Register for the 2019 House Cup

Let the Games begin!  .... Ok, just because CrossFit HQ won’t open registration for the first of two 2019 CrossFit Opens until January 10th, but that doesn't mean we can't get ready.  How you ask?  By preparing for United Barbell's 4th Annual House Cup!


For our newer members, the House Cup is a gym wide team competition interlaced with the CrossFit Open.  Participants are divided into 3 teams.  Teams win points by participating in the 5 CrossFit Open workouts, showing team spirit, and by being all-around awesome.  The events start February 22rd and take place over 5 weeks:

  • 19.1- Feb. 21-25

  • 19.2- Feb. 28 - March 4

  • 19.3- March 7-11

  • 19.4- March 14-18

  • 19.5- March 21-25

The team draft will be happening in just a couple weeks, so make sure to register ASAP! 

Want to join in for 5 weeks of a gym-wide extravaganza of fun and competition? Sign up below ASAP!  

House Cup Standings: Week One

What a week. Friday night's energy and spirit was incredible. Thank you to all who came and participated, the athletes, the judges, the hype men & women, the costumes, the snack table, the sloth, the dogs, the list goes on. I can't wait to see what you come up with this week.



The Mambas are in the lead! Every Mamba completed the judges course, they had an amazing participation percentage, and they earned Spirit Points for Kim & Adrian, and Chris C.



Too Fit To Quit aren't far behind! They also earned Spirit Points for Rajesh D. and Whittney T. They had strong placers in the RX and Scaled divisions, and great attendance for 18.1!



The Ultimates bring up the rear this week. Despite strong RX and Scaled placers, they weren't able to compete on Spirit Points or attendance. Better luck next week!


This week, Rajesh D, Chris C, Kim C, Adrian A, and Whittney T stood out and all shared the available points.

18.1 Placers

Women: Rx

  1. Hayley Beauchamp
  2. Gillian Pressman
  3. Whittney Tom
  4. Amy Raimundo
  5. Sally Chou

Women: Scaled

  1. Becca Ling
  2. Kim Cook
  3. Michelle Lovejoy
  4. Nathalie Cassidy
  5. Christine Casebolt

Men: Rx

  1. Jon Hanna
  2. Todd MacKinnon
  3. Steve Love
  4. Quinn O'Connell
  5. Royal Addis

Men: Scaled

  1. Michael Ramirez
  2. Mike Stevens
  3. John Yong
  4. Paul Carleton
  5. Nick Pataki

Olivia Graff

Olivia's athletic origins lie in gymnastics and circus arts. After finding CrossFit in 2007, she became obsessed, and three years later left her IT career and opened United Barbell. Olivia is particularly passionate about helping people new to fitness to find joy in their growing athletic abilities. Since the birth of her daughter, Isis, in 2013, Olivia can add helping little ones find their athletic path to her list of passions.

Doing the Open the Open Way

I have heard a lot of hesitation around the CrossFit Open Scaled Division.  After hearing the questions and concerns of many of our athletes, I think it's time we have a heart to heart. 

The scaled division was created to make the Open inclusive.  No, it was not just for you who are almost at that RX weight, or almost have that muscle up.  It was made to be inclusive of the CrossFitters out there who are still working to get a double under and those who still need assistance on pull ups.  There is one scaled division (made to make comparing yourself to a world of other CrossFitters simpler).  This left those in the middle dissatisfied.  Sound familiar?  Let's chat.

If you are one of the people who feel RX is "pushing it" but scaled feels "too easy" here is my advice based on your particular questions/concerns:

"But I almost have a ___"

If you can do all the workout but 1 movement, and are close to being able to achieve that movement, please consult a coach.

"But the scaled version is TOO EASY"

I would like to answer this one with a story.  Lisa S. is one of our level 2 athletes who completed the open 100% in the scaled division last year while being 8 months pregnant.  She ended up taking 6th in the region in the scaled division.  I asked her if she thought the scaled version was easy.  Here was her response.  "Yes, the movements are more simple than the RX division.  But that means more reps and a harder workout.  You have to push yourself.  It's a different kind of workout than the RX division." 

"I would rather do a hybrid of the Scaled and RX"

We are not allowing this for the open.  Why?  IF you decided to do a hybrid, it invalidates your score completely.  That's right.  Your score won't count for the open NOR will it count towards the House Cup.  Check your ego.  Do the scaled version.

"But I'm not participating in the Open"

See above.  No matter which workout you do, it will be a good workout!

2017 CrossFit Games Week!

For those who enjoy consuming CrossFit as a sport, this week is the week.  It's CrossFit Games week!  That's right, for individual, master and team athletes alike, the fun starts tomorrow!  

Whether you are a friend or a fan, here are the ways to watch:


Once the Games begin, fans can tune in to watch the entirety of the individual, team, masters and teen competitions live on the CrossFit Games website and on Facebook. In addition, CBS Sports Digital will stream up to 40 hours of live event coverage of teams and individuals on and the CBS Sports app for mobile and connected TV devices (OTT). OTT devices with the CBS Sports App include Roku, Apple TV (3rd gen. and 4th gen.), Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One and Windows 10. No authentication or sign-in is required to view this stream on any device.

CrossFit will use Facebook update groups to let people know when events are live, so be sure to join and set your notifications so you don't miss the best action. Known events and times will be scheduled in advance, and the Studio team will be breaking live announcements as they happen on site. For full schedule information, download the CrossFit Games app or visit

Please note the Games will take place in Central Standard Time.


New for 2017: Televised coverage will be moving to CBS and CBS Sports Network. The move will mean an unprecedented amount of coverage before, during and after the Games.

Once the Games are underway, fans can catch two hours of competition coverage on CBS Sports Network at the end of each day, Aug. 3-6, starting at 10 p.m. ET. And don’t miss the live coverage on Saturday on CBS Television at 1 p.m. ET or digitally on CBS All Access.

CBS Sports Network is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors. For distributors with national channel lineups please find CBS Sports Network as follows: DirecTV - 221, Dish Network - 158, Verizon FiOS - 94, AT&T U-Verse - 643. For all other providers, use the CBSSN channel finder to find your channel or check your local listings. CBS Sports Network is also available with OTT providers Hulu and YouTube TV, with additional distributors launching soon!  CrossFit will also be added under "Watch" on the homepage once coverage begins.  

Click for an overview of the games schedule.

Want to know what this year's athletes will be facing?  Here are the events:




Memorial Day Weekend Schedule and Events


This coming weekend is the 2017 California CrossFit Regional!  Coach Shannon will be competing as an individual, and Coach Colleen will be taking on teams alongside her NorCal team.  Here's what our the individual athletes will be up against this weekend:

Stay tuned for how to follow her progress live this weekend!


Monday we will be hosting Memorial Day Murph at 9:00AM.  All other classes and open gym will be canceled.  Grab your weight vest and join us!  Check out more info on the Murph Challenge fundraiser on our earlier post here.

Beyond the Open - Congrats Patrick B. & Coaches Jon & Shannon!

This year's House Cup was a success for oodles of reasons... least of which we had not one, not two, but three new athletes cross the threshold into post Open competition.  Patrick and Coach Jon will both participate in the Masters Qualifier Thursday-Monday, April 20-24, 2017, while Coach Shannon will go on to Regionals Memorial Day Weekend in Del Mar (along with Colleen, who will be representing team NorCal!).

Saying the commitment Patrick, Jon and Shannon showed over this last year was inspiring is a gross understatement.  These three have been the epitome of dedication, and their efforts proved it.  Patrick jumped 313 spots to finish 143rd in his age category, while Coach Jon jumped 104 spots in the Masters 40-44 to finish 165th and Coach Shannon technically jumped 50 places from last year (there's a story here), landing her in 9th this year!

These three have been such great leading examples that I wanted to take an opportunity to have them share some reflections with all of you: 

Patrick in 2014

Patrick in 2014

Patrick in 17.3

Patrick in 17.3

What was a highlight from your experience of the 2017 open?

Patrick - Watching so many people putting their hearts and souls into their WODs. Regardless of their skill levels or their goals (or even if they had full use of their extremiites), they showed up and took on each workout with the hearts of lions. Another was kidnapping Mambo from the Black Mambas and documenting his adventures on social media. I probably enjoyed that a little too much. 

Jon - In general it was the House Cup. Seeing the UB community and spirit come out was truly moving. On a personal level, it was improving on every workout with my 2nd attempt. One thing I wanted from this year’s training was to be ABLE to re-do workouts. Last year I wanted to but couldn’t recover fast enough. This year I got better with each re-do, and that made the difference getting into the top 200.

Shannon - The highlight of my Open 2017 was snatching 175 a couple times in 17.3.  This was a PR for me, but more importantly... it was the weight that I timed out at in 16.2 (the similar clean ladder one) last year. While I am proud of winning 17.2 (don't get me wrong), 17.3 was more satisfying for me because I'm not typically expected to do well with heavy weights. The fact that I can snatch this year what I had trouble cleaning last year is insane to me.


What would be your advice to others pushing to compete beyond the Open?

Patrick -  1)  Trust the coaching and know that you’re making progress, even when you don’t think you are.  2)  There is nothing like a competition to help you improve as an athlete.

Jon - Sit down and talk with a coach about it (I’m happy to do it), even if you only want to compete casually. Know why you’re doing it and what priority you’re giving it in your life. Everyone’s answers to those are different. But there are no shortcuts. If you’re doing it to improve, you need a plan. The most improvement comes in the training leading up to the competition, not the competition itself.

Shannon - For others looking to go further competitively, I would say 2 things:

1. Don't count yourself out. The first time I watched Regionals in 2014 (it was still NorCal Regionals and the cutoff was still Top 48) my coach at the time asked me if I wanted to go to Regionals some day. I laughed and told him "These bitches are crazy." Then in 2015 when Regionals became Super Regionals and the cutoff went from Top 48 to Top 20, (like many others) I basically said, well I'm for sure not making it now. I used to come up w excuses for myself, saying I'm not enough like *this* or *that*, or I could never *insert excuse here*. It wasn't until April 2015 that I actually convinced myself I could make Regionals if I actually wanted to. That's when I found James. Once you start to consider something actually possible, your mindset changes and the work you do is actually for a reason... purposeful, diligent, deliberate practice.

2. You're not going to do it alone. If you're serious about getting better competitively, it's not going to happen simply by wishing it would. You're going to need to proactively seek additional help from proven experts in their field, and stay accountable. For me, I have James Kusama (former regional athlete, expert programmer, and current master qualifier) who determines my exercise programming  cycles, and I have Ashley Smith (Working Against Gravity) who determines my nutritional intake as well as monitoring my stress levels, sleep quality, mindfulness etc.


 What's been the biggest game changer in the last year?

Patrick - Several months ago I signed up for personal training for gymnastics from Coach Shannon and Olympic lifting with Coach Shaheen. Although my performance in those two areas during the Open wasn’t the stuff of legends, it was much better than it would have been without their coaching. 

Jon - Having someone else program for me to really address my weaknesses. I finished 918th in 16.4. That result kept me out of the top 200 last year. And that same score for 17.4 would have been 1,420th. I finished 403rd in 17.4. But that didn’t happen overnight. That was a year of HSPU and overhead work. It’s still a weakness for me, but I improved enough that it kept me in the race.

Shannon - Biggest game changers this year were: quitting my full time job and dropping 16 pounds. You'll do crazy things if you care about something enough :)

House Cup 2017 - Week Four Update

We got the annual Open repeat, along with obligatory memes about butt soreness. The stage is now set for the grand finale of the 2017 House Cup! Here's the 17.4 recap, then use the form below to cast your prediction for 17.5!

The Ultimates rode their momentum from last week - dominating the top-3 placings. But they only just edged the Mambas for the week. Our current leaders got another bunch of Spirit points, won challenges, and had 4 people predict 17.4. 2Fit2Quit had a rough week, not getting many points from top-3s and Challenges as in weeks past.

Spirit of the Open points: 
Mambas (9 points) - Coach Nikki
scored big for her tattoo/tutu/lipstick/nails combo along with looking out for everyone's best deadlift form; Christopher for saving the downed internet with his iPod; Colleen for bringing her fun, relaxed spirit; Dave for deciding to finish a round of 17.4 no matter the time; Dock/Chelsea/PJ for being the 3 (wounded) Musketeers; Ester for her constant push for herself and others; Sunli for playing/cheering/judging his heart out; Adrian for prioritizing his health over a score but still recording a point for the team; and Loryn for organizing "Mamba Black-Out Friday."
Ultimates (5 points) - Captains Hayley & Steve for podium-finishing a local team comp in between monster 17.4 efforts; Anita for the awesome doodles and Tiger poses; Chad for his positive attitude and team spirit; Courtney going Rx for 2 with the little person in her belly; and last but certainly not least Mike for his hilarious social posts (here and here), despite losing challenges to Man 3 weeks in a row (but not 4!).
2Fit2Quit (4 points) - Captain Daniel showed that short shorts and Hulk gloves are a killer combo; Austin for his energy and enthusiasm; Amy for doing what her body will allow and cheering everyone on; Yana for coming back to crush the scaled version after stopping mid-Rx; Coach Max for his judging contributions; and Coach Jon for the prep and planning.

One-on-one Challenges
Mambas - 6 points, for Amelia, Nikki, and Terry
Ultimates - 4 points, from Adam and Mike getting his first win over Man
2Fit2Quit - 2 points for Tyler in the continuing Brobattle with Marek
We only had a handful of challenges for 17.4. I'm assuming it's because everyone's going to challenge the crap out of each other in 17.5.  Remember, this is your BEST WAY TO SCORE POINTS FOR YOUR TEAM!!!  Last week, people!  It's now or never!

#ubhousecup on social media
Much better this week, everyone! All teams get 3 points. However, I think my captain got caught at a bad angle by a couple of you in his post-wod stumble to the shower. I'm including the more accurate picture that I took ;-)

Predictor Points: Adrian, Amelia, Dock, and Terry for the Mambas, Hayley, Steve, and Cormac for the Ultimates, and Yana from 2Fit2Quit each scored 1 point for their teams by guessing the 16.4 repeat.

PRs - We chose not to award PR points this week, but congrats to all who bettered their score from 2016!

Judges Course
Mambas - 123 pts
Ultimates - 75 pts
2Fit2Quit - 59 pts

Top 3 RX males
1st - Patrick (Ultimates) - 211
2nd - Sean (Ultimates) - 207
3rd - Steve (Ultimates) - 206

Top 3 Scaled males
1st - Mike (2Fit) - 235
2nd - Andrew (Mambas) - 195
3rd - Zev (Mambas) - 194

Ultimates - 19 pts
Mambas - 19 pts
2Fit2Quit - 16 pts (yikes, 2Fit!)

Top 3 RX females
1st - Shannon (Ultimates) - 260
2nd - Hayley (Ultimates) - 208
3rd - Nikki (Mambas) - 196

Top 3 Scaled females
1st - Kristina (Mambas) - 214
2nd - Valerie (Ultimates) - 213
3rd - Kristine (Ultimates) - 192

Take your guess at what 17.5 will be!  3 points will be awarded to your team if your guess is the closest to what's announced (ties are possible). Guessing movements will take priority over time format or scheme (e.g. if you guess a 10 minute AMRAP of Wall Balls and OHS, someone else guesses 21-15-9 of HSPU and Deadlifts, and the WOD gets announced as 21-15-9 Wall Balls and OHS, you would win). Fill out the form below to make your submission. Only one guess allowed per athlete. Deadline is 5pm Thursday.

Movement(s) *
please match the number of movements you selected for "Scheme"

For those a little less of an Open history buff than me, here is some worthwhile information:

  • Many movements have been in EVERY Open (e.g. MUs, DUs, C2Bs, Thrusters).
  • 2016 was the first Open to have the same movement in 2 workouts (bar-facing burpees in 16.1 and 16.5). 
  • Since 2012, every Open has had a repeat workout from one of the previous years (and never more than 1 repeat).
  • The last 3 Opens have ended with task-priority workouts (your score is the time it takes to complete the workout).
  • The last 4 Opens have had one workout of "task priority plus bonus time" - i.e. get certain work done in a XX:XX time, and then get more time to do more work.
  • 2015 was the first year a max-effort lift was part of a workout (15.1a).  That has yet to be seen again in the Open.
  • It was announced that 2017 will feature dumbbells for the first time in the Open - add that into the Movement Notes if you want to for extra specificity.