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5 Steps to Get Back to Working Out After a Break

It’s the middle of summer, and many of us have been away on vacations and work travel. Sometimes life gets in the way of our training regimen and we end up with an extended period where we’re not getting exercise.

It can be intimidating to return to training after a break. You’re afraid you won’t be able to do it, won’t finish the workout, you’ll be way too sore afterwards. So then procrastination sets in: you tell yourself you need to get back to it, but keep putting it off until another day. If this is you, read on.

5 Steps to Get Back to Working Out After a Break

2011-12-03 06.57.36-1#1. Get your butt in here.

Block the workout time in your calendar and prioritize it. 3 times a week is sufficient and sustainable.You need to make your training a priority that can’t get bumped by less-important things. And hopefully, you have a community of people (like we do at SRSC) that will be happy to see you when you return!

#2. Plan extra time for your warm up.

Please arrive 10 minutes before class, get a general running or rowing warm up in, then start doing some dynamic stretching and mobility work. If you’re not sure what exactly to do, just ask us. A really, really thorough warm up is essential to anyone returning to training after a break.

#3. Focus on strength training, not cardiorespiratory work.

If you previously attended Strength classes, make that your first class upon returning. If you’re coming to Foundations or Fitness, focus on the strength training portion of the class. We may modify the rep scheme or the movements to get your body and brain back into the swing of things. This is not the time to go for any PRs; focus on form. The strength sets will feel good, and will fire up your neuromuscular communication so that by the end, you’ll feel ready to go into the WOD or do some kind of energy system work.

2011-11-26 23.10.31

#4. Take it easy.

As I already said, this isn’t the time for try for a strength PR or to up your numbers. Do the best you can, but stay focused on treating your body right, not on your numbers or score. Once you’re in the swing of things and have attended several classes over a few weeks, you’ll get back to your former performance levels.

#5. Commit to post-workout recovery.

Stretch and cool down with the class, and then spend extra time on the areas you know will be or are tight. The foam roller, bands, and lacrosse balls are your friends! And as usual, drink plenty of water before and after working out, and avoid inflammatory foods – sugars, grains, alcohol, trans-fats and vegetable oils, maybe dairy or nightshades or any foods you know you’re sensitive to.

2011-12-17 06.56.00Ok? Give us a call if you need support. We’ll see you soon!


by × July 23, 2014 ×

Free Community Workout and Bring a Friend Day


Join us at Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning this Saturday, July 19th for our next free and fun Saturday workout! Come meet our community and get a taste of what we do here every day. Current members, this is a great opportunity to bring your friend and show them what you do!

Please arrive at 8:45am on Saturday, July 19th. Meet our instructors Austin, Nate, and Joanna, sign our waiver, and get yourself comfortable and ready to sweat.

This will be a team workout. The class will run for about an hour, and includes a warm up, instruction and practice in movements, a fun and challenging high-intensity workout, and a cool down and stretching period.

No experience necessary. We can and will modify the exercises for you if necessary. Please BRING A WATER BOTTLE, and wear athletic clothing and shoes in which you can comfortably run, jump, climb, push, pull and lift.

Time: 8:45 AM to 10:15 AM
CrossFit Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning
808 Donahue Street

Santa Rosa, CA 95401 US

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Event Price: FREE
by × July 16, 2014 ×

Get Outside and Play!

In my consultations with incoming members (you remember yours?) I talk about how we need to make sure we balance the stress in our lives with ‘down time.’ I like to remind people to “get outside and play!”

It’s so easy to work hard – too hard- in our culture. When we are passionate about what we do, or overwhelmed by a ton of responsibilities, we can push ourselves past exhaustion. Running on adrenaline becomes normal, and yet this is seriously detrimental to our heath.

Nearly all diseases are caused or worsened by stress, and yet most people experience at least low-level stress most of the time. It’s a deadly fuel. The millions of Americans suffering from depression, addiction, and stress-related disorders demonstrates this.

The good news is that play can mitigate the effects of stress. Play stimulates the production of endorphins, some of the feel-good chemicals in the brain that can trigger happiness and counter stress, anxiety, and depression.

So when was the last time you played? How often do you play? Is it a regular part of your lifestyle?

When you were a kid you played all the time. Children learn from their games, and play is an essential part of cognitive, physical, and social development. Through play, children learn how to interact with each other and their environment, how to see the world from different perspectives, and how to cultivate emotional maturity, compassion, boundaries, and other life skills. Children who are unable or not allowed to play often suffer from mental and emotional developmental challenges, and are less likely to succeed and thrive later in life.


A little summer pool play at my house. The kids are challenging themselves, being creative, facing fears, and having fun with this jumping contest.

Play provides us an antidote to our stressful, overworked lives and ideally should be incorporated into your life at least weekly, but preferably for a little bt every day. In fact, research shows that you are more productive if you work for fewer hours with more playtimes. You see, the brain functions better when we have frequent periods of enjoyable activity and rest, and in particular, play stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for clarity and memory. So more play can provide you more energy, clarity, and creativity for your work.

So what is play? Play is any activity that you enjoy. Sports, dancing, walking, crossword puzzles, building sandcastles, board games, rock climbing, cooking or knitting can all be considered play, depending on who you ask. It can require mental skill, physical skill, social skill, or no skill at all.

What makes an activity play is that:

  • There is no required outcome. You may still want to win the game, or complete the hike, but your enjoyment is not determined by the outcome. The goal is simple to enjoy yourself.
  • It is not quantifiable. Similar to the idea of no required outcome, play is not about what you produce. You might end up with a sweater or 1,000 points, but that is not the point. The idea is to relax and find joy. You do it because you love it.
  • It challenges you in some way. While enjoyment can be had from things were totally comfortable with, play can be really enlivening when it pushes us to our edges a bit. It could be from learning a new skill, playing with new people, or an activity with random possibilities (like a card game or unknown hiking terrain) or just something that draws on parts of your memory you do not use often (such as a crossword puzzle or trivia game.)
  • You are fully committed to the activity. Play brings the greatest benefits when you are totally engaged. Even though you are not attached to the outcome, you still need to play as though it matters, giving your full attention and presence.

In the consultations I do with incoming members, I am often asked by people who run or jog if they should continue to do so when they take up training with us. My answer: if that’s what you do to “get exercise” and “workout” then no, we’ve got you covered for exercise and working out. If you run (or cycle or whatever) for fun, joy, and relaxation – play -  then yes.

Play is a state of mind, and anything you do can be play if you choose to engage it in that way. Honor what you actually enjoy, not what you think you should do in your precious spare time.

Pasha and Chaz playing

Chaz and Pasha playing around with handstands.

The most important thing to incorporate playtime into your life is to do things that bring you joy, and that’s a quality only determined by you.

Play on!

For further reading about play, check out:

“The Lost Art of Play: Reclaiming a Primal Tradition” from Mark’s Daily Apple
“15 Concrete Ways to Play” from Mark’s Daily Apple
Exuberant Animal Resource Library



by × July 8, 2014 ×

Schedule Change for Skill Seminar: Learn and Improve the Snatch


The Snatch and Clean and Jerk make up the sport of Olympic-style Weightlifting, and many CrossFitters consider the Snatch the most challenging of the Olympic lifts. This seminar is for you if you’ve struggled with the Snatch, you’ve simply never had the time in a CrossFit class to master it or find out how much you’re really capable of snatching, or whether you’ve never even learned how to Snatch properly at all.

In this 2.5 hour seminar we’ll start with basic positions and move to fine-tuning your rhythm and technique, taking you from wherever you are now to make you better.

This course is open to the public. DATE has been CHANGED to Sunday, July 20 from 9:30 am-12 pm. Register or request more info HERE.

Instructed by Joanna Sapir, owner and founder of CrossFit Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning. Joanna has competed at the national level in Olympic style Weightlifting, regularly competes at local weightlifting meets, currently holds 5 Pacific Weightlifting Association records, and placed 2nd at Masters Nationals this past April 2014. She is a level 1 USA Weightlifting coach and Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning is a USAW club.


by × July 1, 2014 ×