Try Us For Free! Drop by our Emeryville or Uptown locations today!

Getting Started

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

Learn More

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.

Enroll Now!

Our Philosophy

We believe in putting our focus and resources into our coaching quality and our community.

Learn More

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.

Aug 29th, 2012

Safe Travels, Simon!


Simon before his last workout at CFO this evening

Simon, our resident 25-year old German wunderkind, is heading back to Germany tomorrow.  He was here on a fellowship at UC Berkeley for the summer and was able to spend a good deal of time training with us at CFO in his downtime.

It was a pleasure having him here.  I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single CF movement that he can’t do–and do extremely well.  Anyone who saw him do muscle-ups, rope climbs, butterfly pull-ups, etc. can attest to this.

Simon became a regular with the evening crew (usually training at 6pm) and a number of his fellow CFOers are really going to miss him.  And he only just started, it seems.  I know Gabe, in particular, will be sad to see his arch-rival leaving.

Safe travels, Simon, and keep in touch!  And best of luck in the European Regional next year!

Comments: 1
Read More
Aug 28th, 2012

Prather Ranch Delivery This Friday Aug 31 at 5pm!



Our Prather Ranch delivery is set for this Friday August 31st.  Please note that this is a change from the original delivery date (it was originally set for Wednesday August 29th).  If this causes an issue, let us know by emailing us as soon as possible.  The delivery truck will arrive between 5pm and 6pm.

Here’s how the process works, for any first-timers out there.

  • You pay for your box (or half-box) of beef before this Friday.  Cash, check (payable to CrossFit Oakland), or credit card are all acceptable forms of payment.  The cost for a 40-lb box of beef is $300.
  • Each box will be labeled with your name(s) on it.  You take that box (don’t grab an unlabeled box).
  • If you’re splitting a box, at least one of you will need to bring a separate container for the meat (another box, a few grocery bags, etc.).  No extra boxes are provided.

That’s it.  Easy as can be.

And here’s the list of people who got in on the order:

Gabriel (1)
Vee (1)
Denise (1/2) & Adam (1/2)
Sean S (1)
Brandon H (1)
Mariko (1)
Justin (1)
Colleen (1/2) & Stowe (1/2)
Brian C (1)
Steve D (1)
Dawn (1/2) & Tamara (1/2)
Joe P (1)
Sam L (1)
Julian (1/2) & Michelle M (1/2)
Roland (1)
Ev (1)
Marc (1)
D-Sal (1)
Leigh (1)
Jack (2)
Danielle A (1)
Mark P (1)


Comments: 2
Read More
Aug 26th, 2012

My New Project: CFO Cookbook


My Collection of Recipes

If it were up to me none of us would have to lift a finger and we’d all have our own personal chefs to make us perfectly balanced, healthy and delicious meals. I’m sorry to say, unless I win the lottery, this is will probably never happen. Lucky for you, I have a back up plan that’s almost as luxurious as a personal chef: a cookbook.

In the next six weeks (the duration of the Clean Eating Challenge) I will be compiling all of YOUR favorite recipes into CFO’s very own handy-dandy cookbook.  Cooking and planning meals is one of the most challenging parts of any healthy eating program. It’s one of the reasons why so many people give up on the (insert name here) diet. Preparing meals can be time consuming and an intimidating process if you’re not comfortable in the kitchen.  

We’re hoping that this cookbook will help get your started or help you get out of your cooking rut and experience the joy of creating scrumptious meals that are good for you and made by YOU! 

Here are the logistics:

  • Starting now, you can submit as many recipes as you want to me via email
  • The heading of each email should read: dessert, vegetable, meat, condiments, eggs, beverage.
  • Give credit to where credit is due. If it’s not your recipe, list the source.
  • ALL recipes should be dairy-free, grain-free, legume (bean)-free and sugar-free; honey/maple syrup is okay.
  • Please include a photo of your delicious dish.

We haven’t decided whether the cookbook will be available in print or just electronically. More to come on this later.

Comments: 2
Read More
Aug 25th, 2012

How to Hold on to a Bar

Double Overhand Grip

The double overhand grip

When pulling a weight off of the floor, there are a few options with respect to gripping the bar. What a trainee uses will be dependent upon the size of their hand, grip strength, and tolerance for discomfort. The first and most obvious way to hold the bar is using the double overhand style. Both of the palms face the lifter’s legs and the thumbs are wrapped around the bar on top of the fingers. Holding the bar like this evenly distributes the load across both shoulders, allows the bar to move in a nice straight line off the floor, and provides plenty of grip work during the lift. If you can use this grip for all of your deadlift attempts, by all means do so.

For many trainees, however, the grip will begin to give way using the double overhand style as the weight gets heavier. Once the bar starts slipping out of the hand, the deadlift comes to a screeching halt. No amount of cursing or prayer will rectify the situation until the grip is changed to something more secure. Once the double overhand fails, the following options are available: the hook grip, the reverse grip, or straps.

The Hook Grip

The Hook Grip

The hook grip looks identical to the double overhand grip when viewed from the front.  When viewed from the rear, you can see that you grab on to the thumb with the first two fingers. This relaxes the hand somewhat and allows for a strong, secure hold on the bar. Since you are both mashing your thumb into the bar while simultaneously pulling on the thumb with the tip of your middle finger while using a hook grip, it can also be very uncomfortable. This discomfort becomes much less troublesome as the hands adapt to the stress. The hook grip shares the same benefits to the shoulders and bar path as the double overhand grip. It is the preferred grip for the Olympic lifts and is my personal favorite for the deadlift.

Hand Size Comparison

Longer fingers and bigger hands are an advantage when pulling a barbell off the floor

If a trainee has small hands, the hook grip may not be of great use during limit deadlift attempts, unfortunately. Longer fingers are required to get a good purchase on the thumb. For trainees with shorter digits, the reverse grip may provide a stronger hold than the hook.

Hook Grip Compare

Note that the trainee on the right is able to grab a lot more of her thumb
while using the hook grip. Longer fingers strike again. Sorry, Kelly.

The reverse grip involves supinating (turning) one of the hands so that one palm faces in front of the lifter, while one is left facing the legs. This grip also allows for heavier weights to be handled without fear of the bar slipping out of the hand on the way up. It is probably the most popular choice for deadlifts. The supinated grip asymmetrically loads the shoulders and the supine hand tends to slightly push the bar away from the lifter as the pull comes off the floor. It can, in rare cases, irritate or injure the biceps tendon of the supine hand, although such injuries are normally reserved for fairly advanced powerlifters who are handling large poundages.

Reverse Grip

The mighty reverse grip

Because of the uneven loading of the hands and shoulders using the reverse grip, it is a good idea to switch the supine hand regularly to evenly stress both sides. This can be done from workout to workout, or if the trainee prefers, can be switched between repetitions. The reverse grip and the hook grip can be combined, although this is not used as commonly, probably because it is somewhat difficult to supinate the hand and hold on to the thumb at the same time.

Lastly, if none of the options above work, the trainee can use purpose-built straps to aid with grip. How and when to use straps is beyond the scope of this article, but they are useful tools on many occasions. Most competitions do not allow the use of straps, so this should be kept in mind when employing them.

Big hands and longer fingers are a distinct advantage on pulls. My apologies to those with shorter fingers. Life isn’t always fair and this is one of those times. Here are my recommendations for deadlifts:

  1. Use chalk. It helps to dry the hands and keeps the bar from slipping.
  2. Use the double overhand whenever possible. Use it on warmup sets until you cannot do so any longer.
  3. When the double overhand fails, move to the hook grip.
  4. If you cannot hold on using the hook grip, go to the reverse grip.
  5. If none of that worked, use straps.

There is more to say on this topic, but that will suffice for now. If you haven’t tried the hook grip on the deadlift, consider it. You may prefer it, despite the discomfort.

Special thanks to the CrossFit Oakland Hand Modeling Corps for their assistance with this article. Your checks are in the mail.

Comments: Comments Off on How to Hold on to a Bar
Category: Fitness
Read More
Aug 24th, 2012

Say It Ain’t So!


John after his final workout with us on Wednesday

These are the posts that I wish I didn’t have to write sometimes because it means we have to say goodbye to one of our CFO community members.

John (along with Jen) first started training at CFO at our old 39th St location (two buildings ago).  If memory serves, it was Jen who had to kind of twist his arm to come.  Immediately after those intro sessions, though, John quickly became a regular and has hardly missed a workout since.  That was around three years ago (again, if memory serves).  In fact, John and Jen started training with us before they had their daughter, Fiona, who many of you have seen around the gym at various times.

Long story short, John’s taking a promotion and as a result has to move up to Sacramento.  I have no doubt he’ll find a great CF gym up there (there are a lot of them up that way), but at least we can say that we were his first gym.

We’re gonna miss John, Jen, and Fiona!  Keep in touch!

Let’s post well wishes and congratulations to them in comments and/or on Facebook.

Comments: 4
Read More
Aug 23rd, 2012

Eat Clean, Train Dirty Challenge Kick Off Meeting THIS Sunday 8/26 @ 11am


Wine is paleo (and fabulous), but is it keeping you from your goals?

Our 6-Week Eat Clean, Train Dirty Challenge begins on Monday, August 27th.  Join us for a fun and informative kick-off meeting on Sunday after classes at 11am.  We will keep it short – about 30 minutes.  Check out last week’s post for more info regarding the challenge.

Hope you can make it!

  • Bring you questions, comments, tips, favorite recipes, blogs, etc. 
  • We will have a camera ready for some awesome before photos.  Shorts for guys and shorts/sports bra for gals.  We will take a front and back shot of you OR you can email us your before photos by Sunday night (8/26). Photos are for judges eyes only.
  • Training, eating guidelines will be distributed and discussed

Remember, you will be judged on changes in body composition demonstrated by your before/after photos.  However, I strongly urge you to take on whatever habit has been a particular challenge to you.  Whether it be eating 100% paleo, giving up sugar or alcohol or simply training more consistently.  Take something on that you think will be difficult.  You can do it and you will feel so much better when you kill that bad habit or embrace a good one!

Comments: Comments Off on Eat Clean, Train Dirty Challenge Kick Off Meeting THIS Sunday 8/26 @ 11am
Read More
Aug 22nd, 2012

Why Do It Right When I Can Do It Wrong?


Tamara doing it right

What can I say?  Every once in a while Freddy C actually writes a good blog post (kidding, Freddy and I like to give each other a hard time).

In Freddy’s post from last week, Why Do It Right When I Can Do It Wrong?, he shoots down the commonly held notion that if you just go faster in your workout, you’re doing a better job.

Do yourself a favor and take the time to read the post in its entirety.  Yes, it’s a long post, but it’s definitely worth your time.

Comments: 2
Read More
Aug 21st, 2012

Mark Your Calendars and be at CFO on October 6th!


It’s that time of year again, everyone:  The Crosstown Throwdown with CrossFit Sweat Shop!

We did this last year at CrossFit Sweat Shop and wrested the Tiki away from them.  From what I understand, they’re out for revenge this year and have been training hard to take it back.  This year the competition will take place on our home floor on Saturday, October 6th.

There will be 27 workouts in total; 17 of which are listed below.  We will know all the workouts come game day, but we won’t know the order.  We’ll be posting a full rundown of the rules later on the blog.  For now, though, know that everyone from CFO needs to be there and everyone has a chance of competing.  There are so many workouts that we need to be able to spread out the workload over multiple bodies throughout the day, so the more, the merrier.  For example, last year Hannah and Leka stopped by CF Sweat Shop to cheer on some fellow CFOers, and lo and behold, we were running low on female competitors, so we threw them into a workout that they ended up winning.

*** If you’d like to take part in the Crosstown Throwdown and represent CFO, send us an email so that we can get a preliminary roster going and get an idea of how many people we’ll have. ***

More to come in the coming weeks, but for now, here are the 17 workouts we know about so far (don’t let your kids read at least one of the workout names):

Good Old Helen: (3 any) 400m run/21 kb swings/12 chin over pull ups. Combined age has to be 135 minimum. One round each.

Fran Off [tm]: (6 men) 21/15/9 thrusters chin over pull ups. Best out of 3 head to head matches. Heat 1 weight 95#, heat 2 weight 135#, heat 3 weight 155#.

Soul Crusher: (5 men) Head-to-head. One set of 21 buprees then, 15/9/3 deadlift then thrusters at 135#.

Running Coach Special: (4 women then 4 men) 8×400 meter relay

Perfect or Push: (6 men) 7 total rounds relay. 15 reps straight of 135# ohsq, then Prowler push. Missed ohsq, means round does not count. Goal is 6 completed rounds.

Cluster Fuck: (10 any) Round 1- Start with tabata :20 on :10 off of these movements… Burpess/empty bar thrusters/push ups/plate jumps*. Add up scores of all 20 participants, bottom 2 scores out of all participants are out. Round 2- Next go 1:00 on, :30 off for each individual movement. After each individual movement, bottom 2 scoring participants are out. Keep cycling through all 4 movements until all of one team is eliminated. *Plate jumps, set a 45 lbs bumper on its edge jump over it. Jump over then back counts as 1 rep.

Staff Infection: (2 women) Max rope climbs in 4 minutes.

Grace: (5 men) Head-to-head. 135#

Row Harder: (2 women) Most meters rowed in 3 minutes. Combine meters rowed of both teammates for score.

How Fat are You: (1 women, ? men) 1000lbs max team weight limit. In 6 minutes each person must do a 1 rep max of their deadlift then strict press. Best lift of each team member is added for score. Entire team must work on one lift at a time. Once team has switch from deadlift to press, they can not go back. If any team member does not lift it’s a DNF for the entire team.

Pull This: (1 man) best of 3, one-on-one tug of war.

T Hammer: (1 man 1 woman) Run one at a time, coin flip who goes first. 21 65/95# ohsq/hammer sled*./15 hspu/hammer sled/9 burpee box jumps/hammer sled. *Hammer sled is the thing fire fighters use in their competitions. We will be borrowing one.

Save Me Buddy Lee: (6 women) 7 round relay. 20 straight double unders, shuttle run. Missed double under means round does not count.

So Fresh, So Clean: (3 women 3 men) 7 minutes to clean as much weight as possible. Every time the bar is lifted, that weight is counted toward the total. 1 bar per team, and 1 person working at a time. Everyone must do 1 clean. Power or full.

Steiner: (1 man 1 woman) 6 minutes to find 1 rep max of snatch and clean and jerk. Only pounds lifted over body weight will be counted.

BASEketball: (4 any) Relay. Team of 4 do 3 wall balls, then run 50 feet down and back*. Goal is 50 total wall balls. If the ball drops to the ground that team loses. Use a 14# ball for men and women to a 10′ target. *The run distance is between CFO and the building next door in the parking lot.

Fran Off 2: (6 women) 21/15/9 65# thrusters chin over pull ups. Best out of 3 head to head matches.

Comments: 3
Read More
Aug 18th, 2012

3 Paleo Foods You May Be Over-Doing


Lovely CFO ladies on an outing

We all know that I’m crazy about the paleo diet, or as I refer to it to non-crossfit people: a whole foods diet. Meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds; this is the foundation of any healthy eating plan, in my eyes. And as long as you stick to these foods, there’s no weighing, measuring and most importantly, no calorie-counting. Sweet! For veteran dieters out there, learning that they can eat unlimited quantities of these foods is immensely liberating. It’s one of the biggest draws to the paleo diet. While I think it’s nearly impossible to eat too much chicken & broccoli, there are some “safe” paleo foods that you should eat prudently.

#1 Nuts

Hooray, you’ve cast aside Doritos for dry roasted almonds! Almonds are high in magnesium and a good source of fiber and a 100 times better for you than salty chips or crackers. In the same vein as these salty snacks, it’s hard to know when to stop. So, what’s the big deal? Yes, they are a whole food and snacks are hard to come by in the paleo world, but almonds and other nuts are a dense source of Omega-6 fats.

Omega-6 fats, like Omega-3 fats, are essential, meaning our bodies can’t make them so we have to get them from our diet but they should be in the right ratio. Ideally about 3:1. Foods rich in omega-6 are ubiquitous in our diets and we don’t quite get the right balance of these two vital fats. The average American gets somewhere around 20:1 omega-6 to omega-3! We all know the benefits of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats–it’s why we sell it at the gym–but if you’re munching on nuts all day and drinking almond milk by the gallon then you might be consuming too many of these fats.

Take a look at the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in some nuts/seeds. The first number is the omega-6:

Chia seeds 1:3
Flax seeds 1:3
Walnuts 4:1
Macadamia nuts 6:1
Avocado 15:1
Pecans 20:1
Pistachios 37:1
Hazlenut 88:1
Cashew 117:1
Pumpkin seed 117:1
Sunflower seed 300:1
Brazil nut 1000:1
Almond 1800:1

Try to stick to the ones with a better ratio.

#2 Fruit

While nutrition can be very divisive, almost everyone can agree that we should eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s the mantra of the health/fitness world. Unfortunately, fruit’s been lumped in with vegetables, giving people a free pass to eat as much as we want. 

On one hand fruit is a healthy substitute for other sweet foods like candy; it’s loaded with fiber and nutrients and it’s a great on-the-go snack . On the other hand, because fruit is sweet and delicious, one can easily devour an entire bag of grapes, cherries, you name it, in one sitting. I know I have. That’s a whole lot of sugar! Just 1 banana has 27 grams of sugar. Yes, I know it’s not that forbidden white stuff, but even too much natural sugar can be an issue for some. For example, if you’re goal is to lose weight, too much fruit can impede your weight loss efforts. Also, if you’re trying to get rid of your sweet tooth, eating copious amounts of fruit is not the best strategy. Fruit can make a good snack but on its own it can spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry and tired shortly there after. I like to keep fruit consumption post-workout, when your muscles are depleted of sugar, especially after a longer metcon. Outside of workouts, stick to the fruits higher in fiber like strawberries, raspberries, or cantaloupe and always pair it with some protein.

#3 Coconut water

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, I know this is a favorite among crossfitters but like fruit, there is a time and place for coconut water. It’s a wonderful natural sports drink that provides the body with much needed electrolytes during or after long workouts. It trumps any other sports drink, in my book! That said, it does contain natural sugars and for that reason it should be consumed post-workout and should not be used to replace water. Water is like the step-child of beverages because it doesn’t taste like anything but it’s vital to good health. How much water do you need? Shoot for getting ½ of your bodyweight in fluid ounces everyday.

Again, in no way am I knocking these foods, this is just some cautionary advice before you all launch into the clean-eating challenge. All of these foods are part of a healthy, balanced diet and if you’re including these in your eating plan, you’re on the right track!

Comments: Comments Off on 3 Paleo Foods You May Be Over-Doing
Read More
Aug 17th, 2012

6-Week Eat Clean, Train Dirty Challenge: Aug 27th – Oct 7th


Last night’s dinner: The Meatza!

This challenge is designed to create the improvements you want in your performance, body composition and health.  Your goals can range from losing body fat, to getting a pull-up or better 400m time to lowering your blood sugar levels.  

We will be judging you on your appearance this time around, because it is important to most people to look better in very little clothing.  We think this is a totally fine and want you to be happy with your beach bod.


  • Before Photos must be submitted by August 27th.  You may take your own photos and submit them to us via email, or come on in and we will take them for you.
  • After Photos must be submitted by Oct 7th.
  • Buy-In is $40.  Male winner and Female winner will split the pot.
  • CFO staff is ineligible and will act as judges (no one but the 2 judges will see your photos, unless you give us permission to post them).


  • Get a partner!  Communicate (whine) regularly.  Share recipes, tips, etc.
  • Record your eating and training.  This way you can look back and see what works and what does not.  
  • Check out the blogs out there!  You will gain encouragement, recipes, success stories and sometimes a decent laugh.
  • Keep up with your training.  Consistency is key, but don’t forget to take those rest days and get enough sleep.
  • Come to the kick-off meeting Sunday, August 26th at 11am (after classes).  We will do a simple Q&A, collect your $$, take photos and distribute some literature. 

There is no ‘cheating’ on this challenge (except perhaps using Photoshop).  We will strongly recommend eating and training programs with which we think you will be the most successful.  Next time you’re in the gym, pick up a copy of the official CFO Clean Eating Guidelines.  I’ll put in a plug for Paleo as a way to regulate your hormones and lose fat while retaining muscle.  This is not the only way to eat, but it works for me.  And if you’re curious about the Meatza (pictured above), the recipe can be found on my most favorite Paleo blog.

Post YOUR recommendations to comments.

Comments: 2
Read More