WSU Crossfit: A Workout for Champions

Amy Cheek

           “How often do you push your work out to exhaustion? Have you ever gone through a workout routine that leaves you gasping for air and every muscle in your body twitching from fatigue?” These questions are asked of Washington State University students involved in a gym called Crossfit.

           Crossfit was founded in 2000, and within the last few years has grown into an epic fad across the world. It differs from an average day at the gym. Crossfit includes a variety of movements from Olympic Weight lifting to hand stand walks across the floor; climbing ropes to running miles; performing pull-ups to weighted squats. Crossfit even includes strange exercises called kipping pull-ups, burpees, double unders, wall ball shots, piston squats and many more.

            The Washington State University Crossfit, or WSU Crossfit, was started in November of 2012. They meet in a small room in Smith Gym, room 21. It is filled with pull up bars, dumbbells, weighted balls, bars, boxes and jump ropes.

            Multiple classes are offered, from 5:45 in the morning to 7 at night. As people come in, the small quiet space becomes filled with talk of the day’s WOD (work out of the day) and PRs (personal records) the Crossfitters will hit during the work out.

            One of my friends, Alex, has been a member of WSU Crossfit ever since the beginning. I asked him about the classes, and how well they work with being a full time student. “There are quite a few classes in the mornings and at nights so it works around school pretty well.”

            The Crossfitters prepare for the WOD by warming up, which usually includes stretching and getting your heart rate pumping. The WOD is written on the chalkboard. It reads, “Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
95 pound Thruster, 5 reps;
95 pound Hang Powercleans, 7 reps;
95 pound Sumo Deadlift High-pull, 10 reps.”

            These exercises are performed by Olympic lifters, and are incorporated into an average Crossfit WOD. The men and women in the WSU gym begin by filling their bars with weights, rubbing their hands with chalk, and cranking up the music to get pumped for the workout. The clock is set for 20 minutes, and each person must perform each movement with concentration and good form to make sure they don’t injure themselves in the long run. They move in a way that drains all of their energy, and it seems that they are sweating and working harder than they ever have before. 

            After the time is up, some of the athletes walk around the gym to try and catch their breath; others lie on the ground because of how fatigued they are. They encourage and congratulate each other on a great job done, and head back to their busy days.

            Alex says he enjoys Crossfit so much, and it has changed his WSU experience. “It’s a great community with a lot of really great and encouraging people!”

            Throughout all of the different ways that Washington State University students can get fit and get healthy, my personal favorite is through Crossfit. Although I have never tried Crossfit WSU, I am definitely going to sign up for classes in the Spring!

            As always, go healthy, and GO COUGS!


Intramurals: The Good, the Bad, and the Fit

Mica DeMarco

With over one-third of Washington State University’s student body participating in intramural sports at some point during their time on campus, intramural sports are by far one of the most popular ways WSU students stay fit.  With this many students participating in IM sports, there are bound to be a myriad of perspectives on the sports.  I interviewed two students about intramural sports who showed me quite an array of opinions about them.

Julia Burton, a fifth-year senior majoring in hospitality and business management from San Diego, California has only ever participated in one intramural sport- a co-ed summer softball team.  Burton said she participated on the team with coworkers from her job as a Cougar Connector in WSU’s Admissions department.  Of participating on a team that played in the co-ed league, Burton said: “The guys [on the other team] got pretty into it and we were just there to have a good time.  I remember a game where our team won and all of the girls got called nasty names afterwards.  It wasn’t cool.”  

Burton said that while it was fun being able to play on a team with people of her choosing, and that it was a good way to get in some exercise, she’s not sure if she would ever play again.  “I just wish people weren’t sore losers,” Burton said.

On the far other end of the intramural spectrum stands Eric Koenig, a WSU junior from Snohomish, Washington majoring in environmental engineering and who’s played on intramural teams that include football, softball, soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Koenig has played on both co-ed as well as single gender teams and says that he thinks the level of competition is good. “I’d say the competition is pretty fair, competitive teams do a good job of going to competitive leagues, and so on.”  Koenig cites his love of sports and the fun intramurals provide as his reason for having participated in as many teams as he has.

But Koenig agrees with Burton in that intramurals could use some work, too.  In asked what specifically could be changed to better the games, Koenig says, “The refs suck and need more training. It should be a pre-rec of having played the sport in high school if you’re going to be a ref for it.”  

Upon conducting my own research on WSU’s webpage devoted to IM sports, I did find that becoming an official is really very simple.  The link that WSU’s website refers those who want to be referees to even says there is no application to become an official and that experience with the sport isn’t required– just preferred.

Even with improvements to be had, it is clear that WSU’s intramural teams and the University Recreation department under which it falls, are doing something right.  If you’re looking for a fun way to stay fit, or just to hone your skills in a sport, intramurals might be the right choice for you.

Check out for more information on how to get involved and to find the right team for you.  Go Cougs!

Ten Ways to Stay Stress-Free During Finals

by Jordan Williams
Today marks the first day of finals week, and that means studying, tests, and lots and lots of stress.  In order to keep healthy and do the best you can on your tests, it’s important to know how to manage stress and keep yourself in tip top shape.  I’ve compiled a list of the top ten best ways to help you keep the stress away during finals week.

       1.       Healthy snacks

The temptation to just grab a candy bar or a bag of chips while you’re studying  or scrambling to finish a big project can be hard to resist, but stock up on healthy snacks instead.  Snacks like apples, granola bars, nuts, or carrots will keep you full longer and keep sugar crashes at bay.  This will help to keep your energy up and keep you from getting sick – the last thing you need during finals week.

      2.      Listen to calming music

When stress gets overwhelming, taking a break and listening to some calming music can help you to relax and let go of some of those worries.  Take ten minutes every few hours to close your eyes, turn on some tunes, and take some deep breaths.  You’ll be able to concentrate longer and won’t get burnt out on studying as quickly. 

     3.      Exercise

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins- the chemical that makes you feel happy! Getting in some exercise, even if it’s just for a half hour, can elevate your mood.  The rec center has free classes all this week, so grab and friend and head over there for some stress-relieving activity.

      4.      Talk to a friend

Speaking of friends, getting in some social time can help you relieve your frustrations and let you know that you’re not alone.  Get some people together for a study group or schedule in a coffee date with a friend to help get your mind off all those tests.

      5.      Do yoga

Sitting at a computer screen for hours on end isn’t good for your body – or your sanity.  After sitting for a long time take a break and stretch or do some yoga to stretch out your muscles and give your brain a break.  This video has some good stretches for beginner yoga.

      6.      Focus – turn off the technology

Trying to study while multitasking while Facebooking, Tumbling, and texting is practically impossible.  It may seem like you’re being efficient and getting lots done, but actually its just taking you longer to get the important things done.  Turn off your phone or leave it in another room, use website blocking applications for Google Chrome, do whatever it takes.  The pain of being cut off from social media will be worth it once you’re getting things done twice as fast.

     7.      Take a study break

When you get stuck writing a paper or just feel like your brain can’t absorb any more information, it may be time for a study break.  Get away from your desk or laptop and do something completely unrelated for a little while to give yourself some time to recharge.  Doing this frequently throughout the day can help to keep you from getting burned out and frazzled from studying.

      8.      Laugh about something

It may seem unlikely, but laughter is a proven stress reliever.  It can make you feel more relaxed, help your blood pressure, and make you feel happier.  So watch a funny movie or some YouTube videos, call up that friend that’s so funny, and laugh a little!

      9.      Get enough sleep

Sleep is your best friend.  Too many all nighters can take a huge toll on your ability to deal with stress, think clearly, and your immune system.  Getting at least eight hours of sleep is crucial to make sure you stay in fighting shape for those finals.

     10.  Make a plan

Write down everything that you have to do.  If you are able to clearly see what you have to do and what has already been accomplished, you won’t have to worry that you’ll forget to study for a test or

A Look Back.

Dominique Wald

Now that it is the end of the semester, I decided to take a look back on everything I’ve done regarding this health and fitness blog and what I’ve learned from it. For starters, I think this blog really made me accountable for what I’m putting in my body and exercising. What started as a on going project for a communications class quickly became something I enjoyed doing and soon enough I incorporated things I did for this blog into my every day life. Along the journey of learning about health and fitness, I ended up teaching myself things about health and fitness I never would have learned. I also learned how to talk to people during interviews.

Health and fitness is important to carry on for your life because it improves all aspects of life. By living a healthy lifestyle, I became more focused on school and then in turn I became a better student. As a college student, we are constantly living under the conundrum of time management and stress, but in reality taking care of yourself is one thing that will relieve your stress. Working out releases endorphins and it just makes everything have a more positive twist. Along with this blog, I’ve met some amazing people and made some really good friends.

I think also this blog was extremely empowering, especially in regards to women and self esteem. It’s no secret that women everywhere are always on the frontline of battle when it comes to looking a certain way. Society tells us if you’re not a size 0-4, there is something inherently wrong with you. I think as a woman, doing this and talking to different people throughout interviews I learned that being healthy and fit doesn’t necessarily come with a size number. Living a lifestyle that promotes health also offers self acceptance.

In the end, there were lessons I learned that were invaluable not only in the career field I will be going into, but lessons that I can apply to my personal life as well.

At Home Workouts

Now that it’s snowing on the beautiful Pullman campus, where can one go to stay fit if they don’t want to venture into the cold? Amy Cheek and Mica DeMarco interviewed two WSU students who use at-home workouts to stay fit. To check out the video that they use, visit Shaun T’s website at or try searching the web for a video that suits your taste!

Eating Healthy at College

We ask WSU students why is it so hard for us to eat healthy at school? Then we take a healthy twist on one of our favorite dishes!

By: Dominique Wald & Jordan Williams

Adventures in Healthy Eating

I decided to attempt to make an easy and healthy dinner – and I documented the whole thing

by Jordan Williams

The Road to Being Healthy by Dominique Wald

Being healthy isn’t a trend, it’s a lifestyle! Follow my journey as I try new workouts, both in a gym and out of one, along with good food that won’t leave you feeling guilty. 

Check it out here

The Moscow Food Co-op: A friendly choice for healthy food.

Dio Link:

Have you been searching for a store that offers a wide variety of organic food options? Well, you’ve found it! Check out the Food Co-op located just 8 miles away in the friendly town of Moscow. It offers fresh, organic and locally grown foods to help implement a healthier lifestyle. Take a look!

Alternative WSU Fitness

by Mica DeMarco

Link to my dio: Alternative WSU Fitness

We all know that there are plenty of fitness options at WSU, from the Student Recreation Center, intramural sports teams, and the Outdoor Recreation Center.  I wanted to explore alternatives to these traditional means of exercise, however.  I documented my friend and fitness-fanatic Lauren Little on some of her adventures around Pullman getting fit!

Tagged , ,