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.

Jan 11th, 2012

Stuart McGill: The Back Guy

I first became aware of Dr. Stuart McGill a few years ago, primarily because he was one of the first researchers out there to rail against "core" training.  The video above is really just a drive-by of some of the conclusions of his research and clinical experience and just scratches the surface, but the take-home point is clear:  the role of the body’s core (if I must use that word, which I really don’t like) is to stabilize the spine.  Doing countless sit-ups and crunches is counterproductive to that goal and trains spinal flexion (not something you want your body to do as a default, which can occur when training a movement pattern repeatedly).  

I don’t agree with all of the movement prescriptions, but where I disagree it’s usually just a nitpick (e.g., I think the box is too far away from the lady when she goes to pick it up.  It would be a lot better to have that box in closer to her body).  On all of the big points, though, he’s dead-on, and has a lot of research and clinical experience to back up his claims.

We don’t really do a lot of direct ab work in our training, but when we do, it’s usually something static like holds of various types (handstand holds, L-holds, plank holds, etc).  The best possible core training you can do is to lift heavy weights with proper technique (as well as do challenging bodyweight exercises).  The stabilization of the upper torso that has to occur for your hips and shoulders to move through a proper range of motion under load is where it’s at when it comes to training not just your back, but your whole body.

And if you want that six pack, take care of what you eat.

More on Dr. McGill:

T-Nation Interview

Comments: Comments Off on Stuart McGill: The Back Guy
Read More
Jan 10th, 2012

Clock Watching


Ann, Theresa, and Carrie after Murph

I came across a good post from Freddy C over at CF One World the other day and thought I’d throw up the link for you to read.  It’s fairly long, as CF blog posts go, but worth the time to read.

Here’s a relevant snippet:

But……If you want more out of your workouts and want to get positive results, you should always be looking at the clock. You should know how long it takes you to run or row certain distances when you are fresh and when you are tired. In any movement, you should know how long it takes you to do reps and how long it takes you to recover when you break the reps down into smaller sets. When you learn to monitor all of this stuff, you really learn about yourself and what limits you can push yourself toward and past. It really makes training much more satisfying, and it makes a really hard workout a lot less intimidating.

Watch the clock. Study yourself. Train smarter.

The title of his post is a little misleading, since it’s not just about the clock.  He’s suggesting that you take a more comprehensive look at your training, approach each workout with a plan (based on some time-related numbers), and manage your workouts once fatigue sets in.  Or in other words, don’t take a haphazard approach to your training.  I couldn’t agree more!

Read the full post here.

Comments: 1
Read More
Jan 9th, 2012

Thank You, Carl!


Participants from Saturday’s Muscle-Up and Handstand Push-Up Seminar

A big thank-you to Carl Paoli for coming out on Saturday and giving an outstanding seminar on handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, and so much more related to bodyweight movements.

We can’t wait to share this stuff with you guys and come up with ways to build these kinds of movement progressions into our group classes.  Stay tuned!

Comments: Comments Off on Thank You, Carl!
Read More
Jan 8th, 2012

Easy Stretches For Your Hips

 The other day when I was back at CFO, I noticed a lot of tight hips.  I thought I would post a few easy stretches for your hips that you can do after you have worked out.  Hold each of these stretches for at least one minute on each side and make sure you do them when you are already warm.

figure four stretch 007.jpg

Lie on your back and put your left foot on your right knee.  Pull your right knee toward you with your arms.  Then lightly push your left knee away from you.

Comments: Comments Off on Easy Stretches For Your Hips
Read More
Jan 6th, 2012

Sac-Town Throwdown Registration Opens Tomorrow at 12pm!



Tomorrow (Friday, Jan 6), registration for the Sac-Town Throwdown opens up at 12pm sharp.  Last year, this event sold out in hours, so it’s really important that we get on it for registration.

We’ve never done this throwdown before, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.  We’ll be sending one team from the Open division and one team from the Novice division.  Can’t wait to see these teams compete.  For a few people, it will be their first CF competition.

Once the rosters on both teams are final, we’ll publish them.  Go, Team CFO!

Comments: 2
Read More
Jan 5th, 2012

Announcing: January’s Rest Day Challenge & December’s Results!

Dec Challenge.jpg

Results for the December Rest Day Challenge are in!

– Max Reps Back Squat at Body Weight –
Top Men:
Lance: 55
Marc: 52
Moses B: 50

Top Women:
Robyn: 23
Aisha 13
Note: Only 2 women completed this challenge. Let’s not let that happen again, ladies!

We are determined to chase down and post the Top Finishers for the November Challenge of Max Weight Pull-Up. Please help us out by sending your scores via email so we can get those published. Thanks!

January’s Rest Day Challenge will be Max Reps Bench Press @ Body Weight for men and 2/3 Body Weight for women!

Rules: Bar must touch chest at bottom of range of motion and arms must be straight at top. Hips MUST stay on the bench for the rep to count.

Go get em, tigers (and tigresses)!

Comments: 4
Read More
Jan 4th, 2012

Gymnastics Seminar with Carl Paoli this Saturday at 2pm!


We’re just a few days away from our nearly-sold-out (only a couple of spots left) 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:

Comments: 1
Read More
Jan 3rd, 2012

More on CFO Programming


Karen and Louise at the holiday party

In last Monday’s post, I wrote about how we’d be transitioning the CFO programming to have monthly benchmarks, or check-ins, if you prefer.  This will provide a tighter feedback loop and allow us to make sure we’re doing the job we need to be doing with our programming.  

Beyond the monthly benchmarks, which will change each month, we’re also programming off of a larger, longer-term template with general qualities that we’re after (general strength focus, conditioning focus, gymnastics focus, Olympic lifting focus, etc.).  For example (and this is just one example), as we get closer to February 22nd, which is when all of you will be doing the Open workouts (whether you have competitive aspirations or not), our programming will change to meet the demands of those workouts, both in weekly structure (the Open workouts will most likely take place on Saturday, so the week will need to be structured accordingly) and in terms of metabolic demands.

Beyond this longer-term focus, we’re also changing the way programming is assigned and who’s responsible for programming at any given point in time.  Over the next three months at various points, Connie, Tamara, and Moses will be co-programming the workouts with me (one trainer plus me at a time, not all four of us at once).  Throughout the year, other trainers will get an opportunity to program as well, based on whatever they bring to the table.  This will ensure that the programming stays fresh, current, varied enough, and effective–everything we’re after.

And finally, one other note:  Due to popular demand, the PR board is back.  Look for it at the far left side of the whiteboard.  And be sure to write up your back squat PRs on Wednesday (that’s when we’ll be doing the beginning-of-the-month test for 5RM back squat).

Comments: 1
Read More
Jan 1st, 2012

What’s in Store For 2012?

 Three Amigas.

This morning as I lifted my toothbrush to my mouth I was met with some pretty significant muscle soreness in my arm.  In fact, I felt it all over my body. If you did Murph yesterday, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. But instead of feeling sorry for myself for not being able to get dressed or lift my arms without pain, I thought, "we are SO lucky."  I mean, really, how many people can say they did 300 squats, 200 push-ups and 100 pull-ups in one day? Or in their lifetime? Probably not too many. And for a very lucky handful of you, it was your first time doing the entire workout rx’d. Congratulations, T$, Heidi, Amanda and anyone else I may have missed!

Today, on this bright and beautiful first day of the new year, I’d like to invite you to reflect on the year, to be proud of your achievements, to look kindly on your slip-ups, and most of all, to show some gratitude for your killer body. Yes, YOU have a killer body!

You may not have bulging biceps or perfectly sculpted abs (yet), but you’re fit and more importantly, you’re healthy and fit enough to do CrossFit! Be thankful for the fact that week after week, month after month and for some of us, year after year, you are able to push your body to the limits. I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself mentally and physically over and over again in the gym. And I’m especially thankful to be doing it alongside all you lovely people!

It’s customary to make resolutions and set goals for yourself this time of year. What are your fitness-related goals? Will 2012 be the year for pull-ups or maybe your first BW bench press? This is also a good time to make resolutions about your diet. I encourage you all to think about ways that you can adopt healthier eating habits. But instead of setting lofty, unrealistic goals, like, "no sugar for the year" or "go 100% Paleo," make a small change. Try adding something healthy to your diet rather than subtracting a "bad" food. For example, strive to drink one more glass of water everyday, or eat protein with every meal. Keep it simple, and most importantly, make a deal with yourself that you’re likely to keep.

I’m excited to see what 2012 will bring to you all! Thank you for another wonderful year of blood, sweat and laughter at CFO!

Comments: 2
Read More
Jan 1st, 2012

Happy New Year CFO!


Good times hanging after the WOD

As we say good-bye to an amazing 2011, we are grateful and humbled by all of you.  Thank you for all of the support and good times over the past year.  2012 is sure to be even more amazing – looking forward to a fun ride.

Enjoy the day with friends and family and we will see you again in January!

Comments: Comments Off on Happy New Year CFO!
Read More