June 2003

June 30, 2003

Monday 030630

Clean and Jerk 15-12-9 reps

Rest overhead, at rack, or at bottom, but not at ground - touch and go only!

Use the same load for all three sets. Post load to comments.


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Does your clean reach the maximum extension point? Legs and hips fully extended, chest lifted skyward, and shoulders up by the ears, the maximum extension point is reached before the arms have bent at all. Videotape your clean and if this point is missed or the arms bend even a little before the hips and legs are extended your clean is weak.

Here’s a video of a great clean and jerk from the Midwestern State University Strength Research Laboratory:

Posted by lauren at 12:57 AM

June 29, 2003

Sunday 030629

Rest Day


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Here is Doug, Greg, Angie, Robb, Kevin, Garth, Paul, John L., Loyd, James, and John F. after a tough one at CrossFit.

Posted by lauren at 10:49 AM

June 28, 2003

Saturday 030628

Run 5K

Find the steepest, hottest, ugliest 5K you can and run it for time. Share your results to comments. If you can share photos send them to


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Here Dave Leys is executing a front squat. Notice that the weight is sitting squarely on his chest and shoulders with his elbows pointed forward. This posture, called “racked”, is critical to weightlifting, and demands and improves essential functional flexibility.

Practice the rack with a large load on a squat rack. Reach out for the bar pushing the shoulders and chest up and out, and then step under the bar resting the bar in the channel formed by the chest and shoulders. The hand’s grip is compromised with several fingers possibly coming off the bar; that’s O.K. the hands are only babysitting the bar.

With regular practice anyone can learn to “rack” the bar and even arrive at acceptable levels of comfort with the position. Without this flexibility your weightlifting progress and CrossFit participation will be increasingly challenged.

Posted by lauren at 8:03 AM

June 27, 2003

Friday 030626

50 Pull-ups
200 Squats
75 Push-ups

Post total time in comments.


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Loyd Lewis comes within inches of doing a one armed pull-up!

Posted by lauren at 12:44 AM

June 26, 2003

Thursday 030625

Complete 10 rounds of:
Deadlift 1 rep
12 Push-ups

Divide deadlift weight by time to completion in seconds.


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Erin Pearce became the second female to join the ranks of Olympian Eva Twardokens in the Muscle-up Club. Congratulations, Erin!

Posted by lauren at 12:03 AM

June 25, 2003

Wednesday 030625

Rest Day


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Here is Patrick Johnston, one of the fittest farmers on earth, in IronMind's "Draft Horse Pulling Harness" taking his family for a ride.

Posted by lauren at 12:12 AM

June 24, 2003

Tuesday 030624

In one hour complete 7 rounds of:
Max Bench
Max Pull-ups

Multiply your lowest bench by your lowest number of pull-ups and post time to comments. E.G., 315X17=5,355.


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This important stretch of the shoulder comes from moving a stick from in front of you to behind without bending the arms or widening the grip. Find a hand placement where you can fairly comfortably pass the stick from front to back and return. Now, move your hands in slightly and try again. Both shoulders should “roll through” simultaneously at the “sticking point.” Keep the chest up and linger at the tightest part of motion. This stretch is a good warm-up for the overhead squat and quickly identifies limited range of motion in the shoulder that would make overhead squats impossible.

Posted by lauren at 12:24 AM

June 23, 2003

Monday 030623

Complete 5 rounds of:
Run 400 meters
Overhead squat 95X21

Squat to 10” box. Post time to complete all five rounds to comments.


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Here’s Mike Weaver at the start and finish of our “medicine ball throw sit-up.” It takes a powerful mid-section to accelerate the ball from the floor to release with a nice flat trajectory. We use a partner to fire the ball back to the thrower keeping the tempo “hot.”

"For it is only by exercising with heavy weights that any man can hope to develop really great strength. He should of course combine these exercises with skipping, running, jumping, and gymnastics of every description in order to similarly develop his activity and agility, but, unless he sedulously carries out the barbell and dumbell exercises as well, he can never acquire really great physical powers."
-George Hackenschmidt

Posted by lauren at 12:58 AM

June 22, 2003

Sunday 030622

Complete 3 rounds of:
Run 400 meters
21 1 1/2 pood kettlebell or 55 pound dumbbell swings
12 Pull-ups

Rest and repeat off clock.

Post time for first three rounds to comments. The time to beat is Greg Amundson’s 9:05. (You’ll see this workout again.)


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Congratulations to our Greg Amundson for his Gold Medal win in the TCA at the 2003 California Police and Fire Games.

Posted by lauren at 6:48 PM

June 21, 2003

Saturday 030621

Rest Day

Posted by lauren at 7:38 AM

June 20, 2003

Friday 030620

Tabata Squats
Tabata Push-ups
Tabata Squats

Post total score from all three efforts in comments. E.G., 21+16+19=56.

There are three variations to our “wall ball” family of exercises. The first, or “original”, familiar to all our regulars, is basically a front squat/push press combo that launches the ball towards the target. This move begins and ends in a squat. The second, or “overhead” throw is an overhead whole body throw. It begins with a powerful whole body arch sending the ball behind the head with the back and hips hyperextending, then the athlete hurls the ball forward and overhead towards the target. The third exercise, or “backwards” throw, is a reverse whole body throw in which the athlete turns his back to the target and drives the ball overhead and backwards towards the target.


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These three pictures catch Patrick Johnston executing the “original”, “overhead”, and “backwards” wall ball.

Each of these throws is as old as man and collectively test a vast range of physical capacity. Test your primal roots by trying to launch a 20-pound Dynamax ball from ten feet out at a well-anchored target ten feet up with sufficient energy to catch the rebound without stepping forward and making fifty throws in two minutes for each of these three throws. (Not many can.)

Posted by lauren at 12:27 AM

June 19, 2003

Thursday 030619

Complete 5 rounds of:
Run 400 meters
15 “L” Pull-ups

“L” Pull-ups require that the legs be straight and heels remain above lowest point of butt through entire range of pull-up. Reps where heels sink below butt, or legs bend, even momentarily, don’t count.

Post time to comments.


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The gymnastics “Dowel Grip” greatly increases grip strength by the placement of a dowel between the rings (or bar, or bars) and the hand. The “Hook Grip” used by Olympic lifters greatly increases grip strength, compared to the parallel grip, by wrapping the thumbs around the bar prior to closing the fingers.

Do these two grips share underlying mechanics?

Why are the Hook Grip and Dowel Grip so strong?

Are there grappling applications?

Here’s a colorful description of the hook grip:

Here’s an interesting striking application of the hook grip:

Posted by lauren at 12:06 AM

June 18, 2003

Wednesday 030618

Complete 5 rounds of:
Deadlift twice bodyweight 10 reps
10 Handstand Push-ups

Touch nose to ground on handstand push-ups. Post time for completion for all five rounds in comments.


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How do you get a 250-pound barbarian to do an “inverted cross” on the rings? With an ankle harness and block and tackle, that’s how. We use the ankle harness for handstand push-ups, “elevators”, planches, and inverted crosses and a harness for muscle-ups, dips, and the iron cross. Giving an athlete an assisted exposure to these staples of the still rings heightens the athlete’s kinesthetic sense, is still extremely demanding, and renders a heightened appreciation of gymnastics skills.

Many gymnastics movements demand motor recruitment patterns completely foreign to other athletes’ experience. For instance, the iron cross demands a rather potent co-contraction of the lats and pecs – muscles that regularly function as antagonists in most weight training exercises. As another example, the presses to handstand shift the load on body extension from the lumbar spine to the thoracic spine dramatically shifting both leverage and proprioception from familiar weight training exercises.

We’ve seen Olympic athletes that struggle discerning up from down and left from right when suspended upside down; it doesn’t take much gymnastics training to improve these athlete’s spatial orientation.

Posted by lauren at 12:10 AM

June 17, 2003

Tuesday 030617

Rest Day


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The Wall Ball drill is a CrossFit original. The movement begins with the athlete standing about three feet in front of the target baseline from a full squat with a 20-pound Dnyamax Medicine Ball held just above the head and the elbows in close. The move is initiated with a powerful squat followed immediately by a press/throw. The target, in our case a steel plate backboard by Nick Massman, should center at about ten feet above ground level. With a little flick of the hands and wrist the ball will follow an arc that allows it to rebound off of the target and come right back to your extended arms from where you can recoil gracefully back to the squat. This drill employs a lot of muscle, several critical functions, considerable power and coordination all at crushing heart rates.

Posted by lauren at 12:47 AM

June 16, 2003

Monday 030616

Complete 7 rounds:
Walking lunge 100 ft.
Max set of pull-ups
20 Push-ups

Final score is pull-up total divided by time to completion for all 7 rounds. E.G. 28+20+16+13+10+9+7=103 pull-ups & 21:43=1303 seconds. 103/1303=. 079


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IronMind’s “Five Star Flat Bench” is made entirely of heavy-duty steel tubing, (no wood) has a replaceable (Velcro attached) tough marine grade vinyl that covers high density closed cell foam, and has to be the toughest, simplest bench on the market. IronMind bills this bench as “more bench than you’ll ever need.” We’re inclined to agree; we have one and want another.

The CrossFit concept can be viewed as “functional atomism” in that we strive to reduce human performance to a limited number of movements that are simple, irreducible, indivisible functions.

Teaching an athlete to run, jump, throw, punch, squat, lunge, push, pull, and climb powerfully, with mechanical efficiency and soundness, across a broad range of time-intensity protocols with rapid recovery establishes a foundation that will give unprecedented advantage in learning new sports, mastering existent skills, and surviving unforeseeable challenges.

Posted by lauren at 12:13 AM

June 15, 2003

Sunday 030615

Complete five rounds for time:

Run 400 meters
5 muscle ups

Post time for completion in comments.
E.G., 10:20


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When Stairmaster recently quit producing the Gravitron we went on the search for other manufacturers of pull-up/dip assistance apparatus. Pump House Fitness Systems of Canada manufactures one with a lot of nice features like linear bearings, small footprint, fully adjustable hand positions for both the pull-ups and dips and a price considerably less than the Gravitron. The model we examined needed to be slightly reconfigured for individuals over 5’7” to keep from bottoming out and Pump House has offered a willingness to do so. We hope that future models of this machine are perfect.

Posted by lauren at 8:08 AM

June 14, 2003

Saturday 030614

Front Squat - Push Jerk 10 singles

Total the load for 10 efforts and post to comments.

E.G., 225+225+230+235+240+225+225+225+185+135=2150
(Pukie Crashed!)


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The clean is peerless. Study, practice, and work towards mastery. July's CrossFit Journal explores the unrivaled role of the clean in elite strength and conditioning.

Posted by lauren at 12:05 AM

June 13, 2003

Friday 030613

Rest Day


Tyler Hass has changed the name of his on line magazine from “Girevik” to “Power Athletes Magazine.”

Focusing on Kettlebells and basic gymnastics, Power Athletes Magazine is refreshingly original and widening it’s outlook.

Power Athletes is developing a portable gymnastics still ring and strap set that will be marketed as the “Power Ring Training System.” We’re eager to find an alternative source to Norbert’s for rings and straps.

Posted by lauren at 12:28 AM

June 12, 2003

Thursday 030612

Five rounds of:
Hang Clean 15 reps
20 Sit-ups

Pick a load for all five rounds. Total score is hang clean load in pounds divided by time to completion in seconds for all five rounds.

Post score in comments.


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Kris Machnick’s retirement is filled in part by graduate anthropology courses, mountain climbing, art collecting, and becoming increasingly “CrossFit.”

High intensity, major movement, functional training like CrossFit’s is the “fountain of youth” for restoring vigor and performance in seniors.

Find someone to prove this to.

Posted by lauren at 12:39 AM

June 11, 2003

Wednesday 030611

Run 1 mile.
Bench Press bodyweight 21 reps.

Rest, repeat off clock.

Post time in comments. Dave McEvoy’s 5:42 stands as the best time we’ve seen.


Barry Sears, PhD, career began as a research biochemist at M.I.T. and Boston University’s Medical School. His 1995 book, Enter the Zone, detailed the science and structure behind a macronutrient balanced, caloric restricted, glycemic-controlled diet.

We’ve found the Zone formulation well suited to supporting high athletic output with impressive accuracy and precision.

Posted by lauren at 12:47 AM

June 10, 2003

Tuesday 030610

Deadlift 3-3-3

Rest -

5 rounds of:
Deadlift 135 x 12
12 Pull-ups

Post comments as "total load for all 3 sets"/ "time to completion for 5 rounds"
E.G., 1350/6:20


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A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development
A theoretical hierarchy exists for the development of an athlete. It starts with nutrition and moves to metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and finally sport. This hierarchy largely reflects foundational dependence, skill, and to some degree, time ordering of development. The logical flow is from molecular foundations, cardiovascular sufficiency, body control, external object control, and ultimately mastery and application. This model has greatest utility in analyzing athletes’ shortcomings or difficulties.

We don’t deliberately order these components but nature will. If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer.

Posted by lauren at 12:26 AM

June 9, 2003

Monday 030609

Rest Day


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Good pull-ups are led with the chest. Notice Greg Amundson’s arms are nearly perpendicular to the chest as in a rowing motion. This incorporates critical muscles of the upper back. This posture is indispensable to high rep pull-ups.

The rowing ergometer favors the rower of greater mass. This little program will compute mass adjusted times at any distance. It turns out that a 7:00/ 2K @ 200lbs is about equal to a 7:30 2K @ 150 lbs!

Posted by lauren at 6:44 AM

June 8, 2003

Sunday 030608

Complete 3 rounds of:

Max set of Pull-ups x 2
Max set of Dips x 2


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Garth Taylor is wearing Sala’s (651.388.8282) “Delta No-Tangle Harness Vest Style.” This harness and the block and tackle system make easy work of assisting even the biggest athletes perform the muscle-up.

U.S. Army’s physical fitness test from 1946.

Posted by lauren at 7:15 AM

June 7, 2003

Saturday 030607

Clean 5-5-5 Reps

Rest -

For ten minutes:
12 Push-ups
Clean 95X12

Post results in comments as “3 set total squat load”, “number of reps completed in ten minute circuit.” E.G. 585 (195 pounds for all three sets of five reps),198 (eight full rounds and six more push-ups).


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CrossFit knuckleheads playing CrossFit Hoover Ball.

Hoover Ball developed by White House physician Admiral Joel Boone for President Hoover, is scored like tennis, played on a volleyball court, and uses a 6 pound medicine ball. We ditched all the rules and used a twenty-pound ball.

Posted by lauren at 12:45 AM

June 6, 2003

Friday 030606

Front Squat 5-5-5 Reps

Rest -

For ten minutes:
12 Pull-ups
12 One-legged squats, alternating legs

Post results in comments as 3 set total squat load/number of reps completed in 10 minute circuit. E.G. 600/192 (8 full rounds)


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"Down But Not Out"

Dave Werner of CrossFit North on the right and CrossFit’s own Loyd Lewis after workout.

We are looking for times for three rounds of the circuit: 400 meter run, 1.5 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings (or 50 pound dumbbell swing), 12 pull-ups. The time to beat is Greg Amundson’s who has managed 9:05 on two separate occasions!

Posted by lauren at 12:40 AM

June 5, 2003

Thursday 030605

Rest Day


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"CrossFit Heaven"

Posted by lauren at 12:38 AM

June 4, 2003

Wednesday 030604

You have one hour to:

24” Box Jump 50 jumps
Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1 reps
24” Box Jump 50 jumps

Post results in comments as 50 jump time/5 set total deadlift load/50 jump time.
E.G. 1:50/2150/2:05


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This is our new wall mounted bar rack. It’s attached to the wall behind the door, and consequently takes up no useful space. It’s another Nick Massman original.

Our angled squat rack had become a ridiculously large footprint bar rack – we never squatted or pressed from it favoring the IronMind’s Vulcan Racks for portability and accessibility – so we got rid of it.

Posted by lauren at 12:44 AM

June 3, 2003

Tuesday 030603

You have one hour to:

Run 1 mile
Clean 1-1-1-1-1
Run 1 mile

Post results in comments as run time/5 set total clean load/run time. E.G. 4:50/900/5:10


Our favorite stopwatch is the Seiko S052 Interval Timing Stopwatch and is available from This watch will time intervals of any work and rest length and total interval count you choose. This a perfect tool for timing the Tabata interval. This watch features a chime counting down the work and rest interval so that it can be used hands free and without looking at the watch to time your interval training efforts.

Posted by lauren at 12:03 AM

June 2, 2003

Monday 030602

You have one hour to:

Row 1K
Back Squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Row 1K

Post results in comments as row time/5 set total squat load/row time. E.G., 3:15/2020/3:30

Westside Barbell Club is a powerlifting Mecca with an amazing history. This is one of the few gyms that has changed the face of training. Louie Simmons, Westside’s proprietor, is a pioneer trainer of champion powerlifters.

Below is Louie’s patented Reverse Hyperextension apparatus, the “Pro Reverse Hyper” .


Posted by lauren at 4:47 AM

June 1, 2003

Sunday 030601

Rest Day

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See how aerobic exercise stacks up to anaerobic exercise in the June, 2003 issue of CrossFit Journal.

Posted by lauren at 10:33 AM

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