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Bench Press / Bent-Over Row | WOD 6.20.16

Bench Press / Bent-Over Row Superset*

1A) Barbell Bench Press

3 x 5 Linear Progression

Start light enough to add weight throughout the cycle. 

3 x 12

12s again next week, so start light enough to add weight. 

1B) Barbell Bent-Over Row

3 x 5 Linear Progression

Start light enough to add weight throughout the cycle.

3 x 12 Linear Progression

In both cases, keep these light enough to perform strictly and with solid form. Don't let these turn into an ego exercise. Really think about the movement rather than the weight moved. Keep the following notes in mind:

1) Set up like a Clean and Deadlift the bar up.
2) Hip hinge until bar is at least below the knee (try to be as horizontal as possible).
3) Maintaining a consistent back angle, pull your elbows up and back and aim to hit your stomach (not your chest) with the barbell.
4) Start with a weight that allows all the reps to be done perfect and without momentum. It should feel too light to start.

*Superset means that you perform a set of exercise A (in this case the Bench Press) and then after a short rest, 30 seconds to a minute, you perform a set of exercise B (in this case the Barbell Bent-Over Row). You then rest a short period before returning to exercise A and continue in this fashion until all warm up and work sets are completed.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 2 of 8


9 Rounds for Time:
5 Thrusters 135/95
5 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

The Thrusters should be on the medium-heavy side but unbroken. If you have to break them up, they're too heavy. Full Squat Clean to Thruster is OK for the first rep of each set. Scaling for the Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups is regular Kipping Pull-Ups or Jumping Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups as appropriate. Do your best to not get lost in the transitions on this workout, as there are many of them that can cost you many seconds.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Friends don't let friends row alone

  • Did you leave a pair of shoes at the gym some time over the past 6 months? We have an impressive collection of shoes pulled from the lost and found. If any of these belong to you, please claim them soon!
  • Jaclyn K. is offering a FREE yoga class this Thursday at 9am. Don't miss out!

Better Know a Member: Pigeon K.

Welcome back to a fun feature on the CFSBK blog, Better Know a Member! You all love Underneath the Hoodie and Behind the Desk, and now, in a similar vein, we'll be profiling members from across the CFSBK community. In our previous installment, we introduced you to Meredith R. Today it's time to meet one of the gym's resident architects Pigeon K.!

Name (and any nicknames): Serge Khoudessian, more commonly know as Pigeon.

Where were you born and where did you grow up? Born in Beirut, Lebanon. I lived there till I was 24.

How long have you been CrossFitting, and how did you arrive at CFSBK? I started doing CrossFit at CFSBK in the summer of 2013 to get in shape for my wedding. I had to take a whole year off in 2015 due to illness and injury—was close to calling it quits—but CFSBK had a tighter hold on me than I expected.

Ask me about that time I... proposed to my wife after a hard day of skiing in Colorado, falling down, and hitting my head backwards really hard.

Did you have any mentors or heroes growing up? During the Lebanese Civil War, my father used to go out of his way to get my sister, brother, and myself books. There weren’t a lot of open bookstores for an extended period. That makes him my hero.

What's the first movie you ever loved? Stripes with Bill Murray. It had the perfect ratio of comedy to nudity. I think. I don’t know. I was 10.

You have friends or family coming to visit from out of town. What do you take them to do in NYC? I usually give my friends and family an architectural tour of anywhere in Brooklyn and Manhattan, which almost always ends with a walk on the highline. 

Favorite and least favorite lift: My favorite lift is the Snatch, I love seeing DO and Ro hit a perfect Snatch. I absolutely hate Deadlifts. I stopped doing them.

Any advice for new CFSBKers? PRs are great, but don’t sacrifice form over a PR.

Safe and Sorry: Terrorism and Mass Surveillance Kurzgesagt
Hook, Line, and Thinker Pacific Standard
5 Steps to Becoming a Better Athlete CrossFit Derive

Reader Comments (34)

To steal Brad D's turn of phrase: BRAINZ AND GAINZ.

Trying to recreate the SBK pub quiz team! We used to do Sundays at Pacific Standard or Skylark but it sorta died out. I'm now thinking Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday nights. There's a Wednesday night one at Mission Dolores that should be good, but if Monday or Tuesday works better for people I'm sure we could find a different bar.

Email me, stellavision, gmail, if interested.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am with Whit & McD

Bench: 190# x 3 x 12, but missed the last 2 reps of the last set. It was 5# heavier than last week where I made all of them, so I may drop 2.5# next week and see what happens.

Row: 140# x 3 x 12. Up 5# from last week (I think I wrote 145# on the board, my bad). Still felt crisp and I managed to keep position the whole time.

Metcon: 9:12 Rx. Thought this was going to be Fran-like but it was too heavy to hit that crazy heart-rate thing. Did all the thrusters unbroken, and that was the key to the rest - rest long enough to never have to drop the bar. C2B's were butterfly and unbroken. Fun workout.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael A.

6am - McD and Whit

Bench 165# 5x3 felt good another 10# next week
Rows 115# 12x3 good here as well

Chubby Fran - 11:52 Rx
I swear when I woke up I read 5 rounds on this then Matty walked in and crushed my spirits. Thrusters got heavy quick. Definitely took my time between c2b and the next round of thrusters. All rounds (slow and) unbroken.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames A


Bench - 185x12x3 - Stopped at 10 on the last set because I knew I couldn't get an 11th. Will make a more conservative jump next week for the 10s

Row - 135x12x3 - +20# from last week with no trouble

Metcon - 8:32 Rx

This was hard; especially the thrusters. Managed them all unbroken though. Staying braced while breathing hard was the main challenge here.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan L


Bench Press at 165# - a 10# jump from last week.
First two sets felt fine and barely hit the 12th rep in the third set. Probably 5# jump next week.

Rows at 125# - also a 10# jump. These still moved well. 10# jump next week for sure.

And then came FRANkenstein...
Father's Day was filled with lots of booze and very little water and dinner was a piece of banana bread. Soooooo...I wasn't in the best shape to hit up a WOD like this.
Finished at 11:44 at 115#.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Bench: 86 x 12 x 3. Up one pound from last week - just so I could go up a bit. My last rep was rough, but they all happened.

Row: 80 x 12 x 3. 5# jump. These were tough at the end.

WOD: 11:29 with the RX weight, but only 3 pull-ups each round. The thrusters were unbroken, but tough. Had a long walk between the bar and pull-ups, which helped quite a bit.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh

PIGEON!!! You legend

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames A

6am - McD and Whit

Bench 180x5x3 - felt much easier than last weeks' 175
Rows 140x5x3 - easy

WOD - 12:47 Rx
Like James, I originally read this as 5 rounds. 9 is a lot, but its always satisfying to finish something of which I had been unsure. All thrusters unbroken, except for a technical fail that almost had me quitting at round 3. C2B pullups as singles.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan G.

7 am:

Bench press: Haven't done these in a long time so I wasn't sure what weight to start with, ended up doing 3x5, 85#, 95#, 85#. 95 wasn't too hard but a little sticky so ended up going back down for the last set

Bent over row: 3x5 at 75#. I have been doing these and love them so excited to work up in weight this cycle.

Then super special snowflake WOD with 15# dumbbell thrusters (more like a squat then a press at Whit's suggestion) and jumping C2B pull-ups. Finished in under 6 mins I think. Fun to work alongside my "dumbbell buddy" Stella!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

6am. McWhit.

Bench / Row: 160x5x3 / 115x5x3. 5# and 10# jumps respectively. Hit all reps with ease, just slowly working up.

Metcon: 11:14 115#. Probably should have hit this at 135, thrusters were no issue. Took advantage of my long walk between the pullup bar and barbell.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBK

Make up post form Saturday in Minneapolis at Los Campeonoes Gym...

Heavy Singles Day!

Snatch - worked up to 195

C&J - worked up to 260 for a 3 lb PR

FSQ - worked up to an easy 285 then failed at 300

Looking forward to being back in BK to train with real equipment today.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

7am w/WhitDowell

Bench 145x5x3
BOR 105x5x3. Both moved easily, really enjoy this superset.

Metcon in 11:00 w/95#. That was serious fun.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen


June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

8am session after coaching

quick mobz and midline

3 rounds:
5 ea lateral box step up 24", super strict style
5 cuban press / 5 pvc pass thru
8 ea single leg RDL (16kg)
10 BTN press 33#

Front rack box step up
-planned to work @ 63. started failing on first set on L side. got super frustrated and sad and felt like calling it quits. decided to scale down to 53 and stick it out.
53 x 10ea x3
-superset with High Pulls: 12kg x 10ea x3

*explore doing reverse lunges (deficit?) and/or DB front rack fwd lunges.

3 sets:
60 FT 1 arm farmer carry @ 95#, rest :30-:60 in between sides
5 strict HSPU (first set 2 abmats, then 1 abmat)

some BMU kip practice with Ro... toes up, hips to bar, less pull-up, more lower body.

4 RDs
10 one arm kb swing L (16kg)
10 swings R
Rest :30
10 WB shots (20#, 9')
Rest :30

that heavy wallball leaves a lot less room for error.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

8 a.m. w/McDowell.

Bench: 115x12x3. Felt fine. Worried on the one hand that I may have started a little too light this cycle, but this is my first full cycle benching and I want to get everything dialed in right.

Row: 95x12x3. Still have to teach my body where the right hinge position is here. Nervous about rounding my back, so have been standing a little too upright.

Metcon: 13:07-ish, 95# thrusters & 3 pull-ups per round, initially kipping but strict the last few rounds as my kip fell apart. Garbage-town. Neither heart nor mind were in this one. Thanks to McDowell for not tossing me out as the last one to finish.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChas C.

Has anyone here ever had a shoulder impingement and if so were you able to resolve it completely?

I have a script for PT but I haven't started yet. Any advice?

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterColleen M.

LOL, "dumbbell buddy" makes us sound so...dumb ;)

I benched the football bar, 85x12x3, and did the bent over rows at 83x5x3. Did not manage my time well and ended up having to rush the bench sets, which led to the last rep being a struggle.

WOD 6:45 with 60# DB as goblet squats (thanks Whit, you were totally right that I am OVER KB swings) and 3 strict chins per round. I know this meant I went slower than intended, but I tried jumping pullups and they hurt :( Something about the speed of the upward motion that irked my wrist.

Tomorrow will be my last hurrah at SBK pre-surgery. I will miss you guys (but not for THAT long)!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

7 AM with guest star Coach Whit!

First bench press back since taking time off to heal my bicep tendon. It felt great. 3x5 at 68# was easy and I'm excited to be back in the mix.

But I especially wanted to post to say I loved this WOD! I mean, didn't love it in the moment. But I really appreciated the chance to have short sets of thrusters, and so it was exciting to have a chance to try a higher weight than I usually go on them. 52# in 8:30.

@Colleen yeah I am just emerging from a rough month for my right shoulder - I really pulled a bicep tendon badly on one of the DB press weeks and didn't go get it looked at right away so then it rippled into other shoulder issues - finally went to my PT two weeks ago and as usual he's done fantastic work on it. He's phenomenal - I have seen him for years - Jon Locitzer at Healing Motion Physical Therapy in Carroll Gardens if you want to give him a try.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJynne

PS great post on Pigeon! So agreed on watching DO do a snatch. It looks like a magic trick to me.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJynne

@Colleen - Im currently dealing with "shoulder impingement". I have yet to get an MRI so I dont exactly know what the underlying cause is, thought I suspect that it is more than impingement, and probably real damage.

That being said, Im dealing with it like I did with real impingement last year, PT and massage. I have found that massage therapy to be very helpful in working out the issues causing the shoulder to be out of whack. I can provide names and numbers if you want them.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterken

I'm a big fan of Pigeon and his wit and his keen sense of perfect ratios. Thanks for the extra guest star appearance!

7 am Whit and McDowhateveryouwant

Bench 45x5, 65x5, 75x3, 80 2x5 (ran out of time but had a set in me). I go too fast sometimes and then don't breath so then don't brace. Whitney caught it on my first work set so second was better and third woulda been too.
Row 80# - thought these were supposed to be sets of 8 so one like that and the other 5. So far so good on this movement.
WOD 8:32 with 53# on the bar. Well paced for the most part. Five breaths for rest in transition. I did jumping chest to bar which wasn't so challenging but the volume would have clobbered me if I went for pull ups. Should have scaled volume rather than movement I think.

Trying to eliminate caffeine in order to eliminate getting dizzy. So, second no-coffee day and maybe less spinny than usual.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Campbell

6:30 AM conditioning class at Flagship Crossfit Montgomery Street with a pal of Coach JB's-
this is a WOD class without any barbell work, which I definitely missed-
we did 4 rounds of 1 minute each with a minute of rest after each round:
-wallballs (20# 10')
-ring rows
-parallette jump throughs
-flutter kicks

Definitely got the heart rate going; very different workout overall- good coaching.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlesS

Ah Kelly, I would never let you row alone!!

I have been quietly browsing the blog even though I am sidelined at the moment with a lingering L hip strain that I cannot ignore any longer! Stems from imbalance in strength R to L, and my left low back took a hit somewhere between working and classes in the last month. Working on my rehab and HOPING to be back in a week or so! Miss errrrbody!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkristin caps

10AM with Noah

Bench: 125x12x3
Rows: 105x12x3

WOD @75lb thrusters and 4-3-4-3-4-3-3-3-3 strict pull-ups - finished in 7:44.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

The slow crawl of recovery continues.
Made all my reps with the Bench at 95
Made all my rows at 90

7:53 with the WOD. Used 75# and did all the chest to bar pullups.

Congrats Pigeon!

@colleen make sure you get a good assessment of your shoulder. Get the X-ray and MRI. See a specialist and identify exactly what's wrong. For a long time I thought I had a bad shoulder issue when it was actually a herniated disk in my neck.
Massage, PT and acupuncture all really helped me bounce back.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

Make-up-post from this week-end

Saturday Squatz at 185x5x3, felt heavier than they should have.
WOD: took the NFT a little too literally

Sunday: C+J worked up to 140#, concentrated on getting under the bar as fast as possible and catching it full depth. Felt solid.
WOD: finished in 20:40, fastest row was at 1:37avg. This was a lot harder than I anticipated.

Thank you for the write up and the kind words peeps.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

@Jynne - Thank you for the recommendation! I checked out Jon's website but I need someone in the Cigna network. Argh! Looks like a great practice, sigh. I'm glad that you're making good progress in your recovery.

@Ken - Thank you! I'm sorry to hear you are dealing shoulder with a shoulder issue. Ug. I am definitely interested in recommendations!

@Keith - Thanks for advice! I saw a specialist at HSS and had x-rays, but he said that I don't need MRI. I may get a second opinion though. I need to see another doctor for my hip, so I will see what he says too.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterColleen M

Great answers Pigeon!

I managed to mess up my lower back over the weekend somewhere between aerial silk yoga stylings and competitive hula-hooping. 4.5 hrs in the car Friday and Sunday probably didn't help.

I came up with some things that I could do to keep moving without exacerbating my back problem.

2k row, nice and easy

3 Rounds NFT
- 15 Push-ups
- 12 ea side Bulgarian Split Squats (BW)
- 10 ea side single arm seated Press (20# DB)
- 6 chin ups

- Supine hangs from the pull up bar
- Upper back and trap mashing
- Calf mashing
- Seated hip and hamstring stretches

Wrapping up a 24 hour fast. Given my limited ability to train, and some changes to my schedule today, seemed like a good day for it.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Need some sizing advice on lifters:
To the Romaleo owners out there — do these run true to size with other Nike kicks, or should I drop a half size down? Any help here is very much appreciated, thanks!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan B

Pigeon! My favorite moment in foundations was when he introduced himself and either I or Noah asked "How do you spell that?"...he said "like pigeon."

Colleen - also on that yes list. Feel free to email me or grab me in the gym.

Brendan - I wear a full size smaller. Try some on at the gym! They should fit snug and will open up a bit over time.

4pm lifts
Heavy single then 80/85/90/95% for 2 waves of singles.
Worked up to 90kg with two pretty good misses at 96kg.

Clean and Jerk
Heavy single then 80/85/90/95% for 2 waves of singles.
Worked up to 115kg with a slight press out. This clean feels pretty routine now. Too fast on the dip.

2RM then 80/85% for doubles
Worked up to 275

Solid if sweaty training day.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

5:30 class
I love the gym, it turns a shitty day around in just 8:31.

Bench 155x12x3
Bent row 115x12x3
These all felt good. Will go up next week

WOD RX'ed in 8:31
All unbroken. I tried to start each new round at the :45 mark which worked out well and kept me on track.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen Lock

7:30 with Ro

Bench 93x5x3
row : 75x5x3

Wod at 72# and regular kipping pull ups in 10:35.
Zero motivation to move faster. So sweaty!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M

Bench: 77.5x12x3
Glad I only went up by 2.5# bc this was a grind at the end.

WOD in 8:17 with 75# thrusters and pullups

Did C2B the first two rounds, but can't cycle them so would've ended up doing all singles. Changed to regular pullups so I could move quickly through each round. In hindsight, maybe should've done 2 C2B + 3 pullups.

Thanks @kristin caps for having my back that day by changing my units mid-row and for cheering me on! ;)

Great interview, Pigeon!

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLove



6:30 class
Bench: 225x12x3
Row 225x8x3

10:26 Rx

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

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