In the past few weeks, I learned (or had them smacked in my face!) a few things about myself and my training life.
The first one occurred on a Wednesday morning, when after 2 good days of Oly lifts and sprinting, I was really tight, all over! Now as mobility guy, I knew how the approach this issue. Easy warmup run, lacrosse ball work, movement drills, some improvement. I thought to myself, “I’ll just ease into my back squat warmup sets.”. First rep at 135#, I felt some thing give in my back. Dumb. Turned out it was a tight Quadratus limborum (QL). A couple of extra mobility work and some active made realize I need to listen to my body more.
First realization: Work hard then let my body recover on my schedule.

This rest break allowed me to set or equal 3 PRs in 2 days this past Friday & Saturday: 245# Clean(=), 275# Front Squat (PR), & 185# Snatch(=). All without great training leading up to it.

But I felt great! This leads me to #2. The goal of feeling good more often than feeling worn out. Let me explain.
During my competitive rugby days, I was always sore or had some niggling pain. 10 months a year. For 8 years. It was always something: sore shoulder, sore knee, broken finger, head trauma. Sometimes I was out for a season, PCL tear in 2000 & 2002, deep knee bruising in 2004 (which lead to my retirement in 2006). it wasn’t until after leaving week-in-week-out competition, that I realized one could feel really good all the time!
I know: silly fitness specialist! But I was a gluten for punishment, always the smallest guy on the field, blah blah blah. Always pushing!
Now to my second point. I had returned to that state of constant soreness and fatigue. Pushing each training session to the max without taking a true measure of results. So after my back decided it was time to take a break, I hit 3 PRs in 2 days. This woke me up and this week I adjusted my plan to be more mindful of technique and speed, less on crushing workload and better planned rest.
I realize it is only 4 days into this new training cycle, but yesterday’s rest day after a heavy Tuesday training day has me feeling great! Better than I have felt on a Thursday in months. Not tired!

Armed with this new outlook on feeling good most of the time and letting my body recover the way it wants not the program, I am excited to train and compete this fall. Both events this fall, September 15 at the Cloudy Town Throwdown, a CrossFit-style event against all ages(which I am on the older end) and October 6th’s Old Boy Rugby Game (which I am on the younger end) will present physical challenges.
Combine both of these with the daily work of fatherhood and running a small business, I must more focused on the whole package.
This way I train so hard. This is way I must train smart. When we forget, the training life has a way of helping you remember the way forward.


Save the house cleaning for later!  Get to the gym for some Snatches!

Start the year off right by getting some coaching on your quick lifts.

Olympic Lifting Clinic

Sign up Here!

Work on your Weightlifting foundation.  We will cover all the basics of the Clean, Jerk, and Snatch with plenty of time on the lifts.  Come and learn some new drills and have Ryan McDowell watch your lifts and get some coaching on your Snatch!

Sign up Here!


Tangletown Crossfit

4632 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55419


Back Squats & Box Jumps!

Strength is one foundations of any Conditioning program.  This is accepted truth.  How we apply this is where the art of this whole business is most evident.  Strength  coaches and trainers the world over use exercises in various combinations for all sorts of reasons: speed-strength, absolute strength, Reactive ability, GPP, etc.

All of those reasons are valid and is what makes programming scientifically based. But, one of the artful natures of programming is keeping your athletes engaged and excited about training.  No matter if your clients or athletes are DI stars or business professionals just trying to keep up with their kids, Having them excited to train by making it fun boosts their committment, and therefore, gains.  Variety is the spice of training.

Crossfit has really made this idea front and center.  Why else would we all log on to “HQ” everyday with glee to see what is on tap for the next morning? Why do people   talk about “Fran” and “Dianne” with love/hate.  Why do people talk about minimal shoes in ways not heard 5 years ago? (“Do I need a flat-soled shoe or a running shoe? Can I lift in my running shoes? Can I still wear the minimal shoe for my 5-mile runs?”)

And now more people are learning to Snatch then ever before. Why? It’s FUN!!!  But we have to build programs which follow a path; One with some fun obstacles, not a random meander through the forest. Building a plan with purpose and variety is proper path through trees.

Variety is the way to get people excited about training.

Smart, Artful, Dedicated Programming will keep them in your gym for years to come.

-Ryan McDowell

Workout of the Day:

Front Squat

Find 3RM (Warmup, then 1 or 2 sets)


5 Rounds:

10 Ring Rows

200’ Farmer Carry, as heavy as possible

Maxmead Fitness will be at RunAway Shoes in Green Bay and Appleton, WI for Mobility Mini-clinics on February 11th, 2012.

Come and Learn:

  • How Better Movement makes you run faster!
  • 2 Mobility Drills the Pros use

Learn some New Mobility Drills and Check out the New Shoes for 2012


Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

Green Bay Store @1:00pm

Appleton Store @3:00pm

Congratulations to Team Maxmead Athlete Christy Ringgenberg!

Christy was selected to attend this week’s USA Rugby Womens’ National Team High Performance Camp in Lakeland, Florida.

Along with participating in the Elite 7s Camp, Christy will be an assistant coach for the Women’s Collegiate All-Americans.

Christy is the incumbent Womens’ National 7s Team Captain. She is a member of the Minnesota Valkyries and the First Team Maxmead Athlete!

Check out the Rugby Mag.com article here.

Congratulations Christy!





Save the house cleaning for later!  Get to the gym for some Snatches!

Start the year off right by getting some coaching on your quick lifts.

Olympic Lifting Clinic

Sign up Here!

Work on your Weightlifting foundation.  We will cover all the basics of the Clean, Jerk, and Snatch with plenty of time on the lifts.  Come and learn some new drills and have Ryan McDowell watch your lifts and get some coaching on your Snatch!

Sign up Here!


Try this Hip Warmup today!

Sign up for the Dynamic Mobility W0rkshop

Sunday, December 11th, 12:00pm

@Crossfit Minnesota

Check out Maxmeadfitness.com

Maxmead Fitness

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Coaching, Crossfit, Culture, Events

New Name, New Website!

Click here to check out MAXMEAD FITNESS, My new home!

Every few weeks, the trainers at Crossfit Minnesota get to talking about the Crossfit Community: How CFMN fits in, Is our programming working, where is the community heading.  These chats range across subjects and recently the topic of culture came up. As Crossfit hits double-digit Twin City affiliates and may approach 3000 worldwide this year,  we wonder if the culture of Crossfit is getting to0 extreme, too fad-ish.  Yes, there are examples of this (vulgar t-shirts slogans, bragging about ripped hands and “Fran” times while bashing every other fitness program).  However, the more I think about it, read what Affiliate blogs are saying, and review what other “brands” of fitness are promoting, Crossfit is right where we what to be: Promoting a life-style of good eating, great exercise, and fun living.

Several of our staff are seasoned competitive athletes who worry about the “sport of fitness” label whereby Crossfit competitions are just about winning at exercise (paraphrasing Kenny Powers here).  Whereas Crossfit is one of best, if the best, general conditioning programs for sport in the fitness world today, it is certainly creating a new avenue for athletes to compete. My thoughts are this:  I am still a competitor.  And I am not be able to compete at the higher level of my choosen sport (Rugby) any longer.  However, fitness competitions allow me opportunity to commit to a training plan, experience the thrill of competition, and still prepare me to live my daily life as an active husband, father, and friend.

Several great examples of communities that are upholding the many pillars of the Crossfit lifestyle are Sicfit.com, the affiliates of Santa Cruz, CA, home of Crossfit (CF Santa CruzCF WestCF Santa Cruz Central), and Crossfit Balboa/SoCal S&C.  Each of this affiliates are building great athletes who are going back to compete in their chosen sport: water polo, football, surfing, sailing, endurance sports, weightlifting.  As well as creating the next CF Games monsters these affiliates are building elite communities which will stand the test of any “fitness fad” and remain dedicated devotees of constantly varied high intensity functional movement.

The lesson here is to help any athlete train for whichever competition he/she chooses to attempt and build a group of like-minded people who will support those endeavors.  Check out Crossfit Chronicles “First 50 Days of CrossFit” article.

Crossfit is not just for the elite Games competitor.

It is for the parents who want to downhill ski with their kids for many years to come.

It is for martial artist who needs a good S&C program.

It is for the triathlete who competes for podium-finishes at local races.

It is for the football player preparing for the rigors of the season.

It is for anyone who will make the commitment to themselves to be the best human they want to become.

The values that each Crossfit affiliate uses to forge elite fitness will forge the community they will be proud to call their own.

I am proud to call Crossfit Minnesota and the whole Crossfit movement, my own.

Please post your thoughts to comments.  Thank you.

Ruggers do Fran

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Coaching, Crossfit, Rugby, Workouts

With all fitness training, marking your progress is very important.  Benchmark workouts, time trials, competitions.  All these events allow us as athletes to measure both, against others and ourselves.

Here is the Metropolis Rugby Crew hitting “Fran” for the first time last night.

What are your doing for your next Benchmark, Time Trial, or Competition?

Post your event to Comments.