In our latest edition of "WHAT'S YOUR WHY?", we sit down with TCS athlete, Wendy Vaughan. Tattoos, stylin' chucks and moving heavy weight are just a snapshot of a much larger picture in regards to Wendy's reason for working hard in the gym and out.  



To say that our athletes at TCS fit a stereotypical mold would be absurd. Each person has thousands of unique variables that make them them. Just as unique is the "WHY" that drives that individual to put time, effort, money, etc. into there training program. If there wasn't a strong "WHY", our athletes would be entering and exiting through a revolving door, never staying long enough to get any real worth from the program. Fortunately, that is not the case. 

Mindy Minto is a prime example of someone that has a very strong "WHY" pushing her to view obstacles as opportunities to test herself mentally and physically. Her life demands unique attributes that are developed each and every time she steps foot into Travis County Strength. 

This is Mindy Minto's WHY:

I Got A Fever....

This will make more sense later on, but do you see what I did there?! HA! 

Alright, alright....enough with the bad jokes. Let's get in to this one so y'all can enjoy the rest of your day.

I may just be me, but it seems as thought complexes have become a little more "mainstream" as of late - which is great! It may have something to do with the increasing popularity of this f*cking freak - Dmitry Klokov - and the crazy shit he's been doing with some insane weight.

Here's just one example of the silliness.... 

Forget about the music and bust out your calculators....this is 205kg.... x 2.2....that's 451lbs that he's tossing around!!! Notice that this complex is done without dropping the bar or adjusting the grip in any unnecessary way. That's really what makes a complex a complex....It's a collection of movements that are performed in an unbroken fashion. 

Now, for an important question....WHY?

What is the benefit of complexes? Besides the obvious fact that you are performing actual exercises designed to build detail that is often forgotten is TIME UNDER TENSION. Simply put, you are under the load of whatever you're moving for an extended period of time, which is a great way to stress your system into moving faster, performing movements more aggressively and ultimately stressing your system into adapting to all of these factors by packing on muscle and building strength. All good things!

The only downside to complexes is that you must already possess solid technique of the movements you are including in the complex. If the technique is not there in one or more of your chosen movements, the entire outcome of the complex will suffer and the truly shitty nature (in a good way) of these will not become as apparent. 

Other than that, complexes are truly potent tools that can be used to become better at ALL things. It's also an amazing way to pack in a lot of work into a small amount of time.....also a major plus!

Now, as I mentioned in the beginning of this whole thing.....complexes having seemingly become more popular. Again, this is awesome and all, but everyone that I've seen has been performed with a barbell. Now it's my turn to ask.....WHY?

As I've mentioned before in several blogs prior to this one, barbell are a convenient, neat way to move weight, but how many times in your life are things so neatly set up and presented to you as a loaded barbell? My guess would be that it's probably a rarity.

So, this is where I make my argument that you might consider utilizing the potent nature of complexes, but apply a certain amount of "real-life" to the situation by using odd objects.

Hopefully you can see that this would be a great way to build your strength and conditioning in a way that will better prepare you for what you might actually encounter in your day-to-day life.

Not to mention, the extra effort that odd objects require of an individual will surely add an extra dose of spiciness to an already spicy workout scenario -- Always a good thing, right?!

Now, because I'm such a big fan of complexes, I've decided to start a weekly series of COWs: Complex Of the Week. I will share whatever crazy combo I come up with for the week, and post it up right here on the blog so that you can give it shot wherever it is that you workout. 

I think this will be fun, cool way to reach out and connect with some of you that may not have the chance to workout at TCS, and not to mention, a great way to introduce and implement an outstanding training tool into your program or routine.

I would really love it if those of you that decide to take on the COW would post your results and general thoughts and experiences in the comments section. I don't know.....I think this could be pretty damn cool!

In any case, this is COW #1. And as we've already covered, this one is without the use of the barbell, but rather some dumbbells. Before I turn you loose, the dumbbells definitely make things a little more difficult. If you need to, break this 15min workout into thirds and try to increase the load every 5 minutes. I think this would be the best course of action, but it's just my suggestion. Be smart and work hard! Simple as that. Enjoy!

Logs, Stones & Kegs Oh My!

If you've been following us for a while you already know about the love and admiration we have for the Strongman methodology.  In fact, it would be extremely rare for the coaches at TCS to exclude some sort of Strongman element from their workout.

Why do we love these movements and this method so much?

That's easy.  It all boils down to ROI - Return On Investment.  

Yes.....just like the big boys on Wall Street, we look for the most efficient and effective ways to get our job our case, our job is to get people moving well and building strength.  And, as the name implies, Strongman is at the very top of that list.

You see, the time and energy it takes a coach to teach the barbell snatch(and the athlete to perform the movement safely and proficiently) is tremendous.  The snatch is an outstanding movement used to develop speed, coordination, and power.  But, if I can teach a new athlete a keg clean or a stone shoulder that develops those very same characteristics....and do so in less time.....well, the answer is pretty clear.

The Strongman movements are all derived from natural human movement.  As we like to say at the CrossFit Strongman Certifications, "These movements aren't learned, they are remembered." That's important to understand.  These movements are exactly how we moved objects when we very young.  

But sometimes you need some help remembering, right?

That's were Coach Nick Mounce makes his entrance.  Nick loves the Strongman stuff!  A LOT!  So much so that he wanted to create a Strongman Seminar to help others discover the awesomeness that is Strongman and the potential these movements have to build tons of power, strength and speed.

His first seminar is taking place this Sunday at Travis County Strength from 10am-1130am and is open to the public.  The goal of this initial session is to dig in to the details of the Strongman Log, the Atlas Stone and the Keg - all extremely effective tools that build silly amounts of strength!  Proper technique and safety will be a priority while working through the skills and drills associated with each implement.

This seminar is a great opportunity to learn about some new movements in a small class setting (capped at 6).  We hope to see you there! 



T-minus 6 hours...

Tonight's the night!!!  It's going to an action-packed, fast-moving, work-doin' kinda night.....and you're all invited!

We had a huge response with registration and have oversold the event by 5 spots!  15 men and 20 women - some familiar faces, as well as many new ones - will throw down tonight.  It's going to be a blast!

Now, this is the really important stuff to pay attention tune in and READ IT ALL(schedule at bottom)!


SWOD#1 - "Grip'n'Rip"

6min AMRAP:

  • 1 set of the BB Complex:
    • 5 Deadlift
    • 3 Front Squat
    • 1 Shoulder-to-Overhead
  • 2 (4,6,8,10,12...) Single-Arm KB Ground-to-Overhead

**Athletes will start each new round with the BB Complex, then move to the KB work where each round increases reps by 2.

Male Rx'd: 155 BB/75 KB
Female Rx'd: 110 BB/55 KB
Male Scaled: 135 BB/55 KB
Female Scaled: 85 BB/35 KB


SWOD#2 - "Rock Solid"

  • 1min 45sec AMRAP:
    • Burpee Box Jumps
  • 15sec Transition to Rack and BB

  • Max Effort BB Hold(5min cap)

**Athletes MUST have the BB un-racked and loaded across their back by the end of the 15sec transition.  Once there, athletes will hold this loaded, standing position for as long as possible.  For the effort to count, athletes MUST re-rack the BB safely on the squat rack.  DROPPING = DQ

Male Rx'd: 24" Box/2x Bodyweight
Female Rx'd: 20" Box/1.75x Bodyweight
Male Scaled: 20" Box/1.75x Bodyweight
Female Scaled: 16" Box/ 1.5x Bodyweight


SWOD#3 - "Get Up and GO!"

5min cap to accomplish:

  • 5 Sandbag Getups
    • Shuttle Sprint
  • 4 Sandbag Getups
    • Shuttle Sprint
  • 3 Sandbag Getups
    • Shuttle Sprint
  • 2 Sandbag Getups
    • Shuttle Sprint
  • 1 Sandbag Getup
    • Shuttle Sprint

**Every GetUp rep must start on the ground AND finish on the ground for it to count.  Athletes will be required to touch each line of the shuttle sprint with his/her hand.

Male Rx'd: 80# SB
Female Rx'd: 50# SB
Male Scaled: 50# SB
Female Scaled:
Turkish Getup with Athlete's Choice


**Don't be THAT person that holds it up.**

  • 515pm - Judges and Volunteers Arrive
  • 530pm- Judge's Meeting
  • 530pm - Athlete Registration CLOSES
    • Athletes will be required to select their division at the time of check-in.
  • 545pm - Welcome & SWOD Lecture/Demo
  • 600pm - 1st Heat Kicks off!!!
  • Have a blast 'til it's done!  See ya soon!