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My brothers and sisters, 2014 is a wrap and 2015 is going to be upon us faster than Obama can hit the links. So, what will the new year hold for you?

Ugh, this has the makings of a super annoying post full of self aggrandizing preaching telling you to set goals for the new year, reflect back on 2014, look for ways to improve and make the new you, blah, blah, blah.

Nope, not going to happen. 2014 is gone and no amount of soul searching will buy you one damn second of it back. You made choices. You harvested exactly what you deserved from the seeds that you sowed.

I don’t give a damn about new years resolutions; they are for the weak. They are for those that live their lives in search of the next excuse; those that haven’t the constitution to take a stand and make a choice. They are for those that are drowning in the quagmire of self-pity and self-loathing. New Years resolutions are for those that lack discipline and the spine that comes with it. Quite simply, they are not for you. Your constitution is strong – you finish what you start. You’re not afraid of making choices – you joined our gym. You are disciplined – your attendance is consistent. You are proud of who you are, what you do, and what you have the potential to become. Your backbones are strong and you stand tall. You are UNLEASHED.

In 2015 all you need to do is decide, again, what you want out of fitness. There are so many choices out there. That is what I both love and hate about CrossFit and the reason I founded Athletes Unleashed, Inc. and made the choice to become a CrossFit affiliate.

CrossFit HQ has a very low barrier to entry for potential gym owners. Literally, all one needs to do is pass a test and pay a yearly fee. Other than some insurance requirements and having a CFL1 instructor on hand, that’s it. And therein lays the gem of this whole thing. CrossFit HQ stays out of our business. Affiliate owners can do what they want – there are no franchise standards to maintain. This has resulted in an incredibly diverse variety of gyms. I always chuckle whenever I hear someone say, “I do CrossFit”. These days that’s about as specific as telling someone, “One with wheels”, when asked what kind of car one drives.

The average Clean and Jerk of the male and female athletes in the CrossFit games was over 143kg (315#) and 111kg (245#) respectively. Think about that. Those are impressive numbers. Jeff Evans, a CrossFit games competitor, recently Clean and Jerked 183kg (405#) at a body weight of 94kg. (To keep things in perspective, think about this: the current C&J world record in the 94kg weight class is 233kg [514#], games competitors are no where near world class weightlifters, yet.) CrossFit didn’t result in the 405# C&J. Great coaching and good old fashion Olympic Weightlifting did. They may be training at CrossFit affiliated gyms, but I promise you they aren’t following the WODs posted daily on to be able to put up those numbers. Regardless, clearly those athletes have found some outstanding coaches, amazing programing, and well-run gyms.

On the other end of the spectrum, one can find gyms that do not do so well and do not provide coaching that is anywhere close to adequate. The abysmally low quality coaching and programming runs the gamut from the unbelievable dumb and frighteningly dangerous to the well intended, but inexperienced and ignorant. I was just reading an article written by a CrossFit affiliate owner who also holds a PhD in exercise science that claimed kettlebells are not ideal for power development. He stated that his research has proven, based on the relatively slow nature of the swing and the lengthy periods of rest (time away from tension) when the bell is held in the overhead position, that kettlebells are better suited for developing endurance. Overhead position in a kettlebell swing? Without a doubt, this guy has never swung a kettlebell correctly a day in his life. (I’d love for him to spend a day at Athletes Unleashed and then talk about how slow a KBS is, and how much time is spent out of tension.) Regardless, he has his CrossFit certification and the masses will believe him. Hell, apparently there are enough folks out there willing to be led by jack wagons like this guy that a magazine actually published his article.

In 2015 I want you to decide what kind of CrossFit you want. At Athletes Unleashed I believe we have the best kind:

“Athletes Unleashed is a system of mental and physical training that prepares Athletes to dominate any environment.”

When I founded our gym I wanted to make those that chose to train with us HARD TO KILL – literally. That is not just a catchy phrase (though it is pretty darn good), it iswhat we do. My programing is done with only one goal in mind: to continue to force your body to adapt in ways that will make you the toughest version of yourself that is genetically possible. The most important thing to me is that as a result of training with us, when one finds oneself in a life or death struggle, one feels equipped to come out the victor.

I spent my last two years in the Marine Corps as the Commanding Officer of a recruiting district. I had about 23,000 square miles of territory with 28 offices throughout. Everyone once in a while we would be informed by HQ that there was a credible, though general, threat being made against recruiters. We would be told to take appropriate actions to guard our Marines’ safety, up to and including closing down a recruiting office for the day. On each occasion I simply reminded my Marines who they were. I’d tell them if a gunman walks in to the recruiting office the only thing I expect to see in the newspaper that day is a headline that reads, “Gunmen found dead after walking into a Marine recruiting office”. Then I’d tell them to get to work. My Marines were HARD TO KILL.

Believe it or not the Department of Defense (DOD) actually teaches service members to not wear uniforms when traveling by air. They go on to advise that it is best for them to get a seat by the window and in the middle of the plane, as those areas are least likely to be targeted by hijackers. The hijacker is more likely to remain at the front or the rear of the plane, and should they want a hostage or to harm someone, will most likely grab a person from the aisle seat rather than a window seat. According to the DOD’s logic, service members will be best served by hiding under the anonymity of civilian cloths and window seats. They further advise service members to comply with all of the hijackers demands. It is absolutely pathetic, is it not? Those that run the DOD need to spend some time with the UNLEASHED. I alwaystraveled in my uniform (Service “C”), and booked an aisle seat at the rear of the plane. To this day I do the same. In place of my proudly worn uniform I now make sure to don a shirt emblazoned with the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

At Athletes Unleashed we make people HARD TO KILL. In 2015 we are offering more and more ways to do so.

  • We have competitors’ training that is open to anyone that is willing to put in the time and the work. Right now Coach Zach is helping them learn to lift insanely heavy weights.

  • We have additional UNLEASHED WOD classes.

  • We now offer the Athletes Unleashed Barbell Club 5 times per week.

  • We added Turn and Burn, a more metabolically based style of training for those that love becoming HARD TO KILL using more moderate weights.

  • We are going to be making your Teens HARD TO KILL with teen exclusive training 3-days per week.

  • Coaches Ryan and Tracey are continuing to teach our youngest athletes early on the benefits of hard work, physical activity, and mental toughness.

  • Coach Brett is establishing more opportunities for nutritional education in order to help those that would benefit from more attention in that area. (More info coming soon!)

  • We will continue to offer Yoga with Kahley to assist in your recovery.

  • Coach Kelly Rogers is back and will be working with the aging population in order to keep them moving and HARD TO KILL.

There are now more ways than ever before to get fit, become more mobile, and become the toughest version of you, possible. And while we all may take different paths to get there, what unifies us is that we are all UNLEASHED.

This year don’t narrowly define yourself by sticking to just one training track. Sample it all. Wake up one morning and knock out a class with the 0500 or 0515 Crew. Or come on in and become an “honorary” soccer mom for the day with the 0930 Crew. Or get crazy and come on in to one of our 5 weekly barbell club sessions. Try Boxing UNLEASHED. Come in for an evening WOD with the hard core 1815 Beasts or the nocturnal 1930 Motivators. Love slinging around big weight? Change it up and attend a Turn and Burn. You will meet new people and learn new things about yourself. If you have very specific goals, e.g. add 50lbs to your deadlift, or making it to the CrossFit Regionals in 2016, then you must absolutely narrowly define your training track. Pick the one that supports what YOU want and what works for YOU; there are plenty of options available.

We are looking forward to an awesome 2015 with you. Make your choice, stick to your guns, and enjoy wherever your path takes you in your quest to become HARD TO KILL. And don’t forget to book yourself an aisle seat.

Semper Fi, Coach Robby

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