All posts by 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

Jan 2018 program

Happy Monday and welcome back!

Gonna hit you with a big question today.

Why do you work out?

If you’re like most people, it’s about losing weight, getting stronger, and having more energy.

Once you’ve been at it a while, it’s about having a practice that delivers ongoing improvement.

But how do you know if you’ve improved? And what specifically are you trying to improve?

if the scale is your only measure, you’re bound to be disappointed as soon as it stops moving (or goes in the wrong direction).

That’s why we use benchmark workouts like Fran or Murph, and heavy lifts like deadlifts or back squats to test different domains of fitness.

Over time, you should expect improvement on all ten of the domains of fitness (which include endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy.)

This year we’re going to make SURE you do, and give you evidence to PROVE it.

Today starts our first programming cycle of the year…Six weeks of workouts designed to focus on two of the domains of fitness and several skills, with testing before and after the cycle to show your progress.

Check out what the domains and skills are in this short video we made for you.


Our goal is to give you more insight into WHY we are doing this, and what goes behind your workouts.

Check it out, and let us know if you have any questions.

Coach Jay

PS – Do you enjoy this level of insight? reply and let me know!

PPS – Masters! We’re back! 11:00am on MWF, we’ve got masters class designed for anyone who needs extra mobility, lower intensity workouts, or extra attention.

PPPS – Teens is moving to 5 days per week starting Jan 15!

No more excuses

You have probably heard us say, getting in shape is really simple, you just have to eat well, train well, and recover.

Doesn’t mean it’s easy…

Life just gets in the way and bad habits take over.

Any time you are unhappy with how you look, feel, or perform, you become the world champion of excuses, right?

You’ll have to fight me for that title, cause my list is long…

– My daughter are going back to school
– my son’s day care is on vacation
– the weather sucks
– when the weather sucks, it’s hard to sleep
– work has been crazy
– i’ve said yes to too many things!
– etc etc etc

Ugh…don’t you hate excuses? It’s even worse when you are giving them to yourself!

How can you replace excuses with results??

Let’s assume you want into better shape.

⌃ ⌃ ⌃ ⌃ This IS your goal, right? Seriously…just because you think you SHOULD, doesn’t mean you actually WANT to…Make sure this is something you actually care about before you take the steps below.

You need 3 things.

1) You gotta figure out WHAT to do.

This is something we can help you with.

—>Eat well —> Meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar

—> Train well —> Squat, lift, run, jump, pull, push, play on a regular basis (at least 3-5 days per week)

—> Recover —> Sleep at least 7 hours

2) You have to CLEAR THE PATH to doing it

—> Make eating easy by preparing meals ahead of time, ordering meals delivered, having healthy food in your house, or having a list of “go to” places you can eat out

—> have a “done for you” training program that exposes you to all the exercise you need

—> Set up your life to get to bed at the same time every night

3) You need something to hold you accountable so you actually DO IT!!

Things like:
—> A training partner (or partners)
—> A sport or competition you need to be in shape for
—> A scale you step on at a regular interval
—> A party you need to fit into a dress for


This is why we do the No Excuses challenge.

For the next six weeks, we will give you all the knowledge you need, remove as many barriers as possible, and hold you accountable to improving the way you look, feel, and perform.

We start with a baseline measurement of your body fat and muscle mass, as well as a workout to determine where you’re at.

The first week, we focus on showing up to train, getting to bed at the right time, and developing better food habits to produce the best results. This will be your “practice” week.

Once you’ve established WHAT to do, you start being held accountable. You’ll be assigned a partner and during week two, if you DON’T do what you said you’d do, you’ll have to pay a burpee penalty.

Throughout the challenge, we’ll be sending you information to help make the process easier for you, including recipes, meal delivery services, restaurant lists, workouts you can do at home, and a little motivation here and there to keep you on track.

At the end, we’ll take our measurements again and celebrate your progress with a party!

It starts on Monday Sept 18th and costs $69, and is perfect for you if you need a reset or if you’re starting for the first time.

You’ve only got a couple days to get yourself signed up.

If you’re in, just reply and say “I’m IN”

Coach “i’m in” Jay

PS – if you’re already in, look out for more details about what to eat and partner assignments in the next two days.

PPS – if you have questions or aren’t sure if it’s for you, reply and let me know.

Welcome back, welcome back

Wel…come baaack

I’ve finally figured out why there’s so much traffic in September.


Vacations are done, summer almost over, and school is in session.

At Hale, we are preparing some cool stuff to welcome you and your family back to the gym (especially if it’s been a while).

Here’s what’s happening.


Gymnastics with a pro

For 6 weeks, starting Wed Aug 30 at 7:30, Mark Freeman, assistant coach at Cal gymnastics, will be joining us for some gymnastic skill sessions. The focus is going to be on things like handstands, ring work, pulling, etc. It’s suitable for ALL levels of people who want to learn some new techniques and improve strength, flexibility, and body awareness.

ALL of your coaches will be attending this session, so during the 6 weeks, we will have open gym sessions at 7:30pm on Wednesdays for anyone who wants to do the workouts (but no classes)

Mark is a world class gymnast, cirque du soleil performer, and most recently has worked with hundreds of regular people like you and me to help them gain gymnastic skill.

In a test session he did with us, he got us all upside down in freestanding handstands in 90 mins.

It’s only $150 for 6 weeks, you do NOT want to miss this.

Sign up now by replying here and saying “I’m in”!


MissFit challenge

Our next Missfit Challenge starts Sept 11. It’s 6 weeks of training, including goal setting sessions, InBody scans, and accountability for nutrition.

We’ve learned a few things about the RIGHT way to run a challenge, and there are a few changes we’ve put in place to make sure you get the maximum results during the 6 weeks.

Click below to find out more and get yourself signed up


Masters class (50+)

One of our most popular requests has been for a class focused on the needs of people 50+, so we are exploring the idea of doing a Masters program focused on strength, mobility, and improving body function

IN order to do this properly, however, we need your feedback. If this is something you might be interested in, please fill out our survey below and let us know your thoughts about times, things to cover, and how you want this thing run.

Click here for the survey.


No excuses challenge

September is also when we start our No Excuses challenge. It’s a 6 week challenge designed to help you clean up your diet, get more consistent with your training, and look after your sleep and recovery.

This year, Inbody scans before and after, and a video course to help spice it up and keep you on track.

We do a baseline workout at the beginning and end, and finish with a party to wrap it all up.

The whole thing starts Sept 19, and it’s $69 to participate.

Sign up by replying and saying “Im in!”


Labor day

Sept 4, Labor day, we’re running 8 and 9am classes only, Mark it down!


Other stuff

—> The new morning schedule is 5:45 and 6:45am. Thank you morning folks for helping out with our experiment

—> For August, we made a few changes in the programming, did you notice?
In the CrossFit Classes, we’ve focused a bit more on strength and skill, with simple workouts to finish, and the MissFitters have had a bit more quality time with the barbell.

If you loved it (or hated it) reply and let me know what you think

—> We are considering a 4:30pm class, would that work for you? Reply and let us know!


That’s it for now, hope you’re having a great day!

Coach Jay

Summertime fun

Will get straight to the point, you’ve got a LOT going on this summer, and so do we!

Here are some of the upcoming events/announcements for the summer.

—> Updated class schedule:

We are going to do a TRIAL of 5:30 and 6:30am classes starting Monday for two weeks. This means that 6am will move to 5:30am, and 7am will move to 6:30am.

As this is a trial, we want your feedback on how it works. During the week of Aug 7, we’ll ask you how it went, and make a call as to whether to continue or not.

In addition, we’re putting 7:30pm class on trial. At times, we’ve had 2 or 3 in this one, and don’t want to run it if you’re not interested. If you want to keep this class, show up for it the next two weeks. If we average 5 or more in this class, it stays. If not, it gets replaced with other stuff.

—> Updates to programming:

Overwhelming feedback you’ve given us is you want to get STRONGER…so next week, you’ll see a bit more strength showing up in the CrossFit Classes.

We’ve integrated a bit more strength in the MissFit classes recently, and this won’t change, but the program for the classes during the week will be different, so you’ll have two options for workouts.

—> Summer BBQ and the CrossFit Games.

Next Friday Aug 4th at 5:30pm, we’ll be holding a summer BBQ/potluck and CrossFit Games viewing party.

Classes will be at 4:30 and 5:30pm (no 6:30pm class), and the program for these will be written by the TEENS who finish our first ever teen summer camp. Come out and see what they have in store for you.

In addition, (soon to be) award winning grill master David F will be providing the main dish of ribs for you to enjoy after your workout while you watch the fittest on earth throw down on tv during the 2017 CrossFit Games!

TONS of other stuff going on, here is a rapid fire

—> Summer of Skills – Just over a month of summer left, get yourself on the list to learn how to do your first pull up, olympic lift, double unders, or handstands. Sign up sheets are on the bulletin board, or you can reply to this email

—> Goal setting – Your coaches have been reaching out to get you scheduled, we’ll be done in 2 weeks, so if you haven’t heard from us, reply and let me know!

—> Open water swim – Aug 11 at the Berkeley Marina, join us for a private lesson in a safe environment – Sign up at the front.

—> Upcoming – No excuses challenge in September, a Masters course, a Hale camping trip, our next MissFit challenge, and more!

Want to do something NOT on this list? Reply and let me know!

Coach Jay

PS – Are you a parent who has considered bringing your kid to Hale?

We are doing a survey to get feedback on how to improve our kids/teens program, check it out here –

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.