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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.

Nov 24th, 2012

Dr. Jonathan Sullivan on the Importance of Strength Training

Starting Strength Series : Jonathon Sullivan from Stef Bradford on Vimeo.

Back in October, I was lucky enough to see Dr. Jonathan Sullivan give a talk on the importance of strength training at the Starting Strength Coaches Association Meeting. Sullivan is Attending Physician at Detroit Receiving Hospital Emergency Department, and Associate Director of the Cerebral Resuscitation Laboratory at Wayne State University. He has also become a big advocate for barbell training. The talk he gave that weekend is now available to the world at large. The video is just under an hour long and is well worth the time spent watching it. It is a substantial and occasionally profane discussion of how training for strength might be the best thing you can do for yourself. Here is a little snippet from around the 20-minute mark:

The default mode of a metazoan cell, of the cells that we all have, is not to live, but to die. Without growth factors, they will. Conversely, if you take a cell and you insult it with radiation, or a toxin, or a free radical, or something that will cause it to kill itself, you can rescue it. You can talk it off the ledge by administering growth factors. I, along with a lot of other people have now published a lot of material in the literature saying that the administration of high dose growth factors after a stroke or cardiac arrest, at least in certain models, will rescue brain cells.

What’s happening here is you are getting older. You are in a state of physiologic, senescent growth factor withdrawal. You just don’t make as much as much growth hormone and IGF-1 as you used to. Aging is characterized by atrophy. When we squat and our bodies squirt a bunch of IGF-1 and human growth hormone into our system, we are counter-signaling that. That to me is a profound effect. That’s what got my attention. It’s a way for me to self-administer growth factors and to tell all the cells in my body, “Hey, we’re still in this game.” It’s a way for me to send survival factors to all the tissues of my body. It’s just hugely profound.

The video was originally published over at Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Website and discussion of it, along with responses from Sullivan can be found here and here. Sullivan’s other articles at the Starting Strength site, Barbell Training is Big Medicine and Stopping the Spread of Misinflammation are also not to be missed. Enjoy the video and remember to do your squats.

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Nov 23rd, 2012



‘Danke’ for the beauty of strength

Yes it is total cheese, but THANK YOU to all of you.  CFO is an amazing place because of the people that fill it every day.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  

Gym opens at 8am tomorrow – classes at 8am, 9am and 10am ONLY.  I’m sure you’ll all be thanking us back after tackling "Eva".

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Nov 22nd, 2012

Who’s in? CFO Shop at Lululemon Berkeley December 1st @ 9am


CFO’ers showing off the utility of our Lululemon gear

Looking for some hot new workout clothes?  How about a gift for someone special?  Want to check out Lululemon and all the new holiday gear or just hang out after the WOD and enjoy some breakfast?

Lululemon Berkeley on College Ave has generously offered to open the doors an hour early JUST FOR US!!  We will get the entire store (and staff!) to ourselves on Saturday December 1st from 9am – 10am to shop, try on and get expert advice on some pretty cool clothes.  And because the folks at Lulu totally get us, they will also be providing some yummy and healthy food!

Please let us know if you plan to attend so the organizers can plan accordingly.  Just post to comments or our Facebook page or even send us an email.

Thanks and hope to see everyone there!


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Nov 21st, 2012

Thanksgiving Schedule


Joey getting after it at OktoberFit

Our Thursday & Friday schedule this week is as follows:

Thursday November 22:  CFO is Closed.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Friday November 23:  We’re running a weekend schedule on Friday, with classes during the following times only:  8am, 9am, and 10am.  

We have a major–and really long–benchmark workout planned for Friday (it’s one of the girl workouts), and it’s so rough that we only do it once a year, so don’t miss your chance to experience it this year.

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Nov 20th, 2012

Two CFO Teams Getting It Done!


Team CFO at the Deuces Wild Competition this past Saturday


Team Beastmode (CFO) at the Spartan Race

It was a busy Saturday for two groups from CFO.  We had three teams competing in the Deuces Wild Partner Competition in Martinez (hosted by Diablo CrossFit):  Michelle M & TomS, Brandon and Tamara, and Leka and D-Sal.

Michelle and TomS finished finished 19th in the Open Division, while Brandon and Tamara finished in 31st place.  Leka and D-Sal competed in the Masters division, where they finished in 10th place.  Strong work by all three teams, especially considering that there were nearly 100 teams that competed!

Meanwhile, a huge group from CFO took on the Spartan Race on Saturday up in Sacramento.  The race was a 14-mile outdoor trail run and obstacle course.  As if that weren’t tough enough, the weather was brutal, with a ton of rain and wind throughout the day.  Strong work by all the CFOers who took on this challenge, as follows:  Gabe, Tanjeet, Selin, AJ, Jasmine, Wally, Mo B, and Kristarae (and we can’t forget about Amanda, who was there for a ton of moral support).

Keep up the strong work, everyone!

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Nov 17th, 2012

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule


The gym will be closed on Thursday, Nov 22nd for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  We will be running a weekend schedule on Friday, Nov 23rd – 8am, 9am and 10am ONLY.  

Regular schedule will resume on Saturday, Nov 24th.

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Nov 16th, 2012

3 Teams from CFO Competing at Deuces Wild Competition on Saturday


Tom and Michelle are two of the six CFOers competing in Deuces Wild

Another weekend, another competition for CFOers (actually, there are two competitions happening this weekend; I’ll be profiling the other one tomorrow night on the blog).

Six CFOers are competing in a man/woman partner competition being put on by Diablo CrossFit called Deuces Wild.  There are 100 teams competing in this competition and it happens this Saturday November 17th.

The teams are as follows:

Brandon & Tamara
Michelle & TomS
D-Sal & Leka

So far, two workouts have been announced.  This is going to be a busy weekend for our CFO teams.  Workout 1 has 4 parts; Workout 2 has 3 parts.

All the action gets started at 9am on Saturday.  There’s a $5 spectator fee to watch if you want to check out the action.  Hopefully we can get some crowd support for these three–I’m sure they’ll represent us well and compete hard.

The competition is taking place at the Universal Sports Academy in Martinez (Google Map).

Get some, Team CFO!

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Nov 14th, 2012

20,000 Slam Challenge


We need to slam this thing 20,000 times in the next week

We’ve been selected by D-Ball to test their newest slam ball design.  They’ve changed the way ball is plugged so that the sand won’t leak out after multiple slams.

To that end, they’ve asked if we can slam the ball they sent us 20,000 times in the next week.  That’s an ambitious target, but with your help we can get there.  It will require roughly 3,000 slams per day, which works out to 500 slams per class (we have, on average, 6 classes per day).  That’s 50 slams per 10 people, 25 per 20 people, or however you want to slice it.

There’s only one ground rule for the testing process:  the slams have to be done outside, and not on the gym floor.  D-Ball would like us to test it on concrete, so the walkway leading up to the gym is the perfect area.  All you have to do is get together with a group of people and use ball slams as a finisher after the workout.

Arnold and I will be doing 500 slams per day as a team, and I know there are a lot more fitter people out there than the two of us, so I expect some big numbers.  

(Who knows, maybe we can even get TomC to jump in on this.)

Testing officially begins tomorrow (Wed 11/14).  To keep track of total slams per day, we’re going to allocate a section of the whiteboard where we can write down daily totals.  Let’s help out D-Ball with their testing process and get this done!

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Nov 13th, 2012

Veterans Day Open Wrap-Up


Tami, Joey, and Michelle wearing their medals

By now, if you’ve checked our FB page today, you’ve seen snatches and clean-and-jerks from each of the six women who competed in the Veterans Day Open on Sunday:  Connie, Mune, Aisha, Joey, Michelle, and Tamara.

To accompany the moving pictures, here’s a quick rundown on each of the women.


Snatch:  35 kg (77 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk:  51 kg (112 lb)
Total:  86 kg (189 lb)

This was Connie’s first Olympic Weightlifting meet, and the plan was for her to make all 3 snatches and all 3 clean-and-jerks (go 6-for-6), which she did.  As a bonus, she was shooting to match her snatch PR, which she did, and she made it easily (check out the video on FB for evidence).  Great work!


Snatch: 40 kg (88 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk: 53 kg (116 lb)
Total: 93 kg (204 lb)

This was Mune’s second Olympic Weightlifting meet, and she beat her total (the sum of snatch and clean-and-jerk) by one kilogram.  Any time you improve on your previous meet best, it’s an achievement.  And she did this without her A game.  Next time, I expect her to smash her total.  Strong work, Mune!


Snatch: 43 kg (94 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk: 54 kg (118 lb)
Total: 97 kg (213 lb)

Another first-timer, Aisha had been putting in some serious work leading up to the meet.  All that hard work paid off and she has some solid benchmarks to work with when she competes in her next meet.  She did a great job of fighting for her last jerk, too.  Great work, Aisha!


Snatch: 45 kg (99 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk: 61 kg (134 lb)
Total: 106 kg (233 lb)

This was Joey’s third meet (all three have taken place at the same venue, too) and she had a big goal of totaling over 100 kg (220 lb), which she easily did!  She set meet PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total.  And she also took home a medal for 3rd place in the Masters division.  Strong work, Joey!


Snatch: 64 kg (141 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk: 82 kg (180 lb)
Total: 146 kg (321 lb)

This was also Michelle’s first meet, and what a way to start out!  She PR’d her clean-and-jerk, and to top it off, she took 2nd place overall in the Seniors division (that’s for anyone over 20, not old-timers, in case you’re wondering).  What a debut!  Really impressive, Michelle!


Snatch: 68 kg (149 lb)
Clean-and-Jerk: 85 kg (187 lb)
Total: 153 kg (336 lb)

For Tamara, who has already qualified for the American Open (one of the two biggest national meets in Olympic lifting), this was more of a tune-up.  She wasn’t really trying to push it, and even with that taken into account, she still took 2nd place in the Masters division.  T can compete!

It was great to see all six women compete in this meet.  Nothing is confirmed or even definitively planned yet, but we’re working on getting a meet hosted at CFO in early January 2013.  I would love it if we could get more of you to join these six and take part in the competition.  I’ll even be throwing my hat into the ring.

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Nov 12th, 2012

Veterans Day Open a Done Deal


The six women who represented CFO today in the Veterans Day Open

Before we get to any matters related to Olympic weightlifting, I want to take a moment to thank all who have served in the armed forces.  Everyone owes you a debt of gratitude and your service to this country will not be forgotten.

Tonight’s post will be a brief one; I’ll provide a full recap, with numbers, tomorrow night.  All 6 CFOers who competed–Joey, Aisha, Mune, Tamara, Michelle, and Connie (from left to right in the picture above)–represented CFO extremely well today.  They all put up some rock-solid numbers, and without giving away too much for tomorrow night’s post, three of them took home medals.

More on their achievements tomorrow…

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