Coaches

  • Andy Rios
    Andy Rios Trainer | Owner | Founder

    Throughout my life I have chosen physical fitness to be one of my main interests. I’ve ran the LA marathon a few times. I enjoy swimming, biking, hiking and whatever other outdoor activity comes my way. Within my current profession, endurance, stamina, and strength are much needed.

    As a Retired Navy SEAL, I have stayed “in good shape”, but it wasn’t until I was introduced to CrossFit some years ago that my fitness level excelled. I have seen many variations of fitness throughout the years and have yet to see any that push me the way CrossFit does.

    CrossFit, and it’s style of training, is good for anyone desiring to excel in their overall fitness. It can be used functionally in all areas of profession, including law enforcement, firefighters and military professionals.

    • 2012 – 2015 CrossFit Games Staff and California Regional Director

    Certifications

    • CrossFit Level 1 Cert
    • CrossFit Olympic Lifting Cert
    • CrossFit Kettlebell Cert
    • CrossFit Nutritional Cert
    • CrossFit Movement & Mobility Cert
    • CrossFit Gymnastics Cert
    • USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Cert

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  • Cathy Rios
    Cathy Rios Trainer | Owner

    I’ve been pursuing some kind of physical fitness for as long as I can remember. I based my fitness level off of various classes, which included advanced step, spinning, Bosu, and power step, along with some running.

    BUT it wasn’t until I was introduced to CrossFit that I truly realized I was not well rounded in my fitness, nor did I realize the importance of “functional movements”, which is crucial in everyday life. I have 5 girls which keep me quite busy. My goal is to help others achieve optimal physical fitness through the CrossFit methodology.

    Certifications

    • BA Psychology
    • CrossFit Level 1 Certification
    • CrossFit Olympic Lifting Cert
    • CrossFit Kids Certification
    • CrossFit Kettlebell Certification
    • CrossFit Nutritional Certification
    • CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
    • USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Cert
  • Lindsey Larsen
    Lindsey Larsen Trainer

    I was active throughout my childhood, ran track and field in high school and considered my self a gym rat throughout college. After a major turning point in my life and gaining some weight as a result, I was at the heaviest I had ever been. On my 5’3 frame it was difficult to feel comfortable in my clothing anymore and my self esteem was suffering as a result. My best friend invited me to come try this new thing he was doing and I went to a class at Crossfit Simi with him.

    My first workout consisted of rope climbs and I thought to myself, “when is the last time I did something this fun at my regular gym?” I signed up that day and began my journey. That was in the fall of 2011 and I can honestly say Crossfit came into my life when I was ready to change things and see big changes within myself. I began to see muscle tone up again, clothes were fitting me the way I wanted and I had new respect for my body. I finally felt comfortable in my own skin again.

    Crossfit is about becoming strong mentally and physically, and for the first time I appreciated my strength and didn’t wish “to be skinny”. The funny thing is I currently weigh the exact same as I did when I was “heavy” and the difference is it is mostly muscle now.

    I received my BA and teaching credentials from CSUN which has helped me immensely make the transition into coaching. I received my L1 certification to coach Crossfit classes in June of 2013. After extensive observations, shadowing and assisting with classes, I have transitioned into coaching several classes a week. I truly enjoy helping members make gains and reaching milestones and goals. There is no greater feeling than giving someone a high five after watching them accomplish something they previously thought to be impossible. Crossfit Simi has become my second home and family and I honestly love walking into the gym and surrounding myself with such positive people.

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  • Jenna Merrill
    Jenna Merrill Trainer

    I started CrossFit after a friend recommended it to me.  He use to eat all fruits, nuts, meats and would be so sore he wouldn’t be able to poop without using the vanity for assistance.  I thought to myself why would I join this cult where all you do is workout and eat twigs and berries?  Well I wanted to do a job that was physically demanding so I tried Crossfit. It turn out CrossFit has helped me to get through some of the most strenuous times of my life and helps me everyday with my job.  It isn’t just the workout but it’s the good people we train at the box as well.  CrossFit is a community just as much as it is a type of workout and it’s something everyone should experience.

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  • Jason Miyagishima
    Jason Miyagishima

    I was introduced to CrossFit by a friend of mine in 2009. We started doing the WOD from the CrossFit.com website and found it very challenging to complete the workout without the proper equipment and coaching. So, we found our local box and I joined CrossFit Simi Valley in 2010. I told myself that I would give it 3 months to see if I would get any results compared to my routine at our “globo” gym. I cancelled my “globo” gym membership after the first day and the rest is history.

    My favorite thing about CrossFit training is that you can scale and modify for any level of athlete. Whether it be an adaptive athlete, someone with a temporary injury, or someone that is just starting out. The simple fact that an 80yr old grandmother and an elite athlete can work out side by side and do the same WOD, is amazing.

    I truly enjoy coaching and helping people achieve their goals. I love watching our members support and encourage each other every workout. Friendships are made here and CrossFit Simi Valley has become a home away from home for many.

    Challenge, commitment, community………That’s what CrossFit is to me.

    CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
    CrossFit Strongman Certificate (2013)
    CrossFit Powerlifting Certificate (2014)
    CrossFit Scaling Certificate (2016)

  • Mel Smith
    Mel Smith Coach / Nutritionalist

    I was never an athlete. In high school while my sister played softball, I spent my spare time practicing scales on the piano in anticipation of majoring in Music Education. I wasn’t sedentary per se, I was always on the go, but exercise was something that only happened because my gym teacher made me play flag football. In my early twenties however, with my mother’s health failing, I took up exercising as a way to keep busy and relieve stress. Sadly, I ultimately found myself knee deep in an eating disorder, and although I was smaller than I had ever been in my adult life, I was miserable.

    Enter CrossFit.

    I fell in love with CrossFit while attending a local San Diego competition to cheer on a friend. Specifically, I fell in love with CrossFit858 while watching one WOD in particular. I knew that I HAD to become a member of their box. Watching them cheer each other on was like nothing I had ever seen before! After the competition, I emailed the owner, Mark, and I came in for a free class later that week.“Let’s set up your free week,” Mark said, after my first workout. “Nope,” I replied, “let’s sign the paperwork now.” That was five and a half years ago and I have never looked back.

    Not only did CrossFit challenge my strength, but it also challenged me in other ways. It forced me to really reevaluate my relationship with food. It forced me to change how I viewed my body in comparison with what popular society tells us is beautiful. I would be lying to you if I said I was the same person today that I was when I took that first class in November of 2011.

    One of the most wonderful aspects of CrossFit is the community. Field trips, pot lucks, Friday night happy hours…these are my favorite places to be, with my favorite people. I am deeply humbled at the opportunity now to coach here at CrossFit Simi Valley. It is a wonderful opportunity to truly give back to a community that has always supported me with all of its heart and soul. I look forward to watching the athletes of our box get stronger and stronger and it would be my pleasure to have a small hand in that success.

    Training Certifications:

    CrossFit Level 2 Coach

    CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Certified

    Certified Rock Tape Doc Level 1 FMT

    AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant

    Education and Background:

    BA Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

    MS in Legal Science and Healthcare Delivery, Kaplan University

    California State Registered Dental Assistant

    SoCal Regionals Rogue Equipment Crew 2012-2013

    California Regionals Volunteer Control Lead: 2014 – Present

    Precision CrossFit/Primal Family Ventures Event Coordinator 2016 – Present

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