Monthly Archives: July 2011
Jul 20th, 2011

Mark’s Daily Apple Article on Meal Timing and Frequency


Just another day in the Yard

Ever ask whether or not to skip breakfast?  What about how many meals you should be eating per day?  There’s a lot of good information out there, but also a lot of myths and bad information.

Mark, from Mark’s Daily Apple, does his level best to sift through all the information on meal timing and frequency in the following article, which is worth a read, especially if you’ve asked questions like those above before.

Meal Timing Concerns: Breakfast, Frequency, and Snacking

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Jul 18th, 2011

Talkin’ Paleo at Firestation 1


Nutrition Q and A at Firestation 1

Thank you Tami for inviting me to sit down with the good men at firestation 1 for a Paleo Q and A dinner. And a HUGE thank you to the resident chef cooked up a mean "pasta" dinner with spaghetti squash and homemade pesto!

After witnessing a fellow firefighter drop 20lbs (Sal, on the far left above) and lower his cholesterol by simply eliminating refined grains and sugar from his diet, some of the guys have gotten more and more interested in the paleo lifestyle. As a result, Tami asked me to stop by for an informal nutrition talk.  They asked a lot of really good questions about what it means to eat Paleo, how to get started and how to tweak the diet to make it fit their needs and goals.  It’s always fun to share what I know and hear about others’ experiences with paleo (and non-paleo) eating.  

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Jul 17th, 2011

Posterior Chain Strengthening Exercises

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Manwell on his twentieth deadlift at 315# today.

Here are a few exercises that would benefit most of you with low back weakness or pain in your knees.  You can do these before you work out, or on rest days, three times a week.  I am leaving all of these on our main page because I want you all to look at them.  They will seem familiar to you, but it would benefit each of you to make them a part of your regular routine.

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Single Leg Glute Bridge:  Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip width apart.  Lift hips off ground so that you make a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.  Hold 5 seconds.  Lift one leg off the ground while holding the bridge position.  Work up to a 60 second hold on each leg, 2-3 sets on each leg.

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"Poor Man’s GHD" (in Mini’s words):  Kneel with something or someone holding your feet to the ground (this is really important!).  Engage your glute muscles, and lean your body forward, keeping yourself straight from your knees to head.  Hold 10-20 seconds, 10 reps.  

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Back Extension Hold: On the GHD (or some device like this, you can even use  ball (gasp!)), hold your body in this extension position for 30 seconds for 10 reps.  Work up to 180 seconds for 2-3 reps.  Keep pulling your shoulder blades down and back.  If you start to fatigue, release and rest.

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Jul 16th, 2011

How to Grip the Bar

Schedule Update: Saturday’s CrossFit classes will be held at CrossFit East Bay. This week’s Strength Saturday will be held in the parking lot at CrossFit Oakland. Come prepared for sun. Strength Saturday will go on a two week hiatus for July 23 and 30. We’ll resume our worship at the altar of the low bar back squat on Saturday, August 6.

It is Friday night and the week was a long one. Therefore, this post will be a short one. Short, but perhaps worthwhile. Calluses are are fact of life when lifting weights. The kipping pullup, a staple of CrossFit workouts, is particularly good at forming calluses in the hand. These calluses have a nasty habit of tearing and leaving the trainee unable to complete the workout and less able to train for many days thereafter.

The video above is a somewhat lengthy discussion from Mark Rippetoe on how to hold on to the bar during deadlifts and pullups to help minimize excess callus formation. It is not specifically directed towards kipping, but a similar approach can be used there. The CrossFit Journal has a very good free article on that specifically addresses grip considerations for kipping. Torn hands mean training interruptions. Those don’t make anyone very happy. Keep your hands healthy, my friends.

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Category: Fitness
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Jul 15th, 2011

Saturday Workout at CF East Bay


Hyo at the top of a burpee

Just as we did last Saturday, we’ll be holding our Saturday workouts (8am, 9am, and 10am) at CF East Bay.  There will be no morning classes at CFO this Saturday (Strength Saturday will still be held in the afternoon).

Maximus will be programming the workout this time.  I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag on the workout details, but you can be sure that you’ll have another opportunity to practice some pull-ups.

A big thank-you to CF East Bay for hosting us again this Saturday!

And here’s a map to the CF East Bay location, which is in downtown Oakland:

520 20th Street

Note:  Park your car on 21st Street, behind the building, where the parking is free.

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Jul 14th, 2011

We Got Standards in the Yard!


Blaire looking pretty good on her gazillionth push-up 

Shoulder blades are back and down.  Bellies are pulled in tight. Chests are up. Elbows are pointed back and chests are rising at the same rate as hips.  Speaking of hips, they are more and more initating movement while the knees just follow along nicely back behind the knees.

What am I talking about?  I am talking about the standards of movement and awesome body positioning I’ve noticed more and more over the last few weeks from the athletes of CFO.  From bent-over-rows to push-presses to the dreaded overhead squat – movements have tightened up and form is more often revered over numbers.  

Of course when the clock is running, you are on your 88th push-up or going for your 1RM deadlift, that form is going to leave a bit to be desired.  What I am seeing is the willingness to sacrifice time, weight and volume in order to maintain the basic integrity of movement, NOT a sacrifice of intensity, strength and stamina.

So bravo to you for training smart.  You are all looking fabulously fit and of course tan! Keep it up!

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Jul 13th, 2011

Upcoming Master’s Track Meet at SF State University


Aaron C running his leg of the 4 x 400m relay

Noon class regular Aaron C recently wrote us about posting information on an upcoming master’s level track meet at SF State University.  Aaron is a master’s track competitor in numerous events, but he primarily competes in the sprints (100m, 200m, and 400m).

Besides providing us with information on the meet, Aaron also offered to do a short clinic on block starts and relay hand-offs (in case there are some of you out there interested in competing on a relay team) at the Piedmont High School track.  I think we should definitely take him up on the offer!

Here’s what he had to say about the upcoming track meet, the 2011 Pride Track & Field Meet:

I am hoping you’re willing to post the following information on the CFO blog in the coming days about my track club’s 2011 Pride Track & Field Meet on Saturday, August 13th at SF State University. I know there is a conflict with the Femme Fit competition, but I’m thinking there still may be some interest for those unable to get into Femme Fit – or, it can serve as a competition for the men of CFO….all are welcome.

The SF Track & Field Club is proud to present their annual Pride Track & Field Championships on Saturday, August 13th on the campus of SF State University. Sanctioned by USA Track & Field (USATF), the 2011 Pride Meet is a master’s level track meet and open to anyone between the ages of 18 – 80+. No experience needed. Ever wonder what your open 100m, 400m or mile time is? Anxious to test your CrossFit strength in the shot put, discus or javelin? Maybe with all the box jump training we do, you’re curious to see how you would do in the long, triple or high jump? Why not build a team of 4 men and 4 women of each age group and form a 4x100m or 4x400m relay team of CFO members and challenge other local CF gyms for bragging rights?

USATF Officials help run the meet and use fully electronic timing. Medals are awarded to the top 3 finishers of each age group: 18-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49…and so on. Relay teams can be formed with 10-year age group increments: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, etc. Registration is $35 per event and $5 for each subsequent event. Relays are free. To register, simply click here to download the forms and mail-in along with your payment by August 7, 2011. Day-of entrants on August 13th are also welcomed, but the rate will be $45 per event. Unless you’re affiliated with a local track club, you’ll enter as ‘UNATTACHED.’

For more information on the Pride Meet, including the schedule of events and start times, please go to Please post any questions you might have about the 2011 Pride Meet to comments and Aaron C. will be happy to help answer. You can also email him directly at

See you on the track!

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Jul 12th, 2011

To Go Minimalist or Not?


Merrell’s latest offering in the burgeoning market for minimalist shoes

Since the release of Born to Run, in addition to the ascendancy of such running methods as Pose Running, more and more shoe companies are entering the market to offer a minimalist/barefoot shoe.

Whether it be Vibram (the infamous toe shoes), Merrell, or New Balance, to name just a few, minimalist shoes are taking off.  It will be interesting to see if this is just a flash in the pan or if the minimalist/barefoot running trend will stick.

Here’s a nice article (albeit a fairly lengthy one) from Runner’s World that summarizes the current minimalist footwear scene:  Is Less More?

What do you think?  Any experience with minimalist shoes?  Pros?  Cons?

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Jul 11th, 2011

Go Gaga for Garlic!

 Learn How To Make Your Own Quick and Easy Dairy-free Ceasar Salad Dressing

Garlic is definetly a staple in our household. Garlic is very versatile and can be used to spice up just about any dish. It has been used traditionally as a natural antibiotic and the sulfur in garlic, which gives it its pungent smell, is known to enhance immune function. As if we needed another reason to love this super food, the antioxidants in garlic may prevent the oxidation of LDL cholestrol and reduce cholesterol build-up in the arteries.

For the rest of you garlic-lovers, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is happening this month July 29-31st (the same weekend as the Games!).

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