What is RPE and why should you care?

RPE- Rate of perceived exertion is a scale used to measure the intensity of exercise. The simplest scale is from 1-10, 1 being sitting on the couch and 10 being the last 9 reps of Fran. With an understanding of RPE you can decide for yourself if… you are working hard enough, if you are working too hard to sustain yourself during a longer metcon. Are you using your energy wisely and are working towards results?

There are many ways to apply RPE to the work you do at the gym. Once you begin to explore how you feel when you are working out it will begin to make sense in all the other modalities of strength and conditioning.

When you do your warm up row today consider the below scale. The exertion we are after is a 3. Not exactly easy but not too bad. You want to get a little sweat going but not winded.


Consider this too,

Rest =0%-Easy talking



4=70% Conversation slows down, breathing between words

5=80% Talking in short replies

7=85%- Talking stops



Please be advised, if you have time to chitchat during your metcon, you are absolutely NOT working. At all.

We are athletes just like CrossFit, constantly varied. Not everyone gets the same output from the same weights in a work out. The beauty of us as humans and CrossFit is that we can scale to meet our needs. We look at a short Metcon like Fran and have to understand the goals of the workout. This one is a gasser, a lung burner. The weights are light so that they can be moved fast. Fran will be done in less than 10 minutes. She should be done in less than 5. This is not time for practice, this is time to beast right through. If you are not yet doing thrusters at 95/65# then ask yourself at what weight can I use to drive myself through this workout and it still be really, really hard at the end? If you choose a PVC, you’ve missed the point.

Warm up
Row 1000 m Perform at 70% effort / RPE 3
coaches choice

Warm up with 5@40% 3@50% 3@60%
Shoulder Press 5 reps @ 65%
Shoulder Press 5 reps @ 75%
Shoulder Press 5+ reps @ 85%

21-15-9 reps, for time of:
Thruster, 95/65 lbs


Happy Thanksgiving!



Here is to wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I count my blessing daily and after my family comes the fact that I get to do what I love. Thanks to all the athletes at CrossFit St. Charles who consistently give everything they have to our community. I am forever grateful to you!

With that said…

Thanksgiving Day Massacre

5 rounds of:

5 pull-ups

10 push-ups

15 squats

Then, 4 rounds of:

8 handstand push-ups 15 kettlebell swings Then, 3 rounds of:

15 box jumps

15 knees-to-elbows Then, 2 rounds of: 20 wall-balls

30 sit-ups




1000m Row
1000 meter row
45 pound Thruster, 50 reps
30 pull-ups


Partner “Fight Gone Bad”

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

In todays workout, partner A will complete a full round while partner B counts their reps. While Partner A is rowing, Partner B will prepare to start the round with Wallballs. (partner A can add their calories to their score)

Each partner will have 5 Loooong minutes of rest. This is so that the athlete can maximize rest and start fresh on the second round. This is the time to learn how to press on the gas. Try to maintain or improve the score of the first round. Sore it total reps of all three rounds.


Pendlay Rows – 5×5 @ 30% 1RM deadlift
Between sets 8 back extensions
Back Squat 5-5-5-5-5
Between squat sets Row 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m

After squatting move quickly to the rower. Rest as needed after rowing. Record times for each interval rowed.


Clean High Pulls

5 Rounds
21 Kettlebell swings (75/55)
15 Slamballas (40/30)
9 Burpees
Rest one minute

Record splits. Goal is to keep @85% for rounds 1-3, 95% for Round 4, 100% for Round 5




Dead Lift 3@40%
Dead Lift 3@50%
Dead Lift 3@60%
Dead Lift 5@75%
Dead Lift 3@85%
Dead Lift MR@95%

In front of a clock set for 15 minutes:
1 minute of Squats
2 minutes of Double-unders
3 minutes of Push-ups
4 minutes of Back extensions
5 minutes of Pull-ups



Todays WOD brings us another benchmark Girl.
Think of Karen as a fast chipper. It is all about muscle endurance. Consider the max amount of  wallballs you can do without stopping, scale that number back to sets you can manage for the first 100 reps. Scale back a little further to finish out the final 50. Make a plan and stick to it as best you can.


Front Squat 3@40%
Front Squat 3@50%
Front Squat 3@60%

Back Squat 5@75%
Back Squat 3@85%
Back Squat MR@95%

150 Walball shots (20/14)



I have know idea who was yelling “up!”


This past weekend I had the pleasure of competing in the USAPL Rivers Edge Powerlifting meet. It was a huge meet that lasted from 7am to midnight (I am not even kidding) It was an absolute blast! I got to hang out with some of the strongest people I know and lift stuff. What could be better?
During the last 12 weeks I learned a lot about myself as an athlete both mentally and physically. I’ve come out a lot stronger in both aspects. I learned (and am still learning) what it means to work hard.
Every Tuesday and Thursday I’d head to Maryland Heights to work out with a group of very inspiring people. We had a ton of fun and lifted a lot of heavy weight. I improved my squat, finally learned to bench press and lost my fear of the dead lift. I watched my partners attack the bar with enthusiasm and it made me stronger.
On these days, we all shared the same back squat bar. Because my weights were the lightest, I was always first on the platform. We had a lot of laughs but when you step on the platform there is work to be done. I always felt a sense of responsibility when it was my turn. I had to be strong, I had to set the tone for the rest of the lifts. No one cared that my weights were significantly lighter (and I DO mean significantly) they only cared that I gave it my best. When I’d finish my lift, I’d watch the weight creep onto the bar and everyone else would get their turn. Giving it everything they had, once again inspiring me to be better.
This is not earth shattering stuff, but if you are open to all that is good, it can change the way to think about things which in turn can change your life. The communities of support that we create or happen into both inside and outside our box are long reaching and strong. There is absolutely no way I would have made it to the end of the 12 weeks without the support of some people that at the time I barely knew.
The day of the meet was a blast. So much active waiting! The girls got there at 7am, started at 9:45 and finished around 4pm. Thats a long day. The boys got there at noon and finished at mindnight! Wow!  I barely ate and had to force myself to drink. I watched all the amazing athletes from Crossfit St. Charles and Crossfit Maryland Heights smash their lifts. This is an amazing bunch of women. I watched a 12 year old girl get her  bar placed on her back because she was to short for the squat rack. I watched a small man in 70s bench 187#.
My family came to watch. My oldest daughter Becca came with her boyfriend and got to see my PR back squat. My husband John and youngest Emily watched me bench press. I was pretty proud to have my girls in room full of strong women. I think they were proud of me too. Nothing is better than the support of your family. It meant so much to me! I’ll never forget the hug my husband gave me.

This whole event started with a phone call
him: Hey Kim, I want to talk to you about this powerlifting meet
me: You think I should do it don’t you?
him: Yes I do
me: (sigh) OK, Chris.

Was I the strongest person there? Nope. I PR’d my back squat, probably cheated myself with the bench and had a little mishap on the dead lift. What I did do was the best I could on that given day. I am much stronger than I was 12 weeks ago, which was my goal. I encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in doing a powerlifting comp. to give it a go.
After it was all done and the numbers were tallied…I took first in my division. That really makes me smile.



500m Row
40 Squats
30 Sit ups
20 Push Ups
10 Pull ups