Tag Archives: knees to elbows

Two workouts plus some stuff

Often when I head in for a later workout, I don’t have a good opportunity to write it up. That’s what happened last night. I worked out with Coach Nicole at 4:45, went home and fixed dinner, and then the night got away from me. Today I worked out at 8:30 with Coach Lara. And now I have an opportunity to reflect on those workouts, plus offer a gamification update, and show a quick recipe for one of my favorite breakfasts.

It’s gonna be a long post, folks. πŸ™‚

K2E and Wall Walks

Most Wednesdays I have a standing 9am meeting that prevents me from hitting a morning workout at Continuum. Thankfully we have 4:45 and 5:45 classes to keep me sane on those days. πŸ™‚

crab-walkMade it in for the 4:45 with Coach Nicole. We had a big group – Keith, Mikel, Karen, Drea, Ryan, and Nancy. I feel l am missing someone and I should have written it down to remember. Bah!

We started with an entertaining warm-up to try and workout some kinks from earlier in the week. I have to say my shoulders and sides were sore and my quads and knees were a little fired up as well from Monday and Tuesday’s workouts. So to warm-up we did a couple of rounds of:

  • 50 foot straight leg bear crawl
  • 50 foot crab walk
  • shoulder rotations forward and back
  • banded Good Mornings
  • 10 push-ups to side plank (alternating sides)
  • 10 hollow body rocks

knees-to-elbows2And when all that was done we started talking about the various scaling options for the movements of the day. Nicole went through a bunch for knees to elbows as well as wall walks and everybody was able to try them out and pick what worked best.

For me, I settled on a mix of strict hanging knee raises and then laying on the floor while holding onto the rig above my head and trying to tuck my knees (from a hollow hold at the bottom) to my elbows. I mixed and matched those a bit throughout the workout.

  • Rounds and reps, 20 minute AMRAP
  • 7 strict knees-to-elbows (or 10 hanging knee raises)
  • 2 wall walks

I wasn’t quite sure how many rounds I was going to get through in 20 minutes, but I managed to get through 10 rounds as time expired. I did a little variation:

  • 7 strict hanging knee raises or 10 knee tucks on the floor
  • 2 wall walks, really trying to stay in that hollow body hold when we went up the wall and came back down

10 rounds in 20 minutes was pretty good for me and I even built in pauses, doing some of the strict hanging knee raises one at a time or in sets of 2 or 3 and my knee tucks on the floor in sets of 5 or 10.

seated-pike-hold
The Power Monkey Fitness Folks Have this Down to a Science

When we were done, we did 3 sets of 30 seconds of seated pike raises. Essentially we sat on the floor and tried to just raise our feet off the floor, either together or one at a time. I managed 20 each round and called it good. πŸ™‚

It was a good push for sure and we had a fun time as always. Thank you Nicole! πŸ™‚

Team Series 1 – Synchronized Bar-facing Burpees

Today is the only day so far I’ve had a chance to work out with my wife, so we made the best of it with Coach Lara. We were joined by Drea, Carrie, Jed, and Melissa.

We started with some mobility, using a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to work on our lats and our quads a bit, and then did the same warm-up as last night with bear crawls, crab walks, and the like. We also added in 5 slow burpees to get warmed up to the idea of doing a lot more during the workout.

cf-team-logo-whiteI partnered up with Ev and we had “his” and “hers” barbells (just to avoid colliding in the middle). The work out was the same as the first 2018 Team Series workout:

  • 2018 Team Series 1
  • AMRAP
    • Complete as many synchronized bar-facing burpees as possible in seven minutes.

I actually prefer burpees over the bar because I don’t have to stand all the way up at the end. And Ev managed to keep us moving pretty consistently. We did two sets of 5 and then adjusted to sets of 10, ending with a set of 16. We managed 56 bar-facing burpees in the end. I jumped over the bar for 30 of them and stepped over for the last 26. Ev stepped over for all of them to avoid tweaking her Achilles tendon, which she angered playing soccer on Tuesday.

And when that was done we talked about our favorite go-to breakfast recipe, which is what I did today when I got home.

Great work 8:30 class and it’s always fun teaming up with my wife!

Quick “Gamification” Update

check-list-hiThis week so far looks like this:

  • Monday: 4 points (3 good meals and 1 workout)
  • Tuesday: 1 point (1 workout, no good meals)
  • Wednesday: 3 points (4-1) (3 good meals, 1 workout, and some wine with dinner counting as the negative point)
  • Thursday: 2 points so far (1 good meal, 1 workout)
  • Total so far this week: 10 points

My goal is 20 points, but I have to start somewhere. πŸ™‚ AndΒ I think this is going to work – it’s a heck of a lot easier for me to track.

  • A “good meal” means I avoided breads or bad carbs and ate mostly lean protein, veggies, and fruits, with a bit of fat. Monday I had a great breakfast and then for lunch and dinner had varieties on a “burrito bowl” with rice, guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, and either shredded pork or shredded chicken, plus salsa. Not measuring really, but watching what I put into the body.
  • A “bad meal” means I strayed from the path. No breakfast on Tuesday, but also Arby’s curly fries and a turkey bacon club and then a green chile chicken burrito (with tortilla instead of in a bowl with rice).
  • Other points come from:
    • working out (crossfit class = 1 point)
    • doing some crossover symmetry for my shoulders at home or the box (1 point)
    • working on double-unders (in class or at home) ( 1 point)

I may add other points for things like “mindfulness” training (meditation, gratitude journaling, etc.) in the future, but for now I’m just keeping it simple.

One of my Go-to Breakfast Scrambles

I always used to do a scramble with 2 eggs, a cut up chicken apple sausage, and some green onion, but I’ve beefed it up quite a bit:

  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • .5-1 cup chopped raw mushrooms
  • .25-.5 cup diced green onions
  • 1 Aidell’s Chicken & Apple Sausage or 1 Mulay’s Breakfast Sausage (both nitrate free and all natural ingredients)
  • 2 or 3 eggs
  • .25 cup of shredded cheddar
  • a bit of black pepper

In a 12″ frying pan, spray with some Pam or grease with a little olive oil and throw in the spinach. Cover it for a bit and let it wilt. Add the mushrooms, green onions, and the sausage and let it cook for a bit longer.

When it all looks “done” (takes longer for the Mulay’s sausage than with the Aidell’s), add in your eggs and scramble things. Add in some black pepper for taste.

When your eggs set up about the way you want them (some people like their scrambled eggs a bit more runny, I like mine a bit firmer), add in a bit of cheese and let it melt into the mix.

Toss it on a plate, eat, and be happy. I tend to top it with a bit of ketchup or salsa, but everybody has a different idea of how to eat eggs. πŸ™‚

Other variations on this theme include:

  • Shredded chicken and fajita veggies (peppers & onions)
  • Diced steak from the night before (Steak & Eggs! Yum!)

And there you have it. I’m usually either doing this or making a breakfast smoothie, which I’ll talk about another time. πŸ™‚

That’s it for today! Good too because this post went on FOREVER!

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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!!

Head Not in the Game Today

Most days, something is out of whack. Mind. Body. Spirit. Usually I count myself lucky and say that 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. But today, two out of three were out of whack – maybe all three. That made it a bit tougher.

single-unders-foreverArrived for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea. We had Bill & Brent today. And even during the warm-up I could tell I was just off. The warm-up was:

  • 2 rounds
    • a minute of single unders and then a minute of double unders
    • 10 PVC pass-thrus (just first round)
    • 10 OHS with PVC
    • 10 hollow-body rocks
    • 10 push-ps
    • 10 v-ups or knee tucks
    • 30 second banded shoulder abstraction, each side

I did attempt a few double unders, but whacked myself in the head for about 30 seconds and decided I should just do singles.

From there we moved to some OHS skill work, first with an empty barbell and then with 10# or 15# plates. I grabbed 15# plates. Empty, my right shoulder started talking back. With 75# on the bar, I got through three reps, dropped it and said that was not going to happen today.

Drea suggested shifting to front squats, so I did that with the intention of pushing on those since I knew toes to bar would be rough. We did some active shoulder and kipping work, then shifted to knee tucks, knees to elbows, and finally toes to bars…

still-alive-memeI am happy to say I have a few toes to bars. But they are not pretty. Today was no different.

The workout was:

  • 21-15-9 (competitor), 15-12-9 (Performance/fitness)
  • OHS (115/80# competitor, 95/65# performance, 45/35# fitness)
  • Toes to bars (sit-ups for fitness)
  • Time domain – 5-7 minutes

My workout was:

  • 21-15-9
  • 75# front squats
  • toes to bars until I couldn’t any more and then knee raises

I never dropped the bar for the front squats on any set (I did pause, but didn’t drop) and I did t2b through the round of 21, then shifted part-way through the round of 15 to knee raises.

Finished in 6:03. Ugh. At no point today did I feel like I was moving well or mentally clear, but I did finish.

Probably didn’t help that I only got a handful of hours of sleep last night and probably need a nap.

Good work guys! Thanks Drea!

More squats!

Apparently this week was squat week. Air squats today. Squat cleans yesterday. Air squats Tuesday. Overhead squats Monday. I think I’m ready to do diddly squat for a little bit. πŸ™‚ But I couldn’t stay away. πŸ™‚

Made it in for an 8:30 class with Ev today. We were surprised to not only find Coach Bill, but Coach Jimmy! Plus Dave, Logan, Matt, and Abigail. Jimmy actually worked out with us and Bill coached, so that was fun. Haven’t been in a class with him in a while!

jumping-frog-clip-art-hopping-frogStarted with the weekly warm-up and added a few things:

  • Low and slow air squats with a dumbbell
  • Wall hip stretch (back on floor, butt on wall with knees bent above you)
  • Couch stretch
  • Bear crawl
  • Frog hop
  • Deep squats hanging onto the rig (at bottom, move to stretch ankles and hips)
  • Maybe another one or two things

We were all groaning, popping, and cracking as we went through the warm-ups. But we were also giving one another a fair amount of grief. You know — the usual madness. πŸ™‚

When we were done with that, we went over the movement standards for the workout. Good squat vs. bad squat. Ring push-up variations. And knees-to-elbows variations.

Air_SquatsThen it was off to the races…

  • 3 rounds for time of:
    • 60 squats
    • 30 knees-to-elbows
    • 30 ring push-ups

Let’s start by saying that my hips are still fried from this week. There are some spots in my left inner hip that really didn’t take too kindly to doing another nearly 200 squats to finish out the week. But eventually it warmed up enough to only cause a little grief.

I did start with every intention of doing two sets of 30, but that quickly fell to 20s, 15s, 10s, and even a few 5s. Had to slow them down to focus on getting all the way upright, since I was leaning forward quite a bit.

Then there’s the ring push-ups. I did a few. I did the first set of 30 — 10-5-5-4-4-2. After 10, I was on my knees. In the second round, I did two on the rings and shifted to regular push-ups on the floor. Even those I ended up dropping to my knees on. And pretty quickly it was sets of 2-5 on the floor just to get done.

look-at-scaling-featAnd then the knees-to-elbows. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever actually touched my knees to my elbows in my life, unless it’s while I’m sitting in a chair. Hanging from the rig, it was a hot mess. Though I got high enough for many reps in that first 30, it very quickly fell to just doing knee raises.

Meanwhile, Abigail was FLYING through air squats. Dave was moving right along (he’s come a long way in a short amount of time). Jimmy was zooming through his knees to elbows. Ev was chugging along. Everybody was hopping.

Tired now. Definitely tired. But I’ll probably be back tomorrow for team WOD. πŸ˜‰

Great work everybody! Have a great weekend!

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!

Running? Again? (Team WOD)

Yesterday got away from me a bit, so I’m writing up yesterday’s workout now. πŸ™‚

Ev, AJ, and I headed in to Continuum about 9:30 for the 10am Team WOD and I knew it was going to be a sneaky workout. I’d looked earlier in the morning and it appeared easy, which is never a good thing. Even once we were there, Jonathan and I underestimated it a bit.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532We weren’t alone however. There were a good number of folks spread throughout. Ev & AJ teamed up. I teamed up with Jonathan. And we joined the throngs.

It began simply enough, with the same warm-up as the rest of the week, led by Coach Drea. We spread out for floor space and tackled it a movement at a time, avoiding the row/run/bike for 2 minutes at the beginning. We’d have plenty of that before we were done.

Once we were done with that, we grabbed an empty barbell and our partners and started warming up the rest of the movements: hanging power cleans and front squats. At first it was an empty barbell and then we added more weight. It was supposed to be 135/95# for guys. Jonathan and I felt like 115# was plenty heavy and stayed there.

Bill & Isaac demonstrated some ring push-ups (really low rings and you essentially do a push-up on them — difficult to stabilize a bit, but great practice for ring dips) and talked about toes to bar or knees to elbows.

1425faefe33929b0b86dcb3935ca368a--employee-motivation-work-motivationAnd then… it was off to the races.

  • 25 Min AMRAP, 2 person teams
    • 20 Hang Power cleans #135/#95/#75/#65
    • 20 Ring Push-ups
    • 20 Toes 2 Bar
    • 20 Front Squat #135/#95/#75/#65
    • 400 M run – Run together as team
    • (if 3 person team, increase reps by 10)
    • Must complete each movement before moving on

Like I said, seemed simple enough. Of course, it wasn’t.

Jonathan and I used a 115# bar for the cleans & squats, he did t2b and I did knees-to-elbows, and we both did ring push-ups and the run. When I say run, the first one was a run and the last two were… walk 200m and run 200m.

My issue with this workout was the lack of rest. You’d think with a partner, you’d get a little recovery time — but that wasn’t the case. And we weren’t the fastest of the teams or the slowest, but the run became my “rest” for lack of anywhere else.

1th9hbWe eventually finished 3 full rounds and got through the cleans, ring push-ups, and 12 of the t2b or k2e’s (3+52). I called it 295 reps, considering each 400m run 1 rep (each round was 81 reps, so 81+81+81+52 = 295).

Breathing was a problem. I was amused because we did the hanging and running hero WOD earlier in the week and I ran 400m five times, with plenty of rest in-between (the hangs became recovery time of 45 seconds to 1 minute), and the runs didn’t feel nearly that bad.

Cleans, we broke up in sets of 5 back and forth. Ring push-ups we did 10 each. T2b/k2e we did 10 each. And the first set of front squats was 10 and 10, second was 10 and 10, third was 10, 5 with a pause and 5 more, fourth was 5 with a pause, 3 with a pause, and 2. The lack of recovery time taxed everything pretty well.

Someday I’ll figure out how to “recover” and run at the same time. Someday.

But I was happy to get through 3+ rounds of that. When Jonathan talked before we started, he thought we’d get through 5 rounds — I predicted 3. We landed in-between. That’s compromise for you. πŸ™‚

Thanks for a challenging workout, Jimmy. πŸ™‚

Drop and Give me 50! 50! 50! 50! and 50 more!

Forgive me community, it’s been four days since my last workout… (I don’t know why but I always feel like I need to confess such things when it’s been a few days.) Soccer season is back with a vengeance and my weekends are not my own any more. Sigh.

Even so, it’s Monday and that means it’s time to get back to the box. Last time I was in was Thursday. I don’t usually get in on Fridays and this past weekend we were on soccer fields at the Air Force Academy both days, so that brings us back to Monday. Let’s get moving again, shall we?

garfield-mondayI felt ok this morning. Stiff, but not bad. Even so, after looking at the workout last night I knew I was going to get my butt kicked. I knew I should tape my knees but I ran into some computer issues with my work system that I had to resolve, so ran out of time. Knee sleeves in hand, I headed in to face the music.

Coach Larry was recovering from doing the workout himself as we came in. And we had a fun crew for him today — me, Lara, John, Dee, Kelli & Trey, along with Michael & Anthony.

We started with some mobility. I used the time with a foam roller to try and get my back and shoulders moving again. And then we did either a 400m run, 500m row, or 2 minutes on the bike. Of course I chose to row. πŸ™‚

When that was done, we grabbed a light kettle bell (35# for me) and did a little three round warm-up:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 Russian kettlebell swings (just to eye level)
  • 10 kipping swings on the rig

box-jump-failFrom there we took a look at the workout itself:

  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 kettlebell swings
  • 50 knees-to-elbows
  • 50 wall-ball shots
  • 50 burpees
  • Rx – 30/24″ box, 70/53# KB, 30/20# wall ball
  • Level II – 24/20″ box, 53/35# KB, 20/14# wall ball
  • Level I – reduce to 30 reps for each movement, 20/16″ box, 35/25# KB, 14/10# wall ball

Our goal? Less than 25 minutes.

My approach was simple… a modified Level II:

  • 20″ step-ups
  • 53# kettle bell swings
  • knees-to-elbows, of which some were just knee raises but I did ok
  • 20# wall balls
  • normal burpees (though I usually don’t stand up all the way and tend to just hop off the ground)

72504741We were able to break it up into as many as 4 rounds, so I used this progression:

  • 20 reps
  • 10 reps
  • 10 reps
  • 10 reps

I was going to do 20/15/15 but after doing 20 burpees decided that was a poor decision. πŸ™‚ Really the burpees were the worst part of this whole thing for me, as expected.

I finished in 22:20, which was under the 25 minute time cap, so I’ll take it. πŸ™‚ Everybody did great. John was doing it Rx with the 30″ box jumps and 70# kettle bell like a beast. Other than John though I think we all scaled somehow. And the boys did awesome to get through the 30 rep version I think. They were FAST.

So not bad for the first workout of the week! Great work everybody! And thanks for the encouragement Larry!