Monthly Archives: August 2011
Aug 21st, 2011

Shoulder Clinic Recap Part 2–The Exercises

In case you have forgotten them, here are the exercises that we covered in the shoulder clinic.  These exercises will not hurt you, but they are not specific to any certain injury, so they may or may not be beneficial to you.  If you have particular questions about a shoulder problem, please post to comments or email me.

Do these exercises 2-3 times a week, with at least one day in between.  Start with 2 sets of 6-8 reps each, work up to three sets of 12, then add weight and start at the lighter rep scheme again.  The weight should be challenging, but not so much that it hurts to do the exercises or that you are doing them incorrectly.

Thanks to Coach Tamara Holmes for her modeling time!

One Arm Row


Please click Read More for the rest!!!

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Aug 20th, 2011

Mr. Konstantinovs

Schedule Update: Strength Saturday will occur as normal this Saturday from 4 to 6 PM. Alas, we are full this week and cannot accept anyone else for the session. There’s always next week, however.

Twenty-seven seconds of awesome.

This week’s post will be on the shorter side because I have some pictures that need to go out the door sooner rather than later. However, for those that enjoy the finer things in life, I present to you Mr. Konstantin Konstantinovs. After watching the video above, you may feel the need, as I do, to refer to him as Mr. Konstantiovs. Mr. Konstantiovs hails from Latvia and most of the talking that goes on his videos is, unsurprisingly, in Latvian. Fortunately, I am here to translate for you. Since being an absurdly strong powerlifter doesn’t really pay the bills, he makes his living as a bodyguard.

Konstantiovs pulls a jaw dropping 815 pounds off the ground while standing on a 3.5 inch box. Firstly, an 815 pound deadlift is a feat of strength that puts a person in pretty exclusive company. He has effectively made the bar closer to the ground by standing on the box, which makes the lift significantly more difficult. After all, 815 pounds is not enough of a challenge all by itself. He is not wearing a dealift suit, nor a belt, just a t-shirt celebrating the ????? ?????????? ????????????????? ??????????, shorts, and some lifting shoes. However, the part that really is intended to hurt the feelings of the viewer comes after Konstantiovs finishes the lift. He holds the bar in his hands for a while, looks around, has a chuckle, and mentions something to the effect of, "Please post this video on the CFO site. Say ‘Hello’ to Mini for me." My Latvian is a little rusty, but I am pretty sure that captures the spirit of what he said. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Aug 19th, 2011

Lalanne Fitness Throwdown This Sat Aug 20 at 9am



This Saturday, August 20, Lalanne Fitness will be hosting a Summer Throwdown, which will give men and women a chance to compete in 3 workouts which will be announced the day of the competition.

Justin, along with possibly one more male competitor from CFO, will be throwing their hat in the ring this Saturday.

I’ll be there to root and coach these guys on…hopefully some of you all can make it over there, too!

You can see the heat assignments here:

Summer Throwdown Heat Assignments

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Aug 18th, 2011

Percentages, In-Season Training, and Other Matters


Sierra pulling a PR 120# clean at Femme Fit

The article below, from Charles Poliquin’s site, covers a lot of territory, and is written by a former strength-and-conditioning coach for a D1 college football team.  Although the article specifically addresses what to do with in-season training for a football team and its inherent challenges (balancing a weekly game and all of its demands with an off-field training program), there are nonetheless some take-home points that may help with your own training.

Some of the key points:

  • Percentages, and percentage-based training, are important, but not the gospel.  Some days you might be stronger than what the percentages suggest, and some days you might not be.  Training heavy consistently is the key to getting stronger, whatever heavy may mean for you on any given day.
  • The body’s only capable of so much.  If you’re pursuing other endeavors (another sport, CF Games training) beyond strength training, you can still keep up your strength levels by reducing volume but keeping the intensity high.  For example, as you increase the number of CF metcons you’re doing, instead of hitting 3 sets of 5 on the back squat, go for a single set of 5 (5-rep max).  Tweaking and manipulating volume is going to be the key to sustaining progress in the lifts.

Read the full article here:

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Aug 17th, 2011

“The Lost Art of Play” by Mark Sisson

Mark Sisson’s talk on the importance of play

Recently, a who’s who list of Paleo lifestyle speakers gathered at the Ancestral Health Symposium on August 5th and 6th to give a series of talks on topics ranging from exercise to diet to science.  I’ve started to watch a number of these talks (one of my current favorites is Mat Lalonde’s talk), which can be found on Vimeo, but thought I’d post this one by Mark Sisson, since his message is a good one, and one that’s often overlooked.

There are a series of slides that accompany his talk, which can be found here:

And yes, it’s 48 minutes long.

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Aug 16th, 2011

Last Call for Prather Ranch Beef


It’s that time of year again:  meat ordering time!

This is the last call to get in on a 40-lb box of Prather Ranch organic, grass-fed beef for $240.  Each 40-lb box contains around 20 lbs of ground beef and 20 lbs of various cuts of beef (NY strip, London broil, tri-tip, etc.).

Here’s who I have for an order thus far.  And remember, you can split a box if you want to get in on the order but think 40 lbs is too much.

Brian C
Kirsten & Gary (Split)
John P
David R

I’ll place the order with Prather on Wednesday, so if you want in, I need to hear from you by then.

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Aug 15th, 2011

Femme Fit Final Results


Our strong CFO women at Femme Fit

The final results are in for the 2011 Summer Edition of Femme Fit:

Final Standings

Congratulations to the podium finishers; they definitely earned it:

  1. Jenny Labaw
  2. Sarah Hopping
  3. Alessandra Pichelli

For our part, we had one top-ten finisher (Journey, 8th) and four in the top 25 (Journey, Tamara, Stacy, and Lydia).

But the results only tell part of the story.  In no particular order, here are my key moments for each CFO woman in Femme Fit.

Hyo:  After injuring herself during the hill run, she gutted out the cleans and still managed to get on the board.  She is one tough lady.

Ann G:  Saved the best for last.  She came in trailing everyone after the first 400m run in her heat in Event 5 (run/burpee/sandbag).  By the time she took off on the second 400m run, she had passed at least half a dozen other competitors.  That burpee and sandbag work paid off!  And this from a woman who wasn’t running at all two months ago.

Sierra:  PRing in the clean with 120#.  It’s important to note that Sierra had to gain bodyweight in order to finally be able to clean her bodyweight (more on this in a blog post to come).

Mune:  Her previous PR in the clean was 122#.  Yesterday, she cleaned 145#.  Can you say improvement?

Sarah K:  Her goal for her clean was 85#.  So what did she end up getting?  100#–welcome to the triple digit club!

Holley:  Although she also PR’d her clean with 120#, her key moment was gritting her way through Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell).  The last 10 swings were torture, but she didn’t put that kettlebell down!

Teresa:  She knew she’d handle the runs with ease and didn’t disappoint, but Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell) was a major question mark for her going in.  Not only did she handle it, but she sailed through without a hiccup, finishing in 8:06.

Joey:  I’ll always remember Joey’s grit in all of the workouts, but the fact that she had to split time between scorekeeping and competing was something to behold.  There were a couple of workouts where she went right from the scorer’s table to the start line, without even warming up.

Carrie:  Just scratching her potential at this point.  Could she have made her 155# clean look any easier?

Michelle:  Her first major CF competition, and she finishes 27th.  Along the way she PRs in the clean at 165# (just missing 170#) and turns in a 3-minute-and-change performance in Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell).

Lydia:  Besides her customary grit, and coming off a month of injuries and limited training time, she still manages to finish in the top 25.  Beyond that, she turned in the 11th fastest time of the day on Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell).  And she didn’t even practice this workout leading up to Femme Fit.  Not even a little.

Stacy:  Whether it’s dusting the competition on the hill run or PRing in her clean by 10 pounds (145#), Stacy always has a big performance in her come game day.  She also managed to have the 2nd fastest time overall in Event 5 (run/burpee/sandbag).

Tamara:  What can we say that hasn’t already been said about T?  She’s such a gamer, always stepping up when it’s competition time!  Whether we’re talking about the fastest time of the day on Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell), where she never broke any of the reps in any of the exercises, her powerful clean, or her rocking 100m sprint, she didn’t disappoint.

Journey:  Besides finishing in 8th place overall, we learned one key thing about Journey:  She can run long or she can run fast!  She finished in 7th place on the hill run and in 3rd place on the 100m sprint (Tamara, her sprinting nemesis, nudged her at the line for 2nd place).

Connie:  Despite not competing, she was in 9th place after two events (inside joke).

Strong work by all.  You did CFO proud!

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Aug 14th, 2011

2011 Femme Fit Summer Edition is a Wrap!


The CFO tent in full force at Femme Fit today

Femme Fit went down today and CFO definitely represented.  What a great event and awesome performances by all the women who competed.  We’ll have much more on this in a follow-up post (including final results), but for now just know that every woman who competed got at least one major PR in either a timed workout (compared to practice runs) or on the clean (there were clean PRs happening all over the place).

Thanks to all the CFOers who came out to cheer and lend support.  

Thanks to Nabil, MJ, and all the judges and volunteers who made Femme Fit a blast.

And finally, for all of you who were there, let’s shout it one last time:

Let’s Go Oak-Land!

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Aug 13th, 2011

A Very Strong Woman

Reminder: CFO is closed on Saturday, August 12. Strength Saturday will be moved to Sunday, August 13th and will take place from 2 PM to 4 PM. Email me if you would like to attend.

I’d like to introduce everyone to Russia’s Tatiana Kashirina. She is one of the best female weightlifters in the world and won the gold medal at the 2011 European Weightlifting Championships held in Kazan, Russia. Tatiana competes in the superheavyweight (above 75 kg) women’s division and weighs 97.6 kg (215 pounds). Her prowess on the weightlifting platform is so great that if she competed in the men’s 94 kg class in the recent 2011 US National Championships in July, she would have tied for third place.

Tatiana’s opening lifts start after all of her competitors have finished their third attempts. She snatched a world record 146 kg (322 lb) and clean and jerked 181 kg (399 lb) to earn a total of 327 kg (721 lb). Take a moment to think about that. She picked up 400 pounds off the ground and got it over her head. That is a very impressive accomplishment for a male and one that very few lifters ever attain. That she does this as a woman is even more amazing.

There’s a video from the European Championships that is commentated in English, but the audio is rather distorted, so I went with the version above that I assume is in Russian. The video is quite lengthy (18 minutes), but I set the start time to include Tatiana’s last lift. Aside from her incredible display of power during the competition, I was also impressed with her reaction after she successfully completed her clean and jerk. Tatiana didn’t yell, or scream, or carry on. She smiled, bowed, and had to fight back tears. She dominated every one of her competitors by a wide margin, yet was restrained and dignified upon her victory. I was very impressed.

Before I go, I want to point out one other salient fact. Tatiana weighs 215 pounds. She is not 215 pounds of fat, either. She’s actually pretty lean. If you are having trouble with strength, power, and recovery, ask yourself if you are eating enough. The answer is probably "no."

Best of luck to all of the competitors in FemmeFit tomorrow. May you channel Tatiana during your cleans.

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Aug 12th, 2011

Shoulder Clinic Recap–The Stretches

Thanks to all of you who showed up on Tuesday night to work on your shoulders.  I know it was uncomfortable, but it would do you good to do some of the things you learned at least once a week.

If you missed the clinic, here is a basic overview of what we did: 

1. Myofacial release for the shoulder girdle

2. Stretches for the important muscles in the shoulder

3. Strength exercises for the muscles that are often weak in the shoulders.

Tonight I will go over the stretches.  The strength exercises I will cover next week.  

First off, let me say that you can do the stretching and rolling every day or once a week when your body is warm (after a warm up, or after finishing a workout).  If it makes a difference in how you feel, doing it more often would be better.

In class, we did some trigger point release, and two foam roller moves.  The trigger point information doesn’t photograph well at all.  If you are interested, I can send you a copy of the moves in a pdf file.  We used the foam roller to go over the lats and rhomboids–click on them for a video demonstration.

Prone Internal Rotation Hang


Lie on stomach with one arm on your back.  Let your elbow drop to the floor while mentally pulling your shoulder away from the floor.  Hold 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times.

Sleeper Stretch


Lie on your side with your arm 30-90 degrees out from your body.  Have your palm facing the floor.  Lightly push your hand toward the floor.  30-180 seconds, 3 times.

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