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Archive for the ‘Competition’ Category


Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

This Friday is our first pre-Open event starting at 5:00 p.m., and we are hoping to see everyone there. Remember that this is a free event, open to all our CrossFit members regardless of what payment plan they are on. Please RSVP to so we can prepare for your attendance!

A few questions have come up since our original announcement:

  • Do I need to register? No, but we’d love to get an accurate count of who is attending. Again, please email if you plan on coming.
  • Should I work out that morning? No, but if you want to come in and stretch, mobilize, or do some WOD recovery yoga, we’d love to have you.

Below is the original description of our pre-Open event in case you need a refresher. The coaching staff is extremely excited for this, and we are hoping to see as many of our athletes there as possible. If you have any other questions, please let me know by e-mailing

Original Description

The 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games Open is just around the corner! Many in our community mark the event as a fitness goal, and we want to do everything possible to help them achieve those goals. Once each month in October, November, December, and January, we will get together for a movement clinic and an Open-style workout. The first one happens thisFriday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. in place of our normal class schedule.

Here’s our plan:

  • Build each month’s session around movements that were featured in previous Opensthink snatch, pull-up, toes-to-bar, muscle-up, rowing, etc.
  • Warm up together, outline a mobility strategy, spend around 30 minutes practicing technique, and draft homework to help progress.
  • Finish with a past Open workout (or a scarily similar one)run in heats, with movement standards and partner judging.

Each gathering will last about 90 minutes, depending on the number of workout heats. Timelines are flexible so that we can answer questions and help as many athletes as possible.

Please plan to participate in our first event on Friday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. We’re kicking it off with the snatch and split jerk.

We hope to see everyone there!

John Main

Should I Use a Belt? When?

Friday, June 5th, 2015

foam-core-lifting-belt-by-harbinger-womene28099s-5-inchIt’s rare to walk across the CrossFit floor and not see at least one athlete wearing a weightlifting belt. But why? Is it necessary? Should you wear one? Should you NOT wear one?
First, wearing a belt is a performance enhancer, but for some, a belt is necessary to perform certain movements without pain. Your core should be strong enough to support yourself through the main lifts, injuries aside. If you choose not to wear a belt, AND are not a competitor, then you are going to be perfectly fine without one. However, if you want to push your maximum amount of weights, then consider using a belt. Now, let’s learn how to use it the the right way.

To use a belt correctly, you should first learn how to breathe correctly by using the Valsalva Maneuver. As you are reading this take in a deep breath, but do not let your chest or shoulders rise at all. Breathe deeply and allow your belly to expand (I know, not the most attractive look). If you have trouble doing this, lie on the floor, place your hand on your abdominals, and practice making your hand rise.
Once you have this down, try to exhale but keep your throat closed to create pressure. Whether you choose to wear a belt or not, this is how you want to breathe while lifting. Now, put your belt on and try this technique. If you do it correctly, you should feel an incredible amount of pressure. This intra-abdominal pressure will help keep your back flat and arched. Your belt should be tight, but how tight is up to you. Personally, I like to have mine with some room, mainly because it’s a good visual to expand my midsection a greater degree. For some competitors, another person needs to help tighten up the belt for them before going into a big event to get it as tight as possible.rogue-lifting-belt-1-700x325

Now that I’ve reviewed how to use the belt correctly, let’s talk about when you should use it. For the big lifts, you should always wear a belt when you are going for a maximum attempt. Squats and deadlifts fall into this category, but you should never rely on wearing your belt. Unless you have an injury, warm-ups and building a set to the higher max should be achieved without the belt, but still practice breathing correctly . CrossFit is rooted in functional fitness…Do you grocery shop with your weight belt on? You should not wear a belt until you need it.

The point when you will need a belt depends on when you are going for a maximum lift. Again, on warm-ups go as long as possible without a belt to engage your core as long as possible. Once you feel your form would break down on a heavy set, then it’s time for a belt. If you are a competitor, always use a belt in competition.

An injury will also affect when you will put your belt on. Athletes with nagging back pain but solid form, especially with squats and deadlifts, could benefit from using a belt earlier in the rep scheme. If an athlete is able to lift pain-free with a belt, then by all means go for it.

If you are thinking about getting a weight belt, talk to athletes who wear them. Belts are like shoes — you need to find the right one for you. Try to get a high quality belt because it does make a huge difference. Take the time to learn how to breathe properly and push out on the belt to create intra-abdominal pressure. And, as always, if you need help, let me know.

15.2 The Recap.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Since its second year in 2012, the CrossFit Open has included a repeat workout. These reappearances give us a chance to see how much progress we’ve made throughout the year. This year’s repeat was last year’s 14.2, an unforgiving couplet of overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. A few people were discouraged when the workout was announced. Common questions we heard on the floor included: “I can’t get into a full-depth overhead squat.” “The scaled option is still a regular pull-up?!” Despite the uncertainty, our members showed up and gave their all and many were pleasantly surprised with the results.

There are about 20 (give or take) athletes, who competed last year and had the opportunity to see if they had made any improvements over last year. In an overwhelming number, most of you absolutely killed your previous year’s rep count. This is a great testament to the strength, development, hard work, and dedication to the programing. You do not get stronger without doing the work. We had a large number of you, who did the workout for the first time, both RX and scaled, all of whom had great results. I was very proud of all of you once again, for coming together as the CrossFit Marin community rooting each other on and putting up some impressive numbers. We even had great numbers posted by our Teen division!
To Rich Lefurgy, who came in first in his age group in our region, 21st in the world!
Another highlight of the week was watching Sera crush another workout again, she is putting up huge numbers. Michael V’s reverse grip overhead squat were the perfect adaptation for him, and Mark R. even doing an overhead squat at all is exciting. Daniel T nearly TRIPLED his score from last year, Stephanie R performed her first chest to bar pull up and Heather R did her first pull up! More highlights included Narendra’s excitement for scoring higher than Roger, Margo T’s incredible performance and, Joe W tackling chest to bar pull ups. And how about Russ logging 2 open workouts in Row?? Well done everyone.

A true example of not only mental strength, but also fantastic athletic performance, came from our Athletic Director Amanda. She injured her neck a few days prior, and after several days of mobility, chiropractic and soft tissue care and a little luck, she was able to perform this workout and even eked out 3 reps more than last year. Well Done Amanda.

15.3 is just around the corner, I feel wall balls and double unders coming! Don’t forget our Mid-Open Recovery Party on Friday, March 13, starting at 7 PM. Check out our leaderboard!

THROWDOWN 2015, This Weekend!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

throwdown-2015t’s here! This weekend is The Cave’s first intra-gym, all-day CrossFit competition, and we can’t wait! This is a huge day for CrossFit Marin, and we’d love for you to be part of it.

The Cave Throwdown will consist of 3 workouts for 3 divisions (RX, scale, and limited) throughout the course of the day. Competing athletes will put to the test their strength, endurance, and perseverance…and it will be inspiring to watch! Some athletes have never competed before, while others know how to put on a show! This will be a fantastic event to watch and cheer on these athletes as they shine.

Please note that the 11:00 a.m. CrossFit and adult gymnastics classes will be canceled this Saturday ONLY.

I would to thanks the following companies who have donated products and prizes for our athlete welcome bags or winners!

This event would not be possible without our dedicated sponsors and volunteers. We are so thankful to them for their support! So, if you are in the market, consider purchasing their services or products should they offer something you need or have interest in.

Juice Alley: WOW, these juices are delicious! Find them in great locations in Larkspur and Corte Madera. All their drinks are cold-pressed and made daily to ensure freshness and maximum benefits from the ingredients.

Recharge S.F.: “Get stronger and feel better in 20 minutes!” Recharge S.F.’s mission is to aid people along their journeys in reaching their full potential by delivering accessible, affordable, and professional athletic recovery and performance tools.

Sports Authority S.A. Elite: Step inside your Corte Madera S.A. Elite and find an exceptional selection of performance apparel, accessories, and athletic footwear from brands that have made a name for themselves as being at the top of their game.

First Gymnastics Meet of 2015 in the Books

Monday, January 26th, 2015
Level 3 team

Level 3 team

Our first gymnastics meet of the season is complete and the girls represented The Cave well!  Warm up started at 8am, so this required early wake up times to get everyone up to Rohnert Park for the meet. The meet began with our Level 3s, starting on vault, which put them in official Olympic order (vault, bars, beam, floor). With an average score of around 9.0 on vault, their performances were fantastic! Lilly M. placed 2nd on vault and Sidney L. finished 3rd. Next up was bars, a difficult event for which many of the girls were still unable to do some of the required skills just a few short weeks ago. Despite a few missed skills, the girls had their best day on bars to date! Isabelle N. had our best performance with an 8.85. Beam was next. Out of 5 girls, there was only a single missed skill on beam. This led to more podium finishes with Sidney L. in 2nd and Jasmine L. in 3rd. Our final event was floor. The girls again performed well with Charlotte D. finishing in 3rd with an 8.65. In the end, our Level 3s had a 2nd place team finish. Quite an accomplishment for this crew that is very new to competition. We are excited to see their progress through the season.

Our optional girls (Level 6+) had their competition next. We had originally scheduled 3 girls to compete, but with Mia B. being out due to injury and Olivia N. waking up with a fever and needing to withdraw, this left our lone competitor Loren S. to carry The Cave name. This was Lauren’s first meet as an optional gymnast and though she was very nervous, she performed very well scoring 34.575 all around, which is enough to qualify to state championships! Not bad for her first meet of her first season as an optional gymnast.

The third and final group was our Levels 4s and 5s. Annesley K., Meghan R., and Lilah P. all arrived around the same time. Meghan told me she woke up with a fever as well and wasn’t feeling great. She chose to give it a go and warmed up with the team. This group also started on beam. We had 3 good routines with Meghan scoring an 8.6. Our next event was floor. Warm up went well, but after a few tumbling passes Meghan told me she really wasn’t feeling well and didn’t think she should continue. I concurred and we had her scratch the remaining events. Lilah and Annesley carried on, with Annesley ultimately placing 4th on floor with an 8.4.

Most people are familiar with the 10.0 gymnastics scale which historically has been the method for scoring. At the elite level the “perfect 10″ has been eliminated, introducing an open ended code of points. This is why you will see scores like 15.5, 16.3 and the like at elite level competitions. The Junior Olympic program, that our competitors are involved in, is still based on a 10 point scale. So the highest potential score for the girls is a 10. However, the judging at these events is quite rigorous. Often first place on an event will be in the 9.3 to 9.4 range.  Hopefully, this gives you perspective on how well our girls performed.

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!

The Cave Throwdown! Registration is now open

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Just in time to start 2015 off with something new — here comes The Cave Throwdown! Registration is now open.
This event is open to all our current CrossFit Marin athletes, as well as those who have just recently left the gym — you’re still a part of this community and we love you.
Athlete check-in begins at 12pm.   Not sure which division to sign up for?  See below:
If most of your WODs are RX weight, then go for this division (not every WOD, just the majority of them).  You should also have double unders, kipping pull-ups and toes-to-bar. You don’t need to do them fluidly or consistently, just be able to perform them somewhat reliably in a WOD… or 2. Please note:  These movements MAY show up, I’m not saying they absolutely are. :)
This is a good choice if you rarely RX a WOD and aren’t ready for the RX weight.  Don’t be fooled, this will be a hard division and it will use a scoring system that attempts to normalize the wide range of levels I hope to see.
“I’m injured but really want to participate”: This is a great division for our athletes that are overcoming their obstacles and showing us their true spirit. After you sign up, your coaches will ask a few questions and will design a challenging WOD for each individual competitor.
Still not sure of the right division for you? Just e-mail and ask!
Need someone to watch the kids in order for you to participate?  We can help! The CAVE Events staff will be running an area similar to “Kids Night Out” during the day. Please note:  You must sign up for your kids SEPARATELY.

This is a day of spirit, community and competition.  You WILL surprise yourself at what you can accomplish and have an incredible time doing it.
If you’ve never participated in a CF competition before, this is a great way to start.  You will be pushed to places you never thought possible in one of the safest environments available, with all your friends and family cheering for you. The best part of the day is when it’s all over and you are driving home and you look at yourself in your rearview mirror and see a completely different person. You will be strong and newly confident, knowing you accomplished your goal of 3 or more WODs in one day and all the while smiling and cheering and hanging with all your friends (new and old). You’ll be hooked and counting the days until your next competition.
Veteran competitors, this time you get to shine in YOUR box. The coaches are looking forward to seeing their athletes’ improvements and accomplishments. This is such a fun way to celebrate together all the work we do together during the year.
CrossFit Marin, this is our time to come together as a community, support each other and create a unique day that is the start of something new. Start 2015 off right, and register now:

Registration will close January 15th.  Questions? Comments? Love to hear both.
Happy New Year!

Challenge WOD #4 is…..

Monday, November 17th, 2014
RX: 7 Min AMARAP 50 Double Unders and 15 Hand Stand Push ups
Scaled: 7 Min AMRAP 100 Single jump ropes and 15 dumbbell push press ( 35/20 lb)


This is the standard double-under in which the rope passes under the feet twice for each jump. The rope must spin forward for the rep to count. Only successful jumps are counted, not just attempts.

Handstand push-ups — Games standard. The movement begins at the top of a handstand with the arms fully locked out, the heels on the wall, and the hands placed clearly within the marked area. The marked area will be approximately 34 inches wide by 24 inches deep, and the palm of the hand must remain completely within the taped area (fingers may extend over the tape). At the bottom of each rep, the head touches the ground. At the top of each rep, the arms return to fully locked out with the heels on the wall. The heels must remain within the width of the marked area throughout the entire rep. Kipping is allowed as long as the other requirements are met.

This is the standard single-under in which the rope passes under the feet once for each jump. The rope must spin forward for the rep to count. Only successful jumps are counted, not just attempts.

Push Press
Each rep begins with the dumbbells on the shoulders and finishes with the weight fully locked out overhead. A shoulder press, push press, push jerk or split jerk may used as long as the elbow, shoulder, hips and knees fully extend, and the dumbbells finish directly over the heels with the feet together. Each round the dumbbell must begin at the shoulders.
3,2,1, GO… The athlete will pick up the their jump rope and begin. They may not begin with the rope in hand. Time is called after 7 minutes.
Your score is the total reps achieved in 7 minutes

Gymnastics Seminar, New Yoga class and more! This week in The Cave

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

We’ve got a few spaces left in our CF gymnastics seminar this saturday! You don’t want to miss out on spending your Saturday afternoon with Roger Harrell, founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program, learning gymnastics movements. Get started or improve your technique on a variety of movements. Learn how these skills truly break down to work toward mastery. Not only will attendees be taught how to best execute gymnastics elements, but how to teach them as well. Key safety concerns will be covered so that these elements can be introduced into programs without endangering students. To register or learn more visit:
New Yoga class: We are opening another new yoga class –Mindful Vinyasa Flow for all levels starting this Thursdays at 4:35. Thanks to all who responded so enthusiastically to our recent Yoga survey. First class is Thursday Nov 6 at 4:35- 5:25. Mindful Vinyasa Yoga focuses on breath and movement to help you unwind and de-stress from the day. Parents will be done before your child’s class is over! Come to the office to get get started.
Kids Night Out Nov 15 5:30-10:30Parents! It’s date night again, drop your children off here at The Cave for 4 1/2 hours of skill work before the holidays hit. Your children will be divided into their discipline of choice and coached on skills, play games and gorge on pizza. This night will end in a relax session watching a PG movie and hanging out with their friends.

Don’t forget challenge WOD #3 was announced on Monday along with November’s monthly skill challenge. Check them out, and get it done…… then record it on Beyond the White Board.

Masters Madness 3 Recap by Martin

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

img_1848It was all set. Chris W. and Ashley R. would comprise Team ChrAsh to Masters Madness 3, a co-ed 40+ partner competition hosted by Diablo Crossfit on Sunday, October 26. Team Karma (Karen L. and Martin H.) were scheduled to compete as well. Unfortunately, the Thursday prior Chris tweaked his back during his lifting warm-up and he had to withdraw. Unable to find a substitute, at 4:37pm on Saturday, Ashley cancelled her babysitter and dog walker and sat down with the first of what would be several martinis. At 8:42pm, after her husband had left for the airport to go to Tokyo, she received word that Roger H. (nice!) was in. Uh oh.

Sunday morning we all arrived about the same time at the competition venue in Pleasant Hill. Amanda N., fresh off a whole day at a gymnastics meet in Sacramento on Saturday, generously came along to be our coach and cheerleader (thanks Amanda!). None of us knew much about the coming WODs, and we were all eager to get the show on the road. Ashley set her kids up in the back of the car with some books and games, and then off we went!img_1844

WOD 1:
1A – 5 min AMRAP: 15 T2B, 40 double unders, 12 partner burpees
1 min rest
1B – 5 min AMRAP: 5 deadlifts, 5 hang squat cleans, 5 thrusters

1A was fairly straightforward and the work could be split up as needed with one athlete working at a time. Roger and Ashley opted to share each movement (although Roger did claim he could T2B “forever”, which turned out to be a slight overstatement), while Karma chose to share only theT2B and then have Martin do all the double unders and Karen do all the burpees. 1B started out at 95/65# for two rounds, then 115/85# for two rounds, then 135/105# for the remainder. The work could be split up as needed, but the non-working partner had to hold their bar in a deadlift or rack position, and neither athlete could drop the bar until the end of any 15 rep round otherwise the whole round would not count. Can anyone say “grip strength”?

img_1846WOD 2:
2A – 1,000m row, followed by 200m partner 80# sandbag carry
Rest until 6 min mark
2B – 400m run, then row for max calories
10 minute time cap

For anyone who hates rowing (a.k.a. everyone) this was an awful WOD. It favored those with height, pain tolerance and technique … but no matter who you were, this one really hurt. The highlight of this WOD was Roger’s facial expression, he looked like someone was stabbing him in the back on every stroke.

WOD 3:img_1847
12.5m overhead lunge walk then 12.5m overhead carry, 45/25# plate
25m low bar prowler push then 25m high bar prowler push, then 25m run
Relay style, woman, man, woman, man, prowler weights went up each round 25/70/95/140#

This WOD was fairly straightforward, except that Karen refused to fully stand up on her first lunge walk and despite the head referee standing in her way and yelling at her to go back and start again, she refused to see or listen to him and almost ran him down. To make matters worse, when she eventually redid lunge walks and she then dropped the plate to hip level during the overhead carry, and again the head referee had to put his life in danger to stop her and tell her to redo that section too. Unfortunately, Ashley thought the head referee was yelling at her (which he wasn’t) so she also went back and unnecessarily redid the overhead carry. Oops. The final 25m run was much harder than it looked on paper, and Martin looked like an intoxicated zombie as he staggered toward the finish line with slightly less grace than a 3-legged hippopotamus doing the rumba.

img_1756After all was said and done, a fun (but tiring) day was had by all. Unfortunately, unlike last year, there was no final WOD which was somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless, in the final accounting, Roger and Ashley came home in fifth, while Karma (surprisingly) ended up with the win. Special shout out to Chris, take care of your injury and get better soon, we look forward to seeing you at the next competition! Thank you to Sandy S. for coming out and being our official photographer (again) and to Michael V. and Margo T. for cheering us on!

p.s. We received a couple of free cases of Amara recovery drink, they are in the gym near the water cooler, please help yourselves!