RAW Training Sports Performance – What’s it all about?

To put it simply, our sports performance program is all about competitive fun. The athletes that participate in this program are here to improve their athletic capabilities in a way that transfers into their sport; whether that be on the field, court or ice. If they are here, they want to be the best and they want to win.

Now that’s not to say that all of these athletes have the aspirations of playing professionally or even into college. Some want to finish off their high school athletic career on a good note and then move onto other goals in life. While others are looking to continue their sport into college, playing at various levels while taking on the demands of their chosen degrees. Knowing the short and long term goals of our athletes plays a major role in how we implement our coaching to them.

In order to explain the what and why to our program, first I would like to break down the slogan used at the beginning of this article; competitive fun. Being competitive is in our nature. But why do we do it? Why do we compete? Why do we do participate in something that requires a lot of sacrifice and hard work? This is a common question I like to ask my athletes. And more times than not, there is no clean-cut answer. But I can give you an answer that almost every competitor would agree with. The beauty is in the struggle! We are attracted to the adversity and challenges we are faced with to improve ourselves. Competitiveness is in our nature because we want to be better and in the end, we find that fun and enjoyable. Once the love and fun of the game is lost, usually you’ll see the competitiveness dwindle.

So with understanding these two facets of sport, competitiveness and fun, we are able to form the basis of our program. And that’s finding ways to challenge these athletes to drive competitiveness in ways that are fun. If they enjoy it, they will be more committed and willing to give full effort. And in return will see progress in their sport.

That does not mean that all we do is play games, tell jokes and goof off. We keep the goal the goal. And the ultimate goal is to improve sports performance. One of the first pieces to our sessions in our High School group athletic development program, Power-Speed-Performance, that follows the preparation phase (term I use for warm ups) is our tactical and technical expression. To the athletes, they feel as if they are playing a game. Almost how it would be in their sport. But to us, we are working on specific perceptual skills and motor learning processes crucial for athletes to improve their game. Not only do the “raw” characteristics of athleticism improve an athlete, but so does their ability to perceive their environment and make calculated decisions that translates into change of direction and plyometric skill work. This is one way we drive competitive fun from the athletes!

Along with the creative expression these athletes get in the tactical and technical piece to the session, we absolutely still work on the main qualities of strength, power, speed, coordination, agility and more that are all demanded by sport. Our mantra is to put quality in front of each of those individual attributes. I’m not talking about getting our athletes to move textbook style as that’s not how human movement is derived. But teaching each athlete that quality movement for them comes first before pushing the intensity. When the time comes, then the intensity will have a solid base formed from habit that will transfer to sport the most. Typically, we follow the order of power work and then into their strength work. But this can be reorganized to fit the theme or the goals and needs of the athletes. You can view some of our strength, power, speed and agility work in the video below.

In the end, if you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?



What will your kids be doing this summer? Run faster than a wave? Walk like a happy crab? We would love to  welcome them to the wonderful world of fitness! An hour at R.A.W. Training engaged in exercise with friends will not only improve their overall fitness, but instill the love of movement. Our youngest clients are constantly moving with programming packed with age appropriate skills. These workouts will help improve coordination, strength, body awareness and cardiorespiratory endurance all while laughing, joking, meeting new friends, and most importantly having FUN!

R.A.W.’s  2019 Kids/Youth Summer Camp is Back! Camp starts Monday, June 17th and ends July 22nd, with classes held Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00am-12:00pm (R.A.W. Kids ages 6-8) and 12:00pm-1:00pm (R.A.W. Youth ages 9-12).

Few behaviors more significantly influence kids health than physical activity. Come join us for some summer FUN!

***Registration is now open. We look forward to seeing you soon!



Get a Grip!

Posted: May 9, 2019 in Gymnastics, Uncategorized

Hey all! Let’s cover a topic that is often over looked pertaining to any gymnastics skills on the rig…


How you grip the bar will help you in all aspects of gymnastics skills. The coaches at RAW have touched on this topic, and anyone who has come to our Gymnastics Strength & Development clinic should be familiar with why this is important. Let’s discuss how and why to make a change in your grip –

HOW (refer to visual below):

  1. Wrap your hands so that your knuckles are facing “up”
  2. The “meat” or “fat pad” of your hand is on the bar vs. finger tips only
  3. Wrap your thumbs around the bar, not over (aka suicide grip).


  1. Improves position to press on the bar.
  2. Grip is more secure (you wouldn’t clean or KB swing by your finger tips would you?)
  3. Engages larger muscles of the shoulder, lat, and forearm, and is overall safer for your shoulder.

Often people say “this is uncomfortable… it hurts my thumbs”. Like anything else, there is an adjustment period. Don’t let this dissuade you! Like Coach Amy would say, give it 10 days. Work your new grip into toes to bar first, then mix in into your other gymnastics skills. These seemingly “little things” matter!

“OK Coach, I’ll give it a try… but what about wearing grips???”

Go ahead and wear grips if you need, particularly if you are already torn or have a high volume of reps on the rig. My opinion is this – they can add bulk to an already fatigued grip mid-WOD. I recommend trying a variety of grips to determine what you are comfortable with, and ones that DO NOT distract or interfere with the movements.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask the coaches for tips and tricks pertaining to this and other gymnastics techniques! And don’t forget about the Gymnastics Strength & Development clinics on Sundays. The 2:15pm still has open spots for all levels, members and non-members!


Coach Maria

Sleds, Sleds, Sleds!

Posted: May 6, 2019 in Equipment

IMG_8944Sleds, SLEDS!  Some of us love them, some of us hate them, some of us love to hate them.  Regardless of our personal feelings about sleds there is no denying the many benefits.  There are many different ways to implement sleds in your programming. You can vary the duration, loading, and also they’re perfect for recovery.

At R.A.W., the variety almost seems endless.  Sleds can be used for pushing, from light sprints to heavy, short distance grinds, increase power, strength and add size.  We have high/low prowlers, which target the muscle of the lower body from various angles.  You can attach straps or ropes for forward/backward drags or use it as a pulling component.  By doing this we can create a horizontal pull, whether it be standing or seated for an effective upper body strength session.

Another beneficial aspect of sleds is that they are time efficient and a great tool for building strength and total body conditioning at the same time.  There is no denying the feeling after a moderate to heavy sled push.  Quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves all pumped, heart rate through the roof and sweating instantly ensues.  Two ways that I have used them to benefit my training is when I’m pressed for time and/or nursing a back/knee issue.   Do a quick dynamic warmup to get calves and hamstrings ready, set the clock for 10 minutes and just push until the time is up!  Also when my back or knees are not feeling up to handling load the sled is a great tool to stay safe and build muscle in the lower body.

Another quality about sleds is there is no eccentric phase, the lengthening of muscle, which is the primary cause of muscle soreness, ie. lowering in the squat or pushup.  This allows you train them and not be totally crushed the next day.

In addition, sleds are a useful tool for all ages, abilities and fitness goals.  Nearly everyone can use them. There is a very short learning curve and they can be implemented a few times a week.  Whether as a primary exercise or accessory strength movement to add in after a heavy squat session, the sled will give you a huge bang for your buck!

Sean P

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.


Here is the 2:15pm class. Thanks again to everyone for coming out!

On behalf of Coach Amy, Maria, Sean P and myself we can not thank you enough for attending this past weekends gymnastics strength and development program. We hope that you enjoyed it and that you were able to walk away with something that will help make you a stronger and better you.

As we gathered at the end of the day to recap our experience as coaches we all marveled at how amazing and diverse our athletes are.  We also commented that no matter what level you are, CF Games athlete, just beginning CrossFit or just want to move better, if you are able to lay the foundation of the hollow and the arch that you will be stronger in all other exercises because of it.

We all get excited about our training but we can not rush the foundation. As we said during our time together, “In the absence of coordination do not apply momentum.” Through our gymnastics classes we can teach you how to do all these high level skills like muscle ups, handstand push ups, etc. but we want to do more for you than just “meet the standard of the movement.” We want you to have virtuosity in the movement! We want for you to do the movement well, safe and efficiently. And with that being our goal that is how we will train through our upcoming 6 week gymnastics program.

So, every Sunday at 1:00pm and 2:15pm a small group of athletes will be meeting and focusing on being better and stronger movers.

We as a Coaching staff are looking forward to training with you all and we are excited to see the outcome. Thank you for trusting us with your fitness journey!

In Health,

Coach Sean L.


Only as good as your spotters!


Everyone got upside down. Safely!


Noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews wants to convince parents that pushing their children into year-round sports can be dangerous to the youngsters’ health.


Read the full article here: