June 30, 2011
July 6, 2011

To get everyone ready for their respective Independence Day celebrations, CFDC broke out the bars for some heavy stuff on Sunday.

Strength: Front Squats

The workout was laid out as follows:

The goal was to find an approximate 2-rep max. However, that bottom line reads: “No going up in weight if set not WELL below parallel.” In other words, if your preceding set of front squats was not below parallel, then you were not allowed to put more weight on the bar for the next set.


That’s a slight modification of CFHQ’s “Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity,” mostly just because I like the 3 homoioptoton-endings better. Of course, the meaning remains the same. You must become first become proficient in the movement – learn to execute the movement correctly. Once you understand and are proficient in the execution of the movement, force yourself to be consistently proficient. Don’t be satisfied with doing it right every second or third attempt – every attempt must be to the prescribed standards. Then, and only then, should you move to increasing the intensity (which, in Sunday’s workout, would’ve meant more weight).

A lot of new PR’s, with people really pushing the weight while keeping good form. Most importantly, however, as Tom pointed out at the end of class, there was a lot of great encouragement coupled with good pointers and judging from everyone in class – no one was allowed to slide through on bad form yesterday which means all those PR’s are uber-legit!

As a reward for all that self-coaching, we had a burpee-free met-con.

2 Rounds of KB Swings, K2E, Push Press, & Renegade Rows, each for 90″

No rest in between exercises; simply rotate after 90 seconds until you had completed 2 complete circuits. A fun way to finish things off.

Awesome work by all who showed up! Enjoy the remainder of the long weekend, and be ready to work-off those festivities come Tuesday.


  1. Steph says:

    Happy 4th of July everyone!!

    I did the 9am class and the 10am strength portion yesterday and it was great to get moving after a very inactive week.

    I worked mostly with Jen (Mike Choi’s wife) in the 9am. It was great to have her back, only 4 weeks after giving birth to their 2nd daughter. Chris had Jen and I work on Zercher squats. They were interesting and like the front squat, you really had to keep your back as upright as possible, but also keeping the shoulders back and elbows tucked in so the bar doesn’t pull you forward. It was great work for the core and stabilization. Jen was awesome at it and I definitely whined less and worked harder with her there because I didn’t wanna look like a sissy in front of her. I did sets of 5 at 30, 40, 55, 65 and 75. The metcon for us was 3 rounds of OH lunge with med ball, 6 post-natal burpees, and OH lunge back (lunging backward for me). While one person did that, the other person did AMRAP leg raises. Fun stuff!

    For the 10am front squat session, I worked with Erica, Kenna, and Diane. I worked up to 115lbs for 2. Always happy to be able to join the regular class for a workout.

  2. Steph says:

    Congrats to Sebastian and MC getting engaged!

  3. Erica says:

    Happy 4th right back atcha and also very excited for MC and Seb/Ben.

    Yesterday was tough. Getting some 1-on-1 time with T Brose during the 9 am meant that I was having to actually put weight on my bar. I had my first experience with the jerk and (Tom says) I did okay at it. It was a tough move, but I think I’m starting to understand the mechanics. I can’t remember what I was able to jerk, but I remember that I was able to do only 1/2 of the heaviest weight I tried (Tom, you remember?).

    During the 10 am, I worked with Steph, Dian, and Kenna who were all awesome. I worked myself up to 104 lbs and may have been able to go higher (although likely not) if I hadn’t been digging into my collar bone with the weight. The towel was very helpful and will remember that for next time. As you can see from the pictures, my favorite part was being spotted by cute boys.

  4. Dian says:

    Congratulations MC and Sebastian! First a CFDC baby boom now an engagement boom. There must be something in the water at the gym. Making a mental note that I need to start drinking the water at the gym.

    It was great working with Steph, Erica and Kenna on the front squats. I worked up to 120lbs which is absolutely the most I’ve ever done with front squats. I was working really hard on maintaining a good front squat position. I’ve been working on my flexibility a bit and I think it is starting to pay off.

    Gosh, I have some major arm pit sweat stains going on in some of those photos. Jeez! Well, at least I did a right proper job of breaking in my new CFDC t-shirt.

    See y’all tonight.

  5. Tom Brose says:

    Congrats to Sebastian and MC as well!

    Great class, I was happy to see some major FS improvements. Even better (and perhaps somehow connected?) when technique and PRs coincide.

    Kenna, the metcon pic is a perfect “before” shot for the correction we were working on. You adjusted well by bracing with the abs.

  6. edgy reggie says:

    Hope that everyone has a safe and fun Independence Day (a/k/a July 4).

    I enjoyed this class (but I really like any class that involves heavy squatting…be it overhead, back, or front).

    Front squat: I partnered with Tom A. and Steve (i.e., the six-foot-and-over club). I was one of those people who achieved a new PR in the front squat. I broke through my 100 kg (220 lbs.) plateau and did 100 kg x 2 and a single at 105 kg (231 lbs.). Tom A. mentioned to me that I have my best squat depths with the front squat. I believe it’s because I’m probably more confident with my front squat; however, I am glad that he pointed it out. It’s something that I need to work on with my overhead and back squats.

    Met-con: I liked the selection of exercises used for this particular met-con. Ninety seconds is a long time with any of these exercises. 🙂

    It was good to see Jen Choi back at CrossFit DC.

    Congratulations to Mary Catherine and Sebastian on their engagement.

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

  7. Julia says:

    Congrats MC & SBV! And welcome back Jen!

    Front squats felt solid. Thanks to Sara and Tom for coaching, challenging me, and doing the math.

    That metcon was a grip-killer – fingers locked up and forearms fried before anything else, breath included, gave out. How do you keep pushing when you’re struggling just to hold on?

    Hope everyone had a great weekend, see you guys tonight.

  8. StevenR says:

    homoioptoton? I didn’t think I would be building my vocabulary as well as my weight-lifting skills. Who would have thought?

    That summer’s day I was a bit fraught to squat as much as I aught. It was just too hot to do a lot.

  9. SaltyHat says:

    “Oh, you caught me I like to break a mental sweat too.”

    The rhyme is a nice touch though.

    Congrats to MC and Sebastian! Also, a warm welcome back Jen Choi who did amazingly well in her first post-baby-dropping class. Hardly skipped a beat.

    Also, props to Anthony who made some tremendous strides with his FS on Sunday. Cement down that form you had for the last few sets, and you will be crushing the FS before you know it. The same goes for Steve and Dian, who have seen really good improvement in form, and starting to see the numbers climb as a result.

    See everyone tonight.

  10. Kenna says:

    Whew! My legs were much sorer than I expected!

    Dian, Steph and Erica were all rockin’ it on the front squats! I got up to 75lb on the 2rep rounds. I got one rep with 80lb, but toppled over on rep two. I was pretty frustrated at the time, but after looking back at the last time we did front squats (via the handy blog tags!), I realized that my prior PR was 65lb. Maybe I’ll hit triple digits someday, ha!

    WTG girl group on the met con! Thanks for the pointer, Tom. Not engaging my core is often my core problem…

  11. Echoing engagement congratulations! After another workout hiatus, I am really hoping to make it to crossfit tonight!

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  13. Oh, and thanks for the props Chris! Still working on it!