Oct 2nd


By Max Lewin
Comments 2

CrossFit Oakland: Soft & Cuddly :-)


Lest you think CrossFit is only for burly thugs with bald heads and a propensity for grunting, one of our bedrock principles is universal scalability. Here Annie is in the top position of one of our foundational moves, the front squat. The bar setup she uses mimics the size and feel of Olympic bars and plates, but the whole assembly is a manageable 35 pounds, and allows her to practice her form before moving on to heavier weights. The workouts can always be scaled to accommodate the needs of any athlete (usually scaled down, but sometimes up).

“The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

“The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.”

-Coach Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit

Sep 30th


By Max Lewin
Comments 2

CFO Team Spotting Method for Heavy Squat


Here we see a nice spotting method for squats, assuming four people of reasonably close strength are working together.

Spotters shadow the bar up and down and assist if athlete fails in the bottom of the squat.

The third person watches the athlete from below and calls “go” when the athlete breaks parallel (when the fold of the hip crosses below the knee). On the call the athlete goes back up.

Pictures are of Jonathan, Franklin, Max and Sam doing the WOD from the CrossFit National Site.

Max Lifts:

Franklin 255×2 (1.2x bw)
Jonathan 255×2 First time with no belt (1.2x bw)
Max 235×2 (1.25x bw)
Sam 235×2 PR (1.4x bw)
Sharon 110×2 First time heavy (.8x bw)
Nicole 110×2 First time heavy (.8x bw)

Note that the weights don’t tell the whole story, pound for pound Sam has significantly more power than anyone else. He has much less inert metabolic material than anyone else in this lineup too.

The next goals for each athlete, taken from the CrossFit North Standards List, are as follows:

Franklin, Jonathan, Sam, Max: 1×1.5x bw (level 3: advanced athlete)
Nicole, Sharon: 1x1x bw (level 2 intermediate athlete)

Since these were doubles it is conceivable that at least Sam might be able to pull this off: He needs 252 pounds.

There is an interesting tradeoff here: for Me, Sharon, Nicole, Jonathan and to a lesser extent Franklin, getting rid of metabolically inert material (fat) with no other adjustments is going to put us pretty close to this goal. For example, if I go from my present bw of 188 down to 175 I only have to put another 27.5 pounds on this lift to meet the standard (262.5 pounds).

On the other hand, Sam has no (or very little) fat to lose, so it is possible he might need to go up in weight to meet the standard, perhaps getting 255 pounds at a bw of 170.

By the way, the Level 4 standard (elite athlete) is 2x bw, or 420 pounds for Franklin and Jonathan at the weight they are at now. Achieving this standard for any of us would be a 3+ year undertaking and would involve having more muscle, less fat (except Sam) and vastly increased neuromuscular efficiency and technique (skill). And, of course, to truly be in the CrossFit elite we would need we would all need a five-minute mile and a bunch of other stuff too. I for one am looking forward to pushing towards these goals.

Some minor form notes for real geeks:

Picture one, top left: bar is slightly too high on back, lordotic curve too shallow (Max).
Picture two top right, bar is much too high on back, almost on neck (Sam).
Picture three bottom left, not bad, do it like that! (Jonathan)
Picture four bottom right: feet too wide (Franklin)

Sep 29th


By Max Lewin
Comments 1

Get That @#$%^& Camera Out of My Face!


James does his best Sean Penn as I annoyingly snap photos of him right after Fight Gone Bad. He’s got a reason to be knocked flat on his back: 276 reps @ 65#! Nice!

Sep 28th


By Max Lewin
Comments 2

These Guns are illegal in 50 States!! FGB @ CFO


Shira, perfect form in top of push-press: active shoulders, full elbow lockout, full hip extention.

Workout: Fight Gone Bad
# = poundage for Push-Press and SDHP (65 and above, used 20 lb Dynamax ball, Nicole used 14 lb Dynamax ball, others used 11 lb med ball).

* = First time doing workout

1st Max 250 75#
2nd James 276 65#
3rd Carlo 241 65#*
Joe 219 35#*

1st Candace 221 65#
2nd Shira 210 65#
3rd Nicole 256 55#
Sharon 312 35#
Megan 248 35#*
Kerry 232 35#*
Joanne 230 35#*
Aminta 220 35#*
Melissa 214 35#*
Pat 225 10# db* (2nd week of CrossFit, awesome!)

World Record 435: Greg Amundson 75#

CFO Record 327: Mike Minium 75#
2nd Place: 287 Max Lewin 75#
3rd Place: 236 Sam L. 75# (pretty sure he got shortchanged about 20 seconds)

Women’s: Too hard to calculate because of the variable weights that have been used. The “official” Women’s weight is 55# for PP and SDHP and a 14 lb Dynamax ball. Candace, Sharon, Shira and Nicole all have respectable scores. Sharon probably has the best score so far, 267 w/ 55#. We will have to put them head to head with the correct weights. The 14 lb Dynamax is in the mail.


Sep 26th


By Max Lewin
Comments 3

CrossFit Cert at CrossFit HQ

Sep 19th


By Max Lewin
Comments 4

New Women’s Deadlift Record Holders @ CFO


Unfortunately I did not get a picture, but Candace and Felica both Deadlifted 185 pounds with good form today. So excuse the crappy cartoon, I’ll replace it as soon as I get a good picture.

We plan to start keeping track of various records on the white board in the back room, this being the first one. Any challengers on this one?

Sep 16th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on CrossFit Oakland: “Smoke You Like Cheap Crack”.

CrossFit Oakland: “Smoke You Like Cheap Crack”.


What more can we say?

Sep 12th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on Now THAT’S Intensity!

Now THAT’S Intensity!


Tim working out like a savage beast! The ability to generate intensity is important in many athletic pursuits. It can be defined as explosive power, or exerting the most possible force in the least possible amount of time, but there is also a mental component, which Tim expresses nicely here.

Sep 8th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on Sharon Push-Jerks 115 Pounds

Sharon Push-Jerks 115 Pounds


Here Sharon Push-Jerks 115 lbs, coming close to her own bodyweight.

To see the CrossFit movies and slide show of this lift click HERE.

This lift is a precursor to the Clean and Jerk, one of the Olympic Lifts. Like many CrossFit exercises, this builds full body power.

Sep 7th


By Max Lewin
Comments 1

Labor Day Workout at Lake Merritt


A fine time was had by all, with a guest appearance (or two) by pukie. Attention: link is gross, you have been warned! We did a team workout consisting of various hops, squats, buttercup burpees, pull-ups and band-assisted sprints.

This was fun and we plan to do more park workouts. The tentative plan is to have one on the last Sunday of the month at 10AM. These will be free workouts open to the public.