January 17, 2011
January 21, 2011
In A Dead Heat

What better way to melt away any remaining icy-rind coating DC than with a little deadlifting? At the very least, the extensive warm-up should’ve given some clue that some heavy lifting was on the way:

…and it was, in the form of 5×3 deadlifts, to be performed at 80% of your 1RM:

The name of the game here is “consistency”; your form should look the same on sets 4 and 5 as it did on sets 1 and 2. This also requires self-control – you must fight the urge to add weight after the first set, regardless of how easy it feels. Of course, if set 5 still feels easy, it’s probably time to revisit your 1RM.

After stripping the bars and putting all the plates away, class then re-cluttered the floor with dumbells, hurdles, and abmats for a a little partner metcon:


Probably one of the most undervalued and least talked about tools in the CFDC arsenal are partners. During metcons and conditioning workouts, partners often serve to drive and motivate us, the unstated competition speaking volumes to each individual: don’t get caught by the other, catch up to the other, don’t hold the group back, help the group go faster…

Yet partners are just as, if not more important, when lifting. CrossFit eschews isolation movements as non-functional, preferring compound movements. However, the very term “compound” highlights the complexity of these movements. Coaches exist to help you perfect the movements, providing reminders of technique, suggestions for correction or improvement, and tips for getting through sticking spots. Yet, a lifter’s greatest asset is often working out right beside them: their partner. What better way to learn the intricacies of a complex lift than to watch a live-action demonstration performed repetitively right in front of you? Can you see what’s right and what could be better? Is the coach giving your partner the same corrections that you were given? If your partner is doing something different, can you tell why? Experience trumps theory; but experience isn’t found in just the performing, nor in just the observing. Rather, meaningful experience is best obtained by the absorption and application of your observation into your own performance.

Great work everyone. Please post weights used for the deadlifts to comments, as well as rounds completed by you and your partner during the metcon (if you were able to keep track that is). See everyone Thursday.



  1. Ethan says:

    Had to work late last night, sorry I missed it. That picture makes it look like I was there though!

  2. Sara says:

    I worked with Julia and Joanne. Great work to both. Joanne was not sure of her 1RM. Tom started with an estimate of 220lbs. As we were working we bumped it to work based on 230lbs. In the end, we learned even that may have been a bit low. So on the last set Joanne jumped from 185 to 205 and moved the bar easily through all three reps. Nice Work!!!!

    I worked with 5 sets at 225lbs. Felt ok but definitely was not my best deadlifting day.

    I was partnered with Julia on the metcon. We used 30lb DBs for the PP. Julia was a smooth elogant and efficient machine with the lateral jumps. I substituted (brain fart) for the lateral jumps. The name slipped my mind.

  3. SBV says:

    This workout was just what the doctor ordered in terms of preparing me for Charlottesville this weekend. After the complete destruction that was Sunday’s class (heavy barbell complex followed by box jumps and burpees), I needed something to lift my spirits. I was hoping to move through a strength movement just to keep my body acclimated, and 5 x 3 deadlift accomplished that, without leaving me completely taxed. Also, the partner workout was ideal because I was able to sprint through the movements and then rest as my partner, Tom, worked.

    I feel ready. I’ll be resting the rest of the week and hoping that certain movements (i.e., pistols, “full” olympic lifts, and anything with rings) don’t appear at the competition. My training has been geared towards this competition for about four months, and I’m looking forward to putting my hard work to the test.

    Preparing for a CrossFit competition is very strange. It’s difficult to feel totally ready because it’s impossible to be prepare your body for all fitness domains. For example, there could be a powerlifting event at this competition as well as a long-distance race. It’s impossible to be truly prepared for both types of events! And, I think that’s what has been the most frustrating thing for me over the past few months. I’ve taken huge strides in the strength domain but have made some concessions in endurance. I guess that’s the nature of the “sport.”

    My hope was that, by the time this week rolled around, I could look back on my training with no regrets. Sure, I could have thrown in a few more sessions, but I tried my best to “listen to my body” and not overtrain. Overall, I’m very happy with where I am.

    Thank you to Tom, Chris, and Mike Choi for helping me prepare over the last few months. Now it’s time to kick some ass!

  4. Julia says:

    Another advantage of training partners: (good-natured) heckling. Thank you, Sebastian, for calling me out when I was wavering between the low or high hurdles.

    So, as it turns out, lateral hops are FUN! I surprised myself on these. Some things I found helpful: driving with my arms; thinking UP, not just LEFT/RIGHT; landing light, on the balls of my feet (bouncing, not drilling into the ground); and, as Tom says, spending as little time on the ground as possible.

    The push presses were a low point for me. My shoulders were pretty fatigued, and I didn’t fight through very well. The result: dumbbells going up all right, but crashing onto my shoulders on the way down. Not very efficient. Also, made for some new additions to the bumps and bruises already there…

    And I’ll echo Sara (whose deadlifting form I would like to carbon copy): nice work, Joanne! Those were some great lifts. Smooth coming up, controlled going down. Really nice.

  5. Tom Brose says:

    Chris touched on something very important. While I try to keep my eyes on everyone, sometimes its not enough. I want everyone to be educated and understand the movements, and be able to analyze each other. Knowing what you see in front of you is a major part of understanding how to correct your own movement, as well as to visualize the coaching cues you are given. You all do a great job of helping your training partners. Every now and then, I hear a cue that I may feel not be on point (and will point that out, and why, every time) but more so I learn from you all. I’ve gotten some great adjustments and cues from the “students”.

    Sara, you did “soccer taps” instead of the hurdles. DLs looked great.

    Sebastian, very good points on training for a CF competition. Who knows what will come up, so the best way to prepare is just to work on becoming overall stronger, more efficient, and generally well rounded. there is always a chance that the events or scoring system won’t favor that, but thats the breaks. I’m excited to see how you do!

    Julia, nice work on your second DL workout of the day (smart to scale way back) and the hurdles. I liked to see you and Sara step up to the 30s, but definitely don’t want you smashing yourself with the DBs.