Summer is here – or at least school is out! I would like to welcome back our teachers:) If there is a face you have not yet met, or name you don’t know – introduce yourself! You might find a new lifting buddy or running partner. 

Summer events are coming up – Weightlifting Seminar with Charles Shipman, Christmas in July Bunco, maybe some river lounging…Stay tuned to Facebook to keep up on events. If you haven’t texted Alison your # to receive up to date text message, you can text her (with your name and #) at 345-4380.


Workout of the Day


3 working sets of 1 Push Press, 2 Overhead Squats

Stiff Legged Deadlift

8 sets of 3

I DID change the sets this week – instead of doing 3 sets of 8, do 8 sets of 3.  The longer set was more of a grip killer than a posterior chain builder.  Lets see how this works out – still keep the weight relatively light – 25-30% of Deadlift 1RM


Alternating Tabata

Chest to Bar Pullups


8 sets of the following work

20 seconds of Chest to Bar Pullups

Rest 10 seconds

20 seconds of Burpees

Rest 10 seconds

This will be tough to score, so we will go with lowest score in each round.

Weightlifting Seminar – June 20th with Charles Shipman

Charles Shipman, also known as Uncle Charles, will be at CFO on June 20, 2015 for an Olympic Weightlifting Seminar.  The cost is $115 ($100 if you sign up before June 10th) and the seminar will last all day Saturday.  Expect to break down the lifts, lift heavy and learn a lot.  Charles is weightlifter from California Strength, one of the top weightlifting teams in the country.  Not only does Charles coach national level weightlifting athletes, but he coaches many CrossFit athletes – of all levels.  Charles has coached many CrossFit Games Regional athletes and is very experienced and knowledgable on how the lifts apply to CrossFit.

Not only is ole’ Uncle Charles a great coach, he’s a pretty funny dude.  It will be a great day of lifting heavy, learning, and having fun.

And one more thing – the skills you pick up in a session like this may help you PR that day.  But you will learn tools and nuances of the lift that will lead to moving bigger weight more efficiently.

Inquire with Alison about signing up.

Thanks to all who joined for today's Memorial Day WOD!

Thanks to all who joined for today’s Memorial Day WOD!

Workout of the Day


3 working sets of 2 Position Snatch (Low then High)

Take 10 minutes to get warm, then work the 3 heavy sets.  You may work the low position Below or Above the Knee.  The High Position is Mid Thigh.  Target weight is 70% of 1RM.

Front Squat

3 sets of 8

After the Snatch, quickly work up to a working set of 8, in 3-4 sets.  Again, starting point WAS 60% of 1RM.  You may have added 10-20# over the course of the 4 weeks.


With a 10 minute cap

50 Abmat Situps

50 Wallball Shots 20/14

40 Abmat Situps

40 Wallball Shots

30 Abmat Situps

30 Wallball Shots

Memorial Day – Hotshots 19

For Memorial Day, we will be doing the Hero WOD “Hotshots 19.”  We will begin at 9am, do a general, then specific warm up for the movements.  I hope to 3-2-1 GO at 9:30.  Hotshots 19 is a relatively long WOD – it took most of us over 30 minutes to complete when we did it last year- but it is very scalable.  We can scale the weight, movements, time – anything we want.  You can work it as a partner WOD, you can sub the running for rowing, bicycling or skateboarding.  Hopefully, there are a good amount of folks, and we’ll work together and share bars.

What we want is to see your smiling face, work and sweat to honor fallen heroes, and go on and have a great Memorial Day.  We will try to keep the effort to the 30-40 minute range.  

Workout of the Day

“Hotshots 19″


30 Air Squats

19 Power Cleans 135/95

7 Strict Pullups

400m Run

Knight’s Ferry WOD

Tomorrow we will be heading up to the hills of Knight’s Ferry. Brian has a  fun WOD for us to do outside. Taking it to the streets! We will meet at the top parking lot (across from the long rafting parking lot.) If you are coming from Orange Blossom, go over the bridge and it will be on your left. If you are coming in from 108, it will be BEFORE you go over the bridge, on your right. We can head out for lunch after the WOD.

If you are bringing a friend, please have them sign a waiver online HERE.

There will be open gym on Sunday. Stay tuned to Facebook for the details.

Monday is a 9am class only – Hotshots 19.

Good Luck to Regionals Competitors!

Good Luck to Nick, Jen and the rest of the NorCal CrossFit Team!! We are excited to watch you tear apart the competition.  AJ Zambruno is competing on the New Era Team out of Fresno, Annie Marshall is on the CrossFit FootHills Team out of SoCal, Buddy Hitchcock on the CSA Team. For the individuals – Nick Pappas out of CrossFit Sav-Up and Johnny Medina. 


Workout of the Day


5 working sets of 2 Position Clean (Low then High)

Take 10 minutes to get warm, then work the 5 heavy sets.  You may work the low position Below or Above the Knee.  The High Position is Mid Thigh.  We started this at 60% of 1RM.  Use that as a guiding point.

Back Squat

4 sets of 3

After the Cleans, quickly work up to a working set of 3, in 3-4 sets.  Again, starting point was 60% of 1RM.  Use that as a guide and add weight as needed.



5 Toes to Bar

10 Box Jumps 24/20

15 Kettlebell Swings 53/35

Back to Basics

Alison and I attended the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar over the weekend.  CrossFit coaches have to be certified after 5 years – we actually attended our first seminar in 2009, but they did not begin testing until 2010, so we found ourselves back at the beginning.  Even for folks like us, that live and breathe CrossFit everyday, it was an excellent way to spend a weekend and there was stuff to learn, be reminded of, and relearn.  It was like getting to go back to Dagobah and shake  hands with Yoda for a weekend. (Alison even got up the nerve to ask Katie Hogan what her favorite Arrested Development character was. Al didn’t have any CrossFit specific questions…just more concerned about #AD)

CrossFit teaches the 9 foundational movements at the Level 1 Seminar – the Squat series (Air, Front and Overhead), the Press series (Press, Push Press and Push Jerk) and the Pull series (Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift High Pull and Medicine Ball Clean).  Over the years there has been criticism of these movements – especially the SDHP and the MBC.  I think the argument is that they might be too simple, too complex, not hard enough, there are better choices, and more.

What I really noticed is that CrossFit has done a better job of articulating why we choose these movements as foundational.  Yes, the Snatch is probably a better movement than the SDHP, but the SDHP allows us to teach how to apply speed to the bar in a safe, effective way.  The same with the MBC – it allows us to teach pulling the body under an object in the safest way.

And here’s another secret – these movements, specifically the SDHP and MBC – have a great ability to express power and test stamina.  Don’t believe me?  Do todays WOD.

Mark your calendars - individual competition with RX, scaled and masters divisions. August 15th, 2015. All WOD's will be capped at 7 minutes.

Mark your calendars – individual competition with RX, scaled and masters divisions. August 15th, 2015. All WOD’s will be capped at 7 minutes.

Workout of the Day


Sumo Deadlift High Pull 75/55

Medicine Ball Clean 20/14

Perform this couplet at 0:00, again at 10:00 and for a third time at 20:00.  Each couplet is timed, so you will have 3 scores.

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend we will be heading to Knight’s Ferry to WOD outside. Please RSVP if you are coming so we can plan accordingly. We will meet at the parking lot that is up top, across from the rafting parking lot.

On Sunday we will be closed.

On Monday we will be having a 9am only WOD. We will be doing the Hero WOD-

“Hotshots 19″

Six rounds for time of:
30 Squats
135 pound Power clean, 19 reps
7 Strict Pull-ups
Run 400 meters

If this seems challenging, we can and will modify appropriately. You can also work with a partner. Just make sure you come on in and join us!


Workout of the Day


3 sets of 1 Push Press or Push Jerk, 2 Overhead Squats

Week 3 of 4 – week 1 was 60% of 1RM Clean and Jerk.  You may add 5-10# to last weeks effort.

3 sets of 8 Stiff Legged Deadlift

Week 3 of 4 – week 1 was 25-30% of 1RM Deadlift.  You may add 5-10# to last weeks effort, but only do so if you were keeping the bar close to your body in a controlled manner.



75 Doubleunders*

15 Chest to Bar Pullups

For DU, sub 20 attempts

Benchmark – “Grace”

This weeks CrossFit “Girls” Benchmark is “Grace” – 30 Clean and Jerks at 135/95 for time.  We play with this weight all the time, the thing about this WOD that may be different is the time domain – if performed well, if can be done in 1-2 minutes.

Just a word or 2 on WOD strategy.  Your ability to handle the weight will dictate your plan.  From my experience, holding onto he bar for as many reps as possible from the start, and not breaking until your grip fails is the fastest way to go.  It is also the most metabolically challenging.  Chained reps to a target number, than singles may be the best for you.  Singles are a little slower, but are not as taxing, so they may be fastest.  Again, from testing, it is very difficult to perform 30 single Clean and Jerks much faster than 3 minutes.  If you want to go sub 2, you will have to go unbroken somewhere.

Because the WOD is so short, it is important to spend a good time warming up.  This will be coaching dependent, but here is how I would run a Grace warm up.

10-15 minutes general warm up

10 minutes of breathing.  This can be rowing repeats, running repeats for 5 or 6 minutes, then maybe a burpee or rowing tabata to really wake the body up and open the lungs.  You should be breathing heavily and have a sweat going by the end of this general warm up session.

5 minutes to review the movement pattern and begin loading.

10 minutes of loading the bar and doing singles and sets of 3s.  I would do fast, efficient singles as I loaded, then once that felt good and fast, I would start doing 3s.  As that warm and fast, I would load the bar to a weight OVER what I am going to perform Grace at, maybe sets at 155, then 165, then a set of 3 at 185 – focusing on moving the bar quickly while keeping it close and being efficient.

After my final set of heavy practice, I would strip down to game time weight.  I might do a rep or 2 to adjust to the lighter, RX loaded bar, then I would rest for 3-5 minutes.

As you can see, a 2 minute WOD can take 30 plus minutes to warm up properly. You are getting excellent overall work in before trying to blow your engine up with 30 Clean and Jerks.

I would recommend partnering up as well.  Having a counter is big help – it is easy to double count on the clean and the jerks.  It’s also tough to keep count when you get between 15 and 25.

Most important, cheer on you partner, make sure they stay close to the bar, have fun, and give 5 after you are done.

Brian Chontosh does “Grace” in 2008.  Tosh is a Marine and was award the Navy Cross, the second highest honor in the military.  He’s a straight up badass.

Workout of the Day


30 Clean and Jerks 135/95

6 minute cap

Level 1, Take 2

Alison and I just got back from our renewing our CrossFit Level 1 status.  It was a fun weekend – CrossFit straight from the spigot.  We got to do a sweet burner on the end of Saturday and wanted to share it with all of you.

The Benchmark Girl for this week is Grace – 30 Clean and Jerks 135/95 for time.  It’s a full on sprint.


Workout of the Day


2 Position Hang Snatch (Low then High)

3 sets – take 10 minutes to warm up.  You may work below the knee on the low position, then from the high work at mid thigh.

Front Squat, 3 sets of 8

For all sets, we started at 60% of 1RM in week 1.  You may add 5-10# to this weeks lift.



15 Thrusters 95/65

12 Burpees

9 minute cap

05/17/2015 Saturday 9a and 10a

Alison and I will be be at NorCal CrossFit renewing our vows, er, renewing our Level 1 Certification.  Micayla, aka, MiKilla will be holding down the 9am.  10am – I will give you some ideas, but I hope you get nasty.

Workout of the Day


15 Deadlift 185/115

15 Toes to Bar