Mark G has been one of those pet projects that you know is going to “end well”, meaning he’s going to get to where you want him to go and where he wants to be, but also one that has required a lot of back and forth along the way. The interesting thing about this is that I think our entire staff has learned a lot from Mark while also teaching him a lot over these past three years.

From the first moment I met Mark I knew he was focused and determined and was not going to quit, which as a coach is a fantastic place to start. Then, as I started to have him in my class more and more I realized I needed to hold him back at times to keep him safe because he just needed time and reps to learn the movements that were unfamiliar to him, but he also needed to be nudged and “encouraged” at times to make sure he wasn’t just having fun with his friends instead of improving like I knew was his deeper motivation.

He had high expectations and the will to progress, but poor mobility in areas and just lacked experience. It really has been a fun process to be a part of!

Even though this journey and story is just getting started, Mark has come a LONG way over the last couple years and the balancing act of pushing the envelope, but showing restraint when necessary for safety has been the key to Mark’s consistent progress and this past year we’ve really started to see the pieces come together nicely.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank Mark for his consistent engagement with the community, (especially during this last year as it was a tough one), and his never ending encouragement and wholehearted support of our gym and our staff. In his answers below he thanks the other members and the Croga staff a lot, but he has been a big piece of that puzzle for three years now and we truly appreciate him and are honored to name him our member of the month for April 2021 as not only an acknowledgment of his hard work, but as a thank you.

When did you join Croga?
May 2018, when I was transitioning between jobs.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Working out in the gym by the office, on an irregular basis

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
One of the first workouts that was programmed after I joined was Open 12.4 / 13.3 (12 min time cap):

150 wall balls
90 DU
30 MU

I did 143 reps of a 14 pound wall ball before my 12 minutes ran out.

I remember distinctly questioning what the hell I was doing there.
I also remember in the early workouts being incredibly frustrated… because I could not do certain movement, not one… and the workout wanted me to do 50. I would come home ranting to my wife about how I couldn’t even do one! (I hadn’t really embraced the whole scaling thing yet).

I also remember feeling a distinct sense of accomplishment if I were able to do the women’s Rx… and a feeling of profound astonishment of the women who did the same, and kicked my butt… and remember the men’s Rx just being laughably out of reach.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
This year has been big for me… during the pandemic I dropped about 10 pounds and significantly strengthened my core, which has helped everything else.

The first year and a half or so, I was able to come about 2-3 times per week and maybe a weekend day. I learned most of the movements, but still couldn’t Rx many if any. And still was stymied by DU and many other gymnastic or oly movements.

During the pandemic, I have been coming 4-5 times per week… have done 40-50 DUs in a row, significantly strengthened my core (through all the Ignite), and am now RX’ing more workouts than I am not.

What days and times do you come to Croga?
I am part of the 4:30 crew… 5:30 when work doesn’t permit, and do my best to come every Saturday for the partner workout with my crew… usually at 9am

What’s your favorite WOD?
I enjoy Power Lifting – call me a bro, but I definitely prefer the strength work to the “engine” work.

There was a 10 x 10cal row sprint workout recently that I really enjoyed as well.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
The ones that use “burpee” as the first word of a two word movement… like “burpee” box jump, or “burpee” over bar… burpees are bad enough, but burpee and I have come to a reasonable peace this year… but when burpee weasels its way into other movements, that I otherwise like, then we are no longer friends.

There was one that had 25 burpee over bar (twice) in between strength work… that was not nice.

Also, OH squats … shoulder mobility… blech

“The Mark” WOD! What would it be?
A mix of power lifting movements
Box jumps / step ups
Ab mat situps
Maybe a run if we need to break things up
… and probably need a vest to show off your Curt patch!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Calculating how many “Curts” I achieved
Texting Kal and comparing notes on particularly good or bad workouts
Talking to the 4:30 crew

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Croga?
How much this community truly loves its Tacos.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
Muscle Ups – bar and ring
405# DL / 315# BS
Maybe a pistol squat?
Figure out how to do HSPUs without bouncing on my head

What do you love about this type of fitness?
I love the challenge. I love the comradery.
I love the support and the genuine happiness we feel for each other when someone PRs or does something that they have not been able to do before.
I love doing things that I didn’t think I could, which thankfully has been happening a lot more lately.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Croga?
Check your ego at the door. For me, this was really hard. I expected to be able to do things that people who have been training for years were doing. Looking back, I was silly.
Enjoy it … all of it… the trash talking, the hard work, the instruction, the feeling when you do a movement for the first time or PR, the feeling when one of your friends’ PRs.
Just start. We all started at the same place. Tomorrow will be better than today…
… and I have used just about all the excuses you have, so don’t bother… just start

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
The Croga team has been absolutely remarkable during the pandemic. From Zoom workouts at home, to WODs in the park, to getting back to the gym, to getting kicked back out of the gym, to opening the breezeway and weekend WODs in the parking lot… you rolled with whatever was thrown at you and came up with kickass workouts that challenged us and pulled us through the pandemic with you. It would have been very easy to throw your hands up, but there was no quit… and you continued to innovate and create compelling WODs with what we either had at home or what we could use in the gym.
And the community you have created is amazing. Much has already been said about this… but what a great group.

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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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