Athlete Spotlight Blog

Athlete of the Month: Tony

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
There’s not a lot to tell. I’m from the great state of NC. I love to run, play the bass, and practice my Martial Arts. I have a pretty large family that hails from Hamburg, Germany and Eastern NC. Family is the single most important thing to me in life. This includes the family I have built with individuals along the way. Honestly, I’m just a country boy…born nowhere near South Detroit….but I’m still taking that midnight train going anywhere. 
2. What made you start CrossFit and what has kept you doing it?
Honestly, Cody Mason talked it up a bit to me. The Army APFT standards were changing, and I wanted to keep up with the new standards.
3. Has your motivation changed since you first started?
It has indeed
4. What have you learned since joining the CrossFit St. Charles family?
To take this fitness thing one step at a time
5. What is your favorite movement?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite, but I really like deadlifts and running
6. What impact has CF had on you outside of the gym?
I have honestly met some pretty cool people and they have impacted my life greatly. I’ve even gotten a bit of professional advice from time to time
7. What is your next CrossFit goal and how closer are you to reaching it?
Perfect my double-unders and I’m close
8. Whats something we might not know about you?
– I was born a bit before 7 months and wasn’t expected to live
9. What advice might you give to someone who is concerning joining CFSTC or is new to the gym?
It’s okay to keep things light and simple at first. Just stay consistent and you’ll get there 
10. What is the Tony Motto?
I would rather die than be disgraced
11. If you could write your own WOD, what would it look like?
It would have Deadlifts, Push ups, Sit ups, and running.
12. What are two of your favorite songs?
“Love on Me”~ Galantis & Hook N Sling
“Drift Away” ~ Uncle Cracker’s Version


“How I met your Coach…”

Back in the days of the gymnastic studio, I taught the single morning class while Justin did the evening class. We had only two classes.

I didn’t spend much time at the gym in the evening but occasionally I’d pop in to see what was happening.

The day I met Jen Leander she was hanging upside down strapped in a band from a pull up bar. Handstand push ups. Her face was serene.

I followed her gaze across the room as she locked eyes with another inverted athlete, her husband Alex. He was doing the HSPU against the wall.

It was fascinating to watch them encourage each other from across the room, while upside down.

Jen and Alex were two of the original CFStC athletes. Their daughters were gymnast and the whole family spent a lot of time in the gym that we were located in.

They both worked out at the local Globo Gym, where Justin and I had been private trainers.
Jen was intrigued by what was going on in our little room and thought she’d give it a try. Next thing we knew, she had Alex in with her. 

These are the things I remember most about Jen and Alex in those days…

They were always smiling and laughing.
They worked very hard. 

These two things were exactly what CrossFit is about. Hard work and fun.

The Leanders quickly became the anchors of the gym. Consistent and passionate about what we all were doing. 

They became more and more interested in helping others in the gym. Eventually they obtained their L1 Certifications and began teaching classes.

They taught classes together. Two coaches in one class! The dynamic duo!

We had so much fun back then. Everyday and every workout was an adventure. After the WOD was over, we’d sit around and talk about the WOD. Thinning of ways we could have done it faster. Maybe there was beer involved too!

This enjoyment of the intensity truly fostered a sense of healthy competition. Competitions were such an amazing event in those days. There weren’t many around and  we knew all the athletes. 

The Leander’s were two of our very first competitors. They were a part of a team that competed in the very first St. Louis Affiliate Cup. After that day, they were hooked. They created an atmosphere of fun and friendly competition and encouraged all the members to participate. 

Time changes most things and those days have slipped by, but the effect that Jen and Alex have had on our community will last forever. 

My goal is to bring back that fun. That drive to exceed our own expectations. That push of endorphins.

By the way- if you get the chance to work out with Jen, check out her expression during the WOD.



A Cup for A Cause

We are proud to announce that we are now offering …

Brew For Impact Whole Bean Coffee. 

Brew For Impact Whole Bean Coffee. 

Proceeds from the sales of this coffee goes to Brace For Impact 46, an organization founded by MLB Pitcher Kyle McClellan and his wife Bridget.  Brace For Impact 46 spearheads programs for kids in Haiti and families in North St. Louis. 

After a trip to Haiti, Kyle and Bridget started Brace for Impact 46, because all children should have their basic needs of food water and shelter met. The Brace for Impact 46 projects range from building a children’s home to providing education, medical care, and clean water.

Access to education gives these kids the foundation to have their own effect on the future of their communities. 

For every 24 bags of Brew for Impact Coffee sold a child is sent to school for a year in Haiti! 

The work in Haiti has impacted how the McClellan’s help people in our hometown of St. Louis. Because they realize the importance of family structure, job creation, and education, Kyle and Bridget work to equip these families with the tools they need  for a long lasting, stable home.

In partnership with Tabernacle Community Development Corporation, Brace for Impact 46 purchases and renovates homes in the North St. Louis area and employ local contractors to conduct the work. We then provide these safe, stable homes for families in need, and in turn they pay rent, attend quarterly seminars that focus on the needs of their family, and volunteer in their community.

By purchasing a bag of whole bean coffee we can help further the wonderful efforts of Brace For Impact 46

And as an added bonus, the coffee is really good! 

Blog Uncategorized

You want me to do what?

CFL1 Certification Course March 2008

This was it. lI’d been on the CFHQ website for about two years making guinea pigs out of my friends and visiting the only other CrossFit Gyms in the greater St. Louis area. CrossFit St. Louis and CrossFit DesPeres (renamed CrossFit Valley Park)

Valley Park was where I would visit the most when I had time. Dan and Brandon were extremely welcoming and excited to share.

I was introduced to the Olympic Lifts at CFDP and was more hooked than ever. 

I wanted that L1 knowledge. I wanted to be around people who were as excited about this new method as I was. I wanted that experience. 

I had to fly to Texas to get it.

It did not disappoint.

Our host was GSX athletics and Jeff Tucker. Tuck later became the developer of the CF Gymanstics course. My level 1 was like a who’s who of CrossFit celebrities. Nicole Caroll, Dave Castro, Pat Barber, Jeremy Thiel, Robb Wolf, Sevan Matossian, Todd Widman, Tony Budding.  I was starstruck. 

There must have been about 80 attendees. People from everywhere. So happy to be there. No egos, no drama. 

I remember the wod on the first day.

5 Rounds
5 Med Ball Cleans
5 Burpees. 

We broke into groups of 10 and took turns cheering each other on. Back in the day there was no pacing.  When my wod was done I just wanted to lay down and catch my breath but my coach dragged me up to cheer on the next athlete. My job wasn’t just to finish my workout but to encourage others to finish theirs. No one was alone in their efforts.

It was more than the exercise, it was also about fostering the community. 

Texas in March is dry. We did that wod outside in the grass. I was convinced that I inhaled a few blades of grass because I was coughing all night. Turns out…it was Fran cough. We all had it. 

The next day we were back at it. I was interviewed on camera and was featured on the HQ Website. WOW!

Robb Wolf did our nutrition talk and we chatted during the break.

Me: Hey Robb, how can I increase my push up strength?
Rob: How many push ups do you have?
Me: I don’t know
Rob: Don’t you think you should figure that out?
Me: (feeling like a dumba$$ but point well taken)

The workout that day was…


We knew it was coming, everyone did Fran at the L1.

The ladies were given the 35# bars but ran out when they got to me. We were doing Fran with empty bars and I was stuck with a 45. I looked up and said, “I don’t think I can do this” and Nicole Caroll put her hand on my shoulder, smiled and said “Sure you can”

So I did.

Empty 45# bar and some crazy box jumping kipping pull up that I made up and still teach to this day. 

I was lit up when I came down from that last pull up. So much energy in that room. So much cheering, encouragement and celebration. It was intoxicating.

After recovery time, I worked with Pat Barber on muscle up transitions and kipping pull ups with Rob Wolf. 

Rob coached me to my first pull up that day. One well placed cue, “Push away”

If you know me, you’ve heard those very words come out of my mouth. 

I carry all those memories with every class I teach. I will carry those lessons learned for the rest of my life. 



After I found CrossFit, I may have lurked on the site for 18 months. Consuming the information but not yet getting the courage to do a workout. They all looked so exciting. I’m still not sure what I was afraid of but I knew that I was afraid. I loved thinking about exercise more than doing it.

I learned the movements, practiced the squat and worked on a strict pull up.

For an early birthday gift my husband installed a pull up bar over a door in our basement. I was basically working out in a closet. 

Finally, I decided on Cindy as my first WOD

20 min. Amrap
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

The push ups were on my knees, the squats were to a wallball to ensure depth and the pull ups were banded/kipping.

The feeling of “WOW! I just did that!” is intoxicating. 

I did 13 rounds that day. Not fast but not stopping. Enjoying every minute of the work. I gained strength and experience but most importantly confidence. One 20 minute workout opened a whole world of possibilities for me. 

Later, I logged onto the HQ website and posted my results. I was now a member of this community of people who I’d never met but were giving me encouragement and positive feedback. The encouragement of strangers has no expectations, it is pure.

This feeling, more than anything is what I want to share with everyone. The encouragement of a community of strangers who are already excited for and proud of you for taking the first step. Strangers who then become your closest friends

These are the first steps of building confidence to do more and be greater.
When we are in the moment of doing our best we no longer have to limit ourselves to our or others perceptions. To surprise ourselves and actually feel our own potential. 

“Cindy” was more than just a first workout for me, it was a new beginning.


CFStC 3.0

We are moving along with re-opening the gym. 
Thank you all for your support, patience and consideration of each other.It has been amazing to see everyone in the gym. Our community is full of greatness!

This past week we…

  • Increased class size to 10 athletes
  • Added 5p classes to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

This upcoming week we will…

  • Add Friday at 9a
  • Open access to showers
  • Resume towel service

How we plan to continue to keep our members and staff safe

  • all members and staff are required to use hand sanitizer upon entering the gym and may be ask to reuse throughout the class
  • all staff and members are required to wash their hands after using the bathroom
  • Members and staff are required to observe social distancing while in class. We will continue to use our assigned boxes
  • Members and staff are required to be considerate of each other while moving around the gym
  • Members and staff will continue to wipe down equipment after use
  • Staff will wipe down door handles and bathroom surfaces after each class

Thank you all for your participation with our guidelines. These are steps that we must take to fulfill the requirements of the state mandates but most importantly to reduce risk for everyone one of you. 

Kim and crew


The Top 5 Functional Foods

If you’re more couch potato than health nut you want to take advantage of all the tips and tricks that you can. If you forget to take your vitamins or would rather skip the extra burpees then there is a great way to improve your health with 0 extra effort!

Functional foods are foods that have a health benefit beyond just their basic macronutrient content. Since eating is something you have to do, it makes sense to eat foods that give you the most bang for your buck.

Here are the five most important functional foods you can start adding to your diet today:

1. Green Tea
2. Sauerkraut
3. Blueberries
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Turmeric

1.Green Tea
Rather than reaching for that second coffee try having a cup of green tea instead! Green tea contains many polyphenols like EGCG, a catechin containing antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. Green tea can give you a mental with the potent combination of theanine and a low amount of caffeine. This helps you stay alert and focused without getting the jitters and an eventual crash. Try brewing a cup of green tea when you need a pick-me-up.

2. Sauerkraut
This sour fermented cabbage dish ranks high on the list of functional foods. High in vitamins A, C, K, and folate, sauerkraut can boost your immune system and support brain health. It’s also high in fiber which can help support your gut bacteria and improve digestive health. Sauerkraut also contains glucosinolates and ascorbigen, compounds that are known for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Add sauerkraut to sandwiches, salads, or have it on it’s own!

3. Blueberries
Blueberries are a powerhouse fruit that make for a great snack at any time. They are low glycemic so they won’t have a big impact on blood sugar and have numerous health benefits as well. Blueberries get their rich dark blue color from their abundance of anthocyanin which explains their high antioxidant content. Anthocyanins reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and cancer. Add frozen blueberries to your favorite smoothie and keep fresh blueberries around for snacking.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often considered to be an old wives tale, a home grown remedy that will fix any ailment. It may not be a cure-all but Apple cider vinegar is certainly a functional food you can benefit from. Produced through fermentation a combination of yeast and beneficial bacteria called the “mother” float in the beverage containing B-vitamins, probiotics, and polyphenols. Research has also found that taking 20 grams of apple cider vinegar significantly lowered post meal blood glucose levels. If you need a little help with digestion try adding some apple cider vinegar to a glass or water or mix it with olive oil for a tangy salad dressing.

5. Turmeric
Turmeric has been a staple in Indian cooking for thousands of years. It contains a compound called curcumin which has been shown to have numerous health benefits. Curcumin is a potent anti-Inflammatory, that may also help with chronic disease, depression, and possesses anti-carcinogenic properties. It has also been shown to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain. Don’t be afraid to get your curry on!

There you have it, the top 5 functional foods you should add to your diet today!

Blog WOD

What’s Next

We’re on to week 5! You’ve been so adaptable, and your progress is still forward moving! We’re so proud!

Thanks for trusting us during this unpredictable and unprecedented journey. You’ve taken fitness outside our four walls and it’s been big and exciting.

 Our next step is to tell you how we plan to bring us back home. We are always looking onto the next rep/step, so, we’ve got a plan!

First, online coaching continues for now. The safety and health of you all is of upmost importance, so for now we’ll be pressing forward as we have been.

We’ve tested and found that we can continue Personal Training in the gym safely! Some members have taken advantage of this in the form of one or two sessions a week to help jump start their days of At Home Fitness. They are having fantastic gains while getting to work on skills with the equipment they love and coaches they need and miss most. Right now, we can offer 4 more spots to our members! Please click on the button below to set up your sessions!

Our goal is to get you all back in our home away from home as soon as possible! When we get back to the box things will be different for a bit. We’ll have some new class times, we’ll have limits on class sizes, and we’ll have a 45-minute class time allowing a 30-minute cleaning break between classes. We’ll ask that you all don’t hangout and socialize like we’ve loved seeing you do in the past. But we’ll bring that part back ASAP, obviously.

Then shortly after, we’ll move onto business as usual. That’s when you can expect another change to class times and class attendance limits.

Finally, we’re so happy about how these At Home WODs are working out for some of you, we’ll be offering a Flex membership options. This membership will give you the option to have a hybrid membership of both At Home and At the Gym training.

While everything that’s happened has turned us all on our heads, we’re thankful for the chance to learn new and creative ways to continue to bring you the BEST training in St. Charles.


Grocery Stores and Food Stress

Things are looking really different at the grocery store these days. Some stores have plexiglass up between you and the cashier, almost everyone is in a mask, and people clear the way when they see you coming.

What can be most jarring; the empty shelves.

Your nutrition should adapt as your body and lifestyle changes, so of course, right now your food intake looks very different. We’ve got a couple tips for you! Reduce stress around food needing to be “fresh”. There are so many healthy options in the freezer section of a store.

The goal is to eat a balanced meal while going to the store less. The frozen section is a great resource during this time.

Try something new! Your staples might be hard to find. Trying something new is often a mood lifter so right now, take advantage of being forced away from your normal go-to’s

Don’t forget you still need carbs! even though you might be more sedentary, you need carbs to support your body at this time. Choose carbs like fruit and vegetables that give you more sustainable energy.
No one needs an afternoon crash right now.

Remember, your body needs varied foods, lots of sleep, and regular movement.

This stressful time is not a time for calorie reduction but it is an ideal time to nail down the basics.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with a high-calorie meal (Ahhmm wine and Easter candy), but the mismanaging of high-calorie meals, over time, becomes a problem. We’re rooting for all aspects of your health and wellness right now! Reach out is you need help managing your nutrition. We’re here to help!


3 Reasons why you should NOT stress about the gym being closed

So the gym is closed and you don’t have weights. Most of us can’t do our normal routine and may be getting frustrated or stressed that our progress will come to a halt.

If you’re stressed because you don’t want your training to go to waste but you also can’t do anything about your current circumstances what do you do?

Keep training you silly goose!

We’re about to uncover the most important things to remember about taking time away from weights and what you can do to make sure you keep those gains you’ve worked so hard to attain* (*it rhymes so it must be true).

Here’s 3 reason why you should not be stressed about the gym being closed:

1.Your strength is not going away overnight.
It takes several weeks for your body to lose strength and muscle mass. Muscles are constantly undergoing cycles of stress (exercise) and recovery. They don’t have to be constantly under stress in order to be maintained, in fact constant stress without adequate recovery will actually

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

-Marcus Aurelius

2.You have so much opportunity to attack weaknesses

Whether it’s taking time to focus on bodyweight exercises to keep strength, jumping rope and running for your conditioning, or stretching and mobilizing there is so much opportunity to attack your weaknesses! Not only that but you also have more time to dial in your nutrition and eat in a way that supports your goals. You can even practice your exercise technique without moving a muscle. Studies of athletes have shown that mental rehearsal, running through a movement, lift or routine has been shown to cause electrical activity in the muscles involved in the movement. Close your eyes and practice your technique. You might be surprised at what you can do when you get back to it!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

-Abraham Lincoln

3.Focus on what you want, not what you don’t
The most important piece when you’re unable to go to a gym is to remain calm. Nothing widdles away those hard earned muscles like cortisol. Stress levels are probably high enough with our jobs and daily routines being flipped on their head so do your best to stay calm and persevere.
If you focus on all the things you fear or worry about your brain will only find more fuel for that fire. If your internal dialogue is “I’m going to get fat or weak” then you will probably act in a manner that supports that story. If your story to yourself is “I’m going to say health no matter what” then you will most likely act accordingly.

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

-William Shakespeare

Times can be hard, but we will stick together as a community and come out on top. If there is anything we can do to help please let us know!