Friday, July 24, 2015


     Next week marks a milestone in the history of No Mercy CrossFit. Our 3 year anniversary is August 1.  In the grand scheme of life 3 years is a minuscule amount of time, but for a small business to not only survive but thrive is historic. Holly and I so wanted to share our passion for CrossFit with our hometown as a way to give back in some small way for the life changing benefits CrossFit and the community has given us. When we started this dream few people believed it could last in small town Piqua and it has. So to all those naysayers I thank you for pushing us to be better.
      It is remarkable really what has been accomplished in a short period we have grown in membership, lifelong friendships have been formed. We have helped the Piqua community by establishing a scholarship fund in Sam Pearsons name, a former Piqua kid that paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. I am proud to say we have raised nearly 20k for that cause. I never could of dreamed that in 3 short years we would have already moved into a dream training facility conducive to CrossFit training and so much better suited than our first location. We are super proud of the gains in strength, stamina, and confidence of our members. We have seen numerous members obtain L1 certification. We have tons of people competing regularly and have fared well in some outstanding completions.  most of all I am proud of the community that has been created.
     It hasn't been easy. Anything worth having requires sacrifice, effort, and attention to detail, Holly and I would be remiss if we didn't thank our family for allowing us the time to build something fantastic. Hours and hours of blood sweat and tears along with time spent away from the kids have went into this, and hopefully you have learned valuable lessons about hard work that will last a lifetime. Trainers come and Go. Sometimes it is for the good and sometimes for the bad. The staff we have now and the staff we will continue to grow are special people. They give of their time for the satisfaction of seeing our athletes grow and excel. No egos, just selfless people that do this for the love of the game. My sincere thanks goes out to each of you. Your loyalty, compassion, and knowledge is seldom seen within the walls of a
CrossFit gym. Thank you to our members that continue to believe in our training philosophies and allow us to guide you in your fitness lifestyle. We value each and everyone of you. Finally a huge shout of to my wife who has never stopped believing in me and our dreams. Your tireless efforts provide an example to all our members especially our women. You prove that being strong is beautiful. Your never ending desire to maintain a reputable, clean, organized box doesn't go unnoticed. Your vision is why we have been successful.
     With all that being said tonight we celebrate! Past, present, and future No Mercy members are invited to a cookout at 6:30 at the new gym to celebrate the 3 years of awesomeness. We will provide the meat! bring a side to share and beverages of choice. We will eat, play cornhole, jam out to some sweet music (not yours McCormick) and celebrate our community. Thank you to everyone for 3 amazing years. See you tonight

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My Journey

     Lou Holtz, the famed coach of Notre Dame once said ……" If you wanna be happy for a hour eat a steak, if you wanna be happy for a day play golf, if you wanna be happy for a week go on a cruise, if you wanna be happy for a month buy a new car, if you wanna be happy for a year win the lottery, if you wanna be happy for a lifetime win a championship!!!!"No truer words have ever been spoken as far as I can tell. Sometimes I sit and think about life and what makes me who I am. If I am honest with myself I dislike who I am,  and I really am not very happy  and from the outside looking in I should be. I have a wife that supports me in nearly all of my dreams,  and I have 3 amazing kids that are talented beyond measure. We are fortunate enough to have 2 successful businesses to operate. I have a super cool second family within the walls of No Mercy CrossFit and I wouldn't change that for the world. We just purchased our dream home and we have so much to be thankful for. Truth is I have everything I can dream of except for one thing a championship. Since I could walk I have dreamed of being in the spotlight and associated all happiness with that pursuit. It is something that will probably never escape my mindset. I use to want to be an Olympic champion, I have trained since I was 4 years old to do something special. I have dreamed of playing football for the Irish, and that never transpired for a multitude of reasons that go without saying. I have dreamed of winning a world series of poker bracelet and I have been close. I made a promise to my father when he was laid to rest that I would accomplish that and I plan to.  And now I have one goal left… qualify for the Masters CrossFit Games.
     I am writing this blog which will be an ongoing series for the next year for a couple of reasons. To hold myself accountable and be 100% honest with myself if I am truly training to be a champion or just going through the motions. Coach Bookout is always preaching to me to journal my workouts so this is a tremendous platform. I hope to inspire somebody along the way that is just like me. Unhappy with themselves, and wants to be better. To be successful you have to put in the work and want to train more than you want to party or sleep. Up till this point that describes me to a tee. The Games are nearly upon us and time is short. I am going to chronicle my journey for better or worse. I ask each member of the NMCF family for their encouragement, for their honesty, and for their help.
     I have given myself one year to chase my dreams. To be the best trained athlete and poker player I can be. Anything longer than a year would just be selfish and at that point I have to focus my attention on my family. I have a wife that will be entering the Master's division soon and I want to get behind her because she has the talent to accomplish anything she so chooses. I have a soon to be college freshman that deserves our support, and I have a soon to be teenager that can accomplish anything she puts her mind to, and my 8 year old will surely be a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field around the USA. My competitive life will need to take the back burner. I can only pray that my family will be proud of me for chasing something and will be happy with whatever I accomplish or don't accomplish. I need to try for me. I am excited about the next year of training like never before and getting my nutrition and mind right. The pursuit of happiness begins now!!!! I hope to not bore you with my journey and look forward to feedback along the way.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

No Mercy CrossFit July 2015 Athlete of the Month


     Every once in a while an athlete walks into the gym with absolutely no expectations other than to get a workout in. No desire to compete, no desire to lose weight, and no desire to join a community.  Maybe their only objective is just to sweat and perform some type of fitness routine because that is what society says you should do right? Some people are capable of leaving their past athletic prowess and obvious athletic ability in the past. No reason to relish in  past  accomplishments, they are comfortable where they are. I think this sums up the man I have chosen as our athlete of the month for July.
     Trent Karn is my choice for athlete of the month. I have known Trent since we were little grade school kids. The before mentioned attributes are what described Trent over a year ago when he first walked through our doors. Those days are over though. If you have had the pleasure of working out in class with Trent you have been treated to a guy that is fun loving, a dancing machine, and a super competitive guy that isn't ok with just being average anymore. This guy has transformed into a serious athlete. He is a shell of the man that first started CrossFit weighing over 240 pounds. In the past few months Trent has lost over 40#  and improved his skills tremendously. He puts in a lot of extra auxiliary work that many don't see, and he logs quite a few miles before most people are out of bed. I know because he is my training partner on morning runs quite frequently. 
     Somewhere along the way Trent flipped a switch and his competitive nature broke through. This guy logged the fastest mile at the gym just last week. That is no easy task for a bigger athlete. He has uncanny speed with the barbell, and I am proud of the improvements in his gymnastics which I know he initially struggled with. Who knows how good this guy can be? He has only begun to scratch the surface. Trent is just one of those guys that make coaching fun and brightens the mood of every class he is in. We are proud to have him at No Mercy and look forward to watching Trent just keep getting better and better. Now that Trent has some CrossFit shoes and knee sleeves who knows what is next…..board shorts? Wrist wraps? k-tape? muscle ups? 
     Keep up the good work Trent! Pick something from Rogue for all your efforts!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

June 2015 NMCF Athlete Of The Month

JUNE 2015

     Few  people have the rare combination of raw physical talent, work ethic, and heart. No Mercy CrossFit has the pleasure to train a guy that possesses all of these attributes and more. I have had the pleasure of knowing our newest athlete of the month since I was 5 years old. I got to witness this guy compete up close and personal through speed skating. We competed against each other and became fast friends. This guy has always had something special inside him that most people don't have. That burning desire to be something special, to outwork the man standing next to him and perform just a little bit better. Failure is not an option for this guy. He has competed in virtually every sport imaginable and excelled at all of them. He has won golden gloves boxing matches and holds a blackbelt in brazilian jiujitsu. When I needed somebody I could count on at work I knew where to turn. He shows up everyday early and puts his head down and goes to work. It is often said that we learn our most valuable lessons when we get knocked down…..and this guy has been knocked down time after time and always gets back up, brushes himself off and reinvents himself. Don't let the rough exterior fool you….he has a heart of gold. I knew that he would be a tremendous asset to the No Mercy Community. He trains hard, encourages others and is always the first one to volunteer to help. He just loves being a part of something great. On June 13th he will make his competitive debut at Practice CrossFit's battle of the Ages, and I am fortunate enough to get to partner up with him. This guy has BIG aspirations and I have know doubt that when he puts his mind to it there is nothing that will prevent him from reaching his goals.
     No Mercy Trainer Jason Moore has chosen Rocky Bowman to be our newest award winner, and this is what Jason had to say………..
" As I see a lot people work hard every day but over the last few months there has been one person who has just amazed me every day I see them workout. When he first started you could just see the fire in his eyes. He wanted to learn and soak up any knowledge you could feed him. Once you show him a movement you can bet that you will see him off to the side working on it over and over. He might not be the biggest guy in the gym but I would argue has one of the biggest hearts. This burning desire to succeed and win is going to take him far. Joe has said this athlete will make a run at the masters games next year and I truly believe this will be the case. I am happy to choose Rocky as this months athlete of the month. Thanks for the energy and hardwork you bring to the gym and keep busting you ass bro. 
     For all your efforts choose something from Rogue and we will pick up the bill. Congrats Rock!



Friday, May 1, 2015

May Athlete of The Month

     Quite a few months ago a gentlemen with a few miles on his legs walked into our doors and told me he was looking for a change. He had never done CrossFit before but was ready to go. Within minutes I put him through a short 8 min. AMRAP and the rest is history. That guy is not the same person who wods nearly everyday with us now. He has grown as an athlete, and made great strides to be healthy. He is always willing to help out at the gym and doesn't hesitate to jump into competitions, or even volunteer to build new storage space for the new box. This guy has taught me a lot since joining that he probaly wasn't aware of. He showed me that CrossFit is for everybody. It doesn't always have to be competition based but the heart of the community is about people that simply want to be stronger today than the were yesterday, and that in itself is CrossFit. No Mercy Trainer Dustin "D-Lo" Brown had the honor of choosing Mr. Scott Cromes as the May Athlete of the Month.

"As I learn more and more about the No Mercy Athletes, I am amazed as there are so many of you that deserve the title, “Athlete of the Month”. Everyone cheering each other on to get better, push harder and to get stronger… Whether you are the first one done or the last one done, we are there for one another. There is one athlete that has stood out these past several months with his hard work, dedication, drive and consistency.  He shows up 10min before class, groggy but energetic, ready to learn and get better than the day before. He has lost weight, inches, PR’d several movements (Back Squats, Front Squats, Dead Lifts…), is hanging with other athletes 15-20yrs younger than him, and looks for more when he leave. He does all this before most people are waking up. Scott Cromes in my choice for the Athlete of the Month. He has been consistently been coming to the 5:30am class and is kicking ass!!! The next time you see Scott, congratulate him on his progress. Congrats Scott, Keep up the good work!!!!"

     For all of your efforts and for inspiring many without even knowing it please choose something from and we will pick up the tab. Job well done Scott

Monday, April 20, 2015

Festivus Games Scoring

Each athlete received a point for their respective place in each wod. If you made the finals point values doubled because of the less amount of athletes and we as a staff felt that the finals should be worth more points. Given the circumstances we feel this was a fair system and was the best we could come up with on the fly. We enjoyed having each and everyone of you andhoe you had a great competition. job well done to all competing athletes.
FEstivus Games Scoring

Division: Male Novice

Athlete                    Wod 1:Row            Wod 2: A.)Front Sq         Wod 2 B.) PC/Bur   Wod3   A.) 5/15  3B) DU      Final     Total

Chris Williams                  1                                     1                             2                                     1                         1                2         7

Tom Martin                      2                                     2                             1                                     2                         2                6         12

Mark Gunzelman            3                                     2 Tie                      3                                     3                          2tie            4        15


Division: Female Novice

Madi Smith                     2                                      4                              1                                  1                           10             2         19

Lori Kleinfelder              5                                      3                              2                                  1 tie                        4            8         23

Kara Peterson                4                                      9                              4                                   1tie                       3             4          25

Melissa Greier              9                                       2                             5                                    1tie                       6            6            29

Jennifer Lenz                7                                       7                              3                                   5                            2             10         34

Kelly Leff                      3                                         1                             5                                    8                           9

Becky Roberts              8                                       7tie                         7                                   5                           4

Nikki Garafalo              6                                       5                              10                                  7                         7

Megan Steed               1                                        11                            8                                   11                        12

Jenn Thurman             10                                      6                              9                                    9                          13

Megan Newman         12                                       10                          13                                  12                        1

Teresa Gunzelman      11                                      13                          12                                   10                       8

Ashlee Hall                     13                                     12                         10                                    13                       10


Division: Male Intermediate

Kyle Bryant                     6                                      2                           1                                       3                        5                    4         21

Bradford West              1                                       4                           4                                       8                       3                     2         22

Eric Howard                   2                                       7                           2                                      2                        2                     10      25

Josh Baker                      5                                      3                           3                                       6                        6                    6          29

Logan Conkey                4                                     5                            6                                      3                         1                   12         31

Wes Koehler                  3                                    1                              10                                    1                        7                    6tie      28

Josh Lang                       8                                     9                               4                                     5                        4          

Scott Morris                7                                       6                               7                                     7                         9

Kenneth Wigley       9                                   7                                  9                                 10                        10

Brad Jordan              10                                 10                                8                                  9                          8


Division: Female Intermediate

Misty Gibson            1                                   1                                 1                                      2                       4                  2          11

Elly Cohert                3                                   2                                 2                                      1                       1                  8           17

Ashlee Harrod         4                                  3                                   4                                     3                        2                 4            20
Erin VonDereau      2                                  4                                   3                                      4                       3                  6          

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"It's All In The Numbers"


 Sometimes it is good to take a step back and take in a competition without participating. It gives insight as to where we are as a gym, and to where we need to go to get better. We believe in CrossFit and it's methodology, and we started No Mercy CrossFit because we truly believe that it is the best fitness program on Earth. The so called experts say CrossFit is for everybody, and to a certain extent I believe the same. CrossFit is absolutely modifiable and scalable to fit everybody's needs. You will increase your level of fitness if you simply go through the motions and do the programmed wods we do everyday to the best of your ability. This is what 90% of CrossFit is about. Your everyday athletes that want to have a better quality of life and maybe look better in a bathing suit. That is great and that is what we built our business for. We commend these athletes and look forward to seeing them progress as athletes, and as people. We pride ourselves on what we accomplish with the "EVERYDAY" athletes. Twenty years from now nobody will remember who won the CrossFit Games in 2015, but they damn sure will remember when a trainer touched their lives and sparked something inside of them to improve their confidence and overall well being. That is NO MERCY  and that gives our staff a tremendous sense of pride. However today this blog is not for the 90% of us……it is for the 10% of us that want just a little more. The people that train for one reason only. The people that live and breathe to  WIN! Competition fuels their every move, and the desire to be a little bit better than the man next to them consumes a big portion of their life The 10%ers.
     I relate most of what I say to my own life because it is what I know best. I am at best an average athlete but one thing that consumed me growing up was wanting to be the best and nobody put this pressure on me but myself. I wanted to be on top of the podium, and it has never left me. Sometimes I think that it is time to slow it down and just enjoy the process as I advance in age. F that! I honestly believe up until the last month I started falling into that trap and allowed myself to settle for complacency. If that is unacceptable to yo this blog is for you. 
     Yesterday I had numerous conversation with people outside our gym that every single one of our competitors push hard and compete so well. What a sense of pride. A few of our athletes were disappointed and down for not living up to their own expectations. Perfect!!!!!! Thats what I want from a 10%er. What did I take away from all of our winners that represented our box to a man or woman they all put in extra work. Whether it being extra miles on the road, or 5:30 am extra wods, or Sunday strength work every single athlete that won put in extra work. That's the 10% it takes.  Games athletes are special they are genetic freaks that put in the enormous amount of time to get to that level. That isn't what most people are capable or willing to do but we damn sure can give that extra 10% it takes to compete if that is your goal or passion. I seen it in the eyes of a few No Mercy Athletes that competed yesterday. I see it everyday in a select few that want more than just being healthy.  If this is you embrace it and give that extra 10%. No matter where you fall on the spectrum Holly and I are proud of you and so is our training staff. People are taking notice of No Mercy's athletes whether you know it or not. I am filled with pride after yesterday's event. When we started this dream 3 years ago I never expected this to transpire so quickly. 
     I encourage each and everyone of you to strive to be a part of the 10% group in everything you do in life. Whether it is your job, your family, CrossFit, or any hobby you have. Rest assured the No Mercy Staff is here to guide you in that direction. -Joey Franchise