Coaches


Saul Jimenez

Saul Jimenez, Co-owner & Coach

Saul likes to read and “fool around on the Internet” which may or may not add to his effectiveness as a coach. He’s been known to exercise every once in a while. As a past Outward Bound instructor, ski coach, ski instructor and river guide, Saul has coached in one way or another for over 25 years. After working in the tech industry for several years, Saul opened Mad Dawg School of Fitness in 2006 to help others find their way to fitness through a well-designed strength and conditioning program.

Saul writes the programming at MDSoF. Over the years, he has refined the programming at Mad Dawg, deriving it from an increasing number of strength training resources, including Dan John, Gregg Everett, Louie Simmons, Kelly Starrett, David Weinstock, and Gray Cook among many others.

Saul’s vision is to provide a place where athletes of all levels develop skill, strength, and knowledge about their own fitness and training, which they can take with them everywhere they go. He incorporates many methods to teach movement based on his knowledge of various learning styles.

Training and Certifications:

Contact Saul at saulj at maddawgfitness dot com

Susan Jimenez, Co-owner & Coach

Susan joined Saul at Mad Dawg School of Fitness in October, 2010. Before that, she was a Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant at the Yosemite Medical Clinic, in Yosemite National Park. Susan has had a broad and varied career in medicine ranging from family practice to interventional radiology to supervising medical device studies in Mexico to cancer treatment. By far, the majority of her experience was in the Highland Hospital Emergency Department for 13 years; the acute care public hospital in Alameda County. It operates the most trafficked Emergency Room / Trauma Center in the county. You may have seen the Highland ED in the documentary The Waiting Room.

After leaving Highland, Susan began coaching at CrossFit San Diego, then ran her own CrossFit garage gyms in San Diego and Yosemite. Susan severely injured her back when she was in her 20’s and has learned how to manage chronic back issues through a combination of the right exercise, chiropractic care, good nutrition, bodywork, and active recovery.

Susan is most excited about preventing illness and maximizing health through the creation of healthy behaviors and habits that are sustainable for a lifetime. Her ongoing training in Functional Medicine (FM) is a reflection of her passion. Functional Medicine is an innovative approach to medical care that looks at the root causes of illness and uses the latest medical research to develop personalized care for each patient based on his or her unique environment, lifestyle, and genes. There is a very strong emphasis on nutrition and the development of healthy eating habits. Think: Approaching chronic conditions through nutrition and using ‘Food as Medicine’; The result is a dynamic, effective way to address chronic disease. You may have heard about FM through Terry Wahls, MD and her TED video. More information on working with a Functional Medicine practitioner.

Training and Certifications:

Contact Susan at susan at maddawgfitness dot com

Update as of September 14, 2015: Susan has accepted a Nurse Practitioner position with an innovative team that will be working to prevent chronic illness, and increase wellness in employees (and their dependents) at an agricultural company in Lost Hills, California. While she is sorry to leave the Mad Dawg community, she will be able to fulfill her mission to change the way healthcare is delivered in this exciting environment that has dedicated management and private funding.

Jason Feudale

Jason Feudale, Coach

Jason was the first athlete at Mad Dawg; so he’s been involved with the gym since day one. He competed in both rugby and cycling while in college and he has always been an outdoorsman; he spends his summer weekends as a white water rafting guide for a non-profit that takes at-risk youth rafting.

Jason jumped into CrossFit enthusiastically. He started by doing the CrossFit main site workouts on his own, and was quickly fired from the “Globo Gym” he was attending because his kipping pull-ups caused a rack to fall on him. It must have been fate, because that is what led him to Mad Dawg School of Fitness. Jason survived Saul’s early workouts and competed in the 2nd annual CrossFit Games (2009), where he placed in the top 25 for the NorCal Qualifiers. He continues to perform at the highest level year after year.

With his comprehensive athletic background, his desire and ability to teach, and his enthusiasm to help others reach their goals, Jason is an HUGE asset to Mad Dawg School of Fitness.

Jason coaches Fundamentals as well as Strength & Conditioning classes.

Training and Certifications:

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • CPR
  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
Tony Ghanem

Tony Ghanem, Coach

Tony has been participating in one type of sport or another for over 20 years: Competitive in swimming and cross-country in high school, he also trained in martial arts. He enjoys running 5-and 10Ks as well as chasing after his kids. Being an athlete is an integral part of his life.

Tony was first introduced to Mad Dawg School of Fitness by his chiropractor in 2008. He benefited from the program, and he is motivated to share his knowledge and experience with others. Tony has a degree in Psychology and works for a non-profit that specializes in supporting troubled youth with high needs, where he provides crisis intervention and one-on-one counseling for the young people with whom he works.

You’ll usually find Tony coaching the Saturday morning workouts with patience, understanding, ability and a large dose of humor. He makes them an experience not to be missed!

Training and Certifications

  • CPR
Wes Bennicas

Wes Bennicas, Coach

Wes has been teaching and coaching fitness to individuals and groups for over 10 years. His broad experience teaching movement includes: Swim instructor and cross-conditioning coach to young athletes, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor to corporate groups. Wes has a knack for being creative when he teaches and is very good at helping athletes ‘get’ the movement kinesthetically. He is especially adept at tailoring programs to fit a wide range of abilities and physical capacities.

Wes teaches Strength & Conditioning and L.I.F.T. classes and is also available for personal training by appointment.

Training and Certifications:

  • NKT Level 1 – in progress
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting
  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (in progress) with National Strength & Conditioning Association
  • CPR
Kris Kruse-Elliott

Kris Kruse-Elliott, Mobility and Stretching Coach

Kris has taught/coached skiing for over 30 years; she was a ski school director in the Midwest (yes, they ski there, and no, there aren’t any “mountains”), and she continues to coach annual ski camps in Colorado, Wisconsin, and on Mt. Hood in Oregon. For the past 25 years, she has trained and raced triathlons and occasionally coached recreational triathletes, runners, and swimmers.

Kris uses resistance stretching, functional movement concepts and mobility work to help the athletes she coaches stay healthy and perform better.

She has trained with Bob Cooley, Tom Longo, and Kelly Starrett. Her goal, when coaching, is to find and focus on the most important functional movement and mobility improvements that will match an athlete’s motivation and goals.

In her spare time, Kris is the veterinarian/manager at a MRI center for pets in Redwood City.

Kris coaches and advises at the weekly Mobility and Stretching Clinics at Mad Dawg School of Fitness (usually on Mondays from 7pm – 8pm). Check the schedule here!. She is also available for Personalized Mobility Training and Stretching by appointment.

Training and Certifications:

  • Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist
  • PhD in Pulmonary Physiology
  • Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Examiner
  • Veterinary Acupuncturist
  • Functional Movement System (FMS) Level 1 & 2
  • CrossFit Movement and Mobility
  • Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) Level 1 – in progress
Richard Brose

Richard Brose, Coach

Although Richard participated in high school sports, he never really considered himself athletic. After graduating from college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Master’s degree in Polymer and Coatings Science, Richard moved to the Bay Area and began working as an engineer for a medical device start-up company. It was this move that kick-started Richard’s journey into physical fitness. What started as an effort to lose weight before his wedding developed into a desire to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Richard was first exposed to CrossFit back in 2011 during the middle of his weight-loss/health and fitness transformation. He joined Mad Dawg School of Fitness as an athlete in June 2012 where he started in Bootcamp and soon graduated to Strength & Conditioning classes. He quickly adopted Mad Dawg’s philosophies and immersed himself in the culture and education of strength-based programming. Since then he’s learned as much as possible about the olympic and power lifts, and gymnastics movements using books, blogs, and podcasts to supplement the knowledge he has learned at the gym.

Today, Richard is in the best shape of his life, having lost 85 lbs since he started in 2011. He loves to help others achieve their own personal goals, and is a great resource to Mad Dawg athletes. He can be found teaching Strength & Conditioning classes.

Lolly Mitchell

Lolly Mitchell, Body-weight Skills & Dance Coach

Lolly has studied and taught Tap, Ballet, Pointe, and Jazz – beginning her dance career as a three-year-old with Ballet classes. Over the years, she’s studied Indian, South African, and a variety of Modern Dance styles of dance, as well. Her interest in Human movement and the awareness of the impact of movement on the human body led her to Laban Movement analysis, the Feldenkrais Method, and a profession as an engineer.

Lolly advises and coaches our Body-weight Skills Class and she provides enthusiasm for proper movement, in general!

Josh Geilhufe

Josh Geilhufe, Coach

Josh’s athletic experiences took him from wrestling to football and lacrosse. While in graduate school, he became bored with the monotony of the standard routine of 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 30 minutes on the Cybex,so he joined Stanford’s karate club. In 2008, he stumbled on Mad Dawg School of Fitness. His first workout was a half Karen (75 Wall Balls for time), which left him panting on his back; he’s been coming back for varied and intense workouts ever since.

Over the past six years, Josh has experimented with various nutrition strategies (Paleo/Zone/gallon of milk a day) and weightlifting programs (CroffFit/Olympic/Powerlifting) and is always happy to discuss his experiences with other athletes. He has two years of experience teaching beginners in Shotokan Karate.

Josh coaches MDSoF’s Olympic Lifting class as well as Strength & Conditioning classes.

Training and Certifications:

  • Shotokan Karate second-degree black belt
Josh Druker

Josh Druker, Coach

Athletics and sport has been a big part of Josh’s life, but he is especially driven to perfecting the art and science of being an “adult athlete”. Josh is an experienced mountain biker both casual and competitive, and is always searching for new ways to improve his performance on the bike through training at Mad Dawg. Ask Josh how a meat smoker can change your life.

Josh coaches Strength and Conditioning classes.

Marshall Pierce

Marshall Pierce, Adventure Coach

Marshall played sports as a kid, but essentially ignored them during college. After several years of software engineering, he looked and felt the part of the professional keyboard-wrangler, so discovering MDSoF in 2012, after lackluster results at Globo Gym, was enlightening, to say the least. After completing (and enjoying) his first GORUCK Challenge, he started thinking about how to get other gym members ready for a GORUCK Light so that they, too, might have the experience of being sandy and cold for many hours and somehow then wanting more. After a few months of training, Marshall and a dozen or so Mad Dawgs completed their GORUCK Light, but interestingly, the universal opinion was that the training was better than the event itself. This was the start of Marshall’s realization that he really enjoyed finding ways to give people new challenges outside the gym (especially when mountains are involved), and that others liked the experience too! He still loves a tough workout, of course, but with an added appreciation for what that means out in the wilderness: The hard-won fitness that people acquire in the gym allows them to experience the joys of nature in ways that are impossible if a heavy pack and high altitude are unsurmountable obstacles. Consequently, to help Mad Dawgs get to their own “Eureka!” moment about using their athletic abilities in the wide world, he organizes hikes, bike rides, trips to the mountains, and other outdoor adventures through the Mad Dawg Unleashed email list.

You will see Marshall on many of our Mad Dawg Unleashed adventures.

Training and Certifications:

  • Wilderness First Responder