All posts by Jay

Nothing nice

Are you a “nice person?”

If you’re like me, every time you say something that pisses someone off, you justify it by saying to yourself

“I’m really a nice guy, they just don’t understand”

After using this bullsh*t line with a friend the other day, he said:

“if you have to say ‘I’m really a nice guy’, you’re not”

Damn…He’s right.

I’m NOT nice.

It’s not like you go out of your way to be MEAN.

Berating people or insulting their mothers isn’t a good plan.

But…who wants to be nice?

Nice people don’t rock the boat.

Tell you want to hear instead of the truth.

Are afraid to say “no” (much easier to agree rather than cause conflict)


You don’t want that in a coach.

You want someone who will tell you the truth

“fix your squat or you will wreck your knee”

“take some of that weight off until your form improves”

“You can’t outwork a bad diet, stop eating like crap”

Being “nice” won’t help you make real progress.

In fact…think about it.

How many people in your life have had the courage to tell you the truth?

Bet you can count them on one hand.

You might not have LIKED it, but it’s what you NEEDED.

When you’re trying to improve any skill or reach a goal, you don’t need the validation that comes from nice people.

You need useful feedback you can use to improve.

AKA, the truth.

Do you have a goal that requires some hard truths?

Come by and see us and let’s talk about it. Make an appointment to see us here –

Coach “no nice guy” Jay

PS – Member goal setting is happening all this month. If your coach hasn’t reached out to you, reply and let me know.

The pendulum of life

You ever feel like you’re just “going through it?”

Nothing is going right, you’re failing left and right, the people in your life are letting you down…or things out of your control are happening.

In helping a friend going through this recently, I was reminded of an analogy I’ll share with you.

“Life, growth, and achievement work like a pendulum. On one side you have failure, rejection, pain and sadness. But on the other side, you have success, victory, joy and happiness.”

“Over time, most people figure out how to operate in a narrow comfort zone. They only allow the pendulum to swing a small distance into pain and rejection and failure; thus, they only experience the same small degree of joy and success on the other side.”

– Darren Hardy, from The entrepreneur roller coaster

Whether you’re way down or way up, eventually the pendulum will swing back to the other side.

But the real juice of this analogy is when you start to think to yourself….

if I REALLY want to be successful, I have to go out and FAIL.

Your biggest successes and happiness always have a close relation to your biggest failures.

In the gym, if you’re trying to learn how to do a pull up, you’re going to have to fail a whole bunch of times before you finally find success.

Even if your goal is to lose 15 lbs, you’re probably NOT going to get it right the first time.

What if the next time you’re aiming to reach a goal or learn a skill, you look for ways to FAIL at it?

Each failure can take you one step closer to success, and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

If you are looking for a way to succeed (or fail) at getting fit, come see us –
Coach “keep swinging” Jay

PS – Goal setting sessions are here! Your coach will reach out to you directly to schedule. We can’t wait to meet with you.

All the skills

You ever wish you could just nail down that one skill?

Back when I started, it was pull ups. Every time they came up in a workout it was like:

“Sigh, i have to scale this one…maybe I should take a rest day”

Eventually, after working on the skills (and NOT taking those rest days), I got it…

but until I started doing some extra research and practicing it on my own, I never really nailed it.

It was a lesson that with the right drills, and a few mins each week, you can nail any skill.

Easier said than done…what if you don’t have the time to geek out on youtube videos and read long articles about kipping.

We’ve got something for you…

Welcome to the Summer of skills!

We have put together a series of courses designed to help you get to that next level on gymnastics, lifting, or even double unders!

These courses include small group coaching (most groups are limited to 4 ppl) to focus on your needs, skills and drills to improve in small chunks, and homework between the sessions to help you improve over time.

Best of all, we will run the courses around YOUR schedule.

Check out the skills below!

Basic gymnastics – 3 x 30 mins over 3 weeks – $39 (3-4 ppl) – Get your first pull up.

Intermediate gymnastics – 3 x 30 mins over 3 weeks – $39 (3-4 ppl) – Learn how to do kipping pull ups, chest to bar, and toes to bar –

Advanced gymnastics – 3 x 30 mins over 3 weeks – $39 (3-4 ppl) – Get your first Muscle up (or improve it) –

Basic oly lifting – 4 x 60 mins over 4 weeks – $79 (3-4 ppl) – Get comfortable with the snatch and clean and jerk. Learn the basic mechanics to help with your workouts

Advanced oly lifting – 6 x 60 mins over 6 weeks – $119 (3-4 ppl) – Go beyond the basics and refine your technique so you hit the lifts every time.

Hale Strength – 6 x 60 mins over 6 weeks – $119 (4-8 ppl) – Get strong! Focus on the basic lifts (squat, press, deadlift) that build lasting strength.

Double unders – 3 x 30 mins over 3 weeks – $39 (3-4 ppl) – Quit whipping yourself with the damn rope! Nail down these buggers so you never avoid them again.


Here’s how it works.

1) Pick the course you want.

2) Reply and let me know which one, or sign up on the sheet at the gym.

3) Once we have 2-3 other folks interested, we will email all of you to schedule the best times for the sessions.

4) Dominate.

Questions? Reply and let me know.

Coach “SOS” Jay

PS – Do you have skills you want to learn that AREN’T on this list? reply and tell me that too!

Workout of the Day for 5-17-17


20 min alt EMOM:
20/15 cal row


10 RFT:
15 wall balls
100m run

Searching for inspiration…

What do you do when you need inspiration?

When you’re down and need to be cheered up.

When things aren’t going the way you planned.

You find out you’re further away than you’ve ever been.

Or you just plain fail…

For me, it’s the gym.

No matter how bad you feel, you can always pick up some weights, run a little, or drop some sweat and you’ll feel better.

But it hasn’t always been that way…

Back in my 24 hour fitness and golds gym days, going to the gym was a big challenge

It feels like your only job at those places is to NOT LOOK STUPID.

You have to either prove you know what you’re doing, or psych yourself up to not care what anybody thinks.

When you feel like you’re being watched or judged, going to the gym SUCKS.

But when you find a place that feels like home…

Where you aren’t being judged…

Where it’s ok to be “out of shape”

Where people are just happy to see you.

You are inspired…

And when you get there, If people are hitting their goals and setting new personal records like they were doing last week…

You want to be a part of it as often as you can!

Repeat this enough and combine it with the right program, and you can find yourself in amazing shape.

Need some inspiration to show up today?

Check out some of the amazing stuff Halers did last week on instagram here.

Coach “show up and be inspired” Jay

PS – Looking for a place you can be inspired every day? Come and meet us and find out how we can help!


Workout of the Day for 5-16-17


Back squat


15 minute AMRAP:
200m run
20 walking lunges
15 sit ups
10 push ups

Hale teens summer camp

I never went to summer camp as a kid.

If you weren’t part of a church or boy scouts, your options were pretty limited back in the day.

Now, there’s a camp for any interest…basketball, soccer, space, even camping!

As a parent, you’re essentially looking for two things in a camp.

1) Will it be fun and useful for my child…will they enjoy it AND actually learn something?

2) Will get them out of the house?

⌃⌃⌃⌃ this should be 1a

But most camps will give you both of these.

So when we started planning the Hale Teens summer camp, we focused on what WE would have wanted a camp to be when we were younger.

Here’s what we came up with.

CrossFit Hale Teens Summer Camp
Ages 12-16
July 31 – August 4, 2017
9am – 4pm, bring your own lunch
$399 (limited to 8-15 teens total)

This Summer Camp will focus on having fun while increasing ability in the 10 fitness domains: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy.

Youth will not only improve athletically, but in other areas of wellness by learning about the functionality of nutrition, positive body image messages, mindfulness, and mobility.

Hale teens will discover how to be well-rounded and prepared for anything that life might throw at them. This learning will take place in the form of games, skills work, workouts, obstacle courses, presentations, and hands-on activities.

The last day of camp, all of CrossFit Hale will do a workout or obstacle course that the teens create for us as from what they learn about workout programming!

Some of the things they will cover
–> Olympic Lifting
–> Gymnastics
–> Swimming
–> Endurance
–> History of CrossFit
–> Nutrition & Cooking
–> Obstacle Course
–> Skills Games
–> Positive Body Image
–> Recovery and Mobility

The camp will meet at CrossFit Hale, but will also be held at various locations throughout the neighborhood (the swimming pool, the beach, a restaurant).

You’ll be working with the coaches you know and love from Hale, but also some of the best coaches from different disciplines all over the East bay.

It has a minimum of 8 teens and a max of 15.

To sign up, reply to this email and let us know you’re in, or email us at and we will get you signed up.

The spots will fill up quickly, so let us know ASAP!

Coach Jay


-Assessments This week May 8th-13th–show up every day!
-This week: 7:30pm classes Monday-Thursday basic barbell + metcon
-“Stacks” — Mom’s event on Sat, May 13th — mom/pancake themed workouts that day with pancakes at 9am. Kids are welcome!

Workout of the Day for 4-11-17

CrossFit & MissFit:

A. Ring Dips
B. HS Hold
C. Rope Climb

D. “Helen” (20 mins)
400m run
21 KB Swings
12 Pull Ups

7:30pm class basic barbell + metcon:

A. Hang Power Snatch

B. 3 Rounds For Time:
10 Hang Power Snatch
15 Push Ups
20 Walking Lunges
250m Row

The cinco linkos

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Let’s jump right into the links!

What we’re listening to – How I Built this – a podcast about how companies are formed and the stories behind them.

You will find some of your favs in here, like Kate Spade, Zappos, Virgin, and more.

What’s making us laugh – Chappelle show – The best sketch ever in memory of Charlie Murphy – the Rick James Story (warning, this is explicit)

Coaching Tip of the week – Walk straight! Many of our knee and hip injuries can be traced back to our foot position.

Walking or running with your toes pointed out (or duck feet) puts a lot of pressure on the knee in a poor position, which leads to worn out maniscus and ACL tears in the long run.

A simple fix is to be conscious of the direction your feet go when you walk.

Point your toes forward, squeeze your butt as your foot passes under your body, and repeat.

Here’s Kelly Starrett with more info on this – check the video.

What we’re reading – The Magic of thinking Big David Schwartz

The title says it all. When you really think about it, the most successful people you know don’t have more hours in the day than you do…often they don’t even work harder than you.

The only difference in many cases is how much risk they are willing to take, and how big they are willing to go.

This book has some great step by step guides on how you can think bigger in your life.

Where we’re going – Bowling and Hotsy

Going down tonight! Even if you can’t make the bowling, join us at the Hotsy Totsy for Tequila and Tacos after 7:30

What’s happening at Hale?

The next MissFit challenge starts May 16 – Check the details here!
Assessment week starts on Monday of next week, plan on showing up Monday-Friday and checking in!

We had so many announcements last week that we pushed back the Summer of skills, so look out for more info after assessments.

Coach “cinco” Jay

PS – Bright spot Friday! What’s good this week? Share it with us!


-Beginner Guest Day: 10am on Saturday, May 6th
-Assessments next week May 8th-13th–show up every day!
-Next week: 7:30pm classes Monday-Thursday basic barbell + metcon
-“Stacks” — Mom’s event on Sat, May 13th — mom/pancake themed workouts that day with pancakes at 9am. Kids are welcome!

Workout of the Day for 5-06-17

2015 wod 3
1 mile run
50 OHS (95/65)
100 sit ups
150 double unders
100 box jump overs

Workout of the Day for 5-07-17

For time:
500m row
30 bench press (3/4 BW)
1000m row
20 bench press (3/4 BW)
2000m row
10 bench press (3/4 BW)

Burgers, bbq’s and the beach

How did it get to be summer all the sudden?!

You went from buying umbrellas and to shopping for bbq’s and planning cookouts!

Your Instagram feed was filled with friends jumping in the snow to friends running around on the beach.

Your wardrobe went from sweatshirts and winter coats to shorts and tank tops!

What the hell!

Were you ready for that?

I wasn’t..

Have you had an extra long hibernation mode this year?

Maybe you’ve been pretty consistant, but not quite as strict as you normally would’ve been.

The nutrition slipped a little…or maybe you went on vacation for a bit and struggled to get back on track.

Life happened!

Health took a back seat, and now you’re carrying a couple extra pounds…

But you’re over that now….

Life is clearing up a bit (or you can see a light at the end of the tunnel), and the sun is out, and you’re READY for a change

You’re in the right place.

If you need a little kick start, come join us for the next MissFit Challenge –
It’s 6 weeks of training, nutrition, and accountability designed specifically to get you and keep you on track.

If you’re ALREADY a member of Hale?

if you want a kick-start, Do the challenge anyway!

For existing members, it includes:

– a full inbody scan at the beginning and end
– a baseline workout at the beginning and end,
– a nutrition course
– an online nutrition tracking site to help keep you accountable
– a whole group of accountability partners to help cheer you on.

Best of all, as a current member, you can choose to attend any classes you like!

If you decide to hop on board, I’ll be joining you for this next one (Coaches need a kick-start too!), so I look forward to kicking ass and throwing down with you!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Coach “paleo bbq” Jay

PS – Not sure? We have a guest day workout the is FREE this Saturday at 10am, come and check out a class to see exactly what you’re getting yourself into!

PPS – If you have a current membership with us, the fee to join the challenge is only $50. Reply and let us know if you want in for the next one, it starts May 16!


-Beginner Guest Day: 10am on Saturday, May 6th
-Assessments next week May 8th-13th–show up every day!
-Next week: 7:30pm classes Monday-Thursday basic barbell + metcon
-“Stacks” — Mom’s event on Sat, May 13th — mom/pancake themed workouts that day with pancakes at 9am. Kids are welcome!

Workout of the Day for 4-05-17


toes to bar
sandbag squats (80/55)


5 Rounds for Time
2 rope climbs
15 box jumps
15 KB swings

Learn any skill in 5 mins per day

After your first month or two at Hale, you start to get hungry.

You’ve gotten over the initial shock of doing the daily workouts, you’ve seen some results, and you are committed to showing up.

But you start to realise how many different things you’ve either never done before, or need serious work on.

Double unders, rope climbs, overhead squats, pull ups…the list is endless.

And you want to get better at ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW!

In addition to showing up and working on them in class, here’s a few simple tips you can do on your own to gain those elusive skills in 5 mins per day.

1) Pick one skill you are willing to practice for the next 30 days

2) determine exactly where you are at in your development and what the next step is. For example, if your goal is to get your first pull up, can you do a strict ring row? Can you do an elevated ring row? Can you do a pull up negative?

Once you determine this, you can use it for step 3

3) Commit to practicing for 5 mins every time you come in.

The best way is to set a clock and do 2-5 reps of whatever skill you’re working on every minute for 5 mins.

Note that I said “every time you come in” not “every day”. Just attach it to a habit you already have (coming in to the gym), and add 5 mins before or after class to work on it.

That’s it! 5 mins every time you come in for 30 days. You aren’t guaranteed to nail the skill, but you ARE guaranteed that those 30 days will pass anyway, and you’ll be a lot closer if you practice.

Coach “skills and drills Tuesday” Jay

PS – Coach Mike and his wife Carrie have been doing this for months.

It’s led to Mike being able to do 80 consecutive push ups with no breaks, and Carrie doing strict pull ups despite being 6 months pregnant.

PPS – Need help figuring out what to do? Reply and tell us and we’ll give you some ideas!


-Beginner Guest Day: 10am on Saturday, May 6th
-Assessments next week May 8th-13th–show up every day!
-Next week: 7:30pm classes Monday-Thursday basic barbell + metcon
-“Stacks” — Mom’s event on Sat, May 13th — mom/pancake themed workouts that day with pancakes at 9am. Kids are welcome!
-Look out for “summer of skills” announcement — small group sessions to work on specific skills like pull-ups, double-unders, etc

Workout of the Day for 5-03-17


For time:
20-lb. medicine-ball cleans, 50 reps
25 push jerks (105/155)
20-lb. medicine-ball cleans, 50 reps


4 rounds, each for time:

500m row!

The first multi-tasker

Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand while drawing with the other?

Can you imagine?

In fact, pick up two pens and try it, right now!

See if you can last more than 60 seconds without getting a headache.

Crazy, right?

Da Vinci was one of the first ever multi-taskers!

We aren’t a huge fan of trying to do two things at once, unless you are a true genius like ol’ Leo (he also invented scissors).

Our version of multi tasking just means “there’s a whole lot going on”

Here’s some of the stuff going on in May at Hale.

1) Bowling and Hotsy – May 5 @ 6:15

RSVP here

A fun outing with the crew. Kicks off at Albany bowl around 6:15, headed over to the Hotsy Totsy around 8…tacos at the taco truck around whenever o clock

2) Guest Day – May 6 @ 10:00am

Bring your friends to come try a class at 10am on Saturday. The workout will be tailored towards beginners, and run as a separate class from the normal 8 and 9am classes. It’s free!

3) Assessments – May 8-12 @ all classes but 7:30pm

It’s time to check in and see where you’re at!

All week next week we will be doing benchmark workouts and movements. Show up daily and see if you can pass 12 of 15 of them and move to the next level!

For an example of previous assessments, go here – assessment week


So much more to come, including a mother’s day workout, the Summer of Skills, and more!

Coach “single-tasker” Jay

PS – A big thank you to the volunteers and competitors in the Hale Throw Down.

Special thank you to Boffo Cart, Federation brewery, Nutiva, and Lululemon for sponsoring the event, and 707 for coming to throw down with us!

It was a ton of fun, if you missed it, check out the videos and photos on Instagram and Facebook.


-Beginner Guest Day: 10am on Saturday
-Assessments next week May 8th-13th–show up every day!
-Next week: 7:30pm classes Monday-Thursday basic barbell + metcon
-“Stacks” — Mom’s event on Sat, May 13th — mom/pancake themed workouts that day with pancakes at 9am. Kids are welcome!
-Look out for “summer of skills” announcement — small group sessions to work on specific skills like pull-ups, double-unders, etc

Workout of the Day for 5-2-17


5 rounds, leaving every 8 mins:

800m run

(0:00, 8:00, 16:00, 24:00, 32:00)


5 RFT:
200m Split Farmer’s Carry (40/30)
10 DB Hang Power Clean
10 DB Shoulder to OH
1 minute rest

Sun is shining…and the weather is sweet

Make you wanna move….ya dancing feet.

Time for the links of the week! Listen to one of my favorites from Bob Marley while you click through them.

What we’re listening toSun is shining – Bob Marley

What’s making us laugh – Hilarious instagram post with an impression of different types of coaches.
Do you recognize any of YOUR coaches in this one?

Coaching Tip of the week – Pull ALL the way through

On olympic lifts, pull the bar ALLL the way up to the shoulder (for the clean) or ALL the way up (on the snatch). This one tip has changed EVERYTHING for me.

This is sometimes called the “third pull” or “pulling underneath” the bar.

Check out this video by Oly Coach Mike Burgener for some examples of this

What we’re reading Captivate, by Vanessa Van Edwards

The tagline for this book is “the science of succeeding with people”. Vanessa is one of the most engaged and captivating people I’ve ever met.

BUT, she grew up absolutely petrified of public speaking and people in general, and would break out in hives whenever she had to face a crowd.

She has taught herself how to be amazing with people, and this book gives you a guide on how you can do the same

Where we’re going Federation Brewing – Oakland

Matt started at Hale right around the time he decided to start brewing and selling beer. Just a few months ago, they opened their brewery and tasting room, and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Go check this place out!

Bowling and Hotsy

The Hale Social Club is here! The point of the club is to organize fun, casual events in and around Hale so you can hang out with cool people.

The first event is Bowling and Hotsy next Friday May 5! RSVP to reserve your spot!

What’s happening at Hale?

Throwdown this Saturday…8am check in, first heat at 8:30. Four workouts, finishing around 2, followed by lunch.

The next MissFit challenge starts May 16 – Check the details here!

The Summer of Skills is back! Look out for more details next week!

Coach “sun is shining” Jay

PS – Bright spot Friday! What’s good this week? Share it with us!