Monthly Archives: January 2013

Big Cajones

It takes a lot of guts to walk into the halls of The Movement Program.  Heavy weights and screams flying through the air.  Bodies strewn prostrate, shaking as the burn of hydrogen ions courses through defeated muscles.  Who would willingly do this to themselves?

Only those with big cajones.

Big cajones get you in the door.  Big cajones get your hands around a barbell.  They move your body on blazing fast running intervals and agonizingly slow and heavy squats.  Eventually big cajones allow you to do things that you never thought possible.

Xuan has big cajones.  She earns the shout out of the day award, because…well.  I’ll let her speak for herself.

Cajones are getting bigger everdyday.

This week’s loads will be a bit lower on our barbell mechanics as we will be deloading on intensity.  Don’t expect weightlifting percentages to be higher than 65% all week.

We started off the day hitting two split jerks for ten minutes EMOM.  Afterwards, conditioning consisted of an easy 8 minute AMRAP of push jerks, front squats, and bar facing burpees, because after all the shorter the workout the easier, right?

Big cajones for the win!



Jerk:  Push Press, Push Jerk, Jerk Balance, Split Jerk.

Barbell Mechanics

10 Minute EMOM

2 Split Jerks

65% 1 RM



5 Push Jerk (135/95)

7 Front Squat (135/95)

9 Bar Facing Burpees

1-28-13 MOVE1 1-28-13 MOVE2 1-28-13 MOVE3 1-28-13 MOVE4



On days where my frustration with the youth of America might seem to get the better of me, I take solace within the confines of The Movement Program.  Here, my spirits are lifted for it is here where I find some of the most determined and hard working young adults in all of Philadelphia.  These kids dare to do.  They dare to step out of their comfort zone.  They dare to dash madly under heavily loaded barbells, swing gigantic kettlebells above their heads, and endure a level of pain that most normal people would shudder to think about.

Normal. Who wants that?  Normal people settle.  Normal people cower.  Normal people accept their fate.  Normal people submit.  Dare to never be normal.  Wear your craziness like a bright badge of honor and keep drawing the disgusting stares of the Society of  Sychophants.

Be disciplined. Be courageous.  Be an example.

Friday was Weight Liberation Day!  We freed heavy weights from the evil oppression of gravity.  Scores of PRs all around.  Technique is improving rapidly and it is no surprise that the numbers keep on climbing toward the sky….

Enjoy the snow and a restful weekend!



1 Round Snatch Warmup:  Lift off transitions, Drop Snatches or variants, Punch and Catch Progressions.

Barbell Mechanics

15 minutes to establish a new 1 RM Snatch

15 minutes to establish a new 1 RM Clean and Jerk

*Two minute rest between sets.


1-1-1-1-1 High Bar Back Squat

Senior Members Only.  Establish new one rep max.

5-5-5 High Bar Back Squat

Junior Members Only.  Sets across with a heavy weight.

*Two minute rest between sets.

1-25-13 MOVE31-25-13 MOVE41-25-13 MOVE21-25-13 MOVE1

Tagged , , ,

Kettlebell Calamity

Film noir murder mystery or just another day of working out?

Film noir murder mystery or just another day of working out?

Nothing too crazy on the strength side of things.  Wednesdays are usually gear up day for Friday’s max effort snatch, clean and jerk, and 5 RM squat.  In other words, we back off on the volume and intensity in our Wednesday strength work.

The same could not be said for the conditioning.  Kettlebells were our best friend today as we hit a brutal interval workout involving kettlebell push presses, goblet squats, and lateral burpees over the kettlebells.  Hooray…it’s over…

Shout out of the day goes to Madison Kruse for actually signing up for class before it started!  Congratulations, Mad!  You  did it!

Here's the proof

Here’s the proof


Also, below you’ll find some video for our Snatch Warmups.  Study, learn, do.


Clean and Jerk

Lift off Transitions, Rack Delivery, Jerk Step Throughs, Clean and Jerk Progressions.


Front Squat


70% 1 RM sets across.

*1 min rest between sets.


3 sets of the following:

1 min Single Arm Kettlebell Push Press (Left) (24/16)

1 min Goblet Squats

1 min Single Arm Kettlebell Push Press (Right)

1 min Lateral Burpees over the Kettlebell

1 min Rest.

1-23-13 MOVE51-23-13 MOVE41-23-12 MOVE31-23-12 MOVE21-23-13 Scores


It’s all in the hips?

Welcome back, slacker!  Yeah, I have no good excuse for not updating the blog, except that I have been busy preparing the behind scenes work with the gym and some other projects with the larger CrossFit community.  No worries, we are back in action!

I’ve come to the realization in the snatch today:  focus on teaching hips through the bar on the snatch and you will invariably find your athletes jumping forward in order to catch up with the bar that has just jolted out in front of them.  We had a lot of success with two simple cues today:  “Punch through the heels” and “Throw the shoulders back”.  The first one was inspired by Mike Mckenna over in York, PA.  The first cue really teaches the athlete to drive to extension.  This cue, coupled with the latter, forces the athlete up and back.  The hips coming through the bar are symptomatic of an athlete who has proper bar path (bar close to the body) timed with the full extension of the hips, and the shoulders being thrown back with violent force.  These two cues made athletes stop jumping forward as well as being able to pull themselves under the bar, much, much quicker.  There are other facets of the lift that were not mentioned, but the takeaway from today’s class was that these two cues have proven effective for teaching the finish of the second pull.

Major shout out of the day to Xuan for nailing the end of her second pull today before snapping back down under that bar like a bolt of lightening!  The bar looked to fly up on its own accord!  Bravo!

Excellent finish of the second pull, Olympian Chad Vaughan is a boss.  Notice how the hips draw a straight line with the torso.  There's no crazy arch i.e. the hips chasing the bar.

Excellent finish of the second pull by Olympian Chad Vaughn. Total boss. Notice how the hips draw a straight line with the torso. There’s no crazy arch i.e. the hips chasing the bar.

We also focused a lot on feeling positions today as we worked on snatches from the ground, but with a pause at the knee.  As for the conditioning, we hit a nice little AMRAP of overhead squats, push presses, and racked kettlebell lunges.

Stay tuned, today might be the last class of the week.  Might have a meeting on Friday after school.



2 Rounds Snatch Warmup:  Lift off transitions, drop snatches, punch and catch progressions.

Barbell Mechanics

Snatches with a Pause above the Knee

2-2-2-2-2  @ moderate weight that will allow the practice of hitting all of the correct positions.

*Rest two minutes between each set.


10 Minute AMRAP

10 Overhead Squats (95/75)

10 Push Press (95/75)

20 Kettlebell Racked Lunge Steps (24/16 kg)

1-16-131-16-13 MOVE41-16-13 MOVE31-16-13 MOVE21-16-13 Scores

 always find it at The Movement Program.

…you’ll always find it at The Movement Program.

We took a break from the normal weightlifting warmup and folded our Oly work into the day’s conditioning.  Given that we have so many new faces, it is time to work back to some basic movements to establish some strength numbers, while at the same time still sticking with a lift that will complement our weightlifting.

After the warmup, we worked on establishing a new 5 RM for the push press.  The push press is essential in not only building shoulder strength, but it also helps you develop coordination by using your hips and arms together and reinforces the need to stay back on your heels during the dip and drive.  The push press’s dip-drive is essentially the same for…yep, you guessed it, the split jerk.

I was pretty pumped when today’s conditioning spilled out of my brain and felt that it was perfectly suited to our programming.  If you haven’t noticed, we try and squat at least three times a week.  We are using the Texas Squat Method and so being Wednesday as our light volume and intensity day, the workout fulfilled the proscribed goal and yet still allowed us to get in some conditioning work.

Stay tuned tomorrow.  We will not be having class on Friday because of the dance that night.

Rest up, eat hearty, and keep the flu bug at bay!



3 Rounds – Not for Time

5 push press (45/35)

5 front squats (45/35)

5 HSPU (Scale accordingly)

200 meter run


Push Press

5-5-5 Establish a new 5 RM


For Time:

20 HSPUs



200 meter run

2 squat cleans + front squats (95/75)


20 HSPUs

*After the opening set of HSPUs, the athlete begins with a run of 200 meters.  Upon returning, each set of “2 squat cleans + front squats” should be performed starting with two squat cleans and then complete the rest of round with front squats.  For example, after returning from the first 200 meter run, the athlete performs two squat cleans and then eight front squats.  The athlete simply adds the squat cleans to his total required reps for that round.  The final round is completed with two squat cleans.


Adv:  75/55

Int:  55/35

Beg: 45/25


1-9-13 MOVE1 1-9-13 MOVE2 1-9-13 MOVE3 1-9-13 Scores

All the barbells.

Full class today.  Lots of energy.  Tons of squats!

Room full of barbells.  Mike is apparently really happy.

Room full of barbells. Mike is apparently really happy.

Started off the day with some full squat snatches.  The senior level athletes worked on hitting some heavy snatches, while the junior level athletes continued to work on technique hitching up the weight if given the green light.

Right after the barbell mechanics, we hit five sets of five reps of heavy high bar back squats.

The day was closed off with an easy tabata of mountain climbers.  Easy, right?…

Get strong!



1 Round – Snatch:  Lift off transitions, Drop Snatches, Punch and Catch Progressions.

Barbell Mechanics


Senior Level:  5 x 1 @ 90% of 1 RM

Junior Level: 5 x 3 @ a weight that allows efficient practice of the movement.

*Two minutes rest between each set.


5 x 5 High Bar Back Squat

Senior Level:  First set should start at 80% of 1 RM and go up 5 pounds on each set.

Junior Level:  Work up to a heavy five rep attempt.

*Two minutes rest between each set.

Cash Out

Tabata Protocol

Mountain Climbers.

8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

1-7-13 MOVE31-7-13 MOVE41-7-13 MOVE11-7-13 MOVE61-7-13 MOVE51-4-13 Scores

A whole lotta…

Lots of action going on today.  We walked through one round of the Snatch warmup together and then worked Hang Power Snatches for our Barbell Mechanics.  Consecutive reps from the hang build an awareness of position as well as muscular endurance; anyone else find that their grip strength slowly lessened with each successive rep?…  Remember, guys and gals:  position means victory.  Learn to get into effective positions quickly and powerfully and the weight will lift itself.

Given that it is a deload week, we dropped the weight in our squats and went for some greasy (or if you’re from the western part of PA, greazy) speed squats.

Today’s Bright Spot:  Gabe’s range of motion is increasing!  The squats looked great!  Ass to the grass before you know it!

As if that wasn’t enough we hit five minutes of intervals to close out our training for the week.  Look for lower volume, but higher intensity next week in all of our training.  Either Monday or Friday we will try to establish a new 1 RM for the High Bar Back Squat.  A lot of you are demonstrating some quality technique and therefore, I feel you are ready to tackle some single rep max efforts.  Find your courage and save it for next week.  You will need it!

Special thanks to Coach Pat for coming out to help with class.  Expect to see him more frequently around The Movement Program.



1 Round Snatch Warmup

Barbell Mechanics

Hang Power Snatch

65%/3 reps, 70%/3 reps/2 sets, 80%/3 reps/ 2 sets

*All percentages are based around 1 RM Snatch for Senior members.  Junior members, choose a weight that can be easily lifted and increase by five pounds total on next two sets, followed by a ten pound increase on the final two sets.  Increase weight only if you are making all previous reps.

*2 Minutes rest between sets.


12 sets of 2 Speed Squats @ 50% 1 RM of High Bar Back Squat

*Both reps should be executed at the same level of speed and intensity.

*Rest 1 minute between sets.


1 Min Double Unders

1 Min Med Ball Cleans (20#/14#)

1 Min Situp and Press (25#/15#)

1 Min Toes to Bar

1 Min Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)

*Score is total reps.

1-4-13 MOVE1 1-4-13 MOVE2 1-4-13 MOVE3 1-4-13 MOVE4 1-4-13 Scores

Positions of Power and a Rubbish Sandwich

Sheesh!  It has been a while, but The Movement Program is officially back on line! We had a long break for Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Today was our first day back.

All of the athletes went through the new clean and jerk warmup together.  During our warmup, the emphasis is first on feeling the positions.  (*We utilize the three setup positions from Glenn Pendlay for our markers, though our warmup is a bit different.)  Speed is important but only after understanding the manner in which the body must move into the correct positions.

After our warmup, we eased our way back into some strength this week and hit front squats, three sets across in weight.  This was followed by wall balls, ring rows, pushups, and thrusters.

No class tomorrow.  See you all on Friday!



2 Rounds Clean and Jerk Warmup:  Lift off Transitions, Rack Delivery, Jerk Step Throughs, Punch and Catch Progressions.



Front Squat

Sets Across.  65% of 1 RM


For Time

40 Wall Balls (20/14)

30 Ring Rows

20 Pushups

30 Thrusters (95/75)

*15 Min Time Cap for Junior Members.

1-2-13 MOVE41-2-13 MOVE31-2-13 MOVE21-2-13 MOVE11-2-13 Scores