Monday, September 29, 2008

A Word About Your Training Habits

Across the board, good training habit hygiene almost directly correlates to athletic success. Many people train hard, but few can make the statement that they support their physical efforts with the small, pedestrian details that aggregate to support greatness.
Take the short 16 question quiz below. If you answered yes to all 16, congratulations. We know olympic gold medalists that can to. Did you hit 14? How about 10? Consider this an athletic checkup.

Post results to comments.

Training Habits Questionnaire

1. I keep a training journal. Yes No

2. I get good quality sleep. Yes No

3. I think of my nutrition as an Yes No
athletic advantage.

4. I can tell you right now, how much Yes No
fat I had for breakfast.

5. I ate breakfast. Yes No
(Coffee is not breakfast)

6. Recovery is part of my training Yes No
plan. (ice-bath, massage, stretching)

7. I train 5-6 days a week to support Yes No
my sport.

8. I have a strength and conditioning Yes No

9. I write yearly goals and have
have a written plan to get better. Yes No

10. I’m a better athlete than Yes No
I was last year.

11. It just doesn’t matter. I’m legit! Yes No

12. I regularly learn to play new Yes No

13. I outwork my competitive Yes No

14. My fitness does not limit my Yes No
competitive success.

15. I feel in control of my life. Yes No
as an athlete.

16. Winning is more fun than losing. Yes No

And remember, the new schedule starts October First!
This means 7am classes and some noon classes!

Coach Kstar

Hangin' Tough

A big shout out to Roop and Mike M (from the A.M. crew) for attending the Crossfit Level 1 seminar this weekend. I was responsible for creating the workout on day 2 which involved not one, but 2 trips up the infamous CrossFit Games hill! Ask them how much they enjoyed it the second time around! Nice work, fellas.

Sometimes something as simple as switching your grip or basic position is enough to add another layer of challenge. L sits while holding the ropes? No problem:

In other news, there are a bunch of freshly-printed shirts up at the box. If there's anyone who still can't find a size that works for them or if you live out of town and want me to mail one to you, I'll be doing a run of special-orders. Email your size and design request(pictured below...monsters or space-men) to adrian AT

...and remember, new classes start Oct. 1st! Check the schedule on for more details.

See you at 6 (and now at 7!),


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saturday the 27th and October Schedule Changes

Hey Gang,
This is official notice again that this Saturday will be Fight Gone Bad. It's still not too late to sign up for the fundraiser. It's ok to sponsor yourself.
We are only having one workout that day starting at 8:30am . There will be not 7:30 level 2 class or open gym for the rest of the day.
So show up rested (no " I didn't know it was fight gone bad!"), and be ready to bring it. (Beer afterwards?)


Starting October 1st, SFCF is very excited to be adding new classes to the schedule.

1) 7am classes Monday-Friday
2) Noon classes Mondy, Wednesday, Friday
3) Thursday at 6pm is a New Crossfit Basics Class (fundamentals only, not a normal wod)
And Crossfit Basics from 9:30 to 10 am on Saturday
4) Open gym is now from 9:30 to 11 am Saturday.

All changes are reflected on the web schedule at

See you Saturday!
And be sure you've had your 2 whole chicken pre-game smoothie.

Coach Kstar

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am Crossfit

I think y'all know that I signed up to do the “Waves to Wine” bike ride this past weekend to benefit The Multiple Sclerosis Society….you might remember that my best friend in SF, Katie, was diagnosed with MS 2 years ago, at the age of 27.

This was our 2nd year to be involved in the ride… and while I supported Katie and helped to raise a lot of money last year, I did not ride. Why you may ask? Well because I literally have not ridden a bike in about 20 years… I think the last bike I rode was the 10 speed my parents got me for my 10th birthday… so maybe more like 14 years ago. Uugh.

However, this year when Katie mentioned the ride, I decided I needed to step up my game and support her in a new way… so I told her, with conviction, that this year I would ride…which sounded like a good idea at the time.

I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to train for this ride as the roads where I lived in Costa Rica were not conducive to driving, let alone biking… and as you know I spent a considerable amount of time in the last 6 months drinking beer and laying on the beach… and while that is training for something, it certainly isn’t training for 150 mile bike ride.

As it got closer and closer to the date, I began to get nervous and thought about backing out of riding, and just volunteering instead… and then that little reminder light went off in my head and I remembered my Costa Rican commitment to no longer run from things I am afraid of, and to start taking personal risks. So I am proud to say I honored my commitment and did the ride…however, I made the smart decision to volunteer on the first day, and ride on the second day as I decided that was the most sensible thing to do (mostly because in the 2 weeks I have been home I had still not gotten on a bike). Additionally, as we needed people for tent decoration, Katie was thrilled to know I would head up the project (by the way, we won the award for best tent… my new motto for our team “We may not be the fastest, but we are the fanciest”).

There were approximately 12 people on our team (Don’t MS With Us), with varying degrees of bike training/experience. There were a couple guys who ride 100 miles a weekend, some people who ride semi-regularly, some people who just started training a few months ago… and me… the girl who has not sat her ass on a bike in over 20 years. Consequently, while we all started the ride together, we were quickly separated by experience… thus resulting in me spending over 7 hours alone on a bike, riding through the wine country.

While there were sometimes riders around me (and by around, I mean passing by the truckloads), for all intents and purposes, I was alone…. with no music… and a sore ass…riding past vineyards where I would rather be drinking the wine than pedaling a bike. After all, that is what I “trained” for in Costa Rica .

I am not going to lie to you, it was tough, maybe physically the hardest thing I have ever done… and I had a few really difficult moments where I thought about quitting…but I didn’t. I crossed that finish line and felt one of the greatest senses of accomplishment in my whole life.

You may wonder why I am telling you this… well, unlike some of my other ramblings, this one has a point.

I was inspired to ride because I wanted to do this for Katie, while I am always great at raising money, I wanted to show Katie that this was important enough for me to get on a bike and pledge my full support. However, while Katie was my motivation throughout the race, as she was not anywhere around me, I had to constantly tell myself that I was doing this for her. In theory, you’d think that would be enough… but even knowing that I wasn’t going to allow myself to quit and that I was going to finish this for Katie… there were moments where I thought I might not be able to ride one more moment, or make it up that next hill.

A funny thing happened every time I was in one of those moments… someone would encourage me. Sometimes it was a rider passing me with a kind word, or a volunteer at a rest stop, or some person staked out along the side of the road cheering with cow bells … I realized it didn’t really matter who it was, what mattered is that there was someone there telling me to keep going, to keep pushing, and though they didn’t use the words, to believe in myself.

One of those times, the necessary encouragement came from one of my fellow Crossfitters, Josh Cunningham, who sent me a text message that said, in part, “When it gets tough, just know someone else around you is suffering much more and hasn’t stopped.” While Josh knew I was doing the ride, he didn’t know at that moment I would need that exact encouragement.

Except that he did… because he is a member of San Francisco Crossfit…and that’s who we are, and that’s what we do, we encourage each other… we’re there for each other, we cheer for each other, even when we are 3000 miles away. It is one of the reasons I love SFCF so much.

Every time any of us gets to that “ugly place” where we feel we can’t go on, someone, through their labored breathing, who sees us struggling, takes the time, the breath and the energy to offer a word of encouragement… or do that one extra pull up on our behalf… and that makes all the difference in the world.

I realized this weekend that I take encouragement for granted a lot at Crossfit, because it just always happens… but when you are riding alone, up hill, with 45 miles to go, legs that are throbbing and an ass that you think might never be the same again, and someone rattles a cowbell or sends you a text message, you realize just how impactful that is. And more importantly just how lucky you are to be a member of SFCF where that is an every day occurrence.

So, to all the people who I am lucky enough to workout with, and to the amazing coaches who create and model the atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement…. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Monday, September 22, 2008



First of all, let me just get this out of the way. I'm sorry. There, I said it. Now we can both move on.

I know that you've been there all these years, helping me grow. I feel that since I've known you my spinal and emotional stability has never been better. The respect that we have for each other is something to be is all too clear that others envy what we once had. These feelings will always be true, regardless of what happens next.

Because of all the goodness we shared, I'm not sure why I did what I did. But it happened. Call it a moment of weakness. Call it short-sighted-ness. I can't deny what I sometimes become, I can only hope to be better when confronted with temptation in the future. I realize now that letting you down in such a dis-respectful manner only hurts us both.

I hope we can move past this period in our lives. I realize you might feel like you'll never be whole again, but I am sorry. I will try harder. There won't be a next time.

-Harry "Balls-to-the-wall" Hardcore

While it's fun to drop weights and run away screaming into the, uh, morning, remember that every time you do so, you are shortening the life of the equipment you're using. Unless injury is apparent, or the weight is hyyyoooouuuuugggeee, the lift doesn't end 'till it's back on the ground. Say no to broken hearts (kettlebells/dumbells/barbells).

Have fun,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Success

Travelling around, I am fortunate enough to workout with some of the most humble, gracious, never-see-'em-coming ass kickers this side of anywhere. The commonality observed from watching (read: getting my ass handed to me by) the super-humans is not usually inherent talent. Usually it is the decidedly less-sexy concept of work management.

Now I'm not talking about 'gaming' a workout to capitalize on your strengths and pace through your weaknesses. Although a fair bit of this is done on some level by all of us (it's only natural to look to where you will excel) I refer instead to the concept that rest is usually not something that is needed, but something that is wanted. This is a powerful distinction.

CrossFitters are big on measurable, observable and repeatable data records. How much did you do and how long did it take you? Was it faster/heavier/further than last time? Or simply, did you improve?

The best CrossFitters take this one step further and incorporate this method into their rest periods.

Try this over the next several weeks:

In the middle of some heinous met-con when you are ready to take a breather, pick a measurement. It could be number of breaths, steps taken in a slow circle, counting to a number in your head, or anything else that's a relatively steady time indicator. Let's use breaths.

Every time you stop, decide how many breaths you will take to re-start. No matter what. Even if it means only one more rep and then the next batch of pre-determined breathing.

Let's say the number is 10. Once you can wrap yourself around this limited rest, start trying to shave it week shoot for 8 breaths. Eventually you will have pared yourself down to the minimal rest that you need to keep moving. You will surprise yourself with how quickly you get moving again and how many more reps you are capable of once the rest-inertia is broken.

Experiment with this concept and keep a quick note in your workout log. What's the worst thing that could happen?

See you back on the West Coast,

-Adrian 'counting-to-three' Bozman

Monday, September 15, 2008


Now that you're all warm and spent from a killer workout, there's one last task left to do...the oft-overlooked cool-down.

Just like a good warm-up, a good cool-down should accomplish a few things:

1) Return/remind the body of it's natural, full ROM (range of motion).

Stretching and light mobility is an excellent choice at this time as your musculature is already warm and pliable. Foam rolling is also super-fun and super-effective here. Give me a hells-yes for Myo-fascial release!

2) Allow the heart-rate to decrease.

This happens weather a conscious effort is made or not, but some light activity (walking around, light rowing, running...really any moderate locomotive activity) done to ramp your hear-rate back down can help to clear waste product from you muscles and prevent the pooling of said waste product. Why should you give a damn? Potentially, you will be less sore and recover faster for the next bout.

3) Allow the nervous system to relax.

Crossfit is some intense shit! (understatement of the year?)
It's important to let your nervous system know when the hard work is done so it can begin the recovery process. At the risk of sounding touchy-feely, this sort of mind-body communication is very important. With time, you can 'flip the switch' from action mode to relax-tion mode (you know what I mean) relatively quickly and vice-versa.

There are also some 'Big-Gun' cool-down methods that can be quite therapeutic...contrast showers and ice-baths are a few such niceties that can be employed from time to time.

When you shower off after your workout, start the shower on cold, then alternate between as cold as possible and as hot as possible a few times, making sure to end on the cold cycle. You'll hate me at first, but soon you'll find the process quite invigorating! Try it, you might like it! Or you can use Matty T's method above....

On a different note, we need more people to sign up for the Fight-Gone-Bad fundraiser. We know you're out there and that you'll be doing the workout anyway, so sign up for a good cause...any donation helps, so you don't have to break the bank with your commitment. Follow this link for details:


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warm Up Window

A good warm up must accomplish several taks:

1) Raise Heart Rate and Repiration Rate
2) Raise Core Body Temperature
3) Prepare connective tissue and muscle for dynamic movement
4) Prime the Nervous System
5) Grease key movement motor pathways (deadlifting needs hammy activation)
6) Prime dominant metabolic pathways and shift blood away from the stomach and gut
7) Increases Cardiac pre-load by returning venous blood pooling.

Right. Enter the famous Crossfit warmup of squatting, pushups, lunging, pullups, situps, etc. Which by the way is much, much better than five minutes of "ellipticalling". But the warmup can be so, so much more.

The famous Romanian Gymnastics coach Bella Karoli is alleged to have let his male athletes warm up with some indoor soccer. He felt that his athletes had more fun doing it, performed better in practice, and still were prepped for the rigors of their sport.

Clearly no one should engage in full out combat as warmup, but movement preparation can be spent in a slightly more creative and effective way than squat, pushup, rinse, repeat. Too often our veteran athletes cruise in, grab a jump rope, do some shoulder dislocates and squat a few times. For the sake of full disclosure it should be noted that we usually engage in a formal group warmup. But when we see the former happen, we feel, how should we say, Wonh, Wonh, Wonh.

Warm up is a time to work on skills. It's a time to practice unloaded technical variations of the movements to come. And as the goals of warm up start getting met (see the list above), it's time to have a little fun doing something "you suck at".

So go figure out that if you are front squatting for example, you may need to prep your hips a little more than a few bodyweight squats will accomplish. And you need to go work on your handstands. Oh and if you have tight hips, you'd better do a little extra!

So, make sure you are really ready for hard work, make it fun, and for Pukie's sake banish the rote, dogmatic, warm up routine.

Check out the gang getting their two handed anyhow on. Then they ran, played tug of war, did some burbpees, THEN worked out.

Coach Kstar

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ain't no Facet like a Multi-Facet, 'Cuz a Multi-Facet Don't Stop

My name is Adrian, and I have a confession to make. This blog post won't offer much insight into becoming a physical specimen.

That being said, let's talk about T-shirts.

I've been busy making a bunch for you guys. I stay up late and do the printing in my living room. It is awesome! Here are a few shots at the project that has taken over my apartment:

Setting the Backround.

Printing the Fore-ground on top...

...drying in the rack....

Front and Back.

I will finish printing on all the shirts I have and bring them down. If there aren't enough to go around, then I will start a list of people who are still interested and what design/sizing they want etc. (don't give me this info now, as I'm not ready for it yet!).

The shirts will be $20, and I'm working on printing on some other stuff too (weightlifting shoe bags, anyone?)...If you have something you want me to print on, bring it in with $10 and I'll do it up for you.

Who knew that my involvement with CrossFit would lead me to a creative outlet?

Post things you've serendipitously learned via CrossFit to comments.

I'll start:

I learned that playground sand is much cheaper (about $5 for 50lbs) and much less hassle than beach sand...oh, and that CrossFit Games superstar Pat Barber leads a secret life as a Cabana-boy 4 months out of the year.

Back to training,

...I just had to add this supercool photo of myself, Kallista Pappas and Pat Barber taken this weekend at CrossFit One World ( Kallista is 15 and took 25th at this years Crossfit Games! She is crazy strong and just a fantastic all-around human being.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Functional Tolerance

Too often we see good athletes with poor flexibility. This cohort of would be athletic monsters are truly capable, and yet limited in their expressions of physical capacity.
Poor mobility narrows ideal movement options and closes peak force production windows.
What do we mean? Decreased flexibility means decreased functional tolerance.

Let's use the seated press in the photo above as an example.
To properly perform this seated pressing movement (adored by Coach Bergener) the athlete must be able to safely stabilize their lumbar spines in a lordotic or slightly curved position. Under very few circumstances is it OK to generate force with a rounded low back.

To be able to perform the seated press with legs stretched out in front of the athlete in a long sitting position requires very good hamstring flexibility. The photo above is a good example of this.

Now take the athlete in the photo below. Note his excellent neutral back position and good overhead position. Note that he is only able to attain this correct positioning with his hamstrings in a crosslegged and unloaded position.

While there may be no real advantage to what your legs are doing when performing a low weight seated press, the metaphor should be clear. The athlete in the first photo has the capacity to press from either leg position, while the athlete below cannot long sit and press without compromise.

Now tighten the metaphor up and think about the effects of short hamstrings on lumbar positioning during a heavy clean. Tight hamstrings means compromised leg positioning in order to maintain a safe spine. Or, tight hamstrings means that the athlete is going to have less functional wiggle room to get the movement right, and make it forceful.

Note in the photo below, one male athlete in five is in the long sitting position.
Get on it.

Coach Kstar

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Warrior Poet

Mission Guam:

If you check this blog (and you do, we know you do) we kindly request that you visit:

Our very own Ross Naughton, blog poet, has tried his own hand at the master's game, of blog or death.

Leave a cryptic message of loss, poems of triumph, or your favorite song lyrics.
Overrun his blog comments would you?

Let him know he's missed.

Coach kstar

How Callus

Many of us are in the business of cultivating some serious dermal delight down here at SFCF.

This is good.

It's tough to meet a dishonest callus. They represent weeks (perhaps months) of solid, consistent effort. How can you not love your body's ability to specifically adapt to it's situational requirements? All that natural phenomena and they protect your hands to boot...what's not to like?

Unfortunately it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Once in a while a little callus maintenance is in order to avoid excessive build-up and potential dermal disaster. For the discreet among us, a file in the shower while the skin is soft does the trick. For the bull-headed among us, too much chalk and not knowing when to stop will rip that little bastard from your hands post-haste...especially fun training is to be had in the weeks following such an event (so think it through before you push through).

For the rest of us, there are the unorthodox methods of callus removal:

The classic 'Pick-at-the-dinner-table' whilst listening to your family regal you with tales of their day...

The tooth-sharpening glee of the 'Chomp-spit-n-stomp'...

The sensory oddity of the 'Nail-clipper-cut-away'...

Post best callus removal method to comments. Be proud, you earned them!


Ps Note how Damian (above) has broken the 'Fabric-Barrier' with raw human power only...I believe up until the 1950s scientists deemed this an impossible feat.

PPS Regarding Shirts:

I have limited sizes available right now. I will do the run with what I have and if people like them I will do more. If you want the Monsters design or the Space-station design (pictured a few posts back) on a garment of your choice, it's $10 cash and you have to supply the garment. Pre-washed/shrunk cotton takes the ink best.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Common Language

I often overhear our athletes trying to explain what Crossfit is to some poor, uninitiated person. After about ten seconds it becomes evident that they are struggling to give voice to clearly what is the most important driving force in their lives.
Witnessing this is a little bit like trying to discuss Zen with my three year old.
It should be simple right?

We do have a few technical Crossfit-isms about increasing work capacity and constantly varied movements performed at high intensity. But these still fail to illustrate what it is we do, what it is that has changed us so.

Sometimes I've tried to describe Crossfit as a horrific combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and sprinting. And this works sometimes to mixed effect.

But what I have found to work, is the old fashioned anecdote. I'm not sure why people are so removed from understanding basic exercise theory, but they are.
And every-time, I give an example of a workout, and they get it.

"What's this Crossfit?"
"Well, typical workouts are usually made up of a couplet consisting of one powerlifting or olympic lifting element, and one gymnastic body control element."
"Like what?"
"Well, take C-rin in the photos above. First she bangs out 10 deadlifts, then she does 15 pushups. And she does ten rounds of this couplet for time."
"Holy shite!"
"Yeah, I know. 100 deadlifts and 150 pushups."

Try it. Maybe they'll stop looking at you like you have a third eye.

How do you describe Crossfit when asked?
Post struggling, stammering, cult descriptions to comments.

Coach Kstar