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Q&A with The Cave’s Masters Athletes!

Friday, April 18th, 2014
karen-and-martinThis coming weekend, The Cave has 5 athletes competing in the CrossFit Open Masters Competition.  Masters competitors who finished in the top 200 worldwide in their age divisions in the Open are invited to compete in the Masters Qualifier. The Masters Qualifier runs from April 17-21.  At 5 p.m. PT on April 17, four workouts will be released. Competitors will have four days to complete the workouts and submit scores. Our Cave CrossFit competitors are Karen LeFurgy, Rich LeFurgy, Martin Hoe, Mark Anderson, and Bill Berry.  These are amazing athletes that work hard and represent The Cave well.  This is a great opportunity for all of us and The Cave’s greater community to rally around them and cheer them on!  I asked them all a few questions so we could have the opportunity to get to know them better.
How many years have you been doing CrossFit?
I’m not really sure how many years I’ve been doing CrossFit because when I first started I was a reluctant junkie. While I came in and did morning workouts, I also was racing to the Bay Club to finish a kickboxing class or continued running three laps around the marsh mile following class. Only when I relinquished myself to Roger because I wasn’t getting better or stronger and was gaining weight did I truly start CrossFit. He challenged my stubborn side to truly follow the program and I have for at least three and half years.
Why did you start?
I didn’t want to start CrossFit. I wasn’t really looking for a program. I was very happy with the TV over the elliptical, my women’s classes at the Bay Club, running, hiking with the dogs and yoga etc.  But, Rich
The family that CrossFits together sweats together...

The family that CrossFits together sweats together...

had started and suffered an Achilles injury on his right foot. He couldn’t drive. After surgery, while he was recovering, he was dedicated to coming into the gym. I was his driver, I peered in and soon began foundations.

What motivates you to keep going?
Everything about the gym motivates me — the people, the workouts, the process. I would say the balance it provides my life.  But it’s kinda taking the lion’s share of focus right now, luckily my family gets it. Competing as a team hands down motivates me almost as much and trying to keep up with my husband! It is actually my favorite thing to do inside or out of the gym. Considering that, I’d have to say Ashley Martin and Mark motivate me.
What is your favorite CF move?
A clean is hands down my fave for many reasons. First, it’s fast and fun.  But years ago when I first started, heavy weight and poor form lead to an injury and I ripped a tendon in my wrist. I love the fact that we can all come back stronger and I think about that every time I perform a clean.
When was your first competition?
After the first time I competed, I woke up the next morning filled with so much gratitude ’cause you don’t get here on your own. Last year when Martin and I entered a partner competition, we had no idea what we were getting into and to top it off, it was at Diablo CrossFit so we knew their home court bad-asses would be there. We had no idea we would make it to the podium. There are just so many people helping you along the way. It’s never all about you.
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
I’m a complete dork with heights and skill work.  So I don’t want to see muscle ups, rope climbs etc.
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Five years this month.
Why did you start? The efficiency and challenge of the workouts.  I heard about it from an ultra-marathoner who suggested it, looked up CrossFit in Marin and called to schedule some introduction classes.
What motivates you to keep going? I like the results, the challenge to keep getting better and the purity of the methodology and the movements.
What is your favorite CF move? cleans
Did you play any other sports? High School football and track
Favorite quote? “My girl is stronger than you.” (Best quote EVER!)
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend? Not going to go there.
Martin and Mark cycling box jumps

Martin and Mark cycling box jumps

Martin Hoe:
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Why did you start? I started in my backyard in January 2008, after being inspired by a friend at a Christmas party who said to me, “You look a little chubby, you need to get some exercise”.
What is your favorite CF move? Leaving.
Did you play any other sports? I wanted to play team sports in school but no-one would pick me, so as an adult I have, at various times, been fanatical about mountain biking, snowboarding and surfing.
Favorite quote: “Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
Handstand walk
Mark Anderson:
How many years have you been doing CrossFit? Five years
Why did you start? I was looking for a more efficient and effective approach to training.  I discovered XFIT through a friend in Santa Cruz. I was addicted after my first session with Roger.
What motivates you to keep going? The never ending mental and physical challenges.
What is your favorite CF move? Muscle up
Do you play any other sports? I do play and coach ice hockey.
Favorite quote? Keeping it close to home:  ” Just be stronger and faster.”  — Coach Bo
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend? Heavy snatch
How many years have you been doing CrossFit?
I began CrossFit 71/2 years ago.
Why did you start?
Bill going for a max.

Bill going for a max.

I began CrossFit because I was beginning to feel old and I was either going to work at getting fit or fat.  I wanted to be able to play with my grandchildren as I grew older and did not want to be exhausted after only being with them a few minutes.  I also wanted to be able to go out with my children and be active with them and not be worn out after a short while.  Last September I saw all this fulfilled when we went to Outer Banks, North Carolina and I was able to play in the ocean with my children and grandchildren for as long as any of them wanted to be there.
What motivates you to keep going?
There are several reasons I keep going.  The results I have experienced are a key motivation.  My physical life has changed radically as a result of CrossFit.  I have also found a place to compete on a regular basis with myself and others along with preparing for the Games.  I had let this part of my life die as far as athletic endeavors.  The final reason is I love the people.  My greatest desire is for the people to know I love them as Christ has loved me.
What is your favorite CF move? My favorites are the Olympic lifts, clean and snatch.
Did you play any other sports? Throughout my growing up years I played baseball and basketball and this continued through high school.  I played some tennis in my 30’s.  Both snow skied and water skied for a good portion of my adult life as well.
Favorite quote? Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. The Apostle Paul (Philippians 2:3-8)
Is there a workout/CF move you are hoping not to see next weekend?
There are too many to name, but if I have to choose on it would be “toes to bar.”
I’ve had the delight of working out with these athletes, even being coached by one.  I hope you’ll all join me this weekend cheering them on!

The 2014 Crossfit Games Open Has Come to a Close!

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Congrats Cave athletes!  We did it!  The 2014 Crossfit Games Open has come to a close.  We saw PRs, pouting, frustration, re-dos, comebacks, triumphs, and now it’s over.

Before I go any further — Make sure to come join us on Friday at 4 PM at the Silver Peso for a celebration!  (Childcare is being offered at The Cave, so no excuses.)
First, I want to begin by thanking Coach Bo for his programming and direction.  I think we have all seen huge improvements from last year, with all of us being stronger, faster, and fitter.  Last year, I finished The Open in 72nd place, this year in 38th.  Your Bogramming is working, so thank you!
Second, congratulations to the 5 Masters athletes moving on to the Regionals Qualifier!  This is the first year CrossFit HQ is doing the qualifier event, so we are not sure what to expect.  When we know more about how and when these athletes are going to perform, we’ll be sure to fill you all in.  To Rich, Karen, Bill, Mark and Martin, we are here to support you and push you however you want us too!  Go kill it!
Ashley, Jimmy and Sera all had outstanding performances as well.  Jimmy and Ashley fell just outside the top 200, and Sera qualified at 204 in our region.  These are huge numbers, and I hope you are proud of yourselves–we are proud of you!
Here is a our leader board:

Amanda’s recap of 14.5:
I woke up on competition Friday with an awful stomach ache, the kind where all I wanted to do was hug a pillow.  Great, back to another week of fun competition.  I went into the gym with low expectations.  My thought was to do the workout, see what it felt like, and attack it again the following Monday.  I was relaxed because I was really only doing exercise.  Thrusters, being one of my least favorites in CrossFit, scare me.  In chatting with Martin the day prior, I decided to use his strategy.  Break them up into 3 sets on the rounds of 21, 18, 15, 2 sets on the 12s, and complete the 9, 6, 3 unbroken.  (If you’ve somehow forgotten what the workout was for 14.5:  21-18-15-12-9-3-6 of Thrusters and Bar Facing Burpees–yuck.)
3-2-1, Go!  Thrusters and then burpees.  I kept a consistent pace and just kept moving.  I followed the strategy until the round of 12s where I felt like there was no way I could handle just 2 sets, so I broke it up into 3.  The 9s I also did in 2 sets, and the 6s and 3s were supposed to be a “sprint”.  I finished the workout in 11:31, about 2 minutes faster than I expected to.  I was happy!
Monday:  Why am I doing this again?!?  My score was still holding pretty well, but I knew I needed to try again, if not for a better time but personal satisfaction as well.  I thought in a perfect world I could make up time in my transitions.  3-2-1, Go!  The first set of thrusters felt much harder!  Apparently I was 5 seconds behind after the 21s which made Karen really nervous (my time-keeper).  But, I guess I made up time in the 18s and held it.  The only thing I changed was being diligent on getting back to the bar, and I did hold on to the round of 12s in 2 sets.  Otherwise, nothing.  I PRed on this workout with a time of 11:15.
By mid-day on Monday, I was still in the 30s overall on the leader board.  I figured that I would drop into the 40s and just squeak into the top 48.  But, I finished at 38!  I met my 2 goals:  Make it to Regionals, and make it to Regionals with a guaranteed spot (as opposed to a second round of invitations).  I was hopeful to have performed better in this Open.  I had high expectations for myself and truly believe I could have done better on both 14.1 and 14.3.  But, the important thing is that I made it, and have Regionals to prove my standing.  Overall, I am really happy and feel like this was the most fun Open yet.
Thanks to all of my supporters, coaches, and pit crew!  Thanks to all of my fellow athletes for working out next to me.  Thanks to this great community of people!  We’ve put another year of the Open in the books.
Now, onto the next round!

What’s happening this week at The Cave!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

From Roger:
“The CrossFit Games Open 2014 is coming to a close within the next week. Only one workout remains. We are waiting with anticipation to see what the final workout will be. I’m sure everyone hopes the workout contains at least one element of strength for each of us!  Work hard, stay strong.  Barring a disastrous last workout, our own Amanda N. is heading to Regionals! It will be her second bid at Regionals, initially qualifying in 2012. Let’s hope for a strong finish for Amanda!
Our three Level 6 girls are headed to State Championships on Sunday, March 30th. All three girls have done great in their first optional season. We have gymnasts in two sessions at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. The first session starts at 12pm with Liv and the second session starts at with Ashlyn and Mia. Feel free to cheer on and show your support for our talented, young athletes!”

Are you looking for some fun activities to keep the family busy during the spring break?  Our Spring Break Camps are perfect for any kid at any level!   Kids love spending extra hours with their coaches or getting to know new ones.
Spring Break Camps:

Register on-line by clicking the links above, OR call 415-927-1630 to sign up now!

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, - these classes fill up FAST!
Summer Camps:


Results From The Reindeer Games

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

The Cave sent a Masters team to the Reindeer Games at Crossfit Adventure in Concord on Saturday, December 14. The team consisted of Ashley R., Karen L., Mark A. and Martin H. Coach Bo W. came along for emotional support. Rich L. and Sandy S. came along to cheer and take pictures, thank you!

There were five WODs on the schedule, four of which were published about two weeks prior to the event. What was surprising was not such much the content of the WODs, but how much time and energy spent Ashley spent analyzing and strategizing the best way to optimize the team’s performance for each WOD. She had a spreadsheet, several pages of notes, multiple emails and texts to the team, as well as an illustrated guide to the best transition techniques. Don’t you have anything else to do? She also made our team t-shirts, tank tops and sports bras, which are awesome by the way. Everyone needs to enter a competition just to earn the right to own one!

The day started out reasonably well in that we all showed up at The Cave, our rally point, at the agreed upon time of 6am. While we snuck into the gym to appropriate a couple of kettlebells and a jump rope for Mark, we got a sneak peek at the new-look Crossfit area (if you haven’t seen it, it looks awesome!) The trip to Crossfit Adventure was unadventurous, although Bo seemed to tire of the uninterrupted chatter from his much older companions, but with his constant stoicism it was hard to tell.

After arriving, we set up our tent, complete with blankets, chairs, foam rollers, barbell, plates, food, drink, PVC bar and kettlebells. It was a lot of stuff. The only thing we forgot to bring was a heater because it was frigid outside and that’s where we would be spending a lot of time waiting. Fortunately, one of the neighboring tents had the foresight to bring a gas patio heater, so we were able to leech some heat from them.

Our first WOD was a sled drag: first person had to drag 25# 200m, the next person 50# 100m, the next 85# 60m and the last 120# 40m, all within a 10 minute time cap, with any remaining time used to do squat clean thrusters with an axle bar for total load. All of us had practiced the sled drag earlier in the week and we thought we were ready. Oh how wrong we were. Our first stop after setting up our tent was the porta-potty, and conveniently right next to the porta-potty, the sled drag was set up. Only these were no ordinary sleds, they were more like friction generating machines. We met the guy who made them and he cavalierly described them as “evil torture devices”, a description that would prove to be shockingly accurate during the WOD. The “sleds” were made of a tire (lying flat on the ground) with a cleverly affixed pipe standing vertically on a plywood platform that was bolted to the top of the tire. Dragging a rubber tire on asphalt is not easy. All of us were reduced to a trembling mass of tears by the time we had finished our respective legs. And then we faced up to the axle squat clean thrusters … and of course all of us had very little experience with an axle bar, so we were in new territory again. Fortunately, the sled had eaten up most of our time, so time suffering under the axle was short. We finished a distant fourth. Ugh.

Our second WOD was also strength biased, sort of like a Crossfit Total, except each team member had to do a different lift. Ashley did the shoulder press, Karen the clean, Mark the back squat and Martin the deadlift. We had 12 minutes and two bars to work with to each establish our respective 1RM. The team was apparently pumped up because we all PR’d! Still, this was only good enough for fifth. Things were not looking good and Martin started to cry.

Our third WOD was a chipper with a 16 minute time cap:

200 double unders

70 HSPU60 wall balls 20/14

50 box jumps 30/24

40 shoulder to overhead 95/65

30 KB snatch and OH lunge 44/26

20 weighted pistols 44/26

10 rope climbs 12ft

… and then back up again

To cut a 16 minute story short, we got no-repped about 20 times, Ashley tried to start a debate in the middle of the WOD with our judge, Martin had no sense of urgency on the first rope climb but Mark’s quick first step saved us all, Karen rocked out the shoulder to overhead and showed that full range of motion on weighted pistols was child’s play, Ashley put her abs on display for all while repping out sets of 10 HSPU (and there are pictures to prove it), there was a lot of yelling, confusion and excitement … and the team still managed to finish first! Was a comeback in the making?

Our fourth WOD had been graciously programmed by Bo the previous week, so we all knew what we were getting into, which from an emotional standpoint made the whole thing more difficult as we all knew how bad the pain was going to be. The WOD was a relay-style, 4 minute AMRAP for each team member, where the next team member started with the prior one left off: 12 bar burpees and 25 snatches 75/55. We were again afraid that the two really strong teams were going to destroy this WOD because the time domain wasn’t long enough for our endurance to come into play. 16 minutes later, and with Martin writhing on the ground like Mark had just kicked him in the groin, the team was done … we all looked at our judge and we apparently finished second! Only one more WOD to go!

The fifth WOD was a bit complicated. We each had to row 500m, relay style. After the first person got off the rower they had to an AMRAP of C2B pull-ups while the second person was rowing, etc. The last person to row had 90 seconds to complete their AMRAP. There would be two scores, the time to complete the 2,000m row and the total number of C2B. Prior to the WOD, back at the tent, we were all sitting around eating, drinking and discussing the upcoming WOD. Bo declared that we should have Martin go first, then Karen, Mark, Ashley and that we should go at about 90% to save something for the C2B. Ashley disagreed and went to her bag of goodies and produced a notepad, a pencil and a calculator. She made some notes, scribbled them out, did some math, looked at the sky for inspiration and was still working on the optimal solution as we headed to the rowers to start the WOD. So we rowed and we C2B’ed. Just as Ashley had 50m left to row, Martin looked around and saw that no-one else had finished the row either, so he yelled at Ashley: “SPRINT!” Which she did, and it appeared as if we had finished the row first, but the clock said that we finished second by 0.7 seconds. We also finished second on the C2B … good enough to tie for second overall! Of course we soon realized that had we won the row, we would have been outright first overall. The whole team was quick to blame Ashley (as she was last on the rower), but luckily before the first actual, physical stone was thrown (plenty of verbal ones had been hurled her way), it transpired that both Mark and Martin had had 5-10 seconds up their respective short sleeves, so it was really their fault, and in fact Ashley had PR’d her row! It was only then that Ashley said: “I think going in the order Martin, Karen, Mark and then me was the right thing to do”. Really, you just figured that out after the WOD?

So, we were tied for second overall, how were they going to break the tie? Apparently the organizers had not considered the possibility of a tie because there was no pre-established tie-break procedure, so we sent in our best negotiator, Rich, to make magic happen. Among the choices: toss a coin; choose a WOD at random, higher finisher wins; higher finisher in last WOD wins; split the pot; and lastly, Rich’s masterful suggestion: whoever has the most first place finishes wins, a la the Norcal Masters tie-break method. No decision was made at that time (it was about 3:30pm) and the podium presentation was at 5:15pm, so we were told that we would find out at the podium.

So now we had 90 minutes to kill, what to do? Go get a drink of course! We packed up our tent and Sandy found a dive bar nearby on her phone: The Captain’s Chest. It was only 7 minutes way, so off we went. When we arrived, there was a post-it note on the door that said “back in 5 minutes”, and we all stood staring at it in disbelief for 30 seconds before our disappointment evaporated when James the bartender showed up. Two rounds of drinks (thanks Ashley!) and a free round of shots (thanks James!) later, it was approaching 4:45pm and Rich said, “let’s start heading back, we should be there a little early”. So back we went. Martin made a wrong turn and added 3 minutes to the return trip. No big deal.

As we sauntered back casually into the gym, we heard the MC say “… is first in the Master’s division”. Wait, we are in the Master’s division! Sure enough there was an empty spot on the podium! Ashley crashed through the wall of spectators with the rest of us close behind. We jumped up onto the podium yelling “we’re from The Cave, we’re The Cavers, we’re Crossfit Marin, are we third or second??” Standing on the podium we couldn’t tell whether we were higher or lower than the team on the other side. It was only afterwards that we got a look at the height and it turns out we came second (thanks Rich!)

Thank you from the whole team to Bo, Rich and Sandy. Thank you to all who sent their best wishes and who followed along at home. The Cave is a great group of people and we all had a blast. We’ll be back next year and won’t be leaving that 0.7 seconds behind again. Now all we need are some axle bars and some tire sleds …

More photos available:

Sandy’s collection

Rich’s collection

NorCal Masters 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This one is by Bryan:


Over the weekend, I coached Rich LeFurgy at the NorCal Masters, a regional CrossFit competition hosted by TJ’s Gym. The event was held in Richmond at the Craneway Pavilion. In 1931, the 525,000 square foot space was a Ford Motor Company assembly plant, the largest assembly plant on the West Coast. The building’s history and industrial design provided a perfectly suited backdrop for the sweaty 40-60+ year old competitors to grunt and cuss their way through the competition’s three major and minor WODs.

The three major WODs, 54% of the competition’s value, were cute named, hard nosed workouts.

The first was “Oly Smokes,” an eleven-minute workout where competitors would perform two five minute EMOMs with a one-minute rest in between. In the first EMOM, competitors did over-barbell burpees and one snatch. In the second EMOM, competitors did toes to bar and one clean. The workout’s scoring was divided into two pieces, 50% was the total number of burpees and toes to bar, and the other 50% total weight lifted. If an athlete missed any of their lifts, they would get a zero for that round.

The second workout was “Hellenita,” a play on the name brand, metcon-killer, “Helen.” The workout was essentially a ten-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 150m shuttle run, 10 kettle bell swings, and five pull-ups. The workout, like “Oly Smokes,” had two scoring segments, 50% of the workout’s value was in completing 3 rounds as fast as possible, and the second, finishing with the most rounds at the end of the ten minutes.

The last workout was the “Fat Gripz Master Chipper,” a for time workout composed of a 20 cal row, 50m bear crawl, 13 thrusters, 13 up and over box jumps, 13 deadlifts, 13 wall balls, 13 ring push ups, 13 wall ball, 13 deadlifts, 13 up and over box jumps, 13 thrusters, 50m bear crawl, and a 20 cal row. There were no schemes to this workout, just a slog to the finish.

The floaters, 46% of the competition value, were:

  • “Yougin:” A three minute workout where athletes had to do a max weighted pull-up, 50% of the workout’s value, and one minute to get as many 10m farmers carries as possible. The farmers-carries were done with a kettle bell.
  • ” Whippersnapper:” A workout where athletes had to get as many ball slams as possible in six minutes after rowing, 1000m for women and 1200m for men. (Ugly)
  • “Junior:” A for time workout where athletes had to perform 35 air-squats, run about 40m, grab two plates, run them back to the starting line, load them onto a wheelbarrow, push the wheelbarrow about 20m, perform another 35 air-squats, push the wheelbarrow through the finish line, and then perform 100 double unders.

A quick aside to all of you who have said, “Bryan, why do we have to do 100 double unders? That’s so stupid. In fact, you’re so stupid. Only an idiot sadist with no empathy would program 100 double unders. Only a person, should the justice system not breakdown on us, destined to do a medium to long-term stint in San Quentin would program 100 double unders. Who can do a 100 double unders, honestly? Can you do 100 double unders? I bet you can’t because no one can do 100 double unders. Not a single person I know, at least those with decent lifestyles and health, happy families, can do 100 double unders. None of my friends, and I emphasize friends here, can do 100 double unders. Only sick-o, twenty-five year olds hopped up on that new stuff can do 100 double unders. You know what? You shove those double unders. And do that for time.” Wrong. I watched a 72 year old man squat and double under his ass off, after pushing a 300+ pound wheelbarrow half a football field. You’re going to be seeing a lot of 100 double unders for time. DU development phase here we come.  Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, please allow me to continue:

The men and women that distinguished themselves from the pack, the top three men and women from the 60+ and 55-59 year old age categories, and the top five from the rest of the categories, competed in the finals. The finals were a seven-minute, ladder style workout where every minute the workload effectively doubled.

Rich unfortunately did not get to compete in the finals. Going into the final workout, Rich was in a four-way tie for third place (a symptom of either fierce competition or a sloppy scoring system, maybe both), and they chose to break the tie by selecting the man with the most first place finishes.

From the workouts, Rich and I found a few pieces of his game we need to focus on going into The Open, which starts on March 6th this year. Rich’s highlights from the weekend included a second place finish on the Hellanita WOD, and a PR on his weighted pull-up, a piece he has been working on diligently for the last couple months.

As the open gets closer, should you be  interested in participating, and I suggest you all do, please come up and speak to me about how to maximize the couple weeks you have left before it starts.

What Do These Two Videos Have in Common?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Ok Cavers, I’d like you to carefully analyze these two videos and try to figure out why they are “the same”.  This is very important for your skill development.  Watch closely.

Video A:  This one is a very good video demonstrating a “Squat-on” in a preschool gymnastics class.  (I know, the little girls are amazingly cute.  We have that same kind of cuteness in our gym. )

OK, now how is Video A the same as Video B, with Ninja Warrior veteran and Cave gymnastics & parkour coach JB Douglass (more on our newest coach to follow in a subsequent blog post) demonstrating this little “Double Kong”.  That is Seraphina Schinner’s (ok,.. Michael & Miyoko Schinner’s) yellow pickup truck that you’re looking at and that is me in the background.  Check this out.   Video B:

OK,… think about it… now I’ll give you some space so you can figure it out without reading the answer below.





…….  Did you figure it out…?

…….. Ok, I’ll give you a little more time…

……… OK, now?…..

……… Here’s the answer:

If your skill level is exactly the same as demonstrated in the squat-ons on Video A, or exactly the same as demonstrated by JB in Video B, or somewhere in between, then you are ready and perfectly capable of participating and completing the American Ninja Warrior Seminar at The Cave on Sunday Nov. 4th from 8:30am-2:20pm.  It is also the perfect place to employ all that fitness and skill that you’ve been working on by training that explosive hip extension, those kipping pull-ups or if you’ve been working gymnastics skills.  Few things could be more fun than exploring new movements in an obstacle course coached by a dozen Ninja Warrior Veterans.  Come meet and train with the celebrities at The Cave.  More details can be found here.  The current pre-registration price is $75 and you can sign up online.  There may also be a couple of slots left for the kids’ session on Nov. 3rd.  Additional details can be found at:   I know that a bunch of Cavers wanted to come this weekend but had scheduling conflicts.  We’re looking into scheduling another one around April 2013.   By the way, another similarity between the videos is that both the little pre-school girls and JB are overcoming obstacles with just the power of the human body, specifically referred to as vaulting in this case.  Also, the squat-ons are at the beginning of a progression that turns into Kongs and later double Kongs.  I hope you enjoyed the videos, and by the way, here are the answers to last weeks American Ninja Warrior trivia:

Who is this Parkour phenom on the American Ninja Warrior IV Course?

Who is this phenom on the American Ninja Warrior IV Course?

1>  Name the Caver depicted in the “cover” picture of the May 8th, 2012 American Ninja Warrior Workout Men’s Health article show here:

Andrey Pfening. He coaches at The Cave on Wednesdays & Fridays regularly, when he’s not subbing or planning out spectacular class programming and obstacle courses.

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.

Pile Slider

3> What “stage” of the competition is it in and what obstacle on course?  (Ergo, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,… etc.)

2012 ANW Venice Beach qualifiers

4> What region did he compete in and where was the competition held?

The “Great North West”, as one famous comentator put it.  Venice Beach

5> What discipline does he specialize in?  Parkour, of course!

6> How far did he get in the competition, ergo, what obstacle  (if any) did he fall on?  He fell about 1.5′ past the spot where he is on the picture, before the dismount to the pipe slider

7> Who were the commentators for his run?  Jonny Mosely & Matt Iseman, of course.  I hope I’m spelling their names right.!

Ok,… so,… how about this guy?  (This picture was used on buddy TV:

as well as Monsters & Critcs:

Can you name the Cave Ninja??

Can you name the Cave Ninja??

1>  Name the Caver depicted in the picture above.  -  That’s me, Andres De la Rosa

2>  Name the obstacle that he is on.  Arm Rings.

3> What “stage” of the competition is it in and what obstacle on course?  (Ergo, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,… etc.)  Venice beach Regional Finals Course, 7th obstacle.

4> What region did he compete in and where was the competition held?  North West, Venice Beach.

5> What discipline does he specialize in?  None.  I’m not a specialist.  I’ve done them all, just about.

6> What obstacle during the competition(s) (if any) did he fall on?  Trick question.  Did not fall!  Finished course with 6minutes + change., which was the slowest run of the athletes completing the course.  Note to self: don’t stop to stretch on the course because you’re tired!

7> Who were the commentators for his run?  Matt Eiseman & Johnny Mosely, same as for Andrey

Come train with both of these Cave Ninjas and many more of the ANW 4 Celebrities at the Cave on Nov. 4th.  Read more here:

I hope you guys can make it.  All I can promise is how much fun it can be!

So,… other than the blog0-post coach being a little bit of a pain in the ass, I hope that all is well and that you’re all having a fantastic experience at  The Cave.


2012 Nor Cal Regionals. Final

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

The CrossFit Games Northern California regionals is complete. Amanda and I are on our way home. It was an epic weekend. Not without stress or disappointment, but a fantastic weekend nonetheless. Amanda is beaten, bruised, burnt, torn and sore. Jill is sore and frustrated. These two women represented us well. Give them props when you see them!

Event 5 had the effect of shifting the pack around quite a bit. Many competitors that appeared to be out of the running brought themselves in striking distance by crushing the snatch ladder. This was a fun workout to watch. The excitement ebbed and flowed as athletes moved up the ladder and failed out. Surges of athletes would push at the previous records. We got to witness nor cal athletes hit loads unmatched in other regions.

Overall for the men it was predominantly the Neil Maddox and Jason Kalipa show. Each of them walking in lock step trading off the first and second place positions until the very last workout where Jason won the event to take first place overall. Top three men representing Nor Cal in the games is Jason Kalipa, Neil Maddox and Gabe Subry.

The women were far more balanced and going into the snatch ladder many of the top 10 athletes had a chance of making the top three. The snatch ladder really shifted the field around a bit to set up the last workout as quite a race. Jenny Lebaw was the only woman going into the final event with a pretty solid games spot. Annie Sakamoto took first place on the last event to place her in second overall for the event. The third games spot went to Candice Hamilton Hester who has been a CrossFit Games veteran out of CrossFit Oakland.

With that, the competition is complete. We can look toward next year for those that are thinking about giving it a go. Get back to training with a general focus again and have some fun. I’m off, going to get some rest and see my family. See you in The Cave.

2012 Nor Cal Regionals Event 4

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Event 4 was brutal. 50 Back squats, 40 pull ups, 30 shoulder to overhead. Then do it again, but with a lighter weight and replace the back squats with front squats. Then do it yet again, but with a lighter weight and replace the front squats with overhead squats. The majority of competitors did not complete the workout. Only the top 6 women got through before the 22 minute cap. In the team variant of the workout only two teams completed. In one region this weekend no teams finished.

Ok, so who cares about all of these general statistics. How did Amanda do? She started out strong, but around rep 15 of the back squats she felt her back tighten up. She has a long history of some lower back spasmodic behavior so given the amount of effort she’s putting in this weekend, this is not a surprising turn of events. She reduced her plan and started doing shorter sets and really keeping mindful of her back and fatigue.  Pull ups were not a problem, so she got through those as expected. The shoulder to overhead, an area where normally she would have made up a lot of ground, was pretty hindered by her back so she was reduced to two or three reps at a time. Moving on to the front squats did not help things. Having the weight shifted forward only made things worse. She considered bowing out, but decided to just take it very slow and get done all she could. She finished the front squats and got into the pull ups. 22 minutes came, and it was over. This is the first event this weekend that she did not set a personal best. We got her iced really well, and some TLC in the medics tent where our own Sara La March was staffed for the day. She’s sore, but ready to go for the snatch ladder tomorrow. A top 18 finish would require her to be a top 3 finisher on workout 5, so unless Amanda is suddenly able to snatch 165lbs moving on to event 6 is quite a stretch. She’s been apprised of your support on the blog and facebook so keep the comments coming.

Overall this weekend has been up and down. The team competition has been exciting with RCF and Diablo being dominant. The men’s individual competition has been the battle of the titans Jason Kalipa and Neil Maddox each sharing two first place finishes and two second place finishes. The real battle is for who is going to get the third slot. The women’s competition has been far more balanced. No one has been completely dominant. Not a single competitor has remained in the top 5 on all workouts. Tomorrow will determine who is going to the games, and who begins their training for next year.

2012 Nor Cal Regionals Event 3

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Event 3 is complete. This was a workout where just completion was the primary focus of most of the athletes. Settling in and hitting one rep at a time was the key. There were a few athletes that were able to power through this workout and just rep the snatches out. This put top finishers completing in under 5 minutes. Quite an effort to watch.

Amanda started out our competitors again. Going into it having only completed 1/2 the workout in the time cap on previous efforts. She set a solid pace and worked her way through. She did fail a few reps but performed well. She got 21 reps done for a score of 10:23. Another personal best.

Jill headed out onto the field. We knew that this was going to be a difficult workout for her having to heft more than 1/2 her bodyweight overhead with one arm. During warm up she was able to make some snatches and we worked on mechanics to try and improve efficiency. As she headed out to the field and had to demonstrate reps to the judge she struggled. 30 seconds before the workout was to start she was still unable to demonstrate the required movement. As a result she thought that she could not continue and walked off the field. This event had a 10 rep minimum to continue on so Jill is now out of the competition. Everyone send her some love. She’s very disappointed. We’re all behind her.

2012 Nor Cal Regionals Event 2

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Event two is complete. The first event was fast and furious. This one started with a 2K row which just sets the tone. Athletes had to complete the 2K with enough leg strength and gas for quite a bit more work. After the row comes 50 pistols. These were performed on a squishy mat which complicated the balance. Many athletes were seen bobbling around and hopping to prevent falling over. Then on to the 30 heavy hang cleans.

Amanda started with a solid row. Her goal was to maintain a sub 2:1o pace for the 2K. She was able to do this and walked onto the pistols a bit back in her pack but in good standing. The pistols gained her some ground. With a nice steady pace and not a hitch she showed that solid balance and strong raised leg control is a huge benefit on this movement. Moving to the cleans she powered out a strong first set, then dropped down to 2 and 3 per set from then on. On the return from the rack to hang on one of the later reps the heat of the day and bar knurling got the best of her thumb. A large rip is now going to be with her for the rest of the weekend. She finished the cleans, and ran to the finish (after a short pause due to misunderstanding the finish procedure) for a time of 16:25. Another personal best.

Jill started the row solid. Using brute force to keep pace with the other athletes we knew that she would be behind after the row. Her height limiting her rowing speed placed her near the end of the pack leaving the rowers (but not last). Walking to the pistols she, like Amanda, showed her gymnastics background and just kept moving through the 50 reps. On to the cleans, which exceed her bodyweight. We knew this was going to be another hard piece for her. One rep at a time she worked her way through 15 of the 30 needed reps to finish with a time of 17:15.  Also a personal best.

Your athletes start tomorrow morning with the DB Snatch, run workout, followed by the Squat, pull up, shoulder to overhead monstrosity. Keep tuned for more updates.