Athlete Spotlight: Joseph Manalili


I’m excited to introduce you to Joseph, a 5pm regular who has grown so much since he started CrossFit. He’s gotten super strong, but he’s one of the nicest guys at the box. Joseph is an environmental attorney with the FFA by day, and a founding member of “Team Slacker” – which he has turned into “Team RX”!

How long have you been CrossFitting and what got you started?

I recently celebrated my two-year WODniversary in December. Before I started, I went to a globo-gym but I never enjoyed it. It was boring and monotonous. I was so unmotivated that a couple of times I actually drove to the gym to work out then drove straight out of the parking lot because I couldn’t bear to do the same old workout.  I had heard about CrossFit from a couple of friends so I did some research. After a particularly bad Thanksgiving, I decided to start Fundamentals at LAXCF and haven’t left.  I have the honor of being the last remaining member of my fundies class still at the box which is hilarious considering that I was probably the least fit person in the class and no one thought I’d sign up much less stay.

Tim, Jose and Joseph of Team Zankou from our Triplets Competition!

Tim, Jose and Joseph of Team Zankou from our Triplets Competition!

What is your favorite WOD/lift/skill?  What movement is your least favorite and why?

I tend to like pulling movements such as pull-ups, chest to bar, and rowing over pushing movements like thrusters and push presses. I like kettlebell swings and have recently been able to comfortably move 2 pood. I’d also add cleans, toes to bar and overhead squats to my favorites list even though I struggle with them.  Aside from thrusters and push presses, I hate running which anyone at the 5pm class will attest to.  This is mostly because I run at a glacial pace.

What are your CrossFit goals?

Overall, I aim to be a stronger and healthier person which means being consistent about going to the box, working out, and eating better.  I hope to regularly Rx the WOD.  My specific goals are to improve my form on all the movements that I can do and learn to do all the movements I currently cannot do such as HSPUs and muscle-ups.  Although my progress is slow, I am determined to keep working towards getting better.  Persistence pays off: I was finally able to do a rope climb – albeit on the short rope – just a few weeks ago.

If you weren’t doing CrossFit, you’d be…

Probably playing tennis. I used to play with a regular group and competed in few USTA matches.  But I haven’t played much since I’ve started doing CrossFit.  I still enjoy watching tennis and have been to the U.S. Open, Indian Wells, and other tennis tournaments.

Joseph from his first week of CrossFit (left) and at his two-year WODiversary (right)

Joseph from his first week of CrossFit (left) and at his two-year WODiversary (right)

Has CrossFit changed your life?  How?

Definitely. I am much stronger and fitter than before. I eat healthier now. Plus, I’ve gained a lot of new and amazing friends who are as committed to a healthy lifestyle as I am and are doing something about it.

Once you see the WOD each day, what’s the first thing you do/think?

I see if I can Rx it and then come up with a strategy on how to do the WOD.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

Although I bad-mouth running, I’ve done a lot of it. I trained with the L.A. Roadrunners, ran the Los Angeles marathon in 2011 (and ran alongside friends in the NY, Berlin and Medoc marathons), and completed three half-marathons. I just run really slowly but am tenacious about finishing.

Anything you want to add? Maybe a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, where you went to school, what you do for work etc.

I grew up in Highland Park in Los Angeles but spent many years on the East Coast (mainly Philadelphia and Washington, DC).  I had imagined that I would remain there but the call of California is strong.  Still, I get the travel bug every now and then and satisfy it with great trips to some amazing places.

Workout of the Day 2/6/2015 – Friday


CrossFit Games Open WOD 13.1
40 Burpees
30 Snatch (75#/45#)
30 Burpees
30 Snatch (135#/75#)
20 Burpees
30 Snatch (165#/100#)
10 Burpees
AMRAP Snatch (210#/120#)