May 25, 2012
May 30, 2012

Sorry for the late blog post all – Memorial day demanded some R&R, including time away from the computer. Hope everyone had a chance to rest, relax, and reflect. Sunday capped the second (of three) squat mini-cycles, and everyone was really jamming with the weight on Sunday! Lots of good concentration, good form, and good depth.


– 2 x Spider Crawl to 1/2 Ct, 10 Scap Retraction Push-Ups, Inch-Worm to 1/2 Ct, 10 Push-Ups; then,
– 50′ Partner Leap-Frog Squat Walk

 Squat Cycle 2, Week 3: 
 Back Squat 5 x 3 @ 90%

To prepare for the days work, warm up sets were done as follows: 1 x 10 @ ~35%, 1 x 8 @ ~50%, 1 x 5 @ ~65%, 1 x 3 @ ~75%, and 1 x .2 @ ~85%.  If you feel the need for more warm-up sets (which may be the case depending on just how much weight your 90% works out to), by all means, use them.  

With heavy back squat comes a need for spotters, especially since we’re working with just two safety racks (racks with pins that can “catch” the bar if you’re unable to stand up with the weight). Spotting is going to be a necessity as we enter the third and final mini-cycle in a couple of weeks. The tendency of an exhausted body in a heavy back squat is to lose core (mid-line) stability, causing the weight to pull the lifter forward. In this position, dropping the weight backwards off the shoulders is impossible. Instead, a spotter is needed to step in, curling their arms under the lifters and placing their hands on the front of the lifters chest and shoulders, thereby righting the lifter and then guiding them into the rack. Even more ideal is to have two spotters at each end of the bar to help the lift the weight and re-rack.

Two things to note when spotting:
First – you are assisting the lifter, so that means helping the lift the weight AND re-rack it; don’t stop short by just helping them stand up with the weight and then leaving them to their own devices (also, do NOT let them attempt another rep – if someone is unable to lift the weight of their own accord and needs help, then there’s no reason for them to attempt another rep).
Second – If there are two of you spotting, make sure you are acting in unison; if you feel the lifter needs help, make sure you let the other spotter know and then BOTH of you lift up on the weight (that as opposed to just one of you lifting up on the weight, tilting the bar and making the situation much, much worse for the lifter).

Lifters – If you’re lifting, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure your partners are spotting you;
Spotters – If one of your partners if lifting, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are paying attention, ready to lend assistance if needed, EVEN if the lifter did not ask for it.

10 x 2 DL Speed-Pulls

Sunday’s hamstring-based accessory was sumo deadlift speed pulls. Weight for the pulls was prescribed at roughly 50% of your 1RM DL, which should’ve ensured the movement was crisp.

For this Sunday’s iteration of the speed pulls, however, lifters had the option to choose between either a sumo- or conventional-stance, depending on comfort. 

Team Met-Con: 
10min AMRAP Tire Flip Suicides! 

With an empty gym, no met-con last Sunday, and a holiday on Monday, Sunday seemed the perfect time for a little tire-flipping met-con. Three tires were used, with separating out into who could reasonably flip which tire. Once teams were made, class got down to the business of flipping some tires!

The breakdown: flip the tire, jump into the center and then out the other side, turn around, flip the tire back and jump through again, and then take off, sprinting down the court (~roughly 95ft), perform 5 push-ups, and then sprint back. The next person in line starts as soon as the preceding person takes off on the run. Continue in the fashion, getting in as many rounds as possible in 10min.

Short Post? No Matter – There’s Video! Courtesy of Steph, enjoy some tire-flip suicide mayhem:

 See you all tonight.



  1. SBV says:

    Sunday may have been my favorite CFDC class of all time. Heavy back squats, sumo speed pulls, and tire flips! Three of my favorite movements. Squats took me to the absolute limit on the third rep of each set. Speed pulls made me feel like an animal. Tire flips brought me back to the 2010 “Courage Games” where the first event was to flip that exact tire 20 times as fast as possible.

    Monday was the ultimate squat cycle recover day. I took MC’s yoga class where we spent a lot of time sitting in the bottom of a squat and mobilizing the hips. I also joined Erica and Amelia for swimming at the Hains Point pool. Erica is a LEGIT swimmer. Amelia is rapidly improving. I’m very poor. Regardless, it was awesome recovery for the legs and I feel ready to rock for Tuesday’s class.

    One last note: there’s usually a fear around CrossFit affiliates that a “strength” cycle, such as the one we’re in right now, will lead to women losing interest. I’ve observed quite the opposite. I think the CFDC women have really enjoyed the squat cycle and have showing up in huge numbers each week. I think this is great!

  2. Katie says:

    I struggled a bit mentally and physically Sunday, and I wasn’t as focused as I would have liked. Luckily there are great athletes and coaches around me to keep me in line! I managed to do my squats at 65#, which I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do a month ago, so that was cool. I need to watch my depth, though…I don’t want to get in the habit of getting *almost* deep enough. As Monica blogged about, almost isn’t good enough.

    Did the DLs at 70#, which felt okay. I think I was focusing too much on getting through them quickly and little on good setup; Sara noticed I was too far forward one set, and I noticed I was a little uneven on my grip a few times.

    It was cool to do tire flips for the first time, though they were tough. I almost bit it on my first jump, which led to me doing a super-cool-looking one-legged step (or tire box jump), as demonstrated in the video. I have developed a mental block on box jumps, particularly when I’m tired, which translated to jumping over the tire…I’m scared to completely wipe out. My goal is to conquer that and have solid 18″ box jumps by the end of the summer.

    Onward and upward. I’m at 44 oz. of water intake so far today, in preparation for what will surely be a sweaty class tonight. Looking forward to it!

  3. Dan Samarov says:

    Missing the CFDC folk! Been moving and traveling, Lizzy and I are going to try and get in this Thursday. Do I sense I CFDC swim wod!?!?!

  4. Sara says:

    Squats were good this week much better than last week. They felt really heavy on warm-ups but when I got to my weight they didn’t feel so bad. I took my breath late (i was already descending) on rep 2 of my first working set which Tom pointed out. The second set looked and felt better. I didn’t feel like I struggled at all. Only doing 3 reps at a time made a huge difference. My working weight was (74kg ~162-163 lbs)

    I got a chance to try something new on the DLs and did them with bands. I used the small skinny bands an did sumo speed pulls with 135lbs plus the resistance with the bands. Thanks to Chris for giving me a five count between reps since I had no one cycling through with me.

    Steph, Chris and I had fun with the metcon. I was glad to see the return of tire flips. Steph and I used the middle tire and Chris used the big one. Time ran out when I was starting round 7 or 8 I think so we each finished one more round to make it even.

  5. Tom Brose says:

    I loved that class as well, great energy and all out effort. Sets of three makes the weight bearable, but repeated triples become a mental challenge. Cool to see people stay collected and focus on form. After that, the Sumo pulls and tire flips were a chance to let loose. Chris tried to break me with 15 sets of pulls with the blue bands in 6 minutes, but I hung on (did lame out on the metcon though). Made me appreciate the effort you all put in even more!

    Dan, hope the move went well and we see you both soon!

  6. Erica says:

    Legs are feeeeeeling it! The squats felt doable, which was good, but it was a heavy leg weekend for me (think long bike runs, long runs, and heavy squats). I agree, pool on Monday afternoon was much needed. And SBV is supremely underestimating his abilities. He was awesome. I remember the first time I tried the 50 m pool. That was rough. He’ll be games-ready by the end of summer, as will Meels. And I agree also, that like the open or the smackdown, having a specific goal in mind is really making this fun. I think MC said this on Sunday, but knowing that you have a specific weight that you need to hit makes it so much more fun and pushes you a bit more, as opposed to having to guess how much you should go up every time. Thanks C and T for making this happen.

    I also loved the tire flips. Definitely looking forward to more of those in the future.

  7. Dian says:

    I’ve been spoiled at CFDC. I can’t imagine being part of a CrossFit box afraid of losing women during a strength cycle. I’m all for getting stronger especially in my upper body. I want to be able to string together pull-ups so bad I could spit!

    Erica, MC and I worked at 120lbs for the squats. They felt pretty good. I still have to work out ankle flexibility issues but all and all I was happy with Sunday.

    I almost broke into a fit of jumpy claps when I saw the metcon would involve tire flips. Thanks for the video Steph. The video clearly shows that I didn’t sprint down and back up the court but merely trotted.

  8. Tom Brose says:

    I want to see fits of jumpy claps in class!

  9. Steph says:

    Yay squats! Sunday’s squats went well. 135lbs didn’t feel excessively heavy and I found that taking a deep breath that filled my belly before each set helped tremendously. Did single-leg floor touches with a bar bell instead of sumo speed pulls and worked up to 65lbs this time.

    The metcon was so much fun! Would love to do that one again. 5 push-ups were just right. Any more would’ve resulted in a major slowdown.

  10. Kenna says:

    Loved this class too. I was excited to do tire flips for the first time. I think next time I can go up a tire size. LOVE the photo of Anthony! Will try to be in class if work cooperates…

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