WOD: 10/23/14

Hang Power Clean: 15 Minutes to Work to a 3RM

3 rounds of:
10 Pullups
10 Thrusters (95/65)
Then, 20 Burpee box jumps (or step up), Then
3 rounds of:
10 Pullups
10 Thrusters  (95/65)

12 Minute Cap; [Advanced: C2B Pullups]

Additional Strength/Skill - Optional
Note: Sequence ends on 4th set of HSPU.
1a) 4XME UB + 3 Strict HSPU (ME UB set, quick rest, then 3 more reps) – rest 2:00
1b) 3X10 Reverse Hypers – heavy, rest 2:00

WOD: 10/22/14

5k Run for time

Compare to 10/14/13.

DO NOT go to CrossFit Merced today!  We are meeting at the corner of Bear Creek Ave & McKee Ave during all regular class times.

We will be starting the run 10-15 minutes after the scheduled start of the class, so if you’re reading this while sitting outside the doors of CFM, you still have time to drive over and run with the rest of us.   Also, I’ll be bringing 2 rowers to the path, so if you’re hurt and would rather row, we’ve got a spot for you as well.

WOD: 10/21/14


4X5 Back Squats at 75%+; work to a 5rm

EMOM for 15 minutes:
15/12 Calorie Row (Men/Women)
8 Power Cleans  (135/85) [Advanced: Full Squat]
40 Double-Unders

Additional BBG - Optional
1) 5X1 Two Position Clean (hang & power position) – heavy but NO MISSES, rest as needed
2) 5X2 Jerk from blocks – heaviest possible, rest as needed
3a) 4X3 Touch & Go Cleans (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
3b) 4X8 Tempo Ring Dips (3 counts down, 3 count pause at bottom, 3 counts up, 3 count pause at top) – if 8 reps at strict tempo is too easy add weight, rest 2:00

Reminder:  The Lululemon trunk show is happening tonight here at CFM from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.  

WOD: 10/20/14


Establish a 2RM Overhead Squat

EMOM for 10:00-
10 Wall Balls 20/14#
In the remainder of each minute:
ME Burpees

*Score is total Burpees.

Additional BB Cycling/Midline - Optional
1a) 4X3 Touch & Go Snatches (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
1b) 4X60 second ME Strict TTB – rest 90 sec.

We will be running the 5k this WEDNESDAY.  (Sorry for the confusion, everyone.  I’m terrible at scheduling).  All classes will start on time at the corner of Bear Creek & McKee.

Reminder: We’re starting baby step #2 this week.  Baby step #2 is to spend more time planning and preparing your meals.  You’re going to have to minimize surprises in order for the primal lifestyle to be sustainable for you.   This is going to take some extra time and effort.  First, plan out your weekly menu.  Then spend some extra time at the grocery store reading ingredients.  Finally, cook and pack your food before you get caught in a situation where you’re forced to eat something you shouldn’t.  

Planning will help you especially if you have specific cravings you need to satisfy.  There are ways to satisfy the cravings you have, but if you’re not intentional about it, then you’ll be more likely to stay on the right path.

WOD: 10/17/1

2 Rounds; 90 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest:

Land Mine Twists
Hang Power Cleans
Wall Balls
Parallette Pass Throughs
Handstand Hold
Toes Thru Rings/GHD Situps

We’re finished with week 1 of the Primal Challenge!  We hope you were successful with Baby Step #1: Eliminate bread & sugar, then replace it with something nutritious like nuts & seeds.

Next week we want you to start Baby Step #2:  PLAN!  We want you to spend some (more) time planning your meals throughout the week.  Having success in the Primal Challenge (and, going forward) is going to be, in large part, dependent on planning.  Don’t let yourself get into a spot where you are have to choose unhealthy, non-Primal foods because of convenience.  Take a few moments this weekend to plan out your menu for the week.  Look through some recipes and come up with something that you can somehow fit into your budget and schedule.  Usually this means that you’ll be cooking your own food instead of eating our or fast food.  Think about what you’ll be choosing to fuel your body with this week, then take the time to prep and prepare to execute your plan.

REMINDER: Next WEDNESDAY, October 22, we will be starting our regular classes at the corner of Bear Creek and McKee Ave.  We’ll be running 5K!  Don’t be intimidated by the run – you’ll be fine.  If you’re at the early or late class, you could bring a flashlight or head lamp.  See you there!

WOD: 10/15/14

6X2 Pause Clean – 3 Count Pause at knee - 

For time:
Run 800m
30 Perfect Pushups [Advanced: Strict HSPU]
30 Jumping Back Squats 45/35#
Run 400m
30 Jumping Back Squats 45/35#
30 Perfect Pushups [Advanced: Strict HSPU]
Run 800m

Additional Strength/Skill - Optional
1b) 4X60 second ME Strict TTB
1b) 4X3 Clean Grip Behind the Neck Push Press – heaviest possible, rest 2:00

2 days into the Primal Challenge… I hope everyone is excited.  There are going to be times when you’re going to want to give in to temptation and eat or drink something you shouldn’t – STAY THE COURSE.   This is the time for you to stay committed.  At the end of these 6 weeks you’ll be able to get a better idea of what it takes to stay healthy for a lifetime.  Don’t give up; don’t give in.  If you feel like eating a burger or a snicker bar – grab some almonds and know that you’re doing the right thing.  The rewards come with discipline and consistency.  We’re in this together.

1) Next Tuesday, October 21 we will be running (and/or walking) 5k for the daily WOD.  We will not be opening the doors at CFM.  Instead, meet us during all of the regularly scheduled classes at the corner of Bear Creek and McKee Ave.   This is a benchmark WOD that we will try to test every Spring and Fall.  We offer our apologies to the early and late classes that it will be dark, so bring a flash light and stick with a buddy.  We hope to see EVERY SINGLE ONE of you there to run or walk together.  Don’t be intimidated by the workout – we’ll help you get through it.

2) Our next Bring-A-Friend Team WOD will be on Saturday, November 1 at 10:00 AM.  Make sure to bring your friends if they missed out last time.

WOD 10/14

Back Squat:
1X5 @ 70%|
1X3 @ 80%
1X3 @ 85%
1X3 @ 90%

Alternating EMOM for as long as possible (or until 20:00):
20 Double-Unders
5 Power Cleans (135/85)
5 Bar-Facing Burpees
5 Shoulder to Overhead (135/85)

Additional BBG - Optional
5X2 Jerk from blocks – heaviest possible, rest as needed

Additional BB Cycling/Midline - Optional
1a) 4X3 Touch & Go Cleans (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
1b) 4X8 Tempo Ring Dips (3 counts down, 3 count pause at bottom, 3 counts up, 3 count pause at top)

We’ve been seeing a lot of progress among our CFM athletes lately.  It made me thing of something I wrote about a year and a half ago:

I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve mostly figured out that CrossFit competency rests on a tri-pod.  Without a leg of the tripod, it falls.

The first leg is Strength (or more accurately, Power – see yesterday’s post for an explanation on the difference).  The ability to move large loads (whether it’s an external load like a barbell or kettlebell or your body weight is no difference – you have to be able to move large loads just the same) is the cornerstone of this sport.  Get strong and everything will become easier.  Strength is a journey – it’s a long term process.  You aren’t going to get strong in 90 days (you also aren’t going to get particularly weak in 90 days).  You have to dedicate yourself to strengthening your body.  Concerning strength, shoulders, midline, and hips are your main power generators and stabilizers.  You should be strong in these areas.  Smaller extremities like elbows, knees, ankles, fingers, etc (and the muscles connected to them) are not really much of a concern when it comes to being strong.  You won’t fail an objective because you didn’t do enough bicep curls, it’ll be because your back isn’t strong enough – trust me.  Get strong.

The second leg is conditioning.  You have to be able to sustain movement.  More importantly, you have to be able to sustain fast, powerful movement.  This requires mobilizing oxygen and fuel to your body in your aerobic AND anaerobic pathways.  The good news is that conditioning is (relatively) easy.  All you have to do is embrace the suck during the WODs and go as hard as you can.  Run faster, burpee faster, row faster, take shorter breaks between your pullups (which would be a combination of conditioning and, guess what?  Strength! see above), etc.  You can mostly develop a decent base for conditioning in a short amount of time.  90 days IS long enough to develop some conditioning capacity if you’re committed working hard at it.

Technical Proficiency is the third leg.  It is the most vague of the three because it is so broad and it overlaps to the others so much.  It is also the most difficult to achieve.   It means having practiced and developed competency in whatever movement you are performing.  It also means having the physical capabilities and mobility to accomplish that movement.    Some of us (either by bad design or by personal neglect and non-maintenance) have tight joints and muscles that prevent you from becoming technically proficient.  We can’t get into the proper biomechanical positions to support overhead squats, front racks, running positions, etc.  Most of the time it’s not your fault, BUT it is a challenge you must accept if you want to get better at CrossFit.  You MUST mobilize those parts of your body that are holding you back (BTW, >50% of the men at CFM have hamstrings that are WAY too tight).  Get your shoulders and hips loosened up and you will be able to squat more – guaranteed.  Pay attention to the coaching cues that you get in your classes. 

That was just me rambling, but here’s the short version:  Get strong, go hard, and learn the techniques.

WOD: 10/13/14


Establish a 2RM Front Squat if you did not do it last week.  If you did, we’ll be working on mobility and rowing technique.


For Time:
1k Row
30 Thrusters (45/35)
30 Situps
30 KB Swings

Additional BBG - Optional
5X2 Pause Snatches (3 count pause at the knee) – heavy but NO MISSES and absolute strict pause at the knee, rest as needed

Additional BB Cycling/Midline – Optional
1a) 4X3 Touch & Go Snatches (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
1b) 4X60 second ME Strict TTB – rest 90 sec.

Primal Challenge officially starts today!  Baby Step #1:  Eliminate sugar and bread.  Replace it with meats, vegetables, nuts, or seeds.  (I’ve been asked by many if fruit is an acceptable form of sugar.  The answer is yes, but if you would like to become more lean, eat one serving or less of fruit per day.)

It’s not too late to get a file started for you for the Primal Challenge.  Let’s get your numbers down if you’re going to join us.  Also, some of you haven’t gotten all of your info done yet.  Let’s get it done ASAP!

WOD: 10/10/14


Establish a 2RM Front Squat – OR – Work to a 3RM TNG Power Clean with perfect footwork

Every 2:00 for 10:00 (beginning at 0:00):
6 Clean & Jerks (anyhow) (135/85)
6 Bar Facing Burpees

Every 2:00 beginning at 12:00 for as long as possible or until 20:00
8 Clean & Jerks (anyhow) (135/85)
8 Bar Facing Burpees

The Primal Challenge starts officially on Monday, though some of you have already gotten started this week.  The awesome part about the Primal Challenge is that is allows for reasonable allowances.  

If you are one of those people (like me) who can’t really “get into” the strict Paleo diet, then we’d still like you to get into the Primal challenge.   You can do as much or as little as you want to go Primal.  Here are some of you many options:
1) Just follow our baby steps.  This week’s baby step is to do your best to eliminate bread and sugar – and replace it with something better.
2) Go full Paleo – a bunch of you are already doing it and it’s working great.
3) Make up your own plan – AND STICK TO IT FOR 6 WEEKS.

Personally, I’ll be making up my own plan.  It’s hard for me to get enough nutrient rich foods into my body, so I’m not going to go full Paleo.  Also, there’s just some foods that I REALLY LIKE that I’m not willing to part with. Here are some of the non-paleo foods I’ll be eating throughout the Primal Challenge

  • Dairy:  I love butter, cheese, and cream.  Dairy (especially full-fat) is a nutrient rich food.  The fats are good for me.  It’s delicious and, quite honestly, I feel stronger when I drink milk.  
  • Black beans: These are high in folic acid and potassium.  Black beans could have “too many carbs” if you’re trying to lose weight, though, so be careful.  
  • Small amounts of rice:  I am not trying to lose weight, and a very small amount of starchy rice helps me recover from my workouts more quickly
  • Bread Crumbs:  Not very often, but sometimes I like breaded foods.  A breaded pork chop is delicious.  I won’t be eating any foot long subs, but I’ll probably make some chicken parmesan at some point.  This is a (small) exception to the “no bread” rule that I’m making simply as an indulgence.
  • Peanuts: Though technically legumes (not nuts, which is kind of nuts, right?), I eat natural peanut butter almost every day.  There is lots of protein and fat in peanut butter that is good for me.

These are just some examples off the top of my head.  Keep in mind that your plan has to be in accordance with your goals.  Personally, I’m playing by some different rules because I’m not trying to lose weight or change my body composition, so I’ve made these choices accordingly.  

Whatever your plan is, we’re going to be here to encourage you to stick with it.  Start planning so you can avoid situations where you’ll be stuck with bread or sugar.  You can do it.

REMINDER: TOMORROW (SATURDAY) IS BRING-A-FRIEND DAY!  We’re starting our Team WOD at 10 AM.  Bring your friends so they can see what we’re up to!

WOD: 10/9/14


Establish a 2RM Front Squat

3 rounds for time of:

50 ft Med Ball OH Walking Lunges
25 KB Swings (53/35)
50 ft Med Ball OH Walking Lunges
25 Lateral Jumps over line [Advanced: Jump over Med Ball]

Addtional BB Cycling - Optional
1) Power Snatch: 4X5 – work to a 5RM, rest as needed
2) Power Clean & Push Jerk: 4X5 – work to a 5RM, rest as needed

Additional Strength/Skill - Optional
*Sequence ends on 4th set of HSPU.
1a) 4X1:00 ME Strict C2B Pull-ups (this is not an unbroken set) – rest 2:00
1b) 3X10 Reverse Hypers – heavy, rest 2:00

Primal Challenge Update:
Many people are excited to start our Primal Challenge but most people don’t understand what Primal is.  Check out this article to get the basics about primal eating. 

We will be referring to this blog a lot. It has great information along with how-to’s and recipes. If you are someone who is looking for more information, the Primal Blueprint is a great, in depth book about the why Primal diet is great for your body, while The Primal Blueprint 21 day challenge is more of a practical, instructional book. There are some great recipe books out there, like  Against All Grain and also Nom Nom Paleo for humans – both have great websites with a ton of recipes.

Use these resources as guidelines to what you can and should be eating.  If you’re not into doing the research and reading this much, you don’t have to.  Feel free to use our “baby steps”.   Baby step #1: Don’t eat/dring sugary stuff.  Baby step #2: don’t eat bread.

Just remember that the point of the Primal Challenge is to learn what is good for your body and what is not. Try not to think about this as a weight loss challenge (even though that will be a result of clean eating) but as a way to reprogram the way you look at food.

If you haven’t gotten your file started yet, now is the time. We will be measuring body fat and inches, taking your weight and pictures for before and afters all week this week.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the fun!

WOD: 10/8/14

15 Minutes to work on Pause Snatch – 3 Second pause with BB at knees.  Work to reinforce good positions.  Only go heavy if mechanics are sound.

50 Shoulder Touches
50 Double-Unders
50 Wall Balls 20/14#
600m Run

Additional BB Cycling/Midline - Optional
1a) 4X3 Touch & Go Snatches (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
1b) 4X60 second ME Strict TTB

I had 2 interesting conversations with CFMers about the Primal challenge today.

First, I was talking to one of our morning CFMers about cutting out sugar. He said, “I was doing good.  I was going to put barbecue sauce on my meat but I didn’t because there was a little sugar in it.  Then it went bad.  I ate 2 cookies; They were REALLY good.”

We laughed.  That’s how it goes, right?  You’re trying to keep it clean, then you give into temptation.  I’m with you.  It happens to me, too.  The point of the Primal Challenge isn’t here to put you in a position to fail.  It’s all about learning about what it takes to succeed.  The success we want for you isn’t about a 6-week challenge.  It’s about making the changes that are going to allow you to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life.

We talked about it.  I explained to him that if barbecue sauce is what he likes, then go for it.  A sustainable lifestyle has to include some reasonable indulgences.  Yeah, barbecue sauce has some sugar in it, but it’s not going to affect you the way that 2 cookies does.  He would have been better off putting a little bit of barbecue sauce on his tri-tip than pounding cookies. 

Also, 2 cookies isn’t going to kill you.  If your mom/aunt/cousin/friend makes you cookies you owe it to them to eat it and enjoy one.  A cookie is a reasonable indulgence.  What we’re trying to show you that if you limit your cookie intake to those rare occasions, then you’re going to make a lot of progress the rest of the month when you’re eating clean.  All the while you’ll be able to enjoy yourself and not be a food snob.

The second conversation was with someone whom I was taking measurements.  He said, “So is the point of this to get skinny, or what?”  

No, not really.  The point is to experiment with your best effort to be as healthy as possible.  If you give the Primal Challenge an honest effort, you’re going to see how you look, feel, move, and sleep.  You may lose some weight.  You may stay the same.  We have to act in accordance with our goals.  If your goal is to lose weight and you do what it takes then, yes, you’re going to become more lean.  If your goal is to pack on some extra muscle and you eat and lift enough, then of course, you’re going to pack it on.   You just have to commit to it to see what happens.  After that, you’ll have the tools to put yourself into the best position to be fit.

That’s what we expect of you.  Do your best.  That is different for all of us.  It depends on where you’re at and where you want to be.  Personally, I’m satisfied with my body composition, but i know I’ve been eating too many processed foods.  I want to see how much stronger and faster I can get if I start eating only whole foods that I’ve prepared in my kitchen.  I’m thinking that it might be exactly what I need to be able to perform the way I’d like to.  The beautiful part about this whole thing is that we have the support system here at CrossFit Merced to help me along.  I know I’ll be talking with the coaches and members about ideas for meals.  I know there will be people encouraging me to keep up the things that are making me successful.  They’re here for me, and we’re all here for you.  I hope you’re as excited as I am

WOD: 10/7/14

Back Squat:
1X5 @ 70%
1X3 @ 80%
1X2 @ 85%
1X2 @ 90%

3 rounds for time of:
Run 400m
20 Ring Rows
*Rest 2 Minutes between rounds
Run 400m as fast as possible.  Do not pace your run to make the ring rows easier.

Additional BB Cycling - Optional
4X3 Touch & Go Jerks (re-rack, and do not drop) – four sets to work to a 3rm

2 Reminders:

Reminder #1) The Primal Challenge starts next week!  We want to get you started by getting some data.  Try to get in early or stay late so we can get your measurements.  Get an early start this week by cutting out all excess sugars.  You can eat SOME fruit, but don’t go overboard. 

We’re going to have 2 general categories for the primal challenge:  The first is for those of you who did the Paleo Challenge last year.  We want you to jump in and clean up your intake.  You are the ones that know what you’re doing so we’re counting on you to lead the way.  The second category is for those of you who have no idea what you’re doing.  We’re going to give you simple steps to get on the right track.  The first step next week is to eliminate grains from your diet.  Basically, this means no bread.  What is bread?  Good question.  Bread is: Bread, tortillas, corn (or things made by corn; yes, corn is a grain), cereal, oatmeal, rice, and all other stuff made with grains.  

Here is the key:  You MUST replace the things you cut out with something nutritious.  You CANNOT eat less – you just have to change the things you eat.  

Recap – Step 1:
No sugar, no bread.  Eat something else instead, like eggs or meat or nuts or seeds or vegetables.  We’re excited about the progress you’re going to make.

Reminder #2)  This Saturday is BRING A FRIEND DAY!  Bring your friends to the Saturday Team WOD at 10 AM to check out  this month’s Bring a Friend Day at CFM.  It’s going to be as much fun as the last one!

WOD: 10/6/14


15 Minutes to work on a  Two-Position Clean (hang & power position)


500m Row, then
3 Rounds
15 Push Press (115/75)
15 Hang Power Cleans (115/75)
15 Box Step Overs (24″/20″)

Additional BBG - Optional
5X2 Jerk from blocks – heaviest possible,
Additional BB Cycling/Midline
1a) 4X3 Touch & Go Cleans (full) – three sets to work to a 3rm
1b) 3XME UB Strict HSPU

Don’t forget the following dates:

  • October 13 is the “official start” of the Primal Challenge.  We’re hoping you get started this week by cutting out sugar.  Come in before or after class to get your measurements file started.
  • November 22 is the “Intra-CFM Holiday Throwdown.  We’ll be having a lot of fun competing against ourselves.
  • December 6 is the Haiti Decathon at CFM.  We’ll be posting more details about how to get registered.




Weightlifting/Open Gym @ 8:30 AM
Team WOD/Open Gym @ 10:00 AM

This usually isn’t a message board, but we wanted to point out a few cool events happening in the community today.  The Merced Fire Department is having their annual Pancake breakfast at Station 55 on Parsons Ave from 7 to 11 AM.  Get some breakfast before you come in to lift this morning!

Also, there will be a bunch of CFM athletes competing at the Tomato WOD Massacre in Los Banos at the Los Banos Tomato Festival.  The CrossFit Competition starts at 11 AM.  Go cheer on our people after the Team WOD!


Closed.  Rest Day.

This week we’ll be posting little pieces of info here for the Primal Challenge.  The most common question we’re getting is “What do I eat?”  My first answer is the same prescription that Greg Glassman (the guy who created CrossFit) gave a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away:  ”MEATS AND VEGETABLES, NUTS AND SEEDS, SOME FRUIT, LITTLE STARCH, NO SUGAR.”  Add some nutrient rich dairy products.  Keep intake levels high enough to support your CrossFit lifestyle but not excess body fat.

This week we want to get you into the right mindset for some of the changes you’ll be making.  The single biggest change that most of us need to make is very simple: NO SUGAR.  This is easier said than done.  Most of us don’t have a clue how real our sugar addiction actually is.  Yes, it is a sugar ADDICTION.  

Getting an early start:  Yes, I know the challenge starts next week, but we’re going to be easing into this “Primal lifestyle”, so I thought it would be to our advantage to try to tackle the biggest obstacle before we get officially started.  Right now I’m challenging you to avoid all sugars wherever possible for the entire week (ok, you can put syrup on your pancakes if you go to the fire station on Saturday morning, but that’s it!).  Don’t put sugar in your coffee, especially if it’s from a coffee shop – those guys put TONS of sugar in your coffee because they know you’re addicted and you’re going to keep coming back for more.  Don’t eat the cookies.  Don’t eat the power bar with sugar.  Don’t eat the treats that the secretary brought to work. Don’t drink the soda.  Don’t eat fruit (this week).  Instead, replace it with some meat, nuts, seeds, or vegetables.  

See where we’re going with this?  We don’t want you to starve.  We know that your body needs nutrients so you HAVE TO EAT.  Just be aware that if it’s sweet, it’s making you fat, so eat something else.  

We’ll be taking measurements all week at the gym.  We’ve got a file ready for you!

If you want to read more about how and why we’re doing this Primal Challenge, pick up a copy of The Primal Blueprint (this explains much of “why”) or the 21 Day Challenge (this is much of the “how to”).

WOD: 10/3/14


We will be doing work on our thoracic spine and hamstring mobility


10 Rounds for total burpee reps in 90 seconds:
3 Deadlifts (225/155)
6 Pushups
9 Situps
ME Burpees
*90 seconds rest between rounds

I’m excited to announce that CrossFit Merced will be hosting this year’s Haiti Decathlon.  Previously, the Haiti Decathlon has been hosted at CrossFit Combat Fitness in Fresno by Ericlee Gilmore.  It has been a successful fundraiser for the last 4 years, and has been a great event where many of our CFM members have been able to compete.  Last month my friend, Ericlee, passed away.  I’ve been given the opportunity to honor him by taking on the Haiti Decathlon.  

Mark your calendars. The event will be on Saturday, December 6 from 9 AM to Noon.  We’re hoping to have over a hundred competitors at the event and to fill most of those spots with CFM athletes.  There will be Rx and scaled divisions.  

The Decathlon consists of 10 different movements.  Each movement will be performed for 2 minutes with 1 minute rest between.  The movements are

  • Tire Flip & Jump-In & Out
  • Clean & Jerk (115/75)
  • Burpees
  • GHD Situps
  • Row for calories
  • Ring Dips
  • Deadlift 225/145
  • Pullups
  • Wall Balls (20/14)
  • Double Unders

There are also scaled versions of each movement for the scaled division.

We’ll have more details about how to get signed up soon.