CrossFit HQ is really driving for gymnastics strength with a focus on posterior chain development. Though to the casual observer they may have looked nothing alike, Monday’s three part workout was almost exactly like Saturday’s. Saturday included 3 rounds of L-pull ups, push ups and rowing mixed together. Monday’s program broke those up allowing athletes to work on each element independent of the others.
The Dumbbell Row
The pendulum swings. The DB Row hearkens back to the days when isolation movements like bicep curls ruled the gym. Could it be a valuable babe was thrown out with the bath water? The DB Row is a great way for athletes to isolate their latissimus dorsi (lats), the muscles critical to executing pull ups properly, especially strict and chest-to-bar pull ups. Many athletes struggle to intentionally activate their lats or lack strength in their lats and so compensate by using their arms in the pull up often resulting in bicep tendonosis. For these athletes, practicing first with loads well below body weight, such as the dumbbell, is a great way to develop strength and functional awareness. So rather than the very challenging strict pull ups, we worked yesterday on the more accessible dumbbell rows. Many of the stronger athletes easily used 85lbs. Sandman did a precarious 90lbs. And though the coach in me cringed, I couldn’t help but cheer Magnum’s 95lb rebuttal.
Push ups are made more difficult by raising the feet and creating more load on the upper body, the ultimate of course being stacked vertically in a handstand so that the feet take little or none of the load. So while yesterday’s pull up motion was made easier, the push up was made more challenging. Working the eccentric phase by lowering under control is the best way to develop strength for strict handstand push ups. We had several variations available including boxes, abmats and dumbbells for those who needed. For those already possessing strong HSPU’s we introduced a deficit. Gymkata did an impressive 6.75 inch deficit while Blue, Smokey & Magnum (yes, him again) punched their tickets to the exclusive “Foot Long” club with a 12 inch deficit.
We finished out with a dose of intensity with this benchmark test. Hi-Power’s 8:06.9 was the top score for the women and for a change Magnum was not on the top of this list as BFG reclaimed his rowing dominance with a 6:57.7 finish.
|Under 12:00||Sprite, Sevena|
|Under 10:15||Riot, Motor||Big Z|
|Under 9:15||Santardilla, Phoenix, FeProf, Gymkata|
|Under 9:00||Boomer, Dauntless, Back Draft, Fierce, Delta Nu||Blue|
|Under 8:45||Crusher, Electric|
|Under 8:30||Hard Rock||Arrow, Smokey, Method Man|
|Under 8:15||Hi-Power||Mufasa, Yeti, Big Cat|
|Under 8:00||Mr. Fantastic, Smash, The Rock|
|Under 7:30||Sandman, Badger, The Heat|
|Under 7:15||Rowdy, Magnum|
While yesterday’s elements were strikingly familiar and speak to CrossFit HQ’s 2019 running theme, this time they were presented and worked upon separately rather than jumbled together. Incidentally, many elite CrossFit athletes spend significant time honing their skills this way. It’s great for us to do so from time to time as well.