Member Spotlight: Julie Crowley

Here are some fun facts about Julie Crowley:

  • Julie is from Jersey. You may call her Jersey Julie.
  • You can catch her at every 5:30am class, occasionally the 11:30am when she’s working from home, and sometimes she tries to come to both and the coaches have to tell her to go home and rest.
  • She has a dog and she’s obsessed with her. Like… really obsessed.
  • She smells good, pre and post-workout, every time. No one knows how. If you find out, let us know.
  • We love her a lot.

Here’s the Spotlight (2 years in the making) for more on Jules, aka Jersey Jules, aka Julie from Jersey aka we could go on:

Q: What do you do when you’re not killing it at CrossFit or bro’ing out at Gold’s Gym?

A: Eating, haha! Well I really enjoy meal prepping – if you don’t have the Tasty app by now, you’re welcome. Dorothy, the most amazing Olde English Bulldoggie, has got me spending A LOT of time at Zilker these days, mimosas and sun rays for days, or exploring Texas with my partner in crime*… and also trying to beat him in every WOD possible. Love ya Gabe!!

*She means her boyfriend, Gabe, not Dorothy.

Q: How has CrossFit impacted your life?

A: Short answer: it actually challenged me to get comfortable with the uncomfortable – best decision I could have ever made. I have this sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the PRs, relationships, and experiences I’ve gained that I hold very dear to me.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you? (In or out of the gym)

A: Let’s just say double-unders, needed go to the restroom, but also needed to get 1st place soooo… you make sacrifices, and you multitask. I’ll let you figure it out.  Sorry not sorry.

Q: So you moved here from New Jersey, why Renew?

A: Honestly, I dabbled at a couple other boxes before Renew but they just didn’t click. When I walked into the Renew box for the first time, the energy, atmosphere and friendly nature completely sold me from the get go. I felt so welcomed, encouraged, and comfortable with everyone that was participating that day, and signed up immediately.

While there are a great deal of things I could say about Renew, I know for a fact that the community is second to none – I’ll be here for as long as humanly possible.

Q: Now that The Open is over, if you could tell Dave Castro anything to his face, what would it be?

A: You. Suck. Really though, this year he literally pointed out all my weaknesses so while I have to say “thanks” for making me work, mostly it’s a just a big “YOU SUCK” to him.

There you have it! If think you see her at the gym, but aren’t sure if it’s her, just wait for her to say words like “coffee” or “talk”. Or! If you want to be extra creepy, just wait until she walks by and give her scent a waft. So good.

You’re the best, Jersey Jules! Sorry for all the people who are about to sniff you!

Coaches Corner with Brett: Looking Forward

Welp… the 2018 CrossFit Open has come and gone.

So many of you did things that you’ve never done before, and pushed yourselves further than you’d thought you could be pushed. And it was awesome! But, I’m guessing in this post-Open season, we now have two groups of people at Renew:

  1. One group that is coming out of the Open super encouraged and excited for more. You’ve exceeded expectations and reached new heights in your fitness and can’t wait to set new PRs!
  2. The other group is those of you who are ready for a reset. You quickly realized the Open exposed some real weaknesses that were maybe discouraging, or maybe others of you in this group haven’t been as consistent in this CrossFit thing as you wanted to be in 2018 and you’re feeling “behind”.

Regardless of the group that you find yourself in, isn’t it perfect timing that we all get to take that next step forward, together, in the brand new home of CrossFit Renew!! We’re 2 weeks away! Not only will our new home be way bigger and way nicer (#showers), but it will be everything you want/need as you take that next step away from sickness, right through wellness, and on towards a life marked with fitness.

Where do you want to be at 35? 55? 75?

I know for me, as a 35 year old, with a bad shoulder, who has always been the biggest and tallest guy in any group (you know, the ideal CrossFit body type) – CrossFit workouts can be mentally daunting on the front end, and can make me more sore than I want to be when it’s over. Not to mention going from doing most workouts Rx’d to scaling quite a bit… your ego is at stake!

But I believe in the fitness methodology more than any other workout program I’ve seen or done! Over the last 6 years, CrossFit kept me strong (enough), healthy, active, and introduced me to more great people than I can count. It pushes me to be disciplined and to work hard; I’ll always be able to come and scale and push myself to my limits. And it makes me rethink how often I drive through Whataburger… Honestly, I just want to be Michael Vasko when I grow up.

So… where do you find yourself?

Have you come to realize that it’s time to commit to being in the gym more than once a week? Do you almost have those muscle-ups? Are you ready to button up your nutrition and see changes in your body? What do you say we do all this and more, together?

It’s time. Leggo.

Last but not least… the 18.5 Highlight Reel

18.5 is over. The Reebok 2018 CrossFit Open is finished. We did it. We made it. Dave Castro did not defeat us. We will survive.

Here are the 18.5 highlights:

  • Andi Lozano scaled on Friday, and came in Monday to bust it out RX. She wanted to get past the round of 9 and got to the pullups on the round of 12.
  • Shannon Frawley got her first chest to bar during warmup, and then did 4 more in the workout!
  • Jordan Elder’s goal was to hold his spot in 10th, and he absolutely did. Check that leaderboard, Jordan!
  • Kim Hernandez’s goal was to get to the round of 12. She got to the round of 18.  
  • Haley and Whitney were tied going into 18.5, and Whitney pulled out two extra reps to push her ahead. Both performances were truly heroic!
  • Gerry Flynn got a whopping 64 reps, fell asleep immediately after, and then told his doting wife that “maybe 3 glasses of champagne at brunch weren’t a good idea”. Brunch so hard.
  • Justin made it to pullups in the round of 21. Need we say more?

 

Bonus highlights!!

  • Haley Hall is sooooo cloooooose to a muscle up we can taste it. Keep at it, Haley!
  • Steven Harmon got his first bar muscle up!

 

What are the standings?

Women’s RX

Men’s RX

Women’s Scaled

Men’s Scaled

Women’s Masters

Men’s Masters

The year’s Open was such a fun one. We had so many people dragging their feet on signups, dreading Friday Night Lights, not knowing what to expect, who then came to love every week.

You are the real MVPs.

There were a lot of firsts — first muscle ups, first double unders, first RX’d workout, first Open back from 2 years of injuries… but you know what’s neat? These firsts are exactly what they are: firsts. Not lasts. You guys (slash we all) grew substantially throughout this Open Season, and the tone it’s set for the remainder of the year is exciting!!

CrossFit is fun, but community is better. And we sure do have a lot of good people inside the walls of CrossFit Renew.

Now, rest! Recover. And get ready for a whole new Renew.

18.4 Highlight Reel

If the CrossFit Open workout 18.4 were a Friends episode title, it would be “The one with all the deadlifts.”  Also, when’s the last time you bear crawled? 5th grade PE? Same. If you ask Hroch for a recap of 18.4, his response is simply “James killed it.”

So.

End of blog.

Bye.

Have a good Wednesday.

Just kidding. Here are the highlights!

  • James. Because he did all strict HSPU and we are not worthy.
  • “Andi Lozano’s bear crawl was UNBELIEVABLE! I literally thought there was an animal in the gym!” – Becca Harris
  • On the flip side, Becca forgot to breath the whole time and Andi had to yell at her to remind her so she didn’t perish.
  • Randel finished the second, heavy set of 21 deads and knocked them out in pretty big sets because of course she did.
  • Hroch was our only guy that got to the handstand walks! He finished the first set, and got into the set of 15 deadlifts before he was capped.
  • Becky, Whitney and McKenzie got into the last set of handstand pushups on Diane!
  • Tyler got no repped more than he wanted to and got mad for maybe the first time in his life. He’s a real human, y’all.
  • Gerry Flynn did the first set of 21 deadlifts in 28 seconds and then went for breakfast tacos.

 

What are the standings?

Women RX

Men RX

Women Scaled

Men Scaled

Masters Women

Masters Men

God bless our strong hamstrings and weird recovery issues (does anyone have neck soreness? Burst blood vessels in their face? From HSPU? No? Just McKenzie?). It’s the 5th and final week of the Open, y’all. Let’s finish strong and, perhaps most importantly, let’s get ready to party. Come hang out at Coach Becky’s house after the final heat on Friday (or go home, tend to your dogs/children, then come back) for jams, drinks, eats, and awards. Yep, there are awards.

Leggo!!

Introducing: FlowgaWOD, Mobility and Yoga for the CrossFit Athlete

Flow + yoga + workout of the day = FlowgaWOD.

In a perfect world, CrossFitters would take their mobility training as seriously as they take their strength training. We know CrossFit in and of itself is not dangerous, but an imbalance in your body can be. Although I could bore you to tears with the benefits of yoga in strength training, I’m actually here to deliver some exciting news:

We’re kicking off a yoga and mobility program for CrossFit! For 6 weeks starting April 10th, you and me will hit the mats to focus on movement therapy, mobility drills, and recovery flows to optimize your performance and help you crush those asana-kicking WODs.

And if you’ve already read this and thought, “Do I really need this course?” Here are some of my convincing (and favorite) reasons why you should join me:

FlowgaWODs will improve your mobility and range of motion.

All yoga poses are combination of strength, mobility, and balance. If you aren’t taking the time to stretch and restore your muscles, chances are you’re leading your body into restricted joint movement. The high reps and heavy weight of CrossFit movements will cause your joints to overcompensate for the mobility you lack in your muscle tissue. Slow and mindful movements to release tendons, ligaments, and muscles will naturally improve your range of motion and help restore and correct muscle imbalances.

FlowgaWODs will help your breath control and focus.

Did you know that most of us only use about 25% of our lung capacity? That’s because we take shortened breaths into our chest which actually weakens the diaphragm from its reflexive nature. Full deep inhales and exhales maximize the lung capacity which allows for full expansion in the ribs and improvement in your thoracic mobility. Isn’t that fun? Learning to breathe deeply into your diaphragm directly translates to your ability to produce more power and endurance in your high intensity workouts.

FlowgaWODs increase your body awareness and mind/muscle connections.

Developing body awareness is actually quite simple: less force, more listening. Because CrossFit is so speed-focused, it’s hard to remember or feel exactly how or why you tweaked your back or jacked up your knee. Yoga requires stillness, something that may sound boring to the everyday CrossFitter. But before you know it after commiting to a regular yoga practice, you’ll be walking around with a sore back saying to yourself, My quadtratus lamborum is really tight today,” and you’ll know how to fix it. Awareness. Neat.

FlowgaWODs will help the development of a strong and stable core.

“Core to extremity” is CrossFit’s mantra, yet our core is usually the first to go when we’re tired. In yoga, every pose is essentially a core exercise. Want to nail those challenging lifts? The development of strong, deep abdominal muscles are your ticket. Yoga will build your core from the inside out, helping you cultivate awareness for how your torso and limbs work together to achieve maximum strength and power.

FlowgaWODs will help you recover and restore in a snap.

CrossFit is primarily high intensity with speed, but in order to cultivate speed you have to cultivate rest. It’s no secret that we under recover from workouts with poor nutrition and a lack of stretching and muscle lengthening. Yoga will teach your body how to relax with strength.

Doesn’t all of that sound fantastic? Thought so. Let’s do this. Here are the details:

 

When:

  • April 10th – May 19th (6 weeks, 15 classes total)
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30am and/or 6:30pm. Saturdays at 10:00am

 

Where:

  • CrossFit Renew

 

What:

  • Tuesday/Thursday classes will be 30 minutes of mobility-focused drills to keep you moving during the week.
  • Saturday classes will be 60 minutes of “Core & Restore” — core-strengthening and restorative yoga to recover from the week.
  • Plus additional daily resources and communications written exclusively for FlowgaWOD flowgies.

 

How much?

  • $89. Just sign up via Wodify and it’ll get charged to your account! Easy peasy. If you’re not a member of CrossFit Renew, no problemo. You can still join us for this mobility training!

 

18.3 Highlight Reel

18.3 was technical, it was gymnasty, and it pointed out lots of weaknesses that most of us have. Double unders, overhead squats, muscle ups…the only thing that could have made it worse would have been squat snatches.

Despite Dave Castro’s efforts to defeat us, the Renew Crew showed up strong! Every time there are skills like this, there is bound to be at least one person that gets something for the first time. And you better believe we had more than one!

Here are the highlights:

  • The ever dominant Randel attempted a million ring muscle ups, and got her first one with 2 seconds to spare. The 8am was RILED up! (she also redid it and got 3 cause she’s Randel)
  • Ryan Kirwin has been so close to getting his muscle up for months. He didn’t get past the second set of double unders, but at 14:00, just for kicks, jumped up and got it on his first try!
  • Andi Lozano scaled and did pull-ups (with grace and ease) and was only 8 reps away from completing both rounds! That’s probably the most pull-ups she’s ever done in a workout!
  • Steven Harmon has been working on double unders since birth probably and was only 2 reps away from finishing the second set of 100! That is 198 double unders! We will be awarding him a medal because we have been anxiously awaiting this day.
  • Frank Brown wanted to do the actual scale, and did regular pull-ups. One at a time, slow and steady.
  • Whitney Furrh got two ring muscle ups after not having done them for a few years and was very excited, as she should have been.
  • Zach Lozano wasn’t satisfied with his performance, so went back for round two Saturday morning, getting to the second set of double unders in the second round (the farthest anyone got)!
  • Because of the previous highlight, Hroch also redid it. He didn’t beat Zach, but he did beat his previous tiebreaker and got further than before!
  • McKenzie and Becky did muscle ups in a workout for the first time, and had the BEST cheer squad. Every time they were on top of the rings, everyone lost their minds and it was amazing.
  • A few honorable mentions that will be getting muscle ups very soon are as follows: Haley Hall, Becca Harris, Jordan Elder, Tyler Daniel, Jack Furrh. Your time will come.

 

What are the standings?

Women RX

Men RX

Women Scaled

Men Scaled

Women Masters

Men Masters (Mike wanted everyone to know how he has been doing, so pay special attention to this section)

Now, on behalf of all of the Renew staff, we would like to close this blog with a quick, “I told you so.”

We told you that you would be pushed. We told you that you would be challenged. We told you that you would do cool things you didn’t know you could ever do. We told you our community would rally and cheer and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. We dadgum told you so. You can thank us later.

But for real, it’s workouts like this that make CrossFit so special. We are so proud of all of you and beyond grateful for this community that is CrossFit Renew. Working out is cool…but you all are cooler.

We are past the halfway mark. Gear up for 18.4 and see you there!

18.2 Highlight Reel

We harp on Friday Night Lights and how special of a time it is, and this Friday truly was a great representation of what all the hype is about. There were buzzer beaters. There were PRs. There was so much cheering. And there was Dave Matthews Band.

Here are some highlights:

  • Ari Romano stood up his only clean at 12:00 on the dot! Tyler and James came out of nowhere, threw his weight on for him as he stepped up to the bar. True teamwork right there.
  • Who PR’d you ask?
    • Sadie hit a 155# power clean, 15# more than her pre-surgery lift!
    • Whitney hit her pre-surgery PR at 135#, which is 15# heavier than she’d ever done post-surgery!
    • Val Harmon PR’d by 10# at 115# and did it despite her bad day at work. #athlete #gainz
  • Jess Rhodes has always done step back burpees, and mentally had to make herself jump back with two feet. She got all of them with zero no-reps!
  • Frank Brown rolled in at 7:15p to compete alone at 7:30p. He warmed up a little, people lined the wall to watch, we cued up some requested Dave Matthews Band, and he got to work. He finished his last barbell facing burpee at 11:55, went for the clean while everyone lost their minds. For the full story, check out our Instagram post! It truly was heroic.

So what are the standings? Check them out below:

Women RX:

Men RX:

Women Scaled:

Men Scaled:

This week was a poignant reminder of what an incredible community we have. It’s easy to forget that in the hustle and bustle of growing membership and newly built spaces, but we love you guys so much and are so happy you’re a part of Renew.

Three more weeks, y’all! Let’s get ready to roll again on Friday!

Member Spotlight: Charles Menzes

The man above that looks like Moses (probably). That’s Charles.

Every time Charles Menzes takes a leave of absence from the gym — be it an injury or a trip to India or a brief stint with Zumba — the emptiness is palpable. They are long, sad times void of joy, alcohol, and BYO barbell clips.

And if you’re like, “who the hell is Charles?” then, well, that makes sense. Because he’s gone a lot. But when he’s here!! It’s great and Charles is great and we’re so happy that he chooses us as his CrossFit home the 1 time a month he waltzes into the 6:30pm.

Q:. When did you start doing CrossFit and why

A: I think that I started Renew in January or February of 2015. Or maybe it was 2014. I lived just two blocks away from the old box, so I really had no excuses left for not doing Crossfit. I had to phone Allman and Whitney like 5 times before they returned my call. I really started wondering if they wanted new members.

Q:  What is your favorite memory at Renew?

A:  There are too many good memories to pick just one.*

*This is a lame answer

Q:  Where did you learn to make mixed drinks so well?

A:  I don’t think that I make drinks that well. I just make them often.

Q:  What is the strangest thing you’ve done for the sake of fitness?

A:  I’m pretty sure that Crossfit is the strangest thing I’ve done for the sake of fitness.

Q:  What is one fun fact about yourself that would surprise all of us?

A:  I make pottery, so if you need some bowls I can hook you up.

We’ll be here waitin’ on that mem. We love you, Charles! Thanks for forcing Allman and Whitney to take your money all those years ago.

Coaches Corner: Consistency is Key

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect!” ?

Of course you have. Everyone’s seen or heard that phrase one million times in their lives — either from our coaches in little league or our teachers trying to make us good at math, and don’t even act like you haven’t double tapped a #MondayMotivation pic on Insta with that exact phrase overlayed on top of some exhausted sportster.

But, can I be honest? No one on the earth will ever be perfect at anything; so that phrase is a frickin’ dumb lie. You can practice a thing every day of your life and never be perfect. You will be better, but you will not be perfect.

And better is just where we want to be.

AND you know what? When it comes to practicing, to being better — consistency is key.

So let’s talk about consistency

As coaches, we urge you guys to show up, work hard, be humble, and have fun. Emphasis on the showing up. Yes, practicing is great, but when it comes to almost everything, if you only practice one time a week, your road to achieving is going to be a long and frustrating one. So it’s important to set a schedule or plan for yourself to put in the work — to show up as many times as you can to see significant improvement on whatever it is you’re practicing for.

Now let’s talk about goals

And on that note, #goals. Humans are driven beings who need something to work toward. Like, why do you work? To make money and treat yo self. Why do you work out? To survive the zombie apocalypse (Gotta stay a little fat, and a little fit – Becca Harris on how to survive said zombie apocalypse). But developing goals isn’t an arbitrary thing — it requires some forethought and a systematic approach.  General goals like “I want to be better at CrossFit” is great, but you’re going to flounder a lot on the path to actually getting anywhere. Instead, think about developing SMART goals:

  • Specific – have a defined end goal
  • Measureable – numbers and timelines
  • Achievable – based on past progress
  • Relevant  – does it match up with the bigger picture
  • Timely – give yourself a deadline

 

An example of one of my SMART goals would be: Be able to string together 5 ring muscle ups by March 31st. Here’s why it’s ~smart~:

Specific: I want to be better at muscle ups as opposed to general “gymnastics”  

Measureable: I want to be able to do 5

Achievable: I have 2 strung together now, so I can work my way up with more

Relevant: They might be in The Open, so I will want to string as many as I can as possible

Timely: March 31st.

Leggo

So like, where do you start? I realize a lot of us don’t have a ton of time outside of class (except whatever Justin Hroch is doing to juggle a family and 3 jobs and still find time to improve lifts and re-do Open workouts… do that) to put in practice work, but there are practical ways you can exercise consistency and start incrementally hitting those SMART goals. Here are some things you could start implementing next week!

  • OPEN GYM. It’s basically a free class, y’all. Come.
  • Coordinate with a coach and come a little early or stay a little late — talking 15-20 minutes to just practice what you need to in order to get a little bit better every day.
  • YouTube. The internet is magical — utilize YouTube or follow relevant Insta accounts that can give you some extra tips, tricks, or drills to work on at home. (Or ask your highly trained and intelligent coach!)

 

Basically, progress won’t happen once a week. You won’t get stronger if you don’t work out. You won’t get faster if you don’t run. You won’t get more mobile if you don’t stretch. Set up a plan, stay consistent, show up, work hard, stay humble, go to the Games.

You might never be perfect, but you will be better.

Friday Night Lights: 18.1 Recap

One down, 4 more to go. 18.1 was… cute. Our shoulders are bruised, our forearms are sore, but clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose, amirite?

We are so proud of you guys. You came, you saw, you wanted to turn around and remove your name from the heat sheet, but instead you conquered. All we can do week over week is just that: show up and work hard. Just like these people! Peep the highlights:

  • Jess Guevara did 18.1 on Friday, felt really defeated by it, so decided to re-do it with her mind right. For her, it wasn’t so much that she wanted to do the workout again, but she wanted to feel like she owned it. She got 51 more reps than her first attempt. So, take that Castro. #owned
  • Luke Voss kept it slow and steady with singles on toes to bar, ripped most of his hand and bled everywhere, but just like his temperament, he stayed consistent and finished RX at 171 reps.
  • Our favorite flexi girl, Andi Lozano, was so nervous coming into the workout and planned to scale. After warming up, (and some coaxing… I mean coaching), she completed the workout RX and  CRUSHED IT.
  • Sadie Flynn had knee surgery like… not even two weeks ago and completed the workout scaled, but like… she got almost 330 reps not two weeks out of surgery, so…wow.
  • The 8am crew showed up with guns blazing and sarcasm flying, per usual. They also were responsible and didn’t drink mimosas afterwards, but what they don’t know is that they will this week.  
  • Headmaster Hroch  came in on Monday during open gym talking some smack about how he wasn’t going to re-attempt the workout. He then proceeded to do some Good Will Hunting math on the board to figure out what split times he needed to get 12 rounds, still saying he wasn’t sure if he was going to re-do it, then obviously re-did it, and improved his score by 22 reps.

 

So what are the current standings? Am I going to Regionals?

You can always check the leaderboard whenever you want by logging into your account here. But or these recap blogs, we will keep you posted with the top 10 each week in both divisions.

Women RX:

Men RX:

Women Scaled:

Men Scaled:

 

Regardless of what the leaderboards say week over week, you guys are forever the best. Thanks for not only working super hard, but for helping us stay organized and keeping things running smoothly!

The Renew Crew is the best crew. Stay hydrated this week, eat clean (and eat enough!), stay stretchy, and we’ll see everyone again in a few days for 18.2!