New Class Structure Overview.

By Josh Sroufek, Director, Training Programs & Athlete Performance

“MetCon. Strength & Power. CrossFit Women. Mobility & Recovery. Which class should I be in after Labor Day?”

This is a great question, and one we’ve heard several times since we announced the new EAD training options last week. So what’s the answer?

The people who train at EAD are on a shared journey to do better and be better, regardless of what “better” means to each person. It’s that “community” aspect I love about this place. I sometimes watch people talking and laughing after class and wonder if they would have made that kind of meaningful connection had they not just sweated through a really killer WOD. But even though we share a destination – “better” – the path to get there is unique for each person.

That’s why starting Tuesday, Sept. 6 we’re changing up our training options. The restructured classes will help each athlete within our Community achieve “better” in the way which best suits them, while supporting the CrossFit tenets of “unknown and unknowable”, General Physical Preparedness, and the 10 General Physical Skills (see related post). 

A few athletes have questioned the change – “I’m getting results. Why change?”, they say. We agree, you absolutely did get results from the previous class structure. And we stand by what we offered. However, we believe that in order for our athletes to reach their genetic potential, we need to challenge you in a different way. We also appreciate your honesty. Many of you admitted that you hold back – sometimes intentionally, sometimes sub-consciously – during the strength portion of a WOD in order to go harder during the MetCon.

Based on the goals you set during the 3-2-1 Goal!™ Workshop (register today / “Seminars”), we will help you select the “right” mix and frequency of MetCon, Strength & Power, and Mobility & Recovery classes to support goal attainment. Key to the mix will be periodization, or the progressive cycling of training elements over a defined time period, variety, performance fueling, and recovery. 

Here’s an overview of the new training options.


The Science. Metabolic Conditioning, affectionately known as the MetCon, challenges the body’s three energy systems (also known as metabolic pathways), and increases how efficiently we store and deliver energy.

What Are the Benefits? MetCon WODs are a fun and incredibly effective way to improve overall fitness, achieve specific sports-related goals, and change body composition.

What Can I Expect? Workouts combine strength, power, conditioning and core exercises in a constantly-varied mix. They are shorter, intense and will challenge you.

What Is a Sample WOD? For time: 100 Double Unders + 400m Run + 80 unanchored sit ups + 60 box jumps (24/20) + 400m Run + 40 Double Unders + 20 Wall Balls (20/16)

Can I Do It? Yes! Fitness Boot Camp, CrossFit Women and CrossFit athletes will quickly recognize the movements. Instruction / skill development at the start of class will help you acquire new movements, and the performance coach will scale the WOD to your current fitness level. 

Strength & Power.

The Science. This strength-biased workout will activate more muscle fibers, more rapidly, than any other modality of training.

What Are the Benefits? Strength & Power training is a solid foundation for all sports movement; enhances athletic performance; drives body composition changes; and builds confidence.

What Can I Expect? Olympic and Power Lift instruction, skill development & practice, and plenty of hard work. Make no mistake: this is no “sun’s out, gun’s out” lifting; we’re talking fully-functional movement.

What Is a Sample WOD? 1 Rep Max Snatch + Every 30 seconds for 10 min perform the following triplet: 1 Power Clean, 1 Front Squat, 1 Hang Squat Clean. Once you power clean the weight you cannot drop until completion of hang squat clean

Can I Do It? Yes! This class is perfect for athletes who like Olympic & Power Lifting, and who want increased speed, agility, quickness and strength. Fitness Boot Camp athletes have performed comparable movements with dumbbells (vs. a barbell), and CrossFit Women WODs frequently feature Olympic & Power lifts.

Mobility & Recovery.

The Science. Mobility & Recovery is the “missing link” for most athletes. The single greatest limiter for a majority of our athletes is the lack of mobility & flexibility.

What Are the Benefits? Injury prevention, increased range of movement, improved performance and improved movement efficiency are just a few reasons why you should attend at least one Mobility & Recovery class per week.

What Can I Expect? Classes could feature sports yoga and Pilates; core stability progression, band stretching; self-myofascial release; dynamic stretching; and more.

What Is a Sample WOD? Instruction, skill development and skill practice.

Can I Do It? Yes … and you should do it.

CrossFit Women. This class is a combination of MetCon and Strength & Power WODs. Athletes will attack the same WODs as the mixed gender class – but in a class just for women, led by a female performance coach.   

So here’s my answer to the question “Which class is right for me?”

They all are. The real question is what is the right mix and frequency for you? You’ll know that after you set your October – November – December goals at the 3-2-1 Goal!™ Workshop the week of September 12. 

Here’s a few other tips:

  • Try each class a few times. Focus on what you recognize. Embrace what is new, different and challenging.  
  • Come to class with an open mind. Meet new people. Expand your Community connection. Learn something new.
  • Ask questions. Many classes will have two performance coaches, so you’ll have ample opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Have fun. Celebrate accomplishments.
  • Get better.

CrossFit founder Greg Glassman opines that you are as fit as you are competent in each of ten general physical skills. EAD's new training program is designed to improve performance each of these ten skills. A nod to CrossFit South Bend for the image.


Happy Anniversary, EAD / CFAH / CFAX Athletes.

Coach Jim & Coach Karen look forward to using the Elite Athletic Development 3-2-1 Goal! Template to train for upcoming races.

We founded Elite Athletic Development in 2006 with a simple premise. We believed then–and believe even more now as we celebrate our fifth anniversary–that the “every day athlete” deserves access to the same strength and conditioning training used by top-caliber collegiate and professional athletes.

That’s why we’re excited about a set of changes we’re making effective September 6. Innovative new health and fitness programming designed around you. A new schedule with more than 60 weekly classes between our two locations. A unique, free quarterly goal setting process. Facility improvements to EAD North l CrossFit Arlington Heights. And our continued commitment to building and sustaining a workout community where people care about you, and create health and fitness programs with your goals in mind.

We hope you share our excitement about the next chapter in our history, and we invite your feedback in person, by phone (847.394.8110) or by email — &

Thanks for trusting us with your health and fitness.

Trading the Corporate Ladder for an Agility Ladder.

“Do you miss it?”

That’s what people frequently ask when they discover I left behind a 25 plus-year high-heeled climb of the corporate ladder for a pair of Innov8s, a pony-tail and small business ownership. My response? The sassy paycheck was nice, but the payoff from being part of Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights / CrossFit Axis  is much richer.  

Success in public relations is defined by how much a campaign impacts the attitudes and behavior of the target audience. Did the campaign sell more pizza, move more barrels of beer, increase worker productivity, or promote positive media coverage? 

Skilled coaching, sweat, sacrifice, shared experience and success help make the EAD Community experience priceless.

We’re concerned with return on investment at EAD, too. But the metrics we track are far more meaningful because they are — consistent with our mission — unique to the individual. There’s the former bodybuilder who can raise his arms over head for the first time in years, and who now understands that being able to move is more important than striking a pose. Or the 74 year-old woman who regales the ladies in her knitting club and bible study group about her recent deadlift PR. Or the older sister of a collegiate athlete, who prior to EAD, never exercised (that was her sister’s “thing”) and who recently completed two half-marathons and is currently training for her first marathon. Or the women who have put their lives on hold – for husbands, kids, careers, elder care and life in general – and thanks to their EAD experience, rediscover the very essence of who they are. Strong. Powerful. Capable. And able to conquer just about any physical or mental challenge they confront.  

The physical changes are impressive. But the mental transformations—those singular moments when someone accomplishes something they never dreamed possible—are truly what I find inspiring. The combination of hard work, dedication, education, camaraderie and support make the EAD experience priceless.

EAD / CFAH / CFAX to honor “31Heroes” with Special Workout.

Elite Athletic Development will host a special workout open to the public at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 to honor the 31 U.S. special operations troops killed in Afghanistan earlier this month.

The Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights / CrossFit Axis Community will honor the troops killed when their military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan with the 31Heroes WOD, 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 at CFAH.

 The “31Heroes” workout — named for the 31 U.S.special operations troops, most of them Navy SEALs — will raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation. All funds raised during the workout will be distributed to the affected families. The EAD Community will join CrossFit gyms from across the nation and around the world in a show of support for the families.

“Hero WODs are one small way the CrossFit Community bands together to honor the courageous sacrifice made by our military men and women,” said Coach Jim. “We encourage our athletes to encourage their friends, family members and co-workers — regardless of their current fitness level — to join us for this special workout.”

Prior experience with CrossFit is not necessary, said Jim. “Our performance coaches will adapt the workout to meet the current fitness level of anyone who signs up for the ’31Heroes’ workout.”

The EAD Community last hosted a “Hero Workout” – “Murph” –in June for Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29. Murphy was killed in Afghanistan 2005.

 The “31Heroes” workout has not been released, but organizers promise that it will uniquely serve as a fitting “moment of silence” — CrossFit-style — to honor the fallen troops.

Registration for the event is now open at The $31 entry fee includes a commemorative tee-shirt, which will be available for pick up at CFAH.

Granting Yourself Permission to Succeed.

The cul-de-sac in my suburban Detroit neighborhood was home base for after-dinner games on steamy summer nights. Kick the can. Red Light, Green Light. Red Rover, Red Rover. And the dreaded Mother May I?

For the uninitiated, the sole purpose of Mother May I? is for players to yield power for their every move to the approval of another. Each player makes a request—“Mother, may I walk like a crab?” or “Mother, may I complete 100 burpees?” (I grew up on the tough side of town)—and “mother” denies, accepts or alters the request.

The creator of “Mother May I?” probably thought the game would instill manners, a sense of order and an appreciation for consequences throughout the pediatric pride. Not for me. I found continually seeking permission to take a baby step back or umbrella step forward ridiculous. It was probably a good thing “mother’s” back was always turned as we played; she might not have appreciated my silent protests.

Memories of those long-ago summer games recently returned when I described someone in the EAD Community as an athlete, much to her surprise. Quite simply, she never gave herself permission to compare the giant leaps she logged during Fitness Boot Camp and CrossFit Women with those of an athlete. But an athlete she is.

When is the last time you granted yourself permission to celebrate a training or nutrition success? To take note, breathe deeply and let pride wash over you? To brag to a friend without hesitation?  If you can’t list at least three times over the past week, it’s time to embrace the athlete within you. No Mother needed.

EAD / CFAH / CFAX Athletes Ride Herd on the 2011 Stampede.

A few of the EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes who represented our community -- in great style -- at the 2011 Frontier Days Stampede.

The Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights / CrossFit Axis Community was well represented at the 2011 Frontier Days Stampede Sunday, July 3 with almost 50 athletes taking to the streets of downtown Arlington Heights in their brightly colored EAD wearables.

CrossFit athlete Jim S ran to a 3rd-place age group finish in the 10k, and many members of our community posted PRs, including Coach Josh (10k), CrossFit Women athlete Stacy R (5k) and CrossFit athletes Kelly B (5k), Phil (5k) & Tarek (10k) .

The Stampede added to a string of consecutive race PRs this season for Coach Amy and CrossFit Women athlete Amy C, while it was the first race for CrossFit Women athlete Vit (5k) and CrossFit athlete Laura M, who just weeks earlier ran her first 5k.

Jason Z won the $25 gift card drawing to either the Campbell Street Bike Shop or Runners High ‘n Tri for racing the event in EAD gear.

Congrats to every athlete who particpated in the event. Watch for details coming soon on future Community Events.

Inaugural Fitness Mile Celebrates Healthy Living

The crew pre-race. It was a chilly morning, but at least we beat the rain!

Thanks to the great ladies who joined us for the inaugural National Women’s Health Week / CrossFit Axis Fitness Mile Run / Walk. It was a fun morning and we look forward to seeing you at the Salute, Inc. Memorial Day 5k & 10k Sunday, May 29.

Chase the link below the picture for registration info:

04.09.11 Fitness Boot Camp Location

The Saturday, April 9 Fitness Boot Camps will be at Elite Athletic Development North Arlington Heights / CrossFit Arlington Heights at 7 a.m., 8 a.m. & 9 a.m. , and Elite Athletic Development Downtown Arlington Heights / CrossFit Axis at 8 a.m. Let’s hope the weather breaks soon so we can head back to Lake Arlington!

What and Why CrossFit?

By Josh Sroufek / CrossFit Performance & Programming / CrossFit Sectionals Team & Individual Coach

What are you doing?”

“It’s called What Fit?”

“I don’t get it.”

“That can’t be for me. I’m just trying to get off the couch.”

How many times have you tried to explain CrossFit to family, friends, or colleagues and yet they still don’t seem to get it? Even after months of training at CrossFit Arlington Heights or CrossFit Axis, some still find it tough to define what they’re doing and how it’s delivered such great results.

By definition, CrossFit is simply a strength and conditioning program. It incorporates a variety of fitness domains including cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. By using the CrossFit methodology, one stands to improve their individual level of fitness. What is fitness you may ask? Well from the words of CrossFit, fitness is increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Annnndddd …I just lost you.

When was the last time you looked this happy after just drilling a workout?

In short, CrossFit gets you healthy and fit so you can get the most out of your life — whether that means a faster marathon, better endurance throughout the day, improved work performance, feeling more confident when you hit the beach, or because you’re bored with the same old “gym rat” routine. CrossFit is popular because it works. And it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Here’s a little piece of advice the next time you describe CrossFit to someone: save your breath. Just tell them to grab their workout gear, a bottle of water and join you at Elite Athletic Development North Arlington Heights / CrossFit Arlington Heights or Elite Athletic Development Downtown / CrossFit Axis for a free class. There is no better way to explain CrossFit than to let someone experience it!