Kalsu: The WOD, The man, The legend

Kalsu, a name most have never heard of.  But for a few of us it is a name that will never be forgotten.  So what, and more importantly who is Kalsu?

Kalsu the Hero WOD, is one of the most difficult, unholy, immortal, and revered WOD’s out there.  The WOD itself is 100 thrusters done for time, men use 135 lbs and women use 95 lbs.  That sounds hard enough but at the top of every minute you have to do 5 burpees, each and every minute.  It is a brutal one just to do scaled or modified let alone to Rx.  But the man it is named after and in honor of deserves such an outstanding workout.

James Robert Kalsu was a local Oklahoman.  He was born and raised around Oklahoma City and even played college football at the University of Oklahoma.  He was drafted to the Buffalo Bills where he played his one and only season and was rookie-of-the-year for the Bills’.  In 1968 he entered the U.S. Army.  He went on to the 101st Airborne and was sent to Vietnam where he was tragically killed in action leaving a wife, daughter, and unborn son.

Aside from being a fellow Okie, Kalsu like many other soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Paying with his life in service of the United States.  Here at Buffalo Nickel CrossFit we think Kalsu along with others who give up lucrative professional careers to serve in a role they feel called to, and to sacrifice their lives have earned a well deserved honor.  

CrossFit uses Hero WOD’s as a way to pay respect, you can read in more detail (here).  Hero WOD’s are really tough, they are supposed to be.  But I personally think Kalsu is one of the toughest.  A couple years ago we programmed it just to try it and it was more difficult than any of us at BNCF imagined.  

When I say it was more difficult than we imagined I mean, it was terrible, and one of the most painful workouts I have ever done.  It took a great deal of mental fortitude to continue chipping away at the 100 reps.  It is one of the only WOD’s I have seen people cry during, the physical suffering you go through during the WOD is nothing to the level and intensity of soreness that hits you like a tsunami in the following days.  

In 2019 we decided to do it again, but this time on the anniversary of our opening date.  We have decided to make it an annual event that we will do in honor of Bob Kalsu and to celebrate the opening anniversary of BNCF.  Buffalo Nickel CrossFit like Bob Kalsu is proudly Oklahoman and we love honoring an American Hero in our own special way.   

If you have never done Kalsu, you should.  It’s one of those crazy, incomprehensible but exciting things such as bungee jumping or skydiving that make life that much more interesting.

Kalsu, one hell of a WOD for one hell of a guy.


Learn to Move Correctly

I think most of us have heard the proverb of giving a man a fish vs teaching him how to fish.  But in case not it goes something like this, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for life.”  Obviously this is saying that learning the how of something sticks with us for life, and we are able to benefit from it for years to come; instead of a one time benefit.

Yesterday in our social media post I mentioned how most gyms’ only want you to sweat and burn some calories. In fact some gyms don’t even want you to do that!

The globo-gym business model works like this.  The member pays the gym a certain price per month.  The gym in turn provides the space and equipment to workout.  Globo gyms operate this way and try to sell lots of memberships for a low price in the hope that you won’t actually use their service.

CrossFit changed this slightly.  Most CrossFit boxes still provide the space and equipment but they usually charge a higher price per month.  This benefits the members because the members receive a workout of the day or ‘WOD’ as CrossFit calls it.  A good box will provide all of the above in addition to coaching and instruction.  In my book this is where boxes get divided into what I would call a good CrossFit and a not so good CrossFit.

A not so good CrossFit box could provide a great workout program, but have minimal to no coaching.  A good box will provide you with movement demo’s, tell you what to be cautious of, give scaling or modification options, show you why the movement(s) you are doing can be good for our daily living, and teach you how to feel proper vs. improper movement.  

Essentially the proverb comes back to us, one is giving you the result, the other is teaching you the nuances and the how.  The latter provides you with a lifetime of knowledge that you can use day in and day out.

Hopefully all of us will be moving throughout our life or at least the large majority of our life.  So learning as much as you can about movement and how to do it properly is very important.  Most times bad backs, busted knees, messed up shoulders come from years of poor movement and posture.  Understanding movement can help prevent the injuries and issues that “just come with getting old”.

If you are taught how to move well and move correctly then your movement will work for you, and you will reap the rewards for years to come.  You will be fed for life. Never being taught how to move well, or only focusing on weight and intensity might help you reach a short term goal but will eventually start to work against you.  You might be fed for the day, but you will soon find yourself beat, broken and hungry.

Want to learn more?  We are here to help, get started with us today to experience proper movement and coaching.


Brenda’s Story

I am glad CrossFit is not a contact sport. Because if it was I promise you Brenda would win! Brenda started CrossFit with non-calloused hands, and long fancy nails. And to be honest when I first met her, I was pretty convinced she would not like how rough CrossFit can make you.  

But as I got to know her I was more concerned that Brenda was too tough for CrossFit!

You see, Brenda doesn’t back down. Even when she first started with us and was doing box jumps. One of our coaches told her if she didn’t want to jump she could do step ups. Brenda’s response, “I WANT to jump”. 

And I don’t mean on a 3 inch box, she was jumping on a 16 inch box from day 1. This all-or-nothing attitude has only increased the more advanced Brenda has become. She hasn’t slowed down one bit! When you see her workout you feel bad for whatever piece of equipment she is using because of how she attacks every movement.

Now, Brenda still has long fancy nails but she lifts more, has callouses on her hands, and is jumping on higher boxes. Brenda is one of those athletes who receives one little correction from a coach and you never have to tell her again. She is a natural athlete and a born competitor.  

As Brenda’s skill level grows I have no doubt her competitiveness will as well. So, if you are working out with her, just get ready.


Doug’s Story

This is Doug.  He joined Buffalo Nickel CrossFit in the Fall of 2019 with his wife and two daughters.  Doug has made some amazing progress since then.  He has completed one of our nutrition challenges and has been extremely committed to his fitness.

Because of his dedication and relentless attitude he has been able to not only lose over 50 pounds, but he has also gotten stronger with over 40 different PR’s, and his movement mechanics have improved greatly.  Doug has made such outstanding health improvements that his doctor was comfortable taking Doug off multiple prescriptions which is now saving Doug $200 a month!

Doug is the living example of ‘make a good first impression’.  If someone told me they don’t like Doug, or he did something to upset them, I’d question their character over Doug’s.  That’s how good of a person he is.  He always shows up happy and cheerful, and no matter how miserable the WOD is a few minutes after it is over Doug is smiling and joking with people.

Coaching Doug is always a treat.  He is the type you look forward to coaching, and no matter what he always tries his hardest.  Doug has a level of determination that you know he will accomplish whatever he sets out to.

Doug we are proud of you and all of your accomplishments. 

To hear from Doug, the man himself click here!


Why You Will Like Group Fitness.

Maybe you are brand new to fitness, or maybe you have been involved in some sort of physical activity your entire life.  Whatever the case, group fitness can be a fun, relationship building activity.

What is group fitness?

Group fitness is simply like minded people getting together to enjoy the same type of fitness/fitness program.  Some of the most well known are Zumba, F45, Pilates, Yoga, Barre, multiple types of martial arts, and of course CrossFit. 

Group fitness is usually highly structured when compared to the lone gym goer doing their own thing, and is slightly different from hiring a personal trainer.  There are start and end times, the workout is usually programmed before you arrive, the class generally has a schedule that is followed by all members of the group.  Hopefully the coach/trainer goes over expectations, demonstrates movements, corrections, and is motivating.  As far as the “personality”  of the class, that is dependent on the program.  A Barre or Yoga class will have a very different feel than a CrossFit or martial arts class.  

Will I like group fitness?

It depends!  If you like coaching, community, accountability, structure, camaraderie, and are even slightly competitive then group fitness is probably a great fit.  It isn’t for everyone though, and that’s okay.  In my opinion one of the best things about group fitness is the accountability and community.  

Even before opening Buffalo Nickel I really enjoyed getting to know the coaches, and members.  Finally, fitness had become more than just working out to stay in shape, it became my hobby; and the people I met were who I spent my time with.  

I loved it. I could show up, have an entire hour planned out for me, work hard in what reminded me of a team practice (there was a coach, you have others there to help push you, and you did the same for them).  Afterwards we could usually just talk and hangout, or if we were too exhausted we could might sit and watch while others went through the same torture we just finished.

What about pricing?

Every place is different but to get an idea we can use a spectrum.  On one end is a typical ‘globo-gym’(Gold’s, Lifetime, Genesis, Planet Fitness), usually these are on the less expensive side.  They range in cost from $10/month and up depending on what your membership includes.  On the other end of the spectrum is personal training, personal trainers generally price their services around $60/hour.  We are calling this expensive because if a person hires a personal trainer 3 days a week at that cost they will be spending at least $720 a month.

Group fitness cost’s fall pretty much anywhere in between.  Since I know CrossFit it is the only one I feel comfortable pricing, and prices usually range from $80 to $250+ per month.  Factors on price include location, how many classes a week you want to attend, what equipment is available, and if you want extra’s (nutrition coaching, open gym options, PT sessions, etc.)

What is the best group fitness program?

Easy.  Whatever one you enjoy.  There is no way that I or anyone else can tell you which is best for you, that is 100% your choice.  But here are some tips.

  • Decide what your goals are: If you want to learn how to box, CrossFit probably won’t help.  Visa versa for olympic lifting or learning a muscle up.  While both will help you be more fit, they each concentrate on different areas of fitness.
  • Find one that fits you: If you walk in and it feels like home, that’s a pretty good sign.  This is one of those “I knew right away” things, so pay attention to what your gut is telling you.
  • Ask questions and look around: Look to see if equipment is organized, surfaces are clean, ask those who are already members questions, what they like, if there is anything they don’t like, do they get coached, is there something they wish was different, etc.  
  • Pick the one you feel is the best fit: I might learn pilates from the #1 pilates instructor in the world, and I am sure I would learn a ton of stuff.  But it probably would not make me want to do pilates regularly.  On the flip side, I could go to a CrossFit box that had only brand name equipment and is super cheap, but if the coach doesn’t actually coach then I don’t care what the cost is or how great the equipment.  You know what is important to you, whatever program you are interested in, pick the place that suits you and your interest best.

Group or no group:

If you are the slightest bit interested in group fitness, then go try some places.  The worst that happens is you exercise in a way you don’t usually.  Life is about trying new things.  So go take a chance!

Interested in CrossFit but not sure how to start?  Click the link below to schedule a free intro with us.