Love, Loss, and Too Many Squats

Today was workout #3 for the week and my body is starting to make me wonder what the heck I’m doing to it. One more day and then a break, I promise!

The day began with a 5:30am wake-up alarm on my phone so I could get Evie up to head to a 6am workout with Mickey at Crossfit Continuum. Even on my vacation, nobody wants to see me at 6am, I promise. And they survived with flying colors, completing the WOD in about 20 minutes each.

AJ and I made it in for a 9:30 class and Mickey tagged along. Evie had to go work today or would have come to cheer and prod us on as well. πŸ™‚

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We were joined by Connie, Emily, Deana, Sam, and Andrea – and we had Coach Stacy pushing us onward to deeper squats and more level Good Mornings…

We started with a short row before numerous Cossack squats, deep squats, knee hugs, and other assorted movements to help open up our knees and hips a little bit before the abuse to come.

Today’s workout was for time…

  • 150 squats
  • 75 hip extensions
  • 120 squats
  • 60 hip extensions
  • 90 squats
  • 45 hip extensions

20151223_102957If you’re counting, that’s 360 air squats and 180 hip extensions (on the GHD machine or one of a few varieties of Good Mornings). 540 reps in all. Um. Yay?

  • Evie finished this morning in 21:38.
  • Mickey finished in 20:08.
  • AJ finished in 21:07.
  • And I finished in 32:38.

You might notice a bit of a disparity there in those times. Funny enough it wasn’t the squats that were the deadly part for me, it was the Good Mornings…

I did my first set with a 45# bar at Stacy’s urging and within the first 10 I felt something pop in my knee. It got angry after that. I shifted to banded Good Mornings (green band) and eventually to a PVC pipe, but it took forever.

The good thing is that I’m still moving. And with a little “Vitamin I” (Ibuprofen) am continuing to do so. But boy that was a challenge.

Thanks for pushing me Stacy and great work to everybody in the class (and during the day today) who did the workout. It was a killer even without weight!

Light and Love

Today was tough for many reasons, but I want to send light and love to some friends of ours facing the 2nd anniversary of a tragic event. These folks are some of the nicest we know and continue to be amazing despite their loss three years ago. Kiana will never be forgotten. And though there will be tears today, I know she is beaming love back to their whole family. Β Though I’m not with them physically tonight for their balloon release, I am sending them much love.

Crowds are tough for me under the best of circumstances, but I find that I’m particularly vulnerable to the emotions in a large group. Though I am there in spirit, I’m not sure I’d be able to handle the event in person. So I apologize to the family for not being there. But I know they’ll understand.

The loss of a child is impossible to imagine. When my best friend died unexpectedly in 2000, I was unable to function for a while. The smallest things reminded me of our time together and it was agony. Even today I still think of him regularly.

I can only think that losing a child is like that but magnified a million times. Even so,Β I am sure that Kiana’s light has been added to the heavens so we may always find our way home. And I hope there is some small comfort in that.

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We will never forget Kiana and we will always be there for Monica, Dan, Kaila, Ava, and their family. For they are more of the many wonderful folks in our extended family at Crossfit Continuum and beyond.

Give your loved ones a hug tonight. Listen. Every breath and heartbeat is a gift. Cherish them in good times and bad.

 

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My nemesis – squat cleans

In the continuing attempt this week to see how long my body holds out doing multiple crossfit workouts, I made it in for the second WOD of the week… And today it wasn’t just our daughters that went, but my wife too!

We were there in time to see the 8:30 class finish up with Coach Drea… Larry, Marianne, and Ashley were finishing up all their hanging squat cleans as we arrived, so we got to say hey. And then we had a fun class with Connie, Danielle, and all of us. πŸ™‚

The warm-up was a 500m row and then some odds-n-ends. Pigs on skates, squat to stand, Cossack squats, and some shoulder stretching. Why? Because we were going to stress our hips, wrists, and forearms.

clean-pull-illustrationIt was a strength series of hanging squat cleans…

  • 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1 reps

Starting with the 75/80% of your one rep max and working your way up.

Most of us didn’t really have “hang squat clean” 1RM numbers to go off of today, so we kind of ballparked it. My one rep max clean is 195#, but damn if everything didn’t feel heavy today. I started with 95#, went to 115#, 135#, 145#, and 155#. I was able to power clean 155# but not squat clean it though I tried a few times.

There’s something about this movement that still evades me… But I was happy that, though I was slow, it was more of a continuous motion from clean to squat instead of two separate movements. I noticed some mobility issues with my wrists at lower weights (95#) which went away as I added more. But it got a little easier to hold the bar as we moved forward.

Again, I should have taped my knees but I’ll do that for tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. πŸ™‚

How’d the rest of the Fitzy’s do?

  • Ev did a 115# hang squat clean, which is a 10# PR over her one rep clean numbers from back in September
  • Mickey hit 85# and almost got to 95#
  • AJ hit 70#

Great work everybody! Hopefully Drea, Logan, Lisa, and Connie had fun with the advanced class after we left. Lots of clean & jerks!

Have a great day folks!

Rope climbs?

It’s the first official day of my “vacation” for the holidays, so of course we had to do crossfit in addition to taking care of several things on the list… And now I’m exhausted. Why am I exhausted on vacation? Geesh!

Anyway, I made it to Crossfit Continuum this morning with the girls to see what fun our coaches had in store for us. Mickey, AJ, and I were joined by a fun assortment of folks – Deana, Connie, Monica, Kaila, Dan, Sam, Brent, and Lisa – and we had Coach Stacy today. Other than the occasional Saturday team WOD I haven’t been in one of Stacy’s classes, so it was a nice change.

We started with a 400m run in the Slip-and-Slide that is the parking lot. I almost biffed it at least once and I wasn’t alone. Not my best run by any stretch. When we got back inside we did a mix of things including crab walks, bear crawls, arm swings, and other fun movements.

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pThe day’s workout though was truly entertaining. It was a 20 minute AMRAP that included:

  • 15-ft. rope climbs, 2 ascents (or 10 reps of some variety of pull-ups)
  • 20 one-legged squats, alternating
  • 40 double-unders (or 80 singles)

Other than the very modified rope climb where you lie on the ground at the bottom of the rope and haul your body up hand over hand until you’re standing and then lower yourself back down to the ground again, I’ve not had a chance to figure that movement out. And with nearly a dozen of us running around, I took the pull-up option today.

I also did one-legged squats (pistols) modified today. Standing on a 20″ box, I slowly lowered myself to the ground while leaning over the bent leg on top of the box. I alternated legs and did 20 of those.

20151221_102324And double-unders are still not in my wheel house, so it was singles.

As you can see, I modified every single movement to some degree today and I was not alone. πŸ™‚

So how’d we do?

  • I managed to get through 4 complete rounds plus 6 pull-ups with my mods
  • Mickey got through 4 rounds plus 37 doing pull-ups, pistols on the rig, plus singles.
  • AJ did 7 rounds doing jumping pull-ups, pistols on the rig, and singles.

Stacy said to shoot for 5 rounds, so 4+ was decent. Not great, but decent.

Someday I’ll work on rope climbs. I promise.

Back again tomorrow! Crossfit all week!!

Thanks Stacy and great work everybody! Hope you all have a great day!

A Bit of Diane in My Day

What is it about all the named workouts of late? Fran, Karen, Linda… now Diane?

For the third workout of the week, I was pleased that I could slip into Crossfit Continuum for an 8:30 class with my wife, our friend Danielle, and the rest of the folks. The holidays are upon us and one of my standing meetings has been canceled for a few weeks so I could get back to working out with my wife!

All together for Coach Drea’s 8:30 class it was me, Ev, Danielle, Jonathan & Sarah, Todd & Melissa. We had a fun group (it’s always fun, so I don’t know why I always say that!)! πŸ™‚

20151217_094326Started with a 500m row and then did an assortment of things such as handstand holds, half handstand push-ups, a reverse grip hold on the rig, bridge-ups, one-legged deadlifts, and so on. That was before we worked on our deadlift skills, focusing on correcting our form a bit. Same with handstand push-ups.

So what is Diane? It’s 21-15-9 reps for time of…

  • 225/155-lb. deadlifts
  • Handstand push-ups

Amazingly I could do both of these movements. I didn’t even have to scale (much). Rx all the way! Now I won’t say that my HSPUs (down to a 45# plate and one abmat) were fantastic towards the end (my last 3 were awful). Nor can I say that I did touch-and-go with all 45 of the 225# deadlifts (I did touch-and-go for the first 31 and then just started picking up the bar and dropping it).

20151217_094319Apparently we were supposed to shoot for a 5 minute time. When I hear that from a coach, I automatically double it. Someone at our box may have a sub-5 minute time. She suggested that most of us shoot for 8-10 minutes.

So how’d we do?

Not too shabby actually!

I managed a 9:56 time. I’ll take sub 10!

Ev flew with her mods. She did the prescribed weight for deadlifts and did push-ups off a 24″ box and managed a super speedy time of 5:21. I think when she figures out how to kick up to the wall consistently she’s going to kick even more butt. πŸ™‚

Danielle scaled a bit (125# deadlifts) and kicked up to the wall – so she did awesome with a 6:26 time. Everybody else ranged from 7 to 10 minutes as well – so we all kicked butt!

Great work everybody! Plus we got to give Coach Bill a little grief when we were done, so that was fun. πŸ™‚

Hope everybody has a great day! I’m ready for the holidays to be here so I can get more crossfit into my week!

The post-snow-day-WOD

Yes, I was planning on going to Crossfit Continuum on Tuesday. Then we had a two hour delay for the girls school district which turned into a full day cancellation. And my wife was home. And we had our friend Danielle over… It was chaotic.

In the midst of all of that, I worked a full day and didn’t get to crossfit. Bummer.

20151216_102317So today, though I usually skip Wednesdays, I felt I had to get in. Amazingly, after another meeting, I did!

It was me, Lyle, Andrea, and Jodi this morning for Coach Drea. We started with a 500m row and shifted to some bridge ups, high knees, bounding, a few box jumps, and so on to get going. Today we would need our knees to be bouncy!

The workout was a 10 minute AMRAP:

  • 10 box jumps, 30/24″ box
  • 20 weighted sit-ups (at least a 15# weight)

I’m back to the point where 20″ box jumps feel pretty good. I haven’t tried 24″ box jumps much of late (though I know I should). So the 30″ jumps were out of the question. But I used a 20# medicine ball for the weighted sit-ups.

20151216_102313Pretty much we were off to the races! It looked like earlier classes were getting through 5 or 6 rounds, so that was what I set out to do with my modifications.

Though I wrote down 5 + 14, I shortchanged myself. I actually got through 5 + 24 and was only 6 sit-ups away from completing that 6th round.

Lyle kicked butt with 30″ box jumps and a 53# kettle bell on his chest, completing 7 + 3.

Andrea got through 5 + 8. And Jodi did 7 + 5 (modified).

They all kicked butt, as per usual. And honestly this one was not too bad. I got through 60 box jumps at 20″ and 114 weighted sit-ups. I’ll take it!

Thanks Drea and great work everybody! Hope you all have a great day!

More Tabata!

“My name is Brian and it’s been three days since my last workout…” πŸ™‚Β Do we need a Crossfitters Anonymous or is that more like going to confession? Either way, my weekend was nuts and I haven’t touched anything heavy (except for moving a king-sized bed downstairs and into a truck) since Thursday.

This weekend was the Naughty or Nice WOD around here. I didn’t make it to Crossfit ContinuumΒ for it on Saturday (too many things going on) and didn’t go with my wife and daughters (and our friend Marilee) to Progressive Fitness Crossfit on Sunday because I needed a bit of a break from people. I heard that both places were hopping and the girls met some very nice folks at Progressive. πŸ™‚

I also had a few beers on Saturday (spread over many hours of playing Fallout 4) and ate too much food all weekend, so I knew I needed to get back to the box today. So I did!

Though the 8:30 class looked pretty full with Lori, Todd, Sam, and a few other folks, I made it in for the 9:30 class with Andrea and Coach Drea. It was another four tabata day like last week. But unlike last week, we just repeated two movements.

20151214_104547We started with a 500m row and then did some stretches such as iron cross on the floor, marching bridges, knee hugs, Spider-man lunges, Frankenstein, etc. And that was just so we could move a bit for our tabata.

The workout was for our total number of reps with:

  • Tabata Squat
  • Tabata Deadlift #155/105
  • Tabata Squat
  • Tabata Deadlift #155/105

As you might recall, the tabata is 4 minutes of work where you do 20 seconds of reps and 10 seconds of rest, repeating 8 times. And this quad-bata is four of those strung together for a 16 minute workout.

20151214_102025I was not looking forward to it, but honestly it should have been ok. I did great in the first 4 minutes of air squats, but as soon as I hit the deadlifts everything went downhill quickly.

  • Squats – 105
  • Deadlifts – 32
  • Squats – 63
  • Deadlifts – 23
  • Total = 223

I’m ok with that. What’s funny is that Andrea got the exact same rep count. We were not in sync at all and she did great. We were both even Rx for the workout, which was cool.

20151214_104543What blows me away is that some folks in earlier classes were in the 300s and nearly hit 400. Crazy!

But we finished up and did a bit of stretching. I didn’t tape my knees today, instead choosing to use my knee sleeves to see if that helped. Quite honestly, it did not and I should have taped them both again. They’re both complaining. πŸ™‚

We’ll survive however. Life is good!

Something else…

Thought I’d mention one other thing. Last Thursday, one of our coaches – Bill – recommended that I go take an Olympic lifting seminar being put on by Jared Enderton of Enderton Strength in January. It’s not a bad price for a 5 hour seminar and literally just around the corner from our house (less than a mile) – so it should be an interesting experience.

LOGO-280x230As someone who never really considered himself an athlete, the fact that I’m signed up for such a thing seems impossible to me. But I’m still having fun with crossfit, seeing solid gains year after year, and happy with my results. Might as well continue the trend and do something else to keep the trend moving. πŸ™‚

I really have no clue what to expect, but amazingly my wife has the day off and wants to go so I’ve signed her up too. We’ll represent Team Fitzy and see if we can improve some of our lifting techniques!

That’s all from here, so I hope everybody has a fantastic day!

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.Β Today was pretty relaxed and I was still sweaty when I was done, so I guess it’s a good thing. πŸ™‚ We’ll see what I remember the next time we work on this movement.

Thanks Drea & Bill for all the good suggestions!

A site about my crossfit journey…