June 18, 2012
June 22, 2012

With the humidity creeping up the way it is, we’re all gonna need to develop gills pretty soon to breath in the gym. Until then, we’ll all just have to become somewhat chalk-ish to hold on to anything. Including pull-up bars.

5 x AMRAP Strict Pull-Ups + 3 Wall Walks 

Scaling for the Pull-Ups was as follows:

if you can do

  • 10+ pull-ups, then do AMRAP 1&1/2 pull-ups (1 rep = pull all the way up, lower half way, pull-up, lower all the way down); 
  • 5-10 pull-ups, then do AMRAP strict pull-ups; 
  • 1-5 pull-ups, then do AMRAP strict pull-ups with a minimum of 3 at a time, making up the difference with negatives (so, if you only get 2 pull-ups on any round, do 1 negative to make your minimum. If you only get 1, then do 2 negatives to make your minimum); 
  • 0 pull-ups, then do 2 negatives plus 3 supine rows on the parallettes.

Ideally, we wanted people to limit themselves to roughly 6 pull-ups per round, in order to maximize the total number done in each set, but also to encourage people to try out a higher scaling option. In between each set of pull-ups, everyone was to do 3 wall walks. The downside of hot gyms with no AC is sweaty hands, and the downside of sweaty hands with wooden floors is mashed faces…or at least the potential of. Thankfully, everyone exerted great control Tuesday night, and the mashing was left to the impromptu dancers in class (you know who you are).

15-12-9 DB Snatch Rt, DB Snatch Lft, Russian Twist


Weight for the DB snatch was up to the individual, although the suggestion was to “go heavy.” Awesomely vague, isn’t it? Normal guidelines for this would mean one DB equaling roughly 1/3 of body weight for the gents, and roughly 1/4 of body weight for the ladies. KBs were allowed for those readily proficient in KB Snatches (i.e., able to complete a KB snatch without smashing your wrists to smithereens).  A mix of implements was also allowed, with some using KBs for the snatches and DBs for the twists, and others using DBs for the snatches and plates for the twists.  Speaking of the Russian twists, over and back was counted as a single rep (so 15 reps meant the DB touched the floor on either side of the body 15 times, or 30 times total).


The DB snatch is essentially the same movement as a full-blown Olympic Snatch, except it’s done with the weight in just one hand instead of two. In fact, if were to read through our previously posted Points of Review for the Snatch and simply replace the word “bar” with “dumbbell,” you’d have an excellent set of instructions on how to properly perform a DB Snatch. However, one common error with the snatch that tends to get amplified by the DB Snatch is allowing the weight to travel away from the body, arcing it over head with an extended arm, rather than keeping the weight close with the arm bent (elbow high and to the outside) and snapping it into the overhead position. The following series of pics is a good example of keeping the weight close to the body when executing the movement:

Even more impressive when you consider that these were taken during multiple reps (often with 1 or 2 reps in between), which means Greg is being both efficient and consistent in his movement. 

Definitely a warm one on Tuesday, and gym temperatures are not going to be subsiding any time soon. Please go back and read our hydration related tutorial from a few weeks ago (“90% PERSPIRATION, 10% PERSEVERANCE“). On top of those hints, reminders, etc., please remember this:

It is ESSENTIAL that we start our workouts in a hydrated state. 

This means consuming at least 1 pint of water with in a 2 hour window prior to working out. Anything less, or beyond that 2 hour range, will leave our bodies in danger of dehydration. Moreover, with the short duration of our workouts (or at least the majority of them), being properly hydrated before hand is essential. There isn’t enough time within the workout to grab water, and the water consumed will not make it through our system fast enough to benefit us.

Having said all that, take note that this coming Thursday is forecasted to be even hotter than Tuesday, with temperatures approaching 100. Please, please be sure you are well hydrated!
Also, while it might be getting hot, that’s no reason to start digging up excuses to skip class. Claiming you have “too much work to do” simply won’t cut it after Tom A’s example of how to carefully balance the work-to-workout ratio:

That’s dedication.


  1. Katie says:

    Awesome form on the snatches, Greg! And nice photos, too.

    I did the “0 pull-ups” option, and by round 5 my negatives weren’t good, so I went to 1 negative/4 rows. Thanks to Chris for the tips on wall walkers…I was able to move my hands maybe an inch or two, which is a little progress, though these still frustrate me.

    Thanks to Tom for telling me to get a 20# DB for the metcon — Emily and I both thought he was a little nuts to suggest that weight for us, so I got a 15# backup…but we both managed to finish with the 20#, and I was happy I did.

    Good article in the Washington Post today on CrossFit Kids. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/crossfit-kids-gets-children-to-exercise/2012/06/19/gJQAqDjHoV_story.html) I definitely remember watching Josh at CrossFit for Hope…and I feel like Erica might be one of those fans with the cellphones they describe? :o)

  2. Erica says:

    Yep, that was definitely me Katie! I’m obsessed with the picture of Julia and Ben. It’s adorable!

    I’ve been working on pullups after each class lately, and felt a little improvement yesterday. I hit “3” on the first round, but got confirmation that I may not have locked out fully on all of my reps. So I concentrated on locking on the next few sets and hit 2 on the next few rounds, and then just one on the last tone. Progress, that’s all the counts. I love wall walkers so they felt good.

    I used 20#s on the snatch, which in retrospect was too light. I think Tom’s words were “you’ve graduated from the 20# dumbbells”. Good to know. Tried a few reps with 25# this morning and definitely doable.

    Stay hydrated people! It’s nasty out there.

  3. SBV says:

    Gotta keep hammering away at the strict pull-ups. I should definitely be in the 10+ range by now, but I’m just not. I love dumbbell snatches, but often find myself doing more of a “muscle snatch” than a crisp turnover of the dumbbell like Tom and Chris want to see. It was hard to breath in Balance Gym on Tuesday night, and Russian twists didn’t help much. Just get me back under that damn barbell for some back squats on Sunday.

  4. Dian says:

    Bravo on those snatches Greg. Love the photos.

    I want to be like Tom A. when I grow up.

  5. Andraea says:

    Always enjoy doing pull-up work since those are so hard for me. I focused on having the overhand grip again since I really want to develop that strength, I did manage to do 1 pull-up each round and then did negatives. My shoulder blades just don’t want to go down, they’re always hunched up. That definitely needs some work.

    Wall walkers aren’t my favorite but they’re getting better. I just find the position scary and then I don’t get that close to the wall since I keep thinking I’ll face plant or flop over.

    I used 25lbs for the snatches but I almost think I should’ve increased to 30lbs. I haven’t used 30lb DB yet but maybe I could start with it and then drop down if I have to but at least I should attempt it since I feel like the 25lb DB was a bit easy. Next time that’ll be the plan.

  6. Ben says:

    Another great big swole Tuesday. I worked the 1.5 pullups. I got 5 for the first three rounds and then could only get 4 the last two. Wall walkers were great, but that picture might have to be framed….just sayin.

    I used the 50 lb DB on the snatch. Found the Russian Twists to be harder than the snatch. Might not have been as efficient as I could have, it felt a little awkward.

    Thanks for another great workout. Unfortunately have a meeting tomorrow night, but see you all on Sunday.

  7. Tom Brose says:

    Glad that we had a few people step up in weight. If the snatches weren’t a challenge, remember to go up next time a similar movement/ rep scheme comes up. As long as you keep good technique, were happy to see you overshoot a little. Just make sure its a realistic guess, and don’t worry, we’ll be happy to drop your weight down if we think its needed.

    Please everyone MAKE SURE TO BE WELL HYDRATED AND BRING WATER TO CLASS TONIGHT. Its a scorcher, and the gym will be steamy tonight.

  8. Katie says:

    Bikram CrossFit? I have a feeling that might not catch on.

  9. Mackenzie says:

    Who knows maybe Bikram CrossFit will be the new thing??

    I am loving the consistent pullup + wallwalker/HSPU work. Although I am still mastering my consistent set of 1 pullup, I feel a huge difference in the control as I descend from the negatives. I found the wall walkers to be more manageable after taking several deep breathes between sets, which helped me to stabilize.

    It was significantly more difficult for me to snatch the 20lbs with my left hand (as seen with my hilarious facial expression in the photo) than it was with my right. Chris and I have talked about the impact my very heavy purse has on unbalanced upper body strength, but I was surprised by the significant difference. I am planning to stick with the 20lbs until my left arm catches up with my right.

  10. SBV says:

    Does Chris carry his purse on his left shoulder?

  11. Dian says:

    Bikram CrossFit. Hell yeah!

  12. SaltyHat says:

    I value my shoulders, that’s why I wear a fanny pack.

  13. Kenna says:

    Hello from Brazil! Anthony is here for work and he stuffed me in his suitcase. Sounds like we are missing some intense workouts! We’ll be back on the 31st!