18.4 was a bit of a headache…

Today is Friday, during the 2018 CrossFit Open, so it must be Friday Night Lights at CrossFit Continuum, right? Yup!

Ev went in this morning to do 18.4 scaled, but I waited until tonight to see what kind of damage could be done. Apparently ramming your head into the floor a few times gives you a wee bit of a headache, but other than that I seem to be ok. πŸ™‚

I arrived around 5:20 or so and several folks had already gone and others were getting ready to. I headed out of there about 7:45 after everybody who was coming in had a chance to do their thing. So it was a good time. Lots of great folks, as per usual.

crossfit-games-open-2018Castro put another doozy together for this one, but at least there were no dumbbells. πŸ™‚

  • Workout 18.4
  • For time:
    • 21 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 21 handstand push-ups
    • 15 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 15 handstand push-ups
    • 9 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 9 handstand push-ups
    • 21 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
    • 15 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
    • 9 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
  • Time cap: 9 min.

Essentially this is the workout Diane plus a bit heavier Diane and a bit more of a shoulder workout in the second half. πŸ™‚

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Looking back a long ways, it’s been forever since we’ve done Diane. Back in December 2015 we did it and I finished in 9:56. I did it Rx with the 225# weight, but scaled my HSPUs to a 45# plate and one abmat. It’s been a while.

Tonight would be without any scaling at all and I was a little leery of smashing my head on the ground, but willing to give it a shot.

Jonathan went before me and we all cheered him on. HSPUs are not one of his favorite things, but he managed to get one rep in the 8 minutes he banged himself on the wall. He flew through the first set of deadlifts in 29 seconds, which was crazy. His goal was to beat Caleb’s time which I think was 39 seconds or so, and he definitely did that! And he ended up with a score of 22.

Then he volunteered to judge me. πŸ™‚

I went in the same heat as Marino and he did awesome, working his way into the round of 9 deadlifts I think he said. I almost kept up with him for a little while. πŸ™‚

I got through the 21 deadlifts in 49 seconds. That left 8 minutes and 11 seconds to do as many HSPUs as I could get through. I managed to complete 8 good reps in 8 minutes, so I’ll take it.

My score? 29. πŸ™‚ I almost tied Caleb who got 30. I’ll take that. Caleb’s a beast. πŸ™‚

The awesome thing for me is that’s the most actual Rx handstand push-ups I’ve ever actually managed to get through and I did one during my warm-up as well. So I’m happy with that. πŸ™‚

20180316_183647The only bad part was there were a couple of times I came down really hard on the top of my head. Once hard enough that Jonathan asked if I was ok because he heard me hit. But I kept chugging along.

Honestly it wasn’t too bad. I was never really winded. I was laughing and joking with Jonathan and Caleb the whole time I was throwing myself at the wall. I had a good time.

As I keep saying to people, I do CrossFit because it’s fun. If it ever stops being fun, I’ll be bummed — but for the last 5 years I’ve been chugging away so I think I’ll be ok. πŸ™‚

In the last heat, I was asked to judge Nancy, so I did my best to count reps as she chugged through the scaled workout. She did awesome. Emily, Drea, and Bill were in that heat too and they did amazingly well also.

Honestly it was just fun to hang out and cheer folks on. Great work everybody!

Only one more workout to go in this year’s Open. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad. πŸ™‚

So to summarize my open so far:

  • 18.1 (Rx) – 174 reps
  • 18.2 (Scaled) – 9:50 and 185#
  • 18.3 (Scaled) – 631 reps
  • 18.4 (Rx) – 29 reps

The last two years I’ve done two Rx workouts each year, so we’ll see what Castro has in store for 18.5. πŸ™‚



Strength Struggles

After Tuesday’s Flying Wallenda act on the rings, I needed a little recovery time — so yesterday ended up being a rest day. But today I was right back at the box for an 8:30 workout with my wife, Coach Drea, Dave, Todd & Melissa. A fun little crew.

soreshoulders-800pxWe started with 2 minutes on the rower (or bike) and then did two rounds of the week’s warm-up. After that it was right into some empty barbell skill warm-ups for the day’s movements: strict press, push press, and push jerk. Strength day!

Apparently my shoulders were a little sore after Tuesday. They didn’t feel awful, but I could tell my left shoulder was a little torqued after the rings the other day; especially the front of the shoulder. So I wasn’t quite sure how far I would get.

Traditionally these have been good movements for me:

  • Strict press: 155# back in January 2017
  • Push Press: 185# back in February 2017
  • Push Jerk: 185# back in July of 2017

20180315_093617Today, I didn’t quite get there, but that’s ok. I’m overall in better shape than I was a year ago, so I’m ok with that.Β  πŸ™‚ Drea started a running 2 minute clock and we’d do a lift every 2 minutes — 5×1 for strict press, push press, and push jerks.

  • Strict press: 95, 115, 135 (fail), 125, 135 (fail) — 125# top
  • Push Press: 135, 155, 165, 175 (fail), 175 (fail) – 165# top
  • Push Jerk: 135, 155, 175 (fail), 165, 165 – 165# top

So a few pounds lighter than a year ago. Life is good though. Next time. πŸ™‚

I really need to probably scale back on weight again and work on form on these movements anyway. One day at a time.

Flying Wallendas (aka Ring Muscle Ups)

Though many folks may appreciate the challenge of flying through the air like an acrobat, gymnast, or pilot — I am not ashamed to say that such daring feats have rarely been in my wheelhouse, even at a young age. My sister was the daredevil in the family, not I.

wallendas_1962aBut today’s skills-based workout at Continuum reminded me a bit of the Flying Wallendas (high wire act from the first half of the 20th century) and the song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” from even earlier:

He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease,

That daring young man on the flying trapeze.”

Anyway… Enough of the weird places my head goes!

Coach Drea had me, Jonathan, Logan, Todd & Melissa to deal with this morning at the 8:30 class, and the only “Wallenda” among us was Todd. πŸ™‚ ‘Cause it definitely wasn’t me!

Today’s challenge was to work on ring muscle-ups, but we started with some shoulder mobility, did a bit of the warm-up (and a 2 minute bike or row), and then worked through many muscle-up variations.

We spent about 20 minutes on muscle-up practice, on low rings and high. Todd was doing sets of three and worked through several rounds of that. The rest of us bounced around and just tried different things.

Gymnastics-ringsI’m happy to say two things:

  1. My kipping swing on the rings has improved. I was able to get my hips pretty high in the air, much to my own chagrin.
  2. And I managed a single jumping muscle-up on lowered rings and starting on a pile of two 45# plates.

One. And it was exciting!

But I proved once again that heights are a challenge. At one point we were helping one another with a boost to get up on the higher rings and I couldn’t even convince my knees to straighten to let Jonathan push me up. (Funny enough, when I helped him, we ended up in an awkward position where he ended up almost leap frogging me and I went forward underneath — we laughed a lot!)

Once that was done, we did more strict pull-ups and ring dips. I did three rounds of rapidly depleting max effort.

  • Strict pull-ups: 5, 4, 2
  • String ring dips: 10, 5, 0

Somehow while swinging around on the rings I managed to tear a blister between the palm and wrist on my right hand and that slowed me down a bit with the ring dips. Pull-ups… well, they just fade pretty quickly.

Everybody did awesome. Lots of folks flying around. πŸ™‚



Burpees Still Suck

In case you were wondering, burpees still suck. Such a simple movement – throwing yourself at the ground and then hopping up again. And yet it inevitably fries something on me, especially my shoulders. Yup. That kind of a Monday.

lemmling-Cartoon-owl-African-800pxMade it in for an 8:30 workout to see if it would adjust my mood any. Was a cranky bear yesterday (I felt bad afterwards). Not sure if it was the time change (daylight savings time is stupid) or the fact that I ate pizza, drank soda, had cookies, AND candy on Saturday night. Might have been a combination of things (day had a rough start).

But that was yesterday. What would today hold? Technical difficulties and burpees. Damn burpees.

There were a few of us with Coach Drea this morning – Dave, Emily, KB, and myself. And I think we were all a little owly.

We started with 2 minutes on the rower or bike and then did 2 rounds of:

  • 15 overhead lunges (step forward for first set, step back for second)
  • 20 second hollow body hold (first set), 20 seconds of hollow body rocks (second)
  • 20 second arch body hold (first set), 20 seconds of arch body rocks (second)
  • 10 PVC passthrus
  • 10 false grip ring rows

illustrated-squatFrom there it was to some air squat practice, some back squat practice, and then back squat warm-ups and burpee warm-ups.

  • Metcon: Rounds and Reps
  • 20 minute AMRAP
  • Performance
    • 20 burpees
    • 10x 3/4 body weight back squats

Yeah, burpees were the worst part of that whole thing, though the squats got more difficult as I went on.Β Β I used 165# for my 3/4 body weight back squats and normal burpees.

It was recommended we use this as practice for the two-footed hop method of burpees that’s being used in the Open this year, or mix that with some step-in style burpees. I did the first 45 burpees with the hopping style and the rest were mostly step-ins.

Made it through 4 full rounds plus 14 more burpees in the 20 minutes.


My issue was my right shoulder. It got very cranky, as it always does, creating longer and longer breaks in both burpees and back squats. But I felt like most of my squats were pretty good and my burpees, at least the first couple of rounds, were decent.

Everybody was hopping. And Emily was shouting at me for motivation during the workout, which I appreciated. 5 more minutes! 2 more minutes! Time was going very slowly it seemed. πŸ™‚

Anyway – great work 8:30 class and thanks Drea!


18.3 and I’m still jumping

Who knew that attempting hundreds of jump rope attempts would cause a body to not want to sit down for a couple of hours afterwards for fear of not being able to get back up? I’m going to say Dave Castro knew, but he designed the damn workout!

So last night was Friday Night Lights for 18.3. From Clan Fitzpatrick it was just me making an appearance, but I was hardly alone. The place was hopping and at least two heats had already gone before I got there about 5:30. πŸ™‚ It was a great turnout!

There are many goats...That said, I have to admit some nerves about this one for me. Double-unders are a goat of mine. My motto has been “singles forever!” for a long time because I can’t quite seem to get doubles together.

And every year, Castro works them into a workout somewhere.


Anyway. Even if not for the double-unders, he managed to work ring and bar muscle-ups into the equation. I would have been tripped up somewhere, I’m sure.

So watching the 18.3 announcement on Thursday night (rather, listening to it in the car), I already decided to go scaled instead of Rx. 14 minutes of double-under practice wouldn’t amount to many reps for me, so why beat myself up over it (literally and figuratively).

  • jumpropeWORKOUT 18.3 – 2 rounds for time
    • 100 double-unders
    • 20 overhead squats (115#)
    • 100 double-unders
    • 12 ring muscle-ups
    • 100 double-unders
    • 20 dumbbell snatches (50#)
    • 100 double-unders
    • 12 bar muscle-ups
  • Time cap: 14 minutes

Last night, Drea was kind enough to judge me and asked if I was going to try double-unders. I said I wasn’t – too frustrating. I’d rather just push and see how far I got.

So I did the scaled version of 18.3:

  • WORKOUT 18.3 (Scaled) – 2 rounds for time
    • 100 single-unders
    • 20 overhead squats (45#)
    • 100 single-unders
    • 12 chin-over-bar pull-ups
    • 100 single-unders
    • 20 dumbbell snatches (35#)
    • 100 single-unders
    • 12 chin-over-bar pull-ups
  • Time cap: 14 minutes

Can I just say that even 800 single-unders is a daunting task?

First 100 went fine and then a funny thing happened. I picked up the 45# bar and was shocked at how light it felt. I was positive it was the wrong bar. Drea set me straight and I plowed forward with 20 unbroken OHS.

28958407_10156127261599648_2401728952960811008_nSecond 100 I started getting into trouble. Took me a while for every round after that first one because I tightened up. And due to that, I kept whacking myself in the back of the head with the rope. Repeatedly. It was annoying. πŸ™‚

I broke up each set of pull-ups into two sets of 6. I did the dumbbell snatches unbroken. And I did the second set of OHS in two sets of 10. But those single-unders were awful.

When all was said and done, I managed to get through 631 reps. All the way through the first round plusΒ 100 single-unders,Β 20 overhead squats, andΒ 47 more single-unders. Woot!

631 of 928 total reps is 68% of the workout. I made it further than 2/3 of the way in that 14 minutes. Took me 11:43 to get through the first round, but hey. πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! I watched a lot of folks do amazingly well with their double-unders (woot! Emily!!), so that gives me hope for next year. πŸ™‚

Now if my knees will forgive me and my calves unclench sometime soon!!!!


Dumbbells… Nothing more than dumbbells…

What is with all the dumbbells lately? Geez!

Made it in for the 8:30 with Coach Drea today… And we had Todd & Melissa, KB, and Jonathan too. It was a fun class (most of them are, truth be told). We worked through one round of the week’s warm-up top to bottom and got right to some dumbbell work.Β The tail end of the warm-up included some overhead walking lunges and waiter carries with a dumbbell.

25pound-dumbbellThen we did a brief refresher on dumbbell deadlifts and dumbbell push presses for the WOD…

  • 7 rounds for time:
  • 14 dumbbell deadlifts
  • 14 alternating dumbbell shoulder presses
  • Competitor: 50/35# dumbbells
  • Performance: 35/20#
  • Fitness: 20/10#

We didn’t have a ton of 35# dumbbells at the box, but I’m still a bit cautious about my left arm, which eventually gives me some difficulties. I scaled down to 25# dumbbells for the whole thing and just pushed as hard as I could. I broke the 7 rounds into chunks – 3 rounds unbroken, then 2 rounds unbroken, and 2 more rounds unbroken. Last round felt rough on the left side, but we pushed through to the very last ugly rep. πŸ™‚

Gymnastics-ringsMade it through the whole thing in 6:40. Not bad since we were shooting for 6-8 minutes and I was right in there. I suspect that 30# dumbbells would have been ok, but 35# might have forced me to break the rounds down further.

Once everybody was done, we started some work on ring muscle-up transitions on the low rings. Definitely something I need to work on. That false grip is a bugger.

But when I got to the high rings, I’m happy to say I pulled further than ever before and ALMOST got to the point where I could transition from pull to push. Nice to see some progress after a few years. πŸ™‚

Caleb & Brent shared their input on ring muscle-ups as well, so that was kind of fun. πŸ™‚

And then at the tail end I did my strict reps:

  • Made it to 6 strict pull-ups
  • and 11 strict ring dips

Progress! Great work today everybody! Fun, short workout and good way to kick off my crazy day today.

Now let’s see what Castro has in store for us for 18.3… πŸ™‚



Just Keep Scaling, Scaling, Scaling…

This has been a weird week. I knew it would be and had a plan. Monday I worked out in the morning. Yesterday I had meetings and commitments but had a plan to row at home… but that was thwarted by addiction to a new video game on the computer. Darn those time sinks. πŸ™‚ Today I was able to sneak into a 4:45 class. πŸ™‚

Coach Isaac had his hands full. Karen, Marino & Deana, Shaun, Sean, Nick, and I gave him a little bit of grief here and there as we worked through the warm-up. I think most of us were still a little sore from 18.2, but we kept moving as best we could.

snatch5Once we were done with the warm-up, we did a little refresher to warm up our snatch technique and box jumps before we tackled the actual workout…

  • 21-15-9
  • Snatch
  • Box jumps
    • 115#/24″ box or 75/20″ box (Competitor)
    • 95#/20″ or 65#/16″ (Performance)
    • 65#/16″ or 45/12″ (Fitness)

As you might have imagined from my subject line, my workout was a little different:

  • 21-15-9
  • 115# snatch
  • 20″ box jumps and step-ups (started with 10 box jumps and shifted to step-ups)

box-jump-failMy technique was a little off with the snatches, leaning way forward at the bottom rather than sitting back on my heels. Isaac made some suggestions as I chugged through. Some reps were definitely better than others.

The time domain for this one was somewhere between 6 and 10 or 12 minutes. I split the difference and finished in 7:40. Not bad.

So why did I scale? My right shoulder was popping during snatches as we warmed up. I think I aggravated it during the warm-up by hanging on the rig. But I didn’t feel as stable in that wide hand grip position as I do in other positions, so I didn’t risk it. I did one 95# snatch to warm up and got it up, but it didn’t feel great.

As far as the box jumps, I went in thinking that I would try and bang out as many jumps as I could – but after 10 my knees were complaining a bit, so I dialed that back too.

A little wimpy perhaps, but I kept moving for that 7-8 minutes, so I think it was ok.

We’ll see how tomorrow’s workout goes ahead of the 18.3 announcement from Castro tomorrow night. πŸ™‚ Great work 4:45 class! And thanks Isaac for the tips!


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