Fitness. Progress. This slogan is seen frequently around our gym and even on the back of our t-shirts. It’s a short and to-the-point reminder of why we come in to exercise among other various reasons or motivations. I feel that we all have a great understanding of what fitness is to us as a gym, but sometimes we can easily overlook the second word in that phrase (progress). Progress can include many things, such as, hitting a PR, decreasing a 1 mile run time, losing body fat or practicing better nutrition habits. Whether it is increasing your PR weight by an extra kg or decreasing that run time by 1 sec, progress is still progress and we should take pride in our achievements that we work hard to obtain.

Since I have known Dutch and been at BlackBox, I have seen progress in many aspects of my life such as nutrition, stress level, mobility and form/technique on my lifts. From the very first day I stepped into the gym he immediately gave me some homework to do (ha ha). The picture below shows a comparison of my lifts from June 2013 and from this past weekend of June 2014. The ugly picture on the left is a PR 185lb snatch I hit in a competition. The picture on the opposite side is my second lift from the Dallas meet this past weekend at 94kg/207lbs. HUGE difference! Still more work to be done, but I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that my form, mobility and strength have increased since I’ve come to BBFW.


When I showed Dutch these pictures, his response was, “Man, you were a mess.” He says that he hasn’t done anything life-shattering to help me correct my movement, but I would say without the accountability and coaching I’ve received at BBFW, the improvements would not have been as good. I also stopped eating oatmeal for breakfast, but that’s another whole blog article. It’s always easy to get frustrated when the weight isn’t increasing on your lifts or you’re not losing pounds on the scale. Progress is progress whether it’s immediate or slow and steady. Always remember where you started and be proud about the small victories you achieve along the way in your fitness journey.

-Blake Dunson



Wednesday S&C Workout:
Push Press x6,
Weight Plank x3;

5 sets:
200m Farmer’s Carry,
8 Wallballs

Contest for Registration – Repost

Repost of the Rules for the Russians Event Contest for Registration!
– Complete best hang snatch single, relative to 1 rep max of snatch (no straps)
– Must post a video of your full body completing this movement to our Facebook page (
– Video due at 8pm, Thursday, June 12.
– Must hashtag video with #blackboxfw and #TheRussiansAreComing
– All members and non-members are eligible

– Actual percentage of 1 rep max
– Potential for improvement or quality of movement
– Judged by Dutch Lowy and Nikita Durnev

RussiansGroupPoster       RussiansGroupPoster      RussiansGroupPoster      RussiansGroupPoster

Tuesday S&C Workout:
Clean x3
Power/Lactate Test
*Show up to find out more*




Happy Fresh Veggies Day

Today is Fresh Veggies Day! We are unsure who comes up with these days, but we are praising this one. Finding local fresh fruits and vegetables in your area can be easy when using Local Harvest’s website. Fort Worth has a market called the Cowtown Farmer’s Market. They are open from 8 am to noon on Saturdays year round, Thursday from 3 – 7 pm at UNT Health Science Center and Wednesday mornings 8 am to noon (begins June 25). I make the suggestion to arrive early so you can have your pick at the freshest fruits and veggies! This market usually has fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, honey and jams, tamales and other homemade or home grown products.

Once you attend a farmers market, you will be surprised by what you find. Such as the size and shapes of foods grown naturally in someone’s backyard, compared to what your local grocery store sells to you.

Fresh bell peppers from a farmer’s market tend to look like this:


While store bought peppers have more of a “cookie cutter” shape:


You may find that the grocery store has deceived you and your view on what “fresh” produce looks like. Even if you do not buy all of your food items at a farmers market or farm, it makes for a nice Saturday morning outing visiting with the farmers and seeing what these locals are doing.

-Rhea Jackson

Monday S&C Workout:
Hang Snatch x3,
Pullups x8;

8 min clock:
Heavy sled push w/ Partner

Day 1:
Sn W/Pause x 3
Sn Pull from Platform x 4
Sn PP x 4

Day 2:
Cl Blocks or Hang x 2
FS+Jerk x 2+2
FS x 4

Day 3:
Snatch x 1
Clean x 1
Cl Grip RDL x 4

Friday the Thirteenth

friday13Today is Friday the 13th! We pulled some paragraphs from an International Business Times article by Julia Greenberg that we thought were interesting concerning this dreaded day!

“The phobia, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen. It is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek Paraskevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen and phobia for fear.

History and Origins of Friday the 13th

The origin of fears surrounding Friday the 13th is unclear. There is reportedly no written evidence of Friday the 13th superstition before the 19th century, but superstitions surrounding the number 13 date back to at least 1700 BC…

There has also been a longstanding myth that if 13 people dine together, one will die within a year. The myth comes from both the Last Supper, when Jesus dined with the 12 Apostles prior to his death, and a popular Norse myth, in which 11 close friends of the god Odin dine together only to have the 12-person party crashed by a 13th person, Loki, the god of evil and turmoil.

In fact, the number 13 has been considered cursed across the world for thousands of years. The number 12 is historically considered the number of completeness, while its older cousin, 13, has been seen as an outlier. There are 12 months of the year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 hours of the clock, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, among many incidences of the pattern historically.

In 1881, an organization was started called The Thirteen Club in an attempt to improve the number’s reputation. The 13 members walked under ladders and spilled salt at the first meeting in an attempt to dissuade any negative associations with the number.

Despite these efforts, the number 13 continues to have an unlucky association today. Thirteen is so disliked that many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue, many high-rise buildings avoid having a 13th floor, some hospitals avoid labeling rooms with the number 13 and many airports will not have a gate 13.

Friday has also long been considered an unlucky day. One theory hypothesizes that Friday has been considered unlucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday according to Christian Scripture and tradition. Another states that the superstition regarding Friday comes from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, published in the 14th century, where Friday is considered a day of misfortune and ill luck. In numerous publications in the 17th century, Friday the 13th was outlined as an unlucky day to take a trip, to begin a new project or to have a major life change (such as a birth, a marriage, among other events).

The first recorded reference in English of Friday the 13th is in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1869 biography of Gioachino Rissini, where Edwards writes: Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; Why Friday the 13th Is Unlucky…

Wall Street has fostered a fear of Friday the 13th for decades. In Oct. 13, 1989, Wall Street saw, what was at the time, the second largest drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in history. The day was nicknamed the Friday-the-13th mini-crash…

Superstition or Reality?

Many studies have been conducted to investigate the risk of accidents on Friday the 13th.

According to research completed at the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) in 2008, there were fewer accidents and reports of theft or fire on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays.

According to CNBC, Friday the 13th is a calm day for the stock market, average gains proving to be only 0.2 percent or less. However, in three out of five of the most recent Friday the 13ths, CNBC reports that major averages ended down. The North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute also reports that between 800 and 900 million dollars are lost in the U.S. each year due to shoppers remaining at home or deciding not to travel…

There are a number of popular myths and superstitions surrounding the day, most famously:

If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die.
If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die.
Do not start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune.
If you break a mirror on Friday the 13th, you will have seven years of bad luck.
A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck.
If you walk under a ladder or if a black cat crosses you on Friday the 13th, you will have bad luck.”

Whether you choose to stay home all day to avoid any kind of Friday the 13th superstition, know that we will still be here turning our luck with great workouts.

S&C Friday Workout:
Broad Jump x3,
SL Squat x5,
Lateral Medball Throw x8;

EMOM x10:
odd: 8-10 cal row/AD;
even: 5-7 Burpees