The Expert Series || Int/Adv Gymnastics Clinic with David Henderson


CONTACT: for 3-Day discount rate

About our Expert:

CFA is proud to welcome our very own David Henderson as our Expert Series coach this month. David has honed his craft under some of the greatest gymnastics coaches in the world including 3x USA Olympic Head Coach, Kevin Mazeika, one of China’s top coaches, Xiao Yuan, 2x Olympic Champion from Ukraine, Rustam Sharipov, and current U.S. Olympic Men’s Gymnastics head coach Mark Williams.  As an athlete David is a 4x NCAA National Champion (3-Team, 1-Individual) and 5-time All-American, and spent 3 years training at the OTC with the men’s national team. At the culmination of his competitive gymnastics career David spent four years as a professional acrobat as a part of the Cirque du Solei Company.

David now resides in Austin as Head Coach and Men’s Program Director at Star Center Gymnastics. David also currently travels the country teaching CrossFit specific gymnastic methods as a part of I99 Fit.

David’s concept is that he, “…teaches life lessons and principles using the tool of gymnastics.”

Saturdays August 27th,  September 3rd, and September 10th

10 am – Noon

$75 / session or $200 for all 3 sessions (limited to 12 athletes / session)
CONTACT: for 3-Day discount rate

Movement Focus:
Progressions for Muscle-ups (Strict & Kipping)
Progressions for pull-ups (Strict, Kipping, Butterfly, & Bar muscle-ups)
Handstand control and handstand walking
Core control, mobility, flexibility and body control for all gymnastics movements


Experience Level / Prerequisite :
This is an Intermediate to advanced course. Athletes should have at least a year of experience utilizing gymnastics in their training (rings, handstands, pull-ups, etc.) This is not a beginners course, athletes should have the ability to perform a minimum of 3 strict pull-ups, 3 strict dips, and 3 kipping pull-ups. If you have any question as to whether you’re prepared to take the class please contact us at .


Full Bio:
David began his career in gymnastics at the age of 12, considerably late for a gymnast, yet excelled quickly to the highest ranks. Within four years he was on the National Team representing USA at the international level. He was coached by the top coaches in the world ranging from the 3x USA Olympic Head Coach, Kevin Mazeika, one of China’s top coaches, Xiao Yuan, and 2x Olympic Champion from Ukraine, Rustam Sharipov. Following his junior career, he attended the University of Oklahoma on a full- ride scholarship where he helped establish the dynastic reputation in the men’s program. He was a 4x NCAA National Champion (3-Team, 1-Individual) and 5-time All-American. Upon graduating, in 2006, with a degree in Anthropology, he then continued his competitive career at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three years. At the culmination of his competitive career he decided to move into the field of acrobatic performance.

In 2010, David joined the spectacular company, Cirque du Soleil, by completing the General Formation. Yet, prior to his actually joining a Cirque show, he performed as a Tumble Monkey in the Festival of the Lion King at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. After six months of performing in the Lion King he then went on to perform as a flyer in two shows for Cirque du Soleil. He toured throughout Europe in the show, Corteo, for one year with his family. At the end of his tour he was offered another contract to perform and tour North America in the show Totem for another year. He remains active with Cirque on special requests.

Learning much about himself and the world while in the circus, he then chose to take his family and live “off the grid” in California for four months in order to learn the principles of permaculture. He is fascinated with nature and all that this world has to offer. After trying his hand in the field (quite literally), he honored his true calling which was to be back in the gym as a gymnastics coach. Realizing that he could offer more to humanity through what he knows best, David and his family found a home in Austin, Texas, where he now resides as Head Coach and Men’s Program Director at Star Center Gymnastics. David’s concept is that he, “…teaches life lessons and principles using the tool of gymnastics.”

David was recently introduced to the CrossFit world through providing handstand clinics in the Austin-area over the past year. He now offers his expertise to people interested in enhancing their understanding and development of the gymnastic elements within CrossFit.

David Henderson lives with his wife, Kai, and three daughters, Sanoa, Gaia, and Ea and their dog, Osiris. His interests are cognitive development, philosophy, the study of the human body through Anatomy Trains and other Structural Integration practices, health and well-being, nutrition, and overall holistic living.

Attaboy! Chris Williamson

Happy Friday, All! I just want to give a quick shout out to Chris Williamson! This guy has been doing PT with me once a week for the last few months and he’s made huge improvements along the way. He comes in to group class 3-4 times a week and works with me 1 time a week. We’ve worked everything from mobility to technical break downs and he’s done a great job carrying our personal work over to group class. I see him doing his homework and getting great results. Kudos to you Chris for putting in the hours and making a solid commitment to your health and fitness journey.

Thanks for all your hard work and great company!
-Coach Gen

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August Athlete of The Month – Gilbert Nevarez!

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 August Athlete of the Month is Gilbert Nevarez! Gilbert became a member at CFA back in September of 2013 and I still remember when he started! He has always been such a friendly face! Gilbert is a devout 6:30 am guy. Like clockwork, he walks in with a smile and says “Good morning!” He gives his all in every single workout and it’s been a pleasure watching him grow in his years here. We’re excited to watch him continue to progress for many more years! Gilbert, we are proud to have you as our August Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Congratulations!

Words to live by?gilbert3
Treat others how you would like to be treated.

What is your fitness background?
Before CFA, running around town lake, mountain bike riding the greenbelt, and cycling.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Going on 3 years

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
Felt a little intimidated at first, with all the bad ass athletes around this gym. It took me a while to realize that I was not competing with anyone but myself. Looking back, I have also realized that the soreness never goes away. Every workout is a challenge and awesome!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
The coaches and the members! It is such an awesome environment. Never a boring moment here. Always a great time!

Current Training Goals/PRs?
Finish a Spartan Beast in October.

What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Listen to your body. Do what only your mind and body can handle. Hove lots of fun while your doing your workout. Remember that you are only in competition with yourself.

What is your cheat meal go to?gilbert2
Whataburger with cheese all the way! I have tried them all in Austin. Even though there are a few excellent ones out there, Whataburger is old school! Born
and raised in Texas and consistently good. And don’t ever tell me In and Out is better!

Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Finishing my first Karen!

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
It would be one that makes me feel like my heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest! I absolutely love heart throbbing work outs! Probably name it Heart Attack or something like that.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
Traveling out near the beach as much as possible.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
I enjoy doing volunteer work in other countries at least once a year. After volunteering my first time 10 years ago, I was hooked! It was so fulfilling to help the less fortunate. It opened my eyes to see that we have it made here! It definitely puts me back in check every time I go out.gilbert1

Longhorns or Aggies?
Definitely a Longhorn! Even though I don’t get to make it out to many games as much as I used to, I am a Longhorn at heart! Hook Em!

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words:
Shout out to all you awesome coaches! If it wasn’t for the awesome coaching skills, I would not have been here almost 3 years. I am honored to be a member at CFA! I am honored to have been chosen this month AOM!



Strict Muscle-Ups with Coach David Henderson


In today’s video CFA Gymnastics expert David Henderson Jr. and CFA 2016 Regional Competitor Stacey Magnesio work on the attributes needed to master the strict muscle-up.

Phases of a Strict Muscle-ups

1. “The Support”  the stronger the support the easier it is to get to the top of the rings. Focus on squeezing the

the body as one piece while stretching the head to the ceiling and the feet towards the ground. Maintain the rings in a parallel position.

2. “The False Grip” hook the knobby bony part of the wrist at the bottom of the rings.  Athlete’s must be able to maintain this grip hanging with a fully extended elbow. The most common mistake is to “choke up” to much on the rings  causes the athlete to push away from the support position during the transition.

3. “Pulling phase” maintain the rings in a parallel position and keep them as close to the center line of your body as possible, pulling as high as possible.

4. “Transition phase” maintain rings as close to the body’s center line as possible while continue to move upward.  Must maintain continuous upward movement during the transition.

Tips for improving or achieving a strict Muscle up.

1. Develop a picture perfect support position at the top of the rings.

2. Strengthen your wrists in the false grip so you can comfortably hang from the rings with a proper false grip.

3. Use negatives to train the transition phase of the strict muscle-up and improve your ability to keep the rings close to your centerline.


With the Olympics right around the corner, we decided it was time for some new USA inspired CFA gear!

Pre-Order your shirts by MONDAY (August 1st) to guarantee your style and size – Use the order form HERE

Heather Grey or Navy in each style – Front print will be the “CFA” design and back print will be the CrossFit Austin logo in red, placed between the shoulder blades.


Styles available –

Women’s cut tees – Bella + Canvas

Solid Colors: 100% combed and ring-spun cotton, 30 single 4.2 oz. (Ash – 99% combed and ring-spun cotton 1% poly)
Heather/Blend Colors: 52% combed and ring-spun cotton 48% poly (Ath. Heather – 90% combed and ring-spun cotton 10% poly)

Women’s cut tanks (run snug) – Next Level

Fabric: Light Weight Cotton Poly Jersey
30 Single 132g 3.9oz 60% Combed Ring-Spun Cotton 40% Polyester. Fabric Laundered

Unisex tees – American Apparel
– • Fine Jersey (100% Cotton) construction – Durable rib neckband

Heather Grey – • Tri-Blend (50% Polyester / 25% Cotton / 25% Rayon) construction • Polyester retains shape and elasticity; Cotton lends both comfort and durability; addition of Rayon makes for a unique texture and drapes against the body for a slimming look • Durable rib neckband

Chest (inches)
Waist (inches)

Unisex tanks

• Fine Jersey (100% Cotton) construction (Heather Grey contains 10% Polyester)

Chest (inches)
Waist (inches)

Live A Great Life || Coach Gen

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 4.40.56 PM


[lon-jev-i-tee, lawn-]


1. a long individual life; great duration of individual life:

Our family is known for its longevity.

2. the length or duration of life:

research in human longevity.


Our goal at CrossFit Austin is longevity. Longevity requires dedication and commitment to your health and fitness. With the right motivation and the right tools, we can help you live your best life.

It all starts with finding your why. Every one of you came to CFA for a reason. Maybe you wanted to get healthier, fitter, lose weight, gain muscle, train for an event… The list goes on. While these are all valid reasons to get moving, we have to dig a little deeper to find the why.

Let’s say you came to us on your first day and said “I’m here because I want to be healthier.” Ok, what does healthy mean to you? Does it rely on numbers? Weight, BMI, blood pressure? Maybe your perception of health lies within the Illness – Wellness Continuum and you’re hoping to find yourself on the right-hand side of the spectrum. Or, you could be one of the folks that defines health as feeling good and being able to do the things you want to do day in and day out.  

ill to well

Let’s go even deeper. WHY do you want to be healthier? Do you have a big birthday coming up? Is there a kiddo on the way? Maybe you’ve got a reunion coming up and you want all your old friends to see how “healthy” you are. 😉  No matter what your reason, the WHY is the most important part. We want you to keep asking why until you uncover the reason you really came to start moving with us. That is where your motivation lies.

Motivation is extremely important in the longevity of your life. Starting is one thing, but staying is another. Once you’ve reached your initial goals, what is it that keeps you coming back? You don’t come in and work your ass off day in and day out for nothing. You’ve seen some results and you’re looking, feeling, and performing better. Once your initial goals have been met, it’s time to starting looking at the long term.


We want you to be fit for life and we have a few recommendations to help you on the path to those long term health and fitness goals.  

1)    Sweat with us 2-3 times a week MINIMUM! Part of this journey is about making your health a priority and creating the space and habits to do so.

2)    Eat clean MOST of the time. Yes, you have to eat to fuel your machine (your body, your training, your life), but you also have to eat to fuel your heart a little! Think 80/20. Plan your meals, but also indulge a little. When you’re out with friends and everyone is having a drink except you that’s no fun! Just remember, everything in moderation.

3)   Get outside or try a new sport/game at least 1-2 times a week. You don’t have to be good at it, but TRY and have fun. Challenge yourself a little to try something totally new. I’m still staring at this spike ball thing in the gym and no one will teach me how to play…. :/

4)   Go on an adventure once a year. Make this bigger than number 3…. An adventure doesn’t mean the hiking path behind your house. Do something big and new. Go on a trip and explore the parks in the area. Get crazy and try sky diving…. That one is not for me because I think my heart would explode from fear, but maybe you can handle it. Challenge yourself to explore something you’ve always wanted to try, but have always put on the back burner for one reason or another.


As you’ve probably noticed, we’re rolling out some new concepts at CFA. One of the things we’re doing to help create a better overall experience is implementing the Coach For Life concept. We are working to create a better, more personal experience for each of you, while continuing to cultivate the amazing community we have.  As a Coach For Life, my goal is to help you to continuously discover your “why” and to create a plan for your best life. Health and fitness don’t just come to a stop when you’ve reached your initial goals. Longevity is key so let’s keep going!

“The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.” – Simon Sinek

Coach Gen


#TBT – It’s HOT! Let’s Hydrate!

Today we are kickin’ it back to an article Coach Tim wrote last year. We are in the midst of 100° days and when you’re sweating it out like we do, you have to be putting it back in. Check out some wise words from a wise man while you enjoy a nice, cold glass of H20!


H2O is Mo’ Better! || Coach Tim Garland

The first official day of summer has arrived. As our bodies adapt to the heat and humidity that this season brings us, you hear your coaches tell you to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. What is “plenty”? Why is it so important?

Many of us know that water comprises the majority of our body. So making sure that we are consuming an appropriate amount of this clear, flavorless liquid is a no-brainer requirement for optimal health. Now, imagine yourself this summer hiking the Greenbelt, completing your WOD, or sitting by pool/river/lake for countless hours…without any water. Thirsty thoughts? Thirst is often thought of as an alert for the beginnings of dehydration. According to Merriam-Webster, dehydration is defined as;


Dehydration– an abnormal depletion of body fluids


I don’t think anyone would argue that the aforementioned activities could bring on the onset of dehydration without appropriate measures being taken. Most of us have heard the 6-8, 8oz. cups of water per day as the standard for water consumption. Yes, this is standard. However, just as our nutritional fingerprint differs from individual to individual, so should our water intake. We all come in different shapes and sizes and participate at different levels in vastly different activities. Additionally, depending on our current state of health, some systems are more efficient than others at regulating the needs of said activities. Without throwing specific recommendations out there for person A, weighing ‘x’ amount at such and such height yada-yada ya…here are some dehydration indicators to be aware this summer to help you key in on your health, thus your performance, as it pertains to water intake.

A few symptoms have been identified as;

  • Little to no urine, or dark yellow/amber hued urine
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion


Conversely, proper hydration helps eliminate the chances of these occurring, and can aid us in;

  • Regulating core body temperature
  • Lubricating our joints
  • Keeping our kidneys and liver healthy by flushing out toxins and eliminating waste
  • Helps carry oxygen and nutrients to our cells and tissues


Are there other sources to help me stay hydrated other than JUST water? Yes. Although here, water is king, here are a few other ways to sneak in the liquid. Fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of h2o, as well as their juices. Keep in mind that the juices may have unwanted calories due to added sugars. Coffee and teas also contain water, but caffeine can act as a diuretic and lead to frequent urination and counter our purpose.


All in all, plan and prepare for your daily activities.

  • Be aware of your environment (heat and humidity) and what your body is telling you
  • Keep a mental note of your previous 12-24 hours of water intake
  • Keeping a water bottle with you throughout your day will help you monitor your water consumption
  • Adjust your consumption as needed to fit your daily activity level

“Mama said Gatorade is the devil”


Train smart, live smart,

-Coach Garland

3 Tips to Dominate This Programming Cycle

pull ups

Excuse me… I’d like to interrupt of everyone’s game of Pokemon Go.  Friday marks the midway point for our summer training cycle and I’d like to drop a few tips here to help maximize the next 3 weeks of training. If you’re new and unfamiliar with the structure of our programming cycles take a look at this article for a basic lay of the land.. We have and will continue to focus on improving everyone’s strict pull-ups, back squat, and clean.  So today I will include a tip for each of the three movements.

Tip 1 “Back Squat”:
Stretch your groin.  This  will not only help open of the bottom of your squat position, but also improve your ability to access the gluteus medius which abducts, internally, and externally rotates you femur in the hip. Why is this important?  Because a fully engaged hip gives us a stronger more stable position in our deep squat, which allows us to protect our lower back and knees from common ailments associated with poor squat form. It also help us lift more weight (duh).  If you need some examples of good groin stretches check out this article I wrote back in March with some quick hip and groin openers.

Tip 2 “Clean”:
Improve your rack. One of the most common problems I see with the clean is a poor rack positions. Countless lifts have been missed due to poor rack positions.  Here’s a quick test – Can you squat clean your 3 RM Front Squat? If you can’t, it is most likely a positional issue in the rack or a poor squat depth in your front squats. Lets assume its a shitty rack position. First, go read Coach Tim’s in-depth article discussing the finer points of improving the rack position with dual mobility and stability work.  Secondly, I have a challenge for you… Don’t front squat a weight that you can’t put a full grip on bar with. That’s right, no weight goes on your bar that you can’t keep all four fingers, your thumb, and at least part of your palm wrapped around.  This is will you develop a rack position that is advantageous for the clean and will also probably help improve your squat depth.


Tip 3 “Strict Pull-ups”:  
Last, but certainly not least let’s talk strict pull-ups.  Let’s look outside the box a bit here. Besides upper body pulling strength and body weight, the biggest challenge in the strict pull-up is full body control. Most of us naturally relax everything as we try to struggle our chin over to the bar. So the challenge here is to find as many ways to hang from the bar in a hollow position as possible. Full hand, active hang, 90 degree bent arm hang, chin over bar hang, or chest to bar hang.  The goal is to maintain a great hollow position, if at any point you feel your legs, butt, or belly relax jump off the bar.  This is will help you develop proper body positions in different ranges of motion of the pull-up, and ingrain proper positioning in nervous system. Don’t spend more than 2:00 total minutes hanging from the bar however.

That’s it folks lets dominate this second half of the programming like you have a rare pikachu in your sights. Full disclosure, I know nothing about the new Pokemon fad, but it sure is popular with the kids these days!

-Coach Wes

The Expert Series || Olympic Weightlifting with Ursula Garza Papandrea

expert series

We are excited to introduce the second session of our Expert Series! Each month we offer The Expert Series we will host a guest coach who is the best of the best in their field of expertise. Our subject matter experts will offer a specialized class for the month. Primarily we will focus on the sports that are featured in CrossFit training such as Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, powerlifting, running, rowing, etc…

CrossFit Austin is proud to welcome Ursula Garza Papandrea as our Expert Series guest coach this July. Ursula is widely regarded as one of the absolute best Olympic Weightlifting coaches in the United States. She’s one of only 25 coaches designated as Level 5 Senior International Coach by USAW. This is the highest designation a coach can receive from USAW. Most recently Ursula guided her men’s Weightlifting team to the 2014 National Championship.


Saturdays July 23rd, 30th, and August 6th

10 am – Noon

$75/session or $200 for all 3 sessions (limited to 12 athletes / session)
**Contact regarding the 3-session discounted price**

Experience Level:
This is an Intermediate to advanced course. Athletes should have at the very least a year of experience utilizing the snatch and clean & jerk consistently in their training program. This is not a beginners course, athletes should have a strong understanding of the two classic lifts (Snatch and Clean & jerk) and also be familiar with accessory lifts such as the back squat, front squat, push press, pulls, etc. If you have any question as to whether you’re prepared to take the class please contact us at

Pre registration:
Wednesday, July 6 & Thursday, July 7 (This will be for CrossFit Austin members and coaches only)

Open Registration:
Friday, July 8th until spots run out

Full Bio:
Ursula Garza Papandrea is an elite international athlete and the one of only two women to attain USA Weightlifting’s Level 5 Senior International Coach. She is one of only 25 such coaches in USA Weightlifting and the only Level 5 coach in Texas. She has trained athletes that have represented Team USA at the Junior World Championships, University World Championships, Senior World Championships, Pan Am Games, and Olympic Trials. including the 2014 Men’s National Championship Team Texas Barbell.

Ursula has extensive national and international experience in competitive weightlifting as an athlete since 1987. She’s a Two-time senior national champion, two-time Olympic Festival champion, 5 time world team member (1992-1996), and former record holder in both snatch (master’s) and clean and jerk.

She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science and has had a career as a Professor at Austin Community College since 1994. In 2009 she competed again, winning Master’s National Championships(best lifter award) and again in 2010. She is CrossFit Level 1 certified and have been part of the CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certification Staff since 2009. She also instructs the USAW Level 1 Sports Performance courses.