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Pickin’ Up Rocks

Today’s workout calls for Atlas stones. Who’s Atlas? And why can’t he pick up his own stones?

According to Greek mythology, after the Titan Atlas went into battle against the Olympian gods for control of the heavens, Atlas was sentenced by Zeus to bear the weight of the heavens on his shoulders.

Thankfully, you won’t need to do that in today’s workout. You will, however, need to get a big, round object over your shoulder as many times as possible (among other things).

Here are some tips for how to do it efficiently.

August 26 – Sept. 1


Summer of Skills:

8/28: Get a Deeper Squat With Coach Heidi
9/4: No Excuses Challenge Info Meeting

All clinics at 6:30 p.m.

These are FREE for members.

Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to heidi@crossfithale.com.

No Excuses Challenge 2019:

YES, we will be running a No Excuses Challenge this year.

The challenge will officially begin Monday, September 9 and run through Monday, October 21 (6 weeks!).

We’ll have a full informational kick-off meeting on Wednesday, September 4.

For the 6 weeks, you’ll be accountable for the following:

  • A MINIMUM of 15 minutes of exercise 5 days per week.
  • 7 hours of sleep per night, EVERY NIGHT.
  • 10 minutes of mobility/recovery EVERY DAY.
  • Eating according to plan (more to come).
  • Logging your success on the above EVERY DAY.

The challenge is for those of you who are starting from scratch and want accountability to make basic, healthy habits STICK. You’ll learn the following:

  • How to compose healthy meals (what types of food make you feel best?!).
  • How to nail down sustainable HABITS.
  • How to develop a mobility/recovery practice.

If you’ve done this before, you can expect to:

  • Re-visit those habits that always trip you up when “life” gets in the way.
  • Connect with your buddy and the crew and learn new skills and tweaks to make the habits easier.
  • Bring BACK the awareness of which of these habits make you feel your very best.

Cost is $89.

Sign up at the front desk.

Holiday Schedule Monday, September 2

8-a.m. and 9-a.m. classes only!

Guest Day Saturday, September 7

Guests, family, friends, and teens welcome. The workout will be beginner friendly. FREE!

Workouts for the Week:


A. Push jerk:


Start at a moderate weight and work up to a heavy, but not sketchy, set of 3. This is not the time to fail the first rep! Take a second stab at same weight or drop if form starts to go!

B. “Jack in the Box”

For time:
15-12-9 reps
Push jerk (135/95)
30 double-unders after each set

immediately into….

6-9-12 Reps
Push jerk (155/105)
30 double-unders after each set

How many Jack in the Box tacos can you get for the change in yo’ pocket? About as many as the number of jerks you’ll do today.

Upper body dynamic strength day + practice/stamina at heavier weights.

Goal is to hold on to the bar as long as possible—keep your movement SMOOTH and steady and try to keep each round to 1-2 sets, at most.



For time:
750-m row
600-m run
50 slam balls

Rest 3:00, then:

50 slam balls
600-m run
750-m row

Monostructural fun day! Once you pop, you can’t stop!

Break the slam balls into 2-3 sets as needed; keep breathing throughout. You should push nearly to redline, but not to the point where you dog the rest of the movements. Slam balls should feel like 85-90% effort by the end … then just HOLD ON!


A. Warm-up:

12 minutes, alternating between:
Min 1: as many rounds as possible of 4 alternating lunges + 4 PERFECT push ups
Min 2: 150-m run/row or 40-s bike

B. Get Sweaty:

As many rounds and reps as possible in 15 minutes:
30-s hang from bar
15 parallette pass throughs
10 cossack squats

Use a plate, light KB, or light band on rig to balance the cossack squats. Remember: Hips back, and keep your full foot on the ground when you push your weight to that side!

Play with the pass throughs—try a higher set of boxes if it lets you kick forward and back without touching the ground. WEEE!

C. Mobility:

1:00/side pigeon
1:00/side saddle (half frog, other leg out)
1:00 child’s pose

2:00/side shoulder LAX ball smash or foam roll


A. Back squat: –1RM


Work up to a new 1RM or something *really* heavy today! Aim for 5-10# over current max, if you know it! Rest 2:00 between sets.

Warming up to this:
5-5 moderate
3-3 moderately heavy

Start singles where you KNOW you can hit 3. Build some confidence in the setup and GO!

B. As many rounds and reps as possible in 9 minutes:
100-m run
5 DB push ups
10 DB walking lunges

DB push ups: Simply use the DBs instead of your hands on the ground! Chest touches down to bells.

Any rack for DB lunges: carry, front rack, anything goes.

Move quickly. Early sets should be 1 min or less!


“Food Coma”

For total time:

2 rounds:
15 deadlifts (135/95)
15 burpees over bar
200-m Run

–Rest 2:00–

2 rounds:
12 deadlifts (185/125)
12 burpees over bar
200-m run

–Rest 2:00–

2 rounds:
9 deadlifts (225/155)
9 burpees over bar
200-m run


Score is combined time, INCLUDING rest!

Sub 25:00 should be very doable if you move quickly through the burpees. You WILL get tired, but do not let yourself stay on the ground! Moving slowly through 2-3 reps is better than stopping. Take your breaths before picking up the barbell, but transition as quickly as possible through everything else!

Burpees are lateral over bar, not bar facing—stay low and move FAST.


42-30-18 reps of each movement
Calorie row
Box jumps (24/20)
Pistols (total!)

Box step-ups
Ring rows

This one is all about stamina! It’ll be hard to keep moving through the first and second rounds, but just keep moving!

Pistols and step-ups will really challenge your balance after the row and box jumps, so try to find a rhythm or flow to help. Big sets on pull-ups/ring rows. Try to get through a third or more (e.g., in the 42: 18-14-10; 30: 12-10-8; 18: 8-6-4)


In Teams of 2, for total time:

Row 1000m (split as needed)


150 Wallballs (20,14)

30 power snatches (115/75)

30 Clean & Jerks (115/75)

800m run (split as needed)

Rx+: (135/95) BOTH row and run 2k/1mi

Out the door by 30 min, regardless of where you are 🙂 You go, I go. Keep moving with fast single reps as needed or small sets. While each workout is a sprint, you’ll have to keep a steady cadence to have “gas” at the end.

Go-To Summer Snacks

I received a great question from one of our favorite people last week:

“Do you or any of the other coaches have some recommendations for snacks? With summer here, I’m looking for suggestions of things that are easy to grab on the go, take with me places, etc.”

We polled the coaches and pulled together a nice list we thought we’d share with you.


Epic low-fat pork rinds. I eat these a LOT. You can eat a whole bag and it has no carbs, 55 g of protein and 12 g of fat. They’re tasty and crunchy!

–Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. No fat; not even very high in carbs. I like to mix them up when they’re in season and eat them by the cupful.

–Frozen mixed berries. Put a cup of them in a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Makes for an amazing treat!

–Pure protein bars. I don’t like to overdo it with the bars ’cause they’re essentially healthy candy bars … but who doesn’t like CANDY BARS??? These have a good macro ratio (better than most) with 20 g of protein and 17 g of carbs.

–Popcorn. I like to make it at home. I use avocado oil from Costco and put about 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the microwave (in a measuring cup like this one). It’s one of our go-to Saturday (and Sunday) treats that I always look forward to. If you want it done for you, get some individual-serving-size bags to keep you from overeating.

–Treats. I like to finish the day with some sort of treat after dinner. Usually, it’s two pieces of Dave’s Killer Bread (thin sliced) with Skippy on it. Sometimes if I really want to go wild, I’ll do one of these Justin’s peanut butter single packs in different flavors.

–Mind the macros. I’m always conscious of hitting my macronutrient numbers, which usually starts with protein. So I make sure I keep some high protein/low-fat options around like Sprouts pastrami, “Ascent” protein powder or the pork rinds above.

–If I need a quick and dirty source of fat, I take some liquid fish oil or macadamia nuts.

–For pure carbs, most fruit or dried fruit will do. Dried fruit is very dangerous, though—one handful can equal 3 apples.

–For the kids, I always keep little packs of apple sauce, lots of fruit, deli meat (Tiger loves salami), and a mixed-veggie tray we get from Costco.

–Go-to snacks: Epic jerky sticks or pork bags, Greek yogurt with fruit, avocado and balsamic vinegar. I always keep hard boiled eggs around and top with mayo and salt (also makes a cheap trip to Whole Foods instead of the hot bar). Celery and natural almond butter. For “purse snacks” for the family, I always keep Epic sticks and Marcona almonds from Trader Joe’s pn hand, and Jeffrey likes Rx bars. We keep pork rinds in the glove compartment!

Snacks don’t have to mean junk food, and healthy snacks don’t have to be boring. 

Try some of our coaches’ suggestions above and let us know what you think!

Coach Jay



Summer of Skills:

Our next few skills sessions will be:

7/10: Running Skills with Jenny Maier*
7/17: Rowing with Lauren Nielsen*
7/24: Oly Skills (Clean) with Nathan Loe*
7/31: Oly Skills (Jerk) with Nathan Loe*
8/7: Oly Skills (Snatch) with Nathan Loe*

All clinics at 6:30 p.m.

These are FREE for members.

*Advanced sign-up is required and space will be limited. Please sign up here.

Is there something you’re dying to learn more of? Please drop a line to heidi@crossfithale.com.

Mark Freeman (of Freeman Technique, Cirque du Soleil, and Cal Gymnastics fame) will be running his clinics on Wednesdays at 5:45 a.m. Cost is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Our regular 5:45-a.m. Group Coaching class will continue as scheduled.

Oakland Tri and Alcatraz Swim

Now that the Hero Challenge is done and dusted, the coaches are training for two upcoming events. More info to come, but the more the merrier! Give us a shout when you sign up!

  1. The Oakland Triathlon: Sunday, August 18 (Coach Jay)
  2. Odyssey Alcatraz Swim: Sunday, September 21 (Coach Heidi)

Outdoor Workout: Saturday, July 20

All athletes welcome, no CrossFit experience required. We’ll meet at Albany Middle School/Cougar Field. Classes at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. FREE!

Workouts for the Week


400-m run after each round

A bit longer than the traditional Annie sprint, you’ll have to pace this to keep your double-unders together! This is a test of coordination and stamina. You should (hopefully) feel like this is all downhill after the 30s!


A. Back squat waves (TRAIN)
(on the 2:00)


You’re working up to something moderately heavy … backing off … then working up a bit heavier. Get tight and grease the groove in the early sets. Stick with these sets—the last 4 should be tough!

B. “Ballin’ Outta Control” (PERFORM)

2 Rounds:
50 wall balls (20/14)
25/20-cal row
at 10 min, start again.

10-burpee penalty on the spot each time you break the set of wall balls. TWO scores today—one for each round.

Staminaaaaa! Big test of muscle endurance, breathing, and efficiency. The more you wobble as you get tired, the worse this will get. Dig deep into the pain cave on this one and try to go unbroken on the wall balls for both rounds.

Let’s not use too much strategy here. Go for as many as you can. Let’s see what’s possible.


A. 3 Rounds:
40 s on/20 s rest
T Push-ups
Walking lunges
Plank up-downs

B. 15-min AMRAP:
1 turkish get-up/side
Side shuffle 50′ right/50′ left
5 T2B

Work on stability in the TGU and scale T2B to something you can do in one set. Goal is to learn LINKING or practice these so you could do them in a workout.

C. Mobility

2 mins/side monkey bars of death
3 mins/side: scap scrub with LAX ball and slam ball or 25-lb. plate


5 Rounds
1 min on, 1 min off
50-m farmers carry (53/35 per side)
Max plate hops in remaining time

2 mins to rest/reset

5 Rounds:
1 min on, 1 min off:
50-m sled push (sprint! Light)
Max slam balls (15/10) in remaining time

2 mins to rest/reset

5 Rounds:
1 min on, 1 min off
10/8 cal bike
Max burpees in remaining time

This one will be SPICY. Get the first part done AS FAST AS POSSIBLE (we are working on speed!) and push for a few reps of the slams, burpees or hops in the last few seconds. Sprint, rest, repeat.


A. Push press for load:
5 x 5 with 1-second PAUSE at top

Working on the lockout and the “reload” of the push press—that is, PAUSE for a breath at the top, control the position and the dip down. NOT a 5-RM, but a heavy, successful reload. This will help with solid barbell cycling under fatigue!

B. 15-min AMRAP:
10 pistols
15 push press (75/55)
200-m run

WOO WOO pistol practice!! We don’t get these often, and there aren’t a ton of them. Rest as needed before picking up the barbell to keep the 15 push press unbroken.

MissFit: Lateral box step-ups w/heel tap + 45/35 lb.


In pairs, for time:
80 burpees

5 Rounds:
30 med-ball cleans
400-m run
30-cal row
30 KB swings

Cash Out: 80 Burpees

This is a fun little sandwich. Buy in with burpees, cash out with burpees. COMMUNICATE with your partner to make transitions fast. You do not have to split work evenly!! Perhaps alternate who rows/runs. Consider sets of 10-15 on med-ball cleans when fresh, and break them up more as rounds go.

Cap: 45 mins

Sunday—TRAIN (or REST DAY)

NorCal Classic Online Qualifier:

10-min AMRAP:
30 double-unders
10 snatches

*Add weight after each successful round.

Rx: (45/35) (65/45) (75/55) (95/65) (115/75) (135/95)
RX Insano: (75/55) (95/65) (135/95) (155/105) (185/125) (205/135)
MissFit: 15/20/25/30/35 # alternating DB power snatch; 60 single-unders

Another fun one from Larry Legend! Find a cadence with snatches when weights are light and try to stick with smooth, steady reps. Weights should start to get heavy in rounds 3-4, possibly taking you down to 2-3 sets to get through the 10. Stick with it! Should be fun!



What Is a Class Like at Hale?

Have you ever driven by CrossFit Hale and wondered what goes on inside?

Maybe you’ve seen friends post their workouts online in what looks like a foreign language and thought, “That’s way too complicated for me.”

Or maybe you’ve seen pictures of muscly men and women lifting barbells bigger than your sofa and assumed you wouldn’t fit in. It’d be too hard, too intense, too crazy for you.

But what would you say if we told you you’d hear more laughter than grunts in a class at Hale? 

That you don’t have to understand all the weird numbers on the board or how to do an exercise because our coaches are there to guide you every step of the way? 

That when we use barbells, everyone uses the weight that’s just right for them, whether that’s 10 lb. or 200?

Consider this our official invitation.

Check out what a class at Hale is like in the video above and stop wondering today.