August 8, 2012
August 13, 2012

Seems there may have been some tight and tender upper backs on Thursday, and not by chance. If anyone entertained notions of using their arms and shoulders to move the weight around on Thursday, it should’ve become plainly obvious that wasn’t going to work. Instead, everyone should’ve been forced to really use their hips to generate enough explosive force in order to move the weight.

1/2Ct Spider Lunge, 15 Pause Squats, 
1/2Ct Hamstring Walk, 10 Scorpions, 
1/2Ct Squat Walk left, 5 Dive Bomber Push-Ups, 
1/2Ct Squat Walk right, 15 Burpees 

4 x 3 Hang Clean Thrusters (“Hang Cluster”) + 3 Broad Jumps

After a quick review of the day’s strength work, athletes lined up, heels on the sideline, and performed three broad jumps for max distance in order to set a marker. The goal would be to reach this point again during the workout.

The Cluster is a Clean and Thruster combo, but unlike our usual prescription for clusters – taking them from the floor each time – Thursday’s program called for all 3 clusters to be taken from the hang. A solid question  was asked Thursday night during the 6pm class, and one which we’ve discussed a few times in the past, about how the elbows should be positioned during the thruster – should they be high like a front squat, or dropped a bit like an overhead press? The answer is: both.

The thruster is an awkward marriage of front squat and push press, due in large part because the ideal front squat uses a different elbow position than the ideal push press. The front rack position is hard enough, but in the thruster, a lifter must not only have a solid front rack, with the elbows up as high as possible, but must then be able to transition mid-lift into a solid push press position, where the elbows are only slightly forward of the bar with the hands gripping the bar. Thus the answer to the above question: the elbows should be positioned like a front squat in the bottom of the thruster, but then transitioned into a position like an overhead press as you reach the top of the squat and transition into pushing the weight overhead.

2 x 
90sec Row for Max Calories, 90sec Rest, 
90sec AMRAP 10 KB Swings and 10 Sit-Ups, 90sec Rest

Class was divided up into groups of 4 and worked through the above met-con with everyone starting on the rower. Individuals completed the couplet twice, rowing for max calories in 90seconds, resting an equal amount of time, and then performing an AMRAP of 10 KB swings (American-style, overhead) and 10 ab-mat sit-ups, before resting another 90seconds. Scores were kept individually, with the goal to try and achieve the same or greater number of calories/reps in the second round than achieved in the first.

Great work in a humid gym. See you all on Sunday.



  1. Kenna says:

    First to comment woohoo! I was super sore from Tuesday’s (and Sunday’s) class, but yesterday just felt super intense, esp on my hammies. I slept well last night 😉

    Clusters are tough, and there are so many things to think about! I got up to 55lbs. I’m pitching forward coming up from my squat, I need to focus on driving my elbows up (still feels a little awkward).

  2. Andraea says:

    Loved the cluster work and they actually felt pretty good especially after Chris explaining that the top of the thruster is a push press. That really helped me. I worked up to 75lbs but I think
    80lbs will be doable the next time clusters come around. I’ve got to watch my feet though cause I think they get to wide sometimes.

    Perfect metcon at the end! See everyone next week! Oh and I finally got a pull-up bar for my house so it is game on for pull-ups!

  3. Katie says:

    I had a great time last night working in the “ladies group” with Jen, Kenna, Andraea, and Mackenzie. I stayed light on the clusters, working up to 45#. I focused on really getting under the bar in a squat clean, and I think I was fairly successfully with that. I still need to work on my hips rising early and getting past that “sticking point.”

    I want to be like Andraea when I grow up — she was rocking the clusters last night!! Great form, and she made it look easy. Awesome. Mackenzie’s form was solid as well. I love working out with such strong women who push me!

    Fun metcon! It was good to get back to kettlebell swings, hadn’t done those in a while. Used the 12kg KB. Not sure what my calories on the rows were, but my legs were spent by the second round.

    However, the metcon was only 6 minutes of total work. I don’t really know if that’s going to be very effective. Tom, do you have any thoughts on this? :o)

  4. Dian says:

    Tight and tender upper backs is right. I rolled, stretched, took hot showers and did just about anything to ease my aching back. I finally gave in last night and covered my back with Icy Hot patches.

    I worked up to 73lbs on the clusters. I also think I did a consistent distance for each set of broad jumps.

    Great metcon. I used the 20kg kettlebell for the first time last night and managed to get close to the same amount of calories both rounds on the rower. Of course, the first round was better.

    My back really appreciated the stretching after class. In fact, think I’m going to hit a few more of those stretches right now in my office. Then off to the CVS for more Icy Hot patches.

    See y’all on Sunday.

  5. Steph says:

    Totally bitter that I missed class last night!

    On another note, did anyone see the illigit push-ups Usain Bolt did at the end of his 200m? No rep!

  6. edgy reggie says:

    Sore back? Whatchutalkinbout Willis? 🙂

    Enjoyed last night’s workout compared to Tuesday’s (which really kicked my…well, you know).

    I started with 95# on the clusters and worked up to 115#. They felt good. Thanks to SBV for noticing my cleans and for the feedback…much appreciated.

    Broad jumps are a work-in-progress, but I feel as if my form is getting better. Thus, my jumps are getting better.

    I liked the met-con. I worked with Arbi, Bernard, and Daniel (same group I worked with on the cluster/broad jump combo). I managed to get two sets with the kettlebell swing (24 kg kettlebell)/ab combo on the first round but was five ab-mat sit-ups shy of completing two sets with the second round. Ben Brown was my “rabbit” for this. 🙂

    On Usain Bolt’s push-ups (post-200m run): At least he did not get the gold medal for that! 🙂