An Application of Success

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An Application of Success

It’s a powerful thing to imagine success. Not just in a fleeting glimpse, but through a real meditative effort (if you want to skip the motivational speech and get right to application, scroll to the end).

Success is a persistent grind that needs constant tending to. It breeds more failure than it actually breeds success, which can be a conundrum for the pursuer. This one simple fact is the largest separator in the art of being successful. You pursue success but you reach failure, over and over and over again. It’s easy to feel like a failure in that process and it is far more difficult to feel a sense of satisfaction. How can you feel satisfaction through failure?

The mindset you attach to your process will dictate far more than the process itself. You may have the most detailed and well thought out plan. You could follow in the footsteps of someone who has made the mistakes and warned you of the same. You might even have a perfect blueprint for how to approach your goal. But the deciding factor will always be your mindset.

This is why you praise stories of people who came from nothing and now have everything. This is why movies are made about people who didn’t have it easy and were able to make something of themselves. They didn’t have a blueprint. The odds weren’t in their favor. They overcame failures that would make 99% of people quit, but they never gave up. They had 100% mindset even in the absence of a blueprint to success.

So, how do you feel satisfaction through failure? By being patient. By setting your mind to the goal you live for. By failing, more than the person next to you. By getting up, more times than the person next to you. Once you believe in the process, which will be difficult and make you question yourself, failure and success will start to become one. Success gives delayed satisfaction and failure is merely there to challenge whether you really want it. So to answer the question: YOU FEEL SATISFACTION BY PUSHING THROUGH FAILURE.


1.     Identify a moment when you can turn your mind off (brushing your teeth, eating a meal alone, driving to work, etc.).

2.     In these moments, pick something you wish to be successful in (short-term or long-term), and just imagine what that looks like. Imagine what it feels like. Imagine what it will take to make it a reality.

3.     You will likely imagine very difficult situations, this is good. Think about overcoming those situations, in more than one way, multiple times.

4.     Once the moment is gone, proceed through your day until the next moment comes, then do it again!


“Success is a persistent grind that needs constant tending to.”

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State Of Barbell Address


State Of Barbell Address


As we wrap up the year, I just wanted to give everyone an update on what’s going on with our Barbell Club. This year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Though we have had previous Barbell classes, we officially became a USAW sanctioned club on 12/12/17. We are now 1 year into being an official club and we hope to take our club to the next level this coming year! This first official year has been a great experience that we hope to learn from as we move forward. We appreciate each and everyone one of you who has joined us for a few cycles, taken our Barbell Basics program, or even reached out to one of our coaches for some 1-on-1 training. Your participation in what our club has to offer is what keeps us motivated to keep doing what we do. We appreciate those of you who have stuck with us through the year with our growing pains and we only hope to improve the services we can provide our members in the future.

Recapping on this year, we had a lot of firsts for some of our club members. A few of our members actually competed in their first USAW sanctioned meet in August. Each and every athlete put in the time and work leading up to the meet. Up until the moment they each took their first lift during the meet, it was probably a nerve-wracking experience. After the initial jitters had passed, each athlete came into their own and performed. Though we may not be the biggest club in our region, our members showed up on competition day and represented for our club. Their displays of quality movement on the platform represented all the things Tribe Barbell Club is about. Some of our members not only competed in their first USAW meet, they also punched themselves a ticket to compete in their first USAW National meet the following month. I want to thank all of the lifters this year who have stuck with us from the beginning. Thank you for enduring my programming, even if at times it may feel like I’m trying to kill you guys (lol). Just know that I only want the best for our club and I hope to steer us all in the right direction. “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Right? <3

Going forward looking into next year, we have a few things planned and we will be making a few changes to help our club grow and move in the right direction. First off, every 2nd and 4th Friday of each cycle we will have no official Barbell classes for that day. Instead, every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the cycle we will be having “Team Training” sessions at ~8am (time still TBD). This will give us a chance to see all of you train at the same time, while also allowing you guys to train with others you might not normally train with. Of course if you can’t make it to a Saturday Training session you can still lift on Friday, but we highly encourage training with the team at least once during the cycle.

We hope that a lot of our members will continue to represent our club on the competition platform in the coming year. Our goal is to make our club known for the quality of lifters that we consistently put out there to represent our club. For those of you that have never competed or may have some interest in competing sometime in the future, we as coaches will do our best to get you there. We hope this coming year will be biggest year yet for our club!

For those of you that have no intention of competing in a meet, don’t worry we didn’t forget about you guys! This coming year we will be restructuring some of our program to better cater our services to those of you who may be looking to barbell to improve your lifts. Our goal is to help those of you looking to improve your movement quality in the lifts. Whether you’re looking to gain more confidence with a barbell, get stronger, or simply just learn how to lift correctly to prevent injury, we hope to offer those services to you. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements on how we will be making all this happen. And yes, after lots of talk about it, we will finally have our first (and definitely not last) barbell seminar in May (date TBD). We will start off first with the Snatch. So stay tuned!

Lastly, I want to thank those of you guys who have come out to support our club at any of the meets this year. Those of you guys who came out to support each and every one of our lifters whether it was at a local meet or if you joined us in Las Vegas for the National Meet, we couldn’t have done all of this without your support. Even if you couldn’t make it to a meet this year, we all felt the positive vibes and encouragement sent our way. We hope the New Year is bigger than ever and we hope you guys are all there to join us for the ride!

Happy New Year! #TRIBESTRONG #tribebarbellclub #CRYSTAL316 @tribebarbellclub

- Coach Mike


How To: Develop Gears for Peak Performance, Part 2


How To: Develop Gears for Peak Performance, Part 2

In part 1, I discussed what it takes to prime your body for performance, dissected the typical one hour in the gym and gave tips on how to take advantage of each segment. Part 2 will discuss how to attack your workout.

The overarching theme of this concept can be summed up by one word: contrast. In essence, you can’t move at peak speeds unless you know how to take your time at lower speeds. Even further, you can’t ever reach peak speeds until you develop your ability to conserve energy at lower speeds.

No matter who you are or how long you have been training, you have a weakness. I’ll define weakness as the gap between your most efficient movement and your least efficient movement (weakness). If the gap between these two is small, you will be unstoppable. If the gap between these two is large or easily seen, it means you have some work to do. This is a good thing, because it gives your training a focus, and with focus your training can be more purposeful.

With humility, fill in the blanks: My most efficient movement is _______ (movement A). My least efficient movement is _______ (movement Z).

In relation to movement Z, movement A probably doesn’t cost as much energy for you to perform. If you were asked to complete 30 reps of A and 30 reps of Z, I guarantee 30 of Z will take up considerably more energy than 30 of A. Your ability to conserve energy while performing Z is not efficient. It requires extra mental energy to overcome the learning curve, maybe some mental stress as well because you don’t feel confident or maybe fear looking inadequate, and your body cannot yet coordinate your muscles and joints to complete the task like a well versed orchestra. Don’t worry about mobility/strength issues yet, this is only meant to be a catalyst to change your outlook on training.

Now, in regards to movement Z: how many gears/speeds would you say you possess? The movement probably dictates the speed more than your conscious choice to go a specific speed. As far as Z is concerned, you have no peak and you have yet to build a foundation. This means you can’t rely on it to propel you forward in a workout just yet. This specific movement has limited speed and it guzzles up a lot of energy, but with persistence that will not always be the case. To gain faster gears, you must continue to train it and not give up when you feel incompetent or slow.

In regards to movement A: how many gears/speeds would you say you possess? You likely have a lot of experience with this movement. Fast, slow, heavy, light, short workout, long workout; you have more of a conscious choice to go whatever speed is necessary given the situation. You enjoy it, which means less mental stress. Your body has likely adapted to it, which means your ability to perform it well is increased. You likely perform it more frequently than other movements, which means you are constantly practicing at different speeds (developing different gears in the process), allowing your body to adapt to the changing conditions.

The contrast between A and Z is clear and if you’ve read this far you want to decrease the gap between the two. You train A because you care about it, you find joy in doing it, you like how it makes you feel and you’re good at it. You care about Z too or else you wouldn’t have listed it, but you don’t find joy in doing it, you don’t like how it makes you feel and you’re not good at it. These are mental blocks that are keeping you from allowing your body to develop gears for it. Yes, your mind is holding you back. You need to allow your body to feel the movement specifics: the coordination, the stress, the duration, the impact, the recovery it takes to bounce back. You need to eat humble pie and do the lowest version of it alongside your most efficient movements. You need to perform it slow, light, short, shaky and unstable. Allow it to make you feel incompetent, then use that fuel to drive you to practice it more. You just need to move through it, and move through it more often.

Every single movement you do in the gym started out as a Z movement. The ones you like quickly become an A movement because you made that choice; it was an easy choice. Every movement is being developed and most are caught between A and Z. So when you jump into your next WOD:

1) STAY MINDFUL to kick on the necessary gear. You don’t ALWAYS have to go fast, because sometimes you can’t. Take a look at at the WOD and each individual movement and decide what speed is necessary for the day. Should you push the speed on A or conserve A to allow speed development elsewhere? Should you push the limit on Z or eat humble pie and perform it slower than you want? You decide the pace, then after the WOD, recollect on your decision and learn about your efficacy.

2) STAY CONFIDENT in your movement. Really spend time developing your abilities at several speeds. The more time you spend focusing on a movement while performing at your own pace, the more reward you will receive when it comes time to performing it at peak levels.

3) STAY HUMBLE in your training. Some days might be slow, some might be fast, and some will be both because it’s filled with a variety of factors (movement choice, time of day, diet, sleep, stress).

4) BE CONSISTENT and STAY PERSISTENT; eventually you will find yourself moving faster without even feeling like it.


How To: Develop Gears for Peak Performance, Part 1


How To: Develop Gears for Peak Performance, Part 1

In Part 1 of this How To, I discuss what it takes to develop your performance inside the gym, using your car as an analogy.

Your car has an engine and gears. You turn it on in the morning, it’s cold, the engine needs a few minutes to warm up so you can efficiently get from A to B. Before you put it in drive, it settles in at the lowest gear to conserve energy (gas) as it warms up. You slowly pull out of the driveway, continue down your street at the speed limit, turn onto a bigger street with a higher speed limit that kicks your car into a higher gear, then you get onto the freeway with the highest speed and the highest gear your car will hit that day. Then you reverse the process as you near your destination and park.

Imagine a situation where your driveway IS the onramp to the freeway. You would turn the ignition and have to floor it to get up to speed, every time you wanted to go somewhere. Sounds like a problem waiting to happen right?

Truth is, in the gym, many people treat their bodies like the driveway to freeway analogy. They don’t properly warm up, they take warm up sets for granted, and they hit the workout as fast and as hard as they can every time they hear 3, 2, 1, GO. You can do this for a short while but it is not sustainable by any means.

You car idles to conserve energy (gas). There is a reason it settles into specific gears on the streets, to conserve energy, and when you hit the freeway, it does it’s best to conserve energy while moving at top speeds. Gears are meant to get you from A to B at different speeds with efficiency (ie: utilizing the least amount of gas necessary). If your car idled and consumed gas like you were driving 100mph, you would assume it had a problem (because it’s using too much energy).

Hopefully you can see the relationship. Yes, I am saying your body is a machine that needs time to warm up and needs time spent at lower speeds before hitting peak speeds. Let’s further this analogy, hang with me on this.

Approach your one hour in the gym in segments:

1. The class warm up is YOUR warm up; take your time. Just because the person next to you is moving fast does not mean you need to. Move at your own speed to allow your body to get ready for the workout. The warm up is one of the most important and undervalued pieces of lifelong performance and is pivotal for immediate performance results. Let it to be your idle time before gearing up to higher speeds. If you always blaze through the warm up, antsy to get to the exciting stuff, your performance won’t ever get to it’s true potential.

2. Utilize warm up sets properly. Whether you are about to perform weightlifting, gymnastics, or monostructural movements (running, rowing, biking, etc.), you need to prime your body for those specific movement patterns. Don’t be a driveway to freeway athlete, take your time on the streets.

3. It’s time to hit that intensity (ie: get on the freeway). How fast should you go, what movements are involved, and all the outside factors (diet, sleep, and stress) all play a role in your ability to develop your gears. As much as we would like to think we can perform at peak levels every time we play, it’s not realistic for the average person. Some workouts SHOULD be performed at 80% max speed, some 60%, some lower and some at max speed (benchmarks). Speed and intensity are synonymous. Remember that you are training and developing your abilities FOR peak performance, but peak performance is seen when necessary and only when the body is ready for it.

4. After 1-3 are completed, the fun stuff lies ahead, within the WOD. Because workouts are complex and specific, I will post a part 2 in which I discuss developing your gears within WOD’s (how to increase your speed/intensity).

We all value our vehicles and feel the frustration when it breaks down. You take care of your car because you are given an owners manual and a maintenance schedule with months/miles attached to it. Your body gets you from A to B way more than your car. Your body is way more complex than your car. You should take care of it much more than your car. Each hour in the gym is an opportunity to do so. Take your time. Warm up. Be smart with your body.

Stay tuned for part 2.


Do You Workout For Yourself?

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Do You Workout For Yourself?

We all have different reasons for working out: to lose weight, to be as fit as we were in college, to keep up with our kids, to get that elusive six pack, to be better than we were yesterday. Whatever your reason, I ask you to take one step further and ask yourself that question again: Why do you REALLY workout?

But before you do, I just want to share my personal reason(s) with you, which haven’t always been the same and continue to change and evolve to this day.

This week is a milestone for me as it marks my 10th year of doing CrossFit, and needless to say, it has completely changed my life and continues to evolve in my life. I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been. However, one by-product that I never anticipated was how it has helped me grow both mentally and spiritually, as well.
So, looking back over the last 10 years, here all my why’s:
-When I first started CrossFit in 2008, I did it because I competed in triathlons and I needed a
strength and conditioning program to get me stronger and faster for races.
-Within a few months, I ditched triathlons and moved strictly to CrossFit because I loved the
competition aspect of it, and strived to get stronger and faster than yesterday! I pushed myself
to keep up with the people in the gym whom I knew were better than me, and I did all I could to
get to their level.
-Within a year, my love for CrossFit grew and I knew in my heart that I wanted to become a
coach and eventually open my own CrossFit box. So my why shifted to perfecting my craft as a
coach and as an athlete. I wanted to move well and master as many skills as possible so that I
could develop the competency and reputation of someone who not only talked the talk, but also
walked the walk.
-Three years later in 2011, once we opened Tribe and moved into Hawaiian Gardens, although I
still strived to perfect my craft, there was a slight shift to working out in order to set an example
and the bar for the gym. Most of the first athletes at Tribe were brand new to CrossFit, and they
looked to me to set the tone and show them what was possible. It’s crazy to think this now, but
back then I was usually at the top of the leaderboard for every workout! Nowadays, those days
are fewer and far between.
-After about a year or two, the box started to mature, and the gap between me and many of the
athletes at Tribe started to close. So, competition within the box was in full bloom and I found
myself competing more and more to stay at or near the top of the leaderboard. It was like when
I first started CrossFit, and the everyday competition kept me motivated and coming back for more!
-Three years later we open the doors in 2015 to our current location in Los Alamitos. Although
my competitiveness was still in full affect, I could feel something in me slowly changing. Now
well into my 30s, a father of twin toddlers, and a new homeowner, I felt things shifting and this
is where my reasons for working out became cloudy. To be 100% honest, I lost my motivation
and there was period of time where I felt myself just going through the motions of working out, or competing to stay near the top of the leaderboard, because let’s face it, as the owner of
Tribe, I thought to myself, “I should be!” And anytime that I failed to be in at least the top 5, I
would feel defeated and start to question myself, “Why do I even bother?”

At this point, I had been CrossFitting for over 7-8 years now, and I figured maybe I needed to change things up (and there is totally nothing wrong with this, by the way). So, in order to combat this drop in motivation I tried a bunch of different things during the last couple years. First, I started running way more but that got boring. Then, I started playing basketball more and that was fun until I dislocated my ankle. So, at that point I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to finally start focusing on gymnastics, and so I did for about a year and that was pretty fun and rewarding. Then, I got my MovNat
certification, and most recently I immersed myself in Functional Body Building (FBB) almost fell in love with working out again. ALMOST. Through all that, each of these “phases” would serve to strengthen me physically, but something was still missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Then one day, about 3-4 months into FBB, I finally figured it out! For the first few months of FBB, there was a handful of us guys that were doing the workouts together, and I was absolutely loving the change of pace. There was a huge focus on tempos, unilateral loading, and carefully programmed “CrossFit” workouts that weren’t always about going 100% all the time. It allowed me to slow down a great deal and focus more on moving SUPER well, without focusing on the clock all the time.

However, as we moved into more difficult programming, people started to drop off and I found myself working out by myself more and more. One of the great things about CrossFit, is there is always someone around you to motivate you, push you to go workout when you don’t feel like going, to encourage you when you’re only a few more reps away from finishing a workout. This culture of group workouts is so great that people almost dread it to even think about working out by themselves. I know I was (and still am) the same way to a degree. I even have my own garage gym that I barely workout in because I would rather go to the gym where there are other people!

Then one early morning after I had finished coaching the 5/6am classes, I went back and forth in mind about 50 times - should workout or not? It was towards the end of the week, and I could feel the previous days’ soreness and tiredness tugging at me, trying to lull me back home so I could take a nap instead of working out. But I knew that hour or so would be the only time for the next couple days that I would be able to work out. So I ordered a Grande Americano from Starbucks on my mobile app, picked it up, came back to the gym and forced myself to workout. I’d be lying if I said that I felt great during and after the workout, but I didn’t. The workout lasted about an hour and half, and I have never told myself more times in 90 minutes to keep going, despite how tired I felt and how much I just wanted to just stop and go home to sleep. But somehow I finished and it was in that moment, working out completely by
myself (even though I had done FBB workouts by myself many times before) that I came to the
realization that would change my “why” to what is today: For a long time I had not worked out solely for me, or to learn something about myself and who I am as a person.

What do I mean by that?

In that 90 minutes, I learned more about myself than I had over the last 9 years of CrossFit.

-I learned that despite how tired I am, I always have more to give.
-I learned that “The hardest thing to do is work hard when no one is watching” – Ray Lewis
-I learned that “The true test of a man&#39;s character is what he does when no one is watching.” – John Wooden
-I learned that what we do and who we are in the gym says a lot about what we do and who we
are outside of the gym.
-Lastly, I learned that I have ignored myself and my why’s working out for so long. Whether I had
good reasons or bad ones, I focused for so long on making other people happy or trying to prove
myself to other people, that my reasons for why I work out included everyone but ME.

How many of us workout for the ‘Gram’? How many of us constantly focus on the leaderboard? How many of us focus so much on the leaderboard that we end up taking shortcuts in the process? How many of us workout to prove others wrong about what we can or can’t do? How many of us workout for that six pack or that beach ready body that we can’t wait to show off to everyone else?

Or conversely, how many us work out in order to learn something about ourselves? How many of us workout in order to develop more self-discipline? How many of us work out to learn what we do when the workout or life gets hard: take shortcuts, give up, or push through? How many of us have ever spent countless hours working on a single skill that we suck at until we no longer suck at them, as opposed to just doing the things we are good at all the time? How many of us get easily discouraged when they see someone else progressing faster than us, as opposed to seeing what we can learn about ourselves from
that? How many of us don’t care that anyone else is watching or want to make sure people are
watching? How many of us work out to really and simply live out the mantra “to be better than

What is my purpose in telling you all this?

For the longest time, my “Why’s” for working were outside of myself. My original reason for starting CrossFit was to get stronger and faster for Triathlons. Then it was the high I felt after finishing after each workout, similar to the high I would experience after finishing a race. Then as I became a coach and eventually a box owner, it became about me loving CrossFit so much, that I did everything possible to build myself up as a coach and as an athlete. However, shortly after that, it became about everything else but me.

As my position atop the daily leaderboard started to slip more and more, it became more about being in competition with everyone around me. Then it became this need to show everyone that I still had “it” and fear of not being seen if I wasn’t at the top of the leaderboard every day. Then, after I dislocated my ankle I was forced to shift my focus to gymnastics and even though I wasn’t competing directly with everyone at that point, it became about my need to show everyone that I was now this gymnastics “G” with all my front levers and strict bar muscle-ups. Even when I started MovNat and FBB, it still was about this need to share this new awesome workout program with everyone. Not to discredit the programs themselves and what they have done for me personally as an athlete and as a coach, but I was focusing
so much on what this could do for everyone else that I had lost my why in the process.

So, my purpose is to implore all of you to think deeply about the question, “Why do I workout?” and take some real time to honestly answer that question FOR YOURSELF. Not for the Gram. Not for that beach bod. Not even for your kids. For yourself.

Then and only then, will your true motivation shine through and only then will you be able to really understand your true self and how working out can serve to help you improve on your true self in the gym and more importantly, in life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my humble words and #tribestrong


Coach Warren

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