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Getting Started

Feel free to drop in during scheduled class times and observe a CFO class in action.

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Upcoming On-Ramps

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.

May 28th, 2012

What’s a Hero WOD?


First, I want to thank Ellie for hosting the CFO clan for a fun-filled day of sunshine and delicious barbecue grub! 

Monday’s Memorial Day WOD

Ever wonder why some WODs (workout of the day) are given names?  Or why most are female names? Often people who are new to CrossFit ask me about the naming of the WODs, and since Monday’s workout is "DT", I thought this would be a good opportunity to shed some light on the named WODs.

"DT" is just one of many "Hero WODs" named after a soldier who has lost his or her life in service (in this case, Timothy Davis, Feb 20 2009).  Many of you will remember "Murph," another hero-WOD that comes up every year on New Year’s Eve. This is a way for the CrossFit community to honor military personnel, firefighters, or law enforcement that have died in the line of duty. While it’s always very sad to see new hero-WODs on the mainsite (crossfit.com), it’s somewhat comforting to me to see the outpouring of support from CrossFitters around the world. One thing that you might notice about these workouts is that they aren’t easy. The hero-WODs are notorious for being incredibly difficult and grueling workouts! This also explains why we don’t do them very often.

The Girl WODs 

For the most part, these names are arbitrary and not named after actual people, with the exception of Eva, Nicole, Annie (named after Annie Sakamoto) and Amanda (to name a few that come to mind). These workouts are often referred to as "benchmark" WODs, as they are some of the original workouts developed by Coach Glassman back in the early days of CrossFit. Don’t be fooled by the sweet, innocent sounding names, these workouts are brutal!  This Friday we will be performing "Fran"; a quintessential CrossFit workout that’ll make your head spin!

Here’s a complete list of the girl-named WODs and Hero WODs from crossfit.com.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all who serve!

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May 27th, 2012

Reminder: Weekend Schedule on Memorial Day Monday


Arnold, Dwayne, and Aaron practicing not smiling for the camera

A big reminder, everyone:  We’re running a weekend schedule on Memorial Day Monday (May 28).

We will only be running 8am, 9am, and 10am classes on Monday.

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May 26th, 2012

Andrey Malanichev

Just another day at the office with 460 kilos

In the event you have not heard about Andrey  Malanichev, I would encourage you to make his acquaintance by watching the video above. He is a frighteningly strong Russian powerlifter who tips the scales at a lean 300 pounds and has already established himself as one of the greats in his sport. In the video, Malanichev walks 1014 pounds (460 kg) out of the rack and, without any fanfare, proceeds to squat the weight deeply for a double. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s over half a ton on his back. Half a ton. He does this wearing a belt, a single ply squat suit, and some knee wraps. Please read this post if talk of squat suits is something unfamiliar.

One of the most disturbing things about this video is just how easy Malanichev makes it look. Note the bar speed of his ascent. He comes back up faster than he descended and there is no doubt that he will finish each rep. The only thing missing is for him to yell, "I wanna hold it!" before racking the barbell. Perhaps he was discussing that omission at the end of the video.

Also impressive is Malanichev’s ability to walk the weight out of the rack and demonstrate complete control over it. A common sight in powerlifting is a monolift where the supports swing out of the way prior to a lifter beginning the squat. This enables the lifter to stay in place and to assume a very wide stance. While there are many reasons to use a monolift for training and competition, there is something especially cool about watching Malanichev walking the weight out, squatting it, and putting it back. Enjoy the video and enjoy your lifting.

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May 25th, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Schedule


Tami showing us what proper sprint mechanics look like

Heads up on our Memorial Day weekend schedule, everyone.  Saturday and Sunday will be the same as always (group classes running at 8am, 9am, and 10am).

On Monday, May 28 we’ll be running a weekend schedule.  This means we’ll only be running classes at 8am, 9am, and 10am.  So come on in and get your morning workout in and then enjoy the rest of your day off!

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May 24th, 2012

“Five Things I Love About CrossFit” (from our friends at Invictus)


Brandon giving Justin a lift at Regionals

CrossFit Invictus coach Calvin Sun posted the following article on his blog on the Invictus website this past Sunday.  Not only does he choose fine looking photographs, he makes some good points about CrossFit and some of its more positive qualities. I have stolen and re-posted Calvin’s words especially for all of you.  Enjoy!

The Work Ethic
CrossFit isn’t easy. It promotes hard work that you will rarely find outside of competitive athletics. Compared to conventional fitness programs, the work ethic, discipline, and commitment of CrossFitters is unparalleled.

Improved Training Methods
The competitive, free-market nature of CrossFit has lead to a variety of developments in the way we train athletes now. Competition has elevated the expected standards of fitness and coaching. Good coaches are constantly seeking out eduction from a variety of experts and improving upon their own methods. Whether they like to admit it or not, collegiate strength and conditioning programs, professional sports teams, and even U.S. Olympic training centers have adopted many of the methods popularized by CrossFit to make their own athletes better.

Good Nutrition
CrossFit promotes a simple but sensible approach to nutrition. I am a fan of the Paleo/Primal framework as it is applied to nutrition as it makes sense from a both a physiological and behavioral standpoint. Unlike some of the other communities in the fitness industry, the CrossFit approach to nutrition is healthy and sustainable. The competitive culture of CrossFit has also spurred on continually improved protocols for both athletic performance as well as body composition.

Renewed Interest In Weightlifting and Powerlifting
CrossFit has indirectly promoted growth in sports like Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman in the United States. Prior to CrossFit’s boom in popularity, you would be very hard pressed to find bumper plates or proper weightlifting bars in any facility outside of the Olympic Training Center or collegiate athletic facilities. Thanks to CrossFit, these items are now commonplace in many facilities, and as a result, sporting organizations such as USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting have found a new generation of competitors eager to represent the United States.

The Community
There is a strong, socially-based impetus that motivates CrossFitters to give their best effort at every training session and continually support each other. Coach CJ Martin articulates this point far better than I am capable of in his post ‘
Don’t Workout With Strangers‘, “CrossFit facilitates development of mental fortitude because of the rigors associated with its relative intensity, but more importantly, it fosters friendships in a way that is only typically seen in team sports and certain divisions of our Armed Forces. CrossFit can at once be inspiring and humbling. It presents hurdles that seem insurmountable and the thrill of achievement when they are overcome. It’s precisely because of these rigors and their associated emotions that we grow close to those who share the experience with us. We cheer the loudest for others because we remember overcoming a similar obstacle and know the sense of achievement. Their successes become our inspiration and drive us to achieve even more.”

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May 23rd, 2012

Ellie, Ellie, Ellie!


Ellie finishing her deadlift during last year’s CrossFit Total
(photo courtesy of TomC)

Ellie figures into the two topics of tonight’s post, so here goes.


Volunteers Still Needed!

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the ACORN Elementary Sports Fair that Ellie is organizing.

Ellie, besides being a CFO regular, is also teacher at ACORN Elementary.  The Sports Fair is a 3-hour fair where kids gets exposed to all kinds of things health- and fitness-related. To do our part, we’ll be running them through some CF-related activities. This is all going down on Thursday, May 24th, from 9am to 12pm.

We still need LOTS of volunteers! If you can volunteer your time (and it’s totally worth it!), contact Ellie at silveryblue27@yahoo.com. The more of you we can get out there, the better.

Memorial Day Barbecue at Ellie’s!

Ellie has invited all you CFOers to her house this Sunday, May 27th for a Memorial Day barbecue.

From Ellie:  

Join me in my backyard on Sunday, May 27th, from 12pm until people leave. Let’s enjoy some awesome company, delicious food, and adult beverages! Kids are welcome! Please bring a dish to share or meat/veggies to throw on the BBQ!

Please RSVP with Ellie via email.  Also, Ellie has written her address on the white board at CFO (we’re not going to publish it on the blog).  Hope to see you there!

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May 22nd, 2012

NorCal Regionals Round-Up


Michelle showing the determination typical of CFO competitors this past weekend
(photo courtesy of Gymnastics WOD)

The 2012 NorCal Regionals are all done now, having finished up this past Sunday.  By now, most of you know Candace finished in 3rd place overall, which earns her a ticket to the big stage (and the final stage), the CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center July 13-15.  You also know that Team CFO finished in 9th place overall, with a number of stellar performances along the way.

In no particular order, here are some quick notes:

  • Workout 5 was a snatch ladder.  In the team version, the three women, Tami, Michelle, and Lydia, had 50 seconds to attempt to snatch a weight.  If they got it, they moved on to the next station where they’d attempt a heavier weight.  It started at 105 pounds and went up from there, ending at 185 pounds.  Long story short, all three women PR’d on their snatch.  For the three men, Justin, Brandon, and Brian C, the weight started at 155 pounds and went up from there, finishing at 295 pounds.  And just like the women, all three men PR’d their snatch in the heat of competition.  When it as all said and done, Team CFO had the 6th highest total of all teams competing (the sum of the top snatch for each of the 6 team members).  As a caveat, the women had the 2nd highest subtotal among all women.
  • Workout 5 for women was also a snatch ladder, and also was under a 50-second time limit with the same starting weight and finishing weight.  The only difference was that the women had to do 20 double-unders before they could attempt the snatch.  Candace ended up PR’ing her snatch as well!  She finished 2nd overall in the workout, which was her best performance of the weekend.
  • Workout 2 for the team was a 4-person relay (two men and two women) of 1000m rows, 25 pistols, and 30 hang cleans @ 225#/135#.  Instead of playing it safe, we put Brian C in the third position, ahead of Tami.  We knew Tami would absolutely smash the cleans so there was lots of pressure on Brian to finish his pistols and cleans before Tami was up.  Brian was struggling with pistols (one-legged squats) up until the day of competition.  What did he do?  He went 25 for 25 on the pistols–every single rep was legit.  He then worked his way through the cleans, finishing up his last clean right as Tami finished her final pistol.  With the path cleared, Tami motored through the 15 hang cleans in just under 30 seconds, passing about 5 teams along the way.  Team CFO finished 2nd in its heat and 7th overall in this workout.
  • Candace’s Day 1 performance set the stage for the entire weekend.  She went double-PR, hitting big PRs on both workouts (around 40 seconds on the first workout and around 2 minutes on the second one)!  Talk about raising your game!
  • Tami and Brian smashed through a heavy one-arm dumbbell snatch (100 pounds for men, 70 pounds for women) relay for Workout 3, ending up with the 7th fastest time overall.  The highlight was seeing Tami sprint her way to the finish line after absolutely destroying the dumbbell snatches, handling them as if they were featherweights.

And finally, there were a number of things that can’t be seen by simply looking at the Leaderboard.  The heart, grit, determination, and fighting spirit that all the competitors from CFO showed was inspiring to see and easily surpassed the results that everyone got this weekend.

I felt very fortunate to be able to witness this past weekend.  Congratulations to all who competed and represented CFO!

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May 21st, 2012

Recap of Day 3 of NorCal Regionals


Candace on the podium with Annie (left) and Jenny (middle)
(photo courtesy of CrossFit.com)

Tonight’s recap is gonna be a short one…it was a long and emotionally draining day.  I’ll give a full recap tomorrow night.

The long and short of it is as follows:

Team CFO started the day in 10th place and finished in 9th place overall, meaning we moved up a spot, which is really, really hard to do on the final day when you’re competing against the best teams remaining in the field.  Strong work by everyone on the team!  You did us proud!

Candace started the day in 3rd place and finished the day in 3rd place, which means she’s going to the CF Games in July!!!

And finally, a huge thank-you to all of you who came down and endured the heat and dust to cheer our competitors from CFO on.  It didn’t go unnoticed and everyone who competed was extremely grateful for all the support.

By the way, this keeps alive CFO’s streak of having sent someone (either an individual, team, or both) to the final stage of the CF Games in every single year the Games has taken place (from 2007 through 2012).  You guys rock and definitely deserve to pat yourselves on the back for being such a strong gym and community!

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May 20th, 2012

Recap of Day 2 of NorCal Regionals


Candace summoning strength and fighting her way through Workout 4

Today was all about fighting.  Fighting through a couple of brutal workouts.  Fighting through extreme heat down on the field.  Fighting through soreness from the previous day.

Both Candace and Team CFO left it all out there.  At the end of the day, we’re in a good position heading into the final day.

Team CFO is in 10th place overall.

Candace is in 3rd place overall.

For full results and a summary of the day’s events, go here:  NorCal Regionals

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May 19th, 2012

Recap of Day 1 of NorCal Regionals


Team CFO at the end of Day 1 of the NorCal Regionals

Day 1 of the NorCal Regionals is officially in the books…and what a day it was!

I’m going to do a full recap on Sunday, but for now, know that today’s theme for our competitors was stepping up and raising their game, all while flying under the radar.

For the team, the highlight of the day was the second workout.  It involved 2 men and 2 women doing a 1000m row, 25 pistols, and 15 hang cleans at 225# (men) or 135# (women).  We were considering two strategies:  a safe one that would ensure that we finished the workout but most likely finish in the middle of the pack, or a riskier one that would ensure that we either crashed and burned or would finish in the top 10.  In true CFO fashion, we chose the riskier option…and it paid off in a big way!  We took 7th in the workout and that performance catapulted us to 7th place overall after the first day’s workouts were done.

For Candace, it was all about rising to the level of competition.  A couple of weeks ago, Candace got major PR in Diane (21-15-9 reps of 155# deadlifts and handstand push-ups) and was hoping to do about the same today.  She didn’t do the same, though.  She ended up taking 40 seconds off of her PR to finish in 5th overall!  And then she followed it up by finishing 4th overall in the second workout (2000m row, 50 pistols, 30 hang cleans @ 135#) after being one of the last women to get to cleans.  I’m certain she finished cleans at a faster split time than anyone else in her heat (I wish I’d timed it).  At the end of the day, Candace’s performances in the first two workouts earned her 3rd place overall.

For full results, go to the Leaderboard:  http://games.crossfit.com/leaderboard

The only thing we need now is a ton of CFO representation tomorrow…get down here and help us out!

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