Train. Perform. Recover.

It’s Sunday. You’re looking at the workouts for the week ahead. You’re thinking about which days look fun, which days you want to avoid (go anyway!), and perhaps strategizing how you might approach each day.

Maybe you’re milling over which day you want to work on your pull ups or which days it makes sense to lift heavy, scale back, or expect that you might really go for it and try for a PR.

It’s a LOT to think about! With a proper workout program (that’s why you’re here, right?!) you’ll have the information and coaching to apply these words on a screen to what will get you the BEST results. Different days, different skills, and overall different types and feelings of workouts make training fun. But you don’t have to obsess. We do that for you. ūüôā

By knowing your coaches’ intent on a workout, you can get the most out of your training day, week, month, and beyond.¬†Take a workout like “Fran.”

Thrusters (95/65)
Pull Ups

If¬†you’ve done this one, you know how it’s *supposed* to go. If you’re not laying on the floor, tasting your lungs (ew) and writhing, you probably didn’t do it correctly. This is a legendary workout. You are meant to hit it with the highest intensity and “perform” on that day. HAM. All out. It SHOULD be the most miserable 5 minutes of your week.

What happens if we change the circumstances a little?

You’ll do the¬†same workout, but:
-it takes you 15 minutes instead of 5, and you take a snack break half way through
-you don’t have pull ups, but you decide to “try” for your first one until the time cap (kind of like the Open)
-you have pull ups, but feel like taking it easy today so you scale back to PVC and easy ring rows

Different, right? You won’t leave the gym with the same feeling on any of these options. This is not WRONG, depending on how you’re feeling for the day (didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, etc), but it’s a different intent.

This workout can be so effective because the intent is clear. It’s clear that it’s time to go for it. It’s clear that this is your chance for glory. And pain.

Why wouldn’t you do this to yourself EVERY day? How do we set up our training program so you don’t have to think or worry about these things?

1. We don’t have INFINITE intensity. You can’t give your ALL… ALL OF THE TIME. You have to have some variety. If you went hard every day, you’d ultimately end up performing below your max capacity all the time. It’s not sustainable. You. Must. Recover.

2. This doesn’t allow you to work on skills that are outside of this performance arena. You want to hit Fran sub-4? Well, we need to work on your pull ups in an workout designed¬†for skill development… not for competition.

3. Intensity and competition inherently push your limits. Mistakes happen at the limits of our capacity. This becomes risky if you do it all the time–especially when you’ve had a rough day, under-slept, or aren’t recovered from the last ass kicking workout.

Here’s great video by Coach Jay on the difference between training and performing, and WHY it matters.¬†

If you avoid PERFORMANCE¬†workouts, you never see HOW HIGH you can jump. You never even get close to the limits of your capacity. You won’t get the full benefit of intensity in your training, AND the mental perks of pushing past whatever you thought you could do. You HAVE to get uncomfortable to make progress. Sometimes.

We will not be doing FRAN every week. No way. We will, however, have 1-2 workouts per week¬†that are focused on¬†PERFORMANCE. This is your chance to show what you’ve got. Put your hard work and skills practice to the test. Or, max out that lift.

That said, you’ll need to work on form¬†BEFORE intensity and competition. if you can’t perform an air squat safely, to full depth, throwing down on a workout with heavy front squats isn’t going to improve your positions or strength. You’ll be a master in compensation. If you don’t yet have muscle ups… is it more helpful to flail and haphazardly try to throw yourself over the rings? Or work on a progression that legitimately and systematically gets you closer to your goal?

We must TRAIN to improve. That way, the next time we test, we can do better than the last time. We will have 3-4 of these days each week so that you can improve skills, build aerobic capacity, and have fun trying all the different movements. This is your chance to scale to a progression. This is your opportunity to move well and learn something you can apply later.

The difference between PERFORMANCE and TRAINING:
-Heaviest every squat versus something heavy-ish for today
-85%+ versus 70-85% perceived effort
-Selling the farm and “blowing up” to save 5 seconds on your time versus staying to your workout strategy to LEARN

Lastly,¬†RECOVERY¬†is oft neglected but SO important. Maybe it’s accessory work instead of a main lift. Maybe it’s some extra mobility. Maybe it’s a week off.

Either way, you need a plan.¬†¬†‚ÄčWhen you’re “too sore” to train or “wrecked” from performance days, these will help you feel better, not worse. We’ll have 1-2 of these workouts each week.

We’re always tinkering and dabbling in new ideas with our training, and these concepts have really resonated with us. We’re taking the guess work out for YOU.

You’ll have a heads up as to which days are true¬†PERFORM¬†days versus¬†TRAIN¬†and¬†RECOVER. As always, EVERY workout can be adjusted. If you need to throw down on recovery day because you’re fresh and rarin’ to go, let your coach know. If you need to back off of a training day, no worries.

Take care,


PS. We have a TIE for recipient of the donations from the Open. We will split the total proceeds between the Social Justice Sewing Academy and the Berkeley Food Network. Thank you for voting!


Enjoy your spring break! We’ll be happy to see everyone’s smiling faces when vacations are over! ūüôā

Workouts For the Week:


For time:
1 mile run
5 rope climbs
800m run
4 rope climbs
400m run
3 rope climbs
200m run
2 rope climbs
100m run
1 rope climb

Rx+: legless

Long one! Pace out the runs so your splits improve as the distance decreases. If you have a rope climb, but maybe not 5, go for attempts or scale back # to 1-2 each round (total of 10).


A. For Load:
Strict Press:

Work up to a heavy single for today. Your last 3 should be heavy but not neccessarily to failure or 1RM.

B. 9 min AMRAP:
9 DB front squats (50/35)
7 burpees
5 DB shoulder to OH

Short, sweet, heavy-ish triplet. The DB S to OH are going to be the dog here, especially after burpees. STICK YOUR LANDING and keep control so the next reps feel… not horrible.


3 Rounds:
40s on/20s rest/transition
Crab walk (or rock back & forth… hips UP!)
Hang from bar–HOLLOW
Parallette pass throughs
Supinated grip BB inverted rows

Gymnastics/and active shoulder mobility here. Focus on opening your chest in the crab walk.

A. Skills and drills:
5 min position practice (2 benches/soft boxes)
5 min kick up practice

B. 15 min AMRAP:
50 single skips
30s handstand hold
50 single skips
15 sit ups

Practice, practice, practice. Try pulling a foot off the wall or going freestanding if you’re comfortable on the wall. Not about suffering or grinding through today–work on balance and composure!

C. Mobility!
2 mins/side scap + IR scrub
(hand up & behind mid back; use LAX ball to trace inside edge of scapula)2 mins/side trap/pec smash
(use LAX ball & pull up rig; smash into TOP of shoulder, working into neck & traps. EXPLORE!)


A. Back Squat:

Work up to heavyish weight in warm up; finish last 3 sets at roughly 80% of 1RM

B. 3 RFT:
10 strict pull ups
20 push ups
30 wall balls (20/14)

Scale to banded strict pull ups/HARD ring rows as needed

Metcon is a little sprint today. Push ups and wall balls should be unbroken to the best of your abilities. Don’t strategize here. See just HOW FAR you can push on the wall balls. You’ll get a little breather on the pull ups.


For time:
toes to bar
burpee box jump overs
calorie row

All bodyweight today, and ALL OUT pace. The toes to bar will make the box overs a challenge. Move quickly and smoothly. Aim for no more than 2 sets on T2B! Go!


In teams of 3:
3 Rounds for time:
10 sled push
15 tire flips
400m farmer’s carry (53/35)
50 cal bike

Work, rest, repeat. Lots of heavy loading today, but you should get quite a bit of rest between you & your teammates. Keep chipping away!


A. 3 Rounds: (15 mins)
100m jog
15/side single leg hamstring/glute bridge
10/side single leg KB deadlifts
10 monster walks (each direction)

B. Tabata:
20s on/10s off for 8 rounds:
A. Bottom to Bottom Squats
B. Mountain Climbers
C. Side Shuffle
D. Alt: Hollow & Arch Hold

C. Mobility
2 mins/side calf BONE SAW

3 mins/side Monkey Bars o’ Death
(explore hamstrings & adductors)

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