All posts by grnknight

Brian Fitzpatrick is a writer and software engineer who lives in Colorado Springs, CO, with his wife, two girls, two dogs, two cats, and attempts to survive the chaos!

Grip Killer

This morning there was a little bit of a happy dance as I sent my daughters off to school. And a certain amount of melancholy as I accepted that I’d be the lone representative of our household at the 8:30 crossfit class. But I’ll get over it. πŸ™‚

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upI arrived along with Melissa & Carrie and the three of us tackled the workout Coach Drea set before us. Of course, we had to begin with an entertaining warm-up first.

  • 200m run
  • inchworms
  • slow plank to push-ups
  • crab walks
  • hollow body rocks
  • bear crawls

then we went outside for…

  • 50m run forward
  • 50m run backward
  • 50m side shuffle down
  • 50 m side shuffle back

When we got back inside we did a bit of a refresher on dumbbell push-jerks before doing deficit push-ups on dumbbells. Considering that I thought it was going to be handstand push-ups, regular push-ups weren’t so bad.

20-lbs-dumbbell1

The workout was pretty straightforward:

  • 5 rounds for time (3 rounds for Level I):
  • 200-meter farmers carry
  • 20 deficit push-ups, hands on dumbbells (12 deficit push-ups at level II) (20 knee push-ups at level I)
  • 10 push jerks
  • Rx was 60# dumbbells, Level II was 40/30# dumbbells, Level I was 25/15# dumbbells

Farmer’s Carry is always a bear for your grip. Today was no different. And my workout ended up being a bit all over the place.

  • 200m farmer’s carry (55# kb round 1, 35# kb round 2, 35# kb passed hand Β to hand round 3, 35# kb two hands round 4, 35# passed hand to hand round 5)
  • 12 deficit push-ups
  • 10 push-jerks with 20# dumbbells (when grip went in round 2, I started doing right-arm only for a bit, but mixed and matched one and two-arm push jerks from that point on)

It took me 24:02. Carrie finished in a bit under 19. And Melissa was done about the same time I was.

1u4raz

This was definitely a grip killer.

When the easiest part of the workout for me is the deficit push-ups? That’s weird. But this all comes down to my forearms not wanting to release. They get “swole” and then that’s it. So I need to do more to roll them out and figure out how to loosen them up a bit.

But thanks for the encouragement Drea and great work Melissa & Carrie. They did awesome!

Jumping Bar Muscle-ups

Today is a sad day and yet a happy one. Sure, it’s Monday and that brings with it all sorts of the regular baggage that Mondays have — but it’s the last day of Summer vacation for my girls. They go back to school tomorrow. And though I’m happy that we’re going to get back to a normal routine, I’ll miss being able to work out with the girls at crossfit more often.

So we went in for a 9:30 class today (had to see the vampires and get some blood drawn for a thyroid check earlier in the day) with Coach Bill. We had a big class! Brent, Lara, Elyse & Lyle, Lisa & Nick, plus the three of us.

rower5

We started with some “rowling” — bowling with the rowers — where each team of 3 had to rotate through attempting to hit 100m exactly on the rower. For each meter above or below (to a max of 5), each member of the team had to do some pull-ups. I teamed up with the girls and we did pretty well. I think I hit 101, 101, and 102, so not too bad. The most we had to do was 5 and the girls ended with two “strikes” – each hitting 100m on the dot.

We were joking that it’s really awful that we have such a horrible time when we go to work out. And we pay for it. πŸ™‚ We were laughing and giving each other grief. It was fun.

With that done, we grabbed some medicine balls (20/14#) and started warming up some cleans. First some med ball deadlifts, then shrugs, then power cleans, then front squats, then full squat cleans. Sometimes I think the medicine ball is harder than even an empty barbell because it has a little weight but you really have to focus on the movement every time.

rogue-black-med-ball-web6_1From there we moved to the rig or rings to find our spots for muscle-up transitions, jumping muscle-ups, or kipping muscle-ups. Lyle, Brent, and Nick all did full kipping muscle-ups on the rings. Elyse, Lara, and Lisa worked together doing transitions off a stack of plates. And Mickey and AJ did some transition work from a ring dip position.

Bill wanted me to start on a box and go to a high bar on the rig, but I couldn’t get that to work right, either with a soft foam box or a regular wood one. So I moved the low bar (usually the kids use it) from the left side of the rig to the right and set that up so I could do jumping muscle-ups from the floor. Took me a few to get the hang of it again, but that was better.

I really think I have issues with the height of the rig sometimes, which is interesting since it doesn’t seem to affect me doing pull-ups. My brain works in weird ways, but we already knew that.

20799352_1796102643738014_1232823741035992555_nThe workout was a good one…

  • 12-minute AMRAP:
    • 1 weighted muscle-up (or kipping muscle-up, jumping muscle-up, or muscle-up progression)
    • 5 medicine-ball cleans
    • 2 weighted muscle-ups
    • 10 medicine-ball cleans
    • 3 weighted muscle-ups
    • 15 medicine-ball cleans
    • 4 weighted muscle-ups
    • 20 medicine-ball cleans
    • Etc., adding one muscle-up and 5 med-ball cleans each round.
  • Use a 20/14-lb. ball for both exercises.

Though we were warned that the medicine ball cleans would probably be the limiting part of the workout, I only half believed it until we started. πŸ™‚ Guess what? They were!

I was shooting to get through the round of 5/25 and got into the jumping muscle-ups in the 6th round. So I made it to 5+4, which turned out to be 94 reps.

Mickey and AJ both were doing ring muscle-up progressions and using a 14# medicine ball. Mickey made it through 93 reps (5 rounds + 3) and AJ made it through 130 reps (6 rounds + 4).

They’re both little beasties and I love that they get to work out with tough, strong ladies like Elyse, Lisa, Lara, and many others at our box when they get in. Great role models.

So I’ll take it. That was a tough 12 minutes, but a fun one. πŸ™‚

Thanks Bill for wrangling class today! (And for all the pictures!)

Last Workout of Summer!

Team WOD!

After two weekends with too much soccer, we had a break this weekend — so it was definitely time to fit in a team WOD at Crossfit Continuum. Though Mickey had to work, 3/4 of our family had the opportunity to get in. And we were definitely not alone. We had an amazing turnout.

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Ev worked with Danielle. AJ had a chance to work out with Kaila. And Jonathan and I partnered up and Isaac joined in the fun as well. As you can see, we were just a small part of the madness. πŸ™‚

Started with a light 400m jog and then did a strange little centipede crab walk race. Guys on one side. Gals on the other. And it was a disaster. We had enough guys that we almost made it the whole length between cones without moving, but moving was hilarious. The person in front of you had their hands on your feet and you were supposed to do the same with the person behind you, then somehow move forward.

If I’m being honest, the gals made it look easy. And we were awful. πŸ™‚

1tjdsfWith all that done, we grabbed equipment, found space on the floor and figured out how to make the insanity work.

  • Score Type: In Teams of 2, Competing for Total Time
  • Partner 1 performs 50 KB Swings 55/35# (each partner does 50 reps)
  • Partner 2 holds Handstand
  • **handstand broken=5 burpees
  • Partner 1 performs 50 Box Jumps (each partner does 50 reps)
  • Partner 2 holds 45/25# plate overhead
  • **overhead position broken=5 burpees
  • Partner 1 perform 50 sit-ups (each 50 reps)
  • Partner 2 hold bottom of squat with KB
  • **squat position broken=5 burpees
  • Partner 1 complete 200 meter run (each partner will complete 2 runs)
  • Partner 2 hold plank
  • **plank broken=5 burpees when runner returns

With a box, a 55# kettlebell, and an abmat, we got underway.

We started with the run at the end instead of the kettlebell swings to avoid the madhouse inside. I ran 200m with Isaac while Jonathan planked, then did the reverse, and went through the whole thing one more time.

kettlebell-swing

The KB swings were interesting. Jonathan did really well holding a handstand on the wall, but we broke it up a few times, and I was right there with him.

As far as the box jumps (24″ jumps for Jonathan or 20″ step-ups in my case), the 45# plate didn’t feel too bad overhead honestly. Jonathan may not agree. πŸ™‚

And then the sit-ups. The squat with a KB was interesting. We basically sat at the bottom, put our elbows on our knees, and held the 53# KB at the bottom. I held all the way through Jonathan’s 50 sit-ups, but only barely. And I had to break up my sit-ups (26/24), so that slowed us down a bit.

I have to say that we only did two sets of 5 “penalty” burpees with the KB swing and box jumps rounds, but we didn’t during the sit-ups (though we should have done some there too). But the rest of the movements were plenty I think. πŸ™‚

By the time we were all done, it took 29:20 for us to finish up. Not too bad. Definitely a lot of reps. Both AJ/Kaila and Ev/Danielle were done before us (24:17 for AJ/Kaila and under 26 for Ev/Danielle), which was great. And I heard that at least one team (Dan & Adi) was done in 20 flat, which was fantastic.

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So great work everybody! It was a fun one — a great mix of movements to keep things hopping. And an amazing turnout!

With soccer season starting, we’ll make as many team WOD Saturdays as we can, but it’s definitely going to be hit and miss. They’re always a fun challenge!

Hope everybody has a great weekend!

Sleepy Shoulders

Yes, I’ll explain the title of this post eventually. πŸ™‚

Today was a rare occurrence. The entire Fitzpatrick clan made it into CrossFit Continuum for a workout– gasp! We were joined by Todd & Melissa, Caleb & Andy, Elyse, and Brent. Coach Drea had her hands full. πŸ™‚

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1We started with 3 minutes on the rower or the bike and some mobility, then moved to three rounds of:

  • 10 PVC pass-throughs
  • 10 PVC overhead squats (pizza box style)
  • 15 second handstand hold on the wall

Then the double-under flogging began. We did a lot of practice. I didn’t get a single double-under in practice. But I did a lot of flogging. πŸ™‚

From there we grabbed empty barbells and went through a good number of overhead squats for practice. Added some weight and I did 75# and 95# OHS to warm-up. I’m glad I can’t do double-unders because I think 135# might have killed me for OHS.

The workout was interesting we had 7 minutes to get as many rounds and reps as possible of:

  • 50 double-unders (or 30 single-unders plus double-under practice)
  • 10 overhead squats (135/95# Rx, 95/65# L2, 55/35# L1)

Essentially we did a couple of double-under practice jumps, 30 single-unders, and then the overhead squats.

t-rex-double-undersI’m happy to say (and surprised) that I actually achieved three actual double-unders during that part of the workout. I still need to swap out the slightly longer cable I have for my jump rope, but I was happy with that today.

As far as the OHS… I can say that I did them. But here’s where the sleepy shoulders come in.

I actually had my right shoulder and arm go to sleep during the middle of the second round and all of the third round. It was a challenge to keep it locked out. And afterwards it was definitely tingly all the way down to the hand and took a bit to get circulation going again.

But still… I survived and apparently I wasn’t far off of the majority of folks. Drea wanted us to push for 7 rounds. I got half that:

  • I got 3 rounds + 30 reps with 95# overhead squats, double-under practice, and 30 single-unders (plus 3 doubles! woot!)
  • Ev got 3 plus 32 with 65# OHS the first round and 55# the next three, plus dbl under practice and 30+ singles
  • Mickey got 6 rounds of 15# OHS plus 30 singles. It was a good test for her ankle.
  • And AJ got 5 plus 39 with 15# OHS, double-under practice and 30 singles

I had little Andy behind me and he did awesome with his PVC pipe OHS and a ton of single-unders.

So all in all I think it was a success. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea!

Next up… I’m looking forward to team workout on Saturday. Woot!

Kipping HSPUs? Bring ’em on

Yesterday was a fun workout to start the week, so what would today hold? Every day is a bit different when you do crossfit, and that’s the biggest reason (next to the amazing people I get to play with and our coaches) that I think I’ve continued with it — constant variety. You aren’t doing the same thing every workout. And you have fun. Life is good when you have that kind of combination I think.

5a40c7b80a3baebb2ffe37a87c422f94--parenting-memes-parenting-teenagers-humorSo today I had BOTH daughters go work out with me. Mickey is still rehabbing the twisted ankle, but there was no running so she thought she’d do ok. And AJ wanted to sleep in with the dog, but felt “peer pressured” into going this morning, so she went too.

We weren’t alone… Coach Drea had the three of us, plus Dee, Caleb, and Brianne. My girls may have been grumbling when they got there, but they did well once they got underway.

Warm-ups started with:

  • A pair of folks (I rowed with Caleb) doing 100m each, 2x through (we did 3x)
  • 30 second handstand hold
  • air squats on the wall (hands overhead)
  • Another 2x row 100m
  • Hollow body hold
  • 10 push-ups
  • some HSPU practice on the floor with plank push-ups and then pike push-ups
  • HSPU practice on the wall
  • some deadlift warm-ups

And then we warmed up to our working weights for the workout itself.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1The workout was a good one:

  • Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
    • 30 squats
    • 20 handstand push-ups
    • 10 deadlifts, 225/155#
  • Level II: 30/10/10@ 175/115#
  • Level I: 20/10 push-ups/10 @ 115/75#

Though I can do 225# deadlifts, I can’t do them quickly. And 20 HSPUs would be enough to kill me in one round. So (with Drea’s blessing) I went to Level II — 175# on the barbell, 10 kipping HSPUs, and air squats. I was shooting for 3 rounds.

I made it through 3 rounds plus 33 reps (30 squats + 3 HSPUs). 33 total kipping HSPUs is the most I’ve done in a long time, so that made me happy. With a good kip HSPUs get much easier. Go figure. πŸ™‚

The girls did well too:

  • AJ got through 3+45 (85# deadlifts, HSPU on a box, and 30 air squats)
  • Mickey got through 4+8 (85# deadlifts, a handful of HSPUs and mostly pike push-ups, and 30 air squats)

1kiekqI was only a couple of reps behind Caleb, so that made me happy. I never stopped moving. I just wanted a few more HSPUs at the end but it took me three tries to kick up to the wall and stay there. Oh well.

Great work 8:30 class!

The 9:30 folks were getting started (Nick, Lisa, Brent, and Elyse) when we headed out, so hopefully they have a good time with it.

So far this week has been good on the workout train. Tomorrow is a rest day, then in Thursday mid-day and looks like we’ll make a Saturday team WOD, so that makes me happy!

Thanks Drea!

The Rope Trick

Isn’t it amusing that we usually put so much emphasis on Mondays because it’s the “first day of the week” in most cases — but that’s just a made-up thing for human “convenience” and tracking purposes really. It’s just another day, but it gets such a bad rap for being the first day back to work for most of us after a couple of days off.

Anyway… Today we had all sorts of “fun” things to look forward to… The first of the back-to-school madness events (we have another one tomorrow). Back to work for both my wife and I. A rainy fall-like day that would have been perfect to sleep in. And a later morning workout with my youngest. So no, it wasn’t all bad.

1tq3mvWe arrived to find Kelli & Lara running in the rain for Coach Drea and kicking butt from the 8:30 class. Our 9:30 class was pretty full — me & AJ, Nick & Lisa, Brent, Ashley, Carrie, Lorna, and Lyle. A great mix of folks — as always. πŸ™‚

Because of the rain we didn’t do our warm up outside. Instead we worked inside. Started with a 1 minute row/bike, did a 30 second hang on the rig, 20 arm-less sit-ups, and a fun monkey swinging side-to-side thing on the rig. Hang on the rig with both hands. Let go with one hand and touch the hip on that side, Grab the bar again. Do the same with the other side.

It was almost like being on the monkey bars as a kid. When I asked Drea if it was inspired by the obstacle course from the CrossFit Games, she said it wasn’t but was intrigued by the idea. πŸ™‚ (Also — congrats to Coach Drea — she just got her level 3 coaching certificate this past weekend — she’s only the 2nd level 3 coach in all of Colorado Springs, so that’s a phenomenal resource for our box!)

With all that done, we did some skill practice with GHD sit-ups and rope climbs. I honestly am awful at rope climbs. I’ve managed one legless rope climb largely because I just went for it with no expectations and almost made it to the top. I think if I could figure out how to wrap my feet I’d be able to get things going better — so that’s my goal. πŸ™‚

new-ghd-header2Today’s workout was:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Rx
    • 4 rounds for time of:
    • 25 GHD sit-ups
    • 15-ft. rope climb, 3 ascents
    • 400-meter run

Because of the number of folks and lack of equipment, today became less about time and more about skill work — which was honestly ok with me. It gave me some time to work on my leg wraps and GHD sit-ups, which was great.

We kind of paired up and divided into phases. Some of us started with the GHD, others with the rope climbs, and a few others with the cardio portion of the workout.

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pOur workout ended up being more:

  • 4 rounds for time of:
  • 10-15 GHD sit-ups (or GHD sit-ups to parallel)
  • work on rope climbs — in my case, try a J-hook and stand on the rope, eventually get a stable J-hook, hold onto the rope, and re-establish the J-hook
  • 500m row (AJ did about 2 minutes on the assault bike)

Some people chose to run in the rain, but I figured that was a bad idea. I might melt. πŸ™‚

Really it became a fun workout because although time didn’t really come into the equation as much, I could focus on a 500m sprint on the rower (from a little less than 2 minutes to a little more than 2 minutes over the 4 rounds), working on the J-hook, and doing some GHD sit-ups with AJ. I actually am happy to report my GHD sit-ups didn’t feel awful — though towards the end it was easier to hit my right hand on the floor behind me than my left, so I went from a two-handed touch to a one-handed touch eventually.

This one, as opposed to some of the workouts last week which were either sprints or grinders where you had 250 reps to bang out, was just for fun and skill. It was a nice change from last week. πŸ™‚

That said, I need to come in once we get new ropes at the box and just play with figuring out the J-hook or Spanish wrap to get up the rope. I would like to conquer the rope and make it a bit more efficient.

A huge thank you to Lorna, Brent, and Drea for helping get my feet in the right place. I wasn’t grokking the movement at first, but eventually I got more of the hang of it.

Great work everybody! Stay dry and have a great day!

Pushing More 50s

What have I done? I’m thinking the answer is “too much” as I learn a few things about myself getting a little older. But we’ll put that aside for now.

Today was workout #4 in a row for me this week. That’s unusual. Usually I try to do two on, one off, or one on-one off. Four in a row may be a bit much. Yesterday’s Fran just about killed me. I didn’t feel back to “normal” until a few hours afterwards with some ibuprofen and a 30 minute “nap”.

1tjdmu

So what did today hold? Like Monday, this was another of the 50s. And it was Joe and I facing it under the watchful eye of Coach Bill today. Was good to see Bill — he’s been busy of late, so was good to have him back. I like the variety of coaching we have at Continuum and we’ve had a good mix in recent weeks with Drea, Larry, and Bill picking up the morning and noon classes.

We started with a 1000m row. Bill gave us a 5 minute max on this one, but I decided I’d try and use my more efficient rowing approach to see how I’d do at speed. Turned out I finished 1000m in just under 4 minutes, which was awesome. And Joe wasn’t far behind me.

cf467a66561ac32ffcdb987f818704bf--tabata-quotes-tabata-humor

From there we did some tabatas involving wall balls, push-ups, and sit-ups.

  • 4 rounds of 20 seconds of wall balls and 10 seconds of holding a front squat with the medicine ball at the bottom
  • then 4 rounds of 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 second transition, and 20 seconds of sit-ups

I have to say I struggled more than a little with all of the tabata. My lats, quads, shoulders, and just about everything else was unhappy with me. I honestly wasn’t sure how much of some of the movements today I was going to be able to do and planned to scale in a few places.

1tjdsfThe workout itself was another set of 50s… for time:

  • 50 jumping alternating lunges, 50 steps
  • 50 pull-ups
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

For me, this became:

  • 50 walking lunges (scaled)
  • 50 jumping or regular pull-ups (scaled)
  • 50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
  • 50 hip extensions
  • 50 burpees

Joe did a round of all movements (walking lunges and jumping/regular pull-ups) and did the 40s variation (level 2).

This one was rough. My body was really telling me off in a few places. The walking lunges were rough, but not terrible. The push presses were ok. The hip extensions were ok. But the pull-ups and burpees… ugh.

I originally set out to do three sets – 20/20/10 – but after doing the first set of 20, I decided I’d just suffer through a set of 30 to be done. My pull-ups started as jumping but I did about 15 kipping pull-ups in the round of 30 so tried to mix it up a bit. The burpees were a slog. 5 at a time.

tired-just-tired

Joe no-repped me at one point, jokingly, but he was right. My burpees are not legit burpees. I don’t raise my arms over my head. I do jump, but find that the whole full extension thing doesn’t do me any favors. Throwing my arms over my head for no good reason is a good way to not only make me slow way the heck down but also really want to stop… a lot.

Ultimately I was happy with the results. Took me 22:51. We had a 30 minute time cap and I was closer to 20 than 30, which was good. πŸ™‚

Considering how sore I was when i went in today, I’ll take it. Now I’m done for a bit.

Great work Joe! And thanks Bill (and Joe & Logan) for the encouragement. πŸ™‚ Hope everybody has a great day!