Learning points from DBB

5 Rounds for time 15 Deadlift, 12 Hang Cleans, 9 Front Squat and 6 Shoulder to Overhead, 135/95 or as we know it, Death by Barbell (DBB).  It’s a nearly perfect WOD that came from CrossFit.com in 2009.  As far as barbell WODs go, there is nowhere to hide, as it tests nearly aspect of the Clean and Jerk – pulling from the ground, pulling from the hang, the squat and the overhead.  It helps to be very strong, but absolute strength is not a total indicator of who does well on this WOD.  Having a great motor helps, but if the weight breaks you off, you’re going to spend a good chunk of time staring at the bar.  In the words of Glassman, if you’re anything less than a weightlifter with the lungs of a porpoise, your times will show as much.  There is a Snatch version of this WOD, but it seems overly technical to me, and not nearly as gnarly.  If you’re interested, search the inter webs and find it.  Post your – hee, hee -, Snatch search on the FB comments section.  If you find it, awesome.  If not, I’ll post it one day. 

Another aspect of the WOD that I love is the strategy involved.  For 99% of the fitness population, DBB will have to be significantly broken up.  Look at both ends of the strategy spectrum for DBB.  What happens if you attempt to go through unbroken?  I’m not psycho, so I don’t know, but I would guess somewhere in round 2, definitely by round 3, your system will start to redline.  Unless you are an absolute mental warrior, you are going to start taking breaks, and time will start tick, tick, ticking away.

What if you went through in all singles?  Early on, it would save your system, keeping you well below that dreaded “redline.”  But, eventually the time lost would start to outweigh the energy you were saving early.  Plus, think of all the extra work you would have to do, extra deadlifts  every time you had to clean, and extra cleans every time you got into front squats and shoulder to overhead.  You could feasibly add 60 extra Deadlifts and over 70 extra Cleans by dropping every rep.  Not good.

For everyone, there was a fine line between the right amount of work to keep you moving and too much work to cause you to bleed time.  There are lots of great lessons here, and you will need to look at your performance to see where you can improve.

Take a look at each individual movement – what caused you trouble and really started fatigue?  It’s all there – did you start with good deadlifts only to begin hinging and candy caning late?  Did you find slow elbows became your nemesis on the cleans?  Did you dread the front squats as you neared the end of your sets of cleans?  Did you have to break up the shoulder to overheads more than once per set?

Often times, the answer to improvement is “get stronger.”  Yes, getting stronger is great.  But improving your 1RMs may not help you a ton in grind WODs.  Practicing cycle times, linking sets, being faster on the Front Squats by pulling your body down quickly after each rep, same with the Shoulder to Overheads, improving midline stability.  Basically – improving fitness

Did you pay attention to your time splits early?  When did your splits start to fall off?  Personally, I am pretty good in WODs like this that are short, under 8 minutes.  DBB is not short.  I finished 3 rounds in around 7 minutes, then my wheels fell completely off, and my final 2 rounds took equal time.  Weakness exposed – get better at longer WODs.

I am curious about doing this WOD alone.  I had a good time going with the large group, feeding off the energy and working with my (beautiful) judge to maximize my rest.  I didn’t have to worry about counting, I just did the work.  How much slower, even if I went hard as a mo fo, would I be if I did DBB alone?  15 seconds slower a round?  30 seconds slower? That’s 1:15 to 2:30 to your time.  Crazy.

We’ll have a report on CrossFit Oakdale’s outstanding performers tomorrow night.



3 Clean OTM for 10

Things should be pretty darn heavy now.  If last week was tough, keep the weight the same, and try to perform better.  If possible, add 5#.


10 RFT

100m Sprint

15 Pushups

Update – and a review of DBB…tomorrow

I promise I’ll have the Death By Barbell review up tomorrow night.  We just had a bunch of updates we had to get to…

Tuesday night at 7:30p is the Whole30 Nutrition Briefing

Wednesday night at 7:30 is the Woman’s Hormonal Briefing

Thursday night at 6:30 is the Handstand Skill Session – during what is normally Open gym.

Monday is Labor Day – we’ll have 1 WOD at 9 so you can enjoy the rest of you day.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/84253241″>Outlaw Way Muscle-Up Progression</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/outlawcrossfit”>The Outlaw Way</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

This is an outstanding Muscle Up progression.  If you are interested in getting a Muscle Up, integrating this into your daily routine should be priority #1.  Box Hops – Hip extension with the false grip, Strict Banded Pulls – for the turnover

Workout of the Day


2 Deadlift 335/225

2 Muscleups

Before you say to yourself, “Brian has lost his mother lovin’ mind!” please remember to scale.  335/225 should be very heavy, but scaled to your ability.

For MU – you can scale with Jumping or Banded MU.  If not, do 2 Chest to Bar Pullups and 2 Dips. Or 2 Pullups and 2 Pushups.

If you are pushing your limits, an AMRAP 8 of 2 135 Deadlift, 2 Pullups and 2 Pushups done with intensity will match 335 Deads and MU.


Congrats to Vanessa W, who qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon by running a 3:32 marathon today in Santa Rosa. For those keeping score, Vanessa has survived 2 natural disasters and 1 terrorist attack since 2012. I’m not trying to make light of these insane situations, but it’s crazy the things that have happened around Vanessa’s runs. In 2012, she ran the New York Marathon in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In 2013, she crossed the finish line minutes before the bombs went off in Boston. This year, she ran hours after the biggest earthquake to hit the Bay Area in 25 years.
Not to be outdone, and in true CFO Ready For Anything fashion, Vanessa’s husband Bill has been right there. Bill talked Vanessa to safety in the wild minutes following the bombing in 2013. This year, they were staying with friends in the Santa Rosa area when the earthquake hit. Bill grabbed the kids, and always keeping a level head, hid under a door jam until the quake stopped. I’m pretty sure he didn’t stretch or anything. And he told me the kids slept through the whole thing.

Robin C won the 60+ Age Division in the Master’s Functional Fitness League.  Robin threw down great performances, taking 1st place in 3 of the 4 challenging WODs – I know because she beat me straight up in the swimming WOD.  True story – not only did she out “tread” me in the water, but on the final round of 50 squats and 20 hand release pushups, she beat me on the calisthenics,  Super lady!

I will talk more about it, but we will begin to focus on the Snatch in the coming weeks.  Milo is Wednesday – more on that too.

Finally, I will have a run down of Death By Barbell tomorrow.

Alexis came to cheer on our Death By Barbell Athletes…she is one tough cookie. Speedy Recovery!!!

Alexis came to cheer on our Death By Barbell Athletes…she is one tough cookie. Speedy Recovery!!!

Workout of the Day

Strength – Max Effort Monday

Overhead Squat

Take 20 minutes to build to a max effort on the OHS


1 min – as many Snatch as possible 115/75

1 min – as man Situps as possible

2 min – as many Snatch as possible 115/75

2 min – as man Situps as possible

3 min – as many Snatch as possible 115/75

3 min – as man Situps as possible

Death Survived

I am sure Brian will have a great breakdown post on the final of Death by Barbell. BUT since the party is still going on, and I need to post I will tell you that there were 14PR’s throughout the day. We had people PR by reps, by time and just by finishing. The evening consisted of family members cheering on athletes, kids scootering around and primal screams working through lifts.  




Show up and we will make it fun for you. I promise.

Embracing Death

You have put in the work.  You’ve “Milo-ed” for weeks to improve your Cleans, you’ve squatted again and again, and you’ve pressed over and over.  You have a strategy and you’ve tested it.  Now is the time to let ‘er rip.  Death By Barbell is Friday!

DBB is the workout of the day for CFO, but judged heats will begin at 5:30pm.



Workout of the Day

“Death By Barbell”


15 Deadlift

12 Hang Cleans

9 Front Squat

6 Push Jerk

RX – 135/95, Scaled 95/65

25 minute cap.  Any uncompleted reps will be added to your score.

Register for “Hewell”

Time to register for “Hewell”! $20 donation will be your entry fee. All raffle ticket sales and entry fees go to the family of fallen SPD Officer Scott Hewell. 

We have had some items come in from RokFit and Rogue to be raffles off. As well as 2014 Reebok Games items. Please help us make this an event to remember. 




Workout of the Day


Box Jump 24/20

Pistols (Alternating)

Kettlebell Swings 53/35


Next week is CRAAAZY busy so we thought we would give you a heads up so you can plan your week….you know… because it revolves around CFO, right? 

Tuesday August 26 – 7:30pm

CFO’s Whole30 Challenge Meeting Let’s take 30 days to not cheat, eat real food and curb our cravings for sugar, fat and salt. We can do this together. Come join Alison to learn more on the Whole30 challenge and how we will be working together to get set on the path to wellness and decreased inflammation.
This session is free. The challenge will be:
$25 for current CFO Athletes (monthly membership)
$50 for challenge only
$140 for challenge and 30 days of CrossFit Oakdale

Wednesday August 27th – 8pm

Customized Hormone Replacement Therapy Over 35 and feeling a bit funky? Come join us to learn more about how women’s hormones work at different stage of life. 
This seminar is hosted by Pacific Compounding Pharmacy with Clinical Pharmacist Marie Cottman, Pharm.D
This session is free and very informative. 
It will be on a Wednesday night, August 27th at 8pm. Seating is limited,but I am looking to get an idea of how many would be interested. Please feel free to spread to word and bring a friend. Let me know if you are bringing someone.

Thursday August 28th 6:30pm Open Gym

Join us for some extra skill work on handstand pushups and handstand walking.





Workout of the Day


3 Power Cleans OTM for 10

Add 5# to last weeks lift


Handstand Walk

Perform as many Handstand Walks from one short side of the matted area to the other in 7 minutes

3 Rounds, for number of sit-ups

1 minute Plank

1 minute as many abmat sit-ups as possible

Rest 1 minute

Registration for “Hewell” is Open & Advice on “Cindy”

**** Registration is now available for the Fundraiser in support of the family of Stockton Police Department Officer Scott Hewell. $20 donation for the event. ****


Cindy – perhaps the most simple, elegant test of fitness in CrossFit.  Pull, Push, Squat. 5, 10, 15, 20.  The more fit you are the harder it gets.

If you are doing Cindy, and you think you are going to crush it, please, do some hand maintenance today.  Shave your calluses the night before the WOD, and if you have a tape plan, be ready to use it.  If you think you may get 15 plus rounds, tape may be a good idea.  Even if you use it early, then rip it off in later rounds, it may provide a protective layer early than can be removed as it starts to bunch up.

I recommend setting up a “work space.”  Pullup bar, chalk, a towel, something to count with, an ability to look at the clock.  I’m running out of things you will need.

A dry erase board with a line (or lines) that you draw your finger through may be the easiest way to count rounds, as using 20 plus chips gets inefficient.  You can say a chip counts for 2 rounds, or even 4, or start using chips when you hit 10 rounds.  But you run the risk, if you can really call it that, of losing count.

As far a as a towel, I think it;s more important to keep your hands dry than completely chalked.  Keep the sweat out of your hands and keep them dry. Sweat, plus lots of chalk equals paste.


Stockton Police Department Officer Scott Hewell lost his life on 6/11/2014. Please join us on September 13th for a fundraiser to support his family. Click on the picture to the right of this blog post to register for this event.

Workout of the Day



5 Pullups

10 Pushups

15 Squats

DBB is Friday Night!


We had a great time on the Friday Night preliminary round of Death By Barbell. We had originally planned to hold the Finals on Saturday, August 23. After giving it some thought, we want to hold to official Finals on Friday Night from 5:30p to 7:30p. We will allow for makeups on Saturday Morning.

So, we would like tot move the Post WOD party to Friday night. Bring something to eat and your favorite adult – or non-adult – beverage. Work your ass off, have a cocktail, cheer your CFO community on, and talk some trash.

Milo is on Wednesday.  It is impressive how heavy this is starting to get, but folks are meeting the challenge.  Make that calf heavy!

Benchmark WOD on Tuesday – Cindy.  Let’s make some changes on the leaderboard.

I’ll have some strategy tips tomorrow, but make sure you take care of your hands!  Clean your calluses today, and if you need to tape, by golly, tape.   

Workout of the Day


Max Effort Monday

Hang Power Clean

Build to a Heavy single in 20 minutees


800m Run

30 Plate Burpees

800m Run

Saturday August 16th, 2014



Shoulder to Overhead 1RM



10 Swings

20 Pushups

Run Parking Lot

10am Advanced Only 


Shoulder to Overhead 1RM



3 Muscle Ups (3 Burpee Pullups)

4 Deadlifts 275/185


6 Box Jumps 30/24