Fall 2009

A little glimpse at the Sweat Shop circa 2009. 

This Thanksgiving I am once again very thankful for a healthy happy family, great friends, and the entire Sweat Shop community, which I feel is my extended family.  I’m also thankful that nowadays I only rarely get owned while trying to perform a 95lb. snatch!


Thanksgiving Class Schedule



Saturday & Sunday Regular Schedule

Push Jerk Crossover

Kendrick J. Farris (94kg) goes three for three in the clean and jerk at the World University in games in 2013.
Check out his Push (Squat) Jerks. Impressive to say the least.

The Push Jerk is an efficient way to get the bar from your shoulders to overhead, this we know. Taking the time to understand the push jerk allows you to efficiently move more weight more during workouts. Push Jerks also serve as a useful tool in strengthening your split jerk when performed properly.

The power jerk can be a lifter’s chosen style of jerk in competition. As a training exercise, it serves weightlifters as a way to train better and higher drive on the bar, balance in the dip and drive, a more precise vertical drive, a quicker transition between the drive and the movement down under the bar, and proper movement of the bar into position overhead, all of which will improve the split jerk
Check out the more push jerk info on Catalyst Athletics 

Fed Up

I recently watched a pretty interesting documentary called “Fed Up”.  While it’s primary message, “sugar is very bad”, is one that may not be new to many CrossFitters, who seem to be well informed about health and nutrition, there were many things about the movie I found eye opening.  Some of these things included the general population’s idea about healthy eating, the seemingly useless approach many physicians take in regards to childhood obesity, how we as a nation got to where we are in our current state of unhealthiness, and most of all, how influential the government is, all with their primary goal being to make more money.  Not to be a damper on any plans you may have to binge on desserts this Thanksgiving (i know I’ll still have my share), but I do highly recommend this informative documentary!


Thanksgiving Class Schedule



Saturday & Sunday Regular Schedule

Talking Points to Friends About CrossFit


I have watched this video over 30 times and still die laughing when I see the guy in the “Slayer” pants slam the bar into the ground. What makes it funny to me is that although these guys are overdramatizing a typical “CrossFit” workout (even though I might actually look like the guy doing burpees), I wouldn’t be surprised if some outsiders who haven’t tried it thought this is what most CrossFitters do. This especially is true given the plethora of stuff floating around about CrossFIT in social media. At the Sweat Shop, we pride ourselves on two big things 1.) Coaching and enforcing importance of technique and 2.) Maintaining a welcoming, chill, easy going, not-to-hardcore “Slayer-pants” community.

When introducing friends or family to CrossFit, remember that in order for them to be willing to try it out, making it feel relatable to their life and making them feel that it is something they’d enjoy, is key. Without going in too much detail, here are some helpful talking points you might want to try when explaining your gym, rather than just show videos of you PRing on a lift or post-WOD pictures of you sprawled out on the ground:

-Talk about the community and the new buddies you’ve made at the gym. If your buddies are your buddies, chances are, they’ll enjoy hearing that there are more people like you to hang out with at the gym.

-Talk about the dynamic of working out in a group. The contagious energy, positivity, and the teamwork that goes on throughout the class.

-Talk about the coaching and expertise. You know our strengths, personalities, and expectations of our members. Explain our care for their improvement more than their current athletic or fitness status. 

-Explain the cool movements and workouts you’ve learned as they relate to your improvement in fitness (i.e. what you couldn’t do before but you can do now). Your buddies will like to know that although the skills may look difficult, with a little work and patience, it pays off.

-Talk about the programming structure. If you like a big chunk of everything, you’ll love it at the Sweat Shop.

-Talk about the On-Ramp classes and that there is NO NEED to go BEAST MODE from day 1 to enjoy CrossFit. Talk about embracing the journey and how there is always something to work on in CrossFit.

-If they are into it, talk about competition and the opportunities for you to compete at ANY LEVEL, novice or elite.

-Talk about the fun social gatherings for workouts on holidays, out of the box adventures, competitions, or parties.

-Tell them how CrossFit has changed your life for the better.

WOD For The Hungry


Each year at Thanksgiving, I try to do a little something to help out in the community. Although each new day is a reminder of how lucky and blessed I am to be able to have basic necessities like enough food to survive the day, Thanksgiving, for me anyway, is a day to put thoughts into action. In past years it’s been handing out food at the Povorello House in Fresno or going to the grocery store and dropping off a basketful of food to the food bank .

I wanted a different challenge this year and was hoping y’all could help me out like you did generously for my previous trips to Peru and the Dominican Republic. This year on Thanksgiving, I am going to do a workout based upon food donations given by members of the Sweat Shop community! All I need from you is to DONATE Lots of FOOD! The more you guys donate, the more people get fed…and for a little fun, the more enjoyable yet sucky torture I will endure! With the advice from Nabil and Toovey “The Count Dracula Programmer”, here is what we came up with as a WOD generator based upon your donations:

50+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” 21-15-9 Thrusters (135#) and Chest to Bar Pullups
75+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 50 Burpees
100+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 75 Burpees
150+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 100 Burpees
200+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 100 Burpees+ “Grace”
250+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 100 Burpees+ “Walking Grace (around 403m Hill Course)”
300+ Food Items: “Beefy Fran” + 100 Burpees+ “Walking Grace (around 800m Course)”

Food donation boxes (Non-Perishable Please) will be at the Sweat Shop and can be dropped off from now until the night before Thanksgiving. Let’s see how much we can pull through for the hungry!……and in good fun, how much torture you can put your coach through (Gulp)…

Donations will be made split to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Poverello House in Fresno, CA.

Barbell WOD Seminar


I’m excited to announce that on Thursday December 4th 7:30pm, we’ll be hosting a Barbell WOD seminar at CrossFit Sweat Shop, being put on by Cal Strength.  Barbell WOD is training program developed by Cal Strength for CrossFitters.  Rather than traditional Olympic Lifting, where the primary goal is improving your 1 rep max clean & jerk and snatch, Barbell WOD is geared towards improving your Olympic lifts as they pertain to CrossFit, which often means doing higher rep sets and/or touch and go reps.  Barbell WOD also takes into consideration that throughout the course of your training week, you will be performing several traditional CrossFit metabolic conditioning workouts.  While just about anyone that does CrossFit can benefit from this, it is especially beneficial to the competitive, and those looking to get into the competitive CrossFit events.  The seminar on December 4th will be to explain in greater detail the inner workings of the program, as well as the benefits.  Attendance will be free of charge.

Deuces Wild Comp in the Books

The two Sweat Shop teams all smiles after a hard days work at Deuces Wild.

Congratulations to Mike, Skyler, Jason and Kyle for a great performance this past Sunday. JB and I both got a chance to go out and watch our fellow Sweat Shoppers. Also, a big thank you to everyone who came out  and cheered on Team Sweat Shop as well! To check out the results click here.

Tissue Work w/ Jay Itagaki

jay_iJay at a recent olympic weightlifting meet

In addition to our other great resources, such as Dr. Rob at Paynton and Paynton Chiropractic, we now have another option for tissue work.  Jay Itagaki, a competitive olympic weightlifter at Cal Strength, and massage therapist at Kinetic Chain Sport in Pleasanton, will be available at the Sweat Shop with his massage table on Wednesday afternoons from 4pm-8pm.  Both Aaron and I have been worked on by Jay and have found his services quite valuable.  His techniques are similar to ART (active release therapy), but he combines that with deep tissue massage.  Many times when people have pain that doesn’t subside after a few days, or even a few weeks, they assume the only cure is to get surgery.  If you are having pain and/or limited range of motion, I would first recommend getting some form of tissue work.  If you notice improvement after a few sessions it could be a pretty good indicator that your issue isn’t as bad as you may have once believed.  Whether it’s seeing someone like Jay for regular or semi-regular treatment sessions, and/or learning what you need to be doing on your own, it is all part of the continual education/improvement process one undergoes as they seek comprehensive health and fitness.  If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Jay you can email or call him at 510-290-1622

December 14th: Rowing Clinic With Olympic Medalist!


Time to get your row on! We are happy to announce that we have set up a rowing clinic to be held at the Sweat Shop on December 14th, taught by Olympic Silver Medalist, Scott Frandsen! If you want to fine-tune your rowing technique and/or get some tips on your rowing workouts, this clinic is for you! The clinic will be from 9:00am – 10:30am at CrossFit Sweat Shop. Cost: $45.00. Space will be limited to 10 spots to sign up now!

Register here. 

Deuces Wild this Weekend

Kyle ad Jason at last years Christmas Party proudly displaying their”Breakthrough Performance” awards.

Sweat Shop has two teams competing in this years Deuces Wild competition at Diablo CrossFit this Sunday!

Jason and Kyle have teamed up for the second year in a row to compete. We’re looking forward to another award winning performance from this dynamic duo! Mike and Skyler, a superb match up, also are recent additions to the Deuces roster. We’re excited to see both teams compete. Come out and cheer on our teams this Sunday!


Marley’s Coffee will also be there supplying coffee and delicious waffles!


Row-A-Thon This Saturday: Judge Requested

picstitch (1)It might look EXACTLY like this on Saturday.

This Saturday, Becca, Melaney, Yoko, and I are teaming up for the Row-A-Thon at CrossFit Walnut Creek in honor of Ericlee Gimore (Velocity and CrossFit buddy). Ericlee tragically passed away from cancer 2 months ago. This was a yearly event held by Ericlee for his service organization in Haiti, which he and his family have ran for decades. His buddies at CrossFit Walnut Creek wanted to keep the event going strong, especially knowing how much Ericlee enjoyed it. This year, all proceeds are going directly to his wife and 3 young daughters.

CrossFit Walnut Creek has asked if we could supply a judge….For 90 minutes only! If anyone is interested in making the short drive Downtown to CrossFit Walnut Creek to either scream at us for 90 minutes on the rower or if you’d like to be a judge, here’s how it’ll go down:

The event starts at 8:00am this Saturday. In one big heat, we row for max meters in 90 minutes! Thankfully, just one person works at a time and we can split up the work however we want. The team with the most meters at the end of the 90 minutes wins. But the catch, or shall I say, “spicy factor” is that each team members is allotted 2 different skills that we must perform which count for extra meters….i.e. 1 Muscle Up = 50 meters, 1 Wall Ball = 10 Meters. ETC. The skills by all 4 athletes must be completed in the first 60 minutes and the teams have to stop rowing when their athlete is performing the skill. Although rowing sucks…I am super excited at the challenge and glad there is more to it than rowing!

If you can make it out there and judge let us know in the comments section or e-mail me. If you just want to yell at us for 90 minutes, that is welcome too! We’ll need it!

Great Work Jennifer & Megan – Autumn Rookie Throwdown

jen_meganCongrats to Jennifer and Megan on their first CrossFit competition!  While it may have been a “rookie” competition, the exercises and workouts still challenged and pushed all of the competitors to their limits!  Megan and Jen performed great, and once again I was proud to see quality technique, even in a competition setting, when so many others quickly threw everything they’ve been taught out the window for the sake of competition.  Our girls also rolled with the punches when they found out they’d be doing a 3 rep max touch and go clean with a men’s bar, which has a thicker diameter, thus making it more difficult to hold on to.  These types of curve balls almost always come up, especially in local competitions, and Jennifer and Megan’s ability to deal with it, and still put up great numbers, shows their ability to adapt on the fly.  Looking forward to watching them compete more in the future!

New Way to Purchase Prather Ranch Meat


While opening up and unpacking a 40lb. box of Prather Ranch meat feels like Christmas to me, for many others it can be too much meat at one time to try and fit into their fridge and freezer.  Therefore, Prather Ranch’s new way is a monthly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription.  So rather than getting a 40lb. box once or twice a year that is delivered to the Sweat Shop for members to pick up, here is how the monthly CSA differs:

  • 10 lb. box of meat each month
  • delivered to your home
  • A la carte items can be added such as bacon, sausage, jerky, lamb, hot dogs, etc.
  • prepared food items can also be added, such as meatballs, chili, and pork chops
  • start your monthly subscription whenever you like, no need to wait for the entire gym to place order together (3 month delivery subscription required)

For a list of all the products, and to get setup for delivery, click here.

Getting Better at Getting Better


I snagged this article from our friends at CFO who posted it on their Facebook page. I think it is a great read for everyone…competitors, recreational fitness goers, doctors, teachers, chefs, business owners or anyone in a quest for CONTINUOUS improvement in their craft.

My favorite part of this article is that it is another reminder that, regardless of status, the path to continual improvement is not all about focusing on the outcome of performance, but moreso about training smarter….or as the article eludes to, “getting better at getting better”. It also reminds me how, when you reach the pinnacle of your craft, it’s easy to get “comfortable” and stepping out of the box to try new ways to improve what you are weak at becomes much harder.

From the article:

David Halberstam wrote in “The Breaks of the Game” (1981), N.B.A. players didn’t want to admit that they “still had something to learn.”Professional athletes had always worked out, of course. But, historically, practice was mainly about getting in shape and learning to play with your teammates. It was not about mastering skills. People figured that either you had those skills or you didn’t. “There is an assumption that a player arrives in the league in full possession of all the basic skills,” Halberstam wrote, describing the N.B.A. in the late seventies. “Either that, or he sinks.” Bob Petrich, a defensive end for the San Diego Chargers in the nineteen-sixties, told an interviewer that most N.F.L. players of his era even scorned the idea of lifting weights. “Most of the guys had this mental attitude that if you’re not good enough the way you are, then you’ll never be good enough,” Petrich said. The prevailing philosophy was “What you are is what you are.” Today, in sports, what you are is what you make yourself into. Innate athletic ability matters, but it’s taken to be the base from which you have to ascend. Training efforts that forty years ago would have seemed unimaginably sophisticated and obsessive are now what it takes to stay in the game.

Read full article here. 

Thanksgiving Class Schedule

Upcoming Events

Getting Started

What We Offer

Workout of the Day



Caveman Bowls

Most Popular Video

Search CrossFit Sweat Shop