Oct 12th


By Max Lewin
Comments 10

New Men’s & Women’s Push-Jerk Records at CFO

Both the Men’s and Women’s Push-Jerk Records at CrossFit Oakland fell today. You will have to watch to video to find out who generated the most power.

Also on the table is the Bodyweight Push-Jerk record. So far Justin has it at 1x bodyweight (183), but a certain super-hero like CF’r can probably beat it…

Healthy competition is a hallmark of well-rounded athletes. If you can wrap your mind around the concept of being goal-oriented without attachment to results you will be most of the way there. You can compete in many sectors: against yourself, against others, against others in your age group, against the clock, against a fraction of a world record (for example can you get within 1.5x of the world record for the mile; about 5:50?), etc.

Competition is important because it shows us what is possible: before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1946 it was thought to be “impossible”. Once he broke it the record only stood for 26 days! Admittedly there is a bit of hype in this example, but the logic is sound. There are many other examples of this type of athletic achievement being inspired by competition.

You can be notified when new videos are posted by subscribing at YouTube (assuming you have an account). There are lots of other good CrossFit, Oly, powerlifting videos, etc.

Interesting article on gender differences in competitive urge:

Oct 11th


By Max Lewin
Comments 4

A Day of Brutal Fun at CFO


The CrossFit Journal is now offering some articles for FREE online! I urge all CFO members (and others) to check it out here:

Oct 10th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on It’s Not all Hard Work at CFO…

It’s Not all Hard Work at CFO…

Shira demonstrates remarkable upper body control, spatial and kinesthetic awareness.

This little sequence also shows something not so obvious. The bill of goods we as a society have been sold by the Big-Box Fitness Chains is woefully inadequate and heavily discriminatory towards women. Workouts consisting only of bodybuilder-style exercises and hampsterish treadmill work are not only boring and ineffective, but only work cardio/respiratory fitness and limit strength. These are the two areas of human performance where men have a clear advantage. However there are least eight other parameters where men and women are equally matched or women have a slight advantage: stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy…(more to come later this am).

Oct 9th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on Some Days it All Comes Together! Today Was Not One Of Those Days…

Some Days it All Comes Together! Today Was Not One Of Those Days…

Ugly day at CFO. Not one of us had good push-jerk. I failed at 175, even though I got 180 just a few days ago. Megan’s were more like dip-press (topped out at 95) and Carlo while he did get 145 overhead had a few spectacular crashes.

Lessons learned: Focus on form first, then weight. Don’t try to put 125 pounds down with your arms (use your legs). A six-pack is not an ergogenic aid. Roll the tape…

Oct 8th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on “Man Overboard” at CFO

“Man Overboard” at CFO

Today (Saturday) we did the “Man Overboard” workout, with kudos to CrossFit NYC, who introduced this to us.

This is a circuit workout with as many stations as there are people. The person rowing serves as the “pace car” and everyone else continues the exercise they are doing untill the rower finishes and calls “man overboard”. Everyone then rotates exercises and continues without a break until everyone has rowed. After a one-minute break the cycle is repeated: in this case for 2 rounds.

Today the exercises were:

Row 250 Meters
Thrusters (Men 65#, Women 35#)
Pull-ups/Jumping Pull-ups
Box Jumps
Kettlebell Swings

Oct 7th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on “Slightly Naughty Girl”

“Slightly Naughty Girl”

Here is a scaled-down version of one of the Mothers of all Metabolic Workouts, “Nasty Girls“. (right side of page: last “WOD video”)

We call this “Slightly Naughty Girl” AKA “Sharon”.

3 rounds for time:
50 squats
7 kipping pull-ups
14 jumping ring dips
7 65# Hang Power Clean

Sharon’s time: 10:11, which is mighty speedy.

There is a six week Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu-Inspired Women’s Self-Defense class at Suigetsukan Dojo. Information at Girl Army. Classes start October 8th.

Strong Women Are Beautiful: excellent article on women’s body image by a teammate of our very own Candace Hamilton, center for the Berkeley All Blues Rugby Club. That’s her in the second photo from the left.

<rant>While I cannot fully advocate the ultra-high calorie and rather carb-heavy diet described in the above article, it is a hell of a lot better than the salad and low-fat cookie diet which has been foisted upon our nation’s women (“Snackwells” are the devil) by so-called “Women’s Magazines”. Real women need fat and protein in their diet and muscle on their bodies. We sometimes hear women say they don’t want to “have big muscles” or “get bigger”. Well we are not in the business of making you weak, and we refuse to buy into the idea that women should be weak! Perhaps you have some metabolically inert material you can remove so that you can gain muscle with no net displacement of body mass. Women need muscle mass to avoid osteoporosis, not to mention the fact that in the absence of quality muscle anyone, male or female, looks, well, weak. Is that really what you want? If so I suggest you avoid CrossFit, which will make you strong, and get a membership to a big-box, McDonald’s-ish chain gym and take some bouncy-ball arm curl and cable-leg spasm classes. You will be nice and weak even after years of it.</rant>

Oct 6th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on 50-40-30-20-10 Double Unders & Sit-Ups from National WOD

50-40-30-20-10 Double Unders & Sit-Ups from National WOD

Here are the first two rounds of today’s WOD from 50-40-30-20-10 double-unders (where the rope goes under twice for each jump) and sit-ups. I have a bit of trouble hitting my stride at the beginning, but at 2:45 you can see a good example of double-under technique, with (I think) 24 in a row. Total time was 7:29.

Little better example of Double-unders: 35 in a row:

The keys to double-unders (besides practice) are hand speed, not jumping too high and keeping upright.

Oct 5th


By Max Lewin
Comments Comments Off on Sam L. 15 Foot No-Feet Rope Climb

Sam L. 15 Foot No-Feet Rope Climb

Here is a nice contrast to yesterday’s brute strength effort. Sam L. uses speed, strength, power and coordination to control his own bodyweight. This is one of the CrossFit Level 3 (advanced athlete) benchmarks. Actually it is five feet more, but we don’t have a rope that high, so we will call it close enough. Sam is right at the cusp of, or able to do, many of the level 3 benchmarks. He has put 2 years of honest effort into CrossFit, and since it is said to be a 3-5 year journey of daily, consistent effort to achieve at least some of the Level 4 (elite athlete) benchmarks, he is right where he should be. Nice.

Oct 4th


By Max Lewin
Comments 4

Justin Push-Jerks 183 Pounds (Bodyweight)

Here we have video of Justin push-jerking 183 pounds, which is a 1x bodyweight single for him. He actually did it better right after this (full lockout) but I did not get it on video. OK so it is more of a push-jerky press: did I mention this was the first time he did this lift? Someone’s gonna be a monster…

I got 180, a PR for me by 20 pounds. Next target is 200 pounds, any challengers?

On a related note, we are keeping track of various records on the white board in the back room. Check it out, and feel free to suggest any records we should be keeping track of.

Put an empty bar onto a pair of support racks and load the required amount of resistance. Stand behind the bar and take a grip just wider then shoulder width. Rotate your arms under the bar and up, so that your elbows point forward with the bar resting on your anterior deltoids and clavicle bones. Take a 3/4 breath. Hold your head erect and tighten your spinal muscles, raising the barbell up off the support racks. Step forward and plant your feet at hip width. Point your toes slightly out. Release and take another breath. Contract your deltoid muscles and take a short quarter squat dip while maintaining an upright spine. Now explode upward, pushing off the floor and driving the barbell with your arms. At the top of the extension, go up on your toes and quickly jump your feet out to the sides and back down into a quarter squat. Your stance should be shoulder width or a little wider. The bar should lock out overhead on or before your feet land. Secure and center the bar behind your head in line with your ears. Return to an upright position.

Oct 4th


By Max Lewin
Comments 2

Wake Up So Early in the Morning and… Do Medball Drills?


A little haunted medball action at CrossFit Oakland due to the early hour and funky camera setting.

The Med Ball is a great tool for developing speed, strength, power, coordination, agility and accuracy. That’s six out of ten of the major physical skills, and I am sure if you were resourceful you could find a way to work flexibility, endurance, stamina and even balance: overhead Med Ball Slack Line walks anyone??