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!

More Shoulder Work

Yesterday was pull-pull-pull… Today was push. Still shoulder intensive, but not nearly as much of a struggle despite the movements. πŸ™‚

Made it in at 8:30 with AJ for Coach Lara’s class… We had a huge class since it’s during Thanksgiving Break for a lot of folks. Lisa, Carrie, Larry, Todd & Melissa, Dave, Andrew & Ashley, and the new gal whose name I still haven’t figured out. There were 11 of us, plus Drea was working with a new member in a separate workout — so the place was hopping today.

Because we had a lot to get through today, we started with a simple warm-up:

  • 500m row or 2 mins on bike or 2 mins of single-unders (more like 90 seconds, but who’s counting? πŸ™‚ )
  • 10 inchworms to side plank
  • 10 single arm (no weight) overhead squats focusing on good form
  • 10 banded good mornings
  • 30 second pectoral stretch on the wallΒ 
  • and 10 arm circles on the wallΒ 

From there we grabbed some light dumbbells and focused on the movements at hand: a single dumbbell overhead squat and then bench press. We paired up on bench (thanks Andrew for being my partner today) and folks did the dumbbell work largely on their own.Β 

The workout was:

  • single-arm dumbbell overhead squat 5-5-5-5-5
  • bench press 3-3-3-3-3
  • 5 attempts at a max set of triple unders or 10 minutes of jump rope practice

So how’d it go?Β 

Well, for the dumbbell overhead squats, I stayed light and focused on form.Β 

  • 15# x5
  • 20# x5
  • 20# x5
  • 25# x5
  • 25# x5

And Andrew and I did ok at the bench press:

  • 135# x3
  • 145# x3
  • 155# x3
  • 165# 3
  • 175# x3

My one rep is 230# (back in April 2016), so 175# is 76% of my 1RM, so that’s not bad. I could have gone further I think, but I was happy with the result.

And at the end I did some double-under practice. Again, no double-unders were harmed during my practice. But I did give it a shot until I whacked myself in the back of the head with the rope. πŸ™‚

AJ did awesome as well — she managed her last set of DB OHS with the same 25# dumbbell I did and she got to 80# for 1 rep in her 4th set and 2 reps in her 5th set, so that counts as 3 reps in my book. πŸ™‚

Everybody was doing really well and I saw a few people achieve the fictional triple-under as well — so great work everybody! Thanks Lara for the encouragement and thanks again Andrew for being my bench partner today.Β 


Three Rounds of Pull Pull PULL!

Yesterday was another rest day, but I’m not sure even another day would have prepared me for today’s pull-fest workout! Made it in for the 8:30 WOD with Coach Drea, Dave, Janiece & Greg, Melissa S, Larry, Maria, and a nice new gal whose name I didn’t catch.

We started out by skipping the run (it was more than a little slick out in the building parking lot) and did:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 PVC good mornings
  • 20 single-unders
  • 30-60 seconds of double-under attempts (or 20 doubles) — no doubles were harmed during this time (I achieved exactly zero!)
  • 30 seconds per side with a wall-based pectoral stretch
  • and then 10 wall pectoral circles

After that we did some sumo deadlift high pull and pull-up practice. Though the SDHPs were light (only 75#), I was a little concerned about the high rep count we were doing, with the bar and at the rig. The rowing — not so much. I can usually do 1000m in 4-5 minutes so I wasn’t too worried about that.Β 

The workout?

  • 3 rounds for time
    • 1000m row (500m for Fitness)
    • 50 SDHPs (or 40 for Performance, 20 for Fitness) (75/55#, 45/35# for Fitness)
    • 25 pull-ups (or 20 for Performance, 10 ring rows for Fitness)

And yeah, it was every bit as rough as I thought. I finished the first round in about 9 minutes. As you might imagine, I slowed down after that. πŸ™‚

Took me 35:15 to finish Performance level with the following tweaks. Due to the number of folks in the class (there were 8 of us) a few of us changed the order of the workout and then I scaled a bit in round 2…

  • 3 rounds for time
    • 20 pull-ups (10 pull-ups and 10 ring rows in rounds 2 & 3)
    • 40 SDHPs @ 75#
    • 1000m row
  • Total time: 35:15

Yowza. My pull was shot after the first round — and it got worse from there. But I finished. That was the main thing.

Mentally I wasn’t quite in the right mood when I went in. Out of sorts after a rough night of sleep I guess, but I pushed through that and did what I could.

Thanks Drea! And great work everybody!

Kalsu, Team Style

When Coach Jimmy throws together a team WOD for Saturdays, we always know it’s going to kick our butts. Today was no different. Ev and I headed in and we were far from alone — Caleb & Megan, Nick & Lisa, Scott, Brian, Bill, Shaun & Stacy, Jordan & Lara, and a few others… there were quite a few of us hopping around like crazy people.

We started with an abbreviated Hinshaw warm-up — butt kickers, high knees, Spider-man lunges, toy soldiers,etc. — and then got right into some thruster warm-ups with an empty barbell. We found our “teams of two” and tried to figure out strategies for “Tag Team Kalsu” as Jim called it. (For regular Kalsu, see here.)

  • EMOM for 17 minutes, teams of 2
    • 5 burpees, both team members
    • max rep thrusters, 135/95#, one team member working at a time
    • team members can alternate during thrusters as needed

So our team-up? Ev and I. She started with 65# thrusters and dropped to 55# after the first minute. I stayed at 95# for the whole workout. And it was the burpees that killed me.Β 

This was a rough one… it started out ok, but after round 6, I began to fall apart. πŸ™‚

These look a lot better than mine did. πŸ™‚
  • 5 burpees each, 5 thrusters (95#), 5 thrusters (65#) = 10
  • 5 burpees each, 4 thrusters (95#), 4 thrusters (55#) = 8
  • 5 burpees each, 4 thrusters (95#), 4 thrusters (55#) = 8
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#), 4 thrusters (55#) = 7
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#), 4 thrusters (55#) = 7
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#), 3 thrusters (55#) = 6
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#) = 3
  • 5 burpees each, 4 thrusters (55#) = 4
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#) = 3
  • 5 burpees each, 4 thrusters (55#) = 4
  • 5 burpees each, 2 thrusters (95#) = 2
  • 5 burpees each, 4 thrusters (55#) = 4
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#) = 3
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (55#) = 3
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (95#) = 2
  • 5 burpees each, 3 thrusters (55#) = 3
  • 5 burpees each, 2 thrusters (95#), 3 thrusters (55#) = 5
  • Total = 82 (not 79 as I initially figured)

After those first 5 rounds, I had a hard time recovering enough to push forward in the next round. And we started alternating after round 6 until Ev pushed the last round to get a few extras. She was very consistent on burpees and I got slower and slower. πŸ™‚

So 85 burpees each and 82 combined thrusters in 17 minutes is 167 total reps, so nearly 10 reps every round. Not a bad pace. I was glad we pushed the first few rounds — we got 46 thrusters in the first 6 minutes and 36 in the next 11 — we definitely fell off quickly!

Great work everybody! And thanks Jimmy for a great challenge!Β 

A Dork in the Road…

So we started with a two-workout post this week on Tuesday and we’ll do the next two in a combined post as well. Work has kept me hopping this week, so I’ve been unable to do my daily posts like I prefer. πŸ™‚

Dork on Wednesday

Wednesday was a weird day that started rough but ended in excellent fashion. Even so, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on a hero WOD that night. I went anyway!

Things that make you go Hmmmm…

Ryan, Drew, Karen, and Melissa S were there and in good spirits with Coach Nicole. We did some of the warm-up plus some of Nicole’s own spin — and too many hours have passed now for me to remember what all we did.Β 

However, when we were done we warmed up some kettle bell swings and talked about jumping rope and burpees. That was plenty. πŸ™‚

The workout? Dork. A hero WOD to commemorate Boston firefighter Michael Kennedy. You can read more about this amazing guy at CrossFit mainsite.Β 

  • 6 rounds for time of:
    • 60 double-unders
    • 30 kettlebell swings
    • 15 burpees
    • Men: 1.5-pood kettlebell
    • Women: 1-pood kettlebell

Of course, I rejiggered it slightly. Our goal was to get through each round in 4-5 minutes.

  • 4 rounds for time:
    • 30 seconds of double-under practice then 40-50-or-60 singles
    • 30 kettlebell swings with a 45# kettlebell
    • Burpees

First two rounds went great, but by the end I was damn slow. Even so, I finished in 21:07 and was happy with that. I was in that 5ish realm per round, so right about there.

Everybody did awesome. Nicole kept us moving right along. πŸ™‚ Great work everybody!

Overhead Squats on Thursday

And that brings us to today… We had Coach Lara and a fun crew in the 8:30 class… Ev and I, Dave & Star, Caleb, and Melissa.Β 

To warm-up we did two rounds of:

  • 50 double-unders or 30 seconds of double-under practice (may have achieved a single double-under during round 2, but I gave it my all)
  • 5 air squats with a 5 second pause at the bottom where you are on your toes
  • 5 air squats with a 5 second pause at the bottom where you focus on keeping your torso up and feet flat on the floor
  • 5 air squats with a 5 second pause where you rock back on your heels (I almost fell on my butt a couple of times)
  • 15 reverse grip PVC pass-thrus (I get stuck every time on my elbows behind me)
  • 30 second reverse grip hang on the rig

Then we did a mess of overhead squat work. Warm-ups with an empty barbell to focus on getting everything in good position from the bar overhead with your arms locked-out down to squatting underneath and staying nice and vertical so you don’t lean too far forward or back.Β 

Overhead squats are not my jam. But that’s why we work on them and practice. πŸ™‚

The workout?

  • Overhead squat – 9×1 – 5-5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1

I worked with Caleb and the two of us chatted our way through the following reps:

  • 95# x5
  • 95# x5
  • 95# x5
  • 115# x3
  • 125# x3
  • 125# x3
  • 135# x1
  • 135# x1
  • 145# x1

It was a struggle to get my shoulders going the right direction every time, but I did ok. Lara even complimented me a few times. And the heavier we got, the better Caleb looked. πŸ™‚

We had a good time. I was sore by the end, but I felt like I could have gone up in weight one more time. That would have been fun since 145# has been my 1RM for a while. I think I did 3 at #145 a few months ago, but I’ve never gone beyond that number. πŸ™‚


Thanks Caleb for being my partner. Thank you Lara for the encouragement and guidance. And great work 8:30 class! Y’all did awesome. πŸ™‚

Two workouts to start the week

Some weeks don’t go according to plan. This week started with a snow day, which led to a late workout on Monday with Coach Nicole, and then I hit the 8:30 workout this morning with Coach Lara. I’ll do a similar night/day workout combination Thurs & Fri as well, so we’ll see how recovery is over the next 24 hours. πŸ™‚

But due to distractions at home last night, I didn’t get that workout written up — so this post will be longer than normal.

Pull-ups and wall balls

So last night at 4:45 I jumped into Coach Nicole’s class with a bunch of other folks. We had Ryan, Drew, Karen, Melissa S, Logan, and Cassie – a newcomer checking out our box. Not sure if it was the snow or the phase of the moon, but we were all a little goofy. πŸ™‚

jumping-jacks-5JBrue-clipartIt made the warm-up more entertaining:

  • Two rounds of
    • 1 minute of jumping jacks
    • 1 minute of high knees
    • 10 squats with a shoulder reach from the bottom of the squat
    • 5 scapular push-ups
  • Then we grabbed some medicine balls and did what felt like basketball drills for a minute each in pairs… I worked with Logan and we used a 14# ball.
    • Chest passes (standard basketball pass)
    • Rotational tosses (pass across the body, right to left, turn, then left to right)
    • Overhead passes (hands directly overhead – another solid b-ball pass)
    • Squat + chest pass to partner (squat to the bottom, then do a chest pass)

When all of that was done, we did a fair amount of warm-up with squat therapy and wall ball warm-ups before doing a bunch of pull-up warm-ups as well. And it’s a good thing because this workout was a doozy…

  • t-rex-hates-wall-ballsFor time:
    • Competitor
      • 50 wall-ball shots, 50 pull-ups
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • Men: 20-lb. ball to 10 ft.
      • Women: 14-lb. ball to 9 ft
    • Performance
      • 35/35
      • 20/20
      • 10/10

I’m not out of line when I say that 50 pull-ups in a row is insane. I already had it in my head that I might try splitting those reps between ring rows and pull-ups to try and keep from tearing. But that plan didn’t last long. We were shooting for 15 minutes or less. HA!

3-2-1-go… Suddenly I discovered I was using a 14# wall ball and when I tried shifting to ring rows, Nicole directed me back to the bar… so my workout looked like this:

  • survived-didnt-die50 wall balls with a 14# ball
  • 35 kipping pull-ups (longest set 10, shortest set 3-5) plus 2 ring rows
  • 35 wall balls
  • 20 kipping pull-ups
  • 20 wall balls
  • 10 kipping pull-ups (longest set 4, shortest set 1)
  • total time: 15:28

I was definitely the last one to finish, but I did finish — so I’ll take that. Plus, Nicole made it a point to compliment my pull-ups. I did ok. πŸ™‚


Deadlifts – Heavy and plentiful

Then this morning I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Lara. It was just me and Dave, but that was fine – it gave us lots of time to work on form.

We started with the warm-up:

  • sportsrow-800px2 rounds of…
    • 500m row (250m for 2nd round)
    • 10 inchworm to side plank, alternating sides
    • 10 single leg deadlift
    • 10 banded good mornings
    • 10 Cossack squats

And then we dove into a good deal of deadlift refresher, focusing on tightening the core at the bottom and making sure we pull our shoulders back. The latter is always a challenge for me, but I’m starting to feel it when I exaggerate the outer shoulder rotation — so that’s good. πŸ™‚

Barbell_DeadliftThe workout was 6 rounds of increasing weight: 10-10-5-5-3-3. Start at 50-60% of our one rep max and end at 80-85% of our one rep max. These days my one rep is 315#, so I had some math to do…

  • 135# x5 (warm-up) (43%)
  • 155# x5 (warm-up) (49%)
  • 165# x5 (warm-up) (52%)
  • 175# x10 (56%)
  • 195# x10 (62%)
  • 225# x5 (71%)
  • 245# x5 (78%)
  • 255# x3 (81%)
  • 265# x3 (84%)
  • Total lifted: 9885# (nearly 10,000# or roughly 5 tons)

Not bad for less than 30 minutes of work. πŸ™‚ I won’t say that some reps weren’t better than others, but I felt like I was able to tell when my shoulders were in the right place better today than I have in the past – so that’s progress.

Great work Dave and thanks Lara for all the good tips and encouragement. πŸ™‚

Now we’ll see how well we do with a bit more than 24 hours of rest between workouts. πŸ™‚

Hello CrossFit Cough! (Power Cleans!)

Today was workout #4 of the week. I wasn’t sure how well I was going to do, to be honest, but was going to give it a shot — especially since it’s the only workout of the week I get with Ev!

Made it in for the 8:30 WOD and we had a great group – Coach Lara had a full house. Me & Ev, Bill, KB, Todd, and Valerie. And, as per usual, there was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

No, not this kind of mountain climber…

We started with an interesting warm-up in two parts.

  • Part 1
    • 3 rds:
    • :20 sec work/:10 sec rest
    • Jumping jacks
    • Mountain climbers
  • Part 2
    • 2 rds:
    • 25 banded pull-aparts
    • 25 banded good mornings
    • :45 sec/side banded front-rack stretch

No Riverdance today, and that was fine by me. πŸ™‚ And when we were done with that we went through some skill work for power cleans. Deadlifts, shrugs, muscle clean, hang power clean, full power clean… with an empty bar and then adding some weight.

I warmed up with 75#, 95#, and 115# — and pondered 125# but decided it was in my best interests to stay at 115#. I’m glad I did.

power-clean-techThe workout was gnarly.

  • 3 rounds for max reps:
    • Power clean for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
    • Power clean for 25 seconds, rest 35 seconds
    • Power clean for 20 seconds, rest 40 seconds
    • Power clean for 15 seconds, rest 45 seconds
    • Power clean for 10 seconds, rest 50 seconds
  • There is no rest between rounds.
  • Competitor weight: 155/105#
  • Performance weight: 115/80#
  • Fitness weight: 65/45# (and only 2 rounds)

survived-didnt-dieI stayed at 115# throughout the workout — and I have to say, my form was all over the place. Rounded shoulders were bad today. But I managed…

  • Round 1 – 10, 10, 6, 6, 4 (36)
  • Round 2 – 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (30)
  • Round 3 – 7, 5, 4, 3, 4 (23)
  • Total: 89

I was so dead at the end, I added things up to 79, but my wife was kind enough to point out my mistake when we were talking in the car. πŸ™‚ Really I was laying on the floor watching the room spin as I got my breathing under control again. Crossfit cough wasn’t far behind.

Ev managed to get through 84 reps at 75#, so she wasn’t far behind me. πŸ™‚ I think I heard that Bill managed over 110 reps at 155#, which is crazy. But we were shooting for 80-100 reps and I was right in that pocket, so I’ll take it.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then I’ll get in for team WOD on Saturday. Maybe I’ll even hit the gymnastics class if they have it. We’ll see how crazy I feel. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Lara for the encouragement!


GHD + Back Squats

So as per usual, my Wednesday was a mess at work (and home due to a lack of sleep), but I was happy to get in for the 4:45 class with Coach Nicole. And I was far from alone – we had a whole bunch of folks –Β Drew,Β Ryan,Β Drea,Β Karen, Rebecca & Alexandra, Nancy, and Logan. ‘Twas a busy hour. πŸ™‚

Toe Taps felt a lot like Riverdance!Β 

We started with 2 rounds of the warm-up:

  • 1 minute of toe taps (to a 10/15# plate or 25# plate, do a jig and tap one foot then the other or do both at the same time forward and back or side-to-side) and then 1 minute of single-unders
  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 GHD hip extensions
  • 10 straight leg sit-ups
  • 10 air squats

With that out of the way we did some GHD skill work (GHD sit-ups, either to parallel or full extension) and then some back squats to warm up to our working weight. I partnered up with Logan at a squat rack and the two of us tackled this one. While warming up, Nicole & Drea noticed I had a hitch to my left side on some of my warm-up reps, so Nicole came and talked to me a bit. She said not to focus as much on depth and more on balance and keeping upright, so I did that and we started at 135#.

Evil ab torture device

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9
  • GHD sit-ups
  • Back squats (185/125# competitor or 95/65# fitness)

Of course, I rarely do the workout as written and scale to some degree, so I did:

  • 21-15-9
  • GHD sit-ups to parallel (on the GHD machine the whole time)
  • 135# back squats for the first 21 and then Logan dropped us to 125# for the sets of 15 & 9

How did we get done so fast? Geez!Β 

I finished in 8:05, which was pretty quick. I broke all the sets into at least equal parts if not smaller numbers by the end. 21 was 7-7-7. 15 was 5-4-3-3. Etc. But Logan and I pushed each other pretty solidly through the whole thing – he got done with the first 21 GHDs and was waiting for the bar as I finished my last 3 reps of 21, but after that we barely had a pause as we moved back and forth.

Great work Logan and everybody else! And thanks Nicole for the encouragement. πŸ™‚