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Y Reed:

After just one month of training with Doug, our 12-year old son improved his 40-yard dash time by almost half a second and dropped 2 minutes off his time in the 1-mile run. The skills and techniques learned at the training sessions helped our son to achieve his goal, which was to increase his speed and agility. He learned drills to enhance his running form, correct his foot placement, and explode at the start. We are amazed at how much our son has progressed in such a short amount of time. Doug is a great coach because he gave our son the necessary tools to improve physically and the drive to work harder on his own. We started out preparing him for football, but he has enjoyed his time with Doug so much that he is now continuing training in the Vertical CrossFit for youth and teens class. Thanks Doug for your help and encouragement!


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Teresa Kinney-Hughey

I don't and am NOT going to make a habit of this because I'm not a fan but I am really proud of myself so I'm posting a workout selfie.... If you don't like it then keep scrolling.
I work hard. I exercise, eat RIGHT (not healthy), get enough sleep and maintain an all over healthy lifestyle and I deserve to be proud of myself. In only 10 months I have gone down 4 pant sizes but have only lost about 20 lbs (this year) and most importantly I have eliminated all but TWO medical prescriptions. I feel amazing and my self esteem has skyrocketed

I deserve this! Yay me!

— feeling fabulous.

I am overwhelmed at the responses from my transformation photo! It is important that people understand that it takes time and support to make these changes. While I had lost weight, it wasn't until I started Vertical Crossfit in January that I started getting healthy and strong.

I have a great coach that helped me set goals and has worked hard to keep me on track for achieving these goals. I have made new friends at the gym and we support, cheer and praise each others progress. I have friends and family that I have known forever that are always conscious and respect the way I eat and recognize that regardless my disease, this is my lifestyle- not a diet.

These, are the reasons that I can post a transformation picture. I would not have been able to achieve any of this without the positive people in my life and for that I am thankful!

Chet Grinaldi

My first day at Vertical Crossfit was May 3, 2013. Let me tell you that I have never been more enthusiastic about anything in my life, excluding my faith and family, than I have become about Crossfit. It has redefined my view of physical fitness and mental toughness. I attribute this to Doug Decker and the trainers at Vertical Crossfit, the programming they put together, and the motto- “Working towards Better.”
A couple of things led to me to Crossfit. The first was my wife, Whitney. Watching her grow mentally, spiritually, and physically fit as a direct result of Crossfit got me interested. It was the fear of her kicking my butt and the absolute boredom of your typical weight-room workouts that actually got me started on my journey to seeing that same growth.
In 5 months I lost 16 pounds while becoming stronger and more flexible than I have ever been. I have felt my body push itself farther, lift heavier, and do things that I never thought it could do. A few days ago I did 3 strict hand-stand pushups and 10 dead-hang pull-ups. Five months ago I could not do one of either. These small, yet significant achievements are what keep me coming back every week. I am addicted to seeing what “Better” is for me with every WOD.
Vertical Crossfit is special to me. The members are amazing! We all have our individual goals, but we get excited to see others reach theirs. We work hard and there are no mirrors. I am healthier, more physically fit, mentally tougher and it is positively changing every area of my life. In the gym and out, because of this community, I am only getting Better.


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Matt Bacon

Just wanted to drop a line to thank you. I really appreciate your motivation and teaching. I have really seen a lot of improvement in my form and strength and conditioning these last couple of months. If I wasn't recording my workouts I don't think I would believe the weight I have dropped and the strength I have developed. I am still a long way away from where I want to be, but seeing the results I have I know I will get there with your help and the help of the others.

Thanks Again,


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Dr. Ed Decker

I am pleased to report that at a recent physical my reported blood pressure was 120/73, down from 140/80. My heart rate was 63, down from 72. Not bad for "a man my age...over 65".

In large part I give credit to my regular attendance at Vertical Limit Fitness. As is evident from the numbers I just cited, the strength training and the cardio benefits have impacted me in very positive ways. The varied WODs keep working out interesting, certainly not boring. I find the work outs challenging and fun.

Of course learning to eat the right foods at the right time has also contributed to the improvement in my health statistics. Thanks for your encouragement.

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Blaine Bacon

I joined Vertical Limit in June 2011 with the intention to train for a hike up Pikes Peak later that summer. After about six weeks of training my friend and I set out for our hike. The trail would gain 7,000 vertical feet over 13 miles. The hike proved difficult for us, but much more so for my friend, who hadn’t bothered to train. He struggled with altitude sickness halfway up. Meanwhile, I was tired with sore feet but otherwise felt great. Because of his sickness we turned back and never made the summit. Fast forward a year, my girlfriend and I set out to do the same hike. We both have had well over a year of regular CrossFit training. Because of that, we made the summit in eight hours of hiking time and descended in six hours. While the lack of oxygen took its toll near the summit, our bodies were more than up to the task to get to the top. We attribute the “relative” ease with which we made the summit to Coach Doug’s programming. How else could we go from 700ft elevation in Tulsa and hike a trail considered one of the most difficult summit routes of a 14,000ft peak in Colorado?
Another area of improvement in which CrossFit has made a huge difference is in my golf game. I have seen increases in my driving distance on average of 20-30 yards. Sometimes I will be shocked by an unbelievable tee shot. For instance, the course I grew up playing has a shorter par 4 that I would routinely be about 60 yards out after my tee shot. A few times this summer I had no more than a 10 yard pitch or even a sand shot from the greenside bunker! And no, it wasn’t because of a 30 mph tailwind. I believe this is the result of added strength and increased power from training at Vertical Limit Fitness.

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Liz Middleton

I joined vertical limit about a year and a half ago. I was looking for a different type of exercise and activity. I played division 1 sports in college so I wanted something that could challenge me and push me. VL has surpassed all my expectations and desires. It has conditioned me to compete in my first triathlon and prepared me for my many 5k races. I feel that I am stronger and faster now than when I was in college 14 years ago! Another great thing about VL is the camaraderie, no matter what your level or your age everyone is in it together. I have made a lot of great friends and I always look forward to the next class, I haven't always been able to say that before. Doug, our trainer, takes special interest in all of his clients helping them to achieve their goals and desires. He encourages you at the right time and knows when to push you too. Joining Vertical Limits is one of the best decisions I've made, I couldn't have asked for a better trainer or a better group of people to train with.

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David Dyke
So there's a concept in Cross Fit called Baseline (also called Benchmark).  It's not unique to CrossFit, we use it in all sorts of things from Project Management to Parenting.

You do a thing, you measure it, you do it later and you measure the difference.  Better, Same, Worse.  It's pretty objective and is a good sign of progress, regress or whatever the "gress" term is for not changing (staygress? anyway, I digress....)

So at VL we recently did a couple of baseline workouts recently that prompted me to go back and look at some of my original results.

First the Baselines

1. Fran
Fran is a Cross Fit workout that involves hurting yourself, for time.  Apparently it's one of the original baseline workouts, and Fran in famous in certain circles.  I don't care for Fran, if you're not familiar with Fran, you can read all about her here.

Fran consists of the following:

Thrusters which are a front squat with a barbell that you press overhead on your way up.  The defined weight for guys is 95 lbs, ladies do 65 lbs I think.  You can scale it to whatever.  I did 85 lbs.

Pull ups.  See http://www.iamnotasbrightasithinkiam.org/gullible for more information on pull ups if you need it.

Sounds easy so far.  The work out is designed to measure your intense, presumably short, explosive output.  

You do three rounds.

• 21 thrusters, 21 pull ups
• 15 thrusters, 15 pull ups
• 9 thrusters, 9 pull ups

There's a neat post-Fran tradition.  After the 9th pull up you fall on the ground in a heap and spend 10 minutes catching your breath.

I completed Fran in 9 minutes and 12 seconds.  Using an 85 lb. bar and a green pull up band.  "Good" is anything under 10.  We have a few people who did it in under 6, and a psycho who did it under 3:45.

2. Baseline is a standard set of exercises strung together.  Again, speed and form are the goals.  If you're half-assing the squats they don't count.  Don't have full range of motion on the situps and the rest, they don't count.

• 500 meter row (rowing machine)
• 40 squats
• 30 situps
• 20 push ups
• 10 pull ups (bands are allowed if you need them to scale the workout)
I did the baseline in 4:19, no band on the pull ups.  That felt really good.  By comparison, I did a similar workout in January (run rather than row) and it took 11 minutes and I needed two big rubber bands to do the pull ups.

Looking back at a few before and afters...
• The most essential comparison is looking back to January, when I would do a warm up and be sore for 5 days.
• Dead lift went from working out around 250 to a 1 rep max of 335 between April and June.  Credit almost all of that to form.
• Pull ups.  I've gone from using two big bands, to eventually doing one with no bands, to 10 with no bands, to sets of two with 13 lbs. strapped to my back and now I'm up to a 38 lbs pack!
• Back squat up 30 lbs. from 265 to 295 (April to June)
• Form - when I was on the road I went to CrossFit Box in Portland, OR.  I did their WOD (Happened to be another baseline, Helen) and the coach there said I had really good form.  "Whoever is teaching you is doing a good job."  Just like a coach to take credit for the progress, right?
• Using an 12" box, then 20" then 24"... was really tempted to use a 36" today...  not there yet.
It's been great to keep a record of my workouts.  As I look back at them I can remember some vividly.  Broad jumps across the gym floor (?).  Medicine ball slams (pick it up over your head, slam it down, repeat).  

My first Hand Stand Push Up recently.  I actually wanted to do one, I got up on the wall (the right way even, back to the wall) and did them.  Not the world's finest, but they were my finest.

That's what's so exciting and actually entertaining about this stuff.  The personal and social progress.  We did a workout the other morning and had a group of people upstairs on stationary bikes cheering us on.  Though, perhaps they were cheering that they were up there, and not down with us... their loss.

Weight's good, not losing weight like I want, but still getting stronger and after all burning through two decades of neglect takes time.  Just got my labs back from the doc, and that's a great report card right there.  Blood pressure, cholesterol (HDL, LDL, total and ratio), triglycerides, vitamin D... oh, and it's definitive from the test results, I don't smoke.

Looking forward to my next run in with Fran, Baseline and even Helen...

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