Nov 6th, 2012

Rippetoe Invitational Meet Results


Rippetoe Invitational Competitors

This weekend, a group of five CrossFit Oaklanders climbed on a plane to fly to Dallas and then drove to a town near the Texas/Oklahoma border to lift some weights. Kelly, Dan, Greg, Michael, and I signed up to compete in the Rippetoe Invitational Meet that was held on November 3rd in Wichita Falls, TX at the Wichita Falls Athletic Club (WFAC). WFAC is owned by strength coach and author of Staring Strength, Mark Rippetoe. Back when Rippetoe was associated with CrossFit, he developed the now-widely-used CrossFit Total to measure the strength of trainees. A CrossFit Total is roughly the equivalent of a powerlifting meet with the exception that the bench press has been replaced by the shoulder press, referred to only as "the press" for the rest of this article. Rippetoe adapted his original Total and expanded it into a set of rules for the meet. All of the lifters were allowed three attempts to establish a one-repetition maximum in the squat, press, and deadlift, in that order. Once everyone completed all of their squat attempts, we moved on to the press, and so forth. Eighteen lifters participated, of which just under 30% came from our gym. Northern California was well represented at the meet.

In many powerlifing meets, lifters are arranged into groups called flights that roughly correlate to weight classes. A flight will often have between 10 and 15 people in it so that you have reasonable rest times between each attempt. Everyone performs their first attempts and then the same order is repeated twice more. This meet was run more like an Olympic weightlifting meet where the bar never got lighter. This meant that the lifting order was set solely by attempt selection. Instead of having 10 or 15 minutes between each attempt, you might be following yourself if the next lifter was lifting more than you. Getting two minutes of rest between attempts changes how you approach the meet and how you call for attempts.

All of the competitors from our gym are long-time participants in my Strength Saturday classes. Kelly came up with the idea to compete in the Rippetoe meet and the others liked it and signed on. It is hard to believe that so many people were willing to go to Texas to lift. I consider myself fortunate to coach such a dedicated group.  Everyone lifted very well and several PRs were hit along the way. Of special note was Kelly’s performance. She overcame a potentially career-ending back injury last year and returned not only to lifting, but to competing as well. Without further ado, here is what everyone lifted in order of squat, press, and deadlift with all weights in pounds.

Dan: 410, 209.4, 470
Greg: 270, 110.2, 375
Michael: 255, 130, 345
Kelly: 225, 88.2, 260
Tom: 385, 169.8, 480

Greg earned second place in his weight class, Michael got third, Kelly got second, and I got first. There were no subcategories for age. The meet was a unique and rewarding experience and the trip was fun from beginning to end. Competition is a wonderful thing, as is spending time with your friends.

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Nov 4th, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: December FUN!!

*** Daylight Savings ends tomorrow Nov 4th at 2:00am so TURN BACK your clocks & enjoy that extra hour of sleep! ***


Hmmmm, what year was this one taken??

Saturday Dec 1st @ 9am Shop at Lululemon Berkeley!  Our friends at Lululemon in Berkeley have made us an offer we simply must not refuse!  They are opening the store one hour early on Saturday December 1st exclusively for CFO members.  We will have the entire store to ourselves to check out all the cool new holiday offerings, try on and get opinions, shop for gifts or just take a look around.  If that isn’t enough, the staff has promised to whip us up a paleo-friendly breakfast while we are there!  You can hit the 8am class and still arrive in plenty of time to eat up and grab some cool new gear.

Sunday Dec 9th time TBD: (at CFO) CrossFit Total!  We will be testing our strength by working up to a 1RM in Back Squat, Shoulder Press and Dead Lift.  This is a really fun event held annually to give you a good look at all of the tremendous progress your hard work over the year has earned.

Wednesday Dec 12th, starting at 6:00pm: CFO HOLIDAY PARTY!!  This year’s party will be held at the very elegant Terrace Room on Lake Merritt.  Put this on your calendar – it is not to be missed.  All of your CFO friends and significant others dressed to the nines.  Food and drink provided.  You provide the bangin’ festive wear.

Don’t forget to update those calendars with the 3 awesome events.  

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Nov 2nd, 2012

Final Participant List for Rowing Clinic


The CFO M&M Crew

As we wrote a few days ago, Kelly Powers will be leading a free rowing clinic on Saturday November 17, beginning at 2pm.

We had a large number of email responses, which is great, because we really want all of you to be dialed in with proper technique on the rower.  Because the clinic is limited to 7 participants, we’re already planning on offering a few more clinics in the very near future (most likely as early as Saturday November 24), so stay tuned to the blog for an announcement on the next date.

If you sent us an email but didn’t get in for the November 17 clinic, we’ll put you on the list for the next clinic.

In the meantime, here are the 7 people who will be attending the November 17 clinic:

Steve P

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Oct 31st, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Training, CFO Style


Photographic proof that zombies exist

Make no mistake the Zombie Apocalypse is coming and we want you to be prepared.  This article from will get you on your way.  First order of business:

Stay in Peak Physical Condition. Fact: Zombies love out of shape people. They’re easier to chase down, have more flesh to eat, and put up far less of a fight.  Compare that with a highly intelligent nerd in peak physical condition: much harder to catch, composed of tough muscle instead of doughy fat, and certainly won’t go down without a fight.  You want to be a zombie’s worst nightmare.

Don’t lag behind this guy and become Zombie-food – BE PREPARED. 

The OFFICIAL CFO Zombie Apocalypse survival prep includes the following WOD, best preformed in full Halloween costume in order to simulate real events. 

"Zombie Apocalypse"

As a 2-person team complete the following for time:

20 Thrusters @ 135#/95# – Useful for lifting & throwing heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions to higher ground.

30 Dead Lifts @ 275#/185#  – Useful for picking up heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions from the ground.

40 Push-Ups – Useful for pushing yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

50 Pull-Ups – Useful for pulling yourself yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

60 Box Jump-Overs @ 24"/20" – Useful for clearing objects/bodies in your path as you run away from Zombies.

* Each time you stop work or hand-off to a partner, the zombies catch up and you must complete a 200m Sprint or 2 Rope Climbs to escape (everyone knows that zombies can’t climb), alternating between the 2 choices for the duration of the WOD.  Once you return from your sprint/rope climbs, you may resume work.

Click here and here for more on the Zombie Apocalypse, because you can never be too prepared for an invasion of the undead.  

Happy Halloween Everybody!!!  

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Oct 30th, 2012

Halloween at CFO


Shaggy, Velma & Scooby dropped by CFO last Halloween

While we are not throwing a formal Halloween Party this year, we do encourage all of you to attend classes on Wednesday in full costume.  A Halloween-inspired WOD will be provided and will offer some very practical training, as well as entertainment.  

We are planning to post the WOD a little early tomorrow so you will have time to make any… adjustments.

Happy Halloween everybody!

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Oct 29th, 2012

Free Rowing Clinic with Kelly Powers Saturday November 17th


We’re holding a free rowing clinic on Saturday November 17th at 2pm at CFO.  This clinic will be free to the first 6 CFOers who respond via email.  If you don’t get in for this clinic, not to worry:  we’ll be scheduling another one very soon (most likely the following Saturday) so stay tuned.

Kelly Powers will be leading the clinic.  Besides being a great coach, she’s not too shabby on the water, either.  In fact, she’s competing for a place on Team USA in the World Championships next year.  I’ve had the good fortune to be able to work with her on my own rowing technique on the Concept2 rower and it’s helped a ton.  I can’t recommend this clinic enough.  If you want to make your CF workouts more manageable when it comes to using the rowers (or ergs, if you prefer), this is the clinic for you.  I personally hope that you take advantage of this opportunity, if for no other reason than learning how to make the rower not suck so much when you have to use it in one of our workouts.  Don’t pass up this opportunity!

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Oct 25th, 2012

FREE Running Clinic THIS Saturday Oct 27th @ 11am


There are still a couple of spots left for this Saturday’s FREE Running clinic with Coach Aaron.  This is a great opportunity to learn some solid running technique from a legitimate track athlete and coach.  These techniques will improve your running and probably make you enjoy running more, but they will also prevent injuries that can take you out of the running game.  So don’t miss out. Sign up via email.

The clinic will be taking place at the Piedmont High School track on Saturday, October 27th at 11am anwill run for about an hour, and will focus on getting you into a solid position for running with proper mechanics via a series of drills and progressions.

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Oct 24th, 2012

Salmon Delivery Happening Soon


Nate during the tug-o-war event at the CrossTown Throwdown

Just a quick heads-up to all of you who’ve placed an order for wild Alaskan salmon (last written about here)…

The salmon is set to arrive this Friday October 26th or Monday October 29th.  It’s currently on its way down from Washington, thus the inexact delivery date.  As the truck gets closer, I’ll give all of you a more precised delivery date.  Stay tuned!

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