I Don’t Want to “Bulk Up”

Written by crossfitmike. Posted in General, Information

This is a great article from Mike Boyle regarding the number one concern about “Weight Training”  that we get from many people, but mostly women.  This for the most part sums up the answer we give them.


In order to effectively and honestly develop training programs it is important to revisit what we know or more importantly, what we think we know, about the development of hypertrophy (Muscle Building). I must confess that I’m not a hypertrophy expert. I discovered this information mostly by accident. I train primarily athletes and generally don’t worry about hypertrophy to any great degree. I began to question what I had always taken for granted about hypertrophy. Recently I’ve begun to look at some of the accepted ideas about training in general, and about hypertrophy in particular, that many of us in the fields of strength and conditioning and personal training seem to accept as factual. Lets take a look at some of these myths about hypertrophy:


1) Do bodyweight exercises to avoid hypertrophy?

Lets ask ourselves a simple question. Do muscles have the capability to recognize type of resistance? Can a muscle tell the difference between a weight, a band or a spring? How about a dumbbell or the weight of the human body? I don’t believe so. One of my favorite lines of bull is the old “ this exercise or training method will give you long, lean muscles like a dancer”. This is akin to telling people you can turn an apple into an orange right before their eyes. You can no more make a short stocky female client have long lean muscles like a dancer than you make someone taller. Exercise will remove subcutaneous bodyfat and reduce intramuscular fat stores but, changing the source of resistance in a resistance-based exercise will not produce a muscle that appears different and or larger. Muscles can’t tell the difference between resistance generated by a piece of iron, your own bodyweight or by a piece of rubber. Weight s can be hard, bodyweight can be hard, bands can be hard.




If weight training had to be done with a free weight to produce hypertrophy then lat pulldowns would be a better exercise than chinups for upper back development. Thousands of bodybuilding articles tell us the opposite but, the resistance in a chin-up is “only” bodyweight. If we don’t want hypertrophy than don’t do light weights and more reps. I think the common prescription to avoid hypertrophy ( light weights, lots of reps) leans more towards a bodybuilding, mass producing prescription than away from it. If I wanted less hypertrophy, I would stay in the 5-6 rep range with higher loads and less sets. Bottom line, you can produce hypertrophy with weights or without.




3) Lift light weights and do more reps?

Light weight is an oxymoron. Why would anyone lift light weights? I often talk to trainees, particularly females who say something like “ I have 8 pound dumbbells and I do the same routine three times a week”. When I ask them how long they have been doing this they often say, “The last two years”. My response is, “Wow, by my estimation you’ve wasted about 100 weeks of training”. Usually their response is, “I don’t want to get too big”. This is one of my favorites. Ask a natural bodybuilder how much time and effort goes into gaining ten pounds of muscle. Most male natural bodybuilders will tell you that it takes about a year to gain ten pounds of quality muscle. For a female this could be two years. Isn’t it great that our 8 lb dumbbell waving female client is concerned about too much hypertrophy. I recently trained a golfer with the same concerns. He didn’t want to gain too much size. He thought it would hurt his swing. I had the same response to him that I do to most female clients, “Don’t worry about it”. Gaining size takes a lot of time and effort. It’s like someone saying “I don’t read, I don’t want to get too smart”.


What actually happens


The Truth About Hypertrophy

The fact of the matter is that hypertrophy may be the goal for some clients and considered an unwanted byproduct of training by others. In either case it should not be a great concern. The reality is that hypertrophy for most, non-anabolic using clients, is in fact hard to come by. An unfortunate problem with hypertrophy training is that our concept of how to train for hypertrophy has been heavily influenced by steroid users. If a client wants to weight train but has no desire for hypertrophy I would perform 5-6 reps per set. I would avoid the conventional three to four exercises per body-part favored by the bodybuilding crowd. I would perform one or two exercises for each movement pattern but, stay in the 5-6 rep range.

The public is uninformed and often as trainers we’re just playing along. We talk to clients about tone, and about changing muscle structure ( long dancers muscles). I just hope that people in the industry can see that this is salesmanship and not science. I have an idea. Why not tell our athletes and clients the truth? When your female client says “ I don’t want to get too big”, tell her the truth. Say, Don’t worry I’m not sure you’ll train hard enough to produce much muscle anyway. Your athletes are worried about getting too big? Tell them not worry about getting big because it takes a huge amount of work and great genetics.

Mike Boyle

2014 “FENDER”

Written by crossfitmike. Posted in Events

7th Annual “FENDER”




The Workout
4 man team
Travel 2 miles w/ 2 “Rucks” per team
300 reps of each
*Kettlebell swings
*Box Jumps
*Wall Balls
*Pull ups
*Push ups
This can be done in any order
The team must travel together
Only 2 people workout at 1 time
The team will carry their Kettlebells in the Ruck
This year we will be doing the “FENDER” Memorial workout on Saturday May 24th at 9am.  This year will be very similar to years past: an awesome workout, a lot of people participating, good BBQ (POT LUCK STYLE), and all for a good cause.  If you are coming with another affiliate or you have some equipment and you are able to, please bring: Kettlebells, Med Balls and Military style “Alice” Pack if you have it (please clearly mark your gear).


Lythanial Fender and many men and women have made the sacrifice, so you can have the freedoms and way of life we sometimes take for granted . The least you can do is come and support and remember him and the brave members of our military for a few hours. Don’t be “weak”, anyone can do it.
Bring your 4 man team or just bring yourself and we will group you up accordingly to your ability.


Show Time
Workout Time
“FENDER” in the NEWS

Summer Sports Camps

Written by crossfitmike. Posted in Events, Nutrition, Power, Speed/Agility, Strength Training

2014 Summer Camps 



 This is a (1 week) program is designed to teach the athlete of all abilities proper lifting techniques for a variety of barbell movements, speed and agility techniques and proper warm up/cool down as well as flexibility/mobility and recovery.  By the end of the CAMP they will have a great base of knowledge and understanding to continue their Summer Strength and Conditioning program. 

Once the week is over the athlete can jump into our Summer Strength program or continue on with their own Summer Program or we can develop one for them based on their current ability seen during the week.


$75 per week (10% off total for each additional athlete)

Days/Time:  Mon-Fri 10am-12pm


Session 1: June 16-June 20

Session 2: June 23-June 27

Session 3: July 7-July 11



This is 3 month Complete Sports Performance Program broken up into (1 month) sessions/phases.  The athlete will develop all aspects of fitness and performance: Strength, Speed, Power, Conditioning, Flexibility, Mobility, Recovery and Nutrition.  They will be guided and coached every training session from warm up, speed agility, movement preparation, weight lifting and cool down.  This program is designed for the serious athlete who is looking to improve their Sports Performance for their next season.

This is the only Summer Strength and Conditioning or Speed and Agility Camp you will need this Summer.  Every aspect of increasing sports performance will covered.


(2 days per week) Days/Times: M/Th or T/Fri 1:30pm – 2:30pm

$75 per 1 month session (10% off total for each additional athlete)


 Session 1: June 16-July 11

 Session 2: July 14-August 8

 Session 3: August 11- September 5



(4 days per week)  Days/Time

M/T/Th/F 230pm-4pm (Wednesday is a recovery day or make up day)

$150 per 1 month session or $400 for all 3 (Paid in full)

(10% off total for each additional athlete)


 Session 1: June 16-July 11

 Session 2: July 14-August 8

 Session 3: August 11- September 5

Ready to get started? $49

Written by crossfitmike. Posted in Uncategorized

Get your Groupon. Your first month for only $49


Come join our GREAT group of CrossFitters.

9 am Group

9AM Group.  All Smiles.

9am absSome extra CORE work after the daily workout.

12pm group

12pm Lunch time Group.  Ready to get showered up and back to work.




 Get your CrossFit Spokane $49 1 month Groupon DEAL

So you want to try CrossFit?

Written by crossfitmike. Posted in Information, Motivation



Every time we start a new “Beginner Series” I like to congratulate the people for having the courage to come in and give CrossFit Spokane a try. For some this can be a very intimidating venture for them. Looking through the window all someone would see is an open floor with pullup bars medicine balls, kettle bells, dumbbells, barbells and climbing ropes. You would see people jumping, lifting, pulling, sweating and working very hard. “Wait”, where are all the machines? Someone might think to themselves “I can’t do that”. For some people looking through the window is as close as they will ever get to experiencing CrossFit Spokane. This is a very sad thing because they had an interest maybe a little curiosity, but couldn’t bring themselves to jump in and give it a try.


They missed many very important things that happen everyday here that you just can’t see looking through the window. They missed the community, they missed the team work, they missed the support of fellow CrossFitters, they missed the quality coaching, they missed the fact that most everyone is just like them. Had they just come in and given it a try they would have seen all this and realized that they could have done it and they would have had  fun participating. Overtime they would have seen that they begin to feel better, move better, perform better and look better. In a few weeks they would laugh, looking back and thinking how intimidating it looked from the outside and in fact it’s a very welcoming environment who supports new faces in the gym.


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Our goal at CrossFit Spokane is to bring you the best possible training in a very supportive and encouraging environment.  If you are interested in giving it a try or if you have had a bad experience at another CrossFit gym we invite you to come in and just give us a try.  We would be happy to answer any questions, show you around and take you through our “Baseline” workout.


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