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Announcing: CrossFit Teens Program

You are invited to…

An Open House for the CrossFit Teens Program
Ages 12-16
Wednesday, September 3rd
3:30-4:00 pm

For more information, or to RSVP, please fill out the form below.

Teens mixpicWe are excited to announce that we’ll be offering a CrossFit Teens class this Fall.

Our CrossFit Teens classes are for young people aged 12-16. Our fantastic coach, Brittanie Williamson, is skilled at providing individual attention to each student in addition to helping them develop teamwork and camaraderie as group.

The Teens run, jump, push, pull, climb, carry, lift, and throw. They develop strength, power, speed, and agility. For Teens that are already involved in sports, our program serves as sports performance and injury prevention training. We teach proper positions and proper form for all athletic movements, and aim to identify and correct problems in biomechanics that can lead to injury or inefficiency.

The goals of the program are not just physical, but social and emotional as well. In addition to the physical skills, our Teens also learn to collaborate with each other, support each other, create goals, work towards those goals, and experience both success and failure.

Class will run Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 pm, starting Monday, September 8th.

To attend the Open House or to get more information, please fill out the form below.


Interested in learning more about the CF Teens Program?

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by × August 16, 2014 ×

SRSC SUPing on Saturday

by × August 9, 2014 ×


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I did not qualify to compete at the 2014 USA Weightlifting National Championships held in early July. But I had a great excuse: I’m old. After all, I’m in the Masters division of this sport. The National Championships are open to any age and it’s filled with people in their twenties. I’m forty. And hey, I’m also in one of the most competitive weight classes for women, 63k, and it’s harder to qualify as a 63 than, say, a 75+.

I’ve got my excuses down.

So when I saw that Jacqueline Jane’t, a woman with whom I’ve lifted at meets and in training, qualified for and competed at Nationals, at 51 years old and as a 63k lifter, well…I could no longer use my age and weight class excuses to explain why I wasn’t there.

If I didn’t know Jacqueline personally, I might have used her to make up some new excuses for myself: she’s probably been lifting her whole life. (Nope, found it late in life just like me.)

What happens if you really care about something, if you really try, if you really put everything else behind you in pursuit of this one thing – but you don’t succeed? You don’t meet the goal?

I haven’t competed in CrossFit in several years, but I’ve been thinking about getting back into it. Of course, I’ve got my excuses ready and in place for any lackluster performance. I’m a single parent of young children! I’m running a business! Of course I could never do that well!

I was watching the 2014 CrossFit Games online. I see this woman I’ve never seen before, Tiffany Hedrickson, blazing through the running-muscle up biathlon, and the announcers are saying she has three young kids. Shoot, there goes my ‘I’m raising young kids’ excuse.

I watch Valerie Voboril kick ass as she always does, thinking about how she not only has a young child at home, but is a classroom teacher. As a former teacher myself, I know that good teachers work around the clock and the work is never done. My ‘I have a demanding work life’ excuse – gone.

I have many more excuses in my back pocket, but at some point I gotta call myself out. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing myself for being where I am athletically (and otherwise). Quite the contrary: I’m really proud of my athletic (and other) achievements, especially because of my age and because I’ve done these things while running a business and raising young kids on my own.

The thing is, we all have perceived limitations. Everyone. Some people have families to support. Some people care for elderly parents or kids with special needs. Some people go to school full time while also working. Most people never have ‘enough’ money. Some people have faced not only personal but systemic, institutional discrimination. Many have been abused in some way in their lives. Maybe some people have a harder lot in life than others, but if you think you’re one of them, get in line.

I know these are real issues and challenges that we face daily.

The problem for me is that if I use these perceived limitations as excuses, even as I create new goals and work hard to make new achievements, then I’m always giving myself a way out of trying my best, of putting it all on the line.

Just last week on the gym floor someone said to me, ‘there’s no point in competing unless you’re going to win.’ That is such bullshit. You can’t win unless you enter the fight! And when you enter, you don’t know what the results will be. You have to risk losing in order to win. Which is why we come up with excuses as to why we shouldn’t even try, or like in my case, we try but don’t really give it 100% and hold on to all those excuses why.

Because what happens if you really care about something, if you really try, if you really put everything else behind you in pursuit of this one thing – but you don’t succeed? You don’t meet the goal? You don’t win, and you have no excuses to use?

That’s a trick question. Your answer is your own, and your answer will reflect why you do the things you do in your life and why you achieve or don’t achieve what you want, and how you handle any of it – successes or failures. And the only way to truly answer that question is to try it.

I’m ready and I invite you to join me. Let me know if you’re in.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson


by × August 7, 2014 ×

Which Shoes Should I Choose?

pink ristos
I have a closet full of shoes. And while I may not actually need seven pairs of boots (but I do, I do!) or six different colors of the same sneakers, some shoes do serve an important purpose: Shoes for the rain? Yep. Shoes for the sports I play? Yep.

Most sports have specific shoes that serve the athlete for that sport. Baseball, football, and futbol players all wear some version of cleats to grip the field while running. There’s racing spikes, wrestling shoes, even indoor soccer shoes.

Now, even though running shoes are called just that – running shoes – they seem to be the default shoe for all general athletic activities. Going to the gym? Put on your running shoes. But as many of you have noticed, traditional running shoes with all the extra padding may be your poorest choice for the stuff we do at Santa Rosa Strength and Conditioning. Let’s examine why.

Think of setting up for a deadlift. You bend down to grip the bar, set your back properly, and get ready to drive your heels hard into the ground to lift this heavy weight. You want the force generated by your legs to be transferred directly into the ground. If you’re wearing running shoes, however, that force is being partially stolen by the big old, squishy heel cushion. That heel cushion was made to absorb shock while running, but now it’s absorbing the energy you need to lift the weight.

Now picture yourself doing jerks. Dip, big drive…and land, solid, with the weight locked out overhead. Same issue: you want that drive to be strong, you want to push off the ground and force that weight up! In this case, though, not only has the squishy heel stolen some of your power, but it’s also given you an unstable surface to land on. Instead of landing on hard ground, you land on the squish. With heavy weight over your head. Sound safe?

So what shoes do we want to wear while doing Weightlifting or CrossFit training? What you want is a shoe with a thin, non-compressible sole to provide you stability. If you’re doing barbell work, a solid wedge heel is preferred. Here’s a layout of the land of your shoe choices:

Minimalist Running Shoes

Minimalist shoes, aka ‘low profile’ simply means that there’s no big squishy heel, but rather a thin, even sole. There’s been a boom in the Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 3.20.33 PMproduction of minimalist athletic shoes  due to their popularity, and almost all the running shoe companies now make at least one low profile model. Try different brands and models and find ones you like.

Here’s someone’s Top 10 Minimalist Shoes list that includes some favorites we see at SRSC, including models from Merrell and New Balance. Here’s one of many websites devoted to minimalist shoes for your perusal. Rogue sells all the Reebok CrossFit shoes and Zappos has a great selection of Inov8s. What are your favorites? Do share.

Weightlifting Shoes

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 3.18.37 PMThey might be weird looking, but they do the job right. Weightlifting shoes have a non-compressible sole with a wedge heel. Keep in mind that weightlifting shoes shouldn’t be used for running, and wouldn’t be so great for CrossFit workouts that include things like high rep box jumps or hundreds of double unders. If you want an all-purpose shoe for CrossFit training, this isn’t it. But if you’re a regular in Strength classes and often do heavy squatting, deadlifting, and pressing, or you’re getting into Olympic lifting, consider investing in a pair of weightlifting shoes, as they will improve your performance.

A great entry-level weightlifting shoe, perfect for all strength training with a barbell, is the Adidas Powerlift and it comes in all kinds of colors. There’s also VS Athletics and Do Wins. At the higher-priced end and more specific to Olympic Weightlifting are the Adidas Adipowers, Nike Romaleos, and Ristos.

Hybrids for CrossFitScreen Shot 2014-07-27 at 9.53.38 PM

Reebok was the first company to create a “hybrid” weightlifting/fitness shoe specifically for CrossFitters, and now Inov8 has followed with a very similar model. These shoes feature the rigid, wedge heel for stability and look like weightlifting shoes, but have a thin and flexible forefoot for jumping. I recommend trying one of these hybrids if you identify more as a CrossFitter rather than a lifter, you’re moving challenging weights in your WODs, and you’re seeking top performance.

Old School and All Purpose

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 9.56.47 PMChuck Taylors or Sambas (or any indoor soccer shoes) are the preferred shoes of many that have been in the iron game for a while and don’t care about those new trends and hype. They’re easy to find, aren’t a major investment, and even the knock offs are fine.  They have thin, non-compressible soles so they won’t steal your power, and they provide a stable surface to land on and push off from. They’re great for deadlifting or pressing, and can handle your running, box jumps, double unders – anything. Overall, they are a great, affordable all-around shoe for training – and you can wear them outside of the gym too!

What are your favorite shoes for training? Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, and questions below in comments.

by × July 28, 2014 ×