PR day?

Strength cycles are fun usually. It’s entertaining to battle back to or beyond an old PR on some of these traditional lifts. Usually.

Today was a bit hit and miss on that front.

Barbell_DeadliftArrived for an 8:30 class and got to work out with Coach Bill, Ashley, Elizabeth, Jenny, and David. Larry and Danielle were there too but joined the 9:30 class with Jonathan, Sarah, Andrea, and a few other folks. I honestly wasn’t sure how today was going to go, but knew I had a good group of folks to work with so it really didn’t matter. ๐Ÿ™‚

We started with a 200m run, which concerned me a little bit. But it was short enough it didn’t aggravate my quad/groin pull too badly. Then we did some movements like a push press with a plate, backstroke, some iron cross stretches, half handstand push-ups, jumping pull-ups, and so on – to warm up a bit.

After that we worked on deadlift form and strict press form with an empty bar before getting started. I worked with David and Ashley, Elizabeth, and Jenny worked together.

press illustrationStarted with deadlifts. 95#/135#/185#/225#/275#/325# – fail. David managed 225# once and that was awesome. And I tried a couple of times with 325# but couldn’t get it off the ground. I think my body was fighting in an attempt not to re-injure the groin.

Moved to strict press. 75#/95#/100#/105#/115#/135#/145#/155# – fail. David got 95# up and tried 105# and then 100# to no avail. I did 135#, took two tries to get 145# up, and attempted 155# a couple of times but couldn’t. 145# is a 20# increase over my old PR and 10# better than my PR from earlier this month – so I’m happy with that.

After that, we did strict pull-ups, max effort. I managed 2. I’ll take it. Neither was pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚ But they were overhand grip, full extension, which was better than doing them underhanded like a curl. ๐Ÿ™‚

And lastly we did… death-by-pull-ups.ย With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minuteโ€ฆ continuing as long as you are able. I got into the 7th minute before I ran out of oomph. I was hoping to get to 5, so getting past 6 was really good for me.

I suspect that my brain is trying to protect the body from further tearing. We’ll see what the next couple of days have in store, but it is feeling better. Not 100%, but better.

Thanks David for working with me today – you did great. And thanks Bill and Larry for the suggestions and encouragement. Deadlifts will just have to wait for another day.

Great work everybody!


Pulled Groins Are Bad

So I’m a few days late on writing up Thursday’s workout… the last few days have been busy with family visiting for my eldest’s high school musical debut. Today however we have a reprieve in the form of a blizzard, so I’ll quickly catch you up.

Thursday I had meetings all morning, so I ended up going to a noon class and my Dad got to tag along. This is the first time in three plus years of crossfit that one of my parents has managed to come see me do something I still can’t believe myself some days, so it was kind of fun.

uncoordinatedMy Dad has always been the athletic one. He coached football and basketball. Played softball and basketball. Used to do gymnastics and all sorts of other fun things. I remember he and my Mom having handstand races on the sidewalk in the front yard when I was a kid. They were both very active.

I was not. Band geek. Uncoordinated bookworm. Strong, but not much else. And I never worked out. Wasn’t my thing. So I’m still surprised that I’m sticking with crossfit after all this time. Happy, but surprised. And so are my parents.

So my Dad came and met our trainer and box owner Drea while I worked out. I wasn’t alone in the noon class – Joe was there too. And though I was a little concerned about my groin pull, I figured I’d do what I could.

To warm up, we did a conditioning AMRAP for 15 minutes… Each “round” was:

  • 400m run (or 500m row)
  • and 3 rounds of “Cindy”
    • 5 pull-ups
    • 10 push-ups
    • 15 air squats

Folks seemed to be getting through a couple of rounds, so I started on my merry way with the running clock. I ended up getting through one full round plus all but the last round of 5/10/15 in a second one. Not too bad. The push-ups (as per usual) were the rough part of the equation and combined with the pull-ups it was a shoulder double whammy, but we chugged through it.

Olympic weightsI was amused that doing kipping pull-ups tweaked the groin pull now and then, but did ok once I warmed up a bit.

That said, I didn’t get far with the rest of the workout…

  • Back Squat โ€“ 3ร—5 (Increase #5 from last week)
  • Bench Press โ€“ 3ร—5 (Increase #5 from last week)

I started with back squats and did an empty bar (felt ok), 135# (felt ok), and then jumped up to 185#. Down wasn’t a problem, but up was. I discovered that on the way up that groin pull was aggravated so I swam with the left hip and quad up to avoid it. That quickly started pulling that side of my leg equation – so I didn’t continue.

Put my stuff away and waited for Joe to finish his back squats. He looked awesome.

Then I tried to warm up with an easy 135# bench press and almost yelled just lying down on the bench. It was ouchy. So I called it.

I should have done 230# and 190# for my back squats and bench press… but that wasn’t happening.ย I was hoping to be able to continue to increase weight on my bench press… Sad panda.

7ddab0239cdee568d2b75c5c092c03e1My goal for next week is to survive the first day of strength work – strict press and deadlifts – to go for a new one rep max. But I don’t think the rest of it’s going to happen.

And… I may have to take some time off from crossfit to rest it up. I’m not looking forward to that. A week off will be difficult, but may be what I need.

Friday night I was getting ready for bed and putting some Deep Blue on the area, I discovered some deep bruises were bubbling up. They’re looking beautiful. So I’m not sure that I did any favors trying to roll it out with a lacrosse ball and bigger physical therapy ball the other night…

It doesn’t take much to tweak it. So boo. We’ll see what next week brings and then give it some rest.

Anyway… We’re chugging along and hopefully it will start to get better with time.

Hello Isabel…

Today is Wednesday… that makes this three days in a row! And my groin pull is still giving me grief, but we’ll continue to work through that a day at a time.

Got through a few things with work this morning, then headed to a 9:30am class with Ev and Danielle. Coach Drea had the three of us and Ashley to keep track of (plus little JR), so it was a fun little group. We got there in time to see the 8:30 class doing the #romwod in the other room, so it was pretty quiet, all things considered.

isabelI warmed up shoulders a bit while we waited for the other class to finish… I knew it was going to be a lot of overhead today. When Drea came in, she had us run 400m (and I rowed 500m) and we did some other movements like Cossack squats, squat-to-stands, pigs-on-skates, and Spider-man lunges to get moving. But from then on it was all about the Olympic snatch.

We focused (with an unloaded barbell) on the different parts of the snatch movement. The pull, the shrug, the high elbows, and finally dropping under the bar at the top. Though these movements occasionally were an issue, I made it through and decided I’d do today’s workout with as much weight as I could stand…

  • โ€œIsabelโ€ isย 30 Olympic snatches for time at #135/95

They did “Grace” last week and I didn’t go, so I was curious to see how I’d do with another one of the CrossFit benchmark workouts.


I warmed up with 75# and it felt ok. Pushed it to 95# and that felt a little much today, so I dropped it to 85#. Our goal was to try and find a workable weight that was on the edge of our comfort zone for the number of reps we were trying to accomplish. Shooting for 5 or 6 minutes at the outside. Most folks were in the 2 to 3 minute range in previous classes it looked like, but only a few were doing it Rx.

12g0cjSo with 85# on the bar, we got started. I managed the first 13 reps unbroken then broke it into 4-6 rep chunks after that. And I was done in 2:54. Under three minutes. And I was the first one done. That never happens.

Funny enough the only thought I had while I sat next to the wall catching my breath was “dang – I should have gone heavier”. Drea wants me to try with 115# next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Danielle finished in 3:07 with 65#. Ev finished in 3:17 with 60#. And Ashley was done in 3:30 with 60#. We were all done well under the 5 minute mark.

Once we got collected and cleaned up, we went and did the #romwod for the day. Not so sure about #swoleandflexy – but definitely felt stretchier. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now… I have to do some research on fixing this groin pull. I worked on it with a lacrosse ball, a foam roller, and a yoga block for a good 30-45 minutes last night before bed. Beyond bruising myself further I’m not sure what good it did. To the Interwebz I will go!

But for now I’m back to work so we’ll see what the rest of the day brings. Great work everybody!

Strength Day plus H3

Today has not been the most productive day known to man. It started off with a few hours of work and took off in random directions after that. Thankfully the first stop in the random direction part was CrossFit Continuum for a 9:30 class. I’ll focus on that and won’t bore you with the rest of the madness. Promise.

Barbell_DeadliftSo when we got there, we found quite a few folks from the 8:30 class finishing up. I saw Mike attempting 365# deadlifts, Jonathan attempting 315#, and many other folks doing pull-ups and strict press. They were all rocking it. ๐Ÿ™‚

As part of the 9:30 class, Coach Drea had her hands full… Ev, myself, Brianne, Danielle, Andrea, Adrienne, Abby, their friend, and Jayda. We started with a 400m run and I immediately ran into issues. The first few meters were fine but it quickly became apparent that pounding on my sore quad wasn’t helping.ย So I headed back inside and did some slow pigeon stretches.

Hylete c3 – Magnesium

We were told to grab our kettle bells and a jump rope and did the first Hylete c3 workout (Magnesium) as a warm-up – a 12 minute AMRAP:

  • 12 goblet squats (35/25#)
  • 48 single-unders
  • 12 Russian kettle bell swings (53/35#)

c2bThis should have been easy to do quite honestly, but I hit some snags early on with that thigh. Goblet squats, even light ones, were tough to do at a good pace. I was shooting for 6 rounds and got through 4. Not my best work, but I was definitely warmed up by the end even if my leg wasn’t happy.

I know that the c3 challenge is for charity more than anything else, but I was hoping to do a little better on that part.


Once that was done we split up to work on the Strength portion of the day.

  • Deadlifts – working towards a heavier 5 rep max (increase 10# from last week)
  • Strict press – three sets of 5 reps (increase 5# from last week)
  • Max strict pull-ups – three sets

I wasn’t quite sure how I’d do today, but I actually did pretty well.

Deadlifts I warmed up with 135# and 225#, then did sets of five reps at 255#, 265#, and finally 275#. The last set was 10# higher than last week’s top set at 265# so I’ll take it. Nowhere near Jonathan’s 315# or Mike’s 365# but decent. Still felt heavy to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Strict press, I did one set of 5 reps at 125#, then added 5# and did my second set with 130#. I repeated 130# one more time after that. I never knew how much leg was actually involved in a strict shoulder press, but it seems I tense from the bottom of my feet up to the bar overhead because dang that leg fired up again.

In-between each set of strict press I did one strict pull-up, focusing on full extension at the bottom and using an overhead grip. Not too impressive, but at least I’m consistent now. Last week I could only manage one and then didn’t have the arm strength to do it again – this week I was a little better.

Little happy dance…

snoopy-dancePR-wise, I’m quite pleased. A set of five strict shoulder presses with 130# beats my one rep max from February 2015 of 125#. And a set of five touch and go deadlifts with 275# is almost my first one rep max from August 2013. Even with a sore leg, I’m getting better bit by bit.

We’ll see where we go from here tomorrow. I need to continue to work on this sore quad and see if I can loosen the sucker up.

Great work this morning folks! You all killed the day!


Revenge of the Sprints…

Yes, you read that title correctly. Revenge of the sprints. Whatever do I mean by that? I mean that karma is a royal pain in the inner thigh. Ow.

12bun4Finished up a few things today and headed in for a 9:30am class with Coach Drea. When I arrived about 9:15 and the 8:30 class was finishing up and I have to admit that I had some second thoughts about heading in. Why? Turkish Get-ups. Not my favorite. But hey, I went in anyway…

Larry, Lori, David, Lisa, Jenny, KC, Sarah, and a few other folks were finishing up. And it did not look like fun. But as I watched them finish up, I was joined by a few other folks for the next class – Adrienne and Abby (and Jayda), Clara, and Andrea.

We warmed up with a 500m row, some marching bridges, backstrokes to open shoulders, some jumping pull-ups, a crab walk, and some plank/push-ups – sort of like a push-up into downward dog but not quite. Then we talked about a few things and discussed the day’s workout…

Today might as well have been called “let’s scale everything” – because the workout itself was a hairy one. Turkish get-ups with a weighted barbell, strict ring dips, and strict pull-ups. Ha! Even starting out I was pondering how little weight I could get away with for the get-ups, but we were scaling other things as well – backward dips on boxes for ring-dips and strict ring rows for pull-ups.

We kicked it off with light weights (I grabbed a 15# dumbbell) and worked through the Turkish get-up progression a step at a time. And that’s when I discovered I was hurting. I went through the progression on my right side ok – not great, but I was moving. And as soon as I started on the right side I discovered I had a pull in my inner right thigh. Not quite a groin pull, but definitely the inside thigh. And it hurt.

12buqdI may have mentioned a few times that pain stops me cold occasionally. This was one of those times. But I couldn’t move past it. Even trying to stretch it in a pigeon stretch hurt like heck. So I flagged down Coach Drea and we chatted briefly. Turns out I wasn’t alone with this issue – it was the sprints last week.

So my scaled “Turkish get-ups” was just low and slow squats, pushing my knees as wide as they would go to stretch that inner thigh area. Honestly that did help.

Took me about 15 minutes at a leisurely pace to get through the workout with 20 slow squats, 10 ring rows, and 10 box dips for three rounds. Everyone else was doing the get-ups and I felt their pain, but honestly couldn’t pull my right leg into any kind of lunge position without wanting to yell.

Now I’m home and working on stretching this thing. We’ll see how far I get.

Everyone else killed it. Great work!!

Sprints on Strength Day???

Today has started out well… I managed to skip a meeting I didn’t really need to be at anyway and get to a morning workout with my wife. It was a nice change for a Thursday, especially after dealing with allergies all night and coughing. Ugh.

I really wasn’t sure how I’d do physically today with a stitch in my side from coughing last night and a slight wheeze. I’m a bit of a mess with all the trees growing out of control this week (and the next few)… hopefully the air will shift soon.


Though today is a strength day, I saw that the second half of the workout involved a series of sprints. I went in thinking “sure, I can sprint on a rower”…

We arrived a hair late for the 8:30 class, but were definitely not alone. Drea and Jimmy were there and a whole bunch of folks were running in the parking lot when we arrived: Lori, Maria, Ashley, KC, Carrie, Jenny, Todd, Abby, Adrienne, Danielle, and David were all running or getting ready to run. Somehow Ev and I managed to avoid the warm-up jog and fell in with the barbell warm-up instead…

The barbell warm-up was sets of different movements with an empty barbell… 10 deadlifts. 10 push press. 10 back squats. 10 upright rows. 10 overhead squats. Once all that was done, we broke up into groups because there were so many of us.

I worked with Todd, KC, and David today. This is only David’s second week at Continuum, but he chugged right along with us. Todd and KC pushed me a bit, which was good too.

Barbell_Bench_PressWe started with back squats: three sets of five heavy squats. Last week I did 185#, 205#, and 225#. Today once we warmed up to 225# I did three sets there. We were supposed to add 5# but my right knee was twinging a little, so I stayed at 225# until it felt comfortable (though hard to push through 5 reps). My one rep max is 275# so I suspect I need to add more weight to this movement next week if I really want to increase that at all.

And then we shifted to bench press. Again, we were supposed to do three sets of five. Last week I did 135/155/175#. This time I did a set of five at 175#, a set of five at 185#, and then a set of 4 (with help on the 4th) at 185#. That last set was spicy. Might have pushed a bit further than I expected there, but we’ll see what it looks like next week. My one rep max is 220# and I would like to increase that a little.

Then the fun began. Remember how I said I didn’t think I was going to run, that I was going to row? Ha!

traffic-cone-webWe were supposed to run ten 100m sprints, with a 90 second rest between each one. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t like running. David asked about it today and I said I’m the guy who if chased by a bear would probably end up stopping to fight the bear so someone else could run for help – not that I’d survive, but because I hate running that much.

So what did I find myself doing? Running 100m sprints in the parking lot. Even my trainers and my wife were surprised. So was I to be honest.

I ran 5 of them. I didn’t get to 10. But I was happy with 5. We had to run from one “island” in the parking lot to an orange cone. And I slowed down a little each time, but had fun.

Don’t quote me on that. You did not just see me say “fun” and “running” in the same paragraph.

I’m still not breathing all that great, but my body isn’t hurting as much as it usually does after running. There’s a big difference between sprinting and jogging for me.

Next question for the week is whether I’ll get in for the Friday Hero WOD tomorrow… we’ll see what it is. I’m not holding my breath (which is good, since I’d probably be coughing like a fool).

Great work everybody!



Bear Crawls… Ugh.

Hope your day is going better than mine, but I did manage to make it into CrossFit Continuum today for a workout. And I even got to go with my wife – what a shocker!

20160405_105818We arrived in time to see some of the 8:30 class finish up – Jonathan and Sarah, KC, Larry, Lori, Monica, and a few other folks probably. It was a blur of activity! And Coach Bill came in with Ev & I, so we knew it was going to be an interesting day.

In our class we had the two of us, plus Danielle, Carrie, Andrea, Joe, and a new guy – David (seems very nice and worked hard!). It was a good crew, as always.

We started with a 400m jog and then did another 3 minute bear complex routine with an empty barbell. It wasn’t too bad really, which worried me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once that was done, Bill went over the movements for the two parts of the workout…

First we did the strength bits:

  • Deadlift 5RM (Add 10# to last week)
  • Strict Press 3ร—5 (Add 5 #to last week)
  • Strict Pullups 3x Max Reps (Try to increase reps from last week)

And quite honestly after the morning I had before I ever got to the box, I got a little discombobulated. I warmed up slowly with 135# and 225# deadlifts, then added 10# to that to get to 235# but it felt really light.

kettlebell-swingSo I moved to the rig and did 4 strict pull-ups with an underhand grip. Essentially I’m doing a curl every time. But Larry noticed that I don’t fully extend each time. I did for the first one and then somehow never quite get the elbow all the way. Something about losing tension in the elbow completely trashes the movement chain for me and I can’t pull up.

After that, I went back to my phone and figured out that I should have been doing 255# as the five-rep max from last week and adding 10# to that – so I threw on another 30# and did 5x at 255# and 5x at 265# and called it good.

Going back to the rig, I managed ONE strict pull-up with an overhand, not an underhand, grip. Couldn’t get another one after that, though I tried a few times. Just didn’t have the pull.

By then though I was mostly out of time. We were supposed to do the second part of the workout at 10 after and I had less than 5 minutes to complete my strict press. So I stripped off the bar and did one set from the floor at 135# – managed to do it 3x and that was it. When everything was done I did some strict press with an empty barbell, but I have to admit I kind of gave up on this part today.

20160405_105703So that was part 1… Part 2 was conditioning… 6 rounds for time:

  • 7 Kettlebell Swings (As heavy as possible)
  • 21 Double-unders (or 42 singles)
  • 20 yard Bear Crawl (10 yards down and back)

I used a 70# kettle-bell, did single-unders, and cursed a lot at the bear crawl. It’s a movement much like burpees where I feel like I’m shoving my arm into the shoulder socket every time I move around. It’s fantastic. Not. ๐Ÿ™‚

It took me 14:34 to complete. Ev did it in 12:30 (45# kb and singles). Danielle did 12:47 (45# kb and doubles? not sure). Larry did it with us and it took him 10 minutes flat with a 70# kb and singles. Carrie did 11:10 with 35#. David was 12:42 with 45# and singles. And Joe finished a tad before me though I’m not sure what weights he did.

I wasn’t too far off the mark. And I wasn’t the slowest time on the board (though I was close). So I don’t feel too bad about skipping a few strict shoulder presses. A little though.

Thanks go to Bill (and Larry and my wife) for encouraging me to finish. ๐Ÿ™‚ And great work everybody!!

So there you have it for today. Tomorrow will probably be a rest day, though I may try and get a ROMWOD in during the day sometime.

Have a good one!

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