Emilie S. Is The June Member Of The Month

If you’ve been to our 3:30 class at Cróga, then you definitely know Emilie. She is a die hard 3:30er now and rarely misses a class unless she’s out of town doing something cool like camping in the desert for a week while off-roading. She’s one of those members that listens well, puts in the time and hard work, kind of flies under the radar and then you look up one day and she’s doing something she’s never done before and it kind of catches you off guard.

The progress we’ve seen Emilie make over the last 3 years is absolutely fantastic and I know that she takes pride in how her hard work has paid off and the constant progress she makes. She is just another outstanding example of how when you put in the time and do the work you will be capable of things you never thought possible.

Congratulations Emilie, this recognition is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined Cróga in July 2015

What were you doing before for fitness?
I’ve done a lot of things to maintain fitness, but just previous to Crossfit, I was swimming laps 3 to 4 times a week.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
The first Crossfit Workout I completed was front squats and running. Just a squat by itself was difficult, and I quickly figured out my mobility was pretty bad and my running worse.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
It’s easy for me to know that I am way stronger. Looks are something we all struggle with, but I know in general I hold my posture better, and a small thing like just standing and putting my hands on my hips, I can feel something other than mush now :).

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I really loved going to the 0500 and 0600 class because it gave me the energy to get through the day. Work has changed that and I have to be at the airport two hours before that now, so for the last 15 months, the 3:30 class has become my home and I love it too. I think that getting to the 3:30 class after work (as most do in that class) has made me a bit stronger and reduced how much I grumble about the WOD. I make the choice to go, and I have rarely heard anyone else complain, so it’s basically time to suck it up and work through it.

What’s your favorite WOD?
A long Chipper.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Well, I like to say my least favorite WOD has a lot of rowing. That is because I’m short and slow. Haha!

“The Emilie” WOD! What would it be?
A Chipper with 200 run, push presses, Sit Ups, 200 run, toes to bar, push-ups, 200 run, dumbbell snatches, burpees, cleans….blah blah blah until you can’t or times up, lol!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
My routine is usually stopping at the produce stand on the way home, watering plants in the backyard, then getting ready for the next day. 0330 is usually about 9 hours away at that point.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I’ve played many competitive sports over the years including tennis, volleyball, softball, soccer and competitive sailing. CrossFit is by far the sport that will take you through the years healthy so that everyday functions become so much easier.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I think that I have gotten somewhat stronger over the last year or so, and I still wish I could attain those goals like an unassisted pull-up or a handstand. I do have an everyday goal though, and that is to lift half of what Kristi lifts…haha. True though, and still difficult or not possible at times.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Oh, I just love watching new people join Cróga and get through their first WOD, first week, first month. I just want to encourage this is for everyone, and absolutely everyone is welcome at Cróga. I don’t know if it gets old saying it, or hearing it, but CrossFit with Dave, Cody, and the whole Cróga community is the best thing you could do for yourself.

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New Coach Spotlight: Brett M

Coach Brett was born and raised in San Jose and although he enjoys spending time outside and the outdoors, he has never really strayed far from home base (he’s lived within 1 mile of the house he was brought home to his whole life). He grew up in a house with 6 kids (five boys and one girl), which meant constant action and competition and even some controlled chaos (just like a good CrossFit class). He trained in Tae Kwon Do for 14 years (instructing for 13 of them), earned the rank of 5th-degree black belt and learned a lot about responsibility, focused training and discipline in the process. He’s also the kind of guy that loves to take on a challenge and learn a new skill, whether it’s juggling, archery, even Ballet or unicycling (his current new skill of choice). On top of all of this, he’s the kind of person that has a thirst for knowledge and loves learning new things so that he can help others achieve their goals.

It’s no wonder coaching is the perfect occupation for him and we absolutely love that we’ve been able to add him to our staff here at Cróga! Check out his Q&A to find out more about Coach Brett.

Full Name:
Brett Moore

Tell us a little bit about your family, job, and interests:
CrossFit coach, youngest of 6 kids (5 boys and one girl), I enjoy going outdoors, having adventures, and learning things that I have always been interested in. The list so far includes tap dancing, ballet, juggling, unicycling (in progress), kite flying, archery, tae kwon do, krav maga, telling jokes, cooking, eating, sleeping, CrossFit, and last but not least, playing with my dog, Cake (One of these things is not true. Guess which one correctly and you get a prize. Guess wrong…10 burpees!).

What was your athletic background before you started CrossFit?
I trained in Tae Kwon Do for 14 years and earned the rank of 5th-degree black belt. Taught for 13 of those years and was the chief instructor for over 11 years. Played baseball for 10 years as a kid (huge mistake, so boring). I also played volleyball in High School, I like to jump! =)

Why/how did you get started with CrossFit?
I got the most out of shape of my life. Teaching every day did not include training every day and that eventually caught up to me. The apartment my wife and I were living in at the time was right behind CrossFit Almaden and after watching them throw weights around outside every Saturday for about a month, I finally walked over and got started.

What made you decide to become a CrossFit Coach?
Truthfully, I just wanted a key to the gym so I could work out whenever I wanted. True story. After a few months of coaching though, I realized I would be able to help people reach their goals in a new and challenging format. I love martial arts immensely but after a decade of teaching, I needed a change and coaching CrossFit was the perfect fit.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
There is actually video footage of me at 4 years old saying “I want to be a karate guy when I grow up.” To this day, I still believe I was speaking prophetically because I had NEVER done martial arts, only watched the ninja turtles, and would not even try it until I was 17.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
A bird. Less traffic.

What is the one food that you could never give up?
I will die with Taco Bell in my belly…and probably on my face.

Favorite quote:
“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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Nutrition: The Most Important Puzzle Piece

When it comes to feeling good, looking good and living a long healthy life, there is no debate that eating well is the most important piece to the puzzle.

That is why nutrition is the base of the CrossFit Theoretical Hierarchy of Development and why we discuss it in our intro series with all clients and constantly touch base with all our members about how their eating is going.

With that said, it should be no surprise that nutrition is the number one area of fitness that I’ve written the most about on our blog.

So, whether it’s eating real food, doing a Whole30, going Zone or counting your Macros, we’ve got the knowledge and are willing to help you reach your goals.

Below is a list of blog posts that I’ve written through the years for you to reference to hopefully pique your interest and get you started.

Then, if you’ve got more questions or want more info, feel free to ask your coach or shoot us an email at info@crogacrossfit.comand we’ll get you all the info and help you need.

Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

Nutrition Poster

Ask a Nutritionist

Post-Workout Nutrition

Pre-Workout Nutrition

Ask the Coaches – Best Diet

You’ve Gotta Do Your Part

You Can’t Outwork a Bad Diet

Whole30 Advice

Whole30 Resources

Whole30 Success

Whole30 Success – Vol 2

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Track your Workouts, You’ll End Up More Fit

If you’re a CrossFitter, chances are that one of the reasons you joined the gym had something to do with improving as a human.

Whether that means losing weight, gaining muscle, leaning out, getting strong, running faster, jumping higher, doing cool gymnastics tricks or all of the above, we all have at least one thing we’re looking to improve when we go to the gym regularly.

While all of these are great reasons to work out, just as we discuss in our intro classes, our goal as a gym is to provide you with increased fitness, which, as CrossFitters, means that we’re looking to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

You might also hear CrossFitters talk about how we’re constantly looking to work at higher levels of intensity because, to us, intensity is equal to power output or force times distance divided by time, which gives us an exact metric for how much work we did in any workout.

That all being said, the ONLY way to truly have a goal and work towards it is to write down where you started and track your progress to ensure you’re moving the right direction.

And, if your goal is something that is as open ended as “lose weight” or “get stronger” without choosing exactly how much weight to lose or how much stronger you want to get, I would encourage you to do exactly what we encourage all our members to do in Intro Class 2, which is to eat well and look to improve your fitness and let the body do what it will.

With that said, since the day we opened Cróga CrossFit more than 5 years ago we have been using Beyond the Whiteboard to program and track our members workouts and results.

If you did an intro with us, we definitely set up an account for you and showed you how to use it, and if you came to us from another CrossFit gym, a sign up link and demo video were included in your welcome email.

We love this software because it allows you to easily see the workouts that you’re going to be doing that week (we release 1 week of workouts at a time), easily click the workout/s of the day and log your results, AND keeps track of all previous results while also giving you suggested weights and potential maxes for movements you’ve done before.

It is also a really fun place to challenge your fellow Cróganites and give them a fist pump when the hit a PR (Personal Record).

So, if you haven’t or don’t regularly record your workout results, I encourage you to start today.

Tracking progress and constantly looking to improve, just a little at a time is the path to long term success and will help you reach physical and aesthetic results that you never thought were possible.

P.S. If you need help setting up your BTWB, resetting your password, or learning how to use it again, shoot us our Office Manager, Jill, an email at or ask your coach in your next class and we’ll gladly help you.

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Food for Thought: How to Say No, Resist Temptation, and Stick to Your Health Goals

We’ve all been there.

Presented with an opportunity to eat, drink, do something that we shouldn’t or that we know will undermine our long-term goals.

Well, what if I told you that you could change how often you make the correct or healthy decision by just changing the language that you use when you tell yourself or others no?

One of our old coaches, Justin, sent me this article a couple weeks ago and I thought it would be an awesome addition to our blog because making positive or healthy decisions regularly is often times a matter of creating momentum and letting it snowball, but sometimes we don’t know how to get started.

So, without further ado, I hope you’ll give this blog post “How to Say No, Resist Temptation, and Stick to Your Health Goals” by James Clear a read and give his suggestions a try.

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Intensity Over Volume w/ Chuck Carswell

This might be a little bit advanced for some of you from a methodology standpoint, but this is a message we try to drive home weekly, if not daily in our classes so I thought I’d share this video that was filmed at a CrossFit Level 2 certification.

The path to results is INTENSITY, not volume.

We believe this 100% at Cróga and that’s why on strength days we focus on strength and on Metcon (metabolic conditioning) days we focus on Metcon’s and sometimes even though we have a 1 hour class we only hit a 10 minute workout at the end, but we expect you to go REALLY HARD for those 10 minutes.

When we tell you to go harder because we can see you have more in the tank, but you don’t want to “make it hurt” any more than it already does, go harder, it’ll increase the intensity.

When we tell you to decrease the weight on the bar and go faster because we think that’ll allow you to have better ranges of motion and move safer, please do so, it’ll increase the intensity.

Or, when we tell you to ADD some weight to the bar while squatting because it’s obvious you’re capable of more physically and we want you to get stronger, PLEASE add weight to the bar, it’ll increase the intensity.

The coaches at Cróga are here to help you and get you more fit, while ALSO keeping you safe.

We WILL NOT tell you to do something we don’t think you’re capable of physically.

And if you’re not there mentally, that is ok. Let us know and we’ll work with you to get you to a point where you can achieve better intensity and achieve the results you deserve.

Intensity Over Volume with Chuck Carswell from a CrossFit Level 2 Cert 

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Sean C. Is The May Member Of The Month

As I’ve gotten to know Sean over the last few years I’ve enjoyed having him in class more and more and in what seems to be a recent theme, he’s one of our long-tenured members that I couldn’t believe had never won member of the month before. Sean is one of those guys that always makes it to the gym, morning or night, whatever is necessary with his schedule that day. He always comes to work and to give it everything he’s got. His journey has been absolutely awesome to watch. On top of all of this, he loves bringing his daughters to the gym to hang out and do a little functional fitness, which has been very inspiring and cool for me as a new dad of a little girl. Congratulations on many months of success and a bright fit future ahead, Sean. Thanks for being such an important part of each class you’re in and setting a solid example for all us dad’s of little girls out there.

When did you join Cróga?
I think I joined in May 2015 after talking with a member, Mark Imelli. I think Mark has moved on to be an Orange Theory guy.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was at PayPal at the time so I was going to the gym on campus, mostly doing the elliptical and watching TV, not very effective. I started doing some boot camps that were offered and realized that I needed someone to provide the workout for me otherwise I was inherently too lazy to do anything of substance. I would use my 3 ACL reconstruction knee surgeries as an excuse to do low impact workouts.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I can’t remember yesterday’s workout let alone the one from years ago, but I am positive it kicked my ass. For some reason, I decided to keep coming back. I guess I enjoy punishment. I do remember a time when I was performing a WOD when there was an 8 AM class and I was the only person in the class (probably why it is gone now) and Dave literally thought I was going to have a heart attack and quite frankly so did I. I wish I could remember that workout. He probably has not programmed it again since it almost killed me.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Believe it or not, I have seen improvements in my golf game even though I don’t get to golf that often but my ball striking has definitely improved. You play better golf when you workout, who would have thought. When I was younger it was always a function of how many greyhounds I had to loosen me up.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I usually try to come to the 5 AM class to get the workout out the way. But I will mix in some evening classes depending on how the work schedule is going.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Even though I cant finish it, I look forward to the 12 days of Christmas workout.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
100 burpees, it is a long way down to the ground and back up for me.

“The Sean” WOD! What would it be?
Something like 21-15-9-6-3 deadlifts, power cleans and thrusters.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
After 5 am class….coffee!

What do you love about CrossFit?
I like that the workouts are determined for me (I mentioned I was lazy right), the workouts typically involve a large number of muscle groups and I don’t feel cheated after a workout (usually I am gasping for air when I am done).

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I wish I had one…see my biggest fitness goal below.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
Trying to be smarter about the way I eat and drink (need to reduce my alcohol consumption). Being a bean counter typically leads you to needing a cocktail on a regular basis.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Hi, I’m Sean Cook, member at Cróga Crossfit and I’m here to tell you, you’re perfect just the way you are. But if you feel like losing a few pounds, getting healthier and making some great friends in the process, then Cróga is the place for you. I had to steal a line from Dodgeball, A True Underdog Story. I like quoting movies.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
I would like to thank Dave and his staff as well as the rest of the Cróganites for making getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a lot of fun and allowing my girls to workout with me every once in awhile.

Jill Parker
Operations Assistant

Cróga CrossFit
1547-40 Meridian Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125

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New Coach Spotlight: Laura

Coach Laura is one of those people that has been an athlete her entire life. She’s played on teams or participated in tennis, cross country, basketball, track and field, soccer, gymnastics, softball and now considers her sport of choice, CrossFit. This well-rounded background of sports and the different skills required to excel at each of them allows Laura to connect with all our athletes and understand the different skills and weaknesses they’re working on. Not to mention, by being involved in so many different sports, she has been exposed to a lot of coaches and regularly draws on the many different styles and techniques they used to get the most out of their athletes to do the same in our gym on a daily basis.

Laura is originally from Rocklin, graduated from Sonoma State, works as a financial analyst for Apple, enjoys wine, BBQs, outdoor activities and when she gets a spare moment you’ll often find her upside down working on her handstand. Her favorite part about CrossFit and being a coach is how it has helped her build confidence in her own abilities and being able to pass along knowledge to help our athletes do the same.

We’re very excited to have Laura with us and wanted to give you a chance to find out a little bit more about her, so enjoy her Q&A!

Full Name: Laura Fortier

Tell us a little bit about your family, job, and interests:
Grew up near Sacramento (Rocklin) with my parents and older brother. I currently work at Apple as a financial analyst and have been there a bit over a year. I love to hang out with friends, enjoy summer BBQs, occasional yoga, hike and just plain old relax. Recently started going to a gymnastics gym occasionally (when possible) cause I love just doing the few tricks I know since I was little – and to get better too!

What was your athletic background before you started CrossFit?
I’ve done SO MANY sports. tennis, cross country, track and field, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, softball… Always been a little sporty girl. Doing so many sports has given me the ability to have great body awareness to respond to critique pretty well.

Why/how did you get started with CrossFit?
My boyfriend and good friend introduced me! I was always interested in it but never knew much about it. Gave it a shot one day at a friends and family day and kind of ran with it. Haven’t looked back since!

What made you decide to become a CrossFit Coach?
I LOVE the fact that I’ve become so much more confident as an athlete and that I am more capable now than I ever was before to do things like throwing 100+# overhead. Who would think like that? I want to see others grow and surprise themselves to see what they are really capable of. This sport, if that’s what you want to call it, has given me a lot of confidence in myself cause it has shown me I can do things I never thought I could. I want that for others too. It’s’ such a great feeling!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oooo, well like any little girl that loves her dad, I wanted to be him. But he was an engineer and I certainly didn’t have the same pattern of thinking that people do in those positions. When I got a little older I wanted to be a physical therapist, then a nurse. I ended up getting into Sonoma state’s nursing program but realized later it wasn’t for me. The human body has always been incredibly fascinating to me to try to understand so it just makes sense that I’ve found a passion that still incorporates that interest for me that I decided not to pursue as a career.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I would totally be a giraffe!! You don’t get to see much standing 5ft tall!!! How cool would that be!!!

What is the one food that you could never give up?
On a guilty pleasure note – chocolate ice cream! I have such a sweet spot for it. If you’ve ever had chocolate fudge at Baskin Robins, you’ve really lived the good life. And you’re welcome to those in the Rohnert Park area that the flavor came back, cause I wrote a letter requesting them to continue the flavor there. (tehe!)
I’d also have to say Tacos…cause then there wouldn’t be Taco Tuesday and that’s really not okay.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Any time I’m really around and hanging out you can probably find me doing some handstands in an open area or hanging on the bar. Cant help myself! 🙂
I LOVE WINE. When I travel I like to hop into some CrossFit gyms and grab a workout and shirt!

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Jenny L. Is The April Member Of The Month

Over the past year, it has been a ton of fun to watch Jenny go from the girl who was al because she had been to a couple other CrossFit gyms and didn’t really like them to the girl that asked for Olympic Lifting in the AM classes because she couldn’t make the evenings. She sometimes comes to the gym twice in a day to do some extra credit work.

She has been a fantastic addition to our community with her quick-witted personality and her evolution as an athlete in a year has been impressive to watch. Her dog Leo has also become a regular, always by her side.

Congratulations Jenny, this acknowledgement of all your hard work is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
I wasn’t sure so looked back at emails and I believe May 5th was the 1-year anniversary of my “no sweat intro”.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I have always been active but hit a lull in late 2016 early 2017. I would find excuses for everything, so I knew I had to find a place that felt like a second home. I tried multiple CrossFit places, HIT places, etc and couldn’t find a fit. In the middle of last year, I finally started looking at places close to my home (to limit my excuse factor), saw Cróga on yelp and decided I should check you it out. Dave’s loud ass “JENNNNNNNNNYYYYY” was a lot first thing in the morning, but I knew right then it could be a second home 😉

What was your first workout?
Hmmm, not sure I remember. I think a baseline type of workout.

First reaction to your first workout?
These people must think I haven’t worked out a day in my life.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
#1 – How I feel. When I workout with people I enjoy being around I am just happier and as Adam (my husband) would say, I am a lot more pleasant to be around 😉

#2 – Performance – CrossFit is humbling. I am the most uncoordinated person EVER!!!!! I have always been active but I had never enjoyed CrossFit because coaches were never patient enough to help coach me through the movements until I started coming to Cróga. I still struggle with a lot of movements but I feel much more confident and know that the coaches are there to help.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I started with a 3x a week membership and moved it to Unlimited because I started waking up wanting to go to the gym. Typically I go 4 – 6x a week @ 6 am or 7 am but this past month I have gone to a few 5 am and a few 3:30 pm classes as well!

What’s your favorite WOD?
I don’t know if I have a favorite WOD, but I love back squats & box jumps – probably because it’s what I am most confident in. I also really love a WOD with a strong focus on core, glute and some running – not too much running 😉

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Lately, anything overhead because of my lame ass shoulder.

“The Jenny” WOD! What would it be?
Not sure but these are my favorite things:

  • Box Jumps
  • Core
  • Burpees
  • Run
  • Back Squat

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Putting my shit away and getting my Rubel Roasting coffee at home!!! I am trying to get better about staying a few minutes and stretching/rolling out, especially with my shoulder. Not my favorite but has helped the most – having someone put a 45lb weight on my shoulder.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The family/community aspect. I think we all have days we don’t want to workout but I know I enjoy seeing everyone at Cróga and always feel amazing once I finish my workout….especially if Leo is there!

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Not sure its considered culinary, but Rubel Roasting!!!! Adam and I are hooked.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I can list a million things but at the end of the day I just want to feel good and keep enjoying working out. However, dropping a few lbs and gaining strength never hurt either 😉

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Laugh. Enjoy the company and check your ego at the door. If you workout for you and don’t focus on anyone else you will LOVE it. Don’t give up when you feel defeated, utilize the coaches!!

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
If someone is new to Cróga and starts to feel defeated, DON’T look at the WOD’s the night before!! I realized I would try making excuses for myself if there was something I thought I couldn’t do, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and have coaches adjust the workout, etc…. DON’T LOOK and go enjoy the workout!

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Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

Cróga PSA: For the Ten-Thousandth Time…Lifting Weights DOES NOT make you “bulky”

Before we get started, I must warn you, hearing someone say “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky, I just want to be toned” is probably the number one thing that makes my skin crawl when chatting with people about fitness.

So, with that said, don’t be surprised if I’m a tad animated in my post below.

For months now I’ve followed a guy named Ben Bruno on Instagram, you can check out his account here: @benbrunotraining

I’m not exactly sure how I started following him, but if you sift through his profile you’ll see that he trains some professional athletes.

The thing that might stand out to you though, and how he relates to this blog post, is that he is a bit of a “celebrity trainer” and he works with a few ladies you might recognize, @kateupton, @barbarafialho1, & @chelseahandler.

What might also stand out to you is that his approach with these ladies is one that we strongly believe in, but is not the norm or what most people would expect. He has them squatting, deadlifting and moving heavy weights.

One of his recent posts is spot on with a conversation we’ve had with prospective and existing clients (male & female) hundreds, if not thousands, of times and we almost always answer the same way as Ben Bruno does.

So, ladies, and gentlemen, please stop falling into the cardio web of lies you’ve been fed for years and lift some weights.

And I’m not talking little tiny weights while sitting on a bike at the end of a spin class, they’re just doing that to trick you into thinking they offer weight training too.

And I’m also not talking about high rep, low weight circuit training thrown into your workout between trips to the treadmill, you’re not getting any stronger or leaner by doing that.

I’m talking about squatting, deadlifting, pressing and pulling things that feel heavy and doing it weekly.

Getting stronger WILL NOT make you bigger or bulkier, just see the girls below who do this if you don’t believe me.

Kate Upton:

Barbara Fialho:

Chelsea Handler:


P.S. If you want to come learn how to lift weights correctly and safely, we’d love to have you at @CrogaCrossFit. If you don’t live here or you don’t want to come to Cróga, please, find someone else to teach you how to move correctly and safely and lift something heavy. For the 1,000,000th time: YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY.

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