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Bench Press / Split Squat | WOD 7.10.17

Bench Press / Split Squat Superset*

A1) Tempo (31x1) Bench Press:
3 x 12

Heavier than last week.

A2) Tempo (31x1) Split Squat:
3 x 12e

Set back foot on a 16-20 inch box and load as appropriate with dumbbells or kettlebells held goblet-style.

*Warm up and a set of Bench Presses, followed by a set of Split Squats on each leg. Repeat for 3 work sets of each, resting about a minute between movements. Use a 31x1 tempo for both movements.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 2 of 8


Tabata Burpees
Rest 1 Minute
Tabata Row

Post work to comments.

Athlete of the Month: Pierre Davidoff

By Chris Fox

Welcome back to our longest running blog series, Athlete of the Month! Today we’re throwing the spotlight on Pierre D., easily our fittest Masters athlete at CFSBK. Consistent training, attending gym social events, competing outside the safe walls of 597 and 608 Degraw, and being the consummate rack/WOD/bar mate are all things that the coaching staff agree make Pierre a great AOM choice. I enjoyed sitting down with this eager, optimistic, humble, smooth-speaking Frenchman to learn a bit about him, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Fox: Congrats! Thanks for coming in to chat.

PD: Thank you. I’m truly flattered.

Fox: Let’s get started. When and how did you start CrossFit?

PD: I started in April of 2012, and it was with a Foundations class with you. I even actually remember my very first WOD time! It was the run, Air Squat, Ring Row, Sit-Up workout and I finished in 8:37. It was a pretty humbling experience since I thought of myself as pretty fit. The other three guys in my class took off faster than me on the first run, and I never caught up! However, in class 2 there were only three of us and by the third class it was only me left. I basically got private classes for half of the cycle. I also remember doing this seemingly simple Wall Ball workout that we finished with in class 6 that crushed me. I was hooked. I was introduced to CrossFit by my friend Paul Sandwald, who used to be a member here (Paul and his previous AOM wife, Sarah H., have relocated to San Francisco). I was dropping my son Tristan off at school and ran into him as he was coming from a workout. Long story short, I looked into it and was interested and here I am today.

Fox: Haha... of COURSE you remember your time from your first ever class WOD! I forgot that you knew Paul. Good people, he and Sarah. What about CrossFit appealed to you and why’d you stick around?

PD: I liked the class environment and the push that it gave me. I’ve always trained but have trouble pushing myself training alone so the competitive environment was a big for me. Of course the coaches and their timely corrections are invaluable as well, and the diversity of programming and the movements we train in CrossFit are really cool. Around the time I found CrossFit South Brooklyn I was struggling with addiction, and I have to say that this place, and immersing myself in it, were a big part of my success in dealing with addiction and moving forward in a positive direction.

Fox: That’s amazing, man. As a coach, I’ve always felt that while the physical aspects of becoming a quantifiably fitter human are certainly pretty cool, the ways that people progress that have nothing to do with reps, weights, or times are infinitely more satisfying. Things like what you’re speaking about... thanks for sharing that. Let’s hear a bit about you pre-CrossFit. Have you always been into fitness?

PD: Yeah, pretty much. I swam when I was young, and then trained in gymnastics for 13 years where I competed on the college national level in the sport. I quit gymnastics after a bad ankle injury and eventually began triathlon training, completing a Half Ironman as my longest distance. I’ve also done a bunch of adventure races like Spartan. I went to the gym and would do interval training and such to support my efforts in those activities but hadn’t done any Olympic lifting or CrossFit style gymnastics prior to CFSBK.

Fox: Ahhhh, so that’s why you can fly around the rings and Pull-Up bar like you’ve grew up on them! Where’d you grew up? The accent tells me it wasn’t in Gowanus.

PD: I was born in Paris and grew up in a southeast suburb of it called Saint Des Fosses. My family is all still there, including my brother Igor who incidentally looks nothing like me. In fact the rest of my family are all blonde haired and blue eyed. At 15, I asked my mom to “tell me the truth” about whether or not I was adopted! I’ve since learned about how genetics express themselves :)

Fox: How’d you wind up in the states?

PD: I’d been visiting for a while, since 1983, but I moved here “by accident” in 1995. I was really just on vacation but decided not to return to France. I was travelling a lot, doing cyber security for banks and also some teaching and was just ready for a change of life. I did lots of odd jobs for while to stay here. Man, did I wash a lot of dishes... but I was eager for the opportunity that this country provides. In my line of work, in France there is no way you can get a job without the “proper” education. Here, you just have to prove you have what it takes to get the job done. It’s like, “show me what you can do for me.” There’s no way I could have created the life I have now if I’d stayed home. And I wouldn’t have met my love and my wife, Ariel. We met while working together in 1998, married in 2003, and had Tristan in 2006.

Fox: I always find the immigrant view of what the US has offer in terms of opportunity refreshing. Whole generations move here from across the globe for exactly the reasons you express. I’m pretty sure you’ve quit washing dishes for a living. What do you do now?

PD: I’m currently with a company called Celmatix that I’m very excited about. I began with them early on when they were a new start up. I think I was their 20th employee. We’re doing work on solving and decoding the human genome to help couples with fertility issues. We do things like work to calculate the odds of success with different fertility treatments based on a woman’s mutations in the genome, or predict how early in life a woman is likely to begin menopause, which if you’re considering when in life you’d like children can be a major factor.

Fox: That sounds like great work. What do you for fun, outside of work and CrossFit?

PD: [read in an exaggerated, expressive French accent] I loooove to cook! Lately I’ve been focusing on smoking meats on my balcony. My neighbors have almost called 911 a few times thinking there was a fire after I set up the smoker at 4am. I’m trying anything in there... ribs, short ribs, brisket, you name it. I’ve also been trying breadmaking, but without much success yet. As a family we also pick a new restaurant to type of cuisine to try each week. I think it’s shaped Tristan to be a bit unlike the average kid in that he’ll eat whatever we eat and has quite a palate. Ariel and I love to travel and also take Tristan everywhere we go. This year it’s Iceland and Scotland. And, I love music. I’ve got a unashamed love of most 80’s rock. I still go to shows regularly but they start so damned late! I love it when some of the older acts go on at 8 or 9pm since they know us older folks have to get our sleep. Going to see live music is another hobby I’ve been sharing with Tristan as well. Ask me about the time we had no tickets to see his favorite band, Royal Blood, but wound up meeting the band and seeing the show with the best seats on the house!

Fox: That’s an amazing story. Tristan is a lucky little dude. Back to fitness for a quick minute... you trained and competed at a weightlifting meet this year. Can you tell us about that?

PD: I think what triggered it all was a story on CFSBK blog about Arturo's experience training for the 2016 Masters Nationals. If I remember it was in July or August 2016. I decided what the heck let’s shoot for the stars and sign up for a meet a try to qualify. I think at the time the qualifying weight for 94kg men in my age group was a 182Kg total, which I thought was achievable. Then in September 2016, they released the revised total and the qualifying total was now 192Kg. This was getting into PR territory for me and much more difficult to achieve with USAW standards. I started increasing my training volume in Oly and also attended the Friday Oly class with Coach Joe. He is a total riot, but for some reason, his style and cues resonate well with me. It was a very humbling 3 months of training. I did the last sanctioned meet of 2016 where I could record a qualifying total for the Masters Nationals. I planned on hitting 80, 85, 90 on the snatch, and 103, 107, 111 on the clean and jerk. Besides my openers, a lot of these weights were hit or miss, and I was very inconsistent on the snatch. Well, snatch did not go as planned at all, hit my opener at 80 and missed back to back 85kg attempts. I then opened at 103 on the clean and made it. I was still far from the needed total so I decided to go for it and did a 9Kg jump to 112kg. Missed my first attempt on the jerk for a press out, but got my second attempt. That was it! I was qualified for Masters Nationals.

Masters took place in Savannah. It was a great experience and by then I was very consistent in my lifting. I went 3 for 3 on the snatch with 80, 85, 90 and 3 for 3 on the clean at 103, 108, 111 for a 201Kg total which was a PR for me! I think I finished 8 out of 15. This was a super cool experience, and I'm really happy I decided to take a chance and challenge myself. This year my challenge is to make it to the online qualifier for the 2018 CF Open. I know it sounds crazy and Ariel thinks I'm nuts. I think the challenges give me a focus, and CrossFit as the mean to improve myself as an athlete and a person.

I think Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best in Ulysses, and I try to live by these words every day:

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Fox: You rock. I really like this interview... Last question: What should we look for in a future AOM?

PD: Someone who challenges themselves and tries new/scary stuff. Someone who works on their goats and hammers them down until they’re no longer goats. You can’t shy away from the hard stuff. You have to approach it with consistency and discipline. And of course, be a good classmate. Just this past Crush Week we did a dumbbell version of the Open Workout 14.5/16.5... and it literally crushed me. If it were not for Paul and Allie I would not have finished. They cheered me on to keep moving and so I did.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Clean and Jerk | Deadlifts, Run
What CrossFitters Can Learn from Bodybuilding BarBend
Rehabilitation Starting Strength

Reader Comments (30)

Pierre! Always a favorite of mine as a rack mate or for a partner workout...always positive and dude is a machine. Congrats

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad L

Yeah!!! AFT. Pierre is le homme! He is a huge inspiration and good friend. His achievements are amazing. My money is on him to qualify for regionals next year no doubt! It was (surprisingly) not mentioned in the interview but Pierre is instrumental in my ongoing quest for the perfect-er body. From a strength perspective - by talking me into lifting heavy things with him. From a cardio perspective - by forcing me to run away from him before he talks me into lifting heavy things with him.

IMO - this should have been the first AOTM video interview. If you have the footage break it out Monsieur Renard!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

6am with Ro and LaurenS

Bench: 145# for the 3 x 12 tempo. These were tough but doable.

Split squat: Green KB for the first set, then dropped to a white KB for 2 and 3. These were way more difficult than I thought. I also missed last week, so I wanted to use this first time to practice not falling over.

Tabata Row: Max calories was 9, lowest was 5.

Tabata Burpees: Max was 13, lowest was 9.

Also congrats Pierre! It's been great getting to know you.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelA

This is great. Can't think of a more deserving AOTM. And as someone who also found CFSBK while struggling with addiction I have so much respect for pierres journey... and, of course, as always, unending gratitude for CFSBK.

Hi all - will also post in classifieds but wanted to put this out here as well. A dear friend is looking for a new home for her very sweet dog (see below). She is an incredibly sweet dog, and I would take her if I could. Let me know if you'd like to know more about her and I will put you in touch with Erin. My email is swmarque at gmail. Thanks!

Dear Friends and Family,

We are writing to ask for your help with our dog Rosie. We adopted Rosie five years ago and she is like one of our family. Unfortunately, it has become clear to us over the past few weeks that life with a toddler has become too much for Rosie to handle. After consulting with a trainer who has worked with Rosie in the past, we think it is for the best if Rosie lives in a home without small children.

Rosie is an affectionate, friendly, and active pit-mix who would make a great pet for anyone who does not have small children or other pets. Please let us know if you have suggestions, advice or leads that might help us find a good home for our Rosie.


Erin and Ken

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSarah M

Felicitations, Pierre! Well deserved.

Strength cycle

Had a terrible night's sleep and was worried everything would feel awful. It did, but still moved!

LBBS: 142.5x5x3
Came in thinking I'd be at 145 (bw), but in the end glad the jump was smaller. Really trying to keep my knees out though each rep and not lose depth. On the plus, warming up 125 (where I started this cycle), felt awesome!

Bench: 82.5x5x3
Heavy but solid. Really using all points of contact (shoulders, butt, feet) to stay grounded.

DL: 175x5
Each rep was like its own event. This was my previous 1RM. Had to sit on the floor for a while after. Fun!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate Tk

Pierre absolute legend

6am with Snickers & Ro....Ronickers(?)

Bench 135x12x3 same weight as last week
24 kg bell same

Burpees 9-5
Row 9-6
Hated both of these

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames A

Belated congrats to Ro on qualifying!

And oui, oui to Pierre! Always making it look easy at AG. And I'm always amazed by people who are able to find their way out of addiction -- thank you for sharing that with us.

7 AM torture session with LauRo:

30# DB on the split squats, 80# on the bench press. I really thought I was going to fail in my last set of bench but somehow I managed to get the bar up the 12th time. I am 100% certain this was max effort for that rep scheme for me.

40 burpees (exactly 5 each round) and 46 calories on the tabata stuff.

Taking a shower afterward was really, really difficult. It's hard to shampoo your hair when your entire body is shaking!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Congrats to all of the lifter this weekend!!! congrats to Pierre!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

Great interview! I ran a Spartan race in 2013 (never again) with CFSBK and luckily, Pierre was on my team. He could easily have finished first out of all of us but he stuck back on each part to make sure a couple of us slower pokes could get through everything, cheering for us the whole way. I really only finished because of him and will never forget his encouragement to step on his back or hands so he could help heave me over some of those MFing obstacle walls.

A true gem!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate R.

Congrats, Pierre, and continued good luck with all of your cooking adventures! (Is it lunchtime yet?)

Bench press at 75, 80, 82. Feeling good today.

Split squats 3x12 with a blue KB (12kg?). Ugh. I know they're good for me, but no fun.

Tabata WOD: 55 total burpees, 53 cals on the row.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteven N

Congratulations Pierre. Well deserved. We have such interesting members. I love learning more about our community.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Pierre!!! Well-deserved. I loved reading this interview and learning more about such a kind, dedicated, and interesting man.

Yesterday: think I did a total of 4 hours of bike riding with Brett and his family! none of it was very strenuous, but all that time frolicking in the sun definitely added up a bit

Today: 9AM short circuit, with some modifications

8ea high pull 20#
:30 hollow hold
10 band snow angel
(+10ea eccentric ankle dorsiflexion)

:30 box step up 24" / :30 table top / :30 rest
:30 jump rope (mostly singles, alt legs) / :30 jumping lunges (woof ~20-24 each) / :30 rest
:30 squat thrusts / :30 plate GTO (25#, 35#x2) / :30 rest.

10AM group class

:20 pull up bar hang
:20 handstand hold
5 half roll down with :02 pause

BENCH 3x12 @ 31x1 @ 75# - repeat weight
close grip first set, then inched it out a bit. much easier with regular grip, but not easy.

SPLIT SQT 1x12 BW, 3x12 @ 25#
Left side only! trying it out.

tabata burpees: 52 reps
kept this relatively moderate, still being mindful of wrist. definitely more upper body fatigue than gas on this one.

tabata row: 49 cal
I guess I over-paced my row a bit in the middle... just didn't feel like going 100% on this today. stayed above 1100 cal the whole time, about 6-7 hard strokes per :20 round.

finished with 10x eccentric ankle dorsi , calf stretch, foot manipulation

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

Loved reading this interview and learning more about Pierre! SUCH an amazing and inspiring athlete.

7am w/ Ro + Lauren and a fresh new notebook to keep track of my #gainz
These split squats are a killer!! Used a 17.5# DB this week. Owww.
60# on the tempo bench press, a 5# jump from last week. The last 1--2 of each set were tough, but I definitely have room to go up so I think I started in the right place.

Fun little tabata metcon (even w/o Tabata Songs)...rowed 46 calories and did 47 burpees total.

'Monsieur Renard' <-- this is my favorite

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

This was an excellent interview! Pierre is AOTM every month in my book! If you need advice on how to analyze a wod or get tips on gymnastics skills, Pierre's your guy. Such great role models at CFSBK-- thanks for sharing, Pierre!!

AG Strength: Did 4 rock throughs on the ring thing with 50#! Almost had a full muscleup with the ring thing +50# but rings came out a bit. That was my third set, so maybe when I'm fresh!
I love AG Strength. My HSPUs are coming along nicely! Did 2 sets of 2 strict, no mats!

Tempo Dips (benched this morning in aGS): 10#x 6, 15#x 5, 25#x 2... got stuck in the bottom; wanted 4 reps. Oh well!
Split Squats: started with 25# for my first set. Still wanted to maintain an honest tempo so I dropped down to 20# in an effort to be honest with tempo. So hard!!!

42 burpees, 36 calories

Fox illuminated that my hip extension/ soaz/ tfl area is very tight and not good on my split squats. My resting leg is coming out super wide to compensate. Did lots of couch stretch, tfl ball, and Soaz stretching on the foam roller. Yikes!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

Pierre - one of the best - in and out of the box!!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCP

Bias alert~ I consider Pierre a close friend from the gym and more importantly a training rival :)

So great to have this warm, hard working and really interesting member highlighted as our AOM. Super well deserving and in many ways an ideal standard bearer for our community.

If you ever want to talk at length about CF athletes, especially around Regionals and Games season, Pierre is your man! I also love competing with him in the Open and in Group Class workouts.

July 10, 2017 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Adding my kudos to Pierre - well done and well deserved! How come we have such young Masters? Congrats our qualifying Masters National lifters - Arturo and Alex! Congrats to all lifters! Did I get this right - Katie H - first meet?...qualified for nationals in your first competition - like, no big deal!

7 am with Lauren and Ro
I missed last week so this was my first experience with the supersetted 12s. Wowee. Those got burnie in the last few reps. I got to work with Akoto so at least that made it fun! I actually had lots of trouble balancing on my "strong" leg. I'll work it out. Benching felt ok at 60# which is more than 60% of my 1rm. That pause helps trigger using the bottom half of my body but my shoulders seem to slide apart after so many reps. I'll work that out too.

Tomato Tomahto Tabata
41 burpees and 42 cals and then some trouble adding those numbers together at the whiteboard.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Pierre! C'est magnifique! An incredibly generous and kind classmate with a wicked sense of humor. Always a good day when I wind up in class with him (or just see him on the sidelines before/after). Congrats, sir!

Today my split squats were all over the place and I barely squeaked through two tempo bench press sets at 105# (and one at 115# but I was lowering the bar too fast for it to really count). Then I only mustered 42 burpees in the tabata zone, but managed to make up for it by pulling 70 calories on the erg. When in doubt, stretch it out.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChas C.

Pierre is one of the most fun and well deserved AOM interviews yet. I love that he remembered his very first WOD time! Like DO, he's also someone who I look to for motivation on times/numbers etc...except unlike DO, Pierre and I are around the same age :)

10am class
Tempo Bench

12kg x12x3

48 Burpees
58 Cals

70 is bananas

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFox

6am with Ro and Snickers

Bench - 145x12x3
Split Squat - 24kgx12x3

Went up 10# on the bench and stayed the same on the squats - mainly because I couldn't find a 60# DB

Metcon - ~70 calorie row (did that first) then ~61 burpees

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

530 with Ro and Melissa!!

Tempo bench #75
Tempo split squat 25#....so much time under tension. These rocked me
Once again!

Burped Tabata:

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSarah C

Oops repost

Burpee tabata: 59....first three rounds hit 8, then the last five I hit 7 burpees consistently. I'm starting to like workouts with burpees in them. I think I must have fallen and hit my head lol
Row tabata: 56 cals....this is just cruel!!


Back squat:
5*6 #185

3@60% #95
3@65 #100
3@70 #110
3@75 #115
3(3)@80 #125

Everything just felt good today! That's why I like coming in Monday's and pushing myself. Start the week off fresh and hard, sets the tone for the rest of the week:)

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSarah C

FYEAH, PIERRE. Well deserved! You've inspired me; My future offspring will be forced into gymnastics.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterG-Money

This was overdue and much deserved. Pierre was the first person who would come up to me after my first group class straight out of foundations with some amazing double under tips. Later on he was eager to point out some bar muscle up stuff when I asked because you know, he's pretty good at those. No matter what it's always fun to chat with Pierre and whenever I feel a question would be too repetitive or dumb to ask I know he's always a good source of knowledge and won't shy away to help.

Thanks Pierre! It's a always a pleasure.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMario

Pierre!!! Congrats- so well-deserved!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Congrats Pierre!

Bench at 63#
Split squat at 25#

Tabata row: 48
tabata burpees: 52

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M

PIERRE!! so well deserved, and such an a great presence at the gym. He is truly one of the most supportive members at the gym and a really awesome person all around!! Congrats!! ♥

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCam

Congrats, Pierre! Such an interesting person. Love nerding out and talking about genetics with him! Inspiring athlete who gives great advice and motivates you through the toughest moments!

Bench: 60#
SS: 15#DBsx12x1, 17.5x10x2ish

Sarah C noticed I used a 15# and 17.5 DB on my last set. Oops. Modified and held two DBs next to me instead of in the front rack.

Burpees: 52
Row: 44

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

Quick shout out from Utah to Pierre! So well deserved and I'm always super impressed by his dedication. Especially doing Saturday multiple classes or accessory work- so focused and thoughtful.

Looking forward to not having to workout at elevation later next week!

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh

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