January 13, 2012
January 18, 2012

Another 3 weeks down and another set of heavy front squats in the rotation. I never realized how popular CFDC’s front squat sessions were; how else do you explain the mass turn out on Sunday (25 at last count)? Perhaps it’s all the PR’s people keep turning in.

3RM Front Squat 

We’ve gone in to a lot of depth reviewing the front squat in the past couple of months (HERE on Sunday, December 11, 2011, and again HERE on Wednesday, December 28, 2011). There was no accessory work to accompany the front squats this time around, just work up to a 3RM for the day. I know of at least 5 PR’s set in class, but I’m sure there’s more, so please, please sound off in the comments section.

Of course, while there might not have been any accessory work during the front squats, there was definitely a nice follow up in the met-con for the day.

Heavy Thruster & Climb/Pull-Up Combo 

 Scaling was determined ahead of time, with three options to choose from:

  • (A) 5-4-3-2-1 Thruster & Rope Climb 
  • (B) 5-4-3-2-1 Thruster & 10-8-6-4-2 Towel Pull-Ups 
  • (C) 5-4-3-2-1 Thruster & 15-12-9-6-3 Pull-Ups (Kipping or Assisted)

With such low numbers, you know the weight on the thrusters would be slightly more than the usual 95/65 – guys were RX’d at 135lbs, and ladies at 95lbs. Many thanks to Sara for busting out some of her own chalk to share with the group, as both buckets were as empty as could be.


CrossFit Balance-Dupont-DC Smackdown 
Remember – Registration for inner-gym Smackdown on February 4th is still on-going, so if you would like to participate and are not on a team, or your team needs another participant or two, feel free to post your request in the comments. There are 20 spots left, and registration closes January 30th, so get if you want in, get a move on.

Run For Shelter 10K 
Also, Spring is just around the corner, and for those of you who like to get your run on, that means the start of race season. To kick things off, I’d like to invite all of you to sign-up for a brand new 10K race taking place in Alexandria, VA on Saturday, April 28th. Not that any of you need the motivation, but it helps that our own Julia Lam has ties to the event and is involved with spreading the word about the race!

Here’s the deal: The Run for Shelter 10k will benefit Carpenter’s Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Northern Virginia. Carpenter’s Shelter, was founded 20 years ago in Alexandria, VA, when the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church found a man asleep in the doorway on a cold winter night, and responded by opening the doors of the church basement to men and women in need. Today, Carpenter’s serves over 1,000 homeless and formerly homeless people each year – with a remarkable 90% of shelter graduates never again returning to homelessness. The organization has become a widely-admired model in the national effort to end homelessness. They’ve also set some lofty goals for this first time race: 1,000 runners; $25,000, with all proceeds benefiting the shelter; And, – as of this writing – just over 100 days to go. Registration is already open HERE; Facebook page and Twitter feed are live; and lots more info will be available soon at the race website, http://www.runforshelter10k.com/.

I’m with Julia in saying that it’d be a of fun to enter a big group. The organizers are hoping to bring out runners from all over the metro region for this inaugural race, and as the first CF affiliate in the metro region, we need to step up. For those of you who want to participate without all the running, we are going to look into volunteer opportunities as a group, so be sure to let us know you’re interested. Time to put those running drills and new found conditioning to the test!



  1. Steph says:

    I love Sundays for the longer class and therefore a longer warm-up. I’m not very good at coming up with warm-ups on my own and am often too lazy, but I realize that to keep the hip healthy and really do well in my workouts I need good long warm-ups, so thanks Coaches!

    I worked with Amelia, MC and Dian on the front squats. I’m happy to report that I hit a PR. I was able to get 3 at 135lbs, 10lbs more than my last PR 3 weeks ago. Thanks Amelia for reminding me to push my knees out. Our group was really good about keeping good form instead of just chasing higher numbers , yet I think everyone in the group still PRed. Well done, ladies!

    The metcon was a good one. I used 65lbs for the thrusters and should’ve gone heavier, maybe 75lbs, with such low reps. I did kipping pull-ups and went with the 10-8-6-4-2 rep scheme. My hands were pretty ripped up after, tore 5 calluses, 2 of them in the middle of my palms. Those 2 in the middle are the result of having a huge kip. I have to use huge kips because I don’t have the strength to do that many regular pull-ups. I should’ve done band-assisted pull-ups. Really need to work on my upper-body strength.

    It was awesome to watch those who rope-climbed, and they made them look so easy!

    As for the 10k run on April 28, unfortunately I won’t be able to run that much, but I’d be happy to help out at the CFDC water station and to cheer all of our athletes on! Chris already registered. Who else is in?

    See everyone tomorrow!!!

  2. edgy reggie says:

    More fun times at CrossFit DC. 🙂

    Front squats: I did medium-heavy back squats as part of my Olympic weightlifting training on the previous day. Therefore, I came into Sunday’s session not looking for a new PR attempt in the front squat (hard to do with sore quads and hamstrings) but looking to continue my good technique (read: knees pushed out, good squat depth, etc.).

    I worked with Scott on the front squats, and I feel I succeeded in achieving my goals for the session. I worked up to 205# x 3…which is twenty pounds away from my three-rep PR from three weeks ago.

    Hmmm…I wonder what I could have done with “fresher” quads. 🙂

    Met-con: I used 115# for the thrusters and did option (C)…but with strict pull-ups. Initially, I was deciding between the towel pull-ups and the strict pull-ups. The thrusters were definitely the easier part of this met-con; the pull-ups wrecked me. I manages to finish this in about 9:42 (if I read the clock correctly).

    Rope climbing is definitely on my list of exercises to conquer for 2012; I believe that it will get done, for I will make it happen.

    Winnie’s Iyengar yoga sessions on Sunday and Thursday evenings are really helping: I don’t feel sore as I am writing this comment.

    Run for Shelter 10K: Distance running “ain’t my thang,” but I’m willing to help out the CrossFit DC team in any way that I can. Let me know what I can do; my calendar should be open for April 28.

  3. Sara says:

    I have a tough time with front squats. I would love to see even a slight incremental increase in weight. I have been stuck at 135 for 3 anf about 145 or 150 for 1 for more than a year. It is a bit frustrating.

    I used 40kg for the metcon but probably could have handled 95lbs as well. The thrusters at this weight didn’t seem as difficult as I remember. My pull-ups were pretty broken. I ended up with a blood blister that did not break on my right ring finger.

    Thank you Anne (e or no e?) for helping me with the rope climb technique. Your assistence helped me get my very first rope climb. YAY!!!!

  4. SBV says:

    Well, I went for it. I’ve had a goal of 100kg for a triple for a long time. I want to be able to clean it, and am told that your clean 1 RM should be your front squat 3 RM. When Tom announced that we’d be finding our 3 RM, I knew it was time to give it a shot. Unfortunately, I was only able to manage it for two reps — I had to bail midway up the third rep. It feels as though the leg strength is there. It’s the upper back strength/positioning that seems to be lacking. I definitely think a more upright torso would help. What are assistance movevments to help upper back strength for the front squat?

    I scaled the metcon to 5-4-3-2-1 thrusters (135#) with 1 rope climb between each round. I would have liked to have attempted the rx’d version, but it was taking the guys in front of me way too long to finish the rope climbs. When you see Chris and Mark struggling with something, you know it’s time to make a modification.

    Charlottesville SuperFit Games this weekend! I think Tom A. and I (can we still claim Steve O.?)are the only people from our gym competing, but it should be fun.

  5. Katie says:

    That metcon sounds crazy, sorry to have missed it!

    Run for Shelter sounds like a great event, though I’m not quite up for the 10K. The one-mile Fun Run is more my speed, and then I’ll join Steph and other cheerleaders company. Of course, I’m sure Julia and Chris will be done with the 10K before I’m done with my mile. :o)

    I made the mistake of looking at tonight’s workout….ahhhh mummy crawls!!! Looking forward to it?

  6. Sara says:

    SBV-you forgot Dan. He’ll be there

  7. SaltyHat says:

    Katie, considering your awesome improvement on push-ups lately, I’m predicting that you’re gonna dominate those mummy crawls tonight! Of course, if you think otherwise, we could always sub in some plate pushes…

  8. SBV says:

    Sara: Dan apparently has a conflict and won’t be competing.

  9. Amelia says:

    Did a few sets of 3 at 105# which I think was a PR for me.
    As Steph said, I think our group did a good job focusing on form and depth.

    I should have scaled the pull ups instead of dropping the weight on the thrusters. Too many pull ups for me, even when band assisted.

    I am definitely up for a 10K run! It would be really great to get a a big group together.

    See everyone tonight!

  10. Dian says:

    It was great to review the push press, push jerk and kettlebell swing during the 9:00 skill review. I have a really hard time keeping my weight on my heels during the push press so it was good to get in some practice. The push jerk practice felt awkward. I think it will feel less awkward once I get in some practice with a heavier weight. Great to review the kettlebell swing as well and ensuring that I am really popping my hips on those.

    I did 2 sets of 3 at 105lbs on the front squats. I did 1 set of 3 at 105 back on December 27th (I can remember these things now since I’m finally writing things down). I could not have done another set at 105 back on the 27th so things are looking up. Thanks to Steph and Amelia for the pointers on not collapsing at the bottom of the squat and keeping my knees pushed out.

    My arms are still sore from the assisted pullups. I tried to get good pullups each time which hurt like heck. I really want to start stringing together unassisted pullups so I will take as much pullup practice as I can get.

    I’ve never done a run so this may be my chance. I’m definitely game.

  11. Tom Brose says:

    SBV, I think you have Dan scared!

    Squats looked strong all around, and improvement was evident in numbers as well as form.

    As for the run, I think its really important we get behind this (for me, as in get behind the table). Julia is trying to promote it, which should be enough, but she is doing it for a larger reason. We lead pretty cushy lives compared to most, and need to think beyond ourselves. As the best thing about CFDC is how awesome YOU all are, I have no doubt we can support the event.

  12. Dian says:

    I agree about the run Tom B.

    The run motivated me to finally call my podiatrist to get a diagnosis on my recent weird foot pain. I’ve been Googling my symptoms. Time to get it sorted out if I’m going to start training for April 28th.