The Importance Of Chest Strength – Coach James

You finally get your head around the kipping pull up and everything is starting to make a little more sense, you set your sights high to the two elusive rings dangling down from the ceiling, you then spend every second you can swinging around trying to figuring out how to get on top of these damn things, then one day you get there! You get on top of the rings! Holy shit I’ve just done a Muscle up!!!!!! Then all of sudden everyone is screaming PRESS PRESS PRESS! and you think to yourself ohhhh no I need to do a ring dip and then………….. you fall back through the rings do your best Spiderman impression and then say every expletive under the sun!

Whats missing?

Chest strength! There are so many reasons why we need to have a good amount of chest strength in Crossfit and in real life, the above being one but let’s start with shoulder health!

Your shoulders can either be one of the most delicate or strongest parts of your body. Shoulders need to be supported by the surrounding areas such as your back and chest for them to become truly strong, if they’re not then that’s when we encounter problems and the chest is a very important factor to prevent that. Our pec muscles are used when we need to use our arms to support our body above or over something for example in a plank position, our chest is the foundation to our arms, same in the rings at the top and bottom of ring dip, when you handstand everything is stacked upon our chest and back muscles.

If we don’t have a strong foundation then that’s when our rotator cuff muscles start taking the brunt of the load when their all their job is is to stabilise and hold the joint in place.

What is the best and easiest way to strengthen your chest you say!?

Why it’s the good old fashioned Bench Press! Now we don’t need to go for lots of reps here as we want to develop strength rather than mass if we’re thinking about the transferability to gymnastics, we need to keep in mind the power to body weight ratio basically the bigger and heavier you are the more strength you will need to move your body. Sets of 3-5 is the best range to develop strength, I would recommend starting with 3 sets of 3-5 reps and then adding in up to 2 more sets as you progress. There is really no need to go beyond 5 sets. Weight wise we’re looking at anywhere between 80-87% of your 1 rep max for the required 3-5 reps.

So Guy’s and Gal’s get those barbells out and let’s get some big benching on the go! It’ll make you better!


A) Clean and Jerk
15min. Running clock…

5 Reps at 50%
3 Reps at 60%
3 Reps at 70%
2 Reps at 75%
2 Reps at 80%
1 Reps at 85%
1 Reps at 90%
Then keep building if possible or hit a few more reps at 90%

*Once the clock starts, you just start cruising through at your own pace. The sooner you get to 90% the sooner you can start trying new maxes. Keep your form solid, you may share bars, and keep the same jerk the whole time. (Push Jerk or Split Jerk)

B) 2min. AMRAP:
12/9 Cal Sprint
8 Push Jerks 60/40kg
Max Burpees in remaining time

Rest 1min. x 5 Rounds

*Score is Burpees only
*I really want you to move quick! You should have about a minute on the burpees, so if you don’t, scale a few things back.


Classic CrossFit

A) 4 Sets:
10 Close Grip Bench Press (Climbing)
immediately into;
300m row for time
-Rest 2min. After Each Round-
Those 300s need to be HARD. Put your fastest time in for your score and let’s see what everyone throws down.

B) For Time:
100 Hang DB Power Cleans 22/16kg
*5 Burpees EMOM
*Start with Burpees


Every 2 min x 10 Rounds
Round 1:
10 Cal Bike + 10 DB Box Step Overs 16/10kg
Round 2: 10 Cal Row + 10 DB Lunges 16/10kg
*alt each round

Rest 3 min

12 min to finish…

100 Wall Balls 9/6kg
*Every 2min. Complete a 200m Run
*Start with the 200m Run 🙂


Classic CrossFit

A) Overhead Squat
75% x 5 reps
85% x 3 reps
95% x 1 rep

B) Every 3min. x 6 Rounds:
15/12 Cal Bike/Ski (Row if none available)
15 Pull-Ups
Max Thrusters 40/30kg in Remaining Time…

*Score is total number of Thrusters only


Classic CrossFit

A) 28min. EMOM:
Min. 1)
60 Double Unders
Min. 2) 15/12 Cals
Min. 3) 2 Rope Climbs
Min. 4) 6 Deadlifts (Climbing)

B) Pick 1:
Double KB Farmer Carry for 400m
2.) Single KB Farmer Carry for 800m
3.) Partner Planks with a 20/10kg plate. (1min. on x 1min. off x 4 Rounds)
4.) Partner Barbell Bicep Curls (you do 10, I do 10 x 10 Rounds… 2 sec negative)


(0-8 min)

20 Push Press 16/10kg
20 Cal Row
(10-18 min)

15 Pull-ups
15 Burpees
(20-28 min)

10 Push Press 22/16kg
10 Cal Row
(30-35 min)

Max Burpee pull-ups


Classic CrossFit

A) Push Press
5 Sets of 5 Reps
*In between each set complete 20 Heavy Russian KB Swings. Try a heavier then normal KB today!

B) For Time:
80 air squats
70 push-ups
60 alt. db snatches 22/16kg
50 toes-to-bar
40 box jumps 24/20
30 handstand push-ups
200m Run
10 jerks 60/40kg

TIME CAP: 20min


In Teams of 2:
35min. running clock…
2 Rounds:

50 Cal Bike
50 Handstand Push Ups

immediately into:
2 Rounds:

50 Cal Row
50 Toes-To-Bar

immediately into:
2 Rounds:

50 DB Hang Cleans 22/16kg
150 Double Unders
immediately into:
200 Russian Twists with DB