August 31, 2012
September 5, 2012

On behalf of all of us CFDC, congratulations to Ben and Erice on getting hitched on Sunday!  Wishing you both many years of happiness and squatting together!

10 Push-Ups, 20 Squats; 
10 Arm Circles Forwards/side, 10 Arm Circles Backwards/side; 
20 Squats, 10 Push-Ups; 
3 x 5 PVC Dislocates/Pass Thrus, 5 OHS, 5 Sotts Press. 

Celebratory Warm-Up: 
5x Ben Brown Bygone-Bachelor Baboon Burpees

Since Ben opted to fit in a Sunday morning class before the wedding, we figured throwing in a few of CFDC’s special burpee-variation was the least we could do.

It’s currently a toss up as to whether it’s faster to perform 5 baboon burpees repeat the above tongue-twister of a title 5 times. If anyone comes to a definitive answer, be sure to let us know.

Skill: Snatch Balance 
(2x 3 Pressing SB; 3x 2 Heaving SB)

After a quick review on the snatch balance, class was let loose to complete two different versions of the movement. To begin with, everyone was to complete 2 rounds of 3 pressing snatch balance. This helps to not only warm-up to the movement, but also to teach people not as familiar with the exercise how to maintain the constant pressure necessary. Following, everyone moved on to 3 rounds of 2 heaving snatch balance. This allows a lifter to add more weight, often comparable to their snatch weights.

Instead of re-posting (or worse, re-writing) information about the snatch balance, we’re going to point everyone towards two blog posts we’ve done in the past. The first, “UNDER PRESSURE,” provides descriptions of the 3 different versions of the snatch balance and how to execute them. The second, “IN OVER YOUR HEAD,” focuses on two important points of snatch balance and OHS (both of which are skill transfer exercises for the snatch), including (1) constant upwards pressure on the bar, and (2) the shifting center of gravity of weight held overhead. Please, please take a minute or two to go back and review those posts.

To hammer home the overhead position and all that it requires in terms of execution, the snatch balance work was followed by a nice shoulder and upper back workout.

3 x AMRAP OHS + AMRAP Pull-Ups

Weights for the OHS were set at 35lbs, 45lbs, 65lbs, 85lbs, 105lbs, and 115lbs. Athletes could choose what weight to work at, as long as it would allow them to complete an appreciable amount of reps at that weight (“appreciable” being more than 5 at a time). As a further limiter, all bars started on the floor, meaning athletes had to either snatch the weight up, or perform a clean and then pop it over onto their backs to get set-up for the OHS. Pull-Ups could be kipping, strict, or band assisted, and were done as soon after the OHS as possible. The workout was not for time however, so athletes could take adequate rest in between sets as they saw fit.

Tabata Sit-Ups + Farmers Walk

As a finishing met-con, everyone grabbed a pair of heavy dumbbells (or kettlebells), and then hit the floor for a set of tabata sit-ups (8 rounds of 20 seconds of sit-ups with 10 seconds of rest). As soon as the last set was done, everyone grabbed their weights and headed out the door for a ~400m farmers walk. Of course, it wasn’t really the distance of the farmer’s walk as much as the fact that it was to the bottom of the hill on Phelps and then back up again. Fun Stuff!

Once back in the door, everyone was encouraged to stretch out their forearms and wrists to relieve a little of the tension built up in the hands. In addition to the celebratory mood in class what with Ben and Erica’s impending wedding later in the day, we also had an extremely important guest in the gym Sunday morning:

For those of you who don’t know Jen Conlin, she was the first ever CrossFit DC assistant coach. Jen is the reason we have a 9AM Elements class and was a definite spark plug for the energy levels in class each and every day. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious, and for those of us who were around back when Jen was a coach here, she is sorely missed.

Jen is now a coach at CrossFit Legitimus up in Canton, Connecticut, but was in DC for the holiday weekend along with CF Legitimus bad-ass, Jillian Cook, who was throwing down Sunday morning on a back squat, burpee, KB Swing workout.

Awesome to have them both in the gym Sunday morning; if you’re ever anywhere close to Canton, be sure to drop by – you will be warmly welcomed, without a doubt!

Happy Labor day everyone. See you all on Tuesday.



  1. Katie says:

    Congratulations Ben and Erica!!!!! It was awesome to see Ben in class on Sunday. I’m sure the torn calluses enhanced the wedding photos. :o)

    It was fun watching Jen and Jillian work out! Jillian threw basically every 10# or 15# bumper plate in the gym on a bar and squatted it like it was nothing, while I watched in awe.

    I liked working on snatch balances, since I’ve only done them a couple times. I stuck to mostly pressing, working up to 30#, and then tried heaving at 15#. They felt pretty good, but more work needed.

    We did a few too many sets of the snatch balances, so that combined with kipping from 9 a.m. combined with pull-ups the previous day meant my shoulders were spent. I couldn’t stabilize 45# for the OHS, and managed to get a couple reps in at 35#, but my shoulders just couldn’t do it and had to bail.

    The finisher was great. I started with 14 sit-ups the first 2 rounds, then went to 12 for the rest. I used 20# DB for the farmer’s walk, which is apparently too light because I finished too quickly. Next time, 25# or 30#. I attribute the farmer’s walk success to training through carrying a lot of groceries.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday! See you all Tuesday.

  2. Tom Brose says:

    So, I guess commenting is a way to pass the time at work?

    Great weekend, and an absolutely beautiful wedding ceremony for Erica and Ben. I’m so happy for you two! Adam wasn’t so happy hoisting Ben up after the OHS though.

    Great to see Jen again, I hope we get her back down to CFDC again soon.

  3. Julia says:

    Congratulations Erica and Ben!!! 🙂

    Jen and Jillian, nice to meet you guys! If Jen helped coach Chris, Steph, and Sara back when they first started, she must have been doing something right.

    Snatch balances were great (I really liked doing the pressing ones first, maybe because they were so awkward that the heaving ones felt awesome in comparison), and OHS and pullups a tough combo but definitely much-needed practice. See everyone tomorrow!

  4. Julia says:

    Coming back for a question – on the OHS, the toughest part for me was grip – even before legs, shoulders, core, and breath failed out. I tried to focus on ‘active shoulders!’ and pressing up against the bar, and I think those things translated into a lot of tension up into my hands and forearms – maybe excessively so? You should be able to maintain the active shoulders positioning, exert constant force against the weight, and think about ‘pulling the bar apart’ (is that right?) without death gripping, right? Any cues or suggestions to think about for next time?

  5. Sara says:

    Congrats to Ben & Erica!

    Nice to see Jen and meet Jillian. Come back for a visit soon.

    The snatch balances went well. I always like doing the pressing snatch balance. I definitely felt a difference in my heaving SB after doing the pressing. I think I will start warming up with PSB when heaving shows up on the program.

    I did my OHS at 40kg. The first 2 sets were pretty good but the 3rd was off from the beginning so I only got 6 reps. I was shooting for at least 10 each set (13, 10, 6) My pullups were ok but again I only got 10 on the first 2 sets and the last I got 9.

  6. Erica says:

    Best weekend ever guys and even though we didn’t get to see/celebrate with all of you, please know that CFDC was a SIGNFICANT part of our wedding weekend, even the ceremony. Trust us…Ben broke “the glass” which was wrapped in a CFDC t-shirt. It was amazing. Seriously. Have a great few weeks. We will try to send a photo from when we drop in to Crossfit Cape Town!

  7. Kenna says:

    Congrats to Ben and Erica!! So happy for you two! Have a blast in South Africa!

    For some odd reason, the snatch balances came naturally to me (whaat?)! I’m not sure what I got up to… maybe 35#? Whatever I did, I can definitely do more next time.

    On the OHS, I did 45# and got 15, 13, and 13 reps. Looking back at past blog comments I’ve improved on OHS, which is exciting. Pullups were a little tougher in this AMRAP. I was using a green band and got 10, 8, 6. I used 20# on the farmer’s walk and was mainly having trouble gripping them.

    And yes, Tom, I totally use the blog as work procrastination 😛 Looking forward to tonight’s class!

  8. Dian says:

    Congratulations Erica and Ben! Really happy for you both! It was so great to see Ben in class on Sunday morning, cool as a cucumber and working as hard as ever. Have a wonderful time in SA!

    @Tom Brose – yes, commenting on the blog is a great way to pass the time at work. I also end up on the weird part of You Tube a lot.

    I would like to take back my comment on Sunday about wishing I had slept in so I would have missed the snatch balances and OHS. I’m not strong with these accordingly getting stronger doesn’t include missing out on practicing so shame on me for my silly comment. The snatch balances got better as class progressed thanks to cues from Tom B. Once Chris reminded me to relax and not rush the OHS my last 2 sets were fine at #45 pounds. I felt so good about the last 2 sets in fact that I believe I will very soon make peace with the OHS just like I did with burpees. Life is full of crazy shit like that.

    I used 25# DBs for the farmer’s walk which was too light. I was able to get out the door and all the way to the bottom of the hill without stopping. I only stopped once on the way back. Need to go heavier with those next time.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight.

  9. SBV says:

    @Julia: Interesting that “grip” was the limiting factor for you on overhead squats. Grip is always the first thing to go for me, but it didn’t really come into play on the overhead squat portion of the workout. Instead, my core gave out on me right around the 20-rep mark. It was weird — I felt solid for about 19 reps, and then right around 20 the bar would start to wobble back-and-forth above my head and it became too difficult to stablize. Grip was definitely the limiting factor for me on pull-ups, though!

  10. Sara says:

    Oh I forgot to mention the farmer’s walk. I used 35lb DBs and boy did I have to stop a lot. The dumbells were slipping right out of my hand and my forearms were so fried from the pull-ups I could barely hold on.

    I think the limiter with me on the OHS was my wrists. I didn’t feel too burnt in the shoulders, legs or core. However, when the wrists were unable to handle the weight I think I got a bit soft in the shoulders and core so I had to stop. I apparently had a breathing problem too which is what did me in on the 3rd set.

  11. Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Unknown says:

    Congrats to Ben and Erica from Kathy and me. Welcome to the club!


  13. Satin says:

    Congratulations Erica and Ben!!! Enjoy your honeymoon in South Africa!!

  14. edgy reggie says:

    Congratulations to “Berica” (Ben and Erica). Enjoy your wedded bliss and your honeymoon. I wish you two all the best.

    (By the way, Erica’s name was misspelled on the first line of the blog…just sayin’.)

    I really enjoyed that my “sister,” Jen Conlin stopped by CrossFit DC. I was great seeing her again; moreover, it was great meeting Jillian. I plan to make my way up to Connecticut at some point in time so that I can work out with them (and Jen can kick my ass once again).

    I enjoyed Sunday’s workout. Chris (not Coach Salty but the bald-headed one) and I did our snatch balances on the court in non-air-conditioned comfort. 🙂 I worked up to 85# on the heaving snatch balances.

    It’s been a while since I performed overhead squats in a workout (and it may have showed): I used 115# and did reps of 10-10-8. I did strict pull-ups in reps of 5-6-4. It wasn’t my best day with pull-ups.

    The tabata sit-ups gave me ab cramps right around set five…but I managed to get about seven reps in the remaining sets. I used the 45# dumbbells for the farmer’s walk,and I could not feel my forearms for the next few minutes post-workout.

    All-in-all, it was a pretty good day.

    So what’s up for Tuesday? Will it be another “Big Swoll” day? 🙂

    (In the spirit of the current political season, I approve the content of this comment.)