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How Your Weaknesses Can Be Your Biggest Strengths

What makes a good athlete great? And what makes a great athlete elite? The recent CrossFit Games have me thinking about it, especially since Dwight programmed “The 3s” workout last week: Row 3K, 300 Double Unders, Run 3 miles.

As some of you may know, this was a 2014 CrossFit Games Championship workout. At the Games that year, the top woman finished it in 36:07, the top man in 33:03. Amazing! But, what is more amazing to me is this: Rich Froning, who won the CrossFit Games that year, finished in 38:31. Elisabeth Akinwale, 14th fittest in 2014, finished in 47:04.

Had the CrossFit Games solely consisted of the Triple 3 workout, our own Sanitas leaderboard on WODify would have been right in the pack with the best of them.

But the CrossFit Games Championship didn’t consist solely of Triple 3 that year. And fitness isn’t about any one workout, modality, nor movement. I posit to you that what makes a good athlete great (and what makes a great athlete elite) is not their strengths, but their weaknesses. Your biggest weakness is ultimately your most limiting factor, and therefore defines the boundaries of what you can accomplish.

I think we can all universally acknowledge that there is some satisfaction coming from finishing a WOD first or finding yourself near the top of the leaderboard.

But let’s take a moment to acknowledge the times you show up to a WOD knowing it’s not your WOD: not your weights, not your movements, or not your time domain. Triple 3 is in the wheelhouse (clearly) for some of the endurance athletes at our gym, posting times that some of the elites at the 2014 CrossFit Games would drool over. However, I saw good athletes at our gym (myself included) for whom that workout is not a strength push through Triple 3. Those good athletes may struggle with double-unders, or running, or endurance in general (like me). But we showed up, and we did the work.

It takes a different type of strength to take on challenges that only highlight your weaknesses. This is where growth happens. Those times posted at the bottom of any leaderboard are important, and praiseworthy. Those are the times of people who are in the process of becoming great athletes.

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Programming Outlook (August 12th – September 29th)

The upcoming block of programming for CrossFit Sanitas is built upon a thought-out weekly structure centered around some key components that your coaches have noticed could use more attention. With that, we have come up with some great ideas to keep things fun and exciting while driving capacity upward in our strength lifts, aerobic zones, weightlifting movements, and gymnastics components.

This blog post is meant to give you a glimpse into the progressions and an understanding of the methodology that we are implementing to help you all stay healthy and happy, while driving performance metrics in the right direction.

How Long is this Block of Training?

We are entering a 7-week block of training to focus on the components explained below. The first 2 weeks will build in consistency week-to-week before we enter a testing period at the start of “The Clean Challenge” that kicks off August 26th. Refer to this link in order to get all the info you need about the upcoming clean challenge.

The Clean Challenge tests are worked into the key components of the 7-week block so that we can tie everything together and allow all of you to be very successful when we come back for retests. The challenge is 4 weeks long and we will be testing the week after the challenge, ultimately concluding our 7-week block.

What is the Focus of this Training Block?

The Overhead Squat

We love the overhead squat because if you focus on improving the overhead squat, you will improve both your stability and mobility. Trunk stability and thoracic mobility are the two prime areas of improvement we will expect to see from working on the overhead squat.

What should I see improve by improving my overhead squat?

You will see your total body mobility and strength improve and should see a huge jump in your ability to snatch as that fear getting under the bar will go away as you get more comfortable with weight overhead.

What if I physically can’t overhead squat?

Don’t worry, we have some progressions laid out that will still work on overhead mobility, trunk stability, and improve total body strength.

  • Weeks 1-2: During our strength components we will still have you working in a group, but will focus on PVC pipe overhead squat to a box and combine that with back squats to build strength.
  • Weeks 3-4: We will then move to an overhead lunge progression to allow for greater loading and stability. We are still combining this with the back squat building on weeks 1-2.
  • Weeks 5-7: We will then move back to the box, but with a double KB or DB Overhead Squat to Box combining the previous two progressions into a movement that will definitely challenge you, strengthen your upper thoracic and work on mobility through the shoulders.

Support Holds and False Grip Holds

Why are we focusing on these gymnastics components?

We are working towards helping people develop the capacity for their first strict muscle-up! Static/isometric holds help build total-body strength and stability that will have huge transferability over to every other gymnastics movement.

You will see this often put in as an EMOM before WODs building time under tension week-to-week and then added in with more complexity towards the final weeks of the block.

Aerobic Intervals in the range of 2:30-4:00 with 1:30-2:30 rest intervals

We will be building volume here to allow you to understand how to pace better and work at around 85% of your max heart rate for longer periods of time as well as teach your body how to recover from these bouts better.

Why are we focused on this time domain?

For one, The CrossFit Open is coming up and these types of intervals are particularly good at developing the capacity to hit metcons well in the time domain of 8-16min, which is where 90% of all Crossfit Open workouts live.

More importantly, building threshold capacity has been shown to have the greatest impact on individuals overall aerobic performance as well as health and longevity.

Weightlifting Focus Days

Once a week we will be focusing on a weightlifting movement, i.e. the Snatch or Clean and Jerk. The goal is to help you improve your form and feel more confident when these lifts come up in the future. If you have struggled with the olympic lifts or haven’t felt yourself progressing. Come to these days and focus on movement quality first and load second!

Questions and Concerns?

If you are wondering how to take full advantage of the progressions over the next 7 weeks, do not hesitate to ask one of your coaches or email Dwight@CrossFitSanitas with any questions. If you are specifically concerned about working on the Overhead Squat, we totally understand that, and as a group have talked through it thoroughly, so that everyone will still get a great workout even if we modify for you. By working on improving the overhead squat we will be spending an even greater amount of time on the ankles, hips, and thoracic, which is a huge limiter for the majority of the gym. We are hoping with this focus will help to decrease pain and discomfort associated with the lack of mobility in these areas.

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The Weekly Preview 080519

This week we are starting it off with a bang with our Member of the Month Workout “German” on Monday! The rest of the week we get into testing some 1RMs. We have the Front Squat, Power Clean, Back Squat, Bench Press, Weighted Strict Pull-Up, and 50ft Farmers Carry on the agenda! Member of the […]

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Accelerate Your Results! Join the Clean Challenge Starting Aug 26!

Our goal is to make this the biggest Clean Challenge we’ve done to date! We firmly believe we’ve set it up for the highest level of success, without making you feel like you’re sacrificing very much at all. This 4-week challenge will have one winner, the individual who gets the most points by completing a […]

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Winner of the Wall Walk Challenge and the Water Challenge

Wall Walk Challenge Winner The winner of July’s Wall Walk Challenge is — Dave Warfel, who also wins for style points while doing the wall walks. Dave and Scott Jeffords were the only two to make it the entire month of July doing the Wall Walk Challenge. Dave had two days where he accumulated more […]

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Joint Health Seminar

Are your injuries or your mobility issues holding you back from living your life at its full potential?  Do you want to learn a daily routine to help keep your joints functioning at 100%? Join Jake Corley for a 2-day, 2 hour seminar focused on improving the health of your joints. What should I expect? […]

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August Member of the Month: German Nunez

Our Member of the Month for August is German Nunez. He is coming up on 2 years here at CrossFit Santias. For his anniversary on August 5th we will be performing his Member of the Month WOD! German has gradually increased his capacity over 2 years at CrossFit Sanitas by coming in consistently 4-5 days […]

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The Weekly Preview 07.29.19

We are finally to the last few days of the Wall Walk Challenge! A special surprise will be in store for any of those still going on day 31 of the challenge. Hint: there can only be 1 winner. As we head into the final week of July and make our way into August we […]

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The Weekly Preview 072219

This next week we are moving into the final days of our Wall Walk Challenge! Looks like there are still a half dozen pushing through and staying strong. Keep it up!! We have a good mixture of really short, fast interval workouts along with a grueling Tuesday aerobic stamina builder! Monday Strength Work: EOMOM x […]

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The Weekly Preview 071519

This week we have some high skill work on the docket, along with some very fun conditioning pieces meant to challenge both your muscular stamina as well as your heart! Remember that we are moving into week 3 of the wall walk challenge and will be at 15 wall walks Monday and up to 21 […]

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