WOD For Tuesday, 7.24.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call

Greetings Spartans, welcome to another well designed, and dare I say, juggernaut WOD. This one is going to demand more from your body than you’ll want to give it, and that’s what it’s all about. This Hulk of a workout is designed to be an obstacle course in and of itself, an effective one at getting us ready for the real McCoy.

We’ve included streamlined set/rep amounts but basically, put into each of these exercises what you would into a grueling uphill sprint to the finish line. Give each of them your all and try to bring the body to failure. Going till failure doesn’t mean dropping the barbell and smashing someone’s shin, or doing High Dumbbell pushups until you pass out. It simply means to go until you know it’s your last rep and it’s going to be you have to push for.

This week’s WOD is an effective mix of full-body compound exercises that will keep the core in DEFCON 1 the entire time, and demand the upper and lower body to turn your fortitude level up a notch. These exercises are going to protect valuable lean mass, while at the same time lowering overall BMI for increased deftness, and drastically improving the central nervous system’s control of the body.

Let’s Roll…

The exercises are laid out so that each part of the body has a chance to recover before being called on again, besides the abdomen which is a big part of all five. If at any time you feel a little whoozy, don’t keep pushing, especially if some of this stuff is brand new to your muscles. These exercises are going to be using all kinds of smaller less well known and often used muscles. Drink lots of water to ensure that you are hydrated, which will allow your muscles to work optimally.

1) BB Squats to Step Up: The legs are our biggest muscle group, and therefore responsible for sucking a fair amount of our energy from us during an obstacle course. That is, unless they’ve been conditioned for strength endurance rather than naked strength alone.

That’s great for the car squatting event, but not for the rest of the stations like scaling walls, navigating cargo nets, and hills. A great way to build strength endurance is by enhancing traditional barbell squats with secondary step ups. In fact, a good tip in general is to always add some form of endurance into traditional strength exercises.

Any sturdy platform at least one foot off the ground will do, height isn’t the issue. Most gyms come with variations. Set it directly in front of where you’ll be performing the squats, and then carefully and smoothly perform a step-up without ceasing movement. Heavy weight is not a big deal here, because pure strength isn’t what we’re shooting for; it’s endurance and stamina so that while the other competitor’s legs are burning and seething with lactic acid, ours are just getting warmed up.

The fact of the matter is that huge muscles slow people down. When was the last time you saw a huge muscular swimmer with bodybuilder sized pectorals; or a tennis player with humongous biceps?

5 sets x 12 reps, Alternating legs on Step-Ups

Timed = 40 seconds on 15 seconds off to 60 reps

2) DB High Push-ups: Upper body endurance is crucial no matter what event or course, because the body is a seamless entity. Once any part begins to falter and weaken, the chain begins to unravel until exhaustion overcomes the whole.

These pushups are not about toning, although they do burn a ton of calories. Instead, these are about burst power and upper body stamina, in conjunction with core stabilization.

Simply take any dumbbell, heavier is better because it won’t move, and then flip it on its side so that it’s tall. Start in pushup position with one hand on top of the dumbbell and the other on the ground. When beginning the movement, explode into a pushup that has enough momentum for you to hurl the upper body over the dumbbell so that now your other hand is on top of the dumbbell.

Do them slowly at first. The picture above shows a modified version with an added step of putting both hands on top of the dumbbell. Either way the ultimate goal is to get to the point where sets can be done non-stop with explosive bursts each rep. Keep your butt down, abs engaged, and embrace the burn. Once these become a snap, you’re on a whole new level!

5 sets x 12 reps or 75 as quickly as possible with minimal rest.

Timed = 45 seconds on, 10 seconds off (Static Plank Position)

3) DB Single-Leg Get-Ups: Have you ever tried to stand up out of a chair with only one leg? It’s not as easy as it sounds, and people rarely ask their internal balance and stabilization mechanisms to handle such a movement, especially in sets.

What it brings to light for most people when they first try them are the muscle imbalances in the legs; dominant and passive. It works so many muscles and burns tons of calories, while giving us more dexterity and overall body control on the course.

Keep in mind that the lower the object you’re getting up from, the harder it’s going to be, especially on the way up.  It’s best to start from sitting because you’ll know right away whether you can handle it or not. Start with one foot on the ground, one in the air, and hands pointed directly forward. While you arise, try not to let the other foot touch the ground to help you balance. Do sets one leg at a time or alternate, but get them done and remember to do this every now and then to see how things are balancing out.

If you want to juice it up, hold a light dumbbell while in the sitting position out at arms length, and slowly raise it above your head while you get up; bringing it back down in front on the way to seated position. Don’t set it down until the set it done!

5 sets x 12 per leg, minimal rest

Timed = 40 seconds on, 15 seconds off

4) DB Snatches: This exercise builds a fair amount of core strength, reinforcing the hips, and is seriously taxing when done correctly with sufficient weight.

Make sure to keep the head up, back straight, and weight carried in the heels not the balls of the feet; it’s ok to have your off hand on your knee, but it’s technically cheating.

Start in a sumo squat position with the dumbbell waiting peacefully on the ground between your legs. Reach down with one arm, grab it, and then get the stance perfect. This counts for the way down as well, no leaning forward, instead stay in sumo stance with head up, core engaged, and back straight as possible.

Instead of yanking the weight up with your arm and shoulder for momentum, thereby straining the lower back, use the legs. Once your legs are at full extension then the upper back should take over with the arms only servicing as a vehicle. The traps should feel it a little, but the back of shoulders should be the origination of force at that point. What you won’t feel is all the small muscles around the upper spine at work, but trust me, they’re working.

Never make the mistake of thinking our power comes from major muscle groups, without their supportive lean muscle, nothing works; it’s all seamless.

5 sets x 12 per arm minimal rest, perfect form.

Timed  = 40 seconds on, 15 seconds off

5) Plate Press w/ Reverse Curl: This is about endurance, because the ability to last and make it to the finish line is what counts most.

The core muscles respond to time under tension. Furthermore, there are plenty of slow-twitch muscles in the upper body as well, they’re just not a big or well known. This is an exercise which accomplishes to tax both parts of the musculature at once.

Get hold of a weight plate, and then lay down on your back. Grab the plate; hold it with both hands and then do a chest press motion. As the plate ascends, do a reverse curls and bring the knees up under the plate into the chest. The plate shouldn’t rest on the chest, and the legs shouldn’t rest on the ground until the set is done!

5 sets x 15-25 reps

Timed = 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off until completion.

Good work! Once you’re done make sure to partake in some active recovery, like a light walk on a treadmill, or easy jog around the track.

For those that prefer a revolving circuit try this!

Repeat 1-5 times!

Set = 12 Reps

1 Cycle = 7-8 Minutes

2 Cycles =8-10 Minutes

3 Cycles =16-18 Minutes

4 Cycles = 25-30 Minutes

Remember, if you don’t have someone around to keep time for you, check out the smart phone apps, there’s tons, and the best I’ve seen is this free app for the Gymboss Timer!

Stay safe, keep in mind that form is more important than weight, and don’t forget to share your results with us.

Keep it up!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call


7 Responses

  1. avatar

    This workout was great! Holy mother of burn! I got the best burn from this workout this morning. This is going into my weekly rotation.

  2. avatar

    Kicked my ass and sweated worse than a whore in church. Thanks guys for this one.

  3. avatar

    Great workout James, thanks. Worked it like crazy. The high DB push push ups struck me as potentially dangerous, though, so I used an inverted BOSU ball.
    In all, better than the burn was the looks of consternation from the pec-centric bench press dudes, they didn’t know what I was doing as I was sweating my butt off.

  4. avatar

    Wow. Upon completion, I felt as if I just stepped out of an oven. My body was roasting and sweat was everywhere.

    I had to modify and use a 40lb kettlebell for all movements (except single leg get-ups were done without weights).

    I went through 5 circuits in just under 30 minutes.

    Very intense workout. Thanks! I really enjoy these Tuesday workouts–great change of pace and movements.

  5. avatar

    I’m really looking forward to doing the new WOD from Gaspari Nutrition from July 24th.
    I did the July 17th WOD twice and it was absolutely “sick”. Being relatively new to “cross fit” and being a more traditional bodybuilder in the past, I believe this was the “sickest” (awesome) workout I have ever done.
    Is there an archive where I can go back and look at the WOD of July 17th again. Some friends have asked me to forward it and I can’t find my original e-mail again.

    Thanks to all.


  6. avatar

    Glad you all like it. More awesome WOD’s to come…Watch!


  7. avatar

    Got to this a couple days late. Squat step-ups are so awkward. Those were great. The one-legged get-ups… nice way to find out which leg is stronger. Great WOD. Thanks.

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