My abs are sore!

Weekly Programming Links:  Group Class, Advanced, Venice Barbell Club

Monday, November 11, 2013


Fire Hydrants
Samson Stretch


Row 500 meters
10 Wall Squats – DEMO
10 Inchworms with Pushup
10 PVC Overhead Squats
Lat Activations, 1 minute multiple positions – DEMO
10 Back Squats with barbell

Classic Strength

4 Rounds:
8 Back Squat, heavier than last week
8 strict pull ups or ring rows

Notes: Alternating movements, rest as needed. Perform a few warmup sets for both movements, working into heavier loads for the squat and harder variations for the pullups/rows. Feel free to add weight to the pullups if needed. Try to make all 4 working sets challenging but quality technique and range of motion. 

Advanced Strength

4x 7/13 Front Squat/Back Squat @70% of 1RM FS

Notes: Rest around 2-3 minutes between sets. Complete 7 Front Squats, rack the bar, reset and immediately complete 13 Back Squats at the same weight. Do not rest while switching from Front to Back Squats.


3 Rounds for Distance and Reps of:
1 min ME (distance) Handstand Walk
4 min AMRAP of:
10 Deficit HSPU 6/4”
20 Single Arm KB Power Cleans (32/24)
30 Jump and Touch, 18” above reach – DEMO
1 minute rest between rounds

Notes: Sub Shoulder taps for Handstand Walks and count total reps. Sub 10 Piked Pushups or 15 regular pushups to build strength towards a full ROM HSPU and focus on quality! KB cleans are from the floor and should be 10R/10L. The Jump and touch can be anything that you can physically touch, wall, rope, ring, bar, etc. Only one hand has to touch.

Cool Down

2x 10 Wall Extensions, rest 60 sec
Pike stretch, 1 min
Straddle stretch, 1 min
Sampson stretch, 1 min

The Gymnastics Cert crew!  Led by badass David Durante.

Frank, Barry and I dominated the weekend gymnastics certification!  We have information pouring out of our ears and can’t wait to share some of this stuff with you all.  Look out for new videos, tweaks to programming and progressions over the coming weeks.

Below is a list of their “Primary Take Home Points,” including my own take on each:

1.  Be patient – One of the reasons we believe many people struggle with gymnastics is that it is harder to measure your progress.  Unlike lifting weights where you can see the addition of that 2.5lb plate, gymnastics may seem like you are not making any improvement.  Focus on developing a strong foundation, trust the program and over time you can accomplish amazing things.

2.  No frustration – David (former olympic gymnast)  told about how when he was younger, he used to get frustrated and real upset when he couldn’t do a particular movement or was having a tough training day.  As he got older, he realized that this was not helping him accomplish his goals, but rather slowing him down.  He thought that by getting upset he was showing everyone how much he cared, but he was distracting himself from fixing the problem.  This goes for life in my opinion, but you have to not only deal with failure, but expect it.  The team motto from his Stanford training days goes well here I think, “Strength in the struggle.”

3.  Lock out elbows – I loved that this was one of the main points!  This is something we simply allow too many good athletes to get away with and something David believes must change within the CrossFit community.  Learning to truly lock your elbow to support your bodyweight or an external weight is critical to quality functional movement.  Get ready for some more work on this!

4.  Partner up – This goes right along with the next point and what I wrote about on FB yesterday.  One of the primary lessons learned this weekend: gymnastics requires a lot of hands on experience. From stretching to spotting, without help from another human being your training will be less than optimal. In a group class environment this means you will have to work with other athletes to develop trust and comfort.  Click HERE for pic of me and Barry doing some partner stretches.

5.  Learn to spot properly and confidently – We had started doing this more in the past few weeks of gymnastics class and after this weekend we cannot deny the effectiveness and importance of spotting any longer!  Sometimes we even used two spotters to allow for more athletes to perform more movements properly and safely.  This is the most common practice in the world of gymnastics coaching, yet not seen often enough in CrossFit.

6.  Slow Down to Speed up – This is the BIG ONE for many CrossFitter athletes approaching gymnastics:  prioritize building a foundation of strength and movement patterns before speed and volume.  A great example is when we were learning about High Bar movements and we were covering the kipping swing and linking toes to bar.  David wanted everyone to focus on keeping their legs straight throughout the entire range of motion, which I found to be so much harder and more work than the way that I perform and teach them.  So concerned for my ego, we asked, “If these are harder to perform, why would we do them?”  His response was obvious.  The goal isn’t to be able to touch your toes to the bar, its to become a better gymnast and better athlete.  He said, “Imagine if you could perform your toes to bar with straight legs, how easy would it be to perform them the way you do?”  Of course, this is like anything…get stronger and everything gets easier.  My way isn’t wrong, it just isn’t the end goal!  Everyone should be getting stronger in not only the strict variations, but next level variations of these movements that we perform regularly.  Advanced athletes look forward to some of that:)

7.  Consistency is key – Can’t be said enough by enough people.  Give yourself a specific goal, be patient, don’t get frustrated, find yourself a training partner and focus on quality not quantity.   See you on thursdays!   (This isn’t just the key to success in gymnastics by the way;)  



Super Hero Vegas Ragnar Relay Crew:  Red, Charlie, Ana, Aimes, Peet, Tara, Jessica, Baldo and Sophia


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