June 4, 2012
June 8, 2012


Seriously, a class in which no equipment is used? Is that even possible? Apparently, it is. Tuesday was an onslaught of all body weight exercises, including pull-ups, push-ups, handstands and HSPU, and a few squats. If nothing else, it sure made clean up a lot easier.

2 x 
 10 Spider Lunges, 
8 Boot Strappers,
 6 Alternating T Push-Ups,
 4 Burpee Broad Jumps,
 Carioca Rt full ct,
 Carioca Lft full ct; 
 2 x 5 Hanging Scapular Retractions 

AMRAP Strict Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups + Handstand Progression 

After a quick run-down on the handstand progression for the evening, class got to work alternating between AMRAP pull-ups and handstands. Pull-Ups were to be strict, with scaling options including negatives or supine rows on the parallettes (no band assistance, that would’ve meant getting equipment out…).

As for the handstand progression, everyone was to work through the following, starting at the same place, and then working as far through the progression as possible – in other words, if you were unable to do the next step of the progression, then you would stick at the previous step. Scaling options were included for many of the rungs, which made Tom’s flow chart look like a family tree of handstand work (will try to get picture today)

  1. Handstand Hold (RX’d as facing away from the wall, scaled to wall walks); 
  2. Handstand Hold (facing the wall); 
  3. Shoulder Touches (scaled slightly to lifting the hands); 
  4. Handstand Push-Ups (scaled to negatives) – HSPU could be done to an ab-mat or to the floor, and a few people even gave HSPU while facing the wall a go. 

For both the pull-ups and handstand works, people were limited to no more than 3 negatives at a time, or 20 total for the workout. Negatives can have a serious impact on your muscles, and while enormously helpful, when done in too great a volume, they can become deleterious.

Tabata-esque Couplet of Squats and Push-Ups 

4 rounds of tabata squats, followed immediately by 4 rounds of tabata push-ups, followed by 3 rounds of tabata squats, then push-ups, and so on down to 1 set of each. A few people were challenged to B2B (bottom-to-bottom) squats – i.e., holding the squat position during the 10 seconds of rest – and it became infectious, with nearly the entirety of both classes going for the B2B version. Awesome!

The met-con was followed by some dedicated stretching, including 1minute in the death/couch stretch, followed by another 30 seconds of the death/couch lunge, with hands/elbow on the floor. This was repeated for the other leg, and then followed with some wall-assisted shoulder stretching.

Awesome work. Promise they’ll be some barbells used in Thursday’s class, so you all can be sure to get your fix in. Also, please check Sunday’s post for information on the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit for Hope workout taking place this Saturday outside at John Marshall Park.

Also, while you’re busy reading the blog and not working (and really, there’s nothing wrong with that), click on over to the blog Starr Struck to read Mary Catherine’s awesome take on “Why {She} CrossFits.”



  1. David Haas says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Julia says:

    For the metcon, I was equally baffled by Chris’s explanation and Tom’s whiteboard decision family tree calculus equation thing, so I just tabata’d with no clue which set we were on or what was next or how many more rounds were left. Not a bad way to go, actually.

    Love MC’s blog post, and also love Emily’s squat position in the photo – that’s textbook!

  3. Katie says:

    Another awesome Tuesday. I feel my inner swoleness coming out.

    I did a couple negatives (maybe 6?) and some rows on the parallel bars. Need to keep my shoulders down on the negatives. I also attempted to kick up into a handstand with Chris’s instruction…I didn’t get it (yet), but I’ll work on it. Just another goal to add to the ever-growing list.

    Great metcon, simple yet challenging. It’s been difficult pushing open doors and reaching overhead today.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Chris! And sorry I missed last night’s class–it looked fun! I’m still sore from Sunday, though, so that’s cool…

    I’m heading out of town today so won’t be back in class until next week 🙁 I’ll miss you guys!!!

  5. Maher says:

    Guy on the right in the stretching picture sure looks like he’s about to throw up… cough

    It felt great to be back yesterday from my hiatus.

  6. Dian says:

    Nice use of the word “deleterious.”

    I really appreciate that group photo of us holding at the bottom of the squat. Helps me see that my squat still needs a lot of work.

  7. Erica says:

    I didn’t realize that we didn’t use any equipment! Nice work coaches.

    Couldn’t hit more than two pull ups in a row. Boo. Made little progress on the HSPU. I think my head touched two ab-mats.

    Tabata was fun. My legs felt good on the squats but were burning in the plank position on the push-ups, which are still super hard for me.

  8. SBV says:

    I’m always amazed at how quickly new CFDCers are able to kick up into handstands. I remember a few years ago, back in Albany, spending an entire weekend learning how to do it. Mary Catherine had to hold my feet and I kept crashing my head into the wall and floor. It was crazy. Now, my goal is to someday get 10 HSPUs in a row and eventually learn to walk on my hands.

  9. Tom Brose says:

    MC, I’m honored whenever you blog about CrossFit DC, you really hit the nail on the head. Fun pictures as well.

    I had to keep checking our programming notes, a day without a barbell (not even a kettlebell?) felt weird to me. It served the purpose, and as noted did make setup and cleanup easier. Rest assured, there will be some iron in the next few days.

    Awesome to see more people working into the HSPU. Erica, I was definitely impressed with your reps! One thing I do want people to work on though, the HSPU from the wall facing position will require a different hand setup. We can work on that option, but we’ll bring the elbows in and set up a tripod position similar to a freestanding HSPU (no wall, and no therewill not be a demo from me- might have to contract out Jim B. for that).

  10. Tom Brose says:

    And Julia, NO ONE has ever accused me of using calculus before.

    Welcome back Maher, remember to ease back in. We’re in it for the long haul.

  11. Erica says:

    Thanks Tom! And I agree, I always LOVE when MC blogs about CF 🙂

  12. Andraea says:

    Awesome workout with no equipment! I’m always glad to work on pull-ups and handstand push-ups since that’s what I need to work on. I managed to do a pull-up almost every time I got to the bar. I wanted to focus on doing them with the over hand grip and amazingly I was able to one each round except for the last one. Now if I can just do 2…

    Great blog post MC!

  13. Sara says:

    MC That was a great post. I really enjoyed reading it.

  14. Katie says:

    MC, I agree, great post! The picture of SBV in the ice bath is priceless.

    Also — “After an intense CrossFit workout, I’m spent for the day. My legs are jelly, I’m starving, and all I want to do is sleep.”

    ^I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one! :o)

  15. Tom Brose says:

    I think I’ve ruined a lot of plans for productive Sunday afternoons.

  16. Dian says:

    Fantastic post MC! I really enjoy your blog.

  17. Ben says:

    This was by far the best Big Swole Tuesday yet. I love handstand work, particularly HSPUs. Plus, the pullups were a nice push/pull compliment. So this workout was a lot of fun. Not to mention the fact that during the workout, AC/DC was played for 2 songs in a row on the radio……couldn’t ask for much more.

    Thanks to Tom for the cues on my pullups. Much appreciated. Awesome blog post MC!

  18. Erica says:

    No one’s plans are ruined on Sundays, just enhanced with a little swollness.

    I love MC’s blog posts too, particularly when my picture is included. She is super talented AND we’ll miss her this week/weekend but look forward to hearing about her bachelorette party debauchery.

  19. Mackenzie says:

    So blow drying my hair this morning was next to impossible. Ahhhmazing! Thanks guys for putting together yet another awesome workout. The handstands were a lot of fun and I am glad Andraea got to see my surprise face 😮 when I finally kicked up into a handstand on the first try. It’s been a long time coming after many wall walkers, helpful spotters, and failed attempts. It was really nice to get up there the right way.