Monday: A CrossFit Black Belt?

Monday: A CrossFit Black Belt?

Monday: A CrossFit Black Belt?

Congrats to our Platoon #002 for an amazing Graduation on Saturday. For the SECOND World’s Best Bootcamp in a row…we had an amazing 100% increase in our 3 tests – Our Push Up Pimp Squat Goddess and Bootcamp Baseline under Commander Katie’s tutelage ! And mark my words – one of the people in this Platoon will take on the Challenge I list below! It’s just incredible! 


Is it possible? I mean…what does it even mean to be a Black Belt in CrossFit?

So this is the question I’ve gotten…I don’t want to say a thousand…but it’s about as close to the amount of times I’ve either been asked in person emailed from across the globe or pulled aside & asked to recite ‘the WOD’ at various events that I attend.

The premise is simple – how do you know when someone is ‘Advanced’ in CrossFit?

Is it their double bodyweight snatch? I’d say no – because Oly lifters can do this but some would fail the test.

Is it their 10k road race PR and their medal from the event? Again not so much…and for the same reasons.

The next question goes like this – if it’s not the first two – is it that a person that can do anything you throw at them? I’d still disagree…but the question is getting closer…and it’s getting even more important because we’re having our first official ‘Trial By Fire’ Test this Sunday at 11am after Long WOD!


Here’s what I mean. 


Back in 2011 a bunch of us were training for the NLI competition. My buddy Nathan was putting out programming for the event & we were hitting it pretty hard. Nathan & I do some programming together so when I’m at my best I can ready between the lines of what goals he has in mind.

And because I’m a believer that you should be as mentally strong as you are physically fit – we put together a test to see if our little group was ready for our comp. We called it the ‘GOAT WOD’ – and no not greatest of all time but that I included a movement/rep range and energy system focus from every person that was training…if we could crush this I had a good feeling about where everyone was at.

Then I found out that others started doing this test (both inside & outside the box). Pretty cool I thought. And somewhere along the way the name got changed from the Goat WOD to ‘Trial By Fire’ – which I absolutely freaking LOVE!

It’s not only become the test to get into our 4:30pm Advanced Class (aka Firebreathers) – but gyms around the globe are using it for the same purpose. That’s pretty stinking cool too.


But – WTF (and no not Brian Koontz #oldschooljokes #yokes) does this have to do with being a CrossFit Black Belt?


Great and thanks for axing.

At first I didn’t like this question or presumption that any one test could prove this but maybe it’s my old age that’s changed me.

I thought back to my parent’s martial art teacher Chan-Yong Kim (his son Jimmy Kim was the first Olympic Gold Medalist ever in taekwondo – 1988 Heavyweight #btw). From the folklore – he had a couple sayings.

1. A Black Belt is an ‘Advanced Beginner’. It’s not the ending point. It’s a starting point to ‘really being to train’.

I LOVE THAT. This test is not the end all be all to fitness – I’ve read others type that about the WOD on their site but I disagree.

I DO think that it has given an enormous insight to a persons ability – which I’ll get in to tomorrow when I actually break down the WOD.

2. He said ‘There is always more that lies ahead than behind’. This one line has kinda stuck with me my whole life.

You accomplish something small – great – let’s enjoy it and go to the next step.

You accomplish something amazing – GREAT – let’s enjoy it and go to the next step!

Because each thing we do should be to unlock the next. You don’t get married to rest on your laurels and you don’t PR a WOD to call it a day.


Each thing we do while we should savor the moment it an opening point to the next goal. I believe this to my core….and I want this for each Volt & Vixen we train.


So at the core of ‘Trial by Fire’ – it’s a sign for me that an athlete is ready to take on much more. It’s an acknowledgement that they still have more to work on than they have mastered but that they’re ready for the next set of being challenged.


Mostly – it’s a sign that they have internalized the process…a sign that they have become the message…and a sign that with hard work dedication and your Full Effort we can accomplish our biggest goals. Together.


Stay tuned for tomorrow – I’m going to break down the WOD that our peeps will be taking on this Sunday at 11am – stop by & cheer them on after Long WOD! It’s going…to…be…EPIC!


 Monday’s Training: 

Mapped Out Monday pt 2! Progressive from last week – Goal is to get the same # today as you did last week but to increase in load & output.

You know…because we care about you improving every…single…day!

Ax 4-5 sets; technique consistency intensity!

A1. working up in weight each set
F: OHS x8-10 reps (from a rack +2-3 reps from last week)
P: Power Snatch + OHS; 5x Power Snatch (T&G) + 5 OHS (after all 5 t&G)
S: Squat Snatch + OHS; 5x Squat Snatch T&G + 5 OHS after all t&g snatch)

A2. Hollow Rock x 25 rocks Back & forth rest 60-90 sec before returning to A1.
B. Mapped out! 6 min on 2 min off – 1x at each station

Start at any station – but also – start at a different station than last week!

1. Bend + DL Plyo
F: 7x KB Swings (Russian) 7x Step Up/BJ + Step Down
P/S: 7x KB Swings 7x Box Jumps (open/games standards)

2. Core + Upper Body Push + very light DL Plyo

F: 8x Sit Ups 4x Burpees

P: 4x T2B 4x Burpees +jump touch

S: 5x T2B 5x Burpees + jump touch

3.  Hip Ext + Core/light DL Plyo

F/P/S (all): 7x Slam Ball
30x Double Unders (75x Rope Passes)