The Cave

The Cave Blog

Archive for October, 2011

Amazing Progress

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Sorry I don’t have any current photos. You’ll just have to come down to the gym and see. What was accomplished this week was pretty spectacular considering we didn’t cancel a single class. Today’s classes were impacted a little by having to dig equipment out from the middle of the room, and space being a bit tight, but otherwise we were able to remodel a wall, repair a lot of little issues around the gym and repaint virtually the entire space starting with some small pieces last Tuesday. The work is not completely done, but the major projects are complete. We have a bit of finish work to do, and there are some projects that were tabled because we knew that it couldn’t happen before next weekend, so they remain on the todo list.

The space was painted in under 24 hours. That is including priming, preparing, taping mudding various dings, allowing for drying time and multiple coats. A lot of people put in some very long and late hours to make this happen, and I can’t express my gratitude enough. It is a great thing to be surrounded by generally helpful and giving people. Thank you all!

Work Continues

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

A HUGE thanks to all who helped out today… well, yesterday. We have accomplished a ton. There are still folks at the gym working as I write this (2:30am). The group photo does not include nearly everyone who helped out. Take a look at the pics. There is a small hint of a feature there if you can find it.

We will need another round of assistance. Around 2pm later today (Sunday Oct 30) we will need to put the gym back together. This is pretty fast and easy with a lot of people. Come on down and get your warm up in moving gear. Call my cell first to make sure we’re ready to roll.

Gato Negro Wine Parkour Commercial Shoot last Friday October 21st

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

So as many of you remember, Ryder and myself landed roles as parkour extras for a wine commercial that we went to shoot last Friday.  It turned out to be a ton of fun.  We really didn’t do all that much parkour, it was more building climbing and downclimbing on our way to a party (Well, it will seem that way in the commercial.  We took the elevator and stairs to the actualparty scene.)  where all the cool kids play, socialize and sip on Gato Negro wine while having a good time, or at least trying to act that way while pretending that we weren’t freezing to death.  Supposedly the commercial will air online in several different countries in Europe and South America.  We’re going to be building-climbing-wine-sipping-lady-killers-parkour-extra-rock-stars.  Who knows, you may even be able to recognize our faces in the commercial if they show us for more than a split second.  In any case, it was fun and they actually took some pretty cool shots with both myself and Ryder, even one with a cable car in the back ground.  If either of us had gotten the principal role we would have been really well paid.  As it was we weren’t making all that much but getting paid to actually do parkour in a commercial was sweet  and memorable in and of itself.  The guy who did land the principal role was DeVille Vannik from South Africa.  He’s 2nd from the right in this picture.  The three beauties were extras for the wine shoot as well, although they didn’t have to do much parkour, except maybe a cat walk or something.

Shima, Andres, Andrina, DeVille, and Jen pose for a quick picture during the commercial shoot for Gato Negro Wine

Shima, Andres, Andrina, DeVille, and Jen pose for a quick picture during the commercial shoot for Gato Negro Wine

 Here is another take of the commercial shoot:  the guests setting up the lights for the party:

Hanging up the pretty lights with the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop:
Hanging up the pretty lights with the San Francisco skyline as a backdrop:

 Ryder and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.  We were at the shoot from 8:30am (thereabouts) until 8:30 pm.  By the time we left we were exhausted and had made new friends.  Ryder even tore his pants during one of the building climbing shoots and Travis Furlanic, who I broughut with us was generous enough to loan Ryder his pants so he could continue.  Thank you Travis!  Lastly, here is Deville’s 2010 Demo Reel in case you were curious:

Remodeling/finish Work Starting

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

If you were in the gym today you may have noticed things a bit out of place and a wall looking a bit different. We’re at it again. We’re getting some work done around the facility to make it look better, and improve function. We’re reinforcing some walls that need it because drywall can’t seem to handle the activities in our gym. Please forgive the dust and stuff that will be out of place over the next couple of weeks. The end result is worth the temporary inconvenience.

Thanks everyone!!!

Oh, and check your email. I will be sending out more information soon. If you are not receiving the newsletter, then you need to log into the members area:

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CrossFit Promo Videos

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Here’s a few inspirational/awesome CrossFit videos that I thought I’d share with you.

We’ll start off with the classic “What is Crossfit?”

Here’s a cool one from CrossFit High Voltage that includes a nod to functionality.

I like this one for the obvious Fight Club allusion.

And finally, this inspirational gem from Peak 360.

Which one is your favorite?  Feel free to share a link in the comments if you think I missed a good one.

What is a Saturated Fat?

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Saturated and unsaturated fats

Saturated and unsaturated fats

Warning Science Content:

Last week we discussed What are Trans Fats, broke them down chemically and discussed what the problems were with them. Now, lets look at saturated fats. A saturated fat is one that has been “saturated” with hydrogen. In the unsaturated fat there is a single double bonded carbon pair, in the saturated fat all available bonding sites are occupied by hydrogen.

Saturated fat gets a bad rap and was associated with elevated levels of heart disease in a 1953 document titled ”Atherosclerosis, a Problem in Newer Public Health” by Ancel Keys. In this paper Keys postulated a correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease. USA being the highest rate of heart disease and the highest intake of saturated fats, and the lowest of each being Japan. The other 4 countries fit into a nice curve in the middle. Unfortunately there was data on another 16 countries that was not included in his paper, and once the data for those countries was included the correlation went away. Other factors were not considered and saturated fat was demonized.

The three primary saturated fats that are consumed by humans are stearic, palmitic, and lauric acids. These comprise most of the saturated fats in beef, milk, chicken skin, butter, etc. Stearic acid is converted to oleic acid in your liver. Oleic acid is the primary monunsaturated fat found in olive oil. No problems there. Palmitic and lauric both elevate blood cholesterol levels. So, could these be a problem. Here’s the thing. They increase both HDL and LDL levels, and indications are that they increase HDL (good) cholesterol more than bad leading to better blood lipid ratios, and a reduction in heard disease indicators.

It is also pretty clear that unsaturated fats are better than saturated fats from a blood lipid profile perspective, but saturated fats are not to be avoided as aggressively as we have been led to believe. We have seen numerous cases locally of individuals increasing their overall saturated fat intake (while simultaneously reducing grain and sugar intake) and have seen dramatic blood profile improvements.

The only way to be sure for yourself is to monitor your own numbers. Pay attention to your blood work numbers and how they relate to what you are eating. Change things in a specific way, and only one variable at a time. Changing multiple variables eliminates the possibility of isolating exactly what is causing the changes. So, while we don’t recommend eating only bacon, eggs and red meat, there is no reason you can not consume moderate portions of all of them and maintain stellar health.

KNO Rocked!

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

This post follows what was the biggest kids night out we have had to date. Andres, Ryder and our Ninja Warrior friend Travis Furlanic ran games, taught skills and just spent 5 hours playing with a large group of kids. A great time was had by all, and there were some tuckered out kids at our facility by the end of the night. The star game of the night was parkour dodge ball in 417. Nobody wanted to leave when the end of the night came. I hope you are all looking forward to the next kids night out!

Wish us luck in the Shoot tomorrow.

Friday, October 21st, 2011

So about a week ago on Thursday I get a call from this guy named Evan from Bodega studios.  Turns out he’s in charge of casting for a  wine commercial that features a few Parkour moves or at least some “cat-like” movements.  I tell the other parkour coaches on the CFM staff about it and Glenn helps me with pictures and I get some last minute headshots done.  A few of us went to audition last Friday for the principal part, which actually pays pretty well.  We enjoyed using what Andrey calls our “Parkour Vision” to find different moves on the small obstacles by the bay next to Pac Bell stadium.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was trying to look “suave” while pretending to swish fine wine in our wine glasses- errr.. water bottles.   It was definately fun, at least after we got over the nervousness.  ( Maybe I’m speaking for just myself, but I was nervous at first, anyways, until the cute parkour girl showed up to audition.  Then it was just plain fun. )  None of us got the principal part but Ryder and I were offered paid parts as extras.  Not that much, but pay is pay.  The principal part was offered to a fellow from L.A. who’s been involved in different parkour related movie projects.  Other big-name traceurs also applied and I’m not going to list them off, but naturally it made me think of our old friend Shane Daniels, who coached at CFM briefly before moving down to L.A. and finally landing a spot on Team Tempest and fullfilling his dream of becoming a professional stuntman and actor.  Ryder Darcy is also an aspiring actor and he plans on moving down to L.A. eventually to give it a shot, as does our ballet and tap dance teacher, Lindsey Herrera.  (I’m also encouraging Seraphina Schinner, our youngest parkour coach, to look into a stunt/acting career.  She is definately talented enough.)  Both Ryder and Lindsey have been on commercial and modeling shoots before and Ryder recently played a character who heroically gets killed off on a B-rated horror movie.  It’s a process to try to break into an acting career, unless your the child of a famous actor.  I’m happy to go tomorrow to participate, learn, make new friends, and watch the process.  Now I’m just nervous about my wardrobe being adequate for the shoot, which starts early tomorrow morning, so there’s now time for shopping.  Oh well, what I have will have to do.  Wish us luck. 

In the meantime, here is a video that Tempest made when they were shooting the AT&T parkour commercial featuring some of our favorite traceurs, and of course, Shane:

The Usefulness of Being Strong

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

One of my favorite quotes by Mark Rippetoe is, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and generally more useful.” For me, being fit isn’t about looking good or even feeling good, it’s about being hard to kill.  It is also very important to be fit enough to help when somebody else is in trouble.

It’s funny, I’ve had multiple people say things like, “well, when am I ever going to have to run a mile?”  Or “when am I ever going to need to pull somebody out of a burning car?”  Well, you never know.  Wouldn’t it be better to train for it and be able to do something like that if the situation arose?

Case in point:

The bottom line is that the world is a chaotic and dangerous place, despite our best attempts to convince ourselves otherwise.  The more fit you are, the better you’re going to be able to deal with that chaos and danger.

See you in the gym.

What is Trans Fat?

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

cis_trans_fats Warning: Science Content

So we hear all the time that trans fats are bad for you. In many places they are banned already, and the number of places banning trans fats is increasing. So what are trans fats, and what is the problem with them?

So, first lets look at what exactly a trans fat is. When you have a compound there are bonding sites where you can have different conformations of where each bonded piece attaches so that you can have resultant molecules that are identical in makeup but positioned differently. An unsaturated fat is one that contains at least one double bond in its carbon chain meaning that two electrons are shared between those two carbon atoms. (the electrons are shared more molecule wide, but that’s a different topic) This occupies a bonding site for each of those carbon atoms allowing it to only bond to two other structures for a total of 3 bonded structures rather than 4 for a single bonded carbon. A “cis” isomer is one that has the two structures off the side of the carbon chain on the same side, where the “trans” isomer has the two structures on opposite sides. In the case of the fat depicted you can see the hydrogen atoms bonded to the double bonded carbons on the same side for the “cis” isomer and on opposite sides for the “trans” isomer. Chemically these molecules are identical. They are both C9H15OOH. The double bond is in the same location in both molecules. Yet these two molecules behave very differently.

Trans fats are created in a process called hydrogenation. This is a high temperature process to remove the double bonded carbon and add a hydrogen, hense the name. Full hydrogenation results in a saturated fat, partial hydrogenation results in a mixture, and trans fats. Without going into too much detail hydrogenation was originally used to try and utilize unsaturated fats in commercially produced foods. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (olive oil, vegetable oil), saturated fats are solid (butter, lard). Unsaturated fats tend to spoil much faster than saturated fats. Trans fats act much like saturated fats in that they are solid at room temperature and keep better. Hydrogenation was thought to be the solution to include healthy unsaturated fats in products that would have otherwise required saturated fats to produce. Unfortunately the downside was unknown.

So, why is a trans fat bad and a cis fat ok? It all has to do with that conformation at the double bond. The cis isomer allows the fat to bend (which is why this fat is liquid at room temperature), while the trans isomer can not bend and behaves much like a saturated fat. These stiff fats effectively gum up the works. Both trans and saturated fats increase cholesterol levels, but trans fats also have the nasty effect of lowering HDL (good cholesterol) levels, so mess up the HDL/LDL ratios even further. No amount of processed trans fats are ok to have in a diet. While it may take a while to see the impact from trans fats they are leading to a very dangerous problem in your cardiovascular system.

There are naturally occurring trans fats. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) occurs in milk and meat, particularly in those animals that are grass fed. CLA has health benefits due to its particular structure. It is the trans fats produced by hydrogenation that appear to be the problem. We really need to stop mucking around with our food. I’ll be following this up with a saturated fat post next week.