Tag Archives: handstand push-ups

12 Days of Xmas 2018

For the last few years, we’ve done the 12 Days of Christmas workout at CrossFit Continuum in the days before Xmas. Sometimes it’s on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it’s a day or two before that. But since at least 2015 it’s been part of the tradition.

This year it was just me from our clan heading to the box to do the deed a few days before Xmas, but I went in — just like we did in 2015, 2016, and 2017… My girls were sleeping in to recover from crazy weeks at the end of their respective semesters. My wife was working. And I was definitely not alone in the madness. Much of our CrossFit family was there with me. πŸ™‚

Drea & Jimmy, Nick & Lisa, Lara & Jordan, Larry, Caleb & Megan, Megan F, Clara, Heather, John, Marino, Aileen, Emily, Shaun & Stacy, and more… we had people all over the place. πŸ™‚ As Jimmy put it, it was a bit of “controlled chaos” — emphasis on the chaos! Plus — we started with sunshine and ended with a snowstorm. It was definitely one of the first days of winter!

We did a little warm-up and divvied up into halves… one half of the gym was mostly the “Naughty” workout and the other was “Nice.” We both got our butts kicked. πŸ™‚

Caleb and I sort of shared an area. This wasn’t a team workout, but we shared equipment and space due to the crazy number of bodies. We had some space on the wall for wall balls, two bars (one 135# and one 95#), and just kind of went for it.

My version of the Naughty workout (scaled) went like this:

  • 12 Days of Christmas
    • 1 Deadlift 135#
    • 2 Pike Push-ups
    • 3 Front Squats 95#
    • 4 Pull-ups (kipping)
    • 5 Shoulder-to-overhead 95#
    • 6 Wall Balls 20#
    • 7 Back Squats 95#
    • 8 Sit-ups
    • 9 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 95#
    • 10 Push-ups
    • 11 Thrusters 95# (I dropped to 11 Front Squats during “Day 12” because I couldn’t get my arms over my head at this point)
    • 12 1200m “run” (really I walked all but about 200m of the whole thing)

It took me 49 minutes to complete this year. And I really debated just giving up after the run (in the snow that was just starting to fall at that point) — I was struggling with both shoulders by then. But after I did the front squats, things started to loosen up again and I was able to get my shoulders moving again.

We had a fun time as always and my time was about the same as always for this workout (though it changes every year):

  • 2018 – 49:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2017 – 44:00 (scaled to 95#)
  • 2016 – 58:34 (went heavier with 115#)
  • 2015 – DNF (over an hour)

I think figuring out I should scale in 2017 made this workout much more fun in the long run. And I kept moving much better this year than I have some years — so maybe this old Grinch is learning something. πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! Y’all “sleighed” it. πŸ˜€


Rowing to Burn Halloween Calories

Yesterday was Halloween and my wife had her yearly gathering. Can’t say I ate well, but did have some gluten-free cookies, deviled eggs, and crackers with salami & cheese, so at least I ate something. And I managed to avoid alcohol, so I’m going to mark that as a win — despite the fact that I had eggs on toast for breakfast and a hamburger on a bun for lunch. πŸ™‚

That said, I figured I could burn off some bread calories if nothing else today at the 8:30 class with Coach Lara. Ev & I went in and were joined by KB & Melissa. Just the perfect number of folks for a rowing WOD since we have four rowers. πŸ™‚

rower5We started with two rounds of this warm-up:

  • 250m row
  • 10 pike push-ups (elbows were a little angry for the first round, but better by the second)
  • Inchworm/yoga flow on the right and then the left (inchworm to plank, plank to downward dog, downward dog to cobra, cobra to plank, plank to lunge, lunge to some arm extensions, back to plank, inchworm back to standing)

After that we did a bit of row refresher and a bit on the handstand push-up progressions. Though I did try one HSPU (kipping) on the wall, I have to say that they weren’t in the cards today. I was all about the hand release push-ups today and even those were slow as heck!

rowboatThe workout wasΒ 2018 Team Series Event 6…

  • For time, 2 rounds
    • 50 calorie row
    • 25 handstand push-ups or hand release push-ups

I can row. That much I can do, and I was able to get through 50 calories in a little less than 3 minutes the first round and right around 3 minutes the second round. The push-ups were a challenge though – sets of 10, 5, 3, and 1 or 2 were all I could do. Just kept moving as best I could.

My time? 10:38. Not too shabby and not too far off from Larry who did the same thing in 10:24 earlier today.

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterWhen we were done we did a little skill work:

  • EMOM for 6 min
    • 2-5 Pseudo planche push-ups
    • 10 sec planche lean

Yeah – I think I averaged 3 reps across the 6 rounds. One round I did 1, but most I did 2 or 4. Nothing like firing up your shoulders and elbows even further, right? πŸ™‚

We had a good time and it was very strange being the first one done today. But I’ll take it. πŸ™‚ Great work 8:30 class and thanks Lara!

A Little Nate in My Day

Surprisingly, today was a day off. Ev had it off and I took it off so we could hang out together. And how should it start but with some crossfit? πŸ™‚

We went to the 8:30 class with Coach Drea… Bri, Melissa, Dave, KB, Maria, and a new person joined us. And since it was snowing outside, we were happy there was no running in the warm-up. πŸ™‚

tiltingThe warm-up was 2 rounds of:

  • 5 windmills
  • 10 kettlebell deadlifts (started with 20# and moved to 35#)
  • 10 Russian kettlebell swings
  • 10 goblet squats
  • 10 American kettlebell swings
  • 10 forward arm raises with a dumbbell (used 10#)
  • 10 side arm raises (only used 10# dumbbells for first round and then went without)
  • 10 chicken wing arm raises (10# dumbbell)

We were also supposed to do a crab walk, but she was nice and didn’t have us do it. πŸ™‚

When that was done we warmed up a few kettlebell swings, talked about handstand push-up variants, and worked through some ring muscle-up progressions. I only felt like I was holding my own on the KBS during the workout – I fell apart on the HSPUs and by the end my MU progressions on the rings were crap. πŸ™‚ So, sorry Nate — this has never been my workout.

kettlebell-swingNate is a hero WOD named for Chief Petty Officer Nate Hardy who was killed during combat operations in Iraq back in 2008.

  • Score type: Rounds & Reps
  • Competitor
    • 2 muscle-ups
    • 4 HSPUs
    • 8 kettlebell swings (70/53#)
  • Performance
    • 2 assisted muscle-ups
    • 4 HSPU progressions of some variety
    • 8 kettlebell swings (53/35#)

survived-didnt-dieSo how’d it go? I kind of hinted earlier… not the greatest.

  • Muscle-up progressions – I did two of these while on the balls of my feet and nearly parallel to the floor, pulling through and pushing myself up at the top
  • HSPUs – with an abmat planted on a 15# plate, I varied these a bit… tried to do as many kipping HSPUs as I could, mixing in the occasional strict HSPU — and when all of that fell apart after 4 or 5 rounds, I dropped to pike push-ups
  • Kettlebell swings – I used a 53# kettlebell and managed these unbroken for the most part
  • Rounds & Reps: 8 + 6 — made it to the KBS in round 9 but didn’t have enough time to get one in

Did I have fun? Yes. Did I knock this workout out of the park? Definitely not. But that’s ok. There’s always tomorrow!

Great work 8:30 class (and 9:30 with Bill)! Thanks Drea!

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!