Tag Archives: dumbbells

Regionals Workout #3, Scaled

You know the old joke, “I just flew in from X, and boy are my arms tired?” Well, I just got back from doing Regionals workout #3 at CrossFit Continuum, and boy is my body tired. Geez.

Arrived this morning to find Coach Larry waiting for us! But even before that, I arrived in time to help a guy push a stalled truck into a parking spot. Right place and right time to help and he seemed to appreciate the push, so life was good. 🙂

I was not alone in the 8:30 class today, though Mickey stayed home to sleep in. Darn teenagers. 🙂 It was me, Sarah, and Shannon taking on 2017 Regional Event #3. And we were a bit slower (and lighter) than the athletes who did this workout at any of this year’s CrossFit Regionals competitions. Saw this on the docket last night and muttered a bit of profanity after seeing some of the fittest individuals in the world struggle with this one.


To kick things off with an uncomfortable bang, Larry had us begin with 5 minute on the assault bike, which I still call by its “Jonathan” term — The Devil’s Tricycle. I was uncomfortable after a mere 30 seconds on the damn thing and took frequent breaks and alternated just going with my arms vs. arms and legs. It was not pretty.

After that we started some work with a PVC pipe, doing 10 slow overhead squats with a 2 second pause at the bottom before moving to the rig for a 30 second hollow body hold. And from there we did three sets of:

  • 10 PVC “Good Mornings”
  • 5 pull-ups
  • 5 ring dips


Larry worked with me a bit on the ring dips, seeing me lean really far over on my first set. We talked about being a bit more upright to avoid any pectoral injuries like they saw during the Regionals this year (there are reports that 25 or more men suffered partial pec tears during the regionals). Ring dips are never one of my stronger moves and after yesterday’s shoulder-frying Cindy+ workout, my shoulders weren’t quite happy to attempt them today.

But we got through that and then discussed the workout itself.

  • For time:
  • 100-ft. dumbbell overhead walking lunge (80/55# dumbbell)
  • 100 double-unders
  • 50 wall-ball shots (30/20# ball)
  • 15-ft. rope climb, 10 ascents
  • 50 wall-ball shots (30/20# ball)
  • 100 double-unders
  • 100-ft. dumbbell overhead walking lunge (80/55# dumbbell)


The box doesn’t have any 80# dumbbells or 30# wall balls, not that any of us were tempted to try these movements at those weights. I think most of us adjusted to level 2 or level 1. We did have a few folks do it at the level II weights, which is impressive.

Regionals athletes over the last few weekends, the ones who finished, did this workout in 16 minutes or less. Some managed it in a bit over 11 minutes. Crazy.

For the rest of us mere mortals:

  • Level II lowers the weights to 55/35# dumbbells and 20/14# wall balls
  • Level I lowers the weights to 35/20# dumbbells and 14/10# wall balls, plus single-unders and lay-to-stand rope climbs

I did somewhere between Level I and II. Let’s call it I.5.

  • 35# dumbbell, 20# wall balls, single-unders, lay-to-stand rope climbs

wallballGoing in, I knew that a couple of things were going to slow me way down:

  1. Walking lunges of any kind are a big challenge for me. My knees, even with knee sleeves, just don’t like the pressure of kneeling directly on the ground. Adding any kind of overhead weight just exacerbates that almost to the point of failure. And I managed to forget to tape my knees this morning, so that didn’t help.
  2. Wall balls. One of my goats. I knew I’d have to break it into smaller sets to get it done.

So how’d I do?

  • Managed to get through all of the first 100ft walking lunge with 35# overhead, alternating arms.
  • Single unders were rough, but doable.
  • Wall-balls took a bit. Sets of 10 or 5 to get through the first 35.
  • Rope climbs from the floor, I was able to do about 2 at a time. Knees were burning by this point.
  • Second set of Wall balls, I broke into 5 sets of 7. Consistency made it a bit better.
  • Single unders on this end were better. Did two sets of 50.
  • Last 100ft walking lunges is where I fell apart. Holding the weight overhead and doing the lunge became something my body simply didn’t want to do, so I dropped the weight, thrust an arm overhead, and did them without the weight.

Got all of that done in a tad over 22 minutes. Something around 22:15. Shannon was not far behind me at 22:34 or 22:44 and Sarah beat us both, finishing in less than 20.


Any workout that involves walking lunges is automatically on my naughty list. Dave Castro is an evil man when it comes to programming challenging workouts. And I’m glad to be done with it.

Something tells me we may see other regional workouts before too long. And that’s fine. Bring them on.

But no more today… I’m going to go ice a few body parts and get some more mobility work in. 😀

Great work Sarah & Shannon! And thanks Larry for the encouragement during the WOD. I really didn’t want to pick up that wall ball. 🙂

Have a good day, folks!

Scaling for miles

Today I’m going to start by talking about the day’s WOD and then I’m going to flip over and talk about some mental/physical battles I’m going through currently.

Stretching-Ballerina-Silhouette-800pxSo first… the WOD. I went in with Ev for an 8:30 workout with Coach Jimmy. We had a fun group — Larry, Todd & Melissa, Tionne, Caleb, Jenny, and Carrie. We started with some foam rolling while everybody got in and then we did:

  • 500m row or 2 mins on the assault bike
  • some back and forth across the gym with things like:
    • high knees
    • knee hugs
    • “ballerina” stretches on each side (the ballerina to the right is definitely not ME!)
    • spider-man lunges
    • reverse lunges
    • arm swings
    • arm hugs

Once all that was done, we did some clean practice with a medicine ball. And then we got out dumbbells, kettle bells, and all the other bits and pieces we’d need for today’s WOD:

  • 20 minute AMRAP:
  • 45/30# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps (35/20# Level II) (20/10# Level I)
  • 15 pull-ups (12 pull-ups Level II) (10 banded pull-ups Level I)
  • 20 box jumps (24/20″) (Level II, same) (15 box jumps, Level I)

From what we’d seen from earlier classes, folks pushed to get through 4, maybe 5 rounds.


So how’d it go?

Ev did four rounds + 3 reps of:

  • 25# dumbbell squat cleans, 10 reps
  • banded pull-ups, 15 reps
  • 20″ step-ups, 20 reps

I did 3 rounds + 10 reps of a weird mix:

  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (round 1 & 2)
  • 35# kettlebell squat cleans, 10 reps (right arm only, round 3 & 4)
  • kipping pull-ups, 15 reps (round 1)
  • kipping pull-ups, (6 reps), ring rows (9 reps) (round 2)
  • ring rows (15 reps) (round 3)
  • 20″ step-ups (rounds 1 through 3)

This was not pretty. My knees were not happy. My shoulders were not happy. But I kept moving.

Thanks go to Jimmy for making some suggestions for those first two rounds of kettlebell squat cleans. We’ll see how many bruises I end up with anyway. 🙂

The Second Part

First, weight gain.

In the last few months, I’ve taken a pretty considerable nosedive on my weight. I’m back to nearly 240#, which is about what I was at when I started crossfit in February 2013. I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I was back then and can do things now that I couldn’t then, but considering that at one point I got all the way down to 201#, it’s been a long slow trip back up the weight train.

I suspect that many of my knee and ankle issues are from the additional weight. I also suspect that my issues with pull-ups stem from having even more weight to pull up on the rig.

So that’s a problem.


Second, scaling.

I’ve recently decided that scaling is ok. I’m not a world class athlete, nor do I ever hope to be. But what I aim for is to keep moving through workouts.

If I have to row instead of run to do that, fine. If I have to drop a barbell and go with air squats in the middle of a workout, that’s fine. If I have to shift to ring rows because I can no longer hang onto the rig for pull-ups, that’s fine.

Whatever I have to do to keep moving, that’s fine. And it is. I’m not just saying “it’s fine” and secretly not believing that it is.

During this year’s Open, I figured this out. And it’s saved me a ton of mental grief ever since.


Third, getting older, not deader.

This next week I turn 47. Woo hoo. And as I get older, I want to stay healthy, mobile, and strong. I need to learn more about what it will take to do that and get off my ass to do so.

Fourth, the Lurong Sumertime Challenge.

Yes, we’re doing the Lurong thing again. And this year the diet portion involves Macros.

The name of the thing has the word “Challenge” in it — and it’s going to be. Old habits die hard. But I’m going to try. I want to see if eating more protein, less fat, and less carbs, is sustainable as a lifestyle shift more than a 5 or 6 week diet change.

So we’ll see how all of this goes.

I’m feeling OLD. My knees are ticked. My shoulders are ticked. And I don’t want to stop crossfit because I worry that if I do, I’m done with the whole moving thing again.

Long story short…

  • Keep moving
  • Lose some weight
  • Find my mojo again

Let’s see how the next few weeks go.

A Better Day

So… this week has been a struggle. Whether I’ve been stuck in my head or dealing with mobility limitations, something has slowed me down every day so far. Today however, I finally got a good workout in and felt the happy endorphins flooding my system. Took long enough. 🙂

1286c3f3a2e04fee9ac3a47d34dd609a--stress-reliever-truthsMade it into Continuum for an 8:30 class with my wife. She’s been working every day this week, so it’s been the only day we’ve had an opportunity to work out together. We had Coach Bill and a great group of folks – Clara, Sarah, Carrie, Jenny, Caleb, Nic & Nichole. Nine of us in all.

We started with some foam rolling and banded shoulder work, then a lovely pair row of 1500m. Ev and I finished that in a bit over 6 minutes. And then we did an interesting little 3 round warm-up:

  • 6 strict shoulder press with a light dumbbell while in a lunge on the ground, each arm (I used a 20# dumbbell)
  • 6 one-legged box step-ups, each leg
  • 8 sit-ups

35pounddumbbellsAnd once all of that was done we started working on some dumbbell push jerks for the workout and sorting out who would be doing regular, regular weighted, incline, or GHD sit-ups. I tried a 30# dumbbell and decided it was too light, so switched to a 35# dumbbell. My worry, as always, was my left arm.

The workout was pretty straightforward:

  • 15 minute AMRAP
  • 21 GHD/weighted sit-ups
  • 14 one-arm dumbbell push jerks – single, heavy dumbbell and alternate arms each rep

37CB39BE00000578-0-image-a-9_1472770313608I used a 35# dumbbell for the push jerks and went with a 20# medicine ball for the weighted sit-ups. And I made it through nearly 7 rounds. 6 rounds plus 31 reps — only 4 reps from finishing the 7th round.

Though the grip in my left hand began to go by about the 5th round, I was able to fight through those next couple of rounds a rep at a time with the dumbbell. And I was quite pleased with the result, considering I expected only to get through 4 or 5 rounds.

Ev finished the 7th round and used a 25# dumbbell and 20# medicine ball. I was just happy that I kept up with her. She’s damn fast on those sit-ups!

When it was all through we did a few yoga pose holds to try and stretch out our shoulders a bit and that seemed to help. I don’t feel bad yet. The sit-ups will hit me on Saturday. 🙂

Felt much better today than I have for a few days, so I’ll take it. 🙂

Great work 8:30 class! And thanks Bill!

Bruises and Muscle Up Progressions

Thursdays are hit and miss for me. Sometimes I make the morning class. Sometimes I push into the Noon arena. But usually I make it one way or another. Today Ev & AJ went to the 8:30 class and I had a meeting, so I made it to Noon. No biggie.

I was a little cautious today after spraining a finger on the rope climbs on Tuesday. Dr. Caleb (our favorite chiropractor) put me back together yesterday, but it was still hurting a bit and I didn’t want to injure it (or knock the rest of my body too far out of whack) ahead of the 17.5 announcement and Friday Night Lights tonight and tomorrow…

CandlestickThat said, Joe and I were led by the always cheerful Coach Drea. We started with a 400m jog and then did three rounds of 20 seconds each of:

  • air squats
  • roll-to-candlestick
  • “explosive” bridge-ups

We then got some “light” kettle-bells to practice our kettle-bell clean & jerks. Not awful. Everything seemed to be moving ok. From there we talked about the workout:

  • 5 rounds for time of:
  • 10 kettlebell clean and jerks, 1.5/1 pood (or level 1 — 1/.5 pood) each
  • 3 muscle-ups or muscle-up transitions

The muscle-up transitions were a little different than what we normally do. Instead of starting on the floor, Joe and I went with a set of rings about shoulder height or so and jumped into the lower position (or attempted to) before pushing out into a full lock-out.

His definitely looked better than mine.


5 rounds took a while, but it took me about 20:27 to work through it with a pair of 35# kettle-bells. Joe was done in 21 something, but he was doing more attempts at the transitions than I was. My left shoulder got cranky about 2 rounds in and I was trying not to piss it off further.

And once that was all done, we had some time to do a bit of shoulder mobility, so we took advantage of it.

All in all, not a bad workout. I’m tired now though. Kind of like the rope climbs on Tuesday, I think these muscle-up transitions were more taxing than we thought. Even just 3 of them each round for 5 rounds. And I suspect there will be a few new bruises on arms after doing all those kettle bell cleans.

May see if I can sneak in a nap tonight while I’m waiting for AJ at soccer practice. 🙂

Great work Joe! Thanks Drea!

Wrist wraps are awesome

Hello Friday my old friend. I’ve come to WOD with you again. 🙂

I usually skip Fridays because they’re Hero WODs and are killer. While on vacation I set some goals, one of which being attending a workout every day it was possible to do so. And I’ve pretty much done that. So why stop now?

It was just me from the Fitzy clan today. Ev was working and the girls slept in. Coach Drea had a slightly smaller class at 8:30 than the rest of the week… Connie, Tionne, Stacie, Brianne, Jonathan, Sarah, Todd, Melissa, and Greg. A fun group. 🙂


We started with a 500m row (or 2 minutes on the Devil’s Tricycle) and then did a little three round warm-up:

  • 30 second handstand hold
  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 goblet squats (light kettle bell)

I knew there were handstand push-ups in today’s workout and I was not enthused. Both my wrists hurt a lot and it made everything but goblet squats much more difficult than it should have been.

As we talked about the workout after the warm-up, I grabbed my Handband Pros to use as wrist wraps and that made a huge difference during the workout itself.

From there we did some refreshers on the dumbbell hang clean and quickly began figuring out the weights we wanted to do. I really wanted to do 15# dumbbells but went with 35# kettle bells instead. 🙂


The workout? Nick. (Here’s a great post showing it in action over at WODWell…)

Nick as written is 12 rounds for time of:

  • 45/25-lb. dumbbell hang squat cleans, 10 reps
  • 6 handstand push-ups on dumbbells (deficit handstand push-ups)

Yeah. I tried lifting 45# dumbbells and quickly decided that wasn’t happening. The 35# kettle bells were plenty heavy. And I am still working on regular handstand push-ups, let alone deficits – so I scaled there too. And… after only a few rounds my shoulders and biceps were burning so I decided I’d only go through 8 rounds instead of 10 (level II) or 12 (Rx).


So my workout… 8 rounds for time of:

  • 35# kettle bell hang squat cleans, 10 reps
  • 6 handstand push-ups (alternated rounds doing either strict or kipping)

After 2 rounds, I was ready to be done. It took me a long time to actually get done.

It took me 33:56 to complete 8 rounds with my modifications. And without wrist wraps I don’t think I would have completed a single round. Thank you wrist wraps.

Other folks kicked butt with Rx weights through 10 or 12 rounds. I’m happy for them. That’s the beauty of crossfit — I’m not competing against them.

Now… tomorrow? Tomorrow will be a team workout where I may want to die at 10am. Huzzah. 🙂

Great work everybody! Y’all killed it whether you went light or heavy. That was a doozy.

More overhead dumbbells!

Continuing the trend of working out as often as I can during my vacation, we were back to the box today. It was me and AJ joining the 8:30 class with Coach Bill and a mess of other folks — Larry & his granddaughter, Jonathan and Sarah, Maria, Hillary, Carrie, Adrienne & Jayda, Valerie, and Connie. And another new gal who was very nice.

Overhead-squat-1We started with a 500m row and then did some shoulder mobility work with a PVC pipe, plus another little 3 round warm-up of:

  • 20 seconds – PVC overhead squats
  • 20 seconds – push-ups
  • 20 seconds – jump rope

But with as big a class as we had, Bill did a bit of demonstration and we were off and running pretty quickly.

Jonathan and I paired up on the first part:

  • Dumbbell overhead squat – 5-5-5-5-5

We started with 15# dumbbells and moved to 25# and 35# dumbbells over time.I did better than I expected. One set at 15#. Two at 25# and two at 35#. Tough, but doable.


After that I teamed up with Larry & Jonathan for the bench press.

  • Bench press 3-3-3-3-3

We did 135# to warm up, then jumped quickly…

  • 135# x3
  • 185# x3
  • 205# x2 (failed on #3)
  • 205# x2 (failed on #3)
  • 225# x1

jumpropeJonathan got to 230# or 240# and Larry pushed to 245#.

And when all that was done, we did a lot of double-under practice and called it good. It really was supposed to be:

  • 5 attempts at a max set of triple unders

But when you can’t do a double-under (like me) it gets to be a lot of double-under practice. 🙂

Curses, foiled again!

I’ve been taking it easy from crossfit this week, which is to say I’ve only been twice… on Tuesday and now today. Why? Because I’m trying very hard to let my groin pull heal. In fact, I thought it was healed enough to let me do back squats… silly me.

12w2wrMy wife went at 8:30 this morning and managed a 200# back squat. That’s a 15# increase over her old 1RM and awesome. I was hoping I could get close to my old 1RM today but that was not to be.

It was just me with Drea at Noon. She let me do a 500m row and then some warm-ups – Cossack squats, marching bridges, grasshoppers, banded good mornings, and fire hydrants. After that it was PR time…

Started with back squats. Did 135# and it felt ok, so I jumped to 225# as a reasonable jumping off point. My old one rep is 275#, which I did a year ago (May 2015), so 225# should be easy enough since I was doing 5 rep sets of it two weeks ago…

Nope. Got it once and my groin pull twinged and that was it. <sigh>

12w300Then we moved to bench press. My old 1RM was 220# (set back in November 2015) but I was worried about how my groin pull would feel there. Last week I wasn’t able to even lie down on the bench without it hurting. How would it go this week?

Well, I could still feel it, but it wasn’t nearly as bad. So… warmed up at 135#, jumped to 185#, then 205#, then 215#, 225#, 235#… at 235# I had a little help from Drea, so we backed off to 230#. It wasn’t pretty, but I got it all the way up.

So that’s a 10# PR increase. I’ll take it. 🙂

After that, things went wonky. Our little conditioning WOD after the strength bits was a 10 minute AMRAP:

  • 12 dumbbell deadlifts
  • 9 dumbbell hang squat cleans
  • 6 dumbbell push jerks

From experience, I can say that my body is not very balanced strength- or mobility-wise. Even during the bench press today I noticed that the right arm did most of the pushing and the left arm struggled to keep up. Well, dumbbell work for me just pushes that to an extreme.


I went with 25# dumbbells. Should have been easy, but it wasn’t. There’s something about having to stabilize both arms independently that just throws my whole body out of whack.

Deadlifts went ok. Not great, but ok. And the squat cleans… geez. Started fine but as my grip and arm failed, I noticed more and more that the left hand grip was disappearing quickly but flexibility and stability on the left side went away even faster. Mobility of pulling that arm up and back into a clean position was nonexistent after a while – to the point where I dropped the dumbbell on that side and just did cleans on the right. I think it’s the same issue that has me stuck on chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Not sure how many rounds I got through – maybe 3 and into 4 or 2 into 3 – but ultimately it didn’t really matter. I was amused watching the left side of my body give up, just like I was amused seeing how far I couldn’t get with a back squat – a movement that I love.

Long story short, it’s back to recovery mode… Just stretching and using Deep Blue and letting those muscles knit themselves back together in some way that lets me get past this and over this hump.

One day at a time. 🙂

Thanks Drea for hanging with me at the noon class and good work to everybody who kicked butt today getting some new PRs!!