Hip Hinge Test

Hold the PVC behind your back by placing your hands behind the small of your neck and the small of your back (which hand goes where doesn’t really matter). For you to PASS this test, the PVC must stay in contact with your head, upper back, and butt throughout the entire hip hinge. Give it a go! If you passed the test you have a solid hip hinge. If not, here are some quick ideas on what might be wrong:

1. If the dowel is coming off of your butt, you are rounding your back

Quick fix: Arch your back instead!

2. If the dowel is coming off of your back, you are squatting too much

Quick fix: Maintain vertical shins and push your butt back!

3. If the dowel is coming off of your head, you’ve got too much rounding by the shoulders

Quick fix: Try moving the shoulders back and down. Keep a neutral neck and good posture!

WOD Fri Apr 18, 2014

Strength: Press 5 (65%) – 5 (75%) – 5+ (85%)


12 burpees
6 overhead squats
3 muscle ups

5 rounds

Option 1: 135/95
Option 2: 95/65; replace the MU with 3 strict pullups and 3 strict ring dips

WOD Wed Apr 16, 2014

Strength/Skill: Clean

Any form of clean. Pick one and go heavy, or work lighter on form and technique.


500m row
100 double unders
50 pushups
10 power cleans

AMRAP in 15 minutes

Option 1: 185/125
Option 2: 135/95

If you’re sore from the bench press, substitute situps for the pushups.

If all rowers are occupied, you may begin your next set of DU and take a rower when one is available.

WOD Tue Apr 15, 2014

Strength: Bench Press 5 (65%) – 5 (75%) – 5+ (85%)

Get in groups and rotate through quickly.


21 shoulder to overhead
21 pullups
3 laps
15 shoulder to overhead
15 pullups
2 laps
9 shoulder to overhead
9 pullups
1 lap

Option 1: 115/75; chest to bar pullups
Option 2: 95/65; regular pullups

Apologies to the 530am group, but according to the weatherman Tuesday is going to be the nicest day of the week. If it’s too cold at 530am, substitute rowing (450m/350m/250m) for the running.

“Pendlay vs. North vs. Klokov”

An interesting discussion in the differences in various Oly lifting styles. Click here for the whole article.

This year has been quite busy for me but also a very fortunate one. I was able to attend three major Olympic weightlifting seminars: Glenn Pendlay Level 1 & 2, Jon North’s Catapult, and the Norwood Weightlifting seminar featuring Dmitry Klokov, Ilya Ilyin, and Vasiliy Polovnikov. These seminars not only expanded my knowledge on weightlifting technique, but also made me aware that there are many different styles of weightlifting with their own separate complexities rather than a single method used by all. Glenn Pendlay taught the American classical style which I was very comfortable with since it was the style I was originally trained in. Jon North had his version of the catapult which really threw me off but I really enjoyed the technique. The Russian technique taught by Klokov and the others was crazy different and went against a lot of what we in America are taught to do. This article arranges the similarities and differences from the ground up from every seminar I attended this year.

CrossFit Sioux Falls

If anyone is ever out in the Sioux Falls area, feel free to drop in at CrossFit Sioux Falls. I mean literally, feel free. They won’t charge you. BHCF has an agreement with CFSF to allow drop-ins from one another’s gym without charge, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of it.


Beginning on May 1, sales tax will be applied in addition to the monthly membership fee, rather than being included with the monthly membership fee. Let Richie know if you have any questions.

WOD Mon Apr 14, 2014

Strength: Back Squat 5 (65%) – 5 (75%) – 5+ (85%)

If you’re new to CrossFit and/or new to lifting weights, there’s no need to follow the Wendler program or to be concerned about your one-rep max, or percentages thereof. Just work on getting familiar with the movements and developing confidence in your ability to move well with a loaded barbell. Remember, always: Form > Consistency > Intensity. Talk to the trainer.


7 deadlifts
10 knees to elbows
13 box jumps (24/20)

AMRAP in 12 minutes

Option 1: 185/125
Option 2: 135/95

Just because you CAN do Option 1 weight doesn’t mean you should. Every set on the DL should be unbroken.

Wendler 5-3-1

For the next several months (at least) we will be following Wendler’s 5-3-1 strength program. What that means is that we will be doing four lifts every week (back squat, bench press, deadlift, strict press), spread out over three or four days. Click here for a good summary of how Wendler works.

The easiest way to follow the program is to use one of the many Wendler spreadsheets available for free on the internet. Click 1) here, 2) here, or 3, here for examples, or just google “Wendler spreadsheet” and pick the one you like best.

Or you can do it the old fashioned way. Hopefully you tested your one-rep max in all those lifts last week. Take that number and multiply it by .9 to determine what 90% of your one rep max is (let’s call that your adjusted one-rep max). Record that number for all four lifts.

Wendler works in four week cycles, and every time we lift we will do three work sets (after a couple of warmup sets). The first week looks like this:

Set 1: 5 reps at 65% of adjusted one-rep max (that’s 65% of 90% of your tested one-rep max)
Set 2: 5 reps at 75% (again, 75% of 90%)
Set 3: 5+ reps at 85% (85% of 90%)

Notice that + after the 5 on the last set? What that means is that you do the last set to failure. If you get 5, keep going until you can’t get any more. These + reps are the most important reps in the whole program, and it’s essential that you challenge yourself on them.

This is the template for all four lifts during the first week. We will talk about the second week later.

Any questions?

WOD Fri Apr 11, 2014

Strength: determine your one-rep max for back squat, deadlift, bench press, or press (your choice)



3 laps
15 overhead squats (95/65)

5 rounds

Modify this WOD by doing lighter weight on the OHS and/or fewer than 5 rounds.

Make-up Yoga Class

Due to the cancellation last week, Suzette is holding a Yoga class this Sunday (Apr 12) at 10am. Hopefully some of you can make it! And if you haven’t ever gone, give it a shot. It’s definitely worth your time.

Posted in WOD

WOD Thu Apr 10, 2014

Strength: determine your one-rep max for back squat, deadlift, bench press, or press (your choice)

Gotta get all 4 done by the end of the week.


10 toes to bar
20 kb swings
30 lunges (total)

AMRAP in 16 minutes

You must row 1000m at some point during the WOD. The row does not count toward your score.

Option 1: 70/55
Option 2: 55/35

WOD Wed Apr 9, 2014

Strength: determine your one-rep max for back squat, deadlift, bench press, or press (your choice)


Every minute on the minute, perform:

1 shoulder to overhead
1 box jump

Rest for the remainder of the minute.

Add 1 rep to each exercise in each subsequent minute.

Go as far as you can. As long as you complete all reps within the minute, you advance to the next minute.

If, within the first 10 minutes, you aren’t able to complete a round, convert this to a 10 minute AMRAP with reps corresponding to the last round you finished. For example, if you finish the round of 6, but don’t make it through the round of 7, continue on at 6/6 AMRAP until 10 minutes are up.

Option 1: 95/65
Option 2: 75/55

WOD Tue Apr 8, 2014

Strength: determine your one-rep max for back squat, deadlift, bench press, or press (your choice)

If you did an upper body lift on Monday, do a lower body lift on Tuesday, and vice versa.


5 front squats
11 pushups
17 situps

5 rounds

You must do 2 laps kb farmer’s carry at some point during the WOD. The laps may be done one at a time, and may be done at any point.

Option 1: 165/115 front squat and 70/55 kb (per arm)
Option 2: 135/95 front squat and 55/35 kb (per arm)

Scale the weight on the kb farmer’s carry if necessary. Use the 45s, 25s, etc. if those would be best for you. You should be able to go at least a half lap without having to put them down.

WOD Mon Apr 7, 2014

Strength: determine your one-rep max for back squat, deadlift, bench press, or press (your choice)


20 wallballs
10 burpees
5 clean and jerks

AMRAP in 11 minutes

Option 1: 185/125
Option 2: 135/95

Make sure you warp up your clean and jerk before doing it in the WOD.

Testing Week

On Apr 14 we’re going to begin using the Wendler 5-3-1 system for our strength programming. It’s a great system for anyone, but in particular CrossFitters, because it’s simple, doesn’t take too long, and most importantly, it works. More details on how 5-3-1 works will follow, but for now click here for a good summary (written by Wendler himself).

Everyone is strongly encouraged to dedicate themselves to diligently and faithfully working this program. If you do, you are virtually guaranteed to make steady, measurable progress in terms of getting stronger. Constant variety is fine, but a regimented program is a more effective way to make gains. (We will, of course, continue to do conditioning workouts after the strength portion.)

This week it is essential that you determine your one-rep max in the following four lifts:

1. Back Squat
2. Press
3. Deadlift
4. Bench Press

You can pick whatever lift you want on whatever day, and you can even do two in a day if you’d like. But by the end of the week, you need to know your current, tested one-rep max for all four. Write those numbers down somewhere that you won’t lose them. And if you want to get a head-start, take each number and multiply it by .9. That’s the number you’re going to need at the start of next week. (In other words, you need to know what 90% of your one rep max is.)

Seriously, strength is the foundation of fitness. The stronger you get, the fitter you get. Conditioning is easy come, easy go, but once you attain strength, it’s hard to lose it. Take this program seriously. It starts this week.

Posted in WOD

“A Few Thoughts About Squat Depth”

Interesting article. Click this link for the whole thing.

This will probably sound heretical to some, but I don’t always squat to parallel, and I think that’s a good thing.

Most people are taught that they’re supposed to squat one particular way, and so by George, that’s how they squat. Regardless of whether that way is high bar, low bar, PL-style, OL-style, or anything else, one of the universals is that you ALWAYS must break parallel. In several of my videos, I’ve had people get onto me about cutting my squats high in training. However, I think their insistence about depth is based on faulty assumptions.

Now, before we proceed, I do realize the full squat is the safest for the knees, with increased hamstring activation countering anterior translation of the tibia (it reduces the stress on your knees). However, I’m talking about LIMITED use of above-parallel squats aimed at a certain application.

Posted in WOD