Tag Archives: CrossFit Hale

I Keep Waiting …

For fitness to get easier …

For the weights to feel lighter …

For food to get simpler …

We’ve been working on people’s fitness for DECADES!

You’ve probably been working on your own for just as long.

Why is it still so HARD?

It’s not your fault …

There are very few things in daily life that encourage you to get and stay in great shape.

Even if you CAN navigate the lies we’re sold about how to eat or work out.

You have to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to eat well, make time to train, and get a good night’s sleep.

You have to say no to SO MANY temptations in your daily life.

Fact is, it’s HARD.

We get it.

And if you are able to muster up the motivation and discipline to take ANY steps toward improving your health or fitness, we salute you.

You’re not always going to be perfect, you’re not always going to be happy about it, and you’re not always going to want to do it.

But we appreciate the effort you put in, week after week, to live a better life by improving your fitness.

And we promise to keep doing everything we can to support you.

See you at the gym.

Coach “Happy Monday” Jay

P.S. – A quick LOL for you. This is exactly how workouts feel some Mondays. 



Saturday, October 5: Guest Day at Hale

All levels welcome. 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Please arrive early to sign a waiver if this is your first class!

October 10 – November 11: CrossFit Games Open

With the new format of the CrossFit Games, this will be the first time the Open is held in fall (these results lead to the 2020 season).

We will do the Open WOD in Friday class each week—workouts will be announced on Thursday afternoons, and we may update the weekend’s programming to adjust!

Expect: a fun chance to THROW DOWN on a “Perform” WOD each Friday. One of these should be a repeat (re-TEST!) of one you’ve done in the past. We will not be tracking points with Early Birds versus Night Owls, but you will have a fun time competing with yourself and your swolemates. Get it!

Registration online is optional.

P.S. There are a few skills we are likely to see in the Open:

  • Overhead squats!
  • Advanced gymnastics: bar muscle-ups, muscle-ups, chest-to-bars
  • Toes-to-bars
  • Double-unders
  • STRICT gymnastics: HSPU, Pull-ups, etc.

You’ll see some of these more frequently in the programming, but if you’re looking to brush up, now would be a great time to schedule a few skills sessions. Email wendy@crossfithale.com to set these up!

Workouts for the Week


A. As warm up to B:

8-min EMOM:
3 power snatch

Work up to and beyond the workout weight—feel solid in the catch!!

8-min EMOM (or as needed):
Pull-up/bar muscle-up practice

Extended warm-up today—with the shorter WODs you should feel like you’ve had a LOT of practice before 3-2-1-GO!


“Open 16.3”

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes of:
10 power snatches (75/55)
3 bar muscle-ups

Take this as a chance to compare to your previous effort or practice some skills you haven’t had much time to try.

HIGH skill, low volume today. With light weights, this should feel SPICY! If you don’t have BMU, pick a scaling that you can move through unbroken or with quick singles. If you’re close, attempts are cool!


5 rounds, not for time:
10 body-weight deadlifts
400-m run

(30-minute cap)

Just. Do. Work! This should be plenty sweaty. Take your time to set up and get good, quality reps! Play with rep schemes and sets and breathing. This is PRACTICE.


A. Warm Up:

15 mins to accomplish:

3 rounds:
10/side slow plank knees-to-elbows
8/side Bulgarian Split Squat
(back leg on bench)

3 rounds:
10/side: side plank w/1 breath pause
12 Spanish squats
(3-2-1 down, controlled UP)
30-s rest

B. 5 rounds:
300-m row (80% pace)
Between rounds:
Max box/bar/ring dips in 1 minute

Sub push-ups as needed. Note total reps!

C. Mobility

2 mins tricep smash
10/side slow scorpion (3-breath pause)


5 rounds for total time:
21 wall balls
30-s rest
15-cal row
30-s rest
9 toes-to-bars
30-s rest

Goal is to hit each set as hard as possible—keep T2B unbroken or FAST if able, move at an aggressive pace on the row! Your transition time COUNTS in your rest. BE ON IT in 30 s.


A. (Front rack) split squat for load:

5 per side per set. YIIIIKES midline and balance. Aim to drop straight down, NOT shift forward and back between feet.

B. 15-min EMOM:
Clean and jerk


Work up to 75-85% of max, and keep it cute.

Saturday—TRAIN—Guest Day!

One partner works at a time:
100-m run
1 DB man-maker
100-m run
2 DB man-makers
100-m run
3 DB man-makers


Push-up + row
Push-up + row
Burpee to squat clean thruster

Split work as needed, finishing 1 full man-maker before switching. One partner runs each round, or split to 50 m/each as relay.

Mandatory high fives!

Score is the round you finished (i.e. finished the 7 man-makers) plus additional reps (AND you ran 100 m)


12-9-6-3 reps for time of:

Clean and jerks (135/95)
Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Rx +
♀ 125 lb. ♂ 185 lb.
Bar muscle-ups

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.

The Hale Case Study Project: Week 6

It’s time to check back in with our Hale Case Study participants!

In this update, they’ve just hit the six-week mark—and if you’ve ever made a lifestyle change before, you know that’s when things start to get tough. The newness has worn off and all that’s left is hard work without the lustre.

But this is the time when it’s most critical to keep pushing onward, and that’s exactly what our participants are doing.

Natalie got a 40-lb. deadlift PR.

Jay’s down five percent body fat and got his strict muscle-up back.

Jon got a handstand and toes-to-bars and can go on longer bike rides with his kids.

Lilly passed the point she normally gives up.

Around week four is when I tend to be like f**k it, I don’t care anymore,” she said. “But I stuck with it.” Now she’s down 4 percent body fat and around 6 lb.

Tune in above to see what the rest of the Hale Case Study participants have accomplished at the six-week mark.

Fix Your Overhead Position

We’ve got a lot of snatches and overhead squats on the whiteboard today, and those are no easy tasks.

If you struggle to stay stable or even to get into a proper overhead position, you’ll want to watch this video before you head to class.

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 45 – Coach Heidi Gets Real

In this episode, Hale coach Heidi shares her journey from athlete to overweight to CrossFit coach.

Coach Heidi Gets Real

Coach Heidi has been an athlete all her life: Dance. Biking. Baseball. Football. Rugby. Swimming. Volleyball. Basketball. Skiing. Snowboarding.

But that doesn’t mean she’s never struggled with her fitness.

Shortly before joining Hale in 2013, Heidi had reached her highest body weight ever: 200 lb. You might look at what she can do now and think, “No way. She doesn’t understand the struggle,” but we assure you, she does—even now.

“As a coach, unless you are being coached, it’s hard to get to that scary place sometimes. You can do just enough. I don’t always push,” she admitted.

That’s why even coaches need coaches.

Heidi described being inspired by Coach Wendy to track her macros more carefully; today, Heidi’s at the lowest body-fat percentage of the past three years.

That inspiration is one of the reasons she decided to become a coach herself.

“The things you can’t see in yourself that others can,” she said. “And this is a big part of why I love being a coach: You can see the faces people make, you can see the little glimmers of fear or hope or excitement or all of those things, and you are not always self-aware enough to see them in yourself.”

It’s not about perfection, she continued. It’s about effort.

“Find something you can nail down and be confident in,” she said. “Find momentum. Do one very simple thing and do it really well, until that feels easy. Then you can take off a bigger chunk.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How even coaches like Heidi struggle with their fitness.
  • How committing to precise nutrition and accountability helped Heidi take her fitness to the next level.
  • Why Coach Heidi thinks you should be a grizzly bear.

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.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

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

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 44 – Becoming Coach Dave

In this episode, Hale coach Dave shares how he went from member to coach and what he’s learned along the way.

Becoming Coach Dave

You’ve seen him at the front of class.

Maybe he’s cued you through a technical lift or high-fived you after a PR. Or maybe you’ve watched him overhead squat and wished you could move like that; be as athletic as him.

But he wasn’t always so at home in the gym.

“I’d walk in there and be very confused and scared of what to do,” he said of working out years ago in a conventional gym.

He was still intimidated when he joined Hale about four years ago, watching athletes do pull-ups and lift big weights while he could barely press 65 lb.

“I don’t want to be the weakest one,” he thought.

But he kept coming back. Soon, he realized everyone at Hale—coaches and members alike—was helpful and supportive.

Things started to click.

“Once it clicks, you realize the fun in it, and you’re accomplishing these things,” he said.

Today, Dave’s got a 175-lb. press—and even better, he’s the one helping others accomplish their goals.

“Give us a shot,” he said. “Check out CrossFit Hale, because (in) the environment here, I think you’d have a hard time not prospering.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why Dave kept training at Hale even though he was intimidated at first.
  • How he made piece with scaling workouts.
  • Why Dave continues to pursue tough challenges—like becoming a coach.

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.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

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

The Hale Case Study Project: Week 5

Weeks ago, we put a handful of Hale members under the microscope to see what would happen if they committed to good nutrition, consistent training and ample sleep.

It’s Week 5, and their progress is starting to show.

“It’s easier to move again … I’m feeling more confident about myself.” – Kim (lost 13 lb.)

“I’m getting stronger each week.” – Ron (lost 6 lb.)

Sure, there have been slip-ups and mishaps. Life doesn’t happen in controlled circumstances, and our participants are training for life. They have busy schedules. Stressful work projects. Days when they finish last in a workout and wonder if they really belong here.

But they’re not alone.

With the help of our trainers and nutrition coaches, our athletes pick themselves up, do another rep and keep on getting fitter. Of course …

“Burpees still suck!” — Coach Jay (lost 12 lb.)

P.S. – If you’d like to make the same progress as our partipants have, book a FREE INTRO session today.

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 43 – Ann Mary’s Metamorphosis

In this episode, Hale member Ann Mary shares how she prioritized her nutrition and fitness to lose almost 100 lb. while also balancing a busy career as a lawyer.

Ann Mary’s Metamorphosis

Before starting CrossFit at Hale about a year ago, Ann Mary had been inactive for years. Though she was a distance runner in high school, law school and a demanding career as a lawyer took a toll on her health.

“I was very unhappy with my weight, with my overall fitness and how I was feeling physically,” she said.

Diet changes helped her lose 40 lb. in about a year, but it wasn’t until she started at Hale that she began to value what her body was capable of over what it weighed.

Though she was scared at first—her first workout called for double-unders but she hadn’t even jumped rope in two decades—she persisted, even after long days when all she wanted was to flop on the couch.

“One thing that was hard for me was learning that there are some days when you just have to show up and keep moving, and you have to consider that a successful workout,” she said. “The days that I least want to go to the gym … those are the days when I most need to go to the gym.”

Today, Ann Mary’s 95 lb. lighter than she was at her heaviest weight, can deadlift 265 lb. for a triple and has her sights set on a pull-up.

“On the whole I feel so much better,” she said. “I feel like I’m more focused, I have more mental clarity and I have more energy.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why Ann Mary ditched fad diets for a sustainable approach to nutrition.
  • How she learned to trust the process even when she wasn’t improving as quickly as she would have liked.
  • How she sets herself up for success by overcoming obstacles before they occur. 

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.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

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

Living Better Podcast – Ep. 42 – Coach Larry, Man of Mystery

In this episode, Hale coach Larry shares how he found CrossFit, why he loves coaching and what he’s working on outside the gym. 

Man of Mystery

You know him as Coach Larry, one of your Hale trainers dedicated to making you better one cue, one no-rep, one high-five at a time. Coach Jay calls him the “Man of Mystery.”

But mystery no more! 

In today’s episode of the Living Better Podcast, Coach Larry shares his first CrossFit experience, 50 wall-ball shots for time—”After wall ball number five I felt like I was gonna die already,” he said—his career as a scientist outside of the gym, and why he loves coaching. 

“I just wanted to give back; seeing how the program changes lives and improves lives, and I wanted to sort of share that with others and be that somebody who changes somebody’s life for the better and improves them.”

Listen to the rest of Coach Larry’s story in Episode 42 of the Living Better Podcast.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How CrossFit helps Coach Larry try and conquer new things in and outside the gym.
  • Why he decided to become a coach, despite having another full-time job.
  • The secret to the six-pack abs in the movie “300.”

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.

Subscribe via Stitcher.

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

Groundhog Day

One of my favorite movies ever is Groundhog Day.

You’ve seen it, right?

(If not, close this email/web page and find it and watch it; it’s awesome!)

The main guy, Phil (played by Bill Murray), lives the same day over and over again in a small town, but he’s the only one who knows it.

He goes through all sorts of emotions: It’s confusing at first, then kinda cool, then depressing, then completely awesome!

One of the main things he tries to do is “get the girl” by finding out everything she likes and trying to “stage” the perfect day so she’ll fall madly in love with him.

He learns her favorite ice cream, her goals in life, and even recites some French poetry to try and impress her.

It works to get her attention, but he always falls short of the “madly in love” part (eventually leading to the depression).

At some point, he stops caring about her and focuses on helping people and improving himself, learning the piano, helping a homeless guy, saving someone from choking, etc.

The part that fascinated me about the movie were the piano scenes.

He signs up for piano lessons, and his first one was terrible. He had no idea how to play.

After living the same day over and over again and doing the “first lesson” over and over again … he begins to crush it.

One day while he’s playing Bach while chewing gum and looking totally relaxed, the piano teacher says to him,

“Wow, you say this is your FIRST lesson?”

There’s something about that scene that just gets me.

How good could you be at something if you just did it over and over again, every day … without fear that you’re getting too old, or “wasting time”?

What if you were able to let go of pretense, relax, and enjoy the process?

What if you had all the time in the world?

(This is the premise of the movie, btw … it was even in the trailer.)

I think about this often … and it’s why I’ve seen this movie at least 20 times.

People say life is short, but the truth is, life is LONG.

Every 10 years represents 3,600 days of life. You can master anything if you spend a few hours a day on it for 10 years.

If you don’t want to master something, you can be GOOD at it with focused practice in 12 months.

And if you just want to acquire a basic skill? Three months or less.

In three months, you can learn how to swim, train for and run a half marathon, lose 40 lb. or even learn the basics of piano.

But you have to be willing to start, and you have to be willing to be TERRIBLE for a while.

I see a lot of people walk into the gym and expect to be good at things on their first day.

When they aren’t, it’s a big hit to the ego.

“Why am I finishing last?”

“Why can’t I do this movement?”

“Why is everything so HARD?”

This leads people to quit because they just don’t get it, it’s too hard, or they can’t handle the ego hit.

Why would you expect something to be easy if you’ve NEVER DONE IT BEFORE?!?

The thing that makes Hale special is that it’s NOT EASY to do this stuff.

And because it’s not easy, it’s more than just a workout you do every day, day in and day out (like Groundhog Day).

It’s a set of SKILLS you have to acquire over time by PRACTICING them.

Phil found meaning in his life when he focused on improvement on a daily basis, not just having everything he wanted.

This brought progress and joy to his otherwise mundane days.

And it ultimately led to him escaping the loop.

Look at your workouts as skills you’re developing, rather than just goals you’re achieving.

Focus on getting better every day, and you’ll break out of the “Groundhog Day” mentality.

Coach “Punxatawny” Jay



Summer of Skills:

Our next few skills sessions will be:

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 or in person at the front whiteboard.

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 and guests 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


5 rounds, E3MOM:
9 deadlifts
5 squat cleans
3 thrusters

(You MUST stand up the 5th squat clean before you begin the thrusters. If you drop the barbell after 5, you may squat clean into your 1st thruster).

Heavy barbell work today. This does not have to be done unbroken—today, we are going for load. You should aim to finish the reps in 2 mins or less to allow for some rest before your next set.

Start with a heavy-ish working weight and add as you are able. All 5 rounds should feel like hard work, ending in one round at your top weight. Thrusters will likely be the limiter here!


500-m run—moderate (60% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
400-m run—fast (65% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
300m—faster (70% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
200m—fastest (75% effort)
**rest 2 mins**

500m run—moderate (75% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
400m run—fast (80% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
300m—faster (85% effort)
**rest 2 mins**
200m—fastest (90% effort)
**rest 2 mins**

(30 min cap)

Goal today is to work on PACING, not necessarily get the fastest time. You should actually feel a difference between your exertion levels on each run.

Control your breathing and cadence, control your workout! You should feel like each effort is ACCELERATING relative to the last one—not just holding on to go hard the whole time!


A. Warm Up:

15 mins for quality:
50 single skips + 20 on each leg
3 inchworm + push-up
(get a great calf/hammy stretch!)
5 box OH stretch to hollow

B. 5-min AMRAP in pairs:
P1 holds DB OH (2x 25/15)
P2: 1 round:
**Mini Cindy**
2 ring rows
4 push-ups
6 air squats
(switch, repeat for entire 5 mins)

Rest 2 mins

5-min AMRAP in pairs:
P1 holds active squat
P2 1 round Mini Cindy
(switch, repeat for entire 5 mins)

Rest 2 mins

5-min AMRAP in pairs:
P1 holds plank
P2 1 round Mini Cindy
(switch, repeat for entire 5 mins)

Score is combined rounds + reps for each round. Mini Cindy may only be completed while other partner is holding position.

Move fast, and hold. Work on positions (this = active mobility!) and focus on breathing in position to lock it in.

C. Mobility:

2 mins/side LAX ball delt smash
2 mins/side pec smash
2 mins/side puppy dog/child’s pose


A. Max set strict pull-ups

Test it! Just once!

B. Every 90 s for 5 rounds:
3 strict pull-ups

If this is too easy, add weight! Note scaling (i.e. bands/negatives) or heaviest weighted load you worked up to.

C. 3 RFT:
500-m row
15 hang power cleans (115/75)
10 T2B

Training your row (and grip) for a long Viking journey. Focus on EFFICIENCY (LEGS!) in the row and smooth, even strokes.

Barbell cycling will be key to maintaining your grip on the cleans—DO NOT go to failure!

Lastly … T2B. Kind of rude, but this is your test to link them together. PRACTICE linking under fatigue, and you’ll be better off for workouts in the future. 6 + 4; 5 + 3 + 2 … whatever you need to do!


For time:
50 wall balls (20/14 to 10/9′)
50 alternating DB snatches (50/35)
50 alternating pistols
50 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Rx+ 70/50 DB
MissFit: 14/10; 35/25; lateral step-ups; jumping C2B

Single leg and single arm movements! You’re only as good as your weakest link. This one also alternates upper/lower body, but it’s likely everything will burn. Working on power, stamina, and pacing today.

Have a strategy to keep moving smoothly. Try to string together a few bigger sets of C2B to start, even if it means resting a little. PRACTICE these tougher skills under fatigue!

Saturday—TRAIN (& Guest Day at Albany MS)

Outdoor workout today! Meet at Albany Middle School track at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. Guests welcome!

20-min AMRAP in pairs! (One person works at a time.)

200-m burpee broad jumps

With remaining time:
10 med-ball chest passes
20 MB Russian twists
10 MB over-the-back throws
20 MB fast feet

Get sweaty, work together. Note, try to “fall forward” on burpees, versus kicking legs back (kind of like an inchworm). Should be a fun burner!


In pairs, for time:

400-m walking lunge


Take the day off OR pop in for Larry’s Legendary WOD.

This is a Granite Games 2018 qualifier WOD. Scale as needed!

15 burpees over Concept 2 erg
40/30-calorie row
15 burpees over Concept 2 erg
40/30-calorie row
15 burpees over Concept 2 erg

In the remaining time…

Establish a 1-RM snatch

Quick scale:
10 burpees over rower
30/20-cal row
Find max snatch OR complete one rep at moderate weight every 30 s.

Note snatch weight in comments

A successful workout today means:

1. You aggressively push the pace on the burpees/row just over the line you think you can sustain. Try to hold pace on row #2! Do not stop on the burpees!

2. You take a few attempts working up to a heavy-ish snatch with good technique. Allow yourself some time to cool off, load your bar, etc., before you take a crack at it. If you have time, start lighter than you think to get a few SOLID reps in, then take a few jumps.