Tag Archives: CrossFit Total

Monday, 2/6/12

5 Feb

By the end of this week we’ll be trying to have everyone on board with the new MINDBODY scheduling system – if you’re unaware of the changes, please check out this post. To get started with signing up for classes, just go here. This is all a big part of making CFCC as safe, and as organized as possible – everyone reaps the benefits!  Please don’t hesitate to email us at crossfitcc@gmail.com if you have any questions – and thanks for dealing with the shift!

ALSO LOOK! —————–> clicking on the “Sign Up For a Class” button will take you directly to the page for signing up for classes!

A little update:  As most of you know, I (Erin) have been dealing with some weirdness in my ribcage (I have a damaged rib due to coughing – yep, it’s just that boring!).  If I’m sighing a lot, speaking a little more slowly and softly than usual, it’s because my breathing is being affected by the rib – I think you’re great! 🙂  And on that note, thank you so much for the emails, facebook messages, and comments regarding my well-being – it means a lot!  Unfortunately it looks like my recovery will take well over 2 weeks so you will notice a change in the Coaching patterns of CFCC. Specifically, I’ll be shadowing a lot, working on the new space, still teaching my Intro to Oly classes but mostly, not doing a lot of moving around in the interest of getting better as soon as possible.  I appreciate your patience with the changes in schedule!

Specialized Classes: Mobility with Tim at 730pm, Advanced Olympic Lifting from 6-730pm.

Looking for pictures of the CrossFit Total?  You should like us on Facebook!

Andreas, pulling over 400 at the CrossFit Total.

SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Foam Roll, 5 minutes.
MOBILITY: Wall Quad Stretch with overhead reach, 1 minute each side. Band Behind You and Overhead, 1 minute each side. Adductor Mobs, 30 seconds each side. Leg Swings, 30 seconds each side.
DYNAMIC WARM-UP: Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes either 1 pull-up, 2 pull-ups, or 3 pull-ups. Pronated Grip. Pick your band if you need one. Do not use one that sends you to failure. If you do go to failure for any reason during the cycle at any time, back down to an easier band or an easier variation (i.e. if you were on 3 pull-ups and fail on the 5th minute, back down to two pull-ups in the next minute). Try to do better this week than you did last!
ACTIVATION: Box Jump, work up to a peak of 1 in 5 minutes.
METABOLIC CONDITIONING: Death by Thrusters (every minute on the minute 1 more thruster than the minute before, starting with 3 thrusters in the first minute). Pick and record your load: (45/65/95/135)

The last time that we did “Death By Thrusters”


New Programming! 4 Weeks of Greasing the Groove, and a Review of the Total.

22 Jan

Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

Keep the Goal the Goal. – Dan John

Every cycle is an experiment in finding something that serves the broad purpose of CrossFit Center City: to make powerful, healthy athletes. Our last experiment (from the previous total in early September to the total this past weekend) was to play with high volume squatting at higher intensities (intensity as measured by a greater percentage of max, so, less 5,3,2,1 stuff and more doubles and singles more often, but still fast) than normal and in the absence of the same for deadlifting to create a better TOTAL amount for three lifts.

As is evidenced by the 65 people who lifted in our last CrossFit Total, we succeeded. Even with the presence of deadlifting 2 months out of 4 in a cycle, 60 out of 65 PR’d their deadlifts, 63 of 65 PR’d their squat, and over %50 of members taking a chance at the press PR’d their press. In max reps, CFCC lifted over 7,000 pounds.

Other fun facts?

Not counting the coaches, there were 32 men and 27 women lifting.  Last time, this was 16 men and 16 women.

Of those 32 men, 6 were squatting over 315 and 3 men squatted 375lbs. (Hunter, Lux, Sean). 6 men were squatting very close to 300 (Jeff, Bova, Daffy, Hollander, Taylor, and Dorcus). 11 men were deadlifting over 300lbs. for the first time. 10 men were deadlifting over 400lbs (for the first time, Weisman, Nat, Andreas, Tyler, Taylor, Wilson, and Dorcus). Heitz, pulling 385lbs. is close. Lux is edging towards 500 at 455lbs. and Hunter pulled over 500lbs. (505) for the first time ever.

Of the 27 women, 8 were squatting over 200lbs, with Amber coming in close to it at 190lbs. Angie, true to form and always a crowd pleaser ☺, PR’d her squat at 253lbs – currently the best women’s squat in the gym. Additionally, Angie easily PR’d her deadlift at 350lbs. (also the best deadlift in the gym). A few women pulled over 200lbs. for the first time (Sparker, Abbey, Amber, Morgan, Leila, and Youngblood). Among the women deadlifting, 12 pulled over 225lbs. with Joey pulling an impressive 255lbs., and Meredith and Tess pulling 275lbs. Meredith made a gallant attempt at 300lbs. twice and will surely pull more than this at the next total. Record pulled 305lbs. putting her in a club of women at CFCC numbering a select four.

Next time, we’ll have to measure the actual poundage of PRs…so keep track of where you’re at, CFCC! 

One of the things that most members have expressed in the last few months and one of the elements that I’ve found lacking most in our training is good old fashioned Pull-up Strength Endurance. This cycle you’ll notice some changes in the structure of our every-day programming.

How does better Pullup Strength Endurance fit into that?

Grip Strength: you’re really only as strong as what you can hold.
Shoulder Health: Good shoulders pull well.
Body Composition: There’s nothing like a pull-up to encourage you to be as lean as possible (the more you weigh the harder it gets)– and nothing activates the body in quite the same way that a basic pull-up does – there is more abdominal activation involved in a pull-up than any crunch you could ever muster. Said another way, a personal trainer friend of mine once said when he saw me doing pull-ups, “they make yo back like a map.”
Running: Yup, believe it or not there is a strong correlation between good runners and max pullup sets. True, correlation is not proof, but it’s not a coincidence either.
Metcon: Every other CrossFit benchmark workout involves a pull-up of some sort and if you want to be dedicated to doing them well and in large amounts, you simply have to do them a lot of the time and more often, but NEVER incorrectly or to fatigue (ask a Marine – the required amount of strict deadhang pull-ups for men is 20 reps).

So what’s this translate to?

We’ll be greasing the groove – for more on this theory of training – check out this post.  We’ll be doing lots of other movements, still working on lots of skills, and still squatting – the deadlift will be saved for metcons during this cycle, but it’ll definitely be in the mix. In about two weeks some more classes will be added to the full schedule: a Shoulder Prehab Course and a few more Intro to Olympic Lifting Classes per week.

Check out the full format of every week below.

MONDAY – Warm-up = Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes either 1 pull-up, 2 pull-ups, or 3 pull-ups. Pronated Grip. Pick your band if you need one. Do not use one that sends you to failure. If you do go to failure for any reason during the cycle at any time, back down to an easier band or an easier variation (i.e. if you were on 3 pull-ups and fail on the 5th minute, back down to two pull-ups in the next minute). Metcon – Quad Dominant (meaning, some kind of squatting).

TUESDAY – Strict Muscle-up Skill/Strength Work and Gymnastics Dominant Metcons (Ring Work (Dips and Push-ups), Rolls, Handstand Walking, Single Leg Work).

WEDNESDAY – Warm-up = 1 attempt at a max set of Kipping Pull-ups or, if you do not kip or would like to use strict pull-ups instead, max a set of strict pull-ups. Use any grip you wish. Front Squat, Peak of 5, 3, 2, 1. Hip Dominant Metcons (Deadlifting, Kettlebell Swinging, Rowing, etc.)

THURSDAY – Warm-up = Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes either 1 pull-up, 2 pull-ups, or 3 pull-ups. Supinated Grip. Jerk from the Rack, (Push, or Split), up to a single every week. Those with testy shoulders should choose to Press or Push Press instead of Jerk. If you haven’t spent a cycle Pressing at CFCC, you should stick with the press.

FRIDAY – Strength: Pull-up (Pronated Grip, up to a quick peak of 1).  Benchmark Metcons.

SATURDAY – Benchmark Metcons.

I don’t think I need to say this, but just in case…

…the pull-up starts at a full hang (no bent elbows!) and ends with the chin breaking the horizontal and vertical plane of the bar.  There are no exceptions to this range of motion.  If you want to get the most out of your pull-ups for your shoulders, end them as often as you can with your shoulder blades back and down at the top of the pull (you shouldn’t be shrugging).  You should look as LITTLE like a chicken as possible (don’t stick your neck out, keep your chin tucked!).  Form matters – more than you know until it’s kind of too late…  If you have bent elbows you need to get to work on that YESTERDAY and this is a great place to start!

Also, because we’re not kipping THAT often (only on the days where it says we are or during some benchmark workouts) your hands should be mostly fine.  In case any of you need some review of how to deal with hand issues in CrossFit though – don’t forget to consult this post.  As with all injuries, always tell us via email as soon as you can!

Eat it, don't be it.

Remember, members don’t let other members short their pull-ups.  Take pride in the virtuosity of your craft and don’t count your reps unless you’ve MADE them count.

And with all that said, here’s to the next four weeks!

Who’s going to the CrossFit Total?

18 Jan

With our new, more efficient system of moving everyone through the stations for the total we think we can get you in and out of here in an hour.  Frightening?  Ah, but so many things in life worth doing really are!  All that aside, check the schedule below even if you believe you have signed up for a time because times may have changed slightly and if you’re looking for a spot, sign up by commenting and telling me which one, if you aren’t in the right spot, also tell me that too.  Yes, I’d like you to comment and not email or Facebook message me – it keep things all in one place and we’ll be referencing this post on the blog a lot.  Thanks, everyone!  Your cooperation is appreciated! VIVA LA TOTAL!

Last Total (in late August) 8 tons was lifted by 16 men and 16 women – we’re looking to beat that number this time around! To see your final scores from last year’s Total go here.

This list has been updated as of 530pm on Wednesday night – please make sure you comment ASAP if you need to reschedule or if you need to sign up!

*** Remember: your start time is when you walk into the Back Squat Warm-up Area ***


1. Amber Baird
2. Matt Dorcus
3. Abbey Sangmeister
4. Joanna Rhoads
5. Jason Chen (J-DAWG)
6. Andreas Andrews
7. Matt Livingstone
8. Stephanie Parker
9. Kimberly Blessing
10. Jim Heitzenrater

1030am-1130am: (new time slot!)

1. Lindsay Steussy
2. Sarah Stahl
3. Gabrielle Lackman
4. Taylor Roye
5. Chrissey Barba
6. Tim Lux
7. Sean Braun


1. Angie Marfisi
2. Eileen Horgan
3.  Tess Thorman
4. Jordan Hollander
5. Morgan Vozobule
6. Rachel Miller
7. Kate Cheresnick
8. Corey Cheresnick
9. Jordan Klein
10. Tara Garlinghouse

1130am-1230pm: (new time slot!)

1. Christine Mackintosh
2. Mike Mackintosh
3. Nick Weisman
4. Leila Ely
5. Brian Norcross
6. Neha Sachdev
8. Jeff Goldberg-Boom
9. David Jaffe
10. Zachary Caplan

1230pm-130pm: NO ONE LIFTING – Coaches get a much needed break.


2. David Wisniewski
3. Matthew Wilson
4. Emily Record
5. Tyler Danna
6. John Bova
7. Tina Ellis
8. Brandi Mae Chittum
9. Jim Van Horn
10. Hunter Blackmore


1. Reuben Asia
2. Drew Feith Tye
3. Jens Olson
4. Aniket Deosthali
5. Bill Kennedy
6. Brian Kiefer
7. Ian (PR) Clement
8. Natalia Broz
9. Johnny Cunningham
10. Carson Campbell

230-330pm: *If not filled, there’s no guarantee we’ll keep this spot.  Sorry, guys.

1. Cathyrn Sanderson
2. Nat Arem
3. Deanna Quinones

3-4pm: *If not filled there’s no guarantee we’ll keep this spot. Sorry, guys.

1. Annie Stone
2. Michael Pidgeon
3. Meredith Lowe (maaaaaybe)
4. Thai Nguyen
5. Len Smith

Everything you need to know about the CrossFit Total.

17 Jan

Daffy, in one of my favorite photos ever, by Ramsey Beyer.

It’s the week of the CrossFit Total!

The CrossFit Total, as many of you know, is this coming weekend on Saturday! The deadline to sign up for a time slot is THIS THURSDAY. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to max your deadlift, back squat, and press in one day! You get three attempts to max once you’re on deck. Usually this means your first is a given, your second is a PR attempt, and your third is something WILDLY crazy that may or may not actually lead to your getting petechia.

We do this two times a year and it’s always completely worth it to see how far your training has allowed you to progress. If you’re wondering why we emphasize Strength so much at CFCC, check this explanation out from the Mayo Clinic.  Also, remember to be familiar with this article from the CrossFit Journal, – strength plays a huge part in the foundation of a good athlete and an optimally healthy person.

For more information about the CrossFit Total go here.

To see what Totalling looks like at CrossFit Center City, go here, and here.

What to do on the day of:

The gym will be open on Saturday morning pretty early and will be all laid out so you understand exactly where you should go when you get there. Since sometimes we have spectators (WHO ARE VERY WELCOME) it’s important that everyone follow directions and stay in their designated areas. The CrossFit Total is open to members of the gym ONLY.

A great mobility piece for Squatting Big, photo by Ramsey Beyer.

Upon entering the gym, Emily Avener, our lovely new/old all around CFCC Superfriend will be directing you to a warm-up station along with giving you a much less entertaining summary of the structure of the day. Should you have any questions about where to be or what to be – you can always ask her, or myself (Erin) what you should do. Once your hour of lifting has begun, you are expected to report to the platform – aka, if you signed up for 10am – that’s when you move from general warm-up to warming up for your first lift.

Rach, in the first space CFCC occupied (you can understand by looking at this why we REALLY needed to move), back squatting what she currently triples easily. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

As a subset of the Squatting Area – the Squatting Warm-up Area will be manned by Chris Santaniello, the man with a heart of gold and almost as many box jumps as Record (sorry, Chris). In all seriousness, Chris will be there to get you from empty barbell to your first attempt on the platform so be ready to tell him what weights you’d like to open with if any.

The Squatting Warm-up Area and Platform will both be downstairs in the CFCC Strength Dungeon and will be manned by none other than the illustrious Jim Rutter and the infamous Tim Heckman (of TIMJIM, a new jerky made only of the wildest boar of German forests). They will be your trusted spotters and will guide you should you need assistance in making fateful decisions about what weights to lift for your three attempts at the best back squat you can muster.

Meghan, pulling 300lbs. - a year in the making. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

Once you have squatted you will ever-so-slyly be asked to move directly on to warming up for your Deadlift. You may sumo or conventional deadlift since there is no reward but the sheer ecstasy of your own personal improvement. Mistressing the Deadlift Warm-up station on the First Floor of the gym will be a woman of sound mind and +345lb. Deadlifting Body: Cassie Haynes Grassia. Cassie, a CFCC Coach in training (what, what?) will be able to help you ramp up to your first of three attempts at the MOST WEIGHT YOU CAN PICK UP, otherwise known as the Deadlift.

A woman who can single leg deadlift your mom will be waiting for you on the Deadlift platform. Elizabeth Edmonds, known for her keen eye and shameless love of a good lockout will be watching your deadlift attempts and will actually signal you to drop your deadlift if and only if she truly believes you are done. Pine for the signal, friends – it means real and good things have happened.

Arrus, racked for the press. Photo by Ramsey Beyer.

Summoning up all your courage you may take your buzzing spinal erectors to the Barbell Pressing Platform where you will be asked to name your three attempts and simply work up to them as you are able. The aptly named Samantha “Pixie Warrior” Wright, will be standing by to sprinkle eager admonitions of “HEAD THROUGH, HEAD THROUGH, HEAD THROUGH,” at you for as many reps as she must (but no more than three).

After EVERY lift (and not at the end of all lifts) you MUST report your numbers to Avener for her safe-keeping. They will be placed on a chart for posterity’s sake and will ne’er be forgotten – until you shatter through them at the next CrossFit Total.

How to prepare for the day.

The programming this week is intended to allow for a tapering of your training so that Saturday is the day you will be able to peak appropriately. We often perform lifts for a “peak set” – on the day of the Total, you’re looking to be at the peak of your peaks! We often joke that this is one of two days out of the year that you are allowed to lift slow.

Here are a few steps to making your CrossFit Total day as good as it can be:

1. Do train during the week. Every day of this week will attempt to keep intensity high, and volume low. You should feel powerful and a little antsy by Saturday. The movements of the total will be in the rotation but they will not be exhausted by any means. Friday’s training in regular classes will reflect the total but will also contain an alternate WOD for members who will not be able to make Saturday (the Total).
2. Go to Mobility class. Gaining better mobility for the lifts is a bit like taking the parking brake off while driving a Ferrari. Without the mobility to complete certain lifts you’re really only partially experiencing your strength.
3. Get lots of rest if you can. Good sleep means good neural recovery which means – fast and strong lifts!
4. Eat before you lift and if you normally do coffee – definitely do it on the day of – but not too much. This may be a day that only focuses on 9 reps but these are some of the hardest reps you’ll do this winter – fuel for them! Don’t eat too much and don’t eat anything that’s tough to digest, i.e. bacon and eggs and a bit of fruit BEFORE total steak, eggs, and potatoes AFTER ☺
5. Know what you want to lift. Come prepared to talk to a coach about what you would like to do that day in the squat, deadlift, and press. Dream dreams of bigger deadlifts, deep squats, and speedy presses.
6. If you want, dress fancy. Ramsey Beyer will be there to capture all the wonderfully strained moments of the day – if you’ve got stuff that makes you look weird, strong, awesome, paleolithic, CFCCish, or more like a superhero – this is your day to strut your stuff.

See? Earrings, purple leopard print pants = better Deadlift. Photo by Mike Mackintosh.

Monday, 1/16/12

15 Jan

The Deadline to sign up for the CrossFit Total is this Wednesday.  Sign up at the gym!

Look what was on TV yesterday 🙂


MOBILITY is at 730pm – flexibility gets you PRs!

SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Foam Roll, 5 minutes.
MOBILITY: Wall Quad Stretch, 1 minute each side. Wall Assisted 90/90, 1 minute each side. Gastroc/Soleus Stretch, 1 minute each side.
DYNAMIC WARM-UP: One round of: 10 reps of: Cat Camel, Hip Swings, Leg Swings, Arm Swings, Squat to Stand, Jump Squat
STRENGTH: Back Squat, peak of 3.
METABOLIC CONDITIONING: Tabata Box Jumps (24/20)

Monday, 1/9/12

8 Jan

A little Monday morning gut check? Why you should eat more, not less, cholesterol – from Chris Kresser. If you’re looking for something very educational to listen to while you fold your laundry, walk around the city, or cook your CFCC BCCC meals – his podcasts are PACKED with mind-boggling insight. Check them out!

Some new times have been added to the Total Sign Up page on the bulletin board. Fill ’em up, CFCC!

Looking for some goals to hit for the Total OR for the New Year? Check out this chart of Basic Strength Standards.

SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Foam Roll as needed, 5 minutes.
MOBILITY: Wall Quad Stretch with Overhead Reach, 1 minute each side.
DYNAMIC WARM-UP: Complete 3 rounds of: 3 Thrusters, 3 Pull-ups (as you will in the metcon).
STRENGTH: Back Squat, up to a fast peak of 3.
METABOLIC CONDITIONING: “Fran” 21-15-9 reps of: Thrusters (95/65), Pull-ups

Previous Fran Times from October 11th.

Everything you’ve EVER wanted to know about Fran.

Mobility, with Tim, meets at 730pm.

Advanced Olympic Lifting meets at 6-8pm and will be taught by Jim. If you have been through Jim’s Oly Cycle before, or if you have tested into the Advanced Class – you are eligible to attend this hour which is intended to help you drill your weakness in the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. The class is capped at 8 attendees so please sign up on the Calendar as soon as possible to confirm your attendance!

CrossFit Total, Take Two

21 Sep

The next total is in January! Will you be ready?