Coach's Notes: September 2015 Programming

Training For Strength

Our programming focus for September is Strength development - lifting heavy weights at a slow(ish) pace. If you haven't already downloaded this quarter's programming, you may do so here:

Marvelous CrossFit Burlingame Q3 2015 Programming

What Is Strength

Strength is simply the production of force. In training, this force is applied against gravity and performed with heavy weights at a slow pace and low reps. Strength training results in the ability to lift heavier weights, bigger muscles, and higher raw force production. The best measurement for absolute Strength is the 1RM.

Why Develop Strength?

Strength training is an important pillar of any well rounded fitness program. Going heavy burns fat, increases muscle size and density, hardens bones, and strengthens tendons and ligaments. It's also an excellent way to stimulate the central nervous system and force the body to adapt (grow). 

Example Movements

Here are some movements you can expect to perform this month:

Barbell & Dumbell

  • Tempo Squats
  • Tempo Deadlifts
  • Tempo Presses
  • Deficit Deadlifts
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Pendlay Rows
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • DB Front Raises
  • Shrugs
  • Wrist Curls
  • Good Morning
  • Glute Bridge


  • Strict Pull-ups
  • Strict Push-ups
  • Strict Toe-2-Bar
  • Strict Dips
  • Strict Handstand Push-ups
  • Wrist Push-ups
  • Typewriter Pull-ups
  • Around The World
  • Pistol Squats
  • Planks
  • Hollow Holds
  • Superman Holds
  • Ring Supports
  • Skin The Cat
  • Ab Roll-outs

Specialty Movements

  • Loaded Carries
  • Turkish Getups
  • Loaded Pistol Squats

What To Expect

The general pace of classes is a bit slower compared to last month. Not only do we aim to increase the load but we may also purposefully change the pace at which an exercise is performed - time under tension is an important factor in developing strength. We encourage you to "go heavy" for both the strength pieces and WODs, assuming you are able to maintain proper form and technique. If you are still relatively new to CrossFit, as always please listen to your body and take a rest day when needed. 

Important Update For The Marvelous Community

More And More Marvelous Members

OMG! Our community is growing faster than a chia pet and while things are going great overall, there’s also some growing pains we need to address. We’re always working to ensure your experience continues to be marvelous and I’ll detail the updates as they pertain to each one of our three core principles: 


Passion is everything. It’s what drives us to jump out of bed in the morning and get cracking on the day. We absolutely love what we do and are pushing every day to grow better at it. 

Raising The Coaching Standard

If you’ve ever been to another box, you know we do things differently. The normal standard to operate a CrossFit facility is very low - all it takes is an application, a Level 1 Certification, and $3000. Our goal is to continuously set the bar for how a thriving CrossFit gym should operate. We’re nerdy and leverage software like Slack, Wodify, Trello, Mailchimp, Zendesk, and Coach’s Eye to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible. We continuously develop and practice critical skills like public speaking, reading body language, and understanding empathy in order to connect with you deeply and fully. Programming, the heart and soul of any box, is crafted 3 months in advance and we test and challenge the WODs and logic behind it to produce the best product. Starting 2016, the programming will be completed a year in advance.

Attracting The Best Talent

Our team has grown from 9 to 21 in the year and a half that we’ve been in existence. Much of this growth is attributed to the extremely robust internship program (the Marvelous Coaching Accelerator Program) we designed that enables us to groom the best talent into the best coaches. The MCAP is like a college level course that includes: textbook based exams, dozens of hours of hands on coaching, and lengthy weekend seminars. In the past 6 months alone, we’ve added several great coaches to the CrossFit staff:

  • Andrew Pacumio
  • Brandon Chien
  • Brandon Montaner
  • Aaron Bautista
  • Don Savella
  • Sean Fender

We’re only interested in working with the best because that’s exactly what you deserve.


Passion fuels our pursuit for excellence. While we will never be perfect, our goal is to constantly strive for it. Amazingness is infectious and we know if we are excellent then it is only natural for you to become excellent as well. Adamantium sharpens Adamantium. 

Servicing Your Exact Needs

We are your servants and in order to serve effectively we need to meet your exact needs. Everyone’s needs are different. Some athletes are newer and need fundamental feedback while others are seasoned and require more nuanced coaching. Where some enjoy working mostly with the barbell, others may primarily like to focus on conditioning. The challenge is to craft a broad, yet cohesive program that is all encompassing. That’s why we added new offerings like Triple S, Beginner Barbell Basics, and Nerd WOD; and we’ll continue to do so as we grow and expand.

Adding More Class Times

If you attend any evening classes, you probably noticed that many of them are near or at capacity. One way to mitigate this issue is to attend an earlier class - the average size of weekday classes before 5PM is less than 10. With that said, we obviously want you to receive a wonderful experience irrespective of the class time. So, here are some updates we’re making to the Level 1 class schedule starting 9/1:

  • Adding 7:00AM Saturday
  • Adding 11:00AM Sunday
  • Shifting all the evening classes to start on the hour and adding an extra Level 1 class on Tuesdays & Thursdays. The Level 1 Tue/Thu evening schedule will now be 5PM, 6PM, and 7PM. Once Monday and Wednesday warrant a third evening Level 1 class we will add an 8PM on those days.

While shifting the class times is a bit of an adjustment, it enables us to fit more classes into the schedule and balance the attendance across the board.

Increased Coaching Presence

In addition to expanding the schedule, we’re also more diligent about having additional coaches on hand for larger classes. Starting next month you can expect two coaches on hand for any class that is consistently larger than 15. You’ll also notice that there are often coaches enrolled in the classes alongside you - we’re always here to help even if we’re not officially on the clock. Any coach you find to be unhelpful shall be tarred and feathered. ;)


Passion is the fuel. Excellence is the vehicle. You are the destination. Without you, we’re just a bunch of bros and babes rocking Lululemon sitting in a warehouse full of stuff. Our entire existence is to provide you with the best fitness experience possible and one way to do so is to build a supportive community filled with like-minded individuals.

Building The Bonds

We’re working on more ways to build the bonds between the athletes. More social events, challenges, and outreach is coming in the near future. I’m working with some of the coaches to determine how we can assimilate the new faces into the community as quickly as possible. The initial changes will be primarily felt by Fundamentals graduates, and will eventually permeate through to the community at all levels.

Searching For A New Home

While our facility has served us well up to now, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need a bigger home to train in. We’ve been on the hunt since the start of this year and will continue the search until we find a perfect place to meet our needs. It will be in Burlingame and we aim to secure a space that is approximately 10,000 square feet - double the amount of space we have now. When the move transpires, our new home will be the largest CrossFit facility on the Peninsula.

We’re Nothing Without You

We cannot thank you enough for being such an awesome member of our community. Please trust we’re doing our best to serve you and anytime you have feedback on how we can improve your experience, please let me know. I’m so serious about hearing from you that I’ll give you my cell number: 650-515-0707. I probably won’t pick up but if you leave a voicemail I will definitely call back lol.

I’ll leave you with a story that a handful of you probably already know:

My CrossFit journey started in 2010 when I was 25 years old. I just finished my annual physical and learned I was clinically obese, at risk for Type II diabetes, suffered from hypertension, and had early onset of cardiac disease. I hit rock bottom.

One of my best friends - Anthony Santa-Iglesia - picked me up out of my misery and showed me the CrossFit way. While I couldn’t do a single pull-up to save my life and had a comical squat depth, he pushed me to stick with it. Within 6 months, I shed all the fat, built foundational strength, and grew into (at the time) the best shape of my life. 

Anthony continued to push me and planted a seed in my mind that I could help other people achieve the same kind of success he helped me obtain. That seed quickly took root and 5 years later the idea he incepted has grown into reality. 

While we’re far from where we envision ourselves to be, I’m tremendously grateful for so many things about this organization: the opportunity to do what I love, my amazing Co-Founders that have stuck by me since day 1, the hungry coaches that work tirelessly to be better, and YOU - the inspiring athletes we love to serve. Thank you for being you. 

Coach's Notes: August 2015 Programming

The remainder of Q3 programming is complete and you can download it in it's entirety here:

Marvelous CrossFit Burlingame Q3 Programming

Training For Power

Strength Versus Power

What Is Strength

We first need to define Strength before we can discuss Power. Strength is simply the production of force. In training, this force is applied against gravity and performed with heavy weights at a slow pace and low reps. Strength training results in the ability to lift heavier weights, bigger muscles, and higher raw force production. The best measurement for absolute Strength is the 1RM.

What Is Power

Power is the production of force over time, i.e. the rate at which Strength is produced. It can be generally understood as: Power = Strength x Speed. High Power results in explosive movements commonly seen in sports and other competitive activities.

Why Train For Power?

Aside from it’s obvious applications in sports, training for Power is important because it enables a greater level of control over Strength. It’s also more balanced in that it has two dimensions (speed and force) while Strength training only has one (force). Power is an essential component for success in CrossFit.

Example Movements

Any movement performed with sub-maximal loads (80% or less of 1RM) at a high speed triggers Power development.

Barbell & Dumbbell

  • Power Cleans
  • Power Snatches
  • Hang Power Cleans
  • Hang Power Snatches
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Speed Deadlifts
  • Speed Squats
  • Pause Squats
  • Speed Bench Press


  • Jumping Air Squats
  • Clapping Push-ups
  • Launch Push-ups
  • Box Jumps
  • Weighted Box Jumps
  • Depth Jumps
  • Kipping Pull-ups
  • Kipping Knees-2-Elbows
  • Kipping Toe-2-Bar
  • Kipping HSPU
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Weighted Sit-ups
  • Plate Jumps


  • Russian Kettlebell Swings
  • Kettlebell Snatch
  • Sled Sprint
  • Ball Rotational Throws
  • Wall Balls
  • Ball Slams
  • Power Pulls On Rower
  • Sprints
  • Battle Ropes


Instead of a typical Strength piece, most of the movements this month are Power pieces. Aim to optimize for speed, not load - if a particular weight causes you to slow down for a given exercise then you should lower the weight. 

Generally speaking, most CrossFit WODs inherently train Power (since time is almost always a factor) and this month emphasizes that notion to a greater extent. Training for Power can be very taxing on your Central Nervous System (CNS) so please listen to your body and take an extra rest day (or two) when you need it.

Event: Diane Fu Barbell Clinic

Bringing One Of The Bay Area's Best Coaches To The Box

This Winter, we're partnering with Diane Fu of FuBarbell to bring you an awesome day of Olympic Lifting. It's an intensive, 8 hour seminar focused on Snatch and Clean & Jerk proficiency. The day is largely active with movement and drills to learn technique separate by brief lectures to cultivate understanding of basic principles of Olympic-style weightlifting, technique and practical programming for either the CrossFitting athlete or beginning

Course Curriculum

1. Introductions
2. Fundamental Principals of Olympic-style Weightlifting:
a. Framework
b. Bar Path/Theory
c. Terminology
3. Mobility Considerations for the Weightlifter Part 1

4. Snatch:
a. Points of Performance (POP)
b. Snatch Progression
c. Free Lift: Snatch

5. Lunch

6. Mobility for the Weightlifter Part 2
7. Clean&Jerk:
a. Points of Performance (POP)
b. Jerk Progression
c. Clean Progression
d. Free Lift: Clean&Jerk

8. Putting It All Together:
a. Olympic-style Weightlifting: Prioritizing Movement Development in
b. Programming Considerations
9. Q&A

Spaces are limited and to secure your spot, please click this button:

Here's more about Diane:

Diane Fu moved to San Francisco, CA in 1998 where her journey in physical culture would begin. Having always had a fascination for all things gym, she knew she wanted to stick close to her passion and be involved in the human movement revolution. From 1999 to 2002, Diane grew roots in the commercial fitness industry as a personal trainer helping people reclaim their health through improved fitness and improved body composition change. From 2002 to 2007, her career took a slight turn and she took on a leadership role in managing various health club brands and helping other personal trainers spread their passion for health and fitness.

In 2007, a new opportunity came along. Diane met the co-founder of San Francisco CrossFit – Dr. Kelly Starrett. She would later join Dr. Starrett and his team at San Francisco CrosSFit in 2008. At around this time, Diane discovered the sport of Olympic-style weightlifting where she delved into weightlifting full time and actively competed from 2009 to 2011. Her passion and dedication for the sport earned her a spot to participate on a national level. Diane now continues her work as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at San Francisco CrossFit and is also the Founder of FuBarbell club -- a concept established in 20011 to create a bridge between the weightlifting world and anyone else interested in getting involved with the iron game.

New Marvelous CrossFit Class Offerings!

More Classes To Meet Your Needs!

As the community grows, it is our goal to provide additional class offerings to meet your specific experience needs.

Here's a list of classes that have already launched or will be launching in the near future:

Barbell Basics

Barbell Basics is an educational experience that goes step-by-step through the Squat, Deadlift, Overhead and Bench Press, and Rows. This class provides a positive, relaxed, and judgment-free environment where you receive individualized feedback in order to master these complex lifts. All skill levels are welcome (beginners are especially encouraged to come). Whether you want to take your CrossFit to the next level, dial in technique for competition or sport training, or to just learn something fun this class will not disappoint! Class is taught every Sunday @ Noon by Coach Brandon Chien.

Triple S: Sleek, Strong, & Sexy

The Marvelous CrossFit, Triple S Series is a special class to keep your body on point for the summer season. This 60 minute sweat session incorporates the best functional exercises to melt fat and build strength - resulting in lean abs, sculpted shoulders, and a tighter butt! Coach Maria leads you through a scalable workout using a combination of dumbbells, kettlebells, and bodyweight exercises; ensuring amazing results in a minimal amount of time. No experience necessary and both men and women will benefit tremendously by enrolling in this class. Sessions are held every Saturday @ 11AM. 


NerdWOD is a pilot class that replaces Level 2 @ 10AM on Saturdays beginning 8/1. Coach Ranier covers advanced workout techniques like mental game, optimal breathing, and WOD strategy. This class is for those that have been doing CrossFit for at least 6 months, and are ready to take their game to the next level. Come ready to workout both your body, and your brain!

Spaces for all classes are limited so be sure to reserve your spot in Wodify!

Welcome Coach Brandon Chien!


Brandon Chien Has Joined The Marvelous Coaching Team!

It's with great pleasure that we welcome Brandon Chien to the Marvelous CrossFit coaching team in Burlingame!

Brandon has started coaching a Beginner's Barbell class every Sunday @ noon and will have an increasing presence over the coming months.

Here's more about Brandon:

Brandon Chien is a "Mindful" Strength and Conditioning coach. He uses Barbell-based Strength Training and Meditation to guide people through their health and fitness journeys. He strives to create a community that makes it safe for everybody to make mistakes and grow into capable and vibrant beings. He also enjoys dancing in his stretchy pants like nobody is watching...even though they are.

Coach's Notes: July 2015 Programming

July programming is complete and you can download a copy to pore over here:

July Programming

Here's the method to the madness:

Testing 1RM Or 3RM

This is a month of testing maxes for all the major lifts (there's 11 of them). For each lift you have the option of testing either your 1RM OR your 3RM, but not both in the same day.

Why do you have the choice?

While testing a 1RM is cool, there's not much value of knowing that number other than bragging rights. Also, the 1RM is extremely taxing on the Central Nervous System and the amount of energy and focus required to lift your 1RM doesn't always provide the training payoff we are looking for.

 3RM provides more training utility and presents lower potential training risk. I personally find it to be more useful as a working weigh than the 1RM. 

Testing Benchmark WODs

July programming has many WODs that we've done in the past in addition to several benchmark WODs. This is an excellent opportunity for you to see how you've improved this past quarter and reach for new PRs. :)

Give Me More Dumbbell!

You'll notice the programming is more DB heavy than usual. DBs are an excellent training tool, and we've historically shied away from them because we haven't had enough to satisfy the needs of the athletes. Well, we just got a huge Rogue shipment in that includes enough DBs for everyone so you'll see a more balanced use of these awesome tools.

August & September Programming

We typically release the programming in quarters but Augusta and September are still being finalized. You can expect the remainder of Q3 programming to be released by mid month.


Please feel free to email me,, with any questions or comments you have about the programming. It is our goal to provide robust programming that meets the needs of our community and any and all feedback is welcome. 

May 2015 Athlete Of The Month: Joel Bito

CrossFit San Mateo Joel Bito

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit? How did you get into it?
A: I started back at CrossFit Burlingame in June 2012 in the same fundamentals class as Coach K! Who would have thought that a random Amazon Local email would have started my crossfit journey? I remember walking in and seeing Coach R and Coach Lo flying on the bars doing butterfly/kipping pull-ups and I said to myself, "I want to do that".

Q: Were you into sports & fitness prior to CrossFit? Tell us a little bit about it.
A: Not really. I've been playing golf on and off since I was young, so if swinging a metal stick at a ball while driving around in a go-kart counts as a sport then fine. I also played tennis, mostly doubles, where I'd avoid running around by hitting the guy at the net as hard as possible with the ball. I also did karate and taekwondo, so I'm pretty decent at breaking stationary pieces of wood.

Q: What's your favorite cheat meal/food?
A: Pizza or where ever I get talked into going to after a difficult WOD... or any WOD really. 

Q: What WOD has brought you close to the "edge"? How did you overcome it.?
A: I'm pretty good at pacing myself and tuning out everyone yelling at me to go faster or push harder, but the one thing that will make me want to throw up would be heavy sled pushes. Not only does it make you want to throw up, but you can't even sit down to rest since your glutes are on fire the whole time. The only way to overcome it is to keep walking around or do another WOD, since sitting makes it worse.

Q: Who or What motivates you in CrossFit?
A: It might sound cheesy, but it's our Marvelous community. Whenever I'm too tired from work and not motivated to come to class, I think about all the folks that will be there waiting for me. They are probably just as tired as me, so it's time to just suck it up. Oh, and making sure I beat Will in a heavy lift is a good motivator too.

Q: Describe your greatest achievement in CrossFit so far.
A: Probably making it into 400lb DL club was pretty cool, but once I did it I realized it
wasn't that bad. I was also happy to hit my BW OHS; I didn't die so that's an accomplishment.

Q: What would your advice be to someone just getting into CrossFit?
A: Check your ego at the door. No matter how awesome you think are, don't think you can out squat the small quiet guy in the corner. You probably can't beat him yet, and you'll just end up hurting yourself if you try. Take it slow, learn the technique, and then become the badass of the box.

Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of the box?
A: Most of my free time is spent with my dog Mochi. She's a Yorkie/Shih-Tzu mix and pretty awesome.

Q: Finally, what makes you Marvelous??? C'mon...gloat a little! =D
A: Besides being one of the "Angels" in the class, I think what makes me stand out is my laugh. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but my laugh can be heard through walls and cause others to start spontaneously laughing as well. It's kind of a superpower I guess. 

Marvelous CrossFit Burlingame WOD: 4/2/15

"Thrust This!"

Here's a fun couplet that I drew up and am looking forward to testing with the coaches later today:

20 Thrusters @ 95/65lbs
50 Double Unders
10 Thrusters @ 115/75lbs
50 Double Unders
5 Thrusters @ 135/96lbs
50 Double Unders
10 Thrusters @ 115/75lbs
50 Double Unders
20 Thrusters @ 95/65lbs
For Time

Q2 Programming Has Arrived!

A new quarter of programming has arrived and includes: a new Marvelous Capacity Challenge, Double Under progression, and MetCons utilizing work-rest ratios to help improve your work capacity!

Download and review the programming, then let us know how you feel about it. :)

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