June 17, 2011
June 22, 2011

There was much to celebrate in CFDC’s Sunday class: Father’s Day, a Birthday, and an Engagement! Luckily we managed to fit an appropriate celebratory met-con in at the end of things. There was lots of work to be done before that, however, starting off with a lengthy, 4 piece warm-up:

Speaking of warm-ups, last month we started off one of our blog posts with a frank discussion about why it’s a necessary part of every class. Specifically, we said this:

“Now, we need to talk about our warm-ups. Warm-ups are arguably the most important part of our class work. Yes, warm muscles = more elastic muscles – we all know (or should know) that by now – but the warm-up goes a bit beyond that. It involves muscles, tendons, ligaments, respiration, blood flow, and, probably most important, your central nervous system (CNS). Without warming-up – without waking-up your CNS – you’re going to lack focus, which will lead to lack of form, which will lead to either wasted effort due to a lack of power (i.e., you won’t get stronger or fitter) or, at worst, injury. Yes, sometimes the warm-ups are hard, and sometimes they’re long, but they’re calculated to perform a task specifically geared towards the workout of the day.”

The above paragraph suggests all the things that warm-ups do for us. No where does it say that warm-ups are punishment. We don’t do tardiness punishment; hey, being late happens! In a city like DC, where nothing is predictable except the unpredictable nature of your daily commute, punishing people for being tardy would border on absurdity. That’s not to say, however, that we aren’t going to require that the warm-up be done – in its entirety! – before any member begins the workout. Early, on time, or late, it makes no difference as far as the warm-up is concerned.

This is for your benefit, as well as ours. It ensures that your proprioception and kinesthetic awareness are fully functional and that your body is ready to undergo the workout that has been planned for the day. For you, this means less chance of injury and a greater chance of physical improvement (think “CrossFit’s 10 general physical skills). For the coaches, this also means less chance of you being injured, but also ensures that you will be able to understand, and apply, the form and technique corrections being given – it helps us help you! (yes, I went Jerry Maguire on you all, so what).

So please understand that, hence forth, everyone will be expected to complete the entire warm-up before they will be allowed to start the workouts. It’s not punishment, it’s just responsible programming.

Speaking of programming, Sunday’s warm up was long and varied for a good reason: high weight, low rep squats, followed by moderate weight, moderate rep squats, followed by light weight, high rep explosive squats mixed with burpees.

Strength, Part 0: Squat Warm-Up with sets of 5, 5, 3, & 3 (as needed)

Goal is to work up to roughly 75-80% of your 1RM, in order to prepare for the first work set.

Strength, Work Set 1: 3 x 3 Squats @ 90% of 1RM

Aim to work up to 90% of your 1RM; if you max out before you reach 90%, remain at that weight for the rest of the working sets.

Strength, Work Set 2: 1 x AMRAP @ 75% of 1RM

One set, as many reps as you can at ~75% of your 1RM.

Met-Con: Partner WOD of 35 Wall Ball Burpees

What’s a Wall Ball Burpee? P1 performs 1 wall ball, throwing the ball at a slight angle so that it comes down to his/her partner. Immediately after throwing the ball, P1 does a burpee, while at the same time, P2 is performing their wall ball. The trick is to complete the burpee fast enough to be on your feet, ready to catch the ball your partner just threw.

Keys to success are high wall ball shots and quick burpees (think of the plank-2-squat jumps, as this is one time where they will really make a difference).

Why 35 Wall Ball Burpees? Well…

…30 to celebrate Ben Brown’s 30th Birthday…

...4 to celebrate Tom Arend’s 4 children for Father’s Day – that’s daughter Sofia above with her dad tearing up the warm-up…

…and 1 to celebrate Ben and Erica’s Engagement!
(and that’s a great looking ring, if I may say so)

Good work all around in a tough class. Rest up, drink lots of water, and be sure to stretch out what are sure to be some sore legs. Post weights, reps, and thoughts to comments.



  1. Maiko D. says:

    Congratulations Erica & Ben!!!

  2. Steph says:

    Yay, so glad the pictures I took worked, even though I knew Ben wasn’t too happy when I took that picture of him 🙂

    Congrats again Erica and Ben!! It was so cool that Chris and I were able to be there for such a special occasion.

    After almost a month of horrendous work schedule, things have finally returned to normal and I was back at the gym on Sunday. I asked Chris to come up with a workout for me in the 9AM and did the squats with the 10AM crew.

    9AM consisted of single-leg deadlifts, ring rows, and a metcon of tire pushes, OH lunges, alligator crawls and bear crawls. The metcon was brutal but fun, the intensity reminded me of the way I used to feel all the time pre-injury, but it’s probably just cuz I’m so out of shape now. Ha! Thanks to Erica for joining me in the 9am!! I’m sure I would’ve suffered a lot more if you hadn’t been there!

    I hate posting one really really long comment, so I’m going to split mine into 2.

  3. Steph says:

    It was great being able to do back squats with the regular crew in the 10am class. The 5-min squat hold in the warm up was harder than it seemed. The first 3.5 minutes were pretty easy, but after Tom told me to bring my feet in a little more and it stretched into the 4th minute, the muscles in my shines started to burn. Definitely felt a little light-headed and rubber-legged after the 5 minutes was up.

    Heavy back squats: warm up sets were done at 47×5, 70×5, 90×3, 100×3. Working sets were done at 110×3, 120×3, 130×3. The 1st of the 130 felt super heavy, I felt my weight shift to the left leg and thought I wasn’t going to be able to complete the set. But after readjusting my breathing and really focusing on keeping the core tight, controlled descend and keeping knees out on the way down and up, and of course much encouragement from Dian, Joanne and Erica, I was able to complete the next 2 reps much easier.

    AMRAP back squat: when I started on my set, the mindset I had was to go lighter and go easy, since it was my first day back after not working out much for 3 weeks and the shift in the hip earlier. I used 70lbs and was only planning on doing 30 or so. Somewhere after I hit 30, I heard Tom say “look at Chris and Steph battling it out.” No way I was going to let Chris win, even though I knew he was going much heavier and was probably doing the prescribed 75%! I ended up doing 60, thought about doing more, but then thought about my poor legs for the next couple of days and racked the bar. That was fun!!!

    I sat out on the wall ball burpees but had fun taking pictures and watching other people suffer.

    Great class! Happy birthday again to Ben!

  4. Tom Brose says:

    Glad to see some comments, I wondered if people were just hoping to block that workout out of their minds. Important to roll out the legs today!

    Congrats to Erica and Ben, and props for making it to class the next day- Erica even getting in the extra workout!

  5. edgy reggie says:

    Happy birthday Ben! Congratulations in completing your first workout designed with your birthday in mind. 🙂

    Congratulations to Erica and Ben! CrossFit DC can add another “power couple” to the list. 🙂

    Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers (and baby daddies) of the world! 🙂

    Warm-up: I arrived late (my fault…I knew about the triathlon, but I made a poor decision with route planning), but I made sure (and Coach made sure as well) that I did at least part of the warm-up (e.g., one round). I didn’t get to the kneeling jump/broad jump/vertical jump combo, but I tried it after heavy squatting and the met-con.

    Squats: I love squats, and I do like performing heavy squats; but, this was not one of my better days in squatting. I worked up to 285# x 3; then, I did ten reps at 235# for the AMRAP portion. The AMRAP portion felt unusually heavy for me, and my depth was not where it should be (or has been in the recent past).

    Met-con: I partnered with Tom A., and we used the 20# medicine ball. For me, the first few reps were dedicated to developing a rhythm. After that, the met-con was actually…fun. My shoulders started to feel it after rep 20-21 though.

    Post-class: Coach warned me that I would “feel it” after class. Needless to say, he was right (e.g., glutes and quads are sore as I write this comment). I took a long walk to Yards Park (located near Nationals Park by the Anacostia River) and did my usual yoga “thang” Sunday evening. Doing all of this is better than taking either Ambien, Lunestra, Sominex, or any other sleep aid: As soon as I went to bed, I immediately fell asleep. 🙂

    As usual, everyone did great work [but isn’t that a CrossFit DC standard? :-)].

    “Not too bad for an old man.” – CFDC’s own ODB.

  6. Brendan says:

    Congrat’s to Erica and Ben! Leg’s definitely are a bit sore, stretching will be required.

  7. Tom Brose says:

    I think Ben may actually be proposing in the background of the picture of Julia squatting.

  8. Dian says:

    Congratulations Erica and Ben!

    Happy Father’s Day to all the CFDC dads. It was great seeing Tom A. and Sofia in class together yesterday.

    I enjoyed the warm-up despite my moaning to Tom B. about the 5-minute squat position hold. I was really frustrated with myself about the kneeling jumps since I basically psyched myself out with those. I was swearing rather loudly I know but I make no apologies since I’ve done a pretty good job concealing my dirty mouth in class over the past year and Tom A. can tell you that was a pretty mild outburst for me.

    I worked with Stephanie, Joanne and Erica on the back squats. I didn’t think it was one of my better efforts yesterday. I had the capacity to work a lot harder. I can’t remember the weights for all the sets but I went up to 110lbs for the heaviest sets. I did the AMRAP at 70lbs and I did 20. It was great watching Stephanie hit those 60 squats. Way to go Stephanie! It is great to have you back.

    I worked with Joanne on the metcon. We tried to come up with our own method of doing the metcon but Tom B. put the kibosh on that. I couldn’t get a really good rhythm going with the wall ball/burpee combo. Many thanks to Joanne for working with the most uncoordinated person in the class. Erica and I did a little tire flipping on the court with Chris after the metcon. Thanks Chris. I will show up for 9:00 if you promise more tire flipping.

    Unfortunately, I ended up putting in 8 hours of work in my office yesterday but I did drink plenty of water while I was sitting on my tush. I’m pretty sore today.

    See y’all tomorrow.

  9. Erica says:

    Where do I begin, Sunday was nuts for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the 9am, but when Chris mentioned tires, I knew I had to be there and I had a blast working with Steph. I struggled with the 1-leg DL, but I’ll get it. It’s a lot of balance issues for me. And the mini metcon was awesomely awful. (1 bball court length push the tire, another walking lunges with overhead weight, and 1/2 alligator walk/1/2 bear crawl). Needless to say, my legs were exhausted for the squats and I def went light. Much lighter than the other rockstar ladies I was working with, but I’d also had a big training week, logging many miles so I’m going to be scaling back a lot over the next few weeks. Sophia was a fabulous wall ball burpies partner and I was happy when it was over. Great work guys! Time to get wedding dress ready 🙂

  10. Erica says:

    Ooh and it does look like Ben’s proposing, but I actually had a splinter and he was trying to get it out, ick. Also, although Ben looks adorable and miserable in the pic of him, he was an absolute rockstar for rallying after his 30th birthday bonanza the next day. I think he was sweating Tempranillo and Patron.

  11. Ben says:

    Thanks everyone, glad we could innaugurate our engagement with an awesome class on Sunday (it also helped get the wine and patron out of my system – and yes, that is a bad combination). See you all this Sunday!

  12. Julia says:

    @Steph – seriously hardcore!

    Congrats to Ben and Eric, and happy Father’s Day! You guys are totally worth 35 wallball burpees. 🙂

  13. Stohlman says:

    That was an intense workout. My first in over a week, and it did me good. I worked up to 215 in the backsquat, as much as I’ve ever done, and then did 17 at 165 before racking it. I am as sore as I have ever been after that class… I spent a long time in my aunt’s hottub nursing a beer last night.

    It was good to learn how to spot a back squat, and Julia did a good job getting 192.5 on her last set.

    Congrats to Ben and Erica on their engagement.

  14. TomandAmi says:

    I really enjoyed Sunday’s class. You can’t beat back squats for strength and the AMRAP component is great conditioning too. Always fun with Sofia of course too – I am so proud and she’s learning how important her strength and conditioning training is to her single sport success. Everyone’s a great role model for her there.