September 26, 2012
October 1, 2012

Although the masses seemed to be clamoring for a long, grinding met-con after Tuesday, a different sort-of conditioning workout was waiting for everyone on Thursday, but one which would get the heart rate up just as much, if not a little more.

50 Jumping Jacks, 
10 Alt-T Push-Ups, 
20 Spider Lunges, 
50′ Partner Squat Walk & PVC Pass Thrus 
5 Rounds of the Bear Complex (Jr.) 

1 rep of the Bear Complex =

  • 1 Power Clean, 
  • 1 Front Squat, 
  • 1 Press (Strict, PP, PJ), 
  • 1 Back Squat, and,
  • 1 BTN Press (Strict, PP, PJ).

Each round = 5 reps of the above. Individuals could choose to combine the front squat and press into a thruster, as well as combining the back squat and BTN press into a BTN Thruster. Squat cleans were also allowed, meaning the first move could actually be a cluster (squat-clean-thruster). Transitions between each 5-piece-rep was to be touch and go; after the BTN Press, everyone was to lower the bar to the waist, sink down, touch the bar to the ground, and then immediately reverse direction into a power clean to begin the next rep. There was to be no resting on the ground, not even to reset the grip. You could, however, rest with the bar any where on the body (in the crease of the hips, in the front rack position, on the back), just not on the ground. Add weight each subsequent round until you find a max for the complex.

Complexes are a great alternative to traditional conditioning because they take an anaerobic movement and put it at an aerobic pace. In other words, the combine strength development with the usual effects of cardio: higher heart rate, shortened breathing, elevated body temperatures and the resulting sweating. Complexes also require a substantial amount of mental preparation in addition to the physical exertion. Every time you get ready to start the next round, you must steel yourself that you have not one, five, ten, or even twenty individual movements before you reach the end, but twenty-five (25).

Speaking of 25 movements, you may wonder why we dubbed Thursday night’s workout the “Bear Jr.”? Well, the original CF version of the Bear Complex is 5 rounds of 7 reps (rather than the 5 rounds of 5 reps we did Thursday night) for a total of 35 individual movements per round. We also modified the rules in terms of what was acceptable by allowing squat clean, as opposed to the original CF version where the clean had to finish in a standing position before beginning the front squat/thruster. We’re rebels like that. Speaking of the original CF version, and since a few people were reminiscing last night about the old demo video of The Bear, I thought I’d post it below for giggles (from 2008, I believe):


 Nice work everyone. Be sure to wish Ben and Sebastian good luck as they prepare to compete in this weekend’s Team Super Fit Games being held down at Trident CF in Alexandria, VA.

And speaking of competitions, everyone is encouraged to consider signing up for two more upcoming back-to-back events:

First, on Friday, October 26th, CrossFit Dupont will again be hosting an Amazing Grace workout to raise money for Barbells for Boobs. Grace is a straightforward barbell workout consisting of 30 clean and jerks (basically, ground-to-overhead) for time. This is a great way to support a good cause while getting in a good workout and having a good time.

If you decide not to participate in Amazing Grace, it can only be because you’ve opted to compete at…

The NOVA Open Weightlifting Championships, being held on Saturday, October 27 at CrossFit South Arlington. Similar to the Cap City Open (held in April at Balance Gym), this meet is being put together and directed by our own Coach Mike Choi, and considering how much Olympic lifting we’ve been doing recently, you are all more than qualified to sign up and compete (to sign up, pay your entry fee and then fill out the start-list information sheet).

Either way, everyone should find themselves with a barbell in their hands at some point that weekend!



  1. Erica says:

    Honestly, yesterday I think was one of the hardest barbell workouts I’ve ever had. 25 movements for one round was insane. Unfortunately, on the third round I knocked the barbell on the back of my neck even though I had spent the last few rounds avoiding that so I had to do the double thruster on the last two rounds, which didn’t feel much easier. What a strength and cardio workout. Wow!, Worked with Katie and Andraea, did 65-70-75-75-75

    Very excited to see Ben and SBV compete this weekend! If anyone needs a ride, I think Ben and I may take two cards. Very excited!! And cannot wait to see them kick ass and have fun 🙂

  2. Steph says:

    Awesome work by everyone last night! That was a tough one. I’m glad we were allowed to do the bear as a cluster then btn thruster. I think that was much easier than 5 separate movements at light to moderate weight and felt it saved me some energy for when I needed it on the last round. I think my last round should’ve and couldn’ve gone better if I didn’t almost bite my tongue off on the first clean, was a little distracted after that.

    I’ll be at Superfit tomorrow. Looking forward to watching Ben & Ben and getting some good food!

  3. Katie says:

    Check out those sweat stains! Nice. I worked with Erin and Melanie and did 35# to 45#. This was seriously tough, but I liked it! I noticed the bar start to come out in front of me during my cleans in the last few rounds…Chris noticed I was starting with “deadlift hips” and needed to start lower. (I guess I need to do more clean pulls.) I struggled, as always, not to let my hips rise early on squats – varying levels of success on that. I’m working on keeping good form despite being tired…I know I need it for efficiency.

    Tomorrow is a little busy, but I’ll try to stop by SuperFit for a bit. (especially if there’s food!) Good luck Ben-squared!

    I’ll be on my honeymoon on October 26 and 27, so hopefully there will be a barbell somewhere on the ship so I can do Grace while on the way to Bermuda.

  4. SBV says:

    In case anyone’s interested, here are the event’s for this weekend’s Team SuperFit DC competion:

    WOD 1 – Obstacle Course

    1:30 per station, 15 seconds of transition

    Cargo Climb Buy In, Max Double Unders
    Wall Jump Over
    Tire Flip Jump Throughs
    Snatch for Reps (155/105, 105/65)
    Each component is scored individually and counts for 25% of WOD1 rank.
    There will be two snatch bars available, but only one athlete can lift
    at a time.

    WOD 2 – Team 2011 CrossFit Open WOD3 Remix

    6 Minute time cutoff. Max reps of

    Squat Clean Thrusters (165/110, 135/85)
    Can change weights as many times as you want. One bar per team. Must
    be a thruster.

    WOD 3 – Chriss & Andrea are Recently Married!

    9 Minutes Cutoff for

    Row 1000 (buy in)
    Medball Run 400 Meters (20#)
    Max Meters Rowed
    Both partners must finish together to start rowing for meters.

    WOD 4 – Ouchies

    12 Minutes AMRAP of

    10 C2B Pullups (regular Pullups for scaled)
    10 Lateral Burpees
    15 Front Squats (75, 55)
    Men and women do the same weight in rx division. The scaled division
    folks do 55#.

    WOD 5 – Gasser

    15 Minute Cutoff

    800 M Run
    30 HSPU (kipping allowed rx, burpees scaled)
    35 Deadlifts (315/225, 225/115)
    40 T2B
    45 Wallballs
    Max Rep Dumbell Snatch to Lunge (45/35)
    Partners must get to the wall at the same time to start doing
    handstands. WOD5 is for Top 10 from RX divisions and Top 5 from scaled
    divisions. Dumbell snatch can be split snatched. Arms must alternate
    for consecutive reps.

  5. Katie says:

    That looks awesome!!! SBV, any idea what time you’ll be doing the WODs?

  6. Julia says:

    obstacle course?! cargo climb and wall jumps?! don’t know what that means, but it sure sounds cool!

    great working with Adriana with coaching from Sara. definitely found that the complex punished poor positioning and inefficient technique – if you’re off a little bit on any one piece of the bear, it adds up, and it’ll get you sooner or later before the end! (sooner, in my case.)

    Katie, you can always pull an Adam Smith! 🙂

  7. Sara says:

    Oh well I am sad I won’t be able to do grace. I am not a big fan of high rep oly lifts but for some reason I really like Grace. Instead I will be resting up to lift at the NOVA open.

    I loved the bear complex. At first I was a bit concerned about doing the BTN thruster but after giving it a try with light weight I was ok with it. My sets were: 53-63-83-93-103. I was able to continue to thruster until my last rep on my last set. I think I could have started with 63lbs and then tried 108 or 113. I definitely felt the raised heart rate on every set.

    I am really excited to see the picture of me on the blog with full extension. I don’t think I have seen my hips quite that extended before on a clean.

    Good luck to Ben squared. I plan to come out and watch after my workout tomorrow. I hope to get there in time for your second workout.

  8. SBV says:

    @Katie: Our estimated times for Events 1, 2, and 3 on Saturday are 10.26, 2.16, and 4.22, respectively. Event 4 will take place on Sunday morning, but our heat will depend on where we are in the standings after Day 1. Event 5 will be Sunday afternoon, but is only for the Top 10 teams. Our goal is to reach Event 5!

  9. Steph says:

    @Katie, there won’t be food there unfortunately. Well, there might be for sale, but probably nothing too good. I was talking about getting food before or after watching B&B.

  10. Dan Samarov says:

    Really liked the bear complex! Super tough… I made a bit too big of a jump from 185 to 225. Managed almost 3 rounds at 225, couldn’t lock out the third thruster and was just over thinking it as a whole. Tried 205 afterwards with similar results. Think if I’d gone to 205 first I could’ve gotten that, and then possibly 215. Looking forward to trying these again!

    Planning on heading down to watch SBV and Ben kick some butt this weekend at Superfit!

  11. Katie says:

    Boo for no food! You got my hopes up, Steph. :o( Oh, well, I will be prepared with snacks.

    I think we need to come up with some better nicknames for Ben squared.

  12. Andraea says:

    Bear complex was rough! I worked with Erica and Katie and my weight was the same as Erica 65-70-75-75-75#. Thanks to Katie who kept count of my rounds cause I was so focused on the lifts I had a hard time keeping track.

    The hardest movement for me was bringing the bar down behind the neck and then it was hard to make the back squat into a thruster so I broke the movement up. Did a squat and then did a push press. That was the only way I could get it up. Cleans felt good though I hadn’t really practiced touch and go so sometimes the position of my hands weren’t good but I got it up.

    Good luck Ben squared!! The obstacle course sounds like fun!

  13. Satin says:

    I did the combination of clusters and thrusters.
    95-115-125-135-145#. I probably should have started with 115 and progressed through 155# or higher. My goal was to be more efficient throughout all five rounds where I didn’t drop the bar once.

    Good luck to SBV and Ben!!.

  14. Tom Brose says:

    I’m going with “All about the Benjamins” as my nerdy, dated team name suggestion. Also, I’ll try to post any results I hear on our new CFDC Twitter:

  15. Erica says:

    Tom, I can keep you updated! Unless you’re coming, which would be amazeballs!

  16. SBV says:

    CFDC’s on Twitter! Now that’s “amazeballs!” Also, not to steal Tom’s thunders, but you can also get live updates on Twitter by following @SuperFitGames.

    Thanks for all of the support.

  17. Erica says:

    Or by checking my facebook page 🙂

  18. Dian says:

    Good luck Ben and SBV!

    I had to take an unexpected break from CrossFit this week so unfortunately, I missed out on all the fun. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday when I should be back in fighting form.

  19. edgy reggie says:

    I liked the bear complex. It’s a tough, challenging workout (but what at CrossFit DC isn’t?).

    My weight progression was 95-105-110-115-135. This progression proved two things to me: (a) I should have made bigger jumps earlier; and (b) I can probably handle a little more weight for sets four and five. Yes, I will do better on my “touch-and-go” at the start of each rep. 🙂

    Thanks to Satin and Brother Tom A. for working out with me and for pushing me. I appreciate it.

    I did Winnie’s yoga class post-CrossFit, and it really helped alleviate my delayed onset muscle soreness.

    I would like to compete on October 27; however
    there are a few scheduling conflicts that I need to sort out before I commit. 🙂

    Good luck to Ben (Brown) and “Has-Ben” (SBV). I will be there in spirit. 🙂