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Dec 2017 - Volume 11

Almost one year (360 days) separate the top pictures from the bottom. As we reflect back on our first year as CrossFit Ripcord, we wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the outpouring of support we’ve been given! Our gym is the result of a community of people who can work together, learn from each other, and respect each other. We strive to continue in the spirit in which we began, to make your hour at Ripcord the best hour of your day. It has been a busy 2017 and we are excited to see what we can achieve together in 2018!

– Dell, Steve, Chandra, and Jeff

Coaches Corner With Jeff Smith

I wanted to take some time to discuss the topic of knowing and understanding our limitations, plus what that might mean for each of us as we strive to become the best version of ourselves.

One of the toughest things an individual has to come to terms with is the limitations of their body. This isn’t something that is decided quickly, but rather through a series of different exercises that once executed would indicate that there are some areas to improve upon. Most of us already understand what we need to work on. In that case the problem comes not from recognizing the weakness, but rather accepting and then improving upon that specific skill.

Today I’m specifically going to address Olympic lifting, but I feel that it is important to remember that this same approach can be applied to any exercise that we perform within our four walls.

Olympic lifts can be very hard to execute correctly and I understand that to improve my lifts I need to focus my efforts on three things:

1. Mobility. Tough considering it’s a struggle to find the extra time to lay on the floor with a roller or a ball to improve mobility.

2. Technique. Again, another time crunch. It’s hard to find the extra minutes each week to practice positions, check our bar path, focus on form, etc.

3. This is a big one: weight on the bar. If I have good mobility then I’m going to work on technique. However, this doesn’t mean I’m going to practice with a heavy barbell. There isn’t room to focus on small (yet significant) changes if I’m more worried about the number on the bar than proper form and technique. Instead I’ll grab a PVC pipe or an empty bar and I’ll practice. I’ll drill bar path again, and again, and again. Taking videos, looking in a mirror, or having a coach watch.

Eventually an athlete will begin to find consistency with their lifts, and when that happens that number on the bar is going to climb.

Now let’s look back and maybe we skip the first two or even just one of the first two, then we aren’t going to get the results we want. The number on the bar probably isn’t going to go up, in fact it may go down. If the number does go up then you’re putting yourself at risk for injury, and it’s not a matter of “if” but “when”. If we won’t allow time for mobility or technique work because it slows us down, what will that do to our everyday life when we are stuck at home nursing an injury because we did not want to accept a limitation?

We can’t expect to get more out of something than we are willing to put into it. Sometimes as athletes we need to take a step back and evaluate where we are. Not only recognize this, but accept it and then take action to improve upon it. It’s easy to look around the room and see someone else doing something we want to do, but what we don’t see is the extra time that individual put into achieving that goal. Assess yourselves, and think through the things you want to achieve or create a list of goals. When you do that you can create a plan of action. Look to a coach for ideas on how to improve those weaknesses/limitations and reach those goals.

Something else to consider is that it’s our job as coaches to keep our athletes safe. If this means that we approach someone in the middle of their workout and suggest something different, it’s because we see that the risk for injury is high and we don’t want to see you hurt.

Our goal for you is to see you succeed! Follow it up after class is over and ask us to explain why we made the suggestion and what you can do to improve.

To wrap this thing up, I know it’s easy to get caught up in the loud music, the fight for the extra rep or two, our friends cheering for us, but be smart. You know if what you’re doing is right for you or not. If it’s not, start back at the beginning and work back up to it. Nobody has ever gotten worse by practicing!

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting the Festivus Games on April 21st! Click here to register! The wods are already released and this will be on your home turf, so take advantage to the early bird discount and register today! You can view the wods and divisions on their website:

“Festivus Games is in its fifth year as THE WORLDWIDE FUNCTIONAL-FITNESS COMPETITION FOR BEGINNER AND INTERMEDIATE ATHLETES (No fire breathers allowed!). No athlete, whether six months in or brand new, will need to scale any of the events. Festivus Games is about capacity more than a high degree of skill.  Everyone can row…just how fast? Everyone can deadlift…just how much?

8,000-10,000 Athletes will compete Worldwide, all on the same day, in this amazing one-day event.” –

  • Dec 22nd – Informal Game Night! Bring your favorite game and we’ll play after the WOD on Friday. Pack dinner or order out! BYOB.
  • Dec 23rd – 12 Days of Christmas Community WOD – bring a friend and start the holiday week of right! There is NO pitch in following this WOD.
  • Dec 26th – Closed for evening classes. AM classes as normal. Open gym from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
  • Dec 30th – Members Holiday Brunch and Party following regular Saturday class. Bring a brunchy dish to share and a gift for the dirty santa gift exchange. This is for members and their families!
  • Jan 1st – No classes. Open gym from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.
  • Jan 5th – First Friday of the New Year! Pitch in to follow, theme is Nacho Bar!
  • Jan 6th – Ripcord goes climbing! Join us as we head over to the Columbus Rock Gym after the Saturday WOD for some bouldering. We plan to be at the rock gym by 11:45 so pack a snack or grab a quick bite on your way!

Member Highlight –

Greg and Dawn Koehler




  • How long have you done CrossFit?
    • Greg-9 years, started in our home garage gym. Dawn 5 years, took a little convincing to try it. It just looked so hard.

  • What is your favorite CrossFit movement/WOD/lift?
    • Greg-The one that doesn’t hurt.
    • Dawn- deadlifts (it is empowering to see all that weight on the bar) & rowing (if I have to do cardio 😝)
  • What is something that most people at the gym wouldn’t know about you
    • Greg- was a drummer in a band in college. 
    • Dawn- not much, pretty much on open book. I have NO rhythm (wait- you guys already know that if you’ve seen me dance to the music at the gym).
  • What is a fitness goal you have for the upcoming year?
    • Greg- deadlift 300#.
    • Dawn- to get that elusive pull-up & conquer my fear of the rope climb. 
  • What is a hobby you have that is NOT CrossFit related?
    • Greg- playing video games.
    • Dawn- quilting. 
  • What advice would you give someone who is afraid to try CrossFit?
    • Greg-just do it, Crossfit can be scaled for anyone.
    • Dawn- same as Greg said. Everything can be scaled to meet your fitness level. And then once you see what you can accomplish, it becomes addicting to see what else you can do. The feeling of accomplishment & confidence spreads to other areas of your life.
  • Tacos or Pancakes?
    • Greg- pancakes.
    • Dawn- why can’t it be both?

Crossover Symmetry – The Why and The How

By now you’ve probably seen the multi-color bands people are using to help strengthen their shoulders. We have two sets and they live over on the rack with the weight belts. We also have two study guides on the mobility cart. For the absolute best understanding of this shoulder health and performance system, please read the books!

The Why: Many of us could use more strength and stability in our shoulders and upper back. We spend a large part of our day in a forward posture (desk work, computers) and we need to actively engage our upper back to counteract this. The Crossover Symmetry gives you a set of simple exercises to perform that takes less than 5 minutes.

The How:

Step one: Set Up – The straps clip into the straps that are attached to the first and second squat stations on the rig (subject to change in the future). Move the straps up to your eye height, being careful on the sharp edges. Clip on the bands, one set of 4 on each side.

Step two: Training Guide – I find it easy to place a pvc in the J cups and hook the training guide onto it so I can easily see it. After a few sessions you might not need to see it but I like the reminders each time.

Step Three: Do It As It Is Written! Going faster is not the goal here! Use the lightest band set to begin, I promise it will burn!

Step Four: Put away the set unless another athlete is taking it over.

If you notice something broken or out of sorts, please let Dell or Chandra know so we can contact the company.

Cabbage and Kielbasa:

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 chopped onion chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 head cabbage cut into small wedges
  • 14 oz. Turkey kielbasa


  1. In a large skillet, fry bacon over medium high heat until browned, turning once. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings, and place on paper towels.
  2. Stir water, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, seasoned salt into drippings. Add cabbage, and gently stir. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add kielbasa to the pan. Cook, covered, for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Crumble bacon over top, and serve hot.

Recipe based on one from

For good luck in the coming year, make sure you eat your cabbage on New Year’s Day! At least that is what my momma always says. This recipe is quick and easy, often times I just use the water, cabbage, and kielbasa. I like mine served  with a splash of vinegar but you can decide for yourself! – Dell

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