August Member Spotlight: Adele

August Member Spotlight: Adele

2016-04-24 17.31.36Adele Barrera, originally from Ventura, CA, signed up for the CrossFit burn to get ready for wedding. And the goal has paid off. In a year, she’s become a leaner version of herself, able to take on the various challenges any WOD throws her way.

She loves the quote, “Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.” That’s what this 35-year-old does in the evenings at CFFS. Adele is a machine in the gym, but once you get her home, you’ll find her chilling on her couch.

More from Adele:

My goal in joining CFFS is…To be healthy and fit
Since being at CFFS, I’ve learned…Different Olympic lifts and gymnastic movements
Biggest CrossFit challenges I’ve faced…There are still some gymnasty moves I can’t do and I continue to scale WODs
Biggest CrossFit accomplishment I’ve met…I have been able to do things I never thought I could do.
Favorite CrossFit MemorySpecial events with other CrossFit Full Strength members
Favorite CrossFit WorkoutEach WOD challenges me in different ways
Favorite Cheat Meal or Treatice cream
What have you found most valuable about your CFFS membership?It never gets boring
3 words that describe youMotivated, grateful, determined
Essential workout gearWater, shoes, workout clothes
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July Member Spotlight: Brandon T.

July Member Spotlight: Brandon T.

20151107_065342Brandon Tompkins was driving down Thomas Road and saw our CrossFit sign. Knowing he had weight to lose, he signed up to become stronger and healthier. In less than a year, the results are showing. Brandon has lost 25 pounds with the support of CFFS coaches.

“Gayle and her coaching staff are amazing,” said Brandon. “They’ve made this California guy feel like family.”

More from Brandon:

Since being at CFFS, I’ve learned…A lot about fitness and health
Biggest CrossFIt challenges I’ve faced…Becoming a barefoot runner
Favorite Paleo RecipePaleo pancakes
Favorite Cheat Meal or TreatIce cream
Favorite time of day to workout at CFFS and whyEvenings, after work. That time of day allows me to forget about work so I can go home and relax
What have you found most valuable about your CFFS membership?Knowledge of my capabilities and proper lifting techniques.
Favorite quote?“If you can’t fix it with squats or fish oil, you’re probably going to die.”  – Chayet pagano
3 words that describe youHappy, healthy, and thankful
Essential workout gearGloves, shoes (or no shoes), and water. You can accomplish great things with only your body.
Best CrossFit tip you’ve receivedQuality over quantity
When I’m not at CFFS, you can find me…At work or at home
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June Member Spotlight: Olivia

June Member Spotlight: Olivia

CFFSTucson native Olivia Valencia joined CrossFit Full Strength two years ago. She found CFFS online with a desire to change her workout routine and become stronger. Olivia had dabbled in CrossFit in the past, but after one session she was re-inspired by the adrenaline, the burn of WODs, and the therapeutic afterglow.

Since joining CFFS, she has learned she’s stronger physically, mentally and emotionally than she ever originally thought. “Since rejoining CrossFit, one of the challenges I have faced is simply becoming comfortable with such intense workouts again,” shares Olivia. “I’m back to setting PRs and focusing on using heavier weights during WODs.”

More from Olivia:

Why I joined CFFS…The CFFS coaches have made my membership enjoyable because they are supportive and help me get stronger every day.
My goal in joining CFFS is…To improve my body, become stronger, and eventually begin competitive training.
Favorite CrossFit WorkoutSince coming back to CrossFit, my favorite workout has been the the hang power clean
Favorite Cheat Meal or TreatMy favorite cheat meal is wings and beer. My favorite treat is ice cream.
Favorite quote?“Everything starts from something, but something would be nothing, nothing if your heart didn’t believe.”  -JB
3 words that describe youstrong
Best CrossFit tip you’ve receivedKeep pushing, you are stronger than you think.
When I’m not at CFFS, you can find me…Hiking or swimming
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May Member Spotlight: Zach K.

May Member Spotlight: ZACH


Hailing originally from Washington state, Zachary Kelley joined CrossFit Full Strength in January, 2015. After driving past our old location at the hockey rink a dozen times, Zach popped in to learn more. Since he did, he’s learned proper techniques on lifts and how to become more efficient during WODs. Focused on two goals – 1. Maintain a weight of 170# and 2. Rx the WODs – Zach is well on his way.

“During 16.1, I was told I would be lucky if I finished one round,” recalled Zach. “I ended up doing more than seven rounds Rx.”

More from Zach:

Biggest CrossFIt challenges I’ve faced…The biggest challenge i have are handstand pushups and dips.
Biggest CrossFit accomplishment I’ve met…My biggest accomplishment is getting a muscle-up on my first attempt with Coach Ian.
Favorite CrossFit WorkoutAny workout that involves squats, burpees, and box jumps.
Favorite Paleo RecipeMy favorite meal is salmon, brown rice, asparagus, with lemon juice squeezed on top.
Favorite Cheat Meal or TreatI love Mac and cheese with some red wine.
Favorite Elite CrossFit AthleteRich Froning
Favorite time of day to workout at CFFS and why7 a.m.
Favorite quote?“I squat so my ass matches my sass!” #squatforjesus
3 words that describe youvociferous, ENTHUSIASTIC, ambitious
Essential workout gearrunning tights, Lululemon
Best CrossFit tip you’ve receivedCoach Ian gave me the best advice for muscle-ups. He taught me to start a few feet away from the rig, and to jump toward the bar and use that momentum to pull to the top. This simple adjustment makes muscle-ups feel effortless.
When I’m not at CFFS, you can find me…When I am not at the gym, you can catch me studying (just finished my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Medicine). I also travel for dance and choreograph for studios all over the country. I’m also known to model and work photoshoots.
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I CrossFit and _________!

Hey CrossFitters…

Not sure if you knew this but 4:15pm class has been working out with a pretty awesome guy that does some pretty awesome things in his spare time.  We wanted to feature an athlete for something he does out of the gym.  Every single one of us is a CrossFitter and a ____________.  You can all fill that in later, but you need to meet David D.  He’s a CrossFitter and BREWMASTER.


beerI started out like many a beer drinker – swallowing anything that was cheap and contained the words “Light” in its title. Dark beers were for old men; craft beer was too expensive for college students.  Who could afford that stuff anyways? I was so naive…

Thankfully, I had far wiser (and persistent) friends that introduced me to craft beer before I was beyond saving. Anchor Steam was my immediate gateway to the Promised Land. My eyes were opened to the great world of beer and I quickly realized that I had been drinking but one (very poor) style of over 100 styles in existence.  Beer became something I drank because I loved the flavor, diversity, and culture behind it.  I was happy and content. It wasn’t long after that I discovered the art and science that is homebrewing which has since transformed me into a full-fledged beer geek.

My passion for brewing started with a 1-gallon small batch starter kit from Northern Brewer. Much like my love for CrossFit, I became obsessed. My home brewery quickly expanded and six months later I was brewing 10 gallon batches of all-grain beer. In early 2014, I co-founded a local brewing club –the Unnamed Brewing Club (creative, yes?). The club gets together once a month to brew and to support the growing community of people producing and drinking local, fresh, artisanal beer. If you have ever wanted to see how beer is made or were interested in joining me for one of our brew events, please let me know. I would be happy to show you.

As much as I love drinking and brewing, I’m equally passionate about CrossFit. As every Crossfit affiliate is independently owned and operated, there are some awesome ones, and some less than awesome ones. I’m really thankful to be part of an awesome one, and an awesome one that supports my love of craft beer. It is pretty common to see some of my home brewed creations in the refrigerator down at the Box. The next time you see one, please, help yourself and share with me my passion for brewing and for CrossFit Full Strength.

Fun Facts:
Favorite Beer – Anything world-class.
Favorite Lift – The push press. It’s the only lift I can complete with proper form.
Least Favorite Lift – The snatch. Poor Form + Poor Mobility = Poor Results.
Favorite WOD – Do people really have favorite WODs? Do rest days count?
Least Favorite WOD – Anything that includes kettlebell swings!

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Dedication to the Dogs….

Meet Andi…

Andi is a member at Full Strength.  We wanted to feature her for more than just being dedicated member.

“I began volunteering at Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL), Arizona’s oldest and largest no-kill animal shelter, in February 2013, so almost 2 years ago. I have a 9 year old calico cat named Socks and a 6 year old chihuahua mix named Yankee — he is my foster fail from AAWL. I volunteer 1 or 2 times per week at the shelter. I have fostered 4 dogs. I almost always have one champion dog which is a dog that has been at AAWL for over 60 days, and I commit to getting the dog out of the shelter for an outing once per week for a couple of hours so the public can meet him or her. My current champion is a sweet little chihuahua mix named Sylvie that loves to be carried around. On weekend mornings, I take dogs for walks/jogs along the canal, or spend time with them in our yards and work on their socialization skills. A larger area of my involvement as a volunteer is with offsite events. I recently participated in a Running for the Bulls 4 mile pit bull run in Peoria with some of our shelter dogs, I go to Petco/Petsmart adoption events in different areas of the valley and on November 8 I will be at AAWL’s annual Walk to Save Animals which is one of our larger fundraisers for the shelter. Basically every other weekend I am at an offsite event with the shelter somewhere in the valley trying to get our dogs adopted and seen by the public and breaking down any stigma that people have of “shelter dogs”.

A couple of great things about volunteering at AAWL are 1.) the training they provide. They have a great dog trainer and staff that offer us classes on leash handling skills, dog to dog introductions, reading dog body language and working with unruly dogs. And 2.) the community of volunteers and staff that I spend time with are great. The people have become another family just like a CrossFit family.

The chi mix is my champion, Sylvie. She is 1 1/2 years old and gets along with kids, dog and cats and is available for adoption.

The chi mix is my champion, Sylvie. She is 1 1/2 years old and gets along with kids, dog and cats and is available for adoption.

There are many ways you can get involved. We are always in need of more volunteers, and AAWL is located at 40th St & Washington (across the street from Gateway Community College). The hours are flexible because you come in when you want to and are not required to set a schedule. Or you can foster animals. You are welcome to donate items as well. Any type of dog/cat item is always appreciated or you can view AAWL’s amazon wish list:  CLICK HERE

This is Salem and she has been at our shelter for over 110 days and she came to us with a litter of puppies. She has been waiting patiently for a home. She makes a great jogging and hiking partner and is a shepherd mix.

This is Salem and she has been at our shelter for over 110 days and she came to us with a litter of puppies. She has been waiting patiently for a home. She makes a great jogging and hiking partner and is a shepherd mix.


If you ever want to tour the shelter or come check out some dogs or cats please let me know. I would be happy to take you with me after a Saturday or Sunday WOD. ”

Some fun CrossFit Facts about Andi…

“My favorite lift is the deadlift. As far as music goes I’m not picky, just anything with good bass. I never know song names anyways.”









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I love 1 rep max days!

POSTED 5/16/2014

Shelly Batra getting after it on Push Press

Shelly Batra getting after it on Push Press


So, I recently stopped checking the WOD blog board before coming to class because I like not knowing what kind of fun I am going to have that day.  There is never a dull moment at this place–the workouts are never boring and never the same, which is what draws me back EVERY. SINGLE .DAY.  

 Today, I walked into the noon class and thought “Yay!  Today is 1 rep max day on push press!  I love 1 rep max days!”  On these days, I really get a chance to see how much my strength has progressed over the course of the last strength cycle.  I have been doing crossfit for 7 months and I am always pleased to see improvement, even if it is only 5-8 pounds.  Today was no different…I aim to hit a PR each time and with the support and encouragement from Coach Gayle, I did!!   I always worry that on 1 rep max days, I am going to push myself too hard and hurt myself, and every coach-Gayle, Jeremy, Fernando, and Emily-all encourage members to hit PRs (and ring the PR bell!), but their primary focus is always our safety and proper technique, which I appreciate.

Nothing is better than working out with members that become your friends!

Nothing is better than working out with members that become your friends!

Today’s WOD was a good one too…2 of my favorite exercises and 1 of my favorite cycles!  21-15-9 reps of deadlifts and slam-balls!  That’s right, the perfect way to get all that pent-up aggression out!   The music started and with the beat, the class took to the WOD like fish in water.  It was a great way to get a solid, challenging workout done in a short amount of time, especially after yesterday’s met con!  Believe me, I was definitely glad not to see double-unders on the board again!  But who knows what tomorrow will bring…

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“Who pissed off Coach Gayle?”

POSTED 5/1/2014

The WOD consisted of a ton of Double Unders, Overhead Walking Lunges, Kettlebell Swings, Pull Ups, Box Jumps, and Handstand Push Ups.  It took members 20-30 minutes to complete.  Prior to doing the Workout they did an EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) of Olympic Lifting.  This was a Snatch Grip Deadlift, Hang Full Snatch, and then a Power Snatch.  Even though we are constantly varied programming, we do all of our programming in house with a lot of thought.  Currently we are entering a new strength cycle for Front Squats, Push Press, and Back Squats so check back to hear about all of the PRs that will be happening in the next couple of days.

Mohit performing his 80 repetitions of Kettlebell Swings.

Mohit performing his 80 repetitions of Kettlebell Swings.


“Who pissed off Coach Gayle?” 

That was the trending topic on Full Strength’s Facebook page after today’s WOD. No, Coach Gayle wasn’t angry today, she has just programmed a tougher than usual WOD. 

What comprises a tougher than usual WOD? For starters, the average completion time was well over 25 minutes. 300 combined double unders (I strongly dislike double unders…more on that another time), 100 lunges with a plate overhead, 60 pull-ups, 40 box jumps, and 20 head stand push-ups (I’m exhausted just writing this).  Oh, and this was preceded by a 10 minute EMOM that consisted of technically difficult (at least for me)hang full snatches, power snatches, and snatch grip deadlifts. Phew! 

But you know what – I loved that workout (ok, maybe not while doing it, but certainly after I had finished!). Just about when you think you are getting the hang of this Crossfit thing, along comes a workout like this to let you know who is boss! For me Crossfit is about incremental improvements, having patience with my movements, and trusting the suggestions and training of the coaches. Today’s workout was a good reminder of this – I may have seen tremendous gains on squats, but my snatches still need a lot of work…and at the end of the workout my snatches were a little better than they had been before today. 

Oh, and while Coach Gayle might have been “pissed off”, she put her money where her mouth is and worked out with the rest of us – this for me (and I’m sure for a lot of members) is a great source of inspiration – when I grow up, I want to be just like Coach Gayle, and also like Nida when she squats inhuman amounts of weight, and  like Warren when he outliftsthe two of us combined, and like Coach Jeremy when he tries to beat Coach Gayle, and like my noon partner Heidi whose work ethic is incredible. 

Another day, another great workout, and another day of improvements! Just don’t piss off Coach G anymore!


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“So thank you to both of our amazing am trainers at CrossFit Full Strength”

POSTED 4/30/2014

Bri got to ring the PR Bell for her 150# Backsquat.  Awesome job Bri and we love having you at CrossFit Full Strength.  Next time brag about your PR at the gym.  Today we tested all of the members on their 1RM so that next week we can adjust numbers on our strength program.

Bri showing what CrossFit does for her

Bri showing what CrossFit does for her


“In todays wod we found our one rep max on back squat and then did 5 rounds for time of 5 bear complex (puke) and 10 burpees (even bigger puke).  It was a challenging wod to say the least but it felt good getting through it.  We had a great size class at CrossFit Full Strength 6 am and therefore it was beneficial to have two coaches.  Emily was able to go over the movements of a bear complex with the newer CrossFitters and Joy went over them with the veterans.  I also loved the fact that due to having both instructors there, they were able to move around an motivate people during the work out.  Joy came over and encouraged me to go heavier with my back squats and then Emily came by and cheered me on during my 5 rounds.  She came by and made sure I knew I could get through my last round when I definitely needed that extra push.  So thank you to both of our amazing am trainers at CrossFit Full Strength.   And thank you Gayle for making that horribly (awesome) work out :)”

WOD: 4/28/2014
We are using these numbers to re-adjust your strength cycle for the next 4 weeks.
For Time:
5 Rounds
5 Bear Complex (135/95)
10 Burpees
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