Meet Our Team

The most important part of the LaLanne Fitness experience is having coaches of the highest caliber. Our coaches have completed various courses, such as CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certifications, as well as the Sports Performance Coach in Olympic weightlifting Certifications from USA Weightlifting. They have grown into their positions by participating as part of the LaLanne Fitness community. They subscribe to the practice of training as developed by Chris LaLanne over the years. While also athletes in their own right, they are elite instructors in the safety, movements, and structure of all our programming.

Chris LaLanne

Chris LaLanne is the grand nephew of health and fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne. An accomplished athlete with over 19 years of experience as fitness professional, he holds a B.S. in Kinesiology/Physiology from the Exercise and Nutritional Sciences Department at San Diego State University. While studying at university, Chris applied what he was learning. He took up swimming, water polo and competitive open-water racing. After graduating, he went on to work for the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. Chris is also a USA Weightlifting Certified Sports Coach, as well as a CF Level 1 and CF Level 2 Trainer. As a CrossFit athlete, Chris took 12th place at the NorCal Sectionals in 2010, advancing to the Southwest Regional.


His granduncle Jack has been a major influence his entire life. He is honored to follow in the footsteps of the man who for years has helped so many, and truly made a difference in our world.


Chris is a great advocate of the health benefits of the Paleo Diet lifestyle. After following this method of diet and nutrition for just one week, his strength and energy skyrocketed beyond expectation. He’s been helping others feel better and look better ever since, teaching the Paleo Diet lifestyle. His students have demonstrated weight loss, increased athletic performance, and reversal of autoimmune diseases when practicing a combination of CrossFit modality and the Paleo Diet. Chris is a member of The Paleo Diet Team Of Experts.

Maribel LaLanne

Maribel is living a full life. At the age of 18, she scored a recording contract and spent the next few years touring. Her songs hit the billboard charts and she shared the stage with music legends such as LL Cool J and K-Ci & JoJo. In between her tour schedules, Maribel studied rigourilsy, and graduated from dental school as a Registered Dental Hygienist. She is a working model who has graced the pages of many national and international publications.


In June 2008, Maribel left her full-time practice to open LaLanne Fitness with her husband, Chris. Maribel is an effective and inspiring CrossFit coach, and has earned her CF Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates, well as USA Weightlifting Certified Sports Coach. She is a strong athlete with a background in competitive soccer, Kajukenbo, and dance, including Hula and Tahitian dancing. Maribel runs the business side of LaLanne Fitness, and has mentored other boxes on how to run a successful gym. She is the master of time management and does it all, while raising two small children. As a fit mom, Maribel has dedicated her life to empowering women through fitness. Her warm smile is infectious, and her big heart is open anyone in need of finding their path to health and happiness.

T.J. Istvan

T.J.’s fitness journey is somewhat different. When he came to LaLanne Fitness in June 2010, he was pretty much a big hot mess! At 42, he weighed more than 270 pounds, smoked for nearly 25 years, had a 40 inch waist, back pain, high blood pressure and cholesterol with prescriptions to start taking meds (which were never filled). He had enough indicators (and stern Doctor’s warning) that a serious cardiac event was likely in the not-so-distant future. His entire adult life had been void of any real exercise and full of bad decisions and habits: yo-yo dieting, recreational drugs, heavy drinking, smoking, and well you get the idea. He had never even touched a proper barbell…ever!


LaLanne Fitness completely turned things around and he’s gone to places he never dreamed of. Not only did he lose weight, more than 50 pounds and down to a 34-inch waist, he is lifting weights that he never dreamed possible, entering competitions, and holding his own against the best.


CrossFit became such a huge influence in his life, in early 2013, he obtained his CF Level 1 Certification. In addition to coaching, T.J. is helps in administration and Member Services. His message is simple, it’s never too late to turn things around and if it can work for him, it can work for you!


T.J.’s motto: Find your passion and you can chart a new course. It really is that simple! Life…. GO HARD, HAVE FUN!

Michael Mather

Mike is a Bay Area native. He’s very athletic, and played football since his freshman year of high school. In college he went on to play D-3 college ball at Menlo College, where he was an All American his senior year. Mike graduated with a BS in Business Management and still plays Semi-Pro football here in the Bay Area. As a certified personal trainer, he was introduced to CrossFit by his peers, and now coaches here at LaLanne Fitness. He’s acquired multiple personal trainer credentials, including the CF Level 1 Certification. Mike continues to expand his knowledge of human body mechanics and loves the CrossFit ideology, atmosphere and community!

Erica Cruz

Erica has been an athlete all of her life, competing in many sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball and Taekwondo. Being a small, petite girl, the natural physical ability has always been an issue – but she always strives to prove otherwise. In 2008 Erica started Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai and Wrestling. Erica began competing in MMA and Jiu Jitsu tournaments with great success. In 2012, sidelined by a knee injury that resulted in surgery, led her to the functional and healing attributes of CrossFit. LaLanne Fitness was recommended through physical therapy as a way to rehab her knee, learn proper mechanics, and build leg strength to support the injury.


Soon after beginning at LaLanne Fitness, Erica became addicted. Her life became all about the sport of fitness. Through LaLanne Fitness She was able to receive her CF Level 1 Certification and train with amazing athletes. Erica’s goal is to continually learn techniques and teaching skills to help every student learn the best they can. Erica loves to encourage and motivate athletes to go above and beyond their expectations, while always remaining safe and having fun.

Maridehl Mather

Maridehl graduated from Cal State Hayward with a B.S. in Business Management-Finance in 2001. Upon graduation, she was offered the job as a Special Agent at the Internal Revenue Service, and enrolled in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Maridehl did not grow up playing any sports; it was at the Training Center that she discovered her competitive drive, whether it was the mandatory running and training, or even using a firearm!


After graduating, Maridehl was driven to maintain peak fitness not only for herself, but to be effective at her job in law enforcement. She ran relays and half marathons, and did the “normal gym routine” – but needed something new to fuel her competitive nature. In 2011, she joined LaLanne Fitness. At first, she could not do a single pull-up – even with a band – or a single push-up. Game on! She was determined to improve and get stronger. Maridehl loves the camaraderie within the community, and LaLanne Fitness immediately became her second home.


Maridehl is now a mother of a beautiful little girl. She was fortunate and healthy enough to continue working out all throughout her pregnancy, right up to the moment her water broke during a squat at LaLanne! She is certain that CrossFit contributed to her easy pregnancy and delivery. Now back at the gym, she is back on track to excel again. Maridehl is proud to be part of the “strong is beautiful” revolution, and will continue her journey as a fit mom, and as a role model to her daughter.

Joey Vlazny

Athlete? Not exactly. At one point Joey was 90 pounds overweight and knew something had to change. Joey cleaned up his diet and became a distance runner. He stuck with running for many years, and competed in The San Francisco and Oakland Marathons. He dabbled in P90X but reached a point where he needed something different.


In a new, more demanding job, there was no time for 2-hour workouts anymore. He needed something he could do in an hour that would give him the same, but preferably, better results. In late 2011 he found LaLanne Fitness. WOW! It took a few months for him to understand the CrossFit methodology, but soon the results were undeniable. He’s now a CF Level 1 Trainer. In addition to being one of our top athletes, he has continued his education, recently attending The CF Mobility Certification.


Joey clearly remembers being a new student at LaLanne and enjoys introducing CrossFit to newer members. And oh yeah, when he coaches, it is unmistakable that Joey is a radio DJ full time!

Abhimanyu Ardagh

Well first off, to make it easier for all you he goes by Abhi, yes pronounced like Abby, and yes like the girls name. Abhi has always been interested in what can make us the best that we can be and amerces himself in this question everyday. He moved to the Bay Area in 2011 where he first started CrossFit and joined the LaLanne Fitness team. During this time he has also created his own major at SFSU combining Biology, Chemistry, and Holistic Health, been a Holistic Head Chef, a Model, Photographer, and works with his father running a coaching training course.


Now – He is working on combining all this intestines into one practice, Fitness, Food, and Coaching. This Is Why I Am Alive is something he finds himself realizing everyday and wants to work on helping other people come to this conclusion.


Future – Next he will be moving up to Seattle to study to become a Naturopathic Doctor and continue learning about our bodies and their potentials.

Derek Frome

Derek is from Phoenix, Arizona and attended Stanford University for his undergraduate degree. In high school, Derek played varsity basketball, and was a state champion swimmer in the butterfly and backstroke. At Stanford, Derek joined the club ultimate Frisbee team, and discovered CrossFit in its early days by doing Cindy in the student gym. He can’t remember his score, but that single workout changed his training forever, and he’s been doing CrossFit on his own or in boxes around the world ever since. In 2015, Derek completed his CF Level 1 Certificate and joined the LaLanne CrossFit coaching staff. He is passionate about CrossFit and puts the aspects of Functional Fitness to use in a variety of pursuits, including alpine climbing, sport climbing, unsupported ultramarathons, and other sufferfests.

Caroline Paty

Caroline graduated from North Carolina State University – Poole College of Management with a Master of Business Administration in 2013. During her final year, she sought a structured fitness routine flexible enough to accommodate full time work, study, and travel, while also keeping her challenged and engaged. CrossFit’s programming and community hooked her; and with a background in Cecchetti Ballet, she was immediately drawn to the skill, precision, and fluidity required for Olympic and Power lifting.


Upon moving to the Bay Area, Caroline immediately sought out LaLanne Fitness, began recreational NorCal competitions, and even transitioned to a Paleo diet. In addition to coaching, Caroline is also part of the gym’s administrative team.

Kevin McPhee

Originally from New York, Kevin has always been athletic and adventurous, but not in the common ways you might think. Being part of the “art” crowd”, he was never a part of team sports while growing up. Instead, he took up “lone” sports: skiing at age 7, (eventually becoming a back-country and steeps skier) and windsurfing at the age of 24, (working his way up to big swells off Ho’okipa). With a drive to better himself, constantly learn, and take risks, he bought a sailboat at age 36. He restored and upgraded it for bluewater capabilities, and sailed across the Pacific and back.


Since the early 80’s Kevin has been an avid “gym goer”. After years of constantly trying to improve his fitness, he reached a plateau where no nutrition counseling, no new routines, or different private trainers was making a change. That is when he stumbled across CrossFit, and immediately signed up as a member at LaLanne Fitness. Since the very first workout, he finally felt the magic of bonding that happens in “team sports” through our community. Within a few months, he found new skills and strengths he never imagined possible.


To better his own knowledge and dig deep into this newfound Sport Of Fitness, he earned his Certificate as a CF Level 1 Trainer, completed the official CF Judges Course, and became a Sports Performance Coach in Olympic weightlifting from USA Weightlifting. He is also our creative resource for all branding and design. Kevin is one of the oldest members of our community – but don’t let that fool you, he will be in the trenches taking classes right along side you, as well as coaching.

Aus LaCroix

Aus is originally from Québec. He now calls San Francisco his home for more than 10 years. When not at the box, he can be found at Circus Center honing his aerial straps skills, or hard at work at Mozilla.


Once a terribly out-of-shape kid, when he was 18 (and weighed almost 250 pounds) he took his health into his own hands. That’s when he discovered the importance of nutrition, and activities to get him moving. At 21, he was down to 155 pounds. It was just the beginning.


After years of racing bicycles through the alleys of SF, he started his journey with Circus Arts, first on Static Trapeze. More than five years later since he first started, he now also teaches Circus Arts at Circus Center and brings his background in Aerial Arts and Chinese Acrobatics to The LaLanne Fitness family. His favorite tool of torture is the rings and his favorite movement is the back lever.

Michael DeLange

Mike is is a local. He grew up loving to play a variety of sports from baseball, basketball, football and tennis. However, prior to his first class at LaLanne Fitness in November 2011, he had limited experience with Olympic weightlifting, Gymnastics, and CrossFit. He was clueless to his overall level of fitness, and found that first class to be a challenging and humbling experience. He was hooked immediately!


Mike is excited and passionate about coaching. He remembers fondly his early days of CrossFit and loves the challenge of helping students along their path to a fitter lifestyle. His goals are to continue to improve as an athlete, as a teacher, and as a member of the LaLanne community. His biggest message to new students would be to show up, listen to your coaches, put in the work, and have fun!

Joe Siler

Joe played sports for his entire life, focusing on baseball from a young age. In college, Joe used his throwing talents to throw javelin for a semester and serve as the JV Baseball pitching coach for one year. After graduating with degrees in Accounting and Biology, Joe has been in sales throughout his career due to his love of meeting and helping new people. He was introduced to CrossFit through his previous job, and he was hooked immediately. The support, intensity and community have kept Joe training since 2012 and drove him earn his CF Level 1 Certification. Coaching offers a new way for him to share his knowledge and passions with the community and continue to expand his own understanding of health and fitness.