Monthly Archives: March 2013
Mar 29th, 2013

Open Workout 13.4 Preparation and Heat List

The SFCF crew breaking down 13.4

Before we get into 13.4, I’m tardy in getting the results of our Open CrossTown Throwdown for Open Workout 13.3.  The long of it and the short of it is that CF Sweat Shop dominated us, winning 10-4.  Here’s how the points were scored:


Women Under 40
Candace Hamilton 251
Tamara Holmes 250
Rene Garcia 2:47 (7:53) (CFSS)
Michelle Maehler 2:47 (8:50)
Kristin Wise 245 (CFSS)

Men Under 40
Rikus Pretorious 264 (CFSS)
Scott Lipp 260 (CFSS)
Nabil Langkilde 259 (CFSS)
Aaron Thorne 258 (CFSS)
Jason Toovey 256 (CFSS)

Men 40-49
Mike Minium 245

Women 40-49
Donna Chivers 224 (CFSS)

Men 50+
Jim Dick 241 (11:16) (CFSS)

Women 50+
Lones Stern-Banks 240 (CFSS)

13.4 Preparation

Make sure you watch the video above so that you’ll have some methods and strategies in mind when preparing for 13.4 this Saturday.

Also, just like in previous weeks, here’s the link to Outlaw’s take on strategy:

13.4 Strategy & Tips

Don’t forget, we’re hosting Sweat Shop this Saturday, so we have more heats than usual, but due to the short nature of the workout, we’ll still be done before noon.

13.4 Heat List

We’ve attached the 13.4 heat list at the bottom of this post.  As always, if you don’t see your name on the heat list, send us an email.

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Mar 26th, 2013

Casting Call for Reebok Photo Shoot!


Coach Mini… model?

Reebok is looking for CrossFitters to star in a 3-day photo shoot, April 6th – 8th. One day (April 7th) will be shot at CSA CrossFit in Dublin and the other two will be at outdoor locations. 

Details from Reebok:


Casting: 4/3

Fitting: 4/5

Shooting: 4/6, 4/7, and 4/8  

Each person must: 

A.)  Fit in size mediums for men’s apparel & small for women’s

B.)  Wear close to sample size for footwear (7 women’s/9 men’s)

C.)  Look the part

D.)  Want to get some $ for a fun time. ($500 day rate)

E.)  Can perform CrossFit movements well

If interested email directly to Reebok the following:

– Name
– Age
– Size apparel/footwear (obviously need to fit into our product)
– Height
– Availability
– Pictures of yourself, ideally head to toe
– Contact info:  email and phone

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Mar 25th, 2013

6- Week Women’s Strength Class with Jo Ann Aita

Jo Ann setting a world record total in 2012

Women’s Strength Class Coached by Jo Ann Aita

We’re excited to announce a 6-week strength class designed specifically for women, beginning Thursday April 11th.  This is something we’ve been looking to do for a while, and are really excited Jo Ann is offering up her coaching skills to the women of CFO.

This class is ideal for any woman looking to get stronger, whether you’re looking for a way to improve on your CrossFit performance, just training for general health, or have specific barbell-sport-related goals (e.g., powerlifting or Olympic lifting).

This class is appropriate for all strength levels, whether you’re brand new to training for strength or you’ve been doing the strength thing for a while.

Jo Ann has already rolled this out at Diablo CrossFit, with much success.  The class meets twice a week, on Thursday nights from 5:30pm to 7pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9am to 10:30am.  It runs from April 11th through May 16th.  The cost is $180.  All classes will take place at Max’s Gym (that area at the back of CFO).

As an aside, I can vouch personally for Jo Ann’s coaching prowess.  I’ve had the opportunity to train in her gym and have seen my Olympic lifts improve by leaps and bounds.  I can’t encourage you women out there enough to take advantage of this opportunity.

This class is not limited to CFO members exclusively, and there are only 12 spots total, so if you’re reading this and thinking about it, don’t miss out.  To register, contact Jo Ann via email.

About Jo Ann

Jo Ann Aita, currently 42 years of age, has been training and competing in Olympic
Weightlifting since 2003 . She is a National Medalist and currently holds both Snatch
and Clean & Jerk Records in the Pacific Weightlifting Association. Despite starting
weightlifting at the age of 33, and rehabbing two shoulder surgeries in 2010, she was able to come back with PR lifts at the Olympic Trials last year, placing 5th overall in the 117-lb weight class, against many competitors half her age!

At the recent Women’s Pro-Am meet in November 2012, Jo Ann went 9/9 setting a
New World Record Powerlifting Total in the Raw w/wraps category. She also broke
the American Raw Deadlift record, which has stood since 1981. Her lifts at 114 lbs

Back Squat: 309 lbs, Bench Press: 165 lbs, Deadlift: 375 lbs, Total: 849 lbs

Jo Ann was also a Track & Field and Cross Country athlete for over a decade and
competed for UCLA. She is a USA Weightlifting Certified Coach and has been getting
lifters strong for the past 4 years. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, specializing
in Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Work, with a Bay Area Practice for the past 14
years. Jo Ann has accomplished all of this while raising a child, managing 3 careers, and running a gym!

Jo Ann Aita stats at 114/117lb weight class:

Snatch: 154 lbs
Clean: 194 lbs
Jerk: 185 lbs
Back Squat: 309 lbs
Bench Press: 165 lbs
Dead Lift: 375 lbs

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Mar 23rd, 2013

Knees in Front of the Toes on the Squat

Reminder: I will be holding a Starting Strength Camp on the low bar back squat tomorrow, Sunday, March 23rd, from 1 PM till 5 PM. I still have a few spots open. Sign ups and additional info can be found at the Aasgaard Company Store.

Jo Ann Clean

Jo Ann receiving a clean in a full depth front squat. Note that her knees are in front of her toes and that her shins are inclined. This segment arrangement keeps her from falling backwards and maintains an upright torso, both of which are necessary for a recovery from a clean.

People often suggest that squatting is bad for the knees. I am not, however, going to address that assertion in much detail this evening. Suffice to say that I disagree and I would sincerely enjoy hearing an explanation for how a properly executed, full depth squat is dangerous to knee health. Said explanation should involve a thorough treatment of knee anatomy and a look at the forces encountered by the knee during a squat. Enough about that.

Instead, we’ll take a brief look at where the knee should end up during the squat, particularly with respect to the toes. When I talk about knee position, think about a plumb bob (I like that word) tied to a string hanging off the front of the knee. The position of that plumb bob above the ground is that in which we are interested.

Let’s address a commonly voiced concern – the knees should not be allowed to travel in front of the toes while squatting. Due to varying segment lengths among trainees, the position of the knee will not be the same for everyone. However, for a large majority of lifters, the knee can and probably should travel in front of the toes by the time they are about half way down in the squat. The biggest reason for this is balance. Try this for yourself – squat with as vertical a shin angle as you can. Not very easy is it? You have to lean pretty far forward to counteract the vertical shin, if you can even maintain such a configuration. Allowing the knees to come forward in front of the toes allows a trainee to keep their center of mass, which closely approximates the barbell at heavy weights, over the middle of the foot, which is also the point of balance for human beings.

How far forward the knees travel will be a function of segment lengths and the type of squat being performed.  Low bar back squats have less forward travel than high bar back squats which have less travel than the front squat. Some are concerned that when the knees travel in front of the toes, the patellar ligament will undergo undue strain. Provided that the hamstrings are properly engaged in a strong isometric contraction (ahem… as happens during a low bar squat), the forces along the anterior and posterior aspects of the femur are very nicely balanced. Remember that the patellar ligament inserts on the tibia and the tendons of the hamstrings also insert on the tibia and fibula. Things work out nicely that way.

Allowing the knee enough forward travel in the squat allows a trainee to stay in balance and also provides the quadriceps additional opportunity to aid with standing back up. The eventual position of the knee with respect to the toe will vary from trainee to trainee. A vertical shin is not necessary in a squat and is not possible for most trainees without a very wide stance, or the use of a box to contact at the bottom of the movement.

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Mar 22nd, 2013

Preparing for Open Workout 13.3

The SF CrossFit crew breaking down 13.3

If you’re doing Open Workout 13.3 on Saturday, you’ll definitely want to watch the video above.  In the first part of the video, K-Star breaks down the wall ball shot and gives you some technical pointers on how to approach it during the workout.  The middle part of the video is dedicated to strategy (e.g., always leave one rep in the tank on wall balls) and warm-up.  The final piece is Carl breaking down the muscle-up with some key positional thoughts and preparation pieces.

Also, if you’re looking for some strategy pieces, check out the Outlaw page:  

13.3 Strategy & Tips

Saturday Heat Schedule

We’ve posted the heat schedule below.  As usual, if you don’t see your name on the list, email us.

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Mar 20th, 2013

Uptown Membership Questions Answered!


The doorway to Uptown awesome

Uptown is now up and running and we hope you have all had a chance to stop by and check it out.  We are all very excited about offering more to our members and growing our community.  Here is a note from Tamara with information on membership at Uptown. 

Dear CFO members,

We want to personally thank all of you for making the opening of Crossfit Oakland Uptown a success! Also thank you for your patience while we continue to grow and make changes to the facilities and schedule. Helping us to move forward, we would like all CFO-Emeryville members who want to make Uptown their home gym to please email us no later than April 1st.

We understand the Uptown location has a lighter schedule and we will still allow you to use the Emeryville location to augment your training.  This designation will help us to determine future scheduling and equipment needs.   As always feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.

So to clarify, your membership will remain at Emeryville unless you let us know that you will be attending Uptown for the majority of your training. This does not mean that you cannot attend classes at Emeryville, it simply means that you will be attending classes at Uptown more often than at Emeryville and your membership dues will go to support the Uptown operation.

As Tamara explained, we can then look at adding more classes, etc. to support the membership at Uptown once we know what it will be. Mike, Tamara and I are all here to answer any questions you may have or to address any concerns. Thanks again for all of your amazing support. 

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Mar 19th, 2013

13.2 Finished, Now It’s on to 13.3!


Everyone was all smiles after finishing 13.2

Another week, another Open workout done.  Strong work by all of you who took on 13.2, which was as follows:

10-Minute AMRAP:
5 shoulder-to-Overhead @ 115#/75#
10 Deadlifts @ 115#/75#
15 Box Jumps @ 24"/20"

It was a good test of aerobic endurance, with a little bit of glute and hamstring stamina thrown in for good measure.  I’m sure many of you are feeling your posterior chain today.

The top performers were Justin and Michelle M, with 332 reps and 313 reps, respectively.

CFO vs. CF Sweat Shop

This was another tight week in our contest against CF Sweat Shop.  We ended up edging them out 8-6.  Here were the point-scorers for each team, along with their scores (gym name in parentheses).  It’s been a really, really close competition so far.  We need to bring our A game for 13.3 because I know CF Sweat Shop will be highly motivated and prepared.

Women Under 40
Michelle Maehler 313 (CFO)
Rene Garcia 304 (CFSS)
Jill King 298 (CFO)
Kristin Wise 295 (CFSS)
Candace Hester 289 (CFO)

Men Under 40
Justin McNulty 332 (CFO)
Rikus Pretorious 320 (CFSS)
James Barber 301 (CFSS)
Scott Lipp 284 (CFSS)
Thomas Sterling 282 (CFO)

Men 40-49
Mike Minium 241 (CFO)

Women 40-49
Leka Dobbs 273 (CFO)

Men 50+
Steve Pollini 302 (CFO)

Women 50+
Lones Stern-Banks 264 (CFSS)

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Mar 16th, 2013

Upcoming Starting Strength Training Camps


Connie at one of the first camps I held at the Doyle Street location. Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Kelly Powers.

I will be holding three Starting Strength Training Camps in the coming five weeks at the CFO Emeryville location. The first one on the low bar back squat occurs next Sunday. For those of you who’d like a longer introduction to the basic strength lifts, these camps are an excellent way to do it. We generally spend about five hours at each camp discussing and then practicing the various lifts in a controlled and unrushed environment. If you are interested, you can sign up through the Aasgaard Company website. The camps are below with links to sign ups and more information for each one:

Low Bar Back Squat – Sunday, March 24 – $135
Deadlift and Power Clean – Sunday, March 31 – $160
Press and Bench Press – Sunday, April 21 – $160

Each of the events start at 1 PM and are limited to eight participants to make sure that attendees get plenty of attention. The squat camp normally wraps up by 5:00 or 5:30 and the camps with two lifts will often go until 6:00 or 6:30 in the evening. I hope to see you there.

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Mar 15th, 2013

Preparing for Open Workout 13.2

Carl preparing you for 13.2

The Open workout, in case you already didn’t know, is as follows:

10-Minute AMRAP:
5 Shoulder-to-Overhead @ 115#/75#
10 Deadlifts @ 115#/75#
15 Box Jumps @ 24"/20"

(For those of you concerned about the height of the box jumps, step-ups are allowed.)

Just like last week, below are another couple of helpful links to get you in the right frame of mind, and to get your body prepared for this 10-minute challenge. 

There’s some great stuff on the Mobility WOD video on 13.2.  It’s 20 minutes long, but well worth your time.  It covers warm-up, movement prep, and strategy.

And for a ton of analysis and strategy, check out the Outlaw Way post on 13.2.

Saturday Heats

The heat schedule has been attached to this post.  Please take a look and email us if you don’t see your name on the list.  Also make a note of the judging schedule.  This is a shorter workout, so we’ll be done about an hour earlier than last week.

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Mar 12th, 2013

CrossTown Open Results: Week 1


13.1 going down

Besides the Open being a chance to qualify individuals and teams for the Regionals (the next level of competition after the Open), have a great time, and for everyone to be able to participate in really challenging workouts, there’s also an inter-gym competition going on.

As I first wrote a couple weeks ago, we’re involved in a challenge involving Open bragging rights against our fellow CFers from the other side of the tunnel, CrossFit Sweat Shop.

The competition works like this:  There are five workouts in the Open.  The gym that wins three out of the five is crowned the overall champ.

The scoring system is as follows:

  • 1 point awarded for each of the top 5 male and top 5 female scores under 40 years of age
  • 1 point awarded for the top male and top female between 40 years old and 49 years old
  • 1 point awarded for the top male and top female 50 years or older

If you’re following at home, that’s a total of 14 points.  The team that wins the most points, wins the workout for that week.  If teams end up tied 7-7, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the single best individual performance, male or female, regardless of age group.

Nabil (owner of CrossFit Sweat Shop) did a great job of writing up the results here.  He even did color-coding.  We ended up tied 7-7, with the tiebreaker going to us by virtue of Candace’s 183-rep performance.  What a close contest!

Here’s how the scoring went (gym in parentheses):

Open Men
Rikus Pretorious 170 (CFSS)
Scott Lipp 167 (CFSS)
Nabil Langkilde 158 (CFSS)
Justin McNulty 157 (CFO
Brandon Banks 157 (CFO)

Open Women
Candace Hester 183 (CFO)
Michelle Mahler 177 (CFO)
Rene Garcia 169 (CFSS)
Tamara Holmes 169 (CFO)
Helen Langkilde 157 (CFSS)

40-49 Men
Shane Gravitt 137

40-49 Women
Leka Dobbs 150

50+ Men
Steve Pollini 180

50+ Women
Lones Stern-Banks 155

Strong work by all!  Can’t wait to see what happens in 13.2!


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