Monthly Archives: April 2012
Apr 30th, 2012

Welcome to More On-Rampers!


The latest batch of On-Ramp graduates

Another 4 weeks down, another new batch of CFOers.  Our most recent On-Ramp just finished up this past Friday.  Now they’re ready to train in our group classes.

Welcome to CFO group classes, everyone!

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Apr 29th, 2012

Atlas Stones

 Here is a little footage of some of you lifting the stones at the gym.  Some interesting technique involved in lifting the Atlas stones–more trick than strength?  What do you think?

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Apr 27th, 2012

Carl Paoli Breaks Down La Pistola

Carl discussing some of the finer points of the pistol

We’ve been doing, and will continue to do, a lot of skill work on pistols.  Check out the video above for some more pointers on how to perform pistols better (or get your first one).

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Apr 26th, 2012

Sign Up NOW for the Tough Mudder!

CFO MudRun.

 Let’s just say it’s been WAY too long since CFO’ers ran around in the mud

Registration fees for the Tough Mudder on Sept 29th increase $30 after April 30th!  Let’s get this team assembled.  Don’t worry if you are not prepared – we have Coach Aaron standing by with a complete training program which will augment the CrossFit you are already doing.

Everyone says this is an experience not to be missed and doing it with a team makes it even better.  So far Team CFO boasts 13 members.  While that is a very lucky number, we definitely have room for more.  So take a chance and put your training to the test. 

Formal training begins in June.  You can find out more details and register here.  Just shoot us an email and we will send you the team password so you can formally join Team CrossFit Oakland. Get ready for a good time!

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Apr 25th, 2012

Occupy Strength Competition August 11



With powerlifting meets, Olympic lifting meets, the Tough Mudder, and the CrossFit Games all happening in 2012, there’s plenty to train for.

I wanted to throw one other competition your way, though, that’s coming to the Bay Area on August 11.  It’s the Occupy Strength NorCal Competition, which is a CrossFit Football strength and conditioning competition.  It’s going to be run down at CrossFit One World by Freddy C and his crew, and it promises to be a great day of testing one’s limits.

It’s comprised of 2 parts, a strength test that involves testing your 1-rep max in the power clean, squat, bench press, and deadlift, and a metabolic conditioning workout no longer than 15 minutes, and most likely involving some fairly heavy weights, shorter sprints, and the like (this is just a guess on my part, though).

This competition serves as a nice middle ground between a traditional powerlifting meet (all max effort lifts, no metcon) and something like the 2012 CrossFit Games Open (all five workouts were metcons of varying lengths and levels of skill and strength, but no max effort lifts).  It gives you a chance to go your absolute heaviest and still test your conditioning.

I’ll be doing this (in the lightweight category, obviously), and hopefully I can get a lot of you to join me as well.

Full details are here:  Occupy Strength NorCal

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Apr 24th, 2012

CFO in the NYT!


Just in case you missed this in your Sunday paper or Facebook – Check out this article about our own little box in the big-time New York Times!!  Thanks to Louise, an elements regular and Times columnist, for making us look so good.


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Apr 21st, 2012

Powerlifting Competitors

Greg Deadlift

Greg deadlifting at the CrossFit Total in December 2011. Sorry, Zeke, I don’t have a photo of you.

Schedule Update: Next week’s Strength Saturday class (April 28th) will be coached by our one and only Mike Minium.

This weekend our very own Greg and Zeke will be heading to the South Bay to compete in their first powerlifting meet. The competition will be held at Wild Iron Gym in Santa Clara, CA under the auspices of the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA). Lifting will begin at 9:30 AM on Sunday and go until it is done. The meet is limited to 30 lifters, so unlike the last USPA meet I attended, things will probably wrap up by the late afternoon.

A powerlifting meet consists of three events – the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Competitors get three attempts at each lift and the winner is determined by totaling the heaviest successful attempt from each of the three movements, also called a "total." Actually, it is slightly more complicated than that. A formula is used that involves the lifters total and bodyweight in an attempt to more evenly compare the performance of competitors in different weight classes. The winner with the highest calculated value wins, but getting a big total is essential if a person is to win. In a meet, all the lifters finish their three attempts at the squat before moving on to the bench and then the deadlift. To allow for reasonable rest periods between each attempt, competitors are often broken up into groups, or flights, based on weight class.

Greg has been a regular at the Strength Saturday classes since they began and has made enormous strides in his lifting in that time. He is a testament to power of hard work and persistence. Zeke is a relative newcomer to the class, but has been training consistently and driving his lifts up. I am going to enjoy watching both of them compete on Sunday. Should you find yourself with the time to make a little trip to the South Bay, please stop by to cheer them on. Best of luck to both of you.

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Apr 20th, 2012

Safety in Numbers


Firefighter Patrick is helping the 6am ladies learn about gym safety!

Yes, we know the M/W/F evening classes are getting a bit crazy lately and we are looking at ways to manage the chaos more efficiently.  Thanks for your patience as we figure it out.

In the meantime, just a friendly reminder to be hyper-aware of safety and courtesy, especially when the gym is crowded.

– Be cautious around moving barbells. It is not safe to reach or walk around someone who has the bar out of the rack.  Whether your fellow lifter is squatting, pressing or jerking – please respect his or her space bubble and wait until they have completed the lift.  No matter how much you want that plate or collar that is behind them, it is not safe to grab it until after the bar is safely nestled in the rack or sitting on the ground.

– If you are not participating in a class, please clear the gym floor for those who are.  Nobody wants to be nailed with a speed rope or kettle bell while catching up with a friend or rolling out on a lacrosse ball.  Also remember that we love your children and animals and want to protect them, so please keep them off the gym floor during class time.  On that note, please clean up after your doggies – yes we recently found a special surprise near the back door 🙁

-If your fellow lifter is going for a heavy work set or is attempting a PR or heavy single in a lift, it is common courtesy to stay out of his or her line of sight and peripheral vision until after the lift.  Feel free to chat and move around during warm ups and rest. 

– We all know this, but it can’t hurt to remember to respect the equipment by not dropping fragile pieces like empty barbells and 5lb/10lb bumper/training plates. Kettle bells, dumb bells DON’T like to be dropped from overhead.  Barbells with larger sized bumper plate DO like to be dropped from overhead, just make sure you maintain control of your bar and keep it in your very own special space bubble.

Again, we are doing our best to relieve some of the evening congestion.  Stay safe and sane! 

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Apr 19th, 2012

Pistols and Snatches and Buddy Carries – O My!



Team Workouts

Ind WODs.

Individual Workouts

Yes, the CF Games Regional Competition workouts have been announced.  The Northern California regional event kicks off in exactly one month, on May 18th in San Jose.  Who’s getting excited?  Rumor has it that CFO will be sending a few competitors to take on the best in Nor Cal.  You might even know some of them….

Even if you’re not competing, you can get in on the action.  Come on down and support the team and watch some ridiculous beasts do the same stuff you do every day at CFO.  If you’ve never been to one of these things, you might want to check it out.  Pretty motivating stuff.  As usual, there will be a contingent, a tent, perhaps some food and beverages – you get the idea.  You can purchase tickets online here.

NorCal Regionals
May 18 – 20, 2012 from 8 am to 7 pm
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
344 Tully Road, San Jose, CA 95111


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Apr 18th, 2012

Change is Hard & The 80/20 Rule


Vee & Peak

Found a couple of articles to share, posted on the CrossFit Affiliate blog.  Perhaps these thoughts from other cult members will speak to you:

The first is called "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truth about Change" from a blog called CPMFitness.  If you find yourself stuck in a bad habit and really want to change it, check out this little factoid:

"Science has shown that patterns of thoughts and actions repeated many times over create what’s called a neuro-signature or a "brain groove," or a series of interconnected neurons that carry the thought patterns of a particular habit. Attention feeds the habit. When we give our attention to a habit, we activate the brain groove, releasing the thoughts, desires, and actions related to that habit. Luckily, our brain our malleable (like our muscles in our body:-). If we stop giving attention to the bad habits, those grooves weaken i.e. stop working out. When we form new habits, we drive new grooves deeper with each repetition, eventually overpowering the previous ones."

The second article is from the blog of CrossFit Hustle in Kentucky and is called The 20 Percenters.  I am particularly fond of misquoting the 80/20 rule, so I found this one fun to read.  The author cautions his clients to resist the urge to remain in the world of 80%, when there is so much to be gained from that 20% we tend to avoid.

"But think about the potential in the last 20 percent. That’s where success is exponential with every percent. Each extra effort you make in your life puts you ahead of the rest because if they are working hard, they’re most likely doing it 80 percent of the time."

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