Double Down

Stupid time change. I was very confused for a few seconds this morning when I woke up after 9, before I remembered the hour shift. Messed up my entire morning before the gym.


  • Crossover Symmetry Activation
  • Bottom Squat Hold
  • Snatch
    • 5×45#
    • 3×95#
    • 3×115#



  • 30 Snatch (135#)

Started with 5 doubles before switching to singles. Finished in 2:26 for an 11 second PR! At 1:00 I had exactly 15 reps done, compared to 17 when I did Grace. I really like this new strategy I mentioned in my last Grace post. Here’s more detail I just shared on Facebook…

For the last year, I’ve been thinking about a strategy for Grace/Isabel that I never really see. Just about everyone comes out of the gate hot, trying to get as many unbroken reps as they can. I think this is a mistake for the majority of us and with my recent attempts at both Isabel and Grace, I did a little testing. Let me explain…

My previous Grace was 2:17, done with 10 unbroken and 20 singles. I got the PR of 2:04 by doing 3×5, 1×2, and 13 singles. For Isabel I went from doing 2×2 and 26 singles to 5×2 and 20 singles. Ok, but what’s the difference?

Dropping the bar, getting (or waiting for) the bounce to settle, and grabbing it again takes the most time in workouts like these. In the first Grace, I dropped the bar and had to reset 20 times, but in the retest there were only 16 bar drops, resulting in a gain of 13 seconds. Isabel bar drops went from 27 to 24, for an 11 second improvement.

Heart rate isn’t all that important in a 2-4 minute workout, but I think it can help a little, at least from the point of how you perceive your level of fatigue. Smaller sets should keep HR down some. I think not starting with a huge set (to near failure) can help a lot with muscle endurance over those 30 reps though. The last 5 reps are going to suck no matter what, but they can feel just a bit easier.

Sure I could have gotten the same 16 bar drop Grace by doing 14 unbroken then 16 singles, but I would have been a lot more tired going into the singles, resulting in less motivation to pick up the bar with each rep. Starting off Isabel with 6 unbroken to make it 24 drops doesn’t sound very fun at this point in my fitness for the same reasons.

Would this work for you?

If either workout takes you more than 5:00, you should use a lighter weight. Check your ego.

If your time is 3:30 or longer, I’d recommend sticking to singles but speed up how long it takes you to pick up the bar. Anyone can get a time of 3:00-3:30 by doing all singles if you pick the bar up as soon as it stops bouncing. You can’t step away from the bar though, you have to be ready to go and pick it up every single time.

If your time is close to that 3:00 mark and maybe even all the way down to 1:40 (??), simply try to decrease the number of times you drop the bar, but keep your sets manageable. Switch to singles when you have to.

The tricky part is making sure you don’t pick something you can’t maintain. For example, I bet I would improve my Grace time if I did 15 sets of 2, getting me to 14 drops instead of 16. Probably wouldn’t be a very good strategy though, because I doubt I’d be able to maintain sets of 2 for the entire workout. I’d end up doing singles and then wouldn’t actually decrease bar drops.

Make sense? If you try it out or have any questions let me know.

On Your Hands

3 Sets

  • MAX Handstand Hold (facing wall)
  • ~2:00 Rest

I should have checked my PR before. Made it 2:36, just 4 seconds short of my best. Then 1:40 and 1:00. Not easy after Isabel.

Conditioning II

3 Rounds

  • 30 Wall Balls (20#, 10′)
  • 60 Double Unders
  • 1:1 Rest

Times were 1:36, 1:47, and 1:47. Unbroken wall balls each time with unbroken dubs in round 1, 2 misses in round 2, and 1 miss in round 3. Was fun to do some big sets of wall balls. If not for the shoulders being pretty wrecked from the earlier stuff, using 30# would have been a good challenge.

I tried the false grip bar muscle-up and it wasn’t great. I definitely was sliding off the bar on the swing and had to do kind of a chicken-wing attempt, which I never do. Going to start working on that false grip strength on the bar with some drills because I think it will eliminate the feeling I’m ripping off my entire palm with a full grip on the bar when linking them together.

Did Crossover Symmetry Iron Scap before leaving.

Published by

Nick Momrik

I'm searching for the perfect golf swing and my first hole-in-one. I'm addicted to CrossFit. I work for Automattic.

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