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A. Back squat – 1×8@65%, 1×8@70%, 1×6@80%, 1×6@85%.

The numbering scheme at the higher percentages may be modified if you have had difficulty hitting the totals in the past couple of weeks.

B. IYT drills with bands. Try to work through these quickly.

C. Pull-up strength – 3×5 with 3 second negative. Finish off with 3 max effort chin over bar holds, focusing on pulling into the bar and pulling shoulder blades together.


I’ve mentioned to a few groups in the last couple of days that the October Challenge will be focusing on developing pull-ups, but it will also help you with your push-ups.  These will help with your scapular (shoulder blade) control.

Here are two items to work on. Shoot for twice a week. If you were at any of the classes today, you will have done at least part of the first one already.

1. Scapular push-ups – 8 sets of: 5 scapular push-ups + 5 second hold at the top of the push-up. Try to do the set of 8 unbroken. If that’s not happening, start at something more manageable, like 4 sets and try to increase by one set per week.

2. Scapular pull-ups – 8 sets of: 5 scapular pull-ups + 5 seconds in an active hang (shoulders engaged and body hollow). Same additional comments as above.

We may add one or two other movements to the mix as the month goes on. There will be more of a pulling focus this month in the programming as well.


Positive self-talk

I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while now, and I was reminded of some videos on the CF Journal from a while back that were of one of the original CrossFitters, Greg Amundson (link). Ask yourself if you say the following things before a workout:

“Oh, this is going to suck.”

“I don’t know if I can do this.”

“Why do we have to do x number of rounds?”

“I hate running/rowing/pull-ups/wall balls/thrusters/fighting ninjas/sled pushes.”

“I should have stayed home today.” 

Now what if you said the following:

“This is going to be awesome.”

“I will feel great when I’m done this workout.”

“I could be sitting on a couch right now. But I’m here about to kick some serious butt.”

“Wow. I’ve come a long way in the past two weeks/months/years/decades.”

“Great! I get to work on my [insert nemesis here].”

“This is one step closer to my goal of [whatever].”

“I’m going to have fun with this!”

Or whatever. You get the idea. Listen to what you’re saying. Whatever it is that you’re verbalizing is made more real to you — and to everyone within earshot. I’m not saying that you need to channel your inner Richard Simmons, but realize that what you say out loud and what you say in your head affects your actions. You will get through it. You will feel better once you’re done. Even you don’t finish the workout as it’s arbitrarily prescribed, you can go home knowing you gave it a damn good effort. And then forget about it. It’s just a workout. I’ve said it before, but it’s true.

Remember why you are doing this. That’s what matters in the end. Whether you can or can’t do double-unders or snatches doesn’t make you any more or less of a human being. They are just skills to learn. That is all.

This is supposed to be fun. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the progress. I’m not a big fan of the grammar in this phrase, but it has been known to show up on the occasional CrossFit t-shirt, and the sentiment is still worth considering: “Embrace the suck.”

You don’t get better by doing things you’re already good at, or things that are easy. Know that, and embrace that fact. You will be stronger for it.