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! 

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. :)

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!


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

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. 

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!

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, ranier@marvelouscrossfit.com, 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. 

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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