Quick reminder that Coach Shirley’s Kindness Party is tonight at 7pm. It will be hosted on Zoom by Kenny Kane. If Shirley Brown has had any impact on your life in any way, I am asking that you show up to share in our wishing her a bountiful transition into her next coaching adventure.


Link is here. See you at 7pm!



Courtesy of CrossFit.com

For time:

45 kettlebell swings (32kg/24kg)

400m run*

35 kettlebell swings

800m run

25 kettlebell swings

1200m run

15 kettlebell swings

*Use 9th route*


Lately – I have come a cross a lot of students with knee pain or an expression of knee joint pain.  I therefore would like to commit this blog post to the knee joint and common injuries and what you can do to prevent a future injury.

Two things we as therapists or coaches keep an eye out for are the valgus and varus knee deformity. Valgus knee is more common among women than men. Valgus knee means that the knee “cave in” or “falls in” during a movement, ex squat, giving it a knock-kneed appearance and putting extra pressure on the outer (lateral) compartment of the knee joint.  Varus knee is more common among men. It’s what causes some people to be bowlegged. It happens when your tibia, the larger bone in your shin, turns inward instead of aligning with your femur, the large bone in your thigh.


If you have valgus knee deformity – there is a greater chance that the lateral ligament will get injured as it tries to stabilise and protects the knee from falling in. The best way to strengthen and protect your knees are to a) strengthen your vastus medialis muscle + the VMO and b) gluteus medius muscle. If you actively work on strengthening these two muscles, the likelihood of knee injury will decrease substantially.  


Furthermore – to protect your knees from injuries but also conditions as osteoporosis or cartilage damage – I would encourage you all to. improve. the strength and range of motion of the Quadriceps femoris muscle.  The four muscles are the Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis and Rectus Femoris (see picture below). Being the largest muscle group in the leg, they all sit on the front of the thigh and assist in many activities.  Having STRONG quads will not only help the knee joint, but also benefit in basic exercises such as walking, running, jumping and squatting.  













Thursdays Workout: 

Mental Toughness

For Time:

18 – 15 – 12 – 9 – 12 – 15 – 18

Front Squat (155/105)

Shoulder to Overhead (135/95)

**Coaches interval: 10/7 Cal AB**

Hello friends –
If you reserve a spot for class, please make sure to show up.

We understand if an emergency comes up – but if you’re not feeling the workout or just want to sleep in your warm cozy bed, then NAH! Keep in mind that there are very limited spots and there are other members who would like to take class.

Please be considerate of others. Show up or remove your name from the class list. 

Thank you! 🙂 

Tuesday – Competition

Aerobic Capacity
A) 2 Rounds – “Power Output”
1:00 Row – Max Effort Cals
2:00 Rest
1:00 Assault Bike – Max Effort Cals
2:00 Rest
1:00 Thrusters (45/35) – Max Effort Reps
2:00 Rest
(5:00 Rest after 2nd Round)

B) 1 Round – “Aerobic Power”
7:00 Row – Max Effort Cals
7:00 Assault Bike – Max Effort Cals
3 – 6 – 9 – 12 – 15 – etc.
Thrusters (75/55)
Bar Facing Burpees

Score = Total Calories (A+B)

Wake up from your Thanksgiving food coma and come have an adventure. Join me on this Fun Run and Stair Climb around Santa Monica. It will be a 90min long endurance piece and different groups divided into speed and ability. 

Time: Sunday November 29th, 8 AM
Location: Ocean Ave & San Vicente- picnic tables just north of the bathrooms.
Workout: A no drop (no one gets left behind) group run and stair climb extravaganza in Santa Monica Canyon.
Questions, comments, concerns, tips… Contact Jamie@oakparkla.com

Coach Shirley’s departure from the full-time coaching team has caused me to reflect a lot on the times she and I spent together last year driving to Malibu once or twice a week to train at the home of Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton. There were many weeks last year that I spent more time with Shirley than with any other person in my life. She was a great training partner for me, especially for training in the pool, because her willingness to get in the water despite her discomfort with the water always encouraged me to overcome my discomfort with the whole environment. I grew a lot as a person and as a coach from the training we did, from the people we met, and from the conversations we had on the drive there and back each week. Much of my growth as a coach and leader this last year has come as a result of those trips to Malibu and as necessary and (ultimately) fun as it all turned out to be, I am not sure I would have done it on my own.


Reflecting on the times Shirley and I spent in Malibu reminded me of one of the few times I trained at Laird’s without Shirley. It was a blustery November day on the mountain and the wind whipping across the surface of the pool sucked all the heat out of the water. It was so cold that the few of us who were up there were spending most of our time in the sauna trying to warm up between rounds of work in the chilly water. The sauna sessions that day gave me an insight that has been so influential on my thinking ever since.


Laird was in the sauna and next to him sat a very successful movie actor. Beside him sat a New York Times best-selling author. Across from him sat a Grammy-winning musical performer and next to him sat Kenny Kane. And our conversation, driven by our collective discomfort with the almost unbearably cold waters of the pool that day, came around to the question, “How do you reward yourself for seeking the feeling of being uncomfortable rather than relying on a positive outcome as the reward?” Relationships, professional life, or training, how do you learn to truly embrace discomfort?


It was not what I expected this group of men to collectively admit they struggled with. They are all physical specimens, incredibly gifted in their fields, and enormously successful by any metrics you might care to use. And yet, here they were, nodding in agreement with stories we all shared of struggles, of hesitation, of unwillingness, of failure – of choosing what was easy not what was right. Of shying away from the uncomfortable thing and of learning the costs of that. And learning from those lessons that everything worthwhile is on the other side of discomfort. And having to relearn that lesson over and over.


What I came away from that conversation with are three ideas that I have worked to apply in my life.


No one is immune to the pain of growth, including You. Growth is uncomfortable for everyone and there is no amount of talent or gifts or success that suddenly allows you to grow without struggle or effort. This is not a new concept and I have written about it before even on this blog. However, participating in that exchange in Malibu, hearing this group of super successful men express their struggles with the same struggles I face caused me to feel tremendous empathy for each of them. What was transformative for me was that my empathy for them allowed me to have more compassion for myself. Yes, Matt, it IS uncomfortable. For everyone, including You. So when you are feeling that pain, that discomfort, it does not mean you are weak or that you have made a mistake or that you are a failure. It means you are human. It means you are growing. (“You are not special.” – TGKB)


Get clear on your purpose. The clearer you become on who you are and what you want, the easier it will be to choose to engage in things that are consistent with your purpose and your values. There is tremendous payoff from time spent reflecting on who you want to be and what you want for your life. The clearer you get on those things, the easier it will be to confront those uncomfortable moments because of their deep connection to who you are what you want for yourself.


Surround yourself with like-minded people. Choosing to be uncomfortable, choosing to do the harder thing is difficult. But it is exponentially easier to make those choices when you have people around you who can encourage you, with whom you can share your struggles, and to whom you can be accountable. Find those people on a similar journey of growth and choose to rely on them.


I feel sad because Shirley and I don’t get to train at the pool together now. It may be a very long time before that happens again. But I am so grateful for the times we did share on the PCH and at the top of Latigo Canyon. Our conversations on the drive helped me gain so much clarity about many of the things I want for myself and about who I want to be as a man, as a coach, as a leader. Her consistent support as a training partner and encouragement as a friend helped me choose to be uncomfortable – deeply uncomfortable – and I am a better person for it. Thank you, Shirley Brown.




Strength & Power

A) 2 Hang Power Clean + 3 Front Squats

     Build up to 70-80% of 1-rep max Clean & Jerk

     (25 Minutes)

B) Strict Press

     5 sets of 3

     (15 Minutes)





There are lots of research and studies regarding physical therapy and mental health. Physiotherapy in mental health care addresses human movement , movement function, physical activity and exercise in group and individual settings. I would like to say that these mechanisms and tools are also something we at Oak Park very much apply in our classes and during individual sessions.


Mental health is a topic of growing interest in society. Various mental health organisations are engaged in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of people with different mental health disorders.  Unfortunately, neither physical training nor physiotherapy are considered to be a significant profession within mental health care. Reason being might be because of the role and added value it offers can remain unclear among patients and other health care providers. 


I would really like to get ahead of the conversation among health care providers and the general population as we all know that physical training with a coach and/or a supportive community can offer an extensive range of physical approaches (endurance training, strength training, functional movements, relaxation techniques like breath exercises or yoga and body awareness) and help improve mental health problems and disorders. Because these approaches are aimed at the enhancement of self-confidence, at symtom relief and the improvement of quality of life.  The core of the problem (as I see it) is the separation of mental health issues and physical movement. That the practice is being treated as two separate thing that we work on. As we sit down with all our students we talk through physical goals and behaviours. And the mental aspect cannot be separated from the physical approach.


Mental health refers to cognitive and emotional well being. It refers to how a person thinks, feels and behaves. Your mental health can effect daily life, relationships, the ability to enjoy life and even physical health. Most students I come across have some sort of physical pain, usually connected to emotions rather than physical trauma (injury). And every week I see students and community members for different reasons crying/struggling with mood/anger/frustration during a training session. I can see it in their eyes as they walk into class or to the session with me. And almost all the time – students walk out of training sessions feeling a little bit better than they did when they came. Your body responds to physical training. It will always be helpful for your mental health to train when you feel like  the least. And please – if you read this blog – try understand the absolute correlation between mental health and physical movement. They are not separate. 


Side note:

Kennys birthday workout on Saturday the 28th at the gym. 9am-12pm. Sign up for your heat! And coffee! New schedule for the women’s classes starting AFTER Thanksgiving. Tuesdays 7am, Wednesdays 8am, Fridays 8am. 


Thursdays WOD:

Aerobic Capacity


1000m Row

30 Push Ups

:30 Plank (each side) 

800m Run

30 DB Lateral Lunges

:30 Side Plank (each side)

1000m Ski


:30 L-Sit