Sunday 8.08.10

I don't know what's going on here exactly, but I thought it was pretty awesome so I threw it up. It is from another CrossFit affiliate's site. We need more bonding in our box:)


We want to send out a big welcome to our newest Compound family members: Ben, Gerthy, Matt, Jenny, Chase, Ryan, Christy, Bonnie, Rob, and Sam! If you see these guys (or anyone new for that matter) at the gym, introduce yourself and make them feel at home!


For the following post, I've borrowed a lot from the CrossFit Journal article "What is CrossFit?" Check out that article and more at the CrossFit Journal for a wealth of knowledge.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied, if not randomized, functional movements executed at high intensity. Our world is full of movement. Our standing, sitting, throwing, lifting, pushing, pulling, climbing, running, and of course, punching are all quite natural. They got us where we are: the top of the food chain. They are part of our design. These natural, primal movements influence the exercises included in CrossFit’s workouts.

We use the term “functional” to describe the exercises utilizing movements most representative
of natural movement. Functional movements generally use universal motor recruitment patterns, recruit in a wave of contraction from core to extremity, move the body or other object effectively and efficiently, and are multi-joint, compound movements, which are neurologically
irreducible. Our workhorse movements include deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, running and lunging, push ups and dips, presses and jerks, cleans and snatches, rope climbing, sit-ups, jumping, throwing, pressing to handstand and some hybrid movements like the muscle-up, clean & jerk, “wall-ball”, and “thruster”.

Let’s examine how we mix the functional movements to our distinct advantage and then explore those advantages.

  • Single Modality or Single Focus Day: These consist of only one focused movement, lift, or activity ideally focused on one of three areas. The first would be a distance effort, i.e., bike, run, swim, or row long. The second would be a gymnastics skill, handstands, muscle ups, or forward rolls. The third area would be a single rep effort of a basic lift or, perhaps, concentrate on technique as with the Olympic lifts. This is a great day to work on fixing chinks in your fitness armor.
  • Couplets: A couplet is a pairing of two functional exercises. "Fran" is a good example of a couplet combing thrusters and pull ups.
  • Triplets: Similar in function and benefit to a couplet, but the addition of a third movement allows for a broader range of fitness and the exposure to more movement patterns. "Helen" is a good example of a triplet combing running, pull ups, and kb swings.
  • Chippers: Four or more movements thrown together into one big WOD is known as a "chipper" because like a wood chipper, you throw things in, it chips everything up, and spits it out. These have also been called by CrossFit staff "Any Ol' A$$hole" WODs. The reason for this is that chippers, while sometimes fun to do, are less effective at developing elite fitness and can be written by "Any Ol' A$$hole" without any training or background in fitness programming. Also, due to the high reps involved with chippers, you cannot add heavy lifts or highly intense activities that produce the neuroendocrine response (go to and scroll to page 6 of the document for a good explanation of neuroendocrine adaptations to CrossFit) of lifts like heavy deadlifts, squats, or power cleans. A good example of a chipper is "Filthy Fifties".
The above WOD types are what make up the majority of our metcons. Add a warm up, strength training or skill work, and a cool down/ stretch, and you now know how a one-hour CrossFit class is programmed.

Each year after the CrossFit Games, the winning competitors are interviewed about how they trained for the games, how they normally train when not preparing to compete, and what they find to be most effective. The answer is always that these elite athletes spend a majority of their training time on heavy couplets, triplets, and the occasional single focus day. These are the programming options that provide the biggest benefit and fitness gains, whether your goals are strength, conditioning, or even weight loss.

Most of you will notice that the programming at The Compound reflects this, with a lot of couplets and triplets. Every once in a while we do single focus days like a 5k run, and we still throw in some "Any Ol' A$$hole", that is chipper WOD's as well, because they can be enjoyable and a good change of pace. But for a majority of the fitness gains you all have experienced over the last few months, you have heavy strength training with compound movements and intense couplets and triplets to thank.

This week, we are going to focus on the couplet. The most intriguing, and perhaps effective couplets are those comprised of a classic weightlifting movement coupled with a classic gymnastic or calisthenic movement. The best couplets are whole body monsters like thrusters and pull-ups or deadlifts and handstand push-ups.

Functional couplets make perfect CrossFit workouts when used as timed circuits where the athlete either attempts a predetermined number of rounds for best time (task priority) or works to complete as many rounds as possible in a predetermined time period (time priority). Generally, the task priority couplets will go 3-5 rounds and the time priority couplets no more than 20 minutes but anything is possible and fair game. These workouts will last between 3-20 minutes and probably average 15.

Expect to see some classic CrossFit couplets this week. But because we can't do intense couplets everyday without burning out or over training, expect to also see some single focus days as well. Enjoy your Sunday off and get ready to train hard this coming week! bc


  1. Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome.We are enjoying our new home and the asskicking WODs.

  2. Crossfit Endurance recovery wod+: abmat s/u's 3x20 1x30 bosu ball back extensions 4x10, Ring p/u's with feet elevated 12" were subbed for bench press 3x12 1x15,KB swing(American)4x15 @ 1 pood, pullups(strict)4x7, KB double cleans 4x12 @ 26 lb. each hand
    sowd lite: Thursters 4x8@ 75lbs.

    Welcome to all the new faces, how exciting it is to see us grow! Not to mention the shape everyone is in...yikes!! keep comin' back:)

  3. doug you didnt mention your workout included downing a couple 6 packs between sets...slurring your typing ("sowd" "thursters")?