Mixing it up

by carney on April 19, 2014

Andy mixing it up on the rings.

Our program integrates four or more training cycles into the weekly plan at any given time. Over time, each training cycle runs its course and a new one take its place. Our longest training cycle began September 2013 with the introduction of “Hero Saturdays.” Every Saturday, we take on one of the “Hero” Benchmark WODs. Though we attempt to stick to alphabetical order, there are times we will skip over one or several and then come back to them at a later date. Due to the longer duration of many of the Hero WODs, Saturday’s class was lengthened to 90 minutes.

This Saturday, we are mixing it up and deviating from the Hero benchmarks to challenge ourselves with one of the “storms” (another category of physical tests) that could be a “hero” due to its prescribed load and the length of time it takes many to complete it.

Workout of the Day

Five rounds for time:
Run 800 m
30 kettlebell swings, 32 kg
30 pull-ups


Freedom to choose

by carney on April 18, 2014

Travis and Terra row hard for 1 minute as Abby waits for her round to start again.

Which wolf do you feed? An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there’s a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, and truth.” The boy thought about it, then asked, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

The above parable is one of my favorites. Every day we are faced with choices. Each choice offers different paths. Sometimes these paths can lead in nearly opposite direction to one another. You can only choose one direction, and you are not allowed to go back, only forward. Feeling the emotions that stir within you can help to direct you along your path. Are the emotions of jealousy, resentment, greed, etc. dominating your days? Then perhaps it is time to choose another path.

Workout of the Day

Five rounds for time:
3 rope ascents, 10 ft, legless and starting from the knees
12 gator crawls
24 walking lunges, carrying 45 lb dumbbell


The power of position

by carney on April 17, 2014

Alaina aggresively pulls herself under the bar to “catch” it in an overhead squat.

There are 3 key positions in the barbell clean: The starting position, the “hang position” when the bar is level with the knees, and the landing where the athlete is at the bottom of a front squat. There are other positions that are also important (i.e. “explosion point” or high hang position, and full extension at the end of second pull), but we like to nail down these three first.

There are 3 key positions for the jerk: The rack, the bottom of the “dip”, and the finish when the arms are locked out overhead.

You have to be able to get into these positions correctly and effortlessly, if you are going to express your strength dynamically. Adding weight will not help. And any progress you hope to achieve will be severely limited until you do.

Any day you can add more weight to the barbell is a good day, but one of our milestone benchmarks for the clean & jerk is 125% body weight. The only chance you have of getting that amount of weight overhead is by staying in position.

Workout of the Day

Clean & jerk, 1 rep max and total volume

We’re looking for the max load lifted, as well as total volume lifted throughout the session. Take your time with technical lifts (e.g. snatch, clean & jerk, Turkish get-ups). Increase the load incrementally. When you get to a sticking point, or miss a lift early in the progression, immediately lighten the load by 5% – 10% and tighten up your position and technique.


The first one

by carney on April 16, 2014

Rise and grind, 05:30.

The “first muscle-up” is coveted by many in CrossFit. Three key ingredients for muscle-up success are (1) 5+ chest to bar, dead hang pull-ups, (2) ring dips, and (3) maintaining a solid position through the transition. Though there are many ways to coach the muscle-up, we have a simple and direct approach that has worked well for us.

First, the chest to the bar pull-up is our standard pull-up. As soon as a student can pull their chest to the bar, we teach them the “transition drill,” (identical to the one Berger describes in the video below). Along with building strength at the top of the pull-up and bottom of the dip, the last piece is to simply try-like-mad to get that first one.

For further study:

The Muscle-up by Greg Glassman
Muscle-up Virtuosity: Part 1 by Lauri Galassi
Muscle-up Virtuosity: Part 2 by Lauri Galassi
The Kipping Muscle-up by Lauri Galassi
Paoli’s Muscl-up Progression: Part 1 by Carl Paoli
Paoli’s Muscl-up Progression: Part 2 by Carl Paoli
Getting Better at the Muscle-up by Russell Berger

Workout of the Day

Three rounds for time:
Run 300 m
6 muscle-ups
12 deadlifts, 110 kg


CrossFit lifer

by carney on April 15, 2014

Lisa ascends the rope for the first time in a WOD as her husband Tim cheers her on!

“I’ve been training at CrossFit Missoula for over 2 yrs and I consider myself a lifer. My kids even attend the CrossFit kids classes. This place is the best thing that’s happened to me and my family.” – Lisa

Workout of the Day

For time:
Row 500 m

Recover 3 minutes

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes:
6 power cleans, 60 kg
9 knees to elbows
12 push-ups


More squat

by carney on April 15, 2014

Alaina and Daira get full depth out of their front squats.

Every exercise requires and develops the mobility, stability, and strength specific to the physical requirements of the movement. Want to get better at squats? Squat more.

Workout of the Day

In as few sets as possible:
75 front squats, 50 kg


See you monday

by carney on April 12, 2014

Andy completely finishing the second pull.

It’s Saturday.

Did you get your training in this week? If not, why not? Is strength, speed, and power important? Is fitness important? What will having it versus not having it do for you? Can you truly afford to not train?

Find the answers to those questions and burn them in your soul.

See you Monday!

Workout of the Day

Six rounds for time:
50 pound carry, 400 m
12 push-presses, 115 lb
12 box jumps, 24 in
12 sumo-deadlift high pulls, 95 lb

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In case you missed it

by carney on April 11, 2014

Tim and Scott rip through thrusters and burpees from CrossFit Games Open 14.5.

Back in 2005, the Royal Canadian Infantry School in Canada tested CrossFit against their Army fitness program.

Click to go to the CrossFit Journal article

Workout of the Day

For max load:
Front squat, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps


Only one

by carney on April 10, 2014

Kelly pressing to lockout on a push-press.

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

Each of us is at the center of our experience and has full control of our ability to decide and act. Whether we choose to exercise this right or not, it is there.

Individually, each part of our body supports and is supported by another. The hand can not grip as tightly if the shoulder does not have the foundational support of the spine, pelvis, and ribs. The back will not support even a moderate load on the deadlift if there is dysfunction in the tissues and joints of the pelvis and low back. If you want to be strong, if you want to be fit, you have to teach and train your body to work as an organized unit. You have to restore mobility, stability, and strength to weak, painful parts.

Socially, the best way we can help others, is by becoming the foundation upon which we will support them to becoming better people. Like a great human pyramid, there are those who have supported us in our lives, those upon whose shoulders we stand, and there are those that we give support to, those who stand on our shoulders.

A better image might be that of a giant rug of woven fibers. All of the 7 billion plus human lives makeup one thread of the cloth. Cut, abrade, or remove one thread and the fabric becomes weak.

It stands to reason then that each living thread, every person, would have a self-interest in helping to strengthen the social fabric.

What is the one thing you will do today to improve your self for the benefit of all?

Workout of the Day

“Hard Cindy”
5 weighted pull-ups, 35 lb
10 elevated push-ups, 30 in
15 squats, holding a 45 lb plate

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Work zone

by carney on April 9, 2014

Willy getting after a 32 kg (70 lb) Turkish get-up.

There are 20 unique lifts in our 1 rep max testing cycle. The Turkish get-up is one of them. Each movement in the 27 week cycle, tests and develops one’s strength through specific ranges of motion. Each movement, each lift, has been specifically chosen for its unique effect on our athlete’s ability to express strength. Strength being defined as the productive application of force. In other words, we work.

Workout of the day

For max load:
Deadlift, 3-3-3 reps

Nine rounds for time:
3 rogue complexes, two 45 lb dumbbells
6 toes to bar