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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 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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Nov 9th, 2012

CFO Women Competing on Sunday November 11


Watch this Sunday as Michelle stares down her judges

This Sunday, Mune, Aisha, Michelle M, Joey, and Connie will be competing in the Veterans Day Open, an Olympic Weightlifting competition taking place in San Francisco.

I’m really excited that all five of these women are jumping into the fray and putting their skills to the test.  Olympic Weightlifting meets are a great way to give your training some focus and are usually pretty quick affairs (usually done within a couple of hours).  

This will be Joey’s third (?) meet, Mune’s second meet, and the first meet for Aisha, Connie, and Michelle.  All of them have been working hard on their lifts leading up to the meet and I can’t wait to see it all go down on Sunday.

Hopefully we can get some of you over there to cheer them on.  And at the very least, if you see them in the gym, wish them luck!

The women get started at 2pm.

All of the details related to the meet (directions, competition schedule, spectator fees, etc.) can be found here:  2012 Veterans Day Open

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Nov 6th, 2012

Rippetoe Invitational Meet Results


Rippetoe Invitational Competitors

This weekend, a group of five CrossFit Oaklanders climbed on a plane to fly to Dallas and then drove to a town near the Texas/Oklahoma border to lift some weights. Kelly, Dan, Greg, Michael, and I signed up to compete in the Rippetoe Invitational Meet that was held on November 3rd in Wichita Falls, TX at the Wichita Falls Athletic Club (WFAC). WFAC is owned by strength coach and author of Staring Strength, Mark Rippetoe. Back when Rippetoe was associated with CrossFit, he developed the now-widely-used CrossFit Total to measure the strength of trainees. A CrossFit Total is roughly the equivalent of a powerlifting meet with the exception that the bench press has been replaced by the shoulder press, referred to only as "the press" for the rest of this article. Rippetoe adapted his original Total and expanded it into a set of rules for the meet. All of the lifters were allowed three attempts to establish a one-repetition maximum in the squat, press, and deadlift, in that order. Once everyone completed all of their squat attempts, we moved on to the press, and so forth. Eighteen lifters participated, of which just under 30% came from our gym. Northern California was well represented at the meet.

In many powerlifing meets, lifters are arranged into groups called flights that roughly correlate to weight classes. A flight will often have between 10 and 15 people in it so that you have reasonable rest times between each attempt. Everyone performs their first attempts and then the same order is repeated twice more. This meet was run more like an Olympic weightlifting meet where the bar never got lighter. This meant that the lifting order was set solely by attempt selection. Instead of having 10 or 15 minutes between each attempt, you might be following yourself if the next lifter was lifting more than you. Getting two minutes of rest between attempts changes how you approach the meet and how you call for attempts.

All of the competitors from our gym are long-time participants in my Strength Saturday classes. Kelly came up with the idea to compete in the Rippetoe meet and the others liked it and signed on. It is hard to believe that so many people were willing to go to Texas to lift. I consider myself fortunate to coach such a dedicated group.  Everyone lifted very well and several PRs were hit along the way. Of special note was Kelly’s performance. She overcame a potentially career-ending back injury last year and returned not only to lifting, but to competing as well. Without further ado, here is what everyone lifted in order of squat, press, and deadlift with all weights in pounds.

Dan: 410, 209.4, 470
Greg: 270, 110.2, 375
Michael: 255, 130, 345
Kelly: 225, 88.2, 260
Tom: 385, 169.8, 480

Greg earned second place in his weight class, Michael got third, Kelly got second, and I got first. There were no subcategories for age. The meet was a unique and rewarding experience and the trip was fun from beginning to end. Competition is a wonderful thing, as is spending time with your friends.

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Nov 4th, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: December FUN!!

*** Daylight Savings ends tomorrow Nov 4th at 2:00am so TURN BACK your clocks & enjoy that extra hour of sleep! ***


Hmmmm, what year was this one taken??

Saturday Dec 1st @ 9am Shop at Lululemon Berkeley!  Our friends at Lululemon in Berkeley have made us an offer we simply must not refuse!  They are opening the store one hour early on Saturday December 1st exclusively for CFO members.  We will have the entire store to ourselves to check out all the cool new holiday offerings, try on and get opinions, shop for gifts or just take a look around.  If that isn’t enough, the staff has promised to whip us up a paleo-friendly breakfast while we are there!  You can hit the 8am class and still arrive in plenty of time to eat up and grab some cool new gear.

Sunday Dec 9th time TBD: (at CFO) CrossFit Total!  We will be testing our strength by working up to a 1RM in Back Squat, Shoulder Press and Dead Lift.  This is a really fun event held annually to give you a good look at all of the tremendous progress your hard work over the year has earned.

Wednesday Dec 12th, starting at 6:00pm: CFO HOLIDAY PARTY!!  This year’s party will be held at the very elegant Terrace Room on Lake Merritt.  Put this on your calendar – it is not to be missed.  All of your CFO friends and significant others dressed to the nines.  Food and drink provided.  You provide the bangin’ festive wear.

Don’t forget to update those calendars with the 3 awesome events.  

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Nov 2nd, 2012

Final Participant List for Rowing Clinic


The CFO M&M Crew

As we wrote a few days ago, Kelly Powers will be leading a free rowing clinic on Saturday November 17, beginning at 2pm.

We had a large number of email responses, which is great, because we really want all of you to be dialed in with proper technique on the rower.  Because the clinic is limited to 7 participants, we’re already planning on offering a few more clinics in the very near future (most likely as early as Saturday November 24), so stay tuned to the blog for an announcement on the next date.

If you sent us an email but didn’t get in for the November 17 clinic, we’ll put you on the list for the next clinic.

In the meantime, here are the 7 people who will be attending the November 17 clinic:

Steve P

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Oct 31st, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Training, CFO Style


Photographic proof that zombies exist

Make no mistake the Zombie Apocalypse is coming and we want you to be prepared.  This article from will get you on your way.  First order of business:

Stay in Peak Physical Condition. Fact: Zombies love out of shape people. They’re easier to chase down, have more flesh to eat, and put up far less of a fight.  Compare that with a highly intelligent nerd in peak physical condition: much harder to catch, composed of tough muscle instead of doughy fat, and certainly won’t go down without a fight.  You want to be a zombie’s worst nightmare.

Don’t lag behind this guy and become Zombie-food – BE PREPARED. 

The OFFICIAL CFO Zombie Apocalypse survival prep includes the following WOD, best preformed in full Halloween costume in order to simulate real events. 

"Zombie Apocalypse"

As a 2-person team complete the following for time:

20 Thrusters @ 135#/95# – Useful for lifting & throwing heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions to higher ground.

30 Dead Lifts @ 275#/185#  – Useful for picking up heavy food & water containers/ammo/injured companions from the ground.

40 Push-Ups – Useful for pushing yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

50 Pull-Ups – Useful for pulling yourself yourself up and over a wall/window/wreckage to escape Zombies.

60 Box Jump-Overs @ 24"/20" – Useful for clearing objects/bodies in your path as you run away from Zombies.

* Each time you stop work or hand-off to a partner, the zombies catch up and you must complete a 200m Sprint or 2 Rope Climbs to escape (everyone knows that zombies can’t climb), alternating between the 2 choices for the duration of the WOD.  Once you return from your sprint/rope climbs, you may resume work.

Click here and here for more on the Zombie Apocalypse, because you can never be too prepared for an invasion of the undead.  

Happy Halloween Everybody!!!  

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Oct 30th, 2012

Halloween at CFO


Shaggy, Velma & Scooby dropped by CFO last Halloween

While we are not throwing a formal Halloween Party this year, we do encourage all of you to attend classes on Wednesday in full costume.  A Halloween-inspired WOD will be provided and will offer some very practical training, as well as entertainment.  

We are planning to post the WOD a little early tomorrow so you will have time to make any… adjustments.

Happy Halloween everybody!

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