Personal Training at CFLA

Personal Training at CFLA

COMPETITION DAY – Retest from Jan 13

Muscle ups
Squat snatch (135/95)


“Amanda’s Sister”
Strict C2B chin ups
Strict dips
Squat snatch (60-70%)


“Amanda’s Sister’s Sister”
Strict C2B chin ups
Strict dips
Snatch balance (no RX)


1 RM Jerk in 20 min
1 RM Front Squat in 20 min

What we do here at CFLA is a sport. The way I see it every sport has Physical, Cultural and Mental demands.

On the physical level, Baseball players need to be able to catch, throw and swing in order to play. To play crossfit players need to be able to jump, run, pull, push, press, squat, flex, extend, hollow, arch, twist and rotate. Everything we do is some derivative of one or many of these foundational skills. Learning where our deficiencies are early (from a coach) and taking a long term perspective on honing these elemental pieces is critical to having a bountiful, long, healthy fitness experience. Pass over the basics and yes, boo-boo’s, and injuries occur. Before you know it you’re defending your Crossfit experience from friends and family responding to alarmist news stories about how, “dangerous,” Crossfit is. Even my mom – a woman that trained daily for her sport in the shark infested San Francisco Bay told me that I might die doing crossfit based on a story she saw on the news. Huh?! How do I even respond to that? She once said to me, “People that get attacked by sharks don’t know how to swim… they splash too much and look like seals. If you are efficient in the water they won’t eat you.” So without getting into it (mostly because mom always wins,) I used her logic and said, “Well momz, the same goes with Crossfit. If you’re efficient, you probably won’t die.” She seemed to understand that.

Anyhow, Crossfit is teaching millions of people to move well. In some circumstances at some gyms, it is also teaching people to move at intensity disproportionate to ability. Unfortunately, execution of the principle; mechanics BEFORE intensity, periodically gets reversed and when it does bad things can and do happen. Perhaps it’s like sending a baseball player out onto the field that doesn’t know how to catch. Ball gets hit, ball hits face, molar and incisor get shattered, dentist gets a ring, ego gets a bigger bruise than the one on the face and soon, “Baseball is stupid.” Crossfit can be stupid also if the basics aren’t addressed with a coach that can look after your well being. Crossfit is most radiantly brilliant when a coach and athlete are working together to optimize the experience.

Secondly, all sports and specifically all teams have a culture, and personality. At CFLA our personality is BIG. TEAM CFLA is a cultural tidal wave (take the Playa Del Rey Tri, Philanthropic Throwdown, Femme Royal, or WLC participation). Clearly, when we do things we do ‘em with love, enthusiasm, energy and directive. We dance, we cheer, we laugh and we throwdown in numbers. It’s like the calvary! We think to ourselves, “Yeah, that’s just how we are. That’s just how we do…” like it ain’t no thang. But it is a thing, a big one at that. When others look at us it’s typically a combination of jealousy, fear and confusion. For somebody new to our community understanding and embracing all of this takes some time and trust. Truthfully, we’re a nutty group. In the end we are loyal, welcoming and extraordinary – it just takes a bit to get all that…

Additionally, there are cultural and logistical elements that we don’t even think about that are wired to our subconscious: where to put keys for blocked cars, burpee laws, RFQ vs. RFT, how everyone in class helps to strip down racks, rings and barbells moving from part B to part C on a, “Practice Day,” knowing not to stand right in front of someone when they are about to lift heavy, knowing how to “dump” a barbell, understand how to scale for pistols, handstand pushups, snatches, muscle ups, and double unders, how to mobilize for different workouts… In fact, as sophisticated as we are as a school my strong suspicion is that many reading may not know everything mentioned above?

This is exactly why we are moving to a model that prepares students more thoroughly for the CFLA experience through personal training. Simply throwing somebody into sport (in this case class) without tailored preparation is, at this point, irresponsible. What makes CFLA stand out is that we have 10 years of experience coaching literally thousands of people. We’ve been very successful and have made loads of mistakes. Throwing people into the game without assessing their movement and mindset is a mistake I’m unwilling to make. We want anybody who joins our team to have a solid, long term connection with the community and program we provide. The root of the idea is this to equip students with tools to play well and participate fully, develop a one on one coaching relationship that serves the longterm health, wellness and experience of each individual athlete.

Again, this is a sport with a lot of demands. As head coach I don’t have much interest in sending people into a game without tools, context or confidence. So, In the coming months, you’ll see us coaches guiding athletes one on one through a curriculum that exposes them to basic movements, scaling for sophisticated movements, language education, context awareness, logistical understanding and a cultural connection. Your job is just as you already do, say hello and make them feel at home. Soon, they’ll graduate from personal training and join you in class with a basic understanding of the Physical, Cultural and Mental demands of our sport that we love so much.

Awesome coaches, awesome smiles, all LOVE!

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