(216) 316-1566 [email protected]


Exercise Questions

Starting off, how many times per week would you recommend going to class?
The answer depends on your current activity and fitness level. If you have not worked out in the past or typically perform low intensity exercise, we recommend starting your first two months off at three days per week with a rest day between each training day. If your activity level is higher and you have been consistent in your training prior to joining Black Flag Athletics, you may be more fit for 4-5 classes per week. Listen to your body, if you feel after the first two months that your body needs additional time to recover, continue on with the schedule until your body has adapted to the training.
Do I need to have a prerequisite fitness or ability level prior to joining classes?
No. In fact, due to the ability to scale each workout, we can tailor each class to your individual ability level. In any given class, there could potentially be 20 athletes at varying ability levels that still provide the same stimulus. Therefore, we meet you where you’re currently at in order to take you where you want to go.
I currently suffer from joint pain and/or chronic disease. Can I still join?
Yes, but first we recommend getting cleared by your doctor prior to joining classes. We conduct a medical history screening with each of our athletes. If we deem that you are not ready for classes due to severe a pre-existing condition(s), then we will create a plan that best fits your needs through the resources we have onsite.
Will there be a coach on-site during each class session?
Yes! We believe our best asset outside of our community is our coaching staff. Each and every session is group-led from the minute class starts until the minute class ends. Classes are organized and enable each athlete to learn in every class. Our coaches have an extensive background in exercise physiology or strength and conditioning, many of which are respected leaders in the health and wellness community. Therefore, each athlete will receive individualized coaching in a safe and peer-based environment.
What if I don’t know the name of movements and have not performed the exercises you perform in class?
For many people starting off, the names to each movement can be difficult to remember and learn. As part of our OnRamp process (details are below in the membership-related section), athletes will get a comprehensive overview of each movement that you will typically see in class. Therefore, you will have experience not only performing the movements with one of our coaches but have the confidence to be able to perform the movements in a class-based setting.
I am new to this style of training and am out of my comfort zone around people who are more experienced, am I the only that is feeling this?
No, you’re not alone! We actually get a number of athletes who are intimidated at first. However, we promise that integrating yourself into the community and being consistent with classes will aid with the initial anxiety.
Will I get "big" lifting weights & working out?
If you are consistent, eat right, and get adequate sleep, you will definitely gain lean muscle mass and lose body fat. And yes, you can build muscle mass with our training methodology. The goal is to build strength within tendons and joints to improve the functionality of our bodies outside of the gym. Getting “big” requires one to intake a substantial caloric load that far exceeds one’s total daily energy expenditure. This is why we prioritize nutrition in addition to our training.
Is the class enough? Or should I do more?
Yes, class is enough. Due to the comprehensive approach we take towards programming, we will train each energy system adequately to achieve a well-rounded fitness. Moreover, due to the loading and volume of the strength work we perform, your neuroendocrine system will need some rest in order to facilitate the adaptations we are trying to illicit. More is not better, if one can focus on giving 100% in each workout and stay consistent, the results will show.
What if I can’t use the recommended weight or perform the programmed movements?
The beauty of CrossFit is in the scaling. In fact, the majority of our athletes complete the work in some sort of scaled capacity that meets their requisite ability level. Additionally, in the “Notes” section of each MetCon, the scaling percentage for weightlifting movements is added for each athlete’s convenience. Your coach will help guide you in the right direction as to how you can perform the workout in order to get the most out of it.
What do all of these acronyms mean in the programming?
⦁ AHAP: As Heavy As Possible
⦁ AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible
⦁ BW: Body Weight
⦁ C&J: Clean & Jerk
⦁ C2B: Chest to Bar
⦁ GHD: Glute/Hamstring Developer Device
⦁ GPP: General Physical Preparedness
⦁ HSPU: Handstand Pushup
⦁ KB: Kettlebell
⦁ DB: Dumbbell
⦁ MetCon: Metabolic Conditioning (aka: the WOD)
⦁ OHS: Overhead Squat
⦁ PR: Personal Record
⦁ Rx: As Prescribed: A Workout Performed Without Scale
⦁ 1RM: 1 Rep Max
⦁ TTB: Toes to Bar

Wellness Questions

Is Functional Fitness dangerous?
No, but poor coaching and poor self-discipline is. We focus on building relationships with each of our athletes so that we can build trust and confidence. With this trust, coupled with the expertise of the coaching staff, we are able to mitigate injury and optimize performance. Our goal is to educate you as to what safe movement is and how to approach training on a day-to-day basis.
What resources are available at Black Flag outside of classes?

Black Flag Athletics is comprised of several respected health and wellness professionals. To this part, we are proud to offer several resources and programs that extend beyond just our classes.

Resources & Businesses:
⦁ Pure Physio w/ Dr. Matt Stevens & Dr. Todd Lewarchick
⦁ Mobility & Recovery with Dawn Ziegler
⦁ Personal Training, Recovery, and Nutrition with Nancy Legan

Please refer to the following link for each program available at Black Flag.


What makes your approach towards implementing it different than other styles of training?
Due to our backgrounds in sports performance and health, we have adopted the cross training methodology (constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity) and then added a large emphasis on injury prevention and performance. We believe for athletes to function at their highest capacity, they must spend time on preventing injury and training all planes of movement. We dedicate time each day towards performing smaller prehab-based movements that strengthen the entire system as a whole which will illicit greater performance in both the gym and outside of it.

Nutrition Questions

Do you have any recommendations on what I should eat?

To optimize fitness, you will need to measure and record intake, evaluate performance and potentially change intake until the desired results are achieved. This approach to diet is no different than the approach to workouts.

Every person’s body is different; therefore, we deem that you will need to experiment in order to achieve optimal results. Experimentation will give you valuable information on grains, legumes, dairy and salt, and it can even help you plan the frequency and timing of your meals. You may need to adjust your food intake for your lifestyle, goals, discipline, commitment level, etc. You may choose to experiment with supplementation, post-workout nutrition, fasting, and so on. You may choose to include a cheat meal, eat more fat, consume more food, etc. 

Overall, diet is specific to each individual, and he or she can optimize diet by carefully tracking input (food) and output (performance).

What supplements do you recommend?
It is important to note that supplements have been created to do exactly what they are named after, to supplement one’s diet. If you are unable to eat a well-rounded meal post workout or a snack prior to exercise, then we would recommend a couple options.
⦁ Grass-Fed Whey Protein (20-25g)
⦁ Vitamin D (500-1000IU)
⦁ Probiotic
⦁ Multivitamin
⦁ Fish Oil (2-4g)
Are there nutrition services available on-site if I want an individualized plan?
Yes. We have an in-house Specialist in Fitness Nutrition who has developed plans for several of our athletes and is always willing to meet with people who have specific questions in regard to their nutrition. Contact Peter Nelson II directly at pete@bfathletics for more information.

Membership Questions

How do I join Black Flag if I have never done cross training before?
We require every athlete who has no previous cross training experience to be enrolled in our individualized OnRamp program. Once completed and approved by our coaching staff, athletes can then sign up for classes. Head over to the following link in order to get started.
How do I join Black Flag if I have previous cross training experience?
Please send an email to [email protected] to inquire about memberships and signing up for classes. Furthermore, if you would prefer to sign up in person, feel free to drop-in 15 minutes before any of our classes to talk with a coach about signing up.
Do I have to sign up for classes? If so, how?
Yes. Due to the number of athletes we see on a daily basis, we require that each of our athlete’s sign-in for class. We limit each class to 20 athletes in order to

keep the quality of coaching and experience at a premium for each individual that walks through our doors.

To sign in for classes, we recommend athletes to sign in ahead of time through the Wodify app. Please follow this procedure:

⦁ Download Wodify for either iPhone or Android.
⦁ Sign into your account with the temporary password sent to you by Wodify via email.
⦁ Create your password
⦁ Select “schedule” in the toolbar.
⦁ Reserve your class time and press “sign in”. You may “reserve” up to 72 hours in advance and “sign in” 24 hours in advance.

You may also sign-in for class using our front kiosk as you walk in. Simply type in your name, press sign-in, and you’re all set!

What is the OnRamp process?
Our one-on-one On-Ramp class is a program designed for athletes to learn the fundamentals of CrossFit. The program will take athletes through the fundamental movements of CrossFit, including proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and mobility. Athletes will graduate the On-Ramp program after four private classes, the coach’s assessment, and when comfortable enough to join class.

Once you email us to set up your OnRamp, we will find times and days that best fit your availability. Each session will last one hour and there are four required sessions. The cost for the OnRamp is $120 ($30/session). We want to make sure you get the fundamentals needed to be safe, comfortable, and successful in our classes.

What do I do after I am done with the OnRamp process?
Once your OnRamp is complete and have been cleared by a coach to begin classes, we need then need to figure out a membership option that works best for you. We currently offer an unlimited membership and punch card options to best fit your needs and schedule. After selecting the avenue you wish to take, you can then begin to sign in for classes (please see question Q3 above for how to sign in via Wodify).