Andy Petranek – Founder & Head Coach
Andy Petranek is an innovator and pioneer in the CrossFit community. He founded CrossFit LA in 2004 as one of the first original 10 CrossFit gyms, and CFLA is still considered one of the most respected CrossFit gyms in the world.
Andy did not start out as an athlete, however, but a musician. His classically-trained parents encouraged him to play every instrument, and he eventually settled on trumpet by which he earned admission to the prestigious Eastman School of Music. By the time Andy attended the University of Rochester, music was out the window. His desire to serve in the military made fitness his new, top priority. After graduation, Andy was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. where he served four years including a tour in the first Gulf War.
After leaving the Marines, Andy turned his focus toward extreme endurance sports. When he wasn’t working his regular sales-rep day job, he was outrigger-canoe paddling across the Molokai channel, , whitewater kayaking down waterfalls, snowboarding, rock climbing, climbing Mt. Rainier, and racing his bike across Costa Rica. In 1995, he took on his first Eco Challenge, a round-the-clock, 300-mile expedition adventure race that is regarded by athletes across the world as the greatest, most extreme challenge ever. He eventually did four Eco Challenges and was eventually sponsored by Red Bull for shorter distance races (24 hours or less). Andy routinely placed in the top three in at least 30 races over five years.
Andy discovered CrossFit in 2004 and he says it forever changed his life and how he approached training. “CrossFit, to me, was a system that encapsulated all I believed about fitness in a very well developed, thought-out and organized system.” Andy says. “And when I tried it, it turned my boring, mundane training workouts into athletic challenge… more of a sport.” Not long after, CrossFit Los Angeles was born. To this day, Andy maintains that after almost nine years of CrossFitting and at age 46, he is in the best shape of his life.
Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife Julia and his six-year old son Dashel George, his primary motivator nowadays. Andy recently graduated with a masters in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica and he just wrote the book Fire Your Gym, now available at bookstores and Amazon.