Knights 60 Day Nutrition Challenge


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Knights PTR 60 Day Nutrition Challenge

This is a nutrition challenge like nothing we’ve ever done before. This isn’t a strict “insert-name-of-current-fad-diet” challenge. This is about food education and making good choices. We all know diets don’t work long term and that healthy life choices are really the most important thing. We have partnered with MealFit to bring you a system that hopefully will set you up for success. Below are the guidelines for the challenge along with some suggested food items and educational tools. The challenge will operate on the honor system and you’ll be responsible for tracking your own points on a daily and weekly basis. Knights PTR will provide all participants with everything they need to keep track of their points, and daily WOD programming. MealFit will be there for all your nutritional education.

The cost to participate in the challenge is $20.00. This will go toward the prizes for the winners. The dates of the challenge are February 6th through April 7th, with official weigh ins on February 6th and April 7th for those wishing to participate in the most weight lost prize category.

In this challenge the men and the women will be scored separately. There will be a male and female winner for most points earned. There will also be a male and female winner for most weight lost. And finally, we’ll also choose one participant at random to win a prize. There will be prizes provided from Knights PTR and MealFit.

Here’s how the point system works.

4 Points: Perfect day of eating.
Example: No cheats.

3 Points: One minor slip.
Example: Milk in the coffee, condiments (salad dressing, mayo, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc), one Dorito chip, one Fruit Loop, one bite or sip of anything that is not allowed.

2 Points: Significant slip, but not an entire meal.
Example: One glass of wine or one beer, finished your kid’s Mac ’N Cheese, piece of bread at dinner.

1 Points: Major slip, a full meal went bad.
Example: You had Pizza or pasta for dinner, more than one alcoholic drink, dessert.

0 Points: More than one meal went bad throughout the day.
Example: You went off the rails at dinner and then went out for drinks.

Bonus points:

1 Point:
– You worked out that day. (Up to 6 in 1 week)
– You completed a workout from 2017 KnightsPTR Open.
– You got 7+ hours of sleep last night.
– You completed 20+ minutes of mobility outside of class.
– You attend the Saturday yoga class with Coach Chrissy.
– You posted your meals, recipes, workouts, progress, etc. on social media using hashtag “knightsptrchallenge”. (Once per day max)
– You drank at least half your body weight in ounces of water.

3 Points:
– You got a recovery massage from Jess. (Unlimited)
– You brought someone new to try the gym.
– You wrote down a specific goal on your scoresheet related to this challenge.

5 Points:
– You completed all 5 Open workouts. (One time use)
– You complete the Sunday ruck with Coach Cory.
– You were on time and ready to go for every class you attended this week.

10 Points: (1 use per week)
– You use MealFit Prep, MealFit Ready, or MealFit Plans for your nutrition goals. Follow the link provided below and use the code “mealfit.knights”.

– You completed one of the “T-Shirt Wods”.


– You consumed 1-2 alcoholic drinks, -1 point.
– You consumed 3-4 alcoholic drinks, -2 points.
– You consumed 4+ alcoholic drinks, -3 points.
– You used any tobacco products today, – 2 points.


Should I take a pre/post workout protein shake?
– This will be different based on your own personal goals. A protein shake is not required. However, it is important that you are getting adequate fuel throughout your recovery.

What about Kill Cliff and FitAid?
– Post workout only.

– Balsamic vinegar (must be the only ingredient), red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, hot sauce (check label for additives/sugar), spices, and seasonings are okay (read the ingredients!), garlic cloves, herbs.

– Only source of sweetener can come from whole foods. AKA Fruit. No honey, molasses, maple syrup, table sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, other artificial sweeteners.

– These are okay, but need to be unsweetened, and no milk. Almond milk is ok but only almond milk- no additives or sweeteners. Up to 1 cup a day maximum.

What about eating out?
– For the next 60 days we’re asking you to limit where ever you can. If and when you have to eat out make smart decisions as best as you can.

What are acceptable protiens?
– Beef/Sirloin
– Ground Beef
– Chicken Breast
– Turkey Breast
– Venison
– Salmon
– Tuna
– Shrimp
– Talapia
– Whole Eggs
– Egg Whites
– Greek Yogurt

What are acceptable Good fats?
– Raw Almonds
– Pistachios
– Peanuts
– Almond Butter
– Walnuts
– Cashews
– Avocado
– Olive Oil
– Coconut Oil
– Flax Seed Oil

What are acceptable carbohydrates?
– Fruits, such as: Apples, Grapes, Bananas, Blue berries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cantalope, Cherries, Oranges, Pineapples.
– Vegetables, such as: Broccoli, Carrots, Asparagus, Green Beans, Bell Peppers, Grape Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Spinach, Celery, Zucchini, and Squash.
– Starch Carbs, such as: Oatmeal, Ezekiel Bread, Red Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Jasmine Rice, and Quinoa.

What are acceptable beverages?
– Water
– Black Coffee
– Unsweet Tea
– Carbonated Water (As long as it has no added sweetners)


A New Day

Hello Knights Knation,

We just wanted to give everyone a little info on the current landscape of the gym. We can consider this our first “State of the Gym” address.

As some of you may have noticed or heard, there is a new name that’s floating around the gym, Knights PTR. Yes, we are changing the name of the gym. It’s something that has been tossed back and forth for some time now. The decision was not arrived at easily or without thought, but in the end we think it best fits where we would like to head in the foreseeable future. Although we are currently stepping away from the previous iteration in a business setting it will not change how we get our fitness on inside the gym. Your workouts will remain to look the same and have the same intent behind them. We are excited to use those resources to help improve the gym and it’s coaches.

So what does it mean? Knights PTR (Performance Training & Rehabilitation) means just that. We’re your place to train to perform better and ,with the addition of some new relationships and offerings, mend yourself if need be. We have a few new things to offer in the near future that we think everyone will be excited about. There is a partnership with a local physical therapist that will be offering some services at the gym as well as hopefully a partnership with a massage therapist. Both are residents of Cookeville and people you already know. We are excited and hope you will be too.

Knights PTR


Alright everyone, there has been enough interest in the Burgener squat cycle that we are pulling the trigger.  They will be integrated into normal classes over the course of 12 weeks.

Starting on Monday, June 30th we will begin Coach Mike Burgener’s 12 week Back and Front Squat Strength Program. The program consists of two days per week of squat strength. Back Squats on Mondays, Front Squats on Thursdays. Between now and Monday June 30th we ask that everyone take a few extra minutes to determine your one rep max (1RM) in both the Back Squat and the Front Squat. This does not have to be done on the same day. In fact we encourage you to find these maxes on separate days if possible. Finding a 1RM Back and Front Squat will be programmed into the current 3 week cycle (6/9 – 6/28). If you don’t make it on those days please take time to find those numbers for those lifts. It is imperative we have them so you get the correct loading and stimulus from the cycle. Once you have found your one rep max for each lift please print your name as well as your one rep max weights on the sheet on the whiteboard. This will allow us to build a worksheet that will show you exactly what weight to be lifting each day of the program. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to Cory, Murph or Josh W.

Lets get squatting!!!

Mike’s Gym is a Regional Training Center for USA Weightlifting, as well as a KnightsPTR gym affiliate. Coach Burgener has over 40 years of experience primarily as a strength coach for USA Olympic Weightlifting. You may recognize his name, as we have used the “Burgener warm-up” with pvc prior to workouts envolving the snatch. You can see more about him and his program at

The “Ruckus” Wrap

Smiles, Pushups, and being better Americans; that’s what the whole event was about.  The participants spent 6 hours accomplishing various missions and movements, all the while learning important facts about our country.  They traveled 7.5 miles and saw some of the best parts of our wonderful town.  They learned important team building skills that will hopefully transfer over to their everyday life and hopefully they had a lot of fun.

We started off at the Depot, under the American Flag, for gear inspection, to make sure everyone had the appropriate weight in their ruckus 5rucks.  We then moved to the grassy area for some calisthenics.  Beginning in this fashion is important to evaluate each participant’s ability to perform throughout the duration of the event.  As a team, they performed: pushups, squats, flutter kicks, presses, and various other movements over a 45 minute period of time.

After everyone was warmed up, the first Team Leader was chosen and given the instructions for their first mission.  Before they could step off we had a present for all of them.  Each member of the team received a 20’ish lb sandbag that he or she would be responsible for until further notice.  They were also instructed at no point should the sandbags touch the ground.  Dennis, the Team Leader, notified the team that they would be moving to the boat ramp at Cane Creek Park.  A time cap was negotiated and they determined they would have 45 minutes to make it to their first location.  The team leader chose a Navigator, Tori, to help define the route.  Then all 16 participants, with their rucks and sandbags, stepped off.  After a bit of confusion about which path they should take, the team found themselves on the wrong side of one of the only bridges in town.  The cadre informed them that they did not have bridge privileges and a toll must be paid to cross.  The entire team had to lunge with their sandbags over their heads across the bridge before they could resume normal movement.  While moving down one of the streets chosen by the team the Cadre found a cache of logs.  Though logs were not part of the initial movement tasking, the Cadre deemed this as an opportunity for the team to excel.  A log was chosen to be taken with the team to the first destination.  The team continued on to their first target without further interruption, apart from a couple incidents where sandbags were dropped.  The team arrived at the boat ramp in Cane Creep Park.  Once there, they were instructed to neatly stack their sandbags on the ground, then eat/hydrate and address any gear issues they may have.  Total movement time: 90 minutes.  For failure to meet the time requirements of the movement, the team was instructed to pair up and enter the lake via the boat ramp.  Once everyone had been in the water, the issue of dropped sandbags was addressed with further calisthenics in the form of bear crawls.  Dennis was the relieved of duty as Team Leader.

Mission Two was about to begin, so Justin was appointed as the new Team Leader.  Justin was briefed that his team would be responsible for secretly infiltrating the Ensor Sink Natural Area via the drainage ditch that connects it to Willow Ave.  The team was informed that, due to threats in the area, all red pickup trucks were considered “hostile” and whenever one was spotted “incoming” must be yelled and everyone must hit the deck as quickly as possible.  Three red pickups drove by while we were discussing the new time cap for Mission Two, but we finally settled on 120 minutes to complete this mission.  The team reacquired all their gear, including the sandbags, and moved out.  They quickly determined that the area was covered with enemies, aka red pickups trucks, which was severely hampering the missions progress.  The cadre determined it was an appropriate time to allow the team to lose some of the sandbags.  After being quizzed on some American history, for their correct answers they were allowed to dispose of four sandbags.  The overall pace improved and the team quickly made it to the entrance of the drainage ditch.  After negotiating the fence and the entrance into the ditch, the team was instructed to camouflage themselves to help reduce the chances of being discovered.  The team quickly navigated the drainage ditch and arrived in the Ensor Sink Natural Area, well under their time cap.  The cadre, always concerned for the team’s well-being, instructed them to have a seat in the cool running water to help reduce any short-term swelling issues from the physical exertion.  After their short cool down, the team was rewarded for their mission completion with a fun game.  During the game, they were introduced the “It pays to be a winner!” concept.  The team was divided into two, and went head to head to determine a winning team.  I’ll spare you the details of the game but the losing team got to do overhead squats with their ruck while the winning team watched.  Afterwards, Justin was relieved of duty as Team Leader.

Mission Three was next, so Margie was appointed as the new Team Leader.  She briefed her team that they would be continuing on to the courthouse with their sandbags.  A 40 minute time cap was set and they moved out.  Shortly after stepping off, the Cadre determined that it was again an appropriate time to give the team a chance to shed some sandbags.  Given the new chance to redeem themselves, the team earned the privilege of losing all of their sandbags.  The newly unburdened team was given a new, more appropriate, time cap to make it to the Mission Three objective.  The pace at which the team moved was greatly increased and they arrive at the objective well under the time cap.  While at the courthouse, the team paid their respects to the 163 men and women from the area that have perished in the line of duty by performing 163 pushups.  After the mission was complete, Margie was relieved of duty as Team Leader.

Mission Four took the team to Dogwood Park.  Tessa was assigned as the new team leader and she briefed her team that they would be securing an advantageous position in the park to observe the fountain area for enemy combatants.  The team entered the park from the east side under the cover of some small trees, and slipped into the creek.  There they proceeded to low crawl through the creek until they were able to discretely observe the fountain area.  Turns out the area was all clear, so the low crawling in the water wasn’t entirely necessary, but once again cold water is good for swelling.  After Tessa gave the “all clear” she assembled the team in the parking area for a gear refit and water refill.  Tessa was retained as Team Leader and briefed her team that the next phase of Mission Four was to navigate their way to the quad at Tennessee Tech.  A new time cap was negotiated for 30 minutes and the newly refreshed team moved out.  Despite being tired and beaten up, the team moved at an aggressive pace and arrived at the quad in short time.  Once at the quad, the team was paired up into 8 two-person teams, where they once again familiarized themselves with the concept of “It pays to be a winner!”  The teams competed in a WOD that consisted of pushups, buddy carries, and bears crawls.  The winning team earned the privilege, but declined, of getting to watch as the rest of the participants held the top plank position while answering more questions about American history.  Once the WOD was over, Tessa was relieved as Team Leader.

The final movement, Mission Five, was to get back to where it all started.  Chris was assigned as the new Team Leader and given at 12 minute time cap to return to the start point at the base of the American flag at the Depot.  Speed was a necessity if they were going to make it on time.  A route was chosen and they moved out.  The team moved with a purpose; the end was near and they did not want to miss the final time cap.  With one minute remaining the team assembled in two ranks at the base of the American flag.  They had completed their mission.

The cadre congratulated the participants and presented them with their patch.  Sixteen individuals started that day, but they finished as one team.  The participants all had performed admirably and deserved the patch they were presented.  Smiles, pushups, and being better Americans is what it’s all about.

–  Coach Cory

Final Thoughts

In a flash it was over.  The 2014 KnightsPTR Games Open has come to a close.  Looking back what has changed in these past six weeks? 1open What did I learn?  And, what am I taking away from my 4th Open experience?

Wow, things have changed.  This years’ Open was far more diverse and challenging than any Open in previous years. We started off with a redo of the very first Open WOD ever, then the very next week we were already doing chest to bars and overhead squats…CRAZINESS!!  We went super heavy for the first time ever in the 3rd week, and we learned that the rower is no longer off limits in Open competition.  We also saw the first ever time domain WOD in 14.5.  The Open is forever changed; no longer can we speculate with any degree of accuracy what it will have in store for us from week to week.

Our Open was six weeks long due to the intramural competition.  We added an unofficial 14.6 WOD, which everyone found delightful.  In that short time-frame I believe I’ve learned a lot about myself and my gym family as a whole.  I learned that as much as I despise double-unders, I am capable of doing them most days.  I learned that I’ve still got a long way to go to fully recover from my broken arm last June.  I learned that I prefer to pick up heavy things rather than do box jumps.  I learned that thrusters and burpees are a terrible combination, no matter how it’s presented.  More importantly, I learned that my gym family has more heart than can be described in words.

I saw Mason Goodwin completely destroy everyone’s expectations of what a 14 year-old that weighs 105 lbs was capable of.  I saw Ed Butler get his first toe to bar ever in 14.4.  I saw Kim Driver slip of the pull-up bar and hit the ground hard, just to get right back up and keep working.  I saw Margie Archer get chest to bar pull-ups for the first time ever, having just got regular pull-ups a month prior.  I saw Sabrina Holman fearlessly do box jumps.  I saw Tori Gallagher get sick during 14.5, but never give up.  I saw Mark Pierce put people in disbelief every week at the capacity he had.  I saw so many do and redo these workouts, laying it on the line each time, despite knowing how bad it was going to hurt.  I saw so many things from each competitor that I could go on and on about.  I saw the hearts of my gym family poured out each and every week. I am so proud, thankful, and honored to know all of you.

Hopefully, several of the lessons I learned from this year’s Open will stay with me when I continue to train in the upcoming year.  I know I have a lot to work on.  I understand that I am no longer one of the top competitors in the gym, and I couldn’t be more pleased about that.  I’ll try to remember that this whole thing is about our health, and keeping it as long as possible.  I also realize that one day soon we’ll be making a trip to Regionals as participants, not spectators.  So here’s to the 2015 KnightsPTR Games Open, and the journey to get there!

No More Rash!!

Like some of you, I both smile and cringe when I see sit-ups in tomorrow’s WOD. I suffer from an embarrassing condition that I will refer to as “sit-up rash”. I had never heard of this condition personally until I finally did some research of my own on different KnightsPTR websites. I also discovered that not everyone is susceptible to getting this rash; only those with a certain body structure. I am going to share what I have learned with you in hopes of helping others that deal with this irritating issue.

Anytime I do a great deal of sit-ups, I develop an area, of what is essentially carpet burn, around my tailbone. This can vary in its severity depending on quantity of sit-ups, what you wear, how far your tailbone protrudes, and the surface you do sit-ups on. It has been an issue that can really hurt, and leave a scar if you are not careful.

I have found a few things that can help however.

  • I always try to slather on some kind of anti-friction lotion over my tailbone (you can often find this stuff in the runners supply stores).
  • I try and only do sit-ups on surfaces that are soft and surfaces I can’t slide around on.
  • I try to use a folded Yoga mat over my Ab mat so that I am sitting on the Yoga mat.
  • I try and wear tight shorts that don’t scoot around.

These suggestions won’t keep you from developing a rash altogether, but it won’t be as bad, and it will take longer to develop one. I hope this helps!


If you have any other suggestions or tricks, please leave them in the comments section.

Online Sign-In

Creating an account:

Alright boys and girls, here are the instructions for getting set up to sign yourselves into class online.

In the navigation bar at the top of the website there is a tab labeled “Community”. When you hover over it a dropdown will appear. “Class Sign-In” will be one of them. Once you click it you will be taken to our mindbody site.

You will see two boxes. One labeled “Been here before?” and the other labeled “New to our site?”
Your first time you will need to create an account. So fill out the boxes in “New to our site?”. Click Next.

When the next page loads you will see Find Account. Click “This is me!”. Then follow the directions to create your account.

From now on you will sign in through the “Been here before?” box.

Signing into class:

1) Login using the account you created.
2) Once you’re logged in click the KnightsPTR Classes tab.
3) Find the day and time you want to sign into class and click “sign up now”.

It will ask if you want to make a single reservation or a recurring one. A single will sign you into that class only. Please only use the recurring option if you know that you will consistently make that class time on that day.

As long as your membership is current the system will let you sign into class.

We appreciate your effort in helping us make this transition smoother.

Post Workout Beverage

So want to make a cheap Post WOD recovery shake? You can make this shake using Protein Powder, or not, your choice. Recipe is as follows:

1 banana, 1/2 c plain yogurt, 1/2 c milk, 1 c spinach, 1 Tbsp flax seed meal, 1 tsp honey

Blend until very smooth and drink within a half hour post WOD.

*You can change up the ingredients to your tastes, try a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a Tbsp. peanut butter to change it up. You can substitute frozen fruit for fresh, any flavor yogurt for plain, almond milk for regular milk, kale for spinach, and add coconut water. Sky is the limit, just try and keep carb ratio the highest, and a little protein, and little or no fat for optimal results.

~Kettlebell Chrissy


Joy“Joy” …. Joy is a progression chart explaining the KnightsPTR experience . Everyone walks through our doors “seeking” something. For each person it is different; but ultimatelyI think we are all seeking “joy” in one form or another. This is my perception of change that individuals go through on their KnightsPTR journey at Knights. I say Knights specifically because I truly believe we have developed a culture inside these walls that transcends the physical location of the gym. It’s more than the typical “KnightsPTRters always talk about KnightsPTR.”, it’s embracing people as family that aren’t related to you be blood.



Every time you step into the gym there should be a process, a checklist; a mindset. It should include all the things an athlete should and shouldn’t be doing. Think of it as a road map to success.

Punch The Clock

It’s that simple, leave work at work. Worrying about an email, a phone call, some shipment, or whatever doesn’t do anything but distract you from the task at hand. Your mind needs to be in the moment. Not to mention, that taking the stresses of your job with you when you leave every day can drastically affect your life in general, not just your performance in the gym. So leave it at the office, unfortunately, I promise it’ll still be there tomorrow.


Someone once told me, I don’t remember who, “Ego will get you so far, then it will get you hurt.” That has really stuck with me; those are words to remember for sure. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this just as much as anyone else. Healthy competition is one thing, but ego is another, and there is no place for it in training. From my experience it leads to very specific things, namely; poor execution, poor form, poor sportsmanship, and ultimately injury. Leave your ego somewhere else, get your mind in the game, screw expectations, and just do the work to the best of your ability on that given day.

Results Are Results

This one is simple. Everything is a result; it may not be what you wanted but it’s still measurable and quantifiable. Never be satisfied with results, always be hungry for more. Take each piece of information and use it. Use daily results to keep your mind in the right spot; driving each day to improve on yesterdays’ results.

You Are Who You Associating With

Have you ever hung around someone so much that you started picking up their habits? A lot of us do it without even realizing. It often takes someone else pointing it out to make the connection. Usually we glean weird, quirky things from other people; but there are good things to be absorbed as well. Like it or not, we are who we choose to associate with. Training the mind is just as important as training the body, and in some cases more important. Hanging around people with a negative mindset will put you in one too. Winners see the goal, they speak it into existence. They have already won the battle in their mind and they exude the confidence in their words and actions. You can absorb that thought process just the same as anything else. Put yourself in the presence of those people, better yet, be that person for someone else.

Perceived Limitations … Who Put Those There?

YOU DID!! I can show you a video on YouTube from NorCal KnightsPTR of a gentleman, who is paralyzed from the waist down, climbing a rope so he can get ahold of the pull-up bar for his set of strict pull-ups. That doesn’t sound like a person who accepts anything as a limitation. For whatever reason, people in general, have lost the ability to see past the reach of their own hand. Limitations are in your mind. Does that mean that you can hit the rack today and squat 500lbs? No, it means that if you want to squat 500 lbs you can if you set your mind to it and train without doubting yourself. Do not let negative thoughts in your own mind dictate what is possible. Just because you attempt something and fail doesn’t mean you can’t, it means you can’t YET!

Fail To Succeed

Very few of us are great the first time we attempt something. More often than not the first attempt at anything doesn’t have great results. It only makes sense the failing is part of the process of success. Today’s society perceives failure as a good excuse to quit. Failure is part of a learning process; it teaches what not to do, and offers great insight into improving the next attempt. It’s crazy to say this, but a person should be happy to fail, it means you are one step closer to the goal. Accept failure as part of the larger process and embrace it as a stepping stone, not a wall that blocks the way.


Everyone has them, whether they realize it or not. They should be an ever evolving part of your mindset. Walking into the gym, you have to have a target in mind. Mostly we know what we‘re doing, but do we know why? Where are you going? What are you doing each day to get there? Goals should be short term and long term, and have a course of action to reach them. It’s a very good practice to write them down; if you do it, log it somewhere. They are not the culmination of anything; they are a compass for the journey that hopefully never ends.

Open Mind … Ready To Learn

Ever watched the Olympics? See some unbelievable athlete snatch 100 lbs more than their bodyweight, then run off stage and hug some little scrawny guy they call Coach. Do you think the Coach can snatch that much? Do you think the Olympian still listens to him anyway? An athlete in the right mindset realizes that things can be seen from the outside that can’t be felt on the inside. A Coach can step back from the moment and see where things begin to break down. You have to be ready to hear what a Coach has to say… then use it.

Now I know what a lot of you are thinking; that doesn’t apply to me. He’s talking about other people. No, I’m not. I’m talking about each and every one of you that step up to the bar, day in and day out, searching for something that you don’t quite have ….YET!

~by Cory