Monday, July 19 2010

Complete each for time

200 m Run x 6
+/- 3 sec

Discuss in comments

Burpee circle

Sunday, July 18 2010

15 Mins of

Front lever practice

Tabata mash up

Hang SDHP 75/55
Sit ups
Push press 40/25 Db’s

Discuss in comments

Shannon, 55 lbs Over head squat

Saturday, July 17 2010

5 Rounds each for time of

“Med ball rapid move”
Barbell Farmer Carry 225/155 – Parking lot
15 burpees

Discuss in comments

Vadym, 95 lbs thruster

Thursday, July 15 2010

For time

2 Km Row


10 Mins max reps- Double Unders

Discuss in comments

Chris O Ring dip

Wednesday, July 14 2010

Bench press
5×5 w/ 2 min rest

Complete for time

30 Muscle ups


9 Rounds of

10 Pull ups
10 Push ups

discuss in comments

Auty deadlift x3 @ 405

Monday, July 12 2010

Hang Squat Clean
5×5 w/ 2 min rest

Find a 5 rep max baseline

AMRAP in 5 mins:
12 Knees to elbows
12 KB swings 55/35

Rest 2 mins

AMRAP in 5 Mins:
30 Double unders
20 Squats

Discuss in comments

Sandra Ring dip

The Dreaded Time Trial

The Dreaded time trial is probably one of the least favourite workouts at CrossFit Edmonton.  Those of you who are familiar with them can relate to the dull sickness that washes over you when you walk in and see a 400 m run x 6 or a 500 m Row x 6 on the board. So why week after week do these workouts keep showing up like an uninvited guest?

The answer is the same for why the back squat, deadlift and press variations keep showing up in our strength programming, and that is, they’re simply effective.  The 400 m run time trial is to cardiovascular conditioning like the back squat is to total body strength. In the world of “cardio” there’s not much that generates the same response in fast acting energy transfer than short duration/high intensity bouts of running, rowing and other monostructural movements.

Now us coaches realise that coming in and doing a time trial WOD is similar to swallowing a guzzle of cough syrup, but we feel, if we can be there to hold the spoon and choo choo train it in for you, you’ll be all the better for it.

Seriously though the time trial can be a potent cardio developer and its just as easy to track your progress as the strength stuff. The 3 sec+/- window that is part of the prescription is there to help orientate you to what capacity’s you have and allows you to set up a goal for the next work out. For example if you were able to hold a 1:30-1:33 time per lap on a 400 m run x 6 work out, then for next time making a goal to shorten that window by a second and completing it in 1:29-1:32 time per lap clearly demonstrates the improvement and we all know seeing results is one of the prime motives for sticking around and achieving elite fitness.

So the next time you come in, and a dreaded time trail is on the board, pull out the log book and challenge your self to beat your old time by a sec. This will make them more fun and you’ll be able to see your improvements.

Percentage Lifting Refresher

We have been using the percentage based lifting protocol for a while now at CrossFit Edmonton and have some really great success. With many new people in our program these days I thought I’d give us all a refresher of why we do it and also when we do it.

The particular template we have adopted was developed by Micheal Rutherford out of Shawnee Mission, Kansas where he runs a successful gym and CrossFit affiliate. Coach Rutherford has been in the strength and conditioning industry for many years and is highly accredited by his peers including Robb Wolf (NorCal Strength and conditioning) and Greg Evert (Catalyst Athletics). Coach Rut (as he is referred too) along with some of the other mentioned coaches also spoke at the first Black Box Summit, which was a CrossFit affiliate-run event that Chad got a chance to attend and spoke very highly of on his return.

The reasoning for adopting his strength template was to give our clients a more focused and planned approach to strength training.  For each workout there is a specific amount of weight assigned by way of a percentage of your 1Rep Max to each set. This allows you to map out a targeted plan for that session. It gives you a training goal and removes the subjective tinkering we’ve all done to the ladder approach “just lift as heavy as you can, every time”. A successfully executed workout is one that lets you know your heading towards your goals and a unsuccessful execution allows you to dial in more closely a goal that is appropriate for you.

Now this is all fine and dandy for someone who has a solid idea of what their 1 Rep Max is for the various lifts, but what about the beginner, someone who doesn’t know their 1 rep max value? The beginner will approach the work out similar to how we used to, in that, over the assigned amount of sets the individual will lift up to a weight that feels close to a max in 1, 3 or 5 reps . Then a coach will help estimate a 1 rep value for you.  For example if the work out was a Back Squat with 5 sets of 3 reps prescribed to it, a beginner will lift their first set based on what a coach may suggest and then increase the weight each set until the weight feels substantial. With the help of a coach you will be lifting a weight that is appropriate for your level as your heaviest set.  If this all seems complicated, don’t worry, the details of the design is not important to you coming in and doing the work out, as always a coach will be there to guide you through each step.

With the benefits and the logistics laid out loosely we can now discuss how to maximise your strength gains. The percentage based strength program is threaded into our monthly planning in a particular way. To maximize the results of this method, it is important that you attend the specific classes in which the strength thread is prescribed. The following is an example of a 3 week cycle in which the target is to lift a previous 1 Rep max or set a new 1 Rep max.

Percentage based strength program- 3 week cycle

Week 1 Monday
Movement #1

Movement #2

Thursday Friday
Movement #3
Saturday Sunday
Week 2 Monday Tuesday
Movement #1 5×3
Wednesday Thursday
Movement #2 5×3
Friday Saturday
Movement #3
Week 3 Monday Movement #1 6×1 Tuesday Wednesday
Movement #2
Thursday Friday
Movement #3
Saturday Sunday

Percentages for 5,3 and 1 rep work outs are:

WEEK 1 Week  2 Week 3
5@55% 3@63% 1@70%
5@63% 3@70% 1@77%
5@70% 3@77% 1@85%
5@77% 3@85% 1@93%
5@85% 3@93% 1@100-101%

If your still with me at his point, the importance of knowing this is to allow you to see forward what days will be strength days and allow you to plan your attendance accordingly. This is important because to best obtain your strength goals you must complete the 5 and 3 rep workouts leading up to the 1 rep test day. But don’t worry, you will still see great results in your fitness by attending the classes that you can when you can. This system is for the individual who hasn’t seen the types of gains they once did and is interested in dialing in the strength training a little more. If this is you then feel free to ask Auty, Suzanne or Brian any questions.

Bill cranking out some weighted ring dips!

Starting vs. Staying

Every once in a while I think back to how I first found CrossFit. What was my first workout and what did I think of after doing that first workout. Then I start to think about why I came back for more. Why do I continuously come back for more and what keeps me sticking around. No mater what, and no matter how insane some people say CrossFit is, the answers always put a smile to my face. Maybe I’m just crazy or maybe I just get it, but there’s definitely something here as far as I’m concerned.

However, there’s plenty of people out there who never do either. They never start (possibly because they hear stories and see pictures like the one below) and if they do, they don’t stay. What gives? What sets us apart from the rest? What’s your story?

How did you first hear about CrossFit? What made you decide to actually give it a try? And more importantly, why do you keep coming back for more?!? Please share you stories in comments.

And this is when the husband says “Why the F@<& do you keep going back to that place!?!?!”

Power Vs. Squat

This was taken from Greg Everett’s newsletter at Catalyst Athletics:

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences in executing a power snatch or clean vs the full squat variation of the lift. Here’s the good news – There’s really no difference. The mechanics of the lifts are identical – the only difference is the height at which the lifter receives the bar and arrests downward movement. For a lift to qualify as power, the athlete must stop with the thighs above horizontal. It doesn’t matter how high the bar is turned over and either fixed overhead or racked on the shoulders; if the athlete continues into a squat or any depth below horizontal thighs, it is not a power snatch or clean.
In all cases, it’s critical to understand that the bar is received above the bottom position and the athlete squats with the weight to some degree. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is trying to “catch low”. This creates problems like incomplete pulls, the bar crashing on the lifter, disconnection between the lifter and the bar, reduced ability to absorb the downward force, less opportunity to correct instability, and more difficult recoveries.

In most workouts, we typically perform power cleans/snatches as they have a faster cycle rate. This has lead to decreased capacities in a squat versions for many people and even a fear of the movements in some. What has been your experience with the squat movements and which do you prefer? What’s your reasoning?

Brett’s vest is only 20lbs and he needed 25… Crossfitters are genius!

Barefoot Running

Ever tried running barefoot? You have probably seen a few of us around the gym wearing our Vibram Five Fingers. (the funky toe shoes that look silly) We wear these to allow us to run barefoot (or just be barefoot) but still have protection from sharp objects on the ground.

The number one question I get asked when I wear them is “what are those for” while the person points at my feet. Because I’m typically a smart-ass, I usually respond with “what are those for” and I point to their feet. I then say that they serve the same purpose as shoes do to protect my feet but allow my feet to work the way they were designed. They allow my foot and lower leg to absorb my body weight the way nature intended. The way evolution has made them.

The shoe does do quite a good job at absorbing your weight, but it will never be as good as your foot and leg can do. Check out the video below and if you’re up for the challenge, try a short barefoot run. Like anything, your body will get some soreness using new muscles but don’t worry, these muscles were meant to be used!


If you’ve ever run barefoot or in Vibrams, let us know your experience. Post thoughts to comments.

A Simple Concept

At CrossFit Edmonton, we like to think that the concept is pretty simple. Show up and work hard. That’s about all we ask too. If you come into the facility every time as a motivated person ready to work hard, we can guarantee your results.

The trouble comes with the simple ‘work hard’ principle. Most everything in our lives these days is geared towards convenience and making things easier. So much so that we even start to think that fitness should come easy. We get sold into buying one of the million gimmicks out there thinking it will be that “Magic Pill” Unfortunately, there will never be a magic pill. There is no substitute for good old fashion hard work.

At CrossFit Edmonton, we work hard to create a program that will truly maximize your results. Combine our programing with your hard work and we have a perfect recipe for results.

So the next time you swing by our neck of the woods, know that we only ask one thing of you: show up and work hard!

Post thoughts to comments.

Hard work was everywhere at the Central Canadian Sectionals!

Speak up! Coaches are there for you.

There is no secret as to why CrossFit training is effective for developing fitness: Athletic, full body exercises combined into a multi-modal format ramped with high intensity. The equation is flawless for improving work capacity. But how do these work outs fair against the needs of individuals. For the able-bodied folks our scaling and modifying systems work great for matching individual strength to weight suggestions and offering modifications to exercises difficult in strength or technique. But what about for those with sore elbows, shoulders or knees?

Chronic inflammation is a common thing amongst our society. Many factors contribute to these types of injuries including poor diet, repetitive stress in the work place or home, sedentary lifestyle, poor technique in the gym and lack of recovery. A lot of the time an individual may not even have noticed these sore spots until endeavouring in some kind of fitness program. Thankfully with some adherence to solid technique and light ramp up these things are rectified with ease. However if these nagging pains go un-checked a far greater inconvenience could be looming. While exercise can be a fantastic fix for chronic inflammation injuries it can also exacerbate the issue. An injury that is repedativley stressed and not given sufficient recovery will worsen. This is an important point in your training where using your coaches becomes crucial. You have to speak up!

At CrossFit Edmonton we employ competent coaches with ample experience. We are there to instruct and help individuals set up for their workout to ensure everyone is able to safely and effectively execute the WOD. However, if you neglect to inform us of a pain or issue, you may be setting yourself up for problems in the future. As coaches we understand these issues and we know how to modify your workout so you can continue to forge towards elite fitness while working on proper recovery from inflammation. We may have suggestions for speeding up recovery or recommend you make alterations to your training schedule. The quest for ultimate fitness is a valiant one, but in our experience, it is unique to each person. Speak up if something bothers you whether it’s at the beginning of the work out or half way through. There is no bad time for us to help you, but you have to speak up. Your coaches are there for you.

Have you experienced working through an injury in CrossFit? Are you currently experiencing any issues? If you’ve felt like a CrossFit Edmonton coach has helped you by making modifications, please share in comments.


Tuesday Oct. 13, 2009


Clean & Jerk 15-12- and 9 reps

Touch and go at floor only. Even a re-grip off the floor is a foul. No dumping. Use same load for each set. Rest as needed between sets.

Compare to: 090312
Post Load used to comments

Nothing like a minute on a rower!

Nutrition Bootcamp:
Starting this Sunday October 18th is our next nutrition bootcamp! This is a 4 week kickstart into learning how to eat properly and fuel your body to live a healthier lifestyle. We will meet for 5 Sundays at 6pm. Cost is $150 and non-members are welcome to join. You can register by emailing info@crossfitedmonton.ca. Space is limited to 10 people and we only have 4 spots left so register today!