1133 N Fountain Way
Anaheim, CA 92806, USA

“When do we test 1RM’s?”

Let’s get this cleared up – we actually DO test 1RM’s in class.

Just not for newbies, unless it’s in a tightly controlled and supervised setting.
(That’s where our lifting meets come in – every max attempt has numerous pairs of eyes on it, along with plenty of spotters for safety.
It’s just not feasible to have that level of control during a regular class with a bunch of people doing stuff simultaneously.)

So why not?

1. Newer peeps often don’t have the structural integrity, core strength, or skill to safely handle a missed lift at max loading without someone watching them like a hawk.

2. New peeps have not developed the nervous system to the point where a true 1RM can even be displayed.

3. We can pretty accurately determine a hypothetical 1RM from a 5RM (for novices) or a 2RM (for intermediates).

4. Your 1RM’s don’t mean shit except for bragging rights. I had to learn this the hard way.
In CrossFit, and in training for your goals, the spectrum of strength endurance (5-20RM) means a lot more than single-effort strength.
(A lot of people with lower 1RM’s than me kept whooping my ass during the Open, and it took me years to figure out why. When I started training with an emphasis on volume instead of loading, low and behold I started PR-ing all my WOD’s and placed closer to where I should in the Open.)

5. It’s a waste of training time on account of 1-4.
A 5RM test has a potent training effect for an athlete at any level.
However, a 1RM test is only meaningful for an advanced lifter.

Here’s the thing – you should test what you train.

To train for a 1RM test, you have to practice heavy sets of 1-3 reps to build nervous system efficiency.
This is not smart if your lifts aren’t at least intermediate-level (like repping out bodyweight on back squat).
You end up with a much higher risk of tweaking and/or injuring yourself because you aren’t building up connective tissue and muscle mass commensurate with your nervous system development.

You might notice with our programming, I have it designed so that novice-level folks do more reps per set than intermediate-level, who in turn do more reps than advanced folks.
This is deliberate.
That’s how we adapt the program to different levels of advancement, and our quarterly testing cycles are matched up to those levels.

So yes, you will eventually test 1RM’s in class.

But you have to EARN it.

T-bo out.

Welcome to the latest incarnation of our nutrition/fat loss challenge!

Here are the rules.

If you don’t have access to the Google sheet for whatever reason,
you must email screenshots of MyFitnessPal data (Saturday – Friday)
by 11:59pm Sunday night.

Points: up to 40 each day

Macro points (15 max)

Protein: up to 7 points

100+% of target → 7
90% of target → 6
80% of target → 5
70% of target → 4
60% of target → 3
50% of target → 2
<50% of target → 1
Not tracked → 0

Fat: up to 3 points

MOE < 10% → 3
MOE < 20% → 2
MOE > 20% → 1
Not tracked → 0

Carbs: up to 5 points

MOE < 10% → 5
MOE < 20% → 4
MOE < 30% → 3
MOE < 40% → 2
MOE > 40% → 1
Not tracked → 0

Workout points (10 max):

RWS WOD or 10:00+ intense effort → 6
WOD: 5:00 – 9:59 intense effort → 4
WOD: 1:00 – 4:59 intense effort → 2
Supplemental cardio → 4
Supplemental guns & buns work → 4
No activity → 0

Sleep points (10 max):

8+ hours → 10
7.5 hours → 8
7 hours → 6
6 hours → 4
<6 hours → 2
Not tracked → 0

Supplement points (7 max):

Fish oil (2000+ mg EPA/DHA) → 1
Multivitamin (must contain zinc & iodine) → 1
Vitamin D (2500+ IU) → 1
NightTime Recovery → 2
Herbal Cleanse → 2

Photo food journal points (3 max):

3+ meals photographed → 3
2 meals photographed → 2
1 meal photographed → 1
No pictures → 0

Scoring for the winners:

50% points (by ranking)
25% fitness improvement (via baseline)
25% inches improvement (waist & hips)

Most people here already know this, but RWS is sort of a hybrid gym.
We are a CrossFit gym, but we heavily emphasize strength and movement quality as a foundation for fitness.
So our most popular competitions in-house are our lifting meets – they’re the ones people seem to look forward to the most, and just a hell of a lot of fun.

The objective is twofold.

Our advanced lifters periodize their training to peak, so we can push the envelope and test true 1RM’s.

And for our newer athletes (novice to intermediate), it gives them an opportunity to open up the throttle and get an idea of their true capabilities in a tightly controlled setting.
It’s pretty motivating to find out you can lift way the hell more weight than you thought.

This was our third lifting meet, and our first CrossFit Total meet.
It was a smashing success – not only did it surpass my expectations, it even surpassed what I’d hoped for.

Our more experienced folks all hit PR’s (with the technical exception of Kyle, but he’s now within 5% of his lifetime PR’s after only being back for like two months from a long hiatus so I count that as a big win).

And our newer folks lifted way more weight than they anticipated with more in the tank, which was precisely the plan. The only failed lifts were from technical errors – that’s how you learn the specifics of moving heavy-ass weight, and we make sure to use each lift as a learning experience.

Pictures are on the website, and also posted in an album here.
We only had one cameraperson – not an optimal scenario – so videos are on assorted people’s phones.
I’ll work on getting them consolidated and up on our pages.

As a coach, I’m super proud to see the fruits of everyone’s labor.
When people of all levels are still making gains, it proves that we’re doing something right here.
Lots of hard work is paying off.

The next meet will be at the end of this training cycle, in about 3 months.
We’d love to see lots of folks there!

Apparently I can’t only rotate between two different linners during the week without wanting to tear my hair out after awhile.

In the interest of saving time during the week and maybe, just maybe getting enough sleep, I’ve begun cooking giant batches of chicken (we’re talking 6-7 pounds at once) on Sundays and stuffing it into tupperware for the week.

This way, I just dump about a pound and a half of pre-cooked chicken into a pan, add vegetables and my sauce of choice (plus one egg), and I’m good to go. Takes about 15 minutes, rather than the usual 45 when you have to wait for the damn chicken to cook.

I happen to really like Thai food, and I’ve cooked green curry before – like, from a recipe and everything – so of course I decided to make a lazy man’s version.

Here goes: “Thai Green Chicken Curry for those who fucking hate to/really suck at/have no time for cooking.”
It’s pretty f’ing tasty, actually.

Ingredients come from multiple locations – chicken from Costco, sauce from Trader Joe’s, and veggies from Stater Bros.

– non-stick skillet
– rubberized spatula of some sort
– probably a vegetable peeler and knife
– …that’s it

– 1.5 pounds of chicken breast and/or thighs, pre-cooked and seasoned with black pepper because you’re awesome like me, cut into chunks
– Trader Joe’s Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce (it’s $2.49 for a 12-oz jar)
– 1 cup frozen bell pepper strips (you can get them in a one-pound bag for like $2)
– 1 cup frozen peas
– 1 large egg
– 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks

0. Cook a silly amount of chicken breasts and thighs ahead of time. Cut into chunks as they cook. Refrigerate.
1. Throw about 1.5 pounds of said chicken into your handy-dandy large skillet.
2. Add vegetables. Cover for a few minutes until they thaw.
3. Crack your egg and toss it in. Stir until the egg appears to be somewhat cooked.
4. Add the whole friggin’ jar of simmer sauce. It’s super thick. The water from the veggies and chicken should thin it out a little bit. Stir.
5. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally so you don’t get stuff cooking unevenly.
6. When the sauce’s viscosity has evened out and it’s bubbling throughout, turn off the heat, stir it a bit more, and you’re good to go.

Serves one.

Macros (approximate):
Fat – 50g
Carb – 50g
Protein – 140g

So, similar to my posting about Taco Slop: For many ladies (or guys that can’t eat like a man yet) this is pretty much an entire day’s worth of food…or at least several day’s worth of lunches.
Maybe add in some post-workout carbs and a protein shake or something.


James is a 28-year-old software engineer at SendGrid, an email delivery company in Orange.
(If you ever got an email from Spotify or Uber, they made sure it got to your inbox.)
SendGrid is a fast-growing company with folks that work hard, sometimes pulling long hours for days on end to meet deadlines.

Such a job entails long periods of sitting and constant temptations of beer-filled refrigerators and candy-filled snack bowls around the office.
Like many people, James’s intentions were good and he tried to stay active with things like karate, mountain biking, and hitting up 24-Hour Fitness.
But whenever he’d try to jump-start his own weight loss, without something to hold his interest he’d lose momentum and backtrack.

Before James started at RWS, he weighed about 240# at 5’8″.
A difficult flight of stairs used to put him out of breath for 15 minutes.
Many people from the SendGrid office had been training here for years, and constantly encouraged him to give it a shot.
As he puts it, “None of my co-workers would shut up about you. I mostly joined out of spite.”

When James started, considering he was essentially wearing a 60-lb weight vest and lacked cardiovascular endurance, he actually moved pretty well – the physical activity that he’d done, even though it was low-intensity, helped his overall sense of body awareness.
However, there were several things that needed to be scaled down or modified – demanding barbell movements like cleans and snatches were contraindicated by lack of flexibility, and pull-ups were quite a ways off.
To avoid joint injury and speed up progress, James was instructed on substituting kettlebells for barbells until mobility got up to speed, and used assistance bands for strict pull-ups to develop a base level of strength.
It was tough, and there were many workouts that tested mental fortitude and took longer than he’d have liked (especially at the beginning), but he still kept coming back. With the help of a high-protein, low-carb diet, he never felt hungry yet the weight was absolutely falling off of him.

Now, after 18 months of quietly putting in work at RWS, James looks like a completely different person.
He weighs 180#, deadlifts over twice his body weight, reps out strict pull-ups, and can jog over 10 miles without stopping.
“A really good day was seeing my brachial artery actually cast a shadow,” he says.
Not only that, but he stands up straighter, looks more confident, and even smiles more!

“This isn’t your stereotypical CrossFit box where you’re power cleaning in your first week,” says James. “The coaches are very scrupulous when it comes to moving us to more complex movements. They take form seriously, and as a result, I felt I progressed faster and more safely. Everyone is super encouraging at RWS; we all look out for each other and get excited when we see others hit their PRs. Everyone knows your name, knows your strengths and weaknesses, and keeps you accountable.”
james before-after

Y’know, I’ll be honest.
Putting what I eat on the daily online…it’s almost a little embarrassing.
Not because it’s unhealthy or anything – quite the opposite, I practice 100% of what I preach – but because it’s so…bachelor-y.

My meals are giant mishmashes with absolutely zero fucks given for presentation or appearance, assembled strictly on the basis of functionality and efficiency, and seasoned only to the point of edibility and almost as an afterthought.

But evidently some people actually like reading this stuff.

Here’s another linner staple of mine. This one may actually taste the best, at least to my palate.
And yes, I said “linner.” Deal with it.

I don’t think “taco slop” sounds too appetizing, but…
Fuck it. “Taco Slop.”

Once again…
God bless Costco.
Oh, and the veggies come from Stater Bros cuz they’re cheap.


Cook time: 30 minutes? I dunno, I do it while washing the previous day’s tupperware and/or screwing around on my phone.

– non-stick skillet
– rubberized spatula of some sort
– probably a vegetable peeler and knife
– …that’s it

– 1.5 pound tray of 93/7 ground turkey (in the refrigerated section – you know, the ones that are like $16-17 for a 4-pack)
– Hot sauce (Cholula is simply the best, let’s be real here)
– taco seasoning…lots of it
– 1 large egg
– 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
– 1 cup frozen spinach or frozen peas (I don’t really like that many vegetables, apparently)

0. If you froze your ground turkey, defrost for 24 hours in refrigerator. Otherwise you gotta wait 15 minutes for the microwave to do it.
1. Put skillet on stove. Turn on heat. Add tray of turkey.
2. Put a SHIT-TON of taco seasoning on the brick of turkey sitting in your skillet. Like, coat that motherfucker in a blanket of reddish-brown. Cover.
3. When bottom half of turkey is mostly browned, flip/stir/whateverthefuck so the rest gets cooked. If there’s any part that doesn’t look seasoned…you know what to do. Re-cover.
4. As the turkey is cooking (the juices cooking out should keep the bottom from sticking, hopefully), peel and chop up the carrots. Toss them in and re-cover.
5. Once the turkey is all cooked, throw in your frozen green vegetable of choice. Stir.
Also add your Cholula. I don’t measure. I just douse.
6. When the vegetables look at least fully thawed, crack that egg and stir it in there.
It acts as a binding agent which makes all this easier to choke down in quantity, plus the extra protein never hurt nobody.
Once this pile of wonder is no longer a translucent gelatinous mess and the veggies are cooked…you’re done!

Serves one.

Macros (approximate):
Fat – 47g
Carbs – 20g maybe?
Protein – 132g

This has kind of a lot of salt in it.
Don’t worry, that’s not bad for you or anything – the body is quite good at self-regulation, despite what some idiots and ignoramuses would have you believe.
(I never bought into the “salt = bad” dogma since there was never an explanation that made sense, and now science is backing me up by thoroughly debunking the myth.)
Just make sure you drink lots of water.

Now, I imagine there are quite a few people reading this that’d split this into two, or even three meals.
That’s fine. A couple years ago I probably would have done the same.

Hell, if you’re female with a target body weight under 160#, you could pretty much just divvy this up into meals for an entire day.
Maybe add in a couple eggs and bit o’ carbs at breakfast, more carbs pre/post-workout, and you’re good to go.


(via Yelp)

TL;DR – this place fucking rocks – great coaches – great space – great community- and CrossFit scales to your current strength level even if you’re a noob.

Never really lifted weights ever?

Those are all things that described me as I decided to take the plunge and start doing research on what this whole “CrossFit” thing was.
I knew a couple things about myself when it came to fitness.
I’m not, in any way, self disciplined when it comes to working out – I’ve discovered through many, many, many New Years resolutions that buying a gym membership is both a waste of time and money.
I can never get myself to go consistently beyond the first month.
I loved having a personal trainer whip my butt into shape, but damn, they are expensive!!
What I needed was a community and support system that made it fun to exercise.
A place that I could be where I could look both foolish doing something I’ve never done before, and have a guiding hand to help me get better at all the things.

RWS CrossFit is that place.

Confident, Excited, and a shit ton Stronger.

Those are some of the things that describe me now.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work and some days are tough.
What makes it easier is having Justin, the coaching staff, the smiling, and supportive faces of the people you workout with pushing and cheering you along.
You’re doing it together, you’re doing it with the help of a group of experts who are personal trainers for a whole heck of a lot cheaper than a 1v1 session while still getting that 1v1 experience.
I was worried about the stories of injuries and hurting myself – all I have to say is, be smart – you only get injured when you don’t listen to the coaches and you push yourself harder than you should.
Everything is scaled down for me since I had ZERO experience with weightlifting – I went from having never lifted a barbell ever to lifting weights I would have never thought I could put up.

It’s been an awesome adventure and I highly recommend you give it a try.


Since we’ve been working on dialing in our nutrition here at the box, I’ve been learning just how horrible most people’s breakfasts are.
Seriously, it’s appalling. All carbs, no protein. No wonder people struggle so much with fat loss.

And don’t just take it from me.
Check out this article if you want a detailed explanation as to why we need a solid chunk of protein early in the day.

So now that we’ve established that a high-protein, tasty breakfast is muy importante for becoming muy shredded…
I’ll give you my solution.
The first version is applicable to anyone with a protein quota of 200g to 240g – medium-to-larger guys.
Let’s call it the “Turk-amale Mash.”

As with most things I eat, this is brought to you by Costco.
God bless Costco.


Cook time: about 15 minutes

– non-stick skillet
– non-stick frying pan
– hard plastic spatula
– that’s seriously it, you guys

Ingredients (all purchased from Costco):
– 1 pork tamale
– 1 Kirkland frozen turkey burger patty – the super-lean ones
– 5 large eggs
– 2 tbsp Kerrygold butter

1. Preheat both skillets with medium heat. Add 1 tbsp butter to each.
2. When butter is melted, add turkey patty to skillet. Cover.
3. When butter is melted and sizzling, crack eggs and add to frying pan.
4. As everything is cooking, wrap tamale in paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds.
5. When eggs are no longer translucent and can move as one unit, flip in frying pan and shut off heat.
Leave in hot butter for about 2-3 minutes to cook other side.
6. When turkey patty is cooked on bottom, flip and cut into pieces with spatula. Stir and re-cover.
Repeat until cooked through.
7. Throw everything into a large bowl and stir with a fork.

Serves one.

Macros (approximate):
Fat – 71g
Carb – 27g
Protein – 78g

To fit this to your macros, you may need the “Turk-amale Mash Lite.”
Cut the butter by half, and cut the eggs by 2 if your protein quota is less than 200g.
This is for guys that might be trying to lean out.

This would change the macros to:
Fat – 48g
Carb – 27g
Protein – 66g

And lastly, for smaller dudes and medium-to-larger-framed ladies here’s the “Egg n’ Turkey Mash.”
I’m assuming a daily protein quota of 130-160g here, along with less margin of error for total calories.
Keep the three eggs and the turkey patty but ditch the tamale.
Replace it with about 30g of your non-glutinous carb of choice (oatmeal, potato, brown rice, corn, etc).
Add whatever condiment you like to make it palatable. I’d go with Cholula cuz it’s the shit, but that’s me.

Macros for this:
Fat – 33g
Carb – 30g
Protein – 53g

Smaller women go for the “Egg n’ Turkey Mini-Mash.”
Cut it to two eggs and 20g carbs. (That’s about 1/3 cup of rice AFTER cooking.)
This is for protein quotas of 95-130g and the smaller stomachs that go with it.

Fat – 29g
Carb – 20g
Protein – 47g

Moral of the story: Kirkland turkey patties are AWESOME.

Macros, brah.

Eating the correct amounts of fat, carbs, and protein (and by extension, calories) on a daily basis is 80% of the nutritional battle.
Seriously. There’s a great article on JTS here that talks about it.

So how do you figure out exactly how much to eat?
Well, trial and error mostly, but I can get you in the ballpark.

First let’s figure out your long-term ideal body weight.
This is a function of your height and frame.

BWT = body weight (pounds)
H = height (inches)

Men: BWT = 7H – 300
Women: BWT = 6.6H – 290

These equations are for medium builds (as determined by joint thickness, shoulder/hip width).
Slimmer builds can subtract 5 or 10%; thicker builds add 10 or 20%.

This isn’t the weight you should be at tomorrow, per se.
It’s only a prediction for the body weight you would end up at after 10 years of functional fitness training…
or, when you’re at 85-90% of your genetic potential for running, lifting, AND gymnastic abilities.
We’re also assuming an approximate body fat percentage of 10% for men and 15% for women.

[As an example, I’m 5’10.5″ with a slightly thin build, which would put my ideal BWT at about 184#.
Considering I’m 176# when lean and at about 80% of my overall genetic potential after 7 years of training, it works out.]

If you’re more than 10# over your target BWT, you want to lean out.
If you’re within 10# of your target BWT, you probably want to maintain.
If you’re more than 10# under your target BWT, you want to gain.

So now that we have that figured out, how much should you eat?


Leaning out–
Fat (grams) = 50% target BWT (pounds)
Carbs = 75% target BWT
Protein = 100% target BWT

Fat = 50% BWT
Carbs = 100% BWT
Protein = 100% BWT

Fat = 75% target BWT
Carbs = 120% target BWT
Protein = 100% target BWT


Leaning out–
Fat = 45% target BWT
Carbs = 70% target BWT
Protein = 90% target BWT

Fat = 45% BWT
Carbs = 90% BWT
Protein = 90% BWT

Fat = 70% target BWT
Carbs = 110% target BWT
Protein = 90% target BWT

Remember, this is just a starting point.
Everyone has different specific needs based on various metabolic factors, so here are the adjustments you may need to make:

1. If you’re trying to lean out and not losing weight…
Try cutting carbs by 5% and re-evaluate.
Make sure stress and sleep are taken care of.

2. For those trying to maintain
If you’re losing weight, adjust all macros up until everything is stable.
Don’t cut protein if you’re gaining weight, only cut fat and carbs a little at a time.

3. If you’re on the gain train
Just add food until the scale starts going up.
Worry about the details later when we’re tightening up body composition.

4. You also can mix up your approach over time.
I’m not talking about “bulking and cutting” because that’s stupid and it doesn’t work.
I’m talking more like lean out for a couple months, then maintain for a few weeks to regain any lost strength without gaining fat.
Or gain for a couple months, then maintain for a few weeks to trim away any excess accumulated fat.
Whatever keeps you happy and motivated.

I mean if you want long-term progress, anyway.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent lifestyle change, usually a few weeks will teach you an immense amount.
You just need a reasonable quantitative estimate of what you’re shoving into your pie hole on the daily.

Get that dialed in and I promise you will like the result.

You already bust your ass in the gym, so back that shit up in the kitchen.
No one fucking cares if it’s “hard.”
That’s life.

No. Excuses.

Chicken breast is great. We need to establish that at the outset.
It’s almost perfectly lean protein and you can get a 10-pound bag of it for like $22 at Costco.
(Costco = gainz city.)

But here’s the thing…it’s really hard to eat in large quantity.
It gets all dry, you have to drink like a gallon of water to choke down half a pound, it sucks.

So what are we to do?
We make chicken marinara…with veggies, because we need them.
(Also, we mix in chicken thighs cuz they’re cheaper, still pretty lean, and add nice flavor.)

Here’s how I do it.


Cook time: about 30 minutes

– one large non-stick skillet
– hard spatula
– knife
– vegetable peeler

– 1-2 large frozen chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
– 2-3 large frozen chicken thighs (boneless/skinless)
– oregano (this is important to add a sweet flavor)
– 2 cups marinara sauce (I use Costco’s white label sauce cuz it’s delicious, made with olive oil, in a glass jar, and cheap)
– 1 cup frozen peas
– 2 carrots, peeled
– 1 egg

1. Preheat large skillet on medium heat. Throw in chicken breasts straight from freezer (hell with defrosting). Cover.
2. Peel and cut carrots into chunks. Throw in with chicken.
3. When top of chicken turns white, flip ‘em.
4. When chicken is mostly cooked, use lid as a strainer to carefully drain excess liquid from skillet. Don’t screw this up or your food goes down the sink.
5. Heavily season chicken with oregano. When they’re cooked enough to cut with the spatula, cut into cubes in the skillet.
6. Throw in the peas. Once they’re thawed, crack in an egg and stir it in. Extra protein, bro.
7. When eggs are no longer translucent, coat everything with a thick blanket of marinara sauce. Stir until cooked.

Serves one.

Macros (approximate):
Fat – 40g
Carb – 30g
Protein – 120g