There are a bunch of terms and acronyms in Crossfit that get thrown around… Metcon. AMRAP. Chipper. Today was the last one. (For some good definitions, check out this page from Iron Hero Crossfit.) And we definitely chipped away at it a few reps at a time…
It was another crazy day at my house with half my family heading out on a trip, but I made it in for the 8:30 workout with Coach Bill today. And we had a fun group – Logan, Todd & Melissa, Carrie, and Lara. So we started off with Nicole’s warm-up before doing a bit of box, barbell, and medicine ball work to get ready for the movements in today’s WOD.
We did quite a bit of work on pistols off the box today — and I have to say I definitely still struggle with them, but I’m starting to get a bit better — maybe. 🙂 Beyond that, we did some work with deadlifts, cleans, and front squats — with a medicine ball at first, then an empty barbell eventually adding a bit more weight.
For some reason, I really struggled today with simply shrugging with the bar. Worked fine with a medicine ball, but as soon as I got a barbell in hand it went wonky. Pulling too soon most of the time. So though the workout called for 135# at the performance level, I tried 115# and didn’t look all that hot, so Bill had me shift back to 95#. No arguments from me.
So what was the workout? It was a chipper for time:
I ended up doing somewhere between performance and fitness, so let’s just call it “fitness.”
40 pistols off the box, starting with a 20″ box for the first 20 and shifting to a 24″ box to emphasize control of the leg on the downward path
35 wall balls (20# medicine ball)
30 box jumps on a 20″ box (combination of a handful of box jumps and mostly step-ups)
205 deadlifts @ 95#
15 power cleans @ 95#
5 front squats @ 95#
This particular combination of movements — pistols and wall balls — really creamed my knees to the point where box jumps were awkward and dangerous. I nearly fell on my first one and really only did about 5 before I shifted back to step-ups. Deadlifts weren’t bad, but power cleans were a struggle with the shrug again, and the front squats weren’t awful.
I did break up the wall balls more than i wanted, though had a couple of sets of 10 mixed in with some sets of 3-5. I’m a little gun shy of having the ball smack me in the face again, so I was way too far away from the wall. But other than that I kept moving pretty well. I did break most of it up, but in decent sets without a ton of rest between them.
Long story short, my knees are ticked, but I did ok. 🙂
We’ll see what tomorrow’s workout is before I determine whether I’m going or not. 🙂 But I will be there Saturday for the gymnastics class ahead of doing an online event for an online gaming convention I’m participating in.
Great work today folks – you all moved right along! And thanks for the encouragement Bill!
Since I began my crossfit journey nearly 5 years ago (scary to contemplate), I have injured myself many times in very minor ways. Skinned knees and elbows. Shoulder, knee, and hip issues. And I have clocked myself in the chin on many occasions. Today I gave myself a bloody nose. That was a first. 🙂
Anyway… Due to a plethora of activities in the last 4 days, I have missed crossfit. My last workout was on the 18th. That’s a lot of days without moving a lot. So I was and wasn’t looking forward to going in for today’s workout. But I went in anyway!
8:30 on Monday morning, I was the first one through the door behind Coach Drea. Silly me. 🙂 I was joined by Melissa, Logan, and Jenny. The four of us worked through a new warm-up from Coach Nicole:
Trunk Rotation — three one way and three the other
Lat roll-out on a foam roller, 30 seconds each side
When that was done, we grabbed a box for box jumps and an empty barbell for the workout, and started going through the movement review for thrusters when I managed to clock myself in the nose with the barbell on a push press. I would say that my bar path was plenty close. 🙂
Took me a couple of minutes to shake it off, but I definitely gave myself a brief bloody nose and I can feel it post-workout. But other than skipping part of the barbell warm-up I got in on everything else.
Pretty much after that we were on the run, literally, with the “Andy” WOD. This one is named after U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew T. Weathers, 30, of DeRidder, Louisiana, who died Sept. 30, 2014 from wounds suffered during heroic action in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
My bloody nose was nothing compared to that.
25 thrusters,95/65 lb.
50 box jumps, 20/16 in.
75 deadlifts, 95/65 lb.
75 deadlifts, 95/65 lb.
50 box jumps, 20/16 in.
25 thrusters, 95/65 lb
20 thrusters,75/55 lb.
30 box jumps, 16/12 in.
50 deadlifts, 75/55 lb.
1 mile run
50 deadlifts, 75/55 lb.
30 box jumps, 16/12 in.
20 thrusters, 75/55 lb
After multiple days of relative inactivity, I decided that the Fitness level, as written, was a pretty good fit for my abilities today. So I put 75# on a bar, grabbed a box for 20″ step-ups, and got ready to gut this one out a bit.
The decision to do the Fitness level turned out to be a good one. My “run” was more of a run/walk, but that’s nothing new. I did reverse the 800m loop and go the opposite direction than I usually go (I went east out the door instead of west). My rep scheme got slower after the run, but other than me being slow, I kept moving. I’ll take it. 🙂
I finished in 29:36. Other folks did the Performance level rep scheme with the Fitness weight scheme, and they finished in around 34/35/36 minutes. I only finished sooner because I did fewer reps. But shooting for a 30 minute WOD time was perfect.
Great work everybody! Thanks for the encouragement, Drea!
Now that “Hero WOD Fridays” are no longer a thing, they can slip in anywhere in the programming to keep us on our toes. And today was one of those days. There were six of us for Coach Drea – Nicole, Logan, Todd, Melissa, Jenny, and myself. And it was good there were an even number because — it was a partner WOD!
We started with a revised warm-up…
superman holds with a “hang snatch”
inchworm to plank, lunge and press, sky reach, plank, inchworm back to standing with straight legs
air squat with knee presses (a “pressing frog”)
and “ATYT” with plates (like YMCA, but different)
From there we did some deadlift warm-ups with an empty barbell, focusing on proper form, and then adding weight through three sets until we hit our working weight as a team.
With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 26 minutes of:
6 deadlifts, 245/155 lb., each
9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
9 chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
55-ft. partner barbell carry, 245/155 lb.
With a partner, complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
6 deadlifts, 135/95 lb., each
9 bar-facing burpees, synchronized
9 jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups, each
55-ft. dumbbell farmers carry 35/25#
26 minutes is a solid length for a workout, and I think synchronized movements are difficult for those of us that aren’t all that skilled or dexterous to begin with. 🙂 But working with Todd, I knew I’d be pushed — and that was good.
We worked up to 225# on the bar to avoid tweaking his back and that was great. Good weight without being too crazy. And Drea wanted touch-and-go as much as possible, so a little lighter probably worked in our favor.
We tried a few synchronized burpees and I knew for me that was going to be my slow spot. But funny enough it turned out to be the c2b pull-ups. It seems that some days I have them and some days I don’t. I had a few jumping ones in me today, but that was all. I got a handful of reps where I actually touched chest to bar, but that was it.
So how’d we do? We managed to get through all the burpees of the 6th round. So we hit 5+15 with the following options:
225# on the bar for our deadlifts and the 55′ barbell carry
synchronized bar-over burpees (slooooow in the last round or three)
Todd did 4 or 5 bar muscle-ups and then butterfly c2b
I couldn’t hit a regular c2b today (though I could last week) and struggled mightily with jumping c2b, but only hit a few now and then. last couple of rounds I finished out my 9 attempts with kipping pull-ups and even those were ugly
So Todd kicked ass I and I tried to keep up as best I could, which I’ll take. 🙂
And everybody else was moving right along — Jenny & Melissa teamed up and Nicole was pushing Logan pretty good. 🙂
Thanks Drea for the adjustments and encouragement! And thanks Todd for being a great partner and pushing the burpees in that last round!
Soccer season is upon us, making team WOD Saturdays a bit less of an automatic thing, which makes me sad. However, we shall enjoy them when we can, like today. 🙂
Today the girls stayed home, but Ev and I headed in to join the madness. Coach Clare was there to lead the troops and we had Monica & Dan, Deana & Marino, Shaun, Brent, Larry, Logan, Caleb & Megan and their crew, Austen, Adi, Robert, and a few others.
We started with a 400m run and a brief round of stretches before moving into some PVC pipe work for power snatches. But that didn’t take long and we were getting equipment to the floor pretty quickly after that to get moving!
Team “Randy” (75 power snatch for time 75/55#) – 1 person works, 1 does OH weighted lunges, 1 rests
Robert, Ev, and I teamed up today and woof. We were done in 21:57 but worked our tails off. The first 15 minutes was the hardest I think. No rest as we just rotated through the three movements. Robert started us off, I did deadlifts, and Ev did box step-overs (we did 20″ box jumps or step-overs, but left everything else at the prescribed weights).
27 deadlifts + 17 box jumps/step-overs = 44
30 deadlifts + 18 box jumps/step-overs = 48
29 + 14 = 43
20 + 12 = 32
28 + 20 = 48
27 + 19 = 46
20 + 14 = 34
20 + 19 = 39
27 + 20 = 47
12 + 16 = 28
Total reps for 15 minutes: 409 (27 or so reps a minute)
Then we did the power snatches + weighted lunges where someone would rest. After swapping out weights on the bars, we were done with everything in 21:57, so about 6 minutes for that.
The second part was a little easier I thought, just because of the brief rest. But the OH lunges were awful. I stopped using a 25# plate pretty quickly because my legs were fried and just did lunges, which were a little easier. But either way, I wasn’t moving fast.
We watched Brent & Dan burn through this in about the same time we did, but in a team of two. They were flying and doing 30″ box jump overs. Crazy.
Great workout from Clare. A little bit of everything and no running. And not a 45-60 minute workout. I’ll take it. 🙂
And not bad for my 5th workout of the week. Last week I did 6 and that was about my limit. 4-5 would be ideal because I get some recovery time in there.
Today started out a bit rough. I lost the battle for bed space to the dog about 11:15 last night and headed to the couch. I got up a few times but by 3am when I pondered heading back to bed, I decided the night was already too far gone and stuck it out where I was. Good thing too, since when I headed back up to wake folks up she had sprawled even further across my side.
Spoiled dog. Go figure.
However, that didn’t mean I could just go back to bed after everybody left. Just another day in paradise, working from home and attending virtual meetings. One of those meetings however conflicted with letting me work out with my wife this morning. Bummer for me. However, it meant I would try and get into the noon class today instead.
And, huzzah, I made it. 🙂 It was me and Logan working with Coach Drea today. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually managed to catch a class with Logan. He’s a great guy. Down to earth and a hard worker. So we had a good time.
Started with a 1000m row. 100m at a relaxed pace and then 100m sprint all the way through. We chatted the whole time and I still finished 1000m in right at 4 minutes, which was pretty good. From there it was some moving through yoga poses, inchworms, and so on.
And then we began warming up with deadlifts. Before long we were moving to actually adding weight.
I warmed up with:
175# x6 (50% of my 1RM)
225# x4 (pretty much body weight)
255# x2 (about 25# above body weight)
And then started with:
285# x1 (about 80% of 1RM)
345# (failed 3x but got it off the ground)
345# (failed 2x but got it off the ground)
My old 1RM is 345#. I didn’t quite make that, but 335# was fine. Between my brain not relaxing into the weight and my left hip being pissy, that just wasn’t going to happen today. And rather than force it or hurt myself, we let it go.
We followed it all up with a bit of stretching on the floor. Had a bit of a chat with Drea about my thyroid issues and may see about adding some probiotics to the mix to see if that helps with some of the weird issues I’ve been dealing with since about February. May be time to chat with Dr. Kurt about a few things at some point as well.
Anyway, I’ll take 335#. It’s respectable. My goal is eventually to be able to do a 400# deadlift at some point. But that point wasn’t today. 🙂
Logan was working hard on the other side as well — and he was playing around the 335/340# range as well. So we were moving just a little bit of weight under the watchful eye of Coach Drea and her tiny little man Noah. 🙂 Quite a powerful coaching duo!
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!
Today’s post is a bit of an apology for the 8:30 class by way of an explanation.
It’s just another Thursday. Like most Thursdays, I planned on going in at 8:30 with my wife (and kids if they woke up in time). And we all made it there for Coach Drea.
We had a full class – the four of us, plus Jonathan & Sarah, Caleb, Alan, Brianne, Danielle, and Connie. 11 people in total.
Warm up was:
10 ghd hip ext or good mornings with empty barbell
10 empty barbell deadlifts
10 empty barbell strict press
I think we were supposed to go to 2000m total, but most of us stopped after the third or 4th 250m
After that we did some empty barbell work. Deadlift and strict shoulder press progressions.
And then we divvied up space and equipment for the workout:
15-12-9 reps for time of:
Double body-weight deadlifts
3/4 body-weight shoulder presses
15-12-9 reps for time of:
Shoulder presses #135/95
15-12-9 reps for time of:
Shoulder presses #75/45
My one-rep maxes for these movements are:
Deadlift – 345#
Strict press – 155#
Nowhere close to Rx weights of 456# and 175#. But even the Level II weights were out of reach, really. So I knew I was going to have to scale.
Due to a shortage of bars and space, Caleb asked if we wanted to work together. I said sure and we warmed up together with the little EMOM that Drea had us do alternating between deadlifts and strict press:
Strict press – 75# x3, Deadlifts – 185# x5
Strict press – 85# x3, Deadlifts – 225# x5
Strict press – 95# x3, Deadlifts – 275# x5 (I started running into some issues here)
Caleb, due to participating in the Man Up Challenge in Denver this weekend, didn’t want to push too hard to fry his body ahead of the competition. So he agreed to stay at those weights for the workout.
Our goal was to get this done in 10-15 minutes.
I did 15 strict press at 115# (got through 10 and then struggled through the next 5 one at a time)
Caleb did 15 deadlifts at 275# (made them look easy)
Caleb did 15 strict press at 115# (made them look easy)
I started on deadlifts
Doing the deadlifts as “grab and drop” style vs. touch-and-go, I made it through 5 and took a break. Then a couple more. And one more.
And I realized on that last one that I was in a fair amount of pain from my left hip to my tailbone. It ached a bit during the EMOM warm-up but I thought I could work through it.
Yeah, apparently not.
After my 8 reps, I left the bar on the floor, told Caleb to finish without me, and walked out the garage doors.
I walked two laps of the 800m path we have around the box, came in, grabbed my stuff, and walked to the car to wait for my family to finish up.
Now, I know that DNF > DNS. But this was a shitty way to end my workout. It disrupted Caleb’s workout. It put undue worry on Coach Drea. And it made my family and friends worry about me as well.
First, I’m fine. I’ll stretch and mobilize throughout my day today and survive. I don’t think it was the physical demands of this workout.
Second, there were two parts to my crash and burn today.
a) I should have either waited until more equipment became available (i.e. another barbell) or asked Caleb to drop weight.
That said, I didn’t feel like waiting was really an option due to a different style of class going on at 9:30 (new folks doing a different variation on the workout). And I didn’t feel like I could ask Caleb to drop weight again. We had already discussed 315# during the warm-up and then I had to drop to 275#. Asking him to drop again would not have been “cool” although he probably would have been fine with it.
b) The bigger issue was that my head really wasn’t in the game today. I’m honestly struggling with a number of things in life right now. Work is not going well. Some of my writing is going gangbusters but not paying, so it’s a costly time sink at the moment. My wife’s charity work had a trip fall apart at the last minute, so we’re now reorganizing our summer. And we just found out our dog has a lung tumor, so that’s weighing heavily on everybody.
I tried dressing the part, wearing my Star Wars-themed “May the Gains be with you…” shirt. I tried getting into the right headspace during the warm-up, joking around with Bri and Jonathan and Sarah. And for a bit, I thought it might work.
But it obviously was only a temporary fix. Wasn’t my finest hour.
So I apologize to everyone who was concerned when I walked out. It’s been a long while since that has happened.
I need to pay attention to my headspace and not push so hard during workouts, and maybe this won’t happen again. But I’m only human, so I doubt it.