ISSUE FIFTY-SEVEN

May 2007
Putting the Physical
Back into Education
Lon Kilgore
Turkish Get-Up: Part I
Jeff Martone
Implementing CrossFit
at East Fork Fire
Jon Gilson
Dumbbells from the
Plank
How to Energize Your Push-up
Training, Part II
Michael Rutherford
Kicking
Becca Borawski
Why You Should Sprint
Train
Tony Leyland
The CrossFit Games
3-2-1-Go!
Sex, Appearance, and
Training
Mark Rippetoe
Teaching the Jerk
Mike Burgener,
with Tony Budding
Applications of the
Support on Rings
Tyler Hass
Fitness de Clase Mundial
en 100 Palabras
Rowing Workouts
Angela Hart
The Grinder
CrossFit FRAGO #9,
“GIROUARD”
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Lon Kilgore
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Public school physical education stinks. Along with that, we see record obesity, record
low ftness, and record low activity levels among school-age kids in the United States.
How many schools in the U.S. have a requirement for daily physical education? How
many schools provide adequate staff, equipment, and time for physical education so
it has a chance at being effective? Although administrators everywhere in the U.S.
will say they do, it is a sad fact that, over and over again, the norm is that free-for-all
recess is counted as physical education in many school systems. It is also common
Putting the Physical Back into Education
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Putting the Physical Back into Education
that physical educators, like one I know in Bowie, Texas, have 65
kids and only 45 minutes, a gymnasium, limited resources, and a
state-mandated curriculum to work with. The curricula tend to
be focused either on short units on various team sports or on
“health” and “lifetime activities”—but never on ftness.
All these factors are a recipe for failure of epidemic proportion.
One of my master’s students chronicled this failure in a thesis
research project that assessed ftness improvement over two
years of junior high school physical education. Of the three
junior high schools studied, only one set of kids made even minor
improvements in standard physical ftness scores. This abysmal
showing is made even more dismal by the fact that the students
studied are quite hormonally competent, growing and developing
physically on nearly a daily basis. They should be able to become
more ft with even a little progressive exercise. The results make
it evident that the part of physical education class directed toward
improving physical ftness was inadequate if not completely absent,
or its design and implementation were highly inappropriate.
This systemic failure is not confned to George Bush Junior’s
home state; it is pervasive, existing in every state of the union.
Sure there are bright spots such as Rancho Buena Vista High,
where PE teacher (and world-class Olympic weightlifting coach)
Mike Burgener improves the life and ftness of every student
he touches, but he is just one guy who has found a way, in spite
of the system, to make a difference. For every Mike, there are
thousands of other physical educators who have been frustrated
in their attempts simply to do their jobs. For every Mike who
understands what physical ftness is, what it means, and how to
get it there are thousands of others who think ftness is a warm
fuzzy feeling or has to do with knowing the rules of pickleball.
For every system that allows someone like Mike to teach to the
beneft of the student and supports it with (relatively minor)
equipment expenditures, there are thousands of other systems
that spend their “health and physical education” time on drug and
sex education—valuable topics but hardly contributory to physical
ftness or to reducing the epidemic of childhood obesity.
Ever since the original governmental alarmist document “A Nation
at Risk” was published by a National Commission on Excellence
in Education in 1983, there has been a slow erosion of support
for physical education in public schools and in quality preparation
of physical educators in colleges and universities. We cannot
be to quick to blame public school administrators or educators
since they are required to follow legislated educational guidelines.
Similarly, we cannot be quick to blame university preparatory
programs as they are simultaneously hamstrung by having to
deliver a curriculum that delivers legislated content, not practical
physical ftness content, and they must also deign to university
or professional program accreditation bodies. These agencies
frequently have political agendas and cookie cutter templates for
what a program is supposed to look like to meet the political
favor of the day.
But oops! The de-emphasis on physical education over the past
two-plus decades has put us in quite a predicament. Kids are
still performing poorly academically compared to the rest of the
industrialized world and now they are fat and unft too. How
can we fx this? We can’t within the current political environment
and with the current physical education curriculum in the U.S.
What is quite interesting is that the more “education experts”
and education colleges and departments get involved in improving
our kids’ education, the lower they fall in international rankings of
academic performance, health, and ftness.
Oh surely there is a way, one might argue. No. Physical ftness is
a hard subject. It takes effort, and gets progressively harder effort
the longer you do it. How is the physical educator going to get
the aloof and carefully coiffed and dressed high school student
to do enough burpees to elicit a training effect if sweating makes
them smelly and they won’t take a shower before their next
class? If they even had enough time to do so, that is, and if they
happened to go a school housed in an older building (since most
new schools are not built with showers). So we fnd that required
gym class is a physical and social nuisance to most older students.
They fnd ways to ditch class, to do the minimal amount to keep
Coach off their back, to not fail the class, and to not wrinkle their
well-crafted fashion identity.
Many many tactics have been experimented with in order to
increase participation of these young adults, but one fact never
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
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Putting the Physical Back into Education
changes: going to gym class will never be as attractive to kids
as going to the gym on their own. Enforced physical education,
because of its devaluation over the past two decades, and the
way it is currently constructed, does not work in high schools.
There has to be a culture of physical ftness to make physical
education attractive and approachable to our kids. Some people
point to varsity athletics as a viable program of physical education,
but athletics is limited in scope of participation and is not really
physical education. The term athletics is derived from the Greek
athlein, to contend for a prize. It was used in reference to Olympic,
Nemean, and Panhellenic games competitors, never in reference to
students learning physical skills or developing ftness. How many
schools suit up every boy and girl for practice and competition in
sports for the entire year? Very few. Athletics is too narrow, too
specifc, and too competitive to substitute for a program of broad
and useful physical education.
While there is no way to develop a 100-percent-effective system,
even a 50-percent-effective system would be an improvement.
What just might work is actually constructing physical education
programs in a manner that truly addresses physical education,
provides students with tangible progress, and fts within the time
and equipment constraints of the modern physical education
classroom. What I propose here is a bottom-up system
implementation, not an across-the-board intervention. An
insurgency, if you will. It starts with getting physical education
programs and school administrators to actively choose “physical
ftness”—not “health” or sporting skills—as a programmatic goal
of elementary schools, home to the most intuitively active and
receptive student group. Physical education class would be where
we lead them through the right amount, type, and intensity of
exercise to improve physical ftness. Recess would become the
place where organized and supervised games would occur. What
this means is tossing out the old ideas of physical education and
making the goals and approach of CrossFit the goals of public
school physical education classes.
CrossFit would work wonderfully since it does not require
lengthy training sessions to elicit results. It also can be done with
a lower equipment budget than the traditional “teaching” of team
sports. An organized teacher could quite easily teach students
about functional exercise and execute an appropriate workout
well within the 45 minutes or less typically assigned to physical
education. Workouts would also be infnitely scalable to individual
students’ ftness levels and motor maturity. No child is left
behind in this scenario because every one of them can perform
at least an adaptation of the exercise and will get more physically
ft as a result. If school CrossFit can recreate the compliance
and adherence rates—and therefore the results—seen in adult
CrossFit populations, physical education will grow in popularity.
Because CrossFit workouts are effective, fun, and challenging, and
because successfully doing them brings participants back for more,
all the pieces for effective physical education are there. Think about
this: if every kid becomes ftter during physical education class,
then when they play kickball, soccer, or whatever other sporting
activity they choose during recess, they will be able to play longer,
harder, and more safely—and enjoy it more—and therefore want
to do it more—and therefore get ftter—and therefore…I think
you get the picture. We would be equipping our kids for physical
success.
So does every public school physical educator need to become
a capable CrossFit instructor? Maybe. It certainly would be a
step toward solving the problem of physical education delivery
in schools and would defnitively make for a more ft American
youth. But we are at the mercy of the politicians, and when the
primary exercise mode for most of them is jogging (for maximum
photo ops and minimum exertion and fuss and muss), there is only
a glimmer of a hope that we will ever be able to rely on public
school physical education to deliver the goods.
A more realistic scenario is that every CrossFit facility could
become part of the “CrossFit Kids” consortium. Parents know
that school physical education doesn’t provide physical ftness.
Why are there millions of soccer moms out there? Why do
martial arts studios thrive? Parents see their kids’ lack of ftness
and want to provide them what’s missing—more time to exercise
and get ft doing something they enjoy. But it doesn’t have to be
sport programs. If you turn kids loose in a well-equipped CrossFit
gym they invariably go non-stop through the gym, “playing” with
kettlebells, hanging on ropes and rings, tumbling on the mats,
jumping on and over boxes, and more. They will essentially do a
CrossFit-type workout without any coaxing or negotiating. Ask if
it was fun. They will say “Yeah!” Ask if they want to go again. They
will say “Yeah!”
And there we have it, the best and most receptive audience for
physical education available, the fushed-cheek, out-of-breath,
smiling kid who doesn’t even know that being a CrossFit kid is
hard and progressive training.
For resources on CrossFit training for kids, see Jeff and Mikki Martin’s
CrossFit Kids website and magazine.
Lon Kilgore, Ph.D., is associate professor of kinesiology at
Midwestern State University, where he teaches exercise physiology
and anatomy. He has held faculty appointments in exercise science
at Warnborough University (UK) and in kinesiology at Kansas State
University. A nationally ranked weightlifter from age 13, he has
extensive practical experience as an NCAA strength coach and
as coach of international-caliber competitive weightlifters. He is a
coaching certification instructor for all levels of USA Weightlifting’s
coaching development system and has been a member or Chair of
the USAW Sports Science Committee for 9 years. In addition to
having published numerous articles in both academic and popular
publications, he is coauthor of the books Starting Strength: A
Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners and Practical
Programming for Strength Training. He is also father/stepfather of
three school-age children.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
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The Turkish get-up (TGU) is an outstanding exercise that develops
strength, fexibility, and stability throughout the entire body. It
has especially proven itself as an excellent prehabilitation and
rehabilitation exercise for the shoulders. In addition, a mastered
TGU will make all overhead exercises safer and easier.
Historically, the TGU was a staple exercise for old-time strongmen
and wrestlers. It’s been said that in the days of old, this was the
frst and only exercise taught to many aspiring weightlifters to
practice. Supposedly, no other exercises were taught or practiced
until the pupil could perform the TGU with a 100-pound weight
in either hand. At frst, I thought this might have been just
weightlifting folklore. However, I decided to make the 100-pound
TGU a personal goal. After reaching this goal, I quickly realized
the wisdom behind the methodology. First, it takes tenacity and
commitment to conquer this feat of strength. Second, it slowly
yet steadily builds a solid foundation of strength that nearly “injury
proofs” the body, making it ready for more demanding training.
Third, it signifcantly strengthens the major muscle groups, small
stabilizing muscles, and connective tissues.
I frst learned the TGU in December of 2001. At that time I was
facing the grim option of having a third surgery on my right shoulder.
I’ve had a long history of shoulder subluxations/dislocations. I
have had two surgeries on my right shoulder (1985 and 1987) and
one on my left (1989). Unfortunately, even after the two surgeries,
my right shoulder would continue to dislocate a couple of times
a year; sometimes while training, many times while sleeping. Talk
about a rude awakening!
Over this 15-year period, I diligently practiced every rubber band
exercise and rotator cuff program known in the realm of physical
therapy, but to no relief. In December 2001, I started practicing
the TGU with dumbbells. (Kettlebells weren’t available at that
time.) I practiced this exercise with dumbbells, then later with
kettlebells. Ultimately, I fabricated two homemade 110-pound
kettlebells, and by spring of 2002 I was performing singles with
them with either hand, reaching my goal.
Knowing what I know now, I’m thoroughly convinced that I could
have avoided all three surgeries had I only known this valuable
exercise. My shoulders are more stable and stronger now than
ever before. The range of motion is completely restored. Best
of all, I have not suffered a shoulder subluxation or complete
dislocation in over six years.
Jeff Martone
Turkish Get-Up
Part 1
The arm-bar stretch
The “arm bar stretch” is a simple but effective
way to strengthen the stabilizer muscles in the
shoulder and actively stretch the pectoral muscles.
It builds strength at extreme ranges of motion and
can be practiced as a standalone exercise or in
conjunction with the TGU.
Begin with a light kettlebell or dumbbell. I prefer
the kettlebell because of the way it rests on the
back of the forearm. The offset weight has a
tendency to pull your arm backward. Resisting
that tendency and controlling the weight overhead
simultaneously strengthens and stretches all the
muscles in and around the shoulder girdle. Start
with a light kettlebell until you have the movement
mastered and are confdent in your strength and
ability to support increased loads.
1. Begin by lying on the foor, in a supine position
(i.e., face up), with the kettlebell on your right.
Lean toward the kettlebell, grasping the handle
with your right hand, keeping your right elbow
tight to your side. The left hand comes over
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2
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The arm-bar stretch: The transition (continued...)
the top to provide an assist (photo 1). Slowly
roll back to the supine position, bringing the
kettlebell with you. Your forearm should be
perpendicular to the foor (photo 2). Get
into the habit of always using two hands to
pick up or put down the kettlebell when you
are on the ground. This will protect your
rotator cuff from potential injury.
2. Press the kettlebell up in front of your chest to
arm’s length. If necessary, use your left arm to
assist the lift or spot the weight. The goal is to
get the kettlebell to the locked-out position.
The purpose of this exercise is not to build a
big chest through pressing. Once the elbow
is straight, adjust the kettlebell to where it
sits deep across the heel of your palm to take
strain off your wrist (photo 3).
3. Post your right foot fat on the ground, with
your heel close to your buttocks (on the
same side foot as your working arm) (photo
4). This is the starting position for this stretch.
Be sure to keep your eyes on the kettlebell
throughout the entire exercise
4. Push off your posted foot, slowly rolling over
to your left side. Reposition your left arm
so you can rest the side of your head onto
your biceps (photo 5). Continue carefully
rolling over, keeping your arm vertical, until
you are nearly prone (photo 6) or until you
hit a sticking point. Hold that position for a
few seconds and then return to the starting
position.
5. Repeat for three to five reps; then switch
arms.
Tips
• Keep your reps low (i.e., three to fve). Train as
heavy as possible but stay as fresh as possible.
• If for some reason you get distracted and begin to
lose control or balance of the kettlebell, avoid the
temptation to try to save it. Rotate your torso
quickly in the direction the kettlebell wants to go
and guide it into a controlled crash on the foor.
Don’t try to save it. The kettlebell will always win.
Whether you have a history of shoulder
problems or are trying to prevent them,
just say “No” to the bench press and
“Hello” to the TGU.
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The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1
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The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1
TGU: The sit-up
1. Begin by following the frst two steps of the “Arm
Bar” stretch to get into a position fat on your back, with
the kettlebell extended straight up in front of your chest
and your arm locked out (photos 1-3).
2. From the starting position, with your left hand fat
on the ground, roll slightly to your left side and sit up
(photos 7-10). In other words, allow the weight to drift
just slightly forward, then push off your posted foot to
help you sit up. It is acceptable to allow your free arm
to assist slightly against the foor in sitting up. Finish
with the right arm and the kettlebell vertical and your
eyes on the bell.
TGU: The transition
The transition will move you from the sitting to the
kneeling position.
3. Begin by pressing the shoulder of your support hand
(the hand that is on the ground) away from your ear.
This is an important but often overlooked step. It
puts your shoulder in a strong position. It keeps the
shoulder “active,” as when you are performing dips
on parallel bars.
4. Simultaneously press off your hand and your posted
foot, lifting your hips off the foor. The will create the
space necessary to bring your left leg underneath
you (photo 11) as you slowly move into a three-
point kneeling position (photo 12).
The tactical Turkish get-up
There are many ways to perform the TGU. The frst variation I
will share with you is the one that’s simple, easy to learn, and has
tremendous carryover to any sport or profession. It’s called the
tactical TGU because it mimics the tactical way of getting back to
your feet if you were knocked down during a fght. This skill is
even more important when you fnd yourself in full kit and level-IV
body armor.
To keep it simple, I will teach the tactical TGU in three parts: the
sit-up, the transition, and the stand-up.
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The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1
TGU: The stand-up
5. Slowly straighten your torso and pull your left arm
up off the ground so that you are in a two-point
kneeling position (photo 13). Keep your eyes on the
kettlebell, and actively press the kettlebell straight up
toward the ceiling throughout this step.
6. Keeping your right shin vertical, load your weight
onto your heel, contract your outside glute and
stand up, pushing the kettlebell up overhead as you
rise (photo14). Congratulations! You just successfully
completed the frst half of the tactical TGU.
7. Pause for a moment, gather your thoughts and breath,
and then carefully reverse the steps to lower yourself
to the foor and back into the starting position, fat
on the ground with the kettlebell extended over
your chest. Watch the kettlebell and actively drive
it upward with your shoulder even as you descend
back into a supine position.
Tips
• Stay tight, move slowly, keep your elbow locked, and
remain focused on the kettlebell. This is especially
important when transitioning from standing to
kneeling, kneeling to sitting, and sitting to supine. The
combination of a bent elbow, a little momentum, and
the sudden jolt could cause the kettlebell to come
crashing down. Take your time, and be smooth.
• Keep your reps low—three to fve with moderate
weight, say, or singles with heavy weight. This exercise
is best practiced in parts or with a spotter until all
the motions are mastered.
• My favorite way to practice the tactical TGU, especially
when I’m short on time, is to set a timer for 10
minutes and perform singles (i.e., one rep consists of
one up and one down), alternating sides after every
rep. I’ve found this to be a safe and productive way
to train tactical TGUs.
Mastering the TGU is an excellent investment of your time and
effort. My personal success story has been repeated many times
with the clients I train. Boxers, grapplers, no-holds-barred fghters,
police offcers, military personnel, and the average “Joe” or “Jane”
all have reaped the benefts of the TGU. Whether you have a
history of shoulder problems or are trying to prevent them, please
heed my advice: Just say “No” to the bench press and “Hello” to
the TGU.
In next month’s issue I will cover some fun and challenging TGU
variations.
“A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increases strength.” Proverbs 24:5
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Jeff Martone, owner of Tactical Athlete Training Systems,
was one of the frst certifed senior kettlebell instructors
in the United States. He is best known as the creator of
“hand- 2-hand” kettlebell juggling, SHOT training, and the
T.A.P.S. pull-up system. He is also the author of six training
DVDs. He was the frst to implement kettlebell training in a
federal law enforcement agency and now offers instructor-
level certifcations. He has over 15 years of experience as
a full-time defensive tactics, frearms, and special-response-
team instructor.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
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Jon Gilson
Firefghting is a feld of spontaneous physical demands. Success is
predicated on meeting these demands quickly and competently,
and human life often swings in the balance.
Firefghters must be prepared to deal with any number of
eventualities—lugging equipment, carrying another person,
knocking down a wall, scaling a building, crawling, dragging,
rappelling, running, or any combination of these, usually while
bearing some sort of load. Tasks are presented in a random
sequence, and frefghters must be able to deal with them as they
come.
CrossFit mimics and trains for the spontaneous nature of working
in the feld. Like frefghting, CrossFit relies on a fnite set of skills
ordered in an infnite number of combinations. A frefghter may
respond to a chemical fre one day and a structure fre or wildland
blaze the next, one in a school zone one day and in a rural area
with poor access to water the next. While the frefghter’s skill
set is fnite, the contexts in which those skills are brought to bear
are anything but.
The CrossFit community has long recognized the connection
between the demands of the frefghter’s job and the stimulus and
adaptations provided by our brand of ftness. CrossFit is now
employed by frefghters across the country and around the world.
Often, the choice to become a CrossFitter is made by individual
frefghters who recognize the benefts of training with constantly
varied functional movement executed at high intensity. In such
cases, these individuals fnd local affliates on their own or make do
with whatever facilities are available. More and more frequently,
however, entire stations, shifts, or even departments have adopted
CrossFit, providing dedicated training and equipment to their
personnel. These departments have transferred the burden of
fnding qualifed instruction from the individual to the institution,
ensuring that their crews have access to top-notch physical training
and thus obviating the problem of underconditioned frefghters.
East Fork Fire in Nevada is among these departments. The
department’s territory is 750 square miles in the shadow of the
Sierra Nevada, providing emergency medical response, frefghting,
and hazardous materials response services to the citizens
of northern Nevada. Averaging 4400 calls per year, their 200-
member force of professionals and volunteers is kept extremely
busy providing a diverse range of services.
I recently sat down with Battalion Chief Ron Haskins and several
of his colleagues to discuss the arrival of CrossFit at East Fork and
the ensuing department-wide implementation of the program. As
key players in this grass-roots ftness insurgency in the department,
they have a unique perspective on the institutionalization of
CrossFit and the diffculties that lie along the way.
CrossFit came to East Fork by way of necessity. Many otherwise
qualifed career applicants were failing to achieve passing scores on
the department’s CPAT-like obstacle course, a realistic simulation
of the tasks these soon-to-be-frefghters would face in the feld.
These men and women were gassing early and often, whether
dragging a dummy down a narrow hallway, pulling a 150-foot hose,
or simulating a forcible entry with a sledgehammer.
As the man holding the stopwatch for the test, Ron knew
something had to change. Luckily for East Fork, he already had
the solution in hand.
An off-the-cuff remark from a trainer at the Phoenix Fire
Department’s annual “Health, Safety, and Fitness Symposium”
led Ron to CrossFit.com, where he began studying the various
movements at the core of CrossFit programming. A subsequent
trip to a CrossFit Certifcation Seminar at the Orange County Fire
Authority in California solidifed his understanding and confrmed
what he already knew—that the intense, full-body workouts
of CrossFit parallel the demands of fghting fres and handling
unpredictable rescues and would provide the conditioning his
frefghters needed.
Implementation presented its own set of challenges. East Fork
is a publicly funded institution, with a budget provided by the tax
dollars of the district’s citizens. An expensive ftness program
would be rejected out of hand, as Ron knew frsthand from a
previous attempt to institutionalize a conventional ftness regimen.
Before fnding CrossFit, he’d asked for sixty thousand dollars to
outft a single station with traditional cardio equipment, a request
Implementing CrossFit at East Fork Fire
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
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Implementing CrossFit at East Fork Fire
that the County Commissioners—understandably—had found
untenable.
His second request, made in early 2007, was met with more
enthusiasm. With the support of his chief and a mere two thousand
dollars in hand, Ron equipped four stations with rings, slam balls,
medicine balls, and pull-up bars, offcially making CrossFit tools
available to the ffty full-time members of his department. With
plans to add four thousand dollars worth of barbells, bumpers,
and power cages in July of this year, East Fork will fully CrossFit-
equip all its career stations for a tenth of the cost of Ron’s original
request.
Even with the necessary equipment and knowledge in place,
obstacles remain. East Fork runs on a 48-hours-on/96-hours-off
schedule, putting its frefghters and CrossFit equipment in the
same place for only two days at a time. Combined with less-than-
stellar participation levels among the Department’s bodybuilding
holdouts, this schedule has limited the institutionalization of the
classic 3-on/1-off CrossFit programming.
Captain Jeff Costa, a ten-year East Fork veteran and an avid
CrossFitter, believes that a department-wide education and
outreach effort could increase participation dramatically.
According to Jeff, it is primarily inertia that is working against
the institutionalization of CrossFit. Many department members
are unwilling to reconsider their established views on training
and hold tight to the notion that the prototypical frefghter is
necessarily a “big and bulky walk-through-walls type.” Bringing
these individuals off the sidelines will require educational resources
and physical proof that the program is effective and applicable to
their profession.
Providing the educational proof is a challenge because the
frefghters of East Fork are dispersed both geographically and
temporally, making group instruction impracticable. Currently,
East Fork has two CrossFit-certifed instructors on staff—Ron
Haskins and Roby Safford—and they work on the same shift.
Deploying these men to other stations and other shifts would
require signifcant overtime cost to the county, a no-go given East
Fork’s already-constrained budget.
Captain Costa believes the answer, both logistically and fscally,
lies in an “educate the educators” approach. Sending three to fve
additional frefghters to CrossFit certifcation seminars, one from
each of East Fork’s three shifts, would increase and disseminate
the pool of available instructors, lowering one of the barriers to
a department-wide education effort and preventing additional
overtime costs.
The physical proof of CrossFit’s effcacy, of course, is easier to come
by. Those in the department have a concrete example right under
their noses, in the form of Ron himself. A year ago, he underwent
a mandatory annual physical exam, including a stress EKG test
and a pulmonary function test. The results, Ron says, “were an
absolute nightmare.” A combination of elevated triglycerides, high
cholesterol, and EKG abnormalities made him a prime candidate
for heart problems, and subsequent cardiac testing forced him to
fle a worker’s compensation claim under Nevada’s Heart/Lung
Bill. Today, after eight months of dedicated CrossFitting and careful
nutrition, Ron is 53 pounds lighter, and his labs are one hundred
percent normal.
Firefghter, paramedic, and acting Captain Heidi Neilson serves
as another example. Eight months removed from a total knee
replacement, Neilson has found tremendous physical success
through CrossFit. Only four months into the program, this former
ultra-runner has reclaimed most of the range of motion in her
damaged knee, performing weighted squats on a regular basis. She
has also gained signifcant strength in her upper body, a trait that
has improved her performance in the feld.
She’ll soon have a chance to demonstrate her increased physical
prowess in a measurable setting, as the department is about to
embark on a series of timed “evolutions.” These simulations test
each crew’s ability to accomplish a standard frefghting mission,
such as getting water on a structure fre. With the stopwatch
running, the crew must complete a series of tasks, starting at the
hydrant and ending at the front door. This testing phase marks
the frst time that evolutions have been timed at East Fork, and
presents a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the relationship
between CrossFit and professional competency to a skeptical
constituency.
The experience of Battalion Chief Haskins and his small group of
CrossFitters provides signifcant hope for the future of East Fork.
Only six months old, the program is still in its infancy, and the
department’s benchmark of athletic ability—the obstacle course—
has yet to be rerun. Combined with the upcoming evolutions, Ron
is confdent that the performances of the CrossFitting frefghters
will serve as a catalyst within East Fork, conclusively demonstrating
the effcacy and appeal of CrossFit and increasing participation.
The problems that CrossFit faces at East Fork are not unique.
Creating large-scale change within an entrenched community
is always diffcult, even among the most ftness-dependent
organizations and professions on the planet. Regardless, there are
at least eight frefghters at East Fork with the capacity and desire
to blast through their next attempt at the obstacle course and to
perform their duties with improved health and ftness, and at least
one man with the authority and wherewithal to extend the means
to the rest of the department.
Jon Gilson is the owner of AgainFaster.com and the general
manager of CrossFit Boston. He is a level-1 CrossFit trainer
and a level-1 USA Track and Field coach, specializing in group
instruction and equipment sales. He learned of East Fork Fire’s
CrossFit Program when Ron contacted him to provide equipment
for the department, and he continues to support their efforts
through advice and consulting. Jon can be reached anytime at
jon@againfaster.com.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
10
Now that you have had thirty days since last month’s dumbbell
article to work on your plank position, push-up and row, and
vertical to horizontal movements, it’s time to add other plank
variations to the mix. I consider these to be more advanced, as
they intensify the requirement to maintain a tight plank position
with no sagging or piking. This article and its demo videos assume
mastery of the plank variations from Part I of the “Dumbbells
from the Plank” series in CrossFit Journal issue 56.
Roving variations
Roving dumbbell planks add a dynamic component to the plank
position. From the plank position with dumbbells we rove or
travel laterally. One can travel forward and backward, but my
experience with the move indicates that the plank position
generally becomes compromised when trying to move forward
and backward on a dorsifexed foot.
Roving dumbbell planks begin, as the name implies, in a plank
position with the hands on dumbbells. From here, step out to the
left side with the left hand and then the left foot. For a moment
you are in a suspended spread eagle position, until you step in
the same direction with the right hand and then the right foot,
returning to you to the plank position you began in. You can travel
in this sequence for an assigned number of steps or to a target
and then return, now leading with the right side and following with
the left, to insure balanced conditioning. I like to use cones as a
fnish line or target, as I think it is subconsciously more rewarding
to have a visual target than simply a number of steps to complete,
and it allows for individual variation in step size.
Moves that require stabilization on one arm and one leg place a
unique and desirable demand on the athlete. The number-one
faw typically exhibited during early attempts at the move is piking
the plank (hinging at the hip and sticking the butt up in the air).
Preventing this requires a outside eye and lots of feedback. If you
are wiggling to become more comfortable, you are likely out of
position.
Once you get roving, here are some ways to add intensity:
• Roving plank with a push-up
• Roving plank with a bodybuilder
• Roving plank with a burpee
These can be done throughout the movement or once the athlete
reaches the target or fnish. I encourage constantly varying the
approach and programming.
Roving with the core wheel
Roving forward and backward can be accomplished while
maintaining good positioning by adding a core wheel. The core
wheel creates a third dimension of stabilization requirement due
to the instability of the wheel.

Again we can assign a certain number of reps or use a target. As in
the lateral roving versions, we can add a push-up. These push-ups
can be standard or include a staggered hand position. Because we
have the core wheel on our feet we can also perform a shoulder
press variation with the dumbbell acting as handles and the torso
nearly vertical over them.
• Roving plank on a core wheel
• Roving push-up on a core wheel with staggered hands
• Roving push-up on a core wheel with shoulder press
“Stupid Rut trick”
Finally, I propose one last version, but only for the most advanced
of athletes. In this version you travel forward using the core wheel
but also drag a sled behind you. My athletes have labeled this one
a “stupid Rut trick” and threaten me with a trip to the Letterman
Show to demo it.
I have added this as a fnisher for those guys who think the workout
of the day left them a little unsatisfed and thrive on competition.
Successful grapplers are attracted to this challenge. It’s best
performed on rubber tile, but you can do it on any surface. Start
with small doses of this one, and be reasonable about the weight.
The impact can sneak up on you afterward. And be forewarned:
your lower abdominals will feel like they have been separated
from the distal insertion if you are overly zealous. Also, if you use
this version on concrete your mitts will remind you of the insanity
later that evening.
Michael Rutherford
Dumbbells from the Plank
How to Energize Your Push-up Training, Part II
Michael Rutherford (a.k.a. Coach Rut) is the owner
of CrossFit Kansas City/Boot Camp Fitness. He has
over a quarter-century of ftness coaching experience
with athletes of all ages. He has also worked in hospital
wellness environments and rehabilitation clinics. Rut holds
academic degrees in biology, physical education, and exercise
physiology and sports biomechanics. He is a USAW-certifed
Club Coach and is a CrossFit level-3 trainer. He is also the
current national Masters Champion in weightlifting at 94
kg. You can learn more dumbbell exercises from his DVDs
Dumbbell Moves Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Roving Plank
Roving Push-up
Roving Bodybuilder
Roving Burpee
Roving Plank Core
Wheel
Roving Core Wheel
Staggered Push-up
Roving Core Wheel
Shoulder Press
Roving Push-ups Core
Wheel Sled
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CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
11
The push kick is known by many names, depending on the discipline being
studied. It can be called a front kick, a tip kick, or a jab. Like a jab with the hands
(see CFJ issue 54), the push kick can be used as a measuring stick to gauge the
space between you and your opponent. The primary intention of the push kick
is to keep the opponent away. You can “jab” a greater distance with your foot
than you can with your arm, which lets you keep your opponent farther away.
In the process of preventing an opponent from moving in, the push kick is
also a great distraction tool. A push kick used repeatedly and successfully will
frustrate an opponent. It can cause them to stop and think about how they
are going to avoid the kick. This may give you the needed time to mount your
offense and, at the very least, can prevent them from mounting theirs.
Before beginning the kick, you must frst assume your fghter’s stance (see CFJ
issue 54). To execute a push kick with your left leg, lift your left knee up high and
then extend your leg straight out. Fully extend and strike your opponent with
the ball of your left foot. Some schools teach to strike with the ball of the foot,
some to strike with the heel. Neither is wrong and both can be useful. Striking
closer to the toe, however, will provide you with a little more reach.
To add power to the strike, thrust your hips forward while leaning back slightly.
Think about pushing hard on the ground with your right foot and generating
forward energy with the hips. Like punches, and so many functional athletic
movements, the power for kicks comes from the hips.
A great place to aim your kick is directly into the opponent’s stomach. Fighters
learn to be good at blocking their faces and their ribs but will sometimes leave
a hole in the center of the body where you can strike straight in with your push
kick. If the opponent’s chest is open, you can also land powerful strikes that can
knock an opponent off balance by hitting directly to the chest.
Also, note that Bridgett continues to protect her own face and body while
delivering the push kick to her opponent.
One of Bridgett’s favorite uses for the push kick is as a fake. She will begin as
if she is throwing the kick, but then drop the leg quickly and move in on her
opponent to deliver strikes with her hands.
Anyone who watches modern mixed martial arts is bound to have
a love for kicks. A well executed kick catches an opponent off
guard and can be debilitating. Kicking is powerful and effective,
whether as a series of low kicks to the leg that slowly chop down
the opponent or as one swift kick to the head that ends the fght.
While most people are familiar with traditional boxing, the
popularity of mixed martial arts over the past couple years has
brought more attention and interest in kickboxing and other
similar arts as well. The fourth and fnal installment of this series
on boxing and kickboxing techniques focuses on two different
types of kick—the push kick and the roundhouse kick.
Once again, as I describe the techniques, Bridgett “Baby Doll” Riley
demonstrates proper form in the photographs. Bridgett is a former
world champion boxer and a five-time world champion kickboxer.
She trains and works at the world-famous Wild Card Boxing Gym in
Hollywood, California, and also works as a stuntwoman and actress.
Becca Borawski
Kicking
Push kick
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
12
Bridgett “Baby Doll” Riley consulted on this article and is the demo
model in the photographs. Bridgett is a former world champion boxer
and a five-time world champion kickboxer. She trains and works at the
world-famous Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood, California, and also
works as a stuntwoman and actress.
The roundhouse kick is one of the most commonly used kicks.
You will see it thrown to the legs, body, or head in many fghts.
Here, we look at how to execute the back-leg roundhouse kick at
various levels on the opponent.
Begin in the conventional fghter’s stance, with your left foot
forward and your right foot behind. Bridgett will be throwing a
kick with her back leg, which is her right leg.
An important element of the roundhouse kick to have in mind is
the need to keep the hips open. Just as you open our hips vertically
through full extension during Olympic lifts, or more horizontally
during kipping pull-ups, you can also keep your hips open in the
twisting pattern necessary for kicking. This extension of the hips
gives you full access to your potential power.
In kicking, the openness of the hips is often lost when a fghter
keeps the supporting leg locked to the ground while throwing the
kicking leg forward. As the leg arcs into the target, it therefore
automatically closes off the hips. To counteract this and deliver a
more powerful kick, it is essential that you pivot on the support
leg. When throwing a right-leg roundhouse kick, the left foot will
turn all the way around on the ground. This maintains the integrity
of the open hips and allows the full power of the kick to continue
into the target, rather than be muted by the striker’s own body.
The two photographs of Bridgett’s feet at right were taken from
the same point. The frst was taken before Bridgett threw her
roundhouse kick and the second at the moment of impact. The
frst photograph shows her feet in her conventional fghter’s
stance. In the second, her right foot is now airborne and out
of range of the camera, while her left has pivoted outward to
maintain her open hips.
When throwing the kick, keep your leg slightly bent and aim
to strike the opponent with your shin. If you are kicking to the
opponent’s leg, aim directly for the thigh. Do not throw the kick
straight across, but angle your leg downward, continuing the arc
of your kick. After a few consecutive strikes to the thigh, they will
fnd it diffcult to keep weight on that leg.
When aiming for the body, do the opposite: angle your kick up
into the opponent’s body. Just as you angle your punches to the
body upward (see CFJ Issue 56), angling your kicks up will help you
get under your opponents rib and hit on the correct trajectory to
affect their spleen or liver, depending on which side you strike.
When kicking to the head, aim directly for the temple. To set up
a head shot, Bridgett will usually throw a few kicks to the leg
and/or body, building up an expectation of those kicks again for
her opponent. She then uses that expectation to surprise them
with the head kick.
And, as always, Bridgett
still maintains her hands up
in defensive position, even
while executing a high
roundhouse kick.
...continued
Kicking
To see good roundhouse kicks in action, check
out UFC fghter Mirko Cro-Cop. Cro-Cop has
won many fghts over his career, both in K-1
(international kickboxing) and in Pride Fighting
Championships, utilizing his long legs and
powerful roundhouse kicks.
Other infamous roundhouse kicks:
• Chuck Liddell’s knockout win over
Renato Sobral, UFC 40
• Pete Williams’s knockout win over
Mark Coleman, UFC 17
Roundhouse kick
Becca Borawski, CSCS, teaches and trains at Petranek Fitness/CrossFit Los
Angeles in Santa Monica. She has a master’s degree in film from the University of
Southern California and a background in martial arts training. She has blended
these skills to produce DVDs and build websites for professional fighters. Her
main job is as the music editor on the TV show Scrubs. She currently trains
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rey Diogo, a Carlson Gracie affliate.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
13
Last month I talked about rest periods during interval training
and said I would discuss high-intensity sprint and peak power
workouts further. One of the things I talked about is the need for
relatively long rest periods during short-duration, peak-intensity
work that lasts less than 10 to 15 seconds. I also noted that
when it comes to sprint workouts that train short, maximal-effort
running intervals, many CrossFitters—always trying to push the
intensity envelope—seem to want to reduce the rest period as
much as possible. However, this changes the focus and stimulus
of the workout—and not necessarily for the better. We have
all heard of “adrenaline junkies”; these athletes are “lactic acid
junkies,” harboring the misconception that unless you are close to
a visit from Pukie, you haven’t worked hard enough. Wrong. As I
stated last month, it depends on what you are working on. Pure
strength workouts generally don’t get you to the state of lying
on the foor, gasping for breath, feeling absolutely wiped out and
ready to throw up, and neither should a sprint workout where the
focus is really on sprint technique and high power output.
When you work predominantly type-2b muscle fbers using the
phosphagen system, little to no lactic acid is produced. So, when
you work on low-rep Olympic lifts, train for the CrossFit Total,
or do short sprint interval work, you should not produce much
lactic acid. You will start to tire after repeated efforts (those
muscle fbers will take a beating) and you may be a little sore
the next day or two, as the muscles have worked hard, but you
shouldn’t feel any signifcant lactic acid burn.

In contrast, consider the CrossFit workouts “Kelly” (fve rounds
for time of a 400-meter run, thirty 24-inch box jumps, and thirty
20-pound wall ball shots) or “Nancy” (fve rounds for time of a
400-meter run and ffteen 95-pound overhead squats) or even
good old “Cindy” (20 minutes of rounds of fve pull-ups, ten push-
ups, and ffteen squats). Cindy will take 20 minutes, Nancy will
take anywhere from 12 to 24 minutes for most people, and Kelly
will take me all day! For all three, then, much of the energy comes
from the oxidative system. (See CFJ issues 56 and 10 if you need
to review energy systems.)
Despite the “look” of these workouts, they really are not interval
training workouts; they are circuit training workouts. By defnition,
interval training is a series of periods of exercise and rest. These
three workouts do not have any rest periods incorporated into
their design; you are meant to storm through as fast as you can.
Granted, if you aren’t strong enough and ft enough to move
through them without breaks, you will end up working in intervals
and will use more of the phosphagen and glycolytic systems during
the work phases and then use the oxidative system to recover.
However, stronger athletes (or ones who scale the weights down)
who can work continually during these types of workouts will be
obtaining the majority of their energy via the oxidative system.
These athletes are working sub-maximally at each individual effort.
(If you can do “Fran” in 3 to 5 minutes, 95 pounds is by defnition
nowhere near your one-rep max thruster weight.)
These types of workouts challenge the oxidative system and hence
your cardiorespiratory ftness. But these CrossFit circuits also
challenge the muscular endurance of every muscle group; improve
your skill, and develop balance and core stability. In “Performance
and Health” in CFJ issue 55, I argued that CrossFit programming
is protective of one’s health precisely because it does develop all
components of ftness, and these kinds of intense, no-rest circuit
training sessions are an integral part of that programming.
However, these longer workouts are not about improving your
400-meter sprint performance. The metabolic hit these workouts
Tony Leyland
Why You Should Sprint Train
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
14
...continued
Why You Should Sprint Train
deliver to the oxidative system (and a very large number of muscle
groups) is very strong, so you fatigue and the 400-meter runs
are like a jog (or maybe a cruise for the ftter athlete); they are
certainly not 400-meter maximal sprints. Not so long ago, one
circuit WOD included 100-meter runs, but it was a 20-minute
multi-round workout with two other exercises, so the runs would
have to be performed at less than maximal pace due to fatigue.
However, the WODs I discussed last month that required ten
100-meter sprints or three 800-meter sprints are true interval
workouts. You must rest between the bouts of exercise.
Although the circuit training WODs rely predominantly on the
oxidative system, if you really push for a good time or high number
of rounds you will also fnish with high lactic acid concentrations,
so the glycolytic system will certainly have been stressed and you
might feel like Pukie is knocking on the door. But these kinds of
workouts do not target type-2b muscle fbers and the phosphagen
system. For that you need heavy lifts and maximal sprints…and
relatively long rest intervals.
Don’t worry if when you do a sprint workout, a CrossFit Total, or
some heavy overhead squats you do not feel like you worked as
hard as the circuit training type of workouts. Remember this part
of the CrossFit defnition of ftness: “Five or six days per week mix
[various kinds of functional exercises] in as many combinations
and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep
workouts short and intense.”
Per Astrand, a world-renowned exercise physiologist argues
that major adaptations for human survival “were consistent with
habitual physical activity, including endurance and peak effort
alternated with rest.” We evolved performing lots of endurance
activities such as tracking animals, moving with the seasons,
gathering food and materials, building shelter, etc. However, we
also required very short-duration outputs of peak power during
fghts and sprints (to chase, or fee, an opponent or animal). Hence,
sprinting distances of 10 to 40 meters is probably one of the most
fundamental physical survival skills we ever developed as humans.
If you were feeing a more powerful animal you probably would
be sprinting a short distance to safety or shelter. If you were too
far away from safety you would have to turn and fght. Either way,
you needed to be powerful….and the outcome, good or bad, was
probably decided in a matter of seconds.
But all good coaches know that a 10-meter sprint is very different
from a 40-meter sprint and different again from a zig-zag agility
sprint. Let me discuss this further. Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis
contested many 100-meter sprint races in the late 1980s. Who
was the faster runner out of Johnson and Lewis? The answer is
Carl Lewis despite the fact that Ben Johnson, at his best, would
consistently beat him at 100-meter races. How come? Lewis
had a fractionally faster top speed, but Johnson was a better
accelerator; he came out of the blocks quicker and reached his
top speed sooner. So by the time Lewis reached his, slightly higher,
top speed, Johnson was far enough ahead to hold on for the win.
In the 100-meter sprint, acceleration over the frst 10 meters can
make the difference in who wins. For a solider or police offcer or
frefghter it may be the difference between life and death.
Maximal sprinting is also crucial in sport. In my sport of soccer,
for example, players sprint at top speed an average of 15 meters
(mostly between 5 and 30 meter) every 90 seconds on average.
They cover around one kilometer sprinting at maximal speeds
and a further two kilometers at fast speeds, but this is achieved
in intervals over 90 minutes of game time. Running in soccer—
like efforts in many other sports—consists of short sprints
(phosphagen system predominating) and then slower movements
(cruising, jogging, backing up, walking) where the athlete has time
to recover (oxidative system predominating). The ratio of time
spent in high-intensity and low-intensity activity is between 1:10
and 1:20. Football, baseball, basketball, volleyball. rugby, hockey,
racket sports, surfng, weightlifting, combat sports, and many if not
most other sports also have patterns of quick bursts of maximal or
near-maximal power outputs (1-5 seconds in duration) followed by
lower-intensity activity periods which allow for a certain amount
of recovery.
Not all short-distance sprinting targets the same components of
physical performance. One study looked at the correlation among
acceleration (a 10-meter sprint from a stationary start), maximum
speed (a 20-meter timed sprint from a 30-meter run-up), and
agility (time over a 20-meter zig-zag course consisting of four 5-
meter sections at 100-degree angles to each other). Obviously the
results were correlated, and many of the athletes scoring well in
one test scored well in another. However, the authors concluded
that the correlation wasn’t total and that “acceleration, maximum
speed, and agility are specifc qualities and relatively unrelated to
one another.” This highlights, on a micro level, one of CrossFit’s
fundamental critiques of many standard training programs—that
single-sport athletes are narrowly specialized, at the expense of
other components of ftness and athleticism.
Does CrossFit target type-2b fbers and the phosphagen system;
does it help with your power, your acceleration? Yes it does,
most defnitely. To be fast and strong, you need a good strength
base—strength training and heavy lifting is the way to achieve this.
To develop this strength into high power, Olympic-style lifts are
king (cleans, jerks, snatches, and their variations, etc.). One study
showed measured power in the jerk drive ranging from 2,140
watts (2.9 horsepower) in the 56-kg class to 4,786 watts (6.4
horsepower) for a 110-kg lifter. The same researcher calculated
that during the second pull, the average power output, from
transition to maximum vertical velocity, was 5,600 watts for a
100-kg male and 2,900 watts for a 75-kg female. Peak power over
a split second would be higher still. Average power outputs for
powerlifting events are: bench, 300 watts; squat, 1,000 watts; and
deadlift, 1,100 watts. The numbers are much lower because the lifts
are performed slowly. They also show that the term powerlifting
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
15
...continued
Why You Should Sprint Train
is a misnomer and highlight the need to include fast, explosive
movements such as the Olympic lifts and maximal sprints in your
training. Powerlifting is essential in developing a strength base, but
you have to work fast as well.

However, while Olympic weightlifting develops excellent vertical
acceleration, the principle of specifcity means that translating that
power into horizontal acceleration and sprint capacity requires
practical application and practice. The soldier, law enforcement
offcer, and football, basketball, rugby, tennis, and soccer player (to
name just a few) also need to do specifc work to translate the
vertical power they develop in the gym into horizontal acceleration
of the body. Like the Olympic lifts, sprinting is very technical, and
optimizing your sprinting technique requires focused work at that
skill.
As you know, CrossFit uses exercises and information from
specialist coaches in powerlifting, Olympic lifting, gymnastics,
kettlebell training, rowing, etc. The essence of CrossFit is to
develop routines that use these excellent training methods but
not to specialize in any of them. By this I mean an athlete who is a
powerlifter is going to do a lot more powerlifting than a CrossFit
athlete, an Olympic weightlifter is going to do more Olympic lift
training, etc. So while we may not want to specialize in sprinting,
we should learn what we can from sprint coaches. So I suggest
that you include in your workouts some 10-yard accelerations
and some 20-yard, 30-yard, and 40-yard sprints. Add in some
zig-zag and other agility patterns also. Each type of distance and
movement pattern has a slightly different focus.
CrossFit loves to have workouts that are measurable which really
helps to challenge and motivate the athletes. Unfortunately, very
short sprints are really hard to measure accurately enough to
determine improvement (or drop off). Obviously, monitoring
progress in Olympic lifting is easy—you know the weight you
are lifting. But a 20-yard sprint may take 2.82 seconds, and
improvements may come in increments of hundredths of seconds.
So it is tough to measure progress on short sprints because you
obviously can’t time yourself and any improvements in time will be
very small and hence the reaction time using a stopwatch has to be
as consistent as possible. However, if you have a coach or training
partner who is always the one running the stopwatch, you can get
a decent sense of your progress. But you can’t do a 20-yard sprint
with one friend as timer and a month later have another fend
time you, as the differences in their stopwatch technique will likely
be greater than any improvements.
So I admit it is tough to have very short sprints as a measurable
WOD. But don’t let that stop you; you need to work at short
sprints especially if you are not involved in sports that challenge
this component of ftness. One possibility is to do some short
sprints after your CrossFit warm-up and prior to the main WOD.
You could do some three-quarter-pace sprints as an additional
warm-up and then do some maximal sprints. Maybe only six 20-
yard sprints with a minute break in between. You will not feel
particularly fatigued at this point, but this is very explosive work,
and, with regular use, the beneft will carry over into other aspects
of your performance. It may take a slight edge off your work
output for that day’s WOD, but the benefts gained far outweigh
that inconvenience.
Studies and text cited in this article:
Åstrand, P. O. 1992. “J. B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture. ‘Why
Exercise?’” Medical Science and Sports Exercise 24(2): 153-
162
Baechle, T. R., and E. W. Earle, eds. 2000. Essentials of Strength
Training and Conditioning. 2nd ed. Champaign. Ill: Human
Kinetics.
Garhammer, John. 1993. “A Review of Power Output Studies
of Olympic and Powerlifting: Methodology, Performance
Prediction, and Evaluation Tests. Journal of Strength and
Conditioning Research. 7(2): 76-89.
Little, Thomas, and Alun G. Williams. 2005. “Specifcity of
Acceleration, Maximum Speed, and Agility in Professional
Soccer Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
19(1): 76-78.
Tony Leyland is Senior Lecturer at the School of
Kinesiology in Vancouver, Canada. He has taught at the
university level for 24 years and has been heavily involved
in competitive sports such as soccer, tennis, squash, and
rugby as both an athlete and a coach for over 40 years. He
is a professional member of the National Strength and
Conditioning Association, a Canadian National B-licensed
soccer coach, and a level-1 CrossFit trainer. He can be
reached at leyland@sfu.ca.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
16
The CrossFit Games
3-2-1-GO!
We have long said that CrossFit is the sport of ftness. This
summer, we are putting that claim into practice on a large scale,
with an open-invitation, multi-event competition that will test
athletes’ abilities at CrossFit’s primary goal—performing well at
multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges.
The first CrossFit Games, as we’re calling them, are designed
to bring out the specialists and the generalists, the big guys and
the little guys, the lifters and the runners, and put them head
to head at three distinct physical challenges spanning a broad
range of modalities and human energy pathways.
Athletes from around the country (and beyond, we hope) and
from a variety of backgrounds will gather in central California
for a weekend of camaraderie and competition. We expect
to see both CrossFitters from affiliates and CrossFitters who
do the web-posted WODs on their own in commercial gyms,
basements, parks, garages, and barns everywhere face off against
each other and against competitors from the powerlifting,
running, triathlon, and gymnastics communities for dominance
in the individual events and for the overall champion title.
In our view, and despite typical media portrayals, long-distance,
endurance competitors are not in fact the world’s fittest
athletes—far from it. We’ve designed a set of performance-
based events that we think better tests competitors’ functional
fitness and breadth of ability.
The CrossFit Games is a three-part contest for dominance and
glory (and cash):
1. A “Hopper” workout created on the fly, in
which functional movements will be drawn
at random from a hat (or “hopper”) and put
together into a mixed-mode, high-intensity
challenge.
2. An off-trail run of unspecified terrain and
duration.
3. A CrossFit Total lifting contest, which tests
competitors’ max lifts in the back squat,
overhead press, and deadlift.
The overall champions of the Games—the man and the woman
who perform best across all three of those challenges—will
truly constitute the world’s fittest folks.
Come out and bring it on!
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
17
To quote a famous ftness author, “Women are not a special
population. They are half of the population.” But they respond to
heavy physical stress differently than the other half of the population.
Despite this fact, women get the best results when they train for
performance, because even though there are differences between
men’s and women’s response to training, there is no difference
in the quality of the exercise needed to produce the stress that
causes adaptation. In other words, silly bullshit in the gym is silly
bullshit, for both sexes.
The women’s “ftness” industry has been around a long time.
“Figure salons” were common in the 1960s, and my frst job in
the industry in 1977 was at a club that alternated hours for men
and women. We had separate staff, with the women’s shift working
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the men’s staff basically working
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, which pretty much precluded
any 3-on/1-off training. But the women didn’t train anyway. They
exercised, toned, frmed, and sculpted. They were required by the
club to train in tights (which the club sold), and sweating was
strongly discouraged because exercising this hard was 1) apt to
build bulky muscles, 2) caused the exerciser to make too much
noise and that, combined with the sweat, might 3) intimidate the
other ladies.
At the time the men’s “program” wasn’t much better, but
training hard was a matter of pride in the Nautilus room and
our members suffered from no lack of effort or exertion; rather
they were the victims of our staff ’s inexperience and ignorance of
exercise science. The women’s program suffered from an entirely
different problem: the perception that women were absolutely,
inherently, and permanently different from men, to the extent that
any program of physical exercise had to be different from men’s
programs, right down to the molecular level. Both suffered from an
emphasis on appearance (typically “masculine” or conventionally
“feminine”) rather then performance.
Men and women do in fact respond differently to training, but
not in the ways that the industry, the media, and popular culture
have presented as fact. Furthermore, and quite importantly,
both the real, actual differences and the ridiculous, supposed
differences between men and women have created a lot of the
aforementioned silly bullshit in the gym, the net effect of which has
had a particularly detrimental effect on women’s training.
Women’s collegiate and professional athletics and its participants
have for many years held the answers to the questions most
women ask about exercise, answers that have gone fastidiously
ignored by the fgure salon industry. The results, in terms of both
performance and aesthetics, admired by the vast majority of women
had been and continue to be routinely produced by advanced
athletics programs, yet “body sculpting” sessions—low-intensity
machine-based circuit training classes, the 1980s equivalent of
most modern Pilates and yoga classes—were the approach sold
to the public. Now, as then, “easier” is easier to sell.
The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for
performance. In both architecture and human beauty, form follows
function. Always and everywhere, the human body has a certain
appearance when it performs at a high level, and depending on the
nature of that high-level performance, this appearance is usually
regarded as aesthetically pleasing, for reasons that are DNA-
level deep. The training through which high-level performance is
obtained is the only reliable way to obtain these aesthetics, and
the only exceptions to this method of obtaining them are the
occasional genetically-gifted freaks—people who look like they
train when they were just born lucky. As a general rule, if you want
to look like a lean athlete—the standard that most active people
strive to emulate—you have to train like an athlete, and most
people lack the “sand” for that.
Despite this unfortunate truth (most truths seems to fall into this
category), the ftness industry continues to sell aesthetics frst, as
though it is independent of performance. The focus is always on
appearance, as though that can actually be trained for. Think about
it: how many leg extensions do you do, and with what weight, to
make your quads just look better? I know how to make your squat
stronger, but how do you program Bun Blaster sets and reps for a
tight ass? Exactly how does one go about obtaining a great glute/ham
tie-in? I may be able to double your pull-ups in a month, but I don’t
know how to give your back that V-shape everyone craves without
increasing your pull-ups. Every single aspect of programming for
resistance training that works at all does so because it increases
Mark Rippetoe
Sex, Appearance, and Training
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
18
...continued
Sex, Appearance, and Training
some aspect of performance, and appearance is a side-effect of
performance. Appearance can’t change unless performance does,
and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we
program. We pretty much know how to improve that, but the
industry is based on the fction that appropriate training proceeds
from an assessment of aesthetics. Your appearance when ft is
almost entirely a function of your genetics, which are expressed
at their best only when your training is at its highest level, and this
level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement
in your performance in the gym. And the best improvements in the
gym occur when participating in a program that looks more like
performance athletics—the kind of training done by competitive
athletes—than one that looks like waving your arms and legs
around on a machine or slowly rolling around on the foor.
With that in mind, and counter to the conventional industry
wisdom, here are some more unfortunate truths:
• Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some
rather radical orthopedic surgery.
• Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.
• There is no such thing as “frming and toning.”
There is only stronger and weaker.
• The vast majority of women cannot get large,
masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were
that easy, I would have them.
• Women who do look like men have taken some
rather drastic steps in that direction that have little
to do with their exercise program.
• Women who claim to be afraid to train hard
because they “always bulk up too much” are often
already pretty bulky, or “skinny fat” (thin but weak
and deconditioned) and have found another excuse
to continue life sitting on their butts.
• Only people willing to work to the point of
discomfort on a regular basis using effective means
to produce that discomfort will actually look like
they have been other-than-comfortable most of
the time.
• You can thank the muscle magazines for these
persistent misconceptions, along with the natural
tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to
avoid hard physical exertion.
You already know all this, or you wouldn’t be reading at this
rarifed level. All enlightened physical culturists of the twenty-
frst century know that women and men train basically the same
for performance improvement and the resultant physiques. But
signifcant differences do exist between men and women in terms
of performance and real strength and conditioning training for that
performance. This is why men and women do not compete against
each other in varsity and professional sports. These differences
must be understood and appreciated if training programs for
women are to be realistic and effective.
It is ironic that the most pervasive fear voiced about barbell
training by women in the general public is the very thing which
is prevented from happening by the primary factor distinguishing
men’s and women’s performance abilities. Women don’t get big
muscles because they don’t have the hormones to build them, and
differences in hormone profle between men and women are the
primary reason that male and female performances are different.
There are several aspects of female performance that are different
from those of men, all of which depend on neuromuscular effciency,
and all of which are a direct result of lower testosterone levels
and the effects that testosterone has on motor unit recruitment,
central nervous system excitation, and other neuromuscular
factors. These endocrine/neuromuscular effects, more than any
social factors resulting from differences in upbringing, account for
the differences in male/female performance; social factors can be
overcome, physiology cannot.
For instance, women can perform a 5-rep max lift (5RM) with a
higher percentage of their 1RM than men, because they cannot
as effciently demonstrate absolute strength at the level of 1RM
intensity. I have observed this in the gym repeatedly over decades
of working with motivated female athletes. A max single, carefully
titrated up to failure with small incremental increases for an
accurate and precise measure of where that max actually was,
always turned out to be much closer to the previously determined
5-rep max than experience with training men would suggest it
would be. Quite frequently, her 1RM was only seven pounds
heavier than her 5RM. This seemed strange at frst, but I eventually
quit arguing with the universe and learned to take this into account
when testing and programming trainees.
It is also germane to handling lifters at meets. I made a terrible
mistake many years ago at a powerlifting meet with a third-attempt
pick for a female lifter. It was too heavy because I had based it
on her second attempt as though she were a he, and she most
defnitely was not. If a 5RM is closer to a max single in women
than men, a 2RM—a decent second attempt deadlift—is too. She
missed that third attempt and frst place as a result of my inability
to better apply what I actually knew, and I’m still sorry, Rosellen.
This important difference in the expression of strength is most
likely the result of the effciency with which motor units can be
recruited, an ability associated with the neuromuscular effects
of testosterone on nervous system function. It is displayed in
essentially all vertebrates and recognized throughout zoology as a
predictable factor in animal behavior.
Women can also continue to produce eccentric contractions
after concentric failure long after men fail eccentrically. This is
probably because they have less completely fatigued themselves at
positive failure, and subsequent negatives are not being done from
as depleted a position as a male’s would be. Several years ago I was
training a gal who thought she might like to be a bodybuilder, and
we were playing around with some seated behind-the-neck presses
one afternoon. She was fairly strong and was doing a high-rep set
with 75 pounds. She had done nine reps done when I decided to
see how tough she was. She got to failure at ten, about where I
had guessed she would, and I started giving her negatives—helping
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
19
...continued
Sex, Appearance, and Training
her from the bottom back up to lockout and letting her lower it
under control. I expected her, like an average guy, to get another
three or four. After she did 15 more and fnally slowed down to
where I could call her set fnished, I decided she was pretty tough.
But later, after other women showed me the same ability, I decided
she was about average for a woman.
This is caused by the same neuromuscular factors that control
concentric strength expression. The ability to create very high
levels of motor unit recruitment also produces the capacity to
create commensurately high levels of fatigue. If you use up all your
ATP doing concentric work—because you can produce enough
contractile intensity to do so—you won’t have enough left to do
many more eccentric contractions, and vice versa.
Explosive movements such as vertical jump that demonstrate power
and its requisite high levels of motor unit recruitment are very
typically performed by women at lower levels of profciency than
men of the same size. Field events, tennis, basketball, weightlifting,
and all sports that inherently involve an explosive performance
component, exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism, to the
extent that the best women in the world can often be beaten by
varsity high school or college freshmen and sophomore men. Even
cyclic activities that require high levels of motor unit recruitment
at short repeated intervals, like sprinting and sprint cycling, also
display sexual differences. The effects of testosterone are indeed
profound, and often tempting.
In addition to these neuromuscular effects, muscle mass differences
between men and women explain the profound disparity in
upper-body strength between the two sexes, even among equally
well trained and conditioned athletes of the same size. These
differences are due entirely to differences in testosterone levels.
Throwing, pressing, upper-body lifting at work or in training for
other sports, as well as gymnastics, golf, and swimming all display
marked differences in performance between men and women.
In fact, the extent to which the gap in performance between
females and males of comparable body weights narrows is generally
explainable by higher-than-usual testosterone level in that particular
female. This may be due to exogenous hormone administration
(the magazine way) or naturally-occurring abnormally high levels.
Or it may be due to an adaptation to continued high levels of
workload through an increase in endogenous production of either
testosterone or dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate, a slight increase
that benefcially affects recovery and performance without the
pubescent-male side effects. The data on this is not terribly good,
but then again, neither are the studies, which tend to use isolation
machine exercises as the stressor.
There is such a profound difference in male and female
testosterone levels that the strength differences between men
and women are almost entirely accounted for by hormone level,
whereas the differences among males—say between pro athletes
and actuaries—are, while hormonal to a certain extent, more
attributable to other factors.
Subjective Difficulty
%1RM Easy Moderate Hard
100 --- --- 1
90 --- 1 3
80 3 5 8
70 5 8 10
60 8 10 15
50 12 20 25+
Low Moderate High
Adaptive Stimulus
Table 1. The difficulty of a repetition scheme is a function of
both the intensity and the volume used. Completion of a set of 3
repetitions with 90% 1RM is hard, as is a set of 15 with 60% 1RM.
As such, a 60% training session with 15 repetition sets cannot be
considered any more of a recovery workout as 3 repetitions with
90%. Recovery during periodized training requires a reduction
in weight used coupled with a maintained or reduced repetition
number. For example, if you are using 3 repetition sets to train
for strength, 90% would be a hard workout that would help induce
strength adaptation. Doing 3 repetitions with 70% would be
considered an easy workout, one that will allow for recovery.
Reps Subjective Difficulty
%1RM Light Medium Heavy
100 --- --- 1
90 --- 2 5
80 5 8 10
70 8 10 12
60 10 12 15
50 15 25 25+
Low Moderate High
Adaptive Stimulus
Table 2. The women’s version of Table 1, illustrating the difficulty
of a rep scheme as it varies with volume and intensity. (Tables from
Rippetoe & Kilgore, Practical Programming for Strength Training.)
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
20
...continued
Sex, Appearance, and Training
Such big differences in male and female performance might seem
to bolster the ftness industry’s position on the necessity of sex-
specifc programs, exercises, and facilities. But I already bragged
on your enlightenment, and we all know that it makes as little
sense for women to exercise in ineffective ways as it does for men.
This is due to the fact that sexual differences do not constitute a
major division in physiology; men and women are not as different
as, for instance, sea anemones and wombats. Hormones are very
powerful substances. They are banned by the USOC for this
reason, not because they are dangerous. Hormones administered
to two otherwise identical organisms can cause major changes in
the organisms’ morphology, but these changes are still pretty much
just a matter of degree, not of basic pattern. Men and women both
recruit motor units into the same patterns of muscular contraction,
albeit at different levels of effciency. Physiologically, Andy Bolton
and your grandmother operate the same way, in the same sense
that Great Danes and Chihuahuas are both dogs. In both cases,
stress demands a response, and that response is determined
by the basic physiology of the organism. It is the degree and
effciency—not the nature—of that response that varies with the
hormonal status of the organism. Testosterone produces a more
robust strength-enhancing response, and that is why testosterone
and its analogues are often used by athletes to enhance training.
Gentlemen, I suppose this means that we are cheating.
It also means that the type of stress that causes the most profound
adaptation will be the same for both sexes, and only the degree of
the adaptation will vary. Squats work better for everybody than
leg extensions, leg curls, and Bun Blasters because of the quality
of the stress they produce. Squats are performed with the same
muscles by everybody, they are hard for everybody—hard enough
to produce system-wide stress for everybody—and this is why
they work for everybody. Men are more effcient at responding
to the stress of squats in terms of elevated testosterone levels,
and in this respect men can get stronger and bigger faster than
women. But women aren’t served well by using less effcient ways
to produce stress because they respond to it less effciently—
on the contrary, a less effcient response means that it is more
important to use quality training methods. It must be listed with
the Unfortunate Truths that squats are still the best exercise for
women to train with barbells, just like they are for men.
Barbell exercises that demand strength, balance, power,
coordination, and mental focus produce a type of stress—and
therefore a type of adaptation—that is superior to either low-
intensity foor exercise or isolation-type machine exercise. The
stress is the stimulus that causes the adaptation, and the quality
of the adaptation is thoroughly dependent on the quality of the
stress. An exercise that does not involve balance cannot cause an
improvement in balance. Likewise, if bone density, power, agility,
coordinated strength, and mental focus are parameters that
need improvement, the stress that causes the adaptation must
specifcally tax those parameters or they will not adapt. This simple
fact is ignored—or perhaps more realistically, misunderstood—by
the ftness industry, and thus the value of squats, deadlifts, presses,
cleans, and combinations of barbell movements with gymnastics
skills and track and feld athletics goes unappreciated.
It would also complicate business. It’s very hard to fnd staff
qualifed to train members at optimal levels of skill and intensity.
(Hell, it’s hard to fnd people who will just come to work and clock
in.) And it will be as long as the standard employment model of
the industry is the minimum wage college kid. Qualifed coaches
generally get paid more than health clubs are willing to spend,
and as long as the public demands no more it will get no more.
If prospective members got in the habit of asking for functional
training, the industry would shift in that direction. As long as the
market for treadmills and Pilates is strong, that’s what will be for
sale; when intense, effective exercise becomes more popular, the
market will fnd a way to offer it. Right now it seems to be a
matter of education.
There are signs that this paradigm may be breaking down. As
CrossFit grows and it becomes harder to ignore the results of
honest work done at high intensities, the media are taking notice.
They now periodically feature health-related stories on the benefts
of weight training versus aerobics-only programs, and boot-camp-
type classes are now available at YMCAs all over the country, thus
exposing more women to the idea that maybe harder does in fact
work better.
The interesting thing is that everybody really already knows
this, because there are few examples in life that don’t follow the
basic rules of the universe, the ones that dictate the behavior
of everything. One of the most basic of those rules is that, with
the exception of the occasional lottery winner, you pretty much
get out of an effort what you put into it. We’re all quite familiar
with this reality, although we are often willing to believe people
who tell us otherwise, about exercise and about life. The sooner
everybody—both halves of the population—accepts the fact that
effective exercise is more like training for athletics and less like
lying around on the foor, more about performance and less about
appearance, the sooner it will be understood that women really
don’t need their own fgure salon.
Mark Rippetoe is the owner of Wichita Falls Athletic Club/
CrossFit Wichita Falls, which is not a fgure salon. He has 28
years experience in the fitness industry and 10 years as a
competitive powerlifter. He has been certified as an NSCA
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 1985
and is a USA Weightlifting Level III Coach and Senior Coach,
as well as a USA Track and Field Level I Coach. He has
published articles in the Strength and Conditioning Journal, is a
regular contributor to the CrossFit Journal, and is the author
of the books Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide
for Coaching Beginners and Practical Programming for Strength
Training.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
21
Mike Burgener, with Tony Budding
The last phase of our teaching progression in the Olympic lifts
is the jerk. The jerk moves the barbell from the shoulders to
a locked-arm position overhead in a single explosive movement.
The barbell is driven off the shoulders with a violent dip-drive. In
the split second that the upward drive of the hips and shoulders
makes the barbell weightless, the athlete drives the body down
with the arms until the bar is locked out solidly overhead. The
finished position can be in a split position or in a squat position. In
competition, the jerk is always paired with the clean, and the lifter
must complete both together for a successful lift.
Our previous articles on the snatch and the clean discussed the
concept of creating momentum and elevation on the barbell by
jumping and landing. This exact same concept applies to the jerk as
well. The athlete begins with the feet in the jumping position and
explodes upward to create maximum drive on the barbell. Once
maximum upward momentum has been placed on the barbell,
the lifter immediately drives the body down into the receiving
position. This is the primary difference between the jerk and the
clean and snatch: In the jerk, the athlete drives the body down to
the receiving position, whereas in the others, the athlete pulls the
body into the receiving position. In the clean and the snatch, the
elbows are over the bar for most of the movement, so the lifter
pulls himself under and around the bar into the receiving position.
In the jerk, because the elbows are under the bar for the entire
movement, the lifter drives himself directly down under the bar
into the receiving position. Timing, change of direction, stability,
strength, and flexibility are all needed to handle the massive
weights that the jerk makes it possible to get overhead.
The receiving position for the jerk can be either a partial squat
(push jerk) or a lunge position, with one foot extended in front of
the body and one foot behind (split jerk). If the weight is received
in a full standing position, with straight knees, the movement is
called a push press. To be a jerk, the arms must be locked out
while the hip is retreating. In competition, pressing the weight
overhead is disallowed.
Teaching the jerk is fun and creative, and I have found that athletes
love the challenge of lifting heavy weights overhead. The skill
transfer exercises below are used to prepare the athlete for this
challenge. This article will only cover skill transfer exercises for
the push jerk (receiving the barbell in a partial squat, not a split).
Next month, we’ll cover the proper footwork for receiving the
barbell in the split position. In July, we’ll cover the rest of the skill
transfer exercises, culminating in the full split jerk. The reason for
breaking down the movement and skills this way is to establish
confidence in jumping the barbell through a range of motion and
creating momentum and elevation on the barbell without having
to worry about establishing a proper split landing.
Teaching the Jerk
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BeauCJ.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BeauCJ.wmv
Online Video
Lift
Split jerk
Push jerk
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
22
...continued
Teaching the Jerk
Taking the barbell from the squat racks, the lifter
assumes the starting position with the bar on
the back as in a high-bar back squat, using a clean
grip. With the same down and up of the Burgener
warm up, dip and then drive the bar upward from
the shoulders, finishing the movement by pressing
the barbell to arms length.
The push press is an upper-body strengthening
exercise that we use to teach the initial phase of
the jerk. The lifter learns timing of the dip and the
drive with the barbell as well as finish drive with
the arms.
Working from behind the neck is easier than from
the front because the barbell can travel vertically
without having to navigate the face. Still, it is
essential that the torso remain completely vertical
during the dip-drive so that barbell is propelled
vertically. The margin for error decreases
dramatically as the load increases. In the squat and
deadlift, the torso angle shifts forward. In the push
press, push jerk, and split jerk, the torso remains
vertical without any forward inclination at all.
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNPushPress.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNPushPress.wmv
Online Video
Push press
Push press behind the neck
Skill transfer exercises for learning the jerk
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
23
...continued
Teaching the Jerk
Mike Burgener, owner of Mike’s Gym (a CrossFit
affiliate and USAW Regional Training Center), is a USAW
Senior International Coach, former junior World team
(1996-2004) and senior World team coach (2005), and
strength and conditioning coach at Rancho Buena Vista
High School in Vista, Calif.
Tony Budding is the Media Guy for CrossFit, Inc., and
a trainer at CrossFit Santa Cruz.
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushPress.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushPress.wmv
Online Video
Squat Push press
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushJerk.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushJerk.wmv
Online Video
Squat Push jerk
These skill transfer exercises should be practiced first with
a length of PVC or a wooden dowel. When the movements
are consistently performed well, weight can be added
slowly.
In competition, the jerk always follows a successful clean. In
order to prepare the athlete for this progression, you can
add a squat to each of these exercises. For example, instead
of starting with the feet in the jumping position, begin with
the feet in the landing position and perform a back squat. At
the top of the squat, walk the feet into the jumping position
and perform the behind the neck push press or push jerk.
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNPushJerk.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/BTNPushJerk.wmv
Online Video
Push jerk
Once the athlete is handling the push press behind the neck
with success, the athlete may progress to the push jerk behind
the neck. The starting position is the same as in the push press
and in the initial dip and drive from the legs in the Burgener
warm-up. The athlete drives the barbell up, extending the
hips, knees, and ankles to create momentum, but instead of
pressing the barbell to arm’s length overhead, the athlete re-
bends the legs (jumps and lands) and receives the barbell at
arms length. In other words, once the barbell is elevated and
weightless, the athlete flexes at the hip and knee and drives
the body down under the bar instead of driving the bar up
with the arms against the stability of the lower body as in the
push press. The feet move from the jumping position to the
landing position.
Whereas the push press behind the neck is an upper body
strengthening exercise, the push jerk behind the neck is more
of a leg exercise, one that is used to learn speed and drive
under the barbell.
Push jerk behind the neck
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
24
When you change your body alignment while in a support,
you also change the muscular recruitment and difficulty
of holding the position. Leaning forward from a mature
support position shifts the emphasis to your pecs, front
delts, and biceps. It is a great exercise toward developing a
maltese (an advanced strength hold on rings). Leaning back
in a support shifts the load to your back, lats, and triceps. It
is an early step toward developing a Victorian, which is the
hardest strength move on rings (and which no one in the
world has yet performed perfectly). It is basically an upside-
down maltese—essentially a front lever in which the body
is level with the arms.
Holding a perfect support (see last
month’s article for the standards) for a
full minute is a great goal for everyone
to have. In fact, I think it should be
attained before you start training ring
dips. Another worthy goal is to hold a
support, plus additional load totaling half
your body weight for a minute.
There are two main approaches to
adding weight. The first is to wear the
extra weight on a hip belt or a vest. The
second is to hold a dumbbell, kettlebell,
or weight plate with your feet. I like this
option because it allows you to dump the
weight at any time and continue on with
what you’re doing, unweighted, or to simply and safely abort
the movement. (The video, linked below, shows various ways
to add weight to pull-ups; these work just as well for dips.)
Last month I covered the support position on rings in significant
detail. This month, we’re going to build on that foundation and
look at applications of the support position and variations on it
that can add challenge to your training. We will also go into detail
on an exercise that regularly appears in CrossFit workouts, the
ring dip.
First though, let’s talk about setting up your rings. I recommend
spacing them 50 centimeters apart, which is the official distance.
Personally, I don’t measure out 50 centimeters every time I hook
up my rings. Gymnasts have a clever tool for measuring out the
right distance. They call it “your arm”—specifically the length of
your forearm from the back of the elbow to the tips of your
fingers. This distance tends to work well for most people. I usually
add another inch or two, but you will figure out on your own what
you like best. In any case, it’s likely to be a width that puts the rings
just outside your shoulders.
Tyler Hass
Applications of the Support on Rings
Measuring for ring width
Support
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_WeightedPullups.mov
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_WeightedPullups.wmv
Online Video
Weighted Pullups
No lean
Maltese
Leaning back
Leaning forward
Leaning support
Weighted support
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
25
...continued
Applications of the Support
Initiating the swing Back of swing Front of swing
Immature dip Intermediate dip Mature dip
Tyler Hass is the founder of ringtraining.com
and designer and producer of the Elite Rings. His
company is dedicated to spreading gymnastics into
the broader fitness world. He can be reached at
info@ringtraining.com.
Swing in support
Swinging on parallel bars is not easy, but at least they don’t
move. Swinging on rings is harder than finding an Olympic
lifting platform at a commercial gym. It’s so cracked out and
weird that it would be madness to even try it. Madness? This
is CrossFit! So, of course, we’ll give it a shot.
Start in a support, and then bring your legs forward a bit and
swing them back to generate some momentum. From here
on, you will keep your body relatively straight. You will gain
additional amplitude from leaning into the swing and pushing
down on the rings.
It’s important to start out very slowly, as these can quickly get
out of control. I recommend having a soft surface underneath
you. All the rules of a regular support apply here as well, of
course: keep your arms locked, don’t ride the straps, and keep
your shoulders active (pushing down on the rings).
Ring dip (continued...)
An intermediate-level dip is quite functional. The straps are
now clear from the body, or just lightly touching the arms.
In a mature ring dip, the rings remain turned outward (palms
forward) the whole time. This makes it much tougher, but it
keeps your forearms from contacting the rings and the straps,
which is required in competitive gymnastics and which, more
importantly for our purposes, requires and develops greater
strength, skill, and body control.
Depth is often an issue when it comes to ring dips. The
CrossFit standard is “hands to your armpits.” This is below 90
degrees. (Just like a full-depth squat…) If you have shoulder
issues that limit your depth, work up to it slowly. My rings are
height adjustable, so what I do is set them at a height where
my toes just barely touch the ground at the bottom of the
rep, providing an objective depth gauge for each rep. Over
time, you can raise the rings in small increments until you are
getting full range of motion. Equally important is making sure
you lock out at the top of the rep. I won’t name names, but
there was a video posted on CrossFit a while ago and the
commenters chewed out the performer for not locking out
at the top. I don’t want to see this happen to you! If it does,
tell them you read someone else’s article on ring dips…
One of the amazing things about gymnastics is that so much
develops on just a small handful of foundational movements.
From something as simple as a support, you can find dozens more
exercises branching out from it. Stay tuned for more challenges
next month.
Ring dip
The ring dip is a staple movement of CrossFit and one that
you rarely see in other programs. Most people find that they
can do only a third to half as many dips on rings as on bars.
However, while you will always be able to do more bar dips,
the ratio gets better as your support strength improves. The
ring dip, like the support, becomes harder and harder as your
technique approaches the advanced levels. This may sound
counterintuitive, but beginners’ first instinct is to keep their
arms in tight and ride the straps. When they get off the rings,
they’re surprised to find red marks on their arms. I don’t
recommend this as a technique for ring dips. I will show the
correct, and more difficult, way to do them.
In an immature ring dip, the rings are held tight to the body
and turned inward, meaning the backs of the hands are facing
forward. The arms are literally pushing out against the straps,
causing the angle of the straps to change. If you have to brace
yourself on the straps, you need to go back and work on your
support position. Once that is rock solid, you’ll be ready for
some ring dips.
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
26
Eat meat and vegetables,
nuts and seeds, some fruit,
little starch, and no sugar.
Keep intake to levels that
will support exercise but
not body fat.
Practice and train major
lifts: deadlift, clean, squat,
presses, C&J, and snatch.
Similarly, master the basics
of gymnastics: pull-ups,
dips, rope climb, push-
ups, sit-ups, presses to
handstand, pirouettes,
flips, splits, and holds.
Bike, run, swim, row, etc.,
hard and fast.
Five or six days per week,
mix these elements in
as many combinations
and patterns as creativity
will allow. Routine is the
enemy. Keep workouts
short and intense.
Regularly learn and play
new sports.
Fitness de Clase Mundial en 100 Palabras
Come proteínas, vegetales,
semillas, nueces, algo de
fruta, y nada de azúcar.
Ingiere cantidades para
mantener el ejercicio y no la
grasa corporal.
Practica y entrena los
levantamientos principales:
Levantamiento muerto,
despeje, sentadilla, press,
y arranque. Igualmente
lo básico de la gimnasia,
subidas en barra, hundidas,
subidas de cuerda, lagartijas,
abdominales, invertidas,
piruetas, y volteretas. Anda
en bici, corre, nada, rema,
fuerte y rápido.
Cinco o seis días a la
semana, mezcla estos
elementos en la mayor
cantidad de combinaciones
y patrones posibles. La
rutina es el enemigo. Mantén
los entrenamientos cortos
e intensos. Regularmente
aprende y juega deportes
nuevos.
Translated by Pavel Saenz, CrossFit Santiago by Greg Glassman
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
27
Once you’ve mastered the essentials of rowing technique, you
can work to improve your rowing piece times and your score
on CrossFit workouts that include rowing, such as “Jackie,” “Fight
Gone Bad,” and “Tabata This.” The ultimate goal is to generate
maximal power on the rowing machine and maximize the number
of calories or watts you can row in a set amount of time, with the
lowest possible 500-meter pace times. Time spent on the rowing
machine will accomplish both goals in addition to continually
improving technique and effciency.
In addition to training on the rower alone in various time and
power domains, you can use rowing in nearly infnite combinations
with other exercises to create workouts that cover a broad
range of training modalities and goals. Here are some workouts
incorporating rowing to get you started.
Partner relay
Using the Change Display button on the performance monitor
(PM), set up the screen to show :00/500m on the second row for
intensity and 0 meters on the third row. Sitting side-by-side, have
two athletes row at a warm-up pace for six to eight minutes to
refne proper technique and begin building heat in the muscles.
Determine who will begin the relay. At the end of the warm-up,
the frst person looks at the meters readout on the PM and rows
100 meters at maximal intensity. At the end of 100 meters, the
frst rower tells the partner “Go,” and the second team member
rows 100 meters at maximal power while the frst team member
rows lightly at paddle pressure to recover in active rest. At the end
of 100 meters, the second team member says “Go”, and the frst
rows 200 meters at maximal intensity. The team member in active
rest should cheer on and motivate (or heckle) the other.
Continue alternating back and forth with one team member
rowing at max intensity while the other team member recovers
and prepares for the word “Go.” The possible progressions are
numerous. For example, you could do 100m / 200m / 300m /
400m / 500m / 400m / 300m / 200m / 100m. This would have
good training carryover to “Fight Gone Bad” and “Tabata This.” A
straight progression up to 1000 meters in 100-meter increments
would be great prep for “Jackie.”
You can adapt this sort of setup in countless ways to accommodate
various numbers of team members, make it a race between two
(or more) teams, train different time, distance, and rest intervals,
or base the work on calories or watts or time instead of distance,
etc. Be creative.
Damper-changing workout
This is a 30-minute workout that helps determine the optimal
damper setting for each individual. It can be done individually or
with a group.
Set the performance monitor (PM) to display whatever units
are most motivational for the individual (500-meter pace, watts,
meters, or calories). Warm up for six to eight minutes at 25- to
50-percent intensity with a technique focus. Set the monitor (PM)
for six minutes of work time and one minute of rest time. Set
the damper on 3 or 4 (about one-third up from the bottom) and
row for three minutes at aerobic intensity (75 to 85 percent).
Maintain a consistent pace and commit to this number for the
remaining aerobic pieces of the workout. After three minutes of
aerobic steady-state rowing, kick up the intensity for three minutes
(40 seconds at max / 20 seconds recovering on the paddle / 30
seconds at max / 30 seconds on the paddle / 20 seconds at max /
40 seconds on the paddle).
During the one minute of rest, take the damper up to 6 or 7 (two-
thirds up from the bottom). At start of next six minutes, repeat
three minutes of aerobic steady state, fnding the same 500 meter
pace, wattage, or calorie reading as last time and then power the
three intervals as before.
During the one-minute rest, take the damper to 10 (all the way to
the top) and repeat the same protocol for next six-minute cycle.
Then repeat with the damper at 5 (halfway down). Then with the
damper at 1 (at the bottom). Each time, get right back onto the
aerobic intensity reading established during the frst round and
then go to maximal intensity during the three short intervals.
At the end, set the damper back to the 3-to-5 range and cool
down for a few minutes, again with the focus on technique. Use
this workout to determine which damper setting allows you to
be the most effcient. Higher damper settings mean slower stroke
rates and longer muscular contractual work on the drive phase of
each stroke. Lower damper settings mean higher stroke rates and
quicker muscular contractual work. Your physiology and anatomy
will determine which damper setting is most effective for longer
or shorter periods of work and various intensities. Remember, the
damper does not determine the resistance which is created by
how hard you work. (For more on the damper and how it works,
see Peter Dreissigacker’s article in CFJ 56.)
Angela Hart
Rowing Workouts
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
28
...continued
Rowing Workouts
40-minute Tabata circuits workout
Set up the performance monitor (PM) for fve minutes of work
and fve minutes of rest, and set the units to whatever measure
is most motivational for the individual (500-meter pace, watts,
meters, or calories).
This is a four-round workout in which each round consists of fve
minutes of various kinds of rowing and four minutes of calisthenics
done in Tabata intervals (alternating twenty seconds of work and
ten seconds of rest for four minutes). Five minutes is allotted
for the Tabata segment, allowing thirty seconds to transition off
the rower before beginning the calisthenics, and thirty seconds
afterward to transition back to the rower for the next fve-minute
rowing segment. The activities are as follows:
Interval Rowing activity, 5 minutes Tabata activity, 4 minutes
#1
Warm-up with technique focus,
50 to 70% intensity
Squats
#2
Steady-state aerobic rowing at
75to 85%
Pull-ups
#3
30 sec. light rowing, 4 min.
Tabata, 30 sec. light rowing
Sit-ups
#4
2 x (1 min at 75-85%, 20 sec.
max, 40 sec. light, 30 sec. max)
Push-ups
If there are more bodies than rowing machines, this can be done
as a team circuit so that each 5 minute segment has one team
member on the rowing machine and one team member completing
the Tabata interval with the switch every 5 minutes.
A scoring system for the white board is easy to establish using the
usual Tabata scoring (lowest of reps in any of the work intervals)
for each of the calisthenics segments and the total calories or the
power ratio for rowing segments 2 through 4.
If you want to calculate scores based on power ratios (which is
the preferred method if you are comparing individuals of different
genders and sizes), divide the total watts for each rowing segment
(recorded in the PM log) by the rower’s body weight, in pounds.
For example, if a 178-pound person rows 310 watts, the power
ratio is 1.74, which means this rower is pulling all of his/her mass
plus an additional 74%. The power ratio scoring system begins
with 100% mass movement, so this would be 74 points. For
someone who is not pulling their own mass, the score is negative.
For example, if a 178-pound person rows 173 watts, the power
ratio is 0.97 and the score is -3 points.
Tabata wattage interval
Warm up by rowing aerobically for eight to ten minutes. Row at
a wattage reading that matches your body weight and observe
your rate of perceived exertion or note your heart rate using
a heart rate monitor. For some, rowing at this output is an easy
and sustainable goal. For others, this will be incredibly challenging
or even impossible. How diffcult this initial effort feels for the
individual will determine the percentage of increase during each
subsequent twenty seconds.
Set the monitor to a Tabata interval: twenty seconds of work and
ten seconds of rest. During each twenty-second work period,
add wattage equal to a percentage of body weight (BW) that is
challenging but allows you to complete the increase sequence over
all 8 intervals. For example, a 150-pound athlete could increase
rowing intensity by 10, 20, or 30 percent of bodyweight in each
interval, as shown in the following table:
Interval
10% body weight
increase
20% body weight
increase
30% body weight
increase
#1
BW + 10% (150 +
15 =165 watts)
BW + 20% (150 +
30 =180 watts)
BW + 30% (150 +
45 = 195 watts)
#2
BW + 20% (150 +
30 = 180 watts)
BW + 40% (150 +
60 = 210 watts)
BW + 60% (150 +
90 = 240 watts)
#3
BW + 30% (195
watts)
BW + 60% (240
watts)
BW + 90% (285
watts)
#4
BW + 40% (210
watts)
BW + 80% (247
watts)
BW + 120% (330
watts)
#5
BW + 50% (225
watts)
BW + 100% (300
watts)
BW + 150% (375
watts)
#6
BW + 630% (240
watts)
BW + 120% (330
watts)
BW + 180% (420
watts)
#7
BW + 70% (255
watts)
BW + 140% (360
watts)
BW + 210% (465
watts)
#8
BW + 80% (270
watts)
BW + 160% (390
watts)
BW + 240% (510
watts)
These are just three examples, certainly not the only options.
Use the percentage increase that best suits the athlete’s needs
and the workout’s intent. Maybe a 5 percent increase (with the
eighth interval at body weight plus 40 percent) would be most
appropriate, or maybe a 50 percent increase (with the eighth
interval at body weight plus 400 percent for 20 seconds) would be
best. For very heavy or elderly trainees, the goal is simply to be at
body weight by the eighth interval, so that the frst 20 seconds is
at 30 percent of body weight and each 20-second interval adds 10
percent, until the eighth interval is at a wattage that matches body
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007
29
...continued
Rowing Workouts
weight. Another option is to add the percentage to the previous wattage as opposed to
the body weight. Adding 10 percent each interval in this scheme would look like this for
a 150-pound rower (rounding up if the previous number ended in 5 or above):
Interval 10% BW added to previous intensity
#1 BW + 10% (150 + 15 =165 watts)
#2 165 + 10% (17) = 182 watts
#3 182 + 10% (18) = 200 watts
#4 200 + 10% (20) = 220 watts
#5 220 + 10% (22) = 242 watts
#6 242 + 10% (24) = 266 watts
#7 266 + 10% (27) = 293 watts
#8 293 + 10% (29) = 322 watts

These workouts will provide excellent met-con training on their own and will improve
rowing technique and effciency while increasing success in all CrossFit workouts that
utilize the rowing machine. Begin each workout with a warm-up that focuses primarily
on proper technique and building muscular heat. Equally important is an adequate cool-
down/stretch period. Enjoy the workouts and be ready to rise to the top of the white
board.
Photo 3
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CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.
©
®
®
Angela Hart is the director of the Indoor Rowing Training and Certifcation
Institute and a Master Rowing Trainer for Concept2 Rowing. A competitive rower
since 1982, she has coached at the scholastic, collegiate, and master levels. In
1999, she coached a junior national women’s team, and she was a rowing sports
specialist during the 1996 Olympic Games. She conducts training and certifcation
workshops on the indoor rowing machine and teaches group rowing classes in the
Washington DC area.
You can use rowing in nearly infinite combinations with other
exercises to create workouts that cover a broad range of training
modalities and goals.
• May 2007
30
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven
The Grinder
CrossFit FRAGO #10, “NOLAN”
CFHQ
Santa Cruz, CA
USA
01 May 07
OPS 11
FRAGO 10 tO OPORd 01 — OP GRINdER
Ref: A. OPORd 01 01 Jul 06
task Organization: Annex A
1. SItUAtION. No Change.
2. MISSION
“NOLAN”: Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes: 12
thrusters and 10 pull-ups
3. EXECUtION
a. Concept of Operations.
(1) Intent. Complete as many rounds of the exercises, as
quickly as possible in a safe manner. this is a four-
person-team, “time-specifc” workout. the purpose of
this workout is to develop cohesion and combat ftness
under fatigue conditions through shared hardship,
challenges, and competition.
(2) Scheme of Maneuver. the platoon will be divided into as
many teams of four as possible. Each team will require 2
x .50-cal ammo cans for thrusters and two pull-up bars
or two sets of rings. All the teams will start at the
same time. Once each soldier has completed his required
reps of thrusters, he will transition to pull-ups.
Each exercise must be completed before moving on the
next one—i.e., you must fnish all 12 thrusters before
starting the 10 pull-ups. However, each exercise may be
broken up into sets as desired—e.g., two sets of 5 pull-
ups to complete the required 10, or a set of 7 and a set
of 5 thrusters to complete the set of 12. If a soldier
is unable to complete 10 pull-ups on his own, spotting
will be permitted. However, spotting will be executed by
supporting the back of the person doing pull-ups, not
by supporting his feet, and assistance can be provided
only by a team member who is also conducting pull-ups.
Spotting is only permitted for pull-ups.
(3) Main Effort. the safety of all personnel, and the
development of unit cohesion and combat ftness through
shared challenge and hardship.
• May 2007
31
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven
(4) End State. the safe and successful completion of all
exercises.
b. Coordinating Instructions.
(1) team Organization. Squad leaders can organize their
soldiers however they wish. It is a leadership decision
on how best to deploy each soldier to accomplish the
mission.
(2) Scaling. the workout can be conducted in Pt gear or full
battle gear to include vests with plates, depending on
the ftness levels of your soldiers. the number of reps
can be increased or decreased based on the skill level
of your troops.
(3) Scoring. the number of rounds competed by each soldier
in the team is recorded. the team score is the
combination of all four soldiers’ completed rounds.
For example, if soldier A completes 10 rounds, soldier
B completes 12 rounds, soldier C completes 9 rounds,
and soldier d completes 15 rounds, the team’s score
will be 46. the team or squad that completes the most
rounds comes in frst.
(4) 25mm Ammo-Can thrusters. For safety reasons, it is
imperative that the 25mm ammo can be lifted from the
ground by the proper technique. the ammo can must be
placed on the ground upside down (so that the lid of the
ammo can is on the ground). With his back held in the
proper deadlift position, the lifter deadlifts the ammo
can to the hang position, where it remains inverted,
with the lid facing the ground. From the hang position,
he cleans the ammo can to the rack position (the
thruster start position). It is during this transition,
from the hang to the racked position, that the ammo can
rotates 180 degrees (to end with the lid facing up).
this is the start position for the thrusters.
(5) Safety. Ensure that all equipment is checked and
serviceable before conducting the workout, and that
all soldiers are profcient in the required exercises.
Safety is every member’s responsibility.
(6) Follow-on tasks. the next workout will require a 400-
meter running route, two 25-mm ammo cans, and two pull-
up bars or sets of rings for each six-person team.
CrossFit FRAGO #10, “NOLAN” ...continued
• May 2007
32
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven
3. SERVICE SUPPORt
a. Equipment Weights
Ammo Can
Nomenclature
Quantity /
Size
Type Weight Contents
Cart 25mm APFSdS-t 30 rds PA125 70 lbs Sand
Nylon webbing,
plain weave,
tubular (austere
rings)
NA 8305-21-111-5411 NA NA
Snap Link, Mountain
Piton (austere
rings)
12mm 8465-21-896-8280 NA
Claw snap and
screwgate
PVC pipe 1 ½ inch
(austere rings)
8 inch x 2 per
rings
Standard NA NA
b. Equipment Requirements. Each four-person team will require two
25-mm ammo cans and two sets of pull-up bars or two sets of rings
(austere or regular).
c. time and Repetition Recording. One stopwatch for all teams and a
method of recording each team’s rounds.

4. COMMANd ANd SIGNAL
a. timer/Score Recorder. Only one timekeeper is required for all
teams. All four-person teams begin and end the workout at the same
time. It is recommended that at least one person per team start
his stopwatch to act as a backup in case the primary timekeeper’s
stopwatch fails. A method of recording each soldier’s rounds is
also required.

b. Instructor/Coach. to ensure proper conduct of the workout, use
of correct exercise form, and safety of execution, a designated
member of the platoon can fll this billet.
Annexes:
Annex A Workout diagram (AOO)
Annex B Equipment
Annex C Exercises
CrossFit FRAGO #10, “NOLAN” ...continued
• May 2007
33
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven
Annex A Workout diagram (AOO)
CrossFit FRAGO #10, “NOLAN” ...continued
Annex B Equipment
• May 2007
34
CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven
Annex C Exercises
CrossFit FRAGO #10, “NOLAN” ...continued

CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007

Putting the Physical Back into Education
...continued

that physical educators, like one I know in Bowie, Texas, have 65 kids and only 45 minutes, a gymnasium, limited resources, and a state-mandated curriculum to work with. The curricula tend to be focused either on short units on various team sports or on “health” and “lifetime activities”—but never on fitness. All these factors are a recipe for failure of epidemic proportion. One of my master’s students chronicled this failure in a thesis research project that assessed fitness improvement over two years of junior high school physical education. Of the three junior high schools studied, only one set of kids made even minor improvements in standard physical fitness scores. This abysmal showing is made even more dismal by the fact that the students studied are quite hormonally competent, growing and developing physically on nearly a daily basis. They should be able to become more fit with even a little progressive exercise. The results make it evident that the part of physical education class directed toward improving physical fitness was inadequate if not completely absent, or its design and implementation were highly inappropriate. This systemic failure is not confined to George Bush Junior’s home state; it is pervasive, existing in every state of the union. Sure there are bright spots such as Rancho Buena Vista High, where PE teacher (and world-class Olympic weightlifting coach) Mike Burgener improves the life and fitness of every student he touches, but he is just one guy who has found a way, in spite of the system, to make a difference. For every Mike, there are thousands of other physical educators who have been frustrated in their attempts simply to do their jobs. For every Mike who understands what physical fitness is, what it means, and how to get it there are thousands of others who think fitness is a warm fuzzy feeling or has to do with knowing the rules of pickleball. For every system that allows someone like Mike to teach to the benefit of the student and supports it with (relatively minor) equipment expenditures, there are thousands of other systems that spend their “health and physical education” time on drug and sex education—valuable topics but hardly contributory to physical fitness or to reducing the epidemic of childhood obesity. Ever since the original governmental alarmist document “A Nation at Risk” was published by a National Commission on Excellence 

in Education in 1983, there has been a slow erosion of support for physical education in public schools and in quality preparation of physical educators in colleges and universities. We cannot be to quick to blame public school administrators or educators since they are required to follow legislated educational guidelines. Similarly, we cannot be quick to blame university preparatory programs as they are simultaneously hamstrung by having to deliver a curriculum that delivers legislated content, not practical physical fitness content, and they must also deign to university or professional program accreditation bodies. These agencies frequently have political agendas and cookie cutter templates for what a program is supposed to look like to meet the political flavor of the day. But oops! The de-emphasis on physical education over the past two-plus decades has put us in quite a predicament. Kids are still performing poorly academically compared to the rest of the industrialized world and now they are fat and unfit too. How can we fix this? We can’t within the current political environment and with the current physical education curriculum in the U.S. What is quite interesting is that the more “education experts” and education colleges and departments get involved in improving our kids’ education, the lower they fall in international rankings of academic performance, health, and fitness. Oh surely there is a way, one might argue. No. Physical fitness is a hard subject. It takes effort, and gets progressively harder effort the longer you do it. How is the physical educator going to get the aloof and carefully coiffed and dressed high school student to do enough burpees to elicit a training effect if sweating makes them smelly and they won’t take a shower before their next class? If they even had enough time to do so, that is, and if they happened to go a school housed in an older building (since most new schools are not built with showers). So we find that required gym class is a physical and social nuisance to most older students. They find ways to ditch class, to do the minimal amount to keep Coach off their back, to not fail the class, and to not wrinkle their well-crafted fashion identity. Many many tactics have been experimented with in order to increase participation of these young adults, but one fact never

CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007

Putting the Physical Back into Education
...continued

changes: going to gym class will never be as attractive to kids as going to the gym on their own. Enforced physical education, because of its devaluation over the past two decades, and the way it is currently constructed, does not work in high schools. There has to be a culture of physical fitness to make physical education attractive and approachable to our kids. Some people point to varsity athletics as a viable program of physical education, but athletics is limited in scope of participation and is not really physical education. The term athletics is derived from the Greek athlein, to contend for a prize. It was used in reference to Olympic, Nemean, and Panhellenic games competitors, never in reference to students learning physical skills or developing fitness. How many schools suit up every boy and girl for practice and competition in sports for the entire year? Very few. Athletics is too narrow, too specific, and too competitive to substitute for a program of broad and useful physical education. While there is no way to develop a 100-percent-effective system, even a 50-percent-effective system would be an improvement. What just might work is actually constructing physical education programs in a manner that truly addresses physical education, provides students with tangible progress, and fits within the time and equipment constraints of the modern physical education classroom. What I propose here is a bottom-up system implementation, not an across-the-board intervention. An insurgency, if you will. It starts with getting physical education programs and school administrators to actively choose “physical fitness”—not “health” or sporting skills—as a programmatic goal of elementary schools, home to the most intuitively active and receptive student group. Physical education class would be where we lead them through the right amount, type, and intensity of exercise to improve physical fitness. Recess would become the place where organized and supervised games would occur. What this means is tossing out the old ideas of physical education and making the goals and approach of CrossFit the goals of public school physical education classes. CrossFit would work wonderfully since it does not require lengthy training sessions to elicit results. It also can be done with a lower equipment budget than the traditional “teaching” of team sports. An organized teacher could quite easily teach students about functional exercise and execute an appropriate workout well within the 45 minutes or less typically assigned to physical education. Workouts would also be infinitely scalable to individual students’ fitness levels and motor maturity. No child is left behind in this scenario because every one of them can perform at least an adaptation of the exercise and will get more physically fit as a result. If school CrossFit can recreate the compliance and adherence rates—and therefore the results—seen in adult CrossFit populations, physical education will grow in popularity. Because CrossFit workouts are effective, fun, and challenging, and because successfully doing them brings participants back for more, all the pieces for effective physical education are there. Think about this: if every kid becomes fitter during physical education class, then when they play kickball, soccer, or whatever other sporting activity they choose during recess, they will be able to play longer, harder, and more safely—and enjoy it more—and therefore want to do it more—and therefore get fitter—and therefore…I think 

you get the picture. We would be equipping our kids for physical success. So does every public school physical educator need to become a capable CrossFit instructor? Maybe. It certainly would be a step toward solving the problem of physical education delivery in schools and would definitively make for a more fit American youth. But we are at the mercy of the politicians, and when the primary exercise mode for most of them is jogging (for maximum photo ops and minimum exertion and fuss and muss), there is only a glimmer of a hope that we will ever be able to rely on public school physical education to deliver the goods. A more realistic scenario is that every CrossFit facility could become part of the “CrossFit Kids” consortium. Parents know that school physical education doesn’t provide physical fitness. Why are there millions of soccer moms out there? Why do martial arts studios thrive? Parents see their kids’ lack of fitness and want to provide them what’s missing—more time to exercise and get fit doing something they enjoy. But it doesn’t have to be sport programs. If you turn kids loose in a well-equipped CrossFit gym they invariably go non-stop through the gym, “playing” with kettlebells, hanging on ropes and rings, tumbling on the mats, jumping on and over boxes, and more. They will essentially do a CrossFit-type workout without any coaxing or negotiating. Ask if it was fun. They will say “Yeah!” Ask if they want to go again. They will say “Yeah!” And there we have it, the best and most receptive audience for physical education available, the flushed-cheek, out-of-breath, smiling kid who doesn’t even know that being a CrossFit kid is hard and progressive training.

For resources on CrossFit training for kids, see Jeff and Mikki Martin’s CrossFit Kids website and magazine.

Lon Kilgore, Ph.D., is associate professor of kinesiology at Midwestern State University, where he teaches exercise physiology and anatomy. He has held faculty appointments in exercise science at Warnborough University (UK) and in kinesiology at Kansas State University. A nationally ranked weightlifter from age 13, he has extensive practical experience as an NCAA strength coach and as coach of international-caliber competitive weightlifters. He is a coaching certification instructor for all levels of USA Weightlifting’s coaching development system and has been a member or Chair of the USAW Sports Science Committee for 9 years. In addition to having published numerous articles in both academic and popular publications, he is coauthor of the books Starting Strength: A

Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners and Practical Programming for Strength Training. He is also father/stepfather of
three school-age children.

First. Resisting that tendency and controlling the weight overhead simultaneously strengthens and stretches all the muscles in and around the shoulder girdle. Second. and by spring of 2002 I was performing singles with them with either hand. reaching my goal. no other exercises were taught or practiced until the pupil could perform the TGU with a 100-pound weight in either hand. I prefer the kettlebell because of the way it rests on the back of the forearm. small stabilizing muscles. this was the first and only exercise taught to many aspiring weightlifters to practice. I decided to make the 100-pound TGU a personal goal. in a supine position (i. my right shoulder would continue to dislocate a couple of times a year. Knowing what I know now.) I practiced this exercise with dumbbells. and stability throughout the entire body. it slowly yet steadily builds a solid foundation of strength that nearly “injury proofs” the body. Unfortunately. (Kettlebells weren’t available at that time. Talk about a rude awakening! Over this 15-year period. In December 2001. I’m thoroughly convinced that I could have avoided all three surgeries had I only known this valuable exercise. keeping your right elbow tight to your side. face up). and connective tissues. I started practicing the TGU with dumbbells. Ultimately. At first. I quickly realized the wisdom behind the methodology. I diligently practiced every rubber band exercise and rotator cuff program known in the realm of physical therapy. I have had two surgeries on my right shoulder (1985 and 1987) and one on my left (1989). Best of all. I have not suffered a shoulder subluxation or complete dislocation in over six years. I thought this might have been just weightlifting folklore. I first learned the TGU in December of 2001. Start with a light kettlebell until you have the movement mastered and are confident in your strength and ability to support increased loads. It’s been said that in the days of old. making it ready for more demanding training. I’ve had a long history of shoulder subluxations/dislocations. However. even after the two surgeries. Begin with a light kettlebell or dumbbell. Lean toward the kettlebell. flexibility. grasping the handle with your right hand. The left hand comes over 1 2  . The offset weight has a tendency to pull your arm backward. but to no relief. At that time I was facing the grim option of having a third surgery on my right shoulder. with the kettlebell on your right.. It has especially proven itself as an excellent prehabilitation and rehabilitation exercise for the shoulders. My shoulders are more stable and stronger now than ever before. a mastered TGU will make all overhead exercises safer and easier. The arm-bar stretch The “arm bar stretch” is a simple but effective way to strengthen the stabilizer muscles in the shoulder and actively stretch the pectoral muscles. Begin by lying on the floor. It builds strength at extreme ranges of motion and can be practiced as a standalone exercise or in conjunction with the TGU. Historically. it significantly strengthens the major muscle groups. the TGU was a staple exercise for old-time strongmen and wrestlers. After reaching this goal. Supposedly. The range of motion is completely restored. many times while sleeping.e. then later with kettlebells.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Turkish Get-Up Part 1 Jeff Martone The Turkish get-up (TGU) is an outstanding exercise that develops strength. In addition. 1. Third. it takes tenacity and commitment to conquer this feat of strength. sometimes while training. I fabricated two homemade 110-pound kettlebells.

) the top to provide an assist (photo 1). Repeat for three to five reps. bringing the kettlebell with you... adjust the kettlebell to where it sits deep across the heel of your palm to take strain off your wrist (photo 3). then switch arms.e. The kettlebell will always win.  . Be sure to keep your eyes on the kettlebell throughout the entire exercise Push off your posted foot. The purpose of this exercise is not to build a big chest through pressing. This will protect your rotator cuff from potential injury. Tips • • Keep your reps low (i. The goal is to get the kettlebell to the locked-out position. three to five). 3 4 3. Slowly roll back to the supine position.continued The arm-bar stretch: The transition (continued. This is the starting position for this stretch. 5 6 5. Train as heavy as possible but stay as fresh as possible. avoid the temptation to try to save it. keeping your arm vertical. If for some reason you get distracted and begin to lose control or balance of the kettlebell. use your left arm to assist the lift or spot the weight. Don’t try to save it. slowly rolling over to your left side.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1 . Get into the habit of always using two hands to pick up or put down the kettlebell when you are on the ground. Your forearm should be perpendicular to the floor (photo 2).. If necessary. Continue carefully rolling over. Rotate your torso quickly in the direction the kettlebell wants to go and guide it into a controlled crash on the floor. Once the elbow is straight. Whether you have a history of shoulder problems or are trying to prevent them.. 4. Post your right foot flat on the ground. 2. Reposition your left arm so you can rest the side of your head onto your biceps (photo 5).. with your heel close to your buttocks (on the same side foot as your working arm) (photo 4). just say “No” to the bench press and “Hello” to the TGU. Press the kettlebell up in front of your chest to arm’s length. until you are nearly prone (photo 6) or until you hit a sticking point. Hold that position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.

It keeps the shoulder “active. Begin by following the first two steps of the “Arm Bar” stretch to get into a position flat on your back. To keep it simple.” as when you are performing dips on parallel bars.. It is acceptable to allow your free arm to assist slightly against the floor in sitting up.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1 . Begin by pressing the shoulder of your support hand (the hand that is on the ground) away from your ear. It’s called the tactical TGU because it mimics the tactical way of getting back to your feet if you were knocked down during a fight. 4. lifting your hips off the floor.continued The tactical Turkish get-up There are many ways to perform the TGU. TGU: The sit-up 1. This skill is even more important when you find yourself in full kit and level-IV body armor. Finish with the right arm and the kettlebell vertical and your eyes on the bell. easy to learn. 11 12  . Simultaneously press off your hand and your posted foot. It puts your shoulder in a strong position. 2. roll slightly to your left side and sit up (photos 7-10). the transition. This is an important but often overlooked step. The first variation I will share with you is the one that’s simple. allow the weight to drift just slightly forward. I will teach the tactical TGU in three parts: the sit-up. and the stand-up. In other words. The will create the space necessary to bring your left leg underneath you (photo 11) as you slowly move into a threepoint kneeling position (photo 12). and has tremendous carryover to any sport or profession. with your left hand flat on the ground. with the kettlebell extended straight up in front of your chest and your arm locked out (photos 1-3). 7 8 9 10 TGU: The transition The transition will move you from the sitting to the kneeling position. From the starting position. 3. then push off your posted foot to help you sit up..

and special-responseteam instructor. and remain focused on the kettlebell. Pause for a moment. and be smooth. Whether you have a history of shoulder problems or are trying to prevent them. especially when I’m short on time. alternating sides after every rep. say.continued TGU: The stand-up 5. “A wise man is strong.. and the sudden jolt could cause the kettlebell to come crashing down. and then carefully reverse the steps to lower yourself to the floor and back into the starting position. and actively press the kettlebell straight up toward the ceiling throughout this step. I’ve found this to be a safe and productive way to train tactical TGUs. Boxers. no-holds-barred fighters. and the T. move slowly. Take your time. Jeff Martone. military personnel.e.S. Keep your eyes on the kettlebell. 13 14 Tips • Stay tight. one rep consists of one up and one down).A.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 The Turkish Get-Up: Part 1 . is to set a timer for 10 minutes and perform singles (i. flat on the ground with the kettlebell extended over your chest. My personal success story has been repeated many times with the clients I train.2-hand” kettlebell juggling. He is also the author of six training DVDs. and sitting to supine. keep your elbow locked. a little momentum. or singles with heavy weight. kneeling to sitting.P. In next month’s issue I will cover some fun and challenging TGU variations. He is best known as the creator of “hand. Slowly straighten your torso and pull your left arm up off the ground so that you are in a two-point kneeling position (photo 13). Watch the kettlebell and actively drive it upward with your shoulder even as you descend back into a supine position. 6. and the average “Joe” or “Jane” all have reaped the benefits of the TGU. This exercise is best practiced in parts or with a spotter until all the motions are mastered. Keeping your right shin vertical. • My favorite way to practice the tactical TGU. pull-up system. 7. owner of Tactical Athlete Training Systems. gather your thoughts and breath. yea. a man of knowledge increases strength. • Mastering the TGU is an excellent investment of your time and effort. SHOT training. pushing the kettlebell up overhead as you rise (photo14). The combination of a bent elbow. contract your outside glute and stand up. please heed my advice: Just say “No” to the bench press and “Hello” to the TGU. He has over 15 years of experience as a full-time defensive tactics. He was the first to implement kettlebell training in a federal law enforcement agency and now offers instructorlevel certifications. grapplers. Keep your reps low—three to five with moderate weight.” Proverbs 24:5  ... was one of the first certified senior kettlebell instructors in the United States. police officers. Congratulations! You just successfully completed the first half of the tactical TGU. firearms. load your weight onto your heel. This is especially important when transitioning from standing to kneeling.

however. Often. where he began studying the various movements at the core of CrossFit programming. Tasks are presented in a random sequence. The CrossFit community has long recognized the connection between the demands of the firefighter’s job and the stimulus and adaptations provided by our brand of fitness. their 200member force of professionals and volunteers is kept extremely busy providing a diverse range of services. whether dragging a dummy down a narrow hallway. Success is predicated on meeting these demands quickly and competently. East Fork is a publicly funded institution. I recently sat down with Battalion Chief Ron Haskins and several of his colleagues to discuss the arrival of CrossFit at East Fork and the ensuing department-wide implementation of the program. entire stations. An expensive fitness program would be rejected out of hand. one in a school zone one day and in a rural area with poor access to water the next. crawling. pulling a 150-foot hose. full-body workouts of CrossFit parallel the demands of fighting fires and handling unpredictable rescues and would provide the conditioning his firefighters needed. dragging. Safety. or even departments have adopted CrossFit. These departments have transferred the burden of finding qualified instruction from the individual to the institution. knocking down a wall. CrossFit is now employed by firefighters across the country and around the world. The department’s territory is 750 square miles in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada. he already had the solution in hand. CrossFit relies on a finite set of skills ordered in an infinite number of combinations. these individuals find local affiliates on their own or make do with whatever facilities are available. Averaging 4400 calls per year. a realistic simulation of the tasks these soon-to-be-firefighters would face in the field. Ron knew something had to change. Many otherwise qualified career applicants were failing to achieve passing scores on the department’s CPAT-like obstacle course. CrossFit came to East Fork by way of necessity. In such cases. firefighting. An off-the-cuff remark from a trainer at the Phoenix Fire Department’s annual “Health. These men and women were gassing early and often. As the man holding the stopwatch for the test. providing dedicated training and equipment to their personnel. he’d asked for sixty thousand dollars to outfit a single station with traditional cardio equipment. rappelling. or any combination of these.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Implementing CrossFit at East Fork Fire Jon Gilson Firefighting is a field of spontaneous physical demands. scaling a building. and Fitness Symposium” led Ron to CrossFit. Before finding CrossFit. as Ron knew firsthand from a previous attempt to institutionalize a conventional fitness regimen. with a budget provided by the tax dollars of the district’s citizens. East Fork Fire in Nevada is among these departments. Firefighters must be prepared to deal with any number of eventualities—lugging equipment. and firefighters must be able to deal with them as they come. carrying another person. and hazardous materials response services to the citizens  of northern Nevada. While the firefighter’s skill set is finite. providing emergency medical response. or simulating a forcible entry with a sledgehammer. they have a unique perspective on the institutionalization of CrossFit and the difficulties that lie along the way. CrossFit mimics and trains for the spontaneous nature of working in the field. More and more frequently. A subsequent trip to a CrossFit Certification Seminar at the Orange County Fire Authority in California solidified his understanding and confirmed what he already knew—that the intense. Implementation presented its own set of challenges. a request . Like firefighting.com. usually while bearing some sort of load. and human life often swings in the balance. the choice to become a CrossFitter is made by individual firefighters who recognize the benefits of training with constantly varied functional movement executed at high intensity. running. shifts. ensuring that their crews have access to top-notch physical training and thus obviating the problem of underconditioned firefighters. As key players in this grass-roots fitness insurgency in the department. the contexts in which those skills are brought to bear are anything but. A firefighter may respond to a chemical fire one day and a structure fire or wildland blaze the next. Luckily for East Fork.

paramedic. Even with the necessary equipment and knowledge in place. is easier to come by. high cholesterol. a no-go given East Fork’s already-constrained budget.com. Combined with less-thanstellar participation levels among the Department’s bodybuilding holdouts. Jon Gilson is the owner of AgainFaster.continued that the County Commissioners—understandably—had found untenable. With the stopwatch running. such as getting water on a structure fire. Captain Costa believes the answer. The results. The problems that CrossFit faces at East Fork are not unique. it is primarily inertia that is working against the institutionalization of CrossFit. Combined with the upcoming evolutions. . With the support of his chief and a mere two thousand dollars in hand. of course. The experience of Battalion Chief Haskins and his small group of CrossFitters provides significant hope for the future of East Fork. both logistically and fiscally. and subsequent cardiac testing forced him to file a worker’s compensation claim under Nevada’s Heart/Lung Bill. in the form of Ron himself. specializing in group instruction and equipment sales. She’ll soon have a chance to demonstrate her increased physical prowess in a measurable setting. Many department members are unwilling to reconsider their established views on training and hold tight to the notion that the prototypical firefighter is necessarily a “big and bulky walk-through-walls type. Currently. Ron says. This testing phase marks the first time that evolutions have been timed at East Fork. a ten-year East Fork veteran and an avid CrossFitter. His second request. Providing the educational proof is a challenge because the firefighters of East Fork are dispersed both geographically and temporally.. lowering one of the barriers to a department-wide education effort and preventing additional overtime costs. Regardless. and pull-up bars. after eight months of dedicated CrossFitting and careful nutrition.com and the general manager of CrossFit Boston. East Fork has two CrossFit-certified instructors on staff—Ron Haskins and Roby Safford—and they work on the same shift. “were an absolute nightmare. was met with more enthusiasm. Firefighter. and the department’s benchmark of athletic ability—the obstacle course— has yet to be rerun. he underwent a mandatory annual physical exam. East Fork will fully CrossFitequip all its career stations for a tenth of the cost of Ron’s original request. and presents a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the relationship between CrossFit and professional competency to a skeptical constituency. and acting Captain Heidi Neilson serves as another example. With plans to add four thousand dollars worth of barbells. and his labs are one hundred percent normal. would increase and disseminate the pool of available instructors. She has also gained significant strength in her upper body. Those in the department have a concrete example right under their noses. Today. there are at least eight firefighters at East Fork with the capacity and desire to blast through their next attempt at the obstacle course and to perform their duties with improved health and fitness. performing weighted squats on a regular basis. Deploying these men to other stations and other shifts would require significant overtime cost to the county. Only six months old. According to Jeff. this former ultra-runner has reclaimed most of the range of motion in her damaged knee. Captain Jeff Costa. Jon can be reached anytime at jon@againfaster. Only four months into the program. made in early 2007. even among the most fitness-dependent organizations and professions on the planet. Neilson has found tremendous physical success through CrossFit. and power cages in July of this year. the program is still in its infancy.. obstacles remain.” A combination of elevated triglycerides. and at least one man with the authority and wherewithal to extend the means to the rest of the department. He is a level-1 CrossFit trainer and a level-1 USA Track and Field coach. as the department is about to embark on a series of timed “evolutions.” Bringing these individuals off the sidelines will require educational resources and physical proof that the program is effective and applicable to their profession. making group instruction impracticable. including a stress EKG test and a pulmonary function test. believes that a department-wide education and outreach effort could increase participation dramatically. the crew must complete a series of tasks. The physical proof of CrossFit’s efficacy. bumpers. conclusively demonstrating the efficacy and appeal of CrossFit and increasing participation. this schedule has limited the institutionalization of the classic 3-on/1-off CrossFit programming. medicine balls. officially making CrossFit tools available to the fifty full-time members of his department. slam balls. and EKG abnormalities made him a prime candidate  for heart problems. Eight months removed from a total knee replacement. Ron is confident that the performances of the CrossFitting firefighters will serve as a catalyst within East Fork. A year ago. He learned of East Fork Fire’s CrossFit Program when Ron contacted him to provide equipment for the department. and he continues to support their efforts through advice and consulting. putting its firefighters and CrossFit equipment in the same place for only two days at a time. starting at the hydrant and ending at the front door. lies in an “educate the educators” approach. Creating large-scale change within an entrenched community is always difficult. Ron is 53 pounds lighter.” These simulations test each crew’s ability to accomplish a standard firefighting mission. Sending three to five additional firefighters to CrossFit certification seminars. East Fork runs on a 48-hours-on/96-hours-off schedule. Ron equipped four stations with rings. one from each of East Fork’s three shifts.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Implementing CrossFit at East Fork Fire . a trait that has improved her performance in the field.

it’s time to add other plank variations to the mix.mov Online Videos Roving Push-up . and exercise physiology and sports biomechanics. Roving with the core wheel Roving forward and backward can be accomplished while maintaining good positioning by adding a core wheel. These push-ups can be standard or include a staggered hand position. Successful grapplers are attracted to this challenge. For a moment you are in a suspended spread eagle position. Preventing this requires a outside eye and lots of feedback. I encourage constantly varying the approach and programming. Moves that require stabilization on one arm and one leg place a unique and desirable demand on the athlete. He is also the current national Masters Champion in weightlifting at 94 kg. we can add a push-up. One can travel forward and backward. as I think it is subconsciously more rewarding to have a visual target than simply a number of steps to complete.mov Roving Bodybuilder . And be forewarned: your lower abdominals will feel like they have been separated from the distal insertion if you are overly zealous. He has also worked in hospital wellness environments and rehabilitation clinics. From here. If you are wiggling to become more comfortable. He is a USAW-certified Club Coach and is a CrossFit level-3 trainer. You can travel in this sequence for an assigned number of steps or to a target and then return. and vertical to horizontal movements. The impact can sneak up on you afterward. as the name implies. My athletes have labeled this one a “stupid Rut trick” and threaten me with a trip to the Letterman Show to demo it.mov Roving Plank Core Wheel .wmv Roving Push-ups Core Wheel Sled . You can learn more dumbbell exercises from his DVDs Dumbbell Moves Volume 1 and Volume 2. I propose one last version.wmv Roving Core Wheel Shoulder Press . This article and its demo videos assume mastery of the plank variations from Part I of the “Dumbbells from the Plank” series in CrossFit Journal issue 56.mov Roving Core Wheel Staggered Push-up . Also. but you can do it on any surface.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Dumbbells from the Plank How to Energize Your Push-up Training. Roving Plank .wmv .wmv . physical education. Coach Rut) is the owner of CrossFit Kansas City/Boot Camp Fitness. Once you get roving. Start with small doses of this one. as they intensify the requirement to maintain a tight plank position with no sagging or piking. Part II Michael Rutherford Now that you have had thirty days since last month’s dumbbell article to work on your plank position. I have added this as a finisher for those guys who think the workout of the day left them a little unsatisfied and thrive on competition. if you use this version on concrete your mitts will remind you of the insanity later that evening. and it allows for individual variation in step size. here are some ways to add intensity: • Roving plank with a push-up • Roving plank with a bodybuilder • Roving plank with a burpee These can be done throughout the movement or once the athlete reaches the target or finish. you are likely out of position.mov Roving Burpee . The number-one flaw typically exhibited during early attempts at the move is piking the plank (hinging at the hip and sticking the butt up in the air).k.wmv . but only for the most advanced of athletes. Roving variations Roving dumbbell planks add a dynamic component to the plank position. As in the lateral roving versions. 10 Again we can assign a certain number of reps or use a target.mov Michael Rutherford (a. Because we have the core wheel on our feet we can also perform a shoulder press variation with the dumbbell acting as handles and the torso nearly vertical over them. in a plank position with the hands on dumbbells.mov . . From the plank position with dumbbells we rove or travel laterally.wmv .mov . He has over a quarter-century of fitness coaching experience with athletes of all ages.wmv . I like to use cones as a finish line or target. returning to you to the plank position you began in. It’s best performed on rubber tile. to insure balanced conditioning. Roving dumbbell planks begin. step out to the left side with the left hand and then the left foot. now leading with the right side and following with the left. until you step in the same direction with the right hand and then the right foot.wmv . The core wheel creates a third dimension of stabilization requirement due to the instability of the wheel.a. I consider these to be more advanced. Rut holds academic degrees in biology. • • • Roving plank on a core wheel Roving push-up on a core wheel with staggered hands Roving push-up on a core wheel with shoulder press “Stupid Rut trick” Finally. but my experience with the move indicates that the plank position generally becomes compromised when trying to move forward and backward on a dorsiflexed foot. push-up and row. and be reasonable about the weight. In this version you travel forward using the core wheel but also drag a sled behind you.

Some schools teach to strike with the ball of the foot. One of Bridgett’s favorite uses for the push kick is as a fake. She trains and works at the world-famous Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood. and so many functional athletic movements. the popularity of mixed martial arts over the past couple years has brought more attention and interest in kickboxing and other similar arts as well. or a jab. note that Bridgett continues to protect her own face and body while delivering the push kick to her opponent. depending on the discipline being studied. While most people are familiar with traditional boxing. as I describe the techniques. It can cause them to stop and think about how they are going to avoid the kick. Neither is wrong and both can be useful. which lets you keep your opponent farther away. She will begin as if she is throwing the kick. you can also land powerful strikes that can knock an opponent off balance by hitting directly to the chest. The fourth and final installment of this series on boxing and kickboxing techniques focuses on two different types of kick—the push kick and the roundhouse kick. The primary intention of the push kick is to keep the opponent away. Fully extend and strike your opponent with the ball of your left foot. Bridgett “Baby Doll” Riley demonstrates proper form in the photographs. the push kick is also a great distraction tool. however. can prevent them from mounting theirs. In the process of preventing an opponent from moving in. A great place to aim your kick is directly into the opponent’s stomach. a tip kick. at the very least. Like a jab with the hands (see CFJ issue 54).CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Kicking Becca Borawski Anyone who watches modern mixed martial arts is bound to have a love for kicks. thrust your hips forward while leaning back slightly. some to strike with the heel. will provide you with a little more reach. the power for kicks comes from the hips. 11 . California. To add power to the strike. but then drop the leg quickly and move in on her opponent to deliver strikes with her hands. A well executed kick catches an opponent off guard and can be debilitating. and also works as a stuntwoman and actress. lift your left knee up high and then extend your leg straight out. Before beginning the kick. If the opponent’s chest is open. Striking closer to the toe. Push kick The push kick is known by many names. This may give you the needed time to mount your offense and. whether as a series of low kicks to the leg that slowly chop down the opponent or as one swift kick to the head that ends the fight. Once again. the push kick can be used as a measuring stick to gauge the space between you and your opponent. Like punches. Also. Kicking is powerful and effective.To execute a push kick with your left leg. You can “jab” a greater distance with your foot than you can with your arm. Think about pushing hard on the ground with your right foot and generating forward energy with the hips. Bridgett is a former world champion boxer and a five-time world champion kickboxer. you must first assume your fighter’s stance (see CFJ issue 54). Fighters learn to be good at blocking their faces and their ribs but will sometimes leave a hole in the center of the body where you can strike straight in with your push kick. It can be called a front kick. A push kick used repeatedly and successfully will frustrate an opponent.

it is essential that you pivot on the support leg. Just as you angle your punches to the body upward (see CFJ Issue 56). And. with your left foot forward and your right foot behind. utilizing his long legs and powerful roundhouse kicks. check out UFC fighter Mirko Cro-Cop. Do not throw the kick straight across. building up an expectation of those kicks again for her opponent. or more horizontally during kipping pull-ups. When aiming for the body. Bridgett will be throwing a kick with her back leg. the left foot will turn all the way around on the ground. To see good roundhouse kicks in action. while her left has pivoted outward to maintain her open hips. Just as you open our hips vertically through full extension during Olympic lifts. She then uses that expectation to surprise them with the head kick. Bridgett will usually throw a few kicks to the leg and/or body. Becca Borawski. Here. The first photograph shows her feet in her conventional fighter’s stance. which is her right leg. aim directly for the thigh. aim directly for the temple.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Kicking . or head in many fights. You will see it thrown to the legs.. Her main job is as the music editor on the TV show Scrubs. depending on which side you strike. To counteract this and deliver a more powerful kick. She currently trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rey Diogo. When throwing the kick. teaches and trains at Petranek Fitness/CrossFit Los Angeles in Santa Monica. This extension of the hips gives you full access to your potential power. If you are kicking to the opponent’s leg. 1 . continuing the arc of your kick. but angle your leg downward. The two photographs of Bridgett’s feet at right were taken from the same point. To set up a head shot. Other infamous roundhouse kicks: • Chuck Liddell’s knockout win over Renato Sobral. CSCS. angling your kicks up will help you get under your opponents rib and hit on the correct trajectory to affect their spleen or liver. Cro-Cop has won many fights over his career. California. keep your leg slightly bent and aim to strike the opponent with your shin. UFC 17 Bridgett “Baby Doll” Riley consulted on this article and is the demo model in the photographs. When kicking to the head. In the second. you can also keep your hips open in the twisting pattern necessary for kicking. both in K-1 (international kickboxing) and in Pride Fighting Championships. do the opposite: angle your kick up into the opponent’s body. Bridgett still maintains her hands up in defensive position. UFC 40 • Pete Williams’s knockout win over Mark Coleman. we look at how to execute the back-leg roundhouse kick at various levels on the opponent. She has a master’s degree in film from the University of Southern California and a background in martial arts training. Begin in the conventional fighter’s stance. her right foot is now airborne and out of range of the camera. as always. The first was taken before Bridgett threw her roundhouse kick and the second at the moment of impact.continued Roundhouse kick The roundhouse kick is one of the most commonly used kicks. and also works as a stuntwoman and actress. When throwing a right-leg roundhouse kick. they will find it difficult to keep weight on that leg. a Carlson Gracie affiliate. it therefore automatically closes off the hips. Bridgett is a former world champion boxer and a five-time world champion kickboxer. After a few consecutive strikes to the thigh.This maintains the integrity of the open hips and allows the full power of the kick to continue into the target. She has blended these skills to produce DVDs and build websites for professional fighters. body.. As the leg arcs into the target. In kicking. She trains and works at the world-famous Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood. An important element of the roundhouse kick to have in mind is the need to keep the hips open. rather than be muted by the striker’s own body. the openness of the hips is often lost when a fighter keeps the supporting leg locked to the ground while throwing the kicking leg forward. even while executing a high roundhouse kick.

they are circuit training workouts. maximal-effort running intervals. train for the CrossFit Total. However. it depends on what you are working on. little to no lactic acid is produced. improve your skill.) Despite the “look” of these workouts. no-rest circuit training sessions are an integral part of that programming. thirty 24-inch box jumps. these longer workouts are not about improving your 400-meter sprint performance. when you work on low-rep Olympic lifts. When you work predominantly type-2b muscle fibers using the phosphagen system. However. But these CrossFit circuits also challenge the muscular endurance of every muscle group. Wrong. We have all heard of “adrenaline junkies”. interval training is a series of periods of exercise and rest.” harboring the misconception that unless you are close to a visit from Pukie. ten push1 ups. The metabolic hit these workouts .) These types of workouts challenge the oxidative system and hence your cardiorespiratory fitness. you haven’t worked hard enough. if you aren’t strong enough and fit enough to move through them without breaks.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Why You Should Sprint Train Tony Leyland Last month I talked about rest periods during interval training and said I would discuss high-intensity sprint and peak power workouts further. (If you can do “Fran” in 3 to 5 minutes. and thirty 20-pound wall ball shots) or “Nancy” (five rounds for time of a 400-meter run and fifteen 95-pound overhead squats) or even good old “Cindy” (20 minutes of rounds of five pull-ups. or do short sprint interval work. they really are not interval training workouts. So. this changes the focus and stimulus of the workout—and not necessarily for the better. much of the energy comes from the oxidative system. These athletes are working sub-maximally at each individual effort. but you shouldn’t feel any significant lactic acid burn. These three workouts do not have any rest periods incorporated into their design. and these kinds of intense. I argued that CrossFit programming is protective of one’s health precisely because it does develop all components of fitness. many CrossFitters—always trying to push the intensity envelope—seem to want to reduce the rest period as much as possible. 95 pounds is by definition nowhere near your one-rep max thruster weight. gasping for breath. I also noted that when it comes to sprint workouts that train short. In “Performance and Health” in CFJ issue 55. Nancy will take anywhere from 12 to 24 minutes for most people. By definition. Pure strength workouts generally don’t get you to the state of lying on the floor. You will start to tire after repeated efforts (those muscle fibers will take a beating) and you may be a little sore the next day or two. consider the CrossFit workouts “Kelly” (five rounds for time of a 400-meter run. and neither should a sprint workout where the focus is really on sprint technique and high power output. As I stated last month. In contrast. these athletes are “lactic acid junkies. and Kelly will take me all day! For all three. then. Cindy will take 20 minutes. you are meant to storm through as fast as you can. feeling absolutely wiped out and ready to throw up. (See CFJ issues 56 and 10 if you need to review energy systems. stronger athletes (or ones who scale the weights down) who can work continually during these types of workouts will be obtaining the majority of their energy via the oxidative system. peak-intensity work that lasts less than 10 to 15 seconds. However. and develop balance and core stability. One of the things I talked about is the need for relatively long rest periods during short-duration. you should not produce much lactic acid. Granted. you will end up working in intervals and will use more of the phosphagen and glycolytic systems during the work phases and then use the oxidative system to recover. and fifteen squats). as the muscles have worked hard.

the authors concluded that the correlation wasn’t total and that “acceleration. jogging. One study looked at the correlation among acceleration (a 10-meter sprint from a stationary start). was probably decided in a matter of seconds. so you fatigue and the 400-meter runs are like a jog (or maybe a cruise for the fitter athlete). For that you need heavy lifts and maximal sprints…and relatively long rest intervals. Keep workouts short and intense. They also show that the term powerlifting . so the runs would have to be performed at less than maximal pace due to fatigue. moving with the seasons. The ratio of time spent in high-intensity and low-intensity activity is between 1:10 and 1:20. Not all short-distance sprinting targets the same components of physical performance. So by the time Lewis reached his. so the glycolytic system will certainly have been stressed and you might feel like Pukie is knocking on the door. including endurance and peak effort alternated with rest. Not so long ago. 1. But all good coaches know that a 10-meter sprint is very different from a 40-meter sprint and different again from a zig-zag agility sprint. hockey.” This highlights. But these kinds of workouts do not target type-2b muscle fibers and the phosphagen system. How come? Lewis had a fractionally faster top speed. baseball. you needed to be powerful…. etc. and many if not most other sports also have patterns of quick bursts of maximal or near-maximal power outputs (1-5 seconds in duration) followed by lower-intensity activity periods which allow for a certain amount of recovery.786 watts (6. 1 top speed.. They cover around one kilometer sprinting at maximal speeds and a further two kilometers at fast speeds. However. would consistently beat him at 100-meter races. an opponent or animal).4 horsepower) for a 110-kg lifter. but Johnson was a better accelerator. maximum speed (a 20-meter timed sprint from a 30-meter run-up). basketball. 1. you need a good strength base—strength training and heavy lifting is the way to achieve this.” Per Astrand. walking) where the athlete has time to recover (oxidative system predominating). surfing. Maximal sprinting is also crucial in sport. sprinting distances of 10 to 40 meters is probably one of the most fundamental physical survival skills we ever developed as humans. and agility are specific qualities and relatively unrelated to one another.” We evolved performing lots of endurance activities such as tracking animals. Remember this part of the CrossFit definition of fitness: “Five or six days per week mix [various kinds of functional exercises] in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.and the outcome. In my sport of soccer. rugby.100 watts. was 5. Who was the faster runner out of Johnson and Lewis? The answer is Carl Lewis despite the fact that Ben Johnson. on a micro level. snatches. Football. from transition to maximum vertical velocity. the WODs I discussed last month that required ten 100-meter sprints or three 800-meter sprints are true interval workouts. If you were too far away from safety you would have to turn and fight. one of CrossFit’s fundamental critiques of many standard training programs—that single-sport athletes are narrowly specialized. jerks. but this is achieved in intervals over 90 minutes of game time. The numbers are much lower because the lifts are performed slowly. Johnson was far enough ahead to hold on for the win. he came out of the blocks quicker and reached his top speed sooner. In the 100-meter sprint. does it help with your power. good or bad.. racket sports. However. To develop this strength into high power.000 watts. Olympic-style lifts are king (cleans. To be fast and strong. building shelter. For a solider or police officer or firefighter it may be the difference between life and death. 300 watts.600 watts for a 100-kg male and 2. volleyball. we also required very short-duration outputs of peak power during fights and sprints (to chase. Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis contested many 100-meter sprint races in the late 1980s.).continued deliver to the oxidative system (and a very large number of muscle groups) is very strong. Don’t worry if when you do a sprint workout. and deadlift. Routine is the enemy.9 horsepower) in the 56-kg class to 4.140 watts (2. weightlifting. at the expense of other components of fitness and athleticism. Obviously the results were correlated. and many of the athletes scoring well in one test scored well in another.900 watts for a 75-kg female. slightly higher. the average power output. but it was a 20-minute multi-round workout with two other exercises. Does CrossFit target type-2b fibers and the phosphagen system. One study showed measured power in the jerk drive ranging from 2. maximum speed. gathering food and materials. at his best. etc. and agility (time over a 20-meter zig-zag course consisting of four 5meter sections at 100-degree angles to each other). squat. If you were fleeing a more powerful animal you probably would be sprinting a short distance to safety or shelter. Although the circuit training WODs rely predominantly on the oxidative system. if you really push for a good time or high number of rounds you will also finish with high lactic acid concentrations. acceleration over the first 10 meters can make the difference in who wins. combat sports. However. The same researcher calculated that during the second pull. one circuit WOD included 100-meter runs. your acceleration? Yes it does. You must rest between the bouts of exercise. most definitely. and their variations. backing up. for example.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Why You Should Sprint Train . Running in soccer— like efforts in many other sports—consists of short sprints (phosphagen system predominating) and then slower movements (cruising. they are certainly not 400-meter maximal sprints. Peak power over a split second would be higher still. or some heavy overhead squats you do not feel like you worked as hard as the circuit training type of workouts. Hence. a world-renowned exercise physiologist argues that major adaptations for human survival “were consistent with habitual physical activity. or flee. players sprint at top speed an average of 15 meters (mostly between 5 and 30 meter) every 90 seconds on average. Either way. a CrossFit Total. Let me discuss this further. Average power outputs for powerlifting events are: bench.

as the differences in their stopwatch technique will likely be greater than any improvements. He has taught at the university level for 24 years and has been heavily involved in competitive sports such as soccer. very short sprints are really hard to measure accurately enough to determine improvement (or drop off). 2000. You could do some three-quarter-pace sprints as an additional warm-up and then do some maximal sprints. It may take a slight edge off your work output for that day’s WOD. But don’t let that stop you. Champaign. The soldier. However. we should learn what we can from sprint coaches. but the benefits gained far outweigh that inconvenience. squash. So I admit it is tough to have very short sprints as a measurable WOD.. So I suggest that you include in your workouts some 10-yard accelerations and some 20-yard. “A Review of Power Output Studies of Olympic and Powerlifting: Methodology. Obviously.82 seconds. CrossFit loves to have workouts that are measurable which really helps to challenge and motivate the athletes. Powerlifting is essential in developing a strength base. and soccer player (to name just a few) also need to do specific work to translate the vertical power they develop in the gym into horizontal acceleration of the body. John. Like the Olympic lifts. P. and 40-yard sprints. He is a professional member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. . Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. and Evaluation Tests.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Why You Should Sprint Train . One possibility is to do some short sprints after your CrossFit warm-up and prior to the main WOD. and E. rowing. but you have to work fast as well. Little. but this is very explosive work. sprinting is very technical. rugby. gymnastics. if you have a coach or training partner who is always the one running the stopwatch. you need to work at short sprints especially if you are not involved in sports that challenge this component of fitness. Add in some zig-zag and other agility patterns also. As you know. By this I mean an athlete who is a powerlifter is going to do a lot more powerlifting than a CrossFit athlete. He can be reached at leyland@sfu. “J. 2nd ed. ‘Why Exercise?’” Medical Science and Sports Exercise 24(2): 153162 Baechle. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. R.. T. Thomas.continued is a misnomer and highlight the need to include fast. O. 30-yard. However. 7(2): 76-89. Each type of distance and movement pattern has a slightly different focus. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 19(1): 76-78. Olympic lifting. Earle. tennis. You will not feel particularly fatigued at this point. and rugby as both an athlete and a coach for over 40 years. Williams.ca. basketball. and Agility in Professional Soccer Players. etc. Performance Prediction. Unfortunately. Garhammer. an Olympic weightlifter is going to do more Olympic lift training. Wolffe Memorial Lecture. Ill: Human Kinetics. 2005. with regular use. W. and Alun G. So it is tough to measure progress on short sprints because you obviously can’t time yourself and any improvements in time will be very small and hence the reaction time using a stopwatch has to be as consistent as possible. and improvements may come in increments of hundredths of seconds. the benefit will carry over into other aspects of your performance. and a level-1 CrossFit trainer. law enforcement officer. the principle of specificity means that translating that power into horizontal acceleration and sprint capacity requires practical application and practice. Maybe only six 201 yard sprints with a minute break in between. The essence of CrossFit is to develop routines that use these excellent training methods but not to specialize in any of them. and. while Olympic weightlifting develops excellent vertical acceleration. eds. monitoring progress in Olympic lifting is easy—you know the weight you are lifting. and football. 1992.. CrossFit uses exercises and information from specialist coaches in powerlifting. Maximum Speed. B. Canada. kettlebell training. etc. tennis. But a 20-yard sprint may take 2. you can get a decent sense of your progress. Studies and text cited in this article: Åstrand. Tony Leyland is Senior Lecturer at the School of Kinesiology in Vancouver. But you can’t do a 20-yard sprint with one friend as timer and a month later have another fiend time you. a Canadian National B-licensed soccer coach. So while we may not want to specialize in sprinting. 1993. and optimizing your sprinting technique requires focused work at that skill. “Specificity of Acceleration. explosive movements such as the Olympic lifts and maximal sprints in your training.

and despite typical media portrayals. we hope) and from a variety of backgrounds will gather in central California for a weekend of camaraderie and competition. we are putting that claim into practice on a large scale. the lifters and the runners. In our view. The overall champions of the Games—the man and the woman who perform best across all three of those challenges—will truly constitute the world’s fittest folks. multi-event competition that will test athletes’ abilities at CrossFit’s primary goal—performing well at multiple. are designed to bring out the specialists and the generalists. parks. A “Hopper” workout created on the fly. triathlon. and deadlift. Come out and bring it on! 1 . overhead press. 3. An off-trail run of unspecified terrain and duration. This summer.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 The CrossFit Games 3-2-1-GO! We have long said that CrossFit is the sport of fitness. The CrossFit Games is a three-part contest for dominance and glory (and cash): 1. long-distance. diverse. garages. We expect to see both CrossFitters from affiliates and CrossFitters who do the web-posted WODs on their own in commercial gyms. We’ve designed a set of performancebased events that we think better tests competitors’ functional fitness and breadth of ability. the big guys and the little guys. The first CrossFit Games. high-intensity challenge. A CrossFit Total lifting contest. and randomized physical challenges. basements. endurance competitors are not in fact the world’s fittest athletes—far from it. and put them head to head at three distinct physical challenges spanning a broad range of modalities and human energy pathways. 2. Athletes from around the country (and beyond. with an open-invitation. as we’re calling them. which tests competitors’ max lifts in the back squat. in which functional movements will be drawn at random from a hat (or “hopper”) and put together into a mixed-mode. and gymnastics communities for dominance in the individual events and for the overall champion title. and barns everywhere face off against each other and against competitors from the powerlifting. running.

yet “body sculpting” sessions—low-intensity machine-based circuit training classes. for both sexes. the media. The results. might 3) intimidate the other ladies. in terms of both performance and aesthetics. Furthermore. but I don’t know how to give your back that V-shape everyone craves without increasing your pull-ups. as then. women get the best results when they train for performance. firmed. combined with the sweat. but training hard was a matter of pride in the Nautilus room and our members suffered from no lack of effort or exertion. Despite this fact. and Training Mark Rippetoe To quote a famous fitness author. and sculpted. but not in the ways that the industry. Despite this unfortunate truth (most truths seems to fall into this category). rather they were the victims of our staff’s inexperience and ignorance of exercise science. because even though there are differences between men’s and women’s response to training. and with what weight. The women’s program suffered from an entirely different problem: the perception that women were absolutely. Think about it: how many leg extensions do you do. “Women are not a special population. the fitness industry continues to sell aesthetics first. toned. this appearance is usually regarded as aesthetically pleasing. and most people lack the “sand” for that. and depending on the nature of that high-level performance. Now. As a general rule. answers that have gone fastidiously ignored by the figure salon industry.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Sex. the human body has a certain appearance when it performs at a high level. “Figure salons” were common in the 1960s. and Saturday. They were required by the club to train in tights (which the club sold). and the only exceptions to this method of obtaining them are the occasional genetically-gifted freaks—people who look like they train when they were just born lucky. which pretty much precluded any 3-on/1-off training. The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance.We had separate staff. form follows function. Thursday. and my first job in the industry in 1977 was at a club that alternated hours for men and women. Appearance. and sweating was strongly discouraged because exercising this hard was 1) apt to build bulky muscles. Always and everywhere. At the time the men’s “program” wasn’t much better. to make your quads just look better? I know how to make your squat stronger. right down to the molecular level. In both architecture and human beauty. admired by the vast majority of women had been and continue to be routinely produced by advanced athletics programs. Men and women do in fact respond differently to training. both the real. Women’s collegiate and professional athletics and its participants have for many years held the answers to the questions most women ask about exercise.” But they respond to heavy physical stress differently than the other half of the population. The focus is always on appearance. if you want to look like a lean athlete—the standard that most active people strive to emulate—you have to train like an athlete. They are half of the population. there is no difference in the quality of the exercise needed to produce the stress that causes adaptation. They exercised. and Friday and the men’s staff basically working Tuesday. with the women’s shift working Monday. as though that can actually be trained for. and popular culture have presented as fact. supposed differences between men and women have created a lot of the 1 aforementioned silly bullshit in the gym. “easier” is easier to sell. The women’s “fitness” industry has been around a long time. In other words. inherently. for reasons that are DNAlevel deep. actual differences and the ridiculous. Every single aspect of programming for resistance training that works at all does so because it increases . and quite importantly. 2) caused the exerciser to make too much noise and that. to the extent that any program of physical exercise had to be different from men’s programs.Wednesday. But the women didn’t train anyway. the 1980s equivalent of most modern Pilates and yoga classes—were the approach sold to the public. as though it is independent of performance. but how do you program Bun Blaster sets and reps for a tight ass? Exactly how does one go about obtaining a great glute/ham tie-in? I may be able to double your pull-ups in a month. The training through which high-level performance is obtained is the only reliable way to obtain these aesthetics. silly bullshit in the gym is silly bullshit. the net effect of which has had a particularly detrimental effect on women’s training. Both suffered from an emphasis on appearance (typically “masculine” or conventionally “feminine”) rather then performance. and permanently different from men.

her 1RM was only seven pounds heavier than her 5RM. always turned out to be much closer to the previously determined 5-rep max than experience with training men would suggest it would be. • You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions. If a 5RM is closer to a max single in women than men. about where I had guessed she would. If it were that easy.And the best improvements in the gym occur when participating in a program that looks more like performance athletics—the kind of training done by competitive athletes—than one that looks like waving your arms and legs around on a machine or slowly rolling around on the floor. Several years ago I was training a gal who thought she might like to be a bodybuilder. You already know all this. masculine muscles from barbell training. and this level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement in your performance in the gym. For instance. • Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.continued some aspect of performance. an ability associated with the neuromuscular effects of testosterone on nervous system function. It is also germane to handling lifters at meets. but the industry is based on the fiction that appropriate training proceeds from an assessment of aesthetics. With that in mind. • Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they “always bulk up too much” are often already pretty bulky. I would have them.. Quite frequently. social factors can be overcome. All enlightened physical culturists of the twentyfirst century know that women and men train basically the same for performance improvement and the resultant physiques. • Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time. We pretty much know how to improve that. and differences in hormone profile between men and women are the primary reason that male and female performances are different. but I eventually quit arguing with the universe and learned to take this into account when testing and programming trainees. because they cannot as efficiently demonstrate absolute strength at the level of 1RM intensity. There are several aspects of female performance that are different from those of men. and appearance is a side-effect of performance. and she most definitely was not..This seemed strange at first.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Sex. This important difference in the expression of strength is most likely the result of the efficiency with which motor units can be recruited. • There is no such thing as “firming and toning. a 2RM—a decent second attempt deadlift—is too. It is ironic that the most pervasive fear voiced about barbell training by women in the general public is the very thing which 1 is prevented from happening by the primary factor distinguishing men’s and women’s performance abilities. A max single. Appearance. or you wouldn’t be reading at this rarified level. • Muscles don’t get leaner—you do. Women can also continue to produce eccentric contractions after concentric failure long after men fail eccentrically. She got to failure at ten. These endocrine/neuromuscular effects. It is displayed in essentially all vertebrates and recognized throughout zoology as a predictable factor in animal behavior. It was too heavy because I had based it on her second attempt as though she were a he. all of which depend on neuromuscular efficiency. Appearance can’t change unless performance does. women can perform a 5-rep max lift (5RM) with a higher percentage of their 1RM than men. She missed that third attempt and first place as a result of my inability to better apply what I actually knew. carefully titrated up to failure with small incremental increases for an accurate and precise measure of where that max actually was. Rosellen. She was fairly strong and was doing a high-rep set with 75 pounds. and we were playing around with some seated behind-the-neck presses one afternoon. more than any social factors resulting from differences in upbringing. and other neuromuscular factors. and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we program. account for the differences in male/female performance. She had done nine reps done when I decided to see how tough she was. and I started giving her negatives—helping .” There is only stronger and weaker. This is probably because they have less completely fatigued themselves at positive failure. and counter to the conventional industry wisdom. which are expressed at their best only when your training is at its highest level. here are some more unfortunate truths: • Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some rather radical orthopedic surgery. I have observed this in the gym repeatedly over decades of working with motivated female athletes. central nervous system excitation.This is why men and women do not compete against each other in varsity and professional sports. and all of which are a direct result of lower testosterone levels and the effects that testosterone has on motor unit recruitment. Women don’t get big muscles because they don’t have the hormones to build them. I made a terrible mistake many years ago at a powerlifting meet with a third-attempt pick for a female lifter. and subsequent negatives are not being done from as depleted a position as a male’s would be. Your appearance when fit is almost entirely a function of your genetics. physiology cannot. But significant differences do exist between men and women in terms of performance and real strength and conditioning training for that performance. • The vast majority of women cannot get large. and I’m still sorry. or “skinny fat” (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts. along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion. These differences must be understood and appreciated if training programs for women are to be realistic and effective. and Training .

if you are using 3 repetition sets to train for strength. and all sports that inherently involve an explosive performance component. Or it may be due to an adaptation to continued high levels of workload through an increase in endogenous production of either testosterone or dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Even cyclic activities that require high levels of motor unit recruitment at short repeated intervals. Practical Programming for Strength Training. pressing. The data on this is not terribly good. upper-body lifting at work or in training for other sports. like an average guy. the extent to which the gap in performance between females and males of comparable body weights narrows is generally explainable by higher-than-usual testosterone level in that particular female. which tend to use isolation machine exercises as the stressor. illustrating the difficulty of a rep scheme as it varies with volume and intensity. 90% would be a hard workout that would help induce strength adaptation. Field events. a slight increase that beneficially affects recovery and performance without the pubescent-male side effects. more attributable to other factors. For example. The difficulty of a repetition scheme is a function of both the intensity and the volume used. Reps %1RM 100 90 80 70 60 50 Light ----5 8 10 15 Low Subjective Difficulty Medium --2 8 10 12 25 Moderate Heavy 1 5 10 12 15 25+ High Adaptive Stimulus Table 2. as is a set of 15 with 60% 1RM.continued her from the bottom back up to lockout and letting her lower it under control. neither are the studies. The ability to create very high levels of motor unit recruitment also produces the capacity to create commensurately high levels of fatigue. basketball. and swimming all display marked differences in performance between men and women. There is such a profound difference in male and female testosterone levels that the strength differences between men and women are almost entirely accounted for by hormone level. as well as gymnastics. muscle mass differences between men and women explain the profound disparity in upper-body strength between the two sexes. These differences are due entirely to differences in testosterone levels. In fact. But later. like sprinting and sprint cycling. Completion of a set of 3 repetitions with 90% 1RM is hard. This is caused by the same neuromuscular factors that control concentric strength expression. I expected her. This may be due to exogenous hormone administration (the magazine way) or naturally-occurring abnormally high levels. Explosive movements such as vertical jump that demonstrate power and its requisite high levels of motor unit recruitment are very typically performed by women at lower levels of proficiency than men of the same size. but then again. to get another three or four. to the extent that the best women in the world can often be beaten by varsity high school or college freshmen and sophomore men. weightlifting. Appearance.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Sex. In addition to these neuromuscular effects. After she did 15 more and finally slowed down to where I could call her set finished. after other women showed me the same ability. I decided she was about average for a woman. and Training . tennis. whereas the differences among males—say between pro athletes and actuaries—are. The women’s version of Table 1. 1 Subjective Difficulty %1RM 100 90 80 70 60 50 Easy ----3 5 8 12 Low Moderate --1 5 8 10 20 Moderate Adaptive Stimulus Hard 1 3 8 10 15 25+ High Table 1. one that will allow for recovery. a 60% training session with 15 repetition sets cannot be considered any more of a recovery workout as 3 repetitions with 90%. Recovery during periodized training requires a reduction in weight used coupled with a maintained or reduced repetition number. (Tables from Rippetoe & Kilgore.) . and vice versa. Throwing.. golf. If you use up all your ATP doing concentric work—because you can produce enough contractile intensity to do so—you won’t have enough left to do many more eccentric contractions. exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism. Doing 3 repetitions with 70% would be considered an easy workout. As such. also display sexual differences.. I decided she was pretty tough. even among equally well trained and conditioned athletes of the same size. while hormonal to a certain extent. and often tempting. The effects of testosterone are indeed profound.

Andy Bolton and your grandmother operate the same way.continued Such big differences in male and female performance might seem to bolster the fitness industry’s position on the necessity of sexspecific programs. The sooner everybody—both halves of the population—accepts the fact that effective exercise is more like training for athletics and less like lying around on the floor.This simple fact is ignored—or perhaps more realistically. power. Appearance. is a regular contributor to the CrossFit Journal. coordinated strength. a less efficient response means that it is more important to use quality training methods. and facilities. He has published articles in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. the stress that causes the adaptation must specifically tax those parameters or they will not adapt. In both cases. Likewise. sea anemones and wombats. the sooner it will be understood that women really don’t need their own figure salon. Mark Rippetoe is the owner of Wichita Falls Athletic Club/ CrossFit Wichita Falls. It must be listed with the Unfortunate Truths that squats are still the best exercise for women to train with barbells. the market will find a way to offer it. He has been certified as an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 1985 and is a USA Weightlifting Level III Coach and Senior Coach. with the exception of the occasional lottery winner. There are signs that this paradigm may be breaking down. Hormones are very powerful substances. . Men and women both recruit motor units into the same patterns of muscular contraction. the ones that dictate the behavior of everything. not of basic pattern. if bone density. as well as a USA Track and Field Level I Coach. Barbell exercises that demand strength. He has 28 years experience in the fitness industry and 10 years as a competitive powerlifter. the media are taking notice. and Bun Blasters because of the quality of the stress they produce. I suppose this means that we are cheating. balance. Men are more efficient at responding to the stress of squats in terms of elevated testosterone levels. agility. If prospective members got in the habit of asking for functional training. We’re all quite familiar with this reality. just like they are for men. and only the degree of the adaptation will vary. and that response is determined by the basic physiology of the organism. albeit at different levels of efficiency.) And it will be as long as the standard employment model of the industry is the minimum wage college kid. Right now it seems to be a matter of education. and mental focus are parameters that need improvement. But I already bragged on your enlightenment. but these changes are still pretty much just a matter of degree. and mental focus produce a type of stress—and therefore a type of adaptation—that is superior to either lowintensity floor exercise or isolation-type machine exercise. deadlifts. more about performance and less about appearance. stress demands a response. effective exercise becomes more popular. it’s hard to find people who will just come to work and clock in. for instance. and boot-camptype classes are now available at YMCAs all over the country. It is the degree and efficiency—not the nature—of that response that varies with the hormonal status of the organism. leg curls. that’s what will be for sale. because there are few examples in life that don’t follow the basic rules of the universe.. and as long as the public demands no more it will get no more. The stress is the stimulus that causes the adaptation. and combinations of barbell movements with gymnastics 0 skills and track and field athletics goes unappreciated. Gentlemen. Squats are performed with the same muscles by everybody. and Training . Squats work better for everybody than leg extensions. thus exposing more women to the idea that maybe harder does in fact work better. in the same sense that Great Danes and Chihuahuas are both dogs. they are hard for everybody—hard enough to produce system-wide stress for everybody—and this is why they work for everybody. Physiologically. Testosterone produces a more robust strength-enhancing response. and is the author of the books Starting Strength: A Simple and Practical Guide for Coaching Beginners and Practical Programming for Strength Training. coordination. and thus the value of squats. men and women are not as different as. It also means that the type of stress that causes the most profound adaptation will be the same for both sexes. An exercise that does not involve balance cannot cause an improvement in balance. (Hell. which is not a figure salon. not because they are dangerous. Hormones administered to two otherwise identical organisms can cause major changes in the organisms’ morphology. Qualified coaches generally get paid more than health clubs are willing to spend. It would also complicate business. They now periodically feature health-related stories on the benefits of weight training versus aerobics-only programs. As CrossFit grows and it becomes harder to ignore the results of honest work done at high intensities.. and we all know that it makes as little sense for women to exercise in ineffective ways as it does for men. exercises. But women aren’t served well by using less efficient ways to produce stress because they respond to it less efficiently— on the contrary. the industry would shift in that direction. misunderstood—by the fitness industry. presses. although we are often willing to believe people who tell us otherwise. when intense. and that is why testosterone and its analogues are often used by athletes to enhance training. It’s very hard to find staff qualified to train members at optimal levels of skill and intensity. and the quality of the adaptation is thoroughly dependent on the quality of the stress. about exercise and about life. and in this respect men can get stronger and bigger faster than women. you pretty much get out of an effort what you put into it. This is due to the fact that sexual differences do not constitute a major division in physiology. As long as the market for treadmills and Pilates is strong. One of the most basic of those rules is that. The interesting thing is that everybody really already knows this. They are banned by the USOC for this reason.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Sex. power. cleans.

This article will only cover skill transfer exercises for the push jerk (receiving the barbell in a partial squat. pressing the weight overhead is disallowed. the athlete pulls the body into the receiving position. The skill transfer exercises below are used to prepare the athlete for this challenge.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Teaching the Jerk Mike Burgener. we’ll cover the proper footwork for receiving the barbell in the split position. The barbell is driven off the shoulders with a violent dip-drive. not a split). The athlete begins with the feet in the jumping position and explodes upward to create maximum drive on the barbell. Once maximum upward momentum has been placed on the barbell. the lifter immediately drives the body down into the receiving position. The receiving position for the jerk can be either a partial squat (push jerk) or a lunge position. strength. In competition. If the weight is received in a full standing position. In July.mov Lift Split jerk Our previous articles on the snatch and the clean discussed the concept of creating momentum and elevation on the barbell by jumping and landing.crossfit. Next month. we’ll cover the rest of the skill transfer exercises. Online Video http://media. with Tony Budding The last phase of our teaching progression in the Olympic lifts is the jerk. and the lifter must complete both together for a successful lift. the lifter drives himself directly down under the bar into the receiving position.crossfit. The finished position can be in a split position or in a squat position. the athlete drives the body down to the receiving position. Timing. This is the primary difference between the jerk and the clean and snatch: In the jerk. In competition. The jerk moves the barbell from the shoulders to a locked-arm position overhead in a single explosive movement. so the lifter pulls himself under and around the bar into the receiving position. In the split second that the upward drive of the hips and shoulders makes the barbell weightless.wmv http://media. with straight knees. and I have found that athletes love the challenge of lifting heavy weights overhead. stability. 1 Push jerk . In the clean and the snatch. and flexibility are all needed to handle the massive weights that the jerk makes it possible to get overhead. To be a jerk. the jerk is always paired with the clean. the movement is called a push press. culminating in the full split jerk.com/cf-video/BeauCJ. The reason for breaking down the movement and skills this way is to establish confidence in jumping the barbell through a range of motion and creating momentum and elevation on the barbell without having to worry about establishing a proper split landing. change of direction. because the elbows are under the bar for the entire movement. with one foot extended in front of the body and one foot behind (split jerk). the elbows are over the bar for most of the movement. the athlete drives the body down with the arms until the bar is locked out solidly overhead.com/cf-video/BeauCJ. Teaching the jerk is fun and creative. whereas in the others. In the jerk. the arms must be locked out while the hip is retreating. This exact same concept applies to the jerk as well.

com/cf-video/BTNPushPress.mov Push press  . and split jerk.. finishing the movement by pressing the barbell to arms length. In the squat and deadlift. it is essential that the torso remain completely vertical during the dip-drive so that barbell is propelled vertically.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Teaching the Jerk . The push press is an upper-body strengthening exercise that we use to teach the initial phase of the jerk. using a clean grip. Online Video http://media. The margin for error decreases dramatically as the load increases. Working from behind the neck is easier than from the front because the barbell can travel vertically without having to navigate the face.crossfit.crossfit. the lifter assumes the starting position with the bar on the back as in a high-bar back squat. With the same down and up of the Burgener warm up. The lifter learns timing of the dip and the drive with the barbell as well as finish drive with the arms.com/cf-video/BTNPushPress.continued Skill transfer exercises for learning the jerk Push press behind the neck Taking the barbell from the squat racks. push jerk. the torso remains vertical without any forward inclination at all. In the push press. dip and then drive the bar upward from the shoulders.wmv http://media. the torso angle shifts forward. Still..

mov Push jerk These skill transfer exercises should be practiced first with a length of PVC or a wooden dowel. the push jerk behind the neck is more of a leg exercise.wmv http://media. and ankles to create momentum.crossfit.. instead of starting with the feet in the jumping position. the athlete rebends the legs (jumps and lands) and receives the barbell at arms length. and strength and conditioning coach at Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista. but instead of pressing the barbell to arm’s length overhead. The feet move from the jumping position to the landing position.mov Squat Push press Tony Budding is the Media Guy for CrossFit. When the movements are consistently performed well. the athlete flexes at the hip and knee and drives the body down under the bar instead of driving the bar up with the arms against the stability of the lower body as in the push press. one that is used to learn speed and drive under the barbell. owner of Mike’s Gym (a CrossFit affiliate and USAW Regional Training Center).mov Squat Push jerk  .crossfit.crossfit. the athlete may progress to the push jerk behind the neck. Online Video http://media. begin with the feet in the landing position and perform a back squat. Whereas the push press behind the neck is an upper body strengthening exercise.crossfit. former junior World team (1996-2004) and senior World team coach (2005).crossfit. Mike Burgener.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushPress. For example. The athlete drives the barbell up. extending the hips..com/cf-video/BTNPushJerk.wmv http://media.continued Push jerk behind the neck Once the athlete is handling the push press behind the neck with success.. walk the feet into the jumping position and perform the behind the neck push press or push jerk. weight can be added slowly. The starting position is the same as in the push press and in the initial dip and drive from the legs in the Burgener warm-up.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushJerk. knees.crossfit. In other words. At the top of the squat. Inc. Calif.com/cf-video/BTNPushJerk. you can add a squat to each of these exercises. the jerk always follows a successful clean. In order to prepare the athlete for this progression. is a USAW Senior International Coach. and a trainer at CrossFit Santa Cruz. once the barbell is elevated and weightless.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Teaching the Jerk . Online Video http://media.wmv http://media. In competition.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushJerk.com/cf-video/BTNSquatPushPress. Online Video http://media.

or weight plate with your feet. I recommend spacing them 50 centimeters apart.com/cf-video/CrossFit_WeightedPullups. Leaning forward from a mature support position shifts the emphasis to your pecs. it’s likely to be a width that puts the rings just outside your shoulders.com/cf-video/CrossFit_WeightedPullups. First though. It is a great exercise toward developing a maltese (an advanced strength hold on rings). This distance tends to work well for most people. Leaning back in a support shifts the load to your back. which is the hardest strength move on rings (and which no one in the world has yet performed perfectly). let’s talk about setting up your rings.mov Weighted Pullups Maltese  . This month. shows various ways to add weight to pull-ups. you also change the muscular recruitment and difficulty of holding the position. these work just as well for dips. The second is to hold a dumbbell. but you will figure out on your own what you like best. lats. and triceps. Another worthy goal is to hold a support. I like this option because it allows you to dump the Support weight at any time and continue on with what you’re doing. It is basically an upsidedown maltese—essentially a front lever in which the body is level with the arms. we’re going to build on that foundation and look at applications of the support position and variations on it that can add challenge to your training. I think it should be attained before you start training ring dips. and biceps. Measuring for ring width No lean Leaning back Weighted support Holding a perfect support (see last month’s article for the standards) for a full minute is a great goal for everyone to have. front delts. or to simply and safely abort the movement. linked below. Personally. In fact.wmv http://media. kettlebell. (The video.crossfit. unweighted. plus additional load totaling half your body weight for a minute. There are two main approaches to adding weight. Leaning support When you change your body alignment while in a support. We will also go into detail on an exercise that regularly appears in CrossFit workouts. They call it “your arm”—specifically the length of your forearm from the back of the elbow to the tips of your fingers. the ring dip. Gymnasts have a clever tool for measuring out the right distance. It is an early step toward developing a Victorian. The first is to wear the extra weight on a hip belt or a vest. I don’t measure out 50 centimeters every time I hook up my rings.crossfit. In any case. I usually add another inch or two. which is the official distance.) Leaning forward Online Video http://media.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Applications of the Support on Rings Tyler Hass Last month I covered the support position on rings in significant detail.

. Stay tuned for more challenges next month. of course: keep your arms locked. the rings remain turned outward (palms forward) the whole time. way to do them. they’re surprised to find red marks on their arms. Over time. as these can quickly get out of control.. Equally important is making sure you lock out at the top of the rep. and then bring your legs forward a bit and swing them back to generate some momentum. you’ll be ready for some ring dips. so what I do is set them at a height where my toes just barely touch the ground at the bottom of the rep. Most people find that they can do only a third to half as many dips on rings as on bars. we’ll give it a shot. Ring dip (continued. you will keep your body relatively straight. but beginners’ first instinct is to keep their arms in tight and ride the straps. (Just like a full-depth squat…) If you have shoulder issues that limit your depth. but at least they don’t move. I don’t recommend this as a technique for ring dips. I won’t name names. Madness? This is CrossFit! So. the ratio gets better as your support strength improves. and body control. I will show the correct. The ring dip.continued Swing in support Swinging on parallel bars is not easy. you need to go back and work on your support position. work up to it slowly. you can find dozens more exercises branching out from it.. becomes harder and harder as your technique approaches the advanced levels. My rings are height adjustable. but there was a video posted on CrossFit a while ago and the commenters chewed out the performer for not locking out at the top. He can be reached at info@ringtraining.com. requires and develops greater strength. skill.  Immature dip Intermediate dip Mature dip One of the amazing things about gymnastics is that so much develops on just a small handful of foundational movements. The arms are literally pushing out against the straps.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Applications of the Support . like the support.. The straps are now clear from the body. However. The CrossFit standard is “hands to your armpits. All the rules of a regular support apply here as well. You will gain additional amplitude from leaning into the swing and pushing down on the rings. of course. From something as simple as a support. you can raise the rings in small increments until you are getting full range of motion. or just lightly touching the arms. tell them you read someone else’s article on ring dips… Initiating the swing Back of swing Front of swing Ring dip The ring dip is a staple movement of CrossFit and one that you rarely see in other programs. and keep your shoulders active (pushing down on the rings). but it keeps your forearms from contacting the rings and the straps.com and designer and producer of the Elite Rings. When they get off the rings. Start in a support. This may sound counterintuitive. His company is dedicated to spreading gymnastics into the broader fitness world.) An intermediate-level dip is quite functional. I recommend having a soft surface underneath you. Once that is rock solid. and more difficult. the rings are held tight to the body and turned inward.. If you have to brace yourself on the straps. providing an objective depth gauge for each rep. Depth is often an issue when it comes to ring dips. while you will always be able to do more bar dips.” This is below 90 degrees. meaning the backs of the hands are facing forward. From here on. In a mature ring dip. don’t ride the straps. Swinging on rings is harder than finding an Olympic lifting platform at a commercial gym. I don’t want to see this happen to you! If it does. It’s important to start out very slowly. causing the angle of the straps to change. more importantly for our purposes. Tyler Hass is the founder of ringtraining. which is required in competitive gymnastics and which. In an immature ring dip. This makes it much tougher. It’s so cracked out and weird that it would be madness to even try it.

swim. rope climb. fuerte y rápido. subidas de cuerda. invertidas. Regularmente aprende y juega deportes nuevos. La rutina es el enemigo. some fruit. Ingiere cantidades para mantener el ejercicio y no la grasa corporal. presses to handstand. hundidas. Igualmente lo básico de la gimnasia. splits. Similarly. abdominales. press. y nada de azúcar. vegetales. subidas en barra. squat. piruetas. nueces. sit-ups. mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Five or six days per week. CrossFit Santiago . Regularly learn and play new sports. by Greg Glassman  Come proteínas.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Fitness de Clase Mundial en 100 Palabras Eat meat and vegetables. nada. mezcla estos elementos en la mayor cantidad de combinaciones y patrones posibles. Bike. Cinco o seis días a la semana. algo de fruta. semillas. presses. Anda en bici. run.. Translated by Pavel Saenz. y volteretas. lagartijas. flips. Practica y entrena los levantamientos principales: Levantamiento muerto. Mantén los entrenamientos cortos e intensos. and no sugar. nuts and seeds. master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups. despeje. pirouettes. and holds. C&J. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. etc. y arranque. sentadilla. row. rema. little starch. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift. hard and fast. Keep workouts short and intense. dips. corre. Routine is the enemy. and snatch. pushups. clean.

have two athletes row at a warm-up pace for six to eight minutes to refine proper technique and begin building heat in the muscles. kick up the intensity for three minutes (40 seconds at max / 20 seconds recovering on the paddle / 30 seconds at max / 30 seconds on the paddle / 20 seconds at max / 40 seconds on the paddle). Be creative. During the one minute of rest. Time spent on the rowing machine will accomplish both goals in addition to continually improving technique and efficiency. Your physiology and anatomy will determine which damper setting is most effective for longer or shorter periods of work and various intensities. Each time. Maintain a consistent pace and commit to this number for the remaining aerobic pieces of the workout. or base the work on calories or watts or time instead of distance.  .” The ultimate goal is to generate maximal power on the rowing machine and maximize the number of calories or watts you can row in a set amount of time. distance. take the damper up to 6 or 7 (twothirds up from the bottom). During the one-minute rest. set the damper back to the 3-to-5 range and cool down for a few minutes. In addition to training on the rower alone in various time and power domains. Lower damper settings mean higher stroke rates and quicker muscular contractual work. see Peter Dreissigacker’s article in CFJ 56. At start of next six minutes. Damper-changing workout This is a 30-minute workout that helps determine the optimal damper setting for each individual. Here are some workouts incorporating rowing to get you started. Determine who will begin the relay.” A straight progression up to 1000 meters in 100-meter increments would be great prep for “Jackie. watts. meters. For example. or calorie reading as last time and then power the three intervals as before. At the end of the warm-up.At the end of 100 meters. Then repeat with the damper at 5 (halfway down). Remember. and the first rows 200 meters at maximal intensity. or calories). At the end of 100 meters. set up the screen to show :00/500m on the second row for intensity and 0 meters on the third row. It can be done individually or with a group.” You can adapt this sort of setup in countless ways to accommodate various numbers of team members. Set the damper on 3 or 4 (about one-third up from the bottom) and row for three minutes at aerobic intensity (75 to 85 percent). and rest intervals. Sitting side-by-side. Higher damper settings mean slower stroke rates and longer muscular contractual work on the drive phase of each stroke. take the damper to 10 (all the way to the top) and repeat the same protocol for next six-minute cycle.” The possible progressions are numerous.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Rowing Workouts Angela Hart Once you’ve mastered the essentials of rowing technique. such as “Jackie. the first rower tells the partner “Go. At the end. get right back onto the aerobic intensity reading established during the first round and then go to maximal intensity during the three short intervals.to 50-percent intensity with a technique focus. (For more on the damper and how it works.” “Fight Gone Bad. with the lowest possible 500-meter pace times. This would have good training carryover to “Fight Gone Bad” and “Tabata This. Continue alternating back and forth with one team member rowing at max intensity while the other team member recovers and prepares for the word “Go. you can work to improve your rowing piece times and your score on CrossFit workouts that include rowing. Warm up for six to eight minutes at 25. the second team member says “Go”. Then with the damper at 1 (at the bottom).) Partner relay Using the Change Display button on the performance monitor (PM). Set the performance monitor (PM) to display whatever units are most motivational for the individual (500-meter pace.” and “Tabata This. train different time. repeat three minutes of aerobic steady state. again with the focus on technique. you could do 100m / 200m / 300m / 400m / 500m / 400m / 300m / 200m / 100m. etc.” and the second team member rows 100 meters at maximal power while the first team member rows lightly at paddle pressure to recover in active rest. Use this workout to determine which damper setting allows you to be the most efficient. Set the monitor (PM) for six minutes of work time and one minute of rest time. the damper does not determine the resistance which is created by how hard you work. finding the same 500 meter pace. wattage. After three minutes of aerobic steady-state rowing. make it a race between two (or more) teams. you can use rowing in nearly infinite combinations with other exercises to create workouts that cover a broad range of training modalities and goals. The team member in active rest should cheer on and motivate (or heckle) the other. the first person looks at the meters readout on the PM and rows 100 meters at maximal intensity.

For someone who is not pulling their own mass. Row at a wattage reading that matches your body weight and observe your rate of perceived exertion or note your heart rate using a heart rate monitor. 5 minutes #1 #2 #3 #4 Warm-up with technique focus. the goal is simply to be at body weight by the eighth interval. divide the total watts for each rowing segment (recorded in the PM log) by the rower’s body weight. For some. allowing thirty seconds to transition off the rower before beginning the calisthenics. and set the units to whatever measure is most motivational for the individual (500-meter pace.. Use the percentage increase that best suits the athlete’s needs and the workout’s intent. or maybe a 50 percent increase (with the eighth interval at body weight plus 400 percent for 20 seconds) would be best. 50 to 70% intensity Steady-state aerobic rowing at 75to 85% 30 sec. or calories). light rowing 2 x (1 min at 75-85%. For very heavy or elderly trainees. 4 min. certainly not the only options. as shown in the following table: Interval #1 10% body weight increase BW + 10% (150 + 15 =165 watts) BW + 20% (150 + 30 = 180 watts) BW + 30% (195 watts) BW + 40% (210 watts) BW + 50% (225 watts) BW + 630% (240 watts) BW + 70% (255 watts) BW + 80% (270 watts) 20% body weight increase BW + 20% (150 + 30 =180 watts) BW + 40% (150 + 60 = 210 watts) BW + 60% (240 watts) BW + 80% (247 watts) BW + 100% (300 watts) BW + 120% (330 watts) BW + 140% (360 watts) BW + 160% (390 watts) 30% body weight increase BW + 30% (150 + 45 = 195 watts) BW + 60% (150 + 90 = 240 watts) BW + 90% (285 watts) BW + 120% (330 watts) BW + 150% (375 watts) BW + 180% (420 watts) BW + 210% (465 watts) BW + 240% (510 watts) Push-ups #2 #3 If there are more bodies than rowing machines. The activities are as follows: Interval Rowing activity. During each twenty-second work period. if a 178-pound person rows 310 watts. Maybe a 5 percent increase (with the eighth interval at body weight plus 40 percent) would be most appropriate. 40 sec.97 and the score is -3 points. light. 4 minutes Squats Pull-ups Sit-ups Tabata wattage interval Warm up by rowing aerobically for eight to ten minutes. the score is negative. and thirty seconds afterward to transition back to the rower for the next five-minute rowing segment. the power ratio is 1. a 150-pound athlete could increase rowing intensity by 10. For example. watts.continued 40-minute Tabata circuits workout Set up the performance monitor (PM) for five minutes of work and five minutes of rest. 30 sec. rowing at this output is an easy and sustainable goal. max. For example. meters. if a 178-pound person rows 173 watts. so this would be 74 points. For example. #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 These are just three examples. The power ratio scoring system begins with 100% mass movement. For others. 30 sec. light rowing. this will be incredibly challenging or even impossible. which means this rower is pulling all of his/her mass plus an additional 74%. How difficult this initial effort feels for the individual will determine the percentage of increase during each subsequent twenty seconds.74. 20. Tabata.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Rowing Workouts . until the eighth interval is at a wattage that matches body  . This is a four-round workout in which each round consists of five minutes of various kinds of rowing and four minutes of calisthenics done in Tabata intervals (alternating twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest for four minutes). or 30 percent of bodyweight in each interval. in pounds. add wattage equal to a percentage of body weight (BW) that is challenging but allows you to complete the increase sequence over all 8 intervals. this can be done as a team circuit so that each 5 minute segment has one team member on the rowing machine and one team member completing the Tabata interval with the switch every 5 minutes. the power ratio is 0. so that the first 20 seconds is at 30 percent of body weight and each 20-second interval adds 10 percent. Set the monitor to a Tabata interval: twenty seconds of work and ten seconds of rest. 20 sec.. Five minutes is allotted for the Tabata segment. A scoring system for the white board is easy to establish using the usual Tabata scoring (lowest of reps in any of the work intervals) for each of the calisthenics segments and the total calories or the power ratio for rowing segments 2 through 4. max) Tabata activity. If you want to calculate scores based on power ratios (which is the preferred method if you are comparing individuals of different genders and sizes).

Another option is to add the percentage to the previous wattage as opposed to the body weight. You can use rowing in nearly infinite combinations with other exercises to create workouts that cover a broad range of training modalities and goals.com Your input will be greatly appreciated and every effort will be made to answer e-mails. Angela Hart is the director of the Indoor Rowing Training and Certification Institute and a Master Rowing Trainer for Concept2 Rowing. Subscription information and back issues are available at the CrossFit Store at http://store. www.crossfit.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 Rowing Workouts .continued ® weight. she coached a junior national women’s team. and she was a rowing sports specialist during the 1996 Olympic Games. Begin each workout with a warm-up that focuses primarily on proper technique and building muscular heat.  .. Equally important is an adequate cooldown/stretch period. she has coached at the scholastic. Enjoy the workouts and be ready to rise to the top of the white board. Editors Greg Glassman Lauren Glassman Carrie Klumpar Advisor Brian Mulvaney Design/Layout Otto Lejeune Photo 3 Interval #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 10% BW added to previous intensity BW + 10% (150 + 15 =165 watts) 165 + 10% (17) = 182 watts 182 + 10% (18) = 200 watts 200 + 10% (20) = 220 watts 220 + 10% (22) = 242 watts 242 + 10% (24) = 266 watts 266 + 10% (27) = 293 watts 293 + 10% (29) = 322 watts These workouts will provide excellent met-con training on their own and will improve rowing technique and efficiency while increasing success in all CrossFit workouts that utilize the rowing machine. Adding 10 percent each interval in this scheme would look like this for a 150-pound rower (rounding up if the previous number ended in 5 or above): The CrossFit Journal is an electronically distributed magazine chronicling a proven method of achieving elite fitness. and master levels. She conducts training and certification workshops on the indoor rowing machine and teaches group rowing classes in the Washington DC area. In 1999.com If you have any questions or comments.crossfit. A competitive rower since 1982. collegiate. send them to feedback@crossfit.com ©All Rights reserved 1006 ®CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc..

a. this is a fourperson-team. or a set of 7 and a set of 5 thrusters to complete the set of 12.. and assistance can be provided only by a team member who is also conducting pull-ups. spotting will be permitted. Each team will require 2 x . All the teams will start at the same time. spotting will be executed by supporting the back of the person doing pull-ups. he will transition to pull-ups.50-cal ammo cans for thrusters and two pull-up bars or two sets of rings. as quickly as possible in a safe manner. and the development of unit cohesion and combat fitness through shared challenge and hardship.. Main Effort. the purpose of this workout is to develop cohesion and combat fitness under fatigue conditions through shared hardship.g. two sets of 5 pullups to complete the required 10. “NOLAN” OPS 11 FRAGO 10 tO OPORd 01 — OP GRINdER Ref: A. the platoon will be divided into as many teams of four as possible. 2. Once each soldier has completed his required reps of thrusters. SItUAtION. the safety of all personnel. Each exercise must be completed before moving on the next one—i. each exercise may be broken up into sets as desired—e. (1) Intent. you must finish all 12 thrusters before starting the 10 pull-ups. Complete as many rounds of the exercises. If a soldier is unable to complete 10 pull-ups on his own. However. However.e. and competition. 0 3.The Grinder CFHQ Santa Cruz. not by supporting his feet. (3) . “time-specific” workout. Spotting is only permitted for pull-ups. OPORd 01 01 Jul 06 task Organization: Annex A 1. challenges. MISSION “NOLAN”: Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes: 12 thrusters and 10 pull-ups EXECUtION Concept of Operations. (2) Scheme of Maneuver. No Change. CA USA 01 May 07 CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 CrossFit FRAGO #10.

Safety. soldier B completes 12 rounds. two 25-mm ammo cans. it is imperative that the 25mm ammo can be lifted from the ground by the proper technique. With his back held in the proper deadlift position. Ensure that all equipment is checked and serviceable before conducting the workout. “NOLAN” . the ammo can must be placed on the ground upside down (so that the lid of the ammo can is on the ground). the lifter deadlifts the ammo can to the hang position.. the team or squad that completes the most rounds comes in first. that the ammo can rotates 180 degrees (to end with the lid facing up).. It is during this transition. Safety is every member’s responsibility. the workout can be conducted in Pt gear or full battle gear to include vests with plates. the team score is the combination of all four soldiers’ completed rounds.continued (4) End State.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 CrossFit FRAGO #10. Follow-on tasks. with the lid facing the ground. where it remains inverted. For safety reasons. (2) Scaling. and soldier d completes 15 rounds. Coordinating Instructions. depending on the fitness levels of your soldiers. Scoring. (1) team Organization. For example. b. 25mm Ammo-Can thrusters. It is a leadership decision on how best to deploy each soldier to accomplish the mission. Squad leaders can organize their soldiers however they wish. and that all soldiers are proficient in the required exercises. from the hang to the racked position. if soldier A completes 10 rounds. the number of reps can be increased or decreased based on the skill level of your troops. this is the start position for the thrusters. he cleans the ammo can to the rack position (the thruster start position). the safe and successful completion of all exercises. the next workout will require a 400meter running route. From the hang position. the number of rounds competed by each soldier in the team is recorded. and two pullup bars or sets of rings for each six-person team. (3) (4) (5) (6) 1 . soldier C completes 9 rounds. the team’s score will be 46.

Each four-person team will require two 25-mm ammo cans and two sets of pull-up bars or two sets of rings (austere or regular). COMMANd ANd SIGNAL timer/Score Recorder.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 CrossFit FRAGO #10. use of correct exercise form. All four-person teams begin and end the workout at the same time. plain weave. c. b. One stopwatch for all teams and a method of recording each team’s rounds. time and Repetition Recording. It is recommended that at least one person per team start his stopwatch to act as a backup in case the primary timekeeper’s stopwatch fails. “NOLAN” . Instructor/Coach. a.. tubular (austere rings) Snap Link.continued 3. a. A method of recording each soldier’s rounds is also required.. and safety of execution. Annexes: Annex A Annex B Annex C Workout diagram (AOO) Equipment Exercises  . to ensure proper conduct of the workout. Only one timekeeper is required for all teams. a designated member of the platoon can fill this billet. Equipment Requirements. 4. SERVICE SUPPORt Equipment Weights Ammo Can Nomenclature Quantity / Size 30 rds Type Weight Contents Cart 25mm APFSdS-t Nylon webbing. Mountain Piton (austere rings) PVC pipe 1 ½ inch (austere rings) PA125 70 lbs Sand NA 8305-21-111-5411 NA NA 12mm 8 inch x 2 per rings 8465-21-896-8280 NA Claw snap and screwgate NA Standard NA b.

.CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 CrossFit FRAGO #10.. “NOLAN” .continued Annex A Workout diagram (AOO) Annex B Equipment  .

“NOLAN” .CrossFit Journal • Issue Fifty-Seven • May 2007 CrossFit FRAGO #10..continued Annex C Exercises  ..

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