Next Evolution in Training and Programming

The coaching staff at The Arsenal has been working hard training, researching and investing in time with some of the most talented coaches in the world. Through those experiences throughout 2014, we continued to evolve our programming as you, our athletes, continue to evolve. Your progress is the most fun and challenging part of our role as coaches because as you advance we continue to seek out guidance from the worlds best minds in coaching to grow along with you.

Programming: Evolved

Debuting in January, you’ll see that our programming cycle will be notably different.

The purpose behind this is the following:

  • More diverse athletes, in terms of level of fitness and goals, requires a broader blocks of training to meet everyone’s needs in our membership. There will be upwards of 2 hours plus worth of work each day that is available.  Note: our class time will still be a deliberate 60 minutes.
  • WODs and strength are going to flow together on some days, in that there will be no dedicated ‘strength’ as the work load in the WOD will make up the strength portion of the hour.
  • Given our focus on GPP (General Physical Preparedness), our workouts are intended to be constantly varied and functional; however, there are certain aspects of our programming going forward that will be intentionally targeting specific movements and muscle groups multiple times per week.

CrossFit Games Open

Much of the focus of our intermediate to advanced athletes will be toward a strong performance in the CrossFit Open coming up at the end of February.  This is the time of year that we train for and look to measure ourselves against the rest of the world.  Please consider if signing up for the CrossFit Open is right for you here.

To learn a bit more about the flavor of the event check out the video below:

We had nearly 50 athletes compete representing in 2014.  We hope to double that number in 2015, as you all have worked hard and are indeed ready to take on this challenge. We will be hosting a dedicated event the evening that each workout is released and providing athletes a first try at the workout.

The release schedule is below: (mark your calendars)

15.1: February 26 -March 2
15.2: March 5-9
15.3: March 12-16
15.4: March 19-23
15.5: March 26-30

So on the evening of February 26th, we will be watching the live feed of the workout being released, then warming up to complete the workout together. Keep your eye on our calendar for schedule updates related to this.

Other News

Other notes to be aware of coming up in February are:

  • Check in for Muncie Charities will begin.  Our first local not-for-profit will be introduced within the next few weeks. Your check-ins are going to raise money in OUR community each month, and we will be taking requests each month for worthy causes that you bring to us.
  • New class schedule.  This has been more challenging than expected given so many requests. We are going to introduce the plan next week, and then start the new schedule two weeks later so our athletes can plan accordingly. We hope this new schedule provides more opportunities for those who were pressed to get into the box each day on our current schedule.

It has already been a great start to the year, and we are as excited as ever heading into spring with you all!

CrossFit Total, Programming and Attendance this week

Are you ready for the CrossFit Total?  We don’t typically share what the programming is going to look like in the coming week because we are CrossFit, which means General Physical Preparedness or GPP.  This means you cannot preview workouts and cherry pick the ones that favor your strengths, or that morning’s weather forecast.  You wake up and you get your tail into the box to put in your work that has been carefully programmed to test you at whichever level of GPP you have.

This Wednesday, you will be tested with the CrossFit Total.  Read the article in the link and ready yourself mentally heading into Wednesday.  This is one of the most important days for you to get to The Arsenal all year!  Why?  This will be setting your baseline for functional strength.  We will be using this baseline for a major strength program we will be starting the following week.

Note this quote from the article for our CrossFit newbies:

If you don’t have a damn good idea of what you can do for a heavy triple, you don’t need to be doing a CrossFit Total yet.

Know thyself, and if you are not ready for these heavy lifts, use this as an opportunity to build upon your strength base.  For those who know, make it a serious point to get into the box on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week because the programming is tailored to ready you for optimal performance.  This shouldn’t be a challenge for most of you because our attendance over the past month has been better than ever!

We have some great things planned as we close out the year, and we need some serious commitment from The Arsenal athletes (you!)  Read the article and get to the box.

August updates: Students, Dragons and WODs

There has been a great deal of work going on this summer on the part of your coaching team at The Arsenal and

Summer Dragon Fest!

This Saturday from 9 AM – 3 PM come and workout with a partner during our member only competition.  There will be no classes on Saturday for the competition, and as you’ve already seen in our last post, the workouts are all things you’ve had experience with as a member.  This is a REAL opportunity for you and your coaches to see where you stand with our foundation movements and in your progress as an athlete.  We still have room for a couple more teams and they can be male/male, female/female or female/male, so there should be nothing stopping you and your CrossFit bff from signing up.

Register Now

We could also use some help at 8:15 PM on Friday August 29th in getting the box set up for the comp, just show up ready to help.

BSU and Ivy Tech Student Semester and Month-to-Month Packages

We are now offering, for a limited time, student memberships for $125 month-to-month and $450 semester packages (equivalent to $100 per month).  You will need a valid student ID and proof of a full class load to qualify.  We are already over the expected number of new students signing up, so this opportunity will not gone on indefinitely.   Please share with any student who would enjoy becoming part of our amazing community of both Muncie resident athletes and students!

Ball State students can get an unlimited membership with a valid Ball State I.D.

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Monthly Membership


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Semester Membership

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Interested in volunteering for child watch in return for a membership to The Arsenal?

We are looking to increase our bench strength of child watch volunteers at The Arsenal for these time frames each week:

  • 8 AM – 9 AM Monday – Friday
  • 4 PM – 7 PM Monday – Friday
  • 9 AM Saturday

We are looking for anyone who we can confidently schedule into each week.  Reliable transportation and a dedicated regular time would be preferred.  If interested please fill out the form on this link and Erica will be in back in touch with additional requirements for the job.  Please email with interest.

WODs and Programming notes

Our Workouts of the Day are programming each week by your coaches after a lot of homework and a hard look at the work we have completed over the previous weeks.  You are competing and training with CrossFit, which is for GPP (General Physical Preparedness), so it is vital that we are getting enough reps/sets/duration of foundation movements and weightlifting while at the same time getting creative with new movements and exercises.

For example, during Fran (21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull ups) this month, we had nearly 30 personal bests scored by our athletes.  Is that a surprise?  No.  Our programming is constantly hammering at front squats, push press, cleans, ring rows, dips, pull ups, rope climbs, back squats, sit ups, etc.  We are programming to build each athlete into a GPP machine.  Someone whose body is ready for anything, at anytime.  We are driven by empirical data in how we train our athletes, and how each of our athletes should be judging her/his progress.

If you have any questions about our programming and/or rationale please discuss with any coach on staff.

Closing Comment

Know yourself.  We are witnessing great feats by athletes of all ages and skill levels at The Arsenal, which is terrific!  However, we are also witnessing people making poor decisions with injuries or ‘soon to be’ injuries.  Your coaching staff provides feedback based on our experience and education on when each member should dial it back, LISTEN TO US.  Hurting yourself isn’t proving your toughness, it is precluding you from working out consistently at a high level and likely causing further damage to your body.  You are amazing.  Period.  Your teammates and your coaches do not question your toughness or your will.  The question we have for you is if you have the self-awareness, humility and IQ to know when your body is telling you to stop.

This ‘stop’ may only be for a few days, but for some may be a week or a month.  If we are looking at a longer duration of rest/recoup/recovery, then we will work with you to ensure the your membership is extended those number of days.  Our goal is straightforward, and it is about taking care of the whole you.  If you cannot stay healthy, then you cannot workout.  If a coach goes as far to recommend you see a doctor for a nagging injury, LISTEN.  We always work within our level of competence when prescribing exercise, nutrition and mobility.  We will tell you when we simply don’t know, and you need to see your doctor.

Your team of coaches is proud of you, and wants to be part of your journey that involves both working hard and making responsible long term decisions with your health.  CrossFit is for nearly everyone, if (and only if) you know yourself and demonstrate decision making that keeps you healthy.  CrossFit crimes are committed in most cases by those operating outside of her/his mental/physical competence for a workout or those trying to ‘power through’ an injury.

It remains an honor to work, sweat and play with each of you.  Looking forward to an amazing September!

Tuhey Pool

Pool Workouts: The Next Level of Awesome!

Tuhey Pool

Tuhey Pool

Partnering Up to Get Down!

This Summer we are partnering up with White River Aquatics and Tuhey Pool in Muncie to offer a series of 13 pool workouts to our members!  The workouts start this Thursday, June 5th and alternate every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the Summer.  These workouts will be at our 6, 7, 8 & 9AM sessions only so plan ahead and bring your swimsuit and goggles.

Taking it to the Next Level

Pool workouts offer a whole new level of intensity for CrossFitters.  The cardiovascular demands of swimming and the added resistance of water to ordinary movements make these workouts the mac-daddy of metabolic conditioning!  Combine the pool with dry-land exercise and you get the 1-2 punch combo that will accelerate your fitness like never before.  Make no mistake, we aren’t talking about the dog days of summer here, laying out by the pool soaking up the sun, this is hard work in the water.

Next-Level Fitness for Everyone

As always, our workouts are scalable to all fitness levels.  So don’t worry about the workouts being too hard or not being able to swim like Michael Phelps.  Bring your swimsuit and goggles and come to the pool workouts this summer!

Pool Workout dates*:

June – 5, 10, 19 & 24

July – 3, 8, 17, 22 & 31

August – 5, 14, 19 & 28

*These pool workouts are outdoors, so the weather may cause us to cancel them.  Don’t worry, we have backup workouts for every pool workout! We will meet up at The Arsenal for all Pool Workouts unless otherwise stated in the workout on the Daily WoD.

2014 Arsenal Spring Challenge Workouts

The 2014 Arsenal Spring Challenge Workouts are listed below. Train and prepare for an exciting member-only mini-competition!

WOD #1
5:00 AMRAP

15 Toes To Bar
10 Bar-Facing Burpees
5 Thrusters 95/65

WOD #2
6:00 AMRAP

30 American KB Swings 45/35
15 Hand Release Push-ups

WOD #3
7:00 to complete 1K row for time.

5:00 Deadlift AMRAP (clock starts at the end of the first 7 minute period)
10×185/135, 5×225/155, 3×255/175, 2×280/185, 1×315/225, 335/265 for Max Reps

1K row for time.

Score = (Combined 2K time) – (1 second per rep from AMRAP)

Happy Training!

Register Today

The Arsenal Open Assessment & Tailored Programming Suite

2014 is a year of investment in the level of coaching and programming for our members at The Arsenal and  As part of that investment Coach John, Adam and BJ invested two days at the OPT Athlete Camp to build our suite of elite programming for all level of athlete at our box.  The results will be realized by all of our members at our daily workouts (WoDs) in general.  The bigger news is that  we will have a new level of tailored programming that is assessment/data based as well as affordable to our members.  Listen below to what this Arsenal Open Assessment and Tailored Programming suite and learn if it is for you:

Buy the Assessment battery and 8 weeks of Tailored Programming:  $120

Buy the Assessment only:  $20

Per our conversation above, the 2 day assessment battery is $20 and will provide each athlete actionable data on her/his abilities in critical areas of overall fitness.  8 weeks of programming will be tailored from that data as well as coaching throughout that period for $100.  For those members considering personal training/private coaching, this option will give you that next step in coaching/assessment that we are unable to deliver within a 1 hour daily WOD.  Personal training and private coaching can run $60 per session upwards of $700 per month, and for The Arsenal members we are offering this suite to bring the results we know will come for a manageable investment.

There will be limited space due to the more time intensive work provided by your coaches, so act quickly.  The first day of Assessment is Monday January 20th and can be registered for via our schedule.  You’ll see two opportunities throughout the day to make this happen:

Register for Monday January 20th Assessments.  The available times are 6 AM, 2 PM and 6 PM.  If you cannot make any of those sessions, please reach out to us via “CONTACT” and include “assessment” in your note to us, and we will schedule you separately.

Below are two documents that provide further background on the assessment and tailored programming suite.

2014 CrossFit Open Training Overview (1)

2014 CrossFit Open Training Assessment Breakdown

We are thrilled about this evolution in our programming, and are eager to welcome our first team through this 8 week cycle leading you through the 2014 CrossFit Open!  If you have any questions please reach out to us via “CONTACT” or in person at The Arsenal.

The CrossFit Games Open at The Arsenal — Why should I do this?

Before we (John and BJ) give you some solid rationale for why YOU (Mom, athlete, dad, son, grandma, grandpa, new, old, etc.) should compete in the CrossFit Games Open, please watch the short video below:

1. YOU earned the right to compete!

That’s right.  Even if you are in week one of your CrossFit training life, you deserve this because you’ve made a commitment to yourself.  You are a part of a global community, and this is the annual event that celebrates that reality.  This event connects you to virtually every CrossFitter around the world, and enables an even greater level of community than you experience in our  box day to day.

2.  True benchmarks of your progress

If this is your first go around at The CrossFit Games Open, then you’re going see that each of the 5 workouts released will be rigidly scored by one of the coaches at your affiliate (in your case, Muncie CrossFit).  This will be a clean, effective and true evaluation of where you are at right now with your fitness and the quality of your movements.

3.  It is for EVERYONE, even non-members of The Arsenal

We are going to invite every person who signs up for the CrossFit Games Open, to come in and get their official workout judged here at The Arsenal.  We will host 5 dedicated sessions for non-Arsenal members throughout the 5 weeks of the open.  This is a big deal because anyone who completes their workout at an affiliate does not have to submit video evidence of their score.  Otherwise, the athlete will need to take a strictly enforced video to submit as proof of their score.  If you are elite already, and are likely going to make it to the Central East CrossFit Games Regional, then you will need video evidence of each workout regardless.  However, that will be a reality for only a handful of athletes in Delaware County.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Learn more about the CrossFit Games on the official CrossFit Games website here.

2. Ask a staff member about specialized assessment and training for the 2014 CrossFit Open.

Schedule yourself for Open Workout 14.1 via this link. We will open our doors to the public on Friday, February 28th at 10am for 14.1.  Members can sign up for many more available times via our calendar!

We will be hosting a CrossFit Games Open fireside chat at The Arsenal on 1.15.2014 at 8:15 PM to answer questions and to allow everyone to sign up for the open that night.  It happens to be the first day you are able to sign up, why not celebrate it and do it together!  This will also be the time and place to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have about competing in the open or how we will conduct open workouts at The Arsenal.

This is a BIG DEAL for anyone in the CrossFit community, and we are so excited to be an affiliated host site for such a fun, challenging and global demonstration of the sport of fitness.  See you all on the 15th!

The horrible truth about elite training

Recently I’ve been immersed in visiting fellow CrossFit affiliates, going to coaching and athlete camps, reading the best literature by the greatest coaches walking Earth and there is a theme emerging.  The theme is that the ideas at the pillars of elite training are, well… dull and boring.  So much so that we tend to just ignore them.  Coach Dan John should be credited with that simple statement.

Olympic Lifts:  Snatch, clean and jerk.  Power lifts:  Squat, bench press and deadlift.  Classic exercises/gymnastics:  Pull-ups, burpees and push ups.

The fact remains that most of us cannot effectively complete these lifts in repetition with a PVC pipe, let alone throw serious weight.  The downside of a WOD, is that it is the expression of movements that each of us should be competent in before we add load or even consider Rx.

Rule of Thumb:  If I cannot execute the lift effectively with a PVC bar, I am not ready to WOD/Met-con with any additional weight.  

A Crossfit workout is the result of effective, repetitive, consistent, methodical, deliberate and exhaustive practice of the pillars of elite training.  We don’t WOD to get better at these movements, we WOD to use these movements as utility in metabolic conditioning.  We come to WOD because it is fast paced, competitive and interesting.  We ignore the fundamentals because they are dull, repetitive and boring.   Can you now see why we see such heinous images of people attempting a WOD before they have demonstrated competence in these movements?  (If you question this just type Crossfit into YouTube and brace yourself)

Here is your take home assignment:  

1. Write down the lifts/movements that you cannot demonstrate competency.  Write down the answer of this question under that list:  How many minutes have I deliberately trained these movements in the past week?

2. Present this list to your coach at The Arsenal.  We will then prescribe a training plan to build your competence in those lifts/movements.

We will not get better and remain healthy if we do not demonstrate competent execution of these lifts/movements every day, every WOD, all the time at The Arsenal.  For those nursing injuries, ask yourself, what is the likelihood that I was executing the lift/movement effectively?  If you have even a question about your confidence, ask a coach to put eyes on your lift.  That is why we are here.

The good news is that we are getting significantly better as group, but there are a percentage of us whose egos and concern about appearance are getting in the way of competence in the pillars of elite training.

Ask yourself:  Am I that person?

Memorial Day Murph by Muncie CrossFit

Memorial Day Murph

Memorial Day Murph

It was raining when I woke up at 0400.

It rained through breakfast and on my car as I drove to DC Barbell for the morning workouts.  The whole time I was at DC it rained, really hard.  At 0530 I was worried the Murph would be a wash, but I remained optimistic and told the Facebook that we were going to do the Murph even if it rained as long as it was safe.  At 0815 Greg met me at DC and we set up the course and placed the water bottles, cups and bands, then high-tailed it back to Saint Mary’s to meet the CrossFitters!  The rain stopped and by 0900 we had a dozen people in the parking lot ready to get started.  When the warm up started, there were 22 people in the parking lot doing walking knee-hugs and accelerations!

Warm Up

Warming up before the Murph

At 3-2-1-GO,

everyone blazed the 1 mile route to the pull-up bars behind the Fire Station on Tillotson near IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.  There they completed 100 pull-ups, 200 push ups, and 300 squats; some with a 20 pound armor vest!  The event was grueling.  Forty to fifty minutes of nearly continuous movement designed to challenge even the most fit athletes completed by all 22 participants!  For a video of the event and results check out our YouTube channel.

Pull ups

Burning up the bars!

It’s a weird kind of fun…

Everyone suffered, but when it was all done everyone cheered and clapped as the finishers crossed the broken asphalt in the parking lot we used as a finish line.  The Arsenal Army is mentally tough, physically disciplined and destined for greatness!!  You showed up today and dominated the Murph.


Arsenal Army Exercise

The Arsenal Army hard at work!

weighted pullups

Greg, David, and Frank doing the Murph with a 20# vest!

For more pictures check out out Facebook photo album!

Tell us about your MDM in the comments!