Monthly Archives : August 2012

Labor Day Schedule, Schedule Updates, & Signing In

Greetings SFCF Members!  We have a lot of schedule updates and a new sign-in procedure starting next week so please read on:

Labor Day Schedule

9 – 11 a.m. – Open Gym – Coach James will be posting a couple of optional epic Hero WODs on the whiteboard so come on by to do one of those, work on skills, or do some strength work.

Schedule Updates

* Level 2 Classes Start Next Tuesday:

  • Monday – 6 p.m. – Brian MacKenzie (no class on Labor Day)
  • Tuesday – 6 a.m. – Kelly Starrett
  • Wednesday 6 p.m. – Diane Fu
  • Thursday 6 a.m. – Carl Paoli
These classes are designed to develop our veteran Crossfit athletes and are limited to 8 athletes/class. The prerequisites for this class include: completion of at least 1-year of Crossfit classes, proficiency in the the basic Crossfit skills, and the ability to complete some workouts at the prescribed weight/intensity. The goal of these classes is to develop and master the more complex Crossfit skills (like hand-stand push ups/muscle-ups, Olympic lifts, etc.) and the programming is more complex with higher skill demand and increased work load. If you are interested in and ready to join our Level 2 classes, please talk to one of our coaches or email us.

* Strength & Skills Classes are cancelled for now

* 3:30 p.m. classes on Monday/Wednesday/Friday are starting next Wednesday.

NEW Sign-In Procedure

Starting on Tuesday, September 4th, we are switching to advance sign ups for classes.   You can sign up for classes as early as 2 weeks in advance and as late as 15 minutes before the class start time.   Just go to the Group Class Schedule on our website, find the class you want to attend, and click on the “Sign-Up Now” button, and sign up.   Please bear with us during this transition as we will probably continue with the paper sign-up on site until all of our members transition to this new system.




Inside The Box, How Crossfit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body, by TJ Murphy

I have a new book out, “Inside the Box: How CrossFit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym and Rebuilt My Broken Down Body.” Juliet asked if I could write a quick blog describing what the book is about. It started off, as a matter of fact, the first time I limped into the parking lot behind the Sports Basement that you all know so well.

Two years ago I was working on a story for Triathlete Magazine (I was editorial director at the time) on Brian MacKenzie’s program, CrossFit Endurance. Pick up most copies of newsstand fitness magazines and you generally will see stories on “how to train” that are all fairly similar.The same can certainly be said for triathlon magazines. CrossFit Endurance was by all measures radical. Traditional endurance training plans have long emphasized periods of base building and have spent little time on subjects like nutrition, stretching and strength training. CFE did away with periodization and instead relied on a matrix of high-intensity sport-specific work, drills for proper technique, nutrition, CrossFit and mobility.

Ironically enough, at the time I was reporting on the story my 25 years as a competitive distance runner/triathlete were grinding to a painful halt. In the early 1990s, living in San Francisco, I was a founding member of the Golden Gate Tri Club and a fairly decent marathoner, running Cal International in 2:38. That was 1991. And if I look back at the record now the following 20 years slowly turned into a downward spiral of spending more time being injured and less time running. I recorded some good races through 1995 but since then I can’t recall the traditional style of training that I kept trying to put in motion, over and over, did me much good. I was able to cross the finish line once in a while but increasingly injuries derailed my race goals long before the gun went off.

So it was in November of 2010 when I first met MacKenzie. I spoke to enough people who told me about the value of CrossFit in not only preventing injury but in helping them break plateaus and record personal records that it would be ridiculous to not try it. From November 2009 to November 2010 I had spent a lot of money on a popular online running program that had left me with a severe limp and unable to run a quarter mile.

After talking about it all some, Brian told me the first thing I needed to do was see Kelly Starrett. The next month I limped into San Francisco CrossFit (I was living in San Diego at the time). I had paid many visits to many different physical therapists in my time and this was the first time the PT didn’t just hook me up to an ultrasound machine and send me on my way. Rather, a lot of the session focused on what happened when I tried to do an air squat (knees caving in, etc).

Kelly took a look at my severe restrictions in range of motion, the back pain and knee pain I had begun to assume were my due for so many years of being a distance runner. After I ticked off the various ailments and weaknesses and the fact that I couldn’t run a lap around the track, he gave me a sharp look.

“Are you OK with that?” he asked.

I considered the undertone to his question. You mean I have a choice here? “Well–since you put it that way—uh…No! I’m not ok with that.”

The implication was obvious—I had been OK with the injuries because I thought it was just the way it was when the running odometer reached certain levels. Kelly was suggesting that there were alternatives.

That was the beginning of my journey into CrossFit and some of the surprises that are in store for all of us. It was definitely a “Matrix”-like Morpheus/red-pill adventure. At the time I started the idea of hopping onto a 12-inch box was barely within my comprehension. Let along kipping pull-ups, Olympic lifts and hand stands. At first of course it was just about the couch stretch and such but within the next year I would establish a degree of athletic capacity that I had not had since high school. If ever.

By last October I had written several stories about CrossFit, CrossFit Endurance and the MWOD when I was asked to write a book for VeloPress. Like so many others at CrossFit gyms I’ve talked to, CrossFit had changed their lives to the better in one way or another. Or several ways. The book traces my at first reluctant journey into CrossFit and then some of my discoveries about the culture and history within.

Last March I moved to San Francisco and joined SFCF. One of the inspiring folks for me at SFCF has been Pon Sohmnhot, who seems to be alternating 50ks and 50-milers every two weeks. He’s one of the reasons I believe the rules are being re-written in terms of how one can train for a running race.

Now that CrossFit has allowed me to overhaul the physical infrastructure that seemed to be teetering on collapse 20 months ago—and having been inspired by the likes of Pon–I’m planning on spending the next few months getting into race form again, purely through this route of CrossFit Endurance-style training.

The book was an honor to write. I hope it gets in the hands of others out there the way I was, adrift in a diminishing state of health that may have some rather surprising alternatives at hand.

Please also join us for a Taco Social & Book Launch Party for Inside the Box at SFCF on Friday, October 5th


Devan Green – Brazilian Ju-Jitsu Athlete & Crossfitter

We love to highlight SFCF athletes who are out there competing in sports.   SFCFer Devan Green competes in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (“BJJ”), which is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting.  BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.

Last weekend, Devan participated in a tournament in Daly City where he competed in two divisions and took first in both, defeating all of his opponents by submission with the exception of the first match where his opponent quit.    Devan will be competing again at Kezar Stadium on September 15th and we will send details as the event gets closer but save the date to come out and watch Devan do his thing!   Congratulations Devan!

Check out this cool video of the finals of one of Devan’s matches:


Crossfit Kids Fall Session Starts September 4th

San Francisco CrossFit’s Kids program is a multifaceted, challenging, socially interactive strength and conditioning program for kids from ages 6 to 13 taught by Coach Tonya.   The fall program goes for 15 weeks from September 4 – December 11th on Tuesdays from 4-5 p.m. (6-9 year olds) and 5-6 p.m. (10-13 year olds).

What is Crossfit Kids?

CrossFit Kids is not simply a scaled down version of CrossFit, it is entirely and absolutely CrossFit geared toward kids and their specific developmental needs.

CrossFit Kids is the principal strength and conditioning program for many young athletes and the primary P.E. program for many home schools, charter schools. It is used by athletic teams, martial arts schools and many parents that want their kids to grow up healthy, strong and have a life long love of working out thus avoiding the common problems associated with childhood inactivity and obesity. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Healthy living requires that our kids push, pull, run, throw, climb, lift, jump, effectively and safely regardless of whether or not they play athletics. Athletics is a specialized pursuit. Our goal is to support the specialist, but reward the generalist.

The CrossFit Kids program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for 4 year olds and elite high school athletes. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs. The needs of our second graders and our high school wrestler differ by degree not kind.

– Jeff & Mikki Martin – Founders, CrossFit Kids


Ernest Lew Summits Mt. Elbrus!

It is easy to forget that the development of fitness is not an end in and of itself – it is the application of fitness that should always be our downstream goal.   In recent months, we have seen some really cool examples of San Francisco Crossfit athletes out there applying their fitness to sport – Pon and Josiah PRing in running events, Nate, Brian, and Erin winning a team triathlon, and Erin Cafaro winning a gold medal at the Olympics in rowing.

Another very cool and recent member if this group is long-time SFCFer, Ernest Lew.   Ernest has been training with Coach Diane at San Francsico Crossfit for the last 2.5 years.   You may recognize him as the athlete who shows up almost an hour early for his appointments with Diane to mobilize and get prepared for his workouts.

On July 28, 2012, Ernest summit Mt. Elbrus in Russia.  Mt. Elbrus is one of the famed 7 Summits and is the highest point in Europe at 18,510 feet.   At this time last year, Ernest summited one of the other 7 Summits – Mount Aconcagua on the Chilean/Argentinian border.  Aconcagua is not only the highest peak of the Andes and South America, but in fact the highest point outside of Asia at 22,841 feet.   Ernest credits his training with Coach Diane for getting him in shape to be able to bag these two huuuugggee  summits.

Congratulations Ernest!