Ann Marie Rewrites the Script on Her Fitness Story.

This is another in a series of personal reflections contributed by Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights athletes about the mental, physical and emotional changes experienced since joining our health & fitness community. When Ann Marie N dropped in to check out the new fitness studio near her home in August 2011, she never imagined that Coach Jim would put her to the test that very moment … a workout that would start Ann Marie on a journey to redefine her body composition, reduce her cholesterol by 30 points, and well-deservedly exclaim that “my arms look freakin’ amazing!” Ann Marie is a doting aunt, loving wife, giving friend, active community volunteer, culinary whiz,  avid gardener, proud member of the EAD | CFAH Buttercup Brigade, and accomplished actress. Once defined by others, she has rewritten the script on her fitness, and now boldly sets an example of strength and beauty for her fellow athletes. This is Ann Marie’s story.

Scrawny.
Skinny.
Tiny.
Little.
Itty-Bitty.
Thin.
Petite.

Those are just a few of the adjectives people used to describe me from childhood through most of my adult life. At one time, each evoked a different and negative emotion for me. What a difference a year (or two or three) makes!

Accomplished EAD | CFAH athlete Ann Marie N once feared the Barbell.

Accomplished EAD | CFAH athlete Ann Marie N once feared the Barbell.

When I first stumbled across Elite Athletic Development, I was really just looking for a routine change. A workout that I could stick with and that wouldn’t bore me. I didn’t have any weight loss goals. I didn’t really have any specific goals whatsoever. I just had a vague idea that I was not as healthy as I could be and that I needed to do something sooner rather than later (I wasn’t getting any younger!).

I walked the two blocks from my house to the storefront on Dunton Avenue. I told Coach Jim I wanted to hang out and watch a class; instead, he threw me into the Dynamic Warm Up & Workout of the Day. By the end of the class, I was exhausted and exhilarated. Still, I had no idea just how important this place would become. I had no idea what inner and outer strength was in my future.

AMNDropQuoteLooking back, my early training schedule was somewhat bumpy thanks to a crazy schedule, tweaked hamstring, adjusting to the College Drive move, and a very real fear of the barbell. But every time I got discouraged, lazy, or distracted, there was someone there to encourage me, motivate me, push me harder, and help me re-focus. The 9:30 a.m. ladies embraced my loud & quirky ways and made me feel like I could conquer anything. Coaches Jim & Josh convinced me I could lift heavy S&it, and could increase my overall fitness with strength training. Instead of feeling intimidated when lifting with “the boys,” the men of EAD | CFAH were my biggest cheerleaders.

It has been more than three years since I dropped in to Coach Jim’s class. I’ve had knee surgery. Outside demands on my time and health have been rough. Life is always chaotic. But every time I walk through the doors of Elite Athletic Development, I am home. It is my therapy. My entertainment. My “all-about-me” time. My realities (46 years-old, 5’3”, 110 lbs.) are now just side notes. No excuses. No boundaries.

It’s hard to believe I once feared a 35-pound Back Squat, let alone hoisting a weighted barbell in to an Overhead Squat. I didn’t think it possible to dig deeper or be prouder than when I posted PRs for a Strict Press (55#) or Deadlift (155# Deadlift). I was thrilled with one strict Dead Hang Pull Up. Little did I know those accomplishments were just the beginning.

Since committing to a mix of CrossFit classes and Strength & Power (and now Strength & Conditioning) classes, I boast a 187.5# Deadlift … and I am quite certain I will one day pull double my body weight. I consistently see technique gains & weight increases on all of my lifts. I can knock out 5-6 Strict Pull Ups, with a goal of reaching 10. My Box Jump is 28.5” with a goal of 31.5″, or half my height.

I have also seen improvement in my overall fitness capabilities. More endurance. Mostly Rx. I am always surprised when I realize I can do something new, like a Handstand Push Up, simply because I am stronger. I still have things to learn — a Muscle Up, Rope Climb, Kipping — but nothing seems impossible.

DSC_4506-3130636250-OFit.
Strong.
Fierce.
Bad Ass.
Proud.
Confident.
Athlete.

Those are the adjectives people now use to describe me … and more importantly, that I use to describe myself.  Add in sheer gratitude, and you have my story.

Have a success story you’d like to share with the EAD | CFAH Community? Let Coach Karen know … we’d love to hear from you!

“This Place Has Changed My Life.”

This is another in a series of personal reflections contributed by Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights and CrossFit Axis athletes about the mental, physical and emotional changes experienced since joining our health & fitness community. Regina P accepted the Free Class Challenge Saturday, Dec. 28 and was part of the January 7, 2014 Training Essentials session. Since then, she’s become an effervescent part of the EAD | CFAH Training Community, drawing people in with her enthusiasm, dedication and amazing results. Regina shared her reflection of her first 157 training hours at EAD | CFAH with Coach Jim.

Spend even a few minutes with Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights athlete Regina P and she’s bound to proclaim, “This Place Has Changed My Life.”  She’ll also share — with tremendous pride (and rightfully so) — that she’s gone from a size 24 to a size 14 and lost more than 54 pounds since she started CrossFit classes the first week in February.

Regina After

Regina in an impromptu photo shoot staged by her incredibly proud daughter.

Ask the athletes who train with Regina and they’ll say their day gets kicked up a notch the minute she walks in; she inspires them to work harder. Regina approaches every workout as if it is her reward for the day’s toil. Coming through the door, she greets coaches and fellow athletes with her wonderful smile and infectious optimism.  But it wasn’t always that way.

Regina drove past EAD | CFAH to and from her way to work for more than six years, slowing her car to see what was going on in the gym, but never stopping. Intrigued, and sometimes intimidated by what she saw, Regina wondered if she could somehow become one of those “crazy people running around with big exercise balls and jumping up and down on the front lawn.”

Regina Before

Regina in her pre-EAD | CFAH days.

The should I? / shouldn’t I? impasse ended during a lunchtime stroll when Regina popped in to ask about a new high-protein energy treat, the  RxBar. Over the next few shopping trips, Regina had the chance to talk with Coach Ashley, and Coaches Alida and Karen about the people who call EAD | CFAH their training home, the training philosophy, and more. She accepted Coach Karen’s invitation to take the EAD | CFAH Free Class Challenge, and started her amazing transformation.

Regina says the results she’s gained at EAD | CFAH since early February far surpass anything she’s experienced. She’s spent hundreds of dollars working with personal trainers at big box gyms, endless loops on the treadmill and elliptical trainer, and countless hours in Pilates and Zumba classes. But in less than 160 training hours at EAD | CFAH, Regina says she moves better, has more energy, is more productive at work, and feels better than she has since college. One particularly proud moment for Regina was when her teen daughter insisted on doing an impromptu photo shoot when she saw Regina in her new CrossFit Arlington Heights tee — in a size Regina hasn’t worn since she was a very young girl.

It took a ton of courage for Regina — and for that matter, anyone — to take that first step and try something new; it takes even more courage to stick with it. Regina had her doubts in those early workouts,  yet she says kept coming back because so many people believed in her, which in turn made her believe in herself.

Regina’s training goals include mastering Front Squats and Double Unders. She also has her sights on her first competition, the 2015 Athena Classic. Look  for her as competitor #001!

CFAH, CFAX Athletes Take Tactical Challenge Top Honors; Help Raise More Than $8,500 For Salute, Inc.

Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights got freedom? Tactical Challenge Raises $8,525 for Salute, Inc.

Athletes from Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights | CrossFit Axis dominated the Salute, Inc. got freedom? Tactical Challenge for the third consecutive year, taking top honors in the Team, Men’s and Women’s events. To date, the event has raised more than $8,500 to help meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families. Event sponsor Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights donates 100 percent of the funds raised by the Tactical Challenge to Salute, Inc.

The Tactical Challenge pairs a 5k run with a series of military-style calisthenic movements using 20-pound sandbags for women and 40-pound sandbags for men. Participants this year lugged the sandbag through four, 25-foot Army Crawls, plus completed 20 reps each of CrossFit Games Push Ups, Ground to Overhead lifts, Anchored Sit Ups, and Bag Hop Burpees.

2014 Salute, Inc. got freedom? 5k + Tactical Challenge Men's Division Podium: Coach Jim, Steven Buchholz, 1st place; Tom Weiss, 2nd place; Tim Decker, 3rd place.

2014 Salute, Inc. got freedom? 5k + Tactical Challenge Men’s Division Podium: Coach Jim, Steven Buchholz, 1st place; Tom Weiss, 2nd place; Tim Decker, 3rd place.

Steven Buchholz, 15, Arlington Heights, finished the challenge in 30:11.8. Buchholz ran the course with his dad, Steve,  49, and brother, Jack, 9; the athletes train at CrossFit Axis | PlayersU in Mt. Prospect.  Also earning podium spots were Arlington Heights residents Tom Weiss, 49, who finished the grueling course in 33:52.9, and Tim Decker, 43, with a finish time of 34:50.2.

Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights athlete Kelly Buchholz (no relation to the men’s division winner), 34, Arlington Heights, finished the course in 34:00.8; she placed 3rd in 2013. Finishing second was Grace Wasielewski, 60, Prospect Heights, in 34:17.6; she placed 6th in 2013. Rounding out the top three women was Maria Subia-Grzesiak, 40, Arlington Heights, in 34:54.1.

WomensWinners

2014 Salute, Inc. got freedom? 5k + Tactical Challenge Women’s Division Podium: Coach Jim, Kelly Buchholz, 1st place; Grace Wasielewski, 2nd place. Not pictured: Maria Subia-Grzesiak, 3rd place.

The finish times of Ms. Buchholz and Wasielewski, plus the father-son Fowler tandem, Nathan, 13, and Ron, 46, ensured the got freedom? Tactical Challenge Team Division trophy remained with 2012 & 2013 champ Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights.  The event Team Division is determined by the fastest two men’s and women’s times.

Congratulations to EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes who participated in the 2014 5k + Tactical Challenge Kelly Buchholz, Kevin Tesch, Grace Wasielewski, Charlotte O’Neill, Mike O’Neill, Karen Jones, Nick Jones, James Jones, Ann Marie Nordby, Steven Buchholz, Steve Buchholz, Jack Buchholz, Ron Fowler, Nathan Fowler, Bob Dapisa, Will Hinshaw, Andrea Poffenberger, and John O’Neil. Congrats, too, to the dozens of EAD | CFAH athlete who supported Salute, Inc. and ran the 5k or 10k.

Check out more event photos at the EAD | CFAH Facebook Page.

Thanks to EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes and performance coaches who volunteered: Coaches Jim, Karen, Becky, Scott, Kate, Kristen, Michelle, Web, and athletes Rachel, Laura M, Kenny M, and Eddie M.

Thanks to EAD | CFAH  athletes and performance coaches who volunteered for the 2014 Salute, Inc. got freedom? 5k + Tactical Challenge (back, from left): Coaches Jim, Web, Scott, Becky, Ashley, Michelle, Kristen; Rachel R. (front, from left) Juan, Coach Kate. Not pictured: Coach Karen, Laura M, Kenny M, and Eddie M.

 

High School Student Training Essentials Session Starts June 9.

Registration is now open for the June 9 session of High School Student Training Essentials at EAD | CFAH.

Registration is now open for the June 9 session of High School Student Training Essentials at EAD | CFAH.

Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights now offers the perfect program for high school students ready to learn the proper form, technique and movement mechanics to safely and effectively begin a CrossFit training program.

Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights, one of the longest-established CrossFit affiliates in Illinois, will offer a special Training Essentials class for student athletes (entering 9th grade and older) new to CrossFit Monday, June 9 – Friday, June 13, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. The class will be offered at additional times throughout the summer.

High School Student Training Essentials is a one-week / five-day session led by a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Training Essentials will introduce high school students to the fundamentals of EAD | CFAH training programs, and provide plenty of small group instruction and technique work. Training Essentials participants will learn, practice and perfect body weight, dumb bell, kettle bell, and barbell movements, including Olympic weightlifting and power movements, and more. The session will prepare student athletes for EAD | CFAH CrossFit, Strength & Power, Powerbuilding, Boot Camp and CrossFit Women classes.

Student athletes must attend all five classes to qualify for next-level classes. The $159 session price includes a CrossFit Arlington Heights shirt and Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights training log. Select the 12-class card option when registering / making your purchase. Register today!

Brute Camp Registration Now Open.

BruteCampRegistration is now open for Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Brute Camp, a new class programmed for athletes game for a more intense and competitive training option. Brute Camp is a high-performance class and open to athletes who achieve four of the six performance standards. Additional performance standards will be tested over time. Brute Camp will meet weekly on Sundays, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., starting June 1. The first week will be Performance Standard Testing. You won’t know if you’re ready until you try. Take the challenge.

Brute Camp Performance Standards

1RM Deadlift
Men, 1.75 x Bodyweight
Women, 1.40 x Bodyweight

Mile Run
Men, 7:30
Women, 9:00

Dead Hang Pull Up
Men, 3
Women, 1

Strict Push Ups
Men, 25
Women, 8

1000m Row
Men, 3:45
Women, 4:30

1′ Sit Ups
Men, 40
Women, 40

 

05.25.14 | Register Today! Salute Tactical Challenge.

Register Today!

SaluteInc2014The Salute, Inc. got freedom? 5k + Tactical Challenge is Sunday, May 25.  Don’t miss your chance to have fun and support a great cause. All event proceeds from the Tactical Challenge benefit Salute, Inc. , in its mission to help meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families; raise awareness of their sacrifices; and provide a safety net to ensure every military family is treated with honor and dignity. Individual & Team Categories. Adult and Student Athletes welcomed!

April May Strength & Power Cycle Delivers More Than 100 PRs!

Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Strength & Power Cycle Delivers Improved Performance for the Competitive and Everyday Athlete.

New Strength & Power and Powerbuilding Cycles Start May 5.

Dozens of EAD | CFAH athletes who committed to Coach Scott’s challenging and clever five-week Strength & Power programming delivered more than 100 PRs during 1RM Week. Both newer and more experienced athletes logged PRs, with some even earning a spot on the EAD | CFAH Wall of Fame including Master’s athlete Lynn Mc with an amazing 1,105-pound CrossFit Total (410-pound Back Squat, 175-pound Press and 545-pound Deadlift), and George L with a 55″ Box Jump.

Congrats to the April | May Strength & Power crew on your accomplishments — whether improved technique, confidence gained or logging a new 1RM. We’re proud of all you achieved!2014StrengthandPowerPRsAprilMayThe next Strength & Power Cycle starts the week of May 5, and once again features some challenging and fun twists and turns. New this cycle is programming for three distinct athlete segments: beginning strength, continuing strength, and mass gain. The programming for each segment will help athletes develop a solid foundation for all sports movement, and enhance sports performance. Athletes looking for improvements in the Olympic lifts, hardcore conditioning, and continued gains in strength should follow the Strength & Power or Strength & Power Foundations programming. Athletes interested in increased size and strength should follow the Powerbuilding programming.

    • Strength & Power is ideal for athletes who have established 1RM lifts, and who regularly incorporate strength work in their training schedule.
    • Strength & Power Foundations is ideal for athletes newer to the compound barbell movements typically seen in CrossFit workouts, or who have not developed 1RM lifts, or who do not regularly incorporate strength work in their training. Strength & Power Foundations will provide athletes with better technique, strength gains, and useful data for future cycles.
    • Powerbuilding is an opportunity for athletes of all levels to train for strength and size, while maintaining mobility, power and athletic performance.

Athlete who commit to the Strength & Power or Powerbuilding Cycle should plan to attend class three days per week (Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday, or Friday/Saturday). Programming is posted in the EAD | CFAH Athlete Center. Questions? See an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach.

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Spring – Summer Schedule Now Posted.

The Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Spring-Summer Class Schedule Features the Classes You’ve Come to Love, Coached By the Highest-Credentialed and Most-Experienced Coaches in the Area.

The first full week of the 2014 Spring-Summer Class Schedule starts Monday, May 5, which is also the start of the May / June Strength & Power Cycle. RSVP for classes today!

The Spring-Summer class schedule features the classes you’ve come to love, two new classes — Powerbuilding and Strength & Power Foundations — a weeknight Mobility & Recovery class, and the return of the always challenging and fun Invasion WODs.

  • Powerbuilding — An opportunity for athletes of all levels to train for strength and size, while maintaining mobility, power and athletic performance. The class will feature barbell movements and unique training methods.
  • Strength & Power Foundations — This class will help athletes develop a solid foundation for all sports movement, and enhance athletic performance. The Strength & Power Foundations class is ideal for athletes newer to the compound barbell movements typically seen in CrossFit workouts, or who have not developed 1RM lifts, or who do not regularly incorporate strength work in their training.
  • A new Mobility & Recovery Class on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
  • The return of Invasion WODs Sunday, May 31, 10:30 a.m. (check the website for location)
  • Summer Youth Athletic Development sessions, plus a special Training Essentials session for High School Students.2014 Spring-Summer Class Schedule

CrossFit Axis Invasion WOD | Sunday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.

CFAXMarketingPieceIsoGrab a friend (or two!) and join us Sunday, May 4, 10:30 a.m. for an all-levels, all-athlete Invasion WOD at the new home of CrossFit Axis, 412 East Business Center Drive, Mt. Prospect. CFAX is located a few blocks South of Randhurst Village, just off Rand Road.

We will offer a full class schedule at CrossFit Axis starting Thursday, May 1, and we’d love to give you a chance to preview the new facility … for free! RSVP | CrossFit Axis Invasion WOD

CrossFit Axis Class Schedule

  • Monday – Thursday, 5:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Friday, 5:30 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, 7 a.m.
  • … more classes to come!

 

Sorry … Your EAD | CFAH class package is not valid at CFAX at this time.

2014 Athena Classic Champions Crowned.

Fierce, Brave, Female Warriors Wage Battle at Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights.

The 2014 Athena Classic lived up to its billing Saturday, April 19 pitting 80 women from 25 CrossFit affiliates and three states against three fierce workouts to land a spot in the finals, where the top 12 warriors battled for bragging rights, trophies, and almost $3,000 in cash and prizes. The Athena Classic returns to Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Saturday, April 18, 2015.

The final workout — a spectator-friendly-but athlete-nasty combo of 50 Double Unders, a 30 calorie Row, 20 Overhead Squats (85# / 65#), 10 Handstand Push Ups, and 5 Bar Muscle Ups (Open Division) 5 or Chest-to-Bar Pull Ups (Master’s Division)— capped an exciting day of competition.

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2014 Athena Classic Top Finishers. The Master’s Division: Deb Pirkel, CrossFit Sanctify; Jennifer Benson, Big City CrossFit; Liza Nelson, CrossFit Carbon. The Open Division: Anna Schmidt, CrossFit Sanctify; Ashley Beerens, CrossFit Northpoint; Anne-Lisa Maag, CrossFit Sanctify.

Liza Nelson, 44, CrossFit Carbon, Vernon Hills, took top honors in the Master’s Division for the second consecutive year, but not without a scare from division runner-up Jennifer Benson, 40, Big City CrossFit, Chicago. Benson set her sights on denying Nelson a repeat, and with just three points separating the competitors, Benson’s path to the crown was clear: beat Nelson in Workout #4, and hope the other two finalists, Deb Pirkel, 46, CrossFit Sanctify, Madison, and Jodi Corbit, 40, CrossFit Connex, Madison, bested Nelson. Benson did her part and placed first in the workout, but Nelson failed to do her part and finished a strong second. Rounding out the Master’s Division was Pirkel in third and Corbit in fourth.

Anna Schmidt, 24, CrossFit Sanctify, Madison, had a lock on the Open Division entering the finals; as long as she didn’t self-destruct, the championship was hers. Not so with Ashley Beerens, 27, CrossFit Northpoint, Waukegan, and Anne-Lisa Maag, 30, CrossFit Sanctify, Madison, who waged a mighty battle throughout Workout #4 to determine finishing positions. In the end, Beerens bested Maag, and the competitors finished in second and third place, respectively. Amber Earleywine, 29, CrossFit Sanctify, won the final workout, but ninth place finishes in Workout #2 and Workout #3 cost her a spot on the podium; she finished fourth. Rounding out the top eight in the Open Division were: Christie Suligoy, 24, CrossFit Construct, Chicago; Jennifer McDade, 36, Fit Bodies CrossFit, Bloomington; Alexandra Buth, 27, CrossFit Connex, Madison; and Emily Gorman, 24, CrossFit Northpoint, Waukegan. Visit the Athena Classic Event Page for links to the Leaderboard, Workout Scoring, Photo Albums and more.

In a day filled with stellar athletic performances, a series of most memorable moments came from Master’s Division athlete Jodi Marino, 58, CrossFit Sanctify, Madison. An accident left Marino with exceptionally limited use of her arm – but full access to her competitive spirit and drive. Marino attacked all three Athena Classic workouts, inspiring competitors , volunteers and spectators, and leaving many to question their litany of excuses for why they don’t set challenging goals and work without fail to achieve them.

The sold out 2014 Athena Classic was hosted by Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights and supported by Road Runner Sports – Kildeer, Carlson Labs, PANDORA Hawthorn, King Kong Apparel, Unbroken, Nowicki Chiropractic, RxBar, BPowerful Wraps, Rx Jump Ropes, Fran’s Closet Rx, JUNK Brands, CJK Foods, and Atlas Power Wraps.