The Barbell WOD

Sunday, July 27 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Whether you spent the weekend at United Barbell learning Oly from the Grandfather of Weightlifting and the California Strength team or glued to the television watching the CrossFit Games, we hope you spent the weekend getting fired up to get back in the gym, set some goals and get to work!

As you look over your goals, ask yourself "Are you taking advantage of UB to your best ability?" If you want to get better at gymnastics - are you going to open gym and asking? If you want to be more mobile, are you coming to the gym early, or taking advantage of coach Kristin's "mobility express" on Friday nights? If you want to work on other skills, are you getting the extra time and attention you need?

We want to give you all as much support as possible in achieving your goals. With this in mind, we are proud to be announcing our partnership with California Strength in releasing The Barbell WOD Hour.


For those of you who have been researching a separate strength program and feel a little overwhelmed by all the options out there, the Barbell WOD is a 1 hour, 3x/week holistic strength program developed for CrossFitters. The program is periodized around the CrossFit competitive calendar (Open, Regionals, Games) and is meant to simultaneously develop foundational squat and pressing strength while also developing competency and strength in Olympic lifting. This programming is meant to enhance your current CrossFit regimen while focusing your strength training. While we are not creating a Barbell WOD class, we are creating an informal BarbellWOD Hour and releasing the structure this week. If you want access, the program is online -- complete with online lift/workout tracking, community forums and soon there will also video analysis from some of power and Oly's finest instructors (who wouldn't want their squats watched by Mr. Mark Bell himself?!). Have we peaked your interest? The site goes live this afternoon at 2 ... Check it out!

Monday's WOD

7 Rounds:

- 20 Double Unders
- 12 Kettle Bell Swings
- 6 Strict Handstand Pushups
- 200m Run

Strength Workout Of The Day

Back Squat

3x5 85%

Foot Elevated Split Squats


Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deads


Saturday/Sunday WOD - 830 AM ONLY

Friday, July 25 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


PLEASE NOTE: There is only a supersized 8:30AM class today and tomorrow. All other classes are canceled for the CalStrength Olympic Lifting Seminar. Thank you for your understanding and we hope to see you there!

Is that a firework burpee? ... Or are you just happy it's morning...


Coaches Choice!

Aka, "Wong's Suprise!"

The 2014 CrossFit Games

Thursday, July 24 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


As you come in today to get your dead lifts on, remember to check in to the 2014 CrossFit Games. The WODs have been made, the finalists have packed their compression gear and are awaiting their "go" signal today -- in fact, for the competitors are already one day in! Check out the schedule of events, and log in to ESPN3 to watch the whole weekend live, or watch on your TV on ESPN 6-7 today and ESPN2 5-7 Saturday and Sunday! If you have been sleeping on the job and want to catch up on what you've missed, check out the live footage archive and see your favorite games masters, individual and team athletes throw down. Who are you rooting for?

CrossFit Games - Masters

Friday's WOD



Partner WOD

- 50 Front Rack Kettlebell Step Ups
(Partner in Hold Elbow Plank)
- 800 Meter Row
(Partner in Overhead Plate Hold)
- 50 KB Cleans
(Partner in Chin over Bar Hold)
-400m Run

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Wednesday, July 23 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


This week's awesome comes to class with enthusiasm, an appetite for learning, and a side of sassy east coast flair. She is the first to come in in the mornings (if the buses are on time), and the last to leave after class. She's not just hanging around, Courtney means business... the business of becoming a CrossFit badass.

Courtney has been setting goals for herself since she joined UB. She works diligently to tick them off one by one... kipping pull ups? Check. Strict pull ups? Check. Better mobility? Check. But what's great about our heroine of the week is she never settles. There is always a new goal to reach - that's why you'll find her spending her weekend at the California Strength Seminar instead of soaking in summer "sunlight." She even got shiny new oly shoes and knee sleeves to prep! As long as she's got something to say about it, nothing will get between this lady and CrossFit rockstar status.

Courtney is one dedicated chica, and all I have to say is keep chipping away lady! Your an inspiration to us all!

Buddy Carry
Only a rockstar does buddy carries in heels!
...CrossFit, bringing fun poses to couples since 2001.


- Ritch Loop

- 30 Burpee Box Jump Up n Overs (24"|20)
- 50 Knees to Elbow
- 30 Burpee Slam Balls Run
- Ritch Loop

Strength Workout Of The Day

Back Squat

10x3 (75-80%)

in any order for quality

- 100 Banded Good Mornings
- 50 Weighted GHD Back Ext (25# | 15#)
30 Heavy WB (30# | 20#)


Tuesday, July 22 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Let's play a little mental experiment. Imagine ... You are in the middle of a WOD. You can feel the lactic acid creeping in and your form starts to break down - but you keep plowing through. Cue your coach - they tell you "reset your back!" "knees out!" or "head position!" Now for the important question: how do you react? Do you listen or do you just keep moving for the sake of finishing with a faster time despite poorer mechanics, performance and safety risks? Do you take a moment to hear what is being said, or do you get angry and frustrated at the coach for interrupting you? What ever it is, your reaction is a measure of your coachability.

Want to get better? Don't take corrections and cues personally.

For those of you who don't make the corrections, you might be thinking: "I want to be faster & I want to win, so just keep moving." Maybe you are thinking "it hurts so bad, just get through it." Or perhaps it is as simple as "I can't calm my body/mind down enough to listen," But before you commit yourself to these mentalities - let's look at the consequences:

  • Safety: This is the most obvious. We coaches are trying to help you achieve your goals in an orthopedically safe manner. We have your best interest in mind. If you choose to ignore your coach, you are potentially putting yourself at risk of injury.
  • Bad habits die hard: Movement is built on repetition. If you do 5 perfect deadlifts during a warmup but do 30 poor form deadlifts during a WOD - which do you think your body will remember? (Keep in mind your habits will then determine the positions, postures, and movements you adopt outside of CrossFit)
  • Performance: Our goal as coaches is to teach you perfect form, and then challenge your capacity to maintain it under change - such as load or high intensity. Performance is your ability to do exactly that. If you slop your way though to the finish, you are not only missing out on the physical benefits of doing an exercise right, but you are missing the point all together.

All of that sounds pretty bad, right? Well here's the good news: coachability is a mental and physical skill. It is another layer of technique. Once you become aware of it and put in the effort to improve it, you will allow us to more effectively give you the tools you need to become the rockstar athlete you want to be.

Wednesday's WOD

Hang Squat Snatch


"Meet your Maker"

"Beast Makers" (...think man makers but "beastlier")
30 Double Unders

Food For Thought: Spicy Tuna Cakes

Monday, July 21 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Spicy Tuna Cakes
Recipe from nom nom paleo.

Spicy Tuna Cakes


  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee, divided
  • 10 ounces canned albacore tuna packed in water, drained
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato
  • finely grated zest from 1/2 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium lemons, cut into wedges (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and use a brush to grease a 12-cup regular sized muffin tin with one tablespoon of melted ghee.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, scallions, and cilantro. Add the mashed sweet potato to the tuna mixture, and gently combine.
  • Then, mix in the lemon zest, jalapeño, the remaining two tablespoons of ghee, eggs, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • (Not sure if you’ve added enough S&P? Take a small portion and fry up a little pancake to see if the seasoning is right!)
  • I use my hands to mix everything together because that way I can make sure that the fish chunks aren’t overly broken up.
  • Scoop a quarter cup of the mixture into each greased muffin tin cup and flatten with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake the tuna cakes for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out cleanly.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool. The easiest way I’ve found to get them out is to put the wire rack on top of the muffin tin ...flip everything upside-down, and tap them gently on the counter. Voila!
  • Grab a lemon wedge and squeeze some juice on your tuna cake before your pop it in your mouth.
  • Alternatively, store them in the fridge, and when you’re ready to eat, skillet-fry the cakes in some melted fat over medium heat. Crisp the edges, and you’re good to go.

Tuesday's WOD

Tabata Gone Bad

- Row (calories)
- Wall Balls
- V- Ups
- Pistols
one minute rest between exercises

USAW National Championships - RESULTS

Sunday, July 20 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


This weekend was a great demonstration of power and athleticism. The USAWeightlifting world brought out their A game this weekend with several weight classes having epic battles for the gold down to the last lift. Many many records were broken and many PRs were set. Personally, I experienced a new sense of team and vision for the sport that left me inspired and hungry for more weight on the bar!

For those of you who got to see it, I hope you were equally inspired! And if you weren't excited enough for this weekends Olympic Weightlifting Seminar with California Strength -- now you get to be taught by national 2 time national champions and 2014 nationals medalists!

Here are the results from your favorite lifters!

UB Coaches

Coach Jenny 19th place (Snatch - 73k (161#); Clean and Jerk - 85k (187#); Total - 158 (348.33))
Coach Kristin 10th place (Snatch - 83k (182#); Clean and Jerk - 105k (231#); Total - (414#))

Some of Your New Friends from the California Strength Team

Rita Benvenidez 11th place (Snatch - 75k (165#); Clean and Jerk - 97k (213#); Total - 172 (379#))
Nicole Lim 6th place (Snatch - 57k (125# ); Clean and Jerk - 77k (169#); Total - 134 (295))
Rob Blackwell 2nd place (Snatch - 145k (319#); Clean and Jerk - 160k (352#); Total - 305 (672))
Spencer Morman 1st place (Snatch - 154k (339#); Clean and Jerk - 192k (423#); Total - 346 (762))


Monday's WOD

Push Press

3 x 3

3 Rounds:

- 25 Ring Pushups
- 15 Pullups
- 10 Sumo Deadlift High Pull (115# | 75#)

Strength Workout Of The Day

Tempo Bench Press



Weighted Dips


Incline Dumbbell Pullovers


Dumbbell Oblique Twists

- 2x5
- 3x2
- 20 Rep Drop Set

Dumbbell Front Squats


Good Mornings


100 Bandy Side Steps

Sunday Inspiration - Check Out Colleen

Saturday, July 19 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Want to know what it is like to be a Regionals athlete? Sevan Matossian asks NorCal Regional athletes about their training methods.... Colleen is in there twice!


Partner Wod:

- 40 Power Cleans (135# | 75#)
- 200m Run with Slam Ball (50# | 35#)
- 30 Power Cleans (155# | 95#)
- 200m Run with Slam Ball
- 20 Power Cleans (175# | 115#)
- 200m Run with Slam Ball

Saturday WOD

Friday, July 18 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Did you figure out who was in last week's Saturday blog photo?


Congrats on your engagement Tao Tao! We are so happy we got to be a part of your engagement shoot!


Turkish Get Ups


5 Rounds:

- 2 KB/DB Walking Lunges
- 60s Max Calorie Row

Strength Workout Of The Day

SWOD Surprise!

USA Weightlifting National Championships

Thursday, July 17 2014 Posted by Jenny Werba


Have some free time Friday -Sunday this weekend? Tune into the live feed for the USA Weightlifting National Championships. Watch your current coaches (not to mention get a preview of the awesome that is the Cal Strength Seminar Staff) compete throughout the weekend.

UB Coaches

Coach Jenny (Friday 2pm Pacific)
Coach Kristin (Sunday 12pm Pacific)

Some of Your New Friends from the California Strength Team

Rita Benvenidez (Friday 630 Pacific)
Nicole Lim (Saturday 10am Pacific)
Rob Blackwell (Sunday 2pm Pacific)
Spencer Morman (Sunday 4pm Pacific)


And for a little more reading, here is a blurb from my teammate Sandra (lifting tomorrow at 930 Pacific) on prepping for an oly meet.

Preparing for a competition is interesting.... interesting, exciting, fun, frustrating, scary, and truthfully, hard. You have to endure longer and harder training. You need to push through any mental and physical pain you may have. The preparation time is often longer but can be more intense than the actual competition. Those of you going for the CrossFit Games know what I mean.

When I prepare for a big competition I do a few things differently. But the biggest thing I do is visualize lifting not only during training, but throughout the day. It is the last thing I think about before I go to bed at night. Your subconscious can analyze and work out problems better than your waking mind, so use it. Walk through the venue, the warms ups and then successfully make each attempt in your head. Fall asleep working on the part of the competition that you need to improve the most. Your mind is your ally. It can help you to overcome the fears, the missteps and the doubts. More importantly your subconscious can help you to realize it is not so unknown, you just need to tap into your mind and all that mental and physical preparation and destroy that fear. Go to bed thinking it, achieving it, and you will be surprised how much more focused you are when you are actually doing it.


for time:

400m run

15 - 12 - 9 - 6
- L Pull Ups
- Strict Press
400m run