The Trick is to Keep Breathing…

There’s a song on the album Version 2.0 from the band Garbage called “The Trick is to Keep Breathing.” And though the lyrics don’t really apply to today’s workout, holy cow the title does. In fact, I think Coach Larry may have mentioned that a time or two.

Due to some schedule conflicts at the box today, I ended up attending the 4:30 class. It was fine, it worked out with my schedule and we had a great mix of folks. Coach Larry was at the helm and we had Brent, Nick, Deana, Stacie, Karen, and Dee. And before the end we had a whole mess of other folks there as well, including Bill & Isaac.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532We started with a 400m run, 500m row, or 2 1/2 minutes on the assault bike after doing a bit of mobility work with a foam roller, band, or lacrosse ball. I opted for the row after trying to stretch out my hammies using the green band for a while.

From there we moved to a spicy little three round warm-up:

  • 20 seconds of hollow body hold
  • 10 dumbbell or kettle bell thrusters
  • 10 toes to PVC pipe over your head (lie on the floor on your back with the PVC in your hands in overhead squat position and then try to touch your feet to the pipe)

I was sweating just after that little warm-up, let me tell you.

Then we moved to an empty barbell for a series of movements:

  • Good mornings
  • Back squats
  • Straight leg deadlifts
  • Front squats
  • Elbow rotations

toes-to-bar-big-shoesFrom there we moved to the rig to work on toes to bar. Now, this is not one of my best movements. There’s something about folding myself in half against gravity that doesn’t work well for me yet. That seemed to be a theme tonight.

The workout was short and deadlier than I thought:

  • 15-12-9 reps for time of:
  • Toes-to-bars (or hanging knee raises)
  • Wall-ball shots, 20/14# med ball (or 14/10# ball)
  • 75/55# thrusters (or 55/40#)

We had enough people that we divided up into two groups. The first group would go while the second group “judged” them – sort of like we were doing a Friday Night Lights during the CrossFit Open. I “judged” Dee, which turned out to mostly be just me encouraging her to a bit lower on her squats (thrusters and wall balls) or tuck her knees higher on her knees to elbows.

b75ac7a7ce81ec85437a3429f395a444She did great and was done in 8:03 I think at level 1.

Then I tackled it and by the end of the first round of T2B, I knew I was in trouble. My T2B were wild and unpredictable. I can usually get my feet up near the bar, but it was hit and miss as to whether my feet actually touched it.

Got through it and struggled with the first set of 15 wall balls and thrusters, then moved back to the rig for more T2B. I did about 5 T2B with a lot of breaks and shifted to knees-to-elbows. I could not breathe well enough or consistently get my feet to the bar on the rig to make it worth the time it was going to take to finish. I got through the 12 wall balls and thrusters a bit easier though. Did the thrusters in two sets of 6.

By the time I got back to the last set of wall balls and thrusters, I just wanted to be done. I banged out 9 wall balls and broke the 9 thrusters in to 5 and 4 I think.

There were a LOT of breaks to try and catch my breath. Far more than normal and I attribute that to those toes to bar. I struggled to catch my breath when I was done so I could clean up my equipment. Brent helped.

I sat down on the bench to get my stuff together on the way out and Deana asked if my throat was burning. I said yes. Everything from throat to upper chest was burning because I couldn’t breathe.

b742e33b69b654adda63103b0732138b89c5e4886b3cc3e0a4d8e6763fc18bdfGot into the car and sat for a few more minutes to catch my breath. Coughed my way home like I was having an asthma attack.

Got home and sat just trying to calm breathing and drink some water. It took me the better part of an hour from the time I finished the workout to the point where I was breathing somewhat normally again.

What in the heck happens with those T2B to kick my butt so badly? Whatever it is, that was AWFUL.

I looked at the leaderboard after this workout and saw times going from less than 4 minutes to 9 minutes. Most were in the 5-7 range. A few stretched to 9 (which was apparently the time cap earlier in the day).

But here’s the thing… I finished. I wanted to stop. Damn I really wanted to stop. But I kept chugging along as best I can, no matter how long it took.

Doesn’t bode well for the Open this year. I think breathing is kind of an important part of the equation.

Like Larry (and Shirley Manson of Garbage) said… The trick is to keep breathing.

Thanks to everyone for all the encouragement. I needed it. 🙂


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