Tabatas are evil…

Tuesdays and Thursdays are typically strength-related at Crossfit Continuum. We’ve done many different cycles over the last few months, including deadlifts, bench press, and now front squats. So I fully expected to walk in today and get my squat on… but like some days are at the box, I swear the bar got heavier for no reason at all.

Though I work from home, my schedule has been wacky of late. I used to be really consistent with what times I’d get into the box, but I’ve been all over the place for a few months now. Yesterday was 9:30. Today was 8:30. Thursday will be Noon. Wacky, I say.

But I made it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Drea and was joined by Jonathan, Sarah, and their little boy. We started with a 500m row and shifted to some Cossack squats, knee hugs, slow air squats, wall squats, grasshoppers, and my favorite – roll to candlestick.

Gravity Seemed Heavier Today

January 26, 2016 at 1043AMWith that out of the way we could tackle our front squats for the day.

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

Easy enough, right? Right off the bat I decided to go with 215 as my 95% and reconsidered pretty quickly as I warmed up. I ended up with:

  • 85% = 185# (86% of 215#)
  • 90% = 195# (91% of 215#)
  • 95% = 205# (95% of 215#)

So I guess that was better anyway. I knew when I warmed up with 135# on the bar that it was going to be a long day. It just *felt* heavy today. Β Mentally it was no heavier than it had been when I did it last Thursday, but hey… maybe gravity was slightly out of whack. Or maybe it’s the cold that I’m coming down with.

Anyway, I had a hard time with the sets of 5. The first set at 185# I did two, put the bar down, then did three more. The sets of 3 at 195# I was able to power through. And the 1 rep at 205# felt ok. But that last set of 185# I had to break it into 4 and 1.

Not my finest hour, but I’m hopeful I feel stronger (or gravity loosens its hold a bit) on Thursday when we test for new one rep PRs. I’m hoping for 225# or better.

We’ll see what happens.

Tabatas Happen

Once all that was done we did a 10 round tabata with air squats. A tabata is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, so air squats should be no big deal. Shoot for 10-15 in that 20 second period, rest, repeat. But here’s the twist with today’s. That 10 seconds of rest, we alternated resting at the bottom of the squat or standing.

January 26, 2016 at 1043AM (1)I realized quickly that sure – I can sit in a squat for 10 seconds no problem. But I can’t breathe deep enough to recover. So that next round I’d get maybe 8 or 10 squats vs. 10-12 if I rested in a standing position. It was interesting.

I think I averaged 10 squats or so each of the 20 seconds, but my my shortest round was 8 and I had a couple of those.

Long story short, it was tougher than it should have been. πŸ™‚

But everybody chugged right along and I’m looking forward to shooting for a new one rep max front squat on Thursday. Hopefully gravity will cooperate!

Great work everybody. Thanks Drea and I hope everybody has a great day!

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Fight Gone Worse

It’s a new week, which means a Monday workout to sweat out the bad food choices I made over the weekend (caffeine, pizza, a burrito, and the occasional beer – I didn’t get TOO crazy). But when I saw what today’s workout was last night I was debating my own sanity…

January 25, 2016 at 1117AMToday I arrived in time to see the 8:30 class putting their equipment away, looking exhausted, and telling me that I should just turn around and run while there was still time. That’s never a good sign. Of course Coach Drea already saw me and told me it was too late to run. πŸ˜‰

It was me, Jemma and Andrea with Coach Drea at 9:30. (It was Monica, Lisa, Danielle, Mike, and one or two other folks.) None of us were all that geeked up about Fight Gone Bad but we didn’t cut and run!

Started with a 500m row and then did some one-armed kettle-bell thrusters (25# for me), kettle-bell sumo deadlift high pulls, half-handstand push-ups, squat-to-stands, and pigs-on-skates to warm up… Then grabbed our equipment for the workout…

“Fight Gone Bad” has been around for quite a while in the crossfit community (see here from 2008) but that didn’t make it any better. πŸ™‚

January 25, 2016 at 1117AM (1)Three rounds of five minutes each (one minute per exercise) with one minute between the rounds:

  • Wall balls (20# ball, 10 foot target)
  • Sumo deadlift high-pull (75/55# bar)
  • Box jumps (20″ box)
  • Push-press (75/55# bar)
  • Row (for Calories)

This is one of those workouts we’ve done before and is awful every time it comes up.

I did Rx for everything but the box jumps, which I ended up doing step-ups for after one round. And I was definitely the slowest of our crew. My rounds went:

  1. 25/15/10/15/10
  2. 17/10/10/15/10
  3. 15/15/10/12/8

My total: 197. The ladies did awesome – Andrea got 202 and Jem got 281. They beat the snot out of me. πŸ™‚Β I don’t remember what I got the last time we did this, but I expect it was about 200 last time too, maybe less.

That said – I’m alive and looking forward to some front squats tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea and great work everybody!

Push Me, Pull You

Team workouts on Saturdays are usually a blast at Crossfit Continuum. They may come close to killing you at points, but you’re in the company of friends. And you’re all dying together. πŸ™‚

This weekend we had two options – yoga or team workout – and we were asked to attend one over the other. Not me, mind you, but the girls’ presence was requested by their friend Kaila – so hey, who am I to object?

So I arrived with Mickey and AJ (Ev was working) and we were treated to another insane two part workout from Coach Stacy. But we were definitely not alone. All together there had to have been 15-20 of us

We started with a 400m run in the beautiful weather we had here in Colorado today and then broke into groups of 4. Though there was some debate over where our friend Robert would go (the girls really wanted him to join us and would have thrown me under the bus) but he fell in with Coach Drea and Coach Bill to help fill out a team of 3.

If you’re keeping score, that was me (age 45) with AJ (10), Kaila (12), and Mickey (15). The height differences were entertaining along with strength and flexibility. You’ll see why in a minute.

In our teams of 4, there were two parts to today’s madness…

January 23, 2016 at 0551PMFirst we had to work as a team in 20 minutes to complete:

  • 15 team worm push-ups (or 30 synchronized push-ups)
  • 40 team burpees
  • 60 med ball team squats (behind the back)
  • 80 arm linked sit-ups

Now this was VERY entertaining. We struggled to figure out how to do the worm push-ups as a team of 4 and then Coach Bill had the idea that we should do it as a whole group – essentially in one big ring of people. I had Dan behind me and Mickey in front of me. My feet were on Dan’s shoulders. Mickey’s feet were on mine. And we all tried to synchronize going up and down together. We laughed a lot!! The first three or so were pretty easy, but damn it got harder and harder with each push-up!

So we got that out of the way as a group and then started into the burpees when the time started. 5 at a time we got through those.

Then we started on the team squats. We got through a couple of rounds of 10 without too much trouble and then we couldn’t start them again. We collapsed as a group in a heap twice (laughing our butts off) before Mickey declared we should do the rest of the squats without the ball. That helped a bit. πŸ™‚

And the sit-ups went fairly smoothly. All in all we got through the burpees, squats, and sit-ups with 3 minutes to spare in the 20 minutes.

That’s when the next part of this craziness began.

For the next part we had 20 minutes to complete:

  • 100 double-under buy-in (or 200 singles) – each
  • 100 box jumps
  • 100 goblet squats
  • 100 wall balls
  • 100 ground to overhead (95/65#)

The fun part is that once we all did the jump rope part, we each got to pick one of the other movements to do 100 of. Mickey did box jumps (20″ box) and was done by 9:10. AJ did the goblet squats with a 15# kettle bell (no idea of time). Kaila did the wall balls with a 8# wall ball. And that left me for the ground-to-overhead part.

To say that it sucked would be an understatement. I managed to do 5 snatches or clean & jerks (really push press) at a time until I hit 25, but I was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t get a full breath to go to the bottom of my lungs it seemed. I did 5 more and struggled. Then Coach Bill jumped in – he did maybe 30 or so snatches with the 95# bar. Mickey and AJ jumped in with empty bars and did another 20. And Bill and Robert just kept telling me to do 5 more. Just 5 more. I think I maybe got to 50 but damn.

Even if I did 45 or 50 with the bar, it was killer. I watched Dan behind me chug through 5 to 10 at a time and he was struggling towards the end. Later I heard from Bill that only one of the teams made it through that movement in the time we had.

January 23, 2016 at 0551PM (1)

To say that I was happy that everybody helped out at the end would be an understatement. To say that I was happy that my kids joined in would be an even bigger understatement. I was a proud papa and thank everybody who was there for all the support and help.

Breathing is one of those things you take for granted until you can’t do it any more.

We finished up, chatted with folks, and headed out on our way… And AJ played a game of indoor soccer (Futsal) afterwards. After all of that, she played 40 minutes of soccer.

Yes, it was a full day. And I’m exhausted – I can only imagine that my girls are too. πŸ™‚

I wish I could share the video they took of the wormy push-ups. It was hilarious.

Thanks go to everybody who came today. It was a challenge. We need more of that. πŸ™‚

The last thing I want to mention is the CrossFit Open.

I signed up for the 2016 Open. Foolish, I’m sure. But I did it a couple of years ago and want to see how I’ve changed. We’ll see how it goes.

Have a great rest of your weekend, folks! If you’re stuck in the snowstorm – stay safe.

And Go BRONCOS! πŸ™‚

Let’s Get a Little Heavier…

Yesterday was a rest day. I did a little bit of mobility at home (some squats and push-ups mostly) but mostly it was “butt in chair” time. So I knew I had to somehow get into Crossfit Continuum for a workout today.

Sad-Panda-Meme-24My wife got to go this morning. But I had a meeting. Sad panda.

But I’ve taken to scheduling time in my work schedule for crossfit. Why? Because without it I might bite somebody’s head off.

So at 11:30 I packed up my stuff to head in for a noon workout. I got there in time to watch Bill and Jared finish up their workout. Bill was perfecting his ring muscle-ups and then I watched Jared do a strict one. Damn. I am getting stronger, but I’m definitely not there yet on either front!

January 21, 2016 at 0141PMAt noon it was Joel and I working with Coach Isaac, so we started with a 500m row, did some Spider-man lunges, knee hugs, squat-to-stand (Gorilla pose from yoga), Cossack squats, and then some fun work with an unloaded bar to help free up our shoulders a bit for the “high elbows” needed for front squats.

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

I’ve been pushing towards a new one rep max and feeling pretty good, so Isaac suggested I add 5 or 10 more pounds to the 80 and 85% numbers we used on Tuesday. I sandbagged a little on Tuesday with the 135#/155#/175# numbers, so I figured I’d have to add some weight. πŸ™‚

January 21, 2016 at 0141PM (1)Started with a 135# warm-up where I just sat at the bottom for a few seconds. Did the same at 155#, then moved up…

  • 135# x1
  • 155# x1
  • 160# x3
  • 175# x3
  • 180# x3
  • 195# x3
  • 205# x3
  • 175# x3

My 205# squats felt heavy, but I’m looking forward to seeing what my new one rep max becomes next week. πŸ™‚

After that was done, we did a little accessory work (some box squats, bent-over rows, and straight-legged deadlifts) that I did with an empty barbell. Got through two sets of 10 reps each and my back was bugging me a bit, so I stopped and started some mobility work at Isaac’s suggestion.

And then we were done. Had a great time visiting with Isaac and Joel. Very laid back session today. Thanks for a good class and pushing me a bit Isaac!

I do hope that Bill and Isaac both get to feeling better. Both were a bit under the weather and Jared was sneezing. And Joel is working on some hip issues, so hopefully he gets those taken care of soon too. Pain is no fun.

Meanwhile, Drea was there working on odds-n-ends so I tried not to bug her. πŸ™‚

Hope everybody has a great day!

Front Squats and More…

Let me start out by talking a bit about how I’m back to not sleeping well before we get into the day’s workout.

Clock Watching

Last night I slept anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, would look at the clock, swear, and go back to sleep. I did that the night before as well. It makes the night go by very very slowly if you do that enough. Woke up like a zombie.

I thought I had this licked. (See “An Update on Sleep” from about a month ago.) Apparently not.

0511-1005-0201-0040_Black_and_White_Vintage_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Asleep_at_His_Desk_clipart_image

My routine hasn’t changed… still using a diffuser with some essential oils, drinking the sleep cocktail (or Progenex Cocoon, which is relatively new), playing nature sounds, etc. But it hasn’t worked diddly for the last couple of nights.

Eventually my body is just going to give up and crash at some point, but I need to figure this out. Dropping all caffeine from my diet is looking like it’s going to be something I have to try, which makes me a very sad little monkey.

Today’s WOD

Honestly I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about going in today but I knew I needed to do it. It wasn’t posted even as early as this morning, but I knew it would be front squats. So I got my stuff and headed in for an 8:30 class with Coach Heather after stumbling through about 90 minutes…Β I was joined by KC, Danielle, Sam, Maria, and Ashley. And we saw the 9:30 class come in for Coach Drea as we were finishing up.

january-19--2016-at-1010am (1)Warmed up with a 500m row, some knee hugs, hollow body rocks, jumping pull-ups, and Cossack squats… Then it was off to the races for some front squats.

Today we were supposed to do:

  • 1 x 5 @ 75%
  • 1 x 5 @ 80%
  • 1 x 5 @ 85%
  • 1 x 5 @ 80%
  • 1 x 5 @ 75%

All weights at a % of your one rep max. In my case, my numbers would be (off of the 215# soft 1RM we did last week): 160#, 170#, 180# (or thereabouts). I ended up with: 135#, 155#, and 175# – which all felt pretty good. But being tired and having my left hip and right shoulder cranky today I didn’t want to aggravate anything too badly.

Accessory Work

January 19, 2016 at 1010AM (1)Once that was done, we did some Accessory Work. A 10 minute AMRAP of:

  • 10 “L” Pull-ups
  • 10 weighted abmat sit-ups

Of course, the “L” pull-ups are strict and in an L shape (legs straight out in front of your body). I can barely do strict pull-ups, let alone get my legs to stay straight. So I did a modification with trying to keep my knees tucked, sort of like the top of a knees-to-elbows. I won’t say that I did it amazingly, but I got a few in that didn’t suck too badly and flopped around on the rest. Heather said if we can do 5 of those with pretty good form to stick with just 5, so I did.

And I used the Jason Khalipa med ball (25#) for my weighted sit-ups.

I made it through 5 rounds in 10 minutes, which wasn’t awful. 5 tucked strict pull-ups (or just strict pull-ups on a few) and 10 weighted sit-ups (25#) each round.

Yay team.

The Aftermath

I went in a bit surly and came out smiling and laughing, so the endorphins did their work. Thank you endorphins! πŸ™‚

Had a good time with Heather, as always. And she had a good time with little JR (Danielle’s little one), so life was good!

Later today we’ll see if Caleb, our chiropractor, can put my right shoulder back where it goes and get everything else moving again in the right direction. πŸ™‚

Thanks for a fun workout and great work everybody!

Ring Dips Make Me Twitchy

Saturday was fun, but all those pull-ups have left me more than a little sore. And this weekend was not the best for food intake. Pizza. Burgers. Fries. Cider beers. All tasty, but unhealthy. I think I may have heard my pores screaming as I was sweating all that crud out during today’s workout!

January 18, 2016 at 1122AM (1)As you might have guessed, I made it to Crossfit Continuum for a class today. I went with Mickey (she and her sister had the day off from school today for MLK day) to the 9:30 class with Coach Stacy. And Coach Bill helped out a bit as well. The place was hopping for sure… we had Lisa, Jonathan and Sarah, Mike, Dan, Karen, Sam, Patti, and one or two other folks. Plus a few folks from the 8:30 class hung out to cheer us on – Lori, Deana, and Larry. Told you it was hopping!

We started with a 500m row or 400m run (a bit chilly outside for me to run, but I considered it oh so briefly). Then we did jumping ring dips, marching bridge, crab walk forward and back, PVC pass-thrus, and a few other things. Once all that was done, we grabbed some empty barbells and did some deadlift warm-ups. And once that was done we looked at strict ring dips.

January 18, 2016 at 1122AM (2)What was today’s workout?Β 21-15-9 reps for time of:

  • 275/195-lb. deadlifts
  • Strict ring dips

There were a few variations, but that about summed it up.

Though I warmed up to a 275# deadlift, I decided to save myself a little bodily wear and tear and dropped to 255#. My one rep max is 355# but I’ve been having some issues with my left hip and didn’t want to cause more damage by going for speed.

And though I did a few strict ring dips without the band, I did the majority of them with a green band. Β So this was definitely not a Rx workout for me today and I’m perfectly fine with that. Scaling is good.

Mickey did her deadlifts at 105# and we shared the banded ring setup for a while. She dropped to box dips somewhere in the round of 15’s.

January 18, 2016 at 1122AMSo how’d we do?

Well Coach Stacy said we should shoot for 12 minutes or less. Mickey was done in 8:19 and I was done in 12:11. Quite honestly I’ll take that as it was in the ballpark. πŸ™‚

According to the board, the fastest folks were in 7 minutes and I was the slowest (though there were quite a few folks in that 11 minute range), but I’ll still take it. πŸ™‚ Great work folks!

The “twitchy” part comes in post-WOD… we did some mobility but by the time I got home, my forearms were fired up and were twitching like mad. Who knew?

All things being unequal, I’ll take that as a Monday morning workout. I’m sure we’re back to some front squats tomorrow, which is fine. We’ll see how we do. πŸ™‚

Have a great day folks!

Team WOD Saturday – Too Many Reps?

It’s Saturday. What does that mean? Well, it’s varied wildly of late. This week it means a team workout at Crossfit Continuum. πŸ™‚

Though Evie is working today, I grabbed the girls and we headed in… but after hearing what was in store for us, I was second guessing myself. That however is one of the tricks of crossfit. By the time you’re there and have been seen, it’s usually too late to try and make a stealthy escape. πŸ™‚

January 16, 2016 at 0129PMWe didn’t really warm up today. The first part of the workout did that for us. We divided up into teams of 3 or four and I worked with Robert, Katie, and Lindsey. Mickey and AJ worked with Kaila (happy birthday!). And there were lots of other folks. It was definitely a full house. Probably 20 of us or more. At least 4 teams, probably 5.

This was a doozy in two parts.

Part A had a 20 minute time cap and each team approached it in waterfall fashion… only one person could do a particular movement at a time:

  • 20 calorie row or 400m run
  • 30 burpees
  • 30 ground-to-overheads (95/65#)
  • 30 toes-to-bar (or knees-to-elbows)
  • 30 overhead walking lunges (each foot, 45/25# plate overhead)
  • 100m sprint

Once that was done, we fell into Part B, which had a 30 minute time cap…

  • 250 chest to bar pull-ups (or regular pull-ups)
  • 250 kettlebell swings (53/35#)
  • 250 double-unders (singles counted 2 for 1)
  • 250 overhead squats (95/65#)

The first part honestly wasn’t awful for me. The row went fast and I was last to go, so I only got to the ground-to-overheads. I did 15 snatches and 14 clean & jerks before we ran out of time.

The second part however… holy cow. That’s too many reps! We did our pull-ups in 3-5 rep sets and went down the line. Robert was rocking the chest to bars, but I was just barely doing the pull-ups. By the end the ladies were doing ring rows.

The kettlebell swings weren’t awful. I felt like I could rock out 10 or 15 at a pop and did pretty well.

The single-unders were ok for a bit as well.

It was the OHS that were horrible. My grip and shoulders were fried from all the pull-ups and kettle bell swings so I used the ladies’ 65# bar. And even with the lighter weight I couldn’t keep my left shoulder happy. My form was awful. Coach Drea stopped by and gave me some tips, then suggested I just do some back squats, so I did. πŸ™‚

We got through 85 of the OHS reps (mixed) before we ran out of time. Mickey, AJ, and Kaila got to about 27 I think they said. Only one or two teams finished I think, which is crazy. 1,000 reps of anything is insane.

So we had a good time. I’m tired now. πŸ™‚

Great work to everybody! It was a killer!

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