Monthly Archives: September 2012

I’ll see your 275 and raise you 20!

Frank Pepe joined The Movement Program last spring, but a summer of work (imagine that?) kept him from the lifting arena until this fall.  Apparently, Frank is just a natural beast.  Here’s Frank setting a new high bar back squat PR at 295# with ease:

Heavier loads will be lifted soon, no doubt.  I’d say he could have got at least 305#.  Problem was he had never maxed out before so we spent some time with more conservative numbers.

It’s Friday and normally we would go maximum efforts today, but I really wanted to clean up a lot of errors people have been having with form.  As a result we did EMOM 10 minutes of snatches and EMOM 10 minutes of clean and jerk.  The emphasis for the athletes was the second pull.  Too often I find that they want to get under that bar too quick.  In the process they cheat themselves out of a whole other gear of power.  Keep those shoulder over the bar a little longer and guide that bar back into the hips/thighs.  Then, violently extend the hips into the bar while the bar is simultaneously coming back towards the hips.

We finished off the days with our various squatting cycles and also some depth jumps, working on keeping the nerves fresh and reactive.

Have a great weekend!


Barbell Work

EMOM 10 Minutes


EMOM 10 Minutes

Clean and Jerk


Advanced:  Hatch Squat Cycle

Intermediate:  Establish new one rep max high bar back squat.

Beginner:  3 sets of 5 working up in weight if form is STELLAR!


3 sets x 5 reps Depth Jumps

M:  From 22″ box to 24″ box.

F:   From 16″ box to 20″ box.


I wear khakis

Today’s “Athlete of the Day” award goes to Richard “I don’t need board shorts” Kruse.  This guy makes no excuses for missing a workout, even when he forgets to bring his workout clothes to school.  Funny thing is, he crushed the workout today.  But then again, Rich has been crushing it as of late, breaking PR’s in the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.  He even got a new 5 rep PR on the push press today!  Keep getting after it, Richie!

“Forged? 2Pood? Reebok?! Nah, I rock the Dockers, son!”

Today, we finally got some conditioning done.  This week’s schedule has thrown a lot of curve balls to The Movement Program faithful.  Tuesday’s Foundations Course and no school Wednesday made a lot of the kids hungry for a warm and fuzzy metcon.  Today did not fail to deliver.

We started off the day working on the push press.  No oly lifting today with the exception of the Jerk warmup.  Nonetheless, I felt the push press has been sorely needed in our training as of late for two reasons.  First, I notice that a lot of the athletes are struggling to dip the hips straight up and down during the dip and drive of the split jerk.  By reducing the amount of complex movement patterns, it was my hope to begin to correct this error.  Second, we needed the strength work for the shoulders.  Getting under that bar fast is important, but if your shoulders lack the strength to support the weight once you are down there, my gut tells me you might not be able to stand back up with it.

The day’s metcon built on today’s theme of shoulder strength.  We hit a WOD I did last week during the Rosh Hashanah break.  3 rounds for time of handstand pushups,  burpee to weighted swings, overhead walking lunges, and weighted runs.  You are welcome!

Also, there is an event I think we should get behind.  On Saturday, October 27 at CrossFit King of Prussia they are hosting a charity fundraising WOD.  See below for details:

“CrossFit King of Prussia is celebrating 4 years and we want you to join us, work out for a great cause and raise some money for (FARA). Kyle Bryant, a member of Crossfit KOP, was diagnosed at 17 with Friedreich’s Ataxia (FARA). The Crossfit Journal recently featured Kyle in an inspirational video documenting not only his story but showing the community that is Crossfit.

The WOD:

AMRAP in 12 minutes
5 Pullups
10R/10L Single Arm DB Thrusters (25/40)
15 BurpeesThere will be a Competitive, Social, and Kids Division.To Benefit: FARA ( Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance)

$30 donation at the door and a free t-shirt and beer.

We will have many raffles, door prizes and other awesome surprises.

Please register by 10/15/12 to guarantee your size will be available the day of.

Register by emailing

Registration starts at 8:00am, Standards at 9:00AM with the first wod kicking off around 9:15am”

Let’s plan on doing this, people!
Push Press
3 Rounds for Time
15 Burpee to Weighted Plate Swing (45/25)
20 Overhead Walking Lunges (45/25)
150 M weighted run (45/25)

Another batch…

The Movement Program is growing.  We had another batch of brave souls try out Foundations classes last Thursday and today.  It is refreshing to see more young people cast aside the oh so common mentality of instant gratification found in most teens these days.  Today, these kids threw away some self doubt and fear, diving into something that was completely foreign (then again is squatting really that alien to even the most sedentary soul?…in some cases, yes.  It would seem so.) and in the process began the journey towards reinventing themselves and rediscovering what it means to be a human being.  Welcome to the program Jeremy, Eliy, and Xuan!  Other newbs are awaiting the signing of some parental release forms and will be joining soon.

New Foundations class learning to love/hate lacrosse balls.

With the Foundations course in session, that meant no regularly scheduled class.   So this blog post is more about what I did today prior to school starting.

Today another volume complex was in store for the barbell work.  A mixture of snatch pulls, power snatches, and snatch balances was the morning’s menu.  I was happy with the pulls, but then again, pulls have never been something which have been problematic for me.  The power snatches could have been a little crisper, but I was happy with the simple fact of being able to power snatch the heavier weight on the later rounds.  My big problem I noticed today came on the later rounds of the Snatch Balance.  Herein lies my problem with my snatch:  My catch is atrocious.  The balance really forced me to punch up on that bar when receiving it down in the hole.  I need to program more of these into my training.  Oh, so little time to train!…

Finally was able to get a WOD back into the training.  Feels like I haven’t had one in a while.  Last Wednesday?  Anyways, all I can say is that I suck at pushups.

Enjoy the Yom Kippur holiday.  We will be back in action on Thursday!


Barbell Work

2 rounds of 1 Snatch Pull + 1 Power Snatch + 1 Snatch Balance @ heavy weight.

3 rounds of 1 Snatch Pull + 1 Power Snatch + 1 Snatch Balance @ heavier weight.

2 rounds of 1 Snatch Pull + 1 Power Snatch + 1 Snatch Balance @ heaviest weight possible.

*1 min rest between each set.


4 Rounds for Time

12 Kipping Toes to Bar

25 Pushups

7 Deadlifts (225/155)

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Hold on for dear life!

Why a cat picture? Because it is my blog and I do what I want!

Welcome back from the weekend!  It’s Monday and that means three things:  the sun shines, we slam bars, and we squat!   A recent yoga (yes, yoga…I hate yoga, but I think it is extremely important for balancing the intense energy inherent in weightlifting and CrossFit.  Sigh…) workshop taught by the best Yoga instructor in all of New York City, Amanda Winkler, made me realize how we at The Movement Program are in tune with the seasons and the earth’s natural ebb and flow of energy.  Fall is a time of grounding and many styles of yoga argue for exercises that involve a lot of twisting (NO!) and squatting (YES!)  So while you are squatting all of that heavy weight, just remember that a yogi told you to do it!

Today’s barbell work was quite punishing.  What better way to come back from a deload week than some volume lifting.  The proscribed movement complex was a mixture of cleans, hang cleans, and split jerks.  Really was taxing on the grip strength.  Reflecting upon what I saw today from many of my athletes, however, I think we will be spending more time breaking down and drilling the various phases of the snatch and clean and jerk.  Expect a back to basics focus on our barbell work in the weeks ahead.  Movement Program, you have all come so far.  Be proud of your accomplishments!  Be excited to crush your limits!

One step back.  Two steps forward…

We finished off the day with some squats and depth jumps.


Barbell Work

2 sets of 1 Clean + 2 Hang Cleans + 1 Split Jerk @ 75% of 1 RM Clean

3 sets of 1 Clean + 2 Hang Cleans + 1 Split Jerk @80% of 1 RM Clean

2 sets of 1 Clean + 2 Hang Cleans + 1 Split Jerk @85% of 1 RM Clean

*Bar cannot touch the ground until the Jerk has been completed.


Old Timers:  Hatch Squat Cycle

*Rest two minutes between sets of the high bar back squats, one minute after the sets of front squats.

Beginners:  High Bar Back Squat – 2 sets of 8 reps @ 60% 1 RM, 2 sets of 6 reps @ 70% of 1 RM

*Rest two minutes between sets.

Accessory Work

Depth Jumps

3 sets of 5 reps from 22″ box onto a 24″ box.

*Rest 1-2 minutes between each set.

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What a weekend!

So much happening for everyone involved in The Movement Program this weekend!  On Saturday eight soldiers of The Movement Militia marched on Pennsauken, NJ for the Beat the Streets charity competition.  All I can say is…wow.  Wow.  I was really proud of how hard each athlete got after it this weekend.  No looks of despair.  No quit.  Just lots of work and a whole lot of fierceness.  I was even more impressed by how even when the proverbial doo-doo hit the fan, these young men and women were very attentive to their form and technique.  Anyone can work when he or she is tired, but to hold excellent form despite fatigue, that is evidence of hard work and discipline.

Great job, Movement!


Pre WOD.

Post WOD inspiration.


“Beat the Streets 2012”

In teams of two with only one partner working at a time, complete the following:

10 Min AMRAP

40 KB Swings (24kg/16kg)

30 Burpees

20 Chest to Bar Pullups

10 Front Squats (135/95)

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Whew, that was close…

Sorry for the hiatus. The Movement Program was “almost dead” the other day…

Back online!…  Luckily this week was a deload week/down week/rest week for us, so missing the last couple of days of training was actually kind of a blessing in disguise.

Before we get to today’s work, a brief recap of the Wednesday’s workout which the Old Man did without his assassin children.

Barbell Work

Shankle Complex

3 Clean Pulls – 1 Hang Clean – 2 Split Jerks

2 @ 60% 1RM Split Jerk

1 @ 65% 1RM Split Jerk


3 Rounds Not for Time

ME Strict Pullups

ME Front Squats (135/95)

ME Double Unders

90 seconds rest between each round.

*Round begins when athlete initiates first rep of strict pullups.  Each movement ends when the athlete must stop, interrupting the established cadence of said movement.  Transition quickly to the next movement until ME Double Unders have been completed.

As for today, back to some weightlifting and squats.  Still waiting for a Monday class for the older members to begin the Hatch Squat Cycle.  Some have already started.  Beginning members will continue to work with high volume and lighter weightsfor a while and then gradually we will get into some heavier squats.  New members will not be doing the Hatch Squat Cycle this fall.

Pretty hunky dory day.  We travel to Pennsauken, NJ tomorrow for the Beat the Streets fundraiser held at CrossFit Tribe.  It will be a fun time!  We have eight young men and women competing tomorrow!  That alone makes me proud.  Go get after it.


Barbell Work


80% 1 RM


*Same weight across each single.  Focus on being consistent.  Count total attempts, not simply made lifts.

Clean and Jerk

80% 1 RM


*Same weight across each single.  Focus on being consistent.  Count total attempts, not simply made lifts.


Advanced members:  Hatch Squat Cycle  (High Bar Back Squats and Front Squats)

New members: High Bar Back Squat 5-5-5-5 Sets Across 70% 1 RM

*Rest two minutes between the high bars and one  minute after the front squats.

Garbage and Gratitude

I thanked my street’s garbage men today.  It made me feel good…

Garbage men tidy up my streets.  Those of us who are dedicated to our training…we are all garbage men in some strange way.  Each day we are committed to cleaning up the trash scattered in our lifting.  Stunted pulls, slow wrists, and sloppy footwork plague the barbell.  While the refuse pile of poor technique may seem high for some of us, each day, we suit up, drink coffee (per orders from Gen. North), and take out the trash nonetheless.  One day the streets will be clean, but until then I will keep picking up the trash one lift at a time.

It’s a deload week here at The Movement Program.  With the Rosh Hashanah holiday this past Monday and today, we have not had the opportunity for school and,  subsequently, training.  I guess it will be more of a deload/rest week.  Anyways, don’t shake your head in wonderment at how low the percentages are on the weightlifting sessions, as well as the loads used in the WODs.   I’m hoping my athletes will take this week to work on their speed.  We shall see.  As for me, I once again retreated to the sweaty and mucky confines of South Philly for my own training.  The weightlifting session was easy, but I was very focused on my third pull.  Sometimes I feel like I float a little too much under the bar on the way down.  Good to time to fix this!

The WOD was sinister and awkward.  I mixed up some hanstand pushups, burpee to weighted swings (never tried these before today), overhead walking lunges, and weighted runs.  Suck, suck, and suck.  Who knew three rounds would suck so much?  Actually, I did…  Needed a good ass kicking.

Beat the Streets is this Saturday at 9 am.  So far, I have Nick, Gia, Palmer, David, Rich, and Madison signed up.  If anyone else wants to compete, let me know ASAP!

Now we can slam bars with impunity!


Barbell Work

Snatch Pull – Hang Snatch Pull – Hang Power Snatch complex

2 sets @ 60% 1 RM Snatch

3 sets @ 65% 1 RM Snatch


3 Rounds for Time


15 Burpee to weighted swing (45/25)

20 Overhead Walking Lunge Steps (45/25)

150 meter weighted run (45/25)


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Haikus are stupid…

…unless they are about weightlifting!

Attitude Nation!

I fiercely yell and slam bars!

Split Jerk PR, BAM!

Fall is officially here.  That means hoodies, hot donuts, and pumpkin picking!  While the seasons may change, lifting heavy weights remains the same!

I’ve been disgusted with my split jerk as of late.  With such a beautiful morning to be taken advantage of, I headed out back to the old summer training grounds in South Philly in the hopes of exorcising the demons that have been tormenting this lift.  I walked away with a couple of realizations today:

1)  Still not getting under and in front of the bar fast enough after the drive.  Too pensive and gutless.  Heavy loads bless only the courageous.  

2) Once that bar is unracked from the stands, do not wait too long to initiate the dip and drive.  Too much time spent holding that bar and it starts to whisper negativity to you. “Boy, I sure am heavy, aren’t I?  Don’t drop me on your head!  You know you’ll do that, right?”  F that!  Unrack that bar, take your breath and just go!

3) Over exaggerate squeezing the core on the dip.  I PR’d by 10# today due in part to this one little cue.  Reflecting on the session’s earlier attempts, I remember being much more deflated on the dip.  I held my breath, but did not emphasize pushing out against my abs.  To me the over exaggerated squeezing on the dip preloads the core more actively.  The more awakened muscles aid in transferring power more efficiently through the hips all the way up into the shoulders and through the bar.  I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but if anyone else has tried this or has other suggestions for solid dip-pop-drop mechanics please let me know via comments!

Enjoy the beautiful day, Philadelphia!


Barbell Work

Split Jerk

*Complete doubles starting at 135.  Go up ten pounds until you fail to complete a set of two reps.  From there, go for singles.  Increase weight at your discretion.  Attempt 2 singles ten pounds past your PR.  If you fail both lifts, drop five pounds and attempt two more singles.  Session is over if the last two sets result in failure.

Accessory Work

Handstand Walks for distance.

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Richard Kruse’s Day

Two lifts.  Two PRs.  Not much more that I can say about that!  Rich K put the hurt on his old PRs today, hitting 135# on the Snatch and 165# on the Clean and Jerk!  Way to go, Rich!  Your technique has improved quite a bit on the snatch.  As for the clean and jerk…well, let’s just say we have a lot more work to do!  Onward and upward!

Today was a really long session as the volume of weight moved and the frequency of joints flexing and extending was high.  Great work to all ya’all!

Remember, next Saturday a few of us are heading out to Pennsauken and CrossFit Tribe for the annual Beat the Streets Fundraiser.  I have signed up the following teams:

  • Knick and GUnit.
  • Krusers, Rich and Mad.
  • “The Bull” and Dora.

Got questions?  Need a ride?  Better contact me ASAP.  The comp lasts from 9 am until 12 pm.


Barbell Work

10 Minutes to establish a new 1 RM Snatch

10 Minutes to establish a new 1 RM Clean and Jerk


*Varied according to athlete.

Option 1:

Hatch Squat Cycle Week 1 Day 2 for more advanced athletes.

Option 2:

3 sets of 5 reps 70% High Bar Back Squat.  Sets Across.

Rest two minutes between sets

3 sets of 5 reps 70% Front Squat.  Sets Across.

Rest one minute between sets.


3 x 5 Depth Jump

Men:  20″

Women:  8″

Rest two minutes between each set.

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We took a break from Romancing the Barbell and went a bit longer today.  Here at The Movement Program, WODs ranging from fifteen to twenty minutes are seldom programmed.  Twenty plus minutes?  Forget about it…  I figured here was a chance to shock us out of the Old Routine.

Chippers are not for babies…

Remember, next Saturday, September 22, CrossFit Tribe in Pennsauken, NJ is hosting Beat the Streets.  This fundraising event benefits at-risk youth across the country and will be a chance for you to get out and get some competition outside the walls of The Program.  If you will need a ride, I plan on going.  Please let me know if you need a ride out to the event!



For Time

60 Situps

50 Wall Balls

40 Ring Rows

30 Burpees

20 Power Cleans (135/95)

10 Box Jumps (30″/24″)

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