Meet the CrossFit Coaches


The District H CrossFit team consists of some of the most experienced and dedicated CrossFit athlete trainers in Houston. We’ve worked with everyone from elite level athletes to those who have never stepped foot inside a gym, and even those working to reverse chronic illness with proper exercise and nutrition. We are excited and motivated to provide a fitness program that creates functional, lean bodies, changes lives, and works for anyone. Meet your fitness team.
  • Jose Alicea

    Head Coach/Manager

    Jose is is an accomplished and passionate athlete and coach. He has always had an appreciation for fitness and teaching; he takes tremendous pride in being a part of his athletes’ journeys to reaching their maximum potential. Jose continues to dedicate himself to learning so that he can pass on the knowledge to the District H community and help them become their best selves.

    “I get a sense of accomplishment and get inspired by seeing people reach their goals. It is impossible to learn everything in one day, so what drives me to keep teaching is being able to do this little by little, knowing that my client has learned something every day.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Level 2
    • CrossFit Powerlifting
    • Business of Excellence at CFNE
    • CFNE Immerson Program w/ Ben Bergeron
    • NFPT
    • NESTA
    • NCSF
    • PTA Global Trainer
    • Certified Spinning Instructor
    • Plyometric and Boot Camp courses
    • Partner Assisted Stretching
    • CPR/AED
  • Joe Flanigan


    Joe started CrossFit in 2005 and spent 5 years using the methodology and studying up on the fitness program before he felt he was able to coach others. Before CrossFit, he was a collegiate and national level weightlifter, and CrossFit has become a part of of evolving fitness journey. As a coach, he specializes in weightlifting and goal-setting. He enjoys helping others achieve goals and feats they never would have believed possible of themselves. Joe is honored to be a part of their journeys.


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Level 2
    • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance
    • CPR/AED
  • Elizabeth Martens


    Elizabeth started crossfit after moving to Milwaukee, WI. A college teammate pushed her to try CrossFit, and she immediately loved the workouts and the community the gyms created. After coming to District H Crossfit and seeing how awesome the staff and community is here, She knew this was the place she wanted to start her coaching career. “The coaches here are experienced and friendly, and they’ve been awesome mentors for me getting started.”

    Elizabeth played soccer and rowed crew in high school, then went on to play soccer for the University of Rochester. At UR she was Honorable Mention All-UAA, 1st Team Academic All-District, and a Provost’s Circle Scholar.

    “ I love to see members surpass their own expectations. I love it when people come into the gym and work on a new skill or hit a new PR that they never dreamed they’d get the chance at when they first joined. Being a small part of helping someone exceed their own expectations is an incredible joy and privilege.”

    “Effort = Outcome  My dad said this to us at least once a day growing up. If you want something, work for it. While I know not everything is in my control, thinking of my dad’s favorite saying reminds me that what I CAN control in life is the effort I put in, and controlling that directly impacts my results. It applies inside and outside of the gym. Be relentless. Put in the work.”

    “What gets measured gets managed” You want to improve something? Measure it. It’s applicable at work, at home, and at District H; Track your progress, celebrate the wins, analyze the losses, and learn from all of it.


    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Tommy Allen


    Tommy is a former collegiate baseball player who has experienced the positive impact of CrossFit first hand. He’s passionate about every individual at District H CrossFit, the community as a whole, and helping others grow and develop. Tommy has a degree in Philosophy and his favorite cheat meal is chips with salsa and queso.

    I love “…seeing the improvements in my own life through CrossFit and how the dedication of a coach can change someone’s life and put them on a completely different trajectory.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Crossfit Football
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
    • CrossFit Gymnastics
    • Westside Barbell Personal Training & Athletic Coaching
    • Eat to Perform Nutrition
  • Karen Bossenbroek


    Karen started her CrossFit journey with District H CrossFit in 2012. Before CrossFit, she played softball, basketball, and soccer, and was a gymnast until she realized these sports didn’t suit her quite right. She is a full believer that you don’t need to have an athletic background for CrossFit.

    “I’m passionate about showing women how strong they can be, and how personally satisfying it can be for a woman to move heavy weight on a barbell.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Dustin Ma


    Dustin is a physical therapist, educator, coach, and self-proclaimed nit-picker by trade. He has been CrossFitting since 2006 and has competed as a martial artist and Olympic weightlifter. He’s a third degree black belt in Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt, 7th place competitor at the 2013 USA Weightlifting American Open and 9th place at 2014 USA Weightlifting Senior Nationals at 62kg.

    Dustin loves most about coaching at District H that “…everyone listens with an open mind and is willing to better themselves.”


    • Doctorate of Physical Therapy
    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting Level 1
    • Whole 30 Nutrition
  • Kate Smith


    Kate Smith grew up playing just about every sport. sometimes just for the social aspect. In high school she ran cross country and played field hockey and lacrosse. Lacrosse has been her life-long passion and specialization. Her high school team, Mount Hebron, was national champs for six years in a row, and won states 15 out of 16 consecutive years. During her tenure, they were national champions all four years. She went on to play Division II college ball on full athletic scholarship at Mercyhurst University where she was a two-year starter. She retired after two seasons and transferred to the College of Charleston, where She captained the novice rowing team. Kate rowed 1.5 seasons before taking a break for my final semester. She also rowed for a season at the Baltimore Rowing Club before moving to DC.

    After college, She moved to Dubai and played competitive soccer in the all-women’s league. Also boxed, played squash, and ran 10ks. Upon moving to Houston, she found CrossFit and fell in love. Started CrossFit on February 2015, and also spent about nine months training Oly liftng. After failing handstand push-ups in the 2017 Open, She vowed to get stronger and began a Powerlifting program. In June, 2017, she competed in her  first Powerlifting competition and placed 2nd at the Texas State Powerlifting Championship in the Raw Open 57 kg weight class.

    “As a CrossFit Coach I’m lucky I get to spend my time getting to know all of our members and seeing how fitness changes their life. It brings me joy to see all our members spur each other on to be the best versions of themselves, and I consider myself lucky to have a small part in improving the quality of life of our members. At District H Crossfit, the community-aspect is my favorite part. I’ve been to a lot of different boxes and never found the same interconnectedness and care each member has for one another.”

    I’m passionate about helping people and fitness, so coaching seemed like a logical step in my CrossFit life. I love helping our members get better and learn new skills, as their joy becomes mine. I am also a full-time MBA candidate.

    Her favorite quote: “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.”


    • Crossfit LVL 1
  • Hernan Vargas

    Owner / Coach

    Hernan is a prime example of success when it comes to finding fitness with CrossFit. Like many, he didn’t have any athletic or CrossFit experience when he started his journey in 2008. Seeing the personal changes and evolution of the sport motivated him to become a coach and be a part of the growing movement in the sport of fitness. He’s most passionate about the community, loves seeing the impact of making small changes whether in lifestyle or movement technique really makes a big difference for so many.

    “I believe the quality of coaching is far more important that the quantity of clients. Every client should get the coaching they need and deserve every time they come to the box.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Lauren Popp


    Lauren is a NCAA Division II Track and Field athlete from Colorado School of Mines.  She specialize in Running & sprint mechanics. Passionate about fostering an environment of health (spiritual, mental and physical) and fitness in my community; whether it be my box, my church, my home, or the workplace.

    Lauren loves doing anything outdoors: hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.; I love to eat (especially breakfast tacos);  play board games; and I’m working on my doctorate at Rice.

    Favorite quote “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” 

    Proverbs 27:17 


    • Crossfit Level 1


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