Monthly Archives: May 2014

Athlete of the Month: Miguel

Miguel at his first CrossFit competition. Photo courtesy of Battleground South Bay

Miguel at his first CrossFit competition. Photo courtesy of Battleground South Bay

Miguel is a great example of what the A-Team is all about. He is consistent, persistent, and full of positive energy. He never complains or “cherry picks” his workouts and he tackles each workout and lift head on and with fierce determination. Miguel always enters the gym with a huge smile and eager to learn and sweat. He is constantly pushing himself and others and can be found putting in work before and after class, whether it’s mobility, running, or gymnastics movements. He even started a little post class run club. Whatever weakness he finds in himself he attacks it. Miguel recently competed in his first competition, Battleground South Bay and has been destroying old PR’s. Although Miguel has only been with us for six months, we can already see a great progress. We are very proud of you Miguel- keep up the hard work!

Age: 22

Occupation: Software & Network Technician

How did you hear about CrossFit and/or CrossFit Askal?
I would hear about it on TV from athletes and also online. I always noticed the sign outside when I would be in the [800 Carson] plaza but always thought it was too rough or that I wouldn’t last. One day I just walked in and days later I started.

What were you doing prior to CrossFit Askal?
I would “work out” once or twice a week but never kept going. I would go weeks without working out. I had no motivation or that extra push to go out and just do it. I normally just use to work, hang out all day, during the week and the weekends I use to eat out and party. Now I work, work out all week and I eat right…. and still party!

Do you remember your first workout?
Yes. It was MURPH! It almost scared me away but it was just another reason to keep going, so that I would be ready for it next time we meet again.

What do you like most about CrossFit Askal?
I love the feeling of being stronger, faster, and most of all, the physical change it has given (and continues to give) me.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since starting CrossFit Askal?
I weight 25+ pounds less & increase muscle growth.

How often do you come to CrossFit and what time?
At least 5 times a week, at 5pm and I don’t leave until I have worked out enough to reach my goals.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of CrossFit?
I like to be outdoors. It can be anywhere from paintballing to camping out for the weekend.

If you weren’t CrossFitting, you’d probably be…
I’d probably be a shape and still be out of shape. I would still be far from reaching my goals.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you:
Late 2011, I struggled from Bell’s Palsy. That is when I gained 40+ pounds. It hit me hard, didn’t want to go out or do anything just work and be at home. I use to walk around looking like half my face was asleep. Now you can’t tell it ever happen.

Future goal(s): Get back down to 185lbs-190lbs with a six pack!

Favorite moment(s):
Celebrating at The Stache and Tacos after the Battleground South Bay Competition.

Favorite athlete:
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet

Favorite workout:
Murph (showed me my weaknesses)

Least favorite workout:
Murph (It’s a love & hate thing)

Are you paleo? Yes, I try hard daily.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining CrossFit Askal and/or anyone new (in Elements):
You will struggle but the next day you will be stronger. Sore or not show up and keep a schedule that you know you will stick to. Eat right but I am not saying eat less but make better choices when you eat. When working out always focus, always remember those goals, and just have fun!

Anything else you would like to say:


Goal Setting

Last month, Ralph's goal was to place on the podium at Battleground South Bay and he did with a 3rd place finish in men's intermediate division!

Last month, Ralph’s goal was to place on the podium at Battleground South Bay and he did with a 3rd place finish in men’s intermediate division!

At CrossFit Askal, we designate a special area on the whiteboard for our members to write their goal(s) and every month we encourage them to think of new goals to conquer. Goals can be something as simple as getting 8 hours of sleep a day, getting your first pull up or beating your 1 mile time. It’s a great way to motivate and push our athletes to continually accomplish new things and holds them accountable. We also have a “PR” (Personal Records) area where our members can list their accomplishments.

Month after month, I see our athletes list their goals. For example, take a look at last month’s Goal Board:

  • Increase more fiber in my diet (I’ll admit, this one is mine)
  • Bar Muscle Up
  • Pull Ups
  • Rope Climbs
  • Place [on the podium] at a competition
  • Mobility + Health + Eat & Sleep
  • Handstand Push
  • Muscle Up

These are all very good goals and each month goals very similar to these are repeatedly written on the board however, often these goals are not accomplished. Why?

Who’s guilty of setting “empty” goals? Maybe “empty” is not the proper word. Maybe you had great intention to conquer these goals but simply forgot about them? Admit it, we all do this.

So how can we fix this? The next time you set a goal ask yourself the following questions:

Is the goal specific?

Let’s take pull ups as an example. How many would you like to be able to complete? Assisted or non-assisted? By what date? If you have been doing ring rows, maybe your goal is to do one or two pull ups with a (specific color) band. Or perhaps you would like to do a specific workout without assisted pull ups (“Fran”, anyone?)

Is the goal realistic?

Make sure the goal is attainable within that month. If you come to a conclusion that your goal isn’t break it down into smaller goals or steps. For example, if your goal is to do a handstand push up but you are unable to do a handstand, you might want to divide that goal into smaller ones. It would look something like this:

May Goal: 1 solid handstand hold

June Goal: 1 handstand with head target 12 inches off the ground (you would be stacking abmats underneath your head)

July Goal: 10 handstands with head target 12 inches off the ground

August Goal: 5 handstands with head target 10 inches off the ground

September Goal: 5 handstands with head target 8 inches off the ground

You would continue setting small, realistic goals that would take you one step closer to achieving your overall goal.  Keep in mind, there is more than one way to achieve the example goal above and any goal.

Keep in mind your mobility too. If your goal is to do a handstand but have tight wrists and/or shoulders, you will need to address that first and implement it as a goal within the first stage.

Do you have a plan?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

You can’t set a goal without a plan of attack. Sit down and write down a game plan. If you are set on achieving your first unassisted strict pull up, what kind of homework will you do to get yourself there? For example, a few months back this was my goal and my game plan was to do pull up work 2-3x week depending on how I felt. It looked very similar to this:

Mondays: Negative pull ups

Wednesdays: Ring Rows and Face Pulls

Fridays:  Assisted pull ups with the band

Reps and numbers varied on my workouts and how I was feeling. I have tendonitis on my left elbow so I always err on the side of caution and did a ton of mobility too.


Ask a coach

Feeling overwhelmed or simply don’t know what plan of action to take? This is where coaches come in—simply grab a coach either before or after class and ask for some guidance. They are very knowledgeable and can help you create a road map to conquering your goal.

Grab a pen and paper…

.. or preferably your workout journal and put your thoughts onto paper and put them in action. Think about the above questions and write down your answers.

Grab a buddy

Do you have a friend that can keep you on check? Ask them to help keep you accountable. Or perhaps you know someone who has similar goals- buddy up and work on your homework together.