Bear with me, this may be a 3 or 4 part project…

Right around two years ago I asked Laura (then DeMarco – now Nielsen) to let me coach her. She was coming off a top 15 finish at the 2009 Games and had never really been coached. She followed CrossFit HQ for programming, but had literally never had formal coaching on any lifts or really anything else. She was/is a Level 2 trainer, owned her own gym, and was very very smart as far as movement and coaching.

Before I started coaching her she asked me to basically write a thesis of what I believed programming wise, what we’d be doing, and where I’d gotten the idea/science from. Today I was asked to do that again. The same person who had the idea for this blog and the whole “thing” that’s happening right now asked me to explain the nuts and bolts. I will try to summarize, but I will not get completely crazy with it tonight (I’ve gotta sleep at some point, I’ll try to chip away every day). I do want to try to give you guys a brief explanation of what we’re doing, and hopefully I won’t dive too far into nerdery. There WILL be a CF Journal article coming from all this, as that was the initial reason behind beaming WODs out to people. That is also the reason why it’s imperative that you post your work to comments. The site is free – it’s the least you can do for me.

1) Barbell Gymnastics

The mere practice of the Olympic lifts teaches an athlete how to apply large amounts of force. Part of the extraordinary abilities of an Olympic lifter arises out of his having learned how to effectively activate more of his muscle fibers more rapidly than others who aren’t trained to do so. This becomes extremely important for athletes who need to remain at lower body weights for athletic purposes but need to learn how to apply greater force. – Artie Dreschler

This is a powerful (no pun intended) quote. I love weightlifting – I love powerlifting. The problem, however, with powerlifting is the fact that the CNS is loaded for far more time than it is when performing the fast lifts. Therefore powerlifting takes a greater toll on the lifter and simply causes more fatigue and is harder to recover from. So, we Olympic Weightlift – a lot. The practice of the lifts improves rate of force development, builds flexibility/mobility, and allows for a level of general coordination that is unparalleled outside of – you guessed it – actual sports. I can throw 20-30 ME (or 90%+) lifts – which is what we’re doing on a weekly basis – at athletes per week without significant CNS fatigue or even soreness. Our skill transfer and accessory movements are basically programmed to work on the issues I’ve seen in most lifters (snatch balance ring a bell?).

The other inherent beauty of WL is that it is used all the time in CF competitions. Have any of you EVER done a competition that didn’t have a single WL or WL accessory movement? Guess what Grace feels like when you have a 300+ pound clean & jerk AND you’re really fit – feels like you’re playing with the kids weights.

2) Actual Gymnastics

How many kettlebell swings have you done in your life? Is that a high degree of difficulty movement for you? Have you ever heard a single CF competitor say, “I really can’t get KB swings”? (no AJ Moore comments)

If there’s going to be something you suck at, it’s going to be Muscle-Ups, HSPU, HS Walks, etc. Unless you drill these things constantly you’re not going to get better. I simply try to put these together in clever ways so we’ll have hit them from every possible angle (weighted, unbroken, pre-fatigued, fresh) and I like to do them in every possible way you could see them in competition (strict/kipping HSPU, HSPU on plates, HSPU on rings, MU on high rings, MU with turnout, bar MU, etc.). By the time you get to competition hopefully we’ve already practiced whatever comes out, and hopefully we’re good at it.

3) Met-Con

I know you all love Murph, but you won’t see it here. In fact, if you see anything over 12 minutes, I screwed up. Why?

As I’ve heard Coach say a million times – “All positive adaptations come through intensity”. Intensity is incredibly hard to maintain past 8 minutes, much less out past 12. Also, and this is even more important to me, anything past 12 minutes tends to lend itself to a fuckload of reps. A fuckload of reps means one thing – you get sore and your body breaks down (I guess that’s 2 things, and you’re all coaches – you don’t need me to break down the science). When you start to break down, we stop making positive gains and start to lose the strength gains we’ve already made. Not to mention, general muscular fatigue/soreness detracts from your ability to perform high level movements, and that is a great deal of what the program is based upon. I monitor the amount of reps (in met-cons… heavy – light – accessory – push – pull) we perform every week very closely and use many of the same charts that Louie Simmons has used for years, which are the same charts that some of the greatest European S&C coaches in history developed.

This, in my opinion, is possibly the most important piece of this whole equation. I actually got away from this in getting Becky and Brandon ready for last years Games and I think they suffered because of it. Brandon set me straight on this after the Games, and after the numbers we’ve seen in the last few months, he was absolutely right in doing so. The point is; you’re all really fucking fit already. You don’t need to get monkey stomped every day to become a better CrossFit competitor, but you do need to be good at going ALL OUT for moderate to short efforts while maintaining the highest possible level of efficiency.

4) Limited Conjugate Method

More to come tomorrow…


Dynamic Strength

1a) Back Squat: 10×2 @ 60%+25% Band – rest 60 sec.
Notes: This is speed work, down and up FAST.
1b) Bench Press: 10X2 @ 60%+25% Chains – rest 60 sec.
Notes: This is speed work, down and up FAST.


“Nasty Girls”

3 rounds for time of:

50 Air Squats
7 Muscle-Ups
10 Hang Power Cleans 135/95#


1a) 3×10 Hanging Leg Raises – rest 45 sec.
1b) 3×5 Banded GH Raise – medium/heavy (should be fast) rest 45 sec.

Band setup instruction video from last week (that never got posted):

31 responses to “111207

  1. Early morning workout –

    1a. 145# plus Rogue green band (65# resistance)
    here’s my set-up: http://tinyurl.com/773bmwu
    1b. no chains, so did 125# for all sets (85% of max)

    Conditioning: 11:56 (1:54 PR from June) Couldn’t string MU together today, doing some weird thing where I’m pulling harder with my right arm.

    Midline 1a. completed
    Midline 1b. used Rogue blue band (50# resistance)

    M/F/S 2/3/3 – all good!

      • 5 AM! I get up at 4 every day…I usually help with the 5 AM class, then go to my full-time job, then back to the gym again at night. I’ve been able to get a trainer to cover the morning classes, so I can focus on my training, sleep, etc.

  2. 1a) 225 + 75 lb band ( blue)
    1b) 135 + 65 lbs in chains

    Conditioning: 8:21

    Midline- did it at BW for both. Crp every rep on raises is the best feeling ever!
    MFS: 354

  3. 1a) 245# with something like 75-100# bands (have no clue really)
    1b) 205# with something like 50-75# bands (have no clue yet again…)

    Nasty Girls – 7:31 (first round unbroken, a PR on muscle ups by the way. Second and third round went 5+1+1, 3+2+1+! with the muscle ups, everything else unbroken)

    2a) did them
    2b) used 2nd lightest band for 1st two, then 3rd lightest for last. Felt very strong with these)

  4. didnt have any bands so did squats and bench at 85% with just weights


    nasty girls-6:09

  5. 1a) 145 + red bands
    1b) 100 + chain of unknown amount (hopefully 25%)

    8:03 – missed 2 muscle ups on the last set but still 1min faster than a couple months ago.

    1a) done
    1b) purple band

    3×20 hypers @50#

    MFS: 3/6/5 – 5th day on. Not feelin’ fresh.

  6. Had my second final today and was running on limited sleep, but couldn’t stay away. I have another Friday morning, so I figured I’d get it in while I could. I made up the strength work from yesterday and did Nasty Girls, in case I wouldn’t be able to tomorrow.

    1) 5 x 1 C&J @ 245#
    2a) ME Kipping HSPUs
    — 20, 15, 10, 9, 10
    2b) 5 x 3 PP
    — 185# (f@1, wtf, so dropped to 175#), 175#, 175#, 185# (f@3), 185#(f@3)

    Nasty Girls
    — 7:07

    Midline – did them

    M/F/S – 5/7/3

  7. No chains or bands tonight but finaly figured out a set up for bands so will start using them from here on out.
    1a. 175 (about 75% of max)
    1b. 110 (about 75% of a guessing max)

    19:51- was a little embarrassed to post my time, but this is my first RX Nasty Girls. I got through the first 18 MU’s pretty easy but it took me 3-4 min to get my last 3 which killed my time. I’ve just recently gotten where I can do double digit MU’s in a metcon so overall i’m happy with the progress.

  8. 1a) 225 + ~105# in bands, these felt good, hips started to get some explosion out of the bottom after a few sets, but they still aren’t as ‘dynamic’ as they should be.
    2a)255 – No chains, these got kinda slow after set #6

    Nasty Girls – 9:34 First attempt at this one, and I am a little dissappointed. I was hoping to get the MUs 4-3, 4-3, 4-3, but I was more fatigued(in other words-pussed out) than I expected and they went 4-3, 4-2-1, 3-2-1-1.

    M/F/S – 3/5/5

  9. First time with bands or chains, it was fun.
    1a) 155 w/ red bands
    1b)95 w/ chains, don’t know weight

    nasty girls 11:17 (pr is 9:53)

    1a) done
    1b)I did these unbanded, I wasn’t sure how to set it up

  10. 1a)120#
    -no chains of bands
    nasty girls: did muscles ups with band, 75#pwrcln: 8:22
    1a) done
    1b) subbed 35# back ext

  11. Dynamic Strength
    1a) 235 + 95 lbs band tension at top (purple + red)
    1b) 185 + 35 lbs chains (had to go a bit heavier on the bench because chains aren’t heavy enough)

    5:36 PR (April 14, 2011 – 5:48)
    MU’s UB, 5-1-1, 3-1-1-1-1. Everything else UB and fast.

    Midline Strength
    2 x 10
    2 x 5 (purple band)
    Running short on time, had to go.

  12. 1a) 230+red bands
    2b) 180+chains

    8:10- legs were absolutely gassed. Not pleased with it either way. squats took to long.
    MU’s- UB, 5+2. 4+2+1

    Midline complete

  13. 1a 155 + 30lb bands doubled up
    2b no bench sub 5 push ups w/ 50lb (band under each hand over back)

    Nast Girls…13:14

    Leg Raise
    GHD Sit Ups…..not sure what Ghd raise was?


  14. From Wednesday:
    1a) 190 + 70 lbs band tension

    1b) 150 + 60 lbs of chains

    Nasty Girls: 2 rounds + 50 squats in 15 minutes

    MFS: 2/6/8

  15. Done on 9 Dec 2011.

    Back Squat: 250 + about 90# in chains
    Bench: 210 + about 80# in chains

    Conditioning: 9:03 subbed pull ups and bar dips since they don’t have rings at the gym in Monterey. Weak sauce, but then again they also had a sign that specifically retricted me from doing CrossFit exercises. As per my compadre Epic’s guidance, I did about 400 sets of curls. Fuck yeah.

  16. 1a) 120 with red bands
    1b) 70 with 2 chains
    Did these 2×10 oops
    Nasty girls: 14:35 with rowing MU
    1a) yeah
    1b) no band
    Mfs: 2/2/2

  17. 1a)155+70ish in bands. light and fast
    1b)140+60chainsX5 140+40chainsX5

    Conditioning: 16:09
    worst muscle-ups in a long time. tweaked my elbow during benchpress and couldn’t finish transition… spent 3 minutes trying to last one of first round. they got a little better with technique but still shitty. going to hit this again in a few days. should be sub 10 easy.

    skipped skills because of elbow. ice time.

  18. Dynamic Strength

    1a) Back Squat: 10×2 @ 60%+25% Band – rest 60 sec.
    Notes: This is speed work, down and up FAST.

    205# w/Blue bands(72#’s).
    1b) Bench Press: 10X2 @ 60%+25% Chains – rest 60 sec.
    Notes: This is speed work, down and up FAST.

    155# w/chains, not sure what they weigh….Also, might have done 11 or 12 rounds because I got a little confused part way through wo I just figured more was better.


    “Nasty Girls”

    3 rounds for time of:

    50 Air Squats
    7 Muscle-Ups
    10 Hang Power Cleans 135/95#

    8:34, broke it up when I shouldnt have. Never got super gassed like what the workout is supposed to illicit.


    1a) 3×10 Hanging Leg Raises – rest 45 sec. Did only these at the house.
    1b) 3×5 Banded GH Raise – medium/heavy (should be fast) rest 45 sec. Did not do.

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