By Justin Seltzer

Today, the Mean Streets crew ventured out to Burbank for Dave Lipson’s strength development workshop. But this was no ordinary lifting seminar. This was something totally new for all involved. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the dawn of Strongman techniques at CrossFit Mean Streets. Before you roll your eyes at images of burly Norwegians pulling semi trucks with their nutsacks, get this straight: this shit will kick your ass. Plain and simple. While most of these lessons will find their way to you directly through one of our illustrious trainers (since we all went), we thought it prudent to share two major ones we learned from Dave so that those who read this blog can get a sense of what this seminar was all about. We at CrossFit Mean Streets love anything and everything that can help us up our respective games, and in that respect Dave’s Strongman techniques really shine.

Lesson #1: Strength is a long-term developmental process.

The key point in Dave’s pre-painstorm lecture was that strength is not a short term, haphazard complement to your CrossFit life. Quite the opposite actually. Strength is a key element of training that should be done consistently. For beginners, he recommended the Wendler 5/3/1 system (check out the book here:, which is a pretty well known linear progression type program. We encourage you to read the materials and consult with our trainers about starting a strength program. This is one of the best ways to really blow past any lifting plateau you might be experiencing. Strongman techniques are excellent parts of any strength regimen, but any and all consistent strength work will help you reach your goals.

Lesson #2: Lifting heavy things is good. Lifting heavy awkward things will make you into a beast.

This is the basis of the Strongman techniques and became strikingly apparent when we were first introduced to the Atlas Stones, which are smooth concrete death spheres that ranged from 135 pounds to 210 pounds. Mind you, this is baby weight in Strongman terms and was well within our respective normal lifting ranges. Our goal was to take them from ground to shoulder. Needless to say, the Mean Streets crew faired well against stiff competition from the others in attendance when doing max rep one minute stone lifts as well as a mixed WOD with tire flips, stone lifts, yoke squats, and log presses. But, at the end of it all, we learned this valuable lesson from our smoked cores and throbbing meat sticks that began the day as arms. Even something as simple as changing the shape of a weight dramatically altered all aspects of the lift and took us all out of our comfort zones. Struggling against stones and logs that weigh as much as some of us rep clean and jerk normally drove this point home to all of us. Needless to say, moving out of comfort zones is the reason why we are all here. Expect to see this stuff pop up in WODs soon.

We encourage every single person who reads this, both our clients and our casual readers, to explore more strength development literature, attend seminars, and otherwise get educated. Strength is a huge part of what we do and has a dramatic effect on all aspects of our fitness. The Mean Streets Crew would like to put out a special thank you to Dave Lipson, Trish Davis, Glory Dawson, Israel Juarez and CrossFit Mach 5 for the awesome seminar and Paleo lunch. Also, congrats to Jon Markovich, our homie from CrossFit South Bay, for winning the King Kong WOD Challenge with an impressive 3:26.

Sunday Massacre

Warm Up:
Mobility then:

4 rounds
Wallball with Heaviest possible Ball X 20
3 Rope climbs using feet


3 Rep Max Zercher Squat from Floor:

Zercher Squat Demo from crossfitoneworld on Vimeo.

Strength WOD

Not For Time:
4 Rounds
5 X Back Squat (Use 3RM Zercher Squat Weight)
30 Pullups
8 Box jumps 36″

Crazy WOD:

60m Shuttle Run AMRAP in 15min (10m and back, 20m and back, 30m and back, Touch ground)

-Set 15 minute clock. Start Shuttle Runs, and rest precisely 20 seconds in between runs.

Post WOD:

Max time in Lsit:

8 attempts with rest

CrossFit Mean Streets
Downtown Los Angeles


    • November 21, 2010

    Great job to all you guys at CF Mean Streets. As always you bring the competition. Hopefully we’ll get another massive workout in together soon. Keep up the training and I’ll definitely see you all at NLP.

    • November 22, 2010

    Great job tins weekend guys. Thanks for coming! I’m glad you enjoyed the workshop. Keep training that farm boy strength.

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