Life, Liberty, and the...You Know the Rest


Life, Liberty, and the...You Know the Rest

The 2019 CrossFit Open starts today and with it comes an array of emotions. Having the ability to navigate the next five weeks without feeling a glimmer of negativity is close to impossible, but how much of that negativity is self-imposed? I’d be willing to wager that 100% of the negativity is self-imposed.

It’s not your fault though, it’s socially ingrained in us to pay attention to negativity. Think about it: the news blasts only gasp worthy stories; you know the name of more mass murderers than you do Nobel Peace Prize winners; and when was the last time you wanted to see a movie because there were zero hardships involved? We like negativity, we seek it out, but we have forgotten the real reason why it exists in the first place: contrast. More on contrast later.

Before I move on, I would like to further my point with a quick exercise. This will be applied so please bear with me. I want you to take a minute and write down 10 words that describe an emotion. Type them on your phone or write them down but make sure you have 10. Once you’ve done this, I want you to count how many “positive” and how many “negative” emotions you came up with.

If you counted more negative emotions like most of us did, don’t worry. The English language has about 40% more words to describe negative emotion than it does for positive emotion. This means that the we are already at odds with our feelings. It’s a lot easier to come up with a word for our negative emotions than it is to pinpoint the positive ones.

Now, back to contrast. If you are reading this, you already understand that everything in life needs contrast. It adds variety and color to our world. But as I’ve stated earlier, we are all at odds with our emotions. We have a 70% chance of picking out a negative word to describe our experience. From a contrast perspective, this isn’t the fairest of trades. If I were a betting man, which I’m not (although I’ve made two imaginary bets with you so far and a third in 3, 2, 1…), I would bet on the side that had a 70% chance of ending on top (negativity); it’s a safe bet. But if I were seeking a bigger reward, I would put my chips on the side of 30%.

This isn’t a fake smile blog. I don’t want you to stare in the mirror and lie to yourself because you think you should feel positive. I do, however, want you to be aware of the narrative that you place over the next five weeks during The Open. Only you know the words you don’t say, and only you can taste your words as they pass your lips. Are you on the 70% side merely because that’s the easy road to take? Or will you attempt to defy the odds and place your chips on the 30% side?

I would enjoy seeing your list of words. Please send me a message on any social media: Facebook or Instagram @bhern_1

I look forward to seeing you all thrive this year and push beyond your limitations! #TribeStrong


Open Talk

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Open Talk

Happy New Year Tribe!

I know it’s a little bit late given that it is February, but I want to take a minute and personally thank each and every one of you! I know I say something very similar every New Year, but this year is a little different. Over the past year, as much as this Tribe has meant to me over the last seven years, I am more grateful than ever for the role that each and every single person plays in making Tribe feel like a second home for all of us. As such, speaking on behalf of all the coaches, that is something we will do our best to perpetuate. No matter how big our community grows, rest assured we will continue to make Tribe a place where EVERYONE feels welcome; welcome to make fitness a priority in their lives; welcome to try harder without fear of judgement; welcome to try new things; welcome to strive for excellence; and welcome to be better than they were yesterday.

We promise to do the same for you.

With that said, allow me to speak on subject that I think has become a sensitive one for some. The CrossFit Open is looming near (February 21) and I have heard quite a few grumblings over the last couple weeks: “I’m scared to do the Open.” “I don’t want to hold my team back.” “I’m afraid I’m not going to be good enough.” “I have nothing to prove.” “I just want to do my own thing.” Whatever the reason, I know many of you feel anxious and scared to do the Open, and that is ok.

However, allow me to share my two cents. I believe that nothing ever worth doing comes easy. Furthermore, anything worth doing will always come at a cost and require some sort of sacrifice. As such, it will probably end up making you feel some level of anxiety or fear, but isn’t that the point? In all aspects of your life, if you are striving to become a better version of yourself, doesn’t that always come with a little bit of fear? Fear that you’re not good enough. Fear that you might fail. Fear that you will learn absolutely nothing and it will be a complete waste of time. Well, let me tell you something, you will never know if you don’t try! I know you’ve heard that all before, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Personally, especially within the last year, I have learned something new about myself each time I took on something big or new that I wouldn’t have learned had I chosen not to do it. That knowledge alone, has been reason enough for me to try. Notice how I didn’t mention anything about whether I found success or failure, because in the end the only thing that matters to me is that I tried and that I did my best. There are no regrets (except about what I could have done better). There are no ‘coulda shoula woulda’s’. There are no ‘what if’s’. There is only satisfaction in knowing that I tried and I learned something about myself that I didn’t know before. And if you happen to succeed, then there is the added joy in the accomplishment of something you didn’t know was possible before! There is the shattering of preconceived self-limitations. There is the possibility that you can accomplish more than you originally thought possible. There is the possibility of being better than you were yesterday.

Just to be clear, I am not trying to convince you all to do the Open. I know you all got “life” to deal with and that can be overwhelming in itself. So the thought of adding something like the Open to that list of life’s obligations may seem like a tall order. But before you decide NOT do it, let me ask you a serious question, and before I pose it, I ask that you please don’t answer it right away. I suggest you let it simmer for a day or two, then you can decide if you are going to join the Open or not. If after all that you still decide that you don’t want to do it, then we will respect your decision, judgement free. But I do encourage you all to really give this question some real thought before you make your decision.

So here it is……What GOALS am I working towards in my life and have I set my MINDSET & MY ENVIRONMENT to help me towards those goals?

My firm belief is that in order become successful in life, you have to believe that you are working towards something concrete. Whatever that may be is totally up to you, but if you aren’t working towards something then you’re probably just spinning your wheels and that might be the reason you aren’t where you thought you’d be in your life, why you don’t have the career you hoped for, why you’re not happy with your life in general. I also believe that how you approach one aspect of your life, says a lot about the way you approach all other aspects of your life. So often do we get stuck in the rat race, and I’ve been guilty of this myself, comparing ourselves to the person next to us that we lose sight of our own goals & aspirations. So, I think that every so often we need to ask ourselves, “What GOALS am I working towards in my life and have I set my MINDSET & MY ENVIRONMENT to help me towards those goals?”

So that is my question to you, and this is the main reason I ask this question specifically. I could have asked you, “What are your reasons for not doing the Open?” or “What will you miss out on if you don’t do the Open?” But I asked you this question specifically because I think that it is very hard to make important decisions if you don’t have goals in life. And it’s very hard to attain those goals if your MINDSET and your ENVIRONMENT don’t support the accomplishment of those goals.

As an example of mindset: it’s very hard to stick to a diet when all you can think about is all the yummy things you can’t eat instead of maybe trying to find other yummy things to eat that fit within the parameters of your diet. Likewise for environment: it is very hard to stick to a diet when you’re the only one in your family doing the diet or you don’t have other people doing the diet with you.

So there you have it.

“What GOALS am I working towards in my life and have I set my MINDSET & MY ENVIRONMENT to help me towards those goals?”

Once you have the answer to that question, I believe you will have a better basis from which to answer this question, “Should I do the CF Open this year?”

Thanks again for taking the time to read my humble post and Tribe Strong.

Coach Warren

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Staying In Your Lane, Nerves, and Why You Started


Staying In Your Lane, Nerves, and Why You Started

Mindset is the most important part of training. We train movement patterns, seek to get stronger, we want more pull ups, faster times, heavier lifts and the ability to perform under fatigue. The missing piece of the puzzle that doesn’t have “For Time” or “AMRAP” attached to it is your brain. Your brain is the driving force behind all of your desires and the better you are at setting your mind toward something, the better you will be at achieving that something.

The Open is less than two weeks away and I want to talk about three mindset ideas for your consideration.

STAY IN YOUR LANE. Your lane is right beneath your feet. You can only go as fast or lift as much as your lane will allow. Your lane is the culmination of all the hard work you’ve been putting in. You KNOW your abilities. But you want to surprise yourself and others, so you step out of your lane to try to get further. You change your strategy because you feel overcome with the energy that the Open brings. The person next to you is going fast! They’re going unbroken! And you’re keeping up with them, but then you soon find out that it was a big mistake. Your initial plan was to break up the snatches by 3’s and wall balls by 15’s but you felt pumped so you went way bigger than that. You stepped out of your lane and ran straight into a wall. To stay in your lane means to have confidence in your abilities, come up with a plan and stick to it. But of course, you have to realize a lane in order to stay in it.

NERVES. The Open has a tendency to stir up emotions. You watch the leaderboard, watch your friends throw down, your coach says this, an athlete does that, all the while the suspense leading up to you actually doing the workout kills your insides and now you are nervous. Having nerves and being nervous are two very different things. Before the workout starts your heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty, and you start to breath heavier. At this point you have two roads to take:

  • ROAD 1 (the easy one): you let the nerves get the best of you and you become nervous. Your mind is overrun with thoughts and you don’t understand why you are so nervous which makes you more nervous.

  • ROAD 2 (the road less travelled): you turn your nerves into an ally, because that’s what they are. Your body can sense that you are about to do something that requires energy. It’s built in to our system; it’s a good thing! You need to understand and believe that those nerves are helping you to do what you’re about to do. This too takes practice, just like those damn thrusters. It’s easy to understand that if you want to be better at thrusters all you have to do is practice them. Same with your ability to calm your nerves, practice the mindset of realizing those nerves can help you, not hurt you.

*Try this next time you get put into a situation where you feel overcome with nerves. Find the furthest thing away from you that your eyes can see: a person, a wall, a random object, something across the room. Whatever it is, focus on it. Really focus on it. Take in all the details of that object.

REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED. Having a well defined “Why” is potentially one of the best things you can do for your life. Anyone who has defied expectations and disrupted the odds have had a clear cut why. CrossFit is the sport of fitness and while your why can be as simple as that, to get fit, it’s important to remember why you started in the first place. Was it for your kids, your job, your enemies, your friends, your parents, siblings, for yourself? Pinpoint your why and think about that before, during and after your workout. Remembering why you started and reminding yourself of that fact when times get rough will help you push past difficulties.


An Application of Success

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An Application of Success

It’s a powerful thing to imagine success. Not just in a fleeting glimpse, but through a real meditative effort (if you want to skip the motivational speech and get right to application, scroll to the end).

Success is a persistent grind that needs constant tending to. It breeds more failure than it actually breeds success, which can be a conundrum for the pursuer. This one simple fact is the largest separator in the art of being successful. You pursue success but you reach failure, over and over and over again. It’s easy to feel like a failure in that process and it is far more difficult to feel a sense of satisfaction. How can you feel satisfaction through failure?

The mindset you attach to your process will dictate far more than the process itself. You may have the most detailed and well thought out plan. You could follow in the footsteps of someone who has made the mistakes and warned you of the same. You might even have a perfect blueprint for how to approach your goal. But the deciding factor will always be your mindset.

This is why you praise stories of people who came from nothing and now have everything. This is why movies are made about people who didn’t have it easy and were able to make something of themselves. They didn’t have a blueprint. The odds weren’t in their favor. They overcame failures that would make 99% of people quit, but they never gave up. They had 100% mindset even in the absence of a blueprint to success.

So, how do you feel satisfaction through failure? By being patient. By setting your mind to the goal you live for. By failing, more than the person next to you. By getting up, more times than the person next to you. Once you believe in the process, which will be difficult and make you question yourself, failure and success will start to become one. Success gives delayed satisfaction and failure is merely there to challenge whether you really want it. So to answer the question: YOU FEEL SATISFACTION BY PUSHING THROUGH FAILURE.


1.     Identify a moment when you can turn your mind off (brushing your teeth, eating a meal alone, driving to work, etc.).

2.     In these moments, pick something you wish to be successful in (short-term or long-term), and just imagine what that looks like. Imagine what it feels like. Imagine what it will take to make it a reality.

3.     You will likely imagine very difficult situations, this is good. Think about overcoming those situations, in more than one way, multiple times.

4.     Once the moment is gone, proceed through your day until the next moment comes, then do it again!


“Success is a persistent grind that needs constant tending to.”

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State Of Barbell Address


State Of Barbell Address


As we wrap up the year, I just wanted to give everyone an update on what’s going on with our Barbell Club. This year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Though we have had previous Barbell classes, we officially became a USAW sanctioned club on 12/12/17. We are now 1 year into being an official club and we hope to take our club to the next level this coming year! This first official year has been a great experience that we hope to learn from as we move forward. We appreciate each and everyone one of you who has joined us for a few cycles, taken our Barbell Basics program, or even reached out to one of our coaches for some 1-on-1 training. Your participation in what our club has to offer is what keeps us motivated to keep doing what we do. We appreciate those of you who have stuck with us through the year with our growing pains and we only hope to improve the services we can provide our members in the future.

Recapping on this year, we had a lot of firsts for some of our club members. A few of our members actually competed in their first USAW sanctioned meet in August. Each and every athlete put in the time and work leading up to the meet. Up until the moment they each took their first lift during the meet, it was probably a nerve-wracking experience. After the initial jitters had passed, each athlete came into their own and performed. Though we may not be the biggest club in our region, our members showed up on competition day and represented for our club. Their displays of quality movement on the platform represented all the things Tribe Barbell Club is about. Some of our members not only competed in their first USAW meet, they also punched themselves a ticket to compete in their first USAW National meet the following month. I want to thank all of the lifters this year who have stuck with us from the beginning. Thank you for enduring my programming, even if at times it may feel like I’m trying to kill you guys (lol). Just know that I only want the best for our club and I hope to steer us all in the right direction. “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Right? <3

Going forward looking into next year, we have a few things planned and we will be making a few changes to help our club grow and move in the right direction. First off, every 2nd and 4th Friday of each cycle we will have no official Barbell classes for that day. Instead, every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the cycle we will be having “Team Training” sessions at ~8am (time still TBD). This will give us a chance to see all of you train at the same time, while also allowing you guys to train with others you might not normally train with. Of course if you can’t make it to a Saturday Training session you can still lift on Friday, but we highly encourage training with the team at least once during the cycle.

We hope that a lot of our members will continue to represent our club on the competition platform in the coming year. Our goal is to make our club known for the quality of lifters that we consistently put out there to represent our club. For those of you that have never competed or may have some interest in competing sometime in the future, we as coaches will do our best to get you there. We hope this coming year will be biggest year yet for our club!

For those of you that have no intention of competing in a meet, don’t worry we didn’t forget about you guys! This coming year we will be restructuring some of our program to better cater our services to those of you who may be looking to barbell to improve your lifts. Our goal is to help those of you looking to improve your movement quality in the lifts. Whether you’re looking to gain more confidence with a barbell, get stronger, or simply just learn how to lift correctly to prevent injury, we hope to offer those services to you. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements on how we will be making all this happen. And yes, after lots of talk about it, we will finally have our first (and definitely not last) barbell seminar in May (date TBD). We will start off first with the Snatch. So stay tuned!

Lastly, I want to thank those of you guys who have come out to support our club at any of the meets this year. Those of you guys who came out to support each and every one of our lifters whether it was at a local meet or if you joined us in Las Vegas for the National Meet, we couldn’t have done all of this without your support. Even if you couldn’t make it to a meet this year, we all felt the positive vibes and encouragement sent our way. We hope the New Year is bigger than ever and we hope you guys are all there to join us for the ride!

Happy New Year! #TRIBESTRONG #tribebarbellclub #CRYSTAL316 @tribebarbellclub

- Coach Mike