Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why I Need The Whole Life Challenge More Than I Think…

Because I haven’t set a PR on anything in a while.

Because I am asking myself “what’s a PR?”

Because Mocha Frappuccino’s have made their way back into my daily routine.

Because I can “pinch an inch” (or much more) on my waistline.

Because I’ve been lazy.

Because I’ve been watching someone else give it 110%, and I’ve seen their results.

Because it’s almost time for skinny jeans again.

Because I want those 5 darn dead hang pull ups.

Because the kids are back in school.

Because summer flew by along with my dreams for a summer body.

Because it’s football season.

Because those summer BBQs & beers have caught up with me.

Because I can afford $45.

Because I am not afraid of a little competition.

Because I’ve come this far.

Because I know I can be a better version of myself.

Because CrossFitters thrive with encouragement, goal-setting, and structure.

Post by – Candia, CrossFit Ocean Isle Beach

All Classes:


Double-under practice
Then 1 attempt at a max unbroken set

Workout of the Day (WOD):

5 rounds for time of:

60 double-unders (180 singles)
15 v-ups with a bumper plate held in the hands (25# for men/15# for women)
10 kettlebell swings (70# for men/53# for women)
Rest 1 minute


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Be Imperfect

We know who you are. You are someone who takes on HUGE things. Scary things scare you, and you do them anyway.

We know that you’re nervous because what the Whole Life Challenge represents is important to you. Why would you be nervous about something you didn’t care about?

We are also here to assure you that there is no way that the challenge has to be done, what makes the difference is that you take it on.

You may be worried that you won’t be perfect, that it’s gonna suck, that you can’t do it. You may be telling yourself that you don’t need it, that everything’s fine the way that it is, that it won’t make a difference.

Here’s the bad news – all those things are true right now. You won’t be perfect. It’s gonna suck sometimes, you won’t be able to do it all. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing!

It’s also true that things are good enough, that things are fine the way they are, and if you don’t want it to, it definitely won’t make a difference. Ask yourself, though – is “good enough” why you’re here? Are you up to a life of “fine?” How could taking something like this on make a difference, not just for you but for the people around you?

There’s nothing to “prove” in the Whole Life Challenge. Please, DON’T be perfect! Let the chips fall where they may and see where in your life you’re not consistently doing what it takes to have what you want! We KNOW that if you really had to, you could be perfect. And you probably wouldn’t learn a thing.

The Whole Life Challenge. Be imperfect.

Take it on!!!

Michael Stenwyck, CrossFit LA

All Day Power Hour

Front Squat

5×5 (5 sets of 5 reps at around 80 to 85% of a 1 rep max)

Between front squat sets, perform max sets of supine ring rows.  Try to get the body as horizontal as possible by using a box if necessary.


In 6 minutes:

Row 500 meters
25 burpees
Max reps of back squats (bodyweight for men & 2/3 bodyweight for women)

Laura displays excellent headstand technique!

headstands for everybody!

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There Comes a Time…

There comes a time when you stop settling for good enough and know that nothing less than great will do. You know it’s going to take something, something that you may not even know if you have yet.

There comes a time when you understand that there is another level, and that that’s where you want to live. You may find that what once pushed you has become routine, and the fire for something more starts to burn again.

There comes a time when you find that reasons “not to” have become unsatisfying and unrewarding. You may have repeated some excuses so often they actually appear to be true.

And there comes a time when one choice comes along that can alter everything.

The Whole Life Challenge Worldwide. Know yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to become.

It’s never to late to be who you might have been.
– George Eliot

Post by – Michael Stanwyck, CrossFit LA


Beginner Skill:

Push Press


Intermediate Skill:

Push Jerk


Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 minute AMRAP of:

5 pull-ups (chest to bar – intermediate or 3 muscle-ups – advanced)
10 lunge steps with a barbell in the front rack (75# for men/53# for women)
10 push presses (75# for men/53# for women)

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Athlete Spotlight – Shirley and Emman

There aren’t enough adjectives that could possibly describe the coolness these 2 athletes, Shirley and Emman, embody.  They are part of Merge’s Filipino Mafia and they are nothing but incredibly awesome!!!  I had the privilege of hanging out with them at the Reebok 2012 CrossFit Games where I not only had a blast, but was absolutely blown away at their love and dedication to each other and to CrossFit.  In the short time that they’ve been with us, they’ve become a HUGE part of our box!  In fact, I don’t think we could imagine Merge without the Filipino Mafia anymore 😉

I know you guys don’t care to read much about what I have to say…so here’s the real reason why you’re reading this post…Shirley and Emman!!!

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Shirley: I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 4 months, but not as often as I like. I will be upgrading my membership soon! I miss the box pretty often.

Emman: I’ve been doing CrossFit for little over 3 months now.

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

Shirley: It was Merge’s Bring-A-Friend Day in March and Icee and Miguel dragged me there. I was really questioning our friendship at that point. I mean, what kind of friends would do such a thing? But, 4 months later, we’re all still friends and maybe even closer now because of CrossFit (and Paleo) and now I’m really thankful for that day they dragged me in. Our Paleo relationship started before CrossFit which I think Paleo indirectly led us all to CrossFit.

Emman: I heard about Merge through Shirley. Icee and Miguel had brought her along on a Bring-A-Friend Day. Shirley was so nervous the night before. She then came home after her workout completely exhausted, but she would not stop talking about how fun it was. She couldn’t believe the things she did, nor could she believe that she enjoyed doing them. I was completely shocked and a little bit jealous. I’ve always enjoyed being physical and I also wanted a sip of the kool aid.

How much of your day (sleeping/awake) do you spend thinking/talking/dreaming about CrossFit?

Shirley: A LOT! Well, it doesn’t help that I work with Icee and Miguel and it seems all CrossFitters do is talk about CrossFit. So 40+ hours per week, every week is A LOT. And that doesn’t count the times we all go to class together or the times we hang out outside of work. Then I go home and I have Emman to talk to about CrossFit. And then if no one else is around to talk to, there’s Google and Youtube…I google/youtube anything CrossFit – CrossFit athletes, CrossFit clothes, CrossFit shoes, CrossFit Merge’s Blog…etc. Wait, is this too much? I don’t think I’ve actually dreamt anything CrossFit yet, though. Wait, does Jason Khalipa count? OMG! I hope he doesn’t read this ever 😉

Emman: I think I could best answer this question by quoting Babyface, although I’m not sure how many Mergers would know who he is…
“I only think of you [CrossFit]……..
on two occasions…..
That’s day and night.

Shirley, what was the first thing Emman ever said to you?

Shirley: Well, I don’t think he said anything to me the first time we met, even if he did, he wouldn’t remember. It was at some house party and we danced – not sure how that was all set up. Maybe we introduced ourselves and said “bye” and “thanks”? But I can tell you the first thing he said to me when he first called me. And what a line…totally worked! Hook, line, and sinker! Totally got me…till this day…many, many years later. Mind you, it was our first time communicating a few months after dancing with each other at that house party and it was only because his friend gave him my number to set us up for homecoming. So I answer the phone and the first thing he said was, “Why didn’t you call me back???” And of course, I didn’t have his number so all I could say was “Cause I don’t have your number.” So that’s how he made sure I got his number…to eventually call him back.  😀 This was the OG, “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe?” Haha! Anyway, it totally worked…here we are, after several homecoming dances together and A LOT of years later.

Emman, what is the first memory you have of Shirley?

Shirley: Can I guess? I’m sure it was that night we danced – probably has to do with a short brown mini skirt.

Emman: I remember asking her to dance at her best friend’s house party. I showed up with a few friends, and I don’t know how but I mustered up enough courage to ask her to dance. Now, this may get me into some trouble but, the asking part is now a blur along with the actual dancing and any conversing that may have occurred. The only thing that I can still clearly remember was her SHORT brown skirt and boots…..

How has doing CrossFit impacted your life as a couple? Do you talk about WODs over dinner? Do you help/encourage/etc each other?

Shirley: CrossFit has changed our life as a couple A LOT. Emman was always very active – working out, martial arts, surfing, and running. My kind of working out was walking around shopping and lifting (heavy) shopping bags. Before CrossFit, for me to run around the block or get on the elliptical or treadmill, I had to know there was an ice cream treat at the end of it. But now, we WOD together, shop for workout clothes together, and we talk about CrossFit all the time. It has also helped to keep our nutrition in check. So, I don’t eat ice cream at the end of every WOD. We talk about it over dinner and even all the way home after class. We usually say how much fun we had in the class we just took and then talk about things we can do to improve the moves we just did. But mostly, I’m talking about how I can’t believe what I just did in the WOD or with the skill. We definitely encourage each other to keep going and push ourselves to be better. But that’s what you do when you’re with the right person, right? Always push yourself to be a better person. Also as a couple, I think it’s given us something in common…finally! We’re such opposites!

Emman: Crossfit has become a huge part of our lives. Not a day goes by that we don’t talk about it. We’re constantly recalling previous workouts and talking about what we would like to achieve. We talk about it over dinner, email, text messages, facebook, on long drives, at the beginning of the day, and at the end of the day. Shirley and I have always had something to talk about or laugh about, but now, our conversations and laughs throughout the day are peppered with CrossFit references. Now if we’re amongst, friends and family we also always manage to end up talking about it to them. It doesn’t really matter if they bring it up or not, we just start talking about it. This is often done with Shirley leaning over to the nearest person and asking questions like: “hey, wanna see my dead lifts?” or “hey wanna see a video of Camille Le-Blanc Bazzinet?” I usually jump in at this point and strongly encourage the Camille video.

CrossFit has also inspired us to keep our health and nutrition a major priority. So, if we’re not talking about Crossfit, we’re talking about paleo. I often hear people say that CrossFit is like a cult, and once people join, it’s all they talk about. Shirley and I are a perfect example of how true this is. However, she’s got it easy, because she works with 3 other CrosFitters that she could talk to. I spend about 75% of my days in a classroom full of teenagers that don’t hear anything I say, and the adults I work with have no idea what it’s like. So I have to wait a whole day before I could talk to someone who knows exactly what I’m talking about. As a couple, we always had fun together no matter what we did, but CrossFit is the first sport we’ve come across that we are both passionate about.

What are your favorite WODs?

Shirley: I love WODs that involve the barbell! I love deadlifts, front squats, and hang/power cleans. I prefer AMRAPs over rounds for time. But definitely like WODs that mix lifting and cardio.

Emman: I don’t think I have a favorite WOD yet. I’ve enjoyed every single one so far. Although I do have a few favorite skills or exercises such as: power cleans, kettlebell swings, burpees, plyometric pushups, and pull ups.

What are your greatest Crossfit accomplishments individually and as a couple?

Shirley: I feel like everything I’ve done in CrossFit has been great accomplishments for me. I mean, considering shopping was my kind of workout before CrossFit, everything I’ve done so far has been a PR! (Yay for me!) (Insert us – Bryce, Cory, MN – doing a little happy dance here!) And now, all I want to do is live CrossFit. Oh! Also doing a WOD on 1 hour of sleep on my birthday at CrossFit Invictus – we went to meet Camille Leblanc-Bazinet who pretty much ended up coaching me during the WOD! So awesome! Best birthday present ever!!! Thanks to Icee!!!! She set the whole thing up for me.

I think our greatest accomplishment in CrossFit as a couple was participating in the Merge’s last Summer Throwdown (thanks to Icee, again, for signing us up without us knowing). We didn’t get to finish, but we got to participate a bit and we had a blast!!! We had to leave early due to prior engagements, but we were so sad to leave and all the way home talked about how much fun we had, then went to our friend’s party and talked to everyone about how much fun we had. Oh! We also recently did a WOD with about 2 hours of sleep after driving about 6 hours in the middle of the night to get to San Jose. We went to NorCal CrossFit and did a bunch of partner/team warm-ups and a crazy 4 round WOD on 2 hours of sleep…and met Jason Khalipa!!! So happy!!! Dreams really do come true!

Emman: Recently we just had a timed mile run as a skill, and I completed it in 5:40 which is the fastest that I have ever ran a mile…ever. I think Shirley also had the same experience with her timed run. We were both shocked at how much we’ve actually improved.

What have you told your friends about Crossfit Merge?

Shirley: What I usually tell my friends about CrossFit Merge is that it’s nothing like any typical gym they know of and that the kind of workouts we go through are the kind that will leave them sore for a week – even if it was only a 10 minute workout. I always tell them at the next Bring-A-Friend day I’m dragging them in so they can experience it for themselves. I think I talk about CrossFit like a madwoman and in the end, they just think I’m crazy and I joined a cult usually because my CrossFit talk is accompanied by Paleo talk. But hey, at least it’s a good cult, right?

Emman: The one thing we always talk about in addition to the insane workouts, is the friendly atmosphere.

What words of advice would you give to newbie crossfitting couples?

Shirley: I would tell them to always encourage each other and to push each other to come to class when one is feeling tired or trying to come up with excuses. Don’t compete with each other because their strengths and weaknesses will definitely be different. And don’t hold each other back. If one person is advancing faster than the other, don’t ask that person to wait, instead push them to keep going and move on up.

Emman: Eat right, show up, don’t give up, and always encourage each other.

If someone wrote a biography about your life, what should the title be?

Shirley: “The Never Ending Story” – because I hope that wherever that book ends, the adventures in my life don’t. The last page of the book will read, “To be continued…”

Emman:Two possible titles come to mind.

The Endless Summer… Yes, the title could play metaphorically about my search for the perfect wave, my journeys in Life and finding peace, or it could speak of my passion for surfing, but another reason would be because I live in the San Fernando Valley and it is ALWAYS FREAKING HOT!

Another title would be: Doing What You Love. The book would talk about how my life has always been in the pursuit of play, whether it be in my practice as an artist and art teacher, or in my passions for surfing, martial arts, running, hiking, and now CrossFit.

What is your favorite music to workout to?

Shirley: I’m with Icee on this one – hip hop/rap, but would definitely love to work out to anything by Santigold. To be honest, I kind of zone out and sometimes I don’t even hear the music after a while. All I hear is Bryce, Cory, or Marianoel telling me to fix something in my form or technique – they’re the only ones that somehow manage to break through the zone I’m in. I do also hear them when they say, “Good, Shirley!” And that’s nice to hear! Also, since they’re the ones that call time at the end of an AMRAP and I’m always definitely waiting for that call!

Emman: Again, I don’t have a favorite type, but I do have a playlist that I listen to before merge which helps pump me up. It consists of artists such as: Santigold, James Brown, Rage Against the Machine, A Tribe Called Quest, Murs, Mos Def, Nas, and Sublime.

Is there something about yourselves you’d want to share with us?

Shirley: It depends, what do you want to know? 🙂  And if I tell you, then I’d have to kill you. 😛
Kidding! I’m a lover and not a fighter. So maybe here, what I can tell you about myself is that I pretty much live up to the definition of a Gemini – something like multiple personalities…just not the crazy kind. Haha! I was born and raised in Cali, but I’m an island girl at heart. If only I could wear slippas all day everyday. By profession I work with numbers and stats. However, outside of work, i’m more artsy and crafty (but I can’t draw for the life of me). I hate reality TV, but I can’t stop watching it sometimes. I hate zombies, but LOVE watching zombie movies/shows (Walking Dead! YEAH!). I’ll always order a burger/steak/beef ribs over a salad…oh! And fried chicken wings (HOOTERS). I’m fascinated with sharks and look forward to Shark Week on Discovery Channel every year. I hate working out, but I LOVE CrossFit!!!

Emman: I can’t really think of anything else interesting about myself that I could share. So I’m just going to throw out some random facts:
favorite color – blue
favorite beverage – COFFEE!
favorite beer-New Castle (too bad it isn’t paleo)
Favorite movie – Blade Runner
Favorite Author – Alan Watts

If aliens landed in front of you and offered you any position on their planet, what would you chose and why?

Shirley: I would choose to be their leader so I can make sure they follow my orders when I tell them to send me back home.

Emman: I would love to be in charge of and a pilot in THEIR space exploration program.

Where do you guys see yourselves in one year?

Shirley: A year from now, we will have attended the 2013 CrossFit Games and hopefully will have pinned a few more countries on the world map hanging in our living room, preferably somewhere in Asia or the South Pacific. Oh, and I will hopefully have my own athlete spotlight…not that I’m asking for one, just hoping I’d be deserving of one.

Emman:I see us continuing to enjoy life and doing what we love. I also hope to see Shirley taking my old longboard and joining me in the line up at one of my favorite spots.

Shirley: to add on to Emman’s last answer, that is a goal I set for myself that I think CrossFit can help me with. I have tried surfing a few times and haven’t really had any luck here in California. It’s always easier in Hawaii for some reason. 🙂 But one of my goals which I’m I’m hoping CrossFit will help me with is to get me strong enough to handle the waves here in SoCal by next summer. 🙂

Shirley and Emman, we can’t tell you enough how happy we are to have you be part of our Merge family.  Your love and enthusiasm are absolutely contagious!  We are proud of all that you’re accomplishing and look forward to your continuing athletic growth.  And the rest of you, if you don’t know Shirley and Emman….you MUST MEET THEM ASAP!  Seriously, make a point of it.  They are simply rockin’!


Intermediate Skill:

Pistol practice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for total reps:

2 minute AMRAP of:

-5 squat clean to thrusters (135# for men/93# for women)
-25 double-unders

1 minute rest

1 minute AMRAP of:


1 minute rest after the burpees then start round 2.

Score is total reps

All Levels/Beginner


Headstand practice
Review the dumbbell front squat

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for total reps of:

2 minute AMRAP of:

-5 dumbbell front squats
-50 single-unders or 25 double-unders

1 minute rest

1 minute AMRAP of:


1 minute rest between rounds

Score total reps

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Whole Life Challenge

Registration for the Whole Life Challenge is in full swing.  I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about in the gym and it’s very exciting!  There seem to be a lot of questions being tossed around, so I figured I’d share with you guys this email from CrossFit Naples, addressing some of the questions going around.  Please ask any of your coaches if you have any questions!

Whole Life Challenge WorldwideThe Whole Life Challenge began with the notion that regular training for your lifestyle in the world is as valuable as regular training for your body in the gym. It grew into a game in which your world is the field, your choices are the movements, and your life is the prize.The Whole Life Challenge is not something you win in the way you are used to winning something. The Whole Life Challenge is not a competition like any you’ve ever taken part in. This is not the Olympics. The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to be honest and create from there. You won’t beat the other players or beat the competition. Make no mistake, however, this is a game and you can win.The Whole Life Challenge is a brand new way of looking at your life. Your whole life. How does it work? Where are your opportunities? What does a life lived inside of a commitment to real, long term, sustainable, practical health, fitness, and overall well-being look like? It certainly isn’t about beating your brains out in the gym day after day. It can’t be about a restrictive, ascetic dietary regimen. And it definitely isn’t living like your health is a problem to solve and your life is something to fix.The Whole Life Challenge is an extraordinary tool. For building. It doesn’t fix anything — it only builds new things. What do you want your life to look like? What excites you, enlivens you? This challenge will have you living a life where you can have it all. You want vibrant health and you want to enjoy all of the exciting things the world offers — work that rewards and play that rewards. When this is over, your work will be integrated with your play. They will cause and support each other, the will no longer sabotage each other.Play this game like you want to know, not like you already know. Be great — Own your perfect days and your breakdown days. Be clear about what works and what doesn’t work. See where you can make a difference that lasts longer than the 8 weeks of the challenge. Do that, and you will transform your life more than you imagine. You can have it all. This is where it starts.Welcome to the Whole Life Challenge? What will you build with it?Important dates for you:

  • August 15-Sept 15: Registration for the WLC
  • September 15: The WLC Prelims (WOD & Measurements)
  • November 15: The WLC Finals

Sign up here:

Cost: $45

Friends & Family Welcome
No CrossFit Experience Needed.

This will change your life!

Who’s excited about the new pull-up bars?! Time to up our game, guys! 😉

Gym Rules

With all the new members lately, I decided to repost our Gym Rules.  Please read and heed.  Thanks, gang.

1.  Arrive early and stay late. Cheer, clap, and encourage others. Anything less is to cheat yourself of the experience, and to rob others of the gift of your presence and support as part of the community. Additionally, the penalty for showing up late is 5 burpees per minute.

2.  See someone new in the class, introduce yourself.  No bourgeois attitudes here.  Say hello and then ask them what their deadlift is.

3.  Check your ego at the door.  Because somewhere an eight year old is warming up with your PR.

That’s 165 pounds!

4.  EMPTY barbells and kettlebells were not designed to be dropped.  We don’t want our toys, our rubber flooring, you, or someone else broken unnecessarily.

5.  Chalk is useful, even necessary.  It is also messy.  Use as much as you need, but keep the excess inside the chalk bucket because it’s very time consuming to clean up.  

6.  Clean up and put away your toys.  Please clean up your sweat, blood, or any other DNA you left on the floor or on the equipment.  Put all the equipment you used back where it belongs.  Also, don’t forget to take your water bottles too.

7.  Don’t cheat!  Finish first, or finish last, no one really cares, but everyone will care if you cheat.  Be honest with everyone else, and be honest with yourself.  You know what full range of motion is, so there’s no excuse for shoddy reps.

And don’t forget to work hard and have fun.

Thursday’s Workout:

For max reps at each movement

Tabata Push Press/Jerk (115# for men/75# for women)

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Burpees

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Toes to Bar

Rest 1 minute

Tabata Row for Calories

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LC showing some grit on her push press.

Congratulations, Eric & Karen!

Here at CrossFit Merge, we pride ourselves for having an awesome community.  We all sweat together, laugh together, cry together and celebrate life’s greatest moments together!  Today we have the opportunity to rejoice with Eric, one of our very own Mergers, as he made one of the coolest decisions of his life.  He got married last weekend!  So Eric & Karen, from all of us here at Merge, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀


Intermediate Skill:

Muscle-up kipping and transition practice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

4 rounds for time of:

Run the short block
21 sumo deadlift high pulls (70# for men/53# for women)

Power Hours

Back Squat

20 minutes to establish a 1 rep max

Rest 5 minutes, then max reps at 80% of 1 rep max

Finish with 8, 40 yard banded sprints

Beginner Skill:

Banded pull-up practice:  3 max sets 

Workout of the Day (WOD):

4 rounds for time of:

Run the short block
21 sumo deadlift high pulls (70# for men/53# for women)

Welcome to the Muscle-Up club, Luke!

John, welcome to the Muscle-Up club!

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I’m Here, Now What?

So you get to the gym ten minutes early.  You’re in your gym clothes, ready to go, waiting for the next class to start, but what do you do while you wait?  You may just sit and patiently wait, but here are five things you can do before class that will pay you dividends down the road.

1.  Wall Squats – You’ll never have a perfect squat, but wouldn’t it be great if you did?  If you arrive early, put your things away, then grab a piece of wall off to the side and practice that good wall squat.  These are not meant to be rushed.  Inch your way closer to the wall, stay on the heels, keep that chest upright, and drive the knees out.  A great wall squat equals great movement in many different movements in CrossFit.  

2.  Ring Rows – I know, the pull-up is a very much desired, yet equally difficult bodyweight movement to do.  It requires considerable strength to do one, and it won’t come without consistent practice.  One way to get stronger with the pull-up is to practice ring rows.  Squeeze the shoulder blades together, maintain a rigid midline, and perform a few sets of max reps of ring rows.

3.  Jump Rope – Let’s be honest, double-unders are cool.  That distinct sound of a jump rope whistling through the air during a double-under turns heads and looks damn impressive.  How do you do double-unders?  You have to practice them.  So practice them for five minutes before class and see what happens with your doubles.

4.  L-sit – Forget crunches and even sit-ups.  Stabilize the midline with some l-sit practice.  Grab the parallettes then practice the l-sit progressions.  Hold an l-sit for 60 seconds, and I bet your back squats is pretty awesome too.

5.  Roll Out – I don’t mean get up and leave.  Grab a foam roller or a lacrosse ball, and roll out your tight muscles.  You should be sore, become less sore and less tight before class with some self myofascial release.  Hips, hamstrings, shoulders, calves…spend a few minutes massaging out the knots and scar tissue.

Got some other activities you like to do before class that make you more badass?  Share them in the comments.

Tuesday’s Skill:



Workout of the Day:

10 minute AMRAP of:

7 deadlifts (225/155)

10 box jumps (24″/20″)

13 wall ball shots (20/14)

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Paleo?! How Do I Survive in the REAL World?

So we’ve all been there.  Whether you’ve tried going Paleo for 30 days or are contemplating trying the Whole Life Challenge Worldwide, we’ve all asked, “how do I survive eating like THIS in the real world?”  Are we supposed to just stay home and never go out?! What will our friends/family think when I tell them there are all these foods I CAN’T have?  Will people look at me funny?  How will I not fail?!

Well, to give you some ideas on how to prep for the big kick off, here are a few tips from CrossFit Surf City USA on how to make Paleo easy…so easy, even a caveman can do it! 🙂

Hey guys,

As the “Whole Life Challenge Worldwide” approaches, we’re all getting excited and amped up for this incredible event. Everyone’s getting their fish oil ready, buying a foam roller and lacrosse balls for your mobility, and clearing out all the junk from your fridge and replacing it with “WLCW” approved food. Life is great, until you run into this problem…”How do I stay Paleo while I’m on the road?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  As a matter of fact, everyone has been in that situation. To keep you on track with your healthy lifestyle while having fun with friends, we have come up with some tips and a list of our favorite places that while not 100% “Paleo ” will get you fairly close.


  • Stick with “Paleo” ingredients: Meats, vegetables, nuts and fruit.
  • For the road trips, camping in the wilderness and similar activities, pack the paleokits and coconut water.  If those are not available, regular pre-packed beef jerky will do, but is not the most ideal.
  • If you’re at a restaurant, order any entree with meat being the center of the dish, and if possible (most likely) tell the kitchen to replace the usual side like mashed potatoes, rice or fries with steamed vegetables…and skip the complimentary bread…I know it’s very tempting
  • Alcohol is out of the question, especially beer.  If you’ve gotta have one, stick to clear liquor and don’t go over 1-2 drinks.  Skip the chasers and mixers too.
  • Steer clear of fast food restaurants, their foods (even the meat) could survive a nuclear attack!

Our list of favorite “Paleo” friendly diners: (modified for us LA county peeps)

  • Subway Salad
  • Chipotle
  • Any Korean BBQ joint
  • Waba Grill (Glendale Galleria)
  • Maui Hawaiian BBQ
  • Brazilian churrasqueria
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Stone Fire Grill

And if you happen to know of more…that’s what the comments section is for!

There you go guys…as long as you stick to the tips above, you should have no problem staying within 90% of Paleo. Remember, these do not replace a proper home cooked meal, so don’t take this for granted.  However, these will help you out when you’re out with friends or in a pinch and can’t cook for yourself.

Disclaimer: For the WLCW…you will have to know exactly what is in EVERYTHING you are eating….yes, you’ll have to ask all those questions at restaurants to figure out if the food is WLCW approved or not.  However; outside of those 8 weeks, the tips and restaurants above can help you stay around 90% Paleo compliant at all times.

Good luck and see you at “Whole Life Challenge Worldwide!”

Intermediate Skill

Part a: 800 meter run, rest 1 minute exactly, then 400 meter run. Record the total time including the rest.

Part b: squat clean 1-1-1-1-1-1 spend about 15 minutes finding a 1 rm.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

7 minute AMRAP of:

7 pushups (hand release)

1 squat clean (185# for men/115# for women) or ~85% of 1 rm from skill.

Beginner Skill
Part a: 800 meter run, rest 1 minute exactly, then 400 meter run. Record the total time including the rest.
Part b: Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3
Workout of the Day (WOD):
7 minute AMRAP of:
7 hand release push ups
7 front squats (50% of 3 rep max)

D1 PR’d his squat clean today!

A 275# squat clean is no joke! Way to go, Fred!

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No Ice?

CrossFit is sort of known for breaking the rules of conventional exercise and fitness.  We don’t use weight machines, we have barbells.  We’re not about isolating muscles groups, but instead we work movements.  All of our members, men and women, young and old, lift heavy weights.  Our workouts are short, hard, and intense, and not endless hours of ‘cardio’.  CrossFit is unconventional, and we let the results speak for themselves.

So what are your thoughts on NOT using ice to reduce swelling on an injury?  CrossFit Mobility guru Kelly Starrett had a recent post on this topic.

People, We’ve Got to Stop Icing.  We Were Wrong, so Wrong

What are your thoughts?  Does this flip your world, or is it a bit much?