Thursday 12.12.13

Dave's been following CFNE programming for the past year. He just placed 3rd at the Reindeer Games. Guess this stuff works...

Dave’s been following CFNE programming for the past year. He just placed 3rd at the 2013 Reindeer Games. Guess this stuff works…

30 Front Squats (155, 105#)
Push Jerks (155, 105#)
Bar Muscle Ups

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Typhoon Haiyan was an extremely powerful and deadly tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in early November.

If you’re interested in donating to the Philippines Disaster Relief please click HERE.

Two of the nicest people I know in one picture! Say what!?!? It's like an overdose of niceness!

What are they looking at? Post answers to comments.

Coaches Corner with Coach Geoff

Turning a Weakness into a Strength

A couple weeks ago I had a great conversation with one of our members over how inspiring it was for her and others to see the coaches and competitors post on the blog. She seemed to think that some scores, times, weights, etc. were superhuman and that we had no weaknesses or holes when it came to our ten components of fitness.  I had no choice but to laugh and to think back to when I first started CrossFit and how hard it was for me to figure certain movements out.

I asked the coaches to tell me about movements they struggled with at the beginning of their journey into CrossFit.  Here’s a list of GOATS and how each coach made friends with their weakness and beat them to death.

Harry: OHS

The Problem – I would have to bend my arms and squat on the toes just to reach parallel.
The Fix – I added OHS with the dowel during daily warm up.  Simply getting in the repetitions with the right positioning was what took me there.

Meg: Double Unders

The Problem – Stringing together consecutive repetitions during a workout.  It seemed to always be the limiting factor in workouts that slowed me down.
The Fix – Completed a mini version of flight simulator 3x week (1-2-3-4-5 up to 10 and back down)

Heather: Wall Balls 

The Problem – I had difficulty being able to hit consistent good reps to the line, while rebounding rep after rep.
The Fix – Worked through the following a few times a week, always to regulation height.  At the beginning it took forever but I kept at it until I completed the reps. I eventually worked up to unbroken sets by the time I finished.  5 reps @ 30# – 10 reps @ 20# – 15 reps @ 16# – 20 reps @ 20#

Max: Parallette HSPU

The Problem – Being able to move my body in a controlled area of space was a difficult task at first.  I knew I had the strength prerequisite but the technique was a different story.
The Fix – Watched videos on skills and progressions. I practiced the progressions in a controlled environment on my own, outside of class. Once I learned the skills I then tested them in a metcon.

Ben: Rowing

The Problem – Being a smaller athlete, I didn’t have the power that the bigger guys did.  It was during the 2008 Regional’s where I finished all the WODs in the top 10, except for the 2K row.  After missing the podium and falling down the rankings, it was time to address the issue.
The Fix – Performed a 1k before every work out and intervals a few times a week.

Rachel: Running

The Problem – Running used to scare me and I hated being uncomfortable during it.
The Fix – Running intervals or distance almost every day of the week. Running more frequently made me more confident in it. I know I will be uncomfortable but being more confident in it allows me to push way harder.

Kevin: Jerks

The Problem -They we’re so frustrating because I could clean so much more than I could jerk. I just couldn’t seem to get the lockout and stability.
The Fix – It took hours of practicing drills, filming and reviewing my movement. Sliding straight down a wall and up hundreds if not thousands of times, practicing footwork to targets again hundreds if not thousands of times. Now it is one of my favorite movements.

Ashley: Running

The Problem – I would dread WODs that had any sort of running greater than 200m, I was always afraid to push the runs in fear of not doing well on the other movements of the workout.
The Fix – I did a lot of interval training, running with a vest or weighted objects, and used A LOT of positive self-talk while running

Geoff: Olympic Lifts

The Problem – I was limited by a few factors in both the Snatch and C&J.  My main issue coming from lack of lower body strength, followed up by poor overhead position and flexibility.
The Fix – Tons of mobility on my shoulders and lats allowed me to gain better positioning without sacrificing my mid-line overhead.  While I wasn’t mobilizing I was underneath a barbell squatting 3x/week.

As you can see both coaches and competitors struggled with movements just like you when we started CrossFit, and by no means are we masters at any of these movements yet.  However, with a little bit of patience, and repetition after repetition things slowly and surely got better.  If you have a goal or a weakness that you want to turn into a strength, please find a coach and address it so we can get you on the right path.  I’m going to leave you with a little advice:

In terms of learning a new skill or improving a weakness there’s a few key points we need to remember.  The goal is to create a correct habit that can be produced instinctively under great pressure. To make sure the goal is achieved you must incorporate the eight laws of learning – explanation, demonstration, imitation, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition.




  1. A reminder (plea) to stop by the front desk and fill out a card (or two or three) to send with the shirts to Kenya. You just need to write a few words of encouragement and/or congratulations…nothing long or fancy, it will only take a minute. We plan to send a big pile of the cards and need everyone’s help, Thanks!

  2. Great write up Geoff! So much valuable information.

  3. Such an honor to be on the CFNE website! just want to say thanks to all the athletes and coaches there. Awesome people, awesome box and of course awesome programming. Thanks Max for showing me the way, inspiring and being a great friend and thanks to Ben for creating THE BEST programming in the world

    • Great work brother! We’ve come a long way since our first 20 rep squat program in the basement of Hayden. Keep up the good work.

  4. “Haiyan”: 9:00 (155, 2x C2B)

  5. 12:54 Rx
    FS: 15,5,5,5
    PJ: 2′s
    BMU: singles

    Fun strength-like WOD today.

    Thanks Harry for the tip. I have to use my legs more to jerk the bar up and overhead.

    Excellent write up on common problems and solutions. Have you considered posting this into a special coaches corner?

  6. Haiyan: 11:04 (145#, 2xC2B)

  7. Thanks for the tips coaches. And Meg I’m going to have to try out the flight simulator 3x a week because my DU’s can get out of hand.

  8. Haiyan: 10:28 Rx…pretty psyched about this one.

    OTM x 3: 4 x 165 C&J
    OTM x 3: 6 x 135 C&J
    OTM x 3: 8 x 95 C&J
    OTM x 3: 10 x 65 C&J

  9. Haiyan: 14:24 (135#, 2xC2B)

  10. Haiyan: 10:36 (135#, pullups)

    Fine line between going big on the first set of FS and going too big. Had aspirations of doing C2B, but those were gone after a couple in the first set.

  11. Haiyan: 6:02 rx

  12. Colleen (OC)

    Haiyan: 7:45, 65# (off the rack, back was bothering me after sitting in the car for 3+ hours yesterday) and 1xc2bs. Definitely should have done double c2bs. Hate it when I underestimate myself!

  13. Haiyan: 9:29 (135#, 2xC2B)

  14. Heather V

    Haiyan: 9:37 (C2B)

  15. Haiyan: 13:50 at 95# and 2xCtoB. Several no reps on CtoB.

    • Very helpful post, Geoff. When Santa brings me my new fly rope, I’ll see if I can implement “The Meg Fix”

  16. 5:53 (75# and regular PUs).

    Next time more weight! I went lighter because I was worried about the push jerks.

  17. Haiyan 8:33 125# 1XCTB
    Thanks to Meg for the bar muscle up help after class

  18. Haiyan: 10:28 (2x C2B) jerks were tough

    OTM C&J: Only made it through 3 mins of 4 reps @ 95#, 3 mins of 6 reps @ 85#, then ran off like a madwoman to make an 8:30am work call — aaand phone was dead in the car. Lesson here is: FINISH YOUR CLEAN & JERKS

  19. 8:30? 75# CTB (18/9/6)

    Great chat from Ben. I know for myself I always look at the RX weight and take about 10-20 # off. I used to be discouraged just looking at that number knowing I couldn’t lift it or may never be able to lift it. Ben’s chat today reinforced the reasons why I do Crossfit. The weight on the board is my guideline to do with as I can.
    Today I actually took 10# off the bar after the chat! I was planning on just suffering through but I know my glute will thank me when I can walk tomorrow :) I just want to continue to be strong and healthy!
    Thanks Ben!

  20. Haiyan: 10:03 75# and 2xctb

    Last second stripped down to 75 from 85 after bens “talk”…. I feel I have just been chasing injuries all fall… I am not feeling strong at all lately but I think what Ben was saying really was a reality check. I want to do CINDY and BARBARA (notice he said FRAN but…) when I’m 75 so being smart now and not killing myself makes more sense. Hard to do lighter weights from a mental point of view…. But know it’s the right thing!

  21. 1. “Haiyan” – 8:15 Rx
    2. EMOM C&J aka “Bite off more than you can chew”
    155# – 4/4/4
    140# – 6/3/6
    115# – DNS/8/8
    95# – DNS/10/10

  22. Haiyan – 7:15 (95# and 2xC2B)
    getting back into it.

    • Colleen (OC)

      Did you wind up using the rack?

      • From the floor…was hoping that I only had to clean it a few times. Luckily at that weight, it was true!

    • You will be back in the game with your heavy weights again. Frankly it’s impressive to see that regardless of your injury you are still here pushing through smartly.

  23. Haiyan: 10:50 – 135#, 2xC2B (though toward the end, the C didn’t always get to the B)

  24. Haiyan: 9:21 (105#, 2x HRPU)

  25. Patti Jeanne

    Haitian 7:35 85# and pull ups

  26. Haiyan: ?? 105#, 2 bmu- then switched to ctbs.
    C& J: otm wod- 95, 75, 65, 45

    Love this write up- so helpful to hear about the coaches goats and how they tackle them. Special shout out to Harry who helped my 13 yr old son dial in his nutrition, Max for getting my 9 yr old fired up about what she can do at CFNE, and Rachel for all of the amazing coaching she is giving me. Our CFNE coaches rock.

  27. Haiyan: 8:33 (45#, 2 x C2B) FSs unbroken, but didn’t go heavier bc of glute, which thankfully seems to slowly be getting better.

  28. Haiyan: 7:00 (135#, CTBs)

    Pre WOD
    EMOM 12:
    Even: 7 WB (30#), Odd: 9 T2B

    Post WOD
    OTM x 3: 4 x 155 C&J
    OTM x 3: 6 x 135 C&J
    OTM x 3: 6 x 115 C&J
    OTM x 3: 8 x 95 C&J

    ten min break then:
    OTM 5×5 95 C&J (this was much more about drilling in jerk form, as I pressed out a lot of the heavier lifts earlier in the day. glad i did this to close out the day. felt much more fluid.)

  29. Haiyan: 7:31 (C2B)

  30. Colleen (C4!)

    Haiyan 8:43 combo work (6:23 for 105# bar with kipping PUs; all barbell work unbroken. Waited 1:00. Then 1:23 for 9-6-3 C2Bs.) Why did I do this? Because C2Bs fry my elbow area and I didn’t want to have to break up the barbell work.

  31. Susan Stein

    Haiyan: 4:58 (65# front squats then 9-6-3 power cleans and 18-12-6 face band pulls)

    Still trying not to do much with the shoulders. Thought I’d try strict banded pull ups, but the shoulder said no.

  32. Thanks Geoff!! It’s encouraging to know that you guys have weaknesses too as well as to hear how you beat them to death. Also, thanks for the bar MU help today!

    Haiyan – 7:52 (1x C2B–probably should’ve gone 2x)
    EMOM C&J –

  33. Haiyan: 6:15 (2xC2B)

    I got my first bar muscle up during the warm up, but that’s all I could get. Thanks Max and Geoff for the pointers after class. I will get after it next time!

  34. Haiyan: 7:25 (C2B)

  35. Fun time doing this wod with Ally B today. You killed it! Shout out to the coaches for helping me accomplish my first bunch of bar muscle ups. Thanks Ashley and Ally B for the tips, cues and encouragement!

  36. Haiyan – 8:21 (2xC2B)

    Great write up today Geoff. Good to know you all were once mere mortals!

  37. Haiyan: 13:46 (135,2xPU)

    started with C2B, but those faded quick. more PU than C2B.

  38. Amy Brooks

    Hung out at Trosen’s last night so didn’t get up this morning!
    Bench 3×10(75,85,90)
    Dead lift 3×10(185)
    Haiyan: 10:52 @ 95# and subbed 10 strict pull IPS, 10 bar dips.

    3×20 weighted decline abs with throw
    3×20 supermans
    3×1 minute plank hold
    3x20seconds hollow rocks

  39. Maureen B.

    Haiyan: 8:44 (75#, 2x pull-ups w/ some c2b’s mixed in)

  40. Haiyan: 8:49 at 60# and 2xPU. Front squats continue to be a major goat, but I did them and then the weight felt light for the push jerk.

    Thanks for the write-up Geoff. It is great to hear how our coaches and competitors work on their weaknesses.

    Fun to jump into the 9:30 today.

  41. 8:03 65# and 9-6-3 chin keeping pu

    1000 mts row: 4:43.

    Glad to have crushed in the 5:30am

    Nice to read all the coaches advice. Jeoff nailed it, repetition, repetition, repetition.., (is what I don’t do)

  42. Haiyan: 10:25 (105#, 2x C2B)

    EMOM C&J –
    120-4/3/4 (started at 125, but dropped after first round)
    This was no joke, thanks Maureen for doing this with me!

    • Maureen B.

      It was so hard!! Nice job! I realized I screwed up, I thought it was only 10 min.

  43. “Haiyan” – 14:11 Rx’d. Thanks to all, especially Rachel, Ben and Mark W, for your tips and encouragement.

    C&J EMOM – 155/125/115/95. In retrospect, can’t decide if I should have gone a touch heavier (without it turning into a blowup). As it was, only got 5 reps in round 10 due to slow plate transition. All others complete.

  44. Haiyan: 7:00 (85#, BPU) didn’t realize ppl were doing able pu should have done that

  45. Haiyan: 8:00 (65#/ 2xC2B)

  46. HAIYAN – 7:20 with ring muscle ups

  47. Haiyan: 7:12 (85#, 2x PU)

  48. Kristin B.

    Haiyan: 8:15 w/pullups. Took too many breaks.

  49. Haiyan: 8:59
    95# and 1xc2b

    Crazy that the front squats were the limiting factor. Squat program here I come!

  50. Haiyan 11:22 @155# my bar muscle ups went like this:
    Round 1: 1 and 3 attempts then 9 pu
    Round 2: 3 bar muscle ups
    Round 3: 1 bar muscle up and 3 attempts

    All this equals a total head scratcher. Glad I made it in.


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