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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.

Dec 30th, 2011

3 More From K-Star Plus the New Year’s Weekend Schedule

K-Star doing his thing

The shoulder joint is something we have to take care of, when it comes to utilizing exercise technique that will place the shoulder in the best possible position and when it comes to mobilizing the tissue around the shoulder joint itself.

In the video above, K-Star goes over a shoulder trifecta, three exercises that pay big dividends, especially if you have issues with the front squat or clean rack position, or with any of the bodyweight movements that involve turning out (push-ups or ring dips, for example).  

Take the five minutes to watch this, and then put these three mobility exercises into practice!

New Year’s Weekend Schedule

Here’s the schedule for the weekend.

Sat 12/31:  8am, 9:30am, and 11am (extended class times for Murph)
Sun 1/1:  Closed
Mon 1/2:  8am, 9am, and 10am

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Dec 29th, 2011

FREE Community Day + Stretching Class: Jan 2nd, 2012!


Who are these lovely inverted ladies?

Curious about CrossFit?  Want to test it out and see if it’s for you?  Come on in on Monday, January 2nd at 11am for a free, fun and fabulous workout! 

Community Days are free to the public – No experience necessary. This one-hour class is designed to be fun and scalable to all ages and fitness levels. It includes a warm-up, instruction of basic movements, a great workout utilizing these movements and a cool-down.

Bring your friends, family and co-workers for the 11:00 team-style WOD and stay for Coach Dawn’s stretching class at Noon.  Great way to kick off the New Year.

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Dec 28th, 2011

Gymnastics Seminar Fast Approaching!


We’re just a little over a week from our gymnastics skills seminar with Carl Paoli, of San Francisco CrossFit and Naka Athletics. If you’re after a muscle-up, a handstand push-up, a legit push-up or pull-up, or any higher-level gymnastics/bodyweight movement, this is the seminar for you. Carl will provide a ton of technical instruction on these movements and map out progressions for any movement you’re after.

I’ve seen Carl coach a few times and highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to spend 4 hours training with him.

This seminar is open to the general public, not just CFO.  Don’t miss this awesome opportunity!

To learn more about Carl and his work, and to register for seminar, go here:

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Dec 27th, 2011

Monthly Benchmarks Beginning in January


AJ & Julie at the holiday party

In an effort to create a tighter feedback loop for your performance in the gym, beginning in January, we’ll be designating a strength benchmark and a conditioning benchmark that will be tested at the beginning of the month and then again at the end of the month.  The benchmarks will change each month, but it will always be a pair:  one strength movement and one conditioning workout.

For January, the benchmarks will be as follows:


Back Squat 5-Rep Max

Conditioning Workout:

Max Rounds Plus Reps in 10 Minutes:
7 Pull-Ups
10 Hand-Release Push-Ups

These two workouts will be programmed into our normal workout cycle; no need for you to do them during rest days.

The benchmarks will give you a clearer idea of how you’re progressing and will give us a quick assessment of whether our programming is hitting the mark.  In other words, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.

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Dec 25th, 2011

Happy Christmakkah!



Happy Holidays from CFO to all of you!  The gym will be closed today, but will re-open tomorrow (12/26) for 8am, 9am & 10am classes.

Enjoy your day with friends and family!

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Dec 24th, 2011

Want a Bigger Clean? Talk to Me about Your Deadlift.

Ellie Deadlift

Ellie finishing a deadlift. Pictures from the CrossFit Total earlier this month will be available…in the near future.

The Olympic lifts represent an interesting confluence of strength, power, and technique. The two contested Olympic lifts include the snatch and the clean and jerk. Both of these movements involve explosively moving the barbell overhead either in one movement (the snatch), or two separate components (the clean and jerk).  Learning these lifts can take some time due to the complexity of the motor patterns required to jump with a barbell and to receive that barbell in a very specific position.

Initially the lifts will be limited by technique. The weights used will be light and the emphasis placed on moving the bar correctly and moving the body correctly. After a time, however, the fundamentals are established and the weights begin to climb. The more familiar a trainee becomes with the movements, the more confidence grows, and the more performance increases. Of course, this does not continue forever. Eventually other factors begin to limit increases. This is a mirror of the process for almost anything worth doing. Initially, performance is low, followed by a rapid period of improvement, then increases become harder to attain.

Today we’ll look at a big component of the Olympic lifts – power. Some terms need to be defined first. Strength is the ability to generate force against an external resistance. Power is the ability to display strength quickly. A deadlift requires strength, but not speed, and is not a lift requiring great power. A snatch, however, requires the barbell to move quickly and, at the heaviest weights, the lifter to move very quickly under the bar. Power production must be high in order to successfully complete a snatch. This simplification does not illustrate the relationship between strength and power very well, unfortunately. The next simplification does.

You cannot be powerful without first being strong.

We will look at two hypothetical trainees. The first can deadlift 225 pounds for a set of five. The second can deadlift 405 pounds for a set of five. The task before each of our lifters is a 200 pound clean. When the barbell first breaks from the ground, for whom will it feel lighter? Which trainee will feel more confident as the barbell clears the knee and the bar touches the thigh, indicating the need to violently accelerate the bar upwards? Who will have a better chance of successfully completing the lift? Obviously, a 405 pound deadlift confers a big advantage when it comes time to clean 200 pounds. Even if the stronger lifter is less explosive and less athletically gifted, those 200 pounds do not represent a heavy load. Even in the absence of good technique, the stronger lifter is still at an advantage. When it comes time to throw a barbell around, things will be much better if the weight feels light in the hands.

There are a lot of components to getting good at Olympic weightlifting. Being strong does not guarantee that you will have a bright future in the sport. However, not being strong guarantees that you will not progress very far with the fast lifts. If your Olymipc lifts are stalled and your technique is solid, the next questions to ask are, "Is my squat improving? How about my deadlift?" If the answers to those questions are not affirmative, then the path to a better clean just became a lot clearer.

Strength Saturday Schedule

As previously mentioned, Strength Saturday is on a Holiday Hiatus. I like alliteration.  There will be no Saturday class on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or January 7th. The strength class will return on Sunday, January 15th before resuming its familiar Saturday slot in the subsequent weeks.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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Dec 22nd, 2011

Boot Camp Early Bird Special 15% off!


The beauty of a healthy lifestyle (and friendship!)

The very first session of CrossFit Oakland’s Strength & Conditioning Boot Camp starts Tuesday January 3rd, 2012 and goes for 6 weeks (Tuesdays/Thursdays at 9am). Plenty of time to get in great shape.  No experience necessary.  You do not need to be in shape to get in shape.  We will get you there!  More information from Coach Arnold:

The strength component of this class is driven by two basic barbell lifts, the backsquat and deadlift.  These two lifts will allow students to move the most weight and gain the most strength.  You will receive one on one coaching on proper technique and form while spending plenty of time under the bar.  Whether you are new to barbell training or stalling in your strength gains, six weeks of dialing in your form will bring your numbers up across the board.

The squat and deadlift will take care of your lower body.  To improve upper body strength, this class will focus on 3 basic gymnastics movements, the pullup, pushup and dip.  Never tried a pullup?  Tried and failed?  Have a few but want more?  The pullup is an integral part of building overall strength and these six weeks will get you well on your way to mastering this movement.

If that isn’t enough to inspire you to sign up, we are offering an Early Bird Special of 15% (that’s $30 off!) until December 25th, 2011.  You can sign up through the CFO Online Store.  Space is limited so hurry and get in on this great opportunity to change your body – and maybe even your life.

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Dec 21st, 2011

Bunches of Articles


Aisha, Lee, and Michele at the holiday party, courtesy of TomC

Here’s some reading for you.


Charles Poliquin Doesn’t Like Aerobic Training

For regular readers of Charles Poliquin, you probably know he’s not a big fan of aerobic training, especially if it’s done exclusively and not offset with strength training.

In these three articles (be warned, a couple of them are lengthy by blog article standards), he lays out his case for why he finds aerobic training counterproductive for general health and/or body composition, and discusses what to do about it.

The (Many) Negatives of Aerobic Training
How to Counter The Many Negatives of Aerobic Training

Belly Fat? Lose It.

To Rx a Workout or Not

Here’s a fairly humorous–and accurate–take on rx’ing workouts (doing them as prescribed).  Be warned, if you’re offended by potty-mouthed language, you’ll probably want to skip this article.

And props to the Beastmodal Domains guy for coining a soon-to-be classic CF term:  Rip Van Wodkilla (for those CFers who decide to rx a workout and take days to finish it)

Intensity in CrossFit: Should You Do It RX’d?

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Dec 20th, 2011

Sac-Town Throwdown Feb 11-12



I wanted to give everyone a heads-up on a great CF competition that’s coming up in early February, the Sac-Town Throwdown.  This is a 2-man/2-woman team event, and teams can compete in any of the following three divisions:

  • Open (anyone)
  • Novice (for those who scale most workouts)
  • Masters (anyone 40 years or older)

Our very own TomC has photographed this event in the past, and he’s had nothing but good things to say about it.

I know that we already have some people who will register for the Open division.  What would be great is if we can get some Novice and Masters teams to compete with them.  

If you’re interested in competing, send us an email so that we can put you on a team.

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Dec 19th, 2011

34 Uses for Soda Other Than Quenching Your Thirst


An educational waiting room display at West Berkeley Family Practice

Even a third grader knows that soda is bad for you.

This little four-letter word is oh-so-bad for so many reasons, but at the top of my list is that it’s full of high fructose corn syrup or better yet, artificial sweeteners (don’t get me started on this one).  Because HFCS can only be metabolized by the liver, it affects the body differently than regular sugar and it is the type of sweetener that is most strongly linked to all the health problems that are associated with high sugar consumption: obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

I recently stumbled upon this article posted on The Weston A Price Foundation website. It was orginially published on back in 2007. I’ve shared some of these uses with a few heavy soda drinkers and it’s been pretty effective in getting them to reconsider their beverage of choice. At the very least, I hope you all get a good laugh–some of these are pretty disturbing.

Here are just some of my favorites (go here for the full list):

Get Gum Out of a Kid’s Hair. Want to score points with that single mom struggling to get gum out of her screaming kid’s hair? Come to the rescue with your can of Coke. Soak the kid’s hair for a few minutes, then rinse. The gum should come right out.

Strip Dye From Hair. If your girl comes over crying that her new dye job turned her hair green, wash her hair with Diet Coke. Apparently Diet Coke has the ability to strip and/or fade bad dye jobs.

Get Rid of Skunk Odor. Pissed off Pepè Le Pew and now you aren’t allowed in the house? Sponge down with some cola and hose yourself off. Again, those handy acids work to neutralize the stink.

Give Your Hair Shine. Pour a can of coke over your head, work it into your hair, then rinse. It’s said your hair will be incredibly shiny. And impervious to slugs and snails.

Mousse Alternative. Mix equal parts coke and water in a spray bottle and mix well. After you shower, spray a light coat of the mixture into your hair, then style. (I’m sure having sugar in your hair all day won’t attract flies or be uncomfortable at all.)

Prevent Flatulence. Adding a can of coke to a pot of pinto beans when cooking is supposed to neutralize the gas-causing compounds. (Belching? Another story.)

Get a Darker Tan. There are those who say rubbing plain coke all over your body gives you a deeper tan. (There’s caramel coloring in there, but I question the evenness of the result, and how long it will last.)

Shell Hard Boiled Eggs. Apparently, if you soak hard boiled eggs in Coke the shells will dissolve, eliminating the need to actually have to peel them. See what you’re getting into…before you go there.

Remove Blood Stains From Clothes. Ruin your favorite shirt when you nicked yourself shaving?  If you soak the stain with cola for five minutes then wash in your machine, the blood should come out. Even dried blood that’s been there for a while.

Loosen Clogged Drains. If your sink is draining slowly and you don’t have any drain cleaner in the house, pour a 2-liter bottle of cola down the drain and let the acids go to work on the clog.

Make Flowers Last Longer. Got your girl some flowers and you want them to survive through the week? Pour about 1/4 cup of clear soda, like Sprite or 7-Up into a vase full of water. Sugar helps them last longer.

Kill Slugs and Snails. If these pests are invading your lawn and garden, pour a little Coke into shallow dishes or jar lids and spread them throughout your yard. The sugar attracts them, and, just like you remember from when you were a kid, the acid kills them.

Greener Lawn. It’s rumored that spraying Coke on your grass will keep your lawn greener into the fall months.


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