June 15, 2012
June 20, 2012


A throw-back to the old days of CFDC, with a small class for a Father’s Day workout. The plus side, for the coaches at least, was that it gave us a chance to jump back into the fray and work-out with class.

3 x 5 Ring Rows, 10 light KB swings, 15 Squats; then,
1/2ct Inch Worm, 1/2ct Hamstring Walk,
1/2 Duck/Squat Walk right, 1/2ct Duck/Squat Walk left
Strength: RDL 8-8-5-5-3-3


We’ve now hit RDLs 3 times during our squat cycle. The first time (“MY LEGS ACTUALLY FEEL GOO…..“), we used barbells, but required everyone to use an overhand grip at all times and without straps. This forced everyone to work at sub-max weights while concentrating on form, really accentuating the stretch in the hamstrings. The second time (“FIELD TRIP!“), we used dumbbells, pushing the weight a little, but allowing straps if needed. The DBs also forced people to concentrate on technique, but with the focus being on the back and shoulders, since the DBs have a tendency to really pull the shoulders out of position first.

For this Sunday – the last Sunday in our second, and final, 3-week off-squat wave – we re-introduced the barbells for the RDLs, but allowed people to use straps and really push the overall weight. Sets were done in repeating rep patter, with two sets done at 8 reps, two sets at 5 reps, and a final two sets at 3 reps. The attention to form has really paid off, as people were moving a lot of weight with really good form. Should be a lot of toasty hamstrings out there today in CFDC-land. Following completion of the RDL sets, the bars were stripped, and the hooks moved up to shoulder height for the days accessory work: weighted step-ups.


Weighted Step-Ups 5-4-3/leg 

Owing to the smaller class size, Sunday’s version of the weighted step-ups were done with barbells instead of DBs. Step-ups with barbells really up the sense of instability in the movement, and thus require greater focus on maintaining good body posture through-out the movement. Class worked through three sets of increasing weight and decreasing reps, starting with 5 reps per leg, then 4, and finally 3.

The height of the box you use should allow you to step up while maintaining a 90 degree or greater angle in your knee joint. Anything less than 90 will place excess stress on the joint, and more often than not, will negate the benefits of the movement by causing you to heave or pitch as you stand up. Additionally, you want to make sure your foot is pointed forward when on top of the box, and that you’re placing and removing the foot on the box in a linear fashion (in other words, make sure you aren’t swinging the foot out to the side to place it on the box or step down).

Once you’re leading foot is on the box, drive the heel into the box and extend the hip and knee. You should come to a full standing position on the top of the box before bringing the other leg up to stabilize. Avoid extending the leg half-way and then quickly bringing the other leg up to assist in standing up the rest of the way. Finally, be nice to your joints, and be sure to come down in a controlled manner. Just like with box jumps, broad jumps, etc., absorb the landing rather than crashing down on to your feet.

Core Work: 

2 x ASLAP GH-Bridge and ASLAP Hollow Hold 

With the majority of class spent on the strength movements, the finishing touch was a nice dose of core work. Class broke out into pairs, with one partner balanced between two benches to start things off, and the other adding weight and watching the clock.

The Glute-Ham Bridge is the static off-shoot of a hip extension. With the hip extension, you place your heels on one bench, your shoulders on another, and then raise and lower your hips from the ground to a level position by squeezing your glutes. The GH Bridge uses the same set-up, but instead of raising and lowering your hips, you’re constantly engaging your glutes (as well as your abs) in order to maintain a plank position between the two benches. Adding weight produces more resistance – a plate is a good place to start, but a DB will reduce the surface area of the weight, focusing the weight right on the hip joint and making the movement that much harder. Other options exist, and the resistance band was a nice touch, although…

…can’t really say the same for the med-ball, the weight belt, the foam roller, the clamps, and the piece of PVC.
Once each partner had completed the GH Bridge, both then went for a max time Hollow Hold, with everyone running through the progression two times.

Awesome work, and on behalf of your coaches, thanks for letting us workout with you all, it was a blast! Remember, next Sunday starts the final wave of our squat cycle, which means we will be getting back to squatting!

Also, just want to re-wish a Happy Father’s day to all the dad’s out there. Hope everyone had a restful remainder of their weekend. We’ll see you on Tuesday.



  1. Katie says:

    So you’re calling us horses?

    Though I missed everyone in class, it was so fun working out with Chris and Tom and see them really practice what they preach. And lift some heavy-ass weights.

    My quads, hamstrings, glutes, and shoulders are all sore, so that’s a good sign. I’m always amazed by how sore my “scapular muscles” are when I really keep them squeezed during deadlifts.

    I worked from 80# to 115# on the RDLs, which felt good and was a significant increase from previous weights I’ve done. Coming soon: body weight DLs!

    Those weighted step-ups were tougher than they sounded. Used 45# and 55#, and felt my back arching in a bad, unstable way until I took a deep breath and tightened my core. (OMG, tightening my core creates stability and enables me to better do strength exercises??!? I’ve NEVER heard that before…)

    No metcon was a nice change of pace, but I’m not counting my blessings just yet — it seems whenever there’s no Sunday metcon, something super-fun is in the works for the upcoming week. Bring it on!

  2. SBV says:

    I’m definitely behind on RDLs and other posterior chain movements (deadlift, good mornings, box squats, etc.). I noticed that other folks worked up to much heavier weight that they’ve been using for squats. I, on the other hand, was still using less weight for RDLs that I have been for back squats. Seems like my ratio is off somewhat.

    I really enjoyed watching Tom, Chris, and Dan, do their RDLs. Those guys were moving some serious weight! I really liked Tom’s form, in particular, as he really kept the tension on the hamstrings.

  3. Erica says:

    I love any time SBV uses “posterior chain” in his postings. I don’t know why, but I think it’s great. Ben and I were sorry to have missed class, but made up the workout later in the day. I think I worked up to 140 #s on the RDLs. On the last few reps, it was hard to keep my back tight. I used 75#s on the step-ups, but wasn’t sure if I was doing them right. I used the 25# plate for the bridges. I’m bummed we missed watching Chris and Tom work out.

    Ben and I went to Ocean State Crossfit (in Cranston, RI) on Saturday, and it was a killer workout which consisted of 4 couplets (30 DUs–15 KB squats, 20 burpees–20 KB swings, 15 WBs–150 m run/row, and 20 pushups–30sit ups), three rounds of each which you were aiming to complete in 30 minutes. Really really rough.

    Happy belated father’s day to everyone and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN AND ETHAN!!!!

  4. Sara says:

    Fun class and a great elements class too! I like all posterior chain work and RDLs are becoming a favorite.

    My sets were:
    warm-up 5x45lb, 8x95lbs
    working sets:

    last time we did RDLs with the bar I worked up to 5x215lbs. On my first 3 sets I didn’t get to go full range of motion because I kept tapping the wood platforms that the rack sat on. When the weight got heavier this wasn’t a problem. I am a bit surprised I am not as sore as I was last time we did these.

    I only worked up to 65lbs on the step-ups. I think I could have used more weight but was being careful because of my knee.

    After class Chris and I did some seated presses with chains. This was a fun new exercise.

    From the gym I headed straight to meet up with friends and go hiking at sugarloaf.

    see everyone tomorrow!

  5. Katie says:

    I almost forgot the 9 a.m. class — thank you to Sara for a great class! It was fun doing various types of snatch balances, which were a little different and quite challenging. Sara did a great job explaining the movements and making my brain work early in the morning, which is a challenge in and of itself.

  6. Katie says:

    For those of you who are bored tonight or tomorrow at work, go through 01:44 frame by frame… :o) REPRESENT!


  7. Ben says:

    As Erica said, we were sorry to miss class, but made up the workout a little later in the day after we got back from Rhode Island. I can’t remember all of my sets for the RDLs, but ended at 305 x 3. My legs were feeling a little fried from our Ocean State CF WOD the day before, so I stopped myself when the little voice in my head said go heavier….just one more set.

    Excited for class on Tuesday!

  8. Tom Brose says:

    Happy Birthday Ben and Ethan! We’ll make sure to celebrate this week.

    I really enjoyed working in with everyone, although trying to focus on all the different groups was a little tougher lightheaded from a heavy triple. I liked the weighted step ups, and using the safety squat bar was easier on the shoulders while brutal on the core. Props to Chris and Dan, who were nice enough to strip a plate of each side for me on those. I think they worked up to 278 lbs? Insane.

    Sara did a great job teaching the 9 AM skill class.

    Way to represent in the hope video Katie!

  9. Andraea says:

    Great hamstring work!

    Mackenzie and I managed to meet up yesterday to do Sunday’s workout. I really enjoy doing RDLs, I can really feel the hamstrings working. I believe I worked up to 155lbs. I’m sure I will feel it later today but at the moment I’m feeling good.

    For the step-ups I started with 75lbs but dropped down as 5 reps on each leg was rough at that weight and I could feel myself cheating on rep 4 and 5. I did manage to go back up to 75lbs for the last set of 3. Those were rough but I liked it with the bar.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s class!

  10. Mackenzie says:

    I had an awesome time running through Sunday’s workout with Andraea last night. I worked up to 135lbs on the RDLs but had a really hard time keeping a grip on the bar. I’m not sure if this was the right thing to do but using a mixed grip helped a bit with the heavier weights. It is amazing to pull such heavy weight as my core and legs shook under the pressure.

    For the step-ups (after Andraea and I contained our giggle-fest and regained some balance) I worked up to 70lbs. And boy are my legs shot today…wearing heels to work was a bad choice! I’m pumped for class tonight and I am hoping to bring Liberty along for the fun 🙂

  11. Tom Brose says:

    Way to go Andraea and Mackenzie! great discipline to get that work in together. In general I dont like the mixed grip for the RDLs, but it didn’t kill you. We allowed wrist straps on this last workout.