May 21, 2012
May 25, 2012

Back to some dedicated upper body work for Tuesdays, which, this past Tuesday, featured a few pull-ups followed by a Girl workout which features pull-ups, but without the pull-ups. Clear, right?

15min of max rep Strict Pull-Ups

Everyone in class was given 15 minutes to cycle through the bars as many times as possible in order to achieve as many strict pull-ups as they could. Those with at least 7-10 strict pull-ups at any given time were encouraged to scale up and add weight with a DB between the knees or ankles. Those without any strict pull-ups yet were encouraged to scale down to resistance bands or rows on the ladder.

As for those with a few strict pull-ups, they were encouraged to go as far as they could with strict pull-ups, even if that meant getting one at a time when they were on the bar. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The more time you put in collecting those 1 or 2 strict pull-ups, the faster you’ll build up your strength, and the sooner you’ll be banging out high rep sets of pull-ups.

Met-Con: Sorta-Helen 
Version #1 = 3 x 400m Run, 21 KB Swings, 8 DB Push Press/side 
Version #2 = 15 Burpees; 3 x 100 Skips, 21 KB Swings, 8 single-arm DB Push Press/side; & 15 Burpees 

Why two versions? Well, Mother Nature rained on the parade a little when an ill-timed down pour forced a slight change of plans for the 7pm class.

For version #1, athletes performed an out-and-back run heading out the back door, down Leroy Pl. to Connecticut Ave., and then back. KB Swings were over-head (American), and the weight for the single-arm DB push-press was suggested as 1/4 BW for guys, 1/8 BW for ladies – or a weight that you could strict press at least 10x.

For version #2, the standards and weights for the swings and PP were kept the same, except the run was replaced with 100 single skips (scaled up to 35 double unders) and a buy-in & cash-out of 15 burpees was added.

Well done on cycling through the pull-ups – there was rarely an open bar, and people were really pushing themselves on the strict pull-ups. A few people asked about another kipping tutorial, so we’ll work that into the program for the near future. Rest up, and be sure to hyrdate before Thursday. See you all then.



  1. Erica says:

    Glad that I eeked into the 6 pm class, although I guess I wouldn’t have minded the DUs at this point. For the pull-ups, managed to stick with strict the whole time and really focused on locking my arms out at the bottom of each rep (including the first one, where I think it’s the easiest to cheat). At most on each rep I got 2 and the minimum I got was 1. I am still waiting for the day when I can get 5 unbroken 🙂

    For the KB swing, I used the 1/2 pood (that’s for you Ben and Ben) and the 20# db that felt too light so had to switch to 25# mid-metcon for the push press.

    Very humid. I was thirsty.

  2. Katie says:

    My rain dance on the way to the 7 pm class worked! Woohoo!!

    I did a couple band pull-ups, then switched to rows with the ladders when I wasn’t getting my chin high enough. I tried a negative at the end, but it wasn’t the day for it. (and I was already tired)

    I used 12.5# DBs for the metcon in an attempt to stay light and avoid overarching my back, but I probably should have used 15# in hindsight. I subbed goblet squats instead of the KB swings, since my lower back/upper hip area has been hurting. I did single skips, which are by far my favorite metcon exercise — I think I probably could do 300 single skips in the time it would have taken me to do one 400m run. I finished around 12 minutes and was confused and thought I might have miscounted rounds or misunderstood the workout — but I’m pretty sure I didn’t.

    It’s incredibly difficult to admit when you need to scale down or sub out exercises because of injury/illness/etc…even if you know it’s best for your body in the long run. I’m trying to be better about listening to my body. (when exercising, at least…not when it tells me I’m craving a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.)

  3. SBV says:

    I got steamrolled on this workout. Dudes in the 7 o’clock class were straight-up killin’ it. I struggled to keep up and was slowed by grip on the kettlebell swings and push presses with my left arm. I was amazed by the difference between my dominant and non-dominant hand (and I even made sure to use my non-dominant hand first each round).

    Also, as great as gaining some weight is for the squat cycle, I sure doesn’t do you any favors on strict pull-ups.

  4. Tom Brose says:

    Wait, how did we get this far without anyone commenting on Chris calling you out for Lamaze breathing on the squats? That was a masterful bit of coaching/smack talk that I don’t think should go unnoticed.

  5. Erica says:

    If I had known that I would have for sure commented…

  6. Dian says:

    I really appreciated the pull-up practice. Alas, I wasn’t able to get a pull-up unassisted but I tried a few times. I’m sore in all the right places today so I did something right.

    The metcon was tough but I did enjoy the work. I used 25lbs for the push presses first round but bumped it down to 20 after that. I should have stuck it out at 25lbs. I did DUs throughout and was able to get one set unbroken. Not sure about the weight on the kettlebell. The cash in/out burpees was originally set at 25 but our merciful coaches bumped it down to 15. I would like to think that my bitching and moaning had a little to do with that decision. Tom B. stood over me for the cash out burpees and kept me legit.

    Okay, off to hit the foam roller before bed. Looking forward to tomorrow night.

  7. Tom Brose says:

    Crying about burpees will never get them reduced. We just wanted to make sure it was a workload that fit the plan. Dian, I was impressed with your knocking out that last fifteen. Everyone hears those voices trying to convince them its OK to take a break, but you don’t have to listen. Now just to get you onto those heels…

    Nice to see more of the ladies getting the strict pullups. As tough as it is, building that strength through the upper back, specifically the ability to pull the scapula down, is the only safe way to jump into higher rep kipping pullups. If you’re not there yet, have faith, the progression works.

    Metcon was Helenesque, and the it showed in the intensity. As opposed to last Tuesdays high volume metcon, shorter succinct workouts allow for all out sprint pacing.

  8. edgy reggie says:

    Lawsy, Mr. Tom (and Mr. Chris), I knowns nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no squats. 🙂

  9. Katie says:

    Dian, I totally agree you had something to do with getting the number of burpees decreased, so thank you! I don’t think you were bitching about it, though, just commenting that it was a lot…and Tom and Chris realized you were right. :o)

  10. Ben says:

    I was excited that big swole Tuesdays are now back on the map after last week’s plate-push beatdown. I worked my way up through the pull-ups starting at 25 lbs and got up to 5 reps at 40 lbs. I failed at 4 reps with 45 lbs and attempted two more rounds with that weight.

    The met-con was awesome. Glad I was in the 7:00 class, even though the DUs tripped me up a little in the 2nd round.

  11. Andraea says:

    Great class Tues. night and I was greatful to have the time to work on pull-ups. I did manage to stay with strict pull-ups the whole time, I started with getting 3 the first round then 2 each round except the last 2 rounds I got one. Definitely have a good sore going on from them. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to get more reps!

    Metcon was a good one, thanks Erica for keeping me going with the 20kg kettlebell! Needed the push, sometimes I’ll psych myself out and think I won’t be able to do it. I should’ve gone heavier on the push presses though. I used 20lbs, not sure what I was thinking, definitely light. I should always be grabbing the 25lb dumbbell I realized.

    See everyone tonight!

  12. Steph says:

    I had a lot of bad food last weekend and definitely felt every bit of it during Tuesday’s workout. I was slow and all of my joints were hurting. Stupid white flour and sugar!

    As bad as I felt during the metcon, I was happy that I didn’t have to use bands for the pull-ups. I managed to squeeze one pull-up in each time I got up there with two in the first round. Way to go Andraea getting 2 or 3 each time! That’s awesome.

    Looking forward to tonight! I had more bad food yesterday so really need an ass-kicker.

  13. Erica says:

    Steph, don’t get me started on white flour and sugar…uggh. And Ben hush about last Tuesday, that was amazing. That will get you swoll too