Monthly Archives: October 2012
Oct 31st, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Training, CFO Style


Photographic proof that zombies exist

Make no mistake the Zombie Apocalypse is coming and we want you to be prepared.  This article from will get you on your way.  First order of business:

Stay in Peak Physical Condition. Fact: Zombies love out of shape people. They’re easier to chase down, have more flesh to eat, and put up far less of a fight.  Compare that with a highly intelligent nerd in peak physical condition: much harder to catch, composed of tough muscle instead of doughy fat, and certainly won’t go down without a fight.  You want to be a zombie’s worst nightmare.

Don’t lag behind this guy and become Zombie-food – BE PREPARED. 

The OFFICIAL CFO Zombie Apocalypse survival prep includes the following WOD, best preformed in full Halloween costume in order to simulate real events. 

"Zombie Apocalypse"

As a 2-person team complete the following for time:

20 Thrusters @ 135#/95# – Useful for lifting & throwing heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions to higher ground.

30 Dead Lifts @ 275#/185#  – Useful for picking up heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions from the ground.

40 Push-Ups – Useful for pushing yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

50 Pull-Ups – Useful for pulling yourself yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

60 Box Jump-Overs @ 24"/20" – Useful for clearing objects/bodies in your path as you run away from Zombies.

* Each time you stop work or hand-off to a partner, the zombies catch up and you must complete a 200m Sprint or 2 Rope Climbs to escape (everyone knows that zombies can’t climb), alternating between the 2 choices for the duration of the WOD.  Once you return from your sprint/rope climbs, you may resume work.

Click here and here for more on the Zombie Apocalypse, because you can never be too prepared for an invasion of the undead.  

Happy Halloween Everybody!!!  

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Oct 30th, 2012

Halloween at CFO


Shaggy, Velma & Scooby dropped by CFO last Halloween

While we are not throwing a formal Halloween Party this year, we do encourage all of you to attend classes on Wednesday in full costume.  A Halloween-inspired WOD will be provided and will offer some very practical training, as well as entertainment.  

We are planning to post the WOD a little early tomorrow so you will have time to make any… adjustments.

Happy Halloween everybody!

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Oct 29th, 2012

Free Rowing Clinic with Kelly Powers Saturday November 17th


We’re holding a free rowing clinic on Saturday November 17th at 2pm at CFO.  This clinic will be free to the first 6 CFOers who respond via email.  If you don’t get in for this clinic, not to worry:  we’ll be scheduling another one very soon (most likely the following Saturday) so stay tuned.

Kelly Powers will be leading the clinic.  Besides being a great coach, she’s not too shabby on the water, either.  In fact, she’s competing for a place on Team USA in the World Championships next year.  I’ve had the good fortune to be able to work with her on my own rowing technique on the Concept2 rower and it’s helped a ton.  I can’t recommend this clinic enough.  If you want to make your CF workouts more manageable when it comes to using the rowers (or ergs, if you prefer), this is the clinic for you.  I personally hope that you take advantage of this opportunity, if for no other reason than learning how to make the rower not suck so much when you have to use it in one of our workouts.  Don’t pass up this opportunity!

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Oct 25th, 2012

FREE Running Clinic THIS Saturday Oct 27th @ 11am


There are still a couple of spots left for this Saturday’s FREE Running clinic with Coach Aaron.  This is a great opportunity to learn some solid running technique from a legitimate track athlete and coach.  These techniques will improve your running and probably make you enjoy running more, but they will also prevent injuries that can take you out of the running game.  So don’t miss out. Sign up via email.

The clinic will be taking place at the Piedmont High School track on Saturday, October 27th at 11am anwill run for about an hour, and will focus on getting you into a solid position for running with proper mechanics via a series of drills and progressions.

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Oct 24th, 2012

Salmon Delivery Happening Soon


Nate during the tug-o-war event at the CrossTown Throwdown

Just a quick heads-up to all of you who’ve placed an order for wild Alaskan salmon (last written about here)…

The salmon is set to arrive this Friday October 26th or Monday October 29th.  It’s currently on its way down from Washington, thus the inexact delivery date.  As the truck gets closer, I’ll give all of you a more precised delivery date.  Stay tuned!

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Oct 22nd, 2012

OktoberFit Recap


Team CFOaktober at OktoberFit

Two teams from CFO, the A Team and the B Team (collectively known as Team CFOaktoberFit) competed at OktoberFit this past Saturday October 20th. 

OktoberFit was a 3-person team competition (at least 1 team member had to be a woman).  Our teams were comprised as follows:

The A Team:  Michelle M, Joey, and TomS

The B Team:  Leka, Arnold, and Mini

First off, a note about the costumes.  This was a really fun event, and all teams were encouraged to wear Oktoberfest-related costumes.  Leka, Joey, and Michelle were the masterminds behind our awesome costumes, so all credit goes to them.

There were over 70 teams that competed, so the field was big for a team competition.  And as usual at these events, each CFO team had their moments.  Both teams got off to a slow start in a workout involving 10 ring dips, 10 partner-assisted handstand push-ups, and 10 toes-to-rings.  The strategies both teams used were suboptimal and it resulted in the worst finish for both teams in any of the 4 workouts.  But it got much better after that.

The next workout was a couplet involving 25 overhead squats and 50 double-unders.  TomS and I got off easy on this workout, doing all of the double-unders and getting to rest while Joey and Michelle smashed through overhead squats for the A Team and Leka and Arnold did the same for the B team.  The highlight of this workout was Michelle doing the first set of 25 on her own, beating everyone else in the field in the first round.

The next workout was a challenging barbell complex called the St. Pauli complex.  It was 1 power clean + 2 barbell lunges + 1 hang squat clean + 2 push presses.  The weight used was 135 lbs for men and 95 lbs for women.  Only 1 person could work at a time and the order had to stay fixed, and each person could only do 1 rep.  Arnold carried the B team in this one, setting and maintaining a strong pace throughout while Leka and I did our best to simply keep up.  The A team had a much stronger pace and managed to distribute the work pretty evenly.

Our fourth and final workout was a couplet involving 200 wall balls and as many pull-ups as the team could do in the remaining time (there was a 10-minute cap on the workout).  Both teams put in a strong effort here, but the A team really shined, with huge sets by TomS and Joey, enabling the A team to finish 12th in this workout.

When it was all said and done, the A Team finished in 15th place overall and the B Team finished in 29th overall.

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Oct 20th, 2012

Lessons from the Captain

Kirk Karwoski

Kirk Karwoski at the 2012 Starting Strength Coaches Association Conference

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Kirk Karwoski about two weeks ago at Starting Strength Coaches Association Conference in Wichita Falls, TX. For those who are not familiar with Kirk, I did a write up about him at the end of 2011. Karwoski, or Captain Kirk as he was often known, is one of the great powerlifters of all time and is often called the greatest squatter in the history of the sport. His world record 1,003 pound squat in the 125 kg weight class that was set in 1995 still stands today. He won 6 International Powerlifting Championships in a row from 1991 through 1996 and was a dominant figure during his professional career.  It is not very often that you get to be around someone who was the best in the world at something and it was cool to hear Karwoski’s insights into training.

From early on, Kirk was an unusually strong guy. If I remember correctly, he was bench pressing 225 pounds as a freshman in high school and one of the first times he tried, he squatted 300 pounds. By age 20, he squatted 760 pounds in competition. The man certainly had the genetics to be an amazing strength athlete. However, what stood out was how seriously he took his training. Karwoski worked more diligently and with greater intensity than almost any of his competition. When he was in the gym, he did very little talking. Instead, he was focused solely on lifting. If you sat on the bench between sets on a bench press day, that was a problem. Chairs were for sitting. The bench was for working.

Karwoski and his coach planned his workouts many weeks in advance. He would decide upon what he wanted to do and he would rarely miss repetitions in training. Not only did he put his time in under the bar, he was unusually dedicated to his diet. When trainees are trying to put on weight, it is not uncommon for them to drink a gallon of whole milk a day. This is considered to be a somewhat controversial practice by some. At certain points early in his career, Karwoski would drink as much as four gallons of whole milk a day. That was in addition to the food he was eating. Of course, when you are squatting almost 1,000 pounds in training, you probably need a lot of food to recover from that workload.

Despite the fact that he is the equivalent of royalty in powerlifting circles, Karwoski is an approachable guy who is happy to share his experiences. He is passionate about the sport and has a wealth of funny stories. He provided a welcome reminder that getting stronger is a function of dedication and hard work.

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Oct 19th, 2012

Carl Paoli on Efficient Burpees

Next time burpees come up in one of our workouts, remember to apply some of these tips from Carl Paoli.  Who knows, with enough practice and refinement, you might actually come to enjoy burpees.

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Oct 18th, 2012

SAVE THE DATE: CrossFit Total on SUNDAY December 9th!


Mune demonstrating one of the 3 lifts of the CFT

Mark you calendars!  On Sunday December 9th starting at 10am, we will be holding our annual CrossFit Total event.  The CrossFit Total (CFT) is the sum of your 1-rep max Back Squat, 1-rep max Shoulder Press  and 1-rep max Dead Lift.  You have 3 attempts to find each.  Check out this CF Journal article for more details.

This is a great way to test your strength and have a great time doing it.  We only program this workout once a year because it takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete.  This will not be like an ordinary class as we try to create the feel of an actual power lifting meet by collecting opening lift numbers from all participants and assigning heats according to these numbers.  It is a bit more organized that way and very fun.

We are letting you know well in advance so we can give everyone a chance to participate and also so you can start thinking about your opening lifts. We will also be programming 1RM Back Squat, Shoulder Press and Dead Lift so you will have a chance to see where you are before the total.

Looking forward to seeing how ridiculously strong you all have gotten this year!

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