Same Training Road, Just a Different Point

I had a recent run in this last week, one that doesn’t happen very often in our facilities, but one I suspect happens to a lot of gyms all over the country. I don’t know if it’s a new trend brought on by society’s level of intolerance, or maybe people are just more outspoken with opinions now than they were. Either way it gave me pause. As a coach and a health professional I have to ask, when did it become ok to judge people who need (or want) to lose weight and are doing the things needed to make that happen? Shouldn’t we be cheering them on and encouraging them rather than putting them down and labeling them?

Hard training will be different for everyone. 10 years ago, for me, it was 8 hour training rides in the mountains with 60 min tempo efforts up the canyons in Salt Lake. I’m pretty sure that would put most people in a body bag. At RFT Coaching, we train hard, very hard, but that should never mean we are unwelcoming toward the new and uninitiated. And we extend that to people who are brand new and going to another gym. Believe me, they will hit plateaus and start looking for the next step eventually, and we will be there when they are ready. But in the mean time, let’s congratulate them on taking that step, not tear them down for where they are currently. Humans can change physically, pretty easily actually, it’s our way of thinking and our opinions that may really need to be shifted and trained out of us and this can be a harder process.

As coaches, we want to help you get better than you were yesterday, nothing more, nothing less. As fellow athletes in our facilities, you have an obligation to welcome new members, be encouraging, and help them along (you were there not that long ago, remember?).

We said from the beginning our gym is a tool to get better, not a competition. As long as you do the work for the time we set and put in effort you will get results. We don’t care what you look like, how good or bad you move right now, who you sleep with, vote for, pray to, do for a living, or where you come from. Pay the iron price when you come in, work hard, and you will always have a home here.

Aspera Non Spernit

Coach Chris

Setting Priorities

What if you knew that by doing one thing a day you would be more productive at work, calmer in the face of adversity, happier with your family, and have more energy for your other daily tasks? Would you take that time out of your schedule to do it, if it guaranteed results like that?

We’ve all heard it, we’ve probably even said it ourselves….the dreaded “I’m too busy for ‘x'”. This is something we as coaches hear all the time when we ask people what’s been holding them back from achieving their goals. I’m going to tell you a secret though, it’s not a time issue, it’s a priorities issue. All of us have 24 hours in a day, we prioritize what we want to do, suffer through what we have to do, and put off what we don’t want to do.

Humans are fantastic animals. We have this capability to think in a logical manner and to create timelines. This allows us to complete complex tasks efficiently and to learn how to do even more complex tasks. But here’s the other side to that coin, it also allows us to make excuses. Since we don’t only live in this moment, but can imagine and plan future tasks, we sometimes get lost and bogged down in those future tasks and ignore the immediate. This results in putting off the less fun tasks for something that may seem more important, even if it’s something that could wait, but isn’t as painful.

Fitness and training is one of these things that gets put off for many people. As adults we have been conditioned to think of training as another thing we have do during the day. And since training isn’t always enjoyable, it gets put into the category of ‘need to do, but I don’t really want to’. But, here’s the rub, we should be making fitness a priority. A study that was conducted by the University of New England, Australia found that after only 4 weeks of resistance and cardiovascular training there was a marked decrease in psychological distress, perceived day to day stress, and emotional exhaustion. It also saw an increase in well being and personal accomplishment (Brettwood 2015). Now while this study applied to office workers, there’s a good likelihood it will pass down to family as well since we all bring work stress home with us. This study was short, only 4 weeks, so imagine if we made this a lifetime change. How good of a family life, work life, and friendships do you think you could have if it became a priority?

For those of you who have families or careers (so all of you) let me ask you something. You don’t need to answer me, but just think about it. When was the last time you did something for yourself?

The most selfless thing you can do is take care of yourself first. I know that’s not a popular opinion. We have spent years being told that parents should give everything to their families. Or we’ve had bosses that insist on working late, using you up until you’re just a shell of what you were. The truth is you can’t help anyone, be super productive, or enjoy life to the fullest if you’re not healthy first. Take that hour, unplug from your work, family, and social media. All of those will be there when you finish, and you will be calmer and able to enjoy these things more by taking that step back and doing something for you.

Make yourself a priority and you will be amazed at how things in your life improve.

See you in the gym! Aspera Non Spernit

– Coach Chris

  1. Bretland, Rachel Judith, & Thorsteinsson, Einar Baldvin. (2015). Reducing workplace burnout: The    relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise. PeerJ, 3, E891.



The Difference Between Our Mtn Fitness Program and Crossfit

This last week brought some new things to light, namely that our program is being confused for the largest trend to hit fitness in the last 20 years. The coaches here are RFT Coaching do not hate Crossfit, in fact I held a level 1 Crossfit coach certification for many years, and got started coaching out of a local box in Salt Lake City, UT. I even used their system for awhile when I was first in the SOF community, and I continue to add things here and there that are very similar to their system. However as a training system and program, RFT Coaching is not affiliated with the brand of Crossfit and there are some glaring differences in how we program and the results you can expect. Click here to try us out! 

Crossfit has it’s merits. It has brought to the forefront the idea that people need to lift weights, and lift heavy, often. That’s a fantastic accomplishment. It creates muscle confusion and helps to increase gains (more on this later), and it has plenty of uses when it comes to military and law enforcement applications. They believe the definition of fitness is: increased work capacity across a broad range of time and modal domains. This in itself is a fantastic definition of what all coaches are trying to achieve, not just Crossfit. They use this to describe what fitness is, and RFT Coaching respects that definition, in fact there is a lot of truth to it.

With all that being said though, we have found some glaring holes in the system. One of the biggest is endurance. There are not a lot of Crossfit athletes out there winning Spartan races, bike races, road running events, or trail running events. If you watch the Crossfit Games you will notice during the endurance events they all seem to struggle, a lot and those events are (surprisingly) getting shorter and shorter to accommodate. I had a lot of respect for them when they did a full triathlon, but since then they have gotten away from events that might last 2 hours+. A lot of this is due to the methodology and packaging for television. Many Crossfit coaches (not all) believe that if they increase the lactate threshold capacity (about 2-4 min) really high this will transfer to other areas. This is sort of true. If you only train in the <30 min realm you can expect to have good results only in the <30 min events. Once it goes into the 45+ min time frame the athlete will suffer.

Another issue is with the randomization. In some ways this works well, but it leads to plateaus in training over time. RFT Coaching uses a periodized system which focuses on one specific pillar of training for a period of 3-6 weeks. These pillars of training include: strength, work capacity, stamina, endurance, and durability. There is room for some randomization here, and rarely are our athletes doing the exact same workout during a phase or even a complete cycle (6 months), but instead we focus on the overall goal of the training. We have found that this promotes more advancement over all of these modes of training. Our system may take a little longer to hit some strength goals, or work capacity goals, but ours is much more sustainable and we can predict the outcome after a phase. For example, our gym in Salt Lake is finishing up an eccentric strength phase and they will expect to see a 5-15% increase in strength (based on the lift and experience of the athlete). We know this because we have tested it out and have years worth of data using this training style, so we can easily make those predictions with a high level of accuracy.

A big argument against Crossfit over the years has been injuries. This is an area of contention because those that have been injured doing it are going to say it’s bad and promotes injury, while those that have never been injured will argue the opposite. As a whole I do not believe that Crossfit itself is to blame for injuries. I believe the use of overly complicated movements and the inexperience of coaches and athletes are more to blame. For example, an athlete will never see snatches done at RFT Coaching. We feel that this lift is too complicated and specific for the majority of novice lifters to accomplish safely. The snatch does have a lot of great benefits like learning to engage the shoulders, and knowing how to control your body in space, but the risks of a shoulder dislocation if done improperly are simply too high. Also, to use this lift for a timed workout totally goes against the function and purpose of this lift (it is meant to showcase total explosive power and body control, and as such to be used properly requires enough rest time to allow your body to recover from the effort and a high enough weight to elicit the proper physiological response). When I see this lift, or other like it, programmed in a high intensity workout I cringe. Add to that a hyper competitive setting and it’s no wonder why some people get hurt. We use clean and jerks in lieu of the snatch, and will only teach the snatch to people who can execute a clean and jerk with perfect form, which may take years.

Another big difference is that we do not put names on the board after the workout, nor are we “always competing”. Many boxes out there insist that athletes turn themselves inside out every day just to have the fastest time on the board. We have found over the years that this has a great effect if someone is in the top 3-4 spots consistently. Maybe they will work harder to make the next step in order to beat that other person. However, for the lower ranked folks this simply discourages them. Many will feel that they can’t make that top spot even after years of training so why bother trying that hard anymore. We have found this to be especially true with new clients who are already rather intimidated walking into a gym. We want our place to be welcome to all, elites and novices alike. We like to tell people “we are all on the same journey, just some of us are a little further along”.

The competition mindset can also lead to burnout, over training and injuries. If someone is going 100% every time they train they are going to eventually get hurt. Ask any top coach or athlete and they will tell you about the 90% rule. Always come home feeling like you could have done one more interval, one more rep, one more round, or one more set. Save that extra 10% for competition day, when things are actually on the line. RFT Coaching encourages our athletes to work hard, train often, but always leave one more in the tank… never know when we might just change things on you mid training session :).

Hope this helps to clarify some things about RFT Coaching’s signature Mtn Fitness Program and the Crossfit method. Click Here to get set up with a pass and come train with us!

-Aspera Non Spernit-

Coach Chris


Work Capacity

Warm 3 rds: 10 shuttles, 10 dips, 10 good mornings, toe touch

20 min AMRAP: 10 DB snatches (35/45), 10 dips, 10 squats, 10 leg raises

LB Complex

3 rds: child’s pose, wall squat, pec/lat


Work Capacity

Warm 3 rds: 10 shuttles, 5 chin ups, 10 sit ups, toe touch


Goblet squats (35/26),

KB push press (35/26),

Barbell rows (95/75),

Sit ups,

Shuttles x10′ (10=100′ shuttles (2), 20=200′ shuttles (4) and so on up to 500′ shuttles (10))


LB Complex

3 rds: pec/lat, wall squat, airplane seat




Warm 3 rds: 100′ high knees, 100′ butt kickers, 100′ grapevine, ankle mobility

3 rds 5 mins each station: Bike, 10 shuttles + 10 leg raises, Step ups

2 rds: Jane Fondas, 50 SHJ’s (ea)


Work Capacity

Warm 3 rds: 10 squats, 5 pull ups, 10 good mornings, wall squat

10 min AMRAP: 5 KB get ups (53/35), 10 squats, 15 push ups

-rest 5 mins-

10 min AMRAP: 10 sled tugs (BW/75%), 10 dips, 10 sit ups


4 rds: 10 hip raises, 1 min 6” hold, 10 russian twists (ea), :30 sec superman

3 rds: pec/lat, toe touch, banded triceps



Warm 3 rds: 10 Push press (45/35), 10 squats 10 sit ups, child’s pose

1 RM Push press

6×2 Push press @ 85%, hip flexor

5×4 SDHP, 6 bent over rows, airplane seat

6×8 Back squats, 2 jump lunges (ea), pigeon


Work Capacity

Warm 3 rds: 10 shuttles, 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, butterfly

10 RFT: 10 OH lunges (ea) (45/25), 10 release push ups, 10 hip raises, 10 jingle jangles

LB complex

3 rds: hip flexor, airplane seat, cobra


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rds: 10 shuttles, 5 chin ups, 10 flutter kicks (ea), frog

25 min AMRAP: 10 kb cleans (53/35), 10 lunges (ea), 10 reverse crunches, 10 push ups, 6 shuttles

4 rds: 10 hollow rocks, 30 sec resisted turns, 10 oblique raises, 10 FDBE

3 rds: child’s pose, butterfly, pec/lat



Warm: 3 rds: 100′ High knees, 100′ butt kickers, 100′ grapevine, 10 push ups, 10 good mornings, ankle mobility

45 mins: 100 step ups, 5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 20 flutter kicks

2 rds: Jane Fonda’s, 50 SHJ’s (ea)

3 rds: 5 dislocates, cobra, toe touch


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rds: 10 lunges, 5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, hip flexor

5 min Wall Ball test (20/14)

-rest 2 mins-

5 min AMRAP: 50′ bear crawl, 10 push ups, 10 sit ups

-rest- 2 mins-

10-9-8…2-1: Kb swings (53/35), Goblet squats (53/35)

LB complex

3 rds: child’s pose, butterfly, airplane seat



Warm 3 rds: 10 Front squats (45/35), 5 chin ups, 10 good mornings, wall squat

1 RM Front squat

6×2 Front squats @ 85%, banded triceps

6×5 Bench press, 5 pull ups (ecc), pigeon

6×5 Mr Spectaculars, 2 broad jumps, 5 windmills


Work Capacity

Warm: 3 rds: 10 shuttles, 10 push ups, 10 leg lifts, wall squat

20 min AMRAP: 5 burpees, 10 dips, 15 squats, 20 flutter kicks (ea)

4 rds: 10 hip raises, 10 russian twists (ea), 1 min front plank, :30 sec superman

3 rds: pec/lat, hip flexor, 5 dislocates