Tag Archives: muscle up progressions

One arm, then the other…

This is going to be an odd week with a holiday in the middle, but after being very hit and miss in the last couple of weeks at crossfit, I think it’s a good week to catch up a little and get back into the swing of things. Yesterday’s workout left me gasping on the floor, but today’s definitely gave me some challenges as well.

Still a better Windmill than mine without weight today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Made it in for the 8:30 class with AJ. We were joined by a whole bunch of folks – Todd, Melissa, and their daughter; Larry & Karen; Dave; Dee; Bri; Sarah; a new gal whose name escapes me; Jake… it was a busy class. And we had both Drea & Lara coaching this morning, which was great for such a large crowd.

We did the same warm-up as last night. I chose to run (weird, right?) and then we did 20 mountain climbers, 10 lunges with PVC passthrus, 5 windmills each side (I did it without a dumbbell), 10 goblet squats (35# kettlebell), and 10 kip swings.

From there we stuck with the PVC pipe and did some OHS work and then some light dumbbell OHS and snatch work. We did a few varieties of bar muscle-up progressions… kipping and pull-ups, kipping and chest to bar, kipping and full bar muscle ups… I am getting closer I think, but today wasn’t the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dumbbell-Single-Arm-SnatchAnd then we gathered our equipment, found our space, and dove into the workout:

  • Metcon
  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Performance:
    • 3 rounds for time of:
    • 10 dumbbell hang squat snatches, left arm
    • 3 bar muscle-ups
    • 10 dumbbell hang squat snatches, right arm
    • 3 bar muscle-ups
    • Men: 45-lb. dumbbell
    • Women: 30-lb. dumbbell
  • Fitness:
    • 3 rounds for time of:
    • 10 dumbbell overhead squats, left arm
    • 5 ring rows
    • 10 dumbbell overhead squats, right arm
    • 5 ring rows
    • Men: 20-lb. dumbbell
    • Women: 15-lb. dumbbell

jim-carrey-ace-ventura-armsSingle-arm movements are still not all that hot for me. But they are getting better. So I did the best I could:

  • 10 dumbbell hang squat snatches, right arm, 20# dumbbell
  • One kip push-down and three chest-to-bar pull-ups
  • 10 dumbbell hang squat snatches, left arm, 20# dumbbell
  • One kip push-down and three chest-to-bar pull-ups

I have to say I had some concerns after the warm-up, but I struggled my way through it and finished in 9:17.ย AJ used an 8# dumbbell and jumping muscle-ups on a low bar, finishing in 10:58.

Any time there are single-arm movements in a workout, I grumble. They’re always slow and awkward for me and lighter than I think they should be. I possibly could have tried a 25# dumbbell today, but it would have just slowed me down and I felt slow enough.

Thumbs-up-clipart-cliparts-for-you-5Everybody was moving right along today! So great work 8:30!

And a quick shout out to Lara, who is working through her Level 1 coaching internship with Drea. She led the warm-up today and was helping with some adjustments throughout the work-out and the skill work. She did great and answered a few questions/concerns I had off the bat, convincing me not to go with overhead squats instead of hanging squat snatches. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Lara!


Running and the Rings

Though the crossfit community is abuzz with Castro’s 18.0 announcement today, it wasn’t much of a bump in the road. Maybe a bit of a distraction later in the day, but it didn’t prevent us from getting in for the 8:30 class today with Coach Drea. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gymnastics-ringsEv and I worked out with Carrie and Logan today for an interesting workout involving running and ring muscle-ups. We started with the same warm-up as yesterday and then worked on some different muscle-up progressions. I even tried some jumping muscle-up progressions while standing on a stack of weights and a higher set of rings, but I had more success with the “kick out” method where I would sit beneath the rings, tuck my knees, and try to pull myself up and forward.

Graceful, I was not. ๐Ÿ™‚

The workout itself was for time:

  • 9 muscle-ups
  • Run 800 meters
  • 6 muscle-ups
  • Run 400 meters
  • 3 muscle-ups
  • Run 200 meters

I really did not want to run today, but have decided that when I really don’t want to do something, that’s the best time to work on it anyway. Mental barriers don’t go away when you ignore them. And I did a combination of the “kick-out” variety of muscle-up progressions and a few attempts on the stack of weights.

run-thought-they-said-rumHow’d it go?

Well, I finished in the time domain. ๐Ÿ™‚ Like yesterday, apparently we were shooting for between 12 and 15 minutes — and I hit 13:30, right in the middle. Ev was only a little behind me and came in under 14 minutes, so she was moving right along.

I think I was done with the first 800m run by the 6:30 mark, and through my muscle-up attempts in about 2 minutes, so that meant a 4:30 800m time. Not awful.ย Ev got through a 1000m row (then did the 400m and 200m runs) in 4:05, so she was moving right along as well!

And I did go from my butt to my feet more than a few of those reps, but it definitely wasn’t pretty. The higher rings were quite a challenge. I’m getting a pull ok, but not quite able to “head butt” my way over once I get there. Someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Carrie & Logan were both done well before us however. They did awesome and both managed quite a few jumping ring muscle-ups!

Overall, not too bad. Glad it was done at the end however. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Drea!

The Return of Mondays

So it’s been a while since I last wrote anything here. Sorry about that. It’s what happens when you go on a business trip for a week.

But I’m back and starting to get back to the routine. A little. Maybe.

Revenge of Jet Lag

travel-globeI traveled to Berlin, Germany, for a 3-day meeting for work. Left Sunday. Returned Friday.

It’s an 8 hour time difference to Berlin, so they are 8 hours ahead of us. And that really messed with my head. I never really caught up despite trying to sleep my way into a better state of energy and consciousness.

Now after being back a couple of days, I feel like my body is awake. I’m not yawning anyway. But my brain… Wow. It’s definitely not here yet. It’s like walking around in a bit of a fog.

Hopefully that will clear up this week a bit.

Back to Work at the Box

So after not working out in 10 days, it was time to get back to the box and start working on that end again. Headed in for a 9:30 class with Coach Bill. It was me, Lori, Lisa & Nick, Ashley, and another gal whose name I didn’t catch. (Maybe Elizabeth?)

7TaonKRbcAt any rate, we got going and I started to shake off a bit of rust.

We started with a 400m group jog and chatted the whole way. Was good to catch up with Nick a little as we discussed movies we’d been watching lately.

Got back and then did a three round warm-up consisting of:

  • 10 one-armed dumbbell thrusters
  • 10 one-armed dumbbell thrusters (other arm)
  • 10 explosive hip-ups (kind of like part of a roll-to-candlestick)
  • 15 second ring hold (lower position)
  • 15 second ring hold (locked out)

It was actually kind of a doozy of a warm-up, but I’m thinking it was just because I was out of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

When that was done we talked about the muscle-up progression we’d be using. It involved the hip-up, a false grip, and starting laying on your back. As Bill put it, we were working on our ninja skills. My ninja seems to be uncoordinated. ๐Ÿ™‚

And then we did some thruster warm-ups with an empty barbell before adding some weight. A few shoulder presses. A few front squats. A few thrusters. Add some weight. Do it again.


Considering how out of it I felt, I stuck at 95# and stayed there for the duration of the workout:

  • For time:
  • 15-12-9
  • 135/95# thrusters
  • muscle-ups (or muscle-up progressions)

I did:

  • 15-12-9
  • 95# thrusters
  • muscle-up progressions

And it took me a while. 14:50 all together. But I finished, so I’ll take it.

Monday is in the books. Now I should get some work done. Great work everybody!

Hero WOD Friday

Do you ever look at the workout the night before a WOD and wonder whether or not you should go? Unless it’s one of my “regular” days, I definitely am guilty of doing that.

This week and next I’m on vacation, so I’m trying to fit in as many workouts as I can while I have the time. I looked at the workout last night and said… “Hmmm… I can do that.” So for the first time in quite a while I showed up for a Hero WOD.

It was me and Ev along with Coach Bill and a whole mess of folks. Lorelei, Larry, Justin, Jenny, Todd, Adrienne (& Jayda), Connie, and Caleb. Suffice it to say we were not alone. ๐Ÿ™‚

We started with a “bowling” challenge on the rowers. We had 2 teams of 3 and one team of 4. I worked with Ev & Justin. The goal was to hit 100m exactly on the rower. We were as far off as 6m a couple of times and got one strike (100m exactly). And for every meter over or under, you had to do a burpee and a pull-up. It was a good warm-up.


From there we grabbed some empty barbells for a little complex – 5 good mornings, 5 back squats, 5 strict press, 5 front squats, and 5 straight leg deadlifts. We warmed up a bit further and then started adding weight to bars. We had to pair up because there were so many of us.

The workout was “Johnson“:

  • 20 minuteย AMRAP
  • 9 deadlifts (245/165# Rx, 155/105# Level 1)
  • 8 muscle-ups (or muscle-up progressions)
  • 9 squat cleans (155/105# Rx, 95/65# Level 1)

Olympic weights

Justin and I scaled a bit. We started with 225# for deadlifts and Justin shifted to 185# to save his back. We did 125# for the squat cleans. And all of us except for Todd were working on muscle-up progressions of various types.

It was the squat cleans (as always) that were the worst part of this one. The progressions took a while too, but I always feel like I’m working against my body for squat cleans for some reason.

I made it through three full rounds plus 5 reps. Was hoping to get a bit further, but that’s ok. It was tougher than I expected. Ev made it through almost 4 rounds herself, so she did great too.

Today was my 5th workout of the week. I’ve gone every day so far. We’ll see just how dumb an idea that was when we attempt the Twelve Days of Christmas workout tomorrow as the sixth one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Great work everybody! Y’all killed it.

The Challenge of Full Extension

Today I made it to the box for workout #3 for the week. It’s a good routine. 2 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 team workout, 1 day off… And maybe next week our friendly chiropractor Caleb will put me back together so my right arm doesn’t go to sleep, my knees and hips track correctly, and so on…

But back to today…

Though my wife made it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Bill, I had to skip this morning due to a meeting and some work I needed to get done. So I fit in a noon workout with Coach Drea. There were three of us – myself, Samantha (and little Lilly), and Vicki.


We started with a bit of mobility. Foam roller to the lats, quads, and back. Then we did a little mini workout to warm up… 3 rounds of:

  • 5 push-ups
  • 7 sit-ups
  • 9 good mornings with a PVC pipe
  • 11 air squats

Then the real fun began. We went through the movement standards for the thruster and the power snatch using an empty barbell, then started warming up to our working weight.


The workout was for time… 3 rounds of:

  • 7 thrusters (165/110# Rx, 135/95# Level II, 75/55# Level I)
  • 15 muscle-ups Rx / 10 muscle-ups Level II / 15 muscle-up transitions Level I
  • 10 power snatches (same weights as thrusters)

We were supposed to get done in 15 minutes. I jokingly suggested my time would be closer to 30. ๐Ÿ™‚

1f6iacI was going to do 135#, started with 115#, and dropped to 95# pretty quickly. And I did muscle-up transitions on the rings.ย Took me 20:24 to get through the whole thing. I was somewhere between Level I and Level II and it kicked my butt.

Even now, my right arm is asleep from the shoulder. My left hand grip was dying by inches as it always does. And my brain wouldn’t get out of the way.

Here’s the fun part about thrusters for me. It’s a full-extension kind of exercise. You go from the bottom of a front squat to a locked out overhead position. It’s the same as a burpee, going from flat on the floor to a jumping, arms overhead position.

For the burpee,ย I’ve developed a modified position that saves me from that full extension. I still stand all the way up and jump at the top, fully extending my hips, but I’m not putting my hands over my head. That saves me from this weird full extension issue I’m having and I can do 7-10 burpees in 30 seconds pretty regularly.

Contrast that with the thruster. You are essentially (as I pointed out) going from a standing, front rack position with a loaded barbell. You move straight down into a front squat, then explode up from the bottom and thrust your arms overhead like you’re doing a push press.

There’s no way to short change this movement. It is what it is and it’s a mainstay of CrossFit.

And for some reason when I go through multiple thrusters, I get completely fried. Not sure if it’s my shoulders not tracking right (left shoulder is too far forward, right shoulder can go straight up) or my hips still giving me grief or my knees. Or just the full extension from bottom to top…

But whatever it is, I have issues these days doing too many thrusters – especially when it’s mixed in with other movements.

Someday maybe I’ll figure out what’s causing my body not to track right. But that day is not today…ย Meanwhile, tomorrow is…


Great work today folks! It was a tough one! Have a great rest of your day!