23 Feb 13

Tomorrow morning we are starting at 830am!!! See you all then.

Incorporate into your warmup:
5 Minutes Bar MU practice OR AMRAP Strict MU (if you don’t have bar MU, getting those is a priority!!!)

Run 1 Mile @ 80-100%
This may be done either in your warmup or when you finish the AMRAPs. Focus on breathing, pace, relaxing the shoulders/arms, etc. Try to find a good cadence.

– then –

Bench Press
As heavy as possible. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.

– then –

6 minute AMRAP of:
10 Deadlifts, 275/185
20 GHD Situps

rest 3 minutes, then…

6 minute AMRAP of:
10 Hang Power Clean, 135/95
20 HR Pushups

22 Feb 23 “Short but Dirty”

This is a workout from CrossFit New England and the same people who came up with “Macho Man” if you remember that one!!  I have some more details about others times for this workout but I am not going to share it with you because I don’t want you all to go into this workout with the wrong mindset. 
If you scale this workout it should be tough meaning the front squats should be VERY heavy.  And if you know you can squat a lot more then you can clean then you’d better be close to your clean max. 
Warm Up
  • Couch stretch
  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1:  Front Squats, 225/155 no racks, must be taken from the ground.
  • 10-20-30-40-50-60-70-80-90-100:  Double Unders
There is a 25 minute time cap on this workout.
Suggested scaling, if needed: 200/135

21 Feb 13 “Rest Day”


The above photo is of Diane Fu (follow her on Instagram @ dianefu) performing a snatch.  If you look closely at each sequence you’ll see 1st position, 2nd position, and 3rd position.  Additionally, you’ll see all 3 pulls and where you need to be at each position.  If you look close at the top row, far right picture you’ll see 1st position where Laura showed us.  That vertical torso position is what I’ve been talking about so much lately.  We’ll discuss more of this on Friday at the gym.


The accompanying text for the foot placement image above follows:


In weightlifting, the barbell has a specific path it needs to travel to be efficient while the lifter needs to navigate him/herself around the barbell’s trajectory. Do it any other way and you’re losing amounts of efficiency. During the initial set-up and 1st pull, I often observe athletes doing one of two things: moving the barbell around their knees and/or scraping the bar up their shins. Both tend to happen due to the athlete setting up shin right up against the bar. Other bad things also tend to follow this behavior, but we’ll address those in future postings. Try giving both yourself and the barbell some space by setting up with the bar at the base of your toes and then sweeping the barbell back in as you enter the 1st pull. You can easily locate this space if you tip-toe off your heels to expose the crease of your shoe. Like any healthy relationship, just a little bit of distance will allow the pair to come even closer together.

20 Feb 13 “My Shoulders Hurt”

For those of you who did yesterday’s every minute on the minute (EMOM) handstand push ups (HSPU) you probably felt your shoulders becoming very “rubbery and tight” after about the 4 or 5th round.  You even probably tried to shake it out and get the blood flowing back in the shoulders so that you could continue with your last few sets.  What was it that was happening to your body that caused that tightness/rubbery feeling that you tried to shake out?  You may have guessed it was lactic acid building up and forming in the muscles.  Well you’d be correct and here is the reason why you are correct.
Lactic acid is the by product of when your body uses glucose as an energy source.  Glucose is used as an energy source in the absence of oxygen, and generally involving work that lasts no longer than a few minutes.  During anaerobic training glucose is used in conjunction with adenosine triphosphate or ATP.  So, like that HSPU work we did yesterday when your breathing was controlled and your body was getting ample amounts of oxygen you weren’t getting those “lactic acidy” feelings.  However, as the workout went on and you begin to breath heavier you noticed the feeling of lactic acid forming.  Noticing these feelings and knowing how to deal with them is what is important for a competition and training in general.  
So, the next time you see a workout where you will be using short bursts of energy, I want you to think back to this post and realize that your body is using ATP and Glucose to complete the work.  And, if you control your breathing and bring in more oxygen into the body that you can hold off the initial onset of lactic acid build up.       
Incorporate into your warmup:
50 GHD Situps
50 Hip Extensions
Barbell Work

High Hang Snatch

15-20 Minutes of Technique Practice
We are working technique here. Do not allow the bar to dip past the pockets, and do not lean forward with your torso. The point of this exercise is to practice the proper starting position of the second pull, and to focus on being able to generate vertical power from here. Bar path should be up, and then back and down into the catch position; at no point should it go out in front.
“Flat-Footed” Snatch Pulls
This is not to be a traditional “flat-footed” movement, where the entirety of the feet remain firmly planted on the ground. You may come up on the balls of your feet at the top, but the balls of your feet should not move AT ALL (not up, not front, not back, not out…pretend they are cemented down). Priorities are making sure the bar makes contact with the hips, and keeping the bar close to the body during the second pull. Do not allow the bar to get out front!
Weight suggestion is 100-115% of your snatch 1RM; straps are recommended.
3 Rounds, Not for Time
24 Alternating Step Ups on a 20″ box, 95/65
12 CTB Pullups
6 Shoulder Press@80-85% of 1RM
 – Optional Cash Out –
Rope Climb Practice
Work on something new; see how few pulls you can use to get to the top, practice legless rope climbs, L-sit rope climbs, or whatever variations seem challenging/interesting.

19 Feb 13

Here is a very good video from MD USA where Coach Glenn Pendlay breaks down the lifts of Jon North and Travis Cooper.  Click here for video.  The video is very technical and is a must watch if you want to fully understand Olympic lifting. 
Warm UP
  • dynamic stretching
  • mobility- couch stretch 2:30 ea side
  • 3 ME L-Sits
  • MU practice (5 mins)



We are repeating this EMOM from February 9th. You are to do as many reps as possible of HSPU, every minute, on the minute, for 7 minutes. Your score is YOUR LOWEST ROUND. 2012 Regionals standards.
The goal is to pick the highest number you can MAINTAIN across 7 sets. I highly recommend doing a fast set of your given number at the top of the minute, and then resting the remainder. Spending the majority of each minute trying to get in reps only serves to keep you in a constant state of fatigue.
Barbell Work
3 x ME TNG Power Snatch @70% (of 1RM full snatch)
This is three rounds of MAX EFFORT touch and go power snatches. Go until you fail; push yourself past where you think you cannot do another rep. Rest 2 minutes between sets.
3 rounds for total reps of;

  • 1 Minute Max Calorie Row (you may not get off the rower until the minute ends)
  • 1 Minute Max Rep KBS 2pd/1.5pd (please hold yourself to strict judging standards here)
  • 1 Minute Max Rep Burpees
Rest 3 Minutes

18 Feb 13

This is from Laura;

I know you have questions about how we are going to handle the Open. I have seen many other programmers post their opinions lately, but I have to say I agree with CJ Martin’s take on it 100%.

Is the Open your “main event”? This means, either you are an experienced CrossFitter who will most likely not be moving on to Regionals, OR, you are a Masters athlete who might proceed directly from the Open to the Games. If the Open if your main event, you should probably plan on doing the Open workouts twice.

If the Open is not your “main event”, you need to treat each workout like a one-and-done. You are either…
a high-level veteral competitor, who needs to be preparing themselves for Regionals, and should not waste this valuable training time by repeating Open workouts.
a recreational CrossFitter who should not subject themselves to the volume of repeated Open workouts (THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY OF MY ATHLETES!)

If you have specific questions about your individual situation, feel free to email me and I will be more than happy to go into further detail!



Go heavy today. Please ensure you get at least five heavy lifts in above 80% (do not allow yourself more than one fail). If you feel like going for a new 1RM, do it, but if you ain’t feelin’ it, stay as heavy as possible. Rest at least 3 minutes between efforts.

– then –

Split Jerk

If you have jerk blocks, this would be the time to use them. For those of you who do not…well, this is gonna suck – sorry. Do not take more than 5 seconds or so between the reps of each set; if using blocks, get right back on the weight instead of letting it sit on the blocks while you catch your breath. If you have to lower it to the front rack position because you do not have blocks, just take a deep breath in, reset your front rack/hand position, and drive it up again! Please go as heavy as possible. Rest 3 minutes between efforts.

– then –

Squat Cleans, 135/95
Ring Dips

15 Feb 13 “Slamming Bars”

Shoulder Press


Work up to a heaviest possible single for the day.

Front Squat
Work up to a heavy but technically sound set of 3. No failures.
(Optional here, in between the squat and the HPC, if you have time: 15 minutes to establish a max height box jump for the day)
Hang Power Clean
Don’t fiddle around too much with positioning; try to stop overthinking and focus your energies on moving the weight. I want FAST ELBOWS, and please, GET INTO A PROPER POWER CATCH POSITION. I don’t want to see anyone doing muscle cleans!
*Make sure to properly warm up each movement before beginning your working sets.
*Rest about 3 minutes between sets.

13 Feb 13 “Olympic Lifting Important?”

If you haven’t read some of The Outlaw Way’s recent articles regarding Olympic lifting and CrossFit you are missing out.  But have not fear, today’s post is going to cover some of those topics that you may have missed and tie it into our training.  Again, just like yesterday’s post, my goal in today’s is to give you all a better understanding into why we do the things we do.  I believe that all of us believe in our training, but I want you all to fully understand what it is that we do.

Olympic Lifting and the CrossFit Games;

So let’s begin, I want to start off by giving you some background stats.  These numbers that follow go to show how important it is to be good at the Oly lifts.  However, it shows more than that; it also goes to show just how great CrossFitters and especially female CrossFitters are at Olympic lifting.

  • Among the top ten women from the 2012 CrossFit Games the average snatch is 163.6#.
  • The average snatch of the 69kg women at the 2012 American Open was 161.6#.

Bottom line;

  • The top women at the 2012 CrossFit Games average snatch were 163.6# at an average bodyweight of 143.1#.
  • The average snatch at the 2012 American Open was 161.6# at a bodyweight of 151.8.

Basically this is saying that the top women at the CrossFit Games out snatched the specialists by 2 more pounds and the CrossFitters weighed 8 less pounds too..  Now before the critics jump on here let me just say this.  Yes, the standard for a snatch at the CrossFit Games is quite different than that at the American Open.   However, CrossFit competitors do not train as often on the Oly lifts compared to their counterparts but still are competitive with them.

What do these numbers mean to us;

Now that your mind has been blown by how well CrossFitters can do Olympic weightlifting let’s focus on us and our training.  Its very safe to assume that all of us can agree that as an Olympic weightlifter you can move the most weight the quickest.  I mean, name another way you can lift 225#s overhead in less than 1 second (the snatch takes about a second).  You simply can’t.  So, using the equation for power which is “Power= force x distance/time”(for this force is just the weight of the bar) if you snatch 225#s, the bar travels 5 feet (I’ll be using inches for this), and it takes 1 second then your power output would be 225#s x 60” = 13,500 / 1 sec = 13,500.  Now, lets look at someone who deadlifts 450#s.  When you deadlift the bar may travel 4 feet (48”) and at 450#s it may take you 2 seconds to finish the lift.  So using this equation 450#s x 48 = 21,600 / 2 = 10,800That is just for 1 rep, if you take those numbers over the course of 7 reps you would get a difference of 18,900 power output.  That means, by snatching you are creating more power, and power is the rate at which work is getting done or the rate at which energy is used and transferred.  Soooo, you are doing more WORK and spending more ENERGY by doing the snatch.     

This is very important to understand, because having power can translate to other movements, air squats, pistols, muscle ups, box jumps, pull ups, and pretty much most of the “CrossFit” movements.  Olympic lifting helps you to learn how to generate power through your body to perform other movements more efficiently.


By no means am I saying that powerlifting isn’t important for your fitness because strength is very important.  But, powerlifting/strength movements should be programmed with the specific goal (see yesterday’s post) in mind of training someone to get stronger.  Finally, isn’t CrossFit designed to increase your fitness by increasing your ability to produce power and do work quickly??  So then you will improve your fitness by doing Olympic lifting.

Warm Up

  • 400m run
  • dynamic stretching
  • mobility coach stretch- 2:30 ea leg
  • 30 Ring Dips
  • 30 TTB
  • One set of ME pullups (kipping allowed)
 Barbell Work
  • 7×1 Hang Snatch
All working reps should be 80% or above your 1RM snatch. You may work up to a max, or hold a challenging weight across the sets, depending on how you are feeling.
I am not going to specify high or low hang; this is up to you. My only stipulation is that you do not start ballistically; it needs to be from a dead stall, but does not need to be paused for more than a moment or two. This is to ensure you have correct positioning before you begin and prevents you from utilizing any momentum from lowering into the hang.
Things I would like you to keep in mind:
  • PRIORITY is working on a perfect position from which to begin your second pull. Bar must be in contact with hips, legs loaded, weight shifted into the heels, and torso vertical.
  • Work on not allowing feet to leave the ground. Extending onto the balls of the feet is acceptable, but using the ground as leverage is preferred over floating.
  • Push the ground away to propel the bar upwards. Use the legs!
  • Actively PULL yourself under the bar.
3 RFT (there is a 10 minute time cap on this section)
  • 10 Power Snatch, 135/95
  • 15 Box Jump, 30″/24″
Rest 5 Minutes
3 RFT (there is a 10 minute time cap on this section)
  • 10 STOH, 135/95
  • 15 KBS, 2pd/1.5pd
*Yet again, we ask the question…what shoe should you to wear for this combo conditioning work? You have two barbell movements, a heavy KBS, and box jumps…what shoe would benefit the majority of the work?

12 Feb 13 “Why We Do What We Do”

You want something to motivate you to work your ass off in the gym today…  Here is a story of an Air Force para-rescue jumper (PJ) squatting 425# after breaking his fucking back 102 days prior….  Click here for the story..

Why do we do what we do??

Remember when CrossFit programming used to take the approach of, “hey man, let’s see how hard we can go until we throw up.”  That philosophy of programming used to be the standard, and to be honest it was pretty fun..  You learned your limitations as an athlete and how to push through those painful workouts to come out on the other side a stronger person..  In addition, you probably dropped a lot of weight too..  However, this approach could possibly be the reason why CrossFit gets a “bad rap” from professional strength and conditioning coaches..  And, let’s not kid ourselves either; CrossFit is more of a strength and conditioning program than any other type of training program.

So, why am I even talking about this shit…  Well, just like most things in life CrossFit has evolved..  The days of smoking each other into the ground until you called pukie the clown have shifted to smarter programming that elicits a response from the body to create adaptation for a “specific purpose”…  That specific purpose could be competing in an Olympic weightlifting meet, running a 5k, playing a specific sport, or even just playing with your kids..  But, at the end of the day the programming has to be for designed something…

Now to tie all of this rambling together…  The programming that Laura sends to me each night is designed to make you a better competitive CrossFitter…  I enjoy going to competitions and competing..  I have been, and always will be, a very competitive person and that is why I enjoyed the Outlaw programming and love Laura’s programming..  BUT, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE INTERESTED IN COMPETING TO DO THIS STYLE OF PROGRAMMING!!!!  Anyone can do it!!!

So then, why do we do what we do??  The answer!!!  Why bust our ass in the gym each night because we love creating adaptation to our bodies through a program that has a specific design…  That program design is to make us better at competing at CrossFit, but the cross over value to the program design is getting into the best shape possible to achieve ANY fitness goals… 

Tomorrow I will go over why we Olympic lift…      

 Warm Up

  • 800m run @ own pace
  • dynamic stretching
  • mobility- coach stretch 2 mins ea side (video here)
  • 50 OH walking lunges @ 45/25 bumper plates (lock your elbows and keep hands and arms directly over shoulders…I HATE when people do this with bent arms!)


Warm up to your back squat accordingly before proceeding to the EMOM.

EMOM for 7 Minutes
  • HBBS x 2 @ 80%
Please do not base the 80% off an old LBBS number. This needs to be based off a recent HBBS single; otherwise, you will calculate this for too much weight and technique will suffer.

3 rounds for time
  • 7 Deadlift 275/185
  • 5 Strict HSPU*
  • 3 Rope Climbs, 15′
*Head and hands to ground is fine for general rx here. Competitors, especially men, need to consider doing these at deficit with parallettes.
*If this workout came up in a competition, what shoes would you wear and why? 
*For injuries and equipment limitations, please contact me directly for subs/modifications.

Cash Out

  • Run 800m for time

11 Feb 13 “Mobility”

Alright, I haven’t really posted anything of substance in quite some time and it is highly debated if I’ve ever posted anything substance but I’m going to give it a shot today.  After leaving the gym on Saturday I was thinking about the mobility work that we did that day.  Needless to say everyone’s mobility needs some serious work, and that statement definitely includes me as well.  Often times mobility is overlooked, because for one it isn’t fun or sexy, secondly most don’t understand it, and lastly we feel overwhelmed by the amount of mobility issues that we have we just don’t know where to start.  So today my goal in this post is to answer these questions in order to better help all of us understand how we can move better. 

Make no doubt about it if you do CrossFit regularly you should consider yourself an athlete.  I say that because CrossFit is very similar to how college and professional athletes train.  The largest difference between the two is that as a CrossFitter you need to have a very board range of skills and be proficient at all of them.  However, a college or professional athlete for the most part specializing in one particular area.  I’m not bringing this up because I see us as professional athletes, I bring this up because you need to have that mindset.  You need to come into the gym prepared to train and better yourself each and every day just like a professional does.  If you don’t have the mindset of wanting to improve then I’d question your reasoning of even coming to the gym.  This mindset ties into performing the remedial tasks (mobility work) that help to improve our ability to move our bodies freely.

Now that I’ve got you in the right mindset to actually do the mobility work, now I’ve got to explain what the hell it is.  So what is mobility, and how does it differ from flexibility?   Mobility or joint mobility is the ability to move a limb through the full range of motion with control, and is based on voluntary movement.  While flexibility involves static holds and is often dependent on gravity or a passive force.  Basically, mobility is force generated by your own body to move a limb through complete range of motion.  That is why when you see mobility we are not relaying on gravity to generate further range of motion.  Lastly, the piece of control based voluntary movements is important as well because voluntarily moving your joints applies directly to us in that performing an air squat hinges on the fact that our bodies must move to full range of motion without a passive force.    

So, I’ve got you thinking that mobility work is sexy because professional athletes do it and I’ve explained what the hell it is, now I have to address how to approach our mobility weaknesses.  I personally know exactly how overwhelming it can be to address our mobility shortcomings.  We try so hard to fix everything at once that we get overwhelmed and just stop doing mobility in general.  It’s exactly like changing up your diet.  If you try to change everything all at once chances are you won’t be able to maintain it and eventually you will probably quit.  My approach to improving our mobility is to begin by focusing on one thing at a time.  For example, for the couple of weeks we will focus solely on improving our anterior hip and exterior rotators. We will be improving our mobility in these areas by performing the couch stretch every single day.  Now, this may become a little boring, but we will test and re-test in order to show progress in this area.  This mobility work is vital to improving our position in the catch of the Olympic lifts.

Stay tuned for more information regarding our every evolving fitness goals.

The videos below are from Justin Lascek, who hosts the blog 70sbig.com as well as co-writer to one of the fundamental books regarding fitness titled “Fit.”  I will be referencing Justin Lascek more and more because his approach to mobility, crossfit, powerlifting, Olympic lifting and fitness is pretty forward thinking.  In addition, his newest e-book titled “Paleo for Lifters” is already released and can be found here.  This e-book goes into the newest thought process behind the paleo diet and caters to athletes, especially those we lift a lot.

Couch stretch- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JawPBvtf7Qs.

Pam here is the IT band video I promised- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_WcSTvZR1k

Toe angle and squatting part 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWi65pMS1Fc

Toe angle ad squatting part 2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFzE9NolXyg

Warm Up 20mins

  • 400m run
  • Dynamic stretching
  • Mobility- Couch stretch for 3mins ea leg
  • 50 GHD Situps
  • 25 Hip Extensions
  • 10 Navel to bar pullups
  • 5 Minutes of HS Walk practice

Barbell Work 20mins

  • 7×1 Hang Clean
All working reps should be 80% or above your 1RM clean. You may work up to a max, or hold a challenging weight across the sets, depending on how you are feeling.
I am not going to specify high or low hang; this is up to you. My only stipulation is that you do not start ballistically; it needs to be from a dead stall, but does not need to be paused for more than a moment or two. This is to ensure you have correct positioning before you begin and prevents you from utilizing any momentum from lowering into the hang.
Things I would like you to keep in mind:
  • Work on not allowing feet to leave the ground. Extending onto the balls of the feet is acceptable, but using the ground as leverage is preferred over floating.
  • Push the ground away to propel the bar upwards. Use the legs!
  • PULL yourself under the bar. Priority is getting those elbows under, around, and UP as quickly as possible. Hands need to be open to catch the bar.

Conditioning 15mins

10 Muscle Ups
100 DU
2 Shoulder to overhead (STOH), 135/95
8 MU
80 DU
6 MU
60 DU
4 MU
40 DU
2 MU
20 DU
*Just an observation…there have been A LOT of STOH and large sets of DU appearing in programming across the board, HQ included. You have to be able to string these movements together in UB sets as much as possible if you are interested in being competitive.