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Get the basics so you can join in the fun of our group classes! Morning and Evening On-Ramp classes are offered at both of our locations and sell out fast.

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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.

Feb 9th, 2013

Spealler Does Angie in 10:11

Spealler taking on Angie

Here’s a little inspiration for those of you who are doing the CFO WOD today:  Chris Spealler doing Angie in 10:11.  Starting the workout off with 70 consecutive pull-ups doesn’t hurt, I’m sure.

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Feb 8th, 2013

Want Push-Ups? Abandon the Knee Push-Ups…and How to Position Your Elbows

K-Star on push-ups

In this Mobility WOD piece, Kelly Starrett talks about the importance of elbow positioning in the push-up, and also talks about the ineffectiveness of knee push-ups to translate into full, legit, plank-style push-ups.  Watch the whole video–it’s only 5 minutes and is definitely worth your time.  And if you’re working on developing your push-up, pay special attention to the final minute-and-a-half of the video where he discusses the drawbacks of knee push-ups, and what the more effective alternative to knee push-ups is.

(As a side note, this concept is similar to band pull-ups not translating to strict pull-ups.  Negative pull-ups are a much more effective means for getting that first strict pull-up.)

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Feb 5th, 2013

Jason Khalipa Doing DT in 6:16

Jason Khalipa doing DT in 6:16

Tuesday’s Part B workout is DT, a Hero WOD which first appeared on the CrossFit main site back in 2009:  April 14 2009 WOD on

It was named in honor of SSgt Timothy Davis (follow the link above for more information).

It’s a great workout and can be had in under 10 minutes, but you gotta figure out how to pace it.

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Feb 3rd, 2013

CFO Recipe Collection is HERE!


After months of shamelessly soliciting recipes from you all, I’m happy to announce that the final product is finally complete! And just in time for your Super Bowl feast!

As someone who spends most days talking to people about healthy eating, I’m very aware of some of the challenges facing those looking to improve their diet. One of the biggest complaints I hear is that eating healthy means that you have to compromise taste and that healthy diets lack variety. While it’s true that some of us can get stuck in a cooking rut from time to time, the best way to snap out of it is to try something new. Lucky for you, we have just the thing: The CFO Recipe Collection! 

The CFO Recipe Collection is a PDF document comprised of paleo-friendly recipes submitted by the lovely people of CrossFit Oakland. To make culling through the recipes easier, I divided them it into two sections: Savory Dishes and Sweet Dishes. We’ve also posted a link to the recipes on the CFO website for easy access.  It’s just below the Twitter link on the left-hand side of the page.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for contributing such healthy, creative and mouth-watering dishes to this recipe collection. I’ve had fun trying some of these out and look forward to seeing the rest of you enjoy them as much as I have! 

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Feb 1st, 2013

Preparing for the Open


Important step in preparing to lift: Calculating the weight

And here are some important steps to prepare you for the CF Games Open!  It’s coming up soon so make sure you are ready…

Step One: Register.  Seems simple enough, but sometimes you lose your mind and forget to register, or submit your score by the deadline or otherwise disqualify yourself from the competition.  Don’t be that guy or gal.  Check out the Games website regularly to keep up with important information.  For now, that means registering and remember to choose Team CFO so your amazing performances count toward the CFO team. And if you are on the fence about competing – get off!  It’s ok to be nervous. No one regrets giving this a go, it is fun and you will like it.  

Step Two: Stay Healthy.  Do not forget the importance of what you do when you are NOT working out.  We will break you down in class, you are responsible for the rebuilding phase. Feel free to ask us for clarification or assistance with any of the following:

Step Three: Mind Your Mechanics.  This is not the time to get sloppy. Stay strong in your positioning throughout each movement – you will perform better, resist injury and just plain look more awesome when your technique is dialed in.  

Recommendation: Check out Coach Aaron’s weekly Track Workouts to practice your running technique and also ramp up your conditioning.  WOD’s are held at Piedmont H.S. track on Saturdays at 8am, $10 drop-in fee.

Step Four: Bring It.  Go big or go home.  Once those mechanics are solid – do not hold back. This is the time to push those limits – especially those pesky mental limitations.  You will be surprised at what you can accomplish when you listen to your body and not those negative voices in your head.

I will not be so cliche as to add a Step Five: Have Fun!  Because DUH, this is our definition of fun.  More details on how the fun will be organized coming up in a follow-up post by Coach Mini.  Happy Game Season!

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Jan 30th, 2013

Part 1: Bar Muscle-Up Progression


Carl Paoli has come out with a multi-part series on the bar muscle-up, and the progressions he prescribes that will lead to one.

So far, only Part 1 has been released.  Watch the video and start incorporating those simple drills in your quest for a bar muscle-up.  This is the perfect for post-workout skill work.

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Jan 28th, 2013

Registration for the Open Begins Wednesday January 30th!


Leka at the top of a ball slam during the NorCal Masters

Just a reminder…registration for the CF Games Open starts this Wednesday, January 30th.  The original announcement on the Open was published on the CrossFit Games site here:  Welcome to the 2013 Season

The Open is the first leg of the CrossFit Games season, and the most inclusive one of them all.  You don’t need to go any further than the gym (or a nearby gym…more on this in a later blog post) to do the workout.  Even better, you get to do the workouts with fellow CFOers side by side.  

We had a lot of people from CFO do the workouts last year, and I’m hoping that we’ll greatly exceed that number this year.  Ask anyone who’s participated in the Open in the past and they’ll tell you how much fun it was (even though the workouts are tough, to put it mildly).  

The format is so much fun, too.  The workouts are published once a week, each Wednesday, with the first one being published on Wednesday, March 6th.  There’s always so much anticipation (and guessing) around what the workout is going to be.  You then have until the end of the week to get the workout done, and you can do it as many times as you’d like.  Most everyone runs through the workout on Saturday morning, when we schedule heats and assign people to them.

I can’t wait for the first workout, and I hope that a ton of you will be joining me.  If you’re on the fence, just do it.  And if you have questions, just ask (either in person or via email).

We’ll be doing at least one more big blog post on the Open, and specifically how the workouts are going to be run on Saturdays this year (we have a little twist in mind).

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Jan 26th, 2013

Jennifer Thompson Redux

How the bench press is done

I wrote about Jennifer Thompson a little over a year ago and decided it is time to talk about her again. She’s an accomplished strength athlete who holds all of the Raw American records for her weight class (60kg/132lb) in the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) federation. She squatted 316 pounds, bench pressed 301 pounds, and deadlifted 430 pounds.  All of that was done in 2012 by this 39-year old mother of two who makes her living as a middle school math teacher and claims to be drug free for her entire career. Did I mention that she trains in her basement gym and that she almost never misses training days? Thompson is impressive.

The video above comes from the 2010 USAPL Raw National Championships and is an example of extraordinary lifting. Firstly, she bench presses 292 pounds quickly and confidently with a pause at the bottom. That is better than 2.2 times her bodyweight. Think about that for a moment.

Of special interest is how Thompson approaches the lift. She doesn’t carry on, do lots of screaming, stomp around, or otherwise turn into an uncontrolled, self-absorbed performance artist. Instead, she sits down on the bench, briefly composes herself, and then dominates the bar in no uncertain terms. Further, after completing what is an impressive physical feat, she neglects to engage in self-aggrandizement, or remind the audience that she is number one. Instead, she smiles and then thanks each of her spotters before quickly stepping off the platform.

In most powerlifting meets, the bench press is done with a pause at the bottom. You can hear the head judge issue the "start, press, and rack" commands. This is to eliminate any chance of a bounce off the ribcage at the bottom. Much like lifting your butt off the bench is a reason for disqualifying the lift, so is bouncing the bar off the chest. While not the safest of practices, using the ribcage as a trampoline is also a good way to avoid getting strong through the initial portion of the bench press.

Not only are the numbers Thompson moves on the bench press incredible, she gets style points, too. She doesn’t make a scene, she just gets the work done. There is no indulgent carrying on. She plants her feet flat on the ground and performs a lift that everyone would recognize as solid bench press without the aid of bench press shirts or other assistive gear. After the lift is done, she stands up and goes on her way. There’s an awful lot of awesome packed into the forty five seconds of that video. It is full of ideas that can be applied to training and how we approach the lifts. I’m a fan.

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Jan 24th, 2013

Healthy Joints = Strong Performance


Dawn working her magic at last year’s Open Sectionals

Did you know that the CrossFit Games season is almost upon us?  Mike was just saying how the Norcal Masters was a great warm-up for the Open Sectionals starting in March.  How are you all warming up?  What will your edge be against all the others in your age/gender/region – besides the exceptional coaching you receive at CFO?

How about your healthy joints?  Feeling a bit sore and creaky in those hips/shoulders/ankles? Want to know how to make them feel better and stronger?  Want to make sure you are bringing your best self to the upcoming competition season?

Our resident sports chiropractor and rehab expert, Dr Aundi Mevoli, is teaming up with our mobility goddess, Coach Dawn, to bring you a series of seminars on keeping your joints happy and healthy so they can perform better in the context of CrossFit, your fitness program of choice.

Here is what they have to say:

Dawn Miller CSCS and Aundi Mevoli, DC, CCSP®, ART will be teaming up to bring you a new seminar that focuses on getting and maintaining healthy and happy joints. Each month we will take you through one (or two) joints and teach you how to mobilize and strength/stabilize the joint. This seminar will give you tools to keep your body stretched and strong to perform all of the Crossfit programing. You will gain knowledge about anatomy, biomechanics and what happens when injuries occur. 

Details? Of course! 

Where: CrossFit Oakland – Emeryville

When: Sat Feb 16th, Sun Mar 17th, Sat Apr 13th, Sat May 18th, Sat Jun 15th & Sat Jul 13th

How long: Two Hours total, 11:15am – 1:15pm (after group classes)

Cost: $20/session

Class size will be capped at 40 participants.  You can sign up and pay online here for the first session (Sat Feb 16th @ 11:15am) which will cover the shoulder joint. 

Let us know if you have any questions and have a happy, healthy Games season! 

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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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