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"Athlete Profile"  Brian Lackey


"Athlete Profile" Brian Lackey


Athlete Profile -Brian Lackey Continuing with this series, next up we have Brian!  Brian has been with us at Duke City Crossfit since the beginning of 2015. Brian is very new to Duke City and is about a month in of being our member.  Today we are going to get to know Brian a little bit better.  Today we’ll get to learn a little bit more about his background, why he started Crossfit, and what it means to him.


Name: Brian Lackey

Hometown: Grants, NM

Occupation: Coal Mines

What is your go-to cheat meal? Don’t know if you call it a cheat meal but I like sushi



Firstly, in college I played baseball and all throughout high school I was involved in a sport.   I really like being out doors, mainly on the lake, camping.  Besides being outdoors I have found my other interest, Crossfit.  It looked different and challenging and I've been hooked ever since.   A friend of mine, who is also a member at Duke City, Ambrosia, told me to "try it out".  Best decision I have made.  I attend classes 3-4 days a week depending on my schedule.  




What were your first impressions, and have those since changed?

I was pretty nervous joining Duke City.  I didn't know anyone, but it didn't take long to meet people and feel welcomed.  Everyone at Duke City was and still is very welcoming.  No one lets you stray or workout alone!  When I first joined Crossfit I would have been happy to just finish the workouts.  Now, my goals have changed.  I want to build up my cardio and get stronger.  One day a time!  My biggest accomplishment to date is 3 Handstand push ups.  When I first started I could not even get myself into a Handstand! 



Now I have different goals all around.  I don't want to return to my old self, my old ways.  I have been given a second chance and will stay fit and healthy.

One way that crossfit has really impacted my life is because my daughter started to do it also.  This has really brought us closer.  


I like the atmosphere at Duke City.   People are real deal and not fake.  I am a simple person and like how everyone has been helpful.

If you haven't had the opportunity to say hello to Brian, he's here most days in the morning and bootcamps!  Make a point to do so!  Train hard.

-Coach Anna


Bootcamp Fun!!!


Bootcamp Fun!!!


Duke City Crossfit Bootcamp Register HERE!


Duke City Crossfit has designed a new Bootcamp series to continue to help you reach your fitness goals!


The Duke City Crossfit Bootcamp is a fitness program, designed and coached by the certified staff of Duke City Crossfit. The bootcamp is a no-contract training program.  This means you pay for your month and then can decide to continue on a month-to-month basis.

Upcoming Sessions

October 5th

Meets M-W-F @ 7am w/ a bonus session available 9am Saturday mornings. Classes also meet Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30pm

Cost: $60

Current members of DCCF may attend for no additional charge.


What is the Duke City Crossfit Bootcamp?

The DCCF Bootcamp is a fitness class that will provide fun, functional training designed to get your heart rate and spirit up, while strengthening your entire body!  All sessions will be led by a certified CrossFit coach, which means you will be performing at your best!  You will receive instant feedback to keep you moving safely, all while having a blast in a fun, open environment.


These sessions are suitable for all fitness levels. No CrossFit experience is necessary; in fact, this training is perfect for those not interested in using a barbell.  This is functional fitness that will include body weight movements like squats, plyometrics, push-ups, and more! No experience is necessary.  The coaches are on-site to help guide you through each workout so that you are moving safely and having fun.


Each session is 1 hour in length.  This included the warm-up, training and cool-down.

What to bring?

Regular athletic wear (something you’re comfortable in!), a water bottle, and your smile!


How do I sign-up?

Contact Anna directly via email at or via phone at 505-933-9348 if you have any questions or concerns.  If you are ready to get started…


Click this link for registration!


What does it mean to be a lululemon ambassador?


What does it mean to be a lululemon ambassador?


Image-1 I must say that I am honored and blessed to be an ABQ Uptown lululemon ambassador. Since being chosen as the 5th of 6 store ambassadors I have been asked many times, What does it mean to be an ambassador?

Here is what is posted on the website when you search for ambassador.

store ambassadors

Best all-around? This crew is top of the class. Our store ambassadors are inspirational leaders in your community. Yoga teachers, personal trainers, run mavens and more with a passion for elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness.

This pretty much sums up who they are looking for when choosing. Not only are you named ambassador, you get your picture up in the store for 2 years and get to wear the sweet lululemon gear. But that still doesn't answer the question. What is an ambassador?

I met with the Awesome store manager, Brittany and we talked a little about what it means. There is so much more to being an ambassador than just sporting the cool gear.

To me, being ambassador is bigger and means much more. As you all know, I am very much into fitness and community; that is why I love CrossFit and believe with all my heart that fitness and community can and will change lives. Since the beginning of lululemon, they too believe in the power of community: this is why you will see them at all the races holding up funny signs to support the runners or they will be present at all the local yoga studios and CrossFit boxes around town. lululemon encourages their employees to go out and build a better community.

My goal is and always will be to build a strong fitness community. No matter what you are into, as long as you are getting fit and focusing on your health, I will support it. Now that I am an ambassador, I have teamed up with a brand that cares about community as much as I do.

Being an ambassador means that I now have the support of a world known company with the resources to make a big impact in our Fitness community here in New Mexico. I was told that being an ambassador is what I make of it, so for the next 2 years I plan on making big things happen in our community and I now  have the support of lululemon to make my dreams come true.


MindFit: Peak Mental Performance


MindFit: Peak Mental Performance


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Ed Tseng is coming to Duke City CrossFit. It's time to take your game to the next level.

Seats are limited to a first come first served basis so sign up today


So it's your first competition...


So it's your first competition...


The Conquest is coming.  It’s less than two weeks away at this point! I bet some of you are starting to get a little bit nervous, aren’t you?  That’s good! It’s totally natural to feel those butterflies (and I read some study about how that actually gives you a competitive edge, but I’m too lazy to look that up to cite it).  Whether you’re a veteran competitor, or this is your very first competition, I just wanted to outline a few key concepts about the days/week leading up to the big days. Plus, we’ll hear from some vets about their top tips for getting through competition! Have Fun!

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR PERFORMANCE IN YOUR FIRST FEW COMPETITIONS. It’s that simple. Too many people go into a competition completely freaked out about how they’re going to perform or how they’re going to look on the competition floor. A little nervous excitement is fine, but plan on your first few competitions being nothing but a learning experience. This should be all about having fun, hanging out with your fellow athletes, and learning a few things along the way.


Relax!  You’re just working on your fitness.” - Anna Longdon

“I'm the most competitive person in the gym ... Ok, maybe not so much, but my biggest and only advice (other than don't get hurt) is HAVE FUN!” - Samantha Peskuski

“PREP the night before so you are not rushing and panicking in the a.m. (and say forget your socks…!)  And remember to smile… This ain’t the Games!” - Carly Newlands


From the day you registered for your event, you should have been eating cleaner to help your body reach an optimal nutritional state. Unfortunately, one cannot benefit from improved nutrition overnight, nor can anyone undo weeks of bad eating overnight or even a few days.  Whatever you’ve been eating... it’s ok to keep eating it.  The night before your competition is the wrong time to experiment with a new eating plan.  If you have been eating bread without any ill effects, keep eating bread.  If you have been low carb, high protein and high fat, keep doing that.  Your body is acclimated to your nutrition.  Keep it in the friendly bowel zone.  And definitely eat a solid breakfast the day of!


“TUMS help with ‘stomach’ nerves…breathing helps with nerves as well.. not forget to breath.  EAT enough…… or the last wod will suck!” - Carly Newlands


Even though your training volume and intensity are lower this week, your hydration level should remain the same.  Drink water.  Plenty of water.  Avoid sports drinks, coffee and alcohol - this really isn’t the week to get tanked.  Spare the beer for post competition celebration and fun.

“Envision your success, see your competition as weaker than yourself. Go in with a positive clear mind for winning and having fun. Winning could be just enjoying the competition with a bunch of friends.”  - Brad Tausan


One week out from competition, your training is really done. You should have spent weeks and perhaps months accumulating the volume, gaining the strength, and developing the skills required to compete. Sometimes, this isn’t predictable due to the nature of certain events when WODs aren’t released until a few days or a couple weeks ahead. Whether you have or haven’t done the physical preparation, the truth is you won’t be any more fit this week than you were last week. Your fitness is what it is, time to let your body heal.  Cut back the volume the week of, keep the weights light, do your mobility, and heal!


“Have a game-plan for each workout; especially the teams.  You need to minimize the amount of transitions.  Play to each person’s strengths/weaknesses.” - Jonathan Longdon

“Don’t underestimate yourself… you’re better than you think!” - Anna Longdon

Warm-Up / Cool-Down

I’ve never seen someone warm-up too much. Give yourself 30-40 minutes before your heat to start warming up. You should break a sweat, and then start focusing on the movements for the upcoming WOD. Space will be tight and warm-up equipment will be sparse at most competitions, so do as much as you can with bodyweight and a small space, and make the most of your time on a barbell. Continue to move until you have to be in the staging area for your heat. Even if you’ve already completed reps at the weight you plan to use in the WOD. Take a breather, and then complete a few more reps. Continue this cycle until it’s go time.

Make sure you are cooling down after each workout. You don’t want to go from 100mph to 0mph instantly. This will leave your body feeling wrecked for your next WOD and for the next few days. A proper cool-down after each WOD is huge for performing well throughout the day. There are several different strategies for cooling down properly depending on the type/duration of WOD, but let’s not over complicate things for now. After each WOD row 1000 meters at a slow/easy pace, and the foam roll and stretch for 10 minutes. This will help pump lactic acid out of your system and will keep your muscles from knotting-up before your next WOD.

It’s all about recovery.  Those who can recover the fastest are ready to go, and go longer.” - Issac Sisneros

For all you first-time competitors, I hope this helps out.  To all the veteran athletes, maybe you can relate to some of these things.  Either way... Go out there, push hard, give your fellow competitors a high-five, and let's have fun!

Join us Saturday and Sunday, this June 13th and 14th at 8:00a for what should be a great weekend full of fitness and friendly faces.

-Coach Ben


Crossfit: Barriers to Entry


Crossfit: Barriers to Entry


We face fear daily. Maybe you’re afraid to ask your boss for that pay raise, or maybe you’re making a big life decision. But a not so obvious way fear may be creeping into your life to sabotage your efforts for a healthier lifestyle is in your movement. Whether you’re wanting to begin a new fitness routine or are a seasoned mover, it’s worth your time to evaluate how fear could be preventing you from reaching your full potential. Confronting that fear can help you reach your goals and bring you to the next level of your training. Let’s look at some common fears that could be preventing you from getting and staying active.  

Fear of Failure

“I was afraid of just starting.  From the outside looking in, Crossfit looks crazy!  I didn’t want to not be able to do everything that everyone else could do.”


Remember when you were a kid, and you felt invincible? You would try almost anything, and if you failed, you would bounce back up without blinking twice. Somewhere along the way, most of us lost a great deal of that resilience and have become scared to move!

What if we fail at something we thought we would be able to do? Failure has a bad reputation. Everyone fails, yet we are all afraid of it.

Does this inner dialogue sound familiar to anyone?

“I should really be able to do a push up…I know I used to do lots of push ups, but now I don’t think I can do any. I don’t want to fail, so I don’t want to try. I’d rather do something else.”

This is a thought process called self-handicapping. I have to admit, this one gets me. When I am placed in a situation where I am surrounded by practitioners who are much more experienced than I am, my first reaction is to go into self-preservation mode, so I can avoid revealing that I may not be able to do something. Since becoming aware of this behavior pattern, I can more easily recognize when I am doing it, confront it, drop the ego, and try! It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you get out of your own way.


Take Action: The key here is letting go of the ego, and developing a playful and positive attitude. Robert Allen reminds us that “There is no failure. Only feedback.” So feedback, then, will always be a part of everyone’s life in some way. You have to choose to accept this feedback as a part of the human condition. You have to start somewhere. Wherever you are, it’s okay. Take charge of your path of improvement. When you do this, you will surprise yourself with how much room for success you create.


Val being incredibly serious in the gym.

Fear of Judgement

“I didn’t want people watching me while I worked out.  I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know how to do any of the movements.”

Let’s be honest. Everyone encounters this fear in ANY new scenario/activity/gathering they jump into.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all seek acceptance from our communities. It’s common to fear rejection from your peers if you are doing something outside of the box, and outside of the general population’s scope of what working out should look like.  But you know what?  Everyone inside the box is here to have fun and relax.  This is stress relief.  This is self-betterment.  This is community-building.  This is your time.

Take Action: Jump right in!  People are here for the same exact reason you are… to enrich and better their lives!  No one is going to judge you based on appearance or skill level, because everyone has been there.  A Crossfit workout is truly a great equalizer, and speaking from experience, people are incredibly gracious and welcoming in the Crossfit box.


All the pregnant mommas of DCCF

Fear of Injury

“Crossfit is dangerous and I don’t want to get hurt.”

Sometimes a movement can literally just be scary. The fear of going for that tall box jump or going for that huge lift can be a scary experience. No one wants injury, and when going into unknown territory, well…the outcome is unknown. To quote Daniel Ilabaca: “If you’re afraid to fall, you fall because you’re afraid.” If you approach a task with fear, you are preparing to fall instead of preparing to succeed. Expectations are extremely powerful. Predicting that you are going to drop the weight makes you much more likely to make that come true.

Avoid creating self-fulfilling prophecies by becoming mindful. Meditate regularly, and when you are preparing to try something new, take some deep breaths, imagine yourself succeeding, and stay focused. This mindfulness can greatly help you avoid injury.


Take Action: I’m not gonna lie to you and say that you won’t get injured doing Crossfit. There exists the possibility that it may occur, but the same can be said about any activity.  People injure themselves in activities of daily life.  However, we, as coaches and athletes alike, can take the necessary precautions to help prevent those occurrences as much as possible.  An appropriate warm-up and cool-down goes a long way in injury prevention.  That is their #1 purpose.  Choosing an appropriate progression level for whatever movement you’re trying, and being mindful to put your body into the correct movement patterns and positions are all great ways to prevent injury, and keep you healthy and moving!



Mobilization and warming up is a key part to injury prevention

The Take-Away

-Don’t be scared!  Seriously.  Crossfit is not a scary thing.  New experiences are terrifying, but most of my best memories are from trying new things and putting myself into unfamiliar situations.

-Know that you are capable of doing it!   All activity levels find a home at your local Crossfit Box.  Our job as coaches is to get you moving in the most effective and fun way for YOU. Which brings me to my next point…

-Compete against yourself.  A pretty popular training quote as of late is “Stronger Than Yesterday,” which basically means that you are competing against yourself to improve every day.


If you are ready to start your fitness journey, let us know!

Sign up for Bootcamp here.

Sign up for On-Ramp here.


The Importance of Mobility in Functional Fitness (and Life!)


The Importance of Mobility in Functional Fitness (and Life!)


Ugghhh! Mobility. I always hear “I hate mobility, it hurts,” “Mobility doesn’t help me out.” Well it does hurt and it’s not an instant cure. It is preventative maintenance.   It helps to solve pain issues, prevents injuries and optimizes athletic performance while developing kinetic awareness. Think of your body as a very high performance sports car... Would you take that sports car and start it up and right out of the gate; put the pedal to the metal before it was warmed up? Probably not, so think of your pre-WOD routine:  Do I warm my engine up for the high performance that I expect from my body? You should be thinking about what the workout is going to be and what you need to mobilize for that WOD to optimize your performance.


Once you have developed your pre-WOD mobilization it’s time to get that engine going at full performance. Let’s think of our sports car as a manual transmission. It has 1st, 2nd,  3rd gear and so on for the different speeds at which it runs.  If I am going to do a race with my car for speed and performance, I need to start off in the right gear. What happens if you start off in 3rd?  You stall the car and it dies. Our bodies need to be in that right gear from the very start. Here is an example, you hear Coach Gil say “get organized!” He is telling you to get in that right gear, get your glutes tight, ribcage down, belly tight and your head in a neutral position.  This is your 1st gear.

Midline stabilization (1st gear) works in conjunction with torque (this is your 2nd gear) to establish force in our primary engines.  So how do you do this? You have heard the cues “screw your feet into the ground” or “shove your knees out”. This is to create torque with a stable hip position. Break the bar, armpits forward... these are for torque and stable shoulder position.

Now you’re moving, 3rd, 4th, and 5th gear. Steady and fast, your car is moving at top performance. You reached this point by taking the proper steps in mobilizing, warming up and establishing kinetic awareness.

You hear your coach yell out “Time!”  You’ve just finished the race, or workout in our case.   Now your car is at idling, the engine is still hot.  You need to cool that engine down before you shut it off.  This is where post-WOD recovery begins.


Your body is still warm and you can now work on some soft tissue mobility. Use the foam rollers, lacrosse balls, soft balls and barbells to smash the soft tissue. You can even use your buddy to help perform a buddy smash in areas like the quad, hamstring, adductors and even your forearms. These are just a handful of things that you can address.  Find the areas most  affected by the workout, and address them.

Mobility is not a one time fix.  It must be continuously performed in order to see improvement.  I recommend doing it every day at a minimum of ten minutes.  Concentrate on areas that you feel need improvement for establishing range of motion and proper position.  Then, work on areas that you have been working the last few days to help loosen up that tissue that may have been matted down and stiff.  Lastly, do a free for all to search out areas that haven’t been mobilized in a while. Take the time and play with mobility, you will be amazed at how your workouts will improve, as well as your everyday life.

Oh yeah!  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, keep that car nice and oiled!


Here are my top six mobility movements to help with your preventative maintenance.

1. The Couch Stretch (post WOD, Preventative Maintenance)

2. The Banded Hip Opener & posterior chain floss (Pre-Post WOD & PM)

3. Banded Overhead Distraction (Pre-Post WOD & PM)

4. T-Spine Smash ( Post WOD & PM)

5. Bone Saw Calve Smash (Post WOD & PM)

6. QL Ball Smash (post WOD & PM)


Visit these sites for more mobility movements and information on mobility.

DCCF Mobility Facebook Group-

Mobility Wod

Youtube (Mobility Wod Channel)


-Coach Brad


Athlete Profile:  Amanda Chavez


Athlete Profile: Amanda Chavez


Name: Amanda Chavez Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Occupation: Insurance Specialist @ Comfort Dental

Picking back up with our "Athlete Profile" series, this week we checked in with Amanda Chavez.  Amanda has been at Duke City Crossfit for a little over a year now, and she's one of the many friendly faces that is most commonly found at the box.

I started at DCCF a bit over a year ago.  Vanessa (Santillanes) originally dragged me along.  My first impression of the place was how awesome the community aspect of it was. And, that you people are insane.  I didn't have a large athletic background coming into this.  I played volleyball and basketball in school.  Rode the bench the majority of the time in basketball.  Outside of Crossfit, I like to read, climb at Stone Age Climbing Gym, or lay around at Vanessa's.


Amanda kettlebell swangin'...

When I first started out I had your generic goals... I wanted to lose weight and to look better physically.  Now my goals are to get stronger and continue to improve on all of the movements.  I don't pay attention to the scale anymore.  Crossfit had made me more social.   It has also given me more confidence.   I try to get in to workout 6 times a week.  It is usually about 5 or 6.  If I miss more than 2 or 3 days, then I know I'm going to die in the next WOD.

I've discovered that I really love competing.  I've been able to do a couple of competitions so far, and am looking forward to the Conquest.  It is a bit nerve racking and so much fun at the same time.  I love that the athletes competing against each other can still cheer each other on.

IMG_6359Amanda and April cheesin' as per usual.

I absolutely love DCCF.  I really believe that there is no other box like ours.  The coaches are a huge help in keeping me motivated.  If I miss a few days, there are always questions about where I've been and that I need to get back!  I love Duke City...wouldn't trade it.

Thanks for sharing with us, Amanda.  I'm sure that I can speak on behalf of the entire coaching staff when I say that we love having you in our classes, and you're always a pleasure to be around!  Train hard!

-Coach Ben


Upcoming DCCF Events

  • Sunday May 24th 12:00pm The "Ladies-Only WODs" are coming back!  Bring a friend and come have a blast!  Any questions, please call DCCF @ 505-933-9348
  • Sunday May 31st @ 12:00pm 90 Min Yoga Workshop led by Brittany from LuluLemon.  RSVP sheet is in the main lobby!
  • June 13th & 14th Duke City Crossfit Presents:  The Conquest.  Sign-ups are still available, but registration closes this Saturday, May 16th.  Don't sleep on this! Sign up here.


Grip or Gripe: Hand Tears and Hand Care


Grip or Gripe: Hand Tears and Hand Care


They are the nemesis of CrossFitters everywhere.   No matter how tiny they may be, they will stop you in your tracks….rips, tears, and blisters.  We all know the dreaded feeling.  There you are, crushing some pull ups, and then... you feel it.  A hot spot.  You try to ignore it, but know that just a few reps more will cause a dreaded hand tear.  There is nothing more frustrating than having to stop in the middle of a workout and drop off the bar because your hands hurt.  So, what exactly can be done to avoid this awful predicament?  Well, everyone seems to have their own theory of what works best.  After trying almost everything possible, here are a few tips that I have found to work:  

  • Keep your hands moisturized! While chalk is essential, it also dries out your hands.   Dry hands are more susceptible to cracks and tears.  The best product I have found to keep your hands moisturized is Climb On!  This amazing lotion bar not only works wonders on dry skin, but absorbs quickly so you don’t have any greasy residue.  Lotion haters rejoice!
  • Keep your calluses under control! When you let your calluses get too thick, a rip is inevitable.  There are several methods for this.  Some people are in the pumice stone camp, some people are in the callus remover camp, some people are in the straight razor camp, and finally others are in the dremel camp.   After trying out all the options, I'm a believer in shaving your calluses.  Stores like Walmart and Target sell special razors specifically for callus removal (they are about $5).  While in the shower, and my calluses are soft, I just dig in and shave off all the excess dry skin.  I'm a fan of this because of the way the razor curves; you can really push hard against your palm without fear of cutting more than you want.  Others at the gym swear by the surgical razor method, which is just as effective.  Just be careful you don't shave off more than you intended!
  • Use Grips! People have very strong opinions on which grip they prefer.  There is not a one size fits all. Options abound when  it comes to this category: gymnastic grips, jaw grips, and natural grips just to name a few.  I, currently, would recommend natural grips.  They are thick enough to give your hands protection, yet thin enough that you can still “feel” the bar.  The only drawback is that they do not last forever….depending on how much  you use them, natural grips will last only a few months before they need to be replaced.  Look around the box and see what people are using.  Ask for opinions (since people tend to have a strong opinion on this subject) and choose for yourself.
  • Be aware of how you hold the bar! This is my fourth and final tip.  Pay attention to how you grip the bar.  The bar should be placed high on your hand, where your fingers meet your hand.   People tend to grip the bar more towards the middle of their palm.  This type of grip inevitably results in nasty tears.  Because the proper grip may initially feel less secure, my recommendation is to start with some bar hangs using the proper grip.  Get familiar and confident with it; then start using it for your gymnastics movements.  If you are unsure how you are gripping the bar…just ask us!hand care

If you follow these tips, hopefully, your rips will be few and far between.  When they do happen, make sure to take care of them!  Place wet black tea bags on them to help heal, keep them covered if they are an open wound, and use lots of tape when you work out to let them heal.

And if you feel a tear coming on... do yourself a favor and stop doing whatever is causing it to happen.  Tears shouldn't be treated as a badge of honor.  All it's doing is causing you a headache and preventing you from returning to workout again!

-Coach Ben

Next On-Ramp class starts May 18th!  Sign up here!