The Cave

The Cave Blog

Archive for September, 2009

Lets Talk

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
CFM Forum Page

CFM Forum Page

We now have an online forum. Let’s get some running discussions on workouts, health, technique, nutrition or whatever else. Membership to this forum will be restricted to people involved with CrossFit Marin.

Click here to get signed up. Your account will not be active immediately. You’ll have to email me (roger -> to have the account activated. This way we don’t have to deal with the nuisance of spam posts and that sort of thing. Sign up and get talkin.

Have You Practiced Your Handstand Today?

Monday, September 28th, 2009
fSlightly arched handstand...

Slightly arched handstand...

Handstands are predominantly about practice. There is a lot to the technique, proper positions, weight distribution, etc. Regardless of the technical aspects of handstands the main thing you need to do to improve your handstand is practice it regularly. Getting on your hands often is the only way to develop the kinesthetic sense to control it and keep on balance. Developing a strong handstand will yield great benefit to a good deal of other skills. All overhead work will be improved. You will have stronger supports in just about everything, you will be more comfortable upside down and be able to keep your bearings in a wider variety of situations. So, all this to say, practice your handstands. Every chance you get.

“Thanks to CrossFit Marin”

Sunday, September 27th, 2009
The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Courtesy of Emily Cookson. An ode to CrossFit Marin.

Jumping on boxes and using the rower,
Doing a pushup and hearing “go lower”,
Bear crawl on pavement that scuffs up my skin
All this I love thanks to CrossFit Marin.

Holding on tighter to rings and to high bars
Lifting so heavy I’m starting to see stars
Working my back squats again and again
All this I love thanks to CrossFit Marin.

Practicing jumprope and doing more sit-ups
Going so hard at it, I almost spit up
Getting the fittest I ever have been
All this I love thanks to CrossFit Marin.

When I’m down low,
When I feel slow,
When my day’s been long…
I simply head back in to CrossFit Marin
And then I will feel so strong!

Fight Gone Bad IV

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Nick, Marshal and Kevin going at it hard

Nick, Marshal and Kevin going at it hard

I want to thank everyone that contributed, volunteered and participated in Fight Gone Bad IV. It was great. There is some final accounting to be done but it looks like we made our $5,000 goal. This is fantastic! It’s over 3X what we raised as a gym last year.

Seasoned CrossFitters and some new friends participated in the workout. Ages of participants ranged from 14-56. Several PRs were hit.

Meet Dean

Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Dean's Overhead Squat

Dean's Overhead Squat

Everyone meet Dean. He’s Emily Cookson’s husband. He just completed foundations 3. This clearly is a family of lifters. Not only is Dean strong, but his mobility is fantastic. His first overhead squat looked like this. Understand that this is not because he’s practiced it before, F3 was the first time he had ever done an overhead squat. It’s going to be fun to see Dean’s loads go up as he practices the movements. Emily and Dean’s mixed pair total will be tough to beat, in either the olympic lifts, power lifts or CrossFit Total.

If you are reading this and it is before noon on Saturday 26th then we are doing Fight Gone Bad RIGHT NOW. Get down to the gym and join us. As of this posting we have $4,100 in online donations with $600 in other commitments. We’re only $300 away from our goal. If you can’t make it to the gym please make a small donation to one of our athletes.

Fight Gone Bad Events Page

Say “Hi” to Linda

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Hey Crew,

We’ve recently had several people go through our foundations program.  Among the newcomers is Linda Moore.  Linda is fairly active, but she’s wanted to get more upper body and core strength.  Think she’s come to the right place?  ;-)  Say “Hi” to Linda when you see her in the gym.  By the way, Linda might have to scale some movements and exercises at first, but she got double-unders on her last foundations class!  How do you like that?!  Niac, Niac.

Linda wraps up F5 with 3x3 back squats

Linda wraps up F5 with 3x3 back squats


Also, don’t forget that tomorrow is “Fight Gone Bad!”  Bring some friends, get some sponsors!  If any of your friends are too noobish and  feel too intimidated just tell them that we’ll run them through “Squabble Gone Slightly Awry” instead.  Remember that the heats are at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am & 12:00pm.  You don’t even neccessarily have to be here the whole hour.  Try to let us know what heat you’re planning on coming to.  It will be fun!

On another note, I really like playing around with the multi-shot function on my Xti.  Here are some pics from the 7:15 class on Tues Sept. 22nd:

Casen sets up for her jump.  Might be leaning forward a little too much.

Casen sets up for her jump. Might be leaning forward a little too much.


Nice hip extension!  Arms should be a little bit straighter.
Nice hip extension! Arms should be a little bit straighter.



She gets her feet up high enough and nails the jump. Keep that chest up, though!

Here is what we do at CFM because we’re too poor to buy GHD’s:

Affiliate love.

Affiliate love.

Up we go!

Up we go!

Casen looks very proud of herself!

Casen looks very proud of herself! Nice horns, Sarah.

Grip Strength and the hangboard

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

You can’t lift or pull off of what you can’t hold on to.  That is why you have to make sure you train your grip strength.  Grip strength is extremly important and it makes me laugh inside when I hear an athlete lay blame for their less-than-expected performance in a workout on their grip, as if it really wasn’t their fault that they couldn’t do better, because they weren’t that tired but their grip was what failed.  Well, no duh!  If you don’t train your grip, it won’t get strong enough!    It is still your responsibility to maker sure you grip is substantial.  One way you can train this is by pinching the Olympic lifting plates when you carry them around.

Here is a narrow pinch.

Here is a narrow pinch.


You can also do interval sets with the plates.  You can  try a tabata or any other interval.  Basically you pick the plates up and hold them for 20 seconds, then set them down for 10 seconds.  Repeat for eight sets or whatever you please.  One good workout is to do this interval repeatedly until you can’t hold it for 20 seconds straight and fail as a result.  The winner is whoever can get through the most sets without failing.  This is especially important for, let’s say firefighters, who have to hold pull hose sometimes when it is thick and under pressure and other occupations as well, It is your responsibility to make sure that your grip strength is up to par  with the rest of your fitness!  One way to get little mini-sets in every time you put plates away or move them around.  Go ahead and just pinch them when you are putting them away.   Before you know it, you will already be much better!

Before and After?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009




Ok, so yeah these photos were taken 2 minutes apart, but it was too funny to pass up. Many advertised before and after photos are done in similar fashion. They make sure lighting, posture and other factors increase the appearance of change in these individuals. And even then they will generally state “results not typical”. The photos are often doctored, and thousands of photos are reviewed to find just the right shot to give the best impression of change.

The thing is we are actually seeing massive changes in everyone who is training with us. I have a project going on now to put together real progress photos of a lot of folks. If you haven’t had your photos taken recently let us know. We want these pics. Just like our workout data it’s another metric to measure progress. We will likely post some, but our performance metrics are more important to us. We like that the physical transformation is there. Hey, looking better is a fantastic side benefit of all of this right? I couldn’t be more proud of all of our students. Every day I get to see a lot of people I care about better themselves through hard work. Keep it up everyone!

5 Days to FGB IV

Monday, September 21st, 2009

fgb4IF you have not signed up for FGB IV yet, do it now. There is a week left. Sign up, send an email to all of your friends asking them to donate $5, and show up Saturday. We will run heats starting at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and 12:00. If you are already signed up send in an email, or call and let us know which heat you’re going to participate in. Remember we don’t care about how you perform in the workout, or what your score is, just that you participate, show up and work hard. Just like every other workout we do. Bring friends to cheer you on, or better yet, have them sign up and participate. This is a great cause, and a fun event. We’ll be hanging out, eating and throwing down FGB. We will have scale options available for all exercises and folks on hand to help guide new folks through the workout. Even though it’s late, no excuses, sign up now.

If you absolutely can not make it then please make a donation to one of our participating athletes. Just follow a link to one of their donation pages. Rich LeFurgy is blowing everyone out of the water on this one… Let’s catch up. BTW We’ve already beat our numbers from last year, and we’re over half way to our goal of $5,000. Let’s make this happen.

First Impressions of CrossFit Marin

Sunday, September 20th, 2009
Ben catching a clean, prep for jerk

Ben catching a clean, prep for jerk

I’ve had several people ask me recently what to say when people have a variety of responses to their first impression of CrossFit Marin. These responses range from fear to awe to intimidation to disgust to mockery. Try to remember the first time you saw one of our workouts. Some people see or hear about our workouts and just can’t wait to get involved. Others look at us like we are completely out of our minds and have no intent of ever getting involved. Most are somewhere in between.

Many are intimidated and simply think that they will never be able to keep up with our regulars. Watching even some of our newer clients can be intimidating to those who do not know how effective this training is. The impression is that most of our clients came in our doors as supreme athletes and are not the norm. This is a hard impression to break since few stay at a low level of performance for very long once they are training with us.

Just tell them your story, or tell the story of any one of our numerous members that has recently acquired these “superhuman” abilities. Understand that your perspectives have changed. What you think of as heavy or a hard workout is a bit skewed now. Send them to our testimonials page to read stories about our members.

I couldn’t be more pleased that the level of your athleticism intimidates new comers. It’s a clear sign that you’re doing things right. It does bring the trouble of gently nudging (or dragging kicking and screaming) people into the program, but your performance is the best indicator we have of efficacy. We just need to let people know where all of our starting points were.