Monthly Archives: March 2012

Watch, Learn, Practice, then Do, Grasshoppers

Some tips to help you out for tomorrow’s WOD, at least part of it.

Thursday’s Skill:

Ring work:

Jump to support, dips, kipping dips, skin the cat

Workout of the Day (WOD):

Run 800 meters

40 hand release push-ups

40 box jumps (24″/20″ for women)

Run 800 meters

30 hand release push-ups

30 box jumps

Run 800 meters

20 hand release push-ups

20 box jumps


Oh, Nutrition

Nutrition is everything.  In fact, look at this Nutrition Pyramid designed by Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit.

I can’t emphasize enough how important nutrition is.  It is the foundation to a successful CrossFit pursuit.  You can work out day and night, but if you’re not eating right, you won’t reach your full potential.  There are a bunch of legit diets and ways of improving your health out there.  Not advocating to any one in particular, I would encourage you to look into one that would suit your personal needs and goals.  Whether it’d be Paleo, The Zone Diet, becoming Vegetarian or Vegan, etc, as long as you’re pursuing a healthier lifestyle, all things can and will improve.  Eat real foods! If it has a label, it probably isn’t natural.  Shop the veggies, meat, and fruit sections of the grocery store.  Making healthy choices in your food intake will not only improve your health, but also your mood, your body composition, your energy levels and ultimately your overall potential to be an excellent athlete.  Greg Glassman says, ” Nutrition can be a touchy topic, like politics or religion, that people take very personally, but good nutrition is the foundation not only for general health but also for high-performance fitness.” Don’t forget, nutrition is really everything.

Wednesday’s Intermediate Skill:

Snatch complex:

3 power snatches + 3 overhead squats x 5 sets, going up in weight for each set

Workout of the Day (WOD): 

4 rounds of:

21 kettlebell swings (53# for men/35# for women)

15 burpees

9 power snatches (95# for men/63# for women)

Beginner’s Skill

Front squat 

5 – 5 – 5

Workout of the Day (WOD):

21-15-9 of:

Run 100m

Kettlebell swings


Goblet or front squats

Power Hour 

5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 back squat

max pull-up hold between sets of squats

3 sets of 250m row for time

Post times to comments 

Rich Froning Jr and You

Rich Froning Jr is the best at what he does.  When it comes to throwing a triumphant fist in the air, shirtless of course, he wins, hands down.  He’s also a beast at CrossFit.  

Rich is a champion, the winner of the 2011 CrossFit Games.  He’s a professional CrossFitter that trains full time.  He’s a sponsored athlete, performs multiple workouts a day, and is positioning himself to be the first back to back CrossFit Games winner.  Yeah, he’s that good at CrossFit.  And there are many others in the world that are incredible, full time, CrossFit competitors, that do mind-boggling workouts in unbelievable times.  And here’s the thing, you’re not Rich Froning Jr, or Kristan Clever, or Annie Thorisdottir, or Chris Spealler.  

That’s an obvious statement, but because we often do the same workouts as these professional athletes, it makes it easy to forget that you shouldn’t compare yourself to them.  For instance, when you watch a professional basketball game, do you say, “Why can’t I dunk like Kobe?”  Or when you see a major league hitter crush a 500 foot home run, do you wonder why you can’t hit like Albert Pujols?  Of course not.  You simply marvel at the accomplishment, knowing that these gifted athletes are the very best at what they do.  So why would you compare yourself to Rich or Annie when you see a video of them working out?  

Everyday at CrossFit Merge we have athletes that reach personal goals that they never thought they would do.  You should absolutely celebrate those accomplishments and not get wrapped up in what the pros of our sport are doing.  As CrossFit continues to grow, we will see more and more of a separation of the professionals and the everyday people just looking to be fit and healthy.  So next time you struggle through a workout, or trip up on a double-under, remember that your goal should be to get just a little bit better each day.  

Ellen got he first pull-up recently.  So now she’s naturally training to beat Chris Spealler’s record of 106 consecutive pull-ups.  

Tuesday’s Skill


5 – 5 – 5 – 5

Workout of the Day (WOD)

Tabata (count the low score):

Pull-ups (Chest to bar for advanced)

Wall ball shots (20#/14# for women)

Hand release push-ups

A Fun Way To Eat Zucchini

I’m always looking for fun and easy ways to prepare veggies.  Often times, preparing veggies can get so monotonous.   It’s nice to find nice recipes that add a twist and make greens yummier and still keep it healthy to aid in our active lifestyles.  So here’s an excellent recipe from Nom Nom Paleo on broiling zucchini

Broiling zucchini is my favorite (and easiest) way to prepare this humble vegetable. If you aren’t applying high heat to it (e.g. grilling or broiling), you normally end up with a soggy mess unless you salt the zucchini ahead of time. I don’t normally have the time or forethought to do that, so I just broil it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. You can simply plate up the roasted slices and drizzle on some acid (vinegar or lemon juice) or you can use them in place of noodles.

This dish is really tasty and a breeze to make — provided you have a mandoline or food processor. Otherwise, you better have some mad knife skillz or this dish won’t be worth the effort.

Here’s what I gathered to make one tray (feeds 2 people):

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • Avocado oil, palm oil, coconut oil, or your favorite fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Your favorite herbs, chopped (basil, Italian parsley, etc.)

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to broil and made sure the top rack is about 6 inches from the heating element. I thinly sliced the zucchini (1/4 “ thick) using a mandoline slicer.


No mandoline? Benriner makes a cheap one that my chef sister swears by. It’s important to have uniformly thick slices because otherwise it won’t brown evenly.

I lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then, I drizzled a generous amount of avocado oil, salt, and pepper on the foil.


I spread the zucchini slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and flipped them over to make sure both sides were greased and seasoned.


I also sprinkled some more salt and pepper on top.

I placed the tray in the oven and broiled for about 8-10 minutes, flipping the slices and rotating the tray halfway through.


Watch the slices carefully because they can go from lightly browned to charcoal in about a minute.

Depending on how I’m serving the zucchini, I’ll either drizzle the finished slices with my favorite vinegar or lemon juice and top with chopped herbs for a roasted vegetable platter…


…or I top it with meatballs and my favorite sauce if I’m making “spaghetti” and meatballs.


Fast, tasty, and easy clean-up. I’m all over that!

Monday’s Intermediate Skill

Power clean + front squats

5 – 5 – 3 – 2 – 1

(5 power cleans then after the 5th power clean, keep the weight on the shoulders and perform 5 front squats)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 minute AMRAP:

5 bear complexes (95# for men/63# for women)

30 double-unders

Beginner’s Skill

1 minute of max box jumps 

1 minute of max hand release push-ups

1 minute of max single-unders

30 seconds rest between movements

Repeat twice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 min AMRAP:

10 wall ball shots

100 meter run

Post time to comments

Thanks, Friends

A big thank you to our members that brought their friends to the gym this past week and to all the brave pals that took the CrossFit plunge.  Hopefully everyone’s soreness is getting better.  

Leaf enjoys a little lift from his friend, Sal.

Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife…

…But bring your friends!  Bring Your Friend Day at CrossFit Merge was a hit!  A huge thank you to every one of our members that brought in a friend yesterday to share the CrossFit experience.  Be sure to thank them for supporting you in your CrossFit endeavor and also check on them to make sure they can still walk today.

Thursday’s Team Workout of the Day (WOD):

30 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 up downs

7 front squats

9 sit-ups

This is a team workout.  One person completes the above reps while the other person rests.  Then switch.  

Both partners completing the above rep scheme equals 1 round.  After 5 rounds, both team members run 100 meters.

Let’s get the body warmed-up, cause this is about to go down for real.

Jay and his buddy Joe working that front squat.

Shirley, Linda, and Icee fighting to finish the sit-ups.

And don’t forget, we also have the final CrossFit Open WOD, 12.5, going down today at the 6:30pm class.  This class will be the Thruster and Pull-up ladder workout, and then at 7:30pm you can bring your mates to WOD it up.  

Here are some pull-up tips from Chris Spealler.  Pay attention, kids.  Spealler knows pull-ups.  He once cranked out 106 straight pull-ups.

It’s Bittersweet…

It’s a bittersweet time.  For the last month we have been enjoying the worldwide competition of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open.  Every Friday at CrossFit Merge, we’ve all gathered and pondered on the best techniques to tackle each WOD.  We’ve all shared in the burpees, push presses, box jumps, snatches, wall balls and oh so many more.  We’ve all grown closer together because of it, we’ve all become better athletes because of it.  As we approach the end of this awesome, competitive time, we all get to share in one more killer workout.  Come join us this Friday at 6:30 pm for the last and final  WOD of the 2012 CrossFit Games Open.  And 12.5 is:

MEN – includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
100 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
100 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes following the rep scheme below:
65 pound Thruster, 3 reps
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 6 reps
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 9 reps
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 12 reps
12 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 18 reps
18 Chest to bar Pull-ups
65 pound Thruster, 21 reps
21 Chest to bar Pull-ups…
This is a timed workout. If you complete the round of 21, go on to 24. If you complete 24, go on to 27, etc.

So how do you feel about this last WOD? Which one has been your favorite? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section 🙂 

Wednesday’s Intermediate Skill:

Push Press

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

After each set of presses, 3 pull-ups on the rings, working the progression of chin to rings, chest to rings, then stomach to rings.

Workout of the Day (WOD): 
For time:
10 muscle-ups*
100 push presses (75# for men/53# for women)
1000 meter row
*Sub 30 pull-ups and 30 dips for 10 muscle-ups

Beginner’s Skill

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
Workout of the Day (WOD)
12 minute AMRAP of:
12 box jumps
9 kettlebell swings
6 push-ups

Power Hour
Perform max reps of front squats at the following weights:
Rest as needed between the sets.  Score total reps at each weight.  Take the weight from a rack.

Tabata deadlifts (225#/155#).  Score the lowest number in each interval.

Post times to comments

Bring Your Friend Days Are Here…Almost

Don’t forget, our very popular ‘Bring a Friend’ days are coming back in a big way this week.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, CrossFit Merge will be open for you to share CrossFit with your friends.  Share the CrossFit love, impress your friends with your fitness badassery, and why not make your pals super sore for a couple days.  

Maybe you can even show your friends how to rock some headstands.

“Back away, Ellen.  I totally got this headstand.”  Said Kara.

Ellen’s got some moves of her own.

Icee getting a great jump and pull on her burpee pull-up.

How are those wall climbs working out?

Tuesday’s Skill

Headstand and handstand practice

All Levels & Beginner WOD:

20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

5 burpee pull-ups

10 air squats

20 double-unders

Intermediate WOD:

For time:

Run 800 meters

30 wall climbs

Run 800 meters

Post rounds and times to comments

Athlete Spotlight – Adam Abramyan

Let me introduce to you Adam.

Adam is among the strongest athletes here at CrossFit Merge.  In the short time that he has been with us, he has accomplished some pretty incredible goals.  From conquering double-unders to a 425# deadlift! Epitome of rad? I think so!  It’s obvious that he is passionate about this sport and that he wants to grow and continue to improve.   Adam is one of the most determined, most consistent athletes around.  Every time he’s at the box, he not only pushes himself but he is extremely encouraging of all the athletes around him.  He is an awesome part of our CrossFit family and we are so excited to continue to watch him improve and crush any goal that he sets to achieve, because we know he will!

So without further ado…Adam!

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I have been doing crossfit for almost three months.

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

I drive to Glendale a lot so I looked for a crossfit gym in Glendale and found Crossfit Merge.  I came into the gym, met Bryce and I liked what the gym had to offer, and here I am.

What was your first CrossFit Merge WOD experience like?

It was probably the worst feeling EVER.  I came in thinking that I was in pretty good shape being in the military and all, then after the first workout, not even the real workout, the free introduction workout, I was dying.  So the first thing I said when I was done was, “I SUCK!!!”

What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?

That’s a tough one.  It would probably be that despite my often intense approach to crossfit, I am a really lazy person.  I don’t really like to work hard or do anything at all.  So please, now that you know this, feel free to not ask me to do anything.  Thank you.

What is your greatest CrossFit Merge accomplishment thus far?

That’s easy, the 425LB Deadlift I did.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

My favorite WOD is any WOD that includes running.

Least favorite WOD and why?

I DESPISE wall ball shots.  So any WOD that includes wall ball shots, I don’t dig it.

What advice would you give a new member?

Anyone who is just starting out in crossfit, I would tell them to make sure they stay consistant.  Make sure you show up every week on a regular basis and keep working hard, before you know it you will be a MACHINE.  Also I would tell them to not be afraid to push themselves.  If a workout is RX, give it a shot, you don’t have to always scale down a workout, that’s how you build confidence and get better, in my opinion.

Out of all the hours in the day (both sleeping and awake) how much time do you spend working out? Thinking about CrossFit? Dreaming it? Watching vids? etc.

I spend an hour at the box and I usually spend another hour on my own working on abs and running.  I am thinking about crossfit when I come accross people who run 15 minutes on a treadmil and think they are in shape, I just spend as much time as needed to let them know that they are not in shape.  I don’t really dream about crossfit, that would be kind of creepy.

If you had one super power, what would it be and why?

That’s easy, invisible.  If I was invisible then no one would see me walk into a bank and take a lot of money from the safe…you know, cuz I’m lazy and don’t like to work…and banks deserve it, they SUCK!, they steal your money, that’s why I keep all my money elsewhere…sorry just went off on a tangent.

What is your all time favorite TV show and why?

Walker, Texas Ranger.  I love Chuck Norris because Jesus may have walked on water, but Chuck Norris swims through people.

If it was the end of the world And you have the choice to live with a gorilla who knows sign language or a dog who sings lullabies, which do you choose and why?

I would probably go with door number 3.  Scarlett Johansson.

Why does glue not stick to the bottle?

Huh?  What kind of question is that?  Is this some kind of a weird psychological test?

Where do you see yourself in 1 year?

I hope to be healthy and injury free, so that I can continue working hard.

Adam, we are so glad to have you as part of our box.  Keep up the amazing work.  You are an inspiration to us all!  And for the rest of you, make sure you talk to Adam about his incredible strength.  Maybe he’ll share some of his secrets with you 😉

Monday’s Intermediate Skill

3 x 5 back squat 
L-sit, accumulate 20 seconds after each set of squats
Workout of the Day (WOD):
3 rounds for time of:
15 hang squat clean to thruster (40# dumbbells for men/25# dumbbells for women)
15 burpees
400 meter run
Beginner’s Skill
5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5
Max L-sit attempt between each set of thrusters
Workout of the Day(WOD):
3 rounds for time of:
400 meter run
15 goblet squats
15 burpees

Post times to comments

Some Weekend Fun

Here’s some photo’s from the weekend’s madness/funness (yeah, you can make-up your own words when doing blog posts, totally legit).

Some overhead squats from our 10am crew.

Jeff figures out the 1 arm overhead squat as Krish gets his double-unders going.

Anybody want to do some swings?

Anybody want to do some push presses?

Back extensions anyone?