November 8, 2010
November 10, 2010

Strong in Body, Cleans in Mind

Many thanks to Coach Mike Choi for covering class while Tom was coaching and cheering everyone at the BWI Hopper on Sunday. Mike is our resident Olympic specialist, and he took the class to task on developing better Cleans. Although the warm-up is one of the most important parts of any workout, when learning new movements, or really trying to clean-up a movement, such as the Olympic lifts, it’s extremely important to make sure your body is warm and loose. Attempting to develop muscle memory with cold muscles that are tight and inflexible will result in wasted effort at best (or further strengthening poor movements at worst). With that in mind, Mike led class in thorough warm-up:
Warm up: 3 Rounds, 10 min

300M row
5M catepillar walk
10 push ups
15 squats
2x Sampson stretch

Once everyone was warm and loose, it was time to do some Clean work:

Clean progression:
Everyone in class worked the Clean beginning first from a High Hang, then moving to a Low Hang, and then finally progressing to a Full Clean from the floor. All in all, the class spent roughly 45 min concentrating on the Cleans.
Be sure to check out Mike’s great “Points of Review for the Clean,” emphasizing the key points of the movement.

Having an Oly Coach run class doesn’t mean there’s a respite from MetCons however:
6 rounds for time, 20 min of
-8 Wallballs;
-10 Push ups;
-15 KB swings; &
-20 Sit ups.

Adam – 12:24 – 20# ball, 16kg
Ben – 12:26 – 20# ball, 16kg
Reggie – 11:50 – 20# ball, 32kg
Greg – 12:29 – 10# ball, 12kg
Erica – 13:49 – 8# ball, 12kg

A little post work-out recovery was prescribed on the foam roller, focusing on the thoracic spine, scapula, quads, and IT/TFL.

Great work by everyone – also, a big congratulations to Erica Merson for notching her first, full Pull-Up in class!

Also, be sure to congratulate Sara, Julia, Mark, Sebastian, Tom A., and Dan for some awesome effort put forth at the BWI Mid-Atlantic Hopper Challenge this past weekend, and check out the write-ups on Day 1 and Day 2.


  1. SaltyHat says:

    Also, welcome back Ben! Glad to hear the shoulder is holding up well.

  2. SBV says:

    The three main things I take-a-way from this weekend’s Hopper:

    1. A sense of community from CrossFit DC (which starts at the top with Tom and Chris);

    2. A realization that I need to get acclimated to heavier weights in order to compete at a high level; and

    3. Sore abs.

    The community aspect was evident during and between each event. The intensity level was so high during the events. Our team really leaned on each member to help cover up certain weaknesses. I think it’s fair to say that we leaned on the girls for the deadlifts, and yes, you all leaned on me a little bit on the double-unders. The coaching we received was top-notch. Tom provides a wealth of knowledge, while Chris is always there for inspiration. I wish we could have finished in the top five to better represent CFDC. Plus, I think we all really wanted to shot at that chipper.

    It’s clear that top level CrossFitters are able to move around heavy weights quickly. It’s also clear that I’m not at that stage yet. My goal in the next few months (before the SuperFit Games) is to push myself to err on the side of heavy. Also, I plan to up the intensity on METCONs.

    As for the sore abs, well, I’m sure that all team members are feeling it. (Note to Tom: let’s break out the GHD in class). It was quite a weekend.

    Thank you to CFDC for allowing me to represent the group at the Hopper. I wish we could have had a better showing. But, I can assure everyone that we pushed as hard as we possibly could — and even harder sometimes (did you all see that CRAZY picture of me on the rower with everyone screaming behind me?). Let’s get back to work soon and continue to get better.

  3. Steph says:

    Congrats Erica on your first pull-up!! See, we were all telling you that you’d get one soon 🙂

  4. Dan Samarov says:

    Awesome job everyone! Thanks especially to Tom and Chris for their support and coaching.

    The affiliate team really put it all out there, can’t express just how impressed I was with their performance.

    Some musings:

    The competitive aspect of crossfit adds a whole different dimension, really transitioning it from a conditioning regiment and way to stay healthy to a sport. In my own opinion this makes it that much more fun.

    As Sebastian pointed out, when you go to these competitions, you quickly realize where your strengths are and where some work needs to be done. As a whole the experience is an absolute blast, the environment and people are great and you push yourself harder then you ever thought you could.

    As a general observation, whether approaching crossfit as a way to stay healthy or as a sport (or both), fun should be the top priority, followed closely by, or Tom and Chris might argue equally as important, safety. With regard to the latter, it is first the individuals responsibility to watch out for their own safety, but the responsibility also rests on the their friends and teammates. Safety manifests itself in a lot of different ways, e.g. working with appropriate weight and maintaining proper range of motion are two biggies. We make each other better by pointing out when people are doing things correctly, but even more so when they are not.

    What I need to be better about myself and what I DID see from the CFDCers was maintaining good form, whether in the lifts or rowing.

    I think this weekend was a great experience and I would encourage everyone to give a go at one of these competitions… keeping in mind fun and safety.

    I wanted to run the idea of organizing some local competitions with surrounding affiliates by people. Any thoughts and/or opinions on this and how to go about organizing it would be greatly appreciated. Great job again folks!

  5. Sara says:

    Sebastian – I am absolutely feeling it in the abs. I was practically immobile yesterday if I sat down for more than a few minutes. It’s much better today but still pretty sore.

    Dan & Sebastian- great thoughts & insights from you both. I would be interested in local competitions. That would be fun.

    Erica – congrats on the pull-up. There will be more of them to come in the future.

    I really enjoyed the team competition even though it felt as if we did less work than we would if competing as an individual. The team comp really fosters that sense of community.

  6. TomandAmi says:

    Could not agree more with both Sebastien’s and Dan’s comments. I love these competitions specifically because aprt from the competitve aspect your weaknesses generally and specificlaly become apparent fast – great reality check (and humbling). I wish as dan commented that we did a local one – I am always advocating for a Washington DC metro area Challenge of some kind or even just a strictly DC one. The other fun aspect is that these events bring the community together and in between working and resting you get an opportunity to see old friends and CF acquantitances and make new ones. It i salways fun for me to see the handful of other old guys trying to keep up too.