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!

Accountability: Get high with a little help from your friends

This is the WOD (workout of the day) that broke me:

Kelsey Rope

150 kettle bell swings
100 wall balls
50 burpees
25 inverted rows
12 back squats
6 Hand stand push ups
3 rope climbs

I had to divide it up into depressingly teenie sets: 10 kettle ball swings, 5 wall balls, 5 burpees. And even then, my brain would shut down mid-set and instead of completing rep four or five I would find myself staring at the floor.

I couldn’t see life beyond the next burpee. If the meaning of life was to suffer, I was living life to its fullest. There were only three ways out: finish the workout, hit the 40 minute time limit, or death.

Death felt more possible than finishing, but the time limit seemed the way to go.

Leaning against the squat rack, my arms were rubber, my legs were shot. I waited for the clock to hit 40, marking the end, and making this the first workout that I hadn’t completed.

But then I saw Dave hustling up the rope one last time to beat the clock. When his feet touched the ground an expression of sheer exhausted joy came across his face.

Push it to the end

Dave is a quiet dude. The first time I met him was at a noon workout. I tried to chat with him during the warmup, but he wasn’t really reciprocating, so I left him alone. Too often folks who aren’t quiet paint their own insecurities upon the silence of others. Dave didn’t want to talk; that was okay. Still, part of me was like, “I annoy this dude.”

The next workout, started and finished with a half-mile run. In between we had to do some squats, box jumps, and pullups. I had to modify the squats because my back was a little sore, so I set out on the last run before Dave. As I turned onto Jackson Street in Downtown Muncie, the homestretch of the run, I caught up with another runner.

“Come on, man, let’s push it to the end,” I encouraged him, as Dave came out of nowhere behind us. We all three sprinted across Walnut St. and into The Arsenal.

Neither of us could talk. Dave just nodded and gave me a fist bump.

Climbing together

Back to the WOD that broke me…

I was thrilled for Dave when he finished just before the 40-minute time limit expired.

“Nice job, Dave,” I said.

But I was also ashamed of myself. I, and how I was milking the last few minutes knowing the end was near. The less likely it became I would finish, the less I pushed.

I was going to leave the gym and not feel good about myself.

“I want to finish,” I said aloud. It’s as if I had to verbalize it to convince myself. I forgot about the clock.

I finished the squats. I finished the modified handstand push ups (I can’t do handstand push ups when I’m NOT exhausted, so I do them with my feet on a box). Then I was just three rope climbs away from being done.

I stared up at the rope. Fifteen feet never looked so high. Half way up my feet lost hold of the rope and I about slid down.

“Come on, Kelsey,” Coach Emily said. “You’ve got this.”

I redoubled my efforts and slapped the ceiling. One down.

Up again. Slapped the ceiling. The second one was made even more difficult by the knowledge that I had one more to go.

There’s a point when you run a marathon–or at least when I ran a marathon one time–where you get your second wind, but it’s the point after that where your joints feel like bone-on-bone and your muscles like Silly Putty where you really want to quit. Your mind searches for a thousand reasons to quit, but your soul for the one reason to continue.

“I’ll do the last one with you,” Dave said.

In three workouts with him, this may have been the longest sentence he had ever uttered to me.

Dave grabbed the rope next to mine.

“Reach high,” Dave said. “Let’s get it in three pulls.”

I climbed it for me. I climbed it for Dave.

We can only push ourselves so much, only hold ourselves accountable to a certain standard. If we want to climb to the next level, we need help to push us further and hold us accountable to a higher standard.

My time of 45:03 didn’t show on the Leaderboard, but I finished. I couldn’t have done it alone.

Want to see what accountability looks like? Stop in to watch or join a WOD.