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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 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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May 18th, 2012

New Bars and Old Clothes


Four of our shiny new Rogue bars

New Rogue Bars

Some of you may have already noticed, but in case you didn’t, we ordered 5 new Rogue barbells that showed up this week. They’re 20-kg bars (44 lbs). We’re super psyched with them! They spin nicely, they’re rugged, and they’re even pretty sleek looking (for a barbell).

And although they have a lifetime guarantee against bending, there are a few exceptions, and all of them have to do with being dropped. If one of the bars bends because you all are simply too strong and loading too much weight on them, Rogue will replace the bar. But if the bar bends because you drop it on a box, on a bench, on power-rack pins, etc., we’re out a bar. One of the easiest ways to bend a bar (not a good thing, by the way) is to drop it when it’s empty. This can do a lot of damage to a bar, even though it might not seem so.

So please, help us take care of these bars and keep the equipment up to snuff so that you’ll have the best possible equipment at your disposal for your workouts. Don’t drop empty bars (and don’t drop bars–empty or loaded–onto other gym equipment).

And finally, if you don’t feel comfortable with the weight of a particular bar, and feel like you may not be able to control it without dropping it, we have lighter ones for you (15-lb bars and 30-lb bars).

Lost and Found Clothing

The lost-and-found bin in our little tiny lobby (the place with the two couches and the cubby holes) has gotten out of control again and we need to do something about it. The lost-and-found bin is located behind the couch on the left, for reference. We’ve found a worthy recipient for donated clothing, but before we get rid of everything, we want to give you time to claim any of your clothing. With that in mind, we’re giving you until Friday, June 1 to claim your clothing. Whatever’s left in the bin at that point will be donated.

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May 17th, 2012

Farewell and Godspeed to Moses…


Classic Moses

I am both happy and sad to announce that Moses is leaving the CFO coaching staff at the end of May to pursue a career in the military.  On June 2nd (one day after his birthday), he will travel to Quantico, VA to attend Marine Corps Officers Candidates School for 10 weeks and from there he will be serving the USA as an Officer in the Marine Corps.

Moses has pursued this goal with purpose and determination, so it is particularly gratifying to see him begin this new adventure.  However, it is also with a heavy heart that we at CFO send him on his way.  Moses has been bringing his considerable coaching skills to the gym floor for many years. But more than that, he has brought us his intelligence, humor and friendship.

Moses, you will be missed.  Congratulations and best wishes.  We are so very proud of you.

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May 16th, 2012

Reminder: Gym Closed This Sunday May 20th!



Just a quick reminder…CFO will be closed this Sunday, May 20th so that our trainers can have an opportunity to go down to the CF Games Regional competition that runs this Friday through Sunday.

Hopefully we’ll see a lot of you there, too!

For information on the schedule and the venue, go here:  CF Games NorCal Region

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May 15th, 2012

Candace Competing at Regionals This Weekend!


Candace training hard, as usual (photo courtesy of TomC)

Last Saturday, we posted about Team CFO competing at Regionals this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (May 18-20) down at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose.

You can see the full schedule for each day here:  NorCal Regional Schedule

What you may not be aware of is that there are two types of competitions going on over the weekend:  the team competition and the individual competition.

Candace, who most of you know as either an athlete, a coach, or in many cases, both, is competing in the individual competition.  And she has been putting in some serious work in preparing herself for Regionals.

Anyone who’s spent just a little bit of time around Candace knows how driven she is (besides being a great CF athlete, she’s also a PhD from UC Berkeley).  And if you spend a little bit more time around her, you also quickly learn that she’s all about planning, process, and preparation.  So for Candace, training for this weekend’s competition really started at the beginning of the year, well before we even got to the Open in February (the first leg of CF Games competition that many of you participated in earlier this year).  She’s been systematically attacking her weak links, fortifying her strengths, and bringing her skills up to ridiculously high levels.  

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen her so technically sound as she is now, which is scary, because she was already highly skilled and technically strong.  

A quick side story:  In last year’s Regional competition, Candace ran into some technical issues with handstand push-ups.  She was at a stage in her training where she was transitioning from a strict handstand push-up to a kipping handstand push-up (both are valuable to have as part of your skill set).  Anyway, in the first workout, she had to do a set of 30 handstand push-ups.  She started out doing kipping ones, but they weren’t really clicking.  Then she switched back to strict ones, but she was so exhausted that those were suddenly way harder, too.  She ended up clawing and fighting her way through the handstand push-ups, sometimes kipping, sometimes doing them strict.  She eventually got her 30, but by that time she had eaten up so much time that she finished well back in this workout.

Fast forward to now:  Candace has completely mastered handstand push-ups (of any style).  This is no longer a weakness but a strength.  And to prove it, she recently crushed her old PR in Diane (21-15-9 deadlifts @ 155# and handstand push-ups).

She’s turned in a number of strong performances leading up to Regionals, so I know she’s where she needs to be in terms of strength and conditioning levels.

Can’t wait to see Candace give it her all this weekend and really lay it on the line.  I hope to see as many of you down there as we can get to support Candace and Team CFO.  Watching everyone compete is so inspiring and it’s sure to be a great weekend!

Let’s give it up for Candace!

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May 13th, 2012

Team CFO is going to the Regionals!

Team CFO.

Team CFO

In one week, Team CFO will be competing in the NorCal Regionals in San Jose (May 18-20)! Let’s give them as much support as we possibly can.  Post best wishes to the blog and Facebook and if you can swing it, come on down and cheer them on in person.  You won’t regret it.

CFO will be holding regular classes on Friday (5/18) and Saturday 5/19), but will close the gym on Sunday (5/20) for the rest day so that our training staff can attend the competition.  Have no fear – we will post a WOD that you can complete at your local track – on your own or with your friends.

Click here for more information on the event in San Jose.  We will have our famous Jameson tent up in the lot for hanging out and schmoozing.  Bring your own food/drinks/chair and make a day/weekend of it. 

And finally, let’s hear it for Team CFO!!

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May 11th, 2012

Mobility Drill for Opening Your Shoulders

K-Star showing you how to mobilize your shoulder on your own

Going overhead, or pushing yourself out of the bottom of a handstand push-up, is all about creating favorable angles at the shoulder joint.  One of the key things you don’t want to do is let your shoulders cave in or round inward.

Check out the drills Kelly has his athlete doing and apply them yourself before or after your workout.  They’re extremely easy to do–all you need is something to grab onto overhead (like our pull-up bar posts).


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May 10th, 2012

We know how to be healthy, now what?


Healthy, happy and looking for more!

Loved the Gary Taubes article Mike posted today.  It’s all well and good to identify a crisis like obesity in America and a huge thank you to you ‘anti-obesity groups’ for your misguided attempts to correct the problem with the same tired, ineffective information and methodology as we’ve seen for years (now an HBO special!!).  And thank goodness there are people like Taubes to shine the light of truth (and science) on said misinformation. 

But even with truth and science and nutrition, gurus and books, blogs and the masterful CFO Clean Eating Guidelines, a lot of us are still struggling with our weight, eating habits, body composition, performance and self-confidence.  We have the information, so why are we still unhappy with our health, performance and appearance?

Here is one of my favorite writers, columnist for SFGate, Mark Morford, urging us to "End it once and for all".  Mark refers to a report on rising rates of obesity in his column, but he also refers to toxic relationships and other unhealthy situations in which we all tend to find ourselves at times.  Mark’s thoughts are worth a read, just because he is darn good at putting them to pen, but perhaps they might inspire you as well.

Mark suggests that we hesitate when we know we should pursue healthy change, simply because changing is difficult.

"Do we stay addicted to our patterns and our former selves, or do we harness the difficult opportunities when we see them, when the chance for change swims into view, knowing they won’t wait around for long, knowing, deep down, that if we ignore them the energy will stagnate and congeal…?"

I submit that you all are not the type to stagnate and congeal – you are the type to figure out how to find your way out of whatever it is that is holding you back, so that you can become your best self.  Mark Morford offers yet another suggestion – when pursuing change, jump start your agenda with a ritual:

"There is one thing we know. There is one thing shared across all traditions and religions, spiritualities and yoga paths, status quos and opportunities for change.

It is ritual. The marker. The sign of movement. You get baptized. You get the bat mitzvah. You perform the hardcore tribal thing with the face paint and the fire and the lions. You drop the hallucinogens and wander for 30 days in the jungle, communing with the specters of the gods. Hey, whatever works."

Perhaps this need to ritualize our change is why we like our Paleo Challenges so much?

Anyway, enjoy the column and maybe prepare your own baptism or trip to the ocean to meditate or swear off of dairy and legumes… 

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