2/12/13 WOD Sorry for the late response. Probably doesn't matt...More... 15.02.13 11:48 By Leon Chang
2/12/13 WOD Good Morning - Just wanted to clarify a couple thi...More... 12.02.13 07:43 By Aaron Pusateri
12/14/12 WOD Front squat @ 160# 2 rnds + 2 double undersMore... 14.12.12 14:55 By William Schneider
12/13/12 WOD C&J to 135#, attempted 140# OTMEM 19 C&J @ 105#More... 13.12.12 10:48 By William Schneider
12/11/12 WOD Just rolled the ankle on Sun playing soccer. All i...More... 11.12.12 22:02 By Leon Chang
Resources and Friends
CrossFit.com is THE mainsite, the place where it all started. Videos of workouts, movements, journal articles- everything is here and the vast majority of it is free. Any serious CrossFitter will find themselves referring to the mainsite over and over again. Icons that link to the mainsite and journal are below.
PsychSanDiego is co- owned by Alessandra Wall Ph.D., wife of Leon Chang and an avid CrossFitter herself. Dr. Wall specializes in anxiety and eating disorders and is available for clients who wish to formulate a comprehensive weight-loss or lifestyle plan and address the psychological component of eating and weight loss. Click on the "coaches" tab to learn more!
Video- Will Mitchell first muscle up!
Monday, 08 April 2013 18:53
Not bad for a big guy... he still weighs closer to 3 bills than 200lb. Next step- full extension muscle up! Nice job dude! Coach L
Athlete of the Month, 2/2013 - Love is in the air!
Thursday, 14 February 2013 13:26
Love is in the air an everywhere at Elysium, love from the members for the members, from the members to the coaches and definitely from our coaches out to you. We have love for ourselves, which we demonstrate day in and day out by eating healthy and putting in our sweat at the gym. What we also are lucky to have is quite a few couples at the gym. For this month's featured Athletes may I introduce for the very first time Mr. Jay and Mrs. Jeannine Oliver! Jeannine and Jay joined the gym last year and have been a wonderful addition to our community. They work hard during WODs and play hard at social events. If you have not yet met them just come hang out at one of our many social gatherings and you are sure to see either one or both of them. Without further ado...
My husband Jay and I started at CrossFit Elysium in April 2012. When I started, I was so out of shape. I hadn’t been to a gym in years. I was not ever an athlete in high school. I would say I was a self proclaimed couch potato. Jay and I both had quite a few friends in other cities that did crossfit, so we were intrigued by their stories of fun and fitness. And, it seemed like something we could do together as a couple. I will never forget our first night, or the first month at the gym. Paul Estrada was our coach for fundamentals. We did tons of air squats and I was happy that I had retained some flexibility from my days of yoga, so I did lots and lots of them! The next day, and the next week, I could barely walk!! I was in so much pain from just moving again. I continued to be nervous, since I had no idea what any of the weightlifting moves were, in fact I had never even held a barbell before crossfit. I learned. I learned the names of the moves and how to do them. I was proud. And, I learned all these crazy acronyms too. People asked me, “well, do you like crossfit?” I would always reply, “Well, I don’t HATE it!”
When I started I weighed 142lbs. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I am pretty short. I wanted to tone up and feel fit and strong. Well, crossfit helped me achieve these goals. Last I weighed I was down to 130lbs, but I have gained a ton of muscle and lost 5% body fat in 4 months. I can now do snatches, clean and jerks, front and back squats and the WODS! I am running. I hate running. I even ran a 5K on my own one Sunday. I am neither the strongest nor the fastest, but that doesn’t matter to me. I am only competing with myself. And, I am better than I was before. I can’t believe I am still doing this after 10 months. I think it’s because of the coaches and the people we have met through the gym. I enjoying seeing my crossfit ‘friends’ at the gym. We are really like a little family…even though that sounds so cliché. And, I still don’t hate it!
Deadlift: current 138#, goal 163#
Clean & jerk : current 63#, goal 83#
Snatch: 48#, goal 58#
Back squat: 108#, goal 138#
Front squat :78#, goal #103
My long long term goal is for all lifts to be over 100#.
Run 5k now 36 minutes. Goal under 30 min.
Lose 5% more body fat.
When I first walked into the doors of Crossfit Elysium with my wife, Jeannine, in April 2012 I weighed 325 lbs, had a lower back injury just from moving boxes a few weeks ago, high blood pressure, and was still recovering from bilateral foot surgery that I had to correct the severe arthritis I had developed in my big toe joints. I couldn’t run more than 50 feet without excruciating pain. When I walked in, I saw exactly what I expected and feared – an extremely fit, intimidating guy with tattoos, manning the gym with authority and a very obvious sense of purpose. Elysium members know to whom I’m referring – Coach Paul Estrada. Hopefully without sounding too trite, walking in those doors has truly become a turning point in my life.
Paul welcomed us with open arms, made us sign the necessary paperwork, etc., and then we got down to business, plain and simple. We started with the most basic movements. I believe our first WOD was interval maximal effort air squats, which left Jeannine and I limping around for the next week. Yet, we kept coming back, Paul patiently taught us all of the basic movements that make up at least 5-6 hours of my week now, and we graduated from Fundamentals within 3 weeks.
Cut to 10 months later:
- I have lost 35 lbs while also putting on way more muscle than I thought possible in that time.
- I’ve lost 6 inches from my waist.
- I have lower blood pressure WITHOUT medication than I did 10 months ago WITH medication.
- I competed in a local Crossfit competition, the Elysium-sponsored Rumble in Paradise, even though I have never competed in anything remotely athletic in my entire life (nor did I think I ever would).
- I run, my foot surgery all but forgotten most of the time.
- I dead lift 475 lbs, no memory of the back pain that used to follow me around on most days.
- I climb rope, almost 20 feet up in the air.
- I have completely changed my perception of food and what I should and shouldn’t put in my body.
- I’m generally a more positive, “can-do” person.
- I find myself sometimes attending 8-hour clinics on Saturday, just to work on Olympic lifting technique.
- I often daydream about my next workout with a simultaneous sense of excitement and dread.
I still have a lot of work to do to get my weight and body fat where I want it to be, so I will continue to focus on that this year by showing up at least 4 times a week and further tweaking my diet, which has become at least 90% paleo.
1) Weigh 240 at 13% body fat (current 290 at 24% body fat).
2) Dead lift = 555 (current 475)
3) Back squat 1RM = 475 (current 3RM = 405)
4) Clean & jerk = 315 (current 225)
5) Snatch = 225 (current 155)
6) Run 5K in 28 min (current 38 min)
Crossfit has taught me that ANYTHING is TRULY possible, if you are willing to work for it. Your body can do more, you can push yourself harder, you can go that extra distance, you can lift heavier, and you can strive to improve every single day of your life, and make progress. I find this to be extremely empowering, and I think it transcends into all other areas of life.
What makes Crossfit Elysium special, and the reason why I will always be a member there, is that it is a family. The coaches and members make it a place where you want to show up and give it all you have, day after day. Just when I think Coach Paul isn’t watching my squat form, I’ll hear from behind me, “ALL the way down, Jay!” Coach Alessandra is there to keep me on track with diet, and cheer me through the infamous 30-day paleo challenges. Coach Leon is always trying to make the gym an even better place. Coach Vlad is there for those Sat mornings when I wake up and want my ass kicked from here to the Moon with one of his signature WODs. Coach Glory always keeps an eye on my 2nd pull and won’t accept anything less than perfection. Coach Adam, while only around for a short while, has gotten me through a really bad front squat day, when I seemed to have no wrist flexibility – next thing I knew, I set a new 3RM PR. And, Irene Mejia is always there to remind me that if I’m not working as hard as her, then I’m not giving it all I have and need to step it up! Not to mention all the other members who have been my cheering section during the 100s of WODs I’ve struggled through. For all of you, coaches and fellow members, I am eternally grateful.
I would also like to thank my wife Jeannine, who has been down in the trenches with me for the past 10 months, always encouraged and supported me, celebrated my victories, and helped pick me up from my defeats. I couldn’t have done this without her.
And thanks to one of my oldest friends, Brent Nieves, who encouraged me to try Crossfit two years ago when I had the attitude, “I can’t do that.” He told me, “Yes, you can.” And, lo and behold, he was right! He regularly kicks ass at P3 Crossfit in Houston, TX, and we now get to trade WOD war stories.
Thanks a lot Greg! His entire, unedited comments are below. Coach L
CrossFit Elysium will make you stronger both physically and mentally, plain and simple.
The first part should be expected of any gym, naturally – who doesn’t go to the gym to be stronger? It is the second part that people overlook in a gym, but given my experience at Elysium, its value is beyond measure. The fact that Elysium builds that mental strength and then some is what keeps me coming back. Let me explain.
I had had success in some athletic endeavors before I started CrossFit this year. After losing a lot of weight, I had some decent numbers for lifting, and quite a few running events including two marathons. CrossFit had popped up in a lot of the reading I did for those other fields, and given how close Elysium was, I figured it was worth a shot. Still, I found myself in the car outside the gym, trying to psych myself up to go inside. I was so used to working out alone that I wasn’t sure how I would adjust to class workouts. I was also terrified of looking dumb if I couldn’t do one of the movements. Of course I knew these fears were irrational, but they weren’t going away. I sat in the car for 30 minutes before I worked up the courage to walk into the gym, only by convincing myself that if I didn’t like it, I could always walk away.
Even today, that first class is very distinct in my head. Meeting Paul, going through some of the basic strength movements were straightforward, and the met-con (conditioning) portion of the workout started just fine. But then, as should have been expected, I began to struggle in the middle. Frankly, it was discouraging, and as I started to look out at a few people stretching out from the previous classes, I expected sideways glances and maybe a smirk or two. Not so. The opposite in fact - they were shouting words of encouragement. More importantly, I could see that the one thing they didn’t want was for me to quit. First or last, they wanted me to finish, they expected me to give it my all to the end. It was definitely a surprise to me, but it drove me through the last bit of the workout – I wanted nothing more to meet their expectations. I could feel the adrenaline long after the workout was over, and I wanted more.
As the weeks went on, that expectation never wavered – not from the coaches, nor the other members. Workouts evolved as I met some of those expectations: the 70 lb kettlebell after the 53 lb one, non-scaled versions of bodyweight stuff. And then I noticed how much progress I was making, as well as how much everyone else was making around me. I noticed how I was excited to take on new challenges not only at the gym, but also at work and other places. I noticed how I had stopped focusing on what I couldn’t do and starting focusing on what I couldn’t do yet. I noticed how much more I was expecting of myself – I would definitely not be alone in the gym in that regard.
Finally, at the competition held last December, I realized exactly what made Elysium tick, and why it had improved my mental strength. I knew the heart of Elysium was the people there, but the heartbeat was how much we expect out of each other. Watching someone hit that PR after a strength cycle or seeing someone do a rope climb for the first time in their life, it was worth just as much as a 1 pound PR on any of our lifts. Seeing someone with a huge grin after accomplishing something he/she never thought possible in their wildest dreams gives so much energy to the gym that everyone feeds off of. As I look back on one year, I realize exactly why that expectation I experienced on Day 1 never wavers – it brings forth the best out of everyone. I have yet to experience that at any other gym, and am so glad I have the opportunity to train with all the coaches and fellow gym members at Elysium. My mental edge is stronger because of it.
Long story short, if you want to lift weights, you can go to any gym with weights and go to town. If you want a place that pushes you and drives you and improves you in more ways than one, come to Elysium.
On 12/6/12, we received the following letter from Jon and Sarah. Both had been members with us for a few months before moving. This has to be one of the coolest things I have ever read about CrossFit Elysium, and I'm honored that they think so highly of us. Feedback like this tells us that we're doing it right. Below is the edited version (I have removed identifying details to protect the guilty!). Enjoy! Coach L
Coach Paul and Coach Leon...!
We meant to get in a final workout last week but ended up leaving without saying goodbye! Further proof that moving is always the absolute worst..though I must say I spent half of Friday in a low squat position cleaning the floors by hand...and did so with ease. We are in ______ now and have definitely entered the first stages of grief for our beloved CF Elysium. For my part, four months out from our first fundamentals class with Vlad the Impaler, I see myself as more mentally and physically ALIVE, confident and free of cravings. I am also about 90% less likely to mock people who talk about eating Paleo because I am now one of those people (but let's call it quasi because: cheese). Also, my chest compressions are so much better thanks to all those push ups, pull ups and thrusters.
On Jonathan's end, he would tell you much the same (though Crossfit didn't finish his thesis for him); he now sees his stout English legs as a benefit instead of an error of genetics. When I see Jonathan after starting at CFE, I see him as a person learning to revel in his accomplishments more easily than before - less quick to demote himself for supposed shortcomings. That is a totally unexpected side effect. He did the work, but I thank you guys for enabling CFE to be a place where he could feel ready to do said work (and same for me as well). The diversity of ability, the quality of the coaching and the (some would say scientific!) programming is what I will remember most as it's defining qualities.
The downside of having been lucky enough to start this whole thing at your gym is that now every other box looks to be lacking in some way. Crossfit ____ was very welcoming/communal/supportive but they don't program enough weights. And then there is Crossfit _____. Sadly, it's our closest box (3 blocks away); I guess if you want to pay $220/month to be ignored by a distracted (high?) "coach" in a gym that resembles a crack den and where you can't drop weights in certain spots for fear the floor will implode beneath you, where staff extend not one introduction to new people, and where there are often 40 people actively participating in totally different WODs, then that is the place for you! Not for us. The owner really IS not right in the head. Tomorrow we try CF _____; fingers are crossed.
O Coach Paul - we will miss your sweet poker-y face! You should know that Jonathan was often most inspired when you paid him the least attention, for it made him want to earn it back! Did you know that was an actual functional element of your technique? It is. I appreciate your eye for detail but mostly just wish I'd known you had previously competed in Fitness as Wolverine from X-Men MUCH, MUCH earlier. GAH! Also, as an aside, today at CrossFit ____ Jonathan turned to me and said: what is the met-con again? And this time I couldn't make fun of him for not listening because I didn't know either! That place is a MESS.
Leon, I wanted to throw my barbell at you during a hang squat clean WOD one day when you were barking at me in an attempt at encouragement; I now take that back and see your point. Keep maintaining those airways and pushing meds in a way that honors all this constant, variable movement at high intensity and we'll keep doing the same!
Signed, Grateful Sarah L, RN Indebted Jonathan B, PhD (c)
PS: I don't know where the world will take us after these 2 months in ____ but if we end up staying and you wanted to open say, a CFE ____ edition, we'd be down to partner (FYI - there is no CF in _____, which I believe is NUTS).
My yoga practice began six years ago when my husband Anthony, on our first Christmas together, gave me a gift certificate to a prominent yoga studio. I was so nervous to attend a "real" yoga class at a "real" studio that it took me three months to get up the nerve to try my first class. I had no idea what to expect, but by the end of class I was blown away. I have been teaching yoga for four years now.
I experienced that same nervousness three years ago when Elysium opened. I had no idea what to expect but had to go in to see what it was all about. I left exhilarated and pumped up beyond belief! I couldn't wait to tell Ant everything that happened so we could start fundamentals the next day.
I am forever grateful for making those two decisions in my life.
Crossfit and yoga worked together beautifully. As I developed more strength I found myself holding more challenging yoga poses, my long time breathing and meditation practice made it easier for me to endure more challenging WOD's. I had the ability to be steadfast without mentally or physically collapsing on the floor in either modalities. But where there are bigger muscles, there is a greater need for elasticity and I learned quickly that I must respect and abide by a great balance between my Crossfit training and my yoga practice.
It was then that I realized if I was feeling tight, then my fellow crossfitters who were not stretching, must be feeling tighter than tight. That's when I asked Elysium if I could start a stretch and mobility program. They kindly said yes, so here I am! I encourage you to come take a class with me. There is no reason to have any class anxiety. I promise. Hopefully, you will leave feeling a new excitement and thrill for your body, breath and mental determination. Courtney offers weekly mobility and stretching at Elysium Wednesdays at 7:30 PM, and is available for private consultation.
And the winners are... - Coach A
Monday, 19 November 2012 20:53
To everyone who took the time to attempt this 30 Paleo Challenge I want to say thank you and good job. Some of us had big improvements to make, some of us were looking to fine tune our bodies and our strengths. Anyone who is interested can let me know and I will provide specifics on how we computed these scores. The short of it is that we calculated percentage changes from Time 1 to Time 2 and then calculated an average percent improvement over the three WODs.
Our first place winner with an average of 49.26% improvement in performance over the 30 days is Jay Oliver!
He will receive: $100.00 in cash 5 full meals from Pete's Paleo A copy of the book Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield
First Runner up is Gina Perry with an average of 44.85% improvement in performance over the course of the challenge.
She will receive: $50 in cash 3 Full meals from Pete's Paleo A copy of the book Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield
Coming in third is Angie Battisti with an average of 43.21% improvement in performance over the course of the challenge
She will receive: $25 in cash 2 Full meals from Pete's Paleo A copy of the book Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield
Anyone who is interested in sharing your story please let me know, this will be both informative and hopefully inspirational to others who are considering making a change.
The Elysium Coaching staff is growing!
Friday, 09 November 2012 14:15
We are very happy to announce that we have both a new coach in training as well we have another coach that is going to start leading some classes next week!
Many of you have had a chance to meet Adam Coyne. He has been hanging around the afternoon classes and seeing how things run around here. Adam has been CrossFitting for a far amount of time himself. He has been to the CrossFit gymnastic certification as well as the Strong man certification. He has some good eyes on him as well as some great knowledge. Feel free to introduce yourself if you see him around if he doesn't say high to you first!
Now to introduce our next addition to the Elysium crew! We are excited to introduce you all to our new coach Glory Dawson. Glory has been around the CrossFit scene for a good amount of time and has worked with several great coaches herself. She definitely knows her way around a squat rack and a barbell. Lets just say she can just about out lift most of our guys, but don't be afraid, she is a super nice gal that I am sure all of you will like. Everyone that I have talked too has had nothing but the best to say about Glory and we are stoked to have her join our team. Glory will be running the show thursday afternoons at the moment as well you may see her periodically other days through out the week. This coming week you will get to meet her tuesday and thursday!