Rip would approve.

Friday 090313 (54)
Back Squat 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Post loads to comments.

MPF on Z-Health
Ain’t that a shame

Pam MacElree is working towards a 90# TGU–where’s yours?

Vanilla: not just the opposite of chocolate
Top pain scientist fabricated data in studies, hospital says More on the whole “not milk” thing
Cate Imes on chasing form, not just speed
Michelle Obama’s agenda includes healthful eating

Baring arms
If you knew nothing of CrossFit, what the heck would you think was going on in this photo?


  • Allison Bojarski

    From the CrossFit Brand X forums:
    Today, everyone is a Big Dawg. Everyone can do this workout as Rx’d. If you are unfamiliar with the lift or have an absolutely horrible air squat, go light and work on form.

  • Kurt

    I am looking for recommendations for a supplement to the WoDs. I will hopefully have to take a physical fitness test at an unknown time within the next 6 months. The test has four parts, but the only ones I am concerned with significantly improving are these:
    1. Max strict situps in one minute. These are performed with much less hip action than a CF situp and the hands have to stay intertwined behind the head. I will probably be doing a combination of max efforts and tabatas to increase this score, in addition to practicing the form, which is somewhat alien to a CFer.
    2. Max untimed continous motion pushups. Fairly standard pushups, performed without stopping until you cannot continue.
    I am much more interested in help on the pushups, as I believe I can improve that the most. However, I have found that CF disincentives effort to failure excerices by often having rep ranges that are either too low to test max reps or way to high to do in single set. Essentially, we are trained to do either a set of 10 straight through or break a goal of 100-300 reps into manageable sets that decrease the total time to do the exercise.
    What supplementation would black boxers suggest? Multiple sets to failure after the WoD? Regular GtG work during the day? Tabata intervals?

  • Zach Singer

    Kurt, I would definitely go with some GtG action. I have always found it to be effective in boosting max effort numbers. Something akin to Pavel’s Fighter Pullups (I believe it’s Pavel’s — talk to Torch on that) would be good.
    Tabatas could also be an interesting way to help boost your numbers and maybe you could throw in a tabata interval every now and then, but in general, I would stick with GtG. The benefit here lies in the fact that you never go to exaustion (thus I would definitely recommend against sets to failure at the end of the WOD), and you can continually hit a fresh set at various points in the day. I used to do it with pullups in such a way that everytime I left or entered my dorm room (literally my room – so even going to the bathroom, the kitchen, my roommate’s room or the living room) I did 5 pullups on the door — didn’t have much equipment to work with, but it worked. 5 was a good number at the time — just go with a number that makes you work a little but doesn’t completely burn you out. Also focus on perfect pushups (no kipping, completely rigid, chest, chin and thighs race to touch the ground LAST — all hit simultaneously) in your training, anything less that they make you do will just be that much easier.
    And by the way — I vote that we get some super padded yoga mats or something the next time coach prescribes such an insane number of situps because…damn. Can anyone say chaffing? Ouch.

  • Davi

    I love that there are sufficient interest and ingenuity among Crosffitters for Kurt – or anyone – to pose such a question and get a well considered and inventive reply.
    Rock on! Warms the cockles.
    I come from the world of strict form sit-ups and have been intrigued by the CF variation.
    Are you coming all the way up to vertical on your sit-ups for this test, Kurt?
    I just nearly bashed my head on a drawer experimenting with various situps on the floor. Nice.

  • Kurt

    Zach- thanks. Do you think it is best done all day long, post wod, pre-wod?
    Davi- The requirements are:
    1. line drawn from neck, then to back of the spine then to the ground forms at least a 90 degree angle with the floor. In common parlance: vertical, but I wanted to be specific.
    2. legs are bent at about 90 degrees
    3. hands are interlaced behind the head and remain there through the whole movement
    4. shoulders touch the floor on each rep
    5. hips never come off the floor
    The last one is the hardest, as CF has taught me to throw my hips into almost everything. Usually this is a good thing. In an artificially limited environment, less so.

  • Davi

    and – are you permitted to hook your feet around/place them underneath anything to ground you?
    (I’d have some serious foot flailing if not)

  • Kurt

    Sorry, forgot that part. Assistant kneels on your toes and puts his hands on your feet so that they cover the tongues of your sneakers.

  • Erik

    A question regarding GtG since someone brought it up. Do you think adding a GtG in addition to the WODs would help on high rep workouts like say Murph or any other workout for time that requires high set amounts but relatively normal rep amounts like the workout on Wednesday?

  • Zach Singer

    First and foremost — Davi, glad I could warm your cockles this chilly afternoon.
    Moving on…Kurt,
    I would say all day long. Again, the ideology behind GtG is to hit sets while you’re fresh. Pre-WOD would also be fine, I think. If you’re going to do them post WOD, I’d do it for something you didn’t just grind in the WOD (i.e. GtG situps after JT, or pushups after Michael). Also Kurt, I would practice the situps multiple ways — doing them anchored will be more specific to your test and more provide a more realistic outlook of the numbers you’ll get. Doing them unanchored will be harder and more taxing, and my guess is that your abdominal strength fatigues before your lung capacity — I would do some this way as well, to sort of see where you’re at. Maybe alternate between the two — or one week unanchored, the next week anchored. Just a thought, sort of based off the idea that you’ll gain more kipping pullups by working your deadhang than you will gain deadhangs by working your kip. Not to imply that both don’t help the other, but simply to say that the more strict of the two builds strength in the movement more quickly, and more strength means more reps faster — regardless which movement you choose (kip vs. deadhang or anchored vs. unanchored).
    Think of GtG not as aiding in specific rep counts, but in making the muscle you have more dense and efficient in that movement. If you become stronger at pushups overall, and more proficient at them as a whole, and then you’re face with a WOD that has pushups, you should be better at them regardless the rep count and structure in the specific WOD. If you can go from doing 30 unbroken as a max effort to doing 50 or 60 unbroken as a max effort, Angie is going to become easier, as well as the pushup portion of Cindy. Or to your example, Murph done straight through or Murph partitioned Cindy-style.

  • Mike

    I would think about also working in some sets of clapping pullups or weighted pushups, like with a plate on your back, or dare I say, incorporating some bench press into your routine. The extra chest strength and power you will build will help reduce the effort for each rep of the pushups.
    Additionally, the core strength that you will need to maintain a strict plank on the pushups with a weight on your back will certainly benefit you in a max rep set without the weight, and as a result you’ll be able to focus more on the pushups rather than struggling to maintain the form. I’m sure it will help with the situps too.
    Don’t forget to add some extra work for your lower back to keep it in proper proportion with the extra ab work you’ll be doing too.

  • Kurt

    Thanks, guys.
    Mike said: “Don’t forget to add some extra work for your lower back to keep it in proper proportion with the extra ab work you’ll be doing too.”
    This is something that was brought to my attention by a friend of mine I dragged to a CF affiliate in AZ. As background, he is 57 year old runner, yoga practioner, health nut. I don’t agree with a lot of the things he says, but he is remarkably fit and strong and a generally perceptive guy.
    After watching my lame attempt at 95# Elizabeth (note: don’t do squat cleans three days after a marathon), he asked me whether it was normal for CF’er to be so anterior dominant. When I looked around, I noticed that most of the guys (half of whom were air force SF) were strong as hell but all appeared to have rounded shoulders, presumably from have a stronger ‘front.’ Maybe this was just extrapolating from limited evidence or incorrect conclusion.
    Has anyone else noticed this or experienced it yourself? I have crap posture, but I always assumed it was from having an office job.

  • Mike

    edit: I meant clapping pushups in the post above

  • Mike

    Granted my experience with Crossfit is somewhat limited so far, but from what I’ve seen, most CF’ers seem to be far more balanced than your average gym goer.
    My comment was more along the lines of preventing muscular imbalance from developing… especially given the importance of having a strong and stable core.

  • juan

    3×5 Back Squats

  • Adam M

    I’ll try a caption: In an effort to increase ridership while cutting costs, the MTA has these commuters testing the new “bottomless” subway concept car.

  • dan def

    Caption: “We would like to thank the volunteers who lent their armpits to test our new deoderant– Crossfit Eau de Toilette.”

  • juan

    caption: crossfit brooklyn gets pranked by the crazy glue on the pullup bars trick.

  • Levi

    There’s not enough weight in the gym, so that’s just Gabe doing presses while everyone tries to weight the bar down.

  • Reagan

    Back Squat 3-3-3-3-3
    Black Box (54,54)

  • Tony T.

    155, 175, 185F, 185F, 135
    Thanks Justin for the pointers!

  • Max

    no back squats for me today my ankle was a little jacked up so i subbed in tabata something else instead of squats. Thanks Court and Lindsay for taking a look at my ankle today.

  • Hari

    185, 195, 205, 215, 220

  • Brett_nyc

    OHS 135×5
    330×3, PR triple
    OHS 135×20

  • Aram

    155-165-175-175-180 (44,18)

  • Chris O

    215, 225, 235, 225 (2)
    back still a little tweaked from the total, so cut back
    brett- nice lifts and nice OHS reps
    (41, 27)

  • Mike