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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.

Apr 8th, 2012


 Mike and Pinata 012.jpg

A big thank you to all of you who came out to celebrate Mike’s birthday today.  It was great seeing most of you dressed up as Mini!  Thanks to all of you who helped put things together–Daniel for Music, Heidi for drinks, Ann and Zeke for setting up, and of course, Robyn for planning and organizing the whole shebang.

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Apr 7th, 2012

Getting Tight


Scheduling Update: In honor of Easter Weekend and to make sure that there is plenty of time for celebrating at CrossFit Oakland, Strength Saturday will take place on Sunday, 8 April from 4:00 PM  to 6:30 PM. There will be no Strength Saturday class next weekend, April 14th.

Reminder 2: Come to the party on Saturday, 7 April at 4:00 PM at CFO. Yes, you. A good time will be had.

Today’s installment will be a short reminder on the importance of keeping the spine stable under a load. A frequent cue that is given when lifting weights is “Get Tight.” This is an important concept and one that is often sacrificed when fatigue sets in. When handling a heavy barbell, the musculature of the trunk and limbs needs to be held in contraction as much as is possible. Obviously, in order for joints to flex and extend, muscles must contract and relax, but the degree to which this occurs is important here.

Let’s consider the squat, which, in my opinion, should be nominated for the most important lift of all time. If a trainee allows themselves to fall freely into the bottom of the squat, chances are that the back will round, the knees will buckle, and other grievous sins against the gods of gravity will be committed. It is Easter weekend and upsetting the gods is probably not a good idea. Flexing, extending, or twisting the spine under a load is a good way to incur a back injury. The spine likes the relationships between the various vertebrae to be maintained when squatting 500 pounds. Instead, if the hypothetical trainee above controlled their descent and kept the musculature of the trunk and legs in contraction, good positioning could be obtained, the lift could go forward, and great glory be obtained.

How does one get tighter in a lift? The first thing to do is hold your breath, also known as the Valsalva maneuver. The second is to actively contract the musculature involved prior to moving. This will slow down the movement slightly, but will allow for a better lift. As a trainee’s skill increases, the squat, or whatever lift is being performed, can be done at higher speeds while still staying tight. Therein lies one of the paradoxes of lifting, contract the muscles, but move quickly. So, cease dive bombing into the bottom of the squat and save your back at the same time. Sounds like the highly coveted win-win situation to me.

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Apr 6th, 2012

There Are No Throwaway Movements

K-Star connecting the dots between jumping rope and the Olympic lifts

The video above is a nice little synopsis of proper body positioning in the double-under (a dreaded movement for many).  The bigger point of the video, however, is that in your training there are no throwaway movements.  Think that double-under isn’t all that important, or the burpee is just about getting it done no matter what it looks like?  Think again.

If you’re struggling with the double-under, don’t compound the situation by piking or kicking your heels behind you (known as donkey kicking).  Why?  Because then you’re creating a default movement pattern that will be really, really hard to undo after a few hundred reps.  Focus on proper positioning, and then repeat that positioning under time, load, or with speed thousands and thousands of times until the right way to do a movement becomes the default way.  If you do it wrong, stop immediately, take a step back, and slow it down so that you can get it right.

And finally, don’t dismiss these simpler movements; they often serve as gateway skills toward more advanced movements (particularly when it comes to trunk stability, or midline stabilization, if you prefer).

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Apr 5th, 2012

NEW 3x/week BOOT CAMP starting April 30th!


Boot Camp Warriors!

The CFO Strength and Conditioning Boot Camp, which meets on Tu/Th at 9am, is thriving and is consistently Sold Out!

So Coach Arnold has agreed to add another session which will meet 3x/week: MWF at 10 am for 4 weeks, beginning on April 30th.  You can enroll online or in person.

Each session will include strength work utilizing the deadlift, squat or press. There will also be a focus on pullups, pushups and other body-weight movements. Every class will end with a conditioning workout that will put your body to the test.

You will be coached on form and technique for all lifts and movements and pushed to your limits during the workouts. As always, Crossfit workouts are scalable to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, this program will get you stronger, faster and more fit.

Boot Camp participants have seen some tremendous gains in their strength numbers and overall fitness while having an absolute blast – all while they support and encourage one another.  Come on in and see what it is all about.  Feel free to email Coach Arnold or CrossFit Oakland with any questions.

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Apr 4th, 2012

Thanks, K-Star!


K-Star was in the house tonight

A huge thank you to Kelly Starrett for coming to CFO to work with our training staff tonight!

His train-the-trainers session was invaluable and we can’t wait to put some of the concepts he showed us into practice, and to make you guys and gals better, more durable, and stronger at the movements we throw at you on a daily basis.

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Apr 3rd, 2012

Reminder: CFO Closed Tuesday April 3 from 5pm to 8pm


AJ getting mobile before his workout

A big reminder:  CFO will be closed Tuesday April 3 from 5pm to 8pm for staff training and development.

The open gym session will be the last session of the day, from 3:30pm to 5pm.

We’ve posted a track session for the evening session, if you’re looking to get some conditioning work in.  We’ll be back to our normal schedule on Wednesday.

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Apr 2nd, 2012

3-Tier Programming Q & A


Ellie loading up for a kipping pull-up during 12.5

As written about in last Sunday’s post, we’re rolling out 3-tier programming this week.  Below are some of the questions we’ve received about 3-tier programming.  I’ll do my best to answer them, but before that, here are a few additional points I forgot to include in the initial post.

  • This is a pilot project.  We may be totally wrong about the effectiveness of tiered programming.  We’re going to assess for 90 days and decide if we want to continue.
  • We’ll be doing tiered workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (This week is an exception, where Friday will be the Bear and everyone will be doing it.  We had to shuffle around the schedule a bit due to the gym closure on Tuesday night.)
  • POD will only be happening for the Tuesday and Saturday workouts (workouts that are not tiered during the week).

Onto the questions and answers…

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Apr 1st, 2012

New equipment for the gym!!


We were fortunate enough to get a gently used adduction/abduction machine for the gym! This should help you all to hit that next squat PR or decrease your 400m run time!  Have fun kids!

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Mar 31st, 2012

Strength Saturday Openings

Green Belt

For any of those interested, I have two openings for this week’s Strength Saturday class. The class goes from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM (sometimes a little later) on Saturdays and the cost is $25 a session. It is limited to eight participants so that I can spend an appropriate amount of time providing coaching to those in attendance. We squat, press, and pull every class with an emphasis on proper form and gradually increasing weights. If you would like to stop by, send me an email at

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Mar 30th, 2012

CFO Closed Next Tuesday Night from 5pm to 8pm


Michelle and Dr. Dwayne before 12.5 went down last Saturday

Important:  CFO is going to be closed next Tuesday, April 3rd from 5pm to 8pm for staff training and development.  There will be no evening group classes.  Open Gym from 3:30pm to 5pm will be the last session of the day on Tuesday.

We’ll be back to a normal schedule on Wednesday.  Thanks for your understanding!

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