PRs Aplenty at the Winter 2017 EAD | CFAH Powerlifting Meet.

Congrats to All Competitors | Watch for Info on the Spring 2018 Powerlifting Meet

The months of dedicated training, steadfast commitment, and perfected technique paid off for the 25 athletes who competed at the Winter 2017 EAD | CFAH Powerlifting Meet.  Athletes rang the PR Bell throughout the morning amid cheers from fellow EAD | CFAH Athletes, and family & friends. All competitors earned bragging rights, with the top three men and women who posted the heaviest combined loads across the Back Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift taking home a trophy. The December 9 competition culminates the Fall 2017 Strength & Conditioning Cycle programmed by Coach Kate.

Congrats to the podium finishers (from left): Christine B, Sara M, Sammy Jo, Nick J, Mike E, and David K. Check out more photos from Saturday’s event on the EAD | CFAH Facebook Page.

Saturday’s event ran similar to an “official” Powerlifting meet, but in a much friendlier and far more familiar environment. Check out the Deadlift portion of the event on the EAD | CFAH YouTube Channel. Athletes competed in divisions based on gender and weight class athletes. Athletes in the 40-plus division received a handicap in increments of five years (40-44, 45-49, and so on). Job well done by Saturday’s competitors: Adam, Alex J, Ann Marie N, Beth R, Casey J, Christine B, David K, Eitan, John S, Jonathon B, Julian, Julie M, Lauren K, Lucy, Mike E, Michelle G, Mike Mu, Nic G, Nick J, Nina, Bob Da, Sammy Jo, Sara M, Tom H and Todd N. Thanks to Coach Kate for running the meet, and Coaches Web, Jeff, Jim and Jason for serving as judges. A special shout out to Hannah A for taking pictures.

What’s Next

The Strength & Conditioning Cycle for December will be similar to the recent cycle, with the new cycle programmed by Coack Kate launching January 2. The Winter months are the perfect time to focus on Strength & Conditioning. The programming is always featured as part of the daily workout posting. Not sure if the Strength & Conditioning class is for you? Check in with an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach.



Congratulations Coach Kate & Coach Web!

KateWebPromoPicJoin us as we celebrate the promotion of Coach Kate to Senior Performance Coach, and Coach Web to Director of Operations.

Coach Kate is one of three National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists at EAD | CFAH (Coach Jim & Coach Karen round out the list). She is also a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and holds several specialty certifications. A former gymnast, softball player, competitive cheerleader, and cheerleading coach, Kate is uniquely qualified to help people of all ages and levels achieve their health and fitness goals.

Coach Web, a former collegiate football and rugby player, achieved a dream earlier this year by training with US Olympic Team coaches at the the Olympic Combine and Bobsled Push Camp in Park City, Utah. He is USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach and develops custom strength and conditioning programs for high school and collegiate athletes, and leads adult and youth group training classes.

Congratulations, Kate & Web!

Registration Now Open! EAD Barbell Club In-House Competition.

Register today for the Winter 2015 In-House Olympic Weightlifting Competition.

Register today for the Winter 2015 In-House Olympic Weightlifting Competition.

Test your progress at the Elite Athletic Development Barbell Club Olympic Lifting Competition Sunday, Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m. The competition is open to current EAD | CFAH athletes, and no previous competitive experience is necessary.

Each registered athlete will have three attempts to max on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. The combined total of the highest two successful lifts will determine the overall result within a body weight category. Weight categories will be determined after registration closes Wednesday, Feb. 18. Additional information will be provided to competitors the week of February 16. EAD | CFAH athlete spectators welcomed (no charge). Register today!

Questions? See an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach.

The Elite Athletic Development Barbell Club is a USA Weightlifting Club.

Endurance Athletes Warm Up to Off-Season Training Options

Join Us For A Free Class.Experience a Fresh Approach to Your Off-Season Training.  

Don’t let the seasonal drop in temps put a chill on your endurance training. Warm up to one of the challenging and results-based classes offered by the nationally-certified health and fitness professionals at Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights.

IndoorRowingGraphibIndoor Rowing Boot Camp. This class is for you if you like a low-impact, high-intensity, ever-changing and fun hour that will work every major muscle group in your body. Indoor Rowing Boot Camp will help you increase endurance, gain strength, improve flexibility, and cross-train for other sports.

CompuTrainer Rides. Billed as “the most interesting indoor bike experience yet created”, CompuTrainer rides offer an unparalleled indoor cycling experience for the serious racer or recreational cyclists. Once the dorides will increase your cycling power by 20 percent to 30 percent, and your speed by two to four mph. USA Triathlon and USA Cycling test and train their team athletes with CompuTrainer.

Fit4T5LogoFit4T5. Fit Interval Training 4×5 — Fit4T5 — is a 45-minute, high-intensity interval training session that targets multiple muscle groups through a series of functionally-based movements. Fit4T5 is the perfect training experience for athletes of all levels looking to improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance, drive body composition change, and enhance performance. Fit4T5 class size is limited to five athletes to ensure a personal training experience.

Fitness Boot Camp. Reap the benefits of training with the most experienced and credentialed performance coaches in the area during this one-hour mix of exercises and movements – body weight, dumb bell, kettle bell, plyometric, indoor rowing, and more.

Endurance Coaching, Strength & Conditioning, CrossFit, and More. Join the area’s leading sports conditioning and performance specialists for one-on-one, tandem or small group training sessions, and nutrition education / performance fueling coaching. With more than 100,000 athlete training hours, no facility in the area can match the experience of the Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights Performance Coaching Team.

Train with the best. You deserve it. Arlington Heights-based Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights helps competitive and “every day athletes” from across the greater Chicagoland area achieve a staggering array of results thanks to innovative strength and conditioning programs, a top-caliber coaching staff, and a unique ability to understand the needs and motivate each athlete.

Learn more about Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights health and fitness programs for endurance athletes. Better yet, register today for a FREE class Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. or Saturday at 9 a.m.

EAD | CFAH Athlete Nick J Transforms from “Big” to “Strong”

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. Nick was a member of the May 2013 Training Essentials session. His wife, Jennifer, now pregnant with their first child, joined EAD | CFAH a few months later. After regularly attending MetCon classes (now called CrossFit) for several months, Nick added Strength & MetCon classes to his training schedule. That experience re-ignited his love for lifting heavy, and Nick quickly became a regular in the various EAD | CFAH strength-biased classes — PowerBuilding, Strength & Power and Strength & Conditioning.  Nick credits the EAD | CFAH Training Community with dramatically improving his health. This is Nick’s story.

My whole life I have been a “big” guy. For a time while I was playing football, “big” might have actually referred to strong. Mostly though, it has just meant fat. For pretty much my entire life, my weight has fluctuated up and down, mostly up, peaking about the time I graduated college. Years of eating and drinking to excess caught up to me eventually, as it does to everyone. It was bad; I was severely overweight and very unhealthy.

Nick J has transformed his body composition since starting at EAD | CFAH.

Nick J has transformed his body composition since starting at EAD | CFAH.

I knew that I had to do something about my weight, and moving back to Chicago for grad school gave me the time to work on it. With a dedicated diet of strict portion control and working out daily I managed to lose the weight. But like most people, it didn’t last. The fluctuations returned, with the trend line seemingly always heading upwards. It got worse when I moved out to the suburbs and started commuting into the city for work. An hour to an hour and a half each way takes any extra time there might be for working out and saps any energy I might have had to do so. At least, that is what I told myself. The truth was that after having gone through it once before, I just didn’t know if I had it in me to do it again. That is where EAD | CFAH came in.

Nick J recently reached several milestones duirng his first Strongman competition.

Nick J recently reached several milestones during his first Strongman competition.

The first time I lost a lot of weight I mostly did it on my own. It was the thought of having to do it on my own again that I was most afraid of. EAD | CFAH helped me by giving me something that I didn’t have working out at the big name gyms or the student fitness center — a sense of community. A community that is supportive and encouraging. From the coaches to the other people in the classes, everyone was positive and kept me going, kept me showing up for class after class. Even though I felt weaker than I had in years when I first started Training Essentials, the coaches kept me wanting to come back for more. I got over how far I had to go and started focusing on what I was seeing. I was seeing results. Not just results on the scale, though I did see those as well. I felt better, I moved better. I got stronger, faster, and more agile. After a while my clothes started fitting better, too! While the numbers on the scale were what got me to EAD | CFAH, the improvement elsewhere was what kept me coming back.

Getting healthier is more than just working out; eating right is at least as important. As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen. My wife and I did the EAD | CFAH 30 Day Paleo Challenge (editor’s note: the EAD | CFAH 30 Day Paleo Challenge is a performance fueling program inspired by Loren Cordain, Robb Wolff, and the Whole30 crew) and got great results. We then transitioned to the Whole30 Paleo Challenge, following the strict guidelines created by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. It was definitely a challenge! Karen’s support and the resources available on the Athlete Center made it do-able, though. I dropped a bit over 6 percent of my body weight, saw significant visual changes to my body composition, and most importantly, have kept the weight off. Since then the wife and I have stayed mostly Paleo and continued to maintain the improvements we made in our lifestyle. It wasn’t too tough to keep up when eating better makes you feel better, too!

Nick J is stronger today than he was when he played college football.

Nick J is stronger today than he was when he played college football.

After more than a year at EAD | CFAH I feel like I am in better shape than I have ever been. The Strength & Power classes have me hitting 1RM lifts beyond what I could do even when I was playing football in college. After encouragement from the coaches to give it a try, and slightly tailoring the strength program to meet my goals, I was able to try my first strongman competition this past July. even hit my goal of getting at least one rep on every apparatus, including the ones I had never seen or touched before! Probably most importantly for me though, I can look back at pictures from when I started and see how far I’ve come. I still have a long way to go, but I know EAD | CFAH will be there to help me along the way, getting me back to where “big” just means strong again.

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!

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  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

* 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.

Congrats, Coach Kate!

CFAH_headshot1Congrats to EAD | CFAH Performance Coach Kate who was notified today by the National Strength and Conditioning Association that she passed the rigorous Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam!

The prestigious NSCA CSCS is the credential required to work with collegiate and professional sports teams, and is one of only 13 health and fitness programs from thousands offered across the country that is accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies. Kate’s accomplishment adds another highly-ranked certification to the most credentialed athletic development team in the area.

Check out the Coaches tab on the web site to see why EAD | CFAH is the most credentialed and experienced athletic development team in the area.

Check out the Coaches tab on the web site to see why EAD | CFAH is the most credentialed and experienced athletic development team in the area.

Endurance Sports Boot Camp Powers Pre-Season Training For Racers.

Elite Athletic Development – CrossFit Arlington Heights Endurance Sports Boot Camp
Sundays, 9 a.m. | Now through May 25

The Elite Athletic Development Endurance Sports Boot Camp is the ideal class to kick-start your pre-season training.

The Elite Athletic Development Endurance Sports Boot Camp is the ideal class to kick-start your pre-season training.

Endurance athletes looking to improve strength, power, stability, and overall fitness during the off-season need to look no further than the new Elite Athletic Development Endurance Sports Boot Camp.

This weekly, one-hour class now through May 25 is focused on the needs of endurance sports athletes ready to accept a new fitness challenge, work hard and gain a competitive edge for the upcoming race season.

There is no additional charge for The Endurance Sports Boot Camp for current EAD / CFAH athletes, and athletes new to EAD / CFAH can purchase 12 classes for $159 or 20 classes for $249. Questions? Email

Up Your Strength Game In 2014.

Contributed by Coach Scott. Train with Scott in one of the following classes based at Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights:
Strength & Power l Wednesday, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. or Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Skills & Strength Intensive / Advanced WOD l Sunday, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
CrossFit Boot Camp, Sunday l 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

BodiStrongAre you ready to up your training game? Whether you are new to training or an advanced athlete, participating in the Elite Athletic Development / CrossFit Arlington Heights Winter 2014 Strength & Power cycle at least two classes per week will positively impact your fitness and performance. Guaranteed.

The eight-week Strength & Power cycle (January 13 – March 7) is divided into goal-specific “mini-cycles” programmed to develop absolute strength output, or drive your 1RM in the Back Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Press, Bench Press, and Deadlift. Programming will also increase proficiency in several key functional movements, including Chin Ups, Pull Ups, Dips, Grip Strength, and carrying heavy loads across long distances. This is a shift from the past few Strength & Power cycles which concentrated almost exclusively on increasing power output by training the Olympic lifts. The Clean & Jerk and Snatch are still included in the January – March cycle, but will be programmed to contribute to total body strength … and ensure interested athletes are properly prepared for the CrossFit Games Open slated to start in March.

StrongThe benefits of strength training are many, and include:

  • Positive change in body composition
  • Increased muscle mass (turn into a calorie burning machine)
  • Complete more “work” during CrossFit classes (more repetitions and more weight)
  • Attempt new movements with new strength (more Rx and fewer scaled WODs)
  • Increased ability to generate force (other activities become easier)
  • Improved sports performance (sprint faster, jump higher, and hold your ground)
  • Increased confidence
  • Ability to improve all other areas of fitness

If you’ve not participated in a previous Strength & Power cycle, now is your chance. If you’ve been a regular to the Strength & Power classes, you’ll find the new programming physically and mentally challenging, and a great opportunity to accelerate your progress.

Editor’s Note: Visit the EAD / CFAH Athlete Center to access the 3-2-1 Goal Training Plan Template and Goal Planning Worksheet. Use both tools to organize your first quarter training performance goals.

Scott Mezzano is an EAD / CFAH / CFAX performance coach. He earned his BS & MS, Exercise Science, from Western Illinois University. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and holds certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine and USA Weightlifting. Scott is a Fitness Education adjunct instructor at McHenry Community College.