“Champions don’t blame the tools they’ve been given. Champions sharpen them.”
Abraham Lincoln once wrote that if he had six hours to cut down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe.
It doesn’t matter where you started, or even where you’ve been. All that matters is two questions. Where do you want to go, and how hard are you willing to work to get there. We have what we need. Everyone does. The separation comes down to who is willing to do the work.
Inside this complex, we are looking to hold onto the bar throughout. If we must drop the bar from overhead between snatches, let’s quickly reset onto the bar.
Set #1 – 60%
Set #2 – 65%
Set #3+4+5 – Build to a heavy complex for the day.
Bartender (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
9 Overhead Squats
6 Hang Power Snatches
Barbell – 115/85 On all three movements, although this sounds a little “obvious”, let’s remind ourselves of midline stabilization here. When we breathe and relax, our torso moves. Slightly, but it “translates”, placing demand on the smaller muscle groups surrounding our spinal structure. If we have such movement (often just do to not actively thinking about it), these muscles can become over taxed. And what results is what is known as the “back pump”. Where the lower back, or a portion of the back, feels like lactic acid just got stuck in there. And this “pump” can shut us down, leaving us unable to squat and sometimes hinge. It leaves us after some time, but it feels like significant cramping sensation in the lower back. This is very common when we combine deadlifts with a weighted squat. Focus throughout all three movements on what we are doing with our abdominals. Breathe at the top of each rep, but brace during movement.
On the deadlifts, athletes may find 1-2 breaks helpful. In any event, breaking after the 11 reps to establish a snatch grip width sets us up well to finish our 12th in position for a hang power snatch or a hang squat snatch (starting our next OHS).
On these overhead squats, we likely do not want to break these reps up. By the time we are challenged on this movement, we are likely well past halfway, with only a couple of repetitions to finish the set. With our next movement in mind (hang power snatch), we are not looking to excessively snatch the barbell outside of that final six reps.
On the final six hang power snatches to complete the round, we may find success in a single break here. Although we may be able to complete a handful of sets unbroken, let’s place ourselves in minute 7 of the workout. If we believe we will be breaking up the six reps there, it may be best to break from the start, and focus on smooth and quick transitions between say 3-3.
CrossFit Evergreen – CrossFit
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.” — Abraham Lincoln
The desire to seek immediate gratification can be our mortal enemy. It drives us towards the comfortable choice. The safer option. The compromise.
The opposite is something we can train. The discipline to be able to delay gratification. This skill, as it truly is one, has been linked many times over to being a critical component of success.
What our emotions drive us towards today, may very well be directly against what we want in the long run. So we must question them. Stacked side by side, here we need to choose. Which one do we want more? There can only be one.
HSPU with no added assistance from a kip. Strict Handstand Pushups
1 Attempt for Max Repetitions
This is a repeat from the first week of our cycle, on Apr 2, 2019. If we are not able to complete 3 strict handstand pushups, it is in our best interest to spend some time growing strength in the range of motion.
Two options for completion:
Dumbbell Strict Presses
Barbell Half Presses
Dumbbell Strict Presses – With a range of motion from shoulders to overhead, the freely moving bells are far more demanding than the barbell. Choose a loading that allows for at least 8-10 repetitions, and go as far as we can from there. We’re aiming to be in the 8-15 repetition rep range.
Barbell Half Presses – Using a barbell, the range of motion is from forehead level (just above the eyes) to lockout overhead. This trains the specific range of motion of the handstand pushup. Same aim as the dumbbell strict presses – let’s choose a weight that allows for at least 8-10 repetitions, with the aim being that we want to be in the 8-15 rep range.
Strict Pull-Up (1 Set ME)
1 Set for Max Repetitions
This is a repeat from the first week of our cycle, on Apr 2, 2019.
Posted on the original attempt:
If we are beneath 3 strict pull-ups, let’s band today. Choosing a band tension that allows for at least 7 reps, we want to fall somewhere in the 7-15 rep range here. In our notes, be sure to track which band we used as we’ll be building upon this base.
3 Rounds for time of: 400m Run 21 Kettlebell Swings, 53# / 35# 12 Pull-ups Today we’ll take on a classic CrossFit.com benchmark, “Helen”.
As we look at the movements, our first aim is to push inside the gym. If we are breaking up the swings and pull-ups excessively, it simply doesn’t matter how fast we are on the run. Let’s first game plan to be aggressive inside the gym, and from there, we then turn to the run.
Stimulus wise, we are looking for unbroken kettlebell swings. This is so that we focus on what the workout is intended to build – our conditioning. Let’s create the environment that is “no excuses”. We have a loading in this workout that we don’t have an excuse not to pick up immediately. It will be challenging and metabolic, but if we know we will get 21 straight each time… we have no excuse not to start. If it’s too heavy, it’s actually easier.
From there, it comes down to the pull-ups inside the gym. This is where we want to be a bit more strategic than with our swings. With the three rounds in mind, a purposeful break may be of benefit early. If we are confident that we’ll get two rounds unbroken, let’s do so and try for the third, but if we don’t believe we’ll make the second set… it may be best to break on the first. What we want to avoid, naturally, is the “stare”. The stare at the pull-up bar, awaiting our pull to come back.
When we feel confident that we are going unbroken on the swings, and at most a single break on the pull-ups, then it comes down to the run. And how much we are willing to suffer. This is why “Helen” is such a good test. If we know our work inside the gym is for the most part fixed (as long as we dial in our transitions), this workout is won and lost on the run.
Pacing wise, if we are looking to move on these runs, we want to visualize ourselves in the area of our ~1-1.5 mile pace. Not an all out sprint, as we need consistency, but it is indeed aggressive.
CrossFit Evergreen – CrossFit
“The purpose of a goal is not to achieve the goal. The purpose of a goal is to become more.” -Tony Robbins
25/18 Calorie Row A 3-round sprint effort that comes down to the cycle time of our movements for our top times.
To start, looking at the three movements, the most important may be the double-unders. This is the only movement of the three that we may actually stop. With excessive trip ups, seconds can disappear here. On the air squats and rowing calories, constantly moving forward will take nothing but effort… even if we are moving slow. But if we mismanage the rope, we can find ourselves re-starting the movement with seconds disappearing. With the rope being the focal point to start, we can back into the other movements.
The next place to focus is the row. We want to be aggressive here, but all in relation to our jump rope. If we speed through our calories but trip up 3+ times on the ensuring set of double-unders, this is of course is counter productive. Our push on the row is relative to how confident we are that we can hold large sets on the following jump rope. This is our second focus point as it can be tempting to push here. Unless we are pushing into higher calorie ranges, the difference may be negligible between a very hard pace and a manageable pace. Seconds yes, but not dozens of seconds. A dozen second on the other hand can disappear very quickly on the jump rope.
A third focus point is the air squats. This is a movement we can push to a point where we’re confident it won’t negatively impact the other two. Although a movement we can speed up, what is more important than absolute speed here is consistency across the rounds.
– Partner 2: ME CFE ultimate (wo) man makers 35/25
(sit up, push up, single arm row right, single arm row left, stand, curl, strict press, overhead tricep extention) – score = total team reps of man makers
– switch roles after the run
CrossFit Evergreen – CrossFit
“If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” – Michelangelo
From a man who is recognized as one of the greatest artists of all time.
There’s the intoxicating myth in our society that there is such a thing as natural, born talent. An “anointed” factor that leads to such heights of achievement.
Yet here he is, Michelangelo himself, expressing his backbone to success.
It’s easy to dismiss achievements to factors we can’t control. To say history is by chance. It’s far harder, to admit that it’s another level of true grit and unrelenting effort. To realize that the great Michaelangelo simply worked his ass off.
When we recognize through his very own admission that his success was found through his unyielding desire to work through adversity after adversity… we too, can see our potential in whatever we choose to pursue.
Greatness is not by chance. It is by choice. We just need to work for it.
Sets #3-7 (5 Sets) – Build to a heavy for the day.
Snatch Pull – Arms stay long and loose. We finish here with a big shrug at the top, but we do not actively bend the elbows. Focus here is on bar path, breaking off the ground and keeping in close contact with the body through active lats.
Low Hang Power Snatch – Bar is as close to the ground as possible, but not touching the ground. This trains postural strength as we are lowering to a near floor position, but forcing ourselves to control the descent as well as start from a challenging position.
On the 4:00 x 5 Rounds:
15/12 Calorie Row
9 Barbell-Facing Burpees
6 Power Snatches
Barbell – 95/65 Rx+=135/95
Building intensity through intervals. We are looking to have our athletes finish in the rough area of two minutes per round. This will naturally vary between athletes. Our score however, will only be our slowest round.
In other words, if we have rounds that look as follows, the slowest time will be our score for the day:
1:45, 1:49, 2:01, 2:09, 1:52
Stimulus wise, we have a moderately heavy barbell at the end of each set – the 6 power snatches. We are looking for a load that we could cycle for 9+ repetitions when completely fresh, if we went for it. On the challenging side, but one that we are very confident we could complete in sets throughout the workout if we had to. Singles at a point inside this workout is by no means the wrong approach – but we want the barbell to be managable enough so that we simply aren’t forced to.
Today is a great opportunity to push the bike. To capitalize on the exponential accumulaiton of calories. Recognizing that our rest is going to be limited between rounds, it is not an all-out sprint, but let’s get outside out comfort zone here, reminding ourselves that we are in training. We’d rather make a mistake here by pushing a bit too hard on the bike, than not hard enough.
On the barbell-facing burpees, a smooth, methodical pace is our aim. We are looking for an immediate transition to the barbell, so being a touch conservative on our pacing here to allow that will be important. If we see ourselves struggling some on the barbell loading, we want to pace these a little more. If we are very storng on the barbell, we can push our intensity here.
And finally, on this power snatch barbell, we are looking for an aggressive finish. We do not need to complete these six repetitions unbroken, but as the stimulus details above, we could if we had to on the first round.