One of the arguments against our “little experiment” has been that the reason everyone continues to PR is because they had limited exposure to the lifts previously, and they are simply getting better because of practice. In some cases I believe this to be true, but I have data to make a fairly strong argument against this assumption…

Thomas Hanson has been doing CrossFit for over 4 years. He started at the original CF Atlanta with Mike G, Ken Gall, and a lady who used to be named Laura DeMarco. That original group was one of the things that made CF ATL famous and from what Laura tells me, Hanson used to beat Mike G on a regular basis (Mike has been to multiple CF Games). He came to us because he was working out on base one day and met Jason Hoggan. Obviously, after Hoggan monkeystomped him on a few WODs (I may have made that up), he decided he wanted to train at Outlaw. We, obviously, love getting experienced CF studs in our gym and were sad to know that he was going to be deploying in a few months.

While Hanson was deployed he stuck strictly to a Wendler 5/3/1 template with some metcon interspersed for conditioning. He put some good weight on his lifts and ended up topping out with a 475# Deadlift and a 345# Back Squat. He also tested his Clean and Jerk right when he got back and hit a new PR of 225#. Good strength numbers for a guy that had a 15 minute 5k in high school, and a sub 3:00 Fran.

Thomas walked back into Outlaw around 4 months ago. When he showed up I told him we were running a competitor/athlete program and I’d put him on it right away. He jumped right in with the others, who had started a few weeks before him, and basically sucked it up for a little while (I had his permission to say that). His conditioning was bad and his Oly lifts had gone to hell because he had spent most of the previous 6 months on powerlifting.

You may have seen the 150# Weighted Pullup video I shared on Monday’s post. That was a 15# PR for Thomas and it was the absolute tip of the PR iceberg. In the last month he has PR’d on his Snatch, Front Squat, Jerk, Power Clean, Deadlift, Back Squat, Clean and Jerk, “Fran” and “Helen”. In fact, for the Deadlift he just pulled 510—a THIRTY FIVE POUND PR—and for the Back Squat he hit 385—a FORTY POUND PR. Those gigantic PRs came for a person who has been doing CrossFit for well over FOUR YEARS and couldn’t even get close to those numbers after doing a specific strength cycle while deployed. Tonight I watched him hit an easy 265# Clean and Jerk—for a FORTY POUND PR—and thought I should probably say a little something about what I’ve seen happen with him over the last few months.

Last but certainly not least, if you want to make the argument that you absolutely can not gain strength, speed strength, and conditioning all at the same time…

About a month ago, just before this PR run started, Thomas did a completely unbroken 2:34 Fran, and a completely unbroken 7:55 Helen—both PRs.

WOD 111220:

*Please note the rest intervals in between the A and B segments. They are not all the same.


1a) 4X5 Hi-Bar Back Squats – heaviest possible, rest 30 sec.
1b) 4X5 Push Press – heaviest possible, rest 90 sec.
2a) 5X2 Banded (Clean style) Rack Pulls (just below the knee) @ 80%+40% bands – rest 45 sec.

Notes: Percentage is based off 1RM Clean.

2b) 5X5 Pendlay Row – heaviest possible, rest 45 sec. DEMO VIDEO


7 rounds for distance and time of:

1 min Max Distance HS Walk
1 min Max Time Ring L-Sit Hold

Notes: Use a 25’ down and back course for your HS walks. Try to stay close to rings and start your count each round from when you get into the L-Sit position. Time stops when the foot drops below the rings.

54 thoughts on “111220

  1. I’d be interested in the programming lecture. I couldn’t come though. Broke student living in Canada. But if you made an ebook or something I’d get all giddy for that (or just made cliff notes available for the seminar after it’s done.)

    Also I would agree that it’s not due to limited exposure. I’ve spent a crapton of time Olympic lifting. I PRed clean and jerk yesterday at 275 finally. I’ve been chasing that a long time. This programmings awesome. Thanks again. Volumes going to be a little lower this next week for christmas methinks. Although there’s squatting and push presses today… I love squatting and push presses. Mmmmmm…

  2. First day on the program. Played around with the “max” weight. I think I should of started heavier on the push presses. Hand stand walks suck.

    1a) Squats – 225 x 5 sets (Max PR Squat is 285)
    1b) Push Press – 135, 145, 155, 165 x 4
    2a) Banded Rack Pulls – 155, green bands looped around bar and under my feet was the only way I was able to rig it at my box.
    2b) Pendlay Row – 155

    Skills/midline – Max distance unbroken was ~5 feet. Max hold about 30 seconds. Round 3-7 had to scale to wall HS with alternating hand weight shifting.

  3. Few week lurker and probably not getting on anytime soon because of an injury which makes the volume and intensity pretty rough for me – that and a 1 year old.

    Anyhow, I really wanted to comment on this post for two reasons: 1) congrats on the PRs, Thomas, and 2) I think what you are doing here is outstanding! Your philosophy and method make complete sense, to me, not that I know anything… But I tried the Wendler progression, and I’ve had friends try it – and nothing against Wendler et al – but that shit is slow and I’ve seen more people stall out on that than I care to admit I helped train. Also, in a recent conversation I had with Louie Simmons I asked him about the 5/3/1 Wendler programming. Louie’s typical, poignant and accurate answer: there is no scientific data on the effectiveness of wendler. What I see happening on this site is a collection of “scientific”(ish) data on the relative ineffectiveness of 5/3/1 compared to what you call the limited conjugate system. Outstanding. I am seriously impressed and expect to see most of your athletes in the games 2012, oh an on podium.

    I just wish I had it to try this system. I’ve been doing CF Football for about 3 months now and have seen outstanding results – conditioning is good, gymnastics suck because it’s not trained in CFFB (e.g. no muscle ups, handstand walks, etc), and strength is better than ever in my life (currently 37 years old: Deadlift 500+, Squat 385, Power clean 240, C&J 225 [my jerk sucks ass], snatch (boo) – about 10 months ago I tore my distal biceps tendon and the snatch is one of the exercises that still tweaks it and psychologically makes me feel all messed up, like I am going to tear off my arm of something.

    One question I do have for you coach, and perhaps you have addressed this elsewhere, is diet? Do you have a dietary recommendation for your competition team? CFFB recommends Paleo + Dairy, raw dairy if possible. Although the dairy has put some size and strength on me, quitting it after just 1.5 weeks has left me leaner than I’ve ever been. Just curious. Thanks again for what you do and I second the eBOOK – i’d buy that shit. Probably too old to implement this, but I like the reading. Sorry for long post.

    • I feel your pain. At 37, rounding the corner to 38, long hours at work, AND a baby on the way the training beats you up! But hey, CF Games Masters Division 2019 is only a few years away. We got plenty of time to recover!! Hesitantly just started adding whole milk to my diet in hopes of putting on some bulk. LEts see how that goes…

      • OMAR: congrats on the little one – boy, girl?
        Hilarious that you mention 2019 masters – the athletes I train always say that to me, even though I usually beat their times and loads (they are much younger). So, are you following this program even with the added life stressors?

        You will, or should put on size and strength with the milk – personally, I’d recommend raw milk, if you can get a clean source, but either way it’s going do the job. Good luck with your training.

    • 11 weeks so don’t know the sex yet… but praying for a boy! Wife has over the last 5 months started to get into CF so I’ve been working out in the am on my own, then WODing 3-4/week in the evening. Morning work out has been mainly 5/3/1 stuff, and more recently a strength program from Catalyst, but overall I haven’t seen a significant change in my performance. Just started following this program today after a week or two of lurking.

      • Jameson, I prefer Jim Beam, but whatever. LOL
        Omar: I tried catalyst strength by feel cycle, really liked it, but had a really tough time staying away from the conditioning/WOD work.

        I sort of half assed started today – did snatch work prior to my CF Football workout. both sucked. traveling for holidays so probs going to get on this once I get back.

  4. So the post from the other day, http://outlawcoach.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/111219/, where had me curious about my own Sinclair numbers. So I did a little searching and here’s what I found.

    The American Masters record in the clean and jerk for the age group 40-44 (I’m 41 years old) and in the 85kg weight class is 136kg/300lb. http://www.mastersweightlifting.org/records/amm-men.pdf

    Last year at the at the U.S. Nationals Masters the winning total for the 85kg class was 230kg/507lb.

    My snatch needs work but my clean and jerk is a little more respectable (215lb and 295lb).


    I have NOT trained in Olympic lifting other than what we have done at my box in met-cons like Randy or “The Chief”

    . Our strength training is confined to the “slow” lifts. But seeing how I compare to athletes who likely train specifically in Olympic lifting made me feel like if I dedicated my time to that endeavor, I could fair well.

    My question is do you (anyone) think it’s possible to train according to this website and STILL be able to compete on the national level in Olympic lifting?

    • Ben, lemme get to the comp this afternoon to get you a full answer, but… Read Monday’s post about Talayna’s first comp. I have coached her for 6 or so months now and the last 4 she has been on THIS EXACT PROGRAM. She qualified for Nationals (not the American Open) by a 12kg margin – in other words, it wasn’t ever in question.

      Short answer – hell yes.

  5. Write the book! I’d read it. 🙂

    1a) 315#, 345#, 335#, 335#, 335# (f@4)
    1b) 185#, 185#, 195#, 195# (f@4), 185#
    2a) 335# + 52# in chains elevated on plates (the setup looked ridiculous, but it was the best I could do)
    2b) 185# to 225#

    Skill/Conditioning — Nothing to report. Let’s just say I was really glad I was by myself during this disaster.

    Stretched for 45 minutes afterward. I definitely need it.

    M/F/S – 1/2/2

  6. 111219
    SNATCH 195#


    TGU: 3RM 65#


  7. 1a. 195 for first set, thn 205 for all other sets
    1b. 115 for all sets

    2a. no way to get a good band set-up, so used 120% (210#), below knee.
    2b. Had no clue where to start with these, so went too light for first few sets. 95, 115, 125, 125

    HS walking started good. I actually went the entire 25′ on my first attempt, then it went bad at round 3. Barely got out 8 feet at a time. L-sits…best was :35, by the end I was barely doing 3 seconds.

  8. 1a.175 x 5
    1b.125 x 5
    Handstands were ugly but improving. Best distance 3 feet
    I did tuck instead of l sit on rings. Best time was :30
    Felt crappy today. Starting to feel fatigue from week of this program. I look forward to my body adapting and starting hitting PRs.
    Also I am driving from so cal to mammoth mountains today which is about 6 to 7 in a car. Had to do my WOD at 7 am this morning. Now I remember why i am not a morning person. See ya tomorrow fellas

  9. 1a) 225# (failed on 4th rep of 235#)
    2b) 175#
    2a) 180# + ~90# band
    2b) 155#

    Handstand: 10,5,3,4,4,4,5 meters/minute
    L-Sit: 20,15,17,15,16,12,13 seconds/minute

  10. Question…

    When it says heaviest possible, do you want us to work up in weight a rep max, or work up in weight and perform straight sets? If going for a rep max (in todays case a 5 RM) should the first 3-4 sets be warm-up or heavy?

  11. 4 rounds
    8 power cleans (205/145)
    8 front squats (205/145)
    8 pistols (alternating)
    8 hspus
    I was very pissed off after this thinking my time was 17:17 because I ingeniously did 5 rounds on accident. Then I was just relieved and further pissed off because one more round was brutally uncalled for!

    1a) 175 – legs were fried after “Briggzy”
    1b) 135
    2a) 150 + approx 75#s band
    2b) 135

    HS walks 75/75/75/75/60/50/50′
    L-sit hold 45/30/25/30/30/30/35sec

    MFS: 6/5/5 – rough day. I hate front squats!

    • I did all the HS walks with a break after each 25′, not sure this was right but the L-sit holds were also broken up with 10 on 10 off and added the time for my total.

  12. 1a) 245- didnt go to heavy due to hip issues
    1b) 165; wasnt sure where to go with this. got heavy by the 3rd/4th round

    2a) 215lb + 100lb band tension
    2b) 195

  13. 1a) 275, 295×3
    1b) 175-185-190-195

    2a) 225 +115 bands
    2b) 135×2, 145,155×2

    17 sec  50 ft
    14s      50ft,
    9 s.      50 ft
    10s      50 ft
    9s.       42ft
    10s.     50ft
    9s.        50ft

  14. 1A. 255 first 2 sets, 245 second 2 sets.
    1B. 185×5, 185×4, 175×5, 175×4
    2A. Band set up issues…just did 315#
    2B. 185 first 3 sets, 195 last 2 sets.

    Max walk was 35′. Slowly improving, had 3-4 legit walks in the 18-20′ range.
    L sits in the :18-:30 range.

  15. 1a) 245
    1b) 155, should have gone a little heavier on these
    2a) 245, no bands
    2b) 157, 157, 157, 167, 167

    Hs walks- got 3 steps in a row which is big for me. Felt like I’m making a little progress with these.
    L sits- :40 on first round, about :25-:30 on others

  16. 1a 185-205-210-210
    b 145,,,
    2a 155lb with bands
    b 145 fast

    Did handstand walks and L-sits…not good at either, but got some good practice (14min)

  17. 1a) 275, 295, 295, 275 – hamstring hot
    1b) 175, 185, 190, 195
    2a) 225+115
    2b) worked to 155, was a bit awkward
    3) Bad

    MFS – 3/5/4

  18. 1A: 275
    1B: 185

    2A: 230 with band, not sure on the band % but it was tough from below the knees
    2B: 165 could have gone a little heavier, but wanted to keep good form and to keep good flex in the mirror with the rest of the juiceheads

    WOD: did 25-26ft every minute in 1-3 sets and did 10-15 sec/minute on L-sits. had trouble keeping my legs straight and up high enough

  19. 1a) 135, 135, 145, 150
    1b) 105 all sets
    2a) 170 ( no bands )
    2b) 67, 72, 77, 82, 82
    Handstand walk practice- 4 steps in a row!! 🙂
    Ring L-sits – very hard… approx. 20 sec a round

  20. 1a. 205, 205,195,195
    1b. 120 all rounds
    2a. 187 (no bands)
    2b. 97 all rounds

    WOD: Handstand walks: longest was 32′ and shortest was about 18′ L-sit: longest was 25 sec (1st round) after fatiguing I went to sets of about 8-10 sec.

  21. 1a) 250×2, 275×2(last rep of 275 was HARD)
    1b) 135×2, 155×2(155 was the magic number)

    2a) 210+ (red band looped then knotted twice)
    2b) 155×2, 185×3(got heavy)

    HS walk- 25,14, 8, 20,16, 15, 20(all in feet…got exponentially harder)
    Hold- 25, 24, 20, 16, 17, 18, 14(don’t practice these enough)

    -Right shoulder is a little tender after snatches and MU’s yesterday. NEED MORE MOBILITY

  22. 1a. 175
    1b. 95
    2a. 145 w/ bands, it was bootleg but was the best I could come up with
    2b. 115

    L-sits were one attempt, 30sec-15, with a real cute face on some of those!
    HS walks were pretty lame, 20ft most rounds but they were a couple steps at a time.

  23. Write a book damn it!

    1a) 275, 305, 325, 335 (should have started heaver, should have gone heavier)
    1b) 175, 180, 190, 200 (same as above)
    2a) 225-255 with a TON of band resistance (felt super strong)
    2b) 185, 195, 205, 215, 215 (stayed super strict)

    HS walks best was about 8 feet. Felt really sloppy today
    Best L-sit was about 12 seconds.
    (basically just hopped back up every time I came down on both for a minute, took about 10-20 seconds rest between minutes)

  24. 1a) 365 – tough but doable
    1b) 225 – probably should have done 230 or 235

    2a) 275 + 4 sets of chains – not sure how hard these should be. Good speed, but not terribly difficult.
    2b) 195 – strict form, should have gone a bit heavier. Just not great at pulling movements.

    Handstand Walk/L-Sit
    100’/0:30 , 75/30 , 75/25 , 75/25 ,75/25 ,75/25 ,75/27

    Shortest trip was 25′. 5 seconds on / 5 off for the L sits. Used to be able to hold for 2+ minutes back when I did gymnastics. Eye opener!


  25. 1a) 225 x5
    1b) 155, 155, 165, 165, 165

    2a) 225 plus band
    2b) 165 x3, 185 x2

    missed yesterday
    7 muscleups
    21 db thrusters (40#) did not have 35#

  26. Still nursing my patellar tendinitis, so played it safe on the high bar squats:
    1a) 135
    1b) 155

    2a) 195+band
    2b) 155

    I’m still working on the HS walks. I think the farthest I got was about 5′ 😀

    Best L sit was 32 seconds, the first round. Shit Show after that… quad cramped like a mofo.


  27. Strength =
    1a) 245×5
    1b) 175×5
    2a) didn’t have the set up for bands so I did 105%= 245 from below knee
    2b) 165×5( should have gone a little heavier)

    Skill =
    Just took 20 mins to practice handstand walks and made 3 separate 20′ walks UB.
    Then did 7x 30sec l- sit holds with 1 min rest

  28. 1a) 275, 295, 305, 320 (5Rep PR)
    1b) 185, 200, 200, 200 x 3(F) (PR is 205 x 5)
    2a) 225 + Doubled up Green Bands — Felt good on these, faster as I went
    2b) 205 x 5 x 5

    Rest tonight, gotta let me shoulders and traps loosen up a bit.

    m/f/s = 3/4/3

    • Handstand walks – 25/25/32/25/22/34/36
      L-Sits – 23/15/14/15/14/15/16

      Felt awesome! Making huge progress on the HS walks lately, so freaking pumped about that, always regarded this as my biggest goat!

  29. 1a) 225 x 5
    1b) 105, 155,155,155,155,155
    1c) 185, 235, 285, 285, 285 w/ red band on each side
    2b) 135, 155, 175, 175, 175 (first time doing so took a few rounds to find heaviest possible)

    Spend all time working on handstand walks (which i’ve avoided like the plague for my entire time crossfitting). Started with barely be able to get into a free handstand, ending with a max distance of 7′. Horrible, but a big improvement for me.

    m/f/s- 8/4/5

  30. Urthing in kg’s today.

    1a) 130
    1b) 90
    2a) 110 + green band doubled up on each side. Had to weigh the rack down with KB’s and plates.
    2b) 90

    Walked about 50′ total. Longest distance was 15′. L-sits on rings biggest set 25s. Used to be way better at these. Haven’t done them in a long time.

  31. At fire station so had to make do with only a bar and iron plates.
    1a.front squat @185
    1b. 135
    2a. clean pulls @275
    2b.70lb dumbbells

    skill: still suck at handstand so practiced those. No rings so did l-sit hang.

  32. 1a) worked up to 215 I suck at heavy squats (i use heavy loosely with this crowd) and was pretty happy about this.
    1b) worked up to 155 Had more but shoulder was rough.
    2a) 255 + red bands Not sure what the bands were but 255 is way above 80%, and it felt good so fuck it.
    2b)135 not heavy but had never done this version of row, so wanted to focus on getting everything right

    did handstand practice last night. skipped Lsit for wod

    12 rounds of christmas wod from throwdown comp
    19:56 paced it wrong and had to wait for rings and walk around a bunch people between stations. maybe 19:00 would be reasonable in competition. still blows. my legs were shredded from squats and pulls.

    one of our girls did 18 something (12th place time in the comp. Shes a former D1 pole vaulter, and working out with me (outlaw style) now.


  33. 1.a) 295,305,315,325(3)
    1.b) 175, 195, 225, 225 (2)
    2.a) Somehow missed this
    2.b) 200

    Handstand walks and ring l-sits… lets just it’s a work in progress.

  34. 1a.) 173-183-193-203(F3)-198(F4)
    1b.) 093-098-103-103

    1a.) 123+Red Bands (I will send you a pic of my set up…)
    2b.) 133-133-133-143-143

    Handstand Walks (Furthest I could make it within the minute. Most were 3-4 step & falls.)
    L-Sit (However long I could make it without toes falling below the rings. One shot.)

    M: 2/8/4

  35. 1a)235 felt good
    2a)185+orange medium band
    2b) 115,135,155,170
    wod total
    HS walk- 150′
    L sit- 3:10

  36. 1a) 275
    1b) 155×2, 165×3
    2a) 205 + red minis
    2b) 155×2, 165×3
    no HS walk – Shoulder touches instead
    ring L-sit from 27s down to 11s

  37. 1a. 295, 305, 315, 325(3)
    b. 155, 175, 185, 195
    2. 205 + red bands
    b. 225

    Went out of town and ran out of time for the conditioning

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