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!

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

 

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.

Elite Athletic Development Student Strength & Conditioning Program Returns June 9.

Registration Now Open for the Popular Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Youth Athletic Development Strength & Conditioning Program.

It is hard to believe that even with all the snow days, the final weeks of the school year are within sight. And that means it is time to start thinking about how to keep the kids busy and active over the long summer months.

YouthADDecember2012EAD | CFAH will once again host our popular Summer Youth Athletic Development program for 8-12 year-olds and 13-15 year-olds. This program is ideal for motivated student athletes eager to learn new skills, train hard, and head back to school stronger, faster and more powerful. Sessions run for four weeks on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, and each class is one hour. In addition, we’re offering a special Training Essentials session to prepare high school students for CrossFit and Strength & Power classes. The Summer Youth Athletic Development schedule is:

  • June 9 – July 2 (11 classes), 10:30 a.m., $148.50
  • July 7 – August 1 (12 classes), 3:30 p.m., $162
  • August 4 – August 22 (9 classes) 10:30 a.m., $121.50
  • NEW! High School Student Training Essentials Session. Please contact karen@eadperformancecenter.com  for more info.

Register today for Summer Youth Athletic Development Sessions. All sessions run Monday-Wednesday-Friday and each class is one hour. There is 10 percent discount for sibling and buddy sign-ups.

We are happy to consider additional sessions / time slots based on demand. Team training sessions are also available. If you’d like to book a Team Training Session or add a Youth Athletic Development session, please contact karen@eadperformancecenter.com.

* Summer Youth Athletic Development classes must be used within the registered session; there are no carry-over or make-up classes. Classes are not convertible to a class card purchase.
* Participants will participate in rigorous training sessions — proper rest, hydration and nutrition are important.
* High school students are eligible for regular classes with completion of Training Essentials. Email Coach Karen for more information.

CrossFit Axis Opening Class Schedule.

CrossFit Axis at Heritage Park classes will be held in the Arlington Heights Park District building at 506 West Victoria.

CrossFit Axis at Heritage Park classes will be held in the Arlington Heights Park District building at 506 West Victoria.

The opening session class schedule for CrossFit Axis at Heritage Park is:
>  Monday – Wednesday – Friday, 9:30 a.m.
>  Tuesday & Thursday, 4:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

Classes begin the week of January 6. Interested in other class times or special small group sessions? Let us know!

 

Congrats! October Morning Training Essentials Grads.

Be sure to introduce yourself to the October 5:30 a.m. Training Essentials grads: Tricia, Will R & Shawynn.

The October 5:30 a.m. Training Essentials grads — Tricia, Will R & Shawynn — celebrate with the remnants of Coach Karen’s Halloween costume after Friday’s tough barbell complex WOD.

Congratulations to the October 2013, 5:3o a.m. Training Essentials crew on the successful completion of the EAD / CFAH skills & technique development class.

The next Training Essentials sessions start Monday, Nov. 4, 5:30 a.m. OR Tuesday, Nov. 26, 6:30 p.m.  REGISTER TODAY!

Don’t forget … we will credit your account three classes for every friend you refer to EAD / CFAH and who completes Training Essentials.