December 31, 2010
January 5, 2011
Happy New Year!

Back to Back holiday weekends just beg to be offset by some heavy lifting. As such, CFDC set out to do just that on Sunday morning – the warm-up itself should’ve been a dead give-away:

Shortly thereafter, the bars were broken out, and class got down to some heavy deadlifting:

Percentages (the bottom row) were based on everyone’s 1RM number. Kudos to the entire Sunday crew for really paying attention to form and technique.

A quick reminder on set-up, since I know it came up at least twice during class: begin with the bar directly over the mid-foot, about an inch or two away from the shins. To lower yourself, begin by pushing the hips back, and continue to push them back as far as possible until your hands passes your knees – just as you would if you already had the bar in your hands and were looking to place it on the ground. As your hands and the imaginary bar pass your knees, your knees should bend slightly, so that your shins shift forward towards the (real) bar. Now your body should be nice and tight and ready to lift, so grip the bar, take a deep breath, and stand up with the weight.

Setting up like this will help to ensure that your entire posterior-chain will be engaged during the initial lift, and your glutes and hamstrings, with a little support from your quads, work to move the weight up to your knees – this is where the cue “knees back” is often heard, and in profile, you can see the lifter’s hips and shoulders rise at the same rate so as to keep the back at the same angle through-out the initial lift. As the bar passes the knees, the hip-flexors kick in, driving the hips forward and powering the weight from the knees to the waist.

Post-deadlifts, the class broke into teams of 4 for a quick 12min team-AMRAP:

Great work everyone. Also, it was awesome to have Ken and Noelle Tara in class this past Tuesday and Sunday – although their home-box is CrossFit Wilmington in NC, Ken is currently stationed in Japan (stateside for a few months). However, we are eagerly awaiting their return in the Fall of 2011 when they will be relocating to the Metro area!

Thanks for hanging with CFDC Ken & Noelle!



  1. SBV says:

    I based my dealift sets on a 1 RM of 350#. I’m not certain whether it’s a true 1 RM, but it’s literally the most I’ve ever deadlifted. Anyways, my working sets were at 315# and were a great challenge. I found the strength segment to be incredibly taxing.

    Then, it was on to conditioning. Ethan, Mark, and Ken were given a glimpse into a very special portion of my life: THE INABILITY TO DO F*CKING PUSH-UPS! Our group started out like gang-busters and we flowed through pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. Unfortunately, my arms gave out towards the end of the second set of push-ups. I finally made it through the second set, but reached my limit on the third set. The group continued on after the 12-minute mark because I had clogged up the push-up station for so long — pretty bad stuff. Moral of the story: don’t do bodyweight exercises in a group with two graduates of the Naval Academy — you’ll slow them down.

  2. Julia says:

    Happy New Year – great to see everyone again!

    Deadlifts: weight felt fine (percentages based on a recent 295# single), but I’m still not comfortable with the technique. Thanks to Chris and Sara for their help. Things that I’ll be keeping in mind: set up with knees unlocked, shins forward; look forward AND down; take the slack from the bar BEFORE starting the pull.

    *I really liked working at specific percentages, by the way. When left to my own devices, I’m often at a loss as to how to pick weights. (But I can see how percentage-based recommendations wouldn’t be helpful in the absence of a reliable 1RM.)

    Metcon: squats and pushups (not pretty but I think they’d pass muster) felt fine; got through the pullups only by breaking them up – grip was slipping, and I had trouble getting my kip in control.

    Additional thoughts: goals for 2011. Do you guys have any suggestions for smart CrossFit goal-setting – big-picture as well as specifics? How do you figure out what’s realistic and achievable? Anyone have anything in mind already? What’s inspiring you to get after it this year?

  3. Tom Brose says:

    Sebastian, good point about the BW combo and Academy guys. I loved how the team finished up together though.

    Julia, I think its really important to base strength work of of percentages. The overall goal (get stronger) is not always best met buy pushing until we hit the wall. With a clear idea of our %s for a given workout, we can plan progression and optimal recovery. The more experienced a lifter, the more this matters (so for some new people who have never tried a 1RM, we can guestimate with a bit more latitude, erring on the cautious side). With the more developed athletes, improvements come fewer and take more work, as well as more sophisticated (if you want to call it that) programming. Here percentages (and using them to plan optimal workload) are a much bigger part of the picture.

  4. Sara says:

    Ok so I had an ok day of deadlifting. I worked off of Julia’s 1RM rather than mine. Mostly because mine was set over a year ago and I wanted to try and push the limits. I should have stuck with my current 1RM of 280. I was doing great all the way through the 85% round where I pulled 250 for 2 with a parallel grip (almost lost it on the second one). On my first set of 90% I worked with 265 and had no problem with 1 but felt a slight round in my back on the second so I just put the bar back down after lifting it 1 or 2 inches. On the second round of 90% I dropped back to 250 which would be 90% of my 1RM. that felt good and easier than the first set at 250. The third set I only got 1 @250 and felt the back want to round on the second so once again I just put it right back down on the ground.

    Like Sebastion I struggled to finish the push-ups on the metcon. I did most with raising my hands off the ground because I felt I was keeping tighter/better form that way. I broke up most of the pullups too because the so so pull-up rack is slippery and I just didn’t want to over do it with my arm being tight.

    It was great to have Ken and Noelle in class on Tues and Sun.