CFSA Bright Spots – Eoin Byrne

When we turn the bright spot on members, we want the focus to be on them — and sometimes, it’s because of the light they bring to our community!


Eoin Byrne dove right in to this whole CrossFit thing, crushed his first Open, and has been a team player and friendly face in the gym since Day One. So we asked him a few questions…


What brought you to CrossFit/CFSA in the first place?  I have been training on and off for about 5 years but could never settle into any steady routine beyond 2 / 3 months. CrossFit was recommended to me because I lack the motivation to do the necessary work alone in the gym. I am a very social person so the team dynamic appealed to me.


What was your first impression? How has that changed? My first impression was honestly really positive.  The trainers were all so accommodating and encouraging.  I enjoyed my first session and realized that CrossFit folks were down to earth and could also enjoy the odd laugh during the class. My first impression has not changed so much except personally I have become more goal oriented.  I now care less about how I look cosmetically, rather how fit I am and how much range of motion I can achieve.


What was your first “bright spot” or moment of success?  During the open, in 18.3, I was able to do a full set of chin over bar pull ups…  I was shocked, I think my judge was also.


What’s your favorite CFSA memory?  My favorite CSFA memory should be my pull up achievement in 18.3 but its is actually just the memory of getting to know the other athletes in the gym over the past weeks.  Being new to living in the DMV and indeed new to the US, it has been great to have a social outlet that is not my job and not a bar. I have found CFSA to be a really open and welcoming environment.

With regard to health and fitness what are you working on or working toward now?  I am actively working on my mobility.  After about 2 months I grew frustrated with certain aspects of my mobility.  Specifically I could not reach the required squat depth. I spoke to coach Meredyth who suggested that I do some focused (personal training) with (Coach) Caroline.  During these sessions we focus on my mobility with the goal of properly reaching a good squat depth. She also designed a simple plan for me to follow before each workout.  Caroline has been invaluable. While I am not there yet, I have made significant progress. Other than that, I hope to join the (level) 200 class by the end of the summer.

Join the 800g Challenge




This challenge was designed by OptimizeMe Nutrition. Eat 800 grams (g) or fruits and/or vegetables, by weight, per day.

No foods are eliminated, but only fruits and veggies count toward the 800g. Eat the fruits and veggies or your choice. Hit the macros you want.

Raw, cooked, canned, frozen; doesn’t matter!  If you can weigh it as a standalone and unprocessed fruit or vegetable, you can count it. Yep, that’s it! Pick up a one-sheet at the gym for all the rules and scoring details. Or get a copy here.

So why 800g? It’s associated with increased health and is a simplified way to hit those recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Read more here.


May 14 – June 10

Shake off the post-Open hangover and kick off summer with healthy eating habits!


Go here to sign-up through Zen Planner. Last day to sign-up is Saturday May 12th, so hurry up!


OptimizeMe Nutrition will host two informational webinars for rules on the challenge and an open Q&A. You only need to attend one.

Registration is required to attend! If you miss a webinar, still use the registration link for on-demand access.




We will be using SugarWOD to log scores, leaderboard, and fist bump throughout the challenge. More info on scoring and logging can be found here.


In addition to weekly prizes, the overall winner will receive $100 in credits towards their group class membership, or $150 towards signing up for the new CFSA Nutrition program!

Click here to sign up now!

It’s a wrap! Looking back at the 2018 Intramural Open


The 2018 CFSA Intramural Open is over. And what an Open it was.


We had banners and pictures, chants and cheers, t-shirts and costumes. We had a sword. We had balloons. And we had glitter .. so much glitter.


We also had 4 teams: Free Folk, Little Finger Big Muscle, Valyrian Steel and A Lannister Always Counts His Reps. These four teams battled it out until the very last week. Some teams brought the numbers, other teams relied on their top performers and some came with the presence and attitude. In the end, team Little Finger Big Muscle edged out Valyrian Steel for the top spot by a 2.5 point margin thanks to a very cool display of what can only be described as “touching community memes”.


We had a grueling 20-min AMRAP (18.1), a leg-destroyer (18.2 & 18.2A), a high-skill-everything whopper (18.3), a gymnast meets powerlifter combo (18.4) and a 7-min soul crusher (18.5). If you had a weakness in this Open, it got exposed. We had rig work, mat work, barbell work, erg work and a tiny little dose of dumbbell work. Not much at all. A very reasonable amount of dumbbell work.


And, of course, we had this and this and this and this. Dipo vs Spandy was the story of the Open. It was a battle of the titans. The King of the Rig vs The Master of the Territory. The championship belt vs .. the singlet. And the championship belt won. Coach Dipo handily won the head-to-head matchups 4-2. Coach Spandy gave it his best, he fought mightily, he held the standard … ahem … but it wasn’t enough to match Dipo’s preparation and focus. Maybe 2019 is going to be different, the anticipation is already killing us.


All in all, we had a ton of fun in the Open this year. The unmatched CFSA community brought the energy, the noise and the grit. So many of you set personal bests, conquered a movement for the first time and overcame adversity. It was glorious to watch.


We’re already looking forward to 2019. Hopefully, the Open next year will be even bigger and better. In the meantime, make sure to keep working hard, especially on those chinks in your fitness armor, and keep making progress. Gainz await!

SugarWOD and the value of workout tracking

Are you using SugarWOD yet? You’re not? Why not? You should be. Have you read about it here? Intrigued? How about you download it now? Yes, right now, we’ll wait … Downloaded yet? Awesome. We knew you’d do the right thing. You are going to crush workout tracking, we can feel it. Now read up on some cool SugarWOD features below.


You’re on SugarWOD, congratulations! You are now ready to get more out of your training using this awesome workout tracking app.


Here’s the thing: workout tracking apps don’t do magic. It’s what you put into them that matters. In the case of SugarWOD, there are a few features that can truly make a difference in your training results if used properly and consistently.


The first is logging your workouts. This sounds obvious: of course we’re downloading a workout tracking app to track our workouts. But why is logging useful? It’s because experiencing a visual record of your workouts makes you more likely to appreciate the past work you’ve done and, subsequently, to continue your streak. This is a subtle but powerful effect — we humans hate breaking streaks. When you stop working out, you’ll see it right there, that blank space in the calendar on your app staring back at you. It is tough to ignore.


The second valuable feature in SugarWOD is the “Prepare” screen. To the left of that big blue button that says “Log” on your main screen is a smaller white button that says “Prepare”. You’ve probably been ignoring it because you’re stuck on that other small white button that says “Results” to the right side of the screen, you leaderboarder you. The “Prepare” button is much more valuable as it leads to a selection of instructional videos on the movements programmed in the day’s workout. By reviewing the points of performance, checking the movement standards and visualizing the work, your mind will be in a better position to execute come class time.


The final feature we want to bring to your attention in this post is the most important one: the Notes. That little space for free text that shows up at the bottom of your screen while you’re entering your workout score. Yes, you have been pretending it’s not there. You have been telling yourself you don’t have time to enter workout notes. But you are wrong. You must realize that the value of a workout tracking app comes mostly from what you write in that space:


What was your plan entering the workout? How did you feel that day? Sleep/eat ok? What rep scheme did you choose for those push-ups? Did you go with small sets on the wall balls? Big sets on the Push Presses? And how did your plan go? You died 3 minutes in? Your shoulders got smoked too early? Or did you take too much rest and leave something in the tank by the end of workout?


You need to be writing the answers to these questions in your notes, in detail. Think of them as a letter to your future self. In a few days or weeks or months, you are either going to do a workout with the same movement(s), or you will repeat the same workout again. Knowing how you performed last time is going to allow you to take a better approach this time and maximize your performance: “Dear diary, my plan was to go 7/7/7 on the thrusters and 3’s on the pull-ups. I ended up getting winded in round 2 and switched to 3’s and 2’s on the thrusters with about 15s breaks in between. I had strength for the pull-ups but I was sucking wind, so my rest breaks started taking 20+ seconds every time I came off the pull-up bar. Next time, break thrusters in 4’s from the start or reduce weight to 65lbs. Keep pull-ups at 3’s. Love, yourself.”


Now that’s a useful note! Six months from now, when you’re re-doing this workout, this information is going to be more valuable to you than any tips from your coach, or any guesses your tired brain hatched, or Doug’s score from 6 am that you need to beat no matter what … Actually scratch that last part, beating Doug is important, you should definitely aim for that, even if you die 3 minutes in.

Get SugarWOD on Android and iOS now!


Work on your body weight skills with the new Performance Series Cycle!

The Performance Series is back!

The 2018 CrossFit Open is coming to a close.  Perhaps the Open’s mad mixture of movements may have exposed certain certain gymnastic weaknesses in your fitness. Or maybe there’s a new movement that you want to learn to perform this year. Or maybe you just love being upside down on a tumbling mat. Whichever it is, worry not because we’ve got you.  The Performance Series is getting ready to kick off its next 10-week cycle.

The Skill Cycle will take place between April 14th and July 7th. Our focus will be to improve our athletes’ body weight movements through an appropriate mix of targeted skill drills, volume training and accessory work. These body weight movements include but aren’t limited to pull-ups, handstand pushups, toes-to-bar, bar muscle ups, ring muscle ups, pistols and rope climbs. Regardless of your current level, L100 or L200, the Skill Cycle is intended to meet you where you are.

Every athlete in our Skill Series will get to:

  • Benchmark their abilities

  • Spend ample time on drills that serve their individual goals and needs

  • Build the strength required for stability and control while moving in space

  • Get workout analysis and real-time coach feedback

  • Be able to log your work and measure your progress in a special Performance Series programming track in SugarWOD.

Participants in the Skill Cycle will meet on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm and Saturdays at 11:30 AM for 75 minute sessions. To ensure we can provide the detailed feedback necessary to help each athlete grow, space in the cycle will be limited to 12 athletes for this 10 week period and available to all CFSA members. If you are ready to take kick off your skill development journey, sign up here. Don’t wait!

Track your performance with SugarWod!

It’s a workout tracking app. It’s a social network platform. It’s SugarWOD!

At CFSA, we believe that to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been.

When a workout is written up on the board, how do you decide on how to approach it? How do you figure out a good weight to load on the bar for those 5 sets of 3 back squats? And how do you make sure you’re addressing your weaknesses and constantly improving on where you were yesterday, last month and last year?

Logging your workouts is a proven approach to truly getting the most out of your training. It allows you to develop a sense of what is easy for you, what is ambitious and what is that sweet spot that challenges you while giving you a good chance to be successful.

SugarWOD is an app that provides an easy and intuitive way to log your workouts. It makes it simple to look up previous scores and to properly measure your progress.

On top of that, SugarWOD offers the option to see your friends’ scores and celebrate their success with a Fist Bump or comment. Your coaches will also be better able to see your progress. They will be in a position to understand your needs and challenges better, so that they can provide more effective guidance in class.

From a programming standpoint, knowing how our members are doing enables us to adjust our daily training for maximum value. Last but not least, we believe that you’ll soon discover that logging your workouts is one of the best ways to stay consistent.

Don’t just take our word for it, try it out:
1. Download SugarWOD on iOS or Android
2. Create an account and select CrossFit South Arlington as your gym
3. Start logging!

Starting today, the CFSA L100 and L200 programming will be published into the app so your main screen will show you the day’s workout. We will still be publishing the weekly programming on the blog in parallel to SugarWOD.

Get started today! Got questions? Email us at and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

CFSA Bright Spots – Lauren Manns-Clegg


We’re turning the spotlight on Lauren Manns-Clegg this month — athlete, mom, wife, attorney and all-around badass!


What was your first impression? How has that changed?

First impression of CFSA was that it was super busy and full of people, but somehow everyone seemed to know each other.  I came from a much smaller gym, so it was surprising that the community was so strong at CFSA despite its size.

I don’t think my impression has changed all that much!  I have moved houses and changed jobs, taking me farther away from Crystal/Pentagon City, but I have never found another CrossFit home.  I love knowing that every work out includes hanging out with solid people and sharing some laughs.


What was your first “bright spot”?

This is hard! My first full rope climb (plus high fives from Coach Conor) and the first time I put three toes-to-bar together (plus back slaps from Adam Deitch and Rishi N…) were proud moments. I remember Sarah Stars asking if I wanted to be her partner and I was pretty proud of that too 😉 I will never forget a hug Siddharth Sawkar gave me when I was going through a hard time. I think every single member of CFSA gave me love and encouragement last year while I was working out pregnant… no matter how sluggish I felt, everyone made me feel like I crushed it in the gym that day 🙂


What’s your favorite CFSA memory?

I have many good memories at CFSA, but my favorite might be when Rishi N….and I did half Kalsu together during a noon class.  After we were done I understood why no one else showed up that day–it was a grind!  Rishi absolutely killed it, even though the only person he was competing against was a pregnant lady trying to do a hero workout in the August heat.  I think Coach Bobby was proud of us too, and that’s always a good feeling! There was also a night at the Phillips’ household that involved flambongos that was pretty epic.  We need to bring that back for the 2018 Open 🙂


What are you working on now?

I am about four months postpartum so I’m working on establishing a strong foundation again, especially in my trunk.  I realize now that so much of what we do in CrossFit requires a strong trunk (it is trunk, not “core,” right Coach Bobby?)! I have a few more weeks of specialized programming and then I’m hoping to start building strength and performing gymnastics again.  Doing CrossFit during my pregnancy really helped me to bounce back well, but there is still some hard work to do!


Intramural Open – Week 2 Recap

The second week of the Open is in the books and everyone who took part in it crushed it.

Here’s a recap of Week 2:

  • 18.2 was a leg bruising workout of DB squats and bar facing burpees, following by a 1-rep max Clean, all within 12 minutes. Holy leg combo, batman. (See workout details here)
  • Intramural Open scores for individuals and teams are up. You can check them out here. Team Little Finger Big Muscle is still in the lead after Week 2, but by a hair. Team Valyrian Steel came up big in the team outfit and energy department and snatched those 5 Team Presence points. They are trailing LFBM by 1 point right now.
  • In a much anticipated re-match, Coach Dipo and Coach Spandy faced off Sunday night for 18.2. We had it all LIVE for you on Facebook here (need to be part of the CFSA private facebook group to watch it). If you missed it, punch yourself in the face. The battle was epic: Spandy won the couplet by almost 90 seconds, but Dipo came back to crush the Clean with 225lbs, that’s 30 more lbs than Spandy lifted. The head-to-head score now stands at 2-1 for Dipo. The level of intensity in these matchups has now reached peak drama. They both face off for round 3, as part of the Coaches’ heat, on Friday evening at 6:30pm. Be there.

What’s coming in Week 3:

    • Open 18.3 is coming. Word on the street is that it’s going to involve some CrossFit movements. That’s hard.


  • Kelli Sil from Remedy & Relief Massage is stopping by again to give everyone free massage work this Friday evening 6:30pm – 8:30pm.She’s also offering discounts to CFSA members on her in-home massage services. Check out the details here.
  • We are not going to release any heat schedule this week until we find out what the workout is. Look for it late night Thursday!


In other news:

  • Dr Perez-Duran is back at the gym this Saturday March 10th at 8:15amfor more free soft tissue services.

That’s it for this week, folks. Happy training!


Enjoy these special deals on massage therapy with Kelli Sil



Come get your soft tissue worked on by Kelli Sil, LMT, this Friday March 9th at CrossFit South Arlington. She’ll be offering free short massage sessions (10-12 mins) from 6:30pm until 8:30pm, during our evening Open 18.3 heats.

We’re also very excited to announce that CFSA members can now enjoy these special deals on her in-home services:

  1. 15% off your first massage
  2. Buy 4 sessions, get 1 free

Book an appointment with Kelli here, and don’t forget to mention that you’re a member of CFSA!

Kelli is a local massage therapist who travels to homes and offices in the Northern Virginia area specializing in pain relief and general recovery. With a heavy background in athletics and sports medicine, Kelli uses an evidence-based approach when massaging. This, combined with her focus on individual needs, makes a session with her stand apart from your typical Swedish massage. She offers 60, 75, and 90 minute massages. See her website here.

Happy recovery 🙂

The Open is this Week!

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This week is the first week of the CrossFit Games Open and we predict that it is going to be lit. At least at CFSA it will be.

But before we get into any of that, an announcement: We are adding new Open Gym times! Starting this week, Open Gym schedule will be extended to also include Saturdays 9:30 to 11:30 AM. We hope this will provide an opportunity to further practice some skills, especially for folks who can’t make it to Open Gym in the evenings before 6:30pm. If you’re not already familiar with our Open Gym rules, make sure you review them here.And now, back to our regular Open programming …

First, an important note: starting this week and for the duration of the Open (5 total weeks), there will be no L100 vs L200 classes on Friday evenings. All evening Friday classes are merged into evening heats (every 30 mins, see the schedule here). If you happen to not be signed up for the Open, we still would appreciate you signing up for a heat, although you’re not required to find a judge.

For all Open participants, here’s what to expect this week:

1. Watch the LIVE announcement. On Thursday night at 8pm EST, the first Open workout, named 18.1, will be announced LIVE on On the site, you will have access to information about workout details and movement standards. We highly recommend you go through that info (and the accompanying video) before you come in for the workout.

2. Sign up for a heat. Our heat schedule is here, please make sure to sign up for a heat. We would like to ask that you find a person to be your judge and that you add their name alongside yours. Please also try to be a judge for someone else in a different heat (ideally, it’s that same person who judged for you). We understand this is not always feasible for some, so all we can ask is that do your best on this one. Helping each other out is going to make for a much smoother Open experience for everyone!

3. Do the workout!  When you come in on Friday, your coaches will lead you through class and provide you with any necessary information for judging and filling out scoring sheets. We recommend arriving 20 minutes before your heat begins so you have plenty of time to change clothes, hit the WC, and get ready.

4. Log your score. You do that by logging in to your account on and entering your score. You have until Monday night at 8pm EST to do this. Don’t forget this step — it is how you contribute 1 point towards your team score internally at CFSA.

Friday Night Lights
Each week of the Open, we will be embracing a theme for Friday Night Lights:
– Week 1: Military & Veteran Appreciation
– Week 2: Coaches Throwdown
– Week 3: Competitors’ Ball
– Week 4: Parents Against The Clock
– Week 5: Top 5 Dead or Alive

This week, join us for the 6pm or 6:30pm heats to show your support for those who sacrifice for our freedom and the safety of this nation.

Bring your spouse, significant other or friend along as spectators. And feel free to bring any food and beverage you’d like to consume or share.

Have questions? First check out our Q&A blog post here.
Still don’t have an answer? Email us at