Tag Archive for: AB

There are multitudes of ways to establish a maximum weight for any exercise, but to ensure safety and longevity it’s important to “earn your reps” by developing good technique. This can be done and locked in through consistent practice.

Approximately two months ago we started back squatting single sets of 20 reps every Monday, slowly adding weight each week until now. At the beginning we started at 60% of our 1-rep maxes (1RM) increasing by 5% or so each week. Last week should’ve been 1 set of 20 reps at 85%. If you were successful we know that your actual maximum is way heavier now. If you weren’t, no problem- no one should be able to 20-rep an 85% and the data collected from that day could be useful for maxing.

Apologies beforehand for making this some math exercise.

Take your results from previous weeks. Use about three previous days of data and plug it into this formula:

ESTIMATED 1-REP MAX = (weight used x reps completed x 0.033) + weight used

Let’s say three weeks ago someone did 80kg for 20 reps, the next week 88kg for 20, then last week was 95kg but failed at 14 reps. This athlete started the 20-rep program with a 1RM at 124kg established more than a year ago.

a. (80*20*0.033)+80=~133kg est 1RM from three weeks ago
b. (88*20*0.033)+88=146kg est 1RM from two weeks ago
c. (95*14*0.033)+95=~139kg est 1RM from last week

With that average this athlete has 139kg as an estimated 1RM. They could then apply that to a simple warmup ladder (percentage/reps):

50/5+, 65/5+, 75/3+, 80/3, 85/2+, 90/1+, 95/1, 98/1 or 101/1

Their plan would be:
70kg for 5 or more reps
136/1 or 140/1+ if confident af!

If the plan isn’t successful then maybe it’s not your day- didn’t sleep well, stressed out, muscles are tight and under-recovered. There are so many variables in fitness other than just executing the exercise.

On the other hand, if it’s your day and the plan is a success the athlete has set multiple Personal Record (PR): 1RM, and more if they can keep going so we don’t spend more time doing singles. Could be a 3RM or even a 7RM!

Now cook up your plans, not just for the back squat but deadlift too!


Double Unders

Squat Snatch or Squat Clean

Muscle-up (rings or bar) & Pullups (Strict, Kipping, Butterfly, or otherwise)


Handstand Pushups


These skills are more difficult because they require more than just one or two physical skills such as strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and balance. Don’t have them? Practice, practice, practice. It’s got to be progressive with the exposure so that it becomes old hat.

Got them? Great! Why can’t you do bigger sets and do them more unbroken more often?

Regardless the goal is to improve. Our commitment to you is to get you to these complex and intense movements if you’re willing to be vulnerable and coachable. When you ask questions we help you move forward with more knowledge and you simply put in the work. Simple concept but not so easy to accomplish.

With the 2022 CrossFit Games Open upon us [officially starting 2/24 and registration is open now!] you’re going to see these more often in the programming so might as well improve each one!


Double Unders

You need to accumulate more time just jump roping- not doing double unders, but spinning a rope around you more consistently more often. Think of a boxer training (this was some of my first social media inspo)- they don’t train hard to jump rope in a ring, but the carryover of stamina, coordination, and improvisation lead to better movement in the ring.

Play your favorite song for a month trying to move the rope the entire time. Month 2 play it twice and try to keep the rope moving the entire duration of the music. Month Three play it three times. Able to do it without stopping once? Congrats- you’re a badass at jump roping and probably don’t flinch when seeing rounds of 100 double unders in a workout.

Squat Snatch/Squat Clean

You probably don’t squat to the fullest range possible each opportunity you get to squat. Unless you do in which case you’d have squat snatches and squat cleans (and maybe squat jerks). Stop being satisfied with the absolute bare-minimum of breaking parallel and go “ass-to-grass” as often as possible.

Sit in a squat, stretch your ankles, sit in the squat, stretch your quads, rest in the squat, open your hip flexors, sit in the squat, strengthen your glutes, do more full range-of-motion air squats on your own, take the stairs 2-3 steps at a time, get your hamstrings and groin more flexible. Oh and squat more.

Muscle-Ups & Pullups

If not specified assume the muscle-up variation we talk about is the one done on rings, strict or by kipping. Not only does adequate pullup and dip strength matter, but technique is very important to stay safe and be super efficient with your workouts.

Practice literally just hanging and then work your pullup and dip strength. The transition between the two is all technique efficiency and consistency. Could be the EMOM Strength Ladder or something similar.

Pistols (Single Leg Squats)

Same as the squat snatch/squat clean section you have lackluster ankle, knee, and hip flexion/extension skill. This skill is about managing single foot & leg strength while flexing the floating leg’s hip.

Practice squatting and then in the bottom position extend a single leg and become accustomed to this “shoot the duck” position. Watch how I warmup in this video for more ideas.


Everyone knows how to handstand one way or another, but not too many people practice solid headstands. That said if you cannot transition easily between the two you’re asking to hurt your neck or back or worse trying some HSPU.

Find a yoga instructor or enthusiast who can talk to you about tripod positioning for solid balance and more. If your handstands and headstands are solid try transitions between the positions respectively over and over. Eccentric training can lead to great strength development so practice.

*I loathe the term but everyone gets it


That’s that- just like everything else you’ve done in the gym progression happens when you are consistent in your practice. Yes, we have gamified fitness so you want to win (or not lose) which means concessions in some of the many elements of our style of fitness.

Prioritizing technique before intensity is a great way to maintain and develop longevity in fitness.


As usual if you’d like to discuss your own individual progressions and maybe get a program designed specifically for you contact a coach about it and set up a training session!


MORE STUFF! If you missed out on Pt 1 click here to catch up.

Tons more to talk about here. I should also mention I’ve either a.) had first-hand experience with all of these items, or b.) currently have them in my training bags.


When training frequently enough you may need some extra help in your recovery and mobility as stretching doesn’t target very acute, specific spots. Using some particular tools may help

Good: Lacrosse ball. Ah, the good ol lacrosse ball. This works great since it’s so dense. If the foam roller represents the masseuse’s forearm, the lax ball would be the thumb. Put it on soft tissue only, and apply enough pressure to make it very uncomfortable, but not painful. You can make tight spots learn how to release with frequent practice.

Other Good: Theracane. The original and the strongest of the bunch- I’d avoid any of the knockoff styles as they aren’t as robust in the materials department. A little more control with the point of contact, and no need to lay down for proper pressure. I keep one in my car for longer rides.

Better: Massage Gun. Here’s something that’s nice, but definitely not necessary. HyperVolts (try the gym’s if you haven’t!), Theraguns, and more are great but they’re not all created equal. Depth, power, and features separate the quality products from the run-of-the-mill knockoffs.

Other Better: Accupressure mat. If you’ve done personal training with me I may have talked about how great an acupressure mat can help. Reflexology is a huge thing in different parts of the world and with most people wearing the same shoes all the time in sedentary lifestyles the foot (our connection to the planet) get all sorts of messed up. This simple mat can help reset muscles and generate blood flow to areas that don’t get a lot,  jump starting the healing process we so desperately need. If you suffer from any foot, ankle, calf, or knee issues this doesn’t hurt to try.

Best: a foam roller. Didn’t think you’d see this, huh? You probably already have one sitting in the corner collecting dust. You can use this for general recovery making sure tissues in your legs, glutes, back, and arms never get stiff. The issue for most people is the lack of consistent use. I get on one daily for less than a duration of a song, but I get on it. The slower you can move on it, the better!

There are tons of different brands out there with different firmness levels. If you have questions let us know and we can direct you to the right one. This one is my favorite, but the brand went out of business years ago.


Specific to how to maintain your hands with all the use they get day in and day out.

Good: WODrod. This is nice because it’s shaped like the objects that gave you the calluses in the first place. Not my personal pick for reasons you’ll read below, but it’s better than nothing.

Better: Stainless Steel rasp. Professional manicurist use these for a reason- people got nasty hands and feet. These take care of those thickened blotches of skin real fast. I say it all the time in the gym, but working hands are the small sacrifice to a stronger body and spirit. That said you have to keep that overuse in check and keep those calluses from getting to big and too thick. Before you know it you’ll rip which sucks because then you’ll hurt, blood might be everywhere, and you’ll have to adjust your training to accommodate your mini-injury.

Best: The Sand Bar. I’ve listed a ton of different items I actually have and use, and adding to the toolbox isn’t necessary. What’s even more unnecessary is having accessories for your accessories- I don’t like the callus removers with 5+ parts and refills and all that. Positive or negative this bar is simple: it’s a bar and it’s got a traction tape-like surface. All the complaints I ever hear about these tools come from people who only use it when the calluses are bad. The idea here is maintaining a formed callus in check. I use/keep this in the shower as the water gets the skin to show and rise better, the water cuts down on the friction, and keeps things clean. Skin dust is gross. Pair callus maintenece with a good hand moisturizer and you’re ready to go.


On the topic of hand care we should try to prevent the calluses and tears as best as possible. Adding an extra layer between the equipment and your hands is a good idea.

Good: GoatTape athletic tape. Although this is a “premium” brand of athletic tape it’s harder to rip and almost too sticky comparatively to my Better pick below. If you’re a really sweaty athlete this might be a better choice.

Better: J&J Coach athletic tape. I remember being in High School Sports Medicine and my teacher Mr. Peck would give the each of us in the class about a 1″x1.5″ piece of this athletic tape. The challenge was ripping up this piece into as many pieces as possible. This was because Athletic Training is really just taping ankles and wrists in high school sports. We won a state championship due to our ability to tape ankles well and quickly. This history with the product is why we offer rolls of this in the gym. We can make temporary pullup grips from this too. Great to reinforce wrists and tape thumbs.

Best: Average Broz 1″ stretch thumb tape. This is my absolutely favorite tape I’ve ever used (specifically for weightlifting use). Most rolls come in at 1.5″ wide which works, but isn’t as articulate/comfortable as preferred. Their fix is simply going with 1″ instead and it’s PERFECT. The amount of stretch on this tape, as well as it’s stickiness make me go back to this over and over and over again.


Since these are so subjective I won’t be rating them, rather I’ll list what I would consider best on the market and explain what would fit best for use. Just like the workout methodology says, “constantly varied” also applies to footwear. Makes your foot stronger, which makes your connect to the ground stronger.

Lifestyle Shoes You Might Already Have: Converse Chuck Taylor, Onitsuka Tiger (Ultimate 81), Adidas Samba, any skate shoe, most boat shoes, Toms. Flat, flat, flat! Your shoes have too much technology and your foot is getting soft like a marshmallow because of it. Imagine trying to workout in snow mittens. That’s what most “training” (see: running) shoes are to our training needs. Get activity-appropriate equipment and feel the difference.

Willing to Spend Money, but I Don’t Want to Scream “CROSSFIT” Wearing Them In Public: Strike Movement Chill Pill, Haze, or Interval. The Chill Pills are some of my favorite shoes ever. I have multiple pairs. Any barefoot brand (including FiveFingers, but my favorite is VIVOBAREFOOT)

I Want the Best: Nike MetCon, Reebok Nano, or NoBull Trainer. In that order. Most of the shoes you’ll see at the highest-level of the competitive side of CrossFit will be one of the three silhouettes listed and for good reason: they’re designed to be the jack of all trades. Flat bottoms for stability, flexible but durable front end of the shoe for running, jumping, burpees, etc, plastic heel clips for HSPU, extra-durability around the arch of the foot for rope climbs, etc. There have been so many revisions in each of these lines (minus NoBull) but really all of them are great.

Okay, that’s it for now. One more post coming soon!

Want to build your CrossFit Tool Box?

These useful items help you with some common issues in the gym and beyond- some to help you gain an advantage, some to avoid pitfalls, and some that are just nice to have. I’ll be listing options as “Good”, “Better”, and “Best” as it depends on your preference and budget.

The following are links to products we recommend, some are affiliate links which add no extra cost to you.


We use our hands to address nearly all of the equipment in the gym, from the pullup bars to gymnastics rings, barbells to odd objects, dumbbells & kettlebells, and more. Make sure you have hand protection to avoid more frequent hand care and maintenance. I keep two pairs depending on how serious I’m taking the workout… one for training and one as a backup in case the first pair fails (as the fabric will weaken over time/volume)

Good: Element 26 Iso Grips

Better: Bear Komplex 3-Hole Carbon Hand Grips or Picsil Azor Grips. Either is fine, but you’ll always want as much coverage as possible.

Best: Victory Grips 3-Finger. These have become my favorite brand of grips due to their robust designs and selection of durable materials. Like other grip companies they come in a plethora of cuts, but I’d always suggest a grip that give you a good amount of coverage. For most people a three-hole design would do well, and you don’t have to utilize the holes either (it’s a nice option to have). Four-hole designs seem to almost have too much material in the way if you don’t have it properly sized.


Sometimes you need a bit of extra support when your technique or tissues aren’t up for the job. In the gym we’re constantly bearing weight on these joints whether it’s a barbell in a rack position, supporting our bodies on the ground, or taking a bell to an overhead position. In an ideal world your flexibility and stamina would be able to bear the loading, but until then you may need these in your bag.

Good: Wrist Wraps – These are the most basic in design and do the job when you need them. Basically you have a long piece of fabric that wraps around the wrist. You simply twist to tighten to your preference.

Better: RockTape Wrist Wraps – This is an intelligent melding of the two most popular types of entry-level wrist wraps. The twist-to-tighten fabric wraps and the stretch-and-tack wraps.

Best: Richmond Weightlifting Wrist Wraps – These leather wraps feature a unique design that feel like the sturdiest wraps I’ve ever used and it gives me a boost of confidence in my heaviest lifts on my not-so-great days.


Learning how to brace your truck to protect your spine are some of the first things we teach our athletes (plank, anyone?). At some point in your CrossFit career you’ll have to develop better bracing habits and a weightlifting belt can help you setup for lifts more consistently. There are only two options on this list. Maybe you’re just paying for the brand as I haven’t had the chance to test the E26 belt, but 2Pood has been around the CrossFit realm for a very long time and are now a sponsor of USA Weightlifting.

Good/Better: Element 26 Self-Locking Weightlifting Belt – This is basically a replica of the 2Pood straight belt, but it came after and the Element26 equipment just doesn’t seem as high-quality (it’s the Titan Fitness to 2Pood’s Rogue Fitness, if you will). Solid enough for most athletes it’ll get the job done when you want to take your weightlifting to the next level.

Best: 2Pood Straight Belt – This is the industry standard now. Those old-school belts with weird shapes aren’t any better because people just don’t know how to use them properly. The velcro on this is probably the best on the market, but with use and time it’ll fade and you’ll have to re-up (though I’ve had mine for about 4 years and it still works like a charm)


I’m only going to talk about one particular (dare I say) magical piece of equipment that fits into any bag. My choice comes with two so you can have one that travels with you, and one you can keep at home.

Good/Better/Best: There’s only one choice and that’s the Floss Band.

You can 1.) do shoulder prep, 2.) use it like a Crossover Symmetry for shoulder development, 3.) if you throw a loose knot in you can use it like a jump stretch band, 4.) you can floss your joints and tight muscles for better recovery, 5.) you can use it for squat prep and knee rehab. It’s a miracle tool!


We say it all the time in the gym: most people have weak butts. Let’s get it stronger with some specialized targeting equipment.

Good: Hamstring Curl Strap. The easiest to setup and second smallest of the bunch.

Better: CAP Roman Chair, basically a baby GHD (Glute Ham Developer). I wouldn’t do volume situps on this (depending on body type), but this is solid for building a bulletproof back and booty.

Best: Booty Bands, to learn how to externally rotate your hip and get those glutes stronger! We use them for preparation, but have you ever done a full workout in these?


These aren’t necessary at all, but for those who want that extra challenge a weight vest or a ruck would be a great way to overload bodyweight movements to increase difficulty.

Good: Titan Fitness Adjustable Weight Vest. Cheapest but definitely not as comfortable as it could be though it’s modular enough to change how much is weighs. I don’t personally like these vests because of that- where do you store the extra weights when not in use? I also dread that part of it could fail and you could get hurt by a loose brick.

Better: Bear Komplex Weight Vest. It’s great supporting a brand that was born out of and has supported our culture for a long time. While not the most comfortable, it features some nice hardware for fastening and works well for most people.

Best: 5.11 Tactical TacTec Weight Vest. This was the first style of vest popularized for CrossFit competition at the CrossFit Games. It continues to be some of the best because it was designed for actual combat use, keeping mobility and usability in mind. Probably the most secure and most comfortable out of the bunch. I love mine and because it features tons of loop on it you can add all your favorite morale patches.

Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week!

IN-GYM WORKOUT for Thursday 3/18/2021

Early: row! Then another 4 minutes with coach at 24, 28, 32, and 36 s/m

27 squats, 27 pushups, 27 kb deadlifts then on trainer’s count do 10 of each: toe touches, boot strappers, inch-worms + down dog, T-pushups

1:00 Green light, 1:00 Red light complete:
100 burpee box jump overs

– Do as many burpee box jumps over as possible in 60 seconds, then you must rest for 60 seconds. Repeat until 100 reps are complete.
– Boxes at 12/20/28″
– Post time to whiteboard/journal/comments!

+ + +

Tony, a Chinese-American, and myself, a Filipino-American have been in this fitness space for over a decade. We’ve had so many great people in our gym and have met so many fantastic friends along the way.

2008 at FCF 1.0 on Lake City Way (this is entire “gym”)

We’re in a very difficult time at the moment, along with all the other AAPI and BIPOC family and friends who are, and have been suffering. Targeted for hate crimes and worse.

There’s no need to check-in with us. Check in with your own friends and family and talk about the recent events, and specifically the tragedy in Atlanta. If you’re not sure yourself, do some research. Discuss amongst yourselves how you can be better allies and friends.

We all wanted to do better after George Floyd. What will you do for

Delaina Ashley Yaun

Paul Andre Michels

Xiaojie Tan

Daoyou Feng

Julie Park

Hyeon Jeong Park

and the two other names that have yet to be released?

Let’s do our best to educate each other. To keep each other safe and healthy.

READ: A White Man’s Bad Day – The Audacity

Not-yet-vertical at the 2015 Elysian Games

CONDITIONING for Wednesday 10/14/2020


Max perfectly-vertical kettlebell swings in 10:00. Every break do 10 pogo burpees.

Post score to whiteboard.

READ: Why Do So Many Researchers Still Treat Race As a Scientific Concept? – Slate


Zoom Kettlebell Class at 7am! Email us for the Meeting Room #

CONDITIONING for Friday 9/4/2020


50 reps each, for time:
– goblet squats
– rack lunge
– push press
– Parallel kettlebell swings
– plate jumps
– wall ball substitute
– object pushup
– plate jumps

Post results to comments!

Pullup Strength Ladder (Week 11 of 12): E2MOM x3 do 1-2-3-2-1 reps

READ: Almonds Are Out. Dairy Is a Disaster. So What Milk Should We Drink? – The Guardian


Remember muscle-ups?!

Event 2 of the SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BOX FUNDRAISER from CrossFit HQ will be released later today! Join us at 4:30pm live on YouTube and Instagram to see Andrew do the workout.

You can still register for the event and 100% of your choose-your-own-registration-fee goes directly to the affiliate(s) of your choosing!

WORKOUT for Friday 4/10/2020

as many rounds and reps as possible in 24 minutes:
15 dips (off chair or couch)
18 squat thrusts
21 speed skaters
24 opposite-elbow-to-knee sit-ups

Post total rounds plus reps to comments!

2nd Serving: Need More Work? (Endurance-bias)

Warmup with 5:00 at an easy pace. 3:00 active rest doing joint prep.

10 x 100m run at your 1-mile PR pace. :30 rest.
(150m row/ski of 2k PR pace, .3km of 5km PR pace)

Rest 3:00 then repeat for a total of 3 cycles. Warm down with 5:00 at an easy pace.

HSPU Strength Ladder: every minute on the minute for 5 minutes do 1-2-1

READ: Chinatown Businesses Struggling to Stay Afloat During Outbreak – KOMO 4 News

Throwback Thursday: when you could slap hands to tag your swolemate.

WORKOUT for Thursday 4/9/2020

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of
toes-to-bar/supported dragon flags

Do 30 double unders (or single unders or jumping squats or Penguin jumps) between rounds. Post times to comments!

2nd Serving: Need More Work? (Strength-Bias)

Choose loading that allows you to reach the prescribed amount of reps, with 2-5 reps in reserve.

5 rounds
10 Z-press
30 Chinese lat raise


150 banded bicep curls
150 banded step-ups (75 on one leg, then 75 on the other)
150 banded good mornings

HSPU Strength Ladder: E2MOM x 2 do 1-2-3-2-1

READ: Really Cool Handmade Parallettes – CrossFit
WATCH: Yesterday’s YOUTUBE LIVE workout:

CGO 14.3 at FCF

CrossFit WOD for Champagne Friday 2/28

establish a heavy deadlift double in 10:00 then

Kg-Friendly CGO 14.3
as many reps as possible in 8 minutes: 
10 deadlifts, 60/35kg 
15 box jumps, 24/20″ 
15 deadlifts, 80/55kg 
15 box jumps, 24/20″ 
20 deadlifts, 100/65kg 
15 box jumps, 24/20″ 
25 deadlifts, 125/75kg
15 box jumps, 24/20″
30 deadlifts, 145/85kg
15 box jumps, 24/20″
35 deadlifts, 165/95kg

Share score to whiteboard!

READ: Intermittent Fasting: A Time to Eat, A Time to Fast – The Spokesman Review