Category Archives: Community

Athlete of the Month: Ralphy

Occupation: DSS- Childcare Licensing, (O.A.)

How did you hear about CrossFit and/or CrossFit Askal?

My good friend Chris Hernandez told me about it, he gets personal training at CrossFit Askal.

What were you doing prior to CrossFit Askal?

I grew up playing soccer and basketball. But most recently I would just go to work, go home, and sit on the couch and watch tv. And occasionally I would go out and exercise.

Do you remember your first workout?

I remember that It was a beginner class and I think that it consisted of squats, sit ups, and running?? 

What do you like most about CrossFit Askal?

Besides getting my ass kicked every day, what I like most is the community we have at our box.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since starting CrossFit Askal?

I’ve noticed that I’m not as tired as I use to be when I would practically do nothing at work and at home. I feel more energized and also feel more confident. And my body has changed also of course. lol

How often do you come to CrossFit and what time?

I originally started going 3 days a week MWF at 5 o’clock (before it was cool, lol). But once my body got use to the soreness I gradually increased the days I would go. I now try to attend at least 4-5 days a week and I usually go to the 6 o clock class!. Its become part of my daily routine and something my body needs.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of CrossFit?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going to social outings with the A-team.

If you weren’t CrossFitting, you’d probably be…

Sitting at home watching TV and drinking beer.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you:

I’m color blind!

Future goal(s):

Beat Camille LeBlanc! Jk, I just want to be an all-around complete athlete, I want to improve in my lifting form, mobility, calisthenics, and get stronger. It’s a long road ahead but I know I’ll enjoy the journey.

Favorite moment(s):

Setting a goal that I thought was achievable, putting the work in at the gym, and realizing that goal.

Favorite athlete:

Male athlete: Dan Bailey, Female athlete: Lauren Fisher

Favorite workout:


Least favorite workout:

14.5, it sucked… big time.

Are you paleo?

Not really, I haven’t had the time to try it yet but I do want to eventually do it. I eat whatever is available at home.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining Crossfit Askal and/or anyone new (in Elements).

Listen to your body and work on your technique to avoid injury. And most importantly, have fun with it.

Anything else you would like to say:

Thanks to everyone at Crossfit Askal! Coach A, coach Ben, and coach Sam for giving us killer workouts and sharing your lifting knowledge with us. Thanks to everyone who goes in and leaves it all at the box day in and day out. You all have inspired and have helped push myself to do better. I’ve gained a lot both mentally and physically but most importantly I’ve gained new friendships. (tear)

Athlete of the Month: Gaby


Gaby dove into CrossFit head first and has been attending classes on a regular basis. Everyone knows Gaby because of her warm bubbly and friendly personality and can be seen striking a conversation with anyone that enters the room, whether they are a member or just meeting them for the first time. She always ensures newcomers are welcomed and often provides tips and recommendations to them. She is genuine, dedicated, encouraging and a positive light in the box. In April, she competed in her first CrossFit competition and placed first in her division. In addition to being this month’s athlete of the month, Gaby celebrates her one year anniversary with us. Congrats and happy anniversary Gaby!


Age: 26

Occupation: Accountant

How did you hear about CrossFit and/or CrossFit Askal?
I heard about Crossfit Askal from Mayra. Every time we went out for dinner we talked about CrossFit. I remembered she showed us her guns. lol

What were you doing prior to CrossFit Askal?
I was working out at a local gym for five days a week.

Do you remember your first workout?
Yes, TABATA. I remembered the four types of movements. My stomach was so sore for a week.

What do you like most about CrossFit Askal?
CrossFit can be intimating but not in this box. They are very supportive, friendly, and helpful. I made cool friends that look out for each other.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since starting CrossFit Askal?
The biggest change I seen in myself is my nutrition. I had a weakness for candy and sweet bread. Now, I eat healthy and allow myself to have one cheat meal per week.Second I feel more energize. Before I would have a “couple” of (more like 10) cups of coffee a day. Furthermore, it helped me set new goals each month. I work hard to accomplish my short term goals each month.

How often do you come to CrossFit and what time?\
Four-Five days a week

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of CrossFit?
Spend time with my crazy lovely family and watch sports!

If you weren’t CrossFitting, you’d probably be… going to the gym.

Future goal(s): Be healthy and successful

Favorite moment(s): Enjoying life! (Yolo)

Favorite athlete: None, but Garret Fisher is a cutie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Favorite workout: Workouts that make you sweat!!!!! =)

Least favorite workout: Burpees!

Are you paleo? Yes, modifiedpaleo.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about joining CrossfitAskal and/or anyone new (in elements).
Give it a try! CrossFit can be scary but it’s not. The workouts can be modified based on your comfort zone. Throughout time, one will develop the strength. Trust me… you will be surprised how much progress you will achieve. The Askal coaches care about everyone’s safety and they make sure you are doing the movements correctly. Also if you have any questions/concerns about nutrition, movement, or anything, they are more than happy to answer them.

Anything else you would like to say:
I would like to thank the coaches for motivating me to reach my goals. BE STRONG, STAY STRONG!

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:


Battleground South Bay Highlights

Congrats to all of our CrossFit Askal Competitors

Congrats to all of our CrossFit Askal Competitors

It has taken me awhile to write about this past Saturday’s competition. Part of me is still recovering physically and mentally and another part of me is still frozen with awe.

On Saturday, April 19th, CrossFit Askal participated in the inaugural Battleground South Bay: Benefitting Train 4 Autism. CrossFit boxes all over the South Bay (and as far as South Gate and Woodland Hills) gathered for this beginner friendly fundraiser competition. Together we raised close to $6,000.

This day was a day of many firsts for me. It was the first time I had helped organize a competition. It was my first time organizing a fundraiser of this magnitude. To top it all off, it was my first time coaching and preparing athletes for a crossfit competition.

Words cannot describe how extremely proud, happy and overwhelming thankful I am to be surrounded by such a talented, hardworking, and supportive community.  I, along with my fellow organizers, could not even believe this event sold out.

To our volunteers, thank you so so much for all of your patience and hard work. Perla and Detrick held down the fort at the athlete/volunteer/heat check in. Alicia and Debbie hustled like crazy to set and reset equipment after each heat and workout. Not to mention the dozens of other volunteers who assisted and judged.

To our competitors:  Gaby, Mayra, Dana, Noemi, Joelle, Christian, Chris, Raul, Nick, Miguel and Ben… I am extremely proud of each and every one of you. For most of you, it was your first competition and I could not be more proud. To have the courage to sign up for your first competition, put in work and go through with it is quite a feat and took courage and hard work.  You, along with the rest of CrossFit Askal, motivate me everyday to be a better athlete, coach, and overall person. Congrats to you all.

A few more highlights:

  • The event was completely sold out with a total of 148 competitors.
  • CrossFit Askal had the most athletes on the podium: Mayra (1st –intermediate), Joelle (2nd -beginner), Gaby (1st -beginner), Chris (2nd -beginner) and Raul (3rd– intermediate).
  • Not only did Gaby PR successfully complete the deadlift ladder, she placed first in the event AND she PR her 3 rep max by 10lbs!
  • Jojo finished second in workout 1.
  • Dana placed third in workout 2.
  • Mayra placed first in BOTH workout 1 and 2.
  • This was Coach Ben’s first competition since his ACL surgery.

We are already looking forward to hosting next year’s event and have already begun planning. If you would like to help coordinate, please contact me at

If you attended or participated in Battleground South Bay and would like to share your experience, please let us know!

Thank you all again and keep up the hard work!

– Coach A



Good Luck Competitors!

Battleground South Bay

Chillin' in tent city

Chillin’ in tent city

CrossFit Askal will have a tent (or two) set up outside the venue. Feel free to put your gym bags, coolers and chairs in our tent, however, we are not responsible for any stolen items so please do not leave any valuables. This will serve as our rest and warm up area and a place for your family and friends to hang out in between workouts.


There will be a food vendor at the event, however, please bring your own drinks, food and snacks just in case food runs out or there’s a long line for food. Bring water.


Show your love and support! Wear a CrossFit Askal shirt if you have one or make your own. Make signs and make lots of noise! Please take video and pictures if you can.


Early check in is on Friday, April 18 from 7-8pm. We highly recommend taking advantage of this. It will save both you and the event coordinators a lot of time (not to mention less stressful).

Please arrive early to the venue. Make sure you warm up prior to each workout.  We will be bringing foam rollers, PVC pipe, some bands (although not sure if we’ll be able to hang them anywhere), jump ropes and some equipment to help warm you up. If you have any of your items we strongly suggest bringing them. There are 13 athletes competing and we have very little equipment and space.

Coach Sam is off limits as he willl be emceeing the event and Coach Ben is competing. Coach Andrea is part of the event committee but  will try her best to coach as much as she can. Try to address any questions/concerns now and sometime prior to the day of the event.

Post Competition Celebration


Autism, T4A and Battleground South Bay


In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, many of our athletes are competing this Saturday at Battleground South Bay: Benefitting Train 4 Autism Foundation. Our members have been preparing hard for this competition to show their support for this wonderful cause and we are excited to announce that as of this date, CrossFit Askal has raised $412 and $2,846 as a community.

About Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development and an estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S have been identified with it. Children with Autism have difficulty with (and not limited to) verbal and non-verbal communication, language development and trouble with learning and social interaction. The severity of ASD can range of varying degrees. Autism is difficult to diagnose since there is no medical test (like a blood test), to help diagnose and instead, autism is diagnosed by child’s behavior and development.  There is currently no cure of ASD.

About Train 4 Autism (T4A)

Train 4 Autism is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded by parents of children with Autism. T4A is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research and treatment for those living with Autism and their families through 10ks, 5ks, walks, triathlons, marathons, swimming and cycling events.

About Battleground South Bay

Battleground South Bay (BGSB)  is a friendly, beginner focused crossfit-style competition. BGSB’s mission is to bring together the socially conscious crossfit community of the Los Angeles-South Bay area in an effort to raise awareness and funding for a cause dear to our heart, Autism. This Saturday will be the inaugural event and the first of hopefully many to come. Proceeds from this even benefit Train 4 Autism Foundation and it’s crossfit for special needs projects.

Why CrossFit Askal is involved

Many from our community either have a family member with autism, know someone with autism or work with autistic children through schools, programs and organizations. We have experienced firsthand how these funds help keep our local programs alive and benefit the kids and their families. We hope to continue this effort through the monies raised from Battleground South Bay.

How to Participate

  • Donate. Please consider donating through our fundraising page.
  • Volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering at this Saturday’s event, please contact Andrea at
  • Cheer. Come this Saturday and cheer on our athletes and community. For most of our members, this will be their first ever competition. Make signs, bring noise, and go cheer for them like crazy.
  • Share. Spread the word and share this info with your family, friends, coworkers and community.

For more information

Centers of Disease Control (CDC)
National Institutes of Heath (NIH)
Train 4 Autism (T4A)