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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 19th, 2013

Mune Competes in the USAPL

115 kg squat

Mune performing a textbook low bar back squat with 115 kg (253.5 lbs)

Mune and I traveled to sunny Southern California this weekend to compete in the 2013 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) California State Championships. Mune went down there to lift and I was there as her coach. The USAPL is one of the largest powerlifting organizations in the country and it is affiliated with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), one of the largest powerlifting organizations in the world. There are plenty of powerlifting events available locally, but successfully competing in this meet meant that Mune would be eligible to compete in the 2013 USAPL Raw Nationals which will take place in Florida in July. "Successfully competing" in this case meant that Mune needed at least one successful attempt at a squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Before we continue, I should provide a little context. Powerlifting meets are judged events where participants attempt to lift the maximum amount of weight in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Competitors are given three tries at each lift. The sum of the highest successful attempt for each lift is calculated to produce a total. That total is often further manipulated via various equations to allow for lifters of different bodyweights to be more directly compared. In a meet, you can never call for less weight to be put on the bar. That is, you must declare an opening weight for the lift. If you miss that lift, you have two options – stay at the same weight, or add weight to the bar. If you cannot make at least one of your three attempts for the contested lifts, you are disqualified from the meet. Therefore, some strategy is involved in picking appropriate weights. You want to successfully complete your opening lifts because it won’t get any easier going forward.

The evening before the meet, Mune and I came up with a plan for each of her three attempts on the lifts. She masterfully executed that plan and made eight of her nine attempts. Her best lifts were as follows:

Squat:  115 kg (253.5 lb)
Bench:  52.5 kg (115.7 lb)
Dead:  115 kg (253.5 lb)
Total:  282.5 kg (622.8 lb) 

Mune weighed in at 109 lbs and competed in the 52 kg (114 lb) weight class. She bench pressed 6 pounds over her bodyweight and squatted and deadlifted 2.32 times her bodyweight. Her opening attempt on her squat exceeded the third attempts of everyone in her flight up through the 60 kg (132 lb) weight class, or the two weight classes above her. That’s pretty damn cool. Mune won her weight class and came very close to taking the best lifter award. The results from the meet have yet to be published, but I suspect she came in second or third overall. It was an impressive performance.

Having successfully totaled in this meet, Mune can now go on to compete in Orlando, FL at the Raw Nationals. Jennifer Thompson, who I wrote about earlier, has been a participant in that contest in years past. Best of luck to Mune as she prepares for that meet.

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Feb 18th, 2013

The Open is Nigh!


Katie on her way to the top of the box during last year’s Open

(Warning:  Long post, but important.  Make sure you read it all if you’re doing the Open or are on the fence about doing the Open.)

The first stage of the CrossFit Games, the Open, is a little over two weeks away.  The first workout gets released on Wednesday, March 6th.  Can’t wait! 

If you’re interested in doing the Open, the process is simple.  You simply go to the Games site and register.  Make sure you register for Team CFO when you do it.  It will cost you $20.  If you registered for the Open last year, you’ll use the same profile (and login credentials) that you used last year.  This is the best deal around for CF competition.  Most competitions will cost you at least $50, and more often than not, $100.

It would be great if we could get more of you registered for the Open.  We currently have 36 people, which is great, but last year we had more than 50 participate.  If you talk to any of the 50, too, they’ll tell you what a great experience it was.

In the past, we charged an additional $50 fee that went toward paying trainers to validate scores for people who did the workout on days other than Saturday, as well as have them work a lot of shifts on Saturdays.  This year, to make the Open more affordable, we’re doing away with the $50 CFO charge, but as a result, we can no longer have y’all doing the workouts outside of the scheduled times (more on this below). 

We’ve also added one other twist to the competition, just to keep the CFO vs. CF Sweat Shop fire alive (more on this below, too).

So here’s how the Open is going down.

Open Schedule

There will be two options for doing the Open workouts.  The primary option (and the one that all of you should want to do) is doing the workout on Saturday with the rest of your fellow CFOers.  The first heat will kick off at 10am each Saturday.  Please note that Saturday group classes will only be running at 8am and 9am during the five weeks of the Open.  Everyone will be assigned a heat on Saturday, and the heat schedule will be published on Thursday night right here on this blog.

The other option for doing the Open workout is Thursday during two specific time slots:  6am-8am and 5pm-7pm.  If you need to do the workout on Thursday, you’ll need to email us in advance so that we can make arrangements for judging.

Trust us, though, you’re gonna want to do the workout on Saturday.  The atmosphere is electric, and so many people get PRs and firsts (pull-up, shoulder-to-overhead, etc.) with all the other CFOers around cheering them on.


Everyone who participates in the Open will judge one time, and only one time, each Saturday.  The judging schedule will be published along with the workout heat schedule each Thursday night right here on the blog.

As an aside, for the performances of CFOers that we think will count toward the team score (you know who you are), only CFO trainers and/or experienced competitors will be used as judges.  No exceptions.

Don’t Forget About CF Sweat Shop

Nabil, the owner of CrossFit Sweat Shop, and I have been having some behind-the-scenes talks about putting a little gym pride on the line during the Open this year (and I don’t want you guys to forget about what happened during the CrossTown Throwdown last year).  So we’ve added a little twist to the Open.

The first three workouts at CFO will be just like how we’ve done it in the past:  CFOers doing the workouts at CFO on Saturday.

The fourth workout will take place at CFO, but we’re going to have CF Sweat Shop here as well, and we’ll be running mixed CFO/CFSS heats.

The fifth and final workout will take place at CF Sweat Shop, and we’ll get to compete in their recently expanded gym (I can’t wait to see it).  Just like the week before, we’ll be running mixed heats.

Additionally, we’ll be taking the scores of the top men and women (most likely the top 5, but we’re still working out the details on this) from each gym and comparing them each week.  First team to win three workouts wins the contest as best CrossTown Gym in the Open.

Cant’ wait for it all to go down…this is gonna be the best Open season yet!

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Feb 14th, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: CFO Uptown Open House Sunday March 3rd!


Making CFO Uptown pretty for her coming out party

CrossFit Oakland Uptown plans to open its doors to the public this March!  In celebration, we will be holding an Open House on Sunday March 3rd from 2-5pm.  Please take this opportunity to come by to check out this awesome space and say hi and congrats to new Gym Owner/Head Coach, Tamara (Boss) Holmes.

Food and drink will be served and toys available for fun and games!  Friends and family welcome!

You can find CFO Uptown at 310 41st Street in Oakland.

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Feb 12th, 2013

CrossFit Kenya Initiative


Eric resting between work sets during the CF Total

This Saturday, we’ll be running all of you through the CrossFit Kenya Fundraiser Workout:

Max Rounds Plus Reps in 12 Minutes:
50 Squats
30 Push-Ups
15 Pull-Ups

This is a great cause.  All of the money that CrossFit raises will go toward building school infrastructure and getting clean water and food to the 250 square mile area surrounding Mombasa, Kenya.

You can read about the entire CrossFit Kenya Initiative here:  Hope for Kenya

You can also learn more here and read through the FAQs for more information.

For our part, we’re asking that you bring $20 with you to donate when you do your group class on Saturday.  We’ll take all the money donated, and add to it with our own donation, and send it along to the CrossFit Kenya Initiative folks.

If you’d like to make a donation directly, you can also do that here.

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Feb 11th, 2013

Dr. OZ on Cholesterol


It’s not often that I bring you videos from America’s favorite doc, Dr. Oz, but this clip from a recent episode is definitely worth watching. I don’t have anything against him, I just find that his show caters to a more mainstream approach to health.  In this video clip, he talks to Stephen Sinatra and Johnny Bowden, authors of The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-And the Statin-Free Plan That Will, a controversial new book that challenges everything we thought we knew about cholesterol. 

In this episode, Dr Oz, Dr. Sinatra and Johnny Bowden, PhD, discuss:

  • How previous research on cholesterol may have been flawed
  • The various types of cholesterol and their role in the body 
  • What you should know about your cholesterol numbers 
  • Some of the negative effects of Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs)
  • How high sugar intake can impact cardiovascular health
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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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