Thursday, April 02, 2015

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Blog |



For Total Runs Completed:
25 Minute AMRAP of:
400m Sprint (at 80-95%)
*Rest anywhere between 2-3 minutes between sprints



20 Minutes of Handstand Mobility Work:
*work wall walk holds (get chest to the wall) and mob shoulder, tspine, and wrist


The Master Chief:
5×3 min AMRAP w/ 60 sec rest between rounds
5 Front Squat (215/145)
10 Pullups
15 Box Jumps (30/24)
20 Double Unders

Written By Coach Nick:

How to Do It, and How to Coach It

Running is all about catching yourself from falling over and over again. To run faster, fall more and catch yourself appropriately.
There are only three things that change while someone is running.

1. LEAN – As you speed up, lean more. Your shoulders should always be in front of your hips, but a full sprint starts at 45⁰. A relaxed endurance pace should be at around 60⁰. Gauge from there.

2. HEIGHT OF CYCLE – Your increasing lean requires you to lift your foot higher (cycle) in order to catch your fall. A <60% pace requires only a cycle height of up to about calf height. A full sprint requires that you cycle your heel to your butt.

3. RATE OF CYCLE – A deeper lean and higher cycle will cause you to fall more. In order to catch yourself, you will have to cycle FASTER.
If anything is changing outside of the three things listed above, it probably shouldn’t change. Usual midline stabilization/neutral spine laws and mechanics apply. Here are some additional tips below-

*POINT OF PERFORMANCE: Along with increasing lean, higher and faster cycle, not change your degree of flexion in your ankles. Your ankles should be completely relaxed. If you plantarflex during the cycle with a heavy lean, the top of your toe will be the first to contact the ground and you will fall. If you dorsiflex during the cycle, your heel will not kiss the ground, and you will have a stiff calf and tibialis anterior, which will slow your cycle rate and not allow you to take full advantage of your fall.

*POINT OF PERFORMANCE: When you are cycling, you should land on the ball of your foot and your heel should kiss the ground. By kiss, I mean rebound. Not stick and stop on the ground. This point of contact should be made directly underneath your general center of mass i.e. your hips. When you reload this cycle, it should be entirely dependent on your hamstring. If your knee pulls up to your chest when you reload, you’re using your hip flexor, not your hamstring.

Here is one of my favorite running videos of Usain Bolt in the 100m

Here are several videos on the pose method by:
Brian MacKenzie
Dr. Nicholas Romanov



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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Blog |



Burpee Efficiency


For Time:
500 Burpees
*40 Minute Cap

Happy April 1st Everyone!


At 60% of 1RM:
4×3 Snatch
4×3 Drop Cleans
4×3 Clean and Jerk
4×6 Overhead Squat
20 Broad Box Jumps
3×20 Back Extensions

Just a quick reminder, (since it’s now April) that The Athlete Lab is hosting an Olympic Lifting Seminar on April 18th from 9:00am-4:30pm. This Seminar will be led by Rob Gerdes from CrossFit South Metro. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Snatch, Clean and Jerk, as well as get some great practice under the barbell. If you haven’t already, sign up here!

ATTENTION! The Athlete Lab will be hosting Sports Prep Camp- a strength and conditioning camp for high school athletes! We aren’t announcing it to the public for another few weeks and we’ll have limited spots available, so grab them while you can! Here are the specifics-

1. Ages 14-18/grades 8-12 or just graduated high school

2. This camp will run for 10 weeks, June 8th-August 21st. For those who have football two-a-days early August, they will go until August 7th (8 weeks).

3.We will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10-11:30 AM.

4. Prices for the 8 week and 10 week program are $499 and $599 respectively. We’re offering a $50 discount if you sign up with a friend! So find a training partner and bring them in!

5. We will be working on the fundamentals of general fitness that gears kids for athletic success in high school and club sports. Raw strength, explosiveness, gymnastics, and endurance. Each of these, through varying degrees of intensity and volume, will contribute to an athlete’s preparation for their season and sport. We also talk nutrition, goals, and track our progress throughout the duration of the camp.

If you would be interested in having your teenager go through this program, or you know of someone who would, email Coach Nick at



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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Blog |


For Top Weight:
20 Minute EMOM, preform 1 lift then add 10-20 pounds:
Overhead Squat, until you can’t, then…
Front Squat, until you can’t, then…
Back Squat

Start at 50% of your OH Squat 1RM
*Goal is to do some type of squat at a heavy weight for 20 minutes


For Rounds+Reps
16 Minute AMRAP:
16 Toes To Bar
4 Pistols


Written by Coach Megan

Olympic Lifting is More Than Just Lifting Weights

The Clean and Jerk and the Snatch. They’re known as the most complicated lifts to learn….

but how complicated are they, really?

And, why the heck do they exist anyways? What’s the point?

Well, they’re not something someone just thought of one day that looked cool, that’s for sure. These lifts are extremely functional, and you actually use them throughout your life on a daily basis… or at least you SHOULD be!

Think about what your body does when you move a box from the floor to the counter. A person with no background in Olympic Lifting may bend at the hips, with straight legs and pick up the box using their back as their primary source of strength. Ouch. 

Someone with a background in Olympic Lifting would know better than to use their back to pick up the box. They would Clean the box up from the floor. No harm to their back at all. Main muscles used; the power generated from their legs and hips. Easy peasy… and safe!

These lifts may seem complicated to learn, but more often than not that stems from people over thinking the lift. Yes, they’re technical lifts and there are a lot of queues, but don’t blame the coach for the complication…

…blame physics for that.

These lifts are the most efficient ways to pick up the heaviest loads possible. In both the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch, the barbell’s path is a straight vertical line. Anything that deviates from that path makes the lift less efficient. Longer pathway for the barbell = more work to be done by the lifter.

So, if you’re someone skeptical on Olympic Lifting, or someone who doesn’t enjoy it… change your frame of mind. Think of Olympic Lifting as “life training” preparing you to become more independent in all physical aspects.

Now go home and move some stuff!



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Monday, March 30, 2015

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Blog |



5 Sets of:
8 Deadlifts (A:275/178) (F: 205/133)
8 ADAP Box Jumps
*2 minute rest between sets


For Time:
Push Press (A: 115/75) (F: 85/53)
*6 Minute Cap



20 Minutes of:
Pullup work (c2b, Butterfly, Etc.)


5 Minute Rest
5 Minute Rest
5 Minute Rest

A huge THANK YOU to everyone for making Friday Night Lights an unbelievable event! Special shout out to our “Spirit of the Games” winners as well; Sarah A, Amy L, and Nick C! While every single one of the participants deserved this award, these three really stood out! It takes a lot of courage to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, and that’s exactly what Sarah and Amy did! Well done! Nick’s determination and hard work every day sets a fantastic example for all of us. Thank you for setting the bar high, guys!

Also, thank you so much for your generosity towards our various charities over the past 5 weeks. This past Friday we raised $728 to go to the Wounded Warrior Project! WAY TO GO, LABBERS! (Life size Warrior Kate may have helped, so special thanks to Toni and Brad for making it!)


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Blog |


For Weight:
6×3 (touch and go) Snatch
*Last 3 sets are 75% of 1RM


Handstand Pushup
Toes to Bar
*8 minute cap

THE DAY IS HERE! Today is the final workout of the Friday Night Lights Open Event. Good Luck to all the competitors! Stay after to socialize and enjoy PIZZA and BEER (so not paleo, we know!) Don’t forget your $5 bucks to throw in to help pay for the delicious pizza you are about to consume. Enjoy!

Also, don’t forget about our final charity. The Wounded Warrior Project is a FABULOUS, AMAZING, and NECESSARY charity to help our veterans and their families. They’re sacrifice has been huge, so reach into your pocket and give them the help they rightfully deserve.

Friday Night Lights V3


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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog |


For Time:
With a partner, 10 rounds of:
Partner A: Row 250m
Partner B: Hold Pushup Plank

*Each partner will row 5 times and plank 5 times.


10 Alternating Rounds of:
12 Deadlifts (A: 155/105) (F: 115/73)
9 Hang Power Cleans
6 Push Jerks
*20 minute cap
*One works while the other rests

Tonight is the last night to watch the Open Announcement Throw Down Live on the big screen at the gym! Come join us at 7pm to see what the final workout will be for Friday Night Lights! Thank you to Beth and Jeannie for setting this up every Thursday!

Written By Coach Nick

The Language of Movement: Part III
The Laws of Torque

Torque, moment or moment of force, is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force can be a push or a pull, torque can be thought of as a twisting force upon an object.

Law I. To create a stable joint when your arms or legs are in flexion, you need an EXTERNAL ROTATION force.
Law II. To create a stable joint when your arms or legs are in extension, you need an INTERNAL ROTATION force

We use torque to stabilize and protect our joints- our ankles, knees, hips, elbows and shoulders. Our first law about midline stabilization talks about how to brace the midline and the trunk, the third law focuses on how to brace the joints of the body. Once you go through the steps of midline stabilization, then you can go through the checklist for torque.

The law of midline stabilization is universal regardless of position, the laws of torque apply differently to the very wide range of positions you may find yourself in. When your coach tells you to screw your feet in or break the bar, what they’re actually telling you is to externally rotate your hips or your shoulders to protect them and to help concentrate force from core to extremity most efficiently. Understanding the science of what is happening here is important, because otherwise when you hear “screw your feet in” you’ll have no idea why you’re doing such a thing.

Using the three laws in conjunction with each other will optimize performance in a workout, as well as ensure longevity and quality of life. As a coach to help walk you through these laws and how they work, or refer to Kelly Starrett’s book “Becoming a Supple Leopard”. I will be running a movement and mobility clinic at The Athlete Lab on May 16th that will put these laws to use, as well as answer any questions you might have.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Blog |



5×8 ADAP Plyo Pushups


“The Master Chief”
5x 3 min. AMRAP with 60 second rest between rounds of:
5 Front Squats (A: 205/133) (F: 135/93)
10 Pullups
15 Box Jumps (A: 24/20) (F: 20/16)
20 Double Unders/Speed


Last set @ 70%
4×3 Snatch
4×3 Clean and Jerk
4×8 Overhead Squat
8x15m Banded Sprints
3×20 Hip Extensions/GHD Situps

Just TWO DAYS until the final Friday Night Lights Open event! You guys voted, and pizza and beer after the event will be available from Green Mill! Please bring $5 bucks per person  to accommodate the cost. PLEASE SIGN UP for the event! Not only do we need your RSVP to create heats, but we also need to know how much pizza and beer to buy. RSVP here!

Lastly, our charity this week is to the Wounded Warrior Project. This charity is very close to the hearts of two of our members; Mary Cocchiarella and her son, Nick Clements. Mary’s brother actually founded the Minnesota Chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project. Here’s their story:

History of Team Minnesota – WWP

Army Captain Matt Cavanaugh & Tom Cocchiarella, a USAF Vietnam Era Veteran, started WWP Team Minnesota in September 2008. Tom & Matt become good friends as old fashioned “Pen Pals” during Matt’s two tours in Iraq during the first & third years of the war. Later, Matt had just visited a friend and NCO who was severely wounded by an explosion in 2006 and discovered the work that the Wounded Warrior Project was doing to help this Soldier and his family. WWP Team Minnesota was born, and in the past 5 years we have raised $245,000.00 in support of WWP efforts. With many more wounded since, and knowing the long term rehabilitation needs, we continue our quest to help our Wounded Warriors.

In January of 2009, the St. Paul Winter Carnival was about to crown a new Royal Family and a “Vulcan Krewe”, when Tom was introduced to Vulcanus Rex (Joe Vogel). Joe, being a Marine Veteran, asked his Krewe to ‘Adopt WWP as their primary charity” and we have been working together as a team since! This unlikely team has come together to build awareness for WWP Programs & Services, as well as raise a significant amount of money for the WWP Programs to operate. 

More info here!


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Blog |


2x800m Run/Row
*Rest 3 minutes between sets


20 minute AMRAP:
20 Dips
14 Thrusters (A:135/93) (F: 75/53)
20 V-ups (F: Tucked Legs, Sit ups)


Written By Coach Megan:

So, I had this pair of jeans.

I got them when I was a sophomore in high school. They were the non-stretchy, no give….”skinny” jeans. No, not “skinny” as in tight everywhere jeans, but “skinny” as in my butt only fits in them when I am true to my diet and feeling…well…SKINNY! The jeans were faded, holey, and had a flare at the bottom too big to be considered cool anymore…

…but when I wore them I felt fantastic!

Those jeans stood for way more than looking good.

Those jeans stood for hard work… busting my ass, making good nutritional choices on a daily basis, and only stopping at Grand Ole Creamery every once and a great while to get my double scoop of cookie dough ice cream in a waffle bowl. So. Bad…yet, so. Good.

I’d been able to fit into those jeans for almost 10 years. I went through high school, college, and marriage with those jeans.

Well… almost.

I tried those jeans on every six months or so. I’d be lying if I told you they ALWAYS buttoned every time I put them on. I tried them on the summer after high school graduation and they didn’t fit. Couldn’t even get them up over my rear. What happened?!?

No more high school sports….that’s what happened.

So I resorted to running. I’d seen all those hard core runners, and they were all slim. So, obviously running was the answer.

Running was long, and it was boring. The most exciting part of running was the times I sat on my computer before my run creating a good playlist to run to. Unfortunately for me, my music A.D.D allowed me to blast through any playlist long before my run was even close to over. But running worked, and in no time I was buttoning my jeans again.

Until I stopped running. And then I was back to no longer wearing my jeans.

My Junior year of college I found CrossFit. I learned to lift weights, and I learned the true meaning of the word intensity. I learned what it really looked like to be healthy… and healthy looked like big butts and muscular thighs, and biceps! I learned to love my body for new reasons. I was proud of what I could do with it. I could do pull ups, I could deadlift, and I could back squat more than 1.5 times my bodyweight.

I couldn’t button my jeans.

I was the healthiest I’d ever been, and I couldn’t button my jeans.

Being a healthy individual is about eating right and being independent. Independent meaning that you are able to complete all physical tasks thrown at you on a normal day without relying on someone else for help. That 50 pound box of blank printer paper…yeah, you’ve got that no problem. Those groceries, pfft….you could carry those in your sleep. You consider 18 holes of golf leisurely…. without a golf cart…

because lets be honest…it is.

Being healthy isn’t about a size, shape, or number on a scale. It isn’t about fitting into a certain size of jeans. It’s about feeling good, and being able to enjoy all life has to offer. So before you get wrapped up in your pair of jeans, ask yourself if you can squat 1.5 times your bodyweight in them.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Blog |




3RM Overhead Squat (A: From the floor)

*20 min cap



3 Rounds of:
400m Run
21 KB Swings (24/16)
12 Pullups

*15 min cap


5×3 Strict Press
5×4 Push Press
5×5 Push Jerk

*Continually ascend it weight. Weight does not go down unless absolutely necessary.

“Bergeron Beep Test”
EMOM for as long as possible…
7 Thrusters (75/55)
7 Pullups
7 Burpees


Thanks yet again to all the helpers, participants, and spectators at Friday Night Lights! Four down, one to go! As always, please sign up here so that you can be placed in a heat for Friday!

April is coming up fast! Rob from CrossFit South Metro will be leading an Olympic Lifting Seminar here at The Athlete Lab on April 18th from 9-4:30pm. Click this link to get more info and to sign up!


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Friday, March 20, 2015

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Blog |


Tabata Toes to Bar
*Rest 2 minutes
Tabata Wallballs (20/14)”


15 Power Cleans (A: 115/73) (F: 95/63)
15 Box Jumps (24/20)

*2 minute rest between rounds

HAPPY FRIDAY! You all know what that means! It’s time to THROW DOWN at Friday Night Lights! 15.4 in ON!

This weeks charity is to the Minnesota Disabled American Veterans (DAV). You can donate new/gently used clothing, shoes, and small household items. Time to clean out your closets! Don’t forget to donate! More info here!

As always, gym opens at 4:30pm, we will go over standards at 5:15pm and the first heat will go at 5:30pm! If you can’t make it right at 5:15pm for standards please go to the Games Site and familiarize yourself with them! 


Friday Night Lights V3


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