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This is a guest blog by Mr. 30 For 30 himself, Zach Goren.

WOW. Just WOW. It’s taken me a good deal of time to even start processing what happened last weekend.  And even now, I’m still not quite sure what to make of all of it.  But there are a few things I do have a pretty good idea about:

  • I’m in no hurry to do anything like that again anytime soon (Alyssa, it’s all you), and,
  • CFLA is a really special place

I think the second point was really hammered home more than anything. Right after the end of the 30th workout, I told everyone there that I probably hadn’t actually celebrated my birthday in any real fashion since I was 15. I just never liked it nor did the “typical” sorts of celebration activities resonate. I can beat to my own drum in a lot of ways and I think it’s always made me a bit uncomfortable to do things publicly that cut against the grain. Since I joined CFLA 6 years ago, the level of acceptance and inclusion has been unwavering. I didn’t have to think twice about who I wanted to celebrate with in a way wholly authentic to me. I struggle to explain to most people that I hang out with people from my gym, let alone call them some of my closest friends. My family and other long-time friends who stopped by to show support were blown away by the number of you who were there and the enthusiasm with which you participated. I liked showing you off.

I am so filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support I received all weekend. For thirty straight hours people went out of their way, altered their plans, forwent sleep, facetimed and worked out from across the world (Anthony and Francesca), brought food & drink (lots of donuts in particular ;), and just showed up.  When Kenny and I originally started tooling around with the concept, we figured we’d get some interest from the community, but what we experienced was beyond our imagination.

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at CFLA.  I also want to give special thanks to a few people: Annita for helping keep my neck from seizing up early on (especially after the whole thing almost got derailed when I hurt myself putting on my tights first thing in the morning), the Butlers/Kenny for lending me their amazing stim machine (I’m now a believer in the Marc Pro+), Travis/Todd for capturing the whole thing on video (looking forward to seeing that!), John for the incredible BBQ on Sunday (for those of you who missed it know I’m encouraging him to quit his job and start a restaurant), Niki for being the master coordinator and cat wrangler in getting this whole thing together, and Kenny for being Kenny (no words).

It may have been for my birthday but this is something that we did together.  I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done it without you.


Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A) 5 RFR (:30:30)
Pushups
RKBS (32/24)

B) FQL, working up across sets
5 Sets
2 9-yd Plate pushes + 5 Back squats

And Coming Wednesday
Competition

“1/2 Glen”
FT
15 Clean and jerks (135/95)
800m Run
5 Rope climbs (14’)
800m Run
50 Burpees

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05 Jul / 2015

We are extraordinarily lucky to have master coach and athlete Jamie Silber here at CFLA. Check the video and share with anyone you know interested in tackling the challenge of triathlon.


Monday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

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

B) Task vs Time vs Task Priority
1) Task Priority
500m Row, for time
-Rest 3 min, then
2) Time Priority
Row as many meters as possible in the time it took to complete Part
-Rest 3 min
3) Task Priority
Row the result of Part 2, for time
–See 10/16/14–

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) 5 RFR (:30:30)
Pushups
RKBS (32/24)

B) FQL, working up across sets
5 Sets
2 9-yd Plate pushes + 5 Back squats

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Hometown:  Los Angeles
Age: 47
Occupation: Software executive
When did you first start CrossFitting?: June 20, 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: June 20, 2011
Favorite WOD: Toss-up between Jackie and Cindy. Going to go with Cindy!
Least Favorite WOD: Basically, any WOD that includes burpees!

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: As a classically trained violinist, violist and conductor, I spent much of my twenties inside practice rooms. My thirties were not much better. Unfortunately, I found gyms somewhat intimidating. Thus, gym visits were rare. Once at the gym, my usual routine would be limited to the treadmill and lifting a few weights. In my mid-thirties, I worked with some personal trainers and had even tried “slow motion” weight training – but, the results were never significant because I would only work out once per week. Though, I now regret not being more physically active in the past, I am grateful I worked up the courage and walked into CFLA back in 2011:“Better late than never!”

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? One day, while driving up Santa Monica Blvd, I saw a group of people running near the CFLA studio. I was curious and looked it up online. It seemed intriguing to me, so I decided to try it for myself. I met with one of the coaches – Becca, and she had me try the “baseline” workout (500 Meter Row, 40 Air Squats, 30 Sit ups, 20 Push-ups, 10 Pull-ups). The workout felt like an eternity and I was only through the first 100 meters of the row. By the end of the workout (which must have taken 15 minutes!), Becca asked me if “I was ok?” Barely alive, and too embarrassed to admit that I felt like passing out, I said, “yes.” A few minutes later, I crawled up the staircase (which felt like another workout to me at the time) and signed up for two sessions per week.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? Before starting CrossFit in 2011, I would work out about once per week. That was it. Exercise was not part of my life at that time. I was often tired, and my energy level was pretty low. After joining CFLA, I was immediately introduced to the Whole Life Challenge (part of CFLA at the time), where I started to learn about proper eating habits, exercise and general mindfulness about your physical wellbeing. However, it was only a few months ago that I decided to take training at CFLA more seriously and have been showing up consistently four days per week. Since then, I have seen big changes (weight loss, improved mobility, less back pain to name just a few). In addition to the physical changes, I also feel much more positive and energetic – which is good, because I have very active children and need to keep up with them. Best of all, exercise has become an integral part of my day and I look forward to my classes at CFLA.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The benefits of joining CrossFit have been numerous; however, self-confidence is the primary one: the belief that, with some practice and determination, you can accomplish a level pf physical fitness that, in the past, you thought would be impossible. The coaches at CFLA have really helped to push me out of my comfort zone. Just something simple like running was a challenge for me a few years ago. Not today. Climbing rope – once something unimaginable for me, is totally doable now. Other than handstands and some complicated ring exercises, I can do pretty much everything.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: There have been so many over the years. One specific moment for me was when I finally ran the “big loop” without stopping. I was sure I would walk part of the way, but I actually managed to run the entire distance, which for me back then, was a major accomplishment. Other favorite moments happen daily for me at CFLA, most notably the tremendous sense of community and support one feels when working out at CFLA.

Any advice for people just getting started? If you are a complete novice like me – that’s ok. Use only light weights and focus on your posture and technique. Accept that you will not understand or be good at everything the first week, or even the first month. In my case, maybe never! But, never give up – just SHOW UP consistently and you will see changes.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I am a professionally trained violist and conductor. I have been lobbying the coaches at CFLA to play more classical music at our sessions – but, have not gotten very far!

Check out this video for a a shameless self-plug!


Friday’s Workout
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 between sets

And Coming Monday
Mental Toughness

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

B) Task vs Time vs Task Priority
1) Task Priority
500m Row, for time
-Rest 3 min, then
2) Time Priority
Row as many meters as possible in the time it took to complete Part 1
-Rest 3 min
3) Task Priority
Row the result of Part 2, for time
–See 10/16/14–

 

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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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