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CrossFitLA ImageJennifer Shoskes Jennifer has been a student of health and fitness at CFLA for over 5 years. Energetic and passionate, She is personally inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things... and loves helping them make that happen!















CFLA Instructor Development And Mentoring Program (IDAMP)


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Coaching vs. Personal Training


CrossFitLA ImageMost personal trainers rely on their clients to not think. They are happy when their clients leave the gym and have no idea what they did. They also count on their clients not quite achieving their goals. It’s called job security. If your client never achieves his/her goal, and never really knows what to do in or out of the gym for a workout, he/she will always need you!

At CrossFit LA, when you hire us, you are hiring a coach. Our job is to help facilitate your listening, thinking, learning, being aware and being responsible. We guide and steer you on a course and are there to help you maintain your heading when a “storm” throws you in the wrong direction, however, it is clear from the start of our relationship that YOU are ultimately responsible for your health, fitness and vitality. Our instruction focuses on movement techniques and skills, physical conditioning, and the development of healthy workout, eating habits, and self-discipline, so that after a period of time, you’ve got all the essential elements, experience and confidence to make it through your life with health, fitness and vitality.

Exercise Selection


CrossFitLA ImageWhy is it that gymnasts never have to do a bicep curl to get big and strong biceps? How about weightlifters... you may not know it, but they NEVER do leg extensions, leg curls, leg press, or adduction/abduction exercises. Weight machines were designed by engineers to simulate the isolated movement of one muscle in your body. In real life, your body rarely uses one muscle at a time independently of all others. So while you may be getting bigger biceps, you are functionally less strong.

At CrossFit LA, you'll NEVER do a bicep curl or a leg extension. We choose exercises that make large demands on your nervous and muscular systems and require many muscle groups to work together synergistically. Body weight exercises challenge you to be strong and agile enough to be in control of your body (pull ups, dips, handstand push ups, push ups, etc). Weightlifting exercises require technique and skill, and call upon a large number of muscles in your body to work together at the same time (squat, deadlift, clean, jerk, snatch, kettle bell, etc).

Equipment


Most gyms emphasize training on benches or with weight machines. They also have trainers teaching exercises originating from bodybuilding. They do this because it is "safe", easy, and requires little thought or effort outside the specific movement for which the machine or exercise was designed. CrossFitLA ImageNext time you're in your gym sitting in a weight machine, ask yourself, "How closely does this resemble a movement in real life?" How would it look to kick a ball from just your knee down or to take a drink out of a glass by moving just your forearm? Single joint movements (like those done with typical weight machines and and traditional bodybuilding exercises) will isolate a specific muscle, however, rarely in life does our body activate isolated muscles without the support from others. As soon as you sit or lay down on a bench or machine, all of the balance, stabilization, proprioception, and accuracy functions that your body must use in normal activities of real life and sport completely shut down, their functioning unnecessary.

At CrossFit LA, most of what you will see when you come to the gym is open space. Our "machines" are free weights - to simply use them pick them up requires skill, balance, stabilization, proprioception, and accuracy. The skills and movements we teach are all functional and multi-joint (require movement across 2 or more joints in your body). These neuromuscular activities are commonplace in both life and in sport, and since our objective in training is to mimic both, we find that free weights, with proper instruction and coaching, do this best.

Training vs. Exercising


CrossFitLA ImageExercising is something many people do to make themselves feel fit. You’ve seen examples of this: people on the treadmill reading the newspaper; a person moving through the machines, taking lots of breaks, talking to their trainer, looking hardly like they’re “working.” These people get to feel good about themselves because they’ve “checked the box” on their to do list labeled “workout.” These are also the people you see whose physiques never seem to change.

You will never see our clients doing "cardio" while sitting on a bike, reading a magazine. Nor will you see them "exercising" using a weight machine. Our workouts are intense - challenging you and your body to do things you never dreamt possible. They require you to be mentally alert, present and focused and will call upon your coordination, agility, strength, speed, endurance, stamina and flexibility. This is what we call "training" - and its purpose is to make improvements regularly in all areas of fitness.

Space


imageWhen you step into most gyms, the first thing you usually see is a multitude of weight and cardio machines configured as closely as possible together to fit as many as possible into the space. Moving around without bumping into something is next to impossible. After you’ve found the little space that is available, you must squeeze between people, weight machines, off in the corner, or in the middle of a walkway. And forget about leaving your spot or bench or piece of equipment for more than 30 seconds – it will be taken by someone else. In this environment, athletic training is not only impractical, it is impossible.

At CrossFit LA, our emphasis is on space - space to move, to jump, to lift to balance, to climb, tumble, or in other words, train as an athlete, unencumbered by equipment, people and/or other “stuff” in the way.

WHAT IS CROSSFIT?


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CrossFit is Functional

Functional movements in the gym are those that replicate movement in real life or sport. For example, nearly every day in life, you bend over and pick something up.  We ‘practice’ that with a movement like the deadlift. Now think for a moment - when’s the last time you did a bicep curl during your normal day?  Can’t remember?  Neither can we. That, in our definition is NOT function - neither are flys, lateral raises, tricep kick backs, or any other isolated joint movement for the purpose of making one muscle bigger or stronger.  Are those movements bad?  No.  But in terms of the functionality of your body, don’t really have a place in training (unless you’re rehabbing an injury).


CrossFit is Intensity

How much work can you do in a given period of time? The more you can do, the fitter you are, and the higher the intensity of your training. To get this intensity, we we push it right to the edge of “the cliff”... and practice staying there. This ‘red zone’ is extremely risky. One false move, and you’re off the edge… pukie, injury, extreme soreness.  But when you’re not close enough, it usually means your results are compromised.  CrossFit will challenge you to train in that zone.  It’s neither easy nor simple, and is something that takes desire, commitment, and practice. One thing to remember, intensity is determined by your ability to hold good form - we never recommend speed at the expense of form.


CrossFit is Variety

In CrossFit’s definition of fitness, being functionally capable across a broad array of fitness related skills is of primary importance.  These skills include strength, flexibility, endurance, stamina, speed, power, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy.  If you want to be good in ALL of these areas, variety is a must. To get this variety, we use movements and training techniques and skills from the sports of weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning.  We also sprinkle in the use of kettle bells, plyometrics, medicine balls, calisthenics, and sprinting.  CrossFit specializes in NOT-specializing.  Any athlete from any sport can use CrossFit as a training method, and return to their sport better, faster, stronger, more capable.


I’m not that fit. Is CrossFit for me? 

The only difference between the training needs of an elite athlete and an ‘average joe’ is weight, volume, and speed.  What does that mean?  Essentially it means that all the movements we do in CrossFit are universal in their ability to improve performance. Making an adjustment in a workout for a beginner (something we call ‘scaling’ a workout) means reducing the total reps or rounds, reducing the distance, eliminating the clock, reducing the weight, and/or reducing the complexity of a movement. This is something we do all the time and we’re really good at at CFLA.


Is CrossFit a workout or a sport? 
Great question!  CrossFit has been called ‘The Sport of Fitness’.  Why?  Because even though it’s done in a gym with movements that look like fitness movements, doing CrossFit involves risk - similar to the risks that you incur when you play soccer, basketball, or run a triathlon or marathon.  The comparisons don’t end there.  Take a look at the table below.  As you can see, CrossFit looks a lot more like a sport than just a workout.

                         

TYPICAL GYM WORKOUT

SPORT

CROSSFIT

Risk

-

x

x

Dynamic Envirnmnt

-

x

x

Skill Based

-

x

x

Competitive

-

x

x

Proper Form

sometimes

n/a

x

High Intensity

-

x

x

Timed

-

x

x

Measurable Results

sometimes

x

x

Pushing Past Limits

-

x

x

Setting Personal Records

-

x

x

Aesthetics Based

x

-

-

 

A Letter from Andy Petranek, Founder of CFLA

CrossFit is remarkably simple, general strength and conditioning program that will transform the way you think about health and fitness. Yes, it’s THAT effective!  It will do this by exposing you to functional movements at appropriately high intensity, with a ton of variety. The result is long-lasting, evidence-based improvements in your health and fitness. This means that the results you will see for yourself - the evidence - will prove to you that you’re on the right track.  And you will probably be making the greatest improvements of your life.  How do I know this?  Because it happened to me, and still is!


I’ve been CrossFitting since 2004.  When I began, I was a professionally sponsored Adventure Racer.  Each week, I was running 35+ miles, cycling 50, and paddling at least 60 minutes.  I stumbled upon CrossFit.com and decided to try a workout.  It kicked my a**!  This was something that I wasn’t quite prepared for… but not one to back away from a challenge, I decided to give it a try.  I temporarily stopped all endurance training, in favor of CrossFit workouts as ‘prescribed’ by the website.  I also decided that my ‘litmus test’ would be a 5k run… so I went out and set my baseline time.


Even though workouts were short, they included movements that were completely new to me.  So I spent a lot of time in workouts with a lighter load, learning new skills and meant a reduction in intensity in favor of form/practice. This made it all the more intriguing and fun!  It was a huge shift for me. I reduced my training time each week by more than 60%, I was doing more functional strength training than ever, and adding in new gymnastic and weightlifting movements.  By the end of three months I definitely felt stronger, but would I be as fast in a 5k (as the website touted)?  I set out to test it out, and when I crossed the finish line of my 5k, I nearly fell over… 2 1/2 minutes faster! I was hooked! I never thought training in the gym could be this challenging, fun and effective for building everything, even stamina and endurance.  And as I found out later, results like these are common, with people that train consistently. And believe it or not, the results for me continue to this day.  I’m constantly improving my skill, efficiency and increasing my work capacity - 7 years later.


Below is my take on CrossFit - what it is, why we do it, and who it’s for.  Check it out.  If you still want more info specifically about CrossFit, you can click on any of the links at the bottom of the page to get to CrossFit.com main site.


When you’re ready, hope to see you here, with us, as part of our awesome CrossFit LA community!


Andy Petranek, Head Coach / Founder,
CrossFit Los Angeles


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Est. 2004. Santa Monica, CA

CFLA makes Greatist.com’s 27 Most Innovated Gyms in America at #19. “...what makes CrossFit LA stand out from most gyms (CrossFit or not) is its programming. Developed by head coach Kenny Kane, the Mastery Training Template doesn’t just make you stronger and faster.  It goes one step further by emphasizing mental toughness, mindfulness and intention, skill mastery, CrossFitLA Imageconsistent growth, playfulness, and having fun along the way.”

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