Originally written by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her blog The Sweet Life.


Mr. Johnny Thomas mid-WOD.

Trident CrossFit Athlete Johnny Thomas lost 25 pounds and lowered his blood pressure

One of the great things about writing spotlights on people at gym is that I get to know people I wouldn’t normally — and I love that!

Johnny Thomas is a retired Army Veteran that attends the 5:15am class at Trident every morning. Now, I’m early morning — but 5:15 just isn’t my jam (though occasionally, it has to be done!). That being said, I probably would never have struck up a conversation with Johnny since our classes are at different times.

Like a good number of others at Trident, Johnny’s military service has got my utmost respect and like many others in the military, CrossFit is his fitness of choice. He aims to make it a priority too, getting to the early class before heading to work at the Department of Defense to start his work day.


Johnny’s been coming to Trident regularly since this past summer and proven that CrossFit weight loss is the real deal. He’s also discovered, like so many of us, what a wonderful community we have here. That’s why it’s important to get to know one another and learn how CrossFit as made our lives better.


1. Have you always been athletic?
I have participated in athletics my entire life and I have never been hesitant to try different sports. From High School Athletics to intramurals in college to my Army unit teams and county teams; I have been active.

2. When did you first hear about CrossFit and why did you decide to try it?
I knew of CrossFit from the ESPN telecasts, but never considered it a possibility for me until recently. This past summer, I mentioned to my wife that I needed to get serious about exercise. The next day she handed me a Trident business card and, after some research, I noticed the schedule — especially the 5:00am classes. That is what initially brought me in but the people, atmosphere — and specifically the instruction — sold me on Trident.

3. How has CrossFit improved your health? Can you talk about the Whole Life challenge that caused you to lose weight?
CrossFit has definitely improved my health. In addition to losing 25 pounds since beginning in July, I have reduced my waist size by six inches and lowered my blood pressure. My doctor took me off the cholesterol medicine in November and I will return in February to verify that I can permanently remain off the medicine.

I began the Whole Live Challenge two months after starting CrossFit and it was an ideal compliment to my workouts. Whole Life’s nutritional chart added the food component to my health commitment by showing me that most of the things I eat are, in fact, healthy — especially the meat, poultry and fish. I did eliminate the grains, starches, corn, soy, sugars and rice. Most importantly, WLC made me prepare my weekly menu on Sunday. Finally, I continue to track what I am eating on a daily basis using the WLC point system.

**FYI: A new Whole Life Challenge begins January 17th — details here!**


4. How have you changed since starting CrossFit?
I am working out consistently again. I retired from the Army in 2003 and that was the last time I included exercising (outside of participating in the County Softball Leagues or Coaching) as part of my daily routine.

5. What do you love about CrossFit and why is it different than other fitness activities?

  • The instruction before each class and WOD.
  • That all exercises are scalable or there is substitute.
  • The diversity of the WOD.
  • The WODs are short but intense.
  • The positive vibe in each class.

6. What is your favorite WOD? Least favorite WOD?

My favorite:  Anything with push-ups and team workouts. I like the Chelsea and the Smallpox.  I also liked the following WOD:

EMOM for 16


Odd Minutes:

10 Slamball, 10

Push ups

Even Minutes:

200M Erg Sprint


I would not say least favorite — but an exercise I want to perform is the overhead squat. Along with the Snatch, it is a work in progress.


7. What’s one major goal you’ve accomplished through CrossFit?
Simple, I have improved my health, whether measured by weight lost, inches lost or blood pressure; all of my numbers have improved.

8. What would you say to those considering trying CrossFit for the first time?
Stay with it and do not give up on yourself — especially those days when the body hurts or you are having trouble with certain exercises

9. How does staying fit contribute to your life?
One point I have not mentioned: CrossFit has helped me in other activities such as golf, running and completing my “honey do list.”

10. What kind of diet do you eat? Do you advocate any certain way of eating?
Since beginning the Whole Life Challenge in September, I have used the performance level as my dietary guide eliminating the grains, starches, corn, soy, sugars and rice.

I was surprised that I did not miss those items (except being from the south, I missed my weekend breakfast of grits or pancakes). I do not advocate any definite way of eating (everyone is different), but similar to working out something you can consistently maintain.

11. Any athletic role models? Favorite CrossFitter?
I have always been a big baseball fan and I enjoy watching those athletes. However, I like all sports and enjoy watching any World Class Athlete perform their craft.

What has impressed me the most is the dedication and the athletic ability of the people I workout with everyday at 5:15.

12. Anything else interesting you might want to add that I forgot to ask about?
I need some new clothes.

So…anyone have any suggestions for where Johnny can get some new clothes? I’ll throw mine out there — love me some Reebok CrossFit gear (of course!).

When I first started CrossFit, I thought — now I have to buy special shoes? After you’re hooked, though, the shoes are kind of just part of the drill.


Check out out other Trident CrossFit athlete spotlights:

Got a recommendation for Member of the month? Feel free to email me at ericka.andersen@gmail.com

Looking for something more than a one-day endurance seminar? You’re in luck. The next CF Endurance intensive kicks off Tuesday, June 17. The course runs 8 weeks on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm and is open to athletes of all levels.

Em Porterfield and her assistant coaches will work with you to set personal goals, whether it’s to improve your 400m time for regular CF WODS or better your Ultramarathon time.

CF Endurance will improve any athlete’s fitness and endurance sport potential by eliminating unnecessary volume in training while increasing intensity and using proper technique. Coach Em integrates the Endurance program with Trident’s daily workouts, so you won’t miss out on regularly scheduled programing.

Program will include:
-8 CrossFit endurance classes- Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm
-Weekly sports-specific endurance programming
-Additional weekend running meet ups/field trips on Sundays

Cost: $99. Email us to register.


Christy Phillips at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regionals.

By Ericka Andersen

During CrossFit Regionals this year, the CrossFit Games website live-streamed every regional in real-time. The site was extremely well-organized and included easy, tabbed files so viewers could switch back and forth to watch any regional as it was happening.

While some favorites – like Sam Briggs and Lindsay Valenzuela – didn’t make it out of Regionals this year, many did. Mid-Atantic athletes Gretchen Kittelberger, Christy Adkins, Ben Smith and Jordan Troyan are making a return to the Games in California this year.

If you missed any of Regionals, all videos for every region from every day of competition is archived here.

Thinking about going to the Games this year? Having gone in 2013, I can tell you it’s totally worth it. You’ve never been to a sporting event where the spectators are as toned and fit as the athletes until you’ve been to the CrossFit Games. You can buy tickets here.

Without further ado, here are the results for every Regional across the world:

Mid Atlantic

1. Gretchen Kittelberger
2. Christy Adkins
3. Anna Tunnicliffe

1. Ben Smith
2. Nate Schraeder
3. Jordan Troyan

1. CrossFit Explode
2. CrossFit Syndicate
3. Rising Orange


1. Celestie Engelbrecht
2. Nicole Seymour
3. Anneke De Beer

1. Quinton Z Van Rooyen
2. Andre Gadney
3. Richard Smith

1. CrossFit PBM
2. Double Platinum
3. Team RTF CrossFit

Central East

1. Julie Fouche
2. Nicole Holcomb
3. Michelle Kinney

1. Rich Froning
2. Scott Panchik
3. Will Moorad

1. CrossFit Conjugate Black
2. CrossFit NapTown Blue
3. CrossFit Maximus


1. Dani Horan
2. Sheila Barden
3. Rachel Martinez

1. Matthew Fraser
2. James Hobart
3. Craig Kenney

1. Team Dynamix Strength
2. CrossFit King of Island Park
3. CrossFit Virtuosity

Northern California

1. Alessandra Pichelli
2. Chyna Cho
3. Margaux Alvarez

1. Jason Khalipa
2. Neal Maddox
3. Marcus Filly

1. Rocklin CrossFit Honeybadgers
2. CrossFit 808
3. NorCal CrossFit


1. Amanda Goodman
2. Tiffany Hendrickson
3. Mandi Janowitz

1. Tommy Hackenbruck
2. Chris Spealler
3. Patrick Burke

1. CrossFit The Club
2. Back Country Black
3. East Valley CrossFit


1. Marlene Andersson
2. Candice Ford
3. Yuko Sakuyama

1. Eric Carmody
2. Phil Hesketh
3. Michael Mogard

1. Shogun CrossFit
2. Inner Fight
3. CrossFit Asia


1. Denae Brown
2. Kara Webb
3. Pip Malone

1. Rob Forte
2. Brandon Swan
3. Khan Porter

1. CrossFit Athletic
2. CrossFit Active
3. Tropic Thunder

Canada East

1. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
2. Michele Letendre
3. Kristine Andali

1. Albert-Dominic Larouche
2. Paul Tremblay
3. Alex Vigneault

1. Pro 1 Montreal
2. Physics CrossFit
3. Outlaw North

Canada West

1. Emily Abbot
2. Emily Beers
3. Alex Parker

1. Lucas Parker
2. Tyson Takasaki
3. Brent Fikowski

2. Team Taranis
3. CrossFit 604


1. Annie Thorisdottir
2. Bjork Odinsdottir
3. Kristin Holte

1. Jonne Koski
2. Lukas Högberg
3. Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson

1. CrossFit Sport
2. CrossFit Tegen
3. CrossFit Falun Måndagsklubben

Latin America

1. Wanda Brenton
2. Yazmin Arroy Loaiza
3. Antonelli Nicole

1. Emmanuel Maldonado
2. Conor Murphy
3. Mark Desin

2. CrossFit SP Hulks team
3. CrossFit Revolver

North Central

1. Alexandra LaChance
2. Elizabeth Akinwale
3. Kelley Jackson

1. Kyle Kasperbauer
2. Jacob Heppner
3. Alex Nettey

1. Timberwolf CrossFIt
2. CrossFit Kilo
3. CrossFit GreenBay


1. Emily Carothers
2. Regan Huckaby
3. Rory Zambard

1. Cole Sager
2. Cody Anderson
3. Ben Stoneberg

1. CrossFit Marysville
2. CrossFit Fort Vancouver
3. Boise CrossFit

South Central

1. Jenn Jones
2. Cassidy Lance
3. Amanda Schwartz

1. Jordan Cook
2. Jeff Germond
3. Richard Bohlken

1. CrossFit Central Downtown Black
2. CrossFit Katy
3. Team Ballistic


1. Emily Bridgers
2. Talayna Fortunato
3. Lauren Brooks

1. Noah Ohlsen
2. Jeff Evans
3. Travis Mayer

1. Crossfit Adrenaline
2. CrossFit Atlanta
3. CrossFit HardCore

Southern California

1. Valerie Voboril
2. Rebecca Voight
3. Lauren Fisher

1. Kenneth Leverich
2. Josh Bridges
3. Dan Bailey

1. Invictus
2. Team CDR Redlands
3. Brick Nation


Originally written by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her blog The Sweet Life.

Back in action!

People say to me sometimes, “Man, you really like CrossFit, don’t you?” If you are asking me that question, it’s obviously true. But what is it about CrossFit that’s so lovable?

I’ve always enjoyed being active — and running marathons has been a major passion of mine since 2010 — but CrossFit is a different animal. With running, it’s during and after that I love — not thinking about it (actually often dreading it) beforehand. But with CrossFit, I am excited to go — and a little sad when class is over!

When I started going to CrossFit 2.5 years ago, a feeling of childhood pleasure came back to me in a way I never expected to experience again. I absolutely loved gymnastics as a kid — loved it so much I would practice at home every single day, attend open gyms, stay after class to work on skills and give it my everything. I watched every second of the Olympics and stopped anything I was doing if a competition appeared on TV (you hardly ever see those, it’s always ice skating — ever notice? I hated that!)

The thing was — I didn’t actually have any natural talent. I wasn’t good enough to make the competition team at my local gym. I never mastered a kip, an aerial or a full vault by myself.

But I worked like I was going for the gold. I loved it so much that it didn’t matter that I’d never place in a competition, I just wanted to work harder and get better. I was on my own level and wanted to complete what I could — which never went further back tucks and fly aways (and not very good ones.) I’d have never been able to whip out four backhandsprings in a row without working my butt off for years.

Looking back, backhandsprings and fly aways and backwalkovers on the high beam seem like insane feats that I could NOT complete now but in reality, they were very low level moves int he gymnastics community as a whole.

That being said, I feel similarly about CrossFit. I know I’m never going to finish all the Open workouts. I know I will probably never be able to do a muscle-up or back squat 200 pounds. I may never be able to do those cool kipping pull-ups all in a row, either.

But everyday, I’m a little excited, a little nervous, a little ready to see what I can do on THIS day. I sometimes like to hang from the bar like I did as a kid on the jungle gym and flip off with my legs. I love it when we do cartwheels and handstands — and the thrill of rope climbing is awesome (also because I have an excuse to wear my cool, CrossFit socks that *certain people [you know who you are!] make fun of me for wearing!

After 6 months of forced break from CrossFit, I’m so excited to be back — and really glad to have that childhood feeling of anticipation back too. There are very few things that can make you feel like a kid again — and that’s just one reason I really love CrossFit.

madonnaThat feeling in your lats and quads, that’s accomplishment; well that and the carnage of 14.5. Two days later, I can barely walk and my legs MIGHT have given out on me as I walked up the stairs to my office… I might have gone splat on the stairs…

Who is glad that the open is over? This gal is! It has been a roller coaster ride of muscle pains, demoralizing and remoralizing (it’s a word now) emotions, sucking air (followed by wine to forget the muscle pain) and thinking I could have done 1 more rep.

The breakdown by numbers…

205: Number of athletes registered for Team Trident

50: Team Trident’s place out of 330 teams in the Mid-Atlantic region

502: Team Trident’s place out of 4237 teams worldwide

1: One team, One community, One Team Trident

Be proud and give yourself a pat on your backs for being awesome then go hunt down the following people and give them a booty bump for contributing to the team score:

  • Katie Wasalaski
  • Jennie Cooper
  • Jill Forbes
  • Luc Tripp
  • Lindsay Williamson
  • Chriss Smith
  • Brandon Maupin
  • Will Brody
  • Alex Johnson
  • Karen Angeles
  • Maron Kim
  • Nick Libert
  • Katie Beal

14.1 was doable, as our alumni blue shirt Matt Kirkpatrick would say, “In fact, I haven’t seen anything that doable since myself in the mirror this morning.” We came out of that one with whip marks, our first consecutive double under or even our first double under!

The announcement of 14.2 sent most of us ladies on the hunt for a sports bra that resembled Madonna’s cone bra and hoping for her ripped arms to get boobs to bar. Most people were in an outrage thinking how dare Castro program chest to bar so soon in the open, does he want to weed everyone out? Of course not!! By definition, CrossFit is CONSTANTLY VARIED, just like life, you never know what is going to come next and it certainly does not come in a certain order weeding out people out at the end. Expect the unexpected.

14.3 compared to 14.2 was a breeze. WHEW! Some of us pulled a weight off the ground we never thought possible! It gave me the redemption I needed to feel good about the Open. Then came 14.4 and like a roller-coaster the 50 toes to bar made me want to crawl under a rock with my lady like calluses. Who else wished there were 50 cleans and 30 toes to bar?

14.5 has left us wrecked. I really did fall walking up the stairs to my office. My legs just could not take it… It was a good feeling to know I worked hard to finish, but not a good feeling to be face first on the stairs while people walked over me.

Overall, it has been a VERY eye opening OPEN. Lots of weaknesses have been exposed and so have lots of strengths. Take note of what you want to work on and write it up on the Trident board; hold yourself accountable!  Even if you did not sign up for the Open or log your scores online, keep track of your scores somewhere and use it as a baseline. I will guarantee you will see one of these WODs programmed at Trident or even during another Open.

Now raise your right hand, high up to the sky! Bend at the elbow so that your hand is behind your back. Now go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back because you survived a brutal Open! BOOM!!


Warming up for the first WOD of the 2013 CrossFit Open.

Did you know that last year we had the second largest team IN THE WORLD? We came second only to CrossFit NYC… impressive for Trident’s second year registered as a team!

You may not have any strong feelings about the Open or why you should participate but I do, so bear with me as I step on to my soapbox!

Last year I could not quite put it into words why the Open meant so much to me, but after my first full year as a coach at Trident, I have come to realize why it does… I have Trident Pride! I am honored and proud to be part to be part of this great community of athletes. I learn something new EVERYDAY I am at Trident. I am thrilled to be able to pass on my lessons learned to the rest of the Trident community and am thrilled when I see you all pass on that knowledge to the next generation of athletes.  I have Trident Pride and want everyone to feel that pride and be proud of what we are doing here at Trident.

For me the easiest way to pass on that sense of pride to the athletes is through The CrossFit Open. Not everyone comes to Trident for the sense of community. Not everyone that CrossFits knows that with their membership comes a community that will support them. The Open is a way for them to bond and cultivate a community of their own within our over 600 members.

There are many reasons that Trident CrossFit stands out among the 20+ boxes in the area: the amazing coaches, the ginormous box, the awesome programming, the up to date equipment, the strong athletes, the community…  We come together in times of hardship, celebration and in remembrance.  Let’s honor what we have built at Trident by reaching out to those at Trident that may not realize the community they have backing them, let’s bring them into the fold, into the community that has enveloped us and enriched our lives.

I would hope that Trident has touched all of you in some way, good touch never bad touch! So reach deep and figure out why you are at Trident, what it has done for you and what you want to pass to the rest of our community that may not have been touched.


Get your game face on!

It’s that time of year again where if you are part of the CrossFit community there is a buzz in the air—it’s the Games Season, baby!

For those new to CrossFit you may be asking yourself what is “The Open” and why do I care?  The Open is the first step in the annual CrossFit Games and to finding the fittest man and woman on earth. But more importantly, the Open is a chance to bond with your Trident community and cheer on your friends.

There are 5 workouts starting on Feb 27 and ending on March 31. Workouts are released Thursday and need to be completed and entered online by the following Monday. At Trident, we’ll be doing the Open workouts as our regular WOD during all class times Friday, with opportunities to make up the workout over the weekend and on Mondays.

Everyone has different reasons why they CrossFit. For some it’s a requirement for their job so they survive, for others it’s a way to survive all the things life throws at us; be it a stressful schedule, screaming toddler, hoisting 5 gallons of water up to the water cooler, or lifting your couch up to vacuum all the potato chips hidden underneath. Recovery, survival or just plain vanity (hey, we all want to fit into our clothes), we all have our reasons we come back day after day to lift heavy things.

I like what the Open stands for, an all-inclusive way to participate. Last year, almost 140,000 athletes competed in the Open, and we had 250 Trident athletes participate. It’s more about the community and pushing yourself a little harder than you thought you could.

My goal is to do better than last year, to see if my technique has improved, if I have improved. The first year I signed up for the Open we did a WOD with snatches… I was not able to get the weight up over my head and committed to work on this weakness. The second year, I was able to easily move the RX weight but not for the full 30 reps the WOD called for. This past year I have been practicing my technique and working on my strength and can’t wait to see how I have improved! Without realizing it, the Open has become my own personal baseline and check-in with my goals each year.

Everyone contributes to Team Trident whether you know it or not. Your enthusiasm and spirit motivates! So, get your game face ready and sign up to be a part of Team Trident!

Register for The Open here!

Andrea with her coach, Cara Heads Slaughter.

Andrea with her coach, Cara Heads Slaughter.

USA Weightlifting is the official governing body for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting under the US Olympic Committee. Come learn from the best, Coach Michael McKenna and Coach Cara Heads Slaughter, to be the best! The course includes theoretical classroom, and practical hands-on portions including technical progressions of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Course duration is over one weekend (March 8-9) and lasts approximately 13-14 hours with up to 9 hours being practical and 4-5 hours lecture based.

This course is suitable for Strength & Conditioning/Sports Performance coaches, Health & Fitness professionals and beginning level competitive Weightlifting Coaches.

Register here for the USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Coaching Course.

Originally written by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her blog The Sweet Life.

Trident members Kelly Shannon and Haofeng Xu.

CrossFit has received a lot of criticism lately and well, you know how I feel about some of that. But what about doing CrossFit (or weight lifting) while pregnant — not just a few months along — but nearly 9 months? One woman was recently criticized for a photo showing her doing just that.

I first heard about the controversy on Jezebel and loved their response to it. Then, I thought about the handful of pregnant women I’d seen working out at Trident recently.

At Trident CrossFit (my box) on the wall, there is a poster specifically talking about the precautions to take while CrossFitting pregnant. As someone who plans to workout at least in some capacity when I become pregnant, I’m definitely quick to be defensive of women doing so.

I took the opportunity to interview my friend, fellow CrossFitter Kelly Shannon. She’s still at it with a due date of October 25th! Kelly is full of energy and I’ve noticed how careful she’s been to not over do it. Take a look at this interview and judge for yourself.

An Interview with Kelly, Pregnant CrossFitter

1. When did you start CF? What do you like about it?
I started in July 2011, and quickly learned the benefits of working out in the morning verses the afternoon (DC summers are really hot and humid when there’s no AC at the box)! Once I made the switch, I came to really love working out in the morning — though I still have my days of hating the alarm clock when it buzzes so early.

2. Do you follow any kind of diet? How did that change when you became pregnant?
I do not follow any kind of diet, except I do apply the rule of “everything in moderation” (well, at least most of the time). I love CF because I can eat what I want — and because I love how working out and completing the WODs makes me feel.

3. Did you ever consider stopping CF while pregnant?
My plan was always to continue if my body and my doctor allowed it. If there had been any medical reason to do so, I would have stopped immediately.

4. Many have concerns for pregnant women doing weightlifting, etc. — what do you say to the skeptics?
I think everyone’s body reacts differently to various stimuli. For some pregnant women, continuing exercise at a certain level is reasonable. For others, it’s not.

I certainly have a number of friends whose pregnancies were not as easy as mine (I didn’t have morning sickness,  food aversions, minimal leg cramps or swelling/edema, etc.). They listened to their bodies about how much exercise or activity they were willing to do.

Also, everyone’s viewpoints are colored in part by their experience and exposure. For those who have seen pregnant women struggle through basic activities, or who have been put on bed rest — I could see where they might find the idea of me lifting weights throughout my pregnancy appalling.

There’s also been a recent shift in the medical community about exercise during pregnancy. A growing body of research that suggests that exercise is safe, even significantly beneficial, throughout pregnancy.  Consider that medical guidance in the 1980s was that pregnant women shouldn’t lift over a 25 lbs, but modern medicine has revised that guidance

5. When is your due date? How long will you continue to workout?
My due date is October 25th. I plan to workout until there is a medical reason not to do so. I’ve been lucky and have had a very easy pregnancy, relatively speaking. I’ve definitely had to take things down a notch in the last week or two (weeks 35 and 36 of my pregnancy) as my belly has gotten bigger and I can feel my joints loosening (due to the hormone Relaxin, which softens the joints in preparation for delivery).

6. How is doing CF different now than before? What precautions do you take?
I spoke with my doctors about doing CF and got their input. I’ve played soccer almost all my life and was still playing when I got pregnant. My doctors ruled out soccer immediately, largely because I had previously had a surprise pregnancy in 2012 that had resulted in a miscarriage almost as soon as I discovered was pregnant.

My doctor’s were fine with my continuing CF, provided I avoided running or jumping in the first trimester (again, based on an abundance of caution due to the previous miscarriage) – so I did a lot of rowing.

Once I got through the first trimester, I was cleared for running and jumping (and I was very happy to take a break from rowing)!  I was also a bit more conservative in my weightlifting during my first trimester and monitored my intensity by keeping aware of my body temperature and breathing to ensure I wasn’t getting too warm or too far out of breath.

I also used Crossfitmom.com as a reference/guide, and was lucky that Trident CrossFit also put up a Crossfitmom.com poster with trimester-based guidelines right around the time I announced my pregnancy.

7. Do you know others who have continued CF while pregnant? What did you learn from them?
There are a number of women at Trident CrossFit who inspired me as I watched their progression through pregnancy prior to my own. I’ve also been lucky to be pregnant at the same time as several other women at Trident, and we share experiences and recommendations.

8. Your husband does CF too right? What did he think about your decision to continue working out?Yes, he was very supportive of me continuing to workout throughout my pregnancy. We had one disagreement about my continuing to do box jumps around my 6th or 7th month.  I did the 31 Heroes WOD at 28 weeks, and while I switched from running to rowing in them middle, I had no problems box jumping the entire WOD.  While I definitely acknowledge that his concerns were valid, I still felt very confident doing box jumps and continued to do them until starting to scale to step-ups at around 33 or 34 weeks.

9. Why do you think there is so much controversy about women weightlifting while pregnant?
Probably because the previous medical guidance for pregnant women was to avoid picking up anything over a certain weight (e.g. 30lbs).  However, I think that the medical community has progressed in its understanding of how pregnancy affects the female body . The medical guidance has certainly matured to recognize that if a woman was active before, she can continue to be so in a similar manner while pregnant (with certain limitations/precautions).  I was CFing for over a year and a half before I got pregnant, so I felt confident continuing with appropriate modifications.

10.  Any moves you simply don’t do right now? What is the biggest challenge?
I generally followed the Crossfitmom.com trimester-by-trimester guidance, but I also listened to my body. For example, I kept doing deadlifts instead of subbing sumo deadlift high-pulls (SDHPs) well into my third trimester by putting the weighted barbell up on two 45lb plates. I also did not pursue any PRs (personal records) after my first trimester.

In addition, between my 12th and 13th weeks, I definitely noticed when my abs separated (yep – that’s what happens during pregnancy, your abs actually separate). I didn’t feel anything, per se, but I definitely noticed the difference when I went through my mental/physical set up for a lift – when I went to tighten my core, something didn’t feel right.  It took me a minute to realize that while my back was as stable as it normally was, I couldn’t engage my abs!

Also, after the first trimester, pregnant women are advised to avoid laying on their backs (this is due to the potential of putting the weight of the baby/pressure on a vein – the Vena Cava – that runs along the left side of the body under the uterus), so I haven’t done any fully prone bench press since my first trimester.

Thankfully the coaches at Trident helped me come up with a modified bench press where I prop myself up on a med ball and use dumb bells to get a similar stimulus. In general, I’ve been more conservative in my third trimester, going lighter on the weight as my pregnancy has progressed and as I feel my joints loosening.

11.  What are your favorite WODs/moves normally? While pregnant?
Oddly enough, even before pregnancy my favorite exercises would rotate a bit depending on the weather and how I was feeling in a certain time period. I’m probably better at process of elimination – so I’ll start with what I don’t like much at present: I’m definitely tired of doing K2E (aka N2K), since that’s the only available sub-out for any ab-related exercises. I’m now looking forward to running instead of rowing, and I’ve never been much of a runner if there’s not a soccer ball in front of me.

I miss the olympic lifts I can’t do right now, such as power cleans and snatches, since I’ve always enjoyed the technical aspects of those lifts.

12.  How about energy level? How has that affected your workouts?
There have been very few days where I’ve felt really tired throughout the day. Sure, in my 1st and 3rd trimesters I fell asleep on the couch around 9-9:30pm quite a bit, but during the mornings and the daytime, I’ve usually felt pretty good and had decent energy. However, I definitely have more energy on the days I go to CF in the mornings than when I don’t (and that was true prior to pregnancy, too).

13.  Will you come back to CF after your baby is born?
Absolutely!  Of course, that will be after my body recovers from delivery and I get the doctor’s ok to return to working out.

Thanks to Kelly for answering my nosy questions about CrossFitting while pregnant!

Originally written by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her blog The Sweet Life.

This weekend I had the chance to volunteer at DC SuperFit — a competition hosted at my own box, Trident CrossFit. I was excited to volunteer and be a part of the competition even though I wouldn’t actually be competing myself.

I arrived at 7am to help with check-in and other activities. I got my own volunteer shirt and was ready to roll. The fun part of check-in was hearing all the team names. A few favorites:

  • A Jerk and a Snatch
  • Beast Mode: On
  • Big Booty Judys
  • WODKillaz 
  • Blonde-acious
  • Will Lift for Bacon (something like that)

There were a ton of really funny ones that I can’t remember but I loved making people have to say their team names, ha ha.

Just signing people in, I was in awe of those that compete. Anyone could sign up for this competition and they had Rx and Scaled versions of Male/Male, Male/Female, Female/Female.

One thing I love about these competitions are all the strength inspired clothing, socks, and of course, tattoos. Tats are big time in CF and it made me seriously crave another one!

Best socks ever? Batman with capes!

My friend Amy was there volunteering as a judge — which I was too scared to do! I didn’t want to judge because I’m too afraid of someone getting mad at me calling a “no rep!” Silly but I’ve also never done it so maybe another time 🙂

I also ran into my blog friend, Stephanie (check out her great CF blog, Strong Figure)who I met at CrossFit Regionals earlier this year. I had no idea she was competing but I was excited to know someone in on the real action.

Of course lots of Trident folks were also competing. I tried to get a few extra pics to represent! I strolled around snapping photos for about 5 hours — it was hard to narrow these down actually. But Trident was packed with excitement and I was having a blast.

Here’s how the scene was (from my Instagram video):

Some Trident peeps:

Since the competition literally lasts all day, people camp out and tailgate just like a football game. There were tents, vans, coolers — I loved it. I only wish I had my own people to hang with but I didn’t know anyone doing that!

There were plenty of kids running around in mini-CF shirts and I saw lots of moms and dads participating in the competition.

I can’t imagine how intimidating it would be to be in such a confined space performing in front of everyone. Would it be easier or harder to get all the way down in that squat and come back up? Would the thought of humiliation be a great motivator than when you are by yourself? I’m not sure but I have a feeling it wouldn’t be for me. I guess I’ll never know unless I try though… 🙂One more video for you: 

That being said, it was great to see people of all shapes, sizes and ages competing in SuperFit. As usual, there was camaraderie and positivity in the atmosphere. It’s nice to win but CrossFit on a smaller scale is often more about team work and a shared love of something like this.

I wish I could have stayed all day to watch but I couldn’t so I got what I could. It really just made me want to come do some CrossFit and lift some heavy things. Of course, I can’t do that right now no matter how much I want to. This back has to recover and there’s no speeding it up. More updates on recovery later this week.

As always, I have to give a big shout out to Chriss and Andrea (Trident owners) for always bringing the energy and leadership it takes to make these things work. They truly love the gym and always make everyone feel welcome — knowing names and catering to people specifically. Anywhere I’ve gone in the CF world, people always know these two and Trident — and have amazing things to say. I’m so lucky Trident happened to be the box closest to my home when I started doing CrossFit.


Don’t forget 31 Heros WOD is this Saturday (tomorrow) at Trident!

Register here if you want to donate to a great cause, otherwise just come and show your support by doing the WOD with us during our regular class times! (8, 9, 10 a.m.)

Also, Dr. Fontaine will be around all morning to help sooth all your aches and pains. You can find out more about him on our resources page.

See you there!

This blog post was originally posted by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her site sweetlifeericka.com. She got back a few days ago and she’s still TIRE-D.

Me shaking hands with Christmas pre-workout

Ericka’s other Games posts: 

Kind of. So — pause in our regular coverage today to spotlight a really cool event I got to participate in yesterday. Christmas Abbott is as cute and muscularly compact as she looks — but also super sweet.

Not only is she a great Crossfit competitor, but she also works on a NASCAR pit crew, changing tires in the heat of the moment — fast.

Reebok set us up with our own personal training session with Christmas — very cool. She showed us how you sit and then how you use the gun to screw up off the screws really fast. The point, of course, is to lose as few seconds as possible for the cars on the track.

Marissa & Jaclyn getting ready to roll! 

We were at the Crossfit Games so we couldn’t NOT include a WOD with this thing, right? So Christmas turned it into one. Here’s how it went:

For Time:
10 burpees
5 tire flip jump throughs
1 more burpee
Change the tire

It was pretty cool. We put on knee pads, ear plugs and plastic glasses for protection. I was up against Tina for time. I was nervous because there was a crowd watching and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pull the lug nuts off.

Anne, me, Christmas, TinaGina

I also got the chance to do a short interview with Christmas after the workout. I find it so interesting to know how really fit people like her fuel their bodies. Sometimes I wish I could just watch and see how much and of what they really do eat. Super enlightening. Here’s the interview video:

Christmas and a friend showed us what we’d be doing. A little intimidating but they made it look fun and obviously, I had to try it!

Here we go…Burpees:

Tire Flips:

Changing tires!:

And it’s OFF:

With the whole Reebok media crew:

By the time we were finished there was a line winding around the area for photo ops with Christmas. She’s got an awesome personality and it’s clear this is her jam. I’m not sure why she was not competing in the Games this year but obviously she has a rockin’ bod and she can pump some serious Crossfit iron.

Thanks to Reebok for hooking us up with this cool opportunity. I definitely never thought I would drill lug nuts off the side of a real live NASCAR!

This post comes from Trident Athlete Chris Campagna, who has a thank you and an invitation.


Chris pushing it at The Open this year.

A little over a year ago I did my baseline and started coming to Trident. I was encouraged by my awesome wife, Shannon, great friends and inspirations Andrea and Emily Porterfield to come and do my baseline upon being released from medical care following a serious traffic accident. I was “three months or less” for at least six months. I was incapable of a sit up, pull up, or push up. Most of the time I just wanted to throw up.

A year later I can string together a handful of pushups, rock some ab mat sit-ups (still a little slow), and get a few strict pull ups. Besides being able to survive and complete a WOD, I can now actively participate in my life. A month ago we moved and I was able to be actively involved, moving boxes and furniture up and down the stairs. It was a moving experience for sure. Last weekend I participated in my first Stand Up Paddle Board race, finishing 5th out of 12, so more behind me than in front.  And, now I have a baseline for 2.5 mile race. In the final ¾ of a mile I was getting fatigued, but the spirit of the Trident community help me overcome the fatigue and finish strong. The image of Alex finishing one of The Open workouts as everybody surrounds him to cheer him on came to mind and I felt supported by all of you as I finished the race. Witnessing the elite athletes, chubby hubby, old guys like me, and anyone willing to check their ego at the door and put everything they have into a workout inspires me every day.

So, thank you Trident community, great coaches and our founders Andrea and Chriss. I am truly grateful for everyone. As a small token of my gratitude I am inviting all Trident CrossFit community members to Belle Haven Marina a mile south of Old Town to try some Stand Up Paddle Boarding. (I will have plenty of boards and paddles on hand for everyone to try out. It is a great core workout. So if you want to try  SUPing this Friday night from 7-9 p.m. please shoot and email (chrcampagna@gmail.com) so I know how much Ceviche and beer to get. It will be a great way to start the weekend.

Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.

Chris (one s) Campagna




You are invited to come Stand Up Paddle Boarding

This Friday July 26, 2013 at Belle Haven Marina from 7-9 PM.

(*Belle haven Marina is located approximately 1 mile south of old town – See directions below)

The Campagna Family is providing the Paddle Boards, Ceviche and beverages.

Wear a bathing suit, bring a towel.  There will be NO BURPEES!

If you can make it please email Christopher at chrcampagna@gmail.com.


Directions from D.C., Arlington or Maryland (North of D.C.):

• Cross Potomac River (only if coming from DC or MD) and take GW Parkway south (toward National Airport).

• Go Past National Airport and into Old Town Alexandria. GW Parkway becomes Washington Street in Alexandria. Stay on it.

• After approximately 2 miles, Washington Street becomes the GW Parkway again (you will see the river on the left).

• Go 1 mile and make a left into Belle Haven Marina (the sign is on the right, but you turn left).

• Park at the Office and walk to the end where the rental dock is located

This post is from Trident athlete Kristina Thomas. It’s from her personal blog, Dawn Points. Don’t be a tough guy/gal if you’re injured!


**NOTE 2: I am not a medical professional**

So, you’ve been injured.

You’ve been sentenced to the dull realm of not-making-progress-toward-your-mission-of-combining-the-strength-of-a-grizzly-and-the-suppleness-of-a-leopard-into-one-super-human-that-happens-to-have-your-face, also known as not-CrossFitting.

To avoid spending listless afternoons in crushing un-productivity and poopy self-pity, read on. Take it from someone with 20/20 hindsight.

Step 0. ADMIT that you have an injury.


My foot/cankle five days later

Hint: if you are swollen, bruising, and limping five days after you wiped out on a box, you probably hurt yourself. Don’t be stubborn. Stubborn is stupid.

Step 1. Figure out what it is.

Go to a doctor if you can. If you can’t, ask your friends, coaches, and budding anatomists if they’ve seen your symptoms before. Google with your best google-y concentration and persistence–don’t stop at hits from answers.yahoo.com.

Some references for after you’ve driven yourself to tears from reading about all the scary side-effects of your newly diagnosed injury on webmd:


Step 3. Figure out how to fix it.

don’t let any news hold you down

Approach your injury with the attitude that it can be fixed. If the kind doctor from Step 1 told you you’ll never lift again, smile, nod, and get out of that office. Attitude is everything. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Can you tell I’ve been scouring the “inspiration quotes” tags on pinterest?

Healing is injury-specific, but Steps 4, 5, and 6 are general guidelines to getting back to being awesome

Step 4. Rest and mobilize.

Straight from the thoughts of one BAMF:

“Bourne concentrated on rest and mobility. From somewhere in his forgotten past he understood that recovery depended upon both and he applied rigid discipline to both.”

The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum, p137

How long should you rest? As long as it takes.

How much should you mobilize? Until your eyes bleed.

soooooooo supple

Okay, seriously, you should mobilize every day for at least 100 repetitions through a safe (not necessarily discomfort-free) range of motion. You want the muscle-tendon-ligament-joint complex to remember how it’s supposed to work, but it has a certain threshold beneath which it won’t retain the information. If you don’t surpass the threshold in each sitting, all you’re doing is making pretty circles in the air. Rinse and repeat.

Step 5: Eat real food.



This goes without saying. You should do this all the time. BUT it is especially important when your body is trying to heal from a traumatic injury. If you’re not getting high-quality fats and enough of them, change that (fish oil babyyyyy). Now is not the time to bury your face in a pan of paleo brownies, even if your self-pity is like Rowdy Ronda Rousey and you’re poor little Julia Budd.

Step 6: Become the happiest person alive.

I’m being serious. Don’t succumb to pain and panic. Fear and anxiety can hinder the healing process. I’m not saying this as a new-age hippy, I’m saying this as a Jedi. Okay, okay, a Padawan. Watch this.

I get it: being happy at a time like this is a Herculean task, especially if increasing your work capacity across broad time and modal domains makes you your happiest.

Here a list of get-happy strategies

  • Be nice to people. Especially people you don’t like. You’ll feel good about yourself. Feeling good about yourself makes you happy.
  • Work on your weaknesses. Celebrate your strengths. Physically, this means you should use your time off to build that hollow-rock position, work on that strict pullup, open up your hips and limber up your calves. Pick something that doesn’t aggravate your injury and do it. Make your weaknesses strengths and your strengths stronger. It might prove boring but, hey, you’re bored anyway.
  • Go outside and sing at the top of your lungs. (Make sure nobody is around or you’re likely to face embarassment.)
  • Give your puppy a hug. Repeat often.

Step 7: Get back to the box.

Everybody misses you.

Don’t stop practicing Steps 4, 5, and 6. If you’re not well enough to get back to pre-injury activities, be smart about it. Chriss will probably make you write “Hard is easy, smart is hard” on the board 20 times in your best handwriting. Write it on your heart as well. Don’t reinjure yourself.

Our coaches are the best, and they will come up with substitutions for you if you let them know what’s happening. Don’t be shy says the shy-est girl evahhh.

Step 8: Prevent injury. Move well.

Injuries happen because you’re not moving correctly. Poor mechanics indicate 1. laziness or 2. physiological inability to attain a good position. Fix it.

When Andrea tells you your knee is caving in on your squats, free your hips/ankles before you put another pound on the bar. When Matt K. tells you to land softly on the box, pretend your a kitten for a day (or however long it takes). When Jerome tells you to keep your core tight, lock it down.

And when Marcus tells you to take a rest day, take a rest day.

Listen to your body.

If you respect movement, it won’t hurt you.

It’s good to be back, Trident.


This blog post was originally posted by Trident athlete Ericka Andersen on her site sweetlifeericka.com. She’ll be attending the upcoming CrossFit games and blogging about her experience.

Yours truly — I’m getting muscle finally!

A few weeks ago at the Crossfit Games regionalsI caught myself almost tearing up. What?! I was watching people dart up ropes, grunt and lift and sweat and curse. I was screaming for them to keep on keepin’ on! I was living through the power in their legs and the determination in their minds.

It was — and always is — inspiring. Crossfit is known not for just what the first place finishers do — but what they do for the last place finishers. It’s part of what makes us us.

Found this pic on another crossfit blogger’s site — from the Games last year:

At every competition, you will see the winners, the teammates, the judges, the crowds, huddled around those in last place cheering them on like they are about the win the gold in the Olympics.

For the competitor, you might think it’s embarrassing or overwhelming, but most people find it — beautiful. No one is going to feel awesome about coming in last place but there’s something about feeling like people care that you finish that matters.

I have never competed so I can’t say for sure but…I know how it feels to fail or to come in very far behind. And I know how it feels when someone puts their arm around your shoulder and tells you how hard you worked, how great it is you had the courage to try and how that matters more than anything.

When someone puts their HEART into something, you see it, you feel it. Sometimes, crossfit WODs are only 5 minutes. Sometimes, that 5 minutes takes every bit of heart that you have. Sometimes you feel like you can’t but you tell that voice in your head to shut up and do it anyway. Sometimes one more squat feels impossible but you reach in and grab it anyway.

There’s something about laboring with someone in spirit on their last reps, in last place. It’s a human connection that you can’t get any other way. When they get a “no rep” after going all the down into the squat, it’s anguishing. But when they stand up their second try even stronger, it’s exhilirating. Then, you know you can do anything — even if you haven’t done anything at all.

That’s why the last rep from the last man makes you cry.