Andy Petranek is an innovator and pioneer in the CrossFit community. He founded CrossFit LA in 2004 as one of the first original 10 CrossFit gyms, and CFLA is still considered one of the most respected CrossFit gyms in the world.
Andy did not start out as an athlete, however, but a musician. His classically-trained parents encouraged him to play every instrument, and he eventually settled on trumpet by which he earned admission to the prestigious Eastman School of Music. By the time Andy attended the University of Rochester, music was out the window. His desire to serve in the military made fitness his new, top priority. After graduation, Andy was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. where he served four years including a tour in the first Gulf War.
After leaving the Marines, Andy turned his focus toward extreme endurance sports. When he wasn’t working his regular sales-rep day job, he was outrigger-canoe paddling across the Molokai channel, , whitewater kayaking down waterfalls, snowboarding, rock climbing, climbing Mt. Rainier, and racing his bike across Costa Rica. In 1995, he took on his first Eco Challenge, a round-the-clock, 300-mile expedition adventure race that is regarded by athletes across the world as the greatest, most extreme challenge ever. He eventually did four Eco Challenges and was eventually sponsored by Red Bull for shorter distance races (24 hours or less). Andy routinely placed in the top three in at least 30 races over five years.
Andy discovered CrossFit in 2004 and he says it forever changed his life and how he approached training. “CrossFit, to me, was a system that encapsulated all I believed about fitness in a very well developed, thought-out and organized system.” Andy says. “And when I tried it, it turned my boring, mundane training workouts into athletic challenge... more of a sport.” Not long after, CrossFit Los Angeles was born. To this day, Andy maintains that after almost nine years of CrossFitting and at age 46, he is in the best shape of his life.
Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife Julia and his six-year old son Dashel George, his primary motivator nowadays. Andy recently graduated with a masters in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica and he just wrote the book Fire Your Gym, now available at bookstores and Amazon.
Kenny Kane grew was raised in fitness. The house he grew up in was literally less than 50 yards away from the his family’s business: a fitness club. Working out, playing sports and constant movement were not just part of life - it was life as a child. With a mom in the Swimming Hall of Fame, a grandfather that was the president of the AAU and a father that was an official at several Olympics, Kenny was exposed to innumerable Olympians from a variety of sports throughout his life. Although his mom was a world class athlete she is an even better coach. She has an insane knack for diagnosing human movement and improving it. Furthermore she taught Kenny early on that sport can teach some of the most important qualities in life: hard work, confidence, breath and mind control, discipline, honor, camaraderie, sportsmanship, dealing with success and failure. His family set the stage for a lifetime of athletics, performance and fitness.
At 15 Kenny earned his Black Belt while simultaneously becoming an instructor. As a sophomore, he was often teaching adults twice his age. In this environment he learned quickly to hold his ground and command a room despite lack of age and or life experience. He captained his high school soccer team and was a two-time, all-state soccer player for the Olympic Development Program. At 17, he started teaching himself hip hop by recording “Yo-MTV Raps!” and repeating every step he saw the. Somehow, in addition to doing all of this and being Student Body President, he completed two triathlons before graduation.
The university years were just as busy. At UC Davis, he played soccer, continued doing triathlons to “stay in shape,” and danced in hip hop shows. He also started track by walking onto the team (without any significant track experience) and running under legendary coach Dee Vochatzer, the ’96 US Olympic Coach. During his time at Davis he helped start the UC Davis Aggie Pack. The goal of the Aggie Pack goal was simple: Get people to athletic events and have fun once they are there. Upon graduation Kenny was awarded the Chancellor’s Award of Merit, given only to the top 5 graduates of the class. After graduation he led the Aggie Pack to became the largest student spirit organization in the country with over 5,000 members. (To this day, professional teams and NCAA programs across the country mimic Aggie Pack methods from the early and mid 90‘s.)
From Davis, Kenny went on to to teach Physical Education and Drama at a school in his hometown. He moonlighted by continuing a decent post collegiate running campaign competing for both the Nike Farm Team and the Reebok Aggies. This is also when he started stand up comedy in the bay area. 2-3 training sessions a day, teaching kids how to move and perform and learning the art and craft of stand up made for a full life - perhaps too full. After 3 years of teaching he was recruited back at UC Davis for a job in Athletic Promotions that seemed perfect on paper. However, 80 hour work weeks, over-training for the Olympic Trials, total lack of sleep all led to a career ending running injury (torn plantar fascia). As a mentor once taught him: “Breakdown leads to breakthrough...IF you let it.”
Kenny broke through, switched gears and pursued stand-up because it was the hardest thing he could think to do: Develop an hour of material, polish it and go headline. Through the 2000‘s Kenny toured the country and world performing stand up. Additionally, he gave motivational talks to high schoolers, college students, and business types about taking the risks to do the things you love. Kenny loved stand up because it is so much like a sport - you prepare for thousands of hours for just a few moments of precise execution, timing, and fearlessness. If you aren’t in the moment you get torn up... If you are in the moment you are unstoppable.
Teaching people to be in the moment with body and mind is what makes Kenny Kane a great Coach. He knows from a lifetime of experience succeeding and failing as a performer and athlete just what it takes to commit one’s whole being to something - to truly go for it. He was born to coach. He has trained Olympians, NBA players, Premiere League soccer players, A-list celebrities, CrossFit Games athletes, 9-5‘ers. He has created and run several kids fitness programs, coached an adaptive athlete to compete with able body competitors, was a trainer for The CW’s “Shedding for the Wedding,” instructed thousands of hours of hip-hop and martial arts; holds multiple certifications and is a graduate of SealFit’s Kokoro Camp. All of this experience has led to the creation of “The Kenny Kane Training Methodology”: a mind-body training protocol designed to blend the physical and mental demands of training for designated performance outcomes. A lifetime of competing, performing coupled with thousands of hours of teaching a huge variety of things to a huge variety of people make Kenny Kane a unique master coach.
Since January of 2013, Kenny has used his methodology and programming to the betterment of CrossFit Los Angeles.
Matt has been active and having fun in some way shape or form for his entire life. However, he was a late bloomer when it came to organized fitness and athletics. He joined the Mens Rugby team at the University of Rhode Island while he was obtaining a degree in Chemistry. He also spent a lot of time in the weight room and continued to do so when he moved to California to attend graduate school at UCLA.
During grad school, Matt was first exposed to CrossFit, and he was instantly hooked. It was at CFLA School of Mastery that Matt found himself surrounded by peers, trainers, coaches, and mentors that have helped him to drastically improve his well-being by inspiring him to optimize his training, diet, and entire lifestyle. The result is a level of health and fitness that has him feeling and looking better than he ever has before in his life.
These events have served to develop Matt's strong passion for health and fitness. He put in the time and effort to make a career change and is now a Full Time Coach and the Facilities Manager at CFLA. Matt brings his passion for life, health, and fitness to his coaching. His vision is that he will help YOU to experience the same positive influences and changes that he has experienced, so that you can transform your life every single day.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
M.S., Chemistry, UCLA
B.S., Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry, University of Rhode Island
I’ve been playing since I was born. I tackled my uncles during living-room football at age five. I crashed all-boy kickball games on the playground. I was amazing at peewee AYSO soccer. I swam on a swim team. I dove on a diving team. I swam in the ocean. I tried my hand at hurdles. I danced salsa exhibitions. I loved playing, and I loved all physical activity though I loved nothing more than basketball. I ate, drank, slept basketball all through high school.
As an adult I tried hard to hold onto the fun in physical activity. I kicked boxed, Turbo kicked, took dance classes, had a love/hate relationship with the treadmill and elliptical. I even continued to play pick-up hoops on the playgrounds until I was pregnant with my second daughter.
I found myself at CrossFit LA at age 42 when the search to meld fitness and fun again became desperate. After reading an article about couples getting fit together with CrossFit, I sought out CFLA. I’ve been doing CrossFit ever since I stepped foot in the gym three and a half years ago, and I still love it.
I now work in the CFLA office, coach adult classes, and run the Teen Prodigy Program and the Women’s Program at CFLA. I love empowering people by encouraging them to take personal responsibility for their health and fitness. I’m about sustaining a high quality of life through fitness, and having a blast while doing so. I love my job.
I've been married almost 16 years and have two teenage daughters who are about to pass me completely in all things CrossFit, among other things. As they should.
I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. I’ve also earned a CrossFit Kids Trainer Certificate, and a CrossFit Mobility Trainer Certificate.
Michael came on board with CrossFit LA in 2006 and, finding something here that he had never found in his workouts and training before, quickly rose to the top of our leader boards. When he expressed an interest in instructing, we welcomed him with open arms.
Jonesy came to us in 2007 completely frustrated by "pop-fitness" in Los Angeles health clubs. Finding our gym was a relief to him since we gave him a place to train more like what he was used to - and great for us, since he brought with him so many years of athletic training experience.
You'd never believe it if you saw her, but Shirley wasn't particularly fond of athletics or working out growing up! That all changed in high school and college... when she found one of her passions... working with kids!
Jennifer 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!