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...


unnamed-5.jpg

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!


unnamed-11.jpg

 

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.

unnamed-15.jpg

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.

unnamed-10.jpg

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.

image_uploaded_from_ios-2.jpg

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.

 

 


Congrats Coach Lisa!

When people ask me to define what sets United Barbell apart from other CrossFits, I normally speak about "form and family."  But one of the things that I have always loved most about the community we have created here is the emphasis on nurturing all-around growth and self empowerment.  You come here to get your WOD on, but it's never just about the workout.  

So when coaches leave, we are always super sad to see them go.  Shannon - we are excited for your next chapter despite our heartbreak.  That said, we have a familiar face coming in her stead to ease the pain.  Welcome to the ranks Coach Lisa!

A little more about Lisa: This woman took to CrossFit and the UB community like avocado on toast. She has always been passionate about the community and has even served as a house cup team captain. though the past years, she has grown as an athlete, WODded through 2 pregnancies, and continues to set the bar for dedication.  We love her and are excited to see more of her!

15095577_10157797391460287_1012452560354420668_n.jpg

Learn a bit about your newest coach:

Hometown: Napa

What's your fitness background? I have done it all, played 5 sports in high school, Volleyball, Soccer, Track, Cross country, and Diving. Race motor cross and BMX bikes competitively for several years and just enjoy any spot thats outside.

When did you first start CrossFitting?: February 2013

Favorite WOD: Murph
Least favorite WOD: 16.1
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? Gave me more confidence.

What made you want to be a coach? My passion for CrossFit and helping people, I get to do both at the same time.

What are your goals as an athlete? Lift heavy weights, and get back to where I before the second baby.

What are your goals as a coach? Help athletes accomplish things they never thought they would be able to do.

What will be your go to Spotify station? Jason Luk's Spotify play list

What's your coaching spirit animal? Chita haha (fast and strong) at least thats what I want to be.

Welcome Sam!

You may have noticed a new bearded face leading Wednesday morning CrossFit Classes as well as Monday and Thursday SWOD and Oly. He is a seasoned coach whose CrossFit career began in D.C. and is thrilled to join the UB community.  He is passionate about movement and ready to help those willing to do the work.  He recently wrote an article about staying humble, staying positive, and working for the long term.   I thought sharing it would be a great way for him to introduce himself.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 3.03.40 PM.png

I’m not much of an athlete. I’ve never been. I tried all sorts of sports growing up — baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, wrestling, karate, boxing, football — but none of them really fit. I didn’t move quickly or with great agility, and had allergies, asthma, and glasses.

So it was much to the surprise of my family and friends when I started in on this “CrossFit” thing. The very idea of me working out was foreign — I think I hit the gym a maximum of ten times in all of college — but the idea of doing high-intensity anything was out of the question. Honestly, who knows what drew me to CrossFit. I think I wanted to try the most hardcore thing I could do to get in shape and change some things in my life, and there was a CrossFit gym close by.

I started CrossFit six years ago, and haven’t looked back. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing; in fact, the disappointments have been widespread — challenging movements, stubborn body fat, and meltdowns caused by slow times and failed lifts. Yet I continued to steadily improve — day by day, month by month I went from a complete beginner to intermediate, and finally began to get my sea legs. I’m by no means elite, but I do my best day in and day out to perform as best I can.

Each year, athletes all over the world compete in the CrossFit Open. According to CrossFit,

“The Open is the first stage of the CrossFit Games season and the largest community event of the year. Every year, hundreds of thousands of athletes come together to compete in the worldwide, online competition.
[…] Workouts are released on Thursdays at 5 p.m. PT, and athletes have four days to complete the workout for the week and submit their score. […]
At the end of five weeks, the fittest move on to the next stages of competition: The Regionals and The Online Qualifier”

The Open starts in late February, and serves as a check-in point for a lot of ambitious athletes — a chance to say “How am I doing? Am I where I want to be?” It’s always been that for me, at least. I love the camaraderie of working out with your friends and compete strangers, pushing to be a better you. Everyone works hard, does the same workout, commiserates, and celebrates at the end. I was particularly excited for this year’s competition; I’ve had a huge year of training, and am a much more confident athlete than I was a year ago. I’m more confident, and feeling better able to achieve my goals.

Then in November, my right knee started to hurt. At first it was nothing major — it had hurt on and off for a few months, and I hadn’t thought much of it. Then things got progressively worse, until I was having trouble walking up stairs and standing for a long period of time. I was freaked out — surgery seemed frightening, and I did not know what the recovery process would look like. My doctor determined I had LCL and Meniscus sprains, and we agreed that I needed some time off the knee.

That was January. “I’ll be fine by the Open,” I thought. I kept thinking I’d wake up and things would be fine. Boy, was I wrong. It’s been ten weeks since I last ran. Twelve since I squatted. It’ll likely be 6–8 more.

My injury has caused me to miss the Open this year. I’m sure that sounds dumb to a lot of you — I’m not an elite athlete, I’m not a sponsored athlete . I’m just a dude who used to be fat and likes to lift weights. But for me, it’s a whole lot more than that. It crushed me for most of January — I was pretty bummed for a while. But a few weeks back things changed.

You see, it’s incredibly easy to get bogged down in the short term. It’s easy to be sad about your current situation. It’s a lot harder to see the value in the challenge. It’s a lot harder to trust the process. I realized that my injury (a very minor one by most athletic standards) is simply a detour, and on that detour a lot can be learned. I needed to slow my roll, survey my surroundings, and chart a new path.

13422225_4080902577873_7608156022423959299_o.jpg

[My medium posts] frequently discuss topics of growth, challenges, and my process. And this may be the most important one of all. I no longer feel any pressure to perform to the standards of others; I only have to succeed for myself. The injury showed me that I can grow as much from training and coaching as I can competing — and it pumped the breaks right when I needed to slow down and look around a bit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to training. Only fifty weeks until next year’s Open.

New Faces + New Schedule

Welcome New Coaches

As we say goodbye to James & Trent, we're hoping to ease the pain a little by announcing that we have some familiar faces taking on the title of UB Coach!

COACH COLLEEN

Colleen Fotsch

Colleen has long been an inspiration to the UB community, and we're thrilled to announce that she will begin to take on both CrossFit and Level 2 classes in addition to her current Barbell WOD class. Colleen is an Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Cal Berkeley, a Regional-level CrossFit athlete, and competes on the San Francisco Fire GRID team. To  say we're excited to add her to our team is an understatement.

 


COACH SPENCER

Spencer Moorman

We're also excited to announce that Spencer will be our new evening Oly coach! Spencer is a 2-time national champion, on the USA World Team, and also one of the most brutally honest and entertaining coaches you'll experience. We love the energy he brings to the gym, and a weekly opportunity to be coached by him is not to be missed!

 


New Schedule starting Monday

In light of our staff changes, you might have expected we'd do some schedule rescheduling, but you probably won't have guessed what we have in store. We are not cutting back - in fact, we are adding classes! We're excited to add regular beginners classes, as well as a second Level 2 class.

Until Kristin takes her leave, we've decided to give her free rein during her Friday evening classes. That means that classes will be "Newman Specials". Expect some fun, unusual movements!

Here's a sneak peek of the schedule. It will take effect next week, on Monday, October 5th - you'll see the changes reflected in our class sign-ups later this week.

Click to see our new schedule!

As always, we truly value your feedback. We serve a small community and we want to make sure that your membership is working for you. Please leave a comment!

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.