The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Today we have a special, 6x overdose of awesome. Who's awesome?  The House Cup captains and co-captains. 

The Ultimates


Hayley Beauchamp

  • Favorite open workout: 16.2 (t2b, DUs, cleans)
  • Least favorite: tie between 16.1 (OH lunges) and 14.5/16.5 (thrusters/burpees)
  • Best open movement: anything heavy
  • Most work in progress: anything gymnastics related
  • Favorite team: the soon to be back-to-back house cup champs, The Ultimates. Duh.

Steve Love

  • Favorite Open WOD: 16.4 because of HSPU
  • Least favorite: 16.1 because of overhead walking lunges
  • Best Open movement: Bench press... Fingers crossed that it will show up this year
  • Most work in progress Open goat: OHS
  • Favorite House Cup Team:  The Ultimates.  Duh.

The Black Mambas

Loryn Ferreira

  • Favorite Open WOD: 15.4 because I love power cleans
  • Least favorite: 16.2 because I injured myself and was out for a year after that
  • Best Open movement: power cleans, DUs, or rowing
  • Most work in progress: muscle ups, finally starting to click and get dialed in
  • Favorite House Cup Team: Black Mamba venom runs through my veins. In a good way. 

Adrian Austin

  • Favorite Open WOD: 14.2
  • Least favorite: 16.5
  • Best Open movement: pull ups
  • Most work in progress: bar muscle ups
  • Favorite House Cup Team: Obviously Mambas

2 Fit 2 Quit

Daniel Bowen

  • Favorite Open WOD: 11.2
  • Least favorite: 13.3
  • Best Open movement: Deadlifts or HSPU
  • Most work in progress Open goat: 12.5
  • Favorite House Cup Team:  2 Fit 2 QUIT baby!!
  • Favorite Open WOD: 16.5 is the only open workout I can vividly remember. It was such a long, draining WOD, and I had really dig in and push myself to complete it. I think it was one of my first WODs where I could do all of the movements (with scaled weights) overall. 
  • Least favorite: none
  • Best Open movement:  I'll take on anyone in the world in a rowing or bike off. Though I really enjoy doing high skill exercises if we're talking about fun.
  • Most work in progress: chest to bars or double unders. I'm a breakthrough or two away from really getting good with both, but they're a grind. 
  • Favorite House Cup Team:  2F2Q, obviously

House Cup 2017 - It's Time!

The first workout of the 2017 CrossFit Open will be announced tomorrow (Thursday) at 5pm. Remember, there are many ways to score points this year in the House Cup:

  • Participate! Complete the workout before Monday at 5pm and make sure your captain records your score (up to 21 points per team). 
  • Have one of the top 3 scores for males or females in the Rx or Scaled divisions (3 pts/person).
  • Spirit of the Open - from Friday to Monday you can nominate someone that embodies the "Spirit of the Open" (Up to 6 pts will be awarded each week).
  • #ubhousecup - post a pic from the weekend on FB or IG with the hashtag (up to 3 pts/team).
  • PR! - depending on the workout, some weeks will have PR points available - like getting your first-ever Muscle Up or HSPU (1 pt/person if applicable).
  • Judges Course - Complete the Judges course on the Games website (5 pts/person).
  • One-on-One Challenge - challenge someone from another team to go head-to-head for that week.  That person must agree to the challenge (2 points for the winner).
  • Predictor - have the closest prediction to what the WOD will be that week. See more below (3 points to the closest guess).

Each Wednesday during the Open, we will give a brief recap of the standings from the week prior, and we'll post the form below to let you take your guess at what this week's workout will be.  3 points will be awarded to your team if your guess is the closest to what's announced (ties are possible).

Guessing movements will take priority over time format or scheme (e.g. if you guess a 10 minute AMRAP of Wall Balls and OHS, someone else guesses 21-15-9 of HSPU and Deadlifts, and the WOD gets announced as 21-15-9 Wall Balls and OHS, you would win).  

Fill out the form below to make your submission.  Only one guess allowed per athlete.

Movement(s) *
please match the number of movements you selected for "Scheme"

For those a little less of an Open history buff than me, here is some worthwhile information:

  • Many movements have been in EVERY Open (e.g. MUs, DUs, C2Bs, Thrusters).
  • 2016 was the first Open to have the same movement in 2 workouts (bar-facing burpees in 16.1 and 16.5). 
  • Since 2012, every Open has had a repeat workout from one of the previous years (and never more than 1 repeat).
  • The last 3 Opens have ended with task-priority workouts (your score is the time it takes to complete the workout).
  • The last 4 Opens have had one workout of "task priority plus bonus time" - i.e. get certain work done in a XX:XX time, and then get more time to do more work.
  • 2015 was the first year a max-effort lift was part of a workout (15.1a).  That has yet to be seen again in the Open.
  • It was announced that 2017 will feature dumbbells for the first time in the Open - add that into the Movement Notes if you want to for extra specificity.
  • Dave Castro (runs the CrossFit Games, programs all the Open wods) has dropped "hints" on social media the last few years on what each workout will be. Take this with a grain of salt, as his "clues" are rarely clear, but this was his recent post.

Food for Thought: Alcohol as a Sleep Aid

If you are part of the reported 45% of people who don't get enough sleep at night, you might be willing to try almost anything to achieve the holy grail of recovery.  However, a recent Science Friday story on NPR says "Researchers Find that Using Alcohol to Sleep may have Long-Term Complications."

Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that using alcohol to fall asleep may actually be keeping people awake.

Dr. Mahesh Thakkar is a professor and neurology researcher at the MU School of Medicine. He’s been studying alcohol’s affect on human sleep for many years. He says that 20 percent of US adults have used alcohol- at some point- to help them fall asleep.

But, he said, “it is a pseudo-sleeping drug.  It will produce sleep for a very short time, but then it will keep you awake all night.”

Thakkar added that this is because alcohol affects sleep homeostasis – essentially the body’s internal sleep timer.

“When you drink alcohol, what it is does is it shifts your homeostasis,” Thakkar said. “You rapidly go to sleep, but the amount of sleep that you require is the same – so you wake up in the middle of the night.”

He said this may not be an issue if drinking is done socially and sporadically, but if used as a sleep aid - alcohol can lead to serious complications down the line.

“They develop tolerance,” Thakkar said. “So the second day or third day or fourth day they will need more alcohol to go to sleep. And then the fifth day, more and more – so you increase the risk of becoming alcohol dependent.”

Or in simpler terms, it increases one’s risk of developing alcoholism.

Thakkar said he hopes that by understanding how alcohol affects sleep, medications can be developed that mimic the effects of alcohol – falling asleep quickly and sleeping without dreams – but without the risk of alcoholism.

He added this could be especially useful for patients struggling with PTSD.

Come Prepared!

When it comes to working out, you get out of it what you put into it.  But if you come to class unprepared, you are limiting your experience, even if you are giving it your all.  Here are some of the things you should be doing to make sure you are prepared and at your best:

  • Hydrate - We bias our program towards short, heavy metcons.  Many are under 15 minutes.  So unless you are truly feeling dehydrated, stop using your water bottle as a crutch to take a breather and keep working!  You should be hydrating yourself thought the rest of the day so that you can stay on target during the WOD.
  • Fuel - Along the same lines, it is important to learn and remember how you need to eat prior to a workout.  Some feel best during a workout if they eat about a half hour before - others workout on an empty stomach.  Either way, how often have you started a WOD and thought "I should've eaten," "I really shouldn't of had that --insert poor choice here--."  As you plan out your day, respect your body's needs and give it the proper amount of fuel to handle your workout.
  • Mobilize - We can't tell you enough - take care of your junk!  All of us have different issues, and it would be impossible to address them all and still have time for a WOD - so whether you get to the gym a couple minutes early, or you are spending time on it at home... take a few minutes to work your mobility issues out!
  • Shoes - It goes without saying, bring your gym clothes!  We have had several people work out in jeans or work pants, or forced to just wear their socks because they forgot their shoes.
  • Tape - You know you are a CrossFitter when your RPM jump rope, lacrosse ball, mobility band, nanos, and gymnastics grips all share space in your gym bag. If you haven't already, add tape to your essentials list.  Face it - if you are a CrossFitter, it is only a matter of time until you get your 1st (or 100th) tear.  And once you've torn, your hands are useless without tape.  Need extra wrist support?  Tape 'em up.  scrape your shins on a deadlift or a box jump?  Tape!  Don't rely on us or fellow athletes - either pick up athletic tape from a sporting goods store, or some Nexcare Waterproof Tape from Walgreens and throw it in your bag.

The House Cup - Friday Night Fights

Are you ready??  The 2017 CrossFit Open starts in T minus 6 days!  That means the House Cup is just a week away!  Here are some notes for the Friday schedule for the coming weeks:

  • Each week the Open WOD will be the Friday WOD all day long.  If you can't make it Friday night or want to do the WOD in a class environment, get in Friday AM or noon.
  • Friday nights there will be no classes.  You will be able to register for a heat upon arrival.  The evening will begin officially at 5pm.  Please come early/stay late to cheer and judge!
  • Can't make it on Friday?  Each WOD is announced Thursday at 5pm.  You have until Monday at 5pm to complete the WOD and get your score to your captain.  This means you can grab a buddy and do the WOD over the weekend or on Monday during open gym.  Can't find a buddy?  Feel free to book a coach for a 1/2 hour session to take you through a warm up, help you strategize, and judge you through the WOD.  

See you then!

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

I'm excited to be able to knight (I feel like knighting is the right terminology?) two such deserving Awesomes in a row. This week's is one of the core noon crew - the people who we depend upon to bring energy and consistency to our midday. Steve is probably the best buddy to get partnered with, a total gym pro who can spot you and motivate you at the same time. Let's get to know him a little better!

Name: Steve Salta

Nickname / Alter Ego: The Reverend - I have presided over weddings

Hometown: Lake Oswego, OR

Occupation: Business Development at Healthline, Dad

When did you first start CrossFitting? June 2016

When did you first start CrossFitting at UB? June 2016

Favorite WOD: I love anything that includes a barbell off the ground. Also, any WOD that includes things that I'm not very good at, which is a lot. I find that practicing during a WOD helps me learn to be more efficient in my movement.

Least favorite WOD: Anything that includes the rower or the bike. For calories, meters, whatever...ugh. Maybe I should work on my cardio more.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? At UB. I was always interested in it because I like to push myself mentally and physically. I also like learning new things, so CrossFit seemed like a good fit. When I started working in SoMa, I immediately started looking for a gym because I like to work out at lunch. UB is half a block away from my office, so I figured I'd give CrossFit a shot. It's difficult, humbling and fun...I haven't looked back since.

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? Increased confidence in my ability to do things I never thought I could do. That...and I bounce back from hangovers quicker.

What’s your secret talent? I'm a lifelong musician.  I toured with a band for 4 years before getting a "real" job.  I still play music with multiple bands around the bay area as a session drummer and I just finished an EP with a group called Israel Mattos and the Outsiders that will release this spring.  See My Peoples, Manicato, Kapakahi, Du Uy Quintet for some samples

What was your first concert? Nelson twins, smh.  Followed by Poison and Motley Crue.

If you were a superhero or villain, what would your superpower be: The ability to subtly manipulate anyone to do what I that messed up? And to fly

Olivia Graff

Olivia's athletic origins lie in gymnastics and circus arts. After finding CrossFit in 2007, she became obsessed, and three years later left her IT career and opened United Barbell. Olivia is particularly passionate about helping people new to fitness to find joy in their growing athletic abilities. Since the birth of her daughter, Isis, in 2013, Olivia can add helping little ones find their athletic path to her list of passions.

Fight Gone Better Than Ever!

This past Saturday, 42 athletes participated in WAA's United for Youth - Fight Gone Bad fundraiser!  Plenty of you PR'd your FGB score, while some of you got your first taste of it. Despite the pain faces and sweat puddles, I believe I can speak for everyone when I say we all had an excellent time!

Sean and Connor set some early scores to beat, followed a little later by Steven M. and drop-in Josie.  But at the end of the day it was a familiar face on top of the podium!  Hayley edged out Loryn in a power-packed heat, 373 to 370.  And in the last heat of the day, Joe took 3rd place with a score of 366.  Congratulations to ALL our athletes for their efforts in this grueling workout.

WAA would like to offer our sincerest thanks to all who participated, watched, donated, and supported the event.  Also a big shout out to our sponsors, who helped us make the event memorable for everyone.

For those who missed it, here's a link to all the event photos:

We raised $1500 on the day for United for Youth - WAA's fundraiser to bring a functional fitness training course to 20 P.E. teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District on April 5-6.  That brings the total thus far to $10,161, just $2,000 away from our goal of $12k!

While FGB has now come and gone, the United for Youth fundraiser continues until April 4th.  We have some really fantastic gift packages for our top 3 fundraisers (WAA board members not included).  You can see those below.  The race is really heating up!  To contribute to one of these fundraisers, click on their name below.

Amelia Eddleman ($795 raised)
Anita Hsieh ($290 raised)
Austin Spires ($275 raised)
Brittany Vargas ($110 raised)
Chad Kindred ($250 raised)
Dock Howard ($50 raised)
Ester Hersberger ($355 raised)
Jenny Werba ($400 raised)
Lory Ferreira ($75 raised)
Mike Coutermarsh ($891 raised)

Alternatively, there's still time to become a fundraiser and get in the race for those prizes!  Click here to become a fundraiser!

Food for Thought: 6 Ways To Improve Mental Strength Before The Open

Some words of wisdom from MentalityWOD.

1. Write down at least 10 thoughts or strategies that help you keep pushing in a WOD. These could be words, quotes, mantras, reminders, cues, etc. What helps you the most when it starts to suck? If you’re stuck, consider what coaches have said to you that you’ve found helpful. If you really have no freaking idea where to start, [talk to one of your coaches!]

2. Redo some of your “least favorite” CrossFit Open WODs from the past. If you haven’t done any of them before, look through the WODs and consider ones that you wouldn’t want to come up this year, and do them, or variations of them. Consistently training your weaknesses is one of the best ways to build mental strength. Make sure that the workouts you choose make sense with your programming – For more on this read “When To Retest Benchmark Workouts”

3. Mix up your routine. Train out in the cold, in different environments or terrains, early in the morning, or late in the evening. Do something to mix up it up a bit. This might mean going to train at a different box, training at a time is “tough” for you, or asking a better athlete if you can jump in on their session. The athletes who are constantly looking for a way to train in new and uncomfortable settings are the ones who are regularly building resiliency.

4. Try a “Cold Water Challenge” and take ice baths or cold showers daily for a week or two. Sounds crazy? Well, I’m not here to give you standard suggestions. I’m much more interested in challenging you and keeping things interesting. Try it out, and see what happens. 🙂 More details HERE

5. Start adding “mental prep” to your warm-ups. If you want to be able to push through discomfort in workouts, then you gotta set yourself up for success before the WOD even starts.

Here are three options that take 5 minutes or less.

A. 5 minutes of a breathing practice (square breathing, 1-2 breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, or 20 rep breathing) – Tuning into your breath is a way to focus your attention on to something rhythmic that you can control. It helps train your focus and can often help you feel more calm and aware. Luckily, I have recorded numerous breathing practices for you in MP3 format, so you can simply listen and follow along for your mental prep – HERE

B. 3-5 mins of writing down or thinking through your specific focus and goals for the session/workout. No matter what the workout is, there is always an opportunity to improve. You may be working on pacing, going unbroken, quick transitions, your movement quality or your mental strength. Think through what you gotta do to get the most out of the workout. Know what your focus is, and any specific movement cues that will help you perform your best. You can do this very quickly in your notes, on your phone or with a coach.

C. 3-5 minutes of thinking through all that you have to be grateful for. Hop on the bike or rower and focus your thoughts on all the good stuff. There will be days that your body is aching, you have a plethora of things you’re stressin over, you don’t like the workout, or someone is just annoying the hell out of you. No matter what is going on, you can always improve your mentality by thinking through all the things you can do, the blessings you do have, the things that are going right, the people who you love, the basic needs that are being met, the opportunities you have, etc. Don’t know where to start? I got ya covered. I’ve recorded 2 separate MP3 downloads that are meant to help you develop a more grateful perspective – HERE

6. Read the “Build Mental Strength” eBook. It’s a quick read, and you’ll learn how to assess your current level of mental strength and exactly how to improve it. The book includes journal drills, new ways to look at mental toughness, workouts, and a strong mind challenge. This is for all levels of CrossFitters and it’s a must read if you want to perform your best in the 2017 Open. Grab it HERE

Cleaning (the Other Kind)

Dear athletes,

The chalk situation is getting a little out of hand.... dontcha think??


All joking aside, proper gym etiquette is a way to show respect for your fellow CrossFitters, your coaches, and the entire gym.  We are grateful you have made UB your home, but please treat the space the way you do your home - with love.  This not only includes putting your equipment away in an orderly fashion, but cleaning up after your sweat and chalk, wiping down your equipment (bars included), taking your things home with you, not distracting from class and showing up on time (on time is not in street clothes a minute before the class begins).  We want to serve you to the best of our ability.  If we are busy cleaning up your mess or waiting on you to join the class, less time and energy can be spent on doing what we love best: helping you be the most awesome version of yourself.

Cleaning Crew

For those of you who weren't aware, we offer a great work exchange program. For those who would like to contribute time & effort instead of money towards their gym fees, we offer work and cleaning shifts in exchange for any of our CrossFit or specialty classes. We do have job descriptions available upon request, but we may be able to negotiate based on your skill set.  The work exchange is for current members, so if that's you and you would like to apply, click here for more information on shifts available.

Welcome to the Fight!


The judges' briefing begins at 8:30am and heats begin at 9am. Heats as they stand now are listed below. They will run every 25 minutes from 9am on until we get through all registered athletes.

Please show up AT LEAST 20 minutes prior to your heat. After checking in, you'll be in charge of your own warm up in the back room. At the top of each heat, you'll be assigned a judge and get a mini briefing on the points of performance.

Prizes awarded to top 3 highest RX scorers, plus some other gifts to be given away (show up to find out)!


Still want to donate? Please give here:


3 rounds
1 minute at each station
- Wall Balls (20# / 14#)
- Sumo DL High Pulls (75# / 55#)
- Box Jumps (20")
- Push Press (75# / 55#)
- Row (calories)
1 minute rest between rounds  
Score is total reps completed




Additional heats will be added if needed.