Are You Ready to Change Your Life?


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, February 2, 2015

To us at SICFIT Scottsdale, we aren’t just in the business of functional fitness, we are in the business of changing lives. Looking good and feeling good go together and our Strength in Conditioning program helps folks build both!

Check out this photo of our January, 2015 athlete of the month, Gelie. Aside from the incredible transformation she made by losing weight and increasing her muscle tone, her confident smirk in the “after” photo exemplifies the most important change that SICFIT Scottsdale helped her (and can help you!) achieve.

That smirk reveals Gelie’s, sense of… “look what I did,” “look at the result of all that hard work,” “I am so proud of myself!”

SICFIT Scottsdale does much more than teach exercises and motivate people through workouts. We show people that they have the power to change their own lives. And this is exactly what Gelie, with a little SIC direction, did!

If you are really to change your life too, call today to schedule your first session, FREE. 480.922.3253 

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1000 Ways To Die

Teams of 2-4
100 cal row
100 lunges
100 box step ups/jumps
100 wall balls
100 kb swings Russian
100 burpees
100 toes to rack lying on back
100 hand release push ups
1000 single unders
100 air squats


Michelle Plunkett

“It’s been almost 18 months now at SICFIT. I came with an athletic background and already being in great shape. What’s amazing is I didn’t think I could get that much better. Well I was wrong. My Olympic Lifting keeps getting stronger every month. I am doing workouts with times that would qualify with the girls at Regionals. I still, 18 months later love the energy in the Gym. I also love being around other people that 100% support me and cheer for me to get better. I Love being apart of the community there and can’t imagine being anywhere else. My friends and family laugh because almost every day someone comes up to me and asks wow girl what do you for fitness? Are you a professional athlete?? Feels good at 35 and mother of 3 boys.”- Michelle Plunkett

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Paleo, Bro!

I have been working out at SICFIT Scottsdale for a little over three months now and am absolutely hooked.  I attended the Food As Fuel seminar, taught by Coach Ashley Richards shortly after enrolling with SICFIT Scottsdale and doing my first “Baseline” test (which was a real ass-kicker).  I had a background in weight lifting and played sports in high school and intramurals in college so was fairly active and in shape, but for some reason couldn’t shed off the few extra pounds I had accumulated over the countless beers and late night munchies. I was pushing almost 210lbs.  I never really went up in weight and never really went down in weight either.  I just seemed to fluctuate up or down within a pound or two.  I ate decent, not completely healthy, and yet not completely junk food either, and was in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio but still couldn’t shake it.

I had heard of the Paleo diet prior to joining SICFIT Scottsdale from some good friends of mine who have been doing it for over a year now and they have lost an incredible amount of weight between the two of them, and they are never in the gym working out or doing cardio, they maybe go to the gym once a month to play racquetball.  Paleo definitely showed results but I thought that with my work schedule and finances that it would be tough for a recent college grad making his way through life to stick to it and that I would be limited in options as to what to eat, let alone afford it.  But after taking the Food As Fuel seminar offered at SICFIT Scottsdale, I learned everything there was to know about Paleo.  So I decided to dive in headfirst and accept the challenge.  I took my success journal that came with a handy dandy Paleo shopping list with me to Sprouts (along with my friends who are already Paleo), and made my way down each aisle.

Long story short, Paleo is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.  It actually is fairly cheap and inexpensive to shop for foods that are considered Paleo. Bear in mind that I am shopping for myself, I maybe spend $50-$60 in a shopping trip to Sprouts, and that sometimes gives me almost two weeks worth of meats and chicken. And there are Paleo alternatives to almost everything you once loved but isn’t considered to be Paleo (credit clausing).  Oh, and let’s not forget about the bacon, that’s Paleo.  Even going out to restaurants, you can find something on the menu that is Paleoesque or that would fit the diet.  You just have to be mindful and special order it with only egg whites, without cheese, get fruit instead of toast, an extra vegetable instead of rice or beans.  I do have “cheat” days every couple of weekends and still enjoy a drink or two by the pool in the hot summertime sun and on special occasions I’ll eat something I shouldn’t, but don’t go overboard with it.  Now, did it give me results?  Yes.   Before starting at SICFIT Scottsdale I mentioned I was pushing almost 210lbs.  About two months into this new FITness routine, we had to get our body weight in order to RX for the WOD.  I stepped on the scale and low and behold, I was under 200lbs for the first time in almost a year (198lbs to be exact).  Three weeks after that, I weighed in again at home and was down to 192lbs. And the results are noticeable at that, not only in the mirror, but also by friends who I see on a daily basis can see the results and progression.  I can literally tighten my belt down another notch and have it still be comfortable.  I also feel like I am performing much better as well and putting up more PR’s and RXing more of the WODs. -Michael Talarico

Michael Talarico

I want to go to the CrossFit Games by: Austin Groen

“I want to go to the CrossFit Games”

That was my succinct response to Najla Kayyem’s general question, “What are your goals?” Although I didn’t know anything about CrossFit, or the grueling training that was necessary in order to actually accomplish my goal, I had already intrinsically committed myself to doing whatever it took to get there.

Shooting for the stars had never been my thing. Prior to SICFIT Scottsdale I had always been content with idly walking through life without ever aspiring to anything great. I was skinny, insecure, and certainly not badass by any means. However, shortly after becoming a member at SICFIT Scottsdale I quickly found myself craving to be something better than ordinary— to be the best I could possibly be. Najla and Luke adopted me into their family almost instantly, and I never wanted to leave. I was entranced by the hulking “fire breathers” tossing around mind-blowing amounts of weight like it was nothing. Watching people push themselves daily to their absolute limits while being cheered and pushed on by their surrounding classmates captivated and excited me. It was like the ultimate “self-betterment” institute and I wanted to be fully immersed in it at all times.

Looking back I couldn’t have possibly imagined the holistic benefits I would reap from doing CrossFit. I could never have imagined I would become the top athlete in the gym after only a year, or that I would win competitions. I also could have never imagined that by doing CrossFit I would acquire confidence, poise, and an applied dedication in all aspects of my life. I can honestly say that I am a better man thanks to SICFIT Scottsdale (can you say that about your gym?).


What makes SICFIT Scottsdale better than any other gym in the state? I could go on and on about the top-notch facilities or the “dialed-in” programming, or even the coaching. But what really makes SICFIT Scottsdale the best is the people.  In what other setting could your gym owner be simultaneously your second father, close friend and training partner? Luke Kayyem is that man for me. SICFIT Scottsdale is a home away from home for me, a place where I can just to hang out. It is a place where I can go to be pushed by those around me to be better than ordinary.

Although I am still far from my ultimate goal of going to the CrossFit Games, I could not be more excited for the journey ahead.

Basically what it comes down to is results, so here they are in numbers.
March 2012:

Bodyweight: 150 pounds

Squat: 135 pound

Overhead Press: 75 pounds

Bench: 155 pounds

Clean and Jerk: 115 pounds

Snatch: 85 pounds

Fran: scaled 9 minutes


June 2013:

Bodyweight: 183

Squat: 330

Overhead Press: 165

Bench: 265

Clean and Jerk: 265

Snatch: 230

Fran: 2:46


Thank you SICFIT Scottsdale for making me the best me I could possibly be.


“Show up don’t quit”

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Garrett Holt

Thank you SICFIT Scottsdale for your Kids Program!

When we started coming to SICFIT Scottsdale as a family in November 2011, neither of my kids had ever been involved with any sort of organized exercise program. Well, a year and a half worth of SICFIT Scottsdale Kids Classes has provided both my kids (now = 7 year old boy and 5 year old girl) with way more strength, stamina, coordination and confidence than could have been possible otherwise.

For example, my son Garrett was only 5 when we started and, like most of us when we first start performing FUNctional movements, he struggled with some of the movements. Specifically, he was nowhere close to being able to do a basic air squat.   Now, fast forward a year and a half and these are pictures of Garrett playing catcher during a couple of his recent little league games.

Garett Holt

He is the only catcher in his entire division who actually gets into and holds the catcher’s squat for every pitch – all the rest of them start off kneeling or are kneeling after one or two batters.  Garrett LOVES being the catcher and this simply would not have been possible without the SICFIT Scottsdale Kids Program.  Garrett and his best friend Kanon are already making plans when Kanon is pitching for the Yankees and Garrett is the catching for the Orioles – big dreams that Garrett never would have started dreaming if SICFIT Scottsdale hadn’t enabled him to be his best.

You help so many people change their lives for the better, even those that are too young to appreciate it. On behalf of my entire family we are eternally grateful to you.

John Holt

Jenn Lyles

So, I started CrossFit Scottsdale in mid-November. I had just come home from a work conference and I was sent an online gallery to the photos from our event and saw myself and was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t believe I looked like that. My cheeks were so big that I looked like a squirrel storing up for the winter. I called CrossFit Scottsdale the very next day. image001

I’ve only been with this encouraging, awesome family five months-and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I never thought I could see results that would last. I’ve lost weight before, but it’s always come back on weeks later. I can honestly this lifestyle change has dramatically improved my quality of life. I can’t have to have a more dramatic before and after, but for only five months-I’d say there’s a change!

Thanks again to all the great staff and coaches. I’m going to make the most out of my last three weeks here!

Mary Arabyan

At 165 lbs., I wasn’t just overweight, but in pain due to poor nutrition and stress. I put everyone before me, because I wasn’t important. What I wanted or felt didn’t matter. I knew something had to be done, for the sake of my children, but what? I didn’t know where to start, I was too shy to join a gym, didn’t know what diet changes I should make, etc…
Long story short, I started making little changes in my diet, controlling my portions, and went out for an hour walk every day. That walk turned into workout DVDs, then to a gym membership, which then turned into personal training sessions. I made a huge improvement, but was still very far from reaching my goal weight or physique.
One year later, we made a move from California to Arizona.  It was the hardest thing being away from my parents and my sister, but I knew God had a plan for me. Every day I would go the gym to clear my mind, exercise was my therapy.  After about 6 months of living here, I hired a personal trainer who not only helped me make healthier choices but helped me find myself again. I knew what I wanted and it mattered now, and most importantly, I started to love and respect myself again. Exercise and clean eating became my lifestyle. PhotoGrid_1366491294511
As if all these changes weren’t hard enough, I got injured, hurt my lower back; doctors told me it was a herniated disk, and was told to stay away from the gym until my back and core are stronger. (How do you strengthen any area of your body without exercise? I don’t know…interesting doctors out there today. I was told not to run, jump, lift weights or be in a sitting position for more than 20 minutes at a time. At first I followed the doctor’s advice, but came to understand that that didn’t heal anything and it sure didn’t make me happy, the fear of going back to where I was frightened me. No matter what anyone said, my gut feeling was different. I wanted to get out there and run, I wanted to lift weights, go hiking and do all the things I love doing with my boys. It just felt the right thing to do, because my faith was stronger than my fears. So, I went back to the gym, exercised 4-6 days a week and continued eating clean. The pain comes and goes but I have more better days than bad days, so I make the best of it.
At 120 lbs now, I finally feel comfortable in my body and am the happiest I’ve been in the longest time. I’ve ran two half marathons, (because someone once said I can’t run), had a blast at a couple of mud runs and surprised myself with how strong of a woman I am. My next goal was to join CrossFit!
On 6-1-2012 I joined CrossFit Scottsdale and did my baseline workout with finish time of 6:38 –which at the time was great! I’ve since started doing personal training with Coach Erin, who is amazing! I love the fact that she has a list of my goals and every time we meet we work on those goals. CrossFit makes you better at everything!  I love my CrossFit Scottsdale community, we’re all family here, and one person’s success is everyone’s success.  Two weeks ago, I re-did my baseline WOD with a finish time of 5:10! Special thanks to Najla Kayyem and Coach Erin for celebrating my success like no other and for steering me in the right direction. I’m forever grateful!  Having never given up, which is very easy to do when you’re in constant pain, this is how I got to my ‘Now’ picture, and the reason why I’m not saying that’s my after photo is because it’s not! I train like there’s no finish line; I don’t think I’ll ever have an ‘after’ photo, because my goals are endless and I am not a quitter! I can surely say I’m now a good example to my boys as they deserve a healthy role model. – Mary Arabyan

Michelle Plunkett


My name is Michelle Plunkett. I am 35 years old and a mother of 3 boys under 8. I discovered CrossFit a few years ago. 18 months ago I was not able to do a pull-up, handstand pushup, pistol, lift heavy weight etc.  Since then I have mastered them all and pretty much everything else at Cross Fit. Every day it’s still a challenge and I look forward to trying new things.

A year ago today I did a workout called Bull. I did it with 45 pound ohs and 2 banded pull-ups in 57 mins. Today about a  year later I did it in 47 minutes. It was 400 double under’s,  100 overhead squats at 65 pounds, 100 real pull-ups no band and a 2 mile run. In September I switched over to CrossFit Scottsdale  to upgrade my training. I have always had improvement over the past 18 months but the last 6 months the improvement has totally accelerated thanks to CrossFit Scottsdale and especially Luke Kayyem.

Many women are reluctant to try CrossFit because they are afraid of getting too “big” or bulky but I am 120 pounds!
I truly love this workout and believe it has changed my life and overall fitness. No matter your age or fitness level SCF is an amazing place and will change the way you view fitness and eating.

Rich Rotan

My Crossfit Scottsdale Journey… One year ago, I weighed 209# in the morning and about 213# at night. Don’t ask why I weigh myself twice a day, I just do.  At that time I was a new father to a beautiful girl Audrina Reese Rotan and a loving husband to my beautiful and talented wife Heather Rotan.  “I love you both”.  Then it happened on May 22nd I walked into CrossFit Scottsdale for a scheduled baseline not having a clue of what to expect, halfway through the gym doors I was greeted by a tatted up buff guy who introduced himself as Coach Luke.  He asked me to complete some forms and then proceeded to show me around the place. He asked questions about my fitness level and showed me the high priced equipment everyone was using to get fit. “Okay”. He also talked about taking down some ‘globo gyms’ but I had no clue what he was saying, I wasn’t paying any attention I was still trying to figure out how the f$#% my wife talked me into this shit. After that he asked me to warm up with one of his students by going for a 400 meter run. When I returned we got right into reviewing what the baseline consisted of:  500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull ups. Just so everyone knows, I had no history of ever working out. I paid a lot of memberships just really never did any time. As I started the row I could hear coach behind me saying keep it under some “number” and “lets go”, about 250 meters in I was thinking I’m never going to make this I’m already gassed out but some how I finished the row and moved into the air squats, holy crap those suck and then the sit ups, holy crap those suck more, and then the 20 push ups, holy crap those suck even more and then the final 10 pull ups, holy crap those suck balls and then “BAM” it was all over, along with the rest of my day. I turned in an outstanding time of 12:08, probably one of the worst in CrossFit Scottsdale history. I still ask people “hey what did you get on your baseline” just to see if I did better then them. Nope none higher. Bunch of liars out there. After the baseline I laid on the ground for about a half hour trying to figure out where my life was going to end. Coach got me some sugar water and then I proceeded to get up and try to make my way to his office. On the way there still woozy and wobbly he said your name is on a puke bucket out back if you need it.  Believing him I headed that way, he quickly stopped me and said, no the restrooms right there make sure you clean up afterwards. I spent a good 15 minutes puking my guts out before getting to his office. He started reviewing the different memberships and pricing options. Again not paying attention. My mind and body were in survival mode and I needed to get the hell out of there and home before death. I told coach I got to go but I will be back to sign up. I’m sure in his mind he was thinking this pus$% I wont see him again.  I sat outside in the car for another 30 minutes before driving home. Thank god the baseline was mid day I probably struck multiple curbs and who knows what else on the way home. However, I do remember walking through my front door to my wife and her looking at me like she had seen a ghost. I headed to the master bath where I spent several more hours laying on the floor while my wife made fun of me. Lasted pretty much the entire day.

The very next day I went to work, It started out like most and quickly turned into the rest, very stressful. I then began thinking about CrossFit and how it affected me the day before. I was able to push my body and mind to a place where I was not able to think about my day-to-day worries and that’s when I made the decision to go back and get signed up. I didn’t join CrossFit because I wanted to be fit I joined because I wanted to go one hour a day where the only thing I could possibly think of is completing the WOD (workout of the day).  To date when I walk into Crossfit Scottsdale I have never thought about what I had to do at work or what stresses may be awaiting me in my personal life.

My major accomplishment at CrossFit Scottsdale over the that last year include completing my first WOD on May 24th 2011, since then I have completed a 4.2 mile Mad Mud Run thanks to the help of Coach Jenn D or better known to fellow students as “The Finisher”.  Thanks for getting us booed because you didn’t want to get muddy at the end. LoL. I have competed in 1 Paleo challenge where I took second place only loosing to the “mayor” of CrossFit Scottsdale Bob Hisle. What a shark.  He still owes me a beer.  My personal records or “PR’s” include 285# deadlift, 170# clean and jerk, 205# back squat, 120# snatch, baseline of 4:44 and a mile time of 7:46.  Recently I participated in Hell Week IV and successfully passed with the rest of the warriors and completed the Pat Tillman run with my wife.  I have passed the level I test and will attempt for the second time the level II on June 21st hopefully putting in a much better performance.  Oh yeah I almost forgot I lost 50 pounds and currently weigh 163# in the morning and 165.5# at night.  Again don’t ask why.

I would like to thank everyone who has played a key role in the transformation of Richard Scott Rotan and the friends I have met through CrossFit Scottsdale who continue to support and push me through every WOD.  A big thank you to Coach Luke and Najla for providing a facility that achieves amazing results and provides the opportunity for people to change there lives. To all the coaches who have been apart of my transformation present and past I thank you and please continue to do what you do because you impact lives for the better. When considering your workout box I highly recommend one place and that is Crossfit Scottsdale.

I’m sad to say but my wife and I will be relocating in the month of August to Vegas baby. No I’m not becoming a stripper with this new body. My wife and I are starting a new chapter in our life. We will be sad to leave behind such and amazing place.  I will never forget what this place has done for me and my family and I will continue to live the lifestyle that has been instilled in me by my CrossFit Scottsdale coaches and fellow crossfitters. Again thank you all and hopefully we will WOD again.

All I can say is “ I Wanna Fran myself like an animal”.

Rich Rotan WOD: “Game Changer” For Time.

Get Married September 2009

Quit smoking March 2010

Move to Scottsdale June 2010

Have a beautiful girl November 2010

Lose 50 pounds May 2011-2012

Move To Vegas 2012


Josh Wagner

Vanity… It’s a start, but how will you finish?

No doubt we all want to look better in our swim suit, in a wedding dress or in no clothes at all.  In many cases this desire drives people to start going to the gym, eating better or even venture into the local CrossFit box.  With the best of intentions we start into a routine of exercise and sensible eating.  Typically we give it a good 3-6 months of quality effort, I am being generous here, see some results and feel pretty good about ourselves.  Unfortunately that is where it ends in most cases.  Vanity itself is too superficial to keep us motivated to accept a lifetime of health and fitness.  It can be a start, but in no way is it ever the end.  There is good reason; there should be no end to health and fitness.  It needs to be a lifetime pursuit.  The question then becomes, “What’s the motivation?”  How do we talk ourselves into grilling free range chicken and laying it over an organic green salad with olive oil and avocado when the Dominos guy is on speed dial and that fully loaded pie goes great with the beer and NBA Finals game you are about flip on the TV?

I don’t have all the answers but I can share with you my experience, which started with vanity.  Almost four years ago after my daughter was born I saw myself in a photo holding her in the swimming pool and I was revolted by what I saw.  That coupled with my brother’s wedding six months away in Puerto Vallarta I decided to make a change.  I was going to get ripped!  I played sports throughout high school and college I knew what needed to be done.  Eating right and exercise were in my foreseeable future.  I hit my vanity goals, by the end of the year I was in good shape for my brother’s wedding.  I remember thinking after the wedding, “I want to keep this thing going!”  At that moment I realized something was different this time, it wasn’t just about me.  I want to be a good role model for my daughter I want her to understand that good nutrition and an active lifestyle are important.  I continued to pursue health and fitness, only now it was different, it was followed by research, studying, reading, a constant quest for knowledge about how different foods affect your body, how food helps your performance, how to train for performance rather than just working out or exercising.  This all came to a head in 2011 when I found CrossFit.  I saw a posting on Facebook for a 24 hour endurance WOD, for some reason it sounded like a challenge I wanted to be a part of.  I called the phone number, reserved a spot and showed up at CrossFit Scottsdale to workout, eat and occasionally nap with about 30 people I had never met before for 24 consecutive hours!  What I found changed everything again.

I found the athlete I always wanted to be, I found community and most importantly I found friends.  CrossFit made me feel like I did when I played sports as a kid and young adult.  It made me feel strong, powerful and in control of my life.  It transformed diet and exercise into nutrition and training.  Believe me, there is a difference!  Almost instantly I was surrounded by people who cared about this stuff as much as I do.  Diet and exercise wasn’t just something these people do to look good, although we are a good looking bunch if I say so myself, it was a way of life.  Proper nutrition was the foundation for the next WOD, it was the foundation for competition and really the foundation for life.  It was certainly the training and challenge aspect that drew me into CrossFit and CrossFit Scottsdale, but the community has kept me here.  When you were a kid you made new friends daily, as a teenager weekly and as a young adult maybe a new friend every 6 months to a year.  As you progress into your 30’s making new friends does not happen quite so often.  I have made so many new friends in my year at CrossFit Scottsdale it really is hard to believe sometimes.  I thank every single one of you for accepting me when I came through the doors the first time.  It matters, and your commitment to our community matters.

I leave you with this.  Committing to a lifestyle of health and fitness provides you with freedom.  Freedom to take a hike, ride your bike with your kids, play pickup basketball,  go surfing, swim in the ocean, play football on the beach, play Frisbee, take up rowing, run a marathon or even take your shirt off at the pool!

Thanks to all my friends at CrossFit Scottsdale for helping me pursue my passion!

~Josh Wagner