Archive for the ‘Athlete of the Month’ Category

Constant refinement is a sign of a true athlete.  They are continually working to improve their movement patterns, learning new drills or trying to come to a better understanding of their technique.  It’s not enough to just acquire a skill, but to become efficient and able to reproduce that skill over and over again.  Taking the extra time to work on drills and positions will pay off as you will begin to move better and more effectively in all areas and refine yourself as an athlete.

Jen Harlan: Athlete of the Month


Congratulations Jen! Very well deserved Athlete of the Month. Ever since Jen showed up she has worked super hard and wanted to learn more. She always has good questions and is never scared to take on a new challenge that we throw at her. Whether it’s a heavier DBall for the workout or a new cue or technique on her gymnastics, Jen never backs down. I’m proud of the progress she has made but even more excited to watch her continue to refine and get better in the future!
Coach Sonny

It has been an absolute pleasure watching Jen grow in her journey here at RAW Training.  She is quiet, modest and very humble.  But, to watch her attack a workout is quite special.  She holds nothing back at 3,2,1…GO!  She is continually improving and wanting to learn.  One of the things I enjoy most about her is how she surprises herself every time she hits that position just right, or the move feels just perfect!  Keep up the great work Jen! Coach Sean L. 
Below are a few thoughts from Jen on her RAW experience.
What does Jen think of RAW?

Raw is an incredible place full of amazing people. The coaching staff and the community are what makes RAW so special. I’ve made some amazing friends, and working out around so many positive people is really inspiring. Every time I come in, I’m just happy to be there. Whether the workout is full of things that I like, or I’m suffering through everything I hate, it’s just so cool to be a part of this community.

The changes I’ve seen in my strength and endurance have been more than I ever expected and could never have accomplished on my own. I’m excited to keep building and improving on everything. As someone who had/has some mobility and form issues, I am so grateful for all of the guidance and help (and patience) from the coaches. I started at RAW for exercise, but its become much more than that, it is more about the camaraderie and friendships, having fun and talking smack during class, and celebrating improvements no matter how big or small.

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?  
Heavy clean and jerks, HSPU, T2B and some low/red sleds.
What got you to start at RAW?

After years of working out at home to DVDs, I was getting really bored and unmotivated. I heard about “a crazy CrossFit gym in North Park” from some co-workers. That sounded like my kind of place, so after some internet research, I signed up for fundamentals and never looked back.

Sitting in the parking lot right before the first class was so intimidating. All I could hear was the music blasting and barbells dropping, but once I got inside I knew I was going to love it. I look forward to coming to RAW, and even on the days I take off I’m wondering what the workout is.
What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
The ski erg and the bike.

What are your goals for 2019?
My goal is to take everything we are learning in the gymnastics class, put all of those pieces together, and finally get a muscle up.

Another goal is to not forget what I’m supposed to be doing halfway through the workout…the toughest goal of all!

What class/times do you regularly attend?
Either 4pm or 5:15pm during the week and 9am on Saturdays

Mike Kelly: Athlete of the Month

 Congratulations “Kelly” (Mike) for being our June Athlete of the Month.  Man, this guy is a hard worker and its great to see that  it’s paying off.  I really enjoy when he comes in during Open gym and we take a minute or 2 and refine a lift or gymnastic drill.  I know its not always easy making it to the gym, and no matter what is going on, Mike always comes in with a great attitude and a friendly hello.  I want to thank you for allowing me to be your Coach and I look forward to watching you compete in Patriot Games next week.  Good Luck
 Coach Amy

Mike, congrats on being June’s Athlete of the Month.  Your hard work is sure paying off. It is great to see you being consistent and growing as an athlete.  You always put your best effort forward no matter what the wod may be.  You never hesitate to ask questions and you can tell you want to continue to improve.  Your quick wit and great sense of humor make you a joy to coach.  Keep up the great work Mike! Thank you for your continued support throughout the years. 
Coach Sean L.

Below are a few thoughts from Mike on his RAW experience.


What does Mike think of RAW? 
RAW is a special place to me. It is somewhere I can go and forget about everything while being challenged in amazing ways. RAW helped me achieve things I never thought possible. I have met many awesome people here as well.

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?

No doubt, I would have deadlifts, running and sleds. Basically the things no one else likes.
What is your least favorite lift/exercise? 
Overhead squats, by far. I don’t have great mobility with that movement.
What are your goals for 2019?
I want to become more efficient at some of the overhead and gymnastics movements. These are my weaknesses in any wod. Also, keeping my arms straight/locked out! I definitely get yelled at for this more than everything else combined!

What got you to start at RAW?
I had never worked out very seriously at any point in life. I just wasn’t sure where to start and never wanted to feel like I was wasting time going through the motions with no results. After talking to a few friends about CrossFit I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. RAW was a place they all said to check out. I did a little research of my own and visited RAW one time. I believe I signed up that day! Tom Knouff and I started together 4 years ago now. My only regret was that I didn’t start sooner!

What class/times do you regularly attend?  

6am and 4pm are my most common. I think I have been to at least one class at every time though.

Most of what we have in life we had to work for it.  Some may have had to work harder than others. But, it is that hard work that makes achieving the goal so sweet!  In the walls of RAW many of our goals tend to be physical in nature, PR that lift, move better with a barbell, make it around the RAW lap with out stopping.   No matter what the goal if you want to accomplish it you have to work hard at it.  You need to take the extra time, you need to work hard while you are here and that goal will become more and more of a reality.  What is your goal, big or small, and what are you doing to achieve it?  Share that goal with a friend, ask a coach to keep you accountable.  But whatever that goal is, work toward it with great fervor.

Shelley Jones: Athlete of the Month



Congratulations, Shelley!!!
Shelley is one of the most impressive, inspirational and hardest working athletes I know! When she came to RAW, she could not squat below parallel and lacked quite a bit of body coordination. All I can say is it’s AMAZING how much someone can improve in a year. I feel very inspired by Shelley, as should all RAW athletes and coaches, because Shelley immediately realized how much she needed to work on her weaknesses and took it upon herself to do so. I remember her telling me how she would go home and work on her squats!! All of this hard work shows because she now can squat very well below parallel, busts out handstand push ups like it’s her JOB & has improved her body awareness. On top of all that, she is a beautiful human being on the inside and looks AMAZING! You go girl! I am so proud to call you the Athlete of the Month.
Coach Bri

I can remember sitting next to Shelley at the RAW picnic 2 summers ago trying to convince Shelley that she will be just fine when she started the upcoming fundamentals.  Look at where we are now!  Shelley your hard work and dedication has paid off immensely.  You are moving better, faster and looking great.  One of the things that I enjoy most about Shelley is her tenacity.  If there is a skill that she can’t quite get the hang of she will put in extra time, stretch and continue to learn until she has that skill figured out!   Shelley, keep up the great work and thank you for trusting us with your fitness journey.  It sure has been a lot of fun for me!
 Coach Sean L. 
Below are a few thoughts from Shelley on her RAW experience.
What does Shelley think of RAW?
RAW is more than a gym, it is a sense of community with a unique environment about which I cannot say enough great things, including:
–  Very welcoming atmosphere regardless of fitness level.
– Top-notch coaching staff that never makes you feel like you are being judged.
– Great friends, somehow while gasping for breath you are able to develop wonderful friendships that go beyond the gym.
– Ideal place to de-stress or lift your mood.
–  Pushes you to limits you didn’t even know you had, leaving you with an elated feeling (even if you failed reps or finished last) and increased mental toughness.
If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?  
Burpees, box jumps, deadlifts, jump rope, back squats, handstand push-ups.
What got you to start at RAW?
My husband Brian has been going to RAW and enjoying it for years. He finally convinced me to give it a try. I am thankful he was persistent in getting me started.

What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
Sleds and the bike!

What are your goals for 2019?
My fitness goals for 2019 include being able to do a real squat, pull-ups, toes to bar, and double-unders.

What class/times do you regularly attend?
I usually attend the late classes, 7:30 pm during the week, 10:00 on Saturday and 11:15 on Sunday.


Carmin Leone: Athlete of the Month


 Congratulations Carmin for being May Athlete of the Month.  I know you think its because you finally shaved your beard, but I have to say, its not.  I have known Carmin for many years and I admire his fight inside and outside the gym.  He is a father, husband, son and small business owner and I know making it to the gym is not always easy.  Whether he is coming in to do “Bossfit” hahah or try to take one of the guys out in Crossfit, he will come in and give all he has that day and have fun at the gym with everyone too.   I know he will always be there for me if I need ANYTHING.  I appreciate all the referrals and help he has given me/RAW along the way.  Thank you Carmin for being a long time client and friend.  Enjoy that parking spot (its just for 1 month)
 Coach Amy

We are proud to announce Carmin as this months male athlete of the month. Who would have thought this day would ever come (him included)?  It has taken a lot of effort, consistency and dedication for him to achieve his goals and to realize his athlete within. Although Carmin likes to joke around and he’ll be the first to make fun of himself, he has truly put in a lot of hard work to get to where he is today. This is also a special thank you to all of the previous male athletes of the month as you have been inspiration and motivation for Carmin to continually work harder each month. Carmin speaks his mind, works his tail off, has a great sense of humor and is a genuine good hearted person through and through  – all qualities we love about him. Congratulations Carmin you have earned that parking spot and a special place on our wall.
Coach Molly

Below are a few thoughts from Carmin on his RAW experience.


What does Carmin think of RAW? 
I would rate raw a ten out of ten.  The coaching staff is incredible and the owners are amazing women who always have your back and best interest in their minds.

When I first joined RAW Training I had no clue how to work out and was completely out of shape. But the community and constant uplifting from the people around me and the coaches kept me coming back.  I remember not being able to sit on the toilet or walk down steps front wards for the first three months but again because of the community and the pretty owners I endured the pain and eventually became as much of an athlete that I have ever been . Raw has put me in the best physical shape I have ever been in and it keeps my mind right.

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?

Pull ups  power cleans rowing and shouldering sleds and short sprints
What is your least favorite lift/exercise? 
Burpees any kind of running around running , running , any sort of running , gi janes and any sort of jumping around.
What are your goals for 2019?
My goals for 2019 are to stay in shape be smart and start to think about health and all around fitness rather than hurt my self with ego .  good luck to my self on that one

What got you to start at RAW?
Chuck Jesky  got me to start RAW by coming to L.A. Fitness and crushing me on FRAN . I was so sore and decided I wasn’t going to let some old man beat me up so I joined the next day

What class/times do you regularly attend?  

Typically the evenings.

Congratulations to our Athletes of the Month for March, 2018, Laine Conti and Skip Rogers

The most amazing thing about RAW Training is that all levels, shapes, sizes, ages and abilities can find a place that they will be greeted with a warm handshake and encouraged with a pat on the back.  CrossFit is not just for the fire breathers it is for all who have breath and want to make a difference in their lives.  The athletes of RAW Training have and continue to go above and beyond to make sure that this place continues to be a place of healing and growth for all that walk through the doors.  Keep being you, RAW.  Keep working hard and having fun while doing it.  Enjoy the journey! 


Roz Baur and Steve WilkCollage_Fotor_Fotor


Whether you have been coming to RAW for the past 10 years or just started 10 days ago there is always room for improvement.  That should be the fun part of what we do.  An athlete gets better through “constant refinement.”  How can you get faster, stay tighter, do more, or be better?  Constantly refine your movement, become more effective and efficient and what you do here will become so much more than just the motions.  Take every opportunity as a chance to learn more about the movement and yourself.

Congratulations on being the RAW Athlete of the Month. It is unanimous with all the Coaches that your hard work, staying after class to work weaknesses and coming in on Sundays is paying off.  You are crushing workouts and look amazing!  I am super excited for what this year holds for you Roz.  Thank you for your commitment, positive attitude and making our job FUN!  Enjoy your parking spot (especially this time of year) and thank you!
Coach Amy

Talk about a heavy hitter! Roz has been annihilating workouts left and right in the last 6 months. Once she (wisely) followed her husbands footsteps and joined RAW, she hasn’t looked back. Roz has made significant improvements in strength and gymnastics while continuing to be very strong at metcons. Her conditioning is top notch and often sets the bar for time to beat in most wods with the 5am crew. Roz is bubbly and always smiling at 5am which has an impact on others. She often focuses on others accomplishments, showcasing her selflessness. Her desire to get better is an awesome quality and I haven’t seen her settle for where she is at. It’s always fun coaching her even if I have to explain the Wednesday workouts multiple times to her
(haha).  I look forward to her constantly progressing and being a wonderful addition to RAW’s community!

Coach Sean P. 

Below are a few thoughts from Rosalind on her RAW experience.

What does Rosalind think of RAW?

I think of RAW as my home, and as Dorothy would say, there’s no place like home! Only my ruby red slippers are a pair of beat up Nanos, my dress is a crop top and leggings, and my wicker basket is an old gym bag full of expectations and smelly fitness gear.
RAW unequivocally has the best team of Coaches because they all share a common goal, which would be many different things to other people, but to me it’s the endless pursuit of helping each person tap into what they are capable of physically and mentally in and outside of the gym.  They acknowledge that each person has a different objective, whether it’s a mom trying to squeeze in an hour of fitness into her busy schedule, a guy or gal training competitively to get to that next level, or a teenager getting in some extra conditioning to be better in their sport.  The Coaches are an inspiring group of individuals who are motivating, passionate, and have positively impacted my life in some way or another, and I’m lucky to also call them my friends.  
In addition to the amazing staff, the RAW community is something that is very special and unique.  You can pay for a membership to any gym, but you can’t pay for a community like the one at RAW because what you get is a family, which is invaluable.  There is truly nothing like it, and I’ve certainly gained some lifelong friends!

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?  
If I had to write a workout, there would be karate kicks (I’ll convince Sean P. one day), cartwheels, and the giant color wheel parachute we played with in grade school (if you don’t know what i’m talking about, I feel bad for you).  Otherwise, I would definitely program deadlifts, rowing, hang cleans, and the ski erg in the WOD.

What got you to start at RAW?
I was at the same gym from 2012-2015 and I fell into a fitness slump when most of my friends had left.  I was at the point where I was either going to throw in the CrossFit towel or find something new, and Dan had been trying to convince me for almost 2 years to join RAW.  I was always hesitant because of how massive the gym is, and I was intimidated by the class sizes, but I decided to give it a  try, and I never looked back.  It was definitely the “something new” that I needed in my life.  I ended up reconnecting with old friends and making so many new ones! I still kick myself for waiting so long to join!
What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
My least favorite exercises include anything with dumbbells, push-ups, and movements that require a great deal of agility.

What are your goals for 2018?
My goals for 2018 are to embrace my weaknesses by focusing on succeeding instead of fearing failure and to grow a booty through consistent rump pumping.

What class/times do you regularly attend?
The class times I regularly attend are the 5am, 6:30 on the playground, and 7am on Saturdays.  And then of course, rump pump Sunday at OG.


Congratulations Steve “Wilksie” for being our February Athlete of the Month.  This is way overdue!  I still remember your first Fundamentals and here we are years later.  When I see you in my training sessions, I know your going to work hard and we are going to have fun.  I love being your Coach!  Thank you for all the time and hard work you give us year after year at our events, your suggestions and feedback ….I know you travel a distance to get to us and pass many training opportunities along the way.  Please know I appreciate you and am grateful that you are a part of the RAW Community.  I am looking forward to sitting down with you soon and setting some short term goals…Demo Team GAINZ BABY!  Love Ya Wilks,
Coach Amy
Steve has been a member of RAW for as long as I can remember.  He has always been so supportive of gym and everything we do.  He comes in with a great attitude and works hard.  Even if the wods aren’t in his wheel house. It has been great to work with Steve, even though he has been here for a while and knows what he is doing he is constantly trying to improve himself and his movements.  Keep up the great work Steve and we are gonna nail those deadlifts! 
Coach Sean L. 
Below are a few thoughts from Steve on his RAW experience.

What does Steve think of RAW?
RAW has been a life changer for me.  When I started, it was more about getting my weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels under control.  I was only there to fix those things. As the years have passed, it has become more than just keeping myself physically healthy.  I’ve done things that I never thought I would be doing – judging and/or competing in Crossfit competitions being the main thing.  The Coaches at RAW Training and the RAW community gave me a new-found confidence that I could never repay them for.  I’ve gone to other Crossfit boxes and there are no better Coaches around than the ones we have here. RAW is now a huge part of my life, and I look forward to being around a group of amazing athletes each day.  RAW Training is family to me!
What got you to start at RAW?
I needed something different than running on a treadmill, and I saw an article online about Crossfit.  It was something way different than I had ever done before, so I looked online to find the closest Crossfit gym to my house and found RAW Training.  Once I started I still wasn’t sure (especially after an Amy warm-up), but I stuck with it.  As my first month went by, I met a welcoming staff (Molly, Amy, and Jerame) that wouldn’t let me quit, along with other people that were so supportive. It made me want to work harder and make changes to my life that were definitely needed.  The rest is history.
If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?

TONS of cardio (minus the bike), black sleds on the field (as much as I complain about them, they’ve grown on me).

What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
Deadlifts, snatches, and thrusters.  They are the bane of my existence (ask Sean L. when he’s watching my horrible form).  I’m also not a huge fan of the assault bike.


What are your goals for 2018?
For the longest time, I’ve been trying to become more mentally strong during workouts.  I have a tendency to get down on myself and put the bar down too often.  I need to push myself to keep going when it gets more difficult, not worry about failing or finishing last and finish all of the reps.  I know I’m not going to be qualify for the Crossfit Games anytime soon (unless we have to send the Z Team as alternates), so for me it’s just about staying healthy, being injury free, and not taking myself too seriously.

What class/times do you regularly attend?
5:15 during the week – I love the crew at that time. 9am on Saturdays and Cardio Assault on Sunday.


Congratulations to Katie McCabe and Vince Cirrincione

There are many motivating factors that drive people to train the way that we do.  No matter what they are, may they be the driving force behind staying healthy, working hard, and being dedicated to your goals.  Not many are able to commit to something and stick with it.  If you do, and are able to, know that you are in the minority of those hard working, dedicated indivuduals that strive to better themselves.  Keep up the good work and watch out 2018!

What does Katie think of RAW?

The Coaches and the community at RAW have changed my life. Every time I walk out the doors I feel so accomplished. I can’t say enough great things about the Coaches, they push me to do things I never thought I could do. I have made some amazing friends and feel inspired by the people around me every time I walk through the doors. I love everything about RAW.  The improvements I have seen in myself and others over the years, the community of people, and the positive energy found at RAW is like none other. I still have a long way to go but RAW is definitely my home for life and I am looking forward to what the future will bring.

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?  
Cardio! I love anytime running is incorporated and we get to be outside.

What got you to start at RAW?
I actually just moved back from Nashville and was looking for a more challenging workout (legit I was the girl that just ran North Park lake and that was it) and a friend suggested Crossfit, I googled it, RAW came up first and haven’t looked back since. 
What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
Squats and heavy lifting

What are your goals for 2018?
I feel like the best response would be a pull-up. I need to improve my upper body strength.

What class/times do you regularly attend?
4:00pm (which used to be 5:30pm) week days, 7:00am Saturdays, and cardio assault on Sunday…but you usually won’t find me without Kate Squared


What does Vince think of RAW?

I think RAW is a great community and I am happy to be a part of it, both Coaches and clients!  It is a positive place to be and look forward to each class.

What got you to start at RAW?

My wife and I decided 6 years ago we would start working out again, so we decided to join a local bootcamp workout.  After moderate results we decided we needed something more.  That’s when we found RAW.  Since starting 6 years ago, I have continued to consistently be a part of RAW gym.  I credit my RAW lifestyle to a quick and speedy recovery after having open heart surgery in September, 2014.  Thank you to all of the staff at RAW for always being so supportive and encouraging.

If you had to write a workout, what exercises would be in it?

My favorite exercises are hill sprints, ring dips, and thrusters.

What is your least favorite lift/exercise?
My least favorite lift is the snatch.


What are your goals for 2018?
My goals are to stay active and keep coming to RAW so I can continue to ski and snowboard each winter. Another goal is to stay president of the “Jacked Dads Club”, that’s going to be tough with all of the new dads around the gym.

What class/times do you regularly attend?
Usually 5:15 during the week and Saturday mornings as well.

Albulena Krasniqi & Bob Ando

What is that skill that you have been wanting to do?  Is it Double-Unders, Muscle Ups, Pull-ups, Pr your Snatch?  What is that skill? And what are you doing about it?  There are so many things that can grab our focus when we train the way we do.  But, if you can pick one skill, focus on it and stay patiently working that skill and the accessory work needed you may surprise yourself and accomplish it.  The challenge is to make sure that you are working toward that goal.  Saying you want to do a Muscle Up is not enough. But, working the drills, getting spotted by a Coach, working your accessory lifts will one day produce the results you desire.  Hard work does not go unrewarded.  Pick a skill, set a goal and get to work!  Oh, and ask a Coach for help…that is why they are there!



Congratulations to our June 2017 Athletes of the Month:
Sandy Larsen & Jeff Horrell

Every athlete that walks through the doors of RAW comes in with different goals and aspirations.  Some want to make it to the Crossfit Games while others exercise to live a happier, healthier and more active lifestyle.  Whatever the motivation it takes hard work, dedication and commitment to your work out routine to get the results you want.  Keep at it, make the sacrifice and the reward will be yours!


Read more HERE:

Jonell Santhiapillai & Julian Wested


We push ourselves to the level of those around us.  We have all been a part of that class where the energy is high and it seems that everyone is operating on overdrive!  The work out ends, the music fades and everyone falls to the floor exhausted wondering what just happened!  It is those days that we remember why we train the way that we do.  We train this way for the fun, the camaraderie, and to be in the best shape of our lives! Whatever you have to bring to class that day…BRING IT…because you may just be that boost of energy that someone needs!

Head to for more!