LogsItAll Rankings

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Rock Solid Team

As we wind down the New Year it's a great time to again recognize and celebrate what an amazing team we have. Watching you work hard to push your own personal limits all while encouraging and inspiring those around you has been the greatest satisfaction as a coach.

We've still only scratched the surface...2008 is going to be one heck of a ride!

My buddy Scott Colby from Her Strength in Dallas, Texas was in town for the Holidays and dropped in for our Saturday session. We could have just met for breakfast but I wanted him to come in and experience some fun first!

6 minutes of Turkish Get-ups
(3 reps left, 3 reps right, repeat...)

Overhead Squat 6 sets x 10 reps

Teams of 3
Work as a team to finish the task as fast as possible
Task one:
75 Pullups
150 Kettlebell Swings
225 Squats
For Time


Task two:
120 Pushups
150 Full Squat Jumps
180 Slamball
For Time

A lot of people stuck around after to work on handstands and ring work
It was anonther great day of training!
Remember our Last workout of the year is at 0900 on Monday!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I packed the family up and headed to upstate NY for Christmas right after our Friday workout. Andrea took charge and led a couple of great classes! The 12 days of Christmas workout was a smashing success; lots of great feedback this morning in class. Awesome job Andrea! Thanks for opening the doors and providing the opportunity for some quality Holiday training sessions.

While in NY I managed to sneak in a couple of workouts and have to share my story...
My wife and I have been together for 15 years. Right before we were 'official' and still just 'friends' she asked me to write up a workout routine she could do at her Mom's house. I wrote it up and of course there were chinups involved but also no chin-up bar in her Mom's basement...so I rigged one up for her.

Flash forward 15 years; when we go to visit family we stay at her Mom's house. When visiting I usually get an outdoor workout in or make a trip to the local gym, but time was really short AND my Mother-in-law had just redone her basement...it was shiny clean and super organized so I snuck down early one morning for a quick sweat...to my surprise guess what was still mounted? That Chin-up bar!

Now, I have no idea how my wife used to get chinups in on that thing...it was super-thin and made of what seemed to be aluminum or perhaps a slightly stronger metal, but man did it have serious bend to it when I grabbed a hold...throw into the mix that it was hung between 2 rafters with barely enough space for my head, I knew this could be an adventure...what would happen first; a fall and land on my tailbone after the bar snaps mid-pullup or a quick blow to the head from the danger close rafter above?

I decided to play it smart...I padded the concrete floor with anything soft I could find and abandoned my usual kipping pullup for a slow and smooth L-sit pullup. I figured this would put less pressure on the bar and make the "rafter drive-by" less deadly.

This was hard for me to do, I love the kip, it's so powerful...and despite being told by others my entire life; "Jerry, you can't power through everything"...well, I still disagree.

In my opinion Power is everything. The most powerful athletes generally rule supreme. Sure strength is good...and speed, well speed is a killer so it's great to have it also. But most overly strong athletes need more speed and most speed athletes need more strength...POWER is that perfect blend. As an undersized athlete I realized this at an early age...there is nothing better than having an opponent size you up, under estimate your abilities, and watch them quickly experience their mistake.

But I digress...

So yes, for safety on this Holiday workout I opted away from the powerful kip and went with some slow strength; I coupled the L-sit chins with Handstand pushups, 5 reps each for 10 rounds. It was fun! Especially since I rarely do these 2 movements and felt strong despite.

Ah, lessons everywhere...all I know is I'm glad I've built so many chinup bars!


The only thing better than waking up Christmas morning to find that Santa ate the brownies you left for him?

Realizing he left some crumbs behind also...



"Aren't You Glad"
4 rounds of Fight Gone Bad with 2 minutes rest between each round

It was great to see so many of you out for this Friday workout!

Remember, we have 2 more workouts this year:

Saturday at 0900 and Monday at 0900

We are off on Tuesday and Back on schedule on Wednesday

OUTPUT from Today

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1,000 meter row and Tenbatta's

We hit some great benchmarks yesterday in class, 3 in particular that will bear repeating;
1,000 meter row, 5 Minute Kettlebell Swing test, and Tabata Barbell Push Press with a fixed load. I posted the top 5 performances from our CrossFit home-team on the record board.

I enjoy seeing your effort in the midst of a tough circuit and then continuing to coach you to even greater performance output. I enjoy seeing the camaraderie, intensity, teamwork, sport, and strategy in our group workouts. I enjoy seeing individuals break personal records and others set class records. Leaning a new skill, making a movement more efficient, performance, effort, determination, commitment, the guts to; "lay it all on the line, all the time", inspires me and inspires us all to continue to evolve.

I have seen our fiercest competitors and "Fire breathers" be awed and humbled by the heart of a raw beginner. We all have our own unique background, our own unique goals, our own strengths...be inspired, very inspired:

1,000 meter Row:
1. 4:07 Melanie - 3:30 Jack
2. 4:10 Elise - 3:39 Pat
3. 4:22 Katie - 3:40 Lef
4. 4:25 Cara - 3:42 Mike
5. 4:29 Karen - 3:49 Steven

5 Min Kettlebell Swing (45lb and 70lb):
1. 111 Stacey - 130 Mike
2. 107 Melanie - 120 Pat
3. 97 Elizabeth - 103 Chriss
4. 87 Elise - 87 Jack
5. 83 Cara - 79 Joel

Tabata Barbell Push Press (55lb and 75lb)
1. 11 Stacey - 10 Joel/Vin/Chriss/Mike
2. 6 Che - 8 Jack
3. 6 Elizabeth - 7 Steven
4. 5 Karen/Katie/Melanie -6 Chip, Pat
5. 3 Sarah - 5 Danny

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Working some Skill = Training

Today was a classic example of a style of workout I'll occasionally throw into the mix this year. The main focus of the workout was some skill work with the Sumo Deadlift High Pull.

We worked in the 10 rep range for 6 rounds.

We increased the load if the rate of perceived form (RPF) was 8 or above (scale of 1-10).

However, once the Rate of perceived effort (RPE) hits an 8 your RPF needs to be a 10 in order to go heavier.

Does this make sense?

We will perform this style of workout with some more barbell lifts;
Overhead Squat
Front Squat
Push Press
and more...

Why the Sumo Deadlift Highpull with a barbell?
It accurately encourages the vertical extension of the hips and bar path that we need in our other barbell lifts.

It also:
Improves posterior chain and core strength (hamstrings, glutes, low back, and ABs)
Improves efficiency of movement
Works speed-strength, strength, strength-endurance
Can be a nasty little movement to improve your conditioning

I saw some of you make the needed corrections to make this a more efficient movement.

Many of you struggled with hip position in the initial pull and worked this out during the course of training. I saw others of you "muscle" the weight and then figure out how once the bar clears your knees you need to really kick it in and viciously extend (against the ground and with your hips).

My coaching cues in the course of our classic nasty circuits are always in line with what we emphasised today but sometimes we need to slow down and really dial in.

I was really happy with the way it went, awesome effort!

Of course we also got in some metabolic conditioning with un-weighted General Physical Preparedness (GPP). During the course of those circuits we also worked grip strength, core strength, shoulder and core stabilization, speed, re-action strength, and CHIN-UP form.

This brings me to...

Congrat's to Kara and McCall who have joined the pullup club!

Kara got her first on Saturday and repeated the performance today!

McCall got hers today and then got 4 in a row!

And YES, I need to update the record board...
Please, if you ever break a record or join a "club" that is on the board, March right over and mark it!

I'll leave you with a email I received yesterday, I think it fits in with the title of todays post.

"I told myself by 30 I’d be in the best shape of my life, and w/o the last 9 months of CrossFit I’m not so sure this would have come to fruition. On Jan 24 I turn 30 and although I can’t say with 100% certainly that I’m in the best physical shape of my life, it’s pretty damn close!!! I guess my hesitation has to do w/ the fact that I am confident that another year, 2 years, 3 years, etc of CrossFit training will only lead me to new levels I never thought imaginable! Great stuff!"

I'll update with some pictures and Output later...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sledgehammer Slamball - Frogger Box Jump

It 2008 I’m going with 3 classes a day, (0600, 0645, and 0730), 5-days a week.
This gives each and everyone of you the opportunity to hit a class in your normal time slot 5-days a week!
There will be no specialized barbell class, and no membership increase.
One price membership and an all access pass.

But what about the most popular time slot at 0600?
WE will ADD an additional workout at 0600!
We will add some fixed pullup bars (yes FIXED pullup bars, can you believe it?!) in the “Ring Room” and host 2 workouts at 0600, one in each room.
To start, this additional workout will be added on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only.
If this goes as well as expected we will soon do this on all 5 mornings at 0600.

So at 0600 there will be a class coached by Andrea and one coached by me.
Andrea has played a huge role in the development of our new team members and now she is stepping up to make an even greater impact on our team. She has a great eye for movement, communicates well, and has passion for all things CrossFit! I look forward to watching make her own unique stamp here at the Challenge.

From Coach Andrea to Coach Rick where we celebrate our first born CrossFit Affiliate!

Inspired by his progress with us here in Alexandria and with his assignment at Walter Reed over, Rick went back home to San Antonio, Texas and Started his own affiliate; Alamo CrossFit

His opening day workout brought in 13 people...be sure to post a comment on his message board, he'll be psyched to hear from you. He sent this in an email;

"Wanted to add an extra thanks to all I learned from you, CF Challenge, and being on the east coast. I truly believe Jerry that I trained with and learned from the best in the CrossFit business."

Keep in touch senor.

"John Henry Slamball"

"Frogger Box Jump"

1. Cal's
2. Shoulder mobility
3. Unilateral Dumbbell Work
Core and shoulder stabilization
4. Tabata Pushup
5. Workout of the Day:

"John Henry"
8 Chins
10 Frogger Box Jumps
12 Sledgehammer Slamball
AMRAP in 20 Minutes

6. Tabata Situps

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Secret Code

Friday's Regular Workout was a true test.
Everyone decided they wanted to work their least favorite movements in high Volume.
Some say; "Your only as strong as your weakest link."
IF you are fit and had a test day, what would least like to see come up as 60 reps?

Deck Squat Slamball?
Overhead Dumbbell Lunge? (each leg)
Dumbbell thrusters?
Kettlebell Highpulls?
Details, pictures, and Output to follow...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Muscle ups!

I put together a special workout for our "Muscle up club". It was a nice opportunity to work this skill in a "doable" workout. Expect to see these special workouts pop up every couple of weeks in 2008, (and to get more difficult!). We have a solid core group that can perform multiple muscle-ups. I expect big things out of this crew; they are highly skilled athletes! (and very inspiring) I'll keep those rings hung in our 2nd room, lets keep at those progressions I've taught and see even more of you muscle-up!

Chriss smoked through this workout, 14:53, despite being up most the night with a "bug". Not caught on film is the multiple muscle-ups he did with a 20lb weight vest on! Chriss, this picture reveals the source of your occasional "muscle-thing" notice how you lost your false grip on the one hand.
Vinnie continued his streak of gutsy all out performances with his 17:15 effort!
I gotta get Vin to tell his transformation story...I remember those early days Vin, what a great year it's been my friend!

Joel hit his first 3 rounds with no breaks, he cruised through sets of 5 reps consecutively. Even more impressive was the fact that he did this WITHOUT the false grip! Do you know how strong you have to be in order to do this? It caught up with him on round 4, a quick coaching tip and a whole lotta strength got him through this workout in 21:36

20 Box Jumps 26"
10 SDLHP 95lb
5 Muscle-ups

*5rounds for time*

Perfect Blend

The past few days we've shot through some Killer workouts!
Too much Fun!
Really...what an awesome effort!
I'll update them throughout the day.

On Thursday 12/13 we hit 5 sets x 10reps of Overhead squats, it was great to see everyone dial in on this movement, expect to see more of this type of programming in 2008 with Overhead squats, front squats, thrusters, deadlifts, and more!

Our main circuit:

"Perfect Blend"
10 Chins
10 Pushups
10 Kettlebell highpull
10 Dumbbell thrusters

*5 rounds or 20 minutes*

Chip: 5.25
Laura 4.75
Terence E 3.25
Marcia 2.5
McCall 5 (6 reps)
Jenn 3 (6 reps)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Kipping Pullup

Andrea did a great job teaching the kipping pullup today to a few of our newer team members. She made an even better suggestion: Before the use of bands lets master the swing, this will cut the learning time down. From my experience the toughest thing to teach/embrace with the bands is what I call "getting under the bar" or "a finish line pose" in the below videos Annie explains how important this shoulder position is in the kip...oh it's tough to teach this initially with the band because it gets in the way...you have to push your chest into the band and "kiss it" or move your head to the side, but STILL you must get into this loading phase in order to master the kip.

These videos are a must watch, not only for our newer members but also those wanting to get their chinups to the next level. I'd love to see all of you reach your pullup goal you set for our end of the year test.

Lets continue to discuss the kipping pullup AND any other individual skills you would like to dial in on.

The Videos are from a CrossFit Cert.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Man Overboard

Mr. Hill,

Just wanted to let you know your work outs and advise help me lead a group of 75 Boots on the ground Sailors here in the Middle East. Our tour is over in late Spring than we come back home. Keep up the good work and keep the ideas coming.

Thanks Again,

John C. HM2 USN

Emails like this make ya feel good about all the extras; posting up workouts, videos, pictures, output, and having email conversations...It's also a testimony to our Old Town Team; the brand of fitness we've built, the determination and commitment, the community...You never know the ripple like impact of inspiration.


Rob came in for a "make-up" workout yesterday and scored an 18 on Tabata squats. Today his legs were a bit "tender"; he had a hard time hitting depth in the squats...he was working HARD but scored himself a zero on output...how's that for a standard of excellence?

"Man Overboard!"

Credit to Elise who picked this workout up when visiting an affiliate in California. (she missed today and I can't remember who she worked with when over there).

Credit to Diablo CrossFit for coming up with a cool scoring system:
"Calculate a score by adding up all your reps from every round and dividing by the total number of seconds it took to complete all of the rows."

The rower is the pace. The time it takes to row is the time everyone else has to do each movement. If your teammate was fighting to tread water in some nasty current you'd row as fast as possible to get to them...right?

Row 500 Meters
Kettlebell Swings
Barbell Push Press (45W - 75M)

Be sure to check out the crazy OUTPUT from Todays Workout

and of course our Flickr Slideshow

Have You seen Magoo's Blog?
He's a witty guy, analyzing his workouts, and making progress!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Barbell Power Sn Standards

We hit the hang power snatch today in barbell class and sure enough after a few attempts the question arose; "What are goals for the Snatch?"

Gotta love the constant drive of our team!

An estimate number for the power snatch is 75-80% of your max power clean. I say that because there are published standards for the clean, but none that I've seen for the snatch. I think multiplying by .78 is pretty darn close.

Below is a link to a standard Strength Chart published in the CrossFit Journal and developed by Kilgore, Rippetoe, and Pendlay:

Find your body weight under the correct gender and "Power Clean" then multiply .78 across the row to find your current level. Make sense?

Also remember what the authors consider novice through Elite:

"Weightlifting Performance Standards Tables
The standards presented in the following tables represent a performance
that can be reasonably expected of an athlete at various levels of training
advancement using standard full range-of-motion barbell exercises. In the tables
above, the term"untrained" refers to the expected level of strength in a healthy
individual who has not trained on the exercise before but can performit
correctly. This represents the minimum level of strength required to maintain a
reasonable quality of life in a sedentary individual. "Novice" means a person
training regularly for a period of 3-9 months. This strength level supports the
demands of vigorous recreational activities. An "intermediate" is a person who
has engaged in regular training for up to two years. The intermediate level
indicates some degree of specialization in the exercises and a high level of
performance at the recreational level. The term"advanced" refers to an individual
with multi-year training experience with definite goals in the higher levels of
competitive athletics. The term"elite" refers specifically to athletes competing in
strength sports. Less than 1% of the weight training population will attain this

So for a hypothetical Male at 181lb Body weight and Female at 148lb body weight here are my adapted standards for the Power Snatch:

Un-trained 66lbM - 36lbW

Novice 123lbM - 67lbW

Intermediate 151lbM - 79lbW

Advanced 205lbM - 104lbW

Elite 241lbM - 130lbW

AGAIN, before you jump to "Oh My Glory that's Heavy" remember to read the level of dedication to training that goes with each goal.

Tabata Squat test, some couplets, and more

Hey Team, I've started a Coaching Video Blog!
I'm inspired by our continued effort in class and aim to provide tips that will keep us progressing.

My goal is to trouble shoot some problem areas and form issues and have a documented video blog to reference.

I'll update it once a week or more often if something pops up in class.
Let me know if it helps and if you have specific needs that you'd like covered.
The first installment is on the Barbell thruster.

Here it is;

Laura Demo's the loading/receiving position of a Kettlebell Swing.
She has great spinal alignment and her hips are back ready to accept and redirect the force.

Things clicked for Marcia this morning on the push Press!
Team TT 0600

1. 5 minutes of TGU

2. Tabata squat

3. AMRAP in 6 min
10 Box Jump
15 Dumbbell push press

rest 3 min

4. AMRAP in 6 min
10 Pushups
15 Kettlebell swings

rest 3 min

5. AMRAP in 6 min
20 Jumping pullups
20 Situps

6. Plank work

0645 Team Barbell

Vinnie was on fire this morning; efficient Barbell snatch work and a strong deadlift!

1. Barbell snatch 5s x 3r; work up in small pound increases
Andrea hit 75lb x 3r
Vinnie 115 x 3r

2. Heavy single in the Deadlift

Cara hit a Personal record: 190!
Mike and Vin worked off of a 3 inch platform and hit 405 and 425 respectively

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Proficient Cindy"

We've been working hard on our overhead position of support. Extra Turkish get-ups and overhead lunges have helped solidify the core-extremities link, excellent effort!

Today we continued our vertical squat quest. In particular we paid attention to the role of the torso and hips as it relates to efficient movement and application of force. Front squats straight to squat jumps were the Medicine Of the Day (MOD).

Check out our Front squat form and more in the Video of the Day:

3 Rounds - 30 seconds each:
Jumping Jacks
Wall Ball
Shuffle Splits
CrossFit Kettlebell Swings

"Proficient Cindy"
10 Chinups
10 Pro Pushups
10 Front Squats
10 Squat Jumps

*For Time but Scaled to as Many Complete Rounds as You Can After the 20 Minute mark Hits*

Flickr Slideshow

Final Output

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CrossFit Old Town and You Tube

I loved today's workout. After a Slamball Warmup, we worked the overhead squat (OHS) for 10 reps x 5 sets. The instruction was; only move up in weight if you have perfect form for all 10reps, otherwise tweak form at a comfortable weight.

In my experience, the overhead squat is thee standard in functional squat strength!
It's such a great test of core strength and shoulder stability.

Jack was rock solid at 95lb x 10, he has a great overhead position of support and an upright torso when squatting. Andrea was a bit wobbly in her top attempt (mostly fatigue) but was plenty strong enough for a 75lb x 10. Pat gutted through 105lb fighting some forward lean and overhead lockout issues. Keturah battled her hyper-flexible shoulders, kept a solid overhead position and nailed some nice squats. Everyone is work in progress on the OHS; the need for shoulder mobility/stabilization and upright torso is the greatest challenge of the OHS. We will continue our quest!

Next up was a quick little workout that took some strength and power to get through.

5 Rounds For Time:

6 Chins

9 Push Press (65W - 100M)

12 Box Jump (20"W - 26"M)

15 Kettlebell Swings (45W - 70M)

Final OutPut

We have been logging in some great Saturday workouts, thanks for your continued commitment!

Friday, December 7, 2007


There has been discussion about the use of an XVest in training. The XVest can be a great tool to increase performance but not before ensuring proper postural alignment, technique, efficiency and speed of movement. Why overload the body when the previous four have yet to be mastered? Does this make sense?

The implement (XVest, Barbell, Dumbbell...) in our training is merley a tool, the magic is in the movement of our body; range of motion, efficient lines, speed, skill... In the barbell snatch are we moving the barbell from ground to overhead in one continuous motion or violently exploding with the hips in a vertical plane, then quickly reversing directions and diving the hips back down? See where I'm going here? In the air squat do we drop to a barrier (parallel) and stand up or are we working hip efficiency, vertical force production, core stabilization and more?

Certainly if the use of an XVest compromises your postural alignment, alters your range of motion, slows your speed to inefficient patterns then it should not be used. If you want to start training with an XVest a good starting load is 5-10% of bodyweight, err on the lighter side with more technical, ballistic, and speed generating movements. I do not recommend running regularly in a weight vest. Of course a good old Military style mental-physical test like the occasional "Murph" is Awesome. Waging an internal battle and succeeding has such a positive effect on our character and growth, not enough is said or written about this matter as a true virtue of hard physical training. Want to try some "toughness training"? Slap a weight vest on and wear it all day...40lbs will crush you, 20lbs is tough enough...but do not compromise your spinal, shoulder, or hip alignment!

I love the use of the XVest and it certainly has its place. It's a killer for helping pushup, squat, and chinup strength; some of you will be able to use it in these movements while others shouldn’t (yet). I hope this insight helps and that someday soon we have a class full of XVesters who are ready to perform the workout of the day!

The Women in our Class are strong...
You ALL are such an inspiration!

Today's workout was a bit sneaky, just what the doctor ordered after our Fran effort.

3 Rounds of Jumping Cal's

Warmup WOD:
Clock never stops, 7 minutes each:

1. TGU x 3,3 - Pushup x 12

2. DB Snatch x 5,5 - Squat x 20

3. OH Lunge x 5,5 - Situp x 20

Finishing Work:
Chins x 30 sec
L-sit x 30 sec
8 rounds

Thursday, December 6, 2007

2 days of Fran

"Fran" asks a lot of questions, is rude, and rarely has us feeling good about her visit...she's also a great barometer to see where we are at physically and mentally.

These last 2 days we put forth a monster effort, congrat's on your progress!

There are too many great stories and too many personal records to name them all. Everyone improved. Most of you used more weight and had less band help on the chins.
(Did you notice the pack and porch weights have increased?)
Because you all stepped it up direct comparison and naming a "Most Improved" is a bit subjective. First I narrowed the field down to 5, (that was tough)...in the end I have to single out Terrence C.

He went from a 20+ minute Fran with 55lb thrusters, (and at the end needing to be scrapped off the mat) to a 13:42 Fran with 65lb thrusters, (and at the end needing to be scrapped off the mat). One heck of an effort.

All time top performances deserve a special mention so congrat's are in order to Mike who improved his personal and class record to 4:54! Jack recorded the 3rd fastest time in class history at 5:45. Vinnie became the 5th Man to hit a sub 7 min Fran. Andrea S. became the 3rd woman in class hisory to hit Pro level weights and recorded the 2nd fastest time ever at 8:58.

All Time Record Board:
Lauris 8:55
Andrea S. 8:58
Adrienne 9:06

Mike 4:54
Eugene 5:24
Jack 5:45
Miles 6:45
Vinnie 6:57
Chriss 7:14
Joel 7:20
Ray 7:24
Danny 10:53
Steven 11:42

Pro is always 65W - 95M
This time pack was 55W - 75M
This time porch was 45W - 65M

21 - 15 - 9
Barbell Thruster and Chin

Finish with a casual 2,000m Row

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CrossFit Gift Guide

Years ago my family gave up on trying to buy me gifts...they realized my basic needs were met and that my hobby, my training, and my work had become quite unique and that they’d have no clue what to get or where to shop. Years ago special equipment and cool conditioning 'toys' could be found in perhaps 1 or 2 catalogs, these days they aren’t quite mainstream but we certainly have many more choices!

If you'll allow me to take a trip down memory lane before I point you to some resources...

My first set of weights were plastic filled with cement, a gift from my Dad 28 years ago...he wrote a note on the card along the lines of; "So you may train and grow strong like your Dad", (I'm still working on it…).

I was hooked on training and only months later purchased a door frame chin-up bar...that same exact bar had still been mounted in the Hill house for the past 28 years; only 2-weeks ago my parents called to tell me they finally took it down! It survived thousands of pullups by me, my siblings, and yep even my Mom could be seen cranking out a pullup or 2 back in the day. A funny note regarding the ripple like effect of inspiration; when I told my Mom about all of the progress and success our CrossFit Team has had with our pullups she told me; "hmm...maybe I should put that bar back up." Yeah, I think you’ve got a few more chinups in ya Mom!

So...in the first few years of my training I played around not really knowing what I was doing until I met someone who made a real impact and espoused the virtues of deadlifts, snatches, pullups, pushups, rope climb, and chopping wood (I think someone in my house paid him to say the chopping wood thing). I might have been 16 at the time, so around 25 years ago. My equipment needs pretty much stayed the same for years and in fact are the same today...One can build elite fitness with a simple formula; hard, consistent work on the basic movements (with a barbell, bodyweight, and a chinup bar)…but...adding in extra toys sure is FUN!

So wham, there we are, back to the original thought in this post; toys and gifts.

The 3 main extra’s we use in class are Gymnastic Rings, Xvest, and Kettlebells; Links to these 3 products can be found here;

CrossFit Challenge Equipment

If you’re looking for really unique gifts and ones that are quality made you absolutely have to check out Iron Mind = Awesome!

Now you have some links to give your family and friends, they’ll appreciate the uniqueness of it, I know my family does.

Happy Holidays!

We hit “Fran” today in class, we’ll hit it again tomorrow and I’ll post up some results and pictures then. There were some absolutely amazing efforts today and tons of personal records…it’ll be tough to name an official “Most Improved”!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Indoor Rowing Races

Concept2 has a whole series of satellite indoor rowing races around the U.S. all held on Saturday, February 2nd…and there is one right here in Alexandria, VA at TC Williams!

These races are open to everyone, no qualifying time needed (however, some participates will be competing to hit the qualifying time for the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston). I have heard it’s a really cool event with a lot of positive energy…athletes of all levels and ages compete to pull their best 2,000 meter effort.

Let’s form a team and enter!

Now believe you me, rowing 2k is not my idea of a “good time”, neither is running a 5k for a personal record. I prefer speed and power but we are only as fit as our weakest link! A hard 2k row is over with in 7-10 minutes, this will be some great CrossFit training! The race is far enough away to get some practice in but close enough to not over think it.

The official Alexandria Website

The 20 satellite location and other information

Rowing Technique

Are you ready for the Challenge?

Post your eagerness in comments…


Gar and Chip create momentum and elevation on the Dumbbells as they "jump and punch" to the overhead position of support.

Keturah shows us the unique angle of a snatch grip deadlift

Team TT 0600
1. Jumping Cal's; 4 minute GPP

2. AMRAP 6 min
DB OH lunge 5, 5
Pushup x 10

3. Stay Put; 30 sec of work, 15 sec rest x 4 rounds then rotate to next movement
Wall Ball
KB swing
Squat Jump
Score total reps in each movement

4. Tabata Mashup
DB Push Press x 20sec
rest 10 sec
Situp x 20sec
rest 10sec
8 rounds
Score lowest amount of reps in each movement over all 8 intervals


0645 Barbell power

Emphasis; "Elbow Whip"
Think Speed!

Partner up, you go partner goes
1. Load: 45W, 65M hpc x 10r x 3s

2. Load: 65W, 95M hpc x 5r x 3s

3. Load: 85W, 135M hpc x 3r x3s

4. Snatch grip Deadlft x heavy triple

5. Introduction to the Windmill!

Monday, December 3, 2007

10 General Physical Skills

When looking at the barbell snatch and considering the impact it has across the 10 General Physical Skills we understand why mastering this movement is well worth the effort!

We worked some higher rep, light load Barbell snatch into our workout today.
I saw some great movement, our constant work on efficient bar path paid off.

The biggest flaw I saw comes right back to the basics, this is why we spend time with the PVC pipe making sure everything is right from the beginning.

Keep those elbows HIGH and OUTSIDE.

I’ll continue to demonstrate and emphasize this “scarecrow position” in our skill work…it is the final position we need to be in before our aggressive dive and quick flip to the overhead position of support. I’ll also show a cool drill to help you master this problem area, the “Scarecrow Drop Snatch”…remind me to break out the video camera so we can post this tutorial up as a reference.


In Class I heard a lot of you talk about dialing in on a perfect 2-week introduction to the Zone. To help out, Leslie sent me a few of her favorite recipes to share. If you have logged a few days of the zone in a journal, or have a few favorite meals send them in so we can help each other out in our quest.

Leslie’s no fuss, no muscles required Zone Meals

I ran into some camera problems after 0600...

1. Four Minutes of Cal's = GPP

2. Push-Pull Strength Mash-up
Super Pro Pushup x :30
Chins x :30
6 Rounds
Score total reps

3. WOD
Barbell Snatch x 10
Big Box Jump x 20
Situp x 30
Squat x 40
5 rounds for time
AMRAP in 20 minutes

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Silent Storm’s Secret Weapon

Army Ranger, Secret Service, CrossFit Fire breather, and your Old Town teammate tells all…

Mike is a regularly a top performer in our WOD, but when he put in a blistering paced effort beyond even his norm on Friday it had a few of us talking in wonder the next morning.

Well sure enough, in walks the Silent Storm on Saturday and puts in what could simply be the most amazing effort we have ever witnessed in one of our workouts. His final output was full 5 minutes faster than anyone else, and this was a Medium Length (20 minute) circuit, not an epic like “Murph”.

Now I realize a lot of you are going to shut off the instant I tell you what he revealed to us; I urge you to read on, ask questions, open your mind to the possibilities, and even simplicity. In fact, Mike sent me a testimonial only last week…after the last few days he might want to update it, but I’ll certainly post it anyway!

So here it is; Mike’s secret? The Zone. Yep, Mike told me he was going to “Dial in” for a hardcore, no cheating, and full on by the books 40-30-30 right after Thanksgiving. His level of energy and performance over the last 2-days has astounded even him and this is a man who has been a competitor at high levels his entire life. Now Mike wasn’t eating Pizza, Fries, and Cake prior to this…no his food intake was pretty darn clean…but now it’s Rocket Fuel! Can you imagine how the Zone can impact someone who really needs some cleaning up?!?

Prior to his Zone experience Mike would have said ‘Hogwash’, how can food intake make this much of an impact? Today, it’s a whole different story.

Mike is quick to give a lot of credit to his regular workout team here at CrossFit Old town. Our environment and our programming have helped him push his fitness to a whole new level…his commitment to go all the way with the Zone is an amazing stamp of approval…are you ready?

Mike’s Testimonial in his own words...

Warmup ARMAP in 6 minutes:
3 Chin
6 Pushup
9 Squat
12 Situp

WOD: Once through for time
1,000 meter row
45 rep Barbell Thrusters (65m - 45w)
40 rep Kettlebell high pull (72m - 52w)
35 rep Dumbbell push press (30m - 20w)
30 rep Chinup