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Steve P after CF Games Open Workout 13.4
It's been a while since we last posted about Steve P and his road to the CrossFit Games. Since qualifying this past April for the Games after finishing the Open in 11th place worldwide in his age group, Steve has been putting in some serious work. Anyone who's been around our Emeryville location during the evening classes has at some point likely seen Steve training.
We've now entered the stretch run for Steve, with just a little over a month to go until the Games. I'm now putting out the call for anyone to join Steve in his workouts leading up to the Games as a training partner. We employed this strategy last year as Candace trained for the Games, to great success. It can be a huge boost to be training alongside someone else, and to know that you're not suffering alone. It can often lead to another rep, a faster time, a little more weight, etc.
Any of the workouts Steve is doing can be modified to your own ability. It's really more important that Steve has someone who can push him and help him make this last climb, than it is to do his workouts exactly as written. We're entering into the final, tough stretch of workouts for him; let's show him how much we're behind him by getting volunteers to train with him.
If you can be a training partner for Steve, even if just for a single workout over the next couple of weeks, please let us know by either emailing us or by saying so on our CFO Facebook Page. We'll compile a list of training partners and set up a rotation so that Steve will have a training partner at least a couple times a week (if not more, hopefully).
Let's do this for Steve!
Jill and Mark, the two Paleo Challenge winners
A big congratulations to Jill and Mark, who took our Springtime Paleo Challenge! We do two challenges a year, one in the spring, which is based on performance, and one in the fall, which is based on aesthetics.
We evaluated performance by having all participants do the following workout twice, once at the start of the challenge and once at the end of the challenge:
4 Rounds for Time:
The formula we used took into account how participants did on the workout the first time and the second time, and also rewarded time improvement. The formula was as follows:
[Time Difference Between First Workout and Second Workout] / [Rank in 1st Workout] + [Rank in 2nd Workout]
For our calculation, we only included participants who did both workouts.
Jill took first place in the workout at the start and at the end of the challenge, and she still managed to shave over a minute off her time. By virtue of her performance in the before-and-after workouts, as well as her time improvement, she took the Paleo Challenge for the women.
Mark came out on top in a close race between the men. Karl was the other major contender. Karl took first the workout both times, but Mark had a huge time improvement (he took 2:43 off his first time). Due to the magnitude of his time improvement, he edged out Karl.
Congratulations to Mark and Jill, who will receive their take of the cash this week! And strong work by all who participated!
Kirsten & Booth looking fabulous!
Kirsten and Booth have been a part of the CFO clan for the past few years. This weekend they are moving back East where Booth is in medical school to begin a new adventure. We are sad to let them go, but excited for their bright future.
We will miss you both with your beautiful smiles, positive attitudes and kick-ass athleticism.
Best of luck!
If you'd like to see these two lovely people before they leave, they will be at Prizefighter tomorrow night from 6pm until whenever, accepting raised glasses from friends and well-wishers.
K-Star covering the front rack position
You may have noticed that we've been doing a lot of clean-and-jerks lately, and for good reason: It's a great exercise for developing power, coordination, and stability through the shoulder girdle.
That being said, if you don't get a handle on your front rack position (how you hold the bar on the clean, jerk, and front squat), the clean-and-jerk is going to be a nightmare for you and your wrists (even though it's not wrist flexibility that's the issue, believe it or not) and you'll never lift what your legs and hips are capable of doing.
So get on board with positioning your hands wider on the clean and front squat. And if you're lacking the mobility to get into the proper position at present, talk to one of the trainers at CFO and get some mobility drills from them. It's worth the investment in time. Your body will thank you.
Another drill from Carl, this time for pull-ups
Next time you're working on your pull-ups (especially when we're doing skill work), grab a pair of knee wraps or wrist wraps and trap them between your feet, just like in Carl's video. Then see if you can do pull-ups without letting go of the object between your feet.
This drill will tighten up your swing and will allow you to access your hips in the swing a lot better. It will also force you to stay in a good, strong position without giving away any tension.
Carl going covering Part 1 of his pistol progression series
The pistol can be a confounding movement for many. Is it a balance thing? A strength thing? A mobility thing? What's the deal? Carl does his level best to explain how to know where you're lacking in your development of the pistol, and what to do about it.
In Part 1 above, he sets the stage and lays out some basic progressions which help you assess where you are.
Joe P going shoulder to overhead during CF Games Workout 13.4
Joe is scheduled to compete in the 200m and 400m sprints, and might even sneak into the 100m sprint. He's been training hard with Aaron C, our resident track-and-field coach here at CFO, and is all ready to go.
Let's wish Joe luck on our FB page. I'll be heading down there to cheer Joe on this Saturday; hopefully we can get a few more familiar CFO faces down there to cheer hi on as well.
Get some, Joe!
This is hard to believe and sad to report, but our long-time client and resident pilot Marc T is leaving CrossFit Oakland after almost 5 years of training with us. Marc has taken a new position with his current employer that is based in Guam.
Tomorrow will be Marc's last day training with us before his big move. Hopefully his flight path will take him through the area now and again and we can see him from time to time.
While I hear there is no CrossFit in Guam (shocking!), I am sure Marc will figure out how to continue to train hard and make those PRs for which he is so famous.
Take a moment to wish Marc well, either in comments, on Facebook or in person.
We will miss you dearly Marc! It has been a pleasure to coach you and train with you. Best of luck to you and your family.
Ran at the top of a deadlift
Yes, it's sad but true, our 6-week Paleo Challenge will be coming to a close this Sunday June 9th. I truly hope that all of you were able follow the eating plan and that it has helped you in some way to stay on track with your health/fitness goals. Perhaps those results will help motivate you to adopt a more whole foods based or Paleo-ish way of eating! Now, on with the details about the re-test.
Five weeks ago each of you participated in a pre-challenge WOD consisting of 4 rounds for time of a 400m Run followed by 30 air squats. Your times were recorded and points were awarded based on your time. This Sunday June 9th at 11am we will run you through this same workout and award points based on how much time you were able to shave off of your pre-challenge time. In other words, each participant will be awarded points based on their performance on BOTH the pre AND post-challenge workouts. The prize money will go to the top male and female finishers.
For those of you at Uptown, we'll do the workout on Sunday at 10am.
I'll leave you with this recipe I found for a Paleo-approved Beef Bourguignon from Paleo Diet Lifestyle (I can't wait to make it!):
Beef bourguignon, or boeuf bourguignon by its French name, is a classic French beef stew made with small perl onions, mushrooms, red wine and brown beef stock. The meat slowly cooks in the red wine and take up its taste so this is one recipe where using a good quality wine is a very good idea. A burgundy is the traditional choice, but a good Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone will do just fine.
This was traditionally a peasant dish because it uses tough cuts of beef that need to be cooked for a long time to be tender. The flavor and tenderness that the meat takes after stewing in wine and stock is so amazing though that is as become a component of haute cuisine now in France.
Beef bourguignon recipe
- 3 pounds stewing beef, cut in 2-inch cubes;
- 7 tbsp lard, tallow or butter (ghee);
- 1 sliced carrot;
- 1 sliced onion;
- 1/2 lb bacon, cut in chunks;
- 3 cups of a good quality red wine;
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups of beef stock;
- 1 tbsp tomato paste;
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced;
- 1 bay leaf;
- 1 tsp dried thyme;
- 1 pound fresh quartered mushrooms;
- 20 small white onions;
- *Optional: Bouquet garnis (sprigs of parsley, thyme and 1 bay leaf tied together);
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat your oven to 325 F;
- Sauté the bacon chunks in 1 tbsp of the lard, tallow or butter on medium heat for about 3 minutes in a pot that goes in the oven. Remove the bacon, but leave the fat in the pan;
- Dry the beef cubes in paper towel and brown in the same pan that has the hot fat. Make sure you brown the meat on all sides and proceed by batches if it’s easier;
- Put the beef cubes aside and cook the sliced vegetables (carrot and onion) in the same fat;
- Put the bacon and beef back in and add the wine, 2 to 3 cups of the beef stock, barely enough to cover the meat, the tomato paste, garlic and herbs;
- Season to taste, cover and put the pan in the preheated oven and let cook for 3 to 4 hours. Make sure it simmers and adjust the oven temperature consequently. The meat is ready when fork tender;
- While the beef bourguignon is stewing, heat 3 tbsp of the lard, tallow or butter and cook the 20 small onions. Sauté them for about 10 minutes while trying to brown them evenly on all sides without breaking their skin;
- Add 1/2 cup beef stock to the browned onions, season to taste and add the bouquet garnis, if using;
- Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. By that time, the onions will still hold their shape, but will be tender and the liquid will be evaporated;
- Remove the bouquet garnis and set the onions aside;
- Make sure your pan is dry, add another 3 tbsp lard, tallow or butter and brown the mushrooms for about 4 minutes;
- When the meat is ready, get the pot out of the oven, put it back on the stove-top and remove bay leaf;
- Traditional recipes will call for skimming off the fat, but we know better and for flavor and nutrition’s sake we will leave all the fat in the final sauce;
- Depending on the desired thickness of the final sauce, either add some stock to make it thinner or rapidly boil uncovered to thicken the sauce;
- Taste and season accordingly;
- Add the onions and mushrooms and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes;
- Serve with family and friends with fresh parsley!
A most Happy Birthday to the Queen of Uptown! She's a USA Women's baseball player, a CrossFit Games competitor, Oakland Firefighter, Olympic Weightlifter, metal fabrication apprentice, CrossFit gym owner and all-around amazing woman. There are so many things to respect, it is hard to know where to begin.
My favorite thing about T is her radiant smile (see photo above).
We love you T.Holmes. Have an amazing day - you deserve it!