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Archive for July, 2012

How Important Is Mobility?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

So we are constantly reminding you all to keep working on your mobility. We tell you to stretch and move at the end of your workouts. We lead mobility sessions at the end of class when we have time in the programming. I can not stress how important it is to be disciplined about this. I am not naturally flexible. I’ve relayed this to many of you, but if you weren’t aware you might be surprised that at one time I couldn’t even come close to touching my toes. It took a lot of work for me to get flexible. If I don’t stretch regularly I loose quite a bit of mobility. It will never go back to the limited flexibility that I once experienced even if I don’t work at it because I have changed my base mobility. For me it took stretching 5 times/day for about 6 weeks to radically change my flexibility. It isn’t necessary to stretch that frequently to gain mobility, but it certainly goes faster that way. I had additional motivation to get flexible quickly due to collegiate competition.

There are a lot of resources on mobility. Read PNF Stretching from my DrillsAndSkills website as well as reviewing the catalog of stretches found there. Be sure to take the time to stretch. After workout is best. If you can find time at home, or elsewhere to stretch do so. Additional mobility will improve your performance and in some cases will enable you to perform movements you couldn’t do at all otherwise.

If you were not aware we are starting a mobility class. Our first sessions start Wed 8/1 at 10am. Be sure to check out these classes and drop on in. Your mobility is important. It will help in many aspects of life. Similar to how you discover great things about how you can feel when you make certain dietary adjustments, you will discover that certain things are just easier and more comfortable if you are more flexible. The new mobility classes will be a combination of yoga and other mobility techniques, designed with our programming in mind to optimize efficacy. See you in mobility class.

10 Days on Mila

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Did you know that we are now selling Mila at The Cave?  I have now been taking it for 10 days and have noticed some really positive results.

First off, here are the health benefits Mila claims to promote:

Aids in weights loss (haven’t noticed yet but am hopeful)

Fosters joint health (have had mystery pains go away)

Supports blood health (not sure how I would notice this)

Promotes joint and bone health (defiantly am hoping to support those bones!)

Promotes anti-aging (Never a bad thing…)

Boosts mental health (I do need help in the area…often crazy!)

Here is what I have noticed:  I poop every day (sorry if that’s too much information, but its not the norm for me–actually this has been a problem my whole life.  If I can find something that works I’m going to take it), I have a good source of energy throughout the day where I don’t feel I NEED my afternoon cup of coffee, and I no longer have pain in my pec minor (I have had pain there for months–just noticed that I haven’t been noticing it).  Three things, all great benefits to my overall health.

Give it a try.  I think its worth a shot!  I now have my whole family on Mila.  They too feel energy boosts (actually Spencer has been taking it in the evening and has been having a hard time sleeping–it will be interesting to see if there is a direct correlation there), as well as increased bowl regularities.  I’m hopeful that my parent will start to feel positive effects in the joint area.  They both suffer a lot of pain day to day.

For more information, go to for details.

Programming for July 30 - August 5

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Monday July 30

Skill work:

Strict back extensions

Strict hip extensions


5-5-3-3-1-1-1 Snatch (#912)

First two rounds must be squat snatch

Tuesday July 31

Skill Work:

Basic tumbling

Workout #1328

Complete as many rounds in 00:20:00 as you can of:

Run 200m

15 V-ups

1 Row 300m

15 Push up

MT: Roger H. 6.13  M: Jimmy M. 5.75  F: Jacqui M. 4.58

Wednesday Aug 1

Skill work:

Clean to immediate jerk


5X5 Ring dip (#441)

5X5 Leg lift (#564)

Thursday Aug 2

Skill work:


Workout  #1185

20 Back squat @ 75% 1 Rep Max

Friday Aug 3

Skill work:

Ring support roll back to inverted hang.

Backward roll to support.

Workout Team Drive #409

Complete for time:

30-20-10 Squat jumps (weight) 45/35lb 20/15kg

15-10-5 Pull up

30-20-10 V-ups

30-20-10 Push up

Team workout. Teams of three is the goal. Rep counts are per team member so for team of three it would be 90-60-30…

Gym record: 12:26 (may have been 2 person team)

Saturday Aug 4


Sunday Aug 5

Skill work:

Moderate Load Cleans

Workout #1082

Complete as many rounds in 00:15:00 as you can of:

15 Clean, power 50/35kg

5 Thruster, barbell 50/35kg

30 Hollow Rocks

M: Martin H. 5.7 F: Rosanna S. 5.33

Could We Actually See Double Gymnastics Team Gold?

Saturday, July 28th, 2012



Both the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams this year look strong. We don’t have a true star on the men’s side as we did with Paul Hamm in several previous Olympics, but the balance and depth of the team is better than it ever has been. On the women’s side we have some of the strongest gymnasts the US has ever seen.

After preliminary team competition the US Men are on top. The men showed fantastic performances with any significant mistakes being able to be covered by other team members. Favored Japan had a fairly disastrous start to the Olympics. Falls on several events forced Japan to count scores significantly lower than they could absorb. China also struggled leaving the US in first with Russia in second and surprisingly Great Britain in third.

It is possible (though still a long shot) that both US Men’s and Women’s gymnastics teams could win a gold medal. This would be an incredible feat for USA Gymnastics. With men’s gymnastics struggling to keep programs alive and division 1 schools dropping programs continuously it is staggering to think what the US program could be. Maybe a double team gold would help.

Christian Fairfax Parkour Highlight reel: Semester in Review

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Hey Crew,

Here is one of my favorite Parkour and Freerunning videos, a highlight reel by Christian Fairfax, an extremely talented and dedicated local bay area traceur.   He’s got amazing skills and JB Douglass, the newest member of our staff and amazing in his own right considers him to be his “parkour teacher”.  Christian is one of several elite traceurs who are not yet eligible to compete in American Ninja Warrior, because they’re not yet 21 years old, but they  will be in a year or two… Gulp!  Competition is going to get tighter!  Here you go:

Don’t be surprised if you end up hearing the soundtrack around the gym on Thursdays while the PK staff is doing their thing training!

Summer Camps at “The Cave”

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Not everybody knows that we have some rock’in summer camps for kids and teens here at “The Cave”.  There are two camps remaining for the 2012 season, one coming up on August 6th-10th, which is a Parkour Camp headed up by our Parkour Director Ryder Darcy, and another Gymnastics Camp August 13th-17th.  Sign-ups for the Parkour camp may be closing on Monday July 30th, so please hurry to sign up if you are interested.  The camps run from 10am-2pm Monday through Friday.  The kids can be signed up for one, all five, or any combination of days for the week.  Also pre-registering at least a month in advance is less expensive than the week before camp!

Earlier this month I ran what may have been the most awesome summer camp ever-ever-ever July 9th-13th.  It was, of course, a “Ninja Camp” with an American Ninja Warrior Theme.  We had 6 American Ninja Warrior Veterans guest coaching including David Campbell, Travis Fulanic, JB Douglass, Andrey Pfening, the illustrious Tom Hutchman, and of course, myself, Andres De la Rosa (Amadraeus).  Our coaches poured an enormous amount of creativity and passion into the exercises, drills, games and obstacle courses set out for the kids as well as imparting part of the philosophy of parkour and Ninja Warrior which encircles the themes of:

1> “To be strong and to be useful.”

2> “With great power comes great responsibility.”

3> “We’re here to improve ourselves together” and last but not least

4> “Stay safe and be a good judge of your limits.”

Overall the kids were extraordinarily well behaved and had a great time.  Here are a couple of pictures and a video of our awesome little group:

Summer Camp 2012 "Ninjas" with coaches JB Douglass, Travis Furlanic, Andrey Pfenning and Andres De la Rosa

Summer Camp 2012 "Ninjas" with coaches JB Douglass, Travis Furlanic, Andrey Pfenning and Andres De la Rosa

Here’s a little video of one of our “Parkour Capture the Flag” game:

We also have “Survival Camps” run by our self-defense and CrossFit coach, Nick Wise.  Although there won’t be another Ninja or Survival Camp until probably next year, both our parkour and gymnasics camps are great fun for the kids.  After all, The Cave is the perfect place to get stronger, get skilled, have fun, and make friends!  And even if your schedule doesn’t quite work out for our two remaining camps this year, there is always Kid’s Night Out as well even throughout the school year on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month from 5:30-10pm!  Please call “The Cave’s” front desk for pricing or more information.

Cheers-  I hope everyone is having a great summer!


Technology vs. Food

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

A while back, I was having a discussion with somebody about Paleo principles, and I realized that human beings have this really bad habit of using technology to promptly screw up their food supply.

Looks juicy and delicious....

Looks juicy and delicious....

Let’s look at some of the major revolutions throughout our history.  At one time, the majority of human beings existed as hunter-gatherers.  Some of them lived in places with enough bounty to allow them to cultivate some of the plants and animals in a very rudimentary form of agriculture.  Once we realized the power of agricultural technology, we used it to grow massive cities and supported the population of said cities with grains– wheat in the Middle East, rice in Asia, maize in the Americas.  There were two major problems with this.  First,  for the previous several million years, people hadn’t been eating so many grains, so lots of people suffered malnutrition and a variety of diseases emerged.  Second, supporting huge populations on just a few staple crops set up ancient civilizations for horrible famines when one of those crops failed due to disaster.

Next, we figured out how to automate a bunch of processes and developed amazing chemical technologies.  And we promptly started automating our food production, and infusing our foods with all kinds of chemicals.  Historically, not a lot of thought was given to the health and ecological effects of preservatives and pesticides.  It’s great that we are able to transport food across the world, or that virtually anybody (in this country) can have access to hundreds of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, regardless of season.  It’s also pretty amazing that meat is widely available in just about any cut you want, with a very low chance of getting a nasty bug from it.  But look at the cost of these processes.  Ecosystems laid to waste, pernicious chronic diseases, excessive amounts of carbon released into the atmosphere.  We are just beginning to see the effects of the past century or so of industrial/chemical technology messing up our food supply.

And now we’re able to do so much more with genetic technology.  Sure, I love the idea of making a tomato that will grow in a desert.  But, have we considered the cost of this?  What are the end effects of GMO foods?  Why do we insist on screwing up our food supply with every new technological advancement?  And what can you do about it?

Most of you reading this live in Northern California.  That means that you have pretty easy access to foods produced in a more natural and sustainable way than the current industry.  Educate yourself about food sources and the processes used to make it and transport it.  Support the producers of that food as much as you can.  Try to eat clean, minimally processed, local foods.  The best part is that eating this way is healthy, and definitely won’t hurt your performance in the gym.

Good luck!

Thursday “Fran” Throwdown

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I challenge you, Martin Hoe, to a Fran Throwdown!  Thursday 3:30.  Be there.

We had goals, and now we will challenge them…together.

We both want sub 5 minutes.  Our last show down you had 5:02 (approximately) and I had 5:41 (only to both be beaten by Karen at 4:58 (or close to that)).

For the rest of you, I expect nothing short of good competition.  Get mean, get angry.  And lets put up some good PR’s!  Use this opportunity to put your game faces on.  I’m talkin’ 2013 Games faces!  

Programming for July 23 - 29

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Monday July 23

Skill work:

Headstands & Handstands

Workout #1107

Complete 3 rounds for time:

15 Deadlift 135/95lb

9 Hang power clean 135/95lb

6 Push press 135/95lb

12 Pull up

Allow 15 minutes

M: Matt P. 7:38 (sc) MT: Roger H. 7:45 F: Leanne B. 9:35 (sc)

Tuesday July 24

Skill work:

Jump rope variants

Practicing double unders if necessary

Tripple unders

Double unders with footwork or crossovers


5X3 OHS (#695)

5X5 Pull up (#422)

Wednesday July 25

Skill work:

Snatch balance


5X3 DB Shoulder press, two handed (#1115)

5X3 Box Jump (#865)

Allow 40 minutes

Thursday July 26

Skill work:

Establish 1RM Push press

Workout #102

Fran (by special request)

Complete for time:


Thruster, barbell 95/65lb (43/30kg)

Pull up

M: Branko G. 3:20 F: Jacqui M. 8:54

Friday July 27

Skill work:

Turkish Get-up

Pistol practice/testing.

Overhead with PVC or Barbell for those that have em.

Workout #1164

Complete as many rounds in 00:15:00 as you can of:

30 Jump rope, double under

3 Turkish Get Up 60/40lb (27.21kg)- Alternate hands each round.

10 Pull Up, Inverted Piked

M: Martin H. 5.7 F: Jacqui M. 4.0

Saturday July 28

(Yes, this is the real workout for Saturday)

Warm Up:

Run to Redwood High School track (10min)


10 Samson stretch

10 tuck jumps

10 Four Point Leg Kicks

5 lunge walk steps EL


All Levels

A) 400×1 where athletes: Sprint the straights, and jog the turns

Rest 3min


B) Establish max 400m

Spend 5min talking about 100m dash start position

C) 10m explosive sprints: Ensure athletes maintain lean through all 10m


D)Shuttle run of: 50yards, 100yards


Run Back (10min)

Sunday July 29

Skill work:

Inverted hang/skin the cat for those that need to work it.

Kip to support on rings for others.

Workout #1100

Complete for time:


Thruster, barbell 165/110lb (75/50kg)

Muscle up

M: Branko G. 6:57 F: Jacqui M. 9:25 (sc) Allow 15 minutes

Are You Ready For The Olympics?

Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Classic Start

Classic Start

Opening ceremonies is just over 4 days away. Of course in gymnastics this is the pinnacle of competition. This is what so many great gymnasts aim to accomplish. To compete and possibly win an olympic medal. This is the stage where many athletes test to see if their training and talent can put them among the best ever in their sports.

What sports will you be watching? My household will be monitoring the swimming and gymnastics primarily. I’ll try to catch key events in many other sports as well.

Will your viewing of the olympics this year be any different due to recent acquisition of skills and knowledge? I know that for many watching gymnastics takes on a whole new meaning now that they have had some exposure to the basic elements. There is a realization of how difficult what these athletes are doing that comes with exposure. How about Weightlifting? Clean and jerks in excess of 500lbs can sure put your PR in perspective. These athletes are capable of super human feats.

Check out TV listings and in depth coverage at NBC Olympics. The web gives us opportunity to see video that would never have seen the light of day previously. You can see obscure sports. Performances from athletes that don’t necessarily make the top teir at the Olympics, or sports that the US doesn’t play a major role.