April 2016 Community Updates

Cinco De Beast Mode This Sunday, 5/1 @ 1PM

There’s still time to register for the Cinco De Beast Mode charity WOD. Team Marvelous CrossFit is performing the WOD this Sunday, 5/1 @ 1PM during Open Gym. Sign up to support a good cause and get a really cool shirt! Register with coupon code “GOLD” for $10 off, here’s the link:


Expanding Coaches WOD To 90 Minutes

We’ve received feedback that athletes like the Coaches WOD offering. Since Coaches WOD offers a bit more intensity than Level 1 programming, we learned that 60 minutes is a pretty narrow timeframe to allocate to the class. 

So, starting in May we’re going to pilot a 90 minute Coaches WOD that runs from 5:00-6:30PM on Fridays. This means Level 1 will be shifted back 30 minutes and will now be held from 6:30-7:30PM. 

We’re hopeful that more of you will join us for Coaches WOD as it’s truly enriching for us to work out with you.

Remember, you don’t have to be the most hard core CrossFitter to come take the class. You simply need to have a solid knowledge of all CrossFit movements and understand that since we’re doing the WOD with you, there will be less coaching and more doing.

Adding 7AM Level 1 Classes

Starting Monday, 5/2, we are piloting 7AM Level 1 classes and are going to offer it on Mondays and Wednesdays. While this class is open to everyone, we’re hopeful that some of you 6PM folks will shift your workout schedule to the morning in order to relieve some of the congestion at that 6PM Level 1 slot. ;)

Evaluating The 8PM Level 1 Classes

We’ve offered the 8PM Level 1 class on Mondays and Wednesdays for several months now and attendance has generally been low the entire time we’ve offered it. We’re hopeful to keep the class going but need at least 5 athletes to attend it regularly in order to continue offering the class at that time. #SaveThe8 by attending the class and getting it in with your peeps who are hopeful to keep the class going. 

New Rule For Handstand Push-ups

We believe strongly in transparency, and during the month of March we experienced a higher injury rate than normal. After reviewing the programming, our hunch is that it could be attributed to Handstand Push-ups. Moving forward, we are implementing a new rule that you are only allowed to perform HSPU (in any form) during a WOD if you can safely and effectively demonstrate 3 STRICT Handstand Push-ups. We know this will require some of you accustomed to doing HSPU to now do non-HSPU variants during the WODs and we hope you understand that safety and injury prevention is our number one priority. If you have any qualms with this new guideline, please reach out to us as we’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Hunting For A New Home

It has been nearly a year and a half since we started looking for a new home and unfortunately, the search continues. Turnover is low in Burlingame, but we’re hoping something awesome will come available by the summertime. Until then, we’re going to continue expanding the schedule and testing new strategies to serve you in the best manner possible in the space we have. :)

Marvelous Coaching Accelerator Program

Of all the CrossFit gyms in the Bay Area, we have the second largest coaching staff (the only staff bigger than ours is NorCal, which has 4 B2C locations in the area). While we are always on the hunt for new talent, we also recognize the importance of developing the talent we are already blessed with.
So, instead of opening the up the annual Marvelous Coaching Accelerator Program to the general public, we’ve invited a few specific individuals to apply for the program. These individuals represent specific attributes that we are in need of on the team. The program officially kicks off next month and we'll announce the program participants at that time.

Fearless Communication

We encourage you to share any thoughts or feedback you have on what we’re doing well, and how we can improve. Your feedback is vital to helping us increase our value to you. Please email your thoughts to team@marvelosucrossfit.com - we’re standing by! 

Redefining The Barbell Program

The barbell is a critical piece of equipment in our training regimen, and we’re always working to figure out how to best educate and prepare athletes for its use. 
We originally launched a BarSoHard Barbell training class in late 2014 to accommodate those with a piqued interest in excelling at weightlifting. Since then, we’ve expanded the class to 3x/week and many of the athletes that attend are performing at an intermediate-advanced level.
Late last year, we launched the Barbell Fundamentals class on Sundays to help bridge the gap between the newbies and the folks already participating in the BarSoHard classes.
We are continuing to refine the overall Barbell Program and have recently added additional classes, and further defined the scope and requirements for each class.

Barbell Essentials

We renamed Barbell Fundamentals to Barbell Essentials to reinforce the notion that it is a class that ALL ATHLETES will benefit from, not just those starting out. It is now offered Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 4PM, as well as Sundays @ 12PM. For now, we are capping the classes at 6 athletes to ensure everyone receives a tremendous amount of personal coaching. Coach Brandon Chien coaches all three classes, and he will grow you as an athlete irrespective of how long you’ve been in the game. While the primary focus of the class is on barbell training, it encompasses far more than just the O-lifts. The programming is set beforehand and will be personalized during class to meet your need and experience level.

BarSoHard Barbell Club

The BarSoHard Program is no longer open to athletes of all experience levels. We narrowing the scope of this class to help those already at an intermediate-advanced proficiency break through to the next level. If you’re a current member of Marvelous and have been doing CrossFit for at least 3 months, you are eligible to attend. Moving forward, all athletes new to the community will be required to attend 8 Barbell Essentials classes before being eligible to attend BarSoHard classes. Keeping the focus narrow enables us to continue servicing up to 15 athletes per class. BarSoHard classes will continue to be offered on Mondays and Wednesday @ 5PM, as well as Saturdays @ 9AM.

Everything Is An Evolution

We continue to evolve as the community grows and expresses interest in specific CrossFit sub-domains. We’re currently working with a gymnastics coach to expand our own knowledge of that discipline as well as figuring out how we can bring a gymnastics specific offering to the community. If you have any thoughts or feedback, please feel free to reach out to me at ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com :)

Building Bodyweight Skills: March Programming Notes

Breaking From Barbells

This month we're focused on developing Gymnastic/Calisthenic Strength. There are tremendous benefits to strength training using only body weight, including the increased potential to develop muscle types that aren’t as well addressed when working with barbells.

In a nutshell, there are three muscle-fiber types in the body: Type I, Type IIA, & Type IIB. Gymnastics has a higher propensity to develop muscle Type IIB, which generate the most power and force. In addition, gymnastics training requires the body to work in perfect unison, and demands a tremendous amount of balance, flexibility, and strength to be expressed.  

It’s All About Progressions

When training with barbells, you can easily increase or decrease the intensity by changing the weight. If something is too heavy, simply drop some weight and get back at it.

Gymnastics is a completely different animal in that we need to be able to identify the appropriate progression that will enable you to build capacity in a safe and effective manner. Since you are leveraging your own body weight to complete movements, you need to be able to understand how levers work in order to manipulate the load to feel lighter or heavier.

Here’s a couple examples:
If standard push-ups are too difficult, you can do push-ups off of an elevated surface (like a box) to decrease the load angle and make the movement possible. If Toe-2-Bar is too challenging you can perform Knees-2-Elbows in order to build the baseline strength required to eventually execute the T2B.

We will be showing you a tremendous number of progressions for each strength movement - aim to pick a progression that enables you to perform 3 sets of 5 reps successfully.

The Little Things Count

One thing to keep in mind is that every single body part has a place regardless of what the movement is. Part of the goal of most gymnastics movements is to create tension in the body (this helps with balance and rigidity). A common fault I see is when athletes fail to point the toes away from the body in movements like the pull-up, handstand, and hollow rock. Pointing the toes activates the quads and if you’re guilty of this not doing this regularly, you’ll probably start to cramp the first few times you give it a try. Stick with it, and in time you will bloom like a beautiful flower. 


Per the usual, if you have feedback to share hit me at ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com. I am waiting to hear from you. :)

Developing Strength: February 2016 Programming Notes

If you have yet to download the 2016 Level 1 Programming, you may do so here.

Powerlifting To Get Strong

This month, we are focused on leveraging 4 lifts for strength development: Back Squat, Deadlift, Strict Press, and Bench Press. The word “Powerlifting” is a bit of a misnomer as these lifts are typically performed without much explosiveness (i.e. power) unlike the Olympic lifts, which require a tremendous amount of power in order to be performed with heavy loads.

Why Two Presses?

These days, the sport of Powerlifting only includes 3 of the 4 lifts we are utilizing this month: Back Squat, Deadlift, and Bench Press. Way back in the day, the sport actually used the Strict Press instead of the Bench Press. But, competitors found that they could lift more weight in the Strict Press by employing excessive “lay-back”, which is essentially a hyper extension of the back that resembles a standing bench press with no bench. It then became difficult for judges to determine how much “lay-back” was permissible so they did away with the Strict Press altogether and replaced it with the Bench Press.

Both press variants are extremely valuable for upper body strength development and that’s why we’re using both in our training. 

Tempos, Bands, Burnouts, and Other Variants

You will perform variants of the aforementioned lifts in the form of changing tempo, adding band resistance, and changing range of motion. The higher level goal of all these variants are the same: to provide a different stimulus and force the body to adapt to something new. Training variance is proven to provide a much better stimulus (and result) on the body than merely performing the exact same movement pattern over and over.

With that said, whenever a new stimulus is introduced keep in mind that you should use working loads that are lower than what you would do normally to accommodate for the extra stress on the body. 

Total It All Up

I’ve programmed a couple CrossFit Total days at the start and at the end of the month. The Total is the sum of your best completed weight at three lifts: Strict Press, Deadlift, and Back Squat. It is the most commonly used Strength benchmark in CrossFit and serves as a good indicator for how you’re coming along in Strength development. While a cycle of 4 focused weeks is pretty short to develop significant Strength gains, I’m confident many of you will be able to set new PRs come month end. Keep in mind that there are 10 pillars of fitness in CrossFit. Strength, while important, is only 1 of the 10. 

There are many naysayers out there in the fitness world claiming you cannot develop both strength capacity and “cardio” capacity in tandem. Our goal this month is to prove them wrong. :)


If you have any feedback regarding the programming that you’d like to share, please contact me directly at ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com. Love it or hate it, I wanna hear about your experience. 

CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer Course

On Saturday, March 5, thru Sunday, March 6th, Marvelous CrossFit is hosting a CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer Course. 

This interactive two-day course covers basic, intermediate and advanced gymnastics movements in a lecture setting, with practical application following as participants and coaches perform all presented movements. Skills are repeated until the student has an understanding of how to learn, spot and teach all movements safely to athletes of any level. Gymnastics programming is also discussed. Course participants learn to apply gymnastics principles in training themselves and others to increase strength development, core control and spatial awareness – all of which improve CrossFit performance.

Register through this link: www.regonline.com/GymBurlingameCAMar2016

All weekend classes will be cancelled to accommodate this event. Hope to see you there!

2016 Level 1 Programming

Programming For The Entire Year Is Here

The Level 1 programming for all of 2016 is complete and you can download the PDF guide here:

Marvelous CrossFit 2016 Level 1 Programming

I personally haven’t seen a box publish it’s entire year’s programming in advance and this is one of the things we’re doing to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Programming is the heart and soul of your experience and we put serious thought and effort into making it awesome. Every month, we’ll be publishing in depth analysis of the daily programming. For now, let’s talk about the entire year at a high level:  

Macrocycles, Mesocycles, & Microcycles

2016 contains two, 6-month macrocycles (larger training periods). The first transpires between January to June, and the second runs from July thru December. Each macrocycle can be considered a “complete” CrossFit training experience.

Each macrocycle contains six, 4-5 week mesocycles (smaller training periods) which are essentially a month long. Here is the focus for each month:

  • January - Baseline: Establish 1/3 RM for all major lifts and benchmark WODs.
  • February - Power Lifting: Focus on “absolute” strength development by developing the Back Squat, Deadlift, Strict Press, & Bench Press.
  • March - Gymnastics: Bodyweight strength is excellent for building both neurological and physiological adaptations. 
  • April - Clean & Jerk: Increasing technical competency in the C&J through the full movement, as well as it’s component parts like the Deadlift, Front Squat and Press variants. 
  • May - Kettlebell: The kettlebell is one of the most versatile and efficient pieces of workout equipment around and we’re going to show you all the awesome exercises you can do with it.
  • June - Snatch: The most technical lift you can do with a barbell.
  • July - Baseline Retest: Mid-year testing point to re-establish 1/3RM loads for the major lifts and times for all the benchmark WODs.
  • August - Power Lifting: Strength is a cornerstone of any solid fitness program.
  • September - Advanced Gymnastics: We’re talking about the stuff you see people do in the Olympics. Fear not - we have scaling options and progressions for every movement we teach.
  • October - Clean & Jerk: More positional work, complexes, and strength training pertaining to this particular lift.
  • November - Skill: A month of focused skill work to refine form and technique.
  • December - Snatch: Overhead Squats, Snatch complexes, and tempo work to finish off the year.

Each mesocycle contains four to five, 7-day microcycles (mini training periods) that include workouts varying several training conditions: load, duration, skill, reps, sets, and movement.

Here's how to make sense of it all:

Start with a single day of programming. 

String 7 days together to form a microcycle (one week).

Add 4 microcycles together to create a mesocycle (one month).

Layer 6 mesocycles together to complete a macrocycle (six months).

Add 2 macrocycles together to form the training plan for the entire year. Boom.  

How To Get The Most From Your Experience

The programming is thoroughly varied, broad enough to encompass all skill levels, and cohesive enough to ensure you achieve measurable progress. It doesn’t matter what days you train, if you attend at least 3 classes per week you will have a well-rounded experience. Here are some additional tips to maximize your training:

  • Avoid training more than 3 days in a row. If you’re going as hard as you should be, your body will want that 4th day off. There are some exceptions to this rule, but it is generally a good idea for 95% of our community.
  • Come on days you hate the programming. We naturally like things we are good at and hate things we suck at. This causes most people to cherry pick the programming and only come on days they like. Practice what you suck at. With enough effort, any weakness can grow into strength. 
  • Mobilize on your own. Taking 10-15 minutes per day mobilizing at home or early before class will reap tremendous gains in every other aspect of your training. 

WODs May Change

We strongly believe that a WOD should be tested by the coaches before we dish it out to the athletes. After testing a WOD, we sometimes adjust the loads, reps, or duration to ensure the best possible experience for you. So, please keep in mind that when you see a WOD on game day it may be slightly different than what’s contained in the PDF.

Questions Or Comments

After you’ve had a chance to review the programming, please send any questions or comments you may have directly to me at ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com. We constantly striving to improve your experience and welcome all feedback to help us achieve that. Happy WODing!


Intern Graduation & Halloween Party!

Like to dress up and have the time of your life on Halloween? 

Want to see your favorite Marvelous coach dressed up as a character from Magic Mike?

Ready to get down and boogie with other athletes from the box?

If you answered "YES" to any of the above, then don your best Halloween costume and join us on Saturday, 10/31 for a night full of love, laughter, and smiles.

We're celebrating the latest batch of Interns completing the Marvelous Coaching Accelerator Program (MCAP) and throwing down for Halloween.

Ladies - come see your favorite male coaches dressed up in provocative (yet tasteful) Halloween outfits. :)

Fellas - come see your favorite male coaches dressed up in provocative (yet tasteful) Halloween outfits! ;)

We'll have some libations and a live DJ so we can cut up a rug all night! It's gonna be awesome.

RSVP now through the Facebook Private Group Event:


The 50/50 Fundamentals Special For November

Through the end of the October, get $50 off for every family member or friend you recommend for November Fundamentals. As an added bonus, the person you recommend will receive $50 off the Fundamentals Course, reducing the price down to only $99 (normally $149).

Next month is the last time we're running Fundamentals in 2015 (and potentially the last time until we find a new space) so we want to make sure it's filled to the brim!

This is how it works:

  1. Have your family member or friend sign up for November Small Group Fundamentals through this link: http://www.marvelouscrossfit.com/fundamentals/
  2. Instruct him or her to mention your name when filling out the submission form.
  3. Once that person pays the $99 tuition fee, you will receive $50 off your December membership tuition.

It's that easy. :)

Remember, we cap each Fundamentals Session at 22 athletes so once all the slots are filled, we won't accept any new sign-ups.

Help a friend in need of fitness and take advantage of the Marvelous give $50, get $50 deal today!

Q4 Programming Is Ready To Rock!

The final quarter of the year is upon us, and here's the programming to close out 2015:

Marvelous CrossFit Burlingame Q4 Programming

Here's some thoughts specifically on October programming:

Move & Mobilize

You'll notice on some days the programming appears as if it would not warrant the entire 60 minutes of class. That's done purposefully as we're focused on providing extended mobility sessions, per the feedback you've given us. The coaches are constantly digging for better mobilization exercises and leveraging a variety resources (Becoming A Supple Leopard, Mobility WOD, ROM WOD, Gymnastics Bodies, Trigger Points Therapy Workbook, etc.) so you can give your body the suppleness it needs to smash through the WODs. 

Balanced Attack

This month we're going back to our CrossFit roots and are specializing in not specializing. The WODs are designed with the traditional CrossFit spirit in mind so you can expect healthy doses of barbells, gymnastics, and mono-structural (running, rowing, jump rope) movements combined in fun and interesting ways. 

A Note On Intensity

One of the primary goals of CrossFit is to maximize intensity when performing WODs. One way to define intensity is work performed over a period of time. For this definition, there are a couple of ways to maximize intensity: 1) maximize the work performed for a set period of time, and 2) minimize the time required to perform a set amount of work. 

Work can be defined as the product of load and reps. While we will always have prescribed (Rx) weights for a given WOD, you should have an honest conversation with yourself on whether or not the prescribed weight is conducive to maximizing work. For example, if the load is too heavy for you then you will gas out early and will have to take too many breaks; thus overall work will be reduced. If the load is too light, you will plow through the workout without getting the muscle and systemic fatigue you are seeking. The trick is to find that sweet spot where the load is appropriate such that you can perform enough reps to stress you out, but not burn you out. :)

As always, please send all your thoughts and feedback about the programming to team@marvelouscrossfit.com.

New Classes, Labor Day Schedule, & More!

Launching 8PM Level 1 Classes Next Week

Starting Wednesday, 9/9, we are opening up 8PM Level 1 classes. We will continue to add more classes as the community grows and if there's specific class times you'd like to see on the schedule, reach out to Coach Ranier (ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com).

Special Labor Day Schedule

On Monday, 9/7, we are canceling all regularly scheduled classes and are offering Level 1 classes at 8AM, 9AM, and 10AM. In addition, Open Gym will be held from 11AM-12PM that day. Come join us for a special WOD that will be announced when you come to class. ;)

Introducing Coach Sean Fender

As many of you know, Coach Sean Fender has recently joined the coaching staff through the Marvelous Coaching Accelerator Program. Although he joined us as an intern, he actually has two years of coaching experience under his belt and we feel it's time for him to lead his own classes. Sean will be coaching the M/W 8PM Level 1's - please be sure to congratulate him when you see him around the box.

Here's a little more about Sean:

Sean comes to Crossfit Marvelous by way of Long Beach, CA. He found Crossfit back in 2011 as a way to stay in shape during his rugby off season, which he played for 2 years during his time at UC Santa Cruz. Sidelined by injuries, Sean eventually made the transition into the sport of fitness and hasn't looked back.

Sean has been coaching for 2 years at boxes around Southern California; he has a special interest in gymnastics skills, the Olympic lifts and competition.

"To me the beauty in Crossfit is how it leverages intensity to promote growth. As a coach I try to prepare my athletes, through good body mechanics and repetition, for that moment when they feel the intensity and start growing towards their potential."

Education: B.S. Earth Science - University Of Santa Cruz