July 27, 2011
August 1, 2011

While Tuesday’s class was mostly about form among technique (Pose, KB snatch, KB breathing), Thursday’s class lent itself more to form among substance (good form under heavy load).

Seated Box Jumps

Starting position was jumper’s choice – either static (feet planted) or dynamic (lifting the feet and rocking back slightly to initiate).

The requirements of seated box jumps are a great tool for bettering any squat – the need to gather maximum tension in a low squat position before explosively driving upwards has tremendous carry-over. It should also help to get the CNS inline for Olympic lifts, mimicking the open-hip explosion up out of the bottom position. Perhaps it was no surprise then that the seated box jumps were followed by a barbell complex Thursday night including cleans and front squats.

Barbell Complex

Warm Up = 2 x 3 Power Clean, 3 Front Squats, 3 Push Press
Work Sets = 8 x 2 Power Cleans, 1 Front Squat, 1 Push Press

Options for the night included choosing a weight to work with across all 8 sets, or starting lighter and adding weight each set.

Compare this barbell complex, which was clearly a more strength driven workout, to the barbell complex we did the second week of July, which was clearly more of a metabolic-conditioning focused workout. Differences? Similarities?

At first blush, the big difference would be the amount of weight you could use. However, the structure of the two workouts (strength vs. met-con) means the differences still lead to a similarity: a “break down” of form at maximum effort which begins to inhibit your efforts. Actually, although the term “break down in form” is often used, in all likelihood, it’s actually an amplification of the flaws in your technique which can no longer be overcome by your strength or speed. In other words, this is the meat of workout. The guts of it. This is where you can learn where your faults lie, and what you need to work on to get better. Overcoming those faults will lead to better form. Better form leads to more weight or more reps. More weight/reps leads to increased strength and fitness.

So, the moral of the tale is this: worry about perfecting your form, and strength, speed, and fitness will result naturally.

PVC Kimura & PVC-Assisted Behind the Back Shoulder Stretch

PVC held in a radially deviated, semi-supinated fist (no, really, that’s the closest anatomically correct description I can come up with…) with the PVC held parallel to the forearm while keeping both the elbow and shoulder joints at 90 degrees so that…oh, forget it.

You know what? The last time we did this stretch, I said I would take a picture. It didn’t happen. I will remedy this on Sunday. For both stretches. Promise.

By the way, if you happened to notice that any form of Birthday beat-down was somewhat absent from Thursday’s class, you might want to hold on to those sighs of relief. Sunday mornings = more room, more equipment, & more freedom. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



  1. Mackenzie says:

    Great workout yesterday! Sorry that I had to leave early but I am glad that I was able to get most of the workout in.

    I worked up to 65lbs on my sets, pushing for 70lbs at the end which didn’t end up working out as well as the similar workout we did the second week of July. The metcon/amrep mentality always seems to help me with more weight even though the thrusters in the previous workout were very taxing.

    Dian and I worked together on this and she did awesome working up to 75lbs (if I am not mistaken). Awesome job by everyone!!

  2. Stohlman says:

    Shoot I missed seated box jumps. Those are my fav.

  3. Brendan says:

    Form definitely broke down for me on my last and heaviest set of cleans (80kg). In previous sets I tried to remain focused on the shrug and getting my line-of-sight over the imaginary ledge. On the last one, I remember thinking too much about the weight during set up and therefore screwed up the form.

    Great work by everyone. Good Luck to Reggie this weekend!

  4. Sara says:

    Good luck Reggie.

    I am sooooooo frustrated, I can’t get my computer to work long enough to stream any games. Makes me sad… I want to watch.

    Like Max I love the seated box jumps. I got a height PR yesterday.

    I skipped the barbell complex.

  5. Ben says:

    I definitely enjoyed that work out – never something I thought I’d say about one that included box jumps.

    Also, I definitely felt that my cleans were a lot better technically this time. It’s definitely those three pull drills we did to get the movements down that made the difference for me.

  6. tarakfoto says:

    This was my first time doing both box jumps and dead lifts, but it was a good workout! Sara — Thank you for coaching us newbies on the proper alignment; your prediction about the sore core muscles was spot on.