Congratulations Livi and Marty!


Big congratulations to Livi and Marty as they tied the knot this past weekend!  If you didn’t get a chance to see her tonight you give Livi your congrats when she returns from her honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta!!  Have a great trip Livi and Marty!

Battle On Sunset Tomorrow!


Good luck to Allison P, Frink, Joel, Cassie, and Braydan who will be competing at the Battle on Sunset competition at Antioch CrossFit this Saturday! While many of the Sweat Shoppers in this crew are no stranger to competition, this will be Braydan’s first and he decided to pass on the teen division and move up and compete in the scaled division! This competition will be fun to watch so if you have nothing planned for the weekend, head on over to Antioch to cheer your fellow Sweat Shoppers on! The link to the information and heat times are here. Crush it everyone!

Quick Laugh

Although completely unrelated to CrossFit, this video is nonetheless hilarious! If you’re having a long day, stressed out, or just plain bored this is a good way to loosen up a bit if you have 10 minutes to spare. Don’t forget to take a step back from your day to day activities and appreciate what is going on in the moment. Relax, smile, and laugh a little! Enjoy!

**Warning: Some Profanity***

Featured Athlete: Donna C.


Longtime Sweat Shop member Donna C. was one of the original ladies that would continually pushed the level of the 6am ladies!  If however you don’t normally train at 6am you may have never met her, as she only trains first thing in the morning.  In that case, this athlete profile is the perfect time to get to know her!


Name: Donna Chivers
Age: 44

Q.  How long have you been doing CrossFit?
A. 5+ years – all at the SweatShop

Q.  What were you doing for exercise before CrossFit?
A. Triathlons, P90x, spin classes, step classes (while listening to Madonna and Olivia Newton John – OMG!), free weights at the gym

Q.  How did you begin training at CrossFit Sweat Shop?
A. I got bored of going to the gym and creating my own workouts.  I wanted a program that was challenging and free of the same repetitive movements I had been doing since high school.

Q.  What has been the most significant benefit or change since you’ve been a member of the Sweat Shop?
A. My view of what “healthy” means has shifted from being a cardio-nazi in order to achieve a certain number on the scale and eating fat free foods to making sure that I get adequate sleep, eat the right balance of nutrients, and continually challenge myself both physically and mentally.  I am so much stronger now at 44 than I could have ever imagined being at 20.

Q. What is your favorite exercise or workout?
A. Cleans, back squats, HSPU, thrusters

Q.  What is your least favorite exercise or workout?
A. Rowing (UGH!!!), rope climbs, wall balls

Q. What is your favorite healthy meal?
A. Egg white omelet with kale, spinach, peppers and onions and a cup of coffee with half and half.  I love breakfast!

Q.  What is your favorite cheat meal/snack?
A. A burger from The Counter with fried onion strings and special sauce and a Cooperage Spanish G & T to wash it down.

Q.  What do you enjoy most about training at CrossFit Sweat Shop?
A. The programming – I have never once been bored and I have always found the workouts challenging.
The members – especially the 6AMers.  I look forward to working out with them!
The coaches – Encouraging, positive, supportive, funny – why would I work out anywhere else?

Q.  Now that you’ve been doing CrossFit, what’s one thing you could never see yourself doing again?
A.  Free weights at the gym and definitely no more step classes ?

Q.  What is your proudest exercise related achievement?
A.    Mastering the technique of every lift or movement.  It’s great when a lift feels easy and natural and adding weight doesn’t cause failures in form.

Q.  What advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try CrossFit?
A.  That’s a good question because I’ve been trying to get my husband to come with me for years.  The workouts are designed to accommodate every athletic level and workout persona.  From the ultra-competitive to the regular person like me – everyone can walk away from a WOD feeling successful, happy and strong.

Q.  What is your most sought after exercise goal?
A. I’d like to get to the SweatShop early enough in the mornings to find a parking space for my tank…?  Seriously, it’s about time I learn how to do a muscle up!

Q.  What is something you have recently purchased for less than $100 (or acquired for free) that you thoroughly enjoy and would recommend to others?
A. I love anything that keeps my kids (1) away from each other and (2) occupied and out of my 2 x 2 for a chunk of time.  I recently purchased a toy drone for my son that has a camera on it that can take overhead pictures.  He loves that thing and it keeps him from being a bug!

Q. What advice would you give your 25 year old self?
A. Make time to explore.  Take vacations, experience different occupations or hobbies, build yourself from within and develop your passion.  Doing what makes you happy transfers that happiness to those around you.


I really enjoyed the audio commentary on this recent video CrossFit put out. Patience is key.

2016 marks the tenth anniversary of the CrossFit Games. A backyard throwdown that started at The Ranch in Aromas, California, has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon that culminates in the crowning of the Fittest on Earth. To reach their highest potentials, athletes must possess many virtues—patience being one of the most important.  Continue reading

Lalanne Throwdown 2016

lalanne_groupPT, myself, JB, 2V, and Rikus, competing at the first Lalanne Throwdown in 2011…. lots of funny moments including JB borrowing PT’s jump rope and breaking it, and Rikus drawing the attention/scrutiny of 3 judges due to his questionable overhead squat depth

After taking a year off, the Lalanne Throwdown is back this year… September 24 in San Francisco!  There are Rx’d, Scaled and Masters categories.  They’ve released the first workout as well as weight requirements, which are just a way to help you determine which category you should sign up for (it doesn’t mean that ALL of these movements will be in the competition).  Registration closes this Friday.  Here’s the latest email Lalanne sent out:

There are still a handful of spots available in each category!
Spots Remaining
RX Men: 5 of 25
RX Women: 15 of 25
Scaled Men: 18 of 25
Scaled Women: 12 of 25
Masters 40+ Men: 9 of 25
Masters 40+ Women: 22 of 25
Masters 50+ Men: 10 of 15
Masters 50+ Women: 12 of 15
WOD 1 Announcement…
“Heavy Air Force”
20 Thruster
20 Deadlift
20 Push jerk
20 Overhead squat
20 Front squat
***Barbell weights TBA
Athletes must do 4 lateral burpees at the beginning of every minute before moving on to the bar. Athletes are only allowed to move to the next skill once he/she has completed all 20 reps. If the minute clock beeps during a rep, that rep will not count. Athletes are allowed to rest the entire minute once he/she has completed his/her 4 burpees. There is a 12 min cap. Add 1 sec/rep not completed.
(New Category Requirements)
Snatch 95/65
Front Squat 185/115 (155/105)
Deadlift 225/155
Clean 155/105 (135/95)
Double Under
Masters 40+:
Snatch 135/95
Front Squat 225/155
Deadlift 275/185
Clean 185/115
Double Under
Bar Muscle-Up (Men Only)
Ring Muscle-Up (Men Only)
Handstand Walk (Men Only)
Masters 50+:
Snatch 95/65
Front Squat 185/115 (155/105)
Deadlift 225/155
Clean 185/115 (155/105)
Double Under
Registration will be closing on Friday, Aug 26
For more info and to register, go here.

Kevin Oak at S.P.S Gym next week


For those looking to get into power lifting or want to fine tune your lifts, this is a great opportunity to learn from one of the top coaches. Our friends across the bay are hosting a top powerlifting competitor/coach, Kevin Oak, to run lifting classes next week at S.P.S. gym in Oakland. Each session is only $30 to learn from a world record holder or attend an Open Gym and do your work out under Kevin Oak’s watchful eye. Below is the schedule:

Class Schedule:
Monday, August 22, 6PM – Open Gym with Kevin Oak

Tuesday, August 23, 9AM – Squats by Kevin Oak
Tuesday, August 23, 6PM – Open Gym with Kevin Oak

Wednesday, August 24, 9AM – Bench by Kevin Oak
Wednesday, August 24, 6PM – Open Gym with Kevin Oak

Thursday, August 25, 9AM – Deadlift by Kevin Oak

To buy any one of the sessions above, click HERE.
To buy a series pass to either the classes or the classes plus open gym, click HERE.

You can see some of his strong lifts on his YouTube channel:

Motivation. Your Ego vs. Your Purpose.


What is your purpose in life? It might be to be an amazing husband or wife, inspire others, or it could be to educate others. It could be anything! Say it out loud or write it down, but your purpose is what motivates you and what subconsciously drives your decisions whether you realize it or not. Personally, I haven’t completely been myself for the past few months, and admittedly I forgot what I believed my purpose was in life. My purpose changed to something that was not sustainable, and I realized that when things weren’t exactly going the way I thought they would. You could say I kind of lost what makes me, me! Whoops! It might not seem important when things are happening the way they should, but what happens when life throws a wrench into your plans just like when it happened to me. It takes time to develop a purpose, so don’t freak out if you don’t exactly know what that is! Your purpose is forever evolving until it feels right. And when you finally understand what that is, it helps keep you grounded and you’ll wake up everyday MOTIVATED to make the most out of it. When life starts to get a little sketch city, it’s easy to start thinking about the “what if this happens” or the “what if this doesn’t happen” scenarios. Well, that stuff hasn’t happened or might not even happen! When you’re at this point, sometimes you’re just wasting energy that could be spent elsewhere that may be more productive. Time’s when you’re down are a great time to remember or re-evaluate your purpose. A solid purpose helps pull you back into reality and the present. And when things are going they way they should be, it will make those moments more fulfilling.

Now for those of you who were thinking, “how the heck does this tie into CrossFit”…well here you go! From time to time it’s always a good idea to evaluate your goals just to see if you are staying on track to hit that new 1RM, PR that mile, or just to make sure exercise is still FUN for you! I enjoy finding articles on motivation as it is something that I find the most intriguing and powerful when it comes to sports psychology. Believe me, I am constantly evaluating “why” I continuously make the subtle decisions I make, not just in health/fitness but in life as well! I believe it’s important to make sure your motivation comes from a sustainable source. Anyway! I came across this article from CrossFit Invictus, and I wanted to share some bullet points with all of you.

Characteristics of an Ego-driven Athlete:

  • Competes to beat other people and show that they are “better” than everyone else.

  • Feels the need to prove something to their friends, coaches, parents, etc.

  • Enjoys competition only if they win.

  • Views failures as setbacks or disasters and likes to blame others.

  • Feels envy, jealousy, or anger when others are successful.

  • Believes athletic abilities are a key component of their identity and self-worth.

  • Most, if not all, actions are self-serving and selfish in nature.

  • Tends to be narcissistic, egocentric, and lacks selflessness.

  • Values significance, approval of others, and external motivators above all else.

Characteristics of a Purpose-driven Athlete:

  • Competes against their self in the pursuit of self-improvement.

  • Feels totally self-confident and doesn’t need external validation for their efforts.

  • Enjoys competition without regard to the outcome.

  • Views failures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.

  • Feels genuine joy and happiness when others are successful.

  • Understands that their athletic abilities are impermanent and not a measure of self-worth or their identity.

  • Displays selflessness and a desire to help serve others in their journey.

  • Values personal growth, contribution to others, and intrinsic motivators.

Do some of those bullet points represent you or remind you of someone else? The article goes on to discuss the actions of ego-driven athletes versus purpose-driven athletes…

The ego is the illusion of the self. Some define it as the approval-seeking social mask worn by many people. It’s the part of you that defines itself separate from all others and cares about superficial things such as how many “likes” your latest social media post has received. Many athletes compete and train from this place and many clients work towards their goals from this place as well. They chase goals for the external validation it will bring their ego. Unfortunately, I haven’t observed this to be a strategy that leads to long-term success. Ego-driven athletes tend to be the ones that find the least amount of joy in what they do. They also tend to have trouble getting “back in the saddle” and staying focused after a loss, failure, or when they encounter an obstacle. Instead of identifying the lessons that could be learned, they spend most of their energy comparing themselves to others and blaming things outside of their control for their shortcomings.

Interestingly enough, the individuals that are motivated by purpose tend to stay motivated effortlessly while enjoying the process far more than their ego-driven counterparts. Purpose can be defined as the deeper reason, or the “Why”, that drives you to pursue any goal. An individual driven by purpose behaves very differently. They tend to be less concerned with things like their placement on the leaderboard or the balance in their bank account. Yet, these individuals are often just as successful (as defined by conventional terms), if not more so, than those who are driven from ego. Instead of being misled by a self-serving ego, they are motivated to act by a greater purpose in their life which, most can agree, is far more powerful.

I encourage you all to take some time to evaluate the reasons behind your decisions to pursue not only health/fitness, but your life goals as well. Are you driven because you are seeking the approval of others, or are you driven by the process of self-validation and for a greater purpose. If you are constantly not able to reach your goals, there is a possibility that your motivation is coming from the wrong place. Ask yourself “why” you make the decisions you do, you might surprise yourself! If you would like to sit down and talk more about the subject, I would be more than happy to! Just let me know. For now, I hope I was able to help some of you think of things a little differently or spark some interest in the subject!

CrossFit Team Series 2016

The CrossFit Games Team Series is back again this year! We’ve had several teams compete in this online competition the past couple years and it has always been a blast. This competition is a great way to get a feel for team competitions as each workout requires some level of teamwork, cohesion, and strategy. Without the burden of an all day competition, the Team Series is just like the Open, but with a 2 guy/2 gal squad! Like the Open, events will be announced on a Thursday and the workouts have to be done together and judged by an official judge, and submitted by the following Monday. I believe it will run on who separate weeks in the coming months. I’ve included the video above which explains how it all works in further detail. Get you buddies together and sign up! This is not just for regional competitors as there are scaled/teen, and masters divisions! Get signed up and have some fun…and maybe win some swag like last year ;)

Training Flexibility


Training flexility is key to staying injury free and avoid burnouts. Admittedly, it look me a long time to learn this lesson. Being a type A personality, I like to plan, set goals and stick to them NO matter what the cost. Over the years, I’ve realized that while that is a great starting point, it’s leaves no room for flexibility. Before I started CrossFit, I was used to working out 6 – 7 days a week (mostly cardio and globo gym stuff). Needless to stay when I tried that same approach with CrossFit, I found my body was wrecked by the end of the week. I soon came to realize that CrossFit workouts were unlike any workouts I had done previously and I would need to take a different approach. I soon adapted a 3 days on and 1 day off routine which worked out great for the most part. I was still hanging on to getting that 3rd day in, even if my body didn’t want to. It wasn’t until becoming pregnant 2 years ago that I decided to be a little kinder to my body and actually listen when I felt I needed a rest day. Listening to my body has been not only physically beneficial, but physiologically as well. I used to get so down on myself when I “missed” a workout. Now, I know that my body NEEDS the rest to recover properly. I can honestly say, since adapting a rest more attitude, my strength numbers have gone up as well as my metcon. Overtraining is real, listen to your body. If there is a strength day but you don’t feel like your body is up for heavy lifting, opt for one of the endurance workouts JB has posted on beyond the whiteboard.  Similarly, if a particular movement is bothering you in warmup, let one of your coaches know, we are always happy to scale or switch out movements to keep you healthy!

Congratulations Jason & Stephanie!


Big congratulations to Jason and Stephanie who tied the knot this weekend in Avila Beach!  The ceremony and reception were at a great outdoor venue, the food was AWESOME, and they even had an ice cream truck from a local creamery come by to serve desert!  The partying continued at a bar right on Avila Beach, and then I vaguely remember getting into a police car after leaving the bar.  Fortunately it was a retired police car being driven by an Uber driver taking us back to our hotel!  While my memory from later in the evening is a bit foggy, for as long as Jason and Steph have been together, it’s been crystal clear that they are truly meant to be together.  They are both really humble, down to earth people, which is just one of the many reasons why I’ve loved them being a part of the Sweat Shop community for so long.  Also, I’ve always been really impressed with the relationship that Charlie has with his daughter Stephanie, and I hope for something similar when my daughter is all grown up.  In addition to that, it’s pretty cool to see the relationship between Charlie and Jason, and whether it be through CrossFit or some other interest or activity, I would certainly feel like a fortunate dad if I shared a common thread with both my daughter and her husband.

Congratulations to both families as the Sweat Shop welcomes it’s first of hopefully many more, Sweat Shop marriages!


Good Luck, Greyson!

FullSizeRender (17) Greyson’s last trap pose with his nooner crew!

Congrats to one of our young Sweat Shop beasts, Greyson, for getting into the fire academy at College of Siskiyous! After a year with us, this was Greyson’s last week as he will be heading up north preparing for the Fire Academy/Emergency Response Technology program. While we are very proud of Greyson, we will truly miss his positive energy and the fun competitive vibe he brought to the gym. Greyson has been a joy to coach and have around the gym. While his freakish strength and skills always made it fun to watch and compete alongside him in class and competitions, he has always been super receptive and appreciative to the coaches. He always had a solid work ethic which will undoubtably take him far! Great work this past year, Greyson! We at the Sweat Shop wish you all the best! Come back and visit!

Send your congrats to Greyson in the comments!


Weightlifting in Rio

2016-Rio-Oympics-LOGOThe past few days I’ve been really interested in watching the weightlifting event during this year’s Olympics in Rio. This is my first time watching the event and man is there a lot more going on behind the scenes then just lifting some heavy weight! What stuck out to me was the amount of strategy involved behind the scenes besides just throwing around some heavy weight. You’ll see coaches strategizing about opening weight, what weight to load next in order to force other athlete’s to hit that weight, and when an athlete should head onto the platform to lift (how much rest do they need or don’t need). While all this is going on behind the scenes, it’s amazing watching the athlete’s stay calm under pressure. I’ve never been out on a weightlifting platform on that stage before or anywhere close to it, but I bet the nerves are out of this world! I’ve seen records being broken, strategy coming into play, and unfortunately some broken dreams. But hey, that’s part of the sport! If you haven’t yet, I encourage ya’ll to check it out since we do a lot of weightlifting here at the Sweat Shop. You can check out the schedule here!


Featured Athlete: Jen M.



Jennifer is one of the original Sweat Shoppers who was there on Day 1 when I first opened the doors back in 2009!  And while she’s always super supportive of others at the gym, she can be really tough on herself as she holds herself to a really high standard.  But it’s that same mindset that has helped her excel, especially in the past year or two, as she can often times be found training first thing in the morning at the 6am class, then returning in the afternoon for a private training session with JB!  And while she struggled to get muscle ups for quite sometime, she can now do them at will, even during workouts,… making her one of only two women at the Sweat Shop in their 50′s that can do muscle ups!  While she’s not one to give herself props, she has definitely earned my respect for how hard she works, and how far she’s come!  Check out her complete profile below.

Name: Jennifer Marten
Age: 50

Q.  How long have you been doing CrossFit?
A.  Can’t believe it’s been 7 years already!

Q.  What were you doing for exercise before CrossFit?
A.  Primarily just running – 10Ks, half and full marathons

Q.  How did you begin training at CrossFit Sweat Shop?
A.  Met Nabil when I used my two free personal training sessions after having joined Club Sport, and the rest is history!

Q.  What has been the most significant benefit or change since you’ve been a member of the Sweat Shop?
A.  My overall fitness level has improved significantly.  Since college, I have always done some form of exercise and I’ve never been entirely out of shape, but I feel better about my fitness level now than I ever have. The focus on increasing my strength and improving the gymnastics and other skilled movements we do in Crossfit has been super helpful and has really changed how I feel.

Q.  What is your favorite exercise or workout?
A.  Gotta love those pull-ups and front squats!  And I like Chippers or any workout with a lot of different movements in it.

Q.  What is your least favorite exercise or workout?
A.  Last year, I would have said snatches, because they are so difficult for me, but in a weird way I kind of like them now because they are such a challenge.  I don’t love power cleans and I really don’t love double unders!

Q. What is your favorite healthy meal?
A.  Grilled steak and asparagus with a big Kale salad.

Q.  What is your favorite cheat meal/snack?
A.  Does cheese, crackers, red wine and chocolate count as a meal????

Q.  What do you enjoy most about training at CrossFit Sweat Shop?
A.  Absolutely the coaches and the members.  I have the opportunity to work out at lots of different crossfit gyms across the country when I travel for work and I can honestly say that none of them compare to what we have at the Sweat Shop.  The coaching, the programming and the support of the other members is so much better than the other gyms, and is what makes Sweat Shop so special.  I would guess that probably half the gym has tried to help me with my double unders at one point in time, for example.  Super supportive environment!

Q.  Now that you’ve been doing CrossFit, what’s one thing you could never see yourself doing again? 
A  Doing a workout that consists only of running

Q.  What is your proudest exercise related achievement?
A.  Reaching the master’s qualifiers this year, and reaching all of the smaller incremental goals (MU, linking T2B, getting a little bit stronger on my lifts) that helped me get there.

Q.  What advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try CrossFit?
A.  Find a good CF gym and go for it.  Stay with it for at least a month so you can see your improvement, and then you’ll be hooked.

Q.  What is your most sought after exercise goal?
A.  There are so many things in Crossfit that I want to get better at, it’s hard to choose.  I do have this fantasy of one day being able to complete a 100# snatch   And if I could somehow master the dreaded double under, that would make my year!

Q.  What is something you have recently purchased for less than $100 (or acquired for free) that you thoroughly enjoy and would recommend to others?
A.  Pretty much any of the handmade products from Lush.  The bath bombs and lip balm are my personal favorites.

Q. What advice would you give your 25 year old self?
A.  I still have to tell my 50 year old self this but it would be “enjoy the present, live in the “now” and don’t worry so much about the future”.

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