Bench Press / Split Squat Superset*
A1) Tempo (31×1) Bench Press:
3 x 12
Heavier than last week.
A2) Tempo (31×1) 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 31×1 tempo for both movements.
Post loads to comments.
Exposure 2 of 8
Rest 1 Minute
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.
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