2015 Fitness Challenge: One Week Down. Three to Go.

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, February 2, 2015

Our Fitness Challengers have three weeks until they retest their prelim workout time and try to blow their score out of the water!

We encourage our challengers to spend a little extra time in the gym to get the most out of this challenge and to see the most dramatic results at the end of it. Commit to trying a SICFIT specialty class that you haven’t given a shot yet, like Yoga, Endurance, or Bodyweight. And don’t forget that 75-90% of fitness results start in the kitchen. So don’t neglect nutrition and expect to see a SIC-pack by the finale!

Invite your friends and family to come out on February 21st and support you as you crush your prelim time! Invite them now and use that extra bit of accountability to push yourself for the next three weeks!

Barbell progression
20 Minutes to Build to 1 Rep Max Power Clean
3 Minute Rest
AMRAP in 3 Minutes of 90% Power Cleans
3 Minute Rest
AMRAP in 3 Minutes of 75% Power Cleans
3 Minute Rest
AMRAP in 3 Minutes of 50% Power Cleans
Score = A1 + A2 Weight x Reps + A3 Weight x Reps + A4 Weight x Reps


The SICFIT Scottsdale level III test is the pinnacle of our training program.


“The more difficult the challenge the greater the reward.” Have you ever studied for a test, practiced for a sport or rehearsed for a play? More importantly have you ever worked hard to become great at something and then have to prove not only to yourself but to your peers that your capable of passing the test? Last Thursday night Dustin Anderson and Coach Jorge Aragon proved their fitness and passed the most challenging fitness test of our schools history. The level III test is the “black belt” of skill, strength and endurance. Since its design was first created in 2009 we have only tested this level 5 different times with only 9 athletes ever passing and only one of those a female. This thing is no joke and should not be underestimated which is why it is invite ONLY. It takes years to build the strength needed to lift the loads and hours of practice to fine tune the mechanics needed to complete the high skill gymnastics. It starts with a kick in the chest having to complete the 2k row in sub 7:15 for men and sub 8 minutes for women. If you pass that your on to the heavy barbell and Olympic lifts not to mention the complex Gymnastics. If you complete the passing number of reps a minimum of 80 then you get a free ride down Hayden and Shea in the back of my pick up truck to tackle the sandbag run. The sandbag run is 3 miles long and weighs #80 for men and #35 for women. Complete all three parts and you have SICcessfully accomplished a task of a lifetime.  A task so painful, challenging and unique that it takes every part of your body, brain and gut to accomplish. I would like to thank all of the members who were in attendance to push Dustin and Jorge, cheer them on. To Dustin’s parents and brother who drove from block to block to give moral support along the run and to those who ran in the rain every step of the way to ensure these boys would cross the finish line. A big shout out to one of the greatest most loyal, active boys in the gym and a guy that everyone looks up to Jeff “I’ll take the test again, anytime” Rifkin. Please join us on February 19th at 7pm for the Level II test and show your support for every athlete who puts it all on the line to showcase their skills. LIFE | FITNESS | SPORT Thank you Grant, Heidi, Tyler, Josh, Jesse, Kay-lynn, Mike, Rosi, Deric, Matt and Sue for your support. Congratulations to lifetime acheivement athletes Nick Zambruno, Chris Tommarello, Melissa Einbinder, Jeff Brennan and Luie Baraagan.  What is SICFIT? Community | Competition | Results

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 At SICFIT Scottsdale we advocate the importance of quality over quantity. For example, the quality of your reps vs. the number of reps completed; the quality of your training session versus the top time on the white board; a few quality workouts during the week vs. a half hearted workout everyday of the week.

The reason we teach quality is because everything that we do in SICFIT as well as in life is built upon foundation. We must be proficient in one area before moving on to the next. This is where the quality of our reps will help determine the quality of our WOD which in turn determines the quality of our improvements.

SICFIT Scottsdale Level testing plays an important role for both new members just starting a workout program and  those high level competitors as well. Level testing allows us to set a goal and strive for it. We find that focusing on a goal and the steps required to reach it is far more effective then working out aimlessly. Secondly, level testing allows us to set a foundation. By doing level testing we are able to uncover areas of weakness that we have and work to make them our strengths, something that we all need to do in order to be well rounded. If there is a certain piece or exercise in one of the level tests that will be tough for you then make a habit of working on that piece before or after class and track your progress. Your results will improve in other areas as well. Level testing also allows us to know which classes will best fit our needs. If I am a not a Level 1 student then I will most likely need more instruction then someone who is already a Level 3 student and can attend a class accordingly.

Runners during Level testAnd of course most of all Level Testing is supposed to be FUN. It allows us to strive for something, work hard for it, hear our names cheered on by coaches and peers, stand on top of the podium to collect our new bands and to wear our Level band with pride, showing off how far we have come to achieve our goals. Because in the end SICFIT is about where we end up, not where we begin.

Level I – White Band
Level II – RED Band
Level III – Camo Band



Improving Shoulder Mobility


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, January 30, 2015

Oftentimes, the quickest way to improve overhead mobility is to address tightness in the latissimus dorsi and pectoralis muscle group.  The pectorals consist of pec major and minor – pec major being the superficial muscle on the front of the chest.  Pec-minor is deep to pec major and can restrict the scapular motion needed for overhead lifts.

Stretching your pecs and lats can have a major impact on shoulder mobility for overhead movements like pullups, strict presses, and overhead squats.  Both muscle groups span from the ribcage to the arm and can severely limit range of motion.

Lat Sequence: Targeting Different Fiber Directions

The lat muscle is a broad muscle that originates at the mid-back and spans from the sides of the ribcage out to the arms. Lat is often tight and can limit overhead range of motion.  Because of the multiple actions (arm movements) that lat carries out and it’s multiple attachments from the hips, ribcage, and arms it is important to target lat from a variety of angles.

The lat stretch sequence involves a forward facing lunge and a side lunge.  The forward lunge position targets the latissimus dorsi muscle fibers that span from the side of the ribcage out to the arm.  The side lunge position targets the lat fibers that span from the ribcage to the hip.

Front lunge targets upper lat fibers (arm)

Side lunge targets lower lat fibers (hip)

Shoulder Traction

During both the pec and lat stretch, maintain a relaxed arm – allowing the band to pull the arm.  This traction decompresses the joint-capsule  – doing two things…

First, traction decompresses the joint-capsule itself (50% of range of motion is in the joint itself).

Secondly, traction makes it easier to deepen the stretch by clearing the joint and preventing any impingement or pinching sensation during the stretch.

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


10 Minutes of Jump Rope
Single, Double, One Leg, 360, High Knee
3 Rounds
20 Overhead Walking Lunges
7 Burpees
LIFE: No Weight or PVC
FITNESS SPORT: 10/25 – 55
Death by 10 Meters


SIC at Fundraising?


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, January 28, 2015

Year after year, SICFIT Scottsdale has a great showing at the Pat’s Run 5k, an annual event will proceeds benefitting the Pat Tillman Foundation. If you’re still thinking about joining us for this race, now is your time to register.

Simply by signing up for the race, creating a fundraising page, and raising $40 by 4:00pm on Saturday, you will be entered to win two tickets to the Pro Bowl this Sunday!

In addition to potentially earning you a spot at the Pro Bowl, your fundraising efforts support the foundation’s initiative of supporting veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships.

Follow this link to register for the Pat’s Run 5k on April 25th, 2015.


EMOM for 10 Minutes
10 Russian Kettle Bell Swings
10 Seconds On
10 Seconds Off
20 Seconds On
20 Seconds Off
30 Seconds On
30 Seconds Off
…. up to 90 Seconds
100 Lunges + 10 Burpees
50 Lunges + 10 Burpees
100 Lunges
100 Sit Ups
1K row


Level Three Up For Grabs


Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, January 28, 2015

You’ve seen them around the gym putting up big numbers on all the major lifts, effortlessly stringing together ring muscle ups, and making even the most intense workouts look like a walk in the park.

Tomorrow night these fellow SICFITTERS will be throwing down in a don’t-miss display of athleticism as they take the Level Three Test.

Come watch them and cheer them on as they tackle the tasks that stand between them and donning their wrists with the SICFIT L3 Band!

Come to an early evening class and then stick around till 7pm to get inspired by their skill and strength!


Partner Stretch
Foam Roll
Squat Therapy
4×8 Back Squat
500 Meter Row
40 Air Squats
30 Sit Ups
20 Push Ups
10 Pull Ups/Ring Rows
600 Meter Run
50 Air Squats
40 Sit Ups
30 Push Ups
20 Walking Lunges
10 Pull Ups

Health and Fitness SICess at Desert Canyon Elementary


 Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SICFIT Scottsdale loves taking functional fitness and nutritional knowledge on the road, especially when we get to share it with kids!

Over the weekend, we set up shop at Desert Canyon Elementary School for their Annual Family Fitness Fun Run. This was the grand finale to the school’s Health and Fitness Week, which SICFIT Scottsdale helped organize.

Each day, students learned a new functional fitness exercise, along with a nutrition tip and were encouraged to go home and share it with their families.

This video montage is a big shout out to all the volunteers, sponsors, community participation, and donors that helped make this event a SICess!

5 Rounds
100 Meter Easy Row
100 Meters Hard Row
50 Strict Pull Ups
AMRAP in 12 Minutes
LIFE: 3 Burpees + 6 Lunges + 9 Sit Ups + 20-30 Second Rest
FITNESS: 3 Burpees + 6 Weighted Lunges + 9 Knees to Elbows
SPORT: 3 Burpees + 6 Weighted Lunges + 9 Toes to bar


The Level One Band… Only the First Plateau

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, January 26, 2015

It’s looking pretty bright around SICFIT Scottsdale these days, with a few more wrists rocking the White Level One Athlete Band!

This past thursday, a whole crew of SICFITTERS came out and put themselves to the test in hopes of earning L1 SICFIT status. And while not all went home wearing white on their wrist, each and every one of them proved that they have the heart and mind of a fighter, willing to stop at nothing until their name makes that L1 list. We have no doubt that with a little hard work and consistency, that band will be theirs in no time!

For those athletes who showed this test whose boss, we wish you a modest congratulations.

Why modest you ask?

Because for these members, their victory is only the beginning. Next for them to conquer will be the Level Two test, followed by Level Three.

Enjoy the sweet flavor of triumph while you can, for this is only the first plateau in your journey. The mountain only gets steeper from here. Are you ready?

Coaches Choice
Dumbbell Snatch
EMOM for 10 Minutes
6-10 Alternating Dumbbell Snatch
EMOM for 8 Minutes
5 Hang Cleans + 5 Front Squats + -5 Shoulder to Overhead
FITNESS: 95/65
SPORT: 135/95


Tribute to the SICEST Day Ever!


Strength in Conditioning for Friday, January 23, 2015

SICEST of the Southwest III, the first of the SICEST series to be held in our own back yard, was a day that will live on the memory of all those who participated for years to come.

This video is a tribute to the athlete’s that laid out everything they had on the arena floor; to the volunteers who diligently judged competitors, organized logistics, and prepared equipment; to the supportive and encouraging fans who fueled the event that day; and to everyone who gave their hearts and souls to create the SICEST competition that Southwest has ever seen.

As you enjoy the highlights in this video, let it also get your blood pumping for round four of the SICEST series. Because if you didn’t think it could get any better…  just wait!

5 position Lunge Complex
EMON for 5 Minutes
5-8 Tempo Air Squats
PVC Pass Through, Around the World, Shoulder Grind
Wall Ball Technique
5 Rounds
30 Seconds Slam Ball + Slam Ball Squat
30 Second Rest
AMRAP for 10 Minutes
LIFE: 10 Wall Ball Shots + 130 Meter Run or Row
FITNESS: 20 Wall Ball Shots + 300 Meter Run
SPORT: 30 Wall Ball Shots + 300 Meter Run with Ball

Top Scottsdale marketer named SICFIT Scottsdale Athlete of the Month

When it was time to pick our next Athlete of the Month and the first of 2015 it was a pretty clear decision. We looked at attendance, intensity and consistency along with having a great attitude and showing up no mater the weather. Our pick for your January, 2015 A.O.M is Gelie Akhenblit. Below you will find out her story and why she takes her FITness to the next level at SICFIT Scottsdale.

How did you get started at SICFIT Scottsdale?

I kept seeing Jesse at networking events and finally told him I’d come in and check it out. So I did …

What made you come back after your first class?

I never considered NOT coming back. Everything about this format was new and exciting; I was hooked from day one.

What inspiration have you achieved through our coaching?

Whenever you can achieve new levels physically, you’re automatically propelled to do better with everything else in your life. It’s always inspiring to know you can do something you’ve never done before and the coaching program at SICFIT allows you to hit new strides constantly.

What has been your biggest reason for staying in FIT shape?

Besides looking good naked?? :) Working out has been a consistent part of my life for a while now … but knowing that I can learn something new and take it to that next level is what keeps me engaged, interested and motivated.

What are your next Goals?

I feel like I’m just getting started , so there should be many. But to narrow it down … I’d like to work on my double-unders.

What is your most challenging movement?

For whatever reason, I really dislike doing handstands … being upside down is just not my thing :) I feel out of control!

What are you best at?

I love a good run …

What do you love seeing on the program?

This one is tough to answer because I really truly enjoy the variety of everything. I’m right at that point where I’m familiar with most all of the movements, so now when they are programmed, I can actually do them. Before it was all about learning the form, understanding what I’m supposed to be doing, etc. But now I can get into the moment and see how far I can take it. I love it all … bring it!

If someone reading this is concerned about getting hurt or getting big what would you say to them?

I’m always concerned about getting hurt too … so I just took it really slow and that’s what I would suggest to others. When I first joined, the only thing I was concerned about was understanding the movements, how everything is supposed to feel, etc. That’s what I would suggest to others … take it slow until you feel like your’e at a good point to ramp up and then GO! As far as getting big, that hasn’t really been a concern because I know unless that’s a goal of mine, it’s not going to happen. But I have gotten some awesome definition!

“The transformation is real”
Gelie on the left below in 2000 and on the right below in 2014.


Wall Slide Exercise for Scapular Stability


Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, January 22, 2015

Everyone wants better shoulder flexibility.  Some people have restricted range of motion because they actually have poor flexibility.  The muscles surrounding the shoulder blade (pec-minor, rhomboid, rotator cuff) and/or the muscles that span from the ribcage to the arms (pec-major, lat) can be the cause.

Scapular Stability

Sometimes restricted range of motion is actually due to poor scapular stability.  In other words, the muscles that control the motion of the shoulder blade are weak (serratus anterior, upper/lower trapezius), and unable to coordinate the motion of the scapula with the movement of the arms.

Oftentimes it is a combination of both chest/shoulder tightness and weakness in the scapular stabilizers.

Ribcage Position

The position of the scapula and arms is dependent on the position of the ribcage.  Good thoracic extension (the opposite of computer posture) is the first consideration for good shoulder mechanics.  Thoracic extension drills can improve mobility in the thoracic spine (mid-back).

While the thoracic spine often needs more mobility (extension), the lumbar spine (low-back) often needs more stability.  Both overextending the low back during overhead presses and rounding the low-back during the bottom of the squat are signs of poor anterior core stability.

4  Steps to Good Shoulder ROM

  1. Low Back (Anterior Core Stability)
  2. Mid-Back (Thoracic Extension)
  3. Shoulder Blade (Scapular Stability)
  4. Arms (Range of Motion)

 The Wall Squat Arm Slide

The wall squat arm slide integrates thoracic extension and scapular stability with shoulder flexion. The wall slide integrates upper and lower body movement: the low back remains in contact with the wall as the hips descend into flexion and arms rise.  This requires anterior core stability to fix the ribcage down.

The abdominals, which span from the front of the hips to the ribcage, are the key to integrating the upper and lower body movement.

Note your breathing as you perform a few repetitions – try to breathe into the sides of your lower ribcage.  This engages the abdominals for proper breathing and core stability.

Anterior Core Stability (Neutral Low Back) + Good Ribcage Position (Thoracic Extension) + Stable Scapula Position = Arm Mobility

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

Related Resources
FlexibilityRx: Shoulder Mobility Exercises: Scapular Wall Slides
Craig Liebenson: A Key Link in the Locomotor System: The Upper-Thoracic Spine


Build to Heavy 3-2-1 Push Press
8 Rounds
2 Push Press
5 Touch and Go Shuffle Runs
9 Lying Leg Lifts
60 Second Rest
30 Burpees
30 Second Plank
20 Burpees
20 Second Plank
10 Burpees
1 Minutr Plank
1 Mile Run or Row


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