The most beautiful thing about being stuck at home during shelter in place for the last four months has been watching some incredible Croga relationships blossom. Not only have we seen some friendships grow stronger than ever (like the 7 am crew that is on Zoom 7 days a week), but we’ve seen husbands and wives like Matthew and Tara get the opportunity to spend more time together and train together daily to push each other to new heights.

We couldn’t be more proud of you two and honored to call you Croganites, even while we’ve been apart. We can’t wait to see you back at the gym (or outside the gym if you prefer)! We miss you Tara and Matthew. Keep up the good work!

When did you each join CrĂłga?
Tara: My intro classes were the first week of June 2019, but then I got pneumonia and was out of commission for a month. My first real month was July 2019, inaugurated with the 1776 workout.

Matt: Tara mentioned she joined Croga last summer. After a couple of months, she convinced me to stop by Friday Night Lights in the Fall and try a Saturday Bring-a-Friend workout. I officially joined up in Feb 2020.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Tara: I ran a 5K twice a year and collected the bling. I admire it on my wall from a safe distance.

Matt: A few years back, I did a couple cycles of Jack Daniels and Pete Pfitzinger running plans, doing 30-40 miles per week, mixed with some trail running up and down the peninsula. I read Starting Strength, StrongLifts 5×5 and 5/3/1 Strength program materials and signed up for Fit Republic. Waited for my turn on the power rack, listened to whole songs in the minutes of rest between sets for 5×5 workouts, and questioned my life choices while hiking the Dogmeat segment of Priest Rock Trail.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Tara: Besides the reductions in the layers of fluff, I am starting to actually see muscles 🙂 I was a gymnast when I was young, and my strength was always in my legs – I’m starting to feel some of that again. I’ve had numerous shoulder issues over the years (Thanks, US Army!), but I’ve been able to work through/around it and haven’t had nearly the problems I did before. I’m also gaining some confidence, bit by bit – it sounds silly, but I wouldn’t have worn tank tops when I first started, but now I love them! Being able to see my shoulders when I am lifting reminds me that I’m gaining strength. I never thought that I would enjoy lifting as much as I do, but now it’s one of my favorite things.

Matt: Between the WODs and the WAG, I have lost 16 lbs of fluff since mid-March. I have never consistently dropped weight like this ever before, especially while still enjoying the finer things in life: New York strip steaks, waffles, classic beef pot roast, light craft beers, fresh-picked oranges, and ice cream! I am stronger overall than I have ever been and have far greater cardio capacity, despite how few miles per week I am logging. I can break out a 9:30 min/mi without putting up too much of a sweat, when previously I would have struggled with 11:00 min/mi on how little running I have been doing. My shoulders feel like they are twice as big as they once were and I am starting to see some nice definition. I have a new-found respect for bodyweight exercises, although I have more fun working under a barbell. I can’t believe how many shoulder-to-overheads I can do at 75 lbs – literally hundreds! Everything is easier when you are strong – gravity just doesn’t bother you as much.

What days and times do you usually join a CrĂłga class?
Tara: In the before times, M-W-F 6AM during the week, 7AM benching on Saturdays. I don’t do cardio Sundays. In the quarantimes, 3-4 times a week for the 7AM equipment WOD on Zoom.

Matt: Before, M-W-F 6AM during the week, 7AM benching on Saturday, plus partner WOD if I was feeling adventurous, and cardio Sunday, if I had the energy for it. Nowadays, I’m passenger number five on the Quarantine Gainz Train, 7AM departure time, most days of the week. Weekend workouts at 8AM. Shout out to CJ, Annie, Rocky and Kal for keeping the train running on time.

What’s your favorite WOD or fitness movement?
Tara: Bench press, hanging knee raises with an eye on toes-to-bar, hang power cleans, back squats, and now that I don’t fall down as much, I’m starting to like handstands again. I like to go upside down.

Matt: I like lifting heavy things! Deadlifts, farmer’s carry, bench press and hang power cleans are my jam. DT is an awesome workout – that was the first one I ever did that got me dripping with the sweat output equivalent of being roasted by 1000 suns and it hammered home the beauty of the 21-15-9 rep scheme.

What’s your least favorite WOD or fitness movement?
Tara: B U R P E E S. And running. Don’t forget the running. The best part of shelter-in-place is rowing instead of running!

Matt: Overhead Squats. I just don’t bend that way.

“The Tara” WOD! What would it be?
For time:
1000m row at 30 spm or lower

5 rounds:
10 T2B
10 Pushups
10 Hang Power Cleans

“The Matt” WOD! What would it be?
“The Matt” WOD is really the “Jack and Diane” mashup WOD, set to a playlist of John Mellencamp songs:

If I was to invent a new WOD, then it would be 5RFT:

200′ farmer’s carry
15 bench press
10 hang power cleans

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Tara: In the before times, a large iced coffee at Peet’s and breakfast in the car on the way to work. Now, a regular home-brewed coffee on the patio while watching the birds, then breakfast and a short walk to the home office.

Matt: As Daryl might say, brefkast! Kodiak oatmeal or muffin cup, 4 scoops Naked Whey protein powder with water, an orange picked from the tree out back, and Mighty Leaf English Breakfast Tea. Pinkies out.

What are your biggest fitness goals for the rest of this year?
Tara: 125 lb bench, 175 lb back squat, 200 lb deadlift, toes-to-bar, 20 real pushups

Matt: Stay consistent with 5 WODs/week. Get stronger by doing the WODs as hard as I can. >25 pushups unbroken, >10 strict pullups unbroken, 1 HSPU, 135 lb 10RM bench press, 300 lb 1RM deadlift, 8:30 min/mi 5K.

What words of advice do you have for people considering joining a CrĂłga class?
Tara: OMG try it! I was totally scared when I first walked in, but everyone at Croga has been great. It doesn’t matter if you think you aren’t in good enough shape – everything can be scaled or modified. Everyone starts at the beginning, and it doesn’t matter if you are the last one to finish something. The coaches and other members are so encouraging; they help you learn that you can do way more than you think. Lifting heavy things is so much fun; once you start, you won’t go back.

Matt: Walking into the gym, I had some familiarity with power lifting movements and programming, but I had never attempted any olympic lifting moves – they seemed scary and unnecessary. Joining Croga was a big step up for me in terms of expanding my exercise repertoire and form correctness, and I now see the value in dynamic barbell movements. The coaches are excellent teachers – at the beginning of class or when someone has questions, they take the time to break the movement down and they pay close attention to everyone as they work on their form. The level of personal attention that you get in a small class is an incredible experience and the long-time members of the gym are just as helpful – you really feel like everyone has your back.

The people are awesome, the program works and scaling is not a crime. If you are looking for body composition changes, then I highly recommend signing up for WAG at the same time to maximize your time investment. In the immortal words of Shia LaBeouf, “JUST DO IT. DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS.”.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Matt: Shoutout to Dave, for being the kind of leader to keep this community together and moving forward during these times – the Croga OTB response plan is excellent and responsible for many of the gainz I have been seeing recently. Shoutout to Cody for the programming and reliable social media posts that keep the Gainz Train running at 7AM! Shoutout to Preston, for the consistent and positive WAG coaching.

Tara: To Dave, Laura, CJ, Annie, and Joy – thank you so much for helping me push myself. There are many times that I’ve underestimated what I can do, and you have told me that I can do more. I also want to say thanks to everyone who has encouraged me during workouts; it really does help me more than I ever thought. The Croga Community is amazing, and I’m so glad that I’m part of it.

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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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