Jan 4th


By Mike Minium
Comments 25

Park Benches Can Be Fun


We captured video footage of some random dude jumping over a park bench earlier today.

Pay attention to the three methods he uses to get over the bench. We think they’re rather Parkourish.

In Jump Sequence 1, the random dude uses a combination of arms and legs to get over the bench. This requires a little technique, not much timing, and is the least athletic of the three jumps.

In Jump Sequence 2, the random dude again uses a combination of arms and legs, but this time only uses his arms to get past the last part of the bench and propel himself forward an extra few inches–just enough to clear the bench. This requires some technique, a good deal of timing, and is slightly more athletic than the prior jump.

In Jump Sequence 3, the random dude uses no arms at all; he simply hurdles over the bench. This requires some technique (only a basic understanding of launch angle at takeoff), a good deal of timing, and is the most athletic of the three jump sequences.

CrossFit Santa Cruz 2007-lb Challenge

Check out the following post on the CrossFit Santa Cruz site:

Max attempted this earlier today and clocked in at 1:21. He power snatched 67 lbs for 30 reps.

Give it a try and play with different rep/weight schemes. Multiple attempts at this challenge using different schemes will give you a nice understanding of the difference between muscular failure, cardiorespiratory failure, and systemic failure (muscular failure and cardiorespiratory failure combined, or at least in close proximity to one another).

Post your strategy and results for the 2007-lb challenge to Comments.

Jan 3rd


By Nicole
Comments 7

Rest Does the Body Good


In CrossFit, or any other training program, it is important to use what Robb Wolf calls “intuitive moderation” to regulate your training load. In other words, you approach each WOD prepared to give it your all but also know when it is time to back off and allow your body to recover.

If you are training daily over long periods of time without sufficient rest, your body cannot regenerate and your performance will plateau. If the imbalance between excess training and insufficient rest continues, your performance will decline. Along with that comes a host of other, more insidious symptoms, among them,fatigue, moodiness, irritability, altered sleep patterns, decreased immunity and depression.

Three days on, one day off will generally keep you out of trouble, but it’s also advisable to take more time off every 6 to 8 weeks. A few days off will not diminish your progress, you will not lose the pull-ups or push-ups that you’ve been working for, in fact, with adequate rest and periodical breaks (3 to 5 days) you will find that you are stronger all around!

More on overtraining:

Jan 2nd


By Max Lewin
Comments 15

EV First Rope Climb @ Crossfit Oakland

CrossFit Oakland Athlete Ev R. gets her first rope climb!

This is one of our benchmarks from our CFO Skill Assessment Guidelines. The rope climb is a Level ll (intermediate) benchmark, and is Ev’s first intermediate target hit. She is now a solid well-rounded beginner and ready to go onto bigger, faster, stronger things!

We have posted the skill guidelines on the main page for easy reference (look to the left of this post).

Post comments on skill guidelines.


Jan 1st


By Max Lewin
Comments 13

Jan. 1 Birthday Girl (oops, woman), Ann K. Performs “Nancy” @ CFO

Happy 29th Birthday Ann! (Born Jan. 1 1978)

Ann K. is one of our most dedicated athletes. She has an amazing attitude and is a true pleasure to work with. She has come a long way in a short while, and we expect big achievements from her!

Post New Year’s/Ann’s Birthday Resolutions & comments to comments.

Dec 31st


By Nicole
Comments 10

Community Day!!! Community Day!! Community Day!! Community Day!!



Start 2007 off with CrossFit! We are having a Community Day Workout on Monday, January 1st at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome, please bring friends and family for the first WOD of the New Year.

We’ll be working out at our location on 3300 Broadway.


Pulling Sequence:

Coach B’s Warm-up:

Dec 30th


By Mike Minium
Comments 16

Peformance Matters, But So Do Goals


Knowing the target you’re aiming for is important.

To follow up on Nicole’s post from a couple of days ago, I’d like to discuss one of the finer points of performance and goal-setting.

It may seem like the world’s biggest "duh" statement, but it bears mentioning nonetheless: Your goal(s) will determine how you perform (and more importantly, how, and if, you use performance in a workout as an evaluation tool, as the end itself, or some combination of evaluation tool and end result).

So what does this mean, exactly? It means that your approach to the WODs (as posted on CrossFit) will determine, in large part, how quickly you make fitness gains in all ten general physical skills (as defined by Jim Cawley at Dynamax): endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, agility, accuracy, balance, and coordination.

Basically, there are two approaches one can take in using the WODs:

1. You can use the WOD as the end itself.
2. You can use the WOD to diagnose weaknesses and then take specific steps to address said weaknesses.

Approach 1 is the easiest to implement, will provide the most bang for the buck for those new to physical training, and will lead to general health and well-being better than any program out there.

Approach 1 treats each workout as the ultimate test and the goal is to perform one’s best on each WOD that comes up, and let the beautiful template of the workout program take care of the rest.

Approach 2 uses the occasional WOD to gauge (or benchmark, if you prefer) one’s current level of fitness. This approach is particularly useful when evaluated against the backdrop of the ten general physical skills because it allows one to clearly identify where he or she is weak. After this evaluation is performed, one then engages in a more focused program that directly addresses those weaknesses.

Approach 2 can be employed when an athlete is trying to jump from one performance level to another (within the context of a CF workout; e.g., trying to move from a sub-10-minute Fran to a sub-3-minute Fran) but won’t be able to get there without some dedicated work (e.g., the athlete could do Fran using 135# thrusters and a weight vest for pull-ups, engage in a pull-up training program, etc.).

Either approach is valid. Both will yield results. Most (all?) of you will engage in both methods over the course of your training life. It simply depends on what you’re looking to achieve in your training.

With that in mind, now is as good a time as ever to read through Coach Glassman’s Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery.

And after you finish reading, post to Comments the approach you’re currently using in your CF training and give the reason(s) why.

Dec 28th


By Max Lewin
Comments 17

Nicole: Fight Gone Bad

Nicole O of CrossFit Oakland gives a mighty effort to FGB.

Post your next target score and strategy to get it.

Dec 27th


By Nicole
Comments 20

2 0 0 7

Year of the Pig

What do you hope to achieve with CrossFit this year? Use the following guidelines to help you and then share your hopes/goals/aspirations in the comments section. Not only will this help you while training, but will also be invaluable for Mike, Max and Nicole! The more we know, the more we can help you…

Positive Statement – Express your goals positively.
Be Precise – Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that your achievement can be measured and planned for.
Set Priorities – Where you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
Write Goals – Writing goals down keeps you focused and in touch with what you are trying to do.
Be Realistic – Have a clear understanding of what you want and how you are going to achieve it.


Team Captains: Mike and Nicole
Quick Registration Meeting: Sat, December 30th, 11:00a.m.!! Please bring a check/cash for $50 made payable to Nicole or CrossFit Oakland!!



Dec 27th


By Mike Minium
Comments 18

Tell Us About Yourself & Mud Run Follow-Up

Give Up the Goods

Post your three favorite books, movies, and websites to the Comments section.

(Note: CrossFit and CrossFit Oakland are excluded as favorites in the website category, since it’s a given that everyone’s favorite website is!)

Mud Run Follow-Up

It now looks like a certainty that we’ll be sending three 5-person teams from CFO to the June 9 Mud Run. Awesome!

To close the deal and ensure your spot, please make out a check to Nicole Okumu for $50. Nicole will take care of registering everyone who responded in Comments but she needs to be reimbursed. Drop the check off the next time you’re in to train (we’re back to our normal training schedule).

Dec 25th


By Max Lewin
Comments 1

The Knee


Injury to the knee

In balloon sports such as wrestling, basketball, competitive swimming, American football, Australian rules football, skiing, volleyball, soccer and hockey or other sports that involve great stress to the knees, it is common to tear one or more ligaments or cartilages. The anterior cruciate ligament is often torn as a result of a rapid direction change while running or as a result of some other type of violent twisting motion. It can also be torn by being extended forcefully beyond its normal range, or as a result of being forced sideways. In such cases, other structures will incur damage as well. Especially debilitating is the unfortunately common "unhappy triad" of torn medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments and a torn medial meniscus. This typically arises from a combination of inwards forcing and twisting.

Fortunately, CrossFit is not likely to cause such acute injuries, however unsound mechanics in running, squatting, deadlifting etc. can cause injuries as well.

Knee pain occurs for a variety of reasons, but the following tips generally help prevent or reduce pain. Check with your physician for specific recommendations for your situation:

Increase Training Gradually

Doing too much too soon, is one of the major causes of sports injury. Knee pain is particularly common in runners who increase training mileage quickly. The best way to avoid this is to follow the 10 percent rule. This simply means that you should limit your training increases to a maximum of 10 percent each week. That cane be time, load, mileage or any other parameter.

Strengthening Exercises

Muscle weakness or imbalance is one of the first things physical therapists check for when evaluating knee pain. Such an imbalance can be the source of pain. In addition to specific muscle strengthening of the muscles that support the knee (quads, hamstrings, calf), building core strength improves overall stability which may reduce the risk of injury.

The balance of quadriceps to hamstring strength is not 1:1; but closer to 3:2. In general healthy hamstrings can lift 60 – 80% of what healthy quads can do.

More about Conditioning Exercises.


Athletes who are less flexible than average may benefit from flexibility exercises. This is more critical in athletes involved in stop and go sports or those that require quick cuts and turns. Improving flexibility in the quadriceps, and the hamstrings are helpful. For specific stretching information, also see Flexibility Links.

Skills Training

Coordination drills and proprioceptive training have also been found to be helpful in protecting the knee from injuries. More about Proprioception.

One of the best programs for preventing knee injuries, particularly ACL injuries, has been seen in the Santa Monica ACL Injury Prevention Project (PEP). This program, designed based upon the results of a research project, involves a specific routine of exercises and skills training. While designed to address the increase ACL injury rates in female soccer players, the exercises can be used successfully by anyone who wants to avoid knee injuries, as the core concepts are the same for all knee injuries.

Appropriate Footwear

Finally, using the correct footwear is helpful to control excess ankle motion (pronation and supination). Prescribed orthotics may also help with this.