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Oct 2017 - Volume 9

ExhibFIT Race

As we approach our one year mark in December, we are going to start the celebrations with a fun ExhibFIT Race!

What: A fun foot race around town to collect points by visiting the art exhibits and performing special challenges. Bonus points for running in costume!


When: October 28th @ 1:00 pm. Check in will open at 11:15 am, race briefing will happen at 1:00 pm and start time to follow.

Where: Race headquarters will be CrossFit Ripcord located at 1240 12th Street.

Cost: $10.00 per person and a team can be up to four people.

Prize: The top scoring team will win 4 one month unlimited memberships to CrossFit Ripcord plus some fun swag!


The goal is gather as many points as possible in two hours! Points can be gained by:

1. Visiting the correct location and taking a picture of your team by the exhibit!

2. Doing the special challenge at each exhibit for more points!

3. Using social media to tag your team!

4. Bonus points for running in a costume!

A penalty of -1 pt per minute late will ensure that teams hustle back!

Sign up here:



Oct 2017 - Volume 9

Coaches Corner With Jeff Smith

Learning to be Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.

Often times we become so comfortable with our current situation that we would never think to look outside of the bubble that we live in. This idea can be applied to many different parts of our lives, but the one I want to discuss today is the programming that we have been following in this gym.

Something that you may not know is that over the past year our programming has all been done in house using our coaches, our ideas, and our desire to see people reach their fitness goals. We have learned many things, seen many people reach their goals, as well as learned what does and doesn’t work. Each week we would make slight changes, see how effective those changes were, and then make more changes the very next week. It’s a process, right? We pride ourselves in finding better methods of having the “perfect programming”.

On October 1st, we have changed the format for our programming. We are now following CompTrain which is created by Ben Bergeron. To point out a few of the obvious changes, this program doesn’t follow the old blueprint of strength and gymnastics. Some days will look very similar to this last year with the strength specific days and lighter metcons, but we will also see an increase in the time we spend doing gymnastics. As one would expect with a new program, other days are going to look very different.

CrossFit is designed to be constantly varied…different! We all know this, but oftentimes it is easier for us to focus on the things we are great at, and leave those that we aren’t for later. However, with the CompTrain program everyone (no matter the ability or days/times attending) will find themselves working towards checking something off their goal list. Constantly varied programming, with structure, makes this happen.

This new program incorporates time set aside for teaching correct form, with  expectations for the movements, as well as intensity levels for that particular day. This is extremely helpful for anyone who is looking to improve movement and technique. You have probably noticed that there is also time set aside for mobility as well. You will be challenged daily with a couple of mobility movements which are tailored to the WOD. It’s funny to think about, but if it weren’t for this allotted time most of us would skip it all together.

While we transition from one style of programming to another I would ask that you try…Try to have an open mind, try something different, and most importantly try to understand that everyone within our community will benefit from this change. Listen as we discuss the “why” for each WOD, and be patient with us as coaches. We are passionate about helping each and everyone one of you reach the goals that you are chasing. We want to help you get there, and we feel that CompTrain will make positive changes for us all.

The staff here at Ripcord want your class time to be the best hour of your day. That being said we would love to hear your feedback about the programming, and thank you to everyone who has already shared! We want to ensure that our athletes are pleased, and that you are seeing results.

  • Oct 28th – ExhibFIT Race @ 1:00 pm. Gather a team of up to four and  join us in a fun race around town to the various art installations to collect as many points as possible!
  • Nov. 3rd – Community WOD at 5:30 pm and Pitch In to follow. The theme for food will be Around the World! Let’s see how many different cultural foods we can try! For real this time!
  • Nov 23rd – Bolt for the Heart – A virtual 5K race to raise money for AED purchase for Indiana State Trooper cars. More info can be found here:
  • Nov 23rd – CrossFit Ripcord closed so we can eat all the things!


How often have you heard the words “Thoracic Extension” during mobility, warmup and the WOD’s but not really thought that much about it? What if I told you, with improved thoracic extension you could reduce your shoulder pain, your low back pain and even see increases in your lifts, would you believe me?

I want you to do a little test on yourself. I want you to sit on the edge of you chair, couch or where ever you are. Now I want you to slump forward with bad posture. Next I want you to, in that position, lift both arms into the air like you are about to do an overhead squat. Your arms didn’t get very far did they, and your shoulders felt really tight. Now, siting in that same spot, I want you to sit up strait, pull in that core (like someone is about to punch you in the gut) and now lift your arms into the same position as before. It felt a lot better this time, didn’t it? Now imagine how your shoulders would feel and how much nicer that overhead squat and snatch would look if you could improve that posture even more.

When we talk about thoracic extension, what we are actually talking about is the ability of the vertebra that are in contact with the ribs to be able to extend backward without the low back (the vertebra below the ribs and above your butt) extending also. The reason this movement is important is because our shoulder only have the ability to go so far above our heads before they physically are unable to go any further. At that point we need to have the ability to extend though our upper backs to gain that further range of motion.

Thoracic extension is also an important motion because it helps us protect our low backs. If we lack good thoracic mobility, we generally compensate by extending thought the lumbar spine. This is troublesome due to the lumbar spine being more unstable and injury prone, but that is another topic in itself.

Now to how we work on this mobility. One of the easiest ways to increase extension is with a foam roller. First we want to make sure that we are keeping the roller in the thoracic spine (from the top of the shoulder blade, to the bottom of the last rib). Next you want to keep the butt and feet in contact with floor, place the hand behind the neck, brace the core to keep from extending through the low back and now pull the shoulders down towards the ground while thinking about trying to make the sternum as long as possible. Hold this position for only a few second before returning to the starting position. Be sure to move the roller up and down along the thoracic spine and try to find that “sticky spot”. Repeat this exercises for a few minutes at a time.

Next we have the inverted open and closed book (you will understand when you see).

For this you will be on your hands and knees but with one hand on the back of you neck. Now, make sure you engage your core and begin to SLOWLY rotator your elbow towards the floor while keeping your head and neck in a neutral position.
Hold this position for a few seconds before rotating back to a neutral position. Once in the starting position, now start to rotate that same elbow toward the ceiling SLOWLY.


These two positions should be repeated 5 to 10 times per side with emphasis on slow transitions, like trying to feel each vertebra moving before the next one does.

These are only two of many thoracic mobility exercise but they are a good place to start. Once you have mastered these and are beginning to see improvements in your mobility, hopefully you will also see improvements in your WOD’s. If you feel that this is an area that you may be really lacking in, please be sure you talk with one of our Ripcord staff and they will be glad to help out. Now go out there and get SWOLE and FLEXY.

Member Highlight – Madeleine and Chad

  1. How long have you done CrossFit? Madeleine: I started last December, 2016!  Chad: Approximately 3.5 years
  2. What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD/lift? Madeleine: I would have to say Cleans. Although I do love a good run and when wall balls are incorporated in the WOD. What can I say, I’m indecisive…it definitely depends on the day. Chad: I’d say overhead squats and handstand pushups. My favorite WOD’s have to be Murph/Abbate.
  3. What is something that most people at the gym wouldn’t know about you? Madeleine: I would eat Mexican or Sushi for every meal. Chad: I make gourmet breakfast sandwiches. I could make a fortune off them, but I choose not to.
  4. What is a fitness goal you have for the upcoming year? Madeleine: My two goals written on the chalk board wall for this first year were to get a HSP with no mat and to be able to do a pull up without a band. I finally was able to do BOTH of these! The pull up barely counts most days haha. For this next year I would love to be able to get a muscle up, I’m not sure if that will ever be possible. Chad: Stay healthy! I am having a hard time of progressing this year due to some of the injuries I’ve been dealing with.
  5. What is a hobby you have that is NOT CrossFit related? Madeleine: I love play piano and sing on the worship team at my church up in Greenwood. Chad: Eating ice cream. Not trying to brag, but I’m probably the best ice cream eater in Southern Indiana.
  6.  What advice would you give someone who is afraid to try CrossFit?Madeleine: I was extremely nervous to start CrossFit, even with my athletic/weight training background from my prior soccer career. What was most encouraging for me was to hear that every single person is able to complete every single workout. Our coaches at Ripcord are SO great at finding movements to supplement any activity that someone may not quite be ready to attempt. CrossFit Ripcord is such an encouraging community; with my crazy night shift nursing schedule I have no doubt that I can show up to any class and feel equally as encouraged and challenged. I’m loving every second of it and can’t wait to continue to grow! Chad: What is there to be afraid of? Lose your ego and realize that you won’t be the best, but you will make yourself more fit.
  7. Tacos or Pancakes? Madeleine: Tacos. Is this a serious question? Chad: Tacos…. And ice cream for dessert

Salmon Patties

This is a quick and easy week night dinner! I grew up eating salmon patties and my mom’s recipe calls for crackers instead of breadcrumb, so feel free to mix it up.



  1. Drain and reserve liquid from salmon. Mix egg, onion, bread crumbs and salmon together.
  2. Make into patties. If mixture is too dry to form into patties, add reserved liquid from salmon.
  3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Place patties in pan. Brown on each side, turning gently. Drain on paper towels and serve.


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