WOD - 02/01/10

Weakness: 10 minutes

Front Squat @ 40X3; 4-6 reps; 4 sets; rest 120 seconds
DB Shoulder Press 3x5 @ 75%

AMRAP in 3 Minutes of:
3 Burpee Pull-up
7 Squats

3x25 GHD Sit-up / Back Extension

If possible, choose different weakness from last week; strict tempo and rest intervals on front squats; for metcon, chest to deck on burpees, chin over bar on pull-up, full depth on squat and hips completely open at top; finish with GHD work


WOD - 01/29/10

Olympic lifting technique

Power Snatch + Snatch Balance + OHS x 5 sets @ 65%
Clean Pull 4x3 @ 90% of clean
Push-up @ 41X1; 4-6 reps; 5 sets; rest 90 seconds

3x15 KB/DB sidebends superset with 3x8 Good Mornings

Do not rush through Oly sets, take time to feel each movement individually and focus on technique; tempo for push-ups should be understood now; finish with sidebends + good mornings
**I will be in California for the next few days. I will not be back until Tuesday. I apologize for not being at the gym, but I am attending two very informative seminars that I hope will be beneficial to our goals here.**


WOD - 01/28/10

Wall Ball Technique & Standards

Metcon 1:
Muscle-up ladder on the minute for 10 minutes

Men: Sub 2 strict pull-up, 2 strict ring dips
Girls: Sub 1 strict pull-up, 1 strict bar dip

Rest 3 minutes

Metcon 2:
Tabata Wall Ball; rest 3 minutes

GHD Sit-ups @ 2010; 15 x 3; rest 30 sec

For MU ladder, perform 1 muscle-up the first minute, two muscle-ups the second minute, three muscle-ups the third minute, etc; continue until you fail to complete the prescribed muscle-ups within the minute; for subs men will perform 2 pull-ups and 2 ring dips first minute, 4 pull-ups and 4 ring dips second minute, etc; rest 3 minutes then perform tabata wall balls - hips must pass below parallel, ball must go visibly OVER the line for it to count; rest three minutes, finish with GHD sit-ups


WOD - 01/27/10

Double-unders: 5-7 minutes

Back Squat 3x5 @ 78%
Deadlift 3x3 @ 85%

5 Rounds:
AMRAP Double-unders in 30 seconds
Rest 30 seconds

3x15 DB Sidebend (add weight from last week)
Superset with:
3x10 Toes To Bar
Rest 90 seconds

Keep rest intervals during squats shorter than 3 minutes, rest at least 3 minutes between deadlift sets; metcon should last four minutes and thirty seconds; finish with core work

What Am I Doing?

I understand some of you may be curious what my aims are with my programming and rightly so. Some of you could care less and will just do whatever workout is posted. Both are fine. But for those interested/curious/skeptical, I feel obligated to give you a brief overview of my thoughts on programming for this project.

While the stuff coming from CrossFit.com appears totally random (excuse me, IS totally random), I'm a firm believer that variance, while fun and sometimes effective, is not the best way to attain one's goals, especially if there is a specific goal in mind. So rather than throw together a slew of idiotic workouts, I've put a lot of thought in all of this (sometimes too much). Regardless, I am no expert and this is my first time programming for an entire group of people, so bear with me.

Before you read any further, I stand firmly by Greg Everett's quote: "Of course, this is all speculation and because CrossFit is by design unpredictable, there’s always a chance we could be, come game day, totally fucked."

Immediate Goals:
1) Strength Development - Of all characteristics of fitness, strength is easily the most transferable to everything else. We want to build a bigger engine.
2) Skill Development - Improving on the necessary skills CrossFit utilizes (double-unders, ring work, HSPU, wall balls) is obviously essential if one wishes to excel in the "sport" of CrossFit.
3) Olympic Lifting Proficiency - Easily the most technical aspect of CrossFit. It will simultaneously improve strength, power, focus, flexibility, and even mental toughness. In other words, it takes guts to drop your ass under a crapload of weight.
4) Metabolic Conditioning - The majority of CrossFit WODs fall into this realm. We will be addressing this lightly at first and increasing frequency as Regionals approach. Again, the stronger you are, the easier metcon work is.

Tentative Program Schedule:
02/08 - 03/07: Olympic Lifting Phase
03/08 - 04/10: Strength Endurance / Power Endurance Phase
04/11: Team Tryout
04/12 - 05/02: Continue SE/PE Phase, incorporating more team-based workouts
05/03 - 05/07: Taper Week
05/08 - 05/09: Regionals

OL Phase: Metcons will be sparse through this segment, likely no more than two per week. This phase will be geared towards strength increases and the proper development of technique.

SE/PE Phase: In this phase we will begin adding significantly more metcon work. Strength will still be an essential component, but it will not be the principle aspect. Metcons will range different time domains and energy pathways. For instance, you may do max thrusters in 90 seconds, rest 2 minutes, and quickly do an AMRAP in 15 minutes. Other days, we may have a 35 minute ball-buster. The goal is to increase metabolic capacity and, really, build mental toughness.

Taper Week: We will decrease our workload before Regionals to ensure proper recovery and maximum potential/power output i.e. we're trying to "peak" come Regionals.

Well, that's the basic essence of it. If anyone has any questions, just ask. If you're genuinely uninterested in any of this, then please just ignore this post. I basically just wanted to make sure everyone knew I wasn't using a Jump To Conclusions Mat to figure all of this out...


WOD - 01/26/10

Weakness: 15 minutes

Snatch Balance: 6x2 @ 60%; rest 2 minutes

1x800m, rest 180 seconds
2x400m, rest 180 seconds
5x100m, rest 90 seconds

**As per a suggestion from ODB, someone far more versed in the track & field arena than myself, we're switching the order of the sprints. We'll begin with a single 800m (long lap), rest three minutes, then two 400m (1st and back), resting three minutes between each, and finish with five 100m (Kirby and back), resting 90 seconds between each. Dress warm. Sorry to the morning guys who ran it as originally written...

Max Push-ups in 60 seconds

Pick what you feel is your biggest weakness; go hard on the sprints - no pacing; push-up form must be strict - chest to deck, elbows locked out at top - failure to maintain strict form and the set will be terminated; finish with long stretch


WOD - 01/25/10

Men: Muscle-ups / Ring Dips - 5 minutes
Women: Ring Dips / Ring Rows - 5 minutes

Both: Clean & jerk technique: 5-7 minutes

Clean & Jerk: Find 1RM

Planks 1:00 front/side/side, 1:00 rest between

Use the ring work as more of a skill warm-up to avoid burning out before clean & jerks; notice Suleymanuglu's absurd lift (418# at a bodyweight of 132#): bar stays close to body throughout pull, actively pulls under the bar, fast elbows, slight dip on jerk before pressing himself under the bar fast

Forged From Rearden Metal, Pt. 2

Get Some.


URGENT! Your Vote Needed...

As I stated from the outset, due to all of the interest in being on Primal's Affiliate Team, we will have to have a in-house "tryout" to determine our final team. However, I would like to set a particular weekend for this event. Right now, I have two particular weekends in mind: 4/10-4/11 or 4/17-4/18. Here's why...

1) This competition will be intense and therefore, I don't want it happening too close to Regionals so team members can recover optimally.

2) This earlier date will also give me more time to focus on each athlete individually a few weeks prior to Regionals.

3) I'm currently leaning towards the earlier weeked (4/10-4/11) because it should ensure appropriate recovery before Regionals.

At this moment, I'm also leaning towards the Sunday of either weekend. A Saturday may prove easier for some of you, but Primal runs classes from 8AM-3PM, which would severely inhibit our ability to conduct an all-day event. To elaborate on that (and to further illustrate my love for numbered lists)...

1) The tryout will likely consist of multiple events, probably 3 or 4, testing as many aspects of fitness as possible (endurance, strength, technical skills, power, etc). Something like max handstand hold will NOT be an event (sorry, Eric).

2) If you do not make the team, you are more than welcome to continue following A-Team programming.

3) Similarly, like any competitive team we will have to have alternates in case any team member cannot travel to Ohio for some reason or - god forbid - gets injured.

4) At this point, we will probably field 4 men and 2 women for our team of 6. I apologize, ladies, but there are far more males interested. This will also put a large burden on the women competing, as they will have to compete in every event at Regionals. Again, sorry ladies.

So before I ramble any further, please post which weekend you'd prefer we host the Primal Affiliate Team Tryout: April 10-11 or April 17-18.

Thanks everyone!


WOD - 01/22/10

HSPU technique: 10 Minutes

Snatch Pull 6x3 @ 85% (of snatch)
Push-up @ 41X2; 4-6 reps; 4 sets; rest 45 seconds

Max Wall Ball in 90 seconds (M: 20; W: 12/8)

3x20 GHD Sit-up / Back Extension

Stay back on heels during snatch pulls; strict tempo on push-ups; wall balls must pass OVER line to count; rest as needed between GHD sets


WOD - 01/21/10

Rowing Technique: 5 Minutes

Snatch Balance: 4x3 @ 50% of snatch

Row 500m, then
12-9-6 of
KBS (53/44)
Burpees (unbroken)
Rest 3 minutes, repeat

Snatch balances are light for a reason: focus on form - drop hips fast, press body under the bar hard, stay tight at the bottom, shoulders up and back locked out; in metcon burpees must be performed without stopping or resting, it can be done by all of you - you just need to force yourself to do it.


WOD - 01/20/10

L-Sit holds: 3 attempts at max holds; rest 120 seconds between attempts

Front Squat @ 30X2; 4-6 reps; 4 sets; rest 120 seconds; use 50% of Back Squat from 01/11/10 to start

DB Shoulder Press: 3x5 @ 60% of barbell shoulder press from 01/11/10

3x20 DB Sidebend (same weight as last week)
Superset with:
3x8 Toes To Bar
Rest 90 seconds

For tempo squats, use 50% of 1RM back squat for first set. From there, add weight accordingly. Tempo must be STRICT: 3 seconds down, immediately explode to the top, rest 2 seconds, repeat for 4-6 total reps, resting EXACTLY 2 minutes between sets. If form or tempo breaks down, terminate set and reduce weight for next set.


WOD - 01/19/10

Double-unders: 10 minutes

Double Unders from Patrick Cummings on Vimeo.

1 Set of Max Strict Pull-ups w/ supinated grip
Rest exactly 2 minutes
1 Set of Max Strict Pull-ups w/ pronated grip
Rest 3-4 minutes then:

Max double-unders in 10 minutes

Rest exactly 3 minutes

Strength Finisher:
1 Set of Max Strict Pull-ups w/ pronated grip
Rest exactly 2 minutes
1 Set of Max Strict Pull-ups w/ supinated grip

Pull-ups must be strict, full lockout at bottom, chin over the bar at top; "Exactly" means EXACTLY for rest periods; rope must pass under foot for double-under to count, no scaling, chip away and get as many as possible; post each pull-up score and "Rhiannon" score to comments

Unit, Rhiannon from Garry Michael Martin II on Vimeo.


WOD - 01/18/10

Snatch Technique: 10-15 minutes

Snatch: Find 1RM

Aimee Anaya of Catalyst Athletics, 2007 USA Weightlifting National Champion

3x15 DB Overhead Sit-ups w/ AbMat (30/20)

Note Aimee's form in the video: back and hips rise at same speed, bar is pulled back into her hips, full extension on the pull, actively pulls herself under the bar, and receives the bar locked out overhead; rest at least 2-3 minutes between 1RM attempts; finish with core work


Forged From Rearden Metal, Pt 1

Kudos to Ryan Hackett for the title of this post. Forged From Rearden Metal will be a segment where I discuss the subtle nuances of high intensity training, CrossFit or otherwise. I will try to touch on the mental aspects of training which are just as - if not more - important as the physical facets.

For now, I'm going to keep it brief and just provide the below video. It's the trailer for Sisu, a documentary about Mikko Salo, the 2009 CrossFit Games Champion and rumored cyborg. Enjoy...

Video courtesy of CrossFit.com


WOD - 01/15/10

Double-unders: 10-12 minutes

Back Squat: 5x3 @ 80% (from Monday)
Turkish Get-up: 3-2-2-1-1 (working to medium-heavy weight, rest 60 seconds between sets)

Stretch / Foam Roll / Ice Bath (if you dare)

Continue developing double-under technique; get appropriate rest between back squat sets (2-3 minutes); rest well over weekend


WOD - 01/14/10

Ring work: 10 minutes (levers, L-sits, skin the cats, light muscle-up technique, etc)

Ring Dip: 5x3 - no weight, full ROM

AMRAP in 8 Minutes:
3 DB Hang Squat Clean
5 DB Push Press/Jerk
7 DB Burpees

Shoulder Mobility Work

Focus on technique, tightness, and ROM on ring work - do not burn yourself out before metcon; elbows pass below shoulders on ring dips; for metcon DB's should add up to 35% bodyweight and can only be released between rounds, never during a round, penalty will be enforced otherwise

Weightlifting Shoes

I can't say this enough. I've told many of you and many of you have listened, but weightlifting shoes are downright vital to success. Certain movements will feel easier, strength will come quicker, technique and flexibility will improve - there's countless benefits to having your own pair of Olympic lifting shoes. Yes, they're pricey and yes, they're not the most stylish of training accessories, but damn it, they work. Here's a list of places where they can be purchased...





A few things worth noting:

1) Affiliate Team or not, if you're serious about getting stronger and therefore getting fitter, weightlifting shoes are crucial. Even more so if you wish to improve your Olympic lifts.

2) If you don't feel like buying Oly shoes, Chuck Taylors and Vibram Five Fingers will work better than sneakers. They are an acceptable substitute, but weightlifting shoes would still be best.

3) They are a little expensive, but they're cheaper than Nike Shox and will be much more beneficial than any Nike shoe you've ever purchased.

4) This is most important: DO NOT BUY WEIGHTLIFTING SHOES UNTIL YOU HAVE TRIED SOME ON AT THE GYM. Sizes between brands are all over the map, so get a good idea what size you should have and then order them.

I'm not trying to pressure you into buying new shoes, but believe me, they're an excellent investment. Ask anyone who owns or uses a pair and they'll tell you. Go ahead. Ask Anil, Anna, Christy, Nick, Bin, or ODB. Go on, ask 'em. I'll wait here.


WOD - 01/13/10

HSPU: 10 Minutes (variations)

Deadlift: Find 1RM

Max Burpee Pull-ups in 90 seconds

DB Sidebend 3x15 each side

solid 10 minutes working on HSPU, negatives, partial ROM, etc; if scaling HSPU focus on keeping torso as vertical as possible; find current 1RM for deadlift, rest at least 3 minutes between attempts; burpee pull-up demo; finish with core work


WOD - 01/12/10

Rowing Technique: 5-7 minutes
Push-up standards review

Push-up @ 3030; 6-8 reps; 4 sets; rest 90 seconds

5 Rounds:
200m row sprint
100m light paddle

I will work with everyone individually on the rower; for push-ups follow tempo strictly, constant movement, no rest at top or bottom, if cadence or ROM breaks down terminate the set; for metcon row 200m all-out effort, row 100m light recovery pace, repeat 4 times

I forgot to include the following two videos. Please ignore how annoying Jon Gilson's voice is...

The Concept2 Rower - Part One from Patrick Cummings on Vimeo.

The Concept2 Rower - Part 2 from Jon Gilson on Vimeo.


WOD - 01/11/10

Double-unders: 10 minutes

Back Squat: Find 1RM
Shoulder Press: Find 1RM

3x10 GHD Sit-up / Back Extension

Work on double-unders for solid 10 minute block; get sufficient rest between 1RM attempts (at least 3 minutes); finish with GHD work; post loads to comments


Warm Up / Cool Down

A proper warm-up is essential in ensuring a successful workout. Getting your muscles, heart, and mind ready for work can be the difference between a PR and an injury. If you walk into the gym, do ten air squats and think you're ready for Fight Gone Bad or heavy squat cleans, you're dead wrong. A good solid warm-up is something your muscles and joints will greatly appreciate in the long run. So... where do we start?

1) No Static Stretching. Not only is it pretty much useless in general, but countless studies have shown that it can actually decrease force production and hinder overall performance. Steven Low has written an excellent article regarding the relationship between workouts and static stretching (be sure to look through his new website - it's full of great information). The only exception to static stretching pre-workout is the hip flexor. To quote Steve, "We want to static stretch them [our hip flexors] to inhibit the stretch-shorten cycle so that we can increase the power of our hip extension/hyperextension allowing us to sprint faster, squat more powerfully, or anything that requires power or strength in a hip extension movement (which is almost every lower body exercise)."

2) Mobility Drills. These have become a staple in Primal's warm-up philosophy and, if you look close enough, you'll see most of the top guys doing it as well. Dutch, Speal, OPT... all are big advocates of this stuff. And with good reason - it works. There are a ton of different drills and exercises for mobility, but rather than try to explain them all, I'll be lazy and post the following two videos...

Dutch Lowy's Warm-up:

Catalyst Athletics Warm-up:

Obviously, both of these videos have a ton of exercises in them and I don't expect you to do all of them before every workout. Nevertheless, try to get them all in throughout the week. Varying by muscle group or problem area. For instance, if you're having wrist issues, do wrist circles every day before workouts. If you have tight hamstrings, it's leg swings and kossacks. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you didn't watch the videos.

3) Post-Workout Stretch. If you're not getting a good stretch after your workout (especially rough metcons), then you're an idiot. It's that simple. I can't be any nicer than that. Your muscles are warm and writhing in pain and you just get in your car and drive home. Unacceptable. Again, I don't particularly like static stretching. If you're familiar with it, do PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular faciliation). There's a great CrossFit Journal video with Kelly Starrett demonstrating how this works. I'm sure some of you have seen me stretch ODB or Katie in this fashion. But if you don't feel comfortable with that yet, static stretching post-workout is better than missing a chance to improve your range-of-motion and mobility.

4) Post-Workout Nutrition. Similarly, I encourage everyone to consider quality food consumption post-workout. Quite simply, food is fuel. Generally speaking, you have about 45 minutes immediately following the completion of your workout to throw down some quality calories. Obviously, if you eat something 46 minutes later, you'll be okay. And even an hour later. The 45 minute window is merely the optimum time frame. What exactly to eat will vary from person to person and I'll be covering this topic more soon. In the meantime, try to bring a banana or Muscle Milk or some form of decent caloric intake to refuel post-WOD.

And that's pretty much it for now. It's obvious that our workouts are important, but what you do before (and after) is just as important. Don't waste your opportunities.


Info On Regionals!

First off, the following information was released on Wednesday: http://games2010.crossfit.com/affiliatecup/affiliate-cup-competition-2010.html Craziness.

Regarding our region, I'm a born investigator. This is obvious. Upon some careful internet perusing, I found some critical information regarding Regionals. Here are the basics...

Central East Regional: May 8-9
Kaeppner Place, 34018 Sutton Rd, Logan, OH 43138

Digging a little deeper, I found some more information. Bill Henniger, the owner of Rogue Fitness, had the inside scoop on what to expect at Regionals. Here are some direct quotes from him...

"Regional Qualifier: The entry has been updated with the location in Logan, OH - Kaeppner Woods. For those of you that are not familiar with the Hocking Hills area, it would be a great place to enjoy the scenery. For those of you competing you will really get to enjoy the scenery as the terrain is brutal, expect to be tested. We will not be confined by a warehouse, there is 200+ acres and a large comp area to lay out the gauntlet for 2010.

Lodging: You can find lodging from hotels to log cabins easily through the link above.

Did I mention there is 26 miles of single track, crazy elevation and a pond?

More to follow."

Craziness. Google maps shows a lot of trees. As I receive more info, I'll make it readily available to all of you.


The Basics

Before I post any workouts, I want to give everyone a basic outline of some of the things we'll be doing. Some of it will be new, some of it will downright foreign.

1) Warm-ups: For the time being, stick to the warm-ups Jesse posts for the Primal WOD. On certain days, I may post a specific warm-up, but for now, don't worry.

2) Percentages: At the beginning of this program, I'll be having you find your 1RM (one rep max) for various lifts. From there, we will work with percentages of that number i.e. 75%, 80%, 90%, etc. One-rep max attempts are good every now and then, but the stress on the CNS (Central Nervous System) makes recovery a lot tougher. Working with percentages allow us to lift more volume and recover quickly.

3) Skill Work: Before metcons and heavy lifting, there will be a Skill Work section. Some days it will be specified, while other days it will be specific to the individual. For instance, I may write "Double-unders" and therefore, I want you to work on double-unders. Other days I may write "Weakness" which means I want you to work on one of your major weaknesses. This will require some careful thought on your part. If you want to work on handstand push-ups, but the lift for the day is heavy shoulder presses, then you might want to work on a different weakness that day.

4) Rep tempo: Some people who've frequented the Saturday classes will recognize numbers like 41X0 or 3232 and so on. These are designated speeds at which you must complete your reps. The first number is the eccentric or lowering phase, the second number is the pause in the middle, the third number is the concentric or lifting phase, and the fourth number is the pause before the next lowering phase. Let's use Back Squat 41X0 as an example...

4 = Four seconds lowering the bottom of the squat
1 = One second pause at the bottom
X = Explode to the top
0 = No rest between reps

For a movement like the pull-up, you would actually start with the third number since you are already at the bottom of each rep. In other words, a pull-up begins with the concentric contraction; squats begin with the eccentric contraction. So, even though it would be written as 41X0, pull-ups would be performed like this:

X = Explode to the top of the pull-up
0 = Immediately begin lowering phase
4 = Four seconds lowering the the bottom of the pull-up
1 = One second pause before beginning the next rep

I will further elaborate on all of this jargon in a later post. If it's still confusing, read OPT's explanation here.

5) Schedule. I will post workouts for Monday through Friday. I am not expecting anyone to workout five days in a row. In fact, I'd rather most people didn't workout five days in a row. Either way, due to differing schedules, some of you may regularly miss Mondays or Tuesdays or Wednesdays, whatever. That's fine. What's most important is trying not to miss the days involving barbell/strength workout. For instance, say we do heavy back squats on Monday and handstands/rowing on Tuesday. If you miss Monday, I'd definitely prefer you just did your back squats on Tuesday and skip the handstands/rowing for the day. This will obviously vary from person to person, but it may help if people decide exactly what days they plan on working out (if possible, of course). Post your proposed schedule in the comments of this post if you like. It might make it easier for me to organize that way.

Alright, that's it for today. Stay tuned as I'll be posting about essential mobility drills to use in your warm-ups. I'm sick of seeing people do some arm circles and leg swings and think they're done with mobility work.


I Couldn't Resist...

Watch this video before you read on.

So naturally, "teamprimal" or "team-primal" was already taken so "weretheAteam" just seemed like the next logical step.

Anyways, here is the blog for our Affiliate Team adventure. This is where you'll find the day's workouts as well as videos, articles, and links filled with information discussing a wide range of topics (recovery, diet, technique, mentality, intensity, etc).

Even if you're not following this particular programming, I encourage you to frequent this blog for the above-mentioned resources. Again, feel free to follow whichever program you choose, so long as you're working your ass off.

Lastly, please be warned, when I write I tend to swear. A lot. If this offends you at all, please let me know and I'll do my best to keep it under control. Or I'll tell you to go fuck yourself. Until then, let's get to work!