🔥🔥🔥"EXERCISE IS A MIRACLE DRUG.  I'm such a believer that it's the 🗝🔑 to health, wellness & longevity that I prescribe it to every patient I see!" - Dr Jordan D. Metzl - from the newest Time Mag "The Science of Exercise" . . Some good stuff in this issue for sure . . . But most encouraging is when you hear of Drs "Prescribing Exercise"!!!


 Moving is a way of life & it takes a community (for most of us) to stay accountable & stay at it!Initial fat loss results are fun to see for sure, but longevity of life & wellness become the long term goal once you've created the positive habit of fitness!! 👏👏👏 if you know you need this in your life but not sure how or where to start, we would be more than happy to sit down with you to see if we would be a good fit for you!

Posted on February 2, 2018 .

CrossFitters Weightlifting

“If you care at all about your LIFTS, you’ll sign up and be there on Saturday!” was the constant refrain heard by all the athletes at CF Abbellire over the last handful of weeks from head coach Ashley Bannan.  

 Ryan breaking down the Snatch with Riley

Ryan breaking down the Snatch with Riley

“Trust me, you will see incredible VALUE if you carve out 3 hours on April 1 to work on your technique!” was another one.  And now, I would venture to say that all who attended the full class from this afternoon’s Weightlifting Seminar, the first one of its kind at CrossFit Abbellire, would agree that it was well worth the time and cost spent.  

One might ask, “well if I’m coached regularly through my lifts during the CrossFit classes, isn’t that enough?” - Well, the answer to that question depends a bit on the person & their goals…  

What are your goals?  

If your goal is to get a great workout 3-6 days a week, get a little stronger in the process, live a longer and healthier life, and feel good about laying out on the beach this summer, there is a good chance that the CF classes will be a perfect fit (and you already know this)...


If your goal is to lift heavier, maybe get to RX WODs more consistently (or for the first time), be  more prepared for the 2018 FC Open to get to or through the next round when an OLY (olympic) lift is involved, then Barbell Club would be a fantastic fit for you!!!

Today was special for me personally, as a coach to both not be coaching or participating but instead to be an observer of both coaches and participants and their interactions.  To hear another very seasoned coach in action and to learn from the cues he was giving as I watched the athletes practice the techniques that were being shared with them.

My Favorite Part…

Besides the combinations of witnessing technique getting practised and corrected and the excitement that goes along with that, my favorite part of the day was a brief conversation that happened with a small handful of the fellas and Riley, the 16 year old coach (also one of Ryan’s current lifting students).  The guys, some of whom had lifted off and on in more of a powerlifting environment for years, asked Riley, “how long have you been lifting?” she answered, “1 Year” . . . The guys were blown away!!!  I followed up her answer (and their astonishment) with another few questions…

Jeff - “How frequently do you lift?”

Riley - “4 days a week”

Jeff - “Every week”

Riley - “Yes”

Jeff - “on average, about how many lifts per day are you doing/working on?”

Riley - “20-30” (paraphrased)

Jeff - “so, give or take 100 reps of a combination of these lifts per week”

Riley - “yes”

My point?  

  • Riley has come a long way and become very good in one year!

  • It’s going to be cool to see someone who works as constantly as Riley in another year from now!

  • That someone could be you!!

  • Riley also does CrossFit, but sees the value in not just the “Constantly Varied” part of CrossFit, but also sees the value in PRACTICING REGULARLY with the more challenging, technical lifts.

  • This is one of the main reasons we are starting a Barbell Club within the walls of Abbellire!!

Just think...Imagine the difference just one day of focused work made!  And if you weren’t at the Lifting Seminar, ask someone who was, they’ll be excited to share with you!

Now think, if this happened every week for 3, 6 or 12 months… It’s gonna be real good.  I can’t wait to see where those of you are who take take the challenge!


“Don’t ever miss an opportunity to work on your Snatch or Overhead Squat!” - Coach Ryan,    WC Weightlifting


Sign up below for Barbell club that starts 4/8/17

Posted on April 1, 2017 .

Self Love - 10 Thoughts to Help Get (or Keep) You Moving in a Good Direction!

As we head into one of the most advertised “MADE” Holidays (well aren’t they all?) of the year and the weekend that surrounds that – Love will be in the Air! ❤️❤️❤️ And regardless of if you Love Valentine Day or Hate it, if you are currently with someone or wishing you were, or happy you’re not, I would love to encourage you to take some time out of this weekend or coming up week to reflect on these questions and give yourself some SELF-LOVE!  When we can truly love ourselves we can love those who we come in contact with much more efficiently & with much more stamina. 


Think of it this way, when you board an airplane, the steward on the mic always tells you to make sure to secure your oxygen mask before you help those around you.  Why is this?  We know that no matter how strong or helpful you might be, if you aren’t breathing you won’t last while helping or loving on those around you!

That all being said, take some time to shut down, turn the TV off and the phone (or at least close out of all the Social Media and Mail/Messaging Apps, put the books away and really reflect using these questions.

1.       What makes me feel great?

2.       What brings be down?

3.       What do I value? (& do my actions reflect this answer from time to resources, etc…?)

4.       What am I good at (doing)?

5.       A. What do you see when you think about yourself?

B. What do others See when they think about you?

6.       What’s the # 1 thing that needs to change to improve my quality of life (and this can’t be $$ driven)?

7.       What do you have to offer that gives value to others? (this is not defined by a full time or part time job)…

8.       What do you love that you just love to Share with People?

9.       What is “Life-Giving” to you?

10.   Who are your best friends and Why? Give detail…

These were inspired by a longtime friend who shared these with me, an old teammate who is constantly focused on being her best self for her family and those around her.  I really hope this encourages you!  Remember, this is for you!  You don’t need to share these with anyone, but if there is someone you are close to and you would like to, that’s OK too. 

Make sure to start with sharing love with yourself this weekend!

Why Crossfit Changed My Life

Guest post today from our member John Salkowski . . . 

I chose CrossFit for several reasons. I wanted the accountability. I wanted different. I wanted to get fit. I wanted to be pushed & challenged. I wanted to be around like-minded people with one goal in mind. To push themselves to their limits – John Salkowski

I have exercised and lifted weights ever since I was 14 years old. I went to the hardcore muscle head gyms to the Planet Fitness’s. Then I stopped going. I stopped because I got tired of the same old, same old. The same old, chest & back, shoulders, biceps & triceps and last but not least legs. I despised walking on the treadmill or riding the stationary bike for cardio. I stopped going all together.


For the last several years I dedicated myself to growing my business’s. Sacrificing my health to building my wealth & time freedom. I felt fat, sluggish and just plain tired. Eating one time a day, not drinking enough water throughout the day because I felt that if I took time away from building my empire, my competition would get a step on me. It was time. I made the decision & committed to joining something that was challenging yet fun. So, this is what I did…

I picked the gym that was convenient to my home. I interviewed the owner & hired him to train me one on one until I was ready and confident to join the classes.

Here is how it changed my life:

– It made me want to work out again. I went from not going to the gym to going five days a week, week after week. I’m stronger, feel great and I am the fittest I’ve been in years. All in just under 16 weeks.
– It made me want to lift weights again
– It’s more interesting than the same old gym.
– I actually feel healthier & fitter
– I fell in love with crushing tough work outs & sweating again
– I’m addicted to the camaraderie
– I love seeing the things my body is capable of doing and seeing the changes in my physique
– I feel strong, I feel empowered, and I feel like I can take on anything
– You learn things about your body you never knew before
– I feel like a superhero during my workouts
– I push my body to the breaking point
– It builds a mental toughness like you’ve never experienced
– It makes you want to crush & congratulate your opponent. Sounds weird I know….
– It’s a confidence booster
– It makes you focus on the workouts, not calories

  "We come in together, sweat and talk about our wins, losses, aches & pains, support each other and then do it again the next day"

 "We come in together, sweat and talk about our wins, losses, aches & pains, support each other and then do it again the next day"

CrossFit has been the most important thing I have done for myself in years. It has been that boost to make me want to get back to exercising. I was always an athlete growing up and the gym was always an outlet for me. Until it got old. You can only do the same old for so long. CrossFit has the variety I was looking for. We come in together, sweat and talk about our wins, losses, aches & pains, support each other and then do it again the next day. No more counting calories, no more worrying about my body changing. Just me, the clock, and the WOD.

Copyright © 2017. John Salkowski All Rights Reserved. www.JohnSalkowski.com

Posted on February 6, 2017 .


 "You have 90 seconds to work!"

"Fight to get back to that bar!"

"There it is, just two more reps!"


These phrases draw out different emotions for each of us.  We can all remember a time each of these have been said to us and the biggest battle was in our minds!

Isn't that true for so much of life?  I was reminded about this as I was fighting to get back to that barbell that was as heavy as I have ever worked with in a workout a couple of days ago, realizing that I was going to hit the time cap for the first time in quite a while.

 Coach Ryan on some Heavy Dead Lifts 

Coach Ryan on some Heavy Dead Lifts 

Not completing all the rounds, initially that was a bit of a tough pill to swallow. And then it hit me, my coach (and my wife) had pushed and encouraged me to "Go Heavy" - that is what the work out called for, and heavy, relative to me, ended up meaning that I might not finish the workout.

Here are a few take aways from that morning;

1) Trust your coach - sometimes your coach is going to challenge you with something that you don't think is possible, and in my case, I knew I could do the movement with the weight that coach was telling me to move, but didn't know if I would be able to finish. I didn't finish, and that's OK. I was moving safely with the weight, I now know that this is a weight that I can included in heavy workouts, and I have now proven to myself that I am capable of continuing to move through with something this heavy.

Other times Coach will tell us to go lighter when we want to go heavier, but more often than not, a good coach will know us better that we know ourselves.

Isn't this is why we chose this style environment though, to be pushed and stretched?

2) When the White Board says HEAVY, go Heavy - as long as we can move safely, stretch yourself, this is where some of the most special growth and strengthening can and will come from. It is so easy to think about how if we do "kinda heavy" we can really get through the workout quickly and have a great time to put up on the board, but sometimes it can be really good to forget about the clock and time and just enjoy the process of a new challenge!

3) Be Proud of what you've accomplished- It can be so easy to "call ourselves out" - more or less be our own worst critic - but if we're working hard, it's really time to stop, take a moment and congratulate ourselves for the positive! We should have a "Mini Celebration" every time we step foot into the gym, another one when we've completed the workout, regardless of how good we think we did...kinda like a "Pat on the Back" - tell yourself, "Heck yeah! I just did that...___" & then, even if you're not thrilled with your performance in the particular workout, find something that went well, something that you did better than before - as in, "it's the first time I tried that; Weight in a workout, New skill, New technique, etc..."

So, for me, looking back - instead of thinking, "I'm bummed I didn't finish" I changed my thought process to "I gave it all I had, I worked hard, and I'm really excited I tried a new weight that I've never done in that sort of workout setting! I'll be excited to see the day I can do that weight and finish the entire workout!!"

I'd love to hear of a time you were beating yourself up recently and maybe how you could rephrase your conversation to yourself in a way that would be uplifting and motivating!

Posted on January 27, 2017 .

Now, Compared to Then . . . Photos and Words and A Bit of Ashley's Story.

These pics speak a thousand words to me. The top left represented the Ashley who was obsessed with the scale, portioned controlled all my foods, stressed if I didn't have a hard enough workout, cried that I was not more of an athlete, and felt awful that every workout I did at home main focus was vanity.

 If a photo could speak a thousand words...

If a photo could speak a thousand words...

I wanted and needed so much more! I didn't want to be worried about the way I "looked". It was never about that for me. I felt confused and lost on how to get away from all the vanity that was being pushed on women from social media. I just wanted to use my God given ability to work as an athlete and not as a woman trying to meet an impossible standard!

The three remaining pics represent the woman I am today. Strong, focused, determined, goal oriented, humbled, and overwhelmed that I am following the full path that God is leading me on.

I love my WODS (workout of the day), my community, my coaches, my crossfit family (both at the gym and my family at home), all the amazing foods I get to eat without measuring, the scale means nothing to me (weighing 15 pounds heavier now because of crossfit) my drive, the support of those around me, the love and unselfishness of the new people that God has put into my life, the list is endless!

2016 has been an absolute whirlwind in the best way imaginable! From being an at home mama for 9 years, to a crossfit athlete, to a coach, to a
Spartan, to a business owner, to being blessed with the opportunity to serve others, to still being able to homeschool my oldest son, to still having time to get away with the hubby, I can honestly say that this could have never happened forced. God is truly in control. He has a plan for each and everyone of else! A plan to prosper us and not to harm us! We just have to be listeners, doers and open to His plans in our lives.

Jeff and I are both pumped to see what 2017 has in store for us. We want to still continue to listen to the Lord and be open to where he leads us. The biggest lesson we have both learned and will continue to practice is... "We are not meant to do life alone."

Posted on January 23, 2017 .

The Survey

The Survey – By the #s


Thank you all again (those who participated) for taking the time to fill out the survey.  This should help to both streamline communication to an extent, even though it seems that a lot of what we are already using is what you guys are wanting.  And it can help us plan better new classes and specialty interest activities that will be taken advantage of the most across the board!

For starts, if you’re currently on IG or FB, please come be our “friends” or give a follow if you haven’t already, both personally and to the CFA pages!  There is a lot of fun stuff happening there & we don’t want you to miss it.

Now, for the good stuff...  As far as what you all said that you would want to participate in sometime in 2017 the biggest conclusion that we’ve come to is that, if it involves Running, Obstacles, hanging with your friends, or Alcohol, it is high on the list…so…HERE GOES;

- Spartan / OCR races were at the top of the list followed by Runs such as 5/10Ks or even half or full marathons – you do know what this means, right?  More running in WODs coming at ya! ; )

- Followed right behind and tied for 3rd is Partner Comps and a Kayaking trip . . . I have a feeling, both of these will appear on the calendar during 2017 so keep your eyes pealed!   

- Finally, WOD & Wine will probably never go away but there is a strong possibility of a Barbells & Bourbon event, Boys just want to have fun too! & If you’re into field trips, a handful of us are heading to this style event at our friend’s gym on the 20th – the more the merrier!

The CrossFit Open is just over a month away and we’ll be pushing info out on that very soon and a few other team building style events should show up this year.  BTW, we can’t think of everything so if you’ve got an amazing idea that you think the majority would totally dig or benefit from, please share!


Now, onto Specialty Classes or Clinics…

The top few were Flexibility/Stretching/Mobility/Yoga style classes.  We are working on what might make the most sense on this for our gym, but we have heard you and are trying to make this happen!

Nutrition is right behind and as you probably all know, we are rolling full steam ahead with The Abbellire Way Nutrition Program.  If for some reason you’ve missed this or would like a more personalized approach, please let us know, I believe we may have a solid solution for you for this!

CrossFit Gymnastics and Body Weight Movements was the second highest on the list with a whole lot of interest and we are currently developing our first specialty class that will be a handful of weeks series dedicated to individuals who are wanting to focus their attention on correcting and perfecting some of the simpler movements and move closer to and practice the more challenging ones!  More info on this over the next few weeks.

The other few that made it fairly high on the list include OCR Training, Grip Strength and some Power Lifting, with some potential interest in Learning to Flip and some Kettle Bell and Endurance work to round out the list.  We will be considering how to incorporate some of these into some group specialty classes over the coming months!



More than half of you set specific fitness goals in 2016 and 90+% of you accomplished Some or MOST of those Goals!! THIS IS AWESOME!! If you didn’t set any this past year, or even if you did, we would love to help you set your next set of goals and a game plan on how to get there!


Posted on January 15, 2017 .

But, I should be able to do that…

But, I should be able to do that…

One of the most common phrases I’ve heard in my near two decades of coaching team sports.  It’s also one of the most limiting thought processes…

Let me Explain

In such an Instagram Society, it is so easy to see vids that last less than a minute of all the best moments…what you don’t see is the hundreds or even thousands of reps, tries, fails and hours of work, effort and learning that went into achieving the skill that you’re now seeing in that 20 second video clip.

So much of our ability to succeed is determined by how we think about what we are trying to accomplish.  It’s important to be confident but we can’t forget that so much of this sort of thing, when it comes to complex barbell movements and gymnastics (bodyweight) skills can take quite a bit of practice and repetitions before it is able to become a proficient movement for us.

When we come to a group CrossFit class the range of experience can be from multiple years of experience all the way down to first class off the Intro/On-Ramp.  It can become very easy to look at the guy pulling hundreds of pounds off the floor in a dead lift, or the girl stringing double digit pull-ups together and think “I should be able to do that” . . . Or how about the handstand push-ups and double-unders or over-head squats. 

This can be especially tough when we feel like we’ve been working on whatever the skill is for what seems like “forever”!!  maybe 4-8 months, or even 1.5-2.5 years… the best thing to do then is to evaluate, is that a movement that you’ve only practiced once a month for 10 months?  Or have you been staying on it regularly every other to every third day for many months? 

Here in lies the answer for most of us, regardless of if we are trying to learn a new skill like kipping pull-ups, double-unders or handstand holds or even wanting to shed those last few pounds.  Do we stick with the practice of the skill or movement or strengthening regiment or nutrition lifestyle?  If the answer is “Yes” - then ask – Have we stuck with it long enough?  Are we working as hard as we can while we are working on it?  Are we using our resources around us (as in our coaches or even peers, and are we doing what they are coaching us to do or telling us worked for them?)?  Have we stayed consistent? Or have we been going hard for a bit and then taking a few too many days off?

One other note… & Here’s where it can get a little extra challenging, especially if you’ve been around a little bit longer…what about the member who is one month fresh off their Intro/On-Ramp who is RXing the Workout, or the Mom on the other side of the room who is 4-5 months in hitting double-unders? 

A couple of things to consider for that sort of scenario; maybe they have been a power lifter for the last 10+ years, or as a collegiate athlete had to jump rope 1,500 times a day, even if it was 20 years ago, that’s a skill they may have never “lost” . . . and the list goes on.  Work has been put in & Hard Work Over Time Pays OFF!!  

Everyone's history and background is drastically different.  Try hard not to compare where you are to anyone else, there are too many variables.  

So, Next time you get a little bit discouraged about “not having that ______ yet” – make sure you check yourself on consistency and hard work and if those are both in check, connect with a coach and make sure you’re being patient through the process.  Ultimately, as my wife loves to encourage, “Learn to Love the Process!”


We would love to hear some things that you are hoping to improve on as we get into 2017!  Comment, Message or Tag us in your thoughts!

Posted on January 11, 2017 .

Out With 2016 & In With 2017

A few thoughts to help start 2017 off right!

As we wind down the year and get ready to start thinking about what 2017 will hold - one if the hottest topics is New Year's Resolutions.
Personally, I tried for a long time to steer clear of these because of all the stats that followed about how over 90% of them had been abandoned before the end of January.

And honestly, Who wants to be a failure!?!  Not me, so why "set myself up to fail?" that's so unmotivating!

Over time, I've grown up in my thinking a bit . . . and what I'm sharing here has really helped me change my perspective on this idea.

1 - Set goals! - not too many, and some big and some small - but set some!

2 - Spend a little time reflecting on some of the thinks you are pleased with from 2016, things you did or accomplished.  Pat yourself on the back, be proud (no matter how small it was) and enjoy those feelings of accomplishment.

3 - Think about what you want (or want to accomplish). Really, don't be shy, what is it?  

OK, Go ahead and WRITE IT DOWN! (and put a date on it...when this will be accomplished by) - I won't get into all the phycoligy behind this, but just trust me, there is more value in this step than you would think!

4 - Create a plan - Now work backwards, find out from someone who has achieved what you are hoping to what they did to get there & create a plan that will get you there too! (this can be someone you know, or though a book, or many other sources)...

5 - Get accountable - Tell someone!  But make sure it will be someone who will support you . . . not the "neigh sayer" type (unless you know that the "I told you so" moment will really get you going)  But keeping this positive will go a long way.  We need to hear that whole, "you can do it!" and this can go a long long way on our journey!

6 - Now GET TO WORK! - no amount of goal setting and strategy will get you to where you want to go without MASSIVE ACTION!!! go get busy!!! 

Wishing you the best year yet in 2017!!!


Jeff Bannan 

Posted on December 31, 2016 .