Main Course:

  • CrossFit Total refer back to 120305
    • best of three attempts at 
      • Back Squat
      • Shoulder Press
      • Deadlift


The rules for the lifts will need to be simple and well understood by everybody, both the lifters and people in the position of judging them, so we’re all on the same page. The idea is that when you post a CrossFit Total, yours will be done to the same standards as everyone else’s. The lifts must be easy to judge, easy to understand, and as difficult to corrupt as possible. By starting out with a clear picture of what we want and don’t want from a CrossFit Total, many millions of hours of bitching, hard feelings, and confusion can be averted. It must be understood that good form in the lifts is inherent in the rules for testing them.
The order for performing the three lifts will be squat, press, and then deadlift. The best single attempt for each of the three lifts are added together for the CrossFit Total. There is no time limit for each lift or for the length of the session in which they are all performed, but they must all be performed during one session—i.e., you cannot leave the area to rest or perform other activities between the three lifts. Multiple progressions to the best attempt are not allowed; do not work up to your best squat, then change an item of equipment or clothing and work up to it again to try to better your first effort.

Press Rules

The press is done from the racks. The bar is held in both hands in front of the neck, taken out of the rack and walked back away from the rack. No contact with the rack is permitted until the bar is replaced in the racks. Once the stance is assumed it cannot change until the lift is completed. The starting position must be upright, with the knees and hips fully extended and the chest up. The bar must be in contact with the top of the shoulders or the chest, whichever individual flexibility permits. After the starting position is correctly assumed, the bar is pressed overhead until the elbows are completely extended, with the bar in a position directly above the ears. Once this position has been attained, the bar is lowered back to the front of the shoulders and walked back into the rack and replaced.

Any halt in the upward motion of the bar, identified as the part of the bar between the hands, constitutes a missed attempt, as does any change in the position of the feet against the floor during the attempt, any bending of the knees, or excessive backward lean of the torso as identified by A) the position of the most anterior aspect of the armpit, B) the most posterior aspect of the buttocks, C) the plane formed by a straight line between these two points, and D) the movement of that plane to a position behind the vertical. Any deliberate attempt to raise the bar counts as an attempt. Spotters are not permitted for this lift.

Deadlift Rules

The deadlift is performed with the bar on the platform or floor. The lifter assumes a position facing the bar, with the bar parallel to the lifter’s frontal plane. The bar is gripped with both hands, and pulled with one continuous uninterrupted movement until the lifter is standing erect with knees and hips fully extended, the chest up and shoulders back. Once this position is attained and the bar is motionless, the bar is lowered under control with both hands back to the ground. The bar may not be dropped.
Any halt in the upward motion of the bar constitutes a missed attempt, as does failure to assume a fully erect position with both knees and hips extended. Any attempt to raise the bar counts as an attempt.

The equipment that can be used is minimal. A belt of any type can be worn but is not required. Knee wraps or sleeves are permitted, but if they are used they must be left on for the entire duration of the session in which the lift is performed. Wrist wraps are permitted; lifting straps are not.

Squat Rules

The squat must be done from the squat stands or power rack. The bar must be placed on the back and walked out to clear the rack completely. No contact with the rack is permitted until the bar is replaced in the rack. Once the bar is lowered, the stance cannot change until the bar is to be racked. The starting position must be completely upright, with the knees and the hips fully extended and with the chest up. The hips are lowered until the top surfaces of both of the legs at the hip joint are lower than the knees, and then the bar is lifted back up. The bottom position is identified by A) the apex of the crease in the shorts formed as the hips are lowered, B) the surface of the top of the patella, C) the plane formed by a straight line between the two, and D) the dipping of the hip end of that plane below horizontal. The finish position is the same as the starting position, and the athlete must return to it before the bar is racked. When the finish position is secure, the bar must be walked back into the rack and successfully replaced.
Any halt in the upward motion of the whole bar, identified at its position on the back rather than at its ends, constitutes a missed attempt, as does any change in position of the feet against the floor during the squat. Any deliberate attempt to lower the bar counts as an attempt. No more than two spotters are permitted, and they are not allowed to touch the bar during the attempt, which is finished only after the bar is successfully replaced in the racks. The spotters are permitted to steady the racks, and to take the bar if the lifter loses control of it. Any touching of either the bar or the lifter by any spotter invalidates the attempt.


In the words of Wisdom:

Here are some basic precautions that need to be followed for safety:

  1. Don’t be stupid. Don’t total if you’re injured to the extent that a total will aggravate the problem. This will cost you in at least training time, and possibly time off of work if you’re ultra-stupid.
  2. Don’t be greedy. Learn to recognize the difference between greed and ambition, and be merely ambitious.
  3. Don’t be pig-headed. If your first attempt tells you that you need to lower your second, do so, without a misplaced sense of diminished self-worth. It’s a test, and it’s designed to measure what’s there, not create something that’s not. That’s what training is for.


  • Celebrate, you’ve done enough work today.
  1. 120430

    Squat: 173 (pr)
    Press: 68
    Dead: 203

    A semi-satisfying close to A”PR”IL.

  2. 120430

    hate, hate to miss this…but slowly learning not to be an idiot with my training, hopefully back tomorrow but might need another rest day, that would be 5 total…:(

  3. 120430

    BS: 234 (PR) Very happy with this – it was a solid lift.
    Press: 75
    Deadlift: 234 (-15) Tried 254 and just didn’t have it – next time!

    Total: 543

    • 120430

      your squat set this morning was AWESOME!!!

  4. 120430

    Back Squat: 193# (PR) Yay!
    Press: 93# (-2) Left shoulder is tweaked.
    Deadlift: 213# (-12) Failed on the 1st attempt got it on the second tried to jump up to 243# that was a little much, dropped back down to 223# still no bueno!

    Total: 499 (-1)

    Overall happy with today. 🙂

    Here’s my recipe for the day: Been looking for more snack ideas, Excited to try this…

  5. 120430

    Back Squat: 95#, have to work on my form. I have a huge knee dip and the tracking on my knees are awful on this. chef was worried about that.

    Press: 85#

    Deadlift: first time with some real weight. 185#

    my recipe: love this stuff and you can transform it into any cuisine

  6. 120430

    BS: 238# (PR)
    Press: 83#
    Deadlift: 253# (PR) I was really happy with this. I haven’t done a heavy deadlift since I hurt my back so this is a PR by 20# 🙂

    Total: 574

    • 120430

      awesome #s!

    • 120430

      go girl, get some!

    • 120430

      Excellent Numbers Amy!

  7. 120430

    BS: 275
    Press: 135
    DL: 315 (PR) – DL form felt great this morning. I wanted more but I also PR’d in discipline this morning! Next time for sure.

    Total 725 (-20 from 3/5)

  8. 120430

    CF Total:
    BS: 170# (-3) I thought i was further off on this, guess not.
    Press: 95# (+2)
    Deadlift: 215# (+12)
    Total: 480

    Good Day!

    Made this last night for lunch this week. Its yummy and chicken comes out moist…me no likey dry chicken.

  9. 120430

    BS: 179 (+5)
    Press: 94 (-5)
    DL: 244 (neutral)
    TOTAL: 517 (neutral)

    I really felt I had the next one up on the press but lost concentration on staying hard from the ground up.
    And I was so jazzed to start strong…. next time.
    Feel like the squat strength is there but the magic on my form is still not jelling… next time.

    • 120430

      So… in looking at everyone’s ratios… my back squat weight is ridiculous.
      Seems like with a 244 DL I should be closer to 214 for a BS (using Mike Frye as a ratio builder)

      Sigh. Seems like after a 1.5 years of this I really need to get serious about this issue.

      • 120430

        I may not be the best metric… I’ve always been a little bottom heavy!!

  10. 120430

    Squat: 275# PR (+20)
    Press: 155#
    DL: 365# PR (+20)

    CF Total: 795

    • 120430

      Press: 155# PR too. . . (+20)

    • 120430

      oh crap, here comes Jamie…watch out guys! Awesome improvements since you started, fun to watch everyone’s transformations…

      • 120430

        Thanks John. Sipping the koolaid. . .

  11. 120430

    CFT: 762

    Squat: 314 (PR)
    Press: 134
    DL: 314 (PR)

    Not lifetime PR’s, but they are certainly my “Project Reboot” PR’s. Felt really good to get over 300 for both squat and DL. Had a mental block around that number. Tried 334 for last attempt in squat. Close, but not quite – pretty sure it isn’t far away. For DL going to be harder til I improve my form; could really feel myself getting rounded which as coach says “could lead to some less than desirable outcomes…” For press, anything over 134 starts to look like a push press

    Overall, not bad. About what I thought, but good to actually do it. 800#’s here I come…

    • 120430

      PS. For those of us who are a little more culinary challenged and therefore somewhat dreading the nutrition challenge – I tried the XL version of the “power supply” meals advertised on the website this week. Sample size of one, but the lunch was plenty of food for me. Even have a little left over. The regular size wasn’t enough, so this is a good change. I would keep some extra salsa lying around though…

  12. 120430

    Back Squat: 193 (-10)
    Shoulder Press: 78 (same)
    Deadlift: 258 (+5 PR)

    CFT: 529 (-5)

    I think all of the binge eating I did over the weekend may have been a factor 😉 — trying to get the junk out before I get my challenge on.

    BONUS PR: After the WOD I tried and discovered I can do one dead-hang pull-up!!!
    I’m able to do about 4 kipping (ugly) pull-ups, but this was the first time I’ve ever gotten all the way up without a kip.

    Knowledge: Here’s this week’s paleo menu plan:

    • 120430

      nice pull up work, I’m using you to get my wife fired up, you are both really close in strength and abilities (you’re slightly ahead of her on some things and that’ll fire her up!)

      • 120430

        lol John — over the weekend I learned another neighbor/friend who works out at a different box had multiple pull-ups — that got me fired up! Bring your wife (and the kids) to the Friday workout/grillout and we can go head to head 🙂

  13. 120430

    (Diffs from my January CFT, as I missed the most recent one)

    Squat: 215 (+30, PR)
    Press: 115 (+5, PR)
    DL: 255 (+20, PR)

    CFT: 585

    Time to eat!

  14. 120430

    last time I did this was back in January 2012.

    My numbers were off my max for each lift today, but exceeded my last CFTotal so im happy The numbers in parentheses are changes from last CFT

    Back squat = 275 (+20)
    Press = 145 (+20) failed at 155#
    Dead Lift = 330 (+15) failed at 340#

    Total = 750

  15. 120430

    “Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.”

    Squat: 275# (-0#)
    Press: 160# (-15#)
    DL: 395# (-60#)

    Total: 830#

  16. 120430

    Squat: 243
    Press: 113
    DL: 263
    Total: 619

    • 120430

      those are awesome #s — are they PRs? My goal is to get a CFT north of 600 (I dream big).

      • 120430

        Sadly no. I’m about 20 lbs off my squat pr, 5 off my press, and 30 off my deadlift. I’m hoping in the next couple months to get these numbers back where they were.

        Your squat has huge potential if you just keep working at it.

  17. 120430

    BS: 285# (-20)
    SP: 135# (-5)
    DL: 375# (-10)
    Total: 795 (-35)
    1st day back from last week’s travel and head cold.

  18. 120430

    Squat: 234 (+15)
    Shoulder press: 99 (+10)
    Deadlift: 283 (+15)

    Total: 616 (+40)

    🙂 great to see everyone improving so much!

  19. 120430

    SP: 145 (-10)
    Total: 145 (-680)

    Pulled my hammy this weekend…

    • 120430

      I cussin love this guy!

  20. 120430

    Nice evening for Crossfit total!
    Squat: 174 (+11)
    Shoulder press: 77 (-7) I blame the shoulder injury
    DL: 244 (+21)
    Total: 495. Seriously ? I missed 500 by only 5 lbs??

    • 120430

      Great DL! You can now deadlift your husband, if the need ever arises.

  21. 120430

    Can’t make 6am class tomorrow, anybody want my spot?? Can’t seem to cancel my space!

  22. 120430

    Back squat: 168 (+25)
    Shoulder press: 73 (+5)
    Dead lift: 223 (+30)
    CFT: 464

    🙂 good job today!

  23. 120430

    We talked about omega-3s today at the mini-town hall. It made me think about this article. It caused me to throw out all the “healthy” Canola oil in my house.

  24. 120430

    Backsquat: 285# +10#PR!
    Shoulder press: 130# +15#PR!
    Deadlift: 350# +15#PR!

    ABSOLUTELY amazing. If I could PR while eating junk, then I wonder what I can knock out with good nutrition!

  25. 120501

    I really like totals 🙂

    Backsquat: 230# +15#PR (I didn’t fail on any of these so I know it can go at least a little higher!)
    Shoulder press: 95# +0
    Deadlift: 265# +20#PR

    Total: 590

  26. 120501

    Backsquat: 183# -5
    Shoulder Press: 75# same
    Dead: 228# +5

    Total: 486

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