Leah McKinnies, CrossFitter, Gym Owner, Red Rush Athlete

Red Rush Athlete

Leah McKinnies is the owner of CrossFit Collision in Emmett, Idaho. She is also a CrossFit competitor, a certified CrossFit coach, an NASM certified personal trainer, an International Academy of Physique Conditioning contest preparation specialist and an ADA recognized nutrition coach.


CrossFit Collision is located on the edge of Emmett, surrounded by big sky and rolling foothills.

Red Rush CrossFit

She began teaching CrossFit in 2011 in the park downtown and eventually moved her sessions to the high school gym. Her classes continued to increase in size and popularity and her father, a contractor, built her a CrossFit box near her home.

20141021_183050 Red Rush CrossFit

CrossFt Red Rush

Red Rush: How and when did you get Involved in sports training?

Leah McKinnies: In 2003. I was overweight as a teen. I come from a very overweight family, and I was plagued with health problems. I met a friend who was into fitness, and so I started to workout. I lost a bunch of weight, but I was still a typical globo-gym -three-sets-of-twelve-and-I’m-out kind of person.

LM: I went to a supplement store, and I saw a poster for a bodybuilding show and said ‘I can do that!’ Six months later, I did one and won. From there, I turned bodybuilder and personal trainer. In 2011, I started CrossFit. I participate in the Open every year, competed in the Cross Town Throwdown and I would have been in the Backyard Brawl, but I dislocated my collarbone. I’m still not at 100%. Things like the clean and jerk can aggravate it if I put to much weight on.

RR: You train the Emmett High School football team, correct? Do you use elements of CrossFit?

LM: I do the conditioning training. We just won district. I do train with CrossFit elements: cardiovascular, plyometrics and limited weight-lifting.

RR: What would you say is the philosophy of your CrossFit Gym?

LM: Community and Acceptance. We try and encourage people to come and try it whether they think it is a fit or not. Everyone can do CrossFit: all ages, genders, and sizes. We step up and support each other and keep up that community. We do gym events and fundraisers. People even get together outside the gym. It’s like a second family.

WOD ninja

Even Ninjas are welcome

RR: What’s the best part of being a CrossFit gym owner and coach?

LM: Watching people accomplish a goal that they never thought that they would accomplish. Whether it’s lifting a certain amount or even doing a single double under. The fact that it’s a shared accomplishment makes it amazing.

Red Rush CrossFit

Red Rush CrossFit

RR: What’s the most frustrating thing?

LM: Naysayers outside the CrossFit community who make judgment calls without understanding the benefits of great CrossFit coaching and a great community.

RR: Tell me about “You Better Run.”

LM: There’s a local group of high school students who wanted to raise some money. So we did a Zombie Run, a three-mile trail and obstacle course with monsters like Freddy Krueger, Jason and Pennywise the Clown from It.  Each runner got a flag football belt, and if you lost your flags, you couldn’t win the race. Having the fastest time didn’t necessarily mean you won, you had to finish with both a flag on your belt and the best time.







RR: As a sports nutritionist, what attracted you to Red Rush? 

LM: As most people know, as a society we don’t get enough fresh vegetables. Beets are very high in nutrients, but hardly a thing many of us would actually eat. Red Rush is just a good idea. I’d never eat five beets otherwise.

I can feel a difference in terms of  recovery, endurance and I feel more alert. I’d recommend it to anyone.


Red Rush CrossFit


Baby legs

Learn more about Red Rush Athletes

10 Bizarre Side Effects of Exercise

Exercise Side Effects

We all know that exercise can build muscle, condition our bodies for rigorous activity, improve our health and reduce weight because if exercise didn’t, I’m sure absolutely nobody would ever do it.  But these things are just the tip of the iceberg. Exercise has a plethora of bizarre and wonderful side effects. Here are ten.

1. Exercise Protects Against Heart Attacks Even During Heart Attacks

Not only does exercise help to prevent heart attacks, it will actually protect the heart during an attack. The reason for this? Nitric oxide.

2. Exercise Is Good for the Skin

As long as you don’t have a pre-existing skin condition aggravated by exercise, the act of working out can be good for the skin. Increased blood flow helps flush toxins and can reduce stress, a condition also known as “the wrinkler.”

3. Exercise Can Make You Happier

Apparently running around in a circle like some sort of maniac can make you happier due to the release of endorphins or norepinephrine or maybe both.

4. It Can Enhance Your Sex Life

Exercise boosts sex hormones and increases blood flow, improves self-esteem and  stamina.

5. Exercise Improves Self-Esteem

It’s very much like the plot of the Nutty Professor but in this version the professor of nutty repute does some kettle bell swings and feels all suave afterwards instead of drinking a potion that was probably a metaphor for drugs and/or alcohol.

They aren’t quite sure why exercise ups esteem, but they theorize it may have something to do with those endorphins or an improved self-image or general feelings of competence and accomplishment.

6. Sharpens the Mind

The next time some out-of-shape nerd makes fun of you for being a musclebound jock and you get sad, just remember the last laugh will be on the nerd. Studies have found that people who exercise regularly have less age-related brain shrinkage. Additionally, a study found that older people who exercised for more than 30 minutes had improved cognitive abilities.

7. Exercise Gets You Paid

People who are in good shape make 9% more than their out-of-shape counterparts.

8. Better Exercise Leads to Better Sleep Leads to Better Exercise

Exercise can help people sleep better, but better sleep will also help you exercise better.

9. You’ll See Farther than Natty Bumpo (They Call Him Hawkeye)

People who keep in shape reduce their risk of age-related macular degeneration by about 70% and there is also a link between cataract reduction and working out.

10. Exercise Helps You Balance Your Life

According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine,  people who exercise have less on-the-job stress and seem to balance their work and their personal lives better.

Fun Marketing Facts: According to scientific studies beet juice can help you exercise 10%-16% longer, may help you burn fat more efficiently and allows you to recover faster from the exercise. Also, beet juice provides the body with what it needs to create nitric oxide, a molecule that improves blood flow. Red Rush is beet juice, the best beet juice.

Judy Nichols: Profile of a Red Rush Athlete


Judy Nichols (Wearing Red Rush shirt).

By Judy Nichols:

I am a 59-year-old mother of two (girl,boy) and grandmother of five.  I was in the dental field for 33 years, retiring in 2013.

I have done sports my whole life. Fast pitch softball in junior high and high school.  Co-ed softball as an adult.  I have done one marathon (2002 in San Diego), several half marathons and 10Ks.  I have also skied for a long time.

I had a knee and hip replacement in 2008.  I started doing more cycling as it is a lot easier on the joints.  I worked out with a personal trainer for several years before I had my knee done.  I started doing Crossfit in 2009 at what is now Boise CrossFit.  Because of my joint replacements some of the movements are harder for me (squatting below parallel) but as most Crossfitter’s know, everything is modifiable.

I usually do Crossfit 3-4 times a week and try to ride 2-3 times.  I really enjoy the partner WODS the best. I like being urged on by your partner and you don’t want to let them down by being a slacker.

My first real cycling event was the Goldilocks ride this summer.  A friend and I decided to do the 40-miler.  We started training by doing 20 plus miles at least 2 times a week.  As we started getting stronger we worked on increasing our speed and going further.  Next year we are planning on doing the 80-miler.  We are also considering doing the week-long cycle Oregon in September. (You gotta dream, right?)

I started drinking Red Rush in late May.  I think I could be addicted!  I absolutely love it!  I have seen such a huge increase in endurance and overall energy.  I may need to take out stock in the company because I drink one almost every day. Thanks, Red Rush for making me a better all-around athlete.

Backyard Brawl: Post-WOD Wrap Up

Frank Beauvais of Snake River CrossFit and Red Rush’s own Nic Wright sat down and talked about the first-ever Backyard Brawl.

Full Results

The Backyard Brawl: A Story in Pictures

World Health Organization: “Energy Drinks Are A Menace!”

energy drinks

As the evidence mounts, it’s getting easier and easier to rag on energy drinks. I mean, it’s kind of like making fun of forty-five-year-old Juggalos at this point. But as Rodney Anonymous once said “Just because it’s an easy target, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a target.”  The World Health Organization recently released a study that exposed the dangers behind energy drinks.

Science Daily:

“From a review of the literature, it would appear that concerns in the scientific community and among the public regarding the potential adverse health effects of the increased consumption of energy drinks are broadly valid.”


What makes energy drinks so “menacing” are their copious amounts of caffeine. And unlike coffee which is usually served hot, energy drinks can be guzzled rapidly, leading to a condition called “caffeine intoxication.”

According to WHO researchers, caffeine intoxication can potentially lead to heart palpatations, hypertension, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, psychosis and sometimes death. Children are the ones most often affected by this condition.

The World Health Organization researchers outlined a list of regulations that it would like to see implemented to deal with these possible health problems.

–Age regulations

–Limits on the caffeine per serving

–Change the marketing to limit youth exposure

–Public education, especially to those with substance abuse problems

–Further research

Other “fun” facts from the study: 

Young people who drink energy drinks are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors.

Nearly 5000 calls were made to poison centers in regards to energy drinks in a year’s time.

They make getting drunk riskier.

The Moral: 

Drink beet juice. No added sugar, no caffeine, just simple vegetable nitrates for improved blood flow and stamina. A subdued, laid-back and healthy way to stay energized.