Monthly Archives: February 2008
Feb 9th, 2008



The short guy taking on the tall guy

I saw this a couple of days ago on CrossFit NYC’s website.

Science has finally proven what many of you probably already suspected: short people have an advantage on pull-ups.

Here’s the abstract:

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Mar;48(1):37-42.
Chin-up strength tests: does stature matter?
Sekerak RJ, Zimmermann KP.

Rehabilitation Services, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand

AIM: Many organizations place high value on employee physical fitness and use standardized physical fitness tests (PFT) to quantify it. The chin-up strength test is an example of such a test. Participants’ anecdotal reports raise some concern that the latter is inherently biased against tall individuals. A demonstration that tall individuals are less likely than short individuals to achieve maximum score on a chin-up strength test, and modified scoring tables that equalize this likelihood across the stature range are sought. METHODS: A statistical summary of 85 chin-up test outcomes is analyzed for likelihood of maximum scores as a function of stature. Scoring tables modified by reducing the number of chin-ups required for maximum score in a ratio inverse to a fixed power of the stature ratios are introduced. RESULTS: Statistical analysis shows that short individuals are more likely to achieve maximum chin-up test scores (P<0.05). Stature adjusted scoring tables are shown to neutralize this trend. CONCLUSION: Current scoring standards for chin-up strength tests favor short statures. Bias-free chin-up strength tests can be achieved by using stature-adjusted scoring tables. Similar bias problems may exist for other strength tests.

PMID: 18212708 [PubMed – in process]

Post your thoughts to comments on other exercises in which the short person might have an advantage. Also post to comments exercises in which the tall person might have an advantage.

Comments: 8
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Feb 8th, 2008

FUEL Seminar February 23rd 11am to 2:00 p.m.


Please mark your calendars, we have changed the date for our new and improved F.U.E.L (Feeding U Energy for Life) seminar! Saturday, February 23rd from 11a.m. to 2p.m.. we will be covering a variety of topics and will enjoy the special guest appearance of Dr. Franklin Okumu, who give a short presentation on the metabolic impact of food.

Plus as usual, we’ll be covering a host of topics, including but not limited to:

Strategies for healthy eating in the real world
Foraging in the urban jungle
How to eat “in the Zone”
Fat is not the enemy
Real World Eats
The real deal on carbs
Real women eat real food
Top Fuel eating for serious athletes
Adult Beverages 101
Paleo/Zone (the ultimate fuel for athletes)
Hormonal effects of food
Disease prevention with food

The cost for the seminar is $100/person.
To register for the seminar, contact us at (510) 595-9348 or

Comments: 2
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Feb 6th, 2008

Three The Hard Way


Lau, Connie, and Sam, three of CFO’s newest trainers

Many of you know Lau, Connie, and Sam for their steady, impressive performances in our daily WODs. But you’ll also be seeing lots more of these three in the coming months as they take on more of training load. All three were certified at the end of 2007 and are raring to go as group-class trainers.

They’ve already brought a lot of great energy and ideas (can you say 400m ball run?) to CFO as trainers and we couldn’t be more excited to have them on board.

With that being said, post to comments what you’re currently working on in your CFO repertoire (limit strength, metcon, more pull-ups, etc.) so that Lau, Connie, and Sam (as well as Nicole and I) will know where to be of assistance.

Comments: 6
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Feb 5th, 2008

Kipping Pull-Up Clinic

An explanation–and video demonstration–of the kipping pull-up from the good folks at CFHQ

We’re rolling out the first of a series of clinics devoted to skill development. The first one we’re going to have will be Thursday, February 21 at 8:00 p.m. It will be an hour (or so) devoted to the kipping pull-up. The cost for attending this skill clinic is $20.

This will be an opportunity to work the pull-up from just about every conceivable angle (literally and figuratively) and we’ll have multiple trainers on hand to work with you.

Whether you’re trying to get your first kipping pull-up or looking to develop an already-existing kipping pull-up, you’ll wanna check this clinic out.

Post to comments other skill clinics you’d like to see offered down the road.

Comments: 14
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Feb 3rd, 2008

Updated Schedule Page


Some of you know we have a CFO Schedule page (you can find it by clicking on the “Schedule” link on the left-hand side of the page); many of you may not.

We’re now updating the Schedule page on a weekly basis each Saturday night (the calendar runs from Sunday-Saturday of each week). In addition, we’re also listing the trainer for each of the group classes throughout the week in parentheses.

Both of these enhancements to the Schedule page came via suggestions from our trainers and/or members; we appreciate the feedback!

As an aside, we have a number of other changes in the works for this website.

And with that in mind, please post to comments any kind of website improvements you’d find useful, fun, or both.

Comments: 5
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Feb 2nd, 2008

WOD, anyway, anyhow!


Now you all get to try your hand at CrossFit programming for one of our most dedicated and enthusiastic CrossFit members, who is currently at home recovering from foot surgery and beginning to go a little stir crazy.

Here are the toys she has to play with:
an abmat, a dowel, 5# dumbbells, and a yoga mat. Remember that she has limited use of both of her feet–let’s get creative and give her a weeks worth of programming to keep her healthy and get her healed quickly so that she can join us back on the training floor!

Post your WOD to comments.

Comments: 13
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Feb 1st, 2008

The Art of Cuing


Eva likely doesn’t need much cuing for her front squat

In most cases, a trainer is only as good as the cues he uses, those simple one- or two-word phrases designed to invoke a physical change in an athlete, whether the change is postural, movement-oriented, or a little of both. “Heels down” is a good example. It’s brief and to the point; and hopefully it will produce a change in the athlete that will lead to a better squat, clean, press, or whatever (just about all of the whole-body moves we do benefit from keeping the heels down as force is produced).

We trainers all have an idea of cues we think are effective and those we think are not all that effective. But what we think doesn’t really matter. We want to be effective trainers.

So here’s your chance: what cues have you heard that really worked for you? And what cues have you heard that just didn’t do it for you?

Post the best and worst cues you’ve heard to comments. Humorous cues are welcome, too.

Comments: 25
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