Monthly Archives: May 2013

Keep It Interesting

We all know that keeping a good diet is paramount in helping us reach our fitness goals.  I’ve found that the best way to really stay committed is to somehow make it interesting.  How do I make it interesting?  Here’s a breakdown of how one might approach this. 

  • Support – We’re surrounded by like minded people who share the same interest in getting fit and eating clean.  Get together with some friends, split the cost and have them join and help you.  See a delicious recipe that looks too complicated or difficult?  Ask someone.  Ask me!  I’ll gladly help you whenever I can.  
  • Inspiration – Did you know Julia Child was paleo?  Absolutely not but one thing is for certain, this woman was passionate about food.  She put her heart and soul into every dish she made.  Find inspiration in foods that YOU think would be delicious to eat.  You can usually modify a recipe to make it more nutritious and healthy. 
  • Action – Scour the plethora of great paleo websites and pick out at least 5 new recipes that look absolutely delicious.  Find one you like?  Share it with us!  Make it fun!  Get together with your like minded friends and make a night out of it!  If long term fitness and health is important to you, make a decision and immediately commit to eating clean.

photo 3

Miles working the 3rd pull.

photo 2

Tracey exhibiting super fast elbows as she rises from below parallel!

Here’s one of my favorite paleo websites and one of my own personal, go to recipes.  I’d like to hear from you.  What recipes and, or websites have worked for you?  Share recipes, websites, and tips in the comments.

Brian’s Root Vegetable Slop!


2tsp. coconut oil

4 Leeks – chopped

1 Red onion – chopped

2 Garlic cloves – minced

1 small can tomato paste

16 oz. bone broth

4 Carrots – chopped or one bag of chopped and peeled.

1 Golden beet – chopped

1 Sweet potato – chopped

2 Parsnips – chopped

1 Rutabega – chopped

2lbs. 100% grass fed ground beef



In a large sautee pan or pot add ground beef.  Plenty of salt and pepper over the top.  Cook until brown.

Grab a large pot

Heat up the coconut oil on med – high

Throw in the leeks and onion and cook till translucent

Add garlic, cook for a couple more minutes.

Add tomato paste and spread with a large spoon

Deglaze with bone broth, scrape the bottom of the pan.

Add the rest of the bone broth, ground beef, and root vegetables.  Stir it up and bring to a simmer.  Cook on low for about 30 min. 

Salt and pepper to taste.


All Levels and Intermediate Classes

Skill: Clean



3 rounds for time of:

800 meter run

8 cleans (165# for men/108# for women) or ~75% of 1 rm (up scaling or scaling)

Beginner Skill:

Front Squats



3 rounds for time of:

800 meter run

8 Front squats (75% of 1 rm)


Power Hour Returns…

…at least for today.  Heavy deadlifts and some grueling shuttle sprints, sounds like a Power Hour kind of day to me.  So come on in and get powerful!

All Levels and Intermediate Classes

Skill: Deadlifts

Build up the weight and find a new 5 rep max


8 shuttle sprints, ~40 seconds rest between sets

Record the fastest and slowest times

Beginner Class

Skill: Deadlifts



8 shuttle sprints, ~40 seconds rest between sets

Record the fastest and slowest times

And don’t forget we have a different workout for the Advanced Class. Remember, this class is by invitation only. 

Athlete Spotlight – LC Lim

This week’s Athlete Spotlight goes to none other than our very own LC Lim.  Talk about sweet, fun, genuine and darn athletic! This girl is the whole package and a bag of chips!  Since we’ve had the privilege of having her be part of our CrossFit Merge clan, she does nothing but impress us with her determination, stamina, dedication, and awesome looks.  LC is the type of person that will go out of her way to make you feel welcome and special.  She’s truly a gem and we are so happy to have her be a fellow Merger.  And now, without further ado, hear it directly from LC!


How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Hmmmm….. Almost a year. I remember doing the intro with Bryce. We did this AMRAP with burpees and box jumps and something else and were WRECKED. 7 mins of pure terror and horror and gasping for air. I was seriously like.. what IS THIS torture? And I thought I was inshape 😦

How did you hear about CrossFit Merge?

The powers of Bing. Haha nawww. Google. Heard about Crossfit, tried 2 in the area and I liked Merge. Merge sent me a postcard with exquisite penmanship and a hawaiian stamp and I knew I had made the right choice. Obviously.

What was your first CrossFit WOD experience like?

I don’t remember the very first proper class except getting introduced. Also I had heart palpitations before every class for a solid 4 months i think.  But I do remember the first time doing deadlifts… in the WOD. I was struggling like a crazy person, no gloves, hands were about to die, back was about to crack and I had a solid 2 rounds to finish. I was seeing spots, couldn’t breathe and had to lie down for a solid minute in between the WOD on the bench outside before I resumed the WOD. It was excruciating to shimmy my body in and out of my car for that ENTIRE month.

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

I am epic music video lip syncing, prop sourcing, dancing connoisseur. See link below 🙂 Oh and I’m not American, contrary to popular belief. 🙂


What is your greatest CrossFit accomplishment thus far?

Survival. I am surprised I have not dropped a barbell on my head yet. Worst I’ve done was a gigantic bruise on my knee. Not too shabby for someone who wears her clothes backwards all the time.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Dynamic WODS – running, jumping and bouncing around the gym in general. Station to station wods.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Rowing and Wall Balls.   Striders + WB combinations.  Russian KB + Box Jump Combo. Miguels Bday Wod. Anything that involves heavy weights.

What advice would you give a new member?

In the famous words of Nike. Just do it. Or Pumbaa – Hakuna Matata – it means no worries.

If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?

I would like to be a wizard like Gandalf. Because with that I would have a magical staff that would allow me to summon humongous flying mythical creatures that would take me to all the places I would like to visit. It would be the most amazing feeling to land my dragon serpent animal in the Costco Parking lot in Loz Feliz.


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

“WHERE IS THE MASKED MUDDER NOW?” (if you did the mud run you’ll understand)


Where do you see yourself in a year?

No idea. World is my oyster! Maybe getting another masters? Hopefully back here with all you fine fancy lovely people I’ve met at Merge. Crossfit Merge FTW 😀


LC, we will miss you DEARLY!!! Come back to us soon.  We’ll be hoping for the same thing a year from now:  To have you back with us.  We love you bunches!!!

Wednesday All Levels/Intermediate:



All Levels/Intermediate Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for time of:

Run 400 meters

14 toes to bar

7 snatches (95# for men/63# for women)

Beginner Skill:

Back Squat


Beginner Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for time of:

Run 400 meter run

14 v-ups

14 dumbbell power snatches alternating arms (45# for men/25# for women)

Olympic lifting Class

Clean practice with jerk boxes – focusing on that 3rd pull & position 1.

Congrats Griselda and Norm!

This weekend Norm and Griselda tied the knot! Congrats from all of us Mergers, we are thrilled for you. We wish you an eternity of happiness and love!


And let’s kick off this week full force!

Tuesday’s All Levels/Intermediate Skill:



At the end of thrusters, one max hold effort of L-sits

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time – 4 rounds of:

3 push presses (115/73) ~60-65% of 1rm
6 thrusters
9 front squats
8 burpee pull ups

Beginner Skill:



Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 minute AMRAP:

6 thrusters
6 burpee pull ups

Flavor City

I was recently asked, “Brian, what are the top 10 must have ingredients you keep in your kitchen?”  Perhaps some day I will compile a top 10 list of paleo must haves.  It would include things like fertile eggs from pasture raised chickens, coconut oil, a variety of quality meats, and a slew of fresh vegetables.  One item stands out above all and deserves to be explored on a deeper level.  BONE BROTH!  There should be a top 100 list as to why this should be a staple in every kitchen.  Ok I won’t be listing out 100 today, but here are three main reasons why:

  • Nutrient dense – Glycine, proline, collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium, chondroitin sulfate, and many more are among the long list of nutrients it contains.  I won’t bore you with the long list of health benefits but since you’re curious, check out this post from Mark’s Daily Apple for all the geeky details.  
  • Versatile – Bone broth is considered a “base” when it comes to cooking.  Any soup or stew instantly becomes more nutritious and tasty when you use a home made bone broth.  You can even use it for sautéing and to make sauces.  I believe it adds character and authenticity to your cooking. YOU made that broth.  Anything you make with it instantly becomes “home made.”
  • Easy to make – By now you’re probably thinking this is way too involved for me to make.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to how easily it comes together.  Follow the recipe below and if you have any questions, let me know.  Heck I might even be willing to personally show you how to make your first batch if you ask me nicely. 


Bone Broth


100% grass fed beef bones (3-5lbs.  You can find these at Harmony Farms). 

Onions (6-8 medium sized.  White or yellow).

Whole carrots (5 or one bag of peeled n sliced).

Celery stalks (5)

Black pepper corns (small handful).

Bay leaves (small handful).

Water (fill).

You’ll need a large stock pot (you can find these for a very reasonable price at any Ross Dress For Less).  

  1. Rough chop the onions, carrots, and celery.
  2. Add all ingredients into the stock pot.
  3. Fill with water.
  4. Bring to a simmer.  DO NOT BOIL!  You can bring the heat up at first in order to bring to a simmer, but immediately back off to a low setting once it starts to simmer.  Never blast it with high heat.  This is the most crucial step.
  5. Simmer for 8 – 12 hours.
  6. Strain and reserve liquid (Discard solids).

*After straining, I like to divide it into about 8 or so different tupperware containers and freeze for later use.

**Bonus!  You’ll notice a layer of fat that settles over the surface.  This is called “tallow”.  Don’t throw this useful, delicious, nutritious gold away.  If you’ve used 100% grass fed beef bones, it contains a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids.  See this post from Chris Kresser for more information on omega-3’s vs. omega 6’s.  Use it as if you would use butter for sautéing.  Either as a substitute or in addition to butter. For example, sautéed asparagus and almond slivers with butter/tallow.  Excuse me, what town are we in?  FLAVOR CITY!!!


Brodie fully locked out!


Jane looking solid in the overhead position.


Beth getting after some explosive box jumps!


Ivdan and the whole class looking good, holding the bottom of the “dip.”

Don’t forget!  Be sure and have some bone broth at the ready for the Epic Sunday workout.  We’ll be doing the CrossFit Total!   

Friday’s Bring A Friend Day Workout:


Banded Sprints

Workout of the day (WOD):

14 minute, teams of 2, AMRAP of: 

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

14 kettle bell swings (53#/35# for women)

14 burpees 

Teammate 1 will work for 30 seconds, while teammate 2 rests, then switch roles and continue where teammate 1 left off.

Friends, Exercise, Health

Our first day of Bring a Friend Days starts Thursday!  And just in case you have some friends that are still on the fence, send them these articles for a little convincing.  

A Workout A Day May Keep Cancer Away

Lack Of Strength Training is Most Common U.S. Health Vice

And be sure to prep your friends for CrossFit by showing them this recent blog post.

Ara getting strong in his overhead lifts.

Thursday’s Bring a Friend Day Workout:

20 minute, teams of 2 or 3, AMRAP of:

20 one arm, overhead lunge steps (50#/30# dumbbell)

10 hand release push-ups

20 jumping pull-ups

100 meter run by each person

Only one team member working at a time, divide the reps up anyway

Welcome to the World Baby Koa!

It’s so exciting to see how our CrossFit Merge family continues to grow! Almost one year ago we celebrated our dear Sarah (better known on the white board as SDWK) and Jon as they joined their lives together.  And now, we have the privilege to celebrate with them yet again, the arrival of their first baby! Mergers, we are honored to announce that the Koa family has expanded by bringing into the world a beautiful bouncing baby boy, Tate Christopher Koa.  He was born on May 19, 2013 and is as cute as button.  Sarah and Jon, we are so thrilled for you and we wish you the best as you embark on this amazing new journey of parenthood.  Looking forward to seeing little Tate run around the box! All our love to the Koa family!


Wednesday’s All Levels/Beginner Skill:

Push Jerks 


All Levels Workout of the Day (WOD):

In 8 minutes:

Run 800 meters

30 box jumps (24″ for men/20″ for women)

AMRAP of clean and jerks (95#/63# for women)

Then rest 3 minutes

In 5 minutes: 

Run 400 meters

20 box jumps

AMRAP of clean and jerks

Then rest 3 minutes

In 3 minutes: 

Run 200 meters

10 box jumps

AMRAP of clean and jerks

Score is total number of clean and jerks

Beginner Workout of the Day (WOD):

In 8 minutes:

Run 800 meters

30 box jumps (24″ for men/20″ for women)

AMRAP of push jerks (95# for men/63# for women) or ~65% of skill weight

Then rest 3 minutes

In 5 minutes:

Run 400 meters

20 box jumps

AMRAP of push jerks

Then rest 3 minutes 

In 3 minutes:

Run 200 meters

10 box jumps

AMRAP of push jerks

Score is total number of push jerks

Oly Class

Split Jerk Drill & ladder


Announcements for Mergers!

Here are a few things to keep you updated on the latest here at Merge:

1) Bring A Friend Days are this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday May 23, 24, & 25. You can bring up to two friends to a class.  Sharing is caring, so share CrossFit with your friends!  Historically, Bring A Friend Days are ridiculously fun.  Be sure to join in!

2) Epic Sunday: Epic Funday this Sunday May 26th will be none other than CrossFit Total.  The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the back squat, the press, and the deadlift. To find out your CrossFit Total, come Sunday at 10 am!  Here are a few links to help you get ready for it:

or if you’d like to read up on it:

3) SUMMER THROWDOWN is just around the corner!  On June 15th we will crown the fittest team at Merge in three different divisions (Beginner, Almost Rx, and Rx).  Be sure to get your teams up on the board and start training hard.  Who will be the fittest at Merge?


4) Tough Mudder : If you’re interested in running the Tough Mudder with us on Sunday,  November 10, sign up soon! Prices are going up after May 28th (currently $85).  Below find the information to sign up under CrossFit Merge’s team:

You have been invited to join the Crossfit Merge team as a Tough Mudder San Diego: Sat Nov 9 & Sun Nov 10, 2013 participant.

Please visit this link to join the team:

Team Password: CrossfitMerge2013

Tuesday’s Beginner/All Levels/Intermediate Skill:

Rope Climbs

Workout of the Day (WOD):

10 overhead squats (135# for men/93# for women)
50 double unders
8 overhead squats
50 double unders
6 overhead squats
50 double unders
4 overhead squats
50 double unders
2 overhead squats
50 double unders



How To Prepare Your Friends

Our popular Bring a Friend (or two) Days are back this week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On those days you can bring your friends in for any class. Here are a few things to help prepare your friends:

1. Send them a few articles and show them a few CrossFit videos (just let them know that they won’t be doing anything that intense and that the workout will be a team one).

2. Give them the address of the gym (1517 Railroad Street, Glendale), let them know where they can park, and give them this map just to make it as easy as possible.

3. Arrive with your friend about 10 minutes early to have him or her fill out the waiver. Then give your friend a tour of the gym and give them a rundown of how the class run.

4. Last, don’t ‘lose’ your friend. He or she might be pretty confused, so make sure you’re there to guide them through the class.

Let’s have fun and share some CrossFit love this week.

Annie’s first CrossFit experience was during our last Bring a Friend Day.


All Levels and Intermediate Classes

Skill: Front squats



12 minute AMRAP of:

10 pull-ups
12 front squats (115#/78# for women)
10 clapping push-ups

Beginner Class

Skill: Front squats



12 minute AMRAP of:

10 pull-ups
12 front squats
10 clapping push-ups

SFH Is Here!

You may have noticed a few shiny new items in the pro shop.  No that isn’t the sweat glistening off your fellow Mergers…it’s Stronger Faster Healthier Whey protein!

You’ll find two different kinds, PURE WHEY and RECOVERY.  Both contain high quality whey protein derived from 100% grass fed cows.  The RECOVERY version has BCAAs or branched chain amino acids.  BCAAs are the building blocks of protein and have various functions related to energy production and recovery.  It prevents the breaking down of muscle during exercise and increases performance.  Both the PURE WHEY and RECOVERY are fantastic options for that post WOD refuel.  Available in our Pro Shop in delicious vanilla or chocolate!



Intermediate and All Levels Class

Skill: Clean


*not touch and go, but quickly

At the end, one max set of unbroken dips – use bands as needed

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time:

15 cleans (155#/103# for women)

30 pull ups

12 cleans

24 pull ups

9 cleans

18 pull ups

100 double unders 

Beginner Class


-Double under practice

-review the hang clean

Beginner Workout:

For time:

15 dumbbell hang cleans

30 pull ups to scale

12 dumbbell hang cleans

24 pull ups

9 dumbbell hang cleans

18 pull ups