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CFK No Complaint Challenge – Final Thoughts

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Alright kids…we’re about to pull the trigger on this No Complaint Challenge. I’ve been getting my head around what I’m looking to get out of it for myself, and wanted to share one more piece that could be helpful to you as you do the same. It’s a solid 2015 Fast Company piece that looks at the concept of a No Complaint Challenge, the pros and cons, and a few ideas on how to approach it.

Here’s the link:

If you don’t have time to read it, here’s the gist and some additional thoughts:

One of the people interviewed was asked why she was doing it, and she said she “wanted to be more self aware and mindful of what she was putting out there”.


Self-awareness is a SKILL that we can all stand to sharpen. Paying attention to the manner in which you move throughout your day, and the impact your words and vibe have on others, is a powerful exercise. We all get so wrapped up in our own interests that we can forget to spend any time here.

For me, that’s a big part of this challenge. But an even BIGGER motive is selfish. What about the idea of “creating a more positive life by eliminating negative statements”? Or literally changing the composition of my brain for the better?


This will not be perfect, nor is it a panacea for your problems. It’s self-directed, self-policed, and there is no prize. But I guarantee that if you see it through, you will see real and positive changes. That’s the hope I have for my experience.

And if you are not participating? Good – that is ALSO a self-aware move. This isn’t for everyone, and you should be 100% committed to this. This won’t be easy, so no need to waste your time if you’re not into it. February’s challenge might be of more interest (and no worries…both challenges intertwine so for those doing this one, you can 100% do both with low maintenance).

A few other things that stood out from this article for me:

* Discussion on WHY we complain – “Nothing unites people more strongly than a common dislike”
* Evolution has primed us for complaining – The more we look at something that can hurt/kill us, the more we are programmed to guard against it. Hence our inclination to complain
* Second hand smoke – When we complain OR hear OTHERS complain, our brains release stress hormones that can harm neural connections
An interesting question in the article: is this kind of challenge set up to fail? Things we do habitually are hard to give up…so will this be impossible to do?

Nope. It just depends on the expectations going in. Here are four tips to make it through:

1) Define what a complaint is

We have set the parameters (see previous post). To elaborate…an observation is not a complaint. “It’s cold outside” isn’t a complaint. “It’s always cold here, I hate living in this place” IS a complaint. Similar to when Supreme Court Justice Stewart opined about hardcore pornography in a 1964 hearing, stating “I can’t define it…but I know it when I see it”, you most likely know when you’re complaining. For the purposes of this challenge, use the parameters for what a complaint is, and use your common sense. You know the spirit of this exercise. Be honest with yourself, and don’t cut corners. If you complain, call yourself on it and start from day zero.

2) Separate yourself from chronic complainers

If nothing else, this exercise will probably highlight the complaining that those around you participate in. Do you have repeat offenders? And how are you responding? It’s difficult to not chime in for that “shared” negativity. See how you do with it…and if there are a few frequent fliers…perhaps some distance between you would be good.

3) Turn complaints into solutions

For me, this is the punchline for the whole challenge. We all find ourselves in situations that annoy us. The question is, what will we DO in that moment? Stew in the problem? Or do something about it. And if nothing can be done? Adjust your frame of reference to something either neutral or positive

4) Change “have to” to “get to”

The word “gratitude” is all you need to know here. Practicing gratitude truly eliminates complaining. “I have to pick the kids up” turns into “I GET to pick the kids up”. “I have to do 150 wall balls today” turns into “I GET to do wall balls, and am incredibly lucky to be physically able to even do so”.

Too corny? Again…that’s fine too. But practicing different levels of gratitude can truly be incredibly effective…and it works.
There you have it. I hope this challenge proves to be time and energy well-spent for each of you.

Good luck!


“Dope Dancin'” – Saturday – 1-14

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Partner WOD!!

5 Rounds – Each partner works for 30 consecutive seconds of each minute:

1:00 min max wall balls (20/14)

1:00 min max hang power cleans (135/95)

1:00 min max double unders

1:00 min max S20

1:00 min max TTB

1:00 min max lateral barbell burpee double jumps

1:00 min rest

Score = total reps (double under reps are divided by 2)

Level 3: (115/75)

Level 2: (95/65)(Singles)

Level 1: (75/35)(14/10)(singles)

Coach Eric’s Prehab Blog – Week 4

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Hey Kells crew! Week 4 of this blog/vlog, this week I want to talk about everyone’s favorite muscle…the hamstring. As a PT I see tight hamstrings on the regular. I myself have some pretty tight hammy’s, check out the video (apologies for the background chatter). Like all other muscles, if you are overly tight you will have limited movement. Limited movement causes you to make compensations to complete the motion; your body is just good at finding free space and moving into that direction. For example, tight hamstrings in the dead lift will cause you to round your back just to get to the bar. If you have been in any of my classes you know that I hate that. This specific compensation will put you at greater risk for a back injury especially with higher loads or speeds. Please keep in mind, having flexible hamstrings will not prevent injury but is a small piece of the pie to maintain overall joint health. This however is not easy to come by, many of us sit for long periods of the day with our knees bent, and we are just used to doing it. Unfortunately this is the perfect recipe for tight hamstrings.

The video below contains a few ways to help lengthen the hamstrings, but keep in mind this is not a magic formula. These “stretches” need to be done routinely and over a long period of time for significant changes to be made. Many of us may never have flexible hamstrings but it is important to keep these muscles as supple as possible due to their high use in everyday life but also here at Kells. I personally like using a contract relax technique for lengthening muscle, in short it is using opposing muscles to the target muscle to “turn off” the target and improve muscle length. In the video below I use this in two different techniques, first with the green band laying on back and band around the foot, pull thigh to a 90degree position in relation to the torso with knee slightly bent. You will then contract your quads to straighten out your leg as much as you can then relax allowing your knee to bend once again. Perform 20-30 reps of this and repeat on the opposite side.

The second way to do this is to set yourself up again lying on the ground, this time close to the rig or a doorway. Place your leg on the vertical object with your knee straight and opposite leg flat on the ground, you will then push your foot into the rig as hard as you can and hold for a 10 count, perform 2-3 times and move yourself closer to the vertical object. Perform this 2-3 times. I promise you will see a significant improvement in your hamstring mobility after this, but keep in mind this will most likely be temporary and will have to be done on the regular for permanent changes to be made.


“Wobble, Baby” & OLY – Thursday – 1/12

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Death By Thrusters
1 Thruster (95,65) 1st minute
2 Thrusters 2nd minute
3 Thrusters 3rd minute

Level 2- (75,50)
Level 1- (55,35)


7 Minute AMRAP
15 Toes to Bar
30 Sit-ups


OLY Class **6:00PM Only**

Remember if you arrive early start on the warm-up and
Get right into front rack stretch

Warm up
1 rnds
Snatch grip
10 strict press
10 push press
10 push jerk
10 split jerk
Thoracic stretch
2 rnds
1rnd w/out bar 1 with bar
10 squat
10 jump squat
10 snatch grip sotts press

Open up shoulder stretches
Static suckfest

1 hip snatch
Work up to heavy

Snatch wave EMOM
65%x1 65%x1 65%x1
70%x1 75%x1 75%x1
75%x1 80%x1 80%x1
80%x1 85%x1 90%x1

snatch pulls (heavy)/ 10 back extensions
5 around 100% of 1RM snatch
15 jumping lunges

CFK Kettlebell Club…and a new challenge…

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It is with great pride that we announce the inaugural winners of the CrossFit Kells Kettlebell Club!! A huge congratulations to:

Will B
Karen B
Jen Maser
Jill W

KB Club…your kettlebells have been ordered and will be arriving within the next 2 weeks. What a display of hard work and dedication by all of you! Congrats. See below if you’re interested in your NEXT challenge 😉

Before we get to that, here is an update on the future KB Club award winners. And big congrats to the FIVE of you who are making their first appearance on the list…keep it rolling!

11 Months
Laura Mac

10 Months
Matt Morin

9 Months
Shorty Spice

6 Months
Kristen K.

4 Months
Jodi D.

3 Months
Matty L.
Justine M.

1 Month
Andrea P.
Rachel L.

ALSO…we want to announce the next tier of membership excellence:

CFK Founder’s Club

Awarded to KB Club winners who are able to maintain 20+ visits per month for 12 straight months. If you are up for this next level of commitment, you will receive:

1) Your name painted permanently on the walls of CFK in the Founder’s Club section
2) Two free months of membership at CFK

Up for it? The clock has been started…