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Archive for the ‘Gym and equipment’ Category

How Long is 50 Feet?

Sunday, August 25th, 2013
This is just cool

This is just cool

So whenever we have a workout involving a shorter distance such as 50 meters, 50 feet, 20 feet, etc we are constantly asked “How long is that?”. So, we have made it really easy. The new hash marks outside our space now have ruler markings in both feet and meters. The inner numbers are feet, and the outer numbers are meters. Marked off at every 5 units this will give you everything you need to mark off your distances very easily. The ruler extends the entire length of our facility, so you’ve got 160 feet or 50 meters to work with. You’ll see some of the prep chalk markings in the photo, those will fade and it will be nice and clear.

More New Toys

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
The boys playing on the new ropes

The boys playing on the new ropes

The blog has been quieter recently. The Cave staff has been focused on the plans with the expansion and remodel. We are steadily adding new equipment and getting pieces of the facility set up. If you came in for CrossFit on Wednesday this week you got to use our new set of ropes. One of our old ropes got so well used it fell apart. We’ve added 4 more ropes in the CrossFit area and will be adding a couple more in the gymnastics area, one in the parkour area. Additionally we’re adding a cargo net to the parkour area which will be a lot of fun. Keep your eyes out for more changes to come.

Plates and more plates

Monday, August 12th, 2013
Thems a lot of plates

Thems a lot of plates

So the fact that the CrossFit program is growing and people in the CrossFit program keep getting stronger has caused a few problems in classes. There’s not been enough plates to load the bars for everyone for certain workouts. Well, here you go. The stacks of plates are now bigger. Additionally we won’t be using the 10lb bumpers any more. There are now enough 5kg plates to go around. I’m sorry to say that we won’t be testing your decimal math skills as much any more. No more 4.54kg loads to add to your bar. Have fun with the new plates and please be gentle with the 5kg plates.

Work Party At The Cave

Saturday, July 20th, 2013
This is going to be epic

This is going to be epic

Saturday evening at 5:00pm we are going to make some major changes to the gymnastics area. Depicted are the deck and carpet for a new full size floor. This is as good as it gets as floor goes. These panels, foam and carpet need to be moved into the gymnastics area and all equipment currently there need to be moved into our new space. There’s a lot of work and we would love to have company. Please come on down to The Cave if you have the time and help out. Pitch in a little or a lot. Any help will be appreciated. The results will be spectacular.

This thing is fun

This thing is fun

We have also acquired a new trampoline. Be sure to try this thing out. When you do, have a coach with you because this thing is responsive. Keep things under control and have a great time.

The next phase of The Cave has begun. More space, new equipment. There’s a lot of work to do, but the end result is worth it all. All of you, our students, will reap the benefits. We thank you all for being on this amazing journey with us.

New Spaces, New Equipment, We’re Only Getting Started

Friday, June 21st, 2013

If you didn’t know we were expanding then you probably haven’t been around the gym much and need to get back in here. We have opened up “406″. This is the suite number of what is now our east entrance. This room is dedicated to our youngest students. The parent and me classes as well as many of our preschool classes have already started using this room heavily. It has been equipped with some new equipment designed specifically for the little ones. With a large padded area we have also used it to warm up some of our older kids classes. Be sure to check out the room if you haven’t had a chance to yet.

Bringing the new preschool room into use has allowed us to dedicate 417 to parkour. We have removed the padded flooring and added stall mats (the black flooring you are well familiar with from the CF area). A number of mats have been left there for strategically placed matting when necessary. This has allowed parkour to build class courses, and leave them up as they do not interfere with any other disciplines. This is the first time parkour has had a dedicated space. With the adaptability of parkour the discipline has been able to share space with both CF and gymnastics well. The disciplines have all grown to the point where there’s just not enough space to share any more. We have big plans for 417. More customization is in the works to make this space a true parkour playground.

With the parkour equipment moved out of the CrossFit area we have more open training space there as well. Its been great to see people just notice the feel of the space. Having a little breathing room is nice when you’re hurling heavy barbells around.

Big changes are in the works. We will reveal things as we move forward. You’ll notice another step as of July 1. We will add another 2,500 square feet to the facility. We will begin using the new areas almost immediately, but we are by no means done. We have significant construction plans and are working through the review processes and will be getting this work going through the summer.

The Movement Gym Revolution Part 1: CrossFit.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

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

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

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

History and contributors

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

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

Also from wikipedia:

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

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

Australia, New Zealand & Pacific: 327

Asia:                                                             40

Africa / Middle East:                              62

Europe:                                                      388

South America:                                         60

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

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

Total:                                                    4,689

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

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

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

Changes Around The Gym

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

As you may have noticed we’ve been doing a TON around the gym recently. It would be hard to miss the big steel contraption in the middle of the CrossFit area. We’ve also added new equipment for all disciplines. There is more coming so I wanted to just update you. The pull up rig is not anchored to the floor yet because our vendor unfortunately sent a few wrong parts. They are sending us the correct parts, but we can’t finish it until that is done. Then we can really start using the thing. The CF equipment room will be done soon, at which point we will do some rearranging which will free up more floor space.

There will be a second round of equipment that will also help all disciplines. We’re all really excited about the changes coming. Let us know what you think. There’s always the anonymous feedback form in the members area, or just let the coaching staff know. September was pretty crazy with the number of new folks and we’ve all been very busy. All of the transitions went very well and it looks to be a great fall. I’m excited to see what all of you accomplish over the next several months. We’ve been seeing pretty impressive achievements in all of the disciplines. Just keep showing up and working hard. We’ll make sure you have a fantastic place to do it, and expert coaches to help.

The Cave’s / CrossFit Marin’s 6th Birthday

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

On October 6th of this year it will have been 6 years since Roger and I registered the fictitious business name for CrossFit Marin.  We opened the business’ bank account with $500 each.   At first most of our equipment was comprised of PVC pipe so that we could drill the Olympic lifts.  There may have been a couple of dumb bells too.  The gym has come quite a ways since then, and it’s not just because of Roger and me.  It’s because of the hard work and dedication of the coaches, the clients, and the vision of the new (part) owners of the The Cave as well.  Here are a few random pictures that I found in my phone of back in the day.  Most of these are from around 2009.  I chose to post the first one because many of you will notice the big pull-up rig next time you come into the gym.  Well, this is where that rig used to be.  Looks different, huh?!

A view from outside of the main roll-up door to the CrossFit area, which back then was right next to the gymnastics area.

A view from outside of the main roll-up door to the CrossFit area, which back then was right next to the gymnastics area.

Back then we were in the habit of teaching Sunday classes at Pixley Park, which we got used to in 2008 when we were… ummm…. homeless.

A parkour & CrossFit set-up at Pixley Park.  Is that Debbie Primo doing farmer's walks?

A parkour & CrossFit set-up at Pixley Park. Is that Debbie Primo doing farmer's walks?

Did you all know that Coach Bill Berry is also known as 001?  (Double-O-One)  That is, he was our very FIRST client in October of 2006!  Here he is teaching Armando (who is responsible along with his wife for painting most of our gym.  Nowadays Amy Dockus has did most of the painting of the office area) L-sits on the parrallettes:

Bill Coaches Armando while Ivette looks on

Bill Coaches Armando while Ivette looks on

This following picture fills me with joy and pride.  (Sounds hokey, I know, but really it makes me tear up.)  The young lady coaching the little kids in this picture is Seraphina Schinner at age 15, coaching her pre-school gymnastics class.  Back then I coached her in parkour and taught her how to teach gymnastics along with the other senior coaches.  These days she’s an experienced coach, is level-one CrossFit certified.    When she gets back from France in January she’ll just be turning 18.  Hopefully she’s been training over there!

Seraphina teaches pre-school gymnastics.

Seraphina teaches pre-school gymnastics.

Here’s a picture of Karen LeFurgy (well, her back, anyways) walking past the CrossFit aftermath and another one of Jean-Luc and Karen after I ran them through foundations-4.  I’d like to note the the LeFurgys have worked hard at building up the business, doing much of the re-branding as “The Cave” and the marketing work, which was a very long and involved process.  Rich LeFurgy is also now one of our coaches.

Karen LeFurgy walks by the CrossFit aftermath

Karen LeFurgy walks by the CrossFit aftermath

Karen & JL after Foundations-4 (Old school foundations-4!)

Karen & JL after Foundations-4 (Old school foundations-4!)

I know you know that coach Bo is strong… but did you know that Coach Bo is Ninja?  Don’t let that deep-voiced corn husking farm boy fool you.  I’ve got evidence!  See… ?!:

Yup... Bo is Ninja.

Yup... Bo is Ninja.

Don’t mess with Bo.

What would the gym be like without coach Russ?  Well, it would probably still be here, but it would definitely not be nearly as charming, as clean,  or as fun for the kids!  Here’s coach (and part-owner) Russ timing a hang contest:

The kids having a great time with Russ

The kids having a great time with Russ

Who’s re-vamped the entire gymnastics program to make it more efficient, professional, and sharper overall?  That would be Coach (and part owner) Amanda, of course!  (with a little bit of help from coach Russ as well.)  Here she is showing off one of her little ones on the rope:

One of Amanda's little gymnasts zips of the rope!

One of Amanda's little gymnasts zips of the rope!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most gun-ho CrossFitter of them all… ??  That would be Captain ( & part-owner ) Nick Wise, of course.  Here he is teaching his extraordinary self-defense seminar.  It is an invaluable learning experience.

Nick sets up a self-defense scenario.  What's going to happen next?!

Nick sets up a self-defense scenario. What's going to happen next?!

Do you like the new CrossFit programming?  Pretty darn “tight”, don’t you think?  Do you know who you should thank for the revamping of the CrossFit program?  (or who you should blame for your pain!?)  That would be Coach Bryan Oki, our new CrossFit Director, of course.  This is one passionate and intelligent teacher.  If you want to be good at something, most of all you have to be passionate about it!

CrossFit coach extraordinaire.  'Nuff said.

CrossFit coach extraordinaire. 'Nuff said.

Even though I didn’t find a picture, we should also mention Ryder Darcy, ( Parkour Director) and Andrey Pfening, who have been revamping the parkour program that just keeps getting better and more fun every day.  You should see what some of those kids can do!

At its core, who holds this place together?  I think that would be Co-Founder Roger Harrell, of course.  Ever diligent & ever faithful.  Here he is recording the results of the day on the wall of the “medium” gym.  Circa 2009.

Roger on the results wall.  Back then we used to have the "weekly records" up above the daily ones.  Data is important- gosh darn it!  ;)

Roger on the results wall. Back then we used to have the "weekly records" up above the daily ones. Data is important- gosh darn it! ;)

Well, I suppose that I should throw up a picture of myself in here and toss modesty out the window.  Which one should I pick?  Ahhh, a Ninja Warrior one, of course!  How did “The Cave” become an American Ninja Warrior icon anyways?  Well, here I am at the top of the warped wall in 2011.  I completed the qualifying course for the 2nd year in a row and I STILL didn’t even get mentioned, much less aired, on the damn show.  Well, you know what they say… 3rd time is a charm.

See, the damn thing is actually pretty tall!

See, the damn thing is actually pretty tall!

Now if I can figure out how to win the whole damn thing I might get more than a few seconds of TV coverage.  Thankfully, though, we have Tom Hutchman.  After all, if you watch Ninja Warrior you’d know that the whole “Roger and I starting this gym” is just a tall tale.  The Cave really belongs to Tom Hutchman (and the rest of you- it’s YOUR GYM).  Here is Tom Hutchman taking ownership of his Cave.  And you should too.  After all, if you don’t take care of it, who will!?

Tom takes ownership of his Cave.

Tom takes ownership of his Cave. I'm not telling him that we have a new janitor. I like to watch him vacuum.

Thank you for not only making the whole thing possible, but also worth while.  After all, you’re the reason why this place exists.

Nothing quite like getting (or giving) a piggy back ride outside The Cave.

Nothing quite like getting (or giving) a piggy back ride outside The Cave.

It shows when you love the kids you coach.

It shows when you love the kids you coach.

Happy Birthday, CAVE!

Some New Equipment, a Little Remodeling and Murphy’s Law

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I meant to post this last Friday night, but since most our staff, including myself, were up most of the night working on improvements to The Cave,  I simply ran out of gas and had to go to sleep.  (Just as well, though, because now I can include in the blog post what happened on the very next day, less than 12 hours later, which considering the circumstances is at least as comical as it is tragic.)  Check out these picture of our diligent staff working on the new look of our office area:

Russ, JB, Amy, Tom Hutchman, Amanda & Brian working away in The Cave's office area

Russ, JB, Amy, Tom Hutchman, Amanda & Brian working away in The Cave's office area

What a diligent group!

What a diligent group!

You know, rumor has it that Tom Hutchman actually owns The Cave,... well, at least if you watch American Ninja Warrior!

You know, rumor has it that Tom Hutchman actually owns The Cave,... well, at least if you watch American Ninja Warrior!

Rumor also has it that Brian Oki is the worst one-handed painter in the world, if you listen to Amanda, anyways.

Rumor also has it that Brian Oki is the worst one-handed painter in the world, if you listen to Amanda, anyways.

There's Drey.  He looks very artistic.  Is he actually working?  I can't tell.

There's Drey. He looks very artistic. Is he actually working? I can't tell.

Looks more like he's posing to me.  Drey has a cat-like parkour grace about him.

Looks more like he's posing to me. Drey has a cat-like parkour grace about him.

Here's one with Drey working!  And.... this shot's for the ladies in the house.

Here's one with Drey working! And.... this shot's for the ladies in the house.

In the meantime Roger was busy running wires and moving his desk out of the CF area mezzanine loft.  I mainly worked on the new dyno setup for the climbing wall.  (An explanation of that coming in a subsequent blog post.)   I’d like to recognize JB Douglass, Andrey Pfening, Tom Hutchman (volunteering!), Ryder Darcy, and Travis Furlanic, for coming in and working so diligently.  Also, a special thanks to Amy Dockus,  and Amanda for staying extra late to make sure we completed the painting of the front room in the office area and to Russell Bruel for heading up the whole remodel project.   And now for the Comic relief:  Nick held a self-defense seminar on Saturday from 1-5pm (which was awesome, as usual.  You should take the next one if you haven’t yet.  Keep checking our events section on the website for the next time one is scheduled )  During one of the simulations Sally, one of our lady CrossFitters, walks in on Nick who was pretending to be a murderer and was repeatedly stabbing Sally’s friend with a (plastic) knife.  Instead of panicking, Sally straight up tackles Nick and knocks him into the wall.  I know who I want next to me when Mr. Crazy Bad Guy shows up!

So this is what happens when you take the scenarios from the self-defense seminar indoors!  Poor Nick was straight up tackled by Sandy, one of our lady CrossFitters.  That's what he gets for trying to trying to stab her friend with a knife!  Well, it was supposed to be a simulation.

So this is what happens when you take the scenarios from the self-defense seminar indoors! Poor Nick was straight up tackled by Sally. Damn girl, take it easy. It's just a simulation!

So this was about 12 hours after we had just painted and remodeled!  You can imagine the staff’s reaction when I texted them the picture of the broken wall.  Amanda’s: “Seriously…!?”  Honestly, Nick and I could not stop laughing about the whole calamity.

And here's the newly painted, then broken then patched wall.

And here's the newly painted, then broken then patched wall.

We also acquired some new equipment; I hope all of you CrossFitters have noticed it.  Well, the work at The Cave is never done.  And don’t worry, fun’s not over.  There’s more to come shortly.

Here We Grow Again

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

So we have some substantial changes coming in the fall. We’ve spent the last several months preparing, planning and debating what the best courses of action are for the facility, and most importantly all of you, our students. We have had significant changes and expansions within every 12 month period since we started all of this back in 2006.  The photos above show the second phase of the gym after we moved down to Corte Madera. Take a look at the photos. The captions let you know where the photographer was standing when taking the photos. You should be able to get an idea of the scope of the facility at that time. You might even see a couple familiar faces.

If you haven’t read our history online you should take a couple minutes to do so.

http://inthecave.com/about/history

It is pretty astounding when I think back through the crazyness that has lead us to where we are now. I am humbled by the sacrifices that have been made by staff and students alike to make sure we have been able to continue to operate and provide training to the residents of Marin county. We have students still in the gym that have been with us from the beginning. They have followed us through a couple moves, several expansions, cold, wet uncomfortable conditions. We couldn’t be here without them, and all of you. For that we are all greatful.

We have been able to do this with very few pricing changes. We’ve only changed prices once since we started. Another price change coupled with more facility and program changes coming in the fall. If you did not receive the newsletter be sure to check in with the coaching staff and/or the office. The other thing you need to do is make sure you are receiving our newsletters. Log into the members area:

http://inthecave.com/members

Click on the button that says “Subscribe to The Cave mail list”. If you are subscribed and are not receiving the mail list it may be that the mail is getting caught in a spam filter. Be sure to whitelist the domain inthecave.com.

I just want you all to know that you have a team of folks that is truly passionate about making sure you are all well served and cared for. More great things are coming for The Cave. During the changes the gym may be disorganized from time to time, and there may be things temporarily out of place, though that’s certainly nothing new at The Cave.