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Blaze Fitness Fusion, Fit Kids & Open Gym Room
Blaze Fitness Fusion, Fit Kids & Open Gym Room
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Blaze Fitness Fusion – Ladies only
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Competitions – Congrats Coach Kyle on your 1st place win!!
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Team Competitions – Congrats Coach Sophie on your 1st place win!!
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Creating WOD’s since 2009
Creating WOD’s since 2009

“Fourging” Elite Fitness

Carson, California—Rich Froning is the CrossFit Games champion for the fourth time in a row—but it wasn’t easy.

The 2014 competition saw Froning look shockingly human on the second day of competition, but he returned to form late in the day and built momentum as the events piled up. When others faltered, he grew stronger, turning a 5-point lead at the beginning of the day into 50-point lead at the end.

Froning has stated he will not compete as an individual next year and leaves behind an unprecedented run of victories. No doubt he’s set the standard by which all other CrossFit Games champions will be measured.

The women’s event was won by five-time Games competitor Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. She succeeds Sam Briggs and is the first Canadian woman to stand on the podium.

Hail to the King

Froning has been the dominant CrossFit athlete since 2011, and he’s been on the podium since 2010. Over five years of competition, he’s won 16 events—more than any other competitor—and he’s finished top 10 in an event 45 times.

His previous worst event finish at the Games came last year, when he was 30th in The Pool. It was the only blip on the radar that year—an anomaly—and Froning won the final three events to take the competition by 72 points. Froning’s path to the podium in 2014 appeared smooth to some when he finished eighth in The Beach and first in the Overhead Squat. Clearly, swimming is not an issue anymore.

But everything changed on Day 2. After rowing 2,000 m and doing 300 double-unders, Froning appeared to be struggling badly on the run that followed.

And then he stopped running completely.

He started again, gingerly, but resorted to walking several times before crossing the line near the back of the pack, leaving jaws on the concrete at the StubHub center.

Froning said he felt dizzy, hadn’t been running enough, had “turned into a wuss.”

When he finished 15th and 27th pushing a sled, many were ready to start looking for a new king in 2014.

And Rodney Dangerfield thought he couldn’t get any respect.

Froning turned things around in Heat 3 on Friday night by setting the top time in Heat 3. Then he sat down in the warm-up area and watched his rivals run at his mark. Not one could match it.

A long Day 3 brought 13th and 15th in two events, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Froning was gaining momentum and looking more focused, more like the fittest man on the planet, while his competitors were faltering, if only just enough to leave the door open for a guy from Tennessee to saunter in an eat their lunch.

The 2013 script started to play out in Saturday’s final two events as Froning finished ninth and first, leaving the stadium with a 5-point lead over Mathew Fraser. Froning opened Sunday with another win. Before the Midline March, the camera zoomed in on the champ, whose face looked determined, almost angry.

Rookie and one-time overall leader Noah Ohlsen went out early, looking as if he’d win the event. But in quintessential fashion, Froning pulled ahead on the second set of overhead lunges to the cheers of the crowd. Spectators rose to their feet to scream as Froning finished in 5:25 flat—more than 35 seconds ahead of Fraser.

Taking second, Fraser only fell 10 points back overall, setting up a showdown in the tennis stadium to end the day. CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro announced the 12th workout at 2:30 p.m. before sending the top 30 athletes into isolation. Event 13, Grace twice, would be announced to the athletes hot on the heels of the rope climbs and overhead squats that preceded it, leaving athletes less than a minute to prepare.

If Froning had started the competition with drama, he ended it certainty. The champ rose to the occasion and won the final two events of the day to sweep the day’s challenges. He was just more than 18 seconds ahead of Fraser in Event 12, and he nipped Jason Khalipa to take the win on Event 13. Fraser had to settle for second, while Khalipa returned to the podium in third.

In the end, Froning finished 50 points ahead of second place to claim his fourth title.

After the event, and without making excuses, Froning revealed he had been sick earlier in the week. He said a headache and stomach pains might have caused dehydration in the Triple 3, the event that had him walking and looking a wreck. Froning, who had also been sick at the Central East Regional, stayed positive despite the adversity.

“I never really got discouraged,” he said.

He told himself, “If it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be, and it’s someone else’s time.”

For the fourth year in a row, it wasn’t.

Queen in the North

Leblanc-Bazinet became a CrossFit star in the first event of her first CrossFit Games. She was one of the first athletes to complete Amanda at the 2010 Games, and her unbroken muscle-ups under the lights became the stuff of fitness legend. She finished ninth that year and rose to eighth in 2011 and sixth in 2012. She slipped to 16th in 2013 but returned to form in 2014 by finishing second in the Open and winning the Canada East Regional.

At the Games, she had three top-10 finishes in the first five events, taking second in the Overhead Squat. Like Froning, she made a strong bid for the title when she won the 21-15-9 Complex on Day 2, using unbelievable gymnastics ability to link pull-ups, chest-to-bar pull-ups and bar muscle-ups.

In what might be called her signature event, she finished second on the Muscle-up Biathlon, and a small stumble on the Sprint Carry was washed away with three top-six finishes after that. She carried a 92-point lead into the final two events.

Leblanc-Bazinet finished 12th in Event 12 and gave away 32 points to Thorisdottir, but she could spare them and held an insurmountable 60-point advantage in Double Grace. She took fifth and gave another 20 points back to Thorisdottir, but she walked away with a 40-point victory.

Thorisdottir was second, and Julie Foucher returned to the podium in third.

The new champion, still crying, was greeted in the tunnel under the stadium by seven-time CrossFit Games athlete Becca Voigt, who invited her to come have a beer after the awards presentation.

Leblanc-Bazinet knew she was in control going into Thick ‘n Quick, and she had a simple strategy: “Cam, just don’t fuck up.”

And she didn’t.

She said the difference between this year and last came down to smart training and elbow grease.

“I attacked more of my weaknesses. I worked my ass off. Every year, you get better at finding your weaknesses,” she said.

The CrossFit Games champions are as follows:

Men: Rich Froning (U.S.A.)
Women: Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (Canada)
Team: CrossFit Invictus (U.S.A.)

Masters Men 40-44: Shawn Ramirez (U.S.A.)
Masters Women 40-44: Amanda Allen (Australia)
Masters Men 45-49: Jerry Hill (U.S.A.)
Masters Women 45-49: Kim Holway (U.S.A.)
Masters Men 50-54: Will Powell (U.S.A.)
Masters Women 50-54: Mary Beth Litsheim (U.S.A.)
Masters Men 55-59: Steve Hamming (U.S.A.)
Masters Women 55-59: Susan Clarke (Canada)
Masters Men 60-plus: Scott Olson (U.S.A.)
Masters Women 60-plus: Karen Wattier (U.S.A.)

Spirit of the Games Award: Becca Voigt
Rookie of the Year: Mathew Fraser
Most Improved: Cassidy Lance

“Fourging Elite Fitness” by: Mike Warkentin and Andréa Maria Cecil

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Photo courtesy of: CrossFit Inc.

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Blaze crew at the CrossFit Games 2014.

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Photo courtesy of: Papi-Ratzzi Photography

 

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ATTENTION: SCHEDULE CHANGE!!

The main CrossFit room will be closed on July 26th & 28th (Sat & Mon) for scheduled maintenance!! The small room will still be open for a Blaze Fitness Fusion class on Monday only at 6pm with Coach Yiota!! This is a ladies only class.

ALL female CrossFit Blaze members are welcome to join us for the class and believe us when we say you will still get a butt kicking workout!

Both rooms will re-open on Tues at 6am clean, fresh and with a new coat of paint.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

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Saturday Schedule!

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Cover Coach

Cover Coach

Check out Coach Kyle in the newest edition of Fit Nation Magazine!! Pick up your copy at the box!

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Schedule change!!

Schedule change!!
Our noon classes on Saturdays are on hiatus until the fall!!
Summer Saturday Schedule will be as follows:
8am. – WOD
9am. – Yoga
10am – WOD
11am – Open Gym
Thank you.

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Schedule change!!

Schedule change!!

Our facility will be OPEN during limited class times on July 4th!!

9am. – WOD
10am – WOD
11am – Open Gym

All other regularly scheduled classes will be canceled for the day.

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Ana Bennett’s Weight Loss and Health Journey

Ana Bennett’s Weight Loss and Health Journey

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I have started and stopped my weight loss and health journey dozens of times…I have truly lost count. The pictures on the left are from the summer of 2010 (approx 6-8 months after Ryan and I were married). The pictures were taken well before I started cross fitting, but up until then, I was still riding the weight/diet roller coaster.

Until I hit my mid to late twenties, I never had to exercise, or watch what I ate…I was active as a child and through my teen years with cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics. When my clothes sizes started getting larger, I hit a wall, and had no idea where to start with diet or exercise. I’d never had to worry, so the most logical explanation to me was to stop eating so much, and try some exercise. The only problem with that: I don’t like to run, I’d never lifted a weight in my life, and I had no actual concept of what being “healthy” was all about.

In August of 2012 I started CrossFit; and boy, did I get a shock! I had no clue what I was in for! I had done spin classes, tried a Couch to 5k program, and everything in between…at that point, spinning was the only thing that had yielded results, and interested me in the least. My first few months at CrossFit were rough. In case you didn’t know, it’s extra super hot here in SWFl in August and September, and I’d never done any type of workout with that type of intensity…in or out of the heat and humidity in Naples.

Well, soon, nothing mattered, not even the heat! I became intent on getting better, faster, and stronger. And when I say all of that, I mean better than what I was the day before. If I squatted 85 pounds one week, the next week I wanted to hit 95 pounds! I didn’t really care about beating the other people in the gym, only myself.

After about a year, I still hadn’t gotten my diet under control, and I ended up hurting my neck and shoulder. It could have been a combination of things: I was tired that day, under nourished for that type of workout, too many people were there that day, etc etc etc. I also am a hairstylist, and I could have done something at work too. Whatever the reason, I ended up taking a year off to work, get healed, and try some other forms of exercise.

It didn’t do any good. I’d fallen in love with CrossFit, and knew I needed to get back into a box! I’d gained weight again, and couldn’t get back on track. In October of 2013, I walked into CrossFit Blaze for the first time. Someone had recommended that I try a new box, the box they went to, and so I decided to check out Blaze. I’d found at the previous gym that I really loved the Olympic Lifting aspect of CrossFit, and Blaze puts a very strong emphasis on the lifts. With the correct coaching, and in a smaller, family type atmosphere, I thrived. My form for the movements and lifts got better, I got stronger, and I got faster! I also started losing weight, and I could see that my body was changing.

In January of 2014, Blaze held a Paleo Challenge. In those four weeks, I strived to eat strict Paleo….and afterwards, with my weight and body fat measurements, I won the challenge! I worked really hard, and found new recipes and ways of eating that worked for me within the Paleo Diet. It was then that something clicked. I was eating! Good, filling, whole foods that made me feel good. I’ve been eating Paleo about 80% of the time for 6 months. It works! I’m not starving myself, and hoping for weight loss.

I truthfully and honestly haven’t weighed myself since the weight loss challenge was over in January. For me, standing on the scale started to affect the way I was feeling about my entire being, not just my body. I was getting anxious and stressed about the number that I saw, and I made the decision to give up the scale.

So, no I can’t tell you how much weight I’ve lost. What I can tell you is that I was wearing between a 10-12 in pants, dresses, skirts, etc. I am now wearing a size 4. I can also tell you that I feel healthier, stronger, and happier than I ever have in my adult life. The final and last piece to this amazing journey so far (of course it’s not over, I’m just getting started), was competing in my very first CrossFit competition in June of 2014. I can not even begin to describe the amount of pride and accomplishment I felt within myself after Thunderdome was over. I did that! I was part of the team! I lifted the heavy weights, I crushed my times, and I didn’t give up or back out!

Becoming a member at CrossFit Blaze has benefitted me in so many ways. I have grown to be a person I love, inside and out! The people who work out there are like a family. We support each other, cheer each other on, and I’m so proud to say that I’m part of the group. Do yourselves a favor, and come check them out. You won’t regret it!

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Athlete of the Month

Athlete of the Month is…. Susan Dono. Congrats Susan!

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1. When did you start doing CrossFit? – It will be one year in August.
2. Favorite WOD? – Love anything with power cleans
3. Least favorite WOD? – Hate anything with wall balls !
4. Favorite lift? – Dead Lifts
5. Least favorite lift? – Back Squats
6. Tell us a little about yourself? – I’m a makeup artist for CHANEL at Nordstrom in the Waterside Shops. I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 10 years. I never in a million years thought that I would become an “active” person. Training each day has become a part of my daily life and I’ve never been happier.
7. What were you doing before CrossFit? – Before CrossFit I did nothing. Literally. I could barely even make it up a flight of stairs without feeling like I needed to call the paramedics.
8.What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? –  After my first CrossFit workout having trained with Kyle prior I was completely intimidated and exhausted. I left thinking, Well Kyle it was nice knowing ya! I knew I couldn’t let myself quit, and I’m so happy I didn’t!
9. What were your goals when joining CrossFit? – My goals when I joined CrossFit and still are to continue to lose weight, live a healthy lifestyle and become stronger every day.
10. Have you achieved any of those goals? – I definitely have become so much stronger then when I first started. Seeing what I can do only makes me want to do more and more!
11. Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym? – CrossFit has changed the way I look at life it general. I have so much more energy and such an appreciation for life and the world around me. I am not only healthier but overall a much happier person.
12. What are some of your best WOD times/achievements inside the gym? – An achievement I am proud of is : When I first started I could barely step on the smallest step up box. (I call them the baby boxes) Kyle stood on the other side of me and held my hands. The day I stepped up on 20 inches all by myself was a very proud moment for me.
13. What advice would you give a newbie just joining CrossFit Blaze? – Advice for a newbie? ONE day at a time. Stick with it even though you feel like you want to run away and never look back. It will be the best decision you ever made.
14. Something you may not know about me is? – Something you may not know about me? In the last year and a half I have lost 141 pounds and dropped 8 sizes. At my heaviest I was almost 400 pounds and now I am more than half that size. I am blessed to have a second chance at the life I always dreamed of but never thought was possible.

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FN Thunderdome 2014

FN Thunderdome 2014, the first indoor CrossFit competition in SWFL, took place at Germain Arena in Estero this past weekend. Over 350 athletes from our neck of the woods gave it their all in a weekend fit for the memory books.

Blaze coaches, athletes and support staff volunteered, competed and experienced the amazing warmth of our CrossFit community.

A big thanks to CEO of Fit Nation Magazine, Stan Douge and his team for putting on this historical event. To the amazing volunteers who gave their time and effort to do the many tasks involved in order to make this a successful event. Coach Jason ran a smooth operation as Equipment Director making sure all was on point during each WOD. Coach Kyle ensured athletes were well briefed as one of the Athlete Liaisons. Liz helped keep all in check in the Operations Dept and Michelle supported our athletes as Team Coach. Athletes were escorted on to the floor and judged by Coach Julie. Tim, (Papi-Ratzzi Photography), spent both days in the arena taking more than 2000 photo’s!

Congratulations to all of our athletes who competed to the sounds of DJ Crazy X! Kettle bell swings, box jumps and deadlifts were just some of the movements done by newbies and experienced crossfitters alike.

Placements were all over the map. “Bros to Bar” took first place in the Men’s Scaled Team Division. The girls teams did an awesome job of working together and felt the camaraderie that encompasses CrossFit community. Individual RX Female, Scaled Males and Females, Masters and otherwise tested their fitness and learned lessons needed to improve their game for the next one.

Inspirational athlete Coach Steph Hammerman who has cerebral palsy attended and competed in the event. “The way I do CrossFit is a little different” says Hammerman. “A lot of movements you’ll see today are done from the standing position. When I compete I do all of my lifting movement from my knees.” She may be on her knees but her will to succeed, (and she does), can’t help but make you feel that you can accomplish anything.

Media coverage for the event was amazing! NBC-2, WINK & FOX were just some of the TV stations represented. 105.5 The Beat held a booth in vendor village. TEN (Trainers Elite Network) filmed numerous pieces of footage for their online outlet TEN News. Naples Daily News and the Ft Myers News Press also had a presence at the event.

Vendors lined the periphery of the arena. From soap to supplements to companies selling the latest CrossFit gear. The variety of goods to be bought was a reminder of a small community marketplace.

As Stan Douge commented to the media: “Our event is geared more towards the recreational athlete so a lot of individuals who entered CrossFit looking for a workout but want to take it a step further, this is the event for them. Fitness in general is doing a shift where we are seeing a lot more activities geared towards group fitness and my belief is it’s geared towards social connection”.

Social connection indeed. Get fit, healthy, make new friends and look good whilst doing it!

Our first week of classes are FREE!

Hope to see YOU at our box soon!
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SCHEDULE CHANGE!!

SCHEDULE CHANGE!!

The day is almost here! 3 days left until SW Florida’s first indoor CrossFit competition!!
Blaze athletes, coaches and support staff will all be partaking in this historical event.

Our facility will be CLOSED on Sat June 21st!!

Come on out and support your fellow athletes! Spectator tickets are $20 for one day, $35 for both.
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