Tag Archives: running

“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…


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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!).


Tagged ,


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. 

Tagged ,


Some people’s ability to learn new skills astounds me.  Take today’s class.  It was a much smaller class today, but for 75% of the day’s participants this was one of their first workouts.  We started with our jerk warmup.  With all newbs, I expected massive train wrecks in form and technique.  What happened next,while seemingly insignificant, was astounding.  The Movement Program’s prep for split jerks is necessarily technical due to the movement’s complex nature.  It’s two rounds of the following:

2 Push Press

2 Push Jerk behind the head

2 Push Jerk

2 Jerk Balance behind the head

2 Jerk Balance

2 Split Jerk behind the head

2 Split Jerk.

After going through each movement methodically and carefully, I turned the kids loose.  The first round was expectedly difficult as the kids got used to the dip, pop, drop of the hips, staying back on the heels, actively pushing under the bar, etc.  In short, all of the requisite mechanics of the jerk.  What I was so giddy about was how quickly and easily they were able to self-correct and respond to the cues that were offered.  The second round was much improved.  Still nowhere near perfect, but a nearly night and day difference between the first and second rounds.  My point here is simple:  I revel in helping people discover hidden abilities that they never knew they possessed.  Seeing that light go off is incredibly rewarding.  Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that it is all of those little joys of discovery that make coaching young people so rewarding.

After we did our two round jerk warmup.  We spent some time working the split jerk, working with 80-85% of our 1 RM or a weight that felt heavy, yet still allowed for the athlete to focus intently and correctly on mechanics.

Upon finishing up the barbell work, we hit a nice little WOD which included some running, wall balls, and strict pullups.

The heat is going to break this Sunday.  Fall and all of its glory is right around the corner!  You’ll see me nestled up someplace with a nice cup of coffee and…dare I say?…an even warmer donut!


Barbell Work

Split Jerk

Senior Members

8 sets of 2 reps @ 80% of 1 RM or a weight that feels moderately heavy.

Junior members

4 sets of 2 reps at a weight that allows the practicing of proper mechanics.

*Ideally, one minute rest in between each set.


4 Rounds for Time

400 meter run

20 Wall Balls (20/16)

8 Strict Pullups

Junior Members – 3 Rounds only!

Tagged , , , ,

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)


Tagged , , , , , ,

Heavy weights are heavy.

Blah.  It’s Thursday.  I’ve been very pleased with everyone’s progress this week.  I hope you have noticed yourselves getting a little stronger, a little quicker, a little more coordinated, etc.  Who knows, one day you might be able to do this:

Can’t do that?  How about this:

Lift like a boss!

We returned to our Oly work today, working on the snatch balance.  Why the snatch balance?  Well, if you are like me and have a horrible catch on the snatch, this will help you get comfortable with getting underneath some heavy weight quickly.  Points on the snatch balance:  Shoulders back, inhale and hold the breath followed by a quick dip and drive to get the bar weightless.  Drop underneath the bar as fast as you can, locking out the arms in the process.  The weight should not be pressed up!  It is important that once you reach the bottom, you must get as tight as possible in the shoulders (show me those armpits, tear that bar apart!) and in the core.  Any looseness in any of these areas and the bar is sure to come crashing down.  Once you have settled the bar and it is secure overhead, stand up with the weight and the rep is complete.

After our foray into the snatch balance, we kept the theme of going overhead in a shorter time domain, but with a much heavier weight.  Did it feel like the overhead squats took forever?  Did you move slowly with all of that weight?  Good.  The focus was to be heavy and nasty.  Everything else was added to make your OHS just that much more hellish…





Snatch Balance


10 Min AMRAP

6 Overhead Squats (115/75)

9 KB Swings (24/16)

400 Meter Run

Tagged , , , ,

Volume, volume, and sweat.

A fitting phrase for today!

Apparently the humidity whore just couldn’t stay away from her boy toy, Philadelphia. Humidity. You just can’t seem to get away from it.  It is like that guy or girl at the party who goes on and on about how he or she is an artist and doesn’t think a job is a good idea until he or she finds his or herself, or talks endlessly about stamps or something else inconsequential, like the Philadelphia Phillies.

Enough complaining, some brave souls came out today, braving the elements and the hellish work which was required of them today.  Today’s focus was on volume, both in the strength portion and also the WOD.  A lift that we have never done, the strength portion of today’s class called for the Zercher squat.  The Zercher squat is good for two reasons.  One, as the bar does not rest on top of the back, weight bearing pressure on the spine is lessened.  Two, this type of squatting stresses the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, lower back) a bit differently from the more traditional high bar and low bar back squat.  A good thing if you find that your squat maxes are stagnating.

Textbook form for the Zercher Squat courtesy of Morgan the Destroyer.

Once our squats were finished we hit a 20 minute grinder, AMRAP style!  The movements included in today’s WOD were movements that I have found are especially taxing on the cardiovascular system.  Besides the gross weather, what did you think?  What was the most challenging part of the WOD?

Keep hydrated throughout the day, both before and after your workouts.



5 reps of 45% of 1RM DEadlift

5 reps @ 50% of 1RM ”

5 reps @ 55% of 1 RM ”


20 min AMRAP

15 Box Jumps (24″/20″)

30 KB Swings (20 kg/12 kg)

45 Double Unders

400 meter run.

Tagged , , , , ,

Reflection and Renewal

Inspiration comes in many forms.   The expression of that inspiration is commensurately diverse.  How many times have you stopped and gazed in amazement at a beautiful painting or paused in appreciation of a delicate song?  Sucking the marrow out of a moment encompasses recognition.  Nothing more, nothing less.  From time to time, however, recognition should be complemented with reflection.

I’ve had twenty four hours to digest one such episode.  What did it involve?  Yeah, you guessed it:  kids exercising.  Call me a simpleton, but I find that it is the simple things that offer the best education.  Yesterday on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, six athletes of The Movement Program and six athletes from Steve’s Club in Pennsauken, NJ came together for a workout.  Here was the task facing the athletes.  You can find the results here.

The athletes from The Movement Program and Steve’s Club who participated in the Inaugural Art Museum WOD.

Some things I took away from the WOD.  One, it was challenging; only one athlete was able to finish under the fifteen minute time cap with the proscribed weight.  That was none other than The Movement Program’s, Nick Kinosian.  Splendid job, Nick!  His final time for the workout was 14:29.  Two, it was inspiring; these kids poured their guts out on those steps.  Each and every one of them.  Not only that, but in the midst of battling the elements and implements, they cheered each other on!  That’s class.  That’s maturity.  That’s character.  Those are three things that I hope I have instilled in my athletes since The Movement Program’s inception.  As an athlete, this WOD, and the subsequent efforts of its participants, has reinforced my determination to train myself with a new found intensity.  As a coach in charge of athletes who are willing to go through that kind of a meat grinder, I have renewed my quest to broaden and deepen my own knowledge of training.  It is an injustice to my athletes to provide anything less than the best.  It’s time to acquaint myself with the minutiae of this sport.  So, get ready, Movement Program, for some more intricately designed WODs and strength programming in the coming months.

Thanks again to Steve Liberati and athletes from Steve’s Club, Joey, David, Robert, Javier, Danny, Kevin, and CJ!  The event would not have been as monumental without you all!  Looking forward to visiting CrossFit Tribe later this summer and throwing down!


*Here are some pictures from the event, courtesy of Steve Liberati.  Video of the competition should be posted on the blog by the end of this week!  (Fingers crossed!)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s coming…

Summer is here.  How do you know?  Well, clearly by studying the sky at night and monitoring the rise and fall of the sun, one can tell.  There must be a better way, a simpler way…  Hmmm…  Just stick your head out the window.  People, it’s d*mn hot out there.  Be mindful of your daily hydration levels.  Drink, at the very minimum, eight glasses of water a day.  I would recommend double that for those of you engaging in strenuous physical activity (insert Movement Program shenanigans).  Stay away from the soda and other sugary drinks.  Also, with the increased water intake, add a little salt and lemon juice to a couple of glasses to maintain your electrolyte levels.

Alas, today was the last day in the old cafeteria for The Movement Program.  Friday begins our sojourn out East to the I-95 Overpass.  We will be crushing it daily on Front St just south of Washington Ave. (9:00 am M-F, 6:30 pm M-Th).  Swing on by and see the action.

As for today, we hit some moderate volume reps on the old high bar back squat.  Initiate the squat by bending the knees first and then dropping the hips straight to the ground (*ss to grass).  Keep that torso as vertical as possible.  As you begin the movement the rate of your squat should be somewhat slow and controlled.  Once you reach parallel, it is a controlled drop.  By dropping with control, we cultivate our stretch reflex which transers the stored kinetic energy in the hamstrings to snap us up and out of the hole in our Olympic Lifting!

Here’s Knick beasting that High Bar:

After the day’s strength portion, we went and danced for two rounds with some burpees, sumo deadlift high pulls, pushups, squat cleans, and heck, even a bit of running!  Good work, crew!  Remember…just keep moving!

See you all on Friday!  (Don’t forget to email me to let me know you are coming for the 9 am class!)



High Bar Back Squat 5-5-5

Increase weight each set.


2 Rounds for Time

40 Burpees

30 SDLHP (95/75)

20 Pushups

10 Squat Cleans (95/75)


400 meter sprint

Tagged , , , , , , ,