Saturday – 112710 – Snatch, Box-jump, Ring-dips, HSPU

Skippin' home!


Running exercises i.e. high knees, butt kicks etc.



5 rounds:

21 Box-jump
15 Ring-dips

If you cannot do a HSPU, please consider doing a heavy DB strict press instead. I haven’t seen the pike push-up develop enough new HSPUs for people trying to get there so we’re changing the course some. There will likely be  a few people who strap up a wild contraption along the pull-up bar and do their HSPUs that way. If this intrigues you and you want to try this out, sample it in at a non-class time. If you’ve never done it, do not try it as a part of a class WOD.

Thoughts on programming continued:

I like and agree for the most part with what Mike had to say regarding his approach to programming. I just wanted to add a couple thoughts and expand on the the answer to Andy’s question, how are specific loads prescribed? The answer is dependent on the objective of the workout. If my goal is to elicit a very aerobically challenging, glycolytic response from our athletes, I will begin to think in terms of those movements, weights and time domains most likely to accomplish the task.  My programming style varies some from Mike’s in that I don’t always care about meeting certain balances regarding the different types of responses (phosphogenic, glycolitic, oxidative).  In my experience, fast and heavy is the ticket for all the the good physical adaptations we want, and I program accordingly.  Others may feel differently, but tests have shone that our programming is working pretty well.  Oh yeah, you’re the lab rats!  How I can say for sure which weights will engender which responses from the body comes from dialogue with our athletes, trial and error, a lot of programming experience, and sampling and logging thousands of different workouts – and it’s always changing. CrossFit HQ’s programming is completely different today than it was when I first started. 8 years ago, 21-15-9 reps with a 225 lb. deadlift was considered relatively heavy.  Today, elite CrossFitters move benchmark weights (225/135/95) with total ease and often upscale the classic workouts for a better response.  This is why programming is challenging, it’s a moving target – it also happens to be why logging your workouts is crucial.

The objective of a given workout is often lost on people obsessed with getting an “Rx” by their name, or terrified of the discomfort associated with metabolic gain.  Let me start with the former. To follow along with Mike’s example, let’s take everybody’s favorite benchmark, Fran, and consider its intended affect. 21-15-9 reps for time of 95 lb. thrusters and pull-ups is supposed to be short, fast, and painfully glycolytic – think 3 to 10 minutes.  If an athlete enters the gym who can do 5 unassisted pull-ups and has a max front squat of 135 lbs. I can tell you that this person would be able to tackle Fran without modification, but shouldn’t.  It would take them 20 minutes and they would have completely defeated the purpose of the workout.  Most of us can’t maintain glycolytic intensity levels for more than 2 minutes at a time and a 20 minute met-con is not a met-con at all. It’s a hard jog.

On the other hand, those people unwilling to bite off a bit more than they’re comfortable with often have the same detrimental affect on a workout and can never expect their bodies to adapt positively to workloads. DT is a hero workout that by the end should have become a cycle of phosphogenic peaks and depletions.  The prescription is 5 rounds of (12) Deadlift, (9) Hang power clean, and (6) Push jerk all at 155 lbs. – think 10-20 minutes.   If an athlete enters the gym, scales the weight to 65 lbs. and finishes the WOD in four minutes, he or she has once again defeated the purpose of the workout.  I recognize that not all athletes are looking for that nasty burn, and that a good solid sweat is all they want – I’m only speaking to the extremes of our programming ideology.

The weight is chosen based on the intended result of the WOD.  Mike is 100% correct in saying that we will always program for a calibre of athlete that neither Mike or I have ever worked with personally – and from there we will scale to the needs of individuals. All this being said, however, I will admit to having a strong bias towards short met-cons with at least one heavy implement.  Many of you have heard me site John Broz ( and the Bulgarian approach to weightlifting as a cornerstone in my own training and programming philosophy (squat heavy 7 days a week!).  Conversely to periodization – a series of ebbs and flows designed to have an athlete peak at competition time – the Bulgarians went for maximal outputs on a daily basis through which they would achieve positive adaptation to the constant stress on their bodies and CNS.  The Bulgarians won a lot of gold medals.  In fact, I find that at times I have to curb my desire to continually load and prescribe heavy barbell movements for the sake of constant variance.  One thing is certain, though, that the workouts and weights we prescribe are not random.  I can tell you that Mike and I talk constantly about how the programming is working out, and spend a great deal of time researching different approaches to fitness so that ultimately, you all can continue to see growth and success in the gym.

If this answer seems insufficient for any reason, if you want me to elaborate on anything in particular or if it draws more questions in general, please feel free to post them on the comments page.

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