Monthly Archives: January 2012

Lunge to the Weekend!

Sup, Movement Miscreants!  Today we got nasty with some max effort L-hangs and then a deceiving little metcon.  “Racked lunges?  Oh, I got this, son!  That’s a wrap.”  Did you feel the same after the WOD?  Points on the racked lunge:  Keep that elbow close to your torso and let the kettlebell rest in the pocket between your forearm, bicep, and chest.  On the lunge itself make sure that the shin stays as perpendicular to the ground as possible!

Mark your calendars, folks!  We are so very fortunate to have Kristin Jekielek, owner and head nutrition wizard at Fast Paleo, coming to offer a one hour long nutrition seminar on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 at 3:45 pm down in the cafeteria.  Many of you have started to clean up your diets and some are even remarking how happy you are starting to feel.  Imagine that…  What you put down your pie hole does indeed influence how you feel!   Crazy.

Enjoy the weekend.  Rest, recover, stay hydrated, and have a little bit of fun!  Just a wee bit…



3 Rounds

10 sec Tripod/Frog Stand

5 Pistols

5 Burpees


4 Rounds Max Effort L- Hang


5 Rounds for Time

5 Clapping Pushups

10 Jumping Squats

15 Situps

20 Kettlebell Racked Lunges (20 kg/16kg)


Stanky? Clean it up!

Movement Minions, nice job today!  We devoted today’s class to one of my personal favorite lifts:  the clean.  A lift guaranteed to make you all more explosive, strong, and coordinated, the clean relies primarily upon the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes) to drive the bar up from the ground.  It may appear that the arms are pulling the bar up, but this is Houdini’s ghost in full-effect:  it is merely an illusion.

Houdini may have been able to escape chains, but he couldn't escape poor form in the clean. He always pulled way too soon. I know. I saw him clean.

Once the bar has become weightless we must then pull ourselves under that bar into a full rack position.  When the bar has been “caught” we stand up just like in a front squat, driving our elbows up out of the bottom of the squat.

Thoughts on the clean today?  Like or dislike?  Love or hate?  I will disown you if you say hate.  I’m just saying…

Check out some of the work we did today!  Click on the links below!


Minions Jerking

Dragonball Z Cleaning

Tree Cleaning



The Movement Program in the Press!

Movement Magicians,

It’s an off day from the gym, but The Movement Program never sleeps.  Today, we got some love from Steve Liberati of Steve’s Club, a national non-profit that hopes to bring CrossFit to the youth of underserved neighborhoods/populations.  Check out the club’s post on The Movement Program  here!  Remember, you are a part of select group of young people who are abandoning unhealthy habits and embracing the feel of the steel to build themselves anew.  Snoop around the other clubs that Steve’s Club has mentioned and revel in the fact that we train in the confines of a cafeteria!  That’s real deal Holyfield, yo!


Suck it, Monday!

Monday, Monday.  I’ll be honest, I think Sunday is worse.  Yeah it’s the weekend still but there’s that sick anticipation of the week brewing in the old gullet.  You know what will cure Monday induced indegestion?  Shoulder presses and a 12 min AMRAP!

We hit the press for the first time at The Movement Program.  Not too shabby, youz guyz(gal).  Remember: feet underneath the hips, tight core by compressing the sternum to the belly button, head neutral (looking over at me will not help you lift the weights – SWEET CANDY LI-COOR, PAINT CHIPS, KRUZER – it may in fact help you die.  Please don’t die.  I don’t want to have to dispose of your bodies and make up an alibi for myself to your parents and Dr. Carr!), elbows slightly in front of the bar at the start (modified rack position) and on the way back down (DONKEY!!!!),  “turtle neck” (we move around the bar, not vice versa).  Shout out goes to Sweet Candy for going for it on his last set.  Overall, solid effort by everyone.

We then did a nice little 12 min AMRAP of strict pullups, kettlebell swings (Russian style – we’ll go American style and up over our heads next time…), and a tall loop of running (about 300 meters – up and down three flights of stairs).  Get ready to be awesome for Wednesday, wondrous Wednesday.




10 Pushups

5 kb swings (12 kg)

2 wall climbs




Work up to find a three rep max



5 strict pullups

10 Russian Kettlebell Swings (20/16)

300 meter tall loop of running.

The Road

Hey, it snowed last night!  You know what that means?  Absolutely nothing.  Anyways, given that it is the weekend and that our G.I.T.s (Gods-in-Training) are resting their weary souls, no workouts can really be talked about today.  But with rest comes reflection and with reflection comes one seemingly simple question:  Why do we do what we do?

It is this question around which today’s discussion will focus.  Why do we do kettlebell swings, burpees, and power cleans until we puke or want to die?  Why do we torture ourselves so?  Today, Movement Program Monsters, I want you to seriously consider why the heck you have decided to start this journey.  Today, I want you to start thinking about your goals.

Take a few minutes from your cajoling outside in the snow (or studying for your test in US History on Tuesday…that’s what you were all doing before you checked the blog, right?) and have a nice sit down with yourself.  Ask yourself that one question:  what do I hope to get out of The Program?  Start with general goals (better endurance, healthier habits), but then I would like for you all to start charting some goals that are more specific in nature.  For example, I want to be able to do a pullup without an assistance band in three months.  I want to deadlift twice my body weight by the time I graduate.  I want to be able to walk across the cafeteria…on my hands.

Hard work pays off!

Why am I harping on you to get these goals set?  The reason is simple:  the journey needs an endpoint, a final destination to say that you have arrived.  With specific goals you give yourself something to shoot for.  As the nature of these goals is specific, you also make you, and you alone, accountable for reaching these goals; a natural incentive to practice and work each and everyday on something at which you suck arises.

Where are YOU headed?

Sooooo, what are your goals?  List them to the comments section.  Own these goals.  Let them be the checkpoints on your journey to complete transformation.

Enjoy the snow!  Eat well.  Stay hydrated.


Getting “high”…

The Movement Program hit the squat rack today for the first time.  Oh, the Rogue S-3 Squat Stands are so dreamy!  But wait!  Combine the S-3’s with 5-5-5-5 High Bar Back Squats (HBBS) and you get hardcore awesomeness.  Points of Success for ye olde HBBS:

1.  Rest the bar up on your traps.  (Yes, Donkey, this might be uncomfortable!  Deal with it.)

3.  Tight core and lower back!

2.  A** to ankles! – Unlike the air squats which we learned in the Foundations course, we want our torsos to be more upright in the HBBS.  As a result, drop down so that your  behind meets (or at least is moving in that direction, for those of you not quite yet in the “supple leopards” category) your ankles.

3.  Knees out – Push the knees out on the way down to make room for your pelvis and avoid the dreaded butt wink.  Keep pushing out on the way up to decrease the sheer forces plotting to ruin your knees’ soft tissue.

We finished off the day with a nice quick couplet of front squats and burpees.  The front squat’s an awkward dame of a lift.  Treat her kindly!  We’ll work on some arm flexibility drills next week.  Overall, great effort by everyone today.  Now rest, my young paduans, and dream of picking up really heavy stuff.



3 rounds

10 Squats

10 Candlesticks

5 Burpees


5-5-5-5 High Bar Back Squat – Work up to find a new five rep max.



Front Squat (75/55)


Just keep moving!

Well, I have to say, Charlie’s Angels impressed me.  We had some really great efforts today.  Treanna had the fastest time of the day at 6:00!  Awesome.  Danielle destroyed the squats.  Excellent form!  Don’t forget to push those knees out!  Taylor is a ring dip assassin.  Game over.  Today’s hero shout out goes to Heidi, who could have quit the workout, but showed true Movement Program grit and completed every single rep.  You should be proud of yourself!

Stay hydrated and stretch tonight.  You will be sore tomorrow.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day….How did you think the workout went?  What are some of your thoughts?  Post ’em to comments!

Build something everyday.



For time

300 meter run

30 squats

20 situps

15 pushups

10 pullups

5 ring dips

Greasing the Gears

Wat up, dough, Movement disciples?  Another day passes, and yet another opportunity comes to turn yourselves into Man-Beasts and Amazon Warriors.  Today, we set aside the barbells, yanked out some foam rollers and lacrosse balls, and channeled Kelly Starrett, god of all that is mobility.

Who needs Jesus, when you have K-Star?

As you are so new to this sport (yes this is a sport, and you are now athletes so carry yourself as such i.e. gods-in-training – G.I.T.), we took a break from our regularly scheduled programming, sat down around the proverbial campfire, and discussed how we need to start moving our bodies more efficiently as we workout and how we can mobilize our joints, sliding surfaces, and soft tissues when they ache and we have “Angie” staring us in the face for our next WOD.  Make the foam roller and lacrosse ball your friends, people.  They will make you feel awesome.  Grab one before class starts and spend about ten to fifteen minutes mobilizing your achy “bits.”

Regular class resumes Friday.  If you just can’t stand being away from The Program, come on down tomorrow and watch Charlie’s Angels do their first WOD.

Let me know also if you are taking up the two week Paleo challenge.  If you are looking for two great resources on the Paleo diet visit here and here.  Like I said tonight, you will be lethargic and grumpy for about two weeks.  Deal with it.  Remember in order to climb to Mt. Olympus and hang with Zeus, Aphrodite, and Ares, you need to make some sacrifice.  Use the comments section of the daily blog entry to share your thoughts and/or daily struggles with the new diet plan.


Charlie’s Angels

We had a new group of eager beavers join The Movement Program.  These girls (who will henceforth be dubbed as “Charlie’s Angels” – one bonus of running this program is that I can name people anything I want!) worked through their first Foundation’s session.  We broke down the pushup and then the nine foundational movements of CrossFit: the air squat, front squat, overhead squat, press, push press, push jerk (the girls’ favorite…), deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull, and the clean (from the hang position).

L-R Taylor, Heidi, Treanna, Danielle

Remember, Movement and Mobility Seminar is tomorrow.  Still having trouble mastering the squat?  Any sore bits?  Then tomorrow is for you!  We should take about thirty minutes to an hour, addressing proper form and technique for some movements, the issue of sliding surfaces (fascia and muscle impingement), unlocking joint capsules, and then increasing the range of motion through dynamic and static stretching.  Also, tell your friends as you do not need to go through the Foundations course in order to attend!


Into the Darkness…

We have all been there before.  That “oh, sh*t” moment.  That moment you ask yourself, “why the hell am I doing this to myself?”  I personally had one of those moments this Saturday as a competitor at the Garage Games in Allentown, PA hosted by CrossFit 610.  Of course it was the last of three WODs (CrossFit parlance for “workout of the day”) for the day and of course it was the one that was by far the most mentally and physically grueling, a quintessential slugfest.  The workout was as follows:


Squat Clean Thrusters (115 lbs)  /  Chest to Bar Pullups.

I hate thrusters. I hate squat clean thrusters even more...

Thrusters have always been my goat for some reason.  It makes for an exquisite cocktail of pain and despair.  I knew the WOD would be really difficult as I am in the middle of my strength cycle and the volume of conditioning workouts has been purposefully quite low.  But ever the one for a challenge, I laced up my Oly shoes and manned up.  It was a humbling experience…

It sucked.  I felt horrible not only during the WOD, but also disappointed with myself because I probably could have pushed a bit harder.  So why didn’t I?  After much reflection, the simple reason was because I was not mentally with the workout as much as I should have been.

Members of The Movement Program, the only way to go into The Darkness and come out alive and stronger is to make sure you have a solid mental strategy going into each WOD.  Have you visualized yourself doing the movements smoothly and effortlessly?  Do you envision yourself destroying the workout or do you focus more on how horrible the workout will be?  If you approach a workout with the latter mentality, you’ve already lost.  During the WOD, the strategy I have found that works best is to move with as little time from one movement to the next.  This sounds simply like “just move fast.”  Sounds pretty straight forward, almost insultingly so, but how can I do that when my muscles are on fire and everything says “stop”?

At the beginning of the WOD your body is shocked to attention with an increased cardiovascular and endocrine response as a result of the intense nature of the workouts.  Your mind is wired to save your body from harm so it signals you to “please stop.  You are hurting me.”  To fool your body into ignoring this feeling, you must press on, even if this means doing only two reps of the next movement and/or round.  For instance, in a “5 rounds for time” style of WOD, getting past the second round is arguably the most mentally difficult for the reasons mentioned above.  Once you get passed that first round, go immediately into the second round, with acceptance of the pain and without hesitation.  It will hurt.  Deal with it.  The quicker you do this you will find that eventually you will settle into a rhythm for the WOD and the discomfort becomes a bit more bearable.

Some things to consider…  You’ll have a chance to test these principles out  when we are back to it on Friday.

Yes, you heard me right:  Friday.  Wednesday we will be holding a movement and mobility workshop.  It is open to any student or faculty member regardless of whether or not they went through the Foundations courses.  A lot of you have asked me how to fix some of your nasty banged up bits, so I think it is imperative that we spend a class talking about some ways to treat our soft tissues that we destroy three times a week.

Enjoy MLK day!