Posted by Melody
The CrossFit community, theory, and programming, really helps me stay motivated and healthy. It's amazing how a workout "for time" or "amrap" gives you that extra drive. People will die for that extra second or extra rep - it's awesome!
If you haven't met Carlo yet, you've probably at least seen his name while scanning the leaderboard at Paradigm. He often sets the bar for the daily WOD in our gym and gives the rest of us a number to chase. His consistent attention to detail has paved the way for huge strides with technique, which has led to substantial strength gains. An exemplary student and athlete, Carlo's work ethic is top notch and the PR's he sets, reflect this well.
As a coach, one of the things that I think Carlo exemplifies far better than most of us is balance. Something I grapple with daily in my own life, most of us can agree that it is very difficult to effectively juggle home life, family, career, and fitness. Often, at least one of these sectors suffer so the others can thrive. Despite the fact that he has a demanding career, a wife and three little ones at home, Carlo's fitness hasn't suffered. Although he often can't work out for 3 hours straight with the rest of us overtraining zealots, and sometimes chooses to miss a gym happening for a family event, he has still found a way to stay in excellent shape and continue growing as an athlete. He is proof that by managing your priorities well and being efficient with the time that is available, you can make great progress. And Carlo mostly just shows up. He doesn't overthink the workout too much, or pick and choose what he wants to do, he just comes consistently and gives it his all every day.
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Started CrossFitting: 2012 @ Paradigm Crossfit
Favorite WOD: Murph
Least favorite WOD: Nancy
Favorite skills to train: Olympic Lifts
Nemesis Skill: Deadlifts
Favorite CF moment: My kids doing pistols, overhead squats, and L-Sit competitions at home!
Favorite healthy food: A "healthy" chicken parmesan
Favorite cheat food: Ice Cream
When not CrossFitting or at work... I enjoy spending time with my family.
Tell us a little about your fitness background. How did you get into CrossFit?
Growing up I was always an active kid. I played sports growing up, and began doing more weight training in high school. After high school I joined the Marine Corps and continued the common weight training program. I did the gym thing for a while, which I think there is nothing wrong with as long as you have the proper programming and discipline. However, for me every other day was a chest day, I skipped way too many leg days, and cardio was always extra credit. I have always stayed active but I lacked the focus and motivation that I needed to progress as an athlete.
I was first introduced to CrossFit by a few friends at work. CF is the exact opposite of "Fight Club". Everyone that does CF talks about CF. I would listen to them talk about WOD's, PR's, the notorious "Fran", and I wanted to see what it was about. I was impressed with the results that they got from doing just CF-type workouts and decided to give it a try. After a few workouts I was hooked. I loved the intensity and gut check of every workout. I began to look for a gym near me and when I found Paradigm, I signed up without hesitation. I knew I had to make up for all those skipped leg days! I felt that this was what I needed to do to stay healthy and athletic as I grow older.
Do you remember that very first WOD?
My first WOD was "Murph". It's a hero workout to honor Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal and medal of honor recipient who died in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings. It starts with a 1 mile run, then 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another 1 mile run. A few friends from work told me about it and encouraged me to join them at their local CF box on Memorial Day weekend to do the WOD. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do join them. I really wanted to complete it, so I did the "Murph" on Memorial Day at my work gym. I was initially intimidated by the rep count of each exercise, but once I started I was "all in". I just kept on chipping away. Halfway through the workout I wanted to quit. It was rough, and it really took a lot to push through it. The workout took me 1 hour to finish and my body was sore for an entire week.
You have recently been setting a lot of "PR's" as an athlete. What have been some of your favorite accomplishments in the last few months?
My favorite PR was when I snatched 205 lbs at the Merced Holiday Throwdown. The snatch has always been one of the more difficult lifts for me. I was nervous going in and set a goal of 185 lbs for the event. When I got 205 I was really excited. One of my personal goals was to snatch 200+ and it was awesome to get it during a competition. I am also really excited about my progress in my back squat. Since I joined CF, the back squat has always been my weakness. I still consider it my weakness, but surpassing my short term goals always gets me fired up.
What habits or lifestyle changes do you feel have contributed to your progression as an athlete?
I really believe that my diet and nutrition has played a huge role in my performance in the gym. I learned that you need to eat the right foods to properly and efficiently fuel your body. With better nutrition I have found myself to perform better not only in the gym, but also in my daily activities. I have more energy to stay active with my kids, and I don't feel exhausted at the end of my work day. Fortunately for me, my wife does the cooking. I usually eat three meals a day consisting of meat and vegetables with some snacking in between. I'll also have a protein shake after my workout or between meals. I don't count calories or follow a paleo diet.
I also feel that consistency has helped my progression as an athlete. I try to work out five to six times a week if my schedule permits. If I can't make it to Paradigm, I will do a WOD at my work gym. Sometimes I will also take a couple days off if I need it. I have found that resting my body is just as important as working out.
What motivates you to train so hard and consistently?
My wealth is my family and my health. I am blessed with an amazing wife and awesome children. My wife agrees that fitness is a priority, and she supports my CF addiction. I love taking my kids to the gym with me because they are my biggest fans. There's nothing better than seeing my son's big smile with a thumbs up telling me, "good job Dad"!
I would say that preparing for a competition motivates me to train more frequently and focus more during training. As a competitor, you want to be at your peak form when you test your abilities against other athletes. When you're on a team, you also never want to let your teammates down. Competition is fun and I enjoy It, but that's not why I CF. My goal is to stay healthy while encouraging an active lifestyle for my children.
What advice can you give for other CrossFitters as they start out on their fitness journey?
-Stay motivated and remember why you're doing it. While competition is fun and motivating, the only person that we really compete against is ourselves. We are there to get better, stronger, and faster than we were yesterday. The timer and leader board help us push ourselves to our limits, and sometimes beyond. Most of us aren't going to compete against Rich Froning in the CF games, but that doesn't mean we go half speed. Give it 110% every day. Extreme effort yields extreme results.
-Stay consistent. You have to put in the "work" to get "paid".
-Set realistic goals for yourself. Progressive results motivate and drive people. As you eclipse those goals, remember the hard work that it took to attain that goal.
-Stay humble, keep driving forward, and have fun.
Workout for Fri, February 28, 2014
Morning Classes: Open 14.1
10m AMRAP of...
*15 power snatch (75/55)
CF Lite: 4 & 5pm
16m AMRAP of...
10 ring rows, 10 plyo pushups, 10 jump squats
15 Dball Slams
15 Box jumps
For time, with a 16m cap...
500m row, 10 wall walks, 1000m row, 10 wall walks 10 burpees, 1500m row
Posted by Melody
Intramural athletes: here's how this thing is gonna work:
1) You have been drafted for a team! Check it out at the gym to see who you're with.
2) You must be registered for the Reebok Open to play. You do this by going HERE, clicking on upper right red button that says "Login Here", filling it out, and choosing Paradigm CF as your affiliate.
3) Come out to "Friday Night Lights" when possible; this will be the primary competitive atmosphere for the duration of the Open. You should plan on starting your warmup at 6pm. We will debrief the WOD beforehand and it will kick-off after that, in heats with judges. How long the night lasts will depend on what the workout is. If you absolutely cannot come out to a Friday, don't stress as you can still get the WOD in at another designated class time and earn points for you team. The following class times will be performing the Open WOD:
Thursday- 6 &7pm
Friday- 6am, 8:30am, 12pm
Saturday- 8am (Ninja was originally also going to be Open WOD, but now it will not be, since we are having Fridays at 6pm.)
4) Here's how you earn points for your team:
*completing each week's WOD as Rx, and submitting your score online before the Monday 5pm deadline = 1 point (note: you don't have to finish the WOD, you just have to get a submittable score, meaning you completed at least 1 rep Rx).
*1st place guy and girl in the gym each week = 3 points
*2nd place guy and girl in the gym each week = 2 points
*3rd place guy and girl in the gym each week = 1 point
*team spirit and sportsmanship/best dressed each week = various points each week
If you are not a participating athlete...come anyways! Get your outfit on for theme night and come out to cheer on the athletes and take part in the fun. Regular class schedule is not affected by the Open; there will still be CF Lite at 4 & 5pm like normal.
"Friday Night Lights" Schedule
Feb 28th: 80's Night
Mar 7th: Country Night
Mar 14th: Dress like your favorite CF Athlete Night
Mar 21: Team Outfit Night
Mar 28: Paradigm Pride (wear as much Paradigm colors and gear as you can!)
Workout for Tue, February 25, 2014
Strength: Back Squat, 1+ reps @ 95%
(with 400 run between sets)
Posted by Melody
This is hands down the best vegetable dish I have ever had at a restaurant. After eating it several weeks ago with some girlfriends and craving it ever since, I decided to take a stab at it myself (and of course, see if I could make it a tiny bit healthier!) It was a huge success. Ronny, who is yet to have the Pizza Antica Original, couldn't shut up about how delicious it was between bites - and he isn't one to usually rave about brussels sprouts either. The one negative about this dish is that it does take a little while to dissect the sprouts leaf by leaf. But this important step is what really makes this dish unique, and results in you feeling less like your'e chomping away on vegetables.
You can find the original recipe HERE. I made the following changes:
1) I subbed olive oil for the canola oil, and used less overall (probably around 30% less than called for)
2) I left out the "country bread" croutons completely. This saved prep time and I honestly didn't miss it at all.
3) Since I was out of red wine vinegar and didn't realize before hand, I subbed coconut vinegar, which worked fine.
Workout for Mon, February 17, 2014
Strength: Back Squat 5x3
Sweat: for time...
5 Rope Climbs
40 Alternating Pistols
5 Rope Climbs
40 40 Box Jumps
Posted by Melody
Introducing the first ever, Paradigm CrossFit Intramural Open! This will be our own community tournament within the worldwide competition. You will be on a team, along with a bunch of other Paradigmer's ready to do work. Each team will have a coach or intern as a "captain". Every week your team will receive points and be ranked against the other Paradigm teams.
Who should play? Anyone who has the basic skills down, completes most workouts RX, wants to participate in the Open, and plans on completing each workout for the 5 weeks.
Skills you should definitely have and expect to see (although this is just a rough guess based on past years...):
-box jumps (tall/medium)
Step #1: Register for the 2014 CrossFit Open
Step #2: Sign up on the whiteboard at the gym to be assigned to one of the Paradigm teams. The teams will be even, so the sooner you sign up, the better chance you have of being drafted. We will cut it off at a number where all the teams are equal. The deadline to register is Monday, February 24th.
Step #3: Dial in your training - the games start in just 3 weeks!
How will you earn points each week? Although the exact details will be coming out in a few weeks, some of the ways that you will earn points for your team are:
Open attendance (completing the workout each week)
Workout Performance (points awarded for earning a top score each week)
Team spirit & sportsmanship
The most exciting part of all of this is that we will be holding "Friday Night Lights" for the 5 weeks of the Open. Beginning at 6:00pm every Friday, the intramural athletes will gather to take a stab at the Open WOD. Don't worry however if you can't make a Friday night or two during the month. You will still be able to complete the WOD at one of the other designated Open workout class times without penalty (but of course you will miss out on the excitement and energy of the Friday evening bash!) Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out to spectate and cheer on the athletes during the Friday evenings!
Workout for Wed, February 12, 2014
Strength: Push Jerk 3x5, last set is 5+ @ 80-85%
Conditioning: E2min for 16min: 200m run + 30 DUs
Posted by Melody
12min AMRAP, 8 chunks of prowler pull (prowler + 60/30), 8 BB Squat Cleans (85/55)
12min AMRAP, 8 chunks of prowler pull (prowler + 100/50), 8 BB Full Snatch (95/65)
The format of this WOD will be as follows:
-guy pulls prowler there and back
-partners change weights for the lady
-girl pulls prowler there and back
-guy completes 8 BB lifts
-girl completes 8 BB lifts
-team changes weight on prowler for the guy
The length for the prowler pull will be divided into 4 chunks there and 4 chunks back. Each segment will count as a rep once the back feet of the prowler have clearly passed the line. The prowler will begin behind the start line and must pass the last line before turning around to return. The athlete can use their hands to turn the prowler around at either end, when it is fully outside of the "course". The athlete must face the prowler while they are pulling, running or walking backwards. Athletes can also help each other turn the prowler, as well as load and de-load plates at any time. But the male athlete cannot begin his prowler pull for the next round until the judge signals him to do so, waiting for the female athlete to successfully finish her last lift. In other words, during the girl's BB segment, the guy can be changing the weights and getting ready to go for his pull - but he should wait to be signaled to go in order to avoid a false start (having to back up to start line).
For the scaled division, a full squat is needed on every clean. A power clean to front squat will be allowed. Full extension of the hips and lockout of the knees is needed at the top, and the athlete needs to show control and stability of the weight on every rep.
For the RX division, a full snatch is needed. A power snatch to OHS will be allowed. A clean and jerk to OHS will not be allowed, meaning an OH grip and snatch is absolutely necessary. However, we will allow you to separate the two movements if needed by snatching it up and then getting the squat. The bar cannot come in contact with your shoulders or rest on the front shelf at any time. Full depth is needed as well as full extension/balance/control of the bar at the top. Any final reps that are “pushed-off” as the athlete comes up from the squat will not count (so wait to hear the judge call it on rep 8 before dropping!).
This workout will be entirely outdoors. Your barbells will be on a rubber mat segment and must stay there while moving. Any rep which comes off the mat will not be counted. The girl's bar can be rolled off the mat while the guy lifts and vice versa. The athletes are responsible for keeping their bars in place and under control. If one athlete goes to mess with the prowler, they need to make sure the other barbell is stable before doing so.
Your score will be total reps completed in the 12 minutes
*As with all workouts during the competition, the weights and details are subject to change at any time as we see fit.