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Our Philosophy

We believe in putting our focus and resources into our coaching quality and our community.

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Workout Of The Day

The Workout of the Day or WOD is custom-programmed for the CrossFit Oakland community and is taught in our regular group classes under the close supervision of our highly trained coaching staff.

Oct 20th, 2012

Lessons from the Captain

Kirk Karwoski

Kirk Karwoski at the 2012 Starting Strength Coaches Association Conference

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Kirk Karwoski about two weeks ago at Starting Strength Coaches Association Conference in Wichita Falls, TX. For those who are not familiar with Kirk, I did a write up about him at the end of 2011. Karwoski, or Captain Kirk as he was often known, is one of the great powerlifters of all time and is often called the greatest squatter in the history of the sport. His world record 1,003 pound squat in the 125 kg weight class that was set in 1995 still stands today. He won 6 International Powerlifting Championships in a row from 1991 through 1996 and was a dominant figure during his professional career.  It is not very often that you get to be around someone who was the best in the world at something and it was cool to hear Karwoski’s insights into training.

From early on, Kirk was an unusually strong guy. If I remember correctly, he was bench pressing 225 pounds as a freshman in high school and one of the first times he tried, he squatted 300 pounds. By age 20, he squatted 760 pounds in competition. The man certainly had the genetics to be an amazing strength athlete. However, what stood out was how seriously he took his training. Karwoski worked more diligently and with greater intensity than almost any of his competition. When he was in the gym, he did very little talking. Instead, he was focused solely on lifting. If you sat on the bench between sets on a bench press day, that was a problem. Chairs were for sitting. The bench was for working.

Karwoski and his coach planned his workouts many weeks in advance. He would decide upon what he wanted to do and he would rarely miss repetitions in training. Not only did he put his time in under the bar, he was unusually dedicated to his diet. When trainees are trying to put on weight, it is not uncommon for them to drink a gallon of whole milk a day. This is considered to be a somewhat controversial practice by some. At certain points early in his career, Karwoski would drink as much as four gallons of whole milk a day. That was in addition to the food he was eating. Of course, when you are squatting almost 1,000 pounds in training, you probably need a lot of food to recover from that workload.

Despite the fact that he is the equivalent of royalty in powerlifting circles, Karwoski is an approachable guy who is happy to share his experiences. He is passionate about the sport and has a wealth of funny stories. He provided a welcome reminder that getting stronger is a function of dedication and hard work.

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Oct 19th, 2012

Carl Paoli on Efficient Burpees

Next time burpees come up in one of our workouts, remember to apply some of these tips from Carl Paoli.  Who knows, with enough practice and refinement, you might actually come to enjoy burpees.

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Oct 18th, 2012

SAVE THE DATE: CrossFit Total on SUNDAY December 9th!


Mune demonstrating one of the 3 lifts of the CFT

Mark you calendars!  On Sunday December 9th starting at 10am, we will be holding our annual CrossFit Total event.  The CrossFit Total (CFT) is the sum of your 1-rep max Back Squat, 1-rep max Shoulder Press  and 1-rep max Dead Lift.  You have 3 attempts to find each.  Check out this CF Journal article for more details.

This is a great way to test your strength and have a great time doing it.  We only program this workout once a year because it takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete.  This will not be like an ordinary class as we try to create the feel of an actual power lifting meet by collecting opening lift numbers from all participants and assigning heats according to these numbers.  It is a bit more organized that way and very fun.

We are letting you know well in advance so we can give everyone a chance to participate and also so you can start thinking about your opening lifts. We will also be programming 1RM Back Squat, Shoulder Press and Dead Lift so you will have a chance to see where you are before the total.

Looking forward to seeing how ridiculously strong you all have gotten this year!

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Oct 17th, 2012

CrossFit on the International Competitive Scene


For those of you following the CrossFit competitive scene, an interesting event happened this past Saturday. It was the first annual CrossFit Invitational, an international competition with teams competing from the USA and Europe (kind of like a Ryder Cup for CrossFit). Each team was comprised of 3 men and 3 women, and they battled in several head-to-head workouts. Some of the workouts were one-on-one, some two-on-two, some three-on-three, and sometimes all 6 team members went head-to-head against the opposing squad. In the end, Team USA had just a little too much depth, and ended up winning the competition by a score of 20-6.

The whole thing was broadcast live on EuroSport, which was a first. EuroSport is the premier sports network across the pond.

The video above is just Part 1. The other parts of the competition can all be viewed here:


(And yes, since I know some of you are gonna comment on it, the MC is a little dramatic with his introduction.)

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Oct 16th, 2012

Two CFO Teams Competing at OktoberFit This Saturday!


Joey climbing the rope at the CrossTown Throwdown

This Saturday, October 20th, two teams from CFO will be competing at OktoberFit, a three-person team competition hosted by CrossFit Silicon Valley.  There will be four team workouts, plus a bonus final workout for the top 8 teams after the first four workouts.  In other words, it will be full day of action!

The two teams are comprised as follows:

A Team:  Michelle M, Joey, TomS

B Team:  Leka, Arnold, Mini

It’s gonna be a ton of fun.  The first workout gets started around 9am.  There’s a $5 spectator fee, but it gets you food and drinks, so there’s some value in your purchase.  Come down and support the CFO crew!

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Oct 15th, 2012

Cookbook Teaser

prosciutto wrapped sweet potato. 

Prosciutto-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
(recipe adapted from www.foodrenegade.com)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 lb Thinly Sliced Prosciutto
  • Toothpicks


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes then cut them lengthwise into quarters. Then cut each quarter in half, and then half again. You’ll wind up with 32 bites.
  3. Wrap each sweet potato bite with a half slice of prosciutto, and use a toothpick to hold it all together.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. You’ll know they’re ready when the prosciutto is crispy and the potatoes are soft.
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Oct 12th, 2012

A Little Inspiration for Your Friday Squat Session

Stan Efferding and Dan Green squatting 905# and 800#, respectively

Sometimes you just gotta marvel at the strong people out there.  The video above does a great job of shooting the heavy squats these guys do from several different camera angles.  It also has some nice commentary from Mark Bell.  I’m not sure which effort is more impressive, to tell you the truth:  Stan Efferding squatting 905 lbs at a bodyweight of ~275 lbs or Dan Green squatting 800 lbs at a bodyweight of ~220 lbs.  Both are amazing efforts!

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Oct 11th, 2012

FREE Running Clinic with Coach Aaron Saturday October 27th @ 11am


Happy graduates of the Coach Aaron Running Clinic (Oct 2011)

Fellow CFOer and masters track athlete Aaron C. will be providing a running technique clinic for all interested CFO’ers on Saturday, October 27, beginning at 11am.  The clinic will be taking place at the Piedmont High School track.

The clinic will 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.

If you hate running and have never been properly coached or just want some motivation to get in running shape for a race or to improve your CrossFit game, this is an opportunity to do so with one of the best.  

In order to provide the best experience for everyone, the clinic will capped at 18 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you would like to reserve a spot, you can do so by sending us an email.  Please note that all of Aaron’s past clinics have filled up quickly.

A huge thank you to Coach A for his continued generosity to CFO.  


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Oct 10th, 2012

Mune and Aisha Competing in Weightlifting Meet on Nov 11!


Aisha (front left) and Mune (front right), pictured along with Carrie and Joe P

Aisha and Mune teamed up on the Fran-Off workout this past Saturday against CF Sweat Shop, and now they’re teaming up as training partners, preparing to compete in an Olympic Weightlifting meet on Sunday, November 11.  This will be Aisha’s first meet and Mune’s second meet (she just did her first meet at CFO a few weeks ago).

Anybody else interested in joining them?

The meet takes place in South San Francisco, and it’s called the Veterans Day Open.  You can read up on all the details here:  www.lifttilyadie.com/PWA/12VetDayFlyer.htm

According to the schedule posted on the website, Mune and Aisha get started at 2pm.

Olympic Weightlifting meets are really fun and pretty easy to understand.  You get three attempts at a max snatch, rest a bit, and then you get three attempts at a clean-and-jerk (I’m leaving out a lot of details, of course).  You then take your best snatch and best clean-and-jerk and add them together.  The lifter with the highest total wins.  And it goes by weight class, too, so that smaller lifters compete against smaller lifters, and vice-versa.

You’ll probably see Aisha and Mune working the Olympic lifts a lot in the next month or so.  If you see them, wish them luck!  And you might even want to step up and join them!

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Oct 9th, 2012

And the winners are….



Karyn L


 Fernando U.

This was a very tough decision and Mike and I took a lot of time and consideration when choosing the finalists and the male and female winners of our Eat Clean, Train Dirty Challenge. Karyn and Fernando showed the most dramatic changes from before photos to after photos. You can find Karyn at the 9am class and Fernando at evening classes to personally congratulate them.

Congrats as well to Stacey N and Morgan F as the female runners up and Broderick and Daniel V as the male runners up and to all of the participants. It was very inspiring to look at your before and after photos and it is clear that you all worked very hard and are making remarkable physical changes – all for the better from what we saw.  Please let me know if you’d like me to email your before/after photos to you.

Hope everyone survived the challenge and will continue the successes and good habits they began over these 6 weeks.  We will continue to provide information, tips and encouragement so that you can reach whatever goals you set for yourselves.  Our next challenge will most likely be in the Spring heading into the Open Sectionals for the CrossFit Games and will be performance-based.

Congrats to everyone, you all look fabulous!

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