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This Week in The Cave

Monday, June 9th, 2014

campfire-night3_webKids Night Out

Forget about the babysitter and bring the kids to The Cave!  They’ll get exercise, have lots of fun and enjoy a healthy dinner.  This week’s theme is Campfire Night.   Register on-line or call (415) 927-1630.  $35 in advance or $45 at the door.

Summer Camps

Have you made summer plans for your kids yet?  The Cave’s summer camps are perfect for any age and any level!  Our coaches will challenge your child at her level while making sure they are safe and having fun.


If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW as these classes fill up FAST!
Gymnastics:  June 16-20
Ninja:  June 23-27
Team Gymnastics:  June 30-July 3 (This training camp is for Level 3+.)
Gymnastics:  July 28- August 1
Youth Camp:  August 4-8
Gymnastics:  August 11-15
Parkour:  August 18-22


Challenge WOD

Challenge WOD #4 was announced last night, read about it here, so get it done by this Sunday! The third challenge WOD is complete, great job to all those who participated. Want to know more about Challenge WOD? Check this out!

CrossFit Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar

amanda_muSpend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning how to properly teach gymnastics fundamentals in a CrossFit program. Detailed progressions will be covered. Key safety concerns will be addressed specifically geared toward teaching gymnastics movements to adults.

SAugust 9, 2014 01:00PM to 4:00PM

Member cost: $70.00
Non-member cost: $75.00

To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants, so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

This seminar is coupled with the Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Trainer’s and Athlete’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

CrossFit Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar

Spend 3 hours with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning gymnastics movements. This seminar is focused on proper and efficient execution of key gymnastics elements.  Get started or improve your technique on a variety of movements. Learn how these skills truly break down to work toward mastery. Floor, rings and parallettes will be covered in detail with an introduction to other gymnastics apparatus.  Learn some key techniques to dramatically improve your efficiency and enable performance of skills you thought unattainable.

August 9, 2014 04:30PM - 7:30 PM

Member cost: $70.00

Non-member cost: $75.00

To register, use the “Register” link to sign up for just this seminar.  This seminar is limited to 20 participants so sign up early to ensure a spot. The price listed above will hold up until 10 days prior to the event (July 31) at which time the event cost will increase to $90.

This seminar is coupled with the Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Athlete’s and Trainer’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100.  Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

Let’s Talk About Goals!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Amanda getting the HSPU done

Amanda getting the HSPU done

Goals tend to be very personal to the individual who sets them. Whether you want to squat more, or decrease body fat percentage or achieve a new tumbling pass, every one of us will benefit from setting a goal based on what we wish to accomplish.
Setting a goal for your workout or nutrition program is vital to  success! Setting goals is a great way to analyze your training program, see if it’s working or if you need a course adjustment.  Any one of the coaches here at The Cave are happy to help you set personal goals.
There are a few goals that would benefit just about every single one of us. By making sure you keep these in mind along with your specific goals tailored to you, you can get the absolute most beneficial results from your workout and diet program this year.


The first goal you should set is to make an effort to drink more water each and every day, especially with the hotter weather approaching. We hear this specific advice over and over again but very few of us actually take it to heart.
Did you know drinking enough water impacts everything from the amount of energy we have on a daily basis, to hunger, our ability to concentrate, and how quickly we recover from workout sessions?  Make it part of your daily routine; carry a water bottle, even two; fill them up every time you see a water fountain and don’t leave home before they’re full again!


You should also be absolutely sure you are resting enough. It’s very easy, especially for the highly motivated to underestimate how much recovery is necessary for optimal progress and to push through fatigue with the thought process that working harder will only make you stronger. This isn’t so. Working harder, when the body can’t keep up, will actually only make you weaker, because when you’re doing additional exercise before recovery has taken place, you’re just further breaking down tissues rather than building them up.
Do this over too long of a time period and you’ll really be facing some dire consequences such as lean muscle mass loss, a slowed metabolic rate, a lowered immune system, and over-training in general.  Trust me, it isn’t pretty.  Make a conscious effort this year to listen to your body more often. This is the toughest goal for me, one that I constantly struggle with.  If there was an “Over Trainers  Anonymous” group, I would be first in line for it !


Third, the next important goal that you should set and make a priority during your workouts is:  Listen to your coaches.  It’s essential that you’re always using proper form and your coaches are there to help you.  Listen to them.
If you aren’t using proper form as you execute your lifts, or skill work, there is a much higher chance that you’re not going to work the correct muscles and could very well end up sidelined with an injury.  Once again, trust me– this isn’t pretty. Even if it means you’re lifting lighter weights, using proper form is a must. Listen to your coaches.  They have the wisdom and experience necessary to help.


Finally, you should choose at least one overall health goal. While it’s great to set aesthetic goals that you will be able to see on the outside, it’s also critical to remember the impact of regular workouts and a good diet for the inside.
The big issue for some people who have set an extrinsic, aesthetic goal is that once you achieve that goal, the motivation to keep working out starts to fade. If you set a goal to make  living healthy a lifestyle, you’ll achieve a greater, long-term reward from your effort, which can also help maintain motivation.
If you’ve ever suffered from, or someone close to you has suffered from, a serious health concern or illness, you will likely find that the health rewards really hit home and serve to keep you going when you’d rather not.  If you haven’t suffered from a health concern yet, it would be wise to make a list of all the health benefits that you know you’ll receive from your workouts and look over this list frequently. This will remind you of what you can achieve by sticking with the lifestyle goal.
So, as you plan your training program for the coming months, be sure you keep these goals in mind. Goal setting is one of the most critical things you can do to make sure you see success…and it shouldn’t only happen at New Years!

The Ride Home

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

As a coach, I see this all the time, and I too am guilty of this behavior with my own kids:   The need to immediately engage in a critique of our children’s athletic performances, however well-meaning.  After an event, we question and/or comment about our kids’ performances.   But, does this really help anything or anyone?

Below is a re-post of an article titled “The Ride Home”.  While it’s specifically about soccer games, the message is worth thinking about and can be applied to all the activities our children may participate in, whether it’s soccer, parkour, or gymnastics.

The Ride Home  by John O’Sullivan

One of the saddest things I had to do as a Director of Coaching for numerous soccer clubs was conduct exit interviews, meetings with players whom had decided to leave the club. Children quit sports for a litany of reasons, and my job was always to see what we could learn, so we could improve the experience for other children.

When I got these players alone, and asked them “what was your least favorite moment in sports?” I often got a very similar and sad answer: the ride home after the game.

It has always amazed me how a moment off the field can have such a detrimental effect on it, yet when we think about it, the toxicity of the ride home makes perfect sense.  Emotions are high, disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion are heightened for both player and parent, yet many parents choose this moment to confront their child about a play, criticize them for having a poor game, and chastise their child, their teammates, their coach, and their opponents.  There could not be a less teachable moment in your child’s sporting life than the ride home, yet it is often the moment that well intentioned parents decide to do all of their teaching.

One of the biggest problems on the ride home is that a simple question from you, often meant to encourage your own child, can be construed as an attack on a teammate or coach by your child.

As Bruce Brown states in his book Teaching Character Through Sport, “athletes do not need adults to question their actions, the actions of other players, or the coach’s decisions concerning strategy or playing time.”   A simple comment such as “Why does Jenny get all the shots?” may be meant to construe to your child that you think she is a good shooter who should also take shots, but is interpreted by your daughter that “Jenny is a ball hog!”  Questions such as “Why does Billy always play goalie” or “Why does your team always play zone?” can just as easily undermine the coach’s authority, and again cause confusion and uncertainty for your child.

Many children indicated to me that parental actions and conversations after games made them feel as though their value and worth in their parents’ eyes was tied to their athletic performance, and the wins and losses of their team.  Ask yourself whether you are quieter after a hard loss, or happier and more buoyant after a big win.  Do you tend to criticize and dissect your child’s performance after a loss, but overlook many of the same mistakes because he or she won?  If you see that you are doing this, even though your intentions may be well meaning, your child’s perceptions of your words and actions can be quite detrimental to their performance, and to your relationship.

One of the things that Coach Brown urges parents to be a source of confidence and comfort in situations such as when your child has played well in a loss, when your child has played poorly, and especially when your child has played very little or not at all.  Even then, it is critically important that you do not bring the game up for them, as uninvited conversations may cause resentment in children.  Give them the time and space to digest the game and recover physically and emotionally from a match. When your child is ready to bring the game up and talk about it, be a quiet and reflective listener, and make sure she can see the big picture and not just the outcome of a single event.  Help her work through the game, and facilitate her growth and education by guiding her toward her own answers. Kids learn a lot when they realize things such as “we had a bad week of practice and coach told us this was coming”  Most importantly says Brown, remember that your child always loves hearing you sincerely tell them “I love watching you play.”

The only exception to the above ‘Ride Home’ rule is when your child engages in behavior that you would not accept at home, such as spitting, cursing, assaulting an opponent, or disrespecting a coach or authority figure.  In these cases you should initiate the conversation, not as a parent to an athlete, but as a parent to a child.  Even then you must be careful and considerate of the emotions of the match, and choose your words wisely.  Deal with the issue, and then put it to bed; do not use it as a segue to a discussion of the entire game.

Not every child is the same, and some children may want to discuss the game on the way home. My advice is let them bring it up, and let them end the conversation. if you are unsure, ask your kids whether they want to talk about the game, and honor their feelings and their position on this issue. There is nothing, aside from the unacceptable behavior mentioned above, that cannot be discussed at a later time. The best part is, you will likely have a far better conversation about it hours after a game, instead of minutes. As many youth sports are entering the season of playoffs and state championships, emotions are higher than ever, stress and pressure are more prevalent, and it is crucial that you let the Ride Home belong to your son or daughter. They will thank you for it one day, that I promise. “

I hope everyone enjoyed this article as much as I did.  Not only as a parent, but also a coach, there is much to take away from this article.

Whole Life Challenge

Friday, April 25th, 2014

A lot goes into health and fitness: Exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress, etc. We talk about these things all the time at The Cave. Sometimes keeping on track is daunting. A few years back to help with this task my friends at CrossFit LA run by Andy Petranek started The Whole Life Challenge. It is a game/contest to help people with the accountability of health. We have decided to get involved this cycle to help our students keep on track. To sign up for the challenge go to our team page at:

If you sign up today you will receive a $10 discount on the sign up. We have had Cavers do the WLC before with great success. Share this with your friends as well. They do not have to be Cavers to participate, nor do they have to be crazy into fitness. There are varying levels of participation. It may be a good way to get some friends to start thinking about their health and fitness without the full level of commitment that joining The Cave can be.

The Office Is Moving!

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Yes, we’ve expanded again!  This weekend, the office was moved from the “kitchen-bathroom-changing-storage-waiting-back-room area” to a space all it’s own!

Come see us at 405 Tamal Plaza, which is the entrance on the east side of the building, next
to the current pre-rec/toddler room (406). We are super excited about this great new space! You can do everything there that you did in the other “office”:  Check your invoice, sign your waiver, switch classes, get on a wait-list, register for spring/summer camp, pay your bill, and say “hi” to the amazing office staff - Crystal, Carolynn, Sheridan, Mikaela, and Amy.

Going forward, we will do our very best to steer all clients to 405 as The Cave’s new main entrance, as opposed to the back parking lot.  First, the new office space is a clearer, safer entryway than navigating the busy parking lot and entering through one of the multiple doors in back.  Second, on the business end, it just makes sense to enter the gym through the office and get everything done that needs to get done before working out (i.e. waivers signed, fees paid, etc.).  PLUS, you can do some shopping as you stroll in since the pro shop has moved up front as well!

The visibility and openness of the new space is a real plus as The Cave continues to grow. Our office staff won’t actually be hidden ‘in the cave’ anymore from new clients.  Our new space has windows and exposure to the natural light of day. Vitamin D is happiness!  We’ll get plants!  And they’ll grow!

Stay tuned as we continue to acquire more real estate in the 400 building in Tamal Plaza.  Just around the corner is a parkour expansion AND the big build-out we’ve been planning for some time now.  Thank you sincerely for your continued loyalty and patience as we piece it all together.  We wouldn’t, couldn’t, be here without you.

Are You Really Willing To Do What It Takes?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

A place to make it happen

A place to make it happen

If you are reading this blog then you may not be the right audience for this post, though you just might be.

Being that I run a fitness facility it is completely normal and natural for me to be asked questions about health and fitness on a regular basis. Unfortunately most people really don’t want to hear what I have to say. Getting fit and radically improving your health takes work and hard choices. Most people don’t really want to take the steps that they need to make significant lifelong changes.

Question #1: How can I loose weight? I’ve tried everything.

The above question in some form is by far the most common question I receive. The answer is pretty simple. Stop eating bad stuff, start eating good stuff and get active. And, no, you have not tried everything. When I’ve been asked this question and have been told “I’ve tried everything” in the cases where I really get a chance to look at an individuals eating habits and lifestyle it is almost always very clear why they have struggled to loose weight. They eat poorly and are generally sedentary. Nobody wants to hear the honest response, which is stop eating the crap, eat more vegetables and start moving a lot. No, eating pasta 3 times/week is not ok. No, drinking your daily soda is not a minor problem. Are you willing to do what it takes?

Question #2: I’d like to get stronger (or faster, fitter, insert other related adjective)

Ok, so you’re going to have to work. If you want to see significant change you’re going to have to work really hard. Unfortunately the “fitness” industry has promoted the idea that there are easy ways to get fit. The latest gizmo or DVD will let you get fit in 10 minutes a day twice/week. Sure, if you are sedentary, a little exercise is much better than no exercise. If you want to really get fit it is going to get uncomfortable. You may need to adjust your schedule and get up earlier than you want to, or miss your favorite TV show. It will not be easy. Are you really willing to do what it takes?

The list of questions go on, but they generally fall into line with these first two. Unfortunately the answer to the real question “Are you really willing to do what it takes?” is “no” for most people. We want to reduce our health care costs. We want to stop the obesity “epidemic”. We want to see reductions in diabetes, heart disease, etc. And yet, these problems have the same solution. Eat whole nutritious real food and exercise. The answer is simple, but not easy. Do your part and do what it takes. Show that it can be done and invite others to join you.

Good Bye, Bryan!

Monday, April 29th, 2013

bryan-small1Well, i’ts not really good bye.  For those of you who don’t know yet, Bryan, our CrossFit program director since last September, is stepping down.  He’ll still be around, but not as much and he won’t be writing the programming any more.

Bryan is starting his own corporate wellness management company, called Fitify.  As a result, he’ll be too busy with that to keep working as the CrossFit director.  He’ll still be working with private clients, and doing some workouts in the gym, so when you see him, wish him luck in his business endeavors.

Starting this Wednesday, I will be taking over as the CrossFit director, and I couldn’t be happier with the status of the CrossFit program I’m inheriting from Bryan.  You can expect to see a lot of the same types of workouts you’re used to, just with a slightly different flavor.

We’re thankful for the hard work Bryan has put in to developing the strength and fitness programs for all you CrossFitters.  Good luck, Bryan!

People with Superpowers

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Martin H. suggested I share this link with you guys.  It’s a article on “Real People with Superpowers.”

The fittest man on earth also has superpowers.

The fittest man on earth also has superpowers.

For those of you not familiar with’s style, while not necessarily highly vulgar, they do have a a propensity toward some foul language.  Honestly, it’s mostly just that the authors are so amazed by what they’re writing about that they can’t help it.  Really, how else do you express how incredible it is that there are human beings that can do this stuff?

Their list includes a man who cannot be electrocuted, a guy who can run forever, two guys with perfect memories, a man who is immune to cold, and a person with superhuman reflexes (he’s on my zombie apocalypse team).

Stuff like this just goes to show you the incredible potential of our species.


Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
This year's resolution: do the Epic Bridge Run next year!

This year's resolution: do the Epic Bridge Run next year!

It’s the time of the year when many people commit to making some type of change in their life.  Recently, there seems to have been a backlash against the tradition of the New Year Resolution.  I get it: the stereotypical person is incapable of willpower or foresight, makes unreachable goals and gives up within a week.  But those of us who regularly push ourselves in the gym realize that it’s never a bad idea to have goals, and there’s no more natural time to make a goal than at the start of the new year.

For those of you who are interested in making a resolution, or in setting a goal for the new year, here are some ways to help you succeed.

1) Set reasonable, measurable goals. e.g. “increase back squat by 30% in 12 months,” or “come to the gym 3 times per week, no exceptions.”  Don’t make amorphous goals like “lose weight,” or “get in shape.”
2) Create a plan. Use “micro-goals” to keep you on track.  Include ancillary, supportive, and synergistic micro-goals. In the back squat example, you might include an ancillary goal of increasing your caloric intake by 15%, or doing hip mobility work 3 times per week. Tie this in with:
3) Consult experts. Pick the brain of somebody who has completed the goal, or talk with somebody who is a subject matter expert.  Find out what to expect and have them help you create a plan and micro goals.
4) Develop a system of accountability. Share your goals with other people and check in with them so you have outside pressure to succeed.  Find somebody else who has a similar goal and help them accomplish it. Sometimes motivating somebody else is the best way to motivate yourself.
5) Eschew things that are detrimental to your goal. If you’ve committed to come to the gym 3 days per week, make sure you avoid staying up late, eating crappy food, etc.
6) Be honest with yourself, especially when you find yourself making excuses.  If you have a legitimate reason, change your goal.  If it’s an excuse, suck it up and stop trying to lie to yourself.
7) Be patient. Keep you eye on the real goal: becoming a better person.  Even if you don’t complete your goal on time, chances are good you have made improvements.

What do you want to accomplish this year, both inside and outside of the gym?  How are you going to go about accomplishing it?

The “New Blog”

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Happy New Year!

post-it maniaIn the past, we’ve had numerous great articles about CrossFit, gymnastics, parkour, self defense, and many other aspects of fitness.  I can recall many good discussions developing in the comments, as well as in the gym, and I miss what the blog has contributed to our Cave community.  My resolution for this year is to get the Blog back to being an informative resource with substantive and thought-provoking articles.

Unfortunately, even if I had the time, I confess that I don’t have the creativity or the willpower to write a blog post every day.  That’s where you guys all come in.  If you have a good idea for a blog post, you want more information on a particular topic, or you come across an interesting, funny or cool study, article, video, or other media, please email me about it and I’ll turn it into a blog post.  I’ll give you credit for it in the blog and a big thanks for helping me keep this corner of our website fresh and informative.

To send me ideas, or links to media, email me:, and write: BLOG POST in the subject line.  I’ll try to get it on the blog within a week or so.  Alternatively, you can take your chances that I’ll remember it if you talk to me about it during class.

Thanks, everybody!  See you in the gym!