December 11, 2011
December 16, 2011

When is a grinder not really a grinder? Perhaps when you break it up into pieces and sandwich some rest in there.

3 x 4+4 Blocks

Each 4+4 block was made up of two exercises, and each exercise was done for 4 minutes straight, one right after the other. So, in each block, you would complete a 4 minute AMRAP of exercise A, and then move right on into a 4 minute AMRAP of exercise B. In each block, exercise A was patterned as a more cardio intensive movement, with exercise B being a slower paced, strength and stability intensive movement. Score for each block was combined total number of reps (reps of exercise A plus reps of exercise B).

Block 1: Shuttle Runs & Wall Walks

For Tuesday’s purpose, a shuttle run equaled one round trip to mid-court and back.

Transitioning from the shuttle runs to wall walks demanded that everyone pay particular attention to their mid-line. Less than a month ago, we discussed the position of the hips/pelvis in movements such as handstands and handstand push-ups which “benefit from tucking the pelvis under into a posterior pelvic tilt in order to eliminate the lumbar arch.” The idea isn’t necessarily to round the back, but rather to stop the back from over-arching and make it easier to utilize the entire core to stabilize the spine. Check out the following series of pics as Eric performs one of his wall walks Tuesday night:
Specifically, check out Eric’s mid-line (mid-workout, no less); In each picture, representing different stages of progress up the wall, his core is tight with his pelvis clearly tucked forward into that posterior tilt. As a result, he’s able to walk his chest all the way to the wall without allowing his back to over-arch.

Block 2: Double Unders & Mummy Crawl

The mummy crawl distance was half that of the shuttle runs, so 1 rep equaled a trip to mid-court, and making it back to the end line equaled 2 reps. Scores for this block were reported as combined total of reps, however, those doing single skips had their scores divided by three for the round.

As it was with the wall walks, so it was with the mummy crawls: tuck the pelvis forward into that posterior tilt and really squeeze the abs and glutes. Keeping your mid-section locked into this position will keep the middle from sagging (over-arched back). This will also make performing the mummy crawl much easier; when the middle sags, more stressed is placed on the shoulders, making it extremely difficult to use the arms as propulsion.

Block 3: Burpees & DB Ground-to-Overhead

Burpees are burpees, and the DB G2OH was as straight forward as it sounds: take the dumbbell from the ground to an overhead position (knees extended, elbows extended, shoulder active and driving up). You could accomplish this by performing either a DB snatch or a DB Clean and Jerk. Weight for the single DB was prescribed as 20-30% of total body weight. Scoring was equal to number of reps completed with each arm – i.e., if you did 25 reps with your right, and 25 reps with your left, your score was for the DB G2OH was 25. However, the reps had to be even, so you if you got 25 with your right, but only 24 with your left, your score was 24.

After all was said and done, and the scores had been tallied up, there was an outright tie between Dan and Steph, each with a total rep tally of 390 reps – sadly, there was no time left for a face-off. Also, big shout out to Sara for using a 40lb DB for the G2OH!

A tough workout to be sure. Awesome work all around, especially in really focusing on good form, and pushing the pace across all 3 eight minute blocks. Really impressive. Rest up, and we’ll see you all back on Thursday for what, I promise, will not be a repeat performance of Tuesday.



  1. Dan Samarov says:

    Thank god there was no time for a face off! On the second block, saw Steph drop the jump rope after the double-unders and IMMEDIATELY take off on the mummy-crawls… all I could think to myself was who is this person!?!?! Great job everyone, tough workout. Think I had more in me on the G2O’s, but the burpee’s were an absolute soul crusher, took me like 2 minutes into the G2O’s to get my head back in it.

  2. Erica says:

    Way to go Steph!!!! (And Dan) I can only imagine what those double unders looked like. I cannot figure out which block was harder for me, the first or the second. I felt strong on the shuttle runs, but not so much on the wall walkers. Those things take my breath away and I had a hard time keeping my core tight. I also had a hard time (apparently) counting my shuttle runs.

    I concentrated on trying to get DUs on the second block, so didn’t count single skips. I could not get more than three in a row, which was disappointing and frustrating, but I’ll consider it a step in the right direction. Transitioning from the DUs to the mummy walk felt impossible because my arms were so tired, but that tells me I wasn’t doing the DUs properly.

    Aimed for 50 burpees in 4 minutes and got it, and got 21 g2os with 25#s.

    I loved the workout so much and would not be unhappy for something similar on Thursday 🙂 Tuesdays have been rocking my world!

  3. Steph says:

    You know it’s a tough workout when Sebastian takes his shirt off! Hope your head is feeling better, Sebastian!

    Man, that was a pooper. Having the 4 minutes of rest in between each block possibly make things worse cuz it meant that you were supposed to and able to push harder through the next block. I was so tired after class that it took me a good 10-minutes to put my pants on. Still loved the workout though.

    I came in to class a little low on energy, which was probably caused by eating 3lbs of chocolate 2 hours prior. Note to self: never do that again!

    It was good to be able to do the shuttle runs. I kept a pretty even pace throughout, but they were definitely not sprints.

    I think the toughest exercise for me was the wall-walkers. Tom called me out a few times on bowing out and hard as I tried, I was not successful at keeping the hollow position. The hollow position is extremely hard for me and being upside down makes it even worse. I’ll definitely need to work on that more.

    DU numbers were lower than expected, I had to rest a lot more than usual, after the first 130 I did the rest in 20s with 5 seconds of rest before going again.

    I was able to keep a better hollow position on the mummy crawls and Lizzy kept me going as she was killing them next to me.

    I tried not too rest more than 3 seconds on the burpees, but rested a lot more on the ground-to-overhead because I wanted to keep a tight back position. Used a 25lb for the ground-to-overhead. Way to go Sara with a 40! That’s awesome!

    I wanted to cheer everyone on during the workout but was too tired. It was really great to see everyone push through.

    See you on Thursday!

  4. Steph says:

    And yes, thank god there was no time for a face off. I had nothing else in me, Dan would’ve crushed me like an ant!

  5. Erica says:

    I forgot to add, I too was ridiculously pooped and I hate coconut water, but downed a zico bottle after…that says something.

  6. SBV says:

    One of my goals in the ramp-up to the “competition season” is to push my metabolic conditioning past the point of comfort whenever the opportunity presents itself. Basically, it just means continuing to move even when my heart rate is jacked through the roof. We all have a wall/barrier, or a stopping point, and my goal is to push that wall/barrier further down the road.

    Tuesday’s workout presented numerous opportunities to push myself past the point of comfort. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have it. I tried everything from yelling at myself, trying to keep up with Julia, and even taking off my shirt. Instead of pushing myself, I backed off at every opportunity and looked for every opportunity to rest. My numbers were skewed because of lots of double-unders.

    And, oh yeah, the giant white board fell on my head in between blocks 1 and 2. You can’t make that stuff up . . .

  7. Julia says:

    Nice job Steph! And Sara! Strong work, ladies. Eric – that body positioning is amazing. And shoutout to Ben B. for passing me EASILY in the fourth quarter on the shuttle runs… all that uphill lunging coming into play?

    Re: SBV yelling at himself – he wasn’t kidding. Dude, it’s always easier after the fact to say “I could have done more.” And my numbers were also skewed because of DUs – but in the total opposite direction. You work with what you’ve got, right? And then you go back to the gym to get better at the other stuff for next time. As far as I could tell – great effort, well done. See ya back for more on Thursday.

  8. Ethan says:

    I am liking these Tuesday night grinders. Like Dan, the burpees at the end were an absolute crusher.

    P.S. I am calling out the Hammer until he shows up for one of these. He has been conspicuously absent from the long metcons lately…but at least someone was there to take his shirt off…..

  9. Katie says:

    Another tough one, but it felt good to finish! In the first block, I subbed a wall walk-attempt (not successful, sadly, my hands and feet were sliding all over) and 10 dolphin push-ups for 1 wall walk. I managed 22 shuttle runs, but only two sets of 10 push-ups. :o/ The dolphin position was kind of uncomfortable for my forearms (I have pretty purple bruises today), so next time I’ll grab a mat for those.

    I did single skips for the jump rope, and that was probably my strongest exercise of the night at 343 skips. I’m feeling more comfortable with jump rope, and I feel a double under coming soon! As always, the mummy crawls killed me, and I only got two of those — part of my problem is that I keep stopping so I get no momentum, I need to just suck it up, not think about it, and push through.

    Burpees were tough, as always, but Chris informed me I can now quit doing a full push-up on each one, so that should help in the future. :o) I think I got 22 of those. I felt pretty good with the G2OHs, used 12.5# DB (probably could have gone with 15# to start, but I would have had to drop down at some point) and I got 23 of those.

    All in all, not too bad! As always, I need to work on my upper body strength, but I felt good on jump rope. I’m sore today, but I don’t know if that’s from Sunday still? :o)

  10. Katie says:

    “When is a grinder not really a grinder? Perhaps when you break it up into pieces and sandwich some rest in there.”

    Oh, I just got that. :o) Very witty!

  11. Sara says:

    Like everyone else I was pretty crushed after this workout. I think I had the most difficult time with the sprints mostly because I started to get tight in the lower back after the first 4 reps. The walk walkers and mummy crawls were really tough and slow but for different reasons than the sprints. Double Unders were ok. I just wish I could string more than 15 together at a time. I actually had the easiest time with the G2O even if I only got 20 reps per arm. If I figured out earlier in the 2 minutes to switch arms after each rep I probably would have knocked out a lot more. I am glad I challenged myself with the 40lb DB and almost wish I had picked up a 45lb db to try.

    Way to go everyone. This was a tough one. I was focused on my workout during the 6PM class but I watched the 7PM barrel through all the segments.

  12. Ben says:

    The workout was a lot of fun and there were a lot of people really pushing the limit in the 7:00 class which made it even better! Thanks for the shout-out Julia. It felt good to keep up with Julia in the first block, then she promptly left me in the dust for the rest of the workout.

    The burpees were the killer for me (but I pulled out 42) and didn’t have much left in the tank on the G2Os. I used the 45lb DB and ended up with 24 reps, but similar to Dan, it took me a few minutes to get back on track after the burpees.

    Nice work everyone! See you tonight.

  13. edgy reggie says:

    It goes without saying that this was a tough one.

    Shuttle run: Okay…once I became more light on my feet.

    Wall walks: Tough on my shoulders, but I think I was getting better at (a) not sliding down and (b) keeping the hollow position because I was getting close(r) to the wall near the end.

    Jump rope: Attempted a few double-unders in the beginning, but Coach called me out to perform single skips. So I did.

    Mummy crawl: Ugh! Thanks to Coach and Sara for encouraging me (even though I was a few feet away from completing an additional rep). Keeping that hollow position does help…a lot.

    Burpees: No love here…just had to push through (and use good form).

    Ground-to-overhead: I actually love performing dumbbell snatches. But after all those other exercises, I was out-of-gas. I used a 40# dumbbell (probably could have “upgraded” to a 50# dumbbell – the largest of the hex dumbbells). Again, I may have performed fewer reps, but I feel as if my form was a lot better.

    Julia said it best: “You work with what you’ve got, right? And then you go back to the gym to get better at the other stuff for next time…”

  14. edgy reggie says:

    @SBV: A little bump on the head from a white board (I witnessed the aftermath) didn’t seem to slow you down. 🙂