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Active Recovery: Low intensity exercise may be better than complete rest after competition

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts.  There are two forms of active recovery. One is during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout. The second form of active recovery includes the days following a competition or other intense workout.  A recent study published in medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found that active recovery immediately after the event encourages recovery and reduces muscle lactate levels faster than complete rest.  After hard intervals, one group rested completely while a second group exercised at 30 percent intensity between intervals. The active group reduced blood lactate levels faster and could achieve a higher power output throughout the workout. A later study, also published in ACSM found active recovery encouraged lactic acid removal and and helped speed recovery.

So what does this mean?  There is evidence suggesting that active recovery consisting of that low-intensity activity assists blood circulation which, in turn, helps remove lactic acid from the muscle. Low-intensity  active recovery appears to significantly reduce accumulated blood lactate and speed muscle recovery.  In other words, after your next athletic competition or a even hard workout,  instead of a full rest day think a about trying active recovery day instead.

Good examples of active recovery:

  1. Yoga – mobility work can be a form of active recovery that can be done every day. Typically each joint in the body is taken through a safe range of motion. Yoga is a great example of mobility work that some people use as active recovery.
  2. Swimming – particularly low stress due to the weightlessness. You can have a great swimming workout engaging the muscular and cardiovascular system without added pressure on your joints. This should be at 30% of max effort.
  3. Self -Myofascial release (SMR) – Foam rolling is one form of SMR: the objective is to use implements such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and other specialty items (the stick) etc. in an effort to “massage your muscles.”  Foam rolling has allowed thousands of athletes to train at high levels and avoid stiffness that comes with heavy training. Try passing over all major muscle groups with a foam roller. Aim for 30 seconds on each large muscle group, avoiding joints and bony areas. Focus a little extra time on problem areas and pin point troublesome areas by using a lacrosse ball. Monitor your pressure; remember, the goal is to feel better after foam rolling.
  4. Walking – a great thing to do for active recovery. Not only can it  help promote the removal of lactic acid, but also being outside can increase your feelings of well-being. A brisk pace for 30 minutes should do the trick.

The Open starts this week!

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

reebok_crossfit_openMID-OPEN RECOVERY PARTY!
Save the date, Friday March 13th at 7 PM. CrossFit Marin will have a mid-open recovery party. More details to come, but this will be an evening focused on helping our athletes recover from the open and getting ready for the remaining two workouts. Stephanie Ring, in addition to other great vendors helping you recover, will coach a short recovery yoga class.
If you missed the first email explaining what the open is and how it works, check it out here.

Order T-shirts and Tanks!
We’ve got great t-shirts and tanks this year. If you want to order one, the cost is $28. Please email with your size and style preference.

Still not signed up for the Open?

1. Get out of your comfort zone! CrossFit is all about being comfortable with the uncomfortable. We learn to push our bodies to their absolute limits and then come back the next day with smiles on our faces, ready for more.

2. You will be here for a gym workout anyway, so why not see where you stack up? Every Friday throughout the Open, we will program its workout as the regular gym workout. As long as you’re doing it, why not submit your score online and see how you do compared to thousands of other people your age all over the world?

3. Build and support our community!

4. You can enter thinking that no matter what you do, someone else is always going to do better. But you will set PRs. You should compete because you’ll realize you are way better than you think you are.

5. You can participate the whole way through, and it’s fun! You should compete because it’s a commitment. You will train harder, you will eat better, and you will connect with your coaches and community in ways you never thought possible. You should compete because you can.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up here!

Question?  Comments? Feedback? We’d love to hear it.
Email me at!

3 metabolic pathways

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

energy-systemsI was chatting w/ an athlete on the crossfit floor yesterday and casually mentioned which metabolic pathway today’s WOD was targeting.  Rightfully, she looked at me as if I had 3 heads and then I realized I was time for a little science lesson.

There are 3 metabolic pathways that provide energy for all human action. There is the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway.

The phosphagen pathway provides fuel for the highest powered activities, those that last less than 10 seconds.  An example would be performing a power clean.  The glycolytic pathway takes over for moderate-powered activities, those that last up to around 2 minutes.  Think 400 meter sprint.  Finally, the oxidative (aerobic) pathway is used for activities that last longer than a few minutes.   Running a mile would greatly utilize this pathway.

CrossFit training combines and develops all 3 metabolic pathways.   A common fault in training is to focus your efforts on just 1 or 2 of these metabolic pathways.   This is usually due to personal preference or comfort level, but by doing so your fitness is greatly diminished.

So there you have it, CrossFit’s 3 Standards of Fitness, as outlined in the Article “What is Fitness?” by Greg Glassman.  If you are currently doing CrossFit , congratulations, you are getting more fit by the day.  If you are NOT think about how your fitness level would benefit greatly from adjusting your training and/or activities to be in line with these standards.

2015 CrossFit Open, Everything you need to know!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

reebok_crossfit_openWhat is the Open?

The Open is a party we all get to crash! For five weeks, for five workouts, any and every athlete in the world has the opportunity to participate in an event that is the precursor to Regionals and the Games, where the best of the best throw down in order to be named the fittest on earth!

During the Open, thousands of people from all over the world complete workouts in their own gyms and then submit their scores online. From those scores, the top males, females, and teams from each region will go on to Regionals; then, the top athletes from Regionals go on to the CrossFit Games in California. Sign up here!

How does it work?

Athletes will  perform the Open workout at a participating CrossFit affiliate where you will be judged in person, or you can film your full performance and upload it to YouTube or another video-sharing site. The video will be displayed alongside your score so other CrossFit athletes can be your judge.

You can make as many attempts at the Open workout as you please. Your only limit is time. You have four days—ninety-six hours—to complete the week’s workout and submit your best score to the Games site. The week’s workout is released each Thursday at 5:00 p.m. PT, and scores are due the following Monday at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Crossfit HQ releases one workout a week starting Feb 26, seen here. Once the workout is released, The Cave will get to work sending out pointers and tips so you can be on top of your game. On Fridays, we’ll all do the workout together! The Open workout will be Friday’s WOD for all. Participants can then input their scores online by the following Monday.

Full Schedule:

15.1: Feb. 26-March 2

15.2: March 5-9

15.3: March 12-16

15.4: March 19-23

15.5: March 26-30

Who can participate in the Open?

Everyone! All Open competitors will be ranked both worldwide and by region. A scaled option of the Open workout will be released each week of the Open. With reduced loading or less challenging movements, the scaled option will be designed to make the Open even more accessible.

What are the divisions:

Rx: As prescribed means that we completed the workout as written, with no scaling or modifications, with full range of motion

Scaled: Athletes who scale a workout are not be eligible for regionals and the Masters Qualifier. Since team scores are calculated based on total reps and total time for the best six scores from the team, scaled workouts will not count toward the team division.

Teen: All athletes between 14 and 17 will automatically be entered into the teenage division. Teens who want to be in the running for Regionals—as a team or individual competitor—must change their division by emailing before the end of score submissions for Open Workout 15.1.


New this year to the Open: The top 20 men, 20 women, and 15 team athletes in the NorCal  region will face the same number of top athletes from the SoCal region in the new format. Regionals will take place over three days, and the top five men, five women, and five teams at the end of the weekend will qualify for the CrossFit Games.

The Masters Qualifier will begin on Thursday, April 23. The world’s top 200 Masters athletes in each age division in the Open will be automatically entered into the Masters Qualifier. Like last year, the qualifier will be a four-day online competition. The workouts will be released at 5:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, April 23, and the competitors will have until 5:00 p.m. PT on Monday, April 27, to submit their scores. The top twenty athletes in each age division at the end of the qualifier will be invited to compete in the Masters Competition at the CrossFit Games.

The Games: The Regional competitions will be held over three weekends in May. The seventeen regions in the Open will feed into eight Regional competitions.

Yeah! I’m in. How do I sign up?

Easy. Just go to to this link. Be sure to choose CrossFit Marin/The Cave as your affiliate during registration. (Once you sign up, you will be registered on The Cave Team.)

Now what?

Work your weakness, perfect your strengths, and get ready—it’s gonna be a wild ride!

“I’m not sure, if I’m ready!”

You are ready, and you will be so happy you did this. Ask any of our members who have participated in years past. Our community is pretty special, and when the Open comes around, there seems to be a change in the atmosphere around the gym. Everyone starts working harder, motivating more, and banding together at each weekly workout to cheer on and support those competing. You have to see it to truly appreciate these events.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here!

The open is Coming!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

cf_openIt’s that time of year again. The CrossFit Games Open is upon us with plenty of cool new changes in store. There’s really no way to fully explain the experience you get from competing in the Open.  It is awesome. Here is everything you need to know about signing up and why you should!

Sign up here!

New to the gym and the CrossFit Games?
The Open is an online qualifier for the Regional Events before the World Championship Event in California. For five weeks a new workout will be announced each thursday. Each week you will get to see how you stack up against hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. It is an amazing experience and something everyone should try!

When is it?
The first workout will be announced Thursday, February 26th and will run until March 30th.

This doesn’t seem like something I am ready for.
You are and you will be so happy you did this. Ask any of our members that have participated in years past. Our community is pretty special, and when the Open comes around, there seems to be a change in the atmosphere around the gym. Everyone starts working harder, motivating more, and banding together at each weekly workout to cheer and support those competing. You have to see it to truly appreciate these events.

Sweet! Where do I get started?
Head to and create an account. If you have one from previous years make sure to reuse that account. Once you are logged in you can sign up for the Open. On your profile page you will see a location to select your gym. Filter down by typing in CrossFit Marin and click to join! We can’t wait to have the most sign ups ever this year.

What’s new?
There is now a scaled division! This means for those of you that couldn’t do unbanded pullups, or use certain weights / box heights / etc, you can now sign up in the scaled division. This also opens the door for even more options for the RX division. Prepare for a lot of new workouts that really test all aspects of fitness.

Another Gymnastics Seminar In The Books

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Wellness Revolution Crew Day 1

Wellness Revolution Crew Day 1

I want to thank my hosts Wellness Revolution CrossFit for the opportunity to come out to Little Rock AR and work with their staff and students for two days of CrossFit Gymnastics immersion. I had a great time, and the groups both days were adventurous and eager to try new things.

For this weekend I ran each day as an independent seminar.  The base curriculum was the same on Sunday as what was covered on Saturday.

The first day was attended primarily by Wellness Revolution staff. We worked on key progressions and concepts to help the trainers in the teaching of these skills as well as digging into the mechanics of their movements as well.

The second day was attended by more of the Wellness Revolution students. A few of the attendees from the first day also came on day two and were put to work practicing the coaching cues and techniques they had learned on day 1. It was great to have a wide range of athletes to work with to demonstrate the range of stages of movement and ability. Everyone was receptive and up for trying new things.

Wellness Revolution Crew Day 2

Wellness Revolution Crew Day 2

Running these seminars is a great opportunity to teach the methods that I have developed over the past decade to communities outside of our facility. I really enjoy the seminars and hope that the service I provide brings value to the global CrossFit community.

Throwdown 2015

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

20150131_cave-throwdown_068Throwdown 2015 — The Wrap Up

It would be impossible to summarize what an extraordinary day last Saturday was, but let me begin by thanking all of YOU who helped make it happen.  Thank you to all the volunteers, spectators, athletes and sponsors!

This community brought it, and in a big way. Every single person contributed to the amazing energy and enthusiasm in the air.  We laughed, we cheered, we cried, we celebrated!  The sportsmanship was off the chart, the camaraderie and admiration of the day was palpable. Thank you all.021a

I spent most of the day behind the scenes and was unable to witness all of the inspiring performances.  I am incredibly grateful to our photographers for their stunning pictures that help me relive the day.  Thank you Den Bell, Philip and Alan for sharing your impeccable talents! The pictures are outstanding.

Final results can be seen here:

I would like to clear up a confusion about the RX winner, that Sam himself brought to my attention:

030aThe final positioning shouldn’t take anything away from all their hard work and accomplishments, however, when Sam brought the results of the 2nd workout to my attention it did change the final standings.  After I reviewed all the entered scores for every athlete and talked with the judges, we did confirm there was an error that change the final results (but not who would have made the finals).  For RX men only:

3rd place is Sam,

2nd place belongs to Michael Schinner and

1st place goes to Thomas.

Congratulations athletes!  We are all so proud of you!

Some highlights of the day include:

  1. Fergal running with the sand bag.  He was so incredibly far ahead of the pack…it was stunning.20150131_cave-throwdown_177

  2. Wesley’s handstand push ups — they were all strict and unbroken! CRAZY.  His entire performance in the 7 minute AMRAP of WOD 1 was outstanding.

  3. Sandy Shepard’s push up modification.  What a great way to train for push ups — a black band across 2 J hooks on the bottom.

  4. Mark Anderson getting to the burpees in his 3 minute AMRAP!

  5. Jason Rosenbaum going for it in his clean and jerk.

  6. Michael Valencia.

  7. Sera and Chelsea joining the RX women in WOD1.  How much do you love the flying ponytails picture?

  8. Roya’s grit on the pull ups.  You did it baby!!!!

  9. Justin’s amazing attitude when WOD 3 was just not agreeing with him.

  10. The RX women, every time and….

20150131_cave-throwdown_158Find a new favorite in the athlete’s bag? Here are the links to all the great goodies you had in there: ReviveRX, Paleo Sweet Tooth, Sacred Chocolate, Caveman Cookies, Fashletics, Paleo Meals To Go, Paleo Magazine, Larabar, Rise Bar, Simple Squares, Whole Foods San Rafael, Exo bars, Kind Bars, AMARA, and Mammoth bars

A few extra thank yous:

Thank you Martin for generously lending us your rower.

Thank you Ehren for testing the WODS.

Thank you Bo for bringing your amazing micro brew.

Thank you Karen for the most meaningful clipboards on the planet.

Thank you Zev for being the best score sheet runner EVER!!!!

Thank you Dave for running equipment all day and making me look good.  He really is my better half.

And thank you Amanda and Roger. I’ve been pushing for this event since day 1 and you finally said YES!  You guys let me run this show, and do it my way. Thank you.

Please take a moment to visit our sponsors’ websites Juice Alley, Recharge S.F, , Sports Authority S.A. Elite, WOD Recovery Yoga , Keelan Chiropractic & Wellness Center. AES Construction

If you happen to need their services, please consider them.  Without their support this event would never have happened.

SO, who’s signed up for the Open?

CrossFit has been busy!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

10943696_808009222605494_6028311450407039204_n-1Congratulations to our NorCal master’s athletes and competitors that participated in our first Throwdown!  Recaps coming soon but for now enjoy some pictures!


The Cave Throwdown 2015 WODs and Movement Standards

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Workout 1

Part A

5 minutes to build to 1 RM Clean and Jerk

Rest 1 minute to reset your bar.

Part B

7 min AMRAP of

5 Handstand Pushups

7 Toes to Bar

5 Hang Power Cleans

Score is the max successfully lifted + tiebreaker + total reps


  • HPC 60/40 KG


  • Sub Hand-Release Pushups (games style) for handstand push ups

  • 7 toes to bar or 14 knees to chest (must be declared prior to the start of competition)

  • HPC 45/25



Athletes will begin with an empty bar and predetermined amount of weights. They will have 5 attempts to build to 1 RM ground to overhead lift.  Athletes do not have to use all 5 attempts and must change their own weights. Judges cannot help. Lifting without clamps will result in a 10 burpee penalty and the lift will not count.


come from the floor, hit shoulders, and then move from shoulder to overhead position

(snatching is not permitted). Squatting is not required, but squatting is permitted.

Athlete does not have to stand and extend hips with barbell on shoulders (can go

straight from the clean to the overhead lift without fully opening hips and knees after the


At the end of the lift, arms must be fully locked overhead with the barbell in line with

heels. Elbows, knees, and hips must be fully open and extended.

Athlete must wait for judge to say “Good Rep” before dropping the barbell.

If you fail to get the bar overhead after a successful clean, you can re-try the overhead

lift without redoing the clean.

Tie break for athletes who complete a successful lift of all the weights given (120 kg). Then, you may begin deadlifting for the tie breaker. Deadlifts count as .1 points each.

Deadlift standards for tiebreaks: Athlete must move the barbell from the ground to

complete standing position, with knees and hips fully extended. Shoulders must be

behind the barbell with knees fully extended. No bouncing of the barbell on the floor at

the bottom of the lift.

Athletes will then have a 1 minute rest between part A and B to set their bar up for part B. Judges may not assist, and clamps must be on. If it takes longer than 1 minute, athletes may choose to continue working on their bar or begin the AMRAP and fix their bar prior to the HPC.

Handstand Push-up: (RX ONLY)

The movement begins at the top of a handstand with the arms fully locked out, the heels on the wall, and the hands placed within the clearly marked area. The marked area will be 36″ wide by 24″ deep, and the palm of the hand must remain completely within the area (fingers may extend out of the box). At the bottom of each rep, the head touches the abmat. At the top of each rep, the arms return to fully locked out with the heels on the wall and within the width of the marked area. Kipping is allowed.

Hand Release Push ups: (SCALED ONLY)

The athlete’s chest must make contact with the ground and both hands must be lifted from the ground before the athlete can push back up to the starting position. Using this standard of movement, the athlete must complete the full range of motion: The chest must touch the ground, the elbows must reach full extension at the top.

Toes to Bar:

Both feet must make contact with bar at the same time, inside your hands.

Feet can touch anywhere from toes and higher. Bottom of the foot is not acceptable.

Heels must break the plane of the bar behind the body at the bottom of each rep. Each rep must start with arms locked out.

Knees to Chest: (scaled only)

The athlete must go from a full hang to having the knees come into the chest together and above the hip crease. Heels must break the plane of the bar behind the body at the bottom of each rep. Each rep must start with arms locked out in a dead hang.

Hang Power Clean:

The bar will start from above the knees. Power cleans from the floor will not be allowed. The bar will travel from a hang position to the front rack position, resting on the shoulders with elbows breaking the vertical plane of the bar from the side (elbows must pass in front of the bar). Each rep must end with the bar in the front rack position, with knees and hips fully open and extended.

Workout 2

For Time (8 Minute Time Cap):

100 m run around a cone with sandbag

15 thruster 45/30 kg

30 box jump 24/20

15 thruster

100 m run around a cone with sandbag

RX Men and Women:

  • Thruster 45/30 KG, 45# sandbag


  • Thruster 30/20KG.

  • Scaled women run w/ a 20 lb wall ball, Scaled Men use the 45# sandbag

8 min time cap:

Score is total time. If not completed in the time cap, there will be a one second

penalty for each movement unfinished and a one second penalty for each 10m

distance unfinished.

3, 2, 1, GO:

WOD will begin at the 0 meter mark and the athletes will pick up their sandbag or wall ball any way they choose and run around the cone and back. Athletes must use the same wall ball they started with for the final run. Once 15 thruster, 30 box jumps and another 15 thrusters are complete, the athlete will run back to the starting point, pick up their ball/sandbag and run around the cone again.


This is a standard barbell thruster in which the barbell moves from the bottom of a front squat to full lockout overhead. The bar starts on the ground. No racks allowed. The hip crease must pass below the knees. Knees, hips, and elbows must be open and fully extended at the top of the movement and the barbell must be in line with the athlete’s heels with arms locked out overhead. A full squat clean into the thruster is allowed if the bar is on the ground (the athlete does not need to stand completely in a front rack position prior to the first rep).

Box Jump:

Athlete must begin every rep with both feet on the floor. The rep finishes with the hips and knees fully open while in control on top of the box.

Workout 3

2 min AMRAP

15 sec rest

3 min AMRAP

15 sec rest

4 min AMRAP

RX Men and Women:

Row 10 Cal

15 pull up

20 wall ball  (20/14 for 10′/9′)

25 double unders

30 burpee over rower

with any remaining time, row for Calories


Row 10 Cal

15 jumping pull ups or 5 pull ups (selection must be declared prior to start of competition)

20 wall ball  (20/14 for 10′/9′)

25 double unders or 75 single unders (selection must be declared prior to start of competition)

30 burpee over rower

with any remaining time, row for Calories

3, 2, 1, GO

The workout is to be done in the order of the list.  At the start of each time domain, the athlete must start from the beginning of the list.  Score is total reps accumulated.

Pull Ups

RX: This is a standard pull-up. Dead hang, kipping or butterfly pull-ups are allowed, as long as all the requirements are met. The arms must be fully extended at the bottom. At the top chin must clearly clear the pull-up bar breaking the horizontal plane. Reverse and alternating grips are permitted.

Scaled: Jumping pull ups are allowed. From a standing position, the athlete’s wrist must line up with the bar. Use boxes or bumper plates to set the proper height. The movement starts with the athlete elbows fully extended and the rep is complete when the chin passes over the top of the bar. The athlete jumps and pulls to go from arms being extended below the bar to the chin clearing the bar.

Wall Balls:

RX and Scaled: 20# 10ft./14# 9ft

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.

Burpee over erg:

Athlete must begin the repetition standing tall, drop to the ground lateral to the erg, with the chest and thighs making contact. Then, athletes must get up and jump laterally over the erg with a TWO footed take off. Full hip extension is not necessary.

This weekend: NorCal Masters Competition!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

ncm2015logoThe 5th Annual NorCal Masters event is coming this weekend, January 24th and 25th, at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. The NorCal Masters is an annual two-day competition for Masters Athletes, with age divisions of 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+ in both genders.
The weather forecast is glorious so we encourage you to join us for a fun weekend.  Come watch some amazing athletes over age 40, shop the great vendor village, and cheer on our very own CrossFit Marin athletes! We’ve been awed by their dedication to self-improvement, watching them work very hard on a daily basis, continually pushing themselves.  I encourage all of you to head over the bridge and prepare to get inspired!

We have 6 incredible athletes competing this weekend:

  1. Susie B. - Our newest addition to our coaching staff, Susie is competing in the 45+ division and is going to be exciting to watch!  Susie is no stranger to fierce competition, but taking on this 2-day CF competition is a new endeavor for her.  I hope to see lots of Cavers cheering on her incredible spirit, tenacity and perseverance.

    Narendra R. - Also competing in the 45+ division Narendra has an accomplished athletic history (not to mention a 5:07 Fran time!). Narendra played soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school, while attacking track and field in college as well as a few years afterward. He has also run several triathlons and has 5+ years of ultra distance trail running experience.

    Mark A. - Mark is competing in the 50+ division and is so much fun to watch! Incredibly proficient in bodyweight movements, I think we’ll see him close to the podium at NorCal!

    Martin - Our youngest competitor, Martin is a strong, seasoned CrossFit competitor that places high in every competition I’ve seen him tackle.  His calm, methodical way of attacking workouts makes him a consistent and accomplished competitor.  Last year at NorCal, Martin placed 6th, and I believe we’ll see him get to the podium this year! He is competing in the 40+

    Karen L. - Karen and her husband Rich (see #6) are the backbone of CrossFit Marin.  On a daily basis I watch these two strive to be their best and work their hardest, inspiring our community to always push harder and be stronger. We are all so proud of Karen for competing at NorCal while coming back from a significant shoulder injury.  Karen is competing in the 45+ division.

    Rich L. - Quietly working hard in the corner you’ll find Rich, accepting discomfort everyday, yet digging deep to better himself.  RIch placed 18th at the 2012 CrossFit Games, and he placed 6th last year at NorCal.  I believe we’ll have the chance to cheer him on this year in the finals!

    There you have it — our amazing 6 athletes headed to NorCal Masters!  Don’t miss the chance to cheer them on! Tickets, directions and more information can be found here:
    Once the event begins, the leaderboard can be seen here:

    Hope to see you there!