Monthly Archives: March 2012

How Caffeine Affects You and Your Performance

*This Sunday’s endurance workout will be held at the Sweat Shop 2pm*

I’m not one of those people that will try and convince myself and others that something is good for you simply because I really like it (i.e. coffee, bacon, CrossFit, chocolate, etc)  And when it comes to coffee, the fact that it is extremely addictive, and the fact that it has such a profound effect on my sense of well-being, as well as physical performance, I’m pretty sure it can’t be that good for you.  Just yesterday I was feeling more tired than normal so I brewed some coffee before my afternoon workout.  I’m not kidding when I say even before drinking the coffee, just smelling it as it brewed, put me in a better mood, my motivation and excitement to workout sky rocketed, and then it even made me go to the bathroom, all before taking my first sip!  I’m pretty sure that means you’re in deep.

Here is a good post featured on Robb, written by Kevin Cann.


Wednesday’s WOD:

“The South African Bear”

27 KB Swings 70/44
5 Rep Bear Complex 155/105
3 Rope Climbs

5 Rep Bear Complex
2 Rope Climbs

5 Rep Bear Complex
1 Rope Climb
27 KB Swings 70/44

*10 Burpee penalty each time the bar is put down before completing all 5 reps of Bear Complex




While consistent exercise is important, nutrition is the foundation!

See video preview here ( Windows / Mac )


Tuesday’s WOD:

4 Rounds
1 minute each exercise, MAX REPS:

Bench Press 135/85
Box Jumps
Sandbag Thruster
Sumo Deadlift High Pull 75/55

REST 1 minute



Compromise in a relationship is a good thing, compromising joint range of motion is a bad thing.  This video from K-Star shows an example of the chain of events involved with limited range of motion.  The thing I want Sweat Shop members to take away from this is to take the time we spend working on mobility serious.  And for those that have moderate to serious mobility issues, you should also be doing some mobility work on your own at home.  If you are unsure of which ones are best for you, just ask James, Rene or myself, we’ll be happy to let you know!


Monday’s WOD:

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats


Training Resumes

Pretty cool video from Aarhus CrossFit, a small town in Denmark which by coincidence is where my dad is from.

The CrossFit Open is now complete, and while everyone did awesome, a few even came within a couple of spots of making it to the next level.  Also, as a team, we were just a few spots short of qualifying for regionals.  Now comes the fun part, training for the next CrossFit Games season, the next local competition, or just training to improve your fitness.  Having events to train for, goals to reach, a fun and highly varied program, good coaching, and great people to exercise with, makes CrossFit a great community to be a part of!

Now that the CrossFit Open is done, post to comments what you enjoyed most/least about it, what if anything you learned, and if you’ve made any goals or have any plans of action moving forward.


Saturday’s WOD:

8:30 & 9:30am

Alternating TABATA

Front Squats 135/95

Deadlifts 135/95
Wall Balls



A.) Overhead Squat

B.) “Nasty Girls”
3 Rounds
50 Squats
7 Muscle Ups
10 Hang Power Cleans 135/95

Body Fat Testing

*Endurance class w/ Rene 2pm Sunday at the Sweat Shop*

In the past couple weeks, we’ve had several Sweat Shoppers take the short trip to the Saint Mary’s Kinesiology Lab to get a full body fat analysis. Don’t forget that we offer body fat testing to all of our members. Keeping tabs on your body composition is another measure to keep you motivated through your training. Although performance based goals are our priority here at the Sweat Shop, knowing your body composition will give you a more detailed look inside the changes your body makes during your training such as changes in muscle mass, body fat percentage, and fat distribution. Many of you have expressed interest at the gym, so if you want to confirm a time to come in, let me know in the comments section or e-mail me at ( The testing costs $20 dollars and will be ongoing during the year.

In addition to this test,  we also offer a free nutritional analysis on your daily food intake. If you have trouble selecting healthier foods or are unsure of which ones to cut out, keep a dietary log and hand it to Nabil or I to look over. We’d be more than happy to help you out.


Legitness of the Week

- Jeff and Katie get engaged!

- After accidentally taking a wrong turn at the top of Kirkwood, Nabil and J.B. successfully traverse the backside of “Sisters Cliff” while carrying their equipment, drop back in, and make it down in one piece.

Friday’s WOD:

As many rounds as possible in 15 minute of:
7 KB Squats
10 Pushups with release
10 KB Swings (53#/35#)

*Complete 5 rope climbs and (5) 70 meter sled pushes (70#/45#) before time expires.

Thursday’s WOD:

“CrossFit Games Open 12.5″

As many rounds as possible in 7 minutes following rep scheme below:
3 Barbell Thrusters
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
6 Barbell Thrusters
6 Chest to bar Pull-ups
9 Barbell Thrusters
9 Chest to bar Pull-ups

 Etc. until the 7 minutes is up.

High Intensity Exercise

Box jumps, clean & jerks and deadlifts are more fun that distance running, and according to a new study, better for your health.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Fitness and Health E-Zine
Health Benefits Determined by How Intensely You Exercise

Three recent studies show that vigorous exercise is far more effective than just exercising in preventing disease and prolonging life.

Read abstract here.


 Wednesday’s WOD:

“The Rise & Fall of the Danderson Empire”

4 Rounds
403m Run
10 Pullups
20 Pushups
30 Air Squats

Rest Day

Once you do CrossFit, “rest” days take on a whole new meaning.

Big thanks to Charlie for the Kirkwood lift tickets, JB and I enjoyed perfect blue skies and zero crowds today.


Tuesday’s WOD:

4 Rounds

2 Clean & Jerk 175/125
2 Strict Pullups
3 Clean & Jerks
3 Strict Pullups
5 Squat Cleans 175/125
30 Double Unders

Post Workout Celebration


With this week being the final CrossFit Open workout for 2012, what better way to finish it off than with food and beverage.  While some of you may still be doing the workout on Saturday, like last week, many will be doing it on Friday evening at 5:30pm, including myself.  Whether you’ll be doing CrossFit Open workout #5, the regular 5:30pm class, or just coming to watch and cheer, feel free to stick around and enjoy some refreshments.


Monday’s WOD:

A.) Deadlift

B.) 1 minute max reps Sumo Deadlift High Pull 75/55
1 minute max reps Front Squat 75/55
1 minute max reps Push Press
1 minute max reps Box Jumps
finish with (1) 403m run

CrossFit Open Week 4 Wrap Up

Jason’s Superman Kip

Week 4 is behind us, and in it’s wake, a lot of us were walking with some pretty stiff legs after performing 150 wall balls!  Going from wall balls to double unders and ending on muscle ups, this workout got progressively more technical.  From the Sweat Shop, props to Scott L. who had the top score for the men with 257 reps, and Jessica who had the top score for the women with 242 reps.  Equally as impressive in my opinion was Jason’s 251 reps after being out for a few weeks from a wrist injury.  I’m also really proud of the Sweat Shop as a team, we are currently in 41st place out of the 100 teams in NorCal!  Top 30 teams go to Regionals.  One more week to go, final workout gets announced this Wednesday at 5pm.


Saturday’s WOD:

8:30 & 9:30

3 Rounds

1 minute: 5 Burpees
Max Reps Clean & Jerk 155/115

1 minute: 5 Burpees
Max Reps Situps

1 minute: 5 Burpees
Max Reps Pullups

1 minute: 5 Burpees
Max Reps Double Unders

REST 2 minutes between Rounds



A.) Strict Press

B.) 22-18-15-12
KB Swings
Toes to Bar
*complete 2 rope climbs at some point during workout

Grass Fed v.s. Grain Fed

Aaron C. breaking in his first ever Prather Ranch Beef Burger.

Now that many of you have probably started hammering away at your new 40lb Prather Ranch Beef box, I thought it would be appropriate to post about some of the benefits of grass-fed beef. Beyond the superior “deliciousness” of grass-fed beef when compared to grain-fed, there are several heath advantages to eating grassy beef. Check out this post from CrossFit Vancouver:

1. Protein advantage:

Pasture/grass/range fed beef  – 77% protein by total energy

USDA Choice (+) beef             – 48% protein by total energy

USDA Choice (0) beef             – 40% protein by total energy

low price tag ground beef        – 20% protein by total energy

2. Omega 3 advantage – 3/6/9 ratio – this means a lot – plays a gigantic role in the treatment of coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and other inflammatory and auto-immune diseases and cancer.

3. Saturated Fat- in GrassFed -1/3 to 1/10th that of the feedlot crap depending on cut.

4. ALA & CLA content – great reducer of systemic inflammation – compare grass-fed 39mg/100g ALA to 12mg/100g ALA of grain fed. CLA is a proven cancer fighter and lean muscle-building tool.

5. Slaughtering- Feedlot cows are slaughtered in 24months or less, happy cows on pasture take 4 years before they meet their maker.

6. Triacylglycerol- Feedlot Meat has excessive triacylglycerol accumulation.   Commercial feedlots confine cattle and feed them high-starch grain diets which absolutely need to be hopped up on hormones and antibiotics just to get to slaughter.  It’s the meat at the supermarket that is half the cost of grassfed and finished beef.

7. Vitamin E – 4 times higher in pastured meat, Riboflavin – up to 10x.  Vitamin A and E are essential nutrients known for their antioxidant properties.

Check more out at


Friday’s WOD:

3 Rounds
9 Front Squats 155#/105#
15 Push-ups
1 15 ft Rope Climb

*immediately followed by

5 Rounds
5 Deadlifts 275#/185#
8 Burpees

Thursday’s WOD:

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
7 DB Squat Clean to Overhead 45#/25#
9 Box Jumps
15 Situps

*When the clock hits 10:00, perform 25 pullups*

Official Welcome

Rene at this year’s SacTown Throwdown

If you’ve been to the recently added Sunday endurance workout, or the occasional 7am or 8:15am class, you’ve probably been coached by Rene.  After months of shadowing and training with James and myself, Rene is now leading more classes on her own.  Aside from being a great athlete with a good balance of strength and endurance, Rene has an excellent understanding of the exercises, how they are interrelated, as well as helping others to better their technique.  Rene not only has her CrossFit Level 1 certification, but also her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology, which makes me proud to be able to continue to state that CrossFit Sweat Shop is the only gym in the area where all of the coaches have their degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology!

This Sunday’s Endurance Workout @ Shell Ridge Open Space

Meet at Indian Valley Elementary 2pm. It will be muddy out there so bring a change of shoes and a towel to de-mud yourself after our run.

Indian Valley Elementary School
551 Marshall Drive
Walnut Creek Ca. 94598
Click here for map.


Wednesday’s WOD:

A.) 2 Snatches on the minute for 15 minutes

B.) 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Even Reps perform Thrusters 95/65
Odd Reps perform Burpees

Police Unity Tour

Kenny during last year’s Police Unity Tour

Our friends at CrossFit Adventure will be hosting a fundraiser/Tabata Workout this Saturday for the Police Unity Tour.  Kenny, will be participating in the 360 mile bike ride this May.

For more details about the fundraiser workout this Saturday, check out CrossFit Adventure’s site here.


Tuesday’s WOD:

“The Chief”

Max Rounds in 3 minutes:
3 Power Cleans 135/95
6 Pushups
9 Air Squats

REST 1 minute
REPEAT for a total of 5 cycles


CrossFit Open Week 3 Wrap Up

Lones during the 2011 CrossFit Open

Congrats again to all of you that did CrossFit Open Workout 12.3.  Many (including myself) are still walking around with sore calves.  Last weeks top male performance was from Rikus, and top female performance was from Rene.  Also important to note, quietly staying near the top of her division is Lones.  At age 58, she is currently ranked 23rd in the world for her age group!  Keep in mind top 20 in each masters group goes straight to the Games!  No pressure Lones  ;)

Workout #4 gets announced this Wednesday at 5pm.  Go to the Games site and start clicking refresh now.


Monday’s WOD:


5 Rounds
403m Run
15 Overhead Squats 95/65

Fish Score!


If you were one of the lucky few that received fresh fish from Aaron recently, you’ve probably already tasted the amazing quality of the fish.  While it’s not necessary with the salmon, the skin on the snapper should be lightly scored before cooking.  This will keep the fish nice and flat rather than bowing as the skin cooks and shrinks.

Prather Ranch Beef will be delivered this Wednesday evening at 6pm.  Be sure and pick it up no later than 7pm.


Saturday’s WOD:


800m Run
18 DB Squat Clean Thruster
50 Situps
50 Double Unders
15 Burpees
800m Run
18 DB Squat Clean Thruster



A.) Snatch Balance

B.) As many rounds as possible in 8 minutes:

2 Muscle Ups
4 Squat Cleans 185/120
8 KB Swings 70/44
100m Run


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