Testing your fitness is part of the fun. July 23rd 2022, we had three teams enter into the Newbury CrossFit Summer Throwdown.

The competition was for teams of four, two guys, two girls, to complete 4 workouts starting first thing in the morning, and finishing in the afternoon.

Anyone who’s done a competition knows how hard it is to compete over four workouts. You need to mentally prep, hydrate, stretch, warm-up and cool down for each one. It’s really tough to do well.


Three teams who came down gave it everything they had. It was super impressive. The three teams consisted of:

Team T-Jam – Rich Johnson, Ben Marley, Helena Thomas, and Laura Addison.

Team Rough and Ready – Dave Rough, Rich Griffiths, Manon Lartet, and Katie Webb.

Team Rehab Facility – Macca Relf, Josh Gray, Ana Davenport, Grace Greenshields.

These three teams absolutely smashed the workouts. Putting in seriously good efforts across all four events.

T-Jam, posted an excellent effort in the front squat, rowing, run and sprint event, narrowly completing the fifth round with a sprint finish – this was their event win across the board. Team Rough and Ready, hammered out some excellent thrusters at 40/50kg over the event and posted a high ranked finish. Rehab facility came second. So on the engine work, our teams all performed really well.



The weightlifting event saw personal bests from nearly all athletes. Having to complete a 5 rep hang snatch for the RX division, or a 5 rep hang clean for the intermediates. This wasn’t a strength for our athletes in comparison to some seriously strong guys and gals from other teams (more heavy lifting coming up in the programming I think!)

The workouts were hard. The final workout for Rough and Ready included heavy overhead dumbbell lunges, squats, handstand push-ups and burpees. Few teams finished it, but they got further than most posting a respectable 3rd finish. All members demonstrating excellent form on the handstand push-ups, and the squats. The lunges punished the shoulders, if you lacked the overhead mobility to keep those elbows locked. Simply put, it was brutal.

The airbike, and D-ball event saw most athletes unable to walk correctly after it, as it hit the legs like no other. This is where I saw Rehab Facility excel. Grace and Macca went all out on the bikes and posted an outstanding 121 calories in the time cap which was a good 10 cals beyond any of the nearest teams in their heat. Clearly their hour long max cal air bike training every week has paid off for this event.

The most impressive aspect of all this was the support for one another and camaraderie felt by all the team members. The support given by some members making the journey up to Newbury, was much needed. CrossFit events involve a lot of running around, extra food, looking after, water, and the emotional support is absolutely necessary during the later stages of the day when your body feels tired and you’re suffering.

Huge thanks to Stacey Smith, Coni Stockman, Alisha Renwick, Dan Gunby, Georgia Punter, Hannah Marley and the kids, Henry Marley, George Marley, and Henry Cunningham, for coming to support the teams. It was quite difficult to support all the teams at once as their events were often running simultaneously, so this was particularly important when in the weightlifting event all the teams were surrounding Rehab Facility to hit their lifts and they did exceptionally well with their weights.

Overall the day shot by. Everyone had a great time, and with Rehab Facility taking the intermediate category win, topped it off and showed that all their hard work has paid off. It was great to see everyone working so well, and having such a good time doing it, we’ll definitely be organising more teams for similar events in the future.

The overall standings were:

RX – Rough and Ready 8th out of 16

Intermediate –  Rehab Facility 1st out of 22, T-Jam 6th.

The RX category was extremely competitive. Despite their best efforts, the other teams just got ahead. The team that won were completely dominant, in that they won every event bar one.

The venue was excellent. Newbury Rugby club was a great choice of facility, and ground for the athletes and the spectators. The catering was top notch and to be able to have a beer straight after the workout was even better. The weather held thankfully, meaning that as a gym owner I didn’t feel for the guys with all the kit being put outside (how they would have done this with it raining I don’t know). Either way thank you so much to T-Jam for starting this off and encouraging everyone to come along and join in the events and thank you to CrossFit Newbury for taking the risk and putting on an exceptional event from organising all the judges, all the kit, all the logistics, all the prizes, and the catering and venue. I really hope you guys do it again next year. We will definitely be there!

Monday – April 6, 2020 – 200406

Context: Practice –

Dynamic Warm Up Option: St Petersburg KB Warm Up Flow – 100′ Suitcase Carry each arm, 100′ OH Carry each arm, 2L/2R Turkish Get Up, 12 Russian Swings, 8 (4 per side) Front Rack or Overhead Squat, 30s Floor Scap Stretch, 30s Psoas So Good stretch –

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 6×4 Back or Box Squat 11 of 12 (6 sets of 4 reps, same weight across, 80-90%)

Super Set: 6×6 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (6 sets of 6 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Legolas Greenleaf”

AMRAP in 6 min

8 LH DB Power Snatch (Health: 15lb/ Athletic*: 25lb/ Performance: 45lb)

30′ OH Lunge with DB in left hand

8 RH DB Power Snatch (same)

30′ OH Lunge with DB in RH

100m Sprint or 30 Double Unders, 3 Burpees

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 2.5 – 5 rounds, about 1:45 per round. Scale Up: 35/50lb DB

Compare to: April 23, 2018

Coaching Tips: Make sure to catch the dumbbell overhead with a straight active arm, keep your thumb pointed behind you and your shoulder in good position also make sure to stand all the way up. On the lunges make sure you don’t step too far or short, your knee should be right over your ankle. As you stand up drive through the heel of your front foot.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 2 min Row, 1 min Toes to Bar or Sit Ups, 2 min Row, OR 3 sets of 10-15 Strict Toes to bar in a super set with 12 Loaded Hip Extensions

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Power Snatch p. 438, Running p. 269

Read more

Hey Everyone!

In case you missed it when it came out on social media, here is our “Corona Virus Gym Owner Survival Guide”.

Also, don’t forget to review our “Online Coaching and Accountablity Series” to brush up on your one-on-one and remote skills!: https://gymprogrammingbasic.zenlearn.com/categories/337202-customized-programming-program

Corona Virus Gym Owner Survival Guide.png
As many parts of the world are going into shut down mode for the COVID-19 Corona virus, there is a lot of uncertainty about how this will affect our own individual lives. This includes what we should do about our fitness businesses.

In some locations, gyms are closing or limiting hours to prevent the spread of the contagion. In others, people are selectively deciding to not go out (known as ‘social distancing’).

No matter how you feel about the virus, it is important that we acknowledge that prevention of the spread is important. Businesses that decide to have reduced operating hours or limited capacity are making a choice to take a financial hit to help reduce the spread of the virus. Individuals who are opting to stay home are disrupting their own lives (and possibly taking a financial hit) to do their part as well.

We should not judge these folks too harshly. Because of the exponential nature of the spread, even small steps early on can make a big difference over the long term.

My personal opinion at this point is that the biggest threat isn’t to most people’s personal health, but the fast growth overwhelming medical system (and secondarily the economy). There are a limited number of care givers, medicines, devices, space, that can be used to treat people. If this gets out of hand in many areas, like it did in parts of China and Italy, the amount of people getting sick and/or dying will go up significantly because treatment will be more difficult. It will also extend the duration of the impact to people’s lives and the economy.

As a gym owner, there are multiple things you can do to navigate this time of uncertainty to minimize any setbacks to your business and/or create opportunities for the future.

(If you want more help deciding if you should close or not, try using this tool from the article linked above to estimate your risk. Employees = members. EDIT: It was a spreasheet you could ‘make a copy’ of, but it might be overloaded due to traffic. It still has great information to help you decide).

Situation 1: Gym Stays Open (mostly)
If you are in an area where there is limited exposure and low chances of an outbreak, you may decide to stay open.

First and foremost, people need to feel safe. Make sure you are educating people on how to minimize the risk and what steps you are taking to minimize the risk. Disinfecting equipment, keeping doors open to maximize airflow from outside, keeping people spread out, doing as much as possible in the sunshine, etc.

That said, there is still a chance that some people will decide to stay home rather than go to the gym. If you decide to stay open but attendance is down, consider changing you hours.

Reduce the number of classes each week because they are not filling up.
Create more Open Gym opportunities for those who want to train but do not want to be near crowds. Arrange sign-up slots like a class so the gym is limited capacity based upon your square footage. It is recommended that people stay 2m (6ft) apart. That means roughly 4-5 square meters or 46-40 square feet of space per person. Divide your training area by these numbers to get your capacity (4000 sq.ft / 40 sq.ft = 10 maximum, 6-8 might make more sense due to people sticking around longer than an hour).
Provide ‘at home’ workout options for people who are coming to the gym less frequently (or not at all). See below for more details.
Situation 2: Gym Only Open Very Limited Hours
Another way to provide value to members is to be closed completely (or Open Gym only) on certain days. Thursday and Sunday are the easiest to be closed on, but you could also look at Tuesdays and Saturdays.

For example:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 6am Class, 9am Class, 10am-2pm Open Gym, 5pm class, 6-7pm Open Gym.

Tuesday: 9am-7pm Open Gym

Saturday: 9am Class, 10am-12pm Open Gym

Thursday, Sunday: Closed (at home programming provided)

This will allow people to come to the gym 1-3 days per week and do the movements/programming they cannot do at home (use the rowing machine, use the pull up bar, lift heavy barbells, etc.).

The programming should reflect this. Avoid doing movements in the programming that are little to no equipment on the days you are open. Save the limited/no equipment movements for when people will be training from home.

Situation 3: Gym is Closed
If you decide to close the gym, or are forced to because of the risk, there are still things you can do to provide value and piece of mind.

One of the best things you and your coaches can do is reach out to each member and find out what equipment they have access to. You can even recommend a list of things for them to pick up (a dumbbell, jump rope, resistance band, Yoga mat or some sort of training surface).

Side Note: I don’t recommend ‘loaning’ equipment out to people. Chances are, you won’t have enough for everyone, and there is a good chance that you’ll have a hard time getting it back in a timely manner once you re-open (or it will come back damaged). Think twice if you decide to do this.

When you talk to them, ask them what their plan is to keep up with their fitness (if they have one). Set up a schedule with them on which days they’ll be training. Keep an organized file with each person detailing what equipment they have access to, and what their training schedule will be.

At A Minimum
Create ‘at home’ workouts for people to do based upon what people have access to. Post them on your FB Community page and in your tracking app. Encourage people to post their results/experiences in the FB group.

A note on programming for home workouts: Don’t get crazy. Because of the limited amount of movements and equipment, many movement patterns will be repeated more frequently. If you create workouts with high volumes of reps, and they do these workouts 4-5 times per week (like they normally would), they are likely to accrue overuse injuries or muscle imbalances. Keep the rep counts on the small side, and mix it up with days where there is just mobility and/or skill work (think: handstands, round offs, static holds, etc.)

The key is to maximize online and personal engagement to make up for the lack of in person contact.

You and the coaches should set up a plan for posting online, making helpful videos, and reaching out to clients.

You may have to cut payroll somewhat, but if your coaches are helping the clients and the gym, you should still be able to budget some payroll for them to keep people engaged.

If you go this route with some of your coaches, set clear guidelines of what is expected (specific people they are responsible for, number of posts per week, hours contributing, if they are doing individual programming, etc.)

Talk to Your Landlord
Do not forget to reach out to your landlord and ask for eliminated, deferred, or reduced rent. Every situation will be different, but many landlords have insurance for this type of thing. One of the best options for both parties may be to extending the lease by 2-3 months at the end of your contract in exchange for 2-3 months unpaid (if you left after your lease was up, they’d probably lose that revenue anyway).

Even if you aren’t anticipating losing a lot of members, the difference in rent and payroll can help offset the lack of new members that will be signing up. There is also a chance that new sign ups will be impacted for a long time after the emergency passes due to its effects on the economy.

Take a good look at your finances and make sure you have a decent ‘burn rate’ (your expenses are less than you are brining in, or if the expenses are more, you decide how much you are going to spend to stay in business for the next 3-6 months).

Using Pods/Teams
Organize people into ‘pods’ based upon their relationships with each other, their abilities, their equipment, and their schedule. It doesn’t have to be perfect matches, but more ‘matched’ people will be, the more fun it will be for them.

The pods should be 3-6 people, up to about 10. Too few people, and it will be harder to manage and engagement will be low. Too many, and people will fall through the cracks. Have them start a WhatsApp or Facebook chat (even a text chat could work). A coach should be in each pod.

Separate the pods into programming categories based on ability and equipment. Try to keep the categories to a minimum (3-5). You will send each pod a version of the programming tailored to their category. Some days, the whole group will be doing the same thing, other days each pod will have something changed.

Use the pods to create additional accountability and community. Have each pod come up with a name. Check in with them often. Have them post their results/experiences/questions within the pod. Keep people engaging and training.

Team Challenges
There is also an opportunity to create ‘team challenges’ for each pod (or even just individuals) to participate in. The challenges can change each week to keep things fresh. This topic needs its own article but here are a few ideas:

Post a picture of you workout area or selfie post-workout to the gym FB group (each pic is a point for the team)
Get a point for each ‘web video’ workout with a coach or teammate (or anyone else for that matter)
Earn 1 point for every 10 minutes of mobility/yoga you do at home
Earn 1 point for each healthy recipe you try at home (take pictures)
Using the “Sleep WOD” points system, see which pod can get the most points in a week.
Give a point each day for 1 or more comments on the community forum (maximum 1 point per day no matter how many posts they make).
Earn 1 point for 10 minutes of breathing or mediation work
Keep a leaderboard on your FB group. Announce winners and runners up each week. You may even rank the pods for an overall score (combined for multiple weeks).

The Good News About a Forced Closure
Providing a service beyond a physical location.png
This is an opportunity to show your clients that you offer more than just classes.

You are providing a service that is independent of a physical location.

This is the perfect time to get people engaged with you online and demonstrate your ability to provide value even if they can’t come into the gym.

As we move past this, you will be able to retain more clients that cannot make it to the gym as often as they like. You may also get some ‘remote’ clients who have moved away or who can never make it to the gym for whatever reason (remote coaching).

It is also a time to educate people about maintain their health outside of the gym. Staying active, eating healthier, focusing on sleep, etc.

It may also be a good time for you as a gym owner.

If you are leading people remotely as outlined above, you’ll still be fairly busy. But there is a good chance you’ll have more down time than usual.

Spend this time to work on projects you have been putting off. Update the website. Work on some of your marketing. Have some meetings with your coaches. Take an online course.

You can also focus on getting some rest. Spending time with family. Talking to relatives and friends on the phone. Getting some projects done around the house. Finish reading those books. Trying some new recipes. Working out yourself!

Challenges and Opportunities
I hope this article helps you get prepared and gives you some piece of mind. There are a both challenges and opportunities ahead.

With the some preparation and the right mindset, there is a good chance you’ll weather this storm, maybe your business will end up even better than before.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be putting out resources for you and for regular folks to use during unique time. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you can get ahead of it and possibly come out even better than before!

Also, share this with any other gym owners who might find it helpful!: https://thrivestry.simplero.com/blog/37499-corona-virus-covid-19-gym-owner-survival

Thrive on.


Programming Display Link and Weekly Summary:
Programming Display: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y57g315OSG6eSN5R3LoHBP5jleymgO422ORiiD3cXPw/edit?usp=sharing

Weekly Overview: Programming_Overview_200330_wk_13_and_wk_14.pdf

What I am reading/watching (content for you or to share on your social media):
Strength training can protect brain from degeneration in those at risk of Alzheimer’s – The New Daily
Pumping iron can save your marbles. “There was no grey zone about these results There was a clear difference in terms of brain anatomy and linked to that, those people doing strength exercises had far better cognitive outcomes than otherwise.”

Ten Habits of People Who Lose Weight and Keep It Off – The Conversation
Most people who diet will regain 50 percent of the lost weight in the first year after losing it. Much of the rest will regain it in the following three years. The study found weight-loss interventions that are founded on habit-change, (forming new habits or breaking old habits) may be effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off.

How to transform your to-do list into a productivity power tool – Fast Company
“A to-do list can be a helpful tool for running your day, but it can also be a place where tasks go to linger and die. If you end the day with things undone or if you keep carrying tasks forward to the next day or week, you need a to-do list makeover—a reality check on how you spend your time, as well as your expectations.”

Growing old is inevitable, growing strong is a choice – Health News
“Society considers pensions so important that many sectors operate a mandatory pension contribution scheme. Yet, as much as we prepare for future loss of income, we rarely consider a loss of strength. Rather than financial futureproofing, why not think about functional futureproofing? There are small ‘contributions’ we can make to our body strength over our lifetime that will accumulate into a bounty worthy of ‘interest’.”

Dance, garden and swim your way to a better brain as you age, study says – CNN Health
“Judging by the MRI scans, the adults who engaged in the highest levels of activity had 1.4% more total brain volume than those who were inactive, which was the equivalent of slowing brain aging by about four years, the report said.”

Anatomy of a Weightlifter: What are their Biggest Strengths? – Olympic YouTube
Ukraine’s star Olympian Dmytro Chuma reveals his explosive power and immensely balanced leg, arm, and grip strength in weightlifting.

3 Mental Blocks That Keep You From Doing What You Say You Want to Do – TED Ideas
We all face mental blocks, here are three big ones and they all have to do with “Defensive Failure”. Use these frameworks to make some changes on things you have been struggling with!

On to the Programming!

Monday: 200330 Mon wk14 30s Barbara – https://youtu.be/70S_6uxxZrk
How the rep scheme is good for testing but still provides a good training stimulus, what to do with absolute beginners and people with shoulder issues, notes on class timing, notes for mobility/activation, how to get the most out of the metcon, weekly overview

Tuesday: 200331 Tue wk14 Street Food – https://youtu.be/705w5MCnMpo
Why using the glutes on pistols and step ups is important, how to do step ups that are most closely related to pistols, notes on the glute med and lateral shuffles, people should slow down for the TGU, reminding people of the change in programming for weeks 5 & 6 of the strength focus

Wednesday: 200401 Wed wk14 Lone Runaway – https://youtu.be/IJq0P5QgiA0
Teaching people to keep the bar close and the use of the lat muscle on deadlifts, notes for straight leg deadlifts, using advanced variations earlier in the rounds is better long term, notes for the Game Changer

Thursday: 200402 Thu wk14 Shining Lights – https://youtu.be/kqbDGhDAgGc
Why staying active during rest periods is important for recovery before the next effort, how to structure the double under skill practice, notes on shoulder press vs HSPU, what to do if you don’t have enough rowers, pushing the intensity with the row

Friday: 200403 Fri wk14 Dog Days – https://youtu.be/yhS5-sxTHe4
Getting people to understand percentages (why the wide range), the differences between men and women, what 80-90% should feel like, how they should adjust their loads for the day based upon how they feel, teach people why the barbell complexes in the warm ups are so good, knees to elbows tips and how they are different than toes to bar

Saturday: 200404 Sat wk14 Parks and Rec – https://youtu.be/A09xjqARWJk
Static hold partner workouts can be very different than work/rest workouts because both people must rest at the same time during the former vs the latter, notes on fatigue and safety, some points about the indy version

Sunday: 200405 Sun wk14 Googley Moogley – https://youtu.be/bXOPnKn4V4Y
Teaching people the different primary movement patterns of the hip and which one is correct for KB swings, scaling the pull up for maximum effect


Monday – March 30, 2020 – 200330

Context: Competition – Go for a true Jerk max.

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 rounds: 8 Ring Rows, 8 Push Ups, 8L/8R Reverse Lunge, 8 KB Swings, 2 Inch Worms, then 4 sets of 5 with an empty bar: Straight Leg Deadlifts, Hang Muscle Clean, Shoulder Press, Tall Jerk

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on Pistol progressions (sets of 3-5 per side).

Strength: 3-2-2-2-1-1-1-1 Jerk (8 sets, adjust load each set)

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “30s Barbara”

FGB Style. 3 rounds, 30 secs per station, of:

Kipping Pull Up

Push Up

Sit Up (Butterfly)

Air Squat

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 120 – 220 reps, about 50-60 reps per round. Scale Up: Add a 4th round.

Compare to: October 21, 2019

Coaching Tips: Make sure you are thoroughly warmed up and practiced each movement for this one because there won’t be time to ‘get into the groove’. Move fast but keep your reps legit. Try to maximize your best movement and do damage control on your worst movement.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 15 KB Swings, 15 Cal Row, 4 rounds, OR 3 sets of 15-20 Banded Face Pulls in a super set with 15 Banded Good Mornings

“By the Numbers” Book References: Pistol p. 453, Push Jerk p. 424, Split Jerk p. 470, Kipping Pull-up p. 258, Push-up p. 126, Butterfly Sit-up p. 133, Air Squat p. 103

Tuesday – March 31, 2020 – 200331

Context: Practice – Using your glutes on Pistols and step ups

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 2 min Row/Airdyne or Jump Rope, then 3 sets: 10 KB Swings, 10 KB Front Rack Reverse Lunges, 100′ Suitcase Carry. Then 5,4,3,2,1 with the empty bar: Good Morning, Push Press, Bent Over Row, Back Squat

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on Toes to Bar and Bar Muscle Up progressions

Strength: 4×6 Back or Box Squat 9 of 12 (4 sets of 6 reps, same weight across, 75-85%)

Super Set: 4×8 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (4 sets of 8 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Street Food”

AMRAP in 8 min

6 Pistols or Box Step Ups (Health: 12”/ Athletic*: 20”/ Performance: 24”) -alternate as desired

6 DB Push Press (Health: 15lb/ Athletic*: 30lb/ Performance: 45lb)

10 Lateral Shuffle 20′ (5 round trips)

INTERMISSION: at one point during the 8 minutes, stop and do 2 Turkish Get Ups per side.

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 5 – 7 rounds, about 1:10 per round and 45s for the Intermission. Scale Up: +35/50lb Single DB Pistols, 35/50lb DBs

Compare to: NEW WORKOUT!

Coaching Tips: With the small sets, it is important to move fast between the transitions. Focus on pushing through the heel on the Pistols/Step Ups. Make sure you hit lock out on the Push Presses. It is recommended you stop for your Intermission between min 3 and 6. Slow down and take your time on the TGU, then get back to where you left off.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 10 Medball Slams, 30 Double Unders, 4 min, OR 3 sets of 12 Tricep Extensions in a super set with 10-15 Calf Raises

“By the Numbers” Book References: Toes to Bar p. 434, Bar Muscle Ups p. 524, Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Pistol p. 453, Push Press p. 292

Wednesday – April 1, 2020 – 200401

Context: Practice – Keep the bar close on Deadlifts (especially in metcons)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 200m Run with Medball or 1 min Jump Rope. Then 3 rounds of: 10 Ring Rows, 10 Squat Jumps, 10 Sit Ups with legs straight, 10 Scap Pull Ups. Then 3 sets of 5 with a KB: Bootstrappers, Halos, Single Arm Single Leg Deadlift

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Ankle

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working up to a challenging set of 3 Straight Leg Deadlifts out of the rack.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Lone Runaway”

Health 4 rounds, Athletic/Performance: 5 rounds

15 Deadlifts (Health: 65lb/ Athletic*: 105lb/ Performance: 155lb) or 15 reps with a pair of KBs (26lb/53lb*/70lb)

15 Box Jumps (Health: 12”/ Athletic*: 20”/ Performance: 24”)

15 Toes to Bar (Health: Hanging Knee Raise)

400m Run or 2 rounds of 40 Single Unders, 4 reps of 20′ (6m) out and back shuttle

Scaling Guide: 20 – 28 minutes, about 5 min per round. Scale Up: 125/185lb Deadlifts, 5/7 Bar MU instead of T2B

GAME CHANGER (Performance scaling only, if you finish before 24 min): Row for Calories between minute 21 and 24. For example, if you finish at minute 19, you will wait 2 minutes to start Rowing. If you finish at min 23, you will have one minute to get to the rower and get some calories. Subtract one second from your time for each calorie rowed.

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 19 – 27 minutes

Compare to: August 22, 2018

Coaching Tips: Be very aware of your back and keep the spine neutral/flat. Break up the Deadlifts often. Take your time when you start the Box Jumps so you don’t have a ‘spill’ and make sure you stand up all the way on the top. Get through the Toes to Bar fast, and then pace the Run so you can get right back to the Deadlift without being too fatigued.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: None.

“By the Numbers” Book References: Deadlift p. 151, Box Jump p. 351, Toes to Bar p. 434, Running p. 269

Thursday – April 2, 2020 – 200402

Context: Competition – Staying active during the rest periods.

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 2 min Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope, then 3 sets of 10 KB swings, 10 Goblet Squats, 5L/5R Single Arm KB Press, 2 Crab Bridges, 3 per side Spiderman Lunges, 5 per side Toy Soldiers

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: 40s on, 20s off, for 5 min of Jump Rope/Double Under practice.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Shining Lights”

5 Cycles:

2 Min (for reps):

6 Shoulder Press (Health: 35lb/Athletic*: 55lb/Performance: 95lb) or Strict HSPU (Athletic*: 3 to one Abmats/Performance: 5 reps)

14 Single Arm KB Swing (Health: 18lb/Athletic*: 26lb/Performance: 35lb)

2 min Row for Cal

2 min Rest

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: (28 min total) 250 – 350 ‘reps’, about 60 reps per round (each rep and Cal count as one ‘rep’). Scale Up: 3″ deficit HSPU, 35/53lb KB

Compare to: NEW WORKOUT!

Coaching Tips: Perform this in the order written (not Rowing first). Take your time on the first 2 min interval (keep the HSPU/Presses strict). Push the pace on each round. Try to keep this at 85-95% of your 500m pace.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: None.

“By the Numbers” Book References: Double Unders p. 213, Press p. 199, Kettlebell Swing p. 277, Rowing p. 142

Friday – April 3, 2020 – 200403

Context: Practice – How hard 80-90% should be on Squats (and 1 more week in the strength focus)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 2 min Row or Airdyne, then 3 sets of 10 Reverse Lunges, 10 Weighted Sit Ups, 10 High Knees. Then 5,4,3,2,1 with an empty bar of: Straight Leg Deadlift, Hang Power Clean, Bent Over Row, Back Squat

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 7×3 Back or Box Squat 10 of 12 (7 sets of 3 reps, same weight across, 80-90%)

Super Set: 7×5 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (7 sets of 5 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Dog Days”

In 8 minutes:

40 Knees to Elbow (Health: Hanging Knee Raise)

Then Run as far as possible with a sandbag or plate(s): (Health: 30lb SB, Athletic*: 45lb SB, Performance: 60lb SB, or Health: 25lb plate, Athletic*: 45lb plate, Performance: 45+15lb plate)

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 600 – 1000m, about 2-3 minutes for the KTE

Compare to: July 28, 2019

Coaching Tips: You may do the Knees to Elbows on the rings if you have shoulder issues. For these to be ‘legit’, your knees must actually TOUCH your elbows (or slightly higher on the forearm). Break these up into even sets. You may hold the sandbag/plates any way you want.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 4 min max Cal Row or Airdyne OR 3 sets of 12 DB Bench Press in a super set with 10-15 Single Leg DB Deadlift

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Knees to Elbows p. 239

Saturday – April 4, 2020 – 200404

Context: Practice – The difference between team workouts with static holds and with work/rest

Dynamic Warm Up Option: Coaches Choice

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working up to a challenging Power Clean plus 2 Jerks

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Parks and Rec”

AMRAP in 20 min – With a partner

16 Clean and Jerks (Health: 55lb/ Athletic*: 85lb/ Performance: 135lb) while partner is in wall sit, or 20 C&J with DBs (20lb/35lb*/50lb)

16 DB Burpee Box Step Ups -One DB, held anyway you want- (Health: 15lb/12″, Athletic*: 30lb/20″, Performance: 45lb/24in) while partner hangs

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

INDY VERSION: 8 Clean and Jerks, 30s wall sit, 8 DB Burpee Box Step Ups, 30s hang, 30s rest. 20 min AMRAP

Scaling Guide: 3 – 6 rounds, about 4.5 min per round. Scale up: 95/155lb bar, 35/50lb DB.

Compare to: August 17, 2019

Coaching Tips: Break up both movements early and often. The reps only count once the partner is in the correct ‘holding’ position. Communication is key. These are Power Clean and Jerks. For the DB Burpee Box Step Ups, use only one DB, drop and touch your chest to the ground before standing up, stepping to the box and stepping up. Switch arms as desired.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 100m DB/KB Farmer Carry, 30 Cal Row, 3 rounds OR 3 sets of 12 DB Bent Over Row in a super set with 15-20 loaded Hip Extensions

“By the Numbers” Book References: Power Clean p. 368, Push Jerk p. 424, Burpee p. 415

Sunday – April 5, 2020 – 200405

Context: Practice – The difference between a hip hinge and dip for the Push Press

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 rounds: 10 Ring Rows, 10 Push Ups with shoulder tap, 5 Bird Dogs Per Side, 10 Glute Bridges, 10 Jumping Jacks, Then 3 sets of 5 with an empty bar: Hang Power Clean, Front Squat, Push Press

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 3-3-3-3-3-3 Push Press (6 sets of 3 reps, adjust load each set)

Super Set: 4-4-4-4-4-4 Weighted Strict Pull Up or progression (6 sets of 4 reps, adjust load/difficulty each set)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Googley Moogley”

AMReps in 8 min

3 Strict Chin Up (Health: Assisted, Athletic*: 3, Performance: 3+15lbs)


Russian KB Swing (Health: 26lb, Athletic*: 35lb, Performance: 53lb)

30 Single Unders

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 210 – 372 reps (finishing the 5th round to finishing the 8th). R3)117 reps. R4)162 reps. R5)210. R6)261. R7)315. R8)372. R9)432. Scale Up: +15/+25lb Chin Ups, 53/70lb KB

Compare to: NEW WORKOUT!

Coaching Tips: Keep the Chin Ups strict the entire workout, even if it means that you’ll need to break them up or change the progression. Go hard on the Swings and the Single unders so you’ll have time to break up the Chin Ups.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 10 DB Thrusters, 100m Run, 4 min, OR 3 sets of 12 Jones Squats in a super set with 10-15 weighted Ring Dips

“By the Numbers” Book References: Push Press p. 292, Pull-up p. 192, Kettlebell Swing p. 277

Hey Everyone,

Here is another article you can share with your folks!

100 percent no and just this once.png
“Just this once.”
We’ve all said it…

I’ll have another piece of candy, just this once.

I’ll skip going to the gym, just this once.

I’ll watch another episode, just this once.

If it really were just this once it wouldn’t be an issue. The problem arises when all of the ‘onces’ start adding up and we become frustrated with our lack of progress or wonder why we can never seem to change.

A lot of this has to do with human psychology.

We are wired to dismiss or ignore small slips. We minimize the seemingly insignificant choices that bombard us every day when compared to the big stuff.

Conceptually we know that consistent small steps every day add up to big gains over months and years.

But in the moment, it is easy to ‘make an exception’ (just this once), because this tiny action seems so insignificant when compared to the big picture.

We humans are really good at taking the easy route that will feel good immediately, and generally terrible at delaying gratification or making an investment in a far-off future self.

When 100% Compliance is 10x Easier than 99%
If just this once was only 1 time out of 100 (it is usually a lot more than 1/100), that would mean you were successful 99 times out of 100.

99% SEEMS like a good track record right!?

But here’s the thing… hovering at 99% is much more exhausting than being 100%.

The world is an unending stream of extenuating circumstances.

You WILL be tempted. You WILL have a ‘bad’ day. You WILL find excuses.

If you haven’t decided ahead of time to be 100%, these situations will force you to make a decision. To use your willpower.

These micro decisions start to add up. Each one successfully navigated, means that the next one will be a little harder to resist.

And then the ‘just this once’ beast starts to rear its ugly head again.

This is where being 100% can make your life easier.

If you can set yourself up to be 100% ahead of time, you will not have to deal with all of that decision fatigue.

Ways to be 100%
One of the best examples of 100% being easier than 99% is Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent Fasting may have some physiological benefits. The real benefits for weight loss and healthy eating probably has more to do with the fact that people are not eating for 14+ hours (sometimes 16 or even 20). No grazing. No worrying about what to eat. Because of this change, people generally eat far fewer calories over a 24-hour period than a more traditional meal schedule.

It is easier to resist temptation when you have removed the option completely ahead of time.

Another example is getting the ‘bad food’ out of your immediate space. Get it out of the house completely. Or move it to the garage, in a crate, under another crate.

The same thing goes for Netflix. Set your sleep timer to turn your TV off at a reasonable hour and commit ahead of time to leaving it off once it shuts down.

Delete social media accounts off your phone. If the apps aren’t there, it will be easier to not get sucked in.

And then there is visiting the gym. Decide what days you are going to go to the gym each week and then sign into class ahead of time. No matter how you feel, commit to driving to the gym and walking in. If you are having a really rough day, sit on a rower for a few minutes, do some mobility, and go home. But convince yourself ahead of time that NOT coming is not an option.

Just this… NOPE
Instead of being tempted to say just this once, decide ahead of time what areas you will be 100% in (check out our podcast/article on Identity and Principles to help you decide, or these articles if you are a subscriber: Part 1, Part 2).

Set your environments so you don’t have to be constantly vigilant and avoiding temptation.

Stop lying to yourself and saying, “just this once”.

Start being 100% in the important things and stop fighting so hard to stay at 99%.

And start becoming more awesome.

Thrive on.


Concept Video This Week:
Skill work in classes is critical and the order is important

One of the best parts of CrossFit/HIIT style training is that you don’t need a full hour to get a good training session in. That means we can spend time other things like skill development! Skill development is critical because it allows people to practice and learn movements outside of the pressure of the clock or the load. It is best if you put it in earlier in the hour when people are fresh (their brains and bodies will have an easier time learning it) and it is also great if you don’t do the exact same movement that is in the metcon that day (because people will sandbag).

Programming Display Link and Weekly Summary:
Programming Display: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VSyFu6CqanBJfEOATUgdoaogulqz4HphxhebVYbigq4/edit?usp=sharing

Weekly Overview: Programming_Overview_200323_wk_12_and_wk_13.pdf

What I am reading/watching (content for you or to share on your social media):
Push the Bar Back in the Jerk – Catalyst Athletics
The bar DOES NOT go straight up when performing a jerk (or push presses for that matter). Also, what does recovering with your front foot have to do with it?

This could be why you’re depressed or anxious – TED
‘Just like junk food has made us physiologically sick, junk values have made us psychologically sick.’… ‘Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or an example you are broken, it is a signal that needs to be listened to an honored’.

Bizarre Rich-People Secrets I Learned Undercover at Canyon Ranch Spa – Bloomberg
“Yes, guests lie about being allergic to gluten. No, you can’t take 10 years off your face just by resting. That’s Botox.”

Top Economists Study What Happens When You Stop Using Facebook – Cal Newport
“Deactivating Facebook freed up 60 minutes per day for the average person in our Treatment group. Deactivation caused small but significant improvements in well-being, and in particular in self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety. As the experiment ended, participants reported planning to use Facebook much less in the future. Deactivation significantly reduced polarization of views on policy issues and a measure of exposure to polarizing news”

Metabolism and Glucose Sensitivity Disrupted When Low-Cal Sweetener Consumed with Added Carbs – GenEng News
Don’t eat your artificial sweeteners with any other calories? Facinating… “What they unexpectedly found was that it was the control, combo group consuming the low calorie sweetener plus maltodextrin beverages that showed changes in brain response to sweet taste, and in insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. “The subjects had seven low-calorie drinks, each containing the equivalent of two packages of Splenda, over two weeks,” said Small. “When the drink was consumed with just the low-calorie sweetener, no changes were observed; however, when this same amount of low-calorie sweetener was consumed with a carbohydrate added to the drink, sugar metabolism and brain response to sugar became impaired… the addition of LCSs to increase the sweetness of carbohydrate-containing food and beverages should be discouraged and consumption of diet drinks with meals should be counseled against.”

Why Pediatricians Are Being Urged to Write ‘Physical Activity Prescriptions’ for Children – Eco Watch
“Physical activity in the school day has been compromised by a push toward more ‘academic’ subjects, even though we know well that physical activity in the school day improves concentration and attention, improves academic performance, improves behavior, and helps children and adolescents adopt habits for lifelong health,”

Putting Peer Pressure to Work: A Q&A with Robert Frank – Behavior Scientist
“…Sexual harassment is contagious. We know that from the studies of the virality of the #MeToo movement. Bullying is contagious. That’s been shown experimentally. The tendency to become obese is contagious. That surprised me. When the military would send a family to a new post, if it was a county that had an obesity rate 1 percent higher than where they’d been, the adult members of the family were 5 percent more likely to become obese in the new post. It’s a huge effect…”

On to the Programming!

Monday: 200323 Mon wk13 Not So Naïve – https://youtu.be/7GmkwwFbZ54
Teaching people about scapular retraction, notes on hip activation and the ‘sack swinging walk’ points about single arm ring rows, notes on the workout, weekly overview

Tuesday: 200324 Tue wk13 The Chief – https://youtu.be/sVD8Tg0XC04
Teaching people that getting sloppy to beat someone else or PR is a bad strategy over time, a step by step guide for teaching HSPU, keeping everyone safe but allowing for all skill levels

Wednesday: 200325 Wed wk13 Blue Stream – https://youtu.be/4Q8xEZt0V-0
Moving with intent versus intensity, extra time on the warm up, details about ‘heavy’ thrusters vs light thrusters, why thrusters in the skill practice warm up, intensity levels for ‘for quality’ workouts

Thursday: 200326 Thu wk13 Death by 10m – https://youtu.be/ezKc8_G4vAE
Running technique tips, why running form is important, why max height box jumps aren’t the best idea, notes for the metcon and making sure people take the time to work on their form in the earlier rounds

Friday: 200327 Fri wk13 You Be Illin – https://youtu.be/eNqyQA7T6g0
Get people to log more often! Time guide, notes on rest between sets of larger sets of squats, tips for wall balls and breaking up toes to bar, points about the hypertrophy portion

Saturday: 200328 Sat wk13 The Revengers – https://youtu.be/IddVPXeRA_E
Small fast sets mean smaller rests and why faster is better as an added stimulus, breaking up the rows, what to do with ‘coed’ teams

Sunday: 200329 Sun wk13 Manila Madness – https://youtu.be/aTaVACjfduw
Some injuries are completely avoidable, let’s avoid them, notes on talking too much during the warm up, tips for banded deadlifts, workout flow, team version


Monday – March 23, 2020 – 200323

Context: Practice – Scapular retraction on strict chin ups (and why it is important for shoulder health)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 400m Jog or 2 min Jump Rope. Then 3 rounds: 10 Reverse Lunge Steps, 10 Push Ups, 10 Goblet Squats, 10 Sit Ups, 10 Ring Rows

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 6×4 Back or Box Squat 7 of 12 (6 sets of 4 reps, same weight across, 75-85%)

Super Set: 6×6 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (4 sets of 8 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Not So Naïve”

AMRAP in 9 min

Strict Chin Up (Health: assisted, Athletic*: 4 reps, Performance: 6 reps)

6L/6R Single Arm DB Jerk (Health: 15lb/ Athletic*: 30lb/ Performance: 45lb)

12 Alternating Reverse Lunges with DB Overhead -one arm- (same)

INTERMISSION: At minute 0:00, 3:00, and 6:00 stop and perform 25 double unders (Health: 40 singles)

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 3 – 5 rounds, about 1:45 per round (not including the time for the double unders). Scale Up: 35/50lb DB.

Compare to: April 16, 2019

Coaching Tips: Start with a set of Double Unders as fast as possible. Go right into the first round of Pull Ups. You should be able to do at least 2 rounds unbroken with the Pull Ups. After the last DB Jerk, go right into the Lunges. Switch arms as desired. Avoid taking too large of steps back and hyper extending the back.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 20 Toes to Bar, 3 min Row, 10 Toes to bar, 2 min Row, 5 Toes to Bar, 1 min Row

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Pull-up p. 192, Push Jerk p. 424

Tuesday – March 24, 2020 – 200324

Context: Competition – Go for a big score, but keep the form legit

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 rounds: 8 Squat Jumps, 3 Inch Worms, 1 Crab Bridge, 8-12 Hollow Rocks. Then 3 sets of 5 with the empty bar: Jefferson Curl (rounded back deadlift), Bent Over Row, Hang Muscle Clean, Shoulder Press, Hang Squat Clean

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on Handstand and HSPU progressions.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “The Chief”

5 cycles of 3 minutes, 1-minute rest between cycles

3 Power Cleans (Health: 55lb/ Athletic*: 95lb/ Performance: 135lb) or 6 db power cleans (20lb/30lb*/45lb)

6 Push Ups

9 Air Squats

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 16-28 rounds, about 4.5 rounds per cycle

Compare to: August 14, 2018 CrossFit Classic

Coaching Tips: Try to do these in unbroken sets if possible. If the cleans get challenging, drop to singles. Push the pace on the transitions because of the 1 min rests. Don’t let yourself get sloppy on the Push Ups and the Squats. Make sure you hit full range of motion for every rep! Primarily, no sagging Push Ups where your thighs leave the ground before your chest and no squats above depth or without fully open hips at the top.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: None.

“By the Numbers” Book References: Handstand Push Ups p. 500, Kipping Handstand Push Ups p. 508, Power Clean p. 368, Push-up p. 126, Air Squat p. 103

Wednesday – March 25, 2020 – 200325

Context: Practice – Take your time, and move with intent.

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 2 min Row or Airdyne. Then 2 sets of 10 Push Ups, 10 Squat Jumps, 30s per side Side Plank. Then 3 sets of 5 with an empty bar: Straight Leg Deadlift, Hang Muscle Clean, Thruster

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 Minutes working up to a challenging Thruster out of the rack for 3 reps.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Blue Stream”

15 minutes for quality:

2-4-6… ‘Heavy’ Thrusters (Health: 55lb, Athletic*: 85lb, Performance: 135lb), or 4-6-8… with DBs (20lb, 35lb*, 50lb)

40′ Bear Crawl or 20′ HS Walk

80 Single Unders or 50 Cross Overs

After 15 minutes:

800m Run or 1000m Row

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: NOT FOR TIME. Aim to finish the 10s to finishing the 16s. Optional: Record number of Thrusters completed and/or Run or Row time.

Compare to: July 21, 2019

Coaching Tips: Focus on technique and moving deliberately. Experiment with HS Walks and Cross Overs early on (if you are ready). Make sure you have a good front rack on the Thrusters so you don’t risk hitting your elbow on your knee. If you want a bit more ‘intensity’, push hard on the Run/Row.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 3 sets of 10-15 DB Step ups in a superset with 12 DB Curls

“By the Numbers” Book References: Thruster p. 357, Running p. 269, Rowing p. 142

Thursday – March 26, 2020 – 200326

Context: Practice – Work on running form (at least on the earlier rounds)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: “Moscow KB warm up” 2 rounds: 6 Halos per side, 8 Goblet Squats, 10 Boot Strappers, 12 Single Arm Presses (6 per side), 2 Crab Bridges, Quad Smash, Ankle Mob

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 6 minutes working up to a max distance Broad Jump or near max height Box Jump

Strength: 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 Power Clean (7 sets of 2 reps, adjust load each set)

Super Set: 5-5-5-5-5-5-5 Half Kneeling Single Arm DB Shoulder Press (7 sets of 5 reps, each side, adjust load/difficulty each set)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Death by 10m going prone”

Start by laying chest down on the ground. The first minute stand up and Sprint 10 meters (33 feet). The second minute, stand up and Run 10m, lay down, then stand up and Run 10m. The third minute, stand up and Run 10m and lay down three times. Continue until you are not able to complete the allotted number of 10m intervals with the lay downs before the minute is up. Your chest must be on the floor at the start of each minute.

Record total number of rounds completed, plus any additional 10 m Sprints completed as part of a partial final round.

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: Get to round 9 – 14

Compare to: January 30, 2019

Coaching Tips: The first few minutes of these feel easy, but don’t worry it gets hard real fast! Take your time and even ‘walk’ on the first few rounds. Start sprinting only when you have to. If you bomb out a bit early and want to some extra work, rest for one round, then try to get the same amount for two more minutes. If you are short on time, start at minute 5 (do 5 trips your first minute). If you are short on distance, Run out 5m (16 ft) and back before laying back down.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 2 min Row for Cal, 60s Elbow Plank, 2 min row, OR 3 sets of 60s weighted Back Plank in a super set with 20 Banded Good Mornings

“By the Numbers” Book References: Jumping Mechanics p. 188, Box Jump p. 351, Power Clean p. 368, Press p. 199, Running p. 269

Friday – March 27, 2020 – 200327

Context: Competition – Look up your old score and try to beat it!

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 200m Jog with Medball or 2 min Jump Rope. Then 3 rounds: 5 Side Lunges per side, 5 Single Arm Ring Row per side, 5 Glute Bridges, 10 KB Swings, 10 Push Ups with Reach, 10 Sit Ups

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 5×5 Back or Box Squat 8 of 12 (5 sets of 5 reps, same weight across, 75-85%)

Super Set: 5×7 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (5 sets of 7 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “You Be Illin’” (VIDEO)

5 rounds for time of:

12 Wall Balls (Health: 10lb/8ft, Athletic*: 14lb/9ft, Performance: 20lb/10ft)

12 Toes to Bars

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 4.5 – 9 minutes, about 1:30 per round. Scale Up: 30/20lb ball and 1 bar muscle up for every 3 Toes to Bar.

Compare to: August 26, 2019

Coaching Tips: Aim to finish every round of Wall Ball unbroken for as long as you can. Split the Toes to Bar up a bit more, even in the early rounds. If you are feeling good on the later rounds, shoot for bigger sets on the Toes to Bar, but don’t do it if you risk ripping your hands.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 10 American KB Swings, 15 Burpees, 3 rounds, OR 3 sets of 20 Loaded Hip Extensions in a super set with 10-12 Narrow Grip Chin Ups

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Wall Ball p. 430, Toes to Bar p. 434

Saturday – March 28, 2020 – 200328

Context: Practice – Smaller sets with your partner mean less rest

Dynamic Warm Up Option: Coach’s Choice

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “The Revengers”

For time. Teams of 2:

2500m Row, split as desired

Then 5 rounds for time:

15 Power Snatches (Health: 35lb Russian KB Swing, Athletic*: 65lb, Performance: 95) one person at a time or 25 American KB Swings (26lb, 35lb*, 53lb)

40′ OH DB Walking Lunge (Health: 15lb/ Athletic*: 30lb/ Performance: 45lb) both partners together

200m Bumper Plate Farmer Carry (Health: 15lb/ Athletic*: 25lb/ Performance: 45lb) one person carries, both run together, or 5 round trip 40’ Farmer Carries

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

INDY VERSION: 1200m Row, then 5 rounds: 7 Power Snatches, 40’ DB OH Lunge, 100m Farmer Carry, 30s rest

Scaling Guide: 25-35 minutes, about 11-12 minutes for the Row, then 3:30 per round after. Scale Up: 85/135lb bar

Compare to: April 27, 2019

Coaching Tips: Break up the Row for small fast sets, but try and have the ‘better’ rower do a bit more of the work. Switch arms as necessary on the OH DB Lunges, and make sure that you do not move onto the next movement until both partners have finished. Trade off the bumper plates often for the Farmer Carries and stay close together.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 60s Side Plank, 60s DB Thrusters, 3 rounds, OR 3 sets of 12 Single Arm Shoulder Press in a super set with 15 Jones Squats

“By the Numbers” Book References: Rowing p. 142, Power Snatch p. 438, Walking Lunge p. 220

Sunday – March 29, 2020 – 200329

Context: Practice – Avoiding ‘silly’ injuries (like rope burns)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 rounds: 10 Single Arm KB Thruster (5L/5R), 10 Russian KB Swings, 6 KB Halos. Then: 5,4,3,2,1 with an empty bar: Straight Leg Deadlift, Bent Over Row Shoulder Press, Good Morning, Back Squat.

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working up to a challenging Banded Deadlift, Banded Sumo Deadlift, or perform 5 reps on the minute for 5 minutes (50-60%)

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Manila Madness”

4 cycles of 4 minutes. 2 minutes rest between cycles:

Rope Climb (Health: 6 Rope Lay Downs/ Athletic*: 2 Rope Climbs*/ Performance: 3 Rope Climbs)

Then max rounds:

10 Hang Muscle Clean (Health: two 15lb DBs/ Athletic*: 65lb/ Performance: 95lb) or with DBs (15lb/30lb*/45lb)

40′ Broad Jump

(after 4 min cycle, 2 min rest, begin rounds where you left off on the last cycle)

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

TEAM VERSION: Teams of 3 with same 4 min cycles with 2 min rest. One person at a time getting Rope Climbs for the full 4 minutes (rotate as desired). Two people working at a time on the Broad Jumps and Muscle Cleans. Count total rounds. Every 3 Rope Climbs = 1 additional round.

Scaling Guide: 22 min total time. 9 – 13 Rounds, about 60-90s for the Rope Climbs, then 1 min per round after. Scale Up: Legless Rope Climbs, 75/115lb bar

Compare to: NEW WORKOUT!

Coaching Tips: Try doing at least 1 Rope Climb per cycle if if possible. Use your legs as much as possible on the Rope Climbs to save your arms for the later rounds. Keep the Muscle Cleans legit and avoid using your biceps to ‘curl’ it (it will make your Rope Climbs harder). Go for big jumps on the Broad Jump.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 60s Toes to Bar, 60s Wall Ball, 3 rounds, OR 3 sets of 10-15 Strict Toes to Bar in a super set with 15-20 Banded Tricep Press Downs

“By the Numbers” Book References: Deadlift p. 151, Rope Climb p. 461, Muscle Clean p. 313, Jumping Mechanics p. 188

Hey Everyone!

Quick tip to remind you to teach people to move the buckle out of the way when doing ring dips and ring push ups (like we are on Tuesday)

“What Weight Should I Use for the Workout?”
I talk about the chart on the Wednesday video, so I figured I’d post the info here again as well.

Metcon Percentage Reccommendations.png
I created this chart to help coaches (and clients) get close to where they should be. PDF download here: Metcon load percentages.pdf. This is very generalized and should only be used as a starting point when selecting a load. You can print this out and post a couple copies around the gym for people to use.

Be sure to read the fine print:

1 rep maxes DO NOT correlate directly to doing larger sets of the same movement in a metcon. They are different stimuli. The main reason why we would even talk about it at all is that a lot of people know about what their 1 RM is (and hopefully it is fairly recent).

It ALWAYS depends on the person, the movement itself, other movements involved, workout design, desired stimulus, etc. This is your job as a coach; to guide people toward the best options for each workout! (No matter what the chart says)

The PDF has examples for reference:

Metcon load scaling examples.png
You will notice that for a workout like Grace to be truly a ‘fast’ metcon like it should be, ladies should be clean and jerking 135+ and men should be at 225+. People can certainly complete all of the reps of Grace without these maxes, but the farther off they are, the more they are going to have to slow down and the more likely they are to not get the proper stimuli.

Fran should be more like a 1 RM thruster of 95 for ladies and 135 for men (using 10-14 reps per set and 25-49 total reps per workout).

Post These Around the Gym
At the very least it will help prevent as many questions. It may also prevent ‘arguments’ with the guys who are always trying to go too heavy on the metcons.

At the very best, it will help people understand why the strength training is so important. While not ‘directly’ correlated with metcon loads, the road to getting higher maxes is paved with getting better at sets of 3, 5, 6, etc.

If they want to improve their performances and get fitter in general, they should make sure they are focusing on the strength component of the training!

Thrive on.


Programming Display Link and Weekly Summary:
Programming Display: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15GXXbfQF_RW8Y2EvGsoQGgxaG4efVh0_T4jFLO534g8/edit?usp=sharing

Weekly Overview: Programming_Overview_200316_wk_11_and_wk_12.pdf

What I am reading/watching (content for you or to share on your social media):
Exercise boosts longevity in middle and old age, regardless of previous activity levels, study finds – ABC News
People who hit the minimum recommended activity level (150 minutes of moderate intensity per week) had a 28% reduction in mortality, even if they started at a later age. This was regardless of their initial activity level or other factors like diet, obesity, blood pressure or cholesterol.

Ultramarathon Study Reveals What Actually Boosts Performance (it isn’t the electrolytes) – Inverse
Many folks may be over hydrating and wasting their money on electrolytes. Just make sure you are getting enough salt!

Let’s All Stop Holding Out for Science to Find the Perfect Diet – Slate
Is it the macros? Counting calories? Food quality? Genetics? Microbiome?… Or is the most important factor what people can actually accomplish within their lifestyles and tastes?

Study finds varying the amount lifted can increase muscle strength – Medical News Today
Lifting lighter weights -faster- may be better for strength gains than just lifting prescribed percentages that do not take into account how people are feeling. In other words… don’t always max out, and remember to move the with the intent to make the load go fast.

How much muscle you have ‘could be linked to the health of your heart’ – Sydney Morning Herald
Having more muscle mass in early middle age meant an 81% reduction in heart disease over a 10 year period for the men in the study. It does not indicate a direct cause, but they are related. It is likely due to the fact that maintaining muscle mass requires a healthy lifestyle.

Best Exercise for Snatch & Clean Balance & Positional Strength – Catalyst Athletics
Floating, halting, pull on a riser.

Rapid exercise is key to recovering muscle strength after inactivity
Think: explosive movements like throwing things or trying to accelerate a bar that is trying to crush you.

On to the Programming!

Monday: 200316 Mon wk12 Hot Gristle – https://youtu.be/B_TXDiEhJ8k
Teaching people about their shoulders, notes on changing the warm ups, points about rest between sets, why we don’t do barbell rows in the metcons much, weekly overview

Tuesday: 200317 Tue wk12 Lucky Shamrock – https://youtu.be/BS0CB8Dwz5A
Teach people how to move the buckle out of the way on the rings, tips for who should be doing what kind of snatch, shoulder mob ideas, notes for the workout, stagger starting for the rowers, time guide

Wednesday: 200318 Wed wk12 Victory Lap – https://youtu.be/FXK0qJCAPuA
Using a heavier load, but make sure people don’t risk their wrists, what load should people use (and the recommended loading chart), history of the workout, notes on shorter workouts this week

Thursday: 200319 Thu wk12 Hard Tide – https://youtu.be/-xALdCFbfU0
The ‘80% slop’ myth and talking to people about good form all of the time, why the toes to bar skill practice, increasing the difficulty on the ring row, thoughts behind the metcon and how to stagger start, why two rowing benchmark workouts in a short period of time

Friday: 200320 Fri wk12 The Perfect Drug – https://youtu.be/Dvu1mJ5wc-M
OHS are more than just a ‘cool’ movement for workouts, how the skill practice warm up affects the metcon (and coaching), how the minute rest affects the workout, toes to bar and OHS can be a good combo for teaching people what muscles to fire

Saturday: 200321 Sat wk12 Triad Athelon – https://youtu.be/dD7MsH5kxJE
Helping people understand the variables that affect performance so they can get the most out of their training and why logging is an important tool, notes on pacing, team version tips

Sunday: 200322 Sun wk12 Appollos Arrow – https://youtu.be/_jXCNS3wUjw
Teaching people about lower intensity ranges, why aerobic capacity is important, getting people to take the skill practices seriously, preventing soreness, sled push options


Monday – March 16, 2020 – 200316

Context: Practice – Why rowing movements are good for shoulders

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 rounds: 8 Squat Jumps, 2 Inch Worms, 2 Crab Bridge, 8-12 Hollow Rocks. Then 3 sets of 5 with the empty bar: Jefferson Curl (rounded back Deadlift), Bent Over Row, Hang Muscle Clean, Shoulder Press

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 4×6 Back or Box Squat 5 of 12 (4 sets of 6 reps, same weight across, 70-80%)

Super Set: 4×8 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (4 sets of 8 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Hot Gristle”

3 rounds: 40s of work 20s of rest:

Push Press (Health: 35lb, Athletic*: 65lb, Performance: 95lb) or with DB (15lb, 30lb*, 45lb)

Bent Over Row (same) or with DBs (same)

Heavy Russian Swings (Health: 35lb/ Athletic*: 53lb/ Performance: 70lb)

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 140 – 270 reps, about 70 reps per round. Scale Up: 75/115lb bar, 70/88lb KB

Compare to: October 23, 2019

Coaching Tips: Go for big sets on the first and last round. Try to do each as an unbroken set, but pausing in the rack/hold position. Keep the hips snappy with the Push Press. Do not kip the Bent Over Row. Russian Swings only need to go to eyeball height (no higher).

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 4 min max Row/Airdyne OR 3 sets of 20-30 Banded Hamstring Curls in a super set with 10-15 DB Curls

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Push Press p. 292, Kettlebell Swing p. 277

Tuesday – March 17, 2020 – 200317

Context: Practice – Avoiding chafing when using the rings

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 200m Jog throwing PVC or Medball to a partner or 2 min Jump Rope. Then 5,4,3,2,1 with an empty bar: Snatch Grip Deadlift, Hang Muscle Snatch, Rack Jerk Behind the Neck, Overhead Squat

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: None.

Strength: 3-3-3-2-2-2 Power or Squat Snatch (6 sets, adjust load each set)

Super Set: 6-6-6-6-6-6 Weighted Ring Dip or DB Bench Press (6 sets of 6 reps, adjust load/difficulty each set)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Lucky Shamrock”

In 8 minutes:

500m Row (record as separate benchmark)

1 min Rest, then max rounds with the remaining time:

12 Ring Push Ups

12 Goblet Squats (Health: 26lb/ Athletic*: 35lb/ Performance: 53lb)

24 Abmat Sit Ups

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

TEAM VERSION (with a partner): In 9 minutes, 1000m Row, no rest, then max rounds: 24 Ring Push Ups, 24 Goblet Squats, -all one person at a time-, 24 Sit Ups -both partners at the same time-

Scaling Guide: 2 – 4 rounds, 1:30-2:20 for the Row, then about 2 min per round after. Scale Up: 53/70lb Goblet Squats and 12 GHD Sit Ups instead of Abmat Sit Ups.

Compare to: August 31, 2018

Coaching Tips: Get a good warm up row, then row really hard on this one to establish what your current 500m benchmark time is. 1 minute will not be much rest, but start moving right away (and it will get ‘easier’). Keep the elbows close to your sides on the Ring Push Ups, and do not let the metal buckle scrape your arms (slide it away from the ring). Keep the belly tight on these. Hold the kettlebell close and do not let your weight shift onto your toes (it should be mid foot). Go fast on the Sit Ups, but do not let your hips rise up and come back down (giving you the ‘dreaded raspberry’)!

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 10 Burpees, 10 Wall Ball, 4 minutes OR 3 sets of 10-15 Jones Squat in a super set with 15 Banded Tricep Extensions

“By the Numbers” Book References: Power Snatch p. 438, Snatch p. 447, Dips p. 244, Ring Dip p. 363, Bench Press p. 250

Wednesday – March 18, 2020 – 200318

Context: Competition – Go for a heavier load than you might normally use

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 sets of: KB Suitcase or OH Carry, 10 KB OH or Goblet Squats, 10 Push Ups, 10 Sit Ups. Then 5 Spiderman Lunges and 3 Crab Bridges.

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Ankle

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 Minutes working up to a challenging (80-90%) Power Clean plus Front Squat or Squat Clean.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Victory Lap”

6 rounds for time:

5 Squat Clean Thrusters (Health: 55lb/ Athletic*: 85lb/ Performance: 135lb)

200m Run or 10 round trip 20′ Shuttle Run (no line touch)

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 8 – 15 minutes, about 2 min per round.

Compare to: February 25, 2017

Coaching Tips: Make sure you have good technique if you plan on using a challenging weight and doing Squat Cleans every rep. If not, you are better off with the ‘Power Clean to Front Squat’ version to minimize the risk of hitting your elbow on your knee. Be sure to start with low hips and a vertical torso so that you can receive the bar correctly in the bottom of the squat. Drive hard through the legs when coming out of the hole so that you don’t end up strict pressing the bar.

Start with singles/small sets and try to make up some time on the Runs. When things start to get real hard (on round 5 usually), watch the clock to pace out your reps (doing one every 10-15 seconds for example).

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 15 GHD Sit ups OR Toes to Bar, 20 Jumping Jacks, 5 min, OR 3 sets of 12 DB Single Arm Press in a super set with 15-20 Calf Raises

“By the Numbers” Book References: Power Clean p. 368, Clean p. 404, Front Squat p. 227, Thruster p. 357, Running p. 269

Thursday – March 19, 2020 – 200319

Context: Practice – Great technique is still required when you are tired

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 3 sets of: 8 Ring Rows, 8 Squat Jumps, 8 Bootstrappers with KB, 8 Sit Ups with legs straight, 8 Lunge Steps, 8 per side Birddog

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 8 minutes working on Toes to Bar and Bar Muscle Up progressions.

Strength: 7×3 Back or Box Squat 6 of 12 (7 sets of 3 reps, same weight across, 75-85%)

Super Set: 7×5 Single Arm Ring Row or DB Bent Over Row (7 sets of 5 reps, each side, same challenge with all sets)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Hard Tide”

500m Row (All levels, record as benchmark)

Wait until next minute starts


Kipping Pull Up or Ring Row each minute until you are unable to complete the required reps in the minute

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: Record time for the Row and the total Pull Ups separately. Row: 1:25 – 2:30. Pull Ups: 20 (finishing 4 rounds) to 56 (finishing 7 rounds). Total time for workout: 7 – 10 min. R2) 6 reps. R3)12. R4)20. R5)30. R6)42. R7)56. R8)82

Compare to: NEW WORKOUT!

Coaching Tips: Try for a PR on the row. Wait until the next minute to start your 2 Pull Ups. If you finish at 1:50, start at 2. If you finish at 2:10, start at 3, etc. Perform 2 Pull Ups, then wait for the next minute to do 4 reps. You have the entire minute to complete the work. Keep going up by 2 reps until you can’t complete the reps in the minute. Make sure you use good rowing form and avoid an early arm pull. This will affect your Row time and your Pull Up performance!

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 60s Plank, 20 Cal Airdyne or 30 cal Row, 3 Rounds, OR 3 sets of 15 Single Leg Deadlifts in a superset with 15 Single Arm Bench Press

“By the Numbers” Book References: Back Squat p. 171, Ring Row p. 122, Rowing p. 142, Kipping Pull-up p. 258, Ring Row p. 122

Friday – March 20, 2020 – 200320

Context: Practice – Overhead squats and all body mobility

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 1 min Jump Rope. Then: 10 Toy Soldiers Leg Swings per Leg, 10 Air Squats, 10 Kip Swings on the pull up bar, 10 Sit Ups with legs straight, 10 Push Ups with shoulder tap

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Shoulder

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working up to a challenging Power Snatch plus 2 Overhead Squats or Squat Snatch plus 1 Overhead squat.

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “The Perfect Drug” (VIDEO)

AMRAP in 20 minutes

12 Overhead Squats (Health: DB Front squat 15lb pair, Athletic*: 65lb, Performance: 95lb) or 16 Single Arm DB OHS (15lb, 30lb*, 45lb)

16 Toes to Bar


Double Unders

1 min Rest

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 204 reps – 588 reps (3 – 6 rounds), about 2-4 min per round including the rest. Rnd4: 312 reps. Rnd5: 440 reps. Rnd6: 588 reps. Rnd7: 756. Scale Up: 75/115lb bar, 8 Bar Muscle Ups per round.

Compare to: March 12, 2019

Coaching Tips: Pick a load and modification that allows you to do the first 1-2 rounds of Overhead Squats unbroken. Squat Snatches count as an OHS, so if you can do them, use that technique. Go for big sets of Toes to Bar early on, but break them up in later rounds so you can do bigger sets of Double Unders. Make sure you keep your hands close on the Double Unders so that you can save your shoulders for later rounds. You can skip/shorten the last round of rest if it is after 18 minutes.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: None.

“By the Numbers” Book References: Power Snatch p. 438, Snatch p. 447, Overhead Squat p. 300, Toes to Bar p. 434, Double Unders p. 213

Saturday – March 21, 2020 – 200321

Context: Competition – Pace to get your best score (and log it)

Dynamic Warm Up Option: 2 min Row or Airdyne, then 3 rounds: 12 Jumping Jacks, 12 Reverse Lunge Steps, 12 Push Ups, 30s per side Side Plank

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Ankle

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working up to a challenging (80-90%) Clean and Jerk

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Metabolic Conditioning: “Triad-Athelon”

3 rounds for time of:

500m Row (all levels)

21 Burpees

400m Run or 3/4 mile airdyne/assault bike

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

TEAM VERSION: Teams of 3, each person starts on a different movement, you can only move onto the next movement once the teammate has finished the row (if you finish the Burpees early, you can start your run)

Scaling Guide: 16 – 22 min, about 6 minutes per round.

Compare to: July 24, 2019

Coaching Tips: People can start on Burpees or Running if they want (and there isn’t enough rowers). Pace the first round so that you know you can go faster on rounds 2 and 3. Keep your form tight on the rowing to save yourself for later rounds. Avoid blowing up on the Burpees by watching the clock and pacing yourself for the first round or two. Make sure you run hard on the last round!

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 3 sets of 15 Loaded Glute Bridges in a super set with 20-30 Banded Face Pulls

“By the Numbers” Book References: Power Clean p. 368, Clean p. 404, Push Jerk p. 424, Split Jerk p. 470, Rowing p. 142, Burpee p. 415, Running p. 269

Sunday – March 22, 2020 – 200322

Context: Practice – Relative intensities and pacing

Dynamic Warm Up Option: Coach’s Choice

Mobility/Activation/Prehab: Hip

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working on rope climb progressions (lay downs, rope assisted pull ups, switching feet, legless, weighted, L-sit, etc.)

Strength: None.

Super Set: None.

Sustained Power Session: “Apollo’s Arrow”

4 Rounds at 70-80% Intensity:

2 min: Run or Airdyne

2 min:

16 DB Hang Power Snatch (Health: 10lb/ Athletic*: 20lb/ Performance: 35lb)

10 Wall Ball (Health: 10lb/8ft, Athletic*: 14lb/9ft, Performance: 20lb/10ft)

2 min: Sled Push 20′ (Health: +0lb, Athletic*: +50lb, Performance: +90lb)

2 min: Rest

*Women’s “Performance” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 30 min total. Use movements/loads that you can perform at 80% intensity with minimal rests outside of the forced rest. You should pace so that your last round you can do 300-400m, 3-4 rounds, and 120-160 feet. OPTIONAL: Log score for LAST ROUND ONLY. Run: 100m = 1 ‘rep’, Couplet: 1 ’round’ = 1 ‘rep’, Sled: 40′ = 1 ‘rep’

Compare to: November 17, 2019

Coaching Tips: This workout is VERY DIFFERENT than your typical metcon. Your intensity should be much lower from the beginning. Maintain a pace you can sustain for much longer than prescribed so you can keep moving in the later rounds. You may start on any movement, but they must be completed in order.

Optional ‘Cash Out’ or Hypertrophy: 15 Push Ups, 20 Cal Row, 4 rounds, OR 3 sets of 12 Bulgarian Split Squats in a super set with 12 Neutral Grip Pull Ups

“By the Numbers” Book References: Rope Climb p. 461, Running p. 269, Power Snatch p. 438, Wall Ball p. 430

Posted by Jeremy Jones

Happy New Year everybody!

Dave here with a little piece about our Programming, why we use it, how to use it and how to get the most of it.
First things first, the trial period for the programming is well and truly over and all coaches are in agreement that Thrivestry Programming is here to stay at CrossFit Chichester. The planning and thought process that goes into programming like this is second to none, and that’s where I want to start today.

The strength/skilled elements that we work on in class, and the workouts we all have a love hate relationship with are not random. They are not just chucked together to make you suffer a gymnasticy, high jumping, weight throwing, burpeefied death!… (although when laying on the gym floor in a puddle of your own sweat, it may feel like it…!) Believe it or not, there is method behind the madness!

When nearing the end of a strength cycle, with weights getting heavier, you will find the workouts getting slightly shorter, so to not tax the central nervous system too hard. When the strength cycles are in transition or at the beginning, this is where you will find the longer metcons, that test your cardiovascular fitness and endurance more.

JJ has been designing gym programming for years and years [Since 2004], from helping newbies achieve their first press up, to developing and preparing highly skilled athletes for competition. The diversity of abilities means that the programming you see every day on the big screen in the gym can be whatever you want it to be.

Progression – The process of developing or moving gradually towards a more advanced state.

You may have heard me at the beginning of a class say “this is session 2 of 12 of our Front squat cycle today guys” … Most cycles run for 12 session and get progressively harder from 1-12. This is no accident. Session one will generally begin with a medium rep range and a somewhere between 50-70% of your max effort (in this case front squat) throughout the cycle the rep range will have varied and towards session 12, have shortened, with the % of your max effort increasing to around 75-85%.

Managing to attend most of the sessions and completing each rep with good form, should see your numbers increase in that particular lift by the end of the cycle. Only however, if we are working off the correct percentage, this is why it is so important to find out what our 1 rep max efforts are to make sure we are working off the right numbers.

So why not have a look at the cycles coming up this year (ask a coach to show you if we haven’t already displayed it) and work up to your 1 rep max in an open gym session before the cycle begins. You will reap the rewards from working with your correct numbers and get best out of your training!


Every session we run has its own context, Practice, Competition and Mental Toughness. ‘Coach’ will tell you at some point during the session which one it is for the workout that day. The Context is the recommended overall approach to the class that day. Without a planned approach you will likely stick with the same approach you are comfortable with and you will not get the most out of your training.

Below is a diagram explaining the primary focus and output required for each context:

The goal is always to get better overall, not just win the workout that day. It is like trying to win every battle… but losing the war.

To understand the problems with getting stuck in a particular mode are as follows:

If you do Competition context all the time you will get hurt.
If you do Mental Toughness context all the time you will burn out.
If you do Practice context all the time you will get bored.

But how to you apply this to your training? If all you know when the timer beeps, is “Go Hard”!…
It starts with taking notice as to what the context is for the day, then approaching each part of the class with this mindset.
Pay close attention to the days that aren’t your default mode. If you are someone who always goes as hard as possible, constantly remind yourself on Practice days that the primary focus is quality form, learning, and mastery (not crushing yourself or beating someone else).

If you are someone who is always extremely cautious, someone who always needs the coach to force you to ‘go up’ (in load or skill), be more deliberate on Competition and Mental Toughness days. Push yourself to attempt a heavier load or higher box (with the coach’s agreement). Always record your score on Competition days. Take the time to look up your old score so you have a target to beat. Throw caution to the wind and learn some new skills that might embarrass you on a Mental Toughness day (taking you out of your comfort zone).

Working on weaknesses

The last subject I want to touch on is about working on your weakness, or in another sentence… knit picking the workouts/exercises you like.
I can speak from personal experiences as I used to train this way, lunges… NOPE, overhead squats… NOPE, thrusters… HELL NOPE!
I knew this was wrong, I knew I would not develop as an athlete if I avoided the exercises or training methods I disliked. So I followed a new approach of turning my weaknesses into strengths.

Instead of avoiding them I would work on them, more so even than the exercise I did like, so that I would get better, stronger, fitter and eventually turn them into strengths, meaning I no longer sighed or groaned when I saw they were in the workout of the day!

One of the main things you realise from this approach is that you develop other aspects of your fitness along the way without even realising it. The more lunges I put into my programming, the stronger my legs got individually, which meant I achieved my first ever set of pistols!.. I also felt stronger in my running and other endurance aspects like high calorie assault bike or high rep wall balls.

Ok… So you may not see yourself as an athlete, you may just enjoy the gym and enjoy what you enjoy… but you are never going to experience new ‘Joys’ if you do not open that door and keep developing as a human being. Our bodies are extraordinary, so don’t limit it to what it can do.

If you have any more questions about the programming, or anything else for that matter, please feel free to give me a message of pull me aside in the gym for a chat ☺

Dave is a Coach at CrossFit Chichester. He takes the mid morning classes, and Day time PTs. If you’d like to book an assessment with him, then go here and ask for Dave when we call you! 

Before delving into Julia’s experience of learning how to be coach, it needs to be said that Julia is one of the kindest, most earnest individuals I’ve ever met. She’s extremely hard working. Totally sincere, and overall and wonderful human being. As a result, I think she makes an excellent coach. Given the ongoing success of her ‘Easy Monday’s’ Class which allows our lovely lady’s to train together, both old and young, she’s proving to be leader, and well worth the title ‘Coach at CrossFit Chichester’. 

Without further ado, over to Julia. – Archie Cunningham 

Hi guys, just a quick update on what I’ve been doing along side Archie and Lydia the past few months, and what I’ll be doing in the gym in 2020!

I completed my CrossFit kids trainer course, back in October, which was a brilliant learning experience and has inspired me further to getting more kids into the classes we currently run.

We are hoping to be able to offer an after school session every weekday, as the benefits of exercise for children’s learning are huge.

[Julia has also come along to one of our Corporate workshops we run as part of wellness coaching to improve companies cultures, and make them more health conscious and improve staff team work]. You can see a video of her coaching here.

CrossFit is a workout format that incorporates children’s natural playfulness and energy. It lends itself to quick workouts that are full of variety that keeps kids intrigued and moving. No, I’m not suggesting loading your child up with a kettlebell for 30 reps of deadlifts. But what’s wrong with some crab walks followed by skipping or jumping ?
As mums and dad we constantly think about how I can keep our children healthy and happy.
We want them to have access to any and every program that will foster the value of exercise throughout the rest of their lives.
In this day and age, kids don’t have to be limited to the basic after school activities of past generations: basketball, football, track. Your kids can go to skateboard clinics, yoga seminars? The sky is truly the limit!

CrossFit can have the same benefits for children as it does for adults. It makes you stronger and improves your cardiovascular health, will improve performance in sports. Classes are also a great way to make new friends with a common interest.

Most importantly, CrossFit for kids encourages a lifetime of exercise, and a disciplined attitude towards health. In a world filled with video games and iPads, I’d say this is huge.

We’re really excited to see how Julia’s career as a coach progresses with us, and as a regular slot, if you’d like to experience her coaching come to our Tuesday at 6.45pm class, or book an initial assessment here (for new members) and request Julia!

“The squat is essential to your well-being. The squat can both greatly improve your athleticism and keep your hips, back and knees sound and functioning in your senior years” – Greg Glassman, Founder of CrossFit.

So why is doing the squat properly fundamental to us?

Contrary to popular opinion, it is a remarkably a good exercise of rehabilitation for cranky, damaged and/or delicate knees. In fact, if you are do not squat, your knees are considered not healthy regardless of ‘pain free knees’ or the amount of discomfort you are not in. This is equally true of the hips and back as well.

“The squat is no more an invention of a coach or trainer than is a hiccup or sneeze. It is a vital, natural and functional component of your being” Greg Glassman.

The bottom position of the squat is nature’s intended sitting position, as you stand from the bottom position, this is movement is a biomechanically sound method of which we stand. There is nothing artificial about this movement.

Why we use different versions of squats?


Back squat- trains the entire lower body musculature, the back squat places greater emphasis on the muscles of the posterior chain, such as the glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors, than other squat variations. It’s also an unparalleled lower-body mass-builder. In my opinion, the back squat is the king of the strength-training world, and we’re all just lucky to bask in its glory. Not only is it the most commonly utilized form of squatting—except for the half-squat, maybe—the full barbell back squat is one of the most effective exercises in the history of civilization for strengthening the lower body.

The front squat is quickly gaining popularity among a wide variety of athletes, partially because of its prominence in CrossFit protocols. It’s also a crucial component of Olympic lifts. Whatever the reason you do it, it’s an brilliant movement, not least of all because it’s harder to do really badly than a back squat. But you need good front rack mobility to be able to front squat without your elbows dropping which causes your chest to fall- causing a rounded back.

By locating the barbell across your shoulders in front of the body, the front squat puts much more emphasis on the quadriceps and upper back than the traditional back squat, but still trains the glutes and hamstrings well.

Overhead squats have their roots in Olympic weightlifting. The overhead squat strengthens the midpoint of the barbell snatch and is essential to mastering that particular lift. For non-competitive weightlifters, it can be an effective way to train the lower body while developing balance and mobility. Overhead squats demand a certain degree of shoulder mobility to be executed correctly, but taking wide grip on the barbell makes this much easier.

The box squat – a staple for newer members to learn proper mechanics.

Box squat is that an athlete will always have to break parallel in order to reach the box during the eccentric phase of the lift. When free squatting, there is a tendency for athletes to squat higher as the weights get heavier. Box squatting eliminates that entirely, and after consistent practice with the box, an athlete should always break parallel for all squats. Box squatting helps teach correct squatting technique by ensuring that an athlete sits back completely when descending, rather than just dropping down and bouncing up.This kind of squat is a form of ballistic stretching, and can be an excellent method to assist with poor flexibility and range of motion and provides an easy way to measure progress. It also forces an athlete to squat backwards rather than straight down. This allows the lifter to sit further back on the box and achieve a shin angle that is perpendicular to the floor.

In fact, “box squatting produces a rate of force development that is three to four times greater than other forms of squatting.” Quote from boxlife magazine.

How long does it take to master/ develop the squat?

“It’s fair to say what when the squat is mastered the technique and performance are superior. This suggests that none of the points of performance are deficient and fast multiple reps are possible. We can use Crossfit’s favourite standard for fast multiple reps, Tabata squat. Performing perfect squats for 20 seconds, rest for 10, for 7 more times. This will show if you can keep perform form in those 4 minutes of work aiming for 140-160 fast reps. By this you will know if you have mastered the perfect squat.” – CrossFit Level 1 training manual. 

How people with different leg length need different stances?

We are all built a little bit different.
Anatomical differences, height, body weight, mobility, experience levels, muscle strengths & weaknesses etc. all affect how a person is going to squat.
If you look at the best squatters in the world, they are built to squat. This usually means that they have shorter femurs and squat very upright.
The femur bone AKA the thigh bone often has the biggest influence on what your squat will look like. The Quadriceps/Thighs are the prime movers in any type of squat.

Longer femurs (legs)- will have an increased range of motion (ROM) in their squat. The knees and ankles will have to move an increased ROM to perform the same movement.
As the ROM is greater, the mobility requirements for the squat will also be greater. So by taking a wider stance this will help you perform the squat with good depth. To get deeper in your squat stance, make sure you keep your chest up. People with longer femurs tend to learn forward more- by keeping you chest up you’ll be able to get deeper in the squat.
When you squat wider, you’re artificially making yourself shorter. This can be seen when you film yourself from the side. You can clearly see that the apparent length of the femur is shorter with a wider stance. Because of this ‘shorter’ femur.
Lifting shoes with a help reduce the dorsiflexion demands (ankle going forwards). This allows your knees to travel forward without your heel coming off the floor. This will allow you to squat more upright and deeper.

How does stronger squatting improves anything?

Running- one of the best ways to ensure your legs and glutes stay strong is by squatting. And while it can sometimes be hard to give up a day of running for a day of strength training, benefits of squatting for us runners outweighs the pain of skipping a run day.

Jumping- The squat is a basic functional movement and is essential for any training program designed to help you jump higher. The movement patterns used in a jump and squat are similar resulting in the same muscles used for each exercise. As a result, improving squat technique, strength and endurance can directly influence your ability to jump higher.

Deadlift- you improve your squat, it will improve your deadlift. If you focus on building a massive squat, you’ll be more likely to move some impressive numbers in the other major lifts. The squat requires so much raw strength and stability through every major joint, that it impacts heavily on your performance of the other lifts. To have a big squat you need to be solid and stable through your entire body and his raw strength translates to the deadlift.

Bench press- Believe it or not, squats produce the most Human Growth Hormone out of any movement you might do. As a result, due to tension maintained throughout the body during the movement, it can improve seemingly unrelated lifts. Athletes who have completed long squat cycles will agree that, their bench press improves, even if they’ve not trained it during that period of time.

It’s safe to say that learning how to squat correctly, and progressively trained, produces phenomenal results in your overall fitness. We found at CrossFit Chichester, that it takes a while to develop, but the results are worth the effort.

For further reading – see:

Zack Long’s article on dissecting the squat. 

Or download the level 1 training manual for the most in-depth analysis of the squat, and makes for good bed time reading!

Coach Macca is one of our excellent coaches here at CrossFit Chichester. To book an assessment with him, to gain some of his knowledge book an assessment here!

Making it easy to assess new client needs. Few CrossFit gyms do this, but more need to.

I am a huge fan of check lists. A pilot friend got me into it last year, when he showed me his method, and he said that checklists are how he does all his work (both in a plane and in business).

I thought, ‘why can’t we do that in our initial assessments’?

What I wanted was an easy way of helping all the coaches here, benefit from my experience, and have a method of accurately assessing client needs right from the start.

The new CrossFit Chichester assessment checklist was born out of this idea. Subsequently I created a few more checklists, and started working more on surveys, and viola, we’ve got some great ways of really helping our members reach their goals.

As great as this is, it’s not enough. So I thought, how can I start getting a better sense of people’s fitness without even seeing them move. I can usually get a good picture from a 10 minute phone call, but I couldn’t do that with everyone, so what if I put those same questions online, and allowed people to answer them, and have it scored. Once they get a certain score, it should hopefully give them (and us) a clearer idea of what to expect before even walking into our gym.

Since then, these questionnaires have helped me see how fit a much larger number of people are, than I would have done, had I used our old method of booking an assessment first. (If you’d like to Download our  CFC Initial Assessment Score Card you can here.)

So…. given that many believe that CrossFit is ‘too intense for you’, I will invite you to try out our survey, and discover more closely what it would take you to be ‘CrossFit ready’ so to speak.

Here is the link, and fill it out and try the home mobility assessments.

As responsible coaches, it’s our job to see what level each person is, and in order to ensure their chance of succeeding within our program, we can appropriately adjust and scale their workouts and their fundamentals to suit their needs.

This is not, and will never be, a one size fits all model. With us, you’ll get a responsible and experienced coach, a dedicated coaching team and a workout program that is fun, sustainable and most importantly safe.

We champion our members successes, as you can see from our weekly updates, and provide a community that is supportive, and encouraging. Totally interested in your success.

Sometimes, I have people come to me, worried about being judged or made to feel embarrassed for their fitness level (most likely from those closest to you or the thoughts in your head). It is our desire to provide a mental refuge from those negative, doubtful, dream destroying beliefs and respect you for what you are working on, and where you going.

That is our gym.

Head Coach,
CrossFitt’ing since 2011.