2017 Elevate Classic

Tampa Bay's original American-themed partner competition is back for a third year! The Elevate Classic (formerly SPSC Classic) will give same-sex teams of two a chance to compete in either RX or Scaled divisions on May 13th. 

The Classic is about having a good time and sporting the red, white and blue. We call it The Classic because there are no party tricks in the workouts, just a challenging blend of movements that any funtional athlete has practiced in the gym. 

Registration opens March 1st at with early bird pricing through March 15th. Early bird is $120 per team, regular registration is $130 per team. This is an event you won't want to miss.

Pups & Barbells

This will not be an ordinary event, oh no!

Elevate and Pup Active are coming together to host an epic fundraiser for Pet Pal Animal Shelter!

We're both proud supporters of adopting your fur family member.

So we're throwing a big event to raise awareness, funds and items needed to support the amazing Pet Pal Animal Shelter.

Pet Pal Animal Shelter will have a pup or two at the event that are eligble for adoption! (More details to come)

- We will have a CrossFit WOD programmed for local CrossFitters to do in honor of the event - no pups involved in the workout ;) The WOD will start at 10:30am (please, only experienced CrossFitters participating as we will not be coaching/instructing)
- Local vendors set up to support the cause
- A doggie station out back with shade, treats, pup dacquiris and more!
- Doggie bandanas given to all donors

Dogs are welcome to this event as long as they're friendly with everyone and other dogs. We will have designated areas for you and your pups to hang out, relax and meet other dog lovers. Please be respectful of our home at Elevate and clean up after your fur babes.

We have a lot in store for this event and know this will be HUGE!

Stay tuned for more details like vendor list, WOD and more.

*** If you're a vendor and would like to particiate, please email info@pupactive.com****




Don't forget to visit PUP ACTIVE:

The Buddy System is Fitness Sabotage



Stepping out of your comfort zone can be just a little more comfortable if you can rope your friend or spouse into doing it with you. Starting out at a CrossFit box or similar group training program seems like a perfect scenario for the buddy system.

The problem is that it doesn't work. In fact, I'd argue that the buddy system is going to sabotage your fitness goals. Ditch my buddy, you say?


Here's the deal. After working with hundreds of clients and seeing the data unfold in real time of who sticks to the program for the long haul, the “buddies” rarely last. I'm ball-parking here, but the average client will stay in the program for at least 10-15 months. Many stay for multiple years. However, life gets in the way, people move to other states or countries, and so on.


Now, the average client who starts up with a friend or spouse will average 3-4 months. What's that tell you?

THEY are not YOU

You simply cannot expect another person to be on the exact same page with you. Your buddy has their own schedule, goals, limitations, and desires. Those things can't possibly align with yours all the time. Not to mention, their physical capabilities may be vastly different from what you possess.

What happens when your friend gets hung up late at work and you were supposed to make the 5:30pm CrossFit class? You bail. What happens when you catch the flu and can't workout? Your friend bails.

These inconveniences add up and, before you know it, you both stop showing up to the gym. The buddy system has failed you.

Stop dragging others into your journey

CrossFit is hard. Changing your lifestyle is even harder. If this is something you want, take a walk on the wild side and get after it. You'll soon find that it wasn't so scary and you make friends quickly in a group program like this. So stop trying to force your friend, husband, girlfriend or whoever into your fitness journey. After all, fitness is about you. It's selfish, and it SHOULD be. The objective is to improve yourSELF.

Forcing a friend or loved one to want the same thing you want isn't productive. There's always one buddy who wants it more than the other. You'll either hold yourself back or get defeated by the person who wants it more. I urge you to go it alone, if at least for a few months. Once your friends or spouse hears you blab about how awesome it is to workout at Elevate, curiosity will take over.

The wonderful thing about this type of group training is that you have a built-in community of buddies. The people in the program have already proven to be like-minded. They already share your goals. Even better --- they have experience and can use it to help you along your journey.

So don't get stuck in the buddy zone. Be selfish, be courageous and chase your own journey.

In the St. Petersburg area? Awesome. Click here and find out how we can be YOUR new buddy.

-Taylor Race, co-owner of Elevate St. Pete

USAW Level 1 Coaching Certification

Hosted by Elevate / St. Pete Barbell Club

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to take all participants through complete technical progressions of the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and all associated movements including Power Snatch, Power Clean, Power Jerk, Squat variations, and pulling progressions. Participants will gain base line knowledge about the programming of training and technical rules. The course includes theoretical classroom, and practical hands-on portions. Course duration is over one weekend and lasts approximately 13-14 hours with up to 9 hours being practical and 4-5 hours lecture based. It is suitable for Strength & Conditioning /Sports Performance, Health & Fitness and beginning level competitive Weightlifting Coaches alike.

Included Materials: Course manual, and access to a study material website. 

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course and no level of education or coaching background required. 

Registration Costs:

*Must first be a registered member of USAW (a $50 annual fee).

Other Information:

Pre-registration is required for all courses. Walk-ins are not allowed.

The registration deadline for any course is 5 business days prior to the first day of the course.

Courses may be closed at any time prior to the deadline without notice. Please do not make travel arrangements before registering for the course.

In the event a course is cancelled, USA Weightlifting is not responsible for any pre-paid expenses incurred by participant.

For questions about a specific course, contact the course coordinator on the course listing from the link below.
Once the course is processed, you will receive an email with your score and instructions to log on to your membership account to print your membership card and coaching certificate. You can expect your information 4-6 weeks following the course.
The NSCA gives 1.2 Continuing Education Units for NSCA members who take this course.
Common abbreviation: USAW-L1SP

Stop Running Marathons to lose Weight

In my quest to be relentlessly helpful, I wanted to chat about the very admirable goal of...

completing your first half marathon. Notice I didn't say running your first marathon...Why people pay to jog, walk and struggle through 13.1 miles to be able to slap that sticker on their car is beyond me.

A couple of the reasons I hear people sign up for their first half marathon:

- I need to lose weight and get healthy; marathon training will keep my accountable.

- I need to train to make up for my horrible diet - I'll burn a ton of calories running a lot of mileage.

Neither of those (independently) should dictate whether you pay an upwards of $100-$150 to run 13.1 miles. Running does not build health and it is certainly not a good weight loss solution on it's own (nutrition needs to be your focus).

I have seen countless amateur runners sign up for races and distances that are completely out of their capacity, leading to injury. They're wrecked for a week, even two after the race. Knees are swollen. Ankles are aching. Feet are on fire. Hips are tight. Back is shot.

Now, I'm not a running or endurance coach by any means. But I am a trainer... I teach people how to move and move well in space. How to squat, press, pull, jump, run, etc.

I would never advise someone who squats like crap with 10Ibs to suddenly increase the weight to 100Ibs - you must master the basics and develop the skill and strength before you increase the intensity.

The same principle applies to running: you must learn and develop the ability to increase your mileage SAFELY.

Running is a skill.

Running is... high-repetition single-leg plyometrics.

The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll realize you need to be strong enough to run consistently and you need to develop good technique to prevent injury. More on technique later.

Here is an example I use often: If you take around 10 minutes to run one mile, you shouldn't attempt two yet.

That's right...more mileage does not make you better.

If you stink at running 1 mile, then you simply need to get better at running one mile without adding volume.

You may ask...well then how will I ever get to run more than a mile?!

The safe, smart and efficient solution: drill, cadence and pacing work

I have the benefit of having one of the BEST endurance coaches in Florida work out of my facility:

Roy Foley of Aeropro Coaching. He's incredible. He's passionate about his craft. He cares deeply for his athletes. He also practices what he preaches: he'll kick your ass on a bike ANY DAY.

Check him out here: http://aeroprocoaching.com/

I see him training his athletes daily. His athletes are podium finishers. They kill it in the endurance world.

Do you know what their training consists of? drill, cadence and pacing work.

Even though he has Ironman slayers and marathon killers...they are doing interval work. And drills - developing and refining their running skills. They don't just run miles, on miles on miles. That's not quality, that's just quantity - a one way road to overuse and injury.

His athletes are doing 1/4 mile repeats, 1/2 mile repeats, mile repeats, mastering 5Ks- quality intervals.


So.. how is your one mile? Taking around 9-10 mins? If so, don't waste your money to simply "finish a half marathon" and risk serious injury. Build up to it. Earn that mileage. You need to master the smaller stuff before you tackle a HUGE challenge like a half marathon.

Train to kill a 5k instead!! Then you can build up to a 10K, 15K and so fourth. I enlisted the help of Roy  to help put together some progressions for you.


First and foremost - Form and cadence work.

Form: Pose Method. Pose method is the official running method of Crossfit for a reason - it works and it's easy to learn. Roy teaches 95% of his athletes the Pose method (or some form of it). This is about being aware of your body, moving with intention and viewing running as a skill...running is not about the shoes.

Pose breaks down running into three simple steps: The running pose, the fall and the pull.


POSE. FALL. PULL. This will be your mantra.

You can find a lot of good stuff on Pose running drills here.

Once you have the pose, fall, pull method down, then it is time to apply it to cadence drills. 

Cadence is the number of steps taken per minute, with the an optimal goal being 180 (90 each leg) strikes per minute.

**You keep the same cadence no matter how fast you're running. This way your body maintains a similar PRE (Perceived Rate of Exertion) no matter how fast you're running. Being that your cadence remains the same, your stride lengthens as you speed up and shortens as your slow down.

Download a metronome app on your smart phone (they have one ones synced to music).

Start out with periods of 30 seconds and work up from there. Work on this for about 10 minutes a few times per week. You will also be applying these drills as warm ups for your run during the first few weeks of your 5k training.

What supplements should I take?

The only 5 supplements that matter! 

Supplements are maybe the sexiest topic in the fitness world. Pretty packaging, edgy marketing tactics, and the promise that you'll be perfectly sculpted out of muscle and braun. It’s also one of the first things we think about when wanting to get in shape. What supplements should I start taking?


Slow down there, boss. After all, these are supplements which, by definition, are meant to complete or enhance something else. Supplements are there to get that extra margin of results because you are already putting in the physical work and eating great.

There are all kinds of flashy products offering huge promises out there. In my opinion, there are only 5 supplements that really matter for avid exercisers and athletes. Here they are in order of importance:

  1. Protein
  2. Brained-chain amino acids (BCAA)
  3. Fish Oil
  4. Creatine
  5. Pre-Workout


You should be getting the majority of your protein intake from real food. We want the complete proteins from animals and animal products. Things like lean meats, eggs and milk (if you can digest it well). 

Protein powders come into play for convenience, such as mixing a shake right after a workout. I’m not going to get into much nutrition talk in this article, but refer to our blog on 3 Simple Tips to Stay Lean and Strong for some basics.

Look for a protein powder that has minimal ingredients (like 5 or less) and is made up of primarily whey, casein, or egg white for my dairy-free friends. Other sources will be less bio-available, meaning you won’t absorb them as well as the aforementioned sources. 

For a more effective post-workout shake, combine that protein with a carbohydrate source such as dextrose powder or even just a ripe banana.



Branched-chain amino acids are found in foods that contain protein and make up about 35% of all muscle tissue. These essential acids improve muscle-protein synthesis. Some benefits would include reduced breakdown of muscle tissue, reduced soreness from intense resistance exercise, and improved energy to push through demanding workouts. They can also aid in fat loss and help in building/maintaining lean muscle mass.

I like to sip on some BCAAs before and/or during my workout. These can also be helpful if you have a gap in your day where you aren’t eating much. Keep a flow of BCAAs going! They are inexpensive and easy to drink. Just beware, if they are unflavored you may want to add a little sports drink powder or something that tastes decent!



Fish oil provides Omega-3 fatty acids. Since most of us probably don’t consume enough fish/seafood, these are a good way keep up. A few of the key benefits of taking highly-concentrated fish oil supplements include improved brain function, reduced mental stress, and reduction of inflammation in the body.

I find that when my joints are aching, fish oil makes a big difference. Make sure you find fish oil that is concentrated. The EPA/DHA content should be at least 65% of the pill volume, if not more.



The first 3 supplements are almost a requirement if you are training hard. Creatine mono-hydrate is one that I strongly believe in, but it is kind of an “extra bonus.” Creatine is arguably one of the most studied supplements on the market. Oddly enough, it may be the most widely misunderstood by the general public. 

The good news is that most creatine supplements offered (either pill or powder) are just pure creatine. It’s cheap, easy to find and it doesn’t have a bunch of other ingredients added.

Your body naturally creates and uses creatine when you place stress on your muscle tissues, but you can only produce so much. By supplementing with creatine, you supply the body with more to use. The result is the ability to work a little more in the gym. It could be a few extra reps, an extra set, all of which add up over time to greater strength gains and capacity.

Don’t get into loading creatine and cycling like a bodybuilder. Just add a serving to your protein shake whenever you can. See if it makes a difference for you in getting stronger.



Remember when I talked about how sexy supplements can be? Pre-workout seems to be the sexiest. It tastes good, makes you feel like the Hulk, and is marketed perfectly. This is last on my list because it’s not crucial to your success. It should be a backup plan for days when you didn’t get the right foods in before a workout. 

Again, try to find something that doesn’t have a ridiculous amount of ingredients and always test out small doses first. Pre-workout is going to be most effective for lifting sessions, especially if they are going to take over an hour to complete. It gives you the drive and mental focus to stay on task. It may also have some benefits such as improved grip strength.

If you are going to do something like a metcon that will really spike your heart rate, you may not want to get jacked up on C4 first! Everybody responds differently to these, so start slow and mess with timing it differently.

In summary, supplements can be a really helpful tool to fill gaps in your nutrition or add to an already great routine. Start slow with one or two things at a time. Otherwise, you may not know if it is making a difference in how you feel and recover. 

-Taylor Race, co-owner of St. Pete Strength & Conditioning