Wednesday, January 15, 2014


OCThrowdown 2014 + CFW Jan 1622 by CFW Family
Gretchen Kittelberger and Brooke Ence in the Final WOD of the OCT 2014

"...It Feels Good to be a Gansta"

OCThrowdown 2014 + CFW Jan 882 by CFW Family

CrossFit Watsonville was reppin hard at the OC Throwdown in Orange County, California to support coach, Brooke Ence.

 "Brooke is My Homegirl" was the theme of the weekend.  We LOVE Brooke and couldn't be more proud of her 14th place finish amongst some of the world's top CrossFit women...Camille LeBlanc Bazinet, Taylana Fortunado, Lauren Fisher, Valerie Calhoun, Lindsey Valenzuela, and Samantha Briggs, just to name a few hot shots.  Brooke, you're fierce, but that was no surprise to me.
We love you Brooke!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Foam Roller

After running through, what I thought was a great class...well I taught it, so...well anyway...

At the end of class tonight, I had a client with a question..."What is the point of the foam roller, and does it really do anything? I talked to my doctor and he said..." well that's how the conversation started.  And I will be so bold to say, that I'm sorry, but is your western medical doctor an athlete? Let western doctors, preach western medicine, but let athletes and coaches do there job.  We're here to help you after all.

So I had to go and research it myself. On the spot he wanted some reasons, so I had to hold strong on the spot, be assertive and confident in my knowledge and give him the best answer I could, while trying not to be intimidated by what I thought was a bit of a quiz...he is a podiatrist himself. So here was my answer.  "Foam rolling helps to prevent injury, lengthen muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions that are created as our muscles grow and tear, and it helps to break up lactic acid."  I thought hey, I gave him a good answer. He said, "I can see the adhesions part, but I don't think so about the lactic acid, you would have to do..." well you get the point.  It was the first time in my experience where for one, I felt like I was being quizzed, in addition to challenged for what we were doing.  Hey, I'm here to  help you and share my knowledge with you.  If you're not receptive to helping yourself, that one my friend, is on you.

So after a quick little investigation and refresher today on foam rolling, I was totally pleased when I confirmed that my knowledge of foam rolling is legit. I'm here to help, but hey Google is available for all.  Do your own research.  And remember, your coaches are kindly sharing their education.  I may not be wearing a white collared shirt and a tie, well I'm not a man either, but one word....RESPECT.

  • myofascial release
  • break up of scar tissue and adhesions
  • lengthen muscles
  • mobility
  • massage
  • break up of lactic acid
  • injury prevention
  • prevention of muscle cramps
  • improved flexibility 
  • improved joints range of motion
  • relieve pain from IT Band syndrome and shin splints
If you're not foam rolling...why not?

Monday, January 13, 2014


I just returned from a weekend at the OC Throwdown.  As usual it was so much fun to run into friends old and new and to be a part of the greater CrossFit Community, as well as to be a spectator during some incredible showings....

But our thoughts and prayers need to be extended to Kevin Ogar. 

Please click on the link to CrossFit Invictus here

Prayers for Kevin Ogar

Monday, November 18, 2013



Work up to a heavy single front squat with back off sets:  6x2 @ 93%.
Photo Bomb: Maddie's dog, Rocky

Thursday, November 7, 2013



Friday, October 18, 2013


“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”  -  Paulo Coelho

Change is good. 

So here I was faced with a few very hard decisions...after several months of asking myself the same repeated question, I had to stop and finally do a few of the hardest things that I have ever done. 

With that being said and to get right to the point, I am very excited to announce that I have taken on a role at the brand new CrossFit Watsonville

I am looking forward to many many good times.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

WELCOME to PUSHunderground

I have been gone for awhile, but now I'm back. Here to update you on some very cool happenings. Please check out this video and find your way to become a part of this movement. Check it out.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Featured in this picture from left to right: Elementary student - soccer and football player,
Heidi - CrossFit Master's Competitor, Honey Badger - Timerie...she's a total badda$$ and totally humble,
Becca - High School Volleyball Player, Puff - Weekend Warrior & Hardworking Mom on the Go,
& last but not least...Pam Owens - she Works her A$$ off...she also is the mother of Cal Bears softball pitcher, Nikki Owens.  Pam gets fully outfitted and catches for her daughter...yep yep...a college pitcher.  No big deal. 
The Saturday strength and conditioning class
is sure to get your heart pumping,
your blood flowing, and your body sweaty. 
Come on down and check it out! 
This "Sweaty Saturday" class
runs every Saturday from 9am to 10am

Pam Owens - Mother of UC Berkley Softball Pitcher, Nikki Owens

Nikki Owens/Hot Blonde/Pitcher for UC Berkley
Featured on the left with Cal Softball Teammates

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nutrition, I'm Pretty Much a GEEK

I'm pretty much a total geek when it comes to nutrition.  I absolutely LOVE learning about it, and I LOVE talking about it as well.  Of course, all in good company.

The nutrition journey for me...has been just that...a journey.  I have had to relearn food from what I used to think was healthy...back in my standard American diet days...low fat, whole wheat, etc. 

I have learned to consider my starting point, as the learning curve.  Depending on what your knowledge or beliefs are on the subject....that is the learning curve.  That is your starting place and that will be your journey. 

I have had the fortunate opportunity to be coached by and work with some amazing top CrossFit athletes, Jenny LaBaw of NorCal and Azadeh Boroumand of the South West.

 Through their different coaching styles their message was still the same....through all of my own research even when you're looking at:  clean eating, paleo, body building, primal, cutting, zone, losing weight...the trend that rings through and through in the fitness industry is quality meat, green vegetables, and healthy fat at every meal, and of course tons of water throughout the day.  AND eliminate all process foods.  Now my good friend Billy Bad Ass, would probably disagree on the meat part of the diet...he's a vegan body builder...yep, you heard me right VEGAN BODY BUILDER...check out his page.

Anyway, sounds simple right?  Well for those of us coming from the learning curve of eating the standard American diet, this information can sound foreign.  It's simple actually...AND it's fun!  So no matter what your learning curve is, stick with it!

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!"  With that said, go out and research for yourself...then plan and prep some yummy meals!

Azadeh Boroumand
South West

Check out the following sites for some yummy ideas and great info on nutrition:
Paleo-Zone Steve
Mark's Daily Apple

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Back At It

After a very long three months of coaching high school softball with Jocelyn Forest, I am back at it.  With a full time job, AND a full time coaching gig for high schoolers, my schedule was packed.  That is the way I like it, but usually my packed schedule is for fun, fitness, exercise, outdoors, and adventure.  So here I am getting pumped up to get back on my regular training schedule.  AND so stoked to be back in the gym with ALL of the amazing and talented people that I love at Santa Cruz

This brings me to update that the Saturday, group strength and conditioning class is back in full swing!  Thanks again to Matt and Kaleb for being so awesome to help me out and giving some kick a$$ coaching to the Saturday morning crew!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Bday to Coach Joe! of Orange Coast CrossFit

Happy Bday to one of my FAVORITE COACHES AND FRIENDS, JOE GARCIA, Director of Performance at ORANGE COAST CROSSFIT!!! 

Joe is an awesome coach, completely inspiring, positive, motivating, and has a heart of gold!  Follow him on instragram!

If you are ever in the OC, drop in and WOD on!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Whole Lotta Love for Strength Wraps

In this pic, I am wearing an original pair of Strength Wraps.  This is my favorite pair and it was before Strength Wraps started printing their logo on each individual set. 
If you haven't picked yourself up a pair of Strength Wraps, do your wrists a favor.  You can do so by clicking on the link here:  Strength Wraps
To learn more about this awesome company founded by my good friend, Kelley Urbani from Newport Beach, check it all out here:  Strength Wraps
Now go pick up something heavy.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Open is Over

The 2013 CrossFit Games Open is done and over.  I have to admit...I am a little bit sad that it's over :(  The weekly workouts, the anticipation, the pain, the competition, the camaraderie...these are all things that I love and will miss...onto training for next year. 
All in all I am competing with myself....where I was last year in my physical fitness and abilities...and hoping that I've made some gains since then.  It is clear that I still need to get those darn double-unders...and can certainly be stronger...but to be perfectly honest...although I would have liked to have done better...I am pleased...and here's why:  I spent the last year and a half working on strength and Olympic lifting technique, and I don't regret it one bit...all of the knowledge and skills that I have aquired are irreplaceable and have given me the opportunity to be a better coach, crossfitter, and training partner. 
Now with that being said, I did compromise my metabolic conditioning, but I am okay with that.  Now I am ready to get back at it and maybe keep a more balanced approach when it comes to strength and conditioning...and crossfitting.  I figure by next year, I will certainly be in better shape physically and even mentally...because all in all crossfitting pushes me to be better.  It's me against me.

CrossFit Games Workout 13.5
4 min. AMRAP
15 Thrusters
15 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups
(If 90 Reps is completed add 4 min, repeat)


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Got to love my friends! 
When it comes to gym shenanies,
we ALL LOVE a good photo shoot! 
These girls are the best :)   

Thursday, February 14, 2013


A common misconception is that squats are bad for your knees, your back...and your femininity...I would have to admit through anecdotal and research based evidence that that is far from the truth.  Squats develop the musculature in your quads, hams, glutes, and knees...this musculature supports your bone structure, as well as increases bone density.  Squats cause you to develop midline stability and force you to engage in your core strength. 
Here is another hilarious and great post from Catalyst Athletics on the squat.  Enjoy!  (Again, I quoted it from top to bottom...don't know what's actually correct, but hey, it's a shot at giving proper credit to the author.) 
"Dumb Weightlifting QuestionsGreg Everett | October 17 2012
It was suggested to me by our talented editor Yael that I write an article about “dumb” weightlifting questions. I turned to the internet’s leading repositories of dumb questions—Facebook and Twitter—for some ideas. The following are some of the better ones you provided me. She told me my answers were obnoxious and unhelpful so I'll be doing a real version in the Performance Menu next month, but I figured these shouldn't go to waste. Please note that none of these answers will be helpful.

Will knee wraps make me stronger?

No. They will make you lift more weight.

What's a WOD?

It’s an obnoxious designation of a workout performed in isolation rather than as a part of a long-term program with purpose and effect.

How many miles should I run a week?

About one more than how many you’re being chased.

Do you think if I had better technique I could lift more?

If you’re asking this question, your technique is horrid and your lifts are not heavy enough. So yes.

Will knee socks make me lift more?


How come people grunt and yell?

Asks the gentleman who’s never physically exerted himself.

Should I breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up?

In an elevator or what?

Why do weightlifting coaches hate the low bar back squat though powerlifting gurus (Louie Simmons) swear by it?

That’s like asking why baseball players don’t use footballs.

Why are bumper plates colored like skittles?

Addition is hard enough as it is without having to inspect every plate on the bar to find out what its weight is first.

Weightlifting and children

That’s not a question. It’s not even a statement. It’s just three English words written consecutively.

Unilateral exercises or drills to increase speed & balance on your weak side

Also not a question. Just a longer string of words.

My shoes smell horrible

Not a question and also gross.

I follow Hook Grip and they posted a pic from the recent Olympics. The pic was of a guy snatching and at the end of the first pull. In the pic he was on his toes, heels were off the ground. Why is this bad? He placed 3rd overall.
It’s not bad and never has been.

Where are the machines?

In the singlets.

Do I have to squat?
No. You also don’t have to not be a *%$$#.

I know we power clean with a med ball but why don't we power snatch hang squat with a med ball?
We do none of those things and a second mention of them will get you escorted out the front door.

What's your best 'Fran' time?

Every time I decided not to do Fran.

How do you flip your hands open in the clean from a Hook grip!? I can do it from a regular grip, but when I hook, it is harder for me to manage the flip of the wrists into position. You did say dumb, right? Stop gripping the bar and push your elbows up.

Does weightlifting make girls look manly?

There are two kinds of men in the world: Those who find women weightlifters attractive, and those who don’t find women attractive.

Why are so many weightlifters fat?

Because you don’t know what a weightlifter is and are looking at the wrong people.

I'd love the definitive discussion on high bar vs low bar. Not really why you would do each one, but more HOW you do each one. Like do you send the hips back first on both or do you just drop down on HBBS? I've heard conflicting advice.
People still use the low-bar back squat?

How important is ab strength?
Not at all as long as you don’t want to do anything athletic.

When is a 'weight class' worth considering?

When you compete in a sport that has weight classes.

What's the single best accessory lift for each of the clean, jerk, and snatch?

The squat.

I hate the hook grip... Why should I use it?
Get stronger and quicker and you’ll find out.

Does the bar actually have to touch my body? It hurts my waistline.
No, the bar can be wherever you want it to be, including not overhead.

Wouldn't it just be easier to power clean it? Why do I have to squat all the way down?
Yes it would. It would also be easier to lift less weight. Even easier to not lift weights at all. It’s weightlifting; it’s supposed to be hard.

Isn't weightlifting just all technique? Some of those guys don't even look strong.
Yes. If your technique is advanced enough, it will actually circumvent the laws of physics. There is no spoon.

How can i stop the bar from hitting my knees when i pull?
Stand up.

Why do I always hit myself in the junk when I do cleans?

Stay over the bar longer. And wear underwear.

I can power clean way more than I can front squat. What's my problem?

You don’t squat enough.

Do weightlifting competitions play better music than crossfit competitions?

I don’t know, I’m busy lifting weights, not dancing.

Biceps curls: no good?

CrossFit propaganda.

I keep getting bruises on my you know what and hips! What am I doing wrong?
Not keeping the bar close enough to your body before you hump it with your you know what.

Why do weightlifting girls always have to pee?

I don’t think they do. I think they go hide the bathroom so they can check their iPhones more.

How do you determine whether an athlete should stick with their bodyweight/weight class, increase to a heavier weightclass or decrease to a lighter weightclass?

Check his bodyweight.

How do I politely pause a conversation with a cute girl to get my next set in without sounding like a d-bag?
Only a d-bag wouldn’t pause the conversation to train."

Please check out Catalyst Athletics for More Entertaining Weightlifting Info and Reading Pleasure

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day, Now Come at Me Bro

I Heart OCCF

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  If you don't have a special someone to spend Valentine's Day with, spend your day doing what you love! 

To Do List:
1)  Buy a sword
2)  Name it Kindness'
3)  Kill people with Kindness...or Barbell

Now go get after it :)

Broke Up with Training for Snow and the Mountains...My Other Love

Broke up with training for the weekend, but was able to hang out with another love...snowboarding and the mountains.  So blessed to be able to do what I love. seems as though I have fewer people in my life who like to go snowboarding, so this last weekend was super fun!  Plus I was able to spend the weekend in one of my favorite places...Truckee, Ca. 
Teaching friends how to snowboard means more friends to go to the mountain with, which equals a happy Britt Birch.  She did so well!  She had only skied one time prior to this day, and as you all know...they are nothing alike anyway.  Three times down the bunny hill, and we went up the lift.  The green diamonds ended up being way to I shifted gears and told her we were going down the blue diamonds, where she would be forced to put what she'd learn in her short session with me to use.  She did awesome!  And she loves snowboarding!  Yay!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Finish and Other Problems

I have been so guilty of the early arm pull on the snatch and having a closed hip.  Last night in my training, I finally saw all of my hard work and practice I've been putting into technique payoff. 
I filmed the lift using "The Coach's Eye", so I was able to go back, frame by frame and evaluate the different positions.  Tons of practice has been put into snatch segments, and I was so stoked to finally see those positions in my lift.
I came across a great read today on Catalyst Athletics blog by Matt Foreman, and I thought I would share it below, since yesterday's post briefly touched on refocusing...just know when things get tough, you're not alone.  It's the life of a weightlifter.
You Got A Lot Of Freakin Problems, Matt Foreman,
You Got A Lot Of Freakin Problems Matt Foreman | January 28 2013

Okay, I’m gonna make a list of common problems weightlifters have. Read this and keep a running tally of how many you A) have right now or B) have had in the past. I’ll write them as quotes so they sound authentic.

1) “My lockout sucks. I can pull snatches pretty high and clean a lot of weight, but my lockout when I get the bar over my head is terrible.”
2) “I jump forward in the snatch. I didn’t used to do it, but now I do it all the time and I can’t seem to fix it.”
3) “The bottom position isn’t comfortable for me. I see other lifters sitting deep and it looks stable and comfortable, but I feel tight and off-balance when I go below parallel.”
4) “I’m stuck at the same weights. I haven’t made a new PR in what feels like forever.”
5) “When I’m snatching, I accidentally do a lot of power snatches. I’m not trying to do it. I want to go all the way into the full movement, but I catch a lot of them high and I can’t stop doing it.”
6) “The bar keeps swinging out in front of me. I can’t figure out how to keep it close to my body.”
7) “I doubt myself. I don’t know if I’m ever going to be really good at this, and it screws with my head.”
8) “My family gives me a lot of static because they think I’m wasting my time with weightlifting. They think I should just quit and start living a normal life.”
9) “I keep getting injured. It happens all the damn time and I can’t make any progress because of it.”
10) “All of my friends are getting married, buying houses, and making money. I feel like I’m getting behind in life because I’m committing everything to lifting.”
11) “Other people in my gym are making progress faster than me. Some of them haven’t even been lifting as long as I have.”
12) “My knees/back/wrists/elbows just hurt…all the time.”
13) “I keep hitting my pubic bone when I drive my hips into the bar and it hurts so bad I almost can’t stand it.”
14) “I know some of the people I compete against are taking drugs. I’m staying clean and they’re beating me because they’re cheating, but they don’t get caught.”
15) “I don’t think my coach has me on the right program. I think I should be doing something different but I don’t want to say anything.”
16) “Things are going bad with my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife because he/she thinks I’m obsessing too hard about weightlifting.”
17) “I can’t find a good coach.”
18) “I have to train every day with somebody I hate.”
19) “I have to train every day with somebody I used to date, and it’s awkward as hell.”
20) “The athletes I coach aren’t making progress and I think it’s because I’m not training them correctly.”
21) “One of my best athletes is a pain in the ass and it’s screwing up the rest of the team.”
22) “Some jerkoff coach is trying to move in on some of my lifters.”
23) “I have to train in a gym where they get pissed at me if I try to do any real lifting.”
24) “I don’t know if I want to do this anymore. Sometimes I feel like I want to just move on and get out of weightlifting, but I don’t want to let anybody down.”
25) “One of the best athletes I’ve ever coached just quit on me all of a sudden.”
26) “I can’t believe how many freaking idiots there are in this sport. It drives me crazy because some people actually listen to them and think they know what they’re talking about.”
27) “My leg strength sucks. I can pull the crap out of the bar, but I can’t stand up with anything.”
28) “I get so pissed off sometimes when lifting isn’t going well. I want to break stuff and kick the crap out of somebody, and it’s making me a nasty person.”
29) “People tell me I’m really talented, but I don’t believe them. I think they’re lying just to be nice.”
30) “I’m worried that weightlifting is going to make me look like a freak.”
31) “I work my ass off for the people I coach and not one of them shows any appreciation or gratitude.”
32) “I know I’m working harder than most of the other lifters out there, but some of them are still beating me. It’s not fair.”
33) “My coach is being a butthole.”
34) “I’ve got a weight I’ve been trying to lift for a long time and I keep missing it. Now it’s in my head.”
35) “None of my friends respect what I do. They don’t know what weightlifting is and they think it’s stupid.”
36) “I started lifting too late. I think I’m gonna be too old to really make it to the top.”

So…how many of those have you had, or currently have? Personally, I’ve had 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 22, 25, 26, 28, 32, and 34. You’re not alone when you go through rough patches. We’re all in this sport together, and that means we’re going to eat a lot of the same dirt.

I guess we should come up with a list of solutions, right? It doesn’t do any good to complain about something if you don’t find a way to fix it. I’m not a genius, so I can’t really come up with a long list of ways to solve these problems. In fact, I can only think of two possible choices when this crap hits you. Here they are:

1) You can curl up in a ball and quit.
2) You can keep working and find a way to fight through it.

Feel free to chime in if you can think of any more. But that’s all I’ve been able to come up with after 25 years of weightlifting. When it’s all said and done, you just have to pick one of those options and go with it.

Personally, I think you should pick #2. But it’s your life. Do whatever you want.

 (To read more great blog articles click on the link to Catalyst Athletics here.)