Workout of the Day: Friday, 10.24.14

In case you didn’t know, our fearless leader and founder of CrossFit Center City, and the patriarch of CFCC are getting married TOMORROW. On behalf of the CFCC community past and present, we wish you both a lifetime of health, happiness and gainz!

Members, please check Mindbody for a slightly truncated schedule this weekend due to the coaching staff attending the nuptials.



MOVEMENT PREP: Foam roll/lax ball any tight spots for 2-3 minutes, Lax ball calves 1 minute/side, 30ft Spiderman Lunge + OH Reach, 30ft over the fence/under the fence, 30ft Lateral Lunge, 30ft Crab Walk Forward


A1. Weighted Step Ups x 6-8 reps/leg (20/16″), x 3 sets, Rest 60 seconds
A2. Ring Rows x 8-10 reps @ 2111, x 3 sets, Rest 60 seconds
A3. Side Plank x 30 seconds/side, x 3 sets, Rest 60 seconds


3 Rounds
60ft SA Front Rack DB Walking Lunges (45/20lb)
10 Alternating DB Power Snatch (45/20lb)
30 Sit Ups

*60ft SA Front Rack DB Lunge = 30ft R arm, 30ft L arm

FINISHER: Time Permitting

Work on mobility, foam roll, stretch, etc. If you need some ideas make sure to take advantage of the MobilityWod and Functional Movement Systems posters hanging in the hallway.

Workout of the Day: Thursday, 10.23.14

Signups for the 2014 #Stacheshowdown are here!! This not so little annual throwdown has officially outgrown the #basementofdreams, and we’re stoked to announce that we’re shutting down Juniper Street between Sansom and Chestnut Streets to take this strongman competition to the next level! Find a partner, and sign up!




MOVEMENT PREP: Lax Ball Pec 10 passes/side, Banded Lat Stretch x 1 min/side,
2 Rounds: 10 Push Up Plus, 10 Glute Bridges, 10 T’s w/10 sec hold on last rep, 10 I’s w/10 sec hold on last rep


A1. Bench Press x 6-8 reps @ 20X0, x 3 sets, Rest 15-20 seconds
A2. Push Up or Dynamic Push Up x 10-12 reps @ 10X0, x 3 sets, Rest 2-3 minutes


3 Rounds
15 KB Swings (32/24kg)
10 T2B
5 Wall Walks
Rest 2 minutes

12 Minute EMOM
odd = 8-10 Pull Ups
even = 40 second amrap Double Unders


Workout of the Day: Wednesday, 10.22.14

Sign ups for the Total on Halloween (10/31) are live! Select the “Seminars” tab on Mindbody and reserve your heat time!


Coach Tim with a 305lb Clean & Jerk at the South Philly Rumble 


MOVEMENT PREP: Foam roll t-spine, lats and quads for 3 minutes, partner assisted wall quad or superman stretch x 60 sec/side + 2 Rounds: 10 vertical jumps, 10 pass throughs w/pvc, 10 ohs w/pvc, 5 snatch balance w/pvc


A. Hang Snatch + Snatch (1+1) x 5 sets, Rest 2 minutes
*The Hang Snatch and Snatch will be performed consecutively (TnG). Weight can build over 5 sets working up to something moderately heavy.


3 Rounds
250m Row
10 Squat Cleans (95/65lb)
15 Burpees Over the BB
Rest 3 minutes

Collegiate Nationals, a review.

For those of you who have been hiding gleefully in a pile of leaves somewhere in autumnal Philadelphia, Liberty Barbell Club spent the weekend of September 27th and 28th taking 4 of 6 qualified athletes to Collegiate Nationals to compete. The 6 qualified athletes were: Silvana Gonzales, Lizette Salomon, Paige Alexander, Leah Pandiscia, Ryan Basa, and Mike Zoda. The first 3 athletes walked on to the platform and performed well. Coach Zoda had a pretty lame wrist tweak about a week before we had to leave that kept him out of the competition, but he did manage to snag a Back Squat PR out of this weekend in spite of his wrist. Both Basa and Leah elected to stay behind and we spent the majority of our downtime in Albuquerque wishing they were there.


All of the athletes who attended this meet fought hard to qualify to get here. Each of them comes with their own intricate set of strengths and weaknesses. All of them achieved their qualification through hard, often tedious work, and humble dedication to their goals.

For those of you who do not know, Collegiate Nationals has lower qualifying totals than Senior Nationals and the American Open. That said, this meet draws all kinds of seasoned competitors and fresh faces to the sport of weightlifting. These athletes shared platforms with Pan Am medalists, World Team members, and future and past Olympians.

This is no small matter.

Stepping out from behind that haunting black curtain and into the limelight is scary, intimidating, and pretty dizzying if you have never done it before. Athletes of all levels of experience snatch spastically, miss lifts they have made dozens of times in training, and generally experience the moment-to-moment tension of what makes Olympic Weightlifting a riveting sport.


Silvana, our least-experienced lifter, was the first to go on Friday. She heartily accepted a season of training for weightlifting as her primary goal after she qualified for Collegiate Nationals at the Liberty Barbell Classic in the spring. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly to fine-tune a massive base of strength and proprioception that comes to her from her time with CrossFit and gymnastics. As nervous as she was during the week prior to competition she snatched over bodyweight in this – her second weightlifting competition EVER. She also battled through some tough clean and jerks, finishing with a total that would have qualified her for the American Open in December of this year if she had elected to cut weight. Going from gymnast, to CrossFitter, to weightlifter within the last 6 months or so, she has displayed a talent for weightlifting and the self-control that it takes to become better at it. She could have easily shied away from such a challenge, and instead, she stepped up and conquered it. I cannot wait to see what her next meet will bring and I couldn’t be prouder of her effort.


Paige Alexander was in the session following Silvana. Whenever I think about Paige as an athlete, I can’t help but think about where she started. She is a PT student who came to CFCC eager to learn and even more eager to lift as often as possible. She started with a 45lb. snatch and now, heading into two years of being a part of what we do at CrossFit Center City and Liberty Barbell Club, she is snatching 116lbs. and qualifying for National Level meets. Besides the element of National attention, the hardest part of Collegiates for Paige was that she would be competing as a true 58kg lifter.

At the highest level of competition in American weightlifting you will seldom find athletes qualifying and performing well in weight classes that they do not have to fight hard to plan to stay in. I do not prefer for most of my CrossFit athletes to battle through hard cuts because multi-modal athletes rarely respond positively performance-wise to prolonged caloric deficits. For my weightlifters, I generally prefer lifters to be out of the range of “novice” (+3 meets) prior to pursuing any conversations about weight class. Weight cuts can be a physiological challenge to the hard-fought-for muscle mass of a lifter, but they can also be extremely mentally draining. Making the same lifts is always possible, but always harder. Keeping your eye on the prize of having a place at the table and trusting the process can make you feel 100% crazy. But every athlete, and every meet, and every cut is different.

This meet was the first within which Paige was able to easily make weight. Through her diligence she hit her target weight perfectly. The challenge after doing this is to know how your body will respond to similar training loads on the platform.   The truth is, you can’t always know. You must test, retest, and learn from your mistakes and successes.

Paige ended up putting up her highest total ever at her first time at a National Level meet as a true 58kg lifter. The road to get to this point in her lifting career has been tough. She is now at a difficult juncture for any athlete: a crossroads where your body must do what your brain most certainly thinks is crazy.

To me, that paradox is weightlifting. At the end of the day, you must place your hands on a bar that otherwise has no business being over your head, shut down all thoughts of self-doubt, fear and apprehension, and accelerate through gravity and all else that pins that bar to the ground.

Paige has gone to this dark place in her lifting career and she has come out on the other side, stronger and more capable than ever before. I can’t wait for what her next cycle of strength holds.


Our final athlete to compete was Lizette Salomon who is, as Coach Morgan Vozobule has so eloquently put it, our “show pony”. Lizette, like Silvana, has a CrossFit background with a strong natural talent for barbell gymnastics (i.e. weightlifting). Pound for pound, she is one of the most efficient lifters in LBC. She qualified for CollegiateNationals at the Liberty Barbell Classic as well and has, like Silvana, split her time between competitive CrossFit and weightlifting in order to improve both.

To tell you about how Lizette did at Nationals I feel I must give you the scene behind the black curtain: there she is donning a black LBC jacket, crisply warming up with a barbell. She’s wearing borrowed 7 year old weightlifting shoes (mine) with mismatched laces and mismatched socks. She’s tugging at a shiny new Adidas singlet and sporting American Flag kinesiotape on one arm (for added stability AND patriotism). On top of all of this, is a long ponytail with a mind of its own crowned with a tidy pink bow.

I say all this because, ladies and gents, this is how she lifts. Things in her Snatch and Clean and Jerk are just as they should be: quiet, calculating, crisp. Lizette is a barbell artist, and she displayed that on the platform at Collegiate Nationals by going 3 for 3 in the Snatch at her first National-level meet. She matched her training PR for the Snatch on the platform, something that almost NEVER happens for more experienced lifters. She also soldiered through characteristically strict judging for her Clean and Jerks and still managed to hit a PR total under loads of pressure.

One of the best things about getting to take athletes to trips like these is not just the events themselves, but also the time we get to spend outside of the training hall. CFCC and LBC have grown so much in the last few years. Though I love having more lifters welcome to our party, there are times I truly miss the cohesion of a small group of athletes. I get to know each of them as people. We hash out weightlifting trivia. We eat celebratory exorbitant amounts of food. We marvel over techniques and strategies we’ve never seen before, and we hunt for post-workout donuts.



While we were in Albuquerque I wanted to take everyone out to see some nature. We headed out to see the Sandia Mountains Tram Car that is apparently THE touristy thing to do in Albuquerque. This tourist site bills itself as “the longest tram car ride in the world”. As we were being stuffed into what was more like a glorified elevator-sized ski lift I instinctively started answering emails on my phone. Glancing over his shoulder at me, Zoda (Xoda, YODA???) ever-so-wise beyond his years said, “Don’t you want to wait to do that? I mean, this is kind of the whole point of what you’re paying for.” So I did. I left my inbox, my goals, my get-things-done attitude and watched the sunset from the tramcar as it floated and bobbed up the side of the mountain and all the breath-taking scenery that surrounded us.

When I look back over my shoulder in ten years at the tasks of these athletes, I will surely remember the big moments, the peaks, the valleys, and the game-changing lifts. Truthfully though, what I know I will remember more, much the same as I do about my college tennis career, is the journey.


As athletes and as coaches I think we can be so attached to where we are going that we never stop to survey the scene. Goals are good. They guide us to where we want to be; but if we are so focused on our goals that we forget to observe the path to them – we’ll never get where we want to go.

Meets like these are certainly formative, but it is the day-to-day grind, the return to the barbell even when you cringe at the idea of touching one, and the support of our friends on our worst days that lays the path to the top.

We should honor that path more often. And as a part of that, I want to thank you all for being a part of the journey that all of these athletes have taken.

Beyond the privilege that it is to take part in these pinnacle moments for our LBC athletes, I am always trying to encourage new lifters to attend meets of this caliber because of the kinds of lifts you will see. We saw records broken this weekend, miraculous attempts, and meticulously refined lifting. It’s enough to make a normal human being into a super-fan of immensely embarrassing proportions. But it’s also the kind of lifting that makes your heart skip a beat and your hair stand on end. Both Coach Zoda, Coach Morgan, all the athletes and myself had the opportunity to spend some time learning more about the sport and engaging with high-level athletes and coaches within it.

The next meet of this caliber will be the American Open and will be held in early December in Washington D.C. I hope this meet will be able to give many of you the opportunity to bear witness to some of what we have seen – it’s nothing short of invigorating for what can sometimes be a very monotone season of training. You all helped these athletes get to where they are. You bought their baked goods, cheered them on over the live feed and social media, and generally represent their home to them.

So thank you so much for your generous support – and next time, don’t sit at home! Come hang out near the lights and see what we’re so crazy about!


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Workout of the Day: Tuesday, 10.21.14

Sign ups for the Total on Halloween (10/31) are live! Select the “Seminars” tab on Mindbody and reserve your heat time!



MOVEMENT PREP: Banded hamstring stretch sequence + Lax ball to upper trap x 10 passes/arm, 10 cat & camel,  30ft broad jump


A. Deadlift
*Set 1 – 75% x 5 reps
*Set 2 – 85% x 3 reps
*Set 3 – 95% x max reps
Rest 3-5 minutes in between sets

B. Strict Press
*Set 1 – 75% x 5 reps
*Set 2 – 85% x 3 reps
*Set 3 – 95% x max reps
Rest 3-5 minutes in between sets


4 Rounds of
2 minute Amrap
10 Box Jumps w/step down (24/20″)
10 Push Press (115/75 lbs) *from the floor
Rest 2 minutes



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