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The Open 20.1 Recap by Coach Gilly

Week 1 of the 2020 CrossFit Open is done and the results are in. Congrats to the official 48 athletes who completed the first workout, and the many more athletes that attended classes and got it done. The first workout was a classic couplet of ground to overhead and bar-facing burpees with a 15min time-cap. There was nowhere to hide in this workout, and boy did it hurt! 

CrossFit Novato would like to honor this week’s top RX and Scaled performances by clients. On the Men’s side, Mike Cattaneo knocked the RX version out of the park finishing with a time of 14:44. Coach Radz, who was our top male RX score, only beat Mike by ONE SECOND. Amazing. Great work, Mike.

Todd Schneider dominated the men’s scaled division with 176 reps finished at the 15min timecap. That is only 4 reps shy of finishing. 

On the Women’s side, Malia McDowell topped the RX version with 173 reps at the 15min timecap. Only coaches Kelly Morlock and Emily Atkinson were able to finish the RX version, with times of 11:50 and 13:37 respectively. Amazing efforts by all!

For the scaled version, Kayda Cook held steady finishing 167 reps at the 15min timecap. Way to go, Kayda.

Mike, Todd, Malia and Kayda: To thank you for and celebrate your awesome efforts this first week, CrossFit Novato/THRV Fitness will be giving you each a CFN Shaker Bottle. I will be connecting with you to get you your prizes. Congrats, guys!

Workout 20.2 was announced Thursday night and it’s another burner. A 20 min AMRAP of 4 DB Thrusters, 6 Toes to Bar and 24 Double Unders. Again, there isn’t much room for rest…this workout is all about keeping your pacing steady and controlling your breath. Good luck to all the athletes giving it a go Friday and today, Saturday! 

Who do you think will top the Leaderboard this week? What prizes will they win? Check out the blog each week to find out. 🙂

Lastly, we wanted to remind ALL clients that they are welcome to come in to any class on Friday or come to the Saturday morning heats Downtown (8am-10am) even if you aren’t officially signed up for The Open. This event is about community, and we would love to see as many of you as possible try the workouts out. Plus, we always can use some judges and cheerleaders 🙂 


Coach G

An Incredible Time….

By Michael Crespo

We live in an incredible time. Last week Andy wrote a blog about the ReCODE study and CrossFit Novato’s involvement. The ReCODE protocol is used to slow and reverse Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative disease most often marked my rapid cognitive decline and that was previously thought to have been a genetic fate which nothing could be done about. 


The ReCODE Protocol was developed by Dr. Dale Bredensen,internationally recognized expert in Neurogenerative Diseases.  Dr. Bredensen was also the founding CEO and President of Novato’s Buck Institute in 1998. Dr. Bredensen earned his Doctorate in Medicine from Duke University Medical Center and served as Chief Resident in Neurology at the University of California. It is safe to say Dr. Bredensen knows the brain having studied cognitive decline extensively. 


There are around 44 million people living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia. Alzheimer’s alone is purported to possibly bankrupt medicare. According to the center on longevity, “Every 66 seconds this year, an American will develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association annual report. By the year 2050, that number is expected to double to one every 33 seconds.” Which is to say this is a massive problem for all of us. 


Dr. Bredensen has dedicated his life to researching the prevention and reversal of cognitive decline. I’ve had the honor of hearing Dr.Bredensen speak once at a Ted Talk in San Rafael, CA and have also heard his interviews on a few recent podcasts. It is worth noting that Dr. Bredesen’s wife is a Functional Medicine Doctor who mentioned back at the beginning of his research that whatever cure he found would be rooted in a systems approach. This is the really exciting part!


A systems approach to our health utilizes different lifestyle interventions whose sum work, treats illness. It is for this reason that the goal of the ReCode study is to prove that multiple components work to treat and reverse Alzheimer’s together and one is not more important than the others. Participants in the ReCODE treatment:

  1. Are put on a low carbohydrate nutrient-dense Keto-Flex diet
  2. Are asked to do 2-3 days of Strength Training and 5 days of Aerobic Exercise a week (High-Intensity Interval Training when possible)
  3. Have a goal to obtain 8 hours of high-quality optimized sleep a night
  4. Participants also participate in Heart Math training for stress reduction
  5. Participants also take a variety of supplements that help with brain support, immune support, antioxidant support, and digestive support. 


You may have read up to here and thought well that’s all good and dandy, but how does that help me? Well, the reason I wrote this blog post was for you to realize no matter your genetic disposition the choices you make every day have a profound effect on your health! 

We live in an amazing time. Functional doctors are prescribing diet, exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and supplementation. I will leave you with “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas Edison. Perhaps the Doctor is in and you simply need to walk through the door



“Alzheimer’s: The Disease That Could Bankrupt Medicare – CNN.” Longevity.stanford.edu, 17 Mar. 2017, http://longevity.stanford.edu/2017/03/07/alzheimers-the-disease-that-could-bankrupt-medicare-cnn/.

ReCode: The Reversal of Cognitive Decline Study

By Andy Boone

I’m writing to share some exciting news. CrossFit Novato and Novato Health have been invited to participate in a clinical study to help measure treatment impact on typical progression of neurocognitive decline observed in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and patients exhibiting Mild Cognitive Decline (MCI). Our team is quietly working among a group of healthcare practitioners embarking on the first rigorous trial of a very promising protocol designed to halt the progression of cognitive decline. The endeavor is “ReCODE” or the Reversal of Cognitive Decline study. I humbly and respectfully could not be more proud of this opportunity!


The ReCODE trial is employing Dr. Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE Functional Medicine approach to reversing mild cognitive impairment and early dementia. You may be familiar with Dr. Bredesen’s book, The End of Alzheimer’s. There are approximately 30 people participating in the study. Up to 10 participants will be under the care of our partner physician, San Rafael-based Dr. Ann Hathaway. 


Here is a detailed description of the study published at clinicaltrials.gov


A training program for each study patient will depend on individual history, symptoms, and comprehensive labs including digestive function and microbiome, nutrient and hormonal status, cardiovascular assessment, infectious etiologies, mold, and chemical toxins, and advanced genetic analysis. So far, Michael and Andy have the lead on working with clients. Subjects will adopt a specific diet (working with a certified Nutritionist), commit to regular exercise, work to optimize sleep and adopt stress-reducing activities (working with our team!). 


I’m very proud of our CrossFit roots and our ability to deliver really smart fitness. This January marks our 10th year operating as a proud CrossFit Affiliate. Five of our coaches are now also ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coaches (A-CFHC).  Supporting physicians and their patients more directly – including now stepping into clinical research – is an exciting next chapter for this community. 


It’s That Time of Year…..Again!

By Gillian Boyd

Wait, wait, wait. ANOTHER CrossFit Open? Didn’t we just have one this past February? What is going on?!?

We feel you. This year has seen some big changes to the CrossFit competition season. Last year saw the removal of the Regional qualification process, which was replaced with qualification through The Open or a Sanctional event. This year, to allow a longer season for Sanctionals, CrossFit HQ has moved The Open from February to October. Since this year is the transitional year, it is necessary to have two Opens. Following this year, The Open Will again be a yearly event and happen during October. 

Moving forward, so we don’t conflict with the new Open schedule, the In-House Derby competition moves to February. This will allow us to run two annual events – one in October and one in February – and still allow for focused training cycles.


Just in case you were wondering, we are currently three weeks into a six-week ‘Open training cycle’. Instead of focusing on PR’ing lifts, we are maintaining strength, building proficiency in the Olympic lifts and increasing metabolic capacity.


You might notice metcons with increasing volume and lots of pacing work. Expect at least one sprint/rest type metcon each week. This is where you can play around with pacing including managing larger sets and practicing more efficient transitions. The best Open athletes often not only have great capacity, but they are also strategists. They understand and demonstrate proper pacing and think about how they attack and manage movements in a workout. We want you to enter this year’s Open with more clarity and confidence and encourage you to start thinking more about how you manage your work and rest.


The Open is an event that challenges you to push your limits and reach for PRs! We want you to participate regardless of how long you’ve been in the program. 


Sign-up at https://games.crossfit.com/


Starting on October 10th, one workout will be released each week and this will continue for five straight weeks. Workouts are announced on Thursday evenings and must be completed by the following Monday at 5 pm. We will run Open workouts in all classes on Fridays and then mornings Downtown from 8am-10: 30 am. To make it even more fun and competitive, we will be awarding prizes throughout The Open to our top client performers! Please note that you do need to sign up at https://games.crossfit.com/ in order to be eligible for prizes. 


To kick The Open off, we will be hosting a potluck BBQ on October 11th at 6 pm. Location is across the Annex at 1105 First St. Mark your calendars! 



“Oh The Places You Will Go… With Your Fitness!”

By Coach Andrea Moreira

About six months ago I received a once in a lifetime invitation to backpack the Grand Canyon. My friend had the backcountry permit, trails mapped out, and excel sheets packed with information. I was in! I had never been backpacking before but I had six months to prepare, how tough could it be?

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Member Spotlight: Amber Hatfield

By Michael Crespo

This month’s Member Spotlight is about the amazing Amber Hatfield. If you know Amber, then you know that she has a heart of gold. I regularly see her in my 5:30 AM class at Pacheco Valley and this week I had the opportunity to interview her so that we could get to know her a little more. I was amazed by every second of our interview during which we explored how Amber came to CrossFit, how she uses her training outside of the gym, and an amazing fact that few people know about her.

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CrossFit Novato - Downtown

Address: 7427 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945

Phone: (415) 290-2964
Email: andy@crossfitnovato.com

CrossFit Novato - Pacheco Valley

Address: 5420 Nave Dr
Novato, CA 94949

Phone: (415) 290-2964
Email: andy@crossfitnovato.com

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