Old School CrossFit


Cool link sent to me by Chief Banks, via CJ, where among other things, you can see Mike and Lones’ son, Connor, in the 2007 Games Highlight video.  I really like post because for those just getting into CrossFit, they may not be aware of what the CrossFit Games, and really, what CrossFit, was all about, just a few short years ago.

See full post here.

Jerry Farewell

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Today, one of our members, and longtime student of mine, Jerry, had his last session with us before he moves to San Jose for work after completing his undergraduate studies at Saint Mary’s. For the past 2 years, Jerry has been one of my best students while at Saint Mary’s. He is a guy who leads the class by example through his attentiveness and hard work. He was no different as a member at the Shop. I know I speak for all coaches about how easy it is to coach Jerry.  He always listens and while he has competitive drive (shown in his stellar rowing and lifting), he has self-discipline to always maintain great technique, regardless of the circumstance. Jerry also has been super outspoken for our gym and community. He always cheers his fellow buddies on, thanks his coaches, and raves about gym. His dedication, shown through waking up early for the 7am class, heading to work, and then SMC class later, is clear proof that he has what it takes to thrive in “the real world”.

Congrats on graduation Jerry! We are proud of you! Come visit us when you have time! Send your congrats to comments!


Also, the rest of our California Regional photos are posted on the Sweat Shop Facebook Business Page. Check’em out here! 

2015 Regional Wrap Up

IMG_8711 (2)Team Sweat Shop at the finish of event 3!

As most of you know, Team Sweat Shop competed this past weekend at the California Regionals, the final step of qualifications for the CrossFit Games.  While we always say (and it’s true) that the level of competition gets tougher each year, this year it was more than just an opinion.  In the past years, the top 30 teams in Northern California compete amongst each other with the top 3 moving on to the CrossFit Games.  This year they took only the top 15 teams in NorCal and combined them with the top 15 teams in SoCal, for the California Regional with only the top 5 teams moving on to the CrossFit Games.

Things got off to a stressful start the day before the competition even began!  While half of the team took and early flight on Thursday and had gotten down to San Diego by noon, the other half of the team was scheduled to fly out around 1pm and still get there in plenty of time to meet the 6pm registration cut-off time.  However, their flight was delayed by several hours and therefore didn’t arrive in time and missed the mandatory registration.  Luckily they allowed the team to register first thing in the morning on Friday before competition began.

Walking around the venue it was clear to see that this year was different from years past.  The riffraff had cut out with the new qualification standards.  The individuals and the teams competing were all highly competitive, legit athletes!  Even the spectators were yoked!

The workouts on the first day went well, and our team’s ability to cycle quickly on rope climbs and move through a large number of thruster quickly moved us up a couple of spots and moving us from heat 1 to heat 2, which is competing alongside the higher ranked teams.  Day 2 started with the treadmill/wall ball workout, and while we didn’t expect it to be a great workout for us, our team’s ability to hold a good pace on the run, and be unaffected by the wall balls put us finishing first in our heat, and 7th overall for that workout!  Later that day the team continued to shine as all 6 members hit their lifts in the 1 rep max snatch.  Training with consistently good technique helped, but preparing specifically for this format in practice was key.  Many teams scrambled as each member only had 1 minute to load/unload the barbell and make their lifts.  Aside from making all of their lifts, I was super pleased to see that despite not being one of the bigger teams, Sweat Shop was still able to place 12th in a strength event!

Day 3 had two long and punishing workouts, but everyone held their own and performed well on the big stage.  When the dust had finally settled Team Sweat Shop finished in 18th overall in California, out of over 400 teams!  By far our best place to date, and this of course with half the team members still being really young in terms of their competitive CrossFit experience!

Aside from cheering on the team during the 3 day event, it was really fun to be able to hang out with everyone that made the trip down to San Diego to support our team.  I enjoyed being outside of the gym, having dinner with everyone, even if most of the conversation was about CrossFit.  A first for me was on Friday afternoon after watching the teams and individuals compete, heading over to a local CrossFit gym for a workout with several members of the Sweat Shop.  It was fun to be able to workout alongside my friends in a gym where I had zero responsibilities.  Afterwards, I was worried it might get awkward when I brought out the beers for some post workout hydration, but my worries were immediately put to ease when several of the local gym members also had cold beers waiting for post workout enjoyment!  Hanging out with friends, drinking a cold beer as the SoCal sun began to set and the only pressing issue on my mind being what it is we shall have for dinner sure did make the 101 strict burpees we had just completed (as a buy out in our workout) seem like no big deal.  :-)


Welcome Baby Lincoln!


Congratulations to Becca and her husband Robert as they welcome their third child, Lincoln Michael, who was born this past Sunday at 7pm, weighing in at 8.7lbs. and 21.75 inches!  Aside from really nice parents, Lincoln is also lucky to have two sweet older sisters to look after him as he grows up.  The Sweat Shop baby boom continues as our team for the 2034 CrossFit Games is looking better and better!

Regional & Memorial Day Weekend Schedule


Don’t forget, our schedule is just a bit modified this weekend.  See pic above.

Watch Team Sweat Shop live Friday, Saturday and Sunday here.

2015 Regional Team – Women

Ladies rEEG

Each year at regionals, the women are almost always the difference makers on the team side of the competition. This year, and as strong as ever, the ladies on Team Sweat Shop pack a dynamic punch of strength, skill, grit, and hardiness! We are proud to have Bri, Taneya, and Helen competing for Sweat Shop at this year’s CrossFit Games California Regional. These ladies have been training extremely hard this season and it has shown in the massive improvements to their CrossFit game. All three finished the Open in the top 100, which is a first for the gym! While Helen, who competed at regionals in 2013 brings a boatload of competition experience to the forefront, first year regional competitors, Bri and Taneya (Raise The Bar Award Duo) continue to push the capacity of our team to new heights with their diverse skill-set. The ladies have become a tight-nit group over this long training season, which is an underrated attribute in these competitions. Their gritty personalities mesh very well and they have a great feel for eachother’s strengths and weaknesses which makes communication almost automatic!

Look for Helen to be the energizer bunny on the metcons. One thing you may already know about Helen is, you don’t have to worry about her pouring it all out there. Her lightning speed on pull-ups, thrusters, and power snatches will be huge for Sweat Shop. Keep an eye out for Bri to carry the load on the heavy stuff and making the weight look like toys! She will get to show off her most coveted lift, the snatch, in both heavy and light scenarios. Don’t blink on her handstand walk either! Finally, watch out for Taneya, being everywhere! A true utility player at heart, she will carry the team during the muscle ups and rope climbs, and don’t miss how crazy fast she is at hang power cleans! Look out for her to crush handstand walks too…her secret, the weight belt!

The more I write about the team, the more pumped I get! I am super excited to be able to compete alongside these strong ladies! Great job on your work thus far y’all! I know I speak for all the coaches, and myself as your teammate, we are proud of you guys! Let’s have some fun with it!

Give your shout outs to the ladies in the comments! Tune in this weekend on the Games website!

2015 Regional Team – Men

men_reg_2015This year on the men’s side we have a carbon copy of last year’s regional team.  I’m super excited and proud to have Mike, Rikus and James once again representing the Sweat Shop at the California Regionals this year!  Not only have these guys improved on all fronts of their fitness during this past year, their team work and communication has also improved and it’s apparent when you watch them train together.  Look for each of them to bring something to the table this weekend, Rikus, with his engine, brings awesome speed and capacity on the runs and rower, coupled with his strength and athleticism allows him to be a versatile teammate that can easily adapt on the fly.  While JB can fly on the body weight movements like rope climbs and handstand walks, don’t count him out when it comes to his strength.  Pound for pound he’s one of our strongest athletes, his super solid technique definitely helps.  Watch for Mike to sprint on the handstand walk as fast as most people walk upright, and strict handstand pushups are knocked out with ease.  He’s also a clutch teammate when it comes to lifting heavy barbells and doing a bunch of muscle ups.  Put the three of these guys together and they are a fun group to coach, and an exciting team to watch!  Stay tuned for a profile on the ladies.

For those not able to make the trip down to San Diego this weekend, you can watch Team Sweat Shop during all their workouts as it will be streamed online on the CrossFit Games website.

Lastly, while Rene is at home with her new baby, and James, Marko and myself will all be down in San Diego, DJ will be coaching classes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Most classes will still take place at regular times, but there are a few changes for this week and weekend.

**Regional & Memorial Weekend Schedule**

ThursdayNO NOON CLASS (all other classes as normal)

FridayNO NOON CLASS (all other classes as normal)

Saturday – 8am, 9am and 10am class only (NO 11am class)


Memorial Monday – 8am, 9am and 10am class only

Barbell Medicine


Mr. Nick Davis uses barbells for an early morning “pick-me-up”.

While the benefits of strength training in improving performance in athletics seems to be very clear, the same effect holds true in our daily life. If you’ve been with us for a while, I’m sure you’ve picked up on our “strength first” philosophy. Although there are many ways to get strong, our most common method is with the barbell. We really believe that if you can master the ground based lifts such as the back squat, deadlift, and the press, it makes other more complex barbell work a little easier to transition in to. Furthermore, because the barbell lifts mimic daily movements, it makes those tasks easier as well. Check out this nice post from Starting Strength on using the barbell as medicine.

From the post:

”[A]t present there is absolutely no solid evidence that strength training—or any other exercise or dietary program—will substantially prolong our life spans. But the preponderance of the scientific evidence, flawed as it is, strongly indicates that we can change the trajectory of decline. We can recover functional years that would otherwise have been lost.”

Read full post here. 

D.J. Snatch Redemption!

Too many videos of DJ? Too bad! 275# snatch redemption @djlynam77 #crossfitsweatshop #crossfit #saintmaryscollege #smc #sweatshopswag

A video posted by CrossFit Sweat Shop (@crossfitsweatshop) on

Two weeks ago, D.J. was a hair short of finishing the snatch ladder (ending with 275#) during the Contra Costa Throwdown. Two weeks later, with a little more practice, he smashed it today and was as smooth as butter! While this is a big PR for D.J, what is most impressive is how pristine his mechanics are and how fast he is at his max. One of my biggest pet peeves in the CrossFit community is when I hear people say “PR’s are not pretty”. While some may train with this expectation, at some point, if it ain’t pretty, you can say farewell to PRs. If you can only PR, “ugly”, technique will forever be your limitation…even if the strength, speed, and effort is there. This video of DJ’s 275# snatch looks exactly like the 135# he was warming up with, which is how it should always be. Take notes!

On a side note, look to be seeing D.J. coaching classes at the Shop very soon!

Welcome Camile Grace!


BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Kyle and Rene as they welcomed their first child, Camile Grace, into this world on Mother’s Day!  Baby Camile weighed in at 6lbs. 6oz. and 19″ long.  Despite a long 22 hour delivery, both mom and baby are doing great.  And in true Rene gritty fashion, she of course did the whole thing no epidural!  Expect to see this mother daughter duo training together at the Sweat Shop soon!

60 Minutes on CrossFit


Last night 60 Minutes aired a pretty cool interview with CrossFit founder Greg Glassman.  While there were several interesting points brought up in the interview, the one that I enjoyed the most was Glassman’s response to when people criticize the rapid growth of the number of CrossFit gyms by stating, “the only requirement someone has to have to open a CrossFit gym is take a 2 day certification and pay the $3000 annual affiliation fee…”, to which he answers, “any other gym you just need the money”.

Check out the entire interview here.


California Regional Events Announced!


Yesterday, the events for the CrossFit Games Regional Competition were announced! As you may know, in two weeks, Team Sweat Shop will be competing at the California Regionals in Del Mar! Here’s a look at what we will will be facing! A couple of them really cater to Team Sweat Shop, while others are a bit “unknown” as they require a lot of strategy, adjustability, teamwork, and more practice. Either way, it looks to be a really fun challenge! We can’t wait to get down there and compete amongst the best! Big thanks again to our awesome community for the generous donations from our car wash last week. Furthermore, thanks for the support you have given us throughout this LONG season! We couldn’t do it without you all!

Jacqueline Is Going To The Games!



It’s official! Jacqueline will be headed to Carson, CA this July to compete amongst the best in the world at the CrossFit Games! Big congrats to her and all the hard work she has put in! We are super excited and more proud than ever to have a second athlete, in just two years, make it to the Games! Although making it to the Games is tough enough, Jacqueline, defied many odds of making it this year considering she only started CrossFit 7 months ago! Jacqueline’s freakish athleticism, along with a fierce competitive spirit makes this not too surprising. She is quite the badass and isn’t a stranger to beating the odds. If you didn’t know, Jacqueline, who had cancer not too long ago, not only kicked it’s ass to the curb , managed to break 3 Olympic Lifting World Masters Records! Ask her, she’ll probably tell you all about it! Congrats again Jacqueline! We will all be cheering for you either down there or watching you on the live stream!


BIG Thank You!!

carwashBri, Taneya and Mike working hard this past Saturday

I just wanted to say how appreciative I am to our entire Sweat Shop community for being so gracious and giving during this past Saturday’s car wash.  I never could have imagined, or even have hoped for the overwhelming response we received!  The funds will be a huge help for our team members’ travel and lodging expenses!  The team workouts should be released by tomorrow so our guys and girls can start getting prepared to head down to San Diego and represent the Sweat Shop on Memorial Day Weekend.  Thanks again everyone, we REALLY do appreciate it!!

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