Author Archives: kellan emge

TNP Episode 3 – The story of how CrossFit Regeneration came to be.

Top Notch Podcast > Episode 3 – The story of how CrossFit Regeneration came to be.

Show Notes

Sponsored by: Whetstone Barbell Club

John and Charlie talk about the type of CrossFit at CrossFit Regeneration, how Charlie started the gym and how it has grown.

Charlie’s Ironman Experience

  • Nasty rumor about Charlie back in the day: he hated fitness (after doing the Ironman).
  • Charlie signed up for the Ironman on a whim.
  • Spent a year training to go forward slowly without stopping.
  • He was relieved it was over and done with.
  • His personal training clients noticed he was beat down.

Charlie finds CrossFit (but didn’t know it was CrossFit)

  • A friend noticed he was down and told him about Brass Ring Fitness (
  • First weekly workout was a 400 meter lunge. He thought it was a joke, until actually doing it.
  • As a personal trainer, he was told to stay away from CrossFit because only the crazy people did it.
  • Got a small group of friends together in a buddy’s garage and trained them for free using the Brass Ring program.
  • The Chief workout (
  • Realized he had turned into one of those crazy CrossFit people and began researching the CrossFit Journal (
  • Nasty Girls CrossFit video (
  • They were filling up the garage and Charlie started looking for a new place.

Charlie opens a CrossFit gym

  • He had zero dollars and a lot of dreams but decided to open a gym.
  • Gym lived off Ruckriegal Parkway for 3 years. Opened the new gym off Plantside Drive this year.

How did they choose the name “Regeneration”?

  • “The Kingdom” was what they decided on, but the name was already taken by another CrossFit gym.
  • Then the word “regeneration” came up.
  • From the Bible, regeneration is when God comes back to make the world better than it was when it started.
  • People would come in and not be able to do a pull-up, but now they can. They went through a regeneration.

What does the CrossFit Regeneration logo mean?

  • First logo was an angry bear with wings. Loved it, but it didn’t describe us as a culture.
  • The new logo signifies something new, rising up and becoming stronger, better and healthier than before.
  • Logo feels like an upward trajectory which should mirror the path athletes have in the gym.

The old gym vs. the new gym

  • Don’t complain about the AC. 😉
  • It was our home and we loved it, but it was dirty and was like a giant garage.
  • The gym went through a regeneration of its own.

Murals on the walls

  • Challenge now is to make the new gym our home.
  • Stephen Block has added so amazing murals to the gym walls.
  • “Fitness in 100 words” ( mural is on the wall to keep them motivated, inspired and educated even when they’re outside of the gym.

The CrossFit Regeneration elevator speech (why is CrossFit special here?)

  • You can do CrossFit anywhere but people choose to be at Regeneration.
  • We have incredible coaches and good systems in place in the new gym.
  • This is a very special place where people can be encouraged, educated, motivated and get it great shape with their future best friends.
  • Being around other people in the gym community helps draw out the best in ourselves.
  • We have spectacular folks who frequent this gym.
  • If you have pictures or a story of your own personal regeneration we’d love to hear about it.
  • Contact us via Twitter ( or via the CrossFit Regeneration Facebook group page.

Allow me to re-introduce myself

My name is John. You might have read my first post. I also help Charlie out with the Top Notch Podcast. I’m (relatively) new to this whole CrossFit thing. When I walked into CrossFit Regeneration at our old location in October 2014 it was the first time I had ever set foot in a CrossFit box. I met coaches Charlie and Moira. My wife and I went through the foundations class and two months later I was a full time CrossFitter. Before I tell you about how I fell in love with constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity I think it’s important you understand my fitness background (or lack thereof).

My weight peaked at 285 pounds multiple times in my life. First as an 18 year old high school football player and as recent as 2013, the summer of my 35th birthday. During that same span of time my weight has varied 80 pounds. I’ve been as low as 205 but mostly staying around 250-260. These peaks and valleys paralleled diets and workout plans I tried (and eventually quit). At 6’3″ I can hide a lot of weight on my frame. I can say I’m a former football player and most people won’t think twice about it. Bottom line, I wasn’t healthy and none of the dieting or traditional exercising worked for me.

John, before and after

Oh what a difference 6 years (and 9 months of CrossFit) can make!

So close but yet so far away

So many things came close. P90X is varied and had high intensity but doing it alone in my living room wasn’t sustainable. Couch to 5K seemed like a great idea but after a couple weeks my feet and knees started to hurt. Planet Fitness, LA Fitness and Louisville Athletic Club are all nice places. They have clean equipment, lots of machines and free weights for weightlifting. Some of them even have group classes and personal training. But I never felt like anyone there really cared about how often I showed up or took the time to fix things I may be doing incorrectly. I’m sure those places are great for some people. They just didn’t work for me.

The one place that has come close to my CrossFit experience was a TRX / cross-training class I took at the Louisville YMCA. I had a coach. It was a small group setting. It was a lot of body-weight based movements. I started to feel better, but it wasn’t enough. I needed more than 3 days a week. I needed to be pushed. I needed to build strength and endurance. I needed a plan to increase my work capacity across a broad range of time and modal domains. I needed a bigger community of athletes to support my efforts and help hold me accountable. What I really needed was CrossFit. I just didn’t know it.

Before and after

Me, before and after starting CrossFit. Still have a long way to go.

Finding a home at CrossFit Regeneration

So 10 months into my training at CrossFit Regeneration and here I am writing blog posts about how much I love it. If you’re reading this maybe you’re looking for what I was looking for. Maybe you need to be trained not just exercise a couple days a week. Maybe your tired of running on a treadmill for 45 minutes and seeing little results from your efforts. Maybe you need a workout buddy (we all need workout buddies). I needed all of that and I got so much more at CrossFit Regeneration. I’m down to my leanest weight since college, 220 pounds, but I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. And my endurance is as good as it’s been in 15 years. I’ve stopped obsessing over my physical appearance and started obsessing over the number of rounds I complete in “Cindy” and how many minutes it takes me to complete “Murph”.

I’m having a blast. I’m hanging out with my new friends from the gym. My family is all doing CrossFit. I’ve been told I’m still in the honeymoon phase and maybe that’s true. But this is longest I’ve ever sustained a fitness and health program. The more I do it the more I want to do more of it. I believe in the approach we take at CrossFit Regeneration. Maybe, just maybe, you might too.

Our coaches introduced a new process for getting started called a “No Sweat Intro“. You sit down with a coach for a few minutes and chat about who you are and what you want to do with your fitness. This is exactly what I did that first day I walked into the gym before it became an official process. I quickly figured out the coaches here are truly vested in the success of their athletes. They’ve helped my family define an achievable path to get stronger and healthier. They can do the same for you.

“But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

TNP Episode 2 – What is fitness? How does CrossFit define it?

Top Notch Podcast > Episode 2 – What is fitness? How does CrossFit define it?

Show Notes

Sponsored by Lil Beasts Kids CrossFit:

In this educational episode, John and Charlie talk about what fitness is, how it’s defined by CrossFit and Greg Glassman and why it’s important for you to know, including:

Standard CrossFit definition of fitness

  • Improved work capacity across a broad range of timed and modal domains.

Work capacity

  • How much power can your body produce?
  • Work = (Force X Distance) / Time
  • Tracking your work capacity as a measurable quantity.

Broad range of time and modal domains

  • We don’t want the limiter to ever appear.
  • Activities should be broad, inclusive and repeatable.
  • Keeping track of a single measurable (like your weight) is okay, but not as useful as tracking multiple measurables to determine the true reality of what’s going on with your body.
  • Tracking workouts by writing them down or using tools like Wodify.
  • Helps to focus on measurable performances rather than body weight or your reflection in the mirror.

10 general physical skills

  • From sidebar on page 4 of “What is Fitness?” CrossFit Journal article
  • Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy
  • Charlie’s IronMan experience: Grade A+ in cardio/respiratory endurance, Grade F in all other skills
  • Specialists vs. Jack’s of All Trades (world record deadlift

3 energy systems (or maybe more)

  • From chart on page 2 of “What is Fitness?” CrossFit Journal article
  • First system: Phosphagen, flash in the pan pathway, like a pitcher throwing a fastball
  • Second system: Glycolytic, 90 second pathway, like a 400 meter sprint
  • Third system: Oxidative, pathway for things longer than 90 seconds, like aerobics
  • For efficient fitness we need to try to hit all 3 pathways in our workouts
  • CrossFit Endurance

Programming at CrossFit Regeneration

  • Sorry dudes, no biceps curls here.
  • Workouts are setup to hit all 10 of the general physical skills.
  • Setup to help members get a varied range of movements and avoid routines.

The Hopper

  • Being prepared for the unknown and unknowable.
  • Attack the things (exercises that are our weaknesses) that terrify us the most.

Health and Fitness

  • Three dimensional definition of fitness and health video from Coach Glassman
  • From top of page 3 of “What is Fitness?” CrossFit Journal article
  • 1-to-1 relationship between health and fitness. CrossFit is “wellness care”.
  • Combine proper food, sleep and exercise habits moves you further down the continuum towards fitness and gives you a buffer if you get sick.