3 Quotes That Improve My Quality Of Life.

By: Coach Vince

  1. “Only YOU can awaken YOU.” – Tony Robbins

Motivation, inspiration, love, happiness, enjoyment, etc. are available to you when YOU are ready for them.  Ever since social media became a part of our everyday life, it has become easy to scroll through and look how “good” everyone else has it. Most people look to others and/or situations to fulfill their happiness, joy, etc.  And it is because of this that most people are left feeling disappointed. YOU are responsible for your own happiness/fulfillment. YOU awaken YOU through gratefulness, thankfulness, and envisioning your goals as completed. Here are some of the ways I implement this philosophy into my life.

I start everyday with things that I am grateful for, whether they happened a day ago, a week ago, or are planned for later on that day.  I then think thoughts about how I can spread my gratefulness to others and  my desire to want the best for them.  This comes from the old quote, “it’s better to give than receive.”  It’s easier for you to be at your best, if you want the best for others.  I finish with three goals that I want completed and imagine them as completed. I imagine how I will feel when it’s completed, how it will change my life, how it will change my family’s life, and/or how it will change someone else’s life.

I challenge you every morning for a week to wake up and let your first thoughts be about 3 things that you are grateful for.  Pay attention to see if you care more, love deeper, forgive easier, and enjoy the moment more.

  1. “Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan

I love this quote because it is very matter of fact. I’m a very matter of a fact kind of person. Everything that goes into your mouth sets forth a reaction throughout your body.  Your gut, brain, muscles, etc. all react in a positive or negative manner.  The more negative reactions you have the quicker and sicker you become. But the great news is…the more positive reactions you have the healthier you become.

I challenge you over the next week to pay attention to how are dealing with disease; are you fighting it or feeding it?

“Exercise is the most underutilized anti-depressant.” – Bill Phillips

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “I feel so much better,” after someone has come in to exercise.  I love how exercise can have so many benefits from of course the obvious strength gain, fat loss, and health markers but also self-esteem, sense of accomplishment, and my favorite part, relationships with other like-minded people. When you exercise, you are more likely to eat better, sleep better, and manage stress better, which of course leads to a happier/healthier life.

I challenge you over the next week to make exercising a priority.  Plan your week out by putting exercise days/times in first and planning everything else around that.  Pay attention to see if planning exercise first makes it easier to come to the gym so you can reap all the benefits.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

By: Coach Jeremy

Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE is a scale used to gauge how hard you’re working. This 1-10 scale can be used when prescribing exercises / workouts to ensure the individual or group is getting the correct intended response from the training at hand.

0-1: You’re barely moving

2-3: Very easy effort – could do this for an extremely long time

4-5: Easy to moderate effort – you can still talk here but getting warmer and probably starting to sweat

6-7: Moderate to hard effort – you feel like you’re pushing yourself but still able to focus on the movement you’re performing

8-9: Very Hard effort – talking would be challenging here – movement quality is degrading as you wish this was over

10: Maximum effort – all out, emptying the tank, as hard as you can push

As you can see, there are several ranges of effort that you can be working in – now I want to go over some common ‘parts’ of the training you see here at Reviver and which RPE level is most appropriate for each.

Warm-Up: This should be done between 2-5 RPE level. The goal of the warm up is to practice movement quality, activate muscles, increase blood flow and breathing, and get warm, duh!

Accessory Work: Think Trap 3 Raise, Good Mornings, Bent-over Rows, etc. This stuff should be performed in the 3-6 range.

Strength Training: You’re money will be made in the 6-8 range when it comes to the bigger lifts (i.e. Deadlift, Back / Front Squat, Pull Ups, Olympic Lifts, etc). You want to push yourself, but insure you can still pay attention to your movement quality. Remember, you’re only as strong as the range in which you train!

Conditioning: Very similar concept to strength training – looking for the 6-8 range here and for the same reasons. Generally speaking, the longer the workout the lower the RPE level should be and vise versa.

Another way to break this down is in these four categories:

  1. Warm Up – we already discussed this
  2. Practice – this is when you’re learning a new movement / exercise / skill or trying to improve upon the movement quality of a skill you already know. During this type of training you’ll want to make sure you’re staying in the 2-3 range – you should not be breathing heavy, you should not be gritting your teeth, you should be able to focus 100% of your efforts on the movement.
  3. Training – this is when you’ve already gotten damn good at a particular movement and you’re trying to increase your strength for that movement. 6-8 range is appropriate here.
  4. Testing – pretty self-explanatory, a 10. You’re maxing out or trying to test your abilities with a particular lift or workout. It should go without saying, but you should NOT be testing a lift or workout that you have not already put in the time to learn and can perform it consistently well.

One last thing – lets say the workout calls for 5×5 Back Squats. This would be considered Strength Training and the intended effort would be 6-8 on the RPE scale. But lets say you’re not very experienced with the Back Squat and haven’t quite perfected the movement. You have two options: 1). Do the Back Squats, but stay in the 2-3 effort range so you can practice the skill, or 2). choose a different movement, one that you do have experience with, and then train that movement at 6-8 effort.

I hope this helps – please feel free to reach out with questions or comments!


September – Athlete Of The Month

kristen AOTM

Kristen Jones, 41, Medical Sales, Clarkston

What is your athletic background?: Gymnastics, Track

What is your favorite and least favorite WOD / movement?: Favorite: Bench. Least Favorite: Burpees

What is your greatest accomplishment? Personal, professional and fitness related. : Personal: My family… my husband Jamie and my daughter Hailey. Professional: Director of Operations for 14 years for a specialized spinal rehabilitation company. I had 100 direct reports, including physicians, physical therapists and clerical staff. Fitness: I ran my first marathon in May of this year.

Has CFR made you better? If yes, how so? : Definitely! Improved strength, flexibility and confidence trying new things.

What are your hobbies? : Fitness… running, nutrition, hiking

What are your Top 5 favorite movies? : Sweet Home Alabama, Top Gun, The Blind Side… I can only come up with 3!

What is one thing we don’t know about you?: I played rugby in college

What are your goals in life? Personal, professional and fitness related. : My goal regardless of whether it is personal, professional or fitness related is this: There is no “perfect” only progress…. everyday is an opportunity to be better. Everyday I work at being a better person…and some days I am more successful than others! 🙂


By: Coach DP

Do you find it odd that when something is true we can assign meaning, analyze, and then evaluate it, but when that same thing is even just a little bit off, it’s not even slightly useful for the same tasks? I do.

How useful is a calculator that’s off by “just a little” when doing your taxes? It’s all-the-way useless.

It’s like the whole set-your-clock-five-minutes-fast trick. The most useful clock is the most accurate one. If the time on a watch is extremely accurate, it’s extremely useful. Conversely, setting your clock five minutes fast in order to increase productivity or “guarantee I’m on time” usually results in two things. First, the clock’s owner knows the time is inaccurate and, second, the clock’s owner often has to do more work calculating how much time they really have to get to work.

I’ll be the first to tell you that class at Reviver isn’t the seventh game of the World Series (although sometimes when Vince says “HI!!!!!!!” when you walk through the door, it does feel pretty special…….. thanks Vince!) but since we are here and working hard, we might as well get some accurate information about our work. If you choose, you can then assign meaning to, analyze, and evaluate this info. It’d be tough to improve on an effort that can’t be accurately measured, right? So, in order to have something to measure against, we assign specific range of motion standards, rep schemes, and loads. Except, once you cut a rep short, (say not squatting to depth or missing the lockout on a push up) the statement of what occurred in that day’s training isn’t true anymore. Not only is it not true, it’s not even measurable anymore.

When the integrity of the information is lost (even just a little), we lose everything. What does it mean when you run a 400m run in one minute and fifteen seconds, but only go to the corner (rather than the full distance)? Who knows, should we measure that distance? Should we take a mental note that you have a hell of a 389.63m run time in you? It doesn’t seem worth it to run all that way for zero information in return.

Movement integrity is an all or nothing game. When your chin doesn’t get over the bar, well, I don’t even know what to call that…. A pull u? A pu up?? My message here is to calibrate your watches with movement integrity. Even if it’s for nothing more than selfishly getting some useful information out of your effort that both you and the coaches are able to use in the future.

Happy Anniversary ReviveR

By: Coach Sammie

We are celebrating CrossFit Reviver’s 6th anniversary tomorrow! That might not seem like a long time to some, but in a culture where people are bored easily, want constant change, and are always looking for the next, new, sexy exciting endeavor… it can be quite the challenge to grow a success business in the fitness field. I joined CFR about 5 1/2 years ago, 4 months after they opened, and have had the pleasure to watch it grow and transform into an organization and community that I am so proud to be a part of. Through years of experience and a constant pursuit of education the evolution of Reviver from day one to now is incredible. Thank you to Jeremy and Vince for having a dream and working hard every single day to make that dream a reality. You took a carefully thought out plan, set it into action, and constantly critique it to become better everyday. Thank you to all of our members for your continued trust and loyalty. Every one of you is an amazing human being with the power to improve your life and create your own happiness. Each day I get to walk in here and have the honor to help you tap into your own potential gives me so much joy. I am incredibly proud of all of you. This has been such a wonderful journey so far and I cannot wait to see what the next 6 years has in store for us 🙂

Here’s a quick look at where we started 6 years ago and where we are today!








Are You On A Mission?

By: Coach Vince

Hey Reviver Nation!

I wanted to spend this beautiful Friday helping you better understand our Mission here at CFR. Our mission statement is: Improving our members’ quality of life through Fitness, Education, and Community. Simply put our Mission is YOU.

Hopefully you have noticed the giant banner in the gym. We put our mission statement on this banner as a reminder to all of us of what we are a part of. Most people that join our gym do so because they want something new and fun for their FITNESS routine. They stay with us because of the progress they have through our EDUCATION and because of the relationships they built through our COMMUNITY. If you have been with us for a year or more then you have most likely what you have experienced. This is a cycle, meaning that at certain points of your journey, you will be affected by these 3 aspects.  Our hope is that every time you go through the cycle you have a little bit more fun with your Fitness, evolve with us and through us in your Education, and connect deeper and wider with our/your Community. Whether you have been with us for multiple years or maybe only a few days, here are several ways you can take advantage of our Mission here at Reviver:

1. Have fun with your FITNESS:
-Group classes with a program that is designed around our group and gets re-evaluated every 6 months to ensure we are progressing you forward.
-Track your progress with our easy to use Zenplanner workout tracking app.
-Capped classes to ensure you get coached properly and the attention you deserve. (make sure you ask questions every class if you need help…that’s what we’re here for)
-Customized group programming for those of you that love working out with the group but want it tailored more for you wants/needs/desires.
-Individual programming for those of you that want specific workouts tailored to you and your wants/needs/desires.

2. Evolve through EDUCATION with us:
-Goal setting meeting with you to review mobility/physical assessment, sleep, stress, nutrition, exercise selection.
-Progress report re-evaluated every 3 months with feedback from a coach.
-Nutrition coaching available to those wanting to learn more about their nutrition in a more formal setting.
-Read our weekly coaches corner articles published on a weekly basis (like this one!)
-Watch our YouTube/Instagram videos
-Set up a time to meet with Seth (In-house Physical Therapist) to discuss any restrictions or pain you may have
-Join our Coaches monthly book club (more info to come soon)

3. Connect with the COMMUNITY around you:
-Attend our monthly member events
-Stay up to date with any/all of our Social media
-Take advantage of before/after class to socialize with others
-Join one of our small groups (more info to come soon)

The people that have had the most success with us continue to push harder and harder in each one of these areas to become the best they can be. Becoming the best YOU, will ensure a HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE!

We are on a mission, are you?

Why Adequate Sleep Is So Important

By: Coach Gannon

Hey Reviver Nation!! So as you have heard each one of us coaches preach, it is about what you do the 23 hours outside of the gym that really is going to affect your fitness journey. This includes your Sleep, Stress, and Nutrition. Today, I wanted to spend a little time focusing on how your sleep affects your body’s function. It seems like in our current society sleep has unfortunately become a luxury and when a person attempts to make it a priority, they are often looked at as being lazy or weak. The ironic part is, people who don’t get adequate sleep are actually becoming weaker, and lazier because their body is not recovering properly. Even if we looked past the compromised protection and increased risk of degenerative disease and early death afforded by poor sleep, inadequate sleep negatively affects our ability to build strength, lose weight and gain muscle.

Proper sleep helps to regulate a growth hormone called cortisol, cortisol is a steroid hormone, that when released into the blood, is transported all around the body. Almost every cell contains receptors for cortisol, so cortisol can have lots of different actions depending on which sort of cells it is acting upon. Cortisol levels are suppose to be at their highest level right when you wake up, and then taper off throughout the day, ending with low levels at night. If someone does not get adequate sleep, these levels can start to fluctuate and become erratic. This can cause some negative effects on the body including inhibiting control of the body’s blood sugar levels (which regulate metabolism and fat storage), decreasing anti-inflammatory properties (which help with recovery in the muscles so you can train the next day), influencing memory formation, controlling salt and water balance (bloating, cramping, and dehydration), and influencing blood pressure (which can affect the heart). Simply missing one hour of sleep per night than what’s optimal for you prompts your brain to secrete cortisol and shift your body away from muscle building and toward fat storage through higher levels of stress and lower levels of testosterone. So as you could imagine as these inadequate hours of sleep build up over days, weeks, and even years, our imbalances become so great that the deficits cannot be made up through diet, and fitness alone.

A study done by The University of Cambridge showed that even in the healthiest men, and women a poor night’s sleep is seen to result in temporary glucose intolerance (insulin resistance). If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. In fact, consistent sleep deprivation has been seen to result in an 18-20% decrease in leptin, which is a hormone produced by fat cells that helps in the regulation of body fat. Leptin also interacts with areas of the brain that control hunger and behavior (and signals that the body has had enough to eat). It was found that there was a 24-28% increase in ghrelin, which is a hormone that is produced and released by primarily the stomach. Ghrelin is termed the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage.

Sleep can affect so many functions in your body. In order to make changes in our sleep habits, we must first figure out what might be preventing us from getting adequate sleep in the first place. To help with this, I have attached a video below where Dr. Charles Czeisler explains why we’re sleeping less than we did a generation ago, and the damaging effects it’s having on our health.


August – Athlete Of The Month


Steve Fehlinger, 65, Recently Retired, Rochester Hills.

When did you start at Crossfit Reviver? :   01/02/2016

What is your athletic background?: Worked at a gym a couple of years while in college and took a weight lifting class in college as well. I did some moderate exercising over the years and eased into CrossFit in August 2013.

What is your favorite and least favorite WOD / movement?: Favorite is probably pull ups. Least favorite is running.

What is your greatest accomplishment? Personal, professional and fitness related. : Personally, raising three great kids (2 sons pictured above, and 1 daughter not pictured). All of which are college grads, successful and they stay physically active. Professionally, I have two graduate degrees and in the last several years realized I had a knack for writing. I have several articles published in professional newsletters both here in Michigan and Illinois. Fitness-wise, I completed three Murph workouts! The last one was while in physical therapy for a frozen shoulder which is currently a work in progress.

Has CFR made you better? If yes, how so? : I was less informed about the importance of mobility before joining CFR. In fact it was one of the coaches at CFR, that pointed out that one arm did not flex at the elbow completely; I was completely unaware of this. After receiving some advice from a physical therapist, I have got the mobility almost where it should be.

What are your hobbies? : Fitness, nutrition, tennis, golf, biking and posting comments in the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages.

What are your Top 5 favorite movies? : Shawshank Redemption, Search for Red October, The first God Father movie, The Wizard of Oz (there is more to this), and Ghost.

What is one thing we don’t know about you?: I have almost always had a car with a manual trans. My first four cars had a manual trans. I bought a car for the kids and of course it had a stick, so two of the three know how to drive a car with a stick. I had a hot rod mustang by the time the third one cane around, which was a challenge and lost patience with the last one.

What are your goals in life? Personal, professional and fitness related. : Personal goals are to stay fit and spread the word on nutrition. Professionally, take full advantage of reaching retirement which includes being healthy enough to keep doing what I like to do for as long as possible. Last year at this time, I did 17 consecutive pull ups, so once my shoulder gets back to where it should be, my intermediate goal is to do 20 unbroken and one at 133% of my weight. Longer term, being able to do a muscle up would be cool!

Guilt Is Not The Answer

By: Coach J

Have you ever felt a massive pile of guilt on your conscious after any of the following events:

  • Eating copious amounts of junk food
  • Missing one or multiple workouts
  • Taking a nap
  • Sleeping in on the weekend
  • Not drinking any water during the day
  • Drinking alcohol
  • etc., etc., etc.,

If so, let me ask you a question, has feeling guilty ever improved the situation? Has guilt ever made those events disappear from existence? I’m going to assume that the answers to those questions are no – how do I know this? Because I’ve been there and done that, and I know that guilt has NEVER helped. With that said, let me ask you this, have you ever experienced the feeling of guilt after an event like those listed and let that snowball into more and more decisions that probably weren’t the greatest? Yes, you have, and then what? You probably felt even more guilt! Again, I’ve been there, done that. 

So what can we do to avoid the guilt train? First, try to be more conscious when it comes to making choices – own the fact that you have a choice to do or not do something and commit to your decision. If you decide to skip your workout to go home and take a nap, please make that decision with purpose and don’t wake up feeling guilty for it!

Second, if by chance you do make a poor decision and do something that you’re not particularly proud of, please stop feeling guilty. Get over it and get back on the gain train – and please none of the, “ill start back Monday” crap. It only takes a matter of seconds to make a great choice and get back on track – so don’t wait til the next week to do so!

Personal example – this week I celebrated my ten year anniversary of being 21 🙂 In doing so, my beautiful bride took me to a great dinner where I enjoyed drinks, appetizers, a delicious main course and followed it all up with a very large helping of Fro-Yo (Frozen Yogurt for you non-hip people). Going down, everything was amazing – however, afterwards I can’t say that I felt so great. But did I feel guilty? Heck no – why? Because it was my birthday and whenever there’s a special event I have the right to eat and drink whatever I want with no consequences, right? FALSE! Its because I made a decision to indulge in things that I don’t eat on a regular basis knowing damn well that I would not feel great afterwards – and I was okay with it. I got done, felt like my stomach was going to burst, went to bed, woke up and moved on. 

The problem I see most people deal with is they let their situations control their behaviors and then feel guilty for doing so – STOP THIS RIGHT NOW! Take ownership of your choices, stop blaming your situation or peers, stop feeling guilty, and achieve greatness!