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Jan 22nd, 2013

NorCal Masters Wrap-Up


Four tired CFOers after two days of competition:  Steve P, Mini, Leka, and Lance

The NorCal Masters is a wrap, and what a blast it was!  It was a well-run event, with lots of rock solid workouts–nothing fancy, just a good test of fitness.  It was also a long weekend of competition.  All four of us were glad to be done on Sunday!

Here’s a quick summary of the competition for each CFOer.

Steve P

Steve couldn’t be stopped.  He was like a runaway freight train.  I don’t even know where to begin since his performance was so dominant this weekend.  He competed in 9 events.  His worst finish was 3rd place.  His place in each of the 9 events was distributed as follows:  five 1st-place finishes, two 2nd-place finishes, and two 3rd-place finishes.  Wow!

Although he didn’t win the second workout, which was split into two parts, I think that was his best performance.  It combined max-weight snatches and cleans with high-rep burpees and toes-to-bar.  He finished second in the snatch/clean portion and second in the burpee/toes-to-bar portion.  No one else was nearly that well-balanced (e.g., the guy who had the biggest snatches and cleans had the lowest number of burpees and toes-to-bar, and the guy who had the most burpees and toes-to-bar had the second-lowest total for snatches and cleans).

To say this was strong work by Steve is an understatement!


Leka was super nervous about competing leading up to the NorCal Masters, but it turns out it was all for naught.  She ended up finishing in 6th place overall, which is her best finish in a CF competition yet!

Her best performance was on the brutal Sunday morning chipper workout, which involved rowing, bear crawls, thrusters, box jumps, deadlifts, wall balls, and ring dips.  It was nasty.  She took 5th place on this workout, winning her heat in runaway fashion and executing a perfect game plan.  She never stopped and she never panicked.  She just got out to a lead and kept it.

And a bonus for Leka:  She was able to get Ann G, Aisha, and Beth to commit to competing next year.  So now it’s out there in the public and these four women are committed for next year!


Unbeknownst to most of you, Lance has been fighting with a bad ankle and heel for the last few months, even though in most cases you’d never know it.  As such, a lot of the events that came up, particularly those that involved running or jumping, were rough.  He toughed it out until the very end, though, until he finally had to succumb in the last workout.  It was a shuttle sprint and wheelbarrow carry that ended with 100 double-unders.  As he was motoring through the final few double-unders (one of the movements that’s normally in his wheelhouse), he heard a popping noise in his heel (which turned out to be damage to some soft tissue, but thankfully not to any tendons or joints) and wisely chose to stop.

Lance’s best performance was in the second workout, and in particular the max-weight snatches and cleans.  He finished in 3rd place, and probably could’ve won the event if I hadn’t been so conservative in suggesting what weights to use for snatches and cleans (that one’s on me).  Just goes to show that pushing your squat up to 425 pounds can have some great carryover.  Strong work, Lance!


I ended up finishing in 2nd place overall.  It was a good start to the CF Games pre-season for me (the regular season gets started with the CF Games Open).  I gotta hand it to Scott Dorrity, who finished in 1st place.  He was just better (bigger, stronger, better-conditioned, and equally as skilled) than me in just about everything.  I was briefly in first place (over the course of the first three events on Saturday) but he was just too good over the course of the entire competition.  I definitely have some work to do to get better.

My best finish in any single event was 1st place in the weighted pull-up/farmers-walk couplet (max weighted pull-up with a 3-minute time cap followed by max 10m farmers walks with 70-lb kettlebells for 1 minute).  

But my favorite and proudest moment was taking two second-place finishes in a workout (split into two separate events) involving 150m shuttle sprints, kettlebell swings, and pull-ups.  Nobody else had better combined finishes in that workout than I did.  I attribute it to all the CFO crowd support there.

It was so great competing with Steve, Leka, and Lance.  Hopefully more of you will join us next year!  And a big thank-you to all of you who came out and supported us…it didn’t go unnoticed!

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Jan 19th, 2013

5 CFOers Competing in NorCal Masters this Weekend!


Lance, Leka, and Steve after checking in at the NorCal Masters earlier today

Five CFOers–Lance, Leka, Steve, Patrick T, and myself–are competing this weekend at the Craneway Pavilion (mere minutes from the gym) in the NorCal Masters.

The NorCal Masters is the biggest CF competition for us older folks (40 and older) out there, with the exception of the CrossFit Games themselves.  It’s going to be a really fun, exciting, and painful weekend.

It’ll be a full day for all of us on Saturday.  We’ll be doing four workouts.  On Sunday, we’ll be doing two workouts for sure.  If any of us moves on to the finals, we’ll be in store for even more (let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though).

Steve leads off at 8:42am on Saturday, and the rest of us follow after that.

For a detailed schedule of when each of us is competing, check out the PDF that’s been attached to this post.  And thanks for Leka for putting it together (she went through 185 competitors and narrowed it down to just us five from CFO).

Also, please note:  If you’re planning on coming down and watching the competition, please be aware that there’s a $25 spectator fee for coming both days, or a $15 spectator fee for a single day.

Can’t wait to get that first workout out of the way!

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Jan 17th, 2013

Are You Tough Mudder Material?


The free beer at the finish line is worth all that went before

Do you love being dirty?  Dirty with a bunch of your friends?  Dirty while testing your physical limits?  Well, you might like to test those preferences at a Tough Mudder event.

Last year a bunch of us decided to give this event a shot and had a ridiculously good time.  We all decided we definitely wanted to do it again, but perhaps at a more challenging venue. Elevation, anyone?

Tough Mudder has just opened up a ton of new events for 2013, including Tahoe in September! Saturday, September 28th (same weekend as last year) in the Tahoe area.  If you sign up super early (before Jan 20th) you get the best registration rate.  If you sign up in the next 2 days you can get an additional $10 off the cost of registration by entering the code "MudderUSA2013".

If you missed out last year or want to train for something as a challenge or you want to repeat last year’s epic fun-fest, here is your chance.  

Let us know you’re interested by email, Facebook or this blog.  I will set up a CFO Team today, because I am DEFINITELY IN!  MUDKILLAS!!!!!  

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Jan 16th, 2013

More Hot Air at CFO


The latest addition to our bathrooms

Just in case you haven’t yet seen, tried, or heard them, we have new hand dryers at CFO.  We’re really pleased to not have to use the bath towels or paper towels any longer (the former so that your hands will stay clean and the latter so that we can save paper).

Plus now we know when you’re actually washing your hands (kidding…sort of).

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Jan 15th, 2013

Food for Colds & Flus


Pete D pulling heavy at the CF Total

As the east coast gets hit hard by the seasonal flu and those of us living in the Bay brace for another bout of chilly weather, I’m sure we’re all being mindful of how not to get sick. When it comes to fighting off a cold or a flu it’s all about prevention and the best way to do this is by building up your immune system. Tonight I’ll be sharing some fortifying foods that you may want to stock up on this time of year. 

#1 Fermented Foods & Drinks

Since colds and flus are caused by bacteria and viruses invading your body, having enough healthy bacteria is paramount to strengthening your immune system and warding off the nasty critters that can take over. The Greek origin of the word "probiotics" meaning "for life", which should give you a clue about how vital it is to your health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, pickled veggies like sauerkraut, and my personal favorite, kombucha.  If you don’t like any of these foods, consider taking a probiotic supplement. You can find these in most health food stores in the refrigerated section next of the vitamin aisle.

#2 Cinnamon-Ginger Tea

Hot teas can really help alleviate congestion and soothe a sore throat. Drinking plenty of fluids such as water and non-caffeinated teas can also keep you well hydrated. One of my favorite warming elixirs for those cold winter nights is made with just two simple ingredients: ginger and cinnamon. Both are naturally spicy and when combined, can literally raise your temperature from the inside out. In addition to its warming properties, ginger root is a powerful anti-inflammatory food which can be helpful if your nose and throat are inflamed. And the natural oils in cinnamon have been used traditionally as an anti-microbial, making it the perfect addition to this ultra healing tea.

To prepare:

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • While you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop 1 medium-sized ginger root into large pieces leaving the skin on.
  • Add 3-5 sticks of cinnamon and ginger to the pot. Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. 

#3 Vitamin C Rich Vegetables

I cannot write a post about immune-supportive foods without including a word about vitamin C. This vitamin has long been an ally in our fight against the common cold. But while most people think of OJ or citrus foods as their go-to food, vegetables such as parsley, cauliflower and mustard greens have some of the highest levels of vitamin C. Mostly I think this is because oranges taste better than kale. One final word about vitamin C is that it is extremely susceptible to damage from exposure to air. For example, the flesh of a fruit or vegetable loses its vitamin C content the longer it is left out in the open air. This means you should eat your produce immediately upon slicing into it in order to get all the beneficial vitamin C from this food.

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Jan 13th, 2013

Work is Underway at Uptown


Justin clearing some floor space at Uptown

We’re very, very early in the process, but we wanted to let you know that work is underway at Uptown.  Look for future posts as we get closer to the open date (sometime in early- to mid-February for a soft open date).

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Jan 9th, 2013

2012 CF Total Album


Julian pulling a big deadlift during last month’s CrossFit Total

A bunch of you have been asking about the pictures from last month’s CrossFit Total, so without further ado, here you go.

We’ve posted it on our CFO Facebook page, or you can go there directly by clicking on the following link:  2012 CF Total at CFO

Can’t wait to do it again in December 2013!

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Jan 8th, 2013

CFOers Competing at NorCal Masters January 19th & 20th


Carrie pulling heavy at the CF Total

The NorCal Masters, the largest CF Masters competition (for the 40-and-over crowd) outside of the CrossFit Games, is just a couple weeks away.  It’s all going down on Saturday Jan 19th and Sunday Jan 20th.  This competition is so big, and popular, that registration sold out in just a couple of hours in many of the age categories.

The great thing about this competition for CFOers is that it’s so close by.  It takes place at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, just a short drive up 580 from here.

The following CFOers will be competing:

Patrick T
Lance V
Steve P

It’s gonna be a great time and a good chance for all of us to gauge where we are heading into the 2013 Open.

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Jan 7th, 2013

20 Simple Paleo Meals, Plus Last Call for Recipes


Peter and Gabriel posing for the camera at the CF Total

If eating clean is part of your new year’s resolution, then I have just the thing to help kick start your effort! The good folks at Real Food Freaks have put together this FREE collection of 20 easy-to-follow paleo meals. I hope you enjoy them (the pictures look amazing)! 

As for our own little recipe collection, I’m done sorting through emails and have moved onto organizing the meals into a what I think will be an awesome (mini) cookbook! However, I’m still more than happy to accept your contributions if you have any. I especially need breakfast meals; breakfast is always the most challenging since most breakfast foods contain grains and sugar. Send your recipes here. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress!

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Jan 4th, 2013

Team CFO/Sweat Shop Competition Wrap-Up


Rikus, Michelle, Tamara, and Arnold after the 2012 Holiday Invitational

This past Sunday, three CFOers (Michelle, Tamara, and Arnold) and one CF Sweat Shop athlete (Rikus) competed in a 2-man/2-woman team competition hosted by CrossFit One World called the 2012 Holiday Invitational.

This was a team competition that was filled with a lot of heavy hitters from the CF world.  There were a number of CF Games and Regional-level competitors who competed, and most of the NorCal teams who finished in the top 10 at this year’s Regional competition were there.  In short, there were some stacked teams.  

It was a great opportunity for Team CFO to step up and compete with the best, get a sense of what we need to work on, and to get some prep work in heading into the CF Games season (the Open starts in March, just a couple months away).

Each member of the team put in strong work.  Tamara PR’d her clean-and-jerk (213 lbs) and got her first ever bar muscle-up (and then followed up with several more); Michelle knocked off so many bar muscle-ups I lost count; Arnold redlined in the final workout, barely coming out alive, but showed us what grit is all about; and Rikus blasted through just about everything he did (bar muscle-ups, heavy deadlifts, overhead squats, etc.).  

In the end, against some of the best CF competitors out there, Team CFO/Sweat Shop finished 10th out of 12 teams.  It was a great way to finish off the year, and makes me really excited for 2013.  Can’t wait ’til the Open!

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