Every 3 minutes x 18 (6 sets):
12 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
8 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24/20
The goal is fast and unbroken on each set. The Burpee Box Jump Overs are Rx’d as a jump-out/jump-in Burpee and must be a two-foot take off on the jump. Jump or step down as desired.
Every 3 minutes x 18 (6 sets):
12 Wall Balls 14/10, 10/8
8 Burpee Box Jump Overs 20/16
The goal is fast and unbroken on each set. TheBurpee Box Jump Overs can be a step-out/step-in Burpee, and stepping over the box is allowed.
Post work to comments.
90% x 1 x 3
Warm up and make a heavy-single Back Squat followed by three more singles at 90% of that load. Goal is no misses and no bailing, but use spotters on all work sets.
Post loads to comments.
Photos from our first Friday Night Lights event of the season are now up on Flickr. Join us again this Friday night from 5:30 to 8pm as we take on 18.2. Heat sign up info will be on the blog tomorrow!
Critical Mass, Part II
Introduction by Erica Dohring
“You’re gaining weight on purpose?” Looking the inquirer in the eye with a strong “yes” has yielded an interesting array of responses: surprise, confusion, amusement, and, my personal favorite, “of course you would” (said lovingly). Deliberately trying to gain weight is an unusual pursuit in the US, even among active, athletic adults. In this 2-part miniseries—Part I went up last Tuesday—you’ll read the stories of 5 women who are going against the grain, even if they are probably snacking on it right now.
Last week we heard from Erica D., Lorena F., and Coach KHarpz, all of whom are currently at work on massing programs. This week we’ll hear from Francine D. and Coach Lauren “Snickers” Snisky , both of whom have completed massing programs. Let’s rock!
Can you start by telling us a bit about your massing programs? Did you follow a coach’s template or come up with or own (or something else)?
Francine: I first started with a Renaissance Periodization cut and lost 25 lb. Then after 16 weeks of maintenance, I did a reverse diet working my way back up the RP templates to gain weight.
Lauren: I have done the fairly simple, you-gotta-eat-MORE self-made program 2 or 3 times since I started CrossFit 4 years ago. I have some experience in playing with my nutrition and a solid whole-foods foundation, so I felt confident enough to experiment on my own for this purpose. My initial attempt focused on increasing my protein and my protein options. I expanded my diet to included fish and seafood and eventually poultry and meat after about 8 years of a vegetarian diet. I made adjustments along the way based on what felt right as far as my macro nutrient ratios were concerned, and tried I to avoid the absolute forced feed feeling.
Why did you decide to do a massing cycle?
Francine: After hitting and maintaining what my original goal weight, I soon realized that I didn’t feel good at that light weight and with very little body fat. And while I had accomplished the feat of losing a good amount of body fat, I realized I needed to gain more muscle mass—not to be thin and lean.
Lauren: I wanted to get stronger, but it was also for aesthetics. I wanted more visible muscle mass, and I see that as sort of an ongoing work in progress. I will occasionally whine that I “want to get jacked,” and someone will say something like “hey crazy, you are jacked.” I have definitely made some mass gains since starting CrossFit and realizing I needed to eat more overall. It’s all relative to you and your strength and body composition goals.
But initially, a few years ago, I would say I was a bit unaware of how little I was really eating compared to my goal of getting stronger. Coach McDowell asked me one day how many calories I was taking in per day. At the time is was about 1500. He responded with no hesitation that that needed to come up… immediately. And really any increase at that point would have been just to better support my performance and recovery while maintaining current weight. So that’s where I started: eat more and feel the benefits of that, then make another increase with the goal of putting on more muscle mass.
How did it work out? What changes did you notice?
Francine: I massed for 16 weeks and gained 9 lb. I immediately felt better, more vibrant. My programming changed around this time as well. I started working with Coach Ro right before “the massing” began, and the focus was to get stronger with a little bit of hypertrophy work. I felt great immediately.
Lauren: I have noticed changes in both muscle gain and performance. I did do a cutting (fat loss) diet in 2016 and am currently maintaining the weight I’ve put on since last year. When I began Crossfitting I was about 114 lb. I’m currently about 128. 14 pounds gained. Of course this wasn’t all at once. Like I said, I’ve made intentional increases in my diet a couple of times over the past 4 years. I would say my last increase was about 7-8 lb in 2017. Generally over this longer period of gaining weight, my strength has increased significantly. I believe it has helped me push through some strength plateaus. For example, once I was in the 120s, I felt better and saw increases with my Olympic lifts. And I was able to rep out at higher percentages on my Back and Front Squats.
What’s the biggest challenge you encountered?
Francine: I consciously allowed myself to gain weight and train with that goal of strength, but the whole time I kept worrying about getting fat and losing fitness. My mindset was not right. It’s impossible to gain weight without gaining body fat, but I was constantly worried about this aspect. It was also weird at first to watch the scale go up when all my life I’ve stepped on to either see my weight go down or remain the same.
Lauren: Sometimes eating enough is actually a really difficult thing to do. And this is twofold. The first part being, it can just feel like A LOT of food. I already ate 3 servings of protein today. I need more? Yes, yes you do. The second part is more psychological. It’s about keeping the long game in mind. Some body fat will come along with your muscle gains, and that’s been a challenge for me to accept. It still is. But when I think long term, taking on a small amount of body fat and managing that later is well worth the muscle and strength gains.
How did you transition out of massing and back into a maintenance diet/training program?
Francine: This was the hardest part for me. In October, I started maintaining my weight gain, but I was definitely out of whack and not with my calorie counts. I was just finding it a bit difficult to be a regular person. I was food obsessed during the cut and mass. I just wanted to stop thinking about food. I gained another 4 lb through the holidays, struggling to find my “correct weight.” I decided to just give my mind and body a break and focus on my performance as I gear up for Masters Nationals Weightlifting Meet in April and am focused on a “healthy eating” approach, looking to maintain scale weight but lose a bit of body fat with some higher volume training and conditioning. The whole program was designed by Coach Ro.
Lauren: I found what I would require calorie-wise to maintain my weight, and I figured out what macro nutrient ratio should make up those calories. Then for me, it was just a matter of finding the portions I needed per meal to meet that new macro requirement. It can take a few days maybe to figure out what works so you don’t continue to gain weight.
Any advice for a women who are considering doing a massing program?
Francine: Our bodies need love, care, and respect. Eat to love your body, first and foremost. Go ahead and gain some weight if your training/fitness goals would be better achieved by adding mass (or by cutting for that matter). Otherwise, just focus on the quality of the food you eat and maintaining a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Lauren: I do think for most, you’ll want to follow an actual program or guideline to be confident you are taking in a good macro-nutrient ratio vs. just eating all the food. There are some different approaches out there, so do what feels right for your goals and training. Ask around, do a little research. Remember these changes, if done well and to last, take time. tTis is why the RP program (that some others have done here) is about 3 months long for a massing phase.
Would you do it again?
Francine: Only if my performance goals required it.
Lauren: Yes, for sure. Maybe a structured program this time to see how that works for me. I get muscle envy. And putting on muscle feels great, plus I know I’ll be stronger for it. I received a couple of compliments not that long ago on how my quads looked larger, and that’s like Christmas to me. It reassured me that the little bit of body fat I’ve put on is worth it, because that body fat can be managed later, and I’ll still have these bigger, stronger quads to show for it.
News and Notes
- There’s just one spot left in Coach Ro’s popular Anti-Gravity Strength class, which starts on March 6th. Who wants it? Go here to register!
- Starting this week, Thursday night Next Level Weightlifting Club will move to Friday night from 6 to 8pm. NLWC will now meet Mondays from 7 to 9pm, Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm, and Fridays from 6 to 8pm.
Yesterday’s Results Board: Rest Day
Inside Westside Barbell Club, Powerlifting’s Most Exclusive and Controversial Gym Vice Sports (video)
Returning to CrossFit After Pregnancy Girls Gone Strong
Nice article ladies!
I’m here to talk about the MASSIVE GAINS that I have achieved in AG Strength and encourage y’all to sign up for the remaining spot. I just completed my third cycle yesterday. We tested 1RM HSPU, weighted pull-up and press. I managed to get down to 1 Ab Mat strict on HSPU which ties my PR from last cycle. Took two attempts to go lower but failed. This exercise is definitely a goat but I made progress towards my goal of strict with no ab mat etc. assistance. I managed to pull body weight plus 42.5# which was relatively smooth. I missed 47.5# in my attempt for a 2.5# PR. (Next time). Biggest shocker was pressing 145# which broke a PR that I set at a Strength Cycle total in May 2014. Really psyched that I was able to maintain and exceed that # while essentially training body weight movements for the last 2 or so years. That tempo HSPU and inversion stuff really works even though its difficult to observe GAINZ on a day-to-day basis. I think I could have hit 150# if I took an extra attempt but Azam and Dre wisely talked me down from my bro high and I walked away from the barbell with my soft tissue intact. Push/pull ratio = 65% which was the goal according to coach.
All in all thanks to coach Ro for his great programming and encouragement over the last eight weeks and thanks to the wonderful group of Ro-strengthers with whom I was honored to share bars and dumbbells. Everyone had some great achievements yesterday. Among other notable feats, Sophia hit her first unassisted chin-up and the reigning AOTM hit a stoopid +45# weighted pull up which means her strength-to-weight ratio is American Ninja Warrior level.
Still chasing the ultimate prize of the strict muscle up but I know I’ll get there once I can nail a Russian dip.
Please don’t hate on me because my biceps scare small children.
Lauren: your quads DO look very quadzilla these days. Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁😛
Agggghhh I soooo have AG Strength envy. I need to win the lottery so I can never have to worry about getting home on time for an early evening class.
Sofia Melo says
Great insight on massing program again!
Also, thank you for sharing your experience Jay. I was already signed up for the next AGS cycle, so I’m glad to hear your positive feedback, even more excited now! 🙂
Stella – to your point, my biggest challenge for AGS will be to get there at 6pm, coming all the way from midtown Manhattan and relying on MTA. I had to come up with a whole system with the nanny and the husband to make my schedule work for Tuesday night AGS, but it will be worth it!
Erica Dohring says
Thank you for sharing your stories Francine and Lauren! Paving the way for the rest of us 🙂
Loving this nutrition content! Such refreshing, level-headed perspectives on what can be a loaded subject…and I’m learning so much from these amazing women!
7AM w/ Ro + Brett
WOD: Slowest was my first round at 1:05, fastest was my last round at :56. This was fun and it was great pairing with Kate W again! Rep counts were just low enough that I felt like I could really push the pace.
BSQ: Ughhhhh. Felt nervous and totally psyched out about squatting today. I think just knowing it was a heavy day got in my head. (Also, glutes are super sore from yesterday’s pistols!) Worked up to 155#x1 but it was NOT pretty. Then singles at 135. I suspect my squatting issues have more to do with confidence than anything else, but also, I’ve developed a bad habit of letting my knees cave in on the way up…gotta work on that. Might try boosting my protein a little bit too 🙂
Amanda Mc says
I really loved all the diverse perspectives in these two articles. Really honest, intelligent and healthy mentalities all around. Definitely made me think. Thanks all for sharing!
Felt heavy. Legs were tired.
Great to hear from Francine and Lauren on their experiences! I’ll echo the sentiment that these days I am all about eating to fuel performance; essentially having enough energy to work hard and recover well. It’s taken time and experimentation, but now I can usually tell when I slide too far on either end of the spectrum — indulging in too much fatty/sweet stuff in a given week makes me feel slow and weighed down / not eating enough total volume (esp. carbs) leaves me feeling weak and low energy. Hovering around a flexible balance point makes me feel GREAT!
@Jay — congrats on your gainz! that push/pull ratio is enviable!!
40 min mobility/soft tissue work
got some good stuff from my PT yesterday for this weird R wrist stuff i’ve been noticing, so did a whole bunch of work with that and my elbows/triceps/shoulders which are just feeling a bit cranky. felt great to spend time on this stuff b/c i’ve been minimal with it in the past couple months.
:30 ea banded clamshell hold
:30 ea banded psoas march hold
10 ea monster walk, band on arches
5 push up @ 21×1
B. FSQ – just going by feel today
45×8, 95×8, 125×6
145×3, 155×3, 165 x 1 x 3
115 x 10 @ 20×1
**superset with 3-5 ring swings
C. a few ring muscle ups for practice/quality
D. EMOM X 12
even: 15 wall ball shot, 14#, 9′
odd: :30 ski erg (5-7 cal, increased effort a bit as i went along)
then did two more single muscle ups and a set of 3 to practice a bit more under fatigue. feels ok on the wrist. see how i recover.
kate tk says
Admiring all your front squatting lately. I need to up the FSQ game big time!
I’m just sayin’…Thursday morning strength club can still be a thing…
Also loving this discussion – as a lifelong ‘tiny’ person I’ve been thinking of changing up my diet to gain mass as well. Joining crossfit a year and a half ago was the one thing that actually kept my weight level by gaining and maintaining muscle (I normally lose weight just breathing). So I know I would need to up my calorie intake but as Lauren points out it sucks to feel like you are force-feeding yourself! I’m grateful that it is being discussed here because it often gets little attention, being on the other end of the weight spectrum of the population.
Jen Bokoff says
Such smart and interestingly conversation on the blog lately. Thanks for sharing, ladies.
Also, FNL photos are great! Looking forward to coming finally this week to Make America Blue Again.
5:30 with Lauren and Keith
Fitness version, 1:23-1:29 per round. I know that’s slow, but I was SO EXCITED because I used the 16” box today and not the soft box I’ve been using since starting CrossFit after an ankle injury. This was probably mostly a mental win. I was deliberate on each jump both going up and stepping down so I would stay stable throughout; now with more confidence I might be able to move a little faster on regular box jumps.
Anyway, then BSQ was:
105×3 125×2 130×1 135×1 125x1x3
135 is my current 1RM so it was neat to hit that in my post WOD tired legs state.
Kate tk says
5:30 with Keith and Lauren
Got to the gym early and it was just soooo nice out, got in a leisurely mile run before class.
Wallball/BBJO intervals: :50, :49, :49, :48, :57, 1:07
Lactic acid=legs turned to lead in round 5; two air ball no-reps and subsequent tantrum in the round 6. Felt pukey the rest of class. SO FUN THO. Partnered with KHarpz on this and looooved watching her fly.
Had the weirdsies so I sandbagged the squats a bit: worked up to 175 and then 3 singles at 155. Nice working with Allie B and KCaps!
Cashout: 6-8 x 3 knees to elbows
GLUTES ON FIRE 530
First 5 WB/BurpeeBJ rounds between 1:04 – 1:12 and the last… :55
guess I sand bagged the first sets, I wasn’t really feeling my best self today but Allie B kicked me into high gear the last round!
Top LBBSQT at 145, then dropped to 135 for singles.
Ditto- nice to work with Kate & Allie!
K HarpZ says
Disappeared from the blog for a bit. I won’t burden you all with 5 days worth of things. so I’ll just go with today and 18.1 recap:
Today: not recovering well and feeling pukey pretty much every time I exercise since Monday. Did performance care then jumped in on group conditioning:
Wall Balls and BJ intervals- :42/:40/:39/:39/:42
No repped myself in the last round. Otherwise it was fun to pivot and face dive onto the floor as soon as I threw my ball and saw it was over the line. Good one. But was 100% sick to my stomach and had to lie on the mat for a loooong time
A bit of a long story on how I got to my final score. But first attempt was at FNL! I was in the final hear and my ERG wasn’t working. Had to stop, no big D. My plan was to just do it solo directly after everybody else. And somehow in-between then and 20 minutes after, as DO said, totally “pulled a Camille”, and found myself crying quite a bit, decided to call it quits until Saturday.
Came into group class the next day with a different attitude. I decided to ditch my planned splits, have fun, and just get a score. Ended up with 315. It felt SO GOOD to have a score. Ran OG last Saturday too so I had a lot of fun judging and cheering other people on the whole day. Feeling like my old self again!
Anyway, had some decent footage of my splits from my first attempt so went through it, so coach Jon and I picked apart my wasted transition time, recorded my row/toes to bar splits, figured out where I could take breaks to save my grip, and how to pace the row properly based off of my average times. Had a full on excel document and everything. Gotta do what you gotta do. The strategy was this:
–break up toes to bar into 5/3 or 4/4 from the beginning (wait 5 seconds before jumping back up to finish the set
— 950-1000M row for all rounds except go Ball$ out in the last 4 min, don’t strap in and waste time
Anyway, even though I’m a fan of going based off of feel and pushing when it feels right. This plan was perfect and I am so glad I had one. I just zoned out and followed the plan without even thinking, cause I knew I’d reach my goal if i did everything I wrote on my paper. Did this with Morgan and my friend Brittany! Who were perfect pacers for me on this one! They were crushing!
Ended up with 343 reps (11 ads + 13 reps), so almost a full round better (2 reps shy). I would say it’s because I was in the right head space and that I was feeling much more energetic. Can’t say I’ll analyze all of the workouts this intensely, sometimes I like to wing it. But it was definitely worth it for this one. Big lesson learned about how to take a deep breath under pressure though! lots of work to do, but i’ll get there. Now that 18.1 is out of the way it’s time to have some fun!
Allie B says
5:30 yes, Glutes and Quads are dead! Thanks, pistols.
Really fun to watch Kate Tk and KHarpz rock those wall ball/burpee sprints!!
1:04, :58, :57, :58, :56, :52 🙂
Ro would be proud I got faster— totally inspired by the Kate-ies speed!
Fun squatting with Kristin and Kate—
Knees to Elbows: 4 sets of 10. Ab burner!
Last night AG: co-sign what Jay said. I can’t quit it, I’m addicted!
Funny story. Traffic was bad, so I went a different route because I needed the c4 I took to perfectly align with timing me to get a muscle up. Alas, I got a flat tire. I was so determined to make it, I just kept driving.
I was stressed and emotional— tried one attempt at a muscle up, didn’t get it, cried in a corner for a few minutes feeling like a failure— then I just decided to say screw it and do other stuff.
Got a 45# weighted chin up, PRd my strict press at 80.5, and did a handstand push-up with 10# plates plus 2 puzzle piece things. All PRs. And leaderboard.
Then, did 7:30 class.
Push press: 83×5, 93x 5, 103×2, then 98×5… and really held that final rep for like, 5 seconds before finally making the rep.
Roadside Assistance guy came. Took care of my car, and I jumped into the first run on Degraw St.
Pistols were fine, but I’m so sore today. C2bs were good- got 6 in a row one round!
Love the articles on massing! Great job gals! I’ve gained 8# since I started CrossFit. Maybe half of that is muscle. The rest is being healthier and enjoying life 🙂 I could definitely gain more— at least muscle— if I really want to compete with CrossFit.
Allie B says
12:42? Can’t remember.
Rob Underwood says
WOD (w/ Jason):
Rx-ish. Had to scale back to 9′ target on rounds 3-6 and step-ups on those same latter rounds. My times were :90 each I think. Rocked it.
Squat with Pierre and Jason: 275/295/310. Felt heavy on the walk out but moved smooth each lift.
Note To Management: This new lift after WOD new programming “new Coke vs. Coke Classic” thing would be more bearable without Brad trash talking my burpee box jumps 😉
Brad L says
@ MGMT Can we get a new award @ the gym for TTOTM (Trash Talker “”)?
Brad L says
Also, judging by your weights you didn’t follow the prescribed programming..it called for work up to a heavy single and then 3 singles @ 90% of that.
Great article, Lauren and Francine!
Wall balls felt great today. I only had 2-3 bad reps total, but didn’t redo them. Maybe I should have. I def think I did an extra WB rep #5 on my slowest round so that makes up for the no reps in the other rounds?
I tested two variations of BBJOs bc I’m really uncoordinated on them now that we can no longer step up from a burpee for the Rx version. I tested them with jumping directly out of the burpee onto the box and then taking an extra step after the burpee before I jumped on the box. I was surprisingly faster on the rounds with the extra step. When I jumped directly from the burpee, I had to take an extra long pause to make sure I would clear the box and it burned my quads, so overall just slower that way.
Skipping the next cycle of AGS and will go back in May. I’m not allowing myself to graduate from it until I get a strict HSPU from the floor! I have been 99% pain-free in my thumb and shoulder since doing it and my upper body is mostly back to my pre-injury strength (and stronger in some ways)!
Didn’t have as many gainz as some other AGS folks but still happy with my progess. Did a pullup with 16# (1# PR) and did a strict HSPU to one ab mat +1 utility mat which is PR match. I did 3 attempts with one ab mat but kept ascending before my head hit the mat. Close though! Strict press has always been a thorn in my side. My PR, 76#, is from 2014. Yes, 2014. I was so confident I was going to PR yesterday bc I’m definitely stronger (and 73# flew up!) but it didn’t happen. I think it’s more due to my form than strength. As the bar gets heavy, I tend to push it away from my body.