GRIT Fall Session


With race season around the corner, the focus on the Fall session will complement your steady runs with time and distance based pacing manipulations. We will still use some overloading techniques, such as sandbags, hills and stairs, but the primary focus will be getting you in peak race condition.The Fall session is for anyone who:

  • Wants to compliment their race training with interval training
  • Improve their anaerobic and aerobic energy systems
  • Enjoys running focused workouts
  • Learn how to control your pacing

Tuesdays will blend overload training and time-based intervals. The purpose of these workouts is to help runners develop a stronger sense of their pacing through feel. The aim is to promote consistency and performance through the feedback that your body provides you.

The track provides the opportunity to match our distance and time pacing, and this allows to target our energy systems with some greater accuracy.


GRIT is built on an evolving philosophy that training should focus first on the individual, and second, we workout together because who share the goals of being healthy and fit while having fun. The phrase that I use to remember this is ‘Own Your Lane’. This is intended to express, in part, the following:

  • Understand your own unique movement patterns, body type, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
  • Measure your own performance
  • Learn from those around me, but don’t compare myself to them
  • Stick to your own values
  • Keep moving forward


The Athlete Debrief is an opportunity for one-on-one conversations with Coach Andrew. The conversations can cover any topic or issue that you want to address, including race preparation, program design, personal goals, etc. The floor is yours to discuss any topic that is important to you. And, it’s free. 

To book a time, send Andrew a Facebook message or email him at

Structure: Confidence in Motion

Confidence in motion. That’s been the theme of Structure thus far. By showing people how to engage the right muscles properly, and push the intensity in the right way, they have gained increased awareness of their own bodies.

As a result, they are now more confidently expressing their body’s abilities. It’s been a privilege to watch that happen. I’m seeing all of my participants slowly open up and get more confident and comfortable actually using their bodies, and that makes me really proud as a coach and a human being. They’re having a lot of fun in the process as well, but maybe that’s just because they’re scheming to harm me.

In reality, it’s all about widening the base. By focusing on increasing awareness through exercises that most people don’t do on a regular basis, we are widening the base. When we’ve established awareness of the role of certain muscles, we focus on moving better by using that newfound awareness in movements that may already be familiar to the athlete. Enhanced awareness leads to better movement.

Currently, there are two cycles of Structure ongoing: Upper Body in the evenings, and Lower Body in the mornings. We hit the sleds together on Saturday mornings. Whether it’s upper or lower body, the aims are similar and the underlying principles are the same. I want to make those who have entrusted me with their fitness move safer first, by creating more awareness of the role of certain muscles in the body during certain movements.

Only when you’ve learned to adequately create tension and stability, should you focus on moving faster. Moving faster should not necessarily be a priority if you can’t support your joints at the speed you’re moving at. Structure is all about enhancing that ability through increased awareness and stability.

It’s about broadening the foundation for movement through exercises that target underutilized muscles in order to allow you to create more tension–or torque–throughout your body when you move. This leads to increased strength, stability, and ultimately speed, just to name a few factors.

If you want to do muscle ups, or back squat double or triple your bodyweight, you have to build the musculature to be able to support those forces or loads first. This is where most people go wrong, in my opinion–which results in more overuse injuries than I’d like to see in our gym. How frustrating is an injury? The feeling that you’re losing all of your hard-earned progress, completely messing up your routine, and the loss of confidence in your body’s ability to move as you’d like it are really tough to deal with.

Structure is my way to try to prevent or at least stop these injuries and help people reach their actual potential safely.

If you’re interested in seeing for yourself, contact me and you can come try a Saturday morning session with us. We don’t bite, although a few of us have thrown up (not on each other, thankfully). The more the merrier. We’d love to see you on a Saturday!

Sept 1 – Off

Sept 8 – 9 AM

Sept 15 – 9 AM

If you have questions, talk to me in person, or shoot me an email at Details for the next cycles of Structure are still being finalized. You can stay up-to-date by liking or following Structure Training TO on Facebook or Instagram.

New Programming Focus: August-September 2018

Great job everyone on completing the programming focus. Leading into our ‘416 Classic’ at the end of September, we will be spending a lot of time improving technique and the strength in the olympic lifts.  First week and last week will be your testing a variety of WOD’s and lifts; with the last week leading into the Classic

Here’s what you can expect over the next 8 weeks:

Olympic Lifting 

As our main area of focus, get ready for some fun with the traditional lifts, barbell complexes, and supplementary work.  We will work from different starting positions, and build a better engine to execute these technical movements under fatigue.                                                       


We will prioritize strength in front squat and strict press. In the beginning, you will see lots of volume to build muscle mass, then we will move to tempo lifts to help develop the ability to receive heavy load in the squat and overhead, and then in the final weeks we will prioritize absolute strength with low reps and high percentages.


We’re going to challenge your gymnastic skills with heavy lifting in WOD’s. You will have time to practice fundamentals, learn skills and improve your strict gymnastics strength.


Fixing imbalances should never take a back seat (ask Gys).  You will see unilateral movements in our strength work as supersets.  Don’t hide on these days.  Finding and eliminating your weaknesses is the magic in improving fitness.


Nope. No getting away from our dear metcons.  We’ve got some very challenging WOD’s coming up that will have a focus on intensity and building stamina in our lifts.  We all love the Assault Bike!!!!!


This 8 week focus will be 7 days of programming with lots of variation.  If you’re new to Olympic lifting don’t get intimidated. This will be a great opportunity to dial the technical aspects of  Snatch, Clean and Jerk.   

All of your coaches are so excited to train you for better movement quality. We challenge you to be a sponge strive to understand the reason for each movement in order to optimize your training. Please trust your coaches and the process. Don’t forget to listen to your body and rest when you need it (which is a lot more than you think).  Most importantly have so much fun.


Saying Goodbye to Coach Rachel

Hey CrossFit 416,

It’s with great sadness that I write this blog post to announce that Rachel will be stepping away from coaching at CrossFit 416.

Imagine waking every day at 5am, walking to a dark gym, and being radiant enough to light up a room. That’s what a coach does, and Rachel is a shining example of a Coach.

Rach was hired as the first full-time employee at CrossFit 416 and has been instrumental in growing the gym to where it is today.  She did her job professionally, with empathy, and with a huge heart.

Rach came to us back in 2012 while working as a personal trainer, looking to try CrossFit. Her intro workout was a combination of running, squatting, push-ups and pull-ups.  It’s hard to imagine now, but she did those push-ups on her knees, and used a green band for the pull-ups.  She quickly began to excel as an athlete, but shined even brighter as part of the community.

During her time at 416, Rach wore a lot of hats.  She coached, ran specialty programs, events, competitions, and challenges;  she designed the class programming, and focused on helping the coaches deliver the best class experience for our members.

Smiling, laughing, and dancing would best describe one of Rachel’s classes.  Her enthusiasm, dedication, and breadth of knowledge is what makes her such an incredible coach.

We could not be prouder to have had her on our team for this long.  We’re gonna miss her, but will cherish all of the amazing memories we had.  This is more of a “see you later” than “goodbye”, as she will still continue to be part of our community as an athlete.

We will be hosting a “thank you” WOD for Rach at 12:30pm on Sunday.  Everyone is welcome.


Barbell Breakdown: Wrap Up

What a fantastic 4 weeks. I had such a great time coaching my 8 athletes through Olympic lifting progressions to better their technique and understanding of the Clean, Jerk and Snatch. We focused on mobility, the importance of jumping and landing and the big one – using the appropriate weight that will allow you to perform with optimal movement, speed and power. Once that is established, then weight can be added. Through doing this, we were able to find slight faults in each athletes movement that had been leading to frustration and missed lifts. By the end of the 4 weeks, movement had tightened up substantially. We had a few PR’s and many many movement PR’s (which are the most important in my opinion!). The biggest take away for me and the participants was establishing a better understanding of how and why a movement is performed or why certain muscles need to be used and engaged. This greater understanding equates to better movement and better speed and power generation. It’s not just moving aimlessly, it’s understanding how to control your body to create maximum output.
            – Coach Hannah

GRIT: Posture and Performance

Improve your performance by improving your posture.

Posture in an incredibly simple concept to understand. When asked to stand or sit up straight, we can quickly adjust our position. Most people at an intermediate level of fitness can maintain good posture while executing a lift in low reps at moderate weight. But, when it comes to controlling our body’s position while running or over high-reps, especially when fatigue starts to set in, posture is the first thing go.

In the words of Coaches Dan Pfaff and Stu McMillan, this is why there is a need for what is called “Active Alert Posture”.  This is defined as a balance of your joints (ankle, knees, hips, lower back, head and neck) and all muscle groups working in balance.

On two separate podcasts this week and during my weekend reading, the topic of posture and performance came up.  Both legends in their respective fields, track and field coach Boo Schexnayder and master back expert Dr. Stuart McGill both noted that posture is the single most overlooked determining factor for predicting performance. And, remember the words of Dr. Kelly Starrett:

“Mechanics are the heart of every legit/complete strength and conditioning program. Fitness, strength, power, etc. are all SIDE effects.”

Developing Active Alert Posture is not as simple as telling yourself to stay tall while you’re moving. This is a good place to start, but it does not account for chronic movement patterns that may be caused restrictions in your system. During this current GRIT cycle, I started photographing running strides and showing each person how they moved. This simple feedback raised self-awareness and caused some self-corrections, but it is only one element.

I highly recommend that each athlete become their own self-expect by learning to listen to their body’s pain signals, identifying restricted movement patterns, developing better proprioception, reflecting on the exercises that help or hinder freedom of movement, etc.  As a coach, I see part of my role is to provide feedback based on what I observe, but the athlete has the ultimate responsibility to commit to improving how they move.

There are few certainties in the fitness world, but it is hard to argue with the advice that if you improve your posture, not only will your performances improve, your general well-being will too.