Monthly Archives: January 2013

Tabata Thursday

Get ready for a fun day of Tabatas this Thursday 🙂 Tabata Something Else!

For beginners and those that can’t yet do pull-ups: kipping pull-up practice. 
For those that can do kipping pull – ups: kipping ring muscle up practice
Workout of the Day (WOD):
‘Tabata Something Else’ 
Tabata pull-ups 
Tabata push-ups
Tabata sit-ups
Tabata squats 
Score is total number of reps check out this video on tabata something else 🙂

Join The Whole Life Challenge

Hey Gang!

The Whole Life Challenge is back. What is it you ask?  It’s a health and fitness, workout, & nutrition, daily check-in, online accountability game. You’ll track your daily actions and see what kind of progress you can make in your body and performance over 8 weeks.

The challenge will be played from February 16 to April 13 and costs $45 to enter. For the entry fee you’ll get access to the website where you’ll log your Whole Life Challenge score each day (more on that later), get coaching, and interact with the community, not just the community here and the thousands of other people playing around the world, but any friends and family that you want to invite to play along!

And it’s not just about workouts and diet. It’s a fun, social, community game that will have you interacting with the people that matter most to you around building a consistently healthy lifestyle for everyone that goes beyond the 8 weeks of the game.

And like many of our challenges, there will be great prizes at the end! To sign up and learn more, follow this link:

Make sure to use that link so you end up in our WLC Affiliate Group on the Challenge site. Once you’re registered you can invite any of your friends and family you want to play with from your profile page.

We’re really excited and hope you are too! Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


Wednesday’s All Classes Workout

5 rounds for max reps of:

Back squats (225#/155# for women)*

Perform as many back squats as possible before racking the weight.  Then perform the same number of burpee box jumps (24″/20″ for women) in that round.

Rest as needed between rounds, but you must finish all five rounds including the last burpee box jumps within 25 minutes.

And in case you need a little motivation to pump you up about back squats, check out the 10 Squat Commandments

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 10.06.10 PM

Athlete Spotlight – Pat Boquiren

It is an honor and privilege to introduce you to our very own Pat Boquiren.   I think we can all agree Pat is one of the kindest people around.  She always has a smile on her face and a positive thing to say.  Pat is one of those people that makes you feel better about yourself when you are around her.  She’s warm, caring, supportive, generous, and humble as all get out.  When it comes to CrossFit, she is one of the most dedicated athletes I have ever encountered.  And you should see her Olympic lifts — she’s such a stud!!! I am so glad to call her one of our athletes and a dear friend.  Without further ado, here’s Pat 🙂


How long have you been doing CrossFit? 

I have been doing CrossFit for 2 years (7 months at CFHW…the rest of the time at Merge).  I actually heard about it from Delyn in 2010, but I wasn’t ready to give it a try…yet.

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge? 

My friend Cindy had gone to Merge and told me that it was closer to my home than CFHW. She even went to my first class with me. Kendra Dalton and a gal named Christina (not Kuo) were my first two classmates.

What was your first CrossFit WOD experience like?

I thought I was going to die!!! Aside from going on a few hikes and doing yoga, I had been  sedentary since high school. My “WODs” consisted of 1-hour AMSAPs (As Many Stores As Possible), hiking up and down broken escalators, and more than rx’d the farmer’s carry with shopping bags. LOL. I was really out of shape. My introduction to CrossFit involved rowing, push-ups, sit ups, kb swings, and running (bleh). 

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

I LOVE coffee!!! Hmmm…not a lot of people know that I am a perpetual student. I enjoy taking classes for personal development and one of my goals is to take all of the foreign languages offered at Glendale Community College. There are eight in all, and I’ve already completed the beginning and intermediate levels of French and Spanish.

What is your greatest CrossFit accomplishment thus far? 

There are so many things that have amazed me at Merge…it’s hard to choose. I guess I’ll say getting the “HAM” after doing Miguel’s (crazy) birthday WOD. I slipped off the box, dropped the plate on myself in the weighted lunge (klutz?), and got through it one rep at a time. I was sore for days!!!

What is your favorite WOD and why?

One without running!!! Hahaha. I’ve only done my first love, the Turkish Get-Up, as a skill. I was unsure about signing a contract until I saw the TGU. Everything I had done up to that point was fast and heavy. The TGU was more my style: slow, controlled, and could get heavy. As far as WODs are concerned, I don’t know the names. Any WOD that involves the use of a barbell gets me excited, especially when I see snatches (fav lift).

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Any WOD with running!!! I always feel like I’m stomping rather than running. Marianoel gave me some tips for running, so I know I’ll get over my aversion to running once it improves.

What advice would you give a new member?

Be Consistent and Prepared: Show up on a regular basis and keep a journal where you record the results of your skills and WODs. Check the WOD in the blog/FB page so that you can think about what you want to accomplish before you get there. Form & Technique: Getting a PR feels great, but it’s not a must have for me every time I go to the box. Executing proper form and technique trumps lifting a heavy weight. It’s important for you to know your body well and just how far you can push yourself to reach excellence but not risk getting hurt. Use cues to help you keep the bar in contact with your body like Icee’s “feel the steel” or my “body body body body body body SNATCH!” (said silently to myself). Community: CF Merge has a great community of athletes. I love seeing Mergers cheer their fellow athletes on as they get a PR or try to finish a WOD. I have to give props to my mafia. Icee, Rambert, Shirley, Emman, Delyn, Cindy, Marianoel, Miguel, Michael, and Tiff have really been instrumental in the transformation of who I am as a CrossFit athlete. We text, message, email, chat, talk, post links, lollygag, eat, and HAVE FUN!!!

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. 

Oh, I’d say a good portion throughout the day…when I’m not sleeping, teaching, or studying. I’m one of the Mergers who can’t go to bed until I know what the WOD is for the next day.  Running in the WOD? No problem. Let’s go cherry picking! – kidding on this one btw. I’ve had dreams about doing CrossFit and even woke up shrugging with my hands gripping a “bar”.  Gosh, an hour of CrossFit is not enough…soooo grateful that Kuya Bryce lets us stay after class when we don’t want to leave!

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

I was fascinated with the Wonder Twins when I was a child and their ability to change shape and form. Since I don’t have a twin, I can have a ring and say, “Wonder ring power activate. Form of _________. Shape of _________”. I can change into whatever I need to complete a WOD or get through a lesson.

If you were stranded on a deserted island what items would you bring with you apart from, food, clothes and water?

Let’s see…I would bring a transistor radio where the batteries never die (like on “Gilligan’s Island”), a jump rope (y’all know I need to work on my double unders), and my crochet kit (maybe I’ll get to finish my throw).

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

I was able to do toes to bar in a WOD for the first time at Emman’s birthday WOD (a crazier one than Miguel’s).

Where do you see yourself in 1 year?

I hope that I will have checked off several of the skills on the advanced level test.

If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?

I don’t know. This is a hard one. “Middle Sister: Rebel Red”


Pat, we are so grateful you are part of our CrossFit Merge family/Mafia. Your love and enthusiasm makes CrossFit one of the greatest joys we all get to experience. Keep up the good work!


All Classes 

Pose Running Drill 
For time: 
800 meter run
Then 3 rounds of:
10 box jumps (24/20)
10 deadlifts (205#/123#)
Then 800 meter run
Then 3 rounds of:
10 burpees
10 goblet squats (53/35)
Then finish with an 800 meter run

Friday Lifting


Friday All Classes

Skill: Deadlift


Workout of the Day

2 rounds for time of:

20 calories of rowing
30 wall ball shots (20#/14# for women)
20 burpee box jumps (24″/20″ for women)


Stay Motivated!

Often times we focus on our newer athletes, encouraging them to keep journals, just show up and they’ll see the changes.  As true and integral as that is to our success in CrossFit and life in general, it’s important to address what happens once you’ve been consistent and you’re seeing the results.  It’s easy to get comfortable, and when that happens, how do we  continue moving? How about those of us who have been at it for a couple of years now?  How do we stay motivated?  Here’s an excellent article from John Gilson, owner of Again Faster Equipment, on how to stay motivated.  To our more experienced athletes, enjoy!

There is a firm and immediate relationship between risk and reward: If you don’t take a risk, there will be no reward.

This lesson is easy in the abstract, and incredibly difficult when it’s your (whatever) on the line. As we accumulate rewards, in the form of jobs, cars, spouses, and real estate, we forget the dynamic that got us there, protecting, hedging, and refusing further risk. In doing so, it’s no longer rewards on the line. It’s progress.

At some point, you’ve got what you need, be it financial or fitness, and the instinct is to stop, build the fort, and wait it out. Fight this with every ounce of your being; your duty is no longer to yourself.

Once you’re reached subsistence, you stand on the brink of amazing possibility. Where once you were concerned only with personal achievement, you now possess the wherewithal to inspire, promote, and create greatness.

If you’re the best athlete in your gym, don’t stop. Push again, rock into the breech, and be an inspiration to those that would follow. Know that you’re merely a shadow of your future self, and that risking it all is the best path out of the present. Go when you’re not ready, go when it’s unlikely, go when you should fall. Those you would inspire are watching.The men and women who change the world are not blessed with exceptional insight. They merely choose to keep pushing, risking, and betting when it would be perfectly prudent to stop. They push a new denomination of poker chips into the ante, knowing that the ultimate win is not safety, but achievement.

If you’re financially secure, don’t stop. Create community, fund experiences, venture on. Money is not an end, but a resource, a means of doing more. Do not give to give; give to build, give to push forward, give to make something where there was nothing. Those you would elevate are waiting.

The relationship between risk and reward is not unidirectional. It is a loop, a mobius strip of achievement and reinvestment, going all in again and again. This system depends on courage, the nut to know that here is not the end, the wisdom to know that stopping is defeat.

Risk, and there will be reward.

Jon Gilson is the owner of Again Faster.


Thursday’s All Levels and Beginner Class

Skill: Thruster
2 – 2 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1
10 minute AMRAP of:
7 thrusters (95/63 of 65% of skill weight)
5 ring dips
Intermediate Class ONLY
2 power cleans + 2 split jerks 
5 sets, increasing the weight each set
10 minute AMRAP of:
7 power clean and push jerks (135/93)
7 ring dips

Thinking about the Whole Life Challenge?

It’s just around the corner guys!  The Whole Life Challenge is back and ready to make tons of positive changes in our lives.  Talk to any of the athletes that did it last fall and they are living testimonies of how much it shook their world.  So read up on it and see if you’d like to join us in February as we embark on yet another journey to become the best version of ourselves!

(Courtesy of


The Whole Life Challenge is an 8-week, no holds barred, personal game/challenge to see what sort of impact you can have on your health, fitness, and daily lifestyle habits. It’s played online with your friends, family, and anyone that will help you be accountable, and trains you to stay “awake”… to make daily choices that support your long-term health, life and vitality. 

Playing the game means taking a snapshot of where you are at the start then looking at your life each day and scoring yourself for specific nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle activities. The game gives you immediate feedback as to what sort of impact the actions you’ve chosen that day will have on your health and fitness. It’s definitely not a routine – it’s meant to flow with your life, operating in the background with you, at all times, wherever you go. The playing board, while literally online, is in reality, your life. At the end, take another snapshot – and get a very real idea of just the sort of impact you’ve made. 

The Whole Life Challenge – it will change, revolutionize and transform your body and your life. Wanna play?

Read up more here!

Wednesday’s Workout for all classes

Skill: Back squat (high or low bar)
3 attempts to find a 20 rep max back squat
Workout of the Day (WOD):
7 rounds, 1 minute of work, 1 minute of rest of:
20 russian kettlebell swings (70/53)
in the remainder of the minute, max box jumps (24″/20″)
1 minute rest after each round
Score total box jumps in the 7 rounds
Brodie participated in the Whole Life Challenge!!

Another fun night with Mergers!


We kicked off our monthly outings this year with a fun evening of ice skating at Pershing Square. We skated (forwards and backwards), laughed, fell, and made some fun memories. We have such a wonderful group of athletes here at Merge! If you’ve joined us before, please continue to do so. If you haven’t yet, mark your calendars for our next outing scheduled for Saturday February 23! We promise you a good time 😉 details to follow!!







All classes


Weighted pull-ups


Workout of the Day (WOD)

5 rounds of:

10 toes to bar
30 double-unders
Short block run


We’re working on power snatches today.  This variation on the snatch has one receiving the weight above parallel in the squat.  But don’t be mistaken, the power snatch is not about yanking the weight up with the arms, but rather rapidly extending the hips.  Better than having me explain is watching Natalie Burgener demonstrate.

Monday’s Intermediate Class

Skill: Hang Power Snatch

2 – 2 – 2 – 1 – 1 – 1

Intermediate Workout

4 rounds for time of:

21 wall ball shots (20#/14# for women)

15 burpees

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

Beginner and All Levels Class

Skill: Overhead Squats

2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 

Beginner and All Levels Workout:

15 minute AMRAP of:

21 wall ball shots

15 burpees

9 hang dumbbell power snatches

WLC is Returning!

The Whole Life Challenge is coming back.  February 16th to April 13th…100% accountability in nutrition, fitness, mobility, recovery…100% accountability for your whole life you could say.  Stay tuned to the blog for more details and how to sign up coming very soon.



Last fall’s Whole Life Challenge top finishers, Rick, Griselda, and Jane.

Friday’s Workout


1 press + 3 push presses + 5 push jerks

Perform 5 sets, increasing the weight each set


1000 meter row test

Try to pass the Advanced Test of sub 3:40 for men and sub 4:00 for women


Bottom to bottom tabata squats, count the low score

Wise Words From One Of Our Own

Super wise words on the importance of prioritizing, sacrifice, sleep, and working out. The Price of Fitness and Sacrifice from our very own Mr. Chris Backley!

We’re as busy as we want ourselves to be.

Our schedule seems to fit however much time we have in a day. In college, we would think we were “crazy busy” but most of our time was spent drinking and playing video games. When you were unemployed, your day some how filled up with job hunts and re-runs of Law & Order. But now that you’re an adult, you prioritize your time according to something like this:

  1. Family/Relationship
  2. Work/ School
  3. Entertainment (social outings, hobbies, TV, etc.)
  4. Sleep
  5. Gym

After major events in your life, those priorities may shift such as having a baby or getting a promotion at work. But we’re all busy with deadlines in some capacity or another. The problem with funneling our time to the top three priorities is that at some point you’re compromising priority four and five. Why is that so easy to do? Because the top three priorities have immediate short-term benefits, may it be laughter, a slice of pizza, or a paycheck. Sleep and going to the gym have more long-term benefits. Make no mistake though, they complement every other aspect of on that priority list.

By sleeping more it will make you more mentally sound, efficient, and “in the moment” with your experiences. We try to compensate by drinking more coffee or chugging enough Red Bull to think that jumping from space is a good idea, but sleep is the activity that gives rest to the machine that is our body. We look younger, live longer, and function more efficiently when we sleep. Sleep is also the greatest complement to the gym. Your level of fitness is going to affect your mood, energy level, and overall confidence. Beyond that, the secondary benefits of fitness are going to allow you be a better lover, have better relationships, play with your kids, get the role in that movie, or even get the edge at work. Sleep and fitness complement each other and havetremendous mental benefits that are going to improve every other part of your life. And be sure to not compromise your diet for the sake of time. It’s just as easy to go to Whole Foods and get a salad, as it is to go to a McDonald’s. Sure it may take a couple bucks, but that’s the price you’re going to have to pay for such a huge benefit.

So how do you suddenly have more time in the day to focus on the gym and sleep? Have I invented a time machine that runs on kombucha? (No, it’s still in the R & D phase). Well, it’s going to take a little bit of sacrifice on your part. Cut out things like TV and staying out late. Make bigger meals so you have leftovers and therefore can cook less. If you plan the gym in to your schedule then you’re more likely to go. Most of the time we take gym classes like Pilates, spin, or Crossfit that have set times so we can easily sit down and plan out a schedule for the week. Once you schedule something, it becomes a reality, so I recommend sitting down on a Sunday night and planning what you need to get done. You have to schedule your workouts and bedtimes just like you would a meeting for work in order to get them to happen. You can also plan out your meals for the week also so you don’t get tempted to hit up a fast food joint cause you’re “feeling lazy” or “too tired to cook”. You need to adjust your priorities and make certain sacrifices that might not be too popular with your friends. If your priorities are in a different than your friends, you’re going to have to make a decision. Go out with them less frequently, or get pulled down with them and their bad habits. Should I go to this movie premiere party if I know I have to be at the gym at 6:30 tomorrow? Should I really eat this cake if I know it’s going to completely make me nauseous during my workout thus wasting my time? Should I sacrifice sleep to go to this gallery opening in downtown if it’s going to ruin my day at work and make me less productive? In order to see results, you’re going to have to make sacrifices, and they may at times not be popular. But that’s why they’re called sacrifices. You have to do what’s best for you.

Sleep and the gym are your zen time to recharge your body and your mind. You shouldn’t often compromise these things because they affect all other aspects of your life. It’s a long-term benefit to be healthy and fit, and in order to see the results you want you’re going to have to make the sacrifice.

Thanks for the awesome post, Chris! 😀



All Classes



400 meter timed run

800 meter timed run

Record both times

Kipping pull-up practice

Workout of the Day (WOD):

100 feet of walking lunges
21 pull-ups
21 sit-ups
100 feet of walking lunges
18 pull-ups
18 sit-ups
100 feet of walking lunges
15 pull-ups
15 sit-ups
100 feet of walking lunges
12 pull-ups
12 sit-ups
100 feet of walking lunges
9 pull-ups
9 sit-ups
100 feet of walking lunges
6 pull-ups
6 sit-ups