Happy 7th Birthday UB!

We interrupt our regular awesome feed to celebrate this day of love.  No, I am not talking about Valentines day... I am talking about our love for you!

Yesterday United Barbell turned 7!  

I can still remember our first day of classes. Olivia and I anxiously awaited to see who would come into our first day of class - power cleans and narF (Fran done backwards).  Despite sleep deprivation we were all sorts of giddy and excited when we had at least a handful of people in every class that day.  As time passed, we hosted challenges, seminars, witnessed athletes marry, have kids, seen epic athlete PR dances, and have had overall good times. From August 16th 2010 through today, United Barbell has exceeded all of our expectations.  

We count ourselves extremely lucky to have such a great group of people to share our dream with every day - you make UB what it is today!  Thank you! An extra special thank you to our coaches, who all share a passion for helping every athlete leave the gym stronger every day. Your dedication is frosting on our 7 layered-cake!

(We hope to see you on Saturday at our anniversary pot luck at 1pm @UB!)

The 2017 Ultimate Lift Off!

Did you been watch this year's CrossFit Games?  Did you see 17 year old Guilherme Malheiros snatch 292??  Are you inspired??  Good!  Because the ULTIMATE LIFT OFF is coming!

Bring your gains and get ready to rumble!  It's UB's 6th year of getting our super totals on (Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Squat, Bench, Deadlift).  Who's game?

giphy-1.gif

Here's how the event works gonna work:

  • You will have 20 minutes to find your maximum snatch and clean and jerk.
  • Changed this year: You will have 18 minutes to find your maximum back squat, bench press, and deadlift
  • You will have 3 attempts at your heaviest weight for each lift.
  • You will perform all the lifts in order: snatch, clean and jerk, back squat, bench press, and deadlift. To participate in the competition, you must attempt all five lifts.
  • Heats will start every 20 minutes. If you are late, you cannot lift.  No exceptions.
  • Your score will be calculated by Sinclair for your Oly lifts and Wilks formula (each lift by pounds lifted to body weight) for your power lifts. (New this year: All athletes will weigh in at the beginning of the day)
  • A complete list of rules (including the requirements for each lift) will be posted Friday in the gym along with the start list.
  • To secure your spot please do both of the following by August 28th:
    1. Register for the event here.
    2. Fill out our maxes form so we can assign you a heat.

Food for Thought: The Power of the CrossFit Community

The UB community.  It's what keeps me coming back and has me excited to come to work in the morning.  (Article from BoxRox)

The sense of community at CrossFit is unique; everyone knows one another, there is always someone to help with technique, you compare WOD results, discuss competitions etc.  This doesn’t happen in regular gyms, no one speaks to one another except to occasional ask “are you using this?” At CrossFit you know names, life stories … you know the people, they are your. But why is this community so important?

Community-634x289px.jpg

Social Support

The community at CrossFit always provides support. How often have you encouraged others that haven’t finished the WOD yet or even been cheered on yourself? Often people stay behind after they have finished their workout just to provide moral and verbal support to another CrossFitter who is completing a qualifier for competitions.

The importance of social support is that it provides motivation. When we’re tired and are struggling to complete a workout we begin to doubt our ability to finish, having people encourage us gives us the belief that we can do it!
This happened to me most recently during the CrossFit Games workout 13.2. I’ve never managed a STOH at 52.5 kg but told my judge that I was going to give it my best shot however I wasn’t really hopeful. My judge replied “Don’t worry you got this!” and encouraged me throughout the whole workout and in the end I managed 20 reps in total at 52.5kg!
Without that encouragement I probably wouldn’t have put so much effort in as I didn’t believe I could do it. CrossFitters always come together when facing tough workouts, we push each other to perform better and faster than ever before. As I demonstrated, we can manage to complete workouts we didn’t even think were possible!

The support of the CrossFit community even affects us physiologically, changing the hormones in our bodies. Research at Oxford University found that working out in a group resulted in a greater release of endorphins than when working out alone, even when the same amount of work was done. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that create a sense of excitement, exhilaration and happiness. The release of endorphins is what causes that high you feel when you finish a workout; sometimes known as a “runners high”.

Social Liberation

2c9764baae7543ff57e36f66a65f7aeb.jpg

The CrossFit community is also special because it is full of like-minded people who think it is acceptable to give an all-out effort and train as hard as you want. In a traditional gym, if you carry out a 2k row with 20 air squats OMEM, you would get a lot of funny looks as you jump on and off the rower. Especially when you collapse to the floor afterwards trying to gulp in air for 5 minutes after you complete your workout! At CrossFit the community welcomes and encourages you to really test your ability to go all out! We can scream and grunt as we lift heavy weights, we can fall to the floor in a sweaty heap after using the Airedyne, we can cry with frustration, even laugh at disasters. This is a special environment filled with incredible people who think it’s ok to do what you want and will even try and help you achieve your goals.

The sense of community, sometimes known as a 'cult' outside outside of the box, is one of the special features of CrossFit. Working out within our CrossFit community makes us feel good and encourages us to push ourselves to new limits that we didn't think were possible. It is a special thing that we can develop further by welcoming new members and making them feel accepted as part of that [local and] international family.  

7 Year Anniversary Potluck This Weekend!

We still can't believe UB is turning 7!  We really hope you will join us Saturday afternoon from 1-3 for delicious potluck food and drink and the best company around!  Help us reminisce about 7 whole years of gains, growth, and good times!  We'll also be congratulating our year 7 ambassadors' of awesome!  We hope to see you there ... after all, we wouldn't be UB without yoU!

United Barbell: Now the Home of BIRTHFIT SF!

Have you noticed the increase of strollers around during open gym?  This is because, beginning this year, I have been chosen to be the BIRTHFIT affiliate for San Francisco! I am on a mission here to support the bay area mommas and mommas to be throughout the bay area!  Being BIRTHFIT is a choice.  It is about all education, empowerment, and self nourishment.  Through four pillars: chiropractic, nutrition, mindset, and fitness, I plan to help women train for (or recovering from) one of the biggest athletic events a woman will face in her life.  Want to see what it's all about?  Check out BIRTHFIT SF's site!

Know a new momma who could benefit from some mom-focused time being supported by other new moms?  Pass along the info for our next Postpartum Series! 

What is the postpartum series?

Your body has done an incredible job of growing a life for 9 months. You’ve given birth, taken time to rest and bond with your little one, and now you’re thinking about getting back into working out. Before you head out for that run, or start heavy lifting in CrossFit again come hang out with BIRTHFIT for an 8 class, 4 week series to re-establish your core and wake up your posterior chain. This series will encourage continued healing after birth and set up a solid foundation for getting back into your workout routine. The best part is, you’ll be with other moms who are going through the same thing as you. Non-mobile babies are welcome to join. 

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

In this weeks awesome post we bring you Rylan. For those of you who know him you may be saying to yourself "yeah, no brainer". For those of you who don't, Rylan always manages to maintain a positive air about him and is always there to cheer on his fellow athlete. He is always actively seeking out our eyes and guidance to better improve his form and strive towards virtuosity in his movements. His positivity, support of those around him, and desire to continue to chase improvement in his athleticism and mindset are a inspiration to others and a driving factor in what makes our job as coaches the best job in the world.

Name: Rylan Collins

Nickname / Alter Ego: Rhyno

Hometown: Cumberland, Maine originally. San Francisco now

Occupation: Software Engineer

When did you first start CrossFitting?: February of 2016

When did you first start CrossFitting at UB?: July of 2016

Favorite WOD: I've been going to the Strength WODs a lot lately. More than anything, I've found that focusing on my technique has improved all my movements. SWOD is a great way to get guidance from coaches and focus on individual lifts.

Least favorite WOD: I have a hard time with any WOD that takes longer than about 10 minutes, to be honest. I've been trying to push myself harder lately but I just get winded quickly. I've always been more a sprinter.  .... Also, burpees. Obviously

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? I have a few friends that had been raving about it and I was getting bored of my old routine. My favorite thing about CrossFit is the class aspect. It forces me to try new things and it never gets boring.

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? I'm a lot more flexible than I used to be. Before trying CrossFit, I never thought to stretch or mobilize. I still have a ways to go, but at least I can touch my toes now.

What is your favorite cheat meal? A spicy pork kimchee burrito from HRD.

How has injury played into your athleticism and mindset fortitude as an athlete? When I first started CrossFit, I tore my shoulder labrum at a different box (I won't name any names). I was trying OH squats for the first time and went way to heavy. It was a humbling experience. Since then, I've learned how important form and technique are. I always try to make sure I'm doing movements correctly before I push myself too hard. Not injuring myself is way more important for gains than that extra 15 pounds.

Join Us for Our Seventh Anniversary!

It's hard to believe it, but next week UB will be turning 7!!  We had initially planned on having the summer slam co-joined on the same day, but we discussed it and decided the community could use some good ole fashioned community bonding/appreciation time!

Come celebrate our 7 year anniversary with the UB family!  We have accomplished so much and come so far over these last 7 years!  We are so proud of the progress you have all made as athletes, our staff as coaches, and ourselves as captains of the helm.   So help us celebrate all the greatness.  We couldn’t have done it without every one of you!  Join us for a pot luck lunch Saturday at the gym on August 19th at 1pm.  We will be doing a raffle, announcing this years Ambassadors of awesome, and simply enjoying the amazing community that is United Barbell!!

We hope you can join us!  Dress casual, (but no Lulus allowed)!

Open Call for Work Exchange!

We interrupt our normal Tuesday Food for Thought broadcast for an work exchange open call:

Work Exchange Program

United Barbell offers a work exchange program for those athletes who wish to contribute their time and effort instead of money in exchange for classes at UB. Work Exchange participants have a unique opportunity to truly become an integral part of the UB community.

This is not a volunteer position.  One hour of work = 1 free class. We require a commitment to a fixed schedule for 3 months, and we expect participants to demonstrate dependability, punctuality, and accountability. Currently we are seeking additions to our cleaning and maintenance crew:  

Cleaning & Maintenance

Hours by arrangement

Cleaning and Maintenance shifts require a little “down and dirty” work, cleaning and stocking our bathroom and shower, vacuuming the gym floor, cleaning windows, cleaning and maintaining equipment and reporting any defective or broken equipment. In return you receive not only free classes but the everlasting love and gratitude of the staff & community of UB!

Apply for Work Exchange

Be aware that we have limited capacity for work exchange participants - if you would like to take part in this program please email gym@unitedbarbell.com and state what shifts you would like to take, your relevant skills, and why you think you are a good choice for the work exchange program.

Please Vote!

Robot Vote

It's Tee shirt slogan voting time!!   First, thank you for your many shirt slogan submissions!  We had an abundance of entries this year, and you have all proved to be quite the creative bunch! 

Here's how it's going to work.  You have from today through next Monday the 14th to vote for your top 3 slogans.  The winning slogan will get an illustration to match the concept, or if the submission had an attached illustration it will be printed with that illustration.

Each person only gets one vote and every vote counts!  Help us make our 2017 shirt awesome!

Look How Far You've Come Baby!

When this lady first earned an awesome post back in 2015, she had been with us two years and had begun to peek out of her shell. Her continued unfolding both as an athlete and member of our community in the time since has been something I feel privileged to behold!

UB has always been a huge fan of our quiet and quirky engineer types (we are in the heart of SOMA), and we have a few. Don't let her quirky-morning humor fool you - there is nothing quiet about this woman's determination and drive.  She has found a love of the barbell, working her technique in and out of class. She enjoys it so much in fact, that she has ventured twice onto the oly competition platform. In fact, Brigitte and Peter "TPJ" will both be competing this weekend at the Redwood Empire in Cotati.  If all of that wasn't enough to inspire a high five, she has also become a regular face in the cheering squad of most any UB associated event at or away from the gym... and she is never shy about donating baked goods to the cause. There is no doubt about it: Brigitte has always been all heart, and we sure are lucky that she chooses to share it with us!

Name: Brigitte B.

Hometown: New York 

Occupation: Software Engineer

When did you first start CrossFitting? Well I have calendar events for UB going back to 2013, so I guess that makes it 4 years? It's really been that long? 

Favorite WOD: I'm usually pretty happy with something like Grace, Isabel, or Randy.  I like being able to focus on one lift and not worry about things like how many reps each round is, how many rounds + reps I've gotten through, or how I'm gonna get myself from wall balls to pull-ups through a wall of whirling jump ropes. 

Least favorite WOD: Anything with running, unless it's a partner WOD and Erin can run for me.  

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?  My boyfriend had somehow got exposed to CrossFit at work and started going to a box near his office. After a few months of his raving about how great it was, I started looking for a gym of my own. 

What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life?  I'm finding I have an easier time talking to new people. It's not so much new confidence as being surrounded by so many people who are more outgoing than me. 

What’s your secret talent? I make stuff, and the more stressed out I get, the more stuff I make. It's not just baking - it's jewelry, pasta, wooden things, knitting, sewing, whatever I can fit in my apartment.

What is your favorite thing to bake??  It's not cupcakes, actually. Those are easy, and they go quickly, but the ones closest to my heart are Italian bakery style cookies. The rainbow cookies and sprinkly butter cookie sandwiches that I started making after I left home and didn't find any that felt right. I usually go a little nuts with them during the holiday season.

What was your first concert? I think that might've been Dope and Omniblank in Rochester, NY. It was a small club show and one of Omniblank's last shows before they broke up, so I still feel pretty lucky to have made it.

What is your biggest phobia? Anything with more than 6 legs. There's a very distinct "spider scream" that some people have heard from the UB shower.

Pick a superpower.  Teleportation. Never late again.

What inspires you?  A whole lot of random stuff. A lot of the stuff that inspires me also gives me really bad ideas, so it might not be a good thing?

unnamed.png