Month: May 2011

Regular class schedule resumes tonight! See you there!

3 x 5 (or max) strict pull-ups


21-, 15- and 9-rep rounds of:

Kettlebell swings

Dumbbell renegade row

5 laps

Form notes: Use as little assistance as possible for the pull-ups, and make sure you get all 5 reps. If you don’t need assistance, max out on each set. Rest about 2 minutes between sets.

On the dumbbell renegade row, maintain a rigid body position and avoid twisting when you pull the dumbbell off the floor. Pretend you have a coffee cup on your low back, and don’t spill the coffee. Left arm plus right arm equals 1 rep.

I still remember how disappointed Crystal was after sectionals last year.

We were sitting in our hotel room in Edmonton after she missed going to regionals by just a few spots, and she was upset. I was proud of how well she had done after about a year of CrossFitting, but she wasn’t as impressed. After sectionals, we refocused and set out a new training plan that we hoped would get us to regionals. That was the No. 1 goal.

After a year of training and a difficult go in the CrossFit Games Open, Crystal indeed made it to regionals, Goal accomplished—but Crystal of course wanted to do well in the big show in Vancouver.

When the events were announced, we knew she would struggle with the handstand push-ups and muscle-ups, so we set new goals: avoid a DNF and finish top 10 in all the other events. I’m overjoyed that we accomplished those goals, too, and finishing in the top 10 (No. 9!) was an outstanding achievement in a field packed with great Canadian athletes including Angie Pye, Alicia Connors, Heather Gillespie, Chelsea Miller and more.

Crystal managed a record number of handstand push-ups (thanks go to Ang D. of CrossFit Regina for the tips!) and got her first muscle-up in a judged competition with the rings set high and a turnout required. I was able to get a picture of her accomplishment, and it was a proud moment to see her above the rings.

It was also special to be a part of the event that selected Alicia, Angie, Jeremy Meredith, Lucas Parker, CrossFit Taranis and CrossFit Vancouver as Canada West’s representatives at the CrossFit Games in Carson, Calif.

Now, of course, we have to set new goals for ourselves.

For Crystal, the goal is to keep improving on the things she’s good at and eliminate the weaknesses that hurt her this weekend. We’ll spend the next year getting better at gymnastics movements to make her as well-rounded as possible. Although we haven’t talked about it yet, one certain goal is to go into the next CrossFit Games season with a full toolbox. I’m sure we’ll come up with others, and we’ll try and scratch them off the list along the way.

For me, I was inspired by the camaraderie of the teams and competitors from all the Western affiliates. The community that’s been built in places like Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver is amazing, and my goal is to try and build something like that at CrossFit 204. So many affiliates are doing great things, and I was honoured to spend the weekend with the people from those boxes.

Along those lines, I’d like CrossFit 204 to field a team next year, not because I want to win but because I want our members to experience the CrossFit community and the camaraderie that comes from competition. Every event is an awesome time filled with awesome people.

With those early goals in mind, we’ll head to class tonight proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited for whatever the future will bring.

It was great to see all our friends this weekend! Congratulations on great performances. Keep training hard, and we’ll see you in the gym sometime soon!

No class today due to the Canada West Regional.

Burgener Warm-Up

Use an unloaded barbell and spend 10 minutes practicing power cleans from the pockets, below the knee and mid-shin.

Canada West Regional Workout

21-, 15- and 9-rep rounds of:


Box jumps

(21 deadlifts, 21 box jumps, 15 deadlifts, 15 box jumps … )

Form notes: Choose a deadlift weight that’s medium-light. Keep your core tight and your back in perfect position. If you can’t keep your back in a safe position during these high-rep sets, either lower the weight or slow down and rest as needed. Choose a box that gives you enough of a challenge without being scary.

No class May 28 due to the Canada West Regional.

Barbell floor press 5-5-3-3-1

Dumbbell shoulder press: 2×10

Strict dips or ring dips: 3x max

25 strict pull-ups

Form notes: Use a spotter for the floor press, and work up in weight to a single rep on your last set. Concentrate on driving the bar off the floor and quickly locking it out with your triceps. If you don’t feel comfortable on the floor, do a standard bench press instead.

For the dips and pull-ups, use as little assistance as possible. No kipping. Break into sets as needed. If you are using assistance, try and get at least 5 reps per set.

No official class today or Saturday due to the Canada West Regionals. This workout is on your own. Regular schedule resumes May 31.

Stairway to Heaven?

1 set stairs with 5 squats per landing

1 set stairs with 5 push-ups per landing

1 set stairs with 5 burpees per landing


50 kettlebell swings

Form notes: The reps are performed on the way up only.

Break the kettlebell swings up as needed. Keep your core tight at all times.

Listen to heavy metal for additional power.