Monthly Archives: June 2010
Jun 30th, 2010

July 4 Weekend Schedule


Maria posing for the camera while Heather works hard for her pull-ups

Hear ye, hear ye, here’s the schedule for the July 4 weekend.

Saturday, July 3:  Normal weekend hours:  8am, 9am, and 10am group classes; 4pm Strength Saturdays.
Sunday, July 4:  Gym is closed.  No group classes.
Monday, July 5:  Weekend hours:  8am, 9am, and 10am group classes.

Photos of Team CFO in Action

In case you missed the link in comments from the previous post, our very own TomC was on hand last Saturday to take some photos of Team CFO while they got put through the paces on a pretty rough workout.  Enjoy:

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Jun 29th, 2010

CFO Pool Party July 25


Members of the recently completed CFO On-Ramp class

We’re excited to announce that we’ll he holding a CFO Pool Party at the Hiller HIghlands Country Club (Bad Brad’s club) on Sunday, July 25, beginning at 12pm.  For those of you who’ve been with us for a while, you’ll know that this is the same club where we’ve held our Christmas party the past two years.

This will be a great opportunity to chill out by the pool, eat some good food, and recognize the hard work that everyone on Team CFO has put in leading up to the Games.  And we may just have a souvenir to bring back from the Games as well, depending on how the weekend goes.

As with all of our social gatherings, friends and family are most welcome.  And Robyn will be performing back flips into the pool.

Hiller Highlands Country Club website:

Please RSVP in comments so that we can get a rough headcount.

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Jun 28th, 2010

Sugar Challenge: 3 Days Left!



Just to put things in perspective for you.

We’re in the home stretch of our sugar challenge–only 3 days left!  Major props for those of you who made it to the very end!  Between the graduations, weddings, and summer bbqs, this challenge has truly been a test of mental fortitude. You can all thank Dawn for the timing of this one!  As our sugar-free month comes to a close, I’d like to open up some discussion about how this went for you. 

For those who stuck it out:  Did you find it easier to stay on track knowing that others were suffering with you?  Or that your money was on the line?  How did you feel about the length of the challenge? Is 30 days too long or just right? Anyone going to keep going or are you counting down the minutes?

For everyone else: What made you give in to the sweets?  If you were to do the challenge again, what might you do differently, if at all?

Any suggestions for future food-related challenges?  A few of you have offered up the following:

  • Low sodium challenge
  • No wine, beer, or alcohol challenge
  • Strict paleo eating challenge

Let the festivities begin!  How will you be rewarding yourself come July 1st? 

Share reflections to comments.

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Jun 27th, 2010

Knee Pain

Last week I talked about muscle tightness and/or pain you may be having in your body.  I did get a few questions about this, so I thought that it would be helpful to review the prehab/rehab plan for those of you with nagging soreness in your knees or IT band.  (Note: this plan does not treat meniscus or ligament tears.)

This plan is simple and should take no more that 20 minutes a day.  Spend 10 minutes using the foam roller or ball on your lower body.  Spend the next 10 minutes stretching out the muscles you have just rolled.  Throughout the day, stretch your calves and quads–at least 3 times, even if it is only for 30 seconds each. 

In January, I posted two great videos on foam rolling your lower body.  Watch them and then foam roll all of the areas covered in these videos.  Then do the following stretches.  After doing this routine for a few weeks, add in exercises that will strengthen the weakness that may be leading to your pain (if your knees move inwards when you are squatting, you need to strengthen your adductor muscles; if your weight moves towards your toes when you squat, you need to stretch the quads and calves and strengthen the glutes).

Here is a series of stretches for your lower body:

Quadriceps stretch:

hip flexor 2-1.jpg

Kneel in front of a wall.  Lift one leg so that the knee is pressed against the wall.  The lower leg should be parallel with the wall.  Bring the other foot in between your hands so that it is flat onto the ground.  If you are feeling a lot of stretch in the front of the thigh (of the leg that is on the wall), move the back knee away from the wall (as Daniel has).  Then take your hands off the ground and bring your torso up so that it is also parallel with the wall.  Hold 30 seconds and switch sides.

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Jun 26th, 2010

Periodization in a CrossFit Context


We discussed the mechanisms that are at work in the balance between making progress and overtraining last week. A trainee must work hard to provide the stimulus to improve, but improvement will not occur without sufficient recovery. Given that everyone does a variation of the same workout and that workouts are programmed on a four day cycle, only one of which is rest, what is the best way to continually move forward while avoiding stagnation or performance regression?

When Mike programs his workouts, he necessarily aims high. The workouts are designed to provide a stimulus significant enough to challenge the fittest people in the gym. Add to this a demanding three on, one off schedule and the tools are provided to make great gains as well as to burn out. Enter periodization.

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Category: Fitness
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Jun 24th, 2010

Athlete Spotlight: Hannah!


Hannah showing off her badges of honor

I am thrilled to announce that this week’s spotlight is the very lovely Hannah!  Hannah is just one classy babe.   Serene, charming, funny, and if you take the time to listen, incredibly wise — not to mention knock-your-socks-off gorgeous.

Let’s face it – many of us came to CFO looking to improve our fitness, etc., but also to upgrade our aesthetic appearance.  Hannah is one of my favorite CFO stories because when she walked in the door she was already the ideal beauty.  Over the past year it has been fascinating to me to watch her get stronger, fitter and just plain tougher.  How do you improve on perfection?  Well, just look at Hannah for that answer.  And in her personal dealings with people it becomes quickly evident that she is even more beautiful, strong and tough on the inside.   I’ve certainly gotten some invaluable advice eavesdropping on her conversations at 6am.

As an athlete Hannah is dedicated and very disciplined.  She will literally beat herself bloody to get the job done and then come back for more.  And if you have not seen her kipping pull-ups yet, you are missing out on pure artistry and grace.  Hannah has recently become engaged and I think we can all agree that Davey is a very lucky man.

Post congratulations and Hannah appreciation to comments.

Name: Hannah Love
Height: 5’8"
Weight: 135
Age: 36

Q: How long have you been a member at CFO?
A: A little over two life altering years.

Q: What is your day job?
A: Acquisitions Editor at UC Press and mom. I prefer the latter job to the former, but when I don’t show up at work, I’m told I won’t get paid. The nerve.

Q: What is your athletic background?
A: Danny Staton, my best friend when I was younger, used to make us play The Six Million Dollar Man and Woman (you know, based on the show with Lee Majors and LIndsay Wagner). We both had bionic super powers (of course) and so we would have to run around the neighborhood leaping things and climbing walls and saving things from harm. It was pretty athletic.

Q: What is your favorite strength move?
A: Complaining about Mike’s workouts. (It’s exhausting).  

Q: What is your favorite met-con?
A: Talking during warm-up. It’s really hard to talk fast in a whisper while the coach is trying to explain things. You have to keep starting and stopping in the middle of your sentences.

Q: What is your proudest achievement?
A: Getting through the first six months of CF. I was very hard on myself in the beginning and a few times I went home in tears, swearing never to return. Davey would tell me I didn’t have to go back, but if I wanted to be there, I was going to need to figure out *why*. It was a Yoda and Luke Skywalker moment. In six months, I got a kipping pull-up and then I did 100 of them for one of those crazy girl-named workouts. It was a breakthrough to learn that I could push myself like that. And my hands were all bloody, which I thought was pretty cool.

Q: What is your most desired goal?
A: Pull-ups with a forward facing grip and a handstand push-up.

Rant or Rave: I never imagined myself in a place like CFO. I had no athletic confidence and worse than that, I ran obsessively (25-30 miles a week), and believed that I was keeping thin because of it. Of course, I wasn’t really building any strength, and compared to what I eat now, I wasn’t really eating enough to call it eating! I couldn’t do a pull-up, a push-up, a rope climb, a box jump, or even one jump rope. I was terrified of people watching me work out (ok I still am), but I couldn’t deflect the overwhelming sense of community, support and encouragement that was/is in abundance at the gym. And so I was hooked. (Also, Mikey kept saying "good stuff, Hannah," and I think it’s cool when he says that). I won’t bore everyone with too much mushy mush stuff about how CF has changed my life, etc, but it has. I am 100% confident that it is the people at CF that make it what it is. I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago, or lost interest, had I been at a different gym.

Important Stats: Stats are not my strong suit. Let’s just say I’ve done pretty well (for me) at a few things and still want to improve on lots of others.

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Jun 23rd, 2010

CrossFit Games Accommodations


The LAX/Manhattan Beach SpringHill Suites

We’ve finally decided on a hotel for our trip down to LA for the CrossFit Games and wanted to let all of you know about it. 

We’ll be staying at the The LAX/Manhattan Beach SpringHill Suites.  These suites are set up in much the same way that the Embassy Suites were in Santa Clara, when we stayed there for the NorCal Sectionals.

Here’s information on the rooms:

Each room sleeps three comfortably (one king or queen bed and a pull-out sofa bed).  And there’s a free breakfast served every morning.

The cost is $104/night, but with a AAA discount, we got the price down to $99/night. 

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Jun 22nd, 2010

No-Sugar Challenge Check-In

Sugar:  The Bitter Truth


Dawn asked me to post on the No-Sugar Challenge, so that everyone could chime in on a few matters.

Before that, though, I’d like to recommend watching the video above (at 90 minutes long, you better break it up into manageable pieces).  We posted this video a few months back, but anyone who’s joined the gym recently may not have had a chance to watch it.

On to the No-Sugar Challenge.  In no particular order, please weigh in on the following in comments:

  • Whether or not you’re still in the challenge
  • Where you want to go for the celebration (if anywhere)
  • Main challenges thus far
  • How you feel thus far
  • Any lessons you’ve learned
  • Any credence to lend to TomC’s concise nutritional theories
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Jun 21st, 2010

Coffee Alternatives

Dandy Blend.jpg

Trying to kick your coffee habit or looking to cut back?  If so, then this post if for you!  I don’t drink coffee anymore but when I weaned myself off I sure wish I had something to make the process a little easier.  Here’s a list of my top 3 caffeine-free coffee alternatives.  

#1 Dandy Blend.  To me, this stuff tastes almost identical to coffee and smells like it, too!  I know of a few hardcore coffee drinkers that have recently weaned off their coffee and are now loving the Dandy Blend. It’s bitter like coffee with a slight hint of sweet.  It’s made from "totally soluble extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and beetroot."  It’s a powder that you just mix with hot water so it’s fast and easy to make. Dandelion and chicory root both have a lot of medicinal qualities.  They are both bitter digestive stimulants and can act as mild laxatives.  Herbalists have found them particularly useful in increasing bile flow aiding in metabolizing fat and cholesterol and detoxification.  These herbs are also highly alkalizing, which is definitely important for those drinking a lot of coffee. This stuff is amazing!!

#2 Teeccino. This is another good coffee replacement made from a blend of grains, nuts, herbs and dried fruit. Teecino is brewed like coffee and is even sold in foil bags, making it a favorite among coffee-drinkers who like the whole ritual of making that first pot of coffee and having the aroma fill your house.  

#3 INKA.  This is also an instant, caffeine-free roasted barley, rye, chicory and beet root, coffee-like beverage minus the dandelion so it doesn’t have the same bitterness found in Dandy Blend or regular coffee, however it is much cheaper.

Personally, I feel that a good cup of joe is not all that bad for you as long as it’s kept in moderation.  I’ve found that it’s usually what you put in your coffee (Splenda, creamers, etc.) that’s the real culprit.  And besides, according to some sources, coffee is the top source of antioxidants for Americans [J. Vinson of the University of Scranton, 2006].  If this sounds like you then by all means, drink up!

Post your favorite coffee alternatives to comments. 

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