Snatch the Bar from the Floor…

Yesterday was a nice rest day after Linda on Tuesday, but I was able to get back into Crossfit Continuum this morning after a meeting. My wife made it at 8:30 and I got there for a 9:30 class. The 8:30 class was still finishing up as I arrived, so I just hung out for a bit. Ev, Danielle, Ashley, Andrew, KC, Caleb, and Todd were chugging away.

When he was done with the day’s WOD, Caleb needed a counter for Karen (150 wall balls for time), so I helped with that. He smoked it, completing all 150 reps in 6:16. Crazy fast. I think he blew through the first 75 without stopping! Great work!

After that, I pretty much had one on one coaching with Drea (and Bill helped when he arrived later). It was interesting because today we were focused on the Olympic Snatch movement. Essentially for a normal snatch, you take the bar from the floor, pull it up along your body, and thrust it over your head as you squat beneath it.

snatch5

I started with a 400m run, then some pigs-on-skates, bridge-ups, snatch balance with a pvc pipe, and pvc pipe pass-thrus before warming up on the snatch movement itself.

It’s not one of my favorites over the last couple of years, but I’ve improved a bit. Today however we worked on a bit different approach. Usually you try and screw your heels into the floor, putting all your weight on the back of the foot. Now we’re shifting to distributing the weight across the whole foot (toes, ball, heel) to engage more muscles on the way up.

It was very interesting. We started at the rig with a banded pvc pipe to work on holding the bar closer to the body on the way up.

And then it was just lots of reps. I’d do it once, Drea would ask for a minor correction here or there, and we talked our way through the next 30 minutes. When Bill got there he pointed out a few things with my shoulders as well, which was fun. Apparently I have more flexibility than I thought and I’m overcorrecting overhead.

Lastly I did a few overhead squats. Too slow at first, but I got a bit faster with time. And then it was time to go home…

Not a lot of weight today. I just had 75# on the bar. Today was pretty relaxed and I was still sweaty when I was done, so I guess it’s a good thing. 🙂 We’ll see what I remember the next time we work on this movement.

Thanks Drea & Bill for all the good suggestions!

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A workout new to me… Linda

It’s Tuesday, so it must have been time to get in for another workout at Crossfit Continuum. Today I met another one of the “named” workouts in crossfit… Linda.

Though I watched the 8:30 class finish up (lots of people moving heavy objects – Jonathan, Sarah, Maria, Lyle, Mike, Larry, Todd, Sam, and I’m sure I missed someone). It did not look like fun. And it turned out I was all alone at 9:30!

I started with a 1000m row and then started getting my stuff together… Larry stuck around for a while and I had a nice chat with Drea. And Logan and Drea were starting their workout when I was leaving…

20151208_105157But how was the workout itself?

Linda is a workout where you do 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:

  • 1 1/2 body-weight deadlift
  • Body-weight bench press
  • 3/4 body-weight clean

For me, those weights these days would be 345# (my 1RM is 355#), 235# (my 1RM is 220#), and 175# (my 1RM is 195#). I decided to use my head vs. being insane and went with more reasonable weights for the number of reps we were talking about…

  • Deadlift – 275#
  • Bench press – 165#
  • Clean – 155#

And I got through the whole thing in about 55 minutes. Ironic since it was 55 reps for each movement, averaging out to about 1 deadlift, 1 bench press, and one clean every minute. All 165 reps took a while.

20151208_090320We did Fran and Karen last week. Now Linda. Who’s next?

Just looking at the rep count, in the last two days I’ve done nearly 400 reps of various movements (228 yesterday and another 165 today = 393). Yesterday was a lot quicker, but I wasn’t moving heavy bars. 🙂

Thanks Drea for hanging out with me for the long workout – sorry I was so slow. But I did eventually get ‘er done. And thanks Larry for sticking around for a while too!

Tried something new at the suggestion of our chiropractor friend (and fellow crossfit athlete) Caleb. A variation on the usual taping we’ve done on my knees in the past. This one is meant to help with the irritated fat pad that’s just below the kneecap on my right knee. And it did help! I just wish I had taped the other knee too because it was complaining about halfway through the workout. 🙂

Hope everybody has a great day!

Tabata This… Tabata That…

Tabata is a 6 letter word for “hellish workout,” but also so much more. (Breaking Muscle’s Flavia Del Monte wrote a great article about the Tabata revolution if you’re interested.)

Today we did four of them. Back to back. Yahoo?

Anyway… I made it to a 9:30 workout today with Coach Bill along with Joe and Andrea. The 8:30 class was just cleaning up when I got there and they didn’t mince words. I fully expected to be mostly dead by the end of the class (and I was close).

We started with a 400m run (*gasp* I actually did run) and then some work with a PVC pipe (Sotz press and Sumo Deadlift High Pulls), leg lifts, half handstand push-ups, shoulder wring-outs, and my favorite – roll-to-candlestick. (I’m getting closer to getting up on crossed feet, so maybe someday I’ll be able to get up off the floor.)

Then we grabbed our equipment for the day… a loaded bar (75/55#) and an ab mat.

20151207_102719If you don’t know what a Tabata is… it’s a series of 8 intervals where each interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. So 4 minutes of fun. Usually you count the lowest number of reps you get for each series and that’s the “score” – but today we were using the tabata almost as an AMRAP and adding all the reps together at the end.

The four different Tabata series today were:

  • push press (75/55#)
  • sit-ups
  • sumo deadlift high pulls (75/55#)
  • push-ups

20151207_102712My goal was to get through at least 50 reps of each movement, so shooting for 200 total in the workout. I managed almost 70 push-press and 65 sit-ups before things started slowing down. I even did my push-ups on my knees to save my already angry knees and hips from more damage and slowed down further…

My total? 228. Not too bad. Folks seemed to be varying from just below 200 to a little more than 300, so I was right in the middle. I’ll take it. 🙂

Joe got 236 and Andrea hit 218, so we were all pretty close with Bill counting us in.

Lastly we did a mobility Tabata for shoulder mobility. It was interesting. 🙂 I won’t say I was doing it well, but it definitely stretched… something. And my shoulders were unhappy, so they might have been the target. 🙂

Now we’re done and I’m back to work. Yay team. I ought to be able to feel my abs after 65 sit-ups in 4 minutes any time now!

Great work today folks!

An Update on Sleep

Earlier this year I wrote about some of the strange sleep remedies I’ve been trying. After a little success, I thought I’d post an update.

Sense from Hello

Screenshot_2015-12-07-08-55-51I’ve been looking for a simple sleep tracker that I don’t have to wear on my body and found “Sense” by Hello. This has three components:

  • An in-room sensor
  • A “clip” that pins to your pillow
  • and an app

Essentially movement on the pillow is tracked by the in-room sensor (which also tracks things like noise, light, temperature, and humidity), which then uses Bluetooth to communicate with the app, which sends data back to the Hello servers for analysis.

Now, I won’t say that it’s perfect, but it does give me plenty of data to look at. I like seeing when I go to bed and when I get up, for instance, as well as when I toss and turn overnight. I’m usually up a couple of times and the sensor tracks that fairly well.

The “Sleep Score” is bunk as far as I’m concerned, but it’s nice to have a bit more data to play with.

Soothing Sounds

I’ve also added a new element over the last few weeks – a playlist from Amazon Prime Music that I play over our Amazon Echo internet-connected speaker in the bedroom. (I’m a huge fan of the Echo – we own three of them, one for each floor of the house now.) I play nature sounds (ocean waves, wind, etc.) for a few hours to help tune out my brain a little.

That seems to have helped.

10ml_72DPI_Good-Night_1024x1024Soothing Scents

And we now have a few “diffusers” for essential oils at the house. I’ve been doing a combination of DoTerra’s Lavender and Edens Garden’s Good Night Synergy blend (like DoTerra’s Serenity). I’ll be shifting over to Serenity when I run out of the Good Night blend.

Soothing Concoctions

ProductImage1And lastly I’ve been playing with Doc Parsley’s Sleep Cocktail.

This concoction purports to adjust your brain chemistry slightly to aid in a deeper sleep. One word to the wise – it is a tad bit expensive at about $2 a packet for 30. But it’s been having a good effect, so I’ll continue with it as long as I see results.

The Results…

I’ve tried each of these separately and in different combinations, but when I put them all together I have something I haven’t had for a long time… Actual dreams. That I remember.

9Tpedq7ac

That means… SUCCESS!

Is it perfect? Heck no. It’s a messed up conglomeration of things, but I have had more success with all of these tools used together than I have in a long time. And my dreams are just as messed up as I remember, so that may be a double-edged sword.

We will continue to play, but I wanted to update folks on the journey…

 

Saturday Team WOD

After doing Karen on Wednesday (150 wall balls for time), I have to say that my body and I weren’t really on speaking terms. It didn’t want to move for a while and I ended up skipping Thursday and Friday at the box to give it some time to cool off.

As it is, I was still moving a little slowly this morning. But we got up and headed into Crossfit Continuum for the morning team WOD. Though Ev had to work, I took the girls with me and we would see what was in store for us…

20151205_110236Coach Clare had an easy little warm-up – a little 400m run (it was sunny and felt pretty good this morning) and then 15 reps of a few things like PVC pass-thrus, squat-to-stands, and so on. And then we talked about the workout itself…

In teams of 4 or 5, we were to tackle…

A buy-in of a 4,000 meter row divided up among the team.

Then 5 rounds for time where each member rotated through the various movements for a minute each…

  • Box jumps
  • Push-ups
  • Med-ball sit-ups
  • Row for calories
  • Chest to Bar pull-ups, regular pull-ups, or ring rows
  • and a 1 minute rest

At the end, the cash out was a 200m Buddy Carry… everyone had to get carried at least once. 🙂

I got to work with Emily, Margaret, and Clara today. I’ve not worked with Margaret or Clara before so it was nice to meet some new folks!

We each rowed 1,000m to start and then the madness began. We had a plan when we started, but I think I threw things off because I forgot the “rest” period in the AMRAP in my first two rounds. That said, the ladies did amazing and outdid me at every turn, so I really didn’t have too much time to think about it.

I scaled a little with step-ups on the 20″ box, med ball sit-ups with a 14# medicine ball (should have used a 20# but figured it was ok), and regular kipping pull-ups. We also had an obstacle – the rower battery is dying so it would reset and take about 30 seconds to get through the set-up menu when it died.

At the end, Margaret carried Emily and I carried Clara and then the three ladies worked together to carry me. It was quite entertaining and I’m hoping that some of the pictures that Coach Clare took turn out. 🙂

We had a great turnout… The girls got to work with Kaila and another gal who happens to teach at AJ’s elementary school. Monica, Daniel, Caleb, Megan, and Brent worked together and Emily, Elizabeth, Larry, Jamal, and Stacy worked together. Clare just wandered around cheering folks on and keeping folks moving. 🙂

When it was all done, we also saw a few folks coming in for the Advanced lifting class that was after the team WOD. So it was a good day.

Now I’m tired. 🙂

Great work everybody and thanks for carrying my heavy self more than a few feet ladies!

Karen is a Five-Letter Word

I’m going to preface today’s post with this…

Anyone who thinks that doing Fran and Karen in the same week is a good idea should probably have their head examined. 🙂

We did Fran on Monday, then a funky back squat strength routine yesterday, and now Karen today. My body is going to file for a cease and desist order if I keep this up.

20151202_102952Thankfully I wasn’t alone. We had Coach Bill leading our merry band and the 9:30 class included: Lyle, Elyse, Lori, and Danielle. We started with a short 250m row, then moved to a 30 second handstand hold, wall ball shots, front squats with a med ball, ankle rolls, knee hugs, pigs-on-skates, and a few grasshoppers. That was just to get us moving a bit before the main event.

Karen, if you don’t know, is one of the named “ladies” of Crossfit. It involves doing 150 wall balls for time with a 20# or 14# med ball. A wall ball is essentially a front squat where you push your med ball to a 8′ or 10′ target on the wall at the top. Now imagine 150 of them!

20151202_102950Honestly I did ok for the first 80 or 90 wall balls and then started slowing down. My quads were burning and it only got worse. The first 100 wall balls were done in about 10 minutes. The last 50 took more than 6 minutes.

I finished in 16:21.

We had other folks who finished in around 8 minutes. They were flying. I wanted to stop at 10 minutes. I don’t like pain. This was muscle agony in my quads. I felt like I was going to fall over.

I did appreciate all the encouragement. As the last man standing, I was cheered on by the rest of the class. And I did get some nice comments about the fact that my mobility has improved from Bill. I was getting a full squat at the bottom and full extension at the top.

So that was nice at least. I just don’t want to do it again. 🙂

Other folks this morning finished in 7-8 minutes, which is crazy. I don’t know how they did that.

So here’s the only bad thing about Karen today. We have to do it again later in the month… A ‘retest’ to see if we improved any.

At this point, I think “Karen” can take a flying leap. 🙂

Great work folks! And thank you for all the encouragement!

Back Squats For Days

Yesterday, Fran and I had it out. She won this round. Life goes on. End of story.

Today we did something we haven’t done before on a strength day – lots of reps with lower weights mixed in with heavier attempts. It was interesting. And I like back squats, so I was all in.

Got there for an 8:30 WOD with Coach Drea. My wife Ev had the day off, so she joined me, and we also had Todd, KC, Mike, Ashley, Maria, Sam, and Lyle. Plus Danielle came early for the 9:30 class (and she was joined by Larry and Andrea for Coach Bill).

kettlebell-swing
Found this great image here…

So we started with a “Death by Kettlebells” warm-up. This is where you do an increasing rep scheme with 1 kettlebell swing in the first minute, 2 in the next, 3 in the one after that, etc., until you get to 10. In-between the KBSs you work through a mix of other movements… 5 burpees, 5 jumping pull-ups, 5 thoracic high fives, 5 squat-to-stands, and 5 roll-to-candlesticks…

It was a morning where the warm-up definitely got us warm!

Then we started the workout, which as I said was a bit unusual for us.

  • Back Squats: 1-10-1-20-1-30

Start with a heavy 1 rep, then do 10 reps at a lower weight, then do another 1 rep, but heavier, and another 20 reps at a lower weight than the first 10 reps, then do another 1 rep, but heavier, and end with 30 reps at a lower weight than the last 20…

400px-Squats.svgLike I said, it was an interesting rep scheme.

I worked with Lyle, who is a great, younger guy who looks like the traditional pictures of crossfit athletes. Thankfully today he and I were on the same page as far as weights went.

He went a little heavier than I did for the one-reps, but we stayed at the same weights for the 10-20-30…

For me, it went:

  • 1-reps = 245, 250, 255 (actually 252.5 ’cause we forgot a plate, but it was ok)
  • 10-20-30 reps = 155, 135, 115

I’m pretty happy with the results. The multi-rep sets were tough! My one rep (set back in May) is 275, so this was pretty good for me.

Thanks Lyle for hanging with the older guy. 🙂

Meanwhile my wife managed a new one rep max of 175#! Woot! She’s now doing Fran with our friend Danielle, so we’ll see how that goes.

So not a bad day. 🙂

Tomorrow is Karen… 150 wall balls for time. I’m not looking forward to it, but should be ok I hope. Shooting for 10 minutes or less.

b.fatpadRight now I’m treating my right knee with a little kindness. The “fat pad” below the kneecap is inflamed and unhappy at the moment. So I did some ice and now I’ve put some Deep Blue (like Icy Hot) on it. We’ll see if we can get it to be a little less angry.

Ice + Heat + Ibuprofen = win

Hope everybody has a great day!

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