July 24, 2009
July 29, 2009

OK, so Sunday was actually Jens Birthday.
Today is Reggies Birthday, and Jim Bathurst (Beast Skills) as well. Make sure to wish them well!

Sunday morning was dedicated to work on the Clean, so of course we started with Front Squats. If we want to excel in violently accelerating a barbell, and forcefully pulling ourselves under it, the bottom position needs to be rock solid. We did 5-5-3-3-2-2 reps, working up to near max doubles.

Second came work on the dreaded (for those familiar with it) TALL CLEAN. This drill teaches how to get down fast! Using only the shrug, NOT ANY LEG MOVEMENT, generate enough pull on the bar to pull yourself under into the bottom squat position. Make sure to move the elbows around fast!

Once you have gotten the Tall Clean down moderately well (mastery will take a long time), the clean itself is relatively easy. The other point I wanted to cover as we got into doing the full movement was the starting position. We touched on this, and I was lucky once again to have Fred Fialco and Mike Choi on hand to give corrections and general assistance. These guys are a valuable resource, and will improve your lifts with simple cues. PAY ATTENTION! Maiko helped out on the front squat as well, and it you need to see a great example, watch her.

After working up to some heavy singles, we spent the last few minutes giving the metcon junkies thier cardio-crack:
3 rounds
45 Squats
30 DB Push Press
15 Burpees

We’ll count this as part of Reggies Bday Beatdown, so we can concentrate on heavy stuff Tuesday.



  1. Sara says:

    Happy Birthday Reggie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ok so I worked up to 120lbs on the front squats focusing on the trying to correct my position (the one I demonstrated) as I emerge from the squat position.

    On the Tall Cleans I was working with 75lbs. It takes a lot to get use to not using your hips at all.

    On the full cleans I got a new PR @105lbs. I attemped 110 but failed. I need to continue to work on my FS position and then focus on slowing down in the beginning of my pull from the ground

    The metcon sucked – easiest part of it was the push presses. Don’t know my time off the top of my head but I can say my quads are sore today. It’s been a while since that has occurred.

  2. TomandAmi says:

    Great class Sunday – crushed me. Thankfully today is a rest day for me.

    It was helpful havng the extra coaching from fred too.

    As I get more into the technicalities of the lifts I find it difficult to always reconcile all of the advice for the same lift. You hear different things depending on the coach and whether there is an Oly or power lifting bias. Not a bad thing but for example on the DL, shoulders in front of bar, parallel to, or behind – Rip, Tate, et al. take different approaches.

    Does it matter if it is a straight DL or a DL position into a clean or snatch.

    Can you train hard both Oly lifts and the power lifts together or will you just confuse your muscle memories?

    Does any of thsi really matter until you get up to really heavy weights?

  3. TomandAmi says:

    And Happy Birthday CFDC’s ODB and Beast Skills’ Jim. See you Tuesday.

  4. Jade says:

    Happy birthday, Reggie!

  5. Maiko says:

    Happy Birthday Reggie and Jim! =D

    It’s always insightful watching Fred and Mike assist in coaching the olympic lifts. I appreciate their help and have learned a lot from their cues, etc even when I’m not the one receiving their instructions.

    I’m no expert at all, but I almost completely disregard powerlifter’s techniques because of my slight oly lifting bias. Like I try to keep my squat positioning more upright since that has more carry-over to the movements than a powerlifting stance (and since I don’t care too much about squatting heavy). But since I do love deadlifting, I sometimes get mixed up on the initial positioning/set-up. I just have to be conscious of that and adjust accordingly.

    My rambling aside, I don’t really see any problems training both ways if you have no strong preference or bias. Stay mindful of the aim of the lift (is it skill work for oly lifting? is pure strength work?) and your technique, which I suspect becomes easier as you spend more time being exposed to both techniques.

    I do realize I lumped all the diff. powerlifting and oly lifting techniques into two broad categories, but I’m feeling lazy today.

  6. SaltyHat says:

    Happy B-Day Reggie and Jim.

    I really got a lot out of yesterday’s class. Once again, I am reminded of just how difficult it is to remember each movement in a complicated lift like the clean while not concentrating on only one movement to the detriment of all others. Worked to 225 on front squat before running out of time, but then revisited 225 on the full cleans. This was particular meaningful to me as not only was it a PR, but it was a poor-form squat clean at 215/220 that f’d up my right hand for a good 8 months. Many thanks to Fred, Mike and Brose for all the help and pointers.

    MetCon was a nasty follow up to all that – finished in 9:45, but my burpees looked/felt more like flopping-fish.

  7. Rob says:

    Good workout – I like any WOD that I’m sore the next day. I suspect that this will carry over into tomorrow as well.

  8. TomandAmi says:

    Got a PR of 205 on the front squat – I am trying to set and achieve realistic goals over the next year for squat, C&J, Press, DL, OHS, and snatch.

    Let me throw these out for feedback.

    They are relative to where I am now and Rip’s Basic Strength Standards (whre available) for an Adult male at 198 (I am just 200).

    In a year – squat – 315, C&J -205, Press – 175, DL – 315 x 5, OHS – 185, and snatch – I am at a loss here but thinking 155?

    Overly ambitious, underly ambitious, pipe dream?

  9. Maiko says:

    and can someone other than psycho maiko try to provide some insight/thoughts? I throw shit out there but would much prefer someone more knowledgable to answer questions posed here.

  10. John Frazer says:

    I got a single front squat at 175# and a few single cleans at 135. Struggling with technique adjustments on the cleans.

    Metcon in 15:40 despite using only 20# for the push presses. Really weak on the pushup part of the burpees for some reason.

    Also, does anyone else have soreness on the outside of the shoulders? I think it’s from the shrug/pull in the tall cleans. I felt it today while shooting (of all things).

  11. Sara says:

    Well I would provide my thoughts but alas Maiko in this area you are more knowledgable then me. That being said…

    Tom – I don’t know where you are at right now on all of those lifts so I am not sure I could say if they seem realistic to me. But you work hard so I bet if you put your mind to it you will achieve those goals. If not all at least some.

  12. Maiko says:

    I am SOOOOOOO not knowledgeable, I just pull shit from my ass when I’m bored (which is often during the weekday). =P

    Seriously, I only have 3yrs of fitness related experiences, I know there’s folks who’ve been exposed to a lot more in a longer timespan. Half the folks at CFDC are actually trainers too, right?? You know what I’m saying??

    Sara has a point though, what are your current PRs on those lifts Tom?

    One more unrelated thing! I just read that there’s only going to be 100 spots available for the Mid-Atlantic Hopper. As in, only 100 folks can compete. SO, if you’ve pretty much decided you’re going to do it you should register soonish.

    More info here

  13. Sara says:

    Maiko – when it comes to Oli Lifts you know more than you let on.

    I signed up for the hopper. I wanted to wait till next month but didn’t want to lose out on a spot. All you others better sign up now. 🙂

  14. Tom Brose says:

    Psycho Maiko! I love it!

    Sara, great to see you signed up.

    As for the varying technical cues, well there are a lot of different voices out there- we need to see what works for you. Heres how I approach it:
    CrossFit is a “generalist” program, so we are never going to do things exactly the way someone from a narrow specific protocol would want. Everything is a bit of a trade off. I think what we need to do is look for an approach that pulls us the least from center, but still conveys its intended benefits. That is key, we can’t merge everything together to the point that it looses its effect. That is one of the knocks against CF, but specific training to develop attributes tends to take care of that (the problem, not the criticism). So If you only do cleans at 95 lbs in a metcon workout, you wont develop an actual clean. However, if you work on breaking down the movement, perfecting it, and getting it strong, I don’t think there is a problem with the first scenario. OK, loosing focus, so here is my take on coaching style sand how we integrate them into CFDC.

    Deadlift and Back Squat, I go with Rips coaching. Although he is not as big a name in PL as Tate, what he is known for is getting beginner and intermediate level people really strong. His approach is not competition specific, its all about getting strong. Here is the issue- I think most people are better off with a more standard Olympic lifting set up for cleans (and mandatory for snatches). So for Olympic lifting, I would follow the basics as taught by Coach Burgener (and his second generation of coaches).

    As for Dave Tate, I havent followed enough. He is very respected in Powerlifting (and rightfully so), but I’m not sure what he will bring to CrossFit. We’ll see.

  15. edgy reggie says:

    Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! One “present” I can always count on from CrossFit (DC) is getting my ass kicked! 🙂

    Front squat: I worked up to 215# x 2. I was going to do 225# x 2, but I ran out of time to do that since Coach was setting up for…

    …the tall cleans: Not a problem; even though, I usually perform tall cleans with raised heels (off the floor, that is). I’m amazed at how far I have come along with my clean technique (but I still have a long way to go to “perfection”). I worked a few reps at 95# and at 115#.

    Full cleans: Got up to a very sloppy 175# (had I actually done the clean better, I would say that it is my PR). I probably should have stayed at 155#, but I wanted to see how much weight I could pull and get under the bar.

    [Props and thanks to Fred and Mike for the coaching. I have worked with them quite a bit in the past few months (especially after my knee surgery last year), and I highly endorse their coaching style and technique for Olympic lifting.]

    Met-con: After I was done with the last @#$% burpee, I felt old. Enough said. 🙂

    So I guess that Sunday was my pre-birthday “celebration” and that Tuesday will be my post-birthday “celebration” [but bring some champagne this time, okay? :-)]

    CFDC’s own ODB…is one year older but not much wiser. 🙂

  16. edgy reggie says:

    For those who are still having difficulties with the tall clean (or with the tall snatch), one thing that may help you get better at it when you practice the movement is to use the blocks [or for you vertically challenged folks, stack some of the thicker (heavier) bumper plates on each side of the barbell].

    Just make sure that the height of the blocks do not go past knee level.

  17. Sara says:

    Hey Did everyone check out the great pic of Jen on the CFHQ site today!

  18. TomandAmi says:

    Thanks for the feedback Tom and others.

    No doubt doing the Rip program has been beneficial for me in terms of strength increases.

    On my goals relative to current PRs I am at squat 250; press 155 or 160 can’t remember, DL 275 x 5 no 1 rep PR; 185 squat clean; OHS have to check but either 155 or 160; not sure on snatch I think I may once have done 135 in class.

    There’s basically a stremgth threshhold I want toget to fro all of the movements to be able to well all WODS as weight RXed.

    Of course I am leavig out all of the skills I suck at but there are other days in the week.

  19. Maiko says:

    I guess it’s possible to hit those goals within a year if you’re doing a lot more strength work, as well as accessory work, than what is done in class (and more regularly of course). Well, Unless there are more classes like the one you guys had on Sunday.

    I have no idea how the programming would look though, but a few things come to mind (which you probably already looked up):

    1. Gant Grime’s hybrid program

    2. Jeff Martin’s Strength Bias program, which I know you read already.

    3. Crossfit Football

    4. Coach Rut and his ME Black Box (may want to ask John F. about this, I don’t know too much about this program).

    And I’m sure you could ask Fred or Mike for more tips on what you can do to improve the oly lifts.

    Hopefully this helps a little…

    Tom Brose, how unorthodox are Rip’s methods? I didn’t realize he didn’t really teach competition style PL, and now I’m not sure what competition style is! And I’m assuming since I learned deadlifting from you that I’ve been deadlifting a la Rip? I really need to watch the Tate videos when I get a chance…

    Lastly…it was hard not to see Jen on the Main Page! ;P

  20. Maiko says:

    oh wait, for the first link the actual program details are on page #2. There’s another thread regarding this in the Performance Menu forum, if you want to read some different responses.


    And, if I remember correctly, CF South Brooklyn has a lot more heavy lifting built into their programming. Actually I think they’re doing Coach Rut’s ME program Black Box – they’re on a 3on/1off/2on/1off schedule.

  21. Maiko says:

    Anyone up for some heavy lifting tonight? I’m thinking Overhead Squat work, then maybe some gymnastic work.

  22. Sara says:

    You know me I am always in for both of those.

  23. Sara says:

    What time?

  24. TomandAmi says:

    Thanks Maiko, I appreciate the resources. I have pretty much stuck with Rop’s programming and focused on squats, press, alternating with DLs and Bench. It’s true that nothing provides overall strength like just deep squats. I am not pulling Steve O., Reggie or Salty weight but relatively for me I am making steady progress.

  25. TomandAmi says:

    Maiko, by the way, I watched the Tate videos but like Tom B. said very different that Rip’s stuff for DL and squats. I am staying with the Rip techniques for those lifts but listening to hear what Tate has to say on for nuggets of general wisdon,

  26. Maiko says:

    Good question Sara…we met up last week around 645? Wanna aim for that?

    And look at what I stumbled across! A whole list of Gymnastic movements I’ve neglected to work on! Uff…

    CFLA’s Athletic Lvls/Milestones

    Tom – I briefly read over Rip’s program a few yrs ago but can’t really remember anything (info overload is my main problem), but does he have you work on strictly weightlifting with no metcons or just focuses on the weightlifting and let you figure out whether or not to do the metcons? After this comment thread I realized I really need to work on incorporating a more structured strength routine into my workouts so I’m shopping around.

    I really need to watch those Tate videos, now I’m all curious!! Longer commute suuuuuuuuuucks.

  27. Sara says:

    6:45 should work. My weakest link across all those categories is definitely metabolic conditioning.

  28. TomandAmi says:

    I do the CFDC 3x a week then 3-4 days strictly strength no metcon. I will do this through August then move to working in more skill work on those non-CFDC days with some but less stength. The CFLA chart is good as is the http://www.crossfitseattle.com/athletic_skill.html

  29. Tom Brose says:

    Rip is famous for Starting Strength, which is a linear strength progression with no metcon. He feels that everyone can benefit from a specific strength program, and return to metcon better off (with a short adaptation). That is the most efficient way to build strength, which is his concern.

    Something like CFSB is more of an attempt to add more strength work into traditional CF programming. In most cases it will not build strength as quickly as SS, but will do more than .com, and keep up with the other stuff. Wherever the individuals needs and mindset are, they can find a balance. This is what Tom A is doing (we’ve worked on this a bit). He’s a solid metcon performer, who wants to get his strength up, without sacrificing the overall picture. He won’t gain strength as much as if he did SS and consumed 6000 K a day, but he will feel a lot better.

    Maiko, I’ll bring you the Starting Strength book to peruse.

  30. Maiko says:

    Comment #30 is miiiiiiiiiiiine~!!!

    Tom that sounds like what I use to do when I was enjoying my mini-retirement. I definitely made some great gains during that period even though I couldn’t work near max weight (no dropping weights, no grunting or screaming, etc. Gotta love Ballys). I am intrigued by the hybrid programs though, and I have no complaints about keeping most metcons shorter than 10mins!

    I haven’t checked out the chart from Seattle in ages! But these charts make me a little frustrated as a short person (500m row, for example). Then again CFLA has 70~75% compliance mentioned on their chart. I’m mostly rambling right now. What kid of sets x reps scheme do you do on the non-CFDC days?

  31. Maiko says:

    shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! I got comment #31!!!!

  32. Tom Brose says:

    Gotcha! But the discussion wouldn’t have gone very far without your prodding it, thanks.

  33. Maiko says:

    De nada!

    This comment chain has been very helpful for me to be honest. Because of this I went through my workout journal yesterday and was like “maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, this is kinda shitty!” Completely random with little planning, so I want to at some kind of structuring/programming with my strength work so I can see some progress. But it’s been a good few months of just seeing where I stand on a few things. Never knew I can rock some HSPUs for example…

    And you better be prepared Brose, can’t get away with taking comment #30 from me without some consequences!