Dec 8th


By Mike Minium
Comments 11

Analysis of a Clean, Part 1

Grab a cup of coffee ’cause this is a long one! If nothing else, perhaps I’ll aid in your getting a good night’s sleep.

We captured this video of Nicole performing hang squat cleans earlier this morning.

Nicole has come a long way with her cleans. This is really good stuff. When Nicole first came to us, she was strictly an arm puller, lacking the ability to pull herself under the bar (the skill that separates decent lifters from great lifters).

The first thing that you want to take a note of in Nicole’s clean is the lines formed by the relationship between her body, the bar, and the floor.

Most of the lifting we do comes down to simple geometry (with a dash of physics thrown in). The cleaner the lines, the more force one can generate. So what’s the proper line for a clean? Vertical! You want as much force as possible being directed upward. This allows you to create momentum and acceleration on the bar (thanks, Coach B, for adding “momentum and acceleration” to the CrossFit vernacular), allowing the bar to remain weightless for a split second–just long enough for you to pull yourself under it with everything you have and land in a rock-bottom front squat.

Having said that, there’s room for improvement with Nicole’s clean, as the frame-by-frame sequence (43 frames in total) below demonstrates.

Dec 7th


By Max Lewin
Comments 2

RIP LT Murphy. “Murph” @ CFO

Here is video from Tuesday 12/5/2006.

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph”.

Dec 7th


By Mike Minium
Comments 14


About 6 weeks ago, Charles did the CrossFit pull-up ladder workout (1 pull-up in 1st minute, 2 pull-ups in second minute, etc., continuing as long as you can until you’re no longer able to make the target number of pull-ups) for the first time.

He managed to complete 10 rounds + 1 pull-up.

Last week, he tried the same workout again. This time he managed to get 15 rounds + 13 pull-ups!

That’s an improvement in output to the tune of 137.5% (56 pull-ups vs. 133 pull-ups).

What’s interesting about Charles’s phenomenal improvement is that he hasn’t been doing extra pull-up work. He’s simply been doing the garden-variety CrossFit workouts. In fact, many of the workouts that he’s been doing recently haven’t even included pull-ups.

But there is one caveat with Charles: he’s tightened up his diet. He’s been doing the Zone diet for about two months now and the results are definitely starting to show.

Way to go, Charles!

Dec 6th


By Nicole
Comments 4

FUEL Seminar December 17th!!


CrossFit Oakland will be offering our second F.U.E.L seminar (Feeding You Energy For Life) on Sunday, December 17th, 2006 from 10AM to 1PM.

The costs are as follows:
$50.00 for CFO Members and Affiliate Members
$75.00 for non-CFO Members
$25.00 for CrossFit Trainers
Please RSVP no later than December 15th to reserve a space

We will be offering information on changing body composition (both weight gain and loss) and the appropriate micronutrient and macronutrient ratios to facilitate increased athletic performance.

There will be no “diet” or faddish ideas discussed: we will provide you with sensible, balanced and scientifically sound concepts for lifetime fitness and health. However, as you might expect from CrossFit, there will be some ideas that fly in the face of conventional wisdom, and are light-years ahead of conventional thinking about food.

Some of the topics we will cover:

Strategies for healthy eating in the real world
Foraging in the urban jungle
How to eat “in the Zone”
Fat is not the enemy
Real World Eats
The real deal on carbs
Real women eat real food
Top Fuel eating for serious athletes
Adult Beverages 101
Paleo/Zone (the ultimate fuel for athletes)
Hormonal effects of food
Disease prevention with food

RSVP here:

Dec 4th


By Max Lewin
Comments 12

Athlete Spotlight: Sam Larson (Happy Birthday!)

Ah shieze! This video is linked from the top page of!

Sam Larson is one of our most experienced and highest performing CrossFit athletes: in fact Nicole and I owe our introduction to CrossFit to him! Sam recently tested for the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Danzan Ryu jujitsu and continues to teach classes at Suigetsukan Dojo in Oakland. This is an important rank: Sam could now legitimately have his own Dojo now, should he so desire.

Danzan Ryu (“Sandalwood Mountain School” from a Chinese name for Hawaii) is a Ryu of jujitsu founded by Professor Seishiro Okazaki (1890-1951) in Hawaii. Danzan Ryu is ubiquitous in the United States, particularly on the west coast.

Check out the pre-CrossFit picture of a distinctly chubby Sam on the Suigetsukan Instructor page!

Sam is also the owner of a German to English patent translation business if you have the need.

Today is Sam’s birthday, so say “happy birthday Sensei” when you see him.

Dec 3rd


By Max Lewin
Comments 1


Attention all CFO athletes:

Please read Coach Rippetoe’s article found


and check the WOD on

Dec 2nd


By Mike Minium
Comments 1

Math + Camaraderie = Community


Well, it might not be as simple as the title of this post suggests, but our brand of CrossFit math and camaraderie sure goes a long way toward building community.

We snapped this picture a couple of days ago, after some of our athletes finished performing the benchmark workout “Barbara” (5 rounds for time of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 squats).

This photo really could’ve been taken on just about any day, since we make extensive use of our white boards. But pay close attention to it. Sure, there’s the usual (usual in CrossFit circles, at least) smattering of performance metrics, such as the time it takes to complete a round of the workout. But it’s the playful teasing, jostling, and kidding that really stands out. Look at the comments on the right side of the board (particularly in the “Candace Kicks A$$” section of the board).

This is a group of people who know how to work hard and have fun while doing it. And support one another.

And special thanks to Candace for being a good sport and letting us post the remarks that were written alongside her performance metrics. Candace is one of our top performers and a future CrossFit trainer to boot.

Dec 1st


By Nicole
Comments 6



Parkour (often abbreviated PK) is a physical discipline of French origin in which the participant — called a traceur — attempts to pass obstacles in the fastest and most direct manner possible, using skills such as jumping, vaulting and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves. The obstacles can be anything in the environment, so parkour is often practiced in urban areas because of many suitable public structures, such as buildings, rails, and walls.

Sébastien Foucan (featured in photo above) developed the discipline of Parkour with his childhood friend David Belle, who practiced the ‘Natural Method’ of Parkour, influenced by his miltary father, also a great sportsman.

Together S̩bastien and David played and put in place a way of being РA Lifestyle Рthat lasted for more than ten years.
Heavily influenced by asian philosophy, Sébastian decided to immerse himself fully in his art in order to combat negative energy and becoming ‘fluid like water’. Becoming aware of the failings of art without context, he later chose to create his own path by developing the philosophy – his own method of learning based on autonomy, play and positive energy. Conveying to others his messages and philosophy has become Sébastien’s quest. Sébastien has become a global ambassador of the Parkour / Free-Running discipline.

According to Sébastien: "Nobody ever invents anything – You’re inspired and sometimes you can improve!"

Check him out in the new Bond flick, Casino Royale…

"Read Jesse Woody’s "Parkour Basics" in the CrossFit Journal:

American Parkour (a CrossFit Affiliate):

…and if that wasn’t enough, check out the Wikipedia post:

Nov 30th


By Max Lewin
Comments 4



Today we give thanks to Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), a brilliant mathematician.

Gauss was born in Brunswick, in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (now part of Lower Saxony, Germany), as the only son of uneducated lower-class parents. According to legend, his gifts became very apparent at the age of three when he corrected, in his head, an error his father had made on paper while calculating finances.

[A] famous story, and one that has evolved in the telling, has it that in primary school his teacher, J.G. Büttner tried to occupy pupils by making them add up the integers from 1 to 100. The young Gauss produced the correct answer within seconds by a flash of mathematical insight, to the astonishment of all. Gauss had realized that pairwise addition of terms from opposite ends of the list yielded identical intermediate sums: 1 + 100 = 101, 2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101, and so on, for a total sum of 50 × 101 = 5050 (see arithmetic series and summation). (For more information, see [1] for discussion of original Wolfgang Sartorius von Waltershausen source.)

Now what, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with crossfit?

Well, when a workout such as "Linda" with 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps comes up, it gives you an easy way to calculate the number of reps in the workout. Using the example of Linda, X=10(10+1)/2, so X=55. This works for any such scheme.

Thanks to Sam L. for bringing this to our attention.


Nov 30th


By Mike Minium
Comments 4

A Holiday Tradition: Pizza and Beer!


That’s right: nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a few slices of pizza washed down with a pitcher or two of beer.

Seriously, though, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be holding our holiday get-together at Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub in the Temescal (4799 Telegraph Ave) on Friday, December 15.

The festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. As always with these types of events, family and friends are most welcome.

So mark it down on your calendar–it’s only a couple of weeks away!

Mapquest Directions to Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub