February 8, 2012
February 13, 2012

The focus of Thursday’s class was pretty straightforward: how much work could you do in the allotted time blocks given? The movements weren’t complex, but in order to produce the best numbers, athlete had to switch between a plan-out-the-reps mindset and an all-out-gut-check mindset.

3 min Strict Pullups, 3 min rest; 
3 min Handstand Push Ups, 3 min rest; 
2 min DB Thrusters, 2 min rest; 
2 min Burpees, 2 min rest; 
1 minute Air Squats, 1 min rest; and, 
1 minute Push Ups

Any version of pull-ups were allowed, whether it be kipping, strict, assisted, etc. HSPU’s were scaled to wall walkers, and the weight for the DB Thrusters was RX’d at two DBs equaling 1/3 body weight for women or 1/2 body weight for men. Score was reps per exercise.

The planning stages were up front in the workout: pull-ups and HSPU’s. Going all out in these exercises would net you some reps, but a planned approach, including not going to failure on the first set, will net you more.

At the other end of the spectrum were the exercises that required nothing more than gritting your teeth and doing more: burpees and air squats. You can always do more burpees. You might not feel like it. But you CAN do them.

The Thrusters sort-of fall in between those two mindsets: plan out the reps to minimize the time spent with the DBs sitting on your shoulders, but also grit your teeth and push for those reps as exhaustion catches up with you. By the time the push-ups rolled around, it was one minute of staving off complete muscular failure.

The size of class required two groups, with one working while the other rested, and once both groups were done and had caught their breath, everyone hit the mats for some static core work. 

1 x Max V-Sit for time; 
 …followed shortly by… 
1 x Max Plank Hold for time 

In the end, it was Andraea in the 6pm class and TM in the 7pm taking top honors, each holding the plank position for just over 3 minutes.

Great work across the board. The energy in the gym has been raging lately, and it’s pretty awesome to see. Is this due to the recent Smackdown? Perhaps because of the impending 2012 CF Games Open qualifiers? Both? Whatever it is, here’s hoping it doesn’t die off.

Speaking of the Smackdown, we’re still receiving lots of follow-up enthusiasm and compliments. Our goal going into the competition was to ensure that everyone could do the workouts, but more than that, we wanted everyone to have fun. While the first was relatively easy to plan for and monitor, the second one was somewhat more nebulous. The constant feedback, however, has really let us know how much people enjoyed it. And while we could go on and write at length about the positives of friendly, accessible competition, it’s probably much better to share blog posts from two of the competitors.

The first is from CFDC-alum (and recent returnee!) Monica Niska (pictured above):

The second is from current CFDC-athlete and yogini Mary Catherine Starr:

Thank you ladies; truly, it can’t be said any better than that.

As well, you all probably noticed that extremely large header that’s been added to the top of the blog regarding the 2012 CrossFit Games Open competition. That’s there to stay for a while, and although 15 CFDC athletes have registered so far, we’re looking to grow that number significantly in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, or are debating signing up, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Finally, Best of Luck to Coach Mike, Coach Sara, Reggie, Tom A., Jenn Sargent, and Henry who are all competing at the Baltimore Open Olympic weightlifting competition this weekend!



  1. A.T. Alden says:

    Great workout yesterday – 55 PU’s, 11 (shitty) HSPUs, 20 DB Thrusters, 32 burpees, 39 air squats. In particular, I want to note that 100# DB thrusters sucked; those dumb dumbbells get unwieldy very quick. I need to loose some weight to make it easier on myself during half body weight WOD’s … or get stronger.

  2. A.T. Alden says:

    P.S. Anyone want to get together on Saturdays/Sundays to do skill work in preparation for the CF Open?

    I need to get to a point where I can do muscle-ups, double-unders, and regular HSPU, also need to improve my butterfly pull-up technique.

    I’m going in tomorrow, early afternoon – anyone want to join?

  3. Katie says:

    I have a cold so opted to stay home and rest last night…I’m feeling better today, though, so I think I’m going to attempt this workout on my own this afternoon. Does anyone remember the approximate warm-up? If I had to take a wild guess, it probably involved inchworms, push-ups, and squats.

    Also, if anyone has any Paleo tips/resources they would recommend, I would really appreciate it — I’m trying to ease in to it rather than do 30 days strict and fall on my face after that. I’m reading the Paleo Solution and checking out all the links on this blog, but it’s a little overwhelming and I’d love to hear thoughts and experiences from people I trust. (that’s you guys.) In particular I’m on the fence about dairy (considering grass-fed milk and butter, and my breakfast go-to, greek yogurt).

    Also, I was checking out the Open registration for CFDC, and WOW — you all look YOUNG for your ages!! :o)

  4. Dan Samarov says:

    Looked like a fun one ;).

    Alden, I’ll be in around 5:00/5:30 for some lifting/skill’ish work.

  5. Amelia says:

    Good workout yesterday.

    Peer pressure got to me and I have officially registered for the open.

  6. A couple of things:

    1. YAY Amelia!!!! So glad you finally registered–we knew you would give in to the positive peer pressure 🙂

    2. Great workout yesterday, although I was sad I couldn’t do everything due to some weird shoulder pain…

    3. Andraea is hands-down the best plank-holder on the east coast. I’m totally impressed.

    4. Thanks for the blog post shout-out!

    See everyone Sunday 🙂

  7. Kenna says:

    I loved the variety of this workout. On the pull ups the thick green band wasn’t enough assistance, so I had to double up with a black band. On the wall walks, I actually got the most vertical I’ve ever gotten, maybe 18-24″ from the wall! I used 20# DBs on the thrusters, but lost count. After then entire sequence, I went back and did another minute of pullups to make up for my lackluster start. I have a long way to go on those.

    @Katie on paleo: I really enjoy the challenge of cooking/baking paleo, though I aim for about 85% of my diet being paleo (though I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be. I love cheese too much). I’ve used/adapted a lot of recipes from http://everydaypaleo.com/ and http://www.elanaspantry.com/ (though she has non-paleo stuff too.) though there are a million blogs and books out there.

  8. Andraea says:

    Thanks MC! The pressure is on with the plank holds now.

    Great workout last night! I feel like I need to work on pull-ups more as I’m getting worse on those. I used to be able to do 2-3 strict pull-ups and last night I could only do one unfortunately.

    Good luck guys at the Baltimore open this weekend!

  9. Dian says:

    I was really disappointed to miss class again last night. Discovery deadline is looming and everyone is running around like the sky is falling. For once the sky is indeed falling . I’m going to try and do this workout on my own.

    Holy plank hold Andraea! I really need to work on those. You’ve motivated me. I’m going to start tonight.

    @Katie – Like Kenna my diet is mostly paleo. I really fell off the wagon around the holidays and I noticed a BIG difference. I’ve cut out bread, grains, pasta, cheese, and I stick to meals of protein with a variety of vegetables. I still drink regular milk since I really don’t get the prohibition on dairy. I have cut out yogurt however. I still have to read the Paleo Solution.

    I’ve “liked” a few pages on Facebook including Paleo Comfort Foods and Fast Paleo. Thus far, I’ve baked paleo breakfast goods like muffins. I always get a snack attack mid-morning so I make muffins when I have time and they come in really handy. They are really delicious. I must warn you though, almond flour is freaking expensive.

    I agree with moving slowly on going paleo. Also, every once in a while I have something that is totally not paleo like the apple turnover I had yesterday. I ate it, it was worth every calorie and I don’t stress about it.

  10. Erica says:

    I’m so excited with how many people are so into the open! I am sort of excited about it and really look forward to seeing some of my teammates advance to the next level.

    Last night’s workout was awesome. I love these kinds of workouts, when you’re not going for a “1 RM”, but rather, are trying to eek out as many as possible in a given time. It keeps you honest, forces me to really push myself past the point of exhaustion, and then do some more.

    I too really need to focus on some of the “basic movements”, like pull ups and pushups. I’m at the point where I’m bringing my chest to the ground on pushups, but now they are SO much harder and I can’t do as many. And not much gets me as out of breathe with jello arms as wall walkers.

    See you all this weekend

  11. Erica says:

    AND a big huge WAY TO GO BEN who, just a little less than 6 months after his torn pec injury, did 13 hand stand push ups! Seriously, so proud of you roomie 🙂

  12. Tom Brose says:

    Alden, once you register, we’ll include you in on the secret training! In actuality though, Chris and I are happy to start getting some extra training in for people who want to take competitions to the next level. We’ll be looking st times for that soon.

    Katie, thanks for calling everyone old. That wont come back to haunt you via mummy crawls or anything.

    I loved both of those blogs that we linked. Great to see how people use CF as an expression of themselves.

    Erica, I give Ben 100% credit for his amazing recovery. He got dealt a crummy hand, but has proven to be way more stubborn than any injury. Still, without a top notch cheerleader to keep him going, I don’t think he would have banged out those 13 HSPUs.

  13. Tom Brose says:

    …and, way to jump in Amelia! You are going to go great.

    Good luck to the Baltimore Open competitors!

  14. Sara says:

    @Katie – I can send you a ton of links to where I get recipes. Sometimes they are not completely paleo and I adapt them and some would be considered more primal than paleo. I eat mostly paleo or primal. I eat some dairy (usually Greek yogurt and the occasional cheese) I don’t like milk so I will typically use unsweetened coconut milk beverage or unstweenened coconut milk when necessary. Another good book in addition to the paleo solution would be the primal blueprint. I have been meaning to read both if these. I Don’t have much difficulty with cutting out the grains because I didn’t eat much of them before I started eating this way. My biggest difficulty is the sugar. I finally just started drinking my hot tea with no sweetener at all. That was a big step for me cause I use to drink it with a lot of honey.

  15. Katie says:

    Thank you, everyone! That’s all very helpful!

    Tom, I meant it as a compliment…that came out wrong…everyone looks so young, it’s a good thing…uh oh. :o)

  16. Dian says:

    Good luck to all at the Baltimore Open!

  17. Steph says:

    @Katie, Chris and I don’t follow a strict paleo diet in that we eat diary, but we try not to eat any grain or sugar and stick mostly with protein and veggies. I eat a lot of pork 😀

    I didn’t really have it on Thursday but did the best I could. Didn’t know we could do kipping pull-ups downstairs, but it was probably best that I stuck with strict and banded anyway. Used 25lb dbs for the thrusters and tried to keep my core tight the entire time.

    Way to go Andraea on winning the plank hold again! Congrats to Brendan also for giving Andraea a run for her money.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s long class!

  18. Suzie Thomas says:

    With core workout, women are in a position to goal the different problem areas they could possibly have and gain strength at the same time. To scale back fats and strengthen power, core exercises for girls are undoubtedly one factor to consider.