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      "Crush" the 2019 CrossFit Open

      "Crush" the 2019 CrossFit Open

      Written By - American Gainz Nutrition

      So the CrossFit Rule Book may have changed in 2019, but what hasn’t changed, plainly stated, is the amount of good-hurt you’re about to endure trying to earn yourself the best 2019 Open score you’re capable of.  At American Gainz we’ve been participating in the Open since 2012, and as a community fed company constantly learning from some of the fittest athletes on the planet, we are happy to share with you what we’ve found to be an easy focus items you can start working on today despite the Open steadily approaching to ensure you don’t get carpal tunnel scrolling through the leader-board to find your name come Monday February, 25th (19.1 Workout Score Submission Deadline).

      The focus item we are exploring today isn't your core, it isn't your engine, in fact it's a bit more strategic than that. It happens to be your weak wet noodle of a grip! By focusing on your grip between now and March, we can all but guarantee large jumps on the 2019 CrossFit Open leaderboard compared to your 2018 Open placement. We like the "grip" because of how easy it is to make noticeable Gainz in that area compared to others; we think the grip can be fun to work on and is the easiest to realize a large performance improvement, thus helps to ensure you remain motivated!!! In this blog we only address our thoughts on grip training, but stay tuned as we have a lot to say about fast ways to make leaderboard Gainz training your core & engine, jk - without immense pain, there exist no such fast way to improve your core or engine #facts.

      So Why Grip ?

      Since 2012, 20 of the 30 weeks of the CrossFit Open included grip intensive movements and thus targeted and then exposed the “grip” as the main failure mechanism in executing the workout. There’s nothing worse than staring at a barbell with plenty of time on the clock and wind in your lungs, but not being able to grip & rip due to a failing fingers or forearms. Unlike movements like burpees or rowing, you can’t just decide to go “slower” on pull-ups to recover, once that grip is gone, you are at the full mercy of this exposure and it’s not fun.

      Good News -

      These grip intensive movements include, Chest-to-Bar, Muscle-Ups, Toes-to-Bar, light weight DB/Barbell cycling. The good news is that grip strength is easily obtained, especially If you haven’t been performing ancillary grip work already. To get your mind right, start viewing your hands as incredible tools of mass untapped potential; We say this because doubling your grip strength between now and the 2019 CrossFit Open is very possible, and this is not an exaggeration!

      Quick Gainz - 

      The not very well-known fact is, the Gainz made on your grip initially are not necessarily dependent on the long process of forming muscle mass or even tendon resilience. If you’ve ever been indoor climbing (bouldering) at your local rock gym, you may have experience what we are trying to communicate around how fast your grip can improve by simply starting to work on it consistently over the course of a few weeks.

      If you want massive forearms or a brick for a hand, obviously that will take time to develop, however the early Gainz on the grip that will allow you to crush the Open are made in the brain, essentially training your brain to squeeze your hand harder. The current state of all the muscles and tendons that contribute to a stronger grip are all there already. They are simply waiting on the right signal from your brain to utilize them to their full potential. So if you haven’t been training your grip already, the bus is leaving, so get on it!

      Call to Action:

      Well first, Google it, research it, plan, execute the plan, then reach out and let us know your success story to share with others!  Or you can take our suggestions:

      1. Captains of CrushGrip Handles – If you are a strong athletic male already, start with the “T” (100lbs), and after 3 days move the “1” (140lbs). By the end of that second/third week you will be squeezing the “2” (200lbs) closed. If you are a strong woman consider starting with CoC calls the “sport” (80lbs). There is also one more at 60lbs of pressure to close. If you can’t squeeze it closed (handles touching) once, then move down a level. There exist all kinds of training programs and exercises you can find online using these grips. “Captains of Crush” are the absolute standard when it comes to training grip strength, so don’t buy a cheap plastic grip tool with an unknown tolerance, it’s a waste of money. The best part about Captains of Crush, is that you can gauge performance and prove our point about doubling your grip capacity. American Gainz is a company owned by both sexes, and we wouldn’t have dug in on the concept of Grip if we didn’t try it in house, IT WORKS for everybody!!!
      2. Dead Hanging – When that’s easy, hang longer. When that’s easy try to hang with a single hand. If you can hang from a bar with a single hand and stop yourself from rotating, you are all set as far as the ratios of strength needed to dominate, you are also probably a freak that’s naturally SAF. Something to work towards for all of us.  
      3. Plate Flipping – Developing that pincher strength is a fun way to make Gainz, but be careful, you could also easily end your 2019 Open with a nice broken foot if you try too hard 😊. Please don’t attempt barefoot. Check out this video for an example. 

      Lastly, Like every year, we will post a strategy for each open workout beginning with 19.1.  Check it out on Thursday night 2/21 after the live show!  Good luck and start preparing today, The 2019 CrossFit Open begins soon!!! 

      Improvement Through Scaling

      Improvement Through Scaling

      Written by: Camzin Martin

      We’ve all done it, standing at the white board staring down the text, refusing to be intimidated by the reps, sets, and time domains. We launch into the workout with fervor before realizing we were so wrong. The weight was too heavy, the reps too many, or the movement too advanced; either way the fitness benefits of the workout were left unrealized and we walk away with feelings of self-reproach.

      The concept of scaling workouts has been an integral part of our community since the inception of functional fitness. Scaling is something proudly performed by the most fit athletes around the world in all sports and for an infinite number of reasons. It’s important to view & teach the practice of scaling as a vital part of the athletic process and to steer clear of negative associations. This said, I recognize scaling as more of an art rather than an objective practice or science. While I do not propose to be an artist, over the last seven years I’ve picked up some tips & tricks around scaling that may be useful to you while you’re perfecting the masterpiece that is YOUR fitness!

      Stimulus

      The first place to start is by understanding the intention of the workout, the stimulus it is trying to drive. Is the workout intended to be short, long, or somewhere in the middle? Are the weights supposed to feel light or heavy? Should you be able to go unbroken? Should each rep feel easy or each rep feel hard? Should it feel hard neurologically or should you be wanting to throw up?

      Tip: Find a common name on the whiteboard and use this time or score as a reference to answer some of these questions. If you’re a 5am’er and the therefore the first to attempt the WOD for the day, don’t hesitate to ask these questions to your coach.

      Modification

      Once you know how the workout is supposed to feel and how long it is supposed to take you can begin modifying it to enable you to hit the intended stimulus. There are a few concepts that apply to almost all movements used within our community. We can increase the challenge in a workout by increasing the loads, distances, reps, ranges of motion, and levels of technical skill required to execute a movement. We can decrease the difficulty by manipulating those same factors in the opposite direction. When scaling for yourself you can manipulate any combination of the above to keep the workout effective.

      Example: If there are pull ups in the workout an athlete can adjust the load by either reducing their body weight through assistance bands or increase it by utilizing a weight vest. They can adjust the rep counts, the height requirements from chin over the bar to chest to bar, they can reduce the skill by doing strict pull ups or increase it by doing butterfly. This is the “art” piece, have fun with it, and remember you are scaling to improve your fitness.

      Pitfalls

      Once you’ve chosen your scaling option, with very few exceptions, stay committed. Adjusting on the fly and choosing to scale down in the middle of a workout can often lead to becoming a tough habit to break. Over time, this practice may develop into a mental barrier making the option to quit a very easy one when things get hard. Like all bad habits, this one is best to avoid it entirely.

      Listen: If your coach suggests that you scale down, consider scaling and welcome the suggestion with the best intentions. Likewise, if your coach recognizes you as an athlete that shouldn’t scale a workout, consider accepting this feedback as a badge of achievement. Either way, if it’s not obvious, ask “why?” so you’re in the loop with your development.

      Results


      Done well, scaling accelerates our pursuit of fitness and hastens us toward our goals. It allows us to train a variety of time domains and stimuli rather than being bogged down into the same one constantly by too-hard-to-do-fast reps that result in sluggish times. Whether it’s the reps, weight, rounds, or the movement, remember scaling is part of the process for everyone and is embraced by even the most fit athletes on the planet, embrace it, and enjoy the progress!!!

      New CrossFit Competitive Structure

      Our initial Ignorance - The Sacrifice Seems Worth It

      Written by American Gainz Nutrition

      We’ve all seen it, and to be honest a large part of our community has felt it. The August 23rd edition of a Morning Chalk Up article titled, “How Greg Glassman is Reshaping the CrossFit Games” has absolutely been visceral for us. The competitive aspect of the sport and the structure of the competitive CrossFit season in which a lot of us train specifically around is said to be on the verge of drastic change. As a nutrition company that was inspired by a CrossFit affiliate, and whose founders are in boxes every day supporting the fitness community, we remain eager to learn more about the specifics and remain open while looking forward to embrace whatever changes come our way.

      This said, there were several quotes, statements of fact, metaphors made, and changes suggested without addressing potential impacts – Let’s Go!

      **Important – These opinions were obtained collaboratively from athletes, coaches, affiliate owners everywhere & solely based on the referenced article that went viral, to date - nothing officially has been released as far as we know.

      CrossFit is Expensive ~ (Article Intent)

      This is an understatement. We’ve always known the immense pressure that must have been on CrossFit Inc. for growing this fast. This is a burden that all successful small businesses face. By exploding so fast, the risk of not scaling correctly drastically increases. So why isn’t the money just piling up at HQ? We would venture to say the reason is around CrossFit not naturally being a spectator sport.

      Unlike most professional sporting events, the stands at CrossFit events aren’t packed to the brim by enthusiasts that never played the sport they are watching. You ever notice who is watching CrossFit events? They are other CrossFitters, or friends & family of those competing. 50% of the audience at Regionals could hop the guard fence and be tagged into the action without it looking strange for 1 second, lol. Could you say the same thing for an NFL game? Seems like a fact, that ticket sales will most likely never cover the costs of those massive events CrossFit Inc. hosts. From a business perspective, CrossFit Inc. may HAVE to make changes. It may not be unfathomable to then think that Glassman is seeing this financial realization as an opportunity to also redirect the community to what’s most important and valuable to humanity, general health and wellness.

      “We’re the fastest growing chain in world history, none of them did what we did in 10 years” ~ Greg Glassman - The Author compares the growth of CrossFit affiliates with the largest restaurant chains in the world.

      Comparing “CrossFit Affiliates” that have a barrier-to-entry consisting of subjective writing, a Level 1 Certification, a working website, and an affiliate fee of $3,000, to a Corporate restaurant chain is not exactly apples-to-apples. Fact is, there are some top of the line affiliates with incredible coaching, and likewise there are some very rough affiliates, with not so hot coaching. Point is, the affiliates reflect the passion of the ownership of those affiliates. This is awesome but comes with wide variants. Fortunately for all of us who love donuts, Dunkin Donuts wouldn’t call an un-airconditioned space in a random warehouse covered in horse stall mats a “Dunkin Donuts” affiliate; I think we can all appreciate the very limited variants when it comes to the food & service we receive from these restaurant chains around the world. Was the intent of this comparison to say, “CrossFit is losing money because it’s grown so fast”? Moving On...

      “With one athlete from each of 162 countries attending the CrossFit Games, as well as a dozen or so more through sanctioned events, the roster of athletes has expanded significantly. At minimum we’re likely to see close to 350 male and female athletes, which is up from 80 this year.”

      No More Regionals & New Structure of Earning Games Invitation - Why:

      As stated in the article, Regionals is just too expensive and under the current structure, hemorrhaging money would continue. So why not use this as opportunity to adopt a model that will yield a lot more growth for the global sport?

      Growth of Sport: Without a doubt, if the goal is to grow an empire and create a viable enterprise, this is a solution. This will spread health & wellness to more places and faster. It will create a lot more incentive for athletes in other countries who are far behind in terms of exposure to this sport to get involved and caught up. This stated, it is hard to think that any negative impacts related to these structural changes will out weight the obvious mass global benefits. 

      Affiliates: In working with over 200 affiliates within the USA, we’ve come to understand that there exists a good number of affiliates that have either an owner, a coach, a team, members, or even a competition class that train daily with long term goals of one day earning a regional invite. These are the coaches that bring the box together, the competitive athletes that help give the main floor members a reason to do the Open. These competitive athletes and the sanctioned CrossFit event that was Regionals is a large reason why some affiliates scrape together annually the several thousand dollars it takes to renew their official affiliate status. It’s not easy money owning a CrossFit affiliate, nor is it a path to riches; it won’t take much to convince owners that the benefits are no longer there.

      $$ for Competitive Athletes & Teams: If you thought it was expensive to train year-round for the Games now, well it just got exponentially more expensive with less likelihood of making it. The competitive community will now be looking to travel the globe to find their path to the Games, potentially moving to one of 162 countries that have affiliates to train-abroad 😊. Must be nice. But what about those athletes who are already have 3 jobs to support their passion for the sport? This is basically saying that because you can’t afford to travel the world to win a CrossFit sanctioned competition or live abroad and train, sorry but your dreams of going to Games are gone. Think about all the bad ass athletes who call Australia their home; to fight for one additional opportunity to make the Games other than their single Open spot, where will they all need to travel?

      Competitive to Ideological: We are all for the cause; how can any athlete dedicated to fitness not want to share the benefits with the globe and therefore help support the growth of this sport? This mentioned, is it then fair to say that by every country receiving a participation invite (trophy) to the Games by means of equal outcome versus equal opportunity that our once competitive portion of the sport is now compromised by Utopian ideals?

      • What about all those athletes who’ve literally sacrificed years to build individual brands around their CrossFit notoriety? 
      • What about the up and comers? Haley Adams, comes to mind. She was absolutely destined to dominate the Games. How can she not feel robbed if these changes go through? 
      • What about athletes that are consistently in the top 50 worldwide but live in the States? Unlike Europe, the USA is a single country (50 states), same with Canada (10 provinces). Europe (~50 countries), now gets 50 invites to the games? The USA gets 1 invite. Surely, we’re missing something as it sounds like Europe who has maybe 2+ times the population of people compared to the USA will receive 50 x more invites.

      Yes, a lot more athletes get to compete at the Games, but as society generally understands, with equal outcome comes less quality. The variance in competitor fitness will now saturate the Games to a point that we’ll have to wait & see to be realized. Our honest hopes are that everything works out, its understood that the competitive side of the sport grew wings organically. This said, our best guess is despite a structure that’s less centered around competition, it’s hard to bet against a community who has a natural proclivity towards competition as well as to think that the business side of things won’t naturally catch up to support.

      Until the official 2019 structure & rules are made public, let’s all give the benefit of doubt to CrossFit Inc. as American Gainz Nutrition would not exist if we never joined an affiliate, and fitness would not be this much fun!!! Stay Tuned!

      ~American Gainz Nutrition

      Homemade Protein Bars - Recipe for Gainz

      PB Gainz & Core – Protein Bars


      Written by American Gainz Nutrition


      We often get questions from the fitness community and this topic in the last few weeks seemed to be the most recurrent; The health-conscious fitness athlete looking for a healthy protein bar to bridge the snack gap between meals.

      Just like your powdered Protein:
      To be fair, the factors that should be considered for selecting a protein bar are very similar to the factors we ask our community to consider prior to buying any kind of powdered protein. The main differences from a powdered protein and main stream ready-to-drink shakes or processed protein bars are mostly around the added ingredients needed to support the bar or shake in that specific delivery form. These added ingredients consist of stabilizers, food chemicals, and preservatives, none of which add any value to your nutrition.

      Example - The Shake & Bar Tradeoffs:
      Let’s take a look at our Core protein. This product has 4 ingredients in powdered form; Whey, Organic Cocoa, Organic Coconut sugar, Sea Salt. As soon as we commercially try to make this product into a ready-to-drink shake, we would instantly have to add:

      • Stabilizers – To keep ingredients uniform in solution and to prevent natural separation
      • Viscosifiers & Gums – To create the thick viscous shake sensation that’s expected when drinking a protein shake. Have you ever accidentally picked up the wrong drink then went for a sip thinking it’s something else and had to spit it out everywhere? Well it's for this reason why these chemicals are used, when your mouth expects a “shake”, these chemicals help ensure you get what’s expected, so you don’t spit it out in disgust cause the texture or feel is off.
      • Preservatives – To slow the decomposition by microbial growth; as soon as water/moisture is included in any product, bacteria has everything it needs to make its own Gainz and then make you seriously ill.

      This said, we just went from 4 ingredients from a healthy powdered protein to about 10 ingredients to sell it as a ready-to-drink shake. This gets us even further away from our intentions when consuming these products in the first place, which was simply to consume the protein and possibly a few other macros depending on your diet regime.

      The Costly Options
      Well certainly there exist several protein bars out there that we happily recommended, Luna Bars and RXBars are among the most popular and are no doubt good choices as they solve most the issues associated with bars with natural solutions, however relying on these products throughout the day can cost a small fortune.

      So today we wanted to offer a solution you can make yourself, if you have the time. This recipe allows you to control all the ingredients and the macros delivered per serving. You will confidently be able to make the claim that your protein bar is 100% food, nothing supplement about it, no food chemicals, no artificial anything, just straight forward nutrients. So now imagine; in the voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson - “You’re Welcome”.

      Nutrition Contents:
      This recipe will fill an 8x8 cooking pan. You can cut the number of bars depending on your GAINZ goals. Just divide these nutrition counts by the number of bars you are cutting. Examples below -

      • Full 8x8 Pan (1 Beast Mode Bar) = 984 Calories, 78g Carbs, 10g Fiber, 40g Fat, 85g Protein, 29g Sugar
      • 8 Bars = 123 Cals, 10g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 5g Fat, 10.6g Protein, 3.5g Sugar
      • 6 Bars = 164 Cals, 13g Carbs, 1.5g Fiber, 6.5g Fat, 14.1g Protein, 5g Sugar
      • 4 Bars = 246 Cals, 19.5g Carbs, 2.5g Fiber, 10g Fat, 21g Protein, 7g Sugar

      Ingredients Needed:

      1. 100 grams of cooked then mashed sweet potato
      2. 4 Scoops (94g) of Core - Chocolate protein powder 
      3. 3 1/2 Scoops of PB Gainz (1/2 cup) 
      4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
      5. 1/8 tsp salt
      6. 1 cup unsweetened or sweetened almond milk
      7. 2 tbsp melted butter
      8. 1 tsp of flavor extract (popular choices would be almond, caramel, vanilla)
      9. 1 whole egg
      10. 1 just egg white 
      11. If you like In-your-face sweetness, feel free to add some liquid stevia. 5-10 drops. 

      Instruction for Gainz:

      1. Preheat oven to 350F.
      2. Mix the dry ingredients (Core Chocolate Protein Powder, PB Gainz, baking powder, salt) together in a bowl. 
      3. Mix the remaining ingredients (sweet potato, almond milk, butter, extract, eggs, liquid stevia) together in a separate bowl
      4. Mix all the ingredients together to yield a thick batter. If your forearms are getting too pumped during this step, feel free to cut the batter with a little milk or water to make it easier to mix. ~ Do not drown the ingredients. 
      5. Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and then spread batter evenly covering the entire pan bottom with uniform thickness.
      6. Bake for 26-29 minutes or until the batter in the center isn’t batter anymore. 
      7. Let cool completely before attempting to cut
      8. Cut into bars and store in the fridge 
      9. Make Gainz all week as you know exactly what’s going into your body!!!

      What it Took to Make the 2018 CrossFit Games

      What it Took to Make the 2018 CrossFit Games

      Written by: Kenzie Riley - 2018 CrossFit Games Athlete

      Despite qualifying for The CrossFit Games 2 years back to back, I can say with 100% certainty; I am a totally different athlete today in 2018 than I was in 2017. My first year competing as an individual at last year’s CrossFit Games was no less than one immense learning opportunity.

      My Mindset going into the 2017 CrossFit Season

      Approaching last year’s season, although I believed I had the abilities to qualify, I doubted myself when it came to thinking that I could hang with the best. I was constantly questioning when compared to others’ best efforts if my best efforts would be good enough. To clarify, I knew I was doing everything I could to be my fittest self, but to assume the field wasn’t doing the exact same would have been a drastic underestimation, thus the doubt. With this mindset going into the 2017 Regionals, earning any qualifying position would have felt like a massive accomplishment.

      Regionals came and went, and upon qualifying (3rd Place 2017 Atlantic Regional) I was tasked to set my goals for the upcoming Games in Madison. Although this task followed all ordinary preparation protocol; at that point in time attempting to evolve my goals from “Qualifying for the Games” to “Performing at the Games” seemed like a mental barrier I wasn’t equipped to take on. I just couldn’t wrap my head around stacking up to the women I’ve aspired to be like for the last 5 years. I felt inadequate and unsure I belonged in the same league, like I needed to get my feet wet and learn from an experience before I could make an expectation of it. In hindsight, this mindset absolutely had the potential to negatively impact my performance.

      Switching gears, one thing I DID do in 2017 that I 100% believe helped me have a season I was proud of was NOT avoiding the things I needed to improve upon. I stayed accountable to my “weakness work” in my training. I didn’t cut corners and I fully believed in my training. With the level of competition dedicated to the sport of fitness now, any dreams of qualifying for a spot in Madison will remain a dream if you have ANY holes that went unaddressed in the off season.

      So Just like I wanted, I walked away from the 2017 season with a lot more than just some new gear and wet feet. I walked away with a game plan to execute in the off-season, which was great, because having areas to improve upon means there is a more potential within me. Aside from the obvious fitness related areas of improvement (skills, strength, etc) I wanted to dig a little deeper into the mental aspect of competing and strengthen it.

      The Value of Amazing Coaching

      My coach has been a great asset to me on every level when it comes to improvement. He sees things I don’t when it comes to reflecting and evaluating my own abilities and efforts. He often believes in my abilities more than I do and he pushes me to not let me bail on myself. I push myself daily and like most competitive fitness athletes I’m a self-disciplined individual. But what I’ve realized, is continuing to count on my drive as the most weighted factor in my performance doesn’t necessarily promote the most optimal rate of improvement. The facts are, the CrossFit field year over year improves at some rate. In order for an athlete to climb the ranks on the leader-board in 2018 the athlete HAS to be improving at a rate that’s better than the field. This means we have to constantly be open to training approaches that may differ than the approach that got you where you are today. This is where a great coach can make the difference!

      After the 2017 season my coach showed me that taking risks in training not only challenges your abilities but builds mental confidence. So after some cajoling, I now look for opportunities to do this on my own, and every day in my training sessions. This is what training is for, and it’s made a HUGE difference in my game from last year to this year. And I promise you, relying on a single coach to provide you the value you need to improve at the fastest rates may not be possible. This said, I’ve also enlisted the help and support of other coaches in various specialties including gymnastics and mental fortitude.

      Aspiring to be the Fittest isn’t Cheap

      As we all know, fitness isn’t cheap. At a baseline it requires, membership or programming, training equipment, recovery gadgets, healthy and abundant groceries. I’ve spent the money to reserve monthly services, to travel across the country and get hands on help in person, and to make the time to implement what I’ve learned. Although time and money are tangible sacrifices, they have been extremely worth it. It's hard to put a price on improving my gymnastics skills or learning the tools needed to have a solid competition mental game. The fact that I've built so many strong relationships and made two incredibly close friends who believe in and support me has made it hard to consider everything it takes as a sacrifice, especially when the return is tenfold.

      The Support System – You Can’t do this Alone

      I am extremely lucky to have the support system I do, it has taken more than a village to get here! My husband is almost MORE invested in my athletic career than I am; he’s watched the journey since the beginning! I can always count on him for truthful feedback and to field the chaos that comes with life at this level. He fully supports the opportunities I get to travel and compete and truly embraces the experiences I’m afforded through this sport. I couldn’t have asked for anything more! My friends and family are always understanding and supportive of my obligations and crazy training schedule that keeps me unable to attend “normal life” functions; they are the best and I appreciate that about them.

      My MisFit family is by far the most amazing group of people I’ve been exposed to through this sport. Their generosity and free flowing support has made this journey more feasible and WAY more fun. Having a supportive crew makes the fun times more fun and hard times more bearable. Same goes for all of my sponsors for that matter. For the majority of Game’s athletes, this sport is not monetarily rewarding; by no means is it enough of an income to sustain a family on. I don’t pursue support based on finances; I work with GOOD people who I genuinely respect and who’s company I enjoy. I am extremely lucky to get this continued support; it truly makes my job easier to have these products and people in my corner!

      And for my American Gainz Nutrition THANK YOU Shout Out - There’s a ton of products and big business backed Nutrition protein companies that I see marketed daily to my community. The owner of this brand is a CrossFit athlete who makes products to support our community and as a passion and hobby! If you haven’t tried “Core”, this is the recovery product I’m taking to the Games. It’s as simple as it gets: 4 ingredients (Whey Protein, Organic Cocoa, Organic Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt) – literally nothing else!



      2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Approaching

      Going into the 2018 CrossFit Games, I am excited and ready. I’m not the apprehensive and nervous Kenzie from 2017. I believe I belong and I feel more comfortable on that big of a stage than ever. I’m not going to participate and have fun, but rather I’m there to show everyone that Kenzie Riley is the real deal. Everyone has trained hard, we know that. But I’ve taken the extra steps to truly push my limits, to hold myself to higher standards, to hammer weaknesses, and to believe...no, KNOW I can be whatever I want to be on that competition floor.