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This week in The Cave

Monday, September 29th, 2014

chelseaHave you said hello to Coach Chelsea yet? She joined The Cave as an adult athlete but her knowledge, experience and passion quickly convinced us to leverage her coaching skills. She has been shadowing our CrossFit coaches for the last few weeks and will gradually increase her coaching schedule as she becomes more familiar with The Cave methods and athletes. We are very excited to have Chelsea on board.


CrossFit Marin is excited to kick off TWO competitions in October!  The Monthly skill challenge will start and be announced on Oct 1 and Challenge WOD kicks off October 6. All competitions are optional, but why not try?  These friendly competitions give you the opportunity to challenge yourself and be a part of the community. Click here to read more about it!

img_0246The Cave Gymnastics Team

Once again The Cave gymnastics team had a excellent showing at their second meet of the season.  Our girls shined and made their parents, coaches and community proud!  Well done gymnasts.

Haunted House
Bring your children to the Cave’s Haunted House and community mixer On October 25 from 5:30-10:00 PM  Register here:

Gymnastics Seminar

We’re doing it again.  We have another gymnastics seminar coming up on Saturday Nov 8th from 1PM to 7:30. Led by Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, this hands on seminar focuses on learning and improving gymnastics movements. You will hear  how these skills truly break down in order to  work toward mastery. Not only will attendees be taught how to best execute gymnastics elements, but how to teach them as well. Key safety concerns will be covered so that these elements can be introduced into programs without endangering students.  To register click here or visit:

Let’s keep in touch!
Have you liked us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram? These two tools are great ways to stay in touch with the latest in what’s happening in the CAVE and some great pictures of what we’re up too!  Check us out!

Challenge WOD Is Back!

Sunday, April 27th, 2014
Challenge WOD is back and better than ever! This time around the in-house competition will consist of 6 workouts, each running for 2 weeks. At the conclusion of the 6 workouts, a winner will be chosen for Top Male and Top Female athletes. Winners will be inducted into the Challenge WOD Hall of Fame and given “The Prize”. Competitors that complete all 6 workouts will also receive a prize.
Rules for Challenge WOD are as follows:
1)  All competitors must perform all movements as specified in the standards for each workout. Standards will be posted to the blog before the workout period begins.  There will be no scaling allowed.
2)  All workouts must be completed between the Monday that the workout is released and the second Sunday.
3)  All submissions must be performed with a judge.  The judge must also be a Challenge WOD competitor.
4)  The athlete may perform the workout as many times as they wish.
5)  Scores will be assessed in the same manner as the CrossFit Games Open. At the end of each workout period, competitors will be ranked by their scores on the workout, then assigned points based on their ranking.  For example, 2nd place will receive 2 points, 10th will receive 10 points. At the end of the competition the athlete with the least points wins.
6)  CrossFit coaches are allowed to compete but will not be considered when a winner is chosen.
7)  Challenge Wod Hall of Fame inductees are allowed to compete but will not be considered when a winner is chosen.
The first workout for Challenge WOD Spring 2014 is as follows:
For time:
20 thrusters 43/30KG
30 pull ups
40 wall ball 20# 10ft./14# 9ft.
50 cal. row
Bill With a 175 LB Thruster... Later To Make 180

Bill With a 175 LB Thruster... Later To Make 180

Thruster - Barbell will start on the ground.  On 3..2..1..Go, the athlete will place the barbell in front rack position.  With the barbell in front rack position the athlete will squat until the hip crease is below the top of the knee then the move will finish with the athlete fully extended with the barbell overhead.  Knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows must be in full extension.  A squat clean can be utilized whenever the bar is being pulled off of the ground.
Clearly above bar

Clearly above bar

Pull Up - Kipping is allowed.  The athlete starts fully hanging on the bar with shoulders and elbows fully extended.  The movement concludes with the athletes chin above the horizontal plane of the bar.
Matt doing wall ball

Matt doing wall ball

Wall Ball - Athlete starts with the medicine ball in hand.  At the bottom, hip crease must be below the top of the knee.  The movement concludes with the center of the ball contacting the wall at or above the designated line.

Row - Rower must start at 0 calories.  Time finishes when the rower reads 50 calories.
Have fun everyone, and may the best athlete win!

6th Annual Epic Bridge Run Coming Soon!

Friday, December 20th, 2013
Cold Wet Bear Crawls

Cold Wet Bear Crawls

2014 is almost upon us. It is time for the 6th Annual Epic Bridge Run. This started as a group of friends getting together to just do a workout on New Years Day and has become a Cave/CrossFit Marin tradition. Nick W. has run this event since the beginning and rest assured he is still involved in the planning. Unfortunately he’s not going to be able to join us as his LEO duties will be keeping him busy.

A little history on the Epic Bridge Run.

2009: Golden Gate Murph. This was an impromptu get together. It involved doing Murph, but using the bridge as the “mile run”. 4 people attended and it sparked the idea to do this every year.

2010: Bridge Ball Brought down a truck load of equipment, and utilized medicine balls on the bridge for a variety of tasks. Unfortunately the Golden Gate Bridge authority didn’t like us bringing equipment on the bridge. After I spoke with them it totally made sense. They were actually quite kind when they approached me about the potential problems.

2011: Zombie Apocalypse The first of the themed Bridge Runs. This event involved tasks and scenarios that may be encountered during a zombie Apocalypse.

2012: Bridgepacolypse What would you do at the end of the world. Would you be able to help your fellow humans, or would you become a burden? Gathering resources and getting around without modern machines is difficult.

2013: Caveman Games The life of the caveman was hard. Gathering supplies and hunting large game is exciting and exhausting.

2014: Come and find out!!!

Be sure to register. The earlier you register the better we can plan for the event. Hope to see you all there. Participate in a Cave Tradition!!

Another Thing to Be Thankful For

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

There is a lot to be Thankful for, including old friends whom you haven’t heard from in ages who text you “Happy ThanksGiving” around this time of year.  Talking about flashbacks from the past, here are a few from our blog, followed by the subject matter of today’s blog.

ThanksGiving feasting by Roger (2009):

There’s a Lot to be Thankful for by Andres (2010):

Holiday Shopping by Marisa Lee:

What Doodad to get This Holiday Season by Andres:

Family Eats Paleo This Holiday Season by Karen Minot:

One thing I’m thankful for is my ability to move, that is my skills, the things I can do.  (Probably best showcased by my 2010 American Ninja Warrior submission video, here) Nothing makes me more acutely aware of these great gifts than when they’re missing or “on hold” due to sickness or injury.  Lately my back has been a bit tweaky so I’ve been borderline between having them and not.  Three years ago I seriously injured my back to the extent that I was bed ridden and it was a horrible struggle to simply roll over in bed let alone get up to go to the bathroom.  During the injury I realized how easy it was for me to take for granted everything I can do and how lucky I am to have my body and to be able to explore all of it’s capacities.  I love movement and the adventure for exploring and learning that it brings. Sometimes while coaching a birthday party or Ninja Warrior summer camp, I like to play a related name game with the kids.  We often do “your favorite flavor ice-cream” for name games but I prefer “something you can do and a skill you’d (realistically) like to be able to do someday”.  So this Thanks Giving I think we should play a similar skillz game.  Tell me your name and “something you’re greatful that you can do” and “something you’d like to be able to do in the future”.  I’ll go first.  I’m greatful that I can do big precision jumps (there was one at the end of that Ninja Warrior submission video, if you watched it) and I’d like to be able to stride from the mezzanine all the way accross the pull-up rig some day (hopefully soon).  And I’ld like to have my heavy snatches back, at least when my back feels better!  What skill are you greatful for?

The Movement Gym Revolution Part 1: CrossFit.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

I consider CrossFit to be a part of a larger “Movement Revolution”.  CrossFit uses the slogans and catch phrases that actually apply to several other physical activities and interests that resemble it  in theme, at least in terms of “functional fitness and compound movements” vs. “isolation movements”.  The Mixed Martial Arts revolution developed in full force in the 90’s and MMA has often been referred to as the fastest growing sport in the world, at least until recently.  Now parkour and freerunning are claiming their own explosive niche in the functional movement revolution, but more on those two in a subsequent blog posts.  CrossFit is the most accessible of these activities, presenting itself as a protocol for elite fitness, yet a viable gateway to entry-level training through the scalability of the movements and exercises involved and as such, has the broadest potential market.

Let’s take a look at the explosive growth of the CrossFit community by the numbers:

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

History and contributors

Greg Glassman founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000.[16][30] … Coaches associated with CrossFit include Louie SimmonsBob Harper and Mike Burgener. Another CrossFit subject matter expert is Dr. Nicholas Romanov, inventor of the Pose method of running.

[I'd also like to add that The Cave's co-founder, Roger Harrell, was also considered an early contributor to the CrossFit community in the gymnastics arena, as was Jeff Martone in kettle bell training, Mike Rutherford in dumb bell training, Rob Wolfe in nutrition, John Hackleman in combatives, Jesse Woody in Parkour, and Mark Rippetoe in power lifting among others, even though they aren't mentioned on the wikipedia article.]

Also from wikipedia:

“The first affiliated gym was CrossFit North in Seattle, Washington; there were 13 by 2005 and more than 4,300 today.[31]

A more recent count of CF affiliates (Nov. 11th, 2012) according the the affiliate finder map shows the following breakdown of affiliates by region:

Australia, New Zealand & Pacific: 327

Asia:                                                             40

Africa / Middle East:                              62

Europe:                                                      388

South America:                                         60

Western United States:                      1599  (very rough East / West breakdown)

Eastern Unites States:                        2213   (very rough East / West breakdown)

Total:                                                    4,689

This month (Nov. 2012) there were 22 new affiliates.  I have a vague recollection of someone asking Greg Glassman at the 2010 Filfest (affiliate owner gathering) where he saw the growth of world wide CrossFit affiliates peaking out at.  Glassman’s response was something like:  ”I don’t know… 10 thousand?? 15 thousand??  I honestly don’t see a reason why 30 or 40 thousand affiliates world wide would not be sustainable.”

It is notable that CrossFit Marin (Now The Cave) was roughly the 127th affiliate (according to my vague recollection, we may have been the 105th??)   We are currently listed as 103rd in the CrossFit main page, registering our affiliate in the fall of 2005.  At it’s inception CrossFit Marin had two trainers, myself and Roger Harrell working part time.  Today The Cave employs  about five full time and six part time staff members and has hundreds of clients including the gymnastics, parkour and judo programs.  In July 2007 I dragged Russell Bruel down to Aromas, Ca with me to compete in the first CrossFit Games.  We were the only two athletes from CrossFit Marin.  I came in roughly 20th out of a field of 40. This year we had dozens of athletes who competed in the CrossFit Games Open with a couple of our girls going to regionals and one athlete going to the CrossFit Games Finals in the master’s division.

Here are some videos relating to the growth of the CrossFit community.  There are six in all, so maybe just pick a few to watch so you don’t get bored.  It will be interesting to see for how long CrossFit can sustain its current growth and to see how it will compare to the other disciplines that are rapidly gaining popularity and exposure.

Summer is Coming To a Close

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

First off the video is of Kerry C. and Sarah F. performing the final round of Fight Gone Bad. This was during FGB III and was just after we first moved into our current space. You can get a good view of what the gym was first like. Yeah, it was that small. A lot of those original folks are still with us. If you’re interested in signing up for FGB VI (I can’t believe its been 3 years) head over to the FGB VI site and sign up under CrossFit Marin.

We’re headed into fall. Most kids have started school. Fall scheduling is consuming many parent’s efforts. We have already seen a huge increase in attendance in many classes. If you are signing up for kids classes it is best to do it soon because many classes are going to fill up. Let us know how we can help your schedules. We keep a list of desired class times and once we reach enough interest we can start a new class.

It is great to see everyone back from vacation. Many of you had significant time away, and we miss you. You are family and a big part of who we are. Lets have a great fall, hit some hard workouts, learn new skills and have fun!

Introducing our new Parkour coaches Albert Kong & Glenn Black

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Hey Crew,

  There have been some rather significant recent changes in CrossFit Marin’s Parkour program lately.  Andrey Pfening will soon be taking over the Wed. Parkour classes.  I’d also like to introduce you to Glenn Black as well as Albert Kong.  Both of these guys are incredible traceurs and are proving themselves to be great teachers as well.  Albert has been a figure head in the SF Parkour community for years and has had an administrative role in running the organization.  He will be coaching at CFM during the week, probably on Mondays & Tuesdays.  Here is an old StreetMirage documentary on the “Art of Movement” that has some of our friends from SF Parkour featured as well as Albert as co-host giving us a little tour of the discipline.  This video was uploaded to youtube by Edgar “Street Mirage” Yudkevich back in 2009.  It’s amazing how much everyone has grown up, changed, and improved since then.  Albert was athletic then.  Now he’s just a beast.

I love that video because it was made by a bunch of young, passionate kids who wanted to share the sport that they loved with the whole world!

Here’s a video that Glenn made a while back at CFM during Optional Skill Training Night.  More on Albert & Glenn later…

New Gymnastics class at CrossFit Marin On Fridays

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Hey Crew,

   As many of you already know, CrossFit Marin has two scheduled weekly adult gymnastics classes on Mondays & Wednesdays at 7pm.  I’ve realized in the past few months that we have many members who would be interested in taking the gymnastics classes if they were scheduled at a different time, therefore, we’ve decided to open a new adult gymnastics class on Fridays from noon to 1:30pm (with an opitonal extra 15 minutes to stretch if you wish to stay and work on your mobility) starting Friday Sept 9th.  The class will be included in the unlimited everything & unlimited Parkour/Gymnastics memberships.  Otherwise, it is also open on a drop-in basis to anyone interested.  There are no pre-requisites or athletic requirements.  Noobies / Rooks / Intermediates / Advanced / Elite athletes all welcome.  Bring your grandmother if you want.  I’m excited, cause I might actually be able to take this one myself…  WOOT!!  =D

My favorite super-hero...

My favorite super-hero...

See you in the gym,


If you're doing gymnastics, you want this guy coaching you!

If you're doing gymnastics, you want this guy coaching you!

Who is your favorite CrossFitter & why?

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Who is your favorite CrossFitter?  (male and female)  How come?  CrossFit has the unique position of having people from so many different backgrounds, ethnicities, sizes and histories, both young and old that it makes for a myriad of different stories.  Maybe your favorite CrossFitter is one of the favorites to win the games, a big name such as Jason Khalipa, Annie Thorisdottir, or someone off the list from last year’s (2010) final results:

Top 10 Men
1. Graham Holmberg (48)
2. Rich Froning Jr. (51)
3. Chris Spealler (69)
4. Matt Chan (73)
5. Mikko Salo (77)
6. Austin Malleolo (84)
7. Pat Burke (91)
8. Ben Smith (93)
9. Tommy Hackenbruck (111)
10. Peter Egyed (117)

Top 10 Women
1. Kristan Clever (31)
2. Annie Thorisdottir (43)
3. Valerie MacKenzie Voboril (51)
4. Jessica Pamanian (72)
5. Julie Foucher (72)
6. Christy Phillips (75)
7. Rebecca Voigt (77)
8. Heather Bergeron (84)
9. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (94)
10. Michelle Kinney (99)

Another possibility is that your favorite CrossFitter may be from the early days, such as Josh Everett, Eva Twardokens, Greg Amundson, or Annie Sakamoto.  Or maybe your favorite CrossFitter is someone local that you look up to such as Gabe T., Bo W., Jill S., Roger H., Amanda N. or Karen L.  It could even be someone who is not all that good, but who’s heart and perseverence truly inspires you or that you look up to for some other reason.  Let us know who and why in the comments.  Here are a couple of videos to check out while you’re thinking about it:

2010 Games Highlights & Recap:

A bit of CrossFit Games History:

Bill Berry is featured in the 2010 Nor Cal Sectionals video:

Here’s a link to a 2009 Blog post that touched on the 2007 & 2008 CF Games competitions:

Ok, maybe you shouldn’t watch all the videos, because it would take hours, but don’t forget to let us know who are your favorite CrossFitters! 

See you guys in the gym.


We’re one week out from the CrossFit Games

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Hey crew,

  Here’s a little video promoting the CrossFit Games which are only one week away.  Our own Bill Berry will be competing in the 55-59 year-old category, having come in 20th in the world.  He’s been training hard and consistently and has finally hit his first few muscle-ups.  Roger will be coaching him down in L.A. at the Home Depot Center next weekend.