Monthly Archives: February 2012
Feb 29th, 2012

Anyone up for the Tough Mudder?


Joey prepping to tackle last year’s TM with Team Pixar

I know we all have Open Sectionals on the brain (Holy Snatch, Batman!), but what about life after the games?   How will we ever test our awesome fitness when the games season is over?  Wouldn’t it be fun to compete as a team in something that involves fire, water and mud??  Here are some particulars:

What:  "Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie."   You can read more here.

When:  September 29th, 2012 – start time TBD

Where:  Diablo Grande, Patterson CA (less than 2 hour drive from CFO)

If you are interested in forming a CrossFit Oakland team, reply to this blog post or send an email and let us know.  Cost is $125/person until April 30th, so let’s make that our deadline for participation.  The team can be any size, so the more the merrier.

Now about that next Games WOD…

Workout 12.2
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 Snatch (M 75 / F 45 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 135 / F 75 lbs)
30 Snatch (M 165 / F 100 lbs)
Max Rep Snatch (M 210 / F 120 lbs)
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Feb 29th, 2012

To Drop or Not to Drop?


Another one bites the dust

Today we had our second 5-lb bumper/training plate break in as many weeks.  That’s not a good trend.  I don’t like to be a gym cop, but losing equipment that is extremely useful for many in the gym is not something that we can continue to have happen.

With that in mind, here are some rules that will help guide you when in doubt over the drop or no-drop question.

You cannot drop any of the following from overhead (or even off the ground):

  • Empty bars (they bend and eventually become unusable)
  • Bumper plates (large diameter plates, usually made of rubber) or training plates (large diameter plates, usually made of plastic) weighing 10 lbs or less.  The 5-lb plates and 10-lb plates simply can’t take the beating of repeated drops from above ground.  Eventually they crack and break.
  • Iron plates of any weight
  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells

You can drop the following:

  • A bar loaded with bumper plates of 15 pounds or more on each side.
  • Just about anything else other than the stuff mentioned in the "cannot drop" list above

And one other thing to keep in mind:  Think about how you combine weights when loading a bar.  Since the 5-lb and 10-lb bumper plates are by far the most brittle of the plates, if you find yourself increasing the amount of weight on the bar (whether in a strength workout or a conditioning workout), trade them up for thicker, sturdier alternatives.  So rather than having two 10-lb bumper plates and one 5-lb training plate on each side of a bar, opt for a 25-lb plate.  Also, whenever you can, use iron 5-lb plates instead of the 5-lb training plates, if you’re adding weight to the bar.  Of course, if you only have a 5-lb plate on each side (i.e., no other weight on the bar) and you’re lifting from the floor, go with the 5-lb training plates (just don’t drop them).

Finally, if you’re unsure about any of this stuff when training, just ask us.  We’ll be happy to help out and answer any questions you might have.

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Feb 28th, 2012

A Cool Squat Warm-Up

27 Squats

This video has been making the rounds on Facebook–thought I’d share it here on the blog.

I’ve been playing with this myself and some of the group classes have been guinea pigs as well.  It’s producing some great before-and-after results in the squat.  Give it a try next time we’re warming up the squat (we’ll be doing back squats this Friday, by the way).

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Feb 26th, 2012

Got Food? How to Know if You Are Eating Enough


A few people who train at CFO, aka CFOers, are doing a Paleo Challenge until March 30th. For those of you new to the whole Paleo thing, for the next 33 days their diet will consist of unlimited amounts of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, coconut, veggies and some fruit (I like to frame it this way rather then focus on the foods that you can’t have). Although, I’m not officially participating in the challenge, I’ve joined their Google Group, where they stay in touch and get support from each other–which, by the way, is a brilliant idea!

Earlier this week there was in email from one of the participants, who shared that she’d been feeling chronically tired and hungry and was ready to call it quits. Fatigue, irritability and hunger are all common complaints I hear from folks switching from a high-sugar, high-grain diet (all grains/starch turn into sugar) to a lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat, higher-protein diet.  This is often the result of two things: 1) the body goes through an initial adjustment period where it’s being deprived of sugar and now having to resort to burning fat for fuel and/or 2) the effects of withdrawal symptoms, particularly if you were eating a lot of dairy, gluten, or sugar.  

That said, often when I hear this complaint, the first thing I do is look at what they’re eating. Always do the simplest thing first! Perhaps, those hunger pangs are simply your body’s way of saying, “feed me!”

So, just to be certain, I entered her breakfast, which consisted of 2 eggs, ? can of coconut milk and berries, into a nutrition database and found that while it was a nice well-balanced meal, it only provided her with a mere 387 calories. So, how do you know if a 387-calorie meal is an adequate meal for you?  

This is often where I see people make some of the biggest (and easiest to avoid) mistakes.  When you’re figuring out how much to eat, how often to eat and how much of each macronutrient (protein, fat and carbohydrates) you should get, there are a number of factors that you will want to consider before putting that fork to your mouth. The #1 thing to remember is that we are each unique in our biological make-up and our tolerances or intolerances to certain foods. This is SO important! Just because someone who you train with is about the same size as you and benches the same as you, it does NOT therefore, mean you should both eat the same foods in the same quantities.  

Here are some things to consider:

  1. What are YOUR goals? Do you want to lose weight, put on muscle, or maintain your weight? Knowing this will help guide you in choosing how much of each macronutrient you need at each meal. For example, those looking to lean out, may want to bias their meals towards more protein and less carbohydrate.
  2. How well do YOU tolerate cheese, milk and grains?  How about sugar? How do you feel when you eat these foods? IF you get symptoms like, gas, bloating, belching, headaches, brain fog, fatigue, or congestion, your body is not handling these foods well and it’s best to avoid them.
  3. What’s your energy like after a meal? Do you crash after a meal? Food coma? Sure sign you had too many carbs/sugar or just ate too much.
  4. How active are YOU? If you sit for 8 hours a day, you probably don’t need to eat as much as someone who works on their feet all day. Even if you do CrossFit.
  5. How sore are you after workouts? Barring rare exceptions, if it takes you more than 3-5 days to recover from a workout, you probably need more protein.
  6. Are you hungry all the time? If you are hungry all the time, you are not getting enough food at your main meals. Your digestive system needs a break between meals and if you’re constantly feeding, you’re putting a huge demand on your system.  Also, if you’re eating all the time, your body never gets to use its reserves (aka your body fat)! Most people can do just fine on 3 meals a day. Likewise, if you are not hungry, DON’T eat. Don’t force food down your throat just because you think you should; your body will tell you when it needs to be re-fueled.  I should also mention that often when someone has low-appetite (the one-meal-a-day person) it’s usually a sign of a sluggish metabolism. Our metabolism will slow down to conserve energy if we restrict calories too much. Don’t be a calorie counter. It takes the pleasure out of eating and will eventually cause your metabolism to come to a screeching halt.

The bottom line here is that each and every one of us is different in our dietary needs and this will most likely change at various stages through our life based on our training, health status, etc. Just remember to listen to your body.  Don’t ignore signals from your body. And don’t get stuck in a rut with food; always re-evaluate the way you’re eating and decide for yourself how well it is working for YOU.

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Feb 25th, 2012

Updated Heat List for CF Games Open Workout 12.1


Team CFO getting after it at the Sac-Town Throwdown

OK, after some fast and furious last-minute additions, here’s the latest heat list.

Click on the attachment link below to pull up the PDF file with all the heats for tomorrow.

And as always, if for some reason you don’t see your name on the list, email us.  

Those of you who are going at non-standard times (not between 11am and 1pm on Saturday), I’ll see you at the times we’ve agreed to already via email.  You won’t appear on on the PDF file with a heat time.

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Feb 24th, 2012

Saturday Heats for Open Workout 1


Brandon post-workout at the Sac-Town Throwdown

Below are the heat assignments for Saturday, February 25.  Click on the link at the bottom of this post for the PDF attachment.

The workout is max number of burpees in 7 minutes.

As we mentioned in this post, this list is based on those of you who have registered on our site.  There’s a $50 fee to do the workouts at CFO.  This money will go towards the purchase of equipment we need to do the workouts (like the boxes we bought last year), as well as taking care of everyone after the workouts (more on this on Saturday), and most importantly, to guaranteeing that your score will be judged and validated.

Also, some of you have asked to do the workout on a different day and/or time, which we can accommodate, of course.  Just send us an email if you’re in this boat so that we can make sure someone is on hand to judge and count reps for you.

Judges Needed

Just like last year, we’re looking for judges during the Open.  If you can spare some time on Saturdays, send us an email so that we can get you scheduled to judge heats.

See you all on Saturday…get some!

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Feb 23rd, 2012

The CrossFit Games Are Upon Us…Don’t Worry

Don’t worry, your Games experience won’t be nearly as bad as my "Who’s Your Daddy?" workout in the video above (circa 2008)

In case you haven’t already heard, the first workout of the CrossFit Games Open has been released, and it’s a doozy:  Max Burpees in 7 Minutes

If you’re doing the Games and this is your first experience, remember, this is just about testing yourself.  You’ll no doubt have to dig pretty deep and you’ll go to places you might not have thought you were capable of.  But just have fun with it.  Don’t let it own you.

After all, you already know what the workout will be each Saturday when we do it.  You can plan a strategy and pick a pace.  It won’t be nearly as bad as what happened to me in the video above.  I wasn’t even planning on working out that day (thus the rolled-up sweatpants; I never willingly work out in sweat pants, especially ones where I have to deal with wedgies while training).  And I still enjoyed the experience, believe it or not (especially once it was over with–maybe not so much while it was going down).

Anyway, a little levity for you before we get into burpee hell on Saturday.

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Feb 22nd, 2012

Bad Brad in the House Wednesday Night at 5:30pm!


Brad in action at CFO

For those of you who are newer to CFO, this post won’t mean much, but as I wrote in this post last year, one of our old-school CFO members, affectionately known as Bad Brad, was in a serious motorcycle accident last year.

Since then, he’s had to go through some serious rehab and he’s made some serious progress.  Tomorrow night, Wednesday 5/22, he’ll be stopping by CFO around 5:30pm.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to see him since the accident, this will be a great chance to catch up with him.

I hope that those of you who know Brad will take advantage of this opportunity and stop by tomorrow night.

(And thanks to Manwell for driving Brad over and being his chauffeur.)

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Feb 21st, 2012

Wednesday Night Reminders


Aaron, Hyo, Katie, and John at the Sac-Town Throwdown

A couple big Wednesday night reminders…

Prather Ranch Drop-Off

For those of you who ordered meat (see this post for the list), Prather Ranch will be dropping off the 32 boxes you all have ordered.  If you’re splitting a box with someone, please remember to bring an extra bag or box so that you guys can take your share of the meat home.  It all comes in 40-lb boxes, whether you’re splitting or not.

If you haven’t yet done so, please pay for your box of meat, whether by cash, check (payable to CrossFit Oakland), or credit card.

CrossFit Games Open Workout 1

The first workout of the CrossFit Games Open gets released at 5pm PST Wednesday night.  Can’t wait!  And I expect to see a lot of you practicing the movements and doing some dry runs on Thursday.  It’s Games season–let’s get it on!

And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out our Team CFO page (and it’s never too late to join those competing from our gym):

And I have one more Wednesday night announcement that will be meaningful for a lot of you, but I want to devote a dedicated post to it, which I’ll do tomorrow night.  Stay tuned.

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Feb 20th, 2012

Upcoming Nutrition Events


Stowe’s pre-workout meal helped fuel his heavy deadlift effort

For those of you interested in expanding your knowledge of healthy eating, there will be two fabulous seminars happening this Saturday, February 25th that you may want to check out.  Unfortunately, they’re both happening at the same time, so unless you have some super-human power to be in two different locations at the same time, you’ll have to make a tough decision. Both are sure to be excellent!

WHATPractical Paleo Seminar with Diane Sanfillipo

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

WHERE: CrossFit Santa Rosa
1005 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

More From The Event Site:
The truth about what’s healthy to eat including dispelling common mainstream nutritional myths about fat, cholesterol, and whole grains. What inflammation IS, how to prevent it and why it’s the most important thing to understand in preventing chronic disease, improving body composition AND performance in the gym.

Event #2

WHAT: Cholesterol – The Billion Dollar Lie with Nathan Brammeir

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
* registration deadline is Wednesday, 2/22/12 *

WHERE: Diablo Crossfit
2447 Estand Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

More From The Event Site:
Mounting evidence shows that our unrelenting desire to lower cholesterol levels has only really served the interest of pharmaceutical companies. It’s possible, in fact, that this campaign has been detrimental to our health by actually increasing the risks of coronary heart disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. This is the story of cholesterol and saturated fat that they don’t want you to hear.

I hope to see some familiar faces at the Practical Paleo seminar!

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