September 9, 2011
September 14, 2011

There was a lot going on this past Sunday – festivals, races, and probably foremost in a lot of people’s minds, a day of remembrance. Thanks to everyone who made it to the gym to get a work-out in with us.

5 x 3 Wall-Ball for Max Height, 6 Plyo Push-Ups (No Clapping), 9 Jump Squats

Why all the dynamic warm-up movements? Well…

Warm-Up Sets = 1 x 3 Clean DLs, 1 x 3 Clean Pulls, 1 x 1 Clean & 3 Front Squats,
and 2 x 2 Power Cleans
Work Sets = Power Cleans 1 x 15 x 45″

That’s one power clean every 45 seconds for 15 rounds. Most worked in groups of 2 to 3 people, so that people were rotating in every 15 seconds, which means you didn’t have lots of time to fool around on the bar; get set, get tight, and pull!

It’s been awhile since we revisited Coach Mike Choi’s Points of Review for the Clean, so I decided to included them below:


1) Start with shoulders in front of the bar, body weight over your ankles, butt low(er than a deadlift), and chest up. Your gaze will be neutral to slightly downward.

2) Pull off the floor and imagine pushing your feet through it. This keeps your shoulders in front of the bar for a longer period of time. Quads and hamstrings will engage at approximately equal force.

Anne showing good extension and an excellent shrug.

3) As the bar passes your knees, with STRAIGHT arms, imagine driving your shoulders through the ceiling. Get a full extension. The rise of the bar and a straight bar path comes from the smooth transfer of force from the legs through the shoulders.

4) Pull yourself under the bar at a faster rate than the bar is falling. Make sure your elbows are quick and finish pointing by at the wall you’re facing. This will put the bar over your body’s center of gravity.

Justin in a really good receiving position, knees bent with an upright torso and elbows pointing out away from his body.



5) Donkey kicking or stomping your feet. This kills the upward-driving power in your first and second pulls. The sound your feet make should come from the speed from which they transition to the squat position, not the force from which you pick them up and slam them down.

6) Watch for the hip hitch. This bumps the weight out causing you to over-compensate to get under the bar. Instead, focus on an upward shoulder drive with full extension.

7) Both 5 and 6 can be corrected, to some degree, by focusing on 2 — getting a full extension through the second pull.

8) Lastly, take YouTube videos of top level athletes for what they are: amazing and entertaining feats by strong athletes. It’s not always a good idea copy or mimic your favorite lifter’s specialized lifting techniques. Like a Major Leaguer’s baseball swing, no two are alike. Similarly, an elite level weightlifter’s mechanics may have been honed over years and tailor-made for his or her body. Examples include extreme laybacks and bumping the weight with your hips. There are a host of reasons why it works for an elite athlete but not for the novice. It’s best to stick to the fundamentals with an emphasis on a straight bar path and making the lift as simple as possible.

Excellent advice that all of us, regardless of experience level, need to hear. Now, what about a met-con?


In short, each round is 2 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest. So, P1 starts and does 3 box jumps, 6 pull-ups, and then does AMRAP burpees in whatever time remains in the 2 minutes. P2 starts one minute after P1, with P3 following a minute behind P2. Score was total number of burpees completed.

Burpees – love ’em or loathe ’em, they are an ass-kicker. Honestly, what else could make 30 pull-ups seem so harmless?

Great work everyone! It was especially nice to have Ami and Sofia in class with us on Sunday, as well new-comers Justin and Leslie; hopefully they’ll be back for more.

Also, congrats to Erica and Amelia for a job well done competing in the Nation’s Tri…or, Duathlon, as it were…this past weekend.

Lastly, a big congratulations to Mark Minukas (pictured in the lead photo) on his upcoming marriage and honeymoon – enjoy Mark, and we’ll see you when return!



  1. Erica says:

    REALLLLLLLLLLY bummed I missed this workout, it looked very clean and burpeful. Well done guys. Great race by Amelia and I, I think. It looks like the squats and running drills have been helping! I PRed on the bike (took 2 or 3 minutes off of last year’s time) and ran 8:01 splits which is by far the fastest splits I’ve ever done in my life. Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

  2. Arbi says:

    I appreciate that the workout was scaled to the level of my hangover from the previous night.

  3. edgy reggie says:

    I enjoyed this class…yes, even with the burpees [and I did ten extra ones earlier in the class when Coach called my bluff (glad he didn’t know the song title…that would have been ten additional burpees had he guessed correctly)].

    I felt pretty good in the warm-up considering that I was jostled around a lot on the Intimidator roller coaster at Kings Dominion (I rode it four times) on the previous night and I did a lot of snatches before that. 🙂

    Cleans: Oh, how I love ’em! 🙂 Coach wanted me to concentrate on getting the bar “in the pocket” [or in the (hip) crease] as I was performing my reps (which I did). I worked up to 70 kg for single reps and backed down to 60 kg for the fifteen-rep set. Thanks to Brendan, Adam, Mark, and Jenn (Sargent) for keeping me honest.

    [Note to Erica: I was thinking of you the entire time I performed cleans because I know how much you love them. :-)]

    Met-con: I was on a team with Adam and Arbi (good work guys!). To be honest, I did like this met-con (i.e., one that included burpees) more than other met-cons that included burpees. Six pull-ups were just the right amount for me to get good form without fatiguing my shoulders a lot. The box jumps felt good. I ended up completing ninety total burpees (plus three burpees from the demo).

    All-in-all, it was a good day.

    It’s always good to see both new and not-so-new faces in class. Everyone, as always, did a great job!

    Congrats to Erica and Amelia on completing the less-than-triathlon.

    Congratulations also to Mark and his soon-to-be-bride. Enjoy the honeymoon! 🙂

    Post-class: I did double-under practice (solo) and used Salty’s teaching cues from Thursday’s class. Later that day, I did yoga with Winnie.

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

  4. Steph says:

    Great class yesterday! Worked with Sophia and Anne for both the strength and metcon.

    My first time doing cleans in a long time and it felt good, although I was a little timid going in because I was worried. Stayed light on the cleans, only went up to 50lbs and stayed there for the 15 rounds.

    That was a lot of burpees in the metcon. I wish I could say how many I did, but I lost track somewhere. I had a couple rounds of over 20s and the last 2 rounds were in the mid-teens.

    I thought the warm up we did was really good. All the movements had explosive elements in there that were needed for what was planned for class. It was also quite different than most warm-ups we do. Thanks Tom and Chris!

    Congrats Amelia and Erica! Good job! I missed you guys! Also congrats to Mark and Sarah!

    See everyone tomorrow!

  5. Tom Brose says:

    Erica, I’d love to get you to write up your thoughts on how the Pose drills and training effected your times. I think as you get stronger, you’ll be able to drop even more time. You and Amelia are really putting training to the test regularly.

    Nice to see Sophia back in class, and see Tim and Justin push Chris in the explosive work.

    Looks like next time we see Mark, he will have left the days of bachelorhood behind. Make sure to wish him and Sarah your best. Mark, congrats and enjoy Thailand!

  6. Dian says:

    Congratulations Mark. Wishing you and Sarah the best.

    Well done Erica and Amelia. You are both amazing!

    I like cleans a lot although I don’t think I’m technically proficient at them as yet. I enjoyed watching everyone in class. I was trying to get set at the bar lower than I would with a DL like Sarah and I tried to have quick elbows like Steph and I tried keeping the bar close to my body through the entire movement. Successful some tries others not so much. Also, I kept banging my dang chins with the bar again.

    The metcon was great. I’ve gotten over my burpee hate. The 30 pull-ups were way too easy with the big yellow band. I drank too much water during the rest period during last Tuesday’s sprint/kettlebell metcon down on the court so I learned to take my minute rest to take very small sips of water and control my breathing.

  7. Sara says:

    Welcome newcomers! We love to see new faces.

    Congrats to Mark and Sarah!

    Nice job Erica & Amelia!

    I worked with 50kg on the bar for the cleans. I spent the whole time focusing on putting the bar in the pocket which I think still needs a lot of work.

    I worked with Mark and Brendan on the metcon. I got 107 burpees. My goal was 100 so I am happy. See everyone tonight!

  8. Erica says:

    Tom, I’d be happy to write something up as long as you think it would be helpful. Reggie, when I heard you did cleans, I assumed that was because Tom knew I wasn’t going to be there and was being nice 🙂