFA athletes are encouraged to participate in the Circle of Awesomeness Challenge.

Nutritional and Body Composition Challenges:

Challengers will be tested and retested on body composition and weight, for their own information. Throughout the Challenge, Challengers will receive points for completing weekly nutritional and lifestyle challenges and assignments. Challengers will also receive points for attending weekly accountability and educational seminars.

Important Dates

January 18th @11:00 am – Kick-Off Seminar
Saturdays {Jan. 25, Feb. 01, 08, 15, 22 @ 11:00 am} -Accountability and Educational Seminars
January 20th – January 25th Initial Fitness Tests
Monday 1/20 – Tests 1, 2
Tuesday 1/21 – Tests 3, 4
Wednesday 1/22 – Make up day
Thursday 1/23 – Tests 5, 6
Friday 1/24 – Make up day
Saturday 1/25 – Tests 7, 8
February 24th – March 1st Final Fitness Tests
Monday 2/24 – Tests 1, 2
Tuesday 2/25 – Tests 3, 4
Wednesday 2/26 – Make up day
Thursday 2/27 – Tests 5, 6
Friday 2/28 – Make up day
Saturday 3/1 – Test 7 & 8
Saturday, March 8th – BBQ Potluck & Awards Ceremony


What’s in it for you?

There will be 3 divisions of the COA Challenge D1 (Rx), D2 (scaled L1) and D2 (scaled L2). Each Division will produce one Male and one Female winner. This challenge will be unique to each participant as our primary focus will be on goal setting and assisting each challenger in achieving their goals.

What you can win:

  • 1st Place Male & Female per division (6 total): $100 cash prize + 1 month of FREE group class membership
  • Most Improved Male and Female Fitness Performances (2 total): Reebok Nano or Oly shoes of choice
  • Top Male and Female Fitness Performances per division (6 total): Complimentary entry into this year’s CrossFit Open + Free CFA T-Shirt
  • 100% Accountable: CrossFit Austin T-Shirt

What you get:

  • A Kick-off “Success Seminar” with the CrossFit Austin coaching staff: Saturday January 18th @ 11:00 am.
  • 2 Body Composition Assessments: Assessment includes Measurements, Body Fat Percentage, and BMI, conducted by your CrossFit Austin Coach/Team Lead. Initial assessment occurs during the 1st week of the challenge, the final assessment is during the last week of the challenge.
  • An official CrossFit Austin Nutritional Guide: Complete with foods to avoid, shopping guides, healthy recipes, supportive educational materials and feedback.
  • Before and After Photos: Not required, but highly recommended!
  • Comprehensive Fitness Tests: Tests will cover Work Capacity, Strength, and Athleticism in the competition division you select (Rx, D1, D2).
  • Weekly Accountability & Educational Seminars: Each week will include a new focus and topic. These seminars are designed to give you the tools for lasting success and help you stay accountable throughout the process. Classes will meet every Saturday from January 18th – February 22nd at 11:00am.
    **Bonus**   Spouses or significant others will be allowed to attend these seminars for free.
  • Challenger Facebook Page: A private Facebook Page, monitored by the CrossFit Austin Staff, will be updated tri-weekly with a relevant, educational article. The page will be a phenomenal forum for questions, to share success, struggles, articles, recipes and ideas! This has been a huge success factor in many folks’ experience in past years!
  • Weekly Video Skill Progressions: On topics such as Movement Quality, Mobility, Stretching and Recovery Methods
  • Support: Challengers will be assigned to a CrossFit Austin Coach as their Team Lead. Over the course of the 6 week challenge, each athlete will receive support, accountability feedback, goal specific feedback and motivation – not to mention have LOADS of fun!


Open Registration: 12/30 – 01/10 = $100 *Enter code “openregistration”  for discount
Last-Minute Pricing: 01/11 – 01/17 = $125 *No code for last-minute pricing
*Space is limited to 60 Challengers only!*

Liberate your inner awesomeness.



Circle of Awesomeness Challengers,

Below are the fitness challenge details for the Circle of Awesomeness 2014. Please review each item and description along with the division specs. There are three fitness challenge divisions: Rx, D1, D2. The division you select will be the division you participate in throughout the entire challenge. We look forward to obtaining your division information on Saturday, January 18th during the Kick-Off Seminar!

Monday – {Pre-Test: 01.20 || Post-Test: 02.24}

A. 1 RM Power Clean in 15:00
B. 3:00 Max Meter Row


Power Clean
Athlete’s will start with an empty barbell and build to a 1 rep max in the power clean. All lifts must be started and completed within the 15:00 time span.  Athletes will be grouped together in groups of 2-3 and must work together

Each athletes will have 3 minutes to row for max meters. Male dampers will be set at 6, Female dampers will be set at 4.

Division Options
Rx: As listed
D1: As listed
D2: As listed

Tuesday- {Pre-Test: 01.21 || Post-Test: 02.25}
CrossFit Total
Find a 1 rep max in the Press, Back Squat, and Deadlift


Athletes will be expected to warm up before class time. As soon as class starts we will begin with the press.  The athlete’s will have 20 minutes to find a 1 rep max in each exercise, in the following order:

1. Press
2. Back Squat
3. Deadlift

Coaches must view the max attempts and approve that full range of motion is met. All athletes will be place in groups of 2-3 athletes per station.

Division Options
Rx: As listed
D1: As listed
D2: As listed

Thursday- {Pre-Test: 01.23 || Post-Test: 02.27}
1:00 Max Double Unders
5:00 AMRAP
5 Thrusters
5 No Push Up Bar Jump Over Burpees
*Total reps recorded


1:00 Max Double Unders
Each athlete will have 1:00 to complete as many double unders as possible.  Athletes will be placed in two heats and will judge/count each others performance.

Scaling options (Men and Women)
Rx: Double unders
D1: Double unders
D2: Singles

5:00 AMRAP

Each athlete will have 5:00 minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible. The athlete will perform all 5 Thrusters, followed by all 5 no push up over the bar burpees. Athletes will be placed in two heats and will judge/count each others performance.

Division Options
Rx: M – 135 lb, W – 95 lbs
D1: M – 95 lb, W – 65 lbs
D2: M – 75 lb, W – 45 lbs

Saturday- {Pre-Test: 01.25 || Post-Test: 03.01}


20:00 AMRAP
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
20 Air Squats

Each athlete will have 20:00 minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible. The athletes will perform all 5 pull-ups, followed by all 10 push-up, then followed by 20 air squats. Athletes will be placed in two heats and will judge/count each others performance.

Division Options:
Rx: As listed
D1: Men – Red Band Pull-ups, Women – Red Band Pull-ups and Knee Push-ups
D2: Men – Jumping Pull-ups, Women – Jumping Pull-ups and Knee Push-ups

November’s Athlete of the Month: Jillian English!

 JE_AOM_2    JE_AOM_1

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

JillianMEnglish <—- that was my aim screen name. Creativity comes naturally.

Words to live by?

Lately I’ve been saying “It ain’t over ’til it’s over…” (famously quoted by St. Louis native, Yogi Berra). It started off as my go-to response to anyone giving me a hard time about the St. Louis Cardinals. But now that baseball season is over, it’s easy to apply to everyday life. It’s about not giving up when things get tough. Things happen that are beyond our control. Things don’t always go as planned. But hey.. it’s not over ’til it’s over. (and it’s over when I say it is!)

What is your fitness background? 

I’ve played sports for as long as I can remember. As a kid I danced, played soccer, volleyball, softball, tennis, golf and swam. In high school I played soccer, volleyball, and was a cheerleader. I began working out (with actual weights, ya know?) on a regular basis my sophomore year of high school. When I went to college I figured that hitting the gym a few times a week was sufficient enough to stay healthy. Unfortunately, lots of partying and lots of eating happened and being athletic was no longer a priority.

How long have you been CrossFitting? 

I started my crossfit journey at the AMLI Southshore bootcamp in June of 2011. I continued bootcamp until it was sadly discontinued in October of 2012. I officially joined the CrossFit Austin family on October 31, 2012.

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?  

What’s not to love about CrossFit Austin? I love that whether I decide to go to the 5:30am class or the 6:30pm class, I’m always greeted with a smile. I love that in every class I go to, everyone is giving 100%. Everyone may not be able to do muscle ups, or pull-ups, or even a regular push up, but every single person in every single class is giving 100% effort. I love that when everyone has finished the workout except for one person everyone sticks around, equipment still out, cheering on that person to finish. We all have other things going on in our lives, but for one hour a day we come together and work our butts off.

What are your training goals?

I’m at the point right now where my goals aren’t tangible goals that I can record. Right now I’m trying to focus on endurance, pace, patience, and confidence. My biggest challenge as of lately has been pacing myself. It’s been a real challenge for me to not go 100% all out at the beginning of a workout. It’s all become a vicious cycle for me. I start off a workout at 100%, burn out half way through, get impatient with myself, and then lose confidence. So if I can just work on finding a good pace that I can work with, everything else will fall into place. Stronger every day, right?

Favorite sport or activity? 

Well since Miley RUINED twerking for me I guess that’s off my list of favorite activities. I love watching the St. Louis Cardinals play and I love dancing. One day I will combine my love of both and dance with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Recent adventure you’re planning? 

I have about 5 trips to St. Louis already lined up, but I guess I need a real vacation, eh?

Tell us something we don’t know about you… 

I’ve had an alter ego named Ferbus since I was in 2nd grade. Now before you go off and tell your friends that I’m crazy just know that EVERYONE CLOSE TO ME has had a conversation with Ferbus. No one really likes Ferbus. She’s not very nice. She has a really short temper and doesn’t know how to pronounce anything correctly. Growing up I always told people I was going to be on SNL and that my “in” was Ferbus.

Longhorns or Aggies?

Come on. I’m an SMU grad. Pony Up!

Jillian you are the original CFA Bootcamper, and going on your 3rd year at CFA. You’ve unofficially worked the biggest variety of CFA coaches give us some of your highlights with the coaches…. 

Wow. I never thought of it that way. I guess you can say I coached the coaches, yes? The coaches were given their toughest client FIRST. Wes, bless his heart, saw me at my absolute worst. I couldn’t do a full lap around the complex or a push up to save my life. There were times that I would walk into my apartment and just cry because I was so out of shape. Aaron came along and forced me to run. Really long and ridiculous runs. I would complain during every workout. EVERY. WORKOUT. And Aaron would just laugh. By the time Shane came along, I’m pretty sure I had established a foundation of fitness but I was compelled to complain since I had put 2 other coaches through that misery. Shane gifted me with 62 burpees on HIS 31st birthday. By the time Erica started coaching, I had my competitive drive back. I found fitness again. I couldn’t complain anymore because I was too focused on beating every guy in every hill sprint. Erica unfortunately was stuck with the task of chasing my dog when she would take off after runners. Every now and then Tristy or Boone would come fill in, and I made sure not to cut them any slack. I’m pretty sure I told Tristy during planks that I could not lower my butt because it was simply too big. All in all, I think I did a pretty great job training our coaches. You’re welcome, everyone!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

I’m honored and honestly a little surprised that I have been chosen as the athlete of the month. An enormous thank you to all of the coaches (old and new) who have been with me throughout my journey. Also a big thank you to all the members of the CFA community. Every day I am inspired by all of the huge accomplishments everyone is making and I’m truly honored to be recognized amongst such incredible talent. CrossFit has changed my life in the best way possible.



Welcome, New Members!

October brought in a great group of new members to the CrossFit Austin community!  If you haven’t had the chance to get sweaty with them yet, we would like to introduce:

Dustin Bowden Kai Bumpus Julianne Carlson Matthe Cecilio
Robert Creamer Austen Dyer Jenna Gelgand Todd Gilfillan
Brian Hackworth Alexander Harris Daniel Hazekamp Nicole Kirkendall
Rebecca Klopp Thuy Vy Mai Amy Maples Halie Marksberry
Logan Nickell Steven Perez Paul Rodriguez Raul Saldivar
Leslie White Tom Williams  Cindy Dremers  Ivy Horton
Kerri McLaughlin Evan Pratch Erica Sherman Nicole Tait
Eric White Malia White

New members: The CFA community is full of awesome people and fun events! Keep an eye on the events calendar and the monthly CFA Newsletter, and be sure to join us for the Little Woodrow’s Happy Hour on November 21st at 7PM!

Current members: Be sure to introduce yourself to any new faces, learn names, make friends, and remember, we don’t workout with strangers!

September’s Athlete Of The Month: Linzi Newth!

State your Name and/or Nickname please:

Linzi Newth, no nickname currently

Words to live by?

No matter how flat the pancake, there’s always two sides. – words of wisdom from my great aunt Gaye

What is your fitness background?

I tried almost every sport when I was younger but never stuck with one. I danced/cheered and ran a little bit of track in high school. Just the occasional recreational sport and normal gym stuff after that.

How long have you been CrossFitting?

1 year

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?

I love the community. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. No one makes you feel inadequate if you can’t do something, they just try to help you improve. I also love the programming. It seems like the coaches are really invested in us as athletes and put a lot of effort into giving us the best programming possible.

What are your training goals?

I would like to get to a place where I can be competitve locally/regionally.

Favorite sport or activity?

Hiking, I love the outdoors.

Recent adventure you’re planning?

Hawaii in November, Big Bend National Park in January and hopefully a hiking trip to Peru in the spring.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…

I recently founded a nonprofit organization called Gingercare (named after a dog, not my hair color). Its purpose is to adopt adult shelter animals and place them with independent living senior citizens and then help them care for their new pet through weekly visits. All medical care, food, etc will be free and if something happens to the person, the pet comes back to us so we can re-home it. The goal is to give these senior citizens companionship and comfort while removing the financial burden and the worry of what will happen to their beloved pet if they can no longer care for it. It’s super overwhelming right now but I hope to be taking donations and client applications by the first of the year. If anyone has any experience in this field, advice is welcomed.

Longhorns or Aggies?

Come on now…..I know y’all have seen my truck.

Linzi, you have the distinct honor of being the only females in the 6:30 PM Competition Group, give us some insight into surviving all the manliness (or lack there of) each evening!

Manliness? I haven’t noticed any of that hanging around. No seriously, the guys have been incredibly encouraging. They’ve helped me make tremendous strides in the last few months. I’m extremely lucky to have such accepting and supportive friends to work with.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…

Be kind, you never know what others may be going through. Life is too short not to leave a positive imprint on others.


Welcome, New CFA Members!

August brought in a great group of new members and just in case you haven’t had the chance to get sweaty with them yet, we would like to introduce:

Larry Albers Mayela Barreda Matthew “Beadles” Beadles Paige Bowman
Daniel Brake Jessica Brubaker Jim Brummer Julia Cuaderes
Scott Griffin Sydney Horton Jackie Juarez Jonathan Krebs
Vance Loftis Yvonne Mills Bianca Mireles Jared Nelson
Rahul Neulkar Kenyon Odell Erin Parsons Meridith Rozell
Dawn Sarnecky Casey Sheafe Chad Shepler Madison Smith
Michael Trujillo Ashu Verma Shelby Wallace Kristy Wisdom

New members: The CFA community is full of awesome people and fun events! We encourage you to keep an eye out for upcoming events and join us tonight for one of our legendary Pub Runs! Come dressed as your favorite Superhero or Villain and don’t worry, you don’t have to run, walking is fine!

Current members: Be sure to introduce yourself to any new faces, learn names, make friends, and remember, we don’t workout with strangers! 

In The Coming Weeks…

CFA, here are some things to keep in mind in the coming weeks: 120312-keep-in-mind-lg

  • CFA will be closed for Labor Day (9/2)
  • On September 7th-8th Olympian Chad Vaughn and David Durante’s will be hosting an Olympic Weightlifting & Gymnastics  Skills Clinic! This clinic is based around providing athletes with elite technical training and progressions revolving around both gymnastics and weight training.  Learn more and Register Here! 
  • The 2013 Athlete Open is right around the corner (9/28) and we need volunteers! Volunteers will only work half day and receive a free t-shirt, meal, and a front row seat to all the action! Click here!

Let’s Talk Level 3

On Saturday (4/20) CFA will he hosting an informational meeting for all athletes interested in joining Level 3.  Coach Wes will be covering 424434_10200424584442085_1051607407_nexpectations, standards, and guidelines.

  • Meeting will start at 10am and last for about 30 minutes
  • Email to get Level 3 sign-off sheet
  • Athletes must bring completed Level 3 sign-off sheet to meeting to best of your ability

No sign-up required.


Coach of the Quarter: Erica Cuellar


Please help the CrossFit Austin team in congratulating Erica Cuellar as our Coach of the Quarter!  Erica is always the first person to step up and offer to help if an extra hand is needed.  She goes out of her way to encourage, uplift and create a positive environment for everyone she is around.  Erica has been an invaluable addition to our coaching staff and as part of our CFA family!  Her smiling face and infectious positive attitude represents everything that we want CrossFit Austin to stand for!

Here are a few things that our clients had to say about Erica:

Oh my gravy, what an inspiration! Your smile ignites the gym and it has been such a pleasure to watch you go from student to COACH with such ease. Thank you for all of your encouragement throughout my journey at CFA.  Love you long time.  -Valyn

Erica is such a sweet person and an amazing coach. I am so happy to have met her through CFA and have the opportunities to attend her classes. She is always smiling at the gym and starts/ends her classes with energy and I love that about her!  Erica, thanks for all the advice and encouragement that you have given me, and CONGRATULATIONS ON COACH OF THE QUARTER! Well-deserved girl! 🙂   -Missy

Erica and I started our first day of On Ramp together.  Back then she was a runner that didn’t lift, and I was an injured lifter that couldn’t squat.  Those first two weeks were the hardest weeks I have ever had in my life, but Erica encouraged me through every class.  Our first couple of “big kid” classes were very intimidating.  We stuck together and stuck it out.  No matter how hesitant I was or how much I doubted my own abilities, Erica was always there with a “You can do this!”.   Even after finishing a WOD,  she always went out to bring in the last person (usually me).  She is selfless and caring.  Her positive attitude is infectious (and extremely helpful to get me thru Fran or Karen).  Now she is one of my coaches, and is paying the gift of CrossFit and her wonderful attitude forward.  I am so lucky to get to begin again with Erica.  I don’t have to be intimidated this time around.  When doubt starts creeping in (*cough* box jumps *cough*), I look up and see Erica already telling me, “You can do this, Jen!”  And I do.  That is truly awesome.  Coach of the Quarter is well-deserved.  Congratulations Erica!   -Machine Gun Jenny

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