Erik is the founder and lead strength trainer at Virtus. With over fourteen years of athletic and weight room experience Erik brings his own methods and ideas to Virtus. Erik was a three sport letterman in high school, where he went on to finish with All American honors in wrestling and All Conference honors in football at Mt. San Antonio College. Erik transferred to Azusa Pacific University where he was a three position player and then eventually moved on to play professional football in the Arena Football League. Erik currently trains under legendary fighters and trainers Erik Paulson and Josh Barnett. He now competes as a professional wrestler in Japan for the Inoki Genome Federation. He won the 2010 Best of the West grappling tournament placing first in all three advanced divisions.
Erik currently holds certifications in:
- CrossFit Level 1
- CrossFit Movement and Mobility
- Sean Waxman Olympic Lifting Seminar
- WestSide Barbell Power Lifting certification
- USA Weightlifting, International
- Sports Science Association
- Nike Speed Burners (under Rick Hagadorn)
- Olympic Lifting Essentials Seminar
- Gym Jones Level I Fundamentals
- Gym Jones Level II Programming and Practical Application
Don’t be fooled by her petite frame, her workouts are all business. Darlene’s work ethic is infectious, bringing high motivation and energy to every training session. Darlene relates well to beginners at CrossFit having no weight room experience before starting five years ago. Darlene’s modest goal of adding muscle to her one hundred pound frame was quickly achieved due to her relentless work ethic. She has shredded body fat and now maintains a body weight of one hundred and twenty five pounds.
Darlene now carries a Crossfit Level I, and USA Weightlifting certification, WestSide Barbell Power Lifting, Gymnastics, CrossFit Kids, and has attended the Sean Waxman Olympic lifting Seminar.
Like many of us A.J was introduced to CrossFit by a friend. Being an adrenaline junky he realized that the “globo gym” was not what he was looking for. His introduction to CrossFit changed his life. Introducing new movements and techniques such as Olympic lifts and Kettle Bells gave A.J a new out look on training. By changing up his training style A.J has seen and felt an amazing difference in his body. Seeing the transformation within himself he now has a strong desire to preach what he practices. Helping others achieve goals or teaching someone to learn a new lift is why A.J decided to become a coach.
A.J’s active lifestyle has led him to participate in Taekwondo, baseball, soccer and wrestling. If A.J is not at the gym you can find him at the beach searching out the biggest waves he can find. Riding out big waves gives him the same adrenaline rush that working out does. A.J currently holds a Crossfit Gymnastics, Westside Barbell Power lifting Certification and has attended the Sean Waxman Olympic lifting seminar.
Justin has been in athletics all his life, but his passion has always been football. In high school he played three years on varsity at Mater Dei in Santa Ana, CA where he went on to be an All-league and All-county athlete at running back and corner back. After high school he earned a football scholarship to play Division 1 football at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He then transferred and finished his last two years at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD. There he earned All-conference honors and invite to the NAIA Senior Bowl, while also completing his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. After a serious knee injury sustained while in college, and after rigorous rehabilitation, Justin found a new respect and love for his body and his training. He not only committed himself to developing his power and strength but also improving his overall health and fitness.
His introduction to CrossFit in 2010 was a positive change in his life. Being a collegiate athlete, he loved the competitive and team atmosphere that CrossFit provides. With his familiarity of Olympic and Power lifts, as well as understanding Erik’s philosophies on strength and conditioning, Justin realized this was the training he was searching for. Justin has since found this as the best way to push himself both mentally and physically. He believes the work done in here at CrossFit Brea and CrossFit Whittier can apply to any and all pursuits and wants share his knowledge and help others achieve their health and fitness goals.
Training the mind, body, and spirit has been a life time goal since I was young. I’ve tried Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Boxing (very briefly), Tai Chi, military training, etc. I came to realize I was searching for something that would increase strength, but not cause harm to others at the same time. A friend introduced to me CrossFit awhile back and I was fascinated by all the barbell movements (there are so many tools to use in CrossFit for strength and conditioning that everyday is a new experience). Then back in March of 2010, I walked into CrossFit Brea and fell in love with the Olympic lifts. I’m not saying that this is the way for everyone, but the Olympic lifts test me completely as a human being. I have a passion for training and training others. I enjoy assisting others by unlocking their potential for CrossFit and in Olympic lifts.
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
WestSide Barbell Power lifting Certified
CrossFit Olympic lifting Certified
USMC 02-06 honorable discharge rank of E-5 Sergeant
Competed in 2 CrossFit competitions: NLI Aug. 2010, OC Throwdown Jan. 2011
Amateur kitchen knife sharpener
Studying massage therapy at Everest College
Will started CrossFit in September of 2010 when he moved to California after living in Texas for 18 years. He was a high school football and hockey player. Between the two Will got to experience many different types of training in his life including working out on his own, having a personal trainer, and long days in the weight room with the football team. During the summer of 2010 he was introduced to the CrossFit style of working out. Then when moving to California for school (Fullerton College) in September of 2010, Will found CrossFit Brea and decided to make the commitment to train full time CrossFit. Once this happened he realized that this was the best way to push himself beyond limits. Since then, CrossFit has and will continue to play a huge role in his life. Will holds a WestSide Barbell Certification alongside the Sean Waxman Olympic lifting seminar.
Born and raised in Whittier, the only son of four children to a football coach, athletics have always been a part of Andy’s life. A three sport letterman and captain in high school, including football, wrestling, and volleyball. After high school, Andy went on to play football for Azusa Pacific University. During his time there Andy was first introduced to power and Olympic lifting and became hooked. Injury cut short his football career, but he went on to finish college with a degree in Art and Design from CSU Dominguez Hills. Andy continue’s to have an abiding love of athletics and exercise, having spent time as an assistant coach for both wrestling and football. He continues to surf, golf, hike, and partake in any other activity he can find that grabs his interest. And since coming to CrossFit Brea, Andy has discovered that the work done here can apply to any and all pursuits, and the benefits he feels within his body has led to a CF Brea addiction.
A borderline obsessive passion for personal health, Mike is always willing to learn and share valuable knowledge to promote better living. Having battled through obesity at a younger age, Mike set out to learn all he can about the human body, with the goal to obtain his Masters in the Kinesiology field. Mike has attempted to touch all edges of the spectrum by competing in sports such as tennis, baseball, cross country, martial arts and his all time favorite, the sport of rugby.
Known as a “gym junkie”, Mike is in love with working out and trying new methods to push his body to being the best it can be. Mike will never quit on you. If you’re ready to push yourself to your limits, he is willing to do what he can to help you get there.
“If I can make health and fitness a priority, anyone can make it a priority!” Marisa Graham, a wife, and busy mother of three, juggles baseball, football and basketball games, but still respects the value of a healthy lifestyle. Having played Division 1 softball, she naturally thrives in the team atmosphere that CrossFit provides. Marisa tried CrossFit at the suggestion of a friend and this discovery galvanized her motivation to achieve mental, emotional, and physical wellness. After training for 2 years at CrossFit she decided to become part of the CFW/CFB coaching staff. Marisa’s fun, quick witted style, and positive attitude makes her a great coach for CrossFitters of all levels. With a strong desire to help others she hopes to inspire men and women to challenge themselves and reach their best fitness level possible.
Wes has trained along side Erik since Virtus opened originally in 2008. Wes was an All-CIF and All County athlete in both soccer and track in high school, and went on to play four years of Division I soccer at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. At Cal Poly he earned All Conference and All Far West Region honors as the team’s first three year captain in the school’s history. After his last season at Poly, he was drafted by the Seattle Sounders in the 2012 MLS Draft. After deciding not to pursue soccer any further, he now competes in Olympic Lifting in the 77kg weight class. He will receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly in the Fall of 2012. Wes will also be pursuing his CrossFit level I certification this summer.
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