The Cheer Squad.

I know some of you hate the cheering, you hate it because maybe it means you were last in the WOD and are still counting off burpees, one slow rep at a time.

Maybe some of you hate staying around, because you have “better stuff to do”.

But seriously? That is what CrossFit is about. That is what makes it successful, that is what makes it better than walking into some Globo Gym and hiring a personal trainer.

So yeah, it pisses me off when I walk into a box, the workout is ending, someone is struggling to finish and people are just sitting around watching, or packing up to go, or worse… gone.

We see our fellow WODers 3-4 times a week, often more than our friends outside the box. We sweat with them, we bleed with them, we lay crumpled on the floor on Saturday morning with them.

They share in some of your greatest triumphs…

and they are still out there struggling through each rep.

So what the hell are you doing dis-interested, checking your facebook posts and inane work emails.

Put down your damn phone, get a little closer and step back into the game. You’re not done yet.

This person is part of your crew, your new family, and you know what, they could use your help.

This person who is experiencing the same awfulness you just went through is in the middle of that dark place.

Your encouragement helps them pick the weight back up.

Your attention focuses their energy.

Your yells drive them forward.

You should care about this person because they will care about you.

You should cheer for this person because they will cheer for you.

And you should be in the game until its over for everyone because that is how its done in our CrossFit community. Each and every one of us, newbie, veteran, competitor, deserves to be pushed by their neighbor.

The athletes who are last today won’t be last tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a little get up and go from that dark place.

Get to know your Coaches.


Get to know your Coach!

Coach: Lee-ann Theron

Lee-ann is one of our awesome coaches who also heads up our CrossFit Kids Coaching program. She’s been with us since day one, loves to throw barbells around and have a good time with the members!


Get to know Coach Lee-ann a bit better:


• How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Since 2011 (8years)


• How long have you been coaching?

CrossFit since 2012 (7 years)

CrossFit Kids since 2013 (6 years)


• CrossFit qualifications

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)

CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer

CrossFit Kids Trainer

CrossFit Level 1

Mobility Certificate

CrossFit Scaling

CrossFit Weightlifting


• What do you love about CrossFit?

Our Community, I’ve met a lot of amazing people through CrossFit. I’ve made good friends and even better memories through CrossFit.


• CrossFit strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Anything with a barbell

Weakness: Tequila


• Favorite Quote?

“I’m no Barbie and I’m okay with that, I don’t need to be skinny, I like to be strong”

Get to know your Coaches.

Get to know your Coach!

Coach: Charlie Blundell

Charlie is our regular 5am coach with a full-time 8-5 job. His personality is as big as he is tall (very tall!) and you’ll never see him in the box without a smile on his face even in the early morning hours.

Get to know Coach Charlie a bit better:

• How long you been doing CrossFit?

Since June 2012 (7years)

• How long have you been coaching?

Since October 2013 (5,5years)

• CrossFit qualifications

CrossFit Level 1

• What you love about CrossFit?

Being able to help and watch people grow in strength and confidence using what I’ve learnt. Using my fitness in my daily life to function on all levels. Being part of a great likeminded community.

• CrossFit strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Cardio and lifting workouts

Weakness: Gymnastics

• Favorite Quote?

Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.

• Any words of encouragement to new/existing members?

Don’t concede to the workout by kneeling, stand up and make the workout concede to you. Words I’ve always told myself after every tough workout.


With next Wednesday being another public holiday we thought we’d do something fun!

Pack you favourite drinks and snacks and join us for a fun workout and picnic brunch in Rietondale park on Wednesday 1 May @ 9am!


You are welcome to bring along friends and family. Everyone is welcome to join!

Sunshine, outdoors, some fitness, good music, delicious food and drink and awesome people!! What more could you ask for on a day off!


Fatigue is a primary limiter standing between you and better performance. If you could delay or resist the sensation of fatigue, you would go faster and last longer at a given effort level – the ultimate purpose of training. Yet we never rid ourselves of fatigue, which is actually a good thing because this prevents us from damaging our bodies or perhaps needlessly expending physiological resources. But understanding what brings on fatigue during a workout may point to strategies that could raise your fatigue threshold, allowing you to go farther and faster.


Fatigue seems to vary according to the duration and intensity of exercise. An 800-meter runner and a marathon runner may both fatigue during their races, slow down, and struggle to the finish lines, but their specific reasons for fatigue aren’t the same. Or are they? What causes fatigue? Currently there are three ways to explain fatigue.

Catastrophe theory. This is the oldest model, having been around since the 1920’s. It’s the one accepted by most exercise physiologists. That model proposes that exercise stops when something catastrophic occurs in the body, especially in the working muscles. Other than overheating and severe dehydration, which can obviously limit performance, the catastrophe model proposes that there are at least two common physiological reasons for fatigue during endurance events: the accumulation of metabolic by-products such as hydrogen ions, especially from lactic acid release; and depletion of energy stores such as glycogen and glucose. The catastrophe model proposes that when either of these situations occurs, the body is forced to slow down. It’s much like a car running out of gas or the fuel lines becoming clogged. A catastrophe has just happened, and the body stops functioning normally.


Central Governor theory. The second way of explaining fatigue originated in the physiology lab at the University of Cape Town in South Africa in the 1990’s. Here, noted exercise physiologist Tim Noakes, PhD, proposed that fatigue occurs in the brain, not in the muscles. In this model the body is constantly sending signals to the subconscious brain regarding the current status of the working muscles. For example, fuel levels and metabolic by-product buildup are being monitored by the brain. This is a bit like the operation of the thermostat in your home, which gauges the temperature and turns the heating or air-conditioning system on or off as needed. At some point the brain may make a decision, again, subconsciously and the result of perceived exertion, to slow down due to the current status of the body. It’s proposed that this central governor for fatigue evolved to protect the body from damage caused by excessively hard work.


Psychobiological theory.This theory is a bit like the central governor model, but with a twist. Samuele Marcora, PhD at the University of Wisconsin proposed in the early 2000s that it is indeed perceived exertion, a subconscious calculation made by the brain during exercise, that limits performance. He proposed that exercise stops well before fuel levels and metabolic by-product accumulation suggest it is absolutely necessary. In a part of the forebrain known as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), subconscious decisions are made regarding conflict resolution and response inhibition. Essentially this means that during exercise the ACC is weighing the cost of continuing at a given intensity versus the reward for doing so. Dr, Marcora has shown that “fatigued” athletes are able to overcome the sensation at what appears to be the end of exercise to failure and produce a greater output if the reward is big enough.


You have probably experienced this at the end of a workout. You may have been slowing down, but when you saw the finish line, you had the capacity to somehow speed up or even sprint. You were willing to overcome the suffering because the reward, an awe-inspiring finish or perhaps a slightly faster time or higher finishing place, was great enough to overcome the suffering you were feeling. He further suggests that this system evolved to keep us from needlessly wasting energy in the pursuit of food when the prospect of success in finding it was low. But should food appear (perhaps a deer in the horizon), increasing the likelihood of getting it, then the suffering becomes tolerable.


We’ve all had it happen. The workout is going great – then all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, a muscle begins to feel “twitchy” and seizes up. You slow down, hoping it will go away. It does, but as soon as you start pouring on the power, it comes back. The promise of a stellar workout is gone.


Muscles seem to knot up at the worst possible times – seldom in training, but frequently in workouts. The real problem is that no one knows what causes cramps. There are theories, the most popular being that muscle cramps result from dehydration or electrolyte imbalances. These arguments seem to make sense – at least on the surface. Cramps are most common in the heat of summer, when low body-fluid levels and decreases in body salt due to sweating are likely to occur.


But the research doesn’t always support these explanations. For example, in the mid 1980’s, 82 male runners were testes before and after a marathon for certain blood parameters considered to be likely causes of muscle cramps. Fifteen of the runners experienced cramps after 18 miles. There was no difference, either before or after the race, in blood levels of sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, hemoglobin, or hematocrit. There was also no difference in blood volume between the crampers and non crampers, nor were there significant differences in the way the two groups trained.

Note that we are talking about exercise induced cramps here. In such cases of cramping, the knotted muscle is almost always one that is involved in movement in the sport. If depletion of electrolytes was a cause of cramping during exercise, why wouldn’t the entire body cramp up? Why just the working muscles? Electrolytes are lost throughout the body, not just in working muscles. We know that people who become clinically hyponatremic by losing a great deal of body salts (not exercise-induced) cramp in all of their muscles. It’s generalized, not localized.


It should also be pointed out that when someone cramps, the “fix” is not hurriedly drinking a solution of electrolytes, but rather stretching the offending muscle. For example, a runner with a calf cramp will stop and stretch the calf muscle by leaning against a wall or other object while dorsiflexing the ankle against resistance – the standard “runners stretch.”


In fact, what is known is that sweat, with regards to electrolytes, is hypotonic. That means the concentration of sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and calcium is weaker than it is in the body. This indicates that more water is lost in the sweat than electrolytes. So if the body lost more of its stored water but not as much of its electrolytes, what would happen to electrolyte concentration in the body? The concentration should increase. So during exercise when you dehydrate and lose electrolytes, their concentration in the body is greater than it was before you started to exercise. The body functions based on concentrations, not on absolute amounts.  That alone presents a great problem for the argument that the cause of cramping is the loss of electrolytes that must be replaced.


So if dehydration or electrolyte loss through sweat doesn’t cause cramping, what does? No one knows for sure, but theories are emerging. Some researches blame poor posture or inefficient biomechanics. Poor movement patterns may cause a disturbance in the activity of the Golgi tendon organs – “strain gauges” built into the tendon to prevent muscle tears. When activated, the organs cause the threatened muscles to relax while stimulating the antagonistic muscle – the one that moves the joint in the opposite way – to fire.


There may be some quirk of body mechanics that upsets a Golgi device and sets off the cramping pattern. If that is the cause, prevention may involve improving biomechanics and regularly stretching and strengthening muscles that seem to cramp, along with stretching and strengthening the antagonistic muscles.

Another theory is that cramps result from the burning of protein for fuel in the absence of readily available carbohydrate. In fact, one study supports such a notion: Muscle cramps occurred in exercising subjects who reached the highest levels of ammonia release, indicating that protein was being used to fuel the muscles during exercise. This suggests a need for greater carbohydrate stores before, and replacement of those stores during, intense and long-lasting exercise.


When you feel a cramp coming on, there are two ways to deal with it. One is to reduce your intensity and slow down – not a popular option in an important workout. Another is to alternately stretch and relax the affected muscle group while continuing to move. This is difficult if not impossible to do in some sports and with certain muscles.

There is a third option some athletes swear by: pinching the upper lip – it may work for you the next time a cramp strikes.

CrossFit hands: perfect guide to preventing and treating rips

Robin Ribeiro is a former gymnast and the owner of RipFix. She walked us through the elements of good hand care. “Is about every day hand maintenance,” she says. “Not just the rips.

It starts with the grip.

Although adjusting your grip on the bar won’t completely prevent callouses, it will reduce them. If you currently grip the bar with your palm, try gripping the bar at the base of your fingers. This way less skin is compressed between the bar and your fingers, and you’re able to move with the bar more easily.

How you work the bar is key,” Robin adds. “Try re-gripping at the top of a pull up and avoid having a death grip on the bar.

The combination of bars and chalk and friction make the development of callouses unavoidable. The more we work, the bigger and harder our callouses become. Chalk dries out our hands and causes roughness. Rough, hard skin gets caught on the bar and rips.

How do we prevent our callouses from turning on us mid-WOD?

1. File them down or shave them.

“Use a pumice stone or a razor if you need to,” says Robin. A good time to file your hands is after a shower when your callouses are a bit swollen and soft. File until you no longer feel hard edges. Your skin will still be thick, but it needs to be smooth and consistent.

2. Apply a moisturiser.

Applying a moisturiser before going to sleep every night is also a good idea. “Your hands should be smooth and supple,” says Robin. “Your hands don’t have to be ugly. I apply moisturiser to my hands and feet every night. It keeps the callouses from hardening and adds moisture back into your hands after chalk has dried them out.

And yet, when we do rip (although we swear we’ve followed all this great advice)…?

3. Ripped hands: clean first.

Wash your rip with soap and water. (And wash the barbell – or rig – too. No one wants to share your hand slime or blood!) Cut away the skin as close as possible to the rip. Leftover skin gets hard and will catch on the bar to cause another rip. “Pack in a salve,” adds Robin. “Really pack it in. Then wrap your hand with some gauze. You want to protect the tear but you also want some air to get in.” You can use a topical antibiotic like Neosporin. The idea is to keep it clean, treated and covered.

GauzewrapOne of my favourite products for bandaging my hands is self-adhering wrap. I wrap some normal gauze around my hand, then secure it with the wrap. It doesn’t slip off like a band aid, and it doesn’t get all grimy and stiff like normal medical tape.

Robin recommends sleeping with a sock over your hand. It’s a good way to let the wound breathe and it prevents the salve or topical antibiotic from getting on your sheets.

“You have to keep treating your hands while they heal,” Robin says. “Athletes make the mistake of not treating a rip like a real injury. Your hands need to recover just like the rest of you.

But what if we can’t stay away? What if we can’t resist?

How do we protect our hands while they’re healing and still get some time in at the box?

You can make some grips from athletic tape. Here’s a chart on how to do it, but you can also Google “how to wrap hands” for different methods. Making your own grips to use them for WODs with a lot of bar work can also help prevent rips.


Source: Steve Bonham

Remember 14.4? All those toes to bar?

I knew I was in trouble when I started to see flakes of skin falling from the bar. By the time I was finished, my hands were torn and bleeding. I had some topical antibiotic in my gym bag. I immediately washed and dried my hands (hellfire!) and packed in the antibiotic. For the next few days I applied treatment regularly and within a week my hands were good enough to go back to WODing.

Ever since 14.4, I’ve kept a hand care kit in my gym bag containing antibiotic, bandages, athletic tape and gauze. Not only has it come in handy for me, I’ve also shared with fellow CrossFitters.

Don’t wait until you rip to start taking care of your hands. They’re an important part of your training and progress.


By Jennifer Charles (BoxRox article 2014)


Join us this Saturday as the Springboks take on England at 5pm!

We will be live streaming the game and everyone is welcome!

What to bring?

  • Drinks
  • Friends and family
  • Braai food if you want to braai
  • Potjie and potjie ingredients if you want to potjie

Chairs and fires will be provided.

If you choose to potjie, we will start the fires at 1pm!


The first ever CrossFit Level 1 Course to be hosted in Pretoria!

Don’t miss out!

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