3 Common Struggles Among My Athletes (And Most CrossFitters)

Quality over quantity
There is a misconception that the more you workout the fitter you will become. This might be true in the short term, but it will not last long.  There is no doubt, that if you want to get stronger and faster you need to put in a lot of time and effort, but that doesn’t mean 7 days a week for weeks on end.

The quality for your workouts is more beneficial than how much you workout.  Quality over quantity! So what does this “quality” training plan look like?

Well it is different for everyone and depends on things like lifestyle, goals, and age.  For most of our athletes (who are between the age of 30-60 years old, just looking to hit the ski slopes, hike a 14er, keep up with their kids and live a long healthy life) I recommend hitting the gym 3-4 days per week.  These days in the gym I ask them to give a good hard effort and push themselves (obviously, only if they can do this safely with proper form) based on how they are feeling on that day.  Ideally these gym days are spread out throughout the week with a rest day in between.  This way their bodies have time to recover before the next hard workout (which is even more important as we get older because our bodies don’t bounce back as fast as they used too).

From there if they are itching to get up and do something else, I tell them to add in a day or two outside the gym doing some physical activity they enjoy, while keeping the intensity/effort lower.  If they think this other activity is going to be tough (like hiking a 14er or playing a soccer game), consider substituting it for a “hard” gym day. 

Finding a balance between intensity, volume and rest will maximum results, feed motivation, and keep you injury free.


To Scale Or Not Too Scale
One reason why CrossFit has proven to be such an effective strength and conditioning program, is its scaleability (or adaptability) to meet the needs and limitations of any person.  Your 60 year old grandma can do the same workout as you but with less weight, fewer reps, or shorter range of motion.  You both are going to get a hell of a workout, just at your own individual fitness level.

Knowing when and how to scale a movement and/or workout definitely takes some trial and error.  This is why your coach is there.  Your coach is there to instruct you on the desired stimulus of the workout (aspects like intensity level, duration, and proper loading), and offer up possible scaling options that will allow you to preserve this stimulus while keeping you safe.

No matter your experience level, there will be workouts where you will face the decision to scale or not.  This could be due to many factors but most often this is due to ability or injury.

Reminder intensity breeds results. If you have a goal of improving your all round fitness, maintaining intensity in your workouts is most important. If you can’t complete a workout as prescribed with intensity, scale it. 

With an injury, keep in mind we are training muscles not movements (unless your goal is to go to the CrossFit Games).  We can train the same or similar muscle groups with a whole list of different movements.  So if one movement is causing you discomfort, scale it.   

No one wants to lower their weight or modify the movements but scaling is not a bad thing.  It is what allows you to be consistent with your fitness routine and see improvement in your fitness all while staying safe and pain free.


Keep Sight Of Your Goals
Most CrossFitters have a little bit of a competitive side, no matter how much they don’t want to admit it.  This competitive drive can be with themselves and/or others. Even if you don’t consider yourself super competitive, the group environment has a way of pushing you a little bit harder than you would push yourself when working out alone. This is a great thing and a reason why we believe CrossFit is such a successful exercise program.

This competitive environment can also lead you to loose sight of your long term goal by focusing more on what others in class are doing and/or the score board.  When you start comparing yourself to others or always reaching for that daily PR (personal record) you could end up pushing beyond your limits. Sometimes pushing into that unsafe zone.

The goal for most of our athletes is simply to become a fitter and healthier version of themselves.

Remember to keep your overall goal in mind when you walk into the gym and hear that clock count down to 3-2-1 GO.  We encourage you to push yourself outside of our comfort zones, but that doesn’t mean pushing beyond what you can do safely. 

-Matt Kirkendall, Owner / Head Coach

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Derek Williams

CrossFit Coach

The questions ‘what does CrossFit mean to me’ and ‘Why do I want to be a coach’ come down to a simple quote that I immediately thought of. “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” – Dr. Edward J. Stieglitz
He wrote that in a book on longevity, and I believe that CrossFit has added life to my years and is responsible to adding life to the years of countless people and will continue to do so for many years. I have more life in my years because I’m more physically fit, because I have developed a habit of working out 4 times a week, because I track macros and count calories and because I don’t have to figure out what I’m going to do in my workouts. I feel better, I’m able to be more active with my family and friends, and I’m generally happier than I would be otherwise. And that’s all because of CrossFit. I thought about exploring coaching a while ago because I thought it would be a good way to develop my knowledge of the sport as well as help me develop coaching skills that jobs that I want in the future are looking for. Becoming a coach has given me experience with managing different personalities, meeting people where they are, motivating people in the most effective way and advance my understanding
of this sport and fitness in general. But more importantly, I add different energy, experience, capability, and level of respect to the coaching team.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Chris Jackson

Fitness Coach

Our wealth is our health…I truly believe there is no better investment any of us can make than in our mental and physical health.   Living an active, healthy lifestyle enables us to get more out of life and live it to the fullest.    As a lifelong runner, I came to Widespread looking to find balance in my fitness by building strength and power.  What I found was a community of people who motivate, encourage and support one another inside and outside the gym.  Coaching at Widespread gives me the opportunity to help our athletes on their journeys toward health and fitness.  Learning new movements, improving technique and hitting PRs motivates athletes of any age, and it’s critical for those of us who want to continue growing.   Life is better together, but life is rich and full when you are healthy and fit.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

Amy Poshusta

Fitness Coach

As I have reached my mid-40s, my desire to find balance in a healthy lifestyle has peaked; balance in how much I train or workout, how much emphasis I place on healthy food choices and how much time I spend socially connecting with my family and friends.  To me, CrossFit is this balance.  It is the overlapping region on my own personal Venn diagram of training, nutrition and lifestyle, and it is providing me the best quality of life and health.  It is about challenging one’s capabilities with new and demanding workouts, nurturing bodies to grow and supporting mental health with a super fun community of like-minded and encouraging people.  CrossFit is challenges and rewards. It is individually competitive and collaborative.  It has pushed me to better how I move and to mentally persevere.  And as a result, I am the strongest, and perhaps the happiest & healthiest, I have ever been in my whole life.


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Erica Erickson

Fitness Coach

When I sit down to think about what CrossFit means to me this is what comes to mind…..self-confidence, strength, peaceful mind, supportive tribe, willingness to get out of one’s comfort zone, and not being afraid to show weaknesses.   Growing up playing sports, becoming a mom took a toll on me physically and mentally.  After our first set of twins, I tried to stay active, but after our second set, I found I didn’t have time.  I woke up one day sick of being tired, out of shape, and I knew I wanted to be a better roll model for our children.   After getting the courage to ask a friend about her CrossFit classes, I signed up for a No Sweat Intro.  After meeting with Matt, I just knew it was something I had to try or I would always wonder “What if.”  I quickly fell in love with everything about it.  The variety of the classes, the community that pushes you to step outside your comfort zone, and the incredible coaches who help you believe in yourself when you feel like stopping because you haven’t work out in years.  CrossFit has dramatically changed my life and I LOVE helping others realize the same benefits in their lives.  Knowing that I get to assist others become stronger, both mentally and physically, is the foundation of why I love being a coach.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

Ani Monroe

Fitness Coach

Coming Soon!


Brand X Method Kids Course
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Kari Kirkendall

Nutrition Coach / Event & Media Director / Youth Fitness Director

CrossFit literally changed my life. Now I know this sounds cliche or a little extreme, but it honestly did. CrossFit not only gave me a self confidence I had no idea I could posses, a self love I didn’t think was possible and an outlet to any challenge life threw my way, but also gave me my husband, my way of living and a discovery into a passion that consumes my life in the best way possible.

What I do every day is incredible. Every day I see something amazing and inspiring happen to people that I truly care so much about. And what I am talking about has nothing to do with being able to deadlift a huge amount of weight (although that IS awesome and I am always pumped when that happens) it’s about athletes coming in with stories about being able to do something they haven’t been comfortable doing in over 2 decades (whether it’s fitness related or just wearing a piece of clothing), or seeing two children under the age of 10 tell their mom and/or dad they want to be strong like them some day, or watching people become comfortable in their own skin in a way that 3 months ago they never thought they would ever be able to do. It gives me a passion and a drive to never stop doing what we are doing.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course
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Matthew Kirkendall

Head Coach / Owner

To me CrossFit means opportunity……..

Suffering a stress fracture to my femur, while training for my first 100 miler ultra, I sought out a different outlet to prove my fitness and stay active.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.  Besides mostly disproving my actual fitness level, it provided me with a incomparable challenge and more accurate way to set physical and mental limits for myself.

Going through heart breaking personal struggles at home and making the life changing decision to move out west alone, away from friends and family, I arrived craving personal connection and sense of belonging.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.   All it took was suffering side by side through a WOD before it felt like I had been a part of the community for years.

Years of reading, studying, testing everything I could on fitness and what is meant “to be fit” could only be so gratifying, I wanted to share my knowledge, experience and passion with others.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.  It’s the feeling and joy I get when, I am able to coach a new athlete through a task that seemed impossible minutes before or see their face light up when a movement feels effortless after weeks of struggle, that makes me realize this is what I was meant to do.

Whether it be working for a national corporation or coaching at the local box, I have often questioned their ways of doing business, claiming I could do it better if only it was my business.   CrossFit gave me this opportunity.   Operating a successful fitness facility is a dream come true and proof that I can accomplish anything with the determination, patience, sacrifice and the opportunity.


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