What have I done? I’m thinking the answer is “too much” as I learn a few things about myself getting a little older. But we’ll put that aside for now.
Today was workout #4 in a row for me this week. That’s unusual. Usually I try to do two on, one off, or one on-one off. Four in a row may be a bit much. Yesterday’s Fran just about killed me. I didn’t feel back to “normal” until a few hours afterwards with some ibuprofen and a 30 minute “nap”.
So what did today hold? Like Monday, this was another of the 50s. And it was Joe and I facing it under the watchful eye of Coach Bill today. Was good to see Bill — he’s been busy of late, so was good to have him back. I like the variety of coaching we have at Continuum and we’ve had a good mix in recent weeks with Drea, Larry, and Bill picking up the morning and noon classes.
We started with a 1000m row. Bill gave us a 5 minute max on this one, but I decided I’d try and use my more efficient rowing approach to see how I’d do at speed. Turned out I finished 1000m in just under 4 minutes, which was awesome. And Joe wasn’t far behind me.
From there we did some tabatas involving wall balls, push-ups, and sit-ups.
4 rounds of 20 seconds of wall balls and 10 seconds of holding a front squat with the medicine ball at the bottom
then 4 rounds of 20 seconds of push-ups, 10 second transition, and 20 seconds of sit-ups
I have to say I struggled more than a little with all of the tabata. My lats, quads, shoulders, and just about everything else was unhappy with me. I honestly wasn’t sure how much of some of the movements today I was going to be able to do and planned to scale in a few places.
The workout itself was another set of 50s… for time:
50 jumping alternating lunges, 50 steps
50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
50 hip extensions
For me, this became:
50 walking lunges (scaled)
50 jumping or regular pull-ups (scaled)
50 push presses, 95/65 lb.
50 hip extensions
Joe did a round of all movements (walking lunges and jumping/regular pull-ups) and did the 40s variation (level 2).
This one was rough. My body was really telling me off in a few places. The walking lunges were rough, but not terrible. The push presses were ok. The hip extensions were ok. But the pull-ups and burpees… ugh.
I originally set out to do three sets – 20/20/10 – but after doing the first set of 20, I decided I’d just suffer through a set of 30 to be done. My pull-ups started as jumping but I did about 15 kipping pull-ups in the round of 30 so tried to mix it up a bit. The burpees were a slog. 5 at a time.
Joe no-repped me at one point, jokingly, but he was right. My burpees are not legit burpees. I don’t raise my arms over my head. I do jump, but find that the whole full extension thing doesn’t do me any favors. Throwing my arms over my head for no good reason is a good way to not only make me slow way the heck down but also really want to stop… a lot.
Ultimately I was happy with the results. Took me 22:51. We had a 30 minute time cap and I was closer to 20 than 30, which was good. 🙂
Considering how sore I was when i went in today, I’ll take it. Now I’m done for a bit.
Great work Joe! And thanks Bill (and Joe & Logan) for the encouragement. 🙂 Hope everybody has a great day!
Forgive me community, it’s been four days since my last workout… (I don’t know why but I always feel like I need to confess such things when it’s been a few days.) Soccer season is back with a vengeance and my weekends are not my own any more. Sigh.
Even so, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to get back to the box. Last time I was in was Thursday. I don’t usually get in on Fridays and this past weekend we were on soccer fields at the Air Force Academy both days, so that brings us back to Monday. Let’s get moving again, shall we?
I felt ok this morning. Stiff, but not bad. Even so, after looking at the workout last night I knew I was going to get my butt kicked. I knew I should tape my knees but I ran into some computer issues with my work system that I had to resolve, so ran out of time. Knee sleeves in hand, I headed in to face the music.
Coach Larry was recovering from doing the workout himself as we came in. And we had a fun crew for him today — me, Lara, John, Dee, Kelli & Trey, along with Michael & Anthony.
We started with some mobility. I used the time with a foam roller to try and get my back and shoulders moving again. And then we did either a 400m run, 500m row, or 2 minutes on the bike. Of course I chose to row. 🙂
When that was done, we grabbed a light kettle bell (35# for me) and did a little three round warm-up:
10 Russian kettlebell swings (just to eye level)
10 kipping swings on the rig
From there we took a look at the workout itself:
50 box jumps
50 kettlebell swings
50 wall-ball shots
Rx – 30/24″ box, 70/53# KB, 30/20# wall ball
Level II – 24/20″ box, 53/35# KB, 20/14# wall ball
Level I – reduce to 30 reps for each movement, 20/16″ box, 35/25# KB, 14/10# wall ball
Our goal? Less than 25 minutes.
My approach was simple… a modified Level II:
53# kettle bell swings
knees-to-elbows, of which some were just knee raises but I did ok
20# wall balls
normal burpees (though I usually don’t stand up all the way and tend to just hop off the ground)
We were able to break it up into as many as 4 rounds, so I used this progression:
I was going to do 20/15/15 but after doing 20 burpees decided that was a poor decision. 🙂 Really the burpees were the worst part of this whole thing for me, as expected.
I finished in 22:20, which was under the 25 minute time cap, so I’ll take it. 🙂 Everybody did great. John was doing it Rx with the 30″ box jumps and 70# kettle bell like a beast. Other than John though I think we all scaled somehow. And the boys did awesome to get through the 30 rep version I think. They were FAST.
So not bad for the first workout of the week! Great work everybody! And thanks for the encouragement Larry!
This week is a mess, but again I knew if I didn’t at least try to get into the box I might go a little crazier than normal. So AJ and I headed into the box for a Noon class with Coach Drea. And… funny enough… it was just the two of us in the class!
We started with some partner warm-ups…
5 light dumbbell deadlifts, each side
while partner does 10 ring rows
100 ft dumbbell farmer’s carry
while partner does 10 hip extensions on the GHD
I grabbed 30# dumbbells for all of that and I stayed there for the rest of the day. 🙂
The workout itself was a 12 minute AMRAP:
dumbbell deadlifts, 9 reps
dumbbell power cleans, 3 reps
weights: 60/40# Rx, 45/30# level II, 30/20# level I
I knew the burpees were going to be the worst part of the workout, but didn’t realize what a challenge the dumbbell deadlifts would be. I felt like I was the Hunchback of Notre Dame every time I touched the floor.
For the most part I did the cleans & deadlifts unbroken. I paused here or there with the deadlifts but never set down the dumbbells. Unfortunately the burpees weren’t the same. As feared, that was the challenge for this one. I struggled to stay consistent doing 3 and 3. The cleans were fun – it was light enough I could just swing the weights to my shoulder. 🙂
I managed to get through 8 rounds plus 12 reps.
Meanwhile, AJ did the workout with with 15# dumbbells and got through 10 rounds + 16 reps. She did awesome.
When we were done, we did a bit of skill work with ring dips. I got through a little more than 1 round and I think AJ did too before she bailed to practice kicking up on the wall. 🙂 The skill work was 3 rounds of:
30 second hold at the locked out top of a ring dip
15 second hold at the bottom of the ring dip
10 strict ring dips
That first locked out hold on the rings made my arms get cranky, but by the end of one round my whole body was vibrating. The second hold I did for 25 seconds and that was all I could muster. At that point I bailed and decided it was time to get my stuff together.
So it was a good workout. Tomorrow is a rest day and then it sounds like Thursday will be a strength day — so I’m looking forward to that!
Thanks Drea! Hope you and the boys have a great day!
Though I actually headed in for a Friday Hero WOD (amazing, I know, because usually I skip ’em!), I want to cover a few other things first… (Sorry, but this is a long one.)
This has not been the best week. Last week wasn’t the best week ever. And yet, even in the craziness, I really want to keep chugging away at my fitness goals. But what are those goals? That was the question that came up this week amidst the meetings, scheduling issues, and general lack of motivation. What is my “why” for training these days?
When I started, my goal was simply to get off my butt and start moving again. As a computer geek and writer who works from home, I do a lot of sitting. And it was taking its toll. Thankfully I had help finding crossfit from my wife and friends.
Once I got started on my crossfit journey, it became about nutrition – switching to a paleo lifestyle, cutting out a lot of crap from our diet, and generally cleaning up what we consume on a weekly basis. Though we’ve ebbed and flowed a bit over the last 4 years, we’ve tried to remain fairly paleo when we put in the effort to do so. So that’s been a good change.
In 2013, I started at 248 pounds and got all the way to 201 at one point. Now I hover between 225 and 230 fairly regularly. I’d love to get down to 210 or 215, but inconsistent eating has made that a challenge. 🙂
As things progressed, goals have shifted here and there. First, it was PRs. I went “heavy happy.” Or as I call it “let’s get frustrated when we plateau or our max lifts fade over time with injury or misuse.” Then it was “let’s learn some new skills” like pull-ups and handstands. Then it was “my running sucks, let’s work on that…”
And lately I’ve been struggling with body parts not allowing me to move as well as I’d like. Or with wacky mental states brought about by work or emotional stresses. Or generally not being able to work with folks and not slowing them down when we partner up here or there.
I guess what I’m saying is I’ve been kind of all over the place. 🙂
That led to a great chat with Coach Drea on Thursday.
A Changed Focus…
Yesterday’s workout involved short sprints — a lot of them. And my history with sprinting is full of perilous tales of injuries, exhaustion, and nightmares of suicides during basketball practices in junior high school. My negative relationship with running in general really began even earlier than that with trying out for Little League baseball and sucking wind due to childhood asthma, throwing up after every practice. Sprints in junior high were better, but still sucked.
To say the least, I really don’t like running even though my running has improved over the last year. It has a long way to go. My knees and hips don’t like it much, and I have a tenuous relationship with those parts of my anatomy already.
So I suggested that perhaps it was a good day to sit down and chat with Coach Drea about where we go from here.
First, we covered the Lurong Challenge and the benefits of going with a macro reboot to our nutrition at home. Long story short, it didn’t work for Ev because of the measuring and it didn’t work for me because I don’t think we have the numbers right. We’ll play with the numbers and I’ll try and continue with macros as we work to stay a bit more paleo with some rice and sweet potatoes added for good measure.
It was good as a reset. Workouts didn’t work well for us for a variety of scheduling reasons, but it was still a good opportunity to just get our lives back to a bit healthier eating.
Second, we chatted about my general lack of focus during workouts these days. Some of that is emotional, which I think has been masked for years as I increased my use of alcohol as a calming agent. That’s just my opinion, but I have to say it’s been very interesting cutting alcohol down to maybe once a week and watching my mental state during the week. Sleep has been more productive idea-wise than in a very long time even if it’s not exactly “better” as far as length of sleep or recovery.
I had a workout where my head really wasn’t in the game though I tried (see “Some Days Just Don’t Work Right“). And I just got frustrated with my performance. Heavy wasn’t good that day. And everything I did just got in the way. So I knew something needed to change.
Go Lighter and Faster
Drea suggested something I hadn’t really pondered much. Going light and focusing on quality of movement and speed.
Now the one thing I’ve maintained all the way along the way during my crossfit journey is that I’m not fast. In fact, I cringe whenever a coach tries to tell me to move faster. And Drea knows this all too well. 🙂
That said, recently I came to the realization that scaling isn’t a bad thing. But I typically work my way down from Rx weights, not up from Level I weights. And even then, I typically try to go as heavy as my body will allow on any given day.
Shifting to starting at the bottom again was an odd thought.
We chatted about the fact that even though we know we should scale sometimes, we find ourselves almost using that as an excuse when we talk about our performance. Drea even mentioned she’s working on that herself – like scaling down this week’s Double Grace and kicking ass with the lower weights. She got complimented on her time and she caught herself saying “thanks, but I scaled” — I fall into that all the time. (Not getting complimented, but adding the “but I scaled” phrase many times.)
I know I fall into the trap of “it’s not Rx so it doesn’t count” but if we take the idea that even though it’s a programmed workout, it’s OUR workout every time… that changes things.
So she suggested that I start back at the ground level again. Go with lighter weights for barbells, dumbbells, and medicine balls on those days that we do metcons. The goal there is to focus on good movement, larger sets, and faster times. But keep up with strength training on our heavy days.
I have to admit to balking a bit at the word “fast.”
We talked about today’s workout and attempting to get through three rounds — doing wall balls with a lighter ball and doing them unbroken, lightening the deadlift weights and focusing on doing good touch-and-gos, and working on just keeping moving through the burpees.
Um. Sure. I nodded, smiled, and agreed to come in for Friday’s workout. Light deadlifts? Sure. Lighter wall balls? Sure. Burpees or bar-over-burpees? Ugh.
That said, it was a good chat and I ended up with some things to try. So thank you Drea!
Friday’s Workout – Scotty
Friday’s workouts are always hero WODs. And 9/10 times they include running, so I typically avoid them like the plague. I’m not afraid to admit that. But every once in a while one comes up that doesn’t include running and looks hard, but doable.
This was one of those.
My daughters were supposed to go do this one with me, but they decided to sleep in this morning. I can’t say I blame them. 🙂 Coach Drea had an interesting group today… Jonathan & Sarah, Larry, Jed, and myself.
(As a brief confessional aside, I somehow managed to not eat this morning. So I was operating on a Spark drink and a Red H Nutrition “Hustle” pre-workout drink going in today. And afterwards I did a Progenex Recovery protein shake, followed up by an iced coffee with almond milk creamer — yeah, I’m not doing hot on the whole food thing today. Not sure I “hustled” much on the pre-workout either. 🙂 )
We started with some banded hamstring stretches and then did a little 3 round warm-up:
400m row (or something similar on the assault bike)
20 fast step-ups on a box (24/20″)
I rowed and did 20″ step-ups, which was fine.
We went from there to warm-up with an empty barbell and add weight over 5 warm-up rounds of a few reps to get to our working weight for the workout.
“Scotty” Hero WOD
11 minute AMRAP
5 deadlifts (315/210#, 275/185#, 155/105#)
18 wall balls (20/14# or 10/8#)
17 burpees over the bar (or straight burpees)
I warmed up to 175#, which felt ok doing touch-and-go, and used a 14# wall ball. So definitely attempting to go with Drea’s idea of bigger sets, more reps, faster cycle times.
What I found was 5 deadlifts was easy and though the 18 wall balls wasn’t easy, it was doable at the lighter weight. I even managed the first set of 18 unbroken. The second set was split in two chunks of reps I think. And that third round was miserable, broken into many smaller sets.
It was the burpees though that killed me very quickly. Usually bar-over-burpees are easier for me to get through, simply because I’m not standing all the way up in every burpee. But today… Wow. Not today. I was doing 2-4 at a time and struggling even with that.
Got through the first round and Drea suggested just stepping over the bar, not even jumping. I did that for the second and third round.
Made it through 2 rounds plus 27 reps — so I got through the deadlifts and wall balls of the third round, but only 4 burpees.
Yesterday, Drea said to shoot for 3 rounds. I was close…ish. 🙂
Great work everybody. Jed was a beast and got through 4 or 5 rounds I think. Not sure how anybody else did, but they were humming along on the other side of the room. 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement Drea. We’ll work on trying to speed up a bit. It definitely puts a different emphasis on my workouts, let me tell ya!
… just to be the team that’s falling down outside your crossfit door… (apologies to the Proclaimers!)
I may be a little loopy at the moment. Just a little.
Today’s team crossfit workout was brought to you by Coach Clare and involved a little bit of everything I think. The joys of the Filthy 50 times 2 with a partner. Once again, Jonathan was my partner for this lovely little workout and my wife and his wife teamed up to kick our collective asses. Go figure.
We weren’t alone either — there were easily 18-20 people milling about today.
Our warm-up? A fun competition between four teams with 4 or 5 people each. Clare set up four assault bikes facing one another with a line in the middle. A foam roller would be set on the line and the two athletes facing one another would try and blow the foam roller with the force of the fan on the assault bike, so the roller would stay on their opponent’s side of the line.
Not to brag or anything, but our team dominated. We went Five for Five (Jonathan, Me, Sarah, Michael, and AJ). It was fun. Supposedly the team would have to do 2 burpees for every bout they lost (bike for 20 seconds and see which side it ended up on).
After that we set up equipment for this lovely workout:
Score Type:: Total Time
Teams of 2 For time:
100 Box jump (24/20)
100 Jumping pull-ups
100 Kettlebell swings (35/25)
100 Walking Lunge steps
100 Knees to elbows
100 Push press (45/35)
100 Back extensions
100 Wall ball shots (20/14)
100 Double unders
If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s 2x the Filthy Fifty (see right).
Jonathan and I pulled our stuff together and did:
Jonathan (24″ box jumps), me (20″ step ups)
35# kettle bell swings
walking or in-place lunges
Jonathan (45# push press), me (45# strict press)
good mornings with a 45# barbell
20# wall balls
Jonathan (burpees), me (sit-ups)
100 single unders each
Honestly I was pretty fried after the good mornings. And it took us a bit under 44 minutes to complete all of that. 1000 reps. We either split the 100 for each movement or Jonathan did more than I did. Just depended on where I was at.
I felt bad about doing sit-ups instead of burpees, but honestly I didn’t think I was going to get off the floor if I went down. My shoulders were screaming. My knees were pissed. Even as it was, five rounds of 10 sit-ups each was a damn challenge.
But we finished. And scaling is not the enemy. It’s what happens when you realize your body doesn’t want to keep moving and decide to change things up so you CAN keep moving.
I don’t think we were last. But we were damn close. And I feel like hell afterwards. It’s awesome.
Jonathan, thanks for being my partner in the madness. You kicked butt. 🙂
And good work everybody who came! Thanks Clare for a good challenge!
Today, I felt a bit like Popeye, forearms bulging. And I have to say it was a bit of a challenge to keep moving like that. 🙂
Let’s start at the beginning though. Today should be calmer than yesterday if all goes according to plan. Watched today’s keynote speech via streaming video from Boston this morning for work and then headed in for an 8:30 workout.
Coach Jimmy was there again, and we had another fun group — Jonathan, Elyse, Brent, Jenny, Andrea, Nic and Nichole. Plus we got to see Drea with new little Noah, so that was fun. He’s tiny and cute, just like he should be. 🙂
We began with a 500m row and then did a little three round number:
20 seconds of wall balls (20/14# medicine ball)
20 seconds of toy soldier marches (high kicks to stretch hammies)
20 seconds of butt-kickers
Of all of it, the butt-kickers were the worst, funny enough. Nothing like a form of running to cause you some grief. 🙂
40 muscle-ups (Rx, 30 Level II, 20 Level I — muscle-ups or muscle-up transitions)
This is very similar to what we did for CrossFit Open workout 17.1 – and is the same as what the Regionals Qualifier workout #1 was this year. They had a 20 minute time cap as well. We had the option of going past the time cap today, but I don’t think anybody wanted to actually do that. 🙂
I chose the Level II weight for the dumbbell (35#) because, as I told Brent afterwards, I don’t trust my left arm. Eventually with a 50# dumbbell I likely would knock myself in the head and end my workout with a concussion. As a result, I decided 35# was more in my wheelhouse today.
Broke those up a bit:
6 sets of 10 reps
And I chugged my way through the row. Took me nearly 1500m of rowing to get through 80 calories.
But it was the burpees that killed me again, just like Saturday. By the time I got there, both forearms were rocks, so every time I went to the ground I was shoving my arms into the shoulder socket, hard. I attempted to slow it down by crawling down on one knee and up on one knee, but that was still damn slow.
I did five sets of five reps each, with far too long a break in-between, and then got one more rep in the last 30 seconds.
I felt pretty good about the dumbbell snatches and the row. But I knew I would be lucky if I got all the way to the muscle-up transitions. I just couldn’t keep going in the burpees. My brain was protecting my body. And I tend to listen when it does that. 🙂
I was sweating like a pig about 5 minutes into the workout and that continued until well after I left the box to head home. So I think I definitely got my work in today.
Thanks Jimmy and great work 8:30 class! Have a great day!
And we decided to get our sweat on today with a Team WOD at CrossFit Continuum. Why? Because we’re all a little crazy and that’s where some of our friends would be. 🙂
I think, due to the snow and the plethora of activities going on around town, we had a smaller group of people attend today’s team WOD. Coach Isaac, Larry, and Brent were there when we arrived. Jonathan and Sarah, Robert, and Adi came in as well. So we had 9 athletes and 1 coach.
We started with a discussion of the WOD and then did a very brief warm-up – the PVC Game. (Below you can see another CrossFit box demonstrating…)
In Isaac’s version, if you dropped the PVC pipe, it was the people who dropped it and the people who handed it to them who had to do 4 burpees each. Not sure how good a warm-up it was, but it was fun! (I only had to do 4 burpees. 🙂 )
The workout itself was deceptively simple for teams of two (we had one team of three):
27 minute AMRAP
For each movement, one team member would do the reps while the other waited in the “box.” When the first team member finished, they would tag the other to do the same movement.
Rep scheme was 10-9-8-7-6-5 — each athlete would do 10 reps of the movement, then 9, etc. When you finished 5 reps, shift to the next movement and repeat the rep scheme.
Essentially each athlete did 45 reps of each movement.
The movements were:
Wall balls (20/14# medicine ball)
Box jumps (24/20″ box)
If you finished the Knees-to-Elbows, start again on Wall balls
Jonathan and I teamed up. Sarah and Ev teamed up. AJ worked with Robert & Adi on the team of 3. And Larry & Brent worked together.
How’d it go?
The only thing I had to scale was the box jumps. I started with 20″ box jumps and shifted to step-ups to keep things moving. Jonathan did 24″ box jumps the whole time.
Wall balls actually felt pretty good.
Pull-ups, as always, slowed me down. I banged out the first 10 in two sets of 5 and started falling apart by the round of 8. Isaac tried to get me to really use the hip kip to get more momentum going — but I was feeling it my biceps and hamstrings pretty quickly. Though I appreciated the coaching, I’m not sure my technique improved any. 🙂
Burpees KILLED ME. I was already shot after all the pull-ups, but damn. Slowest, ugliest burpees on record.
And we barely had time to even get into the Knees-to-Elbows. I got in 10 reps before we ran out of time. I think if we had 30 minutes, we would have finished the K2E pretty easily. Another 3 minutes would have allowed us all the time we needed.
Jonathan did awesome — he just kept going like the Energizer Rabbit. I felt bad ’cause I slowed him down. But we did fine. Everybody was killing it. 🙂
Really a great workout that involved a little bit of everything, so great work Isaac! I was definitely sweaty and tired by the time we were done. 🙂
Great work everybody! I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday!