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:

Athletes of the Month: Dec 2018

Posted: December 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wendy and Matt Wolfe!


There are many relationships here at RAW. Some were formed here. Some were brought here.  But, no matter the relationship, if you are friends, spouses, dating or just see the person on a day to day basis there is something special about what CrossFit brings to your relationship.  You are able to connect and bond over something bigger than yourself.  We celebrate and sometimes commiserate with one another about each and every work out.  Finding that connection over one common experience will deepen and strength any kind of relationship.  Value those that have been placed in your life.  Invest in them, as they invest in you and we will all continue to grow as the RAW community.


Read more HERE:



Posted: November 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

We did it last year and were overwhelmed by the love and support of the R.A.W. community. We’re doing it again!

We’re asking for your help to fill stockings for The Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania (VLP). It is an amazing nonprofit organization that provides job training for homeless veterans in and around the Pittsburgh area. They provide service fairs that give homeless veterans haircuts, warm clothes for winter, housing, food, boots, sleeping bags, etc…

Currently at this moment, VLP has over 400 homeless veterans in their charge – FOUR HUNDRED!!! Whether that be in homeless camps outside the city, in shelters, in temporary housing… It’s an unseen epidemic in our beloved city. And those are just the ones they know about and currently are in touch with and keeping track of! This Christmas R.A.W. would like to join with VLP to help make these Veterans holidays a little brighter. Now through Tuesday December 18th, we will be collecting filled stockings for these homeless heroes who have given SO much to our nation. We are asking ALL friends and family and colleagues to please consider bringing in a filled stocking by the 18th to then be distributed to these veterans.

Below are the ideal items to fill the “Homeless Hero Stocking”:

Shaving cream
Wash Cloth
Body Wash
Gift cards to Walmart or Giant Eagle
Pair of Socks

So if you and your family would consider stuffing a stocking for our Pittsburgh area heroes, please return your filled stockings to RAW by Tuesday December 18.

You can also make a donation directly through PayPal to (Donations are tax-deductible and if you would like a receipt for your donation please email the above address and they will get one to you.)
Please help join together to remind these 400 heroes that they are loved and not forgotten this holiday season.

Thank you,
R.A.W. Training Staff


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.


Posted: January 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


CrossFit headquarters is recognizing RAW Training by holding the 18.2 #CrossfitOpen announcement LIVE from OUR box!!

Stay tuned for more news and info, coming SOON!


January 2018 Fundamentals!

Posted: January 2, 2018 in Fundamentals



New Fundamentals for 2018 STARTING in 2 WEEKS!

R.A.W. Training is a group training program which offers unconventional training methods that allow our clients to take their fitness to a new level. At RAW Training, all sessions are led by a team of Nationally Accredited Fitness Professionals who can customize the daily workouts to meet the needs of each athlete within our group setting. Our coaches provide full demonstration, instruction, motivation, and accountability during each of our sessions.

We train our clients using functional movements, plyometrics, kettlebells, Olympic weightlifting, medicine balls, dumbbells, power lifting, gymnastics, rowing, running, sleds and many other modalities.

Our Fundamentals Course includes five 1 hour sessions designed to teach you the lifts, movement patterns we use at R.A.W., establish workloads and have an opportunity to get to know you, as well as your training goals. No waste of time here, you will learn the movements but will also get workouts in too so come dressed ready to workout in every session.
This new group will meet on the following days and times:

Monday January 15th 7:30pm
Thursday January 18th 7:30pm
Saturday January 20th 11:00am
Monday January 22nd 7:30pm
Thursday January 25th 7:30pm

Below you will find the link to register for this fundamentals session (includes all 5).

We also want you to know that although the registration requires payment to secure your spot, you can consider your first session at R.A.W. is a FREE session and that we offer a 100% full refund if you attend your first session and decide that RAW isn’t for you.

1). To register for you fundamentals today click here…

2). To schedule one-on-one sessions or a movement review contact us at

3). For a FREE TRIAL of R.A.W. Re-Build contact

Thank you and feel free to reach out to us with any questions at or 412-487-2221.

Find out more at

#rawtrainingpgh #fundamentals #january#twentyeightteen #newyear #startoffright#crossfit #olympiclifting #pghfit #cardio #core#newyou #whatlieswithinyou #hello2018