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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.

Oct 8th, 2011

Strength Saturday Changes Part Deux

Update: While the gym is closed today (Saturday) for CrossFit classes, Strength Saturday will take place as usual starting at 4 PM.

Marc Squatting

Nothing produces a proper squat more quickly than appropriate cues delivered at high sound pressure levels. Thanks to Kelly Powers for the photo.

A few more changes are underway for the Strength Saturday class. The first is the admission that the class always takes longer than two hours. We have changed the schedule to reflect that and the posted times now go from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Saturdays. This allows us to squat, press, and pull each time instead of limiting the proceedings to two lifts. That’s two and a half hours of fun with barbells.

Also, in light of the extended time frame, the price has gone from a $20 drop-in fee to $25. The discount for signing up for multiple classes has also been dropped. It’s just $25 per class now for everyone.

During the summer, the class was limited to eight participants to allow for plenty of individualized instruction and this continues. If you would like to stop by for a class, please send me an email at cfo.saturday@gmail.com. We are generally booked one to two weeks in advance, but occasionally someone cancels, so it doesn’t hurt to check if that is the case. I will be looking to automate some of the sign ups through MindBody in the near future. Until then, continue to send emails my way and I will schedule you in.

Good luck to everyone in the competition at the Sweat Shop tomorrow.

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Oct 6th, 2011

Schedule Stuff – Mark Your Calendars!


Your CFO Training Staff preparing to over-serve you at the annual Holiday Party

PLEASE NOTE:  The gym will be closed THIS Saturday, Oct 8th so that we can all attend the Crosstown Throwdown at CF Sweatshop in Walnut Creek.  A track WOD will be posted that you can do on your own.  Or how about taking a day off and coming down to see some really fun competition in the W.C.?  Competitor carpools will leave CFO at 7:30am on Saturday.  Cheer section can show up anytime!  Competition starts at 9am and goes until all 27 WOD’s are complete.  

REMINDER:  Get your best Halloween Costume ideas brewing.  Best male & female costumes win a FREE MONTH at CFO.  Festivities begin at 4pm on Sunday, October 30th at the gym.  

SAVE THE DATE:  The fabulous Annual CFO Holiday Party will be held Thursday, December 8th, starting at 6pm.  This is a great opportunity to get together outside the gym in our most festive holiday attire.  Mark your calendars now! 

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Oct 5th, 2011

CrossFit Sweat Shop Throwdown This Sat Oct 8 @ 9am


We’re now less than a week away from our throwdown with CrossFit Sweat Shop!

This is going to be a huge team competition with 27 workouts going down on Saturday, with the first one kicking off at 9am.  We’ve had a big response and will have lots of representation.  It’s gonna be a blast!

Here are the details.

When:  Saturday, October 8 at 9am
Where:  CrossFit Sweat Shop (Google Map)
What:  27 Team Workouts

And here are the CFOers competing:

Mark P
Mo B
Tom S
Joe P
Brian C
Steve D

Go, Team CFO!  And let’s get some people to Sweat Shop so that we can cheer Team CFO on!

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Oct 4th, 2011

Let’s Talk About Pull-Ups

Vee showing us how to get it done back in the day

Before I talk about the importance of getting strict pull-ups, and lots of them, I want to let you know that I’m looking to update our video selection of women getting dead-hang pull-ups, and create some incentive at the same time, if for no other reason than to improve on the really, really amateur YouTube videos I put together of CFOers during CFO’s first few years of existence.  They simply don’t do women like Vee justice!

To that end, over the next three months, I will videotape (is that even the correct verb nowadays?) any and every CFO woman who has one or more strict pull-ups and put together a really cool video compilation (or maybe have Dawn do it, since she’s so good at that stuff).

So here’s the deal:  Every man, woman, or child who walks through the doors of CFO to train with us should aspire to get a dead-hang, strict pull-up, and if you don’t have one yet, you should be training for one.  Period.  End of story.

Kipping pull-ups will come, but if you don’t have a strict pull-up, you can’t claim that you have a pull-up.  And besides, I’ve seen too many people get ahead of themselves over the years by chasing too many kipping pull-ups before they have the support structure in place to be able to handle the forces involved in kipping pull-ups (and that support structure comes from getting strict pull-ups).  The result:  jacked-up shoulders that make going overhead painful.

So keep yourself in the game, learn a great party trick, and kick ass with strict pull-ups.

Here’s how:

Do this 2 or 3 times a week (start off with 2 times a week and work up to 3 times a week):

3 to 5 Sets:
3 to 5 reps of pull-ups

Rest as needed between sets.

If you’re using a band, use a band (or combination of bands) that will absolutely, positively not yield you more than 5 pull-ups, and 3 would be ideal.  If you’re able to do 6 or more pull-ups in a row (when you’re fresh and fatigue isn’t a factor) with your current band set-up, you’re not working hard enough, and need to change to a band set-up that will provide less assistance.  Keeping the rep range on pull-ups between 3 and 5 reps per set is going to be the quickest route to get you strong enough to get an unassisted, strict pull-up.

After your 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps, you can throw in 5 negatives (where you lower yourself as slowly as possible from the top of the pull-up to the bottom of the pull-up, fully locked out), time and energy levels permitting.

Finally, for any Part B metcons that come up with high-rep pull-ups, consider doing sets of 3 to 5 strict pull-ups instead.  This will keep you in the correct rep range for getting an unassisted pull-up.

Now get to work on getting some pull-ups!

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Oct 3rd, 2011

FREE Edible Education Class at Cal

In case you all haven’t heard, chef, author and local food activist Alice Waters of The Chez Panisse Foundation has organized and sponsored a 13-week series on food politics called Edible Education: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement.  The series is being offered to Cal students for course credit but luckily for us, they’ve opened up 300 seats to the general public.  The line-up includes all the big-name food activists, including Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle.  This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!

Here’s the line-up:

  • 8/30: The Global Food Movement, Founder Carlo Petrini with Corby Kummer
  • 9/6: Building a Successful Movement,Peter Sellars 
  • 9/13: The Politics of Food, Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H.
  • 9/20: Perspectives on Race, Place & Food, Alegria De La Cruz, Rebecca Flournoy, Yvonne Yen Liu
  • 9/27: Nutrition, Health and Diet-Related Disease, Patricia Crawford & Robert Lustig
  • 10/4: Corporations & the Food Movement, Jack Sinclair, Jib Ellison, Michael Pollan
  • 10/11: School Lunch and Edible Schoolyards, Ann Cooper 
  • 10/18: Global Economies of Food: GMOs, and Feeding the World, Raj Patel 
  • 10/25: Agriculture and Social Justice, Eric Schlosser, Greg Asbed & Lucas Benitez 
  • 11/1: What is an Edible Education? Alice Waters
  • 11/8: Food and the Environment, Frances Moore Lappe & Gidon Eshel
  • 11/22: Van Jones
  • 11/29: Place Based Models of Change, Brahm Ahmadi, Hank Herrera

The lectures are held every Tuesday from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Wheeler Auditorium.  If you’re interested in attending you can download your free ticket here.  Or you can watch the lectures live from the comfort of your own home here.  

Tonight I want to share physician and UCSF professor Robert Lustig’s talk, entitled "Ending the Debate."  You all remember him from his Sugar the Bitter Truth talk that went viral on YouTube. Lustig is a powerful and eloquent presenter who’s leading the way in food policy reform.  In this talk he argues that the toxic and addictive nature of sugar is what is at the root of the obesity epidemic in this country and abroad. It starts at 43:30 and it’s about 40 minutes in length followed by a brief Q & A.  Enjoy!  

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Oct 2nd, 2011

What is Your Version of a “Good Workout”?

 running man.jpg

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day (also a fellow crossfitter) about what makes a good workout.  "When I am totally wasted afterwards" was her version of a great workout.  I have heard this a lot from people, and experienced it even more when I was working at the very fancy club in Lafayette.  My clients always wanted to work really hard and felt that if they weren’t exhausted by the end of the session, they didn’t really get a good workout.

It has been well documented that this sort of training often leads to an athlete who is not as fast or strong as they could be and is more than likely to have a variety of injuries.  Strength training has been proven to be the best foundation for almost any athletes, supplemented by sports specific training and some high intensity drills.  When you are first starting out, it is even more important to focus on the strength side of the training.  In spite of this, people would rather do one of the girl workouts than focus on strength training.

The Whole9 blog has a great post about what they call the "Lure of the Sexy Met-Con".  Here is a clip from it:

There are a few things wrong with this phenomenon. First, longer length met-cons (even those that go “heavy” for time) will not make you as strong as you could be. Sure, your cardio will improve, and you’ll most likely see some strength gains, but nowhere near the gains you’d see picking up heavy stuff with a tried-and-true 5×5, 3×5 and 3×3 protocol. (Of course, this point is only valid if you believe, as we do, that prioritizing strength is the most effective way to get better at everything.)  

In addition, these types of workouts miss the bus by focusing on quantity at the expense of quality of movement….

You can read the rest of the article here.

So, what do you think is a great workout?  What style of training makes you feel the best, or the strongest?  Please post experiences to comments, even if you don’t agree with me.

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Sep 30th, 2011

CFO Halloween Party Sunday October 30 at 4pm


Candace and Daniel at our 2008 CFO Halloween Party

Mark your calendars:  On Sunday, October 30, we’ll be breaking in the new digs with a Halloween party!

Just as in years past, we’ll be doing a costume contest (maybe Lance, Tami, or Lydia will resurrect their costumes from previous years) and have other games and challenges going on as well.  We’ll probably even set up a poker table for those of you who are gambling types out there.

CFO will provide food and drink, but let’s make it a potluck and have you bring a Halloween-inspired dish to share with others.

The best male and female costume winners will receive a free month of training at CFO.

The party starts at 4pm.  Although costumes aren’t mandatory, they are encouraged.  And as with all of our social functions, family and friends of all ages are most welcome.

See you there!

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Sep 29th, 2011

Introducing: Rest Day Challenge of the Month!


Justin desperately trying to maintain Journey’s blistering push-up pace

Have you looked around the gym lately?  It is starting to come together – no really!  As the dust clears from the construction and the perfect place found for all of our equipment and fixtures, we see a lot of blank wall space!  This is great news for Wall Ball and Handstand enthusiasts, but also for those of us eager for news, information and of course the CFO Leaderboard!

If you would like a shot at the coveted Top Male/Top Female spots or just want to take on a challenge, we have devised a system:

1.  At the beginning of each month a new challenge will be posted on the blog/FB.  The challenges are devised to be as diverse and include as many physical skills as possible.

2.  At the end of each month, the Top 5 Male and Female performances will be posted on the blog/FB with the Top Male/Female Score for each included in our NEW Leader Board.

3.  These challenges may be completed only on Rest Days and must be witnessed by a CFO trainer.  If you cannot possibly make it to the gym on ANY Rest Days for that month, please make arrangements with a trainer at a mutually agreeable time (not during a regular group class – duh).

4.  Old records posted from previous Leaderboards will be honored, provided the athlete is a current member of CFO.   

OCTOBER CHALLENGE:  MAX PUSH-UPS in 2 Minutes.  Your chest must touch the deck on each rep, your arms must be straight at the top with elbows back and your chest and hips must leave and return to the deck at the same time/rate (no snaking). Only reps that meet this standard will be counted toward your total.

You have from Oct 1st – Oct 31st to complete this challenge.  3-2-1, GO! 


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Sep 28th, 2011

Participant List for Aaron C Running Clinic


Stacy motoring up the hill at Femme Fit

Here’s the list of participants for Aaron C’s running clinic on Saturday, October 22, beginning at 11am.  The seminar will be taking place at the Piedmont High track.


We had to cap the seminar at 16 people.  If you didn’t get in on this one but want your chance to work with Aaron still, let us know at info@crossfitoakland.com so that we can get to work on scheduling a future seminar.

Clinic Participants:

Pete D
Theresa T
Steve P

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Sep 27th, 2011

The Mental Side of Training


Photo courtesy of the NY Times

Here’s a recent NY Times article on how much of a role our mind plays in matters related to physical performance.  It’s a fascinating look at a series of experiments that were done on elite level cyclists, but the takeaway for any sort of sport or training is applicable beyond cycling.

In short, our mind can either limit our training results or take us to greater levels of performance (within certain limits).

Read the full article here:  www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/health/nutrition/20best.html

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