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Back Squat


Add 2.5-10lbs as appropriate

Post loads to comments.
(e3/6) compare to 10.9.11

3 Rounds NFT of:
8-12 Romanian Deadlifts (add 5-10lbs from last week)
Pallof Press, Accumulate :30 in the extended position on each side

Optional DIY finisher:
Max Deadhang Hold
400m Run
Max Deadhang Hold

Once you get off the bar from the first hold immediately run 400m.  As soon as you get back jump up and attempt a second max hold.  Post time for both attempts to comments.

Debbie and Stella <3

Understanding Sets Across

(reposted from 12.14.09)

As you all know, we've been telling all our level 1 athletes to perform "sets across" during our lifting days. For those of you just jumping on board or who might be a little confused, here's the 101 on what we're talking about.

Essentially, "Sets Across" just means that you'll be doing the same weight for all your work sets on a given lift. For example, if you're Back Squatting 5x5, you'll do 3-4 warm-up sets at increasing weights and then perform all 5 reps of all 5 work sets at the same weight. This is in contrast to "Maximal Effort" lifting in which you'd be gaming for a maximal weight at a given rep range.  Many of our newer athletes are not ready neurologically or structurally for this type of lifting and need a ramp up period of sets across to avoid injury and set themselves up for larger gains in the future.

At CFSBK, we pick a pool of 2-3 movements and rotate them for a period of 4 weeks.  In the upcoming cycle that starts tomorrow, you'll be seeing Back Squats, Presses and Deadlifts quite regularly.  Because you know that you'll get 4 exposures to each of these lifts over the next couple weeks, you can game out a strategy for 4 successful lifting sessions.  Here are two examples of what we'd love to see in your log books at the end of the cycle.

Week 1 75x5x5
Week 2 80x5x5
Week 3 85x5x5
Week 4 87x5x5

Week 1 135x5x5
Week 2 145x5x5
Week 3 155x5x5
Week 4 160x5x5

This hypothetical athlete completed all 4 exposures and was able to increase their weights each time.  They never went to failure because they had a plan and were not greedy with weight.  The next time these lifts come up, they'll be able to start at the 3 or 4 week weight and continue to linearly increase their numbers.  Again, with sets across, you'll have to put your lifting into a larger perspective than just what you're doing that day.  You're building a foundation of strength, one brick at at time.

How do I know what weight to start with?
Simply start with something that feels light. Too light.  If you pick a weight that has you struggling to finish your reps the first couple weeks, you've gone too heavy.  Remember that you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of weight lifting and there's no need to rush into big weights.  If you've had some lifting exposure and want to try Sets Across, take your existing max at that rep range and subtract %~20 off of it for a starting weight.

What if I start missing reps?
Eventually you will start to miss reps, ideally this won't be for a full 2-3 cycles of the movement in question.  When this happens, you need to ask yourself and a Coach the following questions: "Was I too greedy with weight?", "Is my technique/mobility on this movement sufficiently developed to handle larger loads?" "Am I having an off day? Did I plan my warm-up sets correctly?" Once we dig a little, we can find out what's going on and help you strategize to keep moving forward.  Sometimes you just need to try the same weight again the following week and sometimes you'll have to drop some weight off the bar and start building back up.

What if I don't come often enough to hit all of these lifting sessions?
If you can only make it to CFSBK a 1-2 times per week, choose one of the movements (Ideally the squat variant) and focus on it for the next four weeks.  You may have to come in a little early or stay late to get your lifts in which is okay with us as long as it doesn't interfere with the running class before or after your own.  This scenario becomes a little more case by case.  If you don't know what to do, consult with one of the coaches and we'll steer you in the right direction.

"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds. " -Henry Rollins

A Few Words With Henry Rollins Cathletics
Game Time SICFIT
Who is John Galt? lululemon athletica
Why Does Asparagus Make Your Pee Smell? Food Republic

Reader Comments (32)

Take a look at this. This guy shall know be known as "Watson"

My Hero

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterDH3

Good to be back with the strength cyclers-- big class for Tuesday!

Recovery day:
Box squat: 185x2x5
-- rocking back a bit on some reps, Jeremy straightened that out.

Bench: 185x5x3
-- last rep on the last two sets were hard. same as last time through.

Clean pull: 175x5x3
-- new exercise since I can't rack the bar. I pull from the floor and do the jump part of the clean with straight arms -- like a shrug.

Strange to be benching what I squatted.

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Speaking of asparagus pee, did anyone have a similar experience after eating massive amounts of kale from the CSA?

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan B

Thanks for that Rollins post. I saw him perform live in Sydney in 2003 at a benefit concert for the West Memphis Three, and was blown away by the energy of the show. It helped that he performed tons of Black Flag classics. I know he pisses off tons of folks, but that show was something else.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra


food for thought...

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeepak Thakran

Love Henry Rollins. What an inspiring figure. Interesting to me that he doesn't lift heavy.

I've been of the opinion that using proper form, heavy lifts are not mutually exclusive to longevitiy. Anybody have thoughts on that? He is trying to preserve his joints.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Stuck around after lifting to work on my shoulder, doing some of the mobility stuff that was on the blog yesterday and some other stuff that David told me to, and all I have to say is, David Osorio is a gift from god. I feel so, so much better already. Definitely going to keep working on this area.

When is the deadline for signing up for the meatshare? I am still considering.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Just checking: is the chicken CSA pickup today?

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Strength cycle day 2. Jenna and I finished early -- part of me wishes I'd stuck around and done mobility work, but the other part of me is very very glad I had time to run home and take a shower! (I had to be at work earlier than normal this morning, ugh.)

BSQ 95x5x3 This was not too hard, and I wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Jeremy's plan to go with a more aggressive jump in weight next time.
Bench press 70x5x3 Again, not too hard and I'm itching for more.
Power clean 53x3x3. Boy, do I still feel like asses 'n' elbows on these. Thanks Jenna for the encouragement (and being a good example to watch)!

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Had a rockin good time this morning at Josh's 7am group class. I think next week I am going to push for 120.

500m Row before class started
Jumping Jack/plank thing
Warmup 1

Back squat:
Worked up to 110# 3x5

3 rounds
10 - 65# Romanian Deadlift
30 second hold Pallof Press

Hang 1 - 36 seconds
400m run
Hang 2 - 40 seconds

HUGE A** BREAKFAST and I am already starving for lunch :(

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLana

Cute Deb/Stella photo!

First night of Strength Cycle Continuing Ed last night:

Squat 140x5x1, then switched to threes: 140x3x3
These felt good! Moved from 5s to 3s because they are a little less taxing on the breath. Am definitely having to widen my stance a tiny bit to make room for belly and am trying to be super aware of depth - i.e. not going ass to ground. Am very happy to still be squatting moderately heavy at 28 weeks.

Press: 52.5x5x3

Acc: Pallof press w/ green band, 8x3

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethany B.

Samir - No The farm emailed last week to tell us that the pick up will be tomorrow, Thursday. from 6-8pm

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargie


Please email the farm as soon as possible. The sooner they know numbers, the sooner they know if we can move forward.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

Fun 6am class with Coach Josh. Nice to work with the long-lost Jason. 175x5x3. These are starting to get heavy. Then RDLs at 95# plus the pallof hold. I prefer the presses to the holds... skipped the cash-out b/c of time constraints and general wimpy-ass-ness.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte


I really liked that article (and most freakonomics articles in general). This part really triggered the biggest reaction from me though was the continuing discussion of.. "And, as we try to tackle obesity, locavorism is likely to raise the cost of precisely the wrong foods". So many documentaries have touched on the fact that the "healthiest" foods are becoming increasingly expensive. For the family that is struggling to feed all the mouths at the table they can buy dinner at mcDonalds for (in many cases) cheaper than fresh vegetables and meat at a supermarket - and this comopletely cancels out the food being organic or local which would just make it even more out of reach.

Food cost, I think, is going to be the biggest mountain to tackle. How do we do local & affordable?

Thanks for sharing the article, good lunch time read.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterasta

Just saw the lululemon post. now that is awesome. My wife is going to get some stuff there within the week! I'll support that!

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Asta, I read somewhere that usain bolt relies primarily on yams for his diet....

also read this one about how the congress/ food lobby thinks 14 cents a meal is "too expensive"


November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeepak Thakran

Lululemon post? What post is that?

Also, is anyone interested in practice softballs? They're like lacrosse balls only bigger and with dimples, perfect for working those hard to reach places. They only come by the dozen and that's too many for the likes of me. Anyone want in?

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYosh

1. Jenna J, I'll gladly endorse that endorsement.
People! Heed the testimonial, do the homework, experience the results! Get at me if you want a 101 on it.

2. Jim, I was surprised that you (and Stella) hadn't said anything yet about the John Galt/lululemon link. Put that up for you two!

3. The "Game Time" video is dope!

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Oh, that lulu post. I'm an idiot.

The softball question still stands.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterYosh

Yosh, I'm totes in for a practice softball.

I have enough workout gear to last me for at least the next ten years (or until I spawn, whichever comes first), but the Lululemon post makes me want to go buy some more. I love supporting businesses that realize Rand's ideas are good.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

there are approximately 80 open positions here at wireless generation, where i have worked for about 5 weeks. we are hiring like mad. also, working in DUMBO is the bombest bomb diggity of all time.

please have a look if you're on the market, and pass it on if you know someone who is:


(location: BROOKLYN)

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Back squatting at 5PM with Shawn (who now squats, for five reps, 45 more pounds than me - talk about pulling away!).

WU: 45x5, 95x5, 135x4, 165x3, 185x2, 215x1
Work: 235x5x3 (this was an ambitious jump of 10 pounds from last week and it showed; lots of reps were real struggles; a couple of knee caves; perhaps a shallow rep in there as well too)

Bailed on accessory work because I had to leave but it took me forever to get out the door so much so that everyone had finished by the time I left!

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

You Guuyyyyysssssssss. I'm reallll embarrassedd about what I did today.. My Dad and I are sorryyyyy.

Please let me come back soon

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHerschel

Strength Cycle Day 2.

BSQ- 220X5X3



It's interesting being on the "other side" of the gym, looking at all the group glass people. I think in my year+ at sbk I had never lifted on the platform before.

Squats felt good, feel stronger as the sets go by. Bench felt heavy but made the reps, and the chins were good.

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterDH3

here's a question.

i just took a 9-day break from squatting. the first time i got back under the bar, i was sore-to-the-point-of-stupid for about 48 hours.

about three and a half days later, i squatted the same exact weight.

and i'm not sore at all, not a lick.

which is how it usually feels during strength cycle. one is rarely sore, even when it's really heavy.

what accounts for the RAPID detraining in those nine days? or is it something less complicated than detraining, something more along the lines of secret chemicals that are or are not produced when you do or do not squat?

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

BSQ felt great at +10 to 155. LaRosa kept me honest on the depth.

The DIY finisher:

3:06 for the first hang!
1:30 400m run
I had blown my load with the first hang, and only lasted :30 for the second

I predict I'll have some crazy sore forearms in the morning.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

-air squats and lax ball love to my right shoulder

(45x5, 95x5, 135x3, 165x2, 185x1)
work: 190x5x3
-wasn't sure how these would feel since I'm still all kinds of sore from the Filthy 50. Only took a 5# jump from last week.
-I still don't feel very organized in these squats but maybe I'm just starting to overthink these too much now. There was never a point where I didn't think I could stand up with the weight.
-Awesome to partner with Rickke...who makes his squats look so easy!

Accessory Work--3 rounds of:
-10 RDL's at 100#
-:30 pallof presses

Skipped out on the dead hangs and run because I had to coach the 8pm class. So sad. ;)

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Awesome to have class w/D-mak today. =)

Foam/LAX'd the hell out of my hamstrings/calves. I'm beat from Filthy 50.
(45x5, 135x3(spaced out on reps), 165x5)
work: 185x3x5

This week was good. My ego suffered last week when I couldn't get it together - I started too heavy on this exposure. I had a bit of a mind game to get around today, but the weight felt good. Heavy, but I could control it. Fox said I probably don't need to go as deep as I do. My knees are still a fight, but I feel like it's better.

Did accessory work. Hung out for 1:05 and then 50 seconds. Not long, but I was really trying to maintain my activated shoulder position.

Then got an awesome massage, I can kinda see my collarbones! I'm on the warpath to open my chest up and get my shoulders back down my back...

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

Great squatting with Jess today even though she abandoned me during the dead hangs and running. :)

235x5x3 - up 10# from last week
felt pretty good. still working on getting a consistent bounce out of the bottom.

RDLs 135x10x3
30 sec pall off press x 3

1:15 1st hang
1:01 2nd hang

Impressive 3+ min hang, Brandon!

November 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterRickke

205x5x3 on the deadlift.
115 on the RDL’s
Dead hang 1:00
run 2:00
dead hang 1:05
grip was shot

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

Made up Strict Presses at the work gym
135-145(PR tie)-150F (got 2 reps)

Squat 3x5 @ 255 (10 pounds up from last week)
RDL @ 135 + Pallof Presses (+10)
Hang 1 @ 3:20
Run 400m
Hang 2 @ 1:00

Felt good today.

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDM

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