3456 South Motor Ave., Suite 107, Los Angeles, CA 90034 (310) 558-4496


When John reached out to us in November of last year and I then got to meet him in person, I immediately liked his personality. I was excited for him to be the first person to join the Foundations program we were kicking off at 9:30 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  At the age of 60, John’s fitness goals were pretty clear.  Lets lose weight and get in shape.  PERIOD.

On Day 1 of Foundations, Kelly and Jeremiah put the crew through their first workout:

    4 Rounds of 30 Seconds of Work/30 Seconds of Rest:
    Ring Rows

John was without question devastated physically from that workout.  He laid on the boxes for nearly an hour after the workout.  Jeremiah came to me twice worried, saying he should check his vitals (Jeremiah's EMT brain was kicking.)  I wasn't worried.  What I saw was someone that wanted to get in shape more than he wanted to breathe.  That is exactly where John’s transformation began.

Over the course of the program, he was the slowest but hardest and most dedicated worker.  He showed up early to watch regular class, and he often stayed after to learn, watch and be a part of the gym.
After Foundations was completed, John began one- on- one training with Kelly, and nearly four months later, he has lost 30 pounds and has PR’ed his deadlift at 325 lbs. 

We are so proud of John for his journey, and of course sad to lose another gem, as he is set to move to the Bay Area for a well-deserved promotion.

Coach Dusty

John sent us this heartfelt letter that we want to share with our Dogtown Family.

Dear DogTown CrossFit,

Just wanted to share my story regarding how I became a part of the DogTown Family.

I first came across DogTown CrossFit on social media, advertising a six-week program called DogTown Foundations Program.  I liked how the program was explained, that it was a stepping stone for new or re-start folks “Like Me”! I also liked how it was explained that the programming wasn’t just a random throw together workout, but a purposeful workout and would start with building a solid foundation and adding to it with each session and week so that by the end of the program I would have a solid baseline to grow with. All I had to do was JUST SHOW UP, and let the program work me!

I had shopped around looking at other CrossFit locations and on-line information, but I found that something was missing. I didn’t feel what I had felt when reading DogTown’s offer of commitment to helping me while I trudged back to a healthier life through each session of their program.

I was sneaking up on sixty feeling sluggish, no energy, overweight and wasn’t ready to be like those other old guys with their pushed-out guts and aligning health. The truth is I was already one of those guys.

So, in January 2018, via email I signed up for the DogTown Foundation Program. I was welcomed by Dusty Hyland, and made an appointment to see him and start with my life changing experience. We discussed what I was looking for and what my goals were.

What I really liked was starting with a group of newbies just like myself and a couple of returning patrons, rather than being added to an already established fast paced group and being overwhelmed, feeling set up for failure. The Trainers (Kelly & Jeremiah) were energized; they explained how the workout was broken down, Warm-up, Lift and Metcon. They performed each exercise/movement, discussing the proper way to execute each one prior to the group performing them, exactly what I was looking for.

First day, I was already sucking air by the time I was done with the warm-up and still had to keep going. Kelly and Jeremiah were very understanding, kind and always encouraging, enthusiastic and motivating as was the group- especially when I excused myself to throw-up! What a day that first day was. I hadn’t felt that worked in years! When all was done I just laid there on the floor. I really appreciated the support and no rush attitude all the trainers had in letting me take my time to recover. They checked on me, making sure I was going to be alright. Now that was cool and always humorous!

As the sessions continued and the weeks passed I learned the proper way to lift, learned about and performed exercises (Squats, Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Lunges, Box Jumps, just to name a few) I hadn’t performed since I was in high school and then some I never heard of. The continuous movement of each routine was amazing and exhausting all wrapped up into 20-minute intervals. Always ending with me on the floor recovering and slowly feeling better, gaining endurance, breathing better which were my beginning goals. The side effects were losing inches, weight, gaining muscle tone/strength and of course feeling muscles I forgot I had. This was just the beginning.

Before I knew it, the program was soon completing, and I would have to decide what my next step was to be. I would come in early prior to my group session to watch trainer Mike V. work the 7:30 group: amazing men and women working at their own levels and working together. They reflected dedication and respect for each other, always encouraging and motivating one another with enthusiasm even when exhausted. They were examples of what I wanted for myself. However, I still felt the need to bring myself along with the help of a trainer and discussed this with Kelly who was available to train me, and I was on my way!

Kelly is so awesome. She is a task master with a glow in her eyes and a smile on her face with an endless supply of enthusiasm, encouragement, motivation, laughter and a drill Sargent discipline for ensuring that I performed the lifts and drills correctly and safely. She really enjoys the lifestyle of CrossFit and her enthusiasm is contagious. I’m grateful and humbled by her honesty and caring attitude.

It’s been approximately six months of commitment to changing my life for the better I’m no longer that gut hanging sluggish ill health guy. And I couldn’t have done any of it without the sincere collectiveness of the DogTown CrossFit Crew.

My friends ask why CrossFit, I reply why not!

Warm regards,

John Macaluso

Jeremiah first reached out to us looking for a coaching position at Dogtown in 2017.  In the hundreds of resumes we have seen, he was one of the very few that actually matched what was on paper.  Over the past year, he has proven to be an honest, resourceful, motivated and communicative coach. When he was considering joining the Fire Academy, he wanted to make sure he was not damaging his position at DT. 
When Jeremiah graduated, we had hoped that we would get him to coach for some time before someone snatched him up, but anybody that knows him, recognized that was wishful thinking. The bottom line is we are losing a star but the world is gaining a human that is going to save lives. I mean look at the kid. He was born to be a firefighter!  
Jeremiah, you will always have a home at DT, homie.
Coach Dusty 

Q: What things did you get to cross off your LA bucket list while you lived here?
A: Oh man, so many things but also not enough. LA is kind of one of those places that you could spend a lifetime here and not do everything. That being said, I usually tried to do at least one truly memorable outing per weekend. So many local food joints, surfing, hiking, museums, Catalina, Beach Volleyball, Hollywood Bowl concerts, and more than my fair share of touristy stuff.

Q: What will you miss the most about LA (besides DogTown obviously)?
A: DogTown. But besides DogTown definitely the friends that I have made here and the fact that there is always something going on in LA. 

Q: How did CrossFit get you ready for that crazy intense academy you went through?
A: The academy was definitely physically challenging and there is no doubt that the programming here at DogTown helped me get through those long arduous days and the Biddle physical test, which is a physical agility test. Many Southern California Fire departments and academies use it to narrow down the pool of applicants to make sure they can do the job. It involves hose pulls, ladder raises, dummy drags, and multiple trips up the training tower with certain tools, all while wearing firefighting gear. The cut off time is 9 minutes 34 seconds I believe and I got 5:48 when we tested, which is the record for the academy. It was fun to see people get excited that I had broken the record and it felt like just another workout at DT.
The training I did before the academy allowed me to focus on the mental side of things because I was so physically prepared with DogTown. 

Q: What inspired you to be a Firefighter?
A: A good family friend of mine was a firefighter and he inspired me to start getting my education and training for it. Beyond that, I love helping people and that has driven me to keep after it. That’s one of the reasons I love coaching at DogTown too. You get to help people be healthier and develop good skills that they will keep with them for the rest of their life.

Q:  What are you most excited about in this next chapter you are about to start?
A: Getting into the Fire Service and being able to be there for someone when they may need it the most. Unfortunately emergencies do happen and it is a privilege to be able to help someone out of those situations.

Q:  Every class you have coached, you have shown up being so positive and encouraging. What has motivated you to always stay so focused on the athletes and to be so on point with coaching?
A: Well thank you for that compliment! Honestly, I just love coaching and I get a lot of motivation from all the members at DogTown. I’ve always wanted members to get as much out of each class that they can. When people come in ready to go, I get pumped because I know there is a good chance we can all get better and maybe even learn a new skill. The best feeling is seeing people have light bulb moments or finally get a skill that has been nagging them for a while.

Q: What has coaching and training at DogTown taught you that you will take with you to Idaho?
A: There has been a lot of behind the scenes mentoring that I’m sure some of our members haven’t gotten a chance to see. Adam, Dusty, and the rest of the coaching staff know their jobs in and out and I have benefited quite a bit from their knowledge and training with them. Members wise there is a ton of diversity at DogTown and being able to coach and be friends with people from all walks of life has been really cool.

Q: What are your CrossFit goals?
A: I want to be as healthy as I can for as long as possible. Talking the old age, not getting diabetes, always being able to take care of myself type of stuff. That’s the main goal.
Being able to do any physical task that I want to do, at any time. Obviously there are limitations to that (still working on the whole human flight thing) but any practical thing that comes up. Whether that is pulling people out of burning buildings or chasing after elk with a bow and arrow in the Rockies, I want to be confident in my preparation for all physical challenges.

Q: From your time at DogTown, what do you think separates us from other boxes?
A: The community and coaches. There is a reason DogTown is so hard for me to leave. The coaches are high caliber and the community is beyond friendly. When I first moved to LA, I kind of felt like the small town guy in a city of people that didn’t care too much about me. That all changed when I got to know the people at DogTown. Such a high concentration of genuinely good people.

Q: Any departing words of wisdom for your DogTown family?
A: “Be an athlete, bend your knees”.  Just kidding but I think a few Saturday morning folks will laugh at that. For real, just stay the course and keep all the get-togethers and events alive. Not only do those things keep us together and more consistent in coming in to the gym but they are also the fun parts of life.

Todd was one of the very first people that ever trained with Adam and then ultimately with us at CrossFit Culver City (CFCC).  When the news spread quietly at CFCC that Adam and I were going to open a new gym, Todd was the one who decided he wanted to be our first client. 
I remember vividly, sitting at Versailles Cuban Restaurant down the street from where DogTown was going to be, with him and a couple other members excitedly breaking the news of DogTown CrossFit's birth.  His immediate response was, “I want to be number 1.”  Since then, Todd has been #1.  
We have seen him through career changes, relationships, a ton of Weightlifting and Gymnastics and to me, Todd truly embodies all that is great about this place.  He is a solid human who has enjoyed his hard work and contributed immensely to the community at DT.
Coach Dusty

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what inspired you to start?
A: I’ve been doing CrossFit for just over 10 years now and actually fell into it by accident. I was interested in Krav Maga and noticed there was a gym opening up on Washington and Higuera in Culver City. A few days after that, I decided to pop in and see what it was all about. I remember talking to the co-owner, John, about the programming and he introduced me to his partner, Adam. Adam was building a CrossFit gym in the back and he showed me around the space. I had no idea what CrossFit was, but it honestly sounded way more interesting than Krav Maga. I wasn’t too into the mass-market gym model and Adam was a pretty good salesman haha. At this point, the gym wasn’t built yet, so Adam encouraged me to schedule some training sessions with him at his house (he had a whole setup in his garage). After a few intro classes, I was hooked and never really looked back.
Q: What was your fitness like before CrossFit?
A: I would wander around a globo-gym aimlessly, really not knowing what to do. I followed a few workout templates I picked up online, but the entire process seemed so isolated. I think I had always been looking for the fitness community that CrossFit eventually provided. 

Q: What changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit?
A: I lost a good amount of weight prior to CrossFit, but once I started things went into overdrive. There have been some gaps in my ten years where I took a break and decided to do more cardio (gasp!), but I eventually wised up haha. I feel great and I’m constantly sore, but you know, the good kind of sore. 

Q: What are you favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?
A: Anything rooted in gymnastics has always been my favorite. Toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, handstands…it all takes a level of concentration and precision that fascinates me. My least favorite? Snatches ;) 

Q: When you are not at CrossFit, what are you up to?
A: I like to travel as much as possible, I’m a sucker for a good brunch, and I’m usually tripping around the city with my fiancé, Jacob, looking for new adventures: concerts, art shows, plays, new restaurants…we like to dive into it all.  

Q: What are your CrossFit goals?
A: I’d like to get back into the shape I was when I first started CrossFit. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels haha. 

Q: What are two of your most proud CrossFit moments?
A: I would say the first time I got a muscle up is up there on the list. I’d been practicing after class for weeks until I finally got one. Second would be the first time we all competed together at UCLA (was years ago) for I think CrossFit Regionals? I mean this was back when cyborgs weren’t competing and we actually kind of stood a chance at being competitive. Doing things as a DogTown community in general has always been some of my fondest memories.  

Q: Can you share a more humbling experience you have had at CrossFit and what you learned from it?
A: I’m a decently confident person and CrossFit has a way of putting everyone on the same playing field and really just leveling things out. CrossFit has certainly taught me my weaknesses, both mentally and physically, but it’s also made me more in touch with my strengths…I love it for that. 

Q: What advice do you have for a newbie at DogTown?
A: I would say don’t get discouraged, come often, and have fun. If you aren’t having fun then what’s the point? Results will follow. 

Q: What 2 things can you share with our DogTown family that they may not know about you?
A: Although I don’t play as much as I’d like, I’ve been golfing since I was 5. 
I’m getting married in May 2019!

Q: If you could do a drop in to any box around the world, which would you pick?
A: I try and drop in to a CrossFit gym each time I travel, but if I could choose right now, I’d say some place tropical…Bali would be cool.