March 7, 2011
March 11, 2011

OK, so I know it’s not October anymore, and the horror-movie themed blog titles had a good run, but this just seemed so appropriate – an entire class of working on your deadlift without actually deadlifting!

Stage 1: 3 x 5 Partner Glute-Ham Raise

Understand that GHRs are an extremely important movement for strengthening your hamstrings. Very few movements train the hamstrings at both the hip AND knee joint angles. This is critical because this is how your body works when it runs, jumps, squats and pulls. Think of the difference that could be made by strengthening these muscles with the right movement:
You could, of course, pull more weight in the deadlift;
But you could also add weight to your squat; and,
You could clean more weight with better form; and,
You could be able to run faster; and,
You could be able to jump higher.
And to prove the functional role of the hamstrings in jumping, box jumps showed up next in the program.

Stage 2: Partner WOD of 21-18-15-12-9 Box Jumps & Push-Ups


Push-Ups were strict, with hands off the floor at the bottom to ensure full drop (“chest to the deck”). This of course brings a little more scapular-retraction into play, which is also an important part of the deadlift, and oddly enough, was a central feature in the next round of programming.

Stage 3: Rotating DB Trifecta

(1) One Arm DB Rows {6-12 reps}

(2) DB RDLs (Romanian Deadlifts) {5-8 reps}

(Remember, RDLs – and their Good Morning brethren – are performed by sliding the hips back, NOT by bending over at the waist; the weight should stop at height where your hips cannot go back any farther)

(3) Power Shrugs {5 reps only}

Stage 4: 30 x T2B, K2E, or Hanging Crunches

Just in case you forgot the importance of the core in performing the deadlift...

Great work; really good attention to form. Remember, not every class has to be a max effort for weight on a lift, or for time on a met-con. Slowing down, and paying strict attention to form and mechanics with the aid of assistance movements will pay huge dividends to work capacity. Post weights used, as well as general thoughts on the class, to comments.


And while you’re at it, make sure to congratulate Doron on her Cupcake Wars WIN!

That’s right, Doron, Jenny, and the Sticky Finger’s crew brought home the victory, besting 3 other vegan bakeries from around the country in last nights season finale. Thanks to all those who came out to Breadsoda to watch and support (as well as go seriously non-paleo in sampling each of the cupcakes they made for the competition).



  1. Maiko D. says:

    Golly, no comments yet.

    When Sara told me about class last night it sounded like she was describing a sadistic three-course meal. Or more like four-course meal I guess. It was kinda funny but man that is a lot of un-deadlift work!

    Congratulations to Doron on her win!!! I swear CFDC is comprised of extremely accomplished folks, and needless to say I don’t just mean physically accomplished. You guys are truly inspiring. Oh, and I really liked Doron’s hair on the show 🙂 Can’t pull that off until I grow back my hair! Oh Oh, and the little cupcakes were delicious too!!!

    Also, thanks to Salty & Steph for the lift home and listening to my ever so fun rants and pseudo-conspiracy theories. Thanks to Brendan for the drink! I owe you one!

  2. Julia says:

    “Sadistic four-course meal” – not a bad way of putting it. Lots of good stuff last night. And lots to take away, especially from the box jumps + pushups. I had some near misses on the box, and I think I let it get to me. Yes, safety is important, and quality reps trump fast reps. But after those stumbles, I didn’t just take extra time to work on better extensions and landings (as I needed to); I also backed down, rested too much, and finished with more left in the tank than I would have liked. On the spectrum of slowing down for form’s sake vs. going soft and dragging my feet, I think I veered too much toward the latter.

    There’s more than one way to measure performance. In this case, I’m not finding fault with my time. I think I fell short in the ‘mind over matter’ part of the game. A valuable experience, though, for that very reason: it’s something to work on, next time around. In any case, I’m looking forward to a rematch – me vs. the box, round II.

  3. Tom Brose says:

    I liked the structure of that workout:
    Explosive movement for low reps/sets.
    Short simple metcon.
    Strength work.

    Julia, good point. I’d rather see focused quality reps, but sometimes that becomes an excuse for a little mental break. I think you kept the pace up pretty well though.

  4. Sara says:

    Great Class and great work by all. This class was jammed full of some of my favorite movements (ham raises, DB rows and RDLs) I am sad I could not participate.

    Congratulations to Doron, that is very exciting!!!!!

  5. SBV says:

    Julia: I enjoyed reading what was going on in your head during the metcon. It’s interesting to see the mental struggles that CrossFitters have during the course of a workout.

    One thing Tom taught me, that has stuck with me, is not to “stress” so much about conditioning work. I used to get worked up about proper form on burpees, sledgehammer strikes, box jumps, etc., but he told me that form isn’t critical on conditioning work the way it is on the heavy “core” lifts, i.e., squats, deadlifts, cleans. Sure, it’s nice to be efficient on movements, but the point of the metcon is to bust your ass and improve work capacity. It has helped me to keep that in mind while conditioning.

    And, by the way, I watched you during the metcon. You were awesome and your box jumps were quite good. You were using a 24 inch box, too, which is even more impressive.