Intermediate & Advanced WODs: Wednesday 120425

Wednesday 120425

Intermediate and advanced WOD classes at HR:00 and HR:40:

A: Deadlift 3×3
Deadlift 21-15-9

B: “Karen”
Wallball, 150 shots @20#/14#

A bunch of CFNYCers (who are also NYC Endurance folks) tackled the Leatherman’s Loop, which is no joke. From left to right: Brian, Lisa, Wayne, Rickey, Carolyn.

Is the right fit the right answer? Lessons from crosswording
Music is a legal drug for athletes / Born to dance
12 things you might not know about weightlifting
“When a sugar high isn’t enough” / 20 new names for corn syrup

Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday’s intermediate and advanced WOD classes at HR:00 and HR:40:

A: Windmill / side press

B: “Barbara”
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats
Rest precisely three minutes between each round. 5 rounds, time each round.


  • GinaFleacyno

    If only I could kip. Damn! I don’t want to scale……

    • Dickie

      I wonder what CrossFit would look and feel like if HQ decided that kipping movements was no longer allowed — pull-ups, ring-dips, muscle-ups, etc., all had to be done strict (with appropriate rep reduction).

      Sure there is less power created, but when I look at certain athletes doing benchmark WODs they are able to strictly bang out 10-20 pull-ups at high reps and then go back for more. So, it’s possible.

      • Hari Singh

        It would change CrossFit from maximization of a function of multiple variables to maximization of a function subject to constraints.

        • Dickie


      • I’ve noticed (& also heard Robb Wolf say) that kipping pull ups don’t improve my dead hang pull ups much. Which makes me think that kipping pull ups are less about strengthening the back and more about using the technique. as a result i have taken them out of my routine for the most part, as a strong back is more important to me than a pretty butterfly. (though, if i were headed into competition soon, I would work on them again to be on the same page as everyone else. & maybe I’d be better at them for all the time spent doing dead hangs? We’ll see…)

        • Jeff

          I believe Robb Wolf has been an advocate of kipping for shoulder health.

          • Jeff

            A solid athletic style squatter (ass to ankles) can do a sumo squat with little to no preparation, whereas the opposite is rarely if ever the case. The kipped pull up is a similar case whatever variety you use…get that and you can still dead hang, but it’s a skill which needs to be learned & practiced.”

            “I think a lack of kipping leaves one open to shoulder pathology over time.”
            [Kipping, along with shoulder dislocates and OHS] “has proven effective for improving static and dynamic shoulder flexibility…So long as these movements make up a significant portion of the S&C curriculum they should maintain and even advance what is now a healthy shoulder.”

            The first quote is from 2008, the second one is from 2007.

          • Jeff

            A solid athletic style squatter (ass to ankles) can do a sumo squat with little to no preparation, whereas the opposite is rarely if ever the case. The kipped pull up is a similar case whatever variety you use…get that and you can still dead hang, but it’s a skill which needs to be learned & practiced.”

            “I think a lack of kipping leaves one open to shoulder pathology over time.”
            [Kipping, along with shoulder dislocates and OHS] “has proven effective for improving static and dynamic shoulder flexibility…So long as these movements make up a significant portion of the S&C curriculum they should maintain and even advance what is now a healthy shoulder.”

            The first quote is from 2008, the second one is from 2007.

          • Cool.

            This is the podcast I was referring to:

            His conversation on kipping pull ups begins on page 12.

             A paraphrase- before learning to kip i had 72 dead hang pull ups at once. Learned to kip, did it all the time, that dropped to 12 dead hang pull ups bc “i got so damn efficient at kipping that the strength stimulus to my upper body was gone”. now he doesn’t kip at all during pull ups, only uses it during gymnastics movements. 

            this is just one man’s tale, n=1, & i see a similar result in my own training. 

          • Adam H

            5th grade I’ve fairly consistently been able to do 15-20 strict
            pullups. In the years just
            before I joined Crossfit I was in probably my worst shape and I was down to
            more like 10-12 max … After a few years of Crossfit I’m back to where I was in 5th grade for the most
            part. I give Crossfit credit for getting me back into shape and keeping me
            there (pullup-wise), but it certainly hasn’t been improving the size or endurance of my lat muscles with respect to strict pullups and
            progressing me to maybe 20 or something like that

          • Jeff

            I didn’t read that conversation in depth because it got almost impossible to comprehend at points due to the transcription.

            Do you have any idea when this podcast was?

            Obviously, my citation predates Wolf and Everett’s falling out with CF and comes from a time when Robb still took sips of the Kool-Aid, so I’m curious to know how his stance has evolved.

            I’ll take more time later (tomorrow?) to follow up with more of a response, but my short answer recommendation for now:
            Why are you taking kipping pull ups out of your programming?
            You don’t have to do one kind of pull up to the exclusion of the other.

        • GinaFleacyno

          Since i cant kip, which is about technique, I push hard to do pullups. Not only is it bad ass, you get stronger! But for workouts like Barbara I know I will have to scale and would rather kip then scale. Someone that seems more badass. But is it really?…

  • keller
    • Sean M

      Nice James.

      • Sam G

        BRead makes me FAT!

  • 6:40 with Will:
    Karen  – 9:44 Rx plus 20x 20# Penance Wallballs.
    Deadlift 3×3 225#, 21×185, 10×225 – Thanks Michael N. for all the tips on Deadlifts! 

    • reisbaron

      Did you really?  If so, I’ll keep the thigh master at home…for now…

      • yes I did. I shall never complain about RGWU ever again.

      • Michael North


  • Courtney S


    3×3 Backsquats – 123, 143, 153

    Elizabeth – 11:30 rx’d

  • Malcolm

    Deadlift (3×3):  225 – 245 – 245 / 21×185 / 15 x 185
    Karen:  7:20 rx

  • Amanda Long

    A. April pull-up challenge and then prepping for the May challenge with Lynn
    B. Deadlifts 3×3 – 173, 193, 203; 21 at 133 – thought I was going to finish the 15 and 9 sets after Karen – funny joke!
    C. Karen – 12:52 Rx’d. I do not know if my favorite part of this workout was finishing last in the class by at least a minute in a half, realizing after 5 wall balls that I actually had to hit the middle of the blue in order for it to count, having at least 25 non-reps or 15 faceballs – tough decision!

    Thanks to Lynn, Andrew, Malcolm, Greg, Mike and Aussie Nick for staying late and cheering and cursing me through this one! Would have taken me 20 minutes without you! And as always, thanks to Coach Sara for kicking my @$$ once again!!!!

    • what’s the may challenge?

    • Kristin_Cunningham

       Welcome to the finishing last club!

      I am sure you did awesome today.  Sorry I missed it!

      What’s the May challenge – manmakers?

      • Amanda Long

        Well, I told Coach Sara that I won. She said “No actually, you lost. I told her that it all depends how you look at it – I did not quit or meet pukey, so I won 🙂

        Yes, the May challenge is Man Makers – in honor of your birthday WOD and Athlete Viagara!!!

        • james_vergara

          Don’t get me started on making men….

    • james_vergara

      I believe the proper parlance for a wall ball that intentionally or unintentionally strikes one is the face is RORYBALL. Look it up…

      • Rory

        confirmed…websters says so

  • Wallballs

    Are there 20# balls at 28th?

    • Yup, I used one this morning.

    • You should go there and use them, they need breaking in! 

      •  totally should have done it at 28th this morning

      • Michael North

        It’s nice with the new med balls. The weight inside is not lopsided (which leads to Roryball situations)

        • I liked the texture on the old ones, and the lumpiness made it somewhat easier to catch and handle… like an old friend… =P

        • Rory

          still recovering

        • RyanCWoods

          Letting the med balls fall from a 10 foot target all the way to the floor will very quickly result in lopsided med balls. If we want to keep them nice we need to catch every rep and control it to the floor

          • reisbaron

             (wink and gun)

  • Karen:  7:18 Rx’d at 28th Street this morning with Will & Co. That extra foot that you have to reach to make it to the 10′ level makes a huge difference. My PR at 26th St is 6:36 and I was moving at pretty good clip this morning. Anyone who wants an extra challenge should try Karen next time at 28th Street. She’s nasty at 10ft.

    • james_vergara

      Nice work, FNW…

  • BenS

    Made up Elizabeth at 28th St: 13:41 with 95# squat cleans and ring dips.  Not fun.

  • Jamie F.

    A nice long warm-up, followed by Wendler Squat and Press Recovery sets.

    Then, Elizabeth RX’d.  7:03.

    I did Power Cleans on Elizabeth just for clarification as the WOD just says “clean” but happy to debate the rx’d-ness of the squat-clean vs. power-clean/muscle-clean when it just says “clean.”

    • reisbaron

      Seems this is the longest-running debate on main site, but it is widely accepted that Elizabeth calls for squat cleans.  This has been nicely contradicted in the past six months though, when they had a WOD with “cleans” (the one with GHDs that you did squat cleans for) and a demo video of Greg Amundson doing power cleans.  I think HQ gets a kick out of the debate, since they never made an official effort to clarify.

      • Awesome job on this Jamie. Great number – regardless of how you were cleaning.
        I’ve always been under the impression that a “clean” is a squat clean and a “power clean” is a power clean. But to Reis’s point, there is so much debate on this subject that there is really no clear answer. I know in Avery’s morning classes at 28th Street this morning, she was making her classes do squat cleans. And I know that Sara always makes us do SC’s as well. Oh well, work as hard as you can regardless how you’re moving that bar with good form, and you’ll always get something out of it. 🙂

        • Jamie F.

          HQ/Mainsite is very specific when they want you do squat-cleans.  Today’s Hero WOD.  The 155 LBS Squat-Clean & Jerk they programmed a few weeks back vs. Grace which calls just for Clean & Jerk, Etc.  Obvioulsy different stimuli depending on how you do it.  Just wanted to make it clear and foster a little healthy debate.

          Thanks to Coach Mike Williamson in his Athlete Capacity, definitely gave me some pointers on the clean return from shoulders to the ground and how to pick up some speed there.

          • I was doing some digging and came across this CF Journal article from way back (looks like 2006) and they actually first prescribed Elizabeth with “Hang Cleans”
            I also did a Mainsite search of the last few times Elizabeth came up and they all say “Clean 135#”. I think it really comes down to the principle of House Rules. You guys do your thing, we’ll do our’s….

    • Naveen

      “Cleans” now generally means any kind of cleans, but I’ve heard that in the old days, Glassman always required his athletes to do full squat cleans unless otherwise specified.  By tradition, Elizabeth is generally considered to require squat cleans to be rx’d.  Opinion is divided on Linda.  Almost everyone seems to be ok with power cleans on Grace, but even for this workout I know of at least one gym that requires squat cleans to make it onto their leaderboard. 

      • reisbaron

        RX’d Linda for me is:

        55 deadlifts at 420
        55 bench at 280
        55 cleans at 210

        I like a challenge as much as anyone, but safe to say Linda will be my celebration WOD after dropping another 50#.

      • reisbaron

        I love that 2005 is now referred to as the “old days”.  Then again, I don’t.  #40comingupquickly

        • Jana B.

          Its not so bad.  I actually kinda like it.  #40comeandgone

        • Naveen

          I remember 2005.  I was still carrying around one of these:, I could do 2 pull-ups (maybe 3 if I’d been drinking), and I thought was the king of fitness whenever I made it from my apartment in Santa Monica down to the Hermosa pier on my bike without getting passed.

    • james_vergara


    • Michael North

      Elizabeth is squat cleans

      Just to show how Elizabeth is done Rx’d in 3:53:


      • Sean M.

        That guys ring dips suck.  I see this a lot.  

        See for reference:

        • Jim S

          He did the dip part. Just the “un-dip” part that sucked. 🙂

    • Kevin

      You did “Power Elizabeth”.

    • Mike N.

      In the 2010 games they had 205# cleans and that was ground to the shoulder, how it got there was up to you. Main site is clear when they want one or the other like they are with snatches and pull ups. Sometimes it’s chest to bar sometimes strict or L.

      In the old Brooklyn days we did this power alot mostly for new people especially and those not completely comfortable with the movement or people who just wanted to do it power, but it was your choice and no one ever said it was wrong to do power cleans which was the attitude yesterday. Based on what I witnessed yesterday the gym may want to consider that. Watching people warming up at 28th street and looking not in control, I doubt they did it any better for their other 45 reps. There is nothing wrong with doing it with power cleans if you suck at squat cleans or just don’t want to do squat cleans. That’s your choice. Coaches should ask people if they are comfortable with the lift and if the person is not then recommend something else. A whole bunch of people yesterday looked like they had never done one before and then slapped on 95# for 45 reps.

      • reisbaron

        Sucking at a lift is TWICE the reason to perform it.  Choosing proper weight is one thing, but if comfort with a lift was a pre-req for performing it I would have quit lifting long ago…comfort should be associated with load.  If anything I would have newer people power clean, pause and front squat…that’s what I did.  To gain comfort with a lift you have to do the lift, a lot (at a safe weight) to explore the movement.  

        • Shannan

          Speaking of gaining comforts with the lifts…can anyone comment on why there are no mirrors? It seems getting technique down on a lot of the lifts would be easier if I could see what i was doing…I have started filming myself, but it doesn’t allow for instantaneous corrections, particularly when I get fatigued and my poor form turns into even poorer form 🙂

          • Hildur

            I think the reason for no mirrors is because it teaches you to get a feeling for your form. It’s all about body awareness I guess. It may take awhile to get used to, but it’s way better to be able to feel when your form is good (and when it’s not) than having to look at your movements to really know what’s going on.

            Regarding instantaneous corrections, if I’m doing a certain lift for the very first time or just don’t feel really comfortable about the movement, I always just ask a coach to look while I do it and tell me if that’s the proper way or not. They’ll make you to fix whatever it is that could be better right on the spot:) 

          • RyanCWoods

            The lack of mirrors is good for our self confidence. If I saw what I looked like doing any sort of Olympic lift I’d puke and immediately quit CrossFitting 🙂

          • Jim S

            I agree that not having mirrors is a good thing. We just focus on body awareness instead of looking at ourselves. However, with that said, I pretty regularly use the camera in my cell phone to make quick and dirty videos to figure out what might be going wrong with a lift.

        • Michael North

          I personally find the third pull (pulling yourself under the bar) very challenging

        • mike n.

          If you are going to make a separate point you shouldn’t click reply to mine, it’s confusing.  As a serial poster I would assume you knew that.  I don’t think you actually read what I wrote.  I think what I said was that people were not comfortable so they should not do a lift they are bad at 45 times against the clock.  Work on it at a better time, figuring out how to do a lift during a metcon is stupid and can cause injury.  
          I agree that power clean, front squat is a good way to do squat cleans for inexperienced people and that was conveyed to during the class.  

          Do you really love burpees?  At some point in the past people were doing them for 100 days, like 1 day 1, 2 day 2 and 100 on day 100. 5050 total.  I think we should bring that back as a challenge.  Maybe you can lead the charge.

          • reisbaron

            It wasnt a separate point. It was a response to something you wrote…apparenty one you disagree with, which is fine. If it werent for learning lifts in metcons I would have done cleans 80% less in the last year and a half. Thats just my experience. Yours is different and that too is fine. From day one Sara has always taught to scale reps and scale load, but especially with cleans she had me doing the lift, on strength days and in metcons, from the beginning. I stand by my response and I apologize that I confused you.

            I don’t love burpees. It is a joke that is better understood if you watch me perform burpees. Sorry for that confusion as well.

          • Adam H

             Dude, I don’t even understand what you are disagreeing with.  Here is his original point:

            “A whole bunch of people yesterday looked like they had never done one before and then slapped on 95# for 45 reps.”

            No one on here should think this is a good idea for an oly lift for someone that isn’t comfortable with it, end of story

          • reisbaron

            The very next sentence is exactly what I was responding to.  Perhaps only I see it.  In case you do not, it says “There is nothing wrong with doing it with power cleans if you suck at squat cleans or just don’t want to do squat cleans.”

            If there is really a reason to continue this   needless back and forth, email me at

    • Jeff

      There is no debate.

  • Jana B.

    Deadlifts (3×3) 103-123-153; 21×123 – 15×133 – 9×133
    Karen (sub 15# dumbell thrusters): 14:42. 

  • d_simon

    DLs: 185-225-225, 155×45

    Karen: 17:45 RX’D. LOLWOD. 

    Need more sleeps….

  • Michael North

    A1: 3 x 3 DL’s: 325, 345
    A2: 21-15-9: 225
    Only did 2 x 3 and no 15-9 as no chalk at 28th Street. Was unable to hold onto bar with my clammy hands… May hit 26th St this afternoon to finish off WOD

    B: 10:40 at 14#
    Will set a time cap at 12 minutes and I only got thru 120 on 12.4 so once again scaled to weaksauce…

  • Asegal04

    A. DL:  275×3 275×3 275×3 275×5

    B. Karen 6:53 rx  1rst time, really did not love this. 

    Looking forward to Barbara tomorrow, I start hallucinating after the 3rd or 4th round. 

  • james_vergara

    From anonymous:

    Please bring Will Lanier back to 6am WOD class, or else….



  • Jai

    I couldn’t register for the intermediate 5:40 WOD. Anyone else having technical difficulties? Also, since registration is now mandatory, at least at 28th street, could the link to the registration site be more prominent? I clicked on the elements sidebar to get in after searching the site for something less roundabout. Or I’m blind and missing something obvious, which is likely.

    • Jai

      Glitch was temporary, I’m now registered.

  • Jim S

    RGWU Basic Day 2 The OHS are keeping me in the basic category.
    A: “Good day” DLx3 255, 265, 265 DLx21,15,9 155,185,205
    B: “Bad day” Karen Rx’d 15:58. Full 4 min off my PR. That was a shit show. I’m embarrassed.
    There is always tomorrow!

  • Jim S

    This journal article was interesting. Says we should be shooting for a six min Karen and best to start with a lighter ball (as light as 4lbs) to make the six min timeframe. Then move up in ball weight as you progress. I might try to figure out what weight ball I can still hit six minutes with.

  • The_Lisa

    My left piriformis flared up during the box jumps warmup today so squatting to lift anything was out.
    Rolled and stretched then rowed 5K for time. 23:09.1 first time rowing that distance so now I need to cut that time down.
    Spent the rest of the day climbing up and down scaffolding where I could do random pullups.

  • Matt M.

    Dropped in on the 5:40 pm class today
    A. Wendler Warm up
    B. 40 Burpee penalty for being late
    C. DL’s – 365 – 365 -365 (didn’t have time for the 21-15-9)
    D. Karen -6:17 rx’d 

    • Michael North

      You were 40 minutes late?

      Nice work!

      • Matt M.

        I was told 5 burpees for minutes late. Apparently people who work out at night are very prompt.

  • Steve Slo

    A) Deadlifting:
    275×3, 295×3, 315×3, 185×21, 205×15, 225×9
    Trying to not push myself too hard on DL’s. My lower back is still being all weird. Form feels shaky. Not sure the best way to proceed with it.

    B) 10:15 (I think?) … 27 seconds slower than during the Open WOD. But not horrible (for me) when the deadlifting gets taken into account.

    The 8pm class continues to be awesome.

    I’m staying the hell away from Barbara. She scares me.