Are you IN THE OPEN at Arena Ready?!

Starting on Saturday, October 12th - and for five consecutive Saturdays - our daily WOD will be the current week's CrossFit Games Worldwide Open workout (for those of you who have done The Open at AR previously you know the drill).  On Saturday, October 12th we will do "Open Workout 20.1"... whatever that may be (we shall find out on Thursday, October 10th at 5pm, along with the rest of the world).  Every Thursday at 5pm the Open workout will be released, and the following Saturday we will do the WOD as a gym during all Saturday morning classes.  

Each Saturday class during this five-week time period will consist of multiple heats of the Open workout, and each athlete should expect to do the WOD during one of the heats and also judge a fellow athlete during another heat.  You are, of course, welcome to stay for as long as you like to cheer on other athletes as they tackle the WOD, or continue to help with judging.  These "Open Saturdays" are pretty energetic and are really fun days at the gym - and many AR members like to hang out for a few hours to watch, judge, and cheer for their friends.  We will continue to ask you to sign-in for class, just like any other Saturday, to save your spot during that hour.

If you're not formally entered in The Open you can still do the workouts at AR, and you'll participate in heats just like those of us who are registered for the event.  But if you plan on working out on Saturdays (or even on Sundays) during those five weeks anyway you may as well sign-up and officially participate in the fun!

It's fourteen days until the first workout ("20.1") is announced, and now is a great time to register for this awesome worldwide event which you'll be able to participate in with your fellow friends and members at Arena Ready.  You can register for The Open through the CrossFit Games website here (registration cost is $20):

When registering yourself please be sure to select Arena Ready CrossFit as your affiliate so that your profile appears on our affiliate roster. 

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

A look back at Open 16.2 courtesy of our old friend, former AR member, and Moratorium violator, Brian Campbell

WOD For 09-26-19:

On a Running Clock…

A) At 0:00

800m Run (you pick the pace)

B) From 7:00 - 17:00

AMRAP 10 Minutes:

12 Deadlifts @ 185/135 lbs

21 Medicine Ball Sit-ups @ 20/14 lbs

12 Single Dumbbell Overhead Squats @ pick load (6 Right / 6 Left)

C) At 20:00

800m Run (you pick the pace)

*For the Single DB Overhead Squat pick a loading that you can do with good, safe technique and to full range of motion (or as close to it as possible with solid positions). Picking a weight that’s too heavy and doing the reps sloppily and/or with poor position is counter-productive — it takes a movement that is GREAT for fixing your patterns and turns it into a reinforcement of bad habits. Here’s a hint: if you have limited mobility and/or stability in your shoulders, thoracic, hips, or ankles (or all of the above) then it likely needs to be fairly light, regardless of how “strong” you are.

Date & Venue Change: Sparkle's Celebration of Life

Taking a moment from the Open announcements to update the Arena Ready community about the date & location change for Sparkle’s Celebration of Life. The new date & venue are as follows:

Sunday, October 13th From 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Centre Concord

5298 Clayton Road

Concord, CA 94521

WOD For 09-25-19:

5 Rounds For MAX REPS (Start Every 3 Minutes):

12 Dumbbell Bench Presses @ 50/35 lbs (each side)

1 Set of MAX REPS Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

(Rest during any remaining time until the next 3-minute mark)

*We consider "1 Set" of max reps C2B pull-ups as many as you can safely do without coming down from the bar (be smart, wrap your thumbs, and stop before your grip goes!)


EMOM For 10 Minutes:

12 Burpee Box Jump Overs @ 24/20 in (MUST Face The Box)

*Start at 12 reps in the first minute and try to hold for all 10 minutes OR for as many minutes as possible.

*Score by your LOWEST rep round among the 10 minutes.

(e.g. 12-12-12-12-11-11-11-11-10-9 equals a score of 9)

The 2020 Open Is Coming

I left you alone until yesterday (you’re welcome) but this is now officially the start of my 2020 Open Campaign…

It's that time of year again (again?)… except it’s now going to be a different time of year moving forward. But I digress. The worldwide 2020 CrossFit Games Open begins IN JUST 16 DAYS on October 10th with the announcement of 20.1 and registration is live!  This is one of the most exciting times of the year at Arena Ready, and this time will be the first “fall” Open ever at AR.

Experienced CrossFitters at Arena Ready know what lies ahead (well, sort of ;-p), while newer athletes/members will likely be curious what all the hubbub is about these next several weeks. We will post more detail (and many reminders) about "The Open" in the coming weeks, as well as some flashback moments from several awesome and inspiring performances over the last few years during The Open at AR.

For the time being, particularly for the newcomers, start by clicking here for a simple summary of what The Open is all about.  The level of positive self-discovery one tends to encounter in the encouraging, inclusive, and competitive environment that is The Open is something most athletes never forget (or regret).  

In the last five years OVER HALF of Arena Ready's members registered and participated in The Open - a participation level much higher than just about any gym we are aware of... so this year we are looking forward to the same enthusiasm and participation from our athletes. The Open workouts are inclusive, will have an option for scaled AND masters athletes (AKA older athletes), and will challenge you to tackle your weaknesses and push hard on your strengths.  And few things can beat the unbelievable energy and camaraderie that transpires over the course of The Open workouts hosted at AR.     

"But I'm still pretty new to CrossFit, and I'm so far from being considered a 'high level' CrossFitter... should I participate in The Open?"  Assuming you are healthy (i.e. injury free) and training fairly consistently (at least 3x per week on average), then the answer is likely YES!  We always like to use the example of entering a 5K or 10K running race as an analogy - nearly everyone who enters a 5K or 10K (or even a marathon for that matter) knows they probably won't win, but they participate and compete anyway.  Why?  Because it gives them an opportunity to train for something and get better, to compete with and support friends new and old, and to learn a lot about what you're actually capable of... often times it's more than you think.  

More details to come but if you have immediate questions please speak with a coach at the gym!  When you register please make sure to SELECT ARENA READY AS YOUR AFFILIATE.

So what are you waiting for?  Are you IN THE OPEN?

A look back at Open 16.1 at Arena Ready nearly four years ago (video courtesy of Brian Campbell)

WOD For 09-24-19:

With a Partner For Time:

2500m Row

250 Double Unders

Back Squat a Total of 9,000 lbs (FM Pairs = 8,000 lbs / FF Pairs = 7,000 lbs)

1500m Row

150 Double Unders

Back Squat a Total of 7,000 lbs (FM Pairs = 6,300 lbs / FF Pairs = 5,500 lbs)

500m Row

50 Double Unders

Back Squat a Total of 5,000 lbs (FM Pairs = 4,500 lbs / FF Pairs = 4,000 lbs)

*Only one person working at a time, switch whenever you like.

*Partners must use the same barbell & squat rack for back squats, but may choose the loading & rep count, and may change the weights as needed between sets, rounds, and/or partners (i.e. you choose how your teams gets to 9, 7, and 5 thousand pounds respectively).

The Lillehammer 2020 CrossFit Games Open

I remember 1994 like it was yesterday. With a freshly minted driver’s license I had moved on from Drakkar Noir to Cool Water as my wannabe teen heartthrob cologne of choice, I had the full Keenan Ivory Wayans “In Living Color” wardrobe complete with Cross Color jeans and silk/rayon button down shirts, and I was still holding out hope that my height would catch-up with my arms and I’d be 6’5” before senior year of high school so I could go play basketball at Michigan after the Fab Five departed.

I’ll pause here for your laughter. Go ahead, take your time.

Also in 1994, it felt like the Winter Olympics literally JUST happened… and then… seemingly out of nowhere… we had a Winter Olympics AGAIN. People were still celebrating Midori Ito and Alberto Tomba, and I think Bonnie Blair was still on some of the Wheaties boxes — and then we were supposed to do it all over again?!

Welp, the 2020 CrossFit Games Open starts in less than 3 weeks at Arena Ready.

It’s like 1994 all over again. Except we all make better choices now, or thankfully at least I do.

More coming, stay tuned!

WOD For 09-23-19:

3-Position Squat Snatch (Hang Above Knees, Hang Below Knees, Floor):

12 Minutes to Build to a Top Set


For Time:


Overhead Squats @ 95/65 lbs

Hang Power Cleans

Deficit Handstand Push-ups @ 4/2 in

Thank You, Dani!

We owe a giant THANK YOU and a debt of gratitude to Dani for her work as our General Manager over the last couple of years. While she will no longer serve as our GM, Dani will continue to be an integral part of our Arena Ready community as an athlete, a coach, and an ambassador — so her positive, mindful presence will still be a contributing force for this family of enthusiastic exercisers.

Dani’s work was instrumental in our move from Connecticut Street to our current home at 3250 Cesar Chavez, and she worked tirelessly to help get the facility up & running as a better, badder, cooler place than it was before the transition to AR 3.0. It takes a lot of effort behind the scenes to make the experience here what it is, and for the last couple of years we have Dani to thank for much of what we benefitted from in the environment at Arena Ready.

We wish her nothing but the best in her endeavors to teach the young, aspiring writers of the world, and to continue to lead a positive movement practice while wearing one of her many “hats” as a well-establish yoga instructor in San Francisco. And we’re grateful that she’ll be continuing on as coach here at Arena Ready, particularly because few people see & understand movement & body control as well as Dani does.

So, when you see her the next time in class — either as your classmate or your coach — please give her a high five, or a hug, or shoot her a smile, and THANK her for all that she’s done for this amazing community… and for all that she continues to do to make AR unlike any other place in the fitness world.

Happy Weekend, Team! How about a little more MATH on a Saturday for all you math-letes out there?

WOD For 09-21-19:

In Teams of THREE Athletes…

AMReps in 25 Minutes:

Athletes A & B Complete…

20 Dumbbell Snatches @ 50/35 lbs (must alternate sides)

15 Box Jumps @ 24/20 in

20 Dumbbell Hang Cleans to Overhead @ 50/35 lbs (switch sides whenever)

15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

Athlete C Completes…

30/25 Calorie Row

*One athlete MUST always be rowing, and MUST always switch after 30/25 calories.

*Reps for the other movements may be split in any fashion (does not have to be equal) with only one athlete working at a time.

*Every calorie on the rower equals one rep added to the team's score. Score for the workout is the sum of the DB/BJ/C2B reps PLUS the total calories rowed.

Friday: (You Guessed It) Barbell Therapy

It’s week 3 of this current complex and week 6 overall for our clean & jerk progression, and here’s yet another opportunity to dial in that technique and move some weight. If your legs are feeling the effects of Tuesday’s wall balls and/or Thursday’s lunges then perhaps you’ll stay with the same weights as you did in your last session — otherwise, if you’re feeling good and the bar is moving fast then a slight tick up in loading may be feasible.

Be an athlete. Listen to what your body is telling you, and take what’s there for today. Move well. Get the reps in and sharpen your movement patterns. Focus on making every set look the same, from light to heavy.

Happy Friday, barbell friends.

WOD For 09-20-19:

Every 90 Seconds For 20 Rounds (30 Minutes):

Power Clean + Front Squat + Squat Clean + Jerk


*Use FOUR Weights:

ROUNDS 1-5: Light (50% of 1RM C&J)

ROUNDS 6-10: Moderate (60-65%)

ROUNDS 11-15: Moderate (70-75%)

ROUNDS 16-20: Moderate-Heavy-ish (80-85%)


*Technical Consistency! Ideally 20 of 20 made rounds, no misses!

*If you miss during Rounds 16-20 you MUST lower the weight the next round.

*Any style of jerk is allowed.

Thursday: Front, Back, Side-to-Side

That’s where the soreness will exist after this one.

WOD For 09-19-19:

4 Rounds For Max Reps (0:45 Seconds per Movement / 0:15 Seconds Rest Between Movements):

Front Rack Lunges @ 95/65 lbs

AbMat Sit-ups

Sumo Deadlift High Pulls @ 95/65 lbs

Double Unders

(REST 1:15 Between Rounds)

Record total reps completed for each of the four movements.

Celebration of Life For Sparkle

The Celebration of Life for Sparkle will be held on Sunday, October 6th at 3pm in Pleasant Hill. Jon has asked us to share this information with the Arena Ready community, and the location details are listed below:

Pleasant Hill Senior Center

233 Gregory Lane

Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Feel free to reach out with any questions and we will do our best to answer them if we are able.

WOD For 09-18-19:

7 Rounds, Start Every 3 Minutes:

15/12 Calorie Row, Ski, or Assault Bike

3 Ring Muscle-ups

5 Hang Power Snatches @ pick load

You can do this workout as a “measured” effort with moderate intensity, or up the ante by increasing the intensity within the limits of your technique (both approaches are perfectly acceptable today). How do you increase the intensity? Pick any or all of the following:

-Row faster

-Do the muscle-ups unbroken

-Do the snatches unbroken at a challenging weight (executed with solid technique)

Sparkle Slideshow

Jenny put together a slideshow of some of the amazing images she’s captured of Sparkle over the years — you can view the slideshow here. Thank you so much, Jenny, for documenting these moments and sharing them with the AR community.

NOTE: Cahill Construction has begun their demo/trench/re-pour work of the sidewalk around the gym. They have agreed to keep the bulk of the work during non-class hours so for now we have left the week’s class schedule intact, but please check back here and on the private Arena Ready Facebook group for any updates (their timelines seem to be moving targets so we are trying our best to manage the situation with as little disruption to gym hours as possible).

WOD For 09-17-19:

On a Running Clock…

A) At 0:00

For Time:


Wall Balls @ 20/14 lbs to 10/9 ft


Burpee Box Jumps @ 24/20 in (must face the box)


B) From 18:00 - 31:00

Back Squat:

13 Minutes to Build to a Heavy Triple* For Today (NOT a 3RM)

Mainsite Monday Returns! (For Now)

This is actually one of my favorite couplet combos from… enjoy!

WOD For 09-16-19:

AMRAP 7 Minutes (in the increasing rep scheme of 2/2-4/4-6/6-8/8-10/10-etc):

Deadlifts @ 225/155 lbs

Strict Handstand Push-ups




AMRAP 7 Minutes (in the increasing rep scheme of 2/2-4/4-6/6-8/8-10/10-etc):

Power Cleans @ 155/105 lbs

Pistols, alternating


(Workout courtesy of

Sunday Picnic For Sparkle

As we mentioned in Thursday’s blog post we’ll be gathering for a picnic in Precita Park on Sunday following Open Gym. We invite the entire Arena Ready community to come and be around supportive friends to grieve the loss of our one and only Sparkle. Come as you are, bring what you wish, and tell each other stories about our dear friend and swolemate.

WOD For 09-14-19:

“AMRAP Team Fight Club”

With a Partner Against a 25-Minute Clock:


… then, in the remaining time AMRAP of…

30 Thrusters @ 95/65 lbs

30 Power Cleans

30 Box Jumps @ 24/20 in

30 Pull-ups

30 Calorie Row, Ski, or Assault Bike (FM Pairs = 27 Cal, FF Pairs = 24 Cal)

*The faster runner starts on the thrusters immediately and does NOT have to wait for their partner to complete the run.

*One athlete working at a time on the AMRAP, switch whenever you like (tagging not required).

Construction Update Part 2

The sidewalk demo we mentioned earlier this week will now start on Friday after the morning classes and continue through the early afternoon, so Friday’s noon class has been cancelled.

We’ve been told by Cahill Construction that this phase of work will be done for the day prior to 4pm so we plan on conducting our 4, 5, and 6pm classes as usual — but will make sure to update ASAP if that changes.

We’ll post more updates as we get clarity around dates next week that will be affected. Thanks for your understanding, and let us know if you have any questions.

WOD For 09-13-19:

Every 90 Seconds For 20 Rounds (30 Minutes):

Power Clean + Front Squat + Squat Clean + Jerk


*Use FOUR Weights:

ROUNDS 1-5: Light (50% of 1RM C&J)

ROUNDS 6-10: Moderate (60-65%)

ROUNDS 11-15: Moderate (70-75%)

ROUNDS 16-20: Moderate-Heavy-ish (80-85%)


*Technical Consistency! Ideally 20 of 20 made rounds, no misses!

*If you miss during Rounds 16-20 you MUST lower the weight the next round.

*Any style of jerk is allowed.