5K for Time

This Saturday you have the opportunity to test your 5K Run time. We've tested the 5K Row multiple times, we've ran over 2 miles in WODs and a few Saturdays ago you ran 1 mile, did a metcon, ran 1 mile. 

According to the CrossFit Journal, the 5K Run is the most programmed workout on CrossFit.com, it is also most likely the most avoided. Do not avoid this workout. Do not find the excuse that it is too cold to run. Do not use this as an active rest day and leisurely jog those 3.1 miles. Test yourself in this Endurance Benchmark. If you've never ran a 5K before, this is your chance to PR! If it's been awhile, this is your chance to re-test. To date, we have not ever tested this as a box. So most of you will have that -- under your SugarWOD Endurance Benchmark.

Why do we CrossFit? To be better at life.  [We] “want to be good at everything, not great at anything in particular. Elite athletes, on the other hand, sacrifice competence in some fitness domains for high performance in others.

 [In our programming, and the purpose of CrossFit, in general is to] “shoot for moderate levels of competence in all fitness domains. Aim too high and you’re going to risk training-related injuries. Aim too low and you risk injuries due to deconditioning.” The CrossFit Journal, “Good at Everything or Great at Something,” October 2009.

Gray’s Lake, 7:30AM Saturday.  We will meet at the entrance directly across from Water Works Park on Fleur. Wear running shoes if you have them. Dress in layers. We will be doing a warm up and a WOD briefing. I'll be documenting your time. Treat this like a benchmark day. Time cap is 60 min.

Enjoy. See you early Saturday morning.


Transformation Tuesday: Jill's Story

I didn’t think I would like CrossFit. Before my first class on May 1, I had picked up a barbell less than 10 times in my life. I never once thought of myself as strong. The concept of logging your progress in an app that other people can view felt scary and embarrassing. When I looked at examples of past workouts, it seemed like a foreign language. Basically, I was in over my head.

So, why would I even give this CrossFit thing a chance? I’ve had trouble finding an exercise regimen that stuck. I would get into a routine at the gym or on a running kick for about two months, then fall off. I would spend hours scouring the internet and asking friends to identify what types of workouts I should be doing and schedule them out. It got exhausting and I wasn’t even sure if I was doing it right. Every time, like clock work, I’d get burnt out and bored. I wanted to find something I could maintain.

If I’m being completely honest, walking into that first class was brutal. I was completely out of my element. However, by the time the class ended it felt really gratifying.

The first month or so was a mix of feeling awkward with the movements, coupled with a strong sense of accomplishment. I was constantly surprising myself with what I was able to do. CrossFit was a challenge for me, mentally and physically. I think this was the missing piece I needed to find an routine that would last.


It’s been six months since my first class. Here’s why I keep coming back for more…

•   Sense of community - At a typical gym, no one talks to one another. Simply put, people at Max Oxygen are friendly. This results in a supportive and fun environment… in and outside the box.

•   Work harder - When the people beside you are pushing themselves, it makes me work a lot harder. I get a way better workout in this environment.

•   Confidence - Before I started CrossFit, I was worried about feeling embarrassed about being the slowest or weakest. Now, I’m confident enough that I know the most important part is competing with myself. Yeah, many times I get a PR but am still the gal with the lowest weight lifted. But, it doesn’t bother me. I kicked ass that day!

•   More energy - This is one of the most noticeable changes since starting CrossFit.

•   Sleeping better - I’m no longer waking up in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep.

•   I’m strong now!!! - I’ve never felt that before. It feels good. I can also say I’m in the best shape of my life and I don’t foresee letting up anytime soon.



Friday Firsts: Meet Laura


Get to know Laura P.!

1. When you thought CrossFit, what came to your mind (before you joined)? My first thoughts of CrossFit were it'd be a fun and effective way to stay in shape. I also thought the workouts would directly improve my physical readiness for the physical testing I have for work.  

2. How many people know you're doing this CrossFit thing? (First rule: always talk about CF).  I don't follow the first rule of CrossFit very well. Not many people know I'm doing CF. I talk about it with my wife and a few co-workers.

Favorite workout so far: I liked the WOD we did a couple weeks ago. 800m run, 50 hand release push-ups, 800m run, 30 burpee box jumps, 800m run, 10 bar muscle ups.

3. When do you typically WOD? I typically like to go to the 5:30pm WOD.

4. Tell us one thing we don't know about you from your high school days. I had many great experiences in high school but one that many peoplemight not know is-  I got to perform during the half time show at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta with my high school band.

5. Best thing you've learned about this experience: I have learned there are some pretty cool people in Des Moines and I enjoy getting to know them more at each WOD.

Erika, One more thing....

Ok guys, this is really Erika's final week as a regular at MO2DT (I have a feeling she will be regularly appearing at the Saturday workouts for awhile). But, we have one more thing up our sleeve and it's not silly string or a nurf gun. We tried to track down as many willing athletes as possible to share a message on video and during class times and days you were not there (harder than it sounds). 

We hope you enjoy it! Know that you've left a piece of your heart here with each of us. You've been a wonderful addition to our community and when you walk through these doors you become family and will always be welcome back.

                            Bye, Bye, 

      Nick, Jess (mostly Nick) & MO2DT  

Friday Firsts: Meet Alex

Friday Firsts Blog Post: Meet our newest athletes!

1. When you thought CrossFit, what came to your mind (before you joined)? Weird pull-ups, paleo, cult. 

2. How many people know you're doing this CrossFit thing? (First rule: always talk about CF). Just the usual friends, family and co-workers. Anyone I care to talk to on a regular basis knows health and fitness have always been an interest so I'm not too worried about scaring anyone away at this point.

3.Favorite workout so far: Obviously the one rep bench max. But really, there was one we did that involved wall ball shots, power cleans, and deadlifts and I was at least familiar with those movements. I think it was the first timed workout where avoiding death wasn't my only goal so that was a real meaningful moment for me.

4.. When do you typically WOD? 5:30PM

5. Tell us one thing we don't know about you from your high school days. Not sure I have a great answer here other than the typical "I thought Aeropostale shirts and cargo shorts were solid fashion choices" train of thought. 

6. Best thing you've learned about this experience: I've always been more of a loner and I always thought the emphasis on camaraderie within CrossFit was kinda bullshit, but it's honestly been the biggest difference in workout intensity between now and what I was doing before I joined.


Member Monday: Meet Taylor!


1.How long have you been crossfitting? I completed Foundations at the beginning of June, so I have been crossfitting for just over two months!

2.What is your favorite movement in CrossFit. I LOVE BURPEES!

3.What was your biggest fear coming into MO2DT? Can I just say everything? I didn’t know anyone and I had never used a barbell before. Knowing that I would be lifting weights was well out of my comfort zone and quite daunting to be completely honest.

4.What CrossFit accomplishment are you most proud of? I am still quite new to CrossFit, but in general I’m very proud of my progress! Even getting correct forms down makes me feel like all of the hard work is paying off. (HUGE shout-out to the coaches who literally have to repeat themselves and show me how to do certain movements over, and over again- you are the real MVPs.)

5.What's your 9-5? Right now, I am studying for an exam. I also work PRN (as needed) at ChildServe in the Transitional Care Unit. I am a CNA and I take care of children with special healthcare needs. It is very humbling and I LOVE my job.

6. Other than CrossFit, what else do you like to do in your free time? With the free time that I don’t have haha… I definitely enjoy spending time in coffee shops, reading, rollerblading and really doing anything outside.

7. What keeps you coming back everyday? EVERYTHING! Especially all of the people. The coaches are amazing and I also love coming back to see everyone. It’s truly inspiring to witness how hard everyone is working around me. Every day I feel like I am becoming a stronger person, not only physically, but mentally as well.

8.If you could cherrypick a WOD, what would you choose? Am I allowed to cherry-pick a handful? I thoroughly enjoy partner WODs because I like to think that I’m not working out for just myself, but for my partner as well, and I think the dynamic of that is amazing. I also really liked "Grace" (30 Clean and Jerks for time). Another WOD that I really enjoyed consisted of  3 rounds of running 800m, 20 sandbag get ups, and 20 sandbag squats.

9. One thing your WOD friends don't know about you? That I snowboard? I don’t think I’ve mentioned that to anyone. It’s crazy how much I’ve gotten to know everyone these past few months.

10.What's your favorite meal? Not really a meal, but I do love banana pancakes (with peanut butter of course)!

Year 2.


Year 2. Where to start? When I began reflecting on the past year, I can not believe it's only been a year, so much has happened, so much has changed, so much growth, laughter, friendships, and strength and a little heartbreak and pain. I come back to 2 words as I think of the past 365 days: Year 2 was all about commitment & heart.

To the MO2DT Athletes:


"When confronted with a challenge the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape" -Andy Andrews. 

Each one of you are committed. Committed to being better humans. Committed to living healthier lives and striving to be above average. Committed to demanding more of yourself inside and outside the box. Committed to supporting each other. Committed to excellence for yourself and your family. 


If you're reading this, you know what I mean. I'm not sure how we got this lucky to find some of the most caring, compassionate, supportive people in the Des Moines area, but we got very lucky. You all are kind to and supportive of each other, in daily workouts and above and beyond that. Helping cope with heartbreak & life changes, supporting each other in nutrition challenges and CrossFit yearly goals. Cheering each other on in other fitness and sports endeavors, planning evenings out together, dog sitting for each other, scheduling play dates with each others children. You go out of your way to help others, you take a few moments to check in on someone who you haven't seen in the box for a few days, you reach out to me and the coaches, wanting to know how you can help with whatever project or event we have coming up (and this whole summer it's been THE MOVE). 

I can honestly say I have never been a part of something so community driven and it takes my breath away when I think about how blessed I am to be a part of your lives and the coaching staff would agree with me. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives, to give us an hour of your day and to choose Max Oxygen Downtown to being a part of your wellness-health-social hour and beyond. #moderndaysocialclub


To the coaching staff: Brett, Bryan, Dan, Dilon, Jamaal, Kristen, Leah, Nick, & Reid:

I think most people look at a part-time job as something that they put little effort into, get a bit of extra cash from and float through each week pretty easily. This is not you. Your position is not easy, it is not the few times your name is on the schedule each week. It is not with little effort to be a trainer at MO2DT. It starts on Sunday when the workouts are released, it is before and after class, checking in with athletes, writing thank yous, fist bumping, texting, encouraging athletes. It is attending our competitions and social events. It is early morning coaching developments, improving the group & time management, perfecting your coach's eye, and continually learning and sharing knowledge bombs.

The bar is set high and I'm sure you've figured out by now, not one of you will reach it, no one will get to a point in their coaching career that he/she can stop learning, stop caring, stop striving for excellence. Excellence is not perfection. Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.   

Thank you for not settling to be mediocre. Thank you for bringing big fun into classes each day. Thank you for giving a shit. Thank you for putting your time, blood, and heart into this box. Thank you for allowing me to lead you on this sometimes crazy, ever relentless pursuit of excellence. 

Bring on year 3. 

“I can tell you what it is that makes you successful in a [CrossFit affiliate], “It’s the blind and relentless constant pursuit of excellence." Greg Glassman


It's Apparel Order Time!

It's here, more apparel!

We've done a throwback to our first MO2DT shirt in celebration of our anniversary and we have a vintage inspired Jaguar shirt (because Jaguar and Buffalo inspired workouts). And finally, a bro tank. 

There will be an email sent out Monday with this info but we just couldn't wait any longer to show you it. Pricing will be listed in the email. I'd suggest just getting one of each color, why decide? T-shirts are Next Level Triblend (except for the Jaguar shirt), Muscle tanks, Bro tank, and Racerback tanks are Bella Canvas Triblend. 

Lastly, the Jaguar t-shirt is gray with multi colored flecks on it (almost like pilling) and is Unisex sizing. 


Max Woman: Meet Alyson

1. How long have you been crossfitting?   I started CrossFit in 2013 when we were at the location across from the sculpture park. I had to take about 13 months off for a hip injury and surgery and have been back at it since January of this year. 

2. What is your favorite movement that we do in CrossFit?  My favorite movement is a toss-up between cleans and deadlifts. 

3. What was your biggest fear coming into CrossFit ? My biggest fear back when I started in 2013 was that I would be the only female and wouldn’t be able to keep up.  My biggest fear since re-starting this year was re-injuring myself and not being able to hit the times and weight totals I did prior to injury and surgery.  (Except that Alyson has improved by leaps and bounds since returning in January).

4. What CF accomplishment are you most proud of? I am most proud of being able to do rope climbs and pull-ups.  In all of the years I have done CrossFit I had never even attempted these until this year. 

5. What's your 9-5 (job)?    I am a State Revolving Fund Program Specialist.  I work for a State agency that gives low interest loans to Cities, Municipalities, and communities for water quality infrastructure projects such as wastewater treatment, sewer rehab, wells, etc…  I review their applications and once they have received our loan I ensure that they are following all State and Federal regulations (i.e. EPA guidelines, prevailing wages are being paid, debt/service ratio is being met). I also review and approve their requests and invoices for payments requests. 

6. Other than CrossFit, what else do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I can’t get enough of my family, especially my daughter Skylar.  I enjoy running, planning and hosting gatherings, biking, tailgating at ISU games, helping my sister on her vineyard/horse stables, sitting around a “camp fire”, and listening to music of all kinds.

7. What keeps you coming back each day?  Max Oxygen is the only place that I can let it all out (the good, the bad and the in-between).  I love that it constantly challenges me physically and mentally.  It reminds me daily that I can do anything I put my mind to and am willing to put in the work for.  

Also, and even more importantly, I love and respect the people (athletes and coaches).  Sometimes sweating it out with them, seeing their faces and talking to them is what gets me through a day.  I have made some of my best friends at this here.  I know that no matter what life throws at me they will be there to help me through it and help me celebrate the journey when it is done – in and out of the gym.  That is EVERYTHING! The people here hold a very special place in my heart and MO2 is "home" because of them.  

8. If you could cherrypick a WOD what would you choose?  I like the “Girls,” Grace, Cindy and Fran

9. One thing your WOD friends don't know about you?  “I feel the need - the need for speed!” (Maverick, Top Gun)  I like to go fast – in cars, on motorcycles, boats, etc… I have a deep desire to drive (not ride in – I need to be in control) a race car.  But I need to learn how to drive a stick shift first.  

10. Favorite "Cheat" Meal? I love pizza but I have not touched the stuff for over 6 months.  Now I just settle for a grilled steak, potato and asparagus.











It's time to turn the page

We close a chapter. We will hold our final classes at 500 Locust tomorrow. 

Personally, I've evolved as a person and a coach at this place. I am not the same person that stepped into 500 Locust July 2014. And I hope as you reflect, you realize you are not the same person that walked through these doors either. I remember the day I coached my very first class as a L1 trainer. I was terrified, even with David there ready to step in to save me and give me feedback after class. I remember coaching my very first Foundations class. I didn't sleep the entire night before, I got up extra early and reviewed everything I needed to teach on Day 1. While terrifying, I found that it was incredibly exciting to be the person to introduce CrossFit to others and share my love for CrossFit. I've coached over 1500 hours at this box which means I've had the opportunity to coach each and everyone of you. 

More importantly, I hope that you not only fell in love with CrossFit and found that it's made you more fit and that it's become a healthy obsession, I hope that you have been embraced by the community. I hope that you have found friendships and relationships and support within these walls of our community. Every CrossFit box says they have "the best community" and community can be defined differently for each box. But when you have not 1 or 2 drop-ins but 99% of the drop-ins take a moment out of their day to either email me, leave a review on Google or our Facebook page, or take me aside and thank me and you, as a community, for being such great hosts to them, for pulling them in and having this feel like home for their 1 class or their week-long stay- that is what signifies community at another level. 

For each of you to welcome our new Foundations grads each month, to stop and introduce yourself to them, to help them navigate their first classes,  that is community. 

For you to welcome new-to-the-area members, to grab their number and meet up with them for biking or drinks after class, that is community.

For you to pull together to help out members who need it, without the prompt of me or other coaches, that is community. 

To pull together in a matter of hours when Scott and Jess' families needed our support, that is community.

To take time out of your weekends to volunteer for our charity competitions, to judge for The Open, and now to help us move over the weekend, that is community.

500 Locust has been the home to so many memories as Max Oxygen CrossFit Downtown, new jobs, new coaches, graduations, PRs, marriages, pregnancy announcements, even a proposal. We've also shared divorces, moves, a cancer diagnosis, and loss and grief. And whether it be a celebration or a tragedy, it's always done together. No one walks alone once you've stepped into the doors of this community. 

It's time to the page, not close the book.

Max Oxygen CrossFit Downtown is not the building we are in or the address we hold, it is a group of coaches and individuals who come together as a whole to create this community and that's the easiest item to pack and move. 

As we pack up the equipment and weights and dismantle the rig, and coach our last classes, it's going to be a little sad. It should be. It's a place that has held memories for so many and it feels like we are leaving our first home, the one where we became a family. And on the opposite side of that, we have so much to be excited for. New memories to be made, new events to be had, a fresh space filled with potential. By moving just a bit south of Downtown (and having a parking lot) we have the potential to reach 1000s of individuals to be welcomed as a part of our community. We have the opportunity to impact these peoples' lives just as you have been impacted & that's where the next chapter starts.