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Back Squat

Fitness: 3x5 Across
Add 5lbs from last weeks Squats.

Performance: 5/3/1 (3 week)

Post loads to comments.
Squat e8/12

5 Intervals of:
Row 250 meters

Go hard each round and rest about 2:00 between efforts. Try to keep your times as consistent as possible.

Post times to comments.
compare to 1.28.12

Nick Hoenemeyer (black ARC kit) uses CrossFit to help him with cycling road races with the ARC Racing Team. Nick has been racing for 5 years.

  • Baseball tonight! The CFSBK Calveras play at 6:15pm at the Red Hook Ball Fields. Come on down too root on the team and enjoy a summer game.
  • Check out mover and shaker Kenji Summers' Vine about packing exercise related equipment (including the old skull and bones). Kenji is the founder of The Passport Project and was presenting at the PACK THIS! seminar.
  • All the dirty details for Memorial Day Murph will be explained tomorrow. That being said, we still need volunteers to help on the grill. Please email info(AT)CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com to sign up and help out!

Trouble Shooting your Linear Progression

Fitness programming often follows a Linear Progression (LP) which uses the tried and true method of slowly adding a little weight each time you train to systematically increase your strength. This method is optimal for novice lifters but sometimes needs to be tinkered with with things get sticky. Below we'll discuss some things to consider when figuring out what you should be lifting on an LP.

"Novice Trainee"
First off, by novice I mean anyone who can sustain adding a little weight every single time they perform a particular barbell lift.  On average, this can be performed for anywhere from 3-6 months of sequential consistent training in that specific lift and rep scheme. Others can sustain an LP much longer if they started very conservatively and/or train the particular lift with less frequency. With the exception of the Back Squat, we usually see each lifts only once per week and often rotated in and out of training waves.  This allows many folks to train an LP in that lift for even longer periods of time and develop a series of accumulated exposures that they add on to over many months.
Any seasoned lifter will tell you this is the golden age of your strength training journey.  Things are ordered and predicable, the gains are consistent and managemable. It's ideal to spend as long as you can in the novice phase before moving on to more advanced programming. Milk an LP for all you can!

Missing Reps
If you could simply add a little weight to your lifts each week forever we'd all be 2,000lb deadlifters and throwing small cars for fun. Eventually you'll hit a wall and start missing reps. Here are a few things to consider regarding failed reps:

Did I start too heavy?
You should get through at LEAST 4-5+ full waves on a particular movement. That means you consistently hit all your exposures through several waves where we use that lift.  Sometimes I see folks straight out of Foundations or just a couple months into things start to grind out or even miss reps very eary in their first training career. This means they got too greedy with weight or perhaps just don't understand how novice strength training works yet. If this is you, then pull back. WAY back to something that forces you to swallow your pride a little. In the beginning there should be some effort involved in moving the barbell, but the bar speed should remain quick and everything should be as perfect and under control. You shouldn't grind or be particularly intimidated by the weights at first. Starting light gives you lots of running room to ingrain the mechanics, get lots of practice in and slowly get really strong.

Did I reset this lift?
Sometimes you've got to take 3 steps back in order to take 5 steps forward later on. If you've been at it for a while and finally are starting to approach failure on your lifts you can reset your numbers by 10-15% of the missed weight.  Often if we pull back to weights we've done before we can barrel past the weights that stopped us initially.  Additionally, you can further extend your LP by performing the same weight for 2 exposures instead of one. For example Pressing 100x5x3 for 2 weeks and then the following week starting a 105x5x3 for another 2 week rotation. This might be exactly what you need to keep the weights moving up over an extended period of time while getting really good at performing the exercise.

Are things getting wonky?
A downfall of the LP is that pesky motor control and tightness issues don't often get better as the weight goes up. In the beginning, everything will feel a little awkward and you won't move as well as the person half your size moving twice as much weight next to you. However, if you start light enough the motor learning portion will happen when the weights are easy enough to handle AND you'll begin to loosen up to the movement in the process. Unfortunately, some issues are harder to trouble shoot out and become more and more pronounced as the weight increases. If your knees cave in a little at 100lbs, they're probably going to touch each other at 150lbs.  In the grand scheme of things, technique issues need to be prioritized above moving more weight, plain and simple. We often get performance hungry and want to see those numbers move up and up even if positions are starting to drift and compromises are made in order to finish each rep. This is no bueno. What you're actually doing is reinforcing problematic positions and digging yourself deeper into a hole that leads to frustration and injury.  We've had troubled movers stay at the same light weights until they demonstrated enough control and consistency to gradually move up in load.  This can be a frustrating position to be in for a lifter hungry to get stronger but a necessary modification in terms of long term health and saftey. Sorry bro.

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Reader Comments (21)

Holy cow was it humid last night. The sweat began to pour during warmups and by the time the first work set came I was drenched. The bar felt very heavy and I was squatting by myself so this was a particularly difficult workout-- just getting through it felt like an achievement...

Squat: 270x5, 300x5x3 and 275x5
Thankfully when I got to the 1st set of 300 things began to feel a bit better and the bar moved well, but I really had to pump myself up for the 3rd set of it. Thanks to Jess for the eyes and encouragement-- I needed it!

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Squat - 210x3, 240x3, 272.5x10 - 1 more than the rep-out at 275 I did on last 1 week.

Row - 43.0, 44.3, 45.2, 46.3, 46.7

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

6am with Josh and McDowell. Squats: 215x3, 245x3, 275x8. Left hip flexor has been feeling better, but I felt a twinge in it on the 8th rep so I decided to rack it. Still, that was 3 more reps than I managed at the same weight 3 weeks ago.

Row: 40.5, 40.9, 42.2, 44.1, 45.5. The first row felt fantastic and was tantalizingly close to a sub-40. The last row was one of the worst feelings I've experienced in the gym. Quads on fire. The times compared very well to 11/28/12 where my best time was 43.3. Lots of hollow faces at the end of class. This workout is a doozy.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Thank you for the write up and good advice on Linear progression.
I needed to hear that...
Will be pulling back now in hope of seeing better results moving forward.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma-Lisa

Echoing Emma-Lisa - thank you. I've been stuck and hovering around 120-ish for LBBS for what feels like way too long now. Pulling back the last couple of weeks has helped to get to 120x5x3 and then 122.5x5x3 at OG on Friday. 120 is a weird psychological mind*ck for me, so occasionally dialing it back has helped both mentally and physically.

Last night, 120x5x3 with Crystal and Shauna (sorry, dear, if I'm butchering your spelling). 120 felt heavy and I got dizzy and lightheaded with the last few reps...lack of water and abundance of humidity did it.

1:00.4, 1:00.4, 1:01.3, 1:03, and 59.9 for the erg sprints. Racing Shauna, who I had no chance of beating, was just the spur-on that I needed to get under a minute on the last one. Not a workout that favors shorties, but it burned so good.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

To follow up to KH's recent post, McDowell and Josh have been awesome. McDowell helped me put a plan together for back squat this cycle to hit a goal. And today, Josh was a huge motivator for me to push through 210lb.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBK


for a couple years i've been following the career of a really interesting and talented pastry chef named shuna fish lydon.

when i went paleo, i still followed her because she started quietly producing some terrific gluten-free desserts - and by awesome i don't mean "substituted almond flour and xanthax gum for wheat flour." i mean, she really thought about the entire universe of dessert and tried to appeal to as many people as possible, all the while upholding her own sense of adventurous taste.

this is very rare.

she skipped around the restaurant scene in NYC for a while, and i would drop in on the places she worked and just order dessert.

some of what she made was absolutely thrilling.

i recently discovered that she's the new pastry chef at BROOKLYN LARDER, which is terrific news for all of us.

anywho, if you're a fan of LARDER, by all means go in and see what she's got going on.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Out of town for the week upstate - I went to check out crossfit Pallas in ithaca ny. The only class I could make it was open gym and the coaches were super nice. The owner eoman seems like a great guy, very friendly and helpful. They just opened in October and clearly have a nice community already. They're moving to an 8,000 sq ft facility soon!!

I did LBBS 3x5x235
Strict press 120x3x5

Wod: killer in the 95 degree heat!
3 rounds of:
400m run
15 deadlifts 185#
30 wallballs 20lb/10ft
Time: 19:22

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrav

Will be trouble shooting in the coming weeks to regain confidence. Last nigt was half awesome(AR- Go Fox)/ total shit show.
I needed a day off but didn't want to take it. I felt great after AR and really wanted to squat. That meant I had to race home and get my lifting shoes. That meant already hot and sweaty turned into hotter, sweatier....disaster.
Courtney, Shauna and I were a little rushed. Or was this all in my head? I kind of doubted myself at 135#, even though 130# on Friday felt good. To make a long story short, I freaked myself out in the 2nd set and did not regain the calm-cool composure I would've needed to pull this off or use those nerves in a productive way. I am the perfect candidate for meditation. Probably won't do it.
Will be going back to 125 to get comfortable with the process.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

Dude, Michele, I already spend WAY too much money at Larder...

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

LBBS: 45x5, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 250x3x5
WOD: 50, 50, 51,51,54

In what seems to be as frequent as a big foot sighting I made an appearance at the gym. Tested things out last Sunday and it all felt good so I came in today to give it a go. Went really light on the squats and everything moved fine. The workout was OK, paced myself the first two and I still got tired. Just felt good to be back in the swing of things. Rome wasn't built in a day, yadda yadda.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCloyde

Bethany, I just got invited to your party tonight like this: "My coworker is djing tonight. She's a crossfit freak too." I said "ok, sure. I have to take the night off. Who is it?" NYC is so small.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

Attention vegetable csa members

The first delivery of the season is going to be two weeks from now: Wednesday, June 5.

Bring your own bags, please. You may not take home the box the farm provides.

The delivery pickup window at the gym is the same as for meat: 6-8:30 PM. Don't take your share without speaking to me personally, so that I may check your name off the list.

Shares not picked up by 8:30 will be distributed to folks in the gym at the time.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Noon class


Did Monday's WOD
270m Run
14 alternating DB Snatch 65#
10 Pull Ups

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Went to the 6am class with Josh & McDowell - which was tough because I was at MSG last night to watch the Rangers lose and did the workout on very little sleep. But it went well, squatting with Rob and Josue (spelling?) and worked up to 152.5. I was uncomfortable at 135 and occasionally felt that I wasn't squatting low enough. But all three sets at the work weight felt good.

Rowing: Thanks to Keith (not sure of last name, green shirt) for cues on keeping the back straight, and working the rowing position like a pull on the dead lift. Can't say I was able to incorporate the information which is my own fault. Times were 52.2, 51.9, 52.0, 52.4, and (almost falling off the seat) 53.2. It wasn't until I figured out the splits and timing that I realized how difficult it is to shave off even a few seconds. Once I hit the 51.9 I was really struggling to get to 49 - but now I see that I've got a good long way to go before I hit that.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichard G

Los Calaveras for the win!


We are now 5-1

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

128x3x5 - felt good. almost at my 130 goal - should be hitting that on Friday. Maybe even a couple pounds over if I'm feeling up to it.

At Titsday in October my 1RM was 125. holllaaaaaaaaaa

best: 53, worst 57. uggghhhh erg sprints.

p.s. who's the hottie in the spandex on the bike? is he single?

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShaye

6:30 with Noah and McDowell

DIY DROMS and make-up 531 Press before class:
45x5, 75x4, 9(5)x3 105x3 120x5,f

Probably shouldn't have rushed this, definitely should have had 6 here. Glad to get it in though.

45x5, 135x4, 185x3, 200x3, 230x3, 255x7

Pretty much right on target.

5x250M Erg Sprints:
47.7, 48.0, 47.4, 47.0, 48.2

I swear I was on target for around 46 for the fifth one, but then...the erg ate my shirt:


May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Hit 165x5x3 on the low bar squat. Keeping on keeping on.

Best time on the erg was 48.1, and worst was 51.9. That hurt. Major t-rex arms.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Noon class:

(45x5, 95x5, 135x5)
-not sure what's going on but squats have been feeling really, really good. Maybe it's partnering with Zachariah who seems to be my rep out buddy. We're going for 10 next week!

Also did Monday's WOD with the Fox man:
270m Run
14 alternating DB Snatch 45#
10 Pull Ups
-not exactly fun since I couldn't breathe. I only chose 45# db's because that's what MeLo did it at on Tuesday. It wasn't a lack of strength on any of the movements, it was just a complete lack of breath. I was just gassed. Glad that I was chasing Fox, if not I would have moved much slower.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Todd!! I always feared that happening and in almost 6 years of this it never did.. so. finally! the erg eats a shirt!

May 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

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