April 11, 2012
April 16, 2012

With no conditioning workout on Tuesday, you probably should’ve envisioned, or at least expected, something like Thursday’s conditioning-only workout.

1K Row, 1K Run, 50 Box Jumps, 50 KB Swings 

Classes were set-up in heats of no more than 6 athletes at a time, mostly due the limited amount of rowers. Following the 1K row, athletes exited the back door of the gym for the 1K run, which was done as a Block run plus a Church run (so out the back door of the gym, all the way around the block, but then past the back door and in through the front door). Once in the door, athletes were to complete 50 box jumps. Heights were up to the athlete, but the programming called for jump-up, step-down only (stepping up was fine as well, so long as the athlete stepped down). From there, it was a mere 50 KB Swings to the finish.

Swings were programmed as overhead (American), although anyone uncomfortable with the KB in the overhead position could switch to eye-level (Russian). However, regardless of how high you swing the KB, the hip movement is identical used to impart momentum is identical: shins vertical (or nearly vertical) with the hips driven back, loading up the hamstrings and glutes, while the back remains arched and the shoulders are kept pulled back and down (scapular retraction):

Sara, during her last set of swings, still nailing the form on the KB swings

In an earlier blogpost discussing the KB swing, we discussed the required shoulder positioning at the bottom of the swing, as well as the maintaining core control when the KB is overhead (“You guys are so unhip it’s a wonder your bums don’t fall off“) However, what we didn’t cover, or rather didn’t compare, is the difference between correct loading of the hamstrings and glutes during the bottom part of swing, and incorrectly loading the quads. Think a deadlift position (correct) versus a squat position (incorrect):

There’s good reason that the first step in learning the KB swing is a kettlebell sumo deadlift. Really, the KB swing and the deadlift are very much a “same-but-different” movement; The hip hinge in the deadlift and the kettlebell swing are identical, and perfecting your swings will have significant carry over to dialing in your DL technique. Of course, you could always prescribe to the Jillian Michaels school of KB swings…

…in which case you’ll be mocked unmercifully before being put out of your misery by a KB to the head. 

Immediately post-completion of the workout, everyone was directed to jump back on the rower for 3 minutes of a nice easy row to help cool down, flushing the lactic acid and slowly bringing the heart rate back down.  Additionally, before anyone was released, each class stretched out the calves and achilles, as well as the lower backs.  Results for the evening classes (the math is a result of running the evening classes in multiple heats, so your actual time to completion is the far right number):

Good luck to those competing this weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Team Challenge at CrossFit BWI, including Sara, Dre, Julia, Sebastian/SBV, Salty/Chris, and the mysterious 6th Fingered Man.

Just FYI, there WILL BE class on Sunday as the regularly scheduled time; however, there WON’T BE an Elements class this Sunday at 9Am. And yes, the 10AM class will still be covering the last day of the first squat mini-cycle.



  1. Erica says:

    Thank God there was no mention of the bucket. Good luck to CFDC’s team! You guys will be great, no doubt. Loved the conditioning workout. Row felt long, run felt short, box jumps done unbroken, and kb swings broken up into two sets of 15, 2 sets of 10.

  2. ELB says:

    Good luck to everyone this weekend. I pondered on a nickname for Sebastian. The finalists are “Bash” and “Seabass.” I will leave it to my minion(the hammer) to decide which is most appropriate.

  3. Katie says:

    What a great challenge! Rowing next to people helps me out because I try to keep up with their pace. The run surprisingly felt okay. I stepped up on to the box and used a 12 kg kettlebell…kind of wanted to use the 8, but I’m glad I suck with the 12. I tried to keep good form but my the end it was all I could do to get it up there. My arms were completely spent! I was thrilled I finished in under 20 minutes, which was my goal.

    Erica, you are a speed demon! So awesome. You’re going to rock the Ironman.

    Good luck to everyone this weekend! Sadly, I can’t make it, but I’ll be thinking about you and cheering you on from afar.

  4. ppetersan says:

    Great workout. I lost more time than I should have on the swings, not because I needed a break, but because I thought I was going to lose my grip and send the kettlebell sailing into the wall in front of me. Even with chalk it seemed very slippery.

    Good luck to all the competitors this weekend. I wish I was able to come along to support team CFDC.

  5. Erica says:

    Oh, I came up with sumo badass vixon (or villian) for SBV

    And thanks Katie, but it’s just a half.

  6. Erica says:

    Btw, dropped off Ben this morning at 5:15 for a flight to Vegas. His first stop when he got here is planned to be Crossfit Las Vegas. That is so badass and I’m jealous.

  7. Julia says:

    Hey Dr. Merson,

    What bucket?


  8. Andraea says:

    Erica stepped into the chalk bucket and got her foot stuck trying to get a box out of the storage room! It was very classy as she pitched forward and I pulled the bucket off with her shoe. Great way to start the metcon!

    Great metcon and happy to have conditioning work! The row was daunting and then the run was daunting since I haven’t been running much. Thanks to Erica who pushed me to keep with the 20kg KB cause last night I totally wanted to go down to 16kg since I was tired. But I managed to do the swings with 20kg and I’m happy I did.

    Great job everyone on the metcon and good luck to those competing this weekend!!

  9. Sara says:

    Erica – did you take the bucket home with you? It was nowhere to be found at the 7PM class.

    I rowed 2k instead of the run. I wasn’t trying but I think I had a 2 second PR on the 2k. I used the 20″ box for the same reason I skipped out on the run. I needed to really collect myself before I even attempted the first box jump. Even then my legs were like jelly. I used a 24kg KB which I thought was a good idea but man were they tough with a count of 50. Got the first 20 in 2 sets of 10 but the remainder were sets of 6-8.

    I felt pretty sick after this workout (a feeling I don’t get often).

  10. Amelia says:

    Everyone beating SBV aka ______ to the comments today.

    Where are you bash/seabass/sumo badass vixon?

  11. Dian says:

    Good luck to everyone this weekend.

    It was such a relief to finally get to a weekday class after missing so many recently. Frankly, I was surprised I finished up the metcon in under 20 minutes. The row felt pretty good but on the run I could feel all the crap I’ve been subsisting on lately sloshing around in my gut. All that crap haunted me throughout the box jumps and kettlebell swings. Still, not too bad all things considered.

    Looking forward to Sunday.

  12. Katie says:

    The best I could come up with for SBV was “Spastic Bearcrawl Virtuoso.” But I think all the “SBV” ones are too long to be catch. My vote is for seabass, because then we can cheer, “Kick his ass, seabass!”

  13. TomandAmi says:

    Good Luck all at the Challenge have some fun and kick some ass.

  14. SBV says:

    Stop wasting your time with nicknames for me. The whole point about the nickname post was to point out how incredibly easy it was to come up with nicknames for Amelia. It wasn’t to encourage everyone to brainstorm nicknames for me. Feel free to just call me “Ben.”

    On an unrelated note, we had a really close call last night on the 1K run. A car rolled through a stop sign last night and almost seriously injured Ben Brown. Ben was alert enough to jump his legs sideways and slam his hands on the hood of the car. It was really scary and almost a serious accident. Good reminded that we all need to be more careful crossing through the streets on our runs.

  15. Dian says:

    I loathe drivers that disregard stop signs. I’ve actually been honked at by other drivers for actually stopping at a stop sign! So glad that Ben wasn’t injured.

    I wanted to apologize again to Julia for jumping in front of her last night to start the met con. It wasn’t intentionally. I just wanted to go ahead and get it over with. Feel free to push me out of the way (gently) if I do something like that again.

  16. Julia says:

    Holy ninja skillz Ben! Seriously though, so glad you weren’t injured. And I’m definitely guilty of reckless streetcrossing (among other things), so good reminder, SBV (Seabass? Or: http://www.trend-cosmos.de/WebRoot/Store2/Shops/es120625_Trend-Cosmos/4A3A/0A42/140F/84DF/2A26/50ED/8961/823F/singender-fisch-big-mouth-billy-bass.jpg?)

    And normally I am all about metcons as full-contact sport, but I actually want to thank Dian for throwing herself on the erg before I could last night. First of all, I am ALWAYS happy to let someone braver than me go in front. Secondly, knowing my mad coordination skillz, I probably would have tripped over the stop-sign-disregarding car. Or leapt sideways and crashed instead into a pole. So thanks Dian, you probably saved my life! 🙂 Or a pole or two, at least.

  17. Erica says:

    Um, Ben didn’t mention a word to me about this…greatttt!!

  18. TomandAmi says:

    Julia you win – Sea Bass.

    I think you captured it all in a nuanced way. Sea Bass it is. Wrist wraps on Sunday!

    And Ben stop showing off for Sea Bass, I know you are feeling a little neglected and under appreciated with Erica recently devoting so much time to that doctro thing but come on stop the screaming out for attention.

  19. Ben says:

    Hey, near miss car accidents are no joke, and neither are my cat-like speed and reflexes.

    Yes, I am feeling a little neglected. Throwing myself in front of a car might have been a little much, but at least someone was there to see it. It is hard living in the shadow of a doctor.

    Went to CF Las Vegas yesterday. Tough workout. 5 x 3 power cleans and then the metcon was Fran.

    Anyway, hope you all have a good week!