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July 24, 2013

Wednesday’s Benchmark WOD is “Elizabeth” a 21-15-9er of Cleans and Ring Dips.  Elizabeth is a weightlifting pull and gymnastic push – simple.  We spend a ton of time Cleaning the barbell and we have been building on Ring Dips in the past few weeks.

We will call the Clean a “Ground to Shoulder Anyhow” – meaning can power, medications squat or split Clean the bar and the rep will count as long as you get to the front rack.  This will allow you to go faster, but if you need to Squat Clean, go for it.


The Clean weight is such that most should be able to chain together medium to large reps or do really fast singles.  I think singles may work here, but chained reps will be faster, only because you won’t want to lose time chasing around the bar.  This WOD can be done in under 4 minutes, but I don’t think this can be accomplished through singles.  Big sets, such as 7-7-7, 11-5-5 or sets that work for you are excellent strategies.  Last time I did this, I went for big sets early like 15 then 6 quick singles, as big a set as possible on 15 and 9.  I will get more into this on the pacing section.

Ring Dips

The Dips may require more strategy than the Cleans.  I recommend a -1 or -2 approach.  What does this mean?  If your max set is 10 Ring Dips before you have to stop, -1 calls for 9 Dips, -2 calls for 8.  I would recommend working at a -1 or -2 for the sets of 21 and 15 and going for it on 9.  This is extremely personally dependent.  To know your -1 or -2 is really understanding your lactic threshold, so you need to practice and test it regularly.

Ring Dips are like HSPU or Chest to Bar Pullups in that when they go, they go.  You may have to stand there, shaking your arms while you recover.

Dips can be done quickly, and you can keep the breaks short, especially if you never take your hands off the rings.  If you break, try keeping your hands on the rings as you catch your breath/let your muscles recover.

Obviously, unbroken sets are faster, and they are possible.  If you can, go unbroken and get back to the bar.


Elizabeth can absolutely be a “crash the car” WOD.  Open with big sets, go fast and hang on.  Like Fran to Diane, this is a “distraction” WOD – you pull like crazy, and just when your body wants to quit, you push like crazy.  You kind of “trick” your body into working even harder by switching between push and pull.  This is a great way to crank up intensity and, consequently, a great way to meet Uncle Pukie.  In my experience, push/pull WODs are the best – for training, for intensity, for testing.  If you are making up WODs on your own, constantly test out the push/pull response.

Like all 21-15-9ers, the money is made on the set of 15.  Being aggressive in mindset is a huge part of this workout.  Have a plan on the set of 15, but be ready to punch fatigue in the face.  I read the line “be ready to chew through concrete” on the round of 15, and that’s appropriate.  You CAN move the barbell, it’s all mindset at this point.


For the Clean, aim for a weight that you can do 7-10 crisp, unbroken reps.

For the Ring Dips, jumping Rings Dips are good, as are the banded ring dips we’ve been using.  If Ring Dips are tough, you may try the bar/Matador Dips.  If dips are really difficult, you may scale to pushups.


Front rack work is key, but really smash out your triceps, biceps and chest.  The lacrosse ball is your friend here. 



Workout of the Day



Cleans 135/95

Ring Dips



Build to a heavy Clean Pull Double following the WOD.

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