You are hereAugust 2011
Sarah at the top of a burpee
We've been hammering home the importance of strength training, even for things like fat loss, the last couple of weeks with articles devoted to the subject (see here and here).
So now you might be asking how much is enough, when it comes to strength training, especially if your goals are fairly modest, such as simply looking good naked.
Fortunately, a fellow CrossFitter has already laid out some quantitative guidelines that answer the old "look good naked" question. Check out his article here:
Kelly warming up the deadlift
After a two-week hiatus, Strength Saturdays will resume this weekend promptly at 4 PM on August 6th. As those who attended the last few sessions noticed, the class size increased to a point where it was difficult to provide the individualized coaching that has made the strength classes the unique experience that they are. While having too many participants is a nice problem to have, a few changes are in order to help preserve the quality of instruction.
Firstly, the class will be limited to eight participants. When we have more than eight, it takes too long for me watch everyone's work sets. The hallmark of the classes is that all the participants receive focused coaching while they are under the bar. With 10 or 12 people, the wait time between sets gets to be too long. In order to avoid this situation, participants need to sign up in advance. Eventually, this will be handled in a more sophisticated fashion, but for now if you would like to attend a Strength Saturday class, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alas, the days of dropping in without signing up are at an end.
More changes are on the way and will be rolled out in the coming months, but the big one is the cap on attendance. I look forward to this Saturday and wish you all a good week.
5pm Class warming up in the Yard
Well, it is August and the last official month of summer has started. While I know we have all been enjoying the Summer Camp feel of CFO these last few weeks, we want to get back into the building. To that end, we have been working very hard to gain legal access to our indoor facility so that we can have a bit more choice as to where we hold our WODs.
So where are we now?
Last week the City's Planning Department unanimously granted our Conditional Use Permit. This was a very positive step as it demonstrates that the City of Emeryville sees our establishment as a positive addition to the community.
However, there were several major conditions attached to the permit, which is why we are not yet allowed to conduct our workouts inside the building. Fortunately, we were aware of these conditions and have been working to satisfy them over the last few weeks. We feel we are very close to presenting a complete package to the City and have requested a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. If all goes well, this TCO will be granted very soon and allow us to occupy the building while we satisfy the remainder of the conditions listed in our use permit. When we have a solid date, we will be sure to let everyone know right away. We'd love to be able to give you a specific date right now, but thus far, we've had to revise our timeline every couple of weeks, which can be frustrating (to all of you as well, I'm sure).
Besides Mike and myself, there is an entire team involved in the various pieces of this project. We cannot express our gratitude for all of this assistance as well as the patience and understanding of our wonderful clients. We are scheduling quite a few fun, helpful, and free offerings over the next few weeks and will publish details on this blog as well as our Facebook page. The first one is coming up next Tuesday, and we'll be posting details on it tomorrow night.
Keep on sending those positive vibes and getting your Prison Yard fitness on and as always, send any questions or concerns over to email@example.com.
Journey testing her shoulder flexibility
The shoulder joint is involved in so much of what we do in CrossFit, whether it be presses, pull-ups, isometric contractions (handstand holds, overhead squats, snatches), or throwing movements. In short, our shoulders get a lot of work. If you're not careful with them, they can put you out of commission, and nothing is more frustrating than sitting on the sidelines, unable to train.
With your shoulder health in mind, we've scheduled a free clinic for all CFOers on shoulder health and maintenance. Dawn will be leading the clinic, so you'll be in great hands and will come away with a bulletproof plan to follow for strengthening your shoulder joint, increasing the flexibility about the joint (if necessary), and keeping you in the game.
Dawn will be holding two half-hour sessions Tuesday night, August 9:
6:30pm - 7:00pm
7:00pm - 7:30pm
Here's what Dawn had to say about the clinic:
I would like to present a routine that can be completed in 30 minutes that would keep the shoulder healthy, and/or increase flexibility and strength in a shoulder that needs it. We will go through some myofascial release techniques, stretches, and then a few strengthening exercises. This will be a general routine for shoulder fitness. After the second class, I will be available to answer specific questions.
The CF Games just finished, yet already there are competitions kicking off all over the place. Next Saturday is a big one for the women of CFO: Femme Fit! We'll be posting about Femme Fit on Monday, so stay tuned to the blog for more information on this great event.
For now, there's another competition going down tomorrow, Saturday, August 6th: The CF Solano Summer Slam. This looks like a brutal team competition with some nasty workouts. It will be great pre-Games-season test.
CFO will be sending two teams to represent the gym, as follows:
To read up on the workouts (4 of them), read the following post on the CF Solano blog:
Get some, Team CFO!
Team CFO following the Solano Summer Slam
If you've been following the chatter on our CFO Facebook Page, you already know it, but in case you're not an FB devotee, we sent two teams to the CF Solano Summer Slam, and they finished in first place and ninth place...two teams in the top 10!
Team 1 finished in 9th place:
Team 2 finished in 1st place:
According to everyone on both teams, the highlight of the day was Tom S pulling the final 750 meters in the final workout, which pushed Team 2 over the top and got them the victory. He was declared MVP of Team CFO.
And props to Blaire and Armando for taking part in their first CF team competition.
Strong work, Tom, and strong work by all!
Here's the recipe in case you don't feel like watching the whole video:
1 apple, grated
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 1/4 cup almond meal (in the baking aisle @ whole foods, Berkeley bowl)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (or more if you'd like)
1/2 cup raisins (or more if you'd like)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
Directions: Use a fork to mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Scoop batter into well greased muffin tins filling only 3/4 way full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Dawn, before she swallowed a Wall Ball ;)
This week we are celebrating all that is feminine at CFO - from Femme Fit coming up this Saturday to a brilliant photo-documentary on the women of CFO that Dawn posted last night.
Speaking of Dawn, most of you probably didn't know this, but Coach Dawn is pregnant ;) Her due date is right around the corner and this is her last official week of work before she goes on maternity leave. Let's take a moment to wish Dawn well as she prepares to welcome Son #2 to the already fabulous Miller household.
All the very best to you, beautiful Mommy! We will anxiously await the arrival of your little blessing, as well as your return to coaching.
Dawn's due date is officially August 30th, but feel free to post your best guess as to actual birth date in comments.
Reminder: Dawn will be holding a free shoulder clinic Tuesday, August 9 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm (in two half-hour sessions). Don't miss it!
We're less than a week away from Femme Fit, the only all-women's competition of its kind. And this time around, it's even more special because we have 14 women from CFO competing, and for many of them, it's their first competition since the CF Games Open back in the spring.
Let's give a big shout-out to these 14 women:
Talk about some strong representation! Get some!
Because Femme Fit is going on, and because it would be great to get as many screaming CFO fans out to the venue as possible, we're going to close CFO this Saturday. We'll be back to normal hours on Sunday (8am, 9am, and 10am). Hope to see you guys out at Femme Fit...just look for the CFO Jameson tent!
About Femme Fit
The Venue: Alhambra High School Track
The Workouts: Femme Fit Workouts and Standards
Here's Dawn's latest and greatest video, this time a tribute to all of the women at CFO.
Thanks to all of you who showed up on Tuesday night to work on your shoulders. I know it was uncomfortable, but it would do you good to do some of the things you learned at least once a week.
If you missed the clinic, here is a basic overview of what we did:
1. Myofacial release for the shoulder girdle
2. Stretches for the important muscles in the shoulder
3. Strength exercises for the muscles that are often weak in the shoulders.
Tonight I will go over the stretches. The strength exercises I will cover next week.
First off, let me say that you can do the stretching and rolling every day or once a week when your body is warm (after a warm up, or after finishing a workout). If it makes a difference in how you feel, doing it more often would be better.
In class, we did some trigger point release, and two foam roller moves. The trigger point information doesn't photograph well at all. If you are interested, I can send you a copy of the moves in a pdf file. We used the foam roller to go over the lats and rhomboids--click on them for a video demonstration.
Prone Internal Rotation Hang
Lie on stomach with one arm on your back. Let your elbow drop to the floor while mentally pulling your shoulder away from the floor. Hold 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times.
Lie on your side with your arm 30-90 degrees out from your body. Have your palm facing the floor. Lightly push your hand toward the floor. 30-180 seconds, 3 times.
Reminder: CFO is closed on Saturday, August 12. Strength Saturday will be moved to Sunday, August 13th and will take place from 2 PM to 4 PM. Email me if you would like to attend.
I'd like to introduce everyone to Russia's Tatiana Kashirina. She is one of the best female weightlifters in the world and won the gold medal at the 2011 European Weightlifting Championships held in Kazan, Russia. Tatiana competes in the superheavyweight (above 75 kg) women's division and weighs 97.6 kg (215 pounds). Her prowess on the weightlifting platform is so great that if she competed in the men's 94 kg class in the recent 2011 US National Championships in July, she would have tied for third place.
Tatiana's opening lifts start after all of her competitors have finished their third attempts. She snatched a world record 146 kg (322 lb) and clean and jerked 181 kg (399 lb) to earn a total of 327 kg (721 lb). Take a moment to think about that. She picked up 400 pounds off the ground and got it over her head. That is a very impressive accomplishment for a male and one that very few lifters ever attain. That she does this as a woman is even more amazing.
There's a video from the European Championships that is commentated in English, but the audio is rather distorted, so I went with the version above that I assume is in Russian. The video is quite lengthy (18 minutes), but I set the start time to include Tatiana's last lift. Aside from her incredible display of power during the competition, I was also impressed with her reaction after she successfully completed her clean and jerk. Tatiana didn't yell, or scream, or carry on. She smiled, bowed, and had to fight back tears. She dominated every one of her competitors by a wide margin, yet was restrained and dignified upon her victory. I was very impressed.
Before I go, I want to point out one other salient fact. Tatiana weighs 215 pounds. She is not 215 pounds of fat, either. She's actually pretty lean. If you are having trouble with strength, power, and recovery, ask yourself if you are eating enough. The answer is probably "no."
Best of luck to all of the competitors in FemmeFit tomorrow. May you channel Tatiana during your cleans.
The CFO tent in full force at Femme Fit today
Femme Fit went down today and CFO definitely represented. What a great event and awesome performances by all the women who competed. We'll have much more on this in a follow-up post (including final results), but for now just know that every woman who competed got at least one major PR in either a timed workout (compared to practice runs) or on the clean (there were clean PRs happening all over the place).
Thanks to all the CFOers who came out to cheer and lend support.
Thanks to Nabil, MJ, and all the judges and volunteers who made Femme Fit a blast.
And finally, for all of you who were there, let's shout it one last time:
Let's Go Oak-Land!
Our strong CFO women at Femme Fit
Congratulations to the podium finishers; they definitely earned it:
- Jenny Labaw
- Sarah Hopping
- Alessandra Pichelli
For our part, we had one top-ten finisher (Journey, 8th) and four in the top 25 (Journey, Tamara, Stacy, and Lydia).
But the results only tell part of the story. In no particular order, here are my key moments for each CFO woman in Femme Fit.
Hyo: After injuring herself during the hill run, she gutted out the cleans and still managed to get on the board. She is one tough lady.
Ann G: Saved the best for last. She came in trailing everyone after the first 400m run in her heat in Event 5 (run/burpee/sandbag). By the time she took off on the second 400m run, she had passed at least half a dozen other competitors. That burpee and sandbag work paid off! And this from a woman who wasn't running at all two months ago.
Sierra: PRing in the clean with 120#. It's important to note that Sierra had to gain bodyweight in order to finally be able to clean her bodyweight (more on this in a blog post to come).
Mune: Her previous PR in the clean was 122#. Yesterday, she cleaned 145#. Can you say improvement?
Sarah K: Her goal for her clean was 85#. So what did she end up getting? 100#--welcome to the triple digit club!
Holley: Although she also PR'd her clean with 120#, her key moment was gritting her way through Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell). The last 10 swings were torture, but she didn't put that kettlebell down!
Teresa: She knew she'd handle the runs with ease and didn't disappoint, but Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell) was a major question mark for her going in. Not only did she handle it, but she sailed through without a hiccup, finishing in 8:06.
Joey: I'll always remember Joey's grit in all of the workouts, but the fact that she had to split time between scorekeeping and competing was something to behold. There were a couple of workouts where she went right from the scorer's table to the start line, without even warming up.
Carrie: Just scratching her potential at this point. Could she have made her 155# clean look any easier?
Michelle: Her first major CF competition, and she finishes 27th. Along the way she PRs in the clean at 165# (just missing 170#) and turns in a 3-minute-and-change performance in Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell).
Lydia: Besides her customary grit, and coming off a month of injuries and limited training time, she still manages to finish in the top 25. Beyond that, she turned in the 11th fastest time of the day on Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell). And she didn't even practice this workout leading up to Femme Fit. Not even a little.
Stacy: Whether it's dusting the competition on the hill run or PRing in her clean by 10 pounds (145#), Stacy always has a big performance in her come game day. She also managed to have the 2nd fastest time overall in Event 5 (run/burpee/sandbag).
Tamara: What can we say that hasn't already been said about T? She's such a gamer, always stepping up when it's competition time! Whether we're talking about the fastest time of the day on Event 3 (deadlift/box jump/kettlebell), where she never broke any of the reps in any of the exercises, her powerful clean, or her rocking 100m sprint, she didn't disappoint.
Journey: Besides finishing in 8th place overall, we learned one key thing about Journey: She can run long or she can run fast! She finished in 7th place on the hill run and in 3rd place on the 100m sprint (Tamara, her sprinting nemesis, nudged her at the line for 2nd place).
Connie: Despite not competing, she was in 9th place after two events (inside joke).
Strong work by all. You did CFO proud!
It's that time of year again: meat ordering time!
This is the last call to get in on a 40-lb box of Prather Ranch organic, grass-fed beef for $240. Each 40-lb box contains around 20 lbs of ground beef and 20 lbs of various cuts of beef (NY strip, London broil, tri-tip, etc.).
Here's who I have for an order thus far. And remember, you can split a box if you want to get in on the order but think 40 lbs is too much.
Kirsten & Gary (Split)
I'll place the order with Prather on Wednesday, so if you want in, I need to hear from you by then.
Mark Sisson's talk on the importance of play
Recently, a who's who list of Paleo lifestyle speakers gathered at the Ancestral Health Symposium on August 5th and 6th to give a series of talks on topics ranging from exercise to diet to science. I've started to watch a number of these talks (one of my current favorites is Mat Lalonde's talk), which can be found on Vimeo, but thought I'd post this one by Mark Sisson, since his message is a good one, and one that's often overlooked.
There are a series of slides that accompany his talk, which can be found here:
And yes, it's 48 minutes long.
Sierra pulling a PR 120# clean at Femme Fit
The article below, from Charles Poliquin's site, covers a lot of territory, and is written by a former strength-and-conditioning coach for a D1 college football team. Although the article specifically addresses what to do with in-season training for a football team and its inherent challenges (balancing a weekly game and all of its demands with an off-field training program), there are nonetheless some take-home points that may help with your own training.
Some of the key points:
- Percentages, and percentage-based training, are important, but not the gospel. Some days you might be stronger than what the percentages suggest, and some days you might not be. Training heavy consistently is the key to getting stronger, whatever heavy may mean for you on any given day.
- The body's only capable of so much. If you're pursuing other endeavors (another sport, CF Games training) beyond strength training, you can still keep up your strength levels by reducing volume but keeping the intensity high. For example, as you increase the number of CF metcons you're doing, instead of hitting 3 sets of 5 on the back squat, go for a single set of 5 (5-rep max). Tweaking and manipulating volume is going to be the key to sustaining progress in the lifts.
Read the full article here:
This Saturday, August 20, Lalanne Fitness will be hosting a Summer Throwdown, which will give men and women a chance to compete in 3 workouts which will be announced the day of the competition.
Justin, along with possibly one more male competitor from CFO, will be throwing their hat in the ring this Saturday.
I'll be there to root and coach these guys on...hopefully some of you all can make it over there, too!
You can see the heat assignments here:
Taubes on The Dr Oz show
(Check out what's written on the screen behind them.)
Exercise more and eat less. It's the one piece of advice you can always count on at your doctor's visit. We've all heard it at some time or another. And not just from our doctors, but from neighbors, friends, mothers, and sisters. Today, it's conventional wisdom that in order to lose weight you must keep your calorie intake low AND put in extra time at the gym. Makes sense, right? Today I'm going to share a completely different take on the weight loss debate.
A few months ago I read science writer, Gary Taubes' most recent book Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It. You may remember Taubes for his recent piece in the New York Times entitled "Is Sugar Toxic?" or his highly controversial NYT Magazine article that rocked the low-fat dieter's world. Since his 2002 article, Taubes has been on a mission to expose the real culprit of the obesity epidemic and put all this low-fat business to rest.
He spent the next 5 years researching what really makes us fat and in 2007 published, Good Calories, Bad Calories. It wasn't long before his followers demanded he write a shorter, more condensed version of this 500 pg-bad-boy, and in 2010 he came out with Why We Get Fat, a more accessible manual for the lay person. In this book he challenges the archaic calories in, calories out paradigm and brings forth research that calls into question everything we thought we knew about weight loss.
Here are some basic take-aways from the book:
1. Your body is not a bank account.
We've all done it. We indulge in some sugary treat and then justify it by saying, "oh well, I'll just burn it off later". Unfortunetly, it's not that simple. It's the hormonal effect of eating these foods that's the problem, not so much the calories that's in them.
I know most of you have heard me say this a million times, but here I go again...when we eat foods that are high in sugar or high in refined carbohydrates (e.g. pasta, cereal, bread) these foods are rapidly converted into sugar and enter the bloodstream where they cause our blood sugar to sky rocket (this is where the term "sugar-high" comes from). However, having massive amounts of sugar in the bloodstream can be quite dangerous and the body immediately steps in to bring your blood sugar back down to normal levels. This is where insulin steps in. Just the thought of eating that chocolate cake signals your pancreas to release a huge blast of insulin who's job it is to pull the sugar out of the bloodstream and into your cells. This is the crucial step. Sugar and refined carbohydrates, will drive up your blood sugar levels which drive up insulin and cause you to store fat.
So even though fat has twice the amount of calories per gram than carbohydrates do, it doesn't cause the fattening insulin spike that sugars do so you don't really need to worry about your intake.
I should mention that in an interview Taubes does cautions readers, that even though carbs/sugar are the primary drivers of insulin, this doesn't necessarily give you a free pass to eat copious amounts of fat and protein. In other words, it's about quantity and quality.
2. Severe calorie restriction can backfire.
When we simply cut back on calories, the body adjusts by down regulating your energy expenditure. In other words, if you cut your meals in half, your body will get the signal that it needs to slow everything down and conserve energy in order counter balance the loss of energy (food) coming in. The result is a metabolism that's moving a snail's pace and hanging on to every ounce of food it takes in. Even if you keep your exercise regimen the same, your performance will likely suffer and your body will try to expend less energy while you are at rest making you feel more tired throughout the day. And finally, severe calorie restriction can have long-lasting and damaging effects to the metabolism resulting in significant and rapid weight gain the instant you return to a "normal" way of eating. So even though you may lose weight initially you're likely to gain it all back and some.
3. You can't cardio your way to weight loss.
This lesson is probably the hardest for people to swallow. Taubes goes in to a lot of detail discussing the role of exercise in weight regulation. The message here is twofold. First, doing tons and tons of cardio without adequate recovery may burn a lot of calories but it's also a great way to jack up your stress hormones. One of the main jobs of stress hormones like cortisol is to release stored sugar into the bloodstream to help provide your body with the fuel it needs to escape danger. And we all know how slimming high blood sugar can be, right? The second reason lots of cardio can hamper weight loss is a no-brainer: it increases our appetite. Duh? We've all experienced this. Why do you think there are so many "turkey trots" on Thanksgiving day? It makes perfect sense. Think of it this way: after a hard workout or on a hot day when you've worked up a good sweat, you feel thirsty. This is your body's way of replacing the water it just lost. The same thing happens when you work out. You work up an appetite so you can replenish the energy stores that you've just used up on your 10k run.
Why We Get Fat is a book I'd recommend to anyone who would like a primer on how the foods we eat affect our body composition (either favorably or unfavorably). It would especially be helpful for friends or family members of yours who are sedentary. That being said, if you're currently training at CFO and are familiar with the type of eating we recommend, you're already well on your way to understanding Taubes's material firsthand.
Schedule Update: Strength Saturday will occur as normal this Saturday from 4 to 6 PM. Alas, we are full this week and cannot accept anyone else for the session. There's always next week, however.
Twenty-seven seconds of awesome.
This week's post will be on the shorter side because I have some pictures that need to go out the door sooner rather than later. However, for those that enjoy the finer things in life, I present to you Mr. Konstantin Konstantinovs. After watching the video above, you may feel the need, as I do, to refer to him as Mr. Konstantiovs. Mr. Konstantiovs hails from Latvia and most of the talking that goes on his videos is, unsurprisingly, in Latvian. Fortunately, I am here to translate for you. Since being an absurdly strong powerlifter doesn't really pay the bills, he makes his living as a bodyguard.
Konstantiovs pulls a jaw dropping 815 pounds off the ground while standing on a 3.5 inch box. Firstly, an 815 pound deadlift is a feat of strength that puts a person in pretty exclusive company. He has effectively made the bar closer to the ground by standing on the box, which makes the lift significantly more difficult. After all, 815 pounds is not enough of a challenge all by itself. He is not wearing a dealift suit, nor a belt, just a t-shirt celebrating the Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, shorts, and some lifting shoes. However, the part that really is intended to hurt the feelings of the viewer comes after Konstantiovs finishes the lift. He holds the bar in his hands for a while, looks around, has a chuckle, and mentions something to the effect of, "Please post this video on the CFO site. Say 'Hello' to Mini for me." My Latvian is a little rusty, but I am pretty sure that captures the spirit of what he said. Have a wonderful weekend.
In case you have forgotten them, here are the exercises that we covered in the shoulder clinic. These exercises will not hurt you, but they are not specific to any certain injury, so they may or may not be beneficial to you. If you have particular questions about a shoulder problem, please post to comments or email me.
Do these exercises 2-3 times a week, with at least one day in between. Start with 2 sets of 6-8 reps each, work up to three sets of 12, then add weight and start at the lighter rep scheme again. The weight should be challenging, but not so much that it hurts to do the exercises or that you are doing them incorrectly.
Thanks to Coach Tamara Holmes for her modeling time!
One Arm Row
Please click Read More for the rest!!!
Justin and Steve D doing the obligatory shirtless, post-workout picture
CF cliche posing aside, Justin and Steve D did a great job of representing CFO at the Lalanne Fitness Summer Throwdown yesterday. And yes, Steve D was the mystery competitor I wrote about on Thursday's post.
The events were tough ones. Both Justin and Steve had to confront a couple of skill elements that weren't exactly in their wheelhouse in workout 1, which was as follows:
Max Rounds Plus Reps in 9 Minutes:
9 Squat Snatches @ 135#
9 Squat Cleans @ 135#
9 Overhead Squats @ 135#
9 Shoulder-to-Overheads @ 135#
Both wanted to simply get through one round, and both achieved that and then some.
For Steve, whose previous PR in the snatch was 135#, he managed to get 12 snatches at that weight during the workout. Quite the feat! When the clock sounded, Steve had gotten through one full round and 3 snatches.
Justin also wanted to get through a single round going into the workout. He's been putting in a lot of work lately with overhead squats and snatches and it paid some dividends for him in this workout. When it was all said and done, he got through one full round, 9 snatches and 9 cleans. Nicely done!
After workout 1, Steve and Justin picked it up with strong performances in workout 2, which was a double-under/sandbag run/plate burpee AMRAP (10 minutes). Both had initial issues with the double-unders that they overcame to finish strong (Justin passed 5 guys on the run).
Workout 3, which was max pull-ups in 3 minutes, was more of the same for both, improving on their earlier performances, especially Justin, who turned in the 4th best performance overall, tallying 72 pull-ups.
Only the top 10 men moved on to the final workout, and although they both fought hard and gave everything they had to make it there, Justin and Steve finished outside the top 10. Justin ended up in 14th place and Steve finished in 47th place. Justin finished 8 points (reps) behind the 10th-place finisher--tight competition!
Great job, Justin and Steve! Way to represent CFO!
Sarah getting ready to stand up out of the bottom of a clean
A couple of items for you...
The Latest on the Building
Although we're still working out in the Yard, there has been a lot of work happening behind the scenes to make getting into the building a reality. One of the biggest items on the list that we're working on is getting approval from the City on the fire detection system that we've installed in the building. I won't bore you with the details of what this system does, but the final piece of the installation process was completed last week, when a dedicated telephone line was connected to the system.
The only piece left for us involving the fire detection system is getting approval by the City. The inspection is imminent and will most likely happen within the next couple of weeks. It could happen at any time, and we're shooting for getting the inspection done this week. But it will all depend on the schedule of the person doing the inspection.
As soon as the inspection happens, we'll be sure to update you with the results. This piece is one of the major checklist items for getting back into the building and we'll be glad when it's done with.
I know that you all want to get back into the building. We do, too. You all have been so great with your support and we can't wait to pay back your patience with a great indoor facility.
Free Seminar for CFOers: Getting the Most Out of Your CrossFit Training
I wanted to let all of you know that I'll be doing a seminar on Saturday, September 10, beginning at 11am. This seminar is free to anyone from CFO, regardless of whether you're just starting or have been with us since CFO 1.0. I've tried to come up with a title for the seminar that sums it up in a couple of words, but I just can't. So here's my attempt at describing the seminar, its origin, and its purpose. This is a little wordy, so if you wanna skip down to the very end of the post for a quick read, go down to the part that is titled "What You'll Get from the Seminar."
So many people come up to me and ask what they should do to get x, y, or z (a muscle-up, a 5-minute mile, etc.). I'm always willing to answer these types of questions and I love doing it. But many of you out there may think you're bothering me, or that I might not have enough time for such questions, or anything along those lines. In addition, often times I receive the questions right before or during a group class, which limits the amount of time I can give you to answer the question to its fullest (often times I just tell you what to do without giving an explanation). So with that in mind, I wanted to do a seminar on setting goals for any fitness-related pursuits you may have.
Before getting into goal-setting, though, it's important to understand what we're after in terms of fitness as it relates to the CrossFit model. As such, I'm going to define the CF model of fitness and how it relates to what you're trying to achieve with your health and fitness.
Once we've laid the foundation of the CF model of fitness, we can then get to goal setting. I'll touch on a couple of important points related to setting goals (one of the most important ones will be addition by subtraction, which I'll explain in the seminar).
I'll also make myself available to anyone who attends the seminar for a follow-up 1:1 planning session where we can map out the steps needed to achieve up to 3 fitness-related goals.
And the final piece of the seminar will be an open Q&A session, where you can ask me about anything you want related to CrossFit. I can even give you fashion advice (this is to see if you've read the post up to this point).
What You'll Get from the Seminar
Whether you're brand new to CFO or an experienced Games competitor, every person who comes to the seminar will get the following:
- An understanding of the CrossFit model of fitness
- An understanding of how to set and achieve fitness-related goals within the CrossFit model of fitness
- A 1:1 planning session with me to map out the steps needed to achieve up to 3 fitness-related goals
- An open-ended Q&A where you can ask me about anything you want related to CF training
And finally, there is no time limit on the seminar. The Q&A session is open-ended and I will not end the seminar until everyone's questions are answered.
I firmed up the final details related to the Prather Ranch delivery yesterday.
Your 40-lb boxes are going to be delivered to CFO on Tuesday, September 6 at 6pm.
The cost of the 40-lb box is $240, payable by cash, check (made out to CrossFit Oakland), or credit card.
The following people have boxes being delivered:
Steve D (2 boxes)
Michelle N (2 boxes)
Kirsten & Gary (Split)
Hannah & Joe P (Split)
D-Sal & Stas
Today is David Halperin's 83rd Birthday! Some of you may not know David (he is the seated gentleman in the middle bottom of this picture). He has been a member of CFO for the last 3.5 years and attends our Elements class. I have seen David deadlift over 100 pounds, bench press 70 pounds, and shoulder press 50 pounds. He tries every exercise, even if I tell him not to, and never complains about a workout. He has been sick for the last two months, but we are hoping to see him back at the gym soon. Happy Birthday, David!
Please post birthday wishes to comments.
Lilly at the plate for Team USA
Fire Inspection a Done Deal
Before we get to our farewell, I wanted to give an update on the building to all of you. On Monday's post, I wrote that we were working to get the fire inspection done within the next couple of weeks, that it was a huge step for us, and that I'd update you as soon as the test was done with the results.
Well, yesterday afternoon, we had the fire inspection (which I learned of about an hour before it happened). And the good news is, we passed the inspection!
So what does this mean? This was a huge step for us and if we didn't pass the inspection, there was no way we were going to get back into the building. We now have a couple of items left on the City's checklist to finish off, and as soon as we get done with that, we'll present our case to the City and ask them to let us move our operation back into the building. I don't have a definitive timeline, but we're looking to present our case to the City as quickly as possible. As soon as we get to that point, I'll be sure and update everyone.
We're one step closer, without too many steps left. Whew!
We've given a lot of well-deserved ink in the past to Tami and her Team USA Baseball exploits, but did you know that we have another Team USA Baseball player training at CFO as well? Lilly!
Look, here's proof: Team USA Women's Baseball Roster
Although I'm happy to shed a little light on Lilly's athletic pursuits, it's also a little bittersweet because tomorrow (Friday 8/26) is Lilly's last day here at CFO. The real world is calling her, and she's shipping off to Boston (with apologies to the Dropkick Murphys) to start a new job. She'll also be training for next year's world championship run as part of Team USA, too.
We're going to miss her, but since her mom also trains at CFO, maybe she'll come back and visit us every once in a while.
In the meantime, if you see her in one of the evening classes tomorrow (she usually trains at either 5pm or 6pm), wish her well. And let's show her some love on the blog, too!
So long, Jacobson, but don't be a stranger!
Schedule Update: Strength Saturday will happen on Sunday this week from 2 to 4 PM. We're all full this week, unfortunately. Email me if you would like to get in next week (9/3).
Mini sent this video my way this evening and while the video above fails several of my criteria for being watchable, the subject of the video, Jennifer Thompson, is truly amazing. Thompson tips the scales at at a mere 132 pounds. In the video above, she squats 315 pounds, bench presses 293 pounds, and deadlifts 419 pounds. Those lifts shattered a number of American records for those lifts in her powerlifting federation (USAPL) and added up to a massive 1027 pound total, also a record.
All of the lifts were performed with nothing more than a singlet, a belt, and some shoes. No squat suits, bench shirts, or knee wraps were used. The squats were deep and there was a marked lack of screwing around during the competition. I was impressed.
Provided you can get around the awful camera work, bad editing, and misspelling of the subject's name in the opening credits (really?), the strength that Thompson displayed was humbling. Her lifts are quite respectable for a man significantly heavier than she is. This woman benched 2.2 times her bodyweight. That is unreal. Few men manage that feat, let alone women.
Time is short this evening, so I cannot expound at length upon some of the issues raised here, which include, most importantly, my hurt feelings over how strong Thompson is. On one hand, this video could be used as evidence that size does not always equal strength. That is very true within certain parameters. However, Jennifer Thompson chose her parents very wisely. Most human beings will never be able to display that kind of strength at that low of a bodyweight. Thompson is amazing and is an inspiration, but very few, if any, will equal what she did at 132 pounds, men or women.
This brings me to another point, that I hear quite often, which is an insistence upon keeping bodyweight as low as possible, especially among females. If you were not excelling at sports from the time you were a child and could not jump higher than almost everyone around you, chances are you are not an exceptional athlete. That's okay. Welcome to the club. Therefore, just because someone is capable of performing a feat of strength at a given bodyweight does not mean that you should be able to do the same. Maybe you can, but maybe not.
If performance is important, then training and diet must accommodate those goals. This might mean muscular bodyweight gain. This is to be embraced and celebrated. Those that insist women must be skinny are not only wrong, they are not entitled to an opinion on the matter and are to be ignored. More on this next week. Lift like Jen Thompson, but be more concerned about the weight on the bar than the weight on the scale.
Does anyone remember CFO trainer Lau? He has been MIA for the last few months, but has finally come out of hiding. He sent me this video of what he has been up to. You may remember the video from last year--this one is even better!
What adventures have you had this summer? Please post to comments. Also, a big welcome back to Lau--I hope to see you at the gym soon!!!
A very small photo of the New Evolution Diet Food Pyramid
Last week, paleo diet pioneer Art De Vany revealed his version of the food pyramid, the New Evolution Diet Food Pyramid. Check out his blog post explaining it here:
Also, in case you missed it, check out JP's comment from yesterday's post regarding organic farming, the failure of economic forecasting, and the misuse of said forecasts for public policy decisions.
Plenty of food for thought on the CFO blog these days (cheesy pun, I know). At the risk of opening a can of worms, where do you stand on these matters?
Jack getting into the bottom of a clean
A lot of articles for you...
Strength coach Charles Staley, in this article published back in 2010, does his best to debunk gym-related conventional wisdom, using the sport of weightlifting as his counterpoint to many of the myths we've read about related to training. And no, you don't need to squat as deeply as the guys in the photos are to reap the benefits of the Olympic lifts. It's a breezy read and pretty entertaining.
This is an article from Charles Poliquin's blog that looks at the results of a study that examined the effects of a short sprint program with minimal rest in between efforts on a group of wrestlers. The results in a nutshell: the wrestlers got fitter and their hormonal status improved for the better (their cortisol levels dropped and their testosterone levels increased).
This is a good thing. Basically, short sprints are a great way to get you in shape (or keep you in shape) and put your body in a state where it's set to grow muscle (or keep muscle).
In another article from Charles Poliquin's blog, the benefits of the Olympic lifts (the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, and its derivatives) on abdominal development are examined. The findings: Olympic weightlifters have great abdominal development.
This is great news for those of you who are into the old core training thing, since the Olympic lifts are a regular part of our program.
It is my great pleasure to formally announce that Coach Arnold is joining the coaching staff at CrossFit Oakland. Arnold has completed the CrossFit Level I Certification program as well as a coaching internship here at CFO. He has graciously agreed to help us out while Dawn is on maternity leave and hopefully for a long time after that.
We are thrilled to have 'Coach Arnie' (so named by the Elements crew) aboard. Post well wishes to comments. And for those of you who want to know a little more about Coach A...