Blog Archives

Gymnastics WOD
Mobility WOD

CrossFit Journal

Forging Elite Fitness and Health in Los Angeles

Bench Bro

Track Night at 6pm and Yoga at 8pm Sign up HERE!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Theraband Routine
Bird Dogs
PVC Dislocates

Warm Up

2 Rounds:
10 Tuck Ups/V Ups
10 Push Ups
10 Air Squats
10 Burpees

Classic Strength

Bench Press: 3×5
Strict Toes to Bar:  3×10

Notes:  You will perform your bench press first, then the T2B second.  This is the same work being performed as the Advanced strength, except without percentages.  This is designed for the newer athlete that does not have a true 1 rep max, but we still want you to keep track of these numbers because you will be repeating them over the coming weeks  Perform 2 warmup sets and then add weight each set as needed.  The last set will be like the advanced where you will perform as many reps as you can.  For the T2B, partner up to use a spotter to work through full range of motion.

Advanced Strength

Wendler Cycle 1 Week 1:

Bench Press: 65% x 5, 75% x 5, 85% x 5+
Strict Toes to Bar:  3×10

Notes:  Percentages are based off 90% of true 1 RM. When you see 5+, that means you do the max reps you can manage with that weight, with the goal of setting a rep record in each workout.  Perform a few warm up sets before getting into your working sets.  For the T2B, partner up to use a spotter to work through full range of motion.Keep rest intervals around 2 minutes.  Click HERE for a full description of the Wendler 531 cycle.

Classic Conditioning

5 Rounds for time:
10 Power Cleans (95/65)
10 Front Squats
10 Push-ups
-15 min cap-


Advanced Conditioning

3 Rounds for time:
5 Squat Cleans (135/95)
10 Front Squats
15 Ring Dips
-15 min cap-

Cool Down

Tabata Hollow Hold – if time allows.

Here is a nice slow motion video of a very heavy snatch. 

Same very heavy snatch in real time.

Our second day of Wendler introduces a cycle of bench press. We will be doing this movement every Wednesday, coupled with some type of pulling gymnastics. We do not bench a lot and it can be great developer of upper body strength. It can also be particularly hard on the bicep tendons in the shoulder when placed in a program with high volume overhead and gymnastic work. By all means, we want you to hit these days hard, but like all of the lifts in this new cycle, be extremely diligent with position. The 90% Training Max and the initially low working percentages should allow for manageable weight and the establishment of improved technique. The bench press, for example, should be tackled with narrower grip, scapulas pulled back, and the triceps and elbows close to the body. Focus on the sensation of breaking the bar in half toward where the spotter would stand behind you head. This should immediately engage the correct musculature and keep the shoulder and bicep tendons in a safer position. 



Clearing the Air

Track Night at 7pm at SamoHiSign up HERE! 

Reminder to get your meat orders in by Friday!  Click HERE for how this works!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


PVC Dislocates
Prone Snow Angels
Wrist Stretches

Warm Up:

2 min DU
Lat Activations: 5 narrow, 5 normal, 5 wide grip
10 Scap Push Ups
50′ Bear Crawl
10 Broad Jumps

Classic Gymnastic Skill/Strength:

Alternating on the Minute for 10 Minutes:

Even:  5 Wall Walks
Odd:   10/8 Chest to Bar or Regular Pullups

Notes:  The standards for the wall walks will be to only allow your toes to touch the wall and walk up to touch your nose.  Do not allow any other part of your body to touch the wall.  For the pullups, focus on keeping your midline tight through your swing.  Focus on one good rep at a time and break up the set as needed.  10/8 stands for men/women.  As always, feel free to scale down the reps and/or range of motion as needed to focus on quality. 

Advanced Gymnastics Skill/Strength:

On the Minute for 10 Minutes:

Even:  50′ Handstand Walk
Odd:  5/3 bar muscle-ups

Notes:  Use the wall HS walking progression to practice if needed.  For the muscle-ups focus on a tight midline during the swing. 5/3 stands for men/women.


10 Rounds for time:
100 meter sprint
10 Burpees over Parallette
10 DB Snatch, alternating (50/35)
-20 min cap-

Notes:  The burpees should be performed like a bar facing, not lateral.  Scale down the burpee/DB reps to try and make the time cap, that means if your rounds are taking longer than 2:00, scale down!

Cool Down:

1 min Pike Stretch 
1 min Banded Lat Stretch
1 min Hollow Hold

Inside your home is often just as polluted as the air outside. If you have allergies or asthma the importance of having clean air inside your home is huge to preventing any kind of illness. Keeping the air inside your house clean requires knowing the types of pollutants that exist so as to prevent and filter properly. Particulate matter is microscopic particles which float in the air, such as dust pollen, animal dander and molds. Then there is gaseous particles produced by paints, varnishes, cleaning products and stoves. Now, completely preventing and or clearing the air is not possible but you can take some basic steps to eliminating unwanted particle guests. Obviously as workout addicts we know not to smoke and especially inside, also make sure to ventilate your home by opening windows and using fans when possible. Vacuum often, especially if you have furry pets and try to use a vacuum with a micro filtration bag. Make sure your appliances like your oven and dryer are vented properly and cleaned regularly and keep cleaning products, solvents and glues stored outside. Lastly you can buy a portable electronic room air cleaner or mechanical filter that have technology to purify. Taking at least one or several of these steps will help alleviate symptoms from allergies and asthma and puts you one more step in the direction of health!

POSE Running

Weekly Programming Links:  Group ClassVenice Barbell ClubTrack Night

Monday, April 21, 2014


Fire Hydrants
Banded Hip Extension
Keg Drill
Banded Overhead/Lat Distraction


Bear Complex with barbell
7x unbroken of:
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
BTN Push Press

Classic Strength

Back Squat 3×5- Rest 2 minutes between sets
Press 3×5- Rest 2 minutes between sets

Notes:  You will perform your back squats first, then your presses second.  This is the same work being performed as the Advanced strength, except without percentages.  This is designed for the newer athlete that does not have a true 1 rep max, but we still want you to keep track of these numbers because you will be repeating them over the coming weeks.    Perform 2 warmup sets and then add weight each set as needed.  The last set will be like the advanced where you will perform as many reps as you can.

Advanced Strength

Wendler Cycle 1, Week 1

Back Squat: 65% x 5, 75% x 5, 85% x 5+
Press:  65% x 5, 75% x 5, 85% x 5+

Notes:  Percentages are based off 90% of true 1 RM. When you see 5+, that means you do the max reps you can manage with that weight, with the goal of setting a rep record in each workout.  Perform a few warm up sets before getting into your working sets.  Keep rest intervals around 2 minutes.  Click HERE for a full description of the Wendler 531 cycle.

Classic Conditioning

Jump and Touch, 18”/14”
Ring Pushups
Row for Calories

Notes:  Each “Tabata” interval is 20s of work followed by 10s of rest for 8 rounds or 4 minutes of total work.  You will perform all 4 minutes on one movement before moving to the next.  You will only have 10s to transition to your next station, so be ready!  For the jump and touch, the distance and touch is one handed.  You may use the wall, pullup bar or anything else hanging around that you can find for a target.  For the ring pushups, be sure to change the angle to try and maintain high volume, quality reps!  Your score will be the total number of reps you complete. 

Advanced Conditioning

Toes to Bar
Double Unders
Handstand Pushups
Row for Calories

Notes:  Same scoring as Classic above.

Cool Down

Couch Stretch, 1 min each
Samson Stretch, 30 sec each
Doorway Stretch, 1 min
Pigeon Stretch, 1 min each

How low can you go?

Last week we offered a 15 min review of POSE running for old members and new members alike.  Every once in a while it’s good to review the basics…and what is more basic than running?  It is arguably the most natural human movement there is.  You don’t even have to think to do it.  If you want to run, you tell your body, and it just starts running.  I can completely daydream while running, and I swear at times my body is on autopilot, kind of like how you can daydream at the wheel and then wake up amazed you somehow managed to stay in your lane for the past five minutes.  Well not really like that, but in running sometimes you daydream and wake up and realize you traveled a mile like nothing.

For most people running is not like that.  Even though they don’t have to think about form, they are in pain somewhere and that’s all they can think about.  Their ankle, knee, hip, heart, lungs, or head hurt and to continue running is not an option.  One of the goals from last week’s session was to give you a starting point from which to judge your technique and make corrections that will increase your running efficiency, hopefully distract you a bit, and therefore reduce any pain.  

The two biggest take aways from last week were Posture, and Quick Feet.  If you are running and realize your shoulder and low back are hunched over, pick your chest up, tighten up your midline and lean forward.  See if you feel yourself go faster and feel better.  Likewise, if you feel your heels slamming into the ground and hear your feet pounding the pavement, stop pushing off the ground and start picking your feet up quicker.  See if you become more quiet on your landing and feel lighter on your feet.  Just like any other movement, you want to maintain a proper midline and constantly be doing a self analysis to make sure you are moving in the most optimal way possible.

For every class I said the two main goals of the sessions were to 1) move from a heel strike to a ball of the foot landing and 2) move from pushing off the ground to picking your foot with the hamstring.  Below are videos to show you some reasons why that might be more advantages to your running.

1) Heel Strike vs Ball of the Foot

2) Push off the Ground vs Pull the Foot

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yoga at 8pm at Venice  – Sign up HERE!


Downdog calf stretch, x20
10 Inchworms
Super rack w/ band


Jog 400 meters
10 Bar taps + 10 Pull ups
:30 Handstand hold
10 Burpees


Perform ME Single Skips in 3 minutes.  Rest, then perform ME Double Unders in 1 minute.

Notes:  These do not have to be unbroken.  If you break, reset and continue counting reps until the time has elapsed. Any style single skip is allowed.  Try alternating your feet to see if that is faster for the 3 minutes speed test.


AMRAP 30 minutes:
800m Run
30 Power cleans (95/65)
30 Toes to bar
30 Box jumps (24/20 inches)
30 Push presses (95/65)
30 Double-unders
30 Pull-ups
30 Burpees
30 Walking lunges

Notes: Try to go for continual movement throughout the AMRAP.

Cool down:

1 minute plank hold
:30 second arch hold










  • 2 large sweet potatoes (mine totaled 550 grams), baked and peeled
  • 2 1/2 cups arrowroot powder (plus a bit more for rolling)
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg white


  1. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes and bake them in a 400 F (200 C) oven for about an hour (or until soft and done).
  2. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and then mash them in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add your flours in 1/2 cup at a time (1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup arrowroot then stir before adding more).
  5. After you have a whole cup of each flour added in, mix in the salt and baking soda and stir.
  6. Now beat your egg white until it is frothy and then stir it in.
  7. Resume adding in the flours half a cup at a time until you reach a dough consistency that you are able to grab a handful of and roll into a ball. For me, this equaled 2 1/2 cups of each flour. You may need a little more or a little less depending on the humidity where you are.
  8. Put your dough in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  9. Once it’s chilled, dust your counter top or a sheet of parchment paper with some arrowroot powder.
  10. Take a handful of dough and roll it out into a long snake shape with your hands. If it’s sticking to your hands, just dust your hands with some of the arrowroot powder.
  11. Cut your snakes into segments about an inch each. You can leave them in that shape or you can flatten them a bit with a fork dipped in arrowroot.
  12. Once all of your dough has been shaped and cut, drop each piece of gnocchi into a pot of boiling water.
  13. Within about a minute, they will float to the surface. Let them cook for about 30 seconds after they float to the top and them remove them to a colander with a slotted spoon.
  14. If you want, you can serve them at this point.
  15. We went a step further and melted some ghee in a frying pan with a pinch of salt over medium heat and pan fried the gnocchi. It’s important to let it brown before flipping it to brown the other side. If you flip too soon, they will stick and you will know you are trying to turn them too soon.
  16. Remove to a serving plate and top with the sauce of your choice.

- See more at:


Hyperthermic Conditioning: Next Best Thing?

Saturday April 19, 2014



10 Wall Squats
10 Inch Worms
10 Fire Hydrants

Warm up:

Junk Yard Dog x5

2 Rounds:
8 Good Mornings
7 BTN Push Press (snatch grip)
5 Snatch Balances
3 Position Snatch

15 minutes to work up to a heavy 2 Rep Hang Snatch

 Notes: Hang is anywhere above the knee, and the athlete’s choice to go from high hang (Position 1) or just above the knee (Position 2).  Full squat for both reps. May sub with Power Snatch or Hang Clean (squat) if shoulder mobility is an issue.

Partner Conditioning:

Two athletes per team, one working while other rests, complete:

500m Row each 

Then 3x rounds each, alternating rounds:

15 Kettle Bell Swings (53/35/26)
15 Single Arm KB Thruster (53/35/26)

 Then 3x rounds each, alternating rounds:

12 Alternating Front Rack Lunges (125/95/65)
7 Shoulder to Overhead (125/95/65)

-20 min time cap-

 Notes: One partner is working while the other partner is resting.  Each partner will complete one round at a time and then switch. Single arm KB split up evenly between Right and Left arm but can be partitioned any way. Lunges alternate in place, stepping forward with front leg, back knee touches the ground, and athlete returns back to full extension at the top.  

Cool Down:

ME Hollow hold hanging from bar
ME Hollow Hold on rings
ME Plank on Floor
Cobra stretch x1′
Pigeon Stetch x1′
Couch Stretch x1′

I randomly came across the concept of hyperthermic conditioning while on a flight back to LA. I watched this video and began to dig deeper. The more I googled “hyperthermic conditioning”, the more interested I became. Essentially she speaks on the benefit of supplementing hot sauna use (excessive heat stress) to  improve your performance.

I want you to watch this video but to summarize; acclimating your body to heat stress by intermittent whole-body hyperthermia via sauna use (“hyperthermic conditioning”) has been shown to:

Enhance endurance by:

  • Increasing nutrient delivery to muscles thereby reducing the depletion of glycogen stores.
  • Reducing heart rate and reducing core temperature during workload.

Increase muscle hypertrophy by preventing protein degradation through the following three means:

  1. Induction of heat shock proteins and a hormetic response (which has also been shown to increase longevity in lower organisms).
  2. Cause a massive release of growth hormone.
  3. Improving insulin sensitivity.

Hyperthermic conditioning also has robust positive effects on the brain:

  • Increases the storage and release of norepinephrine, which improves attention and focus.
  • Increases prolactin, which causes your brain to function faster by enhancing myelination and helps to repair damaged neurons.
  • Increases BDNF, which causes the growth of new brain cells, improves the ability for you to retain new information, and ameliorates certain types of depression and anxiety.
  • Causes a robust increase in dynorphin, which results in your body becoming more sensitive to the ensuing endorphins.

I have been supplementing Bikram Yoga to get the same effect. I am in the early process but I will give you updates as they come.

When Healthy Eating Takes a Turn

Friday April 18, 2014


Band Posterior Floss
Leg Swings
Scapular Pushups


10 Goodmornings with bar
5 Hang Squat Cleans with bar
20 Wide Mountain Climbers, slow
10 Pike Situps
10 Squat Jumps
10 Straight Legged Deadlifts with bar


20 minutes to establish a 1RM Deadlift

Notes: Make sure to load the hamstrings, drive through the heels, and maintain a straight back.

Classic Conditioning:

15 min AMRAP
10 Burpee Pullups
5 Clean and Jerk (135/95)

Notes: Perform jumping burpee pullups as needed if you normally use a band.

 Advanced Conditioning:

2011 Crossfit Games Event #3

5 Rope Climbs
5 Clean and Jerk (145/115)
4 Rope Climbs
4 Clean and Jerk (165/125)
3 Rope Climbs
3 Clean and Jerk (185/135)
2 Rope Climbs
2 Clean and Jerk (205/145)
1 Rope Climbs
1 Clean and Jerk (225/155)

-15 min time cap-

Notes: This is an advanced workout and will produce a stimulus if your clean and jerk max is well established.  If you need to scale the weight, make it so your final weight is 85% of your 1RM and subtract 5 to 10 pounds for each previous set.


German Hang, 30s
Wrist Stretches
Pike or Straddle Stretch, 1 min
Foam Roll Low Back and Hamstrings

Joe D and McCoy performing today’s workout 2 and a half years ago at MDR.  This video jumps ahead to Joe D starting the last round, McCoy is just behind him finishing the 2 C&Js.  Make sure to watch them attempt the last 225# C&J!  McCoy – 10:40 Rx.  Joe D – 11:30 Rx

 Recently, I came across an article that really had caught my eye.  This article made me more aware of how healthy eating can sometimes take a nasty turn and actually become unhealthy. Too many times, I admittedly let thoughts of food reign over my actions and it is easy to let these thoughts consume your day–I never really knew this was an actual condition. I learned that it IS okay to let go when it comes to one’s dietary habits and I hope this article may help others to ease up as well . I couldn’t have written this article better myself, so I decided to attach it HERE for you to read.  I truly believe that many of my good friends, clients, and even myself deal with ‘orthorexia’.   I’m interested to hear if you or anyone you know falls into this category and what you have to say.  Food is meant to be savored and enjoyed and not to be an unhealthy obsession. 



Say It With Pride!

Swim Night!  Register HERE!

Thursday April 17, 2014



15 Reverse Snow Angels
Banded Hip Distraction
10 bird dogs (each side)


1 min jump rope practice
THEN 4 Rounds:
5 lat activations
10 scap pushups
15 air squats


20 minutes to establish a 1RM Bench Press

Notes: Focus on keeping elbows in and drive through your heels. Use spotters! 


3 rounds for time of:
Row 500m
50 Double-Unders
25 V-Ups

-15 min time cap-

Notes:  Scale number of double unders, count attempts or perform 100-150 singles.

Cool Down:

15 Wall Extensions
Doorway Stretch 1min
Couch Stretch 1min

Indu got her first pull up!

Indu got her first pullup! Congrats on reaching your goal :)

Tuesday was a great testing day, it was awesome to see you all putting your best foot forward and testing the upper limit of your capability (for now). It was very disheartening, though, to hear disappointment in many athletes voices as they reported to me the results of their tests.

It wasn’t just yesterday that I noticed this discontented tone of voice. My heart sinks every time I congratulate an athlete for their score on a WOD and they start putting themselves down, “well, I scaled it,” or, “if I did it prescribed it would have taken me 2 hours”, and worse, “no, I didn’t do as well as that other person.” I don’t want to hear that, I want everyone to tell me their score with pride!

If you finish the workout and you’re not proud of your score ask yourself, “was it because I didn’t do my best?” or, “was it because I didn’t do as well as someone else”. If the answer to the first question is ‘yes’, then make it a 6-week goal to give every workout your all so that you feel proud of every performance. If the answer to the second question is ‘yes’, realize that you are comparing yourself to a cross-section of the population that is unrepresentative of the population as a whole. Be proud of your resolve to improve. Be proud of your commitment to yourself. To put things in a different perspective, just by finishing the WOD, you have done more to improve your health and performance than the people sitting on a preacher curl machine in a 24-hour fitness doing half range of motion bicep curls followed by ‘cardio’ on the elliptical. Its worth applauding those people too, they should be proud that they didn’t sit home watching TV with a pint of ice cream and a hot pocket.

I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t want to improve, or be better than you are today. Just take a step back and realize that where you are today isn’t where you’ll be forever- and you should be excited to report the steps you took towards the change you signed up for!

Get Started Now!

Subscribe to receive new blog posts and upcoming events!

Get Started Now!

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  • Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.
  • Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.
  • Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

- CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman