January 13, 2012

Friday 120113

Rest Day


Enlarge image

Richard Meurk's basement gym.

"Life As Rx Box Tour" with Alex Kurz, CrossFit Journal preview video [wmv] [mov]

"Different Grips for Benching" with Shane Sweatt - video [wmv] [mov]

Robert Schumann, Arabesque.

P. G. Wodehouse - A Sea of Troubles.

"10 Lessons from America's Greatest Military Leaders" by Kara Ohngren, Entrepreneur.

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by Pukie at January 13, 2012 5:00 PM

Is that the basement gym of a serial killer?

Comment #1 - Posted by: Steven at January 12, 2012 5:11 PM

Two words: "Saw VI"

Comment #2 - Posted by: J.T. at January 12, 2012 5:17 PM

Gotta start somewhere! Have fun Richard =)

Comment #3 - Posted by: ChrisK at January 12, 2012 6:10 PM

use the pipes for pull ups?

Comment #4 - Posted by: Benjamin at January 12, 2012 6:22 PM

Bonsoir, mes amis nouveau!

Another Rest Day. Like clockwork they show up every 4th day. bingo's Newbie advice for today? Do it! Rest. Take a powder. Chill. Recovery is essential to your fitness. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Meditate or do Yoga. Get la_d. You get the picture.

If you hang around here at all you will see posts of 2 different ilks: "CrossFit is too much, too intense" and "Is that all there is?" Both are correct; which is more correct is simply a matter of your personal goals.

Let's think like Newbies, or if you will, like my more mature compadres in the CF Masters group. Rest and recovery is very important. Indeed, the standard CF prescription of 3 on-1 off with the pedal to the metal is probably too much for most of humanity, at least in the always 'on' mode. If you are new, or if you have a day job, or if you are getting run down and irritable, 3 on-1 off may be too much. My own schedule (driven by my OR schedule) is typically 3 on-1 off, 2 on-1 off. Think about 2 on-1 off, or even every other day.

How about long term? My friend Larry Lindenman, one of the CrossFit OG's, uses this plan. 3 weeks full on CrossFit, 1 week 1/2 volume. 3 weeks full on, 1 week 1/2 on. 3 weeks full on, 1 week 1/2 on. 3 weeks full on, one week OFF. Nothing. Full stop. Recovery is important. On this Rest Day give recovery some thought.

I'll be hanging around today if you are new and have some questions. Remember, anything you do extra today will show up on tomorrow's WOD. Don't make me sick my SEAL friends on you for punishing the rest of us for your extra work!

Comment #5 - Posted by: bingo at January 12, 2012 6:36 PM

It puts the lotion on the skin.

Comment #6 - Posted by: Brendan at January 12, 2012 6:45 PM

Nice bar, but that bike has seen better days. How about adding a skipping rope?

Comment #7 - Posted by: Bud at January 12, 2012 6:55 PM

anybody know where i can get a t-shirt that says "look better naked- Crossfit"


Comment #8 - Posted by: Bweezy at January 12, 2012 8:25 PM

That's seriously one of the coolest gym pics ever.

Comment #9 - Posted by: Eric at January 12, 2012 9:08 PM

Bingo- can u please explain the logic behind cf's rep schemes I.e. 21-15-9. Is there a benefit beyond what 20-15-10 would provide?

Comment #10 - Posted by: Bugdjj at January 12, 2012 9:17 PM

@ Bugdjj

The rep schematic is so that you can easily break a set down into multiples. 21 can be broken down into 3 sets of 7 (or 7 sets of 3). The same can be done with 15, and 9. It can be easier on the mind when you are counting your own reps, but it can also be toxic if you rely on that mentality too often.

Comment #11 - Posted by: Kansas at January 12, 2012 9:40 PM

@Kansas-I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I do not see that answer being any more fitting for 21-15-9 than any other of the more common rep schemes though. 6-8-10-12. 10-15-20 etc... They can all be broken down into smaller multiple sets just as easily. 21/15/9 is more obscure than that I feel like the original designer had something in mind.

Comment #12 - Posted by: Bugdjj at January 12, 2012 9:50 PM

what part of the workout happens up in that hole in the wall?

Comment #13 - Posted by: glenn f at January 12, 2012 11:10 PM

That is one of my favorite gym pics we have featured on the site. I'm 100% serious, that is just plain cool.

Comment #14 - Posted by: Pat Sherwood at January 12, 2012 11:12 PM

We did WEDNESDAY 120111 with *subs* as below:
For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 *DB* swings, *35* lbs
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, *12* pound ball
50 Burpees
50 *Single* unders

Cedric: 36:15
Alan H: 41:52

Comment #15 - Posted by: Alan H. in Kabul at January 13, 2012 2:49 AM

Hahaha! I work out in that basement. I do not know what it is but the color of the walls, the tire and the cold light really makes me PR a lot! And there is nothing wrong with the bike! I ride that bike to work every day, LOL!

Comment #16 - Posted by: Ellinor at January 13, 2012 3:07 AM


As a voracious consumer of all things present here on .com I have to say that the most accurate answer ever offered to your sincere question about rep schemes (21-15-9, etc) is: "because."

All other answers I've seen are conjecture because I can't find anything anywhere from the founders or the folks designing the Main Page programming otherwise.

Comment #17 - Posted by: bingo at January 13, 2012 4:27 AM


5K: 29:20

Comment #18 - Posted by: mom to five at January 13, 2012 5:30 AM

That gym is beast. I'll send a pic of my kettle bell later today.

Comment #19 - Posted by: Jim at January 13, 2012 5:36 AM

Question for Bingo or any other coaches.
So i am an active duty Marine and I have been going to the Box on base. I am lucky enought to be able to go there instead of going to the monotonous & less challenging PT. But the thing is we always have to do some kind of PT, Mon-Fri. So this week I have done 5 WOD's already. Is that too much? I feel pretty sore, but being a Marine and an active weightlifter my whole life, it is nothing I haven't experienced before. Should include a nom WOD day during the week and then hit a WOD on the weekend? Again thanks for the advice!!
Semper Fi!

Comment #20 - Posted by: Joe at January 13, 2012 6:11 AM

bingo & Bugdjj,

I'm reaching way back here so I could be mistaken, but I remember an old video of Coach recounting the first time he did the workout we would come to know as Fran. AFAIK this was the first time he used the 21-15-9 rep scheme, and indeed as bingo said earlier the reason was "because." I don't recall him offering any rationale for it other than essentially "that's what I did and it was really hard" (paraphrasing, but you get the idea). I'm just glad he didn't do 30-25-20 that day...

Comment #21 - Posted by: Bill M. m/47/5'3"/134 at January 13, 2012 6:27 AM

@bingo- thanks dude."because" works for me. That's the answer my mom always gave ;) Also I've been cfing for 1 1/2 years now and my body has been taking a wallop! Thank you for the periodization ideas. As a trainer I should have known but somehow in crossfit if the needles not in the red you feel like a slacker. I'm going to be smarter with my self from now on.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Budjj at January 13, 2012 6:43 AM


Looking for some advice:

I've been CFing for about 9 months now and I've reached a plateau with my Olympic-style lifts--especially anything overhead. My OH squats and Snatches are clearly my weakest lifts. When I add weight, I lose form and my squats get more and more shallow. But, my shoulders usually give out much faster than my legs.

So, should I work on (dare I say it) some muscle isolation exercises for strength (esp. shoulders); or should I stick with lighter weights and try to stay on strict form? Seems like I've been stuck at the same weight with snatch, back squats, front squats, OH squats, cleans, etc., for a couple of months now. Frustrating....

Comment #23 - Posted by: JPZ at January 13, 2012 7:08 AM

Richard Meurk's basement gym.....one of the most thought provoking gym pictures ever...Knowing the CF program, knowing the personal drive and intensity involved with reaching goals and breaking through barriers...at the end of the day, it only really comes down to you...and the bar... succeed or fail, your choice. Excellent photograph.

Comment #24 - Posted by: Rich at January 13, 2012 7:15 AM

schumann is nice, but every time i hear him, i can't help but think, "that sounds like chopin, only not as good".

Comment #25 - Posted by: Mel 38/m/5'10"/175 at January 13, 2012 7:38 AM

I thought the idea of the 21-15-9 rep scheme was to motivate you to keep the intensity up throughout the workout knowing the next round has fewer reps. Sort of a psychological trick, each round your muscles are more tired but you have fewer reps so you keep up the intensity.

Comment #26 - Posted by: MVE m/63/5'8"/157 at January 13, 2012 8:19 AM

Any know the song in the life as rx video

Comment #27 - Posted by: morgan at January 13, 2012 8:33 AM

I played around with the bar position on back squats yesterday after watching the Lipson video. Have never done low-bar back squats before today. I must say that I really like the low-bar position much better. Felt much stronger than the high-bar. (last set was 290x3). I need some help though. My problem is always losing neutral spine at the bottom. The infamous butt wink. What is the best way to correct this? I have been doing Crossfit + MobilityWOD for about 2 years now. No matter how much I stretch, or how many squats I do, I can't seem to get much better in that area. My 1 Rep max on back squat is 405, and I don't want to blow out my back. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks

Comment #28 - Posted by: Aaron at January 13, 2012 9:37 AM

Great photo, but my gym's better.

Comment #29 - Posted by: mikeyb 51/m/177 at January 13, 2012 10:01 AM

Magnificent! Thanks for the PG Wodehouse!

Comment #30 - Posted by: TRN III at January 13, 2012 11:07 AM

#24 very well said.

40 days

Comment #31 - Posted by: Dancer at January 13, 2012 11:24 AM

that bar is too clean! get to work!

Comment #32 - Posted by: GarageDweller at January 13, 2012 11:58 AM

"A Sea of Troubles": wonderful, hilarious. I am now a Wodehouse fan.

Comment #33 - Posted by: mikee at January 13, 2012 12:18 PM


What is your fitness background? What is your fitness exposure? Have you ever been in a CrossFit box with a typical population of members? How about a commercial gym, especially at this time of year? Have you done any coaching of any sort?

What is your CrossFit exposure? How much CF do you do? Is the Main Page WOD and programming just right for you, or do you a)scale it or b) supplement or add to it?

The details of my answer will depend in part on how you answer these sincerely asked questions. I am a physician, trainer, athlete, and coach. My exposure to "most of humanity" is therefore quite broad and inclusive.

I find no need to "hype CrossFit", nor any real desire to do so here on CrossFit.com. Heck, only two sorts of folks ever show up here: ones who are already sold and ones who are dead set against!

Take a few minutes to think about my posts in the context in which they are offered (CrossFit Newbies), think about my questions, and jot down your response. I'm off to the gym; if your question is sincere I'll offer a sincere response when I return.

Comment #34 - Posted by: bingo at January 13, 2012 12:45 PM

@26 mve- I understand what you're saying but that stategy works with any combo of descending numbers such as 20/15/10 which obviously are the more standard numerical goals in most things. When u go to a store you're more likely to ask for 10 or 20 of something than 9 or 21 if you get my drift. Specific to the exercise world the classic rep schemes are 6-8-10-12 or 8-15 or 10-20 reps so on and so forth. Just the way it's always been. So 21-15-9 is a unique choice that piqued my interest as a fitness professional( athletic trainer for 18 years). Which brings me to -@34 chris- I've trained at least 5000 people. 70 yr old stroke survivor and NHL's matt Gilroy. Bingos opinion is right on. 99% of my clients cannot handle 3 on full intensity wods and 1 rest day repeated. As well as when those same 99% first came to me the cfwu would be a sufficient workout for a few sessions. You overestimate the populace at larges physical condition. And you are rude.

Comment #35 - Posted by: Bugdjj at January 13, 2012 1:15 PM


as rx'd, 14:47, reminded me of filthy fifty.

Comment #36 - Posted by: Mel/38m/5'10"/175 at January 13, 2012 2:22 PM

50 Snow-Angels for Time
get all the way up (reverse burpee) between each rep
10 minutes in 5 inches of snow

Comment #37 - Posted by: cort at January 13, 2012 2:38 PM

WODclub Bear Trap: 6630

Comment #38 - Posted by: cort at January 13, 2012 2:52 PM


You bring up an excellent question, and there are many ways people could answer it with validity. After CrossFitting 3 years and taking a few O-lifting classes with good results, here are my own thoughts:

Continue to focus on form, with an emphasis on core strength and flexibility. If you find your shoulders failing in the bottom position of an overhead squat using weights that you could otherwise comfortably hold overhead while standing upright, it is likely that your core and connecting tissues are not allowing you to maintain the posture required to increase loading correctly. The snatch further increases the level of difficulty tremendously because it introduces the element of explosive speed. In the Olympic lifting class, we worked a lot on various components of the snatch and the clean & jerk, such as OHS, snatch pulls, etc, to increase strength, but we also spent a LOT of time stretching before heavy lift days and doing explosive form work with light weights. The focus always favored honing skills over setting a new PR. We almost never did any sort of isolation exercises. The irony is that this focal shift from weight to form had the effect of increasing my own 1RM snatch from 135 to 175 over the course of 3 months, after a drawn out period of stagnation such as what you are talking about.

Other than that, read and educate yourself all you can, and if you have a good O-lifting instructor in your area, check them out. I am a do-it-yourself personality nearly to fault, but it didn't take long to realize that the insights gained from more experienced people through subtle cues like keeping weight on the heels and engaging hamstrings more, etc, which I could not easily see myself, made it well worth the 20 bucks per class.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

-Seth 36/5'10/175

Comment #39 - Posted by: SethD at January 13, 2012 3:02 PM

@#35Bugdjj: I'd guess the 21-15-9 arrived through experiment. Coach's goal is to maximize work. Maybe using equal reps of multiple sets he noted significant slowing down as the athlete got tired. Perhaps he then tried 20-15-10, still noted the last set slowing too much compared to the first...hmmm...what to do... Take a rep off the last set, add it to the first set. Pure trial and error.

I agree with your comments re: bingo. In 4.5 years of trying I've yet to talk any friends, family or co-workers into trying crossfit. Maybe I shouldn't have gone to work so often looking like I'd been mugged by a herd of buffalo.

Comment #40 - Posted by: MVE m/63/5'8"/157 at January 13, 2012 5:02 PM

re: arabesque above... now that is virtuosity.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Matt D at January 13, 2012 5:02 PM

25 / M / 5'9" / 137lbs

Back squat 3-3-3-3-3


Comment #42 - Posted by: BC at January 13, 2012 5:15 PM

Everybody that likes this gym is Rocky, everyone that doesn't is Dolph Lundgren.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Chris and Tobey at January 13, 2012 6:38 PM


24hrs of rest :)

Comment #44 - Posted by: Dwayne at January 13, 2012 10:44 PM


Thank you Bingo for all of your FREE advice. It has been greatly appreciated. Cotinue doing what you do. Haters will hate.

Comment #45 - Posted by: Dwayne at January 13, 2012 11:05 PM

I train outside if it aint raining :)

"The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes"
- Steve House

Comment #46 - Posted by: Richard Meurk at January 14, 2012 7:00 AM

And no the pipes wont stand pullups :P

Comment #47 - Posted by: Richard Meurk at January 14, 2012 7:03 AM

@ commet 16:

How do you ride the bike to work everyday.... It has a flat tire.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Jon at January 14, 2012 8:25 AM

“Tabata This!”

Tabata Row=5
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Squat=8
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Pull-up=2
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Push-up6
Rest 1 minute
Tabata Sit-up

Comment #49 - Posted by: Cruz at January 14, 2012 10:06 AM

Richard, your bicycle looks sad and lonely...

Comment #50 - Posted by: Jay at January 14, 2012 12:16 PM


Thats not my bike. Mine is in far better shape :)


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