day 23/45

when Sweeney does it, he does it right, go big or go home

1 min interval runs
(1st 20 sec increasing speed to top speed by 20 sec; 2nd 20 sec maintenance at top speed; 3rd 20 sec decreasing speed from 40-60 sec)
rest/walk 3 min; repeat 8 times

these runs are increasing efforts from 0-20s (80....100%), very high effort from 20-40s (100%) and decreasing effort from 40-60s (100...80%); goal is to understand different speeds to enable to shift gears as needed when needed; each 20-40 sec set should feel like its the same speed, if not, video tape yourself and send to and i'll assess you and report back to everyone on the blog on rest day

if you feel 3 min is too much rest, you're doing things incorrectly
when others prescribe run workouts like this with less rest requiring the highest efforts, it actually does not make sense based on the nervous system and recovery; one CANNOT recover and repeat with the same effort and speed with a 1:1, 1:2 work rest ratio like most prescribe...beware...and if they can, they're not working hard enough in the efforts or do not have to power to do so...sometimes it is prescribed for conditioning purposes as in row 500m all out, rest 2 min x 4...but this is done with purpose of lactate buffering in mind and not the recovery...most times this is not thought out in interval training...a MAJOR reason why some never get to the 5th gear ever

the press/jerk ratios are something i've been playing with and have asked in relation to a number of weight lifters vs. fitness junkies over time (bodybuilders have a % they like, power lifters have one and "strength coaches" have one)...and the lower the percentage usually shows the efficiency in your ability to translate your body under a bar as opposed to the strength of pressing it overhead...i'd like most at moving a weight with your hips is VERY impt in this sport of fitness

all of your presses will improve over time at a more accelerated rate than it has...we'll work with bench press at 14" and its upper body structural needs (videos to come) and various HSPU/OHS/ring dip varieties and prove it


Lisa M said...

Ok I am behaving myself but my upper body is fine and I would like to take my "rest" time and least be productive. I can't for the life of me figure out the butterfly for pullups. I am a pretty coordinated person but I feel like a white person trying to dance doing these. Any suggestions on what I can do while I am resting my old legs to get the butterfly would be greatly appreciated.

And yes coach I am trying to get my shit together so I can play full out!!

Martin Altemark said...

Felt good today - no snow and home with my oldest daughter made me go out on a nearby trail instead of track to do this.

4C (39F) which is pretty warm for this time of year. But this most probably be the last outside workout in shorts.

Had to cut it at 6 rounds because my daughter really wanted me to go home, but until then it felt nice. About same distance all rounds (+-20m), and 100% felt constistent at the same pace.

Going away with family all weekend and might not be able to work out so will take tha chance to say thank you Coach for these last cycles. Definately have made me push hard, and I will surely reap the benefits of that!

Ryan B. said...

Thanks for the knowledge coach!!

looking forward to the improved over head strenght, and every else to come!!

Joel B. said...

Slight incline out, slight decline back. First 4 pretty consistent. Had some trouble reaching the same marks starting interval 5 and increasingly so till the end. Took a long time to warm up pre-runs--the first thing in the morning deal.

Erik Luber said...

Really found my groove on the 5th round and onwards. Initially I would be accelerating and decelerating way too fast. At first I tried to maintain a linear ramp in acceleration over the 20 second period, but never really managed. Switched to 4 intervals of 5 seconds of constant velocity, each one faster than the last (80%, 85%, 90%, 95%). Much more success with this, made the 100% interval a lot more consistent. Fun run training day, learnt a lot.

Kyle F said...

As Rx'd. Felt pretty good but still very difficult. Focused on deliberate changes in speed which helped. Ended up running a ~320m each interval.

Kyle F said...


I had an ah hah moment when someone told me to do this when learning the butterfly kip. Hope it helps.

Start by doing a complete body "roll" up from the knees to the shoulders. (kinda like doing "The Worm" but vertical). At the same time your arms are doing a circle. Start small though. Don't try to get above the bar right away. Small butterfly strokes at first. Once you master the little butterfly you can use that momentum to do the full butterfly kip.

Wow after reading that it sounds really confusing but thats the best I got. GOOD LUCK!

Chris Dunkin said...

20-40 felt consistent. nearly same distance for each. recovery between each felt good.

Lisa M said...

Thanks Kyle I will try that should make for some good laughs if nothing else.

PTS said...

nice day for running in the northeast.

pre-wod did 5 HSPU on th minute 6 sets.

runs felt good. It is a skill I feel pretty good about, especially sprinting.

I'm working 12 hr days on the weekend. I;m wondering what the best strategy for getting the doubles in is. I can do both WODS before work or one WOD before then the second one after which will mean about 13 hours rest, then repeat that on Sunday. On thoughts will be appreciated.

Scotty Hagnas said...

That sucked a little bit...def. wanted the 3 min rest. I was able to maintain speed thru all 8 intervals; 20-40 was within a few meters each time.

PWO: 30p/30c Lean grassfed beef, butternut squash, applesauce.
Sleep: much shorter than usual-I have the am class today- 6:45', bed at 10pm.

Thanks for all of the sleep comments. I was curious how much sleep everyone was getting, and the impact on recovery times. Unit, your performances are that much more impressive on such little sleep! Joel- I hear you...I'd be in bed in the 8pm range, but I'd never see my family.

dmarsh said...

Rds 1-2: Feeling out the tempo.
Rds 3-6: Felt good. Able to find consistent speeds and push hard.
Rds 7-8: Still strong from 0s-35s and then fatigued from 35s-60s.

Rob Ottesen said...

due to the circumstances i did yesterdays double.

worked up to 175 press not PR but felt weak.

Same with split jerk 255lbs


Chins were Broken i did this immediately after first WOD

16,15,13,13,12=69 burpees.

trying to regain energy levels from tuesday night.

This is for the Trainers on here...You guys think i should do the WOD from today tomorrow and just keep on with the Double for weekend. Or would i benefit more from rest and have a better out put for the weekend?

Rory Hanlin said...

Worked on proper sprint mechanics for each run.

The second interval of the last four, I just tried to hang on to the pace as long as possible.

Wes hendricks said...

Was only able to get through five, developed a blood blister on my rt bunion that was very painful and my form was suffering because of it.

Five that I did felt good, covered roughly the same distance each time. Thought I did a good job between 80 and 100%. My last 80% on round 4 and 5 might have been closer to 70%

Garage Crossfitter said...

Runs felt pretty good
runs 1-5 my legs felt heavy and my upper body was not relaxed
runs 6-8 were my best runs, relaxed, fast and breathing under control. nice wod.

Ryan B. said...

felt good today, strong running.
really emptied the tank on the last interval, happy with todays performance, and excited for the weekend!

Ryan B.

OPT said...

Rob, rest up preferably and let it all out on weekend
PTS, do them 13 hrs apart, you'll want to when you see them

Wes hendricks said...

Anybody got any advice how to handle bunions with running. I got footpads to put over them, working well for awhile but not today. Thinking I may switch to five fingers for running, so there is no friction for my feet, suggestions please

Laura said...

A great day to run outside with Tippy the wonder dog. Interval 5 and 6 were the best--obviously not warmed up until then. Nice to see Captain Rob blow by me on the Tuscany trails!

Rob Ottesen said...

Thanks Coach. ill do that probably for the better. love these rest days coach you been beatin us down.

David X said...

I bought a pair of Virbrams and they screwed my feet up so badly during the runs. I hated them so much I couldn't even look at them. I don't recommmend them, but that just me. BTW, I have no idea what to do about blisters.

Evan Johnston said...

Nice day to run outside, not too cold. Still not feeling quite 100% But this felt good. Nice work all

joey warren said...

harder than I thought, legs felt heavy

sprint 1- felt fast
sprint 2 -6: consistent pace
sprint7,8: felt like I slowed a little

Rob Sifton said...

Darren, That your new house? Or at work?

rwcorson said...

I did part 2 of yesterday this am.
at 2 pm - as rx'd-the 20 seconds at full speed was getting tough in the last 3 sets. The 1st 20 seconds acceleration was hard to get in the first 3 sets. I was either too fast or too slow at the 20 second mark.

Geoff Aucoin said...

Now I know Sweeney's house isn't THAT big. Nice work, Dawg, come back to us!

Sweeney said...


That's our shop at work.

We're working on some exciting stuff with Coach and his crew.

We'll keep you posted as things develop.

Michael McCabe said...

acceleration from 0-20 felt good... really thought i was finding that 5th gear, that next level of pain at 20sec... but sorta fell off a cliff after 40sec in the later rounds

depaul said...

Covered between 300-320 m each time running on 160 m track. Kind of a pain having to be constantly turning; if weather is good next time I'll do it outside. The biggest challenge for me was keeping the last 20s above 80% though.

Coach thanks for the explanation. My press has been pretty stagnant since I started Crossfit a little less than a year ago and even through a 40 day strength phase where I PRed DL, row, and pullup - so I look forward to seeing what you've got in store for us. WOOOF!

David X said...

Cold, wet, rainy night here in New York--Perfect night for some sprints.

0-20 sec felt like I had a smooth strong pace, and I could really punch it into that second gear at the 20-40 sec interval and was able to sustain that speed for the duration, the challenge came when I needed to reduce and maintain at that 100-80% effort. Held on for as long as I could. Walked and then repeated each round. The last two or three sets were the toughest to stay ocnsistant with the reduced effort without slowing up to a jog.

Doug Zirkle said...


There's a bunch to say about your question. A few thoughts:

- The bible for foot issues and running is called "Fixing Your Feet" by John Vonhof. I can't recomend it strongly enough.

- I'm a big fan of the VFFs, but they aren't for everyone. They don't fit every foot, and if they do fit you, you'll really need to take some time to adapt to them (helps if you already spend a lot of time barefoot, especially if you walk or run barefoot). It also helps to have a neutral gate to start with. You have to be a forefoot striker; if you're a heel striker, you'll either make it about 11 seconds before bruising your heels into oblivion or having to immediately transition to forefoot striking, which--if you aren't trained for it--will leave your achilles tendons, solei and gastrocs destroyed pretty quickly. Bottom line: if you try the VFFs you *really* should adapt to them gradually. There's a lot about this on the Web, so I won't say more.

- Three things are needed before a blister can form: heat, moisture, and friction. Take away any one, no blister. There are a million ways to skin this cat (see Vonhof's book). Some have good luck wearing two thin pairs of socks (reduces friction). Some have good luck lubing their feet (Hydropel is probably the best thing going for this). Tape is a good alternative. I'd use Kinesio Tex tape. Clean the area with alcohol first and apply tincture of benzoin to really get the tape to stick. If you like, you can cover the Kinesio Tex tape with 3M Micropore tape (really smooth), but it isn't necessary.

- Shoes with flexible uppers may really help you. I love the NB790. They're just now being discontinued, but you can still get them at great prices. Minimalist shoe, again for folks with neutral mechanics.

- Another alternative is to cut out the portion of your shoe where it rubs. Sounds weird to most folks, but it's very common in the ultra running commnity to surgically modify your shoes to avoid problems like this.

That's about it, so I don't get tossed for excessive blather. If you want to know more, feel free to email me at:

doug (at) dougzirkle (.) com.

Hope that helps!

Doug Zirkle said...

Beautiful day for runnng here in Boulder.

Did Unit's sprint drills after some DROM. They were great; thanks Unit!

Felt light and quick early on. Last couple were a grunt. No problems with the gear changes, but the last 20 secs in each set was work.

Doug Zirkle said...

I can't believe I wrote "neutral GATE." I'm a moron. Obviously, meant "gait." Apologies to Strunk, White, and every English teacher I ever had.

I'm out for tonight (promise).

Surrey Sterling said...


That is the burliest rig I've ever seen. Looks like the wall ball board is mounted to the side of that outfit?

Seriously bad-f'n-ass man!
You've got an amazing Coach and Coach oviously has an amazing fabricator.

Triceps are at about 50%. Still can only bend them to 90 degrees. Still can't pick my nose and eat it or stick my fingers in my ears a go LA LA LA while some retard talks about their cardio workout on the elliptical for the day at Save-On-Foods.


I don't press nothing accept weight:)

Rob Sifton said...

Can you hire me Sweeney? I have no skills at all, but I like to workout!

unit said...

wound up subbing... weather here is cold and rainy and the gym has a pentagonally shaped 160m flat track... neither would do this WOD justice...

sprint mechanics need just as much work as anything else, so I subbed tight high knees in the anvil... did tight high knees on the same interval, rest and intensity... focused on keeping the knees in toward midline, getting the knees up 2 perpendicular, chest over thighs and 2 keep the hips up (not slumped down)...

can feel the calves and hip flexors already... haven't done a mechanics wod like this in a couple years and could def feel the form/technique weak points... used 2 do a tight high knee WOD variation weekly and may have 2 incorporate more of this...

Doug, glad u enjoyed the vid and that it was useful!


Brent Maier said...

1st run was a little slow on the top end. Fixed it going forward. First 80 percent was right on every time. Felt a little heavy footed on rounds 5-6. Other than that, it felt pretty good not to have to lift anything.

Surrey, 3-4 months ago when the family and I went on vacation, one of the last workouts we did was that 95# spx5/ppx10/pjx15 fice times for time. I couldn't wash my own hair in the shower for 4 days let alone wipe my nose or put on chap stick. I know what your going through.

Looking good Sweeney!

Pfeifalife said...

was very raining outside when i did this. still don't feel great but felt good to move. sucking wind big time. had a hard time maintaining 80% in the 40-60 second range.

Greg Soneff said...

The runs felt good. Had been having some problems with my knee but no sign of it yesterday!!

I really tried to concentrate on hitting the '5th gear' during the all-out portions of the sprints.

Feel good going into the rest day and am looking forward to the weekend.

Slater Coe said...

1 Min Interval Runs (1st 20 sec increasing speed to top speed by 20 sec; 2nd 20 sec maintenance at top speed; 3rd 20 sec decreasing speed from 40-60 sec).
Rest/Walk 3 min; Repeat 8 times

This was my 1st time running in 3 months, due to the stress fracture... all of it felt pretty good but my foot told me to stop during the 6th round, so I finished with 2 rounds of 1 min interal rows.

Paul Klein said...

Are any of the Carolina crew planning on competing in this event at CrossFit Durham?

Maybe we could put together a group to represent OPT.

Lisa M said...

Worked on butterfly last night and a bit today - still can't figure it out i think i am a spazz and now i have a major tear - ouch.

Felt good today with all the stretching and rest so... I did the intervals on the rower instead of running. Felt really good but found it hard to just decrease to that 80% for the last 20 secs i just wanted to slow right down. It got better in rounds 6-8 and 8 was the best. Averaged about 270 m for the minute and was pretty consistent. Calf felt great.

did a bit of a chipper workout after.
95# DL x 10
20 wall balls (man i suck at these)
95# hang power clean x10
20 kbs
95# front squat x10
20 box jumps started on one foot then calf felt good so did both (all good!!!)stepped down though because was afraid to jump down
95# push jerk x 10
20 pullups
95# back squats
20 burpees also felt good with calf

felt good just to work through a quick metcon get the body going through some movements. I think i am ready for this weekend - yippeee.

Surrey Sterling said...

OK this is my latest work. Should make you laugh. Enjoy.

Joel B. said...

OK, that is some funny stuff. Nice Surrey!

Paul Klein said...

I am going to be out of town tomorrow and as a result will miss the double. So I thought I would use tonight to test one of the bench mark wods. I picked "Fran" out of a hat.

Here are three of my most recent "Fran" times:
5:36 12/3/2008
5.23 2/14/2009
5.35 3/29/2009
As you can see, no improvement over 4 months.

I have been doing the OPT wods since July 16th. So approx. 3 months time.
New Fran time
3.49 10/23/2009

I know this is still a long way from an "elite" time. However, I can honestly say that this programming has changed my threshold for pain. And the gains I am seeing are the proof. I can't wait to see what I am doing in another three months...or better yet another year!

Thank you James.

Lisa M said...

That was quite hilarious Surrey.

Here is some video of my little girl training to kick my ass some day - Cross fit Games 2022 Lookout!!

this is my first time doing this via youtube hopefully it works

Chris Fodera said...

Think I went out too fast on the first couple. Starting a little slower and building more gradually to 20 seconds made maintenance at 100% during middle 20 seconds more effective. Prior to that, I was only able to sustain max effort during the middle 1/3 for about 5-10 seconds. Could probably have backed off a little more during the last 1/3 of each instead of just hanging on. Gas tank was completely empty afterward.

PWO: 30gP (MRM shake), 30gC (mashed yams w/ cinnamon)

Right knee felt pretty good during the entire WOD