Get to Know Your Captains – Katelyn Thomas


Katelyn Thomas | Captain, Team Potomac Justice

What is something most PCF’ers don’t know about you? A secret talent? An embarrassing story?
I was the third runner up (third loser) in the Miss Pre Teen Virginia Beach Pageant

How/when did you get started with CrossFit? What has made you stick around?
I started in 2015. CrossFit is the only exercise experience I have ever looked forward to and enjoyed. However, a majority of the time I am in quite a bit of pain. We are crazy people!

What has your past experience with The Open been like?
In 2016 I did most of the workouts scaled but did not officially register. In 2017 I registered and did two RX’d and three scaled. I actually did 16.4 twice, prescribed, because I wanted to get to the HSPUs. The open workouts made me push harder than I ever had before. It was nuts.

So, you’ve been named captain (nice work!) of one of the PCF Intramural Open Teams… what does that mean to you?
One of my favorite things is watching people discover  and fall in love with Crossfit. I know I will have some people on my team that have never done the Open before and I know they will surprise themselves by how well they do.

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Open/Intramural Open?
Hopefully seeing improvements upon last year’s open. However, I think I was in better shape last year so I’m not going to be too hard on myself if there are not dramatic improvements. I am looking to have fun and encourage my team.

For people that have never done the Open before and are maybe on the fence, what would you tell them?
If you have done CrossFit  for even just a couple months, you will be able to do everything that is programmed. And if you come on Friday at Patriot or Saturday at Potomac, you will do the workout regardless, might as well sign up!

Some Stats on Katelyn…
Grace 4:53
Fran 8:41
Deadlift: 235#
OHS 125#
Press 95#
Clean #140
2k Row 8:35

Favorite CrossFit movement? Right now, it’s pistols.

Least favorite movement? Turkish Get-ups

Lose the Belt, Learn to Set your Spine

Lose the Belt, Learn to Set your Spine
By Colin Farrell

An athlete steps into the gym after a day at the office. She gets changed out of her work clothes and into her Lululemon and Reebok apparel, she laces up her Nike Metcon 3’s. She hops on a rower and starts getting warm before class starts, she does some work with a lacrosse ball, and then class starts. She completes the group warm-up and now it’s time do some front squatting.

She pulls on a pair of neoprene knee sleeves.
She changes out her shoes into a pair of Olympic-style lifting shoes.
She fishes her leather lifting belt out of her gym bag and tosses it on the floor by her squat rack.
She straps on her wrist wraps and pulls out her gymnastics grips as she may need them later during the workout, which has lots of toe-to-bar.

What the hell is all of this stuff? Newer athletes may, justifiably so, be confounded by all the “things” people have just to workout. What ever happened to sneakers, gym shorts, and a t-shirt?

There is a lengthier discussion to be had about each of these pieces of equipment, but I want to focus on one in particular: the lifting belt. Aside from Oly shoes, it is probably one of the most overused pieces of equipment by CrossFitters the world-over. Like lifters, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, gymnastics grips, KT tape, etc., a belt has its time and place and is–in many cases–appropriate to put to use.

However, if athletes are using the belt because they are incapable of securing their spine without one, that presents a serious issue. While CrossFit is a ton of fun, and many of us like to compete in The Sport of Fitness, the overwhelming majority of athletes do CrossFit so they are more capable of accomplishing tasks outside of the gym. We don’t just want to be the best at exercising. Last I checked, it is socially unacceptable to wear a lifting belt to the office, to your kid’s birthday party, or out to dinner. Additionally, you may not always have an opportunity to use the belt when you believe you need it.

You have to know how to set your spine. What that means is athletes must be able to organize their vertebrae in as safe a position as possible in relation to their hip and shoulder, and subsequently cinch the musculature around the spine (especially in the lumbar region, where athletes are most prone to overflex or over-extend) to protect it while moving. This task takes less than four seconds and can be done in four steps:

    Step 1: Stand with feet parallel and directly under your hips. With your hands to your sides, roll your thumbs outwards so your palms are facing forward. Pull your shoulders back into what most would term “good posture” (i.e. don’t slouch).
    Purpose: To ensure your spine is in a safe, neutral position, we need to ensure your shoulders and hips themselves are secure and set into a strong position. With your hip and shoulder set, your spine will have pulled into the most neutral position it can naturally achieve.
    Step 2: Squeeze your butt as hard as you possibly can..
    Purpose: When athletes squeeze their butt, the pelvis pushes slightly forward. This will aid in aligning the shoulder and and hip in a nice, neat stack with the spine connecting the two.
    Step 3:While still squeezing your butt, and maintaining the position outlined in Step 1, take a big deep breath in, and exhale as much as is possible. As soon as you have exhaled, flex and tighten every muscle in your core as much as you possibly can.
    Purpose: With your spine nicely aligned relative to the hip and shoulder, it’s time to cinch up all that musculature around it. Tightening up will effectively secure and protect the spine in a similar fashion as a weight belt would.
    Step 4:Hold your breath in, unclench your glutes, and commence lifting.
    Purpose: With the vertebrae fully secured, athletes can release their glutes and begin moving around. The spine is as secure as it can possibly be without a belt. While it would be nice to keep our glutes flexed at all times, there are some drawbacks: you’d look really funny moving around, you can’t squat with your glutes fully flexed, and it would be exhausting.

Commit these four steps to memory. Practice doing them. Make it so much a habit you do it without thinking about it.

You may have noticed that after Step 3 (when athletes exhale and cinch up their core, nice and tight), there was never an instruction to breath again. Naturally, you will eventually have to breath. If you are going for a new 1-rep max deadlift or squat, hold your breath after that exhale from start to finish. If you are doing a set of 7 heavy overhead squats, you will certainly have to breath before the set is done. If that is the case, take small, short, diaphragmatic breaths at the top of each rep. On the exhale, re-tighten and complete the next rep.

This four step process, mind you, is not just for lifting. Athletes at all times should maintain about 15-20% brace just while out and about, at work, walking around, etc. If you are out for a run, 40%. If you are going for a max-effort power clean, 100% braced. Hopefully you get the idea.

As mentioned above they absolutely have their time and place:

The following are good, general guidelines for when it is appropriate for a CrossFitter to strap on a lifting belt

  • When performing lifts at 85% or above of 1-repetition max, including all squatting, pressing, and pulling movements.
  • When in a competition setting or testing fitness, as opposed to building fitness (see Today, Why Are you Here?); situations may include:
    • -Completing heavy CrossFit Benchmark workouts (see Who The Hell is Fran?)
      -Competing with heavier barbells (whether it’s SuperFit, The Open, The Festivus Games or a Friday Night Throwdown)

    I would encourage newer athletes to not use a belt for at least the first year of their experience with CrossFit and the barbell lifts. Experienced athletes may be begin to dabble with such accessories, and there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with that. Each accessory has a purpose, athletes need to ensure they are using them as an aid at appropriate times, and not a crutch to lean one due to inefficiencies in mobility, strength, or skill.


    Starrett, Kelly, and Glen Cordoza. Becoming a Supple Leopard: the Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. Victory Belt Publishing, 2015.

    January Benchmarks at Potomac


    January 3: Cindy or Mary

    January 4: 13.2

    January 6: Benchmark Hero

    January 8: Max Effort Lift + Open Workout

    January 9: Benchmark Girl

    January 12: Benchmark Girl

    January 13: Open Workout

    January 15: Benchmark Girl

    January 16: Max Effort Lift

    January 17: Max Effort Lift

    January 23: Max Effort Lift

    January 24: Benchmark Girl

    January 25: Max Effort Lift

    January 28: The CrossFit Total (make-up)

    What is the Open?

    By Colin Farrell

    The CrossFit Games Open, commonly referred to as just “The Open”, is a 5-week long, worldwide CrossFit competition whose purpose is to test the fitness of participating athletes. For 99.9% of us, our competition season ends after Week 5. For the top few women, men, and teams in their geographic region, The Open serves as the qualifying round before making it to Regionals, and for the fittest among them, subsequently to the CrossFit Games.

    The Open is, reportedly, the most egalitarian sporting event on Earth. It costs only $20 to participate (a tiny amount when compared to local fitness competition, Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, or even your local half marathon or 10k), and you can compete in your own gym, or even at your home so long as you have the necessary equipment. In its inaugural year, roughly 20,000 athletes signed up. In 2017, that number had grown to nearly a half million.

    The Open usually starts in late February and runs through March. Each week during the competition, on Thursday night, CrossFit Headquarters announces the workout. Athletes around the world have until Monday night to complete the workout and submit their scores online. At Potomac CrossFit, the Open workout is programmed for Saturday during each week of the Open. At Patriot CrossFit, it is programmed for Fridays throughout the 5 weeks. Participating athletes will have a judge and scorecard to verify each repetition was completed properly (at the correct weight, with the specified range of motion, etc.) and their scores will be validated by the Head Coach from each gym.

    If inclined to do so, athletes may repeat a workout for a better score. As long as their score is submitted before the deadline each Monday night.

    At the end of the 5 weeks, athletes may take a look at the leaderboard to see how they did compared to their results in previous years, compared to athletes in their gym, age bracket, geographic location, and even see where they stack up in the world.

    The Open is a great time to test your fitness and push yourself. It is a great time to push a little bit outside your normal comfort zone. Every year, people PR major lifts during the Open, someone will nail double-unders for the first time, get their first muscle-up, or complete a box jump at a height they never dreamed imaginable.

    The Open is a ton of fun. Registration opens at on 11 January. Are you in?


    Further Reading and Viewing

    The CrossFit Games website
    What is The Open?
    Greg Glassman On The Open, Part I and Part II
    Live Announcement of 17.1
    “Thank you, Dan”

    The 2018 Intramural Open

    By Colin Farrell

    The Open is the most egalitarian sporting event in human history. In 2017, over 300,000 athletes registered. In just five weeks, that field is narrowed down to the few hundred fittest athletes on the planet.

    The PCF Intramural Open, however, is designed to ensure that the Open is not just a test of our fitness, but–more importantly–a tool by which we grow as a community.  For 99.9% of the athletes that participate in the Open, our official CrossFit Games season ends after those 5 weeks in February and March. After those 5 weeks, everyone who participated should enter the off-season excited about their accomplishments, the friends they made, and confident in knowing what they must do to improve their fitness and, therefore, their health, over the coming year.

    Patriot and Potomac CrossFit will be divided into 6 teams.  Each team will compete with one another across The CrossFit Games Open.  However, teams will not only compete with another on the floor of the gym…

    The CrossFit Games Open has 5 workouts–5 scored events. The PCF Intramural Open will have 8 scored events.  The three additional events will be community-based.  Only the top-performing athletes during workouts 18.1 through 18.5 affect the overall team score on the leaderboard. During the Intramural Open, here at PCF, athletes of all capabilities will have an opportunity to affect the score in events 6, 7, and 8.

    Event 1: 18.1
    Event 2: 18.2
    Event 3: 18.3
    Event 4: 18.4
    Event 5: 18.5
    Event 6: A mystery, for now…
    Event 7: Community Engagement
    Event 8: The Spirit of the Open

    Event 6 shall remain a mystery until the night of The Draft (more on that later). The Community Engagement event, Event 7, will be scored based on your team’s, well, community engagement. Teams will earn points by completing non-CrossFit Open related activities or tasks. For example, if X-number of athletes from your team goes out for a happy hour together, you will earn a set number of points. If x-number of athletes from your team do a non-CrossFit-related fitness activity together (say, go climbing at Earth Treks on a Sunday afternoon), your team will earn points. If your members of your team come on a Thursday night during an Open workout announcement to cheer on other competitors, that team will earn points. The team with the most Community Involvement points at the end of 5 weeks will win Event 7.

    Event 8 is a special event.  After Week 3 of the Open, the captains of each team will submit the name of one member of their team for consideration to win the “Spirit of the Open” award. All participating athletes, between Weeks 3 and 4, will vote on who most embodies the Spirit of the Open and, thus, has earned the award.  Teams will not be permitted to vote for the member of their own team. The Spirit of the Open award has nought to do with increased work capacity and fitness. It is earned with a great attitude, hard work, and a caring for others that goes well beyond average kindness and courtesy.

    Teams will be picked on the night of The Draft, February 1, 2018. Prior to the draft, PCF coaching staff will have hand-selected one captain to lead each team. Every athlete that has already registered for the Open on the CrossFit Games website will be eligible for the draft. PCF Coaches are eligible for the draft, but must be chosen after all members have been selected by team captains.

    Thursday Night Throwdown. Each week during The Open, athletes from specified teams will square off on Thursday night, right after the workout is announced (around 8:15pm):

    Week 1: A vs. B
    Week 2: B vs. C
    Week 3: C vs. A
    Week 4: Potomac vs. Patriot
    Week 5: A vs. B vs. C

    In Weeks 1, 2, 3 athletes from each specified team will go head-to-head on Thursday night. In Week 4, two athletes from each team will go to the opposite gym to complete the workout (Patriot athletes will go to Potomac, Potomac athletes will go to Patriot). In Week 5, a few athletes from every team will compete on Thursday night. Athletes that do not compete on Thursday night will have the opportunity to throw down on Friday at Patriot or Saturday at Potomac.

    Friday Night Lights. Athletes that do not complete the workout on Thursday night will have the opportunity to complete The Open workout at any regularly-scheduled class at Patriot.

    Saturday Showdown. Athletes that do not complete the workout on Thursday or Friday will have the opportunity to complete The Open workout at any regularly-scheduled class at Potomac.

    Whether you started CrossFit 10 days ago or 10 years ago, the Open and the Intramural Open here at PCF have something to offer. You, regardless of your experience, have something to contribute to the community around you in so many ways.  It is an exhausting and exciting five weeks, and I hope you will consider joining us.

    Are you in?

    About that Nutrition Thing…

    By Laura Pilchuk

    So, you’ve been here, at this gym for a year or two now. Maybe even 3-5 years but you haven’t seen many changes in the last year or so. Your performance has hit a plateau and you just chalk it up to the fact that you’re getting older and you’ve been busy so you haven’t really been able to focus on it. What if this could be fixed with something as simple as what you’re eating?

    Usually, if I ask someone how many calories they eat a day or how many protein, fats and carbs they consume, they have no clue. Would you attempt to lift a barbell without knowing how much it weighs? Of course not, you need to warm up and lead up to that weight. You’d typically add 25’s or 45’s to the bar, hit that a few times, make your usual jumps in weights whether it’s 50-lb jumps or 20-lb jumps; only then would you pick it up. The same applies for food.

    Knowing what you’re eating and when you’re eating it plays an important role in your workout performance. Protein, fats, carbohydrates, and water all have an impact on how you feel during and after your workout. Depending on your body, you use either carbs or fats as fuel. I’ll stick with carbs as fuel for this example. It’s just like gas in a car. If you’re on empty in your car, you won’t go anywhere. At least maybe a couple miles until you’re completely out. That’s how carbs affect your workout. 3, 2, 1 GO! Just a couple minutes in, you’ll realize that you’re exhausted and you might even get dizzy. You’re running on empty.

    Eating fats too close to a workout can make you feel sluggish and heavy. If you eat fats (and they’re not your primary fuel source), it can also make you feel lethargic and gross while you’re getting your heart rate up. Keeping them on the opposite end of your work out keeps you full while you’re doing every day, normal work stuff.

    Protein is good to spread out evenly throughout the day. If you decide to eat a chunk of it right before your workout, it’ll have the same effect as fat. Water is one of the most important (maybe most important) to consume throughout the day. It keeps you hydrated, keeps your body moving, and it helps you recover faster. It transports nutrients and oxygen that are important for cell growth and repair. It can prevent cramping and it flushes filtering organs like the liver and kidneys that removes toxins from the body.

    Are you starting to realize what you’re missing in your diet? Great, that’s step one. Step two is to sign up for the January Nutrition Challenge so that I can help you perfect your diet so you can get the results you deserve.

    “Tis the Season… For the Flu”

    By Coach Gretchen

    Flu season is here. As much as we are eager to stay in the gym during the holiday season, this isn’t the best decision for many reasons.

    If you have any type of sniffles, cold, fever…please please stay at home and get better. The sweat it out method isn’t always ideal for our bodies. One, you are bringing your germs to the gym and spreading it onto others. Secondly, you aren’t letting your body heal which is so important for recovery and health. Many doctors recommend, that you shouldn’t exercise with cold or flu like symptoms. Madeline R. Vann MPH notes the following:

    When You Shouldn’t Exercise With a Cold:

    Avoid exercise when,

    • You have a fever.
    • Your body aches.
    • You have a cough.
    • You have flu symptoms
    • You have a cold along with chronic health concerns, such as heart disease or asthma.

    As much as we would love to see your lovely faces in the gym everyday, we would rather you stay home and get healthy and come back in when your body is fully recovered.

    As coaches we want the ultimate best for you and your body which includes, exercise, nutrition, as well as your all around health.

    All Hail the Toe-To-Bar

    All Hail the Toe-to-Bar
    By Colin Farrell

    Weightlifters will often make reference to the back squat as “the king of lifts.” Why? It’s not as fast or cool as the snatch, it’s not as powerful as the clean-and-jerk, it’s not as exotic or instagram-worthy as the overhead squat.

    The squat is the king of lifts because it is not cool, or fast, or exotic, yet still it makes you better at just about everything else you do in life. Get stronger at the back squat, and your push press will go up. Get stronger at the back squat, and your snatch will go up. Get stronger at the back squat, and you will probably get a pay raise at work

    The same should be said of the toe-to-bar in the realm of gymnastics. The toe-to-bar lacks the fluidity of smooth and multi-rep sets of muscle-ups, it is not the social media gold of handstand walking, it does not really offer the same sense of accomplishment as climbing the rope.

    However, to become more proficient at all of those things, athletes need to master the toe-to-bar. Often times athletes will scale muscle-ups to pull-ups and ring dips (or push-ups), or to work on pulling and grip strength for rope climbs they will perform more pull-ups or ring rows. While no one will get less fit doing pull-ups, dips, and ring rows, it is not the most efficient avenue to the higher skill gymnastics movements.

    The toe-to-bar goes something like this:

      1. After a forward swing, athlete drives/presses the bar away from them and down, using the shoulder and lat to do the work
      2. There is no pulling or flexing at the elbow.
      3. As the athlete presses down on the bar, the shoulder closes and the athlete’s hips rise higher and higher, shortening the distance between toes and bar.
      4. Athletes with strong shoulders will be able to press down on the bar hard enough that the forehead may even be in line with the anchor point of the hands.
      5. Athlete closes hips as kicks toes to the bar, making contact, and finishing the movement.

    The lats stay strong and doing the bulk of the work. The elbows don’t bend. The hips have to close hard and fast at the right time in order to maintain rhythm and successfully complete the movement.

    The muscle-up (bar and/or ring) and the rope climb require much the same thing. During the muscle-up athletes must press the bar/rings away from them using the lat as they raise the hips as high as possible. Once the hips have driven to their apex, the hip has to close hard and fast. Anyone who has ever tried a kipping muscle-up by pulling with the arms and flexing at the elbow has ended up doing an awkward chest-to-bar or chest-to-rings pull-up that coupled well with an, “Aw, shit” face.

    During the rope climb, the elbows should flex very little. The lats do the work and the hips close hard as the athlete leans back (just like a toe-to-bar).

    This same concept carries over to weightlifting as well: hard hip- and shoulder-driven movements, followed up by a rapid closing of the hip, and characterized by the elbows bending only at the last possible moment and only as much as is necessary. If you’ve ever seen old YouTube videos of Coach Cody’s dad, Coach B, you’ve probably heard him bark the words, “When the elbows end, the power ends.” This is true with all of the aforementioned movements.

    Want to get that first muscle up, or get better at them? Do more toe-to-bar.

    Want to climb ropes faster? Do more toe-to-bar.

    Want to get better at first impressions on dates? Do more toe-to-bar.

    Kippin Toes to Bar Progression

    2017 Holiday Throwdown Events

    Events 1 & 2

    AMRAP in 4 Minutes

    Max Cal Row

    Max Wallball

    -Rest 2 Minutes-

    For Time

    15 Ring Muscle-up

          (4:00 Cap)

    Rx Wallball: 20@10/14@9

    Sc Wallball: 14@9/8@8
    Rx Barbell: 135/85
    Sc Barbell: 95/65

    Scaled Ring Muscle-up: Burpee Pull-up

    On a ten minute running clock, athletes will begin with Event 1, a 4 minute AMRAP of max calorie row and max wallball. Two athletes per team may be working at one time, with one resting. Athletes/Teams may switch positions as often as they like. Score is total calories plus total wallball shots. From 4:00 to 6:00, teams will rest. At 6:00, Event 2 will begin. Teams must complete 15 snatches (any style snatch is allowed, save those from the hang position) before moving on to the clean-and-jerks (any style clean-and-jerk is allowed, save those from the hang position), teams will finish by completing 15 ring muscle-ups. There is no minimum work requirement (i.e. you may have one athlete complete all snatches, one athlete complete all clean-and-jerks, and one athlete complete all the muscle-ups). Time cap for Event 2 is 4:00 (the 10:00 mark on the running clock).

    Event 3

    AMRAP in 10 Minutes

    8 Synchro One-Arm DB Snatch
    40 Double-under

          Resting partners must hold a plate overhead during double-unders

    Rx Dumbbell: 50/35

    Sc Dumbbell: 40/25
    Rx Plate 45/25

    Sc Plate: 25/15

    At the call of “3, 2, 1…go!” all three athletes will begin 8 reps of synchronized one-arm dumbbell snatch. Athletes must all be at the top of the rep, dumbbell locked out and overhead, simultaneously. Athletes do not need to be synchronized at any other point in the movement. Once 8 repetitions are complete, the team will complete 40 total double-unders. There is no minimum work requirement, teams may have one athlete complete all double-unders if they wish. While one athlete completes double-unders, the two other athletes must hold a plate overhead. The center of the plate must be held over the center of the body, but elbows do not need to be locked out. Double-under reps will not count until both athletes have positioned the plate overhead. Score is total number of double-under and dumbbell snatch repetitions.

    Rest Day Protocol

    By Colin Farrell

    If you can’t remember the last time you took a rest day, that should be a strong indicator that you are past due.

    In a previous series of articles (Sleep Hygiene), it was mentioned that it is the unfortunate case that our lives . . . work, school, family, etc. . . . do not revolve around us eating well, working out, and recovering. It is unlikely your boss is so cool that you can text her or him after an intense workout at the gym saying, “Hey Chief, not going to be in on time today. It was squat day today and I’m going to need to spend some time in my Normatec Boots before making it to the office. See you a little bit before lunch,” and have them be alright with that. So, as ever, do the best you can given the circumstances; control what you can control, buffer against things that are beyond your control.

    The CrossFit prescription for work/rest ratio is 3 days on, 1 day off, repeat in perpetuity. If athletes are truly hitting workouts hard with a good solid warm-up and cool down, a lift or skill session, and a properly scaled metabolic conditioning workout, after three days it will become necessary to take a day off. If athletes were to continue to four, or five, or six days in a row, intensity levels would surely drop (intensity is the aspect of CrossFit mostly closely associated with positive adaptation), or movements would become sloppy and, therefore, dangerous.

    There are a great many variables to consider when figuring when is an appropriate time to come in to the gym, and when is it an appropriate time to stay home. But here are some parameters to follow, if you can:

    By all means, if you can follow the 3-on/1-off schedule, try it for a month or two, and adjust based on how you feel, your increase (or decrease) in fitness, and how productive your workouts are. Most individuals’ work and personal lives do not always allow for that, so alternative work/rest plans may become necessary.

    I advise against athletes simply coming every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, especially those of you that come to Potomac. If athletes never come on Tuesdays or Thursdays, they will rarely be exposed to heavy pressing (most every Tuesday) or gymnastics and accessory work (most every Thursday). Athletes should attempt to switch up which days of the week they attend: Monday/Wednesday/Friday this week; Sunday/Tues/Thurs/Saturday the following week.

    Try rest days in between work days, try two or four days in a row, then rest. Mix it up as much as you like and are able to, but do your best to come on different days each week, in different intervals, and ensure rest days are popping up on your calendar at least every 3rd day.

    Many athletes go a bit stir crazy if they do not get to the gym at least 5 or 6 days each week. If that is the case, if it is so deeply ingrained in your routine, then let’s be as intelligent about it as we can. If you are an L2 athlete who needs to be in the gym 5 days a week, have a structured plan in place:

  • Days 1 through 3: I will go as hard as I can, I will aim to do everything at L2 if possible, and maybe dabble in Rx movements when I can
  • Day 4: I will take everything one level down from what I am capable of and decrease intensity
  • Day 5: I will skip the lift or accessory work, instead opting for some light recovery rowing, and I will do the metcon one level down from what I am capable of and decrease intensity
    Our lives, for most of us, are largely sedentary and, to be sure, your coaches love that you want to be in the gym eight days a week. However, you are supposed to leave the gym in a better place than when you came arrived. CrossFit is some really potent stuff, it’s hard, and it can be hard on the body. Get some sleep, take a day off, get out of the gym and use or fitness or work on some active recovery.