Coach’s Notes: Week of 15APR19


This week’s prep work is going to be a snug fit into its 15 minute box, so you’ll need to move quickly. Let’s make the flow hip-centric for the week: horse stance, lunges, squats, rotations, and let’s prioritize movement and tension over position. In other words, don’t spend time in static holds or stretches. And let’s share this intention with our people.

The 2 rounds of pec stick flutter kicks, crawls, and ME pec presses don’t need to be completed in any particular order, so running out of pec sticks isn’t a problem. If a class is small, guide everything through everything. If it’s bigger, break into two groups and assign a leader to get one half started on something while you start the other group.

Partner D&U pyramid: one person works at a time; this isn’t the time to go heavy – we want fast practice, and a chance for us to see how people are moving on a given day. If you’re running short on time, take the 4s out of the mix on these.

Monday & Tuesday

Pay attention to the KB swings! New people will need coaching, and they need to earn the right to go heavier. Starting weights (for newbies): 12kg for women, and 16kg for men. Absolutely no one needs to start heavier than that, and some people may need to start lighter. Take this opportunity to practice teaching swings.

Split stance hinges: it’s a Romanian deadlift in a split squat stance. We’re after the front hamstring, and it’s not enough to tell people that – ask them if they’re getting it. Tap the hamstring lightly to bring the attention there. And if you see a knee that bends as they hinge, cue that fucking shit. Emphasis intended. A bending knee will unload the quad, and reduce the force applied to the hammies.

Windmills: a good chance to build experience with the movement, and to think about how you’d coach it. Hint: we’re after the front hamstring, the up lat, and back quad. This one isn’t about weight, it’s about tension. So teach the pattern (without weight) and then start to load it.

Accessory Intervals: New label, right? This reflects a shift I’m thinking about, which comes in three steps. 1) Overall programming emphasis on strength. 2) Cycling through the big five every 2 weeks. 3) Programming mid-length “conditioning” workouts (stuff in the 10-20m range) as accessory work to bolster work on the big five. Cuing implication: people should hear that the conditioning work isn’t just to get tired and improve endurance, but it’s also intended to make us stronger with the major movements. For this one, if you need to break the class into group, start people at various places in the A/B/C cycle, but everyone does the plank walk-outs together as their 4th exercise. Scaling: do these on the knees.

Chassis Integrity: I want to use the term Chassis Integrity (or CI) as a label for all of our ab work. I want to impart the message that this is about more than simply hitting a muscle group, we’re after an important component of physical ability – the ability to generate tension from the knees to the elbows.


Sandbag Clean and Press EMOM: The goal here is to treat it like skill work, not for people to get crushed early. Load type, load size, rep count: these are all individually negotiable. This should be the best part of the workout for coaches: when it’s an EMOM for strength/skill, a couple of things happen. First, people have mandated rest, we have an opportunity to get in and coach them to improve the C&P. So spend time in this one developing your coach’s eye: what do you see? What’s one thing that can be improved? How fully do you understand the nature of the clean? Of the press? When the press becomes a push press? This movement has been a big one for me lately, practicing in most of my personal workouts, and I’d like to get aligned with you guys – so make a note of how you hear this coached/demoed on Wednesday.

Endurance: This is some next-level fuckery. Scotty bobs start as plank on dumbbells; do one row on the left and one push-up, then one row on the right and one push-up. That’s one rep, and then do it again. The push-presses can be same load or heavier. Light DBs for Scotty Bobs work just fine. Scale: scotty bobs on knees.

Hard & Fast: This is the same as “rounds for time,” except I want to create our private, WFA-only language for these ideas. So for now, it’s HnF. Scale jump rope to manageable numbers, and most people do DB snatches, unless they have high-quality KB snatches. And please, tell our people what to use for this. More importantly, DB snatches cannot be executed like a swing; remember, it’s a pure vertical movement – bend the elbow, zipper up-and-down.

Thursday & Friday

Strength A: Let’s help people find max stability via inner thighs on the HKMPs. And if you see a fault, call it. The big ones I’ve seen lately: elbows flaring out past 45 degrees; not fully resetting to the bottom of the press; leaning away (left on a right-side press); and push-pressing with the ribcage. First solution: reduce the weight and correct the error. TRX rows: scale with foot position and tempo. Watch for elevation of shoulders; reduce the load (move feet back) and do it right before moving on.

Strength B: HDSB deadlifts, we’re looking for hamstrings and a neutral back. These can go from the floor to full standing, but watch for these errors: overextending at the top; change in spine shape through the movement; knees moving forward to start the lift; shoulders elevating. Scale it and fix it. Best scaling options: lighter load and/or reduced range of motion. To reduce the ROM, have them pull from a box or plates, and/or don’t have them go all the way up. This is the place I want us to all be super-impressive this week – let’s make people’s DLs sexy. Send me pics of the best and worst you see. And the HDSB squats: we’re using this as practice for loading the bags and pulling them into the belly. Loads should stay light (think the size for 20+ reps…really, light) and emphasize the lapping-loading-squeezing.

Strength A and B can be done in either order; bigger class, split in half and give 12 minutes for each, then switch.

Tabatas: First, a reminder that unless otherwise specified all 8 rounds of each exercise are completed before moving onto the next exercise. Everyone does the KB deadbugs together at the end, but for a larger class split people into three groups for the first three exercises to split them up and ensure enough equipment for each group.