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The Next Generation of CrossFit Affiliates

new_gymI recently had a lively discussion centered around an article on Breaking Muscle, by Patrick McCarty. The article was Failure to Innovate: Will Your CrossFit Gym Thrive or Survive?

Mr. McCarty, who is 3-time Games competitor, affiliate owner, and owner of his own web development business, wrote on a topic that is at the forefront of every affiliate owner’s minds. Box owners face the reality that new boxes are springing up every day, and many of them are right down the road. If you own a gym and haven’t read his article, I encourage you to click the link above and read it right now…

From my affiliate owner friends, I often hear that 1 or 2 news boxes have opened up in jogging distance from [insert box name here], the market is saturated, and it’s getting tougher and tougher to attract and retain members.

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CrossFit Apopka Website Launch

I recently launched the new website for CrossFit Apopka and I’m really happy with how it turned out. My client is opening his doors on April 4 and we had a short turnaround time in order to get a web presence up for people responding to his marketing and also to take advantage of any organic searches online. We launched the site a couple of days ago and already have potential clients responding and finding us via the Web.

Additionally, the new site went from the 3rd page of Google search results to the 1st page for certain search terms in just two weeks after the launch.

CrossFit Apopka

crossfitapopka.com

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Dear CrossFit. I Didn’t Sign Up for the Open. Here’s How to Get Me Back

Ben Snatch

Dear CrossFit,

I didn’t sign up for the Open. I’ve signed up for the Open every year except this one. I’m experiencing Open Fatigue and a lot of my CrossFitter friends are afflicted with the same condition.

Open Fatigue is when you get tired from the five week journey of doing the Open. It’s tough to peak for a 5 week stretch and it interrupts my year-long training plan. Basically, I have to plan around the Open. There are other factors too, such as the online social media blitz, which can be exhausting, and the fact that my scores are out there for the world to see.

With that being said, I do the Open workouts still and I’m happy to compare notes with my pals. I don’t have an interest in seeing my name on the leaderboard. Besides my circle of friends and training partners, I don’t have a reason to share my results with other people. A lot of my friends at other gyms are experiencing the same condition. Open Fatigue is a real thing.

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Wodapalooza III: Avoid the Polar Vortex, Go To Miami for WZA

woda_openingWodapalooza (WZA) is one of those super intense, sensory overload events that takes me days to process and write about. This year’s WZA was no different…besides Kokoro 25, it was the coolest, most far out, most exhaustive athletic experience I’ve gone through, a step beyond the already exceptional experiences of Wodapalooza I and II. It was by far the most challenging and rewarding CrossFit competition I’ve done.

I’m gonna write two posts, this one with a review of WZA in general and then a post on my personal performance later in the week.

Click WZA1 and WZA2 if you’re interested in my reviews of Wodapalooza from previous years.

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Case Study: Removing a WordPress Defacement Hack

I manage and provide services for a number of WordPress site owners and recently one of client sites was hacked. When you surfed into the site URL, you were greeted with a defacement page that looked like this:

fallaga_screen

It included music, an animated GIF, and even a Facebook like button for the hacker! Understandably, my clients were shocked when they discovered it and so were several of their regular readers. We still had access to the site admin and other pages on the site, so I quickly logged in and did an assessment.

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Thoughts on Kokoro One Year Later

KOKORO 25 - 168One year ago I  attended Kokoro Camp 25 at US CrossFit. I blogged the following posts about it:

I think about the Kokoro experience daily. The tools I’ve gained from the camp I use every day in life and in training. I thought I would write a followup on how the experience has affected me one year later. If you know nothing about Kokoro, it’s a 50-hour military-style camp held at US CrossFit in Encinitas, California, a couple of times a year. The instructors are ex-Navy Seals and the program is designed by Commander Mark Divine.

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Interview with Tom Davin, CEO of 5.11 Tactical

tom_headshotOn a recent business trip to Orlando, Tom Davin stopped by CrossFit Firebase for a mid-afternoon WOD. I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct a quick interview. This is the first time I’ve met Tom and I was thoroughly impressed with how down-to-Earth and how willing he was to share his time…not to mention he hammered through a tough chipper WOD in 90-degree Florida heat. Tom is the CEO of a 5.11 Tactical, a company that landed on the Inc 500 in 2007–Inc magazine’s annual list of the fastest growing, privately-held, U.S.-based companies by revenue growth. 5.11 specializes in tactical clothing and gear for law enforcement, firefighting, and military professionals.

A good friend of mine works for 5.11 and I’ve watched them grow from a relatively small company with just enough products to feature on a tri-fold brochure to a national brand with an impressive catalog. They recently released their Recon line of fitness gear, which includes WOD shorts and WOD shoes that are gaining traction in the CrossFit market.

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Here’s How I Would Handle the Rowing Event at the CrossFit Games

crashbThere were a bunch of announcements for the 2013 CrossFit Games on Monday night, including the surprise announcement of a half marathon row on the Concept2. The row is two scored events, with 100 points available for the top 2000 meter split and another 100 for the 21,097 finish. I think this is a great event, not because I’m a rower, but because it signals that endurance events are here to stay in CrossFit. Last year we had the Camp Pendleton triathlon and the year before was the long Beach Murph. If you’re not mixing in long distance stuff into your training, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

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Wodapalooza II: The Ultra Fest of CrossFit Competitions

ben_chipperWodapalooza is on it’s way to becoming the Ultra Music Fest of CrossFit competitions, a multi-day carnival of fitness and CrossFitting. At some point in the future, if Guido and company choose to go in this direction, I can see them turning it into the biggest CrossFit-ness event in the world, perhaps second only to the CrossFit Games. By no coincidence, Wodapalooza takes place on the same hallowed grounds as Ultra at Bayfront Park. With 3 days of events, over 500 competitors, and thousands of spectators, they’re already one of the biggest CF events.

I had the good fortune to be able to compete, my second year in a row. It was one of my most challenging and rewarding athletic experiences. Full review below.

Competition

This year featured a whopping 549 competitors across 10 divisions (male and female Scaled, Rx, Elite, Masters, Team), up in a big way from the 116 individuals and 10 teams from last year. Just to throw a few stats out to illustrate the growth, and by extension how popular CrossFit has gotten, there were 74 Rx men and 36 Rx women in 2013, compared to 37 and 11 from last year. On the team side, there were 65 total teams compared to 10 last year (!!). With that many competitors, Wodapalooza II may have been the largest CrossFit competition in the world–I’m defining competition where all the athletes are in one place, thus eliminating the CrossFit Open. Oh yeah, by my count, the CrossFit Games had 508 competitors in 2012.

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Review: Tactical Sandbags by Firebase Gear

sandbag7One thing I like training with is a good sandbag. Back in the day before I was CrossFitting, I used to work out with a personal trainer, and he had us doing walking lunges and squats with 50# sandbags at every session. It was brutal but it worked. At CrossFit Firebase, where I’ve been working out for the last three years, we use sandbags in WODs frequently, in a variety of ways. I’ve grown fond of this particular piece of gear.

Here are just a handful of exercises you can do with a good sandbag:

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