Monthly Archives: August 2011


If you’re a CrossFit geek, you’ve probably heard the line “Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains (IWCABTMD).”  And if that doesn’t sell you on CrossFit, then I’m not sure anything will.  But in all seriousness, improved fitness is the ability to do varied tasks or exercises for both short and long durations. 

Lately, many of you have seen improved fitness according to IWCABTMD.  You’re lifting more weight, switching to a thinner band for your pull-ups, finishing workouts faster, and recovering more quickly as you increase your training volume and frequency.  Hopefully the knowledge that your improving your fitness will fuel you drive so you continue to make strong and lifelong fitness gains. 

Tuesday’s Skill:

Thruster ladder. 

Using your Fran weight, complete the following reps of unbroken thrusters:

3 reps, 6 reps, 9 reps, 12 reps, 15 reps…

Go till you cannot complete the required reps of the ascending ladder.

Workout of the Day (WOD):

12 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

12 kettlebell swings (53#/35# for women)

6 burpee box jumps (24″/20″ for women)

Post times to comments

Katie was all business while working the thruster ladder.

Morning CrossFitters feeling the lung burn.

Workout pals Jen and Adriana syncing their burpee box jumps.

Danny is definitely upping his game. 

And done.


How Much Weight Is This?

When we do strength training we want to go heavy.  Simply put, if the weight is never challenging in terms of load, it never forces the body to adapt and get stronger.  Only by overloading the system do we see the physiological adaptations we are seeking. 

That being said, you shouldn’t just lift heavy weight without any clue of how much you are lifting.  Too many times I have asked someone how much weight they are about to squat, deadlift, clean, etc, only to receive a blank or perplexed stare. 

Not knowing how much weight you are about to lift could mean you’re setting up for a deadlift PR of some ridiculous amount like 80 pounds.  And while you may make the lift, the potential for injury is unnecessarily high. 

In short, add up the weight on your barbell.  And if CrossFit math ain’t your thing, just ask one of the coaches to verify your weight.  They are all highly experienced in weight training and most important, they all have smart phones with calculators.

Even he knows how much weight he’s about to pull.



Back squat

4 x 4 (4 sets of 4 reps at the same weight.  Use ~ 80% of your 1 rep max)

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For max reps, complete:

1 minute of pull-ups

1 minute of push-ups

1 minute of sit-ups

1 minute of squats

Rest 2 minutes and record your total reps, then:

1 minute of squats

1 minute of sit-ups

1 minute of push-ups

1 minute of pull-ups

Post total reps in each of the 4 minutes to comments

Fight Gone Bad Explained

If you don’t know what the Fight Gone Bad workout is, then you’re probably not sure what the whole Fight Gone Bad 6 fundraiser and event is about.  So watch the video (don’t get too scared) then register here to begin raising funds to benefit CrossFit Kids and wounded/fallen veterans.

We, and thousands of other CrossFit affiliates, will be doing the Fight Gone Bad workout on September 17th at the gym from 10 to 12 pm followed by a relaxing BBQ.

Get on board, register, spread the word, and then get to the gym for some hard training.



Yesterday was Mateo’s last day at CrossFit Merge.  He’s going back to the east coast for school but promises he’ll return to the gym during the winter and summer breaks next year.  

Mateo started CrossFit in May with not much experience in strength and conditioning, except with the bench press.  But Mateo was a disciplined CrossFitter that took instructions very well, showed up consistently, and was always willing to put in the effort that was needed to get better.  He also embraced paleo eating and consequently saw huge differences in his body composition and performance.  Just this week he impressed everyone at the gym by doing 10 overhead squats at 135 pounds!  Wow!

Study hard and keep up the functional fitness in New York, Mateo.


Mateo requested this WOD, so blame him.  When given the choice of workouts, why does every CrossFitter want to do something long and exceptionally hard?  Are we that twisted?  

Workout of the Day:

The Lumberjack 20 

20 deadlifts (275#/185#)

Run 400 meters

20 kettlebell swings (70#/53#)

Run 400 meters

20 overhead squats (115#/75#)

Run 400 meters

20 burpees

Run 400 meters

20 pull-ups (chest to bar)

Run 400 meters

20 box jumps (24″/20″)

Run 400 meters

20 dumbbell squat cleans (40#/25#)

Run 400 meters

Post rounds to comments

“53# kettlebell swing.  I got this.”  Said Marianoel.

And in typical CrossFit fashion, you relive the ‘epicness’ of the WOD you just did with your friends.  


Getting in the Fight

Another reason to sign up for Fight Gone Bad 6, taking place on Saturday, September 17th.  Sign up and start raising funds, CrossFitters.  Let your friends, family, and anyone else know that you’re doing this 17 minute WOD to support people like Keith Zeier.

Wednesday’s Skill

Overhead Squat

2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for time of:

Run around the block (~500 meters)

12 handstand push-ups (sub as difficult as possible push-ups)

21 kettlebell swings (53#/35# for women)

Post times to comments

Fred working the clapping push-up during the WOD.

Mateo, left, and Bryan, right head to head on their handstand push-ups.

Sarah with incredible focus on her overhead squat.  

Todd and Cindy, the couple that CrossFits together experiences the soreness together.  

How to use Chalk

Chalk is an indispensable part of CrossFit. Pullups, barbell lifts, ring work, kettlebell snatches and swings, grip work. Dust a little across your shoulders when cleaning heavy and smatter some on your back for squats and good mornings. I like a little on my hands to prevent slipping on sweaty palms when doing plyometric pushups. Yep, it’s a useful little chunk of decayed rock. Chalk gives you a psychological edge too. Chalking up your hands is a ritual that helps you get serious, helps you focus on the movement at hand. A gym without chalk immediately proclaims that it is not a real lifting gym.

But too much of a good thing is just that, too much. Too much chalk will actually hurt your hands by promoting tearing and rips.  It can be a vicious cycle–hands sweat, add more chalk, hands sweat more and turn the chalk into mud, add more chalk, tear.  And then your training suffers. Try a little less chalk when doing pullups. If you sweat a lot, just keep a small towel by your pullup station and use it to dry off your hands. You will be surprised how well a dry hand with a dusting of chalk holds the bar.

And, let’s be honest, excessive chalk use can be obnoxious. There is no need to scatter chalk everywhere each time you reach into the bucket or take loose chunks of chalk around the gym with you. Sweat plus chalk equals mud and the resilience of muddy chalk has to be scrubbed to be understood.

So, by all means chalk up, but also respect the gym and the hard working folks who clean it.

Courtesy of CrossFit West Santa Cruz

Tuesday’s Skill:

Kipping pull-up practice

Workout of the Day (WOD)

10 rounds for time of:

3 clean and jerks (135#/95# for women)

15 wall ball shots (20#/14# for women)

Elements WOD:

15 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

8 medicine ball cleans to wall ball shots

8 knees to elbows

Post times and rounds to comments 

Dead on Monday

Don’t forget to register for Fight Gone Bad 6.  Then start gathering donations, letting people know you’re doing the workout/fundraiser event in CrossFit to honor and support wounded veterans. 



5 – 5 – 3 – 3

Workout of the Day (WOD):

20 push-ups (hand release)

10 deadlifts

18 push-ups

9 deadlifts

16 push-ups

8 deadlifts

14 push-ups

7 deadlifts…

2 push-ups

1 deadlift

Post times to comments

Coach Cory slamming out the 265# deadlifts.

Jenn and new member Adrienne at various points of their deadlifts.

Fight Gone Bad 6

Mark your calendars, this year’s Fight Gone Bad event is going down on September 17th at the gym.  What is this you ask?  Fight Gone Bad is a classic, 17 minute long, CrossFit WOD that is done annually in September as fundraiser event to benefit fallen and wounded military personnel and CrossFit Kids via the Infant Swimming Resource.

CrossFit affiliates and athletes all over the world will be participating in Fight Gone Bad 6.  As a veteran myself, I strongly encourage everyone at the gym to participate.  Just click this link, register under the CrossFit Merge team, and then ask your friends, family, coworkers to help with donations.

This is a great cause, a huge CrossFit community event, and a awesome workout.  The top fundraiser at the gym will receive a special prize, and we will also have a BBQ and potluck at the gym after the WOD.  So let’s do this thing. 

Primal Nerds Unite

If you couldn’t make it to the Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA earlier this month, here are videos of the lectures

This was a who’s who gathering of all the big paleo primal names, Dr. Eades, Dr. Lalonde, and Robb Wolf.  Lots of good information to geek out on.

Wednesday’s Skill:

Push Press

2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2

Workout of the Day (WOD):

For time, complete:

15 kettlebell swings (53#/35# for women), rest 30 seconds

15 kettlebell swings, 15 box jumps (24″/20″ for women), rest 30 seconds

15 swings, 15 jumps, 50 double-unders, rest 30 seconds

15 swings, 15 jumps, 50 doubles, run 330 meters, rest 30 seconds

15 swings, 15 jumps, 50 doubles, run, 15 power cleans (135#/95# for women)

Post times to comments

Katie, Jenn, Delaney, and John working on synchronized swings.

Danny and Morgan up in early on the morning to battle it out with jump rope.

Stephanie, Brian, and Jason representing the 5:30 gang.

Sal got 115# push press for a double and then cranked out 15 power cleans at 75# for the WOD.

The Box Rules

Here are CrossFit Merge’s Gym Rules made official with a posting on the internet:

1.  Arrive early and stay late. Cheer, clap, and encourage others. Anything less is to cheat yourself of the experience, and to rob others of the gift of your presence and support as part of the community. Additionally, the penalty for showing up late is 5 burpees per minute. 

2.  See someone new in the class, introduce yourself.  No bourgeois attitudes here.  Say hello and then ask them what their deadlift is.

3.  Check your ego at the door.  Because somewhere a 14 year old is warming up with your PR.

4.  EMPTY barbells and kettlebells were not designed to be dropped.  We don’t want our toys, our rubber flooring, you, or someone else broken unnecessarily.

5.  Chalk is useful, even necessary.  It is also messy.  Use as much as you need, but keep the excess inside the chalk bucket because it’s very time consuming to clean up.

6.  Clean up and put away your toys.  Please clean up your sweat, blood, or any other DNA you left on the floor or on the equipment.  Put all the equipment you used back where it belongs. 

7.  Don’t cheat!  Finish first, or finish last, no one really cares, but everyone will care if you cheat.  Be honest with everyone else, and be honest with yourself.  You know what full range of motion is, so there’s no excuse for shoddy reps. 

And don’t forget to work hard and have fun.

Tuesday’s Skill:

L-sit progressions & shoot throughs

Workout of the Day (WOD):

3 rounds for time of:

30 wall ball shots (20#/14# medicine ball for women)

10 dumbbell squat snatches, one arm (40#/25# dumbbell for women)

10 dumbbell squat snatches, other arm

Elements WOD:

3 round for time of:

30 wall ball shots

10 dumbbell overhead squats, one arm

10 dumbbell overhead squats, other arm

Post times to comments

Adriana and Jen working the l-sit while Cory takes a moment with an itch. 

Mateo getting down on his squat snatch as Michael psyches himself up.