“They're all miracle stories. There's not one of them that doesn't have some ‘this has saved my life story'.”- Samantha Farina, on the athletes at Grandmasters Rx
Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: A Masters-Only Affiliate
Recently, it seems everywhere you turn, masters-only classes are popping up at CrossFit affiliates.
These classes are usually capped to ensure appropriate coaching and have an age minimum to participate.
But Samantha Farina from GrandMasters RX has taken this approach to another level.
The seeds were planted years ago when Farina and her husband Ed opened an affiliate in Clearwater, FL. Ed was a physical therapist, and Sam had retired from corporate health care, and together they opened CrossFit Rebels.
Farina: “Ed’s business mentor was an orthopedic surgeon with the longest-running osteoarthritis study in the southeastern United States. He still had active participants when we decided to purchase the gym, and he asked my husband if he would start a program for the living participants of this study, who were all in their 80s.”
Ed was running classes for these older patients in an office building with low ceilings and improper equipment, so as some of them progressed, they started moving the better athletes to CrossFit Rebels. After a few months, Ed discovered something.
Sam remembers: “He said, Sam, there’s something here; they’re progressing faster than the young people. They need this more than the young people; we have to keep them living independently. He and I are a little older, too. So it was starting to tug on our heartstrings.”
The couple sold the affiliate, and with that came a three-year non-compete clause, which is a common occurrence when affiliates are sold. The few older athletes that Sam was training came with them to a facility down the road, and with that interest, they began to focus on their legends program.
“We’re 55 and up because we had a three-year non-compete. It forced us to stay old. We have a waiting list of 26 right now, and we don’t have space for them–the only way we lose a member is if they die. We have lost 12 to old age, and they all lived independently until they died.”
CrossFit GrandMasters was born.
Farina wanted to make sure the facility was cool.
“It is not set up like an old person’s gym. It’s black and red, and we made it clear that it would not be a senior center. It’s pretty freakin cool.”
Everything at GrandMasters is the same as it would be at any affiliate, just aged up. The members constantly celebrate each other’s wins.
A member named Tom was on so much medication that his nickname at the gym was “Milligram,” and it greatly impacted his ability to move.
Farina: “Ed said to him, ‘Tom if you can fully get your arms over your head, I’ll take you to Hooters.’ He had never been there, and after working hard, we have pictures with him and his brother, who both trained with us, at Hooters with the Hooters waitress.”
With every win comes a loss, and with an older population, unfortunately, the losses are considerable.
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🎙️ 🎙️Jason Khalipa, 2008 CrossFit Games champion and eight-time Games athlete was a guest on the Jocko podcast yesterday and discussed his life, career in CrossFit and his successes in business, marriage and fatherhood.
CrossFit Oslo Navy Blue announced that their team, consisting of Eivind Dahl Ringard, Lena Richter, Nicolay Billaudel, Ingrid Hodnemyr and Felix Rehder will not compete together in 2024. The team took second in 2022 and third in 2023 in the Affiliate Cup.
💪🔥 FitFest 2023 VIP Events: The Birmingham, UK event featuring a Pro CrossFit Athlete showcase with some amazingly stacked teams announced a series of VIP events including workshops, Q&As with athletes, and a special elite workout on Friday, December 8. Learn more and get your tickets now.
One Hour to Go All In: The Gauntlet at TYR Wodapalooza is open for registration now. If you haven’t experienced it, The Gauntlet is a way for spectators to throw down in front of the crowds at TYR WZA and compete in some seriously tough workouts. Check out the divisions and register for a time slot now.
ICYMI: Ella Wunger competed in her first CrossFit Games in 2023, now she heads up a team at FitFest UK.
Nutrition and Training for Masters Athletes with Training Think Tank Coach Brannen Dorman
CrossFit Masters athletes have a new season structure this year and as a result, there has been considerable discussion about this population within the larger CrossFit community.
This article provides some general recommendations and suggestions regarding nutrition and training specifically for Master athletes as they prepare for and move through the season.
For information regarding training Masters athletes, we reached out to Training Think Tank Coach Brannen Dorman for his guidance.
Born Primitive Raises $100,000 for Charity Over Veteran’s Day Weekend
For the second straight year, the popular apparel company Born Primitive has donated their profits from Veteran’s Day weekend sales to charities that support veterans. And also for the second year in a row, they reached their target of $100,000.
The money will be divided between The Navy SEAL Foundation, The SEAL Future Foundation, Best Defence Foundation and Tunnel to Towers.
Remind me: Born Primitive was founded by Navy SEAL and long-time CrossFit athlete Bear Handlon and Mallory Riley in 2014 after Handlon had his seamstress neighbor sew him a pair of compression shorts.
Ten years later, the company has a huge variety of apparel to choose from—from training, to outdoor to tactical apparel—as well as a training shoe, the Savage 1, which they released earlier this year.
With 75 employees, who have more than a century of military service combined, and distribution centers around from world, from Virginia Beach to Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Israel and the Middle East, Born Primitive has donated nearly $2 million to charity to date, including $186,000 to gyms during the first wave of the pandemic.
Worth noting: The most popular Born Primitive products purchased over the Veteran’s Day weekend were the Woodsman stretchy flannel shirt, their new fleece-lined leggings, as well as their patriotic apparel, Handlon said.
The big picture: Handlon couldn’t be more proud of being able to donate $100,000 in sales from just one weekend, and he credits the CrossFit community for their support.
“Since starting out of our garage, I think it’s pretty substantial (growth) and something we’re very proud of,” Handlon said. “But it is all made possible because of our loyal customers, who get fired up and support us any time we do this. They deserve all the credit.”
He added: “When Mallory and I started this company we wanted to make sure it was about more than making apparel. We have always wanted to leverage our platform and find ways to give back. And after 10 years, (our customers) have given us the ability to do that.”
Sneak in Mobility Outside of the Gym
There are a lot of ways to add in small mobility routines to your work day or your commute. Try these few ideas, suggested by Dr. Kelly Starrett, and get paid to mobilize.
Early VIP Access to Born Primitive's Black Friday Sale
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