All posts by Jay

Living Better Podcast – Ep 30 – Cullen’s winding path to fitness

Look at the leaderboard on a given day, and you’ll likely see Cullen’s name somewhere near the top.

When he trains, he moves at a different pace than everyone else.

But he’s not a natural.

Despite his athletic background, the path to success has NOT been easy..

Today, we get to hear Cullen’s story.

From the beginning of his CrossFit Journey, when he was scared sh*tless about using the barbell, to when he gained 80 lbs and then turned around and lost it, and how he still gets nervous before a workout every day.

Cullen is one of our best athletes, and one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.

In this episode, Cullen shares his journey from gym goer, to athlete, through putting on a bunch of weight and depression, back to being an athlete again.

In this episode, you will learn:

– The mindset you need to get started
– How to learn humility and deal with your ego
– What constitutes success when you first start
– How to bounce back with “life happens”
– The best way to get started when you’re not quite ready

There’s so much from Cullen’s story that you can apply to your life that you MUST listen to this one.

Check it out

Coach Jay

PS – We could have gone for another hour with this one. We’re definitely doing a part two, so if you have questions for Cullen, email us at

Living Better Podcast – Ep 29 – How Nancy got fit in her 60’s

Running 100m seemed like a mile

In one of Nancy’s first workouts, the coach said “run 100m, then do some other stuff” (kb swings, squats, etc)

She had zero concern about the “other stuff”, but that run…

Before she found CrossFit, Nancy had been walking about 3 miles each morning.

She’d never run more than 1/2 mile in her life.

At 56 years old, she asked herself. “should I even be doing this?”

After 3…2…1…go, she took off running.

Not exactly like a rocket, but she ran!

20 mins later, when the workout was over, she had run 500m total. Not even half a mile.

But she did it.

THAT was the moment she knew she could do CrossFit.

This week on the living better podcast, Nancy

10 years later, she’s only gotten better. At a time when most people decline in health, she’s stronger than ever.

Since that day, she’s
– finished several 5k’s,
– finished a Half marathon,
– Deadlifted 200 lbs
– Competed in the CrossFit games
– Finished a 10 mile obstacle course race

Check out her inspiring story and learn how she did it.

This is one of my favorite interviews yet.

Coach Jay

PS – Full disclosure, Nancy is my mother, and it gets a little emotional at times…so if you want to hear coach Jay get a little uncomfortable, listen to the end.

Thank you for listening

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via itunes or stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes – Click here.

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Do you have a burning question you want answered? Click here and share it with us!

Living Better Podcast – Ep 28 – How Tina got her body back – part 2

Tina knew exactly what to do.

When she was on the road back to fitness after he second child, she had every advantage you could think of.

tina smile
– A proven plan
– Past results to rely on
– Access to a gym 24/7

Easy, right?

Not exactly.

In this episode of the Living Better podcast, Coach Tina tells us the story of coming back a second time from a pregnancy.

She walks us through her slow start, the building of momentum, and the one nutrition change that made all the difference.

At 40, she’s in the best shape of her life, by far.

Her success led her to start sharing her story and techniques with others, digging deeper into the science behind the method, and ultimately to her role as nutrition coach at Hale.

In the second half of the podcast, we talk about how the program works, including:

– What “results” mean
– why there’s no “one size fits all” nutrition program
– why she focuses on habits first
– the mindset you must have to start
– how to approach “motivation”

Towards the end, she gives her number one tip for making sure you look, feel, and perform your best.

If you’ve ever tried to “bounce back” from pregnancy, illness, or injury after a long layoff, you’ll want to hear this one.

Check it out!

Coach Jay

PS – Questions for Tina? Reply and let us know!

PPS – Here’s that PDF I mention in the show called “the cost of getting lean”

Living Better Podcast – Ep 27 – Meet Mike

When I first met Mike we were 18, and he fit the picture I had in my mind of an engineering student during freshmen year of UC Berkeley.

He was super skinny, had really long hair cut exactly like Bruce Lee, and slept on Star Wars bed sheets.’

He had moved in next door to me, and the first thing he said was “want something to eat?”

My first thought was “I like this guy!”

If you’ve met Mike, he’s probably offered you food at some point.

In fact, he’s the one responsible for all the snacks and fruit that keeps showing up at the gym.

But besides getting food, coaching, advice, or watching him run past you on a workout, do you know anything about him?

Like, did you know he used to weigh almost 200 lbs?

Seriously! Check it out!

Or that when he started taking fitness seriously, he dropped to a waif-like 140 lbs?

Little is known about the man who runs things behind the scenes.

Today we change all that.

Today we meet Mike, coach, father, amazing athlete, and co-owner of Hale.

You will learn:
– Mike’s career path that led him to coaching at Hale
– His journey to a “puffy” 190 lbs
– His rebound to a “skinny” 140 lbs
– How he approaching fitness and what his goals are NOW
– His no 1 tip for getting the most out of your training.

We talk a lot about the journey to losing weight, but Mike’s journey to try and GAIN weight was much harder.

Learn how he did it.

His story gives you so many knowledge bombs, you won’t want to miss it.

Check it out

Coach Jay

PS – Got questions for Mike? Email us and let us know!

Thank you for listening

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via itunes or stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes – Click here.

Subscribe via Stitcher Click here.

Living Better Podcast – Ep 26 – Living Better is back!

It’s over 500 days since our last podcast.

But we’re back! Click here to check out our latest episode.

In those 500 days, we’ve:

– Finished more than 1000 workouts
– pushed the sled more than 250 miles
– lifted more than 1,000,000 pounds
– enjoyed exactly 0 burpees

The point is, a lot has happened since we last talked 18 months ago.

(side note, this was our most popular episode ever, talking to Kim about how she lost 100 lbs. Click here to re-listen to that one)

So where have we been?

Well, It’s complicated, we’ve had EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES…and we also had a month where EXCUSES.

No good reason, we just haven’t recorded for a while.

But now we’re back and here to stay.

For our returning episode, we are discussing the top 5 things we’ve learned in the last 18 months.

Go check it out!

In future episodes, we’ll cover a lot more stories, interviews, and things we’ve learned from working with YOU.

Have a great day!

Coach “back” Jay

Links and Resources for this Episode

Thank you for listening

Thank you so much for checking out our podcast! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below, or email us.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe via itunes or stitcher.

Subscribe via iTunes – Click here.

Subscribe via Stitcher Click here.

Programming July 2018

Happy summer!

Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful sunshine (or going somewhere soon to find some sun).

Here’s an update on the programming for July from our lovely coaches.

Some quick announcements.

1) We only have classes at 8 and 9am on 4th of July. We’ll be doing a Hero workout, then giving you the rest of the day to go watch fireworks and party.

2) Our next guest day is this Saturday at 8 and 9 am. Sign up at the front desk or email us.

Have a great day!
Coach Jay

Programming for June

Quick hit today, here’s an update on the programming for June

How do you like this new style of programming? Have you enjoyed the workouts?


Email me at and let me know!

Coach Jay

PS – some of your buddies are organizing a get together to kick off the summer this Thursday at Mc Bears in El Cerrito – RSVP here – RSVP here

Programming and PR’s

94 personal records.

In just 6 hours during the Lift Off on Saturday, Halers hit 94 PRs!!

Think about it.

How good does it feel to do the most you’ve EVER DONE!

Participants ranged in age from 12 years old to 66, and in experience from 3 months to 8 years.

ALL of them got PR’s.

It’s amazing what you can do when you show up, train hard, and are willing to test yourself.

Big congrats to our competitors, and big thank you to our volunteers, coaches, judges and organizers.

To check out some of the lifts, go to our instagram feed at

A post shared by Crossfit Hale (@crossfithale) on

So, what are we doing to help you get your next PR?

In May, we are starting a new programming “cycle”….with a twist.

Based on your feedback, you’ve either loved the previous cycles or hated them.

For example, If your goal was to get stronger, the last cycle was the shizz for you…If it wasn’t, you were wondering “when’s the next ‘Murph'”? (It’s on Memorial day, btw)

The key theme we kept hearing was VARIETY. You want to get stronger, AND improve your cardio, AND learn some skills, AND AND AND…

We’ve heard you loud and clear.

This next “cycle” is not a cycle at all. It’s more like a “theme”. This means the 6 week “cycle” with testing before/after and a bias towards a specific domain of fitness is gone in favor of improving all domains of fitness at once.

Watch this video for more explanation and the themes for May.

Questions? Comments?

Reply and let us know.

Coach “PR” Jay

Getting with the program!

Now that the Hale open is done, you might be wondering.

“What’s next?”

We’re glad you asked!

A big part of making progress is following a program designed to get you results.

That’s why we structure our workouts to test and retest your fitness over a variety of movements.

In fact, we made a video to explain what we are doing for the next 6 weeks.


Our workouts will include strength, stamina, skills, and lots of fun!

Check out the video to see what we’re planning!

Coach Jay

PS – The best part about this cycle of programming? It gets you ready for the HALE LIFTOFF! It’s our first ever lifting competition happening May 5.

Sign up for either the powerlifting (bench, squat, deadlift) or olympic lifting (snatch, clean & jerk).

It’s only $40, which includes the competition, a t-shirt and lunch + beer after the event.

Prizes will be awarded different categories, from “highest total” to “best beginner”, to “best technique”

This competition is designed for BEGINNERS, which means YOU!

It’s all about throwing down and having fun.

Sign up today at the front desk or by sending me a note and saying “I’m in”

P.S. Click below for a daily programming to help you plan ahead to hit all your strength, stamina, and Oly days!

Strength & Stamina Athlete Calendar

The Hale Open 2018

The Hale open is coming!

Here are the details.

What is the OPEN?
The CrossFit Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region. Of course, most of us aren’t athletes on that level, so for us it’s a chance to be part of a bigger community, have some fun in our gym, and celebrate the work we do year round.
So here’s a bit about how this year’s Open is going to go:

Zero cost to participate!
In lieu of asking members to pay for Crossfit registration fees or throw money at one-time one-use things, we have chosen 3 local charities and are asking members to donate whatever they comfortably can to their choice of charity during the Open Fridays. More info on the charities is below.

That said, if you want to officially sign up with and submit your scores online, you can do it here –​ and join the CrossFit Hale team.

We know you love your Hale team shirts! So while we aren’t asking you to pay $40 this year and automatically get a team shirt, we do have NEW T-shirts on order and we did structure the order so that there will be enough RED shirts for the #HaleEarlyBirds and BLUE shirts for the #HaleNightOwls.

Buying a T-shirt is not required! These are general use T-shirts and we thought getting them in two different colors could be fun for team building. That said, you are welcome to show your team spirit by wearing ANY t-shirt in your team’s color on the 5 Fridays during the Open.

We’ve split the gym into two teams this year: AM vs. PM
Teams are fairly equal in size. For anyone that did not sign onto a team of their choice, you will automatically be assigned a team based on the time of day you do your first Friday WOD.

Teams are encouraged to have fun, be as competitive as you like, use the white boards to leave “messages” for one another, decorate the gym if you like, and WEAR YOUR TEAM COLORS on each Friday!

Each member can earn points for their team by:
1. Doing the Open workout each week anytime during Thursday through Monday.
2. Hitting a PR – be sure you record those on the board!
3. Winning the Weekly Challenge
4. Social Media Challenge:Posting a video or picture you someone doing the challenge outside the gym using the correct #hashtags: #crossfithale AND your team hashtag #HaleEarlyBirds or #HaleNightOwls
5. Spirit – coaches will award spirit points to members that exemplify the spirit of CrossFit – good attitude, great effort, consistency and community.

We will host an Opening Ceremony event on the first Friday, February 23rd at 5:30pm. We encourage EVERYONE to come if they can! Your participation points will still go to your team if you are an #EarlyBird, so don’t worry about the time of day for this event.

Beginning Feb. 23rd for FIVE Fridays we will be doing the prescribed Open workout. Each class throughout the day will be doing the same workout.

Weekly Challenge:
At the beginning of each class we will hold a short challenge. Coaches will video the class doing the challenge and at the end of the day, the class with the best score will earn points for their team.

Don’t worry, the challenges are fun and something everyone can do.

Social Media Challenge:
Post a picture or video of someone doing the weekly challenge outside the gym and use the correct hashtags to earn additional points for your team.
correct hashtags: #crossfithale AND your team hashtag #HaleEarlyBirds or #HaleNightOwls

This year we will be supporting THREE different charities during the 2018 Open. CF Hale members are welcome to donate to one of the three charities we’ve chosen and ALL the proceeds will go directly toward helping local families in need.

We will be posting about these charities on Facebook and Instagram. We will also have donation jars out at the front desk during the Friday workouts. Of course, you are welcome to donate at ANY time during the coming weeks and 100% of the donations will go to the charity you choose.

Hale’s 2018 Charities include:

1. Donor’s Choose Project: Raising funds for Ms. Mann’s 6-8 grade Special Education classes at Caliber Academy in Richmond, CA

2. Women’s Cancer Research Center: A local charity that provides support, counseling, classes and more to families dealing with cancer.

3. Weigh for Life: A Richmond charity that provides support, education, and exercise classes to low-income families struggling with diabetes and obesity.

That’s it!

We look forward to seeing you for our Opening ceremonies this FRIDAY!

Coach Jay