Tag Archives: crossfit

Definitely Losing My Grip

Wasn’t sure I was going to make it in today, to be honest. This week has not exactly gone according to plan. But since I’ll miss the next two days and probably miss Saturday as well, I wanted to get one more in before things got crazier.

1xub9eSo at noon I sauntered in for a workout with Coach Drea, Sarah, Lara, Lorna, Ana, and Joe. And Bill was there chatting as well (and performed admirably as a demonstrator of movements on the rig when pressed into service!).

We started with the week’s warm-up, then did some active warm-ups on the rig, hanging with active shoulders, as well as some double-under practice. Someday I’ll figure those darn things out, but today was not the day. We did quite a few variations of pulls and pushes and pull-ups and C2B on the rig as well. From there we did some work with hanging power snatches, warming up to our working weight for the workout.

As per usual, the warm-ups showed me the limitations of what I’d be able to do today. Single-unders instead of doubles (no shock there). Jumping C2B (I think I may have touched on less than 5) and kipping pull-ups, though I eventually fell to ring rows. And only 65# on the bar for the hang power snatches.

We had a 15 minute time cap today, so it was whatever you could finish in that time. We had a number of folks finish under 15, which was awesome. I wasn’t one of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

PullupBut we did:

  • Performance:
    • For time:
    • 90 double-unders
    • 45 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    • 45 hang power snatches #95/65
    • 90 double-unders
  • Fitness:
    • For time:
    • 150 single unders
    • 45 banded pull-ups
    • 45 hang power snatches #55/35
    • 150 single unders

So my workout was somewhere between Fitness & Performance, which was fine.

  • 150 single unders went great initially. Done in a little over a minute.
  • 45 pull-ups became 2 or 3 jumping C2B attempts and then 7 or 8 kipping pull-ups to round out a set of 10, or on the last set of 10-15, kipping pull-ups until I couldn’t pull any longer and then 10 ring rows.
  • 45 hang power snatches @ 65# was in sets of 5 and my issue was my left hand. Forearm swelled up like a balloon like it does, preventing me from getting a grip on the bar after a few reps. I’d do 2 or 3 ok and barely hang on for the next 2. Did all 45 in sets of 5 that way.
  • Picked up the jump rope and got through 60 singles (50 non-stop until I tripped and did 10 more).

I did not finish in the 15 minute time cap, but that was fine. Some days the box kicks your butt for no other reason than “it’s there.” ๐Ÿ™‚

dfl-dnf-dns

Anyway… Great work everyone! Some really good efforts!

Thanks Drea & Bill for the support/positivity!

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Ascending rep schemes? Bah!

Another night with very little sleep (and a little trauma/drama) at my house led to me taking today as a personal day. Lack of sleep usually means lack of patience. Lack of patience leads to lack of progress… you know how it goes.

0511-1005-0201-0040_Black_and_White_Vintage_Cartoon_of_a_Man_Asleep_at_His_Desk_clipart_imageAnd that lack of sleep really made me debate whether to go to crossfit this morning. But I gave in, thinking the activity may help me burn off a little of whatever madness may be lingering from the last few days.

So at 8:30, I joined Coach Drea, Nicole, Melissa, Carrie, Danielle, and Logan. We did the same warm-up as yesterday, with a bit more elbow/shoulder mobility before shifting over to some thruster warm-ups with a PVC pipe and then an empty barbell.

As the last part of the warm-up we did three rounds of:

  • 2 thrusters at our working weight
  • 100m sprint on rower or 5 calories on the bike

I did the bike each time. And I had 75# on the bar. As per usual, it was going to be a challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

2013-thrusters-combined

Today’s workout was an interesting one…

  • Performance
    • 9-15-21 reps for time of:
    • Thrusters #75/55
    • Bar-facing burpees (bar-over-burpees)
  • Fitness
    • 9-12-15 reps for time of:
    • Thrusters #55/45
    • Burpees

Ascending rep schemes are awful. There’s a weird mental disconnect with knowing you have MORE reps to do, not LESS.

I was laughing at the fact that I would have to calm down during the round of 9 and not burn myself out right away… Um, sure. Like that was going to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

1npz5eOn the plus side, I managed to pull off the bar hop for the rounds of 9 and 15. When I got to the round of 21, I struggled to get up and down because my shoulders were on fire. But I got into a rhythm where I would go down slowly, come up slowly, and step over the bar, then repeat.

The thrusters weren’t awful. I did the first 9 unbroken, then went with 8 and 7, then 11 and 10. But those burpees. Bah.

I finished in 11:19. Nicole finished in under 6 minutes. I was edging ever closer to my estimate of double the fastest time. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  But I finished — that was the victory today.

When we were done, we did a little 200m walk/light jog (I walked) just to wind down a bit, then put our stuff away, and did a little mobility if we had time. (Banded shoulder abstraction helped. My shoulders are less on fire now!)

Great work everybody! And thanks for the encouragement, folks!

All Overhead Today

This weekend was entertaining. After doing the Saturday gymnastics WOD, my back was very unhappy with me. We then sat in howling wind for Mickey’s soccer game and drove to the Denver Tech Center to cheer on AJ’s team, though she wasn’t playing. My body wasn’t a happy place for a while.

1xpb3dSunday I ate too much (fat & happy), watched football, and got some writing done, then drove to the Denver airport to pick up Ev. Got home about 12:30 this morning.

Did that mean that I would be smart and skip crossfit this morning? Hell no. It’s Monday. Gotta go!

Got everybody else up, moving, and on their way. Worked a bit. And then headed to crossfit.

Today’s workout was… overhead all day. How was my cranky body going to handle that, I wondered? The answer came during the warm-up… some parts better than others.

Thankfully I was not alone. Coach Drea had Nicole, Todd & Melissa, Connie, and Logan this morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

Overhead-squat-1We did some shoulder mash (it was a midnight smash! we did the mash…), some light windmills (I left the plates on the floor), some prone PVC passthroughs, some sky reaches, couch stretch, and some overhead squats with a plate before going through the movements for today:

  • Overhead Squats
  • Snatch Balance
  • Hanging Squat Snatch

We warmed up all of these with a PVC pipe first and then found a friendly squat rack to set up with an empty barbell and some weights. Before long, we were off and running.

  • Overhead Squat 5-5-5
  • Snatch Balance 3-3-3
  • Hang Squat Snatch 1-1-1

Now we did OHS a few weeks ago (OHS x5) and I stayed pretty low on weight, starting at 95# and going down to 85#. Though it was a rough start this morning, wasn’t sure where I’d end up, so I started low again and worked my way up.

  • 5x 65# OHS (felt good, but felt like my knees were going forward))
  • 5x 85# OHS (still felt good)
  • 5x 115# OHS (all felt good but the middle one)

That was 20# heavier than just a few weeks ago and it felt pretty good. Who knows where my 1RM will be if we try that again? My old 1RM is 145# and after doing five decent OHS at 115# I’m sure I can do 135# and probably match 145#, if not exceed it.

Then we did the Snatch Balance…

  • 75# x3
  • 95# x3 (kinda ugly)
  • 95# x3 (a bit better)

1xpdhcAnd finally the hanging squat snatches:

  • 75# x1 (was one of those “OMG, what did I just do lifts” where it felt awkward the whole way)
  • 75# x1 (much better)
  • 95# x1 (not awful, but my feet went way wide on the jump)

I’ll take that all the way to the bank.

Here’s the funny. I didn’t start feeling the bruises on my thighs from the pullovers on Saturdayย until I started doing the hang squat snatch. And was “yup — they’re there!” And I was feeling my abs from all the planks and toes-to-bar work and everything on Saturday.

It’s always fun to see what you’ve done to yourself two days after the fact. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway… Great work everybody! And thanks Drea for a fun class!

Testing my (Lacking) Gymnastics Skills

Some days you dominate the workout. Sometimes it dominates you. And then there are those days when you come out wondering what the heck just happened.

My body is telling me that today was one of the third type. ๐Ÿ™‚

gears-head (Small)I thought I was a little smarter this week.ย Last week I did Nicole’s gymnastics class and stayed for the team workout. That pretty much wiped me out for the rest of the day.ย  Today I decided I would just do the gymnastics class. And that seems like a very wise decision after looking at the team workout and with how I feel after all the holds and skill work today.

Wasn’t sure I’d get in at all today, since we finally got AJ to the doc yesterday and they were pretty clear that it was a concussion she suffered a week ago at the water park. She’s been taking it easy, avoiding too much stressful physical activity (i.e. no strenuous crossfit workouts since last Saturday and the headaches began, no soccer, no volleyball). And this weekend will be her first screen-less weekend in a long while, so we’re making the best of it.

Our friend who is a neurological/psychological specialist and has also dealt with concussions with her kids through sports recommended that AJ add some movement to her rest period, so she went with me this morning to crossfit to do some moving. While we did the gymnastics class, she pedaled on the assault bike for a good hour and made it about 8 miles we think.

20171014_094725But anyway… let’s talk about that class. Unlike the last couple of times, this one was much more skills-focused. We still did a lot of stretching and holds, but we added in a whole mess of new movements.

Thankfully I was far from alone. We had maybe 20 people in attendance… Nicole taught and we had Jimmy & Drea, Marino & Deana, Monica, Caleb, Alex & Patty, Megan, Logan, Clare, Clara, Vanessa and her daughter, Steve, Lisa, Elyse, Shaun, and Lara. I think I got everybody!

So let’s start with the stretching, which actually figured into the workout itself.

Here’s the list:

It was an impressive array of top to bottom, hips, back, hamstrings, shoulders, wrists… pretty much everything.

question-mark-clip-art-7599From there, we worked on the movements for the day. The idea was we would go through numerous rounds (possibly as many as 10), dong the movements and then a minute of each of the stretches. So the first round, do the movements and then puppy dog. Second round, movements then diamond frog. Etc.

In reality we only got through maybe 6-8 rounds because we had so many people, but it was a great series that kept people moving right along.

The movements were:

  • Single leg toes to bar
  • Pullover
  • Strict pull-up
  • Side plank, right side – 20 seconds
  • Side plank, left side – 20 seconds
  • Arch body hold (Superman) – 20 seconds

Yeah, so we’ll go through these a bit.

Single leg toes to bar was interesting. Nicole went through many variations, from doing it on the floor to a kettlebell to numerous styles on the rig. I stuck to the floor for this one.

Essentially you lie flat on your back, with arms overhead touching a kettlebell, then try to bring your legs, as straight as you can keep them overhead to touch the kettlebell one at a time. (Watch this video to see someone do it hanging on a bar –ย https://youtu.be/vjzadvDAPF8.) It took me a while to warm up on this one, but by the third or fourth round I felt like I could move more independently leg to leg.

The pullover. Ah yes, my least favorite of these movements. Reminds me a bit of the “skin the cat” on the rings from a couple of years ago. I think eventually if I figure it out, it’ll be fun. Here’s a great video of Doug Larson from Barbell Shrugged going through the progression…ย https://youtu.be/RT6qXjey3wA

1ldzdt

But let me tell you, this was not my cup of tea today. We had barbells anchored on freestanding squat racks so we could try this from the floor and get a bit of a running start. And I was not the only one who had issues, but I saw quite a few folks get it right from the start.

The only time I got all the way around the bar was when I had Nicole help me up and over. My legs would shoot out diagonally, not straight up, and I would usually just bang my thighs — hard — on the bar. And on the taller of the two squat racks, I’m pretty sure I rocked the thing hard enough it felt like it was going to fall over a couple of times.

However… I did make it around maybe twice, and I got stuck a couple of times. Mostly I just bashed myself on the bar. It was entertaining. I won’t say it was fun, but it was entertaining. And I have to give Nicole a lot of credit for helping me on the couple of “successes” I had. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was NOT pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then there was a strict pull-up on the rig. These I was able to do every time and felt pretty good.

1th9hbAnd the side planks (on elbow, not fully extended) weren’t bad. Nor was the Superman hold. AJ gave me some grief for not quite counting to 20 a couple of times, but I held parts of it (usually the Superman) for 30 seconds, so I think it balanced out.

I believe I only got through around 6 rounds. Some people may have made it to 8. We were very full and there were folks everywhere, so I often had to find open space to do a hold or wait for equipment to do a pullover. It was awesome to have that number of folks however, so I’m not really complaining.

So with that all done, we headed home. Next up we’ll head to watch Mickey’s soccer game and then drive to Denver to support AJ’s team, though she isn’t playing because of the concussion. We’re hopeful that in another day or two of screen rest and brain recovery, she’ll be in a better place.

Thank you Nicole for your patience with our huge, ungainly mass of folks. ๐Ÿ™‚

And great work everybody!!

Row, Row, Row your Core…

So this will be a bit of a ramble, I apologize for that. Sleep was tough to find last night and today has not been all that conducive to being calm and collected, as you will see.

Worked for a bit and headed in for an 8:30 WOD this morning. Coach Drea had myself, Nicole, Jenny, and Logan. A fun group. ๐Ÿ™‚

l-sit-holdWe did the same warm-up as earlier in the week and then started work on the day’s activities. Most of it boiled down to figuring out which style of L-sit you wanted to do. Here were some of the varieties…

  • Sitting on the floor, legs straight in a wide V, put your hands on the floor on either side of one leg. Now lean forward and try to lift your leg off the floor while pointing your toes. Um. That didn’t work well for me on the right and only marginally better on the left.
  • Nicole suggested I prop my butt up off the floor on a weight plate, so we tried that and both sides were marginally better.
  • From there we tried pulling or legs together, knees and feet, and then lift them off the floor. That worked better for some reason.
  • Drea demonstrated a couple of ways to do one-leg tucks on the paralettes.
  • And lastly we tried on paralette bars doing a real L-sit. Nicole demo’d and held one nicely. I could hold a little bit.

rower5The other part was rowing. We worked on proper form, staying upright, only bending knees after the arms are straight, etc… I did try to be a bit more upright, tucking my elbows back, and adjusting the stirrups a bit (moving the grippy part to the ball of my foot instead of above or below it). So we’ll try those as we continue with rowing in the future.

What was the workout?

  • 5 rounds for time of:
  • 30-second L-sit hold
  • 30/20-cal. row

There were minor variations for Performance vs. Fitness levels, but it was essentially the same.ย ย And boy was this a challenge.

paralettes-pvcThe first round I did an L-sit on the paralettes in a 20 and 10 second chunk, but I held pretty straight for a little while before moving to the rower. The rest was me putting my butt on the floor and trying to hold my feet up off the ground. I had one round of that where I actually did 30 seconds — the rest were usually in fits and starts.

Took me 15:31 to get through the whole thing. 150 calories on the rower. 30 seconds combined of holds. Not too bad. I think the rowing was consistently in that 90-120 second range, so 10 minutes of rowing, 2.5 minutes of holds, and the rest was transition.

I’ll take it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a little sore in the quads and abs now, but otherwise I think ok!

Great work everybody. Jenny & Nicole were rocking it. And Logan was doing great on the holds, pushing hard the whole time. I only beat him by a few seconds. ๐Ÿ™‚

So all is well up to this point. I chatted with Caleb and Melissa who were attending the 9:30 class and then headed out to the car to wind my way home.

The Second Workout…

20171012_101232That’s when I discovered the second workout for my morning. Changing a tire. ๐Ÿ™‚ Functional fitness indeed! I moved the car about 30 feet to a flatter part of the parking lot and set to work.

I’ve never changed the tire on our newest vehicle (a 2015) myself, but I have changed tires on many before it, so I grabbed the book and followed directions. In about 35 minutes, I was significantly dirtier than when I started, but had the spare on and motored out of the complex. Only injury was when I whacked my face on the undercarriage of the car trying to slide out. Not too bad.

20171012_101234

Honestly I only swore a few times during that process and just chugged through. These things happen. And if it was going to happen, I’m glad it happened somewhere I had plenty of space and not on the side of the road.

So good work 8:30 and 9:30 classes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will likely not make it in tomorrow, but I will try and get in for part of Saturday’s fun before soccer madness.

Yay team!

Front Squats!

Today had a wacky start largely due to quite a few things going on at the same time, which led to everything being about 5-10 minutes later than I wanted it to be. Some days are just like that I guess. But it didn’t stop me from getting in for an 8:30 class this morning.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyCoach Drea had a good crew — Nicole, Logan, Melissa & Todd, Carrie, Sarah, and Connie. We started with the same warm-up as yesterday, which was good. Enough to get things moving and grooving ahead of some front squat skill work and adding weight to get started.

Really we didn’t beat around the bush much once we were through the warm-up. And — no bait and switch on the posted workout today. ๐Ÿ™‚

The workout was:

  • Front squat 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1 reps

Todd and I paired up to share a weight rack and got started.

  • 95# x5 (warm-up)
  • 115# x5 (warm-up)
  • 135# x5 (warm-up)
  • 155# x5
  • 175# x5
  • 185# x3
  • 195# x3
  • 205# x3
  • 225# x1
  • 235# x1
  • 245# — fail
  • 245# — fail
  • 240# — ugly x1, but did it

front_squat

The fails at 245# (my old 1RM) were interesting today. I felt like I did ok getting into the squat at the bottom, but was really unsteady trying to get out. As such, I just bailed. I’m pretty sure most of that is in my head.

The good part was that the squats felt ok and my speed was better out of the bottom for the most part. Usually I travel at elevator speed, sitting at the bottom way too long. But today I didn’t feel that.

I’ll take my 240#. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile, I think Todd hit 255# a few times (he was 5-10# above me most of the way through the cycle). And we did have at least one PR I heard about (Sarah got a 5# PR to hit 195#). So I think it was a good day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for working with me today Todd and thanks Drea for tips/suggestions as we chugged through the reps!

Hero WOD — Emily

Some days, the workout of the day manages to surprise me. Last night it was one thing on the app. Today it was something else. Just one more way that crossfit keeps us guessing.

7ef48039a5228f1efa37cc2bfd148471After a rough start to my work day, it was time to head in for a workout. So I arrived for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea, Jonathan & Sarah, Melissa, Carrie, Jenny, and Logan. While sitting in the car, waiting for everybody to get there, Jonathan prompted me to actually look at the Triib app to see what the workout was for the day.

Instead of 10×1 front squats, which I was somewhat prepared for, we ended up doing a Hero WOD, which I wasn’t. Yes, crossfit is full of surprises. I only swore a little in the car when I saw the workout had sprints and double-unders in it. Just a little.

So we start to warm up and we did an interesting series of movements:

  • shoulder smash, back and front on both sides with a Lacrosse ball
  • Cossack squats, staying low
  • Hamstring flosses
  • PVC passthrus
  • Scap push-ups (like cat-cow, but without bending elbows)
  • a pec/shoulder stretch
  • and some foot/ankle work at the rig

When that was done, we grabbed our jumpropes and did:

  • 30 seconds of regular single-unders
  • 30 seconds of “running” single-unders (otherwise known as “Brian fights his lack of physical skill for 30 seconds)
  • and then double-under practice, where we “counted” our number of successes

jumpropeI can do single-unders for a very long time. I did not do well with the rest of it. In fact, when she told us we’d declare how many we accomplished, I declared zero right off the bat. And you know what? I was correct in my prediction when I was done. ๐Ÿ™‚

We then moved to the rig where we did a few pull-ups to warm-up that movement. I banged out five pretty easily and called it good, but made sure that I could shift to ring rows when my pull-ups gave up.

So what is “Emily”? It was created to honorย Second Lt. Emily Jazmin Tatum Perez, 23, who was killed Sept. 12, 2006, when her Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device as she was leading a convoy through Al Kifl, Iraq. She served in the 204th Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.

You can read more about this remarkable young lady here at the CrossFit main site.

  • “Emily”
  • Competitor: 10 rounds
    • 30 double-unders
    • 15 pull-ups
    • 30 squats
    • 100-m sprint
    • Rest 2 minutes
  • Performance: 8 rounds, same movements
  • Fitness: 8 rounds, 30 single-unders, 10 ring rows, 20 squats, rest same

We were supposed to shoot for 2:30 per round and folks were getting 31-38 minute time scores.

HERO-Emily
Amazing woman taken too soon in the line of duty. Read here.

So how’d I do? I changed the workout slightly to do 60 single-unders and a mix of pull-ups and ring-rows.

  1. 60 singles; 10 pull-ups, 5 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 2:46
  2. 2 minute rest (4:46)
  3. 60 singles; 8 pull-ups, 7 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 8:09 (3:23)
  4. 2 minute rest (10:09)
  5. 60 singles; 8 pull-ups, 7 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 13:32 (3:23)
  6. 2 minute rest (15:32)
  7. 60 singles; 6 pull-ups, 9 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 19:09 (3:37)
  8. 2 minute rest (21:09)
  9. 60 singles; 5 pull-ups, 10 ring rows; 30 air squats: 100m “sprint”: 25:20 (4:11)
  10. 2 minute rest (27:20)
  11. 60 singles; 6 pull-ups, 9 ring rows; 30 air squats; 100m “sprint”: 30:53 (3:33)

And I stopped there. I for some reason believed that the “fitness” side was actually 6 rounds, or I might have attempted to struggle on — but I was already bumping up against the 9:30 time cap for the class, so maybe not.

As soon as I know there’s a time cap, that enters my brain as a hard stop and I think that’s what happened today.

My average time was 3:29 or so, which is a full minute off the mark Drea set for us, but I kept moving so I’ll take it.

dfl-dnf-dns

To try and shift this to a positive point of view, here’s what I have:

  • I showed up
  • I did 3/4 of the workout
  • DNF > DNS

That’s it today really. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everybody did awesome. Jonathan really nailed the double unders today, which was fantastic. And everybody was really pushing.

Great work! And thanks Drea!