The Cave

The Cave Blog

Archive for June, 2012

US Olympic Trials - Gymnastics Men’s Results

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Men’s gymnastics Olympic Trials are complete. The two top finishers Danell Leyva and John Orozco automatically qualify to the Olympic team. The rest of the team remains to be decided, but will be announced Sunday Morning. Women’s competition is Sunday afternoon. The men’s competition was fantastic. You can see individuals that have been mentioned previously in our gym and on this blog. To save you some time below are key routines from many of the major players.

Pro Vs Amature Parkour Fails

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Parkour Fail videos are horrible, because people get hurt, often badly, and not just physically.  They’re embarrassing too.  But I actually like watching parkour fail videos, as much because I enjoy the process of analyzing what went wrong and mentally archiving how to avoid that “wrong”.  I often cringe even before the crash.  Most of the time if you have an experienced eye, you can tell what’s going to happen before it does, and especially when the “athlete” doesn’t look anywhere near well prepared you know it’s going to go horribly wrong.  Nevertheless, in contrast there are “pro parkour fails”.  I recently watched one of Jesse Le Flair during a commercial shoot.  Sometimes even pros eat it, but more often their training kicks in to save them.  Look at the difference between Jesse’s fail and the other fails in the Parkour Fail compilation.  My reaction to Jesse’s fail was… “Wow..!  Nice reaction.  Great awareness.  Grip strength came in handy.” As opposed to “you fool, you’re no where near strong / flexible / prepared / experienced enough to try that outside of a foam pit!”  Many people trying or learning parkour on their own are often fool hardy and try a trick or skill well before they’re athletic base is an parkour skills are sound enough to attempt a trick of the level of difficulty that they have in mind.  People who try parkour and freerunning tricks that they are nowhere near ready for aren’t only a hazard to themselves, but mar the art form and set a bad example for others as well.  Here is the video of someone failing a cat-to-cat with a strong base:

In contrast, most of the fails in this next video are performed by folks who don’t even seem to know they’re not ready to try these.  I love the music for this next one.  It’s so appropriate.  Try analyzing some of the fails and “read” what exactly went wrong with each trick.  The more you understand, the safer you’ll be.

Ultimately, my philosophy for throwing dangerous skills is that it’s better to be over-prepared for a skill than to increase the risk of injury or even tragedy by throwing a skill prematurely.

By the way, I think that the kid in 3:40 may have broken his neck.

Programming through July 1

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I’m experimenting with posting the Programming a week in advance.  Let me know if this is helpful to you, or if you like it being more of a surprise.

Also, I figure this is a good way to remind you about the Tough Mudder Training starting this Saturday at 5:00 PM.  And the Self Defense Seminar, which is also this Saturday, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.  Register in the member’s area!

Tuesday June 26

Skill Work: Monkey vault, Kong vault


5X3 Shoulder press (#251)

Wednesday June 27

Skill work: Handstands


5X5 Front Squat (#195)

5X5 Leg lift (#564)

Leg lifts are to be straight legs prior to adding any additional load.

Thursday June 28

Skill work:  Squat snatch.

Workout #1070

Complete 3 rounds for time:

Run 400m, 5 Clean and jerk (70/45kg)

M: Matt M: 8:05 F: Emily C. 13:38

Friday June 29

Skill work: KB Juggling

Workout #1202

Complete for time:

30 Squat jumps, 30 Pull up, 5 HSPU, 30 Candlestick to stand, 5 HSPU, 30 Arch Rocks, 5 HSPU, L sit for 30 seconds, Broad jump 300ft

Additional instructions: HSPU are to be scaled such that 5 reps are just barely doable.

M: Nick B. 9:10

Saturday June 30



Sunday July 1

Skill work:  Pull overs & glide kips


5-5-3-3-1-1-1 Jerk (#1032)

ACSM Fitness Guidelines for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

So frequently the answers to our health come down to eating right and exercising regularly. Why do we have such difficulty adhering to these recommendations? If everyone in the United States would simply stop eating crap, and get off their butts and move around more 75% (or more) of our health care costs would go away. Huge numbers of early deaths would disappear. The benefit to everyone would be immeasurable. Here are some guidelines for cancer patients and survivors. Hey, look. Kinda sounds familiar…

From David Haas

“According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) current fitness

guidelines, regular exercise is recommended for people going through all types

of cancer. The organization is the world’s largest fitness science group with

a membership solely committed to integrating new scientific research with the

practical applications of exercise science.

Historically, doctors advised their cancer patients to avoid physical activity during

the treatment and recovery phases. However, modern science contradicts

this ancient theory and reveals this advice to be outdated. Now, the ACSM

encourages exercise for both cancer patients and survivors.

When someone is facing a cancer diagnosis, aggressive treatments, or a period

of remission, exercise offers a plethora of tangible benefits. In fact, the exercise

benefits for cancer patients are well-documented. For instance, cancer therapy

patients have found that exercise increases energy, reduces fatigue, strengthens

the body, and lifts the spirit. For those in recovery, exercise increases the

survival rate and keeps the cancer from returning.

Cancer patients who engage in regular physical activity typically function better

on a daily basis and they tend to enjoy a higher quality of life than their sedentary

counterparts. But what is the best fitness plan for someone going through


The ACSM recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week. This translates

into 30 minutes of activity five days a week. To the extent possible, people with

cancer should participate in regular, moderately intense aerobic activity. Weight

training is advised on an individual basis, to avoid fractures or injury in those

whose cancer has weakened their bones.

Some people, such as breast cancer survivors, must avoid certain movements

during the healing process. Others, like those fighting mesothelioma, cannot do

anything that would add to their breathing struggles. However, most patients can

engage in a variety of exercises, sports, and substitute activities.

The best way to start a cancer exercise program is to work with a healthcare

professional to design a tailor-made plan. The next thing to remember is to start

slowly, with small but consistent steps. Even modest exercise, like a short walk,

offers fitness benefits, and it is better than doing nothing at all.

While everyone can do something to improve their physical fitness, the ACSM

recommends specific goals and objectives for people with certain types of

cancer. These include breast, gynecological, prostate, and colon cancers. Blood

cancers, gastrointestinal cancers, and cancers that affect the head and neck also

require a separate set of guidelines.

The main thing for cancer patients is to talk to their doctors regarding the best

fitness program for their specific needs. Not only can exercise reduce pain and

fatigue; but also it can greatly improve body image and emotional health, which

can be vital for a patient’s overall quality of life.”

San Francisco International Parkour Jam June 24th & 25th

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The 2nd annual San Francisco International Parkour Jam is taking place this weekend in different locations in and around the bay area.  I was fortunate enough to have a chance to go to the Ninja Warrior type course on Friday June 22nd at Parkour Connections’ and SF Parkour’s registration location and had a great time with some of the old SF PK cast as well as former Cave coaches Marissa Lee and Ryan Fulmer.  Here is a picture of Bay Area Parkour Bad Boy Christian Fairfax testing out the Ninja Warrior course:

Christian Fairfax on the Ninja Warrior course for the 2012 International Parkour Jam

Christian Fairfax on the Ninja Warrior course for the 2012 International Parkour Jam

Here’s a link to SF Parkour’s International Jam page:

and to the map with all the meeting spots for Saturday & Sunday:

SF Parkour community leaders have always done a fantastic job of organizing their events and bringing traceurs together from all parts of the continent.  If Parkour is something you’re passionate about, I would make sure to make it to at least part of the activities this weekend.

An Insider’s View at Tom Hutchman’s Rock’n Run at American Ninja Warrior 4 Qualifiers

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Many of you know Tom Hutchman.  He is often at The Cave in the late evenings, Thursday afternoons and late Saturday mornings.  Tom is my personal “Ninja project”.   Tom also takes classes from Cave coaches Andrey Pfening, Seraphina Schinner, as well as Ryder Darcy.  We’re all very proud of Tom considering that he is now one of the oldest competitors to every complete the American Ninja Warrior Qualifier course!  Not only that, but Tom’s “competitor profile” landed him as well as our little Cave on National television in front of about 5 million viewers on Monday June 11th on NBC as well as on Sunday June 10th on G-4.  (Andrey Pfenings aired run was rather spectacular as well, but we’ll save that for another blog post.)

Here is an insider’s view at Tom’s run at Venice Beach back in early March 2012:

Notice David Campbell waiting to congratulate Tom at the base of the Warped Wall.

On the fly warped wall coaching courtesy of Amadraeus.

Pick your Goal for August!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

As many of you know, I also work for the National Park Serice, as a Lifeguard  and the Jr. Lifeguard Program Director.  Today was our first day of Jr. Guards, and it was awesome!  The weather was nice, the surf was up, and over 90 kids came out to tryout.

The qualifications for being a Jr. Guard are to run a mile in under 11 minutes and to be able to pass a buoy swim.  The kids that do this range between the ages of 11 and 17.  We also have a Jr. Instructor position, where kids have to run the mile in under 9 minutes and be able to demonstrate both a swim rescue and surfboard rescue.

The majority of these kids can run fast!  Many of them are on water polo teams, swim teams, crew, etc.  And, there are many of them who don’t do anything.  The range of athleticism is quite broad.

Two of the girls, for example, didn’t make the run in the time limit.  But, these two were able to pass last year and they completed the buoy swim.  One of these girls was dead last but she finished!  Other kids who were fast on land got freaked out by the big surf and weren’t able to make the swim.  And then there was one kid who entered the water in the first heat, but didn’t come out until she was the last kid. t year, and they completed the buoy swim.  One of them was dead last, but she waited there in the surf, for a lull, so she could make the swim.  That’s perseverance!  She took a beating until she saw her opportunity.

If the kids are returning, we kind of have to take them… but that’s not to say they shouldn’t be working on their weaknesses.  I pulled many of these kids aside and talked with them.  I told them that I expect to see faster runs and easier swims by the end of the summer.  They accepted.

My point in telling you about these awesome kids goes back to goals.  I like setting goals.  Its a way to measure success and progress.  Don’t forget about your goal in the heat of the summer.  Pick something you think you can achieve by August.  And then go get it!

Egg Muffins

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

egg_muffinsLast night I cleaned out the fridge. It’s the kind of job you do when you know you have to. Well, it’s probably better to do it before then, but, like haircuts, I always wait until that if-I-don’t-do-it-now-we’ll-all-die moment. Thankfully, its done for another undisclosed length of time and, as usual, I ended up with a few forgotten ingredients that ended up in the must-cook-now category which meant egg muffins this morning. These Paleo treats come out great with old ingredients but would be just as delicious I’m sure with nice, fresh new ones!

  • Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup diced, cooked meat (cubed ham, chopped bacon, or even leftover chicken ;o), for example)
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion
  • optional: 1/2 cup other veggies found in archeological fridge dig (spinach, cauliflower, cooked kale)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Generously grease about 8 to 10 standard muffin cups. Pour egg mixture into the prepared cups, filling them just about to the rim. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Store leftovers in the fridge. But not for tooooo long.

The Members Area and Summer Camps

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

membersareaIf you haven’t visited the members area recently you should. We are constantly adding new tools to help you with your account, help track your training, connect with others, and more. I’m asked all the time for information that is freely available in the members area. Just go there and check it out. Then you won’t have to wait for me to get back to you. Of course, if you are reading this blog you are likely one of the people that use the Members Area.

You can check your invoice, make payments, pull out a huge list of “road warrior” workouts, update your contact information, give us completely anonymous feedback, view the blackboard photos. We’ve just added a new feature today that allows you to register for events. No more signing up on sheets strewn around the gym, just log in, register and  you’re done. We can still take registrations in person or on the phone we just wanted to give you another option for making things happen. Let us know if you would like to see other features in the Members Area.

One camp completed this week. The first parkour camp was small but awesome. Tons of fun and campers learned a lot. We have a lot more camps coming this summer.

Two gymnastics camps:

One more parkour camp

A Ninja camp

A Survival camp

And a youth focused camp (ages 11-15)

See you in the Members Area and at camp.

Gymnastics Seminar at CrossFit San Ramon

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Thanks to CrossFit San Ramon for hosting me for a gymnastics seminar today.  I love getting out and teaching these knew techniques to athletes. We covered a ton of material in 4 hours. Everyone was receptive and adventurous. We had a first muscle up and almost a first pull up which would have been really cool.

Drills and movements that Cavers are very familiar with, come new to many. We are able to break down key movements and see rapid improvement. I hope to get around to other affiliates in the area for more of these seminars. We’ll make Nor Cal even stronger than it is now.

Again thanks to Tim Hill, who came and taught the Pose running seminar. If you missed this one we will be hosting Tim again. We saw significant improvements in our athletes. Tim is a great coach and able to break down principles and give cues that enable athletes to make positive changes in their movements. You don’t want to miss the next seminar.