September 24, 2012
September 28, 2012

After a significant amount of time working on form, technique, and over-all strength in both pull-ups and hand-stand push-ups (HSPU), Tuesday’s class featured both in a body-weight strength block.

10 Squats, 
10 Push-Ups, 
10 Squats, 
10 Alt-T Push-Ups, 
5 Scorpions/side, 
10 Hanging Scap Retractions, 
3 Wall Walks 
4 x AMRAP Strict Pull-Ups, ~90sec Rest; 
AMRAP HSPU, ~90sec Rest

Scaling for pull-ups was with bands, though everyone was encouraged to start the first set attempting one pull-up (or chin-up) without any assistance. Those with a few strict pull-ups (less than 5) were to do as many strict as possible before switching over to the band assisted for the remainder of their AMRAP set.


HSPU’s could be to the floor, one ab mat, or two ab mats, and were further scaled to 3-5 wall walks (no negatives for Tuesday night). In between each exercise and round, everyone was to take roughly 90 seconds of rest to help stave off muscle failure for as long as possible.

7min AMRAP of 
21 DUs + 7 Hollow Rocks

Following completion of the day’s BW-strength block, everyone grabbed a jump rope, knocked off 50 single skips to get the ropes moving and calves warm and then prepped for the day’s met-con: 7min AMRAP of 21 Double Unders and 7 Hollow Rocks. Scaling for the DUs was 21 Mountain Climbers plus 21 Single Skips (Mtn Climbers to be done first). The Hollow Rocks could be done with both legs extended, one leg pulled in, or both legs pulled in, but the stress was put on short rocking motions in which the back stays rounded with the both the shoulder blades and hips pulled off the floor.

While it might seem like a quick lung burner, the real focus here was on form with the jump rope. After the volume of shoulder and upper-back work featured in the day’s strength session, form with the rope made a huge difference in how the met-con progressed.

If you kept a comfortable but tight body posture, with arms held in and wrists doing the work, then you’ll give your shoulders a break and the workout would progress a steady pace. However, if your arms drift out wide, and you turn the rope with arm swings initiated from the elbows, or shoulders instead of the wrists, then the the workout is going to go downhill very quickly.

Now that the shoulders feel like the legs felt after Sunday, there’s no telling what’s coming Thursday. See you then!



  1. Steph says:

    What is coming on Thursday? Now I’m excited!

    I had a break through in HSPUs last night! I had recently gotten over my fear of kicking up to a handstand but had to do wall walkers in last night’s workout because I still get so disoriented in the upside down position. Later I asked Chris to help me bend my elbows while I was upside down. The first one was really scary and I felt like I couldn’t control my arms to bend them. After that I tried one on my own and was able to touch my head to 2 mats. AND THEN I tried again and got 2 HSPUs using 2 mats! Yay! Of course, after that everything fell apart and I couldn’t even kick back up to a handstand.

    Thanks to Chris for his patience in helping me get over my fear!

    The pull-ups went okay. I still don’t have any strict pull-ups so did chin-ups and band-assisted pull-ups instead. Need to get back on my pull-up program!

    See everyone Thursday!

  2. Katie says:

    Andraea predicted a long metcon on Thursday, and I’m inclined to agree.

    Congrats Steph, that’s so awesome!

    Pull-ups went pretty well. I got to a 90-degree angle on a chin-up (better than I’ve done before), and then used the thinnest band and got around 6-7 down to 2 pull-ups. (except one set when I used the thickest band and got more reps) I struggled along with my “angled handstand wall shuffles”….I look forward to the day when I can do a legit wall walker.

    Mountain climbers are the best motivation to get DUs. Hollow rocks felt good with one leg extended, so I did one or two sets with both legs extended and they still felt pretty good. I think I got about 6 rounds…I focus more on continuing to move rather than counting during these types of workouts. :o)

    Also, I killed a mosquito with Andraea’s passive assistance. Amelia also killed one. SUCCESS! Two mosquitoes killed in one class is a definite PR.

  3. SBV says:

    Thursday? I’m hoping for power cleans/snatches and seated box jumps, the classic Thursday explosive movement class.

    Ben and I worked kipping pull-ups instead of strict ones to prepare for this weekend’s competition. We also kipped some of the handstand push-ups.

    @Katie: I, too, shut my brain off on the metcon and just tried to keep pace with Ben rather than counting rounds. I think hollow rocks are a great movement for teaching proper positioning; however, I really don’t like performing them in the heat of a metcon. There’s just too much incentive to short-change the movement in a “for time” environment. I saw quite a few bent legs, including my own, in the interest of chasing bigger numbers. Wish I wouldn’t be so pig-headed and, instead, focus on solid technique. But, I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

  4. ppetersan says:

    Great workout. Saw some improvement with HSPU’s, which I didn’t expect. I also enjoyed the met-con, although I agree with SBV’s comment that hollow rocks in a met-con setting definitely requires intense focus on form.

    I probably can’t make it to class on Thursday so will anxiously await the update so I can perform the work out on Friday.

  5. Satin says:

    I enjoyed yesterday WOD as most of it was focused on upper body. My strict pull-ups and HSPU were pretty consistent through all 4 rounds. I averaged about 8-9 pullups and 8-9 HSPUs.
    The DU’s were definitely a challenge to the shoulders but I was able to use my wrists and make it little easy on my shoulders. The hollow rocks are always tough when done with proper technique. I got through 10 1/2 rounds.

    I can’t wait for Thursday long met-con. See everyone Thursday.

  6. Kenna says:

    I killed a mosquito in the 7pm class too!

    I haven’t actually ever tried a HSPU, but I feel like that could be attainable soon. Wall walkers felt pretty good. I’ve been working on the hollow position with a tight core.

    Pull ups are still another story. I was using the fattest band and hovered in the 6-8 range.

    I agree with Katie that Mountain Climbers are pretty great motivation to get DUs!

    I’ll be joining Anthony at the tail end of his work trip to Vancouver so I’ll be missing Thursday and Sunday :-/ It’s going to be a crazy fall, but I’m determined not to fall off the wagon!

  7. Julia says:

    Hollow rox – agreed they were tough mid-metcon. But I’d actually say that holding form, or at least trying to, went hand in hand with moving fast (well, “fast”) and accumulating reps. I think that engaging the core + keeping the movement tight and Controlled (as opposed to sagging in the middle and becoming a great big gallumpy rocking chair) made it easier to keep moving, while (hopefully) also maintaining the integrity of the movement.

    On the other hand, tensing up so much on DUs that you lose grip on the handles and let the rope go flying is neither sound technique nor fast technique.

    And really, this response was just an excuse to use the word gallumpy.

  8. SBV says:

    @Julia: That’s a great point! Perhaps you actually WERE incentized to use proper form on the hollow rocks because it would actually lead to completing the movement faster and with better efficiency. I hadn’t looked at it like that. I was too busy gallumping in my gallumpy rocking chair to notice. And, I must admit that I had a good laugh when the rope went flying over your head! I guess we can add the jump rope to your list of flying implements during workouts (kettlebells, sledgehammers, slam balls).

  9. SaltyHat says:

    … Julia herself…

  10. Steph says:

    Oh I killed a mosquito in the 7pm also, although nowhere as ninja-like as Kenna! Man, that’s 4 in one day! I think we’re won the war against those suckers last night!

  11. SaltyHat says:

    I’d like to add to what both Sebastian and Julia have said, and say this:

    Sebastian is right in pointing out that hollow rocks are not a choice movement for a metcon, given the ease with which they break down into galumpy rocking chairs (I sense a blog title here). However, the goal last night was about less about conditioning and more about form reinforcement, especially as it concerned the DUs. To put it in perspective: if the workout had been 21 DUs and, say, 7 deadlifts, could you have pushed the total reps by abandoning form? Absolutely, but at what cost? While coaches are there to help “remind” you of form, it’s also up to each of us as athletes to force ourselves to be strict about form. Last night’s workout put that choice in everyone’s hands while not compromising their safety.

  12. Andraea says:

    That’s awesome Steph! I knew you could do HSPUs!! I able to bang out 2 strict pull-ups each round. One of these days I’ll get 3… Glad to have gotten time to work on them and HSPUs. I do the HSPUs with 2 abmats and was averaging around 7-8 each round. Hopefully I’ll be able to remove 1 abmat but that is quite the jump as I attempted it but failed.

    I agree with Katie and Kenna, mountain climbers are motivating me to up my practice on DUs. I was sooo sick of mountain climbers last night. I was dreading them each round and they seemed to come up fast. I think I hated them so much that I kept forgetting to stop the hallow rocks at 7 and realized it when I was on #9 or 10 with them and thought shit now I have to do mountain climbers.

    See everyone tomorrow!

  13. Ben says:

    I would also like to add to the mosquito killings – mine occurred after the 7 PM class was over.

    Pull ups and HSPUs are some of my favorite movements, so I loved this workout. It was hard to follow-up with DUs after all the fatigue in the shoulders. The hollow-rocks got pretty rough at the end. I ended up with 11 rounds and 3 hollow rocks.

  14. Erica says:

    Tuesday’s workout was not my favorite. I felt like spaghetti and could barely eek out 1 chinup/pull up per round and 3-4 HSPUs on 2 abmats. I find that on days that we do movements like this, I know we’re supposed to fry our shoulders and whatnot, but since I’m scaling away from wall walkers, etc, it’s as if I don’t feel the same sort of burn that I know I should be feeling. I need to figure this out for next workout.

    On a more positive note, I hit almost all of my DUs unbroken, which is a VAST improvement for me. And on the ones I missed, I missed around rep 18/19.

  15. Tom Brose says:

    This commentary got me thinking about golumkies, then perogi. Now im hungry.

    While i generally wouldn’t like HRs for time, i think they served this workout well. Learning to hold the core tight while gasses and moving fast has almost unlimited carryover. Often we program with lessons more applicable to other situations as the focus.

  16. Tom Brose says:

    Also while i was overall impressed by the numbers getting HSPUs, Steph definitely stole the show with her attempt.