C2B – the work continues

Today I managed to do two things that haven’t happened for a while. First, I was able to work out with my wife! Second, my chest hit the bar – inconsistently and erratically as I threw myself at it for five rounds – but it hit the darn thing. Is this good? It remains to be seen…

c2bThe alternate title for this blog post could also be… Why are chest-to-bar pull-ups (or C2B) so hard?

So we got to the gym for an 8:30 class and we were definitely not alone… Lots of folks joined Coach Drea for a workout today… Danielle, Maria, KC, Todd, Mike, Elizabeth, Jodi, and Joel to name a few. It was packed!

We started with a 400m run, which I was surprised by though I shouldn’t have been. Yesterday I rowed a 5k and rowed 1k pretty consistently in a bit more than 4 minutes. Why does it kill me so much to run 400m? I don’t like running because it’s too much like work I guess.

Once that was done we came back inside and did Spider-man lunges, Pigs-on-skates, slow push-ups (down on a count of 3, up on a count of 1), bridge-ups, arm hugs, and back-strokes to get things moving.

Then we talked about the workout itself, which was 5 rounds for time:

  • 12 dumbbell snatches
  • 9 bench presses
  • 6 bar muscle-ups (or c2b/pull-up/ring-row progressions)

Because of all the folks in the class, we might run into situations where the bench we’re using is being used by someone else or our spot on the rig was being used, but honestly that didn’t slow me down too much. It was the darned C2B I was working on today.

March 01, 2016 at 1042AMI worked with a 115# bench press with Todd & Joel, used a 30# dumbbell for the snatches, and bounced around on the rig a bit.

I started with some straight pull-ups to see if I could figure out C2B and that didn’t work. Moved to a banded variety and couldn’t get that to work. Drea even gave me some suggestions, pointing out that the C2B isn’t quite a normal pull-up – it’s more of a kip, hip, chest kind of thing. I even tried some strict underhanded pull-ups to see if I could pull all the way up that way. Not even close.

Eventually I shifted to a shorter bar and tried jumping C2B, which I think will be my flavor of progression for a while. I actually managed to hit a couple.

Just frustrating. I can do regular kipping pull-ups pretty consistently (hitting 5-10 in a row fairly regularly). But C2B is a different beast.

With my scaled movements today I managed to get through the whole thing in less than 20 minutes. The pull-ups slowed me down. And the bench press started to get heavy pretty quickly. But that’s fine – I just kept chugging along. Wasn’t worried about time really – just wanted to make sure I got through it all.

Tomorrow is a rest day (time to visit our favorite chiropractor and then I get to go read Dr. Seuss to a room full of 5th graders), but I’ll be back to the box Thursday for a ROMWOD in preparation for whatever Dave Castro has in store for us in the next Open workout!

I’ll also have something new to try – a pre-workout drink/supplement. I’ve never tried them and Mike gave me one to sample, which I will use ahead of the Open workout on Friday night. Who knows – maybe it will kick things up a notch. Thanks Mike!

Hope everybody has a great day!


Just Keep Rowing…

It’s Monday again. Not sure how that happened. Something about time marching on or flying like a banana. At any rate, the weekend zipped past – probably because of the blur left by 16.1!

homer-mmmm.pizzaYesterday was a bit of a rest day. I had to put butt in chair to get some work done on a project I’d been neglecting for a while – nothing like 60 pages of editing and page layout to kill a day. Hardly moved from that chair except to eat pizza and have a few cider beers last night. Mmmmm… Pizza.

As a result, I knew I needed to get up and get moving again today. Funny how that happens.

So I survived my two morning meetings and headed into CrossFit Continuum for a 9:30 workout. Of course, things didn’t quite work according to plan due to Dave Castro’s space intense 16.1 workout. People were retesting or testing for the first time this morning, which only left a little room for classes. Mondays will be rough for a while I think, but that’s OK!

Our options today were either a series of increasing front squats…

  • 5-5-5-5-5

Or an absolutely awful cardio workout… 3 rounds for time of:

  • Row 1,000 meters
  • Run 800 meters

I went in thinking I was going to go for front squats, but decided against it after seeing what space constraints we had while people re-tested. Instead I went for the cardio, which was mind blowing to me… I don’t like running at all. Why did I go with that option?

February 29, 2016 at 1109AM
Let’s Row!

Well, I got through the first 1,000 meters and headed outside to run 800m in time to see clouds of dust and dirt get kicked up by a railroad machine working on the tracks next to the complex. I’ve had enough issues with allergies and asthma of late, so decided I’d modify the workout: we’d skip the running. Saved from the run by environmental factors!! 🙂

So my workout became 5 rounds for time of:

  • Row 1,000m
  • 1-2 minute break

It’s been a while since I’ve rowed that much, but I don’t think I did that badly… my times were:

  • 4:20
  • 4:30
  • 4:22
  • 4:25
  • 4:23

So I was pretty consistent. The 4:30 was because I didn’t realize the rower was on “9” and I had to stop briefly to adjust back down to a more reasonable “7”. And even if you figure in my breaks between rounds I managed a 5k in a little more than 30 minutes, which I’m pretty happy with.

I don’t think it’s something I’d do all the time, but it was a good workout!

crossfit-games-2016When I was done, I got to cheer on some of the folks re-doing 16.1 or doing it for the first time… Larry got through 153 reps… Bill managed 8 rounds Rx’d… and Ray got through 6 full rounds, which was a 6 rep improvement over his time Friday night.

I honestly was just happy to be done with 16.1 on Friday night, so I have no plans to retest. 🙂

Great work folks! Have a fantastic day!

Saturday Team WOD

So last night after doing 16.1 I decided that if I was breathing ok and moving ok, I’d do the team workout at CrossFit Continuum on Saturday morning to continue moving. This morning, though I slept in fits and starts again, I got up feeling ok and decided to follow through on my earlier decision. I was tired, but hey… that’s nothing new.


When we saw the workout… I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Thanks Coach Stacy!

We had a pretty good turnout this morning actually… It was a workout in teams of two and we had 7 or 8 teams when all was said and done. I worked out with Robert, which was fun as always. He and I have a similar speed on Saturdays (slow) and common interests (geeks) so we always have a good time.

AJ went with me but didn’t have a partner so ended up playing dodgeball with the other kids and Megan (Caleb’s wife) – apparently they had to do burpees every time they got hit and they did over 100 burpees, so I think they got a pretty good workout in the end!

February 27, 2016 at 1152AMSo what was the workout? Stacy gave us a doozy in three 15 minute chunks.

  • 0-15 min AMRAP
    • 50 partner sit-ups
    • 50 double unders each (or 100 singles)
    • 50 partner sit-ups
    • 50 walking lunges (45/25# plate overhead)
    • 50 partner sit-ups
    • 50 burpees
    • 50 partner sit-ups
  • 15-30 min AMRAP
    • 100 deadlifts (135/95#)
    • 80 power cleans
    • 60 front squats
    • 40 jerks
    • 20 thrusters
  • 30-45 min for 3 rounds or until time runs out
    • 400m partner run
    • 40 box jumps (24/20″)
    • 40 wall balls (20/14#)

Um. Yeah. Was it too late to run away? The answer is YES! (That’s one of the parts of CrossFit I like – by the time you’re in the door it’s too late to turn back. 🙂 )

Robert and I decided that 135# seemed a bit heavy today, so we did 115# and called it good. We got all the way through the first 15 minute workout with no time to spare. We got about halfway through the front squats before we ran out of time there. And by the last chunk I was walking. We got through one complete round and Robert started the second round of box jumps when we hit 45 minutes.

Thank goodness for time caps. 🙂 Great work everybody! And thanks for teaming up with me Robert!

Hopefully everybody will enjoy the rest of their weekend!!



This is the second year I’ve done the CrossFit Open in the last three years. I skipped it in 2015 after letting it get into my head too much the year before. I was my own worst enemy, not physically, but mentally. And that darn clock just ticked away…

Well last night at CrossFit Continuum I did Dave Castro’s 16.1 workout for the 2016 Open along with many other athletes from our box. Because of the 25 foot walking lunges we could really only do heats of four at a time but I have to say that most folks really rose to the occasion.

The Workout

crossfit-games-2016For 16.1, Castro set up this as the workout for a 20 minute AMRAP:

  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge (with a 95# bar for men or 65# for women)
  • 8 burpees (bar facing)
  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge
  • 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Scaled it was a bit easier:

  • 25-ft. front-rack walking lunge (with a 45# bar for men or 35# for women)
  • 8 burpees (bar facing)
  • 25-ft. overhead walking lunge
  • 8 jumping pull-ups

The Evening

Heats began at 4:30 and continued through until nearly 8pm that night. Lots of Rx. Several scaled. And a lot of sweat. We saw a ton of very determined, powerful folks going above and beyond last night.

I got there a bit before 5pm and cheered folks on until it was 7pm – my heat with my wife Ev and our friend Greg.

Of course this was after our daughter Mickey came in (after doing an indoor soccer game about 30 minutes prior) and pounded it out in the heat before us with a 45# bar for overhead walking lunges and regular pull-ups in the Teen 14-15 division. She’s not registered simply because time-wise her schedule is too full to get it in over the next few weeks, but she wants to do as many of the workouts as she can.

She managed 170 reps in that 20 minutes and did awesome. 🙂

How did we do?

Evie got a score of 176 doing it scaled with a 35# bar and jumping pull-ups. And I got a score of 130, scaled, with a 45# bar and jumping pull-ups.

Can I just say that it sucked? I’m glad it’s done and in the books.

Everybody did awesome and they took lots of pictures, so hopefully we can share a few as we see them come out.

Now we’ll see what Castro has in store for us NEXT week…

Great work everybody!


Quiet day of Mobility

Just a short post today… Not much to report from Crossfit Continuum. Did the Mobility WOD today at Noon and it probably helped with flexibility a bit.


For 45 minutes I got to focus on breathing and chatting with Coach Andrea while holding certain movements or poses for 2-4 minutes each. Was a challenge in spots. I can do a great pigeon stretch but can’t sit forward with my feet together and get my torso over my legs – my hips just don’t open up that direction.

Work in progress. Always work in progress.

Today was a relatively quiet day as we all wait to see what Dave Castro has in store for us with 16.1 tonight for the CrossFit Open. Tomorrow night we’ll take on whatever it is at the box with the rest of our participants and see how we do. Maybe the flexibility will help. 🙂

Getting back to the box…

Being sick sucks. Add in work craziness and it sucks more. And right before the Open! Arrgh.

CFG_Open_Badge_2016Anyway, today was my first workout in nearly a week. I felt like crud over the weekend and between my cold and work stuff couldn’t get in Monday or Tuesday this week… thank goodness for Wednesday!

Though I’m still not 100% I felt like I needed to get something in ahead of the Open 16.1 announcement tomorrow and the “Friday Night Lights” format at CrossFit Continuum every Friday of the competition. I also needed to get out of my house for a bit – a side effect of working from home!

So I made it to a 9:30am class after a morning meeting. Huzzah!

Arrived and watched the 8:30 class finishing up with Danielle, Todd and his wife, and Mike. They were doing the last part of the workout. And the 9:30 class trickled in… John, Maria, Joel and Jodi, Andrea, and one or two other folks. Plus Heather was there to coach today, which is always fun. She’s a bit under the weather but did great anyway.

kettlebell-swingWe started with a 500m row and then did “Death by Kettlebells” for 10 minutes. Every minute on the minute you did 1 kettle bell swing, then 2 on the 2nd minute, 3 on the 3rd, etc. Until you got to 10. But in-between you got to do a rotating cast of exercises – 10 squat to stands, 10 hollow body rocks, 10 pogo jumps, 10 Cossack squats, and 10 inverted push-ups… I was tired after just doing that much with a 53# kettle-bell. 🙂

Then we got to the real workout, which was Clean & Jerks:

  • Five sets of 3, increasing – Clean & Jerks

We had the option of doing power cleans or squat cleans and push jerks or split jerks so long as we kept consistent throughout. And we were told to go fairly light if we were doing the open workout on Friday. So I went with 115# on the bar to start and didn’t get higher than 125#.

clean-pull-illustrationHonestly after doing Jared Enderton’s class a few weeks ago I’ve been trying to work more of the things we learned into my regular routines… so I used today’s workout to do that a bit. I did hook grip on the bar and squat cleans. Though gravity still sucked, I did better I think with my form on the squat cleans more consistently. I need to breathe better in the middle of that, but at least the hook grip is feeling better.

I don’t feel like I did as much as I needed to  but am exhausted afterwards (a side effect of having a cold) so may take a little nap today if I can find the time.

When we were done with that we worked with double unders again in the form of another “Flight Simulator” run – 5-10-15-20-30-40-50-down again with double unders.

I just used it to laugh at myself as I attempted to get one of the suckers. 🙂

And now I’m back home again, tired. My body is telling me a nap is in order. I must listen.


Some days…

So today should have been a good day for me. I got some stuff done for work, survived my morning meeting, and was headed into Crossfit Continuum for a noon workout. Today’s workout was front squats – I should be able to do that! HA! My body had other plans.

I arrived in time to catch the advanced class wrapping up and discussing food cravings, which was entertaining. Girl Scout Cookies seem to be a vice for a few of us. 🙂 And it was just me and Joel for the noon class with Coach Isaac, so we got a leisurely start.

We started with a 500m row and then did Spider-man Lunges, squat-to-stands, a minute front squat hold with a PVC pipe, and some knee hugs before starting in on our front squats. Easy progression today:

  • 10 sets of 1 rep with increasing weight

20160218_125729I did a warm-up with 135# on the bar and felt ok or so I thought… Then I did…

  • 185#
  • 195#
  • 205#
  • 215#
  • 225#
  • 235# (stop)

The 185# felt heavy and my lower GI system was not happy for some reason, but I fought through it. I got through 225#, took a break, and went back to 235# on the bar… and there I stopped. Quite honestly I got it up in a front-rack position and tried to go down into a squat twice – but barely got started before my body said “nope”.

Usually I can fight through it, but today that wasn’t happening. I get these lower GI issues now and then at home, but this is the first time they’ve hit during a workout. Not sure what brings them on, but all I can do is ride them out. It’s lovely.

Getting old sucks, but it’s still better than the alternative so far as we know.

From there we did some skill work – handstand push-ups or handstand holds. I did 4 strict handstand push-ups and a short hold and called it good.

The three of us did a lot of talking today. Joel worked through his progression of front rack one-legged lunges (one left, one right = 1 rep) and got through his series before doing some handstand holds.

So it wasn’t a great day of training I’m afraid. I got a little done, but that’s it.

Guess we’ll see what next week brings. This weekend we’ll do some yoga and maybe I’ll do some sort of at-home workout on Sunday just to keep moving.

Hope everybody has a great day!

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