1-888-206-7032 info@crossfitboston.com 100 Holton St Rear, Brighton, MA 02135

Focus On The Behavior, NOT The Desired Result – Week 21 Programming

I was reading a recent post from Precision Nutrition, I highly recommend you add them to your reading list. What I like about the PN approach is its simple way of approaching nutrition. It focuses on meeting people where they are and then guiding them to subtle changes through behavior modification. Over time the multiple subtle changes create some drastic changes.

Remember the Fitness Pyramid? No? Here it is again for you:


Nutrition is the base yet it is often the most overlooked part of the program when we speak to you, our clients. Adding more physical training to your repertoire is not going to fix the flaws you have in the fundamental basics. You will achieve a fraction of the results you could if you paid more attention to some simple behaviors.

Back to the PN post. Another pyramid was presented by its author Ryan Andrews. Here it is:



The author points out how simple the base of the pyramid is and its most likely the opposite of what we hear or have read. To this point I agree. The article goes on to provide 18 simple behavior changes that can help provide some great results. When you have a moment, read it, then in the comments of this post let me know which tips you already use.


This week we are testing our Front Squat. I know the box front squat seems to have gone on for eternity. Trust me, the effort you have put into it will pay off in your cleans, snatches, and thrusters. We have moved on to the Snatch. If you are having difficulty in keeping the bar close to your body or don’t make contact, then pause at the knees for 2-3 counts before finishing the lift. This will help dial that in.

Here is the upcoming schedule for the strength days so you can plan accordingly:


Monday – May 23, 2016
Context: Practice
Mobility: Ankle (playlist video here)

Metabolic Conditioning: “Sandbar Ahead”
For Time. 2 Rounds.

1 Lap plate carry run (45lb / 25lb* / 15lb) – 1 plate held however
Then 2 rounds
40′ Dumbbell suitcase walking lunge (50/ 30/ 20) – only one dumbbell at side
12 Dumbbell push presses (50 / 30/ 20) – 1 DB in each hand
Row (600m / 500m / 400m)
2 min rest

*Women’s “As Prescribed” weights and reps (Rx)

Scaling Guide: 17-25 minutes

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: Hustle on the plate runs to get started on the lunges, it is okay to get a bit winded since the lunges and push presses will give you a chance to catch your breath.  The first row each round should be at a conservative pace, with the second one being much more aggressive because of the rest.  Keep your posture during the runs and don’t let the sandbag/plate force you to round your back.  For the lunges, keep the shoulder back and abs tight.  The dumbbell push presses need to be push presses (and not push jerks)!

Tuesday – May 24, 2016
Context:  Competition
Mobility: Hip (playlist video here)

Skill Practice Warm Up: 8 min to find your deepest 1 rep strict Handstand push up, or max reps at a fixed height (if you can go head to floor or lower)

TEST: 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Front Squat (7 sets of 1 rep, increasing weight- testing for max weight!).

Metabolic Conditioning:Fortunate Son
For time, 3 rounds 

12 front squats (50% of 1RM)
12 burpee pull ups

Scaling Guide: 4 – 10 minutes.

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: Being able to do the first round of front squats unbroken is not a requirement (but it is probably a good idea as a rough guide for scaling). Ideally the third round should only be broken up into no more than 3 sets. Even less is better.

For the burpee pull ups, the bar needs to be higher than your reach. As in: if you stand flat footed with your arms above your head, you are not able to grasp the pull up bar in the palm of your hand. Anything higher is extra.

Optional ‘Cash Out’:  10 push ups, 15 squats, 4 rounds

Wednesday – May 25, 2016
Context: Practice
Mobility: Shoulder (playlist video here)

Strength: 7×1 Snatch 4 of 14 (7 sets of 1 reps, same weight across, approximately 70 – 80% max snatch).
Super Set: 7×4 Supine Ring Row with a 2121 tempo

Metabolic Conditioning:Purple Rain
8 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

15 box jump (24″/ 20” / 12”)
10 toes-to-bar
5 hang power snatch (45% of 1RM)

Scaling Guide: 3 – 6 rounds, about 2 min per round. Scale Up: 60% of 1RM on the HPSn

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: Get through the first round quick and then settle into a good pace for the middle rounds.  Remember to keep your eyes and chest up when doing box jumps (vs looking down at the box).  The toes to bar will get ‘spicy’ for most, so think about breaking these up early so you can keep moving on the later rounds and be less likely to tear up your hands.  Try changing up the grip often so that the contact points on your palms changes.  If grip becomes a factor for the snatches, start dropping early so you don’t have to ‘catch’, but don’t rest long between reps/sets!

Optional ‘Cash Out’: 100m kb suitcase carry, 10 Russian kb swings, 20 cal row, 2 rounds

Thursday – May 26, 2016
Context: Mental Toughness
Mobility: Shoulder (playlist video here)

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 minutes working up to a challenging floor press for 3 reps.  Plan on doing 4-6 sets total.

Metabolic Conditioning:Little Red Corvette
15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

5 squat clean thrusters aka ‘cluster’ (45% of 1RM Push Press)
50 double unders
15 push ups
50 double unders (scaled: 30 double unders including attempts)

Scaling Guide: 5 – 9 rounds, about 2:15 per round. Scale Up: 55% of 1RM Push Press for ‘cluster’.

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: This one has a lot of rounds and a repeating movement so make sure you have a good counting strategy! If you can’t have a whiteboard etc. nearby, alternate which direction you face each round so at least you’ll know if you ended on an even or an odd round. The squat clean thrusters need to stand up all the way each rep on the clean (no squat curls).  The shoulders are going to get hammered on this one so use your legs to get that bar overhead and make sure you are being efficient on the rope.  Wide arms and tense shoulders will make them fade even faster so avoid that.

Friday – May 27, 2016
Context:  Competition
Mobility: Ankle (playlist video here)

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 6 min working up to a max distance broad jump.

Metabolic Conditioning:Rus Helen”
For time. 6 rounds

Strict pull ups (6 or 3 bar muscle ups / 4 / 6 ring rows)
12 Russian Kettlebell Swings (70lb / 53lb / 35lb)
200 meter Run

Scaling Guide: 8 – 15 min, about 2 min per round. Scale Up: 6 bar muscle ups per round, 88/70lb kb

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: The strict pull-ups will be a choke point for some, but don’t be afraid to start with them and then keep them up until 4 is just too many to complete in any given round.  Bar muscle-ups and strict pull-ups are interchangeable here so if you start with those, you may save that pulling motion a bit until the later rounds.  Don’t get lazy on the runs and jog in if you know you are going to break up the pull-ups into small sets (run hard and catch your breath during the small sets.)

Saturday – May 28, 2016
Context: Practice
Mobility: Hip (playlist video here)

Strength: 6×2 Snatch 5 of 14 (6 sets of 2 reps, same weight across, approximately 70 – 80% max snatch).
Super Set: 6×5 Ring Row with a 2121 tempo

Metabolic Conditioning: “Dickey’s Barbecue”
10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)

With a partner – one person working at a time except on the farmer carries (both most run together, and can split the plates up if desired)

12 shoulder to overhead (50% of 1RM Clean and Jerk)
24 box step ups (24” / 20” / 12”)
100m bumper plate farmer carry (45lb / 25lb/ 25lb dumbbells), plates can be split up between partners if desired

Scaling Guide: 3 – 5 rounds, about 2:30 per round. Scale Up: 60% of 1RM C&J, step ups with 20/10lb dumbbells

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: Have a plan with your partner about when you will be breaking it up.  Let each other play to your strengths.

Optional ‘Cash Out’: 15 wall ball, 40 double unders, 3 rounds

Sunday – May 29, 2016
Context: Practice
Mobility: Hip (playlist video here)

Skill Practice Warm Up: Spend 10 min working up to a challenging clean and jerk.  Plan on doing 6-10 sets, with 2-3 sets at the final weight (about 75-85% of your max).

Metabolic Conditioning: “Lose Pitch”
For time. 

30 butterfly sit ups
1000m row
40 butterfly sit ups
500m row
50 butterfly sit ups
300m row

Scaling Guide:  9 – 14 min, Scale Up: 20, 30, 40 GHD sit ups.

Log your results online by clicking here.

Coaching Tips: Make sure you are set up for the sit ups and rowing so that you don’t get a ‘raspberry’ the top of your rear!  If this happens to you regularly, use an extra yoga mat under your abmat, use two abmats, or even better, just make sure you are doing them with perfect form so you don’t get a friction burn!  Take the first row at a controlled pace and save the sprinting for the last two rounds!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Alyssa Pomfrey

    Thanks for the article Neal! A couple of things it suggested that I already do and find super helpful: I use smaller plates-my salad ones instead of dinner plates. I also keep fitness gear in plane sight right near the couch- foam rollers, yoga mat, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *