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Bench Press

Fitness: 3x5 Across
Start cycle light enough to add weight for six weeks

Performance: 2x5, 1xMax Reps <10
Start cycle at 70% of 1RM

Post loads to comments.
Bench Press e1/6


3 Rounds for max reps:
1 Minute V-Ups or Tuck Ups
1 Minute Burpees or Squat Thrusst
1 Minute Dumbbell Hang Power Snatch
1 minute Rest


3 Rounds for max reps:
1 Minute Toes to Bars
1 Minute Burpees
1 Minute Dumbbell Power Snatch @33% of bodyweight
1 minute Rest

For both Performance and Fitness, alternate arms per rep on Snatches.

Post total reps and Rx to comments.


Heavy Thoughts: Part 2

We recently asked how you guys and gals structure your thoughts before attempting a complex or demanding lift. Last time we talked about the importance of having a ritual. Here is part 2 in our coaching tips to help you optimize your mental training experience.

Cultivate Confidence
Whether you realize it or not, every time you go to pick up something heavy you're going into a fight. At near max efforts your margin of error becomes paper thin and even a little self doubt can can mean the difference between an epic PR or an epic fail.  I've seen so many people week in and week out miss even light weights because they didn't trust themselves. They hesitated and subsequently didn't commit to the lift. An experienced lifter knows that at a certain point, you've simply got to shut up and go for it.  The analysis is over and it's time for action.  Sometimes this manifests as a floor stopping, adrenaline filled pre-lift ritual and sometimes it's a quiet confidence that's attained. Either way, you want to fill your mind with simple positive reinforcement and visualize yourself being successful (more on that later). Try to channel how it's going to feel hitting that weight as if you already did it before touching the bar. Developing confidence is both a skill and integral part of your technical development. A slight hesitation can be just as crippling as shifting forward while you snatch, either way, you're going to blow the lift. Start by practicing your confidence with your warm-up weights and be mindful about how your mentality changes as the weight goes up.  Will you keep up with the weight or let it roll you over?

How do you establish pre-lift confidence?
Powerlifting: The Mentality Mark Bell
The power of adrenaline: Man lifts car off 3 year old boy
History of the Turkish Get Up CrossFit Belair

Reader Comments (31)

Congrats to Jay,Chris,Pierre, Keith,Charmel at the christmas throw down and for Bob taking first place at his division ! after reading their post I'm really thinking of trying out next year!!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Morning - yest was an hour of yoga first thing in am with Whitney, which loosened my up really well, then presses, deadlifts, and some C2 work.

I've also gotten into the zone for anything by having a song in my head. Ever since, I kid you not, I one a tennis tournament in high school with "The Power of Love," I swear, I've been doing this.

Usually for platform work it's something like the beginning of "radar love" or something like that.

Hey, whatever works! I'd go with Shake your bon bon if it added 20 pounds!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Nice work, masterful masters!

6:30 AM class at CrossFit Nola:

EMOTM for 10 minutes:
Even minutes: 5-8 roll-ups (I don't have enough strict T2B to have done those, unfortunately)
Odd minutes: 0:20 Superman hold

WOD: Death by shuttle sprints (5m and back) -- I got to 10, plus 10 out of the 11th set (gah!).

Hoping that a) tomorrow's class here contains barbell work and b) I can make myself get up for the 5:30 AM class. I really, really, REALLY miss barbells!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

PS, sorry, DO, didn't get to say hi to Liz. I think she teaches at the original location (they have three now, I went to the newest one).

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am with NickDowell

Bench Press: 165x5, 165x5, 165x9

WOD: 151 reps

Glad to be back in a cycle. Felt sluggish today. Maybe because I had some slight food poisoning yesterday.

When I remember to do it, I quiet my mind, focus, and create tension and awareness throughout my body, from the bottoms of my feet, through my core, to the muscles in my neck and head. Becoming aware of all the parts of my body and feeling the energy and commitment through the whole system gives me confidence. I guess it's like a team huddle before a play.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

Greetings from Michigan! Worked out at CrossFit North Industry with my best friend's husband this morning. Had a great experience with one of the owners (Dennis) coaching the class. Also, the gym is still new (about 8 months old) so Rick and I were the only two students in the class. Lots of attention!

Warm up:
3 RNFT of:
Crab walks across the gym
Bear crawls across the gym
15 lateral leg swings

Find a 1RM power clean
Got to 118# - a 5# PR! Only hit it once and then couldn't get it back, but still. 113# is feeling more like a sure thing these days, which is exciting.

5 RFT of:
8 hang power cleans @ 95# (scaled to 73#)
24 lateral jumps (over the barbell)
6:03. This WOD was way harder than it sounded to me. Those lateral jumps - woof!

If anyone is ever in the Livonia area (20 miles west of Detroit) come to this box. Great space, new equipment, and great coaching. Thanks to Dennis for having me! Also, my friend and her husband (Anna and Rick) both got into CrossFit within the past year, as well as a more paleo lifestyle, so I've enjoyed a few healthy meals since I've gotten here. Also, a few unhealthy ones, like an entire fried chicken dinner with kraut and potatoes at an old school German restaurant yesterday. Must've been why I PRed today.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Heads up for anyone looking to compete this winter


December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

How do you establish pre-lift confidence?

I visualize myself performing the lift several times in my head. This is a technique you can obviously apply to anything in life. but it is particularly powerful and effective at the gym.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterj Fid

As Strength Cycle has continued "heavy thoughts" is something i have really been working on and working through. The "shut up and go for it" factor has become a definite part of my mental process - there comes a point where you have to literally stop talking about it. I find the more i talk about the upcoming session or particular lift, the more i psych myself out and then have to re-psych myself back up. So i've made a particular effort to minimize this. Before stepping to the bar i take a few minutes of "quiet time" to myself. I stop chatting with everyone (usually having nothing to do with the lift) and take a few minutes to focus. I usually tell myself "you are strong and you WILL do this!" The positive self-talk has helped because i know the only thing that gets in the way of my physical strength is getting stuck in my head.
Also, my squat weight has not just moved into some uncharted territory but to a place i never expected, especially Wednesday and Friday of last week (each were 3x5: 235 & 240 respectively). I'm currently working on how i view my strength, just HOW strong that is, and how that strength will develop. This mental part is coming along but i still get a little freaked out.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

For squat: I stare at the bar. I put my hands on the bar, and continue to stare at the bar. We are sort of enemies and sort of friends, but we are not frenemies. We are like those episodes of cartoons where the sides that are usually fighting each other team up to stop some greater foe. I don't really like the bar, but we'll have to work together if I'm going to stand back up 1, 3, or 10 times.

Heavy angry breaths that say, in the immortal words of Stringer Bell, "Get on with it M*********er." I pull myself under the bar, and wedge in tightly. That's really the extent of getting confident for me under the bar. I go zen and calm, and then fatalistic, and then angry. I now realize I am somewhat describing stages of grief.


I'm just starting to get a routine with my pulls. I don't know which way the causation runs - do I have a confidence routine for the squat because I am confident in it, or am I confident because I have a confidence routine? I guess the way to find this out is to develop a routine with my pulls that is consistent and apply it.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

I pulled the ITA shoot for this Saturday since Ruth noted the CRASH Bers are doing a 6K test that day and it would be too loud/crowded to shoot. Waiting to hear back from the cinematographer about the following weekend.

For pre-lift confidence, I usually get a little mad at the bar. I usually call it a mother fucker and repeat the one or two things I need to COMMIT to in order to make the lift happen. For example in a heavy Snatch I'll just say "UP" in my head to myself a lot if I know I need to finish my pull and keep my chest up.

December 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Greetings from Seattle where I tried very hard to drink my weight in delicious WCoast beer. I'm stuck on the plane so its as good a time as any to play catch up. Level 4 yet again played my CF second home and good times were had.

Thursday: They do all kinds of triples here so it was 5 rounds of: Press 5x5, Rope Pull-ups 6-8, Goblet Squats 10-12 - 30 second pieces on all but the goblet squats. Then finished with a partner WOD that was 5 rounds in 15 minutes of 5 Push Press, 13 heavy KB swings, Walking lunges with a sandbag. All in 90 seconds and if you didn't finish your partner picked up where you left off before they could start their round. It was fucking hard but weirdly fun.

Sunday: Split Jerks, love these, and AMRAP Lucky 7: 7 Burpees 7 Heavy KB swings, 7 Box Jumps. Sucked hard but again weirdly fun. I got a bloody nose but shoved a Kleenex up and finished at 6 rounds 6 KB swings. Warm up was a good one too today - stretchy stretch like us but a partner 150 row and the other jumps rope until they're done - 3 rounds. It was cold as hell in that warehouse so it was a good warmer.

Steve was my coach the entire time, he was truly awesome and am sending him a shirt as a thank you. Funny.. I was the only one who rolled in with a speed rope and my knee socks really confused people. I have no idea why.

Looking forward to being back! Ack! Just got yelled at, time to unplug. Cheers!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB

After all that i forgot about my usual mental bar curse-out. This usually consists of "you're my bitch", "mother fucker", and the occasional "yea?! come at me bro"

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

After all of that i forgot about my usual mental bar-curse-out. It usually consists of "you're my bitch", mother fucker", and the occasional "yea?! come at me bro"

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaWolf

Too bad CFSBK is so damn family friendly. I personally would love to walk into a cacophony of athletes telling their barbells to go fuck themselves.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattychm

Bench Press - 195 x 5, 5, 10 - nice and easy

Metcon - 157 total reps (61, 56, 40)

Before attempting a heavy lift I like to visualize myself making it too. That and making sure that I am 100% committed to getting to the positions I need to are my top two things.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

Lately with the snatch it's been fast, get down, stay tight.
I came really close to hitting 130# snatch yesterday 10# over my PR after I hit the 125 (5# over) I really wanted it. I kept my mind clear and only thought of those words. My legs being cooked from the 80 odd wall balls and 60 kettle bells however just would not move as fast as my brain was telling them to. I know if I was fresh I would hit 130. With slower lifts like back squats all I think about is form. Eyes up, stay tight (no tighter) and Noah's best advice to me, "Put yourself there do not have the weight do it." It's interesting how different lifts require a different mind set I feel.
It applies to WODs too. When your grinding out burpees or farmers carrying that weight the conversation in your head (for me) turns to I'm just taking one more, then I lied I'm taking another.

I encourage anyone that had even a slight thought to do a masters throw down to take the opportunity to try it.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

@beccawolf my student to me: 'come at me bro", my response: "don't bro me if you don't know me."

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

this is a great question with some fun responses.
before a big squat i like to wink towards mecca, then wink towards becca, then grab the bar and rotate it violently towards me a couple times until its at the end of the j hooks (like revving a motorcycle), that usually gets my heart rate up (the becca part, not the revving part). then i like to curse explicitly in my head, not so much at the bar or the weight but at myself ('come on you fucking pussy', usually in my grandpas voice or 'i hate you dad' or 'bitch youre not going to get a dime of that child support') then i like to lightly fondle the rings that separate the knurlings (not really to psych myself up but mainly for perverted reasons) before i duck under the bar. once im under i like to rock back and forth on my heels exactly 7 times, say a prayer to god, will smith and my 4 kids and then aggressively unrack the bar. after that its just a matter of getting proper depth and not shitting myself.

also, last heavy day of strength cycle was/is today!
Squat 285x5
Press 105x5
Deadlift 325x3
im ready for you on sunday, crossfit total, you angry sexy banshee bitch

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteruzef

Bench 175x5x2 and x10

15-15-15 T2B
15-15-16 Burp
15-14-16 DB @65

QOD - I visualize success and expect it.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Nooner with David and Fox. Bench: 210x5x2, 210x10. WOD: 136 @ 65#. QOD: For cleans, I take a few deep breaths and approach the bar knowing I'm going to make the lift. For jerks and snatches I take a few deep breathes and approach the bar hoping I make the lift. That often doesn't work too well. I'm going to start cussing at the bar. Even if it doesn't help, it sounds like fun.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

45x5, 95x5, 115x3, 135x5, 145x5, 145x5
Counted the 135 set as my first work set.
WOD 105 total with T2B and 30# dumbelll.
I gave blood today so I took it light and easy. Needed to move after a week off.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDMak

10am group class:
(45x5, 75x5, 90x3)
100x5x2, 100x10

T2b: 19-16-15
Burpees: 15-15-16
DB Snatch @45#: 10-10-11
Total: 127

then at 7:30pm did a test of one of the Hoboken WODs coming up this weekend.
In 7min:
25 Power cleans at 65#,
25 box jump overs,
25 Power cleans at #95
25 box jump overs
AMRAP power cleans at #115

-got through 8 PC's at 95# in 4 minutes. Not looking forward to how the full thing is going to feel!

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

8:30 with Fox. Bench 145x5x3 felt ok, easier than last week when I did 135x5x3.

WOD with v-ups and a 50# db. I counted to 138. I think the burpees were pretty solid but I'm no-repping a bunch of v-ups and snatches for sloppiness. So my score is more like 120.

QoD: I haven't tried swearing yet. The only lift I'm really confident on is the squat where I have a routine that involves starting at the bar, a couple deep breaths, getting under the bar aggressively, then bracing and lifting.

Other QoD: Tough call, probably shake shack. I have fond memories of the burger at Molly's Shebeen on 23rd street but I haven't been there in years. Hungry now.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpcker

Used just made me snort out loud at a somewhat inappropriate time. Funny post.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichele

I'm quite pleased to have read the comments tonight RE: UZEF! Fucking hilarious. Good luck at the total Sunday.

December 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Pre-lift confidence is slippery for the Snatch. If I am planning on going heavy, It usually comes down to how my lifts leading up to a PR attempt felt. Did 90% feel light? Did 95% feel solid?? I will usually only go for a PR if the lifts leading up to that attempt warrant it. Going for a heavy snatch without the right confidence is a recipe for either a "Clark" or a very bad lift. If i just hit 265 with ease...than 277 is not THAT much more. Time to let the adrenaline flow and focus. A miss on the snatch is much safer than a miss on the clean...

The Clean and jerk is a different animal. Its much scarier to let 300+ lbs crash on you than simply letting 275# drop in front of you on a missed snatch. I find that the clean and jerk involves way less confidence in how your technique is feeling and is more dependent on how strong you feel that day. Did I stand up with 90% without a grind?? Did the jerk feel light?? If so, then its go time. If not...then maybe its a day to hit 90% 4 times instead of trying to PR...

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

45x5, 115x5,135x5, 165x5x2,165x10

T2B: 15,15,15
Burpees, 10, 10, 10
DB snatch, 15, 15, 15 @ 40#
Total: 125

I'd like to try that again with heavier DB. I'd never done the movement before so I was a little hesitant; my shoulders were also shot from yesterday's Sally Up too.

QOD: I relax, focus, visualize, and work If I find myself getting pissed I started quoting Yoda in my head.
"Do this, I will."

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

It is very early but I am really enjoying this new cycle. On the bench did 150 -- felt a little heavy at end. For WOD did 108 reps -- need to watch form on all three exercises.

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob Underwood (@brooklynrob)

Came in early to work on my double under's after watching that video. I WILL get them. I WILL! Blurgh...

Warm Up - #45x5, 55x5, 60x5, 65x4,
then 3x5 @ #70 (PR) I think i did too many warm up sets...which would help explain why our whole trio was the last to finish.

I liked this WOD. As per usual, DO was right and I could have gone heavier.
#20 DB
Lost count on everything.

OH and SNOW!!!!!

December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElena Y

Late Post:

Bench #85x3x5
These felt really strong and solid, could've gone for 90 as my starting point for this cycle, but I was starving and tired and didn't know how well these would go up.

WOD..didn't keep track.

December 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

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