Meet Your Coach: Sam

He's a busy bee but can be found coaching our evening SWOD class, or working out with the intensity of a meteor hitting the earth - that's right, he works out hard enough to wipe out dinosaurs. Meet Sam!


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How long have you been exercising? 

I've been doing CrossFit for almost eight years - I started in the garage of my apartment building in college, and then moved to a gym. Before that I didn't work out much. I played sports growing up but wasn't very good, and stopped during high school and college. 

What is your work out program?

I work with a Coach from OPEX - Mike Lee. He programs for me, and I follow it almost perfectly. Everyone once in a while I hope in and do a workout with my friends - gotta keep it fun

Do you play sports?

I play golf, and am always down to jump into a pickup football game! 

Do you eat a particular diet or follow a specific diet philosophy?

I avoid dairy, and try to avoid gluten. I keep my carbs relatively low as well.  

How often do you train?

I have five full trainings sessions a week, one recovery day, and one rest day. 

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?

Rarely! When I first started CrossFit I PR'd all the time, but now they're few and far between. Adding 5-10 LBS to a lift is a huge accomplishment these days! I find that I spend more time working on refining my skills and increasing efficiency. 

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most?

Sleep! Seriously, increasing my sleep and sleep hygiene has  been a game changer for me! It makes a huge impact on my training and my overall quality of life. 

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If you could share just one piece of knowledge to someone just starting out in their fitness journey what would it be?

"Be entirely present in the gym when you're there - work smart, work hard, and ask questions. It'll pay off! "

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What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

I'm currently rehabbing a knee injury, so I'd like to be able to squat heavy comfortably!  

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal? Also known as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

I'd like to go on a team to regionals.  

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past them?

I have! I tore my medial meniscus in my left knee in a few places in January of 2017. I had surgery last summer, and have taken a long time to carefully rehab it and resolve some movement faults that were leading to increased stress on my knee. 


Meet Your Coach: Geoff

For those of you who haven't met Geoff, he's the warm, welcoming face of our Tuesday morning Oly classes! We share him with San Francisco CrossFit where he interned under the great Diane Fu. Without further ado...


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How long have you been working out?

I first started training with weights back in junior high. I was lucky enough to go to a school that had an incredible PE program that involved weight training once per week, along with miles of running, track and field activities, and recreational sports. Training continued through high school, and then off and on through college. After having heart surgery in 2007, I went full-force back into training and haven't looked back. I discovered CrossFit in 2012, which quickly let me to powerlifting and Olympic-style weightlifting. 

What is your work out program?

Right now, I follow a 5-day Olympic-style weightlifting program with 1-2 days of CrossFit sprinkled in for conditioning.

Do you play sports?

I participate in one or two weightlifting competitions per year. I've also attended training camps in China with Coach Wu Chuaunfu in China over the past two years

Do you eat a particular diet or follow a specific diet philosophy?

I'm Level One certified in Precision Nutrition and currently working toward my Level Two. I remain diet agnostic and try to stay away from the magical thinking that plagues our industry. Ultimately, I stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% of your meals should be high quality, whole foods like meats, veggies, nuts, starches and fruits. The other 20% can be all of the pizza and donuts.

 "Fitness is an investment, not a purchase. You have to pay into it everyday with your actions and choices inside and outside of the gym. Those actions and choices will pay dividends in the long-run."

"Fitness is an investment, not a purchase. You have to pay into it everyday with your actions and choices inside and outside of the gym. Those actions and choices will pay dividends in the long-run."

How often do you train?

I train, on average, five days per week, depending on work and life stuff

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?

New PRs are elusive these days, due to a hectic work and coaching schedule. However, I always have time to try to acquire a new skill.

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most?

Consistency. Consistency is the key to success in any endeavor, especially when life throws curve balls.

What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

Becoming proficient at really basic gymnastics stuff like handstands, kipping movements, and general bodyweight movement.

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal? Also known as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

It would be a tie between a 200kg snatch or a ring muscle-up.

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past it?

I've had the usual lower back or shoulder tweak that comes with pushing oneself in training. I've also been out of commission, due to open heart surgery. Dealing with injuries is always tough because they take us away from the activities we love to do. In my opinion, you have to accept that you're injured, come-up with a course of action with your doctors and coaches, and most importantly, keep going into the gym! If you aren't bed-ridden, due to a catastrophic injury, there's always something you can do in the gym. Plus, you get to be around your community, which is also integral to the healing process.


Meet Your Coach: Jason


Coach Jason has been our Monday night delight here at UB for a long time. He's always the most welcoming, flirty, effervescent spirit in the room, and we love him for that. Let's look deeper into the habits and interests that drive him!


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How often do you train?

I have been exercising since Freshmen year in High School starting with Track & Field which lead into Cross Country for all four years and then rowed on the Crew Team my Freshmen year in college but stopped after realizing how serious sport at the collegiate level.

What is your work out program?

I follow the UB programming and had been experimenting with CompTrain a little bit on the weekends and am happy with the current adoption of it for the wider community.  Every seven weeks I cycle off of CrossFit to give my body a break and hop on ClassPass to try other activities including Aerial Yoga, Pole Dance, Spin, TRX, Hip Hop Dance, Sword Fitness, Ultimate Frisbee and more.

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Do you play sports? 

My current sport is the sport of fitness (CrossFit).

How often do you train?

I train five days a week usually resting on Sundays and then either Wednesday or Thursday.  Using my Whoop I’m now basing my rest days on how recovered the device says I am based on the prior night’s sleep so some weeks may get one or two extra rest days.

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?

 I achieve a personal record about 4-6 times throughout the year so about once every few months.  I “re-test” when the opportunity arises by being programmed in the class workout.

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most? 

My discipline contributes to my fitness the most, I’m one of those humans who commits and goes 100% in whatever endeavor I choose to pursue.

Do you eat a particular diet or follow a specific diet philosophy?

I eat a Macro based diet of 3,000 calories a day with 20% Fat, 23% Protein and 57% Carbs.  I optimized to this level and percentages after working with Coach Nikki to shift off and away from the Zone Diet and have been loving the additional carbs each day.

     "I would advise any one getting started on their fitness journey to really relish the first several months and year on developing proper mechanics so that they advance with good habits, to be able to move as safely and efficiently as possible before increasing their load.  It’s a great test of patience and letting go of the ego to be willing to take things lighter knowing that the end result will be so much more rewarding.  Plus they will have less set backs of re-learning proper movements and bad habits to break later down the line.

  "I would advise any one getting started on their fitness journey to really relish the first several months and year on developing proper mechanics so that they advance with good habits, to be able to move as safely and efficiently as possible before increasing their load.  It’s a great test of patience and letting go of the ego to be willing to take things lighter knowing that the end result will be so much more rewarding.  Plus they will have less set backs of re-learning proper movements and bad habits to break later down the line.

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What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

I get to do more work on my cardio engine to improve my performance and endurance in activities such as running, rowing, biking and skiing which is where I usually fall behind when they are coupled with other movements in a workout.  One example would be maintaining a sub 1:50 500m row in each round of a workout by the end of this year.

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal? Also known as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) 

I’m presently pursuing the art of facilitating mindfulness in both corporate and athletic environments to elevate other people.  I will launch a global brand what may or may not be called mindWOD to bring mindfulness to CrossFit Affiliates worldwide to empower 1,000 athletes to deepen their practice by addressing the mindset by 2022.

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past them?

My most serious injury has been a slight labrum tear in my left shoulder after dismounting from a bar muscle up at a CrossFit Competition back in the Summer of 2015.  It was heartbreaking to believe that my competitive CrossFit life had ended as I could barely raise my arm above my shoulder.  I did not skip a beat and got an MRI checked out by two specialists and was grateful that both did not recommend surgery.  One of them was my Chiropractor at Chiro-Medical Group who had experience supporting athletes through this type of injury and he worked with me to prescribe specific movements back into my workout routine.  I was able to keep coming to classes and work around that shoulder and now it’s stronger than the other shoulder!  I did not allow the injury to sideline me from working out and staying part of this incredible community.


Meet Your Coach: Dave


Today we showcase one of our newer coaches who completed the journey from athlete to coach here at UB. Dave's passion for the Oly program is obvious and I know he has been instrumental in inspiring athletes to supplement their CrossFit with the Oly classes run by himself and Geoff. Without further ado... meet Dave!


 "Set goals, but be realistic, disciplined, and patient about journeying to those goals. Nothing comes overnight.  What I mean is, do the requisite steps to do the movements correctly. I see people get frustrated and try all kinds of weird Whacky stuff to try to get a first X, Y, or Z.  What are you rushing for? What are you going to do once you get there with a trash X, Y, or Z?  Probably, blow out your back or shoulder.  To paraphrase Coach Jay: Appreciate the journey."

"Set goals, but be realistic, disciplined, and patient about journeying to those goals. Nothing comes overnight.  What I mean is, do the requisite steps to do the movements correctly. I see people get frustrated and try all kinds of weird Whacky stuff to try to get a first X, Y, or Z.  What are you rushing for? What are you going to do once you get there with a trash X, Y, or Z?  Probably, blow out your back or shoulder.  To paraphrase Coach Jay: Appreciate the journey."

How long have you been exercising? 

With any kind of regularity and formality? Probably since middle school when I joined the track team. Later in high school I was in cross country and dabbled with swimming, tennis and wrestling.

What is your work out program?

Currently, I'm on the Club olympic lifting program out of California Strength.  I also have a large Persian man in Milan, Italy telling me to do things.

Do you play sports?

I grab an occasional pick-up basketball game once in a while and play a few tennis sets some weekends.

Do you eat a particular diet or follow a specific diet philosophy?

Not really, portion control is a big deal before weightlifting meets, but otherwise anything goes.  Sweet potatoes are the worst though. Anyone who thinks they are an adequate substitute for regular potatoes is lying to themselves. 

How often do you train?

6 days a week with varying degrees of intensity. I try to take at least one complete rest day a week. Sometimes two.

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How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?
 

These days, not very often. PRs kind of have this logarithmic way of slowing down after the first year and every year thereafter

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most?

Listening to coaches. They see things that are impossible for you to see. This is true of in the gym but even true if you are both looking at the exact same video on the same screen at the same time. 

What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

Qualify for the American Open series next year.

 

 

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal? Also known as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

Qualify for the American Open finals.

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past them?

I've hurt my wrist(s) a few times. Obviously it's hard to oly lift with no wrists, it can be quite frustrating. There's nothing much you can do but take time to let it heal. Work on the things you can work on to stay strong and follow a rehab plan.  Rushing back will almost guarantee a re-injury or a worse injury and then you'll be even more frustrated.

 

 


Meet Your Coach: Jon H

Continuing our series, our latest is on our Level 2 Overlord and badass resident personal trainer, Jon Hanna. Since joining the staff at UB, he's been busy inspiring us to be our best selves, always!


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How long have you been exercising?

Since I was 5 or 6. I always loved basketball, baseball,  and football. I was an avid snowboarder and skater and still am, and in high school I was a competitive distance runner. My favorite distances were the Mile(4:25) and 800m run(2:00.01)

What is your work out program? 

I currently follow Thrivestry Competition Programming from Jeremy Jones

Do you play sports? 

These days I stick to Crossfit, longboarding, snowboarding, and the occasional run.

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If you could share just one piece of knowledge to someone just starting out in their fitness journey what would it be? 

"Be consistent in your diet and effort, follow a coach you trust and listen to them only."

Do you eat a specific diet?

I follow renaissance periodization year round.  

How often do you train? 

6 days a week, once a day. 

How often in training do you hit a new PR or acquire a new skill?

Once every couple months, that period continues to get longer. 

What do you find contributes to your fitness the most?

I'm very consistent with my diet and I always complete my programming. I've always attacked my weaknesses first and have turned some of them into strengths. 

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What is your next strength /fitness/skill goal to be achieved?

 Squat 400lbs. Clean 300lbs. 

What is your pie-in-the-sky health/ fitness/skill goal?

Clean and Jerk 300lbs and Snatch 225lbs at Rite of Passage in November 2018. 

 

Have you ever been injured? How did you move past it? 

Yes. Fortunately nothing long term. I always continue to do the exercises I can and I stick with my regular workout schedule and diet throughout the injury. 

 

Bite Sized CrossFit Concepts: Cardio

If you remember during the Open, we talked about the 10 physical skills.  When you look at the list - where are your deficiencies?  Which one (or few) of the 10 are keeping you from being your ultimate self?  Over the next few weeks, I want to look at these 10 from a CrossFit perspective.  For today, we'll start at the top...

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
2. Stamina
3. Strength
4. Flexibility
5. Power
6. Speed
7. Coordination
8. Agility
9. Balance
10. Accuracy

 First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

First rule of zombieland: Cardio!

Cardio/Endurance is one of those things that people already have an understanding of when they walk through the door.  It might be a love/hate relationship, but you get that it's relates to that winded feeling and the ability of the body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen to your muscles. 

What I want to highlight for you in this post is the cardio is not only built with long slow distances.  Yes the occasional longer run is important, but if you focus on just putting in the miles, you could cause muscle loss, and at the very least inhibit muscle gain.

So if cardio is your weak spot, remember we CrossFitters usually get our “cardio” in by combining it with other physical skills. You do not have to train like a hamster to be cardiovascularly fit, but you should also stop cherry-picking longer workouts, or WODs with longer runs or rows. 

The Weekly Dose Of Awesome: Coach Cam!


I’m incredibly excited to try a new awesome blog post format of audio for this week!

Tune into my interview with a man who caught my attention when he walked through our doors after moving from Boston who showed up exuding openness, strength and humility. I’ve had the honor and privilege of teaming up with him multiple times to experience how he plays on a team and also have experienced him in a coaching capacity on a few mornings. I’m stoked to be sharing my interview with the one... the only... Cameron Seher.

LISTEN BELOW... LOADING LOADING LOADING


The CrossFit Tween

Every day you come into UB to do a class, you make a choice - to RX, or not to RX?

For the high-level CrossFit athlete, RX’ing a WOD is usually a foregone conclusion. On the other end of the spectrum, a CrossFit newbie relies on the scaled version of a WOD to ensure they can actually perform the movements and get the work done safely.  But what about the CrossFit tweens?  How do the awkward middle grounders scale? Who have a bar muscle up not 15? Who have double unders but not consistently strung together? Who have a clean clean, but not at 185 for reps? 

If you fall into the tween category, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself as you approach your daily workout:

  • What is the intention of the workout? 

Your goal of the WOD is never to RX or not.  Instead, it should be to satisfy the intention of the workout.  Is the WOD after a high intensity sweat-fest?  Is it focusing on serious strength gains?  Is it a skill-tastic WOD day?  The intention of the workout is a great guide for how to apply your efforts and scaling decisions.  If you can't tell, ask your coach!  That's what we are here for.  Our scaling answer might surprise you, but our recommendations are based on our combined knowledge of the intended purpose of the WOD along with your skills as an athlete. 

  • Can you stay safe and consistent?

Safety is another crucial deciding factor in choosing to scale.  If you can only string together one or two deadlifts at 185, should you really struggle through 45?  If you lose form on a kettlebell swing after a few reps, should you commit to that weight for a workout?  If you just got your muscle up, should you really spend 5 minutes each round flailing on the rings? 

When you approach the WOD do you think “screw it, I’m racing the clock and I’m go to finish THIS WOD with THIS WEIGHT and no ones going to stop me,” or do you calculate risk?  Yes, we want you to challenge yourself, but it is very important to us that you can leave the box under your own power and come back the next day for more.  Doing a WOD inefficiently and inconsistently with repeated reps just to say you did RX is asking for trouble, and it feeds the CrossFit trolls when you invariably get hurt. Don’t feed the trolls, people.

  • Can you split your effort?

Scaling doesn't have to be black and white.  You can split how you scale in a workout.  This is especially the case for skill-based scaling.  Here are a couple scenarios where you might try it out

- If you always go for singles instead of doubles because just aren't that consistent.... you will never get consistent.  But if the idea of fighting for each and every double under in a WOD makes you want to punch a wall, perhaps you can split your effort.  In a 5 round WOD, do singles on rounds 1, 3, 5 and doubles on rounds 2 & 4.
- In a WOD with 7 HSPU per round, consider doing 3 RX HSPU every round and the scale the remaining reps in each round.
- If the rhythm of a full snatch is getting you down, maybe you break down your 10 reps into 5 power snatches and 5 hang squat snatches so you can work the components.

The point is if you sell yourself as always scaling a movement and never try it, how will you ever get better at it?

No matter where you are on the scaling spectrum - remember, scaling is never a point of shame.  It is a matter of getting the most out of each and every workout and aspiring to be the best version of yourself.

So You're Starting to Plateau....

Starting out in CrossFit is great - everyday is filled with new challenges and skills. Then you start to get the hang of it, and it's PR city. You can't touch a barbell without PRing. You feel stronger and more capable everyday. You are on the fast track to badassdom, and it just keeps coming. You are unstoppable. And then, just like that, it happens... PRs start to slip away, the weight loss slows down and the frustration kicks in -- you wonder why CrossFit isn't working anymore. And then one morning you decide it's cold outside and you elect to battle it out with your snooze button instead of coming in for your morning WOD. Then one missed class turns into two, and suddenly 2 weeks have gone by since you have come into the gym and we coaches have gotten the torches out and are ready to send out the search party.......

If any part of this sounds familiar - don't fret. Despite your frustration, this is a temporary phase - a growing pain of your fitness journey. The important thing to remember is you are the tortoise, not the hare. Just because you have stopped making regular gains does not mean you have met the maximum of your fitness potential. What it does mean is that you have hit a plateau. But I will repeat - this is not permanent. There are some simple changes you can make to your routine to break this barrier and start feeling like a badass again:

  • Talk to your coach - Your coach sees you on the regular, and they might have some insight as to where you should be focusing your attention.  Be accountable for your fitness journey - schedule 5 minutes with them and ask!
  • Change your class time - sometimes getting out of a rut can be as simple as surrounding yourself with different athletes and a different coach. New people in your routine might help you push yourself and give you the boost you need.
  • Mix-up your intensity - if you have been choosing heavier weights for WODs to push your strength, try going a little lighter and turning up the speed (with good form). After a couple weeks, try switching back and test it out.
  • Tweak your nutrition - maybe you've been allowing more cheat meals. Maybe you've been eating the exact same thing every single day. Just like with your exercise, you need to have variety in your diet. Mix it up and dial it in.
  • Focus on recovery and mobility - the right mobility work will do wonders for you. The only hard part is figuring out which one you need. Talk to your coach and take some extra time to make sure you are addressing your issues. They just might be what's holding you back.

With any changes you make to your routine, overall remember to be patient. Most people have the potential to be good or even great athletes if they allow themselves the patience to stick it out.