Strength Day – Overhead Work

Yesterday was a doozy of a workout, so I was happy to see that today’s was a strength day! Huzzah!Β Made it in for the 9:30 workout with Coach Lara, Caleb, Nick, and Janiece, as the 8:30 class was heading out. We had a fun little group. πŸ™‚

old_windmillWe started with little warm-up:

  • 500m row
  • 10 PVC Passthroughs
  • 10 Inchworms
  • 10 Windmills
  • 10 Seated Forward Tables

And we bounced from there to some skill refresher on the strict press (or shoulder press), push press, and push jerk, with an empty barbell. From there we each found a rack, warmed up to our starting weight for strict press, and got going.

So how did it go?

  • Strict Press
    • 75# x3 (warm-up)
    • 95# x3 (warm-up)
    • 115#
    • 125#
    • 135#
    • 145#
    • 160# (fail)
    • (old one rep: 155#)
  • Push Press
    • 95# (warm-up)
    • 135# (warm-up)
    • 155#
    • 165#
    • 175#
    • 185# (fail)
    • 180# (fail)
  • Push Jerk
    • 135# (warm-up)
    • 155#
    • 165#
    • 175# (fail)
    • 165# (fail)
    • 155#

strict-press-illustrationSo my heaviest overhead movement was a 175# push press, followed by a 165# push jerk, and a 145# strict press. My old 1RMs (which still stand) are: 195# push press, 185# push jerk, 155# strict press.

As I told Lara, I didn’t really care about the weight too much. But she said my form was pretty good, so that made me happy. And I moved some weight and had fun. What more could I ask for?

Meanwhile, Nick, Caleb, and Janiece all had some nice lifts too. πŸ™‚ Great work everybody! And thanks Lara for the encouragement!

Post-workout Nutrition Check-in

So it’s been a month since I started back with some nutrition coaching with Drea and time to check in and get measured. My measurements didn’t move much, largely because I was incredibly uneven across the month of October. To say that we have been crazy in the last 4-6 weeks would be an understatement.

  • 2-OCT-2018 – 220.4#, 22.1% Body Fat
  • 6-NOV-2018 – 221.8#, 22.3% Body Fat

tom-Bathroom-scale-800pxWe had a long chat about a number of topics, but I ended up with some goals to work on:

  1. Get some help with meal prep from the girls. Ask each to prepare one item each week (roast veggies, crock pot or insta-pot something, chop something, etc).
  2. Commit to making breakfast for myself every day after I feed the dogs at 6am.
  3. Commit to writing in my journal every night at bedtime to help wind down.
  4. Pick 1 meal from the meal plan to duplicate during the week.

And I’m still tracking “points” for myself:

  • 1 point for a workout or yoga class
  • 1 point for double-under practice
  • 1 point for using the crossover symmetry bands
  • 1 point for a “good” meal (no bread/tortilla, more veggies, more protein, etc.)
  • (new) 1 point for checking in with Drea (once a month)
  • (new) 1 point for any sort of meal prep

Today for example, before dinner, I have 5 points (breakfast, lunch, workout, meet with Drea, and insta-pot chicken for shredding). Compare that to this past Saturday night where I ate like crap, hardly moved (we drove 250 miles), and I had quite a bit of wine and champagne to drink. That scored me a big fat zero. πŸ™‚

Most days have been in the 2-4 point range, with a few 1s in there too. I’ve been pretty uneven. We’ll see if I can do better in the next 30 days. Like all of life, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks Drea for helping get me back on track and the good chat!


Last of the Team Series

So after a weekend where we drove 500+ miles and attended a fun wedding, it was time to go back to the box to work off some of the empty calories I consumed. This was a bit of a push, though I’m not sure if it was the workout or the fact that I wasn’t “good” about nutrition over the weekend. πŸ™‚

johnny-automatic-Jumping-rope-800pxCoach Drea had a fun little class at 8:30 – me, Lara, Dave, and Carrie. We started with 2 rounds of a warm-up:

  • 1 minute of single-unders
  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 GHD hip-extensions (actually did these on the GHD machine and not the sit-ups on the floor)
  • 10 straight leg sit-ups
  • 10 squat therapy reps
  • 30 seconds of scorpion pose, each side (only did this first round)

After that we grabbed some dumbbells and a box and started talking about the dumbbell box step-overs. Step-ups are one thing, step-overs are something else. And then you add weight and it gets even more entertaining. But we worked on stepping up with the whole foot on the box and then pivoting to step down sideways off the box on the other side, rather than with a forward stride. During the workout I did a mix of sideways and forward, but it definitely helped to have that pivot when I remembered.

15-pound-dumbbellsWe did it with and without dumbbells. I started with 15# dumbbells during the warm-up and shifted to 30# for the workout, with a set of 20#s as back-up just in case. I was glad I did.

We also worked on form for toes-to-bars and knee raises/knees-to-elbows. Making sure that kick down was solid to prevent the crazy swing was essential. The fact that my finger was still split open from all the pull-ups last week was a bit of an impediment, but I made it work for a while.

And then the snatches. These felt a lot like what we did during the CrossFit Open last year or the year before, so that wasn’t too bad. 30# felt pretty good for most of it.

The workout was:

  • For time
    • 30 toes-to-bar (or hanging knee-raises)
    • 40 single-arm dumbbell snatches (50/35# competitor. 35/20# scaled)
    • 50 dumbbell box step-overs (24/20″ box competitor, 20″ box scaled)
    • 40 single-arm dumbbell snatches
    • 30 toes-to-bar (or hanging knee-raises)

box1Yeah… As you might imagine, I scaled this a bit.

  • 30 hanging knee raises
  • 40 single-arm dumbbell snatches (30# dumbbell)
  • 50 dumbbell box step-overs (20″, started with 30# dumbbells for about 15 reps and then dropped to 20# dumbbells)
  • 40 single-arm dumbbell snatches (30# dumbbell)
  • 30 knees-to-elbows with hands overhead on the floor holding the rig, touching my knees to elbows

Final time: 14:05.

I was the first one done in our group, but Lara & Carrie were doing actual t2b, so I had the edge with knee raises. πŸ™‚ Great work everybody! And Dave looked great!

Thanks Drea!

A Complex to End the Week

Today marks the end of the week and the 5th day in a row I’ve made it into the box for a workout. Considering how Monday went, I won’t complain about the rest of the week. I often skip Fridays, but since we’ll be traveling this weekend I wanted to make sure to get my max time when I could. πŸ™‚

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upSo today was 2018 Team Series Event 7. Coach Drea had myself, Maria, Todd & Melissa, KB, and Dave, and we started with a little warm-up:

  • 2 rounds
  • 500m row
  • 10 single-leg deadlifts
  • 10 banded good mornings
  • 10 banded pull-aparts
  • 10 PVC slow and steady push jerk progressions
  • and something else I’m missing, but it’s fine. πŸ™‚

With that out of the way, we did a good mix of PVC and then empty bar practice through the three movements of the workout…

  • Deadlift
  • Hang Clean
  • Split or Push Jerk

cf-team-logo-whiteThen we added some weight and got moving for the 10 minute workout.

  • 10 minutes to determine the 1 rep max for the complex
  • deadlift / hang clean / hang clean & jerk

Somehow I knew today wasn’t going to be as heavy as I wanted, but I was still happy with just doing some strength for a change…Β My PRs are 335/345# deadlift and 185/205# clean & jerk. I didn’t get close to that today.

jerk-clipart-olympic-weightlifting-clean-jerk-hiMy warm-ups were fine: 95#, 115#, 135#. And then I added more weight, trying to go every 2 minutes for the 10 minutes we had.

  • 145#
  • 155#
  • 165# (fail on jerk)
  • 165# (fail on clean)
  • 155#
  • 160#

It was interesting how this one went. I got a little wrapped up in the weight at 165# but decided to drop weight and try lower to see what happened. That seemed to be a good approach. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class and thanks Drea!

Rowing to Burn Halloween Calories

Yesterday was Halloween and my wife had her yearly gathering. Can’t say I ate well, but did have some gluten-free cookies, deviled eggs, and crackers with salami & cheese, so at least I ate something. And I managed to avoid alcohol, so I’m going to mark that as a win — despite the fact that I had eggs on toast for breakfast and a hamburger on a bun for lunch. πŸ™‚

That said, I figured I could burn off some bread calories if nothing else today at the 8:30 class with Coach Lara. Ev & I went in and were joined by KB & Melissa. Just the perfect number of folks for a rowing WOD since we have four rowers. πŸ™‚

rower5We started with two rounds of this warm-up:

  • 250m row
  • 10 pike push-ups (elbows were a little angry for the first round, but better by the second)
  • Inchworm/yoga flow on the right and then the left (inchworm to plank, plank to downward dog, downward dog to cobra, cobra to plank, plank to lunge, lunge to some arm extensions, back to plank, inchworm back to standing)

After that we did a bit of row refresher and a bit on the handstand push-up progressions. Though I did try one HSPU (kipping) on the wall, I have to say that they weren’t in the cards today. I was all about the hand release push-ups today and even those were slow as heck!

rowboatThe workout wasΒ 2018 Team Series Event 6…

  • For time, 2 rounds
    • 50 calorie row
    • 25 handstand push-ups or hand release push-ups

I can row. That much I can do, and I was able to get through 50 calories in a little less than 3 minutes the first round and right around 3 minutes the second round. The push-ups were a challenge though – sets of 10, 5, 3, and 1 or 2 were all I could do. Just kept moving as best I could.

My time? 10:38. Not too shabby and not too far off from Larry who did the same thing in 10:24 earlier today.

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterWhen we were done we did a little skill work:

  • EMOM for 6 min
    • 2-5 Pseudo planche push-ups
    • 10 sec planche lean

Yeah – I think I averaged 3 reps across the 6 rounds. One round I did 1, but most I did 2 or 4. Nothing like firing up your shoulders and elbows even further, right? πŸ™‚

We had a good time and it was very strange being the first one done today. But I’ll take it. πŸ™‚ Great work 8:30 class and thanks Lara!

Halloween Squat Snatches?

Made it to Wednesday this week, so we’ll call it good so far. Wasn’t sure we’d get that far after Monday! But headed in for a Halloween 5:45 evening class with Coach Nicole. We had a bunch of folks – KB & Zac, Evan, Jimmy & Drea, Aileen, and Rebecca. Looked like the 4:45 class was also quite full, which is awesome.

supermanWe started with a little warm-up:

  • 2 rounds
    • 90 second row/bike
    • 10 slow, controlled OHS with PVC
    • 10 ring rows
    • 10 hollow body with PVC raises
    • 10 superman with PVC raises

And then we talked quite a bit about scaling options at the rig for the muscle-ups and went over squat snatches in detail with an empty bar before adding some weight.

The workout? 2018 Team Series Event #5…

  • For time
    • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
      • Bar muscle-ups (or pull-ups or other scaling options)
      • Squat snatches (95/65#, 65/45#)
Yeah, I can’t quite do this yet. πŸ™‚

Time domain? 15-20 minutes? It’s 110 reps, so a good number of reps regardless of what options you picked on the menu.

My workout was:

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
    • Banded strict chest-to-bar (three bands) and strict ring-to-sternum ring rows
    • 65# squat snatches

How’d it go? Well, Nicole wanted me to focus on my head position in the snatches, so I attempted to “relax” my neck so it wasn’t thrust forward as far. And it does make a huge difference. If my neck is more vertical, my torso is too, which means my shoulders are as well — everything sits better when the whole chain is stacked vertically instead of diagonally… Go figure. πŸ™‚

I struggled with that a bit, but I struggled with the banded C2B more. I don’t quite have the range of motion to pull my elbows down, even with the bands, where our trainers want them. I did manage a few, but they fell apart pretty quickly. When that happened, I dropped to the ring pull to sternum and did that as best I could.

My final time was 17:11, which was right in the time domain they were looking for — so I think I scaled appropriately. πŸ™‚

Plus, it was fun to cheer on the folks (Zac & Evan) actually able to do the dang bar muscle-ups. Everybody did awesome. Thanks Nicole for a fun workout and great work class!

What a difference a day makes…

So yesterday I couldn’t get out of my own way and suspect I was a bit in shock over some changes at work. Today started like any other day and I didn’t have any of the same stunned feeling I had all of yesterday. I guess that’s good. πŸ™‚

Had breakfast about 6:45 this morning, worked for a bit, and got in for the 8:30 class at Continuum with Coach Lara. Dave, KB, Todd & Melissa, Katie, and Valerie.

There are many goats...We started with a bit of a mixed bag of warm-up…

  • 2 rounds
    • 1 minute of single-unders (and double-under practice in second round)
    • 10 alternating lunges with PVC pipe overhead
    • 100m walk (not lunge) with weight (two 5# plates)
    • 45 second squat hold
    • 10 split squats off a bench, 5 each side

And then… double-under practice. This has been a goat of mine for a long time. I’ve purchased different ropes, tried different techniques, and still they have eluded me. In the last year, I’ve had suggested a few times that I get a slightly longer rope — and I heard that again from Lara today. I put away my rope and grabbed one off the rack that’s a bit longer — and lo and behold I managed to get 2 doubles in practice.

rx-smart-gear-logo(Quick update: Just ordered a longer replacement cable for my own rope, so hopefully next week I’ll be rocking them out a bit more easily with my own equipment. HA!)

From there we practiced doing some overhead walking lunges. Two dumbbells, one arm up, big step out, step back, step forward — repeat. You can alternate arms, but only one has to be up at a time. The other one you can hold at your side or rest the dumbbell on your shoulder, whatever works.

20-lbs-dumbbell1I practiced with 20# dumbbells and then shifted to 35# dumbbells, which seemed doable though really heavy. I knew it was going to be a challenge, so I kept both sets of dumbbells in case I needed to scale.

The workout? 2018 Team Series Event 4:

  • Score: Total Time
  • 5 rounds for time of:
    • 50 double-unders
    • 50-ft. single-arm overhead lunge
    • Rx – 50/35# dumbbell
    • Scaled – Single-unders and 35/20# dumbbell

My workout:

  • 5 rounds for time
    • 50 singles, 5 double attempts (managed 3 doubles total across the 5 rounds)
    • 50 foot single-arm overhead lunge
      • started with 35# and made it about 20 feet before ditching those and shifting back to 20#
  • Total time: 14:48

survived-didnt-dieLet me just say that I have improved with my lunges, but overhead lunges even with one arm are a huge challenge. Most of it was done with my right arm up, but I did alternate a few times to the left side. I had one moment where I fell to my knees and couldn’t step out of my lunge – but it was like a slow-mo fall and I was laughing about it.

Yes, what a difference a day makes. Not my best workout, but I finished, worked hard, and had some success. Funny that.

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

DNF and Head Not in the Game

Some days it seems it’s not worth getting out of bed. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that there’s a ton of uncertainty in my life, out of the blue, after yesterday afternoon and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I’m sort of stuck in this cycle:

Uncertainty => Doubt => Fear => Anxiety => Back to Uncertainty

fear-uncertainty-doubtDespite the uncertainty, I chose to head in for a workout this morning at Continuum, though a bit later than usual. I arrived as the 8:30 class was finishing up with Coach Drea. At 9:30 it was me, Andrew & Ashley, and Janiece. I did my best to keep a positive outlook, but it was hard even during the warm-up…

  • 2 rounds
  • 400m jog
  • 10 banded good mornings
  • 10 squat to stands
  • 10 ring rows
  • 10 banded kips (standing on the floor, band overhead, mostly working on body position between hollow body and Superman)

If I look back, I was even half-assing the warm-up and that should have been my first clue.

After that, we worked a bit on pull-ups, focusing on control and shifting between kipping and full pull-ups. And lastly we did a bit of deadlift work with a light bar (75# for me) and then warming up to our working weight. We did three sets of 3 pull-ups and 5 deadlifts, increasing weight as we went. I shifted to 135#, then 165#, then 185# and stuck there.

Barbell_DeadliftThe workout was:

  • 21-15-9 reps for time of:
    • Pull-ups
    • Deadlifts (225/155# Competitor, 135/95# Scaled)

I did kipping pull-ups and 185# touch and go deadlifts. And it started ok.

  • pull-ups — 21 broken up all over the place –12 in a row, then a mix of 1s, 2s, and 3s to get to 21
  • deadlifts — 21 in sets of 7
  • pull-ups — 15 broken up in 3s and 4s
  • deadlifts – got through 5 reps and then stopped

And then I couldn’t get going again. I realized later that I tore my hand during the pull-ups, but that wasn’t it. I just honestly couldn’t convince myself to pick the bar up again.

dead-lastOur time domain was around 8 minutes and I was stuck at the deadlift bar for over a minute trying to get those next 10 reps and just couldn’t.

This was a case where my mind and my body were not anywhere in the same zip code. I couldn’t leave the crap in my head outside and it crowded out any thoughts of just powering through and completing the workout.

I know “Did Not Finish” beats “Did Not Start,” but honestly I was done with 62 reps and only had 28 left to go. I should have just gotten off my ass and finished, so I am disappointed in that.

And I just cleaned up my bar and walked out. I didn’t stay for the cool-down. I didn’t congratulate my classmates on a job well done. I just removed myself from the equation.

you-lack-disciplineSome days are like that I guess, but it’s a discipline thing and I failed that today. I could pin it on a lack of sleep (I was restless and moved to the couch about 11:30, staying there until almost 6am). I could pin it on the uncertainty of the events going on with work. But it falls down to not having the discipline to set all that aside for the hour I was in the gym.

Sorry Drea. Good work 8:30 – y’all killed that workout!

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