Monthly Archives: October 2012

“Hurricane Sandy”


“Hurricane Sandy”

400 Meter run (Run to your local supermarket)

400 Meter farmer’s carry  (32 kg kettlebells / 24 kg in each hand) (Carry your goods back home)

20 Box Step Ups (20″ box with both kettlebells.) (Climb up your stairs!  People who live on the first floor are doomed!)

50 KB Swings (32 kg/24 kg) (Stock your shelves!)

100 Double Unders (Frantically jump around in fear!  The storm is coming)

50 Ball Slams (30#/20# – The storm has arrived and is pummeling your house to pieces!)

20 Bar Muscle ups (Your house is destroyed.  Pull yourself up and out of the rubble!)

100 Jumping Squats  (Thank God.  You, unlike the other unfortunate bastards, are alive!)

Let’s hope that this is a replay of last year!  Be smart.  Be safe.  Remember, it is ok to miss a few days of training…


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Southwest Center City 5k

Myself and a couple of brave Movement Program souls got out of the gym and tackled the SWCC 5k today.  We don’t do much running in our training, so this was naturally a bit out of our element.  With that being said, a 5k is a good benchmark to track the rise (or fall) of general fitness.  Some would argue that a 5k race should not have followed a day of establishing new 1 RM attempts for the Snatch and Clean and Jerk, as well as some heavy squats.  My response to that is we aren’t training for a 5k!  Think of the race as some quality cardiovascular endurance work.

Below you’ll find some pictures of the athletes in action.

Rest up tomorrow.  We are back to the barbell on Monday (Thank God!).


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PR Thunderstorm

Shades of a Friday…


While Palidora returned to the loving embrace of The Program, he was gimpy and so could not take part in the day’s weightlifting.  For his bum ankle, I proscribed the following work:

3 Rounds

50 Situps

ME strict pullups

ME med ball press pops*

Rest  2 minutes after each round

*This exercise is done much like a barbell press, except it is much more dynamic.  The athlete stands with feet underneath the hips and the med ball in the front rack position.  The ball is then vigorously pressed upwards 4-5 feet on to the wall.  The ball is caught as it drops and the ball is immediately pressed upwards in the same manner.

The rest of the crew…what can I say?  Everyone PR’d on something today.  We spent fifteen minutes on the snatch and then switched over to the clean and jerk.  Three people lifted.  Three people PR’d.  Still some technical inefficiencies that need to be cleared up.  The strength programming seems to help, but I’d rather see some better technique then higher numbers at this stage of the game.

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

Enjoy the weekend!  Remember, we’ll be heading out the SWCC 5k to establish a baseline time for the 5000 meter run (3.1 miles).  Sorry, but no WOD today.  Get after it and have fun.  We haven’t trained for this specifically so just get out there and compete!


Barbell Work

15 minutes to establish a 1 RM snatch.

15 minutes to establish a 1 RM clean and jerk.


Senior:  Hatch Squat Cycle

Junior:  5-5-5-5 Front Squat.  Establish new 5 rep max!


3 x 5 Depth Jumps

26″ to 24 ” box.

Teeth, Trust, and Thrusters

Being able to bite people’s achilles tendon in half demonstrates functional fitness.  I hope to keep my teeth as strong as Spartacus’s were.  No class today.  I have a dentist appointment.  Guard your achilles…

Do you trust your programming?  Do you have faith that it will help you achieve all of your goals in the coming year?  Solid programming builds a barrier to keep the hordes of fear and self-doubt at bay.  Lose faith in what you are doing and the wall slowly begins to crack….

As for today’s training, the barbell work featured some focus on that tricky second pull.  I did some snatches and clean and jerks from the high blocks.  Weight was moderate, but I was not concerned with loads.  A speedy and an aggressive second pull was the focus of the session.

A delicious WOD of situps, thrusters, and toes to bar followed.  The situps did just enough to make everything else poopier.  That’s right, poopier.


Barbell Work

Snatches from the High Blocks

2 sets of 2 reps @ moderate weight.

2 sets of 2 reps @ a heavier weight than previous two sets.

Clean and Jerks from the High Blocks

2 sets of 2 cleans + 1 split jerk @ moderate weight.

2 sets of 2 reps + 1 split jerk @ a heavier weight than previous two sets.


For Time

50 Situps



Thrusters (95/75)

Kipping Toes to Bar

Time:  7:11


The barbell has taught me much, lo these past two years.  It was, however, the quiet solitude of distance running where the lessons of life first revealed themselves.

After the early morning’s barbell work, I ran.  I ran just long enough to remember how much I enjoyed those days, those miles of trials.

Today’s work found us getting back to some power snatches for the barbell work.  The weight was lower but the volume was a bit beefier.  We then scooted over to the park for an ode to the distance run, taking in some 400 meter intervals in beautiful Girard Park!

No class tomorrow, but don’t forget Saturday’s event over at CrossFit King of Prussia. Let me know who is coming and I will figure out driving arrangements.  I have four other seats available in my car.  First come first serve.  I would like to be on the road by 7:45 am.


Barbell Work

Power Snatch

2 sets x 3 reps @65%

3 sets x 3 reps @75%

2 sets x 3 reps @70%

*1 min rest between sets.

*All percentages are based off of 1 RM Squat Snatch.


6 x 400 meter runs.

*90 seconds rest between each interval.  Score is total time including rest period. 

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Strive perpetually for excellence.


Barbell Work

Clean Complex

1 Clean Pull + 1 Hang Clean Pull Down + 1 Hang Clean  + 1 Split Jerk

2 sets at 65% of 1 RM Clean

3 sets at 75%

2 sets at 70%


Senior Members:  Hatch Squat Cycle

Junior: 5-5-5 High Bar Back Squat

Accessory Lifts

3 sets of 8 reps Good Morning

3 sets of 5 Depth Jumps

26″ Men

18″ Women

Plato and the Warrior Scholar

Every Monday and Friday, I teach a class on the history of sport and physical education.  It’s the first year I am teaching it and I must admit I am learning more than I am teaching.  Of recent weeks we have been weaving our way through foundational philosophy, exploring notions of epistemology (ways of knowing), metaphysics, etc.  As a self proscribed history nerd, the last two weeks have been great:  we have delved into sport and physical education in the Ancient World, chomping on some Mesoamerican, Sumerian, Egyptian, Chinese, and (to my delight) Greek methods of physical education and expressions of sport.

If Plato felt that the body hindered the mind’s true understanding, then why after burpees do I feel one with the Universe?

This week, we examined the naturalistic and anti-naturalistic schools of thought towards the human body and eventually found our way to the teachings of Socrates and Plato.  (Bored yet?  Meatheads may simply skip to the pictures and the workout below.)  Reading excerpts from Plato’s The RepublicI came across an interesting notion to which I whole-heartedly identified.  When discussing the nature of the state, Plato spoke of the cultivation of the “warrior-scholar.”  Here stands a man (or woman, in today’s gender sensitive age) of both physical prowess, yet balanced by intellect.  Plato argued that the man consumed solely by the body was not worth his instruction and subsequently the glory of the city-state.  Plato wanted men who were not only athletically talented and good fighters to defend the polis from invasion, but also intellectually inclined to understand the complexities of what they were fighting for.

Why do I bring this up tonight?  What does Ancient Greece and the thoughts of dead men have to do with The Movement Program?  With the broader athletic world today?  I would argue that for many who call weightlifting and/or CrossFit a passion, the “harmonious relationship” between body and mind is absent or lacking.  As athletes, we spend countless hours each week utilizing steel to cultivate the body, but how often do we drive our souls towards deeper connections and our minds towards truer understanding?  When was the last time you  walked through Walden Pond with Henry David Thoreau or debated the merits and pitfalls of universal healthcare with a neighbor?  When was the last time you gave a damn about something other than yourself?

As time continues to slowly add the weight of years to my shoulders, I have realized that my life demands balance.  Most of the time I haven’t listened.  I guess that’s the value of getting older:  getting wiser, becoming more aware, listening…

Find balance.  Value diverse forms of knowledge.  Savor experiences outside of your comfort zone.  Make Plato proud.

Become the warrior-scholar.


Barbell Work


5 sets of 2 reps @65% 1 RM

Clean and Jerk

5 sets of 2 cleans + 1 split jerk @ 65% of clean

*1 min rest between each set.


Senior members:  Hatch Squat Cycle

Junior Members:  Front Squat 5 – 5 – 5

*2 mins rest between high bar back squat.  1 min rest between front squats.


The a-ha moment.  There’s nothing like it.  Light bulbs have been brilliantly flashing around The Movement Program lately.  As a coach, I am proud.  As an athlete, I am inspired.  Let’s keep it up, Movement!

While we don’t work on these too often, we spent some time on the old kipping pullup today.  Next Saturday’s WOD will feature some pullups and I wanted the team to freshen up on a skill that is somewhat neglected.  From hollow body position, to “C”s and “D”s, from swinging the hips and pushing away, fifteen minutes were devoted to some quality practice.

After nailing those kips, we moved on to a greasy, speedy little WOD of kipping pullups (shocking, no?) and power snatches.

Keep the good energy coming.



15 minutes kipping pullup practice


7 Min Ascending Ladder


Kipping Pullups

Power Snatches (75/55)


Looks are deceiving

Snatch Drops.  Not sure why we haven’t been doing these more often.  Unlike the Snatch Balance where the push under the bar comes with a dip and drive making the bar momentarily weightless, there is no such gift with the Snatch Drop.  In this movement the athlete starts with the bar placed on high bar back position.  The hands are moved into a position along the bar where the athlete would receive a snatch. The snatch drop is simply the athlete quickly pushing away from the bar and receiving it in a squat, without any kind of dip and drive.  Make sure that the bar is received with the arms locked out and tight.  I cue my athletes to “punch up” on the bar and “squeeze.”

Here’s Janique Thompson demonstrating excellent speed under the bar on her snatch drop:

Depth on her squat could be improved, but Janique, being a newer member to The Movement Program, has some limited range of motion in her lower back and hamstrings.  With a little work, those hips will be well below the knee.  Overall, a nicely performed lift.

Once we finished up with the snatch drops, we hit a WOD with a lot of moving parts, or so it seemed.  Today’s WOD was for time and consisted of double unders, kettlebell push presses, and toes to bar.  The way the workout looked on the board had some people groaning and moaning about how horrible and long it would be.  Don’t let all of that marker fool you into believing a workout will destroy you.  Conversely don’t look at something as simple as a couplet of burpees and running (like last week) and let it lull you into a belief that it will be easy!  Long story short, looks can be deceiving. Turn that mind off and just go and experience the workout.

Remember, October 27, CrossFit King of Prussia.  There will be a charity fundraising event that we need to get involved in!  Bring $30 and be ready to have some fun!…by watching your coach suffer right along side of you!  Movement Program for Life!


Barbell Work

Snatch Drops

2 sets of 2 reps @ 55%, 60%, and 65% of 1 RM Snatch.

*One minute rest between each set.


For Time

20 Double Unders

8 KB Push Press Right Arm (20/16)

10 Toes to Bar

8 KB Push Press Left Arm

30 Double Unders

12 KB Push Press Right Arm

15 Toes to Bar

12 KB Push Press Left Arm

40 Double Unders

16 KB Push Press Right Arm (24/16)

20 Toes to Bar

16 KB Push Press Left Arm

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Olympic Total Recall

Must. Remember. How. To. Snatch.

Friday’s barbell work was sequestered within the confines of the Olympic Total today.  Three attempts at the Snatch.  Three attempts at the Clean and Jerk.   Take the best lift from each from each of the movements, add them together, and you have your Olympic Total.  Add in a lobotomy for your Olympic Total Recall!

Following the Total…yep, you guessed it:  squats.  Delicious, delicious squats.  Show someone that you love them by giving them the gift of squats.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Yay Squats!

Yay for the weekend!

Terpak (My name is not Quaid…)

Barbell Work

Olympic Total

3 attempts at 1 RM Snatch

3 attempts at 1 RM Clean and Jerk


Senior Members:  Hatch Squat cycle

Junior Members:  1-1-1-1-1-1-1 High Bar Back Squat


3 x 5 Depth Jumps

M:  24″

F: 16″