October 7, 2011
October 12, 2011

A large portion of Sunday’s class was devoted to developing the hamstrings. From the general warm-up, to the hamstring warm-up, to both the first and second strength sets, CFDC’s collective hamstrings well and truly, well, hammered.

Hamstring Warm-Up:
3 x 15 Reverse Hypers

Following the general warm-up, class reported back up to the studio for some unweighted reverse hypers. This served not only to help warm up the hamstrings, but also to help open up everyone’s spine (you can read more about how and why this results from the Reverse Hyper in our September 19th blog-post).

Strength #1:
3 x 5 Manual Glute Ham-raise & 15 Hollow Rocks

I think we may have posted the following YouTube video before, but it really is a great demonstration of the control that should be applied to the Manual Glute Ham-Raises:

Each set of 5 GHRs was paired with 15 Hollow Rocks – time to put that hollow-position review from Thursday to the test!

Strength #2:
12 x 2 Sumo DL Speed Pulls

The program for Sunday was 12 rounds of 2 rep speed pulls done at roughly 50-60% of everyone’s 1RM DL. Class broke into groups of 2 to 3 and spent the first few minutes warming up to their respective working weights (lifts were not done on a timed interval basis).

Speed Pulls are explosive deadlifts – the emphasis is on getting the body as tight as possible and then exploding upwards with the bar. Despite what it sounds like, however, this is not a wrenching, uncontrolled movement. You must maintain near-perfect posture, especially a tight-midline, through-out the lift.

Partner Met-Con:
5 x 15 Blourpees & Plank Hold

Yes, that says blourpees. It seems that the comments have been getting a little scarce lately. Help out your fellow classmates, leave a comment.

Nice work – many thanks to Sarah and Chris who joined us from Iowa while in town for the weekend:

See everyone Tuesday.



  1. I used 205# for the sumo speed pulls. My positioning is so much better on these than it is with a conventional set-up. It was nice to focus predominantly on speed and explosiveness rather than form and flexibility limitations.

    I really struggled with the plank holds. Mary Catherine has been working with me recently on proper positioning in yoga poses, such as the plank. My shoulders tend to roll forward and I try to support my weight with my upper body. But, it really changes things when you keep your shoulders “back and down” and place the emphasis on your mid-section to support your weight. Needless to say, burpees and plank holds is a brutal combination.

  2. Arbi says:

    Thanks to Sara for the great advice for my sumo DL form. I am glad I worked in with her to ensure I have the right technique down moving forward. Each one of my speed pulls got closer to the correct form and I think I was landing it pretty well towards the end – just need to work on consistency now.

    Met con was killer for me – definitely something I need to work on!

    I’m also a fan of the hammer piggy bank photo.

  3. Dian says:

    I think I was doing something right with the sumo deadlifts since my legs were scraped up pretty good. Still, I don’t think I quite got the explosiveness element down.

    Holding a plank is really difficult for me. I came down on my knees a lot because I couldn’t hold the position particularly long. Definitely something I have to work on. I’m no burpee artist but I was kind of relieved when it was my turn for the burpees.

  4. Tom Brose says:

    Wow, heavy work MC…or, you forgot to log out and SBV didn’t note it. Arbi, glad you got to work with Sara. Even though she is a confirmed conventional puller, her pointers were dead on (and it showed in your lifts).

    An important point on dynamic work. Working with a low percentage of 1RM and low volume has a specific point. Either under the label of “speed pulls” or “dynamic effort” the point is SPEED OF THE BAR! We’re lifting relatively light weight for just 2 reps, which doesn’t sound hard in relation to going really heavy or doing super high volume. If you do not focus on the SPEED OF THE BAR! you are missing the point (and the benefit) of the workout.

    I hate to say this, but I saw way too many people grinding out reps at a heavier % than RX’d. Sometimes the predicted numbers don’t work as planned, but we can always adapt to the day. If you are not moving the bar fast enough (because, its all about SPEED OF THE BAR!) go lighter. Better yet, don’t go up if the lift isn’t precise. Remember, we program workouts for specific adaptation. Sometimes heavier is not better, sometimes more is not better.

    Nice work on the burpee/plank combo. Planks get a lot tougher when your shoulders are burning and you can’t breath (go figure).

  5. Sara says:

    I worked with Arbi and Greg on the DLs. We worked at 75kg (165lbs). This was exactly 60% of my conventional DL 1RM from almost 2 years ago. The weight felt good and the bar moved fast.

    The metcon was a killer but good. I need to work on my planks. I have a lot of difficulty holding the position. I probably need to pull my shoulders down and back as SBV mentioned. I often find it easier to pull the shoulders down and back in a plank from the hands rather than the elbows.

  6. edgy reggie says:

    Sumo deadlift speed pulls: I worked out with Tim, Carter, and Alden. I used 130 kg (286 lbs.) which is slightly more than my 60 percent of my one-rep max (270 lbs. = ~122 kg), but it was at a weight that I felt was still manageable for the drill. I was able to complete only eight rounds due to time constraints.

    Met-con: I worked with Greg, and we completed this in about 9:44. I was able to do three rounds of the plank hold without dropping a knee. However, my shoulders were on fire during the fourth and fifth rounds, and I briefly dropped a knee to the ground in both rounds.

    All-in-all, I liked this workout.

    Side notes: Welcome back Mary Catherine! Congratulations to Erica and Amelia on completing the Army Ten-Miler.

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

  7. Greg says:

    I was glad to be working with Sara. She’s great at point out what I’m doing wrong and helping me fix it. I appreciate it. This was the first time that I did deadlifts and felt like I really knew what I was doing!