Monthly Archives: June 2011
Jun 30th, 2011

Summer Camp 2011


Fun in the weekend sun

Greetings, wonderful friends and family of CFO!  Not that working out in the blazing sun and pouring rain isn’t fun and all, but we eagerly await the chance to work out indoors as well.

We should know by next week (meeting scheduled for Thurs) if it will be tenable to stay in our current location.  This is of course Plan A and it is our deepest desire to make a home at 1313 67th if at all possible.

Just know that the Prison Yard is a temporary solution and we will make it as fun as possible and are dedicated to maintaining your fitness as we move along in this process.

Thanks for hanging in there. You are all truly family to us–we will get through this time stronger, faster, fitter and (of course) more beautiful!

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Jun 29th, 2011

July 4 Schedule



Just a quick note on our schedule next Monday, July 4…

We’ll be running a weekend schedule, so group classes will be going down at 8am, 9am, and 10am only.

There will be no On-Ramp classes that day.

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Jun 28th, 2011

The Latest from Femme Fit and Support for the Paleo Crowd

Connie and Sierra doing a test-run of Event 5 of Femme Fit

In case you haven’t been following the latest and greatest from the Femme Fit blog, two of CFO’s very own were profiled today, Connie and Sierra.  See the full post here:

Scientific Support for Paleo

Who knows how long the debate over paleo vs. non-paleo (neo?) will go on?  I certainly don’t.  But the paleo crowd got some support in a recent study led by an anthropology grad student.  The verdict:  with the introduction of modern agriculture came a decrease in health status and stature.

I’ll let you read about it and draw your own conclusions.  Is it correlation or causation? 

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Jun 27th, 2011

Who’s Up For A Challenge?


With an endless supply of ripe summer fruit everywhere, it seems that we couldn’t have picked a better time to have another no-sugar challenge. 

Are you finally ready to kick that sugar habit for good?  Then join is in 21 days of going sugar-free! They say it takes 21 days to break an unhealthy habit, so this should be just the thing you need to help tame your sweet tooth.  The challenge will begin Friday, July 1st.  Here are some helpful tips to get you started. Or you can simply take the cold turkey approach the day of.  

I am sure there will be a lot of questions about types of sugar.  The goal of this challenge is to cut out all refined sugar. If you want to take it one step further, you can eliminate all other types of sugar:

  • sugar (cane, brown, granulated, powdered, etc)
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • rice syrup
  • agave nectar
  • maltodextrin
  • sucrose
  • glucose
  • artificial sugars (aspartame, saccharin, sucrolose, Splenda, etc.)
  • sugar alcohols (maltitol, xylitol, and sorbitol)

P.S. Word on the street is Michael G has some grandiose plans for a post-challenge celebration for those who stick it out.


Post to comments if you’re in!

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Jun 26th, 2011

Training the Olympic Lifts

Oly Coach Jo Ann working on her snatch.

Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal about a Bulgarian Olympic weightlifting coach, Ivan Abadjiev, who recently started training out of a gym in Danville.  He has been training since the ’50s and created "the Bulgarian method"–no days off and hours of practice every day.  

Post your reflections to comments.  Do you think what you eat has any affect on your performance?  Does your performance change when you train every day?

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Jun 25th, 2011

Eating to Grow – Part Five

Emily Bench Press Seattle

This installment is the last, or maybe next to last, in an occasional series about putting on muscular bodyweight. For those that would like a refresher, you can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 by following the conveniently linked text. Today, we will focus on females, a training population that generally does not want to make the numbers on the scale climb higher.

First, however, I have a barely related story to share. I was in the closet-sized kitchen in my office eating a large portion of pot roast as I am wont to do around 3 PM. Let’s face it, three meals a day may not be enough if you wish to put on weight. I like to think of it as early dinner. A gentleman with whom I work came up to me while I was feeding and said, "My arms and my legs are strong enough, but I want some abs. How do I get them?" The irony of asking someone (me) who does not and never has had six pack abdominals about how to get them while I was eating a large slab of beef was apparently lost on my coworker. I replied that I don’t really have any advice on that topic and he looked genuinely hurt and asked, "Why?"  I replied that if he asked me about how to get his squat over 400 pounds, I might have some advice, but abs aren’t really my department. My coworker then asked, "Who in the world would want to squat over 400 pounds?" So begins our topic.

Trying to convince people of the utility of strength is often an uphill battle and, especially with coworkers, not one in which I would engage. If a trainee values strength, or sees its utility in the pursuit of their other goals, then that is the audience in which I am targeting today. For many, getting stronger is an irrelevancy. That’s a shame, but it’s not my goal with this article to argue in favor of getting stronger. I’ve already done that previously.

Instead, I’d like to address the topic of women who wish to become stronger, but are having some trouble doing so. I am going to assume that these hypothetical women understand that squatting is the cure to almost all of life’s problems and that they are not overtraining their conditioning. What do I mean by overtraining conditioning? Beating themselves into the ground with frequent, highly demanding conditioning workouts would count. If strength is the goal, then training must support that goal. Trying to squat big weights while doing five or six conditioning workouts a week that leave a trainee nauseated will not result in squatting big weights. Sad but true.

Of great importance will be setting a quantifiable goal for strength. This goal can and probably should include numbers for more than one lift. Once those numbers are set, the work must begin to meet them. Setting aside some time to focus on getting stronger will necessitate deemphasizing other training goals. This does not have to mean no conditioning, just less conditioning.

Eating and sleeping must also comport with these goals. Training for strength gains will involve putting on muscular bodyweight. Sorry, but someone needs to say it. Females benefit from muscular bodyweight gains just like males do. However, I am already above 500 words, so I will stretch this series for one more installment. Until next week…

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Jun 24th, 2011

Working Those Weaknesses on Recovery Days


The 5pm class getting mobile during a recovery day

Recovery days (or rest days, if you prefer) are a great opportunity for you to work on weaknesses.

With that in mind, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a couple of local coaches, both of them from San Francisco CrossFit, who have specialty blogs devoted to a couple of areas that many people always ask me about:  mobility (or flexibility) and gymnastics (or more simply, bodyweight movements and their progressions).

Kelly Starrett, or K-Star, is the owner and founder of San Francisco CF, and he’s pretty much the go-to guy for addressing any area related to mobility.  His blog, Mobility WOD, is an absolute gold mine, chock full of a year’s worth (when it’s done) of daily mobility exercises or drills that you can do, often in ten minutes or less.  Check it out here, and while you’re at it, strive to make these mobility exercises a daily part of your life: 

Carl Paoli is a coach at SFCF who also has a competitive background in gymnastics.  His blog, Gymnastics WOD, is a great resource for those of you looking to strengthen your bodyweight movements.  He posts a daily gymnastics workout that can often be done as a finisher after the primary workout (CFO workout).  These are really short, skill-based workouts.  Check out the blog here:

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Jun 22nd, 2011

Latest on Building Status


Blaire, Candace, and Lydia at the CFO Prison Yard

As most of you know by now, we have not yet gotten back into the building, and we are still doing our training in the parking lot adjacent to the building, affectionately known as the CFO Prison Yard.

Before I get into where we are with getting back into the building, I wanted to thank all of you for your patience and continued positive support.  Believe me, it is not our intention to drag this thing out and keep you guys out of the gym.  We want you back in there as soon as possible.  We know that doing the workouts outside in the Yard is suboptimal, at best, and while it’s been a fun diversion to move the training outdoors, it can’t go on indefinitely. 

To that end, we’re working every day on a resolution.  Although we can’t give a firm timeline at present, we are doing our best to move forward in the process as quickly as we can.  We’ve had a number of productive meetings with the City, and they have been helpful in suggesting ways to move this forward, as well.  As soon as we have a definitive timeline, we will let you know.  In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed for us.

And thank you again for all the support.  It means a lot.

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Jun 21st, 2011

Femme Fit Sold Out!


It came and it went, folks.  Registration has sold out for Femme Fit 2011:  Summer Edition.  If you missed out, there’s a chance you can get on a waiting list.

For more info on Femme Fit, go here:

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Jun 20th, 2011

Sayonara, Food Pyramid!


Earlier this month Michelle Obama and the U.S Department of Agriculture unveiled My Plate, a visual tool that promotes the U.S.’s new dietary guidelines.  While I don’t agree with everything My Plate has to offer, I think it’s a HUGE improvement from the old food pyramid and a giant step in the right direction.  You go, Mrs. Obama!    

  Balancing Calories
  ? Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  ? Avoid oversized portions.
  Foods to Increase
  ? Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  ? Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  ? Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  Foods to Reduce
  ? Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ? and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  ? Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Props for The Plate:

  1. The plate is much simpler and concise than the Food Pyramid, making it way easier for the average American to follow.
  2. The plate emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods, our friends: fruits & veggies!
  3. The Plate provides a more balanced approach to eating proteins and grains.  The old Pyramid recommended that we get 6-11 servings of bread, pasta, cereals per day while limiting animal meat and eggs to only 2-3 servings.  Can we say diabetes?
  4. No calorie-counting or measuring necessary! I like that it focuses on eating a varied, well-balanced meal rather than portion sizes and calories.
  5. I was pretty impressed that the corn industry allowed them to get away with recommending water over sugary drinks. Take that, corn pushers!

Needs Improvement: 

  1. "Enjoy your food, but eat less". Ummm…that’s like telling someone to just lose 10 pounds. Not that simple, folks. 
  2. Just when I thought America was finally overcoming its fat phobia, the USDA had to go and tell us to drink fat-free milk! I was disappointed but not surprised about this one.  Fat occurs naturally in milk (and other animal products). It’s supposed to be there.  Fatty acids, along with vitamin A and CLA are found in full-fat milk and are crucial for good health.  Saturated fat, like the kind found in milk, is good for you as long as it comes from a good source.  Cows that are not treated with hormones/antibiotics and are allowed to roam freely and graze on their natural diet provide us with an abundance of nutrient-dense food. Once again, the USDA is missing the boat on this one.  Oh, and ever wonder what they do with all that fat?  This may shock you.     

So now that I’ve shared some of my thoughts on the new & improved plate icon, tell me yours. 

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