Reoptimize Your Body with the Basics

Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do not let the simplicity of today’s workout deceive you. Often times it is the most basic movements that pack the most vigorous punch!

The various conditioning portions of our programming today train many fundamental human movement patterns. Squatting, jumping, sprinting, and pushing — each of these movements is engrained into our neurological and muscular system as something we are functionally designed to do.

However, the reason why these natural movements can be so difficult is because our modern day society has deconditioned u and weakened these natural capacities of our bodies.

Not to worry however, because SICFIT Scottsdale is committed to reconditioning ourselves back to our naturally strong and capable bodies through strength in conditioning! With our knowledgeable instruction, your dedication, a some sweat, you can reoptimize your body to not just be functional, but to be fit!

Work through these exercises with a detailed eye on your movement mechanics to get the most out of your conditioning today. Don’t be surprised when this in-depth awareness takes your workout the next level of controlled intensity. Your hard work will be pay off though, so stick with it, breathe, and stay positive through the end!


Dynamic Movement
Inch Worms
Leg Swings
Squat Holds + Tempo Squats
8 Minute AMRAP
3 Air Squats
3 Vertical Jumps
3 Air Squats
3 Long Jumps
6,6,6,6…. 9,9,9,9…. Then Back to 3s to Repeat
10 Rounds
10 Hand Release Push Ups
100 Meter Sprints
3 Rounds
20 Second Airdyne Sprint
Jump Rope Until Class Mates Cycle Through Their Turn on Airdyne


PNF Stretching & Targeting Fascia – Not Just Muscles


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, May 15, 2015

The ten Stretch-to-Win® principles of effective stretching gives athletes the upper hand when it comes to making quick changes in range of motion and movement quality through flexibility training. Part one of this three part blog series introduced the concept of stretching as an active movement that progressively increases range of motion.  Part two looked at the concept of stretching from core to extremity.

By looking at three more of the ten principles athletes can understand that stretching is not just about targeting tight muscles.

Stretching is more about creating changes in the nervous system, joint-capsule, and connective tissue than just ‘lengthening tight or short muscles.’

Use Multiple Planes of Movement

Another disadvantage to holding a stretch statically is that just one plane of motion (or static position) is used for a stretch. This prevents athletes from exploring what specific muscle fibers and range of motions are actually restricted.

The lattisimus dorsi is a broad muscle that spans from the hip, to the low back, out to the arms.  Many athletes are familiar with the banded lat stretch that is done from a forward lunge position (see first position).



While this targets the upper portion of the lat muscle (from the scapula out to the arms), this position does not fully release the lower fibers that span from the hip out to the low back.  The side lunge position targets the lower fibers, while the middle image shows a position that is in-between a forward lunge and side lunge. Instead of using a single position, athletes can better improve their overhead range of motion by using different positions and planes of movement to release the lats.

Consider the Fascia, Not Just the Muscle

Fascia (connective tissue) is the most prevalent tissue in the body – which wraps, connects, and separates muscle groups.  The downward dog in yoga stretches both the calf muscles and hamstrings at the same time – because the hamstring and calf tendons merge behind the knee to form a continuous line of tissue that continues up through the muscles along the spine.

This posterior chain consists of muscles connected by fascia into a unified line of transmission that helps maintain upright posture and extends the body during movements like the deadlift.  By first stretching from core to extremity and releasing the muscles/fascia closer to the hips and spine, more integrative stretches like the down dog can be applied with greater success.

Many athletes with tight IT-Bands can benefit from stretching their glutes instead of foam rolling the IT-Band.  Glute tightness and/or weakness can cause the IT-Band to take on the role of stabilizing the knee. Stretching the glutes and improving glute function with single leg exercises can help remedy IT-Band problems.  This is because the glutes control the knee via the IT-Band – a dense layer of connective tissue.

Facilitate Body Reflexes for Optimal Results (PNF)

A great way to overcome chronic tightness and restricted range of motion is to use muscle contractions during a stretch. PNF stretching (contract-relax) consists of exhaling into a stretch, then inhaling and holding an isometric muscular contraction (3-5 seconds), before exhaling deeper into a stretch.

The PNF cue for the lat stretch is to pull the scapula down the back (forward lunge) for the upper fibers, and laterally flex the ribcage down to the hips (side lunge) for the lower fibers of the hip.  The band provides the resistance against the motion of the scapula and ribcage (see video here).

“In summary, the way to get maximal lengthening of tight tissue is to traction and stretch all the tissue along a fascial track – joint capsule, ligament, tendon, muscle – without pain.  Move from the deep to the superficial layers, from myofascia that crosses one joint to, those that cross multiple joints, and then add multiple planes of movement as dictated by a synchronized breath and a properly tuned nervous system suited to the current conditions.” – Chris Frederick

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –

3 Rounds, 1o Reps Each
Single Leg Calf Raises
Single Arm Circles
Single Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Single Arm Front Raise
8-10 Seated Dumbbell Single Arm Press
8-10 Seated Single Arm kettle bell.dumbbell Row
8 Single Leg Step Up (Add Weight Each Round)
8 Single Leg Lunge (Add Weight Each Round)
1-2 Minute Rest After Each Movement
5 Curtis P’s
1 Minute Rest
4 Curtis P’s
40 Second Rest
3 Curtis P’s
30 Second Rest
2 Curtis P’s
20 Second Rest
1 Curtis P


Hell Week At SICFIT Scottsdale: A Week of Discipline, Humility, And Growth


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, May 14, 2015

First things first… don’t forget to hit up tonights Kipping Pull Up Clinic, or our Free Outdoor workout at Asics in the Scottsdale Quarter! And now, on to business!

At SICFIT Scottsdale we believe that true strength and fitness requires much more than working out. In fact, we believe that working out is pretty ineffective. What is much more effective, much more difficult, and inherently much more rewarding, is working in…

A workin (as opposed to a workout) tests the strengths of our character using the medium of the physical body. If you’re ready to challenge yourself to the most intense series of work ins you have ever experienced, join SICFIT Scottsdale for Hell Week, beginning 5/18 – 5/22.

Every day during Hell Week you will report to SICFIT Scottsdale a 0500, dressed in the required uniform — your SICFIT shirt. Each day you will push yourself to your mental and physical limits, while learning incredibly valuable lessons about yourself — how well do you work in a team work? At what point does your self-discipline and positivity break down? What kind of leader are you? What are your strengths of spirit and how do you hold yourself back from accessing them?

During Hell Week we leave no stone unturned and hold nothing back. These skills are not learned in a textbook, success manual, or classroom. They must be experienced in the arena of hard physical training, mental toughness, emotional discipline, and humility.

The cost of HELL WEEK is $75 for members, $150 for non members of SICFIT Scottsdale. To reserve your spot, sign up at the gym, e-mail, or call us at 480.922.3253.



100 Meter R + Dynamic Movement
Rope climbs
LIFE: Rope Pulls + Med Balls
5 Rounds For Quality
1 Rope Climb + 10 Burpees AFAP
5 Stones to Shouder
2-3 Minute Rest
200 Partner Ball Slams
*Alternate as Needed
**Must Perform Burpee when Alternating


Turn Your Kipping Pull Ups from Sad to Strong


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The ability to manipulate our bodies through space in a controlled and efficient capacity is a fantastic expression of functional fitness. It is making use of our bodies in the way they are designed to be used, and doing so in a way that maximizes our strength, balance, and all other markers of physical fitness. There is perhaps no better skill that demonstrates this body-control than the kipping pull-up!

For many of us however, the coordination and strength needed to perform this exercise is either elusive or not at full potential. But worry not SICFITTERS, because tomorrow night’s Kipping Pull Up Clinic will help you get there.

Whether you are still working towards your first pull up, or want to improve this skill, tonight’s clinic will give you the detailed instruction and individual attention you need to progress. We will be covering the mechanics of the kipping pull up in great detail, as well as providing the tips, skills, drills, and strengthening exercises to turn the kipping pull-up into one of your strengths!

Join us at SICFIT Scottsdale tomorrow night (5/13) at 7pm for a kipping good time!



Dynamic Warm Up + Band Mobility
 5-7 Minutes building to a Heavy 5 Rep Dumbbell Deadlift 31×1
4 Rounds
8 Dumbbell Deadlift
6 Box Step Up and Over
3 Bear Crawls
4 Flutter Kick 4×15
2 Minutes Rest


Free Fitness Class by SICFIT Scottsdale and Asics


Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We are always stronger when we are surrounded by a strong community. SICFIT Scottsdale and Asics share this value and have joined forces to bring health and wellness to the Scottsdale community. Join us this Thursday at 6:30pm for a free outdoor conditioning class, hosted by Asics in the Scottsdale Quarter and instructed by SICFIT’s knowledgeable, encouraging, and fun coaches!

But strength in community isn’t the only value SICFIT shares with this athletic brand. The name Asics is derived as an acronym for the latin phrase, “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano,” meaning “a sound mind in a sound body.”

This phrase resonates strongly with SICFIT Scottsdale’s core philosophy of building physical and mental toughness through functional fitness.

Together, SICFIT and Asics are committed to strengthening the bodies and minds of our community, so that we may all become stronger together!

Join us This Thursday, and every other Thursday after that until August, 13th for the free fitness class!

Send this link over to your friends and family who might like to join you!


1K Row @ 50%
Line Drills
STRONG: Strict Dip & strict Pull up
LIFE: Bench Dip & Ring Row or Partner Pull Up
FITNESS: Box Dip & Strict or Partner Pull Up
SPORT: Ring Dip Strict or Weighted & Strict Chest 2 Bar Pull Up
25 Crunches w/ Legs Flat, Legs Bent, Knees Ups, Legs Up
30 Seconds Mountain Climbers
20 Crunches w/ Legs Flat, Legs Bent, Knees Ups, Legs Up
30 Seconds Mountain Climbers
15 Crunches w/ Legs Flat, Legs Bent, Knees Ups, Legs Up
30 Seconds Mountain Climbers
10 Crunches w/ Legs Flat, Legs Bent, Knees Ups, Legs Up
30 Seconds Mountain Climbers
5 Crunches w/ Legs Flat, Legs Bent, Knees Ups, Legs Up
30 Seconds Mountain Climbers
1K Row
LIFE: 5 Minute Max Cal Row


Developing Deep Strength Outside of the Gym


Strength in Conditioning for Monday, May 11, 2015

We work hard day in and day out at SICFIT Scottsdale to strengthen ourselves. But what happens when we leave the gym? Do we forget this intention once we pack up our gym bag and head home, or do we let it keep us inspired throughout the day?

In every moment we have the opportunity to continue developing our strength in very simple, but powerful ways. Here are a few ways we can continue working towards our fitness and wellness goals outside of the gym:

  1. Maintain good posture throughout the day. Not only is this like an all day core workout, but it will strengthen your capacity to maintain proper form when you do hit the gym.
  2. Maximize your movement. Skip the elevator for the stairs. Walk or bike rather than drive when your staying local. Take your phone conversations and breaks outside for a walk.
  3. Mobilize more. Mobility exercises make great breaks in your work day. Not only do they benefit the body, but they relax the mind as well by refacing your attention on the present moment.
  4. Practice makes progress. With functional fitness the form we practice in the gym is applicable to everything you do outside of it as well. Picking something up off the ground? Practice your deadlift. Sitting down? Better squat to get there.

We work hard in the gym. When we align with this work ethic outside of the gym as well, our efforts become magnified.

Let’s make all aspects of our lives exists symbiotically with our gym life. When we achieve this, our strength will be deeply developed, enhancing our time in the gym and outside of it.

Tru-Strength at CrossFit Scottsdale

PVC Mobility
5 Rounds with PVC or Barbell
10 Strict Press
10 Back Squats
25 Minutes to Find One Rep Max
1 Deadlift + 2 Hang Power Cleans + 3 Front Squats
3 Sets of Max Rep Reverse Pull Ups
4×5 Single Leg Kettlebell Deadlift
30 – 20 -10
Jumpe Rope + Air Squat

Free Family Fitness Class and Mother’s Day Toast


Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, May 9, 2015

As a family owned and operated gym, SICFIT Scottsdale works hard to make our gym a place you can share with your entire family. We truly believe that a family that works out together gets stronger together… and we’re not just talking physically! As we strengthen our bodies and minds with our loved ones, our bonds with them strengthen too.

To honor these family values, we invite you and your family to kick off your Mother’s Day celebration a day early at today’s Mom’s & Mimosas morning workout and toast! Bring Mom, your baby’s mom, or another special lady who sometimes goes by the name of, “mom,” in for a free workout in her honor!

Afterwards we will have a champagne mimosa toast dedicated to all the mamas in the house, along with some fresh fruit and healthy snacks!

Our casa es su casa! The fun starts at 9:00 am sharp! Bring mama in to SICFIT Scottsdale and share in the fun this Mother’s Day Weekend!



6 Rounds As Many Reps as Possible
30 Seconds On & 30 Seconds Off
Jump Rope
Air Squats
5 Laps
Farmers Carry Around Small Lap
Each Time Kettle Bell Drops, Must Run Lap
10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Ball Squat + Ball Slam


Your Movement is Core-to-Extremity – But is Your Stretching?


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, May 8, 2015

Last week’s blog answered the common questions, “How long should I hold a stretch?” and “What type of stretching should I use before and after my workout?”  The ten Stretch to Win® principles explain that the most effective stretching consists of movement into and out of a stretch that is synchronized with breathing.

Instead of holding a stretch (statically) for a predetermined amount of time athletes should use their breathing to deepen the active movement into a stretch.  Stretching as an active form of movement allows athletes to modify the tempo exhaling/inhaling into and out of a faster stretch or taking 3 full breaths into a slower restorative stretch.

By looking at three more of the ten principles athletes can understand how to enhance their stretching by learning to stretch from ‘Core-to-Extremity.’

Most athletes first target the hamstrings, actually spending more time stretching the hamstrings than any other muscle group.  However, hamstring range of motion (as in the straight leg raise or forward bend) is largely determined by the flexibility of the hip joint-capsule and muscles surrounding the hip.


Follow a Logical Anatomical Order

Fifty percent of range of motion is in the joint-capsule itself – if your hips are tight you can achieve better range of motion by first mobilizing the joint-capsule and muscles surrounding the hip.  The Core-Four Stretch Matrix consists of the glutes, deep hip-flexor (psoas), lats, and low-back muscle called QL (see here).

Many athletes are familiar with core-to-extremity movement – the push-jerk, for example, consists of hip extension that transfers power out through the core to the arms.  Core-to-extremity stretching involves releasing the muscles surrounding the hips and low back so that the legs and arms can movement independently of the hips.

Another example is stretching to improve shoulder flexion.  The motion of the arms is dependent on the motion of the scapula.  While many athletes first stretch the triceps – taking the arm into shoulder flexion and elbow flexion – the scapula must be mobile to support shoulder flexion.  In this case, by first releasing the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade (pec-minor, rhomboid, levator scapula), athletes will have more success improving shoulder flexion for overhead lifts.

Target the Entire Joint

Hip rotation is essential for squats, lunges, and preventing low-back pain.  Joint-capsule mobilizations that improve internal and external rotation are essential for allowing full hip flexion (squat depth).  Because the gluteal muscles span from the pelvis out to the leg, it is important to first release the glutes before the hamstrings – progressing from bent to straight leg stretches (which wind up more connective tissue).

Use Traction for Maximal Lengthening

Traction decompresses the joint-capsule and can be performed as a stand-alone stretch (see hip traction). However, it is important to apply traction during all stretches.  Lengthening into stretches by keeping a long spine and reaching out through the arms and legs creates space in the joints to allow for a fuller range of motion into a stretch.

The third and final blog describing the 10 Stretch-to-Win® principles will examine how using different planes of motion and contractions during a stretch can take your stretching to a whole new level.

– Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ –

300 Meter Run + 500 Meter Row
 5×10: Push Ups + Sit Ups + Air Squats + Ring Row + Lunge
1 Lap Walking Rest After Each Round
Build to Tough Double Hang Power Clean
10 Minute EMOM
3 Hang Power Cleans + 1 Push Press or Jerk
3-5 Minute Walking Rest
“Stairway to Heaven”
5 Minute AMRAP of Box Ups (Alternating Legs)
LIFE: 18”- 20”
FITNESS: 20”- 24”
SPORT: Box Overs 24”


A SICFIT Riddle…

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, May 7, 2015

What SICFIT Scottsdale class leaves the most sweat angles on the floor, has risen to the most popular class offering, and has the perfect algorithm for scaling every student to the perfect weight for each workout?

If you’re thinking this is a trick question because all of LIFE, FITNESS, and SPORT classes boast these attributes, you’re only half correct. While all of our classes do indeed share these qualities, there is one that rises above the rest. And this is the SICFIT Scottsdale Bodyweight class!

This class, offered Monday through Thursday, uses zero equipment except you and your body (which is how we know everyone gets the perfect scale for them)! But don’t let this fool you, because these classes are notorious but kickers! Plus, this kind of training yields big results in weight loss, muscle toning, and increasing energy.

Add the SICFIT Bodyweight class to your weekly routine and see for yourself why this it is so popular!

Naked Sleds and Prowlers
5 Rounds
10 Goblet Squat (Descending Reps by 2 Each Round)
21 Push Press w/ Barbell
5-10 Burpees AFAP
2 Minute Walking Rest
130 Meter Run
30 Kettle Bell Swings
260 Meter Run
20 Kettle Bell Swings
390 Meter Run
10 Kettle Bell Swings


SICFIT Scottsdale’s Mother’s Day Celebration


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, May 6, 2015

True strength has nothing to do with how much weight we can back squat, or how many handstand push-ups we can do. True strength is measured by how much we can love and support others. Nobody demonstrates this kind of strength better than Mom and the Mother Figures in our life.

Invite those strong women to join you this Saturday for SICFIT Scottsdale’s Moms and Mimosas Mother’s Day Celebration! Beginning at 9am we’ll get a lil’ sweaty with a fun and challenging workout. Then, we’ll get a little toasty with a mimosa champagne toast for the mamas! This workout is fit for all levels of ability and is free for all SICFITTERS and their guests!

We hope to see you there for this memorable Mother’s Day event!



Partner Stretch PNF
6 Minute AMRAP
20 Lunges + 8 Hand Release Pushups
8 Minute AMRAP
10 Box Step Ups Each leg + 10 Second Up Dog & Down Dog Hold
10 Minute AMRAP
30 Second Plank + 30 Second Jump Rope
5 Rounds
1 Minute Max Calorie Row


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