Well, besides the crazy programming with traveling around to so many affiliates, and the planning for the Courage Games 2011, I have been at the highest level of stress I have ever been in my life. This difficulty has come since around the holidays when Lindsey and I began discussions on our future and how we wanted to approach it. As many of my readers here know, our move out here was based on literally ONE thing: to live in California. Both of us were leaving quite a bit in the East Coast and we knew that going into this crazy move. So after settling down a little bit (living together for the first time as well!) we began the long discussion of family and future. In the end, we came to the difficult conclusion that our future would be better off back in the East Coast.
We initially planned to really sink in here for a while, up to five years, but while enjoying what California has to offer us, we would have in the back of our heads that we would most likely be leaving at some point soon. This began to weigh on me as I left so much in the DC area to recreate my business here. And I was struggling with the idea of getting everything going here and then leaving it all once again to start fresh in a new place. I just could not see this as a plausible choice for me and what I want out of life. So, when push came to shove, we realized that it would be best for both of us to pack up our gear and head back East to really sink our roots in and settle down.
This has been a very, very tough process for both us as we both really like it out here. I have had nothing but positive experiences in the short time exploring the greater Bay Area and I have made friends and connections quicker than I ever thought possible. While I do not struggle very much with the actual decision to move back East, what I do struggle with is the knowledge that I am leaving days like today. Today, as I write this, I am sitting at my kitchen counter, windows and patio door open to the 68 degree weather, birds chirping and not a could in the sky. After I finish this I will head over to a park right on the Bay to do some tumbling and ring work, then it's off to the gym to train a large group of kids, workout with a couple training buddies, train another group of athlete, cook dinner and read some of my book. That right there is the perfect life to me (if Lindsey was not traveling for work it would truly be perfect!). I know we will have this life, and better (because Lindsey won't be traveling so much) back East, but this weather, and these people! Man, I will miss those a ton.
So what it is looking like now is that I will be returning to the greater Washington, DC area in early April, setting up shop in The Garage again while pushing like crazy to open up a much larger gym. I have a whole slew of things prepared for getting up and running when I get back there, so all you Washingtonians, Marylanders and Virginians better be ready!
In the mean time, I have folded my CrossFit affiliate in Burlingame out of 1st String and have partnered with CrossFit San Mateo. I am helping out a local High School baseball team as well. Once I have the CrossFit Kids class, Powerlifting/Strength class and baseball teams up and running, and once the Courage Games 2011 are over and done with, I will bid farewell to lovely California as my place of residence and return to my home town area of Greater Washington, DC. To all my athletes who were so committed to me before I scampered out West, please send me a note and let me know if you are game to get back into things. I will set a date for my return and will plan on having people back in The Garage within a couple days of that date. So spread the word, and get yourselves ready to have a Spring and Summer filled with massive gains!
To everyone I have met and connected with in my short time in California, you better believe I will be back out here on a VERY regular basis to workout, hang out, explore and chill with everyone. California was everything and more than I expected and I will be be visiting every chance I get. And of course, each and every one of you will have a place to stay and train if you ever want to visit the East Coast; and I would expect a ton of you to come let me show the same hospitality all of you have shown me since I have been out here.
So, for the final 1.5 to 2 months I have left here, I will be re-visiting gyms, exploring more areas, introducing more people to CrossFit and basking in the intensely active calm that is Northern California. For those of you who have never been out here, get your butts out here, it freaking rocks! I look forward to the life Lindsey and I have ahead of us. I am eager to grow my business and see where it takes me. I am excited with the knowledge that I will be living in an area I truly do love. Yet I will travel back with the bittersweet feeling of knowing I am leaving behind something that connected with me in the deepest of ways. I will miss California intensely, but I am overjoyed with what is to come.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
A couple weeks back my good buddy Blair Morrison convinced me to extend my CrossFit visits out to his neck of the woods in Sacramento. My original goal was to hit up 4 affiliates, but when reality hit, I resorted to just getting to two (a combo of scheduling and REALLY wanting to stick to a set program after being so crazy all January). So, I took off after my Powerlifting class and took the scenic drive to Sac-town.
Given the craziness of the weekend, and the fact that I was only able to spend a little more than a day with my girl (her travel schedule sent her away all last week, and she’s gone all this week again!), I have decided to post up both visits into one post. Each will get a video and I will have them both up tomorrow.
CrossFit East Sacramento:
I arrived to CrossFit East Sacramento with a bit of time to goof off before classes started to roll in. Blair and coaches Justin, Brooke and Travis were all there and we got to mess around on a couple things befog I went after 5x5 sumo deadlifts. The best part of the messing around was this hanging rope ladder they had; tough to describe but really tough! Basically this place looks exactly how I want my place to look. It’s a freestanding warehouse style box, tons of open space, TONS of all your typical equipment and a handful of extra that really stood out to me. Besides the rings and ropes and that cool rope ladder, the pull up rig was a DIY ordeal and had all different heights and even that “flying bar” option (where you can jump from one bar to another). All in all, this one of those gyms that I could see myself just hanging out at for way too long because of how great it felt.
As a couple classes started to shuffle in, I jumped on a bar and got a quick 5x5 sumo deadlifts, working up to 405# unbroken and feeling pretty strong with it. I then hung out for a while talking with Justin and watching their two classes get underway. The energy in that gym with these people getting warm was incredible, and it was so clear that from the top down, this place was the real deal.
What made this place stand apart even more though, was the level of professionalism they all had towards the program. It was eye opening to see how much time and effort was put into getting the gym to run the way it did and I can’t respect the group enough for putting their vision to action so well. And to top it all off, the seriousness that they had towards programming and how the gym was run did not stop them from being able to have a crap load of fun. I was watching two different classes being run at the same time and it was great to see how seamlessly things rolled along and everyone seemed to be having so much fun.
I would definitely go out of my way to get back here at least one more time in the next few months, not only to t a great workout in, but to hang out with the coaches and athletes and just feed of their awesome energy!
CrossFit West Sacramento:
After logging a couple hours there, Blair and I drove across town to CrossFit West Sacramento where we joined their evening class for a brutally fun workout. Now this place was a bit more of your “classic” CrossFit box. The thing that really stood out about it though, was the insanely high ceiling. It literally was a box of a gym, just a huge square; a good pull up rig along the back wall and two rows of rings hanging from the ceiling on both sides of the gym. A good-sized group shuffled in and we all got warmed up and then went through the Burgener Warm Up before working on our squat snatch form a little. We then split up into two heats and attacked the workout.
21-15-9 squat snatch 135#
9-15-21 ring knees to elbows
We went in the second heat and blasted out of the gates. The strategy here was to just chip away at the snatches one at a time, and then get the rings all unbroken. Once I got into the teens with the snatches I was able to feel a little more comfortable with it and tried to settle into to rhythm. For me, this was all right at the line of being to heavy to go fast, I never quite got out of breath, and I never quite felt like I wouldn’t be able to get a rep. I ended up only missing three reps on account of not using my legs enough, but all in all it was one hell of a work out. But the best part was the fact I got to work out with such a large group of people! It never fails really, get a good group of hard workers together (it does not matter fitness level at all, as long as they all are willing to work their butts off), and your workouts will be exponentially better.
I could tell from the coach’s attitudes and energy that this place had an incredible following. Yeah, not going to lie, any place that has a handful of coaches in the gym on a Friday night after 6pm, teaching a class of around 20 (with a good handful of people just hanging around cheering everyone on!) is a damn sweet gym to spend your time. Over the years I have found it more and more frustrating that I can’t find a good group of people willing to forgo Happy Hour or their typical Friday night shenanigans to head to the gym or out to the trails for a hardcore workout. And this place packed them in! Sweet!
I must say, the overall welcome I received from both these boxes was humbling. I can’t say enough for how cool and down to earth the Northern California CrossFit community is (at least the close to 30 affiliates I visited), and I know this must be the over-all trend around the world. The desire to just be in the gym, or out on the trails, or running around the water all day in the Sacramento area with Blair and his fitness buddies was overwhelming and I will not pass up any opportunity I have in the future to head back out there. It is the most incredible feeling to know that if you ever want to go do anything active, you will have an insane number of people ready and willing at a moments notice to join you. That right there was the feeling I got from being around Blair and visiting these two affiliates. Their excitement towards fitness in general matches mine; hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if it surpassed mine a good deal of the time. I love that.
I was saddened by the tough decision to cancel my visit out to Sac Valley CrossFit in Elk Grove. Scheduling and the desire to get back home to the girl led to keeping my visit to 2 gyms. I also had the opportunity to visit CrossFit Stompin’ Ground, and just couldn’t swing it. Well, I guess I’ll really have to head back out there soon!
I was able to et some great time hanging with my buddy Blair, checked out the spot where his new gym will be opening in about a month (insane how awesome it is!), and had tons of great conversation. Ideas are running wild!
Over the course of this week you can expect a couple things: LOTS of updates on the Courage Games 2011, a whole slew of posts on my programming as we get closer and closer to the CrossFit Games Open Sectionals, and, tomorrow, along with the videos from this past weekend, I’ll be posting up the big news in my life that I have been struggling with and talking about posting now for the past month.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well, it's been a full month of complete unknown and unknowable and I have been beyond eager to get back on a regular program. Here is what I'll be doing this month:
Monday: Olympic lifting, supplemental/support exercises, short speed metcon
Tuesday: Pool work, skill work, speed work
Wednesday: Olympic lifting, supplemental/support exercises, short speed metcon
Friday: Skill work, support exercises, short heavy metcon
Saturday: Endurance (run, swim), alternating weight/heavy metcon and speed metcon
This program will give me 1-2 two-a-days per week, and plenty of focus on my weaknesses: Oly lifting and skills. I am really looking forward to some huge gains this month and to help, I'll be dialing in my nutrition as well. Cutting added sugar out entirely (easily my biggest weakness), upping my veggie intake two-fold and mixing in more fish (at least 3 times per week). At this point I have no clue as to what to expect in terms of these Open Sectionals for the CrossFit Games, so all I can do is work my butt off. I am prepared to focus on my weaknesses, work as hard as I possibly can and the rest, well, we'll just have to see. As long as I can still be smiling before and after each workout, then I know I am on the right track.
Tomorrow I am headed up to Sacramento to hang with my good buddy Blair Morrison and visit three affiliates out there. Super excited to hang with a bunch of beasts and get some great workouts in!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
I woke up with a hop in my step Monday morning because as mylast official visit for this crazy month of CrossFit visits I would be headedto CrossFit San Mateo. For those of youwho do not know, I have just recently folded my box in Burlingame to partnerwith Brendon, owner and coach over at San Mateo for the next handful ofmonths. This partnership comes thanks toa HUGE life decision made by my girl Lindsey and I and seemed like the logicalnext step for me and my business. I knowI’m leaving a lot of you on the edge of you seats with this whole decisionthing, but I will be making the announcement this weekend at the very latest.
But I digress. Thepoint being is that I have a quickly growing relationship with the athletes atCrossFit San Mateo and so far I am enjoying my time there a ton. To get to the gym, you have to navigate tothe most hidden road in downtown San Mateo, the one the parallels the railroadtracks very closely. Directly acrossfrom the main train station you’ll see a string of small warehouses andsandwiched between the grungy buildings is this gym. Stroll is and you are met by a pretty barrencollection of equipment. There are somebars, plates, a couple rowers, med balls, bands, a few DB’s and KB’s and boxesand that’s really about it. Theequipment is spread between two pretty distinct sides of the gym. The front portion has a pretty sweet pull uprig and houses the front desk area on the uneven concrete floors. The back half is all rubber–floored and hasan additional pull up rig as well. Thisside has a little higher ceiling and there are a couple ropes hanging upthere. A little thrown together, butabout as “classic” as they come! And to add to the fun, there’s apretty good sized lot on the side of the gym with a few tires, and the hiddenstreet paralleling the tracks is perfect for some spectator workouts!
Brendon, the owner here is an extremely down to earth andcharismatic dude. He knows his stuff,he relates to everyone very well, and then, he tears it up fitness-wisehimself. As we speak he is in theprocess of getting a sub-4 minute mile. Good freaking lord (to put that in perspective, he would lap pretty muchanyone reading this on a mile run on the track…sick)! In almost exactly a year of existence,Brendon has organically grown his spot to be a pretty damn good gym. The combo of well-placed location, greatcoaching and an enormously welcoming community, CrossFit San Mateo has nothingbut positive potential going into its second year. And awesome steps are already takingplace: a couple great additional coachesn Tuan and Erica, a boot camp class, a powerlifting class and a Kids class areall new additions that will bring in some pretty well-deserved attention to thegym.
But what sets this place apart for me is the perspectiveBrendon inspires in his athletes. As anactive athlete himself, he firmly believes that CrossFit is not just a greatway to get in shape, but also the best way to train for specific sports. His goal for all athletes that walk throughthe doors is to sign up and DO SOMETHING. Use CrossFit as the base to actually compete in some way shape or formout there. People are signing up forraces, triathlons, swimming meets, CrossFit competitions and more, it is sogreat! This is totally something Ibelieve in. Come in and work your buttoff; but make sure you’re working it off FOR something. This is a logical concept that a lot ofpeople miss out on.
Enough on that, we had a workout to get after! And when 6pm rolled around we had about 24total athletes packed in there ready to get after it!
3, 3, 3, 3, 3 power cleans
6 rounds of:
150 meter run
10 pull ups
8 hang power cleans 135#
6 lateral burpees
Soooo… I decided to skip out on the clean work as I did someheavy clean and heavy jerk work earlier in the day (a miserable outing I mustadd). We got after a great warm up thenI hung getting good video footage and helping out as the massive group workedon their clean form. After that we allattempted to figure out how to get this workout in. Brendon, Tuan and I decided to wait to jointhe 7pm group for it and everybody got themselves set up with modificationswhere needed. Watching this workout gotme so pumped to get after it, I couldn’t wait. When 7pm rolled around I was more than ready. Unfortunately Tuan jumped the gun and gotafter it on his own…, but then I got to join the smaller, and superhard-working 7pm group. My goal was toget the whole thing unbroken, and even though the top athletes were gettingthis in the low 17’s, my goal was sub-10. That is totally possible for you firebreathers out there by theway. I ended up finishing in 10:54 andthat 6th round was one of the toughest things I have ever done. My lack of fuel caught up to me, but havingBrendon just ahead of me kept me going. He finished in 10:24 I think and we both were able to get it allunbroken.
In the end I was all smiles. I had an awesome workout with a HUGE group of really energetic people. And what I think placed a close second behindthe 10 minutes of wonderful hell, the social connections happening after theworkout. It was so great to see all theathletes stretching after working their tails and chatting amongstthemselves. They all seemed to connectso wonderfully.
I am proud to be a part of this gym and will be sad to leaveit in a few months. I hope that I can domy part in catapulting CrossFit San Mateo into a new realm of CrossFitaffiliate, one that helps change the world y getting people to take theirfitness out side of the gym. And thewhole Bay Area will get a chance to come hang out there in a few weeks. After the Courage Games 2011, there will bean awesome after-party hosted by CrossFit San Mateo. So, I expect to see all you out for thecompetition on the 19th, and I hope you all can make theafter-party. We’ll have food, we’ll havedrink, we’ll have raffles and we’ll have a few more bits of entertainment!
CrossFit San Mateo
23 S. Railroad Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94401
This marksthe official end of my CrossFit Community Month. I will be visiting 3 more in the Sacramentoarea this coming weekend, and of course, I plan to visit hundreds more in thecoming years. This was one of the mostinspiring and educational times of my life and you all can expect a fewarticles inspired by my journey. I’m excitedto get back to my regular posts!
Never Stop,GET FIT.
I woke up bright and early, still feeling broken downcompletely to take on a double workout with the athletes at CrossFit EastBay. I was actually really excited forthis visit for two reasons: first, they were doing a couple workouts that fitperfectly with my hopes to recover from such a crazy tough workout. Second, I was really excited to visit theOakland/Berkeley area of the Bay Area, an area I had yet to visit since movingout here!
The day started off with a visit to a track up in thehills. I got there a bit early and waspretty impressed with the amount of people getting after it up there. Right when I was getting worried that I wasat the wrong location, or that I had missed the cancellation notice, a noticeda group of definite CrossFitters walking on in. The high socks were the give-a-way.
The group was small but they were all clearly ready to getafter it and I was in some serious need to a good track workout. It was exactly what I needed to get thingsloosened up in my body a bit, and looking at this group, I knew I would be pushedvery hard! Head trainer Maximus welcomedme to the group and I chatted with a few of them as we got ourselves warmed up.
We had a set rest between all sets as well and just likethat, we were off. I ended up runningabout a step in front of a beast of an athlete and that helped SO much to pushme that much harder. I got a prettyslow, but very comfortable 6:45 on the 1600, then 3:01, 3:12, 1:12, 1:18, :34, :34, :35, :15, :18, :17, :16 respectively. I was so spent after this,but it was that sort of spent that makes you walk away feeling real good. All of us were gasping for air, but we allhad this sweet buzzing energy about us. And the best part: we were headed back to the gym to get after workoutnumber two!
Unfortunately, only ONE of the track folks (not countingwith myself and coach Max) actually showed up for the workout. Oh well, we had four others there and itended up being the perfect number for what we had in store. But before that, I have to go into thisgym. It was awesome!
You pull up to this massive freestanding building (lookslike it was an old paper mill or something) with this huge brick smoke stacktowering into the sky. There’s a hugefront archway, and to get in you go through what seems like a tiny little doorhidden the elaborate front. Duck on intothe front desk area and you are met with a classic welcome: a big front desk, abunch of snacks, sports drinks, and water for sale, along with shirts, climbinggear and a few other odds and ends. Thenyou look out into the gym floor and you see to your left a good 20 yards ofbouldering wall (differently angled climbing wall only getting about 15 feethigh). To the right is just a huge flatclimbing wall, but what blows your mind is what’s behind that wall. Towering to the probably 50-foot ceilings isthe biggest indoor climbing space I have ever seen. Back in Maryland I used to head to a placecalled Earth Treks, and I thought that place was big. This place seems so much bigger for somereason and it was pretty humbling to just stand there looking up at all theholds.
To get to the CrossFit, you got to walk past all thebouldering area and head to the back where a normal space would keep all theirstorage. Wedged into an L-shaped, smallarea is everything you’d expect from a CrossFit box: pull up bars along thewalls, bars, plates, KB’s, rowers, bands and a few other odds and ends. It’s not packed with equipment by any means,but for the space that’s available, it has everything you’d need. Max welcomed me back once again and I wasintroduced to another coach, Ynez. Agood group warm p and we were back at it for workout number two.
1 mile run
50 KB swings 1.5 pood
Rest until the clock hits 20 minutes
Starting at 185#, each athlete performs 1 deadlift, add 10#repeat, add 10# repeat. Continue goingaround until everyone fails.
This was fun. Itwasn’t super tough, but just enough to push the body a little harder. And, after the track work, that mile feltlike 3! I finished the first part injust over 13 minutes, but soon realized I had used a 44# KB rather than theprescribed 53#! I banged out a quick 20extra reps just for the hell of it. Thedeadlift relay was a pretty fun one. Weall took our reps and as we got into the 300# range, people started to findtheir wall. Max stuck with it through355# and then it was all me. This iswhen it started to get tough, I basically had to pull the weight, then stepback while a couple people added weight, then go and get another repagain. Surprisingly, I was able to getall the way up to 465#. I went for475#, but the second the weight left the ground I knew the form would bebrutal, so I stopped there. Was veryhappy with that.
I hung for a little longer getting some interviews and justtalking with the athletes. The communityhere seemed really closely connected. Ithink the space they worked out of added to that tight-nit feel; I also couldfeel that having that climbing space right next to the gym added a whole new,awesome dynamic all around. I amsurprised you don’t see more of that really. CrossFit mixed into the same spot with Martial Arts is a little morecommon, but it seems that climbing and other extreme sports and CrossFit wouldgo hand in hand.
Either way, I had a great time with Max and crew and Ireally do hope to get back out there. Perhaps I can get a little bouldering in before a good workout! I also have a cousin who lives up in Berkeley,so I have even more of an excuse to get up there. I highly recommend checking the place out, it really is breathtaking!
CrossFit East Bay
520 20th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
One final post in the Bay Area for my CrossFit CommunityMonth is coming up soon! I’m excited toget out to Sacramento to hang with my buddy Blair Morrison and check out a fewaffiliates out there this weekend!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Late Thursday afternoon Lindsey and I jumped in the car andzipped down to visit one of the longest running affiliates: CrossFit SanJose. I was already a bit bummed outbecause waking up in the morning I was more sore than I can remember. It felt like I had pitched 15 innings withboth arms with a weighted baseball and there was no way in a million years Iwould be able to get a workout in. Itwas all for the better anyway because the workout was insane volume on theshoulders! I apologies to CrossFit SanJose as this was the only visit in all my visits that I did not workout;but, it lead to me being able to get some pretty great footage of all the greatathletes!
I was welcomed with smiles not only from the couple coacheswho were there at the time, but by the TONS of athletes who were there aswell. Let me try to put this inperspective for everyone: The gym isactually pretty small in comparison to most CrossFit boxes. I would instantly place it in the “classic”category if I had walked in there during a down time. But they pack in the athletes in expertfashion. I counted a good 15 or sopeople in the class when I walked in, and there were a solid 12+ in the classwhile I was there, and another massive group prepping for class after that, impressive!
The place jumps out at you right off the bat with theirincredible pull up rig just inside the roll-up doorway. The thing is an absolute tank and has allthese different heights, even high enough to get a couple sets of rings hangingwith plenty of headroom! They have somuch equipment stuffed in there its incredible that they have so much openspace. There is a home-made med ballstand hidden behind the pull up rig, stacks of plates, bars, squat racks andmore along the right wall. Then thereare tumbling mats, rowers along the back wall. Man, the more I think about it the more I am amazed at how well theyutilized the space. And they really hadeverything and more! They also hadropes, climbing ladders, KB’s, DB’s, yeah, shoot, they had it all!
The class was run very efficiently. They did a handful of agility ladderexercises which I really liked, then went through some progressions for boththe clean and the jerk, working slowly up to some decently weighted attempts. Then they all got themselves ready for theworkout.
Ground to overhead anyhow for time
This basically meant you have to pick a weight and get itover your head enough to equal that total number, pretty cool! I am not even about to attempt to write outwhat the weights and reps would be here, but if you have a calculator, you canfigure it out. But I am not going tolie, it looked tough as all hell! Theyhad a 17 minute cap on this one just to make sure the next class could getstarted on time, and a lot of the athletes were not able to make it under thattime. But it was an all out effort ofhoisting heavy weight for an extended amount of time. I am so going to have to try that one at somepoint!
After the athletes caught their breath I was able to talk toa few of them, as well as a couple of the coaches. It was pretty clear from all of them thatCrossFit San Jose was a pretty tight community. They are the self-prescribed “Bad News Bears” of the San Jose areaCrossFit’s. What that means for all younon-film-watchers out there is that they are a group of people you would notnecessarily expect to be super dedicated fitness buffs, but they certainlyare. And that really shone true as Iwatched them all in there. There weredefinitely a handful of beasts, or “fiebreathers”, but for the most part, itwas just a bunch of average Joe’s working their asses off. I have to admit, it is really motivatingwatching a group of people who are NOT muscle-bound beasts workout like crazy!
Another interesting thing about CrossFit San Jose is theownership. It is co-owned by 5 differentpeople, all who have jobs outside of the gym as well. Crazy. Personally, I cannot imagine how that works out, but it seems to begoing pretty damn well. All in all, thisparticular affiliate clearly has a following that has been growing for a longwhile up to this point; and they clearly have no intention of slowingdown. It was incredible to hear how somany people had an intense loyalty to their program and that is something thatI find is a going theme with CrossFit. It breeds connectivity amongst athletes, coaches and friends andfamily. It makes working out fun!
Again, I really wish I could have joined the group for aworkout, I guess I’ll have to head back there in the near future to see whatthat is like! All the same, it was ablast to hang out with everyone, and inspiring to see the hard work and thehuge-family-like feel of the place!
CrossFit San Jose
1190 Dell Ave., Unit C
Campbell, CA 95008
Two more posts to come soon for my visits! After a few more visits in the Sacramentoarea, I’ll be back to my regular posts. Be sure to check out the updates to the Courage Games 2011!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Sorry if words are stuck together (liekthis), for some reason when I save to a live post that us just happening)
After waking up in just about as much pain and soreness as I have ever been, I took the drive down the Peninsula to visit CrossFit MountainView. This affiliate is a very new addition to the Bay Area and is run by a real cool coach Alex Rollin. It is actually the second gym owned by Jason Khalipa, who I visited a few days before at his base gym CrossFit Santa Clara. Basically, click on the Mountain View website and you end up at the Santa Clara one. But head to one or the other and you will see two totally different boxes.
Mountain View looks a little bare bones but you could tellthe second you walk in there that what it lacks in equipment, it makes up for 100% in coaching, programming and hard working athletes. Located just a turn or two off the 101, it’s the last warehouse in a string of them. Head to the back and you see the pull up bar across the large roll-up doorway. Walk in and you are met with a pretty barren gym floor, a great pull up rig with rings and such along the back wall, bumpers, KB’s, bars, racks, GHD’s and rowers along the right side wall and a few plyo boxes scattered bout. And that’s about it. I came in for the noon class and was just going to hang out and watch them and then get a workout in with Alex afterward. The intensity thatthe class had got the blood pumping instantly in me and I was stating to lose the doubts I had had earlier in being able to actually workout.
Alex ran the decently sized group through some Oly lifting progressions and they all got themselves set up for their workout. This place seemed to take their fitness very seriously. But what stood out to me was the fact that everyone approached the workout at the highest level of intensity they could handle. What I mean by this is that each athlete clearly had the understanding that no matter what weights and modifications they might need to utilize, they would still go at 100%. This led to a hugely intense and fun class to watch. Some went for the ring dips, pullups, squats and run unbroken, others just prescribed weight, and others used modified exercises. It was clear that from the top down here, people knew what was going on and things ran smoothly and efficiently. More mental notes were taken on my part for my space!
After the class got after it, and after we all hung for a bit chatting and talking fitness, Alex, his friend “handsome” Dan and myself slowly got prepped for out little workout. Dan was a little hung over, I was feeling like I had been hit by a truck, then backed over by an even bigger truck, and I’m sure our enthusiasm for a workout was bringing Alex down a little. But, we put our heads together for a little burner and wrote it out.
3 rounds for time of:
50 air squats
40 total walking lunges w/ 45#
30 KB swings 1.5 pood
20 toes to bar
10 meters burpee broad jumps
This seemed like an alright workout on the white board, but right around the middle of the second round things just came crashing down on all three of us it seemed. Yeah, this one crushed me like crazy. The squats were fine enough all the way though, the lunges…good lord did they burn, and for me, my back just tightened up like crazy on them. By the third round I could only get 5-8 steps before standing for a little rest. The KB swings were fine until the back tightened, and on the final set I couldn’t even get 10 unbroken. The toes to bar is where I actually made up my time. I chose to use a staggered grip and this helped me to be able t get at least 5 reps per effort. The first round I got unbroken. In the end I rolled in with a time of 18:09, a little less than a minute behind Alex, and I was ready to just curl up in a ball and go to sleep.
We all hung for a bit and chatted and I really enjoyed that. Alex is a cool, down to earth guy. And with his background in baseball, we had all kinds of stories to share with each other (for those ofyou who don’t know, I did play a few years of independent Minor League ball). I would easily put Alex’s spot in that “classic” category, and even more bare bones than the ones I have already put in there. Yet another perfectexample of good coaching and programming leading to a well-attended gym,despite the lack of equipment and fanciness.
I know for a fact I’ll be hanging out with Alex in the very near future. If I were to surround myself with people I have met in California so far with the energy that motivates me perfectly, Alex would be in that group with no hesitation. I think there is nowhere but UP for him and his gym. And with the help and guidanceof Jason Khalipa right there with him along the way, it is pretty much guaranteed that his spot will grow fast.
CrossFit Mountain View
1280 La Avenida Drive,
Mountain View, CA 94043
Back on my own programming now and feeling pretty weak. I am excited to feel the gains though with the programming I am designing. I’ll post up in a few days what the program is all about. Two more posts coming shortly!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!