Athlete Spotlight

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Friday, February 21, 2014


Band Hip Extension
Band Posterior Floss
10 Supermans
10 Lat Activations


2 Rounds
10 Air Squats
10 Jumping Squats
5  Hand Release Pushups
10 Grasshoppers

Classic Strength:

A) 4×5 Front squats (as heavy as possible)- rest 90 seconds

B) 4x Max effort unbroken HSPU – rest 90 seconds

Notes: May perform strict or kipping.  Substitute max effort handstand hold if unable to perform HSPU.

Advanced Strength:

A) Back Squat:1X8@85%, 1X5@90%, 2X2@95% – quick up and down with no pause every set – rest 2:00

B) Max Deficit HSPU: 4X5 work to a 5rm – rest 2:00


20 minute AMRAP of:
10 C2B Pull-ups
20 DB 20′ Step-ups (50/35#)
Row 500m

Notes: May substitute regular pullups or ring rows for C2B. Step ups must be alternating legs. Use a weight that you only have to break up into 2-3 sets

Cool Down:

Pigeon, 1 min each leg
Wrist Stretches
10 PVC Dislocates


Hey my fellow PCFers! For this week’s Athlete’s Spotlight I wanted to recognize Aaron Lulla.  This guy never ceases to amaze me and I wanted to let everyone know why.  Countless times I’ve seen Aaron put in some serious work at MDR and this hard work along with dialing in his nutrition regimen are paying off big for him.

As a coach, I have the opportunity to be part of the “change” that members go through as they discover just how amazing their physical and mental transformation can be if they just follow the PCF approach to fitness.  I remember being concerned about Aaron during class when he was working out one morning a few months ago.  Ironically, it was during the Workout ‘Jackie‘.  (You can read about this experience below in his own words).  Jackie proved to be too much for Aaron and he ended up getting sick in the middle of it– Like a boss, he rallied and jumped right back in to try and finish the workout.  As it turned out, this ‘on and off’ feeling sick routine mid workout happened during a few other WODs and I became increasingly concerned.  We talked a bit and we eventually came up with a plan for some better preworkout breakfast choices that would be more beneficial for him.  It took some trial and error, but Aaron is now able to work out hard without becoming sick– I am expecting a new PR Aaron!;)  

On a more serious note, being open to suggestions and ideas as well as being “coachable,” that is where you see real change.  I’m not one to speculate and I can certainly attribute Aaron’s gains towards his willingness to trying something new when it came to his nutrition plan and putting in the work at the box.  I am proud of you Aaron and how far you have come. As cliche as this may sound, I know that the best is yet to come– I can’t wait!  Just remember to  maintain that willingness to learn, log in those hours at the box, and keep up your nutrition habit.  For you to get to know more about this amazing Athlete, I conducted a little Q & A with Aaron that you can read below.

1.  Age:


2.  Occupation:

PhD student at UCLA

3.  When did you start at Paradiso Crossfit?  

I started Crossfit last March.

4.  Favorite WOD:

My favorite WOD is Diane. I always go into it thinking of it like running a long distance race, it’s so important to pace myself throughout this WOD.

5.  Least Favorite WOD:

Without a doubt it’s Jackie. It has been the source of many DNF’s for me, as well as a few puke sessions.

6.  What is your Sport/ Fitness Background?  What did you partake in before PCF?

I had bad asthma growing up so I was really limited with the sports that I could play and ended up playing tennis. I could play tennis intensely for short periods, as this gave me time to catch my breath in between points. In college, I decided to work on my asthma and breathing and became a long distance runner. Today I still do long runs, and coach tennis and track for Southern California Special Olympics.

7.  How did you first hear about PCF, or get exposed to Crossfit?

Last January my cousin, Shaan told me about Crossfit. He told me it was something that could change my life and make me stronger both physically and mentally. Needless to say I was very doubtful, I mean sure a gym can make me stronger, but how could it make me stronger mentally or change my life? I told him I’d consider it, but kept putting it off. Lucky for me Shaan is pretty persistent and the rest is history. 

8.  Tell us about your first WOD.  What was it?  How did you feel?

I think my first WOD was Jackie, and it was absolutely terrible (probably that’s why it’s my least favorite WOD). I had been going to onramp classes and rowing clinic religiously, so I thought this was a workout I’d be decent at, boy was I wrong. Before the WOD, Alexi (rowing coach) told me to pace myself and I’d be fine…of course I did not listen. I tried to row the fastest 1K I’d ever rowed and pushed hard through the thrusters. I got to the pull-up part of the workout and felt like puking my guts out. After 10 pull-ups I did puke and got a DNF. It was one of the most disappointing workouts I’ve ever done, and very humbling. This workout made me want to get better, faster, and stronger but also taught me how important it is to listen to your body.  

9.  What Changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting Crossfit?  

Since I started Crossfit I’ve seen a lot of changes in my body. First is I’ve put on about 13 pounds and had to get a new wardrobe. Before I started Crossfit, I didn’t really care about my diet and having pizza three days in a row wasn’t uncommon. I was also notorious for having a huge sweet tooth. This is no longer the case, I find myself being really careful about what I eat, much to the disappointment of my friends. 

10.  Share your Favorite Crossfit moment.  Is there a day that sticks out in your mind that was a life changing moment?

One of my proudest moments at Paradiso, was the day I rowed a 10K with Alexi. About two weeks after I had been going to rowing clinic, I told Alexi that I really wanted to do a long distance row by summer. Every Sunday, we’d do a workout that would help build up to this distance and work on my speed. At one of her last rowing clinics we did a 10K row together. It was such a great feeling that really gave me a lot of confidence for everything at Crossfit. Since then I’ve been setting little goals for strength and WOD’s, and trying my best to achieve them.

I hate to admit it, but Shaan was right about Crossfit, it has changed my life. I come in everyday knowing that I will push myself to new limits mentally and physically. It never ceases to amaze me how lucky I am to be part community where athletes and coaches from so many different backgrounds can come together, work together, and push each other. I’m really thankful and humbled to be part of this big family.  

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