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Front Rack Step-Ups / Chin-Ups | WOD 2.8.17

Front Rack Step-Ups / Chin-Ups Superset*

1A) Front Rack Step-Ups

Perform 3 x 8-12 reps on each leg. Start the cycle light enough to make 12 reps on each leg without too much difficulty, and move up in weight week to week from there. Use your non-dominant leg to set the weight and only do as much weight and as many reps as that side can perform. The end goal by the end of the cycle is to perform 8-12 good reps on each leg with about 1/3 of your Back Squat 1-rep max. Use a height that allows you to be at full depth (hip crease below knee) when the working leg is on the box. Come to full standing using the working leg before the trail leg touches down for balance. Do not use the trail leg to help you stand up. Use the trail leg as little as possible to push off from, and use a tempo in which the down/eccentric phase of the movement is slower than the up/concentric phase. The barbell comes off the floor. Stop the set when you’re not sure you can do another rep or two (i.e., do not bail a bar on a box).

1B) Chin-Ups or Supinated-Grip Body Rows

Perform 4 sets of max reps. Once you can no longer clear your chin over the bar, your set is over. Each rep starts from a dead hang. Initiate the movement by pulling the shoulders down away from the ears and pull the elbows as far down and back as possible. If you can touch your chest to the bar on each rep, then do it. You should really be feeling these in your lats.

Perform 3 challenging (but submaximal) sets of 2-4 reps using bands or a small partner assist as needed to achieve full range of motion, followed by a 4th set for max reps. These should be tough sets in a low rep range with the goal of performing around 10-15 total reps. If you can do them unassisted but only 1 at a time, then pepper in as many singles as you can in between sets of Step-Ups during the lifting segment. Start and finish the superset with a set of Chins to get all 4 sets in.

*Superset means that you perform a set of exercise A (in this case the Press) and then after a short rest, 30 to 90 seconds, you perform a set of exercise B (in this case the Chin-Ups or Supinated-Grip Body Rows). 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 work to comments.
Exposure 8 of 8

4 Rounds for Time:
15 Dumbbell Thrusters
15 Deadlifts 185/125
Rest 1 minute between rounds

Rx the Dumbbell Thruster at about 45% of your bodyweight total between both dumbbells, or a medium weight you can perform unbroken. Same for the Deadlfts. They should be on the light side of medium for you and unbroken on the fast end. Consider 50% of your best Deadlift or less.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Coach Jess's entry from CFSBK member Susan Pittard's Strong Is A Woman series: "The greatest part of getting stronger is that it has given me so much more confidence than I would have ever expected. Not only confidence in knowing that I'm physically strong enough to lift a certain weight, but just an overall confidence in myself... enough to leave a pretty secure city job after 7 years to pursue a new career. One of the best decisions in my life and something I would have never had the 'strength' to do before." Check out Susan's Instagram for more from this awesome series.

The Iron Maidens of CFSBK: Coach Jess Fox

The Iron Maidens Raw Open is now less than 2 weeks away! Leading up to the event, we'll be posting brief interviews with CFSBK lifters to help you get to know our team and give you a sense of what these women are doing to prepare physically and mentally. This year, through competitors’ fundraising efforts, Iron Maidens will once again fund the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship. Last year, Iron Maidens participants raised $30,000, far surpassing the $20,000 goal. This year, our goal is to raise $50,000 to pay for 70% of college tuition for students in the College Prep program at the Bronx-based Grace Outreach. Right now we're at $16,500, and we need your help to make our goal a reality! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

So far we've brought you Allison K. and Derrian R. Today's Iron Maiden is none other than...

Name: Jess Fox (a.k.a. Lady Fox)

What is your athletic background? How and when did you get started with barbell training?

I grew up playing softball and later picked up soccer and basketball in junior high and high school. I never really trained with a barbell until I met my future husband (Mr. Fox). When we first started, I was scared to Squat 95lbs!

Have you competed in a powerlifting meet before?

Yep! I've participated in the original Tough Titsday in 2011 and 2012 (and won the middle-weight class!) I took a break from competing for a couple years and then returned to compete at Iron Maidens in 2015 and podium in the Dames category. I still have all 3 trophies!

Any advice to offer to first-time participants?

For first timers, I'd suggest to plan to have fun! Set your openers really light so that you get nerves out of the way, and set a goal to go 9 for 9. 

What are your goals for this year's Iron Maidens?

PR's in all my lifts would be great but that's much harder now that I'm older. Would love a 290 Squat, 160 Bench Press, and 340 Deadlift. But really, nailing that first Squat is the main goal of the meet.

What’s your training program?

My fantastic and smart husband (Coach Fox) has been setting my programming. Yes, it's been more strength focused but it's also been incorporating skill and conditioning work to help me prepare for the CrossFit Open.  Yes, I like CrossFit and I like that I'm an athlete that can both be strong and skilled!

How has lifting impacted you athletically? Personally?

Heavy lifting andtraining has helped me gain confidence. Weights that I didn't think I could do are actually attainable. Yes, there are days that training doesn't go as expected and/or that your warmup weights feel like one-rep maxes, but in talking to other lifters, it's reassuring to know that you're not alone. No matter where we're at in our barbell lifting journey, we're just all trying to get a little better/stronger. And Iron Maidens is the perfect environment to demonstrate that! We've got ladies of all shapes/sizes/strengths/experience levels and it never fails to amaze me.

What is your motivation for competing in Iron Maidens?

Having both competed and judged in the past, I love the environment. I also know that there's nothing better to push you towards a new PR than loads of people cheering for you to make the lift! 

What's the best piece of lifting advice you've ever received?

Best advice is to not do anything different the day of the meet. Set opening weights that you know you could hit with your eyes closed and on one leg. Don't try a new food or and don't force yourself to "make weight" if this is your first meet. Have fun and just take it all in.

What are your favorite and least favorite powerlifts?

I've always had a love/hate relationship with the Squat, but I'm doing my best to get over that. Deadlift has always been my favorite of the powerlifts (though really give me Squat Clean and I'm smiling ear to ear!)

Reader Comments (13)

Lady Fox is a massive inspiration. Was watching her coaching Teens yesterday thinking how lucky they are to have such a fierce, strong, and endlessly diplomatic role model to look up to.
You're the bomb.

My training has been tough for Iron Maidens this year. Specifically my squats. Crumsho has diagnosed me with a case of the yips. I was not familiar with this term but he explained and it seems he might be dead right.

Anyhow,Tuesday I felt a bit better and did the following.

Squat (no belt)
245 x 2, 255 x 2, 265 x 2 (8RPE) 245 x 2

Much faster and less tentative on the descent today. All beltless PRs actually so yay!

Bench Press (TNG)
135 x 2, 145 x 2, 150 x 2 ( PR for 2!), 140 x 2

Did the second part of Short Circuit (THANKS BRETT!)

And later did Wednesday's WOD in the 8:30 class (THANKS KHARPZ!)
Did it Rx'd with 30lb DB's and it took about 9: something?

Thrusters make me want to die. DB thrusters, even more so. Deadlifts unbroken but, wow, I was dying to drop that bar!

Of course now it's late and I'm wired because working out at 8:30 is not a good idea for me!!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Tuesday pm


Wednesday's WOD
10:00 Rx'd at 40#
Thrusters unbroken and deads 10/5
Could have done em unbroken but was nervous after so many people were destroyed by it. DB Thrusters are very unforgiving!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFox

7:00 a.m. w/Ro & McDowell.

Step-ups: 95#x8x2; 100#x8x1. Went for it. Felt good.
Chins: 5-5-5-5. Also felt good.

Metcon: 9:00, 70# total on dbs, 70 kg (154#) on dls. First three sets were fine and unbroken, last one was 11-4 on the thrusters and a mess on the deadlifts as I galloped to get in under the 9-minute mark.

Shout-out to Coach Jess and HBD, Charlie!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChas C.

YAS Jess Fox and HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLIE!!!! Charlie and Jess Fox are all around awesome humans of south brooklyn. They've been there for me a lot in this past year, and I couldn't be more thankful for them. Love my strong ladies <3

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

Took a last week off of these so steps ups @ 50lbs x 8, still irritating. Right glute remains uncooperative, twitching aggressively as I biked.

Chin-ups 5, 5, 5.

WOD: 12:09

Used 20lb dumbells to preserve a happy shoulder, still brutal. 95lbs on the DL. Had to break these up after the first round, pouring sweat, trying to maintain good mechanics. Takeaway, thrusters still suck.

Cashout: some jefferson curls with the 8kg kettlebell and pilates mat series to make sure low back was happy.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKarina S

A. casual walk to gym with penny! (45 min)

B. Power Clean & Push Jerk: work up to medium+ weight for about 3-5 singles

C. Conditioning trifecta. 3 min of rest/equipment transition time between pieces.

10 min
6 Power Snatch @ 65#
8 walking lunges
20 DU
=7 rounds + 6ps + 8wl + 13DU

10 min
Row 150m
5 Power Clean @ 105#
3 FSQ @ 105#
=5 rounds even

10 min
10 burpee box jump, 24”
=5 rounds + 5TTB + 1BMU + 2 BBJ

intended to work at about 85% throughout. was in a pretty good zone there for first and second parts. more like 90-95% on last one. felt like toast after this whole thing.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

I view Lady fox as some kind of Fitness Goddess I could never aspire to be, and then I'm reminded that she started crossfit and lifting later in life! She's so inspiring, strong, and CHILL. Just gets it done!

Step ups: can't express how valuable these have been to my squats! 50.5 8x3. I PR'd my squat this weekend at 165 for 5 singles. 20# more than Iron Maiden's last year. Hoping to hit at least 170 at IM this year.

Wod: 8:51, 45#, 110 deadlifts. Couldn't catch Molly. The deadlifts were what killed me. Had to do 8-7 every round. Thrusters no problem, but not fast. 50# would have been RX, but I saw the 22.5 dumbbells and got lazy. That's why I will never be Lady Fox. Or Whit (who was killing some cleans and front squats). Man. #goals

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

Lady Fox! Ultimate role model at the gym since taking Foundations with her last summer.

6:30 with Melissa & Ro

Step ups:
45# x 8
45# x 10
50# x 8 - that's 30% of 1RM. They were OK. Definite improvement over the cycle though, and it's been a HUGE help with front rack position

Chins: 2-2 with red band, 1 with red band-1 attempt w/o band (fail), 2 with red band. I'm close to at least one w/o assistance.

WOD: 9:57, 20# DB thrusters, 83# DLs
Barbara shamed/encouraged me to bump up to 20# DBs--thrusters are super hard, they continued to be super hard, my left arm was all sorts of flailing around, but I did it. Could have gone heavier on the DLs, maybe.

Make up from yesterday-
5:30 with Whit doing Monday

Close grip bench press: 45# x 10, 65# x 10, 70# x 10, 75# x 10, 55# x 12
LOTS of good cues from Whit since she was spotting me. Definitely want to go heavier and very curious where my limit is.

WOD: best was one rep sort of 4 rnds, worst was one rep short of 3 rnds - fitness scale with sad DU attempts thrown in. My brain knows what these should be, my body knows what they should be. They just need to work together on this already. Thanks to Whit again for the tips.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate Tk

I should also add the shame/encouragement was MUCH appreciated, Barbara :) I definitely could use a push sometimes.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate Tk

nice pr, allie!!!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterariel

Loved learning more about Lady Fox. Can't wait to watch you hit those numbers at IM!!

Step ups: 50#x8x3

I dropped to a lower box because I felt I was pushing off too much when using the 20" box (I'm only 5'1"). Used the 16" box (is that correct?) plus a 15# plate. Still grueling but can def go up in weight.

Chinups: Could only do 2 each round which is less than previous weeks but I did a particularly challenging Bulletproof shoulders workout right before class so not too worried about going down in numbers.


25# DB and 125# DL

Did not finish! My back seized up after the second round. I think I did the first two rounds unbroken, then went downhill the third round. The last set of DLs were agonizing so Ro told me to stop. Even thought deadlifts are typically my strength and 125 should be light for me, I haven't deadlifted since early December because of my wrist so should have played it smarter today.

Had planned to do Bulletproof back after the workout, but obviously didn't.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

Mary: 11rds + 5 HSPU + 3 pistols
10 alt pistols
15 pull-ups

Ouch. Ripped around min 16. need to do better with my Hand care and will be Doing body work more often.

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ


WU: 3 min row 713m/43cal. D-RoMs, hip openers

Bench Press: 45x5, 75x5, 95x8, 100x8, 105x8, 110x8, 115x8

2min. AMRAP x 5 (with 2 min. rest in between each round)
20 single-unders
10 squats
5 jumping pull-ups

@ the YMCA

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Hoppmann

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