Tag Archives: positivity

The Voice in Your Head

Pick up that bar mutha f***er!”

“Let’s go b**ch!”

˄ ˄ ˄ Things I’ve said out loud to myself during workouts.

It’s me trying encourage myself to stop being weak and keep going.

Have you ever listened to your own self-talk when you’re working out or before you’re about to try something difficult?

“I dunno about that … ”

“It’s a lot of weight … ”

“I can’t do that movement … ”

˄ ˄ ˄ Actual words we’ve heard around the gym.


We are SO mean to ourselves; SO negative.

We do it so often that we don’t even think it is negative. When I say it out loud, it’s in a joking or sarcastic tone, or sometimes in a drill-sergeant yell.

But it cuts so deep.

The words you use create the reality you live.

What’s worse is how your words affect the people around you.

When you say out loud “I can’t do that” or “jeez, that’s heavy,” the person next to you trying to pump themselves up to do the same thing loses confidence.

You can use the lightest, jokiest tone …

but the bottom line is …

You’re dragging them down!!!

Not cool.

Watch Wendy during a tough workout.

She suffers, it hurts, she wants to quit.

When she’s done, she goes outside and sits down with her head bowed.

You go to give her a fist bump and she barely lifts her arm.

Ask her two minutes later how it was and she says,

“It wasn’t too bad! I liked it.”


Is she lying to herself? Is that how she really feels?


This is what she tells herself every time and what keeps her coming back to do it again the next day.

Doing that every day has built her into one the best athletes in the gym.

But what do we do about it? 

We all have to work hard to eliminate that negative self-talk and start encouraging ourselves every day.

The best way I know to train myself to do something is by rewarding good behavior and having consequences for undesirable behavior.

So let’s try it!

This week, your coaches will be looking to promote positive self-talk.

Every time we hear you saying something positive out loud to yourself or someone else, we’ll be giving you high-fives or fist bumps.

Every time we hear something like “I can’t” or “that’s crazy” or similar things that don’t help you or the people around you believe you can succeed, we’ll be handing out 3 burpees.

These will be entirely at the coaches’ discretion, can be handed out at any time for any reason, and there will be no appeals.

You want to be in an environment where everyone is encouraging you to be your best ALL THE TIME.

Our job is to provide it.

Let’s do it together.

Coach “let’s go!” Jay




Next Guest Day at Hale: Saturday, August 3

All athletes and guests welcome; no CrossFit experience required. Classes at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. FREE! New guests, please arrive 10 minutes before class to sign a waiver.

Summer of Skills:

Our next few skills sessions will be:

7/31: Oly Skills (Clean) with Nathan Loe*
8/7: Oly Skills (Jerk) with Nathan Loe*

All clinics at 6:30 p.m.

These are FREE for members.

*Advanced sign-up is required. Clinics are currently full, but email heidi@crossfithale.com to get on the waiting list.

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)


Workouts for the Week


A. Power snatch

1-2 reps per minute for 15 minutes:
Power snatch

Note your last 5 (hopefully BEST FIVE!)

Today’s your day to practice a great set-up and solid positions. Keep weight manageable for the first 8-10 minutes, then feel free to add if it feels GREAT.

GREAT snatches at a lower weight beat heavier but “janky” reps, all day, every day. Toe the line, but today is NOT PR-at-all-costs day.

B. 15 minutes: As many rounds and reps as possible:
3 power snatch (135/95)
10 wall balls (20/14)
100-m run

Fast singles will do the trick for power snatch. Unbroken wall balls. Keep your heart rate up with the run, but snatch under fatigue is the main event!



5 rounds for reps of:
Bench press body weight (max reps)
Pull-ups (max reps)

This is a classic CrossFit benchmark. Choose body weight ONLY IF you can reliably do 3+ reps with this weight.

MissFit (115/75)

Kipping pull-ups are the way to roll. Rest as needed between rounds, but do one set nearly to failure!


A. Warm-up

3 Rounds:
Skip around the gym
Bear crawl around the gym
1-min plank
30s/side side plank

B. Get Sweaty

15 minutes for QUALITY:
15 good mornings (empty barbell)
15 lunge + lunge + box jumps
10 half get-ups (right)
10 half get-ups (left)

HALF Turkish Get-up (just sit-up portion).

Butts and guts!

C. Mobility

2 mins/side: pec smash
2 mins/side: lateral hip smash
2 mins/side: glute smash


Against a running clock:
at 0:00: 1000-m row
at 8:00: 800-m run
at 16:00: 500-m row
at 20:00: 400-m run
at 24:00: 250-m row
at 26:00: 200-m run

Track times for all of your splits—your pace should be getting FASTER as you go!! Use what you’ve learned for efficiency, cadence and breathing to hold it together!


A. Back squat for load:

5 sets of 3 reps

All sets are performed at 80% of 1RM. Brace between each rep.

B. 3 Rounds for time:
40 double unders
3 rope climbs
20 burpees

Shoulder things in all of the directions: Side, up top, in front!

The bigger issue here will be maintaining composure for rope climbs (breathe through the dubs!) and keeping the number of pulls down.

If you manage to go unbroken and with fast transitions, this one should be doable in under 10 minutes.

Saturday—Guest Day!!

As many rounds and reps as possible in 7 minutes:
14 slam balls
7 box jump-overs
7 sit-ups

3 minutes rest

As many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes:
10 slam balls
5 box jump-overs
5 sit-ups

2 minutes rest:

As many rounds and reps as possible in 3 minutes:
6 slam balls
3 box jump-overs
3 sit-ups

Guest Day! Each interval gets shorter (as do reps!), so it should feel like a fun build-up to a sprint by the end. Kind of like the beat drop in your favorite song.

Build your pace with each round!


2 rounds for time:
24-m 1-arm DB front rack walking lunge (1 DB, switch at half way)
24 alternating arm DB snatches
24-m 1-arm DB front rack walking lunge
24 toes-to-bars
24-m 1-arm DB front rack walking lunge
24 alternating arm DB snatches

Partner up on this one if you’re feeling like you need an easier day! It’ll be a good one to just get sweaty at lighter weights—or a shoulder and leg burner a bit heavier.

Scaling: Larrysano (50/35)
Rx: (35/25)

The Happy Game

Whenever we get down on ourselves, my kids and I play the Happy Game.

The rules are simple: You take turns asking each other,

“What are you happy about?”

The best is when they ask me, completely unprompted,

“Daddy, what are you happy about?”

My answer will be something like,

“I’m happy it’s Friday and we get to hang out tomorrow.”

My 7-year-old daughter, Evie, will say something like, “I’m happy I finished my project at sewing class today,”

My 3-year-old son, Tiger, is the best at this game. His answer is something like, “I’m happy for seeing a firetruck.”

We go around the circle two or three times or until Tiger gets distracted by another firetruck or school bus.

By the end, we’re all happier, no matter how crappy we felt at the beginning.

The first time my wife and I played this game, we thought it was some high-minded concept the kids wouldn’t understand.

We went back and forth a few times, then Evie chimed in, “My turn! I’m happy we went to grandma’s,” then said, “Tiger’s turn!”

We laughed and said, “Tiger, what are you happy about?”

“I’m happy about my blanket,” he said while holding it up.

Our minds were blown!

How did they even know what we were talking about?

Turns out, kids practice gratitude and being happy ALL … THE … TIME!

Remember being a kid, and how excited you got about new toys, new trips to different places, new activities at school?

You hadn’t “done enough” or “seen enough” to be jaded, and you appreciated everything life threw at you.

At some point, we lose that and get lost in the vicissitudes of life.

But when you play the Happy Game, all that melts away.

Try it! Next time you’re in the car with your kids or having coffee with a friend, ask them, “What are you happy about?”

Whatever they say, respond and tell THEM what you’re happy about. Then ask again … and do it at least three times.

By the end, you’re both going to be MUCH happier.

Coach “happy dad” Jay


Outdoor Guest Day: Saturday, June 15

Friends and family welcome. No prior CrossFit experience required. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to sign a waiver if this is your first time! Classes start at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. sharp. We’ll give more details on where to meet next week.

Summer of Skills!

Our first rowing clinic was a hit! I saw many of you pick up some new cues and skills to help. Hopefully it made Thursday’s workout a little more fun!

Our next few skills sessions will be:

6/12: Fix Yo’ Squat (mobility) with Heidi
6/19: Improve Your Handstand Skills with Cullen
6/26: Improve Your Ring Skills with Wendy
7/3: (off for Hero Challenge)

Please click here to RSVP for next week’s mobility session. There’s no cap on the number of athletes, but I would like to know what you struggle with MOST.

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., starting JUNE 19. Cost is $20 for members; $25 for non-members. Our regular 5:45-a.m. Group Coaching class will run alongside.

Stay tuned: In the coming weeks we will have specialty courses on endurance, Olympic lifting, strongman, basic gymnastics, and more.

Hero Challenge: July 1-4

We’ll complete 4 Hero workouts in 4 days. It’ll be like the 12 Days of CrossFit, but shorter, sunnier, and perhaps a little heavier!

You’ll continue to see some Hero WODs sprinkled throughout the programming to get you prepped. This would be a great time to start working on some key skills—you may see some chest-to-bar pull-ups and other high-skill gymnastics, so get a jump on it!

Workouts for the Week


4 rounds for time:
4 power cleans (155/115)
4 front squats
4 shoulder-to-overhead (press, push press, push jerk)

MissFit: 6 Rounds: (95/65)

Rx+: 205/145

This should be HEAVY. Like how DT is heavy—but HEAVIER.

Basically, you should be able to do the squats unbroken, but be uncertain whether you can make the rest without putting the bar down for multiple rounds. This one will feel scary. Have a strategy and hit it methodically.

If you’re uncomfortable with the movements, find a moderate weight and hit 6 rounds.

8-minute cap.


First round unbroken, MAYBE.


Fast 3 single power cleans
1 power clean + 4 squats + one S-to-OH
3 S-to-OH


For time:
800-m run
8 toes-to-bars/pull-ups (1 T2B + 1 PU =1)
8 rolling pistols/side
600-m run
6 T2B/PU
6 rolling pistols/side
400-m run
4 T2B/PU
4 rolling pistols/side
200-m run
2 T2B/PU
2 rolling pistols/side
100-m run
1 T2B/PU
1 rolling pistol/side

Have fun with the gymnastics skills today. The T2B/Pull-Up is ONE OF EACH and a big test of coordination in your kip. If you’re not there yet with one of those movements, you’ll work on the cadence of linking toes-to-bars, or mixing in knees-to-chest with a straight leg raise.

With all of these items DESCENDING, each round should feel lighter and brighter. Push the pace on the run as you keep going … accelerate! Long one today. Shoot for 20-25 mins. Hard cap at 30.

Straight leg raise/K2C (working coordination in the kip)
Candlestick roll to squat (use plate or mat assist as needed)


A. In teams of 3-4 as a relay:
3 burpee + shuttle run
Seal walk—> jog back
Lunge —> tiptoe back
Crab walk —> skip back
Wheelbarrow —> switch partners


B. 15 min AMRAP:
20-s handstand hold
15 kettlebell swings
15 AbMat sit-ups

Scale HS hold to 1-2 good attempts and something challenging
-wall walk
-HS kick up
-pulling feet from wall
-shoulders against box
-freestanding (w/or w/out wall)
-HS walk

Choose a weight for KB swings that feels fairly easy. Just heavy enough to get your heart rate up. The goal is to PRACTICE handstands today.

C. 2 mins/side superfriend calf smash
2 mins gut smash


A. Bench press: 5 x 7

Add weight as you go and find a heavy set of 7 for today.

B. In pairs:
3 rounds for total reps:

2-min AMRAP:
Partner 1 rows for calories
Partner 2 AMRAP:
3 push-ups
6 DB snatch (40/25)
9 air squats

-1 min rest-

2-min AMRAP:
Partner 2 rows for calories
Partner 1 AMRAP
3 push-ups
6 DB snatches (40/25)
9 air squats

-1 min rest-

Score is total number of reps, cals + AMRAP (AMRAP = 18 reps/round)

Today is a solid training day—your challenge is to maintain an aggressive but not all-out pace on the row and keep moving quickly through the AMRAP. When rowing this time domain for calories, aim for efficiency. 1 calorie per 1-2 strokes would be ideal (3 cals every 4-5 strokes is usually my aim).

To do this: Keep stroke rate manageable (under 30 is the goal), and push HARD through your legs. If you blow up your heart rate too quickly, your pace will suffer more in future rounds.



For time:
10 thrusters (95/65)
15 bar-facing burpees
20 thrusters
25 bar-facing burpees
30 thrusters
35 bar-facing burpees

This one will be a test of strategy, composure, and mental toughness.

How to win:
1. thrusters in 1-2-3 sets
10 is unbroken
In your 20s, do NOT put down the bar before 12 reps. Leave a second, smaller set if not UB.
In your 30s, 12-10-8 or similar. Again, leave fewer reps for the end.

2. Stay composed on the burpees. Smooth and steady wins over fast and choppy every time.

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Omar Vazquez, 25, of Hamilton, New Jersey, assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Fort Hood, Texas, died of wounds suffered April 22, 2011, when insurgents in Numaniyah, Iraq, attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his parents Maria and Pablo, sister Marisel, and brothers Pablo and Javier.

Saturday—TRAIN—Guest Day @ Beach!

20-min AMRAP:
100′ run with log
50′ walking lunge
50′ run
50′ broad jump
50′ run
20 log squats

Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty! Guests, family, and friends welcome. We’ll meet at the beach near the condos in Marina Bay (see map at Hale) at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Leave an extra 10 minutes to walk to site from car.


“The Mule”

21-15-9 reps for time of:
Deadlifts (225/155)
Burpee pull-ups

Rx insano: 315/225

This is a quick, heavy workout Larry’s been eyeing from the Rogue Invitational (one of the CrossFit Games qualifiers).

NOW, that said, if you’ve trained hard this week, scale back. Plan 10 reps + at your deadlift weight. The burpees will blow up your forearms and grip a bit.

If you know what you’re getting yourself into and you’re here to THROW DOWN, get after it, but keep it cute. Take your time to set up for heavy deadlifts and stay composed.