Tag Archives: handstand push-ups

Who needs shoulders?

So after yesterday’s 10 rounds of a minute of fun, today continued the theme with a 10 minute AMRAP. Apparently 10 is the number of the week.

Got there for the 8:30 WOD with Coach Lara and we had a good number of folks today – Nancy, Drea, KB, Dave, Caleb, Carrie, Logan, and Melissa. The place was definitely hopping when we got started.

dr-evil-air-quotes-yes-this-is-what-we-call-a-warm-upWe had a different warm-up today though…

  • 2 rounds
    • 1 minute of mountain climbers (she said the second minute would be better, but I think my first minute was the better one)
    • 10 med ball walking lunge steps with a twist (20# med ball today)
    • 10 scap push-ups
    • 30 second can opener stretch – a runner’s lunge, but using the inner arm to force the bent leg wider
    • and 5 Turkish get-ups each side (I used a 10# dumbbell)

From there, it was time for some rope climb warm-ups (rope “ring rows”, some knees-to-elbows, practice with J-hooks or Spanish wraps, and then full climbs.

And finally, some handstand and handstand push-up work. It was at this point today I was wondering if I was going to be able to pull off the workout. Kipping HSPUs didn’t work very well (though I did get three) and the scaling options weren’t great either.

20180828_092007The workout? Well…

  • 10 minute AMRAP
  • Β Competitor
    • 7 HSPUs
    • 1 rope ascent, 15 foot
  • Performance
    • 5 HSPUs
    • 1 rope ascent, 15 foot
  • Fitness
    • 7 knee push-ups
    • 1 lay-to-stand with the rope

My workout became:

  • 10 minute AMRAP
  • 5 strict HSPUs (some better than others)
  • 1 rope ascent, J-hook style
  • Result: 7 rounds plus 1 HSPU

Not too bad. My HSPUs were rough in spots. Last few rounds I had to come off the wall a couple of times. But they were still easier for me to do today than kipping ones. I was happier with my rope climbs though. I used one knee sleeve as a shin protector and it helped — I still ended up with an abrasion above the sock line, but not as bloody as I’ve been in the past. And my hands never tore, though they’re a bit rougher in spots now.

At some point, I just need to figure out the kip for HSPUs. I think if I could do that, my shoulders would appreciate it!

Great work everybody!


CrossFit Cough and 2018 Regionals Event 5

Ah yes, I always know I’ve pushed myself in a workout when I have the “CrossFit cough” at the end. Today was definitely one of those days.

I meant to go in for a workout last night, but my car had other plans. Dead battery. Today however I went in with Ev & AJ for the 8:30 class. Coach Drea had a bunch of us – the three of us, Todd, KB, Jonathan & Sarah, Karen, and another gal whose name I didn’t catch today.

always-warm-up-thoroughlyWe started with the warm-up from yesterday (that I missed):

  • 1:30 foam roll quads (I used a lacrosse ball on my quads)
  • 1:30 foam roll calves (more time with the lacrosse ball)
  • 100 single unders
  • 10 pvc passthroughs
  • 10 overhead squats
  • 3 Turkish get-ups, each arm (supposed to use a light dumbbell, but I opted to go without today – that said, they felt ok)

still-alive-memeFrom there we talked about today’s workout, which was another one from this year’s Regionals competition.

  • 2018 Regionals Event 5
    Score Type:: Total Time (17 minute time cap)
  • Performance:
    • 35 handstand push-ups
    • 35 toes-to-bars
    • 50-cal. bike
    • 35 dumbbell box step-overs
    • 50-ft. right-arm dumbbell overhead lunge
    • 50-ft. left-arm dumbbell overhead lunge
    • Men: 50-lb. dumbbells, 20-in. box
    • Women: 35-lb. dumbbells, 20-in. box
  • Fitness:
    • 30 knee push-ups
    • 30 sit-ups
    • 30-cal. bike
    • 30 box step-overs
    • 100-ft. walking lunge

We watched this event a few times over the course of the Regionals this year and cringed every time it came on. The mix of assault bike, bar work, handstand work, and dumbbell work looked brutal. Today, I quickly decided to scale a few things:

  • 35 handstand push-ups (I did strict to two abmats)
  • 35 knees to elbows/hanging knee raises
  • 50 calories on the assault bike
  • 35 dumbbell box step-overs quickly became just box step-overs
  • 50 foot right-arm dumbbell overhead lunge (20# dumbbells)
  • 50 foot left-arm dumbbell overhead lunge (20# dumbbells)

Crazy-Job-2015020406My big stumble areas were with the assault bike and the box step-overs. I broke the 50 calories into 5 sets of 10 calories, which took a while. And I just couldn’t figure out how to convince my torso not to completely fold over with dumbbells on my shoulders – I did two reps, took a break, and then did one more before dropping the weights all together. If I had continued with the weights I was worried I might still be there 5 minutes later.

And I made it about 35 feet with my right arm in the air and my left arm in a front rack with the other dumbbell — then time ran out. So I didn’t quite finish this one, even scaled.

We got done and breathing was a challenge. That CrossFit cough? Yeah, that was there and it was exacerbated by the fact that I think my allergies (even on antihistamines) are cranked up to 11 today. But we’ll get over it. πŸ™‚

Everybody really did well today – I think Todd was the only one in our group who finished under the time cap. AJ finished a bit over the time cap and did awesome. Everyone else was somewhere in-between.

Definitely a challenging workout! Thanks Drea!

And it was awesome to see Jonathan AND Sarah with the twins and Aaron today. Great work everybody!!

How far to push? Shoulders DNF

How far is too far when you choose to push through a workout? That’s the question that came into my head tonight when I was weighing my options. Do I continue to scale or do I stop the madness before the damage is irreparable?

Wednesdays are hit and miss for me. Sometimes it’s a rest day. Sometimes I can squeak into an evening class. Today was such that I was wound pretty tight and needed the release I get from going to the box, so I went at 4:45 despite what my body was telling me.

things-that-make-you-go-hmmSo let’s go through the first part of the week…

  • Monday’s workout, Havana, was a good push. But it definitely fried my shoulders with push-ups.
  • Then Tuesday’s workout, which was running but we turned into a rowing endurance workout, stressed out my left knee pretty solidly.
  • Today, I was definitely feeling my shoulders.

Despite all of that, I decided to head in to hang with the folks at the box.

The 4:45 class is always fun. Coach Isaac had a great crew, as always: Marino, Shaun, Karen, Dan, Steve, Nancy, and Drea. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to work out with our coaches (usually they’re coaching, duh!) so it is always nice to get one in.

kangaroo-warm-upWe started with an interesting warm-up.

  • Two rounds
  • 200m run
  • 15 dumbbell shoulder presses, each side
  • 5 pike push-ups
  • 10 moves on the rig from active to passive shoulders and back

And then we started talking about the workout. Lots of handstand push-ups and some interesting pull-ups where you kip into an L-sit. But of course, we couldn’t just start the workout — we had to work on some skill work first.

1tjdsfI’m going to be missing some of this sequence, but it was:

  • pike push-ups
  • headstands on the wall
  • handstand hold, then a kip
  • strict handstand push-ups
  • kipping handstand push-ups


  • kipping on the rig
  • strict pull-ups
  • kipping pull-ups
  • L-pull-ups

You get the idea… it went on for a looooong time. To the point where my shoulders were already fired up before we got started with the actual workout.

  • For time:
  • Performance —
    • 18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
    • Handstand push-ups
    • Kipping L pull-ups

Um, ok. I was already trying to figure out scaling options during the warm-up. I set up my handstand push-up area with a 25# plate and an abmat on the wall. And though I did get a few kipping L-sit pull-ups, I knew they were going to become knee tucks pretty quickly.

shoulder-on-fireI want to say it took me about 15 minutes to get through:

  • 18 HSPUs (mix of strict and kipping)
  • 18 pull-ups (a handful of L-sits and then a bunch of knee tucks)
  • 15 HSPUs (again, mix of strict and kipping)
  • 15 pull-ups (some knee tucks and then just plain kipping pull-ups)
  • 5 pike push-ups
  • (pause for chat with Isaac regarding my left shoulder, which was out to the point where I could no longer do a push-up)
  • 12 dumbbell push presses
  • 2 normal push-up attempts (no go)
  • (done)

I didn’t even get through the round of 12. But the combination of pulling through the pull-ups and pushing through the HSPUs, plus the soreness I had from Monday’s 120+ push-ups, just killed me.Β  That left shoulder wasn’t having anything. I probably could have done sit-ups but that would have been about it.

dnf-trumps-dnsSo Isaac had me grab a yoga block and a lacrosse ball to try and work into the soft tissue on the inside of the shoulder capsule itself. And, amazingly, that popped it back to where it needed to be pretty nicely. I even tested a couple of regular push-ups and I was able to do them without any trouble.

Unfortunately this means it was a DNF for me, though I did what I could. I had to make the call that it simply wasn’t going to happen today.

That did not mean that everybody else didn’t kill this workout. πŸ™‚ So great work everybody! And I’ll be back at it tomorrow, potentially scaling again until my shoulders feel like they’re back up to snuff.

Thanks Isaac!


Did I really volunteer to run first?

It’s Easter weekend, but we managed to squeeze in a team workout this weekend before the rest of the holiday madness hit us. Plus, we had beautiful weather – about 50 degrees with lots of sun and not a lot of wind.

AJ, Ev, and I headed in this morning and were joined by a bunch of folks – Drea was there leading the charge and we had Jimmy, Brent, Lara, Nick & Lisa, Reagan & Brian (Reagan’s Dad), Karen & Larry, Jonathan, and a few other folks. A fun crew as per usual.

Reagan was finishing up a workout involving GHDs and ring muscle-ups when we arrived – and she’s a beast. There’s no question she’s going to kick butt at CrossFit Games Regionals this year. πŸ™‚

This was Reagan Henry at the CrossFit Games 2017 competing. She’s going to kick butt this year as well! (We love it when she and her family come to town because they’re awesome and very nice folks!)

Jonathan and I were all set to team up, but as we started the warm-up, she wanted us to go in mixed pairs. So Jonathan and AJ worked together and Ev and I worked together, which was fine.

The warm-up was 2 rounds of:

  • 200m run
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of goblet squats (I used a 35# kettlebell)

And then we did some broad jumping across the gym floor. (Mine was more like a stuttering frog than anything else, but hey… I got a few in anyway.)


From there, it was just a matter of grabbing some equipment. We needed a plyo box and some space for handstand push-ups, and Ev grabbed a rower. Life was good. πŸ™‚

The workout was:

  • 20 min AMRAP, 2 person teams (male/female)
    • 150m row/100m run
    • 10 box jump overs 20″
    • 10 handstand push-ups (10 hand release push-ups)

box1We decided to just alternate movements as long as we went through — so I started with the run (Yes, I volunteered – weird, isn’t it?), she did box step-overs, and I did 10 strict handstand push-ups to two abmats, then she rowed 150m, I did box jump overs, and she did push-ups. We just kept alternating that way through the whole thing.

There were a couple of rounds where she ran, but mostly Ev rowed and we just chugged on through. A few rounds in I started doing step overs instead of box jumps, but I kept up with the 100m runs and strict HSPUs for the duration, which made me happy. A few of my HSPUs might have been less than perfect, but I was glad to have the abmat beneath my head for the workout instead of the floor!

We definitely weren’t breaking any land speed records, but we got through 11 full rounds and into the 12th (150m row + 4 box step overs), so not too shabby. AJ & Jonathan made it through 16 rounds + 3, so they were moving fast.

I hope those folks who made it to Pick It Up for the Easter workout had a great time! We were just happy to get ONE workout in today. πŸ™‚

Happy Easter folks and great work today!

18.4 was a bit of a headache…

Today is Friday, during the 2018 CrossFit Open, so it must be Friday Night Lights at CrossFit Continuum, right? Yup!

Ev went in this morning to do 18.4 scaled, but I waited until tonight to see what kind of damage could be done. Apparently ramming your head into the floor a few times gives you a wee bit of a headache, but other than that I seem to be ok. πŸ™‚

I arrived around 5:20 or so and several folks had already gone and others were getting ready to. I headed out of there about 7:45 after everybody who was coming in had a chance to do their thing. So it was a good time. Lots of great folks, as per usual.

crossfit-games-open-2018Castro put another doozy together for this one, but at least there were no dumbbells. πŸ™‚

  • Workout 18.4
  • For time:
    • 21 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 21 handstand push-ups
    • 15 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 15 handstand push-ups
    • 9 deadlifts, 225 lb.
    • 9 handstand push-ups
    • 21 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
    • 15 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
    • 9 deadlifts, 315 lb.
    • 50-ft. handstand walk
  • Time cap: 9 min.

Essentially this is the workout Diane plus a bit heavier Diane and a bit more of a shoulder workout in the second half. πŸ™‚

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Looking back a long ways, it’s been forever since we’ve done Diane. Back in December 2015 we did it and I finished in 9:56. I did it Rx with the 225# weight, but scaled my HSPUs to a 45# plate and one abmat. It’s been a while.

Tonight would be without any scaling at all and I was a little leery of smashing my head on the ground, but willing to give it a shot.

Jonathan went before me and we all cheered him on. HSPUs are not one of his favorite things, but he managed to get one rep in the 8 minutes he banged himself on the wall. He flew through the first set of deadlifts in 29 seconds, which was crazy. His goal was to beat Caleb’s time which I think was 39 seconds or so, and he definitely did that! And he ended up with a score of 22.

Then he volunteered to judge me. πŸ™‚

I went in the same heat as Marino and he did awesome, working his way into the round of 9 deadlifts I think he said. I almost kept up with him for a little while. πŸ™‚

I got through the 21 deadlifts in 49 seconds. That left 8 minutes and 11 seconds to do as many HSPUs as I could get through. I managed to complete 8 good reps in 8 minutes, so I’ll take it.

My score? 29. πŸ™‚ I almost tied Caleb who got 30. I’ll take that. Caleb’s a beast. πŸ™‚

The awesome thing for me is that’s the most actual Rx handstand push-ups I’ve ever actually managed to get through and I did one during my warm-up as well. So I’m happy with that. πŸ™‚

20180316_183647The only bad part was there were a couple of times I came down really hard on the top of my head. Once hard enough that Jonathan asked if I was ok because he heard me hit. But I kept chugging along.

Honestly it wasn’t too bad. I was never really winded. I was laughing and joking with Jonathan and Caleb the whole time I was throwing myself at the wall. I had a good time.

As I keep saying to people, I do CrossFit because it’s fun. If it ever stops being fun, I’ll be bummed — but for the last 5 years I’ve been chugging away so I think I’ll be ok. πŸ™‚

In the last heat, I was asked to judge Nancy, so I did my best to count reps as she chugged through the scaled workout. She did awesome. Emily, Drea, and Bill were in that heat too and they did amazingly well also.

Honestly it was just fun to hang out and cheer folks on. Great work everybody!

Only one more workout to go in this year’s Open. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad. πŸ™‚

So to summarize my open so far:

  • 18.1 (Rx) – 174 reps
  • 18.2 (Scaled) – 9:50 and 185#
  • 18.3 (Scaled) – 631 reps
  • 18.4 (Rx) – 29 reps

The last two years I’ve done two Rx workouts each year, so we’ll see what Castro has in store for 18.5. πŸ™‚


30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for how long?

Today has been a mess. Meetings. Doctor appts. And not a lot of progress on any front. But I didn’t want to start the week off without a workout.

Made it in for a 4:45 with Coach Larry with Katie and Stacy. We started with a 5 minute row or bike and then got right into some deadlift warm-ups. Then we talked about the various options… scaling toes to bar, ring dips, and handstand push-ups.

Why? Because we had a whole mess of reps to complete… in 40 minutes.

  • Perform 10 rounds of the following, completing as many reps of each exercise as possible:
    • 30 seconds of toes-to-bars
    • Rest 30 seconds
    • 30 seconds of dips
    • Rest 30 seconds
    • 30 seconds of deadlifts #155/105
    • Rest 30 seconds
    • 30 seconds of handstand push-ups
    • Rest 30 seconds
  • 10 rounds at 4 minutes each = 40 minutes

This was a bit of a challenge. Minor understatement.

  • Made it through 6 rounds of actual toes to bar and I was very happy with that. Dropped back to knees-to-elbows after that.
  • Ring dips were awful after a while and I had to put a foot on the ground a few times. Not sure some of my last couple of rounds actually ended up with locked out arms.
  • I could have done the 155# deadlifts, or gone with body weight deadlifts (220#). I split the difference and went with 185#.
  • And the handstand push-ups? Well, I started with strict handstand push-ups, moved to kipping handstand push-ups, and then fell to pike push-ups. Lots and lots of pike push-ups.

I didn’t get anywhere near the big numbers put up by others earlier in the day, but I was damn happy with my toes to bar, which are always hit and miss.

Thanks for the push Larry and great work Stacy & Katie! This was a doozy of a start to the week!

Hero WOD Friday

It’s rare, but occasionally I slip in for a workout on a Friday. This week I decided I needed a break, so took the day off to spend with my wife and we both made it in for the Hero WOD. Usually it reminds me why I skip Fridays. πŸ™‚

Great class today — Coach Drea had me and Ev, Todd & Melissa, Sarah, and Nicole. Always a fun group.


We started with parts of Nicole’s warm-up (lots of hamstring stretching, which was needed) and then moved to the rig for some banded shoulder mobility (also needed). Once that was done, we grabbed light weight plates (5# for guys, 2.5# for gals) and light dumbbells. With the weight plates, we did some shoulder mobility — making the shape of A, T, and Y, with an in-between “neutral”. This is very similar to doing the banded Crossover Symmetry movement.

And then the fun began. Dumbbell shrugs. Dumbbell hang power snatches. Dumbbell hang squat snatches. As soon as my arms go independent, I start losing control. Grip and forearms are one part, but left arm not tracking right vs. right arm is another big part of that.

25pound-dumbbellAfter all of that, it was time to do the actual workout. “Nick.” (You can read about U.S. Army Specialist Nicholas Steinbacher who perished from injuries suffered after an IED hit his Humvee in Iraq in 2006 at the CrossFit Main Site.)

  • 12 rounds for time (10 at Level II):
  • Dumbbell hang squat clean (Rx 45/35#, Level II 35/25#), 10 reps
  • 6 Handstand push-ups (Rx on dumbbells, Level II w/o dumbbells)
  • (Level I – 8 rounds, 8 hang squat cleans at 25/15#, 4 pike push-ups)

I was worried about the whole thing, honestly. And I ended up scaling heavily at level II rounds and rep #s (10 rounds at 10 hanging squat cleans and 6 HSPUs).

  • Rounds 1 & 2 – 30# dumbbells, handstand push-ups on a 15# plate with an abmat
  • Rounds 3-10 – dropped to 25# kettlebells for the hanging squat cleans
  • Rounds 4-6 – dropped to pike push-ups instead of HSPUs
  • Rounds 7-10 – dropped to straight push-ups instead of pike push-ups

Finished in 22:37, but damn this was not much fun. The tops of my shoulders were fried very quickly. But it was my left arm not tracking that really caused the issue. Something about handling a dumbbell instead of a kettlebell really messes with that arm.


I joke that there are two halves to my body and they don’t really talk much, but I certainly felt that way today. I wasn’t the last person done, but Todd was doing Rx rounds and reps with a pair of 35# dumbbells and HSPUs from dumbbells on the wall.

Everybody rocked this. My trick was just to keep moving through the burning shoulders and find ways to scale as movements got too difficult to sustain. My right shoulder was pissed before we started, but the left one joined it very quickly.

Anyway… Good workout. I’m planning on going to the team WOD tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. Β πŸ™‚

Great work today, folks! Way to keep chugging through!