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Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Age: 26
Occupation: TV Development and Production at Yahoo
When did you first start CrossFitting?: March 2012
When did you first start training at CFLA?: March 2012
Favorite WOD: Helen, anything with rowing
Least Favorite WOD: Tie between Muscle Ups and Rope Climbing

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: Best summed up as jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Tennis, swimming, ballet, volleyball…have played them all to varied success. I led my high school basketball team to the state championships with a little help from my teammate, Hakeem Olajuwon’s daughter. She was MVP. I was Most Spirited. Going to an all-girls high school, learning self-defense was recommended to everyone so I did Krav Maga for over five years. During college at USC I worked summer jobs at Equinox and the LA Athletic Club downtown. Despite the perks of membership you would likely find me at the smoothie bar before ever seeing me on a treadmill. My most consistent activity is yoga, which I’ve been practicing for 10 years. I had tried every workout in Los Angeles that has ever offered a Groupon, until…

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? Driving west down Santa Monica Blvd. to work every morning I saw groups of fit, good-looking people running up and down the block and looking generally happy about it! I had to try it out!!

My first class was a nighttime advanced class with about 30 people in it – the most I’ve ever seen in a class even since. Oops. The WOD was a clean and jerk – I just kind of stood there dumbfounded and out of my element. Luckily Jonesy noticed and really helped walk me through the movements.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Confidence, awareness, focus…there are countless benefits. My body has completely changed – I am stronger, more muscular and in better cardiovascular shape than ever before. The biggest transformation for me is in my mental state while coming to CFLA. The quarterly personal goals check ins-where you would write what you were hoping to achieve both in and out of the gym-forced me to think about all aspects of my life that contribute to the overall picture of health. I see myself as an athlete now.
The first Whole Life Challenge changed how I thought about food. There is so much conflicting information out there and so I became a little bit obsessed with nutrition, the science behind it and striving to eat only nutrient dense foods. Which led me to get into cooking!

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I feel incredibly tough and unbreakable. I have pushed beyond the limits I previously imagined for myself.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: The Thanksgiving morning run, Franklin Hill sprints and WLC yoga!

Also, I will never forget when I got a postcard in the mail from Michael congratulating me for crushing the Helen WOD. I definitely overcame a mental roadblock in the middle of that workout and was able to turn off that little voice in my head saying “you can’t” – and it was so incredible to me that anyone had noticed. Everyone here coaches each other and is really looking out for each other. I just hope one day I can provide that kind of support back in some way.

Any advice for people just getting started? The community here is just incredible. Don’t give up! It might seem overwhelming at first, but the group dynamic makes it work! I tried going rogue for a year, thinking I could do the workouts on my own. True Blood was cancelled and the Giants won the World Series. It just isn’t the same by yourself. Stick with it!!!

Keep a record of your PRs, I wish I had started earlier to keep track of improvements.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?I have a chef’s certification and adore cooking. All things farmers markets and dining out. Food in general!!! If anyone ever wants recipe ideas please ask!!! I love seeing movies, reading, photography and art.


 

Friday’s Workout
Competition

“Open Workout 15.2″

From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of
10 Overhead Squats (95/65) – Scaled: 6 OHS (65/45)
10 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups – Scaled: 6 Pull-Ups

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
12 OHS – Scaled: 8 OHS
12 C2B Pull-Ups – Scaled: 8 Pull-Ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 OHS – Scaled: 10 OHS
14 C2B Pull-Ups – Scaled: 10 Pull-Ups

Etc., Following the same pattern until the athlete cannot finish the prescribed reps in the given time. 

And Coming Monday
Recovery Week: Practice

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 4-10lb as 1RM)
60% x 5
65% x 5
70% x 5

B) 4 RFQ at ≤70 RPE w/ SOMSAVS* scoring
30 Double unders
12 Alt. pistols
10 Power cleans (50%)
1min Rest between rounds

*SOMSAVS = School of Mastery Self Assessed Virtuosity Scale

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“Guess how many toes to bar I have to give? This many,” someone said, making the shape of a zero with her hands as she walked into the classroom on Tuesday afternoon. This thought was echoed by many others in class that day. After working so diligently on toes to bar during the first 7 weeks of our current cycle, we had the opportunity to put our training to the test in last week’s CrossFit Games Open Workout 15.1. A lot of our community did a lot of toes to bar this past weekend in the Open, and as a result some forearms and grips were a bit fried.

The general Cycle Focus is Open Preparation, but the toes to bar in the Open has already come and gone. So why are we still seeing so many toes to bar in class? It’s a legitimate question. Yes, we’ve met the goal of preparing for and executing the movements and skills that came up in the first Open workout. But, remember that we still have a Retest Week coming up in about 6 weeks, where we will check in to see our improvement over the entire 14-week cycle. Not only will toes to bar come up again in that retest week, it is also one of our two Skill Focuses of this cycle (the other one is double unders). So, you will continue to see toes to bar on Practice Days in workouts and in skill practice sessions all the way until test week. However, they won’t show up in as many Competition or Mental Toughness Days. This is going to be the case for a lot of the movements that we are working on this cycle. You can expect to see them in upcoming Open workouts, throughout the remainder of the cycle, and in Retest Week.

So, what can you do when you go hard on a specific movement during Open workouts and then see that same movement again in class the very next week? You want to be smart. Give yourself a chance to recover if you need to. The entire coaching staff provides the space for flexibility to modify movements. For example, a lot of our community chose to sub V-ups for toes to bar in the Practice Days immediately following the most recent Open workout. This allowed them to rest/recover their grip and forearms, so that they can come back and continue practicing and developing toes to bar in the remaining weeks of this cycle.

I hope you keep this in mind and continue to have a lot of fun with the Open and in class. Continue to ask questions and be smart in your training!


Thursday’s Workout
Practice

A) Toes to bar skill practice

B) 3 RFQ on the 6:00
15 Burpees
20 Deadlifts (45%)
25 Wallballs to 10’
**4min Cap each round**

And Coming Friday
Competition

Open Workout 15.2

 

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Nothing puts competition days in better perspective than the CrossFit Games Open. Five weeks of real competition during which you want to be ready to give it all, put it all on the line. But how do you do that – and be ready for competition once each week for five weeks?

Here’s what I’d recommend:

Start with the Competition day that you want to be ready for – in this example, lets call it Saturday… then work backward.

Saturday – competition. Get good sleep the night before. Show up early. Warm up. Mobilize. Practice workout specific movements. Break a sweat. Then let it all hang out!

Friday is your practice / play day. Since you know the workout, you can break it down, testing work/rest ratios, how long a round will take you, deciding when to take breaks and how hard to go in the first round so that you’ll make it through to the end with momentum and strength. And then don’t forget about the little things – what equipment to use/wear, what shoes work best, grips or no grips, type of bar, moving through the room, etc. There really isn’t a metric that isn’t worth looking at so that you go in to Saturday with as much specific knowledge and experience of the WOD as possible.

Thursday is a rest / recovery day. This is yoga for me, but it could be anything (or nothing at all) that allows your body to rest and recuperate.

Wednesday is a practice day… one in which you should definitely break a sweat, maybe even do something moderately hard, but you should definitely not red-line or go for a 1RM. It’s a day to hold back.

Tuesday – this is your second potential hard day of the week – depending on how you’re feeling after Monday. If you need it, you can make it an easier day that allows you to recover from Monday. Otherwise, go hard.

Monday – this is your first of two optional hard days during the week (the other is Tuesday). 

Sunday – recovery / rest. Go easy, or do nothing at all.

This is the routine I’ll be following as much as possible for the remaining five weeks. Looking forward to having as many of you as possible taking part in this years Open alongside!


Wednesday’s Workout
Practice

A) Double under skill practice

B) 4RFQ (:30:30)
Thrusters (50-55%)
Jerks
Kipping CTB pullups

And Coming Wednesday
Practice

A) Toes to bar skill practice
 
B) 3 RFQ on the 6:00
15 Burpees
20 Deadlifts (45%)
25 Wallballs to 10’
**4min Cap each round**

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Man, you guys really know how to bring the fun and energy to a competition day. Saturday was a blast and I’d like to congratulate all of you who are putting yourselves out there to participate in this year’s Open, Rx and Scaled athletes alike. It’s so fun to watch you go for it.

Without further ado, here are the results from this week’s AM vs. PM battle.

Week 1, 15.1’s Champion is …

The AM Team!

To remind you of the criteria from which teams are scored, here are the four categories, equal emphasis placed on each: Participation, Philanthropy, Spirit, and Performance. Spirit is subjective and is determined by a six-coach vote with Annita as the tie-breaking vote if need be. Participation is a head count of who comes to the Saturday event. (We realize that sometimes members are out of town and can’t help it. We get it. Believe us, it all washes out.) Philanthropy: The team that drums up the most money for the week for the Resiliency Project.  And Performance is determined by adding up the seven top Rx Scores from each team — regardless of gender — and the top three Scaled Scores from each team. Whichever team has the highest raw number (this will depend on the workout’s scoring, obviously), takes this category.

Here’s which team won each category:

Participation: AM Team by ONE member
Philanthropy: AM Team by A LOT thanks in large part to Jordan Grotzinger
Spirit: PM Team, 6-0 vote
Performance: AM Team by just a 4% margin

Great job, AM Team! We’re excited to see what next week brings.

As for the top overall performers for CFLA, here are the best scores — regardless of teams — broken down by top three Rx men, top three Rx women, top two Scaled men, and top two Scaled women — and divided by the 15.1 workout and the 15.1a workout. These are the names that will go on the black board in the Tall Room.

Top 3 Rx Men – 15.1 in reps                  Top 3 Rx Men – 15.1a in lbs.
Zach Goren, 182                                             Zach Goren, 265
James Ford, 157                                             TJ Langer, 245
Kevin Kurz, 152                                              Matt Cipolla, 235

Top 3 Rx Women – 15.1 in reps           Top 3 Rx Women – 15.1a in lbs.
Alyssa Parker, 147                                          Alyssa Parker, 160
Niki Marek, 138                                              Shirley Brown, 160
Shirley Brown, 133                                         Ryan Gorman, 150

Top 2 Scaled Men – 15.1                          Top 2 Scaled Men – 15.1a
Pete Mann, 189                                               Matt Cerussi, 205
Christian Donohue, 178                                Justin Remeny, 205

Top 2 Scaled Women – 15.1                   Top 2 Scaled Women – 15.1a
Tanya, 256                                                       Renee Reiff, 115
Kim Smith, 196                                               Monica Sone, 115

 

Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 4-10lb as 1RM)
75% x 5
85% x 3
95% x 1+

B) 3RFT
5 Squat snatches (60%)
15 Toes to bar
**10min Cap**

C) AMRAP 6
10 Pistols
10 Box jumps

And Coming Wednesday
Practice

A) Double under skill practice

B) 4RFQ (:30:30)
Thrusters (50-55%)
Jerks
Kipping CTB pullups

 

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I’m sure some of you Morning Missiles and Night Riders would like to know the official results of the Open?  We will be announcing this info very soon…

In the meantime and if you haven’t met him already I’d like to introduce you to the former head trainer at Crossfit Mount Kisko, beast of an athlete, nutrition specialist, personality dynamo, lover of Bruce Springsteen – Kevin Kurz. Mr. Kurz just passed through the CFLA apprenticeship program and is now joining our full time coaching staff. 

Here are a few words from “Kritter” himself:

“I am very excited to announce that starting March 10th, I will be coaching the 6 and 7am classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have been CrossFitting since 2009. I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and have been through the CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certification Course. Currently I am working towards a certificate in clinical nutrition through a pre-med program at UCLA. Over the next 1-2 years, I plan to implement a nutritional assessment program at CFLA to help members achieve more fitness, health and well being. I am 100% dedicated to bringing our members safe and efficient coaching. And I promise to contribute great energy and my growing expertise to this community that already strives for mental, physical and overall personal development.” – Kevin Kurz (aka “Kritter”)


 

Monday’s Workout
Competition

“Cowboy”

AMRAP 12
30cal Row
15 Overhead squats (95/65)
**Courtesy of Crossfit New England**

 

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 4-10lb as 1RM)
     75% x 5
     85% x 3
     95% x 1+

B) 3RFT
     5 Squat snatches (60%)
     15 Toes to bar
     **10min Cap**

C) AMRAP 6
     10 Pistols
     10 Box jumps

 

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 Tonight the 15.1 workout was announced, which means the CrossFit competitive season 2015 is official open. Fun! Did you see the workout?  (See below, under Friday’s workout.)

What do you think? A grip burner? Deceptively light? Looks like fun?  If you’ve done it, what did you think? Would you have done it differently? Let’s hear your thoughts and strategies!

 

Friday’s Workout
Competition

CrossFit Open 15.1

AMRAP 9
15 Toe to Bar
10 Deadlifts (115/75)
5 Snatch (115/75)

**THEN IMMEDIATELY INTO**

15.1A
6 minutes to find:
1RM Clean & Jerk

And Coming Monday
Competition

“Cowboy”
AMRAP 12
30cal Row
15 Overhead squats (95/65)
**Courtesy of Crossfit New England**

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Today my share is simple. A recipe with 8 ingredients, most of which I’d bet a lot of you have in your  home right now. I made it last night and it was wonderful and WLC compliant. The ingredients are straightforward and it takes a little over an hour and can feed 3-4 people (depending on appetite). I served it with sautéed parsnips and roasted broccoli . 

It’s not an original, but a simple recipe that is slightly adapted from what I found on Tasting Table.

Braised Chicken Quarters

What you will need:
4 chicken quarters or 8 chicken thighs (skins on)
salt and pepper
Olive Oil
2 Lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 for juice
2 Yellow onions-thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, whole and peeled
1 tsp dried oregano (fresh will work too)
1 cup green olives

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 

2. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken. Heat large cast iron skillet or oven proof dutch oven on medium high heat, then add a few tablespoons of olive oil. 

3. Brown chicken about 5 min skin side down first, then flip and add in garlic, cook another 5 min on other side.  Remove chicken and garlic from pan and set aside (or put into large 9x 13 pan, if your skillet isn’t large enough to hold all your chicken)

4. In hot skillet add in onions, lemons  and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently until soft and fragrant.

5. Add chicken and garlic back into pan with onions. Add olives and juice of one lemon. Bake 40-50min. 

Enjoy, then tell me what you think or you can share with you think CF Open wod 15.1 will be. 


Thursday’s Workout
Practice

A) Snatch balance
50% x 3
55% x 3
60% x 3
65% x 3
70% x 3

B) 3 RFT
50 Double unders
10 Deadlifts (55%)
**5min Cap**

C) AMRAP 10
5 Bar muscleups
10 Box jumps with step down

And Coming Friday
Competition

Open Workout 15.1

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24 Feb / 2015

Progress

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men, true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
~ Lao Tzu
 
This quote captures the true spirit of the CF Games Open at CFLA, and epitomizes our focus – progress.
 
How will you do over the next 5 weeks compared to your former self?

Wednesday’s Workout
Practice

A) Toes to bar skill practice

B) 4 RFQ
10 Thrusters (50%)
10 Burpees
10 CTB Pullups
**2min Rest between rounds**

And Coming Thursday
Practice

A) Snatch balance
50% x 3
55% x 3
60% x 3
65% x 3
70% x 3
 
B) 3 RFT
50 Double unders
10 Deadlifts (55%)
**5min Cap**
 
C) AMRAP 10
5 Bar muscleups
10 Box jumps with step down 

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Once a week I work out at LA Fitness because they have a sauna, a jacuzzi, and a donkey-kick machine that contributes greatly toward my Project Booty Pop. I also like that LAF is a pretty straight-forward gym despite the amenities, which are very old-school. But quite possibly my favorite part of the gym is that the average age of members is easily classified as senior citizen. This older crowd is multi-cultural representing many counties, languages, ethnicities. And I enjoy spying on their approach to fitness.

Their more mature demeanor at the gym is so different from those of us under 50 who rush from one exercise to the next in our hot-stuff outfits. The older folks are there with a friend or two, socializing. They’re in loose jeans or elastic-waist pants and comfy shoes. They are pushing out reps and doing their best. Some are dancing away in Zumba class with varying degrees of rhythm. Mainly, they act like this is simply a good part of their day, not something they squeeze into their schedule because they want to look better in size (fill in the blank) jeans. The older people I see working out and swimming at LAF treat gymtime as essential as and an enjoyed meal. It’s somehow ingrained in them — across cultural boundaries — that movement is life.

After my workouts, I usually head to the huge public jacuzzi. I’m almost always the youngest one in there. In the same area, there is a cold pool chilled to forty degrees, and when I headed out to the pools this last Sunday, an Asian woman in her seventies was neck-deep in the cold pool. When I’ve gone into the cold pool, I can’t get passed by hips — the icy water is painful — but I admit when I get out, I feel an electric rush of circulation through my lower extremities. I always want to yell, “I FEEL ALIVE!” from the rush, but I’m never sure how that will go over. I wanted to nod to the lady, but she paid me no mind. This was just part of her routine. A man in his mid seventies mumbling to himself in Russian kicked off his flip flops and stepped down fully into the cold pool, too. God, these people are badasses. I got into the jacuzzi. A lady with a red wig walked in front of me sloshing through the water, swinging her arms. She went back and forth — her apparent workout — also not worried that I was observing her. A man with a walker made his way to the Olympic-sized pool adjacent to the jacuzzi and grabbed the hand rail. He lowered himself into the pool. And off he went; slowly, but off none the less. I closed my eyes sure I was in good company.

In this life, we are graciously given one body – one! And often we can’t think past the age we are now in terms of our health and fitness. We don’t think about the big picture. But I’m telling you, whatever you are doing now to your body will pay off later. Or it will make you pay. We certainly should use our fitness to achieve short-term goals –because it’s fun! — but from what I’m discovering myself and what I witness with this older crowd, treating movement as a lifelong project is the key. Movement is life. And an attitude that this movement is simply a daily part of life keeps it sustainable. 

Think of me as your future self since I’m older than a lot of you. (That’s how I regard the members of LA Fitness.) And I’m sending you this message: Take care of this one, beautiful vehicle now. Move it, fuel it well, and be kind to it. Don’t squeeze your routine in or think of reasons to get around it. Not only will right now feel better, but more, so will the future, that time when you’re rocking elastic-waist pants, and wigs, and velcro slippers to the gym. Can’t wait!

 


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 10lb as 1RM)
80% x 3
85% x 3
90% x 3+

B) 4 RFQ (1:1)
Row
Power clean and jerks (50% of 1RM Jerk)
Wallballs to 10’

And Coming Wednesday
Practice

A) Toes to bar skill practice

B) 4 RFQ
10 Thrusters (50%)
10 Burpees
10 CTB Pullups
**2min Rest between rounds**

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The Open is here.  The next five weekends our community gathers to celebrate fitness by having FUN together.  IF you are planning to come to class Friday to familiarize yourself with the workout (announced Thursday night) I’d highly recommend NOT to treat it like a competition day. Rather, get an idea of what the movements, sequences, and time elements are so you can create your own individualized Saturday game plan.  


Monday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

“OPT’s Repeatability Test”
3 rounds, at 100% effort:
     250m Row
     10 KBS (32/24)
     10 Burpees
     10 KBS (32/24)
     10 Burpees
     10 KBS (32/24)
     250m Row
**Rest exactly 12 min between rounds**
**See 7/30/14**

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) Back squat (Use 90% of 1RM + 10lb as 1RM)
     80% x 3
     85% x 3
     90% x 3+

B) 4 RFQ (1:1)
     Row
     Power clean and jerks (50% of 1RM Jerk)
     Wallballs to 10’

 

 

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