Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bury the Haters!

Today is a rest day for the body, but the soul never sleeps.  Many of you are seniors.  You are months away from graduating high school and you will soon begin writing the next chapter of your lives’ story.

Heed these words:  when writing YOUR story, never give the pen to anyone else.  Want to open your own business?  Do it.  Want to go to Yale?  Go.  Want to sing at Carnegie Hall?  Make it happen.

Right this way to the doubters, the apprehensive, the conservative, the normal...

Right this way to the doubters and the naysayers!…

I came across this video today and felt that it had a very appropriate message for all of us:  Make your life yours and let those who are failing to live up to their potential because of fear and inadequacy die a slow death of mediocrity and normalcy.

I’m all fired up!!!!!!



Holding on to Time

Brothers who hang out together, get stronger together!

We worked on some good old isometric strength today during the strength portion of our workout.  We went for three rounds of max effort L-Hang Holds.  Shockingly, people reported that grip strength was  a limiting factor…

After finishing up on the holds, we hit some solid intervals of ring rows, racked lunges, knees to elbows, and mountain climbers.

Wish me luck this weekend, Movement!  CSCS test is tomorrow and the Frank Spellman Classic at Malvern Prep is on Saturday.  In the words of my friend, “The Vacirca”, looking to lift all of the weight.

See you Monday!



3 Rounds ME L-Hang Holds

*2 minutes recovery between rounds.


3 Rounds for Total Reps

1 min Ring Rows

1 min Racked Lunges (75/55)

1 min Knees to Elbows

1 min Mountain Climbers

1 min Rest

*Score for each round is total reps.

We Sing the Body Electric

“Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves;

And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?

And if the body does not do as much as the Soul?

And if the body were not the Soul, what is the Soul?…”

– From Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass “I Sing the Body Electric”


2 sets of Jerk Warmup

2 Push Press, 2 Push Jerk, 2 Jerk Balance, 2 Split Jerks

Barbell Mechanics

Senior Members

Split Jerks

2 sets of 2 @ heavy weight

2 sets of 2 @ heavier weight

2 sets of 2 @ heaviest weight.

*Weight should never exceed 85% of 1 RM split jerk.


Push Press


*One minute rest between sets.


For Time:

10 Push Press (95/75)

15 Jumping Squats

25 Double Unders

20 Push Press

25 Jumping Squats

50 Double Unders

40 Push Press

35 Jumping Squats

75 Double Unders

New Faces, Same Old Suck

We continue to grow.  It inspires me to see more young adults start to take control of their lives, improve their health, and steel their resolve to tasks which demand seemingly gargantuan expectations.  Don’t see someone you know?  Go up and introduce yourself to them!

We started off today’s training with a review of the basic Pendlay positions for the Snatch, focusing on the power position and the hang.  We practiced going through those positions slowly at first to get a sense of how the body transitions from position to position.  I got this idea from Coach Glenn Pendlay in the video below.  His video was meant to fix early arm bend in the second pull, but I realized that it is also a simple and effective way for helping beginning weightlifters “know” the expectations that each position requires of their bodies in order to produce successful lifts.

Once we rolled through our barbell work, we revisited some good old EMOM action of burpees and Russian kettlebell swings!  YAY!

Until the next time!



Review Pendlay Positions 1 and 2.

5 Rounds of Slow Hang Snatch Pull + Hang Snatch

Barbell Mechanics

2 sets of Snatch Pull + Snatch @ 75% of 1RM Snatch

2 sets “” @85%

2 sets “” @80%

*1 Min rest between sets.  Beginners work with weight that allows safe and efficient technique.  Beginners must also start from hang position.


10 Min EMOM

6 Burpees

Russian Kettlebell Swings for the remainder of the minute.

*Score is total number of swings.

Pre-Gorging Preparation

I’m thankful for my family, my health, and the fact that Muscle Driver USA is having a sale on their 185 kg weightlifting package.

After today’s training, no one should feel guilty about diggin’ into some ole’ turkey and savory stuffing!  By the way, did you know that Benjamin Franklin proposed that the national bird should have been the turkey?  No…well, see you later!

We started off the day working on block snatches from the high hang.  As you all know, I am a big fan of Jon North and his hit and catch technique.  However, after some analysis and reflection I feel that there are some areas in the technique that need to be improved.  North argues that everything that is “up” is actually “back.”  True, the shoulders do need to come back into the beautiful “arched angel” position, with the hips driving through the bar as the bar is being brought back into the hips, but I feel that this misses out on a key aspect of the power of our hips.  What I have been noticing is that many of the athletes at The Movement Program violently (yes!) thrust their hips into the bar, but are a bit premature on the finishing their second pull.  From now on the cue you need to remember at the end of your second pull is “Back and UP”.  After some initial trials, this has seemed to end many athletes’ premature finish on their second pull and therefore allows them to get a better finish with the hips.  Why the fuss about the second pull?  Because, ladies and gentleman, when that weight starts climbing up into the “Dear-God-this-weight-is-f*cking-heavy” territory, we need all of the power we can get.  BACK AND UP!

Once we completed our barbell mechanics, we hit a conditioning workout that left a few people on their behinds.  Time of the day goes to Nick in 9:46!  Athlete of the Day goes to junior member Xuan for refusing to surrender to pain and self doubt.  We all go to a dark place every once and a while during workouts and…damn it…it can be scary.  Congratulations, young lady for pushing through the barrier of fear and apprehension!

Eat lots of food tomorrow!  Happy Thanksgiving.  My best to you and your families!


Barbell Mechanics

Block Snatches from the High Hang

2 sets of 2 reps @ heavy weight.

2 sets of 2 reps @ heavier weight

2 sets of  2 reps @ heaviest weight (weight cannot exceed 75% of 1RM Snatch)

*One minute rest between sets.  Focus more on form and technique.


4 Rounds for Time

50 Double Unders

15 Overhead Squats (95/75)

6 Handstand Pushups

*Sub 100 Singles for Double Unders/ A-Frame pushups for HSPU

Gene splicing gone horribly wrong…Take 1!

Gene splicing gone horribly wrong….Take 2!

The thick of things…

Hold on to your, butts…this week is going to be fun!   

PS Welcome back from Syracuse University, Morgan!!!!!


Barbell Mechanics

Hi-hang Clean + Hang Clean + Clean + 1 Split Jerk

2 sets @ 65% of 1 RM Clean

3 sets @ 75%

2 sets @ 70%

*1 minute rest between each set.


Senior Members:  Hatch Squat Cycle Week 10 – HBBS only!

Junior:  5-5-5 High Bar Back Squat

*2 minutes rest between each set.


3 x 8 Romanian Deadlifts

*1 minute rest between each set.

Night and Day

I hadn’t witnessed something so magical in a while.  Don’t get me wrong, I cherish everyday I spend with The Movement Program.  The charge of ensuring young men and women reach their full athletic potential is a task that I do not take lightly.  The Movement Program has been growing larger lately and I don’t think I have ever seen a group of newbs perform so miraculously.  It wasn’t that large weights were being put up.  Hell, today was the end of the deload week, so heavy loads were not present even for the senior members.  What was so amazing was the fact of the level of improvement was so different from the beginning to end that I asked myself if I was dealing with the same group of athletes!

Take Summer for instance.  Summer started about two weeks ago and this was her first day doing a full snatch.  I’m very proud of the following video as this was the first time that she was able to snatch (albeit power snatch to an overhead squat) and stand up with the weight after trying about five times before.  A determined young lady is all I can say…

As for the senior members, Knick gets the shout out of the day!  His second pull is getting much, much better.  It is only a matter of time until 240-250# (weight class of 62kg) goes up on the clean…

Enjoy the weekend!


Barbell Mechanics

10 Minutes Snatch

10 Minutes Clean and Jerk

*Single repetitions.  Work with only 65% of 1 RM. 


Front Squat


65% of 1RM – Sets across.  1 min rest between sets.


Romanian Deadlifts


*Pick a weight that is moderately heavy, but allows you to keep form.  Technique is the emphasis for this session.


The Weight of the World

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.  ~Mark Twain

The great Mark Twain before his 200 kg snatch at the “Second American Weight Heaving Championships” in Dodge City, Kansas, May 23, 1857.

We lift, carry, and throw weights here at The Movement Program.  We play with loads and mess with volume.  There is one weight that we do not lift or carry.  That, my friends, is the weight of the world.

Between classes, I casually observe so many students awash in stress.  They wear it like dark heavy cloaks, choking their wondrous light.  Mark Twain’s quote above is a call to action, a call to take control of the thoughts that flood our day to day consciousness.  Let the steel be the hook drawing your attention away from poisonous relationships and the fears of not getting into your college of choice.

Ladies and gentleman, let go and send out positivity to the world.  Thank the world throughout the day for anything and everything in your life and watch how the world seems to magically align for you.

Now…on to our work.

We folded in our barbell work into our conditioning work today and started the strength work with max effort strict pullups.  Afterwards we learned how to snatch with a tired grip and shoulders, rolling through an AMRAP with farmer’s carries and hang power snatches.  Who knew farmer’s carries were so sucky?



3 rounds ME Strict Pullups

*Two minutes recovery between sets.


10 Min AMRAP

5 Hang Power Snatches

100 Meter Farmer’s Carry (24 kg/16 kg kettlebells in each hand)

Slowing down to speed up!

The days are short and the nights are long…at least that’s what they tell me.  I’m wrapped up nice and neat in the gym before the sun comes up and don’t leave until the sun goes down, (To be fair, the gym is as we all know at school.)  drinking coffee, slamming bars, and doing my best to represent and grow The Attitude Nation!

Speed kills…but only at the right times!

Keeping this one short.  It’s a deload week this week, so the percentages are low.  This week will focus more on sound technique instead of putting up some big numbers.

I recently attended a USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Coaching Certification and have come away with some fresh insight that is guaranteed to make us that much more dangerous as weightlifters.  Perhaps the biggest takeaway was learning to slow down the first pull in both the snatch and clean.  With that said, today’s training really focused on applying this lesson.

*****MUY IMPORTANTE*****  There is a weightlifting competition at Malvern Prep on December 1.  I’ve posted the link to the meet here.  For senior members, you all need to go and experience a competition.  What is a weightlifting competition look like?  Three attempts at the Snatch.  Three attempts at the Clean and Jerk.  That’s it.  Sign up by mail is the only option.  Send in your stuff by this Friday!


Barbell Mechanics

15 Min EMOM “Slow Lift Off” Clean and Jerks

65% 1 RM Clean and Jerk

*In order to perform the Slow Lift Off CJ, the athlete must take three seconds to pull from the floor to above the knee.  The exaggerated slow pull should be followed by a vicious and aggressive second pull.


Senior Members:  Hatch Squat Cycle

Junior Members:  5-5-5 High Bar Back Squats 65% of 1 RM sets across.


Romanian Deadlifts

3 sets of 8 reps

*Moderate load.


Break it down to build it up.

Sorry, we have been absent for a while.  Monday and Tuesday were off days for Movement unfortunately.  We were back in action today.

The theme of today was deconstruction.  The Movement Program prides itself on attention to details and today we simplified our barbell work and focused on the Split Jerk.  Did you stay back on your heels during you dip and drive?  Did you take that big step in front as you pushed yourself under the bar?  Shout out to Zhi today as he set a new one rep max split jerk in the middle of the barbell work!!!?   PUT SOME WEIGHT ON THAT BAR, SON!

Believe it or not we actually had a metcon today!  Feel we haven’t been here in a while.  It was good to see some prolonged discomfort to help us wake up from our complacency. Staying in line with today’s theme and using the old med ball, we broke down the cluster into two divergent parts.

Sorry to all of the short people (….cough…Nick…cough) for this one.

Also, welcome Marinos, Summer, and Abdoulaye to The Movement Program!

Be full of gratitude for everything in your life!


Barbell Mechanics

Split Jerk

2 sets of 2 @ heavy weight

3 sets of 2 @heavier weight

2 sets of 2 @heaviest weight

*One minute rest between sets…ideally.


2,2,4,4,6,6,…  8 Minutes Ascending Ladder

Standing Wall Ball Shots (20/14)

*No dip and drive.  Movement is completed solely with the arms.  Keep the hips out of it.

Med Ball Cleans (20/14)