July 15, 2011
July 20, 2011

“Great is the power of habit. It teaches us to bear fatigue and to despise wounds and pain.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

I’m not usually given to inspirational quotes. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great and all, but I much prefer quotes with application. So the quotation above is more than mere blog fodder. A little over a month ago, we did a post discussing the theory of PROFICIENCY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY.

Under this progressive approach, you first become proficient in how to properly execute each movement, learning the general Do’s and Dont’s for each exercise. Once you are proficient – both understand and remember why an exercise is performed the way it is – you work to ensure that you can consistently apply that proficiency. For example, if deadlifts are prescribed for the day, you want to be sure can maintain good form on every rep of the set, not just the first or last, and not just while the coach is watching you. Once you have achieved both proficiency and consistency, then you move on to intensity.

Thus, the ultimate goal in the progression is intensity, which is achieved by wedding habitual technique with maximum output (A.K.A. “threshold training”). This is a balancing act to be sure, and it takes a concerted effort to concentrate on achieving both simultaneously – a healthy dose of mental fortitude if you will. So Cicero’s quote above embodies this theory quite neatly: habit is a method for achieving greater intensity by being a method for bearing more of it.

However, while fancy words and theories are all well and good, it means very little if not put into practice.

3min AMRAP Push Press;
6min AMRAP 10 Box Jump & 10 Push Ups;
3min AMRAP Deadlift

No rest was prescribed between rounds – simply move immediately from one AMRAP workout to the next until all 12 minutes have been completed.

Push press and deadlifts were to be of “moderate” weight (between 50-70% of your 1RM). Box jumps were to full extension on or above the height of the box, while push-ups were chin&chest, meaning (theoretically) that both your chin and chest should touch the floor at the bottom.

Great work all around. A tough workout to be sure, but lots of good form from all participants. Workouts like this will have great carry over into learning where your thresholds are,which in turn will help you learn where your form is weak. This of course will lead you to better your form, which will lead to more intense workouts, and so on and so forth. Learning where your thresholds are is also going to be particularly important with Fight Gone Bad 6 looming on the horizon. Stay tuned for more info on that. In the meantime, post thoughts on the workout to comments.

Also, if you didn’t get a chance Sunday, be sure to leave a comment wishing Steve Robbs good luck, as he’s leaving us for the wilds of Seattle.
It’s been great having Steve around and watching him progress, and we wish him a safe journey to the west coast.


  1. edgy reggie says:

    When it comes to deadlifts, all I can say is “Bring it on.” 🙂

    I really liked this workout. I used 115# for the push press and 100 kg (220 lbs.) for the deadlift. I feel that my push press form has improved (wearing a weight belt while performing it helps) which allows me to select a higher resistance (i.e., increased weight).

    I was able to develop a rhythm on the box jumps, and I did “game-style” push-ups (my favorite type of push-up) so that there would be no question about going chest-to-floor. 🙂 I think I ended up doing six rounds on the box jump/push-up combo.

    Performing deadlifts is never a speed contest for me. I, for the most part, will take my time with them. In any case, I did about twenty deadlifts; my glutes and hamstrings let me know that I did them right. 🙂

    From what I saw, everyone did a good job.

    @Steve: Best of luck to you in Seattle. It was a pleasure to work out with you. Carry that CrossFit DC knowledge with you from Washington, DC to Washington state. 🙂 Continue to kick ass and improve.

    Post-class: Double-under practice (it’s not a clinic since I have not mastered them), of course. I hung around the gym for a while to “cheer” Alden in his workout and to make sure that Coach didn’t pass out with 225# on his back. 🙂

    …and later: Yoga, yoga, yoga (with Winnie)!

    Fight Gone Bad (FGB): Okay…I got the memo, and I signed up. Even though I was the first one to sign up for Team CrossFit DC, I declined to be the team captain (unless, of course, you want me to be).

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

  2. TomandAmi says:

    First, a belated note of appreciation to the blog author for the clever titles and language – nce read, very creative.

    I liked the mix of met-con (ish) time domain with some weight. Hate the box jumps – but that is a real goat of mine and killed me in the sectionals WOD so I need to get the bounce in my jumps.

    Used 145 for the PP and 198 for the DL. Hate DLs for time.

    I cannot find any registration of the FGB.

  3. edgy reggie says:

    “Brother” Tom, try this: https://fgb6.rapidgiving.com//login.aspx

    If you don’t remember your account from FGB 5, then you will need to create a new one.

  4. Amelia says:

    It was great to be back after a long break due to lots of travel and other commitments.

    I have some pretty sore hamstrings today. I liked the 10am workout a lot. Thanks to Chris for pushing me on the push press and not letting me rest too long.

    Tapering the rest of the week for the race on Sunday.

  5. Dian says:

    I agree with Tom about the blog titles. This reggae fan especially liked the “Get Up, Stand Up,” title from a couple weeks ago. Nicely done.

    As always a great class. I used 50# for the push press and 120# for the deadlift. I used the medium sized box for the box jumps. The push-ups hurt like hell. I felt like I was taking a break when I went back to the box jumps.

    Just about everything hurts today, arms, glutes, chest, so I must have done something right.

    Thanks for that photo of me performing the deadlift. I needed a good laugh today. 🙂

  6. Erica says:

    So the 9 am was intense on Sunday! I felt like I got two solid workouts. I scaled the first class met-con to save some juice for the second, but it still felt pretty hard. I did alright on the row, aiming for 2:00 but struggled to consistently keep it below 2:10. I also did the pushups (for both classes) on my knees, which I haven’t done in awhile, because I was focusing on getting my chest to the ground on each one. Steph said my kb swings were good, so that’s good. For the 10 am, I push pressed 50 lbs and dead lifted (crap, can’t remember), but felt good on the met-con. I felt like I pushed myself and focused on form. But I was gassed.

    Taking a mini hiatus from crossfit this week (boo sad) to avoid soreness before my first tri of the season.

    We’ll miss you Steve, safe travels.

  7. Sara says:

    Well I ran an 8K on saturday night and really focused on form. I actually ran the whole 8K which is the longest distance I have ever run without stopping to walk. I knew that my calves were going to be sore since I ran in my VFFs. I even told my friends after the race that I hoped there would be no jumping in our Sunday class. of course there were box jumps.

    for the workout I push pressed 80lbs, used a 18-20″ box for box jumps and used the trap bar for deadlifts. I think it was about 170lbs or so. I am getting better at box jumps which was good since I was struggling on the push-ups. The trap bar was a different experience. It allowed me to use a heavier weight with my current wrist/grip issue. The weight was not the issue with the trap bar. It was like holding on to the skinny pull-up bars against the wall that hurt your hands that was the hardest part.

  8. Brendan says:

    12 Angry Minutes is right. Great workout though. I’m still a bit bruised up from my mountain biking endeavor. Only used 105 lbs for the PP due to some neck strains I was feeling. Much better today but traps are a bit sore. Used 198 lbs for the DL, I think I was able to muster 5 sets of 5 and then another 2 reps in the final 10 seconds.

  9. Stohlman says:

    Just signed up for Fight Gone Bad. I’m gonna try not to miss another class between now and then.

  10. Dan Samarov says:

    Great workout, definitely an ass kicker. Shoulder was feeling a bit beat up going in, but all things considered the push-press felt solid (tried to make sure I wasn’t push jerking, though I may have had a few in there). Worked with 135 on this, hit 39/40 reps, can’t remember.

    The box jump, push ups combo was a great follow up to the push-press, really kept pushing the same muscle groups but required a different focus in terms of the movements. Box jumps felt quick(ish), think I could’ve moved faster, that being said I definitely had some no reps in there (thanks to everyone who kept me honest). Not sure how many rounds I got on this.

    Deadlifts worked with 275lbs, hit sets of 5. Let my back get away from me on these, not a good thing… still working on getting out of the mind set of “any” reps, vs quality reps. Got up to 33/34 reps on these.

    Will try to make it tonight, hip flexors and abs are finally almost not sore from the GHD Annie debacle (lesson learned here… do more GHD’s!).

  11. Sara says:

    @Dan, I don’t think it matters how often you do GHDs. I think anyone would still end up with shredded abs and hip flexors when scaling up to GHD on Annie.