Monthly Archives: April 2008
Apr 19th, 2008

Muted Hip Function


A classic illustration from CrossFit’s early days

I was recently perusing the main CrossFit site, as well as some of the older CrossFit Journal articles, and found the illustration above.

I remember seeing it for the first time and a light bulb clicking on in my head. This was a perfect representation (and contrast) of the good, the bad, and the ugly in human movement.

The picture on the left applies to all kinds of squats and squat-like movements (think thrusters). But it also applies to the quick lifts, like the clean and snatch. The picture on the left is how you should be moving under load. The picture on the right is an illustration of muted hip function, where the power of your legs and hips are vastly underutilized.

Ever miss a power clean before, even though you get it up high enough to be caught in the rack position? Chances are you’re not getting down into the position on the left fast enough, if at all.

When your CFO trainers cue you to get “butt back, chest high” it’s so that you’ll get in the position on the left. It’s the ideal position to transfer force with the legs and hips. For those of you who’ve read any of Rippetoe’s work, you’ll see that this is very much like what he lays out as the ideal position to execute back squats and power cleans. In other words, it’s consistent with the physics and geometry that underpins the basic barbell movements that Rippetoe teaches.

So next time you notice your hip coming forward (or your butt not going back, if you’d rather think of it that way) on the catch of a power clean, understand that you’re not only limiting your potential for bigger numbers in the clean, you’re embedding a highly inefficient and potentially dangerous motor recruitment pattern.

The solution: back the weight off and do it right! It’s critical that you understand you’re not so much lifting a weight but training a movement pattern under load.

Post to comments your thoughts on the picture above, how it ties into your CrossFit game, and any other insights you might have to offer.

Comments: 16
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Apr 18th, 2008

Basic KB Progression Clinic

Just a reminder that we will be having a Kettlebell Clinic on April 26th from 11a.m. to 12:30p.m! $20 for CFO members/$35 for non-members.

……and later that day, please join us for a B-Day Celebration and family-style dinner at Pizzaiolo on 51st and Telegraph in Oakland beginning at 6p.m. Everyone is welcome!


Comments: 9
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Apr 17th, 2008

Random Feats of Strength

I’m sure our resident YouTube-link-posting crew will have a field day with this video, but be that as it may, there are some epic feats of strength displayed by these guys, if you can get past the gold speedos and body paint.

And with that in mind, post to comments the one bodyweight feat you have yet to accomplish that you’d like to get by end of 2008.

Comments: 21
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Apr 16th, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike and Lau!

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids?

If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions. “How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five!

That’s the key. You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back.

You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life . . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . . YOU BECOME 21. . . YEAS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70!

After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; “I was JUST 92.”

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half!”

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. 8 Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

We love you guys, Happy Birthday! Post your birthday wishes to Mike and Lau to comments.

Comments: 10
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Apr 14th, 2008

Throwdown Feast!

Our deepest gratitude to Lance V for feeding so many hungry CrossFitters with incredible gourmet eats that kept appearing in plate after tasty plate! Big love also, to Brad for arranging the use of his club for our event. All in all, it was an excellent time, with excellent people!

Post your gratitude to comments.


Comments: 28
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Apr 13th, 2008

OFD Random Acts Dinner


The CFO table at the Oakland Fire Dept Random Acts Dinner

Just wanted to give a big thank-you to the CFOers who came out tonight to support a good cause, OFD’s Random Acts Program.

And props to Jacques and Lau, who volunteered to be part of the clean-up crew (their shift didn’t start ’til midnight). Talk about pulling double duty.

Comments: 2
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Apr 12th, 2008

Your Logo Here!


“Smoke you like cheap crack,” is a keeper, but we are now looking to print another run of hoodies, t’s and tank tops and are are hoping that you all have a few catchy phrases to help us capture the spirit of CrossFit.

Post to comments.

Comments: 95
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Apr 11th, 2008

The Mike and Nicole Birthday Party!


An eggplant and ricotta pizza from Pizzaiolo

Mark your calendars, everyone!

Nicole and I are going to celebrate our 36th (gasp!) birthdays at Pizzaiolo from 6pm to 9pm on Saturday, April 26 and you’re all invited!

You read that right; any and all are welcome. We love CFO and can’t think of a better group of people to spend time with for our birthday.

We’ve reserved the back patio area, including the bocce ball court, so there will be plenty of food, drink, and fun for all.

Post to comments if you can make it so that we can get a general sense of headcount.

Comments: 22
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