Think yourself onto the box…

This week I have managed to take some vacation time and escape from work while my daughters have a holiday break. And that means… crossfit!

And today because my wife Ev is off we managed to go as a whole family unit to the 8:30am class at Crossfit Continuum with Coach Drea. We had quite a turnout for the class actually… Casey, Connie, Lisa, Monica, Kaila, Maria, and at least one other person were there. (The 9:30 class was pretty full too with Chad, Jeremy, Bill, Dan, Karen, Larry, Sam, and Andrea!)

So what did today’s WOD hold?

Well, we warmed up with a 400m jog or 500m row… then we did sets of 10 of things like half-handstand push-ups, pike push-ups, v-ups, knee-tuck jumps and a couple of other things along with a 30 second hand-stand hold.

20151123_093540From there we did some further warm-ups with handstand push-ups. We worked on tripod position (headstand with knees on elbows) and then kicking up or out to improve our kips – then tried to translate that to the wall. It’s something I definitely need to work on.

The workout itself was a 10-minute AMRAP consisting of…

  • 20 box jumps, 24/20-inch box
  • 10 handstand push-ups

Now, I am pretty funny about box jumps these days. I have a brain hiccup that makes me really have to think myself onto the box the first time and then I can do a few jumps. But getting over the hurdle of jumping up even 20″ is a challenge that takes seconds to complete. So I was by no means “fast” in this one.

As for the HSPUs, I did most of them strict with a few kipping ones thrown in for good measure. But I did ’em.

20151123_093536We were supposed to shoot for 4-8 rounds. HA! I was shooting for 4 and missed the mark because my brain was in the way. That actually happens a lot with me, so you’d think I’d be used to it by now. πŸ™‚

I made it through 3 complete rounds with a 20″ box and a mixture of strict and kipping HSPUs, plus 3 more box jumps. Honestly I’ll take it as a win.

How’d the rest of us do?

Ev got through 4 rounds plus 7 doing her box jumps on the big tire and inverted push-ups. Mickey got through 6 rounds Rx, which was impressive (though her HSPUs were a little shallow, she still did ’em!). And AJ got through 4 rounds plus 20 with inverted push-ups and jumping on the tire with Ev.

They did great! And we’ll all be going again tomorrow… Ev is going to shoot for an earlier class before she heads to work and the rest of us will go about the same time we did today. We’ll see how it goes. πŸ™‚

Should be more deadlifts and bench press, so I’m ready!

After we were done we did the now infamous “Darn-it Monica!” workout, which is 100 sit-ups for time. It has been forever since I’ve even attempted it and I ended up giving up after 30 of them. Just not in the cards today. But everyone else was done between 2:30 and 3:30 I think. They rocked it. πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! And thanks Drea for a fun workout.

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Snatch the PVC pipe from my hand…

Morning folks! Well, it is for a few more minutes anyway. Hopefully you’re having a good Saturday.

Today began my one week vacation away from work. Though we’re not going anywhere over the Thanksgiving break, I’m looking forward to sleeping in and catching up on some R&R – which of course means CROSSFIT!

Though Ev had to work today (she gets to join us next week – huzzah!), I took the girls into Crossfit Continuum for a Saturday team WOD. (We were almost late because I was playing a bit of Fallout 4 on the computer today, but we’ll let that slide… πŸ™‚ )

The Warmup

We got there a couple of minutes late, but made it in time to do one of the most fun warm-ups we’ve done at a team WOD… Everybody was in a circle with a PVC pipe. You held the pipe in one hand and set it on the floor. When Coach Stacy hollered “right” or “left”, you let your pipe go and dive for the one left by the person in the spot you’re diving into. If you catch it, all is well. If you drop it, everybody gets to drop and do two burpees.

snatch-the-pebble
Kung Fu

It was hilarious to watch as we got the hang of diving left and right, leaving the pipe hanging in midair for a moment as we fought to grab it. I think we did make it through two or three rounds without dropping it, but we had many more where we dropped the darn thing. πŸ™‚

(It very much reminded me of “Snatch the pebble from my hand” with the old Kung Fu series starring David Carradine.)

It was a great turnout today… We easily had 20+ folks there, including the three of us.

So Coach Stacy warmed us up and then we all turned to see what madness Coach Clare had cooked up for us… πŸ™‚

The WOD

We divided into groups of 4 or 5 people and tackled the WOD in two parts…

20151121_110957First, each member had to complete:

  • 100 double-unders (or singles)
  • 800m run (was going to be a calorie row, but we had too many folks)
  • 50 dumbell step-ups (or just step-ups)
  • All of this while two people held a partner deadlift of 350# (Rx) or 270# (scaled)
  • When the first group doing the jump-rope, run, and step-ups completed, you switched so everybody could complete the round.

Then, we had either…

RX

  • 42-30-18
  • Muscle-ups while two team members did a static deadlift hold (350#)
  • And partner deadlifts

Scaled

  • 80-60-40
  • hand-release push-ups while two team members did a static deadlift hold (270#)
  • And partner deadlifts

What it boiled down to was a killer WOD for grip strength because of all the deadlift holds.

How did we do?

I worked with the other four guys who were there – Brent, Daniel, Kurt, and Jared. We did the Rx weights. Though I can’t do double-unders or muscle-ups, I did a lot of static deadlift holds, single-unders, and partner deadlifts. I did scale the dumbell step-ups to go to a 20″ box and held two 35# kettle-bells, but that was the only other scaling I did.

And I’m happy to say that I did what was asked of me. I ran 800m (ran most of it anyway). Held 350# with a partner for a long time. And everything else.

It was good!

Meanwhile Mickey and AJ worked with Kaila and Emily and they started with 195# on the bar, but dropped to 125#. And they used lighter dumbells, but used the hand-release push-up version of the workout and did awesome.

We weren’t the first or last done, but we finished. I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Honestly I felt pretty good about my participation today. I would have taken off my shirt (we were all sweating pretty good), but my “keg” around the middle would not have matched up well with Daniel’s 8-pack abs. πŸ™‚

Big thanks to the guys for putting up with my slow butt on the run, but I’m happy with the day.

And now… back to Fallout 4! πŸ™‚

20151121_111004

Wow, it’s been a week…

Today is Thursday, the 19th of November. My last post was on Thursday, the 12th of November. And I’ve done no crossfit between those two days. I did manage to get some yoga done with Yogi Ridds over at Crossfit 719 last Saturday morning with my daughters, and that was fun. But no crossfit. Not even a home WOD.

Does shoveling snow count? I did a little of that this week.

Probably not.

So I went back into Crossfit Continuum today at noon for a workout. There were only a few of us. Coach Drea and Joel were finishing off their workout as I got there. And it was Jonathan, Catherine, Joe, and I doing the day’s strength WOD.

We started with a 1,000m row and then jumped right into things.

Deadlifts

DLgripwidthFirst, we tested gravity with deadlifts. A 3-rep ladder…

  • 1Γ—3@80%
  • 1Γ—3@85%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—3@85%
  • 1Γ—3@80%

I managed 275#, 295#, and 315# and worked on my switch grip (right hand over the bar, left hand under) since I need to practice that to get better at higher weights. I want to improve my 335# PR next week. πŸ™‚

Bench Press

20151119_130038Then we worked on bench press. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to do with it today since it’s been a week, but I was happy I had another spotter today. Jonathan did a bit heavier than I did, but we were close enough in weights it worked out.

It was another 3-rep ladder…

  • 1Γ—3@80%
  • 1Γ—3@85%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—3@85%
  • 1Γ—3@80%

I managed 165#, 175#, and 185# today, so not awful.

Accessory Work

20151119_130047And then after that we did some “abdominal/accessory work.” What does that mean? Odds-n-ends. 12 reps of each movement for 3 rounds…

  • GHD sit-ups (or weighted ab mat sit-ups)
  • Single leg deadlifts with dumbells
  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press
  • Bicep curls with dumbells

I did one set of GHD sit-ups and weighted sit-ups for the rest, and used a set of 30# dumbells for the rest. Always entertaining. The single leg deadlifts prove how little balance I have with my right side over my left. Answer: not a lot.

But it felt great to get back into the box.

We’ll try and get in for a Saturday workout this weekend and then as much as we can next week. πŸ™‚

Thanks for a fun workout Drea! Hope everybody has a terrific day!

Thursday De-load

As the 5th workout in 6 days, I was very happy that today was a “de-loading” WOD.

Made it in for a Noon WOD with Coach Drea, Marino, Shaun, and a nice couple with a cute little boy that Drea held the whole time. It was pretty low key. We started with an 800m run or 1,000m row and then dove right into more deadlifts and bench press…

  • Deadlift – 55-60%, 4 sets of 10 – I used 205# for the first set and moved up to 225# for the last 3, which was about 67% of 335
  • Bench press – 55-60%, 4 sets of 10 at 115#, which was 56%. I got through 37 of the 40 reps before my right shoulder complained loudly enough I really didn’t want to push further

Then we did some strange mid-line work… supposedly 4 sets, though I only got through about two and a half before I ran out of time…

  • 10 reverse kick ups (sort of like a mermaid tail) on the GDV machine
  • 5 stone to shoulder (I played with the 70# and 115# stones)
  • 15 barbell bench press (I used the 35# barbells)
  • 10 of something else (another barbell movement)

I took pictures today (as I always do), but in my haste I took pictures of the wrong day. Go figure. πŸ™‚

Update: A few words about the stone to shoulder movement. Today is the first time I’ve ever attempted it and I have to say it’s an awkward thing. πŸ™‚ Kind of fun, but like trying to pick up a bowling ball without holes as a kid. Not sure I’m ready to do it again soon, but it wasn’t awful!

Anyway… That’s it for me for crossfit this week. We’ll do some yoga over the weekend and then head back to the box as time allows next week. Probably Tuesday.

Hope everybody has a great rest of your day! Thanks Drea!

Another Tuesday on the Bench

So after 3 days at the box, what else is one to do but follow it up with a 4th?

Made it in for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea along with a whole mess of folks – Larry, Casey, Nicole, Sam, Bree, Ashley, and the young couple whose names I STILL haven’t managed to catch but are always very nice. The place was hopping (not like last night at 4:30, but still… hopping!). Bars and weight plates were all over the place. πŸ™‚

We started with an 800m run or 1,000m row (I’ll give you two guesses which one I did and the second one doesn’t count), then dove right into the work today…

20151110_093107

Deadlift

  • 1Γ—5@85%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—1@95%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—5@85%

My one rep max is 335#, so I went fairly heavy today… 285#, 305#, 325#, and then for fun I tried 335# and decided it wasn’t worth it. πŸ™‚ Then I climbed back down the same ladder I went up.

I think when we test on deadlift for a new PR if I can figure out the switch grip, I’ll probably go up a little. πŸ™‚ Need to work on that over the next couple of weeks.

Bench Press

  • 1Γ—5@85%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—1@95%
  • 1Γ—3@90%
  • 1Γ—5@85%

I went a bit light on these today… 145#, 165#, 185#, and then back down. My one rep is 205#, so I only got to 90%, but there were a lot of folks today and I didn’t want to get in the way, so I kind of waited and did the Accessory Work after Deadlifts.

We have another two weeks in this strength cycle, so I’ll have at least three more opportunities to work on form before we do another round of going for a new PR. But I think I may be close to a body weight bench press, which would make me very happy. πŸ™‚

Abdominal/Accessory Work

20151110_0931013 rounds of 15 of each movement with 1-2 mins between sets.

  • Romanian Deadlifts (Straight leg)
  • Back Rack Lunge
  • GHD Sit-ups or Weighted sit-ups
  • Bent over barbell row

I did these with 75# on the bar. Because of my Gorilla body (long torso, short legs) I was able to reach all the way to put the bar on the floor each time, so the Romanian Deadlifts were fun. And I did a full set of GHD sit-ups today for the first time in a long time. I don’t have the lower back flexibility these days to reach the floor behind me, but I did ok.

Unfortunately I only took the time to get through one full round and then a half a round before I started my bench presses.

And I just ran out of time before I had to head back home to work…

Afterwards…

I did see the 9:30 class trickle in… Elyse, Andy, and Chad were getting ready to go while everybody else was finishing up. But it was a good workout today.

Tomorrow is REST DAY! And I get to go see my favorite chiropractor… Caleb. So hopefully we can work out whatever is up with shoulders and my left leg. Getting old gracefully is not really a thing, is it? πŸ™‚

Have a great day folks! Good work!

Snatch the Monday from my hand…

Let’s see how the last few days have gone crossfit-wise…

20151107_105759(0)We all made it to Crossfit Continuum for the Saturday Team WOD with Coach Clare on Saturday morning. Teams of 3 or 4 – Barbellpalooza. 4 rounds for time (RX – Competitors was 115/85#, RX was 95/65#, and Scaled was 75/55#):

  • 40 OHS
  • 40 Hanging power cleans
  • 40 shoulder to overhead
  • 40 back squats
  • 40 deadlifts
  • 40 bar-facing burpees

I worked with Brent & Jamal, who both kicked butt. I did ok. And we ended up calling it after 3 rounds in about 35 minutes or so.

Then we went back to take care of our Fran time for the beginning of the second month of In the Zone… Three of us did it (AJ still has hers to go)…Β Fran is Β 21-15-9, thrusters 95/65# and pull-ups. Our times:

  • Mickey – 35# bar for thrusters & burpees instead of pull-ups – 7:55
  • Evelyn – 65# bar for thrusters & burpees instead of pull-ups – 10:35
  • Me – Rx and slow as molasses – 16:56 (my last 3 pull-ups must have taken 3 minutes to complete – no joke)

But it’s done for at least another few weeks.

20151109_125604And today I was wondering if I was going to be able to move. Apparently I was, so I did the day’s workout at Noon with Coach Drea.

Worked out with Marino, Marianne, and Matt while Logan finished up his workout…

It was a 12 minute AMRAP with 135/105# on the bar:

  • 3 snatches
  • 6 clean and jerks
  • 9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 54 double-unders

I scaled it to 95/65#, did regular pull-ups, and single unders.

Got through 3 rounds + 3 reps in the 12 minute cap at the scaled weight and movements. So not too bad.

That’s three workouts in a row. And I’m going back tomorrow and Thursday this week. Am I crazy?

20151109_125600

Review: Paleo Protein Bars from Julian Bakery

Every so often I get the itch to find a better snack in a pre-packaged form. Recently I’ve tried Zone Bars and a few others, but none have been all that tasty.

seven-barsBut I kept seeing the Julian Bakery ad show up in my Facebook feed for their “Paleo Protein Bars” and swore I’d give them a try. I ordered the 14 bar sample pack a couple of weeks ago – it includes 2 of each of the following:

  • Glazed Donut
  • Caramel
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Cookies N’ Creme
  • Coconut Shred
  • Chocolate Brownie
  • Chocolate Mint

It’s a little pricey at more than $3 a bar, but shipping was free so I decided to give it a shot.

So far I’ve tried two of them…

Glazed Donut

glazed-donutI wasn’t all that impressed with Glazed Donut. It was hard, chewy, and not particularly donut-tasting. But here are the details: 200 calories (50 from fat), 20g protein, 2g sugar, 7g net carbs (total carbs 28g, dietary fiber 21g), 6g total fat, 250mg sodium, and 280mg potassium. Ingredients-wise: egg whites, prebiotic fiber (from tapioca), organic sunflower seeds, water, palm oil, orange pulp, vanilla, maple emulsion, stevia leaf extract, and sea salt.

Chewy is the only word I can think to describe the thing, which puts it squarely in line with most other protein bars that I’ve tried. None of them have been particularly tasty.

Cinnamon Roll

cinnamon-rollThat said, the Cinnamon Roll bar was delicious. Here are the details on this one: 180 calories (60 from fat), 20g protein, 2g sugars, 3g net carbs (total carbs 21g, dietary fiber 18g), 7g fat, 220mg sodium, and 250mg potassium. Ingredients are similar: egg whites, prebiotic fiber (from tapioca), sunflower seeds, water, palm oil, orange pulp, cinnamon, vanilla, maple emulsion, stevia leaf extract, and sea salt.

Did I mention it was delicious?

Zone Diet Time

Converting them to Zone for our “In the Zone Challenge” it looks like:

  • Cinnamon Roll bar: 3 blocks protein, almost 5 blocks of fat, and 2 blocks of carbs
  • Glazed Donut bar: 3 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of fat, and 3 blocks of carbs

Quite honestly, that’s not too bad. The Donut one is almost a perfect 3 block snack. But these aren’t bad for on-the-go or just for a mid-day bite.

Want more details?

Interested in trying them yourself? Looks like the only way to get them is by ordering from their website: JulianBakery.com. And it did take a little while to get here. I ordered on October 27th and it arrived yesterday. So about 9 days – not too bad. considering they bake them there and ship fresh. Looks like the batch I got is all dated to expire on October 28 2016, so they last about a year.

I’ll be very curious to see how the rest of them are, but I’m taking my time working through the box of 14 (12 to go, 5 flavors left to try). If nothing else, I may buy a box of the Cinnamon Roll bars ($39.99 for a box of 12) and enjoy them as a “treat” now and then. πŸ™‚

I am not a fan of the Paleo Wraps (tried those a few months ago and they taste like cardboard or wrapping paper, I can’t tell which), but the bars so far have been a nice surprise. Looks like they offer bread, crackers, cereal, mixes, and more, so they have quite a few products to try.

Anybody else had any experience with these or anything else from the Julian Bakery? I’m curious!

A site about my crossfit journey…