March 28, 2018 - 11:56AMTweet
Hi DogTown Family,
We have decided to highlight a special DogTown Member each month for their presence and unique contributions to the fabric of our community.
We have decided to start with a guy who has been a mainstay at DogTown CrossFit since Day One (and even before). Adam and I were coaching and running the CrossFit Culver City Affiliate at Focus Self Defense and Fitness (Alliance) over 10 years ago. Bobby Favus was a Krav Maga student there who transitioned into the CrossFit Program, and then moved with us when we left to open DogTown in 2010.
Bobby is as steady as a human as they come: patient, helpful and hardworking. For ten years, he has been an example of someone who comes in, works out and stays to help support others on a regular basis. Does he do everything right? No. Does he take instruction well? Yes. He has improved so much over his tenure at DogTown (he would even tell you that if you ask him).
I want to share my favorite story about Bobby that best demonstrates how all his hard work at the box, as someone in his 50’s no less, has paid off in his fitness. About two years ago, Bobby quit Krav to focus solely on CrossFit. Around that time, an old friend asked him to help him prepare for his black belt test in Krav. Bobby said yes. He went back to Krav, gloved up and ran circles around this guy, who was not even close to Bobby’s strength, fitness or endurance.
I give Bobby a lot of BS in class, because well he deserves it. He also deserves though to play and get recognition for being a strong, steady and quiet force in the gym. Thank you, Bobby, for being a part of our family. Here are some questions we asked Bobby to get to know him some more.
Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what inspired you to start?
A: I've been doing CrossFit since you guys started, so 9 years now? It has been a great 9 years I must say. It was my kids who inspired me to start. I wanted to live long so I can see them go about their lives, although they're in Asia.
Q: What are your favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?
A: A few of my favorite CrossFit movements are burpees, box jumps, overhead squats, cleans, jerks, kettle bell workouts and rowing. The things I like the least are pull ups, thrusters, wall balls, running, handstand push-ups, rope climbing, and shoulder press.
Q: When you are not at CrossFit, what are you up to?
A: When I'm not in CrossFit I usually hang out with my friends, and by myself I usually search for new coffee shops to try or new restaurants to try. I love coffee and I love to eat, who doesn't?
Q: What are your CrossFit goals?
A: My goals have been to overcome my weaknesses someday and be perfect at what I'm good at.
Q: Share with your DogTown family 2 things about yourself that we do not already know.
A: Two things about me that you guys don't know....hmmm let me think...ok when I was in grade school back home I was bullied but overcame it and ever since I was never bullied again.
Q: What is your proudest moment of your CrossFit career so far and what is your most embarrassing moment?
A: One of my proudest moment would be I'm still able to keep up with the young ones at the gym, and once in a while able to teach people movements to which they are able to do afterward. Most embarrassing moments are those ladies that can lift more than me.
Q: What advice do you want to give a CrossFit newbie?
A: To a new member, my advice: Do not get intimidated by how fast, or how heavy everyone is lifting. You WILL get there. Be patient. Rome wasn't built in one day. Once you start, keep coming to classes at least 3x/week.
Q: How many cities have you lived in?
A: I have lived in about 10 to 15 cities. Fremont, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Buena Park, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Culver city, Canoga Park, Northridge, North Hollywood, and Pasadena.
Q: What is your favorite cheat meal?
A: As I said I love to eat. My favorite cheat meal would be the roast pork belly with rice, the pork or chicken adobo with rice, gourmet hamburgers, roast duck with rice. I'm Asian lol.
And props to DogTown, from Bobby:
Finally, I'd like to say that DogTown CrossFit has been great to me: the programming, the coaching staff and most of all the people that come to the gym. It's been a great experience for me, and I'm looking forward for the next 9 years......unless you guys are tired of me...
February 28, 2018 - 4:38PMTweet
The rowing clinic saved me from drowning in 18.1 (like what I did there?) It opened my eyes to a few things.
1. Even if you have done a movement to completion in the past, it does not mean you have done it right.
2. Efficiency is sometimes more important than speed.
3. Always sign up for a clinic when DogTown offers it.
Let me share this with you. I have been doing CrossFit for 6 years and rowing has always been my nemesis. Whenever a coach would tell me to “use more legs”, I would get frustrated at not being able to figure out how. I was pulling like a madwoman without making gains. Two minutes into taking Zohar’s rowing clinic, I realized that height and weight for me are a major disadvantage. I also realized I have literally been rowing all wrong all these years.
I will defer to Zohar, the resident DogTown expert, on rowing technique but the points are these.
Now after just one hour of a clinic, I kid you not, my rowing has done a 180. I am not necessarily going any faster but I am by far more efficient. In 18.1 I went into it knowing that I would spend the most time on the erg. I was able to though be efficient and make it like 80% legs which saved my arms for the movements that most needed them (toes to bar and clean and jerks).
18.1, for me, was about efficiency and that is something I encourage everyone to think about during any workouts. We easily lose sight of efficiency in CrossFit because we associate being strong with being fast and explosive.
Think of double unders for another example. Sure, you can jump to the sky or tuck jump. You may string a few together but you are taxing your entire body and engine much faster than if you get can manage to get your jumps to be shorter and staying more erect. (I know, easier said than done…)
Little tweaks to movements you do can make a world of difference. Listen to your coaches when they give you technique cues. We sometimes just keep repeating what we know to do because it is familiar even if it is not the best way to do it. Sometimes it takes those little cues to reprogram your brain and body to perform the same movement differently (but improved!) CrossFit really is about the small details.
And lastly, next time Zohar has a rowing clinic, GO! Next time anyone offers a clinic at DogTown, sign yo’ ass up!!!
Dogtown Member - Missy Berkowitz
January 18, 2018 - 10:41AMTweet
Hey DogTown! I am new to your box and super excited to be part of this community (and equally pumped to be blogging for you from time to time!). I’ve been CrossFitting officially for about 6 years and about 1 year many moons ago unknowingly. My trainer at the time was Level 1 certified (I just never realized!) It is a new year so let’s all crush it together!
I have legit been wanting to take a dedicated CrossFit gymnastic class my entire CrossFit life. I would have joined DogTown regardless if they offered just regularly scheduled workouts, but seeing the gymnastics on the calendar for Thursday nights was like the cherry on top. It is a rare gem to find around L.A. Plus extra bonus points having Dusty to coach it as his reputation in the gymnastics world is no secret.
I know for many CrossFitters, the focus is on lifting and being lightning fast, but gymnastics is as much of the equation as anything else. Gymnastics teaches us body awareness and really concentrating on engaging the right muscles at the right time. Getting stronger in lifts helps with gymnastics and vice versa. When you conquer a skill like a pull-up or pistol, it will be as euphoric as when you back squat twice your body weight.
I took my first gymnastics class and it was AMAZING. I have wanted to add a muscle up to my bag of tricks for ages, and I really believe it actually will happen simply by committing to one extra hour a week.
Gymnastic skills can be very technical. When you are doing gymnastics in a WOD, you are most likely focused on getting through the reps versus thinking about form and technique. You absolutely can practice them in regular class (and you should), but having that extra dedicated time will make a world of difference. Being able to break movements down and doing skill work are the details that will take gymnastics to the next level. Plus, it is much less of a pressure situation which only increases your success with being all gymnasty.
I know that for many, gymnastics can be intimidating or terrifying. For example, the idea of doing a hand stand is scary. “What if I fall?” The truth is, you probably will, but it is really not a big deal. The fear of falling is worse than falling itself. Trust me. I’ve collapsed doing many drills and have had reps where I have not been able to push back up on an HSPU (and consequently toppled over). Practice makes perfect though, and the more comfortable you get with being upside down and being aware of how your body is moving (or should be moving) will get you to do things you never thought you would. Which is the beauty of CrossFit.
And for anyone who is intimidated to go to Gymnastics class, well, there is no need to be. Everyone seems to be at different levels with different goals. It was a fun, relaxed, supportive group and the perfect safe space to be getting upside down and all around.
I plan to make it my regular Thursday night and I hope to see you all there!