Blog Archive

While we are on the subject of OPT’s slogans, here’s another: “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”.  That’s CrossFit.  The Constantly Varied nature of our workouts means that, inevitably, we are going to run up against something that is a weakness of ours.  Like ring dips.

My personal philosophy is that we need to embrace the suck in our weaknesses.  We don’t like doing it, but, to be a well rounded athlete, we need to shore up those areas that we would normally avoid.  Like today.  I know I need to have a program of pushups and ring dips to develop my stamina.  But I get bored doing that stuff.  So a day like today is perfect for me to come in, get pushed by a coach and my fellow athletes, and get a little better.


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We are privileged to host Olympic Lifting coach Charles Staley at Cactus CrossFit for a 5 hour Oly cert on Thursday night, October 21 from 5pm to 10pm.

This is the place to be to get a ton of great coaching, reps under the bar, as well as an understanding of why the Oly lifts are so great, and how to break down the movements into manageable parts.  Often times it can help to hear a different voice, and with the Olympic Lifts, sometimes hearing a different way to think about the lifts can be the stepping stone to your next level of performance!

This is a certification, you can take a test so that you can say you are Olympic Lifting Certified by Charles Staley, but it is also a great opportunity to learn more about these complex movements and get some personal coaching from one of the best in the industry.

Make no mistake, this will NOT be a classroom setting.  This will be a lifting session, with instruction and feedback from Charles personally.  EVERY person in the gym, from Kevin and Jason down to our September On Ramp graduates, would benefit from this session.  I am going to be there and will be looking to polish my technique as well as develop my coaching cues and philosophy regarding the Olympic Lifts.

This certification will cost $100, is open to the public, and our members will get their discounts according to their membership level.  Please email Kevin at [email protected] to register for this certification if you are a Cactus CrossFit Member.  The public will be able to register online next week.  The price will go up to $150 on Saturday, October 16th, so you’ll want to register early.

Don’t miss this chance to deepen your understanding and proficiency in the most technical lifts we do, the Clean, the Jerk, and the Snatch!


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Many people neglect the amount of sleep that they need or are proud of how little they can get by with. The fact is that low sleep levels can result in high cortisol levels. Cortisol is an adrenal hormone which can increase your insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels. Commonly thought of as the ‘stress hormone’, cortisol is one of those hormones you want to have in a healthy middle range. Too high is bad (especially at the wrong time) and too low is bad. Many people artificially try to manage their cortisol levels through depressants in the evening (alcohol to relax) and stimulants in the morning (coffee, soda, five hour energy drink).


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Robb Wolf is the owner of NorCal Strength and Conditioning and one of the most respected names in the CrossFit community.  His new book has just come out and if you are looking to learn more about ‘why’ to eat paleo, as well as how to eat ‘paleo’, I recommend it.  I’m still chugging through it, but there is lots of good info.

Here’s an excerpt from Robb’s chapter on fat:

Researchers reasoned that if Americans were fat, and suffering from more heart disease than other countries, they should reduce the fat in the diet.  It was like a balanced chemical equation:  Fat in the diet = FAT people.


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24 Sep 2010

Happy Weekend

Workout of the Day
Five sets of:
Back Squat x 3 reps
Rest 90 seconds
Front Lever x 30seconds
Rest 90 seconds;
and then,
Five rounds for time of:
20-yard Sprint across the alley
20 One-Arm Overhead Walking Lunges (10 each arm) w/ kettlebell
15 Wall Ball Shots

Workout of the Day
Take 15 minutes to work on Jerk technique with up to 85% of your 1-RM. If you feel good and technique feels sound, go heavy and see if you can establish a new 1-RM;
and then,
Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
3 Weighted Pull-Ups (heavy)
6 Handstand Push-Ups
9 Box Jumps (as high as you can handle)

Workout of the Day
3 rounds for time:
8 Front Squats (185/115)
400m run

Saturday, October 9th at 11:30am we will be hosting an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at Cactus Park.  We will be setting up teams to compete against Arrowhead CrossFit and Tribal CrossFit, so register on the whiteboard at the gym!  The event is free, we just want to get out into the nice weather and have some fun!

Cactus Park is at the North East Corner of Scottsdale Road and Cactus Road, and is accessible from Cactus Road.  See you there!


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Attention:  we are moving our 3:30pm women’s class on Mondays and Wednesdays to Wednesdays and Fridays, and opening it up to the men!

Workout of the Day:
Take 15 minutes to work up to a heavy Push Press + Jerk
(rest adequately between attempts);
and then,
Eight sets for max reps of:
20 seconds of Dumbbell Push Press (heavy)
10 seconds of Rest
20 seconds of Burpees
10 seconds of Rest

We should be honest about what change means to your life.  If you are starting CrossFit, and you don’t currently train or workout, be honest with yourself about what is required to get the results you want.

Take a piece of paper.  On the top, write “Fitness” on the right, and “Status Quo” on the left.  Underline each word.  Now draw a vertical line under each word.  Title one column under each heading “+” and one column “-”.


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