Workout of the Day:
Three sets of:
Squat x 4-6 reps
(take a few warm-up sets, and then get heavy for three sets – if you get 6 reps, you MUST go up in weight)
Rest 2 minutes
Dumbbell Overhead Press x 8-10 reps
(strict, no knee-bend, as heavy as you can handle, note any asymmetries in your performance logs)
Rest 2 minutes;
and then,
Three sets for max reps/calories of:
60 second Row for Max Calories
20 second Rest
60 second Burpees
20 second Rest
60 second Push Press (95/65 lbs.)
Rest for 3 minutes and 20 seconds
Big Bench Press

Quick Tips for a Better Bench Press – Part Two
Written by Mark Riebel

In part 1 of this post, we talked about the concepts of bracing and pulling the shoulder blades back and down to help improve your bench press technique.  This time I’ll discuss two more quick fixes you can use to help bring it up as well.

Engaging your lats and your legs

Say that again?  Yes, it turns out that by incorporating some muscles that you don’t typically think of as being a part of your bench can really improve your ability to do it.  We’ll start with the easier one to explain—the leg drive.  Putting your feet on the ground and driving them into the ground effectively extends your kinetic chain all the way through your body to the floor.  If that’s a term you’re not familiar with, just know that it further adds to your stability in the lift.  Really emphasizing the leg drive on the concentric phase towards lock out can particularly be of help.  If your legs are a bit short, just put some plates on the ground so you can drive your feet into those.

The other neglected muscle in the bench press is your latissimus dorsi.  Admittedly, I’m still figuring this part out myself and it may be one of the strangest feeling tweaks to your lift, but really flexing these throughout the motion can add a little bit to your top end strength in the movement.  It can help to think of spreading the bar apart while you’re gripping it tight if you’re not too great at just keeping them engaged in the lift.

Arching your back

When you’re getting set up for the bench, putting a little arch in your low back may also add a few pounds to your effort.  You don’t need anything excessive (though having the spine of a 14-year old girl might put you in excessive range of motion), but just a little bit of arch will help.  This places your pecs at a more mechanically advantageous position, the lower fibers in particular.  The specifics take more time to go into than this post allows, but suffice it to say that it does based on the properties of a third class lever (we’ll save the rest of the geek talk for the coaches’ office).  Arching your low back will also shave just a hair off the range of motion as well, which may help you to press more weight.

Ask one of the coaches to assist you in demonstrating any of these adjustments if you need some additional help, but I’d highly recommend incorporating all of them to start improving your bench press today.

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Brent
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Brent

Front squat: 5×3 205-225-245-255(2)-225
squat: 1×20 225
3 Rounds for time:
9 DB swings 70#
15 DB push-press 2×45#
30 Double-unders
5:09
Felt pretty good on squats. went for a new PR with the front squats, but had to much rounding so I ditched. Back squats better at stopping at parallel. Still wantonly creating my own heavyish metcons playing with my programming, but I only have to worry about myself and my weaknesses so anyone following the gym’s structure is probably better off.

pat
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pat

On lats, the cue I’ve always seen used is to “row” the bar down to your chest. Think of engaging the lats to pull the bar down rather than using the pecs to lower the bar.

FAQ - Workout of the Day (WOD)

What does WOD mean in CrossFit?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day. Most CrossFit gyms post one workout each day for their members and online followers to complete. Invictus currently offers THREE free programmed WODs each day (shown above)... and even more personalized and online supplemental programs through Invictus Athlete.

Which program is right for me? Can I move between them?

One thing that sets Invictus apart from other CrossFit gyms and online training programs is that we recognize everyone has different fitness goals, abilities and needs. Be sure to pick which programming is right for you so you can get a great workout that meets your needs.

What does 30X0 mean? (How to read the WOD)

Another thing you might notice that’s different about our programming is that we use ‘tempo training’ - almost always in the Fitness programming and in various cycles for the Performance and Competition programs. Those extra numbers (ex: @30X0) might seem confusing at first glance but you’ll totally get how it works and why we like to use it after reading this. Trust us, you’ll soon witness the many benefits firsthand. Learn more about tempo training.

I need help with some standard movements and warm-up ideas!

Whether you’re new to CrossFit or have lots of experience with the WOD, our coaches will help you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with a particular movement or if your goals are pushing you toward the higher skilled and more elusive movements, our professional coaches support everyone with advice and feedback.

They have worked with all athlete levels and know what it takes to get people moving to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s burpees, double-unders, muscle-ups, or tips for the Assault Bike - we’ve got a coach who can help you.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your warm-ups covered, too. Our coaches are constantly learning from other modalities and love to use what they learn in innovative warm-ups focused on both preparing for the workout at hand and maintaining the body for a pain free life. Check out this full body routine to keep your joints functioning and free of inflammation. We also post warm-up suggestions in the Workout of the Day for each of the programs that are tailored to that day’s movements.

Workout on your own and don’t have much time for your warm-up? Here’s a couple of quick and simple ones for your shoulders, squat day, deadlifts, and everyone’s problem area, the thoracic spine.

What if I can’t lift the weight or do the movement as prescribed?

Scaling is part of the beauty of CrossFit because it enables workouts and programming to be tailored to anyone’s ability. When it comes to weight, you can and should ALWAYS scale the weight down if it is unsafe for you to lift it, or if it changes the intended stimulus of the workout.

Here are some rules of thumb for scaling weight in metcons (lifting for time). For gymnastics movements, there are some simple scaling solutions as well. If you are unsure, reach out to your Invictus coach! We are here to make sure you get the safest and best workout possible - proper scaling allows for that.

How many days per week should I train? / How many rest days should I take?

At Invictus, we offer programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday and we realize not everyone’s schedule - or training needs - are the same and therefore, you must use your best judgement and listen to your body when it comes to deciding how often to take a rest day.

If you have been doing CrossFit for a while now, you recognize that our program excels due to the high intensity component. With that being said, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you can’t sustain that high intensity every single day; otherwise your body ends up breaking down.

You can learn more about how often someone should take a rest day in this article.

What does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “As Many Rounds (and Reps) as Possible” in a certain time period. For example, the workout might say...

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

30 Double-Unders
20 Pull-Ups
10 Thrusters

So you would keep going through the cycle of those three exercises until the 10 minutes is up. Your score is the number of complete rounds plus any extra reps you did. So if you did four complete rounds plus 15 Double-Unders in the fifth round, your score would be 4+15.

What does OTM mean?

OTM stands for “On the Minute” and is the same thing as an EMOM. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does NFT mean?

NFT stands for “Not for Time” and means that you shouldn’t rush or try to go fast, but instead, focus on technique, skill, form or whatever you are working on for that movement.

How heavy should my first set be?

You might also be wondering where to start your first set if, for example, the workout of the day calls for 5 sets of Deadlift x 5 reps. Is the first set a warm-up or is that the first working set? Here’s our recommendation for how to properly build to your starting weight and what we consider warm-up sets and working sets.

How can I figure out my 1RM?

We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes.

Let’s say it’s been awhile since you have attempted a 1RM; maybe you had an injury a few months ago, or maybe you just somehow keep missing the 1-RM test days, or maybe you just forgot to write it down in your log book. If you have a multiple-rep max, you’re in luck. There’s actually a simple equation you can use to calculate an estimated 1RM based on the max number of reps you can do at a given weight.