Coach Shannon Franklin

Coach Franklin found CrossFit over 10 years ago via Team CrossFit Academy in Monrovia. Like many women at that time, she was a bit intimidated by the idea of lifting weights.

Now at 52 years old, she is still one of the strongest and fittest women in her gym, and she still trains regularly. In addition to coaching private clients, she also is the Head Coach of the CFS USA Weightlifting team, which boasts two national champions. She also was the first woman to graduate from the highly acclaimed Sigma III Survival School, and she practices survival skills nearly every weekend as her hobby. Call or text her about a free training session at 818-726-5214.

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Maryann Griffiths Taylor

A mother of two, Maryann Griffiths Taylor has been a member of CrossFit Survival since its inception in 2009. Although she's always been beautiful, she was structurally weak--unable to do a single sit up or standard push up when she began.

Maryann works hard, training at our gym 4-5 days a week. At first she shied away from lifting weights, but now she loves the results! She regularly runs races, takes excellent care of her two boys and inspires everyone at the gym to train hard with a smile. She can now perform several hundred sit ups and can knock out 20-30 push ups with no problem. Now in her 50's and a Master's athlete who placed in the top 10 in Southern California in the CrossFit Open scaled division in 2015, MaryAnn proves every day that age is just a number. She has also stepped into various coaching roles at CFS, having run a kids program for 2 years and worked with clients as a personal trainer. And beyond fitness, MaryAnn rallied CFS around a CrossFit collaborative effort to raise funds to build a water cistern in Kenya and actually flew out to the school to spend several weeks there while it was being built. MaryAnn's story is, to say the least, a success in a multitude of ways.

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Mike Melendez

Mike Melendez started in our now defunct CrossFit Kids program. Not a natural athlete, he struggled with exercise induced asthma, but worked hard to overcome its limitations. When we disbanded the kids' program, Coach Franklin, realizing his potential, asked if he would like to try weightlifting.

Mike took to weightlifting like he'd been doing it his entire life. Forced to work with only the bar and very light weights for months at a time, Mike showed no signs of relenting. Determined, he stayed focused until it was determined he could safely start lifting heavier. In 2016, after less than two years of training, Mike won three gold medals at the Youth Nationals Weightlifting Championship. He took home gold in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Total, getting  all six lifts and setting all new personal records.

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Pam Helm Emerson

Pam and her husband, Matt joined CrossFit Survival to increase their overall fitness. When Pam discovered CFS had a running club and dedicated running training, she decided to give it a shot.

Pam diligently trained 3 days a week running with at least one day a week of strength training to complement it. She started running with a 14 minute mile and now regularly trains at an 8 minute mile pace. Pam has completed multiple local races including the uber tough Verdugo Hills 10k and the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon.

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Suzy Avakian

Suzy joined CrossFit Survival almost two years ago. "I never imagined in my life that I would do the type of activities I do now, let alone do them at age 50", she states. She can do 20 box jumps at a time, wall walks (where you "walk" upside down facing a wall then back down again), handstand walks, handstand push ups and more.

"You can never imagine doing all of the heavy weight lifting and gymnastic movements I do, but if you're taught proper movement and correct form, you can learn to do anything." When first introduced to handstand push ups, she told her coach "don't expect me to do that in a billion years" only to find herself able to do them (scaled) in a few months time. Suzy has gotten three promotions at her job since joining our gym. Laughing, she told me, "I work so I can work out!"

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Coach Erik Boyd

After a year of training, Erik decided he wanted to hang up his football cleats to pursue a new passion — competitive CrossFit and weightlifting. Since, Erik has competed in the weightlifting national championship, and has himself become a coach at CFS.

In the time since Erik joined he has made tremendous progress on all athletic fronts, improving numbers on each of his lifts by significant margins, vastly improving his conditioning, and making tremendous progress in his gymnastic abilities. In 2015 he competed at the USA weightlifting national championship and is the strongest and fittest man at CFS.

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Mauricio Melendez

Since leaving the U.S. Marine Corps in 1994, exercise and nutrition had been inconsistent and consequently not beneficial. My quality of life was suffering. A year ago, motivated by the success of my 13 year old son Michael (as a CrossFit Survival Weightlifter) I began my training at CFS.

After being taught about nutrition and the proper macro-nutrient ratios for me, I began December 30, 2015 with a weight of 208.2 pounds and a percent body fat estimate of 23.96% (Durnin/Womersley Caliper Method). The coaching staff taught me not only how to eat properly, but also how to pace, breathe, and execute movements in order to target specific muscle groups – concurrently challenging myself and preventing injury. I have appreciated the variety of exercises, the breadth of knowledge, the passion for coaching, and the supportive team atmosphere I have experienced at CrossFit Survival. After seven months of training, I weighed in on July 15, 2016 at 180.6 pounds with a percent body fat estimate of 13.88% - corresponding to a loss of 27.6 pounds and 10.08% body fat. Despite the occasional soreness, I feel great!

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Julie Elkins

I joined CrossFit Survival in 2011, and it has changed my life! I had initially lost about 45 lbs, and was feeling stuck and frustrated with wanting to hit my goal weight. My dear friend suggested I try CrossFit Survival.

I had been listening to her describe her workouts with a mixture of horror and fascination. Well, my curiosity finally got the best of me, and I tried a class. I’ve gotten more results from CrossFit Survial than any other workout program I’ve ever done. My body has completely changed and I’ve finally been able to lose an additional 45 lbs over the past year. The coaches provide a tremendous amount of support–with nutritional suggestions, motivation, form corrections and direction. I am so thankful that I started this program-I am a happier healthier person because of it!

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Laurie Espinosa

Before joining CrossFit Survival in early 2013, my family and I had been contemplating trying crossfit for some time. Crossfit boxes were fewer and farther between in those days, but when CFS opened right down the street the time for excuses was over.

When I joined CFS I was over forty and overweight. I am a mother of three and have a full-time job, so quality and efficiency in a gym was paramount. I immediately fell in love with the strength bias at CFS – a bias which manifested itself a few months after we joined when CFS created its fledgling Olympic lifting team. From the coaches at CFS, I gained a world of knowledge about movement and nutrition that proved so much more valuable than the information I had gathered over many years of working out at traditional gyms. At the suggestion of the CFS coaches, I began to devote more of my training time specifically to the sport of Olympic weightlifting. Not only did the sport rekindle a competitive urge I hadn’t felt since high school, but my body composition changed dramatically. The training has increased my strength and power exponentially and I continue to become more competitive, winning a first place medal at the American Masters competition in 2014. My goal is to continue to improve and one day to compete at the international level.

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Vic Aghchikian

Vic came to IAFS via CrossFit Survival with a specific goal. He wanted to get buff. Taken on as a private training client by Coach Erik Boyd, he is achieving just that.

Incorporating extraordinary discipline, Vic trained with Erik 4-5 times a week, while diligently incorporating a rigorous and specific dietary regime. In the span of six months, Vic dropped body fat, increased muscle mass and has increased the weight of his lifts dramatically.

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Cynthia Christopher

A kindergarten teacher by profession, Cynthia came to us after the untimely death of her husband. She was severely overweight, deconditioned and depressed.

When we realized group classes were not the best fit, Coach Shannon took her on as a private client. She confided in Shannon that she'd always wanted to run a race. Working together two days a week, Shannon focused on both getting Cynthia stronger as well as developing her aerobic system.  Cynthia lost over 100#, and she has now run over 15 local 5-10 k races.

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