The Cave

The Cave Blog

Archive for February, 2010

What A View Where We Work Hard

Sunday, February 28th, 2010
The moon over Mt. Tam

The moon over Mt. Tam

I love the view from our back door. It’s pretty incredible to get up every morning and see a view like this from our gym. We are pretty fortunate to have this. Frankly, the view from the gym is better than the view from my house.

I came across yet another study that’s indicating that we’re training the right way.

Exercise Less, But Harder

Basically training like we do is more beneficial and more fun than long slow workouts. I just love that the studies and medical sciences are finally catching up with us somewhat. So, if you’ve got a friend who’s been resistant to training with us because they have their 3 hours of running, aerobics, cardio, etc send them to this article. Then bring them in.

A quick reminder about the food journals in the forums. We’ve already got a few people started. This is a great way to just get yourself aware of what you are fueling yourself with.

If you are not yet registered for the forum be sure to read the forum rules posts to get set up properly.

A Fond Temporary Farewell

Saturday, February 27th, 2010
Casen Crushing Her Annie Time
Casen Crushing Her Annie Time
Tamra's catch on a push jerk
Tamra’s catch on a push jerk

We have two dedicated members that will not be around as frequently. Tamra and Casen are headed to fire academy. They joined us to prepare for the academy and have been improving drastically. In  the past two months they have crushed their PRs just about every chance they got. In recent weeks they have been hitting most workouts with prescribed loads. We are sad to see them go, but wish them the best. We also know they will perform well in the PT segments of their training. I also believe they will perform all of their other duties well. They have been a very committed fixture of our morning sessions. They will be by from time to time when they have a chance. Thanks for being a part of our crazy little family Tamra and Casen!!

An announcement: On March 1st we are starting a complete disclosure forum. This is a place where you will be encouraged to keep a public food journal. There are several purposes to this. One is accountability. If you have to post everything you eat on a public forum, you are far more likely to be compliant in your eating. Second is that we will all be able to pick up some great healthy eating ideas from each other. In any case, log onto the forums and go to the “Food Journals” forum. Start posting everything you eat. This is not a place for feedback unless it is asked for. We are here to support you in your endeavors.

Its just because of the shoes.

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Favorite /Biggest sellout ads ever.  Good example of some good ”old school” parkour before the silliness started to set in.  Done by the Old Guard themselves,  founders  Seabass Foucan and David Belle.

Wear Nikes outrun wild quadrapeds.  Bipeds too.   Gym Jam Tonight 6pm-10pm .

Musings on CFM Programming

Friday, February 26th, 2010

It’s ok to ask questions regarding the programming.  Two of our newest clients, Katie Cookle’s friend Christina and Karine were in one of my classes yesterday.  The WOD was a strength couplet of weighted Pistols and weighted pull-ups.  Christina asked me  what was the theory behind starting light and going heavier as the workout progressed instead of starting heavy and going down.   I told her that when you’re starting a strength set, you want to warm up the movement starting with lighter loads and build up your body’s level of stress tolerance as you go along as well as your ability to demand the execution of a certain task from your body.    Preferably you’re going to max out or maybe even fail around the middle set or so.  If you peak, that doesn’t mean you’re done with the workout, but rather you still want to finish your sets with about as much weight as you can still handle.  Remember, the objective isn’t just to see how much load you can get up to and beat your friends, but rather to work the movements and build strength for the long therm. 

Both Christina and Karine had just finished the foundations series.  It was Christina’s first and Karine’s second CrossFit class ever.  Karine expressed a certain amount of disbelief when she found out that I was going to have her do weighted pull-ups.  She actually ended up taking the boards for the day on the pull-ups with 13lbs.  When I asked her about it she said that no one had every had her do weighted pull-ups before.  The extra weight helps you adapt physiologically and neurologically to generating more power and moving greater loads.  If you only work body weight pull-ups, you will get stronger to a certain extent, after which you basically just get metabolically better at doing more of them.  A great example of this is that there are people who can crank out pull-ups to no end, but have never been able to do a single 1-arm pull-up.  You have to train specifically with the additional loads.  For the pistols, Roger came up with a new scale that put higher demand on the athlete to train the balance of the pistol.  Several athletes, especially Amanda Norton and Karine, were surprised to find out that they could actually do weighted pistols.  I find it very interesting and entertaining when someone fails at a certain load and then they bring out their game face and dominate the same weight/lift on a later set.

Roger puts a lot of thought into the CFM programming every week.  Here is a picture of the mad-scientist himself with the CFM boards.

Roger puts a lot of thought into the CFM programming every week. Here is a picture of the mad-scientist himself with the CFM boards.

Many of you know that Roger Harrell currently does the vast bulk of the programming on a weekly basis.  Roger only has about 20 years of experience coaching  as well as his own gymnastics training to add to his experience and vast array of knowledge.  Nevertheless, inside the gym we constantly discuss programming, question what can be improved and if there are any flaws.  It’s an evolving body of knowledge that is dynamic and is always exposed to new ideas and insights.  Some of you expressed some frustration when we were doing density training for a week of double-unders.  Some of you improved dramatically at them.  It’s ok to ask questions and give us feedback on the programming.  We want to hear your opinions.  A few of you know that I like to go to CrossFit Oakland every once in a while on Sunday mornings, partly to get out of my own gym and be a trainee instead of a trainer but also because I enjoy mixing it up and the change of pace in the programming.  They often do shorter strength sets followed by short and heavy metcons.  As knowledgeable as we are, we are always looking to learn something new from other affiliates and other coaches.  They do the same.  Some of their athletes and trainers will be picking up some new skills and ideas at the CFM Trainer’s Gymnastics Seminar and Athlete’s Gymnastics Session on March 13th.  That is part of the beauty of the CrossFit community, that we have very knowledgeable people who come together and teach each other what they’re good at.  There are many approaches and angles that can be taken for training and the better the causes and effects of the programming are understood, the more effective the training will be.

BAPK Parkour Gym Jam at CrossFit Marin Sat Feburary 27th 6-10pm!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Hey Crew, guess what time of the month it is?  No, not that time of the month.  It’s time for another Bay Area Parkour Gym Jam at CrossFit Marin!   This Saturday Feburary 27th, we’re having another awesome Parkour Gym Jam at CFM from 6-10pm!  It’s not Ryan’s birthday anymore, so we are charging $15 for entrance this time.  We’re expecting a collection of experienced traceurs as well as noobies from various bay area locals.  Both communities, SF Parkour & BA Parkour will be present with BAPK officially hosting.  Of course, Aero and myself will be on site practicing and/or coaching.  One of our OSTN regulars, Glenn Black, aka Glyph on the forums, made this sweet little video of some of the skills he worked on at OSTN last Friday Feb 19th while Roge & myself were away at FilFest.  Check this out:

This is what a Gym Jam is like, sort of, but instead of one bad-ass working on stuff by himself, there are 30 of them throwing a big parkour party all at once- and of course, some of them will actually take some time to coach you if you need help.  Aero, myself and some of the other coaches will be there as well.  Come check it out and see!

Here’s another video by SF Parkour from a Santa Rosa Jam that Russell & myself briefly attended once we found where everybody actually was:

Some of the characters in this one are, in no particular order, Beretta, No Sole, Jonas, Lucy, Shane Daniels, Adroit, Austin Gall, Benny, & many others.  Again, this is an SFPK video.  BAPK isn’t as big on filming their jams, they’re much too busy practicing!  Bless their hearts.  I, of course, love them both.  Anyways, come by on Saturday night, bring your friends, and have a great time!

CrossFit Disco?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

CrossFit Disco

The last workout of our trip out to Miami was this.

  • 70 Double Unders
  • 60 KB Snatches 1 pood
  • 50 Box Jumps
  • 40 Wall Ball Burpees
  • 30 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
  • 20 Clean and Jerk 60kg
  • 10 Clapping Push Ups

You will see this coming to a gym near you soon. Have fun.

You Don’t Know What You Can Do

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Everybody: you have no idea how fit you are.  This is a pretty funny statement, considering that we stress the importance of knowing your times and remembering how much you can lift.  We even have a fancy program (the athletics log) that can calculate your power output for a workout so that you could graph your work capacity across broad time and modal domains!

And while it’s important to know what your max lifts are or what your benchmark scores are, one of the interesting things about our training methodology is that it makes us much better than we realize at things we might not have worked on for a while.  Patricia found this out the other day when she discovered that– after months of not working on them– she had gotten strong enough to hold a handstand.  This is the whole idea: train so that you’ll be good at things you haven’t even trained for!  I wonder what other tasks we are all capable of that we haven’t yet tried.

Post some stories of times when you surprised yourself.

Your Trainers err… training?

Sunday, February 21st, 2010
Dres Playing The Jumprope Game

Dres Playing The Jumprope Game

Ok, so for the first time in I don’t know how long, Andres and I did something that neither involved work, or working out. FilFest is over, we stopped by I Am CrossFit in Miami to check out their facility and hang with their trainers. Then headed over to the Dolphin Mall, which is huge. They have a Dave & Busters there, which is basically a giant arcade. There was a game which had lights in a big oval that circled around and you were supposed to jump as they passed through the bottom. Each cycle the pattern got faster. You can’t really tell from the picture, but this is Dres playing the game.

In any case we’re missing you guys. We have heard some good stories and accomplishments that have occurred in our absense. We’ll be back soon. Keep training hard.

Quick Tidbit on Sugar and Fun With Slomo

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Front Toss In Slow Motion

Here’s a short article on one person’s experience with cutting out sugar. Living Sugar Free. In it he discusses the clear benefit he experienced with cutting out sugar. It goes well beyond weight folks. The primary reason I STRONGLY encourage cutting out the sugar is foundational health issues. You will feel better once you’re over the sugar cravings. The quantity of sugar that comes our way is staggering. Food producers are not helping the situation at all. Sugar is a cheap form of calories that also tastes good. From an economic perspective it is perfect, from a health perspective it is completely the opposite.

This video was taken by Burt one night at gymnastics. It is a front toss on parallel bars. It’s pretty cool to see these movements in slow motion. In the prep swing you can really see the hollow and pop. Watch for the extension in the front swing leading into the rearward swing. I bend my arms early and do not drive my heels enough into the skill. You will see (also in slow motion) my bouncing in frustration after I complete the front toss. The movement should continue up to handstand after the front toss.

FilFest 2010

Friday, February 19th, 2010
A Lot of Fit and Smart Folks

A Lot of Fit and Smart Folks

Day 1 of the affiliate gathering. We have heard the state of CrossFit from Greg Glassman, discussed the progress of the certification program. CrossFit certifications will soon be accredited. We have taken the new level 1 certificate exam. Following that we’ve discussed programming and did a group WOD. All is well. Andres and I need some sleep. 8 hrs over the last three days isn’t enough…

Partner WOD

3 rounds for time

  • 30 Lateral  jumps
  • 50m wheelbarrow
  • 30 burpees
  • 50m Backward run
  • 30 Elbow plank knees to elbows
  • 50m Partner carry
  • 30 Overhead squat
  • 50m Sprint

Our time: 16:48   Oh, did I mention all of this was on dry sand?