2017 Ultimate Lift Off - Only a Few Days Left to Register...

The Ultimate Lift off is less than 3 weeks away!  Whether you are going to compete or volunteer, put September 9th on your calendar! 



Here's how the event works gonna work:

  • You will have 20 minutes to find your maximum snatch and clean and jerk.
  • Changed this year: You will have 18 minutes to find your maximum back squat, bench press, and deadlift
  • You will have 3 attempts at your heaviest weight for each lift.
  • You will perform all the lifts in order: snatch, clean and jerk, back squat, bench press, and deadlift. To participate in the competition, you must attempt all five lifts.
  • Heats will start every 20 minutes. If you are late, you cannot lift.  No exceptions.
  • Your score will be calculated by Sinclair for your Oly lifts and Wilks formula (each lift by pounds lifted to body weight) for your power lifts. (New this year: All athletes will weigh in at the beginning of the day)
  • A complete list of rules (including the requirements for each lift) will be posted Friday in the gym along with the start list.
  • To secure your spot please do both of the following by August 28th:
    1. Register for the event here.
    2. Fill out our maxes form so we can assign you a heat.


Calling all Volunteers!

Are you not quite ready for the competitive lifting stage?  Are you a recovering injured athlete?  Do you want to support your fellow UBers taking on the Ultimate Lift Off?  Now's your chance! 

We are looking for volunteers for the Ultimate Lift Off to help weigh in athletes, judge, and coordinate a great event! Interested? 

Fill out our volunteer form!

Thanks in advance!!!

Food for Thought: Food Renegade on Collagen

Are you savvy to the benefits of collagen in your diet?  This is a straight forward read from Food Renegade to help educate you.

Many people are now looking for natural sources of collagen so they can reap its benefits and the benefits are many!  As the most abundant protein in our body, collagen is important for:

  •         Fighting signs of aging like wrinkles
  •         Improving joint health
  •         Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome
  •         Boosting metabolism
  •         Improving mental health
  •         Reducing the appearance of cellulite
  •         Strengthening hair and nails (see this gelatin hair mask recipe)
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In the body, collagen is mostly found in the skin, bones, and joints.  It also is found in the lining of the gut. We now know that gut health is incredibly important for overall health!

Collagen in the body is made up of amino acids which wrap together to make a triple-helix structure.  The helix structure is why collagen is so strong.

The amino acids which make up collagen are:

  •         Glycine: Makes up about 33% of collagen
  •         Proline: Makes up about 10% of collagen
  •         Hydroxyproline: Makes up about 10% of collagen
  •         Hydroxylysine: Makes up about 1% of collagen (12)


Our bodies are able to make collagen out of amino acids we consume through food.  However, as we age, our bodies aren’t able to produce collagen as well.  Thus, around the age of 30, collagen production begins to diminish by about 1% to 2% yearly.  By the age of 40, we have lost 10% to 20% of our collagen! (3)

Don’t forget that our bodies first need to have amino acids to produce collagen. If you are eating a diet which is lacking in those crucial amino acids, your body won’t be able to produce enough collagen!

To make things worse, naturally-occurring enzymes in our bodies also break down collagen.  Environmental factors like pollution, free radicals, and the sun can also break down collagen.(4)



When it comes to sources of collagen, you won’t find anything better than gelatin.  Why? Because gelatin IS collagen.

Gelatin is basically a cooked form of collagen.  It is usually made by boiling down the connective tissues of cows or pigs.  The collagen is released, extracted, and dried.

The great thing about gelatin is that it is easy for the body to digest and absorb.  A lot of people report quick results by consuming gelatin.  Don’t expect your wrinkles or joint pain to disappear overnight, but a scoop-per-day of gelatin could do miracles for your health!

Quality matters when buying gelatin!  The stuff you find in the supermarket is so highly-processed that it isn’t likely to deliver any benefits.  Instead, choose pasture-raised, grass-fed gelatin.  You can read How to Choose a Gelatin Brand.


Bone broth is made by boiling down the bones and connective tissues of animals.  When these tissues are boiled, the collagen is released into water.  That is why bone broth will gel.

Making bone broth is very easy and cheap! I like to sip on a hot mug of bone broth each morning. 

Just be warned that if you are following a Low FODMAPs diet for IBS or SIBO, some of the carbs in bone broth might bother you.  In this case, it is better to opt for gelatin powder, which is FODMAPs-safe.


Egg whites are very rich in the amino acids glycine and proline, which are the main components of collagen.  By eating egg whites, you’ll give your body the amino acids it needs to build collagen.



Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae which is really popular as a health supplement.  In addition to containing lots of iron, a single teaspoon of spirulina contains more glycine and proline than a large egg white.

Spirulina is also a good source of copper, and copper is one of the minerals important for forming collagen.(5)

The only downside is that spirulina supplements can be a bit pricey, and they don’t exactly taste very good.  I personally stick to gelatin instead.

#5: COD

Cod, as well as other types of white fish, are loaded with glycine and proline.  Even if you aren’t worried about getting more natural sources of collagen into your life, you should still be eating more cod.  It has a great Omega 3:6 ratio – something important for reducing inflammation in the body.

I personally take fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) as a supplement every day.  It’s the only supplement that I take and is a great source of vitamin D plus it’s a natural sleep aid.


While citrus fruits like grapefruits and lemons don’t contain glycine or proline, they do contain high amounts of vitamin C.

Our bodies need vitamin C to produce collagen.  According to dermatologist Dr. Dimitry Palceski, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C also prevent enzymes and free-radicals from breaking down collagen.(6)


Sulfur is a trace mineral which is important for collagen synthesis.  Studies have shown that animals fed a sulfur-deficient diet produced less collagen.  The scary thing is that many people are likely deficient in sulfur, yet the mineral gets hardly any attention.(7)  

Animal foods like beef, eggs, poultry, and dairy are all good sources of sulfur for collagen production.  However, it is also important to eat vegetable sources of sulfur too.  As Mark Sisson notes, vegetable sources of sulfur contain potent organosulfur which animal foods do not.(8)

Good vegetable sources of sulfur include:

  •         Garlic (which is also contains allicin – a potent natural antibacterial)
  •         Onions
  •         Broccoli
  •         Cabbage
  •         Brussels sprouts

Support "The Bald and the Beautiful" at Moxie Madness

Another Level CrossFit and AWOL have come together again to host the 5th Annual Moxie Madness. Over the past several years, we have continued to have teams from UB go and represent.  This year Hayley, Lisa, Max & Steve L. (AKA The Bald and Beautiful) are headed to Dublin to throw down in the RX division!

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Want to head east to support them?  Here are the details:

Where: 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin CA

When: Saturday & Sunday (Heat times TBD)

Tickets: (Purchase HERE)

  • Single Day: 15$
  • 2 Day: 20$

Happy 7th Birthday UB!

We interrupt our regular awesome feed to celebrate this day of love.  No, I am not talking about Valentines day... I am talking about our love for you!

Yesterday United Barbell turned 7!  

I can still remember our first day of classes. Olivia and I anxiously awaited to see who would come into our first day of class - power cleans and narF (Fran done backwards).  Despite sleep deprivation we were all sorts of giddy and excited when we had at least a handful of people in every class that day.  As time passed, we hosted challenges, seminars, witnessed athletes marry, have kids, seen epic athlete PR dances, and have had overall good times. From August 16th 2010 through today, United Barbell has exceeded all of our expectations.  

We count ourselves extremely lucky to have such a great group of people to share our dream with every day - you make UB what it is today!  Thank you! An extra special thank you to our coaches, who all share a passion for helping every athlete leave the gym stronger every day. Your dedication is frosting on our 7 layered-cake!

(We hope to see you on Saturday at our anniversary pot luck at 1pm @UB!)

The 2017 Ultimate Lift Off!

Did you been watch this year's CrossFit Games?  Did you see 17 year old Guilherme Malheiros snatch 292??  Are you inspired??  Good!  Because the ULTIMATE LIFT OFF is coming!

Bring your gains and get ready to rumble!  It's UB's 6th year of getting our super totals on (Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, Deadlift).  Who's game?


Here's how the event works gonna work:

  • You will have 20 minutes to find your maximum snatch and clean and jerk.
  • Changed this year: You will have 18 minutes to find your maximum back squat, bench press, and deadlift
  • You will have 3 attempts at your heaviest weight for each lift.
  • You will perform all the lifts in order: snatch, clean and jerk, back squat, bench press, and deadlift. To participate in the competition, you must attempt all five lifts.
  • Heats will start every 20 minutes. If you are late, you cannot lift.  No exceptions.
  • Your score will be calculated by Sinclair for your Oly lifts and Wilks formula (each lift by pounds lifted to body weight) for your power lifts. (New this year: All athletes will weigh in at the beginning of the day)
  • A complete list of rules (including the requirements for each lift) will be posted Friday in the gym along with the start list.
  • To secure your spot please do both of the following by August 28th:
    1. Register for the event here.
    2. Fill out our maxes form so we can assign you a heat.

Food for Thought: The Power of the CrossFit Community

The UB community.  It's what keeps me coming back and has me excited to come to work in the morning.  (Article from BoxRox)

The sense of community at CrossFit is unique; everyone knows one another, there is always someone to help with technique, you compare WOD results, discuss competitions etc.  This doesn’t happen in regular gyms, no one speaks to one another except to occasional ask “are you using this?” At CrossFit you know names, life stories … you know the people, they are your. But why is this community so important?


Social Support

The community at CrossFit always provides support. How often have you encouraged others that haven’t finished the WOD yet or even been cheered on yourself? Often people stay behind after they have finished their workout just to provide moral and verbal support to another CrossFitter who is completing a qualifier for competitions.

The importance of social support is that it provides motivation. When we’re tired and are struggling to complete a workout we begin to doubt our ability to finish, having people encourage us gives us the belief that we can do it!
This happened to me most recently during the CrossFit Games workout 13.2. I’ve never managed a STOH at 52.5 kg but told my judge that I was going to give it my best shot however I wasn’t really hopeful. My judge replied “Don’t worry you got this!” and encouraged me throughout the whole workout and in the end I managed 20 reps in total at 52.5kg!
Without that encouragement I probably wouldn’t have put so much effort in as I didn’t believe I could do it. CrossFitters always come together when facing tough workouts, we push each other to perform better and faster than ever before. As I demonstrated, we can manage to complete workouts we didn’t even think were possible!

The support of the CrossFit community even affects us physiologically, changing the hormones in our bodies. Research at Oxford University found that working out in a group resulted in a greater release of endorphins than when working out alone, even when the same amount of work was done. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that create a sense of excitement, exhilaration and happiness. The release of endorphins is what causes that high you feel when you finish a workout; sometimes known as a “runners high”.

Social Liberation


The CrossFit community is also special because it is full of like-minded people who think it is acceptable to give an all-out effort and train as hard as you want. In a traditional gym, if you carry out a 2k row with 20 air squats OMEM, you would get a lot of funny looks as you jump on and off the rower. Especially when you collapse to the floor afterwards trying to gulp in air for 5 minutes after you complete your workout! At CrossFit the community welcomes and encourages you to really test your ability to go all out! We can scream and grunt as we lift heavy weights, we can fall to the floor in a sweaty heap after using the Airedyne, we can cry with frustration, even laugh at disasters. This is a special environment filled with incredible people who think it’s ok to do what you want and will even try and help you achieve your goals.

The sense of community, sometimes known as a 'cult' outside outside of the box, is one of the special features of CrossFit. Working out within our CrossFit community makes us feel good and encourages us to push ourselves to new limits that we didn't think were possible. It is a special thing that we can develop further by welcoming new members and making them feel accepted as part of that [local and] international family.  

7 Year Anniversary Potluck This Weekend!

We still can't believe UB is turning 7!  We really hope you will join us Saturday afternoon from 1-3 for delicious potluck food and drink and the best company around!  Help us reminisce about 7 whole years of gains, growth, and good times!  We'll also be congratulating our year 7 ambassadors' of awesome!  We hope to see you there ... after all, we wouldn't be UB without yoU!

United Barbell: Now the Home of BIRTHFIT SF!

Have you noticed the increase of strollers around during open gym?  This is because, beginning this year, I have been chosen to be the BIRTHFIT affiliate for San Francisco! I am on a mission here to support the bay area mommas and mommas to be throughout the bay area!  Being BIRTHFIT is a choice.  It is about all education, empowerment, and self nourishment.  Through four pillars: chiropractic, nutrition, mindset, and fitness, I plan to help women train for (or recovering from) one of the biggest athletic events a woman will face in her life.  Want to see what it's all about?  Check out BIRTHFIT SF's site!

Know a new momma who could benefit from some mom-focused time being supported by other new moms?  Pass along the info for our next Postpartum Series! 

What is the postpartum series?

Your body has done an incredible job of growing a life for 9 months. You’ve given birth, taken time to rest and bond with your little one, and now you’re thinking about getting back into working out. Before you head out for that run, or start heavy lifting in CrossFit again come hang out with BIRTHFIT for an 8 class, 4 week series to re-establish your core and wake up your posterior chain. This series will encourage continued healing after birth and set up a solid foundation for getting back into your workout routine. The best part is, you’ll be with other moms who are going through the same thing as you. Non-mobile babies are welcome to join. 

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

In this weeks awesome post we bring you Rylan. For those of you who know him you may be saying to yourself "yeah, no brainer". For those of you who don't, Rylan always manages to maintain a positive air about him and is always there to cheer on his fellow athlete. He is always actively seeking out our eyes and guidance to better improve his form and strive towards virtuosity in his movements. His positivity, support of those around him, and desire to continue to chase improvement in his athleticism and mindset are a inspiration to others and a driving factor in what makes our job as coaches the best job in the world.

Name: Rylan Collins

Nickname / Alter Ego: Rhyno

Hometown: Cumberland, Maine originally. San Francisco now

Occupation: Software Engineer

When did you first start CrossFitting?: February of 2016

When did you first start CrossFitting at UB?: July of 2016

Favorite WOD: I've been going to the Strength WODs a lot lately. More than anything, I've found that focusing on my technique has improved all my movements. SWOD is a great way to get guidance from coaches and focus on individual lifts.

Least favorite WOD: I have a hard time with any WOD that takes longer than about 10 minutes, to be honest. I've been trying to push myself harder lately but I just get winded quickly. I've always been more a sprinter.  .... Also, burpees. Obviously

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I have a few friends that had been raving about it and I was getting bored of my old routine. My favorite thing about CrossFit is the class aspect. It forces me to try new things and it never gets boring.

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? I'm a lot more flexible than I used to be. Before trying CrossFit, I never thought to stretch or mobilize. I still have a ways to go, but at least I can touch my toes now.

What is your favorite cheat meal? A spicy pork kimchee burrito from HRD.

How has injury played into your athleticism and mindset fortitude as an athlete? When I first started CrossFit, I tore my shoulder labrum at a different box (I won't name any names). I was trying OH squats for the first time and went way to heavy. It was a humbling experience. Since then, I've learned how important form and technique are. I always try to make sure I'm doing movements correctly before I push myself too hard. Not injuring myself is way more important for gains than that extra 15 pounds.

Join Us for Our Seventh Anniversary!

It's hard to believe it, but next week UB will be turning 7!!  We had initially planned on having the summer slam co-joined on the same day, but we discussed it and decided the community could use some good ole fashioned community bonding/appreciation time!

Come celebrate our 7 year anniversary with the UB family!  We have accomplished so much and come so far over these last 7 years!  We are so proud of the progress you have all made as athletes, our staff as coaches, and ourselves as captains of the helm.   So help us celebrate all the greatness.  We couldn’t have done it without every one of you!  Join us for a pot luck lunch Saturday at the gym on August 19th at 1pm.  We will be doing a raffle, announcing this years Ambassadors of awesome, and simply enjoying the amazing community that is United Barbell!!

We hope you can join us!  Dress casual, (but no Lulus allowed)!