Gymnastics plus Team WOD equals Tired

So this morning I had the opportunity not only to attend Coach Nicole’s gymnastics class (my core will be sore) but attend a Team WOD put together by Coach Clare. (And then I sat through the 2 hour 45 minute running time of Blade Runner 2049, but that’s a topic for a different blog.)

I was able to attend both with AJ today, which was cool. She’s had so much going on with soccer over the last few weeks that she hasn’t had many opportunities to WOD with us, so that was great. Plus it gave her an opportunity to meet Nicole!

Unfortunately she may have banged her head while at an all-day party for a friend’s birthday up at Great Wolf Lodge, so we think she may have a minor concussion — which came into play later.

Gymnastics Class

There were quite a few of us for Nicole’s class — Clare, Clara, Stacie, Deana & Marino, Carrie, Caleb & Megan, Jed, and Adi.

We started with some fun stuff. We started in two teams and did a kettlebell relay race where each person got into a plank and touched a line of kettlebells with each hand (one at a time), scuttling sideways, then did a bear crawl to a cone, and ran back. It was entertaining. πŸ™‚ (Here’s an example from Youtube!)

Plank_M_WorkoutLabs

From there we did a few other movements, like holding a good plank for 1 minute, 48 seconds, and 36 seconds, with a 30 second Jefferson curl hold, and a decreasing rest (1 minute, 48 seconds, and 36 seconds funny enough).

And then we moved to the rig to do some “hanging around” — hanging from the bar in an active shoulders position for a 3 count, then putting your feet into a 45 degree hold for another 3 count, and then a 90 degree hold for a 3 count (or holding your knees up, which is what I did). I had a hard time showing AJ how to pull those off, so Nicole came over and helped.

supermanAfter that we did a Superman hold with 5 cat/cow’s and a rest, in the same 1 minute/48 seconds/36 second pattern we did with the plank/Jefferson curl/rest combination.

We did a bit of ring dip work, trying to focus on getting our shoulders into the proper place with our elbows up… That was entertaining. I definitely felt it in muscle groups I’ve not felt it before — especially my pectoral. Not sure I have that down yet, but it gives me somewhere to start.

Lastly we did some push-up work, because apparently we have a lot of push-ups to do on Friday. It was interesting to see the “snake” method vs. the butt-up method shown. Mine were ok, but they always give up eventually — so it was good to see some scaling options to change the angle — i.e. to weight plates (she used two 45#s), a weight bench, or a plyo box.

Team WOD

And that was it today for that. Of course, we couldn’t just let it be… No, we had to do the team workout as well — and I set myself up for that one by roping in Robert as well. πŸ™‚ (I felt a little bad that I think Adi thought we would be on a team together — using a 70# kettlebell for part of the workout– but he ended up going with another team and did great.)

assault-bikeSo we started the team WOD with a little competition… Devil’s Tricycle to Devil’s Tricycle. Two pairs would face off across from one another with a poor, unsuspecting foam roller in the middle. The breeze blowing from the assault bike would push the roller towards the competition — and the one who got it all the way across won.

We’ve done this before, but it was entertaining. I went vs. Brent and the damn roller didn’t move for what seemed like minutes, but it was only seconds. And eventually I ran out of steam and Brent got the better of me. Caleb went vs. Darcy with some help from Larry… AJ went vs. Adi with a bit of help.

It was a hoot.

2013-thrusters-combinedAfter that, we did some thruster refresher work with a PVC pipe before we broke into our teams and started gathering equipment. It was me, Robert, and AJ on a team, but we were far from alone. I think we had 6 or 7 teams all together.

We needed:

  • A kettlebell (we had two — a 55# for Robert and I and a 25# for AJ)
  • An empty barbell (45# for Robert and I and a 15# trainer bar for AJ)

kettlebell-swingItems in hand, we tackled the WOD in question:

  • Teams of 3
  • 100 KBS 53/35
  • 400m run
  • 100 barbell thrusters 45/35
  • 400m run
  • 80 burpees
  • 400m run
  • 100 barbell thrusters
  • 400m run
  • 100 KBS

Yes, this was going to be a doozy. Running and lots of reps. Yay? πŸ™‚ And, to make matters worse, Clare added the following to the workout:

  • While a member was doing KBS, another member had to do air squats (and the third could rest)
  • While a member was doing thrusters, another member had to plank (and the third could rest)
  • Burpees we could arrange however we wanted, together, separately, or sequentially…
  • And all three team members would do the run together.

That said, we started out with the best of intentions, but AJ’s headache got worse after the KBS and some air squats, so we had her bow out. She squeezed in a few more planks later on, but that was fine.

burpees-suck-white-e1415664950623We did:

  • 100 KBS
  • 100 thrusters
  • 80 burpees (these were no fun)
  • 66 thrusters
  • 66 KBS

And we did a lot of walking. There wasn’t a lot of rest for the two of us, so we used the “run” as our rest. πŸ™‚

Great work Robert! AJ’s head felt better later, but we’ll keep an eye on her just in case. And we all survived in the beautiful weather today.

So thank you Coaches Nicole & Clare for the fun workouts today. Definitely a challenge.

And somehow I managed to not fall asleep (much) during the movie! Have a great weekend folks!

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Strength day! Huzzah!

I seriously pondered going in yesterday, but my hips and ankles were still ticked off from all the running on Tuesday. I even pondered rowing at home yesterday (yes, we finally acquired a used rower for the house) and ultimately decided that a nap sounded much more satisfying. I did get some stretching in through the day, but my body was telling me to let it go — so I did.

amnapThat brings us to this morning. Let me start by talking about a rough, rough night as far as sleep goes. If you know me, you know I don’t sleep all that well normally. If I get 4 hours in a row it’s a miracle. Well, last night was rougher than normal.

We turned out the lights about 10:30 and the dog started moving in on my side of the bed before 12:30. I had enough and sat on the floor, dozing under a window for a bit. And at 1:30 I decided to give up and head to the couch. A few hours of tossing and turning later, it was time get up and start the day.

I definitely see a post-workout AMNAP coming… πŸ˜€

So… I made it into Continuum for an 8:30 class with my lovely wife Evelyn, who slept peacefully with the dog all night. πŸ˜€

We were joined by a great cast of characters, of course. Coach Drea had us, Nicole, Logan, Todd & Melissa, Brent, and Vivien today. So a pretty good class for 8:30!

supermanAfter our good warm-up, we managed to fit in part of the Gymnastics class movements (Superman holds followed by Cat/Cow), which was great. I need to get that series in again before I show up on Saturday for the next class. And it would be good to work through with Ev & the girls at home.

When all of that was done, we started doing a ton of skill work with an empty barbell and hanging power cleans. Of all the cleans, this is my favorite because there’s no deep squat at the bottom. But I was amused at the fact that I automatically went into a deep squat at the bottom of a few of the reps anyway. πŸ™‚

The workout was 7×3 of hang power cleans, so we warmed-up to our starting weight…

  • 95# x3
  • 105# x3
  • 115# x3

power-clean-techMy 115# was a little ugly for that third rep, so I stayed there to start my 7 rounds.

  • 115# x3
  • 135# x3
  • 145# x3
  • 155# x3 (struggled a bit with rep #3 again)
  • 155# x3
  • 165# x3 (1st one was good, last two were UGH-ly)
  • 165# x3 (1st one was good, middle one was UGH-ly, third one was essentially a curl as I ran the bar up my chest and got under it)

I have no clue how the hell I did that last rep, but I laughed about it a ton. As Caleb pointed out, the fact that I got it up means I have the strength — I just need to work on form. And I totally agree (as does Drea). πŸ™‚

Thumbs-up-clipart-cliparts-for-you-5At Reagan’s comp back in July, I managed three ugly cleans at 175#. I think I might have been able to duplicate that today — but decided that if my form was so ugly at 165#, there was no point in moving on.

I was happy to see Ev get 105# up a couple of times. She has a 115# hang squat clean 1RM from back in 2015, but it’s been a while since she’s done them. Nicole and Drea worked with her quite a bit today to get her form better and I think she was happy with the results as well. πŸ™‚

But we had a good time, as per usual. And got some sweat equity in. So it was a good day! πŸ™‚

We’ll give it a big thumbs up. πŸ™‚

The Five Stages of a Running WOD

There are days where I seriously wonder if I’m in my right mind for continuing with crossfit. Usually those days involve running. Lo and behold, today was a running day.

Last night when I looked at the WOD for today, I swore. And I started going through something approximating the five stages of grief:

  • stages-of-griefDenial: No, no, no… it can’t be!
  • Anger: WTH? Don’t those mainsite programming people know how much I hate running? @#$*&#$*@$
  • Denial again: Well, maybe because of the weather (it was cold this morning), they’ll have an alternate workout and I won’t have to deal with it.
  • Bargaining: I’ll just row. Maybe I’ll row 1k for each round. Or I’ll just forgo the rests and do a 5k to torture myself…
  • Acceptance: WTH… guess I’m running.

And yet I still went in this morning. It was a day I normally work out. Schedule keeps me sane. So what the heck, let’s see how it goes.

swearing-bubbleI warned Coach Darcy that there would be swearing today. And ultimately there wasn’t all that much — because I survived and didn’t have the energy to waste. πŸ™‚

Thankfully I wasn’t alone… We had Sarah, Drea, Nicole, Logan, and Melissa.

We started with this week’s warm-up:

  • jumping jacks
  • superman hold “hang snatches”
  • inchworm to plank, into a lunge, into a side-reach, back to a plank, and back to standing (with legs straight)
  • squat holds with knee presses
  • the “ATYT” version of YMCA with 5# weight plates

And then we did a bit of running warm-up:

  • Spiderman lunges (or Spider-person lunges to be less sexist, as was discussed)
  • Knee hugs
  • Butt-kickers

Once that was done, we headed outside and did a bit of a relay race in two teams of three. I was “racing” with Drea and Logan against Nicole, Melissa, and Sarah. We went three times and got faster each time, ending in a sprint.

I was already out of breath when we went back inside to talk about the workout. Darcy wanted us to really focus on our breathing, almost to the point of making it a mindfulness exercise, which I thought was actually an interesting way to look at it.

7TaonKRbcThe workout was:

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Performance — 4 rounds, each for time, of:
    • 800-meter run
    • Rest as needed between efforts
  • Fitness — 3 rounds

Nothing like a two mile run to really get your day moving. HA!

So how’d I do? Well, everybody else was much faster than I was, but I expected that and didn’t really care. This was not about them, it was about me.

Funny that. It’s one of the beautiful things about crossfit — I’m always competing against myself. Maybe now and then I get caught up in the moment and try to race somebody else — but never during a running WOD. πŸ˜‰

  1. Round 1: 800m in 5:53, 3 minute rest
  2. Round 2: 800m in 5:30, 3 minute rest
  3. Round 3: 800m in 5:50, 3 minute rest
  4. Round 4: 800m in 5:27 (it might actually have been 5:17 if my revised math is correct, but we’ll stick with 5:27)

Total: 31:30

Now, I’m not going to bullshit anybody. I walked a little bit of each of those rounds. But I did my best to keep chugging along. And I did focus on breathing as well as running more upright with my elbows back, to keep from having my torso sway as much side-to-side (after Darcy pointed it out). That actually helped quite a bit.

running-failMy hips still hurt, but my knees weren’t screaming at me. So all the mobility and stretching work we’ve been doing is helping. I may still be able to move tomorrow (gasp) so we’ll see if I can get more mobility in today to try and keep things looser.

Nicole says I’m supposed to be a bit less self-deprecating in these posts, which I think is fair. I’m always my own worst critic. But I have come farther than I ever thought I would when I started.

So the positives today:

  • I did a running workout and completed it. I didn’t even swear all that much. πŸ™‚
  • My times weren’t actually that bad and I got faster as I tried running more.
  • And I don’t hurt like I have when doing running WODs in the past.

Those are all fantastic, but I will be happier if the next WOD I do doesn’t include running. πŸ™‚

Thanks Darcy and great work everybody!!!

Hero WOD: Kev

Now that “Hero WOD Fridays” are no longer a thing, they can slip in anywhere in the programming to keep us on our toes. And today was one of those days.Β There were six of us for Coach Drea – Nicole, Logan, Todd, Melissa, Jenny, and myself. And it was good there were an even number because — it was a partner WOD!

We started with a revised warm-up…

  • jumping jacks
  • superman holds with a “hang snatch”
  • inchworm to plank, lunge and press, sky reach, plank, inchworm back to standing with straight legs
  • air squat with knee presses (a “pressing frog”)
  • and “ATYT” with plates (like YMCA, but different)

From there we did some deadlift warm-ups with an empty barbell, focusing on proper form, and then adding weight through three sets until we hit our working weight as a team.

The workout was:

  • CrossFit_Hero_Kev_Afghanistan
    Operator Cpl. Kevin van de Rijdt, 26, of the Netherlands, died Sept. 6, 2009, during heavy combat in Afghanistan. He was a member of Special Forces (Korps Commando Troepen) Task Force 55 within the Netherlands Armed Forces.

    Kev (read more hereΒ at WODwell)

  • Score Type:: Rounds and Reps
  • Performance:
    • With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 26 minutes of:
    • 6 deadlifts, 245/155 lb., each
    • 9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
    • 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
    • 55-ft. partner barbell carry, 245/155 lb.
  • Fitness:
    • With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
    • 6 deadlifts, 135/95 lb., each
    • 9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
    • 9 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
    • 55-ft. dumbbell farmers carry 35/25#

26 minutes is a solid length for a workout, and I think synchronized movements are difficult for those of us that aren’t all that skilled or dexterous to begin with. πŸ™‚ But working with Todd, I knew I’d be pushed — and that was good.

We worked up to 225# on the bar to avoid tweaking his back and that was great. Good weight without being too crazy. And Drea wanted touch-and-go as much as possible, so a little lighter probably worked in our favor.

We tried a few synchronized burpees and I knew for me that was going to be my slow spot. But funny enough it turned out to be the c2b pull-ups. It seems that some days I have them and some days I don’t. I had a few jumping ones in me today, but that was all. I got a handful of reps where I actually touched chest to bar, but that was it.

garfield-mondaySo how’d we do? We managed to get through all the burpees of the 6th round. So we hit 5+15 with the following options:

  • 225# on the bar for our deadlifts and the 55′ barbell carry
  • synchronized bar-over burpees (slooooow in the last round or three)
  • Todd did 4 or 5 bar muscle-ups and then butterfly c2b
  • I couldn’t hit a regular c2b today (though I could last week) and struggled mightily with jumping c2b, but only hit a few now and then. last couple of rounds I finished out my 9 attempts with kipping pull-ups and even those were ugly

So Todd kicked ass I and I tried to keep up as best I could, which I’ll take. πŸ™‚

And everybody else was moving right along — Jenny & Melissa teamed up and Nicole was pushing Logan pretty good. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the adjustments and encouragement! And thanks Todd for being a great partner and pushing the burpees in that last round!

Gymnastics: One Hold at a Time

There are a few truths I’ve accepted about myself over the years. I’m strong. I’m slow. I’m inflexible. And through crossfit over the last four years I’ve slowly been changing my attitudes in those regards. I’m still strong, not fast, and inflexible in certain ways, but every day that changes a little more.

superman
My Superman Holds (Arch Body) Looked Nothing like Christopher Reeves in Superman! πŸ™‚

Today I attended a new class at CrossFit Continuum taught by Coach Nicole — a gymnastics class. What is it all about? Good question. Eventually I hope we work on things like handstands and muscle-ups, but for now we’re starting slow. As she pointed out in her intro today, we’re like kids starting out in a gymnastics program for the first time. And that’s awesome. As I reminded myself a few times, this is about maintaining that “beginner’s mind” and learning how to start fresh and soak it all in.

And today was a perfect day to start this, because I was concerned about trying to fit in a team workout and still get kids where they needed to be for soccer. Thankfully it worked out and I’m glad it did!

We had a terrific group today that included quite a few coaches from the box as well as familiar athletes. Clare, Stacie, Logan, Greg, Adi, Steve, Patti & Alex, Jed, Lisa, Drea and Jimmy were all there.

crab-800pxAnd we started with a game. We divided into two teams and attempted to move a medicine ball about 25 feet and back again…

  • Bear crawl forward, pushing the ball
  • Bear crawl backward, pulling the ball
  • Crab walk forward with the ball on your stomach
  • Crab walk backward with the ball on your stomach
  • And try and pass it to the next person in line without using your hands

This was an entertaining exercise and we laughed a lot. That’s still one of the best things about crossfit for me — the camaraderie, family-like atmosphere, and cajoling we incessantly badger one another with. πŸ™‚

As you might imagine, this was not a shining moment for yours truly. Bear crawl was awkward and ungainly (almost passed the ball between my legs and ran into the person behind me on the way backwards), but the crab walk was truly awful to behold. πŸ˜‰ But again — it was fun.

From there we started talking about the structure of this class. This is not going to be one of those “instant results” classes (though I’ve never had any of those), but instead one where we grind out the drudge work and eventually see the results in multiple weeks. We’ll do a lot of holds and we’ll break those holds into 12 second intervals — shooting for 36 seconds today, but eventually a minute for each hold.Β And we would need to keep notes so we might see what needs work and where we’ve made progress.

By the way, we still had fun while we did all this work. πŸ˜‰

Nicole broke things into fours… We did four different rounds of movements, four times through each progression.

  1. 4x a Bent Hollow Body Hold for 36 seconds and then a table hold for 30 seconds, with a 1 minute rest in-between
  2. 4x a 36 second plank hold and then a Jefferson Curl hold for 30 seconds
  3. 4x a 36 second arch body hold, and then 5 cat-cow progressions
  4. 4x six good ring rows and 10 kip swings

Plank_M_WorkoutLabs

The goal was to hold these various positions and push it as far as we could consistently. Sort of tabata-style — pick a time (36 seconds) and push as hard as we can to hit that every time. If we don’t make it, don’t stop randomly — but hold for 12 seconds or 24 seconds. I think it’s a bit of a mental game, but a good one.

I worked through with Logan and Adi and we were all laughing our way through a good chunk of these moves. It’s definitely harder than it looks and I was feeling it in a few places. I’m sure I’ll feel it by Monday quite a bit. πŸ™‚

At any rate, I thought it was a good class. We really need this kind of accessory work around our normal classes to reinforce good positions and keep building on our strengths. Most of these positions, if not all, will really help on the rig, on the rings, and stabilizing our core — so I think there’s a lot of good that can be done.

It’ll be work, but it’ll be worth it. πŸ™‚

Thanks Nicole for your time on this — and I look forward to coming back next week (and trying to get some of this in through the week this week)!

Have a great weekend folks!

Come Squat Away With Me!

With apologies to Styx, we were singing “Come Sail Away” this morning at the box with slightly different lyrics — thanks to Coach Bill!

A gathering of crossfitters appeared inside our box
They sang to me this song of lifts and this is what they said
They said come squat away come squat away
Come squat away with me…

(“Come Sail Away” by Styx, slightly altered by crossfit-induced endorphins)

As you might imagine, it was a good day at the box. πŸ™‚

Arrived for the 8:30 class on a rainy Thursday, but it didn’t dampen our spirits much. We had Coach Bill’s boundless enthusiasm, plus a great group of folks — Todd & Melissa, Sarah, Brent, Logan, and Coach Nicole was warming up for the next class.

body-weight-squat-illistrationWe did Nicole’s skills-based warm-up again today and struggled through as best we could. There are just a few things I can’t quite pull off, like running with a jump rope or getting up from the floor and twisting out of a cross-legged position. Not my cup of tea.

But the squat warm-up at the end? That I could do. Standing at the wall with a med ball behind you and dropping into a deep squat, then rising again — that was good. Squatting with a PVC pipe? Yup. Got that too.

Plus getting to work out with my wife? Big bonus!

And a workout FILLED with back squats? Count me in.

  • Back Squats:Β 10-5-3-1-1-1-3-5-10 (ascending to a peak and then descending again)

We all paired up and worked with partners while Bill wandered around making sure we were all on task. Logan and I paired up and got going pretty quickly.

illustrated-squatMy warm-ups included:

  • 45# x5
  • 95# x3
  • 115# x3

And then:

  • 135# x10
  • 165# x5
  • 205# x3
  • 235# x1
  • 255# x1
  • 275# x1
  • 205# x3
  • 165# x5
  • 135# x10

And Logan worked up from 115# to 215# and back again. He did awesome.

We were a bit slow (still finishing up as Bill was starting the 9:30 class, sorry Bill!) but we got through it.

Honestly my squats felt really good today. 275# was a bit more wobbly than 255# but only by a little. My one rep is 315# from January of this year, and I can tell just in the last few months that my squat positions have improved a ton since then. Overhead, not so much, but squats? Yes!

So I feel good! We’ll see how long that lasts! Great work 8:30 class and thanks Bill!

Modified Isabel

Wednesdays are odd days. Sometimes I make it into the box and sometimes I don’t. Today was a good day for it. πŸ™‚Β I’m still feeling the effects of those 75 thrusters on Monday, quite honestly, but I knew I needed to get more movement into my day if I was going to make it through.

Arrived and it was Sarah, Joe, and me for Coach Drea in the Noon class. We went through the warm-up (to once again prove how little coordination I have) and added some good shoulder mobility for today’s workout.

d1833aea1b354f0fe33b4f6d7e8a2d5eFrom there it was a ton of drills with a PVC pipe and then an empty barbell, moving through all the various positions of an Olympic snatch. And I was happy to hear that we were doing power snatches, not squat snatches.

After that it was just a matter of working up to the weight we’d do for the workout and getting it done. πŸ™‚

  • For time:Β snatches, 30 reps (125/85# performance, 75/55# fitness)

Essentially this is Isabel. 30 snatches for time at 135/95#.

The last time I did Isabel, I did it with 85# and I suspect they were hanging power snatches, not full squat snatches. In April 2016, I did 85# Isabel in under 3 minutes (2:54). But I can’t say I was looking forward to doing anything with 125# today. πŸ™‚

Instead, I worked up to 95# and stayed there. I slowed down a bit (5:34) but I felt like my reps were more consistent and my feet weren’t sliding out as far each time. Consistency vs. Speed was a definite trade-off. But I think this was better.

And Sarah and Joe gutted this out. Joe was using 115# and Sarah was at 25# or 35#.

It was a little weird being the first one done. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea! And great work guys!

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