Set up before a clock, and every minute on the minute perform 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. Can you continue for thirty minutes? Twenty minutes? How about 10? Post results to comments. If you fall behind the clock keep going for thirty minutes and see how many rounds you can complete. 

Your score is the total number of rounds you complete ON THE INTERVAL. If you fall off the interval, you can continue to see how many yours you can complete, but these rounds are not added to your score. 

If you’ve finished the workout before this time add +1 to each exercise, i.e., 6 pull-ups, 11 push-ups, and 16 squats each minute, and see if you can go the full thirty minutes. We’ve seen +3. Any +4’s?

The bar muscle-up.

The bar muscle-up.

We do a ton of kipping at the shop. That back and forth motion while hanging from the bars is simple, yet complex, and filled with intricacies that come out only after 1,000s of reps.

It’s standard practice for the coaches to include some type of kipping in the warm-ups that they create.  The kips are in preparation for pull-ups, toes-to-bar, or perhaps the workout doesn’t even involve anything on the rig, but we do them at least 2 times per week.

It’s not uncommon for me to coach a class through a warm-up that involves a few rounds of 5-10 kips on the bar. As I lead the class through the warm-up, I sometimes get the feeling that people are looking at me and thinking, “Ugh, so boring, more kips, haven’t we kipped enough already, I have a 100 pull-ups, why do I need to do these kips?” 

As athletes, we need to kip because it is the foundation for so much of the work on the bar that we do. It’s the basic level skill that is the platform to perform at least six movements that we commonly see in CrossFit workouts.

On Friday, after posting about the 28 athletes who had done their first bar muscle-up EVER during 16.3, a friend called me. “What the hell? How are so many of your athletes getting bar muscle-ups for the first time?” It took me a minute to realize that twenty eight is actually a ridiculous number. Huge. Actually now that I’m typing it in this post it’s f***ing out of control! (Good job everyone!). But then it occurred to me. It’s another example of how focused consistent practice of basic skills leads to attaining higher level skills and capacities with, overall, ease. It’s a concept that the coaching staff has centered around for a few years now. It’s not glamorous, but it works.

Ask any gymnast and they will tell you how it’s mastery of the basics that make great gymnasts. High level skills are simply a series of basic positions that are perfected and then linked. The bar muscle-up, for our comparatively lower level gymnastics goals, is no different.

A quick search through the coaches WOD Plans over the past 365 days and I see that kips were programed in warm-ups about 70 times. Each warm-up included at least 20 kips meaning that you have done 1,400 kips since The Open last year. And that doesn’t even include the kipping done in workouts via pull-ups and toes-to-bar, etc.

We’ve all been there, even the coaches when we’re taking a class. The coach takes us through a bunch of reps of a basic skill and we’re kind of – ready to move on already! Last week when I took Ali’s class I was thinking in my head, “I get it! I know my catch position for my snatch balance, jerk!” (kidding Ali). But you get my point – it’s a necessary part of the process. It’s easy for us to do a few arm swings, load up the bars, and go. But that’s also a quick recipe to plateau. For me, without someone looking out for me and taking the long view, long term development would not be so straightforward.

So, why do I think so many of our athletes go their first bar muscle-up? Is there a newfound steroid problem at Roots? A vortex of less gravity under the black mats? Magic pull-ups bars that were installed overnight? No. Twenty eight of you got your first bar muscle-up because you practiced the correct movement patterns over and over for the past year, if not more. And with the added adrenaline and excitement of The Open, it all came together.

Great job everyone!