August Committed Club

by Admin | September 4, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Congrats to those who made the August Committed Club!

This month, we had 3 people make it into the Committed Club for 12 months straight: Joann Doyka, Randi Hyatt, and Jim Timmerman. Chris Day also made it into the 6 month Committed Club and earned his tee!

Amanda Shrout
Ashley Greenberg
Breanna Nelson
Brian Stamp
Brian Whalen
Bruce Lentz
Caitlin Abbott
Cara Clements
Chris Day
Dana Beziat
Elena Mentzer
Erinn Hull
Gayle Summers
Jackie Nicoll
Jason Moneymaker
Jay Duffy
Jen Garland
Jim Timmerman
Joann Doyka
Jordan Rang
Joshua Garland
Joyce Hollander
Julie Ortel
Kaleigh Hunt
Kristyn Lipka
Lance Hubbell
Lauren Trainor
Marie Dias
Matt Shrout
Michael Grant
Morgan Somerville
Nick Hollander
Olivia D'ottavio
Patty Abbott
Randi Hyatt
Rachel Shevland
Rick Doyka
Rose Wall
Russell Ward
Scott Welsh
Shelton Lowery
Zach Colgan

Motivation is Fleeting

by Admin | August 16, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Jessica White

Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up on fire? A surge of energy for whatever the day holds. Today was one of those days for me. I got 8.5 hours of solid sleep. It was a miracle. Baby Gavin, Stan, and I all slept. All night. It has felt like a long time since I’ve slept like that and I woke up feeling like a whole new person. Ready for whatever the day throws at me and then some. The task list started running through my head, along with an abundance of new ideas to add to that task list. I was so motivated.

This got me thinking about a conversation I had last week before the 9:30 am class with Russell. We talked about how far he has come with his health and fitness in the past year and what kind of effort that took for him. He reflected that there was never any huge breakthrough or sudden results from a surge of effort. It was little by little. Brick by brick. Day by day. He then said to me, a common quote, “motivation is fleeting.” It takes consistent work even when you aren’t motivated to get results.

Success comes to those who are disciplined enough to put in the work even when they aren’t feeling motivated. We all have those periods when we feel energized and jazzed up, when putting in the extra effort is desirable and fun. We need those moments to get us through. But, we aren’t going to feel like this every day, or even most of the time. It’s the days when you “just don’t feel like it” that leave the most room for growth. While Stan and I were working on building Outsiders, if we would have only worked on the days that we felt like it, the doors would have never opened. We didn’t make Outsiders happen because we are exceptionally motivated people. It took, and still takes, a ton of discipline (and a TON of help from some super awesome people). There are so many days that I don’t feel like going back to the gym to workout. Even more so now that we have a tiny energizer bunny-like 9 month old. I have all the excuses. But I reluctantly get in the car, drive to the gym and walk through those doors. And I am better for it.

Long term success lies in doing it when you don’t want to. Cooking that healthy meal when it’s hard to find time, going to the gym when you don’t feel like it, waking up early when you’re tired, doing work when you’d rather relax. Today I feel motivated. Tomorrow I may not. When you feel motivated, take advantage of it. Use those days to do cool things, but don’t get carried away. Save some gas in the tank for tomorrow, because you never know how you might feel. Feelings don’t last. Discipline does.

How do you feel today? Regardless of your answer, put one foot in front of the other and get it done. A year from today you will be so happy you did.

Fitness Makes Everyone Better

by Admin | July 27, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Stan White

Think back to when you first started CrossFit.  You were a bit nervous but were even more motivated to better yourself.  Maybe you wanted to lose 10 pounds and have more energy to play with the kids.  Or maybe, you wanted to be as strong as you were when you played high school or college athletics.  Whatever your initial reason, it motivated you to get started even though life was hectic. You had no idea where you were going to find an extra hour 3 to 5 hours per week to fit in the gym.


And then it happened!  You drank the proverbial CrossFit Kool-Aid.  You were hooked. Not only were you well on your way to your initial goals but you saw much broader benefits.  Your knee no longer hurt every time you got out of bed. You seem to be thinking clearer and getting through work more efficiently.  Your spouse has not just noticed your physical changes but comments how you seem more positive and thoughtful. You are so astounded by all the positive effects, you simply must share this with everyone!


Some of your friends and family rolled their eyes and told you that you had joined a cult.  Others listen because they could tell you had changed. Your parents decide they will do The Whole 30 Challenge with you.  As a result, your dad is able to significantly reduce his heart medication. You decide you not only want to be an influence with your family and friends but you want to be a leader at the box.  You make sure to welcome all of the newcomers and cheer on everyone as they finish with a fist pump.


As time goes on, you notice that you are not the only one who as seen dramatic changes.  Sally, who started a couple weeks after you, looks like a completely new person and mentioned how she just got promoted.  In fact, the gym is full of the best people. They all seem to be humble, willing to help others and constantly trying to improve all aspects of themselves.  Clearly, this is one of the best groups of people you have ever known.


Let’s do a little thought experiment.  Imagine the City of Baltimore, with 20 CrossFit gyms around the beltway that had this type of impact.  Would that make for a better metro area in general? Now imagine a state that had several cities that were filled with CrossFit boxes that are impacting lives and community this way.  Do you think the healthcare crisis in this nation would be influenced if a majority of the states had cities filled with CrossFit boxes making last changes? The western world is facing a tsunami of chronic disease.  Our gym, along with thousands of others around the world, are the lifeboat from this modern plaque of death and destruction. While we make ourselves better, we are making our communities better. We are making our little corner of the world a little better, one rep, one workout at a time.


What is Rx?

by Admin | July 17, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Colette Wheeler

As written. As prescribed. RX.

The elusive temptress of any CrossFitter. A sweet siren song luring even the most experienced of athletes into its clutches. For some reason, checking the “RX” box for a workout has become a badge of honor. It seems to represent one’s level of athleticism and “worth” within the gym. If you can click “RX”, then you have arrived.

Arrived at what, though? In a fitness sphere brimming over with data points and objective measures (weight, distance, time) that are always consistent, the label “RX” is anything but consistent or measureable. It is a label that matures as the sport of CrossFit grows and changes. It is a “living” concept that alters in order to meet the needs of its particular, ever-evolving population.

Here’s a perfect example: In the 2009 CrossFit Games, the RX weight for a dumbbell movement was 40# for men and 25# for ladies. Nine years later in 2018, the RX dumbbell weight for the CrossFit Open was 50# for men/35# for ladies; in Regionals it was 70# for men/50# for ladies; and in The Games it is likely to be even heavier. They asked more of all of us in 2018 then they did the fittest in the world in 2009!!  So which of these weights is “RX” then? All of them. You see the problem? They’re all prescribed for particular workouts. We must breakdown and discover what each prescription is all about.

A workout prescription has two (unequal) parts:

1) weight/distance/movement/time


In essence, a workout prescription reads: “Manage all the things in #1 IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE #2.” Thing is, “intended stimulus” is a bit abstract compared to the information that precedes it. It takes a serious amount of coachability, reflection, and monitoring to get it right. It’s hard. Wah.

We naturally latch on to the clear, objective quantities given to us in #1.  Ya, it feels pretty cool loading up a heavy barbell, doing the fancy gymnastics, struggle-bussing through a distance -- but without hitting the intended stimulus we’ve missed out on some awesome opportunities for fitness that day. CrossFit is all about adaptation to a stimulus (awesome blog post on that here), so that second part of the prescription is like, THE KEY to your success and your fitness.

Solution? Monitor, reflect, and be coachable. It only takes a little practice to get a hang of this thing. During a workout, objectively monitor how things are going: How are you feeling? Are you hitting the target set/rep/rest goals given to you by the coach? Are you moving with integrity and purpose?

Coach Stan’s programming (as “RX”) is designed to challenge the top five people in the gym. It is actually intended for most athletes to choose a scale (volume, weight, movement etc.) that will allow them to push as hard as the top people in the gym. Without guidance, the novice will rush to the heavier weights and harder gymnastic movements so they can click the RX button more often. While they may get a temporary boost to the ego, their fitness results will slow.  Heavy weights and difficult gymnastics often requires us to rest way more then we should in the typical ten to fifteen minute CrossFit WOD. The magic happens when we choose a version of the workout that allows us to keep our foot on the gas the whole time. **Plot twist**: a properly scaled workout is the fastest route to fitness.

After the workout, reflect on how it all shook out for you: Were you totally crushed at the end? If so, were you supposed to be totally crushed? Coach said a target range for finishing was 10-12 minutes -- did you finish in that range? What would you change or keep the same for the next time a workout like that comes around?

Most importantly (and ultimately this requires the least about of brainpower), be coachable. Coaches want you to be the best, fittest, happiest you. We’re here to take care of all that monitoring and reflecting for you. By making yourself coachable, you put yourself first. It’s your fitness that you’re working for; your goals that you’re striving toward, and your success that you’re recording. It’s all about you. So make it all about you. Not about the other guy/lady/person you’re trying to beat in class or on the leaderboard.

Fitness is this incredibly long, arduous, rewarding journey. It’s not meant to end. There are ups and downs; days when you will click “RX” and other days when you will (proudly, knowingly, shrewdly) not click “RX”. Through your own reflection, monitoring, and coachability you can become a better, stronger, faster, fitter version of you.

June Committed Club

by Admin | July 2, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Congrats to those who made the June Committed Club!

Special shout out to those who made it for 6 months staight: Amanda Shrout, Brian Stamp, Diane Strickland, Dominic Levis, Jay Duffy, Marie Dias, Nick Hollander, and Rachel Shevland.

One special lady made it for 12 consecutive months. Hats off to the one and only Patty Abbott and the fabulous Kerri Whalen!!

June Committed Club:

Patty Abbott - 26
Olivia D'ottavio - 25
Zach Colgan - 25
Jim Timmerman - 24
Caitlin Abbott - 23
Marc Cousins - 23
Lance Hubbell - 23
Jason Moneymaker - 23
Matt Shrout - 23
Chris Day - 23
Elena Mentzer - 23
Randi Hyatt - 23
Jackie Nicoll - 22
Rick Doyka - 22
Jeff Starling - 22
Bruce Lentz - 22
Kerri Whalen - 22
Joshua Garland - 22
Marie Dias - 21
Brian Whalen - 21
Dana Beziat - 21
Dominic Levis - 21
Kristyn Lipka - 21
Erinn Hull - 21
Michael Grant - 21
Brian Stamp - 21
Russell Ward - 21
Jay Duffy - 21
Ashley Greenberg - 21 
Shelton Lowery - 20
Joann Doyka - 20
Rachel Shevland - 20
Kaleigh Hunt - 20
Breanna Nelson - 20
Amanda Shrout - 20
Nick Hollander - 20
Cara Clements - 20
Rose Wall - 20
Lauren Trainor - 20
Diane Strickland - 20
Chris Wheeler - 20


by Admin | July 2, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment


Written by: Colette Wheeler

Water, water everywhere, but how much should I drink? When should I hydrate? Before a workout? After a workout? During?! When I sat down to write this, I originally thought I’d write about how it was really important to stay hydrated (and it is!), but as I waded out further into the waters (pun absolutely intended), some interesting ideas came to light. To be clear, I make no hard and fast recommendations here (except for the bolded part at the bottom), but these are some things that could be interesting to think about as the summer months progress...

As it turns out, it’s really very hard to determine a measure of how much to drink. Decades of research on the topic of hydration still produces incredibly polarized results. The debate revolves around the dangers of dehydration and its lesser known (but just as sinister) sibling, Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia (EAH). Both conditions are characterized by electrolyte imbalance in the bloodstream. Put simply, sodium and other electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium) enable muscle contractions and brain and nerve function within the body. There’s a delicate balance between concentration of fluid in the blood and these valued electrolytes. Most of us are familiar with dehydration: too little water =  too much sodium in the blood. If you’re dehydrated, your precious red blood cells look like shriveled raisins. But hyponatremia? That’s having too much water, causing dilution of sodium in the blood. A person suffering from hyponatremia has red blood cells that look like balloons about to burst. Certainly not ideal. People die from both of these conditions. Sadly, people that die from hyponatremia are often just trying to follow the hydration recommendations set out by companies and their associates that campaign for us to drink as much as humanly possible.

There’s a lot of information out there, often contradictory. On the one hand, we have researchers like Tim Noakes, and organizations like CrossFit and the HEAT (Heat Illness Evaluation Avoidance and Treatment) Institute, all claiming that humans evolved a fantastic thirst regulation system in the brain to alert the body when it needs to consume fluids (we don’t actually have to stuff ourselves full of as much fluid as we can hold in order to avoid dehydrating). On the other hand we have sports drink companies, that shell out millions on research to prove their product is absolutely essential to our survival (how we managed to survive as a species prior to the 1960s we may never know). Sports drink manufacturers are so intent on convincing the public of the need of their product that they establish and fund their own research institutes. Additionally, they partner with well known, nationally recognized exercise and health organizations to bolster the legitimacy of their claims and further increase their sales. Hyponatremia has caused several deaths in the very recent past, many linked directly to massive overconsumption of both water and sports drinks. Yikes!

So what should we do? Our body has built-in regulatory systems to let us know when to drink -- we get thirsty. Unlike our hijacked hunger-regulatory systems that have been knocked all out of whack by industrial ingredients, piles of sugar, and hyper-palatable processed foods, our body’s mechanism for thirst regulation is still fully operational.

Of course, it’s not so black and white in real life -- all things we ingest interact to create different responses in the body. You’re a lot more thirsty after eating a super salty soft pretzel than an apple. If you’re concerned about your hydration, there is a simple answer for you: drink water. Put down the sodas, the juices, the bottled iced teas, and just drink water. You’ll set yourself up for success in more ways than one! This will dramatically lower the possibility of dehydration in your next workout! In fact, if you replace most beverages with water, you won’t need that mid-WOD water break. I mean, are you really truly thirsty every 90 seconds or do you use the water bottle as a nice break before your next round? Most likely, it is the latter.

So anyway, there’s some food (or water) for thought. Summer months can be brutal in and out of the gym. If you’re thirsty after reading this, grab a glass of water. You earned it. Now get back to doing that awesome thing you were doing.

Resources and associated interesting reads:


May Committed Club

by Admin | June 3, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Congrats to Rose Wall, Dana Beziat, Breanna Nelson and Matt Shrout who all made it 6 months consecutively in the committed club!

Jeff Starling 30
Jim Timmerman 29
Michael Grant 28
Kerri Whalen 26
Dennis Klein 26
Patty Abbott 26
Jason Moneymaker 25
Joyce Hollander 24
Cara Clements 24
Colette Wheeler 24
Ashley Greenberg 23
Devon Troop 23
Nick Hollander 23
Travis Gillispie 23
Dominic Levis 23
Dana Beziat 23
Jack Lochary 23
Joann Doyka 23
Mark Hunt 22
Marc Cousins 22
Lance Hubbell 22
Jackie Nicoll 22
Marie Dias 22
Brian Whalen 22
Chris Day 22
Kristyn Lipka 22
Kaleigh Hunt 22
Randi Hyatt 21
Scott Fithen 21
Elena Mentzer 21
Brian Stamp 21
Chris Wheeler 21
Jay Duffy 21
Rose Wall 21
Erinn Hull 21
Bruce Lentz 21
Lauren Trainor 21
Shannath Merbs 20
Rachel Shevland 20
Olivia Dottavio 20
Breanna Nelson 20
Russell Ward 20
Diane Strickland 20
Mike Aiello 20
Al Walsh 20
Matt Shrout 20
Amanda Shrout 20

Don't See Progress? Look Closer

by Admin | May 16, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Written by: Colette Wheeler

We often read or hear of the people that started CrossFit and suddenly changed their lives around and became amazing and healthy and never ate pizza or candy again. Their journeys are fast and furious; their lives are made amazing and sustainable; they cure their diseases, improve their relationships, become President of Everything; grow wings and fly. Their stories are incredible. They’re inspiring and hopeful, full of grit and determination.

Well, my story doesn’t go like that. I began CrossFitting in December 2010. I was 24. I was only weeks out from a year-long string of surgeries and hospital stays. I was horribly depressed. I was weak and lost. I had a shaved head, fresh scars, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. In short, I was completely, utterly broken.

My first year, I was amazed that people could even do pull-ups. I could never remember the difference between a clean and a snatch. I always got the strict press, push press, and push jerk mixed up (they probably all looked the same when I did them anyway). I was terrified of being upside-down. Overhead squats were a definite NO. One thing I had learned to do was drink, so when someone said that “100 pull-ups and 100 shots of beer” was a thing, I thought that would be a pretty cool goal.

As years went by, I went in for almost any athletic opportunity offered by the gym. I decided to try out their powerlifting program because I really wanted to be able to squat like..100 pounds. So I did that and got strong. I got a pull-up, too. Then, I took my newfound strength and plugged it back into CrossFit, and I did a round of custom personal training with a specific competition in mind. That was fun. Then I did some olympic lifting training. That was cool, too. Then I wanted to learn to coach. I ended up at a different gym, and coached there for a few years.


Through all of this, I didn’t make massive nutritional or skill gains.  True, every once in awhile I accidentally did something that resembled a new skill, but not really on purpose, and not with much (if any) fanfare. Nutritionally, I cut out processed carbs somewhere in 2012 because I was curious to see what that would be like. That didn’t have much direction, and I still consumed plenty--if not more--processed carbs via booze. It was like playing darts upside down with a blindfold on. I tried some nutrition challenges, but they always started on a weekend and lasted about two hours until I went out to the bars with my friends.

It really wasn’t until 2017 (SEVEN YEARS LATER) that I got a handle on like, how I well I could eat and how great it could make me feel. I was eating great, and suddenly my workouts were great, and heyo I got a dang ring muscle-up. And some cool lifting PRs. And my anxiety and depressive states became more manageable. So that’s how I eat now. Not because I decided to drink the Kool-aid and take a blind leap of faith, but because I’d literally done everything I possibly could to avoid eating well. It is just abundantly clear that eating “dirty” is unsustainable to the life I want to lead.  

So those of you trying out this whole lifestyle change thing -- you have to make it your own. You have to want it; you have to need it. You have to be patient with yourself, and you have to acknowledge your weaknesses with an open heart. You gotta own it past the 28-day prescription. Whatever you do, don’t be lured into the idea that everyone gets it on their first try. There’s no magic bullet. Even when you get a handle on your nutrition, there are ups, downs, turnarounds, and dead-stops. But that’s ok. Read, listen to, and be inspired by other people’s journeys, but don’t compare them with your own. You do YOU, and you can be successful.

April Committed Club

by Admin | May 2, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

A big congrats to Kristyn Lipka, Russell Ward, and Jackie Nicoll who have made it in the Committed Club for 12 months straight!

Another shout out to Olivia D'Ottavio, Travis Gillispie, Sarah Wilhelm and Elena Mentzer for making it into the Committed Club for 6 months straight!

Hats off to all of our April Committed Club!!

Steve Meyer 26
Kerri Whalen 24
Ashley Greenberg 24
Joann Doyka 24
Rose Wall 23
Patty Abbott 23
Lauren Trainor 23
Elena Mentzer 23
Bruce Lentz 23
Lance Hubbell 22
Dana Beziat 22
Michael Grant 22
Jim Timmerman 22
Cara Clements 22
Rachel Shevland 22
John Maranto 22
Chris Day 22
Joshua Garland 22
Joyce Hollander 22
Travis Gillispie 21
Brian Whalen 21
Nick Hollander 21
Amanda Shrout 21
Chris Wheeler 21
Karen Walsh 21
Marie Dias 21
Dominic Levis 21
Olivia Dottavio 21
Kristyn Lipka 21
Randi Hyatt 21
Brian Stamp 21
Sarah Wilhelm 21
Jackie Nicoll 21
Marc Cousins 21
Jason Moneymaker 21
Jay Duffy 20
Mike Newman 20
Breanna Nelson 20
Diane Strickland 20
Matt Shrout 20
Russell Ward 20
Rachel Wood 20

Q & A with previous Nutrition Challenge winners

by Admin | April 25, 2018 | BLOGS | 0 Comment

Today we hosted our 2018 Spring Nutrition Challenge information session. We had a great turn out and we are so excited to get things started on Monday, April 30.

In that spirit, we thought it would be fun to reach out to each of our winners (we had 4!) from the 2017 Fall Nutrition Challenge. This is to help you better understand the benefits of the nutrition challenge, but also to give you a different POV from me (Cara), Jess, Stan and all of our coaches at Outsiders.

Here we go!

Jason Eagles

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?
I felt like I was missing something in my fitness.  Although I was eating “clean” prior to the challenge, I had never dug into my nutrition much.  My goal was not focused on losing weight. I wanted to see the effects of the challenge on my performance.  Also, I needed a reason to detox from alcohol and cheese on the weekends. Joking…maybe

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?
Easily social and work events.  I often have lunch appointments and other events for business. This would typically include eating out and a few drinks.  I had strategically planned my meals and actually had to not eat or drink at a few events. I decided at the very beginning that I was going to be “All in” or not at all.  It was surprisingly easier than I thought and after a joke or two it was no big deal. With friends and family I found people were extremely supportive.

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?
The Way you feel!  I learned so much about myself.  The challenge itself was not very hard.  I could see it being more challenging if you needed to detox from sugar and processed foods.  That would be all the more reason to do the challenge though. I found myself being able to recovery from workouts quicker than ever before.  I PR’d just about every lift and benchmark WOD during and after the challenge.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from this Challenge.  If you are considering it, DO IT! Still not sure….Why not?  It has the potential to make you feel amazing while trimming up.  Who doesn’t want that? It is not forever and you will have a support system behind you.

Joyce Hollander

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?  
To support my husband (who was going to participate) and to see if I truly felt any different with what I ate or didn't eat.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge? No sugar and no alcohol-my body craved sugar so badly the first week!

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?  To see a better performance in my Wod's and to feel more energy.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge? Do it-You won't be alone and everyone is supportive and there to help you do your best. No one is perfect either, And it's only 3 weeks.

Nick Hollander

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?  It was my first nutrition challenge and I was on the fence bc I love food and love an “occasional” beer, but quite a few previous nutrition challengers told me how amazing it was to see the aches and pains go away and lose a few pounds.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?  The first week of getting enough food prep done and enough eating (5 meals is tough at first).

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?  For me, b/c I had some lb’s to lose, it was watching the weight just fall off, and also the increased energy in the metcon portion of the workouts….just didn’t get the fatigue.

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?  Give it a try, it’s rewarding just to challenge yourself to not cheat (much) and persevere through the suffering bc it will make you a better person both physically and mentally.

Joanna Doyka

1 - Why did you decide to participate in the nutrition challenge?
I was curious, and slightly skeptical. I wanted to see if following the nutrition challenge rules made a difference in my performance. Also, I think everyone that knows me didn’t think I could give up sugar for month.

2 - What was the most difficult part of the nutrition challenge?
The first week was difficult. I felt foggy, and tired. I was ready to start eating skittles again! Slowly the fog lifted, I felt great, and started to sleep better.
I also had a hard time remembering to log my food in my fitness pal.

3 - What was the most rewarding part of the nutrition challenge?
Seeing the positive change in my performance and body as a result of eating healthy food. No pills or gimmicks, just food and a lot of it.
Also, restful sleep!

4 - What would you tell someone who was unsure of participating in the challenge?  
Just because you are doing the challenge doesn’t mean life stops. The points based system allows you to eat or drink something you want that isn’t on the holds you accountable. It’s only a month! What’s the worst that could happen?