Warm Up
Row 500m
Shoulder Pass Thru’s
Figure 8’s
Scapular Wall Slides
Banded stretch (on pull up rig)
Dead Bugs
Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
Run laps
Front Rack Holds

Skill Work
Power Clean and Jerks

Work up to a heavy power clean and jerk.  Focus on speed with the bar.

Run 400m
20 Power Clean & Jerk (135/95)
Run 400m
15 Power Clean & Jerk 
Run 400m
10 Power Clean & Jerk
Run 400m 
5 Power Clean & Jerk


Warm Up
Coaches Choice

Skill Work



Deadlifts (155/105)
Knees to Elbow (modification: abmat sit ups)
Wall Balls (20/14)
KB Swings (53/35)

*30 Double unders (modification is 30 single unders) in between rounds, NOT movements.  This workout begins and ends with 30 double unders.  Total of 120 double or single unders

Tips for Every Fitnesster

These ones are from Jon Matzner, a coach at Potomac Fitness:

If you aren’t a total idiot with what you eat, you should set a PR pretty much every time you step in the gym for the first 2 years.

1. Breakfast is everything. If I can convince you to eat meat and eggs for breakfast, the other meals are usually OK. If you negotiate with me about having probiotic yogurt instead of meat and eggs, we’re in trouble.

2. I can get someone 70% of the way there in the Olympic lifts in about 3 hours. At that point, the limiting factor for men is usually shoulder and hip mobility. For women, it’s front squat and overhead squat strength out of the bottom.

3. If you aren’t a total idiot with what you eat, you should set a PR pretty much every time you step in the gym for the first 2 years.

4. The shorter the workout, the longer the warmup should be. You need to warm up for 35 minutes for Fran. You need to warm up for 5 minutes for Murph.

You don’t need to learn to butterfly kip. Seriously, stop it,

5. Unweighed unmeasured Paleo eating works best if you’ve done “The Zone” first. Your Zone experience will give you a ballpark idea of how much you should be eating. If you don’t come from a “Zone” background, you’ll likely do things like sit down and eat 85 Macadamia nuts and wonder why you aren’t losing any weight.

6. As you get better, you need to take a back off week about every fourth week (not because of injury). You can still come in and workout, but take some more rest days and just chill out.

7. You don’t need to learn to butterfly kip. Seriously, stop it. You are going to hurt yourself and you’d be much better off working toward a bodyweight press.

8. Dumbbells are the most under appreciated piece of equipment in the gym.

9. Prior runners do not need supplementary running to improve their run times. People without a running background do. I think this mostly has to do with learning to pace correctly.

10. You can’t just train weaknesses. It’s too depressing. Every now and then, pick something you are amazing at and crush it.

11. You can get away with a lot of inefficiencies if you’ve got a strong grip. Do more farmers’ carries.



Warm Up
Row 500m
Sampson Stretch
Shoulder Pass Thru’s
Figure 8’s
Wrist Stretch (on wall)
Wall Sits
Pigeon Stretch
Run laps (2-3min)
Front Rack Holds

Skill Work
Hang Squat Clean

Spend 10-15 mins working on your hang squat clean.  Work up to the weight for the work out.

3 Rounds of:

3 Hang Squat Cleans (185/125)
4 Hand Stand Push Ups 
5 Burpees
REST 2 mins

Repeat this for a total of 5 times.  If the prescribed weight is too heavy find a difficult weight.  This workout is meant to be heavy and fast.


Warm Up
Row 1000m
Dynamic 90’s
Shoulder Pass Thru’s
Figure 8’s
Inch Worms
Dead bugs
Hollow Rocks
2-3 min Run

Skill Work
Power Snatch

Spend 12-15 mins working on the Power Snatch.  Focus on technique and build up to a heavy 1 rep.

AMRAP 15 of:

5 Power Snatches 95/65
7 Pull Ups
9 Box Jump step downs 24/20″ (alternating legs)


Warm Up
Row 500m
Shoulder Pass Thru’s
Figure 8’s 
Arm/Leg swings
Squat Therapy
Squatted Prayers
Squat Walks
Plank Holds
Mountain Climbers
2-3 min jog

Skill Work
Push Jerk
Back Squat

5 Rounds of:
10 Push Jerks (155/105)
10 Back Squats (155/105)

Row 1000m or Run 800m

100 KB swings (53/35)

**The barbell must be taken from the ground.  You must complete each part before you can continue to the next.  There is no rest between each part.  Post your time after all 3 parts have been completed.  This is a task priority workout.  If all rowers are taken, stagger movements but keep the same order.

New week is here already.  Let’s start it off right!   I do a lot of reading on the web and watch a ton of videos as well.  The article below stood out to me when I came across it.  The article talks about weightlifting but it can be applied to other aspects of the gym.  Last week I talked about realistic goals.  Things like rapid improvement in lifts, WOD times and even physical appearance come to mind.  I know you guys are extremely eager to see rapid improvements in all these areas.  The fact of the matter is that these goals take time and are a work in progress.  Just remember, if you keep working it WILL come.  Take a look and I want you guys to let this sink in and come ready to work this week.  


By James Clear

Nobody Says It, But This Is the Greatest Weightlifting Lesson I’ve Learned


You’ll never walk into the gym and hear someone say, “You should do something easy today.”

But after 10 years of training, I think embracing slow and easy gains is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

In fact, this lesson applies to most things in life. And it comes down to the difference between progress and achievement.

Let me explain…

The Difference Between Progress and Achievement

Our society is obsessed with achievement. This is especially true in the gym.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. Last week, a guy at my gym clean and jerked 325 pounds and made it look easy. My first question to him was, “What’s your max?”

I didn’t say, “How is your training going?” or “Have you been making progress recently?” but rather, “What is the absolute maximum weight you can do?”

My question was all about what he could achieve, not how he has progressed.

And you’ll find that mentality everywhere. Nobody is going to celebrate you for going up 1 pound per week. Everybody wants you to try for 10 more pounds right now.

Here’s the problem: A focus on achievement in the here and now usually comes at the expense of slower, more consistent progress. Achievement is so ingrained in our culture that we often ignore progress. (Of course, focusing on progress would ultimately lead to higher achievement, but it’s easy to dismiss that fact when you want to set a new PR today.)

I’m still learning to embrace this principle myself, but I’m getting better at it. And here’s what I’ve learned about training for slow progress rather than immediate achievement.

1. Slow Gains Add Up Really Fast

Here’s the thing about taking it slow: It adds up really fast.

Here’s an example…

I want you to go into the gym this week, pick your favorite lift (squats for example), and lift 1 pound more than you did last week. You are not allowed to do 2 pounds more. Only 1 pound.

Do you think you could do that? Most people would be like, “Of course. That’s easy.” And they’re right.

But here’s the funny thing: If you do that every week, then you’re going to add 50 pounds to your lifts in the next year. Stick with that for two years and you’re lifting 100 pounds more.

How many people do you know who are lifting 100 pounds more than they were two years ago? I don’t know many. Most people are so obsessed with squeaking out an extra 10 pounds this week that they never find the patience to make slower (but greater) long-term gains.

It all comes down to the power of average speed. The next two years are going to come and go. The time will pass anyway. Might as well be climbing the whole time.

2. Slow Gains Help You Handle Intensity Later On

For some reason, we think that starting easy and going up slowly is a waste of our time. It’s not.

When you start with easy weights (and I think this is especially important in the beginning), you build the capacity to do work. If you’re getting back in the gym after a long layoff, then I think that at least the first month of lifting should be easy.

For some reason, society has convinced us that if your heart rate isn’t above 150 beats per minute and you don’t feel gassed at the end of your workout, then you haven’t done yourself any good. I disagree. If you actually add a little weight each week and don’t miss workouts, then it will get hard enough, fast enough. Trust me.

Build a foundation of strength with easy workouts and a lot of volume. Do 1,000 reps over the next few months and let your body learn how to move through space. Slowly go up each week. By this time next year, you’ll be able to handle the heavy weights with ease.

3. Slow Gains Foster Recovery

The body has an amazing ability to adapt — if you give it time to do so.

When you place a stimulus on the body, it will either find a way to handle it or die. In the case of weightlifting, your body will build muscle and bone tissue, and you’ll gradually become stronger. Small, consistent gains give the body just enough stress to grow and just enough time to recover.

But if you try to push the body too far, too fast, then it will find a different way to adapt. Namely, inflammation, injury, and stress. You might be able to add 10 pounds per week for a few weeks, but pretty soon it will catch up to you and you’ll be sitting on the couch trying to get healthy.

Hard, Hard, Hurt vs. Slow, Slow, Never Stop

If you want to get in shape, to get stronger, and to reach your full potential, then what is the most important thing of all?

Answer: not missing workouts.

There is nothing more important than building the habit of getting in the gym and not missing workouts. Stop trying to make up for the fact that you’re inconsistent by going harder when you’re there. Long-term progress doesn’t work that way. Instead, train yourself to not miss workouts and slowly add weight.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: Are you just trying to put up a big number right now? Or are you really in this for the long haul?

Most people train in this cycle: hard, hard, hard, hurt.

I’d rather go slow, slow, slow, never stop.


Warm Up

Coaches Choice

Skill Work



4 rounds of:

10 thrusters 95/65
20 Double Unders or 30 singles
12 ring dips (mod box dips)
20 Double Unders or 30singles
14 OH plated lunges (45/25)
20 Double Unders or 30 singles
16 Push ups
20 Double Unders or 30 singles



Warm Up
Coaches Choice

Skill Work
Push Jerk

In teams of 2.  5 mins at each of the following stations, 1 min of rest between each:

-Push Jerks (115/80)
-Burpee Box Jumps (24/20)
-Row (calorie)
-Toes to Bar (modification toes thru rings or abmat sit ups)
-Plated OH Squats (45/25)

1 person is working while the other is resting.  Partners must partition reps evenly for each movement.  Your score will be your total number of reps and total calories rowed.  



Warm Up
Row 1000m
Figure 8’s
Shoulder Pass Thru’s
Quad Stretch (on wall)
Pigeon Stretch
Lunge complex
Run laps (2-3mins)
Weighted Good Mornings

Skill Work
Dead Lift

4 sets of dead lifts

Pyramid Style

8 reps @ 70%
6 reps @ 80%
4 reps @ 90%
2 reps @ 95%

**If you don’t know your 1 rep max, don’t worry.  Start with a light weight for the set of 8 and go up in weight as the reps go down.  As always quality reps.


10 down to 1 of:
Deadlift (225/155)
Hand Release Push ups
Kettle Bell Swings (53/35)

Way to work through today’s workout, that was a tough one today.  I came across a good article that I’d like to share.


This isn’t specifically a post for outside or inside the gym. But I’m over these nonsensical blog posts railing on Fitness. Let’s change direction and highlight some gyms and people doing it right in the strength and conditioning world shall we? There are far more educated, conscientious fitness professionals quietly going about their business of improving peoples’ lives than there are fools allowing neophyte clients to get rhabdo. For heaven’s sake.

I have had the privilege of working in or around some top-notch Fitness gyms in the Dallas area. I’ve also traveled plenty and seen what prompts the backlash at our community but here’s the problem: very little of this silliness is done with malicious intent. It derives from lack of understanding, low barriers to entry (a good AND a bad thing) and…frankly…little motivation to raise the bar.

Here is my shout out to excellent gyms, a call to standards for coaches and owners out there trying to elevate their business, and some pointers for Fitnessters in selecting the right “home” (sorry I have a hard time saying “box” without giggling).

Push ups
Say what? Yes. Literally the first thing I look at when I visit a gym is how the athletes perform pushups. To say this is one of the most fundamental movement patterns is an understatement. Someone having trouble with dips? Strict pullups? Repeated shoulder injuries? See how many pushups they can complete with a perfectly vertical forearm. Don’t be surprised when they can’t do one. At the very least anyone doing pushups with elbows flaring out to the side is a ticking time bomb for AC shoulder joint issues or impingements.

Photo: Vance Jacobs Photography, Nate Helming of San Francisco Fitness

The Warmup is a Warmup
A good warmup has three elements: increased blood flow, dynamic range of motion (DROM) exercises moving from smaller to larger muscular contractions and specific movement preparation for whatever lies ahead. In general population classes, mobility drills are appropriate for educating people on how to care for their health and tissue. If you are an athlete and are spending more than 5-10 minutes rolling around on pvc…we’ve got a problem. Ask yourself if the level of “wrecked” you feel each day could be related to your longevity in this sport. Also, if a class warmup consists of a 10min AMRAP with running, pull-ups and burpees…come on, we can do better people. This is your craft, invest everything you have in it!

Multiple Options Explained for Scaling
Ok, so if muscle-ups are the RX’d movement in a workout, everyone knows there will be scaling involved. But if there are squat cleans (yes I said squat, calm down elitists, specificity is your friend), does the coach offer altered weight recommendations, power cleans for beginners or (bonus!) percentages of your own estimated maxes? Do they explain how the weight should feel as the workout progresses? These are signs of an excellent program. This is your body. Don’t compromise just because you’re afraid to ask the person you’re paying for help.

Repeated Lifts Week after Week
“Back squats again??” Yes. Now, I don’t want go on a sidebar about the overuse of the back squat…(“SHE SAID WHAT!?!?!?)…and the tendency to overlook basic, mechanical issues with double-leg movements (there, I said it anyway), but that has more to do with the ability to assess and correct movement. If you see strength or Olympic movements repeatedly in classes, take heart! How else can you measure progress if not by training and repetition? Fitnessters get all hopped up about fun, sexy movements because we have so many options. But if your goal is anything related to health, wellness, fitness and longevity, it is the foundational movements that matter. A good programmer will do their best to “hide” this alongside all the fun crap we simply MUST see in workouts or will die. #sarcasm #guilty

Quality of Movement Stressed Over Type of Movement
Do you get annoyed by your coach chattering on about technique? Do you zone them out when they suggest strict pull-ups with a band instead of kipping pull-ups? “By golly I’m not getting a band! I can kip the crap out of 2-3 pull-ups!” Face palm. Suck it up buttercup, no one cares if you need a band. We’ve all been there and the only person you’re holding back is yourself. If you have an annoying coach that chooses kinder words than mine to express the same idea, hug him or her the next time you see them. You are blessed.

Infrequent 20-30min AMRAPs
Need I say more? I think we’ve covered the whole Hero WODs topic. The occasional aerobic grinder can certainly be appropriate in a well-rounded fitness program, but if you are hitting these bad boys every other day or (cringe) every day, ask yourself why. If this aligns with your goals, you enjoy getting worked to the bone and you are not necessarily concerned with doing Fitness forever, WOD your little heart away. It is no one’s place to judge your goals or intentions and those are all legitimate. If, on the other hand, you seek improved fitness and health for the long-term, I would kindly suggest that is not the way.

And For Bonus: Explanation on How to Approach Your Workout
If your coach gathers you in front of the whiteboard and discusses all of the movements and scalings, congrats you just might be in a great Fitness gym! Now if your coach goes on further to explain HOW the workout should feel, at what intensity you should approach it and provides suggestions for fractioning reps or rounds…boy howdy you’ve found yourself a top-notch strength and conditioning home. Never let go. There IS a science behind every workout, whether people realize it or not, and understanding these “energy systems” is integral to high level fitness. However, that is a conversation for another day.

Hopefully, I have offered some provoking thoughts. I believe in a community that holds each other to the highest standards founded on a belief in improving peoples’ lives and wellbeing. It already exists. Let’s continue to encourage one another in this direction and refuse to compromise for passivity’s sake.





Warm Up
Coaches Choice

Skill Work
Front Squat
Front Rack Lunge

By popular demand…

“Coolie Crippler”
5 rounds for time of:

10 Front Squats (115/80)
15 Stationary Front Rack Barbell Lunges (115/80)
20 Wall Balls (20/14)
25 Box Jumps (20″ for men and women)

25min cap

Nice job today!  Some big PR’s were set today.  I like what I am seeing so far, let’s keep that momentum going.  This workout today is considered our benchmark for this week.  It’s a good one ;o)  Don’t sleep on this workout…enjoy!




Warm Up
Row 1000m
Samson stretch
Figure 8’s
Shoulder Pass through’s
OH squat with PVC
Wall wrist stretch
Leg Kicks
Lunge complex
Row a fast 250m

Find a 1RM Power Clean

4 rounds of:

8 Hand Stand Push Ups
10 Power Cleans (135/95)
12 Burpees over Barbell
14 Knees to Elbow (mod: abmat sit ups) 

Great job to those of you that took on today’s WOD!  After today I find it appropriate for you guys to read the following article below.  Hopefully the gym parking lot will be plowed early and I can see most of you guys tomorrow.  Be safe!

 Mobilize Your Mind: Athlete Self Talk

It is a known fact that we talk to ourselves all the time – sometimes inside our heads, and sometimes out loud. For those of us Fitnessters, this means we are also, inevitably, talking to ourselves in a certain way in the time leading up to a workout, during the workout itself, and afterward. What if we consciously tried to prep and train our ways of thinking in order to improve performance? In the same way that we work on perfecting our physical movements and techniques, we can develop positive habits of our mental performance.

Anyone who has ever completed a tough WOD knows that more often than not, the greatest obstacle to finishing is not our bodies, but our minds. In Part 1 of this 3-part series, find out how to define athlete self-talk and “mobilize” your mind before a workout.

What Is Athlete Self-Talk?

Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

The answer is exactly what one might expect: the way athletes talk to themselves – before, during, and after any athletic performance – is considered athlete self talk. Sometimes thoughts come in the form of mental imagery or concepts, but it is there regardless of an athlete’s level of awareness about it.

As one tennis article explains, “if we opened up a person’s head, we would see a popcorn machine full of thoughts and emotions endlessly popping, perculating (sic) and colliding.”

It is the “colliding” aspect of self-talk that can often inhibit performance, especially when negative thoughts or feelings become part of an athlete’s internal dialogue.

During a workout or other athletic performance, these negative thoughts are likely to enter our minds as our bodies start to feel fatigue. Thus, athletes have to prepare to battle actively against those negative thoughts before the workout even begins. In the brief one-minute commercial below, James Hobart of Fitness New England demonstrates how he responds to every negative thought with a positive rebuttal.

Being Your Own Coach

1. Establish a Positive Mental Framework

Ben Bergeron, who coached the Fitness New England team all the way to the Fitness Games Affiliate Cup Championship in 2011, emphasizes this unique mantra: “Think like a bumblebee; train like a racehorse.” He explains this way of thinking for his athletes:

  • Bumblebees, from a physics perspective, should not be able to fly:  You, as an athlete, need to have unyielding belief in yourself. Don’t let your past, your peers, your family or your competitors limit your performance.
  • Racehorses do what is asked of them: Racehorses don’t look at other horses’ training programs and freak out because the other horses are doing double days. Racehorses just do exactly what is asked of them—nothing more, nothing less. Racehorses have 100 percent commitment to their program, to their coaches and to being the best they can be.

In the simplest terms, believe in yourself and your potential to achieve elite levels of fitness and performance. While this may be easier said than done, it is a necessary part of an athlete’s mental fitness.

A good, general way to prepare before a workout is to ask yourself the following three questions, as suggested by Dawn Fletcher, a Fitnesster and expert in sport psychology:

  1. Why am I here today?
  2. What do I hope to accomplish?
  3. How will I make this an enjoyable experience?

While the answers to these questions will vary on a daily and maybe even hourly basis, having a clear purpose in mind about the “why” of a training session will lead to greater focus during the workout itself.  

2. Understand Your Focus Style

Picture yourself at the box. Do you have to get quiet and centered before the clock starts? Or can you laugh and joke all the way up until you’re standing in front of the bar? Part of mental prep is also knowing your individual focus style.

Internal focus style  Athletes with an internal focus style perform best when they’re totally and consistently focused on their sport during a practice session or a competition They need to keep their focus narrow, thinking only about their sport. If they broaden their focus, for example, if they talk about non-sport topics during warm-up, they’ll become distracted and will have trouble refocusing and performance will suffer.

External focus style. Athletes with an external focus style perform best when they only focus on their sport when they’re about to begin a competition. At all other times, it is best for them to broaden their focus and take their mind off their sport. These athletes have a tendency to think too much, become negative and critical, and experience workout anxiety. For these athletes, it’s essential that they take their focus away from their sport when they’re not actually performing.

Many coaches think that if athletes are not totally focused on their sport, then they’re not serious about it and they won’t perform their best. Yet, for athletes with an external focus style, they don’t want to think too much or be too serious because this causes them to lose confidence and become anxious. 

Consider which of these most closely describes you in order to manage your thoughts accordingly prior to performance or competition.

3. Eliminate the “bad” thoughts

What negative words or phrases creep into your self-talk during difficult wods? Make a plan to replace them.

Many experienced Fitnessters develop strategies for managing tough workouts: “I’m going to do sets of 5 reps at a time” or “I’m going to take mini-rests approximately every two minutes.” It’s both calming and reasonable to do this kind of planning to avoid a physical burnout. Similarly, we can make plans for managing our athlete self-talk for the same reason: to prevent a mental burnout.

Aaron Weintraub, a college baseball coach and performance consultant, offers the followingadvice:

Because the mind communicates with the body…all thoughts by athletes about what not to do should be reframed or countered into positive statements before the performance is attempted. Change “don’t walk this guy” into “throw strikes.” Change “don’t press” into “stay within yourself.” Change “I can’t finish my workout” into “I can finish my workout.”

Immediately before you perform, your self-talk should be positive and functional, keeping it simple so that you may focus wholly on the task-at-hand.

He also offers the following list of words/phrases to avoid:

  • Can’t
  • I’m not…
  • Need/Have to
  • Should/supposed to
  • Fail/failure
  • Always/Never
  • I stink/suck (and other variations)
  • Hate
  • That’s not fair.
  • That’s discouraging.

Any of those sound like thoughts that have run through your head? Similarly, theElizabethtown Aquatic Club (EAC) provides another helpful list – areas of focus to avoid:

  • the past or the future – stay in control of each moment as it comes
  • weaknesses, especially during a performance or competition
  • fixating on the outcome instead of the process
  • uncontrollable factors (i.e. weather, other athletes)
  • demanding perfection

4. Make a Positive Self-Talk Plan

Tabata Tidbit: If you want some extra help making your plan, use these worksheets from the EAC.

The first step to creating change is to become aware of your existing self-talk. Pay attention to the words, thoughts, and images running through your mind before, during, and after a workout for a few days, and write them down, just as you track your performance times or reps for a WOD. Actively listen to yourself and take note of any negative language or focus areas.

The harder part that follows is changing the negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Golfers, a group of athletes who are impacted deeply by poor mental prep, put in tremendous effort to train mentally:

  • [Golfers’] mental training includes changing negative thoughts into saying “I can”, “I will”, “I can recover”, “thank you”. They avoid the failure statements of “I can’t”, “if only”, “I could have”, “I hope”, “It’s a hard shot”, “It’s a tough hole”. They repeat the positive messages until they are wired into their brains, body and spirit and have become a conditioned response.
  • Don’t agree mentally when someone makes a negative statement. Breathe to relax your mind. Ignore the comment or turn it around and tell yourself the opposite positive message inside your head.
  • Program your self-talk towards what you want instead of away from what you don’t want. If you tell yourself not to miss another shot, your subconscious mind will reinforce the missed shot. What you resist, persists. This is called negative hypnotic programming. Focus your dominant thought on what you do want.

Examine your self-talk notes, and next to every negative thought, phrase, or image, plant a positive replacement word, phrase, or image. It sounds too simple to be effective, but it is necessary in order to combat negative thoughts that may creep in during a workout. The EAC explains it this way: “Imagine that the mind is like a cup–if it is filled to the top with positive thoughts, there will be no room for negative self-talk. Athletes need to identify positive self-talk in advance and replace the negative thoughts with identified positive ones.”

It’s Up to You

It is very likely that you as a Fitness athlete spend ample time focusing on improving different skills and movements. You probably also think about how to eat well and rest adequately in order to improve. Consider, then, what new levels of elite fitness you might reach if you put similar effort into training your brain to become your best ally.

  • Tell yourself what you CAN do.
  • Plant positives.
  • Develop a Self-Talk Plan…and practice it, just like physical training.

Resolve to get your mental game on. 3…2…GO.