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News From The Box Imperium Crossfit

Vol. 2, Issue 3

In This Issue Athlete of the Month Page 4 Fit Into Summer Challenge Winner Page 4 Recipe of the Month Page 5 Regionals Results Page 5 Building Relationships Beyond the box Page 6 Meet The Girls Page 7 Photos by Nick Morrison Page 8-9 20 tips to make you better at Olympic weightlifting Page 10-11 Calendar of Events Page 12

News From The Box

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Athlete of the Month: Jaden McKinnis 1. How did you hear about CrossFit?

pleted my run time stated above. It's always something different to look forward to when going; you never know what you will be doing. I have some good days where I steam through the WOD and some days where I strain to complete it, but I always feel awesome when I swing that last kettle bell or pull that last clean..

I heard about crossfit from my dad. I needed to get in shape and he pointed me in the right direction. A coworker of his attends crossfit, my dad saw what they do and he knew it would be a great program for me. 2. How has CrossFit changed your life? I feel better physically and mentally. It has added a part of my life that I'm proud to say I'm apart of, and with it I've gained basically anback/front squat much weight in the beginning, but now I can do other family. over 200lbs. I get winded easily whenever I workout so I want to work on how to improve my breathing, I think my core is my 3. What are your goals for weakest muscle group so it needs work. Getting anything overCrossFit? head is also difficult for me so that is something else for me to improve upon. I guess a long term goal of mine is to one day look When I first started my inlike and perform as well as the group training for competition. structor told me to run 600 meters. Afterword he told me to rest a bit to get the color back in my face. Now I can run 1.5 miles in 12:30. I wasn't able to

4. What's your favorite part of working out at Imperium? My favorite part is discovering my limits and trying to push myself past them and accomplishing my own personal achievements. I considered it a great benchmark when I squatted 200lbs and com-

Fit Into Summer Challenge winner Congratulations to Tom Ball for winning the Fit Into Summer Challenge! Though we’re all envious of Tom’s three-peat victory in a challenge, this challenge was the most successful yet! Many of you participated and spent 24 days to change your life. If you want to order AdvoCare supplements, remember to talk to Coach Tony.◊

5. What is your advice for a beginner to CrossFit? Don't let everything overwhelm you, focus on form and completion and don't bite off more than you can chew. Start with a weight you're comfortable with and can finish the workout without decreasing it. In the beginning if you try to rush to finish the WOD you will probably get fatigued quickly and that could cause you to do the movement wrong and you might injure yourself. ◊

Volume 2, Issue 3

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Recipe of the Month: Summer Squash Meatball Casserole Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 50 mins Serves: 4-5 Ingredients 2 tablespoons bacon fat 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 small zucchinis, shredded 2 small yellow squash, shredded 1 red onion, shredded 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon coriander 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 pound ground beef 1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes salt and pepper, to taste fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a grater or shredding attachment on a food processor to shred the zucchini, squash and red onion. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add bacon fat and minced garlic, then add the zucchini, squash and onion. Let vegetables cook down until soft, then add ½ tablespoon

cumin and coriander, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and a bit of salt and pepper to the vegetables and mix around to coat. Then add the diced tomatoes. Place ground beef in a bowl along with the rest of the spices and some salt and pepper. Form into meatballs. Makes 9 meatballs with the pound of meat. Press each meatball into the vegetable mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Add fresh parsley on top. Eat. Yum. ◊

CrossFit Games: South Central Regional On May 24-26, Jeremy Brannon and Stephano Tsaganis competed in the CrossFit Games South Central Regional Competition. If you recall, our last issue of News From the Box shared the goals of our Imperium athletes. Tsaganis finished 19th overall, achieving his goal of finishing in the top 25. Brannon finished 28th overall. Both athletes are back at the gym preparing for another year of competitions. To Jeremy and Stephano– you are both an inspiration to those of us who can barely do a pull-up unassisted. Keep up the hard work and know that your friends at the box support you! See pages 8 and 9 for more Regionals Pictures courtesy of Nick Morrison.

News From The Box

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Building relationships beyond the box by Katie Sowa

When you join a box like Imperium, you never fully understand what you’re in for. Sure you know there will be a lot of sweat, maybe some vomit, and lots of tight muscles. You may not have realized you’ll meet some of the nicest people while angrily throwing down weights. I’ve been with Imperium for just over a year. I started as a really shy girl who basically only talked to Tony and Marnie. I was intimidated by everybody. I was completely out of my comfort zone in more ways than one. After a few weeks or months, I began to talk to Lauren. She and I were always at the same 5:15pm evening classes, both Longhorns, and both laughed about the dumbest things. We have completely different lives during the day, but when we’re at the box, we always seem to make each other work harder, laugh harder, and have a good time.

I use Lauren as just one example of the many friends I have made at Imperium. We all have different stressors during the day, but find a way to make our grueling workouts really fun. In the past year, I have opened up to friending people from the box on facebook. Though some people call it stalking, I like to call it learning about somebody who just added you. Through Facebook and a few interactions at the box, I have learned how incredibly selfless, loving, and beautiful Cheyanne is. She doesn’t know I’m writing this, but I hope she realizes that people like her really inspire people like me to be better people. Cheyanne has an incredible musical talent that I may not have known if it wasn’t for her adding me on Facebook. She posts videos of herself singing and playing the guitar. Sometimes her kids interrupt, which makes the video that much better.

I keep missing Cheyanne at workouts due to our different schedules. She messaged me the other day just to see how things were going. Around that time, I noticed she was posting some updates about her son’s doctor’s appointments. Every status was so incredibly hopeful and written by a true woman of God. And to think- in all of her trouble with her son’s medical conditions- she sent ME a message to see how I was doing. That is the epitome of a great person. The first time I messaged Cheyanne on Facebook, it was to tell her how I was surprised she had kids since she was so fit. It makes me so much happier to know that she’s more than a hot Mom, she’s probably one of the most selfless 20-somethings I have ever met. So while you’re training hard to look good, talk to somebody you don’t know. Maybe that person will turn out to be a whole lot more than you expected. ◊

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News From The Box

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News From The Box

News From The Box

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20 tips to make you better at Olympic weightlifting by Chet Morjaria

(reprinted from:

The road to success in Olympic weightlifting is often a complex one to navigate. There are many routes to take, some more direct than others. An experienced lifting coach can help you map out your journey, particularly as he or she will have traveled enough paths enough times to be able to provide you with both direction and directions. So here are twenty simple directions, from my experience as a lifter and lifting coach, to help you along your way. 1. More Hips - This is pretty much the only cue I was given for my first eighteen months as a lifter, and for

good reason. This is the fundamental premise of Olympic weightlifting. Hit full extension of the hips, and everything else will flow (literally).

dence in getting under the bar, and simply being able to get up from those lifts that currently pin you to the floor.

2. Delay the Pull - Take a look at a frame-by-frame photo analysis of any top-level weightlifter. See how high up the thighs the bar is before he or she starts the second pull. Now take a look at where you start your second pull. See my point?

4. Finish Your Pull - I'm happy you are in a hurry to get under the bar. But just like a bad George Michael song, "You've got to get up to get down." (If that reference doesn't mean anything to you, then ask your Mum/Dad/British friends). Give that bar enough upward momentum and you will have more time than you realize to get your ass down there.

3. Squat More - Yes, you. Do more front squats. Do them heavier and more times per week. Do I really need to list the benefits? Okay, then: increased leg strength, better body position under the bar, increased confi-

Volume 2, Issue 3

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5. Keep It Close - That bar should remain close to you throughout the lift. It should make contact with your thighs and brush up your top. If those feelings are alien to you, you need to ensure the bar is closer to your body.

10. Go (Very) Heavy Often - Having said that, make sure you are hitting max singles on a regular basis. Your body needs to learn how to lift these and push past them.

6. Keep Control of the Bar - For many beginner lifters there is a point after you have reached full extension where "the magic happens" and you somehow end up underneath the bar. The reality is there is no point in the lift where the bar is out of your control. If you feel like there is, you probably need to be pulling down under the bar at that point.

11. Be More Patient - There is little point in yanking (technical term) the bar off the floor, only to end up in a compromised position for the second pull. The sole purpose of the first pull is to set you up for the rest of the lift. Take a little more time off the floor to make sure you are prepared.

7. Consistency of Technique - Once you have these points down, get them consistent. Why do you think weightlifting competitions for young lifters award points for technique? It is first and foremost in the timeline. After that comes consistency of technique - being able to be hit the correct marks the majority of the time. Only then should intensity be a focal point.

8. Hit the Actual Lifts Often - Remember, everything you are doing is to make you better at the snatch and the clean and jerk. These are your competition lifts. Assistance lifts are important, but they are a means to an end.

9. Hit the Percentages Mostly - Struggling to hit your max lifts with consistency? Work the numbers. Get some reps in at high percentages of your max instead of going straight for max every session.

12. Be More Aggressive - Once you are able to hit all the key positions consistently, unleash the beast. Get aggressive and become fast. No, faster than that. Simply continually striving to be quicker and more aggressive will help you.

13. Consistency of Lifting - Like anything, if you want to get better at Olympic weightlifting, you need to devote the time and effort to make it happen. Hitting a few cleans in an open gym session once a week does not earn you the right to complain your lifting isn't going anywhere.

14. Deload - Do not underestimate the importance of taking regular, planned deload weeks. Pay heed to these weeks and they will help you to progress faster, not slower. Give the sport you love some space when she needs it. It's all about the long game.

15. Seek Expert Guidance - Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Seek out a good

weightlifting coach early on in your lifting to practice good habits. Get in front of this coach regularly and often.

16. Mobilize - Are you guilty of going straight into your lifting after a few air squats and perhaps the odd power snatch? You are limiting your potential as a lifter, not to mention asking for injury.

17. Wear Lifting Shoes - So far, I have never seen a lifter who doesn't look better after wearing weightlifting shoes. The clue is in the name.

18. Compete - Strange things happen on the platform. As a student of weightlifting, you owe it to yourself to test your learning. You will likely find that you learn a lot about yourself through the experience too.

19. Seek Virtuosity - If you want consistent gains (and this includes minimizing injury), you need to seek mastery of the movement every step of the way. This will ensure you build the relevant strength on a basis of solid technique.

20. Enjoy the Journey - This sport is fun. Sure, it can be a demanding, frustrating, and even perplexing process at times. But it is also extremely rewarding. It's not all about those goddamn numbers. Enjoy the journey!

August 2013 Sun
















10 community WOD Bountiful Baskets














24 Bountiful baskets









News from the box May/June ‘13

1718 W. 23rd St Unit B. Houston, Texas 77008

© Imperium CrossFit 1718 W. 23rd St Unit B.Houston, Texas 77008 (713) 591-6966

Newsletter Credits: Creative Director: Katie Sowa

Contributors: Tony Orozco Marnie Ischay

Jaden McKinnis

Imperium CrossFit News From The Box August 2013  

The August Newsletter for Imperium Crossfit