Blog

26 Jul / 2016

Trust

Almost a year ago I wrote a blog post about facing fears. Today I’m going to write about something that I feel is connected, trust and safety.  I feel that living with trust allows life to feel a bit more free. We trust that tomorrow will come, we trust that our friends and family will stand by our sides and that the higher powers will help guide us in the right directions. Yes, we have contracts and agreements that can ensure trust, but mostly we have to trust the word of others that they will be here and do what they say.

When I walk into CrossFit LA I feel calm, secure and safe. That was not true the first time I walked in, but has developed over time. I know at times when a new person comes to the gym it can feel like a crazy place.  It might appear that everyone knows what they are doing, the music is loud and fit people are moving all around. I feel part of our job as coaches here is to guide you in a direction to make sure you have enough knowledge and resources to feel safe.  Part of the process of having a coach is using that time to build a trusting relationship and help you learn to make good choices to challenge yourself in a safe environment. A lot of that is educating you on what you’re getting yourself into. This can apply to your new health and fitness choices and or specifically to each workout (context).

We do our best to provide you with a supportive and safe environment in which you can take chances, push yourself, fail better and learn about your limits. Without a safe space I feel it can be challenging for some to push past comfortable. We talk about this in fundamentals as working up to your threshold. For those that have an athletic past, it might come a bit easier to push yourself.  We strive to coach you in a way where you can make gains and progress that are appropriate to your body and where you are at. We work hard to guide you through safe, efficient movement and choices in the gym. As you learn more about yourself you might find that as intensity in your workouts increase, some form is lost and that is normal. But we do our best to keep you moving safely through all of it.

I appreciate all of your trust that you give us as coaches. I feel it’s an honor that all of you are here in this safe space we call CrossFit LA. Thank you for trusting us and allowing us to help you grow, learn and  be healthy. And remember we are all here to help, so if you have a question, just ask.


 

Today’s Workout
RECOVERY

A)
4 RFQ (30s:30s) @ </= 7 RPE
Pistols
Deadlifts (45-50%)
Kipping CTB pullups
Wallballs (20/14)
Rest
–SOMSAVS soring–

B)
FQ
5-7 Sets @ 65%
1 Clean and jerk

And Coming Thursday
COMPETITION

5 RFT
5 KB Turkish getups (24/16)
10 Alt KB Cleans
15 KB Goblet squats
200m KB Farmer carry
–20min Cap–

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Before I went to the CrossFit Games 2016 this last Sunday, I heard a rumor that these may be the last Games held in California. I have   attended at least one day every year for the last five years, and when I heard that they might not come back to California, I realized I may have taken my casual and local attendance for granted, if just a little.

Every year CFLA welcomes a wide array of visitors during Games season. Some have flown from far reaches of the world and they are so excited to witness athletes grind it out to be crowned fittest on earth. Friends who live in other states and even my sister-in-law who lives in New Jersey always tell me how jealous they are and how lucky I am to go every year. And it’s true.

So this year when I attended the Games, I did so with a fresh perspective that I may never see them live again. It heighten the experience tenfold. Seeing them with Mina is always the best, but I felt more patient with crowds, more tolerant of the heat, I had great conversations with people I hadn’t seen in a while  —  and I thoroughly enjoyed every workout and every athletes’ effort.

Now I am looking at  other activities and experiences that I do regularly  to make sure that I am not taking those for granted as well.  A fresh, new perspective on old things  only seems to make it exciting and really enjoyable again.


Tuesday’s Workout
Practice Recovery

A)

FQ
3-5 Sets @ 80%
1 Clean and jerk

B)
3 RFQS on the 4:00 @ </= 7 RPE
15/11calBike
12 Knees to elbows
Best Max effort Jami Drill
–2min Cap each round–
–SOMSAVS soring–

C)
FQT
7-8
Front squats (60-65% FS or +3-5)
Back squats
–5min Cap–

Wednesday’s Workout
Practice Recovery

A)
4 RFQ (30s:30s) @ </= 7 RPE
Pistols
Deadlifts (45-50%)
Kipping CTB pullups
Wallballs (20/14)
Rest
–SOMSAVS soring–

B)
FQ
5-7 Sets @ 65%
1 Clean and jerk

 

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Monday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

AMRAP 35
3 Rounds:
-5 Pullups
-10 Burpees
-15 Air squats
800m Run

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

RECOVERY
A) FQ
3-5 Sets @ 80%
1 Clean and jerk

B) 3 RFQS on the 4:00 @ </= 7 RPE
15/11calBike
12 Knees to elbows
Best Max effort Jami Drill
–2min Cap each round–
–SOMSAVS soring–

C) FQT
7-8
Front squats (60-65% FS or +3-5)
Back squats
–5min Cap–

 

 

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Hometown: Oceanside, NY (Not CA!)
Age: 36
Occupation: I lead the social media marketing team at Hulu. Commercial-free option now available. Start your free trial.
When did you first start CrossFitting?: Fall of 2011
When did you first start training at CFLA?: August 2016
Favorite WOD: Scaled Jackie
Least Favorite WOD: Karen 

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: For the large majority of my life, I was obese. Outgoing and relatively active, but obese. My suburban childhood was filled with bagels and frozen yogurt and cereal and microwaveable burritos, and was spent mostly on the couch watching TV. At around the age of 13, my mother was a local gym rat, and decided to bring her chubby, middle child to the gym with her to she if she could inspire her to be more active. The trainers who worked there were intrigued by me. I was a BIG kid. Solid. They put me through some training sessions to see what I could do. Lo and behold, they threw me into a powerlifting program (squatting, deadlifting, bench-pressing) and very quickly I was a wunderkind competing in local meets against women twice my age. In fact, we had to lie about my age to get me into one of the competitions. At 13 years old, my PRs were a 130lb bench, 327lb deadlift, and 319lb squat. I’ll never forget those numbers. And looking back now, it’s crazy to think I was capable of that at such a young age – especially since I wasn’t training anything other than those lifts. I barely got my heart rate up. By the fickle age of 14, I decided I was “done” with lifting, and wanted to focus on music instead. Back to my lazy ways.

Around the age of 21, I turned it around, but still didn’t do a ton of exercise beyond torturing myself on an elliptical machine at whatever gym I could afford. I eventually graduated to the Equinox system. I was marginally fit, but I don’t think I even really knew what “fitness” meant at the time.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? The credit has to go to my friends Chris and Jess – they cornered me at a party and evangelized. I went into their box for a trial, at CrossFit 718 in Brooklyn, and the rest is history. As far as the very first WOD goes, I remember ball slams and running – and an immediate sense of wanting to be the best in the class, afraid of being one of the worst, and thinking: I really want to get good at this. And, the Olympic lifting took me right back to my powerlifting days. I already knew the foundations of bench-pressing, squatting, and deadlifting, and felt personally invested in excelling at it.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I immediately started to actually build muscle. Muscle in places where I didn’t realize you could grow muscle. It wasn’t an immediate ticket to weight loss – I’ve come to learn that carrying extra weight has everything to do with my calorie intake and hormonal balance. But it helps. I also found that huffing through the NYC subway system wasn’t as horribly difficult – I could bound up a flight of 50 stairs without needing a break. And that was so, so satisfying.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? If you told me 5 years ago that I was going to join a fitness cult, I would have laughed in your face. And then punched you. And then ran away. I never predicted the genuine love I feel for the CrossFit community – our micro community here at CFLA, and the international community who lives and breathes it every day. I’ve experienced a surrender of my ego, or what I think I thought I knew, and have completely let the wisdom of constantly varied functional movement win.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: For as long as I’ve been CrossFitting, I was never able to focus enough on getting upside down to actually be able to do it. Shirley helped me make it a priority, had me work through my core stabilization (hollow holds, arch holds, etc), and talked me through the biggest barrier – my own fear. After a couple of weeks, it happened! It was photographed and went up on the CFLA Instagram, and was probably one of my proudest moments.

Leah already told the story about the warm-up we did with Shirley when she asked us to collect something beautiful on our run, so I’ll shout-out the coaches’ lip synch performance of “Uptown Funk” at the 2015 holiday party. ADORABLE.
Any advice for people just getting started? It’s supposed to be hard, so suck it up.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I’m super passionate about my career, so I don’t dive into much else these days. But I’m in a life-long love affair with music. I spent most of my school and college years drumming in bands, and I worked in the music business throughout my 20’s. So while TV occupies me, music moves me.

As does my amazing girlfriend (and CFLA buddy) Leah. And our Jack Russell/Pug mix, Juggs (who I’ve had since I was 24)!

Being new to Los Angeles also opened up a world of weekend adventure. Exploring the city and taking advantage of all the hiking and outdoorsy things it has to offer… all that good stuff.


Friday Workout
Competition

“Franklin Hill: Up, Over, Around & Up”
2 rounds, each for time on the 15:00

Saturday Workout

5 RFT
10 1-arm KB Swings-R (24/16)
10 1-arm KB Swings-L
10 Alt Side lunges
3 Snatches (135/95)

Monday Workout
Mental Toughness

AMRAP 35
3 Rounds:
-5 Pullups
-10 Burpees
-15 Air squats
800m Run

 

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It’s time to wrap up Cycle 11! Next week is the final training week of the cycle before testing, and it is Recovery Week! You’re gonna see three Practice Recovery Days: one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday. The intention is for you to make these some of your lowest intensity workouts. Think “Active Recovery”; In other words, move and recover at the same time.

There will also be a Mental Toughness Day and a Competition Day. These are not deliberate Recovery Days, so feel free to let it rip if that’s what you want/need. However, it’s totally OK to dial it back on these days, if you want to expand the theme of recovery.

Even if you haven’t been working out regularly and feel as though you may not be ready for recovery, keep in mind that the following week is Retest Week. It will be an intense week (Refer back to Test Week for the workouts), and you will want to be performing at your best. To further help prep, remember to be smart and healthy over the weekend before that week starts. Rest, hydrate, and eat right.

Here’s to a great couple of weeks!


Thursday’s Workout
Practice

A)
3 RFQR on the 4:00
15/11calBike
Max Muscelups
–1min Cap each round–

B)
FQT
*10*20*10*
Burpees
*200m Run
–10min cap–

C)
FQ
1-3 Sets @ 90%
1 Clean and jerk

And Coming Friday
Competition

“Franklin Hill: Up, Over, Around & Up”

2 rounds, each for time on the 15:00

 

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….CFLA and all you wonderful members!!!

Members of CFLA, some of you may have heard that I will be transitioning over the next few weeks from a primary to a role coach.  I have decided to utilize my business, science, technology, health and fitness backgrounds and have accepted a full-time position for a young company engaged in optimizing human performance and potential.

At this time, I am unsure of what my coaching capacity will be, as I work with scheduling, but I do plan to continue to coach, as CFLA and coaching you has become a big part of my life.

I must thank you all for your kind words of encouragement as I move forward on this journey.  CFLA has become another home for me on the west coast, and that is due to your continued dedication and effort that you bring to the gym everyday.

Wednesday’s Workout:
Competition

3 RFT
500m Row
15 Deadlifts (225/155)
20 Lateral bar-over burpees

And Coming Thursday:
Practice

A)
3 RFQR on the 4:00
15/11calBike
Max Muscelups
–1min Cap each round–

B)
FQT
*10*20*10*
Burpees
*200m Run
–10min cap–

C)
FQ
1-3 Sets @ 90%
1 Clean and jerk

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One of my short-term goals is to get my Spanish back to fluency — semi-fluency really. I was a little bit in denial about how much I had lost and was continuing to lose by not using the language enough. Just like push-ups, language is a use it or lose it skill. I can understand it pretty well still, but every time I go to speak it’s like my brain fogs over the words I’m trying to find. It’s embarrassing and frustrating.

About two months ago I started using an app called Duolingo, which features 13 different languages in which you can strengthen or learn a language from scratch. I tested in so I didn’t have to start from the beginning and they placed me at a level based on that test. For 15 minutes a day, I practice vocabulary, grammar, and verb conjugation by matching words, translating sentences, and repeating sentences back to ensure correct pronunciation. Sections drill you until you’re proficient enough to move on. The app is super intuitive, but the best part is that it’s free.

I’m having a great time with it and I find myself often thinking, “Oh yea, that’s how you say that!” and many times, “Holy crap,  I never knew that conjugation.” I feel the whole experience is keeping my brain sharp, too. If you ever had a desire to learn a new language or strengthen your second/first one, check out Dualingo!


Tuesday’s Workout
Practice

A)
FQ
1-3 Sets @ 95%
1 Clean and jerk

B)
QAMRAP 10
10 Balancing pistols
50 Double unders
10 Balancing MB Chops-R (20/14)
10 Balancing MB Chops-L

Wednesday’s Workout
Competition

3 RFT
500m Row
15 Deadlifts (225/155)
20 Lateral bar-over burpees”

 

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Monday’s Workout
Practice

A)  Jerk Skill Practice
5-5-5-5-5
BTN Jerk balances (light)

B) FQT
3-5-7
Front squats (60-65% FS or +3-5)
Back squats
–5min Cap–

C) 4 RFQIT
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-R (~20% 1RM Snatch)
6 Toes to bar
8 Alt DB Power snatches
6 Toes to Bar
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-L
–1min Rest between rounds–

And Coming Tuesday
Practice

A) FQ
1-3 Sets @ 95%
1 Clean and jerk

B) QAMRAP 10
10 Balancing pistols
50 Double unders
10 Balancing MB Chops-R (20/14)
10 Balancing MB Chops-L

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Hometown:  West Hartford, CT
Age: 31
Occupation: Strategist (entertainment marketing)
When did you first start CrossFitting?: 2013
When did you first start training at CFLA?: September 2016
Favorite WOD: Weirdly, Murph? No technical movements and so much crowd support!
Least Favorite WOD: Anything with thrusters makes me weep.

 Tell us about your sports & fitness background: Well, that’s a short story. My background could not be less athletic. I remember having to ask my 4th grade gym teacher how to bounce a ball. I was a bookworm growing up, and my main physical outlet was hiking with my family, which I still love. Hiking instilled a deep appreciation for nature and being outside, and led me to casual running in my teens. For me, distance running was relaxing and restorative and was never about speed. At any rate, the only form of exercise I ever appreciated was the kind that requires no skills or equipment and gets you out into fresh air.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? My girlfriend Lindsey had been CrossFitting for years, and when we met it was obvious how much the sport meant to her.With a promise from her that she’d protect me from any meatheads or physical danger, I went for an intro WOD at her gym, Crossfit 718 in Brooklyn. I don’t remember anything but the wall balls. I had literally never lifted and thrown a heavy thing before. The next day I couldn’t move – a deep, astonishing kind of muscle soreness that really blew me away. I thought I was in shape!

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?  Body first: I went from a waif to a solid human being. I used to be thin and limp – my best friend described my posture as “melting ferret.” Within a week of starting CrossFit my arms were harder, and by now it’s a total body makeover™. I have muscles where there once were none. I’ve come to love this feeling of solidity and power, and I get a girl-power high off of being able to carry, move, and accomplish things for myself. And! My old lower back pain is gone, since I’ve built the strength to support good posture.

But the main change is in body awareness. Now I understand the everyday ways my body and mind are connected – that if I box-breathe before a big meeting I can control my nerves, if I carry an intention I perform better, if I set my shoulders back I’ll feel confident. (Thanks, Shirley!)

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? I’ve got to go with friendship. Starting back in Brooklyn, CrossFit led me to new friends I never expected to meet, at a time in my life when I thought I was done starting new relationships. And now as a newbie here in Los Angeles, trying to rebuild my social life and find “my people,” it’s the CFLA community that has come through the strongest. Knowing that folks here care how I’m doing, see who I am, and want to connect, is the difference between feeling like a stranger in town and starting to feel at home. These people are just the best people.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments: 

  • The time Shirley sent us out for a run and asked us each to bring back something beautiful. Come on!
  • A few days ago we had a really small 7am class, just the core crew. We were setting up racks for ring dips, and Fernando suggested we place them in a circle, facing in so we could all check on each other. Devastating cuteness. I love how much everyone likes each other.
  • The time I was dying of handstand walk-ups and Shirley told me I couldn’t just scale them halfway through the WOD, because it was a competition day and I should dig deep. Tough love, and I needed it!

 Any advice for people just getting started?  Know that even if every movement seems impossible, eventually you’ll discover that you’re really good at a few things. Your body has a secret superpower somewhere!

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? Hiking! That’s been a major boon of this move from New York to California. Also reading, drawing, watercolor painting, and – this is huge – spending time with my family. I have two sisters who are the best things since sliced bread. I also really love my work, which channels my creativity and tickles my brain and brings me inside of great (and sometimes even meaningful) stories in TV and film. And finally, I like doing just about anything with my boo Lindsey. Leah out!


Friday’s Workout
Practice

EMOM 12
1: 10 Wallballs (20/14)
2: 10 Knees to elbows
3: 3 Deadlifts (70-75%)
–30sec Cap each min–

B)
FQ
1-3 Set(s) @ 90% of C&J
1 Clean
1 Front squat
1 Split jerk

Monday’s Workout
Practice

A)
Jerk Skill Practice
5-5-5-5-5
BTN Jerk balances (light)

B)
FQT
3-5-7
Front squats (60-65% FS or +3-5)
Back squats
–5min Cap–

C)
4 RFQIT
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-R (~20% 1RM Snatch)
6 Toes to bar
8 Alt DB Power snatches
6 Toes to Bar
8 1-Arm DB Thrusters-L
–1min Rest between rounds–

 

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I remember my very first CrossFit LA warm up. Well, not exactly what we did, but the feeling of it. I remember getting instructions on what was to be done. Something along the lines of 3 rounds of this, that and the other. After getting instructions I remember starting and being a little confused as to why people  weren’t really moving that fast. I was confused because, “why wouldn’t you want to get through the work faster?” Once we had all finished and got instructions for the workout, I realized, this was our warm up. To be honest, at the end of the warm up I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do much more work.

My warm ups now ave very slow and deliberate and when you see me in class, you’ll see me moving in any which direction, just trying to get things smooth and warm. It’s usually about halfway through the workout that I feel warm and ready to go. Which means at the end I’m feeling GREAT.   A couple years ago my body started to need a different kind of warm up. Something a little more slow, more like activation and mobility, rather than just core temperature increase. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a core temperature increase as much as the next gal, but having my joints be free to move where I want them to go and when I tell them to go, feels like a higher priority to me. Recognizing that is a big piece of listening to my body and giving it what it needs. Especially as we are about to ask it to be challenged and stressed.

Over this past weekend I attended the Yoga Tune Up mobility seminar held here at the gym. Alex, our instructor led us through some great mobility, starting at the feet and moving up the body. At the end of the session I was ready for a nap because I felt so relaxed and luckily we ended in savasana.

One point that she brought up and that we want to make sure the community remembers, is that before a work out, your mobility should be activation. Meaning, we are trying to awaken all your muscles. It’s their call to action before the big game or practice day. Activation make take longer for some then others, especially if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and not very mobile, your glutes might need a few more bridges or getting those new soft lacrosse balls across them a few more times.  I’ve seen a lot of you get in here early and take care of business. I applaud you for that and encourage you to stay after also for some more release of your muscles.

The release (oh so relaxing) is what can be done after a workout. This is like digging in deeply or lounging for a bit. The low back muscles are a prime example.  Hanging out for a while with deep breathing before a workout is it not such a good.   The idea of awakening them before is great, but we don’t want to get them so loose they aren’t stable and able to keep you where you need to be. Give them true release after class and enjoy it.


Today’s Workout
Competition

A)
10min to find one of:
Max plank hold
Max Handstand hold
Max Handstand pushups
Max Handstand walk

B)
AMRAP 5
10 Box jumps (32/24)
10 DB Clusters (55/40)
10/7cal Bike

And Coming Friday
Practice

EMOM 12
1: 10 Wallballs (20/14)
2: 10 Knees to elbows
3: 3 Deadlifts (70-75%)
–30sec Cap each min–

B)
FQ
1-3 Set(s) @ 90% of C&J
1 Clean
1 Front squat
1 Split jerk

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