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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!


Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The 2015 CrossFit Open kicked off at Copperhead, Massachusetts last Thursday evening (2/26/14) with the live announcement show. About a half dozen Cave members huddled anxiously around the flat screen to see what was in store for 15.1.

This year, CrossFit Director of Training, Dave Castro, decided to throw us a curveball right out of the gate. In previous years, competitors had asked for heavy barbells in the open. This year, we got ‘em in the form of 15.1A; a one-rep max clean and jerk! On top of that, for the first time ever, an Open workout will consist of two different scored events. 15.1, affectionately renamed the “grip reaper,” consisted of 9 minutes of 15 toes to bar, 10 deadlifts, and 5 snatches followed immediately by 15.1A—6 minutes to establish a 1 RM clean and jerk.

As soon as David Castro announced the first Open workout, our Mark Anderson was the first of 53 registered CrossFit Marin athletes to take it on. He kicked us off with a memorable performance, and we quickly learned this workout was all about grip strength. Mark set a great pace with 160 reps on 15.1 and a 199 lb clean and jerk on 15.1A. What an amazing athlete!

HUGE shoutout to our coach and athlete Seraphina Schinner, who KILLED this workout! She got the most reps of anyone in the gym on 15.1 at 197—an amazing performance that was exciting to watch—and a huge clean and jerk on 15.1A of 155 lbs!

Amanda’s performance was spectacular and has landed her in the top 60 of Norcal, keeping the regionals dream alive and in her sights.

There were so many highlights this weekend. Every athlete truly gave it his or her best. There were PRs and firsts all weekend. Cody Bartrug never snatched 75 lbs before but went for it and scored a total of 53 reps! Gotta love Michael Schinner catching the clean on his knees, Daniel T’s ability to high pull and strict press his lift, Dave Whaley’s being 1 kg shy of his 1RM max, Michael Tatum’s INSANE clean and jerk, and Rich Lefurgy punching out his jerk a nano second before time was called. It all exhilarated us and ignited our community further.

15.1 brought us a ton of toes-to-bar (which was to be expected) and a one-rep max clean and jerk (which was not expected). Our members counted, cheered, and high-fived each other into numerous new PRs. All in all, it was a great first week, and we’re anxious and excited to see what’s in store for the rest of the Open. Check out our leaderboard!

WOD Recover Yoga for Rowing

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Catch, drive, finish and recover, better known as rowing. Functional fitness athletes know all too well the pain that accompanies rowing. Row sprints can fatigue muscles quickly and tax the cardiovascular system. Rowing for distance, like 13.1 miles, can wreck your low back and legs during, and after the workout is complete. This continuous fluid movement, which doesn’t allow for much rest, often leads to repetitive stress injuries and tightness. Low back pain is one of the most common injuries seen in collegiate rowers. If these athletes who work so hard to become a specialist in this particular movement and constantly train to improve their performance have issues, it stands to reason that functional fitness athletes will as well. And with the athletes I work with, this is very much the case. Along with low back pain, IT Band inflammation due to the repetitive motion of the catch (when the knees bend before the beginning of the next pull) is relatively common. Inflammation can be caused by tightness, which doesn’t always originate at the IT Band but in the attached muscles like glutes or quads. Stretching and mobilizing immediately after and in the days following this movement, is crucial for fast recovery.

When looking at the muscle groups targeted during the 4 phases of the rowing movement, we begin to see this is a full body movement with certain muscle groups doing most of the work. The posterior chain, quads, rhomboids, abdominals and calves work hard in a particular order and rhythm to produce this powerful movement. The yoga postures listed below stretch, release and relax the major movers of this repetitive movement.

Tips and Tricks:

*   As this is WOD Recover Yoga, it is always best to do these postures after working out. When the muscles are warm, stretching is easier.

*   Stay in the pose, breathing in and out through the nose for up to 2 minutes depending on how you feel. Allow the body some time to relax in the posture so that as the muscles relax, you deepen the stretch.

1. Thread the Needle

* Stretches upper back and rhomboids


Starting in a tabletop position with the shoulders stacked over wrists and the hips over the knees. Extend your right arm out to the right and on your exhale, thread your right are through over to the left. Bring the right shoulder on the ground. Walk the left hand over to the left and on your exhale, press through the left palm and open the chest towards the ceiling. Lengthen the left side of the torso while you twist the spine.

2. Twisted Monkey

* Stretches hip flexors and abdominals


Step the right foot forward and to the right of your hip. Point the front toes out, keep the front knee hugging into the right shoulder and the back toes untucked. Bend the back knee and grab the foot with the right hand. Allow the foot to fall into the hand to relax the hamstrings and prevent cramping. Draw the heel in towards the butt to deepen stretch in the left psoas.

3. Revolved Seated Staff

* Stretches low back, outer hips and IT Band


Start by sitting with the legs straight out in front. Grab for the outside of the right foot with the left hand thumb down. Grounding the sit bones, extend the spine and sit up tall. Begin to open the chest towards the right side placing the right hand behind you. From here, extend the right leg to your degree. You should feel an intense stretch along the outer hip and down to the outer right knee. Use each exhale to gradually deepen the twist and each inhale to sit up taller.

4. Seated Forward Fold

* Stretches low back, hamstrings and calves


Start seated with the legs straight out in front. Sit up tall, flex the feet and engage the quads. Roll the tops of the thighs towards one another. Reach the arms up and on your exhale, leading with the chest, fold forward. Grab the toes. If necessary, use a strap or band around the arches of the feet. Keep the back of the neck long. Continue to extend the chest out as you breath through this stretch for up to 2 minutes.

5. Reclined Spinal Twist

* Stretches low back and shoulders


Start by lying on your back with your left thigh over the right thigh. Shift the hips to the left and on your exhale send the knees to the right. Extend the left arm out to the left. To continue the stretch up the back of the neck, gaze over your left fingers. As you breath, you will notice your left knees will begin to drop towards the ground.  Breath in and out through the nose for up to two minutes then switch sides. * If this is too much on the back, bring the knees together and then twist.

6. Pigeon/Eye of the Needle

* Stretches glutes and low back


Starting in Down Dog, bring the right shin forward and place it on the ground. Keep the right foot flexed. The right knee should be to the right of the hip. Extend the left leg back. Roll towards the front of the left hip so the hips are square towards the ground. Depending on tightness, shift the right heel forward, but only if this doesn’t hurt the right knee. Once you feel an intense stretch in the glutes, walk the hands forward, resting the forehead on the ground or on your hands. If at anytime there is pain in the right knee use Eye of the Needle as a great alternative.

**Eye of the Needle


7. Plow

* Stretches upper, middle and low back


Start by lying on your back. On an inhale, bring the feet up and over, towards the ground behind the head. If the toes don’t easily touch, draw the shoulder blades and elbows together, then grab the low back. Most of the weight should be in the upper arm bones. Breathe here for about a month and slowly; lower down onto your back.

This week in The Cave

Monday, July 28th, 2014

A fantastic group of guys

A fantastic group of guys

Congratulations to Coach Bill!

Bill Berry made a HUGE statement at the CrossFit Games last week!  He came in 14th in the Master division, and showed the true spirit of a champion!  Great job Bill!  We loved cheering you on and watching you get after it.  We are all so  proud of you!!  Roger’s series of recaps of Bill’s events begins here:

It is with deep sadness that coach Bill is leaving us to be closer to his family on the east coast.    We’ll be having a goodbye party for him at The Cave on Saturday, August 2nd starting at 5:30pm.  Please join us in celebrating Bill and showing our love for him.  Also, please take a moment to read his farewell letter here:
wod_recovery_yoga2-1Yoga is coming to The Cave
Starting the first week in August, we’ll be adding 3 new classes to our schedule:

WOD Recovery Yoga (Post CrossFit Yoga)      Monday and Thursday 10-11am

Athletic Vinyasa Flow Yoga      Wednesday 12:00-1:00pm

More information can be found on our website:

Fall Class Registrationgroup_photo
Yes, it is only mid-summer, but it’s already that time to begin planning for the Fall!  Classes fill up super fast in the Fall, so now is the time to organize your children’s schedules and sign them up!  Our Fall Schedule can be seen here on-line and you can sign up by calling The Cave at (415) 927-1630.
muscleup-goodCrossFit Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar
You don’t want to miss this! Spend 3 hours with Roger Harrell - founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program - learning how to properly teach gymnastics fundamentals in a CrossFit program. Detailed progressions will be covered. Key safety concerns will be addressed specifically geared toward teaching gymnastics movements to adults. Click here to register.
This seminar is coupled with the Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Trainer’s and Athlete’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100. Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.
CrossFit Athlete’s Gymnastics Seminar
Spend 3 hours with Roger Harrell - founder of the CrossFit Gymnastics Certification program - learning gymnastics movements. This seminar is focused on proper and efficient execution of key gymnastics elements. Get started or improve your technique on a variety of movements. Learn how these skills truly break down to work toward mastery. Floor, rings and parallettes will be covered in detail with an introduction to other gymnastics apparatus. Learn some key techniques to dramatically improve your efficiency and enable performance of skills you thought unattainable. Click here to register.
This seminar is coupled with the Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar. Member’s cost for both Athlete’s and Trainer’s seminars is $90, non-member cost is $100. Call (415) 250-9710 to sign up for BOTH seminars and receive the special pricing.

2014 Games Friday Recap

Friday, July 25th, 2014

First day at the CrossFit Games didn’t disappoint. The individual and team events tested the athletes thoroughly. I won’t go into the details of the workouts. They can all be viewed here on the games site. The “Frantasy” workout was one of the most grueling team events I’ve seen. Most of you all know what pushing a sled feels like from the prowler pushes. Now, go do Fran as hard as you can, then push the prowler around a bunch. Or, start by pushing the prowler around, then do Fran, then push the prowler some more. That is pretty much what the team event was like. So each team member had to do some variant of Fran and push the sled a total of 200 yards. Shortly after those two events were done, they had to do a team total max deadlift, followed by… wait for it… Another sled push. The team athletes are going to be hurting tomorrow.

The most impressive feat of the day had to be Camille doing the pull up phase of the 21-15-9 complex completely unbroken. She was the only individual (male or female) to do this. So she completed 8 pull ups to 7 chest to bar pull ups to 6 bar muscle ups unbroken. Then again with 6-5-4 and 4-3-2 respectively.

Games Final - 2014 CrossFit Games

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The final for the 60+ men was 100m run, 7 chest to bar pull ups and 5 snatches at 115lbs. This was a sprint. In fact the first place finisher completed the workout in less than 1 minute. Bill executed the workout very well. No missed reps, unbroken pull ups and a good pace on the snatches. The field was close. Bill finished in 13th. Only 9 seconds faster would have been 8th. He finished the event in 14th place overall.

It was quite a week. We are very proud of Bill. He held up incredibly well over the weekend. The foot held up great today. We’re going to keep tabs on it, but it didn’t bother him in the workouts today. We’ll see you all in the gym next week. Bill appreciates all the support and cheers. The masters competitors are a great group of guys. I always enjoy watching their interactions, and how they approach the competition. Superb sportsman’s ship.

Down and Back is Behind Us - 2014 CrossFit Games

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The masters chipper was a variation on the regionals chipper. 40 box step overs, 20 toes to bar, 40 wall ball, 20 dips, then back to the wall ball and repeat everything. This was just a matter of setting a pace and keep moving. The event had a 21 minute cap and most athletes in Bill’s division completed the workout. The pack was pretty tight aside from the leader Scott Olson. He dominated finishing a full two minutes ahead of second place. Bill got going and kept a great pace. He did get no-repped a lot during the workout and the judge gave some confusing instruction during his last set of wall ball. Bill finished 17th in this workout keeping him 14th overall. We are looking forward to the sprint final. It should be a good workout for Bill.

Event 6 Medball/Burpee Done - 1 More Day

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Bill in a position we are all familiar with

Bill in a position we are all familiar with

Medicine ball clean over the shoulder... 50lb ball

Medicine ball clean over the shoulder... 50lb ball

Bill was feeling a little down after the workout this morning. He felt he could have done better, but don’t we all sometimes. Additionally his left foot is bothering him a little bit. We’re not sure when it happened, but his arch is cramping and is tender, you may see this exhibit in the first event tomorrow. We’re getting work done to get everything as good as possible.

Event 6 was 21-15-9 Medicine ball clean over shoulder/burpee. We knew this was going to be fast, but it was a whirlwind. Pretty much the entire field got started and set a good pace. This pace did not slack through the entire workout. There were a few outliers in the front and at the end, but finishes in the middle were in rapid fire, and a few seconds could mean multiple places in the rankings. Bill got no-repped right at the end on the burpees, but finished strong. He ranked 14th on this workout leaving him 14th overall. We have a chipper tomorrow morning then a second workout that has not yet been announced. We hope to find out at the athlete briefing at 5:00.

Event 5 Done - CrossFit Games 2014

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
First several sets of jerks unbroken

First several sets of jerks unbroken

This year the workout is just called “2007″. At the 2007 CrossFit Games it was called the “Hopper Workout”. Literally created at random at the games in front of all of the athletes, coaches and spectators out of a large drum filled with marked balls. A row followed by 5 rounds of high volume pull ups and heavy jerks. 135lbs was the weight of the jerk, which in 2007 was considered on the higher end.

For the 60+ masters men the workout was 1,000m Row followed by 5 rounds of 15 pull ups and 7 push jerks at 115lbs. Bill started this event in 13th. The plan was to maintain a sub 2:00 pace on the row, then keep to sets of 5 for the pull ups and do the jerks unbroken. We knew that this one would be tough because it is long, and Bill can struggle with high volume pull ups, particularly in a competition environment. He was right on plan and within the top 10 for the first couple of rounds. Fatigue started to hit in round 3 and his pull ups sets had to be adjusted. The later rounds affected many of the men so Bill was holding on well. Unfortunately later in the 4th round and into the 5th round systemic fatigue really slowed Bill down. The 16:00 time cap (4 minutes shorter than the cap in 2007) was called and Bill had 2 reps to go. Bill finished 15th in this event, which fortunately keeps him in 13th going into the next event. We’ve got medicine ball over the shoulders and burpees next. Keep posted.

Run/Rope Climb - 2014 CrossFit Games

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Bill getting up the rope

Bill getting up the rope

The 4th master’s event in the 2014 CrossFit Games was a run/rope climb. Athletes had to perform 5 rounds of 400m run, 14 ft rope climb. Bill had his rope climb dialed in going into this event, but middle-long distance runs have always been a struggle for him. First round Bill finished the run in about 1:45 (ahead of his 2:00m/400 mile pace). Hit the rope climb and continued on. Throughout the workout he stayed in the middle of the pack. He actually struggled a bit on the rope climb letting his feet get away from the rope, but passed some of his competitors on the run, which he has never done before in a CrossFit Games level competition. Bill finished the workout strong in 11th place on the event. This leaves him in 14th place going into tomorrow.