Tag Archives: Four Barrel

Some days Brahm would rather work on the ballfield
instead of play on it...and that’s ok.

Fam Fitter | Fostering Individual Enthusiasm

By Adam & Kristin Kleinert 

Some days Brahm would rather work on the ballfield instead of play on it...and that’s ok.

Some days Brahm would rather work on the ballfield
instead of play on it…and that’s ok.

When we began our journey to become a fitter family, we chose a cohesive approach to overall family health. This concept appealed to us not only due to the simplicity just one plan can be to implement, but also because we place such value in our time spent together. Thus far, the journey has been enlightening and even fun. But we are raising four different humans with four very different personalities. Keeping our tribe motivated to stay active means fostering each individual’s enthusiasm for movement.

We know our kids. We are hands-on parents and involved in every aspect of their lives. However, we thought it might be more fun – and enlightening – if we asked each of them their preferred way to be active. After all, kids change. They grow and adapt and are exposed to new ideas on an almost-daily basis. How better to foster motivation than to offer a current favorite when it comes to exercise?


Brahm was born 13 weeks premature and spent a couple of months in the NICU before coming home after birth. Combine that with the fact that he’s the youngest of the brood, and you can probably deduce that we go a little easy on him. We didn’t sign him up for sports as early as we did the others, and we’ve been a little overly excited about each physical milestone he’s met and most likely a little too worried about the asthma he’s developed. Despite our parenting precautions, Brahm is an active little guy and you’d rarely find him holding still. He’d rather be outside than in, and spends as many daylight hours as possible riding, digging, building, running, etc.

When we asked Brahm what is his favorite way to exercise, he wrinkled his nose and replied, “Um, I guess…push-ups.”

After giggling at this a bit (because, really? who loves push-ups?), we explained to him that exercise can be anytime he is moving and maybe even sweaty. He responded much more enthusiastically, “I like working on stuff outside. That gets me sweaty. And I like to swim.”


Molly is definitely our least active kiddo, though she’s far from sedentary. Remember when I mentioned how kids change and grow? That’s Molly. She reinvents herself regularly and her interests vary accordingly. She’s tried several different sports, but usually loses interest after a time. (We’ve learned she often comes back around, so we do hang onto equipment and athletic gear.)

Recently, Molly surprised us by announcing that she planned to join the cross-country team at school. Since she has never enjoyed running, we weren’t sure if she understood just what “cross country” means. When we asked her, she simply rolled her eyes. “I know what it is, Mom. It’s running. Like, running far.”

Our next order of business was to see if she could complete a mile without stopping. She surprised us again by going out and doing just that with Dad jogging alongside. Finally, we agreed to look into the logistics of her actually joining the team. (Fourth graders are allowed to run with the older kids at our school, but there is technically no team for Molly’s grade level.) In the end, Molly wasn’t able to run on the team this season. Which brings us to the biggest surprise of all: She’s still been running. Often. And of her own accord.

We asked Molly what her preference for exercise is currently, and (not surprisingly, because she IS Molly) she did NOT report running. “I like riding my bike and I love capture the flag.”

ELI, 12 

When it comes to staying active, Eli has it nailed. We never stress about a lack of exercise for Eli, and we have to put more than a little effort into making sure he gets some rest. In fact, he burns so many calories that it’s a daily battle to make sure he eats enough. He often stays after school for a practice and then goes straight to yet another practice or game. He spends his little bit of free time engaged in some type of high intensity activity.

Eli is always game for any type of exercise suggested. He’s so active that I truly did wonder what he’d choose when asked about his favorite type of movement.

“I mostly like to play basketball,” he said. “And baseball. And soccer and track and working out in the gym. Oh, and we’ve been playing this game in P.E. called Hunger Games Dodgeball.”

Yep. I should have known.


So far, Syd has been easy on us in the “raising a teenager” arena. She’s not defiant, nor is she sneaky and irresponsible. (In fact, she’s more responsible than us sometimes, but that’s a whole other article.) She does, however, experience the mood swings and fatigue that come with adolescence. Though typical and even understandable, this behavior can make it hard to motivate her toward exercise sometimes.

Luckily, Sydney has always enjoyed sports and she is on the basketball, golf and track teams at our high school. Daily practices keep her active and fit, and being on the team means she has to attend even when she may not feel like getting up and moving. Though homework has put a bit of damper on the amount of free time Syd has available, she can usually be coerced into a workout or a jog on non-practice days.

“If I’m going to pick an exercise or a workout, I’d probably pick a solo run or an interesting cross-fit WOD,” she said. “Also, I like playing games like kickball and dodgeball because I don’t realize I’m exercising.”


Motivation means a lot when it comes to physical activity. Enthusiasm for an activity can go a long way toward keeping your own clan excited to participate in a form of exercise.

When an individual’s personalities and preferences are recognized and considered, commitment to fitness becomes much more consistent.

Kids change their preferences, and that’s okay. It’s a great idea to talk to them to learn about their current interests surrounding exercise.

Siblings are most often different from one another. While family activity is important, remember to recognize and foster each individual’s enthusiasm for movement.

Building and maintaining a healthy family is an evolution. We’re working on it diligently, but we’ve got much more to learn!

Don’t forget to visit www. ExtolSports.com to check out the FamFitter newsletter. This e-post section is your quick link to great recipes, family tips and fun exercise ideas you can use to make your own family fitter. 



Fam Fitter | Moving On


By Adam & KristinKleinert 

Several months ago, we were privileged to meet with Case Belcher of Four Barrel CrossFit concerning our family wellness. Case developed a simple, efficient workout that could be done in the comfort of our home and adapted for the differing ages and fitness levels within our household. We shared it with our readers and received a great deal of positive feedback.

This month we are excited to announce that Extol Sports and FamFitter have teamed up once again with Four Barrel. This time, Coach Case has created three full-body workouts designed to be completed at home. As before, these movements can all be adapted for different strength and age levels. In addition, they are meant to be utilized over a week’s time, with free movement days and rest days included, which is perfect for busy families. We are excited to put it to work with our own gang and we know you will be, too. screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-5-13-27-pm

The Important Basics 

All three workouts include warm-ups and flexibility work. According to Coach Case, they are designed to:

1. Prime the body and correct movement through the warm-up. 

2. Give an effective dose of strength and conditioning through the WOD (workout of the day). 

3. Increase flexibility and help reduce injury with a post-WOD yoga/stretching session. 

“Each workout is designed around efficiency … for folks looking for maximum results with the minimum effective time and dose, “ says Case. “Each day can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes.”

In addition, Case recommends: “These workouts can be repeated for a few weeks. After that, reps should be added and movements should be mixed to keep progress moving forward.”

Below you’ll find a description of each workout described in an easy, daily format. Remember to visit Extolsports.com for detailed descriptions or videos of proper movements.

The “Catch” 

Avid readers know that FamFitter is committed to implementing wellness into the lives of busy, active families. You may remember that we’ve mentioned we aren’t looking (or even willing) to purchase expensive exercise equipment in order to develop fitness levels among our family members. However, you’ll note that the workouts listed below include movements that involve resistance bands and gymnastics rings.

In working with Case and Four Barrel Fitness, we’ve learned how difficult it is to train one’s back in a home environment without the use of some type of equipment. Case says rings and resistance bands are the most versatile AND economic options available. “What’s more, rings and a band are the best way to correct the postural and shoulder issues that plague most of our population,” says Case. Therefore, we’ve agreed the investment (approximately $18 for a set of bands and $55 for rings; see links below) is well worth the cost.


LeanX at Four Barrel


I arrived a bit early at Four Barrel to get signed in before the Lean X class. There is a small reception area, offices and bathrooms and Four Barrel merchandise shelves before you enter the door to the gym.

On this particularly warm, humid day, the massive warehouse space filled with equipment and all manner of weights had the far wall exposed to the back parking lot. Big box fans kept the air flowing around what resembled an adult jungle gym and a small crowd gathering just inside the door.

Behind the crowd on the chalkboard wall was a list of the day’s workout. It has been awhile since I took a crossfit class and was unfamiliar with some of the terms and abbreviations, but I was relieved to see the word burpees was not among them. A burpee is a full-body-squat-thrust-jump exercise that revs up your heart rate and uses every muscle and your core and is – to be honest – excruciatingly exhausting. I am convinced that no one on earth likes burpees except crossfit trainers.


The class circled up with an introduction from Sheri McWilliams, followed by a detailed description and demonstration of the warm-up. Not so bad; I might survive this after all. By the end of class I would be praying for burpees.

The warm-up consisted of two rounds of a 100 meter run, a set of good mornings (an exercise, not a greeting), mountain climbers, push-ups with a down dog and leg raise bridges. Some of these exercises I was familiar with but all were expertly demonstrated, and I was in the middle of 25 people doing the same thing. Warm-up completed, we met back at the board.

Next came four rounds of weighted Romanian dead lifts, side raises and a torturous pistol squat (Google it to see a video, but this is a single-leg squat). Again, everything was demonstrated and explained expertly. There are several qualities that are common with amazing teachers and trainers. I have experienced these qualities in my yoga teacher at the YMCA, my current trainer, even my former art teacher and friend, and Sheri is no exception. They all make what they do look effortless, even things like pistol squats. The exercises required a lot more effort and huffing and puffing on my part but served as great inspiration for what could be possible in the (near?) future with training and persistence.

The last set involved a quick-paced round of jumping onto and then off of a tall wooden box before quickly springing your legs as a catalyst to shove weights up over your head. We started with 12 box jumps followed by 12 dumbbell push presses. That was followed by 11 box jumps followed immediately by 11 dumbbell push presses. Next was 10 box jumps followed by 10 dumbbell push presses. Thankfully, before the workout, I had read a quote just inside on the gym wall: “Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on, but you keep going anyway.”

That quote was running through my mind as we counted box jumps down and push presses down to one. Exhausted, our reward for surviving through the LeanX class, was a small hard foam roller that we used on the floor to roll out our fatigued leg muscles.

Reflecting on the class, some things you should know if you want to take a Lean X at Four Barrel. Some of the exercises can seem daunting, but the instructors do an amazing job at offering modifications for each one. The class was full of people of all levels of fitness and expertise and a variety of ages. I had to take advantage of a modification on the pistol squat because my body wouldn’t move like that and my balance was way off. That’s OK. The goal is to keep trying any way you can.

The other quality of a great teacher was found in abundance during this hour-long class: Sheri was everywhere in this giant space offering encouragement and making sure we did the movements correctly for maximum benefit, constantly weaving in and out around every person.

Definitely bring a water bottle and a towel, and be prepared to show up a bit early to sign a waiver. There is a free trial period of two weeks with their on-ramp training classes to prepare you for crossfit. In addition to personal training and unlimited crossfit class memberships, there is a LeanX-only membership for $119 a month. LeanX does most of the exercise of crossfit except for Olympic lifts.

The exciting thing about LeanX class for me was the opportunity to mix up my regular, solo workout with a group of like-minded people. Because of them, I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible, mixing cardio and weights. I know I was successful because I still feel it in my legs today. Eighty box jumps later, and carrying my foam roller to work with me today, I am looking forward to challenging myself again at Four Barrel.

“Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on, but you keep going anyway.”



Want to Stay Fit during Pregnancy? Here’s How

By Lisa Horning | Photos by David Harrison

Many Women continue their exercise regimen throughout their pregnancies, but you wouldn’t expect an intense workout like CrossFit to be right for this so-called delicate condition.

Some Southern Indiana women are showing that delicate is out and strong is in.

Renee Belcher, whose baby is due April 16, owns Four Barrel CrossFit with her husband, Case. Belcher has been doing CrossFit for years, so continuing through her pregnancy made sense.

CrossFit is a program that offers a full-body workout that combines elements of many types of exercise, including cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected. CrossFitters workout at gyms known as “boxes.”

Case Belcher started coaching first; then Renee, 33, followed. “I got into it because he was coaching in Louisville. We were both pretty competitive and athletic,” she said. “It was hard at first because I was not the type to lift anything. I looked at weights, and I would just rather run for hours. The beauty of CrossFit is that there’s little goals that you set for yourself, and there are things that you never knew you could do, but then you’re like, ‘Oh!’”

Early in her pregnancy, Belcher was still running, but she found that it just wasn’t comfortable p2because her baby was sitting so low in her pelvis. While lots of women run throughout their pregnancy, it just wasn’t right for her. “Everyone will tell you, listen to your body, and that’s so true,” she said. “Some things just feel funny. Each trimester, you kind of have to cut out certain things. Some women can run throughout their pregnancy; I just couldn’t.”

Dr. Sarah Price, of Norton Women’s Specialists, said that the main benefit of exercise during pregnancy is to maintain a healthy weight. “We recommend a 25- to 35-pound weight gain, which makes gestational diabetes less likely, and keeping up your physical fitness makes it easier to return to a normal weight after birth,” she said. “Obese women are at an increased risk for C-sections, and maintaining a normal weight decreases complications.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women get 20 to 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily. ACOG also says pregnancy is an ideal time for behavior modification and adopting a healthy lifestyle because of increased motivation and frequent visits with a doctor. Patients are more likely to control their weight, increase physical activity and improve their diet if their doctor recommends it.

Ali Glotzbach, 33, of New Albany, did CrossFit through both of her pregnancies, with her daughter Sloane, 3 and a half, and son Griffin, 14 months.

“I’ve always worked out,” she said. “I was a college athlete, so it was just part of me. This was no different.”

Glotzbach played volleyball at Michigan State University. “I joined CrossFit two years before I got pregnant. The good thing about CrossFit is that you can modify most anything to suit your needs.”

It also made Glotzbach feel a lot better during and after her pregnancies, she said. “It kept my energy up and for post-pregnancy, it made it easier to stay fit. I felt pretty damn good!”

Dr. Price said she always recommends women continue activity as long as there is no risk for abdominal trauma or a bad fall. So, no skiing, mountain biking or horseback riding, but running and other fitness regimens are OK.

“Having more muscle mass doesn’t help with delivery per se, but it does help with overall health and helps you maintain a normal weight,” she said. “For a lot of women, pregnancy is the biggest weight gain of their lives. So, staying fit helps the mom’s overall health.”

Belcher found that her energy level comes and goes. “First trimester, you’re probably a little more tired, but you get more blood volume. It’s doing workouts with built-in rest. … It’s hard with CrossFit because you can be tired no matter what because you’re going against the clock. You don’t know if you’re just tired or it’s the workout.”

As a coach, Belcher cautions pregnant women not to do any abdominal exercises while pregnant. “Don’t do any crunches. No direct core work because your abs are going to separate, (which is) called diastasis recti,” she said. “Pregnant women think they should train their core, but that’s not true. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to cause the abdominal muscles to separate.”

She said some doctors have told women not to lift anything heavier than a water bottle, but Belcher disputes that. “How else are you going to carry that car seat? That thing is heavy!”

She also believes that her workouts have helped to stabilize her body while pregnant. “Most women just waddle, but you want to keep everything nice and tight. Not like a sit-up, but through your back,” she said. “We’ll do squats with weights. You never realize the stuff you can do when you’re pregnant.”

Price also cautioned that joints are more easily injured during pregnancy because the hormones loosen up the joints to prepare the pelvis for delivery. But other joints are affected and can be injured, too, so be careful. “Listen to your body,” she said. Don’t exercise too strenuously, Belcher also cautioned. Any workout that causes the mother’s heart rate to rise to above 120 beats per minute can cause blood flow to shunt away from the baby. So, stay below that level and drink as much water or calorie-free fluids as you can.

The recommended calorie addition for pregnancy is only 300 calories (500 extra once baby is born and if you’re nursing), Price said, though many women are hungrier than that. In the second trimester, most of the weight gain is fat deposits in preparation for breast feeding. In the third trimester, it’s the baby and placenta.

Belcher said she’s had decreased back and knee pain, thanks to her workout regimen.

“We train the posterior chain a little bit more,” she said. The posterior chain is a group of muscles in the back of the body, including the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius and posterior deltoids. “Three exercises we do are squats, good mornings and lunges.” They help stabilize the body against the added weight in the front, she said.

Four Barrel has several members who are obstetricians, and they help give advice to pregnant members on their workouts, too, Belcher said.

Glotzbach said she did get some grief from her husband when she was doing rope climbs while pregnant, but otherwise, she liked the way CrossFit made her feel. A group at Four Barrel challenged her husband, Justin, to workout alongside her with a 20-pound medicine ball strapped to his middle to simulate her body. He learned quickly what challenges she faced.

Both of her deliveries went smoothly, quickly and were uneventful, Glotzbach said. Though it’s unclear if this is directly attributable to her fitness, she said she would tell any woman who wants to work out while pregnant, “Go for it! (Do) any little thing you can do to make you feel like you’re healthy. It’s a mental thing.”

Belcher also touts the psychological effects of fitness, but especially CrossFit. “It’s for your 80-year-old grandma or your 13-year-old cousin,” she said. “You hear a lot of bad things about it, that there are a lot of injuries, and there are. There are good boxes and bad boxes. We (at Four Barrel) like to keep people as healthy as they can, as far as warming them up and doing corrective exercises before the workout.

“You start to see yourself differently, and you start to not care about the external stuff. It’s the beauty of the results and not the external results. There’s a never-ending amount of goals that you could attain.”

If you are pregnant, please consult with a medical professional before assuming any type of exercise regimen.