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Competing in FITness as a SPORT

Southwest Regionals- WOD 4- #205 Snatch Ladder.mov

SICFIT: Friday Night Lights Presented by CrossFit Scottsdale 12.1.mov

CrossFit Scottsdale Plans For the Open

CrossFit Games Open – Friday Night Lights: Week 3

Friday Night Lights: 2011 CrossFit Games Qualifiers

Luke Kayyem of CrossFit Scottsdale "Courage Games" 4th place

The CrossFit Games are the ultimate test of fitness. It’s a grueling multi-day competition in which the world’s fittest athletes compete in a variety of workouts. What are the workouts? Each year they change, and the details of them are not announced until a couple days before the event. This means that all year long, the athletes are training for a competition whose format is almost completely a mystery.

Passing The Torch


With every new beginning comes some other beginning’s end.

This month we are overjoyed with several major achievements in our life including Najla and I celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, our daughter Camille’s 8th birthday and 10 years of coaching, owning and operating SICFIT in Scottsdale, formerly knows as CrossFit Scottsdale Powered by: Kayyem Fitness.

We have so many amazing people to thank that have been such a big part of our lives over the years and I am going to do my personal best to convey the heartfelt emotion going into writing this blog. We would like to start by thanking you, the students of our amazing Fitness School. Without you we would not be!

In the past 10 years we have coached over 3,000 students, completed over 10,000 baselines, and taught over 20,000 hours of fitness and nutrition to the residents of Scottsdale and those visiting us from around the globe.

More importantly we have eliminated over 4,000 lbs of documented body fat from our bodies and added countless years to our lives.

Those of you who know me personally know I am always a man of truth, transparency and often un-apologetic authenticity. My target for you during this read is to be inspired, committed and enthusiastic for the changes and improvements happening around the gym and the future of your own personal fitness program.

I can honestly say this has been the greatest 10 years of my entire life and I’ll even go as far as saying it might be the best I will ever have.

My son Kanon was a year old when we moved to Scottsdale in October of 2007. Born in the same hospital as me 26 years earlier at Cedars- Sinai in Los Angeles we were actively looking for any reason to relocate and not raise our own family in Hollywood.

Our move from Los Angeles to Scottsdale came quick as the house we rented on top of Mulholland drive was going to be put on the market and our young family was not in any situation to buy a home in Sherman Oaks.

My wife Najla an executive with Caruso Affiliated, “The Grove” an iconic landmark on 3rd and La Brea had been scouted to work on a new project in North Phoenix called CityNorth.

Within weeks we had packed up and began the move to Arizona. Along with the news we were having baby #2, Najla, Kanon, Ziggy, me, and baby to be (Camille) were in route to our new home at Horseman’s Park the neighborhood across the street from Notre Dame Prep.

A community we found online and immediately fell in love with site unseen.

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The Best part about the home we found was the Real estate agents listing the house were none other than Devra & Carol Tousley (+ Chris Tousley) longtime friends and members of the gym since we opened in 2008 and our first real friends here in Scottsdale. After renting for a year we would move into our dream home and the Tousley’s would become our next door neighbors.

Upon moving I took the first job I could find training at the local Gold’s Gym. My four week tenure there was very monumental and life changing now that I look back on the series of events that unfolded in our first few months in Scottsdale.

One of our founding members, Tina Vange, came in to Gold’s to meet with me shortly after having a baby of her own. 9 years later Tina and I continue to train together twice a week as she has worked hard to eliminate and keep the baby weight off and returning to her pre-pregnancy size.

Tina would later bring in her brother Marc who needed a lifestyle change and an accountability coach. 8 years later Marc has lost and kept off over one hundred pounds from his body and continues to reach new personal records and milestones including 5 strict bodyweight pull-ups and racking up over 2 million meters on his personal concept 2 rower.

My next significant relationship in Scottsdale came shortly after meeting Tina. As I was walking an elderly man through the gym floor and assisting him on and off of a few machines, I was approached by a curious member who asked me who I was and where I had come from? Her name was Toby Schultz.

Stating she had never seen any “Trainers” care for a client as I did and never had witnessed one working with someone so old. I simply smiled and explained my story and my WHY? A message I continue to share wherever I go and with as many folks as possible.

That is how I first met Toby and Buddy Schultz… my adopted parents and the two people I was in the middle of coaching when Najla’s water broke with Camille while training at the location of our next facility – the “Edge On Wellness”.

The Edge was a wellness center and hair salon located on 92nd street and Shea, directly across the street from the hospital where Camille was born. The gym was a 700-square foot room with no windows, pergo wood floors, and door-to-door mirrors. It was so not functional, we had to install a pull up bar in the ceiling and use treadmills for our runs.

Looking back it was definitely not the ideal location for the first CrossFit in Scottsdale but having adapted so many times, it was the perfect facility to create our vision and build our fitness business.

A business and brand built on integrity and standards. And so our foundation for family, fitness, and community in North Scottsdale was born.

This is also where I first met so many amazing clients and friends that are still with us today like Stephanie Woods [TRIBE 001] and original CrossFit Scottsdale members Richard Shields, Reem Kidess, and Gwen Whitfill.

Our reputation proceeded us as we introduced many new people in our community to CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting. As our membership grew fast within months, we had maxed out our new space and were looking to expand.

We secured a location at 14885 North 83rd place, 1,000 yards from the Golds Gym where it all began and 2 miles away from our amazing neighborhood at Horseman’s Park, all within a year and a half of settling in to our new community.

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 The fact that I was able to do it with my wife and high school sweet heart Najla
while raising two very special children makes me the most fortunate man on earth.

As our business began to really take off in 2009, so would the explosion of CrossFit and within a year several of our students, coaches, and friends would all open up competing gyms in North Scottsdale. A lesson in business was quickly handed to us as we began to do our own soul searching on who and what we wanted our personal brand and legacy to become.

Around that time Najla and I accepted every opportunity we were given to stand out in such a crowded space. I trained under Mark Divine at SEALFIT in Encinitas, filmed underground videos with Syn Martinez of Afrobrutality in Harlem, became Dave Castro’s go-to for CrossFit coaching certifications in the Southwest, had Greg Glassman in our suite at the CrossFit Games, and produced the Europa Games introducing the SICest of the Southwest competition series.

After we created Friday Night Lights, the first live competition of the worldwide open, our brand began to get global notoriety. I was offered the opportunity to fly to Austin for a photo shoot with Jeremy Thiel – founder of CrossFit Central, the Blueprint, Garage Gym and his new start-up an online video and clothing company called SICFIT.

Little did we know that this trip to Austin would become the sole spark we needed to eventually acquire the global lifestyle brand, take the company into the physical gym space, and move into the “Future of Fitness”.

An extremely challenging family decision would be made to leave the CrossFit Affiliation and begin the process of rebranding and building our own systems, standards, and structure.

If you think starting a new job is hard, try re-branding an established business that you have been running for years. Another great lesson in entrepreneurship and a core value at SICFIT.

Our vision has always been to create a higher quality of life for our members and staff and to help them feel better when they leave us then when they arrived.

We showed our coaches how to go above and beyond what the industry standards are and we gave back to our neighborhood by actively participating in community events, volunteering our time at schools, donating to worthy causes, and teaching our students how to live healthy, active and energetic lifestyles for a lifetime.

I could not have written this chapter of my life any bigger or better nor would I want to change a single page of it!

Today we celebrate the officially passing of the torch to long time member, 2010 Athlete of the Year, teammate, networker, husband, father, and friend, Matt Blanton. Matt’s passion for learning, relentless focus and ability to keep cool under chaos is a natural skill that he has mastered over the years in business and in life. He’s the owner of Printing Solutions and President of EO Accelerators, and together with his Back on the Bar business partner, Justin Baumgartner, will officially be taking over the gym operations on July 1st.

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The photo above is of Matt and I going head to head in the Open 11.1 at Friday Night Lights.

Justin, also a family man, organic chef, and resident DJ for the SICest of the Southwest and The CrossFit Games comes on board with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Olympic lifting world. Justin was also one of our first members-turned-coaches back in 2010 and has since learned a ton on the art of coaching.

We are grateful for every step of this journey that we have been able to take with you and so very thankful to be keeping the gym in the family.

As clients, you put your trust in us with the single most important item in your life: your body! In return we promised to prescribe you the right amount of intensity, work and correct movements…while creating an amazing experience.

To the coaches and staff who have had to put up with our meticulous standards, constant evaluations, and OCD based cleanliness…you guys are what makes this place run class after class and hour after hour. Your commitment and dedication to lead from the front and make people better makes us proud to have you on our team.

So what’s next for us? Our belief is that FITness is a never-ending journey that evolves, grows and embraces CHANGE.

As constant innovators and early adopters in the functional fitness industry, we are proud to introduce our newest concept. A natural progression in the future of personal health, lifestyle, and technology. The Fittest Tribe Alive  is an on-demand, remote, and virtual coaching program that features a global community of health-conscious and active individuals looking for adventures, races, challenges, and coaching on how to live a higher quality of life.

This new coaching model allows my father-in-law in Beirut to be held accountable for walking on the treadmill. It gives an executive client in New York City access to the video coaching library, and gives Tribe members weekly Training Assignments that can be completed from anywhere and at anytime with little to no equipment.

It also gives us the freedom to fulfill our passion for delivering health and wellness to change the lives of thousands of people around the world.

From the bottom of our hearts and to the end of our souls we want to personally thank everyone who has ever stepped foot in our door, taken one of our classes, attended a seminar, participated in a challenge, competed in one of our events or taken a walk with us around the block. THANK YOU!

In Great Health,
Luke and Najla Kayyem

“Why 2016 will become the greatest year of your life” by Luke Kayyem December 31, 2015

Yes, I said it! Welcome to the greatest day of your life and I mean it!!! If your not living your absolute ideal, most beautiful, sunny, beaming, joyous life in all arenas including family, fitness, nutrition, business, sleep and happiness then stick around and join us on this legendary journey we call LIFE. I promise I will teach you a few skills to become that person you truly want to be along with learning how to perform at optimal levels.

Today is the first day of the rest of the life that you choose to create. There is no one in this world that has power or control over you except you!

Attitude is everything was once quoted by an early client of mine and she actually had a terrible one. Always a problem, never her fault, complaining, nagging and creating more of the negative energy she already expressed. This relentless work at being unhappy actually created more unhappiness and the vicious cycle revolved.

You see we are all creatures of habit both good and bad and when we want to TRANSFORM ourselves into someone of something better we have to fight not only breaking an old habit like drinking soda with a new one like drinking water. Your actually walking up hill both ways, possibly in the snow and it happens to all of us every single time especially around the New Year.

Why do resolutions not work? Because the idea that your not going to drink a soda for a year after drinking them for years and replacing a sweet Coca Cola with a bottle of water for 365 days is too much for the kind of mind we Paleo Neanderthals have to handle. We need smaller more specific targets to hit continuously so that these small victories over time create a compound factor that snowballs into more victories which in return over time becomes a habit until eventually you can’t remember the last time you had a soda was.

Just yesterday I asked Exclusive Coaching Client since 2009 Reem Kidess what her 2016 VISION was? She replied with “Traveling more and practicing more French”. Easy enough! She has the resources to go anywhere in the WORLD and grew up speaking French. However with no commitment, timeline or TARGET to hit why or when would she truly need to reach them and take ACTION towards accomplishing them. So I used my best Luke Skywalker Jedi mind trick and said…. What if you accomplished both of those on New Years eve?! She looked at me SMUG! and I said let’s take that grand IDEA and turn it into a TARGET you can HIT tonight. Plan your next trip, choose the destination, buy your tickets and pick from the Top 100 French movies of all time all from the comfort of your home. BANG!!! Who’s the greatest Coach in the WORLD?! Well thank you but it wasn’t me it was her and you that have the POWER to make these decisions towards creating KEYSTONE habits that generate more positive outcomes and eventually give you the confidence to do ANYTHING you put your VISION to.

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This is the Power of Habit by: Charles Duhigg and my first book mention of 2016. A direct recommendation from Matt Blanton member since 2010 and one of many I will share with you in the New Year.

Here is a checklist of events in January at SICFIT Scottsdale. Program them in your calendar, use reminders and alarms and only schedule events that will improve your life for the BEST.

“80% of SUCCESS is showing up” Woody Allen

January 1, 2016 First Positive Habit of the Year I will be hosting open gym 10-2pm

January 11-16 Guest Days bring a friend and save a life

January 21 Food as Fuel Nutrition seminar 7pm

January 27 Vision Board Party at Pinspiration City North $25 *Bodyweight workout included 6-8:30pm

January 28 Level I FITness proficiency test 7pm

January 30 In house FITness Challenge 9-11am $30

February 21 Final 9-11am

“SHOW UP, DON’T QUIT” Luke Kayyem

 

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The SICest series….

 

 

The SICest series 2012-2015 *if you are interested in acquiring the rights to this event please contact LUKE@SICFIT.com *serious inquiries ONLY

The SICest of the Southwest

The SICest of the Pacific West

The SICest of SO. CAL

No Plans This Weekend? We’ve Got You Covered!

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Hey SICFIT Scottsdale! Do you have plans this weekend? If not, join #TEAMSICFIT at the gym this Saturday for our fourth annual SICest of the Southwest competition. Every member of SICFIT Scottsdale gets a free admission ticket! Come out and support your fellow community members, have a beer, and see what our 2015 vendors have to offer!

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, December 1, 2015 

WARM UP
Movement Prep

STRENGTH
3x 20 Back Squat
Rest 2’ Between Sets

CONDITIONING
3RFT:
30 Mountain Climbers
30 Box Jumps
30 Sit Ups
Big Lap Run

Cool Down + Stretch

What a Week for the SICFIT Scottsdale Community

 

What an absolutely brilliant week at SICFIT Scottsdale not only for the members of our community but for our families as well. What I am about to tell you is so amazing you would think it was scripted. It’s so classic it should be a show on NETFIX. If you see any or all of these folks in the gym this week be sure to congratulate them with a high-5, hug or “Damn bro you really ran 60 miles”? After you read the stories below go to each ones public FACEBOOK page and see their full story. I am proud to be a part of your lives! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Let’s finish 2015 with a BANG and get ready to kick the door down to 2015.

 

What a week October 29 2015

The ASU wedding

Congratulations to a beautiful couple inside and out. Tyler Anderson & Heather Anderson were married at a hidden gem called the “Secret Garden” tucked below several buildings on campus at Arizona State University. Both kids who have been dating for 9 years graduated as Sun Devils. The highlight of the night was older brother Dustin Anderson’s best man speech which was both classy and genuine at the new Showcase Room. The after party involved Sparky the Sun Devil testing T.A with max one armed push ups.

The Complete guide
What can you say about a student who is a Doctor and a Mom and follows direction day after day, year after year? I say Marcia Sistek you are an A+ student and your results are your report cards. Amazing work Doctor now let’s get you the next version 5.0. If it’s worth remembering it’s worth writing down!

The right way to run
Matt Emerson completed the Vancouver half marathon in under 2 hours with a time of (1:59:03) a record that he has not hit in over 5 years. A Father of the Future Matt comes to us via Mc Dowell Mountain Little League and his been attending both the 6am on Tuesdays and the SPORT class at 1pm. He has packed on about 10 pounds of lean muscle in his upper body and is scheduling race after race through 2015. If you are a runner and you don’t think you need to lift weights ask Matt how much running he did for this last half marathon.

The new Pickle
Russ Perry and wife Mika Perry delivered their 2nd baby together at Scottsdale/Shea. A beautiful, healthy little girl will now fill the Perry home with months of crying and up all nights which is why Russ attended and graduated from Warrior week one of the worlds leading platforms for helping Married Businessmen all over the world go from good – to great – to super-human. Although I have only known this guy for a year I would cross continents with him if he said it was the right thing to do!

The Endurer 
Paul Deuchar is now a 100k or 60 mile Finisher but even bigger than that accomplishment is the injury he overcame months ago to get here. Paul safely executed 4 x15 mile loops around Fountain Hills at the Javelina Jundred. Along with his pit crew that included Bethany Allendorf and Ultra Marathon Expert Bill Ditman he was able to fend off the demons of regret and fight for his “Why” over the course of 16 hours and 35 minutes. Even more impressive is how much this guy has inspired me to sign up for challenges that push you further and father than you ever thought possible. Paul and I share a past race in 2014 we both completed KOKORO Camp 34 at SEALFIT off the beaches of Encinitas, California. A 50 hour course that breaks most seasoned athletes down to their knees. When I asked Paul which was harder he leaned towards this race stating “It took more will and heart” the pain was far worse but my team helped me fight through this race. Of the 143 total starters only 86 finished that’s a 60.1% completion rate. My man Paul you encourage me to keep going!

The Brotherhood
The Worlds Toughest Mudder Crew completed a daunting task of walking from SICFIT Scottsdale to SICFIT Old Town this Ruck covering 26 miles along Scottsdale road through Paradise Valley and all the Halloween action of Old Town Scottsdale. The crew of 4 including myself, Jason Hersh and Joe Conner was lead by 9 year old Kanon Kayyem my son who completed the first half of the Ruck and had Mom and sister picked him up at the Chop Shop where we gobbled up Acai bowls and Gluten Free brownies.  Along the way we were accompanied by other members of the Tribe who viewed our video and wanted to be a part of the experience. Michelle, Craig, Matt and Keith you guys made it captivating and constantly flowing through the streets. The stories we shared, the bonds we sealed and the history we lived was unconditional and will live with me for life.

Well if you know of a producer in Hollywood that wants to shoot our script have him me us for a class.

Until next week stay happy, healthy and keep living the SIC life

In good health….

Luke Kayyem

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