Monthly Archives: December 2011
Dec 9th, 2011

Thanks, Everyone!

*** Update:  See below for information on the winning bidder numbers for all of the auction items. ***




Thanks to all of you who came to the holiday party tonight and made it a wonderful time!  We’ll post the winners of the various items from the silent auction tomorrow, so stay tuned to the blog.  Happy Holidays!

Auction Winners

Thanks to all of you who participated in the silent auction last night.  All of the proceeds are going to Brad as he begins the long road toward recovery.

In no particular order, here are the winning bidder numbers for each auction item.  If you won an auction item(s), contact us so that we can get your item(s) to you.

Handmade, Custom Journal

Winning Bidder Number:  233

Title 9 Goodie Bag

Winning Bidder Number:  100

Lululemon Bag

Winning Bidder Number:  120

Pixar Collectibles

Winning Bidder Number:  51

Math Tutoring

Winning Bidder Number:  165

4 Training Sessions w/ Mini

Winning Bidder Number:  200

Cooking Class w/ Connie

Winning Bidder Number:  165

Oakland Raiders vs. Detroit Lions, 2 Tickets

Winning Bidder Number:  108

San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 2 Tickets

Winning Bidder Number:  146

Custom Pull-Up Bar

Winning Bidder Number:  233

1-Hour Session with Psychic Jessica Lanyadoo

Winning Bidder Number:  123

Prather Ranch Gift Card

Winning Bidder Number:  114

Custom Art Piece by Annie Vought

Winning Bidder Number:  114

1-Hour Tattoo Session w/ Dustin Wengreen

Winning Bidder Number:  103

Sauce Cups (5)

Winning Bidder Number:  174

Small Bowls (5)

Winning Bidder Number:  174

Large Bowls (2)

Winning Bidder Number:  174

Coffee Filter & 2 Coffee Mugs

Winning Bidder Number:  233

Custom Print, 1 Sheep

Winning Bidder Number:  233

Custom Print, Herd of Sheep

Winning Bidder Number:  233



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Dec 8th, 2011

Holiday Party Tomorrow Night @ 6:30pm!

 *** Gym closes after the Noon class tomorrow!  No Open Gym or evening classes ***


Remember to stop by the CFO Holiday Party tomorrow at the Highland Country Club.  Click here for a map & directions.  Bring your checkbooks for the silent auction and dress in your festive best.

Food and drinks provided, but feel free to bring a yummy Holiday treat to share if you like.  Families and significant others are most welcome.

See you there!

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Dec 7th, 2011

Athlete Spotlight: Flo!



In addition to Flo having an athlete spotlight, yesterday was also her birthday, so happy birthday, Flo!

I remember when Flo first came to CFO for her intro sessions (this was back when we were at Doyle Street).  I’m guessing that Mara, Christopher, and Michael G had to do some arm-twisting to get her to try out CrossFit, and I’m glad she finally decided to give it a try.

During her first intro session, she warned me that there were a lot of things that she couldn’t do–I could tell she was nervous and had some doubts about whether CFO was going to be a good fit for her.  That seems like such a long time ago, though.  The Flo we see these days is one of the hardest working people in the gym.  And like Mara, she has that great body awareness that has allowed her to really dial in her technique on all the major lifts and movements of our program.  Can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for Flo.

Height, weight, age:

5’3” – hovers around 120 – 62

How long have you been a member at CFO?

Two years.

What is your day job?

Assistant director of Park Day School (bridge-k – 8th grade private school in Oakland)

What is your athletic background?

I never considered myself an athlete. Actually, I still don’t. I never played organized sports, ran or swam. I’ve been a dancer since childhood and that was my physical training. Also years of – ugh – step/cardio classes and those tiresome workouts of leg lifts and bicep curls.

What is your favorite strength move?

It’s a tie between back squat & deadlift.

What is your favorite met-con?

Hard question. It’s a love/hate relationship with metcons.

Proudest achievement (CF)?

It’s less about a particular lift than about staying with the program. Cross-fit is one of the most intimidating environments I’ve ever willingly placed myself into. Every day I walk into the gym it’s a personal challenge to confront being outside my comfort zone and to just Do It. And so, two years in, I’m proud to be one of the hard-working, sweating, focused people at CFO.

Most desired goal (CF)?

Personal gains across the board. Of course it would be awesome to do at least one unassisted pull-up in my lifetime. Oh, and then there are consecutive double-unders….

Rant or Rave:

There’s lots to rave about. Mike have cultivated an environment that really works. It’s competitive (which I like), yet we’re reminded that we’re competing with our selves & our own goals. I’ve never been let off the hook because of my age – I’ve been pushed, corrected, and pushed some more. Thank you!! The 5:00 class is an awesome bunch and I love working alongside every one of you. This has been said before, and I hate that it sounds trite, but it’s true – CFO has changed many aspects of my life. I have a confidence in my abilities and my strength in a different way. I walk more toward challenge than away from it and never ever use my age as an excuse to back off. I’m grateful I was encouraged to do this work (thanks Michael G, Christopher & Mara) when it was a “now or never” time in my life. And yay for Ilya, my training partner.

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Dec 6th, 2011

CrossFit Total This Sunday Dec 11 at 2pm



This Sunday, December 11, beginning at 2pm, we’ll be doing the CrossFit Total.  The CrossFit Total (CFT) is the sum of your 1-rep max back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift.  Each year, we’ve gotten more and more people to participate in this Super Sunday event.  And I hope we get an even bigger turnout this year.  It’s the one time that we test you guys on these three lifts, and it only comes up once a year, so take advantage of it.  Plus, you’ll have a lot of fun lifting with all your fellow CFOers.  And finally, it’s a great feeling to see the product of all the hard work you put into your training.  Almost everyone PRs at least one of the lifts, if not all three.

The CFT will be run a bit differently than a normal group class.  We’ll be running it a lot like a powerlifting meet, which means we need a few things from you so that we can put people into heats.

By no later than Saturday at 11:59pm (and preferably much earlier, like right after reading this post), you need to email us your opening squat, press, and deadlift numbers.  We’ll then assign you to a heat, and then we’ll publish the list here on the blog on Saturday night.

Here’s how the CFT will go down.  The doors to the gym will open at 1pm.  You’re expected to come and do what you need to do to warm up.  The first heat will kick off at 2pm sharp.  Everyone will be assigned a heat, and everyone will squat, one person at a time, one attempt at a time.  We’ll have multiple racks going (up to 13, if needed), so you won’t have to wait forever, but you will have to wait your turn and stay in the designated order.

After everyone finishes squats, we’ll then proceed in the same fashion through the press, and finally, we’ll do the same thing for the deadlift.

You only get three attempts for each lift, so be sure to pick a weight you know you can get for certain on your opener, because you can’t move down in weight after you’ve opened (using a 3-rep max is a good idea for your opener if you haven’t done a heavy single in training before).

All the rules for range of motion for each lift are covered in the CrossFit Total PDF here.

Do the CF Total!  You’ll have a blast and you’ll get a great benchmark for you training heading into 2012.

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Dec 5th, 2011

Fall 2011 Paleo Champions!


Today marked the end of CFO’s 6 week Paleo Challenge and while most folks might be racing to the nearest Krispy Kreme, we ended our challenge with a workout! This weekend we revisited the Paleo Challenge workout that we did day #1 of the challenge to determine who would be taking home the cash prize. Here are the details of the workout:

3 rounds for time of:
500m row
12 burpees
21 kettlebell swings 53/35#

At first glance, it seems straightforward enough, but I think Evelyn described it best when she said, "there’s just nowhere to hide."  This workout was unbelievably brutal! I’m happy to report that almost everyone saw an improvement in their time. Some of you even came in on rest days to sharpen your rowing skills and devise a plan to shave a few seconds off your time. All that clean eating & hard work really paid off! 

After tallying up all the scores, our top female and male winners are Ann & Arnold! You two have earned yourselves the title of CFO Hunter Gatherer Mega Superstars and a pretty hefty cash prize!

Top 3 women:
Ann 14:07  12:05
Robyn 12:31  12:05
Beth 15:33  13:45

Top 3 men:
Arnold 11:42  10:34
Lance 12:10  10:39
Brian C 11:42  10:54

Congratulations to everyone who braved the 42 days of the challenge and for your remarkable performance on the workout times two!  

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Dec 4th, 2011

Happy Birthday, Christopher!

 Peak1 (1).jpg

Today is Christopher’s (or CPeak) Birthday!  Thank you to Christopher for bringing all your hard work, humour and wisdom to CFO.   

Please post your birthday wishes to comments.

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Dec 3rd, 2011

The Magic of Sleep

The Mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex

While we cannot say for sure how much Tyrannosaurus Rex slept, I think it’s a safe bet that the answer was, "a lot."

Lifting weights does not make you stronger. In fact, immediately after a heavy training session, you experience a performance decline. You cannot lift what you just did and are, therefore, weaker. So if the act of lifting heavy things does not make you stronger, how do you make progress? The answer is recovery. The body’s ability to recover from the stresses imposed by training is what yields increased performance. For a more a more through treatment of this matter, check out Stress, Recovery, and Progress.

We will focus on a particular element of proper recovery today – sleep. Finding the time to get a full night of sleep can be a significant challenge. However, its role in driving progress can be enormous. There are some individuals for whom getting long hours of rest is unnecessary. They are few and far between, however. Unless scientists are begging you to be a participant in a sleep study to determine how you get by on minimal rest, chances are you probably fall somewhere within the bell curve of needing a full night of sleep.

All kinds of interesting things happen when you close your eyes. Growth hormone is released, the concentrations of other hormones responsible for repair and anabolism rise and fall in the bloodstream, and immune function is bolstered. If this sounds good to you, it should. You make progress when you can recover. Sleep in concert with food form the foundation on top of which performance increases can occur.

The recent Thanksgiving weekend provided me an opportunity to get several consecutive nights of long, restful sleep. I was rewarded on Monday with one of my best workouts in recent memory and personal records followed throughout the week. I have often noted that I was sleep limited in much of my training, but this episode provided a powerful reminder of that fact. If you are feeling run down and your performance in the gym has been lacking, consider taking Adam Mansbach’s advice. Go The F*ck to Sleep. Footie pajamas and/or onsies are optional, but highly encouraged.

Strength Saturday – Extra Session

The Strength Saturday classes are wait-listed until the end of the year. To accommodate that fact and because I will not be holding a class on Christmas Eve, I will hold two classes on the weekend of December 17th. I need to make sure that I am not in conflict with the CFO Team workout, but chances are that the extra class will be held on Saturday, December 17th from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM. I will have a confirmation of that next week. If you are interested in the extra class, drop me a line at

Sleep well. Train well.

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Category: Fitness
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Dec 2nd, 2011

Paleo Workout and Holiday Party Auction Info


Mara getting her tire drag done

Paleo Workout This Sunday

Just a quick heads-up to all of you in the Paleo challenge.  We’re fast approaching the end of the challenge…in fact, this Sunday is the last day.  We’ll be running everyone through the Paleo Workout this Sunday, December 4 at 11am.  If you can’t make it this Sunday, email us and we can make arrangements for you to do the workout at another time.

Items for Auction

Many of you have already contacted us regarding items you’d like to put up for auction at next week’s holiday party, as I first wrote about in Monday’s post.  Thank you for the response thus far!

If you have items that you’d like to donate, here’s what we need from you:

  • First and foremost, email us letting us know that you have something you’d like to donate for the auction.
  • Describe what it is, and if possible, provide some details and a normal retail price (or range).  We’re going to create index cards that people can read at the auction describing the item(s).
  • Bring the item(s) to the party.  If you can’t make the party, or if you won’t be there until later, let us know and we can have you drop them off at CFO.  If you’re auctioning off a service (e.g., training sessions, massage, etc.), then this step doesn’t apply to you.

Thanks for all the outreach and support of Brad, everyone!

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Dec 1st, 2011

INTRODUCING: New Boot Camp Program at CFO!


Coach Arnold at work

We are very excited to announce a new program at CrossFit Oakland. Our own Coach Arnold has created a Strength & Conditioning Boot Camp which he will run twice a week in 6-week sessions, starting in January.  Here are some specifics:

– This program is offered as a stand-alone program and will require pre-enrollment through our online system (much like our On-Ramp program).  The first session can be found in Mind Body Online under the tab Boot Camp.

– The S&C Boot Camp will be run out of the CFO gym on Tues/Thurs at 9am and will cost $199 for each 6-week session.  You must be enrolled in the Boot Camp program to attend those class times.  The gym will remain closed to regular CrossFit group classes during Boot Camp.

– This program includes barbell work mainly for the lower body (squats, dead lifts) and gymnastics for upper-body strength (pull-ups, push-ups) and lots of fun conditioning work utilizing slam balls, kettle bells, box jumps, etc.  There will be no high-level gymnastics movements or Olympic Lifting.

– There is no On-Ramp requirement for the S&C Boot Camp.  All fitness levels are welcome.

– This program mainly targets non-CFO members who are looking for more of a Boot Camp experience, but CFO members are more than welcome to enroll as well.  If you are a member and want to do Boot Camp in addition to your CrossFit membership, please send us an email and we will give you a special "add-on" rate.

"CFO Strength and Conditioning Boot Camp is a great way to get in shape and feel great! Our functional fitness program will get you stronger, faster and leaner. We incorporate barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, body-weight movements and much more into this 6-week high intensity strength and conditioning program. Workouts will be fun, challenging and never the same. CFO S&C Boot Camp athletes will achieve improved stamina, strength, endurance and mental toughness. CFO S&C Boot Camp can be used as a stand-alone training program or as a complement to your current sport-specific training regimen. Classes are an hour long and are taught in a small group setting by a certified CrossFit instructor. Classes meet 2x per week, Tuesday and Thursday at 9am."

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