We’re beyond proud to announce CJ as our Member of the Year for 2021! Over the years, he has become a big part of the Croga community. Sometimes it seems that he is at the gym more than he is at work or at home, and we love it! If you’ve had the pleasure of taking a class with CJ, you know that he works hard in every class and rarely finishes with his shirt on. He is one of those rare people that sets goals for himself and takes the small steps that no one wants to take to reach those goals.

During the last year and a half, CJ dialed in his nutrition with Coach Dave and Croga Nutrition to explore and achieve some fitness goals that he has had. He worked hard to lose weight and become the leanest version of himself that he has ever been and had his best Open performance in 2021. In the same year he also bulked up to the heaviest he has ever been to become the strongest version of himself that he has ever seen. CJ took the 1 Ton Challenge late in the year to test out his strength after his bulk and PR’d his Deadlift (565#), Back Squat (430#), Clean (335#), Snatch (235#), and Jerk (320#). Also earlier this year he also reached a goal of Benching 315#, a goal he has had for years.

During the SIP CJ also became somewhat of a coach for a group of athletes that worked out over Zoom. Life was crazy being at home over that time period, yet he made sure that the 7 am Zoom class continued strong. He woke up every day to make sure that the crew had a warm up for the workout of the day and to answer questions for members that maybe didn’t know what or how to do a movement. He didn’t get paid for this, he did it out of the kindness of his heart and took his own time so that his friends could continue to workout while being at home.

CJ really is a great guy. If you look at his face it says that he is all business and no play, but he’s most likely the nicest guy that you could meet. Don’t get me wrong, if he comes to the gym he is there to accomplish something and takes it seriously, but at the same time I have seen him go out of his way for so many people inside and outside of the gym. CJ is someone that will find out what your fitness goal is and will then try to help you achieve it, with the same intensity that he would do for his own goals.

The workout that he provided for his MOTY workout is actually a workout he made for one of our longtime members to help her achieve her goals of getting Double Unders and improving her running. I have seen him go to the gym early for others or stay for a later class or even a second class to workout with someone that needed a partner. He is the guy that will help you move your house for no other reason than you need some help and he has a truck.

What you see with CJ at the gym, being the kind hearted and hard working guy that he is, you also see with his family. He is a great husband and father and works hard to make sure that they are happy and healthy.

We are extremely lucky to have someone as special as CJ at our gym. He deserves this year’s MOTY award even if he says he doesn’t. 🙂

You made an enormous amount of progress in 2021, what fueled you to keep going when the going got tough?
Two things. First, the Gainz Train iMessage and Zoom group (you know who you are) helped me stay motivated to get in the gym regularly to socialize and throw down. And second, I had some goals that I set early in the year that I wanted to accomplish and showing up and doing the thing consistently is the best way to make progress towards those goals.

What are some new things that you have learned about yourself regarding your fitness during 2021?
I learned that mindset is a huge factor that impacts performance (read How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald. Dave recommended it and it made a huge difference), and that nutrition makes a much bigger difference than I was willing to admit. Turns out running and burpees are way less crummy when you’re a smaller version of yourself. The last major thing is that trying to do too much at once is a recipe for accomplishing very little. Being focused and having focused goals played a pretty big part in me being able to accomplish most of what I wanted to fitness-wise.

You’ve been a Croga Nutrition client for a while now, in what way has that impacted your fitness?
It (nutrition) has a much bigger impact on my fitness than I ever gave it credit for. I’ve had a healthy body composition for a while but I’ve never really been actually lean. In 2020 I made it a goal to lose weight and see what lean looks like. I lost some top-end strength in the process, but cardio and gymnastics became so so much easier. I PR’d some benchmark mono-structural workouts (rowing and running) and had a really, really good showing in the open. In 2021 I wanted to focus on absolute strength, so we worked on slowly, but consistently adding mass while training more powerlifting and accessories. Eventually, that was the winning combo for me and the extra mass helped me to hit some pretty big lifts towards the end of the year.

What are some of your biggest fitness goals for this upcoming year?
I have a long list of things that I want to do or get better at, but for 2022 I think I want to focus more on Olympic weightlifting and try to put up some impressive numbers in the snatch and clean and jerk with better overall technique than what I’m doing now. I’d like to be somewhere north of 365 for clean and jerk, and 265+ on snatch by the end.

What’s your favorite way to “use your fitness” outside the gym?
I don’t really play sports anymore and I don’t consistently do things like hiking or surfing or anything like that. I think it’s just nice to know that if there’s an activity on the table (softball, golf, climbing, whatever), I can feel good knowing that my fitness is not going to hold me back and I’m not going to be wrecked afterward (even though I may not be good at it).

What food could you never give up?
I don’t think there are too many things that I could truly never give up, but beef and steak make up a pretty large part of my diet now. I think it’d be tough to let red meat go.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and olives. None of that pineapple nonsense.

What’s your favorite adult beverage?
I got into bourbon a bit during shelter-in-place and quarantine – I’d say that’s the beverage of choice these days.

If you could have a conversation with anyone that ever existed (dead or alive) who would it be?
Hard one to answer, but maybe Bill Gates. Smart guy who accomplished a lot during his professional career and seems to have found some very productive ways to spend his retirement years that I’d like to learn more about.

What Hogwarts House are you in?
I took a quiz and the result was Hufflepuff. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Marvel or DC? Who’s your favorite superhero?
DC. Batman for sure.

Anything else you would like to add?
Just a shout-out to Cody, Dave, and the coaches that Croga is just the coolest place and the most awesome group of people I’ve ever known. I’ve been a member for going on five years and there’s no community I’d rather be a part of. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met and continue to meet. Looking forward to all of us getting stronger and fitter in 2022 and beyond.

Oh, and I know you didn’t ask, but if I could program a “CJ workout” it would be:
4 rounds:
4 heavy bench presses (or deadlifts or power cleans)
40 double unders
400m run

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David Musgrave



From a very young age, it became apparent that Coach Dave loved all things sport and competition related. Maybe it was being the youngest of four or maybe it was being the only boy in the family. Whatever it was, it has created a fire inside of him that fuels his urge to constantly be striving for excellence through consistent and steady improvement. His unwavering persistence and eternal optimism are his two greatest assets as a husband, father, coach, entrepreneur and athlete. They are the pillars he has stood on for as long as he can remember and are the reasons he is such a fantastic leader. He grew up playing competitive soccer, loves snowboarding and enjoys traveling the world. Dave was thrown into the world of CrossFit in 2008, he has competed in the largest competitions in the CrossFit world and in 2017 he was the 18th Fittest Man in Northern California in The CrossFit Games Open, finishing 34th at the California Regional as an Individual Athlete. Dave relocated to Boise, ID with his wife and two daughters but still has a hand in directing the heart of Croga Fitness. When he is not coaching or training, you can usually find him reading a book, listening to a podcast, doing some online continuing education or having a chat with someone he thinks he can learn from. As a very curious, driven and dedicated individual, he like to say that he is a serial learner and has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Over the years, Dave has experimented with a lot of different types of eating, but never really felt like he was in control or consistently making the correct food choices that would result in long term success until he found WAG and “flexible dieting”. Dave and his wife have both had significant success with improved body composition and performance since incorporating this healthier and more sustainable type of eating into their lives and it has inspired Dave to want to share with others and inspire them to improve their health through flexible dieting as well.


  • CrossFit Certified Trainer (CCFT) (CrossFit Level 3)
  • CrossFit Level 2
  • CrossFit Level 1
  • Certified Working Against Gravity Nutrition Coach
  • Active Life Coach Awareness Seminar Certificate
  • CrossFit Masters Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Aerobic Capacity
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
  • CrossFit Anatomy Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Scaling Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Spot The Flaw Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Lesson Planning Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Dumbbell Course Certificate

Ethan Fein



After trial runs at baseball, fencing, and soccer lasting two seasons, a couple years, and one practice respectively, Ethan found ice hockey at nine years old and was immediately hooked. Wanting to get stronger going into his freshman year of high school in 2016, Ethan started working out at Croga, where his mom, Julianna, was already a member. CrossFit became a separate passion, rather than just a supplement for hockey. Now a freshman at UCLA, the pandemic delayed Ethan’s move to southern California and allowed him to focus on other interests. He has always been interested in the mental side of sports and as someone who loves watching sports, he enjoys learning the nuances of each game. Becoming a coach has given Ethan a different perspective on CrossFit as an athlete and a chance to help others improve and reach their fitness goals.

Taylor DiBiasio


Snatch – 245

Clean and Jerk – 305

CrossFit Total – Back – 485 Strict Press – 220 Deadlift – 445

Personality – Priceless


Taylor moved to California in 2021 and is originally from Alaska by way of Portland. During the Day he is an HR professional. During his free time, he loves to disc golf, play board games, eat good food, ski, and travel.

Turning Point

I am a D1 volleyball athlete turned recreational rugby player turned mediocre disc golfer. After leaving college I had no idea how to take care of my body or my nutrition. Then at 23, I started what would become a 7+ year battle with cancer and my body was just falling apart. 5 years ago, in between rounds of chemo, I found CrossFit. The diverse workouts kept me excited, the community kept me showing up, and the rest is history.

Motivation & Passion

I truly just want everyone to be as excited about movement as I am. Sure is the competition side of CrossFit fun and exciting? Yes. But there is nothing like discovering the power inside yourself to positively create change within your body, within your life. That feeling from when you’re 6 years old and you make it across the monkey bars the first time does not go away. Whether it’s cross-training for athletics, trying to keep up with your kids, or getting in the best shape of your life at age 50, I want to be a part of that journey for members. That’s why I coach, and that’s why I show up at the gym (almost) every day.


CrossFit Level 2

CrossFit Kids

Carmen Romano


Back Squat: 285#

Front Squat: 225#

Bench: 185#

Dead Lift: 295#

Member of the ROGUE 750# CLUB…woohoo!


I’ve been interested in the human form and movement for as long as I can remember and decided at University to get serious about learning it! I’m a practicing Physical Therapist, fitness coach and mama of three. Those little rascals are by far my favorite and greatest motivation. Some of my interests include: playing the tenor sax, anything water-sport (including sailing), horseback riding, racquetball, dancing, wine tasting …and fun!

Turning Point

I was a boxer and broke my hand in the ring. While I was post-surgical, in my cast and feeling sorry for myself, I started focusing on strength training. After a couple of years and noticeable progress, I decided to try out CrossFit.

Motivation & Passion

When people come together, support one another and get health benefits that surpass conventional outcomes by moving better and working hard..well then we’re on to something. CrossFit facilitates this AND gives an opportunity to all, athletes and coaches alike. Getting someone moving better and proud of their own achievements / progress is my motivator. I may not get them to their finish line, but if there is an opportunity along their journey I can educate, coach and push them, oh…I’m there!


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist 

Bachelor’s of Science Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science

Doctorate of Physical Therapy

“Keep moving, keep trying, keep smiling…you are making a difference.” 

  – C. Romano

Johnny McDermott


Back Squat-350

Deadlift- 405



Work as a project manager for a general contractor by day, and throw weight around at my favorite gym by night. I love working out, I want to share my love for working out with everybody and hope it rubs off. It is the best natural medicine for anything. The more people realize that the happier our lives will be.

Turning Point

I have a passion for sports and working out. I want to share that passion with people, and hope it gives them what it has given me throughout the years. I wasn’t able to do that while working as a project manager, I was blessed with the opportunity to do so at Croga and it has been very fulfilling.

Motivation & Passion

I want to see people live happy lives, and one of the best starts to do that is feeling like the best version of themself. Going to the gym and having fun a few days of the week is a step in the right direction.


  • CrossFit Level 1

Nicolas Tran



As the younger sibling of an older brother who was well rounded in sports, Coach Nick was always surrounded with opportunities to dabble in all kinds of sports. He became a multi-sport athlete in wrestling, track and field, volleyball, and was the captain of his varsity football team. As a result of playing all of these sports, Coach Nick found his love for how versatile the human body is from his football coach.

Turning Point

From then on, he wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy so that he could have the opportunity to help people and guide them down a path of living a longer and healthier life. Coach Nick worked as a physical therapist aide at numerous clinics in San Jose and wanted to broaden his horizons with more hands-on training. He looked at gyms and came across Croga Fitness that had a loving community and the rest is history!

Julia Muller


Deadlift 265#

Bench 137#

Squat 205#

Snatch 105#

Clean 140#

Jerk 150#


I am a fitness forward physical therapist and coach with a passion for helping people move better, feel better, get out of pain, and hit their PRs. Being able to share my PT experience with athletes is one of my biggest joys. I am originally from the northeast (Boston area and central NY state) and started coaching while in grad school. I fell in love with group functional fitness for its ability to challenge me both mentally and physically. The communities were unmatched and seeing athletes of all ages achieve new heights was captivating! I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of incredible coaches and mentors. I also grew up a competitive swimmer for over 17 years and have recently gotten into long distance running outside of functional fitness.

Turning Point

When I first started group functional fitness at various gyms back East, it was the first time I ever felt welcome in a lifting atmosphere as a female. Having incredible female coaches was what kept me feeling safe and welcome in the gym. I never thought I would ever have enough experience or confidence to lead fitness classes. As I started taking more lifting specific continuing education in PT school, I realized that I had the knowledge to be the female role model that I had. I hope that other female athletes can feel confident and a sense of belonging in gym spaces.

Motivation & Passion

I am passionate about supporting people with their fitness across the lifespan. I have specialized experience and interest with fitness during pregnancy, postpartum as well as with geriatrics. I love being able to use my PT skill set in the gym to modify workouts appropriately and help athletes feel like they are still performing at their best. I am too aware of the negative health effects that lack of physical activity can have on all systems of the body and it is my mission to help athletes feel welcome and supported with their fitness journeys.


  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Ithaca College and CA Licensed Physical Therapist working at P3 Athletic in Milpitas, CA
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Certified in the Clinical Management of the Fitness Athlete (Cert-CMFA) through the Institute of Clinical Excellence
  • Pelvic Physical Therapy trained through the Herman and Wallace Institute and the Institute of Clinical Excellence
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Clinical Health Studies, Ithaca College
  • Bachelor of Music (BM) with Flute concentration, Ithaca College

Cody Rubel

Owner and Head Coach


As the oldest of three brothers Coach Cody’s job growing up was to set the path for his younger brothers and to make sure he never let them get the best of him ;). He was a multi-sport athlete in High School, playing Football, Basketball and Golf, which gave him a well rounded view and background in fitness. Along with his brother PJ, aka “The Brother’s Rubel”, he found CrossFit in 2011 and immediately fell in love with the challenge that each day presented and also how great it was having a supportive community of like minded athletes helping you along and cheering for you to be successful in your pursuit of improved fitness and health.

Turning Point

After a few years of using CrossFit for personal growth, Cody realized that he loved being a leader and helping those newer to CrossFit learn and reach their personal goals. He decided to pursue a certification in CrossFit and the rest is history. He has been coaching full time for since 2014 and is extremely passionate about coaching athletes through workouts and teaching them new skills and techniques.


  • CrossFit Level 2
  • CrossFit Level 1
  • ISSA Certified – Specialist in Fitness Nutrition
  • Certified Working Against Gravity Nutrition Coach
  • Active Life Coach Awareness Seminar Certificate
  • CrossFit Aerobic Capacit
  • CrossFit Spot The Flaw Course Certificate
  • CrossFit Lesson Planning Course Certificate


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