Hello Thursday. Apparently it was the day to bolt everything together as best I could and attempt another CrossFit Games Regional Workout… This one was 2017 Regional Workout #1. The one that we watched Games-level athletes complete in less than 15 minutes.
I wasn’t looking forward to this one, but that’s part of what makes CrossFit interesting every day. It changes daily and challenges all the aspects of your movement capabilities. This was no difference.
Ev, Mickey, and I arrived this morning for Coach Larry’s class. We were joined by Bri, Sarah, and Caleb. Danielle joined us too but was doing the Lurong workout today, but we started with several minutes of mobility work (foam roller and then banded shoulder work on the rig) before running a 200m light jog.
When we came in we did three rounds of:
10 air squats with a med ball (20/14#)
20-30 second hollow body hold on the rig
20-30 second handstand hold on the wall
I helped Ev get up into a handstand a few times on the wall, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad.
Once we were all done, we talked about the workout:
Score Type:: Total Time
For time, wearing a weight vest:
Then, 12 rounds of:
4 strict handstand push-ups
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
Men wear a 20-lb. vest
Women wear a 14-lb. vest
For time, wearing a weight vest:
Then, 9 rounds of:
4 pike push-ups
8 chest-to-bar ring rows
Some of us (Bri & Caleb) wore a weight vest for the run and then dropped it for the rest. The rest of us skipped the weight vest entirely.
I ended up with:
1200m jog (900m actual jog, 300m walk — doing the 200m flat path to avoid the hill in the hopes to not stress my knees as much) – took around 9:30
4 strict HSPUs (25# weight plus abmat)
first round, 3 C2B (slight jump) and 5 pull-ups, all other rounds 8 pull-ups as high as I could pull to my chest
12 air squats
I did that for 9 rounds and finished at 35:36
How’d other folks do?
Bree finished in 29:49
Mickey 29:52 (ring rows)
Not sure how Sarah did, but I’m sure she crushed it.
I actually feel guilty about not finishing the last 3 rounds, but I had a few things working against me: time (I was out of time and couldn’t just keep going, needed to get back to work), my right hand (even with wrist and hand wraps) was starting to rub open a blister, and I was having a harder and harder time pulling on the rig to do pull-ups.
I should have finished. But oh well.
Thanks for the encouragement today Larry! I appreciated it. 🙂
Morning folks. I slept hard for a good 5 hours last night and woke up feeling a bit exhausted as a result. Don’t ask me how that works, but I definitely had multiple body parts (knees & ankles) that were popping and snapping at me as I moved around. It was fantastic.
After a meeting at work, it was time to head in for the 8:30 class with Ev. Thursdays are always a bit more entertaining when I get to work out with my wife. 🙂 We had Coach Bill today, plus Jonathan, Brent, Joe, Jenny, and Melissa. Caleb came in early to do some mobility work before the 9:30 class as well.
We started with some foam rolling, which was good. And then we did a 3 round warm-up:
5 wall balls (20/14#)
By the last 200m run, my body was complaining enough that I decided to turn it into a 100m, but the rest worked ok.
Then we went through some work with a PVC pipe:
And then worked through a few movements with an empty barbell:
After that, we added some weight and did a few reps. I did:
95# push press
and upped it to 115# push press
My issue however was C2B pull-ups. I had no pull today. Even my normal pull-ups were awful, but that’s what I scaled it down to. Regular kipping pull-ups.
The workout was:
21-15-9 reps for time of:
Shoulder-to-overheads, 135/95# (or 115/75# or 95/55#)
Chest-to-bar pull-ups (banded or strict press or regular pull-ups)
How’d we do?
Evie finished in 8:31 with 75# and banded pull-ups
I finished in 12:04 with 115# and regular kipping pull-ups (11 & 10 reps, 6, 5, 5, 5 pull-ups, 5-5-5, and whatever sets I could do, then 9 reps and a mix of 3, 2, and 1 rep sets)
My shoulders were on fire. I had a tough time convincing my body to raise my arms over my head. Pushing was one thing, but pulling was completely different. Definitely a struggle and I was definitely the last person done.
But as we keep pointing out… DFL > DNF > DNS. So I’m good with that. And I need to set up an appointment with my good friend Caleb the Chiropractor to get some of my issues resolved. 🙂
After all of that we did some mobility work and put our stuff away. To say that my shoulders were pissed off during that process would be an understatement, but I did what I could. And they’ve stopped burning since I got home, so that’s a good thing. 🙂
Great work 8:30 class! Impressive performances! Thanks Bill for the encouragement! And good luck 9:30 class!
This has not been the best week. What I thought was a cold on Monday developed into some kind of flu bug that knocked me on my ass Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt closer to human again on Thursday and then suddenly it was Friday, time for the next Open workout. How was I going to do? Could I hang in long enough to do whatever I could?
Thursday night I watched the Open announcement like everyone else and probably swore openly at Dave Castro’s smiling face a few times as he gleefully listed off the parts of the workout. Squat snatches and chest to bar pull ups.
Well crap. Neither of those is one of my strongest movements. I managed two C2B in practice and then couldn’t hit a single one during the WOD a couple of weeks ago. That was a minor victory. I’ve done lighter squat snatches before. Maybe I could pull off the lightest parts of the prescribed workout… But it all depended on getting through those C2B’s.
Thursday night I was thinking maybe I’d try Rx. By Friday morning I was questioning that decision and folks were chiming in on my Facebook feed telling me that it would be fine, just go for it. Do those C2B’s one at a time. You’ll do great!
There was more than a little apprehension as I headed into Friday Night Lights at CrossFit Continuum with my wife. And the place was hopping, as per usual.
When it came time to do my heat with my wife, I was as warmed up as I was going to be. I had found a spot on the rig. I had attempted, and hit, a C2B.
Then I moved to the barbell on the floor. 95#. I attempted it three or four times. One of them I ended up on my ass on the ground, dropping the bar. Yup. Gravity still works. None of them were good attempts. Oh well, I’d just deal with it when the time came.
I laughed later because Coach Clare made a point of stopping and saying that I was going to do great. I was a little out of it. Maybe a bit dazed from being sick all week. Maybe a bit in my head after falling on my ass. Who knows? But I appreciated the vote of confidence!
Ev was going scaled. Jumping pull-ups are in her wheelhouse and chest-to-bars aren’t yet. And she was off like a bat out of hell. By the time she was done, she had made it into the second chunk of time and by 12 minutes she had completed 101 reps.
Meanwhile, I was working at the rig with Coach Isaac, who was nice enough to judge me during my run at the workout. I started out stronger than I expected. Stepped up to the rig, did one chest to bar. Boom. Stepped back. Did it again. Boom.
I did that 5 times in a row. Step, pull, boom, drop, step back. Repeat.
I think that only took me a minute or two and then I spent the rest of the 8 minutes trying to get rep #6. I never did, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I did everything I could think of. I listened to Isaac. And I got close 2 out of 3 tries. But though Isaac thought I touched a few times, I didn’t. I would have known.
The whole time, he and I were chatting. I was laughing and smiling. No stress. No worry. Just step away, figure out another approach, and try again. Over and over again.
When my 8 minutes ended, I had a score of 5. And I am utterly thrilled by that. C2B is one of those things I’ve been flirting with for years now. Pull-ups, sure. But C2B is a different kind of beast. To get 5 of them in one workout is a major milestone.
So my score for 17.3 is 5 reps. Rx. It sounds so small when other folks are getting into the 40s, 70s, or 100s and beyond. But I really don’t care. And that’s amusing to me.
The Strange Dichotomy
No, this doesn’t have anything to do with Dr. Strange, though that title would not be out of place in a Dr. Strange comic. But here’s the thing.
Something changed over the last year in me. I’m not sure how or when, but I’ve relaxed a ton. Maybe the stick up my butt finally fell out. I don’t know.
This is my third CrossFit Open in my four years of doing CrossFit. The first one was insanely stressful for me. Every workout I felt like I was letting someone down. My coaches. My family. Myself. I don’t know who. By the time I got to the last workout and walked out in the middle of it, I was fried. No, I wasn’t going to do this again. And I took the next year off, but cheered everybody on.
Last year I tried again and had more fun. It was still stressful, but I looked at each workout as a challenge and less as an insurmountable mountain. By giving it a best effort, I wasn’t letting anybody down. I was showing up. That’s more than half the battle. But scaling still felt like it was the enemy. I’d been doing crossfit long enough I should not have to scale, damnit! Silly me.
Over the last 12 months, that attitude towards scaling has shifted.
It’s not a necessary evil. It’s just part of the game. Listen to the body. Prepare the best you can and adjust accordingly. Each workout is not a permanent scar written in the history books. It’s just a workout. Enjoy it. Get through it as well as you can, recover, learn, and prepare for the next one.
Why it’s taken me this long to figure that out is beyond me, because damn it makes so many other things in life so much easier. Today is just today. Do the best you can and move on because it’s not going to last anyway.
So this CrossFit Open has been a much different affair for me. I scaled the first two workouts because my body told me I needed to. Fine. No biggie.
Last night is the first workout for this Open that I thought I had a chance of doing at the prescribed weight. Could I have continued doing the workout had I hit that 95# bar for squat snatches? Heck if I know. Would I have given it my best shot? Hell yes.
But here’s the biggest factor for me: giving myself permission to scale. It’s such a stupid thing. Between that and simply relaxing and having fun with the whole experience, it’s such a different beast I can’t even explain it.
So if I have any words of wisdom to share, it’s just to have fun. Listen to your body. Don’t stress yourself out. Cheer everybody else on and enjoy the ride when it’s your turn.
I just wish it hadn’t taken me 4 years to figure that out. 🙂 (Note that I will still probably swear at Dave Castro’s smiling face next Thursday night!)
Great work Continuum family! You all KILLED IT last night. I watched folks do amazing feats of strength and perseverance all night.
I’m not afraid to admit that this year has been a bit of a mixed bag so far. Whatever positive momentum I had built by the middle of January evaporated pretty quickly and February was a bumpy ride as a result. It happens. I’m keeping an optimistic eye towards March.
But I’m coming to recognize that the little victories are important when other things aren’t going as well. Yesterday it was the eval WOD that I shaved a few seconds off of. Today it was something else. Little things matter.
So getting to today, I made it in for the 8:30 class. Coach Drea had Todd, Carrie, Jenny, Sarah, and I this morning. A fun group and I was definitely in a bit better headspace today than yesterday.
We started with some couch stretch, moved to the foam roller, and then did an interesting little 3 round warm-up:
100m run/150m row/1 min bike (choose 1)
10 snatch balance
10 jump and lands in an overhead snatch position
10 hollow body holds with overhead press (mimic bar muscle up press)
I did the Devil’s Tricycle for the first one and rowed the other two. And the rest wasn’t too bad with a PVC pipe.
From there we grabbed an unloaded barbell and did some snatch progressions, then talked about the bar muscle-ups and chest-to-bar progressions. My shoulders were a little sore from yesterday, but once they got warmed up a bit the empty bar wasn’t bad. And adding 30# to the bar for 75# power snatches in the workout didn’t feel awful.
The C2B on the other hand… Always a little problematic. That said, I tried some regular kipping C2B and then Todd mentioned pushing down instead of pulling up. After that I actually did two honest C2B’s for the first time ever. (Now, I wasn’t able to reproduce that during the workout, but I will take what I can get. 🙂 )
Minor victory achieved!
Downhill from there. 🙂
The workout was 16.3 from last year’s CrossFit Open:
7 minute AMRAP
10 power snatches (75/55#)
3 bar muscle-ups
Scaled was 45/35# and jumping chest to bars. I stayed with the 75# weight and attempted a mix of kipping and jumping C2B. Didn’t hit my chest on any of them. After my minor victory apparently I was out of victories for the day, which is ok.
I went through the workout 4 full rounds. Last year I was able to at least get the jumping C2B, but I didn’t have them today. And I will survive.
Great work 8:30 class! It was a good one.
As far as later in the week, I’ll be back on Thursday for whatever that holds. And I’m hoping that Castro does a short WOD for 17.2 when he announces it on Thursday night. Guessing something to do with pull-ups and Drea mentioned wall balls. We’ll see if either of them show up. 🙂
Morning folks. Usually I skip Wednesdays, but I needed to escape my office (yes, ironic since I work from home). So I went in for a workout with my wife (who managed to high sprain an ankle last night at indoor soccer, so I was glad I was driving)…
Coach Drea had us under her wing, along with Todd, Jonathan, and Sarah.
We started with a little 500m row (or 2 minutes on the devil’s trike) and then did another 3 round warm-up of:
20 seconds of hollow body rocks
20 seconds of backward lunges
20 seconds of C2B, pull-ups, or ring rows where you hold at the top for 2-3 seconds
Once we were done with that, we laughed our way at pistol progressions (spoiler: mine are awful) before talking about the workout… a 20 minute AMRAP of:
10 C2B pull-ups
20 alternating one-legged squats (pistols)
10 box jumps (36/30″)
Muahahahaha. Three movements I am not fantastic at. 🙂
I went down to a modified level 1:
3-5 good banded C2Bs (and more not-so-good ones)
20 pistols (alternating legs) to a weight bench
10 box jumps to a 20″ box
I actually did quite a few banded C2Bs – some of them were even really high. Drea commented on the fact that a couple looked like they were almost bar muscle-up height. So I might have to try a banded muscle-up at some point.
My pistols were atrocious. But I worked on turning my foot out and tracking the knee a bit better, so maybe I’ll get better at them someday.
And I actually did box jumps today. 20″ I can do pretty easily. 24″ I would have to think about and they’d be very very slow.
That said, I was very impressed by the other folks. Sarah did 30″ box jumps, banded C2B, and actual pistols. Jonathan did 33″ box jumps, banded C2B, and actual pistols. And Todd did actual C2B, 36″ box jumps, and actual pistols. And Ev chugged right along with a few changes despite the ankle sprain.
I probably should have taken today as a rest day but oh well. 🙂 The tops of my shoulders are still sore from the kettle bells on Monday. My hamstrings are angry from deadlifts yesterday. My midsection is feeling the weighted sit-ups from Monday.
I’ll probably still be back tomorrow. 🙂 Great work everybody! You all killed it!
Mondays are hard. But we’ll survive. We had a good weekend – a break from soccer madness. It meant we could go as a family (*gasp*) to the team workout for CrossFit Continuum on Saturday and go do some fun things afterwards. That was kind of nice for a change. 🙂
Saturday Team WOD – OUTSIDE!
Saturday we all piled into the car with our Weimaraner pup Storm. She’s nearly 11 and still behaves like a puppy, so she’ll always be the “puppy” to me. It was an outdoor workout at a local park. There were maybe 12-15 of us out there having fun in the grass.
Of course we couldn’t just get together without having a WOD! We divided into two teams that worked simultaneously on two tracks…
Team A: Complete as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
wallball bear crawl 20 lb (must have 3 points of contact)-cone to cone=1 rep
6 sit-ups (at each cone)
6 push-ups (at each cone)
**At the same time**
Team B: Move as much weight as possible in 12 minutes of:
Yoke carry (all members of the team must move the yoke at least 1 time from cone to cone)
team members can add and remove weight as needed
To earn 1 yoke carry team members must complete
1 farmer carry (KBs) or 1 team member carry (cone to cone)
**At the end of 12 minutes there will be a 3 minute rest and each team will switch to the other set of movements.
I’ve never played with the yoke before, so that was interesting. Shaun & I moved it with 300+ pounds on it and it wasn’t bad. I tried with all the weights on it and couldn’t get it to move comfortably, but it was fun. And I carried AJ back and forth a couple of times in addition to some farmer carries with the kettle bells.
And the “bear crawl” was more of just a “crawl” – but that was fun too.
I think everybody had fun. And Storm had a good time too, chasing squirrels and trying to keep up with everybody. She was exhausted when we got home. 🙂
So today… not so fun, but definitely a good workout.
I arrived with Ev, Sarah, and Anne – and Coach Drea had us under her wing. We started with some stretching. Couch stretch and then a 2 minute squat hold. That squat hold was awful.
Once that was done, she had more in store for us. A warm-up that was three rounds of:
10 air squats
It was kind of amusing because that 2 minute squat hold fried my quads pretty quickly. Walking and squatting was a challenge, let alone running. 🙂
And then we talked about scaling options for the workout…
5 rounds for time of:
15 chest-to-bar pull-ups
30 one-legged squats, alternating
None of us did that version. We all did some variation of:
5 rounds for time of:
8 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups
10 one-legged squats, left side to a med ball, stack of plates, or weight bench
10 one-legged squats, right side to a med ball, stack of plates, or weight bench
Scaling is the only way this works. 🙂
The fun part was doing this neat little move where Drea had me try and add some kipping motion to my jumping C2B. By pivoting around like that I was able to get over the bar, not just under it – it was entertaining.
But it was the pistols that really fried me. I was sweating like a beast. Something about putting all my weight on one leg or the other plays havoc with my systems. A lot of it is flexibility and range of motion. I simply don’t have much of either. More than I did when I started 3 years ago – but still not where I should be.
Definitely a challenge – which is a good thing. 🙂
And it’s definitely a Monday. Good luck folks! Have a great day!
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…
The 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.
I 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!