June 11, 2012
June 15, 2012

After working through a strict-press to push-press-burnout progression two times in the past months, this Tuesday focused solely on the push press. The push press will allow you to move more weight into the overhead position, but it also demands more attention to body position to both get it there and keep it there.

3 x 10 Lunges, 5 Push-Ups, 10 Scorpions; then 
2 x half ct gorilla walk & half ct crab walk. 
Push Press, 5-5-3-3-3

The push press recruits the musculature of the lower body to initiate bar movement while the upper body is used to finish the lift. More specifically, the hips and knees generate momentum to start the bar travelling upwards before the triceps and shoulders take over to finish the press. A good way to conceptualize this is to think about initiating the bar movement by pushing it with your chest, not your arms – in fact, pretend like you have no arms and drive your chest up through the bar.

In order to push with the chest, however, you must have a solid dip. Specifically, the dip must be vertical, and come from pushing the knees forward only. Any forward inclination – pushing the hips back – and the weight will launch forward off your chest, not up. In fact, you may feel a little like you’re leaning backwards with a proper dip. It will also be a lot easier to maintain that vertical bar path if you pull your head back out of the way. Don’t try to push the bar around your chin – instead, aim for the tip of your nose, and as soon as the bar is past, drive the head forward under the bar.

50 Box Jumps, 100 DUs, 50 Burpees, 100 DUs 

Box jumps were roughly RX’d as 24″ for the guys and 20″ for the ladies, but the random assortment of boxes we had (as well as the mix of thick matting and plate stacking), it was somewhat of a best-guess as to what height people were jumping on. For those struggling with the DUs, subs were 5 x 20 skips + 10 mtn climbers for the first set of DUs, and 20 skips + 5 squat jumps for the second set of DUs.

The gym was nice a swampy feeling yesterday, so as athletes finished up, they were sent on a 250m walk outside just to bring the temperature (and hear rate) down a little, rather than collapsing and laying on the floor in the heat.

 Be sure to wish Satin the best as he heads home to California for the next two months – we’ll eagerly look forward to his return come August.



  1. Katie says:

    Definitely a Big Swole Tuesday — I hit a PR (and goal weight) of a 65# push press!

    I enjoyed working with Mackenzie, Kenna, and Erin on the push presses. (It was Erin’s first class, but you could never tell, she rocked it!) I worked from 45# to 60/65# for my sets. On my last set I got one at 65#, then failed on the next one so finished the set at 60#. Cues last night were active shoulders at the top and pushing my elbows up in order to drive the weight from my chest.

    I did a 14″ box and subbed for DUs on the metcon. Somehow I missed the memo about doing jump squats rather than mountain climbers for the second set of DUs, but it was still a lot of work either way. This was one of those workouts I didn’t think I could finish, until I did.

    In addition to the 65# push press, I set another PR last night — that was the sweatiest I’ve ever been. I’m sure I’ll break that record again this summer…neat.

  2. SBV says:

    Thanks for the cool substitution last night, Tom. I’ve been having some arm pain when lowering the bar from overhead back into the rack position. So, instead, I practiced handstand push-ups (HSPUs) — strict and kipping. Just for reference, I could only do 3 strict HSPUs at a time. However, I was able to do 7 kipping HSPUs at a time. It’s definitely better to be able to do them strict, but kipping is a neat skill to develop if you ever plan on competing in CrossFit. Definitely need to keep hammering away at the strict ones, though.

    Pretty sweet metcon. I really struggled to get air during burpees. Not sure if it was the humidity or my fitness level — probably a combination of both. Whatever the case, Mark finished 4 minutes ahead of me, which is just incredible. Tough to keep up with that.

  3. Amelia says:

    Hot in the gym last night.
    Pretty sure I pr’d on the push press. 3 @ 95 and 2 @100.

    I also missed the memo on the jump squats so did mountain climbers twice. Had little motivation to keep moving quickly on the burpees…

  4. Arbi says:

    It was difficult getting back into the swing of things after a few weeks off, but this workout was a great reminder of why I should!

    I worked up slowly to 3×155 on the push press and pooped out on the metcon. I scaled the last two sets to 25 burpees and 50 double-unders.

    I gave wrist straps a shot since the limiting factors for any of my lifts in the rack position are my wrists. Although I know the benefits of working without the straps for building up strength, I think yesterday’s workout convinced me to buy a pair.

    Thanks Tom and Chris, as always, for a great workout.

  5. Steph says:

    Was so happy to be in class after sitting in a conference all day. Got a much needed sweat fest.

    Stayed light on the presses, did strict presses until the last set. Did 3 light push presses for the last set to see how things felt and they felt okay. Looking forward to keep working on my form and building back some upperbody strength.

    The metcon was just what I needed. How Mark finished that quickly I have no idea, but it was amazing. I started to feel the leg-burn on the box jumps after about 30 reps and had to really will myself to keep plucking away. Burpees were the worst. I was hoping to grind through them without stopping but wasn’t even close to accomplishing that! Had to stop for a breath after about every 5 reps towards the end. My cardio definitely needs more work. Ended up finishing 1 minute behind Mark at 9′ something.

    Have a great summer, Satin! Looking forward to having you back in the fall!

  6. Erica says:

    Bye Satin! Looking forward to having you back. Thanks for the encouragement last night. And a belated bye bye to Brendan too from me.

    I love push presses, but I think my upper body was feeling exhausted from lots of activity over the weekend (particularly two long swims)so I wasn’t feeling like I had as much strength as I usually do. I also have switched rest days and I can definitely feel the major difference. I worked with Amelia and Andraea and was thrilled to have hit triple digits! Definitely a PR. The metcon was definitely a favorite for me. I did the box jumps and burpees unbroken, but the double unders slowed me down. I couldn’t string more than 5-12 together at a time, which meant getting to 100 felt endless. But any time I leave class feeling that sweaty, I’m a happy girl.

  7. Erica says:

    And meant to say, WAY TO GO KATIE TOO! I was there when she shared her goal of hitting 65# and our girl delivered 🙂

  8. SBV says:

    You did the burpees unbroken, Erica? That’s insane!

  9. Katie says:

    Erica’s burpees were totally insane, I caught some of them out of the corner of my eye when I was resting between my own burpees. Seriously impressive! There were a lot of great performances last night.

    Steph, you finished that workout in 9′ something and you think your cardio needs work? :o)

    Check out the CrossFit for Hope video! I think Sara’s right shoulder made it in.


  10. Satin says:

    It was definitely a fun workout yesterday with the 3 rep max PP (185#) and then challenging metcon minus the humidity. The box jumps and burpees were not as bad. My shoulders were burnt out by the time I did the second set of double unders.

    Thanks Tom and Chris for all your great coaching queues/tips. I can’t wait to come back and join all you guys in August.
    Have a great summer everyone:)

  11. Tom Brose says:

    So, PRs all over the place, ladies pressing triple digits, unbroken burpee half centuries and some sub 10 min times on that metcon? I guess thats not such a bad nights work.

    Katie, good work on the PR. Your dedication and faith in the technique will keep paying off. Its great to see so many of the ladies confident to push the limit on weights. The picture of Amelia captures the intensity nicely.

    Satin, have fun in CA. I’ll be psyched to see what you learn at Super Training.

    Awesome performance last night, great to see some returning faces. More fun on tap for tomorrow.

  12. Erica says:

    Just watched the clip of the Balance athletes doing the crossfit.com WOD. I’m so jealous!! They killed it though and so cool to hear them talking about how crossfit translates into triathlons. Amelia and I have been doing some training, but not nearly as much as last year so curious to see how our first race goes next weekend.

  13. Julia says:

    wow, congrats Katie! nice work Amelia and Erica!

    I had a tough time on this one – box jumps ok, burpees not terrible, but DUs really rough. there was an awful lot of standing around and resting in between skips & trips on my part. think I can do better! but good reminder that I need the DU practice, good workout, and good class for sure.

    best wishes to Satin!