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Sometimes during a tough workout, all I seem to focus my mind on is how uncomfortable my body feels, how tired I am, and how much of the workout is still unfinished. These thoughts poison my attitude and limit my performance. Yesterday on Franklin Hill I wanted a way to distract myself and my students from these types of thoughts. So, I told the students in my class to find their happy place during the workout, and I did the same when I ran the hill.

Each student chose their happy place in advance and described it to me in great detail. Zain was in a beach chair on a Malibu beach drinking a glass of white wine. He sipped on the wine during his run and refilled the glass every time he finished it. While Kevin ran, he played some of his favorite songs on a beautiful grand piano at a gig in front of a captive audience. Britt was lounging on the sand in Turks and Caicos drinking ice cold beers and enjoying perfect weather. She had a cooler next to her and ended up drinking 15 beers by the end of the workout. Steven was at his favorite burger restaurant drinking beer and savoring each bite of his burgers (He ate 10!). When I did the workout, I was snorkeling over a reef in the Caribbean Sea with my wife, holding her hand with my right hand (DETAILS!). I saw amazing fish, and I could feel and hear the playful water I was immersed in.

We all agreed that the happy places helped fuel us. Of course, however, all of the things in our happy places were created in our heads; we weren’t really doing those things. But any thoughts that we’re too tired or too uncomfortable to go any further or faster are things that are created in our heads too. They just are not true. So, if our minds can fabricate ideas to slow us down or try to stop us, then we can also use our minds to create ideas that can overrule those fabrications and motivate us to keep going. Try this in one of your workouts, and then apply it to a situation in your life. It worked for Happy Gilmore!


Thursday’s Workout
Competition

A) FQL, working up across sets
3-3-3-3-3
Presses

B) “Fran”
21-15-9 (95/65)
Thrusters
Pullups
–10min cap–

And Coming Friday
Practice: Recovery

A) Air Squat Soiree
Focus on spinal extension

B) EMOM 10, working up across sets
2 Push presses
3 Push jerks

C) FQL, working up across sets
5-5-5-5-5
Overhead squats

Accumulate 1000m Running

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and CRUSH IT!!!!

If you participated in my 6 or 7am class last Tuesday, I’m sorry to repeat what I’m about to say.  Wait a minute, I am not sorry because it’s too important!

Some of you may know that I am a singer/songwriter and a musician.  One of the main reasons I moved to LA was to pursue music, to get into the scene as I call it.  For 33 years, I have hid behind a wall of fear.  A fear of performance, of exposing my vulnerable and sensitive side, and a fear of letting people into my head.  This fear has caused me much discouragement and frustration, but moving across the country and starting fresh gave me just what I needed.

For the last several months I have been performing at open mic nights, where anyone from artists, poetry readers, and comedians gather during the week to practice their craft.  PRACTICE.  It is a judgement free zone, where an artist can work on a new song, or work on their stage performance, or just a place to escape or release from everyday life.  Everyday I block out a time to sit down at the keyboard, or with my guitar, to practice my craft.  It may be 5 minutes, or it may be an hour, but I’m working towards something. 

On Saturday June 20th, I was able to put my practice to good use, as I played a 30 minute set at the Pig ’N Whistle in Hollywood.  This was my first real gig, and something that I was looking forward to.  You see, I wasn’t nervous when I took the stage, because I felt confident and prepared.  All of the hard work and time I spent in the prior weeks, ever so redundant, led me to a state of mind where I was ready to perform, and to compete against myself actually, because I always felt that I wasn’t good enough or ready to hit the stage. 

Well guess what, I DOMINATED that stage.  I felt like I belonged on the stage, and most importantly I was at peace with myself, because overcoming fear gives you a chance to feel empowerment. 

Before the show, my father asked if I was going to be paid, in which I replied no.  I then told him I wasn’t doing this show for the money, but for the experience and mastery of performance.  This statement hit me hard, and I can relate it to many areas of my life, especially the work we do at CFLA.  We PRACTICE to achieve quality movement, we then take those movements and use them to COMPETE when we are asked to, all while remaining MENTALLY TOUGH throughout everyday. 

Life isn’t easy.  Life is about identifying fears, and crushing them.  I will leave you with an incredible quote from Bryant S. Hinckley, “When a man makes war on his own weaknesses, he engages in the holiest war that mortals ever wage.  The reward that comes from victory in this struggle is the most enduring, most satisfying, and the most exquisite that man ever experiences.  The power to do what we ought to do, is the greatest freedom.”

Wednesday’s Workout:
Practice:Recovery

A) EMOM 20 at ≤70 RPE

    1st min: 10-20 Pushups

    2nd min: 10-20 V-ups

    3rd min: 10-20 Alt. pistols

    4th min: 10-20 Supermans

    5th min: 10-20 DB Renegade rows (35/20)

    –30sec Cap each round–

B) FQL, working up across sets

    3-3-3

    Squat cleans

And Coming Thursday:
Competition

A) FQL, working up across sets

    3-3-3-3-3

    Presses

B) “Fran”

     21-15-9 (95/65)

     Thrusters

     Pullups

    –10min cap–

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Tuesday’s Workout
Competition

“Franklin Hill”
2 Rounds on the 15:00
Up, over, back, and up
–See 6/8/15–

And Coming Wednesday
Practice Recovery

A) EMOM 20 at ≤70% RPE
1st min: 10-20 Pushups
2nd min: 10-20 V-ups
3rd min: 10-20 Alt. pistols
4th min: 10-20 Supermans
5th min: 10-20 DB Renegade rows (35/20)
–30sec Cap each round–

B) FQL, working up across sets
3-3-3
Squat cleans

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Zach, and a good 70 people from the CFLA community completed the, “30 for 30,” polishing the whole thing off  with a, “BondsyQ” over the weekend.  Once again I’m overwhelmed by the love, support and uniqueness of our community; the dedication, inspiration and commitment of Zach, and of course John Bonds’ skills on the grill.  Honestly, if you are a CFLA member don’t ever miss a, “BondsyQ!”  In fact I’m imposing a 100 Burpee penalty to you if you do.

Anyway, Zach will offer a guest blog about his experience with our community soon so I’ll minimize my gushing. In the meantime enjoy the low quality video of Zach doing his best unintentional 20 second timeout impression after his 16th workout.

Now, this week is a RECOVERY week. YES we have two hard competition days but the idea is to freshen up on the Practice days keeping intensity, and volume controlled and intentional.


Monday’s Workout
Practice: RECOVERY

A) QAMRAP 10 at ≤70 RPE
10 Ring rows
20 Box jumps (24/20)
30 Air squats
–SOMSAVS scoring–

B) FQL, working up across sets
3 Sets
300m Run + 10 Front squats

And coming Tuesday
Competition

“Franklin Hill”
2 Rounds on the 15:00
Up, over, back, and up
–See 6/8/15–

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One of my private clients, who is not a gym member, asked me why on Earth would we have a pie baking contest? “Isn’t that against what CrossFitters believe?” I was a little taken aback — and then I thought about how CrossFitters are perceived in general, like crazed Paleos who only eat bacon and vegetables. I also thought to myself that she has no clue how a CrossFitter can binge on some straight-up crap.

But none of this has to do with why or why not we are hosting a pie-baking contest. Firstly, we recognize that just because a member doesn’t want to compete physically, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to compete in other ways – in something they feel completely confident. Mainly, we realized during last year’s Chili/Cookie Cook Off that we have some very talented cooks at our gym, and it’s time to showcase that again.

About five years ago, I was on track to becoming a professional vegan baker. Baking was not (just) a way for me to shovel treats into my face seven days a week. It was the creativity of baking that really attracted me the most. It was finessing the ingredients into new, interesting combinations and making the outcome as beautiful as possible. Baking was incredibly artistic to me yet to get my creations to rise properly (especially in vegan baking) and to taste great, the art also had to be very precise. I loved the mediation of it. I loved the old-timeyness and the simplicity of it. And man, everything was so pretty!

Good cooks are creative beings – and from I see on the Food Network, very competitive as well. I can’t wait to see all your lovely creations and tasty interpretations at the Pies & Potluck when we throw down on July 11.


 

Friday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

“Kamrynn”
21 Deadlifts (225/155)
400m Run
5 rounds of Cindy
15 Deadlifts
400m run
5 rounds of Cindy
9 Deadlifts
400m Run
5 rounds of Cindy
**See 9/21/14**

And Coming Monday
PRACTICE: RECOVERY

A) QAMRAP 10 at ≤70 RPE
10 Ring rows
20 Box jumps (24/20)
30 Air squats
–SOMSAVS scoring–

B) FQL, working up across sets
3 Sets
300m Run + 10 Front squats

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I think it’s coming back, my cooking skills that is. Well, I’ve cooked twice this week so it feels like it’s coming back. In fact, it better be coming back. I’ve got a Major Pie competition to prep for soon (Pies and Potluck, July 11th).   Last Sunday night I made meatballs and I added a “special ingredient” to them that no one who ate them could recognize. (that’s one of my favorite games, guess what’s in this dish?)  They turned out pretty darn good, moist and flavorful, just like a meatball should be. So, I made them again today and wanted to share this recipe with you all.

Let me first talk about what makes a good meatball. I’ve made quite a few meatballs in my day and they can be really good or really bad. A few key things to keep in mind. Keep your ingredients and utensils chilled. I made sure to not let them set out and don’t let them reach room temp.  Keep ingredients and bowl chilled.  Fat content: Make sure your beef or meat has enough fat in it. Nobody likes a dry meat ball right ground chicken and turkey don’t usually work as well because of the low fat content. Binder: make sure you have some sort of binder, this might be an egg, bread crumbs or almond meal. They can act to hold onto moisture and add depth to it.  I used a cuisinart mixer with the kneading attachment on it and it worked well to incorporate all my ingredients.  Now.. I share with you….

Barney’s Meatballs

1 pound Organic Grass Fed Beef

1 eggplant

1 red bell pepper

olive oil

Seasonings:

salt, pepper to taste

dash of dried oregano, basil and garlic powder

crushed red peppers if you’re feeling spicy

What to do:

1. In a food processor grate eggplant and red pepper and saute in a sauce pan with olive oil and salt until slightly tender. 10-15 min. Remove from pan and chill in fridge on plate or in bowl.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and chill mixer bowl in freezer or fridge.

3. In a stand mixer add in all ingredients, eggplant, red peppers, beef and spices. Mix well.

4. Use a spoon to make small meatballs and ball with the palms of your hands. Place on a foil lined sheet topped with a cooling rack/baking rack.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until meatball internal temp is about 165.

6. Enjoy and then tell me about it!


Thursdays Workout
Practice

A) 5 RFT
14 RKBS (24/20)
14 KB Russian twists

B) FQ
*1*2*3*4*5*4*3*2*1
Squat cleans (60%)
*10 Air squats

And coming Friday
Mental Toughness

“Kamrynn”
21 Deadlifts (225/155)
400m Run
5 rounds of Cindy
15 Deadlifts
400m run
5 rounds of Cindy
9 Deadlifts
400m Run
5 rounds of Cindy
**See 9/21/14**

 

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23 Jun / 2015

It’s Pat!

Ladies and Gentlemen of CFLA, I’d like to introduce to CFLA’s newest personal training client, Patricia!  Pat is 81 years young, and recently had a stroke.  That didn’t stop her from stopping into CFLA a few weeks ago, and talking with me about how she wanted to gain strength.

After the usual post stroke rehab and physical therapy stint, Pat did not gain the strength necessary for her to perform daily functions that we all take for granted, like getting up out of a chair, and pushing yourself out of bed.  She grew frustrated as she plateaued, and needed to try something else.  Her husband told her to give Crossfit a shot. 

I remember the day she walked into the gym doors.  I was training an afternoon class, and I saw an elderly woman walk through the doors, and I thought she was lost.  I gave her my business card and we spoke later that day, and immediately setup our first private training session for the following week. 

At first, I was hesitant about taking her on as a client, as I have never trained someone in that age range, let alone a stroke victim.  I conversed with several coaches, and they motivated me to move forward, and that it would be a transformational experience, not only for Pat, but myself as well. 

Of course, they were right!  Working with Pat has given me the opportunity to slow down, and to work just the basic movement patterns, so that Pat can gain confidence in daily activities.  This experience has made me feel so fortunate that we can express ourselves with movement the way we do, whether it be in a WOD, sport, or in whatever life throws at us. 

Yesterday, Pat’s husband and stepson came into the gym to check out the work that Pat was raving about.  I couldn’t have been more proud and excited to show them the progress that Pat has made since day one, and how she has shifted her mindset from “I can’t”, to “I can”. 

Pat should be an inspiration to us all.  She’s dedicated, ambitious, and has a set of goals that she wants to achieve.  Thank you Pat, for helping me realize how truly luck we all are!

Wednesday’s Workout

PRACTICE

  1. A) 4 RFQ

10 Pushups

2 9-yd Plate pushes

10 DB Renegade rows (35/20)

–2-3min Rest between rounds–

 

  1. B) FQL, working up across sets

10-10-10

Overhead squats

And Coming Thursday

PRACTICE

  1. A) 5 RFT

14 RKBS (24/20)

14 KB Russian twists

 

  1. B) FQ

*1*2*3*4*5*4*3*2*1

Squat cleans (60%)

*10 Air squats

 

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As Mina transitions from her sophomore to junior year in high school, the topic of how to keep her athletically engaged and striving for her athletic goals can be tricky to navigate as she becomes more independent and as the distractions of being 16 prevail. It’s on my mind a lot. As parents, we want our kids to be independent and think for themselves, but we also want them to take full advantage of opportunities that they may not recognize. We pray they will express fully a true talent they might not fully appreciate yet. Sigh. Parenting often feels like walking a razor’s edge, but I’ve found that supporting her, encouraging her, showing her by example, and believing in her — all unwaveringly — have been my most solid go-to’s – in all subjects — no matter how much it seems she’ll veer off in another direction.

This topic has always been on my mind since both girls were little. I just dug up an article I wrote for Breaking Muscle a couple years ago on this very topic. I offer you guys a good chunk of the article here because frankly the issues of keeping girls engaged in sports haven’t changed.

According to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), most girls aren’t playing sports past the age of fourteen, reporting that twice as many girls as boys quit sports. I have watched my daughters’ schoolmates become distracted by fashion and make-up. It was common to see them trade their cleats for heels, their caps for perfectly coifed hair.

The WSF suggests that a primary reason girls leave sports at the cusp of adolescence is the societal bombardment that a girl’s looks is what gives her value. The internet, television programming, songs, advertisements, videos, billboards, movies, and magazines that target tween and teen girls push an over-sexualized aesthetic as the norm. The average female is exposed to over three hundred ads a day. It’s hard to fight the never-ending onslaught of messages that nothing is as important or gains a girl power more than her looks – or more, a fabricated, cookie-cutter idea of perfection that is nearly impossible to obtain. As a girl settles into puberty, the images of teen and adult female athletes fade. According to Images of Us Sports, women’s sports are only 8% of all print and TV sports media coverage. The messages surrounding girls and the pressure to fit into a beauty-driven aesthetic can be overwhelming and often her athletic side doesn’t make the cut. This is not to say a girl can’t be athletic and explore a glamorous side, but the rate at which girls drop out of sports suggests that they often do not choose both.

Another reason girls quit sports early is to escape ridicule. Middle school was so hard, wasn’t it? It still is. And now the wildfire that is technology has created a much more powerful form of humiliation via texts and the Internet. Don’t sweat too much, play too intensely, or, God forbid, beat a boy for fear of standing out and someone taking notice enough to crush you back into the fold with shame. The brave few stick it out. The rest of us get swallowed up in our need to simply fit in. And this retreat is at the expense of our girls’ confidence and health.

It’s no secret that keeping and staying physically active has immediate and long-terms positive effects on our health, not just physically but emotionally and mentally. The de-emphasis of women and girls to participate in regular activity is taking a toll not just on their health, but the health of our country. According to Her Life Depends On It II, a comprehensive study by the WSF, girls and women who do not participate in sports are more likely to face heart disease, depression, substance abuse, cancer, obesity-related issues, eating disorders, suicide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, osteoporosis, and smoking – all of which accounts for much of the more than one trillion dollars spent on healthcare for treating these issues.

So, how do we keep girls active? Here are a few suggestions to keep them in the game:

1. Support her. Let your daughters, nieces, sisters, friends’ kids know how cool you think it is that they are active or play a sport whether they are the star of the team or the bench warmer. Go watch their games. Bring your friends. Often, we are unaware of the digging comments that might be said to her at school. Hearing your consistent and positive support can often offset that.

2. Let her play on her terms. Your daughter may not have the killer instinct to crush her opponents like you do. It’s okay. Let her find her own way in sports or a physical activity. Not being great at a sport doesn’t mean she’s not reaping a ton of other benefits and setting up a lifelong love of being active. Conversely, if your daughter is a gym rat and crazy competitive – maybe unlike you – this is okay, too. If you let her, she’ll probably impress you to no end. Knowing that someone is on her side as opposed to trying to get her to either “Get the ball, God!” or be more “lady-like” will most likely create a more well-adjusted and balanced person than not. Be her cheerleader, however she expresses athleticism.

3. Give her role models. Take her to a pro women’s soccer game or tennis match. Or a women’s collegiate basketball game. Let her witness women in sports being celebrated regularly. Taking Mina to watch CrossFit competitions helped her redefine what women were capable of strength-wise. She has wanted that for herself ever since. As her mom or dad, you are your daughter’s first role model. Let her watch you workout or play something or express your own love for dance or running or however you like to move.

4. Let her know that being athletic is beautiful, too. Talk to her about advertising and the pressure to look a certain way. Often, they don’t really want to look like everyone else. They mainly want to stop feeling pressured and if you discuss this with her, she’ll realize that it’s ok for her to want her own look, her own style – that being active is just as beautiful as anything else.

5. Let her try different things. When a girl wants to quit a sport, it might not be that she wants to quit being active all together. She might be bored with volleyball. She might not like a non-team environment. Consider activities you wouldn’t do yourself and let her try new things.

6. Listen to her concerns about being teased. Understand and identify with her fears and talk to her about them. Girls want to fit in and be accepted. Let her know that sports and being on a team can be all about belonging, too. Most of us remember how nervous we were in junior high and high school classes. Many of us also have funny stories to tell about embarrassing things that happened to us and how we got over them. Ask her what her worst fear is. Maybe she’s nervous about wearing the gym uniform or having to climb ropes in front of her classmates. Once she identifies the worst-case scenario, you can discuss how you would deal with this, which can alleviate some of her fears.

Lastly, stay confident that keeping your girls active is in her best interest for the rest of her life.

 


Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A) Push up Party
Focus on hollow body position

B) 3 RFQ on the 4:00
10 Strict pullups
200m Run
10 Burpee box jumps (24/20)
–3min Cap each round–
C) FQL, working up across sets
5 Sets
5 Front squats + 2 Jerks

And Coming Wednesday
Practice

A) 4 RFQ
10 Pushups
2 9-yd Plate pushes
10 DB Renegade rows (35/20)
–2-3min Rest between rounds–

B) FQL, working up across sets
10-10-10
Overhead squats

 

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I’ve been coaching since Cindy Lauper’s heyday. During this time I’ve been exposed to every type of personality at every level. I’ve prepped action stars for big films, trained NBA, MLS, and Olympic level athletes.  As driven as all of these people are I’ve never coached anybody quite like Zach Goren.

In fact, of all the amazing people I’ve coached or trained Zach stands out. Not just because of his intelligence and authentic humility, but because of his will, perseverance and dedication.  There are many things I love about this man – at the top of this list is GRIT. Trust me when I say this, everything he has gained he has earned the hard way.  As his coach I can tell you he’s not that talented. But what he lacks in talent he makes up in effort.  As coach (or parent for that matter) you start to realize that results are one thing, effort is another.  I know many at the gym are amazed at what Zach can do physically and although that’s impressive it simply doesn’t hold a candle to what really matters – effort. Zach has always given me, the community and himself nothing but all out effort. I find this to be universally admirable.

This weekend we get to celebrate this dear friend the only appropriate way he could possibly party: 30 workouts in 30 hours!  Sign up here or just turn up to show some love and have some “Quality” food from the grill of John Bonds himself!


 

Monday’s Workout
Competition

For Time:
30 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)
400m run
50 pull ups

And Coming Tuesday
Practice


A) Push up Party
Focus on hollow body position

B) 3 RFQ on the 4:00
10 Strict pullups
200m Run
10 Burpee box jumps (24/20)
–3min Cap each round–
C) FQL, working up across sets
5 Sets
5 Front squats + 2 Jerks

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18 Jun / 2015

TGIF!

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Friday’s Workout
Practice

A) Air Squat Spectacular
Focus on hip/heel loading

B) For quality load, working up across sets
2-2-2-2-2-2-2
Overhead squats

C) AMRAP 10
2 Push presses (90% of 1RM press)
3 Jerks
5 Strict pullups
10 Butterfly Abmat situps

And Coming Monday
Competition

For Time:
30 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)
400m run
50 pull ups

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