Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Butcher's Back in Town

SFCF alumnus Ben "the Butcher" Garrett has another pro-fight coming up. Ben will be fighting at the Sonoma County Fair-Grounds with the Cage Combat Championship on May 17th" . If you are interested in tickets, talk to Adrian.

See you at 6,


Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Do you spend all day inside, looking forward to going back inside to workout?
I mean, who doesn't love to train under bad lighting. Right?
Wrong. Check out the "Sixees" getting their daily dose of righteous view and killer lighting.
Tell your friends you know about a better way.


6pm Monsters "the Sixees"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Go Into the Water....

It all started in Ann Arbor, Michigan a couple of weeks back. I managed to represent SFCF in a few workouts and came out on top...My friend Dave was chasing me hard, but I didn't let you guys down! While prepping for my trip to San Diego a few short days later, I get an email from Dave who happens to be a Navy SEALS instructor on Coronado Island. It's a typical Dave email:

"Get ready for your trip down to my playground. Bring your swim-trunks."

Oh. Shit.

If there's one thing that is definately in my herd of goats, it's swimming. My wife informs me I swim like a stone. "How can one be so fit, yet swim so terribly?" she's remarked on serveral occasions after witnessing me thrash about. Things do not look good....

We get to the SEAL pool on Coronado and Dave dives in, two kettlebells in hand. Gently placing them on the 9 foot-deep pool floor he resurfaces. Without a word he dives, grabs one and proceeds to run the kettlebell the width of the pool...IN ONE BREATH! He pops up on the other side cool, calm, relaxed. I give it a whirl and make it about half-way across before my brain and lungs are screaming for O2 "JEESUSCHRISTIMGONNADROWN". I resurface and breath like a madman.

Several attempts later and I'm at the other side. Dave smiles, and proceeds to grab both kettlebells for the return. I'm still trying to figure out where he hides his third lung...

After our little challenge, there's generally some mucking about...

A good time was had by all. Underwater Goat-a-thon!

More importantly, a big shout out to Travis who just completed his Crossfit Level 1 Certification Seminar. Nice work Travis!

See you guys soon,

-Adrian "top-that-goat-story" Bozman

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Trinity

So much of the training that we perform at Crossfit is about facilitating a vicious "triple extension" in the athlete's ankles, knees, and hips. Being able to keep the back straight under load and force, stacked neatly over the hips, while generating the coveted triple expression of lower extremity extension power is very much at the heart of sport and performance. We worship it.

And seeing it expressed beautifully in our athletes makes us want to cry a little.

So here you go, SFCF Triple Extension Artists.

Don't let the Deadlift Become One

There are many lifts you won't see in a big-box gym. Just about anything that requires some degree of skill (and therefore some potential for injury) is typically shunned inside the walls reserved for the chrome and fern crowd. Things like the front squat, deadlift, clean and press are becoming a rarity in training halls.
This is unfortunate for several reasons:

1)These lifts are an integral part of our lives. You will have to go from sitting to standing at one point in your life. You will have to pick something up off the ground at least once before the dirt-nap. Nobody invented these movements, they simply are.

2)There is no more efficient way to move and manipulate an external object. The principles you learn while under the barbell will carry over to anything you may find yourself confronted with. Learning basic lifting mechanics transfers to any object.

3)Big movements=big strength. There is simply no greater way to improve your base level of strength. Learning to co-ordinate your body to act as a unit against an object can not be learned piece-wise on the butt-blaster/adduction/leg curl machine.

4)Fun! Moving weight is fun! Moving more weight is more fun (thanks to Jim Schmitz for that one)!

5)Learning to lift demands your attention and focus. You can not engage in it mindlessly.

So keep practicing those big basics. They are everywhere. Don't let this stuff become a thing of the past.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Get Your "Goat" On

Our good friend and super coach Brian McKenzie from Crossfit New Port Beach called us last week with a new idea he'd hatched. He called it the "goat". Ironically we had also been kicking around the "goat" concept at about the same time. Thus was born the "do what you suck at workout". Goating is choosing two or three exercises you fear or hate or both, and running full steam at them. For naming elegance sake, just insert your name in front of the word goat to describe the combination of exercises that you both hate and suck at. ( In the photo above, JD hates handstand pushups, Michael hates heavy Kettlebell swings)

For example:
Did you do the "(insert your name here)-goat"? "Yeah, it was hard but my, "(insert name here)-goat" was harder."

On Saturday, our level 2 monsters got first crack at the newly minted goat concept.
Most of our athletes included some kind of overhead squat. Hmmmm. Curious.

The bottom goat line is this. We should go headfirst after the things we know we suck at, and never want to see come up in the workout. Fortunately for you, in Crossfit we do.

Imagine taking the Goat concept to the rest of your life this week. Can you do one thing you hate doing? Can you do one thing you are afraid of?

Post your personal workout Goat to comments. And if you are able to Goat your real life in someway, brag about that too.

Coach Kstar

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Seems simple enough:

1000m Row
50 Thrusters with the open 20kg bar
30 Pullups

But make no mistake, you'll leave your lungs at the gate!!

We had a ton of killer performances tonight...Aneel and JD both under 7 minutes and a gang of you under 10. That is awesome! Nice work everyone.


PS A word about the new score-board....that is there for you to track your own progress. It is just a quick reference for you. Nobody has to authorize it or anything weird like that (it's not a bank account). You can inflate your lifts etc all you like on that thing, but to make it on the big board (soon to be updated) it has to be a legit, witnessed attempt. Have fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Best Part About....

....Crossfit is the friends you make. Not sure what is going on you know? Post caption to comments.

-See you at 6,


Saturday, April 19, 2008

House Keeping!

We've recently added a new mini-log for our regulars. Now you can track your best lifts and times for quick reference down here. Claim your space and get cracking! Please make sure you write inside the lines, as the whiteboard marker will erase the permanent ink-lines.

We will also be re-doing the house-record board. Only the top 5 'as-written' scores will be kept on the coveted house-record board, so let the games begin!

Check out how neat and tidy the boxes and racks are:

Let's all make the effort to keep our equipment orderly.

Lastly, keep your massive levels of Crossfit-developed conditioning in check. 7 feet of bar is no match...

Train hard,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Interview with a Movement: Overhead Squat

The overhead squat can be one's greatest ally in the quest for all-around strength and mobility, but more often than not it is misunderstood and even shunned. The investigative team here at SFCF goes straight to the source...

You've been called a wonderful programming addition, builder of 'dad-strength', a symphonic expression of knee, hip and shoulder mobility, but also a vicious unforgiving she-bitch. Why such a disparity in public opinion surrounding your image?

Overhead Squat (OHS):
I think it comes down to familiarity. I admit that I am a bit odd..even rare. Sometimes it takes people a while before my appearance no longer frightens them. Once people get used to the idea of me, we usually get along just fine, although there may be some bumps along the road...

Bumps? How does someone avoid these bumps?

Well, even after getting used to my existence, I am rather demanding. I absolutely can not stand any instability above the hip and below the wrist of an arm outstretched overhead. I am also in love with mobility and therefore do not care for those without it. I punish those I deem unworthy with 'bridge-in-the-earthquake' syndrome and 'baby-deer legs'. Understand it's really nothing personal. I just have standards like anyone else.

What are your favorite aspects about yourself?

I would have to say my ability to humble even the very strong is rewarding. I also am quite proud of the amount of postural awareness and effort I can create with my presence. I've overheard people mention that they dislike and even hate me...that just re-affirms my belief that I am doing something right...just like Julie de Lespinasse always says “you know that when I hate you, it is because I love you to a point of passion that unhinges my soul". Actually all that hate-talk is quite flattering.

Thanks for your time. Any plans for the future?

You're welcome. As long as I can continue to meet such wonderful, open-minded people and spread my message I know I will find success.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

"What do you guys do for arms?'

"We don't actually work "arms"."
"Really? But I want to have buff arms like that."
"Oh, I guess we do deadlift. Is that what you mean?"

Seriously, we have this kind of conversation all the time.

Form follows function. Always. Unless you like to look skinny and soft.

Have you had your own funny conversation with someone that couldn't wrap their heads around your training results?

Post experience to comments.

Coach K

Ps. That's Catherine Gravelle, all American basketball player. Gravelley-nice!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All In the Hips

Part of being an efficient athlete is having a good relationship with your hips. As bi-peds, the strongest force we can produce comes about with rapid hip extension.

Stand up. Now bend over and put your hands on your knees. Make sure you keep a big chest and stick your butt out. Notice the angle that is created between your femur and your torso. When this angle is present, the hip is said to be 'closed' or 'flexed'. Stand up straight. Notice the relationship between torso and femur (it should be a straight slouching!). The hip is now 'open' or 'extended'. The next time your coach is yelling at you to 'get your hips open' you now know where to go.

Being able to rapidly transition between an open and closed hip has a myriad of uses and can improve just about any athletic function. Think jumping, running and even changing direction. Here, Kelly demonstrates what active hips can do for you:

Have fun,


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Zed's Dead Baby...Zed's Dead

While one of the most beautiful aspects of Crossfit training is it's broad programming diversity, we must be sure never to forget the heart of the matter. Simple couplets and triplets of a classic body weight control (gymnastic movement like a pull up or handstand pushup) and a basic weightlifting element are the essential aspects of why crossfit works so well.

Sure, who doesn't love a 67 station chipper? Juliet? Pam? Don't loose sight of the forest for the trees. Keep your programming simple. Choose two or three exercises and smash them for time.
Besides, mixing 100kg deadlifting with high rep pullups really, really works.

Coach K

Monday, April 14, 2008


There are certain workouts that give you that warm and fuzzy feeling
before you even begin...a Frolic with Fran or an Evening with Elizabeth
perhaps. This morning's crew had the pleasure of meeting Grace and Cindy's
ugly half sister Grindy, a potent mix of weightlifting and high rep

Grindy is a great example of one of the most important aspects of
Crossfit programming: Constantly Varied. In other words, we are always
looking for 'the same but different' in our workouts. Tried Helen with
running? How bout with rowing? Done Elizabeth with power cleans or Squat
cleans? Try alternating between them each rep. Had your fun with Cindy?
Add in another element all together. Post some of your favourite variants
or fantasy girls to comments.

Have fun,


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shin and Bones

"A Case for Landing With Both Feet Wholly On The Box"

An all too common cue during workouts that involve box jumps is "land with your feet all the way on the box."

Coaches love to say this. We do.
And not because it looks better that way.

It turns out that landing with the whole foot on the box during metabolically difficult workouts prevents what we call "box bite." (See photo of shamed SFCF super star MacDaddy below)

Not only does landing with both feet completely on the platform help to ensure that a wipe out will less likely result in a future WOD that includes skin sewing for time, but it actually helps the athlete learn to absorb force at the foot in a toe to heel direction.

Is there merit in doing the sneaky half foot box hop? (see Aneel aka "pogo-curry" below)

Yes, but it comes with the possibility of a bad wipe out. And it should be known that while Aneel uses his "cheaters ten" method, he also both holds the SFCF Box Jump crown AND has never wiped out. But still we don't condone it. (he's cursed now for sure)

What do we perfer? See Diesel Kitty below.

And that's after cleaning 85.lbs sixty times.

As they said in Dune: Place your feet on the Box.

Coach K

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Secret is Out. Again.

O.k. gang, if you haven't already heard, our very own Larry Gallagher has written a most excellent article about his misadventures crossfitting with SFCF in the very hot-off-the-press May edition of Men's Journal.

Look for the guy on the cover that looks like an older Coach Boz (that'd be Harrison Ford). That's the issue.

Really though, who cares about this great exposure. We are just stoked that our good man in the duct-taped pants is now in his third month with us (and kicking your asses in pullups I might add!)

If you didn't already know Larry is a man of many talents (ask him about being a great butcher) , be sure to check out his music, past articles, and general musings at:

Thanks Larry!

Coach K

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Born to Crossfit

How much of your athleticism did you inherit from your parents? No, I'm not talking about your genes. I'm talking about the shaping of your childhood and your early exposure to sport and fitness by your parents.

Do you have a first memory of being dragged down a ski slope? Do you remember going on family hikes or playing in the Thanksgiving Turkey flag foot ball family smack down? If you are a runner did your parents run?

Or, did you just decide one day to become an athlete. Like Georgia here at age two being tricked into playing "rope climb" by her evil coach father.

Post your first athletic memory to comments.

Coach K

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kiss The Snake

If you will recall your neuro-anatomy, you'll remember that there is a small area on the back of the human brain stem called the "area postrema". This area is of particular interest to Crossfitters because it is the area of the brain that contains chemical sensors to sample our circulating blood. The "AP" also contains our vomition centers, or pukie mission control. That is, if you have eaten something that your brain perceives is going to poison you, the AP will notice and you'll start calling dinosaurs. It's ironic, because high levels of circulating lactic acid will fool the AP into thinking that something is going horribly wrong when all you are really doing is a triplet of rowing, zercher squats, and tire flips.

Here at SFCF, we recognize that some of our athletes are going to work out so hard as to trigger the area postrema's vomition centers during a tough workout. So we have: Kiss the Snake.

The Snake Head was given to us by one of the world's best strength coaches, Mark Rippetoe. And somehow, it seemed appropriate that should a SFCF athlete go so hard as to need to hang from our fence and haver, we should in some small way acknowledge that effort. Thus "the Kiss" was born.

Take Aaron Dial as a test case last Saturday. Now Dial is a monster. But, he has poor impulse control when is comes to his output. Aaron's efforts can be characterized as gonzo, or full out. And no athlete can match his "Snake Kissing Record".

And you can see how it might happen by the photos below.

That's Dial jumping his BrainStem into happiness.

In the middle of full on fooling his brainstem.

So, neuro-anatomy wasn't a total waste eh?

Viva la Snake Head!

Coach K

Friday, April 04, 2008

Skillz Part 2

I recently had the pleasure of attending a two-day gymnastics seminar with Crossfit trainers from around the United States. I learned some nice little progressions and movements that you all can look forward to in the days to follow.

Lucas recently learned that back-pythons are not to be feared...and the morning crew learned that overhead lunges are the greatest way to start your workweek. What skills have you learned or refined recently?

Learning can be fun,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Explosive Power

Explosive power matters. Being able to move big loads slowly is important, but typically only because training for peak strength leads to improvements in an athlete's ability to generate large amounts of force quickly.

We like strong be but we worship freakish displays of power. Coach Adrian is demonstrating this concept beautifully by jumping onto a 52 inch tower after squatting a heavy 5x5.

Crossfit develops peak explosive power very well. Adding some high jumping drills to your game will definitely help your hops.

Note that all of the jumps in these photos are accompanied by pretty extreme hip range of motion. Hmmm, turns out that that the flexibility stuff sort of helps to express that peak explosive power.

Note also the low bench behind the jumper. This bench effectively places the jumper in a good squat (hip crease below knee position). All of these jumps were performed without the benefit of a stretch shortening cycle (no pre-jumping, quick down-ups, running start). Jumping assessment from this dead start, low squat position is a pretty fair expression of an athlete's ability to generate pure explosive force.

There is a good rumor that the Bulgarians choose their junior Olympic Lifting athletes
by assessing their standing broad jump. In this case Coach Adrian has cleared 8 45 lb plates on top of a 25 inch box. Wonder if he'd be selected for the team?

Coach K

Coach K hits 7 plates after back squatting 405.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Michael and Carl have 'em. You should too. Next time you come in to workout, take a few minutes to work the technique of something you are less than perfect at. Before class is a great time to get a little something in...ask your coach for a progression if you're not sure how to approach something.

Also, Spread the word...there is no 6pm class tomorrow evening. Tell all your friends!

See you in the morning,