Hi Friends,

Next week, starting Wednesday, we will be on holiday open-gym schedule. Get your friends together — or come alone! — and come as often as you like during Open Gym schedule. See the hours below.

And HERE is the link to all the Holiday Photo Booth photos.


Friday’s Workout

A) Movement Priority: Bench Press
5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5
DB Row 5×10

B) 3 Rounds on the 4:00
20/15 Cal AB
15 Strict Chin Ups
10 Push Press (135/95)

Monday’s Workout

12 Days of Xmas-

1 Deadlift
2 Hang Power Cleans
3 Front Squats
4 Strict Press
5 Back Squats
6 Shoulder to Overhead
7 KB Swings
8 KB RVs Lunges
9 KB Goblet Squats
10 Hang Power snatch
11 OH Squats
12 Double Unders

It’s a great day, week or month when you can make it to class and have a nice organized and well thoughtout workout planned for you. But lets be real, that takes planning and organization for all that to happen. And sometimes, the stars just don’t align and you find yourself at the end of the day and no workout has been done. Now what? It all depends on what your goals are and why you wanted to show up.  Lets play with a few different scenarios:

Scenerio 1:

Your goal: Consistenly Workout out 3 x week for 3 months. 

So, you missed class.  And that doesn’t mean you can’t workout. There are a ton of easy at home workouts. Go for a 10min or 30min jog. Or do a mix of body weight movements amrap or emom style. Or find a hill and run or walk up and down it multiple times. 

Scenerio 2:

Your goal: Increase your level of fitness so you can run a mile under 10min by end of Dec.

So, you missed class. And that doesn’t mean you can’t workout and continue to increase your level of fitness. There are a ton of easy at home workouts. Go for a quick jog, run some intervals. Do a mix of bodyweight movements like an amrap 10 or emom 10 with burpees. All of this work will contribute to you running faster when done with intention.

Scenerio 3: 

Your goal: Weight loss (10 pounds)

So, you missed class. Well, exercise truly isn’t the best tool for weight loss. Eating balanced and healthy IS. So, go for a walk or run (you will feel better and make better choices). And more importably, be mindful of what you are eating. Are you eating lean protein? Adding in lots of colorful vegetables and watching your portion size? The nutrition choices play a large part in what happens on your weigh loss journey. Also make sure you are getting in plenty of water and adequate sleep. If your body is too stressed (lack of sleep or overly stressed by work or other stressors) is doesn’t like to release body fat. 

We miss you in class, but that doesn’t mean you can’t workout and make healthy choices. 

Remember that this holiday season.


12/13/18 THURSDAY
Special Breath Class @ 7:30pm
A Fundraiser for: Set Her Free

This Thursday we have a special fundraiser to supper the organization: Set Her Free which supports underpriveldged women in Uganda. Coach PJ Nestler will be coaching breath class at 7:30pm. This will be replacing our regular mobility class. Any donation is welcome and click this link for more info. or to donate if you cannot make the class and want to support.


Wednesday’s Workout

A) OH Shoulder mobility Test/retest 

B) Nancy’s Drunk Uncle

400m Run
15 OH Squats (95/65)
200m Run
5 OH Squats
400m Run
15 OH Squats
200m Run
5 OH Squats
400m Run
15 OH Squats + 10 Burpees “OTB”


Thursday’s Workout

A) Hypoxic Breathwork on Erg
3-4 Rounds of
:25 :5 Intervals (Nasal / Breath hold)
:50 :10 Intervals

B) EMOM 10
3-5 Sumo Deadlift 

6 Get-ups
32′ Loaded Balance Beam Walks
8 Single-leg RDLs
:30 Bar Hang 

You may have recently noticed the coaches using different headers when defining the programing: “Movement and Working Capacity”.

Just in case there is any confusion, the best and most simple way to define the two terms are through the coach’s eye: 


Assessing movement starts with Posture & Stance.  Depending on the exercise, how well can the student position their body and initiate bracing or readiness.  Next is Joint Alignment & Sequencing,  can the various joints move with integrity/tracking through a an established archetype of movement and in the proper order.  Then, how far or to what functional Rang of Motion can the student perform the task, without compromising the first two principles.

On practice days, you have the opportunity to prioritize movement capacity.  Owning your movement is the very foundation of efficiency and optimal performance.


Humans have evolved and by many degrees, survived the day by getting work done.  Now, modern society has eliminated many of the tasks our ancestors did on daily basis.  Most of us use our leisure time to “workout”, to reclaim our working capacities.   

But we also know that while we are improving our strength and conditioning, there’s always a cost.  That’s why movement is key to supporting and sustaining work. 

I was once told by an exercise physiologist that… “if a human ate and drank enough, they could run until they died, if the goal was survival.” 

Well, that’s a head scratcher?! 

I’m glad that for a lot of us, life is not that desperate and I would too hope the goal of getting work done was so you can live for another day! 


A) Movement Capacity 6 Rounds for Quality(as a superset):

6-10 Ring Push-ups

6-8 Cossack Squats (on each side, alternate rounds)

(about 20 minutes)

B) FQT: 30-20-10 reps of: Curtsey Box Step-ups (12/8)

Russian Trombone Russian KB Swings

(12-minute cap)


A) Movement Capacity:

6 Rounds :30:30 Candle Stick Levers Arch/Hollow (alternating rounds)

B) AMRAP 15 6 Pull Ups 7 Candle Stick 2 Stands with Pistol Option 150m Row


A week from this Saturday is our holiday party! We’re super excited. 

It’s on SATURDAY, Dec 8th, starting at 7pm.

There will be:

*Tacos, tacos, tacos
*Dessert Pot Luck Table (bring or make a favorite hand-held dessert like cookies, cupcakes)
*Open Bar
*Photo Booth
*Couple surprises
*Busby’s after?

Let’s get fancy and party!

Friday’s Workout


Monday’s Workout

A) Breath Capacity 800m Run (Progressive Gears: 1-5)

B) Work/Movement Capacity
Station#1 Lateral MB Throws
Station #2 MB Up and Overs
Station #3 MB Burpess
Station #4 MB Air Squat Holds

I attended class Tuesday and it reminded me of where I am at.  The last three months have been focused on yoga, which has been truly wonderful. I’ve gotten more in touch with my body, my emotions and slowing down which always brings me joy. Coming back to find a heavy 3 thruster I found I had more space to move with (hooray), but really had to be conscious of moving fast and getting my hips through. I went where heavy was for today. This is where I am at. I am grateful to have a fully functioning body that allows me to move it in space where I want to. It gives me signals and feedback that I interpret how I will.  I am grateful to have a long history of strength training and I have to continue to practice my speed under the bar, reconnecting with the aggressive power and strength needed to move a heavy barbell. I’m thankful for each opportunity we get to connect, play and grow.

Wednesday’s Workout

A) Dry Land Swimming
4 Rounds for the Experience:
12/8 cals AB @ 90-95% RPE
3 Breaths
Max distance Farmer’s Carry on breath hold / exhale
Rest coach’s interval
*3 Rounds breath hold as you want, 1 Round breath hold on exhale

B) 8 RFT:
Row cals (20/16)
10 Burpees to target
Rest 2 minutes b/w rounds


Thursday’s Workout

“The Broomstick Mile”
For Time With a PVC Pipe (except the mile)
25 Back Squats
25 Front Squats
25 Overhead Squats
400 meter Run
25 Shoulder Presses
25 Push Presses
25 Push Jerks
400 meter Run
50 Hang Squat Cleans
400 meter Run
50 Power Snatches
400 meter Run

Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care. 

  • Siddhartha Gautama

This quote is from the book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chorpa and David Simon. In the past few months my yoga teacher training has had me reading a lot of books, as well as practicing breathing, postures and meditation. There has been a lot of talk about the mind  and the control that it has over our actions, reactions and feelings.  Most of our minds are insanely busy, with the cell phones, computers and endless streams of media, they don’t seem to quite down. And when we are aren’t on our devices, we might just be thinking, or overthinking a situation or how to do something. This battle of balance of thinking and non thinking is constant. This can be helped by quitting the mind. 

Quieting the mind through breath is a wonderful way to bring attention out of the mind and into the body. We’ve been practicing it here in a variety of ways (breath class and regular class) and many of you have seen the benefits.  Some of you are able to find this state in a workout, you’ve practiced a movement so much you don’t have to think about it, you can just find your flow. It’s a beautiful thing. Bringing more focus to breath while moving can help bring calmness, awareness and more efficiency to you body.

Quieting the mind through breath and sitting is another wonderful tool to connect with yourself. Find a quite space, look and focus inward. The more we connect with ourselves the freer we can be in life.

As we are in day three of Re test week- take a look at what you want to accomplish, what time or weight you want to beat, how you want to it to feel or look when you are doing it, then focus on the breath!

Wednesday’s Workout
Re-test Week

For time:
Run 1 Mile
50 DB Alt. Box Step-ups (50/35) (24/20)
Run 1 Mile


Thursday’s Workout
Re-test Week

A) Tidal Volume Breathing Test: Overhead Squat (12 minutes)

B) 20 Minutes to find Heaviest Load: 1 Hang Snatch + 1 Snatch + 2 OHS

1 mile Run
      -rest 4mins.
800m Run
      -rest 3mins.
400m Run

Be the reason someone still believes in the goodness of people.

Friday’s Workout

EMOM 10:
6 Overhead Squats (50% of 1RM Snatch)

Rest 2mins

7 BB Floor Press (50% of 1RM Snatch)

Rest 2mins

8 DB Reverse Lunges (alt) (Quality Load)

Rest 2mins

6-8 Strict Chin-ups

Monday’s Workout

A) 8 Rounds :20:10 (Tabata)
Row (meters) @ Gear 3 Breath

— Rest 6 minutes —

B) For time:
Row 500m

My half marathon trail race last Saturday through Oakland Hills Redwood Park offered some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen. A rich dirt path, where arcing roots surfaced and dove back below, was lined with lazy ferns and towering Redwoods that made each part of the trail feel intimate. This was my first half marathon and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to do it on a trail in Northern California.

The first nine miles felt amazing. When hills got steep, I stuck to my plan to power walk up and run on flats, downhills, and slight inclines. During that first nine, I couldn’t believe I was about to crush my first half exactly how I wanted.

But after nine, things started to fall apart.

My first mistake was that I forgot my camelback at home. I imagine all destination races can notoriously be a venue of things forgotten. On the race website, they boasted many aid stations along the way, which eased the inclination to kick myself. During training, I never ate much before a run because I have a …. sensitive stomach when it comes to running. Shyly, I had asked the race director, “What if you have to go to the bathroom during the route?” I was informed there were a couple campsite bathrooms along the way. “Or jump behind a tree,” he said. So, mistake number two was that I didn’t fuel myself hardly at all before the race.

There were not many aid stations along the way as boasted. This is directly related to mistake number three: not fueling enough during the race.There were, in fact, two aid stations; one at mile six and one at mile nine. I ate three-fourths of a banana in total and a couple cups of water. I contemplated drinking their electrolyte concoction, but I was imagining how my stomach would protest in the most humiliating of ways so I declined. Rounding the corner from the aid station, the next mile started as a ridiculous hill that caused my jaw to slack when seeing it. There were three huge hills in this race. The mile-seven hill I handled pretty well, but looking at the wall confronting me after mile nine I thought, “Welp, one foot in front of the other, Rivera.” The hill finally eased after a mile, but by then I was starting to have an Uh-Oh moment. I settled into a jog, but my energy was drained. I decided that by sheer will alone I was going to get  through the last hill, which was a straight-up ascent starting at the eleven and a half mark. Joy has to be good for a mile or so, no?

But here’s the deal: As mentally tough as I like to consider myself, my mind couldn’t fully compensate for a real physiological bonk. Starting up that last hill, I couldn’t believe I couldn’t force my legs to move faster. I began feeling lightheaded with tunnel vision. “F*#k!” I yelled at my feet. A couple runners passed me, which pissed me off more. “What’s my problem?” I thought. I stopped and looked at the trees. I asked for help from Nature, the goddesses, from my inner effing self. I thought that would give me a boost, but it didn’t.

A photographer who was perched on a huge tree stump primed to document runners’ misery, taunted us as we struggled. I was not in the mood for that. I think he realized I was having a tough time and he hopped off the stump to walk with me and talk to me for about eight hundred meters. Nature had sent me help after all.

I crossed the finish line much later than I had hoped feeling like shit. Mina was there, thank god, and she handed me an orange soda. She knew to give me the soda because everyone who had crossed the finish line before me ranted about how brutal the course had been and how they needed sugar or salt immediately. When I downed the soda, I felt immediately better. I thought to myself, “Oh.” I ALMOST wanted to redo that last part so I didn’t feel like it had got the best of me.

I totally disrespected my fuel for my first big race. I had not underestimated the training, the cross training, the mobility, or recovery. But I had not spent any time dialing in fuel. Me of all people!

My husband used to ask our daughters, “Do you want to learn things the easy way or the hard way? Up to you.” I obviously picked the hard way last Saturday. But I’m excited to figure out my race nutrition, and I can’t wait to try it all again.

Friday’s Workout

5k Row FT – Leader Board Time!


Saturday’s Workout

Leaderboard Day!
Followed by a Bondsy-Q
$10 to go toward Westside Food Bank for Thanksgiving
$10 to go toward the BBQ, all to Bondsy.

Sunday’s Workout

20 MIN EMOM–You choose what you play with

ODD MIN: A movement (user’s choice)
EVEN MIN: A different movement (user’s choice)

Monday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

Teams of 2 or 3
12 TTB
60 DU
24 KBS (24/16)

B) AB for Cals with partner

What’s really hard in life? Isn’t that a good question? I bet each of you reading this would give me a million different definitions of what is hard. Just this past weekend most of the staff and some Oak Park students headed to Malibu to play and learn at the XPT workshop.  Some of us had briefly talked about what was going to be hard for us individually. I thought getting to the ice bath wasn’t going to be that bad, my thought was “I’ll just breathe”. The hard part for me was getting myself to the bottom of the pool to pick up a dumbbell and bring it up to the surface. I KNOW that my breath is my biggest tool, because I use my breath to help keep calm in many situations.   When I’m under water… there is NO breath to be used.  So, what I perceived to be hard was (imagine that).  I had the biggest challenge moving under water with dumbbells, or I should say swimming with dumbbells was my biggest challenge. The thing is I know this is where my growth happens, when it’s uncomfortable and hard, and it’s usually the stuff I don’t want to do. THAT IS GROWTH. 

In 2012 I participated in one of my first Insight Seminars. The intention of insight is to learn to live from your heart. Now, I’m really talking about hard. The thing that was hard for me was getting up in front of all the participants to share.  We were invited to  get up in front of the group and share what we were aware of. I don’t usually think of myself as having trouble talking in front of people, unless of course I have to talk about my emotions. So, when I got up in front of the group all I did was cry. I couldn’t get words out of my mouth. I was so scared to talk about what I was feeling that the only thing I was able to do was cry. Over a few days it got better, but this was HARD and that was growth. 

I share all this with you because we all perceive things differently. What brings joy to me can bring a feeling of dread to you and vice versa. Our intention at Oak Park that we all want to learn, try new things and continue to work on the not so fun stuff as well as all the other fun stuff. As we do, we grow and become more balanced people both in and out of the gym.  I’ll always have to continually work on expressing how I feel, (which has gotten a lot easier), and remind myself to do that things that I don’t like doing and I appreciate having this community of support to do that. 

Wedesday’s Workout

“CF Games Open 17.1”
For time:
10 Dumbbell Snatches (50/35)
15 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24/20)
20 Dumbbell Snatches
15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
30 Dumbbell Snatches
15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
40 Dumbbell Snatches
15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
50 Dumbbell Snatches
15 Burpee Box Jump Overs
(20-minute time cap)

If you got time capped, add the number of reps you failed to complete to your time in seconds. E.g. If you got 210/225 reps (didn’t finish the last 15 Box Jumps) your time would be 20:15.


Thursday’s Workout

A) Ascending ladder for Quality and Creativity
4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16…….
Pull up
Push up
Squat x 2
Time cap: 15

B) Bench Press
Peak 5 x 4 @ 85%
Base 5 x 6 By Feel


I write this as I stare at the lowering sun highlighting the eucalyptus grove outside my AirBnB balcony in Oakland Hills. Damn, life is good! 

The biggest take away from my trip so far is that our intuition is one of our most powerful — and possibly our most unused — tool. As someone who has vey good intuition, I encourage you to use yours more. (This reads like a fortune cookie, which … cool!)

Happy weekend, friends.

Friday’s Workout

A) EMOM 10
2 Hang Power Snatch + 3 Power Snatch (TNG)

B) Reflect (5-7 minutes)

C) AMRAP 12 / Upshift/Downshift
5 Snatch (Gear 4-5)
15 Pull Ups (Gear 4-5)
200m Run (Gear 3)

Saturday’s Workout FT:
400m Run
2 Squat Cleans (95/65)
2 Bar-Facing Burpees
4 Squat Cleans
4 Bar-Facing Burpees
6-6, 8-8, 10-10
400m Run
10 Squat Cleans
10 Bar-Facing Burpees
8 Squat Cleans
8 Bar-Facing Burpees
6-6, 8-8, 10-10
400m Run

Monday’s Workout

A) Shoulder CARs (Controlled articular rotations, aka shoulder circles!)

B) AMRAP 15:
7 Tempo Push Ups (3-2-1)
200m Run (upshifting/downshifting breathing gears)

C) Snatch Balance
4×3 by feel
(not more than 70% of 1RM SN)

D) Segmented Snatch Pull
4×3 by feel
(not more than 90% of 1RM SN)